Blog addition: You Tube

Blogging addition_It’s been a bit quiet here on the blog.  However, I’ve been very busy getting some additions to my blog. I have a short blogging announcement.  Which I’m pretty sure you already can guess what it is.

If you follow me on Social Media you already know I’ve made this leap.

Aside from relaxing with my hubby in this space for many nights with our fire pit here.  Gotta take the breaks when you can.

Even though places are opening up here in BC, we are still hanging low at home.

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Blog Addition: You Tube

I’ve been curious to add YouTube since the beginning of my blogging journey and decided to just do it once my blog had growth.  Which I where I’m at now.

I have a few videos up already.

Here’s a first Welcome Video based off the last blog post I made.

I’ll be upfront and honest, it a bit scary.  If we live our lives in our comfort zone then that’s a boring life to live.  I’ve lived in my comfort zone for years. Not unless you’ve broken out of your comfort zone do you know what I mean. Seriously, try it!!!

I’m grateful for a husband that loves going on adventures and pushing me to be brave and have fun in life.

Before I took the leap I asked for his opinion.  We both agree that it can’t take away from family time or my first responsibility and that is the kids.

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HoneyMoon in 2008, Banff Alberta!

 

Video Tutorials

As a Home and Garden blogger, making tutorial blog posts are still possible (obviously), just a video ADDS to seeing how I do things.

Like this video about Stringing Tomato Plants….

This Gardening Video I made with a request from a family member.  It would be hard to do this tutorial in a blog post, hopefully this video is helpful.

I’m still learning, and I’m enjoying the adventure.  I’m super low tech with my iPhone and the iMovie app, yet it seems to be more simple then I think.

Subscribe

Be super awesome if you would subscribe to my NEW YouTube Channel.  I’ve been enjoying all the connections I’ve been making here on my blog and look forward to who I’ll connect with on YouTube as well.

As always, have a great day!

What have you been doing lately that’s NEW and out of your COMFORT ZONE!

Growing Indoor House Plants

Growing IndoorIt’s been super busy around here with the Garden, as you may know if you have been following me for a while.  Also homeschooling or crisis schooling as I call it at the moment. Last couple weeks, almost there

There’s something about bringing the outside in.  I’m not just talking about blending my morning smoothie with mint leaves or trying a new smoothie with rhubarb. I’m talking about flowers from the Garden and better yet bringing in House plants into our home.

Being in the “growing family” mode for a while and it’s been a bumpy road of recovery from that time.  I’ve always dreamed of having more house plants. I feel like that time has finally come that I can turn my attention more to our home again.

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My ‘go to’ fake lavender and daisy – completely fake.

I used fake flowers to get through this phase.  I learned, even looking at that was still worth the money spent at the dollar store, when I would have preferred real over fake.

House Plants

What Indoor House Plants do I have at the moment?

Currently I have plants I have “rescued” or saved or simply had them given to me. FYI – Huge money savings if you can save plants people don’t want anymore.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you notice a plant with baby shoots on it.  They might just happily pull out an extra pot and send it home with you.

9FCFC0D2-B6E9-4046-979B-EAE30E9C655BSpider plant – I grew from baby shoots from my Mother in Law.  I’ve already potted up a first set of baby shoots from this plant and about to do it again. As I mentioned above, I noticed her plant had several shoots and I asked and she said to “go ahead”.

This plant has bloomed several times.  It’s been really neat.  I had no idea this indoor plant bloomed with little flowers.

IMG_1358First time it had 3 Spiderettes and this time it has 2.  This plant is grown from 3 shoots. I suspect I need to repot this one soon.

What do I mean by “rescue” plants.  Here’s an example of that, with my next house plant.

IMG_1738Peperomia – This is a combination of the plants that didn’t die from 2 Christmas baskets I got one Christmas. I loved the look of it. I like the fact that this plant isn’t bushy and big. The Planter it is in is from the original Christmas Basket I got with at least 3 other plants that didn’t survive.  Since both of the planters had this plant in it I combined the 2 and they have doubled in size since.  Super great beginner plant I might add.

13BC789B-E7D4-4B9A-ADD4-2DB7F42E9078Kaffir Lily – Someone just gave me in my neighborhood through a connection over the Garden Swap Box. Here’s my blog post about the Garden Swap Box. This plant is completely new to me.  I’m super curious to see it bloom.  It already has a baby shoot starting. This lady from my neighborhood has kept the original plant alive since 1970, so I think I got a good shoot at keeping this one going too.

