My Life of Travels and Adventures: 2017

Garden Update

10 July 2017

So since my last garden update a lot has changed.  Mainly everything has been transplanted and is growing.  
The last two weeks of May were spend transplanting.  A lot.  

Peas on the fence panel and two rows of tomatoes in the background

All of these paste tomatoes were grown from seed.  I transplanted 50 paste and 10 beefsteak tomato plants.  We lost a couple of the paste plants in the transplant. 
I ended up getting a few more fence poles to help the paste tomatoes stay upright.  

Here are potatoes have yet to sprout.  We have three rows of different potatoes in the foreground.  

Despite the dog and kids constantly trampling the onion bed the onions actually took off.  
We also have a couple rows of corn and sunflowers on the far side of the peas.  

As well as celery, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, oregano and spinach behind the onion bed. 
We have harvested spinach several times and peas a couple times so far.  

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Garden Tool Organizer

06 July 2017

This spring/early summer has been all about the garden.  And this latest project is no different.  
For Easter the kids both got a set of kid sized garden tools. Those tools combined with my own garden tools and then the hose, sprinkler and hose nozzle made for a very messy garden.  

I knew we needed a designated spot for the tools but wasn't sure how to keep them contained.  After a little pinterest looking and then surveying of supplies we already had on hand... This pallet garden tool organizer came to life.  
We ran a couple long screws through the back of the pallet and into the fence pole to hold everything in place.

I had 4 small garden tools and the kids each had a little kids shovel (Pink Princess Shovel/ Batman Shovel) so we just used 6 long screws to create hooks.  For the hose we used one of these square screw in bike hooks that we had in the garage.
 When I tilled the garden, I added this little section up front.  Mostly because we had a tree removed there and the ground around the stump has yet to grow anything on it.  Not it is covered in hay and a perfect spot for the garden tools to live.

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Jalapeño Cheese Muffins

30 June 2017

I have been making these breakfast muffins for a couple years now.  However, this year our garden has a dozen jalapeño pepper plants growing so I feel like these Jalapeño Cheese Muffins will become a regular staple around here.  

Makes 12 muffins

Muffin Batter
2 1/2 C Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Garlic Salt
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
2 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
6 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, cubed
2/3 C Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg
1 C Milk
1/2 C Sour Cream
4 Tbsp Butter

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 C Muffin Batter
2 Jalapeno, seeded and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray and set aside. 
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, garlic salt and onion powder. 
3. Add the 2 diced jalapeño pepper, cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.  Mix until combined evenly. 
4. Add the egg, milk, sour cream and butter.  Mix until combined.  Don't overmix.  Remove 1/2 C batter fit the filling.  

5. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, reserved muffin batter and 2 jalapeño peppers.  Beat on medium until smooth.  
6. In each muffin cup, add a heaping tablespoon full of batter, then a tablespoon full of the cream cheese filling, finally top with a the remaining batter. 
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

26 May 2017

Mornings are always hard around here. Everyone is dragging and most of us still want to be in bed still.  Breakfast must be served but usually it is something quick that has been remade.  These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins have really been a hit.  And this momma loves that they can be stored in the freezer so I usually make a double batch each time.  

2 Eggs
1 Banana
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 Tsp Baking Powder
3 C Oats
1 C Milk
1 C Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside. 
2. Mix the eggs, mashed banana, brown sugar and vanilla together.  
3. Add the baking powder, oats and milk and mix.  
4. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.  
5. Divide the batter into the muffin cups.  
6. Bake for about 20 minutes.  
7. Enjoy!

I freeze these for a quick breakfast treat.  

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Gardening with Kids

23 May 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
I have been talking a lot about gardening around here lately.  So it seems only fitting that I finally talk a little about gardening with kids. Having the kids help with the garden is rewarding but sometimes stressful.  My poor onions this year.  The kids trampled the transplants and I replanted them several times already. 

Below are several tips that make gardening with the kids easier and more enjoyable for all of us.  

Kid Sized Garden Tools - This year the kids both got their own set of garden tools for Easter.  They each got a little hand shovel and kid sized long handled shovels, rakes and hoes.  They are easier for the kids to use and now my tools are just mine. 
Plant Something Fast Growing - Reid loves checking on the garden and seeing what has sprouted, whats growing, etc.  But most plants don't change that quickly.  So one of the first things we plant each year is a row of peas.  They sprout fast, grow fairly quick and make for a yummy garden snack while checking on everything else.  
Be Prepared - Sometimes its a quick trip to the garden to check on the plants and sometimes we spend most of the day in the garden, either way I always make sure that I have applied Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Baby on everyone.  
Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen Baby is perfect for keeping the entire family safe from the sun.  Blue Lizard® has an unique zinc oxide formulation that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and the Blue Lizard® Baby is paraben-free, chemical-free and fragrance-free

Have a "Play Garden" - We have a small area next to my garden that is the kids garden.  Its a place where they can dig holes, make mud pies or plant the left over seeds however they want (6 sunflower seeds per hole).  
Think Simple - Digging holes for transplants, pulling weeds from the walkways, watering the plants  or picking ripe vegetables are fun garden tasks for my kids.  Most of the time they get bored after a few minutes of a particular task and leave the rest to me, but they do help for a bit.  
Grow Something They Picked - For the last couple years, I have took Reid with me to the greenhouse and let him pick out something for the garden that is all his.  Last year, he picked pickling cucumbers and he helped transplant, water and then harvest his plant.  Although, they would not have been picked by me, we ended up with jars upon jars of pickles that everyone enjoyed. We haven't made the trip to the greenhouse yet this year but I am curious on what he will pick.  

Blue Lizard® is available at Walmart so I can pick some up, along with more garden goodies all in one trip.  Also, if you join iBotta, you can earn $4.00 when you purchase the 5oz bottle of Blue Lizard® Baby.

* Parents should consult with their pediatrician before using any sunscreen on a child younger than 6 months.  

How do you get your kids involved in the garden?

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