Cruisin’ to a New Blog


After a lot of thought, I’ve decided it’s time for Good Intentions, Bad Follow-Through to come to an end. With writing and homeschooling, I don’t craft like I used to. (Who am I kidding–I barely cook!). And, recently, Jake and I started a joint writing project, one I am extremely excited about.

We’ve decided to tackle every campground in Colorado, one county at a time, and begin publishing family-centered camping guides on Kindle. I’ll be regularly posting about our travels on our new family-run blog, Bunny Trail Books.

Thank you all for the last three years here on Good Intentions. You’ve been a blessing to me, and I wish you the best!


Weight Loss Challenge –

Good morning! I went back and forth whether I should post my food journal once a week or every day, and it looks like it will work better if I post it on Fridays.

I’m working on the fourth book in the Eldentimber Series, and I’m almost done. After the kid’s school, I want to focus all my energy on that. I think I might finish it tomorrow!

So I’ll be back on Friday to give you an update on how I’m doing with the challenge! See you then!

Weekend Hiking – Independence Monument and Dominguez Canyon

How did your weekend go? We had beautiful, warm weather. On Saturday, we hiked to Independence Monument. It’s a beautiful trek through the Colorado National Monument and uphill most of the 2.5 miles to the rock. It was about sixty degrees in the morning and overcast most of the way there–the perfect weather for hiking in our high mountain desert.


When we reached the monument, we scrambled up a large, flat boulder and ate lunch. We’ve tried several different lunches that are easy to pack and don’t require refrigeration, and our favorite is whole grain crackers, natural canned chicken, oranges or apples, and sparkling juice for something bubbly.


The walk downhill was much easier, and the views are amazing. I should have taken some pictures, but my phone was in my pack and kind of a pain to take out. The entire hike is five miles, and we were all pretty tired by the time we arrived back at the trailhead. I’m so impressed with how well the kids are hiking this year. We’ve only been out a couple times, and they’re already able to go so much farther.

Because Independence Monument is part of a national monument, you can’t take dogs hiking in the area. Buttercup and Gunther were not happy when we loaded up the packs but left them behind, so after church on Sunday, we decided to take another hike. This time, we drove to Dominguez Canyon. We hiked a little of it last year (you can check out that post here), but we covered a lot more yesterday.



We did almost six miles this time, bringing our weekend total to eleven.  The kids are at such a fun age. I love that we can get out and do so much.

Here’s a picture from our first hike of the season to Mica Mine the weekend before last.  It’s the first time the kids were able to make it all the way to the mine.


That’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll go back to posting my food journal (I’m not going to keep track on the weekends).

Have a great day!


Weight Loss Challenge – One Week Mark

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s supposed to be really nice here this weekend, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. Jake should be off work early. If he gets home in time, I’m hoping to do a family bike ride on the local riverfront trail system. We have a bunch of birds returning and migrating through, and it’s a great place to watch for them.

Today’s the fifth official day in our family’s weight loss challenge, but it’s been a week since I started watching what I’ve been eating. I’ve lost four pounds, and my jeans are fitting looser!

Here are the biggest changes I’ve made:

  • I’ve been making sure to drink at least 8 cups of water. I’ve been refilling my 16 oz waterbottle 5 – 6 times a day.
  • I’ve cut back on coffee –  I like creamy, sugary coffee, and I was drinking a lot. About 4 – 5 large mugs a day. I’m still drinking 1 – 2, but I’ve cut out the flavored creamers, and I’m limiting my sugar to 2 teaspoons of unrefined sugar a day.
  • I’ve swapped white flour for whole wheat.
  • I’ve been eating a lot more salads. I love veggies, so this isn’t a hardship. It does get a little boring to eat the same thing every day, though, so I’m going to have to learn how to mix up the greens and add-ins.
  • Exercising – This comes naturally for us as the weather gets warmer. As a family, we love to hike and ride bikes. The kids are getting old enough we can actually go on some longer trails. We hiked Mica Mine last weekend, and that’s over five miles there and back. They didn’t complain once! I’ve also been using my mini stepper in the evenings. If you have no room for an elliptical or treadmill, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys. I love mine. I’d also like to note that excercising alone wasn’t enough to help me lose weight. We’ve always been an active family, but if I’m not eating well, the weight won’t budge no matter how much we do.

