No So Green Thumb: Making a Terrarium

Hey y’all!!!

Guess what I’m doing? Guest blogging for RCCG YASM! That’s a lot of letters but it’s the Young Adult and Singles Ministry for a ginormous group of church parishes that span the world (literally).  I’m a young adult, who knew?? :)

Anyway, I was working on this whole deep post before. Ok maybe I thought it was deep but I guarantee you would think it is at least neck deep if not ocean deep. Where is that post you may be wondering?? Still in draft mode because I do not want to impart uncrystallised wisdom, at least not yet for those who are still figuring me out. Instead let me talk about plant life:

I love nature (within reason – all bugs and slugs need not apply). I love plants and flowers. My mom has an amazing garden/farm and I would like to think I inherited her penchant for nurturing plants. I have bouquets at home, I arrange the flowers at church, etc, etc BUT I have been in this one struggle for literally eight years. I know I am not the only one but chai it is becoming an issue. Check out Exhibits A and B

Orchids!

Would you believe these are victims #3 and #4 this year?? More like #3, #4, #5 and #6 when you realise that each box has two plants *facepalm*. The one on the right is actually one I got earlier this year on one of Bekah and I’s jaunts to The Grove. I bought two terrariums – a cactus and an orchid. Could any two plants be more different?

20140808_PnPTerrarium_21 The cactus is alive and kicking and the orchid is…not. That sad little space in the first hanging planter is where a young, happy, dare I say radiant orchid ;) used to live but nope, no more.

Day in day out I would look at that thing and wonder if I could get another baby orchid and try again but I can’t even lie – I am tired!! I want to stop being the Orchid Annihalator. So what did I do instead – I carried myself to Home Depot and got some good old, reliable cacti. I even found some they called kosmic cacti – with really wild colours. They looked painted so I went for the most normal looking ones.20140808_PnPTerrarium_28

Making the Terrarium

This is really simple. All you need is:

  • Pretty glass container
  • Plants
  • Potting soil ( I got the one specifically for cacti to set myself up for success )
  • Pebbles/stones for soil cover

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Instructions abound on the internet but here’s the quick version of what I did.

  • Thoroughly was the container
  • Wear gloves ( cacti can hurt)
  • Place a layer of stones in the bottom of the container – this is for drainage
  • Add a layer of soil about an inch thick
  • Place your plants in the container and surround with more soil
  • Place a thin layer of stones over the soil around the plants – it looks pretty and helps with moisture retention
  • Et voila

20140808_PnPTerrarium_3920140808_PnPTerrarium_44As you can see, not all the cacti made it into the terrarium. Instead I found other small pots for them. I also planted some flowers I haven’t dealt with before. If those don’t go the way of the orchid – I will let you know. What I’m REALLY waiting for though are amaryllis and bulbs but it’s not time yet. Again with the waiting….

Have a blessed week :)

#MyVegasStyle Challenge

Hellouuuuuuuuuu my people!! It has been sporadic and a half, no? We are working on it :) I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been making but in the meantime, here’s something a bit different for us. Style boards!!!

Over a month ago, I was contacted by vegas.com to participate in their #MyVegasStyle challenge to share my looks for a day at the Aria Resorts. Now…I live in LA and have never been to Vegas because I haven’t really had any impetus. BUT I will one day so I can cross that off the list. The Aria looks like a fun hotel.

Here we go…

Living my life like it’s golden – by the pool/beach

I like holidays with beaches and pools. Laying in the sun (with sunscreen and shade) is quite nice so clearly I would be hanging out at the Liquid Pool Lounge. If I want it to be more peaceful, there are cabanas and a spa pool available :)

Living my life like it's golden - by the pool/beach

 

A Day at the Gallery

So The Shops at Crystals have a nice long list of stores but what actually caught my eye was the galleries. I rather like to go to museums and galleries when on vacation. I would grab some food at Jean Phillipe Patisserie beforehand.  Clearly I like options. I would wear the skirt (handmade of course) unless I decided to go on an organised tour.

A Day at the Gallery

 

Off to the show…

As I mentioned, Cirque du Soleil is my main draw to Las Vegas so I obviously would have to see Zarkana. This lady does not like to be hungry and Las Vegas has loads of great restaurants so a stopover at Javier’s seems appropriate. If it’s before the show, I may go somewhere else for a late snack – Belgian Waffles at the Aria Cafe?

Off to the show - circus and spectacle

 

And that’s it…my day at the Aria ;)

 

 

Lemon Raspberry Loaf

Been a long time since we talked huh?

