Baking/cooking and not spending $

This weekend is a continuation of below freezing weather. I’m really missing those warm summer days and growing my own food! However, I have been enjoying making soup with the tomatoes that I preserved and eating my own pickles, catsup, garlic and green beans!

I have been making most of our meals from scratch, and made some awesome cinnamon rolls earlier in the week and then a pizza that was perfection today!

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Cinnamon rolls! 
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Best pizza I have ever made! 

To keep busy, I have been crocheting lots of messy bun hats!

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Crocheting away! 

I also made this matching set for an adorable little girl and her beautiful momma!

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I love the way they turned out! 

While I have been crafting, the mister has been out pounding on the anvil! This is a bottle opener for a friend out of a railroad spike!

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Bottle opener! 

And the only extras that we have purchased so far: a McFlurry for my birthday boy and another for a neighbor that shares his day!

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McFlurry x2

And we also bought the boy an ice cream cake for his day! It was a great deal at 1/2 off because it was a Christmas cake! I added some extra frosting, some sprinkles and put the 13 on it. No one knew it was a Christmas one!

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Happy birthday to my big teenager! 

And I will continue to sit around and enjoy my footed pajama pants (feejays) and dream about warmer weather!

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Love these pants! 

Is it so stinking cold where you live?! Stay warm friends!

 

Let’s show you the camper!

Two goals for the year all depend on us fixing up an old truck bed camper. We chose this camper because we don’t have to pay to have tags on it, we got a great deal on it, the three of us can fit nicely in it and it really doesn’t need a ton of work! Oh, and did I mention how much money we will save by not staying in expensive hotels!!

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It’s safely tucked into the garage for the winter!

The Mr. has managed to already start plugging away at fixing the legs (a previous owner just about ripped them off!) He also patched the holes in the canvas too! (He’s kind of amazing!) However, there’s plenty more to be done!

The toilet/shower: we need to put in storage and get a new shower curtain. The Mr. also will be fixing a leak from the water hose

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Tiny bathroom

This is a straight view from the door! The table is up on the bed because a certain child enjoys hanging out in here!

The flooring and cabinets are in great shape, so I won’t be changing them! But, I will show you that interesting fabric up close!

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View from the door

The loft/bed area just needs some sprucing up! We plan on buying a cozy comforter set, changing the curtains, and adding more lighting!

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The bed/loft area

This is the dining/second bed area. When you put the cushion down, it creates an extra sleeping space. When it’s up, the table slides in the middle. We are looking at making the table area easier to take out/put in. And that fabric will be changed up! It has seen better days and is not comfy!

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Dining area/second bed

The tiny kitchen area is pretty great as is! We might put in a new faucet, if it needs it. We also need to figure out storage for reusable cups, plates and silverware! We don’t want to create a lot of trash on our trip!

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Tiny kitchen

And then there’s the list! I’m in charge of recovering cushions, making new curtains, adding organizational touches. And the Mr… well, he has a lot of not so fun jobs that I’ll be helping with too!

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Quite a list! 

So, now on to what we have already completed: we managed to find a cheap comforter set that’s not girly. 😆

The Mr. forged a nice handle to put on the broken cabinet! It will also be a towel hanger for dishes, or whatnot!

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Beautiful towel hanger! 

So, we are going to keep working away at creating a nice space for future vacations! And, we are hoping to use this during Easter break to try it out!! Keep blooming friends!

2017 Goals Update!

Last year was my first year setting and blogging about my goals. It was amazing to run into people and they would ask me questions about how I was doing with them! They went pretty well and here were the results: https://littlellewellynhomestead.com/2016/12/31/2016-goal-recap/

This year we are pretty proud of what we accomplished! Here’s our year in review:

✔️1. Zero waste our home! We are still working on creating less trash! We took inaround 130 pumpkins to compost or feed to the chickens! My hubby also made an awesome lockbox for our produce stand using old license plates! And, of course, we grew a lot of food and preserved it! Yard to table!

✔️2. Declutter 20 items per month. It might not have been exactly 20 per month, but we continued finding homes for things that we no longer needed!

✔️3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. We crushed this goal! I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s 7 bags for the year, because the one in the garbage can is pretty much full.

✔️4. Merge crafting and homestead business. Yep, we did it!!  I’m so proud of my hubby for really doing great with his Blacksmithing! We got so many compliments on his metal creations! I’m still sewing and crocheting away, which is my love!

5. Create a summer kitchen. Ugh! This just didn’t happen. I’m ok with that!

✔️6. Expand the garden. The fence line garden provided us with a lot more produce! Plus, we cleared out a lot more space for the 2018 garden!

✔️7. Grow some different plants. The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds!
 Plus the mushrooms were delish and it turns out that I don’t like beets

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, we decided against this! We have some other ideas for 2018!

✔️9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have recycled almost 200 pounds so far! I also convinced my principal to buy a zero waste glue stick recycling box and we are also recycling our cereal bowls and markers! My coworkers are now recycling their plastic in the lounge and I have been recycling their k cups. Oh, and my students (from last year)  also planted a beautiful pollinator garden!

✔️10. Track our solar panels. We are loving the panels! This month’s bill was still only $5 and some odd change. This year we created a total of 14.26 mwh!

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✔️11. Continue beekeeping. We are still loving our bees! We caught swarms, spun honey, sold honey and even made a nice watering hole for our bees! We are still going to enjoy our winged friends next year!

✔️12. Travel more with the family! This year we took a quick trip to an indoor water park with the boy and also visited Williamsburg. Next year we are planning on taking a nice trip out west and renovating this beast:

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Camper for next year! 

