The reason I've been MIA...

...is because I'm in Okinawa, Japan.

Having the time of my life.

And we've got 2 1/2 more weeks here!

Went snorkeling yesterday and saw some fish that I've only ever seen in aquariums. I took pictures with a disposable underwater camera, so as soon as I can get those on a disk I'll post them.

Funniest thing is when hubby and I saw a sea anenome with some variety of clown fish in it. Think Nemo, but not quite. Hubby was pointing it out to me when the fish swam out and bit him on the finger! Took a little chunk out and everything! I laughed as well as one can laugh with a snorkel.
There will be lots of pictures in the near future, and I will update as much as possible!


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 7: Fruit}

I have become a watermelon addict. A year ago I hated the stuff, now I eat it seriously every day. I  eat entire watermelons by myself (not all in one sitting......yet).  I'm just glad it's low in calories. In fact, according to this, you can burn off a cup of watermelon (psh, I eat way more, but whatevs) just by watching 40 minutes of TV. SWEET ;)


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 6: From A Low Angle}

Yes, you've seen this before. But I didn't touch my camera at all today, and honestly, I totally thought of  recreating this shot anyways ;)



30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 5: From A High Angle}

 Sweetpea sitting at the park. A tad out of focus, but she was impatient. I've been trying to work with lighting to get that eye sparkle thing going on. This article from Katie Evans Photography is helpful.


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 4: Something Green}

Found three of these green bottles at a thrift shop bag sale today. I've been trying to research them to see how vintage they really are, but can't find much info. They are tiny, like 6 inches tall, so I am guessing they are fairly old (who nowadays would buy such small beer bottles?)


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 3: Clouds}

Clear skies today, so I found some on Sweetpea's bedroom door.


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 2: What You Wore Today}

Hippie skirt, chipped pedicure and foot tattoo.

Prune in June.

I really like gardening. By no means do I have a green thumb but I can say that over the past few years I have learned a lot. This means I kill less plants each year, which is a big step for me.

Last year I shared a community garden plot with a couple friends. We had some success with herbs and vegetables, however the groundhogs and squirrels ate pretty much everything. The only thing we were able to harvest was basil to make pesto {yum!}. But it was still fun and a great learning experience.

That's me back there tending to herbs,wearing the "hippie skirt" (so named by hubby).

We didn't get a plot this year because we put so much work into it last year and got nothing to show for it. However I have a few things growing at home and everything is going great!
I only have flowers in the ground. The daylillies are the only things blooming so far, and I have a couple different varieties.
These were actually planted before we moved in, but are pretty!

Clockwise from top left: Gladiolis, Black Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) and a butterfly bush (not sure of the variety, again planted before we moved in).
We also have some Mammoth Sunflowers and English Daisies that we planted this spring. Again, too early for blooms.

I have four green bell pepper plants, two husky tomato plants and a couple basil plants on the porch. All those are in pots, mainly because the housing company sprays with pesticides and fertilizers and I want to keep my edible plants organic.
Tomatoes, especially husky varieties do great in pots, as long as you keep them well watered. I have a cherry tomato plant and a medium tomato plant. Both are getting fruit and I can't wait for the first harvest. I have basil in the same pot since it is a good companion plant. Marigolds are also good companions to tomatos.

You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening

Confession: I never liked tomatoes until I started growing them. I also contribute all my curent plant knowledge to a wonderful book:  You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail.

Gayla also has a great website of the same name. She has a very "down to earth" {heh} gardening approach and has tons of tips and tricks that are very easy to understand. Her book was what got me into vermicomposting {Worm Poo!}.

There are two tips that have given me a good deal of success. One is to essentially pet your tomato plants. No, really. According to the book, "brushing your hands lightly across tomato foliage produces a hormone that promotes stronger, stockier growth." Plus, your hands will have that cool tomato plant smell that remind me of my grandfather.

Sorry little guy, but you gotta go.

 The other tip is to prune. It can be a bit scary to essentially amputate parts of your beloved plants, but it will help them grow better and produce more fruit or flowers. For example:

Tomatoes need to have the new leaves that pop up between branches plucked. This promotes more fruit.

Basil needs to be "pinched off" often to promote more growth and a larger harvest. Add it to pasta, veggies, pizza, etc. It is also wise to prune basil flowers if they come (like mine, since I haven't been pinching off like I should).
That little thing up top is the flower starting to come in, just pop it off.

Flowering bushes will also benefit from early pruning. It may seem counterproductive, but they will bigger and better blooms in the long run. I've done this every year with my butterfly bush and I dare say I have the best looking one on the block (several houses have them). The butterflies seem partial any how.

Whew, long post. I'll be taking pictures throughout the summer!

Until next time,


30 Day Photography Challenge {Day 1: Self-portrait}

My friend Kim at Wandering Wicopy is doing a photography challenge for the month of June and I thought I'd do it too for funsies.
Took a quick shot while sitting next to the Jeep.

Wanna tag along? You can check it out at White Peach Photography! Here's the run down:

I figure this will make me mess with my camera more and hopefully get better. I like taking pictures, but I have tons to learn.

Until Next Time,

Hello June!

This summer is gonna be awesome!
In a couple weeks we are going on a pretty epic family vacation. I won't say where we are headed to just yet, but I will tell you that I need to practice my chopstick skills. {I have none}

There will also be ample time spent on the beach!

Because I'll be spending some time in a swimsuit I've been working out more, specifically targeting my bum. It is probably my biggest "problem area".

 I've become a big fan of Tracy Anderson. She is a former dancer so I like the way her workouts are set up. Here are a couple of my fave:

She also has a fun treadmill workout that is way better than running. I hate loathe running.

Hubby and I will also be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary in July! No plans yet for that, but even if we just snuggle on the couch it will be great!

Us on Halloween last year. We make a cute couple, don't ya think? ;)

In between big plans we will be spending our days at the pool. I'll also be reading a lot; finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday so I'll be reading the rest of the Millenium Series.

Do you have fun summer plans?

Until Next Time,
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