We are getting bigger! This weekend we welcomed not one, but FIVE new animals to our small farm.… Read More »
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Wool dryer balls.
Either you know exactly what I’m talking about and LOVE them or you are scratching your head trying to figure out what in the world a dryer ball is?… Read More »
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A new year is upon us, can you even believe it? Where did 2016 go?!
2016 for us was quite a busy, crazy year but full of many wonderful and lasting memories. Unfortunately, due to many unexpected things, I was unable to blog as hoped. I’ll admit, some of the reason was pure laziness. I was so busy and tired that when I did have time to blog, I just didn’t want to (yes, that was said in my whiny two-year-old voice). That will change this year. Blogging is something I really enjoy and I already have a great group of followers, I just need to make time!
How am I going to change? How is this year going to not end up just the same as 2016, me being lazy and not prioritizing my time efficiently?
This is how. Introducing the Happy Planner!I purchased a Happy Planner by me & my BIG ideas (MAMBI) last year and LOVED it. I did use it (most of the time) but not religiously. Regrettably, I did not use it to its full potential and that is what I am changing in 2017.
My resolution this year is to use my planner each and every day. Ultimately, I (along with 97% of the world) want to get more organized, budget better, and become debt free. However, my resolution does not include those things, my resolution is to develop a better routine. I know that by nailing down my routine, I will be able to achieve those other goals as well. I WILL be in the 8% of people who keep their resolutions. My sanity depends on it.
What is a Happy Planner and how is it different than every other planner out there?
Last year I did a lot of research on different planners- if I was going to really get into planning, I wanted one that I actually liked! There are many options out there, along with hugely varied price points. I did not want a cheap dollar store version (although those work great for many people) but there is no way I was going to pay $50+ for a planner! I needed something that was beautiful, affordable, easily customizable and motivating- I believe I found my perfect match.
The Happy Planner is a disc bound system. Pages are easily removed and added while being very secure. Each month has a “dashboard” page, a monthly view, and weekly views. It is an 18 month planner (July-December) but I purchase it discounted in December/January, rendering it a 12 month planner. This works for me as I use the previous 6 months in other areas of my planner (such as my DIY sticker book- post coming soon). Even if you end up tossing the previous year 6 months, it is a great deal at less than $20 on Amazon. (I purchased mine for $14 at Michael’s)
How will this help me develop a routine?
With three kids, two being in school, a farm, gardening, daycare, blogging, and all the home “stuff” to keep organized, my brain is maxed. I used to do a pretty good job of relying on my memory or a few post-it notes scattered here and there. That ‘aint working anymore.
The monthly view is where I jot down when my bills are due and pencil in appointments when they are made (starting in February the monthly view will become my blog planner to keep me on track with posts). My weekly view has reminders for school, sports practices, daycare schedule, appointments, events, birthdays/anniversaries, etc. I also include a few checklists (water, exercise, cleaning) because I like to check things off as they are done.
Me and My Big Idea also sells extension packs that you can add to enhance your planner. I purchased the Home Planner extension. They also have Fitness, Recipe, Wedding, as well as blank 6 monthextension packs. There are pocket folders, extra covers, discs, graph/lined paper, and much more available to make your planner your own.
So far, I LOVE the home planner extension pack. Included are tabs for meal planning, to-do lists, house cleaning schedules, and budget. I may add the more in-depth Budget extension pack in the future but for now, this is perfect.
Are the “extras” worth it?
As far as embellishments go, there is no need to go “hog wild” with expensive stickers, washi tape, quote cards, etc. (although they are ADORABLE and really fun!). I purchase many of my stickers and such from the dollar store, on clearance, or with coupons. Etsy and Pinterest also have awesome (many free!) printables that can be printed on sticker paper or cardstock (and then glued in your planner).
Customizing and embellishing your planner is so fun and makes it enjoyable to look at multiple times a day but, again, totally not necessary. The Happy Planner is gorgeous all by itself and does include some pretty awesome quotes and images!
*It is not necessary to purchase a special hole punch to add pages in this planner (although there is one available). Creating your own is easy with a dollar store hole punch and scissors. *
Cheers to a year full of memories, fun, health and (hopefully) an extra slice of sanity!
Make it a power-packed one!… Read More »
Is there anything more comforting and cozy than a freshly baked loaf of bread, right out of your oven? I personally don’t think so- bread is one of my favorite things to make! During the Bread Making Challenge, I was asked if I have a bread recipe that will work for a beginner, easy and yields great results. Well by golly, I do! Heirloom Buttermilk Bread is simple, yet delicious!
My husbands grandma gave this recipe to me years ago and it’s my favorite by far. It is very tried and true and I guarantee it will yield beautiful results every time. I have made this recipe many, many times and I know Grandma still makes this bread every single week.
Heirloom Buttermilk Bread is a traditional, comforting recipe that will fill your home with the irresistible fragrance of warm, fresh baked bread! Your family will thank you, in fact- invite some friends over and show off this deliciousness! Or hoard it all for yourself… I don’t judge.
Bonus: it comes together very quickly- not a lot of kneading or rising time needed for this tried-and-true recipe!
Sad to say… there is one issue with Heirloom Buttermilk Bread.. there is no “stop eating” button. It’s way too easy to plow through a whole loaf without even realizing what is going on. Good thing this recipe makes two loaves :).
First of all, sift flour if desired. I try to do this every time. My grandma once told me the statistic on the average amount of bugs in flour and ever since then, I sift :). I do think it also leads to fluffier baked goodsand I get my flour in 50 lb sacks so I think it maybe gets condensed more (or it could all be in my head)… Either way, I take the time to do it but it definitely isn’t necessary.
Combine 3 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt. Add warmed milk, water, oil and mix on low for 2 minutes.
Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Knead, add flour as necessary until smooth and elastic. I typically knead with my Kitchenaid Mixer on low for about 5 minutes, then finish up by hand.
Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough, shape and place in greased pans.
Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from pans, brush with butter (if desired) and cool.
Heirloom Buttermilk Bread
- 6-6 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) rapid rise yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk (regular milk can be substituted as well)
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 c oil
- 2 tbsp. melted butter (if desired)
Combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat milk, water, and oil to 125ºF-130ºF in microwave. Stir into dry ingredients. Beat on low 2 minutes.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead, add flour as necessary until smooth and elastic. Hint: I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to knead (on low) for 5 minutes, then I finish up by hand.
Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and shape. Place in greased pans. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 350ºF 30-35 minutes. Remove from pan. Brush with butter (if desired). Cool.
Yields 2 loaves.
Strawberry Jam is one of those must-make things in our home. It is our favorite by far and I make sure I have a couple dozen jars done up during strawberry season. Strawberry Balsamic Jam is one of the highlights of our jam collection this year!… Read More »
Who doesn’t love the smell of homemade bread?! Such a comforting, delicious aroma that makes your house smell absolutely amazing!… Read More »
If you love peaches and you love rhubarb, you will love this jam!… Read More »
Last week was quite an eventful week at the “farm”. Lots of babies!… Read More »