1
How to Pill a Cat (Without Bleeding)
2
Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich
3
Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?
4
Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
5
How’s Baby Bofinkles Doing? She’s living the Goodlife!
6
RoC Skin Care Giveaway Worth $143!
7
Childhood Summers at the Jersey Shore
8
Square Foot Gardening With Kids GIVEAWAY, How to Build a Box
9
Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
10
How To Get Your Containers Ready for Spring + Hardening Off Seedlings
11
Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
12
Lorena Garcia Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Review
13
Want to See Puerto Rico?
14
Let’s Plant Some Sugar Snap Peas!
15
How to Get Cat Lady Nails
16
Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
17
Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes
18
What’s Happening Under Those Greenhouses?
19
Happy Birthday Grumpy Cat!
20
Mid Week Chat With Some Light & Airy Sugar Cookies

How to Pill a Cat (Without Bleeding)

You’re standing at the vet and they tell you that your cats need to go on medicine.  Ok, no big deal, I’ll just mix it in their food.  Then they tell you the medicine only comes in pill form.  Big deal, you start falling to the floor, sobbing and crying “I’m going to die!”.    For anyone who’s ever had to pill a cat,  this is probably a situation you can relate to.   It’s very rare that a cat will take a pill willingly with a smile,  so sometimes you have to figure out Plan B… and then Plan C, Plan D, Plan E when everything else fails.

Many of you guys expressed how hard pilling was for you in the Bofinkles post so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to talk about techniques I use for all our critters.   We have 4 cats and every single one of them needs to be pilled a different way. I’m not lying.    So with that, I have done so much research,  so many trials, so much crying to find what works for each of them.   Down below I’m going to discuss all 4 ways we use in hopes that one of them will relate to your cat and help you.

First, some news.   For some of you that follow me on Instagam you might have seen there have been a few trips to the Vet in the last few weeks. All these trips started when Goblin arrived. Right away we noticed Goblin was a bit itchy to the point of where he was scratching himself causing cuts.  Because Brother had ringworm year ago when we brought him home, we had a feeling Goblin did too, but upon the first Vet visit they didn’t recommend this at all so I didn’t want to step on anyones toes.  So then Bofinkles got sick.  And then Goblin started to lose a little hair around his ears and continued to itch.  Then I got ringworm on my leg (I call it a love mark).  Then I took Goblin back to the vet and I said to them “I think it’s Ringworm!”.  They did a black light test but didn’t see anything but I knew the scabs on his ear were totally ringworm as they were the exact same scabs that Brother had.  So  then they took a skin culture and we had to wait 2 weeks.  Well not even 1 week in the vet called and confirmed, Goblin had ringworm. 

When we had Brother we quarantined him for 45 days in our bedroom.  It was quite a ordeal because we had to protect Essy who was a senior and not let Xanadu into the room who is the most curious cat in the world.  Instead of doing the whole quarantine situation the vet recommended that we just give all the cats 1 month of ringworm medicine to both treat Goblin while making sure the other cats don’t get it.  This will allow them to all live together, continue their wrestling and just be normal… while receiving 1 pill a day.

Ringworm is a bit of a bummer in terms of you have to work to defeat it, but it’s something that’s totally treatable so if your cat ever gets it, don’t worry.  For example, Goblin has ringworm but you would not tell in terms of eating or personality. He eats like a hungry man and plays like a crazy man.   And and he’s a giant cuddle bug.. I’m in love!
Goblin Floor

Ringworm spores are common at shelters so don’t freak out if you bring home a cat and you find out weeks later it has ringworm. This  happened to us with both Goblin and Brother, but 1-2 months of treatment is worth the world in terms of making your cat healthy, loving it and growing old with it.  

So with 4 cats that now needed to take their daily Fluconazole pill, let’s get to pilling them!

First, take a deep breath. It’s totally going to be ok.  I know at first it might suck and you might get defeated, but you’ll figure it out.  Even when your cat scratches you, bites you, makes a meow like it is dying (its not) just know you have to work hard to get that pill into your cat, it’s important, so don’t give up.  Once you figure out what technique works for your cat then you’ll be smooth sailing (ok, maybe not smooth, but you’ll be calmer.. and your cat too).

The 4 ways that we have to do to pill our cats:
Goblin, hiding in soft food.  EASY.
Bofinkles, hiding in a treat with pill pocket.  EASY.
Brother, turning pill into powder and rubbing on fur.  MEDIUM, BUT PERFECT FOR THE MOST DIFFICULT CAT.
Xanadu, inserting pill into mouth by hand. MEDIUM-DIFFICULT.

So let’s start with the easy ways.  These are both sneaky and if your cat can fall for them I’m so happy for you!

#1:  HIDING PILL IN SOFT FOOD
If a cat sees or smells a pill, it might be stubborn to eat the food, even when it’s laid on top of yummy soft food.   But if a cat really loves wet food and you can hide it in some strong smelling wet food then you’re likely to succeed.
So just throw your pill (or pills) whole in some soft food, then put a little bit of the food on top to hide it.
Ways to Pill A Cat_6
Your cat will eat it right up and be licking it’s lips for minutes after.  And even better, it will think that you are really nice by giving it soft food which will result in kisses.
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 #2 HIDING PILL IN PILL POCKET WITH TREATS
Many people have had success with Pill Pockets but our cats think they are gross.  Have you ever smelled a Pill Pocket? It smells pretty bad and nothing like food, so one sniff of it and your cat might be like “No thanks”.   Miss FiFi Bofinkles loves treats, she will ravish you for treats, she will knock other cats out of the way for treats, so going the pill pocket/treat route totally works for her.  And even after she eats the horrible tasting pill pocket, she still looks at me and says “Can I have another treat mom?”
So what you need: Feline Pill Pockets, delicious treats (like Friskies) and your pill.
Ways to Pill A Cat_2

First step, put it in the pill pocket.  It doesn’t look appetizing, does it?
Second step, because the pill pocket is soft and sticky, push treats into the top of it.   Bofinkles usually picks one treat up which results in the entire pocket being lifted up, so she just eats one giant treat and loves every minute of it.
Ways to Pill A Cat_3

If your cat loves treats, this might be the best way for you.  FiFi Bofinkles approves after eating her big “boat treat” (What I named it).
Ways to Pill A Cat_5

#3 TURN PILL INTO POWDER AND RUB INTO FUR
Let’s first talk Brother, he’s a big Maine coon, with giant claws and abs of steel.  He’s made multiple vets bleed, thrown their needles across the room, to the point of noone can clip his claws.   With all that aside, Brother Bear is a giant sweetheart, a gentle giant, but he just doesn’t like to be forced to do things and he hates the vet.  Really hates it.  When he was a baby we had to wrap him up in the blanket method to get him to take a pill, but he was really pissed off and we would get scratched and bitten so bad.  It’s really amazing how strong a cat can be when it’s angry. So now years later and  many workout sessions to get stronger, we knew the blanket method was just not going to work.  During the first night I thought Matthew could hold him and I could open his mouth with my hands and insert the pill straight into his mouth.   Hahahaha, I was so wrong.  While trying to get the pill into his mouth he bit down on my thumb so hard, bruising the entire nail making my thumb unusable for days. This is how it looks a week later,  what a love bite, right?
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So enter the powder + rubbing on fur method.  This is hands down the messiest method, but for us it’s the only way we can pill Brother.  By crushing your pills up into powder (make sure your vet says this is ok) then you have a easier base to work with.    Even when we crush his pills up and put it into soft food, he can smell it and will turn away, so you have to be really sneaky with this trick.     
First step, crush up a pill with the bottom of a spoon. I know this picture looks like we live in a drug den, but Officer I swear this is for my cat!
Ways to Pill A Cat

Step 2, dip your finger in some Vaseline, then rub into the pill powder.  Depending on how many pills you are giving, or the size, you might have to do this a few times. I also tried dipping my finger in cat food gravy and butter, but the Vaseline sticks better.   Vaseline is often used for hairballs, so it’s safe to use for your cats, but only use a small amount for getting the powder to stick. 
Ways to Pill A Cat_1

Then find your cat, you want it to be standing up preferably.   With your dipped finger, wipe the sticky mixture onto their leg/paw.  Often I will have to do this a few times as once you do the first smear your cat will know what’s up. Almost immediately your cat will be disgusted by the mess on it’s leg and will clean it up.  If you have more powder to swipe on then smear it on the opposite leg while they are cleaning their other one.   You’ll receive some glares but your cat will be sure to clean the other mess up right away too.  
Ways to Pill A Cat_8

And just like that, your difficult cat will take it’s medicine.  Once it’s done cleaning, there will be no real mess left on it.
Ways to Pill A Cat_9

