Hello Seedlings!

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There is that saying – two out of three ain’t bad. That has happened with my seeds, two out of three seemed to have worked. They are growing fast and it’s awesome! I’m thinking about bumping up my seed start times for the cucumbers and mini-watermelons, they are starting to sprout their second leafs.

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This little guy still has the seed on this leaf. It’s so amazing what grows from seeds and what they provide.

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I was trying to capture the beautiful little hairs on the plan with my macro lens. March’s month goal is photography related. I’m hoping to work on getting better shots.

“A garden is grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” Gertrude Jekyll

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February Monthly Resolution: Start Working Out

I realize the following: the time for resolutions has pasted and February is almost over. Despite this, I wanted to share the idea of breaking down goals into manageable pieces. In January, many people try to take on too much then become overwhelmed and don’t complete any goals. This certainly happens to me and it is discouraging.

I decided one goal at a time would allow goals to build on each other and give me encouragement to keep going. Last month, I made the goal of making more food at home. I decided this because – eating at home is healthier, more cost effective, and every study I’ve read suggests those two reasons. I’m glad to report that I have in fact been making more food at home. Cooking Light suggested planning nights off – this has been tremendously helpful. There are some nights when I will be working late or I need a night off. Give yourself permission and work out a meal planning schedule that works for everyone. To help you get started:

http://www.cookinglight.com/weeknight-meal-planner-quick-and-easy

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/menus_meal_plans

Back to focusing on February. I have read some saddening research about sitting at my desk all day – it’s really bad for cardiovascular health. Apparently, working out a few times a week doesn’t solve this problem. In reading the Fitness article below, I did learn some ways to help get through this. My co-worker and I take a 20-25 minute, 1.3 mile walk on our lunch break. I also installed Pacer to remind myself to get up every hour and to track my walking. Pacer also sync’s with apps like My Fitness Pal. DialyYoga also has ten minute desk yoga which I’m going to start doing (I just need to remember to bring my headphones). I also did join a gym, my plan is take classes and mix it up – Zumba, yoga, maybe a dance class.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/conditions/sitting-too-long/

http://www.pacer.cc/

http://www.dailyyoga.com/

Make some monthly goals. We can do it!

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” Jim Rohn

Starting an Urban Garden

When we went home for our wedding, we spent a lot of time visiting our moms who are both back east. B-rad’s mom (who actually introduced us) has the most beautiful garden. It’s filled with snap peas, tomatoes, herbs… I felt a little envious. We lived in an apartment with no yard of our own and I wanted fresh tomatoes.

This was an odd feeling, I have a black thumb – I killed our little succulent plant, which are one of the easiest plants to keep alive! Why was I jealous? I suppose it was a combination of waiting to be back where most people live in houses with real yards and not in an apartment and missing everyone, gardening can be a social activity.

In proving to myself that I wasn’t a plant killer, I read up on how to re-bloom an orchid. It worked. The orchid B-rad gave to me last year is about to bloom and I’m so excited. This research lead to research on how to grow an urban garden – I can do this!

IMG_0375I purchased a few seedling kits from Food52, they come in packs of three (links for everything are below). The tomatoes take longer to start, about 5-6 weeks before I can move them outside. The cucumber and mini-watermelon take 3 weeks. Above is the tomato kit.

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There are husks in the bottom of the bag for draining. Since there are no holes, the water will drain to them and then be re-absorbed as needed.

IMG_0377You poke some holes into the soil bag and then run water into the bag. Since you want the soil to be moist, you’ll squeeze the bag and the extra water will come out of those poked holes. IMG_0379Organic tomato seeds! Hopefully all three little ones grow. After you put the soil over the husks, you’ll plant these little guys about 1/4″ deep and spaced away from each other. Luckily, I can start these now because while we have some cold mornings here we don’t usually have frost. You’ll want to make sure in 5-6 weeks you are clear from frost. IMG_0380

You place a plastic bag over the top to create a bit of a green house. There are very detailed instructions that come along with the starter kits. I look forward to started up the cucumbers and mini-watermelons in a few weeks.

