10 AMAZING PLANTS YOU WON’T BELIEVE EXIST

This should just go to show you how my mind works — it’s the beginning of December and I’m going to talk about plants. HOWEVER, I have an excuse, I work at a nursery and landscaping company every day, so I’m constantly discovering plants I had no idea even existed.

I’ve now created a masterful list of the Top 10 AMAZING Plants You Won’t Believe Exist. I’ve included the species name, photos and a little bit of information on each one, my sources to each one are included in the link that’s the name of each plant.

So, without further ado, here are 10 plants that look like they came from a Dr. Seuss book.

columbine

1. Columbine 

The columbine plant (Aquilegia) is an easy-to-grow perennial that offers seasonal interest throughout much of the year. It blooms in a variety of colors during spring, which emerge from its attractive dark green foliage that turns maroon colored in fall. The bell-shaped flowers are also a favorite to hummingbirds and may be used in cut-flower arrangements as well.
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2. Monkey Puzzle Tree

Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, Chilean pine, or pehuén) is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile, western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the longevity of this species, it is described as a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population.

3. Love N Puff Plant

Love in a puff plant is a tropical to sub-tropical vine with tiny white flowers and green papery fruits that are similar to tomatillos. The vine is a heat lover that is charming when draped over a fence or trellis. Unfortunately, in southern landscapes it has become a nuisance plant, escaping cultivation and taking over the local flora.

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4. Chinese Lantern Hibiscus

A weeping tree hibiscus. Grows rapidly and blooms freely, It has slender and gracefully curved stems and  the Flowers can be recognized by the fringed and lacy petals which are bent backward.  It will reach about 6 to 8 feet with a spread of 5 to 6 feet. A Rapid grower in good soil. It gets very large in pots, so one needs to prune it often to keep a desired form. Pruning also helps to keep a abundance of flowers, since flower are formed on new wood. Blooms sporadically all year long.

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5. Passion Flower Vine

There are over 400 species of tropical passion flowers (Passiflora spp.) with sizes ranging from ½ inch to 6 inches across. They are found naturally from South America through Mexico.
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6. Hoya

Hoya is an Asclepiad genus of 200–300 species of tropical plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane). Most are native to Asia including India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Việt Nam, and Indonesia, There is a great diversity of species in the Philippines, and species in Polynesia, New Guinea, and Australia. Common names for this genus are waxplantwaxvinewaxflower or simply hoya. This genus was named by botanist Robert Brown, in honor of his friend, botanist Thomas Hoy.

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7. African Daisy

A fairly infrequently used annual, arctotis (or African daisy) is a tough plant native to South Africa. These plants have beautiful silver/grey foliage that lays the groundwork for a stunning floral display. The blooms of this plant come in a wide array of colors that can put on quite the show for an extended period of time in mild climates.

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8. Tree Houseleek

Aeonium arboreum is a subtropical succulent sub-shrub native to the hillsides of the Canary Islands where their natural range includes arid desert regions.
It bears rosettes of leaves and large pyramidal panicles of bright yellow flowers in the spring. Each rosette that bloom will die.

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9. ‘Raindrop’ Echeveria

Echeveria ‘Raindrops’ is a solitary plant, up to 6 inches (15 cm) across, with pale green rounded leaves with pale reddish margins and a single globular blue-green bump in the middle of each leaf toward the tip that develops with age. Young plants often do not exhibit this trait but it appears as the plant ages. These bumps, similar to a water droplet, are what give this unique plant its name.

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10. Monkey’s Tail Cactus

A Monkey Tail Cactus is a great plant for beginners. It has long, white, soft, hairlike spines and gets large bright red flowers. It looks best in hanging baskets.

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The Official Hannukah Wishlist

It’s that special time of year…the time where we get together with loved ones, drink alcoholic beverages we won’t have for another 365 days, light candles, put up lights, hang decorations, hit the very scary (and slightly overrated) shopping mall, all the while trying to make sure it’s the most perfect holiday season YET.

 

But whatever holiday you may celebrate, always remember to take a moment and relax this holiday season. Things may get busy (and sometimes complicated) with holiday plans, while you’re trying to make sure everyone feels warm and treated, take a breath and know it’s just the holidays.

