5 Easy House Plants

5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Growing up, I lived in a house filled with plants. My mom is quite the gardener and when the cooler weather hit, she would move all the flowers & plants she could into the house…joining the house plants that stayed indoors year round.  Sadly, I don’t seem to have inherited a green thumb from her. I actually detest outdoor gardening (what if I see an earthworm while out digging?!) and up until recently, only had one house plant that I could actually keep alive. And then I was introduced to succulents and air plants – and I realized that some house plants were so easy to take care of…meaning I only needed to remember to water them occasionally!  Perfect for this plant-killing girl!
My house plant collection still remains rather small, baby steps here folks, but my mom has an abundance, so I asked her to pick some of her easiest to take care of plants to share with us.  She has lots more than this, so I’m hoping that maybe this post can have a part 2 or even 3.
And for those that have never had any luck keeping any plants alive, you can start where I did: lucky bamboo.  My friend gave me one about 13 years ago and it’s still alive today!!  I’ve been able to keep the bamboo, air plants, succulents and a christmas cactus alive for quite some time.  I recently added a few more plants to my collection, but they’re still new enough to me that I’m not going to write them down on my kept alive list.
(I’m not going into too much detail on care for these plants – if you’d like lots o’ info, Mr. Google should be able to help ya out!)
Swedish Ivy - 5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Swedish Ivy – this pretty plant just requires occasional watering (you want to keep the soil moist, not soggy) and bright, indirect light.
Wandering Jew - 5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Wandering Jew – I love this plant, the coloring of the leaves is fantastic! My mom recently gave me a cutting from one of hers and I’m hoping I can keep this alive!  Keep in medium to bright light and allow the soil to dry between watering.
Cape Primrose - 5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Cape Primrose – needs bright, indirect light (it won’t bloom if it doesn’t get enough light) and water when the soil is dry.
Christmas Cactus - 5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Christmas Cactus – does well in medium lighting, may need to be moved to brighter light when it’s flowering.  Water thoroughly, but let dry slightly between waterings.
Spider Plant - 5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Spider Plant - needs occasional watering (you want to keep the soil moist, not soggy) and bright, indirect light.
5 Easy House Plants @themerrythought
Okay…so this plant here is actually the 6th plant, but I didn’t want to include it in the real list since we don’t know the name of it!  I admire this little guy every time I’m over at mom’s (and hope that she’ll give me one of my own!).  It is low maintenance and easy to care for, but we can’t find the name of it anywhere!  So can anyone help us out??

What about you? Do you have a green thumb? Any low maintenance plants you would recommend? Hopefully we’ll be able to pop over to my mom’s to capture a few more easy house plants to add to this!  We’re off to a family wedding this weekend…both Caitlin & Levi are in it and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of family!  (You can follow along on Instagram to see lots o’ wedding pics: @caitlinsheree @mandamooie…)


DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case

DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtWith fall just a few days away – it feels like it’s already here in Western New York…we’ve had some chilly days! – we thought these phone cases would be a nice way to keep a bit of summer around! We love our new phone cases and this project is pretty simple and quick to do! We collected some pretty ferns, leaves, and flowers and Caitlin pressed them using her flower press. (You could also press them using some heavy books…google it if you’re not sure exactly how to do this.) We ordered phone cases off Amazon & Etsy – we ordered clear cases, but wish we would have went with white; we ended up using a piece of white paper on the inside of the case to cover up the apple logo on the back. Go with whatever look you like though! And then it’s just as simple as placing your flowers on the case and applying glue!DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythought It was so much fun doing a project together – it’s hard to find time to do this a lot with busy work and family schedules keeping things chaotic. There was a lot of laughing and snacking…and kid interruptions! As well as abrupt departures to get home to get kids off the bus – oh blog life with kids! And two of us may have ended up decorating the wrong case (we all have different phone models), so we actually made cases for each other. ;) DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtWhat you need:

DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtHow to do it:
Make sure your phone case is clean and dry. Arrange your flowers in a pattern you like on the case – it might be a good idea to snap a picture of your design so that you can remember where everything went! Remove everything from the case and place a small dab of the Mod Podge glue on the back side of the flower and gently press it to the spot you’d like it on your case. This step is to make sure that nothing moves around while you apply the top coats.  Once everything is glued on the case, and you’ve let it dry for a few minutes, start applying top coats.  Using a soft bristle paint brush, gently coat the entire phone case with the Mod Podge glue.  We made sure to do the sides too so that the entire case would have the same look.  Let dry and apply 5-7 more coats, drying between each coat. (6-8 coats seems like a lot, but we wanted to be sure our flowers did not come off with all the wear & tear phone cases can get!)  Snap on your case and take a selfie with your pretty little case!DIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtDIY Pressed Flower Phone Case @themerrythoughtOur group shots are always soo amusing…we’re never all paying attention – or someone’s always laughing or messing around (or screaming because an earthworm touched her foot), and poor Justin has to take a gazillion pictures to try to get one that’s even semi decent.  But the, hey let’s do a goofy photo….nail it, first time, every time! ;)

Go make a pretty phone case! And if you do – we’d love to see it, send us a pic (or tag us on Instagram – @themerrythought)! We LOVE seeing photos of the projects you guys try! xo.

