wreath-making for the holidays

The Tomato Gals love seasonal decoration. The holidays are here – it’s time to adorn the home! Before you run out to Michaels Craft, take a look in your backyard or outside the apartment. You’ll be surprised what you can create with the materials around you.

I was upstate recently at John’s cabin and came across this neat book.

wreath making

Using steeplebush branches I started to created a fall wreath.


The city is not the Catskills, but you’ll find what you need. Last resort… take a walk to your local NYC Park.

wreath making - catskills

If you’re interested in giving wreath-making a try, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Long bendable branches about 1/8 inch thick. Test them out. If the branches snap, they won’t be good for use on the wreath.
2. Dried flowers, pine cones, any natural item to adorn the wreath
3. Brown crafting wire


1. Bend and manipulate branches into a circle. Use wire to secure. Continue to add branches until you’re happy with the girth.

2. Add embellishments to you branch base. Secure with wire. Try to conceal the wire as much as possible. Get creative with it!

If you want to take it a step further, use sparkled pine cones and other adornments – great for Christmas! The Wreath Book pictured above, is great for inspiration, you can get a copy on Ebay for 5 bucks.




Elegante’s Italian Spin on the Greek Salad

Elegantes Rockaway Beach

I recently discovered Elegante’s salads. I was waiting for a slice and decided to flip through their menu. With the house renovation (no stove or kitchen for that matter) it’s been difficult to eat healthy. I decided next time I would get some greens instead of pizza.

A few days later, I resisted the carb temptation and ordered the Greek salad from Elegante. I was surprised when I sat down to eat. Along with the traditional Greek salad staples – feta, red onion, iceburg lettuce, kalamata olives and tomatoes (sans grape leaves and cucumbers), Elegante Pizzeria adds broccoli and white mushrooms. It’s such an Italian thing to do – “What the hell, add a little bita this, a little bita that”. Incorporating more Italian flare, the salad is served with warm semolina bread, an alternative for the traditional Greek pita. The ingredients are fresh and crisp. The dressing is a standard greek of olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. You get more than you need, dipping the semolina is a must. I also have to mention the fist full of feta that covers the greens like a fresh winter snow.

Why is this salad first-rate?  The broccoli florets absorb dressing,  and when it’s full of zest, you have a winning combination.

Elegante's Greek Salad

I’ve established my feeling on how delish Elegante’s Greek Salad is but it’s also important to note the nutritional value. White mushroom is packed with Vitamin D which fights infections, including colds and the flu. Broccoli is loaded with essential nutrients – fiber, vitamins C and A and can lower the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers (according to the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service). I was looking for healthy and I found it!

The gamble pays off for Elegante, their Greek salad is delicious, nourishing, and most important… still a Greek salad. The small, reasonably priced at $5.75 is more than enough for an individual meal, the large (8.75) is perfect for two or as a starter for a few.


Elegante Restaurant & Pizzeria
92-01 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway Beach, NY 11693
718. 634.3914  (Delivery)

Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 11am – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 12am

Plant Sale at the Ridgewood Market

We’re excited to participate at the Ridgewood Market this month, selling our unique potted plants. The planting containers vary – we have up-cycled hand-picked finds, decopage recycled cans and handmade wooden planters from reclaimed barn wood (white pine). Look for Spider plants, Coleus, Pothos Vine, and Kalanchoe. All plants are propagated and homegrown with love and care.

Check out a sample of our merch!

Plants Plants Glorified-Tomato-Ridgewood-Market-1.JPG Plants


Sunday, November 23rd 2014
11 AM to 5 PM! –
Handmade, Artisan, and Vintage Gifts! –
Food, Pastries, Brunch, Alcohol, and Music!!! –

Gottscheer Hall!!
657 Fairview Ave Ridgewood, NY 11385 –



The Nature Walk – It’s Fall

It’s fall here in Rockaway and things are quiet. I’ve been walking more instead of biking – the wind while biking is pretty darn cold. Here are some shots I’ve taken during my daily wanders…

gnome or saint?

Friar’s habit and Franciscan cords, looks like San Francesco to me!


What is this about? Well, regardless it looks cool.

Garbage Find

Another person’s trash…! I found this on 97th and the beach block. I think I’ll make a planter out of it.

Beach Pine

The organic shapes created by beach pine are unbeatable. This Christmas season, I want to make an advent wreath with the pine cones from this tree.

Rockaway Beach

Walking on the beach in the fall is so calming,  I try to make it down everyday.

Nature Walk Feature – location, Rockaway, Queens. I’ll post everything from a beach critter I find on the sand to the tomatoes growing in my backyard. “The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.” — Natalie Angier




tagged in fall, gardening, plants, queens