All right, here’s my food journal for yesterday:

  • Breakfast: 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp natural peanut butter and coffee with steamed milk and 2 tsp unrefined sugar.
  • Lunch: 1/3 large chicken breast, 2 cups steamed veggies, leftover breadstick from last night’s dinner.
  • Snack: 1/2 whole wheat bagel (the other half from breakfast), 1/3 chicken breast, coffee with splash of half and half, apple.
  • Dinner: Subway Club sandwich on wheat – no cheese. I went through the drive thru, and, unfortunately, they got my order wrong. It was missing all the veggies. The only thing on it was spinach. We were already home before I found out what happened, so I was pretty bummed. I also had 1/3 indivudual size bag salt and vinegar kettle chips.
  • Snack before bed: I was ravenous after exercising, so I had another 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp peanut butter.
  • Splurge: 1 cup of chocolate ice cream.

Day 3 – Food `Journal

Good morning! Since last Friday (which is when I really started watching my meals), I’ve lost three pounds! I’m very excited about this because lately it seems like it’s been difficult for me to make any progress. Of course, I haven’t tried very hard in the last few months, either.

If you glance at my food choices, they look high in fat and grains for someone who is trying to lose weight, but the key choosing real fats (no margarine or soybean oil type blends) and whole grains. The combination keeps me full and gives me tons of energy. I’ve been feeling so much better in the last few days. I try to stick to one tablespoon of fat per meal and be careful of grain portions. It’s very easy for me to eat two to three pieces of toast in the morning if I’m not careful, and that’s bad.

That said, yesterday was a weird day for meals. We had to go grocery shopping in the morning, so breakfast was more of a snack. It was oddly lasting, however. The rest of the day went well, but it did get tricky in the evening. Our family goes to Pizza Hut on Wednesdays, and that was a challenge. I ordered the salad bar meal, but it ended up coming with the option  of cream of potato soup or broccoli cheddar. I was hoping for something more along the lines of vegetable. I ordered the broccoli cheddar, but I only ate a few bites. It was a little too cheesy, and dairy still doesn’t like me. I only ate one breadstick–but since they aren’t whole grain, I shouldn’t have at all. Next time I’ll be more prepared.

Yesterday’s meals:

  • Breakfast: Handful of trail mix (on the way to the grocery store)
  • Snack: 1 small apple and coffee with steamed milk and 2 tsp unrefined sugar
  • Lunch: 1/2 large chicken breast, 1/2 baked potato with 1 tbsp butter, 2 cups steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • Snack: Salad with 1/3 large chicken breast and red wine vinegar
  • Dinner: Pizza Hut salad bar (I chose the lettuce blend, baby carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, tomatoes, lots of chopped hardboiled eggs, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. I had been hoping to use a vinegarette, but that wasn’t an option here. I also had several bites of the broccoli cheddar soup and 1 breadstick.
  • Dessert: (Also from the salad bar) Approx. 1 cup of peaches and 1/4 chocolate pudding.

Day 2 – Food Journal

Good afternoon! Yesterday was a good day, but because I desperately needed to go shopping, it was scary low on fruits and veggies. Still, I got my water in, and my food choices were clean (especially considering how empty the cabinets were).

  • Breakfast: 2 homemade strawberry oat muffins, scrambled eggs, coffee with a splash of half and half and 1 tsp unrefined sugar.
  • Lunch: Taco salad (made with leftovers from the night before)
  • Snack: Handful trail mix
  • Snack: 1 tbsp natural peanut butter on homemade, whole wheat bread.
  • Dinner: Scrambled eggs with clean sausage, 1 homemade, whole wheat pancake with a drizzle of honey.

