Cardamom Spice, Recipes To Warm Your Heart

spice jars

Warming and Flavorful Spice for Your Cooking

A warm aromatic spice

While better known today because of its addition to Chai drinks and Indian cuisine, cardamom has long been a favorite in Scandinavian kitchens and in my kitchen, too. It add a “je ne sais quoi” to many dishes ranging from the well known Chai beverages to such diverse cuisines as Scandinavian, Indian, and Israeli.

In fact, it is a favored spice in many Middle Eastern recipes, and is sold in open markets there. One of the best places to purchase the spice here in the USA is from an Indian grocery, although Amazon is quick and easy. And most spice displays in your grocery carry it, too. “Decorticated” ground spice seems more flavorful, although you can also buy the pods and grind them yourself.

For me, Christmas baking just isn’t the same without my Cardamom rolls and Cardamom spiced cookies. I want to share the delightful and fragrant spice with you, whether it is an old favorite or new to your taste buds.


Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

More about the Health Benefits – Cardamom Spice

  1. Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
  2. The pods are rich in many vital vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C
  3. Improves digestion and stimulates the metabolism
  4. Reputedly used in love potions as found in the tales of the Arabian Nights, which make frequent reference to it.

Scandinavian Cuisine – Cardamom is no secret there…

Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Danes all use cardamom in their cuisine. These cooking traditions are world famous for their baking and coffee drinking is part of their culture. It is common to invite people over for coffee and cakes, an intrinsic part of the hospitable culture. Spicing up the cookies or coffee with cardamom can be one of the delightful elements of this repast. (Try a dash of cardamom in your coffee for a real taste treat!)

The Rolls No One Can Resist

alt=”Warm from the oven” width=”200″ height=”150″ /> Warm from the oven cardamon rolls

A Family Tradition At Christmas

I bake it as a traditional Christmas ritual, and this is a wonderful recipe for anytime you wish to bake it, although for us it is part of our Christmas Eve celebration. My family loves the warm spicy taste of the cardamom mixed with fresh yeasty sweet bread and sprinkled with slivered almonds. I prefer not to glaze the rolls, but sprinkle with an almond/sugar mixture.

Here is a simpler version than the one I bake.


Ground cardamom flavors yeast breads with a sweet, yet refreshing, nuance. Cardamom bread, a traditional Swedish baked good, is often flavored with a combination of cardamom and almonds.

Serving Size

Serves: 16 rolls


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup unsalted butter + more for buttering pans
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups flour + more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (about 110°). Let sit until foamy bubbles form on surface, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a pan over low heat and let cool just until warm. Let remaining 1/2 cup butter soften in a warm place until spreadable.
  2. To the yeast, add melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 4 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Stir or mix in a standing mixer with a dough hook until smooth, 5 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Butter two 9-in. cake pans. When dough has doubled, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 2-ft. square, spread with softened butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cardamom. Roll dough into a log, pinching the seam to seal. Cut log into 16 pieces and arrange, cut sides up, in a single layer in cake pans. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make glaze: Whisk together 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Remove rolls from pans and drizzle with half of this thin glaze. Add remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar to remaining glaze and drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.

If you are interested in using my recipe I have it online.

Christmas Cardamom Rolls

Cardamom Seeds (Decorticated) Whole

Arabic Flavor

Scandinavians aren’t the only culture to have an affinity for Cardamom- let the Arabic culture show their use of this aromatic spice.

American cooks often are not familiar with this culinary treat. Trying Arabic, Scandinavian, and Indian dishes will familiarize this addition which flavors breads, stews, and desserts with equal flair.

To get you started, an easy and well-loved dish is the following custard variation.

Middle Eastern Dream Custard

alt=”photo by phdstudent on Flickr” width=”240″ height=”180″ /> photo by phdstudent on Flickr

Serving Size

Serves: 4-6

Cardamom and Rosewater Lend Luxury Scent and Flavor

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons custard powder (commercial)
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • Ground pistachios (optional)


  1. Put milk, sugar and cardamom into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat.
  2. Mix the custard powder with a little water to make a smooth thin paste. Gradually stir it into the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until the custard is smooth. Remove from heat and add rose water. Return to the stove and place over a very low heat a few minutes. Pour into custard dishes, and garnish with pistachios. Chill.
  3. ~~~~~~~~wish to make it from scratch?~~~~~~~~~~
  4. Try this variation:
  5. * 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  6. * 1 tablespoon green or white cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  7. * 1/3 cup arrowroot
  8. * 1/2 cup sugar
  9. * 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or walnuts
  10. Bring milk, cardamom pods, and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a 2-qt heavy saucepan, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  11. Whisk together arrowroot and sugar in a large bowl, then whisk in hot milk mixture. Return to saucepan and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Chill pudding, its surface covered with wax paper, until very cold, at least 4 hours. Serve sprinkled with nuts.

Flavor Your Coffee

Cardamom adds a “je ne sais quoi” to your coffee- it is fabulous in strong Turkish coffee.

My favorite Israeli restaurant uses it in the coffee it serves.

Fabulous Cardamom Cookies – Rich Buttery Cookies

With the secret ingredient of cardamom that will have everyone raving. And such a simple recipe!


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • For Decoration:
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. Combine flour, cardamom and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter until creamy, and add sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flower mixture until well-blended, stir in ground almonds.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and cardamom. Shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, coat in sugar-spice mixture. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Dip the bottom of a glass into sugar mixture and flatten cookies to 1/2 inch thick rounds. Decorate with sliced almonds.
  4. Bake cookies until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Remove sheets to wire racks to cool 2-3 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Fresh Spices Make A Difference

Like most spices, cardamom loses it flavor strength over time. You can refrigerate for longer preservation, but be sure to use your spice and replace it when it seems less potent.

I recommend this Cardamom – Economically priced

If you have looked in your local grocery store you know this food flavoring comes at a premium cost. An organic source that is far more economical is this one, online.

