Food/Cooking

The Most Delicious Oven Fries with Fry Sauce

I've never been a fan of oven fries until I tried these. Adding flour and seasonings to the oil makes all the difference! The flour gives them a tasty crispy coating and the inside of the fries is creamy and delicious! I am including the video below for how to make them. I followed everything… Continue reading The Most Delicious Oven Fries with Fry Sauce

Gardening

Plant Potatoes For Food Security

In the current times of food shortages, a great way to have a little food security is to plant potatoes. If you happen to have any potatoes from the grocery store that have sprouted, they can be planted. You can even cut the potatoes to where each piece has at least one sprout on each… Continue reading Plant Potatoes For Food Security

Gardening

What’s Blooming In My Garden May 2022

We have had a very rainy and windy Fall, Winter and Spring here in western Washington zone 8b. It has been a cooler than usual Spring with less sun so a lot of my plants are blooming later than usual. The blooms are very appreciated. Chives Columbine Columbine Spanish Bluebells Spanish Bluebells Spanish Bluebells Torch… Continue reading What’s Blooming In My Garden May 2022

Food/Cooking, Herbs, Using Herbs and Flowers

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chive blossom vinegar is very easy to make and takes your regular vinegar up a notch! Pick your chives on a dry morning after the dew has dried. I picked and used blossoms with stems attached since the stems are flavorful also. Stuff the chives into a sterilized glass jar and pour over your favorite… Continue reading Chive Blossom Vinegar

save the earth

Earth Day – Save The Soil – Inspirational Videos

We may think there is nothing we can do about the climate crisis but if we all did small things it would add up to hopefully save Earth. There are many things we can do, and many are small easy things. If we all contribute as a collective, maybe we can make a difference. If… Continue reading Earth Day – Save The Soil – Inspirational Videos

Food Forest Gardening (Permaculture), Gardening, save the earth

Jerusalem Artichoke, An Abundant, Beautiful and Delicious Survival Plant

With the current events that we all know and the food shortages, I thought I would tell you about Jerusalem artichokes, a sunflower that has edible tubers. I had heard about them last year and decided it would be a great addition to my food forest (Food Forest Gardening). So I bought 10 tubers from… Continue reading Jerusalem Artichoke, An Abundant, Beautiful and Delicious Survival Plant

Road Trips and Adventures

Photos from Pt. Defiance Park Tacoma WA April 6th 2022

Due to gas prices, our road trips are practically non-existent, but we did get to go to Pt. Defiance last week. It's been a stormy winter here (western WA, pacific northwest) with lots of rain, wind storms and grey dark days. On this ONE day, it hit 74 degrees and sunny so we decided to… Continue reading Photos from Pt. Defiance Park Tacoma WA April 6th 2022

Food Forest Gardening (Permaculture), Gardening

Food Forest Notes: Apple Tree From Seed Planted / Compost Boxes Extending Flower Beds / Wind Storm, Pine Branches and Paths

I planted my little apple tree that I started from seed last year. About a week of increasing hours on the porch to adjust it to the weather. I've read that when you start apple trees from seed you never know what kind of apple you will get because the seeds are not true to… Continue reading Food Forest Notes: Apple Tree From Seed Planted / Compost Boxes Extending Flower Beds / Wind Storm, Pine Branches and Paths

Gardening

An Easy Space-Saving Way To Propagate Plant Cuttings

I love to propagate plants. It's fun and it saves money because then I don't have to buy them at the store. I also sell plant cuttings on eBay, Mercari and Etsy. If you'd like to see what I sell, here is a link to my Etsy store. I don't have many rooted cuttings yet… Continue reading An Easy Space-Saving Way To Propagate Plant Cuttings

Recycling & Upcycling, save the earth, Uncategorized

How to Make Wool Dryer Balls From an Old Sweater

The Renegade Seamstress

diy wool dryer balls

Oh no! You reached for your favorite wool sweater and realized with heartache that the moths have gotten to it, and now there are holes. Maybe your treasured alpaca wool sweater has been unraveling, and you’ve been wondering what to do with it. Even worse, maybe you didn’t realize that your wool sweater wasn’t machine washable, and it shrunk. What do you do now? No worries — we’re here to help. Instead of throwing it away or donating it to the thrift store, try using the wool to make mittens, quilts, home decor or even wool dryer balls.