#4 INSERTING PILL BY HAND INTO MOUTH
For this method, you need your cat to trust you.  Also after the first time you surprise your cat with this, every time you pick up your cat to do this again it will know what’s up, so  expect a chase once the pills come out.  Xanadu is our Siamese and she’s paranoid about the world and incredibly cautious, so we have to do this manually by hand.  I’ve given Xanadu liquid medicines by hand so I have it down pretty solid on how to open her mouth and get it done. In fact, I do this to Xanadu by myself, so there’s a lot of trust built up between us… but she still hates it every single time.
Step 1, get your pill.  You can put the pill in your hand but I find using a pill gun so much easier as it’s skinny to fit into your cats mouth and then shoot it into the back of the throat.  This means no fiddling around with the pill in the front of the cat’s mouth.   I bought this at my local pet store for $4 and it’s worth millions in tears.
Ways to Pill A Cat_10

Step 2.  Get your cat and hold it tight between your legs.  I do this by myself, so while holding her between my thighs, I reach around with one hand to open the mouth while holding the pill gun with the other.  
Ways to Pill A Cat_11

Then I open her mouth wide, keeping my finger there to make sure it stays open.  With the pill gun, I stick it into her mouth and shoot the pill into the back of her throat.
Ways to Pill A Cat_12

Immediately after the pill is shot in, I drop the gun onto the floor and close her mouth.   While holding her head up (to swallow), I blow on her nose softly while rubbing her throat with  my fingers.  Both the blowing and the rubbing will cause your cat to swallow, causing the pill to go down with it.  
Ways to Pill A Cat_13

You can see your cat swallow by it’s neck, so after 2 swallows I release her knowing the pill went down and we’re safe.
Ways to Pill A Cat_14

Then I reward her in kisses, hugs and treats and tell her we’ll never do that again (I lie, I’m a horrible Mother I know).

So that’s how we pill our 4 cats! I hope this helps you some in the future!

Do you have any pilling stories with your pets?

Broccoli Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 Today we’re going to give a makeover to our favorite childhood sandwich, The Grilled Cheese.

As a kid I would beg my Mom to make Grilled Cheese sandwiches for lunch and dinner.  When I wasn’t asking her to make them, I was ordering them at the diner served alongside a big spoonful of mashed potatoes.  Did you ever have grilled cheese and mashed potatoes? It’s the perfect combo, especially if there’s a bunch of gravy poured over your potatoes.

One night we were craving something different for dinner but wanted to use up some fresh broccoli we picked that was growing under the greenhouse.   After a quick broccoli roast, these sandwiches were made and enjoyed… very quickly!  Immediately after finishing his Matthew said “I want another!”.  Me too man, me too.

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Baked Kale Meatballs and Is it Spring? Are you sure?

It’s Spring, right?  Are you sure?  I mean snow and sleet storms happen when it was just 75 degrees a few days ago, right?  Wait.  What is going on?

Spring was here.  The sunshine was blasting.  I had my sunglasses on and short sleeves.  I was planning picnics in the park.  I was ready to get the tomatoes outside.  I was excited for walks for ice cream.  I took my mittens out of my bookbag.  Winter coat? No way, that was packed away.

Then Tuesday night came.  We were on our way home from the last regular season home Brooklyn Nets game (note: The Knicks killed us, but who cares, we’re going to the playoffs unlike you Knicks) when suddenly it just started sleeting and snowing.  We’re talking sleet that comes down and cuts you in the face.  We’re talking a storm where you get home and you have to throw your clothes right in the washer because you’re soaked.  We’re talking weather where there’s no way of not looking like a wet dog (note: I do not look cute like a dog does.  I look like a monster).  This all happened…. in Mid April!

So immediately worries set in for the garden.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Kale, Onions and more were already planted.   We were historically set to not go below freezing again and we were definitely set for not having snow again until Winter.  Then Mother Nature had to go out and have a bad day…

There’s not  much you can do to protect a garden in mid storm.  Yes, you can brave the sleet while getting soaked to throw on some fabric to protect them from the freezing temperatures (which is what we did), but there comes a time where you just have to hope the plants are going to be ok and just leave them be.    The wait is the worst feeling.    During the next morning we ventured to the roof to find our peas in snow, with more fabric being pressed into the plants due to snow weight on top.  

garden

garden

The kale didn’t look good.  The lettuce didn’t look great.  The sugar snap peas looked frozen.  The onions were knocked over.. but it was too early to tell as they still needed some afternoon sun to bounce back.
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_2

One thing was certain though, the kale had to be picked. If you guys remember, this kale was planted last Summer (!) and it somehow survived Winter (!) so in terms of how long it’s been planted, it was a real true survivor.  I was a bit bummed that this freak storm was the one to finally destroy it, but time was not on it’s side. Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_1

Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_4

So with my winter coat on with a somber heart (I’m so dramatic, I know) I picked all 6 kale plants.  These kale plants really grew fantastically and even though they were destroyed by the weather, it was close to time to pick them anyways as they were starting to flower.   I got pounds of kale off these plants and my entire bottom shelf of the refrigerator is now full of kale. 
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_3

But first I had to take a dramatic photo of me with my baby kale and title it “Kale Mother” to post on Instagram.  I love my friend Avery’s comment: PAMALEESI: MOTHER OF KALES
“Kale Mother”, the story of a mother losing her kale plants in a freak sleet snow storm during Spring of 2014 when it was 70 degrees a few days ago.  #kale #rip #mother #artphotography #art #documentary #gardenchat #bluehair #manicpanic  #rooftop #NYC #Br

 

How did the other plants do after they thawed out? We think everything is ok.  A few leaves got burned by the frost, but the lettuce bounced back beautifully and the peas are still standing tall (alongside the onions).    Let’s take a collective sigh of relief as it could have been a real disaster with months of seedling planning ruined.   I guess we had a little luck saved! 

So now with a ton of kale.. what are we going to do?  I wanted to make something right away so I could use up a few full cups of kale, as I get a little stressed with too much kale!  We love our kale turkey meatballs, especially on a hoagie,  so I decided to make a double batch and put a spin on this recipe with mixing the meats.  This was the perfect solution because I got 1 dinner that night out of it, and 2-3 extra dinners to freeze.  Lately we’ve been craving meatballs with pasta but we’re too lazy to make them when hunger hits, so now they’re all ready to be eaten (after being defrosted!)

So let’s make some meatballs! First the kale was picked.  But first I had to weigh in. This year I’m going to keep track of how much we grow to see.  I’ve been telling myself to do this every year but this year I’m going to do it! (I hope..)
Kale, Sleet Snow Storm April 2014_6

 In my other meatballs recipe I usually pan fry them but I didn’t feel like babysitting them so I decided to bake them instead.   I loaded 2 cookie sheets full of meatballs!
Baked Kale Meatballs

These meatballs turned out beautifully! They were crisp on the outside, moist in the inside and full of flavor.    These might be some of the best meatballs I ever made so I was happy to see them made alongside our garden kale.  Having a bit of homegrown in every meal always makes it better, right?    Also these are going to make your home smell great.  When someone walked in our front door about 2 hours after baking they said “It smells so good in here!”.  It totally did.

Baked Kale Meatballs _1

Baked Kale Meatballs _2

Baked Kale Meatballs _4

Baked Kale Meatballs _3

 To freeze them, I separate them into meals and put in a freezer bag.  When it’s time to enjoy them, I’ll let them sit out for a bit to defrost, then warm them up to eat, or throw in a pot to cook alongside the pasta sauce.

Baked Kale Meatballs

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Baked Kale Meatballs
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 cups uncooked chopped fresh kale
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 1 pound ground beef
  4. 2 pinches each of dried rosemary, parsley and oregano
  5. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 6 cloves garlic
  7. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add kale and spices. Cook until your kale is wilted.
  2. Put kale mixture and garlic into a food processor and chop it up. Add your turkey and egg and pulse until it's combined. Depending on food processor size you might have to do 2 batches.
  3. Form this mixture into 1-2 inch balls.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  6. Put meatballs on foil and cook 35-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
Notes
  1. Makes 30 meatballs.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Have a great weekend everyone!
How’s the weather where you are?  Is it finally Spring?

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

In this recipe, we’re going to go farm to table by picking fresh garden carrots and making delicious carrot cake donuts!

This Winter we got very lucky with our carrots.  We didn’t have high hopes for them but upon one Spring cleanup day we were surprised to find pounds of carrots hiding under the soil waiting for us to find them.  It was a giant surprise and it created some giant garden smiles

Aren’t they just beauties?  I just can’t get enough of fresh carrots.  There’s nothing like the taste of a carrot that was just picked.  Sometimes I nibble on one as soon as I pick it, I just can’t help myself.  So I took the carrots down to the kitchen and pondered… What to make?  I was craving carrots for dinner so I made some brown sugar glazed carrots that were delicious but I wanted to make a dessert with them too.  
Carrot Cake Donuts

I had a real craving for carrot cake but I didn’t have everything on hand.  Then I thought to myself: DONUTS!  Then I thought..

