Whatcha doing this summer??

Summer is here and in full swing! I’m guilty of being a little swept away with all the possibilities of  summer. Late nights outside because the sun sets at 9. Me staying up too late, warm weekends lending themselves to brunches out with day drinks with friends, baseball has me glued to the TV nearly every night past bedtime and then some and I’m not sorry about any of it! Well, I’m a little sorry in the morning when the alarm signals another day of adulting before I get to slip back into my summer attitude. I’m also sorry I’m not getting as much posted as I “should” but that got me thinking about what it is that has you disregarding your routine this summer…

My bucket list: Movie in the park, camping, hiking, visit a body of water not in the immediate seattle area, continue filling my rooftop with plants (and perhaps a little less killing/frying the ones I have up there), get a cabin on the island for a weekend, go to a baseball game, maybe an outdoor concert (bumbershoot anyone)?

What else can I add? What’s on yours?

Summer is so much more fun when it’s shared! Give me all the ideas and I can pretend I have all the time! Looking for kid friendly, as well as date ideas.

 

Movies in the park!

Free movies in the park! I just had to share as whats better then a free event for a family on a budget or a nanny looking to spice up the day to day routine? One that last through dinner ( picnic and popcorn!) and up to bedtime.

Might I suggest checking out:

Crossroads Movies in the Park  for August shows

Downtown Bellevue Movies in the Park shows in July and August!

Movies at the Mural (aka the Seattle Center) also showings July and August

For a super extensive list of movies in the park go to https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2017/6/9/seattle-summer-outdoor-movie-guide-2017

If I plant it, will it grow?

Hello all! I find myself in quite the good mood despite the extreme (northwest extreme) heat and the fact it’s a Monday. Work was ok, traffic was pretty decent (is school officially out for all districts?), dinner was fairly quick and easy…in my book those are all feats to be recognized and rejoiced in when kicking off a new week.  The icing on my Monday cake was my wander up to the my rooftop to check on my “garden.”

First let me digress a smidge. As previously posted, I’m a tiny bit of a garden nerd and am eager to see what is successful in our new home. We have a rooftop patio that is almost always exposed to the weather elements and a shaded downstairs patio currently occupied by garden rocks, concrete pavers, and one large pot containing the Lilac I have fostered and loved for over 12 years without ever being able to plant in the ground (hmmm, is this a reflection for my life stages? too deep, nevermind that one).

Around my birthday, I splurged hard core at the local garden/hardware store (it’s a locally owned business so I was just supporting my community, no judging). I bought some containers, and soil, multiple veggie starts, some fuchsia plants, and maybe a strawberry or two…ok, it was a lot for anyone who knows anything about the PNW weather. Our winter was not very forgiving and buying all this in not quiet spring was a garden optimist lotto which I was very aware. I spent a warm March day, digging and planting my little friends and prayed that they would survive and be heartier for their early outdoor start on the rooftop (one day, I would like it to be similar to a secret garden, an oasis in the city). I water and watched and hoped and pruned…

Today, after the incredible heat of the weekend, I am so proud to announce I have peas enough for a side, tomatoes will be more then my family can handle in one season (i foresee pintrest and “what to do with too many tomatoes” board in my future), my fuchsias are in full bloom and my strawberries are almost as big as store bought! It makes my heart smile to go from container to container and see the newest bud, vegetable or flower, imagining the wonderful meal I will enjoy, and taking pride in my hard work with amazing rewarding payoffs.

It’s true in my book that I enjoy eating the food I grow a little more then store bought. I love seeing and being a part of the process from start to finish. Observing how the slightest changes such as time of day for watering, what the soil was prepped with, or moving the direction or location of one pot, result in a amazing visible rewards. It’s a personal achievement I can share around the table with my loved ones and/or give back to the community I live in through donation. What’s your favorite part about getting into the garden? I’m curious to know if I’m the only one this jazzed about a little dirt and seed?

Tip(s) of the Day: Plant the things that bring you joy…When I’m overwhelmed in the nursery and not sure where to start, I turn the selection process into a sort of grocery list. What things am I grabbing from the produce bins that are staring me in the face at the nursery? I realize I’ll probably never be able to grow bananas or coconuts in Seattle but we eat spinach, tomatoes, and herbs almost daily…why buy them over and over when i can plant them once and have my own little store available when I need it? Psst…I also love the bulbs of spring flowers so almost all my containers have a layer of bulbs beneath the veggies. When fall comes around, simply remove any dead/dying plants and you’re set for a beautiful spring (and a reminder to start looking for the next season of vegetable starts!). Feel free to share your garden tips too! Who doesn’t love a little insider hint?

