Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blueberry Buckle Coffeecake

Tis the season for blueberries in my neck of the woods and recently we went picking, so my blueberry supply runneth over! After whipping up jam I still had plenty left, so I decided to start baking. After reviewing many recipes and variations of buckles, cakes and crumbles, I came up with a recipe I am proud of and the family LOVES!!! This Blueberry Buckle Coffeecake recipe is sure to be a family tradition. Dense yet airy, sweet but not too, just the right amount of crumble on top….. I promise, you are gonna love it as much as we do!

Monday, August 3, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop August 3, 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!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Week of Homestead Photos July 26th - August 1st

Buffy enjoying an early morning stroll.

This week we are kicking off a new weekly segment call "A Week of Homestead Photos," where I will share with you some of the images that have made me smile this past week. While there may be a lot of work to do, piles of critter poo to clean, and weeds to be pulled from the garden, there are moments of pure joy as well. I hope you enjoy this week's photos as much as I do and that they bring a smile to your face!

One of Betty's beautiful babies.
The Rose of Sharon are blooming!
Bob's first dust bath, sand flew!
Grow little peppers.
Bill getting all spiffed up!
Dusk is falling.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop August 1

janets sheep blog hopWelcome 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, July 30, 2015

Homemade Brownie Mix

I love brownies. There is just something about a soft, chocolaty treat that makes the world right. But, I hate store bought brownie mix, they just never truly capture what I think a brownie should be. So I decided to get off my lazy rear and come up with a homemade brownie mix that rocked, and I think have. And I would bet money, you already have all the ingredients!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Homemade Skunk Odor Remover

I was driving down the road the other day and that "wonderful" aroma of skunk filled my nose. A 1/4 mile down the road, there it lay on the shoulder..... Obviously it was "fresh," but it got me thinking about how the odor of skunk can linger for weeks!

And then I started thinking, god forbid, what if Heidi the Homestead Hound got nailed with the unpleasant odor?!?! While there are many products out there that help with the smell, as my Grandmother in-law found out, that faint odor can linger on a dog's fur and any article they rub on! But why does the smell hang around?!?! Because skunk spray has OIL in it and water, tomato juice, and other products don't break down the OIL.

So how do you remove skunk odor?

Monday, July 27, 2015

(mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop July 27, 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!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Easy Fabric Flower Pot

I like terra cotta pots as much as the next farm girl, but they can tend to be a little on the boring side some times. And sure, there are a million and one ways to paint a pot to give it some pizzazz, but why not think "outside the box" when it comes to you pots?!?! Check out the Fabric Flower Pot! These are so easy to make, that you could turn out a ton of them in just one afternoon!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Betty's Babies Are Growing Up!

I have watched baby ducks grow up before.... when we got our original two ducks a few years ago. Ducks grow FAST. But as with every new birth, you forget just how fast they grow. One day they are breaking out of their egg and the next they are taking on the world, or at least turning it upside down a little!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Make Your Own Sourdough Bread

Do you like sourdough bread but don't like paying for it? Then stop buying it and make your own! Here is the recipe I use and my sourdough loving hubby loves it, so it has to be sort of good right!?!?!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We have Babies on Board *Warning* Cuteness overload!!

If you have been following us lately, you will know our female duck, Betty, pulled a quick one on us and hid a nest of eggs. I THOUGHT they were due to hatch around today.... I was wrong! The babies started hatching on July 7th! Good thing I already had some duckling food on hand and was prepared to play my part as a duck midwife, because things got a little rocky over the next three days.

Friday, July 10, 2015

S'mores Milkshake

Its summer and that means the country kids want to have a fire every night and make s'mores. While I do love the smell of a campfire, I am not letting them stay up late every night just to make s'mores, because for some odd reason, they feel it has to be dark to have a fire! So what is a mama to do? Come up with an awesome, anytime milkshake that will knock their socks off!

This is a sweet and easy to make treat that has all the s'mores elements.... chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and graham crackers! So go get some ice cream and your blender because I am going to tell you how to whip these bad boys up!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Broody Betty is about to become a Mommy!!!

Anticipation is at an all-time high around our homestead. Betty the duck went broody and hid a nest of eggs. She has been sitting on them for weeks. I had tried to calculate her “due date” and came up with July 10 or 11. Well Betty I guess has thrown a monkey wrench in my calculations!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

7 Amazing Benefits of Bananas

Bananas..... They are in every supermarket you go into. They are as common on North American shelves as locally grown fruit such as apples and blueberries, but this was not always the case. Prior to the 1900's bananas were a rare novelty that usually only appeared in port cities. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Perfectly Peachy Peach Cobbler

My hubby likes a good peach cobbler. Not being a big peach eater, I can’t say I have ever had one that really tickled my taste buds, till now! I decided to tinker in the kitchen and come up with my own version that was packed full of peaches for him, with just the right balance of peachy flavor and a little cinnamon punch.

