Simplicity

"The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:17

Juicy Mediterranean Chicken & Review

Image

Recently my family and I tried a new recipe, Mediterranean Chicken, using Maggi So Juicy seasoning mix. [I am a BzzAgent and was sent Maggi So Juicy seasoning mixes to try and share.] 

It was juicy, delicious, and so simple to make!

Image

This is my own recipe. I made an adapted version of the one on the Maggi website. All you need is 5 ingredients to make a delicious meal for 4-6 people. [There are 4 people in our family and we had leftovers.]

Image

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Image

[Not shown: Slice chicken breasts thinly and horizontally.]

Image

Your children can help with this part. After you’ve added all the ingredients, shake the bag to distribute the seasoning evenly. Then lay in a baking dish and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Image

Look at that baking dish! The oven bag held up well with no leaks. Now that’s the kind of clean up I like! I ladled the chicken mixture and served it straight from the oven bag to the plate. [CAUTION: The steam coming from the bag will be HOT!]

Image

I love one pot meals, or in this case, one bag meals! So easy! This meal was ready in 45 minutes from start to finish. My family enjoyed this meal even though it was different than what we normally fix. The meat was very tender and the flavor/juices made this dish irresistible. It really lived up to its name – Maggi So Juicy.

The packaging is very innovative. The seasoning is at the bottom of the packet with a seal above it and the oven bag/tie is in the top portion of the packet. The pricing is just a little over a dollar at regular price. That’s not much more than you’d pay for a regular packet of seasoning – and this one comes with the oven bag!

I’m looking forward to trying more Maggi So Juicy seasoning mixes. 🙂

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Adventures with Backyard Chickens

Image

Not too long ago I posted an update on our rescue chicken, Susan. But I haven’t taken time to post an update on all of our girls. It has been four, fun-filled months of raising backyard chickens. I am pleased to report that they are all doing well and seem to really enjoy their new home.

Since starting our adventure, I’ve been doing a lot of research and have learned so much. The Chicken Chick is one blog I frequent. She is my ‘go-to’ for learning about all things chicken. I highly recommend you follow her blog. From how to observe hens to make sure they are healthy to making homemade treats for your hens – her blog has it all.

I’ve spent most of the summer making sure the hens had plenty of water and shade. [And of course, spending time watching them.] It was rewarding adding mint, [from my own “garden”], tomatoes and watermelon to  their water to encourage them to drink. I’ve also learned a great way to keep the waterer clean is to add apple cider vinegar (with the mother) to the water.

Susan has remained separated from the flock since she came to live with us. This has not only protected her but has given time for her to heal. [She loves when we sit outside talking to her and often clucks at us if we try to leave.] She and the other hens have equal amounts of time to forage around the yard. Though we live on 20 acres, the hens are content to stay close to home. They forage within just one acre of their coop. We’ve not had trouble with any predators thus far. I think it helps that there are trees around/above the coop and that we have a great guard dog. 😉 

Image

Now that autumn is here and the temperatures are cooler, it is time for us to start thinking about whether or not to separate the hens. I’ve read that if you separate each of them from the others for a few days, once they are together again they will not peck. So I am anxious to see if this experiment will work. I’d love for Susan to be able to safely join the rest of the flock again. She seems lonely at times.

Another great thing about autumn is fresh straw. [It seems like a simple thing. But I love all things fall-related.] While I no longer use straw in their hen house [I use pine shavings because it is more sanitary], I do use it in the coop/run. Currently I am taking advantage of all the leaves falling into the coop due to not having a roof. [That will soon change and will be another posting.] Combine soil, leaves, droppings and straw and you have the makings for a great fertilizer! I just turn it over once a day when I clean out the hen house and the chickens do the rest by scratching it around. How simple is that?! I can’t wait to clean it all out in the spring and have ready made fertilizer for our garden. Another thing you can do with straw is to put one bale out every once in a while for the chickens to peck at. They love to peck, scratch, and spread it around. A nice “boredom buster” as Lisa calls it on her blog, Fresh Eggs Daily. Another superb blog worth mentioning.

Well that’s all for now, I’ll leave you with some recent pictures of the girls.

 

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Leave a comment »

Happy National Book It Day! [Reading Resources]

Image

Today only! You can go online and listen along with Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of Wimpy Kid book series, as he reads “Splat”. He wrote the story “Splat” just for Book It! Program readers. Be sure to check out the printable activities that have been specially designed to go along with the story.

