No Spend Year June Update!

I’ll start off with how we were able to go on such a nice trip this summer, while saving money.

666828B3-40EE-4372-869A-84D74C242627

1. We haven’t been on a big vacation in 3 years. Only little weekend trips. (But still very fun!)

2. We camped all along the way in the camper that we could double our money on, if we sold it today. (Because we upgraded it so much!)

7555C857-29DE-4A62-A214-4F59D9DC5299.jpeg

3. We saved up all year to make sure that we wouldn’t have to dip into our savings for our trip! (By choosing to not eat out, buy things that we don’t need and limiting our spending for the holidays!)

4. We rarely ate out. Because we were camping, we made a majority of our meals in the camper. It was so nice having that stove and our fridge!

7E727B4C-600C-4072-8F4E-9BD4AA06173F.jpeg
Burgers for dinner! 

And remember the adorable toaster oven/griddle/coffee maker combo for the camper?

5FFA4A40-34EB-4737-A20D-E9D5F546C343
This beauty?!

It was amazing! We were able to have morning coffee from our campsite and… the thing holds a freezer pizza perfectly!

5B060767-0525-4E0E-A993-844C648136A3
15 minutes in the toaster over for perfection! 

It was so nice to be able to have some of my boy’s favorite food available for him without ordering out! We ❤️❤️❤️ That toaster over! (We got it on amazon FYI!)

5. We were not big souvenir buyers. The boy and I got a shirt and we took lots of photos that I will be turning into a scrapbook at some point.

Now on to the rest of the month! We have been working really hard at paying down the house! And we are down below the next $10k! We enjoy seeing that number fall!

We also have been eating more from the garden and saving up on our grocery bills. Since I love gardening, it’s a win-win!

23D98BB5-4267-48E2-A264-38215A71F810.jpeg
We had fried zucchini and zucchini cake! 

We have also sold a bit of our produce and will use that money to buy plants and garden supplies next year!

June was really a blur, due to school finishing and our trip all at one time! The summer is a time for us to focus on saving (since I don’t get paid again until September!) I’m looking into more ways to save, and would love hearing any suggestions! Thanks for reading along and keep blooming! 🌱💚

June Goals Update 2018

Happy July all!! June was a fun month of finishing up school and traveling! Plus, the garden is taking off!

And here’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– ✅it happened! Everything is growing pretty well and I’m hoping that I get a great harvest!

2. Fix the camper– We fixed up our camper and loved using it on a trip of a lifetime! We are going to update it some more, now that we lived out of it for 2 weeks!

3.Travel out west- We did it and enjoyed every single stop! (And the last blog posted was all about our adventure!)

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. We are finally starting to see what we envisioned! The pollinator hotel is being used, and flowers are blooming!

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. Bag number 2 was just taken out!

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I didn’t do a big do-good gesture, but the boy’s composting service has kept around 220 pounds of food waste out of the landfill!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- this month we were able to pick up some pallets and the Mr. turned them into compost bins that the chickens gladly turn for us! Post will come later on how to make them!

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! The little sprouts are starting to look like trees!

9. Build a pizza oven– I do believe that we are putting this off for another year.

10. Grow different produce

I am proud to say that the Tennessee dancing gourds are growing, along with the apple melons and all different kinds of tomatoes! I also was able to pick up some ground cherries at a local nursery!

Genovese tomatoes

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- May was a nice solar month, despite lots of rain! 1.47 MWh and just the connection rate for an electric bill! (It’s around $5)

12. Work on garden cart sales– I am hoping to be able to put something out for sale this weekend! We will have garlic, eggs and some birdhouse gourds! That cart is too pretty to not be used!

Last month things grew so well while we were out of town! I hope that your gardens start to produce some fruit and veggies for you! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

Llewellyn family road trip!

For almost 2 weeks this month we had the chance to travel through 15 states, including the one that we live it. We made lots of great memories and experienced it all together! The camper worked out great!

