Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring sprucing

Since the weather has been so nice lately we took one Saturday to spruce up the front of our house. The rental house has pretty window boxes that have been empty for almost a year. I love gardening once spring comes.

We hit up Home Depot and got a few pansies for the main 2 boxes and some herbs for the final one. Take a look at the view from the front lawn.

Flowers, flower box, organic, gardening

Beautiful! Well at least not so bad.

ps. yes the windows need cleaning.

Let's zoom out...

Whomp whomp.

The second box didn't quite make it after 2-3 weeks of planting. We're not exactly sure but a combination of poor soil quality and covered roof access to rain didn't bode we'll for these guys.

We had supplemented the right box with fresh high quality potting soil and the left just got the existing dry soil that was left by the previous owner. Big oops. This should be a sponsored post or something by a potting soil company it's such a dramatic difference. Alas no.

The covered roof over the right may have also prevented it from getting as much rain although we did try and water them regularly. Plus there was that one last march snow that dumped an inch or 2 on both boxes.

Looks like it's back to Home Depot to fix this or else let the neighbors keep looking at one healthy flower box and one dead one.

We have had one additional success though. Remember I mentioned a 3rd box. This one on the front porch and for whatever reason doesn't match the first 2. It's wire not white plastic. We grabbed rosemary and a small ground cover to stick here. A new matting (or whatever the brown stuff you lay down in flower baskets is called) also makes this side of the house look fresh.

If you look closely in this photo above you can see the left window box still has alive pansies. This was planting day.
I'm glad to report these little plants are still doing well. We're 2 for 3. Not bad.

I'll report soon on this months gardening adventures. Hint: lots of tomato and basil plants. Mini. But lots.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Food we’ve been eating lately – 1st trimester

If there is one thing we love to do as much as cooking and eating food – well slightly less – its taking photos of our food. I have so many on my phone I decided to put them here on the blog.

So – here are foods we’ve been eating lately – the 1st trimester edition.

I’ve been loving certain foods in my first trimester than I ordinarily do. I’ve been loving real milk, rather than almond milk which was the norm at our house. Real 1 or 2% just sounds so good right now we buy it regularly. Also I’ve been really enjoying more real meat, rather than fake. I’ve made turkey meatballs, meatloaf and turkey lasagna a few times. Talk about meat Italian dishes! Also occasionally I’ve been drinking coffee. After switching to tea due to stomach issues a few years back I can now have an occasional coffee with no issues! We’ve been going to coffee dates Saturday mornings and it’s been great to explore the coffee spots of Richmond.

foodpix1 foodpix5

Sometimes I eat bigger than average breakfasts on the weekends with both oatmeal and greek yogurt w/TJ granola. Plus chai tea of course. We took a trip to IKEA last weekend (post to come) and had to grab their meatballs (again, real meat). They were having one of their specials where if you spend $150 your food is free. Hence the loaded trays of food. Mashed potatoes have been tasting amazing lately too. Lets just say we’ve been eating lots of tater tots at home.


One beautiful food combination we tried recently is brussel sprouts quesadillas. We even were able to make it on the grill since there was one nice day out recently. We had grilled chicken and roasted fresh red pepper along with cheese and of course brussel sprouts. Topped with guacamole, sour cream and eaten al fresco is a perfect weekday dinner.

foodpix4 foodpix3

Lastly we’ve been going on coffee dates on Saturday mornings as I mentioned. Yay for real coffee! And lattes and espresso!


Tilapia from trader joes, multi grain rice and lemon butter asparagus. Great healthy dinner. Baby loves good food.

Monday, April 7, 2014

and baby makes three…

Little baby Amato will be arriving in September! In case you missed the big April 1st announcement here it is. Officially yes, I’m expecting. When we thought about when and how to announce to friends we knew Facebook would be easiest and the most wide reaching. Then we were out to dinner one Friday night before going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel (a must see!) and I suggested April 1st. It was over a week away but Tony knew we should hold off until that oh so random – but not random Tuesday to post this photo. Tony thought it was hilarious and I must say throughout that day I did laugh a lot at the congratulations mixed with funny questionable comments from people who know Tony’s previous pranks.

us 2
How far along? 15 Weeks

How big is baby? 4.5” and 2-3 oz aka an orange

Total weight gain/loss? I think I’ve gained +/-5lbs.

Maternity clothes? I have picked up a few maternity pants and they are amazing! I can still wear regular pants though if I wear a long shirt to cover up my unbuttoned waistband.

Sleep? Perfect. As always

Morning Sickness? none

Symptoms? none

Best moment this week/weeks? finally telling everyone about our good news, pulling the great ‘I’m pregnant on April Fools day’ prank. Except of course I really am. Gotcha!

Food cravings? peach ice cream, Moe’s burritos

Food aversions? none

Gender? who knows…

Labor signs? none

Belly button in or out? in

What I miss? wine, brie and goat cheeses

What I'm looking forward to? Finding out the sex of the baby next month

Milestones? Telling everyone finally about our good news

Bump? It’s tiny but you can see it some days depending on what I wear.

12 weeks

Overall I've been feeling great this past 15 weeks. I had practically zero morning sickness or nausea. I had a few slight queasy evenings in the first trimester but it always went away by just eating dinner. There was a month or so where I wanted to, and often did, fall asleep by 7 or 8pm along with taking weekend naps. Now that I’m in my 2nd trimester I stay up past 10pm if I want! Lucky me! Other than that I have no reportable symptoms or strange pregnancy things going on. I don’t know how I got this lucky with an easy pregnancy so far. Most days I barely even notice I’m pregnant since not much has changed other than gaining a few pounds and buying new bras. I hope the rest of the 24 weeks go this smoothly.

In other non ‘how I’m physically feeling’ news we will be turning our 3rd bedroom into a nursery before baby arrives. We’ll be getting rid of the guest bed and putting nursery furniture in. This nursery furniture we’re getting is very high quality, solid wood, German design and construction, and I know can easily last 30 years. The reason I know? We’re getting all the furniture from my own youth for this room!

Yes the furniture of my brothers and I’s youth is heading our way. It’s been continuingly used for the last 30-ish years and still in impeccable shape. Each kid used the crib, dresser and bed-side table as a baby, then child, and even as teens for my brothers. The crib was converted to a desk when my youngest brother graduated to a twin bed but all the parts and pieces were saved. It’s still up to code and everything so no worries there! The dresser even has a changing table attachment which I had no memory of but am very excited for! Photos will come soon.


We have decided to find out the sex of the baby before he/she is born. Our 20 week appointment is set for the week of Tony’s final graduation in May. Lots of family will be in town so this will be very exciting!
The baby is due the last week of September. This means Tony and the baby may share a birthday or perhaps a birthday week. Unless he/she comes 3 weeks early (hopefully not) I’ll be 30 years old when baby arrives.

I’ll be delivering at St. Mary’s hospital which is both where Tony works and is a mile from our house. Also it’s consistently rated the #1 place to have a baby in Richmond. I’m excited to plan a hospital tour soon, even though Tony has seen it all working up on OB. Their CRNA group does c-sections and one day he even met my doctor during an operation! Small world.

I've been busy pinning away on Pinterest and got to recently un-secret the board.

  Follow Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life's board and baby makes 3 on Pinterest.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seeds Update


An update from last time (here) – our seeds are growing! The tomato plants seem to germinate the quickest with others like herbs, carrots, & green onions at a much slower pace. We are almost seeing true leaves so that means we’ll take the greenhouse like plastic cover off soon. Too bad the weather here outside isn’t very spring like. It’s been in the 20’s every morning this week! :( As Siri would say… “brrrr”. 


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