Horray October is Here!!

Quite possibly one of my favorite months, I am so happy that it is finally October. People can no longer look at me like I’m crazy for already being decorated for Halloween and my house will be filled with pumpkin spice everything. I am so thankful for a world where there is an October.

Growing up in New England, I was able to see all four seasons but October was always my favorite. Acres upon acres of orange, red and yellow leaves were visible from almost anywhere you went. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches were one of my all time favorites. There were small roadside markets where you could stop and get a cup of hot apple cider and some apple doughnuts. The colonial buildings that stood on the main roads looked to be right at home surrounded by the fall foliage. Fall is amazing in that way.

Now that I live in the south I don’t get to see the leaves changing colors. They seem to instantly turn brown and skip turning to warm colors. I can’t seem to find a pumpkin patch or apple orchard any where. This is the time I miss New England the most. I am fortunate to have my parents and many family members living down here with me and my mom does her best to help with the home sick feelings. She buys apples from the local farmers market and makes cider and apple sauce. Everything she cooks has pumpkin in it. And she makes her house look exactly like it did when I was little.

Home is where you make it, my mother is evidence of that. No matter where we go or how different the seasons and weather is, her house will always be home as long as she is there

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Horray October is Here!!

Deco Mesh Wreaths for the Holidays

March has been the month of deco mesh at my house! It all started when I went to Michaels craft store and saw a beautiful spring time wreath. I had to have it and it was marked down to $17.99 from $49.99 which was a great deal. Then I had to have one for Saint Patricks Day so I asked the woman at the floral department to make another one.

20150319_152014

What You Will Need:

  1. Pipe cleaners that are a similar color to your deco mesh
  2. At least 3 different colors of deco mesh
  3. Meal Wreath Form
  4. Accents (optional)

Less than a week after purchasing the 2 wreaths I saw a sponsored post on my Facebook Timeline advertising deco mesh for 50% off regular price. Deco mesh can be fairly expensive, a 12in wide 10 yard long roll will normally cost $9.99 and a 21 inch wide 10 yard long roll will cost $19.99 if bought from a craft store. The store I purchased mine from was a $9.99 and under store on the coast, and the deco mesh rolls were marked down to $2.49 each for the 21 inch wide roll. I spent $30 on 12 rolls of deco mesh in assorted colors. My mother then informed me that Walmart had some other colors and patterns available for $4.77 for a 21 inch wide roll. I picked up another 3 from Walmart. I also bought 2 different size metal forms to attach the mesh to. The 12 inch form is much easier and requires much less deco mesh, the finished product is about 24 inches wide. The 18 inch form requires a lot of patience and time, and will take 3-4 full rolls of mesh.

received_10206092316410966

To start, the deco mesh needs to be cut in to approximately 12 inch long strips. If you purchased the 21 inch wide deco mesh you can cut strips 12 inches long and then cut it in half so its roughly 12×10.5. If it’s not even that’s ok! For a 12 inch form you will need approximately 90 12×12 or 90 12×10.5 pieces of deco mesh.

FB_IMG_1426849452414

Second, roll 3 pieces of deco mesh and stack on top of each other then hold by wrapping it with a pipe cleaner. I recommend butting your pipe cleaners in half so that you don’t waste. Attach pipe cleaner to one of the wires in the middle of your metal form. If you are using a 12 inch form I suggest putting 5 groups of mesh in each section, totaling 15 pieces per section. Alternate colors so that you have a good mix, pick a nice soft color as your base.

Once you have attached all your deco mesh to your wreath you can individually “fluff” each roll and add accents. I added Easter egg picks that I purchased at Dollar Tree for 5/$1. I also wrapped me 18 inch form 2/3 of the way with burlap that I purchased at Walmart for $2.50.

FB_IMG_1426849427150

Happy Crafting!

