10 Steps to Planting Your Roost Hanging Terrarium

Roost Hanging Terrarium

Roost Hanging Terrarium

Terrarium Tools

Roost Terrarium Tools

Terrariums are a great way to dip your toes – or should I say hands – into gardening without investing a lot of time and money. Maybe you’ve already tested your “green thumb” skills by growing moss in left over canning jars, or you’ve gone a fews months without your air plants shriveling up on you, and you’re ready to step up your design game by investing in a Roost Recycled Glass Hanging Terrarium {small and large sizes}.

Many terrariums can be thrown together in less than an hour. Once you’ve selected the plants you want to grow, follow these 10 easy steps to make sure your terrariums live happily ever after. Okay, maybe not forever, but these steps will help minimize mold, frying your plants in direct sunlight, root rot, and stuff like that.

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2011 December Holiday Giveaway – Week 1: Roost Muddlers + Garden Rules Book

Roost Hemingway Muddlers

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Julie Lanier!

In celebration of my recent feature in Oregon Home Magazine by Vivian McInerny, I’ve decided to giveaway one Roost Hemmingway Muddler Set and my newly published book Garden Rules, co-authored by Billie Brownell.  You may be thinking, what do muddlers have to do with gardening? My new favorite obsession, Cocktail Gardening!

We’ve all heard the phrase Garden to Table or Farm to Table, but how cool is Garden to Glass? Just Google “cocktail gardening” and you find a handful of resources on what to grow in your garden, garden inspired cocktails, and there’s even a blog called Gardening While Intoxicated by one the Garden Rant ladies.

If you’ve never started your own garden before, Garden Rules is a quick way to learn the basics. One of the easiest herbs to grow is mint, and one of the easiest drinks to make with a muddler is a Mojito. Cheri Loughlin, the creative mind behind The Intoxicologist, suggests topping it with a little champagne during the holidays to add an even tastier and festive vibe.

QUESTION: You’re hosting a holiday get-together among friends and neighbors, what’s your favorite alcoholic beverage to serve your guests?

Week 1 Giveaway: How to Enter

  1. Answer the question in each blog post by submitting your answer in the “leave a reply” section at the bottom of the page – good for 1 entry.
  2. Answer the same, or similar question, on our Facebook page (you’ll have to “like” the page to make a comment) – good for 1 entry.

Week 1 contest ends Sunday, December 4, 12:00 PST. Winner announced next week.

WEEK 2 Giveaway: one Roost Recycled Glass Hanging Wall Terrarium {small}

aHa! Modern Living December 2011 Giveaways

We’re getting into the holiday spirit by spreading some giveaway cheer!  For the month of December, starting Thursday Wednesday, November 30, 12:30 PST, we will be giving away one cool gift idea each week.

And what will you win you ask?

Cool Holiday Gift Giveaways

How to Enter

  1. Answer the question in each blog post by submitting your answer in the “leave a reply” section at the bottom of the page – good for 1 entry.
  2. Answer the same, or similar question, on our Facebook page (you’ll have to “like” the page to make a comment) – good for 1 entry.

Yep, that’s right, you can enter your name twice each week for a chance to win a FREE gift. Keep them for yourself or find some special to gift them to.

10 Great Hostess Gifts for Under $25

Gift box

A hostess gift is a sweet, simple and thoughtful way to show your host that you appreciate his or her hospitality. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant to show your host that you are grateful for all of the all of the time, effort and planning (not to mention cleanup after) that goes into entertaining.  With fall and winter holiday season upon us, it is time to be prepared with a stock of appropriate and tasteful hostess gifts for all of your weekend stays, cocktail parties, dinners, and potlucks.

Here are our top ten favorite hostess gifts for under $25

Studiopatro tea towels (1) Studiopatro Natural Linen Tea Towels — $22.00. These tea towels, which are available in 4 different prints, are made of 100% natural linen and made in the USA. For a hostess gift, wrap a Studiopatro Natural Linen Tea Towel around a bottle of wine and tie it at the top with a bow. Or, wrap a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread in a tea towel.

(2) Gather by Georgeanne Brennan — $22.95. A cookbook is an excellent hostess gift for any host who likes to experiment with new recipes. Gather is a great choice because it provides a variety of seasonal and holiday menus, all gorgeously photographed.

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The Entryway: Make an Impact with Decorative Accessories

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to decorate your home is to focus on adding special touches to the most highly trafficked areas. In most homes, this is the bathroom, the kitchen and the main entryway. And you know what they say about first impressions! The entryway to your home is the very first thing that you and your guests see, so try personalizing it with some easy and pretty decorative touches.

