Easy Chopped Greek Salad

Whew, where is the summer going? It seems like just last week school got out - but here we are with just a few precious weeks of summer vacation left. We’re trying to squeeze in what fun we can with family hikes, day trips, visiting friends, - and of course enjoying some of our favorite summertime foods. One of my favorites is this Easy Chopped Greek Salad which can make a perfect dinner on a hot night or a side dish to bring to the neighborhood BBQ. | This post contains affiliate links |

Easy Chopped Greek Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 large tomatoes (or a bunch of cherry tomatoes)
  • half a red onion (I love red onions and tend to put in a lot... feel free to adjust the amount of red onion to your taste)
  • 4 oz canned black olives, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil (California Olive Ranch Brand is my favorite)
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of feta cheese
  • fresh chives for garnish

This recipe is a great way to use up tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs from your garden too!

Easy Chopped Greek Salad Recipe

How-to:

  1. Chop cucumbers and tomatoes into bite sized chunks (remove seeds from tomatoes if they’re too “sloppy”).

  2. Dice up to half a red onion (adjust amount of onion to taste).

  3. In a separate bowl, make the dressing: juice one lemon, and add a splash of olive oil. Add about a tsp of dried oregano, and salt and pepper. Whisk together and add more olive oil or herbs/spices to taste.

  4. Combine veggies, black olives, and dressing in bowl and mix well.

  5. Add feta cheese and chives to garnish before serving.

  6. Enjoy!

I make this salad just by “winging it” each time and don’t have exact amounts for olive oil or spices - really it’s up to you and your personal taste. Just experiment and see what tastes good to you.

Easy Chopped Greek Salad Recipe
Easy Chopped Greek Salad Recipe

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Easy Fast Fix for a Common Eyesore {Sneak Peek}

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

Drilled wellheads are a common eyesore in yards these days. Often installed in a convenient location for maintenance, but definitely not appealing. Take our wellhead for example - it's smack dab in the middle of our front lawn and sticks out like a sore thumb. Thankfully with the help of a Dekorra Rock Enclosure from the Home Depot, I was able to easily and quickly hide this eyesore in just one afternon!
You can check out the full how-to on "How to Hide a Drilled Wellhead" on The Home Depot Blog.

BEFORE

BEFORE

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

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Garden is In (Finally!)

Here in New England we seemed to have a very late start to spring this year… after all the snow didn’t even melt from our yard until May 2nd! The rest of May has been generally cool and rainy and didn’t give us a chance to rototill and prep our garden until now. I finally planted the garden with our older daughter today and fingers crossed it does well this year! Last year our garden was a bust… we inadvertently overdid it with adding woodash the year before and nothing grew. But thanks to soil testing with UNH we have since re-set the pH and other imbalances and things should be off to a better start this year!

Gardening with our daughter.

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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!  Today we stopped by the garden center to pick up some lavender plants for our deck.  Lavender not only smells and looks beautiful but it can help as a natural bug repellent.  Win-win! 

Earth Day 2019

I’ve also updated my Amazon Storefront to include a list of “Green Living” products and ideas to help you live like it’s Earth Day every day - because it is!

Birch Landing Home's Amazon Storefront

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How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

I’ve been wanting to hang a few decorative signs on the outside of our house… a welcome sign by the door and this “gather” sign on our back deck. However, with vinyl siding I was very hesitant… I didn’t want to drill into it or make a mess of it. Which is why I was so happy when I came across this incredibly simple, no tools needed solution!
| This is
not a sponsored post, but an honest independent review of a product. This post contains affiliate links |

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

After some searching on Amazon I came across these "No-Hole Hooks" and it seemed to be the perfect solution! These are special stainless-steel hooks that are meant to "roll" under the lip of your vinyl siding and hang lightweight decor. Just what I needed!

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!
How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

I measured out the distance between the hangers on the back of my sign, placed the hooks at the correct distance, and hung the sign - ta-da! It couldn’t have been easier! I’m really happy with how easy it was.

It seems that as long as you have good condition (not sun brittle), quality siding and hang only light-weight items, this would be a great solution over drilling into your siding. I also love that if we decide to take down the decor, it leaves no holes behind!
I’ve had these signs up for a few months now and I’ve been really happy with how these have worked and held up.

How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!
How to Hang Decor on Vinyl Siding - with NO DRILLING!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but an honest independent review of a product. Always follow manufacturer’s guidelines when using and use product at your own risk. Not liable for any damages or improper use.