If your homeschool children are not already participating, be sure to sign up for the Book It! Reading Program here. For public school students, check with your school to see if you are participating. My children love going to Pizza Hut and receiving a FREE personal pan pizza each month to celebrate their love of reading.

Image

Also the October Mission is ready at minimissions.scholastic.com! Get creative by cooking up a unique recipe, writing a story, making art, etc. and upload your entries to receive TWO FREE Scholastic books. The possibilities are endless!

Happy reading! 🙂

Leave a comment »

How to Scent Your Home Naturally

I love all things citrus. And if you are like me, you cringe a little every time you throw out those wonderfully scented lemon and orange peels. What if I told you how you can get the most of out of the natural oils that are contained in those citrus peelings?

Image

I have been looking into new ways to use citrus peelings for a while. (Like making homemade citrus cleaner. But that is another blog post for another day.) One of my favorite ways to use citrus peels in the fall is to scent my home. All you need to do is place the peelings in a small pot on the stove with a little water and simmer on low. I like to add some cinnamon sticks to mine. Before long your home will smell delightful. I have mine simmering right now. It smells just like I’ve have been baking all day. This is especially helpful to do before having company over. Citrus is a natural mood lifter as well. Why not give it a try next time you have some leftover from making lemonade?

[I also wanted to mention that I am allergic to burning candles and tarts. But I am able to burn this without any issues whatsoever. Before I would have terrible headaches and sinus problems. Now I am able to enjoy a scented home with no pain. Maybe you or someone you know could benefit from scenting your home naturally.]

Leave a comment »

Two FREE Books from Scholastic!

Image

Sign up at minimissions.scholastic.com and complete a mini mission each month to receive two free Scholastic books for your child(ren). Each mini mission is simple and usually will require you to fill in some information and/or upload a picture of your experience. For example, for the month of September you are required to explain four ways you have spent time outdoors as a family. I wrote about spending time outside taking care of our chickens, meeting friends at a new park, walking our first 5k as a family, and volunteering at the local animal shelter to walk the dogs. After you have completed each mini mission you will receive two Scholastic books, a free story download, and a certificate of completion. Please allow 4-6 weeks for your books to arrive in the mail.

Image

My children received their two free books from Scholastic in the mail today (from the August mini mission.)

kelloggs3

Leave a comment »

How to Make FLUBBER

Anyone remember the 1997 Disney movie starring Robin Williams called Flubber? We owned it on VHS. [I’m aware I am showing my age with this post. Yikes.] I remember as a child thinking how much fun it would be to play with Flubber. So I decided we should make some flubber as a fun science experiment. Today my helpers and I are going to show you how to make it with just four household ingredients.

Image

You will need:

  • 1 cup of Elmer’s glue (or two standard size bottles)
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • liquid food coloring
  • 1/2 cup hot water (I heated some on the stove)
  • 1 teaspoon of borax
  • 2 mixing bowls

Mix the glue, cold water, and food coloring in the first bowl. Note: The more food coloring you add, the darker the flubber will be.

Image

In the second bowl, mix the hot water and borax until the borax is dissolved.

Image

[What? You don’t homeschool in your pjs?!]

Now *slowly* pour the food coloring + glue + cold water into the hot water + borax mixture.

Image

Keep stirring as the mixture is being added.

Image

Pour off the remaining water and get ready for play!

Image

The kids had so much fun! We hope you’ll try it too!

Image

Leave a comment »

Homeschooling on a Budget

Hello. Today I would like to share with you how you can homeschool  your children without spending a lot of money. In the past, I’ve shared deal sites, free ebooks, and even thrift store finds. But did you know that you can get great deals on homeschool items at The Dollar Tree?

I used to think that dollar stores had low quality products and really weren’t worth it. While that is true sometimes, you just have to be picky on what you purchase. The same goes for what looks like a good deal but really isn’t. For example, a 12 oz. name brand shower gel for $1 sounds good. But does that same brand often go on sale at Kroger or Walgreens in a larger size? Perhaps you could purchase 20 oz. on sale for $1.00 at another store. That’s a much better deal. See what I mean? So please be aware of sizes and other store deals on those items.

Back to homeschool deals. Below is a picture of one of my shopping trips for school supplies this fall.

