Fabulous Spring Ideas for Container Gardening

Wednesday was a really tough work day this week, but I suffered through it so I could share these really great ideas with you! In the name of creative exploration, Gigi and I decided to go to Epcot in search of new ideas and a little bit of fun! We took along our friend Loring who made it magical!

According to Loring, Disney is all about the Ball. I really hadn’t explored Epcot before, but quickly discovered it is an amazing mix of flowers, plants, science, rides, people and food. Truly an amazing place!

Well, okay…it’s all about the Ball AND the fashion. Loring of course, as anyone would know, is Rapunzel… note the fabulous hair she personally designed with a pair of scissors, colored hair bands and scissors. She sleeps in the hair. Every night. She also decided to add my terry cloth Tassi-like headband which she stole borrowed. I use it to hold my hair back when I wash my face or put on make-up. I had no idea how important it was for a princess to have the right “look”  at Disney… you should have seen those precious little girls checking each other out!

Meanwhile, this is what we were checking out….

I have an inexpensive black “treasure” chest that once housed dress-up costumes for my kids, in my storeroom. After seeing this, I think I’m going to dig it out and use in my backyard…

 I really like this wagon filled with pots of flowers. You also could fill it with dirt and plants directly!

 

And check this out….when your kids graduate to a larger bicycle, preserve the memories by adding a basket and filling with plants! Adorable, yes?

Go grab some old shoes. Add some dirt and a couple of pretty little flowers and looky what you can make…

Have a broken old metal chair frame? How cute is this for re-purposing?

I don’t have a lot of space in my yard for a traditional garden, but these metal tubs would be perfect for my first ever herb garden this summer, don’t you think?

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And speaking tubs… Do you spy what I spy?

And I love these flowers on top of a boulder…

If you have fountain that doesn’t work anymore, no worries! How about this fab idea?

Last, but not least, I found this amazing idea over at Pinterst… I’m going to try this in my yard too, I just adore it!

We have so many more photo’s of great ideas, but hopefully that got your imagination flowing! Gigi is going to get started on some ideas soon (she’s in Florida) and I will next month – it’s not warm enough for me to plant in Ohio yet! In the meantime, I’m going to hit some GoodWill stores for some unique and inexpensive containers for my deck. Stay tuned for some more fun landscape ideas in the next week! Got any cool ideas? We’d love to hear them! xo Amy

Cord Clips, a Zit Zapper and Where Will You be Five Years from Now?

I love things that work, don’t you? Here are a few things we’ve found lately that we really like!

APPLIANCE CLIPS

Appliance Cords on my counter drive me crazy and Gigi has been buying clips designed for appliances from our favorite organizational store, BUT at $6.00 a clip, we think it’s a bit pricey. We found these hair clips from Goody sold in packs of three for under $3.00 and we think they work pretty darn well, don’t you? They’re not as well made, but heck, for less than a $1.00 each even if they didn’t hold up as well it would be no big deal to replace if they broke! Gigi uses them for her blender, juicer, hair dryer cord, etc. I’m going to have to get some for my house!

The $6.00 clip

The $1.00 clip

ZIT ZAPPER

Apparently, it’s the week for confessions… here’s number two. Argh. I still break out occasionally. That is so not fair, don’t you think? I have read that if you have a pimple and it rears its ugly white head, you should pop it until it bleeds to get the infection out. The problem is if you use your dirty little fingers you can make it worse. Enter this nifty tool…

We found this at Home Goods… I love that store, but Wal-Mart has them as well! It keeps you from picking too much and is germ free! PS. We also discovered that they still make tinted Clearasil… anyone remember that? It was my BFF in High School!

FIVE

Where will you be five years from today? Let’s just admit it… life flies on by. How many things did you want to do today that you thought to yourself… I can do it tomorrow? Think about this…

Five years…260 weeks…1825 days…2,333,000 minutes

What will you do with it? What could you do with it?”

When I was in my early thirties I remember being overwhelmed with three babies less than two years apart in age and wishing they were older. Now that they’ve flown the coop, I would give anything to have that time go slower. I don’t know about you, but I have lots of things on my bucket list and time continues to fly by. This book ($8.09 on Amazon) is a quick read – fun, thought-provoking and inspirational. In fact,  it makes me want to get my rear end up off this chair and get moving. I’ve got lots of things to do before 2017 arrives! See ya! xo Amy

A Confession, Banana Smoothies and Baby Owls!

