Upcycled Wine Cork Garden Markers

OMFG you guys, the vernal equinox has already passed, St. Patrick got drunk and puked on the sidewalk outside my house, and the Easter bunny’s cousin Igor is coming soon! All of this means that it’s TIME TO START GARDENING AGAIN!!! I’m legitimately excited about this and not just shouting because Igor scares me when he breaks in to my house to “exchange” my iPad for a basket of chocolate bunnies.

I live in an area where you can’t start planting the exciting stuff until mid-May, but they already started selling flowers at the garden store, so I’m not waiting any longer. I planted some seeds this weekend, and because I’m all about instant gratification I also planted flowers which will freeze and die almost immediately.

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I have already established that I am the best at planning a garden (protip: plant 3’ tall flower bushes between your step stones, that way you might work up enough of an appetite to want to eat another fucking zucchini).

There are about 4 or 5 million posts about DIY garden markers and MINE IS THE BEST. By saving wine corks and then reusing them, you have an excuse to buy more wine and you look like you’re being environmentally friendly.

 

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I tried to hide the cheapest looking corks so you’d all think I only drink fancy wine.

You will need:

Some wine corks

Paint

Skewers

Maybe a hammer and a nail

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I was so proud of this action shot that I didn’t bother to repeat it with the color I actually ended up using

Instructions

  1. Drink all the wine.
  2. See if you can jam one of your skewers into your cork without stabbing yourself in the hand. If you can’t, grab a thick nail and a hammer. Maybe also grab some padded gloves if you’re not confident about your aim. Nail the nail into a cork and then remove it and insert the skewer into the hole. Repeat with the rest of your skewers.
  3. You can try labeling them without painting first, but it doesn’t look very pretty, so I recommend painting the corks at this point. I took pictures of myself painting them black, but then I repainted them with silver because they were too hard to read with light lettering on a dark background. Go with light paint.
  4. Grab some sharpies or more paint to actually write the labels. I also drew a couple of fucking adorable plant illustrations on the corks because I’m amazing.
  5. Mark your plants as you plant them. Once the plants have been in the ground for  a few weeks, your labels will be obscured, so this whole process will have rendered useless!

Happy Gardening!

Serafina

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Healthy Irish Breakfast Smoothie for Cold/Flu

In case you didn’t notice, no one posted last week.  That’s because I chose to ignore Serafina’s last post and decided she had another week scheduled and this was actually my scheduled week.  So in reality, I’m not late.  That’s how that works.

 

I’ve been battling a baby cold since last week (I got it from my baby), so I’m hopped up on cold meds.  It just doesn’t make my pristine body feel great, you know?  I had originally planned for a “real” recipe this week (just kidding, you should know better), but I opted for this miracle smoothie instead, in case anyone out there is also battling ailments, and wants to take a natural approach to their health.  Some people wonder why I don’t cook anymore and come up with more edible recipes, and usually I just tell my husband to shut up and if he wants something edible he can go out and buy it himself.  This is an example of proper marital communication.

 

Can you still call it a smoothie if you don’t use a blender?  Yes, you fucking can. The health community makes up all sorts of shit, so why can’t we?

 

This recipe was handed down to me by my ancient Irish relatives that were hiding out in Scotland because they were caught running a grifting scam.

 

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I recommend Super Orange but Pink Lemonade is good too.

 

Mary McEllen’s Irish Breakfast Smoothie for the Sick

Ingredients:

  • Guinness
  • Emergen-C
  • Morning

 

Directions:

Add your Emergen-C to your properly poured Guinness (you could also use a different Irish stout, but I don’t know how effective it would be).  Drink it with breakfast, or with your morning coffee.

 

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It’s really fucking hard to take a pouring picture with a giant-ass camera and not many arm muscles.

 

 

You will pretty immediately feel the effects.  You’re welcome.

 

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Don’t make the smoothie come to you, it’s lazy.

 

Pinch me for not wearing green and you’ll get an Irish kisser to the face,

Mary Ellen

Birthday Cake for Chickens

As you all know, I am completely and utterly obsessed with my chickens. They turned two last week and we had quite the celebration. I wrote about my chickens last year as well on their birthday. This year my boyfriend called me out on playing favorites with the youngest chicken, so we celebrated everyone’s birthday mid-week instead of just celebrating on my favorite chicken’s birthday. It’s important to try to grow as a chicken-parent over time. Sometimes your co-chicken-parent provides meaningful feedback and you have to at least pretend to listen. Other times you just make the chicken cake on the day it works out with your schedule and it happens to look like you are compromising. Who’s to say?

Anyway, I do love all of my chickens so very much. This year’s chicken birthday cake wasn’t quite as big of a hit with them as last year’s (there was more fruit in last year’s), but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal Birthday Cake for Chickens

Ingredients

  • Oats
  • Water or almond milk
  • Grated carrots
  • Pecans or other nuts
  • Raisins or something
  • Cinnamon
  • Banana for serving

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Instructions

Make oatmeal by placing oats, etc on the stove with water/milk and applying heat. It’s not very complicated. I believe in you (I mean, I don’t really, but I also don’t feel like writing out the rest of how to make oatmeal, look it up on youtube it if you are still confused).

