Gardening #3: New Expansions & Second Garden Haul!

Hello everyone~

Who would have thought this segment still would have stuff going on? Honestly, you all keep me accountable. This year, I want to transform my garden as much as I can and really expand and landscape as I’d have been thinking about over the last year or two. A lot of times ,its just easier to just take action.

I looked back at the previous update 2 weeks ago and I’m happy to say that I did accomplish almost everything I wanted to, except one thing which I didn’t do because I still haven’t figured out what to do with it. Migrating plants in the garden is a little tricky and I want to make sure to only have to do it once and leave it there for a good while. Some plots are still causing me a lot of headache, so as I brainstorm, there should be further changes.

For now, lets take a look at what’s happened over the last two weeks. Most of it happened this weekend….if I’m being incredibly honest!

First Task: Planting Clematis & DIY Landscaping

Gardening

A few tasks accomplished in this first part! One of the most important things was to plant the clematis. I kept thinking about it and the best place for it was where I had planted it two times before and it failed. Now, I believe that the failure was because the grass and weed took over. With that assumption, I decided to just dig up the grass and create an entire new patch. We had bricks from the previous owners stored under the patio so we took that to line it up. Under the bricks is a deep trench which I read could stop the grass from moving back in. The plant to the complete right was already there.

Next to it is my poor lilies that was in the raspberry patch and I keep wanting to move it and always being too late. I actually bit the bullet and ignored the thorny raspberry bushes and just dug in. Its not looking too hot right now. But I’m going to cut it a little so that it can strengthen, at least I think that could be the solution.

After that is the clematis from the last haul which hadn’t gotten into the ground yet. This was my top task so here we go! I’m hoping that this spot will work, especially since the one year it was successful was also with this white variety.

And at the far left is another migration from the front yard that I talked about last update: the poor little coneflower that was being overshadowed by the hydrangea last year.

Second Task: Second Garden Center Haul

gardening

From left to right:
Top Row: Purple/Coral/Red Salvia, Petunia
Middle: Green Bell Pepper, Peppermint Swiss Chard
Bottom: Hosta, Salvia

For the record, I changed the garden center from the last time to see if there was some other variety that I wanted to find so  I went to the greenhouse called Les Serres Dauphinais St-Hubert. Its right here.

 

 

Third Task: Current Updates & Ready for First Harvests

Before the garden haul gets planted in ground, I wanted to do a quick update on everything from last time. Everything is grown quite a bit with the few heavy rainfalls over the last two weeks. The lettuce and kale are ready for first harvest which I will do in the coming week. However, the first thing to harvest is a harsh lesson from inexperience from planting bok choy for the first time. Apparently, Bok Choy doesn’t regrow like lettuce but you could cut the harvest leaves except with the heavy fluctuation in weather, the shock has caused all of them to flower so they have to be harvested completely at soil level. With that said, its why I have more veggies in this garden centre haul above.

I think I want to talk a little about the watering systems that I integrated in the containers. They are doing some great help especially seeing how the plants have grown a lot faster than they did last year. I’m sure the rainfall is a main factor but its kept the soil more moist for longer. Plus, the soil mixture of black, garden top and moisture control soil seems to have helped also.

Fourth Task: Planting the Haul

Petunias and Salvia Container

Petunias and Salvia Container

I know its a bit crowded here but I have planted them fairly close together before and it did relatively well. I’m just hoping that it will work out for the summer.

Salvia

Salvia

The flower box should have been for petunias instead but of course, I forgot to look at the tag so well, it should still be okay. They look beautiful, mostly because they are my favorite annuals. I usually get the bright red ones but my husband wanted these ones for a change so I thought it would actually match with the current colors in the garden.

Green Bell Pepper – Container Gardening Trial

We haven’t planted peppers before in this current garden. I’m not sure how it’ll turn out. There was a lot of plants so I used one by itself to grow in a container and see how it goes and planted the rest of them in the vegetable garden below.

Replacing Bok Choy row with Bell Pepper & Swiss Chards

Here are the peppers replacing the harvested bok choy. Swiss Chards are the far end. I’m not sure how Swiss Chards are going to work out but it was just a fun experiment and we’ll see how it goes.

Gardening

Purple Salvia in the new plot

Finally the purple salvia in the new plot. I’m hoping it won’t take up too much space and also end up having a restriction from growing too much with the limited space. Some observations for this place. I did try to give everything the space they need to grow so this spot won’t be going any further until I see the progress.

The only plant not in ground and taken care of is the hosta from the haul. I’m working on it right now.

Fifth Task: The Other Bits and Pieces

In case you all didn’t see the Avenue of Daydreams post, I actually had a surprise growth in my rosemary container and it turned out to be the ground cherry. It actually has unpollinated fruit. So I’m going to be moving this out soon since my ground cherry didn’t come back from last year.

Next thing was to move the little lettuce into the container. It has a decent amount of roots now so I wanted to get it into the soil. It might be a mistake since as I’m typing this up, its looking like it wasn’t strong enough. Chances of it not making it is fairly high.

That’s it for this gardening update!
Overall, there’s been a good deal of progress.
For next time, the hosta has to be plants and one of my plants need to be moved.
Aside from that, I do want to start opening up the side plot to start up the butterfly/bee garden that I had been thinking of. 

Gardening 2018 #2: Garden Center Haul

2 weeks or so has past since the first Gardening 2018 post!

Time sure does fly by. I’ve been working hard on weeding and setting up the garden with what I have so far. There is still a ton of stuff to do but Victoria Day long weekend is the staple weekend where I go to the garden centre and pick up at least my first big haul! This year, I went back to Les Serres Jean-Francois Dauphinais.

