So it’s the end our our gardening season this year and if you have been wondering why I haven’t been posting as much then this is why. I’m going to make this post short, sweet and as simple as can be.
First off I would like to say that I think I had a pretty good season considering I started late in the game. I think I did pretty well for myself. I had one cucumber, tons of green beans and a few red tomatoes and many green ones of course. I know that I have a lot to improve on going into my second year next year.
Secondly, the reason why I haven’t been writing and updating as much is because well their isn’t really much to update on. Other than my garden is starting to die off. I’m trying to dry out my green bean seeds so that I can grow them next year. I also decided to pick all of my sweet tomatoes (even the green ones) because it is getting cold here in north Georgia. The only plants that are still somewhat growing but I don’t expect to last very much longer are my radishes, carrots, and lettuce. I do expect those to die soon too with the colder weather coming.
Lastly, we have been trying to prepare our garden for next year. I have been trying out composting and it seems to be working out really well so far. My husband and I have been also focusing on our front and back garden by adding mulch and taking out all the weeds. He is also trying to put tarp out on our hill to try and kill the kudzu. We don’t know if it will work or help but I will be doing updates on it. Even though I gave up on planting flowers I am going to try and do it again. I still have lots of seeds left over that I’m planning to use. I also almost forgot to mention that I’m trying out a little experiment of growing plum prunes. I originally bought them at Costco and I loved them so much that I want to see if I can grow them from a seeding. I really wish that I took pictures but I basically used a hammer to hammer the seed out of the shell and then I took the seed and put it on a damp Scott towel in a ziplock bag and I set it in a window that has lots of sun for a week until it sprouted. Then what I did was after it sprouted I put it in this small pot with soil and I sealed up the bag. I don’t know what will happen but it can’t hurt to try it.
Overall, I’m really happy with my garden. I will update soon on what is going on around here. Especially with my new seedling starting to emerge and with my compost bin currently baking. I hope to update you all soon on my composting journey.
So I just want to put a disclaimer that everything in this article is my own opinion and that I’m not getting paid to do this. These are purely tips that have helped my family save money as a new family of three. If you are a new mom, a new dad, a single mom or a new family of three you are probably freaking out about the expenses of having a child. Well, these are the best tips that I have when it comes to saving money on baby and toddler items.
1. Don’t buy newborn sizes. Don’t do it because they will grow out of them in a week or two. Only buy them if you have a premie. Buy the 0-3 to start off with. The 0-3 size will last longer on your child than the newborn. In the end you will end up with a bunch of newborn clothes that he/she cannot wear and you could be spending money on those unused clothes towards diapers.
2. Buy clothes that are a size bigger than what the tag says they should be wearing at their age. I’m saying this because if let’s say you are buying fall clothes now those clothes will need to last them till March and these little guys grow like weeds. This tip helps if you are already on a tight budget. For example my son just turned 16 months and I just bought him 24 month clothing because I do not want to keep on buying clothes throughout the winter for him. Especially with prices of every item going up.
3. Join baby products communities and rewards programs. Most baby products like enfamil, huggies or pampers send out coupons and have rewards when you sign up on their website. Enfamil will literally send you coupons to use. We all know that formula can get expensive. Huggies and pampers also have rewards programs too. Also, apps like Fetch is also great to use for baby products. You get points back to use on gift cards every time you upload a receipt or order anything from Amazon. Just as a side note Amazon is great to use to buy baby items on too especially during the newborn stage . You can use my promo code PDNQ27 to get 2,000 points right now when you sign up.
4. Buying baby and toddler clothes at consignment stores or using Amazon prime wardrobe. The best decision that I made was buying my son’s clothes as a newborn at a kids consignment store. I literally got many of his clothes brand new with tags at half the price that they would have been at the store. Now when they grow out of their clothes you can always sell them back to consignment stores and get some money back for them. You can also sell gently used baby toys, bouncers, pack in plays and swingers back to the consignment stores. I also use Amazon prime wardrobe to try and buy my son’s clothes. I like using it because I’m not getting charged until the 7th day and I know myself if I forget to return it then it will sit in my closet. That way if it doesn’t fit him then it’s gets sent back straight away. I also really don’t want to bring my child out at times. It feels like I’m going on a field trip with him. Also, Amazon prime wardrobe is also good to use if you are pregnant for maternity clothes. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the store then use prime wardrobe. For one it’s cheaper than many maternity stores and you won’t risk yourself going out to the stores.
