Friday, June 29, 2012

Then & Now

First Ripe Tomato
Garden 6-26-2012 (The squash is a bit wilted from the heat and lack of rain)
Garden 6-26-2012

Garden 5-5-2012

The garden is growing at an overwhelming rate.  Despite our recent drought, the garden is still thriving.  Today, I picked some more squash and my first tomato.  I thought I would update with some photos of the garden now and how it looked just a little over a month ago.

Dinner from the garden (steamed squash and salad with homegrown tomato and lettuce)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Squash

Well summer is officially here and so is our first Squash crop.  My husband picked these from the garden today.  We have two large squash plants and two smaller ones that are quickly catching up.  I can report that the cucumbers finally seem to be taking off as well.  Two of my three cucumber plants that I started from seed are now flowering.  The tomato plants are taking over everything.  Each of my two tomato plants is approximately 4' high and out of control.  There are tons of green tomatos on the vines.  I hope that these will be red, ripe, and ready to pick in a couple of weeks.  Just to recap, so far we have harvested radishes, romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas, and now squash.  All of this from a small raised bed and it is only the middle of June!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A good quick read!

This post is a departure for me.  I started this blog just to chronicle our home renovation, gardening, and craft projects.  Well today I am inspired to share some information about a really good book that I just finished.  For mother's day, my generous sister gave me the book "Boys will be Joys" by Dave Meurer. This book is a quick read and provided me with a lot of laughter. The author is a christian and writes with unique insight on the trials and tribulations of parenthood. I visited the author's website at  He has several other books that I look forward to reading.  As a mother of two lively boys, this book was a joy to read.  I certainly feel that parents of boys and/or girls will find this book relevant.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Party for One

I am updating this post, because I just linked it to the Young House Love "Pinterest Challenge".  This is a challenge where you take a "to do" project from your Pinterest boards and actually do it.  This project is actually a couple of weeks old, but hopefully that won't matter.  I got the inspiration for my son's first birthday cake from pinterest images I collected over a couple of months.  Here is the link to my pinterst board: 
I never thought I could make a nice decorative cake, but thanks to some "pinspiration", I was pleased with the end result.

The party is for one special baby boy.  It is hard to believe that my youngest son is now one.  To celebrate his birthday I made him a rubber ducky cake.  He always loves to play with the rubber ducky in the bath, so it seemed fitting to use this for his party theme. Being a busy Mom, I used a cake mix, "Swiss Chocolate" by "Betty Crocker", instead of baking it from scratch.  I made a two layer 9" round cake.  I frosted the cake with pre-made frosting.  I then used "Wilton's" pre-made blue fondant to cover the cake.  I added some blue food coloring to the excess fondant to roll out some rubber ducks and circles that I placed on the side of the cake. I added some frosting "bubbles" to the top and sides of the cake and then I placed the real rubber ducks on top.  I purchased some cupcakes from the "Sam's Club" bakery.  I had requested they frost them in blue with a dollop of white frosting.  Thirty cupcakes only cost me a little over $13 dollars. To add to the ducky theme, I made candy ducks from a "Wilton" ducky mold and "Wilton" candy melts.  Once I picked up the cupcakes, I just plopped the candy ducks into place.

Just for the record, this is only the third decorative cake I have made.  The other two cakes were for my older son's first and second birthday.  I hope to keep improving my techniques with each birthday.  It is a lot of fun to create something special for your children.

Oldest Son's Second Birthday Party 2012, Photo by: Beth Duncan

Friday, June 8, 2012

Everything is going to pot...well actually just some plants.

I thought I would share some pictures of my potted plants. In the past, I have just put one type of plant in a pot to bring outdoor color. This year I was inspired by some pages from "Better Homes & Gardens" to create multi-layered potscapes. Here are some of my efforts.

Sweet Potato Vine, Crazy Curly Grass..(don't know the real name), Lantana, pot to right is Mexican Heather

Tall Spike Grass with Pink Petunias

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where the Wild Things Wash!

Paint Color: Shale Green by Glidden

Boys will be boys and often times that means they need a good washing.  We renovated the shared bathroom between our two boys' bedrooms with:
  • new paint
  • new tile floor
  • new vanity cabinet
  • new quartz countertop
I added some art by framing illustrated pages from the book "Where the Wild Things Are".  This was one of my favorite books as a child.  The illustrations in this book are amazing.  I also embroidered a guest towel with the lettering, "Where the Wild Things Wash".

New Cabinet by "Mid Continent Cabinetry"

Artwork on the Cheap

12"x 24" plank tiles by "Stone Peak Ceramics", pattern "Limestone", laid in a herringbone pattern.

I think I may have lost the before pictures of this space.  Our computer crashed and I didn't have all of my photos backed up.  Should I find the before pictures, I will share them in a later post.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sew Happy

Happily, my life is full of projects.  Right now I am working on some sewing projects.  I thought I would share some pictures of the things I have been working on recently. The bib above is for my neighbor's new grand baby.  Today, I took some scrap fabric and sewed it onto a terry cloth bib.  I then used my embroidery machine to add the baby's name and a flower design.  This is the first time I have added fabric as a backing for the embroidery on my bibs.  It is a bit more work to add the fabric, but I think it adds a neat touch.  This weekend I also made a bib for my mother-in-law's coworker.  This bib was also done with the embroidery machine.

In an update to my post "Necessity brings Crafty", I used the scrap oil cloth fabric from my high chair cover to make a changing pad to keep in my car.

I find it very handy to have a changing pad in the car.  This was "sew"easy to make, and I have already used this several times.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pop...Goes the Garden (Peas & Squash)

The latest goodies brought in from the garden are the Sugar Snap Peas. I picked these this morning with my oldest son.  My youngest son was taking his morning nap.  The peas I picked ranged between 2-1/2 to 3"long and had really full pea pods.  There are several other pea pods that will be ready for picking soon.

We have had a great season of rain and warm weather and our little garden isn't so little anymore.  Our goal was to get the biggest yield possible from our small space.  So far I have harvested radishes, romaine lettuce, and now sugar snap peas.  It is hard to believe that it is only June 1st and the season is really just beginning.  I have several green tomatoes on the vines and the squash plants are flowering.

Green Tomatoes

Flowering Squash

John and I sampled some raw sugar snap peas tonight.  They were delicious.  I plan to steam them with some seasoning for our dinner tomorrow night. 

The tomato plants are about 2' higher than my cages.  I had to add some extra supports to keep them upright.  I had no idea that these plants could get so big.  I have already moved the marigolds to give the tomatoes more space; hopefully they won't outgrow my space.

I expect to be sharing harvest photos of squash, tomatoes, and sweet peppers soon.