CARROT CAKE DONUTS!

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts

These donuts taste just like carrot cake with a sweet sugary glaze on top.  Think of a bakery glazed donut + a carrot cake…. all as fresh as possible.   The freshness of the carrots really make these donuts something special and you really get a nice taste of the carrots with the sweetness of the donuts.  

These donuts are definitely a keeper in my garden notebook now. I can’t wait for our next carrot harvest to make (and devour!) some more Carrot Cake Donuts!

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Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts_2

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts_1

Carrot Cake Donuts_1

Glazed Carrot Cake Donuts
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice
  3. 1/4 cup melted butter
  4. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. ¼ teaspoon allspice
  12. 1 ¼ cup shredded carrots
For the glaze
  1. 2 tablespoons milk
  2. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  3. 1 cups confectioners powdered sugar
For the donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg in large bowl. Add orange juice, butter, vanilla and sugar, beat well.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice and mix till moistened.
  4. Gently fold in shredded carrots.
  5. Fill donut pan up.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes.
For the glaze
  1. Combine milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Stir in confectioners powdered sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat and dip each donut into glaze.
  4. Set on rack until cool enough to eat.
Notes
  1. Makes 12 donuts.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
These would make a great treat for this Easter.   What bunny would say no to carrots in donut form?
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How’s Baby Bofinkles Doing? She’s living the Goodlife!

collectivebias

I have a shocker for you.  Are you ready?  I’m a cat lady! I know, you’re surprised and totally weren’t expecting it! I mean the cat nails, the cat clothing, the cat section on BFG, the cats in my banner up top, how my Instagram is full of our furry babies, how I really don’t want to talk politics at a dinner party but instead tell you the cutest thing that Brother Bear did last week , and how I’d love to talk brownies and cat food at the same time weren’t a giveaway to you, right?

I want to thank everyone for their well wishes on Baby Bofinkles a few weeks ago when she was feeling under the weather.   After a few days, she still wasn’t feeling that great, but then the Vet gave us a appetite stimulant and another G/I pill and she was back to being her fine bodacious bikini wearing self again.   Want to know a quick story? Ok, you do.  When Bofinkles was sick and wasn’t eating, I was pretty distraught.  She just would not eat anything and I started getting nervous.  After a rough phone call with her vet, I sat on the floor and cried pretty hard because I was frustrated and beyond worried as it was 3 whole days with no food.  As soon as I started crying, Bofinkles hopped down, rushed over to me, put her head on my shoulder and gave me the sweetest head butts.  Then she pushed my arm over and layed down in the nook where we stayed for a while after.  It was pretty heart warming as I think she understood how worried I was and she was saying “I’m Ok Mom”.  She was also probably saying “Get this lady to stop crying, I’m trying to sleep”.

This is a great place to talk about pilling your cats, have you ever tried?  Well you’re reading this so you’ve lived through it, but what a struggle right?  Xanadu is easy to do anything to, but Bofinkles and Brother… they are another story.  After many failed attempts, me crying on the floor begging for Bofinkles to take her pill, her running away from me every single time, we finally worked out a technique.  They sell pill poppers for pets, which is just a little pill gun, where you open their mouth and it shoots into the back the of their mouth.  After you shoot it in, then close their mouth, gently blow on their nose and gently rub their throat.  The air from the blowing and the soft caress from your throat rubs will cause them to swallow the pill.  Then tell them you love them, you’ll never pill them again, and then prepare yourself to do it again 12 or 24 hours later.  Bofinkles is a real Mama’s girl and is keen on biting Matthew so I actually pilled Bofinkles myself which I was pretty impressed by because the little lady from the South sure has got some spice in that attitude.  

I told FiFi Bofinkles how many people were sending her good wishes and asking about her.  I asked her if she could thank you guys and show you that she’s better.  This is how the conversation went.

Baby Bofinkles Update
Hey Bofinkles, you should tell everyone how you’re feeling and thank your new friends.

Baby Bofinkles Update_1
“What? Is it time for kiss?”

Baby Bofinkles Update_2
No Bofinkles, I want you to type something up.

Baby Bofinkles Update_3
Bofinkles, that’s not how you type.

Baby Bofinkles Update_4
Ok, Bofinkles that is not how you type either.

Baby Bofinkles Update_5
Ok, Bofinkles I’ll type it up. No Bofinkles, my hand is there to type, not support your head for the next 45 minutes.

Baby Bofinkles Update_6
Ok Bofinkles, one quick belly rub and then you have to type something up.

Baby Bofinkles Update_7
Oh Bofinkles.. you’re being silly and trying to get out of doing work aren’t you?

Baby Bofinkles Update_9
No Bofinkles, it’s not time for a treat, sit back down.  

Baby Bofinkles Update_8
No, not lay down and go to sleep.  Bofinkles, we really have to write something up.

Baby Bofinkles Update_11
Good girl, thank you! Now let me take a look at what you wrote.

Baby Bofinkles Update_12
Bofinkles! That is not what I was thinking…

Baby Bofinkles Update_10
“Just write it mom.  I’m tired!”.

Baby Bofinkles Update_13
And when you’re done writing, let me taste that pretzel you have in your hand.  Bring it a little closer.

Bofinks Mama Girl
What a girl Bofinkles.. What a girl.

Anyways, Bofinkles wanted me to tell you THANK YOU! She’s feeling much much better! 

One that that is really important to me is keeping our cats healthy.   This year has been pretty rough with losing Essy, and then multiple trips to the Vet for sicknesses, but it’s all worth it knowing your cat is going to be ok.   If you ever fear your cat is sick, take it to the vet and double check.   You’re the best person who knows when your cat is acting different and I’m sure your kitty means the world to you, so always be safe!  Another thing is important (almost the most!)  is keeping the cats on a good diet,  including a food that is good for them.  That’s why I want to introduce GOODLIFE™ cat food to you guys (and your cats!).

Take a look at this chart comparing GOODLIFE™ food to the other top brands.  Their #1 ingredient is chicken or salmon (strong muscles!) and includes a no corn, no soy, no wheat recipe.  
Goodlife-Comparison-Chart

Oh and the taste… it’s delicious.  Don’t trust me on this, just shake a bag and watch the kitties run over! Thanks to #goodlifepet and #CollectiveBias for the introduction to this!
good-life3

good-life2

You can find GOODLIFE™ cat food at Walmart and make sure to print out the $1 coupon!  Mine was on the top shelf so make sure you look for it there if you can’t find it.  Then get your muscles ready to lift a bag down! 
good-life

 

Tell me..
Does your cat ever sleep on your keyboard and you just give in, do no work, eat a brownie and just watch them sleep? 

RoC Skin Care Giveaway Worth $143!

 collectivebias

Who’s ready for a beauty post?  Who’s ready for a beauty giveaway? Me too!  In this post I’m giving away a prize pack of RoC Brand Skin Care products worth $143!  You’re going to love it! 

The Giveaway includes:
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Eye Cream
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Sensitive Eye Cream
RoC® MULTI CORREXION® 5 in 1 Eye Cream
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Serum

That’s $143.94 worth of RoC products! 

Giveaway

The contest is over, Congrats Natalie!

Contest Rules:
Only open to U.S residents over the age of 18.
Prize pack cannot be shipped to a PO Box so alternate address will have to be given.
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Make sure to enter here and enter a few ways… more chances to win! 

Are you in NYC and looking for a fun evening on May 1st?  Then stop by the “Walk the Aisle” event where you will get detailed tips from NYC NYC dermatologists and health experts.  They will discuss the RoC® product benefits and anti-aging/skin care.   The event is open to the public so stop by… and find me and say hi too!  

Location: 40 Wall St., New York, NY 10005 (between Wall and William)

Not in NYC? Don’t worry! Besides this awesome giveaway that I hope you’re entering, check out the #Eyes4NYC #CollectiveBias Twitter Party on April 24th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST.  

 Now go enter the giveaway!

Childhood Summers at the Jersey Shore

This post brought to you by New Jersey’s Division of Travel & Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.

Every single summer until I moved away to college we celebrated our family vacation in Wildwood, NJ.  If you’ve been to Wildwood then you know how great it is, and if you haven’t, let me just tell you – it’s a fun place.

I have so many memories from these summer vacations including when my parents let me first go the boardwalk alone during the afternoon and I spent all my summer vacation money I saved up on getting my hair braided in colorful string, to waking up early to find seashells on the beach to hiding summer romances from my parents.    Whenever I think of Wildwood, NJ I think of good times.

Look at how stylish I was as a kid.

New Jersey was hit hard during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.  I remember seeing so many awful photos of the piers and boardwalks where I spent so many nights as a kid totally destroyed.  A year and a half later though New Jersey is “Stronger than the Storm” and the Jersey Shore is Going Strong making progress in rebuilding with their community.

