September 29, 2013

Healing Hearts Walk to Remember 2013

Every year, I participate in a walk to remember my angel babies.  I have loss 3 babies and I think about them often.  Today, was the 6th Annual Healing Hearts Walk to Remember.  

Before the walk today I stopped off at Party City and got some balloons to release when my babies names were called.

Here's the 3 balloons.

I picked up the yellow balloon for my friend Sharon for her loss.

After my babies names were called and a bell was rang for each, Nathan and I released the balloons and watched the balloons float up towards Heaven.

The organizers of the walk did a butterfly release last year and they decided to do it again this year.  Instead of having 2 big boxes of the butterflies, this year each butterfly was individually wrapped.  
You could hear the butterflies fluttering in the paper.

I got 3 butterflies for my losses (since everyone had one and there was extras).  My sister Ashley and my BFF, Kristen helped open the papers and together we released the butterflies.  
There was a message that said........ 
"On the wings of the tiniest earth angels may the spirits of those that we mourn today be remembered and may this be the start of healing for all".

The butterflies take a while to get going and sort of land on the ground before taking off in flight.  Here's one of the butterflies after the release.

Angel babies forever our hearts....

Miller Baby 1
Miller Baby 2
Miller Baby 3 
and Baby Colleluore

September 28, 2013

Breaking Bad......Baking Bonnie

My husband and I are Breaking Bad fans.  Nate thought it would be funny to make a youtube video called, "Baking Bonnie".  Enjoy! :)

September 25, 2013

Garden Update: Day 215

Today is garden update 215.  My container garden has diminished from what it looked like last month.

Here's everything except the grape tomatoes and peppers.

This is my lemon tree.  The lemon is still not ripened yet.

There's some flowers on the plant.  

Here's my potatoes.  The flowers have just about all died off.  There should be potatoes soon.  Today is day 74 since I planted them from a whole potato.  I believe there's 3 potato plants here.

This is my gerba daisy plant.  All the flowers have died off but there is some new leaf growth so I don't want to dump the plant just yet.

Here's my rose plant.  Remember when I saved it?  It's very happy.  :)

September 22, 2013

RVA Swappers Meet (2nd visit)

Today, was the RVA swappers.  So much fun seeing what everyone brings!  Today, was a light crowd.  

Here's my Pumpkin Pie spice in cute little jars with tags and the tray of mini pumpkin muffins to taste.  

Kristen made her AWESOMESAUCE (applesauce).

There was a reporter and a photographer from the Richmond Times Dispatch to do a story on RVA Swappers.  The reporter interviewed Kristen and I.  Maybe we'll get in the paper?

Here's the all the swapped goodies on the table.  The reporter and photographer are in the background sampling the goodies.  :)

Here's my goodies.  Pound cake, toaster strudel, pickled figs, apple pumpkin butter, applesauce, and some jam.  In the box is some homemade noodles from the place we had the swap at.

Here's Kristen's stash.  We got some of the same things.

I can't wait for the next one.  I have a food swap that I planned for work that I hope becomes a hit.  We'll see. It's set for October 1st.  :)

Update:  The Times Dispatch article was released a few days ago.  Read it here.  Kristen and I were misquoted.  We said this was our 2nd swap and the writer said it was our 1st.  Ah well.

Pumpkin Pie Spice and Pumpkin Muffins

Kristen and I planned to go to another RVA Swap.  I decided to make pumpkin pie spice.

Yesterday I made my pumpkin pie spice and I also had more Vanilla Extract that was ready for bottling so I did that as well.

3 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Mix all spices in a bowl and then add to a small spice/ball jar.

Here's a picture of some of the Vanilla Extract bottles.  I plan on selling these at upcoming craft shows.

I made mini pumpkin muffins for the taste item at the food swap.  I used my pumpkin pie spice in muffins.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 (15 oz) can of 100% pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of water or OJ (pulp free)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I used my homemade, and it's not in the original recipe I added it in)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt to a bowl.  In a separate bowl mix the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, OJ and vanilla extract.  Beat the dry mix into the wet until combined.  Add to your muffin tin and bake for about 15 minutes.  I did one tray of mini muffins and put the rest of the batter into a loaf pan and baked a loaf of pumpkin bread.  The bread took about an hour.

Garden Update: 206

Here's what's left of my deck/patio container garden.

My grapes tomatoes are still coming in.

This morning I picked a red pepper from my plant inside and this green one came off too by accident.  I took them down and gave them to Kristen and Dave for them to use.  I also gave them a bunch of fresh grape tomatoes.  :)

Spotsylvania Farmers Market: Visit 3 (Gordon Road)

This past Saturday, I went to my favorite farmers market.  I had $25 cash and some odd change.  I spent everything but the change.  LOL

I got lots of yummy stuff!!!  :)

2 Nectarines
4 Honey crisp (crack) apples
2 Jonagold apples (for Kristen)
2 squash  (all the veggies I got from Ochoa Produce)
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
2 red bell peppers
9 potatoes
3 chocolate chip cookies with sea salt  (Nancy's desserts)
4 giant sugar cookies  (Cookie Creations LLC)


September 21, 2013

Garden Update: Day 205

A few days ago, I was watering and checking my pepper plants.  I've been growing my peppers inside at a window with plenty of sunshine to protect them from caterpillars.  I have many red bell peppers and lots of new pepper growth on my petite yellow bell peppers.  The red bell was from a starter plant I got from Walmart and the petite plant was a rescue from Lowe's clearance bin.

