January 29, 2017

Seed Starting and Reusing Toilet Paper Rolls for Good

I'm late on starting seeds.  ACK!!!  By now I already have sprouts.  But not this year.  Yesterday, I finally got some seeds started.

For the last couple months I have been saving every toilet paper roll.  I've been trying to save things I know I could re-purpose.  I had abut 20 rolls.

I cut them all in half.

I cut 4 slits around the top.

Then taped the bottom.

28 halves (14 rolls) to use as little seed pods.

I looked through my seeds and picked out what I wanted to plant.

I planted beans, peas, chives, lavender, and parsley.  I also re-potted the 3 acorns my dad gave me to plant.  They didn't do anything in the other pots I had them in so I'm trying again.  
Hopefully it's not too late.

Seeds make me happy.  Sprouts make me Happier.  :)

I covered all with seed starting soil and watered real good.

I had some sprouted potatoes in the pantry.  I cut off the sprouts and planted here.

Mice in the Shed

The other week, I noticed the flock block my girls got from their Grandparents for Christmas had some pieces falling out of the package.  It was a rainy day and I was going to set it up in the coop run for the girls since they were going to be cooped up all day.

I knew right away it was mice.  I've seen droppings here and there in the shed but I've never seen a mouse or seen damage from one.

A pretty good chunk was missing.

I put the block in the coop in it's hanging basket so the chickens wouldn't be bored.  They loved pecking at this block.  It was gone within a few days.  I need to get them another one for snowy/rainy days when they stay in the coop and run.

I cleaned up the mess the mice made and organized a little.

This morning, while in the shed getting treats for the girls I noticed a new mess on the shelf.  Right away I knew the mice have been having a feast on my dime.  The mealworms aren't cheap.  They are $25 per bag.  I was mad.

Look at the hole.  I know the mice need food too and are just trying to survive.

I got some plastic containers and emptied the packages.

Here's the mealworms and cracked corn in the containers.

I had so much corn so I filled it up in some empty peanut containers.  Glad I kept the peanut containers.  I knew they'd come in handy.

If you're wondering what the cayenne pepper is for.  I sprinkle it in the layer feed with garlic powder and dried basil.  It's good for the girls.  Natural dewormers.  :)

Then I saw the mice also got in my basket and stole pumpkin seeds.

This actually made me laugh.  Who knew mice liked pumpkin seeds.

Mice are smart animals being able to open packages like those.

I cleaned up all the messes and made sure there was no packages and that everything was in some sort of container.  I also swept the shed out real good.

Mealworm Colony

I saw someone selling mealworms on Craigslist.  I'd been thinking for some time about getting some and starting my own colony.  I spend a lot of money on dried mealworms for my four girls.  (backyard chickens)

Last week, I got them.  I paid $5.00 for 500 mealworms.

Here they are.

I already had a 3 drawer container that I wasn't really using anymore so I cleaned it out.  I set it up on the dresser in a spare room where I want to keep them.

I bought some corn meal and some carrots.

I put the cornmeal in the bottom for the worms bedding.  I also cut up some cardboard and a carrot and threw it in there.  Then I added the mealworms.

The mealworms seem to love their little home. 

I added a potato a few days ago.  They seem to be doing great.  The mealworms sound funny when you listen to them.  It's like rice krispies in a bowl.  Snap, crackle, pop.  haha  I have the bin covered so it stays nice and dark for them.  

I check in on them once a day.  They just do their thing.  :)

January 28, 2017

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

The other night while on Pinterest I came across a blog with a recipe for Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies.  It sounded amazing and I decided to make it for dinner tonight.  I did my own take.

You will need:

-Baby red potatoes
-Sirloin Steak (cut into strips)
-Olive Oil
-Minced Garlic
-Sea Salt
-Black Pepper
-Lemon juice
-Soy Sauce (splash)
-W Sauce (splash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash potatoes and boil them for about 15 minutes.  Cut sirloin into strips and in a pan cook with some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, soy and w sauces.    Drain the potatoes.  In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and broccoli with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add to pam sprayed pan.  Put steak strips on pan and bake in oven for 20-30 minutes.

My husband loved this.  It smelled good cooking and the flavors were amazing.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other night, I wanted something sweet but I didn’t want to make a ton of something.  So, I made a small batch of my award winning homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Half a batch will make 12 medium cookies or 6 large.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (soft)
1 egg (backyard chicken fresh)
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (homemade)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 baking soda
1 1/4 chocolate chips
Mix the sugars and butter until fluffy with a hand mixer.  Add egg and mix.  Then mix in the water and vanilla.  Set bowl aside.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda with a fork.  Using your hand mixer, slowly add the dry mix into the wet until combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Scoop dollops of cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake on 350 for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Once done let sit on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.  Store in tupperware with a piece of bread to keep them soft.