This place is still one of my more favorite places to go to. I actually also made a quick stop over at Pepiniere Auclair.

Here’s a lovely mosaic of what I did pick up at the center as a starter and after, we’ll take a look at what I’ve planted and other garden updates as a follow-up from the last post.

Its the first year that my husband was fully awake to go to the garden centre with me and ended up leaving feeling like he enjoyed it. That is the difference of being on graveyard shift and normal shift (at least for him). It was a very different experience and he was a real champ and kept me company and helped me out a few times with the whole gardening thing. A different experience in some ways. This is definitely just the first batch and the two flowers are the only ones currently not planted in ground yet. We have a few little gardening clean-up areas left but my husband has been working on a few little things helping me open up some more of the garden this weekend as well.

Let’s take a look at how everything looks now!

First Part: Front Yard

The flower patch in the front yard definitely has grown a lot more since the last update. Amazing what two weeks could do. Crimson Star still doesn’t have any buds so I’m wondering if it will since its already much later than usual. The tulips are all blooming now and giving some beautiful colorful life to my front yard. Once these end, the yellow flowers in the back should bloom if things go well. Aside from that, it seems that my middle area is not coming back so I’m going to be moving something over that has been cramped up in a corner of the garden forever but I just never found a home for it. Update on that next time for sure!

Moving along, the Bleeding Hearts are looking spectacular. I’ll be posting some cool pictures of it over on Avenue of Daydreams over the next week or two. Its scheduled but I can’t remember when.

gardening

Honestly, this sad patch along the front facade of my house did get a nice trimming and yet again, I forgot to take a picture of it since the last time but the Dianthus seems to be coming back. This patch seems like its not having much perennials come back, however, as I walked around this week, I saw, what I believe is, the cone flowers coming back. Its the little leaves in the top right area. I remembered i had moved one there and it was shadowed by the hydrangeas but this year I trimmed the hydrageans so hopefully it’ll successfully come back.

Part 2: Strawberries & Raspberries

Enough said about this area. Its just growing out of control as usual. The strawberries are getting perkier and stronger every year. There are a lot of blossoms. Hopefully the bees are dropping by to pollinate it. As for the Raspberries, I’m trying to keep it under control but it sure looks like, its not exactly making much of a difference. I waited two weeks and already my lily is hidden in these raspberry shrubs already.

Part 3: Container Gardening

Marigolds

On with the container gardening! We are actually have quite a few of these this year despite saying that we’d have less. As usual, the planter for the ledge of the patio full of marigolds. Marigolds naturally repels mosquitoes so that is the purpose of them being at the edge. Talking about mosquito repellent, here is my mosquito repellent container.

Mosquito Repellent Container

Geranium Citronella, Lemongrass and Marigold makes up for my mosquito repellent container. I read somewhere that if you walk by the plant and brush your hands over it, it will help keep the bugs away. I did it on one arm and it didn’t get me but the other arm caught a mosquito bite. Even if its not effective, it still looks pretty nice. One of my prouder planting moments 🙂

Basil, Curled Parsley

A little change here as well. Usually I get a few herbs and plant them in a container garden. This year, we got the lavender that went into the ground right away (at least I chose to do that), leaving these two so I put them into a smaller pot. I’m hoping there’s enough space but the strong one will survive, right? It’ll make it out! *positive thoughts*

lettuce lettuce

Others may hang flowers in their hanging pots but since 2 years ago, we’ve been planting lettuce in hanging pots and let me tell you, they are quite successful usually. This year, we are changing it up and putting 2 lettuces instead of three. Three always ends up one being scrawny and sad so hopefully two will work out for the better. With that said, the lettuce this year was slightly weak and when I was taking them out, two broke off from their roots. I’m currently trying to revive them in water to hopefully sprout back some roots but don’t know if it will work.

As you can see, lettuce and cucumbers are dominant in the garden this year. With limited garden space as the expansion is still in progress, we are doing two cucumbers in containers this year and I did some companion planting research and paired them up with lettuce. Kale makes no difference so I just put it in since they don’t take a lot of space and we harvest them fairly quickly as we like to make kale chips and cook it.

The final two are just individual kale and my variety of lettuce containers. The highlight here is that I’ve rigged the top one with a watering system. To be honest, I don’t think the system works as well. The water goes down a little too fast for it to be useful. The wine bottle method in the bottom is definitely still doing the trick. I’m going to compare the two and see at the end of the season, which works better. Who knows before we observe for a little while longer.

Part 4: Vegetable Garden

echinacea

The echinacea is back! I’m really happy about that. I did lose one of them but at least one came back so I’m already fairly satisfied with it.

We put up the same fence as we had last year. Its to prevent bunny attacks on my lettuce. This part is the general informal entrance of my patch since you pretty much need to straddle the front trellis to get in. Its not tall but can still be hard to do. As you can see, my blueberries are growing well enough. The green onions are bursting with harvest and there in the middle is a cucumber plant. We needed to keep them near the mesh side and I’ll be getting a trellis to link it to the side.

Continuing to the other side and the full extension. The far left is all herbs. Lemon Mint and Oregano came back and in the center, I planted the Lavender. As for the rows, The first row is Marketmore cucumbers and Kale. The reason for this is to swap things around. I’ve planted zucchini in the front for a few years and its normal to change things around to help the soil replenish nutrients. Second row is all the Bok Choy. And the final row is English Cucumbers and Zucchini.

