Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Annabelle's Walking - Garden Update

Annabelle has been walking a lot more now.  She still likes to crawl or knee walk as I call it but she is getting a lot more confident with her walking.  I would say around 15.5 months her confidence kicked in.  She is almost 16 months now and she is getting so big.  I hove lots of pictures to share!

We moved the bath outside for a little pretend pool time
She loves checking on our plants.  This is her tomato plant that has since died :-)

"Oh I am so darn cute!"

Just hanging by the pool with my buddies having a snack.


She is a nut!!!!1
Again a nut.  We had to remove all books because well other wise she would do it for us

This is what happens on a hot day when we water the garden and the mister is on the hose.  LOL She loved it!

Happy Daddy's day!  Let me squish you for your present.

Yes I am a diva and I know it.

At the park with our friend Nathan and his Mommy for a walk.

Drinking and driving... LOL... Milk that is.

This is now what my formal living room as resorted to. It's cute though.

I turned some old windows I had into playroom picture frames and used scrap paper for the background.


1)  We lost our beans to a wind storm.... Ugh I will need to replant them.

2) We lost our just starting to produce Zucchini and Squash to a squash vine borer bug :-( we still have time to replant but it makes me sad.  

3) Everything else is doing very well other then the mildew I can't seem to kill on the cucumbers but they are still producing.  

Gardening is so tricky who knew I needed to wrap the stem of the squash plants to keep a moth from laying an egg of a nasty creature that would bore into my plant and eat it from the inside out.  Darn it!

I hope everyone is doing well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Product Review - Krogers Yogurt Smoothie Bar Strawberry Banana

Kroger Yogurt Smoothie Bar Review - Strawberry Banana

As part of a BzzAgent campaign I received a chance to test out Krogers Smoothie bars.  I must say they are very good.  They are little but at only 50 cal one does the trick to fill a sweet tooth without break the diet bank.  The Strawberry Banana tastes mostly like strawberries which is totally fine with me and I noticed it does taste just like a smoothie I would make.  

The ingredients are not all natural but not to bad.  Here you be the judge:

With 12 in a pack I think these will last us a little while and it is a cool summer treat!  I could see these being a perfect size for a little kid too as the lager bars tend to melt before they can finish them this time of year.  

Give it a try if you are looking for a cool refreshing summer treat!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

First Time Square Foot Gardener - Small Spaces

Over the winter I had started to plan for a raised bed garden.  Because I am a first time gardener I made sure to do my research on square foot gardening and compatible planting.  My goal was to use the space we had most effectively but also plant in a way each plant would help the one next to it grow or deter common bugs to the plant.  To do this I searched the internet and also purchased the 3 part PDF book by Emily Peery from my square foot gardening.
This is what the area looked like in the winter before the garden not real exciting
In early April we ordered a U-Shape raised bed garden from Naturalyards (7' by 8' with 2' wide beds).  Then I made up a garden template using Excel to try to determine what plants we needed and how many of them.
Each box is one square foot and the middle is my steppers and steppable flowers.

I knew some veggies we wanted for sure so, I started using Emily Peery book and the internet to find what worked best next to what and this is what I came up with (after doing it over and over again).

We had some minor changes after realizing the planting area isn't as big as I had thought as you lose about 6 inches because of the wood and trim

Before our beds came in my husband tilled up the area under the beds and removed the very rocky sandy soil we had down about 5 inches then he added some fresh top soil and we covered it with weed block.

When our beds came in early May we where ready to get to it.  We wasted no time in putting the bed together as they slide right together with pins.  It did take us some time to figure out what pieces go were and we where pretty confused on why we had supports for 3ft wide bed when ours was only 2ft wide.  But in the end once we got each piece in the right area it went right together.  

The next day Jerry put on the trim kit.  Really that was key to squaring out the bed and making it look finished.  

