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May 2013

an herbal love affair {mint}

One of my favorite herbs to grow and take care of is my mint! Mint is so cooling and refreshing to make drinks with.  I have a few varieties of mint: sweet mint, peppermint, and chocolate mint.  

Here is what my mint looked like the first week of March


These are two separate plants and I was so excited I couldn't stand it!  Here is their progress a few weeks later, the end of March.

A little more grown but still not enough!  I was dying.  I could just taste the mint tea and mojitos I would drink!  I did some moving around with my plants at the beginning of May including repotting some and combining some others.  So now, my mint pots look like this:


It was so full and beautiful.  I clipped a lot of the leaves this past weekend to make a jar of mint simple syrup, a pitcher of mint flavored lemonade, and a few mojitos.  I use the mint simple syrup to sweeten everything.  It was so great!  I also have a lot of peppermint growing, I think I will use that on my chickens.  I saw a blog post on how to freeze the peppermint in water to give a treat to chickens. IMG_0555

This is my peppermint in my pallet herb garden.  More on that later!

Mint Simple Syrup
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, handful of mint leaves
 in a sauce pan over the stove, mix together the water and sugar. bring to a boil.  turn heat off and continue to stir the water and sugar letting it dissolve.  add your mint leaves and allow to steep for an hour.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.  Use as a sweetener with drinks.


watering plants {thoughts}.

One of my favorite things about my herbs and now my mini garden is when I water them.  It gives me a good feeling, it's kind of theraputic or gives a sense of accomplishment.  I like that it is one of the main ways to care for my plants and afterwards they look so healthy and happy. As I take the time to water them it gives me a chance to inspect them and see how they are doing and learn more about them.  I like to set the watering can and watch it fill up with water and then walk to my front porch being careful to not spill it everywhere (which I usually do).  This activity gives me a chance to have a moment to myself and completely absorb in my thoughts.

Lately I've been thinking a lot on habits.  I have always heard that humans are creatures of habit and I believe this is true.  I love having a routine and when it is disrupted it throws me off for a bit. I have been trying to build habits ingrained in myself to have an easier time at home.  These are simple habits, like washing towels on Saturday or getting the kitchen clean after dinner each night.  I believe that these habits are desirable for me because it helps me keep up with my chores around the house and makes taking care of everything easier.  I am also attempting to build a daily morning routine.  I don't think that it would be wrong to classify all of my morning activities as habits.  For the past couple of days I have gotten up and walked Roscoe in the backyard while I check on my chickens.  Developing this routine is important to me because it increases my bond with Roscoe and also my chickens.  I then fix my coffee and come back to "my" room and get on the computer to play a little while.  I changed my morning routine to doing this because I was in the habit of watching tv but then I would just sit there for a couple hours not doing much.  Therefore my reason for changing this habit was because I did not want to do that anymore.  This is much more productive for me.  Well, in keeping with my habit it is time for breakfast for me!

hello monday.

Good morning y'all!  It is another week here at the Haddox house and week seven of Kevin being home! I am getting so used to it and I love it!  Alright, let's go!

hello hot weather - it is a little cool at night now, but it is defintely hot during the day! this past saturday I was watering my plants and ended up turning the hose on myself.  It was magical.

hello backyard farm - due to circumstances we decided to not plant my big backyard garden, but I negotiated a small container garden.  I have this set out there by my chicken coop.  

hello coffee - I'm starting at the Second Street Bean two days a week! yay coffee. and seeing lots of people!

hello budgeting - I love putting together a budget and using spreadsheets and such!  I love reading blogs about tips and ideas on keeping all of that organized and everything.  Hopefully Kevin will get to go back to work soon so I'm preparing for that!

happy sunday y'all.

Y'all.  It is so pretty outside!  I know a few posts ago I mentioned it being cold in the mornings...well that is all gone now!  It is so so hot and humid now.  Yesterday after I watered all of my plants I actually turned the hose on myself!  It. felt. amazing. Maybe we can get a pool this summer! haha...prob not.  

This has been such a lovely day to spend with family.  We eat at Kevin's grandmother's house for Sunday lunch every week and I love it so much. It is so great to know that (almost) every Sunday we are all going to get to sit around the table with each other and talk and laugh.  I look forward to it every weekend and hate when we have to miss.  It is almost time for church again though, gotta run!

saturday rambling.

hello blogland! I almost got lost this morning in all those great blogs out there.  it all started with a pin I saw on pinterest (as a lot of things in my life now---completely addicted!) that led me to a blog about saving money and budgeting and I just got sucked in!  I'm not sure how to properly credit this blog, but it is called Living Well Spending Less and I totally loved reading her posts!  You should go check it out if that kind of thing interests you.  I really wanted to write a post this morning so I caught myself from reading too much of it but I am definitely going back sometime soon! Other blogs that I have read and been inspired by are the reason I wanted to write a blog!  I guess it's kinda how they say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  I don't want to be exactly like the blogs I follow, I just hope to make other people feel the way I feel when I read my favorite blogs if that is possible.  :)  

Currently I am listening to Pandora and planning my grocery shopping trip.  Even tho it is already 9 o'clock in the morning, I do enjoy going grocery shopping in the mornings!  When I worked every weekday, it was always on Saturday but now that I have a different work schedule it is a little bit different but definitely in the morning.  I love grocery shopping and try to work my schedule around when there is the least amount of people there so it is not too crowded and therefore aggravating. I believe that everything you do can be enjoyable as long as you give yourself sufficient time to accomplish your tasks and you have a positive outlook.  Usually when deciding  what things I want to do, I decide what I want more and do that and whatever it takes to make that enjoyable.  Does this make sense?  For example: I like to wake up early(ish) and on my own.  Well in order to do that I choose to go to bed early because this allows enough sleep for me and makes it easier to wake up in the morning. Now, I don't always get to do things my way and I don't live in a little happy world where everything works out perfect and everything is always happy, but I do try!