Easy ways to make an impact with your entryway

  1. Turquoise entrywayUse intense color. Try painting the walls of your entryway a bold color, such as chartreuse, turquoise, or honeysuckle. Choose a color that makes you feel comfortable and happy, and it is likely to make your guests feel the same way.
  2. Maximize your space. We like using mobiles to add decor in particularly tight spots. Not only do mobiles take advantage of rarely used overhead space, but they are also a perfect way to decorate if you have a small entryway without room for a table or other furniture.
  3. Vases for entrywaysAdd seasonal touches. Adding seasonal elements from your garden creates a nice transitional flow between the indoors and the outdoors for your entryway. In the summer, place some snipped Lilies or Coneflowers in the playful Jacks Vase. For spring, the Glass Bird Vases are perfect for little Pincushion flowers, or one brilliant Peony blossom. Tall ornamental grasses and Chocolate Cosmos pair beautifully with the Roost Glass Reed Vase in the fall. It’s easy to arrange flowers in a vase, so adding seasonal elements is something anyone can achieve quickly.
  4. Bottle Lanterns for entrywaysCreate juxtaposition. Unexpected pairings really help to create visual interest. Try hanging a cluster of Roost Recycled Bottle Lanterns, a hard and rustic element, above an earthenware bowl of Irish moss, a soft and earthy element. Or, place a few of the Roost Lucie Hanging Votives next to a small fountain or goldfish bowl.
  5. Keep things in proportion. In a small area, you can add light and the illusion of space by adding a mirror to one wall. If your space is large but lacks architectural interest, try adding a decorative wall shelf to the wall that faces you when you first step through the door.
  6. Poppy Candles for entrywaysPlay with ambient light. Ambient light makes everything look softened and oh-so-welcoming. This makes the entryway a great place for some candlelight. Try a pretty row of the Poppy Candles and Recycled Plates along a shelf, or a Glass Tealight Log on a narrow console table.

Click to see all the decorative accessories for your entryway mentioned in this post.

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Forcing Bulbs Indoors and Outdoors

Image from Garden Guides.com

The term “forcing” bulbs sounds a little bit meaner than it actually is. Perhaps if we were to rename the process, we would call it “coaxing” or “persuading” the bulbs. What the process of forcing a bulb means is that you will induce the bulb to produce its shoot, leaf and flower out of its natural environment and ahead of its normal schedule. The really awesome thing about this is that whereas you would normally plant bulbs in the fall and wait for them to flower in the spring, when you force bulbs you can persuade them to bloom earlier for you, without the long winter wait!

Forcing Bulbs Indoors

Image from Country Living.com

During the bleak and dreary winter months, the opportunity to have an array of gorgeous blossoming flowers filling your home may seem like a fantasy. But when you force bulbs such as hyacinths, daffodils and tulips indoors, you can make this indoor winter garden a reality. Just follow these steps to try it yourself.

  1. Buy high-quality spring blooming bulbs from a reputable source. Pass on any bulbs that are soft, moldy, or sprouting. Inspect the bulbs as you would produce at the grocery store. Good indoor bulb choices are daffodils, narcissi, crocus, muscari, and tulips. Paperwhite narcissus is a favorite for pretty white, fragrant Christmas flower arrangements.

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From Garden to Table: Simple Fall Harvest Recipes

Fall harvest vegetables

Image source: FineCooking.com

For all of your fall gatherings and dinner parties this year, stick to fresh local veggies, fruits and herbs, and delicious yet easy ways to prepare them. For as much as we enjoy elaborately crafted dinner parties, there is something that has always bothered us about them. It often seems that by the time the host has finished preparing an array of time consuming and fancy dishes, he or she hardly even has time to savor them! The ratio of 4 hours of prep and cooking in the kitchen to 30 minutes of consumption hardly seems fair. So you know what we would suggest? Simplify!

Four Simple Fall Harvest Recipes

Stewed Apples
Recipe from Kevin D. Weeks at About.com

These sweet and spicy apples are great wrapped in a crepe, served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or simply on their own as a side dish. We like to use a nice tart, firm apple such as Braeburn or Granny Smith. You can use whatever is available to you locally this fall.

