What I Loved About March

What I Loved About March

photo via Hans Dekker on flickr

I feel for a lot of you out there.  For a lot of you snow is still coming down and you can’t even begin to think about planting seeds.

In Arizona, we are quite the opposite right now.  We are in the height of growing season and during March we PACKED IN the outdoor activities.  Trips to the zoo, picnics at the park, backyard playtime and evening walks were just some of the ways we enjoyed our beautiful weather.

Air conditioning was turned on a couple times for the first time this year and the warmth of summer was brought back to our minds a few times.  But overall, it was a beautiful, full month.

I want to take a few moments to introduce you to some of the amazing content I found around the internet this month:

Read more ›

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Happy New Year!

Five Little Homesteaders Top Posts of 2013

Obviously I am not unique in my desire to reflect on the past year.  I suppose most people like to do this.  So… here I am, reflecting on 2013.

I must say, I am pretty excited to see what 2014 has in store for me.

2013 was a good year.  It was a whirlwind and I’m still not 100% sure what it was all about.  There were no new babies this year (aside from chicken babies, which, I guess count).  There were no moves.  There were no real “firsts” this year.  It was a settling year…. a figuring-out-our-routine year.  It did bring me the start of this here little blog and for that I am grateful.

Read more ›

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

January Instagram Challenge

2

 

Are you on Instagram?  If not…. get to it!  I love it and find it a quick, easy and fun way to stay connected with people.

Starting tomorrow, January 1 2014, I’m joining up with a mini Instagram challenge. This is such a fun way to meet new people on Instagram, challenge yourself to stay focused on your goals and have fun in the process. Every day you’ll post a picture on Instagram using the themes below. Just make sure that you tag #myclean2014 and @colleen__nicole (that’s TWO underscores) so I (and everyone else doing the challenge) can all see what you post.

Read more ›

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Come on over and join me!

Dropping in on this Wednesday to tell you about something new that I discovered.

I recently found this great website.  It is called Hometalk - http://www.hometalk.com/ and it is full of amazing information for home and garden projects.  You can ask questions about problems you are having around the house and can even find a list of professionals in your area to help you get your projects completed.

I recently curated a “clip board” of homesteading ideas over on the site.  I was blown away by the wealth of knowledge and all the good ideas I was able to find!

But don’t just listen to me, head on over and check it out - http://www.hometalk.com/b/1243872/homesteading-ideas .

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Sponsor Highlight: MomJeanz

I have just started accepting sponsors on this little website.  I’m excited to be pairing up with some blogs and business that I believe in and that I think provide a good message/product.  If you know someone who you think would be a good match for us here at Five Little Homesteaders, be sure to send them our way.  Additionally, when you have a moment, be sure to check our sponsors out.  I assure you, they are worth your time.


This week’s Sponsor Highlight post brings you the blog  MomJeanz - http://momjeanz.com/  written by the funny and inspirational Elaine.  Elaine and I share a mutual friendship with the wonderful  Mary Catherine - http://www.marycatherinehamelin.com/  and have some similar goals for our families – thus a lovely cyber-friendship has formed.  Her blog has become a daily read for me. 



Elaine has an adorable daughter named Darla (how cute is that!?) and currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.  Her blog is filled with stories about life with her little one, inspiration for living a more sustainable life, and a touch of “birthy goodness” (to use her words).  Be sure to check her blog out when you get a moment. 

Me:  How would you describe your blog? 
Elaine:  hmmm, i’d say it’s the place I gather and dump a bunch of things that will probably come back to bite me later in life about my parenting, family ideals, birth work and whatever other brain fluff is happening at the moment. i sometimes have a hard time remembering that the internet is forever. reoccurring topics include my hilarious and quirksome daughter, birthy goodness, earthy goodness, music and travel doings, zero-waste home efforts and an occasional emotional breakdown. i think my blog is eclectic and funny and lacking concrete structure. it’s basically just like me. 


Me:  Why do you blog? 

Elaine:  wow. these questions are hard for someone who regularly makes simple stuff more complicated than need be, i.e. me. i’ve been asking myself this same question since i started blogging and i think it might be an experiment in stroking my ego?? i could write out a list of possible reasons but the most important one is that i just plain like to write this blog. i just like it. love it, maybe. i hope readers will like it and love it and want some more of it, too. 


Me:  What is one thing you want readers to know about you? 

Elaine:  well, i have a really hard time taking much of anything too seriously and a good deal of my writing comes from that voice. i really find life humorous. oh and i have a penchant for things that start with B: butter, boots, big hair, babies, biscuits, birth and blogs. 