Part 5: Water Lily/Water Garden Debut

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

What can I say? I grew up with a pond in my backyard. Water gardens remind me of my dad. A part of me has always wanted a water garden so I made the effort to get a water lily and try to make it grow especially after my mom gave us these giant clay pots last year which was my dad’s. The water lilies was pretty pricey but I believe if you put them under soil over winter, its supposed to make it through every year. My mom is the expert on that so I’ll get more info from her soon.

And that’s it for the garden!
We have an idea of opening up a few more patches so my husband has been helping me a ton with that!
He makes the progress go a lot faster especially when opposite from my scattered mind of wanting to do everything at the same time, he actually focuses on one task.

Still some research! I’ll update with the flowers being planted in ground.
I just want to make sure that I open a big enough plot so that I can see the Clematis and it will give it the best chance of survival and blossom.
And a few moving plants about the garden coming up and pruning of a few trees.

Seems that this Gardening thing will be a biweekly deal as it currently stands.
I’m just a beginner gardener so its a journey all on its own.

My Weekly Adventures #65: The Endless To-Do List

Well…it seems after crazy time comes a lot of not free time but calmer times. I had a debate about whether to post for this Weekly Adventures but I figured I should at least do a short one. I mean, what do I do? Talk to you every time about weeding? You know when things get halted in conversation, the fall back is weather so…let’s do that.

Montreal has had some fantastic weather. Honestly, its been two awesome weekends. I’ve gotten a lot of prep work in the garden done and it still feels like a long way before I’m anywhere near ready to start planting next week. Its gotten me motivated to get back into my own groove and get back into this positive mood that I actually haven’t felt in a little while. I’m having my own mental struggles over a ton of stuff and sometimes, its hard to explain to others how I just enjoy my own little space to do my stuff efficiently and connect with my own thoughts, because some people don’t function that way. A topic for another day to dive into.

The last two weeks was a lot of housekeeping for the blog and my house and my life. I’m trying to get things back on track, find back my own positive thoughts and just think a little about improving. One of the latest things I did was finally update my  About Tranquil Dreams page in the menu which I realized wasn’t updated in 2017. Oops~ You can check that out as well, especially if you are new here and want a snapshot of the versatile amount of topics. You can find it HERE.

Before we begin, the last few Weekly Adventures have been about a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on and segment revival and recaps. I promise you that after this Victoria Day weekend, things absolutely get busier with Montreal events and such.

Gardening 2018 has Begun!

tulips

The first Gardening 2018 post has gone up. Lots of plans and lots of things to accomplish to get to the final goal. The last two weekends (and some weekday evenings) was all about getting ready for our Victoria Day long weekend to get things in ground and in pots. You can find that post here.

To be honest, this week has no update because 75% of my gardening stuff this weekend was making sure the vegetable patch was grass-free, finding new perennials that came out in the sea of grass so that my husband knows to not mow over my plants and a ton of weeding. So much weeding and so much more left to do. The only update are the blooms and no worries, an update is coming very soon! 😉

Avenue of Daydreams – Changing its Look

For some of you who are new here, I used to do a ton of photography and writing when Tranquil Dreams first started. However, that faded in the background. However, in the spirit to channel a more creative outlet rather the reviews and lifestyle stuff I do here, I opened up another blog called Avenue of Daydreams. Its really sporadic content but the previous theme had issues of not being a mostly photography blog so it wasn’t showing up stuff as I wanted so in the last two weeks, I stopped my procrastinating and got around to changing it up. I might change it again but so far, I like it better already.  Its clean and nice. So in case, you want to see a lot of more artsy pictures that I take with my phone and my DSLR and the sporadic writing piece, Fifty or maybe edited Nanowrimo past novel, that is where you will find it all. I might revive the Out of This World Travels segment but just working on the time allocation first.

You can check out (and follow if you enjoy) right here.

Getting Into Shape – Segment Revival

WORKOUT ROUNDUP

I didn’t write about resolutions this year but I wanted to get back into working out so much. Feeling fit and strong and healthy makes me feel good. Working out is painful but also challenging and rewarding. The positive vibes that comes with focusing on getting a workout routine done or pushing to go that extra kilometer in the run is honestly irreplaceable. As I fit working out back into my schedule, things are shifting around a little bit more. You may notice the sporadic posting schedules and that is just a preliminary side effects. Things will settle down once it becomes a part of my routine.

With that said, its the revival of the Weekly Workout Roundups. They go up every Sunday afternoon (or whenever I finish the Sunday workout). You can find the first one from last week HERE.

Overdue Dentist Appointment

Its been at least 3 years since I’ve been to the dentist. To make a long story short, my dentist basically retired 3 years ago and between getting married, his retirement and our procrastination and then red tape of acquiring dental insurance from my husband’s insurance from work, its been way overdue and boy, do I know it? My friend referred me to a new dentist. The technology now is astounding when I first went in for exams and teeth cleaning. I came out of that with 6 cavities, meaning two visits back to the dentist. The first visit was more urgent and done as this post goes up. Definitely a good experience since funnily enough, I’m more nervous of the pain from the anesthesia needle than the actual cavity filling process. Man, am I happy that I have insurance now! The grown-up moments in life, right? One more visit to go and more frequent cleaning sessions to make up for the last few years to hopefully get my teeth and gums healthy again. Yet another stage to taking care of my own well-being.

South Burlington, Vermont – Day Trip

Hello Vermont (for a day). Recently, I learned about something called Cookie Butter that is sold at Trader Joe’s. To my knowledge, we don’t have Trader Joe’s in Canada and my friend told me about his trip to South Burlington, which happens to be where the nearest Trader Joe’s to us is, so I tagged along for a quick trip across the border to the US. We went to three places and well, I’ll tell you all about it in this afternoon’s post (because this one seems to be getting a little too lengthy).

