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how does your garden grow ...

my current obsession:

see that - teeny tiny baby basil and thyme!!! it's true. i can't stop peeking to see what's happening in our little herb world. i'm pretty sure i checked on them 4x before i left for work this am. and once more during my lunch break. which is beginning to make me seriously doubt that i'll be able to hold off on finding out the gender of our future babies as planned.

this will be our first attempt at a munday family garden - well container garden!

last night we picked up a few plants: romaine lettuce, spinach, 2 varieties of cucumber, a cherry tomato vine and okra (i'll need your help to use this! definitely a request from wade!). did you know that okra can grow to be 5ft TALL!?! yeeks - might need to re-pot that little fella.

i'm creating my own idiot's guide to container gardening:

romaine lettuce:
container // depth 6-8". shallow roots - perfect for window box!
sunlight // move containers to shade to avoid too much heat. warm temperatures cause crop to stop making leaves and become woody or leathery ("bolt"). the result - bitter greens. ick! keep cool.
soil // rich + well-drained. add lime to keep soil from drying out.
water // consistently. keep soil moist but not wet. luckily lettuce doesn't require a lot of fuss! :) my kind of plant.
do // plant w/ carrots, cucumbers, radishes + strawberries
harvest // 80 to 85 days. harvest when leaves have grown to approx 4-6". cut leaves 1-2" above the base from the outside, letting the inside continue to develop. or you can take the whole plant, cutting it off about an inch above the ground, and letting it re-grow.

container // depth at least 8" and 10-12" wide. shallow roots. you can prolong your harvest by moving them into the shade in the afternoons
sunlight // partial shade. again, move to shade to avoid too much heat.
soil // rich and well-drained. fertilize w/ high-nitrogen fertilizer.
water // regularly. 2-3x a week so that they don't dry out (and bolt!)
do // plant w/ strawberries.
don't // plant w/ corn or beans.
harvest // 45 to 50 days. harvest spinach once each plant has a few full-sized leaves about 1" from the base. the plant will just keep growing new leaves.

container // depth 18". large root system needs at least an 18 to 24 inch diameter pot. you'll need a 12-18" trellis or bamboo to support the plant.
sunlight // full - 6 hours
soil // fertilize often.
water // cumbers are about 95% water - so they require regular water!
do // plant w/ beans and peas.
don't // plant w/ potatoes or herbs.
harvest // harvest 55 to 65 days. when they are fairly small or they will become bitter. also vines w/ too many cucumbers will stop producing!

cherry tomato:
container // depth 18". 4-6 plants per 20 inch pot. you'll need a trellis or bamboo to support the plant.
sunlight // full - 6 hours
soil // fertilize often. every 2-3 weeks (even w/ each watering!)
water // very substantial amount of water. keep soil evenly moist. water at base of the stem avoiding the leaves.
do // plant w/ asparagus, carrots, chives, onions and parsley.
harvest // 60 to 80 days once they've turned color from their original green. twist the fruit instead of pulling on the vine

container // choose a small variety. can grow 4-6 feet tall and will need at least a 5 gallon pot! a dark container will keep the soil warm. also - as a warning, okra pods & leaves are covered in fine spines that irritate skin. keep this in mind when placing the pot and when harvesting.
sunlight // full - 6 hours. thrives in hot weather - that's why it's a true southerner!
soil // well-drained
do // plant with basil, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and peas.
water // regular. can be kept on the dry side as the stems rot when wet or cold.
harvest // 60 days. harvest when pods are a few inches long and about as thick as your finger.

overwhelmed!?! oh just a little bit. actually i'm only nervous about the okra. we should have done our research. 1 // it's gonna be huge! 2 // it needs to be dry - while the cucumber we planted it with needs to be WET. definitely our first transplant in the near future. and i am starting to think that raising lettuce and spinach will be much like having a puppy. will i be dedicated enough to run home at lunch to move them into the shade? we'll see! :) thankfully i live about 5 blocks from the office. i'm crazy enough to want to add green beans to the mix too!

much more too come.

sources: gardeningblog.net, sunset.com, gardennaturallynow.com

a few tricks up my sleeve ...

april fools day shopping list:

- googly eyes √
- non-toxic bath tablets √
- jello mix √

i shouldn't share my inspiration ahead of time - bc mr. munday might catch on. but these ideas are too good not to share! :) think i can prank my coworkers on monday since april fool's day falls on a sunday this year?

