Newest Family Member

This weekend we met our newest family member.


Meet Luna

Luna will be joining the family full time on June 16th.  Picking her out was near impossible, as you can imagine, a litter full of Golden Retriever puppies will not yield an ugly puppy.  Somehow, I knew that she would be the one.

As a general rule, we adopt our pets from the Humane Society.  We have 2 other dogs, both via our local shelter who we love dearly.  However, I love having the companionship of Golden Retrievers.  Golden’s are very difficult to find at a Humane Society, as people do not surrender them.  We have been very fortunate, that through the months of research we did 13 years ago when we adopted Stella, to have found a breeder that is truly humane.  These are not puppy mill puppies, but loving dogs owned by loving owners.  I feel like I need to say this because I have gotten more than one snarky remark about our decision not to adopt via a shelter this time around.  It is not fair to lump all dog breeders together.  My parents have rescued dogs from puppy mills who lived their lives as breeders.  There is a huge difference between those breeders and the loving owners that we are getting our Luna from.

We are beyond excited to be bringing her home.  I know that she will not be able to fill the hole that Stella left behind, but will instead bring more love to our home.



Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I found a great recipe to make chocolate chip cookies using coconut oil as a substitute for butter. They taste great and don’t take long to make.

I found this recipe at Alida’s Kitchen.


1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of coconut oil at room temperature

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips



To start, preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.

Then, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. Set this aside for now.

Using an electric mixer, combine the coconut oil and sugars so they are fluffy. Then mix the egg and vanilla until they are well combined.

Add the dry ingredients in gradually and stir until it is all fully combined.


If the dough is too soft, put it into the fridge for about fifteen minutes.

Put the cookie dough onto cookie sheets and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until they are lightly brown.


Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack, then enjoy!


This recipe is great because it is a super easy recipe to follow, and the cookies turn out really good. I hope that you loved these cookies as much as I did!


Homemade Coffee Creamer

I love coffee in the morning.  Who doesn’t?  I also love vanilla coffee creamer.  What I don’t love is the chemicals that are in the creamer and the plastic packaging that most of it comes in.  With the help of the internet and the many recipes I have found for homemade creamer, I have created my own recipe which is very good, complete with whole food and a bit easier on the planet.


Flavored Coffee Creamer

14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup milk of choice (almond, soy, cow)

1 tbsp extract of choice (vanilla, almond, mint)

Put on all ingredients in a mason jar and shake until mixed.


We use a coffee press for our coffee.  We have for years and highly doubt that we will ever go back to a conventional coffee maker.  Too much waste, they take too much space and in all honesty, the press make a better cup of coffee.


Happy Mother’s Day

I don’t have a lot to write today.  But wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.  My husband, children and mother made it a wonderful day, full of love.

unnamedSocks from my oldest children

IMG_3775The gift of relaxation from my youngest

IMG_3774A handmade table from my husband

IMG_3771Flowers, spices and gift card from my mom, mother in law and sister in law

Today, I know I am loved by so many people in my life.  Thank you for everything you do for me.  The love of family is what this whole thing is about.  Sometimes, we just need a reminder.



Let The Dandelions Live

I wonder if Americans are the only ones who have an unnatural obsession with their lawns.  By unnatural obsession, I mean perfectly manicured lawns, made that way by pesticides and herbicides.  Thank you Monsanto for providing us with the tools that make our yards, the areas we should let our children and pets play in, a toxic playground.    I was outside today, admiring my dandelion field and saw a lone honeybee feeding off one of our dandelions.  I am going to assume that the bee I saw was from our hives.  I am so happy that we let those dandelions survive in order to provide our bees with food.  We have yet to give into the pressure of creating a perfect lawn that our neighbors admire, but is too dangerous to spend time in.


Please refrain from killing those dandelions.  They provide a much-needed food source for our pollinators and are part of the food chain.  Why can’t we just admire the beauty of our natural world and accept that dandelions, like tulips and daffodils, are Spring flowers that usher in the start of our growing season.  Their life cycle is short after all, we can all deal with them for a few weeks.


The next time you feel the need to kill your dandelions with Roundup, remind yourself that you are borrowing the Earth from your children, they want you to take care of it.


The Bees Are Here……


The bees arrived today.  We are the proud parents of approximately 100,000 honey bees, ready to pollinate our gardens and the gardens of our neighbors.  Full disclosure,  I do next to nothing for the bees.  Eric is the one who orders them, transports them and sets them up in the hives.  He is also the one who built the hives and harvests the honey.  I enjoy the fruits of his labors; the honey and beeswax.  Last year, we got just enough honey that I finished the last of it 2 weeks ago.  I still have some lavender salve that I made with the beeswax.

