How To Harden Off Garden Seedlings


My seedlings have germinated and are thriving.  I had a 90% successful germination rate.  All starters have been re-potted to larger pots, but for now they’re still under the grow lights.  I plan to start hardening them off this week.  


My herbs, oregano, dill, cilantro and basil germinated.  All of my tomato seeds germinated, which is unusual for me.  I usually lose a few.  This year, I allowed then to stay in the starter pots longer.  I think this method allowed the roots to get stronger before I re-potted them.  I save pots from the garden center when I purchase my flowers and reuse them for my vegetable plants the next season.  My squash, watermelon, peppers and zucchini germinated as well.  I’m looking forward to a great growing season.  

The plants are ready to be hardened off.  What is hardening  off?  It’s where you expose your plants to the elements gradually.  First, I sit them outside for a few hours in the shade.  The next move is to gradually expose them to the sun and longer hours outside, and than I leave them out overnight.  Once they get used to the temperatures, I leave them out until I’m ready to plant them in the garden.  


I have about 20 plants ready for the garden.  I estimate that I have $5.00 in seeds this year.  I would never be able to purchase 20 plants from a nursery or garden center for $5.00 and another $3.00 for potting soil, which I will also use in other areas of the garden.  I will direct seed the cucumbers and green beans.  


This week I will work on getting the manure in the garden and having it tilled. I should have the plants in by the end of the month.  Stay tuned for future posts.  






                                                                   

Inspirational Quotes: Clean Out Your Closet

A Heartfelt Recognition of a Single Mother

Did you see Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder’s acceptance speech for the NBA MVP award?  If you didn’t, you should.  I’m not a big NBA fan, but I am familiar with most of the players as I come from a family of sports addicts.  Yes, I called them sports addicts.  ESPN is their friend and if I want to be around my family I have to endure.  My grandson wanted these shoes, KDs as he calls them, so I purchased a pair for him.  I’m glad I did, Kevin Durant is a man of true character and a great role model for our youth.  



I watched Kevin Durant’s speech while getting dressed yesterday and it had me in tears.  It had me in tears for several reasons:  1) I was watching a man who came from nothing to be one of the most successful players in the NBA accept the MVP award and 2) He contributed his success to his teammates, family, but most importantly his single mother.  

It affected me in several ways, but I think the biggest was the fact that his success was another example of a son raised by a single mom who went on to do great things both on the court and in his community.  It also affected me because it was another example for single mothers to use as inspiration to keep moving forward because you can successfully raise your children too.  


During the speech he recalled watching his mother struggle to put a roof over his and his brother’s heads.  He talked about how she went to bed hungry because she made sure they got enough.  He recalled their first apartment that had no beds or furniture, but they were happy because they had each other.  He recalled his mom making him do push ups, run up hills and yell at him from the sidelines during his sporting events.  Most importantly, he considered her to be the real MVP for the sacrifices that she made raising him.      


I was literally in tears as I watched his mother fight back tears while he was speaking to her during his acceptance.  It was one of the most heartfelt speeches that I have ever witnessed.  I understand the struggle of a single mother trying to do the best for her children and sacrificing so they can have enough and at times the best.  I know how difficult it is to have to work, educate them, keep them off the streets and build a strong foundation for them so they can have a future.  I have seen a lot of athletes or people for that matter recognize their mother, but I have to say that it’s far and few that recognize mom in the manner that he did.  What a great Mother’s Day gift.  


Your children will follow your lead.  Wanda Pratt, Kevin’s mother, talked abut how her mother told her that it was time for her to move out of her house and make it on her own.  It was tough love, but it made her determined to raise her children on her own and give them a good life.  Single mothers, this is what I’m talking about, you must set priorities, become independent and be an example for your children.  Nobody owes you anything, you must make your mark in the world. Becoming educated and independent is empowering.  With hard work and dedication, you too can raise your children successfully.     

Lupita Nyong’o Redefining Beautiful

America has a new image of what is beautiful!  Yes, a dark skin African American woman is gracing the cover of People Magazine.  It’s quite refreshing for me as an African American woman to see Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o taking her place among the likes of Julia Roberts , Cindy Crawford and Halle Berry.  I will always remember how beautiful she looked on the red carpet for the Golden Globes.  I thought the color of her dress against her skin color was breath taking.   (See Lupita in the bottom picture). 

Unfortunately,  women of color are rarely seen as beautiful. Like it or not, this is the truth.  Sure we’ve had Vanessa Williams and Halle Berry, but never a woman who is the color of milk chocolate and has natural hair, a wide nose and full lips.  I don’t purchase People Magazine, but I will purchase this particular issue.  I want my granddaughter to know that she can be seen as beautiful and not have blond hair, blue eyes and white skin.  Not that I don’t see women who have these attributes as beautiful, it’s important that our daughters have roles models in all colors, shapes and occupations too and we need to start promoting more of them.  After all this is America.  A melting pot of diverse people.   

 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but as an African American we struggle to find beauty within ourselves.  We never see it on television and we rarely see it in magazines or books.  I think Lupita summed it up nicely, she said she first equated beauty with what she saw on television too, “Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” She says. “Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”  Her statement couldn’t be more true.  It starts to affect your self-esteem and who you are.  You start thinking that you will never have those attributes, so you must be ugly, unlovable and the list goes on.  

I decided that I would work on  my granddaughter’s self-esteem early as I did with my daughter.  I told my daughter that she must constantly tell Zarriah that she is beautiful and praise her regularly.  She must grow up to be confident in herself just in case the world doesn’t see her that way.  If you’re not a woman of color, you may not be able to relate to this; however, it is an important issue for mothers and grandmothers of color who are raising daughters and granddaughters. 



I was elated when I found out Lupita will also be promoting Lancome Paris products.  I spend tons of money on Lancome as it is my make-up of choice, so it’s nice to see the Brand reaching out to a more diverse clientele.  We have a long way to go in this country in defining what is beautiful, but we’re off to a nice start.  

Photos courtesy of People Magazine

Inspirational Quotes: A Walk In My Shoes

11 Manners You Should Teach Your Child

manners, parenting,

Do you believe children today have less respect for elders and using manners is of no importance? I have found that excuse me, thank you, and please don’t seem to be a part of our children’s vocabulary these days. When did we lose this value? Teens have either cut in front of me or reached across me and never uttered a word.

When I was raising my daughter, manners were important. Good manners will take our children a long way.  I have been baffled about some children’s interaction with their parents on various occasions.  I have heard children call their parents by their first name, yell at them, just be downright disrespectful and the parent took no action.

Manners are taught and they should be taught at home. Along with manners comes respect. Instilling manners is a sign of respect for your parents and your upbringing as well as respect for yourself.  Who wants to be around rude and impolite children. These rude and impolite children will grow up to be rude and impolite adults. Here are a few tips to get your child on the road to respect and being polite:

 

  1. Please and Thank You. When you ask your child to pick up their toys, get ready for their bath etc. say please. When your child abides say thank you. Children learn by example.
  2. Yes Ma’am and Yes Sir. This is extremely important, especially when they are responding to seniors.
  3. Say Hello or Hi when you introduce them to friends, co-workers, church members or you have visitors in your home.
  4. Share toys, treats etc. when playing with friends or siblings.
  5. To Not Interrupt adult conversations unless it is an emergency.
  6. Table Manners. This will be important when you’re dining out or invited to a friend’s home or family gathering during the holidays. Your child needs to understand that they can not play with their food, slurp, burp, or create games with their eating utensils. If a burp does arise, teach them to say excuse me.
  7. Excuse Me when they need to pass in front of an adult or get around them.
  8. Be Positive – Say nice things about other people.
  9. Wash Their Hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before meals. Also, teach them to wipe their hand on a towel and not on their clothes. Teaching them to use hand sanitizer is a good idea when soap and water is not available.
  10. Wipe their nose with a tissue and not their hands. Also, picking their nose is improper.
  11. Respect  – Showing respect toward adults and others.  Demonstrate respect and your children will mimic you.

