Monday, June 27, 2011

#6: Plant an Herb Garden

Until I have the space to have a real garden/mini farm of my own, I'm going to have to settle for container gardens on my front porch. I've tried veggies before, but I decided to stick to herbs this year since I'm usually not around enough to keep things watered consistently (herbs like to dry out a bit between watering, win for me!).

Although I planted my gardens in the beginning of June, I had the wonderful opportunity of replanting one of them this weekend because Fanne, my 20 lb. fat ball of love, has really enjoyed using one particular garden as a makeshift litter box—on multiple occasions too. Oh the joys of owning a pet...

I did a little garden maintenance this weekend though, so we're back on track. Since Fanne has officially lost her unsupervised porch-time privileges, this should be it for the season as far as planting (and replanting) goes.

Here are a few photos of my 2011 harvest:

Chives, cilantro, cat nip, and chocolate mint

Basil, parsley, oregano, and rosemary

"What, did I do something wrong?" and "Who's fatter than me?"

Saturday, June 25, 2011

#7: Make Homemade Lemonade

After spending all that time and energy washing my car on Monday, the inevitable happened, and it rained the next day…and the next one, and the next one, and well, it hasn’t stopped since. All this rainy weather isn’t making it easy to cross things off my bucket list, so I’ve been trying to focus on activities that aren't weather dependent. Today I decided that since mother nature was handing me lemons, I might as well make some lemonade (it is on my bucket list after all).

I got this recipe from Bust Magazine (I actually do read magazines besides Whole Living, I swear) and it’s just as delicious as it sounds.

Watermelon Lemonade from Bust Magazine, June/July 2011

1.5 cups fresh lemon juice (I used about 8 lemons)
1 cup sugar
4 cups water, divided

1. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepot. Heat on the stovetop until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture cool.
2. Juice the lemons over a strainer (to catch the seeds) and into a large glass pitcher.
3. Add the remaining 3 cups of water and the simple syrup to the lemon juice.
4. Puree 4 cups of chopped, seeded watermelon with 2 cups of the lemonade.
5. Add back to the pitcher, stir, and enjoy!

If the weather cooperates, I’ll be spending my Sunday sipping watermelon lemonade at the beach while flying a kite. C'mon miracle...

The fruit carnage in my sink this afternoon

Monday, June 20, 2011

#21: Wash My Car

So, I realize that hand-washing your car might not make it onto everyone else’s summer bucket lists (and I fully understand why), but for me there’s something a little summeragical (summer and magical) about it. Picture it (and picture Sohpia from the Golden Girls saying “Picture It…”): it’s a hot summer day, the birds are chirping, you’ve got a tall glass of lemonade, and you’re out in the driveway in a sundress ready to give the car a washin’ the good ol’ fashioned way…are you there with me?

So, although it was a little bit like that this afternoon when I gave Helga II (yes, that’s my car's name) a bath, I think I may have romanticized the whole car wash thing a bit because about 2 minutes in I was sweating my face off from scrubbing, and totally exhausted from lugging buckets of water down 2 flights of stairs. But hey, at least it was good workout and Helgs is definitely looking pretty good.

I also took the opportunity to put my order of Fast Brite to work (yes, I actually buy things from infomercials, i know, i know). After incessantly complaining about the weird foggy look that my headlights had taken on, my parents saw Fast Brite on TV and sent me the info. I was fully expecting it to be a rip off but it actually worked! Here's my before and after photos as proof:

And a happy Summer Solstice to all, enjoy the longest day of the year everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sundresses, Kites, and Sunny Skies

Isn't summer the best? Here's this week's progress report:

Sundress pattern: Check
Kite making instructions and materials: Check
Summer Bucket Playlist: Well underway

More updates to follow as my weekend unfolds, wishing a wicked awesome weekend to all...

Monday, June 13, 2011

#2: Make Homemade Popsicles

After coming home last night to find a present (in the form of cat pee) on my bed, then accidentally dropping Fanne onto Dan's face in the wee hours (subsequently finding out that a large portion of his forehead was lost in the incident), and then receiving a courtesy call from Bank of America that someone had stolen my credit card and was making long distance phone calls, you could say that I wasn't necessarily in the best of spirits. I didn't let the bastards grind me down though, instead I took matters into my own hands and did something fun from my bucket list: I made popsicles.

I cut this recipe out of Whole Living magazine in 2008 and have somehow allowed 3 summers to pass without putting it to use—until now! I'm happy to report that there's a fresh batch of pineapple-cinnamon popsicles in my freezer right now. Since the recipe says to allow 6 hours for them to freeze, it's looking like they'll be ready just in time for breakfast too, which is perfect because you know what I always say: when life hands you lemons, eat popsicles for breakfast.

