Homestead, Recipes

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

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My husband’s “therapy” is cooking.  David has alot of emotional “disorders” – like many other folks do – and cooking is totally therapeutic for him.  He also has OCD, so his cooking becomes a very long and drawn out affair most times!

Hubby was off work this weekend, and after church on Sunday he decided he was going to “clean out the fridge” and make some soup – it was a very cold and rainy day here in eastern North Carolina – a perfect day for homemade soup!

Using the vintage cookware that we recently purchased from ebay and Etsy, a pattern that was inspired by a small dutch oven we found in my mother’s refrigerator when she passed away this summer, {meatloaf still in it, she loved her meatloaf} he proceeded to make the BEST homemade soup I have ever eaten – and he has concocted a TON of great dishes!

Getting down to business here….I’m sharing his recipe with you – I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did! Image result for line divider for website

Here’s the ingredients you’ll need….

  • 1 stick of butter, divided in half
  • 1 to 1¼ pound of boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground sea salt
  • ¼ tsp coarsely ground pepper (preferably a blend)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, divided
  • 4 to 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small sweet pepper (red, yellow, or orange) [may substitute ½ of a full size one]
  • 1-2 tbsp of flour
  • 4 cups of chicken bone broth
  • 4 small potatoes, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced small
  • 1 cup of water

Then do this….

In a large skillet, add half of the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the skillet and stir until well coated.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme.  Cook chicken until light golden brown, stirring frequently.  Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

In a medium stock pot (at least 5 quarts), add remaining butter and melt over medium-high heat. Add bacon, onion, garlic, celery, and sweet pepper.  Sauté until tender, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle flour evenly over sautéed vegetables and stir until well blended.  Pour in about half of the bone broth and stir well, making sure the flour is mixed with broth evenly; then pour in the rest of the bone broth.  Add the chicken, potatoes and carrots and stir well.  Let soup boil on high for about 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour (time will depend on how small the potatoes and carrots are diced), stir occasionally to prevent sticking (NOTE:  add the cup of water if needed, and add salt and pepper to taste).

When soup is done, stir in ½ to 1 cup of half ‘n half (depends on how creamy you want the soup to be).

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And there you have it….the BEST soup ever!  Please let me know how much you LOVE it!

Until next time…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

DIY, EO DIY, Essential Oil - Recipes, Essential Oils, Health and Wellness, Homestead

Dump The Chemicals!

I don’t “advertise” much here on the blog…but I am sooo excited that Young Living has put two new oils AND is now offering the Desert Mist Diffuser in the Premium Starter Kit!!!  Yep, that’s right!!!  The much loved Desert Mist !!!!

But first, let me tell you about my additional Thank You Gift this month!  The Premium Starter Kit (PSK) comes with a $25 CASH BACK offer only through the end of March!!!  This is my personal Thank You gift to you after you order a “PSK” with me!

You will also get an entire community of oily friends that will be cheering you on as you start your oily journey!

So….read on and you see why you need to grab your Premium Starter Kit today!

THE POWER OF THIEVES!

If you have small children in your home, you’re probably no stranger to child safety locks on your cabinet doors.

And the reason is simple… think of all the harmful, toxic, dangerous chemicals hiding in plastic containers behind those doors. They’re used to clean toilets, scrub sinks, and dissolve that disgusting glob of gunk that’s been hiding behind the trash can for 3 weeks now.

But there’s a better way.  Instead of stocking your home with unpronounceable toxic chemicals, you can use NATURAL essential oils for cleaning!

With the power that cleaning chemicals wield, we of course want to protect the precious little-ones in our lives from letting their curiosity lead them to a dangerous – and potentially fatal – accident.

*To be sure, you must always use essential oils with safety, according to the label, and in the correct amounts.

Getting Started
You can use essential oils for household chores alongside other natural products like bicarbonate of soda, Castile soap, and vinegar. Oils provide not only an amazingly-fresh aroma, but also put the elbow-grease behind the cleaning with their naturally derived, plant-based ingredients.

Some great oils for cleaning include Lemon, Lime, Tea Tree, Lavender, Pine, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Orange, Rosemary, Peppermint, and the essential oil blends – Thieves® and Purification®.

All have cleansing properties and the bonus is that these oils have multiple purposes, so you can use them in all sorts of ways to support your health and wellness!

Cleaning Around The House
Here are a few ways to use essential oils in household cleaning…

Floors: Pop a few drops of essential oils into your mop bucket with hot water and a splash of vinegar. You’ll get those floors sparkling clean.

 Toilet: A few drops of eucalyptus oil with some bicarbonate of soda in the toilet bowl will clean it, remove odors, and keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

Shower: Lemon oil + vinegar in the shower removes hard water stains and unsightly mildew. Soak shower heads for a sparkling shine.

Your Whole House: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 2–3 cups water. This all-purpose cleaner can be used on any surface in your home for dusting, spot cleaning, scrubbing, or any other cleaning need.

Now you can actually ditch overpowering and harsh chemical-based products and keep your home smelling fresh and clean, using all-natural ingredients!

How’s that for the power of mother nature?

