Sunday, January 11, 2015

Moving

A New (England) Life is moving!  After a lot of thought and a lot of yelling at my computer we have moved the site to wordpress.  

The whole blog has been transferred so all of your favorite posts are there and waiting for you.  I'm still playing around with it a bit but it's ready enough for you to take a look at it.

*Note the name change:


I'll be leaving the blogger site up for a little while longer but it will eventually be deleted and I won't be posting anything new here.  Make sure you switch over so you don't miss anything! 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Meal Plan 1.5.14

Holiday break is over and it's time to get back into our routine.  I tried to do a good amount of prep work over the break so that weeknights will be a little easier for us.  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 zucchini bread.

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 01/05/15

Monday: Cheesy Smoked Sausage Skillet and salad

Tuesday: Salmon patties, couscous and salad

Wednesday: Green chili casserole 

Thursday: Egg sandwiches and homemade applesauce

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

Saturday: Leftovers or grilled cheese sandwiches and mixed veggies

Sunday:  Crock pot chicken and smashed potatoes

What are you serving up this week?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Homestead Goals for 2015


We aren't big new years resolution people.  We'd rather set some small attainable goals to work towards over the course of the year.  Think of it as our yearly to-do list, man I love crossing things off a to-do list.
Our overall goal for life here on the homestead is to be as self-sufficient and sustainable as possible.  In order to get closer to that goal in 2015 we've planned out the following "to-do list".  

Expand the garden...again
The garden did get expanded last year but there is still room for more.  There are two trees that are preventing the garden from getting as much sun as we'd like so, they are coming down! I'm also toying with the idea of replacing the flowers in front of the house with herbs (roman chamomile, echinacea, and calendula most likely).   

Harvest the four older chickens
It's the circle of life my friends, the 4 older hens are getting old and aren't laying as consistently as they once were.  They have served us well over the years and it's time for them to serve us one last time.   This will be a new and important skill for us to learn and I'm grateful to have friends to help. 

Add to the flock
We just added 4 younger hens to our flock and are planning on adding some more come spring.  8 or 9 total is an ideal number for us, providing us with enough eggs plus extra to sell.  


Get approval to sell home canned goods
I love to can especially jams, jellies, and pickles.  We have done a good bit of research on the state laws allowing us to sell these items and the biggest hurdle to jump is getting our kitchen inspected by the department of health.  Once they approve our kitchen then we can begin to sell at local markets and fairs.  This would be a huge step for us and I'm really excited about the possibility.  

Grow my Diaper Parties business
I am loving my work as a consultant and educator for Diaper Parties.  Teaching families about cloth diapers, babywearing, and natural baby care has been such a great opportunity for me.  It has been slow to grow and I know that I need to spend some more time and energy focused on making my business great! *Check out my store HERE

We're always been the kind of people to DREAM BIG but we are realistic enough to know that it takes time and that we are better off taking things one little step at a time.  What little steps are you taking toward your goals this year? 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

12.29.14 Meal Plan

It's the Christmas leftovers edition! Seriously, we came back from every Christmas celebration with a heap of leftovers. So, now I need to figure out what to do with all of them.  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 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 12/29/14

Monday: Ham and broccoli quiche 

Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs and salad

Wednesday: Carrot waffles (think carrot cake but not as sweet and in waffle form) apple sauce and sausage *I got a waffle maker for Christmas and I am pretty much in love

Thursday: Chicken dippers and rice with veggies

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

Saturday: Homemade meatball pizza and salad

Sunday:  Ham melts, carrot chips and pickles

What are you serving up this week?

Adding More Vegetables to Your Diet


I am always looking for ways to add vegetables (especially greens) to our diets.  We try and stick to real foods and I make as much as possible from scratch but even still greens are not easy to get past a 2 year old so i've had to get creative.

Kale Powder

Kale is my new favorite "seasoning".  I dehydrate the leaves for around 4 hours or until they are crispy.  Then I pulse them to dust in my blender.  I store this in a mason jar on my pantry shelves along side all my other seasonings and no one even notices (shh don't give away my secret).  I add this stuff by the spoonful to spaghetti sauce, meatball or meatloaf mix, casseroles, eggs...literally everything.

Green Cubes


This stemmed from needing to preserve large amounts of produce because I tend to buy a lot when it's in season and on sale.  I've used pretty much every vegetable imaginable but my favorite is a mix of broccoli, zucchini, and celery.  I give them all a quick rough chop and then throw them in my little food chopper until they are very finely diced.  Once everything is diced I fill ice cube trays with them and pop them into the freezer.  After they have frozen, I transfer them to freezer bags for long term storage.  These make cooking so easy! All I have to do is grab a couple cubes and toss them into anything that I want to add veggies to, no chopping or prep required.

How do you add more vegetables to your diet?




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!


May you have the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2015
Love,
Ian, Kailyn, Matilda, Fenway and "The Ladies" 


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mason Jar Snowmen



You might remember that I made SNOWMEN gifts last year for Christmas.  What can I say? I like snowmen.  As a family, we don't do santa claus and reindeer and elves and all that jazz so I'm partial to snowmen gifts.  They are generic enough that no one will get insulted and cute enough that everyone likes them.  Granted the whole frozen "do you want to build a snowman" thing has taken it to an extreme...confession time: I haven't seen the movie, and no I don't want to.  We don't do DISNEY EITHER.
Have I scared you off yet?  I hope not cause you are going to want to make this craft.  It is easy and cute, what more could you want?

Step 1.  Collect some old mason jar lids.  If you can a lot (like me) than you should have a ton of these laying around.  They can't be reused as canning jar lids so I am always looking for other ways to use them.  I chose 2 regular lids and 1 large mouth lid to make the snow man a little rounder at the bottom.

Step 2.  Paint both the rings and the lids white.  This will take a couple coats depending on how white you want your snowman.  I wanted them solid white but I think they would have looked very rustic and cool with just a quick whitewash as well.


Step 3.  When the paint is dry, glue the lids to the rings and then the rings to each other, using a glue gun.  At this point I looped a piece of white ribbon through the top ring of the snowman before glueing the lid in place.  This gave me a way to hang it up later.

Step 4.  Decorate your snowman.  You can be as detailed or as simple as you like.  I went with the basic face, buttons, and stick arms.  I used pom-poms, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners but you could easily paint the decorations on instead.


See, I told you it was pretty easy.  We're giving these to Tilly's day care teachers but I'm tempted to make a few more to hang in our front windows, they are just so cute!