Tom and I just got back from a great couple of nights in Banff National Park where we did a little hiking and camping!
We're a pretty domestic duo! We even had gourmet meals while cooking over an open fire!
Tweedlebud Holly here! With enthusiasm and a thumb that's starting to turn green, I have been working at developing the flower beds along the front of our house since we moved in three years ago. Last winter, I saw on Pinterest (of course!) a flower pot tower of flowers and thought that would be a great addition to one of my flower beds.
My first challenge was to find terracotta pots that were just the right size. I ended up finding them at Hobby Lobby for a steal of a deal. For simplicity's sake, I decided to make the whole tower with 6-inch sized pots, however, I have seen pictures of them made with all different sizes. I measured them out in the store and decided eight pots high would be the perfect height.
In our area, we have a lot of deer, so I researched what flowers deer specifically don't like and decided on pansies. There are economical, eye catching and there are so many beautiful colour varieties! I chose purple and yellow varieties.
After the big decisions were made (the pretty flowers are the most important part!), I headed to the local hardware store where I purchased a piece of ½ inch by 8 foot long piece of rebar. I picked a spot in the corner of the flower bed for the flower tower, and drove the rebar into the ground with a hammer, about 2 feet into the ground. From there, I carefully slid each pot onto the piece of rebar, one by one, alternating which side to angle it to. Terracotta pots already have a hole in the bottom for drainage, so just made sure the holes in the pots are slightly bigger than the width of the rebar.
|Here is the rebar.|
|Fill each pot about 3/4 full with potting soil, plant your flowers, water and enjoy!|
|I think the flower tower was a great addition to my flower bed!|
Tweedle Tip: Before you plant any kind of flowers, it is always a good idea to research which types and varieties need more sun or shade. Take note of your flower bed before you plant and pay attention to the amount of sun it gets in a day and how much shade it gets. There is nothing more frustrating than to plant a beautiful flower garden and have the flowers wilt and die because you planted them in the wrong environment!
I went raspberry picking at the Tweedle in laws yesterday morning and then Mama Tweedle in law let me in on her raspberry pie secrets!
|Here we are getting ready to pick. I'm so lucky the Tweedle in laws have such a great raspberry patch to raid!|
|The bushes were overflowing with gorgeous raspberries everywhere!|
|When we were finished, we both had ice cream pails full of this and we went inside to get busy with the pie.|
|Start with a baked pie crust. This one is made from homemade dough, but you could use store bought as well.|
|The ingredients you need are: raspberry jello, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch and water.|
|Add all the ingredients except the raspberries to a small saucepan and bring them to a boil. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes until everything is dissolved and combined.|
|While you are waiting for the liquid, pile as many raspberries into the pie crust as you can.|
|Pop the pie into the fridge for at least an hour, or until serving. You will think you have died and gone to heaven when you bite into this EASY, TASTY, FRESH and "healthy" pie!|
Here's the recipe:
Mama Tweedle in Law's Raspberry Pie
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 pkg raspberry jello
3-4 cups of raspberries
1. Boil all the ingredients for 8-10 minutes.
2. Pour over berries piled in a baked pie crust
3. Chill and serve!
Hi again, it’s Tweedlebug Megan!
This past weekend Bryan, Olivia, and I ventured out on our first camping trip in 3 years (!) and our first one with a baby! Was I excited? Yes, though not sure what I was more excited for?- the actual trip or the opportunity to create an excel spread sheet checklist for packing!! I know some of you might not share my love of checklists, but I know Miss Tweedle does!! I decided that since this was our first baby camping trip that I’d start this one off on paper and then perfect the excel spreadsheet after the trip, since I was SURE we’d forget things!
I started the list and then gave it to Bryan to add to. We didn’t bother making a list of clothes to pack, but I should have for Olivia. The poor little girl went camping with no shoes!!
|Here's what the original list looked like|
I thought for sure as we drove to the campground I’d be thinking of things we forgot. Surprisingly I wasn’t! Once we arrived though, it became quickly evident that we’d need a list of what we forgot and had to remember for next time! We started one on our cell phone.
Overall the trip was a success!! Olivia was a SUPER camper, loving every minute in the dirt, eating outside, her bucket bath, and sleeping in the tent (She was a BED HOG! We need a bigger tent!)
|Olivia sleeping in the tent... right across the TOP!|
Tweedle Tip: Camping is a great way to have a mini family vacation that is inexpensive. However, the task of packing and organizing for a camping trip can seem daunting. Tweedlebud Megan has a great thing going on with her checklists saved on the computer because she always knows where they are and adds to them every time they forget something!
Tom and I keep all our camping items in labeled rubbermaid bins. We have a "camping cook stuff" bin with old dishes, pots and a washtub in it and we have a "dry camping items" bin with newspaper, matches, playing cards, swiss army knife, bug spray, sunscreen, and any other miscellaneous items we may need. When we get ready to go camping, we just have to pack our clothes, tent and sleeping bags, stove, get our groceries and throw in our camping bins and we're ready! However, I still have to make lists, too!
