Tag Archives: Design

When The Days Are Long

I’m sitting here, sipping on some kombucha, listening to the rain. My life has changed in a lot of ways but I’ll be the first to say I haven’t forgotten what it was like before I had a baby. Quiet moments definitely have more importance than they ever have. Have you ever tried putting pen to paper with Twinkle Twinkle playing on loop in the background? No? Well, you’re probably not a mom then. 🙂 As I sit here enjoying my quiet moment, which was short lived as she’s currently sitting in my lap, I’ve been trying to sum up the update about motherhood that I’ve been asked about… Something that has definitely fascinated me about being a mom is that my already full and eventful life has been able to stretch and expand to accommodate another person, who is completely dependent on me, without being able to clone myself or find the missing 25th hour of the day. It’s quite amazing and I like to think I do it with a smile. What has most fondly been added to my newly expanded life are the little loves I give and receive on a daily basis. My new activities include: cheek kissing, chunky book reading, soft arm scratching, paci locating, jammie changing, silly song singing, tear drying, tiny hand holding and lovey giving. But for all that I give I get way more in return. She falls asleep in my arms every night no matter who or what wants my attention. After she falls asleep, sometimes I hold her for an hour. Because I know that when the days are long, the years are inevitably oh so short and that’s something I never want to forget.


Succulent Easter Basket

I love finding new ways to temporarily bring succulents indoors as part of my holiday decor. Before the baby, I didn’t really decorate the house for Easter. This year we’re decked out with carrot garland, baby chicks and bunnies on the mantle and this Easter basket filled with succulents! The baby loves doing tummy time these days so we hung out together in her room while I put the basket together and this is how I did it. Every good project starts with an even better trip to the greenhouse. What I used:

  • Basket- I had one in my craft closet but I also like these here and here.
  • Succulents- The dimensions of the opening of my basket were approximately 12 in x 8 in. For that size basket I used about 30 small (2 in. pot) succulents in a variety of pastel colors. See photos below for size in relation to my hand.
  • Wet foam- I used this one here. I bought two of the “half balls” which are each 8 inches in diameter. This foam adds great structure while easy to cut and manipulate and if you desire to keep your project in tact longer than a week or so you can add water right to the foam.
  • Floral wire- I used 22 gauge and 24 gauge wire depending strength and size of the succulent stem. I used the thicker wire to keep larger succulents in place and the thinner wire to bend and manipulate the positioning of the plant.
  • Scissors
  • Butter knife to cut the foam

First, I stripped the succulents of all of their soil. I set the soil aside to use in the garden at another time. I like to pull some of the long roots off and expose the stem as much as possible. I started by cutting one of the half balls in half and wedging the two pieces to fit the majority of the empty space in the basket. There may be a more concise way of cutting and fitting the wet foam into projects but I have yet to discover it. All of the wet foam will be covered when the project is finished so I don’t worry about making the base look presentable, as seen below. And there it is. Not gorgeous but completely functional. I cut the second half ball and wedged pieces where there were gaps. I used the butter knife to shave down areas to create height in the middle and lower, sloping sides. This will give the effect that the basket is brimming with Easter eggs.I started with a larger succulents to be the focal point in the middle of the basket. I pre-cut about a two inch pieces of floral wire to be ready when I need them. Then inserted one piece of wire per succulent into the stem leaving about one inch of the wire exposed. If you are using large succulents, 4 inch or larger, you may need more than one piece of wire for stability. Then place the wire into the wet foam. The wet foam is easily manipulated as it has a sort of crumbly texture. If the succulent isn’t sitting exactly how I want it to I just apply a little pressure into the foam and wiggle it into place. From the first succulent, I worked out alternating colors and textures with attention to placing smaller succulents around the edges. For filler in this basket I used Sedum dasyphyllum. This variety comes in beautiful rainbow varieties from green to purple to pink all in one 4 inch pot. I broke off tiny pieces and used the 22 gauge wire to place them into vacant areas. There’s the finished product! It took me about 30 minutes to complete with Leighton playing next to me. The basket will stay in the house until Easter. Then I think I’m going to plant some of the succulents into the current flower bed redo (post to come once completed) and use some to fill in vacant spots in a few pots. Happy Spring! Lots of fun stuff coming up for rootedinmoss! Stay in touch by subscribing to the blog or following along on Instagram @rootedinmoss. All images from the blog are now enabled for pinning, follow rootedinmoss on Pinterest for inspiration for your DIYs and to see what inspires me!

