Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cinnamon and Vanilla Bagels

My latest kitchen adventure is bread, and I was utterly thrilled with how these bagels turned out.  They have that good, hearty carb kick, (we are heading into Winter after all) but practically no fat and very little sugar.  I'll be honest with you - these bagels were so good I considered keeping the recipe a family secret to be passed from generation to generation, but I've never been one to keep a good thing to myself, so here you go...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Supplement Regime

Wow, it's been a while, huh? Things with work have been a bit crazy as I finally launched eSkills. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but that's a topic for my work-related blog. What I have been pleasantly surprised at it how my health has stood up through this period of intense stress. I put this down largely to my supplement regime, which I have tweaked steadily for the past six months. It's one of the things that people ask me about most, so here is the breakdown of what I take and why.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Update

Mystery bulbs are flourishing!
The toughest gardening challenge I have faced so far this year has been finding the patience to accept that this is a new, large garden and will inevitably take time to get established.  Part of this is waiting for plants to flourish, and part is waiting for my own familiarity with the garden to become useful.

Perhaps the biggest surprise over winter and early Spring was how poorly the garden performed. When I moved  in, I was over the moon with such a vast expanse of rich soil, well laid out beds and all protected by high brick walls.  A far cry from the sand, rocky, exposed garden I had before.  And yet my old garden defied the odds, becoming one of the most spectacular in the neighbourhood, with surprisingly little interference from me beyond planting and weeding.

Perhaps the problem is that I don't yet know what the problems are.

Pansies, cyclamen, primroses... all vanished. :(
There are several mysteries still shrouding the lack of growth and blooms this Spring, such as..

What is digging up and eating my bulbs?
What happened to my cyclamen??
Why didn't my crocus bulbs come up?
What ate my primroses and pansies?
Why did my azalea bloom in January??
Despite being rich soil, is it not draining when the water table is high?
What in the world are all those bulbs, sprouting leaves even when discarded on the suface?
Is the soil in the shaded bed too cold over winter to support even winter-hardy perennials?

I guess time will tell, but my oh my, finding patience to wait and see instead of whipping out the credit card on a mass plant buying spree is tough!

It wasn't all bad though; the irises that burst through were pure jewels.

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY Plant Markers {Blog Love}

My little seedlings are almost ready for planting on, but sadly, I am at a loss as to the best place to plant them since my DIY plant markers made from old shampoo bottles ended up a blurry mess.  (The marker pen turned out to be simple felt tip, and no match for my eager watering!)  Here are some MUCH better ideas, courtesy of some of my favourite gardening blogs.

Hand paint some rocks. Especially ideal for me since I have a habit of picking up nice looking rocks on our walks.   Via http://whimsy-girl.blogspot.com/2008/07/rock-on.html

These are super simple! You can buy blank lollypop sticks in most craft shops... or just use the project as an excuse to slurp away on your favourite ice lolly in summer.  Via http://blog.imaginechildhood.com/imagine-childhood/2009/05/rainy-day-any-day-plant-markers.html

How cute are these?  A bit more labour intensive than other ideas, but lovely to get your child involved. Via http://lobstermonkey.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/04/garden-markers.html

These are one of my favourites, however the orange juice containers that they used aren't that common in the UK.   (You can find the twist-and-pop dough containers in some bigger supermarkets.)  Via http://lobstermonkey.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/04/garden-markers.html

These aluminium markers were made with recycled drinks cans.  Yay!  I love my recycling.  I have some lovely pinking shears and paper die cut punches, so I think I can do something really pretty with this idea. Plus I like the fact there is no paint or pen involved, thereby cutting down on chemical use.  Via http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-durable-plant-markers/

These lovely corks were shared from Shine Your Light Blog

Got an idea I missed?  Share in the comments. :)