Enchanting Recipes & Everyday Life In General

Category Archives: hobbies

Here it is, the big reveal!

After several weeks of eagerly waiting, anticipating, and stressing, the day has arrived that I can finally share this HUGE news with you all.

I am pleased to announce the growth in our house!
New life is blossoming here in this family, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally share in this with you.

I am thrilled to be able to celebrate this joyous day with everyone!

That’s right!
My herbs are finally in bloom!

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I’ve been wanting to tell you guys for a while. To shout it from the rooftops. But I’ve been waiting for the basil to finally make an appearance.

On Monday, it rained and rained and rained, ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the live long day. And I, being the horrible gardener that I am, left all my pots out on the steps while I was away all day. My face paled and my stomach dropped to my toes when I was at cooking club and remembered that my pots we’re still sitting outside on the porch.

They were doomed, I knew it. All that water. All the flood warnings…they were done for.

Apparently, all that rain was what they needed because the next day, this happened:

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Happy, tiny, little basil sprouts started to appear. 
And that’s when I knew it was time. Time to share the joyous news of the growth of de herbs with you. 
The cilantro made its appearance first.
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It’s clearly doing the best of all the herbs. It’s even starting to take its shape.

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I picked a piece and ate it, and it’s delicious. Mucho cilantro-ey. I cannot WAITTTT to use it this summer! It will be so nice to not have to run to the store all the time for herbs.

The parsley made it’s appearance next.

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It’s not quite as full and robust as the cilantro–but I’ll take it. It will come, in time, in time. It also hasn’t started to take it’s signature flat leaf parsley shape. It will get there, I know it will.

Next, my marigolds started to sprout.

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I’m a little underwhelmed with the state of these. They haven’t done much growing since they first sprouted, and come on, where are all the brothers and sisters? They are going to need to start appearing if I am going to have the beautiful welcome plant on my front stoop like I had hoped…

Then finely, the lone basils started appearing. I almost missed them–two tiny little sprouts on the very side of the pot. Last year, the basil were the quickest growers.

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They’re shy this year, they must be.
Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to find basil at any grocery stores this year…They’re shy.

Anywhoo…
Precious herbs.
I can’t wait to see how they grow up.

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Pssst. You may notice in the picture about that my deck is one color, and the stairs are another. This was an annoying story. 
Yesterday morning I came outside of my condo to take my precious Gracie potty–there was a strange man at the bottom of my stairs with a power washer and a bottle of wood stain. He had removed all the stain from our stairs, and re-stained it. The stairs were dripping wet with stain, and there I was, stuck at the top with my dog who had to poo. I asked if I could walk on it, and the strange man replied with, “Uhhhhh….You’re not supposed to.”
HELLLOO–Those are my only stairs. My only way out. What am I supposed to do? Fly down? Glide down on the rail? A little warning about the staining would be nice, don’t you think? Well, I picked up Gracie and we went downstairs anyway. Psh. Don’t tell me what to do, homeboy. 
The deck is still a different color than the stairs. Annoying. 
More herby updates to come, promise. 
OH! And it’s Gracie’s birthday on Sunday. She’ll be three. I might die–my baby is THREE.
Random.
Goodbye!

Remember last week when I was making my pretty flower pots? …Well, there was a bit of a mishap. A small hiccup in my plans…

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I had planned to plant my herbs (cilantro, basil, and parsley), and some marigolds for the front stoop. I also thought I’d give a shot at growing my own tomatoes this year. After a trip to Lowe’s for some planters, soil, and seeds, I was ready to give my green thumb a go.

Here we were, Gracie & I, just minding our own business on the back porch, painting pots, planting seeds, and enjoying a glorious day.

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My herbs and marigolds were sunning on the rail, and I was just finishing taking pictures of everything to share with you lovely folks when, suddenly, the unspeakable happened!

My tomato seeds went missing!
GASP!

Now, let me tell you, I searched high and low for this mysterious, disappearing seed packet. I thought, maybe the wind blew it off the porch and it was floating around down below. I searched, and searched, and search…No seeds were found.

Finally, I gave up my search. 

I cleaned up the porch, and went inside to put my pots in the windowsill, when, finally, I found the culprit.

DUNDUNDUN

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Case closed. 
Oh, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the other plants that are warming in my kitchen.
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I showed you my herb garden 2 years ago. Remember? Wow, I can’t believe that was 2 years ago. I never did update you on how my first attempt at an herb garden went.

Well…
It failed.
Badly.
Horribly, badly.

You see, all was well. Everything was going wonderfully in my little herb-growing land.
Everything was coming up nicely, the sun was shining A LOT that summer, and things were getting to the point where they were about ready to start using.

And then, something happened.
Vacation happened.

My Boo and I took an impromptu, week-long trip to the homeland (Michigan) and IIII forgot to hire a plant sitter/waterer/surrogate mother.

I came home to a dried up, brown, crunchy mess. It was not pretty.

And that’s how my green thumb turned brown.

I took a summer off to mourn, and here I am–at it again.

I’m hoping to be a supportive, nurturing, green-thumbed mother to these herbs this time around so I can actually eat them. You guys need to keep me up to it, kay?

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I made these.

Really. I did.

Want to know how? Because, I’ll show you.
I will.
If you ask nicely.
Pretty please?
With sugar on top?

