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Archive for July, 2012

Building an Herb Garden

My herb garden picture was really well received on Pinterest last week, so I thought I’d check in and see what you were loving!

Here is my current tower:

 I used two sets of stackable planters (if you click the picture above, it will take you to a similar link on Amazon) and built them in the following levels:

Tabasco Peppers (these are HOT!)

Spicy Oregano

Globe Basil

Sweet Basil

Lemon Thyme

Mint (Chocolate and Orange)

I keep it close to the kitchen- right outside on the deck- and use it frequently during dinner prep!  I also have rosemary, cilantro, sage and stevia growing in the garden with the tomatoes and other peppers.  In the front, I used oregano to finish off some of the planters and break up the colors from the wave petunias!

It’s been great to use them as cooking tools, and as decorations!

What herbs do you keep on hand- either fresh or in the pantry?

I’m going to make an herb planter for a friend- what do you think for plants?  Basil, lemon thyme, oregano?

Feel free to share your garden pictures on the Facebook page- I’d love to see them!

 XO, Mer


Weekend Recap and Recipe Love

What a nice weekend!

I got caught up around the house, spent time with friends, and spent equal amounts of time with my stitching, a trashy romance novel and the Olympics on TV!

Here’s my stitching recap from yesterday, in case you missed it!

Needlepoint Flip Flops and Orange, It’s Obvious

I also bookmarked this great article from Cooking Light:

The Food Lover’s Guide to Super Simple Cooking

Looks like some great tips to help make meal prep a little easier during a busy weeknight (or weekend!).

Also drooling over these pictures from Restoring A Historic Home, from Coastal Living.

Warning: if you are hating your job/life/home this morning, don’t read about this gorgeous couple who painstakingly renovated their dream home on the island of Nantucket.

And, just in case you are in need of a little laugh on Monday, here is yet another Lochte vs. Phelps video gem from YouTube!!

Needlepoint Flip Flops and Orange, It’s Obvious

Happy Sunday!

I’m finally starting to feel a bit more rested and relaxed-

It helps to have the house clean, the laundry done, lunched with friends, cleaned the condo, stitched some flip flops and watched some Olympics!  How about the SUPER HOT Ryan Lochte!!!

I made some serious progress on the flip flops, although I realized that I am stitching this backwards from how I normally stitch!

Do you do the background or the subject/details first?

I love watching sections come together, so I prefer to stitch all the details and then do the background!  However, this is A LOT of background, so I’m getting a head start.


Canvas: Chameleon (LMS-30) from Needle Nicely


  • Background: Silk and Ivory , #131, Cafe au Lait and Kreinik # 013 (10mm)
  • Footprints: Kreinik #212 (10mm)


  • Background: Nobuko, alternating Silk and Ivory for the long stitch with the Kreinik for the short stitch
  • Footprints: Basketweave, Baby!

Here are some more closeups:

 This is about 12″ or 13″ wide and high!  Argh, a much bigger project than I had thought!

Anyway, in other (just as exciting) news, I’ve found a great nail polish!

It’s Essie, Orange, It’s Obvious!  So fun for summer AND, it looks like it’s only $0.92 on Amazon right now!  Does that mean I’m already out of style?! ;-)

Also, gotta love this photo bomb by the Croix-dog:

Also, NEWS FLASH: starting to try daily blogging again!  The posts might be a bit shorter, but I’m going to give it whirl.  Check back often, bookmark the page or add it to your RSS reader.

XO, Mer

Identity Crisis


My blog is having an identity crisis!

I feel, much like my life, like my blog is all over the place.  From daily complaints, to weekly needlepoint projects, to attempts at healthy eating and diabetes management, a little pre-pregnancy sprinkled in with some shopping finds and travel tips.

What grabs you?  What makes you want to read more?  What do you enjoy the most about my crazy life?

Do you get ideas from the needlepoint posts?

Do you like the recipes and cooking tips?

Do you ever click on the shopping links that I post?

I enjoy the creativity behind having a blog.  I like sharing aspects of my life with you- sometimes the good, the bad and the ugly, but it’s fun!