That’s why I’m making the first ever Official Hannukah Wishlist (feel free to insert whatever holiday you may celebrate during this time of the year). These presents are just fun little gifts–all for under $50.

So now, in all it’s glory, here is The Official Hannukah Wishlist 2017. 

Links to purchase included below each photo.

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“You Rock” Gold-Dipped Amethyst $15.00 on Etsy

Want to get the person something that you think totally rocks but don’t have more than $20? Here’s your answer. You can use it as a paperweight, or to house your airplants, or just hold it and admire it on your patio as you sip on a glass of wine. I don’t know what you’ll use it for, but you know someone in your life needs this rock.

 

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Funny Dish Towels $11.95 on Etsy

Ahahaha…nothing like food humor. Amirite? Drink a glass of wine and it gets funnier.

 

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Taco Belle T-Shirt $12.60 on Etsy

No explanation need on this one. And yes, it’s okay to order one for yourself too.

 

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Unicorn Spa Box $39.95 on Etsy

Okay normally I wouldn’t be dropping $40.00 on a bath box but THIS IS NOT ANY BATH BOX. If you like Unicorns and the land of make-believe, dive right in to this box that will make you feel downright majestic. (Unicorn horn included and recommended for best results)

 

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Unicorn Bath Bomb $7.20 on Etsy

Wanting to feel majestic but you’re still reeling from the price tag on the last post? DON’T FRET. You can still feel like a unicorn for less than $10.00. (This one does NOT come with the unicorn horn which is recommended for best results)

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Mermaid Make-up Brushes $12.99 on Amazon

The perfect gift for the makeup guru in your life with an affinity for feeling whimsical.

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TrackR pixel $21.19 (for a one-pack) on Amazon

Tired of losing your stuff? Use this funky little device and hook it to your keys, suitcase, carry-on, purse, WHATEVER and use the app on your phone to track down whatever you lost. Gives you peace of mind and better self-esteem.

 

For the GUY in your life,

Have that really special someone but don’t have the cash to spare?

Gotcha.

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Beard Grooming & Trimming Kit $49.97 on Amazon

If your guy’s got an award-winning beard on his face, he’ll thank you for this kit, and you’ll pat yourself on the back later.

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Dash Non-stick Omelette Maker (Shown in Red) $26.15 on Amazon

Make it easier for him to make you breakfast in bed! This is the perfect way to give him that little…nudge he needs. Plus FREE SHIPPING NOW!

 

For the kiddo you have no idea what to get but you have to get them something because you don’t want to look like that friend that doesn’t understand kids….

I’VE GOT YOU TOO

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Talkie by Toymail: Hank a Dino $40.02 on Amazon

Meet Hank a Dino, this voice chat smart toy lets kids stay connected to their parents. (Your friends that have kids will think this is genius…I guess that’s why it was on Shark Tank) For your friends with kids, they can use their phones to talk to their kids through this little guy, and if they kids want, they can reply. Or just throw Hank across the room…whichever.

 

Happy happy holidays! 

Happy Hannukah! (December 12th)  

Merry Christmas! (December 25th) 

Happy Kwanzaa! (December 26th) 

 

XOXO

POWER BREAKFAST BOWL {+body scrubs DIY}

Weekend mornings mean breakfast. Without a decent breakfast (and coffee) I am an absolute zombie until about 1:00 pm. My favorite breakfasts (besides eggs benedict, which is a SPECIAL OCCASION THING, or at least, I tell myself that) consist of yogurt, seeds, berries, smoothies, and peanut butter (thrown in no matter what so I can get by until lunch).

Here’s one of my FAVORITE breakfasts, it’ll go perfect with any of your favorite fruits, nuts and seeds because of the wonderful base: acai.

acai bowlI know I go on and on about this stuff, but it’s like super easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Here’s what you’ll need to make this Power Breakfast Bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Acai (found at most natural grocery stores, they usually come in a box with multiple packets)
  • 1 c almond milk (you can also sub coconut milk, juice, etc.)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c your favorite seeds, nuts and/or granola
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 c frozen berries
  • 1/2 c berries to top your bowl with

Directions:

Run warm water over the Acai packet to melt the contents slightly, add to blender along with your almond milk, frozen berries, and peanut butter. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorites!

scrubs

 

Going along with all the body-helping that your acai bowl will be doing for you, why not satisfy your skin too? These are great scrubs to help you get down to exfoliating and maintaining that smooth skin that we all obsess over.

