Muddle Your Way to Garden Fresh Cocktails

Hemingway Muddlers

Hemingway Muddlers

We may not all be Tom Cruise in “Cocktail,” with sexy bottle flipping moves, but if you do want to impress people with a delicious signature drink at your next garden gathering or party, a muddler is an essential tool for you. Muddling allows you to add fresh home-grown flavor to any beverage of your choice.

What is a Muddler?

A muddler is a wooden tool, shaped sort of like a miniature club, that is used to mash aromatics at the bottom of a cocktail glass. Muddlers have a specially designed tip in order to crush, or gently bruise, the item in the bottom of your glass without pulverizing it. Some muddlers have a flat tip, while others are rounded or pointed. Each one serves a different purpose. The Roost Hemingway Muddlers are sold as a set of three, which equips you with a muddler for every application, from mint leaves to delicate berries to pink peppercorns.

How to Use a Muddler

A muddler is intended to be used with a gentle wrist twisting action, rather than an up-and-down plunger action. Simply place the item you wish to muddle in the bottom of your glass of choice, then gently press with the muddler, softly grinding and mashing the item along the bottom and sides of the glass. Continue with a gentle pressing and turning action for about a count of 10. If you are muddling both herbs and fruit, muddle the herbs in the glass first, then add the fruit. Or if you are muddling herbs alone, try adding a sprinkle of salt, sugar, or brown sugar. The coarseness will help to abrade the surface of the leaves without complete shredding them.

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Plant the Seeds for a Healthy Lifestyle: Garden With Your Kids

Children of all ages are great learners and willing participants when it comes to spring gardening. If it’s still a little cool in your neck of the woods, begin by starting seeds indoors. This way, your child can plant seeds in small pots inside, then can transplant the seedlings outdoors once the temperatures grow a bit higher, and the days longer.

Get Growing!

Check out the Green Toys Indoor Planting Kit, which includes 3 planting pots, a pea pod shaped pot tray, a trowel, soil, and 3 packets of organic seeds. The pots and trowel are sized just right for mini hands, and even made of 100% post consumer recycled plastic (milk jugs!), too.

Once your kiddo has planted the seeds, all he or she needs to do is water them. You can even make this task fun with a cute elephant watering can and the Greenbo Frog Water Meter. Over watering is one of the most common causes of houseplant death, so prevent it with this adorable and super easy to read meter, which clearly indicates whether the plant’s soil is dry, moist, or wet.

Indoor Planting Kit

Indoor Planting Kit

Green Toys Planter

Green Toys Planter

Frog Water Meter

Frog Water Meter

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Pair Dainty Snowdrops with Roost’s Glass Bird Vases

Snowdrops Roost Glass Bird Vases

Signs of spring are popping up in masses under trees, along walkways, or maybe even scattered throughout your lawn. Early spring flowering bulbs, like snowdrops, crocuses, and tulips, offer flower lovers the season’s first cut flowers for indoor bud vases.

We’ve discovered another perfect pairing for our Roost Glass Bird Vases. Snowdrops. You may not think of Snowdrops – or galanthus – as a cut flower, but their dainty, honey-scented flowers are natural companions for small vases with narrow openings.

What are Snowdrops?

Snowdrops are an early spring blooming bulb from the amaryllidaceae family, with over 20 different varieties to choose from. Look for Galanthus nivalis, or common snowdrop, it’s the most widely known variety and can be found in most garden centers. Galanthus elwesii, or giant snowdrop, have larger flowers and wider leaves than it’s more common cousin. Both varieties grow up to about 4-6″ tall.

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December Week 3 Giveaway: 2012 Buy Local Tea Towel + Roost Farmers’ Market Basket

Tea Towel and Ceramic Basket

Enter to win! 2012 Buy Local Tea Towel + Roost Farmers' Market Basket

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Shelley Crist!

In this week’s December Giveaway, we’re celebrating the Buy Local movement. The idea of keeping it local appeals to many people, not just gardeners and farmers. When it comes to buying your food locally, it’s not just about supporting your local economy. You are buying produce that tastes better and is more nutritious; transportation uses less fossil fuel; and you can enjoy guilt-free dinners knowing your meat came from a cow, chicken, or pig that grazed freely in an open pasture.

This week is a two-part question: (1) Currently, how do you keep it local, and (2) what is one way you plan to become a better locavore in 2012?

One randomly selected winner will receive one 2012 Buy Local Calendar Tea Towel + one Roost Raspberry Farmers’ Market Basket {raspberry}.

How to Enter

2012 Calendar Tea Towel

Click image to see more detail

  • 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.
  • Answer the same 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 for a chance to win our FREE gift idea. Keep ‘em for yourself or find some special to gift them to.

Week 3′s contest ends Sunday, December 18, 12:00 PST. The winner will be announced the following week.

Congratulations to Christina and Janis for winning last week’s December Giveaway!

December Giveaway Week 2: Roost Recycled Wall Terrarium + Terrarium Craft Book

Terrarium Gift Idea

UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Christina for winning the first prize {terrarium + book} and to Janis for winning the second prize {book}.

Terrariums are the perfect gift for plant lovers, design junkies, DIYers, and crafty minds. And when you pair our Roost Recycled Glass Wall Terrarium with Timber Press’s Terrarium Craft book by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant, it makes the perfect giveaway! One lucky winner will win both the wall terrarium + the terrarium book, and a second place winner will win a copy of the book {pictured below}.

QUESTION: Terrariums are little scenes of nature in glass containers. What’s your favorite way to connect with nature indoors?

Terrarium_Craft

We're giving away 2 free copies of Terrarium Craft

Week 2 Giveaway: How to Enter

  • Answer the question above by submitting your answer in the “leave a reply” section at the bottom of the page – good for 1 entry.
  • 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 2′s contest ends Sunday, December 11, 12:00 PST. Two randomly selected winners will be announced the following week.

Congratulations Julie Lanier for winning last week’s December Giveaway!

Create the Perfect Terrarium Gift

Want to make a big impression this holiday? Think about grouping terrarium related items your gift recipient will need to create their first or 100th terrarium.

  • Terrarium Tools make fiddling with plants and dirt easier in tight spaces
  • Idea Books like Timber Press’s Terrarium Craft
  • Organic Potting Soil
  • Small bag of Crushed River Gravel for drainage
  • Small bag of Charcoal to keep mold and bacteria at bay
  • Water bottle for spritzing the plants
  • Plant material ranging from succulents and cacti, ferns, moss, and air plants.
  • Accent pieces add a nice personal touch and fill empty spaces. Look for crystals, feathers, bones, seashells, bits of wood, porcelain trinkets

WEEK 3 Giveaway: one 2012 Buy Local Tea Towel + one Roost Farmer’s Market Basket {raspberry}

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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