Keeping Busy!

Hello Lovelies!

How’s life treating you guys? I hope very well! It’s been quite busy for me. I’m finally getting into a groove of daily life as a SAHM. My post today has a lot of information for you! 🙂 I’ve got a garden update, pics of Audrey’s 1st birthday (woohoo!), an incredible recipe, etc. So let’s dig in!

Garden Update 

Well, living in Dallas (Texas, really), this weather is crazy whack. We’ve had two or three more frosts since I tried to move my seedlings outside. So they died. Way to go me (sarcasm). It also killed off my broccoli and kale plant, but I have not lost hope! I’ve been reading up on quite a few books and been working diligently to get my beds prepared.

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I’ve found all of these books to be incredibly informative. They also provide recipes (some non-vegan, but can be altered). Grow Your Own Food has diagrams and goes into great detail of how you should prepare your beds. Great info!

I’ve worked through my compost pile and made some changes to the beds that are already in place. I do have some spinach seedlings that have made it through this weird weather and I’ve put mini gatorade bottles with the bottoms cut off over them to create a greenhouse effect. It keeps the air warm and humid, even when its a little chilly outside.

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DSC_0361 My strawberry transplants have done great! (above) I’ve got six little spinach seedlings growing! (below)

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My gardening buddy, Swiper. He loves to lay in the sunshine outside while I work away 🙂

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My other buddy, Grizzly. He doesn’t like to be outside when its cold but he loves to be around family, so he hangs out with me and runs around like he owns the place!

My grandma gave me one of my grandpa’s aquariums and I have turned it into a indoor greenhouse for my little seeds to germinate. I placed my two squash and cilantro survivors in there as well. It’s lined with foil to reflect the light and I have a lamp on when it gets dark. I do turn off the light for a few hours each night, but the area gets light for about 14 hrs a day.

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Toilet paper rolls cut in half, labeled on laminated book cover paper cut into strips. LOL I’m trying to be resourceful you guys…;)

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Left: Cilantro; Right: Squash

So that’s what is going on with my gardening. I’ll post more as more starts to grow- or die…but let’s hope that doesn’t happen!!!

Audrey’s 1st Birthday!

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Vegan cupcakes! I made strawberry cupcakes, using a box mix from the store (just be sure to check all the ingredients for casein/caseinate), and used egg replacer and coconut oil with vanilla frosting. They were a hit!

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I don’t know if there are truly enough words to speak on how this little girl has captured our hearts, but man do we love her! This first year has been incredible. She devoured two of those cupcakes, LOL. Tons of toys, lots of singing and playing. She was the life of the party! I’m so happy we got to spend that time with family. 🙂 Can’t get enough of that!

The day after Audrey’s party, we had a guest worship leader, BJ Putnam, at our church. I don’t think anything can inspire you to keep doing God’s will in your life as some great worship music! It felt so good to hear it! It helps that my rockin’ husband was jammin’ on the guitar up there. 🙂 He’s amazing!

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Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Now that all the business slowed down, I was able to make a great homemade meal last night for the family. I pulled out one of my new cookbooks I hadn’t cracked open yet and came across this recipe. It took a little while to prepare, but it turned out SO GOOD! Very much worth it! You can buy the book HERE.

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This recipes makes enough for dinner, lunch, and dinner again! It really was so delicious!

Well lovelies, that’s it for today, but stay posted! I’ve got some great posts coming this week including cookies to die for, a new update from our friends at The Vegan Option, vegan vacations, and more!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!!!

With love,

Cali

Dear Grandpa

Hello Lovelies!

It’s been a while! My apologies… The past two months have been more than chaotic and emotional. The beginning of this month marked a new journey for me as I quit my job in the business world to become a full-time homemaker. Thank you God for giving me the opportunity to take care of my family and home full-time. Last month a dear friend of mine had her first baby, a beautiful little boy. Life, in all forms, is incredibly precious.

I am incredibly sensitive to both life and death. As I admired the new life around me, death creeped up when I wasn’t looking. One of the men I most looked up to in my life, passed away after years of his struggle with cancer.