If you haven’t been to the Jersey shore I think it would be a amazing weekend getaway from the city.  The boardwalks are full of quirky shops, delicious foods (funnel cakes and caramel apples!) and so many adventure seeking things to do. We often took a boat out that jetted across the Atlantic Ocean while stopping to look lovingly at dolphins.  I loved these adventures so much!  I always talk to Matthew about taking him to the Jersey shore so he can experience it.  I wonder how the Marlane Motel, the Shamrock Café and the Haunted Castle Boat Ride are doing, those were my favorite places as a kid.  There is always so much going on along the 130 miles of the Jersey Shore – festivals, concerts and plenty of foodie events!e

Other things to enjoy in New Jersey:

Family fun – aquariums, zoos, museums, science centers, national parks, amusement parks and more!

Remember I went to Medieval Times a few weeks ago?

Or how about a fun trip to Six Flags? We go on summer trips with plenty of friends.  What makes a trip to Six Flags even better: fanny packs and neon shirts!

Outdoor Adventure:  Hikes, Waterways and plenty of coastline.

Arts – Theater, Performing Arts, Concerts and top notch culinary delights.

Shopping – Designer to discount, trendy to quirky, there’s shops, outlet malls and plenty of flea markets!

Columbus, New Jersey has my favorite flea market that I can’t wait to visit this Spring! Here’s a past post about a trip there.  I found this dish there once for $2, what a life hightlight:

Have you ever visited the Jersey Shore? Tell me about in the comments!

If you haven’t start making your summer plans now and discover New Jersey!

Follow the Shore on:
Visit NJGoingStrong.com for your go to source everything Jersey Shore!

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Square Foot Gardening With Kids GIVEAWAY, How to Build a Box

I think it’s pretty cool when parents introduce kids to gardening at a young age.  

Did you garden as a kid?  My dad was big on rose bushes and tomato plants.  Those tomato plants in our garden were huge and were his highlight in the summer time.  I remember the tomato plants would grow so tall we couldn’t see out the kitchen window but Dad said we didn’t have to see out the window.     Matthew was a big gardener as a kid as well, he got a wheelbarrow for his 8th birthday – how’s that for dedication? 

Look at how proud I am of my first pumpkin I ever grew:

Because of being exposed to growing vegetables as a kid, this was a main reason on why we started our own rooftop garden.  We were nostalgic for growing our own, and our childhood brought back happy memories with these plants.    What’s even better than the memories is just the knowledge you learn when you garden.  You learn how things are grown and you start to respect food and the environment a whole lot more.  Grow a tomato and throw it in the trash? I think not.  Grow a watermelon on a roof and let it go to waste? Over my dead body.

I was recently sent the new book, Square Foot Gardening with Kids and pretty much fell in love with it. I have no kids, but whenever any kid in our building seems excited on the roof about what we grow, I immediately turn into garden teacher and tell them they should start their own garden box.   With supervision, there’s really no age that’s too young to start.  Imagine spending a weekend afternoon with your family, building a box, where you guys are going to plant seeds to grow food you can enjoy for dinner?  It doesn’t get cooler than this.

The book is really well done and has so many diagrams, activities and explanations that will keep a curious kid busy for days.  I also want to say this is a great book for adults as well as it covers basics that every gardener has to deal with.  It also has some great details per how many vegetables growing per foot,  how to build a greenhouse, what mixes are best, etc.  When I showed Matthew the book he sat here and told me this was his ultimate dream book when he was a kid.  So if you buy it, you’re going to get a great book for your kids and you!

Want to learn more? Well lucky you, I’m giving away 1 copy of Square Foot Gardening With Kids! Be sure to enter multiple ways for multiple chances to win!

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SFG-Kids-Cover

Want to build a box? Here’s step by step instructions for you and your family.

Building Together:

Build A Box 2

Making Your own SFG Box
For most kids, building their own SFG box is the point when the garden physically takes shape. They see up close where all their plants will live and grow. And by building their own box, they learn a little something about independence and achievement. Of course, a lot of kids are just going to be excited because they get to work with tools and build something!

Building your SFG box is a great opportunity to teach kids about using power tools [or any other tools] safely.

The Materials
Start the great big SFG box adventure with the materials the child will use to build the box. And, wow, there are a lot of possibilities. They are all possibilities for learning as well. The SFG box can be built out of just about any material as long as it meets certain restrictions. First and most important: the material cannot contain anything that might contaminate the soil and get into the plants growing there. That means paint or preservatives used to treat wood, or oil-based paints on metal or bricks are no-nos. Even though you can use many different materials, most people choose wood for good reasons. Wood is a natural, replaceable material, it’s easy to work with, easy to find, inexpensive, and looks good too. But the kids should have some ideas about what they want to use, and it’s a good chance to discuss building materials.

Start with what an SFG box must be. We want our box to be:

• 3 feet x 3 feet.

• Square.

• 6 inches deep.

• Durable.

• Portable, if we want to move it later.

• Nice to look at.

So with all that in mind, let’s ask a few questions about what might be the best material for our SFG boxes.

• Why is wood a good choice for the SFG box?

• What other materials could we use?

• What about glass? Could you use glass for the box? Why or why not?

• What about metals? What different types of metals are there? Which would be best for a box and why? Where would we find those metals? What would be some of the challenges in using metals?

• What about bricks or concrete blocks? What would be good or bad about using bricks or concrete blocks?

Let them discuss all the pros and cons about what to use to build their boxes, but generally, wood is going to work best. So the instructions that follow are geared to using wood for a child’s box.

 

Rules
1. We only work with tools when an adult is there to supervise.

2. Children and adults always wear the appropriate safety gear: safety glasses, a dust mask, gloves, and work clothes [including shoes with enclosed toes].

3. Only use tools that are in good condition. No splitting or rotting tool handles, drills with frayed cords, or other poorly maintained tools. Always check that your tools are in proper working order before using them.

4.   No working with people who are tired or cranky! You can always come back and do the project after naptime or tomorrow [that includes parents too!].

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Putting the Box Together
Now that your child has gathered the materials he or she will need, it’s time to get organized and get building that SFG box. If you’re like most parents and teachers, you’ve discovered that kids love nothing better than to work with tools, just like a grown up. So this part of the SFG process is especially fun for the little ones. The engineer in me likes it because it shows children how things go together. If you have ever seen an adult mess up the simple instructions for assembling a bookcase or a kitchen table, you know how important this life skill can be! Let’s get started with a few safety rules to make sure this is a happy experience for everyone.

Setting Up a Work Site
Set up your work site as close as possible to where your child’s SFG box will ultimately go. The best place is a flat level surface with lots of room to move around. With children, it’s always a good idea to make an actual staging area. This can be a driveway, a tarp laid out on the grass, or even a large piece of plywood or cardboard. The idea is to keep tools and materials in one place while you work, because sometimes in all the excitement of building something, youngsters can misplace tools. We wouldn’t want Dad losing his favorite screwdriver, would we? Collect all the materials you’ll need for the project and organize them in the staging area. For the wood box we’ll be building, you’ll need the following:

• 4 boards, 3 feet long x 6 inches wide (should be I or 2 inches thick)

• 4 pieces of lath, 3 feet long

• A pencil

• Cordless drill and bits

• 12 deck screws

• I roll of landscape fabric (see if you can buy a piece just 3 feet long at a garden center, or a pre-fab SFG box kit usually comes with the weed fabric and grid)

How to build your own Box
Actually building the box is simple once you’ve collected all the proper tools and materials.

1. Have the child stack the four boards, one on top of the other. Now help them hold one board perpendicular, on its edge, at the end of the stack. This board is used to mark the overlap width. Mark the width of the board along the ends of each of the other boards.

2. With the boards stacked up and aligned, pull each one out in order and drill three pilot holes for screws, spaced evenly from edge to edge. If you are using 1x wood stock [actual thickness is ¾, draw a reference line 3/8ths” from the end of the board to help align your screw holes. For 2x stock [actual thickness 1 ½ “) draw the center reference lines ¾ ” in from the ends. Drill three or four pilot holes at each corner. For standard deck screws, use a drill bit that’s about 1/16 diameter.

3. Hold or clamp the boards together, overlapping each successive corner. Drive deck screws into the predrilled holes until the screw heads are just slightly below the surface of the wood.

Build A Box 5

4.  Add the box bottom.  Sometimes, a child’s SFG box will need to be portable. Maybe it will need to be moved between a schoolyard and home at the end of the school year, or maybe your child will want to take the box with them her when visits grandma and grandpa for a month-long summer vacation. Not to worry; any SFG box can be made portable.

Most kids can easily add a bottom by cutting a piece of 5/8-inch plywood to match the outside dimensions of the box. Your child may need some help to screw the bottom to the side boards of the box—use a drill with a screwhead bit and 2-inch deck screws. The child will also need to drill a .-inch drainage hole in the center of every square foot, and an extra one in each corner of the box. The bottom is also necessary if your child wants to place the box on a patio or deck or put it up on an outdoor tabletop.

