Sunday, April 19, 2015

Making Your Own Organic Compost

This is our third season to have our raised bed gardens. We decided the first year we built them that we should be composting so that each season we would have nice soil for our veggies.  This year, we are using our very own homegrown compost in our gardens!
This organic compost was made over a planting season's time.  This is our first try at making our own compost and we think it turned out awesome!  It looks very lovely as dirt goes.  Ha, ha!
My honey did all the research and decided to use this old trough we had for our compost.  It may be a bit too large for what we are doing, but hey, it worked for us just fine!  I failed to snap a picture of the cover he uses, but its just a hinged (in the center) piece of plywood that he cover in plastic to help guard it a bit from the elements.  He hinged the cover so it would be easy access for adding our saved organics, stirring and watering.
This is our yield for saving all of our kitchen organics plus some yard trimmings from one season to the next.  One wheel barrow full, and its a large wheel barrow too!  Here's a list of things we save and add to our bin:

Vegetable trimmings or peels
Fruit trimmings or peels
Coffee grounds (including the filter)
Tea bags (I remove the staples from the tags)
Paper towel rolls
Toilet paper rolls
Dried leaves
Small tree or bush trimmings from the yard

In case you're interested, I use a Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl to save all my kitchen organics in.  I got mine at Walmart.  We do not put any cooked food in our compost, that's just a preference of ours.

Also, we live in Texas, so it's neccesary to water your compost in the summer here.  Like now in the Spring,  if we know its going to rain, we just open one end of our bin and let it rain in.  Make sure your bin has drain holes, because too much water is not good either.  If its not the rainy season, we water and then stir about once per week or when it needs it.



We have four raised bed garden sections and my honey added a little of the compost to each bed and then thoroughly mixed it in.  Some beds still needed more soil, so this year we added Miracle Grow's Gard Soil because it was on sale at Lowe's.  Bargain!!
See that luscious green stuff there on the right?  That's our cilantro.  Once you plant it you have it forever!  It really needs no help at all to keep going!  There were even a few plants growing in the rocked area, so I pulled those up and put them back in their correct spot.  Even though they looked wilted the day I transplanted them, they are perfectly fine now!
This is our tomato and pepper section.  We planted the marigolds in the center isle to help keep bugs away!  Just a tip I learned from Pinterest!
We use a soaker hose system that my honey hooked up so that all four beds are fed by one connection.  We have this hose connected to our condensate water collector that you can read about HERE.
This view is all four beds.  You can see the water hose hooked up to the PVC line that feeds all the connected soaker hose.  He's pretty smart that honey bun of mine!

Do you compost?  If so, do you have any good tips for us?  Please leave a comment.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

Pin It!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trimming Hedges DIY Style

We are focusing on the outside of our house this year.  Main focus, we need to be able to get to the "painted parts" of the house so we can hopefully get that painted soon!

A little back story, when we moved in four years ago the hedges around our house were already way out of hand.  We had to use a ladder to give them a trim each season.  That is NOT safe when using the electric hedge trimmers.....just our opinion!  None the less, we've been using the ladder until this year!
A lot of the hedges had dead limbs in them and a few of them even died all together, that's why you see the blank spots in the hedge line.  We are not hedge experts nor do we even know what kind of hedges these are, but we took a chance on cutting them back in hopes of not having to pull them up and start all over.   NOTE:  Want to know what we use that blue barrel for?  Look HERE.
So, this is how they looked before we started.  Um yeah, a little out of hand....don't ya think!!  To the roof top on the low side for sure!  Not at all good for the painting process we need to happen.
We started in the front of the house and worked our way around to the side.  Let me tell you, this is a lot of work.  First, we tried to trim out all of the dead stuff and then we worked on lowering the tops to a manageable height so in the future they can be trimmed from the ground and we would not have to use a ladder to reach the tops.
My honey didnt want to get out the really long, heavy electric cord to use the electric hedge trimmer, so he just grabbed our little generator we use for the camper.  Worked perfect!  Just wanted to share that in case someone who has a large property needed to use something electric way out and about!
Here we have the little trailer filling up with the cuttings from the hedges.  By the time were were done, we had made three trips to dump the trailer, it was a small trailer, but at least we had one or it could have been worse!
Oh look!!  We have windows!! LOL! Our bedroom is much brighter now.  I love it!  Some of the hedges look really sad and thin, but two weeks later, they are still alive and sprouting new leaves every day.  We are hoping the remaining hedges will make it.
And just to remind you, here's a before and after.  Even though they look a little thin in spots, they certainly look much better than they did to start with AND we can manage them better now.  No more ladders and danger to worry about!  YAY!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin



Pin It!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pink Fluff - An Easy Dessert

Happy Easter!