DIY Lip Scrub

You’ll Need:

  • 1 tbsp Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline)
  • 1 tbsp Granulated White Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Water

Mix Ingredients together. To use, apply directly on lips when needed and rub in to exfoliate dry lips. Once exfoliated, rinse lips with warm water to wash excess off.

DIY Body Scrub

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup Sunflower Oil (You can substitute with vegetable oil, but I prefer sunflower best)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil or extract, I used lavender essential oil by NOW

Combine ingredients and store in a sealed jar–I keep my scrubs in mason jars–keeps for longer. To use, rub a small amount into skin to exfoliate and rinse with warm water to get rid of the excess.

TREAT YO SELF!

Find your sole, and your soul {MATZO BALLS}

Do you have old pairs of sneakers that need new life? An old pair from high school that you don’t want to lose but need some special TLC? Guess what, there is a solution for you; Blessed Hands Sneaker Customs & Restorations can give your shoe a brand new sole. The owner, Josh Davis (my husband’s best friend and husband to one of my best girlfriends), puts his heart into each sneaker revamp.

Check it all out below:

 

There’s a video too so you can see how the magic happens!

 

Click the links below to contact Blessed Hands Sneaker Customs & Restorations:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat: @jdavis6067

 

On top of finding your sole, you can find your soul with a warm bowl of chicken soup this fall. My go to? A dish that’s been around for ages that is expected for any good Jewish woman to know–a good bowl of Matzo Ball Soup. It’s pretty simple to make, and making a large pot is recommended (for savory leftovers that can be frozen).

My recipe has been updated over time and will probably continue to change over the next few decades, but here, for now, is The Jewish Southern Belle’s Matzo Ball Soup.Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Matzo Ball Mix (you don’t need to buy the box that has the soup mix as well, just the Matzo Ball Mix And ingredients needed to make the matzo balls, they’re on the box, if you want leftovers, use both packets)
  • 1 package Chicken Drumsticks (I give at least two legs per person eating–I like to use the drumsticks because the bones really help the broth with it’s flavor, and after cooking the chicken just falls off the bone, it’s perfect really)
  • 3/4 c diced celery
  • 3/4 c diced onion
  • 3/4 c chopped carrot
  • 2 cubes chicken buillion
  • One large pot full of water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Put a pot of water on medium-high heat and let it heat up, add bouillon cubes and salt and pepper. Once nice and hot, add chicken drumsticks and veggies and let cook. Once chicken drumsticks are cooked thoroughly, add matzo balls and let sit for at least an hour, otherwise the matzo balls will just fall apart. Serve nice and hot!

 

 

 

Stir-fry Sundayz

I’m seriously broccoli’s number one fan. If the dish has it, I’m devouring it. I love pretty much anything that has teriyaki and soy sauce–so stir fry is something pretty simple for me to do for an easy dinner (that you can totally portion out later for make-ahead lunches too). Here is my go to recipe for broccoli and chicken stir-fry.

chicken broccoli stir fry

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c soy sauce
  • 1/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (or you can use a pinch of chili powder)
  • 2 tbsp H2O
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3 c broccoli

Directions:

Stir soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl to dissolve sugar into the liquid. Mix water and cornstarch together in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch dissolves. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Fry chicken, garlic, and onion in oil about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir broccoli with the chicken, garlic and onion; saute until the broccoli is hot, about 5 minutes. Push the chicken and vegetables mixture to the side of the skillet. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the empty part of the skillet. Stir the cornstarch and water into the soy sauce mixture until mixed. Move the chicken and vegetables back into the center to the pan; saute until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken and vegetables, about 5 minutes. Enjoy over steamed white rice, or brown rice!

This is a great dish to end the weekend with, along with the beer or wine of your choice. 

