Tag Archives: garden

Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

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Too Many Tomatoes? Try These Recipes!

Hello! My dad’s garden was so bountiful this past summer and it is still currently producing a TON of tomatoes. The red fruit has basically taken over my parents’ kitchen so I was called in for cooking reinforcement. We were all sick of spaghetti sauces and salsas so I turned to Pinterest for new recipes to lighten the tomato burden. I made a tomato pie found on Biscuits & Burlap as well as a tomato butter compliments of Kitchn. Both of them turned out really good! Check it out:

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I had two full bowls of tomatoes to work with and these two recipes used them all up, which was awesome. They were also SO incredibly easy to make. The tomato pie by Biscuits & Burlap took me about twenty minutes to make and my dad and I liked it a lot. We both agreed, however, that it definitely needed more to it.

When I cook a new recipe, I tend to follow the directions exactly. Then, if I like it enough, I add my own twists the next time around. When I make the tomato pie again, I plan on using a Pillsbury crust and will be adding an extra tomato and cheese layer. I also will be using a lot more fresh basil, garlic, and onions. The tomato pie would taste even better with spinach so I’ll add that into the mix too.

The tomato butter by Kitchn was a recipe that I was somewhat ambivalent about making but I am glad I did. It is so unique and will be a perfect addition to grilled cheese sandwiches, spaghetti, and French bread. I was worried after I used the food processor to blend the broiled tomatoes, herbs, and butter because the consistency was like tomato soup! After a day in the refrigerator, it formed into a whipped spread and that was more like it lol.

Like the tomato pie, the butter was good but it needed something extra. The butter was a bit on the bland side so if I make it again, I will be adding a lot of garlic (Which the recipe didn’t call for) and fresh basil. Despite not being as flavorful as I would have liked, I love the idea of this recipe and it is such a fresh and different way to use up a tomato harvest.

If you have Too Many Tomatoes, then do be sure to give these recipes a try and let me know what you think! 😀

What have you been making with your garden veggies? What do you like to make with tomatoes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

4 Ways To Improve Your Garden Right Now

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4 Ways To Improve Your Garden Right Now

A lot of people have the idea that gardens are only for the summer, but your home should be beautiful throughout all times of the year. If you are looking for ways to make improvements to your garden or yard, then look no further. We’ll discuss some ideas to get you started in this post:

Put up a fence:

If you’re going to enjoy your garden more, a little privacy can go a long way. Many gardens have short fences or old fences that make them look worn down. While there’s nothing wrong with a little wear and tear, it’s good to make sure you’re happy with what you’ve got. If you would like to install a new fence, you can start by looking into this Flawless Post Hole website. Having some privacy makes it much easier to feel at home in your own garden, and it’s a great way to start things off.

Take better care of your plants:

If gardening isn’t your thing, then the chances are that it looks pretty baron. Flowers are generally going to have a hard time growing healthily if you don’t water them enough or take proper care of them. A flourishing garden needs an attentive gardener to take care of it, which is where the effort comes in. Learning to take better care of what you have, as well as looking into more plants for your garden is important if you want a beautiful environment to spend time in.

Consider a greenhouse:

If gardening is something you’ve always wanted to give a try, and are looking for more things to fill your garden with – a greenhouse is perfect. Greenhouses take up quite a bit of space, but if you invest in the right one, it can really add to the scene. Your greenhouse will provide you with a safe and weatherproof atmosphere to tend to your plants. No matter what you want to grow, you’ll know that they’re safe inside the greenhouse. They’re a gardener’s best friend and are great for growing plants that would usually have a hard time in your climate.

Install a pond:

Inviting nature into your garden can be quite difficult, but a pond can be a good place to start. So long as you’re willing to maintain it, your pond can be home to fish, frogs, and other wildlife that enjoys being near water. You might find that installing a pond attracts all kinds of wildlife to your garden. You’ll have to make sure to clean it and keep your fish fed if you don’t want it to stagnate, though.