I’m just going to say it. I am was a compulsive eater. Binge-eater is probably the correct word, but I am winning the battle lately and I like the word compulsive better. Here’s the deal. I am really good during the day and into the evening, but at night… when all the little creatures are asleep… I become obsessed with wanting something sweet. Enter my newest love…

Smoothie

This is not just not your ordinary banana smoothie… it’s loaded with really good things and I choose to have this now whenever those pesky little cravings rear their ugly little heads. You really need to try one. Trust me, you will thank me! Here’s the scoop!

BANANA SMOOTHIE RECIPE

In a blender combine the following:

  • 1 cup of vanilla flax milk (you could also use soy milk, almond milk, goat milk or cow milk as well!)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 banana’s (try them frozen for a colder treat!)
  •  2-3 tsp of vanilla – make sure it’s not imitation!
  • up to a Tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • a Tbsp of Coconut Oil (in liquid form)
  • a Tbsp of Chia Seeds
  • a Tbsp of Flax Seeds

Flip the switch and blend till smooth! So why, you might be wondering, do I add all those things? Here’s why…

Flax Milk – vanilla or plain. I will tell you that I just don’t love milk. In fact, unless it was with a handful of Oreo cookies, I have never poured myself a glass of milk. Flax milk on the other hand is a different matter. I adore it. Flax milk is good for you – it has lot’s of Omega goodies, tastes great and is only 60 calories per cup. Sixty calories… I really can’t believe that, but there it is on the side of the carton – 60 calories. It’s low in sugar (7 grams) and lactose, dairy, gluten and soy free.  Some Wal-Marts are starting to carry it along with whole foods. Yum.

Banana’s – Mostly because they are good, less than  and a comfort food –  click here for 14 reasons why banana’s are good for you!

Vanilla – Tastes delicious and has some healthful benefits as well! For my smoothies I use pure vanilla extract – have you ever used a real bean? Here’s a great article on the vanilla bean

Cinnamon – Again, tastes delicious and is good for a range of things including high Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes as well! You can click to this link for more about cinnamon!

Coconut Oil – I actually started adding this because I read it’s beneficial in the quest to slow down or even stop the onset of Alzheimer’s. It runs and my family and I thought to myself…why not? You really can’t taste it and an added bonus I find is it ensures that I am “regular” on a daily basis! I know… TMI. Sorry! Here’s a link to an article I read about coconut oil and Alzheimer’s. FYI… Coconut oil comes in a jar in a semi-solid state unless it’s warmer in your house or at the store and then becomes liquid. If it’s solid I melt on medium heat for less than minute to liquefy. Click  here and here  learn more about coconuts from my friend Lisa at PickMeYard!

Flax Seed and Chia SeedsDr Oz has been raving about them lately and when I looked into them further I decided to add them too! Here’s an article I read from Livestrong! They add a bit of a texture to the smoothie and it’s not bad at all! You can also sprinkle on salads, in soups and more!

So see… this smoothie tastes good AND is good for you! I love that!

LOOK WHOOOOO’S PEEKING DOWN AT ME!

I’m in Florida for a bit working with Gigi – my friend and business partner. She’s my inspiration for getting healthy, cooking clean and more. I’ll introduce her to you soon, I promise – she’s going to start blogging with me and I’m pretty sure between the two of us, you will be entertained, haha!

Two years ago when I was in Florida visiting, we discovered two Great Horned Owls had nested in a tree at Gigi’s house. You can read more about them here. Mom and Pop are back again for the third time (they mate for life) with new adorable little babies that hatched about 7 weeks ago and they are so stinking adorable! Here’s a few photo’s…

For the longest time Mom and Dad took turns sitting on the nest… Finally, the owlettes hatched and OMG… they are so adorable! The one peeping out above is a bit bolder. There is a second one in there, but he’s a little shy! That’s dad in the photo above – he’s a bit smaller than mom.

Once the babies hatched, momma and papa began to hunt together and sometimes watch from afar. See them above perched high on a nearby tree keeping watch?