5186C3B4-B128-465D-81E5-3810C78A62CF
All the different campgrounds!

First stop: Sandusky, Ohio KOA- it had a nice scenery and very nice pool and great view of Lake Erie!

3CAD9D91-0107-4DE7-9C0C-F3DF4179E713

02A5D7FB-7441-4590-A7F8-41DE0DDF2444
Lake Erie

Second stop: the top of the lower peninsula of Michigan! This is where Lake Erie and Michigan come together!

1F8FF92B-0B46-40EB-BAF4-0ABFCC1682D4
We walked on the beach a lot
A9C6D6FC-DEC5-4585-8B8D-1E9B6D2F5B9E
Brrr!

The water was way too cold to actually get in past our feet!

We then traveled through the upper peninsula of Michigan and even saw a moose by the side of the road! (If only I were faster with the camera!)

0CDDE87C-D900-4073-8F70-7C4AC11C0BE4
Lake Superior!

The third stop was a KOA in Minnesota! It decided to rain the days we were there, but the camper didn’t leak and the boy still found time to play in the game room and went for a swim!

7D9F6352-1579-4212-8111-4B261E6E4D5D
Minnesota campsite!

Next stop (after lots of driving) was the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It was my favorite! The scenery was beautiful, prairie dogs were adorable and the hiking trails were great! I could have stayed there for much longer!

F3CB586D-95D2-4693-ACB4-7E7AC4229591

EA27B874-C6EF-4CAE-98D0-EFC3E93A4134
The first buffalo we saw!
D42EE602-9C6A-444F-A0EA-96245716FE5F
Hiking!
666828B3-40EE-4372-869A-84D74C242627
Beautiful scenery!
B745D2B2-5D90-435C-B11B-D237B0C9FC58
Sunset from our campsite!

The next stop was Yellowstone! We stayed at a really nice KOA near the West gate! The boy and his dad loved the fudge that was sold in the store and the boy loved the indoor pool. The park was only a couple minutes from the campsite!

B59720D8-1A81-4274-9810-B735A880E444
Grand Prismatic

B7096A01-8035-4601-AFAC-8238AC70CC90

D6FB4928-2B5D-485E-9FF3-10137F31E8C2
We ate our lunch at a picnic area!
7BDB1AD4-7B7B-4AFE-A8C1-3703270A3334
Old faithful was beautiful!
CD7D2EB4-9B05-4771-9815-B5F4EF5C3F58
Hiking with bear spray was a new experience!

The following stop was Mount Rushmore! The boy really wanted to see it, so we had to stop. It’s a nice little stop!

E66C9DFA-08DD-4A3C-A1CA-D7E6E63B949A
Mount Rushmore!

The last National Park was the Badlands. They were beautiful in a whole different way. The views were amazing, and were able to get some hiking in there too!

DF1A332A-4A53-4212-9CB4-EFFDC5DF6C48

D1B28E46-F5FD-4017-A52F-E051098B5A0B
It was like looking at a different planet!

After leaving there, we kept noticing all of the signs for a store called Wall Drug. I googled it and read all about the history of it and we had to stop! We had lunch there and I had one of their free ice waters as advertised with my food and my Mr. had to get one of their 5 cent coffees! It was a neat place!

0929CA53-D4FA-4E57-834A-3E8AFF757A1F
Wall, SD

Our last stop on the way home was in Le Claire, Iowa to see the pickers store. It was more of a museum instead of a store, but worth the quick stop!

1C47BA93-2831-493B-80E8-0502A0AAFF3C
Pickers store Iowa

I loved making tons of memories with these 2! So much so, that we are already thinking about where we want to travel next summer!

0BD248DE-158A-4418-A33F-CFD117C48A54
My family!

And now I need to go get in that garden and work! Those plants tripled in size while we were gone!

We are back!!! And the garden is thriving!

For the past week and a half we were traveling all over this country taking in the sites! It was beautiful and we made so many memories. Here’s a few preview pictures: (but I’ll be doing a whole post on it later this month!)