Need a quick easy dessert for Easter or any other Spring or Summer get together?  This one has just a few ingredients and it is so easy and fast to put together!
Isn't it pretty and so yummy looking? Seriously, who doesn't love to eat pink stuff?  Speaking of pink stuff. that's what we call it in our family.
Pink Fluff

1 - 4 cup serving of cheesecake instant Jello (I used sugar/fat free to cut calories)
1 - 20 oz can of cherry pie filling
1 - 15 oz can of crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 - regular tub of Cool Whip
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Pour undrained pineapple into a mixing bowl then add the Jello.  Mix well to incorporate both.
No add the cherry pie filling and mix well.  Oh its getting good now!
Add chopped pecans if you so wish to use them.   Stir to blend into your mixture.  Last, add your Cool Whip.  I guess I got so excited about this dish I forgot to snap a picture of that step!
Serve immediately or chill in the fridge to mingle the flavors a bit.  Its good either way!

Would you like to see some of my Easter creations?  Go ahead, pin them for next year!

Easter Egg Wreath - go HERE.
Easter Egg Wreath Revisited - go HERE.
Old Bookpage Easter Eggs - go HERE.
Yarn Carrot Craft - go HERE.
Easter Bunny Banner - go HERE.


It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin


Pin It!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easter Bunny Banner

I love Spring and I love Easter.  I also love to add to my seasonal decor when I can, so I made this bunny banner to adorn my chalkboard.
This time I'm kickin' it old school and using my Cricut Expressions machine and the Cricut Sampler cartridge.  If you don't have these two items, any bunny pattern will do.  There are several bunny patterns on Pinterest.  All the supplies needed, I had on hand.  Just use what you have.
To recreate my bunny banner, you will need:
White card stock
Blue, Peach, Pink, Green and Purple card stock
One cotton ball
Glue
Hole punch
Scissors
White bias tape or ribbon
6" strands of tiny ribbon in colors matching your card stock
White yarn
Fork

First, using your die cutting machine, cut one bunny with shadow at 4", then two more at 3 1/2", then two more at 3".  I cut all of my shadows in white first, then the colored bunnies last, but that's just me!  Glue the two pieces together and then add a little bit of the cotton ball for the tail.  Lastly, punch a hole in one ear for hanging.
Now for stringing them into a banner.  I used some white bias tape and measured out a piece about a yard long.  Next cut five smaller pieces to tie the bunnies on to the long piece like you see above.  Find the center of your strand and tie on your 4" bunny there.  Space the others starting with the 3 1/2" bunnies and then lastly the 3" bunnies according to how you want them to look.
Now for the tassels.  I have TONS of ribbon, so I just grabbed some colors matching my bunnies and cut several for each tassel at 6" lengths.  Gather them all together and tie one end with another piece of ribbon to hold it all together.
Ok, this was fun!  Baby fork pom-poms.  So cute and easy!  HERE is where I learned to make these, but basically all you do is wrap your yarn around the middle of the fork about 35 times and then cut another length of yarn and feed it up through the middle space like you see above and then bring the other end up through the front middle and tie one time pretty tight.  Slide the yarn off the fork and tighten it really tight and then tie it one more time to hold it.  Using sharp scissors, cut all the loops, fluff and trim into a ball shape.  Go watch the video , its really easy.  I'm making it sound way harder than it really is.
Now tie your tassels and pom-poms on in the middle of each bunny.  Space them to your liking, hang and enjoy!  My ribbon was long enough I could tie it around my chalkboard and tie into a bow.  I think it turned out so sweet!
This would also be adorable hanging on your mantel or a mirror.  The possibilities are endless, get creative!
From this angle the bunnies almost all look the same size, but remember the center one is 4" and then they go out smaller to the ends.
Now we have little hopping bunnies hanging in the kitchen to make us smile when we walk through.


I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial and will be able to try one for yourself.  Now I need to get the rest of the house all decorated for Easter!

Would you like to see more of my Easter creations?

Easter Egg Wreath - go HERE.
Easter Egg Wreath Revisited - go HERE.
Old Bookpage Easter Eggs - go HERE.
Yarn Carrot Craft - go HERE.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

Pin It!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Baked Salmon - Easy and Delicious!

