Our gardening Journey weeks 17 and 18

Our gardening Journey weeks 17 and 18

This weeks post is going to be a little bit different. I’ve decided to combine my weekly posts because well not much is going on here in our garden. It’s almost the end of our growing season and right now I’m in sort of a planning stage of deciding what changes we want to make in our garden.

First off our plants are still doing great. Knock on wood I’m getting some great output from my tomato plant. I haven’t harvested them yet but I see lots of them growing. I recorded some short clips of my tomato plants. It’s starting to get a little bit colder here in the south. If you live in Georgia then you know that Georgia weather can be bipolar as I call it. Where it can be cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon. As a result of it turning into fall my green bean plant has slowed down with growing and my cucumber plant has completely died on me. My plan for this week is to let my beans dry out so that I can use the seeds for the next growing season.

So what do you have planned next? Well, my husband and I already have a couple of projects planned out for this fall. The first three projects are putting up Halloween decorations, fixing up our plant bed in the front of our house and starting a compost pile. This is a brand new house so our front yard has a lot of crab grass and weeds because of the sod. It’s been kinda crazy around here with Halloween coming up. We haven’t been doing much to the garden this week because it has rained so much. As for the composter though, I found this outdoor duel one by for less than $100.00. It did take me a while to put it together but I think it will be well worth it.

Overall’ we are super excited to start planning out our garden for the spring. We hope that with adding in mulch it will give it a much cleaner look. I’m also hoping that my composting adventure will cut down on the cost of soil in our yard while also growing lots of food for us next year.

Using these tips saved me money as a new mom

Using these tips saved me money as a new mom

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.

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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!

Our gardening Journey week 16

Our gardening Journey week 16

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.

Our gardening Journey week 15

Our gardening Journey week 15

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.

This is what my green bean plant looks like now. now is really pumping out green beans!
This is what my cucumber plant looked like a few weeks ago. Since then I have really trimmed back my plant.

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.

Why I’ve decided to put my toddler in school during a pandemic.

Why I’ve decided to put my toddler in school during a pandemic.

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.

Our Gardening Journey week 11

Our Gardening Journey week 11

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.

How to harvest and properly store basil?

How to harvest and properly store basil?

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.

Materials:

Paper towels

Ice water in a bowl or plastic container is fine

Scissors

Gallon size bag

Basil plants

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.

The node is right above my thumb. So you want to cut between where my thumb and where the two stems shoot off of the main stem.

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

After I harvested one of my two basil pots

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.

The ones on the left is right after the ice bath and the ones on the right are about to be put into ziplock bags.

Step 8: repeat steps 6 and 7 if necessary.

Step 9 date and freeze your bags for future use.

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Our Gardening Journey week 10

Our Gardening Journey week 10

So this week I’ve made some changes in my garden that have both were positives and negatives. You can say that I’m still learning from my mistakes. I do have a lot to tell you guys so let get on to it.

The first thing is that I’ve made a few changes. The first thing that I did was I fertilized my plants so much so that some of the are dying. I know now that I over fertilized them. I literally killed my smallest basil plants. I also repotted my bell pepper and tomotes. I have two types of tomotes growing. One of them is a small type of tomato and the other is a larger type of tomato. I had one small tomato plant left inside and so I added that one to the black container outside that I already had of the same kind. However, the larger tomato I put in a pot that I had outside. I also bought these nettings to put over them. You can buy these nettings here. I love them so much I have already seen a difference in my other plants outside and the amount of vegetables that are coming in. The best part about these netting is that they keep out those pesky bugs. They aren’t just good to keep out pesky bugs but also animals like birds, squirrels and dogs too. The best part is that you get a set of 3 for under $10.00. I also have so many green beans that are growing now it’s insane. I’ve also cleaned up my cucumbers and green bean plants from the dead leaves.

My small tomato plant.
My large tomato plant that I transplanted outside. These were getting too big for this container.

The second thing that my husband and I are working on is getting rid of the vines that are growing on our hill. Ok so it’s just my husband working on it. In Georgia we have what is called kudzo that grows here. If you know what kudzo is then you know that it grows back fast. Like really insanely fast. That is what is mostly growing on our hill. We have cut down a lot of the shrubs that were growing but now he is tackling killing the roots. We have found a solution mixture that has been killing it. So make sure you sign up for my email news letter and watch out for a new post on that.

The last thing that I did was I cut back some of the dead leaves on my green bean and cucumber plants. I saw a lot more green beans budding out and I didn’t want any more of my green bean plants to get sick. My cucumbers plant had a lot of dead leaves so I wanted to clean that up as well. I also tied some of the vines to the trellises with some special wiring that I got with the purchase of the trellises.

My green bean plant
My cucumber plant.

Overall, this week has been a crazy week over in our garden. I’m excited to be expanding our garden. I still cannot decide whether I want to grow my vegetables above ground or make a in ground garden. I do know that I really am enjoying doing this. Make sure you subscribe to our email for more weekly updates!

NEW BLOG POST ALERT!

NEW BLOG POST ALERT!

Our Gardening Journey week 9 This is what I used to keep pesky bugs away.

Our Gardening Journey week 9 This is what I used to keep pesky bugs away.

Disclaimer: Their are affiliate links that I may or may not receive commission on at no cost to you.

So this week is going to be a short but exciting post. I’ve made a few changes that have helped the growth of my plants. Keep on reading to find out what is new around here.

The first thing that has changed is that I bought more self watering plants. I ended up finding these pots that are below. I think they are a great value. You can get a lot more pots for the price. The total number of pots that I received is 6. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve transplanted my tomatoes into them and I can tell that they are making a difference. I can see more growth and my plants look more livelier. I didn’t want to buy pots that were expensive. I wanted something where I don’t have to worry about watering them everyday. A plus side to these compared to the other ones that I have is that if you place them near a window you can see through them and see how much water the plant has.

The light part of the pot in this picture is the water.

The second thing that I’ve done was Ive transplanted my small cherry tomatoes from a white pot to my trellis pots outside. I’ve also added these netting’s as well. All I can say is that wow I’ve seen a huge difference in the over all health of my vegetables outside. It has kept a lot of bugs off the plants. So much so that a green bean popped out! I’m so excited that I’ve already had a vegetable come out. My cucumbers are also flowering like crazy too. In fact I had to tie more of the stems onto the trellis because they were hanging over each other. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get these any earlier. I 100% recommend these to anyone that has trellises outside.

Look at that little great bean!
I actually had two green beans pop out this week! Can you spot the green bean in this picture?

The last thing that I did was I harvested my basil. I had to do this because I have a ton that is over growing in my pots. So much so that the roots are coming out the bottom of my self watering pot. Make sure you subscribe to my email list and watch out for a post in the near future of how I saved my basil harvest.

My cucumbers
My cucumbers are flowering!

Overall, I’m really ecstatic about how far my plants have come along. The next thing that my husband and I are going to try and tackle are the flies because we have a bunch of them that we’re trying to eat my plants outside and they are coming inside as well.