Friday, June 27, 2014

Blogging, Instagram And Brandi Carlile

Well so far I am doing a crappy job of blogging again.  Give me the month of July to still be hit or miss and I should be back at it again in full force.  I've really missed keeping up with everyone.  Though I will say that my new lover, Instagram, is filling the void and likely a big reason I am blogging less.  (If you are waiting with baited breath- all three of you- for my gardening posts, I promise to get them blogged eventually as this is my journal to remember life over the years.  But you can also catch me on Instagram because I post about the garden almost daily.)

In the mean time, here's my new favorite tune that I just can't get out of my head.  The Eye by Brandi Carlile and The Twins.

I first heard Brandi Carlile play as the opening act at an Indigo Girls concert ages ago.  I remember so clearly because I didn't go in for most of the opening act.  Finally I wandered in for the last two songs, was blown away, and had the conversation in my head that I would never skip another opening act again.  I became a fan right then and there during the last two songs of her set.  Her voice never fails to amaze me.  Seriously...she could read me the ingredient list off the cereal box and I would be enthralled.

Brandi and the band are playing Red Rocks next year.  I might need to use that as my excuse to get out to see Katie and Riley!

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm Expecting!

Friends. First I owe an explanation of why I abandoned le blog. And the answer is thrilling. 


Just Because.  That's my reason. Honestly. I've just been sidetracked. 

But I'm ready to jump back in. 

So here's my big exciting news...

I'm expecting. 

My first tomato of the season, that is. I about fell over when I found it yesterday. 

This is also serving as my test run at blogging from my iphone. So I'm keeping it brief. But I'm ready to read your blogs and chatter away on here again. I've missed everyone!  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Results Of Lasagna Gardening Over Winter

In the fall, after I harvested just about everything, I spent a chunk of time prepping my garden allotment for the following year.  I decided to try out the lasagna gardening method to see if it would benefit my soil and also keep out weeds.

My garden plot when I first took over spring 2013.  FULL of weeds!

When I first took hold of my garden in the spring of 2013, it was a solid field of weeds.  It seems the previous owner abandoned ship and the space had been over-run in weeds for nearly two years.  It took endless hours in the hot sun with the help of my father {that's what dads are for!} to de-weed the place.  We nearly broke our backs in the process.  And I was determined to make that a one time deal!

After days of back-breaking weeding spring 2013.

So after reading, reading and more reading on various methods, here's what I came up with.

First I laid down a very thick layer of newspaper.  I'm talking cardboard thick.  In fact, cardboard would have been perfectly acceptable.  As I am an avid couponer though, I simply saved my newspapers {I usually buy four per week} out of the recycle bin for a few weeks.  Cover every square inch.  Then I added a layer of green compost.  For about two weeks I saved scraps in my fridge for this purpose.  I used some of the pulled out plants, banana peels, egg shells, etc.  I also dusted everything with a nice layer of Azomite/ Rock Dust.  Then I added a really thick layer of brown compost.  In this case it was tree leaves that were all over the outside of the garden fence.  {This year though I now have a source for organic grass fed cow manure from a family friend that will be mixed in, too.} And finally, I topped it all off with a thick layer of straw {not hay...I can't say that not use hay}.

Lasagna Gardening fall 2013

This left my space looking like a clean canvas.  But I wondered how it would hold up over the winter months.  I knew many things in the various compost layers wouldn't actually break down until this spring and summer when the heat got to work.

I am so pleased that I took the time {which was fairly minimal in the grand scheme of things} in the fall to prep my garden space.  Most gardeners simply pulled out their plants and left for six months.  But that means that they are now coming back to spaces that are once again solid weeds.  The only places I have to deal with weeds are along the edges that touch neighbors who have weeds overflowing in their allotments!  On top of that, as everything continues to break down, it will feed the worms {a gardener's best friend} and build up the soil.

This is how my garden looked before I set foot in it this spring.   Weed free!

I plan this year to either plant right over the mulch {for example my beans and lettuce} by simply adding a layer of good soil on top or dig right through it {for example tomato plants that need to be buried very deep}.  I will remove nothing and just let it do its thing this year.  The straw mulch will continue to keep the weeds away and as it heats up, it will help to keep the soil moist so I will need to water less often.

Tomato Man vs. Preppy Pink Crocodile

For comparison, here is my neighbor's spot {last year I called him Tomato Man and will again refer to him as that this year} vs. mine on May 01, 2014 just after I planted my beans.  His is weed-tastic and will require a ton of work before a single seed or plant can go into that soil.  Mine is ready for planting on day one without doing a single thing first.

Do you have a favorite mulching method?  Is it different than mine?  I'm still in the experimenting phase so I am very open to new suggestions.  Have you ever tried the lasagna gardening method?  What did you think of it?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ballet Flats: The Look For Less

I am a ballet flat hoarder.  I wear them almost daily and just feel most like myself in a cute flat.  I wish I could be a heel girl.  I dabbled in my 20's.  But that's just not my jam.  I am all flats all the time and I make no excuses for it.

As much as I love cute designer shoes though, a good deal is more my speed most days.  So when I was drooling over these cute Tory Burch flats, I decided to track down a more affordable twin.

Enter the tan with a black cap toe ballet flat spend and splurge episode...

Tory Burch Bridgette $225

Just as cute for a fraction of the price!

Vince Camuto Elisee $73.46


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