Saturday, April 26, 2014

A New Year, a New Garden

It's that time of year again... when we pretend to have a green thumb. Last year we skipped the gardening. We had signed up for a full CSA share. And with being pregnant and all, we decided we didn't need the additional responsibility of taking care of a garden. But this year we've decided to give it a try. I'm not expecting too much success our first year, but we'll see how it goes. All I really want are fresh tomatoes. This year we've gone much bigger than we have in the past. We are no longer in a townhouse. And we no longer have cute garden boxes. We've gone much bigger.


20x30 feet to be exact. This could either go really well. Or really bad.

The plan is to not go crazy this year. Again, all I really want are fresh tomatoes. With the abundance of stinkbugs in the areas, I'm not sure how successful we'll even be. Mike wants hot peppers, so we'll be planting a bunch of those. And herbs. Because I need fresh basil with the tomatoes. The rest of the stuff, I don't care as much about.

This was the original plan:


I used this handy garden planner to help plan things out. Well we've already abandoned the plan and just started planting. :) The raspberries are no longer located in the garden because apparently they can get unruly. We are skipping spinach. We are skipping peas, but possibly doing beans. And everything is moving locations. We will see how much actually gets planted.

So far we have some nice broccoli plants in the ground.


Zoom in? Sure.


We bought broccoli plants from the store. We had started some seedlings but they haven't been doing so hot. And since it was time to start the cold weather plants we just decided to buy plants. We're not ashamed.

We've also planted some kale and spring onions. We planted those seeds directly just this week. So... time will tell.

The rest of the plants are still incubating in the house.



The seedling got off to a bit of a rough start. We started seeds in egg cartons and they were doing great. Then we thought they'd need more space so we tried transplanting them and they did not like that at all. Only a few survived so we've basically started over. When it comes time to plant we may just end up buying more plants :)

Fingers crossed this goes well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Baptism Cake

This post has been sitting as a draft for a couple of months now. We had a baptism for Baby G in February so yes, its been that long.

Much like this post, it took us a while to get things squared away for the baptism. At 6 months old, Baby G was looking sharp in his 12-18 month baptism outfit. Yes, that's right.... 12-18 month.

We invited mostly family to the baptism and I tried keeping the food pretty simple. Chicken salad sandwiches and pulled pork... from Costco, of course. However I really wanted to make the cake. I'm determined to get back into doing little crafty projects here and there. So I tasked myself with making a cake.


As usual Pinterest had some good pictures for inspiration. Apparently baptism cakes can get pretty extravagant. Obviously, that's not what I was looking for. But here are some ideas I did like: here, here, and here. Basically anything that looked like it involved just placing a cross on the cake I was all about.

Since hours in the day seem pretty tight these days, I spaced out the cake making during one week. I baked and froze the cakes early in the week. And then made the fondant a couple days before I needed it. And actually, like the monkey cake I made, I saved some time by also buying a container of fondant. I bought some Fondarific fondant from Amazon and I must say, I'm a fan! So basically all the parts were prepared ahead of time and assembly happened the night before the baptism.


My cake making skills are still far from perfect. But luckily more layers can be used to hide things.

Dang. There's still a thumb print.

The white fondant covering the cake is my homemade stuff. And the blue is the store-bought.  I must say the store bought stuff rolls out much smoother. The consistency is very close to that of Play-doh. So its very fun to work with :)

Decorating basically involved three steps:

1) Wrapping a ribbon around the cake. I found this handy little tool in my toolbox.


2) Adding a cross on top.


3) Adding candy pearls around the cross and ribbon.


Step 3 was definitely the most tedious. Every couple of minutes one or two of little pearls would fall on the floor and bounce around for a bit. But in the end it got done. And I even got to bed at a reasonable hour!