May 2020 Garden

I’ve now had to replant a few things but I just wanted to say my lettuce, carrots, and the few bean plants that made it are growing great. I started with 6 broccoli and I’m left with 3.5 because some bunny keeps munching on the leaves 😛

My strawberries are also flourishing and we’ll be able to pick some very soon, especially if this sun continues!

And there’s a little update for now 🙂

Spring and Summer Beginnings 2020

Hello all! I hope you’re having a lovely Spring. I’m a little late for just a Spring beginnings so it’ll be combined with Summer and maybe I’ll edit this later if anything changes in a monthish. In these posts I share a few goals or tasks I want to achieve in this certain season. I probably haven’t written one of these in over a year because I took a long hiatus and had very little I wanted to share. Okay jumping in.

  1. Gardening. Last year I skipped making a garden entirely as I just couldn’t handle it with where my head was. But this year I’m doing one again and I have a different set up this year. Cornelia gets to keep the old space as a dirt box and so my garden is split with our upstairs tenants and then additionally I have an apple tree, strawberry plot, and a couple blueberry bushes. My garden is definitely a beginners garden, I have a hard enough time taking care of indoor plants. This year I planted beans, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli. So far I’ve replanted bean seeds as they didn’t sprout and then will also try my tomatoes again. This just proves that I’m a terrible plant person.
  2. Keeping my phone away, especially around the kids. I want them to have my attention and know that I’m not going to ignore them. This is the time where I’m building the foundation of our future relationship and I want to avoid any cracks in that foundation.
  3. Eating more fruit and vegetables, because I’m terribly unhealthy and I want my children to grow up with good eating habits.
  4. Shopping local. Local and small businesses have all been hit really hard by Covid19, and it’s important to help out our neighbors. Generally, shopping local also includes more ethical manufacturing or harvesting options as well. Lots of businesses have curbside pick up (which is so easy) and the farmers market will be open in a couple weeks.

So there’s 4 things that I’m working on this season, I wanted to keep them simple and achievable. I’ve got an almost 3 yr old and a 2 month old so I can’t be doing anything fancy! If there’s any goals or things you’re working on and want to share with me, leave me a comment!

DIY Cloth Napkins

Hello Everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!

Okay so I love filling my home with meaningful things.

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I also try to be mindful of those things I’ve brought into my home, whether it’s a new shirt or a new-to-me book shelf. I am by no means a minimalist, aesthetically it’s appealing but it’s not for me, I need the 3 different frying pans 😛

So I try to be aware of what I purchase: where it comes from, the materials, or maker. But also how it impacts the environment. I wrote a post on that topic last week, read it here if you missed it.

I was needing some brighter, more summery inspired cloth napkins. I didn’t really want to just buy some, I wanted to sew some myself so they’d have more value and to work on my mediocre sewing skills.

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I found my fabric at MCC, a local thrift store, for $1.50 and I had enough fabric to make 9 12×9″ napkins.

Okay so jumping in…

Materials you need are:

  • Fabric
  • Something to measure with
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron
  • Somewhere to iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  1. So step one will be to measure and cut your fabric, whatever you chose. Cotton and linen are ideal, but because I bought mine second hand I don’t know the specs.

 

I cut my pieces to 12×9″ but you can adjust yours to whatever size you want.

2. Next would be to cut a little notch into the corners just under 1/2″ like this IMG_1269 (1)

3. Then you’ll want to iron down the short length side like this (for me that would be the 9″ side), remembering to press it down onto the back of the fabric.IMG_1566

4. and then trim the corner edge like this, and then iron the other edge like this

5. Next you’ll start to sew the edges down, to make it easier for yourself when you get to a corner make sure the needle is in the fabric then lift the sewing foot and turn your fabric square so the it’s straight with the hem, put the foot down and resume sewing. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of each napkin so it doesn’t unravel.

6. Repeat on all your napkins, and there you have it 🙂

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They’re not flawless because the hem isn’t rolled in but they’re perfectly imperfect. Easy and so simple. IMG_1579

You can fold them like a brochure and they fit nicely under utensils.

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IMG_1583 Now you can have your very own cloth napkins that you’ll hopefully treasure because you made them yourself.

Is there anything you’re sewing this summer? Tell me about it by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

More like this

IMG_0762 DIY Wreath

Recipe Round up and Garden Update

Okay so I know I said I’d post a recipe every week and I haven’t done one in a couple weeks, buuuuut my mom was here so I was busy. She helped me do a lot in preparation for the baby, like a lot. My freezer is so full!