Ground for convenience, use it up within a year. Buy these smaller amounts more often for freshness.

Tandoori Chicken

alt=”photo by my_amii” width=”240″ height=”160″ /> photo by my_amii

Indian cooking uses cardamom in many of its spice mixtures- and no wonder since this is where the spice originates.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5 hours (marinate)

Total Time: 1 1/2 hour

Serves: 6


  • 1 chicken (3 lbs.) quartered
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 8 garlic cloves- crushed through a press
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper- to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring(optional)
  • Scallions and lime wedges


  1. Remove skin from chicken; make two deep gashes in each piece of meat. Rub chicken all over with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in a 12x8x2-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine yogurt with ginger, garlic, cardamom, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, remaining lime juice and salt, and food coloring, if desired. Pour over chicken and turn to coat. Cover loosely and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 4 hours or overnight to develop flavors.
  3. When ready to cook, light charcoal grill or preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grill over medium-hot coals or bake 40 to 50 minutes, turning and basting frequently with yogurt marinade. Garnish with scallions and lime wedges

Christmas Cookie – Cardamom Pistachio Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter- chilled, (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed using a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup sparkling decorative sugar
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped

Buttery Rounds

delicious cookies
delicious cookies


  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for one minute. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat an additional minute.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt. Spoon the flour mixture into the butter mixture and add the cardamom. Beat on low speed, then increase to medium and mix until the batter is combined.
  3. Spoon the dough into a cookie press and press out onto ungreased baking sheets. Or roll the dough into a log, wrap in parchment paper and chill for two hours before slicing into rounds and arranging evenly onto the cookie sheets. In a small bowl, combine the sparkling sugar and the pistachio nuts, then sprinkle some on each cookie.
  4. Bake just until the edges of the cookies start to turn a pale golden color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, then remove carefully to a wire rack. The cookies will firm up as they cool. When they are completely cool, store in an airtight container. They may be kept frozen up to two months.

Cardamom Extract

More Ways To Start Using This Flavor To Set Your Cooking Apart

“Heavy Table” recommends starting your experience of baking with the flavor of cardamom with addition of an extract. Use it with vanilla or even instead of it.

Use as the flavoring in cakes, cookies and ice cream, pancake or waffle batter. It might become your favorite spice, too.

The flavor of cardamom captured in an extract is the easiest way to infuse its flavor into your cooking.

For custards or entree dishes you may want this form. I like the flecks of the ground spice for my baked goods.

The Cardamom Plant – True Cardamom

botanical stamp of cardamom plant
botanical stamp of cardamom plant

Foundational Facts

Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum

Family: Zingiberaceae, the ginger family

Cardamom is native to the monsoon forests of India and Sri Lanka, but is cultivated throughout tropical Asia. The plant may be grown as an outdoor perennial in Zones 10 and 11which include southern Florida, Puerto Rico and Hawaii, in most parts of the USA it can only be grown indoors. If you chose to grow in a container, keep it moist, but not soggy. Place on a a sunny windowsill (facing west or south) and give high humidity, (by way of a bed of rocks or a mister spray).

Culinary Cardamom can be either the true or green Cardamom, which is this plant, or its close relative the black Cardamom. Green, this species, has the more desirable, delicate flavor.

“It is fruity, floral, citrussy and pungent, and its essential oil contains cineole, which gives it a dash of warming eucalyptus” – [1]

History notes:

“It’s a well-travelled spice, too, believed to have been brought from India to Greece by one of Alexander the Great’s soldiers in the fourth century BC, where it was used in both medicinal as well as culinary concoctions. In the ninth century, the Vikings took it from Constantinople to Scandinavia, where it’s still a fragrant favourite in baking and even in some versions of pickled herring.” {1)

Cardamom Cookery – More Recipes

Cardamom Rolls

Your Opinion on this Spice

Used to flavor rice pudding, cakes, chutney and creme brulée, it is included in Indian spice mixtures like Garam Masala. Scandinavians flavor glogg, yule cake or aebleskivers (apple pancake puffs) with generous sprinklings of Cardamom, too.

What do you use Cardamom for?


Cute Corgi’s on Society6

I’m just starting out on Society6, which is a POD site for artists ( much like Zazzle). Anyway, while seeking to discover how to use the site and create designs that fit its demographic and products I came across some sute Corgi designs.

I like the Corgi breed of dog ever since seeing a cousins absolutely adorable pup. I am thinking of getting one sometime in the next year.

It seemed like a good idea to share my discoveries with the world ( both the Corgi design and my newfound affection for the breed.

Here is a pattern on a mug:

isn’t this darling?

Why do I like the Corgi breed? Cuteness factor is quite high, it is friendly without being too needy. Intelligent and good watch dogs.

They are said to be stubborn and need training, as well as prone to bark. Those downsides need to be taken into account, but isn’t different from the other dog I just love: Great Pyrenees. 

However… the difference in size between the two means a smaller dog like a corgi will be much easier to manage. 

We Need To See More Corgi Designs

Okay… take a look at this:

who wouldn’t smile, seeing these stickers?

Coming Soon: My Own Designs

I have loads of design elements to play with and  intend to make some work (hopefully including patterns) for Society6 site. It has bedspreads and wall papers, along with many other products that aren’t found elsewhere. I’m hoping to do as well as I have on my Zazzle stores.

What about Supplements, Herbs, and Vitamins?

Herbs & Vitamins

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All information is offered from my own personal opinions and experience for you to use for informational purposes only. We are responsible for our own health decisions and that includes consulting medical professionals for advice and care.

Why use them? I run across opinions from the medical sector and “experts” who dismiss the use of supplements, normally with the statement that they’re unnecessary when a balanced diet is consumed. I suppose that those ideas come from insufficient knowledge of agricultural practices.

So where are my degrees? My clinical experience? Nonexistent. I’m a gardener, I’m a mom. But, think about this: Our bodies are composed of what we eat, our nutrients.

