I hope you all had a great weekend! Our was spent working on the rough wiring in our basement, with a lot of help from my parents. I have a circuit map that I’ve been drawing onto a blank floor plan, adding x’s and o’s for all the outlets and lights. The whole basement map is now covered in x’s and o’s, which is pretty awesome to see. We still have to run the wires to the lights, but all of the outlets and switches are wired. We’ll probably be able to finish our rough wiring next weekend, which means we’re getting very close to being able to call for our next inspection. Moving right along on that basement!
We’re also making good progress on the garden. We decided to cover some of our raised garden beds with black plastic this year in an effort to fight weeds before they start. Last fall we were wandering around in a tomato field grown by a huge organic farm in our area. We noticed that all of the rows were raised and covered in black plastic, with just a small hole for each tomato plant. We figured if it’s working for the largest organic farm in the state (and they’ve been an organic farm since the 70s, so they’ve had a few years of practice), it will probably work for us. So we went to the farm supply store a few weeks ago and bought a roll of black plastic for $15. We’re covering five of our ten raised beds (the other five all have seeds planted in them already – we’re using the black plastic on beds where we’re going to plant seedlings that we’ve grown in the house this spring). So far, we’ve covered three of the beds, and the other two will be getting covered today. I cut holes in one of the beds and planted seedlings a few days ago. It’s a lot more time consuming to plant seedlings that way, but I’m reminding myself of how awesome it will be in July when I’m spending my time doing anything else but weeding! Have any of you tried black plastic as weed prevention in your garden? Please let me know how it’s worked for you.
I found a few good articles recently that I wanted to share with you. Hope you like them too!
From Mr Money Mustache, Food Rules – A Shortcut To Better Health. I agree with the whole thing, so I’ll just let you go check it out and read what he has to say. Eat real food!
15 Wonderful Ways To Use Coconut. I love this. We’re going to walk over to the grocery store today to get some Dixie cups so that we can make popsicles out of frozen berries and coconut milk. I am a big fan of coconut. I have a gallon bucket of coconut oil that I got when Nutiva was running a great sale. I use coconut oil as a moisturizer and it’s also my favorite cooking oil. I buy organic shredded coconut quite frequently and add it to all sorts of stuff. My current favorite thing to add it to is frosty granola bars – we love these things! I’ve been making them for the last several weeks, every time I have a few very ripe bananas. They take five minutes, and are great to have in the freezer for a quick snack or dessert. I’ve tweaked them a bit: I add protein powder, use chopped nuts instead of cereal, and omit the maple syrup. I sometimes use Justin’s chocolate almond butter instead of plain almond butter. I always add coconut. And lately, I’ve been adding a teaspoon of coffee extract and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Also, I’ve found that you don’t need to use muffin papers. Just drop spoonfuls of the batter onto a plate and stick the plate in the freezer for half an hour. Then pop the almost-frozen treats off the plate, dump them into a bag or other freezer storage container, and put them back in the freezer so that you can grab one whenever you need it. Quick, easy, delicious!
Minimalist Mom has a great post about Pinterest, Facebook and how comparing ourselves with others isn’t a recipe for happiness. I love the last part where she writes about how you might not be the parent who bakes three dozen fancy cupcakes for your kid’s birthday… you might instead be the parent who leads a bunch of four-year-olds in the Hokie Pokie. We recently had a birthday party for our four-year-old. It was at a park with a great playground. I made several of his favorite snacks (which everyone loved – proof that birthday party food doesn’t have to mean junk food and tons of sugar) and the kids had a blast. They played on the playground and in the sand, and everyone stayed well past lunchtime. We didn’t do goody bags or organize any activities (put a bunch of kids in a park and they will come up with their own activities – I promise!). I spent maybe an hour the night before, making snacks. Easy, stress-free, and tons of fun. The next day, our son asked me if we could have his birthday party exactly like that, every single year.
Hearth And Soul Blog Hop recipe round-up over at Penniless Parenting is a great resource. The edition I’ve linked to has almost a hundred recipes in it – all made of simple, whole food ingredients.
This one is from last year, but in case you missed it the first time around, it’s a great post from Simple Mom about how awesome it is to be debt-free. A little inspiration for all of us who are somewhere on the road to being debt-free. For us, the only debt left is our mortgage, but we’re making steady progress on that.
Have a great week!