5.  Build your grid.

Have the youngster mark each piece for cutting (measure twice, cut once—another important lesson).

Rather than using dad’s circular saw or table saw to cut the pieces, have the child cut the pieces with a handsaw. What did we just save for the environment?  Yes, the electricity. This will also teach them how to use a simple crosscut handsaw, rather than dealing with the danger and cost of a power tool.

Lay the lath in place across the box (there may be a little measuring here to make sure each square is the same size, in case the inside box measurements aren’t exactly the same all around), and help your child drill guide holes slightly larger than the diameter of the bolts being used to join the lath pieces where the pieces cross.

Use tiny nuts and bolts or special pins you can find at the lumber store to put in the holes and hold the grid together. We did remember those bolts on the shopping trip, right?

Above was a excerpt From Square Foot Gardening with Kids By Mel Bartholomew.  

Be sure to enter my contest up above!  Do all the entries for more chances to win!

Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese

“Hey quick, come over and check out this béchamel sauce” I yelled to Matthew.
“What?” he responded.
“Get over here, you have to check out this sauce.  It’s so beautiful!” I demanded.  Nicely.
Begrudgingly he arrived at the stove.  “What?”
“What? Did you just what this sauce? Look at it!”.  
“What?”
Am I married to a man who can’t see and appreciate the beauty of this white sauce?  “What?  What again?  Look at it! Look at how beautifully the milk has cooked making it oh so creamy.”
He nods.
“Get out of here.  Right now! No sauce for you!”

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_6

Sometimes other people just can’t see the beauty in things, but what are you going to do?

I am obsessed with the béchamel sauce that holds together this macaroni and cheese dish.  You’d think by looking at it the dish is full of cheese, but there is only 1/4 cup of cheese in this dish!    The sauce is made slowly cooking the milk until it turns creamy, patience is key here.  The sauce is velvety and oh so rich making it hold together your elbow noodles perfectly.  

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks “Italian Kitchen” by Anna Del Conte, published by Sterling.  Not only are the recipes in it amazing (because honestly, they are) but it’s one of the prettiest cookbooks I’ve ever owned in my life.  First of all, the book comes with no dust jacket which I love.  I always take off my dust jackets anyways hoping for a pretty cover inside, but this one is just straight up off the shelf beautiful.  Also the outside of the book cover is printed on a canvas that has the appearance of being worn, like you’ve been enjoying this cookbook with love for years.    I’ve had this cookbook lying around the house recently and whenever anyone sees it they always comment on how great it looks.  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_2

And then as soon as you open up the book you’ll be stunned by great the first opening spread is.  Whoever designed this cookbook needs a award, or maybe some dishes left at their doorstep.  Because I’m crazy I googled this and the design is by Anna crone and the Photography is by Jason Lowe.  I usually don’t list info like this here but it’s really one good looking book.
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When you get to the Table of Contents you’ll see a short list of categories.   I love that there’s only a few and the book focuses on what it’s intent is, Italian Cooking.  
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The pasta section is the key to my heart is full of so many recipes I’ve already made or am planning to  Again, don’t you love the rustic design?
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For you guys though, I really wanted to share the Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  As many of you know I’m a big time mac and cheese lover but this one here is not your average recipe, it’s so rich and deep with flavor making it a real star in serving.   I love what the author of the book, Anna Del Conte, said about this recipe when she was discussing her favorite pasta dish with her husband.  After asking her what her favorite was she said “Pasta al gratin”.  “Oh really?” he said, and thought “What about that discerning palate she’s so proud of?”  But he was thinking of the macaroni and cheese of his school days, and I was thinking of the velvety, cheesey delight of Pasta al Gratin.  She goes on to say:  Although it (this dish) is made with a sauce with a French name, the dish is Italian.  it is made in many regions, with certain variations.  In the north, for instance, Parmesan is used, sometimes mixed with Emmental or fontina, while in Naples, a buffalo mozzarella is cut up and pushed here and there among the penne (or elbows).  

Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin

And without further taunting you with pictures, I open up the cookbook and share you with this delicious Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese recipe.Italian Cooking Pasta al Gratin_8

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Pasta al Gratin Macaroni and Cheese
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 oz fontina, grated
  2. 2 oz Parmesan, grated
  3. 12 oz penne or macaroni elbows
  4. 3 cups whole milk
  5. 5 tablespoons butter
  6. 1/2 cup flour
  7. sea salt and black pepper
  8. grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. To make the bechamel sauce, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat.
  2. Melt the butter, remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the flour. Put the pan back on the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat an add the milk gradually. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the sauce comes to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of nutmeg. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. To finish the sauce, leave cooking on low for 10-15 minutes, only stirring occasionally. This long, slow cooking makes it a rich sauce you would not be able to achieve if you cooked for a shorter time.
  5. Add the cheeses to the sauce.
  6. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, as instructed on box. Drain.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Coat a shallow baking dish with a little of the sauce. Dress the pasta with about 2/3 of the bechamel and transfer to the prepared dish. Spread the rest of the sauce all over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend while cooking a little.
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Adapted from Italian Kitchen
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
 

How To Get Your Containers Ready for Spring + Hardening Off Seedlings

Hi friends, does it feel like Spring where you are?   It goes from freezing to muttering “It’s too hot out” pretty quickly, doesn’t it?  The past few days here have had temperatures that have caused no jacket, dress wearing and leaving a window open at night.  I already kicked off the comforter in bed (sorry for startling you Bofinkles) during the middle of the night, in disgust of it being a bit too warm.

How’s the weather where you are, is Spring finally coming around for you?  I know some of you guys have been struggling with storms and never ending snow, so I’m hoping things are changing so those gardens can start getting ready for a harvest happy season!

With the Spring season finally upon us, that means getting the containers ready for our Spring seedlings.    If you remember we already refreshed the boxes and some containers, but there plenty of others that were under greenhouses all Winter that needed to be fixed up.  So let’s clean up!

Winter hit some of the plants hard under the greenhouse this hard Winter, so there was quite a bunch to do.
Getting Containers Ready for Spring

We needed to get the plants out to be able to remove the plastic, turn the potting mix and add in new nutrients for the next batch.  This means getting some arm strength and pulling those plants out with all your might.  It might seem easy but the roots are strong so this takes a bit of shoveling, pulling, grunting and more pulling.   Even when pulling out the plants I’m always in awe of how the root structure grows.
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_1

Woo! Plants ripped out.  The ones at the end are staying for Spring so I got to ignore them.
So now that the plants are cleaned up and plastic is taken off the top, then we need to start shoveling the potting mix out of each.  I also want to note the 2 boxes off to the right have seen their last days so they were replaced during this day.  If you remember a post previously I talked about how you should get weather durable “tough” containers and this is another example of how if you use cheap ones they will crack all over.  
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_2

This is a short refresher on how we make our containers.  For a more involved post check out last years.
The potting mix gets shoveled out of the containers.  Then the 2 pipes corrugated pipes with perforations in them are laid in the bottom to create a water reservoir for the container.  These guys were buried all winter so they needed to be shaken out good.  
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_3

A hole is dripped in the front of the new containers for water drainage.  Try to do this on the same side of the water feed tube as it will make watering, checking water overflow much easier than having to look at the hole on the opposite of what you’re watering on.  The height of the drainage hole is determined by the height off the pipes making your water reservoir.  You want the drainage hole to be inside of the reservoir pipes.  
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_4

 How do you get water into the reservoir once it’s filled with potting mix?  You need a feed tube.  Take a pipe (2″ in diameter in this pic), make a cut in the water reservior pipes and insert the feed tube.  The feed tube should be higher than the top of your container otherwise it will be buried.  Let it stick out high and it will be easier to find when all your veggies get big and bushy.   
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_5

Next comes the most important step.  Making the wick.  The wick is a mound of soaking wet potting mix packed tightly together.  You want the wick to be very wet and then you form it into a mountain between your reservoir pipes.  The mound should come up slightly higher than your pipes.  It’s not an exact science.  The idea is that when you water the wick soaks up that water from below and distributes it to the rest of the potting mix in your container.  
Getting Containers Ready for Spring_6

 In another bin mix 1:10 perlite with potting mix.  Mix and water it well but don’t make it slop.  Then loosely shovel the mixture into your waiting container.  Fill it slightly higher than the brim as the mix will settle and compact.  
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After filling the containers make a little trench all around the outside edge.  Take some granulated fertilizer and sprinkle it in.  As your plants grow they will tap into this fertilizer and explode.  
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During this time I also found  a new friend and promised him a spot on Brooklyn Farm Girl.  
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 Once the fertilizer is on, then brush the potting mix over it.  Your boxes are almost done.
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The last step is covering the containers with plastic to lock in the moisture.  And just like that we have a bunch of new containers ready to go!  Once it’s time to transplant our seedlings, we’ll cut holes in the top and plant them.
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Speaking of seedlings…
I’ll be doing a post in a few days on seedling planting as the garden is definitely in full growing mode right now.

Before you plant your seedlings you want to harden them off.  Throwing seedlings from the indoors to outside right away is one sure way to shock them, possibly killing them.  You want to prepare your seedlings for the temperature, sun and wind change a little at a time.  For this, you should introduce the seedlings to the outside over a few days.  On the first day, take them out in the afternoon for 2 hours, then the next day give it another 2 hours, then the next day, add another 2 hours.  Eventually you want to work up to knowing they can handle a whole afternoon of hot sun.  Also a great way to get them ready for wind is the fan tip that I talked about before.  When your seedlings are of decent height, put a fan on them indoors when growing, this will get them strong for gusts of wind.. it’s like body building.. for plants.  You want your broccoli to be strong guys!

This is how we introduce the seedlings, nothing fancy, just a few hours of alone time outside.  If you’re a nervous garden mother like me, you can check on them during this time too, just to make sure they’re behaving and are safe.
Seedling Planting Spring 2014

Even better if one day it’s raining while hardening off your seedlings.  This is one thing they’re going to have to get used to.Seedling Planting Spring 2014_1

Pretty Bok Choy and some onions getting ready..
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Then after they’re done hardening off for a few days, you can plant them in their containers!  Look forward to my post soon for a afternoon of moving these seedlings into their new summer homes!
Seedling Planting Spring 2014_3

 

 

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

 This chicken and cherry tomato toss is a gardeners dream serving up a fresh and delicious stir-fry dish!

*Runs around singing “It’s almost tomato time! It’s almost tomato time! It’s almost tomato time!”*
*Laughs Crazily*
Goodness, are you excited as me?

Ok, so it’s not “almost” tomato time in that I’ll be picking tomatoes in the next few weeks, but in a month the tomato plants will be planted in the their containers!  The seeds that we planted have all come up and are growing stronger by the day (update on that in the future!).    When tomato season hits I like to be prepared for recipes because once one it starts…. then it will start to rain tomatoes!    
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When tomato insanity hits we often have days where we are picking 10 pounds of tomatoes.  I make plenty of sauces to last us through winter, but I love to enjoy our cherry tomatoes super fresh for dinner!  This Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry is totally going to be a Summer time favorite!
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The combination of chicken stock, soy sauce and ginger root gives this a great “Asian” tasting meal.  I can totally see this being a Chinese dish served over rice.  In my case I served it over thick lo mein noodles which was a perfect compliment to the chicken and tomatoes.    After dinner I was declaring this delicious so next time you set your eyes on some cherry tomatoes, grab them and make this Stir-Fry!  

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Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry

 

Chicken and Cherry Tomato Toss Stir-Fry
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp chicken stock
  2. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  3. 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  6. 1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
  7. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  8. 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 11⁄2-inch
  9. 1⁄3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  10. 3⁄4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, if using, sugar and salt and stir well. Set aside.
  2. In a wok or a large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and toss well, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and spread into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until edges turn white, about 1 minute. Toss well. Cook, tossing occasionally, until no longer pink, about 1 minute more.
  4. Add chicken stock mixture, pouring in around sides of pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and coated in a thin, smooth sauce, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  5. Reserve a generous pinch of green onions for garnish, and add remaining green onions and cherry tomatoes to pan. Cook, tossing once, for 1 minute more.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle reserved green onions over chicken. Serve hot or warm over rice, couscous or noodles.
Notes
  1. Serves: 4
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Lorena Garcia Ceramic Nonstick Cookware Review

You know what makes recipes even more pretty?  Colorful cookware turns a simple pasta dish into a work of art with a simple pop of color!

Recently we were in the market to get some new cookware and being a blogger who tends to post recipes, I knew I wanted to get something that was more fun than my regular silver and black pots that I was used to. When I was given the chance to review the  Lorena Garcia Technolon Ceramic Cookware  in a beautiful “French Blue” shade I was pretty excited!  The Lorena Garica collection is part of HSN Cooks which pairs up culinary experts with foodie products. 

 The first thing I noticed right out of the box is the cookware was SO LIGHT!  I have incredibly weak arms (it’s often a joke about truly how weak I am) so sometimes trying to drain a big pot of pasta while keeping everything in the pot, while not being burned, is quite a challenge.    This cookware is so light making picking up pots and pans so much easier. When I first used it I cooked a big pot of noodles and I just amazed by how easy it was to pick up and drain.  If you aren’t weak, then you probably don’t know what it’s like, but this was life changing, I’m a light cookware user for life now!   The pots and pan are made out of cast aluminum. 
Ceramic Cookware Review HSN_1

The cookware is a 6 piece set coming with a 2 pt soup pot, 3.5 qt soup pot, 9.5″ frying pan, whisk and 2 lids.  What I like about this is that it’s not a giant set.   Have you ever got a 20 piece set of anything and wondered 1) Where am I going to store this? 2)  Will I ever need 7 frying pans at the same time for a 4 burner stove?.  This is a great basic set that pretty much covers all my cooking needs.  Quality over Quantity in this case definitely! 

Ceramic Cookware Review HSN

I love that I can cook these pots on the stovetop and then transfer to the oven up to 550 degrees.  The lids are safe up to 420 degrees, making a casserole so much more enjoyable when you only need to clean 1 pot! The pan is not oven proof as it has a soft grip handle. 

What else makes for easy cleanup?  Ceramic technolon nonstick interiors!  Have you ever made pasta, let the pot sit and then you have that pasta that’s stuck to the inside and you need to scrub it out to so hard you work up a sweat? I hear you sister.  I let the big pot sit overnight and the next morning the pasta just came off with one little scrub.   The pan was just as great, making greasy oils and butters easy to clean out. 

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The only negative thing to mention is that the pots handles get very hot.  Thankfully I read a review of these before hand to know better, but if I didn’t, I would have reached for the handles and quickly backed away while muttering bad words.   That means that removing the pot (not the pan) from the stove requires a mitt on the hands.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but I do wish they didn’t get as hot. 

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The set comes in French Blue (pictured here), Lorena Green, Perfect Purple, Rich Cream and Rio Red.  The whisk you get with the set is rainbow color and perfect for mixing funfetti treats!  
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Overall: I love these and they’re now a permanent addition to dinner cooking every night!  

What color is your cookware?  
Do you have weak arms like me and have to battle draining a pot of pasta? 

This Lorena Garcia cookware set is now on HSN.com. Lorena is the face of Taco Bell’s “Cantina Bell” menu, Lorena is also a chef, TV personality and cookbook author.    Note: I wasn’t paid for this review, they just kindly sent me the cookware to try!

Want to See Puerto Rico?

This post brought to you by Puerto Rico, The All-Star Island. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you been to Puerto Rico?  I have had many friends visit this beautiful location while posting photos on Instagram to make me swoon while being extremely jealous.  Have you ever walked in a snowstorm and are freezing, then you check social media and your friend is on the beach? Ugh.

Puerto Rico seems like a Island destination that is perfect for anyone, from foodie, to adventure seekers to those that just want to fall asleep (with plenty of SPF!) on the beach.   It’s filled with so many things to do to making it a true 5-star vacation story that you’ll be sharing with your friends and family when you return. 

Did you know that..
Puerto Rico has 270 miles of coastline and is featured in the Top 10 beaches from The Travel Chanel.  One of these beaches is Flamenco Beach in Culebra which is just sigh worthy.

You can swim in the water in the Bioluminescent bays.
You can visit the only rainforest under US National Park Service, El Yunque, while climbing to the clouds!
Do you like history? Then check out San Juan.
Like horse back riding? Then you can travel through the beautiful Chamuy caverns.
Are you a foodie? Of course you are!  Then you can marvel at all it’s fresh and delicious delicacies.  Like rum?  Puerto Rico is famous for it!

One great thing for ease is that you don’t need a Passport or foreign money, so you can just hop on a plane right now and go if you’d like.  Can you take me with you?

Puerto Rico Tourism recently joined with Trip Advisor to transform real traveler 5-star reviews into short films, Live your own 5-star vacation story in Puerto Rico.  I really love this idea to see reviews in video form as you really get that sense of energy from others experiences. 

Have you visited Puerto Rico? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Follow @PRTourismCo on Twitter

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Let’s Plant Some Sugar Snap Peas!

On March 27 we planted our Sugar Snap Peas, and hoping we’ll be harvesting baskets full in a few weeks!

This year we really stepped up our Sugar Snap Pea game. In the past we usually planted 2 rows in 2 boxes equaling 28 plants.  This year we planted.. 80 plants! 
*DOES THE SUGAR SNAP PEA DANCE*
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I know, we went wild.  Not only did we plant the usual 2 rows in 2 boxes, but we planted a entire box full of Sugar Snap Peas!
We’re 2 people, we could have 80 sugar snap pea plants, so that means whenever you need peas just give me a shout out and I’ll share ours with you!

