Veggie Garden 2014

Spring is finally here in Ontario…well, I think it is. My kids did wear winter coats this morning, and there was a chance of snow, but surely there won’t be any more…It’s time to start thinking about my vegetable garden for this year. Last year wasn’t that successful thanks to our bunny friend, but I’ve got fencing, and am willing to purchase an automated water deterrent to keep them away if I have to!

Because it has been so cold here, I hadn’t given the garden much thought yet…that and I’m 6 months pregnant, so I wasn’t even sure if I would do it this year. But we are going to! I am even thinking of expanding it too, making it look a little more finished, and like it’s an actual part of the backyard, instead of this random square with veggies growing in it.

The early planting season is now though, so I’ll have to get my husband to turn the garden over, re-edge it, and add some manure so that I can plant the seeds…seeds, still haven’t tested those that are in the fridge to see if they are still good…I’m already failing at this garden before I have even started it!

On the planting list this year are the following:

green beans

lettuce

carrots

green onions

turnips

These have all done well in the past years, so I’m sticking with them. My mom, and neighbours grow tomatoes, so I don’t need to grow those….perhaps a wander through the seeds aisle for some inspiration is needed to something a little different this year!

Have you ever done a vegetable garden? From plants or seeds? I would love to hear about yours, or if you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to ask!

You can read about my past gardens below, or just search in the Vegetable Garden section of the blog:

What my First Veggie Garden Taught Me

The Good The Bad and The Ugly of the Veggie Garden

Veggie Garden 2012

Low Maintenance Gardening on a Budget – Guest post over at Oshawa Mom Space

 

Meal Plan Monday – April 22 2014

Happy Earth Day everyone! We aren’t doing anything special for this day, since I strongly believe in being “green” as often each day as possible, vs just one day a year! But regardless of that, happy Earth Day, try to be a little greener today!

I hope you all had a great long weekend. Easter is always such a magical time in our house since we are Catholic. We do it up big, not just with brunch and dinner and egg hunts, but with Mass, extra prayers, and gifts too! It isn’t always frugal, and that is ok!

And so, because it was an expensive weekend, it was nice to see my grocery bill for this week at only $75, with $5 in rebates coming my way thanks to Checkout 51 and SnapSaves apps!

So, in addition to all the chocolates and other treats, here is what we are eating this week:

Tuesday – Kielbasa stirfry with peppers and rice

Wednesday - island pork with veggie fried rice and sale

Thursday – ham and cheese quiche with salad

Friday – baked fish with garlic noodles and roasted cauliflower

Saturday – hoping we can finally use the BBQ! burgers? steaks? chicken? who knows!

As always I am linking up over at Org Junkie.

mpmsmallbutton

Super Simple Coconut Oil Deodorant

I’ve been curious about coconut oil for a while now; the crunchy side of me has always wondered if it lived up to all that people talked about, or if it was just another trend. I’ve gone out before to purchase it, but became overwhelmed by the options (virgin, cold pressed, unrefined) and all the brands, that I never bought any…and frankly, the frugal side of me was worried I wouldn’t find enough uses for it to justify the price. The more you buy at once, the cheaper it is, but did I really need a gigantic jar of the stuff? Would I actually use it all?

Having you ever googled the stuff? Or searched it on Pinterest? The list of uses seems to expand every day, and I just love hearing what other people use the stuff for (so if you love it like I now do, please leave me a comment with how you use it!) I am slowly venturing into using it in cooking and baking, but mostly I’ve been keeping it in my bathroom. First and foremost it’s become my deodorant, as well as a moisturizer for my stretching skin over my pregnant belly and around my eyes. It also seems to help my daughters extremely dry skin. But today, I want to focus on it as a natural deodorant option.

coconut oil deodorant

Antiperspirants and deodorants are so very bad for you. I’ve known this for years! They leach harmful chemicals into your skin, clog your pores (which is the point, right?!) and have been linked to breast cancer. My husband gave up using any such product years ago, lucky for him, he never smells, and he has been on my case to do the same. I’ve tried just about every natural product out there, and none of them worked with my body chemistry. I’ve always been a sweaty person, even as a kid, and with puberty came the smell aspect as well. My husband swears I don’t smell, but honestly, he doesn’t have the best sense of smell. Wasting money on the over priced natural products frustrated me greatly! And I have heard about using coconut oil, but all the recipes I found online had strange other ingredients in them that I had to order online…it seemed like too much work, and money, for something that might not even work for me.But when Allie (from Table for More, and now The Real Healthwives) shared how she uses just coconut oil and baking soda for deodorant, I instantly knew I had to try it. I went out that night and bought the stuff! If it didn’t work for me, than I’d find other uses for the oil, right, so no waste!