Day 1 – Family Health Challenge

My mother-in-law called last week to see if I wanted to do a weight loss challenge with her and Jake’s sisters, and I jumped at the chance. Just recently, I’d been telling her how upset I was that I’d allowed myself to gain as much weight as I have in the last few years.  In fact, every time Jake says we should start jogging, I picture me looking like this:

giphyNot pretty. I feel your pain, pup.

Anyway, her plan is simple. We all do our own thing, but we motivate each other, and we reward each other when we hit a goal. For example, my teenage niece offered free babysitting. How cool is that?  And we’ll all do things like that. How motivating, right? I can’t wait for my sweet family members to hit their goals so we can shower them with awesomeness.

My plan is to eat clean. Yeah, yeah…I know, I know. I’m gonna stick with it this time! I did it before–I know I can do it again.

So, I’m going to be keeping a food journal here. I figure if I have to fess up to you all what I’ve been eating, I might do a slightly better job. 😉 I’ll be posting the menu from the day before (or possibly post it weekly, depending on what seems to work better.)

Let’s get started.

Day One

  • Breakfast: 1 cup of strawberries and scrambled eggs – I was starving twenty minutes later, and I decided I need a grainy complex carb with breakfast. It’s what I always used to do, so it makes sense that I still need to.
  • Snack: 16 oz coffee with splash of milk and tiny bit of real cream. Sweetened with stevia and 1 tsp unrefined sugar – I’m not giving up my morning coffee, but I will stay away from the fake flavored creamers. Also, I had a bite size sausage biscuit made with clean sausage and homemade, whole grain biscuit.
  • Lunch: 1/2 leftover roasted chicken breast, handful roasted cubed potatoes, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower blend.
  • Snack: Handful of trail mix and sparkling water with lime and pineapple
  • Dinner: Taco salad made with ground turkey, kidney beans, lettuce, tomatoes, homemade taco seasoning blend, and a handful of tortilla chips (fried but no chemicals added). I omitted the cheese and sour cream. I also swapped salsa for the dressing. It was really good, but next time I’ll remember black olives and avocado.
  • Dessert/Snack: 1 homemade strawberry oat muffin – I made a batch for Tuesday’s breakfast, and they hit the spot for dessert as well.

Also, I’ve returned to making homemade bread with whole wheat flour (I’ve been using the Kroger brand white whole wheat, and it’s really good). If I want to stick with it, I know I have to start cooking from scratch again. That’s the hard part. Still, it’s doable.

Okay, so that’s all for today. I’ll be back tomorrow!


Glitter and Sparkle



This novel was sparked into life by the strangest thing. My daughter was sitting at the computer, playing on the Barbie website. You know the Chelsea doll? Well, it’s her favorite (go figure). Anyway, she’s sitting there pasting these little Chelsea stickers into a scene. She has, like, hundreds of them. Suddenly, she yells out, “Forward Chelsea army! Sparkle, sparkle!”

And I laughed because it was the oddest thing ever. But then I thought, “You know? The world needs more sparkles. It needs more girly, silly, pink and pretty things.”

And at that moment, a young adult contemporary book was born.

Now, Glitter and Sparkle has nothing to do with an army of Chelseas. But it does have glitter. And it does have sparkles. And after writing dark and heavy Seirsha of Errinton, I was ready for some fluff.

I love it. I hope you will too.

Without further ado, here’s Chapter One.