Put the oatmeal in a ramekin to set and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Once you’re ready to serve the chickens cake, cut a banana lengthwise and gently wrap around the oatmeal cake.

Put in the appropriate number of candles and then blow them out before you take it outside. Cut into several pieces so the chickens don’t fight over the food and everyone gets some.

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I still love my chickens more than you

Serafina

Time Management (pt. 2)

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for ways to increase not only your professional productivity, but your personal productivity as well.  Serafina has touched upon this topic fairly extensively, but this is really an ongoing, and continuously evolving topic.

 

I’m going to share my greatest secret that is basically foolproof on how to better manage your time and increase your productivity.  There are no lists here, because it’s just one thing.

 

It’s called Skyrim.

 

Yes, I’ve mentioned off-handedly before on the miracle of this product, but I decided there needed to be a specific post about how to use it.

 

It’s quite simple, really.

 

Say you have a huge project due the next day, but you’ve been putting it off.  Skyrim. Got people depending on you to pull through on something big?  Skyrim.  Do your children need attention?  Skyrim, but don’t involve them.

 

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I’m a master at time management, this is what genius looks like.

 

I’ve only played this character for two days but look how far I’ve come.  Level 34, bitches.

 

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Master of the thieves guild, enchanted glass bow.  What are YOU doing with your life?

 

Now, if you excuse me, I need to return some fairly angry phone and text messages.  Totally unrelated.

 

Don’t even fucking think about killing Paarthurnax,

 

Mary Ellen

A Very Carefully Planned Tea Post

As the title of this blog clearly shows, today’s post has been thoughtfully planned out with as much care as I generally give to writing on this blog.

 

I have spent the better part of the week eating a healthy diet of fast food, balanced with nutritious donuts and cookies.  My skin has a definitive glow, that isn’t powdered sugar glistening in the sun.  I ate a bag of donuts for dinner.

 

Since I clearly have adulting down to a science, I decided to end my day reflecting on my life with a pot of tea.  It’s been a long week, full of excitement and drama but mostly just poop.  I just wanted to take pictures of my new tea set, but I guess I’ll come up with a bullshit list of life-changing bullet points so you know how to frame your own life.  I’m feeling generous, and drunk with an oversized ego right now.

 

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Q-Tips can’t be used in your ears.

I read an article about it, and it was incredibly bitchy and pushy about the whole thing.  Why did I buy Q-Tips in bulk at Costco then?  WTF do you need them for?  The article said they’re good for makeup but if you’re using cotton swabs for makeup application then I need to talk to you because something has gone wrong.  They’re wasteful, unless you need to dispose of earwax.

 

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Look the gift horse in the mouth.

And you fucking take a long ass look at it’s mouth.  I’ve been given a lot of dead horses and honestly  I’m tired of writing thank you cards for long expired horses.

 

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Drake’s real name is Aubrey.

And he’s the greatest musical genius of the last seven generations.

 

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What’s Weird Al up to?

I’m just curious.  How’s he doing?

 

Sometimes, we all need a moment to unwind and really meditate on the important things in life.  It’s how we keep stress at bay, and our pores clear.  It’s called “self care” or “treat yo’self” or whatever.  It’s also important to coin a bunch of terms and phrases for things to justify doing things like drinking tea and showering.  If you are showering regularly, that’s called self care, not basic hygiene.  It means you’ve decided to put down all your stressors and self care yourself.  Other things that you can do for self care, in case you need another list: drink water, eat food, sleep, get dressed, walk, talk to friends, and pet a dog, just to name a few.  I hope you were able to get all the self care you needed through my tea pictures today, though.  You can save that shower for tomorrow now.  Answer those emails with ease, baby.

 

Remember it doesn’t count if you don’t post about it on social media.  Bonus points for videos and selfies.  Pics or it didn’t happen, bitches.

 

Mary Ellen

Goodbye, Old-Ass Year

I figured I would make my final recipe post for 2016 – wait – 2017, my most complex one yet.

Okay, I hope you’re all done laughing now. I would never ever ruin a good year of coming up with half-assed recipes with a decent one. I would never ruin things, like Serafina always does. Like when she puts wine into recipes instead of drinking it. I will never understand such monsters.

So if you’re done with the old year and have given up in hopes that somehow changing a ‘7’ to an ‘8’ will somehow make your life better, well, my recipe this week won’t get in the way of that. It’s very self-loathing positive. Also, if you are snowed in or something, it uses very few ingredients, and you may have some lying around, or you can just make something else.

Whatever, I’m already drunk for NYE so I don’t care.

Mary Ellen’s fancy rice recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup veggie of choice (I used shelled edamame)
  • Salt to taste
  • Hummus as needed (optional)

Directions:

Cook up rice in a rice cooker because who the hell actually makes it on a stove. Steam vegetables, then mix all together with oil and sprinkling of salt. I enjoy mine with hummus, but I bet ranch dressing would also work.

Now go make some drunken mistakes with camera phones this NYE.