Posted in Crafts, DIY | Comments Off on Deco Mesh Wreaths for the Holidays

Fall Chicken Check Ups

If you are a crazy chicken lady like I am then you can probably spot when something is off with one of your feathered friends. I spend a couple hours a day with my birds and observe their behaviors. Each bird has a name that fits their distinct personality. It’s good practice to spend time with your birds every day so if  problem does arise, you can nip it in the butt before it gets worse, or worse than that… Before it spreads. Check ups will not only keep your bird happy and healthy, but will also maximize their productivity. It’s important when you are doing your fall check ups to pick up each bird and examine them. Is there excessive feather loss (not molting), are they comfortable, are they in pain?

When doing fall check ups you should start at the comb and work your way down. 

  • Comb should be a nice rosy red with no black spots. If the comb is a purple color that indicates that there could be some respitory problems that need to be addressed imediately by a vet. A pale comb could be a sign of heat exhaustion or could be that your hen just laid an egg. Keep an eye on her to see if the comb stays pale or goes back red.
  • Eyes should be clear and bright. Watery eyes, coughing and sneezing could be signs of a respitory illness and you should seek veterinary assistance if the problem last more than a couple days. Cloudy eyes could mean conjunctivitis caused by ammonia build up in the bedding. Flush eyes with saline solution and clean bedding.
  • Crop should be empty in the morning. If the crop is hard or mushy then you may have a case or impacted crop or sour crop. Immediate treatment is necessary.
  • Breast bone should not protrude. If it does then you may need to put some more weight on your birds before the cold months come.
  • Wings should be clean, be sure to look under wings for lice, ticks or mites. If you do find pests under the wings, soak the bird in warm water, salt and dish soap followed by a heavy dusting of Diatomaceous Earth. Add garlic to your hens diet to make they blood less appetizing to pests.
  • Vent should be clean, moist and pink. A dry pale vent indicates that your hen is not laying. Remove any chicken poop from the area by soaking or trimming.
  • Legs should be smooth and brightly colored(unless you have a dark legged breed like Marans). Scaly or raised scales on the legs are a sign of leg mites. Just to be safe you should rub your birds legs down every month or so with Vaseline or olive oil.
  • Feet should be cool. If your birds feet feel warm and puffy then you should closely examine them for thorns or splinters. If you see black spots on the bottom of the foot that could indicate that you have a case of bumblefoot and it should be treated immediately.
  • Feathers should be shiny and unbroken. If you notice your birds looking scraggly and breaking their feathers that could indicate there is a protein deficiency in your flock and you should boost the protein until you see the problem reverse. Broken feathers could also mean there are rodents getting in to the coop at night. Be sure your birds are tucked in safe at night and fill in any holes you may find. Broken and missing feathers could also be a sign of molt. During which time you should increase their protein intake.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fall Chicken Check Ups

8 Reasons to Delete Social Media from Your Smartphone

8 reasons why I am deleting Facebook and other social media apps from my smart phone!

  1. Missing out on real life. I love nature and playing with my son but I know I am guilty of putting it all on hold to check a new Facebook message or notification.

2. Wastes time. When I have nothing better to do, I will scroll my timeline to see if anyone has posted anything new. If there is nothing interesting I will close the app only to check it 5 minutes later. There is so much better stuff I could be doing with my time!

3. Eats up data. I use anywhere between 15-25 gigs of data every month plus having wifi at work and home. At least 75% of my data is wasted on Facebook! 

4. Kills Battery Life. Another reason I am deleting social media apps is to preserve my phone’s charge. The batter life on smartphones isn’t great, especially when you are taking pictures to load on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I would rather preserve my battery life for taking pictures to scrap book. Or what makes even better sense, to call and text people like phones are meant to do!

5. No more pokes. Let’s face it, people you barely know poking you on Facebook is pretty creepy. What’s even worse is that people have had the option to “poke” you since day one, but Facebook still hasn’t created a dislike button.

6. Use the Skills You’ve Learned. Instead of playing Farmville, try harvesting real crops! Plant a garden, read a book on gardening, get some chickens. Real life. However if you are more in to Facebook games like mobsters I would disregard this whole statement!

7. Relationship problems. Whether you want to admit it, Facebook and other social media outlets create a lot or relationship drama. Whether someone is trash talking their significant other on their wall, or they are “Facebook cheating” it is an undeniable fact that Facebook can be serious trouble. My wife constantly gets upset with me because I ignore her and scroll Facebook.