diy wool dryer balls

Wool dryer balls are a wonderful way to make use of the natural fibers of wool from old sweaters. Replacing disposable dryer sheets with reusable felted wool dryer balls can help reduce waste and save money. Plus, dryer sheets have been getting a bad rap lately. It’s been said…

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Food/Cooking

Baked Potato Salad with Bacon and Cheese

I made up this recipe thinking of things I would put on a baked potato. I made it easy by cooking the potatoes in the microwave and leaving their skins on - this also adds more nutrition. The serving size is small, for 1 or 2 people but you can double or even triple it… Continue reading Baked Potato Salad with Bacon and Cheese

Herbs, Using Herbs and Flowers

How to Dry Lilac for Use in Herbal Preparations or Dried Arrangements

I am blessed to have a couple of old Lilac shrubs that have dark purple flowers growing in my yard. They will be flowering in May so I will be gathering a lot to dry for herbal preparations. The main way that I use dried Lilacs is to make a salve that is anti-aging and… Continue reading How to Dry Lilac for Use in Herbal Preparations or Dried Arrangements

Being Self Employed, Recycling & Upcycling, save the earth, Thrift Hauls, Thrifty

$30 Reselling Thrift Haul: Boho, Floral Dresses, Plus Clothing, Bras, Pearl Snap Western, Italian Boots, Snowboard Boots, Camo Pants, Torrid and More!

This thrift haul comes from a local Thrift Store in Tacoma WA called Thrift City. If you shop with them for clothing and shoes and spend a minimum of $20 during the week, they write on your receipt that you will get 75% off clothing and shoes if you come back that Sunday. My daughter… Continue reading $30 Reselling Thrift Haul: Boho, Floral Dresses, Plus Clothing, Bras, Pearl Snap Western, Italian Boots, Snowboard Boots, Camo Pants, Torrid and More!

Being Self Employed, Recycling & Upcycling, save the earth, Thrift Hauls, Thrifty

My Most Recent Thrift Haul for Reselling

Hi all! This is a subject I've been wanting to write about for a while now. The biggest reason for not doing it yet is that I've been very busy reselling. I quit my 9 to 5 last May and have been working very hard to make ends meet; seems there's been no time to… Continue reading My Most Recent Thrift Haul for Reselling

Herbs, Sage, Using Herbs and Flowers

Sourdough Onion & Sage Bread — Comfort du Jour

The generous amounts of onion and sage I’ve added to this loaf make it perfect for Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing, and you’ll probably want to have an extra loaf on hand for leftover turkey sandwiches, too. Sourdough Onion & Sage Bread — Comfort du JourSourdough Onion & Sage Bread — Comfort du Jour Rosemary Garlic Artisan… Continue reading Sourdough Onion & Sage Bread — Comfort du Jour

Food/Cooking, Halloween, Home And Garden

10+ Spooky Halloween Dishes (& what to make with all that candy!)

Halloween is here and it’s a time for all things spooky and all things pumpkin! I just love doing food for any holiday – the girls absolutely love it! And obviously Halloween is the best Holiday, obviously. 🙂 The food for it is festive and fun and the girls just get the biggest kick out… Continue reading 10+ Spooky Halloween Dishes (& what to make with all that candy!)

decorating

A Sunflower swag for Our Little Red House.

And all at once summer collapsed into Fall. Oscar Wilde I can’t believe Fall is finally here. Here in Arizona we all look forward to the cooler temps of Fall, although we are still warm here in the city, up north the temps are getting cooler. I love that. I decided before heading up to… Continue reading A Sunflower swag for Our Little Red House.

