Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekend Memories and Creating New Ones-Gurgle and our Eastern Shore chocolate/sushi/oyster/outlet days

You know how you have those childhood friends that you've known since you were born so they were always around? Then you have those friends you've known for almost forever but it's kind of the same thing? It feels like there was never a time in your life when you didn't know that person? Well, that's Gurgle.

One of our many trips to the best sushi place in the world!

This girl right here I've known for what feels like forever. In reality we have known each other since Middle School. Since 7th grade art class to be exact. When I was on this big Blink 182 Kick and we shared the mutual appreciation for them...ok it was more so she appreciated their music and I was obnoxiously in love with them, but you get the point.

Before I begin talking about how awesome Gurgle is, let me tell you how she actually got her name Gurgle, it's not as creepy/disturbing as you would think.

So when we met in Middle School, AIM was the big thing.  So of course upon meeting and clicking we exchanged screen names and began to chat outside of the dreaded middle school atmosphere.  I was Beatlesbaby and she was grlgoneinsane. Now, any normal person would read that screen name as it was supposed to be "Girl Gone Insane" but no, not me. For the longest time, I mean almost a year, I had thought her screen name was "Gurgleinsane" because, well who am I to judge and also, I just don't pay that much attention. So one of my more perceptive days I noticed it when we were chatting and I mentioned it to her. "hey, so I thought your screen name was Gurgleinsane" of course laughs were had at my stupidity and we carried on. But from that point forward, I thought that since I had thought this entire time it was Gurgleinsane, that her properly coined nickname should be Gurgle. And bless that girls heart if she didn't find it or me offensive. Middle school me was incredibly stupid and angsty and therefore I didn't see that it wasn't the sweetest nickname you could give a friend but she was Gurgle and she's been Gurgle ever since.

Ok. Now that that's over with. I'd like to share with you just how awesome of a friend Gurgle is. Gurgle has been there through every single one of my boyfriends. She has been there through me being a complete idiot as a teenager, all of my faults and craziness and she has still remained my friend. She was in the car when my ex boyfriend (who was 24 and stoned at the time) crashed my car into another car in Curtis Bay (if you know Maryland you know how much of a hole this place is) while we were in the car and allowed me to take the blame for it. She was still my friend after that. She was my friend when I was a selfish little preteen who cared about nothing but myself. She was my friend when I was angsty and oh so stupid with my hormone-filled rants (that sometimes still continue to this day) and through all the flaws and problems I've been through, she has been my friend.  I don't know if any of you have those kinds of friends, the ones that you can call and talk about absolutely absurd things to and they don't judge you, they don't think you're crazy and they don't expect anything from you. That's the kind of friend Gurgle is.
This is coming back from one of our favorite local bands shows in Virginia. That's all I'll say about this one!

I've always known that she was a great friend and that I probably shouldn't take her for granted, but sometimes life gets in the way. When she was in college, since she's so intelligent and such a hard-worker she cut off communication with most of the outside world. A thing I was never strong enough to do. She did what she had to do to get where she wanted to be and damn if I can't admire that quality in a human being.
a fun little music cafe we found in Ellicott City (that's not there anymore unfortunately)

Our Joss trips! 

She and I fell in love with baking around the same time and we had these awesome get togethers where we would bake cookies and cupcakes and fill the house with the smell of chocolate and sugar.

We held a bake sale for Cookies for Kids Cancer which entailed us staying up all night baking and decorating (plus one day prior).
Some of the billions of cookies, brownies and cupcakes
This was night one
Our finished product

We went to Myrtle Beach and she put up with my sick butt the entire time and even cooked a huge pile of bacon in the morning (<wife material right there guys!)

Standing on the balcony! Isn't she so pretty?
My stuffed dolphin, Weetee and her Pookie (From Garfield) made the trip with us
This 8000 calorie hot fudge sundae shake+a little sunshine made my sickness go away instantly

We've also been total goobers together

Gurgle was sick for a while so I came to operate visit her.

We also went to numerous concerts, shows and shopping trips. Our most routine one now is Abbey Road on the River which is held every year at National Harbor. 

