Pineapple Margarita

Prep time: 5 mins

INGREDIENTS:

Kosher salt for rimming glass

1 part silver tequila

4 parts pineapple juice

½ part triple sec

¼ part lime juice

Optional lime and pineapple wedges, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

Rim glass with kosher salt.In a shaker with ice, add tequila, pineapple juice, triple sec and lime juice. Shake vigorously and pour into rimmed glass. Garnish with lime and pineapple wedge, if desired.

Source: Pineapple Margarita | The Blond Cook

12 Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

1. Lemongrass

This herb grows wild in tropics and becomes easiest indoor herb, you can also grow it in temperate climates. It requires slightly moist soil and partial sun, and it can even adjust itself in a small container.

2. Mint

In the garden, mint becomes very invasive and grows like a weed. It doesn’t require plenty of sun too. You can even keep your potted mint plant in a spot that receives bright indirect sun.

3. Parsley

Germinate parsley from seeds, seedlings may sprout up late, sometimes in a month. But once grown, parsley requires minimal attention. Grow it in a medium-large pot and keep that in a spot that receives part sun. In a moderate room temperature, you can grow it year round. Just propagate new plants time to time from cuttings and it will last forever in your indoor herb garden.

4. Chives

Herbs that require less sunlight and moist soil in order to thrive are most suitable for growing indoors. Chives doesn’t require a sunny spot. Just place the pot near a bright window facing east. You can multiply chives from an already established plant by division.

5. Garden Cress

You can grow this cool season annual indoors easily. Plant seeds in a shallow but wide containers and keep the pot on a windowsill that receives partial sun. Soil should be moist, for regular harvest of cress micro greens, plant seeds in interval of every two weeks. You can cut and harvest the garden cress 3-4 times. If there is no sun, you can grow it under fluorescent lamps and T5 fluorescent plant lights.

6. Catnip

Growing catnip indoors is hard if you have cats. Apart from that, it is one of the easiest herbs. Once you germinate seeds, you can grow it forever from cuttings. Place the pot on a sunny windowsill and keep it well watered.

7. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm grows year round in warmer zones. Some gardeners even consider it a weed. Growing lemon balm indoors is super easy if you can provide it an exposure to 4 hours of sunlight daily. When growing indoors, water the plant only when top soil is dry.

8. Chervil

Chervil is one of the herbs you can grow indoors smoothly. A room temperature around 60-70 F is optimum for it. It can also adapt to low light conditions.

9. Dill

The secret of growing dill successfully in a container is to grow it in a deep one. A minimum 10 inches deep container is required. For growing dill indoors keep it in a spot that receives at least 5 hours of sunlight daily, provide good air circulation and water it only when top 1 inch surface of potting soil seems dry.

10. Cilantro

Cilantro is extremely easy to germinate but hard to maintain in containers. The trick is to grow cilantro in a deep container. It bolts quickly so it is better to plant seeds time to time. Keep cilantro in the south or west facing window.

11. Sage

Grow sage indoors only if you have a South or West facing window that receives plenty of sun. This perennial herb takes a lot of time to get established when grown from seeds so it is better to take a tip cutting and propagate it.

12. Thyme

Thyme can adjust itself to partial sun and if you can provide 5 hours of sunlight daily, growing thyme indoors is possible.

A few more herbs you can grow indoors on a sunny windowsill

  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Basil

Source: 12 Best Herbs to Grow Indoors | Indoor Herbs | Balcony Garden Web

Easy Baked Coconut Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 25), peeled (tails left on), deveined
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprkia (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Grease a cookie sheet with oil and set aside.
  2. Beat eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs and coconut in another bowl and set aside. Lastly, combine flour and spices in a 3rd bowl.
  3. Dip shrimp in small batches in the flour mixture then the egg mixture (letting the excess drip off the shrimp) and then coat in the coconut/breadcrumb mixture, pressing to adhere.
  4. Place the shrimp on the baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly spray with nonstick spray or drizzle with oil. Bake until the shrimp are golden on the outside and opaque in the center, about 10 minutes

Source: Easy Baked Coconut Shrimp | The Recipe Critic

10 Interior Styling Mistakes to Avoid

 