Herbs, Self Care, Using Herbs and Flowers

DIY Fire Cider

Fire Cider is a traditional herbal remedy used to warm up the body during the cold months and support immunity during cold and flu season. Its striking blend of ginger, garlic, onion, horseradish, chilis and other herbs gives it a potent warming quality, while apple cider vinegar and honey give it a pleasant sweet-sour flavor.… Continue reading DIY Fire Cider

Gardening

Two Ways To Get Free Tomato and Pepper Plants In A Cold Climate For Next Season

Many of us that live in colder climates where we get freezes in the winter are under the assumption that tomato and pepper plants (bell and hot) are annuals. In warmer climates where it does not freeze they are actually perennials. So the first way to get free tomato and pepper plants for next season… Continue reading Two Ways To Get Free Tomato and Pepper Plants In A Cold Climate For Next Season

Advice, Self Care, Self Improvement

Guest Post: You Grow From Your Challenges

Another Reminder! So I learnt something about Happiness today. Happiness is a decision. And sometimes happiness is not really a ‘thing’ at all, but a decision. Deciding to live with a spirit of gratitude. Choosing to be thankful, to see the bright side, to love and smile and have hope, regardless of what’s in the… Continue reading Guest Post: You Grow From Your Challenges

art

Oil Pastel Poppy with Reference Photo

My latest piece of art This was the reference photo. It's a photo of a poppy growing in my yard: It is available printed on useful and decorative items at Fine Art America: Thank-you for looking! Click here for more items available with my art printed on them. Warmly, Monica Face Masks With My Art… Continue reading Oil Pastel Poppy with Reference Photo

Homemade Beauty Products, Using Herbs and Flowers

DIY Herbal Bite and Sting Salve

Folks, it’s that time of year. Summer. Ew. When mosquitoes lurk around every corner, and poison ivy and thorns seem to meet you at every turn in the woods. In addition to these common skin irritants, I’ve noticed as I’ve aged that prickly plants – not just thorns like raspberries, but even summer squash and… Continue reading DIY Herbal Bite and Sting Salve

Self Care, Self Improvement

Water Wisdom for Autumn

Just a few weeks ago in the Northern Hemisphere, we began Lúnasa season, while those in the Southern Hemisphere began its waxing counterpart and complement, Imbolg. How are these seasons manifesting for you, and in your locale?   At this time of year I normally begin to feel the shift of energies from the Fire… Continue reading Water Wisdom for Autumn

Gardening, Home And Garden

Chop and Drop – A Free Easy Way to Improve Your Garden Soil

If you have poor garden soil you do not need to purchase amendments to make the soil healthier. There is a free way to do this, and it is organic if the rest of your garden is organic. It is a method called chop and drop. All you do is place existing plants leaves and… Continue reading Chop and Drop – A Free Easy Way to Improve Your Garden Soil

Self Care, Self Improvement

Overwhelmed? Time to Review Your Self-Care Strategy

Sometimes, being an adult truly sucks. We often mourn the carefree existence of our youth as we feel like we constantly face challenges in our lives. From planning dinner each day, ignoring the mountain of ironing that is growing in the corner, dealing with arseholes at work, never-ending to-do lists, health worries, money worries, childcare issues, aging parents, our own relationships with our partners and for some of us, perimenopause and all the joys that brings, it is little wonder we are feeling a tad stretched.

Blueberry Recipes, Fermenting

Homemade Blueberry Vinegar

Blueberry vinegar first began as a failed attempt at blueberry wine, but is now an annual tradition and the primary vinegar we use for everything. Making vinegar is a perfect use for old, blemished, and forgotten fruit. This recipe is for a sweet blueberry vinegar that is excellent as a finishing vinegar or to dress… Continue reading Homemade Blueberry Vinegar

Carrot Recipes, Food/Cooking, Uncategorized

Classic Carrot Cake

Classic carrot cakeClassic Carrot Cake Monica's art printed on useful and decorative items available at fine art america. Any purchase help support this blog. Thank you. Homemade Granola Recipe Homemade Convenience Food Series #2: Banana Bread Easy Peanut Butter Fudge Personal Pizza Homemade Convenience Ideas Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread Wild Plum Ketchup Plum Crisp

