Saturday, May 23, 2015

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop May 23


simple saturdays blog hop lesa goatWelcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!


This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!


Monday, May 18, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop May 18, 2015


Welcome to another week of the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!  I really enjoy seeing what you all have been up to! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us!

This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

We are family friendly, so do keep that in mind. *wink* Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

Each week, I will have a feature(s), which will also be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest!

So now.... *drum roll*.... The feature goes to....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop May 16


simple saturdays blog hop lesa goatWelcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!


This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!

Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Five Uses for an Invisible Fence on the Homestead

If you have pet dogs, you may be faced with a variety of extra challenges on your homestead. Perhaps your dogs enjoy “helping” you garden by digging up everything in sight, or maybe they enjoy “exercising” your chickens by chasing them around the coop. Whatever the case, creating boundaries for your dogs may be necessary, and one way to do it is with an invisible dog fence.

An invisible fence alternative system will allow you to create customized boundaries that keep your dogs where you want them to be. You don’t have to chain them, or put up big walls of fence that will hinder your view of and access to other sections of your property. Invisible fences are versatile tools, so let’s look at some of the different ways they can be used on the homestead.

Monday, May 11, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop May 11, 2015


Welcome to another week of the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop!  I really enjoy seeing what you all have been up to! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us!

This party is a 
Rules Free Party!!!

We are family friendly, so do keep that in mind. *wink* Share anything you want!!! We love seeing what you are up to! Be it recipes, DIY, giveaways, hops, crafts, funny stories... they're all welcome here!

Each week, I will have a feature(s), which will also be pinned to our (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop Board over on Pinterest!

So now.... *drum roll*.... The feature goes to....

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cherry Sugar Cookie Cobbler

A few weeks back I was grocery shopping, and of course I had to hit the baking aisle for supplies. As I was cruising along I saw cherry pie filing.... Now normally, I make my own, but we have been out of cherries for some time, and seeing the can made me long for a cherry pie, so I grabbed a can and tossed it in my cart.

Weeks passed and every time I thought about making a cherry pie I didn't want to have to make a crust, so the can sat on the shelf. Normally I don't mind cooking from scratch, but pie crusts have never been my strong suit. I finally got fed up and wanted something with cherries in it,

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We Hatched Chicken Eggs!!!

Late last fall a friend of mine offered us a dozen hatching eggs. Well winter in Michigan is no time to be hatching out chicks, so she waited till spring to send them to us. We have been on the most exciting adventure trying our hand at hatching our own chicks for the first time. I don't know who has been more excited, the country kids or myself!!

When the eggs arrived we put them in the incubator and waited a loooong week before we decided to candle them. Candeling is when you use a light source to illuminate the egg so you can see what is going on (if anything) inside. We were so excited when we candled the eggs and found we had eight of them developing. I wrote all about it in a post called We're Hatching Eggs! There is even video of a chick embryo moving you can watch!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

It is a well know fact that my hubby LOVES peanut butter cookies. My Must Make Peanut Butter Cookies have been a staple around our home for ages. But with two young country kids and spring chores taking up more and more of my time, I don't always have time to make them for him. I needed something just as good (if not better) that I could do in a fraction of the time. So I headed to the kitchen and started tinkering with recipes and came up with these amazing Peanut Butter Cookie Bars!

Friday, April 24, 2015

WonderMix Kitchen Mixer Giveaway

I love to bake, bread, cookies, cakes, it doesn't matter, I love to make them all. What I don't love are cheaply made hand and stand mixers. When it comes to kitchen equipment I want quality or I will do without. Recently I was given the opportunity to take the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer for a test drive and let me just say WOW!!!

