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News from the Nest, April 3

Happy April, y’all!

I hate to brag, especially to those in the northern climes, but Spring has sprung here in southern North Carolina. The leaves on the trees and bushes are that gorgeous new green that seems almost to glow.

We worked in the yard all weekend! I’ll write a post about it soon, but we put together corten steel raised beds that we oxidized to get a gorgeous weathered color. Then we shoveled 36 cubic feet of compost/topsoil into our beds and planted tomatoes, beans, zucchini, and a mystery squash seedling from the compost bin. We will plant cucumbers and spread mulch today.

These vegetable garden beds are smaller than our beds in the past, but our yard is much smaller. And there really is no place to ‘tuck’ a garden in this yard, so we decided to incorporate them into our flower garden for aesthetic reasons. We live on a golf course, so can’t really hide anything.

That being said, after we spent the day working in the garden, our daughter called to chat. I told her what we had been doing all day and proudly sent a picture from my phone showing our progress. After an exceedingly long pause, she replied, “Ummmm, so…what’s your vision here?” Oh, ye of little faith!

Garden in progress

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new on the blog

  • I am regularly asked if a certain yarn will work for a certain project and have been specifically asked to write a post on yarn substitution. Because we aim to please here and N + N, I just published this Yarn Substitutions post that I hope will help. It is a deep dive! I also tried to summarize the high points in a one-page (front and back) printable that you can add to your Knit Journal.
Balls of yarn.

in the kitchen

Don’t you find that some of the best soups are those without a ‘recipe?’ After a day in the yard, we needed a quick dinner last night. I pulled some leftover roast beef from the freezer and several jars of beef stock from the pantry and made a hearty, nourishing soup. I blended dried mushrooms into a powder and added it to the soup, giving the broth a bit more earthy and hearty oomph. Having jars of homemade stock in the pantry means soups are just a jar away.

  • Are you interested in canning your own stocks and broths? I like adding to or keeping certain ingredients out of my stocks. It is also great to be able to tweak the recipe to get the flavor I want. For instance, you get a much richer stock when you roast your meat or veggies. But some prefer the cleaner taste of not roasted ingredients. I have recipes and instructions for:
jars of canned chicken stock
  • These ginger lemon cubes are easy to make and handy to have on hand. I’ve shared that one of our readers adds the cubes to mint tea with honey for a Starbucks Medicine Ball tea knock-off. I received another email this weekend sharing another way to use these cubes as a base for another cleansing tea. I’ve got some frozen cranberries and apples I need to use up, so I’m going to give this a whirl today!

Lemon, ginger, turmeric, apple, cranberry, cinnamon, little bit of salt/pepper and some coconut oil into boiled water. Simmered for a bit to extract the juice from all the yummy fruits. Strained to rid the pulp and made the ice cubes! Delicious

French Macarons in a silver container.

Did you know that it helps others find our recipes, crafts, and content when you comment and rate (for recipes)? So, if you tried one of our recipes and loved it, let others know! Thank you!

in the craft room

  • It has been too long since I’ve picked up a paintbrush. I mean a paintbrush that wasn’t painting walls, trim, or bricks! I was recently reminded of this easy abstract painting that I did years ago! The beauty of abstract is that it is what you want to be! But a few hints have helped me create art I want to hang in my home. Check out this post on how to paint an abstract painting.

in the garden 🌼

Are you chomping at the bit to get dirt under your fingernails?

I read your blog about composting egg shells.  I save my egg shells for the birds.  I save them up and bake them at about 250 for 20 minutes or so to kill anything from our domestic chickens and then just crumble them in my hands. I spread them under the bird feeder.  The birds can use the extra calcium at this time of year when they are producing eggs!


house + home

April is Earth month!

favorite products

I love my air purifier and robot vacuum all year, but especially this time of the year! When I cleaned the filters recently, it was obvious how much pollen they both removed from my home. This picture may fall into the TMI category…airing all our dirt… but look at all that yellow pollen my little robot vacuum removed from my floors! The one on the right looks like one of those sand art things!

Well, friends, I’m off to buy a bunch of mulch to bring my ‘vision’ to fruition!

Wishing you a wonderful week of doing the things that bring you joy!


Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. I live in a senior apt. with only a balcony to fill with container planting, so I really appreciate your suggestions for trying new ideas. Thank you…..and always glad for more ideas on decorating a balcony.

  2. I’m so excited for you to have Corten steel anything! I *really* wish to have Corten garden borders…. I bet your raised beds are gorgeous! Surely once things get to be full size, the vision will be realized. 🙂 Hard to believe the difference in growing zone “seasons.” We’re supposed to wait until mid-May for WNC. Eager to get the chill out of the house! [Did I tell you already that I made the rosemary fig crackers using chia eggs? It might have been better with just 2 chia eggs, but still tasty. I found some Chile Fig Paste and we are still enjoying them with that.)

    1. Hi Cat,

      I’m just a little excited about them! They were back ordered for over a month and once we were notified that they were in the mail, we tracked them multiple times a day! I guess you know you are a gardener when you get excited about your garden beds. And it was fun to age them.

      Thanks for the update on the Fig Crackers with a chia egg! So, the next time you make it, you’ll just try two chia eggs?!That’s good to know. If you do try it, I’d love for you to let me know so I can share that with others who need to avoid eggs. And that chile fig paste sounds incredible!

      What zone are you? We are 8b.

      Thanks for sharing your excitement with me! I don’t have many friends who would be as excited as I am!

      Hugs, Lynn

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