Five Things (9)

These five things are brought to you by the Fall in the Summer.

Sparks Fly on the 4th & Zombies Walk the Streets

I had a pretty surreal 4th of July weekend. Had a wonderful barbecue at a friend’s place (a sort of house warming event), after which we walked to the school nearby to see the fireworks. The next day I spent with a friend, just hanging out, watching World War Z (not bad but, not great) and talking about life, love and other mysteries. Finally rounding off the weekend with new jewelry, a swim in a pool and book club.

I know it seems like a pretty normal thing, but the topic of the weekend was a bit surreal and it got me prepared for the next big adventure …

Road Trips to Small Towns in Massachusetts

I went on a personal retreat with two friends. I know what you’re thinking; how is it a personal retreat when two other people are there? Well, that’s easy, the idea is to get away from the normal and do nothing, either with each other or by yourself. It’s a time to refresh.

I definitely needed to get away, to relax, to journal, to think. I did all of that and more! Coming back was hard, but at least I was at peace.

shanella retreat

Big Screens in Little Parks 

One of my favourite things to do during the Summer is to see a movie in Bryant Park. Every Monday, the park is packed with New Yorkers and visitors as they wait, on blankets or chairs, for the sun to set. At sunset the movie begins. This month I saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, it was a fun time, even though it rained, even though the sounds was off, even though we were VERY FAR BACK! It’s just fun to share the time with friends.

shanella in the park

A Ferry Ride to the Island

I finally went to Governor’s Island again! After about three years! A few things have changed, but overall it’s just as I remembered it.

It was a fun day, hanging with friends as they came and went. Being on a Ferry for 30 minutes before they finally decided to move and then seeing my life flash before me as the ferry decided to dock in the same spot as another Ferry. It was quite the adventure!

They still have the bikes, so it was fun to ride around the island and see a closer view of the Statue of Liberty. They also have a new food court pavilion with Waffles and Dinges! I’m looking forward to visiting the island again, this time in 1920s garb for the Jazz Age Lawn Party!

shanella on gov island

The Great Tomato Report

I am really excited for my garden. This month I planted some peas and bought a mint plant, but the most exciting part is the number of tomatoes that keep growing! I’ve also got a lot of basil and quite frankly I don’t know what to do with them – other than smell their awesome scent.

Did I mention that I also have lavender?

Seeing my little garden makes me very happy. I did a lot of work to get it going, so much so that I was in pain for a week after digging up the ground and getting rid of old stumps! I’m so glad that tomatoes are so easy to grow! Basil too! I really cannot wait for the peas to grow, then I can make a veggie dish, using the fruit of my labour. (heh heh)

shanella garden tomatoes



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.


~ * ~

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!