xo, rootedinmoss

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Winter Project with JuicyKits.com

I know it’s my favorite time of year when a big box containing a DIY terrarium kit from JuicyKits.com arrives at my doorstep! You can see my terrarium from last year’s holiday season here. This year I chose The Arrowhead from their DIY kit collection. I really love The Arrowhead because of the unique arrow-shaped glass container and the beachy, California vibe of the plants and accessories it comes with. This kit includes three air plants: Tillandsia Brachycaulos, Tillandsia Tricolor Melanocrater and Tillandsia Ionantha. The kit also includes preserved reindeer moss and a pink sea urchin. I wanted this terrarium for the baby’s nursery so I chose the white crushed glass for the base which compliments the room perfectly!


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I love my terrarium kit so much that I want you to have one too! JuicyKits and I are spreading the holiday spirit by offering all of my followers 15% off your entire order through January 31, 2017 by using the code ROOTEDINMOSS at checkout. That’s 15% off DIY kits, succulent packs (they have an amazing selection!), accessories and more! The DIY kits are perfect projects to do with children and to teach them how care for the plants and watch them grow. They also make the perfect holiday gift whether you put the terrarium together yourself to gift away or you give the gift of DIY to someone else!

Rootedinmoss Holiday Gift Guide with JuicyKits.com

JuicyKits.com is the perfect one stop shop for the plant lovers in your life. Below are some of my favorite gift ideas for this holiday season.

The Amethyst Votive is perfect for the low-maintenance, interior design loving person in your life. Each amethyst has been drilled to fit a candle or perfect to fit an air plant or two. You can choose from the large selection of air plants to complete your gift. amethyst-votive-main-plant

The Stella is a gift for the trendy plant lover. This rhombus-shaped hanging terrarium is perfect for home (cute idea for the kitchen) or office. This kit comes with an air plant, moss and black or white crushed glass. the-stella-white-mainThe Big Ol’ Egg the ultimate succulent terrarium gift! This DIY kit is fully loaded with everything you will need for your project. You can choose your plants from JuicyKits’s amazing succulent selection on their Succulents Menu. Speaking of their Succulents Menu, you can always purchase plants without a kit as a gift or for yourself! big-ol-egg-1

Don’t forget to use the code ROOTEDINMOSS at checkout to enjoy 15% through January 31, 2017! I want to see pics of your terrarium projects, don’t forget to tag me @rootedinmoss. Happy shopping!


Seven weeks old. Being a good girl while mommy did projects.

xo, rootedinmoss

Give Love Back

It should come as no surprise to those who have been following me for some time that I love love and my absolute favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. I have heard there are people out there that think Valentine’s Day is a retail holiday (I actually think you can make that argument for any major holiday) or that it’s a day in which taking an inventory of love is forced upon us. Luckily, for me, I don’t know any of those people! 🙂 We love the excuse to celebrate love. As soon as February 1st arrives all I see is pink and red and we often eat heart-shaped food- it doesn’t hurt that my husband totally plays along for me.

All this talk about love definitely reminds me of the love I give and receive from my garden. My garden is a source of love in many ways. It gives love to me by always providing me with something new to appreciate. It produces a physical gift in the abundance of itself as way for me to give love to others. And it gives those recipients a way to share love back with me when they tell me how the plants I’ve given them have grown, multiplied, and have been given to others they love.