8. We are forgetting how to talk to people. We all know those people on Facebook who talk a big game but some up short when met face to face. Social media gives people this sense of invincibility, like they can talk to people however they want.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 8 Reasons to Delete Social Media from Your Smartphone

Soap Making

This whole soap making idea has been something I’ve been sitting on for about 6 months and after a week of making soap I really wish I had started long before this. I’m a crafty mom and I love making things to put around the house. Which explains the 10 or 11 fall floral pieces around the house. I’m the kind of person who gets an idea and runs with it, and eventually I slow down but the first few months I’m focused on that craft. I got in to deco mesh wreathes a year or so ago and we ended up with 9 or 10 deco mesh wreaths around the house. Luckily with soap making it’s quick, easy to clean up and the finished product makes a great gift!

20160925_080821

A few weeks ago I bought a soap making starter kit from Michael’s. I finally decided to give it a try after my wife bought me a How To Book on soap making a few months earlier. The starter kit sat on the kitchen counter for a few days, then it moved to the credenza in the living room. I kept putting it off until my niece finally pushed me to make it with her. I was expecting a huge mess to clean up when we were finished but that wasn’t the case, which may be why I enjoy it so much. Fortunately I work somewhere that has dried herbs and essential oils so getting the ingredients was easy, my boss just gave them to me in exchange for some custom soaps. Also, the starter kit wasn’t expensive either after we used a weekly coupon. I believe my total for the starter kit was only $10.

20160922_161512

The starter kit came complete with a soap mold tray, 3 bottles of dye (red, blue. yellow), a bottle of cucumber melon scent, 1 lb of clear soap base and 1 lb of white soap base. It has everything you need to make soap, you don’t have to have essential oils or dried herbs to make soaps but some people may choose to like I did. The instructions were clear and easy to understand although we kind of did our own thing from the start. I used a recycled glass jar to melt the soap in and a small spoon to stir with. The soap is already marked where to cut so it was easy to measure and it only took 30 seconds in the microwave to melt the soap. We really enjoyed creating new colors and experimenting with different herb and essential oil combinations. I had some silicone trays sitting around so we made little soaps too.

20160922_161506

We enjoyed making soaps so much the first time that we went out to Michael’s a few days later and picked up 8lbs of soap including she butter, olive oil and goats milk soap bases. We spent the weekend making soap for my niece’s grandmother whose birthday is coming up. I love seeing my niece have so much fun in something so simple, it doesn’t happen often because now she is almost 19 has so many other things to do. We used the dried herbs from my work and essential oils from Karma Organics. My favorite was definitely peppermint herbs with peppermint oil and jojoba.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Soap Making

The Importance of Family Dinners

With conflicting work schedules and after school activities its no wonder many families no longer have family dinners together at the dining room table. Yet studies show that family dinners are an important part of healthy living.

When families eat together they tend to eat fewer fried foods, soda and foods with trans fats. When younger children frequently eat dinner at the table with their families they are less likely to be overweight than other children as well. Obesity is a serious concern because nearly 1 in 5 children aged 6-9 in the United States are overweight. That puts them at higher risk for many health problems when they get older.

Family dinners are also very important as your child reaches their teen age years. One of the most effective ways for parents to be engaged in their teens’ lives is be having frequent family dinners.

CASA recently reported on a national phone survey of 1,000 teens and 829 parents of teens. Eating dinner as a family helped kids in many ways. It helped them get better grades, and kept them away from cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana, and more. CASA recently reported on a national phone survey of 1,000 teens and 830 parents of teens. Eating dinner as a family helped kids get better grades and kept them away from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

In case the examples above weren’t reason enough, here are a few more reasons to eat dinner as a family.

  • Everyone eats healthier meals.
  • Friends won’t likely abuse prescription drugs.
  • You and your kids will talk more.
  • You’ll be more likely to hear about a serious problem.
  • Kids will feel like you’re proud of them.
  • There will be less stress and tension at home.
Posted in Family | Comments Off on The Importance of Family Dinners

Looking for an Alternative to Electric Dog Clippers?

