Diary of a Newbie Patio Gardener


Joseph and I have zero experience in gardening.
(Well, I guess Joseph has about 2% edge-due to his plant-watering skills way back when) but in my case, okay…let me explain…The thing is…I’ve always had an aversion to frogs. The mere thought of them jumping out from a hole whenever I start digging the soil makes me cringe!

First Basil

First Basil

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

Mr. Alex Mc Naughton patiently answering questions of newbie gardeners

The husband looks really accomplished (=

The husband looks really accomplished planting that zucchini (=

The good thing is… I haven’t seen one here in North America and I doubt if I will ever find one here in our patio! (=

Before

Before

After

After

Burnaby Food First sponsored a workshop called Apartment Gardening for Beginners. Plant genius Mr. Alexander McNaughton treats his plants like a “person” with human feelings. (e.g.If you water them regularly, they will be happy; Be careful with the roots because they will get hurt and not make more babies) Who knew that you can go down to your local grocery store for free milk crates and coffee sacks and grow food in small spaces using these containers?! Not me!

But yeah…it did. (=

There is nothing more rewarding that seeing your very first plants grow…

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

First Harvest! (Snap Peas)

and using them in your recipe at home (=

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Homemade Pesto Pizza with patio-grown snap pea leaves

Thank you Mr. Alex Mc Naughton for your passion for plants and of course, thank you Burnaby Food First for another successful Workshop!

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D.I.Y Whimsical Wedding Headpieces


Ten months ago, I married the most wonderful man I could ever have! And while I have to agree that wedding prep is super exciting and is so much fun, I must also admit that it takes a bit of time, has a lot of work involved and can be hefty on your wallet.

And so, I made a decision to make most of our wedding stuff handmade.

It wasn’t the easiest route, but all the details, the personalized ambiance and the emotional connection that you and your guests will feel before, during and years after the wedding ceremony is over; that is priceless!

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My model-material bridesmaid in her Element.

As a countdown to May 4th,2013 I am going to devote this blogpost to share our small, simple Seaside themed-Wedding.

My hope is to inspire all women and all bride-to-bes when their special day comes as well as to convince everyone that it is possible to maximize your small budget and not compromise the quality of your wedding day. (=

Okay, let’s get started. One of the favorite wedding projects I have done is our headpieces.

This is not as hard as you might think. The trick is to have a solid vision of what you want, how you want it to look and where to get your materials.

Materials:

Grapevine wreath (available at craft stores like Michael’s)

a variety of seashells

Mini plastic pearl beads/ garland

teal ribbons

tulle flowers

hot glue gun

glue sticks

raffia

Directions:

1.Measure the head circumference of your bridesmaids, flower girls by putting the grapevine 2 or 3x around their heads.

2. Sketch a picture of how you want all your shells/ ribbons/ starfishes to be laid out. In here, the secret is to be creative. You want your pieces to look just right. Not lopsided or over the top. Balance is key.556105_3350770921260_1101257503_n

3. Using the hot glue, secure all your pieces together, holding it firmly after about 30 seconds.

4. Glue one end of the pearl garland at the front right. Coil twice and secure with a dab of glue gun.

5. Repeat Step 4 twice until you have a cascading pearl garland on both sides and at the back of the grapevine wreath.

6. Try it with your girls and adjust the wreath if necessary.

7. Store in such a way that it won’t get squished. In my case, I placed it in a ginormous green cookie jar. (=

They look like sea nymphs!

They look like sea nymphs!

Side view of the cascading pearls at the back.

Side view of the cascading pearls at the back.

Lovely Megan

Lovely Megan

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Aren’t they lovely?! (=

Hello Nigirizushi!


Nigiri, also known as “hand-formed sushi” consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that’s pressed into a small rectangular box between the palms of the hands, usually with a bit of wasabi, and a topping draped over it.Toppings are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood. Certain toppings are typically bound to the rice with a thin strip of nori.

1st Attempt at Nigirizushi

1st Attempt at Nigirizushi

I am definitely in awe at how much attention and care the Japanese put into their food. It doesn’t only hold true in their sushi-making, their craftmanship and lifestyle also scream both class and elegance.

Ingredients:

lox (smoked salmon) cut into rectangular strips

Sushi rice (Adapted from Noobcookleihut, and smokywok)

– 1 cup of Japanese short-grain rice

– water to cook the rice (usually in the ratio of 1 cup rice: 1 1/4 cups of water)

For sushi dressing:

1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
1/4 inch worth of nori strips

Sides/Sauces:

pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi

Method:

1 Prep nori (seaweed) strips by cutting them into thin pieces, about a quarter inch thick. IMG_4775

2. Shape each of these sushi, or rather, nigiri using a rectangular mold.IMG_4782

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The rice is pushed into the mold to take its signature Nigiri shape.

3.The smoked salmon strips are then topped onto the molded sushi.IMG_4778

Tuck the extra strips at the bottom for a stronger hold

Tuck the extra nori strips at the bottom for a stronger hold.

4. And finally a belt of nori is used to secure the  the fish & rice together.

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5. Enjoy! (=IMG_3456

Wildflower Power


Her hands are numb, mind so drained to even cook dinner, and her whole body sore to death.

This “small and beautiful” project happened after a spiritually charged and uplifting conversation with my Mama.

After a hard day’s work, a new creative pursuit sparked in us.

With eagerness and anticipation, we will take it one step at a time. Right Ma? (=

Multi-purpose Danglers to perk you up whenever you feel down

Multi-purpose Danglers to perk you up whenever you feel down

You can use it as a bookmark, a belt accesory or a key chain maybe? ^^,

You can use it as a bookmark, a belt accesory or a key chain maybe? ^^,

Jewelry Making-Reviving the Old Hobby


Before I became linked to those “crochet” chains, I started with a bead. Then some twisting, and then a lot of color and textural combinations. Soon enough, it became a part of my life.
So…necklaces, beads, yarns… why do I love making you?!

Handmade Seashell Necklace

Handmade Seashell Necklace

I wonder if any bloggers had that “same question” lingering in their minds before?

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Hopelessly Romantic: Project Home Spa + Hubby Coupons ^^,


Have you ever felt like… Oh no! It’s so and so’s Birthday next week and I still don’t know what to give him/her! The next thing you think is…well…I don’t want to be a “typical” gift giver who just buys things and call it good! For me, a gift is something that comes from the heart, and should be given enough time and effort to make….So, I wanted to surprise the husband with a fun, hand-made and exciting gift for his “nth” birthday…

Handmade Birthday Coupons

Handmade Birthday Coupons

I had to think, plan and execute…in secret ^^, Well…as far as I know…it was a success.

I will let the photos speak for themselves (=

1. The Plan

Planning Stage

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2. Assembly Stage

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3.Execution Stage: Revealing the Surprise

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Coupon #1

Yummy and Healthy Dessert Coupon

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Coupon # 2

The Bubble bath Adventure

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Coupon #3

The Unforgettable Hour

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Coupon # 4

Bonus Feature ^^,

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5. Result: One very Happy Birthday Boy (=

IMG_6113 I love you Sephie Ko! I really do ^^,