Using patience with your child is a must while teaching them manners. They won’t learn overnight, so it’s important that you remind them of the importance of manners often. As they get older and they have mastered the basics, you can instill other values.

You may also like Teaching Your Child Responsibilities

When You’re At A Crossroad – Listen to Your Instinct

Do you know the difference between intellect and
instinct?  I hear you grumbling, who doesn’t know that right.  Our intellect
is information that we have gathered and retained over the course of years;
however, our instinct is what drives us to put that information to use.  Bishop T.D. Jakes says “Your intellect tells you to load the gun, your instinct tells you to pull the trigger”.  

Most of us ignore our
instinct better known as  a “gut feeling”.
 You know that funny feeling that you get
about something or someone.  Sometimes our
instinct tells us when something could possibly be wrong, but it also tells us
when something could be right.  So many
times we end up in bad relationships or miss out on opportunities because we ignored
our gut feeling.  When we look back, we
realize all the signs were there.  We
stomp and get angry because we ignored what saw or heard and tell ourselves
over and over, I should have listed to my gut. 

Your instinct could lead you to your passion or better yet
your destiny.  At this point in my life,
I’m not sure if I have arrived at my destiny, but I have arrived at quite a few
of my passions.  I have arrived in a much
calmer place and I’m able to see things clearer.  I arrived here because I learned to listen to my instinct and than connect to my intellect.  Once I
connected to my intellect and instinct, I learned to sit still and think about
what I’m feeling and why.  Know that
you’re feeling some kind of way for a reason. 
Think about what you may have seen or hear or if you’re happy, sad or
fearful.   

Because I’m now in tune intellectually and emotionally, I
have learned to remove myself from unhealthy relationships.  I have learned to say no, I need to take care
of me and not feel guilty.  Here’s how I
learned to empower myself:  

1. I learned that what someone else is doing may not be my destiny.  I have learned to use my creativity and make things work for me in my way and style.

2. I thought about what I liked and what I wanted to do.  This helped me to develop a map and determine the roads that I needed to take to arrive at my passions.  I am still working on my destiny.  

3. I started asking questions and answering them honestly.   This
will help you decide what direction you should go in.  You may need to leave a relationship, company
or situation and at the very least change some things in your life. 



4.  If you’re not feeling good about your relationship, job or whatever you’re involved in you may need to reassess it.  Don’t second guess yourself, it’s your institution talking to you.  You should be happy or have a feeling of satisfaction about what you’re doing or involved in.  If not, why do it or stay in.     

Photo courtesy of stockvault.net

Turn It Up Tuesday – Week 33 #turnituptuesday

Welcome to the 33rd 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!

New Opportunity!

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!

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Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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And welcome our awesome guest hosts for May!