One of our first years!
This past year, Natalie came (who is also a dear friend from Middle School) and we took this painful/amazing shot of all three of us 10 years later.
Kind of crazy what will happen in 10 years time, isn't it?

That is just what I could find on facebook. There are a billion other awesome memories I have with gurgle. Some of our most recent is road-tripping to the Eastern Shore to get fried oysters and pit-ham from the AVF hall. We are typically the youngest ones there by about 50 years. Afterwards we'd hit up Oh My Chocolate for some delicious Tiger Butter and Tiger Butter Crunch.

When the VFW was closed and the oysters were out of season we'd hit up the Queenstown Outlets occasionally and get a little shopping done. One of those occasions we discovered an amazing little sushi place, second only of course to Joss, that had BOGO sushi! And it was fresh and delicious! And amazing! Joss Sushi became one of our instant new favorites although we haven't frequented there as much as we would like it still holds a very special place in my heart and I'd love to visit there again soon!

These are just a fraction of all the amazing adventures and good times I've had with Gurgle. She represents this calm part of my life, the well put-together, you can do it side of my life. She holds herself with such poise and grace that I can only one day hope to be on her level.


Weekend Memories and Creating New Ones-Lenita and our thrifting adventures

The hardest part about this move, as with almost any move, I'm sure, is being so far away from everyone and everything I know and love.  My weekend routines have changed, my daily trips to my thrift stores and coffee shops are a thing of the past but most importantly (and painfully) are the little routines I did with friends and family.

Now, I know that moving an hour and a half away from everyone doesn't mean I'll never see them again, I'm not trying to be overdramatic here, but it does mean the simple things like meeting Lenita at 7AM on a Saturday (because that girl has energy as soon as the sun comes up) and going to the flea market, stopping into Cookies kitchen for breakfast and hitting up the Breadery in Oella are not as possible as they once were.

We had a nice little Saturday routine of going yard sale hopping, flea market hunting and antique store shopping on those beautifully warm yet distant summer months. I could only find a few snapshots of our thrifting adventures on instagram, but rest assured now that I have a camera there will be many more of these:

Isn't she the cutest? Seriously, straight out of a magazine ad.

As much as I miss that girl and as sad as I am that our little places aren't close I have to remind myself that all those things will happen again. Duh. I'm gonna need to see that sweet girls face pretty soon anyways so I can give her the long overdue Christmas presents sitting at my dads house!

These weekend routines were so absolutely perfect. Spending an entire day just drinking coffee, talking, munching on chocolate chunk pumpkin muffins and touring the neighborhood yard sales in Historic Ellicott City. Oh and finding castles, visiting adorable little breakfast shops, watching the Secret Garden and her painfully teaching me how to knit(thanks girl!). Just a dreamy sounding Saturday, right? I guess I'll have to head back for a visit to Maryland sooner than I thought!

And just in case you're reading this Lenita, I have a ton of new thrift stores/antique malls and cafes for us to try out here in VA as soon as you can come visit.  When the weather warms up and I finally have a bed in the spare bedroom, I'm pretty sure we're gonna be unstoppable! ; )

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sundays Crockpot

Edit: So I started typing this whole thing out and thought I had lost all the pictures that I took of the process so I stopped halfway through this on Sunday night. It turns out I lost some of them but not all so I can proceed with my little recipe breakdown after all! Just trust me that this was done Sunday and not Tuesday!

Sundays are generally a lazy day around here. Even regular cleaning and house work seems to take a backseat when there is so much lounging and sipping tea to be done! Besides, there are 6 other days of the week to worry about all that!

For that reason, I've made it a habit to make crockpot meals on Sundays. This Sunday was a chili type of day and I've decided to catalog all my recipes and procedures here so I have a good go to that I can come back and reference. It also helps that I can see all the mistakes I made along the way and remind myself for later on!