Go check out my Instagram for the story behind this plant. Look for this photo.

IMG_1735Stromanthe Triostar – I just bought this. I was wanting to add something to my indoor house plants that I picked out and bought for myself.  These plants were ALL over our resort in Mexico.  When I saw it at the local garden center it was definitely coming home with me.

I’ve already noticed, this is my new plant “baby”. Seriously, this plant loves LOTS OF WATER. Oh, at least my kids think this parts fun, it needs to be misted. At least I have helpers, “mom did you mist the plant today?”.

Here’s The blog post about our recent trip to Mexico.  Don’t worry,  it was before the world literally shut down.

One of the light bulb moments I had that realized my blogging niche is Home and Garden. I took as much pictures of the plants ( videos of the Stromanthe in particular) then time with my family.

Farmhouse Inspired -DIY Pot for Indoor Plants!

Items you will need:

  • Dollar Store metal pot with handle.
  • White Spray Paint
  • Painters Tape

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Steps for preparing the pot for paint:

  • Tape the TOP EDGE of the pot and the HANDLE.
  • Tape any extra metal sides, where you don’t want paint.  Like the handle piece connected to the pot on mine.
  • Paint in a open area for over spray.
  • Paint 2 coats. Once dry remove the tape!

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Allow the paint to ‘gas off’ before coming the house. And set it in it’s new home.

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Additional TIPS for Indoor House Plants:

If you are just starting out or a beginner, start small like I did with 2 or three plants.  If you have too many to start, it can be overwhelming. Plus I had to consider, kids and now a dog. Yes – My oldest we learned is allergic to Easter Lily’s.

Each plant has it’s own spot in the house it”ll like.  Plus it took time for me to learn the signs of stress in the plants or when I forgot to water. I noticed over time my spider plant was fussy. I learned to pay attention to the leaves color. Dull – needs water. Bright – well watered.  I also moved it around a LOT to find it’s “happy” spot in the living room.

My Pemperima was/is a great beginner plant, I’ve moved it downstairs with less sun for a while and it did just fine.

Fresh Flowers – From the Garden

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I’m having so much fun creating fresh flower bouquets. My fave is the peonies!

Fresh Flowers from the Garden beat Fake Flowers from the Dollar Store

I’m already busy planting more cut flowers in my new garden I made last year along our fence. I’ve been blessed with flowers from the previous owners like these peonies.

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Ok – I think you might have noticed I’m loving finally being able to get to this place now and share this with you.

How about you?

What do you have for Indoor Plants?

Are you a beginner or have had plants for a long time?

Carrie

 

 

Setting up an Outdoor Patio

Setting up anWhen a moment happens that something you’ve wanted to do or create for a long time comes together.  That’s what happened today for me.  I’ve long since loved reading magazines like Style at Home and just LOVE all the outdoor spaces people make.

Today was the first of many patio set ups for our home!

It’s May Long Weekend and our Trailer is still in the driveway.  Not something we are excited about.  We do plan to sleep in it one of the nights this weekend. Plus we get to install a new awning!

I hustled yesterday to get this space ready. I was inspired by a local lady and her “She Shed”. Here’s my version on my Patio.

Setting up our Patio Space:

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Creating a patio space for me includes things that inspire you for the outdoors.  Here we have Adirondack (plastic, mind you), Rowing paddles tucked in the corner and of course lots of plants.

2 big bonuses on our property is the greenhouse AND a covered patio. It’s a double win in my mind.

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I grabbed out folding side table from the trailer, painted a sign from an old sign we had in the house and put the word “LAKE” on it and hung my succulent planter.

Simple touches that help make the space become a relaxing zone at anytime of the day.

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Lots of personal touches like, decor, fresh cut flowers on the table and lots of different colored and sized pots.

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I think every gardener has a story to tell about their pots.  Beige pot I bought when I was renting. The next 2 come from my husbands family. The water pot his grandparents and parents used for camping.  We used it too for many camping trips to boil water. The big colorful pot is from his grandparents.  The little wine bottle lantern I got for a birthday present from my Sister-in-law. I had to more it for the kids, they might break it.

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I see a future painting project in this picture. I can’t wait to paint this little table. I love running out to cut the rhodo’s that line our property.  I’ll have more fresh flowers this summer going here for sure.

