Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Plant & Grow a Pineapple Top: Take Two!

Today we wanted to pop in with an update on our homegrown pineapple plant — you heard that right, we've been trying our hands at growing a container pineapple indoors here in Virginia over the last several months, and it's going surprisingly well:

This whole project began almost 2 years ago when we first tried to regrow a pineapple from the leafy top scraps of a pretty dried out fruit. Being completely honest, that experiment didn't go so well and after several weeks of trying to breath new life into that plant, we called it a lost cause — but that didn't stop us from trying again!

We were so intrigued by the idea that it's possible to regrow a pineapple from the top leaves, we simply couldn't let it rest. Rumor has it, a successfully rooted pineapple plant can take up to 2 years to produce fruit. Here's a really nice shot of what one looks like firsthand from our friend Alice's Instagram travels in Sri Lanka over the summer:

Pretty crazy, right? It almost looks fake!

The original concept and method for regrowing a pineapple from its top turns out to work really well, but the trick for our latest success was in using a fresher green top, instead of one that had already dried out.

As a refresher on the process, we just twisted the green leafy top away from the pineapple fruit, chopping the fruit to enjoy and setting the top aside to regrow another plant from:

We prepared the top for regrowth by peeling back a few layers of leaves around the base, then gently sliced the end of the base where any remnants of fruit remain (this base will be resting in water, so we didn't want any fruit left to mold or rot):

From here, I just rested the base in a couple inches of water in one of our finest glasses, I mean, solo cups and just let it be by the windowsill, changing the water every few days:

As you can see, the leaves began to dry out significantly over the few weeks we left it in there, but despite the initial drying out, we began to notice small roots making their way out from the base:

Once the roots were about 1/4" long, we planted the top in a planter nested with well draining organic garden soil:

After bringing the planter inside, I decided to cut away any portions of dried leaves and it was at that point we could also see very slow, but new green growth making its way up through the center of the pineapple base:

From there, we've just continued to water the plant regularly, letting it hang out with our other indoor plants in the office near our front window:

That last shot above was taken in May, so over the past 5 months, we've seen about this much progress:

Not bad, eh?

From starting the top in water to where you see us now has probably taken the better part of 8 months. If the plant continues to grow, we should see it sprout a pineapple over the next year or two. This has definitely been more of an ornamental plant and growing experiment for us — while we'd be thrilled to get a pineapple from our efforts over time, we're just excited to be able to say we have a pineapple house plant in general!

What about you? Do you live in a climate where pineapples grow freely or would you try growing one from the top for fun? I have to admit, before trying to grow a plant ourselves, I didn't actually know pineapples grew from plants in the ground, one fruit at a time — I naively assumed they grew on trees.

Discover More:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

An NYC Moment

We're back from another busy week in the city, winding down and getting back into the swing of things here at home. While loading pictures from our stay last week, I came across a string of shots I'd captured from a city bench one afternoon while taking a moment to pause and wanted to share.

Sometimes it's the little things, like watching the activity around a puddle from a bench in the middle of Manhattan, that make you sit back and slow down a bit:

It's amazing how nature adapts and flourishes no matter the setting. Thanks for taking the time to check in and share in this little 5-minute moment I was able to capture and enjoy. Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Over on eHow: Organized Vertical Storage

Over the weekend we gave the blank brick wall above my workbench in the garage an organizational makeover. With the help of a few key supplies like metal rails, hanging baskets and S hooks I've now got my frequently used tools within arm's reach and a workbench that's clutter free.

I drilled right into the brick for this installation, which is actually simpler than it sounds — find the full step by step tutorial in our latest project post for eHow.

...and since we all love a good "before shot," here's a better idea of where we started:

This blank space of wall usually has a cluttered workbench pushed against it and you can see the mess that's built up on the ground above. This project was a great chance to pull everything away from the wall, re-organize and clean up. Now that we've installed the wall storage, I've got a completely clear work-surface to use now, which feels so good:

This project would also translate really well in other clutter-prone areas like a laundry or craft area. Find the full tutorial for creating the full rail system with step by step instructions and pictures right here, on eHow.

Discover More:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend Basics

Good morning and happy Monday — we're checking in from NYC today, where we'll be spending the remainder of the week. Today we mostly wanted to share a few snaps from our Sunday walking around the city along with a few earlier highlights from the weekend if you'd like to see!

By now you probably know we love getting into the city early Sunday morning — it's a great way for us to spend a day hanging out together in the city and get some rest later in the day in prep for the busy work week ahead. What's always so funny to us is how the city is literally asleep between 9-10 on Sunday morning — I snapped that shot of Mary above at the nearly-empty Bedford Ave platform as we headed into the city.