5. If you are buying clothes or any items from a big name brand store then check out their clearance items first because you might be able to buy 0-3 months baby clothes for really cheap. For instance, I really liked Macy’s backstage when they first started because I could get a pack of 2-3 rompers for like $3.00. Also, TJ max also has a lot of cute baby items for 3 to 4 dollars. You can buy clothes, bath toys and toys from TJ max.
Please share this list with every new mom or soon to be new mom you know! Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for more parenting tips!
So this week has been a good week for our garden. It starting to cool down just a tiny bit here down south. I’m trying to let what I have grow and harvest until the end of October. Just a warning for you that this weeks post is going to be a bit short.
So let’s start off with the good. I’ve grown a ton of green beans that now my son and I eat it at lunch. My husband, however, likes them raw as a snack. He is weird I know. I literally thought this plant was going to die weeks ago and then all of a sudden it came back to life. The next awesome thing that is happening is that my tomatoes are growing and sprouting. I don’t have any to eat yet but I’m excited! Even if it doesn’t get ripe I won’t be mad. I just wish that I had planted them earlier However, despite the good things I think I’m going to let my cucumber plant die. I took off the mesh covering because the rope that was keeping it together broke. While I’m glad that it sprouted one good cucumber I think I’m going to let this plant die out and just replant it next season.
Over all I think I did okay for my first season of gardening. I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks. I’m already starting to plan out our garden for next spring.
So this post this week is going to be sort of a reflection post. In the past few weeks I’ve come across a YouTuber named James prigioni. You could say that I’ve been inspired by the knowledge of his food Forrest. Well, this past week he inspired me in showing that even he can make mistakes or have problems as someone that has been growing his own food for years. We are all human and constantly learning.
Over the course of this past summer I’ve learned a lot about what I can improve on with growing my garden. For one thing don’t keep on transplanting plants or fertilizing them too early cause they may die faster. That’s a mistake that I did twice and my basil suffered because of that. I’ve also learned to properly trim my cucumber plant so that I can get a good harvest. I learned that one this past week. I’ve also learned that even though it looks half dead that it can still have a comeback like my green bean plant. I’m still getting a good harvest out of my green beans. I love growing my own vegetables and I love blogging about it. One thing that James prigioni taught me is that no matter if you are an amateur gardener like me or have lots of experience like him that mistakes and disappointment happens.
Overall, I really do enjoy it. It’s something that I take pride in and I hope to someday to inspire people to garden themselves. If you don’t know who James is and have not seen any of his videos then please go to his channel on YouTube.
So before the pandemic, actually, long before the pandemic I used to be a certified lead Montessori guide. I had to stop teaching due to some health issues and make a career shift. However, that’s a story for another day though. Anyways my husband and I always talked about putting our son in school from a young age way before he was born and this pandemic hit. I’ve always wanted him to go to school at a young age because of the benefits of social interactions at a young age.
You might say that he is too young or that you should have someone watch him. Or that you don’t think that he should be in school because of the pandemic. Well, right now we do have someone watching him but because he hasn’t been around many kids we still decided to put him in school. For us we had to weigh out the pros and cons.
For a lot of mommas like me this isn’t a easy decision. For some it maybe because they have no childcare while they work. For others it might be the one time of day where they can have time to themselves. You might also say that you shouldn’t put him in school cause of the new variants. Well, news flash you can’t predict where a virus will be and you certainly can’t shelter kids for the rest of their lives. I know that he will thrive in school because of this pandemic he has had to live a chunk of his life a tad bit sheltered. This pandemic has taken away from him meeting many family members and interacting with friends his age. I know that him being in school will have a huge impact on his learning. He will learn many new things and I know that he will make many new friends. As a past Montessori guide I know that a huge benefit to having him in school this young is that it will make him more socially mature.
All throughout this pandemic I’ve worried what will this do to his learning and mental health of staying sheltered. I’m worried what kind of toll this pandemic will take on him in the future. I’ve listed out the pros and cons of having him start school so young. Both my husband and I know that starting him this early as a toddler in school is the best for him. We didn’t make this decision lightly but at the same time we have seen how he interacts with people and we don’t want him to have social anxiety because of this pandemic. I feel that it is important that every parent should make the best decision for their child and not be shamed for it.
