Planning Your Own Vegetable Garden

fresh vegetables Within the next five years, my partner and I are planning on buying our first home. While talking about the home of our dreams and about what a luxury it will be to not have to ask a landlord if we can paint the walls, hang up pictures and change the carpet in our rooms, he mentioned that he would love to have a garden.

Now first of all, my partner is very much unlike most guys you will meet–He loves to decorate, he has an eye for what colors and fabrics look best on me and he has a knack for cleaning the house a whole lot better than I could! I am a very lucky woman to have somehow attracted my very own straight gay man.

While thinking about this garden that he would love to have, we talked about not only having fresh flowers we wouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for, but also our very own produce; which of course, with the rising cost of gas to get to the store and the twenty percent increase in food prices that have hit America hard, having our very own vegetables would be a dream!

Being the dedicated blogger that I am, I thought I would share some information I picked up on how to make the thought of your very own vegetable garden a reality.

Like any major endeavor you plan to take on, a vegetable garden takes planning. You can’t just go out to your yard, pick a corner and start planting, you need to take into consideration how much sunlight your crops need, how many different varieties of vegetables you will be growing and where everything is going to go.

Vegetables have very particular needs unlike any other plants. Your vegetables required deep, fertile soil, a level ground and six hours of full sun every day at the very least. You also need to take into consideration that raised beds are better for growing vegetables because they have good draining, which rids your vegetables of disease and suffocation of the root systems. Raised beds also warms the soil a lot quicker than a regular bed and of course, since vegetables need six hours of full sunlight daily, they could use all the warmth they can get!

It is much easier to sketch your plan out on paper before you begin to plant. Decide what vegetables will go where as well as the size of the beds you will need. The best type of paper for this endeavor would be graph paper so you can plan to scale and also make sure you know how big your crops will grow so you can make sure that they are spaced out properly and not overlapping onto each other.

To make the raised beds that I mentioned earlier, mark off the bed layout with string and bamboo stakes. Make sure that your beds are not wider than 36 to 40 inches and using a shovel, carve out a series of lowered paths around the staked-off areas. Then, mound the soil onto the beds and use a rake to level the soil.

If you currently have your own vegetable garden, tell me about it in the comments, I could surely use all the help I can get and if you’re feeling really adventurous, take some pictures and send them to me using the contact form.

Kitty Tested: Greenies Dental Treats

I received Greenies dental treats for cats as a free sample from their website. I have been interested in introducing natural and organic products to me and the boyfriend’s life and after seeing their website, I realized that people aren’t the only ones who can get a little greener.

Devin Greenies treats Greenies, like most companies, started off as most other great ideas do–Trying to find a solution to a problem–The problem being animals with bad breath. Greenies make their dog and cat treats with nothing but their health in mind and when they were put to the ultimate test by participating in a third party dental test, it showed that using Greenies dental treats and chews once a day resulted in a 69% reduction in tartar and a 10.5% reduction in plaque versus pets who ate the same food as they did all the time, but did not have the Greenies dental chews.

Greenies are also the makers of the Pill Pockets we posted about last month.

Devin Greenies treats I received the feline dental treats in the ocean fish flavor and at first glance, I was a little put off by their color. I’m traditionally used to the Pounce cat treats with cute colors and even multi-colored snacks, but Greenies doesn’t use any artificial coloring or flavors and the color didn’t put my cat Devin off one bit, she loved them and even eats them up faster than she does the Pounce treats I’ve been giving her since I got her. In fact, Greenies are kitty tested and approved!

To get your own free sample of Greenies dental treats, head on over to their website and request yours!

Book Review: Hex Education by Emily Gould and Zareen Jaffery

I recently read this book on a whim and to tame the inner fifteen year old girl in me with a love for young adult books. I am a firm believer that while you can read any subject of book that interests you, sometimes you just need a little ‘cute;’ and that is exactly what this book brings to the table.

Hex Education is about a young teenage girl, Sophie Stone, who is reluctant (to say the least) to leave her home in LA and move to her father’s home town of Mythic, Massachusetts in order to save the town from odd . Mythic, most likely inspired by Salem, Massachusetts, is a city whose history is based on the occult and witchcraft. She is a shoe in to not fit in, her parents being horror filmmakers and her spending her entire existence trying to be just another normal teenager rid of anything witchcraft-oriented.

While at first Sophie comes off as spoiled and has a personality that would immediately turn people away from wanting to be around her, we see her personality evolve as she comes to terms with being in Mythic and settles in with her new friends. But her friends, who have the power to turn something into anything they please, see a quality in Sophie that she didn’t know she had herself.