Turn your backyard into a paradise with the tips above and you will enjoy spending time in your garden all year round!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Change Your Garden Layout In 8 Easy Steps

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How To Change Your Garden Layout In 8 Easy Steps

Your garden is your own little piece of paradise. It’s a place where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. But after a while, you may start to feel like your garden is a bit lackluster. If you’re looking for a change, there’s no need to wait until springtime to do it. With a little planning, you can easily change up your garden layout in just a few easy steps:

1. Decide what you want to change:

The first step in changing your garden layout is deciding what exactly you want to change. Do you want to add more color? Or are you looking for a more functional space? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start planning your new layout. Consider Dumpster Rental to get rid of any debris you may accumulate.

2. Sketch out your ideas:

Once you have a general idea of what you want to do, it’s time to start sketching out your ideas. Get a piece of paper and a pencil and start drawing. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect – this is just for planning purposes. Once you have a basic idea of your new layout, you can start refining it.

3. Choose your plants:

One of the most important aspects of any garden is the plants. Carefully choose the types of plants that you want to include in your garden. Consider things like sunlight and water needs, as well as their growth habits. You’ll also want to think about how the plants will look when they’re in bloom.

4. Place your plants:

After you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to start placing them in your new garden layout. Again, sketching things out first can be helpful. Once you have a general idea of where you want to put each plant, you can start digging holes and planting them. If you have pets, remember to keep in mind that they may want to rearrange your plants after you’ve placed them!

5. Add some mulch:

Mulch is a great way to add nutrients to your soil and help your plants retain moisture. It can also give your garden a polished look. When you’re adding mulch, be sure to use a layer that’s two or three inches thick.

6. Water regularly:

One of the most important things you can do for your garden is to water it regularly. Depending on the type of plants you have, you may need to water daily or just a few times a week. Be sure to check the soil before watering to make sure it’s not already moist.

7. Fertilize as needed:

Fertilizing your garden is important to help your plants stay healthy and thrive. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Apply fertilizer according to the package directions and be sure not to use more than recommended.

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8. Enjoy your new garden:

After you’ve finished all of these steps, sit back and enjoy your new garden layout. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can easily transform your space into something you’re proud of.

Changing your garden layout is a great way to give your space a fresh look. By following these eight easy steps, you can achieve the results you want in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your new garden today!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Homemade Salsa Recipe

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Homemade Salsa Recipe

Hello! My dad’s magnificent garden has been providing an endless supply of tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, and herbs. I tried to ease the burden of putting a dent in his harvest by making some spaghetti sauce. It turned out a bit lackluster but at least I used eight tomatoes with it lol! This past week, my dad and I made salsa together and came up with our own recipe. It turned out great! Check it out:

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Our Recipe:

  • 22 small to medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 of a green pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves pressed garlic
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, finely chopped
  • Very small pieces of serrano pepper – *Warning* they are very hot
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Several sprigs of cilantro
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

I had an absolute blast making this salsa with my dad! I couldn’t tell you the last time we collaborated in the kitchen and it was so much fun to make salsa magic together. The day before we made our concoction, my dad scoured different recipes but we decided to just wing it and see what happens. We delegated different tasks to each other, taste tested along the way, and ended up being really happy with what we came up with.

Salsa is a cool thing to make because you can adjust it as you go to your liking. Whether you want more heat, extra onions, or super garlicky is your prerogative. My dad and I agreed on something more mild after tasting the extreme heat of the serrano peppers from his garden. This was an excellent call because not only was my mouth on fire but my hands burned until the evening just from chopping them. Not to mention the suffering I experienced when I had to take my contacts out. Ouch!!

Minus the serrano incident, I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon with my dad. We definitely plan on making our salsa again and I hope that all of you enjoy the recipe too!

Do you like to follow recipes or wing it? What do you have growing in your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Not So Successful Spaghetti Sauce

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Not So Successful Spaghetti Sauce

Hello! My dad has the most bountiful, wonderful garden that is jam packed with flowers and veggies. His tomato harvest is coming in hot and I promised him that I would help to make spaghetti sauce. Unfortunately, it turned out SO salty and I genuinely have no idea why because I followed the recipe to the T minus adding some tomato paste. Check it out:

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^^^ This recipe was found in The Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook by Julie Jordan.

It has been a long while since I made homemade spaghetti sauce and I was in the zone while doing prep work. While my sister is a formidable baker, I love to cook and there is nothing better to me than whipping up tasty meals for people to enjoy. I also had the luxury of cooking in my mom and dad’s beautiful kitchen, which was a nice change of pace from my apartment!