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day kind of was a bust for us. My in-laws were supposed to drop by to celebrate but only my father in law made it since my mother in law wasn’t feel too good so wanted to rest. We understood that. However, we still got some family time as my husband helped his dad get his car ready for the season. We had gotten groceries to get a little barbecue going. Honestly, we only barbecue when we have ample time put out since as my husband puts it, “we don’t have a proper BBQ”. Either way, we had three people so we made 6 foil packets. 3 foil packets included sausages, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic and Portobello mushrooms) and the other ones were garlic butter sliced potatoes. We got our sausages at Charcuterie Frick. They were two different flavors, so we used one of each. The first was Quebecoise, which is ham and maple syrup and possibly one of my faves from this place. The second was my husband’s choice and it was basil chicken with sundried tomatoes. Both were really delicious and the foil packets, which was a little oversized were pretty decent. We enjoyed the lovely weekend together and that is what matters. We did give our father in law a basket of flowers and Mother’s Day card to take back with him.

Cute Kitty Pic

cat

That’s it for these adventures!
A lot of segment revivals and updates and housekeeping in general!
Its been really busy with little things and adding healthy habits into my life.
Hopefully in a few weeks, it will be a part of my routine. We will see, won’t we?

What have you been up to?

Gardening 2018 #1: Cleaning up and Preparation

Time for the seasonal segments to slowly make their appearances. I might do a progress report on workout once the circumstances are back in my favor (which should be next week). For this weekend, it was all about gardening and probably so will some future weekends in May and June since we do have some big plans. I talked about them a little HERE. Hopefully I can keep up with these updates at least when I’m busy in the garden for the next month or two.

With that said, this weekend is about tidying up the garden. I’m not completely done and its going to be another week or so of just getting everything ready before we can get down to actual structural planning once we re-evaluate how everything is. As an afterthought, I should have done a before/after shot but oh well…what can we do now?

First Part: Front Yard

Here we go! The first task was to take out all the grass and weeds surrounding it which as you can see is mostly all gone now.

We had some torrential winds the day before so excuse my sad droopy tulips but if all goes well, they should bloom this week some time. I’ll post them on Instagram or something. My crimson star also made it out of the temperature dip last week. I have some yellow flowers that I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet coming out in the back and should bloom late spring.

The rose is also coming back to life as well as the summer geraniums and chrysanthemum variety (I suspect thats what it is since they came with the previous owners). I am hoping that my fall chrysanthemums are going to come back since they only did it for one of the batches and never did again and I can’t figure out if I’m doing something wrong or the weather is not working well for it. In any case, I might move something there from the backyard to fill in the space and just try it in another spot. Not photographed here is the garden in front of the front facade. One side is just ferns and bleeding heart.  I did also tidy that up and add some top soil and trim up the fern since the temperatures did affect one side of it. With that side breaking off, its actually opened up a spot which I might finally plant some daffodils since they are my favorite flower in the world and I don’t have them in my garden at all.

On the other side, I’m waiting a little bit on my hydrangeas and other perennials that I planted last year to see whats going. The partial picture above shows the only thing there right now, which are more tulips. On the right, you can see the clean-up that still needs to be done. I’ll exhibit the finished product in the next update.

Part Two: Vegetable Garden Tidy-Up

For those new to the blog (and I know there’s been a few of you over the last year or so), my previous owners didn’t have much of a green thumb, or maybe they did but just wasn’t interested in it. Whatever the reason, when I got the house 4 years ago, the soil was horrible and the garden here was all grown with grass like the part where the hose and rhubarb is. After a summer of craziness, we managed to pull out all the grass for a decent plot and over the next three years, we just improved on it. But anyone who has dealt with grass removal knows that its not exactly going away because grass roots spread far away and they are resilient. So, thats what I did with the original plot and that is to clean up the dead annual veggies and take out all the grass.

Whats alive right now from last year’s additions is:

Blueberry #1

Blueberry #2

Lemon Mint

Herb: Lemon Mint

oregano

Herb: Italian Oregano

I’ve been trying to get herbs to grow but I never bury them deep enough or migrate them a little too late in the season. So its really nice to see them make it out alive. Which comes to our plans for this plot. Looking at the top picture, in the looking forward plans I mentioned in the previous post, the grass area is going to have all of it taken out which as you can see, I’ve started. I actually decided to jab it to aerate the ground a little and hopefully loosen the soil so its easier. We’re drafting out what we’d like to plant and see whats available at the garden centre we go to.  However, we are still waiting to see if the ground cherry will come back as well as the asparagus (which is in its third year if it does and should technically be ready for harvest). Fingers crossed! I’m also hoping to get all that grass removed by the end of next weekend.

If that plot is in fact done and good for gardening, I may actually move the blueberries over, just in anticipation of how much space they may need, as well as ground cherry and keep it my “mini” fruit patch.

Third: Raspberry & Strawberry Patch

Excuse the mess in the front of the patch, I’ll talk about what I’m doing for the containers. As for this patch, there wasn’t much to do here. Just more of a progress report. I tidied up some weeds mostly. From this picture, its kind of given me the initiative to go take care of some of the dead branches. Strawberries are going to probably be the first to have any fruits since they are starting to have flowers bloom.

One of the old residents of this patch is this lily. It gets suffocated by the raspberry every year and still survives. The goal is to move it this year and as soon as possible before the raspberry gets too big. I have an idea to move it in somewhere in the front yard. Update next time! 