Do you just read because you are somehow related to me via blood or marriage (Hi, Mom and Dad H.!)?

I’m thinking about ‘taking this blog to the next level’.  What that really means in ‘Mer’s World’ is that it’s time for a facelift and a little more social networking.  But, I want to do it in a way that makes sense.  By starting to focus on the parts that you really enjoy.

So, tell me, is it…

The amazing, budget kitchen re-dos?  Or the amazing display of Waterford crystal with Ikea furniture?  Speaking of Ikea furniture…

 Notice that we can’t even turn the TV on with the new dresser entertainment center.  Or perhaps, it’s my amazing measurement skills that keep you coming back for more?

(Click on the picture for a link to purchase similar planter!)

Or perhaps it’s the amazing green thumb?  Or amazing photography that managed to hide all the dead plants on the back side?  While also camouflaging the dead grass spots in the yard!

Maybe you are a stitcher, or lover of fibers and fine needlework.  Do you enjoy my needlepoint ‘to do’ list?  Here’s August:

 I’m also working on a ‘top secret’ gift, which is part of the reason for the slow needlepoint updates!  It’s taking lots of my time and I can’t even publish it!

What about the diabetes/healthy living component?  Can you relate it to elements in your life?  Are the tips, recipes, conversation useful?  Do you like the shopping and/or pinterest links?

Also, and this is a big one, do you read mostly in a blog reader or do you actually go to the website?  Are daily updates needed or a few times a week enough?

These are questions flying through my head as I consider investing more time and money into this project!  Ok, who am I kidding, this is just justification to the hubby for continuing to maintain the website and hiring someone to illustrate the header :-)  Give me some good feedback, friends!

And, just two last things:

Recipe obsession this week: Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Cooking Light


 Purchase I’m saving my pennies for:


If, unlike me, you’ve been a good girl and saving your pennies (and not shopping at the Nordstorms Half Yearly Sale), then the fitbit has been added to my store!

So, if you made it this far, go ahead and click on COMMENT and leave me some feedback!  I promise to take each comment seriously, unless you post some seriously crazy stuff about enlarging my penis (don’t have one, sorry spammers), building polish lawn furniture (probably easier for me to build american), or getting a Russian wife (sorry, american husband is enough!).

Blue, Screwed and Bloody

Like the title? It pretty much sums up my weekend!

Here’s the BLUE:


First attempt at a blue door… The result of a mini-breakdown at Lowes and a $2.49 impulse buy.


The new blue door, thanks to another $2 impulse buy and an incredibly patient husband.


Blue bracelet- stitched and ready for finishing!

And, now for the SCREWED:


Pack of screws that came with our newest IKEA purchase. So screwed.


Stacks of wood, to go with that massive pack of screws. Not enough of Brian’s Blueberry Brew (newest Summer beer recipe) chilled to make it through the project. Oh, and getting it all together, only to realize your measurements were off by inches. Screwed.


My Friday shopping at CVS- candy list for the office and glucose monitor, since I left mine at home. Guess what, they don’t come with sticks included anymore, so all I was left with was a ton of chocolate to walk by all day (and not eat, since I couldn’t test my blood sugar!). Screwed.

And, the BLOODY:


Cruzan post-emergency surgery for the ‘inches long’ laceration on the back of his leg, thanks to rough-housing with Croix!


What I came home to find after a 30 minute trip to Lowes and Starbucks- thank goodness I was planning on a day of cleaning!

And, just for fun, a good friend bought the pups treats (thanks, Karen!!). Cruze and Dolce are so delicate- Croix is a dog-leg-eating-monster!!




So, how do you deal with a weekend that leaves you feeling blue, screwed or bloody?!? Any suggestions?

I’m laying low this week- cutting out the extras, just work, working out, stitching and sleeping! Taking a little time to catch my breath ( lots going on behind the scenes in ‘Mer’s world’ that doesn’t make the blog!).

Hope your weekend was wonderful and the week is off a great start!

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