Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bigger is not always better

I am referring to gardening of course!  You don’t have to have a 1,000 square foot garden to produce enough crops for your family.  Far from it.  We have had all size gardens and to be perfectly honest, smaller is better.  It works for us and it might work for you.

This photo is from the early stages of this year’s raised bed garden (end of February 2016).  It is not big by any means.  At 8 x 16 it is hard to believe all that we get out of it.

In the beginning...

Now, fast forward to today.  Check out this photo taken May 24, 2016.

The garden is beautiful!

On the far left - three kinds of lettuce
On the far right peas and carrots

In the middle – Swiss Chard (those big huge leaves) along with sweet potatoes and yellow squash.  At either end is one tomato plant.  We have been eating salads at dinner for a long time and so have our neighbors, since we have enough we share.  We have had Swiss Chard for a month or longer.  If you aren’t sure what Swiss Chard is, it is very similar to spinach, but huge leaves – at least in our garden. 

That is one huge Swiss Chard leaf!

If you don’t have time, space or energy for a large garden this type of set up might work for you.  It’s not too late to plant, just get moving on this project.  Build yourself a raised bed (or buy a set up) and soon you too will be producing a good crop.

If you have an apartment or condo – as long as you have a balcony or patio you can do container gardening.  A tomato plant doesn’t care if it in a huge garden or in a pot – it will give you fruit if you just give it water and some love.  Just get yourself a few good size pots at the dollar store.   Make sure they have drainage holes, fill with dirt and plant your  ‘garden’.

If you have questions regarding how or what to plant check with a local garden center and sometime a friend or neighbor might have the answers.  There is always the internet.  If you have a little dirt, a lot of determination and a desire for fresh veggies – go for it.

There is always room for a garden flag!

Photos belong to AbbyG

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ovleng stereo headphones review

Another college student suggested getting a set of good quality stereo headphones along with the rest of my college gear. But, I forgot and there was no way I was going to fight my way back through the campus bookstore just for a pair of headphones!

Amazon came to my rescue. This Ovleng stereo headphones review covers what I like, and don't like, about them.

Skype calls are crystal clear and, although they aren't noise canceling, they do a nice job of blocking out most of the dining hall hum. I really like the overall sound for music and recorded notes.

Here is the video unboxing and Ovleng stereo headphones review that I did on You Tube. I'm not a tech person, so you'll want to use this Amazon Link for those details.

After doing the unboxing and Ovleng stereo headphones review on YouTube, I decided that I don't like the bulk they add to my book bag. Also, they begin to get uncomfortable after a couple of hours on my small ears and I need to take a break. Otherwise, I love these stereo headphones and much prefer them to ear buds or foam headphones.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know that these were purchased at a discount for an honest review. As a nontraditional college student on a limited budget, I need to save money whenever possible. Just know that a discounted or sale won't buy a good review. I like what I like, but if a product is junk, then I'm going to say so.

I hope you like the review as much as I like the Ovleng stereo headphones. Don't forget to share the post on social media and leave a comment below to let me know of any tips you have about surviving college.

Friday, May 20, 2016

If you are looking for the best crab cakes, you need to head to Maryland!

You may not know it, but I’m a Maryland crab!  That’s right, I was born in Baltimore and lived there the first 10 years of my life.  Even after moving to New Jersey we continued the trek back and forth between home and Baltimore since most of our relatives lived there.  So, to put it bluntly, I know crabs – I know how to pick crabs and I sure know how to eat them.

My parents had a summer home on the Chesapeake Bay on an island.  Tilghman Island is a small fishing village and when I say fishing it’s basically crabs.  It used to be just a place for the locals until someone from New York went there, found all the great seafood places, wrote about it the Times and all the tourists started heading there. 

Fast forward many years and now there are 2 million dollar homes on that island and even the tiny remodeled homes are going for unbelievable prices.  There are several outstanding restaurants and you can’t beat Tilghman for southern hospitality.  You might not believe it, but they have quite a southern accent!

He's not a real crab so he can't pinch!

While you can buy crabs in many places, the Maryland Blue Crab is known far and wide.  The Eastern Shore of Maryland isn’t the only place to find a great seafood restaurant.  I came across an article that lists the top 15 restaurants serving the best crab cakes in Maryland.  Instead of reinventing the wheel listing them I am providing the link right here.  Remember, we all have our opinions of what is the ‘best’!

If you live in or near Maryland or plan on visiting – you might want to sample a few crab cakes.  I know that my mouth has been watering since I clicked on the link!  I wish it wasn’t such a long ride or we would be on the road right now!

Just a few steamed crabs waiting for us to pick for crabcakes

A great crab cake starts with fresh crab meat.  The best way to get that is by catching the crabs yourself, steaming them, picking them and then making crab cakes.  Since that isn’t possible for most people, you can buy crab meat in your local grocery store. The recipe for crab cakes is right on the pack of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. 

I won’t say that store bought crab meat will taste as good as Maryland crab meat, but if you can’t get to Maryland using store bought crab might be as good as it gets.

Photos belong to AbbyG