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These Paddles, I saved them.  My hubby was ready to let them go.  I was like, nope, decor, and took them back. I do those kinda things. FYI – Made by the Canadian Paddle Company.

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Here’s a side shot with the greenhouse. We have a swing the kids love to hang out it. I also have my hanging baskets growing.  I would love to extend the patio bricks in front of the greenhouse, but that’s a project for another day.

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Now off to pour some wine and enjoy the propane fire pit we have going in our new patio space to enjoy the long weekend.

Our puppy loves to curl up at our feet and the kids loved the s’mores tonight.

Do you have a patio space?

How are you spending the May Long Weekend?

 

 

 

Raised Garden Beds Mistakes

Rasied Beds Mistakes UPDATED

Hold on, WordPress just let me know it’s been 3 years since I registered this blog.  Wow.

Thanks to everyone who follow along with me on my blogging journey.

Ok – It’s still spring and now that things are growing it’s just maintenance and preparing for the harvest at this point.  Might be my last Gardening post for a bit. Which makes me excited to share about our home coming up.

Raised Garden Beds Mistakes

I follow a local gardening group and seeing lots of people in our area making raised beds.  I see people across Canada that I follow getting into theirs.  So I thought it would be a good time to share my experience.

Spring 2019

We built our raised garden beds in 2019.  I had great success with them the first year and this year I’m taking a different approach.

Gardening is lots of growing and learning your knowledge. Mistakes happen and that’s how we learn.

Mistake 1: Not preparing the ground

Here’s what we started with before we built the Raised Beds. I was fighting so many weeds.  It was exhausting.

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I remember my husband saying our Garden was too big.  It’s half the size of my mom’s garden. I didn’t feel it was big enough.  I should have spent time knowing where the major weed infestation was to deal with the ground before building.

Mistake 2: Not Preparing the BOTTOM of the Raised Garden Beds

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We built these in the end of March in 2019.  We made sure the Lawn Mower could go in between for mowing. We kinda guessed, never researched the size they should be.

Again, we didn’t prepare the base or the bottom of the boxes. I’m fighting WEEDS, and left over invasive plants that aggressively come up. Cardboard or landscape cloth would have been a huge help here.

3: Not RESEARCHING the basics of Raised Garden Beds

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We got a great garden mix from a local garden center and filled the boxes.  They look so clean in this picture. However, looking back on it, I wish I did what we learned the hard way with other projects and did our research.

Spring 2020

We had a decent Harvest last year.  I shared about that in this blog post.

Mistake 4: Planning ahead for planting seeds and plants

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I forget to split my Rhubarb this year.  It’s overtaking this first raised garden bed, even since I shot these pictures.  Plus I realized last year that it was TOO BIG for the boxes.

There’s a gardening thing to do with companion gardening. Umm, yah, didn’t take that into consideration. My second box I’m trying to stagger plant.  My attempt to start seeds early this year went sideways.

Mistake 5: Labeling your plants

Carrie, really?  This is like Gardening 101 here.  I planted 3 Varieties of garlic…and didn’t label them. Oops. I kept the packages and at least still know the names.

I told myself I would remember….yah no.  I was in a rush and thought I was late getting the bulbs in the ground in the fall. Turns out I was just fine and should have taken the extra few minutes to make labels.

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Mistake 6: Critter protection

Critters as in Animals.

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I woke up one morning, walked out on the deck to see a perfect, cat poop mound in this raised garden bed. I took care of the mess and pealed some oranges and put them in the box.

THEN, our puppy thought it was fun to dig in this box, hence the make shift roll of fencing.  I need to think about a plan to deal with this box here soon. Any ideas would be appreciated?

Harvest 2020

I’m already loving running to the Raised Garden beds and getting fresh chives, parsley and rhubarb.  Already made Rhubarb Compote, it was amazing with mothers day breakfast on waffles and homemade bread the other day.

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Just a note to add – I’m out here daily dealing with weeds.  It’s a gardeners job to keep on top of it.  I get that.  However bindweed from the hedge and the corner of the yard is INTENSE. Including the buttercups that cover between the beds and the fence line.

I took these photos a few weeks back.  Now…it’s everywhere.  I’m glad I took pictures before the weeds took over.

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Happy Planting!

Don’t make these mistakes like we did. I hope this post is helpful to know what can happen.

I LOVE the Raised Garden beds, the difference in my gardening has been amazing.

If we built more to add to this side of the yard we will not make the same mistakes again.