  1. Matching Everything – It looks like you bought your room off the furniture store floor.  Try to avoid using all matching furniture sets, matching frames, etc.  Mix it up to create more interest and depth in the room.  Try it today.  If you have a room full of all matching furniture, swap the chair or ottoman with one from another room and see the difference it makes.
  2.  Spreading Out a Collection – You might think by displaying one of your treasured collectibles in every room of your house, you are getting the biggest impact.  When in fact, you are diminishing the impact of the collection.  Instead, display all the same type of collectible in one place for the biggest bang.
  3. Grouping Objects in Even Numbers – It is better to place objects in odd number groupings, like 1, 3, or 5.  Groupings of 3 objects with varying heights always works (I will show you tomorrow)!
  4.   Everything the Same Height – To create interest you need to vary the height of things grouped together.  If you are grouping things in threes, as suggested above, make sure they are three different heights.
  5.  Ignoring the Rule of Thirds – The rule of thirds is commonly used in photography and art to describe the best place for the subject.  Draw imaginary lines on a picture vertically at 1/3 and 2/3, and horizontally at 1/3 and 2/3.  Compositions with the subject placed on those lines, especially at the intersection of those lines, are the most interesting.  The same rule can be applied when looking at a vignette in your home.  Instead of placing an arrangement in the center of the shelf, try placing it 1/3 of the way in from the edge.  It is more pleasing to the eye.
  6. Empty Space Under a Console – This may seem minor or more specific than the others on this list, but it is one of the most commonly un-dressed spaces.  It looks unfinished and uninviting.  Tuck a stool or basket under the console table for a quick fix.  The same trick can be applied to sofa tables and benches.
  7. Over Accessorizing – There is a fine line between a well-styled space and over-accessorizing, which looks cluttered and messy.  Keep it simple and realize sometimes less is more.  Try one big statement piece, instead of a bunch of smaller accessories. Edit!
  8.  Lots of Little Things – A bunch of small items together looks like clutter.  Trust me on this one. When you have the option of small, medium, or large…go large.  Small accessories quickly get lost and create visual clutter.  Fewer, larger accessories make a bigger impact.  You might think you are saving money by buying the smaller version of the vase you love, but to make the smaller version work in the space you will have to buy other items to fill out the space.  If you love it, go large.
  9.  Fake Greenery – I get it, I have a black thumb, too.  But fake vines don’t look good in anyone’s home.  Try easy to care for plants, like succulents.  Another option which is better than fake, plasticy greens, is to use natural elements like branches, natural vase fillers, or some dried greenery (grasses or preserved boxwood).
  10.  Lack of Meaning and Personality – Model homes and show room floors don’t have the lived in look, because they aren’t.  Don’t forget to breathe life into your space by using personal touches and mementos in your decorating.

Source: 10 Interior Styling Mistakes to Avoid | School of Decorating by Jackie Hernandez

21 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Selling

  1. Clean, clean, clean. Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing. If you’ve already moved out or if you’re too busy to stay on top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks.
  2. Pay attention to smells. “Don’t cook bacon in your home the day of a showing,” advises Rachel Weinberg, a broker at Wright Kingdom Real Estate in Boulder, Colorado. “Although it might taste great, the smell is strong and lingers for a long time. You don’t want your home to smell like a fast food restaurant!”
  3. Clear out the clutter. You want buyers to focus on how awesome your space is, not how messy it looks. Banish that piles of shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table and anything else that detracts from your home’s gorgeous features.
  4. Repaint the walls neutral colors. As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls.
  5. Keep the décor simple. To help buyers imagine themselves in your space, get rid of any art or other décor that might turn off people with different tastes. A classic landscape painting? Totally fine. Your zebra print leather couch? Might want to slipcover that for showings.
  6. Get rid of personal items. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove anything overly personal, like family photos in the hallway or your kids’ artwork on the fridge.
  7. Let there be light! Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim. A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.
  8. Bring nature inside. Potted plants or a few pretty buds in a vase can help bring energy into a space, fill in empty corners and even draw attention to features you want buyers to notice. Just make sure the plants are in good health (and bug-free!).
  9. Get rid of bulky furniture. Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is.
  10. Organize your closets. Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it. Invest in some boxes, dividers and other solutions that will help you make your stuff look more organized, and remove extra items you don’t need immediately (you can stow them away until you move).
  11. Tackle that honey-do list. All those little things you’ve been meaning to do but never got around to? Buyers will notice them, and they’ll detract from the value of your home. So set aside a weekend to tighten those loose doorknobs, fix that leaky faucet and paint over the scuffs from when you first moved in your sofa.
  12. Do a faux “renovation.” Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room. Kitchen a little outdated? Replace the fixtures, faucets and hinges. Family room furniture beaten up? Throw some slipcovers over it.
  13. Give each room a purpose. That spare room you’ve been using as an office / guest room /dumping ground won’t help sell your home unless you show buyers how they can use it themselves. So pick a use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.
  14. Turn the bathroom into a spa. Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath — for less than $30. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy bathmats and towels in coordinating tones such as light green, blue and white.
  15. Close the toilet! When it comes to both showing and photographing your home, this little trick can make a surprising difference.
  16. Turn the living room into conversation central. Help buyers picture themselves relaxing with family and guests by grouping your furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation.
  17. Keep the flow going. The last thing you want is people bumping into furniture as they tour your home; it disrupts their focus and makes your space look cramped. Do a dry run as though you’re seeing your home for the first time and tweak anything that interrupts the “flow.”
  18. Make something yummy. Realtors don’t put out fresh cookies at open houses just to treat buyers; a “homey” smell like baking cookies or bread can help people connect with a kitchen. Not a baker? Fake it with a scented candle.
  19. Make it look “lived in” with vignettes. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by adding deliberate vignettes that showcase how your home can be lived in. An inviting armchair and a tray with a coffee cup and book can turn that empty corner into a reading nook. Pretty soaps in a decorative tray can make your tiny half-bath more appealing.
  20. Highlight focal points. Draw buyers’ eyes towards any special features with bright colors or accents like plants. A pop of red throw pillows can draw a buyer’s attention to that lovely window seat. A striking fern on the mantle can show off your fireplace.
  21. Boost the curb appeal. Don’t spend all your time indoors. More than one buyer has decided not to even enter a home based on its curb appeal, so make sure your home’s exterior looks excellent. Trim your shrubs, weed your flower beds, fix any peeling paint and keep the walkway clear. Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway or a cheerful wreath to your front door can make a big difference.

