Monday, September 7, 2015

End of Summer Harvest


This was taken a couple weeks ago, and is probably one of the last harvests from our garden this season. It was unusually hot, and our tomato crop was amazing. The green beans are just ready now. I haven't cooked them up yet, but I'm looking forward to it!


We didn't plant the zucchini and squash in the sunniest location so they didn't do too well, but lesson learned. On the other hand, we had blind luck with the sage. It's supposedly hard to grow from seed, but we got plenty growing.


Fresh vegetables and fruit from the garden are so good. They are a lot of work, but it's really soothing working in the garden, so we'll do it again next season!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quick Crafts: Painted Cork Mousepads


It's hard squeezing in time for crafts with a demanding baby that doesn't like to nap, so I've been getting my crafty fix in short bursts of a few minutes here and there. This hardly counts as a tutorial. These mousepads are so easy that the hardest part is picking out a color combination you like.

1. Cut mousepad shapes from cork. To round the edges you can trace the edge of a cup or bottle. Next, use painters tape to create a design.

2. Paint each section a different color. I did three coats of each colour because cork is porous and I wanted them to be highly saturated.

3. Peel off tape when paint is dry.

Optional: Brush on a couple coats of sealer for smoother mousing. Use a permanent marker, or paint to colour the edges of your mousepads. 

That's it! It's amazing that this feels like such an accomplishment. Getting 10 minutes here and there to be creative? As much as I love my baby, I've missed having a little time to myself. Even 10 minutes is a gift. Look for more of these quick crafts in the future! At least, when I manage to squeeze out a little time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Recipe: Melon Cream Popsicles

Have you ever tried Melona? It's a Korean popsicle brand. I've been craving them like mad, but I can't do dairy at the moment, because the baby's got a sensitivity. (That also means ice cream is out *weeps*) SO what's a girl to do but try to recreate the taste dairy free?

My first try was a fail. They look pretty, but I added lime zest into the mix and it overpowered the melon. The popsicles were also a little too icy for my tastes.

So I tried again with honeydew melon. The taste was close but the texture was too pulpy for my taste.

The third try was the charm. The trick is to strain the melon before freezing it. However, if you want extra fibre in your diet, this step is totally unnecessary.

It doesn't get much simpler than three ingredients.

Melon Cream Popsicles


  • 3 cups melon (2 if you aren't straining)
  • 2 tbsp honey (more or less depending on the ripeness of your fruit)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk beverage / milk / cream (cream would make this especially decadent)
  1. Blend the melon.
  2. Strain it through a mesh sieve.
  3. Mix with honey and milk.
  4. Freeze 1 hour, insert sticks, and freeze at least 4 more hours.
I told you it was an obsession. At least I'm getting my fruit servings for the day! It's practically health food!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Here's the latest update!

Things are looking better out there. The lettuce has come and gone. Now the other plants are growing fast. We have a few tomatoes growing. Still green but there's enough summer heat left for them to ripen.

The lavender has been resuscitated from near death. It's amazing how many bees and butterflies it attracts.

There are tiny tiny cucumbers on this vine and plenty more flowers. It seems to gain an inch or three daily.

And here's a giant pot of lime basil and sweet basil. I spilled some parsley in there too. Oops. I'm harvesting it already.

The raspberries and currants are done. Now I'm still waiting for blueberries and grapes. There's jam in my future.

Surprised how much I'm enjoying gardening. Plants are like really low key pets. I haven't named them but it makes me smile when they grow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Recipe: Strawberry Papaya Popsicles

Happy Canada Day! In honour of the occasion we have appropriately red popsicles to nom.

These popsicles are even easier than the last batch. A little bit of rum to the mix, and then you'd have strawberry daiquiri on a stick! These are intensely strawberry flavoured, and my favourite so far.

