Salmon, Spinach, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Salmon, Spinach, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Salmon, Spinach, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

The HH brought home a crate of free salmon yesterday {a work colleague’s father-in-law works for a fish company and gets free fish from time to time} so I decided to make a big salad for dinner tonight. I spotted a delicious salmon salad recipe on myrecipes but it called for asparagus and feta, both of which I don’t have. After a little improvising, I came up with the recipe below. Guess what? It turned out delicious. Plus there are leftovers for tomorrows lunch as well.

I love it when that happens. :)

spinach

Ingredients
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 cup orzo pasta, cooked and drained
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, grilled and separated into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped

Lemon-Dill VinaigretteIngredients for Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon dried dill
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salmon, Spinach, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

Directions

Toss the spinach, salmon, green onions, and salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl combine all the dressing ingredients and stir well with a whisk. Pour dressing over spinach salad and toss. Refrigerate for a few hours and serve cold with crusty bread and butter.

Salmon, Spinach, and Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

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10 Shade Tolerant Perennials

10 Shade Tolerant Perennials

10 Shade Tolerant Perennials

Awhile back, I did a post on shade tolerant flowers.  Then, I thought to myself, what is better than shade tolerant flowers?  Shade tolerant perennials, that’s what.  You only have to plant them once, but still, you get year after year of color.  Perfecto.

First, remember that in most cases, shade tolerant doesn’t mean fully shaded.  Almost all flowers require some level of dappled light.  That having been said, most of these perennials will tolerate being in largely shaded {think:  wooded} areas.

  1. Bee Balm.  Bee balm is named that for a reason.  It will attract bees {butterflies and hummingbirds} to your garden.  It usually has kind of a burst of color flower–shaped like a firework.
  2. Violets.  Violets actually will volunteer year after year–so put them in a place you don’t mind them spreading.  They are really pretty little flowers that kind of remind me of pansies.
  3. Lily of the Valley.  I love Lily of the Valley.  It is a mass of green with pretty little pops of white flowers.  They smell amazing to boot.blue hydranga shrub
  4. Hydrangea.  If you want to add a HUGE impact to a shady spot, Hydrangea is the way to go.   They come in a huge variety of color.  Hydrangea actually cannot tolerate heat, so shady spots are perfect for them.
  5. Bleeding Heart.  These heart-shaped flowers will bloom in the spring.  There are several blooms to each stem, which causes the stem to kind of droop over, giving them an even better visual appeal.
  6. Forget Me Not.  Quite frankly, I would plant these for the name, but if that isn’t enough for you, then the clumps of tiny colored flowers will surely draw you in.  They typically flower May through October, so you will get a long season of flowers.foxglove
  7. Foxglove.  Foxglove have tall stalks of bell shaped flowers.  They come in a variety of colors and add a lot of color to a shady area.
  8. Bellflower.  Bellflowers have an almost wild flower look about them.  They are deeply colored, and they will bloom all through the dead of summer, if provided some shade.
  9. Hellebore.  The great thing about these flowers is that they will bloom in EARLY spring, so they are like a beacon of hope for the upcoming season change.  They have soft looking flowers–but be aware, they can be poisonous, so best not to plant them if you have pets or small children.
  10. Astilbe.  These flowers remind me of giant feathers.  They can get quite tall, so you can layer something in front of them in your landscaping and still have high impact.

Do you have any favorite shade tolerant perennials?  What are they?

~Mavis

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How to Make Your Own Flower Box Out of a Wood Pallet

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden
Every year for Mother’s Day, I like to go pick out a boatload of flowers for the yard.  It’s kind of my thing.  I call it my Mother’s Day present to me, and the kids and HH are pretty content that they don’t have to pick anything else out.  Everyone wins.

Every year, I admit, I go a little overboard, though.  I pick out way more flowers than I have space for…initially anyway…because I always find a way to make more space.  In fact, a few years back, during one of my “I need to make more space” for flowers moments, I decided to make a flower box out of an old pallet.

The project turned out to be sooooo easy, that I thought I would re-share it with  you.  In fact, I’ve decided to re-share a couple of my old projects and gardening tips/tricks with you each week, because one, I love to do cool things like that for people :) and two, if you haven’t been following my blog for awhile, it might be a chance to see if for the first time.

