Mar 24, 2015

egg salad recipe

Now that our chickens are back to laying, after taking it easy over the winter, we have eggs a plenty. It is not a bad problem to have. We eat what we can and share the rest.

One of the things I've been making quite a bit lately is egg salad. Put it on some bread or on some greens and you've got yourself a nice lunch.

I shared a picture of it on instagram (@lesleyzellers) and several people asked for the recipe. I posted a link a while back and you can find it here. But, as with most things, I adapt it for my tastes so I'll share how I like it here.

Here's what you'll need:
8 hard-boiled eggs - peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup mayo or lite mayo or vegenaise
1 teaspoon Jack Daniels No. 7 mustard - this is my go-to mustard for all things & is key in this recipe, it's pictured above
3 green onions - green and white parts chopped
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt & fresh black pepper to taste
sweet pickle relish - I don't add it to mine but do if I'm making it for my husband

To hard boil eggs, I put them in a pot, cover with water about an inch over the eggs, bring to a boil, cover pot and remove from heat, take eggs out after 12 minutes. Put eggs in a a bowl of ice water and let cool for a few minutes. Refrigerate and peel when ready.

Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed.

That's it.

Put on some fresh greens.

On bread with fresh greens.

Or as my husband prefers. On toast with sweet relish.


Mar 5, 2015

a day in the garden

So I totally forgot to share some pictures my funny and talented friend, Jessie, took of my little fam this past fall. I was going through the pictures trying to decide which ones to print on canvas for the house and realized I never shared these here.

Choosing a few to print on canvas is next to impossible because there are TOO many great ones to choose from!!!

Maybe you guys can help me decide.

Here's the thing, Jessie came over one weekend to capture a typical weekend in the garden. And by typical, I mean just about any weekend when the temps are above freezing. Weekends are spent nearly entirely outdoors. Something my non-cold-weather-loving-heart has been longing for. I cherish our time in our backyard. Since we moved here just over a year ago, I have grown to love this space. Moving to our land and starting all over will be tough but my oh my, it will be good.

Anyway, back to the pictures.

So what's a typical weekend in the zellers backyard?

Bare feet. Always bare feet.

Sorry neighbors.

Girls on the tramp.

Something on the grill.

Time in the garden.

Chickens on the loose.

please notice the black cat on the right. no chickens have ever been harmed by the cat

Dinner on the porch, homegrown salads, dilly beans and sweet iced tea.

And more blessings than I deserve.

See, you guys. How am I supposed to choose a few. I want them all!!! Maybe I can do a wall wrap through my entire house. Would that be weird?

Jessie. You're good you. Words can never tell you thank you enough for the laughs you bring and the talent you shared with my family. I'll make sure to can a whole batch of dilly beans for you this year!

Thank you friend.

Also, I don't know if Jessie is booked for spring/summer/wedding sessions, but if you're interested in having her come document your family for a bit or looking for an amazing Tulsa photographer, check out her website or find her on instagram, @jessieleighphotos.

(I hope you don't mind the plug, Jessie.)

Feb 11, 2015

Garden Tip - indoor planting

Hello my friends.

If you live in Oklahoma and want to get a head start on spring veggies, you may have already started some seeds indoors. If not, I'm sharing a few tips on indoor planting that might help your seedlings out. Again, if you've read my posts before, we are not experts - just sharing what works for us.

First off, you need a good seed starting soil. It's not best to use compost or soil from your garden as the soil is a little harsh for the seedlings and can be too hard for the roots to grow in. If you're local, we get our mix from Grumpy's Garden. You can also make your own by mixing soil, peat moss and pearlite.

You also need containers. You can find containers at local nurseries, supermakets, etc. They come in a variety, flats, pods, larger containers. Get what works best for you and will be the easiest.

I'll show you how we started our seeds in flats with premixed potting soil.

First fill the container about two-thirds full with potting soil. Lightly tamp the soil down with something flat. They make soil tampers but I don't own one so I used a plastic box and it worked just fine.

Then sprinkle your seeds over the mix.

Depending on the seed size, you'll need to cover the seeds LIGHTLY with more soil.

For tomatoes, you just sprinkle some soil over and it's okay if they aren't fully covered. Other smaller seeds, like some flower seeds, don't need covered at all. And larger seeds need to be covered much more. Read the packet and it should give you directions for indoor planting - which is somewhat different than planting directly in soil outside.

Once the seeds are covered as needed, lightly tamp again.

Saturate the soil with a spray bottle. You need a lot of water on the seeds so they don't dry out. If you have a light sprayer, that will work too but it's not best to dump water in the container as it will make the seeds move around too much.

Then cover the container, either with a plastic lid or plastic bag and wait. You shouldn't need to water again until the seeds have sprouted - which may be a few days or weeks depending on the plant and age of seed.

Once the seeds have sprouted, watch the soil. You'll want to let it get a little dry between waterings but just don't let it completely dry out.

If you sow in flats, like we did, you'll need to wait until the plant has 4 true leaves before transplanting. And for those that don't know, the first leaves that sprout are not true leaves, all leaves after that are.

Anyway, you can then transplant to larger containers or buckets or if it's warm enough, put the container outside for a few hours a day and then transplant directly in your garden.