Aside from that, this fruit patch gets a ton of animals hopping and scurrying and flying by so we get weird flowers here all the time. Hence, these little calla lily looking plants which could be some shade plants as well. I’m waiting to see what it is. The first year we were hear, they brought over a sunflower. I don’t really mind because I can just migrate it somewhere else also, particularly perennials. Gotta love those neighorhood creatures, right?

Other Tasks in progress

What garden comes without weeding as the number one task? Of course, you could choose the lawn treatment path then you get someone else to do it for me. I’m not bustling in cash, in fact, I’m just swimming in loans so I’m the person who weeds all the time whenever I have time. With that said, between one task to the next, I just weed away hoping that little by little, it’ll help.

Aside from that, we have a few weekend trips in the works right now since for the above reason, we aren’t going away to any long vacations to save up for Hong Kong next year, hopefully. We’ve postponed it a few years already. In anticipation for that and the supposed incredibly hot summer we’re going to have (which hasn’t arrived yet), I’m working on some things that I looked at on Pinterest for container watering systems. I have tried the upside down wine bottle way. It works well enough and I’ll still do that for some of the pots but I’m trying out this water bottle way where there are holes poked on all sides and you fill it up from the top and its embedded inside the soil. In a long pot like this one, which I use for my leafy greens or herbs, I’m going to put two. Anyways, I’m trying to get some of the containers prepared in advance with partial soil in the next two weeks before I head out to the gardening center to have it all ready.

I am going to see whether water garden plants (like water lilies and those floating ones that the name escapes me now) are available this year. I’ve been hoping to have one in the yard so thats something else I’m looking at right now.

Thats it for this Gardening 2018’s first update!
Lots of research still 🙂
I’m hoping to have something like weekly updates if possible (or maybe vlog?)

My Weekly Adventures #55

The last two weeks of November has been somewhat of a whirlwind. I’ve talked about catching up with a lot of stuff and posts unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked exactly as I had planned but I’m working hard through it. Regardless of that, there was some fun times even though I’ve covered most of it in other posts.

Montreal Expo Gaming Arcade 2017

MEGA MTL

MEGA Montreal happened on the November 18th and 19th. It I did a quick recap about it while linking back to the huge recap that I did for the Montreal Independent Games Festival which was held in collaboration with each other. Suffice to say that it was fun. We do hit a lot of the gaming events but this event usually has the most games. While I only saw 40, apparently there was over 50 games. I read that in an article afterwards from the festival.

Kinto Ramen & Sugar Marmalade

Last Friday was a busy day. My friends and I met up after work to go grab some ramen in celebration for the cold weather. Soup-based noodles are the best for getting ready for any cold weather. We went to Kinton Ramen which I have written about before HERE. It was delicious although we had quite a wait and ended up being seated at the bar which was nice because you get to watch the kitchen in action.

Afterwards, we went across the street to Sugar Marmalade which is a Chinese dessert place that finally opened in Montreal a few months ago and has incredible line-ups. The line-up did help us digest the dinner so it all worked out. I’ll be posting about that soon.

Black Friday

If you missed my Black Friday Haul post, you can find it right HERE.

You will also find that I forgot to add my David’s Tea buy. I usually pick up Dragonwell tea however, to be honest, I’m more of a fan of Emperor’s Cloud and Mist at Teavana. Its the green tea they serve at Starbucks pretty much. My absolute fave even before Teavana got bought by Starbucks. Regardless of that, David’s Tea had a cool promotion which ended up to be that I picked up like 10g of an extra tea and ended up making my purchase less than when I bought two. Thanks to the customer rep for sharing with me that info. Its very nice. These are all new teas for myself. I have had Butterfly Jasmine before in another independent tea store when I was on vacation and liked it.

Christmas Decoration Begins

Since the weekend of November 18th, I’ve been getting together the Christmas decor in the house. I got the flowers in the vases done (fake flower displays) and centerpieces. I did a brand new wreath right here (which has been modified since this initial design) and the Christmas tree is up. However, we’re just a little way from the finish line to fix up the bannisters. I’ll have a Christmas decoration post coming very very soon!

Healthy Lifestyle Take…

I don’t know what take it is now. Since the 2014 surge of crazy where I managed to work out a ton and get in a really nice routine and then got hit with some ridiculous eye infections, I never got back on track. Maybe I did for the summer before I got married but then I fell out of it again. This year has been really bad and the last two months have really taken a hit of just all kinds of crazy which has affected how I feel a lot so I’m changing it up. I started up my Nike Training Club app and put in a 4 week program to get back into the training mode. I only missed 2 workouts so far with the final workout coming up today to wrap up the 4 weeks. Then I’ll be starting up the 6 weeks one. Its going to overlap the holidays but I’m sure I can shift the schedule around as this one is pretty flexible especially with their latest updates on the app, its polished it up quite a bit.

Indoor Container Update

A surprise gardening update! It was a last minute thing that I thought about this one. When I was closing the garden back in October, I ended up trying a second time to grow the pineapple sage in water and after doing a ton of research on what to use which they suggest tinted mason jars, I used my extra purple tinted jars leftover from my wedding centerpiece materials to get it going. It is doing great as it sprouts some new leaves and has some roots .

What is about the 3rd attempt to bring in the rosemary this year has seemed to work. Perhaps its because this year, the rosemary is much more developed and not just two twigs. I’m watering it sparingly and it seems to be pretty happy where it is. I’ve always had humidity problems with rosemary where it just drowns itself so its near a vent right now, hopefully it’ll help prevent that from happening again.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • A lot of TV Binge
  • Holiday marathon announcement

This wraps up this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to? 