Cucumber Cooler

Cucumber Cooler @themerrythoughtOkay, so our Mocktail Monday post is one day late… oops! But we had a sweet giveaway to share yesterday and trust me, this mocktail was worth the wait! I’ve been ordering the Cucumber Cooler at Cheshire, a local cocktail bar, (if you’re ever in the Rochester area – you should definitely try it out!) and it’s one of my favorite drinks ever! I struggle not to just chug it down immediately when the bartender hands it to me. Saturday night I ordered one and I decided I needed to try to recreate one at home. I snapped a photo of the ingredients on their menu and tried it out with a few friends on Sunday afternoon. We basically nailed it on the first try… Ha! But really. It was surprisingly similar and so delicious!Cucumber Cooler @themerrythoughtCucumber Cooler

1/2 cup Fresh Cucumber Juice (peeled and seeded before juicing)
2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 tsp Sugar
Ginger Ale

Add cucumber juice, lime juice, and sugar to a shaker with ice and shake until mixed. Strain into glass 1/2 full of ice. Top off with ginger ale.

**If you don’t have a juicer, cut about 2″ of cucumber, peel off the skin, muddle very well at the bottom of shaker and then add lime juice and sugar. Shake, strain, and add ginger ale as written in the first instructions. It tastes very similar. But if you have a juicer, fresh cucumber juice really takes this mocktail over the top! You can also puree cucumber in a blender and then strain out the juice.Cucumber Cooler @themerrythoughtCucumber Cooler @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

DaWanda Giveaway

DaWanda - Hanging Planter Giveaway @themerrythoughtRecently, we were made aware of the site DaWanda. They have tons of makers and shops that sell handmade and vintage goodies on their site. Last week, they shared an interview with us as well as some of our favorite items from their talented makers. Here are a few that we couldn’t help but share…DaWanda Favorites @themerrythoughtSheepskin. Ring. Dress. Sandals. Backpack. Vase.
View the rest of our favorites here.

One of the items we featured on our list was this lovely macrame plant hanger. DaWanda has generously offered to send one of these to one of our readers!
DaWanda - Hanging Planter Giveaway @themerrythoughtDaWanda - Hanging Planter Giveaway @themerrythoughta Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out DaWanda and support some of these incredible small businesses!

First Day of School :: 2014 Edition

First Day of School @themerrythought
First Day of School @themerrythought
First Day of School @themerrythought
First Day of School @themerrythought
Last Wednesday was the first day of school for all my boys! I can’t even believe I’ve reached this stage of motherhood.  The early morning silence is strange and wonderful at the same time. And a little sad.  It means my babies are really not babies anymore.  I’ve spent the last eight years being a mama to babies and toddlers…what will this new stage of boyhood bring?
I will admit I don’t feel too shocked at this change – Levi is only in preschool for 2.5 hours, so my couple hours alone actually feel as though they slip by all too quickly. Although I’m feeling a bit sad and nostalgic that these years have passed by so fast, just as everyone said they would, the mornings alone are actually feeling quite nice at this point.  (Psst…mamas of little ones – I can pee without interruptions or having someone follow me in!!!  Take heart, one day you will go to the bathroom alone again!) It’s next September you might be overwhelmed with melancholy blog posts from me. ;) And knowing that this is probably what Levi needed, a time each day to be social and play with friends, makes it easier on the mama heart.  I just looked over the post I wrote last fall about life with Levi after the boys went to school…oh that tiny boy!  I could just squeeze him (gahh – the video Caitlin made with him!!).  But I know he likes to be with others and I’m hoping this two hour break is just what he, what we both, need!
So here’s to another school year, embracing the new and the changes, and trusting Jesus to protect their little hearts and guide their footsteps, and continuing on this adventure of learning and boyhood!
First Day of School @themerrythought
First Day of School @themerrythought
First Day of Preschool @themerrythought
Enjoy this weekend!

xo – Manda

Last year’s first day of school photos…and Fabienne’s first day of preschool photos.

…Those lovely canvas backpacks were all bought on Amazon and I’m so happy with them!  I decided I would pick the backpack, they could pick the lunch boxes. (Sometimes I feel like a bad mama not letting them pick…but some of those backpacks out there just make me cringe and what they’re into changes so much from year to year!)  I’m hoping the neutral, simple styles will mean they’re happy using them for a few years.  (Lincoln was thrilled to have a “hiking” backpack, Malacai didn’t even care and Levi said he wouldn’t wear one at all…pretty much depicts them perfectly! :) )   Find them here:  Lincoln’s | Malacai’s | Levi’s

…another year of Lincoln wanting to be a farmer…this kid’s been saying that since he could talk! And another interesting occupation for Malacai (last year’s included a bad guy!). But Levi’s – oh.my!!! I just died laughing…Tori is my niece that watches the boys for us all the time – too great!

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