A Week In The Garden And Coop

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring has rapidly turned to summer here in Southern California. Warm to hot temps have begun. March to April is the most beautiful in the garden here.

Our nasturtiums are huge this year. They have swallowed up our gnome garden.

garden gnome in the nasturtiums

I have mentioned that I planted along the Arizona planting schedule this year as our temps have for sure warmed over the last few years. This sweet 100 and champion tomato plant is amazing. Along with my compost tea, the warm temperatures have made them grow like mad. I already have tomatoes that are baseball sized. I have a feeling I will pick tomatoes in April this year.

early spring tomato in Southern California

In areas where the soil is too compacted for planting I have tucked pots with different types of zucchini which I do yearly.

mosaic garden sign

rusty garden girl

Isn't nature the amazing artist? I love the feather pattern on my dark brahma bantam hen. The girls are laying daily.

dark brahma bantam hen

Cilantro Lime Rice

Friday, March 27, 2015

A super easy refreshing rice side dish. This cilantro lime rice recipe is great with fish, chicken or Mexican food.

All you do is cook some Jasmine rice according to package directions but add a good tablespoon of butter while it cooks. When the rice is done but while it is hot, add the juice of 2-3 limes, some salt and a nice bunch of chopped cilantro. Mix thoroughly and serve. Enjoy!

Farmhouse Easter Decor

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

 You know I think of our house as a farmhouse in the city so our decor follows suit. The hubby did a bit of a farmhouse Easter decor job this year. Really farmhouse describes us perfectly. Decor that is well loved, used, useful and mix and match. How about a little Easter tour?

farmhouse Easter decor, rustic decor, ball jars, mixed media

I stole some of our plastic Easter eggs to drop in a ball jar.

farmhouse Easter decor, Easter eggs in a ball jar

farmhouse Easter decor, green rolling pin, Easter egg wreath

I really find it hard to decorate with pastels but I love yellow and green for spring decorating. These chicks and the chick picture are my favorites.

farmhouse Easter decor, chicks and eggs

farmhouse Easter decor, prim Easter eggs

I found this sunshine pillow at Home Goods and since we are Sunny Simple Life I had to have it. We sure have lots of sunshine in Southern California.

farmhouse Easter decor, sunshine burlap pillow

Simple Saturdays 3/21

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Join us for ideas on living a Simple Lifestyle and being Self Sufficient!

simple saturdays3 300

Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop!

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!
Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

 This Blog Hop is being hosted by:

  What Can I Post?

Anything and everything related to a more Simple way of life OR Self Reliance....
Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!
1. Text link Or ADD the blog hop button below & link back to the Blog Hop.
Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

 How Can I Be a Featured Blogger?

Our featured blogger is chosen each week by YOU our readers...and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!
If you are selected as "Featured", make sure and grab your button!:
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**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. **

Congratulations to our Featured Blogger this week:

 Karen Lynn @ Lil Suburban Homestead, one of our amazing Co-Hosts!

Ready to get to the hop? Add your link below:

Frugal Fridays - The High Cost Of Putting Food On The Table

Friday, March 20, 2015

Despite my desire to spend less on groceries, I am finding that food inflation is outpacing my savings attempts. So how do we save money on food

It is quite scary to add up how much you actually spend on food and toiletries each month. I consider myself a thrifty cook but outside of serving rice and beans every night, it is crazy how much food costs these days.

Frugal Fridays - The High Cost Of Putting Food On The Table, cooking beets in the crockpot

To offset the high cost of feeding a somewhat large family, I try and cook almost all of our meals at home. Hubby and I do like to have a meal out alone once a week but we have changed from dinners out to breakfasts at a local place that with coupons and often sharing, we can get out of there for $20. Compared to what it would cost to go out for dinner, this is a big savings. We will do this now more often. I can then switch that money over to our grocery budget.

I debated whether to join Sam's Club again, but after crunching the numbers, it is more than worth it given how much I cook a week. Our family eats 2-3 loaves of bread a week because of breakfast and lunches for most of us made from home daily. Our older girls often fend for themselves out for lunch. I am of the mind that I will not be baking our own bread any time soon. With the chores, homeschooling, warmer and warmer temps in SoCal, animals and the work of the garden, I do not have time to take on one more task.
So Sam's provides some of the best deals on bread. However, if our market has a good special I will buy 4-6 loaves and freeze them.

The garden is yielding more now. We are currently picking lots of greens, radishes and bok choy. Five dinners so far of bok choy and greens for our vegetable is more than enough savings on the seeds spent to plant them. With warmer temps they are bolting so the chickens are getting a bunch a day and they love them. Saves on feed costs too. Beets are coming in and we love them. I did five successive plantings of beets packed in with my intensive gardening methods.

Other savings have been a repair to our car that we thought would be over $1000 ending up at only $350. Our van is 12 years old. We will drive it at least until the end of the year when we may replace with a newer used car. Our other cars are 13 and six years old. We like to drive them into the ground. Maintenance is key.

I have been using coupons whenever I can on purchases outside of groceries. A pair of shoes for myself and my daughter bought with a coupon saved me 15%. Both pairs we a little over $30 total for. I am pretty frugal about my own wardrobe since I do not work. I buy one to two pairs of shoes each season and that is it. I do not like a lot of clutter in the closet and prefer to buy basic apparel that goes with a lot of things.

What have you done this week to save money?
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