How To Plant A Succulent Garden

Creativity and Crafts
plant succulent garden

Succulents are everywhere these days! Oh, wait…You missed the trend? Not sure what I’m talking about?  Well, according to Wikipedia succulents are, plant that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions.”

I think this helps to explain their popularity; they’re pretty hard to kill. I’m not saying it can’t be done but if you’ve got a brown thumb, succulents are perfect for you.  But gardeners with thumbs of all colors love succulents because they’re as pretty to look at as they are easy to care for.

You can find whole wreaths made out of succulents, outdoor topiaries shaped like turtles and a myriad of indoor stylings — some with a single plant and others in more of a succulent garden.

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Best Tamale Pie Recipe for Your Next Campout

Adventure and Travel, Food for Grownups

For me, half the fun of camping is the cooking.

Now, I’m not talking about heating up something on the stovetop or in the microwave of a motorhome or trailer.  I mean real campfire cooking, out of doors and over an open flame, like the pioneers did it.

Okay, well. Maybe not quite like the pioneers.  You’re not going to find any salt pork, hardtack, or squirrel on my campfire menu. As I explained in my earlier post I don’t camp, I glamp.  And when I glamp, food is the star of the show.

My carefully planned and executed menus feature delicious dishes made from fresh, flavorful ingredients, served on real dishes with real silverware, a tablecloth, flowers, and candles. Think of it as rustic chic – emphasis on chic.

But the rustic part applies too. When I’m glamping, I can’t cook quite the same way I would at home. I need to make some concessions for the limitations of storage space, equipment, and refrigeration (or lack of it).  That’s why, when it comes to campfire cooking, one-pot meals are definitely the way to go!

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Tomato Couscous Summer Salad

Food for Grownups
summer salad

The old adage of “when it rains, it pours,” holds true when it comes to the delightfully small cherry tomato. As if by their very nature, you never just have a couple. They come in droves – either a big container from your supermarket or a bucket-full from a green thumb friend or farmer.

Wherever you get yours, this is the time of year when those tomato plants just go crazy but in a very good way! While I would be perfectly happy just snacking on them throughout the afternoon, enjoying that juicy taste of summer on my tongue, why not give these tomatoes the glory they deserve?

But what to do with them? There are just so many options…

I could make a Summer Gazpacho to enjoy now and No-Peel Tomato Sauce to freeze for later! Genius, right? I thought so. These balsamic roasted cherry tomato crostini from EasyHealth Living also caught my eye, as did this Cherry Tomato Corn Salsa from Your Homebased Mom. 

But I’m still left yearning for more. I want something so spectacularly tomato-ey that takes advantage of all the ways I love tomatoes. I love them fresh and sweet with a sprinkle of salt. They’re also equally satisfying oven-roasted to supercharge their flavors.

Enough gushing about my unabashed love for tomatoes. Let’s move on to another (related) topic.

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Amazon Prime Day 2019: Deals for Quilters, Crafters, and Cooks!

Celebrate Life

There’s not going to be a lot of glamour to this, but there are a lot of savings!

Today (and into tomorrow) which is July 15th is Amazon Prime Day. If you’re new to that, it means a whole lot of really great deal on Amazon for Prime members. I’ll be covering the deals during the whole thing and updating this as best I can when new items are added and items sell out. Below, you’ll see things loosely broken out into a few categories. Please know that I’m listing prices but I cannot guarantee it will be the same price by the time you click the link. Shop for yourself or shop for everyone else (I have gotten some early Christmas shopping done in years prior!)

First thing to know: you have to be an Amazon Prime member to get these deals. Not a Prime Member? You can sign up for a FREE trial right here and join Amazon Prime!

Ok, so now you’re a Prime member, let’s get to checking out the deals. Happy shopping Monday!

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Healthy Summer Salad Recipe with Watermelon, Feta, Arugula, Lime & Coconut

Food for Grownups

In the summer, when it’s too hot to move and too hot to cook, I like to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. So if there’s a healthy summer salad recipe that takes all of 5 minutes to make, I’m all in. This watermelon salad has feta, arugula, lime and coconut to keep things interesting. As I was making it, I couldn’t help but think that minus the feta and arugula, it would make a really knockout summer cocktail too! Lime, coconut, watermelon – these are the tastes of summer!

