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Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Strawberries for Valentine's Day

    With Valentine's Day around the corner, it's time to start thinking or at least "pinning" some ideas on how to incorporate strawberries.  Strawberries for Valentine's day are perfect.  Better than roses if you ask me.  ;)  They are a beautiful shade of red, almost shaped like a heart and sweet like candy, without the calories.  Now, I'm not against chocolate covered strawberries, don't get me wrong.  But why not get a little more creative this year!

    Heart shaped strawberry Perfect heart shaped strawberry!

    Pinning for Strawberries

    Have you heard of Pinterest? It's this wonderful collection of beautiful pictures "pinned" by individuals.    Whether you are into fashion, interior decorating, gardening, makeup, organization, cooking, you name it, it's all in Pinterest.  You can easily loose track of time while browsing all of their pictures. If you have some free time, check out and join our Pinterest page by clicking here.  And I seriously mean "free time", prepare to be glued to your computer for way longer than 15 minutes!

     

    Pinterest

     

    Almost weekly, I get emails from customers requesting our recipe for either the strawberry bread or strawberry cookies.  Sadly, I always reply that I can't because it is our "family secret".  Since I can't share those recipes, here are some of my favorite strawberry "pins".

    Strawberry Bliss

    Strawberry Pie

    Strawberry Meringue Cookies

    Strawberry Bruschetta

    Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

     

    But if any of these sound like to much work, let's face it sometimes we are too busy.  Just bring your sweetheart on by and enjoy a Strawberry Shortcake!

    Strawberries Strawberry Shortcake
    cookies made with strawberries Strawberry cookies

    How about some of our famous Strawberry Cookies for the kid's classmates?  And of course, you can't forget about our Strawberry Milkshakes!  As always, we have gift certificates available because who wouldn't like a little bit of red on Valentine's Day?

    Do you have special plans for Valentine's day?

    Are you "addicted" to Pinterest?

    Do you have a favorite Strawberry recipe?

     

  • Half Marathon Training IronGirl

    IronGirl-Athleta-ES-Full-Spot (1)

    On January 17, 2013, I passively set a goal to run the Iron Girl half marathon in Clearwater this April.  I say "passively" because December through April is our busy season at the market.  We work 6 days a week and our workday sometimes doesn't end when we leave the market.  Many nights I find myself discussing work at home too.  I decided this year would be different.  With my husband and family's support, I planned on running at least twice a week in preparation for the IronGirl half marathon.  Setting up a half marathon training schedule during our busiest part of the year would have to be flexible.

     

    January Training Schedule January Training Schedule

    It's funny how once you make up your mind to do something, all the pieces "magically" start falling together.  Before I knew it, a bunch of my blogger friends were also about to start their half marathon training for this event.  My approach to half marathon training is you have to be flexible.  It's okay to switch days.  There's no need to be so rigid to the point where working out is no longer fun.  As you can see, there were many changes in my training schedule in January.  Some days, I just didn't have it in me to go for a run/workout.  And that's ok because the following day/week I picked it back up.  Don't be discouraged.  I'm a firm believer that it is ok to miss a workout as long as you know you are going to make it up.

     

    Nike Kinect Training Fuel Print Assessment Nike Kinect Training Fuel Print Assessment

    Half way through the month of January, my husband surprised me with the Nike Kinect Training game for the Xbox.  In case you didn't know, I'm a big fan of the Nike "tracking gadgets".  My love of Nike+ began  several years ago with a first generation ipod and the Nike+ shoe insert.  Luckily, I got a new ipod this year for Christmas!  Yes, I wear my garmin when I run, which I love, don't get me wrong.  However, when it comes to analyzing my running progress I just love the Nike+ dashboard.  Having 3 years + of running data available at my fingertips allows me to see how far I've come.

     

    Nike Kinect Strength Training Nike Kinect Strength Training

    With the Nike Kinect Training game, I've been able to set up a strength training workout routine tailored just for me based on my fitness level.  I have to say I almost cried when I saw the results of my fitness test.  I really was not expecting to have such an awesome score.  By far the best thing about the Nike Kinect Training game is that I can do it right in my living room.  I just completed week 2 of the program and I must say it has been fun.  You have your choice to pick your training either male or female.  I picked Marie Purvis, a Nike Master Trainer, and the workouts have been intense.  If you don't have an Xbox, you can try the Nike Training Club app which is also very effective.