Hex Education is a very lightweight read, it’s resolution feels a bit rushed and I would have liked a little more story towards the end, but overall it is very cute and witty and is a must read if you’ve ever been interested in witchcraft of any kind.

The Worst Wedding Cake Toppers

Some weddings are casual, some weddings are extravagant. Some weddings have themes, some weddings have…absolutely horrible wedding cake toppers. Have a look at just some of the tackiest and tasteless cake toppers out there.

Click the thumbnails for larger picture.

island cake topper Even if you’re celebrating your wedding on the beach, on a tropical island or if your wedding happens to be beach or island themed, there is no excuse for a couple to be making out on top of your wedding cake and especially not for $56.95.

stripper cake topper This wedding cake topper screams “Hooray, it’s a wedding! But wait! First, I have to finish my shift at the strip club.” While I think that custom-made cake toppers are an amazing thing that I think more couples will be attracted to, but perhaps reserve the stripper decoration for the bachelor party.

shopping cake topper There’s cute and humorous and then there’s poking fun at the female gender, which I could really do without. All I get from this cake topper is the idea of a bunch of men sitting around a card table complaining about their wives and how they are always shopping–And I could use a little less of that.

tractor cake topper Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find the romanticism in a cake topper where the bride and groom are atop a tractor. The song ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’ pops into my head and I can’t help but start to giggle. Not only that, but I can also picture cows; lots and lots of cows.

bed cake topper There’s nothing like inviting your wedding guests into your wedding bed. After seeing the cake, your guests are going to be thinking about nothing but honeymoons, wedding lingerie and sex. On second thought, perhaps that isn’t a completely bad thing–Your honeymoon should most definitely be exciting, why not give your guests the same luxury?

Fixing Those Crazy Bra Problems


Every woman out there knows about all of the pesky bra problems we go through. Whether you’re falling out of your bra or it fits half of your bust, with all of the different makes and models of bra on the market now, you have options to ensure that you never fall victim to those annoying bra problems.

If your bra gapes at the top, as shown in the picture above, you should most definitely try a different style of bra that will fit your bust completely and also show it off a little. When your bra has some extra fabric at the top, the best style of bra to try then is a demi.

Strapless bras are the most uncomfortable, problematic bras on the market; I am absolutely convinced of that, since every bra I have ever purchased personally have done the same thing–Slip down and expose almost my complete bust and dig into my sides at the same time. Like any other rational and logical person out there, I thought that purchasing a strapless bra was pretty much the exact same as buying a regular bra when it came to the size. However, I have recently learned that when buying strapless bras, it is better to buy a bra that is one size smaller in the back and one size bigger in the cup, making your bust look supported and shapely.

Want that little something extra to show off while wearing a new, low cut top? If you’re looking for cleavage, your answer is in a molded bra with extra padding added to it to give the illusion of a bigger bust which then moves your actual bust up and creates the cleavage you’ve been dying for. However, keep in mind to never, ever, ever put a molded bra in the dryer–The heat will warp its shape and instead of having that nice, smooth shape, you’ll look like you just grabbed some tissues and stuffed them into your old bra.

If you’re like me and find that you are spilling over the top of your bra, no matter what style or company you buy from, the trick to fixing what makes you look like you have two busts is to get a full-coverage bra with a cross seam to support your breasts–You will have a lot more confidence, too!

It is important to upgrade your bra wardrobe once a year. Because anything from medication, menstruation, weight loss, weight gain and so on can affect the size and fullness of your bust, you should most definitely get into the habit of upgrading your bras. And hey, now you have an excuse to splurge a little on sexy new bras and perhaps some matching panties–Because everyone knows a woman feels her sexiest when her undies are sexy.

A Little Mother’s Day History

Mother's Day With Mother’s Day coming up, I thought some people may be a little interested in the history of Mother’s Day and how we all came to rush around and sign cards, buy flowers and jewelry and give mothers tokens of appreciation for raising us into the people we have become.

So where did this holiday originate from? How do people from other cultures and places of origin go about telling their mothers how much they are appreciated?

In the year 1906, a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis began campaigning to start a day where all Americans would celebrate their mothers. She began spreading her idea to other people through church meetings and letters to representatives in government as well as businessmen. Within 3 years, 46 states were celebrating Mother’s Day and in the year 1914, it was regarded as a national holiday.

