Thursday, August 05, 2010


moving over to

it will be a while before everything gets updated, but decided it would be a lot less crazy to just do one blog. :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Menu Plan

Trying to get back to posting this, as it really does help me stay on track. Here are my plans for this week.

B - Kashi
L - Black Bean Burritos from freezer with tomatoes
S - carrot sticks and cheese
D - grilled eggplant/feta stacks with green salad and olives

B- egg muffin
L- leftovers from Tuesday dinner
S - cheese sticks, ww crackers
D - crustless veggie quiche with salad

B- oatmeal or egg muffin
L- taco salad w/ homemade tortilla strips
S- carrot sticks and cheese
D- leftover quiche, salad

B- cereal or oatmeal
L- grilled tilapia and chicken breast with grilled veggies (grilled brussels sprouts?)
S- nuts and carrot sticks

Saturday (make a big batch of marinara and a crock pot of taco meat)
B- out or egg muffin
L- leftovers from Fri lunch
S- nuts and carrots and cheese
D- baked spaghetti squash with meatballs and red sauce

Thursday, May 06, 2010


helping set the table

We've been doing a little unit study on A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno. Tonight we took a trip to Japan. Bathrobe "kimonos," a table made of boxes, and a bunch of new (to Autumn) foods, made for a fun evening. And she not only tried the new stuff, but liked it! Especially the miso soup, dumplings, and sushi. :-)

ready to eat

chopsticks practice

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Outside Today

Autumn ADORES her sandbox. She would happily spend 24 hours a day in it if I would let her.

First of the Day Lilies to bloom.

A couple raised beds. I'm not sure why one of them is so much more productive than the other one. Since they're basically the same. I think the second one must just need more compost.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Frugal Gardening - Starting Seeds - Part 2

A note on seeds: Even most small seed packets come filled with far more seeds than one average gardener can use. Save more money by splitting seeds with a friend! You can also save seeds from many plants in the fall and then plant them the next spring. Visit WinterSown for more information and ideas.

Once you have your seeds planted, use duct tape to tape the jugs closed.

I generally put a plant marker in each jug, but I also write whatever the plants are on a piece of duct tape and attach it to the bottom of the jug, just in case it fades too much from the sun.

As long as there is condensation on the inside of the jugs (as shown in the top picture), you don't need to water the plants. If they look dry, either spritz or drip water in until all the soil is moist.

According to what I've read, if you live where it's colder, you can leave these containers out all winter in the snow and everything. We don't really have much winter, so ours grow pretty fast. Once your plants are big enough, you can remove the duct tape and let the little plants get some sun during the day, then just tilt the top back over for protection at night.

I don't follow any hard and fast rules about when to transplant from the containers into the garden soil, but generally if the plants have some secondary leaves and the weather is good enough, and they have been "hardened off" by having the tape removed for several days or a a week, I will transplant. The little swiss chard seedlings in the photo above will go into the ground sometime this week.

Another one of my favorite containers to plant in is foam cups with clear lids. These are great for plants that need a little more space, like tomatoes. You can plant just a couple seeds in each of these. There is a great step-by-step tutorial at WinterSown for these.

Frugal Gardening - Starting Seeds - Part 1

Disclaimer: I'm sure there are just as many ways of doing this as there are gardeners, but this is how I do it. I am by no means an expert, just someone who likes to garden. This is the process that works for me. For more information, I highly recommend you visit WinterSown. You can learn all about winter sowing as well as get free seeds to use in your own winter sowing efforts.

Supplies Needed:
  • milk jugs (or cartons, or tall foam cups, or any other container you can re-use that will hold at least 3" of soil, plus plants)
  • good quality potting soil (go ahead and buy the good stuff, you'll save enough everywhere else)
  • heavy duty kitchen shears or a utility knife
  • duct tape
  • plant markers (optional) and a marker
  • seeds

First I gather a lot of milk jugs and other containers. I don't like having these sit around all year, so I just ask friends and family to save them for me for about the month before I plant. I always end up with enough. Make sure these are SUPER CLEAN. I wash them out beforehand and then after cutting them to make sure they're really clean.

Start by cutting slits in the bottom of the container for drainage.

Then, pinch the corner of the jug that is opposite of the handle about halfway up the jug. Snip with your shears.

From the snipped point, cut around the jug, leaving the handle section intact.

Fill with at least three inches of good quality potting soil. Soil should be moist before you put it in the containers. Not dripping wet, but damp.

Next plant your seeds in the dirt according the the package directions. I plant a lot more than the package calls for, and then divide them when I transplant. But how you do this is really up to you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Butterfly House

We loved the butterfly house - so fun! Next time we may try to visit on a day that isn't quite so sunny though, since there were not as many butterflies as we were hoping would be out and about. It was just too bright out from what I heard. The ones we saw were beautiful though!

So Far Behind...

Here are some pics from January. These are taken at Callaway Gardens. We did a day trip since they were having free admission in Jan and Feb. Had a great time and plan to visit again! The birds of prey show was better than any I've been to before-the birds were flying through the audience the whole time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hitting the Pause Button

I've been under the weather for weeks now. Bronchitis didn't totally clear up after the first round of medicine and came back hard along with a sinus infection. Now on a stronger and longer round of antibiotics, but still mostly useless. Lying on the couch and watching tv is about as much as I have energy to do.

No school.

No shopping.

No cooking.

No scrapping.

Life is on pause.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mini Vacation

Having a little mini-vacation this weekend. First weekend all to ourselves in what, five years? Really wishing I wasn't sick with bronchitis and laryngitis, but still having a very fun time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Week Two Wrap Up

Spending for week two $5.65! We bought quite a few freebie groceries, but only had to pay for half and half and soyoy bars. So we're now $25.16 under budget for the challenge. On to week three.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Freebie Shopping

So, I am doing the pantry challenge to clean out our excess supply of food, but couldn't resist picking up FREE stuff at the store. Believe it or not, we have just about used up the yogurt and we only got it three days ago. It's AWESOME! So I will be getting quite a bit more of it this month. :-) It's great because the Greek yogurt is so thick and tangy, you can use it in place of sour cream as well. Actually, I think it tastes better!

Another Pantry Meal Plan

So, we have a lot of leftovers and we'll be eating a lot of those for lunches. Also getting a bunch of delicious Greek yogurt free after coupons, so we'll be eating that for breakfasts. I LOVE Greek yogurt. And I made homemade granola yesterday to top it with. YUM!

Breakfasts: fruit, greek yogurt, homemade granola, waffles

Lunches: leftovers, tuna, PB&J, out on Wed

Sunday: "Leftover Buffet"
Monday: Shrimp Pasta (ended up getting a free pizza instead)
Tuesday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Collard Greens, Homemade Pear Sauce
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday: Asian Pork Tenderloin, Steamed Veggies, Rice
Friday: Fried Rice
Saturday: Leftovers or Baked Potato Soup

Friday, January 08, 2010


Autumn working on her math activity book today. I'm trying to figure out what we're going to be doing for school next year, but I have a feeling the decision is going to take me a couple months to make. There are a lot of things I DON'T want to do, but still not sure what I DO want to do. If you have any curriculum suggestions, especially for math, I would love to hear them!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Pic For Tonight

Autumn and Miriam the night before Tristan's wedding