Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some Hanky Panky.

I love vintage anything but I have to say that fabrics are my favorite. These are new to my collection of vintage handkerchiefs. I think they're so beautiful and I love the warm fall colors. Sometimes I'll put perfume on them and place one on top of my journal next to my night table and pretend I use them. I just like looking at them. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall planting.

This year I decided to do my fall planting mainly from baby plants from the big box store. Most years I start my peppers, tomatoes and greens from seeds but not this year. It's been hot, according to my garden journal,  last year on Sept. 15th I had  started my seeds.  It was a drizzling and cloudy day, but I was out there all day long. I only came in because I had no more day light. I'll be at it again tomorrow. 

This is the beautiful Mariposa (butterfly), the national flower of of Cuba. It has the sweetest most intoxicating scent, and the flower feels like it has essential oils on the petals. She likes a sunny spot with  rich soil and lots and lots of water.

This is my Tilo (Linden flower). The original mother plant was my dad's and he went to be with the Lord over 25 years ago. We just keep passing it around, to family members that love gardening. Tilo  is a perennial ground cover.  She likes a rich soil with plenty of moisture and will thrive in a shady spot. Every Cuban grandmother believes that Tilo can cure just about every ailment under the sun. But, I love a cup of tea at night with mint to relax and for some reason when I have a cold is my go to tea.

          In my subtropical climate, not much happening in the fall, but I can still find beautiful colors.

This is my no fail soil recipe for tomatoes. I mix some compost, like 7 to 8 cups with 2 table spoons of Baking Soda. The Baking Soda helps with mildew and mold. I add about a cup of Epson-salt this will add the Magnesium.  Finally I add about a cup of dry milk, this is the calcium. I don't really measure, I just eye ball it. I mix this really well and add about a hand full on the bottom of a deep hole and drop the tomato plant in. This really works for me and it gives my tomatoes the best head start.
I'm really excited, I'm trying a Roma tomato this year. My sunny garden space is very limited , but this year I made room for a Roma.

                                          Some of the baby greens, I can taste them already.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Made French Macaroons today.

I finally learned how to make French Macaroons, actually this is my first try but I've been wanting to make them for a while now. I kept reading that they're kinda finicky  and I didn't want to be disappointed. So I watched some You Tube videos and got a Macaroon kit at Michael's, I had never seen them before. I followed the directions on the kit and they came out perfect. 
I made them for my sweet niece Mandy, today is her actual birthday.  She loves pumpkin flavored anything. For the filling I made a butter cream pumpkin spice and  OMG these are so delicious.  Now I need to make some for my sister China's kids and mail them. 

I always get in trouble with my sisters whenever I give the kids money. I figure that they do such a great job raising them, that I can get away with it every once in a while. It just gets harder and harder to find out what they like, what's hot out there, specially if you don't have kids and you're so out of it. I love these little pill boxes that I found on line, so adorable and they look so real too.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A little fall decor.

This is a little side table that I've had for ever. I wanted to spruce it up a bit for fall. I'm on a mission to work with what I already have. Going to try and do that with Christmas decorations too.

My father-in-law use to say that the older you get the faster time goes by. Was he right, you think is cause I'm paying attention??? Don't know, but I can't believe I'm thinking of Christmas. OMG just around the corner and I haven't gotten a single little gift. But I'm seriously thinking about all the goodies I want to bake, lol.   

Friday, October 16, 2015

The perfect sugar cookie, Mandy's party.

I posted on my Facebook Page, these cookies I made for my sweet niece Amanda's 16th birthday party. I had the hardest time finding a sugar cookie that would hold it's shape. After much trial and error, happy to say I found it. I've had several request for the recipe, so here it is. I do have to say that my wonderful hubby helped me with the baking because I couldn't of done all of this baking by my self, he's the best.

The perfect sugar cookie.

2 cups unsalted butter
2 cups sugar 
2 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean 
3 cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt. 

Cream the butter and sugar together, do not over mix. Add eggs slowly and mix add vanilla beans. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the mix. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for one hour. Cut out your shapes and then place the dough shapes back in the fridge for another half hour to chill. This is very important because they will then hold the shape better when baked. 

Your going to love them, so delish.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One last look at my summer beauties.

Isn't it funny how sometimes pictures remind you of some event and you don't even know why. These remind me of my childhood in Cuba, of my aunt's garden. Maybe the colors, who knows, but they make me happy.  
Totally forgot to post these, they were taken in mid summer. I had them under draft and just forgot about them. It's still really hot down here, not a sign of fall in the air. The rain won't stop and my roses do not look like this now, actually they barely have a bloom on them. They're just not happy at all. 

This year I've not even started my seeds because is too hot. I think I will get my tomatoes baby plants from the big box stores. I got some really great soil all ready to go. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oh yes, my Papayas.

This plant is unbelievable, I have never seen anything like this before. You can't even see the trunk, it's all fruits and its the pink one. I have another baby plant coming up, let's see if it's as prolific  as this one. Planning on canning some and I want to try the Thai salad that I keep reading about on Pinterest. 
Well this week I plan to start my seedlings. Going back to my garden journal to make sure I don't make the same mistakes again. Been cleaning and trimming all around the garden. Have my beds ready with fresh compost, all I need are the plant and I'm all set. It's still a bit hot down here.     

Been using compost tea all around the garden. To be honest, have not seen a difference yet, but I've only done it twice, I'm one of those impatient gardeners, lol . Let's see what happens, if all the hype about compost tea is true.

I'm really loving my bins. I've been turning them just about very day and it take about four weeks and it's ready to use. So worth the initial investment, love them.

                                             This is what my tea looked like, loving it.

                         Our Perly with her cuteness on. We're so blessed to have her, love her so much.

These guys are special, they were borne inside a garden pot in our back porch and the mama had a broken leg and she was still nursing them when we notice.  It was so sad because we had to put the mama down, she had a bad infection. James took over and they are healthy and so gentle. They made a hammock out of the lawnmower bag and that's ok by us. I'm so allergy to them but I still pet them just about every day, with my hands covered and my inhaler handy. My hubby those handle them and gives them plenty of human love.