I’ve Got Worms

February 6th, 2013

Ok, that title is admittedly creepy, but definitely something that I’ve wanted to share. Way back in April of 2009, I talked about our family’s journey to becoming more earth friendly and mentioned that we were considering someday dabbling in vermi-composting. That’s right. WORMS! Yeah, that was almost 4 years ago.

Anyway, last spring we decided to try our hand at container gardening and a light bulb went off. Certainly, we would have more luck with some organic fertilizer, aka worm castings, since I have a black thumb. Enter the worms.

Vermicomposting 2

In May, I received this cute little package of red wigglers from a seller on Ebay.

Vermicomposting 1

See, aren’t they adorable??

Vermicomposting 3

They were ridiculously inexpensive and the shipping was lightning fast. So fast, that I didn’t even have their future home ready when they got here. So I ran out and grabbed two plastic storage bins with lids from the dollar store (That’s right, $2 total for housing.) Once I got the boxes home, I start assembling them. First I drilled holes around the top and in the bottom of one container so that air could flow in and out. A worm’s got to breathe, you know.

Vermicomposting 4

My intention was to place one bin inside the other (the top bin with a lid for the worms and the bottom one to collect drainage.) However, my plan did not allow for the air holes to be uncovered, so I had to get creative. I used 2 wooden clothespins and glued one to each end of the bottom container so that the top container would be raised higher. You should be able to see the clothes pins in a photo or two below.

Then I started layering. First I added some bedding made from paper towels, toilet rolls and old school papers from the recycling bin. (The worms will eat this stuff too!)

Vermicomposting 5

Then I added leftover and bruised fruit and veggie scraps. Worms love to eat and they are particularly fond of most produce, except onions and citrus items. They can also handle starchy foods in limited amounts and we don’t put in any meat or dairy items. So far they seem happy with this diet. And all of that decaying, rotting food in there doesn’t smell funky at all. I swear!

Vermicomposting 6

I added another layer of shredded paper bedding over the food and then placed the worms on top of it all.

Vermicomposting 7

Vermicomposting 8

Next, I covered them with more shredded paper. I also added some moisture to the bin by sprinkling a tiny bit water on top of it.

Vermicomposting 9

And that was it. I put the lid on and now the worms comfortably live underneath our kitchen sink in the darkness.

Vermicomposting 10

Let me tell you. These creatures are eating machines. We keep our food scraps in a container in our freezer so they don’t get yucky while waiting to go in the bin and feed the worms about every 2 weeks or so. For us, this seems like just the right amount of time for our worms, but I’m sure it depends on the amount of worms and amount of food a person would have.

So far, so good for our little worm colony. It took a little longer than we planned for our composters to start producing, so we didn’t get to use the castings on a lot of our plants in the summer. However, since then, we have been able to collect some worm castings to use on our indoor house plants and they seem to be thriving. Hopefully, this spring our worms will come to our rescue in the container garden.

So tell me, do you compost? Do you have worms to help with the process? Or, do worms just gross you out? Let us know!

Loving

January 28th, 2013

Today I am loving…

Snuggles in bed, little voices, coloring, playing with trains, reading books, jumping off the couch, sorting shapes and colors, and just spending time with my little man. They are only little for so long. These moments are precious…

Baby Love 1

Baby Love 2

Baby Love 3 Baby Love 4

Even the meltdowns.

Baby Love 5

What are you loving today?

Getting To Know Her

January 16th, 2013

Last night, I decided that I wanted to do a little interview with Pinky to see what some of her favorites of the moment are right now at 8 years old.

Interview with Pinky 1

Favorite Song: Firework by Katy Perry

Favorite Movie: Earnest Goes to Camp

Favorite T.V. Show: Fan Boy and Chum Chum

Favorite Book: Doll in the Garden

Favorite Food: Avocados

Favorite Snack: Tortilla Chips and Hot Salsa

Favorite Cereal: Lucky Charms

Favorite Hobby: Singing

Favorite Place to Shop: Target

Favorite Holiday: Halloween

Favorite Day of the Week: Friday

Favorite Number: 1052

Favorite Friends: Katie, Sara, Emily

Favorite Sports Team: The Ohio State Buckeyes

Interview with Pinky 2

Interview with Pinky 3

Interview with Pinky 4

A Few of Their Favorite Things (Christmas 2012)

January 8th, 2013

I wanted to share again this year a few of Sweet Pea and Pinky’s most favorite Christmas gifts. We are so grateful for each and everything that we already had and that we received, especially being able to spend time with our amazing friends and family. And I know this is totally a brag post, but again, we have awesome peeps in our lives and they are way generous. Plus, I personally love to check out what other people buy because many times it gives me ideas for my own shopping needs. So, in the slim instance that someone else, besides the two people who look at this blog regularly, stop by and need some ideas, here are the goods.

Sweet Pea's Favorites 2012

My First Crayola Washable Triangular Crayons – Perfect for his little fingers to grasp, these crayons are awesome for one of Sweet Pea’s favorite hobbies. He loves to color and draw!

