Top 5 Baby Items for Gardening Mamas

Top 5 baby Products for Gardening Mamas :: Five Little Homesteaders

As many of you know, I had a baby (our fourth) not too long ago – 4 months to be exact.

I don’t have to tell most of you that babies are a lot of work, as is homesteading – even of the urban variety.  I’m embarrassed to admit how little I gardened during my pregnancy, but now that the baby is here, I’m ready to get back at it in a serious way.  So, when I was given the opportunity to test out the Levana Ayden Baby Video Monitor - http://mylevana.com/product/Ayden_3_5_Digital_Video_Baby_Monitor.eng-164.html , I jumped at the chance.  I was certain that a video monitor would help me get more done in the garden knowing that my baby is safe and I was right.  Read on to learn more about the Ayden Baby Monitor - http://mylevana.com/product/Ayden_3_5_Digital_Video_Baby_Monitor.eng-164.html , enter for a chance to win one of three monitors and learn what other items help me get my gardening done while also taking care of our new little one.

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Thankful.

Thankful

It’s been quiet around here, I know.

However, I do think about this little space daily.

I come up with ideas about what to post, what pictures to take, where to share my ideas….so on and so forth, but the time never comes.  The morning turns to evening before I know it and weeks go by faster than I can imagine.

Then a baby comes.

Yes, you see, as I mentioned a few months back, we were expecting our fourth child.  Well, she’s here now!  And she’s the thing I’m most thankful for this holiday season.

On the whole, I have so much for which to be thankful – my husband, my four(!) beautiful children, my home, our health, my extended family…..and so much more.  And as cliche as it might be, I’m thankful for you.  The people who come here to read and share.  Thank you.

What are you thankful for this holiday season?  Please share in the comments.

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A week of firsts…..

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS   http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV - http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Back to School - A Week of Firsts:Five Little Homesteaders

And just like that…. summer break is over.

This past week was a big one on our little homestead.  Two of my three kiddos headed to school and it was a serious week of firsts for all of us.

My oldest turned 5 and then became an official kindergarten all in the same week.  Then my middle daughter packed up her little backpack and headed off to preschool.  That left me and the littlest home alone for a good portion of the day.  Going from a loud and crazy house of 3 kids 4 and under to a quiet house of just me and my little 2 year old buddy…. well…. let me tell you.  It’s been a transition.

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On having fun

On having fun :: Five Little Homesteaders

We got out of town this last weekend.  It was something we desperately needed.

We hadn’t been out of the state since before my son (who is now two) was born.  I was feeling a bit claustrophobic and in need of a change in scenery.  I’ve found that the desert can do that to me.

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Happy New Year!

Five Little Homesteaders Top Posts of 2013

Obviously I am not unique in my desire to reflect on the past year.  I suppose most people like to do this.  So… here I am, reflecting on 2013.

I must say, I am pretty excited to see what 2014 has in store for me.

2013 was a good year.  It was a whirlwind and I’m still not 100% sure what it was all about.  There were no new babies this year (aside from chicken babies, which, I guess count).  There were no moves.  There were no real “firsts” this year.  It was a settling year…. a figuring-out-our-routine year.  It did bring me the start of this here little blog and for that I am grateful.

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A Family Tradition: Pumpkin Carving

If you know me, you know I love the holidays and I LOVE tradition.  I feel like the first *real* holiday of the season is Halloween and I LOVE all the traditions that surround it.  (Except haunted houses…. I am not a fan of haunted houses.)

So, when I had the opportunity to try out some of the Pumpkin Masters - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters carving kits and products I jumped at the chance.  I’ve always been a fan of this brand of carving kit.  They are readily available (I always get mine at Target, but Walmart also carries them, as well as most grocery and drug stores.)  and completely safe to use.  In fact, if you look at the pictures below, Lucy, my 4 year old, used the kids carving kit and did a great job!  I was impressed by how easy it was for her to do on her own with very minimal help from me.  I felt comfortable letting her use the knife that came with the kids kit, whereas I most certainly would not have felt safe letting her wield a kitchen knife.  She was thrilled with how her little kitty came out.