14FF5CCB-85B2-4F61-8C66-C444A8DC46A4

042710C4-7B34-4793-A6B3-28D519B551D3
geothermal activity at Yellowstone!

The first thing that I worked on was weeding the garden! It was so weedy! Thank goodness so many people give me their grass clippings!

CED73763-69A7-4F84-B362-3902F94B55FB
Grass mulched walkway! 

And the rest of the garden before and after:

3CEF62F2-BB5B-427F-9FFE-27784FDCFD8F
Before
9F6EC0F1-8378-4244-BC68-0E33AE26B29B
After! 

And so much grew while we were away!

5F90A7B5-A67C-4690-B5B9-D21EF697C059
Tiny peppers 
73725141-6969-43D2-A113-947A8FEBE7AB
Baby cucumber 
9A5F858C-9203-4244-9510-C5AF96C73266
Adorable genovese tomato
25F41F88-3A73-404B-9E90-5595E13E45D7
Cucuamelons
12000AD0-07C3-4D24-9145-10D4D6385D5B
Nasturtium Bush! 
55F188D5-6064-4740-B627-4A2799351A99
Even a sunflower bloomed! 

We all had a great trip and I’m beyond thankful for all of the people that stepped in and helped out with the garden, pets and chickens/ducks! Do you all have go to people when you go out of town?

May Goals Update 2018

It’s June!!! Only another week and a half of school, the garden is coming to life and the temperatures are on the rise. I love summertime!

And here’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– it happened! The whole thing is planted! I have walkways and I’m doing my best to keep the weeds at bay! The trellises are all looking great too!

2. Fix the camper– We have been fixing up our home away from home! It is finished, minus a few little cosmetic things that I’d like to do! We love how it turned out! And the Mr. custom fit the bamboo mat for the bathroom area!

3.Travel out west- That camper is officially ready for adventure! It’s going to be happening this summer! I really want to see a buffalo, a few Great Lakes and the beautiful sights in Yellowstone! Oh, and spend another summer with my boy before he’s all grown up!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. So far we have raspberries, blueberries, black eyed Susan’s, brown eyed Susan’s, echinacea and a wildflower mix. And I’m pretty sure that some wild yarrow is coming up! And we are up to 2 inhabitants in the pollinator hotel!

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. We are still working on filling bag 2! (Or actually not trying to fill it!) Still only 1 bag of trash! [/caption]

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I spread some good! I volunteered at a STEM festival and helped to educate kids about the importance of bees! I saved all of the water bottles from being thrown out during a school event and the boy’s composting service has kept around 70 pounds of food waste out of the landfill!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- the Mr. turned a broken window into a planter for the wildlife area! He also painted up and installed a cat litter container (now mailbox) in my garden so I’m not losing my garden trowel as often! And I turned some unused worksheets into notebooks for the boy to write down compost weights on! Great upcycling month!

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! We are now up to 2 seeds sprouting! I was hoping to at least have that many for cross pollination!

9. Build a pizza oven– I do believe that we are putting this off for another year.

10. Grow different produce

I am proud to say that the Tennessee dancing gourds are growing, along with the apple melons and all different kinds of tomatoes! The only seeds that didn’t germinate at all were the oriental long beans. Not a one!

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- May was a nice solar month, despite lots of rain! 1.6 MWh and just the connection rate fir an electric bill! (It’s around $5)

12. Work on garden cart sales– I am hoping to be able to put something out for sale this month! Maybe at least eggs! That cart is too pretty to not be used!

Last month I worked every single free minute in the garden. On more than one occasion I had a bad feeling that I bit off ore than I should have. But, not everything is planted and growing. I hope that your gardens are taking shape! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

April 2018 Goals Update

It is the crazy month of May! The school year is almost over, I have lots to do in the garden and projects that need finished!

And here’s how the goals are going:

1. Expand the garden– it’s finally happening!! The t posts are in, the garden door is hung and the fencing will go up this month! And the plants will go to live outside this month too!

