Superfood Breakfast: Avocados and Anthocyanins

I don’t know about everyone else, but I find it really difficult to eat when I first wake up. It’s a cup of coffee for me, then off to the gym. It turns out I may actually be doing myself a favor. I recently read a study published in the Journal of Physiology in 2010 that suggests that training in a fasted state (i.e. not eating) can actually be more beneficial that working out on a full stomach. That being said, when I am done my workout, I am usually starving. I need a meal that is rich in muscle-building protein and packed with vitamins.

Today I tried something I have been seeing in the internet world lately: baked avocado egg. I liked the look of it because it reminds me of toad-in-a-hole, or egg-in-a-nest, or whatever-you-call-it… except less carb-y. Avocados are loaded with about 20 different vitamins and hunger-fighting fiber so you will be less tempted to snack during the next few hours.


I paired it with a fresh, seasonal salad of blueberries (see what else I did with them here), peaches, and purple basil that’s been growing in my planter. All three of these ingredients are packed with anthocyanins, pigments that are mostly found in blue and purple fruits and vegetables. I got to rant a little about them when I told you about my herb planter, but I am going to rant a little more. If you are not making an effort to include anthocyanins in your diet, you may want to give it a second thought. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that promote cognitive function, good cardiovascular health, and remove free radicals from your body. Also most things with anthocyanins taste good. Dark chocolate, anyone?


And obviously bacon. Because I love it, as you can tell from this and this. So ok, I am not trying to say it is a superfood. But I have weakness. I am human. As a side note to all the Paleo people out there, you may want to swap that bacon for a pork chop. If you were under the delusion that bacon qualifies as a paleo food, let me just crush that dream for you. If you don’t believe me, go read this article by Dr. Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleo movement, on the un-Paleo qualities of bacon. Interesting stuff.

In case you are interested…

How to Bake an Avocado Egg

1. Half avocado and remove pit.

2. Scoop out about 2 tbsp. from each avocado to create room for the egg.

3. Crack egg into avocado, taking care not to let it spill over the sides.

4. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until egg white had set.


What do you usually eat after a workout? Share your favorite healthy recipes with me and I may feature them on the blog! Until next time, I hope it is cooler wherever you are than it has been here.



Blueberry Scones with Lavender Glaze


Last Saturday was the Blueberry Festival in Burgaw, NC. Despite the fact that it was over 100 degrees and my Northern blood is still unaccustomed to this Southern heat, I braved the blistering sun for some fresh, local blueberry delights. My two favorites of the day were the cold ones: carbonated blueberry tea and freshly made blueberry custard. The local shrimp burger was also wonderful despite the fact that it was warm. We also came home with a whole flat of blueberries from Lewis’s Nursery and Farms for $20.

When life gives you blueberries, you’ve got to bake. Also because I still have some blueberry jam from last year and a bunch of fresh strawberry jam from the spring, baking seems like my best option! Today I just whipped up a batch of deliciously buttery blueberry scones with a subtle lavender glaze. (Remember my Multi-Level Herb Planter I made? The herbs are going wild and I am trying to find some creative uses for them!) Well, these scones are ah-mazing. They are not super sweet even with the glaze, and the delicate floral notes of the lavender linger in your mouth after the last bite.

Blueberry Scones with Lavender Glaze

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print


For scones:

  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups blueberries

For glaze:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • a few sprigs of fresh lavender, crushed to bring out oils
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until mix looks like coarse crumbs. In a seperate bowl, beat eggs and mix with milk. Add this to the dry mixture slowly while mixing. Continue mixing until the dough comes together. Gently knead in blueberries. Using your hands, gently flatten dough until it is about 3/4 – 1 inch thick. Cut with a knife (for triangles) or biscuit cutter (for circles). Place on baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove and cool.

While scones are cooling, prepare the glaze. Heat milk over high heat in a small saucepan until it boils. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and add lavender. Cover with lid and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes depending on the depth of flavor desired. Then, remove lavender or strain milk. Slowly pour into powdered sugar (about a tablespoon at a time) until an opaque glaze is formed. Allow to cool for a few minutes before spooning over the cooled scones.

