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DIY Painted Garden Rocks

A simple springtime gift for gardeners.

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Now that it's warmer outside and the days are longer, I've been itching to get started on my vegetable garden. Unfortunately, the weather here in the Portland area hasn't been cooperating lately. We've had tons of rain and wind, so I'm getting creative with indoor-friendly gardening activities in order to feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. Truth is, I've been wanting to paint rocks to use as garden markers for years now, and this rainy weather has given me the perfect excuse … [Read more...]

Wildflower Seed Favors

The perfect favor idea for springtime gatherings.

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What better way to head into spring than by hosting a flower arranging class! There is something so soothing, nurturing and creative about experimenting with the many colors of blossoms, petals, stems, and foliage. To me, it is like a blank canvas, awaiting the rich and vibrant hues and textures, ultimately making a masterpiece. In connection to this flower arranging workshop, I will utilize this opportunity to share thoughts about “Nurturing From Within” and “Blossoming from the … [Read more...]

Baby Spider Plant Housewarming Gifts

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If you have a healthy, well-fertilized spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) growing in your home, you are already likely aware of its tendency to send out long stems with developing baby spider plants in the summer when the days are bright and sunny. Fortunately, those baby spider plants are easy to propagate with just a little water, a few planting pots, and some good garden soil. For an excellent guide on propagating spider plants, read this detailed guide by Amy from Get Busy … [Read more...]

Chalk Painted Seed Starters

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To help stave off the gloom that befalls the winter months following the holidays, you can brighten your friends’ days by gifting little, chalk painted seed starting planters! I’ve wanted to make homemade chalkboard paint for a while, and this is the perfect occasion. These gifts are cute favors for many different reasons, for instance baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, etc. This time, I made them just because! Chalk Painted Seed Starter Pots What You Need: • ½ Cup flat … [Read more...]

Sriracha Hot Sauce

Sriracha Hot Sauce from My Own Ideas blog #homemade #recipe #garden #gift

I’ve been really lucky with my chili pepper plants this year, so I’ve been looking for ways to preserve my ripe chilies and/or use them up in recipes as much as possible. Recently, I came across this post for homemade sriracha sauce, and was immediately intrigued. First, as a huge fan of Huy Fong’s sriracha (also known as ‘rooster’ sauce), I knew that if I could make a version at home that was half as tasty as its bottled counterpart, I’d be happy. Second, homemade sriracha sauce … [Read more...]

Homemade Garlic Salt

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This is an amazing gift, and is not difficult. It needs some planning ahead. And talk about mileage! You will be remembered every time the cook adds a bit of garlic salt to a dish. If you don't grow your own garlic, purchase it from a farmer's market where you will find the best and freshest, and you will be able to get a variety that can't be found at a grocery store. Every year I provide garlic from my garden for our entire family. My favorite is a pink variety that I have grown since we … [Read more...]

Zucchini Hummus

Zucchini Hummus recipe from My Own Ideas blog #homemade #labels #recipe

One of the first things I was warned about as a newbie gardener was the overwhelming abundance that comes from zucchini season at its peak. Admittedly, I have been on both the receiving and giving end of those infamous, yet well-meaning zucchini gift-baskets that are often left on porches and doorknobs of unsuspecting friends and neighbors. Despite the fact that I’m no longer new to vegetable gardening, I’m always surprised at how productive my zucchini plants are each year. Thankfully, … [Read more...]

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo recipe from My Own Ideas blog #salsa #recipe #homemade #labels

If I had a tiny garden with just enough space for a few vegetables to grow, I would make sure to plant onions, hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro so I could make homemade pico de gallo (Spanish for rooster’s beak) all summer long. Pico de gallo is one of my favorite snack foods, and can be eaten with tortilla chips, or served in place of other types of salsas in Mexican food, over meat dishes, or on top of salads. Best of all, it is super healthy, and tastes light and fresh, which is perfect … [Read more...]

How To Host A Canning Party

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I love August, not only because it's my birthday month (and yes I celebrate it for a full 31 days), but also because my vegetable garden starts producing ripe tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, cucumber and other home grown veggies on a daily basis. In years past, I've only planted enough to eat fresh veggies for the summer, but this year I went crazy and planted a much larger garden with the goal of doing some home-canning. Although I've watched my mom can tomatoes, peaches, and freezer jam when … [Read more...]

Apple Kringle

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One of my favorite things to make for dessert is pies. Well I must digress for a moment.. to crust. Anything with a crust is my favorite thing to make. No matter what filling might be inside, it serves for me as an accent for the crust. You can have crust without anything, golden brown and straight out of the oven, and it’s terrific. So start with the crust, then when you fill it with something, you are adding to the fun. Of all that you can do with crust, my favorite thing is pies... and … [Read more...]