Monday, February 21, 2011

Win a HensPals Chicken Nest Box

As you may know, we ordered a shed for the chicken house.  It's due for delivery on Wednesday!!!

We need to alter it to make it ready for the chickens.  One of the alterations is adding nest boxes.  I figure Troy will have to build them, although, we really don't know exactly what they should be like.  You live and learn, right?

Well, maybe I'll get lucky and win a set of nest boxes from HenPals.  Their boxes look unique compared to others I've seen because they use steel instead of wood.  Sounds sturdy to me?  And, they each come with an attached roost!


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Go here and do your best to win one for your chickens.

HenPals Nest Box

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gardening on February 17

It was warm today. At least 70*. See?


That says 70*.  And, that's around 4:30, a little after the warmest part of the day.

I decided it was too nice for the girls to have to nap.  We spent a lot of time outside instead.

We trimmed up the wine barrel planters.  One had parsley in it and it's got a little bit growing at the base of the plant.  We trimmed up the dead leaves and are excited to see what happens to it.  We planted the rest of the planter with swiss chard.

The other two have mint in them, one peppermint and one spearmint.  We trimmed them up, the peppermint is already growing new leaves.

We love peas.  We love to pick them right off the plant and eat them.  Since we garden organically with no chemicals, we can do that.  So, of course, the second thing we planted this year was peas.  We did 2 rows of sugar snaps and a square with four rows of regular shelling peas.


Here are the two rows of sugar snaps.


You can see the rows/square a little bit here.  I couldn't get too good of an angle, I was super close to the compost pile which was swarming with bees.  The square is on the left, the rows on the right.

The girls were big helpers.



Yep, she took a bath as soon as she got back inside.


I think she was busy looking for eggshells to crush.

I love laundry on the line...






Monday, February 14, 2011

Change 3 Things - The Cloth Diaper Revolution

I'm pretty sure my mom cloth diapered me when I was a baby.  But, her cloth diapers were nothing compared to the cloth diapers of today.  If you have a little one and would like to help save tons of disposable diapers from landfills, pop over to Cloth Babies and read about their challenge.


I signed up for it.  I already use more than 3 cloth diapers a day.  Right now, mine are hanging on the line enjoying this warm, sunny day to bleach out.

Just a recommendation, don't start with an Econobum, give the Bum Genuis a try.  You can buy a 3-pack for $53.10 right now.


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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Want to win a Bummis cloth diaper?

In case you don't know, I use cloth diapers on Delcie.  I usually use them about half the time, pampers the other half.  I don't have enough cloth to use them all the time.  Since she's my last baby, I didn't buy a ton of diapers, but if she were my first, I would have absolutely bought enough to use them all the time.

Maybe, though, if I win some more, I can cloth diaper all the time?

My friend just was telling me how much she loves her bummis.  I don't own any, but I've only heard good things about them.  I would love to try one, I have my eye on a swimmi.  Cause, you know, we go to the beach nearly every day during the summer here.

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Tara, at the small town mom is hosting a giveaway.  Go to her blog and enter to win a Bummis Easy Fit.


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Send a Free Valentines E-Card

Kate Spade is offering a ton of really cute Valentines E-Cards to send...for FREE!

Check the E-Cards out.  Send one to your sweetie today.


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This valentine is by Carly Heitlinger


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This valentine is by Melissa Ebert

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken day is coming!

We were planning to build a coop, because purchasing them is so expensive.  We were having trouble coming up with what exactly we wanted.  But, working on it.


That is, until today, when Troy was cruisin' around the Home Depot parking lot and came across this beauty clearanced out.


It has vents, walls, siding, doors, tons of great stuff we were maybe not going to be able to get.  All we need to do it install a window or two, a chicken door and ramp, roosts and nesting boxes.  I'm so excited!  I think it will be well worth the little bit of extra money to save us the time and frustration of building from scratch.


(Time is very important to us right now.  Troy's been working a lot, which is great, God is blessing us by providing.  But, we do miss him when he's out of town...every week.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Emetophobia

I think I have emetophobia.  I may be a hypochondriac.  My husband tells me I am.  But, I do believe I have a little bit of OCD, which emetophobia is closely related to.

I have read it has to do with wanting to control your environment.  Yep, I think I do that.

Anyway, it's a fear of vomit.  I'm not afraid of myself vomiting, but of my husband or girls.  I was so sick with morning sickness, if I ever had the fear for myself, I'm long over it.

But, I fear seeing my children in the pain that comes with the tummy bug.  It's a day or so of just feeling awful.

Camdyn was sick on Sunday.  She only threw up twice, but laid around all day, obviously feeling really bad.  I did what I could to make her comfortable.  I sprayed everything, toys, door handles, light switches... with sanitizing spray.  Then, I sprayed them again with Lysol, twice.

I have researched stomach flu to death.  I know the exposure - sickness times.  I know the contagious period.  I know what to do regarding fluids and foods.

So, today it's 3 days past our exposure.  We may have escaped everyone being sick this time, but I don't want to believe it, yet, and jinx us.

(We did have some carrots for dinner, that's the first non-white food we've eaten all week.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Iced Sugar Cookies

This past weekend, we held a baby shower for my sister who is due with a little boy soon.  I didn't have very many responsibilities, it was a small, simple shower.  So, I volunteered to make the party favors.  I've been wanting to try my hand at iced sugar cookies ever since seeing them on a few different web sites.  I didn't think I could do it, but, I love a challenge.

I decided to do a onesie cookie, because it's a fairly simple design.  I used a basic sugar cookie recipe, only substituting butter flavored Crisco for butter.  I did this because I know Crisco makes cookies fluffier than butter, and I wanted these cookies nice and fluffy.

I also used a royal icing recipe.  I used to work with royal icing all the time back when it was popular to make flowers on cakes.  But, it's been a few years.

Here's how it went...

I mixed, refrigerated, rolled and cut the cookies.  I baked them for about 7 minutes.


Next in the process is "fill and spill".  You outline the cookie and then "fill" with thinned icing.  It took a little experimenting to figure out just how to do this, but I think I got it after only about 3 cookies.


After that dried, I outlined again with white royal icing to give the onesie design.  I wrote "Luke", (new nephew's name), in blue and gave them a blue tag.




Quick bag and wrap and they were ready to go!


I also made a few red velvet cake balls - yum!


Here are the recipes:

Sugar Cookies


¾ cups butter (i used Crisco)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1-½ teaspoon pure vanilla
2-½ cups flour
½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder


 Combine the butter and sugar, mix until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt. 
Slowly add dry ingredients into wet batter.  Mix until fully incorporated.
Mold the dough into a squared off log and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to about 1/2" think.  Cut and place on silpat or parchment paper and cookie sheet.
Bake at 325*-350*F for 5 to 8 minutes.

Royal Icing
I just used 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup and a dash of lemon juice.  I thinned it to the right consistency with milk and more corn syrup.