August Goals Update 2017

August was a month of birthdays, our 14th Anniversary and buying our new-to-us camper!  So, pretty great if you ask me! And, here’s how the ol’ 2017 goals are going!

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We are still rarely eating  out, making our own cleaner and buying second hand when possible!

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My thrift store haul! (Back to school clothes for me!) 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. A major high five goes to the Mr!! He sold our roof top tent, camping trailer, and 2 sets of tires and rims! Go him!!

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 also cancelled our garbage pickup because for $15, we can take our whole year’s worth of garbage to the landfill and still have extra money to spare!

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Still only 4 bags for the year! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. I have not been getting too crafty lately. The beginning of the school year does that to me! But I am still getting some things made!

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I’m working on more garden aprons! 

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. #comeonmrllewellyn!! Well, he isn’t an electrician so we shall see about this! But not to worry! We are still preserving all of our harvest!

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6. Expand the garden. I widened the area along the fence and planted plants all throughout my yard. The fence garden is starting to fizzle out. The sunflowers are huge and the green bean trellis is growing pretty well too!

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! We are also growing popcorn, okra and my favorite: cucumelons! All are growing great!


8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this now! I love watching the chickens, but life has kept us busy!

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year, and we are going to be doing the same recycling program this year! Plus, I’m going to green up the faculty lounge!

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Our beautiful little pollinator garden! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.7 mwh! And our electric bill was less than $6 again!

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We are loving our panels still! 

11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! They will be getting a mite treatment and I’ll be checking in on their food supply! Right now they are really busy collecting nectar and pollen

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All the pollinators are loving our sunflowers! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. But, next year has us excited! We got a great deal on a truck camper! With a little work, this baby is going to help us travel out west in 2018!

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Our new to us camper! 

Hopefully you made August a productive month too! Tell me how your goals are going!!

June Goals Update 2017

It’s really summer! We are starting to get some food from the garden including garlic and potatoes. I’m looking forward to gathering lots more this month!

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! The summer challenge is going well! We (all 3 of us combined) only sent about 10 ounces of garbage to the landfill this whole month!


2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We got rid of a big gaming table and a few other not played with things!

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! Yep, still on the same bag of garbage, #4! We might just make it through the summer!

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This has been going pretty well! I had a craft set up at a local friend’s store and a few online sales. I’m sewing some round earbud holders now to see how they sell and the mister has been blacksmithing hooks for keys and hanging heavy things!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. Thank goodness that I don’t need this yet because it’s not been accomplished yet! But I did just buy some peaches at the farmer’s market that I might need to can! Come on Mr. Llewellyn!

6. Expand the garden. I widened the area along the fence and planted plants all throughout my yard (grow food not yards, right?) And, it’s looking better!

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Green bean teepee is starting to fill! 

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! We are also growing popcorn, okra and my favorite: cucumelons!

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Adorable cucumelons! 

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this now! I love watching the chickens, but life has kept us busy!

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But we are growing birdhouse gourds around it again! 

9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year, recycled their plastic cereal bowls and even planted a pollinator garden! Watch out 2017-2018 school year!!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.9 MWh! And our electric bill was less than $6! 💚

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11. Continue beekeeping. The bees have been doing well! I pulled off some honey to spin from our largest hive. I’m hoping to add more boxes soon!

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Bees love the echinacea!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We were able to take the boy to an awesome indoor water park in Ohio on Lake Erie. It was a great time and we were able to go to a military vehicle show close by. (Of course the guys enjoyed that!)
If you set goals, how are yours going?

May Goals Update 2017!

Do you know what today is?!?! It’s the last day of school here! Therefore, I’m on break! Yippee!! So, I’ll be posting a little more often! But, now onward with the goal update for May:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We are having a family challenge with money prize between the 3 of us! The one that creates the least amount of garbage gets the $! (We are hoping to get the boy on board with eating less packaged food!) There will be lots of cooking and baking in my future!
2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. Nothing out of here this month! We really don’t have anything to get rid of at the moment!

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! Well, we just threw out the 3rd bag this year.

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It’s June and only 3 bags! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. In May we did a craft show out of town in Boonsboro, MD and we did pretty well for a rainy day! We also have hit our 30th sale at our Etsy store!

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Some items we sold! 

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. Just waiting for our favorite electrician to get to it , my Dad. 😊

6. Expand the garden. I just made the expanded area larger with fencing! Darn deer everywhere here! I was also able to get a good bit planted in our regular yard and even made a green bean tee pee for our pole beans!

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, but something keeps eating the seedlings this year! The cucumelons are in the ground, as well as the popcorn and I’m doing my best to get some okra to germinate! We also have some huge pumpkins that came up on their own from ones the chickens ate last year!

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8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months, I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees. But, I normally sit on the ground. I’m not sure if, or when we will get this accomplished! But, our hen hatched out one beautiful little chick and the quail laid their first egg!


