Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lunchbox Love Letters

I've always been a note-writer…
passing them in football-shaped fold-ups in school,
hiding them under pillows and in drawers to surprise loved ones, 

Now that our eldest has started school, we've been packing extra punch in her lunchbox—
a love letter a day.
We keep a pen and paper right next to our lunch packing station and take turns leaving messages for our kiddo to read during her afternoon chow sesh. 

I remember the childhood thrill of finding lunchbox messages from my own mama—like a great big hug from far away, and the love in that ink and paper goes a long way in brightening any day.

Our darlin' loves her notes, and she's sure to remind us to leave her a message every day. 
Writing the letters takes mere seconds, but the memories of the love within last a lifetime. 

Keep your paper and pen nearby, and remind your peanuts that you're thinking of them, even when they're away. It'll make them smile. 

A little bit of love goes a long way.
Make your mark on someone's heart.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How NOT to Prepare Ghost Peppers

You know me.
I love-a-dee-spice.

I admit my passion for peppa has been a little out of hand lately.

There was that Chile Pepper Fest and all.
And I came home like this.

Fella bought me three of the formerly-named hottest peppers in the world. Check out the yellow and red ghost (see Bhut Jolokia) peppers on top of this pile. 


Couldn't wait to get into those, but I had to admit intimidation. My ghost experiences had been via hot sauces alone. I'd never handled the actual bad boys.

Never prepared them.
I'd also never had to evacuate my family from our home while cooking.
So here's a little heads up to those of you who have the pepper itch and are about to get down with the goods.


While whipping up the most amazing enchilada dinner in history, I went for the kick and sautéed ONE ghost pepper (I used gloves to cut it) in olive oil. 

Heat aerosolizes capsaicin…so within minutes, I'd pepper-gassed my entire family. 
We burst outside, eyes teary and red, backs of our throats a'zingin'. 
One of my kids puked from coughing.
It was seriously like a military drill. 

:::shakes head in naive shame

Don't ever ever ever cook Bhut Jolokia peppers in your home, 'kay? 
Imagine if I'd sautéed all three?!?

Again, once the fog cleared, the cooked peppers were fantastically delicious, so if you're into the spicy scene, I'd suggest cooking WAY outdoors or use my preferred method of peppering and dehydrate to Make Your Own Pepper Flake Mix
Bhut Jolokia peppers
Cooked ghost pepper is inside the central glass dish. Yum!
I'll be researching and experimenting with my remaining ghost peppers to find the most practical and effective methods for food incorporation. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

In the meantime, watch this dude eat a whole Bhut Jolokia pepper…and don't do THAT either. 

Respect the hot stuff, be cautious and send me recipes!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stink Bugs Are Coming, Yet We'd Like to Propose a Toast

On a crisp September evening, fella and I poured a smooth Syrah and nestled in for the night. 

Regular readers will understand why we've previously covered our wine glasses with coasters on TOP between sips. 

But lately, our glasses remain blissfully uncovered and our home lacks its familiar buzz.
No swearing, no swatting, no wiping up stankin' SCAT!

Yes, ever since I posted GOODBYE Stink Bugs! We're Fortified! we've been closer to fine, my friends.
It might just be working!

With our fortress resided, we've been resealing entryways and windows to prepare for the upcoming onslaught that occurs at the end of every September. As the air cools down, those suckers are gonna try to make their way back INto our homes. 

This year, we'll be ready…more ready than ever before. 
In just a few short weeks, we'll know the true strength of our valiant efforts.
Not THIS time, spawn!
Until then, we'll be toasting, glasses uncovered, to a stink bug-free year. We can do this. 
Sayonara, suckas! :::clink

Are you getting fortified to keep spawn outta your scene? Make your moves now!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Foldable Potting Station AWESOMENESS

My favorite prezzie this year?

Fella got me this (he ordered it hereMerry Garden Foldable Wood Potting Bench for my birthday and, suffice it to say, I DIG! Merry Garden potting station
Its awesomeness is just beyond.

Easy to move, we popped it open on our deck and I had at it—loading 'er up with all my previously scattered potting goodies.

The space, design and organizational features have made potting/repotting so much more fun and convenient this season. 
Merry Garden potting station
Even though the leaves are already a'changin', we just returned from greenhouse adventuring and scored some new pots and indoor plants.

Guess I'll be benching all the way into autumn!

Best part?
Once the cold starts setting in, we'll simply fold our station up and store it for the winter.

SUCH a cool product. Couldn't be more psyched to add this bench to the mix.
Anything to getchya growin'!

A perfect gift for the green thumb-ers out there.
Christmas is coming…

XOXO From My Hearth to Yours
*This is not a sponsored post. Just writing about a product we love!

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