We headed straight over to the Meatpacking District to walk around — Mary wanted to walk through Chelsea Market where we window shopped and grabbed a bite of breakfast (everything bagel with bacon cream cheese anyone?):

We were both excited to be within walking distance of the Apple Store, and were eager to check out the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in person. Every Apple store is unique, but the ones in NYC are pretty amazing. We stopped into the one on West 14th right near Chelsea Market and made our way up this spiral staircase entirely made of glass:

There were long lines for those that had pre-ordered a phone, but for folks like us that just wanted to pop in and take a look, the stores were open and well stocked with devices to play around with:

We both agreed that while the 6 plus is giant in size and somewhat ridiculous, it would still be the choice we'd go with given the way we currently use our phones. It was a lot of fun getting to take a look and ask questions in person. Speaking of upgrades, have you all seen the latest Verizon ad for trading up to the new phone? It's got us cracking up every time is comes on:

In our house, this scenario would most likely play out with Mary, since she uses Siri on a regular basis.

For lunch, we hit up one of my favorite spots I discovered during a past visit in the East Village — this Japanese ramen noodle brasserie called Ippudo NY. It's a small place that's always super busy and bustling:

We both loved the "no food takeaway" warning at the footer of each menu page — only in NYC! I can't make this stuff up.

Outside of spending Sunday in the city, we had time earlier in the weekend to spend a little quality time with Spiderman:

I mean, our nephew, Benjamin. Yeah, the one with permanent marker on his face, ha! Oh to be 4 years old again:

I also spent some quality time out in the garage working on our next project post — it involves a brick wall and a masonry bit. Can't wait to show you how this one turned out later in the week:

Finally, I couldn't pass up the chance to share a pic of our favorite new sweets (even though I'm not a huge sweets person). Earlier in the week, we stopped into Gearhart's Chocolates, our local specialty chocolate shop, and left with these "peanut butter pups:"

They're filled with local all natural peanut butter and come with a great story: Gearhart's donates 5% of sales to Companions for Heroes, an organization that matches rescue pets as companion animals to our nation's wounded veterans. These are definitely going on our go-to gift list from now on!

And with that, we wrap up our weekend adventures and will be exploring the city this week — as always, we thank you for taking the time to check in and hope you have a great week ahead.

P.S. Love peanut butter as much as we do? There's still time to enter our latest giveaway for a 6-pack assortment of Peanut Butter & Co flavors. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fancy That!

Original image by Tori Watson, Marvelous Things Photography

Today we're back again, sharing all the smaller things we're into (or fancying, hence the series name) that might not fit into a single post for one reason or another. Sometimes there might be a long list of randomness, other times it might be a single gem — whatever the case, here's what we're into right now.

- We're headed up to NYC again for the week ahead and are looking forward to checking in from the city. We're hoping to get a glimpse at the new iPhone 6 and 6 plus while in walking distance of the Apple store and might even try to get by the Peanut Butter & Co sandwich shop if we have time!

- Speaking of peanut butter, there's still time to enter our latest giveaway for a 6-pack assortment of Peanut Butter & Co flavors.

- Instagram to follow: Brimfield Barn, home to one of the largest (and famous) antique shows around. These Brimfield shows are on our bucket list to attend, just for the fun of it — one of these days we'll make it out to MA to join the fun.

10 Instagram accounts wine lovers should follow.

- Such clever (and cute!) carved black cat Halloween pumpkins.

- What's been cooking around here? We've been enjoying these fresh salmon fillet salads with a surprisingly simple (and delicious) homemade honey dijon vinaigrette dressing.

- It's the alphabet — Weimaraner style (we may or may not remember this from Sesame Street)!

- Beautiful vintage wicker "bells."

- Have you been itching to open an Etsy shop or pull the trigger on your first Etsy purchase? Well, I'm excited to be able to offer a couple referral links to make it that much easier:
  • Sell on Etsy: Receive 40 free listing credits when opening a shop on Etsy, by using this referral link: http://etsy.me/1uVKqUR
  • Shop on Etsy: Receive $5 towards your first Etsy purchase when using this referral link: http://etsy.me/ZzYRn3
Please note, the above referral links may send free listings back my way too (it's a win for everyone). If you already have an Etsy shop and want to share a referral link with your friends and family too, find out how right here.

Hope you've been enjoying the weekend!
Discover More:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Over on eHow: Edible Landscaping with Fall Pumpkin Planters

We've been looking forward to sharing the finished project from our weekend pumpkin hunt here in RVA! For our latest project post for eHow, we created some of our favorite fall decorations — carved pumpkin planters.

You might remember we tried making these for the first time last autumn with a variety of different mums. They lasted so long and brought such a nice seasonal touch to our front porch and stairs last year that we couldn't wait for the first batch of pumpkins to make their way to the markets this year so we could make them again. For those local to Richmond, we found these pumpkins at Ellwood Thompson's and the local source was the same pumpkin farm we visited with the kids last year, Gallmeyer Farms.

Instead of using entirely mums, this year we chose a few different varieties of hearty fall plants, like ornamental peppers and kale along with a bright pink mum:

They're happily making a new home on our front stairs and already continuing to grow inside their new "living" pumpkin containers:

This is one of those really simple weekend projects that makes a big impact — find the full tutorial for making these seasonal pumpkin planters with step by step instructions and pictures right here, on eHow.

Who else is excited for pumpkin season to finally be here?

Discover More: