Thursday, March 8, 2012

Magazine GiveAway!!!!



As most of you know I love all things French.  Hubby even brought home an animated movie last night titled "Monster in Paris."  I loved it all.....sigh.....someday.....

So as you can guess I love to read the blog:  The Parisienne Farmgirl.  And of course I wanted to subscribe to her upcoming magazine.  This is a unique E Zine that will be delivered right to your Inbox for only $24.95 a year, 4 issues total.

But what makes this Magazine GiveAway (for The Parisienne Farmgirl Magazine) so much more amazing is that I have an article being published in the magazine!!!!  Pinch me!!!

So please sign up to subscribe to the magazine and if you are chosen as the subscription winner your fee will be reimbursed to you. 

To enter the Magazine GiveAway: 1.   leave a comment below telling me if you would rather vacation in Paris or on a Farm and a brief description why.  2.  Also like my Facebook Page Amusing Provincial of La Ferme and leave a comment there.  I want to know my readers!!! 

Thank you in advance for all of the lovely support I appreciate it so much! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Beginnings

I am working on some Gardening Posts & Chicken Posts (chicks are supposed to hatch tomorrow!!) on a new blog!!!  My amazingly talented cousin (yes I have a great family) has designed a new blog for me, but I'm still learning all of the bells & whistles so I am not giving you the link quite yet.  But I wanted you to know that new things are coming!  Hooray for Spring & New Beginnings!!!  God has blessed me with so much abundance and joy in the past month I am overwhelmed by His goodness.  It is my prayer that you are as well. 

You know His timing is incredible.  I have been walking around the yard looking for signs of spring.  One of the goats is really getting large with kids in the womb.  Iris have turned green and my Hellebore has a bud.  I believe God is like that.  He is all around us putting treasures in our path that we walk by every day or has been covered up by leaves or snow but they are there for us to uncover. 

A month ago I was twiddling my thumbs, praying for direction in my life and grabbing for whatever strand of hope and opportunity that I saw.  Today I am going from to-do list to to-do list for all of those strings I grabbed have turned out to be a huge balloon bouquet of abundance and joy that is carrying me on the ride of my life. 

Trying to balance family and work (did I just say that) and making time for my creative endeavors as well as "chores" (these moments of solitude outdoors with the animals is more like a welcome break in the day) and homesteading tasks can be overwhelming.  Not to mention relationships (friends, family, spiritual).  But the beauty of His plan is that it all works together so smoothly and flows so effortlessly when it is within His will.

Praying this spring takes you to new heights in every aspect of your life.


Notice the rainbow above the balloons in the photo.
photo taken from here:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Head Over Heels

Well I'm in love.  I've been searching for an outfit to wear for an upcoming event. I wanted something unique, earthy, farmgirlish, fancy, yet simple: ME.

Well Etsy never disappoints.  I mean does this description get any better?  "Rust. Sweat. Stormy nights. Sweet Tea on the front porch. Whisky out back. House proud. Cypress moss swinging from branches. Old leather. Family secrets. Muddy back roads. Torn linen. Tent revivals. "  Each piece is in my Favorites section.  And her goods were SOLD OUT at Anthropologie in New Orleans!!!

Yes that's love speaking.  When I have something in my mind I know what I want and I usually do not waver.  For example....I knew I wanted a vintage looking lacy number for my wedding day - no poofy ball gown for me.  I walked in told them what I wanted 30 minutes and $300 later I had it! 

So I've had in my mind what I want for this event and a few others I've been planning for when I came across Bayou Salvage on Etsy.  What's not to love about someone who describes her pinafores as "Country Fried?"  My kinda gal!

So I've made some major decisions ladies.  I must have it all.  Or at least a few pieces of this charming collection.  Please visit this talented artist and support her.  I cannot rave about her enough!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Makes Up Your Make Up?

I am a make up girl.  I feel naked without lipstick.  I love Aqua Net.  I love to smell good and I used to match my nail polish with my outift....daily.  Now that I'm a semi hippie I'm actually reading labels and finding out for myself what's in the products I use.