Get outside and get active!

Summer is all about enjoying your free time and the awesome weather. During the summer it is easy to find oneself lying on the couch and taking in hours of the day time programming you miss while at work or school, sleeping in until noon, or finding excuses like “it’s too hot out” to stay inside.

I challenge you to get outside and get moving. Summer is full of activities we aren’t able to do in the wet months of the winter. Find a park with walking/hiking trails (think Seward, Greenlake, Marymoor) and pack a picnic. Head to one of the local beaches and go for a swim, or better yet, rent a kayak for a couple hours and work on those biceps. Hop on your bike and explore a new section of your neighborhood. There are even a couple of ways to trick yourself into getting those steps…visit the zoo or arboretum, join a friend at a local market and walk the booths.

Summer is all to fleeting in our neck of the woods, make sure you take time to get out and see the sights while getting fresh air and vitamin D!

Tip of the day: Make plans with someone else. You are much more likely to follow through with your outdoor activity if you are held accountable. Plus its always fun to take in some amazing views or try a new sport with some one else!

Time to get dirty!

Summer is literally around the corner and that means one thing to me…GARDEN TIME!! I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to the garden, I’m just a beginner in the world of green thumbs but I love it! This coming from the girl who is terrified of spiders and has a bit of a disgust for all things dirty, creepy, crawly, and stinky which is kinda what gardening is all about. During this time of year, I put on my big girl pants (as well as gloves and some uncared for old clothing items) and get digging.

I say I’m a beginner although I’ve been trying my hand at this gardening thing for over 15 years. As it goes, becoming an adult I moved every couple years…change in roommate, increased rents, addition of pets, addition of love, etc.  Despite my constant (well, near constant) efforts to make each spot a true home complete with a garden, learning a new location is a rather trying thing for a gardener. Just when you figure out the soil, and sunlight, tackle the relevant pests, and adjust the watering amounts to have a thriving garden, you move and get to start all over. It’s been disheartening in an area where every where you turn people have their own vegetable garden, green wall, and fruit trees to sustain themselves…I want in on that!!

I recently moved yet again, but this time it’s more of a forever home which meant I was adamant that there would be space to garden and grow my own flowers and food. We found a wonderful spot with a decent rooftop patio, small shaded garden below, and tons of opportunity for indoor gardening. And so it begins…again!

This year , with the excitement of knowing I can do what ever I want and try what ever I want, I did a few things to prepare for gardening. We eat a lot of eggs in our home, hard boiled, quiche, bacon pasta, the list goes on and on…I bet you can guess where this is going, we save our egg shells! Once cracked open and empty, I wash out each shell (I personally am not terribly thoughtful about this) and leave them to dry on paper towel. Once dried I pop them into a sealed container, I use a plastic one instead of a bag that will get cut by sharp edges of shells, and then take my steel coffee mug and crush the heck out of the shells. Side note- I do tend to save up the shells and pick an unusually stressful day to do the crushing, pretend I’m smashing away all the negative. My other go to and I’m sure this will not surprise any of you who have read any of my other posts is coffee!!! YAY! Once I’ve brewed that pot of coffee I save the grounds and left them dry out, a baking sheet works well for this as it speeds the process having a thin layer. Again, i prefer to store the dried grounds in a sealed container. Once it’s time to prep my soil and add my seedlings to the garden I take these two garden delights with me and add them to my soil. I use the coffee more sparingly as I’ve found some plants aren’t as keen to it. The egg shells are awesome for adding nutrients like calcium into the soil for your veggies but also does a super job keeping away things like snails and slugs when place around the base of your plants (saved my tomatoes one year).

I love knowing that I am giving my garden a free boost from things I would have just let the city compost. I’m always into the idea of using items to the point of exhaustion, if it can have another purpose, WHY NOT?

Tip of the Day: Another easy trick when prepping your garden is to insert small tubs of beers throughout your garden, it gets those slimy guys attention and steers slugs away from your newly planted little ones.