FB_IMG_1429047100460

Do you have a dog or cat that sheds uncontrollably or is constantly getting mats in their fur? Groomers can be expensive and if your dog is anything like the yorkie pictured above then electric dog clippers are not an option. I would like to introduce you to a new product I recently discovered, Scaredy Cut.

FB_IMG_1429047195218

The Scaredy Cut grooming kit replaces electric clippers with scissors that are guarded by an attached comb. Many animals panic when they hear electric clippers and even the “silent” clippers can send your fur baby in to full on panic. Scaredy Cut grooming scissors are a wonderful low tech solution that will keep your pet happy and stress free. You don’t even need to give your pet a bath before using the grooming kit! Which is really great because I can’t imagine that giving a cat a bath would be very enjoyable for anyone. As long as you can brush your pet, you can Scaredy Cut your pet. 7 different combs are included in your Scaredy Cut grooming kit from 1/2″ to 1″, and the product is backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

FB_IMG_1429047086533

You can order your Scaredy Cut grooming kit in either blue or pink, and the kit also comes with tiny trim scissors. The tiny trim scissors are a great thing to have because they are perfect for trimming the fur around your pets eyes, nose and feet. I personally ordered the blue for my review but to each their own. I tested the Scaredy Cut kit on my moms clipper shy yorkie named Robin. Robin goes in to complete panic when he hears the electric clippers, so up until my review my mother had only been able to do the back half of him. The scissors are sharp and make a clean cut with no snagging. He laid on the counter the whole time we groomed him and never even panicked.

20150405_135318

Look at this transformation!

20150405_145604

To order your Scaredy Cut grooming kit, click here! They are on sale for 44.99 for a limited time, don’t miss out!

20150405_145858

Posted in animal | Comments Off on Looking for an Alternative to Electric Dog Clippers?

Getting The Best Bang For Your Cluck

For many chicken owners a flocks production is key to keeping birds. To some other chicken owners the eggs are just an added bonus because they consider their birds as pets. I am a little bit of both. While my chickens are considered pets, they were purchased to produce eggs. However if you are raising birds primarily for egg production it is important to get the best return on your feed costs. Before you can decide what is best to increase your flocks production it is important to know what affects production first.

There are many things that affects a hens ability to lay such as her age, genetics, stress, nutrition and daylight hours. At the very top of production a young hen will lay one egg each day. Many hens will take a day off each week even when they are in their prime. It’s important to start with the right breed of chicks if you want a plethera of eggs. Hearty egg layers like Barred Rocks, Marans, Easter Eggers and Rhode Island Reds tend to produce more eggs for a longer period of time. Breeds like cornish cross and Black Broilers are meat chickens and are not good egg layers. A hens age for peak production is from 6 months to 18 months. Some hens will lay for longer while others will stop laying before they are 18 month old. I have a 18 month old Barred Rock who has given us an egg a day even in the summer months. While i have a 9 month old leghorn frizzle who hasn’t produced an egg in over a month.

Nutririon plays a big roll in a flocks production. Birds should be on a started feed until they are 6 months and then be placed on a grower feed until they begin laying. Laying hens should be on a good quality laying feed that will give them vitamins, minerals and protein. Free ranging hens with room to roam will scratch out most of their nutritional requirements but still require laying pellets to keep them at peak productivity.

Daylight hours also take a large affect on productivity. Hens lay more often in the spring and summer months when days are long. Their internal clock tells them this is a good time to raise their young. You can trick them by setting up a light in the coop.

Stress acts just the same on chickens as it does on people. When people are stressed they tend to be less productive, same goes for the chicken. If there are kids and dogs chasing them around you chickens will live in a state of fear and will not lay.

Is none of these seem to be the problem with your flocks productivity you can always try to spice things up. Try mixing red pepper flakes in with your chicken feed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting The Best Bang For Your Cluck

10 Must Haves For Your Next Road Trip

Whether you are traveling with the whole family or just a friend, road trips are fun and exciting and are one of the best ways to make memories. If you are traveling with multiple people in your vehicle it could make that long car ride even longer. Between potty breaks, sight seeing and food runs it’s easy to add a couple hours on to your already lengthy drive. Here is a list of the 12 things you need to bring on your next road trip that might make things a little less crazy.

