Sunday, August 31, 2014

As the Garden Grows

As you all know, we have a garden every summer, and sometimes through the fall and winter.  It's safe to say that only a few of our garden plants are still thriving; some squash, zucchini, green chile, green and green peppers.  In the next few weeks, I will be turning over the soil and preparing for our fall/winter garden.  I wanted to share with you a few photos, and a few lessons learned this year.

 We expanded our garden, doubling it's size.
 Adding maneur.
 The spice garden and a few sprouts growing.

Okay, now for the lessons learned:

*The okra needed more sun.  The tree in the garden grew and we planted the okra on the east side of the garden, where it got too much shade from the tree.

*Don't plant carrots along the path.  The hose killed most of them.

*We had an ant attack.  It wasn't just in our garden, it was everywhere.  They were in our house and all over the yard.  They didn't hurt the plants, but they made it unbearable to work in the garden.  I was covered in ants after thirty seconds. So, I will need an organic way to control them.

*Water one day.  Let the garden dry and then pick the fruit the next day.  This worked really well.  In years past I didn't follow this rule.  I didn't even know it existed.  Our squash and zucchini always got weak and had a strange growth on them, and then died.  I thing it was a bacterial infection of the plant.  I read somewhere this spring to not pick your vegetables until they are fully dried out from watering.

*Even if you are sick you must drag yourself outside and water.  I asked Erik to water, which he did.  I was sick this week.  Almost all of the green beans are dead as are the pumpkins I planted earlier this summer so the boys could have their own for Halloween.  I'm hoping they will revive.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tried and True...Mariah's Review (Vitamix Blender)

***Publish Note:  If you find strange typos in this feed it is because Blogger was acting strangely and copied things over and over, and added text in.  I edited this post 3 times to correct the errors.****

I am probably the biggest dork with that lovely title, but hey too bad.  You all know I have a penchant for rhyming.  Anyhow, I thought that I would start reviewing products that I use in our home, and whether I think they are worth your time and money.  So today, I'm going to start with our Vitamix Blender.

Photo from

We purchased our Vitamix Professional Series blender about 8 months ago, at the recommendation of my friend, Pam.  It does come with a hefty price tag, but there is a way around that.  More about that in a minute.  This is a very powerful blender.  It has two blend settings, Hi and Variable (low).  There is also a dial in the middle that you can set from 1-10, and there is an on/off switch.  The canister is sturdy plastic, but is not dishwasher safe.  When you purchase this blender, you will receive a really nice cookbook with a lot of simple recipes, and and instructional DVD.  

The Vitamix Blender is super easy to use.  Just remember not to turn it on without the lid on...I actually did that once.  It was a disaster.  The blades are very sharp and can grind up most things (edible stuff not rocks).  We have used it to make smoothies, ice cream, soups (yes soups), bread crumbs, hash browns, beverages, and many other things.  To make the soups, you add the ingredients and the blades turn so quickly they warm up and make the liquids inside hot.  In addition, you will be able to make flours and nut butters with your Vitamix if you so choose.

The clean up with the Vitamix is very easy.  Just fill the container with warm water and dish soap, blend it in the machine, and rinse.  

Vitamix has a beautiful website filled with videos and recipes.  If you are looking for something that is not in the recipe book, you will most likely find it there.  If you need a little more instruction in preparing your foods, there are videos that can help you.  

Now, the price is quite high.  However, I think it is worth it.  We use our Vitamix almost daily because it is so easy to use and clean.  The quality of the blender is very good.  Not to mention, it works very well.  One way you can save money on one is to purchased a refurbished model from the Vitamix website.  If a brand new model is something you are looking to do, then you can purchase them at Bed Bath & Beyond.  They are cheaper there.  Before you go into the store, sign up on the Bed Bath & Beyond website and they will give you an instant 20% off coupon on any item.  (Also advice from my friend, Pam).  

So, there you have it.  My first review.  I hope you found it helpful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Project Life Week 24

Hello there.  Here is Week 24.  I used mostly Becky Higgins kit stuff for this layout because I got frustrated with my pictures.  Photoshop was not printing them out properly, and it was annoying.  So, I just went with something simple and quick to finish up the layout.

 Entire Spread
 Close up
 Left Side
Notice the pizza has spinach and get cheese on it.  We went for lunch at Dion's Pizza this weekend and the kids refused to eat it because it had spinach...Guess they forgot they liked it several weeks ago.  Thank you Project Life so I can prove my kids wrong.  It's why I do it. Just kidding.
Right Side

And there you have it.  Have a good week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fly 12x12 Layout

This is from my Studio Calico Kit.  Except the Washi.  It's from Clique Kits.  The letters are wood vaneer that I colored with a paint dauber.  The doily was gold so I turned it over.  

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Project Life Week 23

Hello there!  Here is Week 23 of my Project Life Album.  This documents the week we lost Erik's grandma, Wally, due to a heart attack.  She was on life support for five days and did not make it.  It was a very hard spread to complete. I am planning on doing a page insert for her, like I did Ross, but I couldn't find the right paper to complete it.  So when I get that, I will add that insert into this layout.
Here is the entire spread.

