Wednesday, July 29, 2015

garden + homestead update {july 2015}

so you may remember that i had big - big dreams for my garden this summer. well, it is interesting when real life happens and how much work just one or two of your {other} big visions take...

this summer we've focused our extra time and energy on a few home projects and our lovely little chickens.

this means i haven't moved our garden beds to a sunnier spot yet. nor have i planted them. i'm dedicating more of my food growth/prep time to canning and using up {or putting up} what our great CSA brings us. we were early adopters of one of our local CSAs and man after a few years of working out what to supply they are bringing the veggies I tell you!

so as to what we've actually done this summer with our garden plans... our coop is perfect! my husband out did himself this time and i love how it has turned out. we even cleared a little portion of our back yard to place the girls back in a mostly shady area that we think they really enjoy {think low branches for roosting and pine needles for scratching}. we are into a great little routine with our girls and they've decided that i am the source of food and my husband is the source of loud, unpredictable noises - such as mowing the lawn, or general wood-maker/saw sounds. it is pretty great. i love the chickens just as much as i thought i would.

we have a few finishing touches to put on the coop + run. so i'll just have to promise a super tour sometime soon.

as for what's next... i'm thinking about canning up local tomatoes, hoping for the time to make roasted red pepper ketchup and then maybe even making a year's worth of salsa.

how about you, enjoying summer's bounty? what are you growing? canning?

*I'm happy to also note that I just added this blog post to the {Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #10} click ::here:: to check out some of the great posts featured on this link up!

Monday, July 27, 2015

sew lovely::a few significant stitches

i had gotten into a bit of a sewing rut. where many other things always seemed more important of a task and i just didn't get out my machine.

plenty of little project ideas, and even all the materials to do them.

but yesterday. that was the day. the day to put a few stitches on the studio curtains. 

short. simple. needed.

needed for me. and for those windows.

how about you? any good stitches lately? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

around these parts {+ on my bookshelf}

happiest Wednesday to you!

i've been getting into several books this summer season!

which makes me oh so happy. 

::most recently i read::

Still Alice by Lisa Genova...

i really enjoyed this book and read it in like a day and a half. highly i recommend it. but i did get fairly emotional during reading.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

i also enjoyed this book. it was a longer read and i enjoyed getting lost in a few chapters - reading for an hour or two at a time. i don't often put this much time forth in reading, but since it is summer break i thought i deserved a little quiet afternoon reading in our sunny chair.

okay, now, let's go grab a book + read...

i have The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright patiently waiting to be picked up!

Monday, July 20, 2015

moments in the kitchen :: summer kitchen fun

okay my dears! we are in the thick of it... summer kitchen excitement!

i've been busy with pickling, smoothie + kombucha making and veggie chopping a plenty. i think it is time for sharing some links as a way to celebrate july in the kitchen...

making the best refrigerator dill pickles known to the history of cucumbers. {even my dear gal pal kaytie thinks so!}

trying out this banana ketchup recipe and making enough to freeze a jar.

and considering making this mango jam recipe to be showcased during an upcoming brunch at our house.

How about you? Loving some summertime cooking in the kitchen? I'd love to know more about it!

**I added this post to Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #9...  click on over to check out all the fun links!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Local Love: The Toasted Oat {Columbus, Ohio}

A real treat of a post today, folks.

I'm sharing about a little bit of sweet that I just plain love!

Yes! Ohio made granola by The Toasted Oat is a darling treat for yourself. The perfect topping for yogurt. Or a really great gift idea! 

It is soft, chewy and sweet. Entirely gluten free and this granola comes in four delicious flavors! {Peanut+Raisin; White Chocolate+Macadamia; Blueberry+Flax; Cashew+Apricot}   

I love the little canister and now I'm so excited that it is being sold in Kroger Stores in Ohio. I typically try to buy the most local items that I can and sometimes I shop at big box stores {I am guilty of a relaxing trip to Target at least once a month!} so when I find local goodies at those bigger-store chains I am sure to purchase and support their choice in keeping those local brands in stock. {I suppose it is still best to purchase as direct as possible, but supporting local options in those big box stores helps your favorite makers/bakers/farmers supply their specialty goods to even more people!}

My favorite granola from The Toasted Oat is White Chocolate+Macadamia... taste it and you won't be surprised that it is!
::Please note that this post is entirely of my thoughts. I did not receive any gifts or any prompting to promote this specific product or brand. This blog series is to celebrate the great products that are made in my home state of Ohio. The photos on this post are mine. ::

Monday, July 13, 2015

cleaners i like to make at home

Oh summer! My perfect season for a serious cleaning around the house. 

During the month of June I was able to organize and deep clean many spaces in our home {as well as a huge declutter!}. 

All of my work made me want to share some of my favorite resources + links of cleaners I like to make at home...

My favorite home cleaners to make {from Young House Love}

the DIY foaming hand soap recipe I use {thanks Katie from Wellness Mama!}

a super podcast from Pure Green Magazine 'Detox Your Cleaning with Authors of Homemade Cleaners'... I actually tried a few of the tips/recipes the very day I listened. Very inspiring!

Put on some good tunes, grab a rag and get to it friends! I've been seriously digging some 
Pokey LaFarge this summer - be prepared to dance while dusting :)

Happy Cleaning!

**I'm happy to also note that I just added this blog post to the {Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #8} click ::here:: to check out some of the great posts featured on this link up! Thanks Tracy for hosting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

around these parts {midsummer vibes}

it is getting to that part of the summer... where i'm slightly worried it will slip away from me just a bit too quickly.  it might have something to do with how fast my chicks are growing into chickens... 

i'm loving all the fresh summer produce, and long walks through the neighborhood and town

i'm also pretty proud of how much running i've been able to put in our routine!
it might be my pup's favorite part of this summer. 

 okay, july please don't fly like june did...

happy Wednesday friends!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Completion of a 30 Day Declutter {Part 2}

yes, today i'm declaring a happy dance dedicated to my second 30 day declutter! this time i removed 465 unneeded things from my life! {read about my first work and triumph here + here}

i did a few things different this round of the 'minimalist game'...

1. i did it {mostly} on my own. 
my husband added an item or two here or there when he found something he really wanted us to get rid of. but this was a more personal quest.
2. i declared a war on all clutter in my life - not just my home. 
i pulled unneeded things not only from my closet - but also the car as well as my classroom {many of my desk drawers and shelves are already super ready for the fall!}
3. i did some painful separation with clothing.
i have been thru my closets about a million times this year. i'm getting down to many favorites - or clothing items that i just really want to be my favorites. but somethings don't wear as nicely as they used to, or don't wash well anymore. i've let many past favorites go because i truly don't wear them anymore for some of these reasons.
4. i made it part of my tasks while tidying/setting up rooms in our home.
many of you might have read how i am creating a studio space for myself. it is currently in working order! which also means i intend to keep it that way - tossing out and donating goods that i just don't want happens as soon as i touch those materials. or on the flip side, hanging up/displaying favorite things as soon as i touch them remind me why i am trimming away the things i don't truly love.

what have you been doing to keep your home happy + healthy? i'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

being mindful of your marriage

good morning friends,

i've been spending some time feeling grateful for my relationship and friendship with my husband.  i guess that i am now ready to have a conversation about marriage here on the blog. i haven't discussed much about the specific importance of keeping your marriage high on your list of priorities before. i guess never felt i was far enough along in my marriage to speak out. but then i realized that i've been with my husband for ten years. that is fair length of time. we are very fortunate to have found each other and have done a good job of continuing our friendship over the years. and for those of you more seasoned wives + husbands out there, well, please continue this conversation in the comments...

i believe that being mindful of your marriage is an important part of daily life. keeping a strong line of communication, friendship and reminding each other of that dedication you have is vital to the growth and continuing happiness of you both as a couple. i am sure this looks different for most couples. it might mean that in order to grow together a couple should actually take the time to eat dinner together. or maybe a couple will find that they need an opportunity to spend an afternoon stepping away from all of the typical responsibilities. maybe it means you suspend a vacation in order to do a specific project together. i guess i feel that it all comes down to communication. communicating what each person needs and what the relationship needs.

let's proceed with a few reminders - it is always good to have a few reminders...

it is important to:
+ notice the good stuff
+ put forth the effort when you can
+ be forgiving
+ do something that isn't about you
+ put away your technology
+ speak up when you need to
+ reread those old love letters

and now, indulge me for a second with these two more elaborate notes:
+ wear your special token once and again
something i love is that my husband wears his wedding ring daily. i know several couples that one of the biggest issues they struggle with is whether or not the mate wears their wedding ring. now, maybe this isn't your thing, but if you have special tokens that your significant other gave you they will love seeing you wear it on a random wednesday or on your next big date night out.
+ be appreciative
say 'thank you' once in awhile. your partner works hard to care for you, and whether or not you feel that they are obligated to do so it is good to notice their efforts or return an effort. yes, we all need to help out but it shouldn't go unnoticed how much work it can be to take care of the people in your daily life.

i suppose that is all for today... oh, this month is our wedding anniversary! maybe i'll have a thing or two more to say in the name of love after we celebrate our fourth wedded year! :)

** the photos in this post were taken on our wedding day by Life in Balance Photography - who we loved working with + would recommend over and over again! **