I’ve missed you guys….

I have been crazy busy with some new developments in my life. I started a new job and I am still trying to get use to my new schedule. If anyone knows anything about, I am not an evening person, and my new schedule requires me to be ON in the evening. I am so the annoying morning person that AS SOON AS I open my eyes, I’m so cheery without having had a drop of coffee. I am also the non evening person that cannot have a serious conversation past 10pm unless there is something fantastic going on.

But I am back from my mini hiatus, and finally getting things together one day at a time.

How have all of you been? How are the dogs days of summer going?

Mise en Place

To make up for lost time, I thought I would entice you with something delicious, so I made

Lemon Raspberry Bread………

Raspberries

 

But then I totally FORGOT to take a picture of the after bread. Again, I was making this bread in the evening and my brain was not working properly.

I know I can’t show you, but the loaf came out insanely good!

If your not a fan of raspberries, you can sub them for blueberries.

Yum

 

This recipe is really easy, and can be done without an electric mixer…BUT if you have one, might as well put it to use. I like to coat the berries in flour before tossing them in with the other ingredients because it helps them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.

Sorry there are no “after”pictures =(

But do take my word for it, the cake was superb. This is great for brunch, weekends or potlucks. Again if you don’t like raspberries, you can sub blueberries. I like using fresh instead of frozen because its my preference.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lemon Raspberry Loaf

Ingredients

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 plus 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 cups flour {plus one teaspoon for berries}
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cup fresh berries
  • 1/4 cup lemon Zest

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray and line a 8x5 loaf pan.
  • In a mixing bowl crack the two eggs, adding in the sugar, lemon juice, butter and eggs. (can be done by hand or in an electric mixer)
  • In a separate bowl; stir together the cup of flour and baking powder.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, do this in thirds.
  • Toss the berries in the 2 teaspoons of flour and gently fold them in along with the lemon zest.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a tester is inserted and comes back clean. The top and edges of the loaf should be golden.
  • Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Run a butter knife along the edges of the loaf and then carefully remove the loaf to a wire rack to finish cooling.
http://www.peppermintandpaisley.com/2014/08/14/lemon-raspberry-loaf/

Tuesday Favourites

Swiss Chard with Peaches and Sliced Almonds

Happy Thursday!

My…. is the time flying by, I can’t believe it’s already mid-July. Where did the time go? Where is the time going? Every day we are getting older and I am eating more and more.

Have you guys been eating your local seasonal fruits and vegetables? Summer brings out the best produce with lovely stone fruits, squash, heirloom tomatoes, and Swiss Chard.

In the world of hearty greens, Swiss chard often gets overshadowed by its popular neighbor kale, but it’s a superstar in its own right., that’s for sure!

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This relative of the beet is a superb source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and iron. It makes a colorful and tasty side dish, or a nutritious addition to pasta, soup, quiches, and more. Continue reading

Tuesday Favourites

Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits

Happy Thursday to ya!

I hope everyone had an incredible 4th of July, filled with rest, relaxation, good food and no sunburn. Did anyone eat anything interesting or exotic?

…I had a corndog. I really like fresh corn dogs, which I think is so random because I did not grow up eating them but I really like the way that they taste. Unfortunately it was not worth “cheating” on my diet; simply because the beef portion of the hot dog tasted a little burned on the ends. I also had some fries, and a bite of a burger. Oh and some ribs, which were probably the best part. So as you can see, I basically ate nothing interesting. It was my first time having beef and cheating like that in a long time. I felt sooooo guilty that I went spinning the next morning, and I was killing it on that bike. I am fairly certain that I burned off the corn dog, and when I got home I made some fresh juice that consisted of : beets, kale. grapefruit, apple and carrot.

I can’t cheat….

Shrimp

….but when I do cheat, I opt for an lean protein like shrimp.

I made some shrimp and grits…. Continue reading

Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes

Yup!!!! It’s cupcake time again. Can you believe this is the first time all year that I have baked?? How crazy is that? It’s because I have been so busy sewing so I do have a good excuse.

Anyway, I’m sure you can guess that these cupcakes were made for two reasons. US Independence Day which also happens to be a dear friend’s birthday. I woke up that morning and finally made it to the gym after dislocating my toe months ago. Later I randomly decided to make cupcakes to fit the red white and blue theme. It was only when I loaded my car to head to the party that I realised I was supposed to take fruit along. BUT the cupcakes had fruit on them so I was covered ;) (Yes, I am reaching…)

20140704_RedWhiteBlueCupcakes_26 Continue reading

Tuesday Favourites