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Sponsor Highlight: Marshmallow Mudpie

I have just started accepting sponsors on this little website.  I’m excited to be pairing up with some blogs and business that I believe in and that I think provide a good message/product.  If you know someone who you think would be a good match for us here at Five Little Homesteaders, be sure to send them our way.  Additionally, when you have a moment, be sure to check our sponsors out.  I assure you, they are worth your time.


With this weeks sponsor highlight, I bring you the blog  Marshmallow Mudpie - http://www.marshmallowmudpie.com/  written by a great mom name Melinda.  I don’t remember how I came across Melinda’s blog, but I’ve been reading it for a while and I love it.  Her blog is definitely one that I check on a daily basis. 


Melinda lives on the coast of Florida (shout-out to my home state!) is a mom to “little guy” and chronicles her life with him, his brother and her husband on her blog.  She is also pregnant with her second child right now, which is so fun for me to read about.  I find a lot of similarities between her style and my own.  She tries to feed her family mostly whole foods and they live an active life.  Stop on by her blog when you get a moment.    

Me:How would you describe your blog?

Melinda: In a broad sense, it would be labeled as a family blog.  It’s really more of a peek into our lives though.  It started out as a homeschooling blog until our Little Guy decided that he wanted to go to traditional school. I had posted so much about homeschooling and preschool activities, that I couldn’t bear to take down all those great resources and ideas, so those posts are still there for anyone who needs them.  I like to share our favorite recipes and recipes that I’ve tried that happened to turn out really well. Right now, I’m pregnant, so that’s currently a big part of the blog. We basically share how we choose to live our lives – parenting, adventuring, lifestyle choices, without judging how other people choose to live theirs.  


Me: Why do you blog?

Melinda:  Because I like it, silly.  No, seriously, like I said before, I started the blog to chronicle Little Guy’s homeschooling so that I would have a portfolio for the state, but by the time he enrolled in traditional school, it had become so much more than that for me.  The blog became a place to record important things.  Trips we’d taken, recipes I’d made,our lives.  It was more than just a bunch of photos on a disk, I could tell the story that went with them.  And I had discovered other blogs!  And I loved them!  I found myself really caring about their children, or being truly grateful for the information they had just shared with their readers, or using their recipes for dinner at night, and I thought, “People might be feeling the same way about my blog.”  That was it.  I was in it for the long haul.


Me: What is the one thing you want your readers to know about you?

Melinda:  Hmmm… that I’m human. I make mistakes, I get tired, sometimes recipes turn out bleh, sometimes Little Guy is not into the activity that I just knew he was going to love, but that I love my family, and I love life, and that’s what it’s all about.  Also, that I have real trouble with semicolons (there probably should have been one in that last sentence, huh?)  And that I’m really grateful to the people who visit my blog and share in our lives. 

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Pantry Revamp: Homemade Pizza Dough

This week’s homemade pizza dough recipe is part of the Pantry Revamp series here on Five Little Homesteaders.  To read more about it, check out the first post here.  To read all the posts in the series, click the “pantry revamp” label to the right.

I’m going to start this week’s pantry revamp by thanking those of you who took the time to fill out my survey last week.  The results are in and I must say, I’m pleased.  I really had no expectations.  I put myself out there and hoped that at least SOMEBODY would respond and you did.  So thank you for that.

Overall, the message is clear.  Those of you who read Five Little Homesteaders are fine with the content.  There may be some things you skip over when I post them and somethings that you feel “indifferent” about, but overall, you think I should just be authentic and write about what feels good to me, which in hindsight seems obvious.  Of course, authenticity and speaking from the heart is always the best policy.  I guess sometimes I just need to have the obvious pointed out and a little coaxing in the right direction.  I really enjoy writing this blog.  It has given my tired, starved mama brain an outlet and it has helped me meet a lot of my goals in the urban homesteading department – for this, I am grateful.

Also, thanks for not being sick of my kids.  Only one of the respondents felt I should post less about my kids.  Most of you said that it is only natural to post about them, as they are a huge part of my life.  I guess I’m sorta the homesteading-mommy-blogger.  I think I’m ok with filling that niche.

Moving on….

The pantry revamp post for this week is about pizza!  Who doesn’t love pizza?

Friday night is pizza night in our household and for a long time (like the last three years), I’ve been buying frozen pizza to serve.  However, since starting this pantry revamp project and trying to improve our eating habits, I’ve been making homemade pizza dough and putting together our own pizzas.

