Late Summer Edition: Buying from the Dying Shelf

 YES!  These are from the Dying Shelf purchased at 50% or more from the retail price.

In my earlier post, Buying from the Dying Shelf,  I showed you how we bought dying plants at our local plant store for a fraction of their retail pricing and how the plants have grown and prospered beautifully.  I found these Spider plants (3) in one pot for $5 (originally $10-$15 PER plant).

Fast forward to now, late Summer.  We once again took a look at the dying plants that were available. To our surprise, there was quite a selection, again at a fraction of the cost!

We purchased 2 Hydrangea, 2 Sage, 2 Cone and 2 Lavender plants.  Here's the breakdown:

Quite a savings isn't it?!  As you can see, the plants don't look so great right now but they have plenty of healthy new growth AND they are all perennials that will come back year after year. My advice is the same as it was for the indoor plants; look over the plant, see if there is new growth, it's free from mold and is at least 30-50% green.  

Buying from the Dying Shelf is a fantastic way to save AND have beautiful plants year and year!

Spinach Avocado Chicken Salad

Looking for a REALLY SIMPLE yet vibrant salad for dinner?  This is it!  No need to turn on the oven or stand outside over a hot grill (in 100-degree heat!).  


2 Tbl Coconut Oil
4 Chicken Breasts, cubed in bite size pieces
A handful of fresh herbs, chopped (about 4-5 Tablespoons)
1 Container Organic Spinach
1 Large and several small tomatoes (for variety and taste), cut into bite size pieces
1 Ripe Avocado, cut into bite size pieces
8oz Fresh Mozerella, cut into bite size pieces
1 fresh loaf of Bread


Melt Coconut Oil in pan and add cut chicken.  Add herbs and fry until chicken is cooked through.

Assemble Spinach, Tomatoes, Avocado, Chicken and Mozzarella. Let people top with their own dressing.  We like Balsamic Vinaigrette. 

That's it!  Super simple and only about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Personal Recipe Notes

1. I prefer to fry in Coconut Oil.  It's a healthy alternative to Vegetable Oil or even Olive Oil and gives you a fresh, clean taste.  Check out the benefits of Coconut Oil

2. I used tomatoes from our garden.  Use any tomatoes you like but the fresher they are, the fresher your salad will taste.

3. I also use Nature's Promise Chicken.  I prefer to use organic meats but it's not necessary.

4. I used my own herbs; Basil, Thai Basil, German Thyme and Parsley.  Use whatever herbs your taste buds desire. It's all about personal preference.

5. I use Nature's Promise Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Use YOUR favorite dressing. I prefer an organic, fresh tasting dressing as heavier dressings will mask the taste of your salad.  Unless of course you ask my husband, who puts Thousand Island on everything.

6. Serve with soft, fresh bread.

This is one of the most easily adaptable recipes you'll have in your arsenal.  If you're a die hard griller, go ahead and first marinate your chicken for up to an hour, then grill as you normally would. Finally, add any other vegetables you like (cooked or raw) - the more the merrier in my opinion.


Don't forget to compost your scraps.  It's easy!

Back to School for Students and Teachers

It's that time of year already, can you believe it?  I can't!  Here in Northern New Jersey the kids go back in September.  We still have one in Middle School and one starting High School (yikes!).

I don't know about you, but I'm not really ready for Summer to end.  I kinda feel like it just got started.  Nonetheless, it's that time and we need to get ourselves organized.  I'm a complete "Type A" personality, so being organized EARLY is what I always try to achieve.  Yes, I've already purchased a few school supplies (last month) - Hey, if you don't grab the good pencil cases early, you're stuck with the flimsy ones!

In my quest to get organized, I've compiled a huge list (200+) Pinterest Pins on this very subject. I've found them all to be helpful in one way or another.  I hope you do too.

Of course, many of you reading this are also Teachers!  First, THANK YOU for teaching our children! I hope this Pinterest list of over 260 Pins will be helpful to you in some way.  It's my way of giving back (and hopefully helping) just a tiny bit of what you give of yourself each day.

Click the photos above or you can find Back to School for Students here and Back to School for Teachers here.

Have a great 2015/2016 Year!

Super Simple Mint Iced Tea and Why You Should Drink It

Let's start off with the good stuff - the Super Simple Mint Iced Tea recipe!

5 cups fresh picked Mint (more or less depending on how light or strong you like it)
1 cup Sugar (again, more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
1 gallon water

Bring water to a boil then stir in sugar until completely dissolved.
Add Mint leaves and softly boil for 15-20 minutes.
Drain in colander.
Cool and put in pitcher or enjoy it hot!

That's it!!

Want to dress it up?  Freeze mint with water in ice cube trays or freeze Lemon and Mint or Lime and Mint.

Looking for a twist?  Try some of these combinations;

Ginger Mint Tumeric Tea
Ginger Mint Tea
Green Tea, Bubbles, Lemon and Mint                                                           
Sweet Honey Mint Green Tea
Honey Mint Green Iced Tea
Moroccan Mint Tea
Mint Lime Tea Cooler
Matcha Mint Iced Tea
Apple Ginger Mint Iced Tea
Lemon Mint Iced Tea
Chamomile Lavender Mint Iced Tea
Mint and Lime Sweet Tea

Want to grow your own Mint?  Check out these Do's and Dont's!  Be wary though, Mint is like a weed, it will spread and grow uncontrollably and take over your planting bed.  Be sure you have an enclosed planting bed or plant in a large pot.

Now, WHY should you drink Mint Tea?  Oh so, so many reasons!

Organic Facts has a great list with explanations for use as a Fever Reducer, Nausea and Vomiting, Respiratory Issues, Immune System, Bad Breath, Weight Loss and Stress Reducer.

Medical News Today notes the use of Mint for Relief from Allergies, Common Colds, Indigestion, IBS and Skin reactions.

Livestrong adds Stomach Upset, Mental Focus and Coughs and Congestion.

Of course, if you are using Mint for medicinal purposes, be sure to research side effects and check with your doctor before starting any self-medicating.

If you're curious about the history of Mint, check out this post from Our Herb Garden.  It's quite interesting and informative.

So there you have it; a Super Simple Recipe, a dozen more recipes ideas, Advice on Growing Mint, The Benefits of Mint and the History of Mint. Now it's time to enjoy your own Homemade Mint Tea, Hot or Cold!