Featuring Shannon Giroux of “MSnubutterflies”
Multiple Sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord, and can cause permanent damage or deterioration of the nerves. Whilst Shannon lives with Multiple Sclerosis, her creativity and passion for life can be seen with all the personalised touches around her home! She goes from whipping up new recipes in the kitchen, to knitting an array of items for gifts or for pleasure! She’s super hands on and is constantly working on new DIY projects, which help to make her home a better place to live in for all, including the cat! On top of that, you can also find her getting her hands dirty, sprucing up her beautiful garden. Let’s check this passionate lady out 🙂
*Scroll to the end of the post for the link to participate in this series, too!
Pallet garden and wall built by Shannon
- What about gardening do you enjoy?
There is so much to enjoy about gardening. I enjoy being outdoors, seeing wild life, and seeing my hard work come to life.
- How much does the weather where you live affect this hobby?
It has a tremendous affect on the garden. I live in the desert where it isn’t unusual to see temperatures of 117 (47°C!) during the summer months. We also have Monsoon storms during the summer where we get high winds, dust storms, and higher humidity than we are used to.
- What sort of things do you plant? Are they edible or purely for pleasure?
Both pleasure and edible. I plant flowers, herbs, and vegetables. I love having fresh herbs and peppers right out my backdoor for cooking.
- Favourite flowers and plants?
My favorite flower is hibiscus and my favorite plant is Basil. I love the smell of basil in the morning.
- An interesting fact about gardening that you discovered along the way?
There are way more bugs than I ever realized! No, in looking for a safe and economical way to get rid of weeds I found a homemade weed spray that actually works. 1 cup of epsom salt, 1 tsp. dish soap, 1 bottle of peroxide, and enough vinegar to fill a large sprayer about half full. Mix that together and fill the sprayer the rest of the way with water.
- How big is your garden?
I have 3 smaller beds, 1 large bed, and a vertical pallet garden that I built. The pallet garden doubles as a wall to block out some of the summer heat from the patio.
- Gardening tools you can’t live without?
Ok. This may sound crazy but I can’t live without a milk crate. I use it to carry things and to sit on when I pull weeds.
- Any tips for budding gardeners?
First figure out what you want from a garden. Do you just want a few flowers to enjoy or do you want edibles? Research what grows in your area and what the plant/plants needs are. Start small and add to it as you go. Most of all have fun with it.
- Is it possible to do some gardening in small apartments too? Any tips, if so?
Absolutely. Vertical gardens are a great way to add a little garden in small spaces. You can use a pallet like I did, a ladder, a hanging fabric shoe organizer, or stack pots of different sizes just to name a few ways.
A hibiscus flower in Shannon’s garden
Shannon’s yard: before
Shannon’s yard: after
DIY cat litter hideaway: before
DIY cat litter hideaway: after
ON DIY PROJECTS
- What sort of stuff do you like to DIY?
I love all DIY projects but most of all turning old/used furniture into something new. Pallets, love pallets!
- Some of your creations that you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of my faux marble table top because I tried something totally new and it turned out awesome. Also my kitty litter box hideaway cabinet, Dallas Cowboys checker table and Cowboys bottle.
- A funny ‘fail’ story?
Ha…ha. This was just a few months ago. I have two buckets in my garden that I arranged in such a way one looks like something should be pouring into the other. I had this great idea to use some glass stones I had to make it look like water. It looked great but I used the wrong glue and not long after being in the summer heat the stones came off. I still have no idea what I was thinking when I used that glue.
- Where do you get ideas from?
I get ideas from many places. Some from the specific functions needed, some from the furniture or item itself, things I see spark ideas, and wanting to make special things for loved ones.
- Would you like to share a ‘recipe’ for a nice DIY project that we can use for decorating or displaying in our homes?
I would love to share either one. Here’s my pad thai recipe, and my DIY Cowboys checker table.
Faux marble table top
Cat litter cabinet kitty door
Painting the checker board top
Handmade Dallas Cowboys checker table
ON COOKING AND CREATING RECIPES
- How did this wonderful adventure all begin?
It all began with wanting to help my mom cook for my dad. I was only 3 when my mom put a kitchen chair beside her at the stove and I helped make spaghetti for my dad. I have loved cooking since then.
- How do you go about creating a recipe ‘from scratch’? Do you have references or is it purely imagination?
It’s imagination for the most part. It started as needing to find ways to create affordable healthy new meals as a mom. There were times we didn’t have much and had to come up with something out of nothing basically. It became a challenge. Kind of a fun game. It expanded from there because I love to see what I can come up with. What flavors I can create. Eventually my eating habits changed. Although I have always eaten healthy for the most part I quit eating red meat and pork about 15 years ago and then no meat all together. That led me on another adventure to create vegetarian meals everyone would eat.
- Which of your own creations is the most popular?
That’s a hard one. I’ve made so many things over the years and I’m always making new things so this tends to change. I would have to say Curry Pasta Salad and my Turkey Meatballs.
- What about your personal favourite dish to cook?
My personal favorite is Pad Thai. It’s simple, fast, and delicious.
- Anything you dislike cooking?
There isn’t anything I dislike cooking. Unless you count chocolate cake. Or anything that has chocolate in it. Weird fact about me. I hate chocolate. Even the smell of it.
- Kitchen equipment you can’t live without?
A good set of knives. This is a must. All other gadgets I can live without.
- Do you cook every day, or what’s your eating lifestyle like?
I cook most days but not every day these days due to fatigue and vertigo. My eating style is focused on being as fresh and healthy as possible.
- If you cook every day, how do you manage to do this? Any tips for those who want to attempt doing so?
I don’t cook every day but I still have a few tips for those that want to and have difficulties due to health. Keep it simple. Eliminate unnecessary steps from recipes when possible. For example if you can make it a one pot dish by all means do so. Less steps less fatigue. Not to mention less dishes! 🙂 Do what you can ahead of time. A little at a time throughout the day if possible. Like chopping vegetable for instance.
- Favourite food blogs, magazines or books that inspire you?
I love to watch cooking shows like The Pioneer Woman. She’s a country girl like me. 🙂
Fresh dill from Shannon’s garden
Handmade slouchy beanie
Handmade open work grey poncho
- How did this all begin?
My grandmother used to make us the coziest slippers when I was a kid. I miss those. So I thought why not learn.
- What sort of stuff do you knit?
Hats, slippers, ponchos, mostly smaller projects but I am making a chevron stripe lap throw right now.
- What are your most popular requests?
Slippers and beanies.
- How do you feel when you’re in the process of knitting something?
Knitting allows me to have something quiet and relaxing to do on days my mobility is limited. I feel calm and peaceful.
- How long do you take to finish knitting something on average?
2 to 3 days.
- What inspires you to knit?
Making things for family and trying new stitches. I get ideas from Pinterest and knitting blogs as well.
Handmade throw blanket
Shannon’s gorgeous yard
*Note: All images here used with permission from Shannon Giroux. This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.
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Shannon Lives with the Following Illnesses:
Learn more about her experiences living with it on her blog.