Crockpot Chili

1-1/5lbs ground beef
1 onion
1/2 green pepper
1 can black beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
2-4 garlic cloves (I love garlic so I always double it up)
2 cans tomato puree
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Ok so here we go, first step is to gather all of your ingredients

You will notice that the onion is missing from the above 2 pictures and that is because I am not very good at planning and I used all the onion on the spaghetti I made Saturday! Rest assured I did run to the grocery store and pick them up!

So, after you've made sure you are not an airhead and have all of your ingredients together. You throw some EVOO in a pan and cook up your ground beef. I am in love with my crockpot because it actually will cook/saute the meat before the slow cook. Thus cutting down on the amount of pans I have to  clean! Yes! So if your crockpot does this, throw the ground beef in there and cook it until it's brown. What I do is choose the brown/saute setting and the highest heat, which is 400*F and throw it in after it's warmed up.  You don't really have to season it but I personally can't stand the smell of unseasoned meat cooking so I always add a dash of garlic powder and some salt and pepper. Can't hurt right?

Ok so once your ground beef is all nice and browned and delicious looking, drain all the fat and throw it in your crockpot or return it to the crockpot.

What you will do now is set your crockpot to slow cook! I put mine on low for 8 hours but ended up actually removing it about 7 hours in, when Shaun came home. This is totally fine, we've already cooked the meat so there's no chance of anything being undercooked. Besides, if your food isn't cooked in 7 hours, make sure you are plugging it in before you start!
 While your crockpot is heating up, chop up your veggies!

 See! I told you I got the onions! So chop up all your veggies, it doesn't have to be exact. I like smaller pieces of veggies in my chili but you can leave them in larger pieces if you wish! Alternately, if you have other veggies you wish to try, don't be afraid to throw them in as well! The original recipe I adapted this from has celery in it! Who knew? Pick what you love and throw it in there!
 Also make sure to offer your bunny some green pepper since he's been standing there supervising you the entire time to see if you drop anything.
 Only for him to nibble on it and realize he's not a fan of green peppers. Ah well, I'm sure you'll lick the bowl when this is all done anyways...

After you throw all your veggies in, add your pureed tomato. I like to drain and rinse the beans before I add them but the black beans I bought were seasoned and had a nice flavor so I might just dump the whole can in there next time. Add your beans and your seasonings and maybe an extra clove or two of minced garlic, it won't hurt anything, I promise!
 Stir it all up and close the lid! The next few hours you can do any of the following: wipe down the kitchen counters, dust all those places you've been meaning to dust, water the houseplants, or just sit down with the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living and a hot cup of tea and swoon over all the amazing recipes and projects you swear you're going to try, like, tomorrow!

After a couple hours your chili will look like this. In reality if you're pressed for time you can cook this on high in half the time but I love the fact that I can throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and essentially leave it all day while I catch up on blogs-ahem- I mean clean the house

Then, when you're ready just scoop and serve! I like to throw a decent amount of shredded cheddar on top and let it melt a little bit before eating. mmmm yeah that's the good stuff!

This is the perfect recipe for a winters day, it fills the house with the delicious smell of smokey, hearty chili and is the perfect wrap up for a cold, soggy day! Even though I made this on Sunday, there is still a ton leftover so I might help myself to some tonight or tomorrow for lunch!

Disclaimer: Chili is like pizza, different regions and different families all claim their own chili recipe is the best in the entire world. Each person has their own likes and dislikes and guess what? Luckily we live in America! So you can choose whatever type of crust you like on your pizza! You can also choose how hot or mild or what type of vegetables you like in your chili! If you like a little more spice, you can always throw in some diced up peppers or a bit more cayenne and stir it up. There's also the option of adding hot sauce to your own bowl so the rest of the family doesn't have to suffer through burning tongues! : ) You can also tell me what your favorite go to chili recipe is, I'm always ready to try something new!

Being a Bunny Parent

Many people are shocked when they meet me and find out I have a bunny. They are especially shocked when they find out his name is Meatwad. Many think it's cruel and unusual to call a little bunny who typically is a little ball of meat in the animal world, Meatwad, until I explain to them that he is actually a very popular character in an Adult Swim show and that he really doesn't care either way.

