Author: Allie Zottola

Our Garden 2019: The First Harvest

I have a garden update today! First let’s start off by checking out how things have grown since we planted on Memorial Day. Here’s a look at the garden on planting day.

Vegetable garden with fence

And here’s what it looked like yesterday, June 19th.

Vegetable garden

Vegetable garden

We have definitely seen some growth in the past few weeks! At first, it seemed like everything was growing very slowly. Then Pittsburgh experienced a lot of rain in the past two weeks and everything took off, especially the zucchini, cucumbers, and swiss chard.

The tomatoes and zucchini now have a few blossoms, the eggplant is looking strong (it usually does the worst each year, much to this eggplant lover’s dismay), and the first thing we harvested was swiss chard, just like last year.

Swiss chard

Baby in vegetable garden with swiss chard

My gardening buddy helped me out with inspecting the swiss chard. The strainer tipped all the swiss chard onto Sadie’s lap right after I took this picture and she started flailing her arms and crying. I was like “I know sweetie, your dad does the same thing when he sees swiss chard!” haha. Jimmy isn’t much of a fan of swiss chard 😉

I expect we’ll harvest zucchini next, then cucumbers, and hopefully tomatoes and the rest of the plants. Now that the garden and our yard are fenced, we shouldn’t have too many deer or rabbit visitors. Jimmy was like “If a deer gets into the garden through two fences then it deserves the vegetables!” and I think I agree!

The only update we’ve made to the garden since I last posted was the addition of solar light caps on the four corners posts of the fence. The first picture in this post is a before and the second is an after of that little project. It doesn’t look like it makes a huge difference, but it’s really pretty at night and first thing in the morning!

So, there you have it. The first harvest of the 2019 season! I can’t wait to see what crops up next 🙂

Past 2019 Garden Posts
Square One
Making Progress
Fencing and Planting


A Few Favorites

I feel like it has been a while since I shared some things I’ve been enjoying lately. I’ll be using something around the house and think “I need to blog about this” and then promptly forget. Well, today I’m not forgetting! Here are a few favorites lately.

Cleaning Favorites

Natural cleaning supplies

Full Circle Soap Dispenser and Dish Brush. Remember my obsession with the Full Circle Detail Brush? Well, I found another Full Circle product I love and it’s this neat little ceramic soap dispenser that comes with a bamboo dish brush. You just put a few drops of dish soap in the bottom, pump the brush on the spring-lined base and voilà, you’re ready to scrub!

Seventh Generation Lemongrass and Clementine Zest Dish Soap. It smells lovely, works great, and is plant-derived. An all-around win.

Method Antibacterial All Purpose Cleaner. The bamboo scent is divine and the spray works really well. It kills 99.9% of household germs and we’ve got a lot of those going on with three pets, two adults, and a crawling baby!

Food Favorites

Kodiak Cakes, Annie's Bunny Grahams, and Peanut Butter and Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter

Buttermilk Kodiak Cakes. I’ve professed my love for Kodiak Cakes before, and I recently picked up a box of the buttermilk flavor and love it. I’ve been adding a big spoonful of cocoa powder to the batter and it really amps up the flavor!

Annie’s Bunny Grahams. I really enjoy having yogurt with crushed graham crackers on top. I saw these and thought they would be fun to add into yogurt or just eat on their own. They taste great and are cute, too!

Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolately Dreams Peanut Butter. Chocolate and peanut butter together in one food? Doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Gerber Yogurt Melts and Teether Wheels

Gerber Yogurt Melts. Sadie is working on developing her pincer grasp, so these have been fun for her to try out. She’s had the tropical, mixed berries, and banana vanilla flavors and seems to enjoy them all.

Gerber Teether Wheels. Sadie has also enjoyed munching on these apple-flavored teether wheels. They’re an easy snack to pull out when we’re short on time and they’re big so she has no problem grasping them.

Reading Favorites

Heartbeat of a Mother and The Purpose Driven Life

Heartbeat of a Mother. This is the devotion book I’m currently studying as I co-lead the mom’s group at our church. So many of the lessons have had me nodding along. There’s a lot of truth that mom’s need to hear in this book.

The Purpose Driven Life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this book! It’s just a really great book that I go back to time and time again. While I don’t completely agree with the author’s view on salvation and baptism, the book as a whole is very inspiring and motivating.

Health and Beauty Favorites

Crest Gum Detoxify, Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Cream, and Aveeno Face wash

Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste. I guess marketing works because I saw a commercial for this toothpaste and had to try it out. The verdict? I like it!

Not Your Mother’s Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream. This has been my go-to hair product lately. I just spread a nickel-sized dab into my hair right after I shower and it defines my curls without making them look crunchy.

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. I really like that this scrub is gentle enough to be used daily, yet effective enough that it seems to brighten up my skin and leave my face feeling refreshed each time I use it.

Baby Favorites

Baby in Little Tikes swing

Little Tikes Snug ‘n Secure Grow With Me Swing. We set up this adorable (and very affordable!) little swing on our back porch and we are all enjoying it a lot. Sadie squeals and coos like crazy while she swings!

Baby girl in pink Carhartt Biba

Carhartt Girls Overalls. I took Sadie to Jimmy’s work (he’s a welder!) in her Carhartt overalls and she looked like she was ready to join him and get right to work 🙂

Life Favorites

American Cocker Spaniel in yard

We got a fence! Life = officially changed. Mavis and Lola are in heaven, and Jimmy and I love that we don’t have to clip/unclip them onto tie outs every time they come in and out of the house!

What are a few of your favorites lately?