{clockwise from upper left}

1 // hard boiled egg surprise via oh happy day
2 // googly eye attack via how about orange
3 // a little potty humor via disney family fun (i especially like the message "the jokes on poo")
4 // blue water via martha stewart

i've got spring fever

don't you just love spring?!? it has been so beautiful in nashville. 75 and sunny! perfect ride your bike weather. perfect work in the yard weather. perfect loooong run weather. (we're doing a lot of the latter these days. in fact, wade ran 19 miles - almost 3 hrs on saturday morning.)

i've got a major case of spring fever. i'm itching to get the windows open and the house deep cleaned. and wade's really really itching to create some sort of garden oasis. this could prove to be quite the challenge. we have 500 dimly sunlit square feet and a shared front porch. time to get a bit creative. of course ... first a little research:


row 1: the edible balcony - growing fresh produce in small spaces by alex mitchell available on amazon. let's face it this is a must-buy book! //  row 2: boskke ceramic self-water planters. swoon! and perfectly placed above the cutting board. double swoon! sadly just missed these on sale @ fab. what was i thinking!?! // row 3: super helpful small garden tips via the one the only martha stewart. garden pots and window boxes. dwarf veggies + different varieties of lettuce for color.

game on!

bracelets & soccer balls

so there you have it! we'll be spending 2 weeks in ethiopia! we'll fly from new york city to cairo on the 23rd & 24th. after an 11 hour layover (and dinner on the nile!), we'll finally arrive in addis ababa early on the 25th. but our final destination will be awassa - a lake city approx 270 miles and a 5-6 hr car ride south of addis. 

i know what you're thinking. ethiopia isn't exactly topping travelchannel.com's top 10 vacation spots. :) my first time in africa was for our honeymoon, and we spent 2 glorious weeks in morocco (read all about our trip here and here). while we do plan to spend a couple of days at the sabana beach resort of lake langano, and we'll hopefully find time to take an overnight trip to arba minch & the nechisar national park and possibly spend time w/ the people of the omo tribe, this trip won't be honeymoon part deux. the majority of our trip will be spent w/ the awassa children's project.

the awassa children's project was founded 10 years ago as a school and orphanage to help children and families orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS. they provide housing, food, healthcare and education to around 100 orphans. they also provide vocation training to over 100 adult students in computers as well as wood, electrical and metal work. and cooler still, they have a program called one love theatre that educates thousands of people throughout ethiopia each year about HIV/AIDS.

we're not sure what exactly we'll be doing in awassa yet - but we're pretty thrilled. we'll have up to 9 days w/ the kiddos. :) 9 DAYS of soccer!  9 DAYS of singing songs! 9 DAYS of hugs and high fives! 9 DAYS!!!

{source: kyle lamere - ishootrockstars.com}

despite being so excited that i just couldn't hide it any longer - there's a reason behind announcing our trip 2 months early. are you ready for it? 

we're not fundraising for our trip. while airplane tickets and hotel stays and car rentals and - heck - vaccinations can get a bit expensive, we've luckily saved enough to cover everything. but we want your help! we want to collect a few things to share w/ the kiddos at the awassa children's project.

here's what we need:

1 // for you non-crafters ... SOCCER BALLS! wade mentioned in his post that they spent a good majority of his trip playing soccer w/ tightly rolled plastic bags. we'd love to take quite a few deflated soccer balls w/ us to leave with the children.