For this recipe, I used fresh tomatoes, of course, and altered nothing but the tomato paste and way more garlic than needed. However, I’m thinking that the tomato paste on top of the 1/2 teaspoon of salt that I added might have been too much. This is the only thing that would make sense as to why the saltiness was through the roof.

Maybe I’m making this up but isn’t it a thing that a good cook tastes their sauces while they’re making it? Lol, it’s definitely a thing, right? I probably should have been more proactive about this too but I just didn’t feel like it after making a huge dinner of baked ziti the night before! On the bright side, I did use up a decent amount of the tomatoes on the kitchen windowsill so I guess that was a somewhat victory haha.

Even though my spaghetti sauce didn’t turn out great, now you all know what not to do if you choose to make the recipe. Also, be careful if you use squeeze tomato paste because I ended up getting it all over my shirt SMH!!!!

What have you been cooking recently? What do you like to make with fresh veggies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Stroll In The Garden OOTD

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A Stroll In The Garden OOTD

Hello everyone!! After a most fruitful TJMaxx haul, I was so ready to take all of the pictures with my new duds. I also had the perfect setting in mind – my dad’s garden! Come summer, it is absolutely glorious and filled with delicious veggies and stunning blooms. There is nothing better than taking a leisurely stroll and taking in all of the beauty or running around with my niece on the lush lawn…. And taking pictures, of course! Check it out:

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Who? What? Wear?

This is an OOTD that I love very much and I think it is just so fun and unique. I have nothing like the Rebellion Again top or Nicole Miller pants in my vast wardrobe, which made it an exciting look to wear since it’s far from the norm. I felt so lucky during my haul because there was only one pair of the pants in the store and doubly lucky because I found the perfect top to go with it!

What I like about this outfit is that the styling spoke for itself. It was also planned well ahead of time in the TJMaxx dressing room so not a lot of thought went into it the day I took pictures. Each piece felt like an accessory in its own way – the embroidered heels of the platforms, bold floral pattern on the pants, and intricate crochet work on the top. So, it really didn’t need much in terms of actual jewelry and I kept it simple with a few of my favorite bangle bracelets.

Normally, I like to start from the top down when building an outfit. In this case, however, I started from the middle with the pants. While I could have pulled from a color in the floral pattern for the top, I decided that I wanted to go with a neutral to really make it pop. The cream Rebellion Again tank was the ideal choice and it was exactly what I had pictured. I thought it looked fabulous against the grey/blue base of the pants and the floral crochet pattern complimented them so well too.

For shoes, my Bamboo platforms were an obvious choice. The denim color is a neutral too and it meshed seamlessly with the blue undertones in the base of the pants. The floral embroidery on the heel also tied together with the same motif in the other pieces of this outfit. Not to mention that it has cream, pale blue, and yellow flowers featured on the heel so it matched even better than I originally thought.

My Stroll In The Garden OOTD is going to be such a delightful look for a date day exploring downtown Cuyahoga Falls or a botanical garden. Now, the trick is going to be to find more tops to go with the pants lol. I guess I’ll need another shopping trip soon! 😀

What is your favorite flower? What do you love about summertime? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: Tune in tomorrow for bonus pictures from this shoot!

 

I’m So Excited!!

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I’m So Excited!!

Hello!! As you all know, I have never been a fan of summertime and I still wouldn’t call myself that now despite appreciating it much more. It’s probably because the pandemic made having summer fun impossible these past two years. While it still is a concern in my area of Ohio, we are currently in the green and it makes me feel way more comfortable with doing all of the ACTIVITIES!

There is so much that I’m looking forward to this summer, including the following:

Concerts:

Pre-pandemic, Johnny and I were always at different venues for his former band to play and it was a blast. However, we have never been to a big concert together and that is about to change this summer. Johnny and I are in a HUGE Willie Nelson phase and will be seeing him play at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls this July.

We are also going to Riot Fest in Chicago this September to see My Chemical Romance’s reunion. I scored these tickets prior to COVID and it got rescheduled and I was so thankful to be able to transfer our tickets to this year’s show. The lineup is absolutely amazing and I cannot wait!!