Through the years, Americans have fallen into the old routine of commercializing and not only going above and beyond with this holiday, but using it purely for promotional and commercial purposes, which is the same thing that Christmas has also evolved into. Because of this, through the years, Jarvis has spent her years trying to de-commercialize Mother’s Day, feeling that the original meaning of the day she worked so hard to get Americans to celebrate, had lost its original meaning.

In Jarvis’ own words, Mother’s Day is “To let (mothers) know we appreciate them, though we do not show it as often as we ought.”

Here are ways other cultures celebrate Mother’s Day:

In ancient Greece, which accounts for the earliest Mother’s Day celebration, people paid tribute to the mother of the gods, Rhea, with with honey cakes, fine drinks and flowers at dawn.

In Serbia, Mother’s Day, known as Materice in Serbia, is celebrated on the second Sunday before Christmas. This is perhaps the funniest way of celebrating Mother’s Day I have ever heard. On this day, children sneak into their mother’s rooms and tie her feet with either ribbon or string. If that wasn’t funny enough, in order for the mothers to be released, they must negotiate with their children, presenting them with small gifts. I believe that in Serbia they got it a little mixed up, maybe it should be called Children’s Day.

During the Middle Ages in Britain, the wealthy people gave their servants the day off so they could travel, usually far away, to see their mothers.

So there’s some history on Mother’s Day for everyone. So tell me now, what are you planning for your mother?

Book Review: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I had never heard of Joe Hill, the offspring of Stephen King who wrote this novel under a pen name because he did not want to gain attention to his work for the sole reason that he is Stephen King’s son, until my grandmother, a Stephen King fanatic, told me a little about the book when she was a quarter of the way through it. After she had finished she lent me the book and I wearily took it and began my journey into the life of Judas Coyne, an ex-rocker with a wicked taste for paranormal items and much younger women.

Heart-Shaped Box opens with a run of the mill, usual day of a retired rock star, Judas Coyne, his clerk and annoying friend by business-association and his goth fan-girl girlfriend whom he refers to as Georgia, that being the state in which he picked her up in while on tour with his band. The only thing remotely intriguing about this washed up rocker living in a desolate section of the United States in a farm house is his collection of occult and otherwise eerie knick knacks that fans had sent him over the years.

Judas’ attraction to so-called haunted objects has over the years evolved into an entire room full of random junk that most likely isn’t worth keeping around, but who he had built himself into being over the years on the road with his band is a man in which the goth lifestyle flocked to–And it had obviously stuck with him years after the other members of his band died off and disappeared. When his clerk sees a haunted suit online, Judas doesn’t think twice before telling him to get it. Days later, the suit arrives in a heart-shaped box and the horror, ghost-chasing story unravels.

Heart-Shaped Box is not the great horror story in which people have been claiming; it is however, a horror story that is about the same caliber of a Stephen King novel–And not his early work, which was what had built King to be known as a great horror story teller. This novel, while interesting and captivating at first, begins to drag on by the time you reach the middle of the story. While Hill is describing light, smells, temperature and feelings, you start to think to yourself “Yeah, I get it, now on with it!” This feeling is nothing short of what is felt while reading a recently published King novel.

Hill’s attention to detail is either an attribute beloved by readers or an attribute that can be seen as nothing but a writer wanting to write a novel instead of a novella. While his detailed explanations and back story of the characters is thorough, I found myself more interested in the story of Coyne’s girlfriend, Georgia; or Marybeth as we later begin to refer to her as, while my interest in the main character simply went stale, leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

While I can respect that Hill used a pen name in order to separate himself from his father and publish his novel by himself, this story runs dry way too early in order to be called a great horror story and it can easily be seen that the majority of Hill’s interest in horror stories and writing them came from his father. This novel reads as if Hill simply read Stephen King’s instructional writing book, On Writing, and decided to try on the novelist’s suit for a while.

ScratchBack: Because the PayPal Donation Button is Ugly

Making money for your blogging/website endeavors isn’t new, it’s actually a big reason why so many people are starting their own websites. Once Darren Rowse published on his website that he makes a six-figure income purely from blogging and has even went as far as to publish a book about blogging for cash, everyone has been jumping on the blog bandwagon.

There are many ways that you can make money blogging including putting a PayPal donation button on your site. Most of your readers are not advertisers and so while you can make money from direct advertising on your website, there are still a great deal of people visiting your site and if you write about a great deal of information that appeals to many people and they appreciate the work you have put in to your website in order to bring them the content they crave, some people may love to have the option of donating a little money to you to thank you for your contribution and let you know that they appreciate your hard work.