Last year we planted the Sugar Snap Peas on March 14, but due to the cold weather we had to push it back close to 2 weeks.  We needed the soil to reach 40 degrees before throwing the peas in to make sure they going to be able to grow up.   Last year we started pre-sprouting our peas (here’s a how to I made last year) which I really recommend. Pre-sprouting will make sure your beans will grow once they’re in the soil as you’ll visually see they have already started.   This makes growing more stress free as if it’s already pre-sprouted you can be pretty sure it will pop through the soil in a few days and that it’s not rotting underneath. 

Here’s our many presprouted peas!
Sugar Snap Pea Planting 2014

We mix our sprouted Sugar Snap Peas with seed inoculant right before planting.  We use a small amount of this just to coat the outside of the peas.  This little bag here was $4 and it can treat up to 8 pounds of peas and beans.  Inoculant encourages high-nitrogen levels on roots for bigger plants which will yield more harvest! 
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Then we tested the soil levels.  We’re out of freezing now under the soil as it came in at slightly above 40 degrees which was exactly what we wanted!
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Then the planting began! But first let’s admire Matthew’s beautiful technique, HEHEHEHEHEHEHE.
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Ok, sorry. Back to planting.  We make 2 rows in our 4×4 boxes.  We only grow 2 rows in these boxes because they will also grow onions, lettuce and carrots in the Spring.  In the middle of each row we’ll place a 8 foot tall fence for the peas to race up on.  The fence will be put into the soil once the sugar snap peas break through the surface and begin itching to climb. 
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Then we drop a few sugar snap peas into each row.  Usually we plant 8 peas in each 4 foot long row.
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Grow strong little guy! I’ll be waiting for you on the other side of the soil!
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With 2 boxes and 4 rows of peas, this adds up to 32 sugar snap pea plants!   These are planted in the boxes we freshened up with compost and turned a few weeks ago.  You want to give your peas a healthy home!
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The last box we just went Sugar Snap Pea wild.  Instead of doing rows, we just poked holes into the soil and dropped the peas in.  This box is exclusively for Sugar Snap Peas and has a trellis already attached that the peas will grow up and take over soon enough!
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After you drop the peas in, then pat the soil to cover and wish them a sweet good night.  If your soil is not wet and you aren’t expecting rain that night, you’ll want to lightly water the soil on top.
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That’s it.. now you wait for the Peas! Hopefully we’ll be seeing this soon!
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Do you grow Sugar Snap Peas?  
Do you have any favorite recipes that includes Sugar Snap Peas?

How to Get Cat Lady Nails

I have a thing for cats and colorful nails, so I’m happy to say these worlds can be combined!

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Want to know something?  I never have had a professional manicure.  I’ve always been more of a girl who does her own nails with a drawer full of every color of the rainbow nail polish alongside every glitter option!    Ever since I was little I always had a collection of nail polishes stashed somewhere in my room.    I’ve also never really been subtle in the nail polish category. I don’t really do nudes or soft pinks, I’m more of a neon orange and glitter girl.  I love bright colors, big sparkles and plenty of design!   For a while now I’ve stayed away from painting nail designs because I can’t draw very well, but when NCLA sent me these Melody Ehsani nail wraps, I was beyond pumped to try to get some design action happening on my fingers!  Note: I wasn’t paid for this review, they just kindly sent me the nail wraps to try!

The nails wraps come in all types of patterns and colors.  I happened to get sent a cat style which made me giggle like a school girl. It’s like I like cats or something.
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Here you’ll see all the beautiful cats.  I showed my cats this package and they all nodded in approval.  (I’m lying, they rolled over and went back to sleep before asking me to stop annoying them with my silly questions).  
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I was curious how hard the nail wraps would be to put on.   I watched a tutorial video first to get a idea and it seemed easy enough.   What you do is just pick the size of the wrap based on your nail size.  I have small fingers and nails so I couldn’t use many of the larger nail wraps.  I do think I could easily modify some of the larger ones with a pair of scissors and they’d work well. 

All you do is peel off the wrap from the pack and stick onto your nail.  Then you rub the wrap to get all the air bubbles out.  You’ll see the nail wrap is way too long though.
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Then you take a nail file and just file away at the extra parts.  Just a few swipes and the excess wrap will fall right off.   
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Then you’ll do this for all your nails, matching a wrap to a nail and filing down.  Once you do a few, you’ll start to get in a pattern and it’ll be done much sooner than expected.  After you finish you put some clear nail polish on top.  I had to add a little glitter too.

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Let’s chat. 
Do you regularly paint your nails? If so, what’s your current favorite color?
Have you ever used nail wraps?

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Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

On a scale of 1-10 on the “holy moly” scale, these cinnamon roll muffins are a 11.  Watch out.

One afternoon I was craving cinnamon rolls (real hard to believe, right?).  It seemed like everywhere I looked I saw a cinnamon roll on twitter, on the street, in a window, and every time I closed my eyes.   All I wanted was a cinnamon roll, ok maybe I wanted two, but I wanted them quick. I didn’t want to wait hours for yeast to rise, my belly was singing “feed me cinnamon rolls” so I came up with this great Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins which will get you delicious cinnamon rolls in 20 minutes! Dangerous, I know.

These Muffins use the same idea of my Monkey Bread Muffins by using refrigerated biscuits to quicken up the recipe.  After baking, then we make a creamy vanilla frosting to pour over them, which you’ll see will melt beautifully and just warm your heart with happiness.  Then you’ll turn into a cinnamon roll monster and destroy these beauties!

Enjoy friends… enjoy!

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Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Print
For the muffins
  1. 2 cans of 7.5 oz Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits (or other brand)
  2. 1/4 cup butter - melted
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup white sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon butter - melted
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  4. 2 tablespoons milk
For the muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a dozen muffin cup sheet with nonstick spray. Spray it good - on the bottom and sides.
  3. Mix melted butter, sugars and cinnamon in a plastic bag.
  4. Take each biscuit and rip it up into 6 pieces. Put the biscuit pieces in bag and shake to coat evenly.
  5. Place 8-10 pieces of biscuits into each muffin cup to evenly fill them up.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute. Then remove from pan, the muffins should fall right out.
For the frosting
  1. Mix powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in bowl with hand mixer.
  2. Add milk and continue to mix until it reaches a "frosting" consistency.
  3. Pour frosting over warm muffins, enjoy!
Notes
  1. Makes 10-12 muffins.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Now I’m off to make another batch of these!

 

Getting Ready for Game Of Thrones With Sweet Oatcakes

You guys, the season premiere of Game of Thrones is on this Sunday, are you excited as me?

You either have 2 responses:
YES!
I don’t watch Game of Thrones

If you say “YES!” then I slap you high 5, hug you and give you my love!
If you say “I don’t watch Game of Thrones” I still hug you because you’re nice, but I need to know why you don’t watch it!

If you haven’t been watching the last few seasons, then you need to catch up because it is my favorite show on television and I get so much thrill from Sunday nights that it’s hard to put into words.  Recently I finished reading all the Game of Thrones books which left me in sadness for about a week because I had no idea what to do with my life anymore without these books.   I’m also interested to see how this is going to change how I watch the show, as I know so so so so much, but the show likes to change things a bit.  

You want to know how excited we are? We just ordered HBO specifically for Game of Thrones.  That’s dedication.  And then once it’s done for the season, we’ll remove HBO.

To get in the spirit I wanted to make a sweet that would be the perfect treat to bring to a Game of Thrones party.   Along with your Cersei wig and your white cloak, I think you should totally whip up a batch of the Sweet Oatcakes!   You already know Sansa is obsessed with Lemon Cakes, so let’s stay in the cake family but give it a oat twist!  These oatcakes are sweet but have plenty of crunch making them the perfect and addicting snack! I dare you to eat one….! :) If you eat more than one though, it’s ok, they’re only 113 calories a piece!

Even Jon Snow likes them. PS. Hi Jon Snow.  *Wiggles Eyebrows*. 
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I’m House Stark all the way, even though my Starks are disappearing. What House are you?

 Sweet-Oatcakes

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Sweet Oatcakes

Sweet Oatcakes
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 1/2 cups flour
  7. 1 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease two 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl cream together butter, salt, brown sugar and vanilla. Add in the baking soda, flour and oats and continue to mix.
  3. Divide the dough in half and press into cake pans, smoothing out so it takes up the entire base of the pan and is smooth on the top. Prick the dough on top with a fork in a pattern if you'd like.
  4. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. My time is always 37 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and loosen edges with a butter knife.
  6. Wait 5 minutes then carefully turn cakes upside down to get them out. Immediately after, using a pizza wheel, cut each round cake into 12 pieces.
Notes
  1. Makes two dozen oatcakes.
  2. One oatcake = 113 calories.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

What’s Happening Under Those Greenhouses?