Well, let me get off here and go to grocery store before I mess up my plan and it gets too crowded!

an herbal love affair {basil}

So after venturing into purchasing other plants, I still have not found any that I love more than my herbs.  I haven’t even planted my garden yet even though I keep saying I am going to!  But it is still so cold! It is May and yet it is still 40 degrees in the morning when I wake up.  Do I even still live in south Mississippi?  I mean, I can’t remember when I have ever had to wear a jacket in south Mississippi in May.  Anyways.  My herbs.  I’m so in love.  I mean, I’m not an expert in the least bit, but I am continually learning.  First off, my basil is doing a hundred times better since I moved it to its own, bigger pot.  I grew a basil plant last year and have kept it alive all through the winter but it was seriously struggling in its itty bitty six inch pot.  I began to look at it to see if there was anything I could do for it and for some reason I had the thought of pulling the plant out of the dirt it was in.  Well when I began to pull it up, I discovered that underneath the top soil was basically this muddy/wet sand substance!  I don’t know how this came about, but that’s what happened to it.  Before I discovered that mess, I had already purchased another basil plant, which I planted in a galvanized tub with oregano and cilantro.  I found out that it did not like being planted there.  It was not doing well at all either after a few weeks.  I thought I had allowed for enough room and sunlight to get to it but maybe I didn’t.  As for now I have joined these two sickly plants that were not doing well into one larger pot and even after one day I could tell an improvement.  Hopefully I can make some basil tea with the leaves soon.  I am no expert in herbs so I have no idea when the right and perfect time to prune is. Probably right now! Ha ha.  For basil tea I use my sweet basil.  Which is the basil I have been talking about.  But I also have another type of basil called cinnamon basil.  I don’t really know what to do with it yet.  I mean, it smells yummy and is both cinnamon and basil which seems like a good combination.  The leaves taste kind of like licorice and I don’t know if I really like that or not.  I think it is time to prune it.  It is growing but very slow and I have read several articles about beginner’s mistakes and that is not pruning.  It definitely goes against what I want, I mean, to get your plant to grow more, you have to cut it back?  That is the craziest sounding thing ever!  But it works. So I just grit my teeth and go for it lol.  On my cinnamon basil, some of the stems are this deep purple and some of them are green.  I don’t know what it means that they are purple but usually those are the ones I cut and then try to propogate. 

I have several more herbs I could ramble on about, but I think I will save those for another day!

Basil Tea
Ingredients: - a pitcher of freshly brewed tea (I like my tea sweet, but hey, it’s up to you!)
                      - 5-10 basil leaves

Instructions: Add your basil leaves to the tea as soon as it is finished brewing.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour for it to infuse the flavor.  You can then remove your leaves or leave them in depending on how strong of flavoring you want!  Pour into a glass and enjoy your yummy basil tea :)

*I do have pictures of my herbs! I have figured out that my internet connection is too slow to upload pictures. Luckily I have a nice place I can go to get all this taken care of!


well. my brother has graduated college!  I'm so very proud of him! It was great to go up there to Starkville again.  I went there for a couple of years and although I ended up at Southern, I loved it up there!  we had a nice lunch with the family at Oby's, a cajun style restaurant up there.  They have these large plastic cups, and like a weirdo, I collected everybody's and brought them home!  I love these cups, they are so large and perfect for a big cup of water or sweet tea.  I plan to keep them for as long as I can, seeing the logo reminds me of the good memories I have from up there.  Anyways, I so enjoyed the time I got to spend with Adam. He is so fun! We went back to his apartment and then ended up meeting back up again at the book store.  Another place that holds a lot of memories.  

Kevin and I also had everyone over for lunch on Friday after our morning service.  That was a learning experience!  I have never served anybody besides Kevin, Kendall, and Jared.  At least for a meal like that.  In total we had ten people!  I cannot wait to do it again.  I made my very first pound cake and it turned out good.  I was so relieved that it all turned out great and everyone enjoyed themselves.

have a great week!

sitting in the dark.

y'all.  I have been sick all week.  I have never quite felt like this before, I lost my voice on Monday and was sick and coughing before that and have been coughing ever since.  Just in time for revival too :( I got a shot yesterday and have been feeling better ever since, but I still am coughing.  so sad to be sick especially when it is so pretty outside!  I got my kitchen reorganized and it is all pretty and clean now :) yay!  

I'm feeding the preacher lunch tomorrow after morning service.  say a prayer for me! I'm so nervous, hehe.  but I figured this would be a good time since my kitchen is all nice and clean.  I'm going to try to keep it this way, and it has stayed for a whole day!  I know how to keep my kitchen clean, I love to read organizational blogs and posts and articles, but I just can't seem to do it myself.  I can do it for a little while and thennnnn it just all falls.  Maybe with me beginning to work again I can have more of a routine and therefore a reason for all the organizational madness.  I just wish my throat would stop hurting.

Menu for Lunch:
Garlic Bread
Cheese Bread
Pound Cake
Sweet Tea
Basil Tea
Lemon Water