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

Then complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.  We’re now accepting guest hosts for June and July.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Rhonda chose A Great Day, An Amazing Year – A Journey from Illness to Health and Happiness from Our Little House In the Country. “This post was my favorite this week because it demonstrated how our life can change in a split second. This blogger went from what seemed to be a healthy life, a career outside the home, 2 children and a husband into a fight for her life. As a result of an unforeseen illness, she was put into a position of working for an entire year to regain her health. She has fight her way back and now has a new set of priorities. She is now working to stay healthy and enjoying a career as a stay at home mom. This post demonstrates perseverance and a new outlook on life.”
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Cindy chose 9 Useful Graduation Gifts Under $25 from Earning & Save with Sarah Fuller. “I usually give gift cards for graduation but I am always afraid they will be spent on something frivolous instead of something that is really needed. In her post Sarah gives some great ideas that almost any graduate will need.”
Pay Pal on blog
April chose How to Set Up Advertising on Your Blog Using Pay Pal from Barbie Bieber & Beyond – Raising Girls. “A lot of bloggers are looking to advertise on their site and having an easy option is useful. Did you know you can use Paypal? If not, you should definitely check out this how to!”
This post also received the most clicks this week.
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Carolyn chose 4 Things You Should Know About Living With a 3 year old from Just A Touch of Crazy. “I thought it was really insightful and honest.”
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Angel chose Mother’s Day Curly Paper Hyacinths from Purple Hues and Me. “I love that these flowers were so easy to make and really lovely when completed. My girls and I can make these together.”
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Juanita chose What I Made Yesterday is Wordless Wednesday from Oh My Heartsie Girl. “As a long time knitter, I am always in awe of how versatile crochet is. I have only recently begun to crochet, and these are so super cute. I want to give them a go.”
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Rachel chose Blogging Drives Me Crazy from LadyBlogger. “I love how honest and real this post is!”
Lorna also chose this post. “I completely relate to this post!”
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Jillian chose Blog Monetization from Snippets of Inspiration. “I chose this post because as a mom trying to monetize my blog as much as possible, so that I can eventually be a stay at home mom, this post gave me some great new places to look for that financial support.”
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Stacey chose I Hate you and I don’t even Know you from Living in Mommywood. “When I was growing up, I heard many of the old judgments against others that didn’t sit well with me. I have tried as a mom to leave such things where they belong…in the past. I raise my kids to show care and respect to all people, no matter who they are. I also allow them to blossom in their own thoughts and wants by simply guiding them with honesty and love. Great post!”
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Natasha chose A Rant About TV, and 15 Better Uses of Your Time from My Salt, His Light. “Love this post! I feel the exact same way – television has definitely changed in recent years, and not for the better, but for the worse. I look forward to seeing more positive programming in the years to come. Great post!”
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
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And the Best of the Best is…

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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!
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Just one more thing…

SUMMER GIVEAWAY
Epic Mommy Adventures is hosting a $500 summer giveaway called “So Happy It’s Summer Giveaway!”
Everyone has had a grueling winter, and it’s time to celebrate the coming of summer! We need some great bloggers to join the fun and to promote this awesome giveaway!

 

So now that you’ve seen the Featured and the Best of the Best, met our hosts and co-hosts, and heard more about a Big Summer Giveaway…

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!
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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!

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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.

Is Your Child A Cyber Bully



Why aren’t more parents monitoring what their children are doing on-line?  The answer most parents give is because they are intimidated by the computer.  They lack computer skills, don’t have a smart phone and they really aren’t interested in learning how to use one.  As parents, we must be involved in what’s happening in our child’s life, especially in the age of modern technology.  From one mother to another, I think it’s imperative that we get involved in our children’s activities and stop thinking they’re doing the right thing and don’t need to be monitored.  

As parents we all want to think that we’ve raising angels and our children know right from wrong.  We’re shocked when we get a call to come into the school for inappropriate behavior from our child, when we receive a call from jail to bail them out or the cop knocks on the door to deliver bad news.  We all think that these things couldn’t possibly happen to us, these situations happen in other people’s homes.  So why should we concern ourselves.  How many times have you heard, my child would never do that!

I can give you a few reasons.  Did you hear about the Florida teens, 15 and 16, that were arrested for setting up a phony Facebook page that was X-rated several years ago.  They were charged with pasting the face of a school mate, whom they didn’t like, on a nude body and filled the page with foul language.  They thought it was a joke. They were charged with felony stalking.    


How about the young lady that committed suicide last year because she was bullied.  We must overcome our fears.  A blogger recently experienced cyber bullying with her daughter.  As a matter of fact her blog was down for most of a day because it was hacked. Bullying is real, and it wrecks havoc on families.  A teen in my neighborhood committed suicide a few years ago.  If we as a parents won’t face our fears, how do we encourage our children to face theirs?  


