Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Fools

I debated titling this post "We're having a baby!"

But that's an April Fools joke that would probably cause our sisters to pee their pants in excitement :)

For some reason, April Fools day got me thinking about my grandma's retirement party.

She's an avid golfer, so the party was held at a local golf course. She had been in the school system working as an elementary school teacher, a counselor and then retired as a beloved assistant principal. Needless to say, there were tons of people there.

Our cousins came from out of state and between the six of us girls,  we choreographed a cheer that ended in the six of us stacked in a pyramid. To this day, I don't know how I participated in front of so many people. Girl power I guess?

Anywhoo, someone had the bright idea to give us a fart machine (if I had to wager a guess, I'd say one of my mother's mischieveous cousins). Not just any old fart machine, a remote control operated fart machine. So, after our little cheer, we headed inside and decided to inconspicuously hide that little fart machine in one of the potted trees sitting against the wall near the bar.

We chose to park ourselves at a table across the room where we would have a nice view of everyone passing by. The first innocent people who decided to stand next to that cute little tree? WEEERRRRAARRT.

It was beyond hilarious to sit back and see people get wide-eyed and look at the people around them.

Our grandma's friends, teachers, principals- everyone was at our mercy with the fart machine. It was hilarious and by far the best way for us kids to pass the time at a retirement party.

Now I'm thinking we might have to bring it back for our family reunion. :)

What about you? Any fond memories with a good, old-fashioned whoopee cushion? Let's hear your best April Fools day pranks- I need some ammo! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Tips On Recycling

We finally started recycling. Why I have waited all of my life to do this, I'm not quite sure.

We are fortunate to have a township recycling program. The drop off is located just two miles down the road from our home and is open 24-7. We pay $50 per year on our township taxes, but in return have 'free' recycling all year long.

The best part is that there's no separating the materials. Paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, empty aersol cans and various metals can be mixed and dumped together into the large collection bins. This is a huge help because it means we don't have to separate all of our recycling into multiple bins.

By recycling not only materials such as paper and plastic, but also your food scraps, you'll be astonished by the decrease in your garbage bin.  

Recycling turned out to be so much easier than anticipated. Here are some ideas that might work for you:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Have a Wonderful Weekend

The above photo was pretty much us last weekend, so we decided that this weekend we would get some work done :) The kitchen is getting painted and then we're starting to build our chicken coop. We're also excited to go see Kelly's sister perform at the local high school as 'Sally' in Cat in the Hat. 

What are you up to this weekend? Wherever it takes you, I hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why I Switched to Using Baking Soda as Shampoo

Photo by Galaxies & Hurricanes
Shortly after graduating high school, I developed a skin condition on my scalp. I will forewarn you that I'm going to describe it, after the jump...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Guess Who Is Coming To Live With Us...

Here are a couple hints: they're two-legged and come in all different colors, shapes and sizes. 
They have feathers.
They chirp.
Have you guessed it yet?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring!

Photo taken by Steve Creek Outdoors Wildlife Photographer
What are you lovelies up to for this first weekend of spring?
Honey and I are going for a hike tonight to look for sheds. No, not the little buildings (which is what I use to think he was referring to). Male white tail deer shed their antlers every year around mid-January. This means that in early spring after the snow starts to melt, you can find the antler 'sheds' laying on the ground. I found my first one last year, it was ridiculously exciting and now I, too, am hooked on finding them.
In the mean time, here are some links from around the web:

Behaviors of geniune people.
DIY weaving project using pretty wool roving.
Who knew there was such a thing as seafood fraud?
A great how-to on cleaning makeup brushes.

How much it would cost to switch to online TV.
Salad dressings to know by heart.

This is up for sale, just in time for the season.

Tips for making a juice that isn't always full of kale.

Lol, so true right now.

I hope you all have a great weekend, full of springy things :) 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

National Agriculture Day

It was brought to my attention that National Agriculture Day was celebrated yesterday. Oops! One would think that a farmer's wife would know an important fact like that. Shame.

But, this whole farm world is new to me. Everything about it. I grew up completely ignorant of the farm world. I mean, I never even noticed the giant tractors sitting in the fields until my husband and I started dating. I couldn't have told you what a soybean plant looked like. And I certainly couldn't have told you what words like 'combine', 'commodity', 'cover crop' or 'bees wing' referenced.

It's been such an amazing journey learning everything that I have in the past couple of years. Whether its tilling, planting, harvesting, hauling or one of the bajillion things that need to be done in the meantime, I get to learn firsthand from my husband what it means to be a farmer. It certainly takes a special kind of person.

One day last year, his grandma bought this print for him. She said it reminded her of him, and I think she nailed it. 

Here's what it says...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How To Start Seeds Indoors

Photo by Samuel, modified.

Starting seeds indoors can seem like a daunting task, but once the somewhat messy process of planting is completed, the rest is a walk in the park. Here's what you need;

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Most of us have heard of a four-leaf clover bringing good luck, but I wasn't aware of how horribly superstitious the Irish are! In fact, the 'Luck of the Irish' is actually a very ironic statement that refers to the bad luck that has befallen Ireland in the past.