My dear Grandpa…how I love and miss you so.

Taken four years ago- me and Grandpa

If you would have ever had the chance to meet my grandpa, you’d instantly know the kind of man he was. He was kind, hard-working, honest, and always had a story to tell. Every time he saw me, he’d always say “Come here girl” in his scratchy country voice as he patted his knee. He told the same story countless times of when I was little, sitting next to him and fell over backwards as I pointed to a plane passing over in the sky. I love that that memory always stayed with him, as it now does with me.

My grandma and grandpa have always known I love the outdoors, but my green thumb, well… it isn’t so green. I love working in the garden, feeling the dirt between my fingers. I love to feel the air pass through light and fluffy soil, and squish together the tough clay like soil. One of my most treasured memories is a day I spent with a friend of mine at their little farm. Grandpa showed me how he planted and cared for his okra, beans, turnips, and spinach. He showed me how he tilled his land and my friend and I helped dislodge his tractor from a mudhole. I got licked by a cow and chased by the farm dog. I had so so much fun, sweating in the heat, breathing in the warm summer air. Such wonderful memories are made that no photograph or letter can truly capture, just the mind.

After my grandpa passed away, my mom was helping my grandma go through some of his old things. I asked for his gardening binder. It has old gardening catalogues, recipes, planting guidelines, etc. I just wanted something tangible that represented what we shared. Not only did she give me this binder, she also gave me an old cookbook (which is very much non-vegan lol), a ridiculous number of seed packets, a seed planter, a dehydrator, and a garden hoe. As I mentioned before, I’ve always loved gardening but I’ve never really been successful. Over the last week, after having quit my job, I started up again, only this time, remembering my grandpa’s voice. I started some of my seedlings inside since it was still icy indoors. As of today, I moved these little guys outdoors in the warmth and sunshine. I’ve planted some herbs that will hopefully be sprouting soon. I chopped off some leaves of lettuce and kale that had already been growing and trimmed my broccoli. I’m going to believe that the knowledge my grandpa shared with me was not in vain. I’m going to believe that he passed on a gift to me and that with all that he taught me and has passed on to me, I will learn how to cultivate and maintain a garden that can sustain our little family.

Here are some pictures of what all I’ve started. If you have a small garden you tend to, please share your pictures. I’d love your ideas and experience shared here. Let’s continue the beautiful legacy of knowing, sowing, and growing our own healthy, organic foods!

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My aunt gave me this gardening table. I haven’t quite set it up to its full potential yet, but I do plan on doing that soon!

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Green Waldorf Lettuce-just trimmed it back today and planted two more rows of it!

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Obviously I need to do some de-weeding…but besides that this little Kale plant is working on sprouting some new leaves for me!

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I counted four heads emerging from the branches of this broccoli plant today. I’m excited to see what comes of it!

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I’ve always been a fan of fresh herbs. Not only are they delicious in cooking, but they make for lovely decoration and warm up any atmosphere.

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This yellow squash practically bolted out of the baby jars I had originally planted them in! They moved into their own cans today!

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Obviously I like to upcycle things 🙂 I’ve been using old baby food jars to sprout my new seedlings. In this picture, I have four watermelon seeds sprouting up!

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I got so excited about the first two squash plants, I went crazy and planted 12 more- and yes, more upcycling! I used an old plastic spinach container from the store and cut 6 toilet paper rolls in half to plant each seed in.

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And I still have all of these seeds left to plant!!! Let’s hope I really learn how to do this. I’d hate to waste all the goodness that has been given to me.

Dear Grandpa,

I don’t know if you can look down on me and see the work that my hands have done, but if you can, I hope you’re pleased. I miss you terribly. It was hard to walk through you and grandma’s house without you there, sitting at the dining table telling stories. I’d like to believe that if I’m quiet enough, if I listen close enough, I’ll hear your voice. What a peaceful thing we shared together, tending to God’s green earth. Thank you for everything you ever taught me. Thank you for showing how much you loved us all. I can’t wait to see you again one day!

~Cali