2. Fix the camper– We have been fixing up our home away from home! It is finished, minus a few little cosmetic things that I’d like to do! We love how it turned out!

3.Travel out west- That camper is officially ready for adventure! We tried it out at the end of the month by going to a koa in Antietam and everything worked great! It’s cozy, watertight (yeppers, it rained!) and even the pups enjoyed themselves in it!

4. Create a certified wildlife habitat- There’s a grass patch in front of the garage that is begging to be returned to nature. All of the grass has been covered and new plants are slowly working their way in! So far we have raspberries, blueberries, black eyed Susan’s, echinacea and a ton of other things growing under the grow lights in here!

5. Reduce garbage– Last year we made 7 bags of garbage and we want to make less than 6 bags this year. We are still working on filling bag 2! (Or actually not trying to fill it!) Still only 1 bag of trash! [/caption]

6. Volunteer/Donate/Do Good Every month- This month I spread some good! We really focused on cleaning up the Earth, since Earth Day is in April . We helped to organize a town clean up and about 20 bags of garbage were picked up!

7. Repurpose, remake, mend, repair- we reused some of the old garden fence to go around the trees and help to keep the deer away. We were also able to score an old kiddie pool for our new ducks and I love the way that the other garden door turned out! It’s beautiful!

8. Paw Paw trees– These native trees have grown near here for such a long time! We finally have a seed sprouting. It may be the only one, but I’m hoping for at least 2, so that they can help pollinate each other!

9. Build a pizza oven– this is the Mr.’s idea! He built his own Blacksmithing forge, so I’m sure he can do it! I’m definitely looking forward to having a delicious, out of the oven pizza! No real updates yet

10. Grow different produce

I will be starting a lot more seeds in the greenhouse this month! The grow lights are working hard and everything is getting so big and healthy! I love all the different varieties that are emerging!!

11. Continue tracking the solar panels- The panels didn’t quite produce what they did last year, but it was still snowing all through April! At least we hit a Mwh!

12. Work on garden cart sales– I am hoping to be able to put a few seedlings for sale out there and the chickens are really producing eggs right now!

Last month helped me work on my patience! I kept wanting to do more outside, but the weather said no! This month is already helping us get caught up around the garden! How are your goals going? Keep blooming friends!

Antietam trip! And new bees!

Over the weekend we got the chance to try out the camper before we take it out for a long trip!

C3008982-F842-4C32-AADA-24DBC3386ADB
At the campsite! 

We went to the Antietam battlefield and museum first to give the boy a nice history lesson from the civil war. The murals on the wall even helped me better understand how the war progressed and we enjoyed looking at the relics.

3EC7C30D-7813-4E5E-892B-9E98BD0043EF
A wooden canteen 

We also walked many paths and wore those pups out!

3FE3C4B6-39B0-4022-B403-57D93251F426
Walking the trails 

And it was hard not to stop and look at the size of monuments and think of the devastation that this area saw.

BBD61D99-C307-43F9-8B68-2DCFE636523C
Antietam,Md

We we to a nearby KOA and enjoyed their  amenities! We played mini golf, played by the stream, checked out the dog park and just enjoyed nature! I also felt at home when we saw that the campsite had a mini farm with sheep, goats and chickens!

63B99244-AADE-4C3A-B005-E6DD146F6FDB
Just checking out the creek!

On the way home, we arranged our schedule so that we could pick up a new hive of bees to install when we got home. Nothing like a drive home with a hive of bees right below you!

102876B9-6CD5-407F-ABC3-583AED23D536
I could hear them buzzing!

So, after getting home, I rushed to install the new bees into their house and it was easy to spot the Queen! Can you find her?

C5F301BC-2D8C-4F48-9342-B99E1163D7D6
She’s right in the middle! 

So, we started making a long list of what all we don’t want to forget on our trip out west! It was a great learning experience! Keep blooming friends! 🌱💚