The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer comes with a powerful 900 watt motor. That is the kind of power you find in high end commercial mixers! The direct drive high torque transmission is housed inside a sturdy-no walking-base. That means this bad boy will get the job done while staying put.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nite Guard Giveaway

I am so excited for today's Spring Fling Giveaway, Nite Guard Solar!!! Why am I so excited? Because if you have livestock or a garden, you have predators and Nite Guard is your solution! Whether you live in a rural or urban setting, there are critters out there and they are hungry. Even if you don't see them during the day, I promise you, they lurk in the dark. Sadly last year we had a weasel get in our coop and it was devastating. We have lived here over 12 years and I had NEVER seen a weasel. We now have Nite Guard on our coop!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chubby Mealworms Giveaway


Despite the recent movement by many chicken and egg producing companies to provide vegetarian fed chicken and eggs..... chickens are anything BUT vegetarians! Protein is a very important part of their nutritional needs. Our birds free range and nibble up all the insects they want, but there is something about mealworms that just make them loose their minds! I swear mealworms do to chickens, what cat nip does to cats!

As you may already know, we have a mealworm farm. Yes, we raise our own mealworms in order to provide a little extra protein to our poultry as a treat. I just could no longer stomach paying $4 for 100 mealworms at the pet store.  But I know many of you are a lot like my hubby and would prefer NOT to raise your own mealworms. And that is why I am so happy that today's Spring Fling Giveaway is for a 5 lb bag of mealworms from Chubby Mealworms!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chickens from Scratch Giveaway

Blogging has brought some truly gifted people into my life. Recently a wonderful friend of mine fulfilled a lifelong dream of writing a book, Chickens from Scratch, and has been so kind as to offer a copy to one of you!!

Author Janet Garman and her family live on their family farm in Maryland, where they raise vegetables and a variety of animals for fiber, eggs, meat and companionship. Janet has written this book from her wealth of knowledge gained by hands on chicken husbandry.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fermentools Giveaway

Lacto-fermantaion! What is it? It is the process of creating an anaerobic environment in which you get food away from the air by submerging it in a salt brine. The salt inhibits the growth of bad bacteria, while allowing the good bacteria to break down the sugars in the food and preserve it. Why is that good? Because it not only preserves food, but helps your gut bacteria! And it taste yummy too!

Recently I have started using Fermentools, who takes making fermented veggies to a whole new, EASY level! Gone are the days of the big old crock! Don't get me wrong, I still love my crock, it is a beautiful old piece, but with the jars I already have for canning along with the Fermentools kit, I can crank out a lot of smaller batches of various kinds of veggies. And trust me, I have developed a little bit of a fermenting addiction. If it ain't nailed down, I might just chop it up and stick it in a jar!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kevin’s Quality Clothespins Giveaway

Since today is "Hanging Out Day," we are excited that our Spring Fling Giveaway today is for a set of 20 beautiful handcrafted America made clothespins from Kevin's Quality Clothespins!

What is Hanging out Day? It's a day to conserve energy! Did you know that using an electric dryers can account for six to ten percent of a household's energy consumption!?!? I don't know about you, but to me, that's just crazy!

Hanging your wash out to dry is not only a financially sound way to save money and use less electricity, but decrease your carbon foot print. It makes you feel good, doesn't it (or it will once you start doing it!) Now you can take that good feeling a step further by using a product that is handcrafted right here in America by Kevin's Quality Clothespins.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lally Broch Farm Giveaway

One of the wonderful parts of blogging is the incredible people you meet along the way. At the beginning of my blogging journey, I crossed paths with Sonja from Lally Broch Farm. While she does blog, she is also and incredibly resourceful lady who handcrafts so many wonderful items.

When she first started doing jewelry using eggshell, I was impressed not only with her artistic ability but the medium she was working in. Over the years her talents have blown me away. She is a true artist!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Backyard Poultry Magazine Giveaway

Whether you have poultry or are just dreaming of the day you will, Backyard Poultry Magazine is the publication to read! Backyard Poultry Magazine is a wonderful source of information no matter if you are raising poultry in the country or in an urban environment.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chicken Boots Book Giveaway

Reading is something my hubby and myself have always enjoyed, so of course when we had children, we loved reading to them and buy them books. I do believe, we have more children’s books in our home then our small town library has on their shelves! Of course being country kids, they love books with tractors and farm critters, so when I sat down with them recently to read them Chicken Boots, I was pretty sure it would be a hit.