As cliche as it might sound, it really was fun for the whole family.  We let our one year old play with some baby pumpkins and various tools from the Pumpkin Masters kits - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters . Our three year old was completely grossed out by the “guts” of the pumpkin but when it came to carving, she was more than ready to help carve out a spooky spider.  The kids especially enjoyed the eyes that came with the Pumpkin Masters Kids Carving Kit - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters .  They popped right into the holes that they had carved out.  So fun!

My husband decided to take on a more challenging task and used the Pumpkin Master “Decorating Punches” - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters to make a pretty and innovative design on his.  I’d never seen these tools before but they worked great and made a design on the pumpkin that you don’t usually see when walking around the neighborhood on Halloween.  
And here is how our pumpkins came out!  Considering that the kids helped with a great deal of the work, I am thrilled with how they came out!  What do you think?

Think you can do a better job?  Are you a pumpkin carving master?  Well, nows the time to show what you’ve got.  Pumpkin Masters is hold a  pumpkin carving contest - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters2013  now through October 31st.  There are six prizes including a $5000 prize for best pumpkin.  Head to your local grocery store, drug store, Target or Walmart, pick up a kit and get to it!  Find out more info and enter  here - http://clvr.li/pumpkinmasters2013 .

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective - http://clevergirlscollective.com/ and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Small-Batch, Homemade Applesauce

We had an amazing Labor Day weekend.  One of the best weekends in recent memory.

We headed three hours south to the little town of Willcox, Arizona and did some serious apple picking. It was so much fun and only a *tiny* bit hot and humid.  (Ok…. maybe it was a lot bit hot and humid….  but we’re trying to keep it positive here.)

So, we went apple picking and it was our first time doing so as a family.  We had a great time and came back with a little over 40 pounds of apples.  My plan is to do a large batch of applesauce and can it (!).  (Don’t worry…. my mom is coming to help me, so I won’t be able to screw it up and therefore we won’t all die of botulism.  Phew.)  But, honestly, who can wait all that time for yummy, fresh applesauce?   Certainly not me, nor my husband, nor our three adorable children.

So, what’s a mommy to do?

Well, let me tell you.  This mommy took to the internet for a quick and easy, small-batch, applesauce recipe.  And you know what?  I couldn’t find one!  And some of you might be saying that this is because applesauce is really easy and who the HECK needs a recipe for it?  Well, I’ll tell you who – this girl does!  So, I looked over the large batch recipes and came up with my own.

Here you go….. the Five Little Homesteaders’ small-batch applesauce recipe!


Ingredients
6-ish apples (We had two varieties – red delicious and criterion.)
1/2-3/4 cups of water (enough to have about 1/2 inch in the bottom of the pot)
1/4 cup sugar (Now, before you go jumping all over me, yes, I used refined, white sugar.  You could certainly use this - http://amzn.to/174m0x1 or this - http://amzn.to/1dBKId1 in place of it.  Or if you are really serious about the whole no sugar thing, you can omit it altogether.)
1 tbsp lemon juice - http://amzn.to/19dI4W7
1/4 tsp of cinnamon - http://amzn.to/137cTuK or apple pie spice - http://amzn.to/1fvAyrc (I used apple pie spice, which is just a combo of spices.)

Directions
1.  Peel and slice your apples.  (I use this thing - http://amzn.to/174mbIA for slicing apples.  It is a life saver.  I use it daily for the kids.)

2.  Put the apples and everything else into a pot.

3.  Heat on medium until the water starts to boil then reduce to simmer.
4.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5.  Smash your apples up. (Careful they are hot!)  You can use a simple potato-type masher - http://amzn.to/1fvAAzc if you don’t mind chunks (which we don’t) or you can use a food processor - http://amzn.to/1fvAE1V .  You can even use a food mill - http://amzn.to/18n0l29 , if you’re that hardcore.
6.  Enjoy while hot!  You’ll be in heaven, I promise.

Do you make applesauce?  What is your secret ingredient?

           

Tasty Tuesday Linkup

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Happy Labor Day!

Take off your white and say goodbye to summer (unless you live in Arizona….).

Happy Labor Day everyone!  Hope you’re doing something fun!  We sure are!

Pictures to come…….

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.