Thursday, May 30, 2013

Working on a Green Thumb!

So, I've been slowing learning all about plants and gardening for the past 5 years. It's slow going, but I add a few plants each year to my repertoire of gardening knowledge. I've made lots of mistakes along the way AND had lots of good results. Well, some of you may remember last month when I posted How to Create an Edging for Your Garden. Well, I figured it's about time I posted an update. I didn't get mulch right away because I planted a bunch of bulbs from Michigan Bulb Company and was nervous they'd not get enough sun. HOWEVER, little did I know that it was going to be pouring rain and I'd have a terrible mudslide! Aaahhh!! Yeah, my little (not so little) hillside garden washed away and I had to dig, dig, dig and bring some of the dirt back UP the hill! I lost 3 freesia bulbs in the process :(. SOOO Prince Charming had to pick up the mulch and we spent a couple hours getting it all in.  And guess what?? The next time it rained everything stayed put!! Score! 



So anyway...luckily my awesome sister-in-law gave me a TON of beautiful hostas, which is great because while I'm patiently impatiently waiting for my baby plants to grow (seriously, the waiting is killing me!!) I at least have some lovely greenery. 

Alright, so onto the is my pitiful little Fernleaf Bleeding Heart. Next year it'll probably be triple the size if not more. When I ordered a garden from Michigan Bulb Co. several years ago at our old home the first year all the plants were fairly tiny. However each subsequent year they grew like crazy! I have to keep reminding myself "patience is a virtue...patience is a virtue....patience is a virtue..." sigh....I'm so NOT patient!

YES!! Finally my Lilies are coming through!!! I think I would have done a backflip today when I saw this if I was even capable of doing so....

I cannot WAIT for these to grow and bloom....Shasta Daisies!! One of my favorite flowers!

My Lily of the Valley plants.

Lily of the Valley up close and personal.

Widow's tears.

My 12" lilac. 

My primrose plant.

My raspberry bush transplanted from a neighbor's yard last June. It's more than double in size!

These fronds are my 2nd year asparagus plants planted in my Step Garden. Next year I get to harvest all of them babies! Can't wait! They're blocking the sunlight!

More updates to come...I just planted some veggies but forgot to take the rest of the pics...oops!

So there you have it! Hopefully I don't kill any plants especially since the mudslide already took some of them out. I am patiently waiting for my Ferns and Begonias but they are TAKING FOREVER! And believe me...when I said I'm impatient...yeah...I already dug down to the bulbs twice to see if there was any progress! Hopefully I didn't kill them in the process....can we say OCD???

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Make a Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

How to Make a Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

I don't know about y'all but my life is CRAZY busy! So when I get SICK of eating crappy fast food it's nice to have a way to make dinner with minimal effort. Especially when it's waiting for me....all finished....when I get home from work! This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's recipe for a traditional pot roast. It's simple and delicious!


3 lb bottom round roast (can use a chuck roast if you want. It's cheaper:) )
salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon beef bouillon granules
2 bay leaves
6 carrots, peeled and quartered
For Gravy:
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon
1 1/2 cups reserved liquid from pot roast (after it's cooked)

1. First preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil. While the pan is heating, season roast with salt pepper and garlic powder.

2. Sear meat on all sides. You're not trying to cook it, just brown the outside.

3. Add onion and garlic to pan and add more vegetable oil if needed. Saute the onion and garlic trying to soak up the flavor from the beef.

4. Place roast onions and carrots in a slow cooker.

5. Mix mushroom soup, Worcestershire, red wine, bay leaves, water, and beef bouillon together. Pour over the roast. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

6. Remove roast and carrots.

7. Strain out onions and carrots. I leave some of the onions in because I like them in my gravy but you don't have to if you like your smooth. 

8. While roast is resting melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauce pan and add 1 tablespoon of flour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

9. Whisk together and cook 1-2 are making a roux which is a thickening agent.

10. Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups of reserved liquid from the slow-cooker. Boil until sauce thickens into a gravy thickness. Pour over roast and enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Braces Then, Braces Now {Sponsored Post}

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Things sure do change over time. Some for the better and some not. Do you remember when we used to use pagers? I thought they were the coolest thing...until your sister pages you with 911 in the middle of a movie at the movie theater just to borrow a shirt! Not cool! :) Well, I must say that braces have been one of those things that HAS changed for the better! Especially if you are using Invisalign! For me, I was one of those weird kids that was excited to get braces. I hated my teeth and when I found out I was actually getting them I was thrilled! Now when it came down to it though I didn't enjoy the actual process. Who loves to have a mouth full of metal? No chewing gum, no popcorn, nothing sticky at all. And forget about corn on the cob!

Well, my husband and I both were *blessed* to have to endure braces and we pretty much are guaranteed to have to put all three of our princess in them as well. So when Invisalign told me about Invisalign Teen I was pretty excited! We have a few years yet till we will have to get them started but I'm glad to know there is an affordable more aesthetically pleasing option for braces now!

Check me out in my teenage metal mouth 'hotness'! Ha Ha! No longer do kids have to have braces that are bonded to their teeth like I did. They can take them out to eat any food they want! The cost is about the same as traditional braces, and the system usually requires fewer visits to the orthodontist. You don't have to worry about "emergency" visits for broken wires or brackets. I remember kids with metal wires and brackets getting hurt in sports because of their braces. No more with Invisalign!

Even the process of getting braces is more streamlined! NOW, Invisalign's technology makes it easier than ever using a high tech camera the aligners are created digitally! So the orthodontist is able to receive precise 3D imagery through the use of an iTero wand to create a teeth straightening treatment plan with Invisalign. Hmm...I think I may need to think about Invisalign for myself...(since I was one of those kids who lost their retainer). 

So what are you waiting for? 

"Adults and teens now have a modern choice for straightening their teeth. No more wires and brackets required – Invisalign is the clear alternative to metal braces that uses a series of virtually invisible and removable aligners that gradually move teeth over time. The benefits include no food restrictions, ability to easily maintain healthy dental brushing habits, minimal interference with sports or other activities, and teeth get straightened without most people knowing you are in 
treatment. Visit the Invisalign website for more information about the clear alternative to braces."

Check out Invisalign in all these great places!

Invisalign Website:
o Invisalign on Twitter:
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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