Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Gardening Favorites

As you all may know, we love gardening. By "we" I mean the three of us: Mommy, Daddy and Kiddo. Growing fruit and vegetables in our backyard has been one of the best decisions we have made. Not only gardening is fun, relaxing and rewarding, but kids tend to eat more vegetables and fruits when they grow them themselves. Kiddo has never been a picky eater, but now he doesn't hesitate to try different vegetables after seeing them grow. 

Some of the vegetables and fruits that he loves freshly picked are: tomatoes, green beans, carrots, cilantro, strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers… He has noticed the difference between store bought produce and homegrown. It's quite amazing. I encourage you all to try growing at least grow veggies in pots and see if growing your vegetables makes any difference in your kids eating habits.

Well, since we are in mid Spring and 'tis the season for gardening, I decided to tell you all about my favorite things for gardening. Including tools, fertilizers, and even plants. 

1. SOIL: Nothing is going to work in your garden if you don't have a good fertile soil for your plants to feed from. I have had great luck using a mix of 1/3 topsoil and 2/3 compost. My local transfer station has a program for residents in my city to get free compost. No limit. It is amazing! I have also noticed that my herbs, carrots and onions prefer well drained soil, so I plant those in a box which is 100% manure. So, yeah, remember compost and manure have great nutrients for the plants. 

2. FERTILIZER: My husband bought me a fertilizer at Home Depot that works wonders with my plants and it is organic. The name is microrganite and it is around $12 for a 36lbs bag. I always feed my plants every 3-4 weeks to keep them healthy.

3. TOOLS: I had the opportunity to review a tool set from ROCA Home and OH EM GEE! I am not saying this because they provided me with the tools, but these are the best tools I have ever had. They are stainless steel, sturdy and ergonomic. They are truly a treasure, I hope ROCA Home doesn't change the way they are making it because these are my favorite!

4. PLANTS: You can never go wrong with tomatoes. I heard somewhere that 93% of gardeners grow tomatoes. No matter what type of tomato you grow, it will always taste 1000 times better than store bought, and the plants are not that hard to grow. Staples in my garden are: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, onions and strawberries. 

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Mike's Home-Garden (@mikes_homegarden) on 

5. SEED SHOPS: if you were curious, I get all my seeds from (organic and non-GMO). They have a large variety of seeds and they have packets that cost as little as $0.99 each! SeedsNow is my favorite website ever! One of my favorite things about SeedsNow is that you can find links in their website with grow guides that help you to know how, when and where to plant our seeds depending on the plant. 

6. PROTECTION: I have had a big problem with neighborhood cats. They all think that my raised beds are litter boxes and have destroyed many plants while digging. This problem was solved by adding PVC arches to my boxes and throwing wildlife netting over them. Consider this net if you have problems with other pests like birds, moths, squirrels, etc…

If you have any questions or advice for us and fellow gardeners let us know in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!

Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Surprise Toy: Creative Straw Set from KoolSupply

This week we got a surprise toy! And it was the Kool Supply Creative Straw Set. 

Like the previous toy that Kool Supply provided us, the Creative Straw Set comes in a storage box that is easy to carry, see-through, and square which makes it perfect for storage space saving. It also can be stacked with other of their boxes perfectly. 

This box comes with a manual that has structure suggestions like castles, boats, helicopters and other shapes for the little ones to take as ideas. Kiddo spent easily 2 hours straight playing outside with this Creative Straw Set right after it was delivered by "El SeƱor Box" (the UPS guy).

Straws are flexible, and the connectors (which have different shapes) feel study. I wouldn't recommend this product to children younger than 3 years because they can choke if they put the connectors in their mouth so keep an eye for the recommended age, not only for this product, but for all the toys you buy. 

Overall, we have had lots of fun creating different things with this Creative Straw Set from Kool Supply. Our favorite so far has been a farm with corrals for the animals (more like a zoo because I have never seen rhinos or hippos in farms haha)

One thing I love about Kool Supply is that their toys encourage kids to use their imagination and help with motor skills. The vibrant colors are great for curious young eyes and the pieces appear to be good quality. 

*I received the product for testing purposes in exchange of my honest review. Although the product was free opinions are 100% my own.