Okay, I give. I’ll show you. It was easy, I promise. And relaxing.

Ingredients:

ingredients
Some terra cotta pots
Acrylic paints, your choice of colors
Paint brushes (I used the big sponges, but it would have been nice to have a smaller brush for touch ups)
Also needed (not shown):
Exacto knife/Scissors
Paper
Printer

First you need to paint the pots the colors of your choice:
After about 7 different paint schemes, I finally settled on white & green.

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Then I changed my mind after I took this picture and painted one blue.
So white, green, & blue. Perfect.

Next, print off the labels you want, in the font of your choice. The bolder the font, the better.

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With the exacto knife, or scissors, trace the letters to cut then out. (We’re creating a stencil here, folks.)
For the letters with a middle, (like the p, a, e….etc), leave a little connector. If you forget, like I did a few times, no worries, just keep the middle.
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Then, just tape your stencil to the painted pot:
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For the middle of the ‘P’ and the ‘A’ that I accidentally cut out, I just stuck a little tape to the back and taped it in place.

Then, with your paint brush, paint in the stencil. I found that dabbing or blotting works best. That way it pressed the stencil down as it painted so I didn’t get and bleeding edges.

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Remove the stencil, and TADA!:
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Beautiful!! There were just a few edges to touch up (this is where a small brush would have come in handy.)

Repeat with the rest of your pots:
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For the little flower thingy, I just used a rubber stamp with a stamp pad that I had and pressed it on for added detail.

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And there you have it!
Simple, easy, and great looking herb pots!

I’m all ready to start mothering and nurturing my herbies!


It’s been a pretty quick summer. I think last summer we forgot to blog all summer and ended up doing one post of a recap of our summer–I’ll give you the same thing this year 🙂

Beginning of summer–school started. During the summer? School? I know….but it hasn’t been all that bad. I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m coming to the end of my first quarter here next week and I can’t believe it! 1 down, 5 to go. I hope to make the Dean’s list…that’s my goal this quarter. For those that know me—school and I don’t get along, so the Dean’s list is a pretty big goal. Next quarter I have baking–this should be fun. Expect lots of baked goodies on the blog 🙂

Well, we got a grill. We grilled every night for about 2 weeks straight, until the little old lady downstairs yelled at us and informed us we weren’t allowed to grill at the apartment. The next day the landlord handed out a notice from the fire department informing us that grilling is no longer allowed at our complex. Bummer. It was fun while it lasted. We now have a portable grill for the occasional picnic…and about a years worth of propane.
In June we took a trip to Michigan for my Grandparent’s 50th anniversary party. We had a family picnic at Lake Michigan, which was a lot of fun. I miss Lake Michigan.
We will be returning in a few weeks for a whole week for Mike (my brother) and Katie’s wedding.
Meet Millie:
Millie is a dog we rescued at the beginning of July. When we found her she super malnourished, sick, and full of fleas. Blech. We thought she could be a good companion for Gracie since we’ve been so busy lately, but as it turns out, being super busy is no good for a new puppy and the potty training process. We found a good home for Millie, so she’s no longer with us, but I wanted you all to meet her.
Gracie wasn’t a big fan.
Back in July our good friends Nick and Aubrey (you may remember them from here) got married. We were both honored to be in their wedding party. We got to go to Ohio for the weekend for their wedding festivities. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera…so, no pictures from that event until they get their actual wedding pictures back.
In August we traveled to Dearborn, MI for a wedding of one of Paul’s friends from high school.
In the car I was able to work on my new hobby:
Embroidery
there will be more on this at a later date.
Anyways, the wedding. It was amazing. Beautiful.


After the wedding, we headed to Grand Rapids for a couple of hours to meet a very special person.

Meet Claire:

No, no, no. She’s not special….well, she is…but she’s not the special person we went to meet. We already knew her. Claire is my bestie. We’ve been friends since 6th grade. This person that we went to meet wasn’t around in 6th grade. She was born on July 20th. She is Claire’s daughter.

Meet Rylee:
She is pretty much the most precious thing ever…maybe I’m a little biased…maybe not. Stephen and Claire make a cute baby.



Anyways, it was so good to see my bestest, even if it was just for a few hours. I’m excited to get to spend more time with them in a few weeks.

Me touching an infant.

More photos of our summer adventures are here. (As well as lots of other, older pictures.) I’m trying to keep our gallery updated.

Hopefully I’ll have a few more recipes for you soon…I made a delicious soup tonight at work that I’d like to share with you.

Signing off,
Rochelle 🙂

My final new thing, and my most favorite is my herb garden! Browsing through Target a couple of months ago, my thumb was feeling very green. I passed through the $1 Spot, where they had everything I needed to plant my very own herb garden (something I’ve been wanting to do for a very very long time) all for only $4! I can’t wait until my herbs are mature enough to start using in my cooking, but with this lack of sunshine and way-over-rainyness, they are now struggling to survive and not drown–although I think they will pull through.

Oregano

Chives

Basil

My lone Parsley…
it’s just taking a little longer than the others.

I realize my herb garden is tiny, and really isn’t much to brag about…but it’s definitely huge for me! It will be time to transplant them into bigger pots soon…I’m hoping to go to Lowe’s today, if Paul will let me.
While I was photographing my herbs, I discovered that my tiny little garden is very pathetic compared to the little old lady downstairs’ garden: