7 Things You Should Know Before Getting Backyard Chickens

We’ve been the proud owners of backyard chickens for 2 ½ years now.  Although we don’t know it all, we have learned a few unexpected things about this venture.  If you are debating about buying some peeps and taking the plunge, here's what to know about backyard chickens.  A few helpful tips that may help you make your decision. There’s definitely many benefits to owning these enjoyable and funny birds, and we are still very happy with ours.  However, there are both good and bad aspects to having them roam your backyard. # 1 - They Will Trash Your Yard First up for what to know about backyard chickens:  Let’s talk about that backyard.  Prepare yourself, cause the girls are gonna trash it. Sure, you could keep your backyard chickens in their coop at all times.  It would certainly be tidier.  But in order to get the full benefit of those extra-nutrient rich, free range eggs - you gotta let the girls out. The upside is that they have so much fun around the yard.  … [Read more...]

Papa Murphy’s Law Brings Calm to my Hectic Week

I work a full time job, have two young kids, and adore pursing my blogging hobby.  My schedule does allow me to have Fridays off of work. It’s my blissful catch-up day!  As a mini-celebration of the weekend’s arrival, we eat pizza every Friday night.  Our absolute favorite choice is Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza. Papa Murphy’s Law:  The exact opposite of Murphy’s Law!  When life serves you chaos, Papa Murphy’s Law of Delicious is your solution.  An easy food option made from fresh, quality ingredients allows peace to reign at dinnertime. Sure, I could cook dinner on Friday night.  But by the end of our hectic week, and my finally having a chance to tidy up the house… I love just custom ordering a fresh pizza for my family. No mess.  No fuss.  Super fresh ingredients.  Everyone gets exactly what they want.  A calm, relaxing Friday night together at home!  Papa Murphy’s Law works like a dream for us. Gourmet Pizza for the Parents, Mini Murph® for the Kids Once we learned … [Read more...]

5 Clever Strategies for Packing School Lunch

It's official:  my Little has started kindergarten!  Among other things, this means I am now packing two school lunches every day. Oh joy. So when I received these clever tips on packing school lunches, I actually read them.  Written by Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind, she makes some great suggestions here. #1 ~ Breakfast is the most important meal of the day Focus on fresh fruit, purified water, protein, and fiber while kids are in the comfort of their home. Fuel them up with a simple smoothie that is quick to make and satisfies their nutrient needs. I like blending yogurt, banana, strawberries, milk, baby spinach and touch of honey. If smoothies aren’t their thing, try a snack plate with cut up cheese, berries, wholegrain crackers or bread. This wakes their bodies and brains up in a healthy way and will sustain them for the long day ahead. #2 ~ Who Say’s Leftovers Are a No No? Whole grain pancakes for lunch? If it’s good enough for breakfast, why … [Read more...]

Why It’s Vital to Know Your Stuff… Plus a Free Home Inventory Tool

Have you or a family friend ever experienced a home fire, or weather catastrophe that left extensive property damage?  It’s an extremely stressful time, and not something I’d wish on anyone. It's not a topic you may think about often.  But it could definitely pay off in the future, if you simply take some time today to think about gathering a home inventory.   Better yet, read on to find out about a free tool you can use to easily do so. Why It’s Vital to Know Your Stuff Our good friends recently went through this with a house fire.  Once the smoke damage was accounted for, their entire home and all its contents were considered a loss.  Fortunately, they had insurance to help them with replacements. Before watching them go through such a sad and stressful experience, I had never thought about it.  Can you imagine attempting to remember each and every one of your belongings, in such a scenario?  Where would you even begin? Having a good home inventory can be a vital step, … [Read more...]

Home Remodeling and Renovation Ideas

In the past, you could buy a new home at a lesser price than when you had your old home remodeled. But today, the opposite is true. Many homeowners are planning remodeling projects to ensure they have more livable space. If you want to make your home energy efficient and eco-friendly, here are some good reasons to invest in the remodeling; Decreased costs The costs of remodeling are low. As new constructions are on hold, remodeling bids have become competitive. Over the past few years, remodeling costs have decreased by 30% Improved project timelines As the materials are more accessible, remodeling your home can be done faster than in the past. Also, contractors and designers are readily available to do the projects, and you should no longer have to wait for up to 18 months to get the remodeling done. Accessible and cheaper remodeling materials When there is a boom in construction, the cost of materials is inflated leading to delays in the completion of projects. Therefore, … [Read more...]

Robert Medina’s “If You Can’t Stand the Heat” ~ Cookbook & Seasoning [Giveaway, Ended 12/19]

An adventure and a tasty delight, retired firefighter Robert Medina brings classic New Orleans fare as well as many original firefighter recipes right to your anywhere kitchen with the cookbook "If You Can't Stand the Heat". I walked away from this review with a number of things I now value.  My first roux making experience.  A recipe for my new favorite spice combination (Flashover Seasoning - more on that below).  A new, interesting, and fun Disney-loving friend acquired.  Oh, and how could I forget... finally knowing how to make some amazing fish tacos at home! I met cookbook author Robert Medina on Twitter.  There he was, just tweeting away about Disney (kinda like me).  His profile intrigued me:  He is a retired New Orleans firefighter, now living close to the Magic in Florida.  I just had to check out his recipes in If You Can't Stand the Heat for myself. If You Can't Stand the Heat ~ Firehouse Origins If you've ever known any firefighters, you know they have long shifts … [Read more...]

Easy Handmade Baby Gift for $15

Looking for a guaranteed hit gift, that you can easily craft from hand for around $15?   Try making a fleece, no-sew, kid-or-baby blanket. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes

Is there anything more detectible in Fall than eating warm comfort foods containing PUMPKIN?  These Pumpkin Buttermilk pancakes are so amazing, that I just had to share the Food Love! I don't recall where the recipe came from, and I usually end up modifying things like this to use 1/2 whole wheat flour - so below is the version I've come up with for my family.   Using whole wheat flour makes them healthier and keeps you feeling fuller, longer. Quick comment regarding use of whole wheat flour.  If you don't like, or aren't use to, the stronger taste of whole wheat - I have two options you could try.   You can usually find "whole wheat pastry flour" at your local health food grocer.  It is ground finer and has a great, milder flavor.  Or there is a lighter, but still whole grain, option called "white whole wheat".  Our local Walmart stocks one called Prairie Gold, by the Wheat Montana Farms & Bakery company.  Also very mild, it hardly seems like wheat at all. Also, when … [Read more...]

Got latte?

It was actually the Latte Craze of the 90s that got me hooked on coffee.  Up until that point, I was a Diet Coke in the morning to get me going girl.  Aaahhh .... lattes.   The transition drug.  Add to the equation that I had a good friend working at a Starbucks roasting factory in Washington who didn't like coffee, and so forwarded me care packages containing assortments of her employee free pound of coffee per week.  Oh, my.  That'll get you hooked.  I quickly was. Fortunately for me, I ran in a cheap (broke) circle of 20 something singles who made their own lattes.  So this has pretty much been par for the course for me over the years.   However, two years ago I upgraded to a nicer machine with a pump pressure system.  This isn't a Product Review - this is me sharing one of my Favorite Things in Life with you!   … [Read more...]

Ever Tried a Cookie Exchange Party?

I enjoy an excuse to invite girlfriends over on a Saturday afternoon, and about once a year I host some sort of home sales party as an excuse to do so.  The downside being, you know there are always some people who don't feel comfortable with the sales aspect of such situations, so they end up staying home and missing out on the fun of visiting and eating treats with your friends.Enter the cookie exchange party!  I recently saw an offer on Hershey's newly launched Cookie Headquarters Website that you could enter to host a cookie exchange party.  So I gave it a shot.  This is the supply pack I received from them.Cookie making ingredients, recipe card and pastry box party favors, and an apron for me! I love this idea.  Make a few of your favorite cookies or bars, then get together with friends to visit and trade goodies - and everyone leaves with a fun, tasty assortment of treats!  I know this is something … [Read more...]