Living with a bunny is awesome but it comes with responsibilities just as any other pet. With easter quickly approaching, many folks decide to get their little munchkin a cute baby bunny but don't actually consider what the long term responsibilities of owning a bunny are.  Therefore, I'm going to explain some of the benefits and responsibilities that Meatwad has shown and taught me over the past few years, so that if you or a loved one is interested in adopting for Easter you can make a more-informed decision (or perhaps opt for visiting the petting zoo instead).

Where to get your bunny
First and foremost, ADOPT!!! There are tons of bunnies in shelters right now just like dogs and cats. Shelter animals have the benefit of usually being cage-trained and accustomed to people so half the work is already done for you! I hate to be harsh here, but for ever animal you buy from the pet shop, a few are killed at the shelter for lack of room. It's the saddest thing to think about but it's the cold hard truth. There are so many great buns out there with fabulous personalities just waiting for a forever home. You can search bunnies near you on Petfinder by simply typing in your zip code and selecting "rabbit" from the drop down menu. You can also google search rabbit adoptions near your home and usually the first few pages will lead you in the right direction.

Are you sure you're ready for this?
Secondly, bunnies are a long term pet. Many people don't understand that bunnies live as long as a lot of dogs and cats. In captivity they usually live for 7-10 years although some of the "dwarf" breeds can live up to 12.  The oldest bunny passed away at close to 19 years. A lot of people don't realize this when they meet my bunny or when they consider a bunny for a pet. 10 years is a commitment. My longest relationship is half of that and I already feel like I've known him too long * ; ) just kidding babe*

ok. So most people think of rabbits as those adorable little fluffballs that hop around their backyard, munching on dandelions and bolting off at the first sight of a human. Bunnies must hate human interaction, right? Wrong! Bunnies love attention but are different than other animals in how they let you know. In the wild, cats and dogs are predatory animals, therefore they are a bit more confident in jumping on you to show they're ready for a belly rub or behind the ear scratch.  Rabbits are unfortunately at the bottom of the food chain and therefore have to be extra cautious that you're not going to eat them.  When they want attention they will usually let you know by nudging your leg with the their nose, love dancing you, or just hopping up to you and looking at you until you pet them.

Prime example above. I was sitting on the floor and he decided I wasn't paying enough attention to him so he nudged my leg and made me pet him. I've managed to become fairly good at typing with one hand because of this phenomenon!

What you'll also notice is that your rabbit will warm up to you much quicker if you get on his level. I'm not talking about eating grass and pooping in a cage. I mean getting down on the floor and hanging out with him. Do you ever notice your shorter friends are happier when you're sitting down with them, seeing eye to eye? No? Bad analogy? Ok probably. But with bunnies, you are a giant towering human and if you're 10 times the size of him and talking to him from way up there, communication is lost.  Meatwad has learned to respond to me while I'm standing up but a lot of times I'll sit down on the floor with him and snuggle him to show him I care and that I'm willing to sit on the floor to be near to him.

Just a warning, not all bunnies love to cuddle. Meatwad will occasionally be in a good mood where I can plop him on my lap and pet him for a good half hour before he high tails it out of there. Some bunnies love to cuddle and will willingly hop on you and others just want to be pet and then left alone. There's not way to tell how your bunny will be unless you adopt him and the shelter workers tell you his overall demeanor!

Most people think rabbits are like Bugs Bunny. They picture them crawling out of a hole munching on carrots of course. But carrots are actually not the best thing for bunnies. You know how if you eat that pint of Ben & Jerry's I know you have in your freezer right now, you'll probably regret it in the morning because it seems to instantly go to your butt? Well imagine it was like that if you ate vegetables. That's how it is for bunnies.  A rabbits diet should be made up of mostly hay. Always always always have fresh hay and clean water for your bunny available. If you forget everything else, these are the 2 most important things. I use a little drip bottle and refill it once a day for Meatwad. Timothy hay, alfafa hay and grass hay are all safe options. I just discovered the Southern States Farm Co-Op store and bought a giant trash bag full of hay for $4. It's kind of amazing! I recommend going to farms/feed stores like that to pick up your hay since it is fresher than pet store stuff and you're also supporting your local farmer!