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Peaches are also in season locally, and they go great with blueberries. What is in season near you? Share your favorite recipes featuring local produce and I may feature them on my blog!


P.S. A big thanks to A Taste of Home and Beyond the Plate for inspiring this culinary creation. And thanks to Lewis’s Farms for the amazing blueberries!

Whitewashed and Pickled Wood Minimalist Desk (+ Valspar Rose Gold Spray Paint)


A little while ago I came across a table in a thrift store that had these cool industrial-style legs but a hideous particle board and laminate top. Somehow I was able to convince the store employee to sell me just the legs ($7, thank you very much). It took a little bit of elbow grease to loosen the rusty hardware, but I left the store happy with legs in tow.

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them when I bought them, but things have a way of coming together. I have been in need of a small desk for a few months now (we have a computer sitting on top of a cardboard box and it is not very attractive). Anyway, I had some left over plywood from a project that didn’t go as expected. I decided to create a simple but unique desk using the metal legs and plywood.

So, let’s be honest. Plywood is ugly. No one really likes it. But at $15 a sheet it sure makes an inexpensive project material. I just needed to create a really beautiful finish for it. This is what I came up with:

To create this look, I first used a whitewash (just some watered down white craft paint) to trace some of the wood grain. It looked pretty cool as it was, but I wanted to wood to have a more weathered look.

For the next part, I put my chemistry skills to use. Yes, two years of college chemistry finally paid off. I honestly never thought I would be using anything that I learned. Also I kind of… really… hated chem classes. But there are some really cool things to be done. This is easy enough that even if you know nothing about chemistry, you can still do it!


The grey finish was achieved using iron acetate pickling. It sounds so fancy, but anyone can do this and you probably don’t even need to go to the store. Iron acetate is easily made using metal and vinegar, so if you have some steel wool or galvanized nails lying around, you can make this. It colors the wood through a chemical reaction with the tannins, a pigment found in the wood. The effect can vary greatly depending on what type of wood you are using, but it is possible to add more tannins to the wood if you want a darker finish. If you would like instructions on how to create the pickling stain and how it will affect different types of wood, please leave a comment and I would be happy to provide a tutorial. Trust me, this will make you look super cool and sound really smart when you can tell everyone that you made some home-brewed iron acetate over the weekend.


I did it in two parts to create a more layered look. The stain also took darker in some areas (due to higher tannin content in the wood), which gave even more depth to the final product. The picture above is after the first round of iron acetate.

Now the legs. As you know, I was already pretty excited about them. I debated leaving them the original color, which was sort of an avocado-ish color, but once I learned about the new Valspar rose gold metallic spray paint, I knew I had a match. I knew this would look beautiful with the top and would also create a nice blend of modern, rustic, and industrial styles. To see the full line of available metallic spray paints by Valspar, click here.

After a thorough cleaning to remove dirt and oils, I did prime the legs using one coat of Valspar Premium Primer spray paint in gray because I wanted to make sure the gold paint would adhere really well. I will admit that the nozzle was a little bit tough to operate at first. I needed to use two fingers to depress the nozzle because it was pretty hard with one. Aside from that, I loved how smooth the primer went on and how evenly it coated everything; I didn’t even feel the need to do a second coat. It also dried extremely quickly even in the 1000% humidity of North Carolina, which is a huge plus when it is over 90 degrees by 9am and you are just trying to get something done! I will definitely be using this again shortly for another project.

Next I applied two coats of the Rose Gold spray paint. The nozzle was easier to operate and the paint went on extremely smoothly. When I first saw the color, I thought it was more of a champagne pink and had a stronger resemblance to silver than gold. However; after the desk was complete and styled using touches of red, the rose and gold colors stood out a little bit more. It still looks different from what I would have expected based on the color of the cap, but I am very pleased with it and enjoy how the color appears to change with the amount of light in the room.