I’ll admit, since I am not a big peach fan, I opted to buy canned peaches. And you know what? That’s alright! I don’t HAVE to do everything from scratch every time I bake. I don’t need to feel any guilt here, right? Well guess what? I don’t, because it turned out so good, I will never make it any other way!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

12 Myths About Chicken Eggs

When it comes to eggs, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. So I decided to take a minute to clear up a few of them for you. I used to giggle every time someone asked me about myth 1, but then I had to remind myself, not everyone grew up in the country, or raises chickens. So without further ado, here are 12 Myths (and realities) about chicken eggs…..

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Great Duck Race!!!

Recently our duck, Betty, decided to be sneaky and laid a nest of eggs. You would not believe just how smart a duck can be or just how similar sitting ducks are to human moms with newborns! So of course I had to write about “What To Expect When Your DUCK Is Expecting!"

A friend of mine, Janet, at Timber Creek Farm had a duck who started sitting on a nest the same time Betty pulled her little shenanigans. After talking, we decided to have a little fun with our expectant mothers by holding a duck race!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

What To Expect When Your DUCK Is Expecting

This is a topic I never thought I would be writing about. I collect my eggs religiously, so when Betty the duck started only giving me an egg every other day, I just figured she was slowing down on her egg laying production. Never in a million years did I think she was tricking me. Oh yes, she is a smart one, because you see, she had a hidden nest and would lay an egg in it one day and then give me an egg the next. I never suspected her of being so cunning. By the time I found out what she was up to, it was too late, she had already started to sit (incubate) the eggs and when I candled them, they were already starting to develop!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Why Quail Do NOT Make Good Pets

When you are a parent, all you want to do is make your children happy. Sometimes you don’t stop to think in your pursuit of their joy. An example of this happened recently when we decided to fulfill the oldest country kid’s Birthday WishYou see, all he wanted was a pet quail…… They only cost $2.00…. We rock!!! Wrong!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Blog Doesn't Make Money (And Why I'm Okay With That!!)

There are many reasons people get into blogging, but for most, it is about making money. Others get into blogging for other reasons and are quickly swept up in the “how to make money blogging” aspects that seem to be everywhere. Well I am here to tell you, my blog doesn’t make money AND I am okay with that!! No really, I am!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Homemade Garden Markers

Every year we plant a garden. Every year I try to label everything, so we can remember when things come up, what they are. But it seems, every year, those darn markers get lost, broken, or just unreadable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Avian Influenza, What you need to know

By now, if you have poultry or even just watch the news, you have heard about "Bird Flu." But what do you really know about avian influenza? And how will it impact you as a consumer or backyard bird keeper? Take a deep breath and don't panic, we will explain it all to you to the best of our ability.....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Birthday Wish Comes True

Ever since he was a little guy, the oldest country kid has had a deep affection for poultry. In the last year he has become obsessed with quail. He will scour the internet for hours at a time watching videos and learning about them. So it came as no surprise that for his birthday this year, when we asked him what he wanted, he said a quail. Well of course he did! I mean what 9 year old country kid doesn't want a quail, right? I'll just pop over to the quail store and pick ya one up. Simple enough, right? Well if you don't know, there is no quail store, chick season at the feed stores is over and not many folks in our neck of the woods raise quail. Oh what to do...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Everyone has their favorite candy bar, for me it is a Kit Kat, but for my hubby, he is all about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. So in honor of my hubby and his love of chocolate and peanut butter, I hit the kitchen with a mission. I was going to create him a homemade treat inspired by his favorite candy and that is when I came up with Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars!! These are so simply to make with just five ingredients!

Fair warning though, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are sweet! A little piece will satisfy that sweet tooth in a hurry!! I cut mine into one or two bite size pieces otherwise my hubby and the country kids would be on a sugar high for days!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

OMG, We Won!!!!

So awhile ago, on Facebook, I saw that Nutrena was having a photo contest and I figured, why not enter. I never dreamed in a million years that my photo of our littlest country kid and good old Grumpy Goldie would actually win, but that is exactly what happened!!!

I have to say, I have some of the greatest readers, because without all of you voting, it never would have happened. So from the bottom of my heart I want to send out a THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who took the time to vote for my little guy and Goldie.

Part of our prize is a YEAR of chicken feed and we could not be more excited!!! We might need to get more chickens! *wink* Just kidding, maybe....

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.

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.