We spent the majority of the day outside, cleaning up the yard and sun room.  The bees are adjusting to their new surroundings, it is best to just leave them alone for a couple of days.  I have tried to avoid getting too close.  That being said, honey bees will not sting you unless they feel threatened.  I was stung once last summer and that was entirely my fault.  Instead of acting like a sane person when one flew into my hair, I reacted by swatting at it until it had no choice but to defend itself.  I have had several people ask me if I am scared having so many bees in my yard.  The answer is no.  They are here to do a job, not attack those who are leaving them alone.  We all just go about our business and nobody gets hurt.  The result is an abundance of vegetables and honey at the end of the growing season that was worth the risk of a handful of stings.

We had a great surprise in the garden this week, asparagus!  Five spears of asparagus were harvested today and added to a salad that I made for lunch.  I also added hard-boiled duck eggs to the salad that were absolutely delicious.  I went to farm near our house this morning to pick up eggs (our chicks are not even close to laying eggs) and they were selling duck eggs in addition to chicken eggs.  Since I am not a picky eater and tend to be adventurous with food (as long as beets are not involved) I bought a half-dozen and added them to our lunch.


 First garden harvest of 2018

I cannot emphasize how happy I am that the warm weather is finally here.  The windows are wide open, the laundry is line drying and the grill will be fired up tonight for flank steak.  I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy these spring and summer days, as they pass so quickly and are meant to be enjoyed.  Happy Saturday.


Cutting The Plastic

My family and I have decided that in the month of May, we are going to make a conscious effort to eliminate as much plastic from our lives as possible.  The science is real when it comes to this global issue.  Plastic does not decompose once it’s created, it is here forever for future generations to deal with.  While recycling is an option in most cases, people do not recycle as much as they should.  I believe we have reached a point though where recycling is no longer enough.  We need to stop the production of a lot of the plastic that is created and find alternatives.  We have become a disposable society in just a snapshot of human history and it is destroying us.

We have always recycled, so I felt like I was doing my part.   I am aware of the Great Pacific Plastic Dump, so I must be fully enlightened on this topic, right?  I do everything I can to keep my plastic out of our waterways and landfills.  But, recently I was in a Walgreens and took a good look around.  Every shelf is filled with plastic packaging that will likely end up in a landfill, staying there forever.  When I really thought about it, I realized I am in one store, in one town on this planet and the plastic packaging was simply overwhelming.  It was a light bulb moment for me, I am not doing enough to remedy this problem.  Change would start with my family and then I would start to talk to other people about it.  We simply have to refocus our thought process on this topic, it is too important for future generations.

As a family we were doing what we thought was enough:

  1. We have a coffee press.
  2. We use reusable grocery bags.
  3. We pack lunches in Pyrex (of course those pyrex containers have plastic tops).
  4. We use reusable water bottles and coffee cups (those plastic water bottles have got to go).
  5. When we go out, we don’t use straws.
  6. We make our own yogurt and store it in a mason jar.
  7. I make our own cleaning supplies.
  8. My husband uses Dr. Bronner’s Soap, which he buys by the gallon and lasts for years.   (he has been recycling the same bottle for 16 years!).
  9. We refill our liquid soap pumps (with Dr. Bronner’s) instead of buying new bottles.

My list below is not complete, but there is so much more that we can do in my one household to make a difference:

  1. I replaced our toothbrushes with bamboo.
  2. We have a bread maker, we need to make our bread and skip the plastic bread bag.
  3. I use reusable grocery bags, but I need to carry those everywhere.  When I shop at other stores I still need plastic bags at times because I don’t have my own bag.
  4. I found shampoo bars, we are going to replace our shampoo bottles with those when we are out.
  5. Slowly moving to bar soaps (I do love my Origin’s body wash so that will be hard).
  6. Reuse the plastic we have as much as possible for storage containers.


Bamboo Toothbrushes

The above list is just a sample of what we plan on doing to improve this situation in our home.  Of course, last night I gave our dogs their heartworm and flea preventives, which is in plastic.  I already felt like a failure, but I have to realize that I am not going to be able to avoid plastic completely.  When that happens, I clean it well and put it in our recycling bin.

May is the month we put this practice into full use, it is a habit that we will continue beyond one month on the calendar.  What are you going to do to make a difference?