I know that this post seems like it’s all over the place with my thoughts about putting my child in school. I just wanted to get my thoughts out their and say that it’s ok to put your child in school or do virtual. You have to do what is best for your child and your family. Like many others I’m so tired of this pandemic and I’m ready to go back to some sense of normalcy.
Ok so since I kinda missed last weeks update I’ve decided to combine this weeks and last weeks updates. A lot has happened since I’ve last blogged. I’ve learned that I’m good in some areas and I kinda suck in others.
Onto the good parts. Well, let’s just say that my green bean plant came back from the dead and now it’s thriving! I’m having so many green beans growing it’s crazy. It’s fuller and thicker. Also a very shocking surprise that I had today was that I had my first cucumber grow! I checked it out the other day and I must have missed it. I do have lots of little ones towards the top but they aren’t growing as well. It tasted very sweet and my husband agrees that it was a very good cucumber. My other plants are growing very well outside too. I have a small variety growing outside that has grown a lot this week. I thinned them out last week so I think that helped a lot.
Even though I had some positives happen this week I also had a major blow happen. I ended up losing my remaining basil plants. I think it had something to do with the fertilizer. It was a good run while I had them but I still have more seeds for more basil plants in the future.
Overall, this has been so much fun for me to do as a hobby. Slowly I’m learning more and more about gardening. It feels great to know that That at least I know what I’m putting into my own body food wise. I think I’ve come a long way with gardening and this is something that I’m going to continue doing.
I have so many things to update you guys on. I have had both good and bad things happen over the course of the week. This week has been a whirl wind of things going on.
So to start off with the bad. I think that I may not be using the fertilizer right or maybe my plants just don’t like it. Every time I fertilize my plants die a few days after. I’ve already lost a basil plant. My plants outside are doing fine but it’s my indoor plants. Not only did that happen but I accidentally killed my large tomato’s. I made the mistake of not putting them in a pot with drainage holes. All the rain last week killed them. I’m so mad at myself for doing that. Also, if your probably wondering why I didn’t post anything last Wednesday it’s because I was sick for a couple of days. No it wasn’t covid and I know this because I was tested. Now I’m okay and almost feeling 100% myself.
Ok so onto the good. Where to start is the question. Well, let’s see my cucumber plant is doing really good so far. No cucumbers but is it growing like crazy. It’s flowering like crazy now. The next awesome thing that is happening is that I’ve got more green beans growing. I’ve seen a difference with those ever since I put the netting on. The new leaves are not as eaten up as the others. I think it took literally a few days for the leaves to be eaten up without the netting on at the beginning. Literally my mouth dropped this week when I saw the green bean plants. The leaves have come back to life and they aren’t half eaten. I don’t think that I will get a lot of green beans this year so I’m probably going to use the seeds for next years harvest.
So what is new around here you ask? You can kinda say that I got bit by this thing called the gardening bug. I ended up also sowing some new vegetables and herbs into my garden this past weekend. I’ve also become inspired by watching some YouTube videos of people who grow everything in their garden and have become somewhat self sustainable. My goal is to cut down on grocery costs. I’m also trying to get my husband, the accountant, into it as well. For one thing I think once he sees that it will make a difference in the long term then he will be more involved. Plus I think it’s a good hobby for us to do both together and eventually with our son. However, I also like the fact that it gets me focused on something other than just being a working mom. I don’t have to think about work and it is relaxing for me after putting my son down for bed. Plus it counts as a workout for me too.
So what new crops am I growing? Well, since our first frost date is for the end of October I’ve sowed crops that I will be able to harvest in about 75 days or so. I mostly tried to put out crops that we eat like cauliflower, lettuce and carrots and more tomatoes. Yes we have a obsession with tomatoes. We have to have them every Tuesday night for taco Tuesday. However, I did try to plant some crops that we also don’t normally eat as well like radishes. I also put in some new herbs such as oregano as well.
Also, last but not least I’m trying out a little experiment of using sandwich bags as a mini green house to make my super sweet 100 hybrid tomato seeds grow. I’m also thinking of maybe trying this on my basil as well. I still have my jiffy plastic container box started but I ran out of starter pods. I figured hey I have soil and I have all these pots why not do a little experiment.