Pellets should be given as a once a day, small serving. Meatwad is about 5 lbs so I feed him a 1/3 cup of pellets at night when he goes to sleep. This also encourages him to get into his cage since he usually wants to stay up and snuggle by the fire with us.  I know the fancy kibble+bits looking pellets look appealing to you but your bunny really doesn't need all that extra. A simple bag of pellets (also can be purchased at a farm store for much cheaper) is good enough.

Fresh veggies can be given to your bunny, but leafy greens like kale, spinach, romaine lettuce etc. should be the majority of what you give your bunny. There's really not any specific limit that I've seen for these, I usually give Meatwad kale for breakfast and he eats it until he's full and comes back later for the rest. For a safe list of fruits and veggies for your bunny see here.  You'll notice almost every veggie is safe except for those in the onion family. This is a safe go-to list that I like to keep handy in case I have a new one for my little furry garbage disposal to try. The only thing you have to be careful about here is if you feed your bunny too much fruits and veggies he will become spoiled and won't want to eat his hay. I'm dealing with something similar right now!

Treats that are bought from the pet store should be given rarely. Just like you don't give your kid a giant bag of candy every day, you shouldn't give your bunny those treats either. Fresh fruits are usually a treat enough for them but if you are working on training your bunny, you can keep them around for that purpose or when he's been especially friendly and entertaining!

But where does it all go?
So if you have ever had a bunny or are thinking of getting one, you know or will soon realize that they poop. a lot. Bunnies have a different digestive system than we do and so food is almost instantly converted to poop! Don't freak out. Bunny poop is the most manageable type of pet poop to deal with! Bunny poop comes out in little pellet form, almost like cocoa puffs. (I know I've ruined you for cocoa puffs now). Bunnies are very easily cage-trained and once they are used to going in their cage they will usually pick one corner to do it in for the rest of their lives.  In the beginning, or if your bunny has an accident, it's best to pick up the poop with a tissue or paper towel and put it in his cage. When he realizes his poop is in on place, this is where he/she will start to go from here on out.  For this reason, a cage with a wire bottom and a removable tray is best.  The litter I like to use is the Carefresh Ultra Pet Bedding it comes in a variety of colors and is densely compacted in the bag so you get multiple uses out of it.  You will need to change this bedding once a week. If you get a cage with a removable tray you can simply dump the old in a trash bag and spread the new stuff out and voila, you're done!

Can a bunny just...hang out?
The thing that seemed to almost scare all of the installers coming to the new house when they walked in was that I had a rabbit stretched out, laying in the middle of the floor like a dog. "Is that a rabbit?" they'd all say. On every occasion I was tempted to tell him he was just a really funny looking dog but I held it in long enough for them to figure it out on their own.  Meatwad has free run of the house during the day and afternoon when we are home.  We put him in his cage at night simply because there are plants and other things he could get into if he explored unsupervised while we were asleep.  He has just recently learned how to climb the stairs and although he is still a bit apprehensive about them, once he gets going there's no stopping him. The other day I was in my craft room organizing things and I heard something down the hall. I figured there was a rogue bunny on the loose so I grabbed my camera, my suspicions were confirmed!

As soon as he saw me he came hopping as fast as he could, knowing in the back of his little bunny brain that he wasn't supposed to be exploring the house without me knowing. The reason he was being so paranoid that day is because earlier, he had been exploring downstairs while I was taking a shower and decided that my candles just smelled good enough to eat, literally!
You can see his little bunny teethmarks on something he normally wouldn't munch on but apparently I hadn't fed him enough or paid enough attention to him that day so he wanted to get payback.  In general, a lot of people have house bunnies that do have free roam of the house but they have already bunny proofed by concealing wires and making sure all the house plants and things that might smell yummy to a bunny are high up and out of reach.  Don't think that just because your bunny has never chewed on that fern before that he won't start tomorrow. Bunnies are very curious and they love to explore, new rooms and new plants alike. I recommend letting your bunny out when you are home so you can bond and enjoy the little binkys he does when he feels good. (binkys are when rabbits get really excited and hop and twist mid air while they are running)

