Saturday, March 28, 2009

We have a coat rack!

I just made a coat rack and love it.

So, I got some frames at Goodwill for 99 cents. I painted them in Winter Spinach (yes, that's a color). We paid about $10 for the three hooks at Home Depot. And we hung them up! The smaller frame below needs a hook that sticks out farther from the wall since it's a thicker one. That will be reserved for my purse so it won't be sitting on the floor. We'll head to Home Depot after dinner.

Yep, I really like how it turns out! My husband was the one who suggested the color. I wasn't quite sure about it, but I really like it. We have a ton leftover though... maybe I'll get a little table and paint it the same color for the entryway.

Do you see it!!!

My basil is sprouting! I'm so excited. I knew it would probably happen but part of me couldn't believe that such tiny seeds could grow!
These are the first sprouts of the things I planted. I'm so looking forward to fresh basil on pizzas, pasta and salads in a few months!

Look what I made!

It's a tag blanket for my new nephew. It's from ribbon I had on hand, the white fabric is the back of some that I found at a thrift store and the front is a fat square I found on clearance. After I started sewing I realized that I forgot to prewash the football fabric. I hope it doesn't shrink a bunch! I'll try washing it today and see what happens. I sure hope I don't have to rip it all out... Oh well, I'll remember next time. I really like how it turned out. I sure hope he likes it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring... please hurry!

You know the old saying, "March comes in like a lion"?

Well, that's very true for here this year. We've had snow and freezing temperatures since the beginning of the month. I really hope the month goes out like a lamb and it's planting season soon!

Since the end of February, I have been scouring gardening Web sites and blogs for information about planting vegetables in containers. We have a nice big deck behind our duplex that I want to fill with veggies. It gets morning sun and will be PERFECT for it!

So, I'm thinking of starting seeds soon. I bought some seeds, just from the grocery store. I decided for this first year, I'll just do regular seeds. Maybe after I am schooled in the art of growing things, I'll branch out into heirloom seeds.

Well, here's the line up for this year!

* Peppers (we eat A LOT of green and red peppers, so I thought these would give me the best return on my money). I plan to plant these in a large tub so there's plenty of room for the roots to stretch out.

* Carrots. I need to find a container about 1o inches deep and very wide so I can have lots of rows.

* Strawberries. I actually could not find ANY seed packets for strawberries. Do they not sell those? Anyway, I'll buy starts from a garden center later on. I'll plant those in smaller containers around the large ones.

* Tomato. I think I'll plant one or two of these. I would love to get enough to make and can my own tomato sauce. I'll use some big tubs for these as well since they need a lot of root space.

* Basil. I use a lot of this in my cooking. I will be planting this around the tomato plants. It'll use up the extra space and I hear they grow well together!

OK, I think that's all that I'll be planting. More than likely, while I'm getting my strawberry plants, I'll see a few more things that I'll decide we can't live without! I'm also considering planting spinach, but I haven't seen seeds for that either. I know they have to be somewhere... Who knows, I may go back to the store and get seeds for pumpkins and zucchini, just for fun!

I hope my dear husband doesn't have any plans to actually USE the deck for sitting on or barbecuing... cuz I don't think we are going to have room!

Friday, March 6, 2009

The problem with juice

I've never liked juice. I was the strange kid who would ask for water or milk instead of sugary Kool-aid, juice or sodas. I VERY rarely drink anything other that water, tea, milk and coffee.

My husband is a different story. He drinks juice by the gallon- like a gallon every two days! He doesn't really care what kind of juice. The real 100% fruit juices from the refrigerated section can get spendy and the ones you buy in big jugs that don't need to be refrigerated before being opened are pretty much high fructose corn syrup with some fruit juice added.

(On a side note, our children will not drink juice because they will not be offered juice as an option. That may sound mean but it's empty calories and so much sugar!)

So, I mulled over this dilemma for a little while. I thought about getting a juicer but I think the cost of that along with the cost of all the fresh fruits and vegetables would be just as spendy and I doubt I could juice enough to keep up with my husband's drinking!

After we moved, I noticed that I had two LARGE bottles of lemon juice. I used to buy the cute little lemon shaped ones from the grocery store since I use it in cooking but realized that with how often I was buying it and the cost, it didn't make sense. So, I bought it from Costco for about the price of four little lemons and got about a gallon of it! Lo and behold, there was a recipe on the back for lemonade. Now, there was a workable idea.

When the juice fiend finished off a gallon plastic jug of his high fructose corn syrup, I rinsed out the container, added lemon juice, sugar and water, mixed well and tested. It was good! The husband likes it- it costs us nothing since it's all stuff I have in the pantry. When I need to replenish those supplies... OK, I just figured out, with overestimating the cost of the lemon juice and sugar, it is LESS THAN $1 for a gallon of lemonade! I figured out a formula so I only have to measure lemon juice and sugar into the container, then I just add the water to fill.

So, this is my new strategy for saving some money and for keeping the husband in his juice addiction. I'm going to experiment with some additions to it as well. I think if I get some frozen strawberries, I can blend them in the blender and add it in for some variation.