My Weekly Adventures #49

The most grueling two weeks may have just passed by. Not a whole lot to report about as most of it is personal stuff that is just homeowner stuff that has been lingering on our minds. Its definitely affected my energy and motivation to keep things going on track here. For that, I’m really sorry. However, there are a ton of other fantastic bloggers here so I’m sure you will not be bored even with my sporadic posting schedule.

This Weekly Adventures will most likely be fairly short. I’ve reported on mostly everything already in other posts.

Battle of Ingredients: Hiatus Over

Our Summer BBQ Edition is the comeback piece for our Battle of Ingredients segment. It was a lot of fun to switch things up. We went to another location than my place and had a BBQ. It was nice to hang out with everyone after two months hiatus while everyone was busy with their own things.

You can read the entire menu and post here.

Water Park with Friends

Super Aqua Club

Super Aqua Club

Last weekend, I also went to a water park with my girl friends. It is a little late in the season to go and it was a tad chilly, particularly in the morning. Our destination this year was to Super Aqua Club which is one of the closer water parks to Montreal. We have our eye on another one for next year. It would be cool to do this on an annual thing. Its a lot of fun and sometimes does test my limits but adrenaline rushes can be quite awesome. Sitting in the sun was really nice to and I love water as it keeps me calm and clears my mind. I got out of the weekend with just a tiny sunburn on my back where I couldn’t reach to put the sunscreen but it was so mild that it was gone in like 2 days or something.

Garden Update

In terms of the garden, the cool weather hitting us a little earlier is definitely not helping the harvests however we still harvested some cucumbers and lots of raspberries are still ripening along with ground cherries as well. The zucchini is pretty much dead. Its the long weekend here so I’ll be heading out to the garden to move some things around and hopefully get some of the herbs in ground so they’ll come back next year. Ground cherry might have to move as well as it has gotten way too big and it spreads.

A few projects to go for this one.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

  • Restaurants recap
  • Double Features
  • TV Binges
  • Dreamhack Montreal coverage

Oh and I also settled on my Halloween marathon! That’s pretty exciting! 🙂

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
Not a whole lot to talk about! Hopefully the home issues will be taken care of soon.
In the meantime, sorry for any sporadic posting schedules. I’m trying my absolute best to get the energy level back up!

Its the long weekend. I’m taking some time to catch up with everything! Yay! 🙂

Gardening Update #5: Harvests and Other Thoughts

Its been almost a month since the last gardening update. I honestly just got back to do another grass and weed clearing session and it went relatively fast. I’m still frustrated that it seems to be a problem that won’t go away but I am hoping with enough frequent clearings, I will beat this.

Over July, we had more sun and more rain and last week, we had a huge thunderstorm. It was really a mix of both good and bad weather however, it might have been to my advantage. The rain helped me out a lot so I didnt have to worry about watering too much and still we got a ton of harvests. Last time we talked raspberries and they were still the star of July.

Latest update as of a few days ago…

Pineapple Sage has grown up!


If you recall, the last storm knocked out my entire pineapple sage except for a little baby stem. Well, its not a baby anymore and yet again proves what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Eggplant


This eggplant has been growing forever. I am about to harvest it. I really don’t think it will get bigger for the container grown eggplant. Hopefully, we will get another one before the end of the season.

Cucumbers & Zucchini


Zucchinis doing well is almost always a guarantee. My three are doing great. We have harvested two zucchinis so far and three more in the garden.


As for cucumbers, we were a little worried about the in ground ones. It seems that all it needed was time. In fact, it has surpassed the container cucumber and we have had harvests already.

cucumbers

Container Cucumber seems to be doing okay, I guess. I mean, there is this one right now and it looks like we have a few growing right now as well.

Zucchini and Cucumbers

Fresh from the garden yesterday are three cucumbers and one zucchini! We’re set for dinner tonight. 🙂

Ground Cherries are a Success!!

ground cherry

It only looks like foliage on the picture. I should have taken a closer shot. Either way, you can see the harvest below. And we still have a lot on the branches.

Actually this is only part of the batch. At this time, I had already given some to my mom. I’m thinking about making some fun dessert with it although I don’t mind eating these just like that. They are more tart but I enjoy them.

Gardening Thoughts

Thought #1: In terms of gardening, I’ve seemed to have found a good system between container and in ground vegetable and fruit areas. As time goes by, I see that only a section of the vegetable garden will be annual replants. Right now, already there is mint on one end and ground cherries and blueberries along with green onions on the other side which are perennial. I’m slightly worried about the blueberry plants right now because the area should expand however, I’m not quite sure how because the other part is just a grass area now and I use it to put my hose. Maybe I’ll just turn it into tiled grounds to make it easier to put stuff and add more containers there since it gets a lot more sun there. Some research to be done there. My parents had tiled their walkway one year by themselves so I think with the right research and buying stuff myself, I can take care of that small patch of land myself. If not, I’ll hunker down and turn it into a perennial garden or something filled with medicinal plants or herbs. Something to match with the edible garden that is going on right now.

Thought #2: I had wanted to recycle one of the pickup truck tops left by the previous owners and turn it into a flower garden. It would help minimize the weeds in that area since that area really would be near impossible to get it weed-free. Plus, I wanted to plant in some annual flower gardens, targeted mostly towards being a bee and butterfly garden with bee baths and different assortment of flowers appealing to them. I’m excited to get that going. Right now, I’m just waiting for my husband to have a moment to drag out the thing from behind the shed. Its pretty heavy and lots of obstacles to do by myself. Then I can get the soil bought and get cracking on it. I probably won’t start on it this year but I would like to have it set up before the season ends.