In the same way a plant or animal food is composed of its nutrients. If foods are grown on selenium deficient soils, will they have enough selenium in them? Iodine deficient soils are known to cause problems, thus iodized salt.

Modern farming uses depleted soils to grow crops, sometimes repeatedly the same ones, with the chemical additions of the “big three” – nitrogen, potassium, and potash. Additionally, many modern hybrids are raised for disease resistance or ease of handling. This doesn’t translate into better nutrition.

Herbal and vitamin supplementation of the best diet we can avail ourselves of just makes sense.

Fresh herbs and tea count, too

My Routine

Because there have been many challenges to deal with in the last decade, there have been a number of supplements I have been trying to add into my daily diet. The most outstanding problem has been hypertension, which I will tell you about first.  Besides that, I have routine vitamins, (those taken regularly) :

Admittedly, I sometimes feel like I’ve amassed a small pharmacy worth of vitamins and herbs; but this has been helping me.

Dealing With High Blood Pressure

In working on the pressures- a doctor suggested having a glucose tolerance test. If blood sugar imbalances are damaging tissues then many of the things which help a diabetic condition would also aid the eye and blood pressure to normalize. This is a confirmation to me to exercise, add supplemental selenium, and antioxidants.

What Am I Doing Now? What Works.

I have been on blood pressure medication for a number of years now. I am trying to cut it back with the goal of no longer needing it. I have had trouble from the beginning with sometimes wild fluctuations, and developed a way to manage this. First I will list what I use, and then explain why.

  • I eat beets and drink beet juice supplements
  • I take Cinnamon and alpha-lipoic acid capsules
  • Fish oil or Krill oil for healthy Omega fats
  • Vitamin D3
  • Magnesium drink (Calm)
  • Probiotics

Beet consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure; it works in that way for me. Fish oil is often prescribed for heart health and has blood thinning properties.(1)

Magnesium is a mineral that many Americans are deficient in, and it is needed for blood pressure and glucose regulation. (2)

Ginko Biloba and Some Words on Balancing One’s Life

More on Gingko biloba: this definitely is a helpful herb and its effects ought to be considered. First, I understand it acts as a blood thinner- which might explain some of its helpfulness in the peripheral circulatory system.

Beware of Combinations

be careful
be careful

You should be aware of other blood thinning products you might be using (like aspirin). Another, subjective, observation is that it has stimulant properties. So, I personally don’t like to take it in the evening – sort of behaves like caffeine in my system.

We are often advised to be careful how foods or others things interact when prescribed medications.

Herbs and even vitamins can interact both with each other, with foods or with medications we are taking, in the same way. Blood thinning factors are one thing to be aware of, but some foods, like grapefruit juice can either magnify, cancel or otherwise change effectiveness or safety of what we ingest.

When devising our own health plan, we should research or ask advisce about possible interactions.

Natural Means Are Not A Quick Fix, But Take Time

My weight is moderate at 125 lbs. and I really don’t want to drop weight, but if you carry extra pounds, the additional exercise and some chromium picolinate can only help. People who need to lose weight should do it for themselves-your health is worth it!

UPDATED: I originally wrote this article in 1999-2001 time period. Today, in 2018 my body and health requisites have changed. I have learned a lot in the meantime, but I have also battled serious issues that include weight gain. I have learned how difficult it is to lose weight when your metabolism has changed, when medications taken have side effects on your appetite and weight gain. I will keep the pertinent original info, but this page must reflect my new status of fighting to keep down blood pressure and weight gain.

Herbs and supplements are not a ‘quick fix’, so moderation and patience (the same qualities needed for all permanent life changes) will be necessary. The concept of homeostasis, picture a balance or stacking building blocks , means we adjust our system gradually. Here is as good a place as any to compare and contrast health philosophies.

This Is Not A Diatribe Against Doctors

There is a place for the medical establishment and for self-help; the two have always coexisted along with the third, the spiritual factor. I have to believe doctors have always found it frustrating to shoulder the responsibility of prevention. It is up to an individual to do the actual exercise and common sense activities of eating, sleeping, etc.

Doctors and hospitals seem best suited for emergency intervention – I definitely want them for injuries or a heart attack! But in daily situations , they are like very expensive personal trainers, if you have the money and the need, avail yourself.

The rest of us are being priced out of the market; besides, it is very pleasant to experience a healthy lifestyle. That’s the reason to use nutrition, herb, and fitness information.

Spiritual Factors

I really have to throw one caveat in here: we cannot guarantee our own health and well-being. No doctor can, either. That’s why there has always been the spiritual factor.

You know the saying “Life happens” (and the variants thereof), well, despite our best laid plans the principle of entropy can manifest. .or lightning can strike…or…or..And in the meantime we can do what we can.

For me, the spiritual factor is Jesus Christ, and I really don’t want to hem and haw around yours if its different. I have a page on why I believe in Him, but, for now, allow me to share one amazing fact. When I exercise for a couple of days, I easily lower my blood pressure points about five-ten; when I pray for maybe ten minutes the same effect occurs. Just thought I’d throw that in since it shows that dealing with the whole person (not just the body) is important.

mind and body connection
Go back to  Body Beautiful index page

Using Weights To Improve Physical Fitness

fitness and strength

Strength Training

Whatever your age or difficulty, it seems training with weights can help you. Eventually, a whole body regimin could be introduced into your exercise routine, but where (and how limited) would you like to start? I chanced onto Jane Fonda’s routine in “Complete Workout”.

As I look back, my activities could have pointed out weaknesses: my legs, through ballet, bicycling, and walking were my strength and my poor performance in softball and chin-ups indicated a weak upper body.

When we’re busy juggling child care, housework, all the car travel time, collapsing on the couch, I don’t think we have time to assess our loss of good posture, muscle strength and flexibility.