9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year! I also tried to start magazine recycling, but someone kept throwing it all away! Also, my students started saving their single use bowls from breakfast for me to recycle as well as packages from muffins for terracyle!

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These are only from my classroom! 

We also did research, located native plants and planted a pollinator garden at school!

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.46 MWh! (And it was a gross rainy month!) We also got our bill for May, and it was less than $10! Ahh! That was a nice bill to open!

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11. Continue beekeeping. May was the month of swarms! The hive that we split off of our hive is doing well! (Pic on left) Then we got a call about a smaller swarm here in town, they are doing well now! (Bottom right pic). Next we got a call for a big swarm (middle picture.) We were then called back to the same area we got the last swarm to help get an established hive out of a tree that was being cut down. (Top right photo) So, I guess we are glad that we never got a call about the bees we ordered, but didn’t get!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We went with the boy to a nice closer amusement park for his end of year band trip. It was great!
If you set goals, how are yours going?

April 2017 Goals Update!

Goodbye April and hello May! Do you know what I love about May? Everything! School is almost over, plants are slowly making their way outside and the warmth!  Yay!! This is how my goals are going so far:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! I’ve created a variety of reusable make up removers and I’m going to have to write all about how I made my own sour dough starter!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. This month we cleaned out the garage and it looks amazing!

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! The picture on the left is everything that we cleaned up around the neighborhood. And on the right is the same picture from last month. We are still in bag number 2!!

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we attended an art walk locally and it was amazing! I met so many interesting people and heard so many nice comments on my products! Great day!!

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Check out our new banner!!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. I finally got the cooktop moved to the right spot in the garage. Now all I need to do is get my dad to run the electric to it! He’s amazing!

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Future summer kitchen!

6. Expand the garden. We have been able to expand the garden along the fence and we are looking forward to planting some luffa along there too!

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Expanded area!

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year and we are growing them again! Along with cucumelons, my fellow gardening friend gave me some Egyptian walking onions!


8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months, I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees. But, I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! And now we will have some adorable quail over there too!

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They grew up so fast!

9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film and I’m still working on collecting magazines to recycle.

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached around 1.5 megawatts! We are loving these longer days!

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April was a beautiful month!!

11. Continue beekeeping. Not too much to say here! The bees are doing their thing and I separated out a queen cell and some workers into a new hive. I was supposed to get a new hive, but the company hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

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Fun with bees!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We went to Williamsburg, VA over Easter break and loved the history! (And gardens!)

If you set goals, how are yours going?

January 2017 New Year Goals Update! 

January was a quick month! It had some beautiful days and we were able to get a lot accomplished around our tiny homestead! So, here’s the first month Update:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! Here’s the last post on what we already do: https://littlellewellynhomestead.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/zero-waste/   This month we made some yogurt to get rid of those pesky plastic containers! 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We got rid of over 20 plastic storage containers. Well, we cleaned them out and they will be finding a new home! 


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! Good news is that we are still on bag number 1!!


4. Merge crafting and homestead business. We were able to get our business number and create our logo! We are going to be at our first vendor show in March!! So we need to get moving on making crafts! 


5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. (And continue preserving our harvest!) Hopefully this will happen before strawberry season! 🍓 

6. Expand the garden. We won’t be planting the grandparent’s garden this year, but we will be expanding our own garden! This will be happening in the spring! 


7. Grow some different plants. Last year I was so excited about the luffa gourds that I grew. I’ll be growing them again along with some other different plants. Cucamelons are definitely on the list! And now strawberry popcorn! It’s not strawberry at all, but definitely popcorn! 


8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees, but I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! But here’s a picture of some pretty eggs for now! 


9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! We started a plastic film recycling program and it’s been pretty successful so far. We collected 14 pounds of plastic bags in one month. Also, my boss bought paper products, instead of plastic and styrofoam for a faculty breakfast! Baby steps!!


10. Track our solar panels. The panels were installed in December. It took FOREVER for the power company to turn on our meter! So, we used them for about a week in January. 


11. Continue beekeeping. We made it through our first year of beekeeping and we are hoping they overwinter well. They have been out taking cleansing flights on the pretty days! 


12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We didn’t do much this month, but we have started planning our big summer trip! 

So, there you have it! January was not the best month, but turned out ok. Let’s go February! If you set goals, how are yours going?

Zero waste?!??

We have already decided what our goals are going to be for this year! (And I will be posting them later this week.) So, spoiler alert, one goal is going to be to reduce the amount of trash that we produce.

So, next question, what is zero waste? It’s just as it sounds! Creating no garbage! It doesn’t mean recycling tons. It’s actually purposefully not creating trash. Some can put their whole years garbage in a mason jar. We are not there yet, but looking to improve! So, the goal this year is to continue on to creating even less trash! (Yes, this is exciting to me!)

I figured that I should share what we already do!

1. We grow our own food! Which means no packaging and no traveling long distance for our food!

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Growing our own food!

