Our 2016 Garden

Oh, how I love the month of June when the garden is full of surprises with nearly trip outside. The squash is starting to produce and there are tiny tomatoes all over tomato plants and we’re eating so many fresh vegetables and beginning to preserve our harvest.

We started gardening around mid-February when we planted our sugar snap peas, kale, collards and carrots. Our kale did very well and was harvested in early May and our sugar snap peas did very well this year too. We picked lots of sugar snap peas over nearly a 4 week period. Our kiddos favorite way to eat them was straight from the vine but we also added them to stir fry, ate them with hummus and I even tried a quart jar of refrigerator pea pickles (the kids love pickles but don’t love these just yet!)

Around mid-April, we had planted most of our garden for this summer. We planted onions, tomatoes, cabbage, squash, zucchini, cucumber, sweet corn, popcorn and peppers.  In early May, we added even more tomatoes, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes.

We also added in 3 new raised beds this spring and I want to expand our garden even more!

Garden - April 24

This is our garden as it looked on April 24th.

Garden - June 6

This is the garden from earlier this week on June 6. It had rained nearly every day the previous week and all of our plants had experienced explosive growth (it had been very dry).

Sugar Snap Peas

Here’s one of our large pea harvests.

Broccoli and Squash

This is our very first squash of the summer and two broccoli crowns. Since we don’t spray, we battled cabbage worms for a couple weeks. Since we only had two broccoli plants this spring, we simply picked worms off every evening to try to prevent them from completely destroying the plant.

Little Farmer

Last night, Weston joined me and we harvested 3 squash and 1 zucchini. Harvesting is always fun for me but harvesting with my kiddos is even more fun.

Our garden is the largest we’ve ever had and we anticipate eating from our garden quite a bit this summer and hopefully preserving quite a bit, especially tomatoes. However, it’s still not large enough to fully feed us so we decided to join a CSA this summer.

We purchased a half share from a local-ish farm which has a drop in our area. The half share was $400 for 24 weeks which breaks down to just over $16.50 per week. We’re 3 weeks into our CSA and receiving our boxes each week has been such fun, I feel like a kid at Christmas every week when I dig into our box.

We joined the CSA to support local farmers as well as to try new vegetables and hopefully find more foods that we enjoy.

CSA Week 1


Week 1 box – This one included cherry tomatoes, peas, broccoli, baby collards, radishes, turnips and cabbage.

The baby collards, radishes and turnips are not vegetables I normally purchase. In fact, I didn’t even realize that radishes were a spicy vegetable. And, nobody in our family is a fan of the radishes, at least not yet!

I sautéed the baby collards, chopped them up and added them to a quiche, it was delicious.

I had cooked turnips only once before and nobody liked them, including me. I found this recipe for Scalloped Turnips which was super simple and very, very good. John David said they were the best turnips he’d ever had.

CSA Week 2

Week 2 box – Lettuce, cabbage, zuchinni, squash, tomato, broccoli, cucumber and daikon radish.

I was thrilled to have my first fresh tomato of the summer. I promptly made a loaf of sourdough bread and enjoyed a tomato sandwich which is my favorite way to eat tomatoes!

No one in our family loves cucumbers, unless they’re pickled. I’ll eat them but they’re not my favorite. I ate one with hummus and then added it to a salad, then other I tossed into pickle juice to make refrigerator pickles.

The daikon radish was a completely new vegetable, I had never even heard of it. I chopped it up and added it to a stir fry which seemed like an easy way to eat it. Neither John David or I liked it, the taste was pretty mild but it was quite stringy and I did not like the texture one bit.

CSA Week 3

Week 3 box – Tomatoes, turnips, cauliflower, squash, cucumber, collards and beets.

My kiddos were super excited about this box because it had beets! They watched an episode of A Chef’s Life a few weeks ago where Vivian made a beet cake and they’ve been hoping beets would show up in our box so we could make a beet cake.

I found this recipe for Fudgy Beet Cupcakes. I followed it exactly, except I did substitute milk for almond milk. The kids helped me prep the cake and were super excited to eat the cupcakes. They were surprisingly delicious. They were very moist and chocolatey but had a slight earthy flavor from the beets. Weston wasn’t a huge fan of these but everybody else really enjoyed them.

And, following the ‘waste not, want not’ motto, I even used the beet greens! I sautéed them in olive oil with onion and added them along with potatoes to a quiche was was pretty good.

We’re having the collards for dinner tonight with beans, cornbread and zuchinni relish which I’ve made from last week’s zuchinni from our CSA box and our zuchinni we’ve harvested.

I’m looking forward to harvesting even more, branching out and trying new veggies and recipes with our CSA veggies, preserving as much as I can and planning our fall garden in the weeks ahead.

Do you garden? What are you growing? 

Joysdiaper One Sized Bamboo Fitted Diaper

Bamboo Fitted Review

For the past 5.5 years, I’ve had a baby in cloth diapers. Changing and washing diapers is just part of my daily routine.

My ‘baby’ is currently 20 months old and while she’s showing signs of potty readiness, we’re still at least a few months away from packing up the diapers.

Most of her diapers were handed down from big brothers and a lot of them are quite worn out so having the opportunity to try out new cloth diapers in pretty, girly colors is fun for both of us.

Joysdiaper Fitted

Our newest diaper is a Bamboo Fitted from Joysdiaper, it’s a lovely shade of purple with rainbow trim and is very soft.

This fitted diaper is a one size diaper and can be adjusted to fit babies weighing 6-35 pounds.

The outer is made of bamboo cotton velour consisting of 55% bamboo fiber, 23% cotton and 22% polyester.

Joysdiaper Inside of Fitted

The inner is made of bamboo cotton fleece consisting of 70% bamboo fiber and 30% cotton. I love that the part that touches baby is made up of 100% natural fibers and bamboo is not only soft, it’s also very absorbent and hypoallergenic. Each of these diapers comes with 2 bamboo fiber inserts.

Snaps in Joysdiaper Fitted

One of the inserts snaps directly into the diaper to hold it into place. It’s probably the only insert you’ll need for diapering smaller babies and for daytime use.

Joysdiaper Fitted Inside

The second insert serves as a doubler to provide extra absorption. It does not snap in, but it does go directly under the insert that is snapped in which helps hold it into place.

This bamboo fitted stuffed with 2 bamboo inserts and paired with a PUL cover (we use Econobum with it), makes an excellent nighttime diaper for our heavy wetting toddler.

Cecilia is showing signs of potty readiness and when she does wear it during the day, I put it on her without inserts or a cover, treating it more like training underwear than a diaper. Since it is a natural fiber, she feels wetness more than if she’s wearing a pocket diaper with stay dry fabrics against her skin.

Joysdiaper on Toddler

If you are interested in giving fitted diapers a try or want to add more to your stash, look into Joysdiaper Bamboo Fitteds! They’re great quality and only $13.95 each.

Joysdiaper is a mom-owned small business with personalized customer service and quality products. In addition to Bamboo Fitteds, they also make One Size Bamboo Charcoal Pocket Diapers and One Size Pocket Diapers. We’ve have a Joysdiaper pocket diaper which is a high quality, well designed pocket diaper at a very affordable price!


Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Joysdiaper who provided products and payment. All opinions are my own. 


Interested in cloth diapering your baby?

Check out my eBook, Cloth Diapers: A How-To Handbook on the Basics of Cloth Diapering. It’s a great resource covering different types of cloth diapers, diaper wash routines, using cloth diapers outside the home and more. It’s $3.99 to buy or FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

I’m Thankful for My Washing Machine

Washing MachineTo My Washing Machine,

Thank you so much for being such a faithful worker in our home.

You serve me well each week as I wash our clothes, towels and bedding.

I am thankful for you every other day when I start a load of cloth diapers.

You make doing laundry a simple task.

And, after a bout with a stomach bug, I am even more thankful for you.

I can toss bedding and clothes that are covered with throw up in and hit the ‘rinse’ button and you take care of the icky mess.

Once you’ve rinsed, I simply add in detergent, hit another button and 48 minutes later, clean laundry emerges.

You’ve worked hard these past few days, working nearly non-stop.

Thank you for washing our laundry.

And, thank you so much for having a rinse cycle and making cleaning up throw up just a bit easier.



We’ve been dealing with a weird stomach bug over the past few days. Cecilia has thrown up multiple times- including all over both of us while I was wearing her in the Boba at a church picnic. Ick. Even though she’s throwing up, she seems just fine and is playing like normal. I’m looking forward to whatever this is being over and I really am so thankful for my washing machine!

Buttons Cloth Diaper Review

Buttons Cloth Diapers
We’ve been cloth diapering since the birth of our first child, over 5 years ago and the majority of the cloth diapers we’ve been using for our third baby were used on both of her older brothers. After 4-5 years of nearly continuous use on 3 babies, our diapers have been well loved and many of them have been ‘decommissioned’.

A few months ago, it became obvious that we needed to purchase a few more diapers in order to continue cloth diapering full time. I really didn’t want to purchase any more diapers but knew the investment of a few cloth diapers would save money in the long run instead of having to use disposables.

I decided to do a little research on cloth diapers and look into some different cloth diaper brands that have debuted since we purchased cloth diapers last. I’m so glad I did because this research led me to Buttons Diapers.

Buttons Diapers is a small, family owned business. Their goal is for their diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone.

I love that by purchasing Buttons Diapers, you are supporting a small business, run by a young family who values simple and sustainable living – just like my family!

Diaper Cover + Insert

Buttons Diapers are an all-in-two cloth diapering system which consists of a cover and a separate insert. The cover is a one-size cover which fits most babies from 9-35 pounds.

The cover is made of high quality PUL and comes in a variety of colors and cute prints. The solid covers are priced at $11 and prints are $12.50.

The inside of the cover has two snaps where you can easily snap in your Buttons inserts. Or you can use this cover with inexpensive prefolds, which is what we do.

Buttons Inserts

You can purchase a variety of inserts to meet your babies needs:

  • Microfiber Daytime Insert
  • Microfiber Nighttime Doubler
  • Hemp/Cotton Daytime Insert
  • Hemp/Cotton Nighttime Doublers

The inserts are available in size small (9-20 pounds) and large (20-35 pounds).

Our Buttons inserts are size large since Cecilia is 17 months old and weighs 21 pounds. They both work well but I really like the hemp/cotton blend insert. Plus, I prefer natural fibers to synthetic ones.

Double Leg Gussets

One of my favorite features of the Buttons diaper cover is the double leg gussets. This is a very nice feature and which makes this a nice all-in-two cover for exclusively breastfed babies. (I’ve never had much success with all-in-twos or prefolds/covers with the explosive exclusively breastfed baby poo).
Buttons Cloth DiaperI have been very pleased with our Buttons cover and especially love the color (Midnight).

If we need more diapers before Cecilia starts using the potty, Buttons will be my first choice!

To purchase:

Disclosure – I received a Buttons Diapers cover and 2 inserts in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links.