Glitter is the most fabulous thing ever created. With a little spray-on adhesive, you can literally stick it to anything. That’s why I’ve covered my lamp, bookshelf, wall art, and virtually everything on my desk in the stuff.
These aren’t kindergarten craft projects, either. If anyone can wield a glue gun and a paintbrush with a bit of finesse, it’s me. Just ask anyone who follows my blog. (And not to brag, but there are a lot of people you could ask, if you know what I mean.)
“Lauren, it’s time for dinner,” Mom yells up the stairs.
I’m staring at a new owl figurine I bought at the mall yesterday, trying to decide what I’m going to do with it. It’s white, completely boring, but it has so much potential, I just had to pick it up. Idly, I run a comb through my hair as I think over my options.
“Now, Lauren!”
Sighing, I step back from my desk. Parents, or maybe just my parents, don’t understand how the artistic muse works. I can’t just stop for dinner. I need to create.
I roll my eyes as soon as the thought crosses my mind because it’s a tiny bit dramatic, even for me.
After quickly pulling my mess of honey-colored curls in a quick ponytail, I snatch the owl and trot down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“I think it needs to be hot pink,” I announce to no one in particular as I plop into my regular seat and set the owl beside my plate. “But I’ve used it so much lately, it’s feeling overdo—”
I gurgle to an abrupt stop. Sitting directly across from me, in my repulsive older brother’s regular seat, is the hottest guy I’ve seen in my life.
And I have no idea who he is.
“Hey.” His mouth twists into a sideways smile, and he looks as if he’s trying not to laugh at me.
“Who are you?” I blurt out.
Stupid, stupid, Lauren. When a hot guy says “hey,” you say “hey” back.
“You remember Harrison.” Mom comes up behind him and places her hand affectionately on his shoulder.
No way.
This gorgeous, slightly rumple-haired, lean-muscled Greek gladiator is Brandon’s moron friend who used to make rude noises with his armpit?
Harrison’s eyes light with amusement. “You have paint on your cheek.”
As I swipe at my face with a napkin, I inwardly groan and curse. (Not really bad words, mind you. I’m a lady.)
“Just like old times,” he adds, obviously enjoying my discomfort.
What Harrison—and it must be Harrison after all—is referring to, is the day he and Brandon attacked me with Rustic Red paint a summer long, long ago when my parents made us update the shed.
I was ten, so the boys were thirteen. Harrison moved to Connecticut the year after that, and I have never been so happy to see someone leave the neighborhood. Mom, who’s been friends with his mother her whole life, wasn’t so happy.
“What are you doing here?” I ask rather rudely.
I don’t care if he’s now the hottest thing to ever grace our kitchen table—he’s Harrison. And I don’t like him.
Mom shoots me a look. “Harrison’s transferring to the university, and I told Vanna he could live with us for a couple months until he finds a place.”
How is this something my parents forgot to tell me? How do you not toss that into a conversation at some point? Lauren, we’re so proud of you for landing the lead in the play, and, by the way, Brandon’s obnoxious friend is going to be living with us for a few months.
“He’ll be staying in the guest house,” Mom continues.
“The guest house?” I ask, incredulous.
It’s my craft studio, the place I film the videos for my blog. All of my art stuff is out there.
It’s my space.
Instead of answering, Mom shoots me another look and sets a pan of lasagna on the table. Her fabulous garlic bread sits next to it, all buttered and browned to perfection. Sadly, I’ve lost my appetite.
Dad strides into the room and plucks a piece of bread from the plate. As Mom scolds him, I scowl at my owl, refusing to look at the newly gorgeous interloper across from me.
“Deb texted and said you got in early,” Dad says to Harrison as he takes a seat. “How was the weather?”
“It was just fine, sir,” Harrison says. “Thank you for letting me stay here for a bit.”
Suck up.
“Not a problem,” Dad says. “We’re happy to have you again. You practically used to live here.”
Ugh. I just…I can’t do this. I start to stand, already forming excuses. I’ll fake a migraine or girl problems or…pneumonia or something.