Now came the fun part (I say sarcastically).  Adding the dirt!!!  Now you can't just go and buy top soil because you need the right mix.  So I did as the Gardening Basic book said and we did 1 part Peat moss, 1 part vermiculite, 2 parts compost.  This meant we had to go to 3 different places to get the best price on each of these.  Jerry had to get a whole truck bed full of compost.  You can see our cu ft measurements on the above diagram.  We ended up with lots left over because the soil was so fluffy but as I said our yard can use the extra good soil so none of it will go to waste.  

To fill the bed Jerry shoveled the compost into a plastic bin 2 big scoops at a time and I put in the peat and vermiculite then we mixed lifted and dumped it in the bed.  Then Jerry would spread it out.  We did this for about 2 hours and boy our backs hurt.  But it was done.  

The following day I used twine and steaks to mark off the squares.  I discovered I couldn't get exactly all the squares I had thought I could so I needed to make some changes in my planting.  This just meant some of the herbs would get moved around.

Now it came to plant.  We have previously purchased our plants and kept some in large patio containers and others in the containers they came in until we could get the bed ready to go.  But now we got to plant everything.  The beans, carrots, garlic, and green onions went in as seeds or bulbs.  Mostly these were planted for fun or because they helped with pest control.
The little signs I had purchased from an Etsy seller the Common Sign they really make the garden!
Next our Lemon, Lime, Clementine and Pomegranate trees came in the mail.  We purchased them at Fast Growing Tree and the came in beautiful condition.  We purchased matching pots for the lemon, lime and clementine trees as they will need to come in during the coldest months.  After planting them it was time to add the stepping stones and steppable plants to the walking areas and mulch and grass seed as needed.  Jerry planted the pomegranate tree in our backyard as it can stand our NC winters.

In just two weeks time this is what our garden looks like today...

As you can see we still have some compost to work with and mulch we need to lay around the large bushes but I love our garden and we made the best use of space we could.  The bird feeder was my Mother's Day gift and I love watching all the different birds especially the cardinals come to the feeder. It's also great to have the birds around to eat those nasty bugs we don't want.

The view of our deck from the garden.  This pergola was put on last summer and it really made a world of difference.

Can you see my little humming bird friend that comes and goes all day.

A panoramic of our little garden area.

We are even using our old patio boxes for lettuce and the other one I am going to plant flowers.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our little compact garden and I hope it continues to grow and gives us lots of flowers, veggies and herbs.  We have already enjoyed seeing the many visitors it has brought us.

Humming bird


Bees working hard

Sunday, June 2, 2013

15 Months Old

Our little munchkin is going to be 15 months old in just a few short hours.  Oh how she has grown.  Over the past month she has started to get more confidence in walking and now she can stand up and walk from one thing to another.  She isn't confident enough to try to go for long distances.  Soon enough she will be though.

She loves climbing the stairs and she can go down the stairs too.  She is a sesame street fan and loves Elmo.  She has one molar through in the upper left and she is working on 3 others (OUCH).

She can say Mommy and Daddy but usually only when the other one isn't doing what she wants.  She can do things like go get a specific item if told to or show us she is hungry or thirsty by getting our attention and going to the fridge.  She loves to say "HI" and now she has started saying "Bye" any time we kiss her.  She seems to think being in the living room and kissing her means so one is leaving.  She will wave bye when people come and go but she really doesn't like when Mommy leaves without her.  She is used to be my shadow now so Mommy leaving alone is unheard of in her mind. :-)

She is a very happy little girl who makes us laugh.  She has her bad days though when she whines mostly because of her teeth or boredom because she is a true people person and loves to be around her friends or out and about getting smiles and attention for her pig tails.  At a restaurant she will smile continually at each person that walks by in the hopes that one will smile back and oh boy when they do she turns on the charm.  It breaks my heart when some people don't look at her, I mean how could you not smile at that big grin.  If you don't have a child just know that when you stop and smile at a baby it warms the heart of the Mommy and Daddy too.

She is our little princes, silly girl, poop poop head and little Annabelly.  We love her with all our might and I couldn't imaging our lives without her.

Today at the park

Happy 15th Month Baby Girl!