Bilibo – This interesting looking toy is one of my favorites. It is great for open ended play, which encourages creativity and imagination. Score! My boy enjoys sitting in it and reading books, loading it up with other toys, spinning it around and walking on top of it. It gets a lot of use.

Natural Waldorf Blocks – Building and destroying are definitely top ranked activities at our house. And these come in a great cotton net bag, which is perfect for quick and easy clean up.

Leap Frog: Learning DVD Set – Leap Frog makes this awesome DVD set, which explores letters, the sounds they make, combining those sounds and counting. I love that it is educational and can help reinforce the things we are already teaching Sweet Pea. He loves it too for it’s bright colors and fun songs.

Fisher-Price Michael and His Rescue Rig – Sweet Pea adores all things that go zoom and have wheels, so this cute fire truck, aka Woo Woo, with its realistic siren and movable parts, is definitely a toy he can’t get enough of.

Little Tikes Endless Adventures Jr. Play Slide – Up & Down and Up & Down and Up & Down he goes.


Atom Skyball
This ball, along with about 37 others he received, including footballs, basketballs, soccer balls and bouncy balls, were probably at the top of Sweet Pea’s list. He loves to play ball. “Ball” was even his first word!

Pop On Pals – It’s a farmer. It’s a doctor. It mixes and matches to become a fartor. Hehe.

Maxim Train Set – Forty pieces of pure Choo Choo fun. Trains are a big deal around here. And having a Choo Choo (I mean “Doo Doo”) in the house has been a lot of fun for Sweet Pea. The pieces are colorful and the wheels of the train feel really good as a back massager too!

Little Tikes Campin’ Adventures Campsite – Who doesn’t love to hang out in a tent? This is something even Pinky loves to play with. Which is great because then the two of them play together and I get to finish dinner without burning something. Sounds like a win/win.

Sweater Zebra – He’s cute and cuddly and black and white. What’s not to love?

One-Seater (Grey) – Ahh, a little monogrammed place for my baby to rest his hiney.

Pinky's favorites 2012

American Girl Doll – This present made my daughter cry. Tears of joy, of course.

Nintendo DS Lite – Pinky’s old DS bit the dust last summer, so this replacement is definitely logging in enough hours to make up for the lost time. There are also a lot of educational games to play on it, so it doesn’t just rot her brain. At least that is how I justify it.

Spotcha This fast paced matching game is fun for the whole family. Just be careful when playing with ours. Some of us are vicious game players…

Essie Nail Polish – She received a rainbow of colors, but no leprechaun. I think we will be stocked up on nail polish for awhile.

Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablet – This little board is perfect for those long car trips and waiting rooms. It’s especially handy for when we run out of paper too. Save the trees!

Brain Noodles Pinky loves these noodles and can create almost anything with them!

Gubs – Easy to learn and fun for the whole family, Gubs is an entertaining game of luck and wit. The cards are cute and there is always a request to play it again.

Harumika Runway Showstopper Set – My little fashionista loves these sets. She gets to easily create a new look over and over and then can take a picture to help her remember all of the styles.

My French Coach – This game for the Nintendo DS is a great interactive tool to help learn French. And Pinky is definitely interested in learning, so it will be a great aide in understanding the language.

Ivy and Bean’s Treasure Box – Pinky enjoys these girls and all of their adventures. Plus, this set comes with a secret treasure box. Bonus!

Toms Blanket Pink Youth Classics – We are entering the stage of life where “everybody is doing it.” So when Pinky asked for these floppy little shoes that her friends have at $38 bucks a pop, I was a little hesitant. Especially because her feet grow sooooo fast. (I’m cheap. What can I say?) But when I learned that they donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair that you buy, I was sold. And Pinky lives in them, so it was definitely worth it.

So, there is the breakdown of the favorites for you. What was your favorite gift (to give or receive) this year? Did you get anything crazy or unexpected? Leave it in the comments!

It’s A New Year

January 7th, 2013

That means that my 365 + 1 project is done! Yay! Honestly, I could not be more excited. Ecstatic! As much as I love photography, as time passed, I felt that it was more like a job to take a photo every single day and that took a lot of the fun out of it. There were days when I wouldn’t even take a photo until almost midnight and several times I even forgot, so I had to scramble to make it up the next morning. Yup, I got lazy. And that meant that my photography actually suffered a bit because I tried to take the easy way out, whatever that way was. (Constantly using my speed light, taking photos of random meaningless objects, pushing a button and hoping I could Photoshop the heck out of whatever came up on my screen.)

However, it is a new year and I’m ready to start focusing more on this blog and sharing our family’s stories again. No worries, though. There will still be plenty of photos to share. Photos that actually have a little bit of heart behind them. So, if you are still here, please stick around. We will be back shortly with some fun new stuff. In the mean time, check out the entire 365 + 1 project by clicking on the images below.

366 2012