From adolescence we’re thinking “What shape am I?” However, that simply clouds our viewpoint even more.When it hurts to turn your neck while driving, or exhausts you to lug groceries from the car, or your two-year-old outruns you, that the hint starts growing in your awareness.

shoulder exercise

So, where’s your weak spot? Your back and shoulders? Lower back? Legs,abdominals? All of the above? Get yourself some wristweights and/or dumb bell free weights or even some soup cans.

My Method When Using Weights

Stretch a little first – the “cat” where on all fours the back is arched, then slowly dropped to a concave position: then get up to stretch your hands as high as possible circling outward and sweeping slowly up.

Move your head around, or better yet, get a book on stretching and another on weight exercises ( the libraries always have several )and go through a series as recommended.

Shoulder Shrugs

After you’ve warmed your muscles, take your hand weights and shrug your shoulders while keeping a straight arm, roll down and shrug again. Repeat these moves in repetitions of 8-12. I like to start here and add these in between more taxing moves. Ready for more?

Work Those Abs

Something people don’t always realize is that strengthening the abdominals improves your back strength and relieves lower back pain. As you improve the strength of the back and abdominal muscles, your posture improves, as well.

That benefit alone can make you look ten pounds thinner! Benefits, benefits!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

One way to use weights is to add some challenge to other exercises with wrist or ankle weights that strap on with velcro. Try the leaning camel and then get some floor work done with your crunches.

So, flatten your back to the floor and crunch a little; this is one of the exercises that you can do daily. Confession: no, I don’t do these daily, but I think I’ll try, how about you?


Cross train

Cross training programs such as The Firm series of videos combine aerobic and weight training. In the video above a workout in a pool of water takes the stress off joints.

There are many books to guide your in the how-tos, and plenty of online information. A set of weights, a video or book, plus a small amount of time, and you are ready to get fit!

Weight training has benefits in many areas of health. Indicated for prevention of osteoporosis problems, increases metabolism once muscle mass is increased, besides helping to sculpt your body shape.

mind and body connection
Go back to  Body Beautiful index page

Adorable Gifts for New Moms

Welcome to Super Gift Guide Ideas for New Moms!

new mom
new mom Victoria Johnson Photography

Know a new mom? Surprise her with something really thoughtful – it will mean so much!

Here are some adorable ideas to make her the happiest holiday mommy (besides that cute bundle of joy, of course!).

It isn’t just the gift, but the encouragement, the warm supportive feeling of a gesture that helps celebrate one of the high points in a woman’s life: becoming a mother.

Celebrate with her!

A few ideas: tasty treats, relaxing cup of tea, encouragement

Celebrate Motherhood – Celebrate The New Mom!

The birth of a baby is one of the major landmarks of life. Help a new mommy celebrate with gifts that show her that you share her joy, and here are suggestions that any new mother would love.

There is such a broad spectrum of ways to show a new mom that you care.

  • mothering help
  • inspirational gifts
  • indulgent food
  • mothercare products
  • music for soothing baby
  • personal items to wear
  • keepsakes in a mother/child theme
  • mother themed art
  • flowers
  • gift basket

Hidden in My Heart (A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture)

Hidden in My Heart (A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture)

I love these soothing songs, and you and your baby will, too.

When you are a new mom there is nothing you wish for more than some extra rest, and while it doesn’t guarantee that your baby will sleep, lullabies do help. Peaceful melodies create a calm atmosphere.


A Mother

“There is no velvet so soft as a mother’s lap, no rose as lovely as her smile, no path so flowery as that imprinted with her footsteps”~

~ Archibald Thompson ~

Choose the purpose of your gift:

  • Do you wish to inspire her?
  • Pamper the new mom
  • Make her feel important and special
  • Help her feel capable and a better mom

What is your wish for her… and what makes her feel special… combine the answer to those two things and you have found the perfect gift.

Make a New Mommy Feel Special – Give her something thoughtful and sweet

new mother
gifts for new mothers

It Can Be Little, It Might Cost Nothing

Give something adorable to help her feel that way!

It can be a time of wonderful ups, but certainly a few lows after you have your new baby… and most of the lows center about how you feel about your attractiveness. Your clothes don’t fit, and you are tired of wearing maternity outfits. You just plain feel tired… and that promises to be for the near foreseeable future. Besides all that, you have worked pretty hard… you need something that makes you feel pampered, and special, and yes, adorable again.

These gifts don’t have to be lavish, they can be small and thoughtful.

They don’t need to be expensive, they can be something homemade, a jar of jam with a special message, flowers from the garden, or a fresh picked bowl of berries. Just make sure their message is that the new mom is thought of and cherished.

Your Experience

The perfect book is available on Amazon. Affiliate link.
The perfect book is available on Amazon. Affiliate link to buy it today. Source: Sally Placksin

Mothering the New Mother: Your Postpartum Resource Companion
The perfect book is available on Amazon. Affiliate link.

That is how she feels, and now what are we going to do about it? I know how I felt when, right after my new baby arrived, I was given a few special gifts just for me. Wonderful! Elated, even. It is just such a nice and unexpected thing.

What would make her feel special? Maybe a new, pretty Bathrobe.

May your day be filled with gigglesanonymous

Beautiful Mother And Child Art


mother and child
art, mother and child

Inspirational, Soul Lifting Stories – Give Her A Little Chicken Soup

… for her soul, that is. Perfect to read during feeding times, as a perky pick up for the day.

The “Chicken Soup” collection of books is famous for a reason: everyone needs a little nurturing now and then.

There is something about a well told story, especially when it is soul lifting and heart warming. Provide a little chicken soup just when someone needs it most by putting a book of favorite quotes and stories into their hands- there when they need it.

Joy, Love, and Wonder

Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms: 101 Inspirational Stories of Joy, Love, and Wonder

Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms: 101 Inspirational Stories of Joy, Love, and Wonder

Happy and Joyful Thoughts

Sometimes a mom just wants to revel in the sweet thoughts that celebrate this new chapter in life… Chicken Soup books always uplift, and serve a gift of this book with a bowl of the real thing- homemade chicken soup from your kitchen.