Pool Days:

My apartment community has a wonderful outdoor swimming pool and I count down the days until it opens for summer every year. The pool features a deep area, a section for the kids with a waterfall, and a mini pool on an upper deck. Whether I am lounging in the water with a good book or enjoying the pool with my niece it is always nice to escape at our own personal oasis. I also love that I can now take a float with my new Taco Bell inner tube that my sister got me! 😀

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Apartment Hang Outs:

Johnny and I still can’t get over our new digs in our bigger apartment and other than more space, the biggest upgrade is definitely a functional air conditioning unit and windows that open. Our last apartment would get unbearably hot in the summer and it was painful for us to be there let alone anyone else. This made it literally impossible to host friends and family and that always made me feel sad.

Now that we have somewhere that we can truly beat the heat in, we have guests over all of the time and that novelty will never wear off. We absolutely love having people over for dinner, game nights, and movies and it gives us something to look forward to almost every weekend. Our new apartment also features a lovely front patio that is so nice to sit on in the evening and have a chat!

Garden Veggies:

At the old apartment, my kitchen was a small galley one and it made cooking possible but unpleasant. The new place, however, has an open kitchen and it has turned cooking back into my favorite thing thanks to an abundance of counter space. Every summer, I look forward to my dad’s vegetable garden because there is nothing better than making a meal with fresh veggies. It just hits different and I am so ready to enjoy the harvest – both cooking and eating it! 😀

I am finally starting to understand why people like summertime and I guess it’s not so bad after all. Here’s to summer fun for everyone!

What are you looking forward to this summer? Are you going to any concerts? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Renovating Your Fixer Upper

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Renovating Your Fixer Upper

If you just got an amazing deal on a new house, then it may be because you invested in a bit of a fixer upper. This is absolutely fine if you are going to spend time putting your own personal stamp on it. Renovating a fixer-upper can take time, a lot of funding, and effort so you will need to figure out your budget. Find out how much you have available for the renovation and then you can make a list of which rooms and tasks to do first. Take a look below for some inspiration:

Bedrooms:

First of all, you might want to do the bedrooms. This is essential, especially if you have children. They will need somewhere to sleep in their new home, preferably before you move in if this is a possibility. If not, then they may have fun getting involved in creating their new space. Talk to them about the type of design they want to go for and what they want on the walls. If you are sorting your own bedroom out, then you need to think about the same things. You want to create the ultimate safe haven where you can chill out at the end of a hard day.

Kitchen:

If you want to create a dream kitchen, then it may take a huge chunk out of your budget. If you have planned for this then that’s great. You could take a look around kitchen showrooms to find your perfect kitchen. You can also look online for some ideas on what you want it to look like. The kitchen is the heart of the home and somewhere you may be hosting lots of dinner parties and guests. If you want to amaze your guests, try adding in some smart tech such as a smart fridge or kettle.

Walls:

Think about how you want the walls in your home to look. Do you want to use paint, wallpaper, or a combination of both? If you take a visit to your local hardware store, then they will have all of the options available to you. You may even be able to get your hands on some samples to try before you buy. It is well worth trying samples, you may know what color you want but if it doesn’t look right on the walls then it will be a waste of money. Don’t forget that all of the walls will be different so create a plan for this.

Garden:

Finally, your new home’s garden might have seen better days. Never fear, the garden might be the easiest thing to renovate and fix up. If you want a proper family garden, then it may be worth adding in some beautiful, colorful flower beds. These look lovely around the perimeter of a garden. You could also add a wild section to encourage bees and other wildlife to explore and nest there. If you have children, you could add some play equipment as well, such as a swing set or outdoor game section.

Fixer uppers are a huge project but will be oh so worth it once your renovations are complete. Remember that your budget will be one of the most important factors in this and to always leave wiggle room for unexpected costs!