 Here is what you get in the Premium Starter Kit….

  • Lavender 5-ml
  • Peppermint Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Lemon Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Copaiba Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Frankincense 5-ml
  • Thieves® Vitality™ 5-ml
  • Citrus Fresh™ 5-ml
  • Raven™ 5-ml
  • DiGize™ Vitality™ 5-ml
  • PanAway™ 5-ml

YOU ALSO RECEIVE:

  • Stress Away™ 5-ml
  • AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment
  • Thieves Household Cleaner 1-oz. sample
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Business Cards
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Oil Bottles
  • 2 NingXia Red™ 2-oz. samples
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Essential Oil Magazine
  • Essential Edge
  • Member Resources
  • Your wholesale membership, with product discounts
  • Access to our exclusive Oily Facebook Community

Click here to grab your Premium Starter Kit and then comment below so I can send your $25 CASH BACK as my Thank You for starting your essential oil wellness journey with me today!

You won’t regret it!!  We sure don’t!Image may contain: text

Thanks to Fyzzbee for the awesome subscription newsletter that provided all of this information!
Homestead, Our Animals

Meet Our Furry Kids

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I can’t believe that we have never introduced our furbabies to you yet!!!  We have 4 furry kids…Molly the cat and Mike, Carlos, and Bella, our pups!  They sure do keep this old couple on their toes!

 

Meet Molly –

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We adopted Molly from the local animal shelter, she was a year and a half old when we got her.  She had been an “owner turn in” – why anyone wouldn’t want her is beyond me!  She is an awesome cat and a great huntress!  She will hunt down every moth and fly in the house!  She really is a great cat with a really good personality!  Molly is 3 years old now and loves her furry dog siblings!

 

 

 

 

When Chica and Roscoe (our pups Mom and Dad, like for real mom and dad) first decided it was time for puppies (yeah, not really a conscience decision!), David and I were so excited!!!  Great grandpuppies!  On a very hot day in August of 2016 Chica had her first 6 babies!  Of course I went to their house right after work to check out the precious pups and I knew immediately which one I wanted!

 

We chose the little black and white puppy with the snowman on his back (Mike got older the “snowman” turned into more of an exclamation point…now it’s just a black blob).

Molly was very receptive to Mike (Mike and Molly, get it?) and they were the only pets  for almost a year before the 2 younger pups came – the two of them really bonded !!!!

 

We always said that when we had a dog we wanted one just like Roscoe (my daughter’s dog and Mike’s Dad) – because he is the bomb dog! We got just what we ordered !!! Mike is so much like Roscoe it’s scary!

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Roscoe and Mike about the same age

 

Meet Mike –  (aka – Mike the Farm Dog)

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Not only does Mike look like his dad, every single thing is the same (except their coloring).  Mike is horribly spoiled (if you saw the amount of photos on my phone and the toys in our living room, you would seriously agree!), and Mike doesn’t know that he is a D-O-G, so if you know him, please don’t tell him 😉   Mike has slept in the bed with us since the very first night he came home, right as Hurricane Matthew was hitting our town and devastated our entire county in October of 2016.

He is seriously the perfect dog!  The only way he could be closer to being a human is if he really were a human!  He is our baby.  The one and only…until Chica got pregnant…again!

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Meet Carlos and Bella –

Ok…so it took a TON a fast talking to convince David to get another puppy!  I even let him pick the puppy himself!  Carlos was his choice…we knew we wanted a male (this is a good point to remember for a little later on in the story), we didn’t want to have to go through a little girl puppy and heat and spaying and all that jazz.  Then, out of the blue, David has this light bulb moment and says we should get TWO puppies so they will keep each other company!  We discussed and mulled it over for, oh, about 30 minutes and decided it was a GREAT idea!!!!  So…I chose Bella…the one that would eventually go into heat if we didn’t spay her!  Geez…what were we thinking?

These two are inseparable!!!!  They love each other more than any two dogs I have every known!  They are two peas in a pod.  Womb mates. Litter mates.  Crate mates.

Carlos is such a wimp…MY little wimp…I love him like I never thought I could love another dog (Mike is the perfect one, remember?).  And he loves his Mom just as much!  This little guy is afraid of EVERYTHING.  No, seriously, he is!  But, he loves to be outside and would stay out there permanently if you let him.

Bella is a FEARLESS little girl.  I have NEVER seen anything like it!  She isn’t afraid of anything!  I do believe that she got her courage and ALL of the courage that was supposed to go to Carlos in the womb!  She is not overly affectionate unless she wants to be.  She make her own decisions and doesn’t care what anyone else says.  She has no clue what the word “no” means and isn’t willing to learn.  BUT….she is the most beautiful (junior) dog – not really a puppy and not really a dog yet – that you will ever see!  And she loves her Carlos.  And he loves her.  And they both love their big brother Mike.  I love our little Bella Boo (aka Belly Belle), she makes life so interesting!

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These 4 furry ones are our lives.  Our furry kids.  Like, for real. They are all so spoiled and so loved.  We are the blessed ones that were chosen to be their humans.  Thank you Lord, you did good 😉

Until next time…

 

~ Blessings

Heather

 

 

 

 

Homestead

We are on YouTube!