 

 

 

Raised Cedar Planter Box

how to DIYI had to take a step back from my blog for a bit.  Why?  Been busy making cedar boxes and delivering them.  Among taking care of 3 kids, a puppy and maintaining social distances.

My recent blog post sparked a lot of attention. Here’s my Community Garden Box .

Do to a request for a box, this last weekend my husband and I built a raised cedar planter box.  It took longer then he would have liked as I was busy taking the camera and asking for certain shots. Plus I want in on the action with the tools too!

Raised Cedar Planter Box

Here’s the step by step guide with how we built it.

Step 1: Buy Materials – Ours cost just over $40 Canadian.

Materials List:

  • 1:  2″x 4″ x 8′ Cut to 23″
  • 1: 1″ x 2″ x 8′
  • 6: 1″ x 6″ x 4′ Cut at 36″ Extra 12″ becomes the ends

Additional notes: See in Pictures in Step 5 for a visual.

  • Legs are 1.5″ down from top board when your screwing them together.
  • 1″ x 2″ is cut to support bottom boards.

Step 2: Cut all the boards to the lengths above.

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Step 3: Assemble and using screws put the LONG sides together.

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Optional: You can use a Pin Nailer – the box won’t hold together for very long if you use this method.

Step 4: Assemble short sides to the legs

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Step 5: Cut and assemble the BOTTOM with boards spaced apart.

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End boards on the bottom need to be notched out to fit.

Finished Raised Garden Box:

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If putting soil in the box, put in a liner, plastic or fabric with staples. Can also fit a few pots with plants in it, if desired.

Optional: Turn it into dual purpose, a community garden swap box.

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This box design is super simple and easy to make. The original raised garden box was made for a garden party we had for a wedding reception.  My mother in law made it. Rough cedar is cheaper, price all depends on which type of cedar boards you buy.

Interested in making one?

Let me know in the comments.

Carrie

 

 

 

Community Garden Box

Home and Garden Swap (1)My heart beats for Community and the well being of others.  When I think back on how I got started Gardening a lot of my plants that I started with I got for FREE.

One of my goals as a blogger is serving YOU, my readers. I like to help solve a problem you may be having.  Here’s the thing.  Recently MANY people have lost their jobs. This has been hard for many close to me. My big community heart wants to HELP.

So I created a community garden box.

Here’s all the steps of how I made mine and let me know if you plan to host a community garden box too!

Community Garden Swap

Here’s how I made it:

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Step 1:

I found an old cedar box planter I had not been using. I took out my stencils and paint.  I planned out the words and painted them on the box. I used stencils – not a fancy machine with vinyl. I don’t make enough signs. Simple stencils from the dollar store!

Step 2:

Fill it with plants you are not wanting anymore. Plants you have extra of!! Sometimes our seeds do really well and we don’t need that many.

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Step 3: 

Let your community know! My box sat for close to 2 weeks before any plants started moving. I realized my mistake in not advertising to the local community group on Facebook.

I’ve ran into some problems with mine and realized I needed to add some “Rules and Guidelines” to the box.

FREE PDF Version click Community Garden Box

Community Garden Box

Step 4:

Have fun – Get to know your local gardening community. You might find someone to share the Harvest with! I’ve already had lots of great connections with my neighborhood through mine.

Here’s the Final Community Garden Swap Box

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The box did get picked up from a miss understanding and I was able to track it down and get it back.  My seed container in the box had a bunch of loose seeds rolling around. So the guidelines was needed.

I just printed the guidelines – put it in a plastic sleeve and stapled it to the bottom.

Step 5: (Optional)

If you want to host one in your community and like to be added to the list of locations join the Community Garden Swap Facebook Group.

If your not on Facebook and want to know a list of locations with contact information fill out the contact form.

 

 

Benefits of hosting a Garden Swap:

1: Your helping someone who has a minimal budget grow food for their family.

2: Get to know your Gardening Community Near you – SHARE THE HARVEST.

3: Try a new plant!

4: Gardening is great for our health and well being on so many levels.

Gardening is an ESSENTIAL part of my life.

I shared more in my 10 Reasons Why I love Gardening

Love to hear from you,

Do you share your plants or harvest with others?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Home and Garden Tour

Spring 2020Spring is in full swing here at our house. I hope these pictures are an inspiration for your own home and garden.

I just shared my first Plant Haul on my Instagram feed. That was fun to do.  I’ve always seen peoples “hauls” when they go shopping.  Anticipate more Plant and Home Decor hauls.  Although I like to DIY most of my decor.

Spring in our Home

I don’t do much for Home Decor, but a few changes sure makes a difference.  I’m working towards having more plants in my house, but with 2 young boys, almost 2 year old daughter and add a puppy to the mix this is what I do.

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My Mantel got a re-fresh.  Yes, there’s only one live plant up there. I looked back at pictures and noticed I had fresh flowers a lot sooner before. For now, fake hydrangeas and lavender sprigs will do.

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I think there’s something sweet about my old Flute joining the mantel again. With my love for music it’s a nice personal touch.

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My spider plant is having a baby.  I grew this plant from 3 baby’s from my mother in laws plant.  Recently those 3 sprouted and finally grew air roots and planted them and then this one sprouted.

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I’m sure there’s a technically term then baby but I think it’s cute to call it that.

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Truth is, this table display doesn’t last as we use this table all the time.  BUT there’s HOPE!! Our deck is near complete and lots of meals have been enjoyed out there already.

Spring in our Garden

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To all my followers and friends who like Eco Living.

This pot is made from re-claimed plastics from our local area in Vancouver.

I still love this welcome board I made from our old fence.

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My tulips FINALLY turned color.  My gardens, even though I live in a rich environment for growing is always behind at least 3 weeks from everyone else.

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I started the staging process before I plant my Geraniums and Petunias.  Plus I started snap dragons and other mixed seed packages for this garden in the green house.  I hope to have more bouquets from my garden this year.

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Remember I said we are eating more outside now, here’s a sneak peak.  I finally have lavender again! I’m so excited for this space.

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You can always find our kids on the deck, including our puppy sunbathing.

Hope you enjoyed my spring home and garden tour

SUBSCRIBE for more!

What Home and Garden projects are you working for this Spring?

 

Buy Local Plants

Help your local communityIt’s April and planting season is here.  In the Fraser Valley it is anyways.

Here’s the deal, I’ll admit I have been just as stressed as everyone with this world wide pandemic with COVID 19.  I need to still keep myself in a place of balance and not get my mind stuck on what’s happening.

When life is stressful, I garden.

If I can help be of a voice on my small piece of the internet today is the day to do so.

Chatting with a friend a few weeks ago we talked about “what’s deemed essential”.

My friend and I agreed that we see Gardening as essential.

Buying Local

I stopped in a Tanglebank today as I needed to buy a gift for a friend. Don’t worry the kids were in the car with the windows open and they loved being goofy while mom shopped.

Support your local Garden Centers and buy some seeds and plants

If I think back on it, I don’t buy a ton of plants as I grow lots of my own stuff or save seeds or split plants when I can. My gardening goals are to grow a lot of my own food. I  would love to teach it to my kids.

That would include shopping the local garden centers to do it.

While at Tanglebank today another costumer showed up and they had his order all ready to go for PICKUP. Still available to serve their customers and the tired cooped up mom like me!

I have 2 other options if going to the stores isn’t an option.  I know lots of stores are hustling to get into online ordering.

Ordering Plants Online

I recently heard of this new website that’s exclusive to BC and Canada.  Buying Canadian helps boost our economy and I think it’s safe to say “GO BUY CANADIAN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN”.

Considering I want to add more to my plants into my home and I have a near finished patio I have my eye on a couple plants from this company.

Check out Curb Appeal Plants

I must admit I’m getting a little tired of my rescued plant that I combined from Christmas planters I was given one year. Plus I would rather have real lavender, not dollar store sprigs.  I kinda killed the lavender plant I have by moving it too much. Oops.

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Home and Garden Swap

Here’s another option. Over a week ago I asked on my Instagram and made a video asking “How can I help you?”  So many in my life right now are being affected by loss of job and so forth.  It’s very hard to sit back and watch this happening.

When looking at the world and living with a bigger picture, it would be WONDERFUL if I could help in a BIG way but at this time that isn’t possible.

 

With being a stay at home mom and having this blog as a creative outlet, my best way that I can serve my community and help is hosting a Home and Garden Swap.

Home and Garden swap is setting up a community drop box outside of your home.

Home and Garden Swap (1)

Members of your community can drop off seeds and plants they don’t need or have extra’s off. Others can come along and pick up plants to get their garden started. I see this as a way to help my community get gardening or grow their garden.

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This box can be made with anything your have in your home.  I used my stencils and paints from my crafting supplies and re-purposed an old garden planter.

How to start your own community box: It’s easy to host a Facebook event and let people know the location and just update the event as new plants arrive or leave. I started lots of my gardening by swapping.

Contact me if you want to get an event started in your community.  I have a graphic you can use and some helpful tips to got you started.

This post is written to my Canadian friends all over Canada.

Reading this and not Canadian?  I hope this encourages your to buy local in your community/country.

 

Starting a Garden – Planting Seeds

Starting a gardenIf it’s your first time planting a Garden or you have planted many, I hope this posts gives you some helpful tips.

Is it too late to start a Garden?  Nope.  I live in the Fraser Valley on the outskirts of Vancouver BC Canada and we are considered Zone 8.  We are in a rich area for growers and lots of gardening centers because of our great growing climate.

Truthfully, I’ve started mine even later then March and even had to restart some plants several times due to deer eating my stuff.  I still got a good harvest at the end of the season.

Buying/Organizing Seeds

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I see buying seeds like grocery shopping.  Find seeds that are similar to veggies you would buy or herbs.  Some are easy to grow, others can be picky.  I’ll be completely honest and have had many gardening fails.  But, that’s how we learn.

My seeds are a collection from seeds I have saved from Harvest or seeds from my mom’s garden or seeds I bought. I’ve gotten seeds in a gift exchange and even got seeds from church.

Easy DIY – Seed Markers

  • Re-purpose an empty plastic container and cut them into strips and use Permanent Marker to write your plant names on them. Shown in picture above and seen in video in this post.
  • Hopefully they don’t get destroyed and can be useful for years to come!

Prepping Seed Containers

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Use what you have.  Even if it’s a egg carton.  Get creative, seeds will grow in rich soil and they aren’t picky how fancy the container is that they grow in. I’ve re-purposed containers I saved from times.  I bought starter plants when I didn’t have time to start seeds and have saved the holders to use as seed starters.

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I grabbed soil from my Raised Garden Beds and filled up the containers. Something I forgot to do in this picture was moisten my soil.

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Yup, I’ll say it again, get the soil wet. FYI I bought my gardening gloves from the dollar store a couple years ago.

I made a hole with my finger to make a nice spot for the seeds to go in.

Planting Seeds

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I love this photo.  Popping open seeds pods that I let dry on the vine from last year is something that’s exciting to see what’s inside.

Pretty straight forward to drop the seed in the hole you made and cover it up with soil.

Not all seeds will grow, I usually drop at least 2 seeds per spot

Mini Greenhouses – Encouraging seeds to start

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Keeping it real and again, using what I have.  A plastic container, vacuum bag and my window. Anyway I can to encourage the seeds to grow. I usually put it in my greenhouse and check on them if they are watered.  This year the frost is still here in the mornings.

I can’t end this post here and just say “Happy Planting”.

Bonus Tip – Community Outreach

My heart has been heavy with the current world state.  I see bloggers I’ve connect with here online in full on Quarantine. My husband and I are blessed he’s still working and we are not affected by job loss. Many are loosing their jobs here in Canada with COVID 19 outbreak happening.

With having young kids and we are taking the government order very seriously to stay home. I would love to reach out and help my community in any way I can.

I created a Garden Swap Box.

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  • I took an old planter box that was made for a Garden Party a couple years ago.  I don’t have a fancy word making machine.
  • I used my stencils and pre-planned my words on paper.
  • Using a Foam Brush I painted the words on.

Here’s how it turned out.

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While the kids painted I painted too. I asked a neighbor if I could put it out on his corner of his yard.  I put a plastic container with some seeds in unopened seed packages that I won’t be using and some pots to get people started.  Not sure who will use it.

Have you started seeds?

What are you planning to plant in your garden this year?

 

 

Living on One Income

One IncomeI cried today.

I need to pause my regular home/garden content and talk about something important. 

Real day in the Life post for you today. Since this outbreak here in Canada and the mad scramble for the grocery store, we’ve been OK.

  • Store was out of wipes – I told my husband to buy cloth ones. 
  • Store was out of bread – I baked a batch.
  • Just recently I pulled out and organized my “home school” supplies. No, we don’t home school. BUT my son has missed SO many WEEKS of school this year. Plus homeschooling has been heavy on my heart and mind this year, as of today, now I know why.

