$6.00 Rocking Chair Cushions & Matching Moses Basket Liner

This past weekend has been a snowy one for New England. I ended up staying home from work Saturday after a snow storm dropped 6″ overnight and my morning class was cancelled. This gave me ample time to finish the sewing project I had been mentally obsessing over all week.

Ta-da!

image image Continue reading “$6.00 Rocking Chair Cushions & Matching Moses Basket Liner”

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How I saved $1,150.57 shopping for Baby

I’ve become a baby-prepper, that’s probably the best way to put it. With 4 months to go until Baby arrives, I found myself tossing at night and laying awake, mentally shopping, organizing, washing, folding and packing baby things. While I know four months is plenty of time to gather everything I needed, apparently my brain never got that memo. Continue reading “How I saved $1,150.57 shopping for Baby”

2014 . . . What a year!

With only a few days left until we welcome in 2015, it’s time to look back on another year. I feel like we all say it, but don’t the years just go by so much faster nowadays? It seems like every time we blink, it’s another year gone and it feels like there was so much left undone!

Every New Year’s Eve, my husband and I write-up new resolutions, well in our case, they are more like goals, for the year. Things we want to achieve or learn, places we want to visit, etc. We usually end up combining our goals into one “master list” since the end up being so similar, or are things we say “oh yeah, I want to do that too!”. We’re one of those couples that are not an example of opposites attract. We’re so much alike its gross, and have this obnoxiously adorable habit of saying the same things at the same time. I know, I know. . . enough of the ooey-gooey gross stuff 😉

Anyway, before I sit down and start adding goals to the growing list in my head for 2015, I thought I would look back and see how we did on our goals for last year:

1) Develop a regular exercise routine

Done! I can happily say I developed a good routine. This was cemented in place after I got a positive pregnancy test too. The only trick now is changing my work outs up enough to keep me entertained!

2) Clean & de-clutter the house (and basement!)

Well, I would say we got this one about half done. Is my basement clean? HA! Not even close. But we did do a lot of cleaning upstairs, and threw out or donated a ton of stuff. With out second floor so close to completion (it literally just needs the floor!), we’re even closer to reorganizing the house as we stage it to sell, which will help us really complete this goal.

3) Read at least three books

Done! I think this one was more for my husband – I want to read everything in sight! But I found a bunch of books for him over the year that caught his interest, and we even read a few together at night before bed, one of my favorite pastimes! 😉  (I know, I’m such a grandma haha)

4) Find “The Farm”

Ah, #4. Well, as you know we did not end up listing our house this year, so we have yet to find “The Farm” for us. But this will be one of our main focuses for 2015!

5) Open an Etsy store

Hurray! I was able to open my Etsy store in June, I believe. And while I haven’t made millions overnight, I’ve enjoyed filling orders and talking to customers about products we sell and custom options.

6) Study bird identification & bird calls

Eh. Ok. I would love to say we did this, but no “studying” was done. We did some bird look-ups when we were out on the boat or hiking around which sort of counts, but wasn’t as much as I intended when I wrote that one down. Oh well… I’ll roll this one forward to 2015 too.

7) Improve plant identification skills (particularly, mushrooms)

Epic fail. I wanted to learn to recognize mushrooms this year, but ended up not looking up a single one! On to 2015!!

8) Hike & bike frequently (long-term goal: one day to hike the Appalachian trail. Ok, just part of it at least!)

My husband and I got out a good deal this year which was great. And I am continuing to bike since my bicycle is indoors now and hooked up to the trainer. With Baby coming next year, we’ll post pone our Appalachian trail trip, but it will be even better in a few years when we have a curious little one to tag along!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

As you can see, we had some major success with our list, and some complete failures. I can’t tell you that I “forgot” what was on the list, as convenient as that would be, because I taped it to the mirror in my bedroom! We also had some great things that happened in 2014 that weren’t on our “official” list:

1) We completed the CT Wine Trail and got passport stamps from all but one of the vineyards. I am so glad we were able to get this done. Now we know which ones we would like to revisit in the future. We also got it done just in time, since I got pregnant almost immediately after!

2) We saw not one, but TWO Bald Eagles! WOW!

3) We visited three new lakes with our boat this year, and with our new fish finder /GPS, we were able to map them out. The GPS saves the maps which is awesome, so we will have them any time we return to those lakes.

4) We mapped out the entire lake where our family’s small cabin is too, so we “officially” know all the deep and shallow spots.

5) We completed our upstairs renovation … Ok, so maybe it isn’t 100% done, but there are such little things left to do, that I am giving this hefty achievement to 2014.

6) We reduced our debt and bills incredibly! Being able to replace my old car AND pay off the new one was a big step. We’ve also consolidated so many plans, finally got rid of the cable again, and have focused intently on saving and paying off the last of our credit cards. We’ll be feeling good for 2015 and we are even closer to getting rid of the “unnecessary” debts like credit cards.

7) Last but never least… BABY! We were by no means “trying”, but we couldn’t say we weren’t trying either. We left it up to nature and said it’ll happen when it happens. Well… it happened! Initially it was a little scary, knowing us two goof-balls would know have a mini-us to take care of all the time, but now I love the peanut already and can’t wait for his/her arrival! 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

I know there were so many other things that we achieved this year that I just can’t remember. 2014 had its down points, its devastating losses as we said goodbye to two of our beloved family members, and had its share of frustrations and struggles. But as bad as those times can be, I always marvel at the lessons we learn and the strengths we develop because of them. It makes all those great times so much sweeter.