Overall, I learned some new things this week that are both good and bad. I may not be the best gardener but I do have room to improve. I am determined to get my grocery costs low and to eat a over all healthier diet.
So as a new gardener I came to this bump in the road and questioning what is the right way to harvest basil? So I’ve scoured the internet and also asked my father on what’s the proper way to harvest and store basil. These are the steps that I’ve learned on how to do just that.
Ice water in a bowl or plastic container is fine
Gallon size bag
Step 1: Go through your plant and take out all the dead leaves that have fallen on the soil.
Step 2: Start cutting the stems right after the first node of the mature basil. The mature basil will have two big leaves and two small leaves on it like the one in this picture. You want to make sure you harvest the basil before those two little leaves form seeds. Once it starts forming seeds it will die. Doing this will also help encourage new and more growth. You will see more stems growing and sprouting.
Step 3: once you have harvested your basil go through them and take out any leaves that are starting to become diseased. You don’t want to eat those.
Step 4: cut off and discard the stems of your basil.
Step 5: take your leaves and run them under water to take off any soil or critters that may still be on them. Pat them as dry as you can get them with paper towels
Step 6: Put them in the ice cold water for 15 seconds. This will shock them and help stop them from going bad.
Step 7 pat them dry with a paper towel and fold the paper towel with the basil in it and store in a gallon sized bag.
Step 8: repeat steps 6 and 7 if necessary.
Step 9 date and freeze your bags for future use.
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So your a new mom or maybe this is your second or third child and you keep on seeing ads for a subscription service called lovevery everywhere. You see it on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You may have heard about it from a friend, family member or neighbor. As mom to mom or parent to parent I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think that this was and is a great product. You probably have heard of the Montessori Philosophy by now and that lovevery is started by Montessori parents and lead guides. Well, I am a certified Montessori infant and toddler guide and a parent to a 1 year old and this subscription service is awesome!
I know you probably are thinking that this thing is really expensive or that Montessori lessons are really expensive. While yes this will set you back $40 a month, however, it is well worth it. For one thing it is not as expensive as buying Montessori materials on your own. Which is way more expensive then buying this subscription service. For another thing is that these materials that loverevery uses are really durable. They have literally survived a dog accidentally chewing on them. The Montessori guide in me also loves that it has a book that teaches parents how to use the materials with their child and what activities they can do to help shape their child’s mind and body.
Another reason that I love this subscription service is that it breaks up your child’s monthly milestone ages. This is partly so that parents don’t get overwhelmed with each of the products and that they can learn where their child is at developmentally. This really benefits first time parents. They will send you a new box with the next level of materials every 2 months for your child’s first year of life. You may think that the first box isn’t worth it but it really is. My son loved looking at the back and white cards and the back and white ring and ball set. The black and white cards in the first box helps the child with their focus the first few weeks of life as their eyes are adjusting to their environment. It may not seem like a big deal to first time parents but it is a lot of work to learn to focus to a small infant.
The one thing that I really love is that it feels like I can bring a part of my classroom materials home. I have used many of these items in my own classroom. So if you can’t afford to have your child in a Montessori class then this is the next best thing. Seriously as a Montessori guide this is a awesome product. Their are specific lessons that give your child the sensory experience of feeling different textures and doing different tasks that use their hand/ eye and hand to hand coordination. One lesson that I love that they have and that I’ve always loved having in my own classroom is the object permanence box. It not only teaches them cause and effect but that an object will continue to exist even when it can no longer be seen. Another lesson that my son really loved when we got our first suscription box was the crinkle paper book. He absolutely loved looking at all the colored fabrics and feeling and hearing the crinkle paper.
The last reason that I love this subscription service is that many parents including myself don’t always really like loud plastic toys. My son is more so engaged with the lessons that lovevery provides than with the electronic toys that he received at his first birthday party. In fact he has a bunny that sings songs when you press its hands or feet that he absolutely hates. Montessori and the lovevery lessons provide opportunities where the child can play and learn independently.
I really do think that this is a great company! This is my honest review of this company. I and many other of my fellow Montessori teacher friends love this product. Montessori should be available to everyone. In fact the children that Maria Montessori first taught were children that came from the poorest parts of Italy. Also, if you still find that this subscription service is expensive for you then you can always put this on your baby registry.