The plywood was not thick enough for the screw needed to attach the legs, so I reenforced the sides with some poplar wood. In the future I plan on adding a strip of moulding to the front to hide the seams in the wood, but for now it is perfectly functional.

Apparently I was also being lazy and not taking pictures of anything as I did it, so here is the final product!


I am really happy with the finished look. It is very minimalist but still very pretty with the wood grain finish. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts! And if anyone lives in the South and has any tips on how they manage to do any painting projects in this ungodly heat and humidity then I would totally appreciate that.


**This post has generously been sponsored by the wonderful people of Valspar Paints and contains affiliate links. I have received product in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own.**

Literally the Best Pork Ribs Ever

So it’s been a while since I posted. Life gets in the way sometimes. Between training for a mud race, training for a half-marathon, and a two week trip home to PA, I have been a very busy girl. Oh yeah and that other stuff, like my kid, husband, dog, broken lawnmowers, endless laundry… the list goes on.

Being busy makes me hungry. And when I am hungry I want a really hearty meal but don’t want to invest a lot of time or effort. This recipe is my go-to recipe for busy days. It takes 15 minutes during the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. It can be done in a Dutch oven or crock pot.

So, I thought I would share this customizable recipe with you because maybe you are busy too! Or maybe not and you are just looking for a the perfect way to impress someone with your cooking skills. Because this is really easy to make and you should definitely do it. Now.

The Best Pork Rib Recipe Ever

You will need:

  • About 3 lbs. bone-in country style pork ribs (or similar cut)
  • one small onion, chopped
  • a few tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • Liquid (water, tomato juice, beer, etc… more on that later)


1. In a cast iron Dutch oven or frying pan, heat a few tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion until soft.

2. In the same pan, lightly brown both sides of the pork ribs.

3. If you are using a Dutch oven, congrats. Skip this step. If you are using a frying pan, transfer onions and pork into a crock pot.

4. Pour one cup of barbecue sauce over pork.

5. Now is the time to customize it if you wish.

a. If you want to keep it simple, add just enough water to cover the pork.

b. Add one can of tomato juice, then add additional water to cover the pork.

c. Add one can or bottle of beer, then add additional water to cover the pork.

6. Turn heat on high until liquid begins to simmer. Once it simmers, reduce heat to low and cover. Or if you are using a crock pot, just turn it on low.

7. Cook for 4-6 hours or until the pork is extremely tender and falls of the bone easily.

8. When the pork is done cooking, remove pork from liquid. Set aside.

9. In the Dutch oven, turn the heat on high. Boil of the majority of the liquid until it regains a consistency similar to the original barbecue sauce. If you used a crock pot, you will have to move the liquid to a sauce pan before reducing it.

10. Pour the sauce over the pork.

This time I made mine with some home-canned tomato juice and a southern style barbecue sauce. My favorite sides for it are rice or egg noodles, but this time I served it with cheesy grits and it was amazing!


Let me know if you give this a shot and what your combinations you tried! I hope you enjoy it as much a my family does.


How to Distress Furniture with Paint and Petroleum Jelly


Tropical Storm Ana has kept me inside for the past couple of days. It’s given me some time to address the accumulated project items in my garage. Sometime last week I found this little black plant stand in my neighbor’s trash.


It was in three pieces that were easily reassembled with some Gorilla glue. Unfortunately, it was still pretty ugly. But a fresh coat of paint can easily remedy any unsightly piece of furniture.

Free pieces of furniture are a great thing for testing out any new technique you have been meaning to try. As long as it holds no sentimental value, it doesn’t matter if you aren’t happy with the result. I decided to experiment with a method of distressing furniture using paint and petroleum jelly. I am all about inexpensive ways to decorate, so this seemed right up my alley. Given that the furniture was free and I didn’t have to purchase any supplies for this project (I used some paint I had on hand from my DIY Grey Wash Coffee Table), the total cost of this project was probably about 20 cents.

