Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring is in the air

Every year I try to grow basil and cilantro- and every year I usually fail, killing it within weeks of buying it.

But this year it's looking like a success! I actually have enjoyed taking care of my plants and having them be the first thing I see leaving and entering my home. Since my courtyard space is so tiny- I wanted to create a more vertical system for my pots as to save space. I found a three tiered metal plant stand at an auction and painted some cheap terra cotta pots black on the bottom half and painted the names of the herbs. I also planted some perrineals and put a hydrangea in an old whiskey barrel my papa gave me. 

Still deciding on the perfect way to plant and display these succulents inside, I've heard they are pretty indestructible. 

Heard it's supposed to be a nice weekend with temps reaching into the 90's, everyone get out there and enjoy the sunshine! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Yummy Baked ziti

This is a nice and simple recipe and makes alot for leftovers.

1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
Italian seasoning, garlic salt, salt, pepper
1 1/2 jars spaghetti sauce of choice (I love pregos roasted garlic Parmesan for this dish) 
1 tub cottage cheese
1 tub ricotta cheese
1 8 oz. package Italian shredded cheese
A green bell pepper
Carton of mushrooms
Minced garlic
Fresh basil (optional)
1 box ziti or penne pasta

Putting it all together:
Go ahead and boil your pasta
Cook your meat and season with Italian spice, garlic salt and salt and pepper.
Dice your peppers and mushrooms and add to the beef.

I then dumped in about 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic and 4 chopped basil leaves.
Add in your 1 1/2 jars sauce,

Add your ricotta cheese and mix well,

Add in your pasta, 

And your cottage cheese and mix it all up, 

Spread all that into a cassarole dish and top with the shredded cheese,

Bake at 350 until cheese is melted, 

And enjoy! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Update to my little courtyard

I tend to keep the inside of my home on the nice and tidy side, 98% of things have a place and I try to keep it like that to protect my sanity.  

My garage and courtyard however, have become the spot where things go to die, If I don't have a place for it, it went to the garage and courtyard. The courtyard also had a mixture of outdoor furniture/decor from my previous home that didn't really fit or flow.  My courtyard connects the garage to the home and I walk through it each day and a few weeks ago I had finally had enough. My tiny patch of grass was dead and the whole space was very uninviting. 

Me and my dad started by tiling up the yard and laying 110 feet of new sod, this alone made a vast improvement!

Here it is before: 

Then it was on to the patio, here is what it looked like:

I sold the patio table and red bench, have moved one wicker chair to the garage for now.  The kayak is being stored in the garage, and the ruined carpet went in the trash.  

I wanted a door color that said "welcome!" and I despise builders beige, so it had to go.

After taping off the window and sides, the door got two coats of Hallowed Hush by Behr.

Found the outdoor rug at Target, it's already poured rain a few days ago and the rug still looks brand new, bought a new cushion for my wicker chair, and planted a hydrangea in the barrel.

Bought this planter stand at an auction two nights ago and it will soon house my herb garden.

Still on the To Do list:
  • Build a patio table
  • Decide what to do with the empty wall on the patio next to garage door- currently thinking between bench/couch, or maybe a potting bench.
  • Buy herbs and pots for stand
  • Find and hang a pair of vintage shutters on sides of window next to door
  • Find a place for the giant 4 foot metal chicken I also bought at the auction.....