Mar 30, 2017

March Life Lately

When I was sitting down to write this post I was going to say that not much happened this month, but then I uploaded a bunch of photos! I guess things did happen this month. 

It was a month marked by swings: beautiful weather to terrible weather, feeling great to getting a stomach bug, etc. Here are a few pictures from this past month: 

Slide at church. 

Charlie and our neighbor's granddaughter are such sweet friends. I love seeing them play together. 

Charlie took this of me trying to catch a quick nap while he played. 

Having snack at Riverdale Park. 

Charlie and his friend Mabel found filling cups with mulch super fascinating. 


Wearing Mommy's shoes around the house. 

Motley sitting on Roux's head. 

His favorite book of the week. (Currently its a tractor book.) 

Bath time, fun time. 

Another snack time at another park. 

It snowed!!!

Mom put the boys to work making meatballs. 

Special dinner out with sweet friends. 

Chowing down on some grits. 

March often feels like an in-between time. Not winter anymore, but not yet full spring or summer. I'm grateful to see all the flowers and trees blooming. Everyday its another new plant. 

When we are down with illnesses or setbacks it's hard to be thankful for these happy times. Lord, help me not to forget. 

Mar 9, 2017

New Raised Garden Beds

So you know how I like to garden, right? It's a sickness really. One of the things I've missed about our old house was our established garden and established herbs. Sob! I'm still a bit tender about that loss. 

When we were looking at houses I knew I would need space to garden. I guess it wasn't so much a deal breaker as good schools and two bathrooms. But it was always a consideration. We also wanted to make sure there was yard space for play too. And this house/yard delivered big time. We even got a pool as a bonus! 

Anyways, my February goal was to get our gardens up and running so that I could get my herbs started early. (Most herbs can be started before your first frost date, FYI.) I wanted to do higher raised beds here. I've always liked the look of wood ones so that's what I started planning on. I looked at the ready-made kits and do to what I wanted to do (2 8'x4' beds) it would be about $300 before tax. When I priced out treated wood it would be over $200 and then tax.  

I really love the look of wood raised beds. But the problem with wood is that it rots. And I don't really want to go to all the trouble and expense to build the beds only to have to replace them a few years down the road. 

My mom suggested we price out cinder blocks and we did. They came in at $100, with tax. So yeah, that's what we went with. While not the most aesthetically pleasing, they are durable, inexpensive and will last us until we are tired of the beds. 

Here we are in process.  It took us two trips to the Lowe's to get all that we needed. 

Before dirt we removed the top layer of grass and put down a bunch of cardboard as a barrier. The cardboard will breakdown and enrich the soil over time. 

We called Yardworks, a local company we have used previously, and they delivered three yards of dirt the next day. 

I thought Charlie would love this, but he was mostly freaked out. Oh well... 

He helped with dirt distribution though.  Based on calculations 3 yards should have been the perfect amount,  but we had a ton leftover. We're slowly adding more as the dirt settles and will put some in other places too. 

I planted parsley and spinach seeds right away. I also started my pepper seeds inside. Is it already garden season?! Yay! 

Next up: fruit bushes! The City of Germantown had a fruit sale last Friday which we took advantage of. After redoing the shed last fall I had planned to plant some berry bushes around it.  I'm glad I waited as we got some good deals.  I'll do another post on this later when I have pictures. 

So, what kind of garden beds do you have? In the ground? Wood? Cinder blocks? Pots? 

Mar 8, 2017

Cooking Class at The Pasta Maker

This past Sunday I was lucky enough attend a sauce making class with my parents at The Pasta Maker here in Germantown. We have known the chef for nearly ten years now. Bryan and I really loved one of his first restaurants here in the Memphis area while we were dating. So much so that we had our wedding reception there. It was amazing. 

Chef Michele opened The Pasta Maker within the last six months and on Sundays he teaches classes. 

The class we took was sauce making. He taught us how to make three mother sauces and then some variations and implementations from there. 

First we chopped! 

We got to go back in the kitchen and watched as he cooked. He was great at showing us what each stage looked like and often we got to taste to tell the differences. 

The class lasted pretty much all afternoon and then we got to sit down, drink some wine and enjoy the fruits of our mostly his labor. I had a few leftovers to take home to my boys. 

They approved. While he did not give us written recipes or instructions, Mom and I took copious notes. I'm pretty excited to get in the kitchen in the next week or so to start making his sauces! 

If you have the opportunity or inclination to take a class there, GO!!!! It is so much fun and you will learn a bunch, even if you are a seasoned home cook. 

They are also open for dinner most nights and lunch on Thursdays. Go and eat if you don't want to learn to cook yourself. 

Mar 1, 2017

Coloring on Paper

My mom got Charlie a child-sized table and chairs for Christmas. We put it in his room and keep paper and chunky crayons out at all times. Charlie has gotten really into "color on paper" which sounds more like color purple. I spent about a week correcting him until I realized he was saying paper and not purple. Don't get me wrong, he still hasn't learned all his colors, but at least I now know what he's really saying. Whoops.

He usually wakes up and wants to color. Whenever we are upstairs he wants to color. It's so sweet and I enjoy sitting with him and coloring.

I need to start researching other art projects we can take on at this time.  About six months ago I got out some paint to try to finger paint with him, but he was NOT into it. He doesn't like getting his hands dirty so finger paint is probably out.

If you have any good ideas for art projects for two year olds, please let me know!!!