Friday, May 26, 2017

The Creamer Garden ~ 5.26.17 (a.k.a The Sunflower Edition)

Every year since we've moved here,
I've given a kid or two a packet of sunflower seeds 
and told them to plant them.
This year was a little different.
Mary Grace went WILD with the seeds!

It seemed like every time we'd visit the store, 
we'd have to get another packet of seeds.

Mary Grace has obviously been very busy!
Sunflowers are popping up in the most delightful places
and their sunny faces make me so happy.

The bees are loving them,
which means my vegetable garden is loving them, too.

As a matter of fact,
due to Mary Grace's planting enthusiasm,
I've discovered that sunflowers make excellent supports for growing cucumber vines!

And drying sunflower heads make beautiful table decorations.

I want to be like the sunflowers.
Even on the darkest of days,
I will stand tall and find the sunlight!

Wishing you the sunniest of days!
See you next week.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Summer Salad

I make this salad allllllll summer long.  
I usually make one big batch and just keep adding whatever garden vegetables I get to the brine as the jar becomes empty. 
 It's delicious, refreshing, and super healthy....
It's my garden fresh Summer Salad!

For two quarts start with:
About four cucumbers          Four cloves of garlic
         One red onion                       Celery and Mustard Seeds
One bell pepper                     White vinegar
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Feel free to adjust this basic recipe to your taste.  
Sometimes I like it more spicy so I'll just add 
red pepper flakes or fresh peppers.

Chop onion and bell pepper into thin strips then crush the garlic with the blade of your knife.  Cut cukes into bite sized pieces.

Put two cloves of garlic into each of your jars
then put a teaspoon each of mustard seed and celery seed 
into the jars.  
Add one heaping teaspoon of salt.
Some variations of this recipe also call for adding sugar.  
I'm trying to cut sugar from my diet so I don't add any.  
Honestly, I don't think it needs it,
but suit it to your taste.

(Someone doesn't like the smell of garlic....She can't be my kid!)

Next, layer the vegetables in the jars.
You can use anything!
Tomatoes, green beans, summer squash, zucchini,
okra, carrots...literally anything!

Pour a cup of white vinegar into each jar and fill with distilled water.  Secure the lid tightly and give a good shake to mix the ingredients and dissolve the salt.  
I leave these on my counter all day (about 12 hours) and shake them often during the day.  
After that, pop them in the fridge and enjoy!
As we eat them down and the jars empty, I just add more cut veggies to the brine.  

Enjoy on hamburgers, sandwiches, grilled meats, 
or just straight out of the jar!
Just enjoy these delicious flavors of summer
while they last.

Friday, May 19, 2017

This week in the garden 5.19.17

The garden is just getting started!
It always seems like I get such a late start planting, 
maybe it's because I've been caught by several late season freezes and had to start all over from scratch.  
But I think we are done with the cool weather for now 
and I am SO ready to get some dirt under my nails!

 I moved my garden back a bit on our property because my raised beds were riddled with weeds.  So I got a fresh start this year with all new soil and two new boxes (the other ones were rotted away).  These boxes are planted to the max with green beans, all sorts of peppers, spaghetti squash, okra, zucchini, and yellow squash.  
The newer boxes contain garlic and a medicinal herb garden as well as some luffa and bird house gourd vines....
I call them my "Hobby Boxes".

This is a little garden on the side of the yard.  
As you can see, the boards on one need to be replaced
(a good project for one of the boys this weekend!).  
They hold tomatillos, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a whole slew of sunflowers.  I had given Mary Grace several packets of sunflower seeds to plant around the yard....they all ended up in MY garden!
It's ok, they're one of my favorite flowers and they attract lots of bees and ladybugs.

Speaking of Miss Mary, she loves spending time in the garden!
She loves nothing better than to pick ripe tomatoes and cucumbers.  Our morning ritual is to check our plants, water, and have a morning chat while watching the hummingbirds at the feeders.
I wouldn't trade this time for anything else in the world,
I know all too soon that it won't be "cool" 
to hang out with mom so much
(or she'll discover the joys of sleeping late!)

With the garden getting underway, I had just enough of a harvest this week for a batch of "green sauce" 
and two quarts of garlic dill pickles.