I feel so grateful that nature always gives me something new to see and love always gives me a new reason to write. In the spirit of my favorite holiday I’m partnering up with General Pumice Products for a giveaway to my readers and Instagram followers! We will be giving away a 15 lb. bag of pumice and succulent cuttings from my garden (see entry details at the end of this post or on Instagram.) Pumice is a volcanic rock made of hundreds of microscopic pores. When added to your favorite potting soil, there are many useful benefits for your garden. The tiny pores on the surface of the pumice act as microscopic reservoirs storing nutrient-rich water, vitamins and minerals. Pumice not only releases stored water quickly which brings oxygen to the root zone (very important for succulents!) but it also allows carbon dioxide to escape and enables air circulation. This process saves on water costs and improves water conservation by absorbing water quickly and slowly releasing it back into the soil when needed. Talk about giving love back to your plants! I have been adding General Pumice Products pumice to my garden (stay tuned for a post about my garden overhaul with pumice) and it has been so beneficial as Southern California experiences an increase in precipitation due to El Nino. I’m very excited to help you give love back to your garden too with one of my favorite products!


Valentine’s Day Projects with General Pumice ProductsGiveaway details:

  1. Must be following @rootedinmoss and @sexysucculents_(the account for General Pumice Products) on Instagram
  2. Must tag three friends on the photo announcing the giveaway
  3. One entry per Instagram account
  4. Must be a Continental U.S. resident (sorry no AK or HI entries)
  5. The prize for this giveaway is a 15 lb. bag of 1/8″ pumice and a variety of succulent cuttings from my garden. Both items will be shipped separately.

Check out generalpumiceproducts.com for more information about their products. 

Red, White and Don’t Be Blue

I’ve had the fortune over the years of spending Independence Day in different cities across America: Birmingham, Alabama, New York City, Jackson, Mississippi, Central Pennsylvania, Palm Springs, California to name a few. On July 4, 2012 the already nostalgic holiday took on additional significance when my uncle (my father’s brother) passed away in a tragic accident. We spent the next few years celebrating the 4th differently, without fireworks and barbeque. A passing is always a cause for reflection but a passing on a holiday leaves the quandary of how to move forward recognizing both events in the years to come. For me, my soul heals itself by creating something beautiful. So, in the spirit of Uncle Chris and all things red, white and blue this is what’s going on in the garden and in the kitchen this week.


Red, White-ish and Blue Succulent Pot

This succulent project was inspired by the big, beautiful Echeveria ‘Blue Sky’ I found a few weeks ago on it’s last leg at a home improvement store. It took time to nurse it back to health and now it’s the centerpiece of this project.

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Blueberry and Strawberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

I can’t say that in July I make our food resemble actual flags but I do like to be festive the week of Independence Day. I love using blueberries and strawberries in recipes this time of year. This buttermilk cake isn’t overly sweet and is the perfect light ending to any picnic or summer meal.

For the cake:

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing pan

3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/14 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups blueberries

4 to 6 large strawberries, diced, underripe ok

For the glaze:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Dash of vanilla

2 to 5 tablespoons milk                                                                  IMG_0508Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12- cup Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon softened butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl, beat remaining butter, granulated sugar and vegetable oil on medium-high speed until fluffy, at least five minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Once fluffy, beat in one egg at a time on low speed. Then beat in vanilla. Turn off mixer and add one-third flour and half the buttermilk, beat until incorporated. Add another one-third of flour and the remaining buttermilk, beat until just combined. Add remaining flour mixture and beat 30 seconds, scraping down sides. Finish incorporating mixture with rubber spatula, avoid over mixing.  IMG_0512

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Toss blueberries and strawberries, separately, in remaining 2 tablespoons flour. This will cause the fruit to suspend in the batter rather than sinking while baking.

 

 

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Spoon one-third of batter evenly into prepared pan. Place half of blueberries and strawberries onto batter then top with another one-third of the batter. Scatter the remaining fruit on top and cover with the rest of the batter.