As I’m rising, Mom says, “Lauren. Sit.”
Like a well-trained dog, I plop back in my seat and glare at her. For a brief moment, she shoots me an understanding look. Mom knows I never liked Harrison. He wasn’t like some of Brandon’s other friends who were actually nice to me. He was awful.
With no escape from the table, I let my mind wander. Why couldn’t it have been Austin staying with us? He was Brandon’s best friend in high school, and not only was he incredibly cute, but he also had manners. Oooh…or Jamie. I’ll never forget the summer he and Brandon hung out at the basketball court…
“We moved your stuff to the garage,” Dad says, and when there’s a hush at the table, it becomes obvious he’s talking to me.
Horrified, I look up at him. “The garage?”
“You didn’t think I would share, huh?” he says, missing my meaning entirely. “I moved things around and made room for you. You’re welcome, Princess.”
Harrison watches the exchange, and amusement shines in his ocean blue eyes.
Ocean blue eyes? Where did that come from? Like I care what color his eyes are.
I look at my plate and cut a large, flat noodle with my fork. Normally, I would stuff the whole thing in my mouth, but it’s weird having Harrison here, sitting across from me, studying me for weaknesses he can prey upon later.
“So, Lauren, you’re a senior this year?” Harrison asks.
Of course, I’ve just taken a bite. Silence descends over the table while I chew. Why does food become dryer when everyone is waiting for you to answer a question?
“Yep,” I say and then take a sip of tea, hoping he’ll get the point that I’m not in a talkative kind of mood.
“Lauren’s in advanced art, and she has the lead in the fall play,” Mom says. “Don’t you, honey?”
Harrison grins. “Advanced art? Is that a real thing?”
I squeeze my fork. “Yes.”
“You always liked painting.”
Deep, calming breaths.
My parents laugh, again remembering the day he’s—once again—referring to. Not that they could forget. Brandon brings it up constantly. I had paint in my hair, on my face, and all over my clothes. Of course, at the time, Dad had been livid with the boys. It’s odd how those details are forgotten as time goes on.
The subject of the conversation shifts back to Harrison, and I try not to gag as I listen to my parents get all gooey over his accomplishments. He graduated high school early and already has his bachelor’s degree in architecture. After winning some big award, he was offered a prestigious job position here despite his young age. That’s why he’s transferring universities to finish up his master’s.
Just as we’re standing to clear the dishes, my phone goes off in my purse from the next room. I look at Mom, begging her to let me get it.
“I can handle this,” Harrison offers as he takes a stack of plates, smiling at my mother in a practiced parent-melting way.
Mom waves me off. “Go on.”
I race into the next room just before the call goes to voice mail.
“About time,” Riley says.
After bounding up the stairs to my bedroom, I tell my best friend everything.
“Is he cute?” she asks after I finish.
“Well, yes…he’s actually pretty hot.” I roll my eyes, facing the mirror as I try to wipe the dried paint splotch off my cheek. “But that’s not the point.”
My reflection scowls at me, and my light blue eyes narrow in irritation. At least the encounter has left a pretty flush over my usually fair skin.
“Okay,” Riley says. “So the point is that you have a totally hot—possibly single—guy living in your guest house who used to tease you because he thought you were cute…and that’s…bad?”
“I was ten. And he didn’t tease me because he thought I was cute. He teased me because he’s awful.”
“Well,” she says, and I can tell from her tone that she’s smirking. “You’re not ten now.”
Just as I’m about to further explain why Harrison is the spawn of evil, there’s a knock at the door.
“I gotta go,” I say. “Mom’s come to grovel.”
Riley protests, but I say goodbye and hang up, knowing she’ll attack me for more information at school tomorrow.
I swing the door open, ready to whine, but it’s not Mom.
Crossing my arms, I glare at Harrison. “What do you want?”
“You don’t look happy to see me, Laura-Lou.”
I cringe at the nickname. I hated it when my mom used it when I was ten, and I hate it now.