1. Snacks and mess free meals. This is so obvious, however most people pack snacks that can leave crumbs, and a sticky mess. Especially if you have little ones! Try to refrain from anything with filling like ritz or oreos. Pack some fruits and veggies or bring along your favorite cereal bars instead.

2. Baby Wipes. If you have kids then this is already a no brainer. But if you don’t and your confused as to why this is an essential for long trips then allow me to explain. Did you ever eat a burger in the car and get mayo and ketchup all over your face and hands? Napkins clean up the mess but doesn’t always help if your hands feel sticky. Spill your soda in the cup holder? Wet wipes! No more sticky mess. Your hands, your car and your passengers will thank you.

3. Emergency Kit. Even after the tune up, you never know if there will be a problem with your car. A emergency kit will contain all your uh-oh needs like jumper cables, flashlight, flares and so much more.

4. First Aid Kit. Just in case one of your road trip buddies gets injured while trying to take an awesome selfie.

5. GPS. Even if you know where you are going, you don’t know if there will be any detours or traffic to get around. For me my GPS is always in the car. I can’t read a map to save my life, but with my GPS I don’t have to.

6. Maps. Yes I know, I just listed a GPS and said I can’t read a map. But having a map is always good, because your GPS doesn’t tell you when there is a beautiful scenic area coming up. And if you don’t use the map, it still makes a great sun shade to cover your window if you want to take a nap.

7. Gum. No one wants to sit next to Captain Halitosis in the car for umpteen amount of hours. Don’t be Captain Halitosis!

8. Moisurizer. Being stuck in such a small space for an extended period of time can really dry out your skin which in turn might make you very uncomfortable on a long trip. Bring a trial size bottle of your favorite lotion or a body mist along with you. Better safe than sorry, right?

9. Dry Shampoo. Sometimes your hair just gets greasy for no reason. Don’t miss out on the group photos because of that. Bring some dry shampoo along and freshen up on the go.

10. Drinks. Always make sure you bring lots of water on your trip. Long trips can lead to dehydration and you don’t want to spend hours in the car just to feel sick.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 10 Must Haves For Your Next Road Trip

Legal Discrimination in America?

Image result for rainbow pride flag

When in our country did it become alright and even protected from the law to discriminate against people who are different from you? Who in their right mind truly believes that Mississippi’s HB 1523 was simply enacted to “protect religious freedom”? If you think HB 1523 only targets the LGBT community you have been mislead.
HB 1523 was signed by Gov. Phil Bryant in April 2016 but was stopped by a district court in July 2016. In his ruling U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that HB 1523 “puts its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others” and “violates both the guarantee of religious neutrality and the promise of equal protection of the laws”. The matter was then challenged in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Barber v. Bryant. Arguments for and against the horrendous law were presented in April of 2017, with judges ruling on June 22nd that HB 1523 should become law.
This law is being called the most discriminatory anti LGBT state law in the country. HB 1523 gives broad permission to discriminate against LGBT people, seemingly to protect the “free exercise of religious beliefs”.

Who is protected under Hate Bill 1523?

Basically every straight, married christian. But they aren’t the only ones who will be free to discriminate; religious organizations and state employees are also free to discriminate. Taxpayer funded organizations like schools and hospitals can also openly discriminate against LGBT individuals. Isn’t that lovely? While same sex marriage is still legal, state employees can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. So while you may still be able to legally marry your same sex partner, you may not find anyone who will issue your marriage license. Under this law almost any individual or organization could justify discrimination not only against LGBT individuals but also unwed couples, single mothers and non Christians.

Who is No Longer Protected?

LGBT individuals
Single Mothers’
Individuals who are having premarital sex

How Will This Bill Effect Those who Are No Longer Protected from Discrimination?