One thing she filled the freezer with was muffins, she made a few different kinds so I’m going to share the links for the muffins because they were from my recipe board 🙂

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Rhubarb Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Banana Muffins

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

These fancy “Third Trimester” Muffins

And my recipe for Pumpkin Muffins

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My garden has done quite well, except for the potatoes, they stopped growing two weeks after they started growing! I have so much lettuce I don’t know what to do with it, I love my fresh garden beans they are so yummy, and my carrots are giant. The onions have done okay, they’ve grown enough to be eaten but not really worth storing up cause I need three to equal one normal onion haha so I’ll have to try them again next year 🙂

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My strawberries are finally coming, and they’re perfect! My mom also brought a rhubarb plant so we’ll see how that goes next year. I also did some sweet peas and they flowered amazingly and I’m starting to collect the seeds for next year!

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If you had read any of my last posts about my garden you would know I had a problem with a mole and I manged to keep it out of the garden and it went everywhere else 😛 I had just shoved blackberry branches down the hole and it kept it away!

You can read the first post Here and then second one Here

The baby is due in the next couple weeks and I’m all set and just trying to relax, I’m still working but will be done next week and I’m hoping this baby waits and gives me a chance have some time off. At first I didn’t want to be overdue but now I feel like I can wait as long as I have some time off. I’m not sure what this looks like for the blog but I’m so hoping I will keep it up, I just don’t know what life will be like after.

So yeah! That’s a little bit of a life update 🙂

dawn

Summer Beginnings

Starting the end of August I’ll be on maternity leave, and it’s not going to be easy. My income will be cut in half and so we won’t have a whole lot of disposable income.

Preparing for this baby has me feeling like I’m preparing for the coming long winter like our great great grandparents had done. There’s so much I need to get ready and plan for. I need to stockpile food and make sure I have things for the baby and for ourselves so we stay sane.

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I know we’ll be okay because I have faith that God will provide for us because he really truly has so far.  But I also need to be diligent in my preparation; I believe he provides but he doesn’t just give hand outs to those who just sit around asking for hand outs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so beyond excited to be able to spend that time with my baby and I will learn so many sufficiency skills but let’s be honest. I am STRESSED. Preparing for this is hard, and I might have a hint of understanding how my great grandparents had felt when preparing for their own winter.

Okay moving on!

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Okay so at the beginning of every season I always sit myself down, and make some goals for myself. It helps me get through a year without going crazy because it gives me a short term goal to focus on so I can actually achieve things that I want to do. It gives me a time frame in which to learn a skill or mark something off my “to-do list”. Sometimes I don’t always attain a goal (like I’ve been trying to cook at home 3 nights a week for seriously, the whole last year) but that’s where I give myself grace and keep it on the list and each season I get better 🙂 See my very first post with my goals HERE.

Looking back at what goals I had set for myself in Spring Beginnings, I can say I managed to do 2 out of my 3 goals. Sorta haha

  • I can honestly say I’ve cooked from scratch way more then I have in our almost two year marriage, can’t promise it was at least 3 times a week consistently.
  • I can also say that I minimized what was in my home, but I’m also still slowly working on that one. No rush on this one but as long as its done before the baby comes I’m happy. I’ve got a big pile of things that need to go to the thrift store and I’ve been slowly adding stuff to that pile.
  • I have not had the energy to really work on developing my waste management. I do try to reuse ziploc bags where I can and obviously continuing to recycle, but I really wanted to work on using less plastic so that’s something I will revisit in the fall, with research during the next couple months.

This summer I’m not really going to give myself any goals other then, take it easy.

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I want to relax this summer. Growing a human is hard so I need to be taking extra self care. I have this tendency to over stress about the future sometimes so my goal is to not do that. Ultimately, trust in God and let him carry us through this year.

Often times when I get stressed like this I’m always go, go, go. I’ve got all this stuff on a list that I need to finish as soon as I possibly can, but this summer I’m going to be more relaxed about that.

Like the baby’s room, I’m the type that needs it set up NOW. We’re taking our guest/storage room and we’ll be making it into the nursery. So before my parents came in March, I swear you couldn’t even get into this room it was just so full, I cleaned it up enough that they could sleep there. And then it took me until this week to finally get it empty enough that I was satisfied and that we could actually start setting up the nursery.

summer beginnings

This is just very unlike me but I’ve been impressed with my relaxed attitude and patience that I hope it carries out for the summer. I still have that list but I’m going to take my time with it and RELAX.

