Monday, December 15, 2014

Maternity Photos

Saturday we had the opportunity to work with Kristen of Little Lion Photography and she did an amazing job! We had maternity/family photos taken and I am absolutely smitten with the 4 teasers she sent me and I can't wait to see the rest of the photos from our shoot. But, here are the few that I have! I can't believe Luca is due in less than 6 weeks and Billy couldn't be more excited for his arrival. The look on Billy's face just melts my heart!






Thursday, December 11, 2014

Slacking

How has a month slipped by already?! Sorry for the lack of posts! With all the chaos of Thanksgiving and now Christmas and we're expecting our little man to arrive any time after that, things have been CRAZY! But, we are completely ready for his arrival. I take being organized and planning ahead very seriously (I swear I probably have OCD) and the car seat, diaper bag and hospital bag have been packed and ready to go for weeks. His nursery is completely set up, all his clothes are washed and packs of diapers are waiting! I'm sure there is something I'm probably forgetting though!

Anyway, we have been busy around the homestead and all this snow has been making things quite a mess! The chickens are very happy to have the gutter installed (their enclosed run is beside the back of our garage and all the runoff from the roof was flooding their run). We also put a roof over half of their run so even when it's raining they can go outside and not get soaked...it will also provide shade in the summer as well. Hopefully this weekend we will be butchering about 5 chickens and then I think our to-do list for the outdoors is fairly complete until spring - other than shoveling snow!

I have a couple posts that I'm currently working on so stay tuned and I promise to update more frequently! Happy Holidays!!!

XOXO

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chickens

I gave the hubby quite the scare the other day when I told him I was going to shoot some chickens...perhaps I should've mentioned that it would be with the camera. Anyway, here's a few photos of our brood...I'm slowly turning into that crazy chicken lady!

 Twizzlers (Twizzie) - Araucauna
 General Tso - Buff Orpington Roo
 Almond Joy (AJ) - Cochin Roo
 Cacciatore - Barred Rock
 Buffalo, Barbeque, Popcorn & General - Red Sexlinks & Buff Orpington Roo
 Toffee - Cochin Roo
Twix - Cochin

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Freebies!

I try to only post these once a week, but there were a few that I found today that I couldn't pass up! Just click the title below the photo of each book to be redirected to Amazon. Remember, these were free at the time of posting BUT always check the price before clicking "Buy Now" to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price :)

Growing Herbs Indoors

Homesteading For Beginners

JeBouffe Home Canning

Backyard Chickens - 2 Book Combo!

Homesteading Essentials - From Plot to Pot - 2 Book Combo!
Deer Hunting - The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Hunting Deer for Food

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Lazy" Days

Occasionally I get bored and yesterday was one of those days...We finally got around to finish putting up the gutter around the garage. Having the chicken coop and run built along the backside of the garage may have saved us some supplies when building it, but whenever it rains the runoff was going directly into the chicken run and creating a muddy mess. Now the chickens will be very happy!


I also decided to "upgrade" one of the kiddie tables. I've never been a fan of character items to begin with so I had been trying to find a fabric I liked to replace the Cars top this one had, anyway. We also had this car mat. The kids were constantly getting frustrated because the mat would move or crinkle when they were trying to play. You can take these little card tables apart with a couple screws, I cut the mat to fit and stapled it in place on the back and then reattached the table. Problem solved!


Also, never sound a lazy dog in to wake the lil man up from nap...She decided he had a pretty good idea and joined him instead haha

Friday, November 7, 2014

Freebies!

Here are a few more great homesteading, canning and DIY books that you can add to your e-Library (just click the title below the photo of each book to be redirected to Amazon). Remember, these were free at the time of posting BUT always check the price before clicking "Buy Now" to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price :)

Canning & Preserving

Dutch Oven Cookbook

Raised Bed Gardening
Cheese Making at Home

Raising Chickens

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Great Uses For Your Wood Ash

 
Chances are if you’re going to be burning wood to heat your home this winter, you’re going to have a ton (maybe literally!) of ash by the end of the season, before you just toss the ash aside, there are plenty of useful ways to re-use it!

Wood ash is extremely alkaline and contains potassium and calcium. It can also contain sulfur, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, magnesium and molybdenum, all of which are great for your plants depending upon your type of soil.

Enriching the Soil
Wood ash is great for certain types of soil, specifically soil that is overly acidic. Almost without fail, alkaline-loving plants such as onions, garlic and leeks will flourish if you add a bit of wood ash to the soil around them. The exception to this is if the pH of your soil is over 7. In that case, you may not want to use wood ash because it contains potassium and is very alkaline. It’s great to mix in if your soil is acidic but if it’s not, you’ll make matters worse.
If you decide to use wood ash in your soil, don’t apply it straight to your raw compost pile because it’ll react with the nitrogen and turn it straight to ammonia. You’ll lose that nitrogen that you’re working so hard to get. If you’re going to add ash to your compost in order to decrease the acidity (raise the pH), add it to mature, ready to use compost.

Wood Ash Protects Your Garden
Spread wood ash around your gardens to protect it from certain bugs that are harmful to your plants. It serves as a barrier to slugs and snails and some say that it protects against some beetles, too.

Use Wood Ash to Do the Dishes
Tossing a bit of wood ash into your dirty skillet will produce enough lye (and friction) to get your camp skillets good and clean. Some people even use it raw as soap.

Give Your Chickens a Spa Day
Chickens naturally roll in dirt as a way to cleanse themselves. This protects them from insects and pests such as mites and lice. However, if your chickens can’t roam, finding a nice dusty place to roll may be a challenge for them. Mix wood ash and sand equally and place it in a litter pan or baby pool, or just dump it in a corner of their pen. The wood ash kills mites and lice and the sand keeps the ash from blowing away.

De-Skunk Fido
Nothing is more disgusting than the smell of a dog that’s been skunked but if you have some extra wood ash, you’re golden. Just rub the ash into his fur and it will neutralize the odor.

For more ways to make use of all of your leftover wood ash, head on over to Survivopedia and read the rest of Theresa Crouse's article.