Food/Cooking, Tomato Recipes

Fresh Tomato Soup With Love From THika

Hello and Happy Sunday! I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you all!! It comes to you from Thika, Kenya – a delicious fresh tomato soup courtesy of our cousin Minal. About the recipe Okay as some of you may know I just returned from a holiday in Kenya this July and… Continue reading Fresh Tomato Soup With Love From THika

Self Improvement

Doing Something Small Daily On Your Goals Leads To Motivation and Results

Break goals down into small manageable pieces. Each day and do something small on each one of them. Sometimes doing something small inspires you to work on it longer. Sometimes doing something small is all you can do, and that's fine. At least there was a little bit of progress and that progress will keep… Continue reading Doing Something Small Daily On Your Goals Leads To Motivation and Results

Dating and Relationships, Self Care, Self Improvement

We MUST STOP interacting with their chaos and lies, STOP allowing their manipulation and gaslighting, STOP interacting with them altogether and most importantly STOP believing in them! From there we must work on ourselves to regain our footing, regain our worth, and be able to trust once again. Knowledge and education are our power that moves us forward with clarity and truth.

We MUST STOP interacting with their chaos and lies, STOP allowing their manipulation and gaslighting, STOP interacting with them altogether and most importantly STOP believing in them! From there we must work on ourselves to regain our footing, regain our worth, and be able to trust once again. Knowledge and education are our power that… Continue reading We MUST STOP interacting with their chaos and lies, STOP allowing their manipulation and gaslighting, STOP interacting with them altogether and most importantly STOP believing in them! From there we must work on ourselves to regain our footing, regain our worth, and be able to trust once again. Knowledge and education are our power that moves us forward with clarity and truth.

Food/Cooking, Plum Recipes

Wild Plum Ketchup

Wild plums are in season right now in the Midwest, and this is one of the best things I’ve made with them to date. Seven years ago, I put up a recipe for ketchup made from wild plums (Prunus americana or nigra will both work, as well as any common plum or stone fruit you… Continue reading Wild Plum Ketchup

Recycling & Upcycling

DIY Dress to Boho Bag

Kids grow out of their clothes so fast. Usually, they get donated, given to someone we know or, if craftiness calls, turned into something new! This cute, no sew, boho bag was upcycled from a dress my daughter had out grown. It was a fun project and she loves letting people know we made it… Continue reading DIY Dress to Boho Bag

Self Care, Self Improvement

JUST LET IT GO

Whatever “it” is, just let it go. Don’t worry about what they said about you. Let go of what happened at work. Don’t be mad if someone didn’t call you back. Let go of the anger and hurt of not being invited. Just let that stuff go. It’s too heavy, it prevents you from laughing,… Continue reading JUST LET IT GO

Law of Attraction, Self Care, Self Improvement

“Make the internal commitment to say yes to whatever arises in this moment” Eckhart Tolle

When we resist the current moment wanting something else, it causes suffering. I am relating to this currently because I have been wanting different things happening in my life than what are actually happening. Because I have been doing this, I have felt unhappy when there are actually things to be grateful for. Like seeing… Continue reading “Make the internal commitment to say yes to whatever arises in this moment” Eckhart Tolle

Being Self Employed, Gardening

In Which We Set Up a Flower Truck

Hello, my friends! Ah, I think you guys are really going to enjoy the pictures today. Remember Dad’s aesthetic mint green truck from my birthday post? Turns out it makes a wonderfully eye-catching flower truck! Mom has been growing so many flowers this year that we have too many to display ourselves, so she started… Continue reading In Which We Set Up a Flower Truck

Blackberry Recipes, Food/Cooking

Blackberry Simple Syrup

This simple syrup recipe is just like my other syrup recipes but it yields a bigger amount so some of the quantities and cook times differ. This syrup is absolutely delicious on and in so many things (ice cream, pancakes, waffles, tea, cocktails, etc.) but this bigger recipe is to ensure you have enough to… Continue reading Blackberry Simple Syrup

Food Forest Gardening (Permaculture), Gardening

How Much Land Is Needed To Grow A Permaculture Food Forest?