Accomplishing 10/12 goals is pretty great to us! We have some great ideas for next year too! How did your goals go? Did you check off something from your list? Just keep blooming friends! 🌱💚

November goals update 2017

November brought the cold temperatures that reminded me that Winter is will be here to stay. It allowed me enough nice days to clean up the garden and chicken coop. So, without waiting, here are how the goals are going:

1. Zero waste our home! We are continuing to enjoy our deliciousness that we canned from the summer and fall including: peaches, apple sauce, tomato sauce and even ketchup! I’m also loving the upcycling that we have been doing here! That’s going to be a focus next year!

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Upcycled license plate money box!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. We need to continue cleaning out the boy’s closet since he’s growing like a weed! I’m sure I will find someone here that could use them!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. We are still on bag 6, but it’s basically full.

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Still only 5 bags thrown out! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we have been crafting away! We will be having a sale through our Facebook page and I have been working hard on hooded towel orders!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. This just won’t be happening this year. #comeonmrllewellyn!!

6. Expand the garden. We are definitely working on this! 

We will be putting up a nice fenced in area next year and driving posts for a better appearance. So, I guess that I need to be selling lots of goodies to help offset the costs!

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Putting the garden to sleep

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! The okra grew great this year. We harvested tons of cucamelons, popcorn, okra and luffa gourds!

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The last of the mushroom harvest 

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this! We have some other ideas for 2018!

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Enjoying a warm breakfast

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film last year. The plastic bag recycling program has started, and we have recycled 88 pounds so far! I also convinced my principal to buy a zero waste glue stick recycling box and we are also recycling our cereal bowls and markers!

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Marker recycling! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached  730 kWh! And our electric bill was less than $6!

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Still loving our solar energy!

11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! I made them some sugar boards to help keep them fed this winter!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. Next year we will be traveling out west!

How are your goals going?! Have you starting thinking about goals for next year? We are hoping to accomplish just as many goals in 2018! Keep on blooming where you are planted!!💚🌱

Thanksgiving break 2017!

Thanksgiving dinner was provided by my wonderful momma as always. We are beyond blessed to have her make our meal every year. (Especially considering she can’t really eat any of it. She’s a survivor of stage 4 oral cancer and eating is a struggle!) ❤️ Her so much!

Over the break I spent too much time cuddling with this handsome pup:

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He whispers that I’m his favorite human! 

I also spent a ton of time sewing hooded towels and walking over to watch the Mr do his Blacksmithing thing!

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He’s unbelievable to watch! 

I also enjoyed watching that electric meter spin backwards and seeing a nice curve in the solar production:

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This is what a pretty day looks like! 

Today I was able to clean the chicken coop/run, clip the doggie’s nails and make some sugar patties for the bees. I don’t want the bees starving this winter! I’m hoping for a short and warm winter! (It’s just backup food!)

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Sugar patties for my bee friends! 

I’m not huge on traditions and Christmas trees aren’t my favorite, but the boy wanted to put up the tree. So, he did a great job!

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I did help with the nativity scene! 

And I’m pretty excited to say that we have exceeded our goal for pumpkins saved from the landfill! 112 pumpkins have made their way to our tiny homestead! The chickens have been enjoying some and we have been making a nice compost pile in the garden!

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We picked up 15 today! 
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The compost! 

And lastly, in our little town, our students are invited to decorate the business windows with our artwork! I decorated a local store and think it turned out adorable!

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Window artwork! 

So, I’m thinking this was a perfect break! Now, it’s time to work hard until the next break! Keep blooming where you’re planted!

 

Seed saving, tiny harvests and a new anvil

This is the time of year to be working on saving some seeds, preserving the last of the produce and starting to dream about a new garden next year!

I picked a bunch of cucamelon seeds out of a melon and then pulled the green coating off of it. They did so well this year, so I’m hoping for more next year too!

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Cucamelon seeds

The Paw Paw tree seeds that we ordered arrived, so I made sure that they were not dried out and put them right in the fridge. They won’t be ready to plant in soil until almost March!

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Paw paw seeds

I pulled the pole beans down from the top of the tee pee and saved the seeds.

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Pole beans for next year! 

Since we got a hard frost that killed everything, I brought in all the luffas and peeled/washed them. They are now drying in the basement!

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My line of luffa

And a few tiny harvests! I pulled the last itty bitty zucchini and I was delighted to find some more winecap mushrooms!

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Tiny zucchini
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Winecap mushrooms

Since it turns out that winecap mushrooms are so delicious, we are going to try to grow them in more places next year!

The Mister was busy picking up his new baby:

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80 pound Vulcan! 

It’s a nice smaller anvil that he will definitely put to use!

I also got to work over the weekend making some hooded towels. I’m hoping to get more orders for the holidays!

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Hooded towels

And I’ll leave my boy’s Halloween costume photo here!

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Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy! 

Enjoy the last day of the month and I’ll be posting our end of the month updates!

 

First frosts, harvests and a touch of Blacksmithing

It finally happened this week… our first frost. It wasn’t the hardest of frosts, but enough to make us realize that the season is slowly fading towards dreadful winter. But, happy thoughts for now… garden harvests tonight! I started with the gardens around the house and we have cucamelons galore:

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Harvesting from the yard

Then, I dug up the last of the sweet potatoes!  (14 pounds more to be exact!!)

Before I ran out of daylight, I also harvested as many jalapeños and popcorn that I could find!

Since I was already close by the big garage with the forge, I decided to see what was being created!

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I’m still so impressed that my husband built this himself! 
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Making a dinner bell
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Working on the anvil
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Finished products! 

And since I have not had anytime to do much crafting, I thought I’d share the chicken doorhanger that I made with some coworkers at a paint night!

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She’s beautiful! 

I hope that you’re still getting some goodies from your garden! Only 2 more days in this working week!!! Come on weekend!