If you’re on Pinterest or follow home design trends at all, then you know that pallet wood projects are hugely popular. Pallets are just so versatile! You can simply leave them in their pallet form and paint them as a decor piece. Or you can disassemble them and use the wood for countless projects. This is typically what we do. My family and I happen to have a really good hook up with consistent, large pallets. If you’re looking for the hook up, I suggest searching online on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You can also simply drive around your town looking for places that have pallets out by their dumpster. Many times you can approach that business about taking their pallets off their hands! If you’re feeling really brave, you can ask that they call you going forward anytime they have pallets. Hook up secured! Our pallet wood projects, like many of our tasks, are usually a team effort. I will come up with a design, our 13 year old will carefully take apart the wood and remove the nails, and then my husband will bring the designs to life. If you aren’t one for coming up with your own designs, there are many free pallet plans available online. I was reflecting the other day on all the projects we’ve done both in the house and around the farm with pallet wood and thought I’d share!Continue reading
Every Spring I get at least a couple messages from friends or online acquaintances asking me their gardening or chickening questions. I love getting these messages, so keep them coming! I figured that more people probably have those same questions, so I thought I’d compile all my best gardening tips into one nice post. Maybe you’re just curious, maybe you haven’t gotten up the courage to message me your burning gardening question, or maybe you’ve always wanted a garden but have no idea where to start. Either way, I hope reading about what I am doing helps you in some way.
First, I want to make sure you know that I do not consider myself a gardening expert. My gardening goal every year is simple: produce a little more than I did the year before. I have found that this goal leaves room for lots of grace, space to learn, and even for failures.
My first garden was in the backyard of our Texas house. It was your typical suburban neighborhood and not an agricultural neighborhood like where we are living now. My husband built two raised beds with chicken wire fencing around one of them and a simple little latch gate for me to enter. The ground where we lived at the time was pretty much just clay, so the raised beds were a good fit. The wire fencing around it was purely functional, to keep our dogs out. One bed ended up being rose bushes with a compost pile in the corner, our first go at being a low waste kitchen. From what I remember our main raised bed had tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, green beans and bell peppers.Continue reading
If you’ve been following me on social media then you may have caught that I am in the middle of trying to get a book published! I am holding out for a traditional publishing deal, but I am also considering other publishing options. For now, I wanted to share a little about my overall vision for “Crooked Paths Straight.” The title is based on Isaiah 45:2 where God says, “I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight.”
I originally set out to write my family’s story about immigrating legally from Mexico to the United States back in the 1960s. From there I found myself looking back on my life and all the ways I tried to live out of alignment with God’s desires for me. For example, my husband and I had our first child while we were just freshmen in college. Statistics said it was a completely unredeemable situation, but God! God made my crooked path straight then and has continued to do so my whole life. Other major catalysts in my story include the difficulties of growing up in between two cultures, seeing forgiveness at work after the loss of a childhood friend, the hustle and bustle of being an entrepreneur, and my family’s return to our ancestor’s roots by way of leaving the city for the farm. The book will end with my modern-day advice for topics such as marriage, parenting, homeschool, food, entrepreneurship, and faith.
This book is for anyone who walks with the weight of past mistakes. Anyone who wants to trade shame and confusion in for hope and help. Anyone who is ready to partner with God in building a brighter future for themselves.Continue reading
For most people here in Kansas, sometime in March 2020 marked the beginning of all the lockdowns and restrictions. When I first started taking notes for this post, we were only about a month or so into quarantine. My notes kept growing as I kept thinking, “I don’t want to post this while I’m still in quarantine, I want this piece to be a look back on my complete quarantine experience.” Well, here we are one year later!
While I am so thankful that we are not in a full on quarantine anymore, I can hardly believe we are still dealing with this virus. And while I hate the phrase “the new normal,” I am convinced that we might not ever get back to what life was like before coronavirus. But maybe that’s okay? Maybe we need to be more cautious than we were before?
My local news stations say that as more people are getting vaccinated, we are just a couple more months away from being free from masks and limited gatherings. Whatever the return of that freedom looks like to you, I know it’s going to be a sweet moment. I can see you now at a big outdoor concert or festival, surrounded by your best friends finally mask free, singing along to your favorite song with your hands held out, as a big smile comes across your face as you remember, THIS is what freedom feels like! Oh my goodness, I can’t wait for that moment for you.
For now though, I want to reflect on some things that I learned during my quarantine/coronavirus experience.Continue reading
First, I want to preface this post by saying I am not a doctor or nutritional/fitness professional. I am merely sharing my results with the Bulletproof method and what that journey looked like for me.