Featured Image By: Pexels

How To Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your Home

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How To Spruce Up The Exterior Of Your Home

Your home’s exterior can have a huge impact on its overall aesthetic, as it’s the first thing that you or your guests see when arriving at your property. If your home’s exterior is drab and dreary, then it may give off the false impression that the inside of your property is unkempt too – even if your home’s interior is as pristine as can be! Fortunately, figuring out how to spruce up your home’s exterior doesn’t have to be as tricky as you might imagine, because there are several simple steps that you can follow to transform it in no time at all:

Revamp Your Windows:

Revamping your windows is an ideal way to spruce up your home’s exterior, as they contribute massively towards the overall aesthetic of your property. Choosing to use old and damaged windows that boast one single pane will detract from the look of your home while also impacting on your energy efficiency too, so it’s best to think about upgrading your windows to double or even triple glazing in an attractive style so that you can boost your curb appeal like never before.

Windows come in so many shapes, sizes, and styles, so you can find an alternative to better suit your property. Finding top quality specialty and custom window installation can put your mind at ease, so make sure you seek out a reputable provider that has lots of positive reviews so that you can put your faith in their products and services. If you don’t have the funds to invest in a whole new set of windows for your home then do not fret! You might be able to get away with a deep clean and a quick lick of paint on any surrounding wood just to help inject a little life into your aging windows.

Gain Control Over Your Garden:

If your front garden is overgrown and unruly, then this could be detracting noticeably from your property’s exterior. Overgrown grass, low hanging trees, and weeds sprouting up between your paving stones can be an eyesore so it’s vital that you gain control over your garden if you want your home to really flourish.

Mow your front lawn regularly and add some pops of color in the form of a few potted plants or even a variety of hanging baskets that boast an array of beautiful flowers to brighten things up. Stay on top of weeding and reward your hard work with some cute lawn decorations to add some fun, quirky touches.

Pressure Wash Brickwork & Paving:

Last but not least, if you want to spruce up your home’s exterior and encourage your property to look as fresh and vibrant as possible, then pressure washing your brickwork and paving will help to achieve total revitalization. Over time your exterior walls and any paving or driveways that sit outside your home can fall victim to wear and tear, whether this means staining, discoloration, or any other unsightly issue that can make your home seem drab.

Investing in a pressure washer or hiring a professional is an option that you should consider exploring, as it’s such an affordable and fast way to transform your home’s exterior without the need for any skills. Just make sure you don’t pressure wash any surfaces which aren’t strong enough to take the power, as you may accidentally blast away the surface layer or even break straight through if the material is particularly weak (such as rotting wood on old decking).

Spring cleaning is out and summer projects are in. Take advantage of the beautiful weather with some outdoor chores – starting with your home’s exterior!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Add Some Flare With These Home Improvements

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Add Some Flare With These Home Improvements

After what felt like forever at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to understand why you might be downright bored with how your home looks. As the weather improves, you might find yourself outdoors a lot more often but you still want your home to be the place to be after your outings. If you’re looking for some dramatic changes to add some spice back to your surroundings, try the following:

Checkered Tile Floor:

When it comes to home decor, you only need one statement thing to style a room around so why not start from the ground up? Checkered tile is sure to add the ultimate retro touch to your game room or even just in a hallway. And, we all know that floating porcelain tile is wonderful for the bathroom too. Whether you want to go old school with black and white tile or try a unique twist with a light blue and white, it is sure to add some flare to your space!

Wall/Ceiling Murals:

Accent walls are a “been there done that” addition to the home so let’s shake things up! How about a wall or ceiling mural, instead? You could hire a local artist to turn your space into a literal work of art. Your wall will already offer a smooth surface but the ceiling might be a different story. For example, you might have popcorn ceiling and will have to get that removed. The popcorn ceiling removal by Patch Dudes will be able to assist and then a masterpiece can be put in its place.

Green Room:

If you love the idea of a garden but don’t have the yard space for it, then a green room might be in order. A special room devoted to plants, flowers, ferns, veggies, and all things zen will be the perfect place to unwind after a stressful day. You can incorporate table top water fixtures or even an aquarium to turn it into a slice of paradise within four walls.

Game Room:

If you have the extra space, a game room can turn a night in into an awesome experience. Bar style neon lights, a pinball machine, and board games will definitely be the way to go. Don’t forget the video games, comfy couches, and a mini fridge for drinks and snacks. This room could also double as a home theater so you could deck it out in posters of your favorite movies. A jukebox or record player wouldn’t hurt, either! 😀

Add some flare to your house and have some fun. Think outside the box and you will be amazed how it transforms your home!