Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Simple Sugar Scrub






I don't know about you, but when I am gardening my hands really pay the price. 
Even with gloves, it seems like my hands are ready for a super scrub by the time I come in.
I keep a small jar full of this simple sugar scrub by the sink and use it often.
It leaves my hands clean, exfoliated, and moisturized!
Best of all, it is inexpensive, simple, and would even make a great gift.

Try it! I know you will be hooked!

SIMPLE SUGAR SCRUB

brown sugar
white sugar
olive, apricot, or sweet almond oil
essential oil

Fill 1/2 small jar with brown sugar, 1/2 with white sugar...leaving some head room at the top.
Saturate with the oil of your choice. You want the sugar to completely soak up the oil and be quite moist....not dry.
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil...or even vanilla.
Lavendar, lemon, geranium, peppermint are all good choices.

Now....enjoy!
You can use in the shower or just place a little jar near your kitchen sink.
It's lovely!


~Julia

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Baby Chickies




The other day, Darren made the comment as to why we had 4 chickens and only one who actually laid an egg.
I know...not too productive!
The animals on our farm have jobs and we kind of expect them to "pull their weight."
So, I went and ordered 12 more chicks.
This morning, to the delight of my two homeschooled kids, we went and picked them up.
What a fun way to start the day!

And now, math, spelling, and phonics are being done to the tune of some noisy chicks...currently hanging out in the kitchen in an old metal bin.
A sweet little memory to tuck away.





{Sleepy chicks :) }



Hope you are having a great start to your day!

~Julia

Follow me on Instagram for more fun farm pictures.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lemon Pie


Do you watch the TV show, Fixer Upper?
Oh, how I love that one. Joanna has a lovely blog , too, and shared this pretty perfect lemon pie recipe.
It was super simple and equally delicious!
I made it for Mother's Day and brought it to our picnic.
Even though my pie plate did not exactly fit in the cooler, and the whipped cream frosting slid a little off the plate....we really loved this pie!
{The Mothers on Mother's Day! L-R: My Mom, SIL Ange, sister Charity, and me!} 

Definitely one of those go-to recipes to save for get togethers, new neighbor gifts, or just because :)

You can get the recipe HERE.

Hope your Mother's Day was a lovely one!

~Julia


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fighting for Family Rituals


We sit every morning at the kitchen table, cups of tea in hand, ruminating over our day ahead. It starts the day off right and our little family ritual helps hold our family tight.

Kisses good-bye, hugs before bed, shutting off the TV for time together, spending time outside in nature, popcorn and movie night every Friday. These things we fight for because they are the glue that binds our family together.
Knit and woven are we to traditions, daily moments that the kids count on.
Prayers before meals, talking about one positive thing that happened that day over dinner, sitting down each night together for a family meal. 
A family wide trip to the lake each summer...
These traditions are hard to keep going at times. It seems like as a Mother, I have a lot stacked against me to continue small rituals. Phones are buzzing, days are busy and stressful, the kids are active and busy with outside activities, other responsibilities tug at me.
But when I hear them talk about memories....the good ones, the ones that really count and make them who they are today....it's always centered around our traditions.
Discipline means sometimes doing things even when you don't feel like it, to achieve something you love.
So I fight to keep these traditions going.
And I know it's never too late to start a new one.
To begin something that changes your family's story forever.

Wishing you a lovely Mother's Day!

~Julia


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dreaming of Flowers

To say that this time of the year brings my anticipation of flowers to an all time high is an understatement.
The breeze in Ellensburg is drenched in the scent of lilacs, and I tend to inhale deeply, drinking in the scent.
Oh, it's lovely.

And on my kitchen table, they are even more lovely!
The variety I have in my yard is a mystery, but the plants came to Ellensburg with some of the first settlers.
They are old, and hardy, and slightly romantic :)

And peonies...
My heart is captivated by this old-time flower.
I have poured over books and the internet in hopes of growing them here.
36 out of my 38 roots made it through the winter and are doing fantastic.



My flower seeds are slowly making it into the ground.
Enough to fill my little farm stand with bouquets all summer long.
I am smitten with old fashioned flowers and heirloom varieties.
They tend to be easy to grow, tough enough to stand our inclement weather, and I love the fact that my Great Grandma had them in her garden.
Sometimes the old varieties get lost in all the new hybrids available today.




It's a family affair...the kids love to make bouquets and harvest veggies for the stand, too.





Occasionally, we have an extra little helper in the garden.
Last year, little bully found a way through the fence each morning into the raspberries and carrots.










{A bouquet from my SIL's flower farm, Earth's Gift.}
She is amazingly talented!


I am humming with ideas and dreams of which seeds to plant where, how to aesthetically lay out my garden.
Such fun this time of the year!