(meaning of hippie according to Webster's Dictionary is: 
: a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society (as by dressing unconventionally or favoring communal living) and advocates a nonviolent ethic; broadly : a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person
ummmm....crazy definition!)  and yes I do have long hair and am rejecting what I believe most of us as a society have been led to believe; that if it's on the shelf (food or in this case MAKE UP) it's a safe product. 
I have this cousin that I love (yes I have to because we're family but she's totally cool and I genuinely love her) and she MAKES make up.  Good make up that covers my flaws and in cute little packages and reasonably priced.  And made up of all natural non chemical products.  You can find out her contact info here on Facebook.  You will love it too!  She was inspired to start her company because of all that she read in labels on make up.
Did you know that cosmetics aren't tested by the FDA before they go on the market?  According to Mother Earth News (great informative magainzine by the way) 80 % of the products used in most cosmetics have been linked to cancer and other health concerns.  Mineral make up is better for you but still might contain aluminum!  It is also is used in a lot of anti persperants!  Some mascara even has mercury!  You can read a distrubing list of toxic chemicals used in common beauty products on this site.  My new rule is if I can't pronounce it and know what it is then I probably don't want it in my food or on my body.

Back to my beloved Aqua Net, if I should be warned not to stand close to a fire when wearing it or holding it, then maybe I shouldn't be wearing it????  Here's how it rates on the Environmental Working Group website.

I love this blog by Sarah Kovac who shares all about her experiences of giving up shampoo and making her own face wash.  I know you'll enjoy it as much as I do and I just might give up shampoo too!!!

I was thrilled a few months ago to read of a local Northwest Missouri Mom who started her own business by creating Non Toxic Nail Polish called Piggy Paint.  She has now sold to and met famous celebrities like Tori Spelling and it all started out by her finding out what ingredients are in the products she was using. 

Women amaze me!  We have such potential!  We are so persuasive!  And creative!  Imagine the influence we could have in our homes, our stores, our finances.....Start Reading Labels, Imagining the World A Better Place and then TAKE ACTION!!!!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Around the Farm

They're here!!!!  My French Copper Maran Eggs have arrived!  Can't wait for 21 days until they hatch! 

                                               Don't you just love the dark chocolate color?

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Homestead Shopper - Part 2 Natural vs. Organic & Coupons!!!!

Oh boy.  I hope I can type as fast as I can think.  This is a passionate subject for me and I am just overflowing with all I want to share yet keep it cute and fun and brief.  My mouth wants to flap open just like in the photo above.

First of all how blessed are we to live in a day in age where we can find info at our fingertips and connect with others passionate in the same topics?  AmAzInG!!!  So blessed! 

Last night during the Grammys this thought provoking commerical was played and sponsored by Chipotle.  I loved it!  It actually almost brought me to tears that's how passionate I am about getting back to our roots.  Take a peek.  How awesome that when someone like me, who feels that my little voice and lifestyle can't make a difference, sees something this powerful aired by a large company to a huge viewer spot I begin to think maybe there is hope.

I don't know if I mentioned it or not but my family's New Years Resolution has been to eat mainly organic, Non GMO food as much as we possibly can.  Yes I still love soda (Lord help me) and let the boys eat candy bars now and then because I'm a believer in not letting it be taboo or that's all we will want (think diets and budgeting too).  I know it's bad but....I've gotta wean myself!  Our grocery bill has skyrocketed.  I used to shop exclusively at Aldi's because they have a lot of great products like milk without hormones and it's cheap.  But right after our resolution they began to build a new Aldi's and did not hire local workers and since I'm all about local.  Well.  It's been a timely decision to move our business to the organic section at HyVee.  A couple of weeks ago I thought this is crazy I have to make this a little more adorable so I decided to incorporate some 100% All Natural items into our diet.  When I got home and took the time to read the labels I did not like what I saw.  The new jello I was so excited to finally give to my poor deprived children in their lunch box had corn syrup in it!!!!  Never mind the no artificial colors label, the corn syrup was just as bad!  So here are a few links to the Natural vs. Organic debate.  This week I will once again be buying all organic items.  (I actually think they taste better).  And Hyvee has their own off brand of organic items so that really helps to buy those.  If you can only do All Natural at least it's a step in the right direction.