How adorable of you!

Gallery of New Mommies – An age old story, a brand new chapter

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.anonymous2

You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.Polish Proverb

A Sweet Picture – Willow Family Sculpture Figurine

Willow Tree Our Gift

What a sweet commemoration of this wonderful event- the addition of your new baby into your family circle!

Sometimes We Need A Little Encouragement – Daily Guide To Inspire A New Mother

Loving is feelings, but loving is also a lot of little things and this guide will inspire you to increase you love vocabulary as a new mom. “What the world needs now is love,sweet love” – we can always use a little more.

A Bundle of Joy! Yes, yours! This for that new little one in your life. Natural products that you can feel good about using.

Burts Bees Products are darling gifts – natural new mom gifts for her and for baby

New mommy gifts

<img src=”” alt=”” width=”520″ height=”520″ data-original=”” />

Source: Gustav Klimpt
Source: Gustav Klimpt

Moms Love Stuff for Their Babies, Too

For Baby:

Will the gift make it easier to take care of the baby, does it create good feeling for a new mom? Give her a little luxury or something that helps the mommy baby bond.

Breastfeeding Help – Why not make up a basket to lend encouragement?

We all know that breastfeeding is better for both the new mother and the baby, but sometimes there are challenges that create barriers to success- not always, but the new mom can use some help and would love these thoughtful gifts for making everything a little smoother.

Beautiful Lullabies – Soothing music for new mommy and baby moments

Super Diaper Bags – Fashionable and Fun

Petunia Picklebottom and More! If you love this idea, be sure to check out some of the fabulous choices in Adorable Diaper Bags

Time for a Spa Treatment

No time for a Manicure?

If you have the skills, give her a manicure, here’s how:

Pamper Her Hands And Feet | Prettiest Nail Polishes

If you don’t have the time, but have the money… give a gift card to a salon for the service. Still not what you had in mind?

How about…

Creamy hand lotion is the next best thing to a full manicure session at the salon.
A gift certificate for her favorite spa treatment (pedicures are especially nice), and arrangements to watch the baby.

Which Gift Is Most Adorable?

Every Once In Awhile I Find Something I Love

I’ve gotten pretty good at feeling that I have most everything I need or want. And most of the time I do, I am very blessed in that sense. But sometimes I look through items that I don’t need, but they have some intrinsic quality or could bring some beauty into my life, and that causes me to long a little. Or at least mentally put them on a wish list.

I was looking through a catalog of Rodale products, and they appeal to all my sensibilities: natural materials, beautiful design, unusual and original looking.

I thought I would have some post here or there that compile some in related themes. I know I have Pinterest board, but this is a little more refined and thought out. I tend to pin less mindfully than I ought to- just so I don’t lose some idea or pretty picture. This is more for me to consider, and for you to see what I really, really like.

Yes, I am an affiliate- that needs to be said at the outset. Now let’s enjoy some pretty things…

I am a sucker for real leaf earrings. When in Colorado I went to a Souvenir shop in Georgetown and bought some silver plated Aspen leaves. I love them! And I love these Eucalyptus leaves for the same reason. They remind me of Northern California.

Love The Clogs

Slip-ons that are so cute. This is my ideal house slipper. This is the last one, so I just want you to see them, they aren’t in my size and will be gone soon. They are Geisswein boiled wool, which is available on Amazon if you don’t mind a different type. I have them on my list for this year, but I do love that little fox.


Organic Tunic

I would love this for this year. I don’t have any tunics this long and would like something with leggings. Not sure if it is still in style, but it would be comfortable and I would like the way it would look on me.

Keeping this short, to three items. I will create one for either beauty products or garden lusts another time.

The Little Mermaid of Merfolk Tales

Mermaids, baneful or beneficent?

John William Waterhouse: A Mermaid 1900


Ancient mariners feared them, and they were legendary creatures of the sea which some called “sirens“, but Hans Christian Anderson put down pen to paper to record a story that became a beloved fairytale.

What is the story of these creatures, and especially of that one particular little mermaid? The little mermaid who inspired a sculpture that became the national icon of Denmark, and a favorite Disney movie?

Follow the current… It will take you from the shore of Denmark to many other parts of the world… even to Hawaii.

If you would enjoy reading a few interesting facts about these mythological half fish- half human characters who people ancient and modern stories alike, here are a few things that you may not have heard before. They inspired some imaginative and beautiful art, from the renowned Copenhagen icon to romantic paintings of John Waterhouse to the inspired Cartoon artists of Disney, Mermaids will delight you.

Denmark’s Famous Statue

The statue on display has always been a copy. The heirs of the sculpture have the original in hiding.

The Famous Statue of Copenhagen

Den lille havfrue or ‘The little mermaid’

This famous sculpture was a gift from brewer Carl Jacobsen (The Carlsberg Breweries) to the city of Copenhagen. It is made of bronze and was unveiled on August 23, 1913. Situated on a rock at the shore, the statue may be observed quite closely.

I saw it when visiting Copenhagen, and though warned that it would be quite small, the actual size of the statue still is surprising it is so small- the size of maybe a small child.

The statue displayed in Copenhagen harbor has always been a copy; the sculptor’s heirs keep the original at an undisclosed location.

Are they real?

Tell me more about these sea creatures

Edmund Dulac’s Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid was a story that came from the imagination of Hans Christian Anderson, although there were other fairytales and legends of these mythic creatures.

A mermaid is a mythical creature that is half woman and half fish. The name comes from ‘mer’ meaning sea. All sea-faring cultures have mermaid tales.-Myths and Legends The Greeks had stories of “sirens” who were able to enchant their hearers through song. Most of these creatures are malevolent in effect, causing the death or destruction of mariners and their ships.

Mermaid stories appeared in Assyria, around 1000 BC, and they are found in numerous cultures including Arabic, British, Irish, Chinese, and many others.