If you are wondering what we started indoors, here's a short list:
  • tomatoes of every variety - my neighbor gardener always starts his tomatoes on Super Bowl Sunday and has great results
  • spinach and greens - we like an early crop of greens so we start these indoors and transplant out. We plant more seeds in the garden at the same time as when we transplant the plants out because the indoor plants will bolt faster. It just means a longer season of greens. 
  • flowers - mainly marigolds so they'll have a head start to attract good insects when we plant them in the garden. We typically buy grown flowers at the nursery but we're trying everything by seed this year so it made sense to start these indoors. We also started some other flowers the girls picked but I don't know how those will transplant :)
  • herbs - similar to greens, we like an early, longer growing season and will plant seeds throughout the spring and summer to keep the herbs going
Oh, and lastly, if you start seeds early indoors, like tomatoes on Super Bowl Sunday, you'll need a small growing light above the seeds to keep them healthy. If you rely on the window sun the plants get tall and lanky and aren't very healthy. And yes, we have several indoor growing lights. We once grew an entire garden's worth of greens in a hall closet just to see if we could. hashtag weirdos.

This may sound more complicated that it actually is but people have told me how they haven't had success starting seeds indoors so I thought this may help.

So in short, get some potting soil, put it in a container, sprinkle some seeds in, cover with more soil, water, cover and wait.

Other planting tips here: garden planning, soil prep, spring planting, comfrey and buckwheat, strawberries.

Feb 9, 2015

Be Crafty goes to Washington!

***UPDATE! Event is SOLD OUT!***

You guys.

I am so excited to share the next Be Crafty workshop I'll be doing with Amanda! This workshop will be like none other we have done before.

What makes this one so different?

Well, for starters, we'll be doing it with my sister (how fun is that going to be?!) and Sara Parsons!!! Holla! And it's kind of a given, if two photographers are in the mix you better believe there will be photography in the workshop.

It's basically several hours on May 30th with Amanda and all her crafting glory + Ashley and her phone photography amazingness with a bit of chalk art thrown in with me. All this will be in an incredible barn with the talented and funny Sara.

You won't want to miss this one of a kind event and seats are extremely limited due to the uniqueness of the workshop so register today! Head over to event registration to snag your seat. Event is now sold out.

Feb 6, 2015

oh my ONA

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on instagram:

With this caption:

"So my favorite bag is busted. I guess after 10+ years it reached its limit. I need your help! These are the things almost always in my bag. I am looking for something sturdy, with dividers (so I don't have to dig to find my keys, pen, etc.), large enough to fit all this plus a book here and there or camera (optional), and it has to be a cross body. Preferably leather - not the shiny kind. Needy much? Does anyone know of a bag like this and if so where can I find it?! Thanks in advance. GO!"

See, I have some great followers (I hate that term) so let's call them instagram friends. Anyway, I have some great friends on instagram and I know I can ask a question and get some great responses or recommendations. So when my bag broke I felt like I could turn to instagram for ideas on where to find a new bag.

You guys didn't disappoint. 

I was overwhelmed by the recommendations you guys gave me. There were so many companies recommended and I spent the next couple of days researching each one. Some were all about supporting a good cause, others were mainly for cameras and then there were even some great etsy shops. I was serious about narrowing down my top picks because here's the thing, when I find something I love, I stick with it forever - or until it breaks. Just ask my husband about my house shoes. So I was really hoping to find "the one."

Among the companies mentioned, several of you recommended the camera bag company, ONA. When I hopped over to their site I instantly fell in love. I think there was an audible, "choose me", coming from the Prince Street bag. From all appearances, this bag was made just for me.

It had compartments. And not just normal compartments, but dividers you can move and change according to what you want to fit in the bag.

It looked plenty large enough to fit all my pens, sketchbooks, wallet, etc. But what caught my eye most about this bag was that it didn't seem overly huge like some camera bags I looked at. I'm a short gal and didn't want my bag to overwhelm me so the size seemed absolutely perfect. 

It was a cross body. That's kind of a must for me. I love the look of shoulder bags but when I'm carting around two littles, I don't want to fight my bag falling off my shoulder. And while I'm not a girly-girl and often have dirt under my nails from gardening I loved that it didn't scream "girl bag."

And finally, it was made of Italian leather. Dreamy. And the leather already had a worn look - so I wouldn't have to worry about that first scratch. 

It seemed I had found MY bag. But I did have a few questions regarding size and specifics so I emailed ONA and man, their customer service is top notch. The response was quick and all my questions were addressed.

And then the most amazing thing happened. A Prince Street bag showed up on my doorstep a few days later for me to review.

You guys. When I opened the box I may have teared up a little. I don't deserve a bag like this. And yet, here it was. In all its Italian leather glory. I just wanted to soak it all in. The smell of this bag. I have no words. And the texture. Oh my word, it's so soft but really durable. I can already tell this bag will be on side for many years to come.

I immediately started arranging all my stuff in the bag. Moving the dividers. Deciding what pens went where. Where to put my wallet? Sunglasses? Keys? When I was finished arranging everything I was thrilled that everything had a place and I wouldn't waste time searching for lost keys or pens. This bag was like a glove for all my stuff. A soft, beautiful glove.

I have had my ONA Prince Street bag for over a week now and so happy you guys recommended them. It may sound crazy but I kind of feel like they designed this bag just for me. If you re-read my question from my post, it's everything and then some! It's a beautiful, leather cross-body bag with dividers that will fit all my daily things. I could not have created a more perfect bag for myself had you asked me to. Seriously y'all. It's amazing.

Last weekend I traveled to Minneapolis to co-host another Be Crafty event and not only is this bag perfect for a daily carrying bag, but it's an awesome traveling bag too! 

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. The Prince Street is basically me in a bag. If you're looking for a quality bag,  highly recommend ONA bags. You won't be sorry.