Here is what Organic It's Worth it has to say.

And Stonyfield says this.

One last link are these organic facts.

So if you've decided to buy organic why not use coupons to help save money?  I'm all about coupons. 

Organic Valley is one of my favorite company's.  I just love their coffee creamer!!!  Way better tasting than the new All Natural one I found at Hyvee.  You can print coupons right off of their website.  It was already the same price and with the coupon:  cheaper!

I love the Frugal Girls site.  It lists all of the upcoming sales and combines them with coupons.  Here is the organic version. 

And a few more can be found here.

If any of you readers out there have additional links or suggestions I would love to hear your comments below. 

My dream would be for each of you to be able to grow your own food or even a fraction of it.  And if you can't, please support your local farmers who do at your nearest farmers market.

I know this hasn't been full of cute pictures but I hope you found this post just as inspiring.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Homestead Shopper - Part One

I love this photo I found on Pintrest..  Add sunglasses to the look and that's me (I wish!) flying down the aisles....If you have seen me over the course of the last year at any number of retail stores with the large sunglasses on and my hood up (but now I see the scarf is way cooler), rushing past you, don't think a thing about it.  Apparently I shop like a criminal.  Since I have been on the quest to make a lot of the products I use - I have been buying very unusual products that I normally would not buy.  Glycerin, lye, ammonia, huge amounts of vodka.  Yep. 

Over the summer I was buying ammonia on a regular basis at the dollar store for a cheap flower booster recipe I found online.  Until the manager would get called up every time I came in.  Apparently you can make drugs with ammonia.  I found an alternative Garden Fertilizer Recipe.

Lye is used to make soap and must be purchased at chemical companies.  To use it I wait until the kids are in bed and put on gloves and goggles because if the stuff touches your flesh it will eat it and a trip to the ER is necessary.  So that's what I'm doing if you drive by my house late at night and see my silhouette in the window stirring with the science garb on.  NOT cooking up criminal concoctions.  Would it be easier to buy already made wonderful goat's milk soap?  Why yes it would.  Two of my very good friends sell theirs and you can find them Here and Here.

Oh the vodka.  It's for the Vanilla Extract.  I promise!!!!

Yes you've seen me looking at Pink Camo Guns online but only because my son is obsessed with hunting and I'm forced to watch it all day on TV and those girls look pretty cool shooting grizzlies. 

And I am a follower of Junk Mafia because it's AwEsOmE!!!!  I love their daytrips!  It's about shopping people!
I hope you'll decide that being a homesteader is worth the suspicious looks in the checkout line.  What crazy things have you purchased to skip the middle man and create your own products?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Be The Change

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast.  Mainly because it's my husband's specialty.  But also because it's just so darn good.  My sister and I were leafing through Country Living Magazine yesterday and she was drooling over the breakfast served in this article.  It features sausage, pancakes, and Maple Pecan Butter.  Want to know what excites me most about this menu?  I can raise everything I need for the entire meal here on the farm.  When I look at a recipe I think, "Do I have everything I need to make it already at home?"  That's the beauty of self sufficiency and one of my main goals for our farm. 

Last year we planted a small nut grove and this spring we plan on adding Sugar Maples to the farm and Heritage Hogs.  We have milk for the butter and we have planted wheat to make the pancakes.  Yes, it will take a long time for the trees to grow large enough to produce nuts and sweet syrup but we have to start sometime. 

We want to leave our children with the resources and the knowledge on how to provide for themselves in the future and not just financially.  Times have changed and it's vital to know where your food comes from and how to obtain it.  I joke that I don't want to be Amish (they are fabulous people but I love my technology too!) yet I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and find knowledge there not just entertainment (my kids also love to watch it).  I believe it's important for young men to know how to hunt for food, start a fire and of course do dishes & laundry.  (That's right we will arrange a marriage for a price.  Joking!!!  I'm a believer in TRUE LOVE).