One other thing is that recently I’ve been doing a lot of looking into zero-waste lifestyles and sustainably shopping. I’ve looked into all sorts of things like eco-friendly laundry detergents, where to buy sustainable clothing, and going plastic free. Part of this is because in the coming fall, I might not find as much value in plastic wrap over meat or milk. So I’m learning ways on how can I make my stuff last longer and not feel so awful about throwing away a ziploc bag that I paid for (money going in the garbage). Another part is knowing that we’re doing at least a little damage to our earth, you can’t deny that, by polluting it with garbage that doesn’t break down for hundreds of years. I’m not trying to be a hippie or crunchy, but as a Christian I think we need to be stewards of the earth as well as good neighbors. 

So this Summer I am preparing, and relaxing, and researching. Winter is coming.

(sorry I really really really needed to sneak that in, we’re GOT fans)

 

Do you have any goals or plans for the summer? Let me know, by leaving me a comment!

If you want to read about my garden go HERE

dawn

Lemon Pepper Veggie Dip

It has been a sad rainy week here in the Fraser Valley, although I don’t mind 😉 It means I don’t have to water my garden and maybe the promise of a not too hot summer for my pregnant body? Anyone else feel the same? Probably not. Haha

lemon pepper dip recipe

Okay I promised in one of my last posts to share a veggie dip so here it is today! I’ve made this dip for other foods (mostly perogies, to be honest) and it was actually a perogie dip recipe that I’ve adapted. Originally it was based with sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and other spices but I made it a little simpler and quicker to make.  So I’m just gonna jump right in!

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Here’s what you’ll need…

lemon pepper veggie dip recipe

I use Olympic brand of Greek yogurt because they locally source the milk from BC and they also have really big tubs, also make sure it’s plain so you don’t get any conflicting flavours. And then I use Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper in a grinder and really I just guess and say it’s about a tablespoon amount.

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Now, just mix everything together in a bowl and it’s ready to serve! I’m serving this fresh cut veggies, even radishes from my garden!

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This dip goes really well with other foods like perogies, of course, but also BBQ chicken or steak, and roasted potatoes. It’s a great summer recipe because of the freshness the lemon adds. Also, by using Greek yogurt you have a little added protein to your plate.

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I love that it’s made from scratch, and it’s so simple and easy (If you regularly read my blog then you know I LOVE simple and easy).

This dip is healthier then using ranch dressing or any other type of store bought dip which can have hidden gross stuff, which isn’t good for healing your gut. The Greek yogurt and lemon juice have healthy tummy promoting bacteria! Just like a traditional diet should 🙂

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Give it a try and tell me what you think by leaving me a comment!

dawn

Simple Garden Update #1!

So I started my garden the end of March (with my parents help). We have been fortunate to be given a little area to garden by our landlords and I gotta say, I’m absolutely loving it! You can see how it started HERE!

As a kid, I always had to help my mom weed and pick beans or spinach and I hated it. I thought it was so boring and weeding was literally the worst thing ever. My parents had a huge garden and we always had home grown food.

Now I love going out to my little patch to water and weed. I don’t even mind the weeding anymore haha. Maybe it’s because this growth is mostly my own efforts; yeah sure I’ve had questions and difficulties so I’ve called my mom but it’s still all me doing the work. I love learning new skills and it’s so calming to just sit with my hands in the dirt, which I never thought I would ever say or even think! I appreciate this opportunity that I have to mini homestead in my little area.

This is it now…

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So far I’ve had to deal with some nasty weeds (horsetail) and a terrible mole uprooting a couple onions and beans! FYI solution for moles, (this was a tip from my parents) find the hole and shove some blackberry branches in there, haven’t had an issue since I did that! But I still don’t have a solution for horsetail so if you do let me know! If I don’t pull them weeds everyday they’ll take over my garden!

Here’s how my blackberry branches look shoved in the mole hole.mole remover

We also went away for a week and it didn’t rain much so they didn’t have a whole lot of water and when I got back they were looking pretty sad. But with a little plant food and regular watering they sprung back up. I’ve also got a stockpile of coffee grounds to sprinkle with that I’ll do later this week for a waste-free fertilizer.

I’ve already been able to harvest some beautiful radishes and will probably plant another row before July!

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Also, up until today I didn’t have proper garden markers so I made some real quick with Popsicle sticks that I had stashed away.

simple garden markers

And that’s the garden so far! I’ve been so happy with it’s progress and that I’m really learning self-sufficiency skills!

I’m going to be posting a veggie dip recipe soon, so watch for that. You can see that recipe HERE now!

If you have any thoughts (or tips for horsetail) leave me a comment!

dawn