Happy Saturday! Welcome to our weekly ‘Three Things” post where you’ll find a peek into my week and some things that are making me happy.
Three things is just how I start and organize this, though – I throw in bonuses and great links to some fun recipes, diy projects, and garden ideas that I find inspirational or helpful and think you will, too. So, yeah – you’ll want to read to the end! (Note: the links I provide are often affiliate links, though not always.)
I attended a tag sale this week at a lovely cottage style house in the woods, but it was this adorable garden shed that held my attention (okay, most of my attention, since I did find a couple of treasures!). Isn't it great? And so big and light - wouldn't that be a lovely place to pot and tinker? Sadly, none of this was for sale - I had my eye on the ladder and pie-safe shelf, ha!
When I wrote how to plant containers to thrive all season, I was basing it on many years of success planting with the simple steps I pictured. The ONE thing I added to this post was the option to use diaper material as a way to hold water instead of my preferred water absorbing crystals, since I had read about lots of other using this material and thought I should check it out. I should learn not to post things I haven't actually tried, right?
The only difference between the two hanging baskets (really the only difference, since they hang about 4 feet apart on our gazebo) is that the one of the left used diaper material and the basket on the right used the crystals. I have no idea why the calibrachoa died within a week, but it wasn't looking as healthy as the other all season - it didn't grow as fast or lush. I had hoped it would catch up. Um, no. I'm going to edit that post to NOT recommend this since I know for a fact that the crystals have worked every year I've used them.
Now what do I do for the next couple of months with this basket? Sigh.
An immersion blender is another kitchen tool that I bought the cheapest version I could find initially (I think it was like $7!) and regretted it almost immediately. The blender tip was plastic. Um, do you know what happens to plastic that you plunge into boiling stock and vegetables? Right. $7 wasted.
I moved up to this Cuisinart Smart Stick blender, which was not all that much money actually (around $30) and had a ton of good reviews. I've used it a lot over the past 8+ years I've had it and it still looks brand new and works like a charm! Why would you need an immersion blender? No pouring hot liquid into a blender and having it fly everywhere or leak out of a food processor, for one (or is that two?).
Here are just a few of the things I use it for: my just-published maple apple butter, easy homemade refried beans, tomato soup, rhubarb butter, cranberry sauce, cauliflower-cheese soup, white bean puree for this delicious shrimp dish, and much more. It doesn't take up much room and it really is a workhorse for me.
Are you tired of me telling you all the books I'm reading/listening to yet? Sorry - seems like they'll keep coming! 🙂 This week it was Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Workweek which I've read a TON about over the years and have wanted to read for awhile. When I saw it as an audiobook to checkout on Hoopla, I moved this to the top of my "to listen" list. And I'm glad I did! Wow, is this book packed with ideas and inspiration.
While I wouldn't follow everything exactly (and some of it sounds pretty selfish - just having others pick up the pieces of your irresponsibility...), I LOVED how he challenged a lot of our long-held assumptions of traditional workdays and all the 'busy work' we do that makes us feel like we've "done something." (I am SO guilty of this...) AND how that takes away from things we could be doing that are truly important and worthwhile. Here's just one gem:
Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
The one thing I learned is that books like this are not great audiobooks. There's tons of lists of websites (the reader listed them all - down to the "slash, dot, slash" etc.) and parts that aren't applicable to my situation, but since I couldn't see how long they lasted, it was hard to forward. What to do? I ordered the Kindle version! It's actually only $1.99 right now - bam.
Links To Check Out:
Mini peanut butter cheesecakes made a little healthier with natural peanut butter and honey (can be made gluten-free, grain-free, and 100% whole grain).
20 cool weather crops to start right now.
Easy fall decor using apples and natural elements.
Tips for growing sweet peas - one of my favorite spring flowers!
Add a cottage look easily to any room.
Turn tomato skins (and scallion greens) into a powder to sprinkle on everything from fried chicken to fresh mozzarella!
Like these links? I'm always pinning these and lots more - follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and ideas!
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I'll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)