As I get ready to write down goals & resolution for 2015, I am already wondering what unexpected success, triumphs and struggles will come our way. I just hope that next year slows down a little . .. I’m not ready to write 2016’s list out yet! =)

Diaper Bag DIY

So I may or may not have mentioned yet that my husband and I are expecting our first child in June 2015! =)

With Baby on the way, a flurry of projects have been coming off my sewing machine and knitting needles since those little lines first appeared. One of the things that I started looking for was a “cool” diaper bag. I didn’t want something that was ugly or bland, but it couldn’t look like a woman’s purse either — that would just be cruel to do to my husband!

Continue reading “Diaper Bag DIY”

Happy New Year

ImageMy husband and I are not the going-out type. For our new year’s celebration, we went about an hour and half north of where we live, to our family’s cabin. It’s a small, out-dated cabin in a very seculded, thickly wooded area on a small lake. It’s generally the family’s summer retreat – parents, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents – everyone flocks there during the summer to relax and cool off. No one however, make the winter trip up there. Because of it’s secluded location, there is no running water and no heat, so we end up being the only ones there during the winter.
We fire up the wood buring stove as soon as we arrive, and go out to the well to fill our water buckets for the bathroom, and boil some on the stove for cooking and cleaning. It’s a simple lifestyle we both enjoy, and it certainly makes you appreciate the things you have at home when you get back.
We watched a few old movies, snacked and talked until midnight – not without me dozing off here and there. I can’t remember the last time I stayed up till 10pm, so there was no way I was going to make it to midnight all in one stretch!

New Year’s Day was the “big event”. The lake has frozen over, a nice layer about 6″ deep. By February it will be somewhere between the 8 – 12″ mark, which I prefer as I have always been very nervous about spending time on ice. My husband went out a few yards from shore, drilled out a few ice fishing holes and set up the equipment. I happily stayed on shore, setting up the chairs and getting a nice little fire going.Image

 

For those of you who think ice fishing is probably the worst way to spend a winter’s day – trust me, I used to think the same. Last year my husband went for the first time with the same doubts – who wants to sit on a giant ice cube for hours?? When he came home, his attitude was completely different, and worse! He wanted me to go too. Are you crazy?? I don’t take to the cold well so I was more than against it. Unable to not at least try something once, I went. Our first experience was pretty bad. We arrived late evening, it was bitterly cold and windy, and I was absolutely terrified of falling through the ice. I vowed to stay indoors the next day.
Somehow I ended up out on the ice again the next day – probably bribed by the accompaning glass of wine – and ended up finding it delightful. Fishing is probably the last thing that actually gets done. The bait just hangs around at the bottom of the lines, and we just keep an eye out for the flags to pop up.
I enjoy keeping the fire going – you don’t feel the cold around you, and it keeps your mind busy. We bring snacks and a nice bottle of wine with us. Sometimes we’ll bring a card game, and we’ll sit for an hour or two and just enjoy being outdoors.

It’s a rare event to be able to sit outdoors so long in the winter, especially when it’s just hovering above 0-degrees. For us outdoorsy-people, its a nice treat and welcome reprieve from the four walls we call home.
In the end, we were able to start 2014 off right – we “caught” (I need a new term for this as you don’t really do any work to catch a fish in ice fishing other than bait a hook – maybe there already is one?) a nice little sunny. If that’s a sign of things to come, I think 2014 will be a great year!

Ice fishing anyone?

 

 

Looking forward to 2014

Hello all –

This is the first blog for out little farm. My husband and I currently reside in Connecticut on a small property. Our garden is about 30′ x 8′, where we grow most of the produce that sustains us all summer, fall and early winter. We also have coop in the garden where our three laying hens live. This was our first year keeping chickens, and we learned a lot. Like how you should never order a “straight run” of chickens, assuming you’ll only get 1 or 2 roosters, especially when you live in a close-quartered neighborhood where one nuisance complaint could cost you your chicken-keeping rights! While we were unlucky enough to get not just 1, 2 or 3 roosters, but a whopping FIVE, we were lucky enough to have neighbors  who did not complain at the occasional early morning crow.

I wanted to start this blog partly as a way to track the learning experiences that we encounter, partly to track the success and failures in our annual garden, but also to share all of those with others. It is far better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than to relive them yourself.

My husband and I have several goals for the upcoming new year. As much  as we love our little house, we want to have far more outdoor space whre we can enjoy some privacy, raise more chickens, expand our garden and hopefully take on a goat or two. We want to increase our knowledge and skill as far as canning and preserving our annual harvests so that we aren’t struck with the ever expanding grocery bill as we deplete our few stores when winter arrive.

Eating better, making healthier lifestyle choices and simply enjoying all that nature has to offer is an on-going goal, but I think we are ready to implement a few more changes to our diets and routines.

I hope to gain some readership so we can share ideas, compare methods and exchange advice. I certainly have plenty left to learn, so here’s to 2014 – may it be a year of learning, joy and great successes!

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