This is a Winter harvest post, or also known as… whats happening under those greenhouses?

This Winter we had 2 greenhouses up and running which are currently being used for the Spring seedlings (more on that soon!).    Matthew is going to chime in next week with a post on how to build a greenhouse so if you’re looking how to grow during the cold months, or even how to get your seedlings ready for spring, this is a post you’ll want to check out!

This Winter was brutally cold, one of the coldest I can recall.  If you watched the news at all then you probably some brutal temperatures and storms hit the North East so even with greenhouses, gardening was rough this Winter.    Since we grow on a roof, we use greenhouses that are built with heavy duty plastic to help withstand both wind and coldness.    Unless you have a green house structure that restricts all elements from getting to your plants,  growing in the extreme cold even under  a greenhouse can be hard.    When the temperatures are in single digits for days straight, your plants are going to feel it.  When it continues to snow this will add up on top of your greenhouse, possibly causing damage to both greenhouse and your poor plants under them.

We ventured up to the roof multiple times this Winter to shovel snow and try o catch a glimpse inside the greenhouses.  Is there anything alive?  Is that green we see?   What’s going on with the kale?  Is there any hope? Is it too cold?

So this past weekend we took the greenhouses off and took a look.   We knew some of the Fall plants wouldn’t really stand a chance as their time was up and they weren’t Winter hardy but we got quite a surprise with lots of the other veggies!

First up the kale….
We’ve had pretty good luck with kale through the years lasting quite a long time. Often our kale lasts multiple seasons.  This kale was planted in July and look at how well it survived under the greenhouse this Winter! Now 8-9 months later, it’s still growing strong! Now we have no choice but to keep this kale growing! We’ve decided to  turn this entire container into kale central so there’s some more plants coming in soon!
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Winter Harvest

Brussels Sprouts love the cold so I was hoping for some magic under the greenhouse.  Last year we tried growing Brussels Sprouts but the heat happened early and we didn’t end up with anything to harvest. As you can see here there are some Sprouts already growing so I’m hoping they hurry up before the hotter temperatures arrive. 
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One big surprise was the broccoli.  We didn’t have any hope for the broccoli as it is pretty sensitive to extreme temperatures but we were able to still get a full meal of little florets that sprung up.
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The bok choy grew beautifully this Winter.  I would definitely recommend this as a happy vegetable that can withstand some cold.   We ended up harvesting the entire plants instead of individual leaves.  That made containers then available to use for other vegetables that would be moving in for Spring. 
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And now the hands down biggest surprise.. carrots!  You see, we didn’t even think there were carrots growing, we thought they were long gone, we thought there was no chance.    The tops of all the carrots fell off months ago so with that totally lost hope.   So without even thinking there could be anything under the soil I started to clean up the container to turn the soil and get ready for the next seeds.  Then I dipped my hands in the soil and got quite a surprise.. what was this.. was this a carrot?
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Not only one carrot, but lots of carrots!
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If I could possibly send along the smell of these Earthy carrots I definitely would!  
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These carrots are going to be used for some yummy dinners.  Not to mention a delicious carrot cake that is in the making!Winter Harvest_10

We were both pretty amazed and just kept muttering “wow” and “omg, carrots”.  Many smiles were had because of these surprise carrots!
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Do you grow anything in the Winter?  
Have you ever had a garden surprise lurking under the soil that made your day?

 

Happy Birthday Grumpy Cat!

Do you guys love Grumpy Cat as much as me? I mean how can’t you just see this face and smile?

grumpycat Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce, is a cute kitty girl who took the Internet’s heart when she was born with a permanent frown.   She is a elite Internet cat now, with tons of memes and followers, but can you blame her? She’s a real cutie.  

This month Grumpy Cat is having a birthday, she’s turning 2 years old!  And she’s here to make this the most grumpy birthday ever!

On April 29, Friskies®  Party Mix is hosting a very grumpy Grumpy Cat’s Birthday Party in New York City!   And you could win a trip to the “Super Terrible 2″ birthday party if you upload a picture of your cat’s grumpiest frown.  So get making your cat grumpy, trust me, it isn’t very hard at all.

Friskies® and Grumpy Cat was nice enough to send me a party pack for me to get the party started with my own furry critters. Inside we received tons of goodies which had me trying to dress up our cats which resulted in pure grump mode. What turned their grumpy frowns upside down though? Friskies®  Party Mix treats!
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Have you ever shook a treats bag and all of a sudden there’s a earthquake of kitties running after you? It’s pretty much the best feeling in the world. If you have a Walmart near you, stop by and pick up your own party mix and get that bag shaking! Here kitty kitty….

Now let’s get this party started!  Grumpiness ahead…

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I am not pleased with this hat.

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Goblin turns into a grumpy bear.  That belly…. it’s magic.

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“Grumpy Cat, this is no fun”.  “I agree”. 

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This grumpy frown is delicious to eat though.

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Back to being grumpy at this party.

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Partying while napping.

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Bofinkles knows how to party happily.  Or totally not.

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This is as happy as Bofinkles looks.

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Xanadu telling the hat what she really thinks of it, grumpy mode.

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But wait guys.. the party’s beginning now.. I’m serious… TREATS!

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This was their favorite part of the party, of course.  

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Happy Birthday Grumpy Cat! 

 

Mid Week Chat With Some Light & Airy Sugar Cookies

Happy Half Way During the week Friends!  

How’s your week been so far?

Mine has been one of those weeks where I just need a few cookies (we’ll get to that).   Matthew and I are currently hard at work on a new business venture, so there’s been lots of brain storming, strategy meetings and just out loud get it all out stress talks.   We have a big dream, and this isn’t going to be easy, but we’re trying to start our own virtual reality creative design agency.  Some of you guys already know we work as artists under Reed + Rader where we work in fashion and advertising creating fun videos.   Reed + Rader is still highly alive but there’s so many things we want to do outside of our style and aesthetic of what we create.    We’ve always taken on a strong art director role in our work, so it makes sense for us to try to push this to the next step outside of just what we do.  Right now we’re gathering a strong team of programmers and artists to start working on projects to get the buzz out there.  Matthew and I are extremely excited as we think this could be the next big step for us and we believe strongly in the idea and pushing this to the world.  It’s not going to be easy, and we know that, but we’re always up for a challenge!  I’ll be sure to share upcoming news to you guys! Wish us luck!

On the artist side of things, we recently just finished up 3D portrait videos for fashion magazine, V Magazine.  It’s a Spring fashion story so it’s full of floral patterns and soft colors.  Some of the clothing featured is:  MIU MIUDOLCE & GABBANATHOM BROWNECHRISTOPHER KANE, AND PRABAL GURUNG.
Here’s the video:

Besides that we’re working on some other projects that I can’t just share yet, but they’re all fun and we’re excited for them!  We’re also talking at the FITC Conference in Toronto at the end of the month.  I’ve never been to Toronto but we will be there for a  few days so any suggestions on what I should see (or more importantly what I should eat) please let me know! So work wise, between this and the new agency venture, we’re busy!

Then there’s the garden which is full swing with the start of Spring.  We had some important planting days we had to do, so keep a look out on those posts!  Many veggies are in the soil and more are on their way! We also found a surprise in the soil.. but I’ll keep that for a new post!  

And lastly, there’s Brooklyn Farm Girl, which I love because I love you guys!  Isn’t it amazing the friendships you can start with just leaving a comment on a cake recipe exclaiming you want to stuff it in your face, then next thing you know you’re pen pals and know how many fish they have.    You guys are real cool.  I don’t think I tell you enough but whoever reads this, it really means a lot to me.  Just to be able to share recipes and stories and receive so many smiles and laughs in return, you really know how to cheer me up sometimes.  Do you know what you deserve?

COOKIES! Let’s see your best cookie dance.  Oh yeah, to the right, to the left, now shake that cookie ookie ookie ookie! 

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These Light & Airy Sugar Cookies are going to hit the spot just right.  You guys know I have a thing for super soft cookies so these ones definitely fit that category.  They’re your typical delicious sugar cookie but these are so light and moist inside.  And even better.. are you ready? 51 calories a piece.  That means you can eat 10 of them, right?  Cookies = dinner, didn’t you know?  

So go ahead, kick your feet up and enjoy mid week with these cookies!
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Light & Airy Sugar Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter - melted
  4. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 2 1/2 cups flour
  10. additional sugar to coat
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl cream together sugars, butter and oil until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix in flour and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
  5. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten the balls to 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until very light brown.
  7. Remove and cool.
Notes
  1. Makes 24 cookies
  2. 1 cookie = 51 calories
Adapted from King Arthur
Adapted from King Arthur
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/


For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.