Archives for July 2014

Inspirational Quotes: Standards

Planting and Harvesting Garlic



I finally have garlic!  I planted garlic last year and had no success.  I decided to try again in the fall and look at these nice healthy garlic plants.  I planted onions in this space last year and they did great, so I decided to amend the soil with my homemade organic compost and plant the cloves in the same spot.  They loved it.  






I finally harvested the plants this week, and I’m quite pleased with the size of the bulbs.   Harvesting the bulbs required a little muscle.  The roots at the end of the bulbs run deep, so you must dig the bulbs out.  You can’t pull them out like onions.  Since this was my first year planting garlic, I didn’t realize how much muscle would be required.  


To avoid damaging the bulbs, I decided to remove the dirt until the entire bulb was exposed and I could get to the bottom of the bulb.  I used my garden shovel and my hands, please wear gloves, to remove the dirt until the bulb was exposed.  I than placed the shovel under the bulb and worked it until it became loose and than pulled it out.  Nice way to get an upper body work-out, lol.  


     
It’s amazing what can happen in 2 – 3 week in the garden.  I harvested the bulb on the right 3 weeks before the other plants.  You can see how much smaller it is than the other cloves, but it cured beautifully.  It’s ready to use.  I just need to cut off the roots and stem.  Some people braid their harvest, but I’m just going to store mine in a dish on the counter since it’s a small batch.  


I will allow the newly harvested bulbs to cure for 3 – 4 weeks.  Once it turns white and the covering is like paper, I’ll shake off the dirt, remove the roots and stem and than store it.  Some gardeners leave their harvest in the garden to cure, but I brought mine in the house and played them in a spot in the kitchen.  Stay tuned for a post on what it looks like after it has cured.  Do you plant garlic? How do you allow your plants to cure?

Printable First Day Of School Scrapbook Page

The first day of school is an exciting day for parents and our little ones.  It only happens once, so be sure to capture that memory.  Print our scrapbook layout and enjoy.  

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 44

     Welcome to the 44th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!

Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!
As you may know, Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic…and having fun! Link up your favorite posts and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother Blog

Rhonda
Rhonda is a single mom blogger from the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. She writes on parenting and family, home gardening, and her thoughts on life.
Stop by and check out her blog…it’s definitely a great read!
Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It’s only $5 for an entire month!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

 

(from the top – left to right)
TUT Hosts 7.20.04
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from 100lb Countdown | Becka from Probably Craftin | Kae from Where’s My Pacifier? | Margaret from The Mother Rising | Rachel from Craving Some Creativity | Cindy from Mom Maven | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly| Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Lisa from The ‘Fix It’ Stitch | Karen from Quinton Wench | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Katy from Chaos & Kiddos | Tenns from New Mama Diaries

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for July!

TUT Jul 2014

(from the top – left to right)
Katie from View From The Fridge | Elie from Organizer By Day | Ashley from 3 Little Greenwoods | Alycia from Crazily Normal | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom | Tara from Anything & Everything