“Please go away,” I say.
Harrison’s about to respond when his eyes drift behind me to my room, and his jaw goes slack. “Whoa,” he mutters. “Did a bottle of glitter explode in there?”
I stand up a little straighter and refuse to answer.
He brushes past me, and I gape at him.
He’s in my room.
I don’t want him in here.
Harrison picks up knick-knacks to study them, and, one by one, I take them from him and carefully set them back in their places.
“Please don’t touch that.” I rescue a vase filled with crepe paper flowers from his clutches. “And not that either!”
I try to pull a picture frame out of his grasp, but he’s a lot taller than I am, and he holds it above his head while he looks at it.
“Huh,” he says.
Irritated, I set my hands on my hips. “Huh, what?”
“Your boyfriend’s kind of…”
It’s the picture from last year’s prom, and Tyler is certainly not my boyfriend. We only went together because Vance Teller asked vile Kally Prath even though he’d flirted with me all semester in first-period language arts. Still, I feel the need to defend Tyler, even if he is a bit of a dweeb.
“Kind of what?” I demand.
Harrison grins and finally hands me the frame. “Nothing.”
He continues his perusal of my room, and I tap my foot, waiting for him to get bored and leave. I know if I let myself appear rattled, this will be too much fun for him. Predators are like that.
I must not show fear.
“You’re kind of tense.” He runs his hand along my sparkling window casing. “Your dad let you do this?”
Actually, Dad was a tiny bit angry.
I give him a bored shrug.
“You’re one of the girls who tries everything they see on Pinterest, aren’t you?”
At that, I can’t keep my mouth shut. I lean forward and narrow my eyes. “I’m one of those girls who designs things that other people try to copy off of Pinterest.”
He raises an eyebrow, his expression saying, “La-di-da.”
We stare at each other for a moment, making our assessments. Harrison’s hair is a little darker than it used to be. It’s still blond, I think. But there’s a lot of brown in it, too. He wears it pretty short, but it’s just long enough to be slightly messy.
He does it on purpose, the snarky part of my brain thinks. He probably uses more hair products than you do.
It’s weird. Harrison’s so pretty now. But not in a girly way—in a very manly, could be the swoon-worthy star of a popular teen series kind of way.
It’s unsettling.
“All right, Lauren. Here’s how this will work,” he says suddenly.
Crossing my arms, I stare at him and wait for him to continue.
“I’ll stay out of your business,” he says. “If you stay out of mine.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Why, exactly, would I be interested in getting into your ‘business?’”
Harrison laughs and gives me a knowing look. He tosses a sequined pillow back on my bed, disturbing my cat, who’s been watching Harrison with suspicious eyes.
Then he strides to me and does the unthinkable—he sets his hands on my shoulders and leans down.
And, much to my horror, my heart stops. It just stops. I go cold and then hot, and every square inch of me tingles. Oh, and I hate him. But good heavens, his lips looks scrumptious.
He stops about five inches from my face and looks me in the eyes. “I know you had a thing for me when we were young, and you’re probably getting yourself all twitterpated at the thought of me living just out back. This could be hard for you, and I want you to know I understand that, and I’ll try not to make it any more difficult. But I’m not interested in you in that way, so you’ll have to move past it.”
I sputter, and my cheeks grow red—not with a pretty girlish flush but in full-out anger.
“I hated you,” I snarl.
Harrison pats my shoulders in the most condescending way possible. “It’s all right. I understand that you’re just not mature enough to discuss it without getting defensive.”
He gives me a patronizing smile and strides into the hall.
“I didn’t…what is wrong with…” I can’t even form a coherent thought, and I shake with indignant fury.
“Don’t misunderstand me,” Harrison says. “I think you’re a sweet girl, and if you can manage it, I’d like us to be friendly while I’m here.”
With those last words, the door shuts behind him, and I’m left gaping at painted pink and white stripes.