We love salmon, its so yummy! This is our favorite way to eat it, baked.  This recipe is so simple and its perfect for a night when you are short on time and want a delicious meal.
Mmmm, this is making me hungry for salmon right now! LOL!  I've pinned lots of ways to bake salmon and have also tried several of them, but we have found that this is the best recipe for us.
My Daddy got an opportunity of a life time to go fishing in Alaska.  He caught lots of fish and he was awesome enough to share his fresh catches with us.  Let me just say right now that there is nothing like fresh salmon straight from my Daddy's fish hook to our kitchen!
Step one: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray a light coat of olive oil on the surface the fish will rest on.
Step two: Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked black pepper and garlic powder.
Step 3:  Place tiny chunks of butter on top of your salmon filet.
Step 4:  Bake uncovered for 10 - 12 minutes.  Serve with your favorite sides and Enjoy!  See, I told you it was easy!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

Pin It!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Skinny Taco Pie

We have paused progress on our Master Bathroom remodel for now and we are going to take a little vacation and enjoy the kiddos while they are out of school for Spring Break.  How about a new recipe today?

Last week I was sick for two days and didn't really want to eat anything.  My sweet honey decided he would make me something to eat when I started to feel better and wanted to eat again.  He made this Taco Pie and he made it skinny for us since we are trying to eat as best we can when we can. We got the original idea from Betty Crocker HERE.
I think my honey's looks much nicer than BC's picture, but I might be a bit biased too!

Skinny Taco Pie

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced
1 package taco seasoning (we used my homemade mix HERE)
1 4 1/2 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup 2% Milk
2 Fresh Eggs
1/2 cup Heart Smart Bisquick
3/4 cup light shredded cheese

Garnish:
Salsa
Light Sour Cream
Tomato - chopped
Lettuce - shredded

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9" pie plate.  Cook turkey, onion and garlic in a medium sized pan on medium heat until done.  Stir in taco seasoning.  Add meat mixture to the pie plate and then add the chiles on top.

Stir together milk, eggs and Bisquick until blended then pour over meat mixture.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, then top with cheese and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cool for about 5 minutes then serve with your favorite garnishes.  Enjoy!
This was a perfect little meal for me to have after I regained my appetite.  So yummy and most of all, so sweet of my honey to take such good care of me too!
This is good for a work lunch too if you happen to have leftovers.  We just packed the pie with our garnishes in a separate container and it was good to go!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

Pin It!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Repairing Drywall and Adding Texture

We are still working on our Master Bathroom mini remodel and one thing we had to do was repair some of the drywall around the tub.
This beautiful wall that my honey created was surrounded by ugly drywall yuckiness!  No worries, my honey fixed it and we're going to show you how he did it.  If you'd like to see how he created this wall, click HERE.
We had to remove the lovely blue faux marble from around the bath tub and it left us with some ugly looking drywall that was in need of repair.  Want to see what else we did to replace more of this lovely blue marble?  Click HERE.
Don't you be jealous of our 80's vinyl floor!  LOL!  That's a big job coming up soon too.
TIP:  Before you start, cover everything you do not wish to have drywall dust on.  We used plastic drop cloths to cover all our stuff.
Next, my honey retrieved all the necessary tools along with the drywall mud and got to the repairs.
Using a scraper and the drywall sander, we removed all the extra glue and what not that was left over after removing the "marble".
TIP:  Use a shopvac while sanding to cut down on the dust.
Next you'll want to hide any imperfections in the drywall.  This takes patience that I don't have, but my honey does, so he got to smoothing on the drywall mud.  TIP: Be careful not to make this very thick or your patch job is going to "glow" when you're finished.  Let this dry for a while and sand again if needed.
Another close up of our 80's vinyl floor! Yay!
Now for the texturing.  Our walls have what is called a "knock down" texture on them.  The secret tool we used to achieve this look....plastic shopping bags!  Cool huh?  We learned this from my honey's Dad.  You take 4 bags, make little crumpled balls out of 3 of them and place them inside the fourth bag.  Now roll the top down and make a handle to hold on to and get to texturing.
Dip your bag into the drywall mud and dab it on.  Keep dabbing until you have the entire patch area covered in little peaks.
For the knock down texture, this is the look you're going for.  Lots of little peaks, you know like meringue?  LOL!  When you have this look over your entire area, let it sit for a few minutes so that it starts to dry a bit.  Do not let this dry completely, you're not finished yet.
Now you are ready to "knock down" the peaks that you've so carefully created.  This takes a very, very light hand to achieve.  It's not easy and it takes practice, so you may want to practice on a board before tackling your actual walls.
This is the area all dried and ready for paint.  It's really hard to photograph this texture, but in real life this looks really good and will look even better with some fresh paint over it.  Thank you honey!

Would you like to see more projects we've done in the Master Bathroom?  Click HERE.


It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:

These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

Pin It!