A Berry Good Sign!

My kids could eat their body weight in fruit everyday. The price of organic fruit, especially berries, is nuts. I love to garden, so last year I put in a strawberry patch.

I started with 6 plants and resisted every natural urge to let them flower. (It is recommended that you pick the flowers off of the plants the first year they're in the ground so they put more energy into a good root system instead of into making fruit.)

Those 6 plants sent off runners and made new baby plants. I let each plant form 3 babies, and I removed any additional runners. So this year I have 18 strawberry plants. I went out to weed the bed in preparation for the spring equinox, and found a "berry" good sign!

The presences of earthworms in the garden is a great sign that the soil is happy and fertile, which means healthy plants.

I also spied the plants starting leaf production again. I should start seeing flowers in a few short weeks!

Those weren't the only signs of spring. My chives are coming back in!

The roses are setting leaves.

Walking barefoot around the yard did remind me that we had a little over 3" of snow just 2 days ago. My husband spent the day building an igloo. Sadly, (or not so sadly. I vastly prefer warm weather to cold!) here is all that remains of it.

What is your favorite time of year? Are you planting a garden?

Playsilk Giveaway - Set of 6 Mini Playsilks

Playsilks are not only one of my kids' favorite toys, they are one of my favorite toys as well. I'm often asked to make capes out of the them for the bigger kids, and the baby wears one as a hat. I've been known to answer my front door with a playsilk around my head (it keeps my hair out of my face!). My oldest uses them as blankets for her dolls.

I'd love to share this fun with you, so I'm giving away a set of mini playsilks for free! You can choose from any of our sets (rainbow, flower bouquet or muted rainbow) or other colors. There are lots of ways to enter:

- Stop by Etsy and tell me your favorite product and why
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Follow BLT on Twitter
- Follow this blog (on the right hand side of your screen, there is a "join this site" button

Rafflecopter will choose a winner in 1 week. Please leave your email address so I can contact the winner!

Good luck!

It's Snack Time! (The Story of Amazing Popcorn)

Prepare to have your mind blown.

I am a snacker. I love food, and I especially love food while watching TV. My waistline and my thighs do not love food as much as my stomach does.

I saw a pin on Pinterest about making your own popcorn, and had to give it a try. I love popcorn, but really don't like spending a gazillion dollars on the microwave kind, and don't like the franken-list of chemicals that are in it.

Not being a big fan of sweet, I needed to balance it out with some spice. Here is my favorite version of microwave popcorn!

This makes plenty of popcorn, definitely enough to share!

What you need:

1/2 cup popcorn seeds
1 brown paper lunch bag (which is reusable!)
Flavorings of your choice. 

In this recipe, you need:

1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter (You can use a little, or a lot. I used 3 tablespoons. Don't judge me.)

Carefully pour the popcorn kernels into the brown paper bag.

Fold the top of the bag over on itself several times, unless you'd like to clean a ton of popcorn out of your microwave. (Ask me how I know this.)

Put the bag into your microwave and nuke for 2 minutes on high. (Popcorn should start popping 30 seconds in.)

While your popcorn is popping, melt your butter in a saucepot. When it is melted, add in your seasonings.
Stir just until the sugar / salt is dissolved.

Your popcorn should be done popping by now. Take it out of the microwave and pour it into a bowl.

(Naked popcorn.)

Pour your molten seasoning concoction all over the popcorn and mix it up. (Don't burn yourself!)

(Properly dressed popcorn.)

If you're feeling nice, call your spouse downstairs and tell them you made delicious popcorn. Or if you're like me, grab the bowl of popcorn and hide in your studio and write a blog post about making said popcorn.