This is about more than a baker refusing to bake a cake for a same sex couple. Now anyone can discriminate against the groups I listed above. People can harass a single mother who is out to dinner with her children. Or a married woman who’s husband is over seas, simply because she appears to be a single mother. A man who appears gay(even if he isn’t) can be refused service. An unwed couple with children needing economic assistance can be refused because they had premarital sex. You see this bill is about more than just discrimination against LGBT individuals. Even if you don’t know someone who is part of the LGBT community you have to know an unwed couple having premarital sex or a single mother. How would you feel if they were discriminated against?
Companies can adopt anti-trans restroom policies, because they believe (male) man (female) woman refer to an individuals immutable biological sex was determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth. HB 1523 can affect adoptions or foster care, leaving more children in shelters and orphanages. Companies can refuse to sell homes to LGBT families and children can even be subjected to CONVERSION THERAPY. DID YOU READ THAT!? Funeral homes can refuse services to LGBT individuals or single mothers and claim it’s their religious belief. This bill gives individuals a completely free pass no matter how much of a hardship they are inflicting.
The bill has been criticized by business leaders in the tech industry, and states like New York and California have banned non essential government employee travel to Mississippi. Approximately 38,000 LGBT workers in Mississippi are not protected from discrimination under new state laws. At this time we do not have numbers for how many people will be open for discrimination but with Mississippi having one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country this bill could be devastating.

What are Mississippi residents saying about HB 1523?

I have been personally discriminated against for being a butch lesbian I have been told I don’t belong in a women’s bathroom I have been told I couldn’t go into a restaurant I have been harassed at work while just trying to get to my car to go home this was all in Mississippi I moved there for the love of my life I for one think this bill is a huge mistake it will just be more hate against LGBTQ which we don’t need or deserve any hate at all.

~Heather

I feel like this is detrimental to every person who lives in the state of Mississippi. I personally am affected as a heterosexual female because I have homosexual friends and family members. All humans should have rights. I feel like this is also going to be dangerous to our economy. LGTBQ people inhabit our state, they pay taxes, run businesses, are patrons to small businesses, you name it. If we discriminate and deny services based on who they define themselves as, or who they love, they will move away to a more accepting state. Aside from that, I feel like this was passed based from a “Christian” standpoint. This could not be further from the Christian perspective, God tells us “love thy neighbor as thyself.” It does not say, unless they are gay, unless they are Muslim, unless this, it says LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, period. This brings me to another point, if any business owner is granted the right to deny services based on whatever bias he or she wishes, what happens if someone wishes not to serve someone because they are a Christian? Would that cause an uproar? Surely it would. This is why I feel this must be overturned. It should have never been passed in the first place, as it was poorly written and inhumane. I have taught my daughter since birth that a loving family is simply that, a loving family. Two moms, two dads, one of each, a dad, stepdad and a mom, it DOES not matter & even she would tell you that. Take a step back and flip this situation back to slave times. African Americans were discriminated based off of the color of their skin. That wasn’t right and has been overthrown. How is this any different? It isn’t. It isn’t right, it isn’t good for my family, it isn’t good for my friends and it isn’t good for our state!

~Selena

There’s just such a fine line with the current discussion. One side wants to not be discriminated against, but that comes at the cost of another sides freedom. That’s weird to say, I know, but businesses should be able to make any choice that they want, always. That’s where people’s moral compass comes into play, and unfortunately there are hateful people out there. But if government can tell a business owner how to run his/her own business, then I just feel like it’s wrong. That’s the tricky part about change. We want to have laws and control when it benefits us and makes us feel safe, but scream injustice if those laws and control affect our freedom. Businesses have always had the right to allow service or deny service to anyone of their choosing, otherwise people with no shoes, no shirt, would actually get service. Again, I’m not advocating anyone to get discriminated against, but I also don’t think that would automatically happen either. Both sides currently have choice, and that’s how it should be. A customer can choose not to patronize a store just as much as a store can choose not to serve the customer.

~Anonymous

Posted in bisexual, discrimination, family, gay, Hate Bill 1523, HB1523, lesbian, LGBT, MISSISSIPPI, phil bryant, pregnancy, transgender | 1 Comment