So, without further ado {I have always wanted a reason to type that}, I give you the DIY Pallet Flower Box…

wooden pallet

First, you take your basic old pallet…

This one was headed for the burn pile.  It was very sad looking, but that’s the beauty of this project, it doesn’t have to be in great shape.

wooden pallet  t

I had the Handsome Husband break out his skill saw and chop it up for me.  In hindsight, I could have done this part myself, but I’ll admit, I am a sucker for a man and power tools, so I chose to sit back and watch him do it ;).

wooden pallet saw

The HH cut the pallet just above the 2 slat mark, and then knocked off 2 boards from another {unusable} part of the pallet.  Look how manly he looks wielding his saw?  Adorable.

wooden pallet planter

Just a few quick cuts, and it’s already starting to take shape.

how to build a wooden pallet planter

Then, I came in and nailed 1 board to the bottom of the planter, and another to the top.  {That was a very technical step, so I’ll pause while you soak it in.}

How to Turn a Pallet into a Garden

Now all you need to do is shove that baby full of potting soil and flowers.  It’s nearly instant project gratification.

Pretty cool, eh?

~Mavis

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Gardening is Better Than Therapy

hosta

hosta

Is it just me, or are those hosta plants GORGEOUS? Holy canolies people, they make me smile every time I walk past them. I only wish the 2 packets of allysum seeds would hurry and and grow some flowers because right now, it looks like I have a bunch of weeds growing under my hosta plants.

wisteria

Yesterday The Girl and I made a trip out to Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery in Puyallup to look for espalier trees for the backyard. While we were there we spotted an Amethyst Falls American wisteria plant and I had to snatch it up. I’ve planted purple wisteria alongside almost all my garden gates in our previous homes and I just LOVE it’s delicate flowers.

grafter espalier pear tree

Originally I was looking for both a grafted apple and a grafted pear espalier tree but all Watson’s {and surrounding stores} had left were pear trees. So I grabbed the last two they had. These particular pear trees will produce Bosc, Anjou and Bartlett pears. I’m not sure if we will get any pears this season, but we should get a few next year for sure.

Finding fruit trees this time of year can be tricky as most nurseries get their bare root trees in around January or February. Had I known we would be installing a fence, I would have jumped on the snatch up all the cool fruit trees bandwagon sooner. However, I’m still keeping my eyes peeled for an Italian plum and a Fuji apple tree.

seedling trays

I need more space. The back patio is starting to fill up!

flexrake

Benefit #1 of having a college student home for the summer. They need money and are willing to dig holes and plant trees on the side yard where nosy neighbors pass by 10 million times a day. Oddly enough, nosy neighbors don’t stop to chat with teens doing yard work. OH HAPPY DAY.

New Goal – Have The Girl plant everything on the side yard for me before the fence goes up. Then I’ll be able to hide behind the fence and garden in privacy.

Pretty genius if you ask me.

teepee

Note to self: I probably should have waited for The Girl to build a teepee as it is visible from the road. If questioned I could claim my Indian heritage {I am 25% Cherokee after all}. This could however prove problematic if HOA discovers pictures of me in pilgrim costume. Hmmm. Maybe teepee should be dismantled until the fence is installed.

Have a great day everyone, and get out there and plant something {or have your kids do it for you}.

~ Mavis

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Free Kindle Books, Free Whole Grains Class, Nesco Food Dehydrator, TOMS Shoes and More

blueberry-peach-crisp

hallucinationWord of the Day: Hallucination Definition: The preventing of an object with no reality, a delusion Used in a sentence: He suffered from an hallucination since his accident.

Yesterday was another amazing day around here for gardening. Light rain in the morning, sunshine mid morning through late afternoon and then rain again overnight. Why can’t every day be like that? Our gardens would be AMAZING! :)

Have a great Wednesday everyone,

Mavis

jewelry

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cubavera clothing

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day – 60% Off Cubavera Men’s Clothing {Starting at $15.99}

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy! :)

amazon subscribe and save

Amazon Subscribe and Save Deals:

how-to-freeze-milkDon’t waste that milk! Did you know you can easily freeze it if it’s about to go bad or you find a great deal on it and buy in bulk? Check out How to Freeze Milk. Find more helpful tips on my Kitchen Tips Pinterest Board.

whole grains cooking class

Craftsy is offering Free Class on the Creative Ways With Whole GrainsMake healthy whole-grain meals accessible, flavorful and fun! Join Cooking Light executive chef Anna Bullett in this FREE mini-class. 

knitting needles

Amazon has the Ostart 18 Set Kit 30” Inch (80cm) Circular Bamboo Knitting Needles (2mm – 10mm) on sale for $4.78 shipped! 

red glitter TOMS

Save $5 Off a $25+ Purchase from TOMS Shoes when you use code SPRING15 at checkout plus get FREE Shipping on orders of $25 or more.

tablecloth for folding tables

Amazon has 60 x 102 Inch Rectangular Tablecloths on sale for just $9.99 each and there are a ton of colors to choose from. Perfect for graduation parties, dining room table or even folding tables. Excellent reviews

sharis berries

Looking for a delicious Mother’s Day gift? Send Shari’s Berries to your favorite person starting at $19.99! I LOVE these more than I could ever tell you!!!

