Five Things (7)

These Five Things are brought to you by the letter S and the number 7.

— Thing One —

Shanny, Shanny, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? My sister, father and I went to Home Depot and Lowes one bright Saturday morning – far too early for a Saturday morning might I add – and bought the necessary equipment for planting a small vegetable and flower garden. Later, my sister and I spent four hours digging up the earth and laying down soil and compost (mmmm, compost), and finally, planted our garden! In the front we have Burgundy Blush, Silver Star, Sensation Deep Rose and I later found some English Lavender which has a wonderful smell! I cannot wait for late spring/early summer when everything will be in bloom!  In the back we planted some tomatoes and basil – I suppose we can make it into sauce. I want to plant some peas, cucumbers, mint and maybe lettuce, we’ll see how these take.

I’m not too worried about the flowers, they are pretty low maintenance, but I am a bit worried about the tomatoes, I already see issues with the leaves so I’m going to have to do some more research on taking care of them. I am happy to report though, that they have grown in the last few weeks which makes me hopeful that they will last! Maybe the black thumb curse has been broken!


— Thing Two —

That one time I built a reading fort, one free Sunday afternoon. One of my poles got a bit messed up after this adventure, but I think it will still be able to support the tent. There’s really something fun about pitching a tent, even if it’s in your backyard.


— Thing Three —

If you’ve seen The Princess Diaries then you’re acquainted with her work. Meg Cabot came to visit New York and I got a book signed by her! Yay! She’s hilarious, as you can see from her blog, and she writes for kids, teens and adults. She writes a lot! After signing the books she warned us about the weather and reminded us to take umbrellas. Author and meteorologist, is there anything Meg Cabot cannot do?


— Thing Four —

There is this place in College Point called Spa Castle and it is wonderful. That is all!

PhotoGrid_1368828120653[cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory]

— Thing Five —

My dad, my sister and I took a drive from New York to Pennsylvania to visit my uncle and his family. They recently moved west and we haven’t visited them since. It was a great day for visiting, no rain and with hardly any traffic (looking at you GWB) the joys of cruise control was experienced.

A lot of country jokes were made, my sister decided to play Hunger Games because they had some “woods” (see clump of trees below) and someone might have spotted a “bear” or two. However, the best thing was the welcome we received from my little cousin, Nate, as he saw us pull in – the screaming and the hugs that we experienced were priceless.


~ * ~

Five Things (6)

Five things come trotting across your interwebs …

— Thing One —

I was invited to an imprint launch, in April, for Harlequin Teen; it was excellent! A full report is posted on my Book Blog, and I’m glad I bumped into a few people I already knew as well as getting the chance to meet new people. This event actually caused me to think a bit more about networking. While I think I’m generally social, my shyness often leads me towards passive interactions with new people at events. Something like a book event, where I don’t necessarily know a bunch of people personally, is pretty tough because it means I have to open up and talk to others; on the other hand it’s easy to talk about books, so I didn’t feel completely pressured. However, something did catch my attention while at this event. I gained a lot of business cards, but only contacted two people, my reason being, these people actually took time to talk to me. I’m not sure what is the best tactic for networking, but personally, I feel more inclined to connect to someone if they take the time to talk to me and ask a few questions about me before moving on to the next person.


— Thing Two —

I’m not generally spontaneous, I’m a planner at heart. I like schedules, calendars, lists and that sort of thing. However, every now and then I just feel like doing something different and a spontaneous side takes over. I love having friends and family that are also into spontaneous hangings; whether it be dinner or movies or just geeky events! I found three amazing eating places from spontaneous hangings in April. The first was Ryan Maguire’s Ale House in the financial district – which was only a mile walk from my office – they have the most delicious Grilled Salmon! Next were lunch places in SoHo, there was Great Jones Cafe, I had the chili, it was wonderful and then Ceci Cela whose Salmon Quiche was stupendous! I loved Ceci-Cela’s decor, I can picture myself going there for a tea break during the summer, sitting in the back with tea and a petite madeline while reading a book! So excited 🙂

— Thing Three —

There are people still cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy and we don’t necessarily hear about it because the media has moved on. I was fortunate to notice a Facebook post about a volunteer opportunity and since I was free that Saturday, I decided to go to Far Rockaway to volunteer with some New Lifers and Starbucks (that’s right, Starbucks!!). It was a very long day, and I was with the gardening group. At the end of three hours we cleaned up the garden and the plot and planted some herbs and veggies. It was a lot of hard work, but definitely worth it!


— Thing Four —

I went to a networking event for work where I got a chance to be a part of a wine class that was taught by Kevin Zraly – owner and instructor of Windows on the World Wine School. It was more fun that I could imagine! I love learning new things and I definitely learnt much more than I’ve ever known about wine!

— Thing Five —

The first pedicure of the year, what an excellent feeling! The last Saturday in April was a bit of a girls day! J and I got our nails done, then took my sister to the mall where she got a chance to look at some prom dresses. The day ended with burger from Bobby’s Burger Place and some family time. Pretty much a perfect Saturday.

~ * ~

Things I learned about gardening online


SO I volunteered at a community garden, now my dad wants me to plant a garden at home. *ahem* Tomorrow is gardening day so I’ve turned to my best friend, Google, for help! Here are some things that I’ve learnt! 

Some flowers that grow well in direct sunshine:

Russian Sage Plant: Blooms from late spring to early summer. Keep in average fertile soil. To make it look fancy, surround with gravel as opposed to mulch.

Lavender: Smells delicious! Purchase plants since they take a while to germinate.

Sedum: very forgiving, perfect for me! Look for ones that will work in zone 7.

Verbena: Plant after the frost, 12 to 18 inches between the plants with no mulch surrounding them.

Dianthus: Cheddar pinks and clove pinks are perennials.

Herbs and Vegetables:

Grow Tomatoes and Basil together (10 inches apart) to increase the yield of the tomates! Perhaps they can grow in pot to avoid being placed in the ground.

Grow Lettuce with mint, rosemary, sage  and dill to repel the slugs and bugs. *eww*. Look for Cos (romaine), it  should be planted 8 inches apart. Perhaps grow with pole Green Beans to help shade the lettuce, grow beans away from tomatoes.

Grow Eggplants with mint! Needs rich soil and must be planted 24 to 36 inches apart.

We’ll see how this garden progresses!