Uncertain times have been a reality for my Husband and I.  I would be lying if I said life was a breeze. I can share all the cute pictures I want of our home and make my blog seem super attractive but there the real life realities that our family faces ALL the time.

Living on ONE income and how we did it!

We are not alone with the worldly reality of what’s happening and not sure about our financial future.  Thing is, I feel like to some degree because of our past experience with uncertain times it’s not hitting us like walking into a brick wall like it used to.

In 2014 we came to the realization I needed to stay home.  Prior to this in 2012 BOTH my husband and I dealt with uncertain Job positions and felt the biggest blow when he learned the shop he was working for was closing and the job I had worked at prior to my mat leave didn’t have a position for me to go back to.

We have a saying in our family “God Provides”

I’ll share more about how that situation ended.

I’m not a financial guru, just sharing how we KEEP living on ONE income. Writing this in no particular order. This is my own personal experience.

1: Family Haircuts – YES I cut EVERYONE’S hair in our family of 5. Our guess was saving us $800 a year doing this.   That figure is based on the most basic/ cheapest haircut we could all get in town.

2: I DON’T spend money on is my nails done, hair dyed, wax, spray tan…Whatever it is that most women treat themselves on I see as a waste of money and just don’t spend money on it.  Remember this is my own personal opinion, comment isn’t meant to offend anyone.

3: Hang Dry laundry – I did the math, $500 in savings on my mat leave (2012)  for the entire year.

4: Cloth Diapers – Even if you’re doing this 50% of the time, your still saving money.  Worth the time and energy that goes into it.

5: Vegetable Gardening – More to share about this in the coming weeks. Still eating fresh/frozen food from last year.

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6: Take a vehicle OFF the road.  If one of you can walk or bike to work, sell a vehicle or take the vehicle off the road.

7: Sell stuff – This past Sept we sold over $1,000 of stuff we had laying around our home.

8: Baking – Have you seen how expensive packaged snacks are for school?? Between this and cloth diapering is a HUGE savings on our grocery bill.

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9: Accept hand me down clothes.  I grew up with this as a kid. I was blessed pretty early on with hand me downs for my kids.  I make sure to pay it forward once my kids grow out the clothes. Friends and I do clothing swaps all the time since our kids are close in size. Notice I said “Accept”. I don’t focus on fashion, it’s not worth the cost.  From what we get for our kids I think they look pretty good all things considered.

10: Buy Local food.  With doing most of the above buying local meat and produce is affordable. We buy a lot more higher quality food. It comes down to healthier choices with what we put in our bodies.  I’m someone who struggles with my gut health.  Making this switch, not so many flair ups anymore.

11: DIY – This applies to ALL areas of our home. Vehicles – My husband is a mechanic. Home Decor, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting a room for example. Almost all of our construction stuff in our house we do. With the exception of needing professionals when it’s above what we can do. 

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12: Gardening and Lawn Maintenance.  This seems like a common sense item to me.  BUT, with the amount of small lawn companies that frequent our neighborhood I know lots of people get their properties cared for.

13: Rent Equipment: If we don’t own the equipment to do a small job, instead of hiring we rent it.

14: Date Night in – PUT THE PHONES DOWN…Play a game, invite another couple over to play a game night for example. 

15: Shop clearance, deals, sales or always look second hand.  This has saved us tons of money. My husband actually can’t stand that I’m a roadside picker upper. Yup, if it’s worth it, then I stop.  FYI – A chunk of my gardening pots I acquired this way.

16: Side Hustles: Direct Sales with Arbonne and THIS BLOG! I recently made the change to have ads.

I could keep going or expand more on any of these topics.  I’m not a financial blogger and there’s many great blogs or books to read.  This is just a list of how we do it. It is still tight to live on one income. 

Seeing as how much people ask me to be a part of stuff that costs money to do, tells me they think we got it figured out. 

It takes lots of communication between my husband and I and not giving in to our kids.  At the end of the day we lean on our Faith. God Provides. Doesn’t mean we don’t need to spring into action and get creative when your income gets cut in half. 

It’s happened a few times to us. Each time we’ve just gotten smarter.

Back to our story: In 2012, my husband legit walked back into his old job.  I scrambled to find work in a different school district and found childcare.  Our story keeps working out again and again. 

Hope seeing our list of what we do with living on one income is helpful. 

Share in the comments of other tips that are helpful to you!