Wednesday, September 28, 2011

good news for waukesha

My salon, Moxie Beauty Lounge in Waukesha, is now carrying Bumble and bumble products!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled browsing.

wordless wednesday

An arbor of hops at Myrtle Edwards Park, overlooking Puget Sound, Seattle

Thursday, September 8, 2011

late-summer salad

I normally don't report on the meals I throw together when Ian is at work, but this one is too good to keep to myself. I've dubbed it Late-Summer Salad: It's chock-full of in-season produce and tossed in an Asian-inspired dressing to give it that exotic, vacation-y flair. Bonus: According to Lose It (my calorie-counting app), it has a mere 236 calories. It would be a terrific accompaniment to salmon, barbecue chicken or a pork chop.

Late-Summer Salad
(serves 1)

1/4 c. dry bulgur wheat
1/2 c. cold water
1 c. cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 medium peach, chopped
1 c. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 green onion, minced (white parts)
2 Tbl. Newman's Own Low-Fat Sesame Ginger dressing

1) Put bulgur and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 12 minutes. Spoon into a salad bowl.
2) Add all other ingredients to the bowl and toss.
3) Eat!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a vacationing container gardener's saving grace

Ian and I are recently back from a very refreshing, very lovely, very inspiring week in Washington State. The two of us have quite a bit of freedom because we don't have kids or pets, but as you've read, we are the proud caretakers of several potted plants. So, in order to keep them alive (without anyone's help) while we were gallivanting across Kitsap Peninsula, I set out to devise a fuss-free watering system for container gardens.

I ruled out two popular ideas right away: We don't have access to a spigot, so that nixes the drip system option suggested by many container gardening blogs. I also didn't want to lug all the containers inside and store them in the bathtub, as advised by others. I reasoned that the plants would have been shocked by the darkness, and some would likely have succumbed to root rot. Plus, some pots had been struggling with a bit of a Japanese beetle situation, and I refused to introduce those pretty but nasty bugs into our home. So, that left me to tap into my limited memory of high school physics. And dare I say, it turned out pretty well?

We rescued wine and beer bottles from the recycling -- one for each container, chosen according to pot size. The morning of our flight, I filled them up, tipped them over, and jammed them into the soil. The idea was that, as the soil around the bottle dried out, more water would drip down.

When we returned, I nervously checked the balcony. A few of the plants looked a little droopy, but nothing a hearty watering didn't fix. The tomato fared the worst with a few yellowed branches, but, oddly, some new and well-developed suckers replaced them.

Next time we go away for a week in the summer, I'll probably double up on bottles -- especially if scorching temps are predicted (we reached just 80 degrees). This amount of moisture would probably have been ideal for a five-day trip. But overall, our plants and I are quite pleased with this experiment.

Have you tried a container watering system like this? What did you think?