Thought #3: This thought has been on my mind ever since the first summer we’ve had the house. Its an ambitious plan and one I haven’t felt like I have the time or abilities to put together yet. However, this summer, one of the houses that I walk by when I get off the bus had done that by themselves. They have it on half of my scale. The idea is that I have a slope on my garden and I want to turn that into a landscape thing. Get some boulders or larger rocks, buy some shade and partial sun required flowers and get a nice landscape going on. Before all that, the most painful part will be getting all the grass out. I’ve been researching here and there on this and its a whole idea of conceptualizing what to plant as well as what to keep and what to remove.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How are your gardens going? Any harvests?

Gardening Update #4: Rain & Harvests!

Welcome back to a long overdue Gardening update! It keeps getting bumped back and finally, now its time to report back after vacation.

Its been a rainy and gloomy summer. We can’t complain much because we live without the luxury of air conditioning in a bungalow so that means, when its hot, its boiling inside most of the time. Compared to last year, this is somewhat a heavenly situation especially on days where I need to record podcasts. However, plants and flowers aren’t like us and most of them need the sun and bees to pollinate in order to bear fruit aside from just water, which it also needs a lot of, of course. With that said, the garden is still doing pretty good. We started to have some harvests and the vegetables and flowers are all coming around.

In-Ground Garden

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

zucchini

No blueberries or asparagus in these pictures as they are waiting for next year to have any harvest. However, they are so far doing quite well.

Here is the in-ground garden. Zucchinis are coming out now. The lettuce is actually doing worse than in the containers. You’ll see later. Cucumbers are also not doing as well as in the container however they are starting to form some cucumbers. Hopefully it’ll work out especially with all the rain. If only, there was more sun. One of the more solid plants are the Ground Cherry. The challenge so far is still actually getting it to ripen before it falls down. I had planted it two times before in containers with that same issue. Now I’m hoping planting it in-ground will do the trick so we can harvest some ground cherries soon. Its definitely looking strong.

Raspberry

On the other side is our trimmed but somehow still overgrowing raspberry shrub. Strawberries had their season and I would have shared the harvest but like a loser, I deleted all my pictures this past weekend off my phone when I was lining up for a Comiccon panel. Long story short, I don’t have it anymore and the season is over. We did have decent harvests but nothing as epic as what raspberry will be. We had two tupperware bowls already in the last two weeks, which is pretty impressive. As you see, there are still raspberries ripening so the rain and sun balance seems to work beautifully for it. Plus, raspberries are great to have as it also helps out the bees, which Canada has been acting on to encourage Canadians to plant more bee gardens. I got my bee garden kit, just trying to get the garden ready as it’ll be a raised garden that I’m trying to get ready.

Flower garden

In my flower patch, the flowers right now is my mini rose shrub and these yellow flowers. I have to remember to keep these in check as they spread really fast although they are super pretty. My cone flowers are also starting to bloom however, they are also super depressed because the rabbits now can’t access the vegetable garden and they decided that they’d snack on the cone flower leaves instead. They looked miserable for the longest time. And now there another one that I moved and suspect will have to move again. The flower garden needs to be restructured and organized. I’m pondering that at the moment.

Container Gardening

Herbs are doing fantastic. We’ve harvested some basil mostly and added it to our recipes. The others we keep fresh in the fridge. It gives us a reason to use fresh basil and make foods with it. As you may notice, my pineapple sage lost the fight with the storm and is not just one stem struggling to stay alive. At least it survived. I almost thought it was a total loss. The kale and cucumbers are doing great here. Pots do cucumbers miracles as they are growing well although, it won’t be successful until we actually get some cucumbers to harvest. Finally, there’s the eggplant. The over excessive rainfall and lack of sun seems to be affecting it the most as it gets more yellow everyday and its not really having anything yet.

Our lettuce harvests were probably the earliest. While they are growing slower now, they are still doing quite well. Especially since we have them in-ground and in two hanging baskets.

Finally, the last thing is our kale. Its been doing fantastic. We’ve really only been making kale chips out of them. I should really post up the recipes for it that we use. I promise I will soon. The kale has been treating us well. As this post goes up, I’ve been thinking of harvesting my next batch this evening and making some more chips.

That’s it for this gardening recap!
How are your gardens doing?

My Weekly Adventures #44

June is here!

The last two weeks of May probably was two of the most hectic but I can already see the next two being pretty eventful as well. I’m working on some housekeeping stuff for both Game Warp and Tranquil Dreams mostly. Work has taken a slight toll on me and I’ve been taking more time to relax, watch some videos and gaming streams. You should check out Splat Panda if you haven’t. These guys are awesome fun to watch especially as they now are playing games that I personally wouldn’t attempt but like watching others play (aka currently is Dark Souls 2 and The Surge). I’ve also been watching a few other people stream Friday the 13th: The Game. I’ve learned that I’m not suitable to play those games as they stress me out too much which probably will change with more practice so maybe I’ll eventually pick up one of these multiplayer games, perhaps when Friday the 13th releases their single player campaign which I think is in the works.

Either way, back to my last two weeks and what has been going on!

