Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Banana Peppers


You know, I was just complaining the other day that there was nothing growing in my garden, but I just recently went back out and it's like all these veggies came out over night!  How did that happen?  lol

I know I'm posting a lot of garden posts, but I really didn't know how exciting this garden thing was going to be.  This may be my new little hobby.  The pic above is my banana pepper.  I planted a bunch of banana pepper plants so I guess I should be getting a lot of those this year.  I can't believe how big it already is.

Jalapeños and tomatoes.


Above, the top two pics are my jalapeño peppers.  On the bottom are my tomatoes.  The bottom left tomatoes are shaped kind of wonky.  I've never seen tomatoes shaped like that before, but I did plant 3 different kinds of tomatoes.  I can not wait to eat them!

My first cucumber.

Remember the pic I posted the other day of my cucumber that was one inch long?  Well here it is!  Ripe for the picking.  I was so excited when I saw how big this was today, I could not resist picking it.   So I did, my very first vegetable I grew myself.  Woohoo!


Cutting up my first cuke.


Eating my cuke!

Yum!


It really tasted good, I mean, it was the best tasting cucumber I have ever had.  It had a really neat flavor to it.  I wouldn't say this just because I grew it  :)

My meal:  Mahi Mahi cooked with Thai spices on a bed of spinach, tomatoes, onions and my cucumber, some squash and onions from my dads garden, multi-grain baguette with olive oil and some green tea.  
  
Here are a bunch of inspirational pictures of garden sheds.  When I bought my home, there were 2 sheds in back and my first thought was, oh no, those big things are taking up too much room in my yard, I want to get rid of them!  Since living here though, I've found that these sheds really come in handy.  I have come across some sheds online that have made me think twice about giving them up, too.

My inspiration sheds.















The one above is neat with the bright touches of color, but it may be a little too bright for me, very pretty though.


I think this one is more of a garage (Marthastewart.com), but I just love how organized it is. 



My sad shed below will be more appealing to the eyes one day, too.
BEFORE

I have already painted the counter above with chalkboard paint and I've bought some peg board to go on the wall to organize all my tools.  I need to clean it all up and get a couple of more tables and cabinets.  I won't show you inside the other shed because right now it's even more scary looking than this one.

Stay tuned for the AFTER.




Monday, June 28, 2010

Yesterday a friend and I went to my parents and spent the day canning green beans.  Just like house projects, I find out that this project also took twice as long as I expected.  We got there at 8am and went to the garden to start picking the beans.  I think we will be done by noon and we don't end up leaving until around 5:00 that evening.  All's good though, because we have some yummy canned green beans now.

Here are the beans we picked.


We snapped the ends off and then snapped them in half.  

My friend Lisa washing the beans.


Here's me putting the beans in the jars.

After we get the beans in the jars, we put lids on them and then stick them in the pressure cooker.
It takes about 45 minutes for each batch, you can do around 6 jars at a time.



Then you take them out and let them cool.  All done.

My green beans at home in my cabinet :)



I grabbed some other fresh veggies from the garden, too!
I love having home made canned veggies.  We didn't add salt to the green beans or anything, I usually just cut up onions and add some herbs when cooking them.  I made a can of them last  night and they were delish!  We're hoping to can some more in a few weeks and also can some tomatoes and corn when they're ready.  I would really love to make some home made salsa and can it.
Do you have any home canned favorites?



Little Foot & Simba playing yesterday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm over at my dad's place today, you should see his garden! It's amazing! He planted his only a few weeks before mine and look at this.

Dad's garden with Blueridge Mountains in background.

He's already got tomatoes, onions (my onions died), squash, zucchini (my zucchini died), beans, sweet potatoes, corn, cucumbers, jalapeño peppers, green peppers, leaf lettuce, cayenne peppers, and field peas.

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Squash



I am amazed at how easy it is for him to garden, I really need to find an area at my house that gets more sun. Would it be too weird to put it in the front yard?

One more thing, I had to show this beautiful pool.  I went to a book club/pool party last night at a friends house and she has the most wonderful pool.  I felt like I was at a resort!  I would never leave my backyard.



Bliss.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

My leaf lettuce didn't make it, I guess I waited too late to plant it, so sad.  I went out yesterday and bought some things to replace what was there.  There isn't anything to plant right now except for herbs, too hot I am assuming.  I got me some leeks, chives and parsley.


These are suppose to grow in a bunch like this?
 I would think it would be more like scallions? Did I do this wrong?
(It came in a pot just like this, so I planted it this way.)

Leeks


Chives


New flowers I planted yesterday in front of the garden.




I also primed over a little of the green on my garden shed yesterday, too, but it got so hot I had to stop!
Think I will go with all white instead of a pale beige like I originally planned.  I don't like the metal rolling door on it, it's very hard to open and close and since the shed is air conditioned, I would need to close the door to use it.  The way this shed locks, I'm afraid if I pulled the door down from the inside I would end up locking myself in!  I'm going to get 2 regular barn doors for it.


I think this one looks cute all white, here is an old inspiration pic I have posted  before.


I like the lattice on this one below and how the vine is growing up it.  I want to put something on mine so my cucumbers can grow up them.  Not sure what to get for that yet, will do some research.


I've received quite a few comments on my Before & After photos of my home in the last couple of days and when I went to read the comments I noticed I didn't have an up to date picture of my bedroom on it (I've refinished the nightstand since the old picture).  So I took this full shot of my bedroom this morning and changed it on the Before & After section, too.  I still need to get a table for the other side of the bed. 