2. I have hobbies that don’t create excess waste! (And create food!)

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Beekeeping (and raising chickens too!)

3. We can, a lot! Between jams, jellies, sauces, fruits and veggies, summer and fall are quite busy for us! But reusing jars every year is a great feeling!

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We ❤canning!

4. Buy second hand! No excess packaging, plus no extra waste being created!

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My goodwill finds!

5. We use beeswax wraps to cover bowls and food, instead of plastic wrap! They can be reused or composted at the end of their life!

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Beeswax wraps

6. I already said we grow our own food, but we also reuse containers to start our seeds in.

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Reuse containers for seedlings

7. I upcycle garbage into crafts. The juice pouches below were donated by student lunches. We also avoid items that are single use.

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Upcycled crafts

8. We eat in almost every day of the week. It allows us to avoid styrofoam containers and single use plastic. (Yes, we both work full time and have a child!)

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Our yummy orange chicken (homemade)

9. We compost everything that we don’t eat and the chickens don’t eat. Some things go in the compost pile and others go to our composting worms .

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Our red wrigglers make great compost!

10. I crochet our washcloths and dishcloths and avoid those plastic loofahs and sponges. Since they are cotton, they can be thrown in the compost at the end of their life.

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Crochet dishcloths

11. I kind of mentioned this already, but we give the chickens some leftovers and in return, we get eggs and great compost for the garden!

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Our compost machines!

12. We use cloth napkins and towels in our home. We don’t use paper towels at all here!

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Unpaper towels and napkins

13. We make our own soap. It allows for no packaging or weird dyes and fragrances.

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Homemade soap!

Now that you know what we already do here, we are going to try to do even more here in the year to come!

Did anyone else set some goals to green up this Earth? Please share if you did, or do something that I might want to try!

2016 goal recap! 

This year has been amazing, at least when it comes to our goals! We have made so much progress around here for sure! So, here’s the progress we made here: 
1. Begin beekeeping: Our bees are doing their winter thing. We don’t see them often. (Unless it gets above 50 degrees!) But, since it warmed up we actually saw them out and about! ✔

Bees!

2. Make a pollinator garden: I can say that we have definitely completed this challenge! We grew black eyed Susan’s, crocus flowers, echinacea, lavender, roses and cosmos flowers. The 🐝s were happy! ✔


3. Vacation somewhere different:(Now that the boy is getting older!) We have managed to do a good bit of traveling, and plan to do even more in 2017! We have been to Tennessee, Hershey Park, Washington D.C., Gettysburg, Pa, local attractions and lots of camping! ✔

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Hershey Park!
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D.C.!

4. No new fashion in 2016: I know most females would freak out over this one! Well, this turned out to be way too easy. I didn’t buy any new clothes this year! Heck, I even had my momma help me find a second hand bathing suit! All in all, it was nice not wasting money on clothes! But, in 2017, I’m going to focus on more quality made items! ✔

5. Reduce garbage: (Did you know the average American produces 4.4 lbs of garbage per day?!?!) Only 1 bag of trash made during this over consumer kind of month! We burned a lot of paper and checked all plastic packaging for ♻️ symbols! And we are going to continue reducing in years to come! 

6. Complete the 2016 in 2016 challenge: That means getting rid of 2016 things in our home this year! So, guess what?!?! We straightened up around here and got rid of all 2,016 things! So, a big ✔️


7. Finish the kitchen remodel: only the baseboard left! Yes, that freaking baseboard is still left! #damnitmrllewellyn! 😉 But we have accomplished so much in there! And we have our adorable sign above the sink. So, we will give it a ✔


8. Build an arbor and plant some grapes:Still at a stand still! But the grapes won’t be growing anymore this year and the posts are set. This is kind of a completed!✔️


9. Expand the garden: We have definitely completed this for the year! We added on several raised beds and a three sisters garden! We even planted around the chicken run! So we can give this a ✔️

Luffa gourds
The big garden
Birdhouse gourds

10. Preserve more food: I think I can definitely check this off! ✔️We canned so many green beans, tomato sauces, jams/jellies, salsa and chili sauce! I hope that our families enjoy the jelly and jam we gifted to them! 

Chili sauce
Strawberry jam
Green beans

11. Organize the least organized place in the house, the garage: I don’t know if the garage will ever be perfect, but it looks the best that it ever has! The recycle area is usable and I have bigger plans for this area in 2017!


12. Treat my crafting more like a business: I did so well this month! I made some money, and also made some amazing gifts! Definitely a ✔!!

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Some of my craftiness!

13. Work on budgeting and paying down the house: We had a certain number that we were shooting for being at for the end of the year, and we are there already! So this goal is already a big ✔️! 💰 

I have loved writing about these goals every month! And don’t you worry, we have 13 more goals selected for 2017! I will definitely be sharing them very soon! Even if you don’t blog, write down a few goals and put them in a place that you see often! And if course, if you want to share some of your goals with me, please do!