2 // for you crafters ... BRACELETS! i love craft hope - that combines the love for crafts w/ the desire to change the world. consider this my very own craft hope, i'm looking for blog readers and friends to help me make homemade bracelets to share w/ the kids and other kids we meet while in ethiopia. it's amazing that something so little can mean so much to a child. :) make a bracelet or make 20. have your little ones get involved. or have a girls night. to get those creative juices flowing ... i rounded up a few of my favorite bracelet DIYs:

{clockwise from upper left: honestlywtf, honestlywtf, v & co, flax & twine}

okay so there you have it! DEADLINE: MAY 11TH. we have a little under 2 months to collect everything. :) email me to sign up and to get all the details or with additional ideas!

our BIG news!

i don't write on a case of the mundays a lot. in fact, this is my first post. i'm a rookie so be gentle, please.

some of you might wonder why blair and i went to the vanderbilt travel clinic and spent almost $1,000 on vaccinations over the weekend. where to begin?

in college i spent three months in ethiopia. mostly, i hung out with kids in our neighborhood in addis ababa or the more rural villages where we traveled and played soccer. the trip was intended to be a mission trip, but i have to say that my mission and greatest joy was playing soccer with children (many who were orphans or otherwise living in extremely difficult situations). sometimes we played with tightly-rolled plastic bags for lack of an actual soccer ball. we got bloodied and bruised a lot, and on that trip i certainly had my fair share of sickness and sleepless nights. but my mind always goes back to the fun times with the kids.

when i suggested ethiopia as a honeymoon destination it was quickly vetoed, and not just by blair. friends, coworkers, and family thought it was a bad idea. so finally, a full ten years later i will return to ethiopia. i've wanted to return to see these grown up faces. maybe track them down. or maybe i'll make new friends all together. and i'm excited that i can share this adventure with blair. i get to share two more african countries that will be new to her (we have an extended layover in Cairo). together we'll see dusty, crowded cities and bucolic village life. and yes, we'll see hippopotamuses and monkeys.

people get excited about new passport stamps; in fact, i have an elaborate passport stamp and visa from my last trip to ethiopia. no matter where i travel now, morocco or mexico, the image of my friends in ethiopia is stamped on my mind forever.

- wade (the better half of a case of the mundays)

we're pretty much super heroes ...

thanks to the vanderbilt travel clinic, we now have about 75% immunity! yesterday i received 2 vaccinations in my left arm and 3 in my right. and wade received 3 having already had lifetime immunity for polio and hep-a. and we're not quite finished. we'll each need to pick up a prescription for malaria pills plus anti-diarrhea pills (let's pray we don't have to use those!). and i need to get an updated tetanus shot.

typhoid ... √ we got this
yellow fever  ... √ no problem
meningitis ... √ bring it
hepatitis a ... √ you got nothing on these mundays
polio ... √ puh-lease

amazingly my 5 vaccinations wasn't a travel clinic record. something about a guy leaving for a job w/ national geographic getting 1 of everything. how awesome would that be!?!

{b} pretending to be brave                                 {w} pretending to be afraid

wow - just talking about all of this makes my arm hurt. not to mention our wallet! 936 buckaroos later!!! (say a little prayer we can get some of that covered by our insurance!)

so ... want to know WHY we're getting doped up??? pretty excited to share our news TOMORROW! come on back, y'all.

kiss me, i'm irish ...

a few of my favorite items for a pinch proof holiday:

1 // 2 // 3

okay i'm not really irish. about everything else ... a welsh, german, dutch mutt. but don't you love how everyone's irish on st. patrick's day anyway. today we celebrated at the office w/ corned beef and cabbage and the cutest irish creme cake pops from nashville cake pops! too bad for me they aren't gfree. luck of the irish, wade! (yes - he is irish!)

oh hey, color: a pretty spring dress

1, 2, 3, 4

nothing says spring more than this little xhiliration dress i picked up at target over the weekend. over-sized flowers √,  Aztec print √ + loads and loads of color! i'm especially loving navy w/ teal and tomato + salmon this spring. but i'm 100% smitten w/ that chevron camera bag from ketti handbags. perfect w/ red interior. yes, please! (now the fingers are crossed w/ hopes that they will restock!)

gfree baking: lemon drop cookies

my boss and i have a tradition of skipping lunch and opting for ice cream instead. shame on us. luckily it doesn't happen too too often. and luckily he has a remarkable amount of self-control bc by now you all have probably realized ... i have none.

we weren't always ice cream people. for years, our weakness was the lemon drop cookies at ham n goodys - a family owned deli based out of knoxville, tn. when their nashville location closed, we had to find something else. so ice cream it was.

but believe me - there is still a giant lemon drop cookie shaped hole in both of our hearts. and so i set out to recreate the yummiest cookies ever (gfree of course):

first, let's bake some cookies ...