Often considered unlucky omens, they also are regularly depicted as having beautiful voices which mesmerize their victims.

“Merfolk were used to symbolize eloquence in speech” in art and heraldry. Columbus reported that he saw three mermaids on his first voyage to the Americas.

I am not surprised that many sea faring cultures would have stories of mermaid creatures. There is something about swimming in the sea, with its inherent danger of drowning and its feeling of freedom compared with the heavy gravity of moving on land, that draws both fear and fascination.

To travel on the depths of it brings it even closer to the imagination. How often might men have desired to be able to live both above and under the sea? Many fairy myths hold the idea of another world which holds unwary men captive.

These are the makings of many mermaid tales and legends.

With Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, the tables are turned and it is the poor mermaid who suffers tragically, as she shows self sacrificing love for her human friends. Not all fairytales end with “happily ever after”.

Mako Mermaids

Other Famous Mermaids

Edmund Dulac Illustration

Legendary creatures get around


  • Menanna of the Ottawa Indians.
  • The Selkies of Shetland.
  • The Mermaids of Waiahuakua, Hawaiian mermaids.

Cast Iron Sitting Mermaid Figure Nautical Decor StatueCast Iron Sitting Mermaid Figure Nautical Decor Statue
Selkies are Celtic mythical creatures of a shapeshifter sort. Women who shed their seal skins to become human, but put them back on to disappear into the seas as seals. Their stories have some similarities to those of mermaids. Both are females who live in the sea and sometimes fraternize with humans.

Mesmerizing Color, Decorative and entrancing mermaid accents

Jim Shore Mermaid

What do mermaids represent? – fears or fantasies?

Are mermaids fearful and creatures that belong in horror flicks? Or are they beautiful fantasy creatures that represent the beauty of something different?

 Mermaid Marine Creatures


Mermaid art available at Zazzle- posters, cards, and more for those who love this nautical motif.

Combining the fascination of myth and the beauty of the undersea world, most of us picture mermaids as benign, or at least harmless creatures.

How do you feel about Mermaid Folk?

Which Are Your Favorite Mermaid Movies?

Ariel, the Little Mermaid from Disney

Ariel Fanart


How most children know the story

Disney has made a completely new and expanded rendition of this fairytale and renamed the Little Mermaid, Ariel.

She is very popular with little girls, who have dolls, bedding, and a plethora of items designed with their favorite movie.

Plot Summary: Ariel, a sixteen-year-old mermaid princess, is unhappy with life under the sea and curious about the human world.

She is discouraged in this by her father and various sea creature courtiers.She sees the birthday celebration of Prince Eric aboard his ship, falls in love with him, saves him from drowning in the subsequent sea storm.

Ariel returns to her sea home, sick with unhappiness; after a row with her father she goes to the Sea witch Ursula who makes a deal to give her three days, in which Ariel must receive the ‘kiss of true love’ from Prince Eric. If she fails, she then will belong to the witch. In exchange for her legs she must give up her voice.

In the meantime, Ursula transforms herself into a bewitching young woman to thwart all possibility of Ariel succeeding in her plans. Through misadventures Ariel and her friends manage to break the spell on her voice just in time to win Eric.

The story is not yet over, as the villainess must rise up in threatening power once again, do battle with our heroes until she is finally vanquished.

Afterward Ariel becomes human with legs and all and marries Eric.

This movie was actually planned very early in Disney’s career, soon after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the late 1930s, but was put on hold. It debuted in 1989, at last.

Do You Love Northern Winters?

Not Everyone Hates Wintertime

winter scene

Winter, how do I love thee? Hmmm, Let me think about that a minute….

For all those who, like me, find lots to love about Northern winters in the U.S.A, this is a look at the holidays, the activities, and just the plain minimalist and sparkling beauty of an American Northern winter. Poems are written about the pure white snows, and harrowing tales as well. Photos and paintings depict the breathtaking landscape of snow-covered fields, waters, and architecture, and people travel long distances to participate in the winter sports that this season affords.

There is a lot to appreciate about winter.

Here are photos of my winter season, some of the fun activities people enjoy, snippets of poetry, and old fashioned art of bygone days. A potpourri of things to appreciate in a cold climate.

Photos I’ve taken of winter.

Pictures of a beautiful winter

Winter wonderland of white is what they call a winter like the one Ohio had when I took these photos.

Brrr, Snow!

Snowy garden
Snowy garden


Trees Outline Winter



by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details

of the attiring and

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.

The Bone Structure Of The Landscape

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape – the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

~ Andrew Wyeth

Frozen Highlights


winter snow scene postage stamp

Winter Black and White Snowy Trees Postage by ilonagarden
There are lots of custom US Postage stamps at Zazzle

Related Links:

Take Photos!


Take Great Photos Any Time Of Year

Canon Rebel is one of the best mid-range cameras. Get it with all the gear you need for beautiful photos. This is the camera that is on my wish list.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera & EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens with EF 75-300mm III Zoom Lens + 64GB Card + Battery + Case + Tele/Wide Lenses + Tripod Kit

Quoting The Coldest Season

winter vignettes
winter vignettes


Every branch big with it,

Bent every twig with it;

Every fork like a white web-foot;

Every street and pavement mute:

Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when

Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again.

The palings are glued together like a wall,

And there is no waft of wind with the fleecy fall.

A sparrow enters the tree,

Whereon immediately

A snow-lump thrice his own slight size

Descends on him and showers his head and eyes,

And overturns him,

And near inurns him,

And lights on a nether twig, when its brush

Starts off a volley of other lodging lumps with a rush.

The steps are a blanched slope,

Up which, with feeble hope,

A black cat comes, wide-eyed and thin;

And we take him in.

~ Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English novelist and poet


It is a winter’s tale

That the snow blind twilight ferries over the lakes

And floating fields from the farm in the cup of the vales,

Gliding windless through the hand folded flakes,

The pale breath of cattle at the stealthy sail,

And the stars falling cold,

And the smell of hay in the snow, and the far owl

Warning among the folds, and the frozen hold

Flocked with the sheep white smoke of the farm house cowl

In the river wended vales where the tale was told.

~ Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

Snowy Scenes

winter collage
winter collage


Oldtime Swedish Farm

carl larsson card

Available at Zazzle

Artists Were Fascinated With Scenes Of Snow

Slippers Of Snow

Winter came down to our home one night

Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,

And we, we were children once again.

~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Old Fashioned Tasks Of Bygone Days

Two Children

Winter Entertainment

Winter can be fun. Loads of activities make use of the snow: skiing, sledding, and snowboarding.

The quiet, the beauty, can be enjoyed.

Children love to make snowmen.

Sometimes just the cozy activities within a house- putting together a puzzle on a chilly night- are what we love about this time of year. What do you do to enjoy winter?

Winter Sport: Cross Country Skiing

Go Cross Country Skiing

What I like about cross country skiing is the way you can enjoy the landscape, much like hiking, only faster and with a little more challenge to your physical abilities. There is a quietness in winter that cross country skiing takes full advantage of, and perhaps you, like one time for me, will glimpse a flock of bluebirds in early March coming home to their Northern nesting territories.

It is quite a different sort of thrill compared to downhill skiing.

New Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross Country Package Skis Boots Bindings Poles 197cm (39, 151-180 lbs.)

Oh Cool! Snowboarding!

‘I Love Winter’ Zazzle Category

Yes, winter inspires me

I have some a Zazzle category for winter subjects and scenes. Go there now to find all your sticker, poster, and custom needs. Dedicate a room to the minimalist color and design that this season brings- at least for a quarter of the year!

Winter Sports

Perfect Puzzle for Long Winter Nights

Every winter my family puts together puzzles. Especially on Christmas Eve, as we wait to finish up the final preparations and dissipate the excitement before bed.

A fun puzzle with a winter picture is just the thing for a cold winter night. Warm up some hot chocolate, a few snacks and it will be a great memory of good times.

Love or Hate Winter Cold?

How do you feel about the winter season?

Setting Up Your Blog

For those who have already:

  • Purchased their hosting
  • Purchased and set up their domain name
  • Installed their WordPress installation

This is a checklist of sorts for setting up a blog that will work well in the longrun.


First, change the permalinks from the default setup.

At first the blog will have a permalink address based on numbers. It looks like this:

The permalinks left like that will not be good for SEO, since urls are important keys in determining what the page is about.
Yoast, a well known WordPress expert who develops very useful plugins (a word about those later in the post), recommends simply using the


He also has a tool and instructions for those of us who set up their blog long ago. Change Your Permalinks Structure in WordPress. which I followed, just today, in fact.

Mine involved adding a line of code to my htaccess file (which is a little scary for non-coders like me).

So my best advice for you, if setting up your blog for the first time is to make sure your permalinks use the post name choice unless you are a news magazine of some sort.

Themes For Your Second Setup Task

Pick a theme. This could be harder than it seems, due in part to the sheer number of them, and the fact that a good theme for you is one that caters to the way you will use WordPress.

I think one way to save time is to sign up with a major theme developer. One of the best is Studiopress, with their Genesis framework. I used them in the beginning and sometime’s wish I had stayed with them, although I am also happy with my present Elegant themes choice.

Of course there are good ones that are completely free, and I tend to use the ones that ship with the new updates for the WP.

After choosing which one, follow these steps to install it.

The Old Way
  1. Download and unzip the theme.
  2. Use a ftp client (Filezilla is free) or your file manager to upload the theme files to the wp-content/themes
  3. Login to the admin section. Click on “Appearance” then click on “Themes”.
  4. Look for the name and picture of your theme. You can either preview the theme or activate it from there.
  5. Customize it if you wish by choosing the “Customize” link.

You can also search for and upload new themes directly on the Appearance/ Themes page. I prefer this way:

Now, The Recommended Way

Go to the “Appearance” tab in the admin sidebar. Choose the “Themes” tab, choose “Add New”, then,

  1. Choose a zipped theme file from your computer and upload it.
  2. Customize. That’s it!


If you want a template that goes the distance, use one of the fine professional ones listed here (affilate link).

Foodie Pro

Thesis Theme for WordPress

Adding Plugins

Plugins vastly expand the things your blog can do. They add function without the need to know code, and go digging around in Php pages. From free to premium, these plugins can do many things from creating an ecommerce store to sitemaps. I use many plugins, including those which serve up recipes, protect my blog, and the jetpack group.

The one caution is to not install too many or untrusted ones. They can slow down your site, unnecessarily or open vulnerabilities.

My report on the ones I use, WP Plugins.

These are the basic things you will need to setup, after which it is time to write, write, write, and join social media.

But those are topics for another time.

Japanese Dolls

Making a Kokeshi doll

I discovered this while researching information on Japanese dolls for this article.

My Dad had brought back a number of dolls from his time in occupied Japan after World War II. We three girls inherited them and I have a fascination with them from their association with my childhood.

My favorites are the ones with gofun paste faces, here are modern ones in this  video:

I like the more traditional ones, a little better.

You can still buy Japanese dolls, on Amazon and eBay. There are even Barbie doll editions.

Japanese Dolls Hubpage
Examples of different types, how they are made, and history.

More Amazon Recommendations:

Beauty Haul

GraceAnne made a terrific beauty tips video, and stuffed it full of great makeup advice for any age group. I’ve worn makeup all my life and I learned some things!

I’ve always loved this type of mini review of products, partly because I like to find great products, but also because there is such a huge amount offered that it is hard to sort through them all. A shortcut to recommended brands which create a great look is a money and time saver.

I’m going to post the video here, but please consider going to Youtube to follow GraceAnne and give her thumbs up. Following the video I’ll post some links to the recommended products (the only thing missing from a perfect beauty haul review).

