Thursday, September 12, 2013

Upcycled Birthday Fun

I am a clothes hog. It's true.

After about 15 years of not thoroughly cleaning out my closet. I took the plunge. And oh boy looky at all I cleaned out...

99% of this got donated! Woot woot! But with things that were too worn or stained, I color coordinated a few and got to work. I started this project and can't wait to show you the finished project! Until then, here's a sneak peak...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sun Tea -- Green tea + Raspberries + Sunshine

Do you remember making tea in the sunshine? I do. It always felt like it had a little extra love in it. Sunshine love.

I decided to try my hand at making green suntea and then got a little fancy and infused it with raspberries.

First, I used green tea bags and removed the strings...

I used 4 bags. Then I added water and about a cup or fresh raspberries.

I covered the top to keep curious bugs away...

And then let the sunshine do its magic...

After about 6 hours I brought it in to taste it. The color wasn't too dark but the taste was just right -- light, fruity, and refreshing. Plus, a little kick in the pants from the caffeine didn't hurt either :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eat the Rainbow

Rainbow salad

When I was growing up...I remember my mom talking about eating the rainbow. Not literally, folks. But just trying to add every color to your meal. What a good lesson for a little...I think I'll use that myself (maybe) someday.

Tonight for dinner I went with it.

I picked up a few veggies at green city market.

I wish you could taste these tomatoes through your screen. Seriously, like candy.

Then on to the dressing. A bit tangy with a whole lotta attitude.

For the salad...
- 2 small heads of lettuce
- 1 cup tomatoes - I used grape and cherry varieties
- 1 red pepper

Chop and your done.

For the dressing...
- 2 T fresh lime juice
- 2 T olive oil (I used garlic infused)
- 2 T sesame oil
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- cilantro to taste ( I used 3 T)
- Dalt and pepper to taste ( I used about 1 t each)

Mix all ingredients in blender. If using Blendtec, select dressings setting. Otherwise pulse until the cheese is worked in and the consistency turns smoother.

Happy rainbowing

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lithops Love.

I love me some lithops. You might be thinking "my word, what are you talking about?" Well...I am talking about lithops the plant...also known as Living Stone plant.

Can you tell which are real and which is the plant? Hard right? That's why these little friends are so amazing to me. 

They wear camo well.

Just like other succulents these fellas like sunshine. I planted mine in a terrarium with sand and stones to play where's Waldo...

After reading about Lithops I knew I had to add them to my collection. They flower in the fall and the color of the flower is typically listed as a W or Y -- for white or yellow. The flower forms right in the glorious middle and voila -- the where's Waldo game gets a lot easier!

Did you find all three?

Once they flower I'll share more photos...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Egg + Hummus + Jalapeño Wrap

Oh yum. As a vegetarian, it can be hard to find a meal that is tasty, easy, and has a protein source. Problem solved. I was first introduced to hummus and eggs while visiting a veggie/gluten free friend in Texas.

I love that it's fast and simple and even the husby will eat it.... here's what you'll need for 4 wraps:
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 5 egg whites + 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno slices
  • 4 tablespoons hummus

In total, this easy peasy recipe takes about 10 minutes -- no joke. Beat up and then cook up the eggs on medium heat.

Smear a tablespoon of hummus down the middle of each tortilla, add a few jalapeño slices and some egg, then roll it up and you are good to go.

A few extra thoughts...the tortillas are even yummier if you heat them up a bit in the egg pan after cooking the eggs. I try to pile everything into the middle of the tortilla to make it extra rolling friendly :)

Now how easy was that!? I added a bit of fresh fruit to keep the healthy party train choo-chooing :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The King is in the House...errrr...the Garden!

The king has arrived.

King Tut Papyrus. It is my kind of plant. It is easy. It holds the graceful movement of a ballet dancer as it blows in the breeze but it also screams Dr. Seuss to and whimsical.

You just can't go wrong here folks. Well, actually I guess maybe you could go wrong. Here's how to go right with Papyrus:

  • Papyrus likes...err...loves water. In fact, you can even plant it in water containers. I have mine in a container on a balcony but I've plugged the drain holes in the said container.
  • Papyrus also likes sun. Keep in a sunny to partly shady spot.
  • Expect King Tut Papyrus to grow up and get big pretty quick. This is no itsy bitsy...this is the real deal and it can grow up to 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Mine doubled in size in the last 4 months and is now 4ish feet tall.