General Care
Taking care of a bunny is a lot like taking care of a dog or kid. Except that unlike either of the 2 prior things, a bunny cannot tell you when he is hungry, or sad or hurt. It is up to you to make sure your bunny is happy and healthy. Check your bunnies cage every morning before you leave for work to make sure he/she has plenty of fresh hay and clean water. If at all possible, let your bunny hop around before you leave and then put a small handful of pellets in his cage, this lessens the pain of you being away all day. Bunnies do require annual vet checkups just like any other pet. Make sure you find a good vet near you that has someone trained in exotic animals (bunnies are classified as exotic, isn't that funny?) and listen to what your vet says. If you are unsure for any reason or forgot what your vet told you, you can always call or go online to check The House Rabbit Society and Binky Bunny are both great resources that I recommend but you can also look at various forums and blogs of other rabbit owners to see what they say.

First and foremost, remember, a rabbit is a living being and just like a person they require water, food, shelter and love to survive. If you are thinking about getting a bunny make sure you are ready to clean the cage weekly, sit down on the floor and bond and feed and provide fresh water daily.  There are a lot of things you have to do to have a bunny but I've found that the overwhelming joy of having a bunny in your life makes all of it worth it.

Kisses from Meatwad and me!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday's Music-Madeleine Peyroux J'ai Deux Amours

I'm fascinated with the french culture. The language, the food, the fashion, the architecture, the way that everything they do and say just sounds sexy.  It's almost impossible how enchanting it is. This is one of my favorite Madeleine Peyroux songs and one of the only french songs I can sing all the way through. I love her Billie Holiday voice and the slow, jazzy feel of her music. Another favorite would be Blue Alert.  But today is warmer, beautiful and sunny, most certainly a J'ai Deux Amours type of day.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturdays Song-Dream a Little Dream of Me

I know it's not Saturday anymore, but yesterday was a bit hectic, between coming back from Maryland, unpacking things and paying attention to this little attention starved bunny.

Today has been a bit more serene albeit frigid. Ya see, Shaun and I have both been having slight allergy problems since moving into the new house. That's nothing really out of the ordinary, we both suffer from allergies, but never usually around this time of year, indoors and to the extent they are occuring.  So Shaun got to googling yesterday to see why the house hates us and I recommended that when the weather gets nicer we should open all the windows and do a full clean wiping down everything and de-allergizing things (wow spellcheck didn't tell me that was a fake word!).  So today it got to 50 and of course, since he didn't have to suffer through the not-really-that-warm temperatures, Shaun opened all the windows and left me and Meatwad to shiver like little popsicles.

Needless to say it got a bit chilly, I closed the majority of the windows a few hours ago since I could no longer feel my hands and Meatwad was hunched up in a little ball next to the fireplace, praying that I flick the switch and deliver him some much needed relief.

So after spending a nice peaceful day, snapping etsy inventory photos, attempting at organizing the craft room and making some crockpot chili I am finally getting back to my blogging. It's been a Louis Armstrong type of day and even though this is mainly Ella Fitzgerald, it's one of the happiest, most magical, enchanting songs ever made in my opinion. So simple, so beautiful, timeless, you just can't go wrong with this great classic! So here's to a warmer, chili and jazz-filled Sunday afternoon and the newest episode of The Walking Dead!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pieces of a Day: Etsy listings and motivation

If I were to say the past few days have crawled past, that would be an understatement.  Being refined to the house has it's perks (not ever changing out of pajamas, keeping it clean, catching up on laundry) but when you only have a rebellious bunny to talk to, things can get kind of boring. Boredom, to me, eventually leads to insanity. So I try to stay occupied as often as I can.

