wine bottle watering system

Drunken flowers

How to set up a plant watering system

I know we are basically home all summer and we have time to water the plants every single day, but it gets tiresome sometimes. Every day you have to pull out the hose or a pitcher and water, water, water….

My mom used to say, necessity is the mother of invention, so when we went out of town to a friends shore house for the weekend, I didn’t feel like asking someone to water the plants, so I got to Googling… is that a word?

Here’s where I got creative…

Remember those little watering globes for houseplants? I wondered if a wine bottle would work the same way.

I summoned empty wine bottles from my neighbors and I stuck a bottle, filled with water, in heavily watered soil upside down and let it go! Luckily for me, I had a friend come by and check on them. Some plants needed a extra drink or two but generally, the method worked. The bottles drained too fast for the hot weather, so I went to Amazon. I found terra-cotta watering spikes and I quickly ordered them. Here’s the link! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=watering+spikes+for+outdoor+plants&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

The Amazon reviews said they were fragile but they arrived in tact! Whew!

I watered all my plants super thoroughly to soften the soil, I then soaked the spikes in water to get them ready to insert and I carefully inserted them into the soil so that they were right above or at soil level.

So here’s the bottom line! IT WORKS! The plants definitely drink at their own pace, some faster and some slower due to sun, heat etc. On super hot days your thirstiest plants, which for me is a potted tomato plant and basil plant, will require additional watering because they get so hot they can’t get the water fast enough… but it truly works at keeping your plants hydrated and allows me to not have to monitor them so closely! I’m a fan of my new watering system… even if it looks like my plants have a drinking problem!

I hope this helps you as well! Share this tip with all your plant loving friends! Stay hydrated!

Staycations and Happiness

With all the uncertainty in the world, we are not going on any vacations this summer. We love to travel but it’s just not possible this year. No one wants to get on a plane this summer for good reason.

New Jersey is blessed and cursed at the moment….. one of the most locked down states in the country but also one of the most delightful places in the summer. Did you know there are lovely mountains in NJ? I didn’t either…. before I moved here…. and it’s delightful out here in the Garden State!

Growing up in the South, I never knew how fabulous Jersey Corn and Tomatoes were…. or how delightful the Jersey Shore could be so at least we have a gorgeous summer to look forward to!

We have decided to make lemonade out of lemons and are doing things to make our outdoor living space even more enjoyable like many others around the country.

Now is a perfect time to refresh the pillows, umbrellas and flower pots or whatever you can to enjoy your outdoor space even more. Let’s face it, you’re going to see it a lot this summer. We took on a low voltage lighting project this past week that really added value to our deck! I say “we” lightly because I had input but my husband did all the work. Thank goodness he is handy because he just knows how to do things like this and is willing!

We added lighting to our deck steps so that we can confidently walk out from the house and see the step down. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in our 50’s and it’s not bright enough to see the step down. LOL…. we are indeed turning into our parents.

I’ve also pulled out an old decorative piece I hadn’t used in a while… this gorgeous planter that goes around my umbrella to create a 360 degree centerpiece! ! It really makes me happy to see it and makes my outdoor living space more inviting! Even if you don’t have this pretty planter, you can easily just put a few small flower pots out with some annuals to spruce it up! I am going to be home more than not this summer so I certainly have time to water it. That’s always been the challenge when we travel.

I wasn’t up to planting a full on garden this summer but I do love to plant a few herbs and tomatoes for a quick Capresse salad (tomatoes, buffalo mozzerella and some basil) or a nice little refreshing Mojito with some fresh mint and lime! This simple pleasure adds to our outdoor dining experience and gives me a little something to tend to! We simply potted these in pots on the deck so I can water everything easily! SO much joy out of these simple things!

Finally… since we want to entertain but we have to do it carefully and responsibly, we moved an outdoor table into our gazebo for covered outdoor dining! Honestly, it felt like a special event or a vacation… sitting outside and being protected from the drizzle that sometimes comes with summer storms. We enjoyed a poolside dining experience and once the rain stopped, we enjoyed the beautiful sunset!

Joy and happiness doesn’t have to come from traveling the world, or having things… sometimes just cherishing your home, and your friends and family and all the blessings that we have right at our fingertips, is all you need. The pandemic has unveiled a lot of emotions in people ranging from fear to annoyance, panic, anxiety, care, love and gratefulness…. and sometimes we can succumb to all of these emotions even in one day.

I want to choose to be happy and hopeful rather than being fearful and desperate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being careful and am taking this pandemic seriously. I’m following guidelines and not being around a lot of people because I do want to protect the people I love… but I am choosing to be grateful everyday for what I have. People I love, friendships and health… I do feel blessed! I pray that everyone reading this can focus on the good in this situation… I know it’s not possible for all but I hope that focusing on the good brings you more good in your life! Remember… your thoughts, become your words, become your actions, become your habits which become your destiny…. so choose happy!! God bless!

Quick & Healthy Dinner Ideas

For the past 2 years, I’ve had to modify my diet.  I’m almost 51 and it’s harder to keep weight at bay… so I’ve cut out gluten, sugar and most dairy… and eat Low fat now.    I think I’ve finally weaned myself off sugar because my sweet tooth seems less demanding!  I never thought I would see that day coming!

I love how the grocery stores today are helping with the prep work!   Already cut up veggies makes this a super simple supper!

Just throw all of these ingredients into a skillet with a little broth, add lid to “steam” and then add some low sugar full of flavor Fra Diavlo sauce and some crushed red pepper and you have yourself a meal!  I’m a huge fan of spices to really kick up simple dishes a notch!   Add some protein… some sautéed shrimp, chicken or chicken meatballs 🙂  and you have a super healthy meal in less than 20 minutes!

So next time you’re at the store, avoid the pre-packaged foods with lots of preservatives…. go with fresh ingredients…. cut up if necessary to save time and you’ll be on your way to healthy in no time!

What are your go-to healthy meals?  I’d love to hear!

 

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Martha Stewart – Here I come!

I am a trained Interior Designer but have not practiced in a while!   Recently…. My daughter told me she never liked the lime green that I had painted her walls when she was 5!  LOL!   I tried so hard not to decorate a room in traditional pinks and purple “girl” colors when she was little…. I chose a great palate with lime green and raspberry  that was fun and youthful, not too little girly that would transition into teens and I do feel like I did that effectively.

Now she’s 17 and about to go off to college and we are re-doing her room for Christmas into a more “mature” palate.   Why, you ask, would I re-decorate her room before she leaves us in 6 months?  Well, first of all, I’m ready for a change but secondly, I want her to enjoy it for a while and own it …. I want it to feel like “hers” before she leaves so she can enjoy it as “hers” when she comes back!

I’ll post some before and after shots but the “before” will depend on when she doesn’t have clothes strewn all over the room and on the floor (remember, she is still a teenager)

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The “green/blue” lattice and solid will be in the adjacent bath and her room will be a soft gray paint from Benjamin Moore #harbourgray with a geometric print on the window and different scale prints for pillows and accent trim.

With today’s more gray palates being more “in style” it’s hard to transition the “golds” into the gray palates but with some fabrics, I think we can effectively do just that!

Stay tuned for some before and after shots!  It may take a month but I’ll get there!

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What room in your house do you want to re-do?   Some people don’t place a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing but I think our interior has so much to do with our mood and our energy!  We need to get energy out of a space…  whether we want calm or energizing,  bright and bold or muted and serene.    What’s your ideal space look like?  Clean and simple, colorful, neutral, or do you have a favorite color that really makes you feel good?