My boys got the cutest book from a ChickFilA meal a few months ago and I just love it. In the book it's the farmer's birthday and all of the animals are excited about what they can give the farmer:  cow-milk, sheep-wool, pig-sausage, hen-egg, horse-pulling wagon, dog-friendship.  I believe that's what God intended; for us to give the animals a happy life and that they in turn want to give back to us.

What's your favorite recipe and how can you start becoming self sufficient by producing all that's in that recipe?  Salsa is a great place to start or salad because all you need is a small spot on your balcony or backyard to grow all you need for just a few dollars worth of seeds or plants.  I hope your winter days are spent dreaming of small differences you can make in your life that will affect the next generation.  It doesn't even have to be food related.  It could be trying to live more green, starting the habit of an hour a day just talking to your child without the distraction of handheld electronics, calling a good friend once a week.....These practices will all affect your future and your childs.  I'll close with one of the most common sayings you'll hear but it's so true:

Be The Change You Want To See In The World.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inside Scoop: What's in the farmgirls make up bag?

As the granddaughter of beauticians I've been wearing lipstick and painting my nails (to coordinate my outift) since I was a toddler.  I've toned down over the years (Hallelujah!) but still don't like to leave the house without lipstick & mascara on.  As a farm girl I've got a few other suprises in my make up bag.  This is my current favorite lipstick from Loreal.  Take this fun quiz to see what your lipstick shape says about you.

I have another favorite lipstick that is suited especially for my skin color.  A couple of years ago I read Color Me Beautiful to determine what colors look best with my skin coloring.  You can buy the product colors to suit you here.

I had to buy this lip balm when I saw it at the feed store.  I really love this product!  All natural, pretty local to me (Wichita, KS) and invented by a woman!!!!  I'm seriously considering getting the bumper sticker.  Check out I Love Chicken Poop.

Pretty pill box, lip gloss, black eyeliner, mascara, favorite earrings and broken bracelet I can't seem to part with.  What's that on the far right you say???

My handy dandy pocket knife!!  Yes I use this for opening toys, haybales, you name it.  Well, I don't clean my fingernails with it like a real redneck......

Enjoy your weekend future farmgirls of America.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Weekend in Pictures (with short descriptions)

I must first let you know that I am in no way a photographer.  Until the iPhone I have been the mom who never had the camera and begged the Good Moms to send me copies.  Hubby had bought me a cool camera I just never knew how to use it.  Still don't.  But I'm determined to learn.

I was tickled pink with delight at this gift of a gorgeous electric butter churner from the sweetest lady at our church.  I cannot wait to make butter!!!!  Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!  Best. Gift. Ever.

My boys play hockey.  Here is a cool shot of one of them going after the puck at a gorgeous outdoor rink.  We had to leave before dark to get there in time for the 8:20 game.  We were late.  And got lost on the way home.  Shhhh don't tell my husband I told you.

Hubby worked on our remodeling project.  Currently my three small boys share a room.  It's very crowded......thus the remodeling of the basement.  Therefore I must clean out all the goodies that are in the basement to make room for construction.  Here are a few of the items I have been gathering to decorate the boys' rooms with.  I have quite the collection started so that means a lot of hard work for me. 

These homemade noodles were super easy to make and tasted better than they look.  I did not take any pictures of the burnt homemade spaghetti sauce or the black garlic bread.  Not kidding. 

I am learning to knit.  I'm terrible!!!  I can crochet but knitting has been hard for me to catch on to.  Luckily I have some very sweet & patient friends who are trying to teach me.  I can't wait until I can use these new knitting needles I got for Christmas without swearing under my breath.

I LOVE to read!  And I usually read several books at once depending on my mood.  I have these by my bedside right now.  I like to read fiction back and forth with books about subjects I want to learn.  I am also back and forth between 2 books on my Kindle that I try to take with me.  I usually read books about financial goals (Suze Orman right now), spiritual, gardening and something fun I want to learn about.  What are you reading?  I'd love to know.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's A Girl To Wear

Do you ever watch "Whats Not to Wear?"  The unsuspecting fashion do's & don'ts?  Well I did not name my blog Amusing Provincial (funny farmgirl) for nothing.  While I was not on the show I did have a similar scenario.