Looking for ideas and inspiration?
Are you an aspiring flower farmer...or maybe just want to grow blooms for your own use?
Here is a list of my favorite resources...

A wonderful blog chock full of planting tutorials.

An amazing book on growing cool weather flowers.

Wonderful seed company.

Another great source for seeds.




~Julia

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Today...


This Springtime weather has us outside and enjoying the sun!
Our little cousin was able to visit over Spring Break and what a fun time the kids had together. 
Cousin relationships are so special.
Almost like a brother or sister, yet a completely unique bond.


Lily had fun showing her cousin how to groom and care for her steers.
She caught right on!


Our neighbor's goats....lazing in the sun :)

Chippy was groomed and beautified for hours. He was in heaven.
 Then I decided to use his lawn mowing capabilities in the chicken run. It is quite large and my chicks are not keeping the grass down.
I think I need to clip their wings to keep them contained.

Have you planted your garden yet?
My spinach, kale, and lettuces are coming up...as well as peas. 
The rest of the garden {shown here} is ready for seeds!

Hiking is such a fun part of the Spring for us.
The girls and I decided to hike to the ridge of a very steep hill to see these iron horses.
How they got them up there, I will never know!

 And today....we are back outside. Planting potatoes, working steers, and maybe even taking a dip in the creek.
Cleaning a bit indoors, creating fresh spaces from willy nilly messes made all winter.
Oh this Spring time is pure joy!

Hope your Spring day is a lovely one!

~Julia

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Small Life...and {Clean Eating} Strawberry Brown Butter Betty Tarts

Sometimes my life seems ever so small compared to those around me.
With the world at our fingertips these days, it's easy to compare my life to others and feel like they are stretching so much farther.
Like everyone is living big, doing bigger things.
And I am living small.

But small is not insignificant.
It is in the smallest of moments that I feel thankful.
Thankful for the sweet hug from one of my children.
The smile from my husband, knowing what he is feeling without words.
The gratitude of a sink of dishes and bubbly warm water to wash them clean...the satisfaction that I have fed my family.
It is in the smallest of moments that I think God speaks.
Not in the noise and rush.
But the quiet few minutes when you can give Him your time.
And who is to say that a small life is not important?
The things we are doing for our families day in and day out are stepping stones...launching pads for our children into the world.
The talk with my teens, the time spent doing things they love, pushing them to be better, being there.
Serving others, serving your neighbors.
This is where the small things really add up to something big.


When I have had a busy, stretched- thin kind of day, I am happy to go back to my small life.
It can be meaningful, purposeful, finding the gratitude in the days that it seems like I am on repeat.
Those days that I think I can't wash another load, or clean another mess, I have learned to seek the moments of thankfulness.
The small moments...that add up to living big.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And speaking of living BIG....these Strawberry Brown Butter Betty Tarts will knock your socks off.
The recipe is simple, but the little tarts will add such a lovely surprise to your Easter table...or really any time you want a healthy dessert.

STRAWBERRY BROWN BUTTER BETTY TARTS


This recipe was adapted heavily from Smitten Kitchen :)

3/4 stick salted butter
1 tsp. coconut sugar set aside
8 slices gluten free bread of your choice {white works best}
1/4 + 1TBS coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup + 2 TBS. almond flour
2 cups strawberries sliced
opt. whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in the middle.
In a small pan, melt the butter. Once it is melted, turn heat down to low and keep stirring.
The butter will develop a nutty smell and start to turn brown.
Do not take your eyes off of the butter during the process. The period between brown and burnt can be less than a minute.
Once it has browned, remove from heat.

Cut the crusts off of your bread and press them flat with a rolling pin.
Lightly butter 8 muffin tins with your brown butter and sprinkle the bottoms with the 1 tsp. coconut sugar set aside.
Lightly brush both side of the bread and press into each muffin tin.

Make the filling!
Stir together coconut sugar, zest, almond flour, then add strawberries to coat.
Stir in remaining brown butter and mix well.
Scoop the strawberry mixture into the tins, pressing gently.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then uncover and bake about another 10 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream.


Enjoy!

~Julia

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Red Angus Valentine Calves

Because I can't stop taking baby calf pictures and some people might start to block my personal Facebook page if I don't stop posting.....I thought I'd share a little Red Angus love here!
The babies all came around Valentine's Day- three bulls and a little heifer.
I you LOVE farm life photos, and {my personal obsession}- cow pictures, you are welcome to follow me on Instagram.



Just standing...

















Lily's show steers, Fizzy and Soda Pop. Jack loves to help her.




Fizzy has a problem with licking. Even with a salt block, he licks poor Lily until she is wet!

Feeding in the mist.


Enjoy your day!

~Julia

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