Sunday, January 27, 2013

Natural Homemade Doggie Treats

This post was originally a guest post for Moody Sisters Organic Skincare Blog.

Natural Doggie Treats

We try to do a lot of things for ourselves to be wholesome and organic. What about our pets? Sure, we animal lovers want to do what is best for our non-sapiens friends. The downside is the cost. I don't know about you but, I would rather spend the dough on having clean running water, my child's health or my family's dinner. Fido does not have to have treats. But, if you make your own, it is very affordable and you know what is in them!. There are so many recipes on the web. I encourage you to do a search and try some out.

No, I do not have a dog but, I am a "doggie auntie". We have "adopted" the neighbor's dogs. "Buddy" is our friend's dog & "Oscar" is from next door. (You may find him pictured in some of my blog posts.)
I do love our doggie friends and wanted to make some simple dog treats to spoil "our pets".

Here is our simple recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon bran
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl till all mixed well.
Shape mix into teaspoon sized balls, or disks.
Place the shapes evenly onto a cookie sheet with about 1/2 inch space between them.
Bake for about 15 minutes till firm.
let cool completely before storing in airtight container.
If they show condensation in the container - bake them on lowest heat for 15 more minutes or spread them out on a dry surface to dry out some more.

They love them!
Disclaimer - always check with your vet to make sure the ingredients you use are OK for your pet.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Product Review of Hydrating Sugar Scrub by Moody Sisters

This post was originally a guest post for the Moody Sisters Skincare blog.

Product Review of Moody Sisters Hydrating Sugar Scrub

I have to disclaim this review as I received this product FREE! I won one of the Moody Sisters' giveaway contests via Facebook. I was SOOO excited 'cause winning free stuff is just a rarity for me especially in ratio to all the stuff I have "entered" over the years.
I was excited to try a product from a fellow "Etsian",  Washingtonian, and a fellow "working" mom. Supporting others like me is something I try to do especially if they have a great product or service.

It took me a while to review this product because honestly,  it is not a product I use everyday.

Here is a little about the scrub if you click this link you will be taken to the product page on Etsy.

I used this to soothe my worn out hands after gardening, working with construction, landscaping or working with the chickens. Night-time was the time used most. I did not apply according to directions  (sorry). I had to moisten my hands a bit as the scrub I had would just ball up on my really dry hands. I think my skin sucked up all the moisture out of the stuff ;-). If my skin was moistened with a bit of water, it would scrub up nicely and evenly. Then I rinsed with luke warm or cool water as to not "melt" any of the oils off my skin. Then I would air dry or lightly pat with a towel.
Sometimes it seemed the sugar granuals were too rough after a really tough day on the hands. If you have some sore or worn spots, I don't suggest using it.
The scrub smells good enough to eat - but don't eat it!
It does great exfoliating and leaves a wonderful moist, smoothe, non-greasy feeling on the skin. Like a nice drink of cool water on a warm day. Ahhh...
I tried it on my feet foot one night to do a comparison/contrast.
Oh the difference! The foot that got the scrub was so much smoother, and not all dry and crackly like the other foot. Poor other foot.

Oh yeah...
The scrub had separated a bit during shipment so I had to mix it up. No problem, just a bit confused when I opened my scrub and there was no scrub (it was all at the bottom).
The steel tin they used was a little rusted on the edges. I just gave them a good wiping down and it stayed rust free for quite sometime (till I put it on the edge of the tub - oops). Storing it away from excessive moisture seems to work great! Duh - it is steel after-all :-p.  I think they are also trying to get feedback from their customers and trying to find a better, safe and green alternative to the steel canisters.

Would I recommend?
It is a great exfoliating body scrub that leaves the skin feeling fresh and moisturized.
And - you are supporting a micro business.
And - it is all organic and small batch made with love and care.
Here is the link again for the sugar scrub.

I can't wait to review more of their products.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

$5 Homemade chicken wall bin feeder

I made a feeder. I have been researching feeders that take up less space than the ridiculous traditional round ones.