I don’t want to give away the story, because it is such a cute tale, but I will tell you it is about the relationship between a little girl and her best friend, who just happens to be a chicken. Of course my two boys could relate to the story as they play with our chickens. Even if the young reader doesn't own chickens, the theme of friendship shines through.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wild Signs Giveaway

The amazing folks over at Louise's Country Closet have an awesome new venture called Wild Signs. I already loved the stuff they make and I was not disappointed when I saw their signs! These high quality metal signs will make a great addition to anyone's home. Oh sure they have your typical farm/country type signs, but they also have some humorous ones and you know me, I love a good giggle!

Mandy, over at Wild Signs is such a sweet and generous person. I have known her for almost three years now and you could not meet a nicer person! I was not surprised when she offered to give one of their signs away to one of you, because, well, she is always that awesome. She told me to pick one out, but I just couldn't because there are so many great ones to choose from, so we decided to let the winner pick out any sign they want. That's right, if you win, you get the sign you really want!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Seeds of the Month Club Membership Giveaway

Our friend Mike, who is a 3rd generation vegetable gardener and author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person, has been gardening for nearly 30 years. He is also the founder of The Seeds of the Month Club.

I have been a member for three years now and I love the quality and variety of seeds I receive each month. We have received seeds for many of our favorite garden items, as well as for things we can't find locally or would not have even thought to try growing.

Each seed packet comes with such wonderful information on not only how to grow the seeds but which parts of the plants can be used for different purposes. We have actually gone from just gardening in the summer, to knowing which plants we can put in a second, fall garden.

Monday, April 13, 2015

King Arthur Flour Baking Prize Pack Giveaway

If you have been reading my blog or following my Facebook page for any length of time, you will know, I love to bake.... a lot!! That is why I am delighted that today we are kicking off our 2015 Spring Fling Giveaway event with King Arthur Flour!

America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour, was founded in Boston in 1790. What started as a company providing high quality flour, has grown into an employee owned national baking resource. Today, King Arthur Flour not only provides bakers with quality products, but they provide support, classes and answers to all your baking questions. You can use their online resources, catch one of their traveling baking demos or (my dream trip someday) visit their Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vermont!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Spring Fling Giveaway Event


Each year I throw a party in the spring for all my wonderful followers to let you all know just how much you being a part of our (mis)Adventures means to us. We have line up 12 wonderful sponsors who have provided some really wonderful items for you to win. Please take a moment to thank them for their generosity if you enter to win something. Without them, this party would not be possible.



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hatching Eggs, The Long Wait...

On March 20th, we started our latest greatest adventure..... hatching some eggs we got from a friend. We have never hatched chicken eggs before, so we have been learning as we go. From getting the temp and humidity right in the incubator, to rolling the eggs by hand three times a day, it has seemed like a long wait. Oh sure, it only takes around 21 days for an egg to hatch, but when your anticipation level is a mile high, those days tick by slowly!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Must Make Peanut Butter Cookies

Do you have that one recipe that someone in your family just LOVES beyond belief? That one item they long for, beg for, dream of? In my family, my husband has these emotions about my peanut butter cookies. They are a “must make” kind of thing.

Since I love to bake, I don’t mind making cookies, however I am one of those moms that just can NOT bring herself to buy those tubes of cookie dough when I have everything I need to do it from scratch already in my home. Plus I have never seen my husband have an emotional response to store bought cookie dough!

These peanut butter cookies are quick to whip up and once you put them in the oven you can do other things while they bake, like fold laundry, not!!! Seriously, just put your feet up, relax, and wait for that amazing smell that will emerge from your oven.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grandma's Legendary Zucchini Bread Recipe

One of my favorite childhood memories is that of my grandmother's zucchini bread. There was just something extra special about how she made it. You know how sometimes you close your eyes and go to your “happy” place? My grandpa’s kitchen, with a slice of her zucchini bread, has always been a “happy” place memory for me.