It is incredibly simple, takes very few ingredients, and is really delicious.  Even the kids eat it, so you know it can’t be bad.  (I’m on the fence about whether it saves us any money…. it probably doesn’t.)

Here’s the homemade pizza dough recipe.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

** Note – You can play with the ratio of wheat to white flour, depending on your taste**

Ingredients

1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 c warm water
1 pkt Highly Active Yeast - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039VIH0W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0039VIH0W&linkCode=as2&tag=fivelitthome-20
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0027EOTKO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0027EOTKO&linkCode=as2&tag=fivelitthome-20
1 tsp salt
1 c whole wheat flour
2 c white flour

Directions


1.  Mix the water and sugar in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

2.  Mix in the olive oil and salt.

3.  Mix in the wheat flour.

4.  Mix in the white flour a little at a time until the dough starts to “come together.”  Then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead for 10 minutes adding the rest of the white flour as you do.

homemadepizzadough
I can usually get some help in the kneading department

5.  Put in a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour.

6.  Tip dough onto lightly floured surface and divide into two pieces.  Form into a tight ball and let rise for 45 minutes.

7.  Preheat oven to 425.  Roll dough out and place on a well oiled

cookie sheet (or pizza pan or whatever method you use).  Prebake in the oven (with no toppings) for 6 minutes.

8.  Top pizza however you desire and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

homemadepizzadough
Yes – I put more than pizza sauce on it; No- I didn’t take a picture. 

Shared on  The Homeacre Hop - http://summersacres.blogspot.com/2013/05/spring-growth-homeacre-hop-and-giveaway.html
Shared on  The Backyard Farming Connection - http://www.backyardfarmingconnection.com/2013/04/the-backyard-farming-connection-hop-30.html

Tasty Tuesday Linkup

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Sponsor Highlight: Magical Days

I have just started accepting sponsors on this little website.  I’m excited to be pairing up with some blogs and business that I believe in and that I think provide a good message/product.  If you know someone who you think would be a good match for us here at Five Little Homesteaders, be sure to send them our way.  Additionally, when you have a moment, be sure to check our sponsors out.  I assure you, they are worth your time.  



Our first sponsor highlight is honoring a woman (and her blog) who is very near and dear to my heart.  Mary Catherine, of the blog  Magical Days - http://www.marycatherinehamelin.com/ , has been my nearest and dearest friend since we were twelve years old and in the 7th grade.  Our lockers were positioned almost next to each other during that fateful first year of junior high.  We quickly discovered that our own awkward ways were complementary, as they continue to be to this day.

Her blog is a great mix of magical moments with her kids, realistic experiences of motherhood, and encouraging words for new and seasoned mothers alike.  Mary Catherine is endlessly creative and has an amazing way with words.  I’m honored to have her as one of our sponsors this month.


Me:  How would you describe your blog?

Mary Catherine: Messy, like my house. 

But how might someone describe it nicely? I don’t know…eclectic? I have a lot of interests, but my blog is focused on my life and work, which right now revolves around parenthood, pregnancy, childbirth, and trying to be as mindful and positive about those things as possible. I blog to celebrate the childbearing years as normal, as natural, as sacred, joyful, wild and wonderful…whether that’s through sharing my own journey as a mother who is making her slow and steady way toward becoming a midwife, or featuring artists or products that help mamas and babies. In my past lives I’ve dabbled and dipped my toe into the different fine arts, writing, photography, performance…so when I can combine art and motherhood I’m a happy blogger. Also, the word “blogger” still sounds super weird to me. 


Me:  Why do you blog?

MC: I blog because I love blogs. I love reading about how other people do things, being inspired by people I wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to meet in person. I think blogs have the potential to serve as a community, a virtual village during times when parents, particularly parents who are home with kids during the day, can feel isolated or alone. I think it’s important to share our stories, for better or for worse, so that other people can remember we’re all walking this path together. Or to give people something to distract themselves from the piles of laundry on the couch. Because who wants to do that when there is an information superhighway full of inspiration out here?

I also blog to document and remember. I’ve kept some form of journal or blog for the past 7 years or so, and written about different things as my life has changed, and it’s interesting (or embarassing, or healing, or educational or whatever) to go back and read where I was at different points in time. 


Me:  What is one thing that you would want your readers to know about you?  

MC:  Oh gosh, one thing…I like people and stories. I hope people like my stories.

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.