Back in April I bought a fresh mint plant from the supermarket. The normal pattern with these store bought plants then follows:-
Water the plant
Pick the leaves to use in different ways
Water the plant
Pick more leaves
Water the plant
Unless you have a garden…
Plant has barely any leaves left, doesn’t really recover and gets thrown away
Not this time. I was fed up of buying plants to use but then not having them last longer than a month tops.
Living in an apartment is limited when you want to keep your plants healthy, alive and a long time but having good weather most of the year certainly helps them stay around a little longer if not more work to keep them happily watered. If I’m hot then the plant certainly isn’t going to feel any cooler.
In the past I’ve had mint in the garden. It takes over patches year after year, gets stronger no matter how much you cut it back and always returns with a vengeance. It can quickly get out of control but smells amazing so you put up with it anyway.
I decided to tackle looking after this potted mint plant a different way. He’d already survived being grown, popped into a plant pot, travelling to the store and then coming home with me. It had even survived me plucking its minty leaves so I could at least help him survive a bit longer!
I’ve known how to knit for quite a while but have always been fascinated with the amazing things you can make with Crochet. There are the classic and well known Granny Squares turned into amazing blankets and afghans, intricate lace, the wonderful world of Amigurumiand everything else in-between.
You can’t start to learn something without the right tools. Recently, I ordered some crochet hooks and a pouch to store them in. There are many different types of crochet hook you can buy, but after some research I decided to buy the Clover Ergonomic Hooks as they looked sturdy with lots of reviews about how great they are compared to their thinner counterparts.
This set features a soft easy grip that is warm to the touch and gives the user the most comfortable finger placement as well as tireless functionality.
The polished Aluminum hook is the perfect shape for smooth crocheting.
Each of the 10 sizes features a different bright and fun colored handle. The sizes are B-2.25mm, C-2.75mm, D-3.25mm, E-3.50mm, F-3.75mm, G-4.00mm, 7-4.50mm, H-5.00mm, I-5.50mm, and J-6.00mm.
Interestingly, the case matched the one I have to store my Knitting Needles (you can find out more about them here), so I was really pleased about that. Obviously a much smaller version to accommodate the size of the hooks and perfect to throw in your bag for crochet-on-the-go.
There is only space for 8 hooks but I have managed to pop the other two on top and fold down the inside flap. Once the pouch is rolled up it holds them all securely, so I haven’t found this to be a problem.
Considering you’ll most likely have a couple of projects on the go anyway, will help solve the storage problem.
The timing of my order was perfect as my Mother-in-Law was visiting and set me up and running on the basics – starting chain and practicing the single crochet stitch (sc) back and forth. I even managed to change color.
However, she couldn’t stay forever so I had to practice on my own and also find some more help. Thank goodness for the wonderful world wide web. You can pretty much find anything you want especially videos to help you learn many things – crochet, luckily for me, being one of them.
I’m part of a knitting/crochet community on Ravelry and someone suggested the best beginner crochet tutorials she had found with really clear instructions were with help from the Crochet Geek. She really explains the stitches well, has slow motion segments in her videos, so you can really following along, and before you know it I’d made my first crochet hat. Considering I’d only been doing crochet three weeks up to that point, I astounded myself. Give it a try…if I can do it you can too!
For more than 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab.
The restaurant was opened in 1913, by Joe Weiss, who began his Miami Beach career by cooking at Smith’s Casino. Joe’s is the top buyer of Florida stone crab claws, and it plays a significant role in the industry, influencing the wholesale price and financing many crabbers.
Even though stone crabs are their most famous dish now, fish was served, rather than crabs, when the restaurant first opened.
Joe’s Stone Crab is often visited by politicians, actors, and athletes. The restaurant is reputedly referenced in Ian Fleming’s novel “Goldfinger” as “Bill’s on the Beach” in which James Bond ate the best meal he had ever eaten in his life.
There are two sections to Joe’s – the Take Away section, although you can eat in too, and the main restaurant that offers a lunch and dinner menu.
Joe’s Take Away, is the best of both worlds. The Take Away is casual dining serving three meals a day, 7 days a week with a coffee bar and private room, JoAnns, for special occasions.