Tarte Maracuja Oil

This is the one I really want to try. I started using face oil a few years ago, but not this particular brand and I really like the sound of how this one works.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Using foundation since I was thirteen and now I’m in my sixties. I think it gives a finished look, protects skin, and today’s formulations can actually be really good for your skin. MAC is one of the best names in makeup- but the price has always stopped me from trying this brand. Now that I know the qualities that make it worthwhile, I think I will try it next time I run out of foundation.

Kat Von D Blush in ‘Love Song’

Have to agree that this color is fresh and pretty and looks like it gives a very soft, natural look.

Tarte Maracuja Lip Scrub

Totally new product for me- I just used whatever facial scrub, but the fact that this one has the facial oil in it sounds ideal. I’ll consider this one, even though a lip scrub is not high on my personal list.

Fresh Sugar Lip Tint

I already have used this for years- love it! It has a very pleasant fragrance and feel, goes on smoothly without the sticky feel that other similar products often have. The color is perfect for more mature women who want light youthful color.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Shadow

Intriguing. I wonder if this tip will work for aging eyelids- I am definitely going to try it. Maybelline is a very economical and easy to find brand, so it is a cinch to experiment with.

Maybelline Stiletto Eyeliner

I use pencil eyeliner and prefer cake when I can find it. So I’ll leave this type of liner for the younger set. I revisited liquid liner, but my eyes are already sensitive and I didn’t like the heavy look. Personally, I will pass on this, but GraceAnne’s eyes look great with it- so for the economical price- go ahead and give it a try to see if it works for you.

Nars Lip Liner

I used lip pencils and it is great for making lasting color- especially if you like the “stained” look with gloss on top. Older lips need the defining line … and I love this color- would most definitely buy it! On my list, now.

By the way, about “Rikugien”: The name Rikugi-en means Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry, read more? Nars borrows the name for its muted pink satin pencil.

MAC lipstick

Plumful is really a pretty color! I have never tried MAC lipsticks, but just love lipsticks, so another one has made my list. I may skip eye makeup, and often just use BB cream instead of foundation now, but I always carry and use lip color.

Urban Decay shadows

This is one eye shadow collection that is truly worth it. The neutral colors will give you a look that can be subtle or dramatic and not look garish.

Instagram Here I Come

Another trip home from Atlanta meant I stopped at the Artisan Center in Berea again. I always factor into my trips which follow I75, now.

The fresh flowers in the photo include flowers commonly found in September: Perennial Ageratum, Ironweed, Sedum, Goldenrod, along with some Shasta daisies which were growing in a large stand outside the building (I noticed them right away). Usually, daisies are earl summer or perhaps midsummer bloomers.

I’ve decided to make it a point to capture a photo of these restroom arrangements, each trip. Always with the iphone, I have a choice of three apps, the regular camera, the CameraPlus app with its filters and addons, or Instagram. Since the latter choice is an important social sharing app, I decided that I ought to go with it more often. Like LinkedIn, I’ve been slow to warm up to those ways of sharing. It’s time to change that this year.

So, Instagram, here I come!

Podcasting Or Making Youtube Videos?

I started making garden video, even though this is probably a harder learning curve for me than taking photos has been. Both endeavors require some investment in equipment and both seem to be important additions to your blog writing.

This post is to share some of my research.

First of all, even though I tried out podcasting briefly some years ago, but didn’t pursue it. The thing is, if you make video you can also convert that to a podcast, so the sound equipment you buy is important for both.

My First Efforts

Right now, all my videos are either iPhone videos that are imported and edited in iMovie (yes, I work on a Mac), or camera videos which are edited and converted in the same software. Oh yes, some of the first ones were recorded directly from the laptop. Lugging the laptop out to the garden, either walking around with it or setting it on an out door table.

What was the drawback of those early videos? That should be plural: there were many drawbacks, primarily in sound, but also in video quality.

I started looking online for help to improve my video results. Plus I need to move and speak more quickly or smoothly


There are scads of “How to make Video” videos! But I quickly latched onto some tutorials that I liked much better than others.

One person I learned from is James Wedmore. When I say that- I don’t  mean I’ve had time to implement what he teaches, but that he packs so much information inside his tutorials that I have many leads on what to change and how to change it for better videos.

If you would like to see my garden videos or simply track my progress in making video, subscribe to my youtube channel.

Making Youtube Video Is My Newest Obsession

Get a plugin that plugs you in
Get a plugin that plugs you in

I mean an obsession in “learning about it”,  not so much creating a whole slew of videos. I take time with filming and putting together each video, but the time I spend on learning about the process is where the obsession mushrooms.

I believe in the slow but sure  route. Which sometimes ends up being the slow and then nothing route, but let’s remain positive here.

I had belonged to Youtube for many years, but began making my own just last fall. I set up my page with a header, added the social links, but now I need to take things to a higher level.

On the Ilona Garden’s Youtube page I have a few videos, but now need to make an intro video that will pop up and play when people visit the page. You can make a special one or choose one of your best ones for this. Find the place to do this under the “channel settings”, “Invideo Programming”.

I am going to make a special one for this purpose.

Next, there is the opportunity to add a 3 second branding video to the beginning of each video. I plant to take advantage of this, too.

I found a helpful tutorial on the official Youtube blog.

I Need Equipment

After making a few initial videos it is obvious I need some better equipment. I am okay with recording on my iphone, etc, but I need a lavalier microphone, with a stand for right now  and probably something with better a lens, eventually.

It is hard to think about spending more money, but I want to make the quality of the videos something people will enjoy watching.

Another thing is the software to edit video.  At this time iMoves is fine, but I may need something more powerful soon.

Just like the move to more and better graphics, and mobile phone use, the necessity of youtube video for garden blogging means I must jump on and learn.

It is out of my comfort zone, not just technically, but because I’m not really comfortable with cameras, as in being filmed or photographed. I don’t have the face for it. Just hoping to create a bridge with my readers and new gardeners.