Sunday, December 14, 2014

Preparing Chickens for Winter


This summer we moved our chickens to a portable coop with a fenced in run.  We had enjoyed having them free range but had lost several to predators and the easter egg hunt every morning was getting old.   For the summer, we parked the coop in the shade under some pine trees out behind the house.  This was a great location for them because it stayed cool under the trees all day.  They also had lots of space to run around.


We adopted 4 new younger hens from a friend who's flock had gotten larger than she needed.  With winter coming and the new little ones joining us we knew it was time to relocated the ladies.
The coop is on wheels so we kept the chickens in one day and then pulled them to their new home.  We set them up right next to the woodshed.  This spot gets full sun in the morning and the shed helps to block the wind so it's much warmer.  We also added a piece of plywood to the bottom of the coop (it is just wire screen) to help keep it warm at night. 


We set up a run around the coop for the ladies but kept it a bit smaller for the winter.  Our plan is to add some snow fencing across the top so that hawks won't be tempted to fly in since that has been a problem in the past. The winter spot is also much closer to the house which makes it easier for us to keep an eye on them and we can even run an extension cord from the shed to keep their water dish thawed.

How do you prepare your animals for winter?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meal Plan 12.01.14

We had 3 glorious days off last week, plus the weekend.  Needless to say, our meal plan went out the window.  We did a lot of work around the house and I was able to prep a lot for this week, which was awesome!  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and english muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 12/101/14

Monday: Pancakes and bacon with homemade applesauce

Tuesday: Greek chicken wraps and salad 

Wednesday: Butternut squash macaroni and cheese *I will actually make it this week!

Thursday: Hot dogs (we like applegate farm brand) with mixed veggies

Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we'll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: I will be at a wellness festival for Diaper Parties until late so I'm not really sure what we'll end up with

Sunday:  Soup...what kind of soup is still to be determined but it will be served with fresh bread and salad

What are you serving up this week?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Diaper Parties Black Friday 2014



I love being a consultant and educator for Diaper Parties, it's an incredible opportunity for me to teach others about cloth diapering, babywearing, and natural baby care.  Being a consultant also allows me to bring in a little extra income (just keeping it real) to help fund homestead projects and supplies.  As always, I appreciate your support and encouragement and this holiday season it is definitely something that I am Thankful for! 


Babywearing is so good for both you and your baby.  It lets you keep your little one close while still getting stuff done around the house or out on the town.  Tulas are top of the line when it comes to carriers.  They come in both standard and toddler sizes, are fully adjustable for mamas and papas of all body types, and come in some beautiful prints and patterns.  The sale is good for both the STANDARD and the TODDLER sizes but only the standard size orders get the free Ju-Ju-Be fuel cell (bottle holder).  Toddler orders have a special attached to them too, a free grab bag of Begin Again toys valued at $35 dollars! Can you say stocking stuffers? 


Now this is an exciting offer.  If you are one of the first 15 orders (over $75) than you'll receive a free one size (meaning it is adjustable) all-in-one (meaning simply snap on and go) THIRSTIES diaper. Thirsties makes a fantastic all-in-one and the fun black with white trim design is perfect for your little hipster.  

This is only a sneak peak at the Black Friday deals that we have planned.  Make sure to follow our FACEBOOK page to stay updated on all the sales that come out.  

Happy Shopping! 



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meal Plan 11.17.14

I'm trying out some new things this week and hoping to up our veggie intake in the process.  I'll let you know how it goes!  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and pumpkin walnut muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 11/17/14

Monday: Pumpkin Chili and cornbread

Tuesday: 1 pot chicken parmesan, salad, and garlic bread 

Wednesday: Pancakes and bacon

Thursday: Baked potato soup but with smoked sausage instead of ham and salad

Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we'll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Leftovers and salad

Sunday: Tacos 

What are you serving up this week?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meal Plan 11.10.14

It's another birthday week, this time Tilly's! We are planning a little celebration on Friday so that means i'm spending pretty much every night this week getting pizza, cupcakes, and what not put together.  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and mixed veggie muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 11/10/14

Monday: Scrambled eggs with cheese and veggies

Tuesday: Baked haddock with confetti rice 

Wednesday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Thursday: Baked chicken tenders with sweet potato fries

Friday: Tilly's birthday celebration (pizza, salad, cupcakes)

Saturday: Leftover pizza and salad

Sunday: Pumpkin pancakes and apple sauce

What are you serving up this week?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

11.3.14 meal plan

Well, we started off this morning with snow flurries and that may have influenced this meal plan a bit...can you say soup?  I'll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.



Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and english muffins.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we'll have a "breakfast for dinner" night once a week and at least one "meatless meal".  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don't want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.

Week of 11/03/14

Monday: Creamy tomato and tortellini soup, garlic bread

Tuesday: Salmon patties with mac & cheese and veggies

Wednesday: Turkey bacon ranch melts on homemade garlic herb bread and corn

Thursday: Pancakes and sausage with apple sauce

Friday: Date night for Ian's birthday (a week late), Tilly will hang out with gamma-gamma (that's Tilly-speak for grandma and grandpa) 

Saturday: Hamburgers, fries and salad

Sunday: Chicken and stuffing casserole 

What are you serving up this week?

Scenes From the Homestead: Fall


The weather here has been so wacky lately.  Its been generally much warmer than I'm used to this time of year.  It's made it really hard to get in the fall spirit when I'm still wearing short sleeves to work most days.  None the less, we managed to stay busy and find some fall fun.


Tilly had lots of fun going on a hayride and picking out a pumpkin.  We brought the one she chose home and painted it (think abstract art).  In a week or so we'll have some sensory fun with the pumpkin guts before feeding it to the chickens.


We took another fall field trip to the orchard to pick apples.  We came home with 45 pounds of apples which, after a few late nights, we canned as apple sauce.  I'm hoping that lasts us through the winter but seeing as I just popped open our second jar, I'm doubtful we'll make it that long.  What can I say? We take our apple sauce very seriously, it's pretty much it's own food group.


A random cold snap (love that New England weather) forced me to pull my tomatoes before a lot of them were green.  We decided to test out an old wives tale that putting them in with an apple will cause them to ripen and it seems to be working.  I only have a few more tomatoes left to turn red and then it will be time can them all up.  We are planning on canning plain tomato puree this year so that we can use it in different sauces and soup.  


What is fall without a corn maze? We visited a local corn maze with friends and had a great time searching for all the clues to complete a dog themed puzzle.  It was a lot of fun and we even had some chilly fall weather for the day so we could wear our sweaters (and take more authentic looking pictures).   

*What has your family been up to this fall?