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DIY Slate Garden Markers

I've been eyeing slate garden markers for our herb garden for awhile now, but buying pre-made ones are soooo expensive and they never have all the varieties I want.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own.  Because I have the world's worst handwriting (it's true, ask anyone) I used a Cricut to cut the text for me, but if you have half-decent handwriting you could easily do this project with a paint marker too.  | This post contains affiliate links |

DIY Slate Garden Markers

Materials:  

How To:  

1.  If using your Cricut to make the text, measure your garden markers and make each "label" in Design Space the appropriate size.  I chose a font with a handwritten feel, but you can use whatever font you prefer.  You may need to play around with the scale of the lettering to get it to fit.  Use 651 Permanent Vinyl to cut your text.  

Making the labels in Design Space for Cricut

2.  "Weed out" your text, removing any pieces of vinyl you don't want to be in your final design.  I find a dental explorer to be super useful here to get rid of the pieces inside of letters, but it's not necessary.  The finer-point text was definitely a lot harder to weed (which is why you'll notice the dot on the "i" in garlic chives isn't in the right place).  

DIY Slate Garden Markers in progress

3.  Next use contact paper or transfer tape to put over your final vinyl design and rub well to make sure it's on there good.  This will "carry" the vinyl once the backing is removed.  

DIY Slate Garden Markers in progress

4.  Carefully peel the backing off your design.. this can be tricky.  My advice is to go slowly and have your dental explorer handy if you have one!  It can help hold letters down as you peel off the back.  

5.  Once the backing is removed, carefully place on a clean and dry slate marker.  Rub the design on well (I use an old gift card like a squeegee).  Once it's on there good, carefully peel off the contact paper.  
Alternatively:  If you don't have a Cricut or want to do this project by hand, you can skip steps 1-5 and just write your text freehand with a white paint marker and allow to dry.  

DIY Slate Garden Markers in progress

6.  To make sure the vinyl doesn't peel or come loose, I use a spray acrylic sealer to seal them.  Just put the markers on a scrap piece of cardboard, give a light coating of the spray sealer, and allow to dry (make sure you're in a well-ventilated area). 
If you used a paint marker instead I would also suggest sealing them.  

DIY Slate Garden Markers in progress
DIY Slate Garden Markers

7.  Hang your new garden markers!  You can buy special hangers for them if you like, or use sticks and some twine or wire.  In my case I wanted them on the barrels in our herb garden so I simply used some thin copper wire and "flossed" it through the slots in the barrel, tying it off with a large washer at the back so they don't pull through.  

It has been SOOO abnormally hot in New England these past few weeks that my herb garden isn't looking too wonderful at the moment (hence the limited "after" pictures).  We have six wine barrel planters on a small patio; four of the planters have perennial herbs (chives, garlic chives, sage, and peppermint) that come back each year and the other two planters I switch up each summer.  Currently my poor plants are a bit sun-stressed and I'm far behind on weeding, but I hope you'll get the idea of the final install below.  I think it really helps finish the space and I love that things are finally labeled.  

DIY Slate Garden Markers
DIY Slate Garden Markers
DIY Slate Garden Markers

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Shop my Amazon Favorite Finds with Ease!

Amazon Influencers now have categories which makes browsing my Favorite Finds so much easier!  Check out my lists and let me know if you have any questions on the products - I have different lists for Home, Kitchen Favorites, DIY Supplies + Tools, Fashion + Beauty, Outdoors, and Baby + Kid Items. 
| This post contains affiliate links |

Shop Birch Landing Home's Amazon Favorites with Ease!

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DIY Teacup or Dish Bird Feeder

You might remember a previous post where I reused a repaired coffee mug as an herb planter in the kitchen.  Well this year I decided to transform that mug one more time into a little bird feeder for a focal point in the flower garden.  

DIY Teacup or Dish Bird Feeder
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Supplies & How-to:   

The supply list really couldn't be more simple - all you need is a mug, bowl, or plate, a wooden dowel, a rubber cap, and some super glue!  That's it!  

I had my husband paint the wooden dowel with a couple coats of white outdoor paint first (normally I would have painted it, but the outdoor paint isn't recommended to be used by pregnant women).  I wanted it painted to give a bit more of a finished look and to help make sure the dowel lasts longer outdoors.  

IMG_2348.JPG

Then with a little bit of Super Glue, I attached the rubber cap to the bottom of the ceramic mug.

By having the mug be removable from the dowel, you can easily pound the dowel sturdily into the ground with a small mallet or hammer then add the feeder once the dowel is in place.  It also makes it easy to clean out the feeder regularly.  

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Since we've had bears frequent our neighborhood lately, I will just be filling the mug with water for now for birds and butterflies to drink from.  Once the bears go into hibernation again I will be able to safely fill it with bird seed for our feathered friends.  

Overall I'm happy with how this simple project came out - it adds the perfect touch to our flower bed!  

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