Want more? Check out Glitter and Sparkle on Amazon.

Seed Starting – What’s Growing in 2016

I’ve been blogging pretty regularly on my author website, but I’m afraid I don’t get over here as much as I’d like. But today, today I’m here. Why? Because it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Seed starting time!

I didn’t have a garden last year. It’s the first time since my kids were tiny babies that I didn’t start any seeds. I did, however, end up publishing three books and one novella, so it was a productive year. Just not for crafting or growing.

As you may know if you follow my author blog, we moved last November. I absolutely adore our new house, and this year I’m going to try container gardening. There are tons of pins all over Pinterest featuring homemade self-watering containers, usually made from storage tubs and five-gallon buckets, and my husband is going to make me a bunch! This is the plan he likes the best, and it’s the one we’re going to try.

I’m also going to try potatoes for the first time this year. Apparently they grow well in containers. I don’t know. We shall see.

If you’re new to seed starting, you can check out my original seed starting post back from 2014. There’s not much to it really, but it did take me a few years to get the knack of it.

So here’s what we have started so far:

  • Cherry Tomato – Gardener’s Delight: I’ve never grown this variety before, but it gets great reviews, so I’m excited to give it a go. We planted six cells.
  • Tomato – Fourth of July Hybrid:  These tomatoes are supposed to bear very early, very flavorful, small fruits. These and the cherry tomatoes are my only tomatoes, but I’m debating starting a late season heirloom variety as well. We’ve planted six.
  • Sweet Pepper – Carnival Blend: This seed packet contains a mix of purple, white, orange, yellow, and red bell peppers. I’ve planted six cells, but I’m thinking of adding more. The packet is supposed to contain 20% of each color, but you don’t know what you have until the peppers mature! I really want some purple.
  • Pepper – Anaheim Chili:  Every summer, my mom used to buy roasted anaheims from a local farm, and they are very good.  This year we’ve decided to roast our own. We’ve planted six.
  • Lettuce – Grand Rapids: I love salads fresh from the garden. After this batch moves outside, I’ll start more to grow inside for the hot summer months. We’ve planted twelve.
  • Spinach – Baby’s Leaf Hybrid: Just like with the lettuce, when these little guys move out, I’ll plant more inside. We planted six. (Note–I’ve found that spinach seeds do not save well. If you buy some, make sure you use them this year)
  • Basil – Mammoth: Basil smells amazing in the garden! We’ve planted six.
  • Parsley – Single Italian Plain-Leafed: This type of parsley is supposed to be more flavorful than the curly variety. I’ve never had luck growing it, but I’m hoping this year will be different. We’ve planted six.
  • Rosemary: I just now noticed the seed packet doesn’t have a variety printed on it, so I’m not sure exactly what type it is. Hopefully it’s good! We’ve planted six.
  • Cilantro – Coriandrum Sativum: I love cilantro! Like parsley, I’ve never been able to coax it to thrive, but since I’m container gardening this year, I’m hoping it will go better. We have six.
  • Moss Rose – Double Mixed Colors Portulaca: Moss rose is beautiful! If you’ve ever planted these vibrant annuals, you’ll know how easily they sprout up from seed (my mom has them come back in her containers every single year, and she brought the originals home from the garden center at least eight years ago). We planted seventy-two.
  • Marigold – Crackerjack, Mixed Colors: Marigolds are very fun for the kids to grow because they are nearly fool-proof, and they almost always start flowering before we get them outside. We planted seventy-two.
  • Zinnia – Mini – Zini Mixture: I’ve mentioned it before; zinnias are one of my favorite garden flowers! They are so bright and cheerful.  We planted seventy-two.

That’s all I have started for now. It’s still early, so I’m sure we’ll end up with more. We always do. I’ll definitely start some perennials once these are out of the seed-starting trays. In our last few moves, I’ve lost my all my daisies, so I’ll need to do some of those.

I’d also like some calendula and thyme. And I’d really love to try petunias this year. I planted a flat of them back in 2013, but they never sprouted. Since then, I learned they need light to germinate, so I’d like to give them another shot. They aren’t the easiest seeds to find, at least around here, so I might have to order some in.

What are you growing this year? Have you started your seeds yet? I’d love to hear about it!


Just the Essentials

Just the Essentials is now available! Check it out here.

Shari L Tapscott


After twenty-year-old Kinsley is dumped by her longtime boyfriend, she escapes to her grandparent’s Colorado cabin to rethink her future and focus on her writing. But when she arrives, she finds a patchy roof, a death-trap deck, and rosebushes that threaten to swallow her whole. Just when Kinsley’s ready to cut her losses and return home, she meets Jack—the local handyman with hazel eyes and a wicked smirk.

Thinking Jack is precisely the meaningless summer distraction she needs, Kinsley resolves to rough it in the cabin despite its current lack of water, electricity, Internet, cell phone service, and heat.

But soon Kinsley realizes that Jack isn’t distraction material. He might just end up being something a little more essential…

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