Prep time – ten minutesFall harvest apples
Cook time – thirty minutes
Total time from start to serve – 40 minutes

Ingredients:
3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 Tbsp molasses
1 – 2 Tbsp rum, apple brandy, or water
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 – 8 grates of fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. Add enough rum, apple brandy, or water to a small saucepan to just cover the bottom.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir them together. Place the pan over low heat, partially cover, and simmer gently until apples are tender – about 30 minutes.

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DIY Halloween Decorations: Using Items in Your Home and Backyard

Halloween decor door

Image from the I Heart Shabby Chic blog

One of our favorite parts about Halloween is decorating our home and garden. While we love store-bought decorations such as rubber bats and plastic skulls, this year we’ve renewed our commitment to be kinder to the Earth and use less plastic. So instead of rushing out to purchase Halloween decorations that are both made of and packaged in plastic, we’ll be creating our own super cool decorations from items we can find in our house and our backyard. After all aren’t real, natural and earthy elements just more scary looking than an inflatable ghost anyway? We think so.

Green Halloween Decorating Ideas

Cicada exoskeleton 1. Spooky Skeletons. You know what’s spookier than some store bought bones made of cardboard or plastic? Real ones! Try looking around your backyard for exo-skeletons of cicadas. Because cicadas molt, they leave behind a “skin” that is an exact replica of their body. You are likely to find them along wooden fence posts, or clinging to the bark of trees in your backyard or in wooded areas. The exo-skeletons can easily be hooked onto the petals of a flower arrangement to make it ultra creepy.

You can also preserve and display other skeletons such as chicken bones and crab shells. To thoroughly clean them, soak them for one week in a solution of Dawn dish soap and water. Drain them, then soak them in a solution of 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide. (Do this in a garage or laundry room because it’s a bit stinky.) Remove the bones and let them air dry for 24 hours. The bones will then be clean, degreased, and white washed. They’ll look totally spooky arranged in a tall, clear vase on a fireplace mantle.

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Fall’s the Time to Plant Spring-flowering Bulbs

Image from the International Flower Bulb Centre

Many people may think of fall as being the end of the growing season. But a lot of plants actually prefer to be planted and get their start in the cooler temperatures of the autumn season. This is because the chillier air allows young plants to establish their beginnings without the stress of extreme heat. It also allows ample time for the bulbs to become rooted in the warm soil before the winter cold sets in. What we really love about planting bulbs in the fall is that you can basically bury them and forget about them. Then comes spring and–bam!– you have gobs of gorgeous, colorful blossoms popping up!

Our Favorite Spring-flowering Bulbs

Snow Crocus Crocus.Crocus flowers are so resilient, they sometimes even emerge through the snow! They are such cheery little harbingers of spring. Plus, deer don’t care for them much, so they are a good choice if you have deer with the munchies in your area. Crocus flowers only grow to a height of about 4 inches, and they spread quite easily, so this makes them a nice groundcover. Crocus flowers thrive in full sun to partial shade, and can be planted in zones 3 through 9.

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Do-It-Yourself Infused Olive Oils

Specialty food shops would like to have us think that infusing olive oil with aromatic herbs, fruits and spices is a mystical and complicated process. This would explain why their decorative clear glass bottles of oil, with bright red peppers and white cloves of garlic floating around in them like globules in a lava lamp, cost such a pretty penny. But infusing olive oil is a process that is neither complicated nor expensive. It is an easy and fun thing for anyone to do at home in the kitchen.

Oil dispenser

Cielo Oil or Vinegar dispenser now in our catalog

Why infuse olive oil?

Infused olive oil can be used in a variety of delicious ways. Our two favorite ways are to use our homemade flavored olive oil as a salad dressing, and as a dipping oil for chunks of bread. Plus, homemade oils and vinegars really go hand in hand with parties and entertaining. The next time you are invited to a dinner party, offer to bring a salad of fresh, crisp veggies from your garden. Then create your own custom olive oil blend with cuttings from your herb garden, and pair it with a nice balsamic in the Oil & Vinegar Cruets. Everyone will be so impressed with your homemade salad dressing, and you can leave the beautiful cruets as a hostess gift. Perfect!

Simple Salad Dressing from ECurry

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil from ECurry

Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 sprigs of fresh rosemary from your garden
  • A few pinches of dry crushed red pepper, to suit your taste
  • ¾ to 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Wash and thoroughly dry the rosemary sprigs — make sure there is no water left on them.  Pour your olive oil into a sauce pan and heat it over a low heat until it is just warm, for only 1-2 minutes. Let the oil cool to room temperature for about 5 minutes. This gentle heating process allows the allow to take on the flavors of the rosemary more quickly.

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