Left Side

Right Side

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clique Kits Pep Rally Blog Hop

Welcome, lovely ladies, you just joined me from Stephanie's Blog!  It's great to have you here.  Let me just start by saying I ABSOLUTELY loved August's kit, "Glam Camp."  It is my favorite kit of all time.  That is how much I loved it.  The only sad thing is that I have created just one layout from it.  This has nothing to do with the kit, but with the fact that we started school this month.  As a first grade teacher of three boys (going to different schools with different schedules), the first few weeks of school can be out of control.  There are always trips to the mall for school supplies, clothes, shoes, etc.  Don't forget last minute "teacher stuff" you have to do.  I did have to get this layout done and out of my head, though.  The last week of summer vacation we went for a camping trip.  We had an amazing time, and only had several disasters along the way.  You can find out more about that adventure here.  Now with no further ado, here is my layout with the beautiful "Glam Camp" Kit!

There you have it.  I hope you enjoyed the layout.  Also, I will be posting other projects featuring this kit, including a Project Life Spread soon.  So, check back.  Now, continue on your way to Danielle's blog!  She always has amazing things going on on her page!!

Blog List:
Stephanie----You came from here.
Mariah-You are here.
Danielle----Go here next.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What's Going On?

Hey there ladies and gents.  Yes we have a few gents in the group.  Just thought I would check in and tell you what's going on around here.  As you know, we've been SUPER BUSY with school.  I didn't get home until 7:45 last night.  That's a fun day when you leave the house at 6:30.  So when I got home I helped Wolf with his homework and then fell asleep on the couch while pretending to watch Shark Week shows...Don't tell Erik, I was trying to pretend I was awake the whole time.  I think he fell for it. Ha.  Anyhow here are a few things that's have been happening around here.

Watching these guys grow.  They were in our school garden.  The kids loved them.  We had a few invade my room too.

 New Legs
 Thousands of them.
Little tiny toad.  That's JoJo's hand.

Dodging Snakes:
Can you see the rattle snake ready to strike?

Getting out of hard places.

Cleaning boys' rooms

Trying so hard to craft.  Haven't been able to get much done.  I'm hoping to catch up this weekend.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Freak Out Mode

See this baby?  Look at him.  I can't believe this little boy is not so little anymore.  He's going to Middle School  tomorrow, and I'm having a bit of a freak out.

I honestly cannot say where the time went.  As a parent, you are living in the moment daily.  Let's face it raising children is not easy.  There were so many times when my boys were really little that it was so hard.  There were times I had to do it by myself because Erik was working out of town.  There were times I just wished it could all be over and I would have some peace and quiet.  

I didn't freak out when the boys started school.  That is a normal part of life and I was very excited for them to start.  I love school, probably why I became a teacher.  I love sitting at the table and doing homework with them in the evenings...except when they fight and pester each other, or JoJo insists he can't do it.  Overall, I love it.  But I just can't wrap my head around the fact that my oldest son will be in Middle School.  Now, we have to worry about what's cool and what's not.  No more Spongebob underwear, I guess.  We have to worry about cellphones and homework and about him doing really well so he can get high school credit in his classes, thus college credits in High School.  Now, I have to worry about him being smaller than his peers and going to sort of a rough school in town.  Now, we have to think about High School just on the horizon, and cars, and girls, and dating, and independence.  This Middle School move has me a little sad and nostalgic about how fast this life is going by, about savoring every second with the kids now.

I worry about shaping his life, about drugs, and hanging with the good kids.  I worry about him heading to each class.  Will he be tardy?  Will he be able to keep up and adjust?  Will the kids make fun of him?  I just want him to be happy and successful in school.  So, yes I am a little freaked out here.  I feel like I'm sending him off to the wolves.  I guess we'll see how tomorrow goes.  My Wolf is a very confident child, and I'm going to put my faith in our parenting so far.  I'm also going to be watching like a hawk over everything he does.  That's all we can do.  Watch, guard, listen, and appreciate every second.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Project Life Week 22

Yes, I know it's not Wednesday, but these last few weeks have been incredibly busy.  I just finished up this week's spread after cleaning my craft room.  It looked like a LSS (Local Scrapbooking Store) blew up in my office.  That would indeed be awesome as it would mean free supplies right?  Anyhow, here is the layout.  Also there is no Flipogram because I may have developed an addiction to the stupid Simpsons game called Tapout and it takes a lot of memory...It's a long story, but just blame Homer.  So here we go.
 Entire Spread
 Left side
Right Side

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back to School....Superbusy

I'm still here.  We've started back to school and it's super crazy around here.  I'll be back as soon as I can :)
This photo has nothing to do with this post, but it's sort of calming for me.  I need calm.  The first weeks of school are always crazy!  Have a great evening.


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