Lately, the only things I've been motivated to do were the dishes, laundry, dusting and job hunting. Contrary to popular belief, one can only do so much of each of those activities.  Today I started out my normal routine of sitting down with a cup of tea, searching the interwebs for job listings and trying to prevent Meatwad from catching himself on fire (like he tried to do yesterday).  After enough of that I decided to finally update my etsy shop as the item I sold last week has me thinking of how much I've been neglecting it lately. I am almost completely unprepared if an item sells again this week and I needed to get my butt into overdrive if I was going to keep it going. So today I snapped a few pictures and listed a few items. A bit later on I'll swing by the Salvation Army and see if there are any fun items I can snag for cheap and list. I also am dying to decorate the 2 extra bedrooms and our front porch. I know I'm getting ahead of myself since nothing else is really finished either but I get a bit too optimistic and motivated at times and feel like I can do all of the things on my list at once. So here I am to slow it down, put my thoughts together in a somewhat organized manner and show you the pieces of my day so far.

1/2/3. Etsy Items listed today. Those gorgeous copper canisters were given to me by Shauns mom to help kickstart my little business and I hate to part with them but we don't have the room to appreciate them here. The little bird molds might not leave though, I'm kind of smitten with them.
4. The fabric on these gorgeous pants that I put on to take a picture of, realized I'm awful at self pictures and found out they were so comfortable that I haven't taken them off since.
5. This is what happens when you try to model your own items. At least, when you try to model your own items and you're not very good at it.
6. Oh hello! In the process of setting the self timer I took multiple accident selfies of myself. At least now if I ever wanted to become and actress I have plenty of blurry headshots to submit.
7. intentional selfie.  I never realized how much I needed to clean this mirror (it was left out in the great dusting event of the past few days)
8. These awesomely amazing boots that might be way too fabulous for me to wear. I bought them for $20 when I was out with Mani and I am so in love with them but I am terrible at being bold and taking chances with fashion. I might have to suck it up tough, a rainy, grey day like today could use a little pop of color!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Non Gardeners Garden: Lettuce

Let me start by saying I am terrible with houseplants. No, let me change that, I'm terrible with all plants. I've tried keeping a garden, growing flowers, basil, to no avail. Not even weeds will grow on my watch.

I guess I will never be a professional botanist or work in a nursery. My hopes and dreams of having a little herb and flower garden in the backyard are not really very realistic. But I love the look of a green plant in an otherwise very ungreen room. So I must try a little bit harder at keeping these things alive. Maybe watering them regularly will help, you think?

Anyways, I stumbled upon a little tip on Facebook the other day about saving the base of the lettuce when you are done making a salad, putting it in an inch of water and changing the water out daily to see it grow. I am very much a skeptic so I read some of the comments and several people attested to this working well! Have I found the solution to not having to buy lettuce for the rest of my life?! Probably not, but since I have a habit of killing anything green and this seemed reasonably simple and easy to care for, I figured, why not?

The funny thing is I've been on a slight health kick lately (I say slight because I did make myself a nutella banana sandwich yesterday *drool*) and I've been serving up salad and green things as much as possible. Last week when I made a salad, I figured I'd give this little method a try. I took the base of the romaine that I chopped off, stuck it in a cup of water on the windowsill and waited.  I unfortunately did not take a picture of what it looked like in the beginning but rest assured, it was just a lobbed off romaine butt.

That was last week, this is what it looks like now:


Houston we have liftoff!

 In the second picture you can see where the original cut was made and how there's a good inch and a half of new growth starting from the inside.  In the first picture on the left is another one I started 2 days ago and is coming along quite nicely.

Now I should say, I started with 2 last week and the larger one didn't do much of anything so I threw it out. Although the successful one and my unsuccessful one that is now compost were from 2 separate packages, one being from Wegmans and another being from BJs, you can guess which one flourished *hint it's the Wegmans one*  Although I am thrilled with the results so far one week in, I am not claiming to be a farmer just yet. I don't have any clue what I will do when it starts to get bigger if it even decides to. What's more likely is it takes one look at me, realizes what I do to plants and kills itself to save it from the misery of slowly withering away in my care.

If the little guys live on another week or two I'll post more pictures and update on the progress or lack thereof. Hopefully this will be the start of something beautiful and will encourage me to grow and tend to some edibles I can place in the backyard. Here's to hoping!