If anyone has actually seen the PayPal donation button you may have noticed that it is seriously one of the ugliest buttons to ever grace a website. I don’t know what layout the PayPal donation button would look good on, but it honestly looks horrendous on most websites and while it lets your readers donate to you, they don’t get much out of it.


ScratchBack took all of what I’ve already covered into consideration when thinking of a program that would let a website’s readers give back a little. ScratchBack is a program that gives you a fancy shmancy tip jar for your blog. It lets your readers scratch your back and like the saying goes, it also lets you scratch their back in return by providing a link back to their site when they purchase a link using the ScratchBack widget, which you can see in action on my sidebar to the right.

ScratchBack is a great program with an easy to manage control panel, making the entire program fool proof to set up for your website. It is also quite flexible with many color options for you to choose that will match your website’s layout the best and it also lets you pick your own widget rate, giving you complete control over the price of your top spots. By pricing your top spots low you may get more people who purchase a link on your site and scratch your back, but by pricing them a little higher, your links will be more in demand, especially if you choose to only display a certain number of top spots at a time. For instance, on Woman Tribune, our top spots are priced at $25 for an entire month. Looking at that purely from an advertising perspective, you are able to tell me that you appreciate the hard work put into this website and in return, get a link back to your website or blog for about 83 cents a day–A complete steal when you inquire about advertising prices on a website. Even if you don’t have a website of your own and you still want to scratch my back, you can link to your favorite website, a friend’s website or a website that you feel readers of Woman Tribune would be interested in.

To sign up with ScratchBack you can go to their website and you can also check out their blog for exciting industry news. They have also implemented a link directory which is huge, so go on over to their blog directory and submit your link.

Hint hint: Link directories are important because it provides a back link to your website which helps raise your Google PageRank.

We give ScratchBack

Vote For Your Favorite Undies and Help Cervical Cancer Research

The Undie Awards I love underwear. Seriously, I cannot be within five feet of Victoria’s Secret or any store selling cute and sexy undies or I would go broke in minutes. I’ve owned pretty much all styles and types of bras and panties and if you’re like me, once you find that bra or panty that fits you the best and is the most comfortable, you love it to death–Literally, you will wear it until it develops holes and still consider keeping it. You may even go as far as to want to tell every other woman you come into contact with all about the bra that makes you feel incredible or the panties that you can wear with a tight skirt without any discomfort.

So I want to hear about your favorite undies. What are your favorite bras, panties, G strings, thongs, body shapers and so on? Not only do I want to wear about them, but I want you to vote in The Undie Awards.

The Undie Awards are where men and women can vote for their favorite undies by type, brand and style and once your vote is in, 25 cents is donated to cervical cancer research. The voting is completely anonymous, all you have to do is provide your email address after you cast your votes and the only information The Undie Awards have about you is that and your body type.

This is a fun and easy way to donate money to the National Cervical Cancer Public Education Campaign, so go on over and cast your vote for your favorite undies!

Planning Your Big Day: Wedding Registries

wedding registry kitchen items There are a lot of things to consider when planning your wedding and let’s face it, who can ignore the fact that there are presents involved?

Women have a tendency to over think pretty much everything regarding their wedding day; the term “bridezilla” didn’t come out of the sky, you know, and setting up your wedding registry is no different. There are some simple things you can do, however, to make the process of setting up your wedding registry.

First of all, start with the room you get the most excited about when you think about getting shiny, new things for it. If it’s your bedroom, go to the bedroom and take a look around. Take note of what you already have (and like) and think about what you’ve been wanting to add to the room that you haven’t already. If you have some items, like myself, that maybe your parents or your soon-to-be spouse’s parent’s handed down to you, would you like to update them? If so, in what colors or styles? Make a list of items you need as well as what you would like–It’s okay to be a little frivolous; in fact, it’s expected.

After you’ve finished with the room that you get the most excited about, move through the house in the order of what rooms give you that warm and fuzzy feeling and rooms that you would love some new gadgets for. However, it is also expected that you will forget some items that you’ll be kicking yourself later for not adding to your registry, so to help out with setting up your wedding registry, I Do Sugar, part of the Sugar blog network, has made a very convenient wedding registry [PDF] containing items that one can most often easily forget about to make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

You can download the file here; I can’t even imagine the number of sanities this file is going to save when it comes to wedding registry planning!

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