Here is a really easy tutorial to follow if you are looking to try to distress furniture but don’t want to spend a fortune on chalk paint or a million hours sanding edges. If you do need to buy paint but don’t want to fork out $30 for a pint of chalk paint, I recommend Valspar Signature in a flat finish. It gives a similar look and many colors will cover in just one coat. Here I am using Smoked Oyster.

Materials you will need:

  • a project piece (furniture, frame, etc)
  • sandpaper
  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • petroleum jelly
  • paper towels
  • sealer (wax, varnish, etc)

The process:

First, lightly sand the piece to allow the new paint to adhere better. This is especially important if there is existing paint or stain, not as important if it is raw wood. Then, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove the dust.

Using your finger, apply the petroleum jelly to the edges and corners of your piece. These are the areas that would naturally show wear over time. You can also apply a little in random areas on the flat surfaces if you wish. You can also apply it more heavily on places on the edges so that the look isn’t too uniform. You can also decide if you want the piece to appear minimally or more heavily distressed, and increase or decrease the jelly-covered areas accordingly.


Paint your piece. Wait until it is dry to the touch. This will vary depending on the brand of paint and where you live. If you are in Coastal Carolina where the humidity is something like 5000%, it will take hours… but you will wait patiently so you get the best results.

If you need to, apply more than one coat of paint. Notice how the petroleum jelly repels the paint.


Now, using a damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the areas where the petroleum jelly was applied. It should wipe away easily, taking the overlying paint with it.



Protect you piece! I sealed mine using a coat of SC Johnson Paste Wax.

Clean Up:

When cleaning your brush, use a little soap and warm water to remove any excess petroleum jelly.

So here it is!!

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Now get out there and paint something! Be sure to share your thoughts and photos with me in the comments if you give this a shot. Happy DIYing!


Linking to the HOST

Ultimate Bacon BLT with Fried Green Tomato

I always look forward to the beginning of tomato season because it means I can make fried green tomatoes. If you have never tried one, you should. I usually enjoy them as a side dish with white gravy, but for the past couple of years I have experimented using them in a BLT sandwich.

This version is an over-the-top extreme bacon version that can satisfy even the biggest appetite. With lots of bacon, baconnaise, kale, and of course, fried green tomato, it is a unique variation on the classic. Enjoy!



  • Bacon (3-4 slices per sandwich)
  • Sliced green tomato (about 2 per sandwich)
  • Fresh kale with stems and midrib removed
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Baconnaise
  • Your favorite roll


1.    Begin by cooking your bacon in a pan. While this is happening, prep your tomatoes.

2.    Slice tomato into 1/2 inch thick slices.


3.    You will need 3 bowls. In the first, put a few tablespoons of flour. In the second, scramble an egg with about a tablespoon of milk. In the third, put about 1/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs (you can use regular breadcrumbs if you wish, but I found the Panko has a much better texture).


4.    Bread you tomatoes by coating them first in flour, then in egg, then in Panko. This is my go-to breading method for all fried food because it works with mostly everything and makes a nice thick crust. Set aside until the bacon in done cooking.


5.    Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towel. Make sure heat is set to medium low, then arrange breaded tomatoes in pan. This heat setting will allow the tomatoes to cook through without the breading burning. Fry until they are golden brown, then flip them. Meanwhile, you can toast your roll if you wish.


6.    Once the other side of your tomatoes are finished, drain briefly on a paper towel.

7.    Assemble your sandwich: spread some baconnaise on the roll, then stack on the fried green tomatoes, kale, and bacon!


Of course, you could swap your baconnaise for standard mayonnaise and the kale for any leafy green. 

What do you do with your green tomatoes? Tell me in the comments!

Happy tomato season to you!


Homemade Baconnaise


Baconnaise. Here is just one more reason to love bacon. If I at had you at bacon, you don’t need to read the rest of the intro.

If you are like me, you are always wondering what to do with that quart of bacon fat you are saving in your refrigerator. Maybe not. Maybe you never thought of saving it. I can come up with five reasons without even trying. Savory pie crust, white gravy, literally any fried food, bacon vinaigrette, chocolate bacon cake. It can be used as a replacement for butter or oil. If you already eat bacon, it’s economical and reduces food waste.