Strawberry Papaya Popsicles

  • 1.5 cups strawberries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup papaya
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk beverage or cream or yogurt
  • Liquid sweetener to taste* ie. honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, simple syrup
  1. Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the fruit, mix, and leave in fridge to macerate for 24 hours.
  2. Pour all ingredients into a food processor or blender, then pour into moulds.
  3. Freeze one hour, add sticks, then freeze another 4 - 6 hours.
*I added 1/4 cup corn syrup because it has a neutral flavour. You may need more or less sweetener depending on the ripeness of your fruits. More sweetener also results in a less icy popsicle. You want it a little sweeter than you prefer because freezing dulls the sweetness.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Recipe: Mango Coconut Popsicles

Home made popsicles are my latest obsession. In part it's because they're so quick to make! If you can make a smoothie, you can make a popsicle.

In the height of laziness, I spooned in the mango, then coconut milk, then added more mango on top. I skipped waiting for layers to freeze! I like the way it looks all marbled and sunny. It's a tropical beach on a stick.

Mango Coconut Popsicles


  • 2 cups canned mango pulp (I used Kesar brand)*
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp water or coconut milk beverage
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • honey to taste
  1. Mix honey in mango pulp. Freezing dulls sweetness so a little extra helps.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix coconut milk, water, vanilla extract, and honey to taste.
  3. Pour half the mango pulp mix into your popsicle molds. 
  4. Pour the coconut mix into your molds on top of the mango pulp.
  5. Pour the rest of the mango pulp mix on top.
  6. Freeze one hour, insert sticks, and freeze at least 4 hours more.
* You can also throw fresh mango into your blender if you don't have pulp available, but it's extra work!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Garden Update

We've done some more planting and some of the seeds we planted have sprouted!

There's lettuce and if you look closely, some of the cucumber seeds have popped up near the trellis.

There are some tiny tomato and pepper plants beside the currant bush. Hopefully they'll grow fast enough so we can have a harvest this year.

We cut back the apple tree because it was neglected and diseased. It's doing much better this year. I was worried we wouldn't be able to revive it.

And the herbs have me most excited! Tiny oregano and thyme in the first planter. Tarragon and sage in the second.  Sadly I only see one sage sprout! I'm hoping the others are just slower to germinate. At least that's one?

And we planted an obscene amount of basil in 2 varieties. I'm not sure if those sprouts are basil or weeds though.

So far no sign of beans, zucchini, chives or parsley! Hope we didn't plant them too late.

Crafty Minute: Macrame Plant Hanger

I've got my hands full these days but had a hankering for a snack sized crafty episode. This plant hanger took about 10 minutes and assembly was nothing more than making a bunch of knots.

There are a plethora of tutorials for these online. Super simple! All you need at minimum is a potted plant and some rope or cord. I attached mine to a metal loop for easier hanging.

I always thought hanging planters like this were made for inside but I needed an outdoor solution because this poor plant wasn't happy where it was. It's still recovering but I think it will do better here and be less sad. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Our Garden

I've been so excited to finally have a garden space! The weather warmed up so we planted some herbs, fruit, and vegetables. 

Here are shots before anything has sprouted.

Here are herb pots on the balcony. There's thyme, oregano, sage, and tarragon.

We planted some cucumber by the trellis.   We might plant some tomato when it's warmer.

This spot is a little shadier. There's pole beans, zucchini, parsley and chives. Two kinds of basil in the big pot.

I'll keep you updated on how it goes! My fingers are crossed that we'll have a good harvest this summer.

Armchair Slipcovers

This was the last sewing project I had on my list to do before baby arrived. Amazingly, the day after I finished sewing them, I ended up going into labor! 

The construction consisted of pinning and hoping for the best. I think they turned out alright! I used some faded old linen drapes for the fabric and like the way it matches the dining table set.

I've already got some splashes of soy sauce and baby drool on them so I'm glad to have them! I can just pop them in the wash without worrying.

Posts will be a little irregular for a while. We're still getting used to being parents for the first time! It's crazy, exhausting, but also a really wonderful thing.