So, what is the Bulletproof Diet? In short, it is a ketogenic diet that consists of high fat intake and avoiding sugars, carbohydrates, and dairy. When my husband and I first discovered the Bulletproof Diet about 7 years ago, we both lead pretty sedentary lifestyles (ie. office jobs). We were looking to improve our health and we found Dave Asprey’s blog all about “bio-hacking.” It was a pretty new idea at the time, but it basically comes down to optimizing what you’re putting in your body for optimal performance. His diet boasted higher energy and focus, as well as had a version for weight loss.Continue reading
Note: This is a sponsored post meaning Fabletics will most likely compensate me for this review. Also, if you click through the links and make a purchase or sign up to be a VIP, I will get a small kickback. Thank you for your support!
We’ve all seen advertising for Fabletics (because they are good at what they do) but I must admit it took me months before I finally jumped on board. I had tried other legging brands that were great for lounging, but not so great for actually being active. Also, like many other women’s clothes, they never had pockets! One day my oh so cool just out of college sister came to visit me. She was wearing the most flattering dark blue leggings with pockets on the side! I was instantly covetous. I asked her where she got them and she replied, “Fabletics!” At that moment her friends who were with her all excitedly chimed in about how much they enjoyed their monthly deliveries. As soon as they left I rushed to my computer and signed up to be a VIP!Continue reading
If you know me in real life then you know that I love all things “Real Housewives.” One of the reality television franchise’s biggest stars is Bethenny Frankel. The “Skinnygirl” brand CEO has a popular book called, “A Place of Yes.” Considering my fandom of Housewives and Frankel, I know it must seem really weird that one of my biggest tools in helping me maintain balance in my life is something I call “the filter of no.”
What is the filter of no? It goes something like this…
Q. Hey, can you help me plan my cousin’s baby shower?
Q. Hey, can you read this article and let me know your thoughts?
Q. Hey, can you edit this image for me? I know you’re good at this type of thing.
It’s really that easy! The filter of no is simply saying no to more things.Continue reading
Have you seen that post that says something along the lines of, “before you get married find out if your husband’s family is the type to have movie marathons during the holidays or the type to run actual marathons”? It’s a fair warning. I can totally see how the two categories of families might not be compatible. Funny enough, my husband’s family plays a football game every Thanksgiving and my family has a few movies we just HAVE to watch every Christmas. It seems to work for us!
Speaking of movies, today I want to share what I’ve learned from some of my favorite Christmas movies. One movie has been out since 2006 (The Holiday) while the other was just released last year (Little Women). Being that my family has four girls, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that the Louisa May Alcott story of four sisters has a special place in our hearts. We watch the 1994 film every year. We were all pretty nervous about the remake, but it’s already become (almost) just as cherished.Continue reading
My family and I have worked hard this year to produce less day-to-day waste. We have eliminated all paper products from our kitchen and use significantly less plastic whenever we can. With sustainability a goal in mind, I was appalled to find out that Americans throw out something like 15 million tons of textiles a year, with most of that being clothing. While 100% of clothing is recyclable, only 15% of clothing is actually recycled. At the same time, Americans are buying an average of 60% new clothing every year. Simply put, we’re buying more but recycling less clothing than ever.Continue reading
Several months ago I saw a news story about a brand new state park opening in Kansas. It had these amazing chalk formations and great walking trails. I sent that article to my husband Dean and asked if we could go sometime. He replied yes and then we went about our regular business as usual.
Here’s the thing about me: I am always planning a million trips to a million different locations. I keep a running list on my phone of places I’d like to travel to one day. Sometimes it kills me that I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, but I’ve never seen Mount Rushmore or been to Washington D.C. I am determined to see all of this beautiful country before I die!
When we lived in Texas, we had a state parks pass and we camped at least once a month. Now that we actually have campsites on our farm, any time I mention going camping my husband just tells us to set up our tent out back. We’ve done that and it is lovely… but there’s just something about a family camping trip and a change of scenery!
After mentioning the new park to Dean, Covid happened. Churches closed. Museums closed. Airlines closed. You know the rest… In August we had a lovely socially distanced dinner for Dean’s birthday. He admitted to me how much my imaginary vacation planning actually stresses him out. It stresses him out because he actually wants to give me all those trips, but again, Covid had just happened.
I replied, “We don’t have to get in an airplane, but I do want us to prioritize smaller family trips together. You know, places we can go in the car and create new once-in-a-lifetime memories. Little Jerusalem, for example.”
From that moment on, Dean took my suggestion and ran with it. He planned our whole trip! It was a out of my comfort zone to let go of the reins, but I am so glad I did! So, keep reading to get a run down of our recent family vacation to Kansas’ newest state park, Little Jerusalem!Continue reading