Day Off: Time with Family and Friends

I had mentioned that Victoria Day weekend had passed and I took a day off on the Friday so that I could spend some time with my mom and my aunt visiting from Australia. We decided to go out for lunch and I invited Phoebe and her little bunbun. It was a challenging day to say the least as bunbun was a little irritated by her teething issue. However, we still enjoyed our meal quite a bit. We proceeded to have a much longer than expected walk back to the bus station to catch our ride back to my place and do some gardening preparation. We ended the evening with a lovely dinner and also tried to show bunbun My Neighbor Totoro, at least part of it.

High School Friend’s Wedding

One of my high school friends got married on that same weekend. They had it at a pretty convenient location and the reception was done really well. There were a few familiar faces which was cool. The food was alright. I’m pretty snobby about Chinese food in Montreal because its pretty subpar however, we’re there to celebrate a happy event and that is what matters. I also luckily won the raffle right as I was stuffing my face with fried rice. It was super elegant. 😉

The raffle gift was a little egg-shaped toothpick holder which is pretty awesome. We’re going to put it to good use. And of course, my husband making faces as I attempt a selfie. It was cool and went much better than we anticipated. We didn’t stay too late either since Sunday was going to be a hectic day also.

Kick-off Marathon for my Friend & Other Sunday Events Already Blogged About

SSQ Longueil Courses Thematiques

Some of you know that I’m the backup driver and water support for my friend who has been training for half marathons. Its pretty cool because it forces me to wake up earlier and sit around reading or writing outside in some park while I wait for him to get back. Marathon environments are a lot of fun. I am planning on training for a 5 or 10km however my foot decided to join into my other issues and I haven’t been able to train yet. It is getting much better now so I should be 100% very soon (hopefully). My friend usually just jumps into the Ottawa Half Marathon but this year, he decided to do a warm-up and did a 10 km at the SSQ Longueuil marathon. He did pretty alright time-wise and it was a nice day and the site is pretty nice also.

He drove me over to meet up with Phoebe and her family as we were going to prepare for Battle of Ingredients and go to the greenhouse. You can see my gardening haul HERE and the Battle of Ingredients HERE. We had another couple join us for dinner as they always do. The evening ended with a dramatic event and some happy ones like co-op play in Broforce.

Since we’re talking about the long weekend, I might as well add in the Monday where we took it easy and headed out on date night to see Alien:Covenant. My review is right HERE.

Ottawa Marathon Weekend

As the last four years have been, I’ve gone away to Ottawa for the marathon. My friend now runs both 5K on Saturday and Half on Sunday morning. I pretty much hang about and have water when he’s done and make sure he gets to point a to b safely. Aside from that, I take it as a weekend away to relax: shop a little, eat a little and walk around to take in the city a little.

I dusted off my PSP for the trip and was playing through LocoRoco and just like every 30 year old should, I brought my Thumper with me. David’s Tea ran out of Dragonwell which is my tea of choice for the morning but I ended up trying out Butterfly Jasmine which was pretty smooth as well. During Saturday, there was some shopping like the Disney Story and Squish  for candy as shown above. I also picked up some hiking pants for my husband at Eddie Bauer which were 40% off, got some stuff at La Senza (40% off bras are a rarity) and my friend got me a Fuel Belt to motivate me to go out and train in the summer as a belated birthday gift. We also had a breakfast at a King Eddy’s Burger or something and I’ll be doing a separate short post for that soon since this post is getting a little crazy.

This weekend ended with the drive back so that I could make it in time to do recording for the 50th episode of MBDS hosted by Elwood, my Game Warp co-host and MBDS is his own movie podcast on obscure cinema.

New Shoes

I finally found some comfy flats suitable for work! Its taken me at least two years. I’ve been trying to extend the life of my last pair of flats and then ended up giving up and swapping between sneakers and running shoes but the fact is when the weather is really hot, it gets very suffocating to wear it and most importantly, its not very professional for the office. My office is semi-casual so these actually work really well and comfy also. I had originally ordered the whites but somehow I got these and I think that everything worked out for the better.

And that’s it! I think that was packed enough!
If you didn’t think so, I sure did because all I want to do is sleep all the time! 🙂

What have you been up to?

Gardening #2: Garden Center Haul & Organization

Oh how things have changed after only a month! I still remember the update last month. Now, the garden has grown, the grass has been removed from the vegetable garden and we just finish the garden centre visits as well as almost everything being in ground as we wait for a garden project to reinforce the veggie garden. Things are starting to look like how they were last year. There will still be improvements after this first phase is done during the summer but for now, one step at a time.

To start, our haul looked a little like this. You may have seen some of these during previous posts.

First visit was for flowers and herbs as the front yard and containers was ready to go.

Herbs: Basil, Oregano, Rosemary and Pineapple Sage
Flowers: Marigolds, Violas and Dianthus

Then we went to a visit to pick up soil and ended up with more flowers at Walmart which is primarily being used for hanging baskets and patio planter boxes.

flowers

The big haul is for the vegetable garden which was this past weekend as well.

Lettuce, Kale, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Zucchinis, Ground Cherry

Lemon Mint

Blueberry plant

The results of this haul at the time I am writing this post is below as we find a hopefully happy medium between container gardening which is for plants that need a lot of sun or partial sun and vegetable gardens. The flower garden is in the front yard. Hanging baskets are also on the patio.

Plants that aren’t in ground yet are the ones below.

You will notice that Phoebe has also gifted me a second variety of blueberry to help with cross pollination to hopefully get more berries. However, anything not in ground right now is mostly because we only have a makeshift fence up right now from last year and we are waiting for better weather to pick up a big trellis backdrop and figuring out possibly a bigger fence. That will be for the next update as everything else gets settled hopefully by beginning of June. 🙂

That’s it for this Gardening update!
How are your gardens looking?