- organically sound -

Saturday, March 5, 2011

planting time...finally! -

Last Sunday, February 27th, we headed to the nursery to pick up our seeds and a few bags of organic dirt.  Because we live in sandy FL, our natural soil is at least 90% sand.  So, we need to help it out a bit by adding some pre-bagged soil, along with our home-prepped compost and previous year's soil.  

Here is our first garden bed that now holds the seeds of three kinds of tomatoes (roma, sweetie and incas), zucchini, spinach, squash, cucumber, cilantro, oregano, rosemary and nasturtiums.

This is garden bed number two.  Fortunately, our strawberry plants survived the winter and actually already have several green strawberries on them.  We're watching them closely to see when we can taste them!  This year, this bed will consist of green/red peppers, sugar peas, green beans, basil, strawberries, lavender and sweet peppers.

I didn't post a photo, but off to the side of this garden, closer to the house, we planted sunflowers.

I loved this sweet photo of my oldest.  She absolutely adores being in the garden almost as much as I do. She worked quite hard to help prepare and plant the seeds for this spring.

And of course the oldest doesn't do anything without our middle sweet girl.  She is constantly 'helping' and is starting to understand the gardening thing too.  :)

Please ignore the 'work' clothes choice, and admire the sweetness of all three of my kiddos enjoying this family hobby!  My husband is obviously the hardest worker of us all.  He prepared the beds almost completely on his own, hauling the fresh compost and emptying the bags of new soil.  I love that he loves to love what I love to do.  :)

I remember last year, many of my virtual gardening friends would brag about all of the earthworms in their gardens.  I was a bit devastated that I never came across any in our gardens.  But, I'm certain that seeing an earthworm on planting day this year is a sure sign for some awesome crops!  :)

Happy Gardening...
Erin

Thursday, February 10, 2011

waiting -

So, my new rain boots arrived a few days ago, and I'm dying to get out into my gardens to start planting!  Until I'm sure the frost is gone for the year, my boots will be waiting (except for when I feel the need to jump in puddles!).  


Looking forward to hearing about your garden plans for this coming season!

Erin :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

surprised with blooms -

So, I'm completely embarrassed of my garden beds, which is why you won't see any full shot photos, but I was out inspecting the area this morning and spotted some strawberry blooms!  Check it out for yourself:




My fingers are crossed that we start to see the dragonflies and bees so that they'll pollinate!  

Later on in the day, I peaked at the other garden that is mostly full of dollar weeds, and spotted some lettuce sprouts.  How exciting!  I was sure I was going to have to re-seed it all.  

My oldest and I have already started planning the layout of our garden for this coming season.  Exciting stuff!

Stay tuned...
Erin :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

oven fire! and RapidRise bread recipe -

My oldest daughter was begging for a snack last night, but I was close to putting dinner on the stove.  So, I always try to steer her attention in another direction to keep her busy, so that she'll forget about a snack and eat a good dinner.  Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.  I had been wanting to make some fresh baked bread this week, so I suggested that we quickly make a couple of loaves.  

While I let the dough rise, I preheated the oven and we sat down for dinner.  It continued to rise during dinner.  I peaked over at the oven briefly as a very little amount of smoke was rolling out.  I didn't think a whole lot of it, but then cried out for my husband to help as I saw a pretty decent fire in the oven.  

Last week in school, my oldest learned about community helpers and fire safety.  She immediately said, 
"Mama, stop, drop and roll!"  :)  I then realized that I needed to lower my anxiety to show the girls that it wasn't an emergency, but we needed to act on it.  The fire went out before we could do anything for it.  My husband opened up the windows and doors, while I stood under our fire detector (attached to our house alarm) fanning the smoke away, so that it didn't go off and call 911.

After we were finished, I was of course trying to teach a lesson to our girls (4 and 2 years).  So, I asked my oldest, what she learned from the situation.  Without any hesitation, she responded, "you should start swinging things around to keep the smoke away!"  We still have some learning, or should I say teaching to do!

Easy Yeast Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (before baking)

Organic Cheese Bread (before baking)

Recipe - makes 2 loaves:

5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 envelopes FLEISCHMANN'S RapidRise yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
whatever you'd like to add (cheese, cinnamon & raisin, etc.)

Directions: 
In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar undissolved yeast and salt.  Heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120 - 130 degrees F); stir into flour mixture.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in 1 cup flour; beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a 12x7-inch rectangle.  If you'd like to add anything to the bread, do so at this time.  For the cheese bread, I melt about 2 tablespoons of butter to brush over the dough and then sprinkle heavily with cheese.  For cinnamon raisin bread, I melt the butter and brush on in the same way, and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar, topping with raisins.  Be creative!

Beginning at the short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly similar to a jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place seam sides down in greased 8-1/2x4-1/2 inch loaf pans.  (Lesson learned - if baking cheese bread, be sure to heavily spray pan to ensure cheese doesn't stick to pan!)  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

Enjoy!
Erin

homemade sugar cookies with fresh strawberry icing and sliced strawberries -

The girls and I couldn't resist the thought of making a special dessert since there wasn't any school on Monday.  Before falling asleep on Sunday night, they settled on sugar cookies and then suggested the yummy strawberries we had just gotten.  So, we settled on making strawberry sugar cookies.  Of course we needed some sort of excuse, so we made them in honor of Martin Luther King Day.  Yum-O!





Have a great weekend!
ERIN :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

back to blogging -

I have no specific reason as to why I've taken a blogging hiatus over the last couple of months, other than our busy life!  From celebrating my 30th birthday and my son's 1st birthday in the last couple of weeks, to preparing and participating in several craft fairs with my aromatherapy packs and hair bows, flowers and bands, to actually maintaining our household, it's been a couple of very busy months!

I'm hoping to be a little more regular with my posting, but I will confess that this holiday season is definitely going to be a crazy, yet fun one!  :)  

Here are a few birthday and Halloween photos.

Enjoy!
Erin :)





                           





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

bum genius -


I love cloth diapers and couldn't resist sharing this sweet new collection coming out soon by Bum Genius!  Check out this great company, Cotton Babies, to learn more about this great new diaper and to meet these inspiring women!

I've been cloth diapering now for a little over two years now and love it!  Not only do I feel like I'm being a little more 'organically sound', but it just seems like my babies are happier when wearing cloth.

Do you cloth?  If so, what's your favorite brand?

Organically Sound...
Erin :)