Photo booths are a big trend at weddings these days and for a good reason. The result of having a photo booth are pictures that really encompass the fun, party atmosphere of the couple and the wedding itself. I was so happy with the way our photo booth pictures turned out, I would recommend doing this to any engaged couple.
Some photographers offer this option as part of their pricing, but I was lucky enough to have a good friend and very talented photographer with all the right equipment willing to help me out at my wedding. If you live in a city, there are also companies who will actually bring a mall-style photo booth to your wedding for the evening, but I was not able to do this as this was not offered in my town. However, our photo booth pics turned out better than ever in doing it ourselves.
I borrowed a projector screen on a stand from the school where I work and Kelsey, the photographer, set her camera and lighting up with the screen in the entrance to the reception after the dinner and speeches were over. We made sure to remind all the guests to have their photo taken at the photo booth as my plan was use the pictures to paste into our guestbook later. Poor Kelsey hardly had a break as apparently people having a "good time" love to hamm it up for the camera!
I bought some paper props on Etsy from a shop named Funny Side of Life and they simply made the photos. People thought of all kinds of fun ways to smile and make faces and some of our favourite pictures came from the photo booth shots. It was nice to be able to capture photos of all the guests and not just the wedding party.
|These were the props we had, except the white bow tie was polka dotted in our set.|
|Here is Bridesmaid Tweedle Holly and Flower Girl Tweedle Naomi|
|Bridesmaid Tweedles Cara and Lisa (also the counterparts to the Tweedle Terrible Trio!)|
|Bridesmaid and MOH Tweedle Cara and Miss Tweedle herself!|
|Mama Tweedle, Miss Tweedle and family friend Tweedle bud Margaret!|
|Miss Tweedle and the 2 MOH Tweedles with Tweedlebud Cole|
|Tweedlebuds Brittany and Jared|
|Tweedle's crazy family! Uncle, Auntie, Mama and Nana Tweedle!|
|Sister Tweedle and Heinz Tweedle (Tweedle's Stepdad)|
|Tweedlebuds Ed and Holly|
|Tweedlebuds Ryan and Amber|
|Miss Tweedle and Tom Tweedle- the happy couple!|
Aren't they fun?!?!
Tweedle Tip: If you are going to set up the photo booth on your own and have a shutterbug friend help you, it is important to have the right lighting and backdrop. The old fashioned photo booth look cannot be achieved by just having any old camera and a white backdrop. The white backdrop can cause a lot of bad shadows behind the people in the pictures if the camera flashes are not set up properly. Make sure to ask around and borrow or rent the right equipment if you are thinking of trying this out. Test it beforehand to ensure that you are happy with the results in the end!
Usually, I don't add croutons to my Cesar salad, but the other day I got a hankering for them. I really like croutons and after throwing together these little babies, I like them even more! Tom makes a KILLER Cesar salad dressing from scratch, which HE just may be posting here one of these days and now that we've added homemade croutons to the mix, I may go as far as to say our Cesar salad could be award winning! If you know of a Cesar salad contest, count me in!
Tweedle Tip: Homemade croutons are fast and easy to make and much better for you than the ones you buy in a box at the store. If you'd like, you could make a huge batch of these and store them in an airtight container to have on hand when you need them. Try adding them as a crunchy topping to soups as well as any salad other than Cesar.
|Cut them up into crouton size pieces.|
|Melt about 2-3 TBSP of butter and pour it over the bread. Pour over about 2-3 TBSP of olive oil too. You COULD do this with just olive oil, but the butter really adds the flavour and crunch to the croutons in the end.|
|Sprinkle about a TBSP of italian seasoning, a TSP of salt and a TSP of pepper on them and toss them around in the bowl so that each piece is coated with spices, butter and oil.|
|4 garlic cloves! Crush them and mince them finely.|
|Add the garlic to the mix and toss again.|
|Lay the croutons in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 mins at 350. When they're done, you'll want to eat them by the handful and your house will smell delicious!|
|Avoid eating them by the handful and put them in your salad instead! YUM!|
As I have mentioned before, Tom and I are big fans of Greek food. One of our favourite meals is a big greek salad with grilled chicken and pitas with tzatziki on the side. The only problem is that it is hard to find real Greek Pitas in the grocery store that taste as good as real restaurant greek pitas. I came up with a way to make them almost just as good!
|Start with regular old grocery store pitas. I like to use the whole wheat ones, but white would work fine too.|
|Lay as many pitas as you need out on a piece of parchment paper on the counter.|
|Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on each pita.|
|Brush the olive oil all over the pitas, front and back. Also, I forgot to take a picture of this, but you need to sprinkle them with a little bit of oregano and S and P too.|
|Pile them all up and set them aside for a moment.|
|Now, this may seem a little weird, but this is the real trick. Crumple the parchment paper up into a ball.|
|And run it under the tap just enough to get it damp. Squeeze a bit of the water out of it, but not all. You don't want it to be dripping, but you want it a little wet.|
|Un-crumple the paper and place the oiled and spiced up pitas back onto it.|
|Wrap the pitas in the paper so that no air or steam will escape.|