HOMEMADE DORITO CRUNCHWRAP SUPREMES!

Taco Bell….we’ve all been there. It’s late…everyone is tired and grumpy…you’ve got that craving for all these beefy and cheesy goodness. But, why get stuff that makes you feel so absolutely nasty the next day (or next few hours). THEY ARE SO EASY TO MAKE.crunchwraps

So, without further ado, here is my version of the homemade crunchwrap supreme.

Dorito Crunchwrap Supremes

This recipe makes 6 Crunchwraps

Ingredients:
6 burrito size flour tortillas

Nacho Cheese (of your choice, about 1 cup)

1/4 Bag of Doritos, smashed

1 c sour cream

2 c lettuce, chopped

2 tomatoes, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 an onion, diced

1/3 packet taco seasoning

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 bag shredded Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Saute onions and garlic in a pan until golden and then add ground turkey and brown. Add taco seasoning and other seasonings of choice (salt, pepper, etc.) Warm up tortillas and queso.

Lay first tortilla out, place meat mixture, then dollop of queso, sprinkle Doritos on top of queso, then lettuce, tomato, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of shredded cheese. In a skillet on medium-high heat coated in olive oil or butter, toast each side for 2 minutes (but keep an eye on it). 

ENJOY THE DELICIOUSNESS IMMEDIATELY!

VLOG #2 IS UP!

VLOG NUMBER TWO IS UP ON YOUTUBE! Spend an afternoon with me during a typical day at work…please don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

 

Vlog #3 will be released on Thursday, August 24th, along with a special recipe for HOMEMADE DORITO CRUNCHWRAP SUPREMES! Check back for more fun in the next few days!

VLOG #1 IS UP!

I’m starting a series of vlogs on my YouTube channel just about my daily life and my adventures. Love them or hate them, you should like, subscribe and SHARE!

Vlog #1 takes place in Uptown Dallas at the bars at Bar Crawl Nation’s Totally 90’s bar crawl. With 11 bars, my face was redder and sweatier than ever, but the good vibes were flowing.

CHECK IT OUT BELOW:

 

DON’T FORGET TO LIKE & SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL!!

Smoothies and Phone Backgrounds…I like it

Time to dump off some of my massive collection of wallpapers I’ve accumulated by obsessive scrolling through Pinterest after I get home from work. These are all of my favorite patterned wallpapers I have on my phone, the links to each one are below the photos.

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I’m sitting here posting these whilst listening to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and sipping on my acai-berry smoothie (Did I seem fancy there or what?). I love acai, and I’m now totally obsessed with it because you can buy PACKS OF ACAI AT THE STORE AND JUST PUT IT IN THE BLENDER AND YOU HAVE A SMOOTHIE OR ACAI BOWL.  What a concept. They’re around $5 for four individual acai packets. If you don’t know what acai is, you can read about it here.

ACAI IS THE BEST!Essentially, the acai berry is a highly nutritious berry that grows on a tall thin palm in the Amazon– the majority of the berry is made up of seeds that are pounded and pulverized into the thick purple puree we put into smoothies and bowls. They’re filled with organic plant compounds, antioxidants, protein, omega fats, and essential amino acids. Acai eventually made its way over into Brazil in the 70’s, where it exploded in popularity with Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts. Then finally, in the 2000’s organic pulp acai first came to the U.S. and found homes in Hawaii and Southern California. I had my first acai bowl in Hawaii and was in love at the first bite.

Want a fun, protein and anti-oxidant-packed acai bowl? Here’s how to make one:

Perfect Peanut Butter Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (or whatever you prefer, you can even use juice)

1 tbsp organic peanut butter

1 packet frozen acai

1 1/2 c berries of choice

1 tbsp of granola (or more if you’re feeling frisky)

any nuts or seeds you love to top it off

honey

Directions:

In a blender, blend peanut butter, acai packet, almond milk, and 1 cup of the berries in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into your bowl and top with granola, seeds, nuts, berries and a drizzle of honey. 

ENJOY THE DELICIOUSNESS IMMEDIATELY

 

Here is my source for all my information on acai 🙂