Something like this.


I still  haven't decided what I'm going to do yet about switching bedrooms. I'm so torn, my master bedroom is starting to really come along and have the look that I was striving for.  Oh well, I am sure I can get the guest room to look how I want too all in time.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I've been thinking about adding a little color to my guest room.  I keep running across rooms in magazines and online that are neutral or white with little accents of blue and I can't stop looking at them.  I tried to have a blue bedroom one time, but was a little overwhelmed with the blue so I thought blue didn't work for me, BUT I never thought of just throwing a few touches of blue into the room.

I went out this past weekend and bought a blue throw pillow.
It's all the blue I have right now, but it's a start.


(Try to ignore the shade with the plastic on it, I'm deciding if I want to keep it or not)

I've been sleeping in my guest room!
I love my guest room so much, it feels much more peaceful and more calm than my own bedroom.  The reason is, my bedroom is in the front of the house and faces the road, which you can hear the cars going by (not a lot of trafic, but still.), and I have the view of my neighbors house across the street.  So it's not exactly a serene setting.  I'm amazed at how such a thing can affect the way you feel when you're laying in the bed and looking out the windows. The guest room faces the back yard surrounded by trees and privacy.  It gives me a calm feeling.  So now to figure out what to do.  Switch rooms or just keep it the way it is and continue to sleep in the guest room only?  hmmm  

It's kind of hard to tell here, but this is the view out my windows in the guest room.
Luscious trees everywhere.




Inspiration Photos.

Decor Pad






 Southern Accents



Pottery Barn


I love how calming these rooms look.  I'll get a couple of more blue accessories and post as I go with it.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The pictures of my laundry room makeover were featured over on Young House Love today.  This is one of my all time favorite decorating blogs.  They took an old brick ranch and transformed every room to perfection.  I was so amazed by one room, their den, in particular that they made over, it had dark red brick walls and dark paneling and they turned it into a peaceful retreat.  It inspired me to do this to my laundry room, because it also had the dark brick walls and just felt so cave like.  Painting the brick and adding white flowing curtains to my laundry room brought the room to life.  I was so inspired by theirs I wrote them to let them know and sent pictures.

You can go to their site YoungHouseLove.com to see the article on it.

Thank you to John & Sherry over at Young House Love!



:)

Here's how my garden is looking as of today.  The tomatoes are growing great, as are the peppers.  The herbs are okay, too.  I'm convinced I need to buy The Gardener's Book for Dummies at this point though.  Nothing in the garden has produced anything yet and my leaf lettuce didn't make it.  My sunflowers are looking like they aren't going to make it either. That is sad because how can you kill a sunflower? They will grow anywhere!

My sad leaf lettuce didn't survive.

Good news though, the  little cucumber vine I planted in front of the shed, it is florishing! 
I got my first growth, a little baby cucumber, it's about an inch long!


The vine is adorable, it wrapped itself around the wire holder.
I haven't had to do anything to it.



I do have some more good news.
I found hundreds of wild blackberries in my back yard.
They are growing right behind the garden, I never noticed them before.  Now I can eat me some fresh blackberries!  There are also little tiny wild strawberries back there, but they are too small to eat.  Not sure why they don't get any bigger.

My wild blackberries.

I'm a little sad that my garden isn't doing that great. My dad planted his garden only a few weeks before mine and he's been eating full matured veggies from his for a couple of weeks now.  He said he thinks mine doesn't get enough full sun and it is getting too wet.   :(
I really don't have any areas around my house that has full sun for a long period of time.  What do I do?


Monday, June 21, 2010

The day we've all been waiting for is here.  Today is the first day of summer.  I'm not use to the weather in NC yet and coming from Florida where it's warm all year around, I crave sunlight and warmth.  I barely made it through the NC winter, but everyone is telling me it was the worst winter they have ever seen here, so maybe the coming winters won't be as harsh.


Not many people have swimming pools up here because you can only use them a few months out of the year, but isn't this the neatest little outdoor shed?  They made it into a guest room! Now that is a guest room I would love to stay in, I would probably wear out my welcome there.

I still haven't been able to paint my little sheds out back because it does nothing but rain.  Hopefully before this year is up, I can get them painted. I'm guessing the fall is probably going to be the best time to do it. Not so hot, humid and rainy.

Here is a picture I took when I lived 10 minutes from the beach in Florida.  This is the main thing I miss about Florida apart from my friends and family that are still down there.

Photo I took when I lived in Florida.


I love the lazy days of summer the most, I want to put a hammock in my backyard somewhere, but noone in this small town sells them.

It's hammock time.
Photo from Toast.

Do you love the seasons where you live or is it too hot or too cold or...?  What are your favorite things about summer?  My favorite things are outdoor activities, I really feel alive in the summer.  I tend to hibernate like a bear in the winter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I got a surprise present today.  A friend got me a house warming gift.  It's so adorable.  It's a wreath with seashells on it.


Thank you Martha!   :)



I also made a wreath this past weekend.



Since this side door doesn't have a glass storm door like the front, the humidity sort of got to the dried hydrangeas and I had to move it.  I have it on the guest bedroom door for now, still deciding if I'll keep it there or not.

It took like 5 minutes to make.

Grape vine wreath, burlap ribbon, dried hydrangeas, craft wire, safety pins to hold the ribbon in place in back.