Mary Ellen

Intuitive eating

Friends, I am going to start with an apology. I know I said that I would be eating exclusively soups until Mary Ellen gets rescued from her “vacation,” but I heard about intuitive eating in passing, and I just couldn’t force my body to stick to a strict diet of noodles and butternut squash any longer.

Has anyone else heard about intuitive eating? I’m going to be honest, I heard the phrase one time. And, as with all potentially complex subjects, I’m going to brazenly assume that I know what it means. Yesterday, I got off of a long hard day of work and by body intuitively knew that I needed to wander around the grocery store until I found some vegan gummy bears, and then I needed to intuitively eat them in my car while swerving slightly and shaking my fist at other cars (I couldn’t scream at them because I had a mouth-full of gummy bears).

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I do have green things in my fridge. But my body knew that I needed gummy bears.

Today, I got off of another long day at work, and while my brain thought I should make some quinoa lentil chili, my body knew better. I reached for a jar of chocolate almond butter that I bought yesterday before I found the gummy bears, and then I ate half of the jar with a spoon while drinking a beer.

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The beer is in a fancy stout glass, because I intuitively wanted to bump up the classiness

You guys know how passionate I am about health food, and this intuitive eating idea is no different. I’m just so grateful that there is finally a phrase for the healthful way I approach shoving completely reasonable amounts of sugar in my mouth.

Serafina

How to be Better at Everything than Martha Fucking Stewart

(Growing, Cutting, and Arranging Flowers for Everyday Enjoyment)

When I was born, my parents considered naming my Martha Stewart, but they we worried about the effect that my success would have on the original Martha Stewart. They eventually chose to stick with our family name, Berafina, and go with my biblical first name (we are devout theoretical Quakers).

It took many years for me to finally accept my natural superiority at the domestic arts. My staunch Vegan-Texas-Stripper brand of feminism often clashed with my natural proclivities, but I learned to integrate the two after a deeply spiritual experience in a vegan leather bondage shop.

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The potted flowers here are impatiens, which I originally planted after misreading the name.

I moved into my current homestead several years ago. My initial experiments with raised beds were met with limited success, mostly due combination of chickens and no fencing. This year we tilled a garden patch and built a fence to keep the chickens out. I focused mostly on vegetables, but I made sure to include a few flowers to brighten up the immaculately designed garden patch.

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You can see how I expertly planted a 3 ft tall marigold bush in between my step stones. It’s advisable to only garden if you are very good at balancing on one foot while not crushing any squash vines.

Almost any long-stemmed flower lends itself well to cutting. Some of the varieties in my garden include daffodils, irises, lavender, black-eyed Susan, Gerber daisies, zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, and marigolds.

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Marigolds actually smell pretty bad, so I can’t totally recommend them for decorative use unless you have a really bad sense of smell.

You can see here that I have the flowers cut long enough for their container. I also recommend arranging them in an aesthetically appealing manner.

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You don’t have to have an “ugly side” of your flower arrangement. Unless you cut some zinnias before you actually looked at the dahlias and said “fuck it, good enough”

 

Every rose has its thorn

Serafina

How to Prepare for House Guests (better than Martha Stewart) 

The past few weeks have been incredibly eventful for me. Not only did I catch a super chest cold from my baby, I am still hacking up a lung and feel sexier than ever.

 
Now, I have to shift my focus to having house guests.

 
I love having house guests. It forces me to really take a look at my life and also take a long sniff at the perpetual dog stench that clings to the air and seeps into the couch. With a baby, poop is now added to create a war of stinky aromatics.
So here’s my list of things I do to get ready for house guests and create an experience that’ll leave them wanting more, wanting more information on what’s going on, or wanting to get the hell out of your house and never return.

 
1. Meal plan. 

Yes, it’s a good idea to feed your guests. Thankfully, it’s warmish outside and we can use our grill that doesn’t keep temperature to burn everyone’s food. Soup is also a good meal because you can make a lot and look like you know what you’re doing.

 
2. Wash your pets. 

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Dog shame.



Ours hadn’t been cleaned in months, so they smelled. It’s also a good idea to wash everything they touch, which in my case, is everything.

 
3. Clean the floors. 

I literally just did and there’s a clump of dog hair already on it. The baby will soon crawl around in it and spread the clump further, so this point really is just to say that you tried.

 
4. Laundry. 

Make sure there’s clean bedding for your guests, especially when your dogs sleep in the guest bed on a regular basis.

 
5. Get distracted and watch Netflix. 

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Yes we can, Sung Hoon. Let’s go.



My poison of choice right now is Korean dramas. My brain tells me they’re garbage yet my body wants to rub itself all over them. It’s only creepy if I say it out loud.

 
6. Groom yourself. 

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On the plus side, I also have coral colored stripes all over my arm.



I try to present myself as kind of having it together for guests, which includes doing my nails, and then fucking them up immediately because I forgot I was making tea and it was over steeping.

 

7. When all else fails, distraction is key.

This could includes my favorites: alcohol, burning incense, running an aromatherapy diffuser (both cover up smells, but also makes you look like a stoner hippy – use with caution), barking dogs, and the baby.  Then they won’t notice that maybe you didn’t hide your sex toys or condoms well enough.

 

Good luck.

 

-Mary Ellen