Her method of simple applying a tiny of bit coconut oil under your arm, followed by a little baking soda is quick and easy. I keep small containers of both in my bathroom now. I’ve been using this every day for about a week, we have had some warm days and the stuff worked. Like it really really worked! There was only one day that I got super sweaty, but I didn’t smell…the first time since I was like 12 that my sweat didn’t smell! If there is any scent when I did sweat, it was just a hint of coconut, and frankly, that is fine by me since it’s one of my favourite scents, and much better than the baby powder scents most products come in.

I’ve since read on other blogs and sites that sometimes your body needs to detox a bit, and so it may take a few days to adjust to the coconut oil. So if you find yourself sweating more and smellier more than normal, give it a few days before you make your decision. You will still sweat, as it’s not an antiperspirants, but perhaps the baking soda will help a bit with that, but don’t worry, it’s ok to sweat, your body needs to! I also found that rubbing the baking soda in irritated my sensitive underarm skin, so now I pat it on, and it works just fine!

I can’t wait to try it out on more pregnancy and breastfeeding things, and of course on this new bundle once it arrives (I’ve heard its great for baby acne, and diaper rashes too!) And of course, I want to start using it regularly in the kitchen as well

PLEASE share what you use your coconut oil for, I’m totally late to this game, but am completely in love with the stuff and want to use it in everything!

The crunchiest thing about me used to be the cloth diapers I put my kids in, or maybe my use of a Diva Cup, or our backyard veggie garden and rain barrel…not anymore!

 

 

Meal Plan Monday – April 14 2014

Just a quick post to share our menu this week. I’ve got a baked oatmeal recipe and my new found love for coconut oil deodorant coming this week too, so watch for those!

here’s what we are eating this week:

Monday – my famous spaghetti

Tuesday - island pork with veggie fried rice and green beans

Wednesday – beef tacos

Thursday – pierogies and peppers and salad

Friday – baked fish, with rice and broccoli

 

As always, I’m linking up over at Org Junkie. Happy Menu Planning everyone!

mpmsmallbutton

Frugal Tip Tuesday – Homemade Crispy Potatoes

I guess this counts as a frugal tip, since buying a big bag of potatoes it much cheaper than buying those bags of pre-cut frozen fries! We all love french fries, right? I love potatoes in just about any form, but super crispy french fries are top of my list! Since hitting the drive thru on the regular is out of our budget, and frankly, not a healthy option at all, this is the next best thing.

Bags of frozen french fries are easy to throw into the oven, but they aren’t very healthy. Most are filled with chemicals/preservatives, and are usually deep fried in the factory before being frozen, so even if you bake them, they can still be full of oil. Slicing up your own potatoes is a little more work, but once you taste these little gems, you won’t go back to the bagged ones!

homemade crispy potatoes

Homemade Crispy Potatoes

5 or 6 medium red potatoes

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp olive oil

salt

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Wash and cut your potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Place in a pot of cold salted water, and bring to a boil. Boil over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes, just until slightly fork tender. You are only par-boiling them, not fully cooking them. Drain potatoes in a strainer. Rough the potatoes up by shaking them in the strainer to make the edges fluffy. Once all the little pieces look fluffy, but are not falling apart, sprinkle with the flour and shake lightly to coat all the pieces. Meanwhile, have a foil lined baking sheet with the 2 tbsp of oil heating in the oven for a few minutes. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, dump the potatoes into the hot oil, spreading them into a single layer. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to get each side crispy. Sprinkle lightly with salt when they are done, and enjoy! I recommend making more than you think you’ll need for your family, as these will go quickly!

crispy potatoes

drained, fluffed, and coated in flour (the real secret to getting them so crispy!)

 

crispy potatoes

spreading them out evenly in the hot oil gets them crisping up right away!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 400 other followers

%d bloggers like this: