A glimpse of Spring..

I surely hope you didn’t forget about me. I’ve been working on a new set of sparkly brand new blogs to try to make things uniform. So, here we go. This blog is now The Nifty Foodie’s Life, based on my new food blog, called The Nifty Foodie.

I have to give mad props to His Birdie’s Nest, because a while back, I wanted to change my Twitter name from a screenname I used in college to something more, well, me. She came up with The Nifty Foodie, and ever since, I’ve LOVED this name.

So, here’s the new blog. Feel free to comment on the new look and layout. Just try not to be too harsh, k? :)

So, let’s bring some Spring into this blog, and well, nothing shouts Spring more than gardens. The hubs and I completely redid our gardens, and I’m a lot more optimistic about the year to come with our vegetable crop, because of an interesting theory: companion planting.

Companion plants are plants that either repel pests from the garden or solely attract ALL pests to those respective plants, thus, leaving your precious vegetables ALONE in a natural way.

After reading this article and speaking with my mom (a horticulturist), I planted marigolds and salvias around the tomatoes.

Check out our vegetable garden, which is in our backyard. I planted heirloom tomatoes, super fantastic (yep, that’s the name) tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapenos. I also planted some herbs along the front of the garden with thecompanion plants dispersed around.


Because of last year’s experience with spider mites and goodness knows what else killed my tomatoes, I decided to up the companion planting ammo with these companion plants, and grew seedlings of MORE marigolds, sunflowers, and cosmos.

You might also notice the salad greens to the far left. :) That’s just because I love me some lettuce, and I’m too cheap to spend $2/plant.


These bad boys will be going in the ground in the next few days, and I can’t be more excited to watch these little seedlings grow into lean mean companion plant MACHINES!!

Are you as psyched about your veggie garden as I am? C’mon Spring!

Beginning of Spring!

This was the most perfect weekend to get some outdoor work done. After months of freezing cold weather, a season with two days of snow (in Louisiana) and dead plants, I just needed to plant some flowers.

So, after the puppy woke me up at 6:30 in the morning, I thought that it was time to work on a project that has been months in the works.


Yeah, ugly right? This was in our front yard…right here.

Yes, this was taken in October. I’d rather a pretty picture with grass to give you an idea of our garden in its prime. This spot used to have a HUGE sago palm that blocked the walkway and would randomly sting me (darn leaves) when I tried to weed around it. Also, they are very poisonous to dogs and we knew we would want a puppy.

**obligatory cute puppy picture of the day**

Puppy bandana

Since that photo of the house was taken in October, yes, it’s been that way for a while. I just couldn’t do anything in the winter, because I hate the cold. So, Saturday, I ventured out to Lowe’s and bought these perfect little pansies and some rocks. :)

Lowes trip
Two hours of rock removal, sago palm seed clean-up (for the dog), filling in the hole from the palm, and weed blocking, it was time to make this garden pretty.
After garden

We bought this fountain almost a year and a half ago. It’s been sitting on our porch, and I was so glad to finally put it SOMEWHERE! It looks spectacular, and would you believe we paid under $15 for it? I’m sure you are asking how...stalk your local Target’s garden center when the Fall hits. After gardening season is over, they clear everything out: Furniture, BBQ pits, Fountains, etc. And I mean, clear out! Ours was 75% OFF! :)

We put the pansies in pots as well, and placed them in the rocks. The great thing about this garden is (hopefully) there will be little to no weeds! :) The landscape rocks surrounding the garden were from the old homeowners. So, essentially this garden was less than $50. :)

Another great addition to our yard? My birthday is coming up, and my husband knows I LOVE Louisiana citrus. He bought me this Meyer Lemon tree as a surprise for our backyard…isn’t he fantastic? I can’t wait to see some fruit! :)

Did any of y’all get great Spring weather to garden this weekend? :)

My thumb is turning green..

I harvested the first of my cherry tomatoes this week, and I am so surprised by myself! I can’t believe I grew these in our little garden!