To move them outside, I’m going to use the City Pickers system. In doing my research, they seem easy to use and I like that they come on wheels which makes them easy to move around on our porch. I’ll post pictures once my seedlings are ready for it.

Links for purchasing the Potting Shed Creations Kits:

https://food52.com/shop/products/955-seed-starts

http://www.pottingshedcreations.com/

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Aubry Hepburn

 

Take a Hike: Calavera Lake

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On beautiful days like this, I am glad to live in SoCal. We spent the afternoon hiking at Calavera Lake in Carlsbad. The great thing about hiking here – it’s free and Chicken Nugget release out all of that 5 year old energy. While San Diego is a city and it’s mostly apartment life, great nature is usually close by.

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It’s also a volcano – how awesome is that! Chicken nugget immediately asked if we could go inside the volcano, there wasn’t any lava so it made sense to want to go in it. We told him the fence was up and fences mean we can’t go inside. That seemed to work as a reason.

B-rad’s friend from high school lives out here and knows all the good hiking trails. While I’m definitely sore, it was such a great hike. Parking is free and we got the advice to park in the neighborhood as there are more people around to “watch” your car. Parking on the street can apparently encourage break ins as thieves know you likely won’t be returning to your car anytime soon.

For this hike, running shoes are fine. There are also some great mountain biking trails. Bring lots of water and sunscreen as that California sun is hot. There also are not any bathrooms.

Links and information on the trails:

http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/calavera-lake

http://www.carlsbadca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=24050

http://www.everytrail.com/guide/lake-calavera-hills-preserve-carlsbad

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

IMG_0383(Mostly) Red Velvet Cupcakes

Since I love making food, I get several emails related to cooking and baking everyday. This recipe hails from the nest.com

http://www.thenest.com/Recipes/175877/detailview.aspx?type=7&id=175877&cm_ven=Responsys&cm_cat=NestRecipes&cm_ite=February%2014,%202015

I say mostly Red Velvet because my supermarket doesn’t carry liquid food coloring, only the gel kind. This lead to my cupcakes not looking so lusciously red like they do in the (Photoshopped?) website photos. If you can find the suggested food coloring, it will likely work better. What really makes them Red Velvet is the frosting – make the recipe one and don’t buy the store kind, it tastes so much better.

Since we have chicken nugget this weekend, we decided cupcakes were okay before dinner since it’s Valentine’s Day. He was a great help with making the cupcakes, he loves cracking eggs and pouring in the (pre-measured) wet ingredients. Cooking and baking are great ways to reinforce following directions and, as they get a little older, working out math and the science behind things changing. While he loves cracking eggs, digging the shells out of the bowl and getting his fingers in it, I think he enjoyed eating them more.

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Our first married Valentine’s Day has gone well. B-rad got me some beautiful flowers and we’ve been hanging out as a family all day. I also got to talk to my mom and wished friends a Happy Valentine’s Day – it’s a day about everyone you love ❤ I hope you enjoyed your day; if you didn’t, these cupcakes will definitely make things more fun and even more so if you share them with a neighbor, friend, or family member.

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”  Audrey Hepburn

Starting Here

Regrowing my Orchid
Regrowing my Orchid

I’m a San Diego transplant. After years of saying I would never move for a man, and that I likely wouldn’t marry, I find myself married and moved for love. While I miss a lot of things from the northeast, mainly family and friends, I do not miss the cold or the snow.

In thinking about my posts and where I’d like to start, it is a little overwhelming. I love cooking, trying grow plants (I mean look at those Orchid buds, boom!), being a wife to B-rad and step-mom to Chicken Nugget, and a student of photography – not in that order of things I love but sometimes the order changes day to day. My posts will focus around those ideas and hopefully inspiring some SoCal lifestyle for everyone who stumbles along here.

“Find the joy in everyday.” – My mom, Lil’ P