Below are a few funny superstisions I discovered while perusing the history of Irish traditions and folklore.

It's a sure sign of death to see a magpie chattering at your windowsill.
A horseshoe (found, not bought) hung above your door is good luck, just make sure the points are up so the luck doesn't run out!
If you meet a funeral procession, you must turn around and walk four steps with them.
Meeting three magpies on the road is very unlucky.
Two magpies to your right is good luck.
You can expect visitors if a rooster walks across your doorstep.
If you trip on a gravesite, it's bad luck for you.
If you touch the ground after tripping on a gravesite, it's death for you.
To make your skin beautiful, wash your face with the dew at sunrise on May Day.
If the first lamb of the year is black, a family member will die within the year.
It's a sign that you will come into money if your palm is itchy.
A sick person must lie in a bed facing north and south to be cured.
Turning off a light at supper means that one of them will die that year.
You will always win at cards if you have one crooked pin in your coat.
Yea, thinking maybe I won't be visiting Ireland anytime soon!

Do you have any superstitions to add? Maybe some signs of good luck to come?  

Monday, March 16, 2015

March Gardening Tips for Zone 5

We're here! The snow is melting, the sun is shining and you've come out of hibernation. You keep staring at the packets of seeds, ready to get outside and plant. Since it's a bit too early yet, here's a list of what to do in the mean time;

  • Seed Starting
    • To make the most of the growing season, start seeds indoors. Seeds should be started roughly eight weeks before the last frost date, making it early to mid-March for Michigan.
  • Tall Ornamental Grass
    • Tie up and cut off ornamental grasses, leaving the stems roughly three to four inches tall.
  • Remove Winter Mulch
    • If you have any winter mulch protecting your plants and soil, now is the time to move it. 
  • Garden Design
    • Thinking about redesigning the landscape this year? If so, March is a great time to make a plan.
  • Prune Trees & Shrubs
    • Scraggly trees and shrubs should be pruned in late winter or early spring, before any new growth is showing.  Here are a few tips on how to prune trees and shrubs.
  • Planting New Trees
    • New trees should be planted early in spring, before mid-May if possible. This month, figure out what trees will be added to your landscape. This way, you'll be ready for for Arbor Day (April 24th) sales at your local nursery.
  • Compost
    • How's the compost pile? Get ready to spread all of that nutrient-rich compost onto your garden. This can be done as soon as the ground thaws and has been tilled.
  • Equipment Maintenance
    • Do the blades on your lawn mower need to be sharpened? Is there string left in your weed wacker? Make any repairs that need to be done before the upcoming summer season.  

To check your plant hardiness zone, visit this USDA interactive map.

Do you have any tips, tricks or things to remember? What's on your to-do list? 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy Weekend

Photo via State Birds

Have you seen any of these little chub-muffins yet? 

Growing up, our babysitter taught us to 'stamp' the first Robins of spring. When we saw a Robin, we'd lick our right thumb, press it to our left palm then slam it with our fist. She'd always ask, 'How many Robins did you stamp today?' so we were always on the lookout to see who could stamp the most in a day. Does anyone else do this? Do you know where it comes from?

I haven't seen any yet, but am just waiting to stamp my first one! 

Here are a few interesting links, if you're in the mood;

Friday, March 13, 2015

Traditional Irish Recipes {Round-Up}

As much as I love stuffing myself full of mashed potatoes and stuffing during Thanksgiving, the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal is my absolute favorite. I could eat corned beef and cabbage all day, every day. No lie.

A few weeks ago, our boss brought in a crock pot meal of corned 'beef' and cabbage, except it was venison. It blew my mind at just how much it tasted like beef. And whats even better is the venison has none of the fat that the corned beef brisket does. It was a lean, mean, St. Paddy's day machine.

In the spirit of things, here is a round up of traditional Irish recipes to try out;

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Cleaning & Organization

Flickr Photo by Storebukkebruse

Spring fever anyone? There are no complaints in our neck of the woods!

Isn't it funny how 50 degrees in the fall feels absolutely freezing, yet 50 degrees in the spring is sun-bathing weather? And while I haven't quite opened the windows yet, I'm itching too.

Remember this link from last Friday? It challenges one task per day to organize your entire home in 30 days. I thought it was perfect for March when it's still a bit to wet and snowy to start working on outdoor projects.

So here are a few things we've checked off the list lately;

Friday, March 6, 2015

Happy Weekend.

Flickr photo by Tobi Firestone

Hello Lovelies :)

Although the temperatures have been in the teens this week, the sun has been shining bright. Isn't it crazy what a difference a little sunshine can make in your day? Our friends are coming up from Illinois this weekend, so we're excited to spend some time with them. Other than that and a possible card game with the in-laws, we have zero plans.

What are you up to this weekend?

Here are some interesting links from around the web, if you're interested;

Wickedly mind-bending optical illusion paintings.

Dogs who prefer to sit on other dogs.

Chocolate-coconut ice cream recipe. {vegan}

USA Today - 10 Best Costal Small Towns. Vote Saugatuck!

Early blooming, fresh spring flowers for the garden.

Yay for elephants. :)

30-day home organization challenge (I will be (trying) to try this)

Plus, 4 "health kicks" you should kick, based on science.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Silly Poems

We did a major spring cleaning a couple weekends ago.

I'm talking we filled the entire bed of the pickup with huge boxes full of recycling and garbage, plus we have several bags to go to Goodwill. We emptied the attic and organized everything into totes that we moved to the basement.

It felt so good to purge everything. When I moved in, we kind of just threw all of my stuff upstairs and, since upstairs is out of the way, things just kept accumulating and piling up in the most unorganized of ways. (That's normal, right?) I have pictures and I'm not showing them because I'm too embarrased. 

I'm so stinking excited because when spring finally rolls around (March 20th at exactly 6:45PM if you care to know) we won't have to spend it cleaning inside, we can get right to work on outdoor projects!

Back to the headline of this post. When I opened one of my totes, this book was laying on top...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Find Your Birthday Song

Flickr Photo by Paige K. Parsons

There is a totally awesome site that allows you to search for the #1 song on the day you were born.

At least, I thought it was totally awesome until I found out that my song was Phil Collins 'Groovy Kind of Love'. (please...a moment of silence because Phil killed my rockstar vibe) 

So I couldn't stop there, here are a few more;

  • Day the 1st Harry Potter book was released: I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy
  • 1st Day of the New Millenium: Smooth by Santana 
  • Day I got my Driver's License: My Boo by Usher and Alicia Keys
  • High School Graduation: Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin') by T-Pain 
  • My 21st Birthday:  Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce

If you check it out, I want to hear what your birthday song is. Leave it in the comments below :) I'll be crossing my fingers that it's better than mine! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Compost Bags

Time for another com'post'. 

Get it... com 'post', because it's a blog post. And it's about compost....com 'post' ing. HA. Good thing I think I'm so funny :) 

Alright, onward to the topic. 

So we've been on this composting kick at our house. We had a plan for outside, but bringing the composting inside was a whole different topic. 

Part of the point of us composting is to reduce garbage in the form of food scraps. That means we need to either purchase or make a small indoor compost bin that's attractive enough to sit on the kitchen counter, or small enough to move from the counter to under the sink. Inside would go all of our potato peels, chopped carrot ends, banana peels..etc. That was the easy part.

The harder part was deciding what kind of bags to use. Do we purchase small garbage bags? Or maybe even use the old plastic grocery bags that we save after shopping?

What if we just leave it empty of a bag and throw the scraps directly into the bin?
In that scenario, the scraps would sit in the bin for a couple of days because, let's be honest, who has time to empty it every day? So day three of your food scraps melding together in the kitchen bin rolls around and you finally decide to take it outside to your compost tumbler. When you empty the small container, you notice it's gotten nasty in there. 

Now what? Now you have to scrub out the gunk, clean it with hot soapy water, then let it dry before you're able to use it again.

That program wasn't appealing to me and my poor husband would probably be the one left cleaning the bin every couple of days.

So I started researching compostable bags. I wanted to find something that would biodegrade fast, and also that wouldn't harm our compost pile by containing any toxins. After quite a bit of research, this is what I came up with;

Below are some of the reasons that I chose to go with BioBag.
  1. They are 100% biodegradable & 100% compostable. 
  2. Made from non-GMO starches, vegetable oils and cellulose
  3. The majority of the bags are made in the USA. One of their main production plants is located in California.  
  4. High Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR), which means, in Allison terms, less mold, fungus and stink because the bag can breathe.
  5. USDA Certified biobased product. 
  6. ASTM D6400 Certified, meaning it passed the test for it's ability to decompose in ideal composting conditions. Also, that the product will not have adverse impacts on the ability of the compost to support plant growth, which is a very important factor here. 
The bags will completely disintegrate in the compost pile without releasing any toxins, and the decomposed matter that's left in the compost will not hinder any plant growth, which is very important to us because we'll be using it for our vegetable garden.

The size is also perfect, they're 3 gallon bags, which just right for a small container that can be moved from under the sink onto the counter when it's being used.

They don't just manufacture kitchen compost bags, here are just a few of the other products they offer;
  • Pet Waste Bags - perfect for taking to the dog parks or on walks around the city.
  • Lawn, Leaf & Garden Waste Bags - to bag up your clippings for the compost pile. 
  • Sandwich Bags
  • Kitchen Cling Wrap - like the other products, made with zero plasticizers.
  • Produce Bags - great for bagging produce at the farmer's market. 


As always, I purchased mine through Amazon. In addition to doing my own research, I love being able to see the reviews from real people before I make the purchase. Because all products are compostable, they need to be stored in a cool, dry area and used within one year.

Have you tried these before? If not, what do you use for your compostable bags?

In case you missed it, check here for a 'how-to' on composting and check out our DIY compost bin.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wedding Week: Extended Cut

Thank you for letting my share our wedding with you :) I hope you enjoyed this past week's posts, and thank you for all of your sweet and funny comments. It was fun to be able to go back and write everything down and sort of re-live it all, this time in a little bit slower motion.  Here is a picture overload, in case you missed anything...
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