Ok, that was more than five. You get my drift though? This recipe is really easy, so don’t be daunted. If you have a food processor, you can do it. You probably have all the other ingredients already.


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • 1 cup melted bacon fat


*I recommend using eggs from farm-raised, free range or pastured chickens. These eggs will have a much better flavor since the chickens that laid them will be eating a proper diet including vegetation, grains, and protein (worms, insects, etc.) Chickens are not naturally vegetarian so the flavor of the egg (and possibly the bird’s health) suffers when fed a vegetarian diet.


  1. Combine egg yolks, vinegar, and mustard in food processor. I used the plastic blade for this.

3-DSC005242.   SLOWLY pour in melted bacon fat through hole at top. You can use the tube attachment or a funnel to make sure it makes it in. This process is called emulsification. The eggs (the emulsifier) help to combine the oil and vinegar into a smooth mixture, which normally wouldn’t combine on their own. Chemistry!! I added in the little bits of bacon that were in the fat, but you can feel free to strain those if you want. I don’t know why you would want to, but I won’t judge you.


And that’s it! You did it. Feel free to add salt, pepper, or other seasonings as you see fit. Or just enjoy the bacony goodness. This can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. It is possible to freeze it but it may separate or lose its texture.

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Let me know if you give it a shot and what you use it for!  I have some big plans for mine that I will share with you soon.


Jam Good! Fresh Tasting Strawberry Jam

It’s strawberry season here in Jacksonville!

Back home in PA, strawberry season to me always meant that winter was really over. I was so excited when I could finally harvest ripe berries from my strawberry patch. I could eat fresh strawberries until I was absolutely sick. Even then, there was still so much to do with them!

Of course, I don’t have my own strawberry patch here in North Carolina, so I set out to find a local farm to supply my addiction. I made a trip with some friends and our children to Carol Sue Farms in Hampstead, where you can pick fresh berries for only $1.50 per pound! The owners are super nice and the kids had a blast trying to pick the ripest strawberries (although they probably ate more than ended up in the baskets). By the time I left, I was taking 8 pounds of amazing berries home with me.


One of my first endeavors during this time is always to make some fresh strawberry jam. I have tried several methods over the years, most of which involve a lot of sugar or some other type of sweetener. Since good strawberries are basically 1000% sugar already, I have come up with my own method that makes a low-sugar strawberry spread that tastes as close to a fresh picked berry as you can get. The texture of the final product is a little more velvety than a standard jelly because of the lower sugar content.

Supplies You Will Need:

  • Large pot with lid for boiling water or pressure canner
  • Half-pint Mason Jars
  • Lids and bands (the lids must be new but you can reuse old bands)
  • Canning rack if using regular pot
  • Medium to large pot for cooking jam
  • Small pot for heating lids
  • Metal spoon
  • Potato masher
  • Immersion blender (optional)
  • Funnel
  • Ladle
  • Jar lifter
  • Magnetic lid lifter (optional)
  • Thick rubber gloves (optional)


  • 1 qt fresh strawberries
  • 1 c. sugar or 3/4 c. honey or 2/3 c. agave nectar or 1 tsp. stevia
  • 1 pkg. or 3 tbsp. low- or no-sugar pectin
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

*Each quart of berries will make 2-3 half pints of jam, so if you want more, simply increase your amounts!


1. First, all of your strawberries will need to be washed and hulled. I like the give them an extra rinse after I hull them just to make sure they are squeaky clean. I used 3 quarts of berries so I tripled everything else in the recipe.


2. Put your berries in a large pot on the stove. I like to use an enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven because it is really easy to clean, but any non-stick pot is fine. Just make sure that the pot depth is twice the height of your berries – you will get a little bubbling action once it gets going. Add your sweetener, pectin, and lemon.


3. Heat on medium-low. As the berries cook, they will release juice and get soft. Use your potato masher to (what else?) mash them. Do this at intervals as they cook.