     

    Half Marathon Training for January Half Marathon Training Completed for January

    As for my half marathon training schedule, I will now be following the Nike Running Race Coach Half Marathon Training schedule with Coach Purvis.  It's a 12 week program with 2 to 3 days of runs, 3 workout days and 1 rest day.  As always, I'll be making my modifications.  My half marathon training schedule will probably be more like 3 days running, 2 workout days and 2 rest days.  The Nike Running Race Coach Facebook page also has a 5k, 10k and full marathon training available.  If you are interested in participating in the Iron Girl Clearwater 5 k or 1/2 marathon, you still have time to register!  Click here for a link to register and use code TBBLOGGERS13 for a 10% off discount before February 28th.  You can also follow Iron Girl on Facebook for more information!

     

    How do you keep motivated?

    Have you signed up for any races this year?

     

     

     

     

  • Plants to grow in your backyard

    I've only been using our container vegetable garden for about 2 years.   I'm always wondering and researching what plants to grow next.  Last year, most plants were starter plants either from the market or from our local Lowe's store.  Some came from seed packets.  This year, I decided to grow everything from seed.  Piper helped me pick out our seed packets back in December.  We picked the following plants to grow: broccoli, asparagus, black seeded Simpson green lettuce, rainbow swiss chards, eggplants and cauliflower.

    Plants to grow Photo taken January 14, 2013

     

    So far, I'd say the seeds have done wonderfully.  I say this because I just started with the same soil that was used last year.  Yes, I should have added more potting soil and I will definitively do that when I start my next bed.  I'm what you might call a "hands off" gardener.  I am not good at watering the container garden every day.  It's too much pressure, and honestly I don't have the time.  Even my daughters had to chime in when I planted new seeds and didn't water them right away.  I figured, it was a watering day, so the sprinklers would water them soon enough.  I also do not add fertilizers or pesticides to my container bed.  If it's going to grow, it will grow.  That's my motto.

     

    Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce Plants to grow Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

    I've had great success with the Black Seeded Simpson Green Lettuce.  The Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is very tender with a beautiful green color and has a nice taste.  It's an early lettuce, so it will take about 45 days or less to grow from seed.  Since planting it back in December, I've harvested it twice.  Both times, I filled up 1 1/2 one-gallon ziploc bags.

     

    Rainbow Swiss Chard plants to grow Rainbow Swiss Chard

    Another great plant to grow in your backyard garden container is the Rainbow Swiss Chard.  I grew these from starter plants last year and was so successful, I decided to grow them from seed this year.  Not only does Swiss chard taste amazing, the beautiful mixture of fuscia, gold, orange and red looks wonderful in any garden.  The leaves will mature into bunches in about 50 to 60 days.  I harvested mine a few weeks back when we had a cold front coming in and I was able to  fill up 1 one-gallon ziploc bag.

     

    The broccoli plants are looking really good.  They have grown about a foot and a half and have the most beautiful grayish blue green color.  Broccoli takes 50 to 60 days to mature, so mine should be coming up soon.  The cauliflower plants are also doing pretty good, but they have only grown about a foot.  Cauliflower matures in 50 to 70 days, so I have a bit of time to go.  As for the eggplant seeds we planted, those have not come up.  I believe they didn't survive.

     

    Plants to grow Asparagus Fuzzy "cat tail" like Asparagus growing.

    The most interesting seed packet out of this bunch is the asparagus.  We decided to grow it mostly out of curiosity.  These cute little "fuzzy trees" started coming up and I couldn't figure out if it was asparagus or just some weed.  After searching through Google, I think I have some asparagus seedlings growing!  Let's keep our fingers crossed and maybe in two years, I'll actually be able to harvest it.

     

    Here are some good sources to help you decide what plants to grow:

    How Long Until Harvest

    Fall for Broccoli

    Renee's Garden

     

     

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