Healthworks Chia Seeds 5 Pounds

Amazon has the 2 Pound Package of Healthworks Chia Seeds for just $10.99 and they ship FREE with Prime. You can also get the 5 pound Bag of Healthworks Chia Seeds for $22.50. 

garden and gun magazine

One of my favorite magazines, Garden and Gun Magazine is on sale for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire 5/7/15at midnight EST. The recipes in the magazine are AMAZING!

nesco food dehydratorLooking for a Dehydrator? Here are a few deals:

How to Make Cinnamon Apple ChipsStock up on fruit when it’s on sale and dehydrate it for a delicious snack. Get my recipe for How to Make Apple Chips or Pin it for Later.

groupon deal

Groupon is offering a 5-Pack of Women’s Multicolor Draped Scoop-Necked T-shirts for $24.99 shipped! I LOVE one stop shopping!!

sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker

Amazon has the Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker, Assorted Colors, 24-Pack on sale for just $10 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. 

fuji camera

In the market for a new camera? Today only Best Buy is offering the Fujifilm – FinePix S9250 16.2-Megapixel Digital Camera Bundle for $129.99 shipped {reg $250}.

portable generator

The Home Depot Deal of the Day – 30% OFF SELECT PORTABLE GENERATORS

Gevalia ground coffee sample

Check out these New Printable Coupons:
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$1.00 off two Purex Liquid Detergent or UltraPacks
$0.50 off any ONE Campbell’s Sauces
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Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple Smoothie

Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple Smoothie

Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple SmoothieNow that The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird is home for the summer, you can bet your last cupcake we’ll be getting 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  That kids LOVES her veggies. And lucky for us, she LOVES to cook, and bake and even help me with my canning projects. But most of all, she loves coming up with new smoothie concoctions. And lucky us, we get to try them all. :) {Little known fact… her love affair with smoothies began way before the HH gave her a blender for her 16th birthday}

This morning she made a spinach, avocado, blueberry and apple smoothie and let me tell you Bob, it was delicious. Here’s her recipe:

Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple SmoothieIngredients
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 cups spinach
1 apple cored, and sliced
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 ice cubes

Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple Smoothie recipe

Directions
Combine the apple juice, spinach, apple, avocado, blueberries, and in a blender and puree until smooth {about 30-45 seconds}. Drink up!

Find More Smoothie Recipes

Spinach, Avocado, Blueberry and Apple Smoothie

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Earn a FREE Book with Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program

32901_Summer-Reading_Hero_PUB3

32901_Summer-Reading_Hero_PUB3

If you have a Barnes and Noble nearby and children in the first through six grade, you’ll want to sign them up for the  Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program lickety split!

Children who sign up and read 8 books this summer, can bring in their reading journal to their local Barnes & Noble and pick out a FREE book from a list of selected books. Pretty awesome if you ask me!
Here Is How:

Step 1. Read any 8 books and record them in the Reading Journal  (PDF).

Step 2. Bring the completed Reading Journal to your local B&N store between May 19th and September 7th, 2015. Find a Store.

Step 3. Choose a FREE BOOK from their selection on the Reading Journal list at the store.
book

Head on over HERE to find out more about this FREE summer reading program.

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DIY Knee Patch Tutorial

jeans patch

jeans patchYears ago it would seem like by the time summer rolled around my kids jeans were on their last leg. It was hard for me to justify buying new jeans for them knowing they’d rarely wear them during the summer months and I would have to buy more when we went shopping for the new school year. My friend Zoe has a great solution: an awesome DIY Knee Patch Tutorial:

My eldest boy has a thing with wearing the knees out of his jeans. Maybe it’s because I buy used clothing. At any rate, this is how I take care of the problem.

1. Start by ripping out the inner leg seam. For a small pair of pants, you practically have to rip from the crotch down to the hem, but not quite. I ripped from pin to pin on this pair of jeans.

Pop on over to Zoe’s site and read the whole article HERE.
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