Here are a few suggestions on how to overcome the fear of the computer and how you can get involved to help stop cyber bullying:

  • If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy, take a class or better yet get your child to teach you.  They love showing off their computer skills.  
  • Ask questions about your child’s friends and what’s happening in their life.  Follow them on sites popular with teens and make sure you have access to their accounts.  
  • Ask other parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers to stay involved with your children on-line.  We can’t monitor our children 24/7, but you can recruit family and friends to assist.  It takes a village to raise a child.    
  • Computer etiquette starts at home.  Have conversations with your child or children on what’s appropriate or inappropriate to put on-line.  If they’re minors, you’re in control and you need to let them know you’re ruling the roost.  They must follow rules that you have set for on-line activities.   
  • Discuss the consequences of cyber stalking and the legalities of posting inappropriate posts. It’s illegal and the consequences are certainly worth a conversation with your child. 

Do you see the importance of keeping up with your child?  Better yet stay in front of them so you can lead.  If you can’t stay in front of them stay beside them.  Taking a class is cheaper than paying a lawyer to get your child out of a felony for on-line harassment or other effects from bullying.  Would love to know your thoughts on this post and how you monitor your child’s on-line activities.    


You may also like:     15 Tips to Detect If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Photo compliments of www.stockvault.net

Unplug and Play Book Review

Looking for a way to spend family time unplugged?  Check out Unplug and Play by Brad Berger.  The book is filled with 50 games that don’t require electricity.  We have reached the age of modern technology, and we spend most of our free time on the Internet playing games, texting, or on social media.  It is true, we are loosing our connection to family and friends unless it’s on an electrical device.


I was asked to review this book and jumped at the opportunity.  I still play board and card games with my grandchildren, but I thought it would be nice to have access to games other than Candy Land, Trouble, Old Maid etc.  I must admit, I don’t usually play games when I’m hanging out with friends and family.  So I truly thought the book could be beneficial.    


I’ll start with an overview first. The book is filled with 50 games that can be played with various age groups for a variety of events. The book includes games in the matching, memory, puzzles, strategy, bluff, and who can respond the quickest category, which can be played during family time, parties or other social gatherings.  


When I first browsed the book, I found it rather confusing.  Since I was in the comfort of my home I was able to return to it easily and give it a second chance.  I found the content overwhelming.  I didn’t know where to start in deciding why I would purchase the book except for the fact that you didn’t have to be on a computer to play it.  The cover showed various age groups playing together, but the book isn’t broken down by age group.  I had to basically review the entire book to determine which of the 50 games I could use.  I wouldn’t have time for that while shopping.  It would have gone back on the shelf.  I’m just not one to spend my money unless I’m certain of the purchase no matter how big or small.  


I returned to the book a few days later and decided that I would look for games that I could play on Girl’s Night and games that I could play with my grandchildren.   I found 2 games out of 50 that intrigued me.  


Who Am I – Each person lists 20 famous people and you place the names in a hat or bowl, whatever you have handy.  Each person takes turns drawing  a name and than gives a one – three word hint on who the person is.  For example, Vivian Leigh.  The hint would be Scarlett.  If a person gets the correct answer they earn 30 points.  If not, another hint would be Miss Scarlett. They would earn 20 points.  Three hints 10 points.  


Movie Match – In this game you make two columns, Movies and the second column the Actor/Actress.  You match the movie with the actor/actress.  The first person or team who matches all 20 wins.  


My grandchildren are 6 and 2, so playing these games with them was out unless I really manipulated them.  I decided to play both of the games when I hosted Girl’s Night and we had a ball playing them.  Besides the fact that you only need a pen and pencil to play the games, I really can’t find many pros for this book.  I would recommend browsing it if you come across it in a store you may have a different opinion and may have family members that a older and can play the games; however, for me only finding 2 out of 50 games useful, I would not purchase it.  I will play Who Am I and Movie Match again.  I loved them. 


Note:  I was provided a copy of this book for review; however, the opinions are my own.