One of my goals for 2017 is to write more regularly- to map out all the little things that got me through the day and into the weekend. I’ll be sharing an article I couldn’t stop thinking about, a product I love, a song I had on repeat, or a book that really stuck with me: tiny glimpses of what I’ve been up to and things you might enjoy as well!
There are finally more and more signs of life in the garden (get ready for me to be garden-focused for a while…) now that we’ve got warmer weather and frequent rain. I try to keep the plus sides of frequent rain in my mind while I’m walking in to work- usually I just grumble about how I (just) blew my hair out and no matter what products I use, rain=instant frizz. If anyone has any suggestions to combat that, let me know!
Last year we swapped our big leaf hydrangeas for hand-me-down oak leafs across the front of the house. The macros just weren’t getting big enough to fill the space and needed so much attention. Oakleafs are extremely sturdy in our area and can withstand a good amount of sun as well as shade. They aren’t as needy, can go a while without water (the macros would droop on hot summer days), and have lots of all year interest. They are just now getting their velvety leaf clusters so soon their peeling golden stems will get big, fuzzy, mitteny leaves. And then after that big white blooms! And after that, dried pink flowers and then rusty red autumn leaves! Can you tell that I love Oakleafs?
My hope is that they will eventually fill out nicely beneath the kitchen and bedroom windows. Right now they’re (just) below the kitchen window which is so, so nice when I’m cooking or washing dishes. I recently finished painting the front door and the shutters cobalt blue and I’m hoping that the dark green leaves and fluffy white blooms will be a nice, cheery contrast to the grey and blue. I also moved some yard ornaments – my (currently getting rehabbed) Buddha and my glass balls to the front porch and soon we’ll be filling in the front pots (right now, I’m using them for baby rhubarbs).
To extend the new color palette out a little bit, I bought two big blue pots for blueberry bushes. Blueberries are really cold hardy (though you should look for bushes 1 zone lower than your area to be safe) and can be overwintered in pots if properly cared for. I chose bushes that cover most of the summer- one is June, July, August and the other July, August, September so I should be set for a long time! I’m putting the pots in a small bed with an heirloom clematis (which has the weirdest flower) and a cheery flowering ground cover that attracts lots of pollinators so I’m hoping I get lots of berries this year!
I’ve been trying so, so hard to be good and make my own healthy food for lunch. This is extremely hard to do in a giant office complex – everybody loves takeout. Part of my motivation is health, the other part savings. It’s so expensive to eat out all the time! That said, I totally caved when I saw that Zia’s had a food truck on campus. Their Truck Salad may not have the best name but (oh my god) was it good. My plan is to get back on track by mimicking their salad since they bottle their dressing. I’m hoping to make a batch dry salad mix for the week with some variations to keep it interesting and then have a side container of dressing. Daydreaming of a MonBento box for my birthday to keep things pretty…
My night time wind-down go to has been Nigel Slater’s Notes from the Larder. I must have timed it just right because I’m pretty much right on track for his day-to-day menus. I love his style of writing and the recipes give me the nudge I need to get in the kitchen.
That said….I totally jumped off the whole food vegetable band wagon this week but it was so worth it. I made a batch of yeast-less quick cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. So good with a handful of berries and a morning cup of tea.