King Tut is a dwarf version of Cyperus Papyrus. While it is a perennial...if you're planting it in a container you should bring this green baby inside for the winter and setup a home for it where it can still get plenty of water.

I love the look of papyrus in containers. I also like to add a draping plant as surrounding cover. In this pot I used Vinca Vine to get that draping look. But Potato Vine or other vines would be nice additions. Or, if you're looking for color, Papyrus is nice because it has a hearty top but provides enough room right at the soil for other planting.

Have you planted Papyrus in the past or do you plan to in the future? I'd love to know what you think of it and what you paired/plan to pair it with.

Friday, August 30, 2013

California Dreaming

One week ago I was hopping off a plane in San Francisco to enjoy a long weekend with friends. Wow, was it a good time. If you haven't been or if you're looking for some things to get are some of my favorites...

First, Greens is always on my list. The view alone is worth it but the food is fantastic! As a veggie, I couldn't be happier at this place. Healthy nutritious food that tastes out of this world!

Next, my hubby and I decided to rent bikes to bike over the Golden Gate. It was fun, green, and a bum buster. I would totally do it again!

The Ferry Building Farmer's Market is a must. Organic peaches were everywhere and the perfect mid morning snack.

At the market I fell in love with this plant and luckily my friend Ashley gave it a new home to appease me. I promised to help her keep it alive with advice through photos. t looks good right?

On the last night we took the Bart out of the city and stayed with friends in Vacaville. April, a childhood friend, had the most beautiful rose bushes and fruit trees. I am in complete envy of those yummy shake making fruit yielding trees! When we woke up in the morning she snipped a few blooms...a perfect last scene that morning before heading home to Chicago!

This Labor Day weekend I'll be enjoying some downtime at home and working on some new projects. What will you be doing? Happy Friday! xoxo

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Succulent + Driftwood Sculpture

Learning is right up my alley. Seriously, give me something new to naw on and I am a pig in you know what. That's why when I found out about Sprout Home Chicago classes, I was real happy. I've taken many of the classes now (although I missed urban bee keeping because I decided I didn't want to keep bees on a patio in a high-rise) and so I was inspired to make this baby.

This started when I happened upon some driftwood. Not just any driftwood, but a real beauty, from a pet supply store that was going out of business. I instantly had a vision for a sculpture-esqe piece and knew exactly where it would fit in my place. I purchased succulents from Sprout and already had a supply of dirt for succulents and of moss from other projects. I've bought moss online at Moss Acres although for a small project like this you can likely buy it from a local shop near you. 

I called around to welding shops in chicago and found Armitage Welding. What a joy they were. I made a drawing of my vision for the metal base and they went to work on building it. I wasn't sure that it was going to work and get this, they even called me a few days after I picked it up to check to see if it worked -- how nice is that!!!??? I could have painted the base but decided it is beautiful as-is.

I very carefully drilled holes in the back of the driftwood and then screwed the steel plate to the wood. I was a little worried that my design wouldn't hold up the weight of the wood, but it worked!

Next I planted the succulents very carefully in the biggest opening in the driftwood and then surrounded the plantings with moss to try to hold everything in place. Moss is amazing if you ask me.

That's it. I water it about once every week and because of the vertical nature of it, I concocted up a system where I put a bag at the end of the driftwood to catch access water so that it doesn't pool up on the floor. So far so good. I also use a spray bottle and lightly spray everything a couple times a week (especially the moss as it likes the spray bath A LOT!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Whole Juice Smoothie - Kale + Kiwi + Pear

A few months ago I made a smart purchase. A change your life hot damn kind of purchase. I bought a Blendtec. The "Will it blend?" one. And I am here to tell you YES, yes it will blend. :) Here is one of many juice/smoothie recipes to come...

Add to Blendtec Wildside jar in order:
1/2 c. 0% Greek Yogurt
2ish tablespoons of agua
1 tablespoon agave (you can skip this if you aren't a super sweet tooth like me :) )
A few mint leaves
2 small kiwis
1 pear (I used a ripe Bartlett)
1 stalk of kale (I like Red Russian too)

Blend all on smoothie setting.

Yum. xoxo