Source: 21 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Selling

7 Easy Sun Loving Perennials

It seems like our lives are so busy, and though I love my garden, I find that sometimes, it is hard to find the time to take care of all the tasks needed to maintain it. One way I found that helps, is finding those plants the make your life easy. Today, I’m sharing seven of my favorite sun-loving perennials that anyone can grow.

1. Catmint — Nepeta faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’

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Perennial Plant Association winner in 2007. Any plant on the PPA award list is a great choice for the garden. They always choose those that are easy to grow in many conditions, in many areas and have long blooms times etc.. I particularly love the grey-blue foliage of this mounding plant which looks great all summer.
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2. Perennial Bachelor’s Button — Centaurea montana

Some say this is an invasive annoyance and it does freely seed in the garden but the volunteers are easily removed and planted or a nice giveaway. Who wouldn’t love this beautiful blue flower which performs well all summer and looks great in a flower arrangement.

3. Threadleaf — Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’

Another PPA winner way back in 1992 Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ is a sweet delicate plant that never fails. It has a nice airy feels perfect for a border or for those who enjoy the cottage look. Today you can find many hybrids of this perennial in nice range of pink to gold and combinations therein.

4. Rose Campaion — Lychnis coronaria

This interesting perennial was already growing in my garden when we bought the property. Though it is classified as a perennial it behaves more like a biennial or annual for me. However, it is another self seeder so it shows up in many places every year. Like the bachelor’s button, Rose Campion is easily removed or moved to another part of the garden so I don’t mind its self seeding nature. Rose Campion has a beautiful deep magenta flower on the most interesting fuzzy grey leaves which remind me of lambs ears or Stachys byzantina.

5. Clusterd Bellflower — Campanula glomerata

If you like perennials you will have already heard of bellflowers. There are so many different plants to choose in the group. My favorite one is glomerata.  Some say it can be invasive but I have not found this to be true for me. This one can also takes some shade.

6. Betony – Stachys officinalis ‘Rosea’

If you like a tidy looking plant you will love Betony. This one is the pink version, the more common being white, grows in a nice contained mound of crinkly leaves great for the edge of a border. It is also said to reseed but I have not found this to be the case in my garden.

7. Beebalm – Monarda didyma ‘Blue Stocking’

Last but not least is Beebalm. I have loved this perennial for about as long as I have had my own home to grow it in. This one comes in many shades from dark purple to bright red, pink and white. The leaves and flowers have a wonderful citrus fragrance making it a nice addition a flower arrangement. Some beebalm are said to have a mildew problem but many of the newer varieties have been bred to resist this issue. Of course, the bees love it, thus the common name Beebalm. Fun fact: After the Boston Tea Party, the colonists learned, from the Indians, how to brew tea made from the leaves of the beebalm plant. Funny that their fragrance smells like the bergamot orange used to flavor Earl Grey tea.

Did you find some new favorites to add you your shopping list? Do you have other great sun-loving perennials to add to the list? I hope you are all enjoying the season and have a fruitful and prosperous summer.

Source: 7 Easy Sun Loving Perennials Worth Planting | Hearth & Vine – formerly Garden Matter