PVC pipe seems popular but...
PVC was EXPENSIVE! Where do you people find PVC 4 inch for $5? Not in the Seattle area! The cost to make my own 4" PVC feeder was well over $30 not to mention the time and lack of available 4" pipe at the hardware stores. Looked at the landscape pipes - still about $20 bucks but alot of wasted pipe to cut off and time and the edges are thinner and sharper.
So, on a leisurely walk through Home Depot (yes a brand name cause that is the only place that sells culled wood around here) I found it! In my FAVORITE department - the culled wood bin! 2 pieces of 1/4 inch plywood in 24" squares - 50 cents!!!!! Add a pack of screws and hangers for a total of . . . just under $5. Yes FIVE Buckaroos!

Now, I do have a sad amount of wood glue at home to use up - I love me some wood glue!
It took me a drill bit, cordless screwdriver, handheld jigsaw, and some soda pop and circle saw (my new fave toy). Sandpaper and paint for the finishing touch and about a full day work.
But, it holds 16lbs of feed - enough for 2 weeks for 3-4 dual-purpose layers. It is low profile - only 4"deep! They can't tip it over. They can't henpeck the feed out onto the floor as easily. Most of all... I did have fun making it. I love to try to engineer wood and make it into something beautiful and functional. Well, maybe more functional for this one and less beautiful.
And who doesn't like using power tools!?!? 'C'mon!

So, if you come across some wicked cheap plywood or just are in for a DIY build, here is a plan for you.

I am no pro but I threw together some info on my build.

Stuff you will need:

sanding paper
tape measure
wood glue
1/4 inch plywood
*50 wood screws size #6 1/2"
picture hanging hardware that can hold 25lbs

Picture of the pieces:

Start assembly by attaching the sides to the back with wood-glue and screws.
Then attach the bottom.
Then the face (that un-labeled piece in the bottom corner)
Then the Front panel.
Then the lid and the hangers.

* if you can find thinner screws, that would be better than the size #6. I had to drill pilot holes and even then there was some minor splitting.


Oh... my Easter egger and her fat fluffy bird-brained face can dump ANYTHING out of ANYTHING! ALL the 3lbs of feed I put in there was ON THE FLOOR the next day! She pulled it toward the middle and OUT onto the floor! Rrrrr......

Change - I would make the bottom slanted toward the front just a little like the hopper style because some feed will remain in the back and I am a stickler for fresh feed.
And I would add slide-in wood "fins" to help keep the trouble makers from emptying it all onto the floor. I tried wire and it did not work.

I have since switched to fermented feed as an experiment for the winter and have not used the big dry food bin feeder since.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Garden update 2012

So busy - as the norm for here. Finally got the garden going. Here is an update for all my homesteading and gardening followers. Plus a "year in review" in photos to follow.

Had a great battle of the slugs and won (for the most part).
1 - eliminated the grand majority of the rock condos
2 - eliminated the vegetation between rows and in adjacent areas
3 - used omri Slug bait in spring and a light application in late summer.

butternut volunteer

A few shot from the late summer (I got a late start last year).

Yeah, moles were an issue but got them under control. Never a shortage of moles in the area. Blueberry hill got 3 varieties. I ended up having to amend the soil. Normally, the soil here is ideal for blueberries except, this area was used as a storage area for gravel and made the soil way too alkaline and rocky leaving the bushes dried out and sad. I un-planted them, dug out the top 4 inches (the pile of gravel in the front). Then, I added a 1:1 ratio of peat-moss and compost and worked it in to the remaining top 3 inches deep and about 4 foot diameter. 2013 will show us how it does.

A year in review is a little late but here we are.

For your viewing pleasure... before and afters.

the befores are going to look even worse because of really bad photo shooting and lack of editing - sory.

































corner garden

can't find a before right now but I pruned the rhododendron, added 5" of mulch and planted a shrub and flowers after repairing the rock wall.


basketball court


  see deck post



foundation gardens





Japanese garden in front was started by some pruning and felling a ceder tree. That will be a post in it's own for 2013.

Thanks for stopping by for 2012 yard and garden update!