3 Frozen Fruity Pops Recipes (recipes and photo from Whole Living Magazine, June 2008)

For each recipe, combine the fruit, herb or spice, juice (if called for), and a dash of salt in a blender on high for 30 seconds, until smooth. Pour into Popsicle molds, and freeze for six hours.

Mix 4 cups of honeydew melon cubes (which contain potassium) with 1/4 cup of vitamin-K-packed chopped fresh basil and 1/2 cup organic frozen lemonade concentrate.

For an exotic tropical pop, use 3 cups of pineapple chunks (known for anti-inflammatory properties), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup fresh orange juice.

Combine 1 ripe mango (an antioxidant powerhouse) and 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley (a bad-breath fighter). If the mango isn't ripe, add 1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Bucket List

Are we really already 7 days into June and I haven’t even introduced this month’s challenge? Slap on the wrist, bad blogger! I’ll spare you my lame excuses though and get right to it—this June, and probably July too, I’ll be making my way through a list of fun summer activities that make up my very own summer bucket list.

Everyone knows what a bucket list is, right? A list of things you want to do in your life before you “kick the bucket” (it’s also a really terrible movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, boy was that a letdown). While I’ve definitely drafted a few versions of the more traditional bucket list in my time, I thought It’d be fun to make one specifically for summer, because let’s face it—it’s always gone before you know it (especially if your summer is like mine and you have 5 weddings to attend).

So, let the fun begin! Here’s my list thus far, and definitely me know if you think I forgot something awesome:

1. BBQ
2. Make homemade popsicles
3. Ride my bike
4. Sleep outside
5. Blow the seeds off a dandelion (I promise I won’t do this in your yard)
6. Plant an herb garden
7. Make homemade lemonade
8. Go to the beach
9. Make a summer play list (believe me, I’d do a mixed tape if I still had a cassette player)
10. Get a pedicure
11. Catch a fish (or at least try)
12. Sew my own sundress
13. Go for a canoe ride (14T comes equipped with a canoe, one of its many perks…)
14. Light some sparklers
15. Go to a Red Sox game
16. Go night swimming
17. Pack a picnic
18. Eat dinner on the front porch
19. Pick berries and make homemade jam
20. Play a game of Badminton
21. Wash my car
22. Try a new vegetable from the farmers market
23. Buy an ice cream from the ice cream man
24. Do yoga outside
25. Fly a kite
26. Take a roll of film (yes, the old fashioned way)
27. Go to the Fair
28. Go to the Wellfleet drive-in movie theater
29. Run through a sprinkler
30. Make a new sun tea flavor
31. Go for a boat ride
32. Make a sandcastle
33. Have a bonfire

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Big Shoes For Little Souls

Well, we did it! Through thick, salty air and early morning ocean fog, Amy, Jenny and I successfully completed our first 5K this past Sunday as part of the Cape Cod Child Development running team. I'm happy to report that collectively, our team was able to raise over $10,000 to support the children and families of CCCD, yay!

I'd like to sincerely thank everyone who helped me to meet my fundraising goal. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST, THANK YOU x 10,000!

My Dad Knows Everything About Baseball

I’ve always known that my dad is a huge baseball fan (he mainly just watches the Sox games, but he’ll always cheer for anyone who beats the Yankees), but this month he really proved it to me. I probably called home a dozen times over the past 31 days with a whole slew of baseball questions that most people my age should know the answers to:

“Dad, how do they determine how many games are in a series?”
“Hi Dad, me again, do the announcers travel with the team?”
“Yep hi, another question: What the hell does over 500 mean?”

And so on…

What shocked me every time was how immediate his answers were—I couldn’t stump him! After a month of very thorough answers to my incessant stream of questions, I really am convinced that my dad knows everything about baseball.

When I was home this past weekend, my brother and I went down to the basement and shot some of his baseball collection. These are a few of my favs:

My dad is also a huge Carl Yastrzemski fan. I mean, can you blame him? What's not to love about a Polish Red Sox player?

Carl, or "Yaz", in all his glory

More glory...

I can't read this so let's just pretend that there's a "ski" at the end

This illustration of Fenway Park was a Father's Day gift from my mom and I one year

A replica of the paper from when the Red Sox won the World Series in 1918

Moxie and the Red Sox? Now you're speaking John Dzenawagis' language...

And yes, I’m well aware that it’s June 1st now. The holiday weekend threw me off a bit so I'm going to take a few extra days to wrap up Soxing before I introduce June's challenge. Stay tuned!