DSC004814. In the meantime, you should be heating water in your other large pot (this will be used to sterilize your jars as well as the water bath to process and seal your jam). You can also use a pressure canner as long as you do not pressurize it; make sure the metal plate is in the bottom so the jars do not directly touch the bottom of the pot. Evenly space your jars in the bottom of the pot. Make sure they are covered with water. They will need to boil for a minimum of 10 minutes to be completely sterilized. Do not skip this step if you want your jam to be shelf stable!

DSC004805. Your strawberries should be very soft by this point. DSC00484

6. If you want a smooth consistency to your jam, use an immersion blender to blend the chunks. Or you can partially blend, leaving some chunks of fruit.DSC00485

7. This is fully blended and will make a smooth strawberry spread.DSC004868. At this point, I turn up my heat to medium-high or high to get it bubbling. Make sure to stir it frequently so the bottom doesn’t burn. It will need to cook for a while, to evaporate some of the water and allow the pectins to do their magic and thicken the concoction. You can scoop off that foam if you want to; I usually don’t because it has never affected anything except the appearance of my jam.


9. So while this is happening, heat your lid bands. I just scoop some of my boiling water from my canning bath and pour it over the bands. Then close the lid and you can set them aside until you need them. They will stay very warm in there.

DSC0048710. Back to your jam now. You need to be watching and stirring almost constantly from here on. You are looking for it to reach the “jelling point.” This is something that could have its own tutorial, so I will provide some links at the end to help beginners understand this concept a little better. This is where your metal spoon comes in to play. Below is the best picture I could get to show you approximately what this will look like when you test with your spoon. I also find it helpful to keep a dish in the freezer that can be used to drip a little jam on. It should cool quickly and you can check if its consistency is correct. The amount of time this will take will vary depending on how much fruit you are using, the size and type of your pot, and your heat source. Mine took about an hour from start to jelling point.

9. Once your jelling point is reached, remove the pot from the heat. Use your jar lifter to remove the jam jars from the boiling water bath and set them on a dish towel . You can wear the rubber gloves to protect your hands from the heat and steam if you want to.


10. Position your funnel in one of the jars and use a ladle to spoon the jam into the jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Repeat with remaining jars.

DSC0048911. Wipe any drips off of jars, then position your lids on all the jars. Now you can use you magnetic lid lifter or gloved hands to remove your bands from the hot water and fit them onto the jars. They only need to be hand tight so don’t over-tighten them!


11. Use jar lifter to put jars into boiling water bath. Make sure they are evenly spaced and not touching or use your canning rack. Process 10 minutes.

12. After that, remove from heat and use the jar lifter to remove them. Sit them on a dish towel somewhere that is out of the way. They need to sit for at least 12 hours undisturbed.


DSC00493You will hear the jars “pop” as they cool and seal. Once they are cool, check to make sure they have all sealed correctly. If not, readjust the lids and bands and reprocess (or just stick it in the fridge and eat it).

DSC00495Now your awesome fresh jam is done! Enjoy!

Please comment if you like this tutorial or have any additional questions!

Additional Resources:

Rustic Multi-level Herb and Pepper Planter

I felt like I was going crazy now that spring is here and I have no fresh produce outside my door. Since I was in desperate need of some gardening therapy, I made a trip to go strawberry picking at Carol Sue Blueberry Farm, where I loaded myself up with about six pounds of bright red berries. At only $1.50/lb it was hard to control myself.  The only thing that stopped me from getting more was also having to carry around a 20+ pound baby who didn’t want to stay still.strawberries

Right up the road from there, I picked up some herb, pepper, and tomato plants at Pender Pines Garden Center. It was a blast because in addition to all the amazing plants, they had several animals including emus, llamas, goats, and chickens. There is also a huge pond where you can feed the ducks and koi fish. All said and done, it was a freakin’ awesome day.