1c unsalted butter, soft
3/4c sugar plus a bit xtra
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2c all-purpose gfree flour*
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

*my fav all-purpose mix: 4c sweet rice flour + 1 1/3c potato starch + 2/3c tapioca flour

preheat oven to 350ºf. cream butter and 3/4c of sugar. add egg + lemon zest + vanilla + salt and lemon juice. sift together flour + xanthan gum. add slowly to mix until combined. roll tbsp sized balls of dough w/ your hands. then roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. flatten w/ palm of your hand into little discs. bake 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. transfer to baking rack. (gfree cookies get soggy when they cool on a hot pan.)

now, the finishing touch - icing ...

2 Tbsp butter, soft
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2c confectioners sugar

mix butter + lemon juice + sugar. add enough milk to make the icing an easy spreading consistency. ice the cookies once cooled completely.

in other completely random news - i've been doing a lot of baby gift making bc my friends have been doing a whole lot of baby making. ha! 4 baby boys due this month!!! a little hint, hint:

i've jumped on the mini bandwagon

not gonna lie ... i'm completely smitten w/ these mini creations from miniature patisserie on etsy:

every doll house needs itty bitty garden roses & macarons, no? and how about that teeny tiny rainbow cake!?! adorable!

and who should we invite to our teeny tiny tea party? have you seen these miniature knit animals featured on design*sponge?!? amazing!

feels like SPRING!

the truck is in the shop. and wade has the car. in the meantime, i'm doing a lot of walking! the flowers are blooming. the "birds" are back in town. i think it's officially time to call it ... SPRING!

my older sister and i are planning a bridal shower for our soon-to-be sister-in-law and i've been pulling lots of inspiration. :) and just had to share it with you.

april (wedding) showers bring may (wedding) flowers

{clockwise from upper left}

1 // this fresh fruit filled drink display from southern living.
2 // these adorable little umbrella favors from wilton. now to find the perfect miniature treat.
3 // perfect umbrella bouquet from midwest living. (who knew there was a midwest living!)
4 // yummy hydrangea cupcakes from glorious treats. almost too cute to eat. (almost!)
5 // over-sized flowers are all the craze right now. i'm loving this DIY from ruche on design*sponge.

march 2012: hi sponsors!

i wanted to take today to introduce you to this month’s sponsors. you will recognize a few from previous months - and we've bumped it up and added a few new ones!

pretty pretty one of a kind vintage jewelry

a librarian's blog about inspiration + everything else that makes life sweet

hand-crafted goods helping artisans from all over the world. style {made w/ love}

a registered dietitian to consult you through the gfree transition. (my life saver!)

a blog focused on creating a fit lifestyle!

go shop and explore! :)

hello munday

a few instagram shots from our weekend:

{clockwise from upper left}

1 // many of you messaged about "the super cell" that was heading directly for nashville on friday. thankfully the storm wasn't quite what they had expected. w + i took shelter w/ friends chris & faith and enjoyed a little candlelit game playing until the electricity came back on. check out that HAIL!?! (photo courtesy: chandra)

2 // you didn't realize that nashville is the athens of the south, did you? saturday am our running team met at the parthenon for our mid-training run! 6.5 miles. yeowch. did i mention we're running for a great cause? read about it here. :) i need to get on my fundraising. we're asking $1 a mile. that's $13.10 for me and $26.20 for wade (yes - he's running the FULL!).

3 // i bought supplies for a fun little sewing project. but unfortunately didn't even start it over the weekend! would you believe that we have 4 friends having baby boys this month!?! crazy! time to make some welcome home presents.

4 // wow - i've been baking a lot lately. thankfully w + i are running must of it off. :) these yummy lemon bars are based on this recipe from the baking beauties. and they are the perfect equation of light fluffy crust and lemon tart! i modified the "all-purpose flour mix" by using sweet rice flour instead of brown rice flour since it's what i had on hand. while brown rice flour would have been a bit healthier, at least the lemon will fight off scurvy. ;)

i hope you had a super fun weekend.
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