Now, what am I going to do with these beauties? :) My creole tomatoes are starting to turn red as well. I see some fun recipes coming soon!

Our Aerogarden

Normally, I’m a fairly frugal person. I used to splurge a lot in my college days, and once I got in the work force, I calmed down with my impulse buys. So, you will RARELY see me get the latest and greatest RIGHT when it comes out.

Aerogarden has been out for a long time, and I really thought it was just hype when it came out. Hydroponics…pfft. However, years later, I’ve noticed that Aerogardens work really well and they aren’t just an expensive hype. So, I saw that Target started selling them, and I thought, well, let’s wait until they go on clearance. Target is notorious for having seasonal clearances on things that don’t sell, and I figured expensive Aerogardens probably won’t sell here. I was right…4 months later, they started marking them down. I wanted the Aerogarden 3 but it was regularly $99.99. I couldn’t justify the 25% off markdown, so I waited. Then, I noticed they weren’t selling at all STILL. So, they went 50% off to $49.99. I thought about it, but thought eh, I can grow outside herbs. I was talking myself out of it. A few weeks later, I walked by the aisle and there was ONE Aerogarden 3 left. I thought, it has to be on an even greater clearance for being here this long. So, I scanned it…..$24.99. Wow…even I was having trouble justifying that until I thought about the little stimulus raise Obama gave us last year. I thought, well, this is Obama’s treat. :)

This little guy came with the English cottage seed kit, and I thought this would be great to grow for spring/summer flowers. I can then put herbs in it for around the holidays when the herbs outside aren’t doing so well.

I read the directions, filled it with tap water, added the seed kits with their little germinating domes and watched them sprout. After I removed the domes, it went downhill for me. So, I called Aerogarden asking what did I do? Surely, my thumb isn’t THAT brown…this is supposed to be fool-proof!

The man explained that my tap water is the culprit, and he would send me a new seed kit for free to try again. Very good customer service, Aerogarden. The fact is, they have a germination guarantee on all seed kits, but since mine germinated already, I wasn’t covered by that. So, it was truly great of them to offer a new kit for free! This time, I used distilled water and check out my garden now!


You can kind of see that one plant is doing super well and the other two are tiny. I took this picture last week. The apparent problem is shadowing from the petunia plant. So, I cut it back to make sure that the other two plants were getting ample light and I’m noticing that the other two plants are starting to do much better.

If you are on the fence about getting an Aerogarden, totally consider getting it soon. You might not luck out with the deal I got, but they sell them at Bed, Bath and Beyond with the seed kits (don’t forget your 20% off coupons too!). :)

The little ones

This is our humble vegetable garden. In the beginning of the Spring, I bought gift cards to a local nursery for HALF OFF. How, you ask? Well, local radio stations all across the country host these half off hook-ups, usually every Friday. There are gift cards for random local businesses (old and new) but it’s extremely limited so you have to get to the website RIGHT at the time the sale starts to get the goodies! Here’s the link to my local (Baton Rouge/New Orleans) half off deals!

So, with the nursery gift card, I ventured to start a vegetable/herb garden. I’ll talk about my herbs another time…the heat is currently not being their friend! I bought a 6 pack of creole tomatoes (you haven’t eaten REAL tomatoes unless you’ve had these IMO), one cherry tomato and one jalapeno (for DH..he loves peppers!). They were SO tiny, and now LOOK at what they have turned into! Crazy…

Well, let me not keep you in deep suspense. Take a look at the little ones…feel free to “awww”.


Cherry tomatoes…awwww.


Creole tomatoes..mmm!


Baby jalapenos.

I’m sure you’re wondering…what the heck are we going to do with all these veggies? Let me show you some ideas that I have!

Bacon wrapped jalapeno thingies
Marinara Sauce

There are more, but I’m also thinking with the salsa and marinara sauce, to try my hand at canning. I know, I’m trying to be so MARTHA it’s not even funny.

But there you have it, our little ones. :)