everyone should have fresh cut flowers

I was going to write about Finn’s first day of school (pre-school, that is), which was two days ago…or about the fact that I am now (and have been since early May) working, at night (to supplement our income) as a server (aka, waitress) at a super fun restaurant, with great people – but it’s still waitressing…in addition to keeping up with the house, the laundry, our business, the dishes…phew.

Days are long and the nights are late…mornings now begin only a few hours (or so it feels) after I’ve (finally) fallen asleep…oh the conundrum of working (or not working) as a mom.

Who knew?

But instead of sharing more about my busy life (I’m sure you can relate!), I decided to talk about the little luxuries growing throughout my garden and surrounding my home – my flowers. Flowers I started from seed months ago or planted as bulbs, years ago…

flowers in the garden

They are simply spectacular right now. And all that beauty cost me next to nothing to start – granted there is a time investment, but it’s oh so worth it!

sunroom

It makes me so happy when I look out my windows or pull into my driveway and see a variety of colorful petals and leaves looking back at me…especially when the hummingbirds are humming about…do you see them, there are two!

two hummingbirds

Morning glories, sunflowers, nasturtiums, lilies, beach roses, delphiniums, dahlias, poppies – all started for a few dollars…

nastursiums

zinnia

galdiolas 2

the time invested starting these little beauties is nothing compared to what I’ve gained – and will continue to gain…

a bunch of flowers

I’m already thinking about next years plantings…

sed starting packets

So when I spotted some discounted seed starting pots I had to pick them up – they were only .60 each, how could I not?

That’s 150 seedling beginnings for only $1.80!

Granted, I’ve used used egg cartons in the past, but my ‘egg guy’ has asked us to start returning them to help keep his costs down…so I do. With that in mind, I couldn’t pass this bargain up!

So while our household income has increased (slightly), so have our expenses (Finns education)…every purchase has a purpose (if not a dual one)… Whether it be for necessity or fun, everything is accounted for. But that doesn’t equate nothingness…

Living within your means or more appropriately, on a budget, doesn’t have to mean living without life’s little luxuries….grow your own flowers and enjoy freshly cut flowers all summer through!

It’s the simple things that make life, lovely…the first day of school, watching your child play on the playground with his new school mates and flowers in the garden…

finn at school

flowers in the garden

enjoy.

random thoughts for the week

This has been a busy week – honestly, every week seems to be busy doesn’t it? The to-do lists are never ending, as soon as I cross one thing off (or when I’m lucky, the whole list!) another task or deadline needs to be met – this week it was finding the right fabric for our club chair – it’s a gorgeous chair going into a new store opening in Portland Maine, Portland Trading Company. May 4th is the grand opening and it needed the right fabric for its’ slipcover. The right fabric entails being the right price, the right colors, the right pattern (I really wanted a pattern for this chair) and the right texture…not so easy a task within a few weeks time span – but I found it and it is now is our seamstresses hands… just hoping she has it complete in time for the grand opening…wish I had my camera with me to shoot the fabric – it’s a fabulous geometric.

I also taught a class this week – ‘Living Well on Less’ – something I’d been preparing for off and on since January. Now, this may sound like a simple task; go and teach a 90 minute class on what interests me, but it requires a lot of forethought and planning…thus the reason my Tuesday entry was missing this week, I was writing writing writing for this class – I had written the majority of the lecture already, I was really fine tuning and assembling all my hand-outs – I gave out a lot of information…the class went well…funny thing, I was worried that I might not have enough to talk about to fill the full 90 minutes, well, that wasn’t the case – at all – what I learned is that when you teach a class about something you know and love and those in attendance are of like mind, well, there is not shortage of conversation. Everyone had something to share and I think everyone learned something new…including me, there are LOTS of people living well; within or below their means…the only part of the class I was a bit unsure of was the title (I didn’t come up with it, the school where I taught did) – ‘Living Well’ – it is so subjective and I think if I teach it again it would be something like – ‘Living Beautifully is possible without debt’… or something along those lines…

Then there’s the driftwood fish…it’s a hanging sculpture being made for a client in California – Brian Malarky. He is a professional and highly acclaimed chef opening a new restaurant in California and the fish (which Michael, my partner, has designed and built from driftwood) is the sign for the restaurant. It’s over 4 feet in length and is representative of the new restaurants logo – a herringbone fish – it’s incredible…my job is the shipping of the piece (as well as all the correspondence, paper work, etc.). No simple task I can assure you. When we started this business, of course we thought about shipping – I’ve shipped many things around the world (from our travels) so figured no big deal…well, shipping for our clients and our business is a whole different thing…building the custom wooden crates (Michael does this), designing the crates, the custom pallets they need to go on and then the packing of each individual piece – phew, it’s a lot to consider… and then there’s the hope that it arrives and not only that it arrives, that it arrives in the condition that it was packed in. I was once told, pack it so an elephant can sit on it and someone else who works for a major shipper told me to pack so it can handle being ‘tossed around’, not an easy thing to hear when your shipping custom works made painstakingly by hand… So, I take a lot of care packing each item and hope for the best. This weeks’ task is getting the quote for shipping, based on the estimated packed dimensions and weight of the parcel. This is a whole other aspect to shipping – estimating -what you think the packed item is going to weigh as well as the overall dimensions of the packed piece – our estimate is what we quote our clients, so I need to pretty spot on…

I also have my seedlings (which are not so little anymore) which require my daily attention as does my garden which survived and may I say, thrived, after all the rain we just had…even my peonies (they are the asparagus looking, crimson colored shoots coming up in the photo below) are really coming up now. I’ve also recently planted some gladiolas and carrots…today I even picked a few basil leaves – they are incredibly fragrant, healthy and BIG – I think I need to re-pot them once more before the weather is warm enough to go outside…same goes for my tomatoes…the tomatoes are EVEN bigger now than in the pic below.

So, those basil leaves went into a simple lunch today – capellini pasta + red sauce topped with tempeh, goat cheese and fresh basil – yum! If your not familiar with tempeh, check out the wikipedia definition I copied below, but for now enjoy the pics! Simple pasta to simple deliciousness…

Tempeh (English pronunciation: /ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé, IPA: [tempe]), is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Tempeh is unique among major traditional soy foods in that it is the only one that did not originate in the Sinosphere.

It originated in today’s Indonesia, and is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities.[1] Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor which becomes more pronounced as the tempeh ages.[2][3] Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue.

oh, and all this is going on while caring for my very busy two year old! Though we did have fun at our ‘freebie barn’ this past week, check out a few of our recent finds!

Books books and more books … what a great score – More than 25 books in two weeks…what fun, especially for Finn, he LOVES to read and be read to – every town should have a ‘swap shop’… enjoy the weekend! xoxoxo