Image

Here is a list of everything you see:

  • (4) lunch boxes, two sizes each
  • sketch paper pad
  • (4) books: Presidents, 50 States, Declaration of Independence, and Moby Dick
  • foil stickers
  • (2) book covers
  • (2) packages of binder clips, two sizes each
  • craft scissors
  • 2-pack of student, point tip scissors

Not bad for around $17 including tax. I’ve seen boxes of binder clips sell for $5 or more at teacher supply stores. And what I purchased covered arts/crafts, history, math, literature,  organization, and rewards. [I should blog about our schedule and rewards system.] I ended up going back and buying several more of the lunch boxes because I found they were perfect for storing our math manipulatives. Here’s how they turned out:

organizehomeschool2organizehomeschool3

This is just one more way to homeschool on a budget. Stay open to opportunity and be creative with your resources. I’m sure you can finds more ways to homeschool frugally and simply.

Leave a comment »

Autumn is here!!

Image

Ahh.. it’s finally here! My favorite season of the year! Autumn. Or fall. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s wonderful to me. Cool evenings, warm sweaters, beautiful colors, delicious food… What’s not to love?

Today was no exception. It was beautiful. Blue skies. Abundant sunshine.

Image

Soft breezes. Leaves are starting to turn and fall to the ground.

Image

Even nature seems to be preparing for the chilly days ahead.

Image

Image

Enjoy the great outdoors. It’s fall y’all! 🙂

 

Leave a comment »

Summer has flown by!

Image

Summer has flown by! It is hard to believe that it will officially be Autumn in a little more than a week. I thought I’d celebrate by sharing some of my favorite pictures from this summer. [Above is my not-so-little-soon-to-be-eight-year-old doing what he does best.]

Image

[A beach where the kids and I visited. Perfectly gorgeous day.]

Image

[My beautiful “bluegirl” rose has kept right on blooming all summer long.]

Image

[This lonely garden gate has all grown over. The garden belonged to my Mom, who has been gone exactly two years now. I miss her every day. Hug your Mamas.]

Image

[Wild roses along the roadside that tell a story. One day the kids and I decided to take a walk with the dogs. It had been raining, but the skies looked clear at the time. We walked halfway down the road and the skies instantly grew dark. Before we knew it, we were drenched in a cool, summer rain. All we could do was belly laugh as we ran home soaked head to toe. I snapped this picture just before the downpour. Wonderful memory.]

Image

[Of course, our sweet hens. I just love Sarah in all her fluffy glory.]

Image

[Jon holding Alice, the chicken. She actually fell asleep in his arms. Awee.]

Image

[My beautiful daughter who is turning into quite the young lady. She later got a cute, bob haircut after donating to Locks of Love.] 

Image

[I’m so glad I snapped these pictures of my youngest because he has already outgrown those rainboots. They sure grow fast!]

Image

[I took these sequence shots to show how beautiful fog looks on the river. This is at our family cabin where we spent quite a bit of time this summer with my Dad.]

Image

[Speaking of my Daddy, here he is at his favorite place in the whole wide world.]

I hope you have enjoyed my pictures as much as I’ve enjoyed taking them. I hope they have inspired you a little as well. Capture each moment, living simply. 

Leave a comment »

Another GREAT Homeschool Freebie from Educents

Image

 

Wannabe Ebook Series from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for Homeschool Families is 100% FREE right now from Educents (a $98.45 value!) This series includes 10 ebooks that can easily be made into unit studies to help broaden your child’s horizon for career opportunities. While these ebooks are geared toward 8-13-year olds, there are special activities included for younger children.

You will receive:

  • I Want to be an Artist
  • I Want to be a Chef
  • I Want to be a Doctor
  • I Want to be a Farmer
  • I Want to be a Firefighter
  • I Want to be a Police Officer
  • I Want to be in the Military
  • I Want to be a Missionary
  • I Want to be a Pilot
  • I Want to be a Veterinarian
  • I Want to be a Video Game Designer

Click here for more information. Happy homeschooling! 🙂

Leave a comment »

SavingArkansasPlaces

a blog of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

Delicate Dreamer

Just a simple teenage girl learning to be who He created her to be

In The Kitchen With T

Various recipes I've collected or concocted

The Blog of T

My life, my kids, my pictures of such