Over the past few months my oldest son has been obssessed with trying to get a deer.  Which unfortunately he never did.  However weekends have consisted with accidently washing the camo clothes (who knew they were supposed to stink!), buying expensive deer corn and depoisiting it accordingly.  And moving the Deer Cam around the property.  Last week's shots only included one dear.  Moi.  Unbeknownst to me I was being photographed as I did the chores morning & night.  In my galoshes & flannel pajamas.  In the muck boots with a towel on my just washed hair.  And don't forget the last minute chore run before church of ballet flats and cute scarf.  Luckily for me these photos have already been deleted.  Oh my.

So what's a farmgirl to wear when doing her chores?  During the summer when my full time occupation is to lounge by the pool and weed the garden my must haves to wear are a comfy skirt, a floppy hat and an apron.  Yes sometimes I find myself at an event and look down to see that I have muddy knees, but it's so much cooler.  A hat is essential to keep the sun off your face and hair out of your eyes.  And the apron must have lots of deep pockets to hold eggs and fresh veggies.  Here's my favorite I purchased at a flea market:

Another one that my beautiful mother in law helped me make several years ago is this one that I love to display.

There are oodles of cute looks to copy from Pintrest (follow me!) and I've discovered this fun blog you might enjoy.  And of course one of my favorite places to shop is Junk Gypsy.

You never know what I'll be wearing or wear you might find me (art museum in fabulous block prints, tea house in frilly lace or rowdy restaurant in boots & bling) but home is where I can't wait to get back to.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh so yummy butter!

I remember the first time I had real butter.....I was helping a neighbor lady who lived on a dairy farm and she served homemade bread with real butter.  And real Farmers cheese.  Oh so yummy!!!!

I'm having a few girlfriends over tomorrow so this morning I put my hair back in cute scarf fashion and donned my great grandmother's apron - ready to tackle the kitchen. (You wear boots and blue jeans to the rodeo, sweats to the gym, "work clothes" to work don't ya?  Why not dress to cook?) On the agenda: homemade bread and butter.  If you follow me on Pintrest you can easily see that I love both.  (I will have a link to follow me on Pintrest just as soon as I figure out how!)  Even though I have been at it for 4 hours it really doesn't take long to do....just a few simple steps but it takes time for bread to rise and bake and such.  Here is a link to my current favorite bread recipe:  Courtesy Providence Hill Farm  It's super easy and delicous!

My hubby did good this Christmas and bought some items off of my Amazon Wish List.  I got this darling butter mold and a bread basket, garden book and perfume I wanted.  I also got an army blanket and camping plates.  Yes they were on my list but I had them on there for other of these days I'm going Glamping and going to blog about it.  :  ) 

Back to the butter.  I learned how to make this from the sweetest lady I met at Garden Club and I love how easy it is!  All you do is buy some cream from a local dairy.  I do milk goats but they do not naturally have cream that rises to the top like a cow would.  I do have on my Wish List (pay attention honey) a Cream Seperator that would do the trick for my goats milk.  And I would love one of these wooden paddles to use when I make butter.Wooden Spatulas & Paddles

Anyways....Add the cream to your KitchenAid and let it whisk on low about 4 min until it reaches the whipped cream stage.  You can take out half of it if you choose and add sugar & vanilla and top that lattice apple pie you just made.  Or turn up the dial to high for about 10 more minutes and let it do it's thing.  It's extremely messy so I put a towel over mine.  Before you know it you now have butter and buttermilk which can be used for pancakes and lots of yummy things.  Place the butter in a separate bowl and rinse it with cold water.  You may now add any salt or herbs you'd like.  I chose to salt some and put in the butter mold and made Orange Mint Butter with the rest:

                             1 stick butter 
                             2 Tablespoons Honey
                             1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
                             1 teaspoon orange zest
                             1/4 teaspoon salt

That's it!  The other butter is still in the mold in the freezer but here is what it looks like when we served it at Christmas.

Pretty darn cute, huh?