Archive for March, 2012

With our crazy, busy lives these days, it’s nice to see a boxed, hand-wrapped gift.  I know I’m one to grab the cute gift bags and tissue as we’re out the door off to a birthday party.  But, I do appreciate a paper-wrapped gift tied with ribbon.

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating my step daughter’s 13th birthday.  I went with a pink, teal and black theme … gotta love that zebra wrap!!!  Natalie and I have used it on many presents with bright colored ribbon.

I love the narrow wired, sparkly ribbon in teal and pink.  I’ve used it on many packages and handmade cards (Michael’s).  And I love the teal & white cheetah wrap (HomeGoods).

Craft supplies can come in handy when wrapping presents.  We often make handmade gift tags using paper punches.

We never run out of ribbon at our house!  🙂

Happy wrapping!


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This weekend (March 9 – 11), Roger’s Gardens held a Tomato Mania event.  Tomato Mania is the world’s largest heirloom tomato seedling sale.  They have over 150 varieties of heirloom & hybrid tomatoes.  And there are many “tomato experts” to help guide you in your decision of varietals, fertilizer, soil, etc. for a successful tomato growing season.

Jeff is always looking for the best tomatoes to plant in our garden, so we went to Roger’s on Saturday.  WOW!!! I’ve never seen so many tomato plants!  And I’ve never seen so many people at Roger’s.

We asked one of the tomato experts if he could only get 3 or 4 tomatoes, which ones he would choose.  Here’s what he recommended (and what we purchased):

  • Sunny Goliath – yellow/gold, very sweet & juicy
  • Creme Brulee – deep carmel color with hints of red & chocolate, full-bodied flavor
  • Carbon – black, very flavorful
  • Green Zebra – yellow & green stripe with citrus flavor

As I walked by all the tomatoes, reading their descriptions, I kept thinking of all the wonderful summer dishes we’ll have this summer.  There’s nothing better than an heirloom caprese salad with home-grown tomatoes.

The checkout line took 40 minutes.  If you don’t mind missing the tomato lectures (Roger’s has a mini amphitheater for lectures), purchase your tomatoes when everyone is listening to the lectures.  It’s a much shorter line.

We kept running into friends on Saturday, so I wasn’t able to browse the rest of the gardens and snap very many photos.

At the checkout (in the Victory Garden area), they have beautiful displays of herbs.

For those of you in California, you can see where other Tomato Mania events are held by viewing their website.  Tomato Mania

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What did you do this weekend?  Here in So Cal, we had 80 degree days!  It was the perfect time to do some gardening.  My hubby and I tackled several outdoor projects that had been on our list for a while.

Project #1:  Replant the driveway planter

We have a sloped planter in between our walkway and driveway.  For the past few years, we’ve had Iceberg Floribunda Roses (white) and Pink Shrub Roses.

I was tired of the shrub roses.  In the summer, they get out of hand, requiring deadheading every few days.  So the hubby dug out the shrub roses and I planted Razzleberry Bushes (also known as Chinese Fringe Flowers) and Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha).

It doesn’t look like much now (a bit bare), but just give it a couple of months.  The Razzleberry blooms in spring and in fall.  The Mexican Sage has purple blooms most of the year in So Cal — and attracts hummingbirds and bees.

Project #2:  Re-pot Entry Pot

I have a potted spiral juniper tree that sits at our entry.   The tree was only 3 feet when I planted it years ago.  The pot was also black (to match the front doors), but has faded from intense sun.

As you can see, the juniper is now 5 feet tall, a bit out of control and hasn’t been pruned in a while.  Here’s the before picture …

It was quite a challenge getting the juniper out of that pot!!  It took 2 days of soaking … and brute strength from both of us!

Here’s my inspiration for the new plantings … a pot I saw at South Coast Plaza last month.

My pot is a LOT smaller than the one from my inspirational picture, so I scaled down.  I alternated yellow and purple primroses instead of using a double row of flowers around the tall grass.

I will add some ivy.  And then, I will try different methods of trying to turn the pot back to black.  Any ideas?  I can’t just spray paint it, as the pot does get too much sun.  The paint would peel off.

Project #3:  Re-plant my Herb Pots

I have 6 pots for herbs right outside my kitchen.  I planted herbs six years ago and some of them were in need of re-planting.   I planted sweet basil, several types of mint, a large pot of cilantro.  And, I pruned my oregano, parsley and tarragon.

This is what it will look like in a few months …

Overall, a very productive gardening weekend!  Hope yours was a great one!

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With St. Patick’s Day only 2 weeks away, have you added some touches of green in your home?

As far as home decor, I generally don’t do much for St. Patty’s Day.   I usually add a couple of green items to my entry table or a fireplace mantel, and that’s it.  I did pick up a shamrock wreath a few years ago at HomeGoods.  I usually hang it from our entry mirror.

Last year, I picked up a few green shamrock necklaces in the Target $1 bins.  I hang them from shell bottles and/or add them to silver trays … along with a few other items.

Here are a few other easy ideas to add a touch of St. Patty’s for your home…

You could make a St. Patrick’s Day banner – like the one seen here from Crafty Scrappy Happy.

Or, you could make a rag wreath from green fabrics – like this adorable wreath shown on Home Seasons.

And there are all kinds of cute printables that you can frame – for a very quick & inexpensive home decor item.  Check out Etsy for all kinds of printable art.

Have fun getting ready for St. Patty’s Day!

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