Image result for you tube

 

Yeah….don’t get excited yet!!  We have uploaded ONE video as a test run…still lots of work to do…and here is a running list of things that need to be researched:

  1.  Find out how to create a CUTE banner for our channel
  2.  Get some ideas for video content
  3.  Get some courage somewhere to actually do a video with my {Heather} face in it!
  4.  Beg people to subscribe so I can have a custom URL !!!

Go check it out here (there’s only ONE test video there right now!)

I’m sure I’ll be adding more to the list…if you can help with any of these, let me know!

Until the next time…

 

Blessings ~

Heather

Chickens, Eggs, Homestead

Easter Eggs!

 

Easter Eggers

Finally !!! One of our Ameraucana pullets is a big girl now !! A hen!

We found our very first “easter egger” bluish-green egg yesterday !  Our six EE girls were born last February – we got them in mid-April – and we have been waiting for this day since then!!  I was soooo surprised when I went to collect our 5 eggs yesterday (our 5 laying hens are usually on it daily…sometimes we only get 4 though if one is taking a rest day!)  and there were 6 eggs – a smaller bluish green egg along with the normal 3 white, 1 brown, and 1 light brown collection.

Pullets (“baby” hens) typically start laying eggs around 6 months old, but that depends on the breed.  Larger breed like Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons will start laying a little later, but smaller breeds such as the Leghorns, Stars, and Australorps will start laying sooner.

We got all of our laying hens when they were already laying, so this is a learning experience for us!!!  We are excited that our other 5 Ameraucana (Easter Eggers) will start laying soon, and we also have a Barred Rock and a Blue Andalusian that are the same age, so they will be getting ready to put their eggs into the mix too!

Here is one of our Easter Eggers…maybe this “big” girl is the layer of our first blue/green egg yesterday!

 

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DIY, Homestead

A Fire What ?

Yep…it’s our Fire Pit Yardscape!!!  We have finally started our fire pit area!!!  We purchased our fire pit last fall and have been planning our “pit  area” for a long time now!!  This is only the beginning!

shed

Not too long ago there sat an old worn out shed on this spot.  When we found an awesome lady that wanted the old shed – for a chicken coop no less – she came to our place and my hubby helped her take down the shed, loaded it on her trailer, and waved bye bye to them both.

shed spot

We were left with a 10’ x 10’ area that was nothing but dirt.  Then a  light bulb went off!  We had been planning for our fire pit area to be on our concrete patio, but this area would be so perfect!!!

Hubby and I moved the fire pit over to the “sandlot” and it looked so pitiful there all by itself.  We needed seating and had thought about building benches or getting some cool looking lawn chairs…but then, my daughter and son-in-law had a HUGE tree cut down in their front yard!!  Another light bulb exploded in my head – STUMPS !

fire pit

So, here is the beginning of our Fire Pit Yardscape! We are going to get four more tree stumps from my daughter soon.   I will be moving my outdoor chandelier to this area and also adding solar lighting on the ground and eventually some lighting on poles around the pit.  This is going to be awesome for hanging out with friends, roasting marshmallows with the grandkids, and just enjoying an evening fire with my hubby.

Now…if we can just get all of that done before cooler weather we’ll be OK!

Homestead

I’m so thankful…and surprised!

blogger recognition

I can’t believe I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Reward

by the **awesome** LowcountryHippie!

Thank you !!!!  

You have been my #1 fan since my first post!  I appreciate that!

 

How was this blog born?

When we got our chickens there was soooo much to learn and so our blog was born!  As we learned, I wanted to pass those “chicken tips” along to other newbies!  Since we have become more natural and are attempting to be self-sustainable, naturally healthy, and cleaning our home and coop with chemical free homemade cleaners, I thought a blog incorporating all of these would be a great way for me to keep track of everything!  I’m no spring chicken (pun intended) and my memory fails me most days, so having a place to go to document our recipes, DIY projects, etc. sounded like a great idea.   So our “brand” is homesteading, essential oil using, healthy (most times) eating, chicken loving old folks living!  Oh, and DIY stuff too!

For the new bloggers – a tip or two.

Hmmmm…..first, don’t stress about posting!  Pick one or two days a week that you will post and do that until you feel you have the time/topics to post more.

Secondly, have tons of topics listed and a bunch of posts written and ready to post when you start!  I didn’t. So I stressed.  Until I realized this isn’t a job…it’s for fun!

I have a full time job so I knew I couldn’t post each day so I started with my Fun Fact Friday series.  Take it slow unless you are completely ready to dive in!

I’m nominating these blogs…

Hot Mess Homesteading – we have like interests and I love reading about the goats, that’s something we want to add to our “urban farm” when we purchase our own property!

I also LOVE Three Story Homestead !!!!  Again, right up my alley!  Such an informative and beautiful blog!  Thanks for all you Share!

For those nominated, here are the rules for this award.  Keep the love going!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select (up to 15) other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.

 

Happy Blogging everyone and Thanks to my faithful readers!