IMG_0522IMG_0511IMG_0518IMG_0519Bake until the cake is golden brown, in the warmer months 1 hour, in the colder months 1 hour, 10 minutes. Test cake at 55 minutes with toothpick, if it comes back perfectly clean, cake is done. Transfer to a rack to cool for 30 minutes. Run a sharp knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert onto rack to cool completely before glazing, at least two hours. IMG_0521IMG_0520After cake has cooled and just before serving, make the glaze. Whisk confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla and lemon juice together. Whisk in one tablespoon of milk at a time until a thick glaze consistency is achieved. Pour glaze over cake, allowing it to drip over sides. Slice thick portions.
IMG_0531IMG_0529IMG_0528IMG_0530IMG_0532Enjoy!

We live in the land of the free because of the brave. Be safe celebrating!

xo, rootedinmoss

Best of Instagram with LeafandClay.co

I’m so excited to be chosen for the ‘Best of Instagram’ series with leafandclay.co ! Leaf & Clay is a collaborative blog, bringing together succulent enthusiasts of various areas of expertise, with the goal of developing the most comprehensive succulent resource available anywhere. On there today, you’ll find my Q&A where I discuss how I got into drought resistant gardening, my favorite places to shop for succulents and my photography style. Make sure to go follow their blog and Instagram (@leafandclay) where I’ll be guest blogging soon!

The Great Indoors

The most common question I’m asked about gardening is how to keep plants alive. That’s a question with many answers, perhaps too many to tell at once. But lately, I’ve had emerging gardeners and DIY-ers inquiring about indoor plant care. Below are my tips for successful houseplant, succulent and cacti care inside your home. And of course, it wouldn’t be the rooted in moss way to just take photographs of houseplants inside my house so I went outdoors to photograph my great indoors.


4Tips for Indoor Succulent and Cacti Care

  • I love to collect vintage containers and interesting pots for my indoor plants. It’s best to use containers with drainage holes. Not only does it physically allow water to drain after a watering but it is another route for residual moisture to escape from the soil between waterings.
  • If your container or dish does not have a drainage hole, that’s ok, just make sure to never run the plant under the sink for a watering. Instead, water your plants using a spray bottle like this one from Target.

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  • Indoor succulents and especially cacti do not need much water. I spray my indoor cacti, which are fully acclimated to my home, sparingly. About once every two weeks or so. Other plants and succulents, about once every ten days.
  • I have found that all types of cacti I have planted have been successful indoors. As for succulents, the rule of thumb is that the darker green the plant, the better for low-light environments. Haworthia attenuata commonly known as ‘Zebra Haworthia’, dwarf Aloe vera or Aloe nobilis, ‘Supermarket’ Kalanchoe, and snake plant are some of my favorite succulents to grow indoors. These plants should be widely available at your local nursery.
  • If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love creating succulent arrangements. However, indoor plants need space to receive as much light and air as possible. It’s best to pot a single plant in each container. If you have a larger container that you’d like to plant in make sure to space the plants a bit more than your outdoor arrangements.
  • Placing indoor plants near a window is a good idea. Direct sunlight through a windowpane may burn the plants so a windowsill may not be ideal. A lamp that is turned on for a few hours during the evening is also a good source of light. I have found that the plants in my living room near lamps are the most happy in my house.
  • Typically, watering your outdoor garden in the evening is a good way to make use of water as it will not quickly evaporate. However, for indoor plants, morning or daytime watering is best. The soil and roots will have a chance to make use of the water before your house is dark and windows are shut for the night.
  • Keep in mind that succulents and cacti, whether outdoor or indoor, are low maintenance not no maintenance. You may find yourself rearranging your plants to find the best place in your home that makes them most happy. My breakfast table is an ever-evolving display of newly planted pots and small projects.2a10a86a11a3a121415
  • And finally, pat yourself on the back for bringing nature indoors! Research studies show the effects of plants in the home can be positive for your health by improving air quality, enhancing cognitive functions, and increasing feelings of happiness and relaxation.

Have fun creating your own great indoors! xo, rootedinmoss