Interested in being a guest host or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.  We’re now accepting guest hosts for August & September.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Alycia chose Marriage After Baby: How To Keep The Spark from All of Life’s Little Adventures. “I love this post by Tawnya because as a fairly new wife (3.5 years) and a new mama, I sometimes struggle with remembering to equally balance the two. Remembering that you were partners first and parents second is important. Keeping the spark alive will foster the growth of your family. She shares some great tips and great insight!”
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Karen chose Lovely Floral Garland from Designs by Miss Mandee. “Not only is this garland great, but you can make your own with the download option! Plus, the images can be used for so many other things, making it a versatile freebie.”
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Ashley chose The Style Friendly Man Chair Compromise from Bless’er House. “Lauren from Bless’er House was on the hunt for a Style Friendly Man Chair that would be a compromise between her desire for clean lines and her hubby’s need for ultimate comfort. After tons of research, you won’t believe what she found!”
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Victoria chose 6 Reasons Mom Lose Their Joy from Fruitful Families. “I chose this blog post because I can actually relate to what this blogger talks about. When you become a mom, you do love your kids but there are times when you lose your joy. I loved how this blogger kept it real in her post.”
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Katie chose Prisma Wall Decor : Knock Off from Delineate Your Dwelling. “I am a sucker for a good knock off, and this one is FABULOUS … And basically FREE! How’s that for a good combo?! Amy made this out of … Paper Straws and Bakers Twine (plus some gold spray paint)!! I just live the result!! Beautiful!”
Mean Girls
Katy chose How to Tell If Your Daughter is a “Mean Girl” from Barbie Bieber and Beyond – Raising Girls. “My daughter, Emily, writes on my blog about her experiences being bullied and admittedly, the resources available to those being bullied far outweigh the resources available to those doing the bullying. Encouraging parents to pay attention and consider whether or not their child is headed in the wrong direction and how to get them back on track is an important piece to the #stopbullying puzzle, and I appreciate her bringing it to light. It’s hard to admit as parents that our child might be a bully, but we have to be open to addressing these issues instead of ignoring them.”
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Jillian chose Finding inspiration in the face of writers block from Operation Home. “I chose this blog because as writers we have all suffered with writer’s block at one point or another, having these tips handy can help you overcome that block.”
Natasha also chose this post.  “These are some great tips to overcome writer’s block.  Since I’ve had my fair share this year, it is great to have a way to get through it.”
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Elie chose Trix Krispie Treats from MadeInADay.com. “These Trix Krispie Treats from Kim at Made In A Day look so delicious!! I wish I would’ve thought of these! Can’t wait to try them myself.”
Efficient Blogging
Tenns chose Efficient Blogging from Pastries, Pumps, and Pi.  “Such a great rundown of how to blog more efficiently! I think any blogging can appreciate and benefit from Tameka’s post. Its will thought out and thorough, and most importantly resourceful.”
Stacey also chose this post. “What a wonderful post! I, too, have several things that I would like to bring into my blogging…such as having more guest posts as well as becoming more frequent with posting and scheduling, and adding a few more things that I have learned from more seasoned bloggers to make my site better for my readers. Thank you so much for sharing!”
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Silvie chose Cherry Mint Water and More Infused Water Recipes from Little House Living. “I chose this post as my favorite because ever since I started my weight loss journey I’ve been using infused water to get past that bland taste in plain water and be able to drink more of it. After trying it I found that Merissa’s Cherry Mint infused water recipe is easy, and delicious!”
Jessica also chose this post. “I’ve always been a fan of infused water recipes since working at a casino in Las Vegas. Our spas always had them on hand for the guests and I, of couse, always wanted to drink them because they were so good and healthy for you! Merissa’s post brought back those yummy memories and included some recipes I will actually use today. Thanks for sharing!”
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Rhonda chose Vintage Wrought Iron Table and Chairs Redo from GrandParents Plus. “I love repurposing things. This blogger did a great with this make-over. The fabric selection makes the red and white pop, and it’s now a great spot to enjoy family and a beautiful view.”
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Rachel chose 8 Tips for better summer photos of your kids! Photos of Summer Friday, week 6 from Just A Touch of Crazy. “I chose this post because I feel like my son is growing up so fast and I want to capture all the fun and memories of childhood, especially summer. These tips are great for making those moments into beautiful memories.”
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The post with the most clicks is 5 things that will INSTANTLY help your blog… from After Eleven.
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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And the Best of the Best is…

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Marriage After Baby: How To Keep The Spark from All of Life’s Little Adventures
Efficient Blogging
Efficient Blogging from Pastries, Pumps, and Pi
As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!
Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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So now that you’ve met our sponsor of the month, our hosts and co-hosts, and the Featured and the Best of the Best…

let’s get started!

  • Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.
  • Link up as many posts as you’d like! The more, the merrier!
  • Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!
Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

Never miss another Turn It Up Tuesday! Sign up for reminder e-mails!

Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter’s board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Quote Me Sunday – Week 1



Welcome to the first week of Quote Me Sunday. I’m excited to be your host, and hope you will be inspired by the quotes you find. Lets discuss the rules and than we’ll have a little fun.  Please help me promote this new Link Up by grabbing my Quote Me Sunday button and placing it on your blog sidebar and on your social media sites. The more participants the better.  Please follow me on one of my social media sites before you leave:  Like my Facebook Page, Twitter,  Google+,  Pinterest, BlogLovin or subscribe/join my blog on the right before you leave. Feel free to browse my posts and leave a comment while you’re here.  

Next, link up your favorite quote and visit as many participants as you can to see what quotes they have posted this week. Our goal is to have fun, meet new bloggers and get inspired. Reading an inspirational quote is a great way to start the week. If you see one that touches you in some way, leave a comment on that person’s blog. If their blog content is of interest, start following them.    


You may link as many quotes as you like, but they must link back to your blog.  One quote per post please. Let us know if it’s an Inspirational, Advice, Leadership, Friendship etc. in the title area when you’re adding your post if possible. Someone may be seeking advice or having trouble and specifically seek out your quote. Thanks for joining us. Now lets link up and get inspired!  

Inspirational Quotes: Judgement

Printable Basketball Scrapbook Pages

Welcome to Part II of our Printable Sports Scrapbook Layout.  This week we’re featuring layouts for our little or not so little basketball stars.  Game On!  Print them and enjoy.  

Inspirational Quote: Set Yourself Free

How to Create Garden Compost From Leaves

gardening, garden compost, vegetable gardens



Having rich soil is essential in vegetable and flower gardens.  I started composting several years ago.  I have 2 compost bins that I use for kitchen scraps, yard cuttings, grass etc.  The compost bins weren’t breaking down fast enough for me, so I started composting my neighbor’s leaves.  I’m not sure that I will return to the compost bins after seeing the results of the composted leaves. I love how the leaves break down.  They’re easier to compost and they don’t require any work unlike the compost bins.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips too.

Just leave the leaves in lawn bags and let them do their thing.  My neighbor brings me 15 – 20 bags each fall.  I use them to mulch the garden in the fall to keep the weeds down in the spring until I’m ready to till.  The top picture is a bag that I use around my garden plants as mulch.  This year I created paths in the garden to keep the weeds down with them. Normally I use straw, but I didn’t purchase any this year so I had to use my leaves.

 
Here’s a picture of a bag that has broken down into black gold.  Every gardener wishes for black gold. This bag is beautiful and full of worms. It took a year for the leaves to break down to this state, but it is so worth it. The compost in the bins isn’t close to being this rich after 3 years.  I must say that I have not given the bins the attention that they require.  Compost bins must be heated up by using a certain amount of greens and browns, such as cuttings from the lawn, leaves, kitchen scrapes, newspaper, etc. It also requires water and turning.  My bags of leaves just require storage space, and nature does its thing. The longer you leave them, the more they break down.
Because I have 5 – 10 bags of black gold for the next year’s garden, the other bags can sit and decompose this year.  You can have black gold too. Stop burning those leaves and find a spot for them to decompose.  It’s easy:
1.  Remove large sticks, pine cones etc. from the leaves.
2.  Use inexpensive lawn bags to house them.  I purchase cheap ones from the Dollar Store.
3.  Crumble the leaves as much as you can while placing them in the bag.  Because my neighbor gives me her leaves, I have to open the bags and crumble them myself.  If you have kids let them crumble them.  It gets them involved in gardening.
4.  Wet the crumbled leaves thoroughly, seal the bag and place it in a spot where they won’t be disturbed. I use a stick and punch a few holes in the bag so it will get water from the rain and snow during the winter months.
 
Finally, I hope that you found the post on garden compost beneficial.  So, just remember that composted leaves will enrich your soil and help produce nice flowers and vegetables. You can either till it into the garden or place a scoop into the hole before adding your plant. I’m going to add more of this compost around my established plants this week.  I use a small hand trowel to dig the compost into the soil around the plant. Finally, if you use this method make sure you don’t dig too deep.  Digging too deep may damage the roots or the plant.  Most importantly, the compost is organic and it’s free.

Inspirational Quote: Never Quit