So much goodness lies in the garden!

My motto this summer is:
MORE gardening,
LESS drama!

I'll meet you back here next week with another 
#CreamerGarden update!
Check out my the hashtag on Instagram

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

So blessed to be their mama!
Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mothers out there,
especially all the strong women who influenced me 
over my life time.

I'm off to take a's all I want for Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spring Sewing

I don't think I've sat down at my sewing machine 
in well over a year!
I've either been working too much or just flat out exhausted.
But when I saw this adorable dress pattern by Oliver + S, it was just the inspiration I needed to get back to sewing for my sweet girl.

It is a pretty quick sew and there are lots of ways to 
customize it for your little Princess.
It's sweet, modest, and perfectly girly!  
As a matter of fact, I used this pattern for Mary Grace's Easter dress (she picked the bunny fabric herself!).

And while The Garden Party Dress is completely fabulous, 
Mary Grace needed something simple and light 
for the hot Texas summer coming up.  That's when I found 
which was a free pattern download from Craftsy....and I'm a sucker for just about any free pattern!

This pattern is so easy and quick that I sewed these four dresses 
in one afternoon 
(about 20 minutes each!).

And while you'd think that six new dresses would be enough,
you'd be wrong.
I had to make a few of these precious
from Oliver + S
(also a free pattern!)

These little skirts have been a staple in Mary Grace's summer wardrobe for years because this girl 
would just as soon put on a skirt as a pair of shorts!

And after raising four boys,
it does this mama good to finally have a girly-girl she can sew for!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Garden Helper

It's February, and that means getting the garden ready 
for spring plantings.

So we're reading...

And filling...

And digging...

And sewing seeds...

And planting...

And harvesting...

And hopefully I can get her to eat 
at least some of the goodness she grows!

Happy gardening!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Relief for what ails 'ya!

For YEARS Doug and I battled stomach problems.  
We didn't have insurance and so we started looking for natural remedies for this too common ailment

and VOILA:

Raw, organic, and unfiltered
apple cider vinegar!

Just one to two tablespoons daily and all traces of stomach upset were GONE!

This stuff tastes like the Devil's Scourge so I only tend to drink it when it's absolutely necessary.
And believe me, after all the holiday food and festivities, 
I needed to cleanse my system of all that junk!  

This is the BEST way I've found to down the stuff:

Mix one to two tablespoons of ACV 
with cranberry juice and lemon or lime wedges.
Shake well and enjoy!
It's really refreshing this way...but it is an acquired taste!

Here are some other wonderful ways ACV can help you get healthy in this new year:

Read HERE,
and HERE.

Wishing you a happy and healthy
New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mary, Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Most mornings, our dog Abby and I "check the garden."  
As soon as she hears me slip on my flip flops she heads straight for the back door.  Recently, Mary Grace is accompanying us on our morning checks.

Mary LOVES to garden!
It makes me so happy that we both have this love to grow things, even if she isn't too keen on eating the fruits and vegetables 
of our labor.

Who could resist picking these bright yellow beauties?
Note:  Mary also picks them when they are green. 

 I think the oranges are her favorite.  Every time she picks one, she smells it and carries it around the yard for a continued sniff or two.
On occasion, I can even get her to eat a slice!

 This girl has no problem getting dirty!
She helped plant Swiss chard, turnips, red romaine lettuce, and beets.  I'm trying to teach her how to re-grow kitchen scraps like lettuces, green onions, and celery. 
She actually refers to the garden boxes as, "MY garden!"

Since she now has taken over the outside,
 I decided to bring some of the garden inside...
A sweet little pot of paper-whites
for all my own!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Creamer Christmas ~ Simmering Spices

The last little bit of our Creamer Homemade Christmas 
are these wonderful simmering spices!
Dried oranges from our trees
A bit of dried rosemary from the garden
Cloves, Bay leaves, Cinnamon Sticks, 
and a dash of Gingerbread Spice,

This is the perfect project for little hands 
who want to contribute to Christmas gift giving.

And while she's occupied, gives this mama a little time 
to wrap last minute presents!

Close your cellophane bag with 
a simple sticker with instructions...

And they're all ready for this little elf to deliver!

May God bless you with the merriest of days!