Today: Goodbye, Winter. Hello, Spring.

I wanted to be the first to wish you a happy spring.  Since I’m not above cheating (but I am over winter), I’m coming to you a day early.  Sneaky, I know.

Perhaps it’s a result of being cooped up in maternity pants since the fall (the season, not the time I slipped on my neighbor’s icy sidewalk… which reminds me, I still need to draw him a note expressing all of my emotions about his lack of shoveling using solely emoji), but I am done with winter.

I’m more than ready to spend some solid time outdoors (in regular pants).  I’m ready to wear pastels.  Just kidding, it’s still all black, all the time.  Even on Wednesdays.

I’m ready to keep the windows open.  I would be ready to keep our backdoor ajar, but Clark got so excited about the temperature reaching 40 this past weekend that he busted through our screen, Kool-Aid Man style (fortunately, he was totally fine… apparently the screen was on its last leg… or wire… or whatever that thing is made of).  I guess we could still keep the door open, but I don’t want, like… a squirrel or a theif coming in.

I’m ready to eat fresh fruit and vegetables grown somewhere closer to Boston than, say, Chile.  I’m ready to leave my jacket and my bad New England attitude at home.

I’m ready to drive around with my windows down, cranking Turn Down for What (I have no idea what the song means, and I am afraid to Google it.  If it turns out to be something perverted, well… I don’t want that in my search history) like the cool mom that I am (play along, all those sleepless nights have given me a fragile ego).

Bring on the flip-flops.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your current jam?

Today: Organic patio gardening and can’t-wait-for-summer gazpacho.

This post brought to you by Organic Choice. All opinions are 100% mine.

When Nick and I started looking for a new condo (we were expecting Grace and I imagine she was expecting… to not share a room with her parents and dog), outdoor space was at the top of our wish list.  With spring in sight (sort of… right?), I can’t wait to make the most of our new patio, which is conveniently located just off the kitchen.  While bundled up in sweaters, layered with other sweaters, I’ve been day dreaming about growing our own herbs, vegetables and flowers.

Nothing says “Adios, polar vortex!” quite like homegrown produce.

I recently learned about Organic Choice, Scotts’ line of fully organic gardening products, and look forward to incorporating their products into my plans.  Better for the environment than conventional products, Organic Choice is perfect for edible gardening and is available at major retailers.

Organic Soil photo 72859510_22_zps758b34b4.jpg

 I can barely contain my excitement (it spilled over onto Pinterest, where I’ve started a board with all kinds of ideas for planting and potting) at the thought of fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, and fragrant salad greens growing just outside our door.  In little containers (we’re city folks, after all).

We’ve always taken advantage of my parents’ garden, making spicy gazpacho, salsa, polenta pizzas topped with fresh herbs, summer rolls and crisp salads with their tomatoes, greens, and vegetables.  I am hoping I can convince my dad to help keep our patio plants alive… perhaps in exchange for some of that gazpacho?

Can’t-wait-for-summer gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add tomatoes to the bowl of your food processor or blender and pulse until nearly smooth.
  2. Add cucumber, onion, garlic, cilantro, and a drizzle each of olive oil and red wine vinegar and blend until you reach desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Be thankful winter is nearly over.

Time to peel off a layer of sweaters, finish off a bowl of gazpacho, and start putting those gardening plans into action.

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Also On Tap for Today:

Do you have spring planting plans?  Or tips for city gardening?

Today: The first signs of spring.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]On our first walk of the day (which was delayed due to the fact that dogs don’t understand daylight savings time any better than humans), Clark and I spotted the first crocuses to bloom in our neighborhood.  With temperatures landing just shy of 70 this past week, I knew we were bound to see flowers soon.

Any day now the daffodils will be up, too– just in time for our neighborhood to be invaded by parade-goers.

That little burst of color inspired me to get some early spring cleaning done, beginning with the fridge, followed by various handbags, my car, and who knows what else I might get into today.  After emptying and cleaning the refrigerator, it was clear I needed to hit the market.  One cannot live on wine, apple juice and yogurt alone.  One needs chocolate.  And greens.

Insider tip: the florist at the Stop & Shop at the South Bay Center (where I can always count on nearly getting hit by a car, nearly hitting someone else with my car, or watching my car get by a shopping cart) is a great source for simple, elegant and inexpensive arrangements.  There is always a small section (look past the carnations, baby’s breath and dyed mums) of bouquets dressed with interesting greens, perfect for dropping directly into a vase.

After putting away the groceries, I thought about learning how to clean the oven, but I decided to bake something in it instead.

The best part is the top o’ the muffin.  Obviously.

I’m cracking this baby open before tackling my next spring cleaning projects.  I probably shouldn’t admit this, but even after living in our condo for three years, there are things I am not really sure how to clean.  Like the inside of the washing machine.  Or those air conditioning vent things.

By the time spring actually arrives, I’ll be ahead of the game.  For once.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite spring project?