Since I am stuck with a season of container gardening, I wanted to come up with something creative and to minimize the amount of pots I have scattered over my horribly landscaped yard. I had a large metal basin that my ducks used to swim in when they were babies, so I decided to combine that with a Terra cotta pot to make a multi-level, space-saving planter.


I lined the bottom and sides with a contractor’s trash bag. I thought this might help the soil from eating away and rusting the metal. It is galvanized, so it’s not supposed to rust, but we all know that is a complete lie. The soil microbes will turn this into a smorgasbord.


I filled the bottom with potting soil to the level where my Terra cotta pot would sit. The metal basin is deep, so there will be plenty of root space for everyone. Clifford kept me company in the background.


I positioned the herbs where I wanted them to go and broke apart the roots a little. I chose (clockwise from back): curly parsley, purple basil, Greek oregano,  Siber thyme, and Grosso lavender, which means big or thick. You will definitely want to check that all your herbs have the same sun/shade requirements to make sure they can co-habitate.


Now all that was left was to choose which of my three peppers would be the centerpiece. I went the Bell Boy, a basic green bell pepper. I filled the pot with soil, broke apart the roots on the pepper plant, and nested it in its new home.

DSC00457 Here is a quick little biology lesson because I just can’t help myself. Green plants get their color from pigments called cholophyll, which allow plants to absorb energy from the sun. The purple basil gets its purple color from pigments called anthocyanins, which act as a natural sunscreen for the plant! Now I wish I had something orange so I can tell you about carotenoids…

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Now if you are wondering what I did with all those strawberries, you will just have to check back to find out. Until then, tell me what you are planting in your garden!

P.S. Most nurseries will take back the little plastic pots your plants came in. Otherwise, they can be recycled.


Paper Lined Drawers Tutorial

If you were reading last week, you may remember the awesome Western paper that I showed you. Well, after a few days of waiting I will finally show you what I decided to do with it!


If you are like me, you are always trying to figure out the most efficient way to get something done. When I decided to use this sweet vintage paper that I picked up from Instant Cottage Charm to line the drawers of my Southwestern Inspired Dresser, I sort of “practiced” on the first two before it came to me. By the time I did the third drawer, I felt like I had been doing this my whole life.

Ok, enough intro. It’s Monday.

Here is what you will need:

  • Awesome paper (if you want to make this really hard on yourself, choose a really complicated pattern like I did)
  • Spray tacky
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Yardstick

Start with the back left of the drawer. Use your ruler to measure the depth of the drawer at the back, then cut paper to size. Your paper may or may not fit the full length of the drawer. Mine did not. You will soon see how I dealt with this. If your paper is longer than the drawer length, you will need to measure and cut to fit both depth and length.

I used my yardstick as a straightedge and cut with my Exacto, but you could also use scissors. Apply spray tacky to “wrong” side of paper, not to drawer. Also, holding the can too close will result in the glue saturating the paper and may leave marks so be sure to hold it back about 10 inches or so.


Next, measure the width of the drawer. Cut a piece of paper which will go on the left side of the drawer bottom. The pattern should match exactly if you cut a straight line. Spray and carefully put in place so pattern aligns.


Then, measure the depth of the drawer at the front. This may be a little different from the back so it is a good idea to check before cutting! This piece will actually be glued in with the pattern upside down so that the pattern will match along the edge.

After that, you can cut the pieces for the right side of the drawer following the same order, but you will need to match up the pattern to the pieces you have just glued in.

Now all that is left is the sides. You can decide if you want the pattern to line up with the bottom or the back of the drawer. I have done an example of each so you can see what I mean by that. This part may require a fair bit of matching and cutting if you have a more complex pattern, but if the pattern is relatively simple it will not take much effort.

Pattern matches back of drawer
Pattern matches bottom of drawer

I prefer it with the sides matched up to the bottom. I think it gives the drawer a more continuous appearance. Only the corners do not match, as opposed to a whole edge with the other method.

Now it’s done!!

If you try this. let me know how it works out for you! Leave a comment and link so I can check it out!

P.S. Don’t forget to recycle your paper scraps!