Growing your own food means that you will always know what you are eating, where the food has come from, and that the produce is toxin-free! These days there are so many ways that you can grow your own produce, from caring for a few small pots on your balcony to running a farm or… Continue reading How Much Land Is Needed To Grow A Permaculture Food Forest?

Lavender, Using Herbs and Flowers

Lemon Lavender Scones

Last weekend, Jim and I went to Long Row Lavender in Wright City, MO. It’s a cute little farm halfway between St. Louis and Columbia where you can pick your own lavender, take a stroll around the farm, and even get breakfast or lunch. We had a great time picking lavender. We got there early… Continue reading Lemon Lavender Scones

Food Forest Gardening (Permaculture), Gardening

Tips for Sourcing New Plants For Your Garden in a Sustainable Way

Now, while the summer season is in full swing, you should be making plans for your garden over the months to come. You might be thinking about ordering trees and shrubs to plant over the dormant period, buying seeds for winter cover crops, or even buying seeds in for next year. But while you may… Continue reading Tips for Sourcing New Plants For Your Garden in a Sustainable Way

Signs and Symbols

Baby Bunnies Playing in My Yard w/Thoughts About What They Symbolize

I was out weeding and collecting Calendula to make more Calendula Soda yesterday evening and I heard leaves rustling around. I thought it was birds (which I also love to see but I see them a lot every day), but then saw two baby bunnies, one chasing the other round and round one of the… Continue reading Baby Bunnies Playing in My Yard w/Thoughts About What They Symbolize

Recycling & Upcycling, save the earth

How to Recycle Cardboard

Make cute shelves out of cardboard for your home AND help the earth by recycling. You save money, you save an item from the landfill and when you are finished with the shelves, they will compost.

Food Forest #1

Food Forest Gardening

Bealtaine Cottage, An Inspiration For A Healthier World

BE THE CHANGE

I have written a blog regarding the importance of recycling previously. In this blog, I find it necessary to share some ideas related to recycling different things. So today, I will start with the concept of recycling cardboard boxes.

Cardboard boxes are a big part of our daily life. Whenever we shop for toys, electronics, etcetera, we get them. Be it big or small in some form or the other we get hold of it in our shopping. What we usually do is throw them away.

Two years back, this idea came to my mind that typically these cardboard boxes are firm, so why don’t I use them as a shelf. It was the time when I got hold of few cardboard boxes altogether. So I started working on the implementation of my idea, and it worked. They turned out to be great shelves.

So here is the method how…

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Food/Cooking, Herbs, Using Herbs and Flowers

Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread

There’s a reason why bread is considered a comfort food…it warms your body like your mother’s warm hug. The humble loaf of bread starts it’s life with such simple instructions yet, cared for in such a way. You create this “spiritual-like” experience from the aroma, wafting in the air. To the emotinal love you put… Continue reading Rosemary Garlic Artisan Bread

Advice, Being Single And Happy, Dating and Relationships, Self Care, Self Improvement

Monday Notes: Low-Maintenance vs High-Maintenance Relationships

A few months ago, I was talking to my daughter about some relationship challenges I was having. I’d decided I no longer need to be in relationship with certain people. “I think it’s just COVID, Mama,” she said. “The pandemic taught me that I don’t have to be running around doing all these things for… Continue reading Monday Notes: Low-Maintenance vs High-Maintenance Relationships

Food Forest Gardening (Permaculture), Gardening

Food Forest #1

I’ve always wanted to grow my own food. While experimenting with and learning how to grow the gateway veggies like tomatoes, carrots, and herbs I came across the concept of “food forests”. Let’s briefly brush over what a food forest is, before I share my list of plants, cost and time involved, and a few… Continue reading Food Forest #1

Calendula, Fermenting, Food/Cooking, Herbs, Using Herbs and Flowers

I Made Calendula Viola Soda!

I am a fan of Rain Country on Youtube. A few days ago my feed on Youtube came up with one of her older videos on making Calendula Soda. I have many Calendulas growing this year 🙂 So I watched the video, then excitedly went to my garden and picked a couple handfuls of Calendula,… Continue reading I Made Calendula Viola Soda!