I walked out today and saw both of them sitting in their nest! As you can see, the second one is getting a bit bolder!

And then tonight, we saw them being fed! They stopped eating when they saw me, but isn’t this a great shot? You can’t see it here, but mom is laying inside the nest watching them. So adorable!

Hope you had a great Monday! xo Amy

It’s Pi Day… Let’s Celebrate with a Pie or Two!

Did you know today is Pi Day? Pi Day is apparently a day to celebrate the mathematical equation of Pi. I’m thinking we need to properly celebrate this day with a PIE, don’t you? I first heard of this special day when Gigi sent me a link to a couple of her favorite bloggers – Krista and Jess who shared some pie recipes they had found for “PI” day. Inspired, I thought it would be fun to share some pie recipes that I’ve tried (and loved) along with recipes I want to try in the future. Some of these I have pinned over at Pinterest! Here are a few…

PIES I’VE BAKED AND LOVE…

Good Ole Fashion Apple Pie

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It seems whenever Christmas or Thanksgiving comes a long, I get requests for a good ole fashioned apple pie, so when I found this recipe from Grandma Ople online I had to try it! Boy was I glad I did! Nothing fancy, just apple pie like it should be!

Chicken Pot Pie (or turkey!)

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This is simply yum. I love to make this after thanksgiving with my leftover turkey and always make two. One to eat right away and the other to freeze for a cold winter day. It’s definitely a comfort food! Love this pie – you can find the recipe over at allrecipes

Favorite Pie Tool:

Speaking of Pies, I have to share my favorite tool for pies. I hate it when the crust gets burned and for years I put foil on the rim to protect it.  That was such a waste of foil though – plus it is a pain the tush! I’ve tried the popular metal shields, but they still weren’t perfect and then I found a silicone adjustable rim! One is still a tad short for a few of my oversized pie dishes, but you can double them up if needed! I really, really like these!

A VARIETY OF PIE RELATED RECIPES I WANT TO TRY

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake with Floating Mini Pie

There are sooooo many sweet little pie treats I’d love to try! I don’t know about you, but pumpkin is one of my favorites… but how about a pumpkin milkshake with a mini-pie floating on top? Probably not really considered a pie, but seriously? Yum. Check the recipe out from A Beautiful Mess.

Mini Pie-in-a-Jar

I have been wanting to try these forever! I actually bought a dozen little Ball Jars from Wal-Mart a ways back, but baking all these sweets does not mix well with my New Healthy Diet, so I have been waiting until for a special occasion to try them out! You can find all the details from Our Best Bites.

More Mini-Pies

If you don’t have the jars, here’s another way to get adorable little mini-pies!

These little cutie patooties are from Simple Organized Living and bake in 20 minutes!

Fabulous Serving Idea

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any cuter, I found this from Tiny Urban Kitchen

Simply carve out the apple inside to use for the mini-pie filling, bake the pies in a muffin pan and then plop back in the hollowed apple to serve. Adorable, don’t you think?

“Cheeseburger Pie”

I don’t know about you, but I love a good meatloaf. The problem was my kids “hated” meatloaf. One day, many moons ago, I had a genius idea… I thought to myself…why not make your fabulous meatloaf into a “cheeseburger” pie and see if the kids like that! Guess what? It’s still one of their favorite meals and its soooooo simple to do. Fairly healthy too!

You can use the recipe I found on-line pictured above, adapt your own meatloaf recipe, or try mine below, which is really quite basic!

Recipe for Amy’s Cheeseburger Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350

Mix up:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey (which I prefer)
  • 1/2 of a white onion chopped – I like the onions chunky, but younger kids like them chopped finely – aka, won’t know they are there!
  • 2 -3 pieces of bread torn up or a 1/4 cup or so of seasoned bread crumbs
  • A healthy squirt of Ketchup
  • A Beaten Egg or Egg Beaters equivalent

Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray or olive oil

Pat the mixture into the pie dish

Bake for 20-25 minutes until meat is no longer pink.

Remove from oven and carefully drain any liquid, generously top with shredded cheddar (or favorite cheese) and place back in oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese is mostly melted.

Slice with a pizza cutter and serve! Enjoy!

Let me know if you try any of these! Happy “PI” day! Amy xo