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Roughing It, Sort Of. Genius Hacks for Easy Gourmet Glamping!

Adventure and Travel

Taking my mother camping was high on my list of goals for 2019. In fact, I’d been eyeing this goal of mine in my Living Well Spending Less planner for months.

I know it might sound funny that something as straightforward as camping required so much goal setting and advance planning to accomplish but my mom is 86. Camping with her involves more than just loading up the car with sleeping bags, a tent, and a bag of trail mix; a few creature comforts are required.

Besides, while we both love the great outdoors, at this stage of life neither Mom or I are really interested in roughing it. Glamping is more our style. Much more. continue reading

Don’t Just Face Your Fear, Shake Hands or Blow a Kiss

Grow in Wisdom, Nurture Your Soul

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about change. Though it’s the one constant in everybody’s life, it’s also the thing that many of us dread the most.

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with change. A piece of me craves order, constancy, and security, the comfort of knowing what will come next. But when things get too predictable, another piece of me craves adventure and the unexpected.

I know I’m far from the only one who feels this way. Such is the irony of the human condition. continue reading

Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella with Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce

Food for Grownups

Sheet pan dinners are all the rage these days. It’s easy to see why.

What cook doesn’t love a meal that requires no more cleanup than crumpling up a sheet of foil and tossing it in the trash? Especially if the resulting recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients and full of flavor?

My Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella with Garlic Rosemary Citrus Sauce fits that description to a tee. It’s a delectable, hearty, easy to prepare dinner that makes weeknight meal making a breeze but looks and tastes good enough to serve to company. In fact, I particularly like preparing this for company because once it goes into the oven I don’t have to do a thing until the last few minutes of cooking, leaving me lots of time to visit with my guests.

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The Best Chicken Teriyaki Burger Recipe Ever

Food for Grownups

I love an old-fashioned hamburger as much as the next red-blooded American. The mustard, the pickles, the American cheese, the juicy goodness, the buttery bun, the familiar char in the air billowing from the grill. It reminds me of summer. And happiness. And time with family.

Side note: I’m making myself very hungry.

In the midst of my daydream about hamburger heaven, I remind myself that it is not all about the beef. Burgers aren’t the friendliest in the Weight Watchers life I’m living in right now, and while they are worth an occasional splurge, I like to bring leaner proteins into my life whenever I can.

Sur La Table

 

That’s why it’s so great that burgers are delicious in all sorts of ways! In Oregon, we eat a lot of salmon burgers, homemade veggie burgers, and now that I’ve discovered this jewel, the best chicken teriyaki burger recipe has found its way into our weekly menu! I love to sneak in herbs from my garden whenever I can. Healthy, fresh, and seasonal on a bun.

What’s not to love? continue reading

Diving Into the Deep End and Out of Your Comfort Zone

Celebrate Life, Marie's Triathlon Journey
dive into the water

I’ve been standing out on the deck in my bathrobe this morning, cheering and clapping for a long line of runners who have been streaming down the bike path near my house.  The Pacific Crest Endurance Sports Festival is taking place in my community today, the same event that, two years ago, inspired me to try tackling my first sprint triathlon.  

In honor of that anniversary, I decided repost this blog I wrote in February of 2018. I don’t know what challenges, crazy notions, or comfort zone smashing ideas might be tugging at your sleeve right now, but I hope reading this will inspire a few of you to dive into the deep and take them on.

It’s okay to be scared. It’s not okay to let fear prevent you from living ferociously and fully.

You can do this.

Marie

 

In the fall of 2017, I began swimming twice a week as part of my triathlon training.  Like a lot of novice triathletes, this was the part of the race that made me nervous.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t swim, just that I didn’t – at least, not very often and not very far.

Finding a race that required a swim of just 300 meters in a pool was what made me decide to go through with it.  The security of swimming in a pool, where lifeguards would be on the watch, made the whole thing a lot less daunting. Three hundred meters was still farther than I’d swum in a long time but it seemed doable.

For the first session of training, my goal was to swim 50 meters.   That’s just two complete lengths of the pool, up and back.

I didn’t make it. continue reading