Here's both plants.  (Late afternoon picture so it looks dark)

Red bells are green bells before they turn red.  :)  These two peppers are almost ready.

I'm so glad I finally grew my own.  Last year, I tried but the caterpillars ate or destroyed the peppers before they were done growing.  I wished they were bigger but I don't think they are going to get much bigger than they are.  I read to add epsom salts to the soil to get big peppers.  I might have to try that next year.  I also plant on starting my peppers from seeds from this year and I plan on starting early next year.  I figure it doesn't matter how early I start them b/c I will grow them inside again.

Another pepper turning red and lovely.  :)

Look real close and you can see peppers.

This is the petite yellow bell peppers.  See all the peppers?

Here's a close-up.  :)  My plants make me smile.  Happy plants= Happy Life.  :)

September 14, 2013

Garden Update: Day 202

Today is update 202.  

Here's my potato plants.  This is day 63 for these guys.  I have several flowers.  Once that flowers die there should be potatoes buried down in the dirt.

Here's a close up of the flowers.

My marigolds are still blooming more flowers.  It's day 162 for them.  I started them from seed.  :)  I might take a few of the plants and repot them into there own pots since they keep growing.  The marigolds help keep bugs away and are great companions for tomatoes and potatoes.

This is my Meyer lemon tree.  It's still doing great.  Lots of green leaves and some tiny flower buds.

The lemon is still green but it is trying to turn yellow.

I'm sad to say that I think my pumpkin plants are done.  I dumped them into the compost pile today.  I'm not sure what happened.  They either didn't get enough water or the humidity got to them.  Next year, I am going to plant the pumpkin seeds earlier and I am going to grow them inside and not let them outside at all.  I found stink bugs on them so they could have been the culprit of why they didn't make it.  They did really well indoors and I'm am determined to grow a pumpkin.

I'm still getting grape tomatoes.  And I've now pulled 5 horned caterpillars off the plant.  I've been collecting the caterpillars and putting them in a little red tupperware.  I hate those caterpillars and the turds they leave EVERYWHERE.  EWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Here's the gross horned caterpillars.  These things will RUIN your tomato plants.  I've found a few with these white egg things on their backs.  I thought it was baby caterpillar eggs but I just read on the internets that it's actually wasp babies and once a caterpillar gets these on their back then they are pretty much doomed.  I kinda feel bad for them now but then I look at my tomato plants and I don't feel so bad for them anymore.

Here's what's left of my garden.

Inside I still have my yellow petite peppers and my red bell peppers.  I have 2 peppers that have red on them.  Hopefully, they will all turn red.  If not, I will just eat them as green peppers.  :)

Spotsylvania Farmers Market: Visit 2 (Gordon Road)

This morning, I ran some errands and decided to check out the Spotsylvania Farmers Market.  I went to the Gordon Road location.  It's def my favorite farmers market.  It has so many farmers with a ton of produce and it's spaced out perfectly.  :)  On the way over, I made a list in my head of items I wanted to get.  Like Peppers, onions, and squash for dinner meals.  I had $25 in cash to spend so I knew I could get a bunch of different items.

First stop.......a booth with plums, peaches, apples and nectarines.

Delicious honey crisp apples.  I tried the honey crisp variety last year from Wegmans and it's very crunchy and sweet.  I guess that's why it's nicknamed crack apples.  LOL  

I made my way over to C&T produce and got some peppers and potatoes.

At Ochoa Produce booth, I walked about and got some yummy veggies.  I picked up onions, peppers, squash, zucchini, and a small eggplant.  I haven't had eggplant so I figured I would start with a small one and incorporate it into dinner this week.

Yummy peppers in assorted colors.  :)

Beans.....I love that they are purple.  :)

This booth (Ochoa) was busy (as well as the entire market).  The owner (in background) was wearing a Miss. Watermelon sash.  There was plenty of fresh watermelon for sampling.

I stopped off at Roberto's Produce booth and got a mini pumpkin for $1.  Pumpkins make me happy.  :)

Here's everything I got.

6 onions, 1 pumpkin, 2 squash, 1 zucchini, 1 eggplant, 7 peppers, 4 potatoes, 3 apples, and 1 nectarine.  

I had $1.12 leftover.  :)  Oh when I stopped at Nancy's booth to get cookies they had some sampling of mint green tea and blackberry basil lemonade.  I took a sample of the blackberry basil lemonade.  It was really good and refreshing.  I think it would be really good as a slushie.  There was none left to buy but I sure would have gotten some if there was any left.  :)  Next time maybe.