When I got older and began planting my own garden, I had to grow zucchini. I was going to make my own loaves of amazing zucchini bread. But no matter what recipe I used, it just wasn't "right." I asked her for her recipe, but of course, she claimed there was nothing special about it. I beg to differ!

Finally, after years of subpar zucchini bread and numerous requests to her, I called her and pleaded my case. And do you know what? She finally gave me her zucchini bread recipe!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

We're Hatching Eggs!

It is spring time and for us, that usually means a trip to the local feed store to pick out a few new additions to our flock. But this year we decided to do something a little different. This year we are trying our hand at hatching our own chicks!

At the beginning of winter, I won a dozen hatching eggs. Well, winter in Michigan is no time to be hatching baby chicks. I had no desire to have chickens living in my house for months, so I arranged that the eggs be shipped as soon as the weather turned nice enough.

We got word that our eggs had shipped and let me tell you, the oldest country kid paced the floors for days waiting for the mail lady to bring our package. The day they arrived, you would have thought it was Christmas, with sequels of glee and leaping off of furniture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake

Bundt cake. We have all heard of it, but what exactly is a “Bundt cake?” Ahhhh, now there is an interesting topic! There is no specific recipe for making a Bundt cake, because the word Bundt is actually referring to the pan in which the cake is made, not the cake itself!

So where did this pan come from? Well history has it, that two ladies from the Minneapolis Jewish-American Hadassah Society approached David Dalquist of the cookware company Nordic, to produce a pan that resembled the traditional Gugelhupf dish which was used to make a soft yeast dough cake in a circular shape. Thus was born the once trademarked “Bundt” cake pan.

Interesting bit of trivia for you there, but let’s get on to the reason you're her, the good stuff. Recently I got out my Bundt pan and decided to whip up a little something for my family. I like to be a fun mom, so I was thinking of a way we could have cake for breakfast. See I told you I was a fun mom.  After playing around with ingredients, I baked up this not too sweet Cinnamon Swirl Bundt Cake. And let me tell you, it was a BIG hit.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring = Lambs

Just up the road from us a piece is a farm that raises a lot of sheep. One of the really neat things they do is make cheese from the sheep milk. Every once in a while, they throw open their barn doors and invite the neighbors to stop by. Well of course with it being spring, the country kids and I had to go see all their baby lambs!

Friday, March 20, 2015

DIY Bird Feeder For Under $5!!

I love feeding the birds and the country kids love to sit at the window and watch them. I swear our back window is like a television to them. And with some of the programming on today, well I would rather they sat at the window and watched birds!

Every spring, the stores fill with shelves of either cheap plastic feeders (in our price range) or high end models that, while more durable, I just can't choke down the price. So what is a mama to do for her bird loving kids? Make our own bird feeder!! And I did it for a fraction of the price!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easy Mexican Chicken

There are nights when you want a really good meal, but just don't want to stand around the kitchen chopping and preparing..... Well fear not, because I have a super yummy, easy peasy to make, tummy filling recipe for you!

While this recipe has some cook time to it, it is nothing but set it and forget it! So let’s get dinner on the table, shall we? We are going to make Mexican Chicken with just 4 ingredients. You read that right, just 4 easy to slap together items!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Easy NY Style Bagels You Can Make At Home

Who doesn't love a GOOD bagel?!?! My country kids love bagels, but sadly all they have ever had were store bought bagels. Trust me, these are not GOOD bagels. They will do in a pinch, but really? A good bagel should have a firm outer layer with a chewy inner soul. Not to mention, store bought bagels have stuff in them that really shouldn't be there. So I decided it was time to take the whole bagel matter into my own hands and it could not have been easier!

Yes, I just said making bagels at home is EASY. After looking around at a gazillion different recipes for homemade bagels, I came to the conclusion that people were just making this harder then it needed to be. And what happened to recipes that used simple ingredients that anyone could find in their pantry?!?! So I dumbed it all down and came up with a recipe that has just 4 ingredients. You read that right, the dough has just 4 ingredients and I bet you have all of them!

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