Chicken Feather Wreath

What do you do when you have a lot of chicken feathers?  You get crafty and I made a wreath using the feathers.

It turned out pretty cute and it was easy to make.

All you need:
*Wreath base  (I got at the dollar tree)

*Feathers (preferably from chickens)

*And a Hot Glue Gun with Glue sticks.  (not pictured)
Arrange the feathers on the wreath and start gluing.  
Let dry and then you can hang.  SIMPLE!!

Letter from my Ellie

My sister sent me a letter the other week.  It was a letter my niece wanted to write me.  
She had my sister write it out because she’s only 3.  It's adorable to see the world through a child.  I love her!

January 22, 2017

My Pretty Amelia

For those who don't know...This is Amelia my pretty gold laced wyandotte chicken.  Look at her cute little face.  🙂  I took this picture before work one morning a few weeks ago.  I gave her a quick health check and set her on top of her swing set.  She just sat there and the sun was beaming down on her and she just looked beautiful.  She’s such a sweet and kind chicken.  Isn’t she gorgeous?

Elderberry Syrup Workshop

On Sunday, I was invited to an Elderberry Syrup Workshop.  I had heard about it but I wanted to know more.  Elderberries are a natural immune booster and this time of year with colds and the flu going you need something a little extra to help you.
It was a small group of women.  Some couldn’t make it because of the snow we had.  I learned a lot, met some nice ladies and had some fun.
I also tried a brownie that was made with beans.  What?  And it did indeed taste like a brownie.  🙂  (Recipe for the brownies:  Puree a can of black beans, and add it to any boxed/ or homemade brownie mix.  You can add two drops of peppermint essential oil if you’d like.  If you want you could use a gluten free box or the immaculate brand of brownie mix because it has less sugar, etc.  Or in your homemade brownie mix you can use Gluten Free flour instead of regular flour.  The black beans take place of the liquids and egg used).
Here’s Rachel telling us where to purchase the Elderberries and Echinacea.  (I’ve linked it for you if you’re interested).

We watched Rachel and Cat (the hosts) make the syrup.  It’s only 6 ingredients and you know what exactly is in it.
The 6 ingredients:
  • Elderberries
  • Echincacea
  • Ginger root
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Distilled Water
  • Raw Honey
After the syrup was made and cooled the honey was then added.  The syrup was put into jars.  We all got to take a jar home.

Here’s my jar.

I tried it yesterday morning with my husband.  I will be honest and say that I had water ready to go just in case.  haha  It was so good.  All I tasted was honey.  I’m going to be sure to take a spoonful every day and see how I do.

During the workshop we also talked about different teas, and other concoctions you can make with apple cider vinegar.  We even learned about activated charcoal.  Who knew all this existed?  Natural remedies are the way to go.

Chickens First Snow 2017

The chickens went out to explore in the snow.  They did some sunbathing on the deck in the sunshine.  

They had some conversations with the kitten, Tyrion.  haha  I think they were wondering why he was inside and they were not.

Molly following me to get treats and food.  You can see Grace on top of the coop.

Here’s Grace up close.  She’s wondering if all this snow is my doing.

I had to pick up Buttercup and Grace and carry them to the coop one night because they refused to walk in the snow.  haha  They are so silly.  They did not like it one bit and I don't blame them.

Tyrion Is Spoiled

It’s okay to spoil your pets right?  Of course it is.  Who doesn’t spoil their fur babies?
I found some awesome toys at Five Below and a few things for him at the Dollar Tree.
The above picture is of a cat tunnel.  It’s got cute paw prints on it.  It was only $4 at Five Below and they had several designs you could choose from.
Below is a mouse chaser with a scratch pad I also found at Five Below for $5.  Yes, Tyrion is wearing a little shirt I found at the Dollar tree for just $1.  It says “Heart Breaker” on it.  🙂  I also found an adorable plush cheeseburger toy for $1.  He carries it around the house.  It’s so funny.

And because kittens are curious and want to play with everything…he managed to find my nieces ‘basket of fun’ the other night.  Here he is playing with Curious George.

He also found another toy.  This is an Alvin and the Chipmunks plush ball.  I hope my niece doesn’t mind him playing with these.  haha

Christmas 2016

I hope you had a wonderful and happy Christmas.
The above picture is of Molly on Christmas morning.  She was following me around singing and I picked her up and put a Christmas bow on her so of course I had to take her picture.
The girls had their stockings ready for Santa.  All they wanted was meal worms, sunflower seeds, and un-salted peanuts.  🙂  Of course, they got what they wanted.  They always do.

And that's okay that they get what they want because they lay me eggs.