There’s a selection of breakfasts and speciality dishes available starting from 7:30am and yes Stone Crab is available for breakfast if you wish.
They have seasonal opening hours that coincide with the Stone Crabbing season (Oct 15 to May 15). When the season is over, Joe’s Take Away closes and the main restaurant only offers a reduced dinner menu available in the evening.
They also offer the famous authentic Key Lime Pie. You can buy them by the slice or alternatively take a whole pie away. This is a great option as you can freeze it until you need a piece (if it lasts that long!).
Interesting Facts about the Florida Stone Crab
The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. Its sweet taste and perfect texture, however, means its popularity has spawned a number of impersonators, including Pacific Rock Crab, Baja Stone Crab, Red Rock Crab and Japanese Crab (to name a few).
Because these non-Florida Stone Crabs don’t have the benefit of the warm tropical waters of the Keys and Gulf, they are stringier in texture and much gamier in taste. That’s why at Joe’s Stone Crab they only serve the real thing.
Florida Stone Crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts but are commercially harvested almost entirely in Florida. In the wild, adult Stone Crabs are easily recognized by their oval body and two large claws.
The adult body of the Stone Crab is dark brownish red, more or less mottled and spotted with dusky gray. An interesting feature about the Stone Crab is the mark on the inside of the large claw that resembles a thumb print.
After successfully adding a logo to my header, I’ve decided to continue tweaking the Travelling Banana site. Today I added a few Social Media links. You can find them just under the Travelling Banana logo or if you’re visiting on a mobile device, drop down the menu (the three lines often referred to as the hamburger) and you’ll see them pop up.
In case you’ve been living on Pluto or you’ve actually been busy doing more important things, you may not know what some of those hieroglyphics mean.
Here’s a quick guide on the Social Media icons I have added to my site.
Tumblr – pronounced “tumbler” is a microblogging platform and social networking website. Often contains a mixture of art, design, photos and videos. It has been around since Feb 2007
Twitter – Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. It’s been around since Mar 2006.
Flickr – pronounced “flicker” is an image and video hosting website owned by Yahoo. It’s a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs since Feb 2004.
Pinterest – Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. It has been around since Mar 2010.
Google+ – pronounced and sometimes written as “Google Plus” is an interest-based social network that is owned and operated by Google Inc. It has been around since Jun 2011.
Have you noticed how a lot of these social media sites launched in February or March apart from Google – I wonder why?
This is only a small selection of a vast amount of social media sites that are popping up all over the place.
Here are a few of my doodles that you can find on Tumblr
I really love using the Twenty Fifteen theme for my site. I’ve tried lots of different ones. Believe me there are loads out there to try and you can spend a lot of time playing around with just the theme before you even do any writing on your site. The only thing that was frustrating and stopping me really loving this theme was the Header.
The header is customizable in Twenty Fifteen but it doesn’t allow you to add a logo very easily, so I’ve had to make do with one of my images as the background header and then make do with the boring font for the Travelling Banana site title – not very welcoming or exciting to say the least.
So I enrolled on another Blogging University Course run by WordPress to help me get into the nitty gritty of my site and hopefully come out the other side with a better looking site and a better experience for you.
So our current assignment is to look at customizing our Headers – fantastic…exactly what I have been looking for. In the forum I explained my problem and one of the lovely Happiness Engineers, Kathryn P., responded and gave me lots of useful advice. She pointed me in the direction of the Twenty Fifteen forum on WordPress.Org and this is where I discovered my answer. Someone was having a similar problem to myself and Tahoe Rock answered the question and gave a solution to the problem.
I followed Tahoe’s instructions, and with the help of my husband to make sure I didn’t put the code in the wrong place and mess it up entirely, I finally have a new header image/logo proudly sitting at the top of this site.
I may play around with it a little more until I’m happy with the size, dimensions etc but I’m really happy that I have some kind of branding instead of the lonely boring text I had before.
It’s still not an easy thing to do, and you do have to know where the code goes, but at least it was a solution and one I can play around with.
Thanks everyone! 🙂
Do you think the Travelling Banana logo should be larger? Let me know your thoughts below.