Thursday, January 26, 2017

HOUSTON WE HAVE SEED STARTS!

On Sunday I started a few tomato seeds, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, cayenne peppers & aurora peppers. I have them in a a seed starting kit/house in our spare bedroom that gets very good light. I think it's the seed starter below I got from our local nursery. They are doing well & the trays are removable so you can start at different times & comes with a clear top for the green house effect.



I have been checking on them everyday a few times a day & nothing...finally this morning (A whopping 4 days later haha!!) I have seeds that have germinated!! Some of my Tomatillos Grande Rio Verde, Italian Heirloom tomatoes, & Tomato Costoluto Genovese.


All of my seeds this year are from Baker Creek Heirlooms & Seed Savers Exchange. This is my first year ordering from these companies but I love heirloom plants & have heard nothing but good things about them! Starting from seeds is what we did growing up & {can} be a lot less expensive but a lot more hands on! I urge you to check them out! They have everything your heart could desire.

On a side note I think we have already changed our mind about the raised beds... LOL! I think Brett is rethinking how much work pavers but I'm okay with that because that means I can add more beds YAY! So I guess I will just update throughout the build process.

Until next time,
Lauren 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Starting Fresh | Planning our Garden & Landscape

Hi there! A new year equals new beginnings...in fact one of my goals for 2017 is to garden more. In 2016 we moved into our first home with a real yard & backyard all to ourselves!! Since we built our home we are the first people to have lived in it & while we got minimal landscape but not enough to satisfy my love of a good garden.

For a few weeks now Brett & I have been going back & forth on the details of the backyard garden. We knew the general idea of WHERE we wanted the garden & I knew I need raised beds. No seriously, it is an absolute necessity if you live in Central Texas & also happen to live West of i35. The soil is rocky, unforgiving, and just very hard to work with & control. It's crazy because just on the other side of i35 you have rich easier to work with fertile soil. Anywho, the hardest part so far has been deciding how we will configure this garden but I think we finally figured it out!




I know the sketch is rough & definitely not to scale but we already had intentions to expand our outdoor living area with pavers so that we have more space, can get our BBQ pit out from under our patio cover & entertain easier. Texas weather is amazing & we have friends over multiple times a week so being able to hang out in the backyard & enjoy it is a necessity for us! So the whole rear half of the yard is going to be pavers to add some more seating & potentially a fire pit & be surrounded by mega raised beds! On the right side & the rear they will be large solid pieces in the corner we have a honeysuckle plant that is already planted, it smells & looks beautiful, attracts so many butterflies & humming birds. On the left side on the pavers I envisioned two large square or shorter rectangle beds with a trellis archway connecting them for beans. Brett thinks it will look horrible with the trellis but I need a few anyway so you might as well make it pretty, it will look absolutely magical once it has crops growing on it!

I can't wait for this honeysuckle to come back up!

Below are some before photos of our yard. This is the absolute extreme version of a before because it is January. So far in the last 16 days we have had 20 degree days, 89 degree days, rain & frost!! So all of our plants (or lack thereof) look rough to say the least & our grass is dormant...atleast I hope so HA!



I want to get started like yesterday but I'm going to try to hold off for at least a week. I'll just to have to start some of my seeds to curb my excitement. This is going to be a ton of work but so rewarding!

Monday, January 2, 2017

My 2017 Goals

(Brooke Taelor Photography recently took some awesome pictures of us in our new home & I will be sharing soon!! Until then you can view them & the rest of her incredible work on her website.)


Hey Yall! 2016 was an absolute JOY & full of new adventures, new experiences, and life lessons. We bought our first home, celebrated the lives of family who passed, family who came into the world, and friends who got married. We spent so much time with our families, got to fish, hunt & spend lots of time outdoors, and even go on a few adventures while we were off work. Do you know what was missing? Blogging! If there was anything I feel like I regret about 2016 would be that I didn't blog about my life in 2016 because it was such a huge year for me & my little family, that brings me into my goals for 2017...

2017 Goals

1.) I AM  GOING TO BLOG MORE!!!! There are no if's, and's butt's about it. i am going to try something new and literally plan out the time I am going to blog...which would bring me into my next goal, organization.

2.) Be More Organized. I wouldn't consider myself an unorganized human. I have a tendency to write every single little thing in my planner, I usually know where every single thing is at any given time, and I don't forget events. I want to improve my organizational skills by actually checking my planner (guilty of just not looking at it when I know I'm busy, OOPS!), meal planning more often, decluttering our lives & our home, and also planning my day better to schedule my workouts, blogging, etc. A few weeks ago I stumbled across The Blooming Homestead & the absolutely FABULOUS printables she has on her blog & I printed this family planner to use to keep track of keeping the house clean, our records, grocery lists, meal planning, etc & let me tell you...IT IS INCREDIBLE! & beautiful, what more could you need? She also has fabulous home budgeting tools. printables for around the house & a great blog!

3.) Budgeting! I am not bad at budgeting, I pay all of my bills & pay them all on time. It's my "free" money I want to get better with, it disappears so quickly & I feel like I just have nothing to show for it & it drives me crazy. Maybe that also can coincide with organization.

4.) Gardening. I love gardening, I've blogged about gardening here before but since I had very little going on in my town home I was limited to what I could talk about. I am SO EXCITED about having a backyard & expanding my garden, being more adventurous in the garden & growing our own food! I'd love to meet some other people my age that have a passion for gardening. Today I am actually planning on drawing up the plans for the raised beds I want in our back yard so I can put B to work. You can see the tiny garden I had in my town home last year here.

I wasn't exaggerating when I said tiny HA!


5.) Canning. This just kind of go's with gardening, I know from experience & the amount of things I'd like to grow that we WILL have leftovers & I want to be able to actually use/preserve them beyond just freezing vegetables. I know the basics of canning but I want to improve my skills & use them!

6.) Recycle More. We have city recycling that we pay for each month & this is the first time in my life that I have this resource at my fingertips so I am working consistently at memorizing what can & can't be recycled in our city & actually getting it into the recycling bin. I'd also love to work on repurposing things around the house if possible but we'll see how that goes. LOL

I know it may seem weird that I didn't post "Resolutions" but I honestly don't like the idea of a resolution. I feel that a GOAL is more attainable & realistic. It may just be a different word with the same meaning but it works for me...it's all mind games. What are your goals for 2017?

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