herbs: by J

IMG_5913 IMG_5916I’ve wanted to grow herbs in my apartment for awhile now. When my sister gifted me Joey Roth’s beautiful planter for Christmas I knew it was time.

While the whole thing is a bit of an experiment, as I’ve learned most gardening is, I’m excited for the prospect of fresh herbs in my cooking.

First things first, if you have the space, most herbs prefer to be grown outside, enjoying cooler nights and good air circulation. Herbs indoors generally will be smaller and have a shorter life. That being said, growing them indoors is absolutely possible, and reseeding often will help.

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I chose to buy thyme and rosemary plants, because they take a longer time to grow and develop, and rosemary doesn’t grow well from seed. Chives and cilantro, however, prefer to be grown from seed, because they are quick growers that don’t like to be transplanted.

Most edible herbs are pretty heavy feeders so you’ll want quality potting mix, with a high amount of organic matter for good drainage. And you’ll want to add a quality fertilizer every so often. Choose a sunny window, that gets at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I thought I’d list other popular herbs and whether they are best started as seeds or bought as plants.

Plant: lavender, lemon verbena, lemongrass, mint, oregano, oregano, tarragon

Seed: coriander/cilantro, dill, sage

Either: basil, lemon balm, parsley, sage, stevia, thyme

My pots are smaller than ideal, 4-6 inches being more ideal, but I’ll see what happens.

xo J

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lemon ricotta almond cake: by J

 

IMG_5909 IMG_5912Lemon ricotta almond cake that just happens to be gluten free. I saw the recipe on Apartment 34 who spied it on Cakelets and Doilies, and had to make it asap.

It’s super simple, moist and somehow both light and dense. I skipped the icing sugar as I found it to be sweet enough without.

It keeps well the next day, and yes I definitely ate it for breakfast, and for midday snack, and then some more.

Happy Thursday,

xo J

 

long weekend hike: by J

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My first trip to Muir Woods. It’s pretty and very touristy.

I was happy once we were off the planked boardwalk and on the coastal view trail.

Next time I’d look for an area to hike that is less well known. It’s perfect for anyone who’s just starting out and wants the benefit of nearby bathrooms.

Sadly no dogs allowed though.

The sweetest part is the air, crisp and bright, with a scent of dried eucalyptus.

xo J

 

more than honey: by J

IMG_5901More than honey is a beautiful doc about the plight of honey bees in the world today.

Beautifully shot, it hits on everything from traditional beekeeping, to modern practices, mono growing cultures, and the nature of these tiny workers.

I caught it on netflix, but you can also get it from the website.

My best suggestion is to enjoy locally and ethically produced honey whenever possible,

xo J

up-to-date: by J

necklaceFirst week back after holidays, thought I’d do a little rundown of what took place in the inbetween.

That lovely little necklace above is a charmingly chosen gift from the hubs, made by the talented people at Bario Neal. I’m completely smitten and have been wearing it non-stop.

Movie wise my favorite was herIt’s sci-fi in the way I love: our reality but answering dilemmas of the future, like what is the evolution of love? I also saw American Hustle, which was certainly entertaining. And I saw a doc I’ll write a whole post on next week.

I ate, oh did I eat! My three favorite spots in Vancouver were, Cartems, a sweet little donuterie, Wildebeest for a very meat-centric brunch, and PiDGiN for a date night dinner, where the duck and squid were fantastic (but there were 2 flops with the potato dish, and the sazer-quak! cocktail).

Much needed time with friends and family which included more eating, chatting, and a lovely hike-walk and dinner at a dear friend’s new home on Bowen Island.

Settling into 2014, feeling the first week back to yoga soreness, and listening to Nils Frahm.

xo J

 

back home: by J

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I’m back home and settled in. It was so sweet to be back in Vancouver and hard to leave.

I’m always surprised how easy it is to get used to new environments. While I was in Vancouver, it seemed hard to live anywhere but, and being back everything I love here falls back into place.

I did so much catching up with family and friends, and eating.

Lego was the happiest I’ve seen him, pampered and in a house full of people.

There was some challenging delays, and missed flights that we waded through, Lego being a quiet champion, as we spent hours in airports, for a flight that shouldn’t be much than 2.5 hours each way.

I’ll catch you up soon on the movies I’ve seen, places I’ve eaten, and other sweet things I explored during my break,

glad to be back,

xo J

*photo by the hubs