All My Best Gardening Tips From A Non-Expert Gardener!

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.

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Bulletproof Diet: A Day In The Life

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.

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The Filter Of No – What It Is & How I Use It

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?
A. No

Q. Hey, can you read this article and let me know your thoughts?
A. No

Q. Hey, can you edit this image for me? I know you’re good at this type of thing.
A. No

It’s really that easy! The filter of no is simply saying no to more things.

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Life Lessons From My Favorite Christmas Movies!

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.

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My Favorite Resale Shops!

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.

(Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/textile-recycling-facts-and-figures-2878122.)

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Family Vacation: Little Jerusalem State Park

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!

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10 Life Lessons I Learned From “The Hills”

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Listen to Podcast Episode here!

If you are a girl in your early 30s like me, then you likely were at just the right age to watch “Laguna Beach” on MTV, which morphed into following Lauren Conrad on her coming of age journey to Los Angeles on “The Hills.” I used to watch the show on cable religiously. One time my sister heard me yelling at one of the main characters Heidi on screen and later asked me who this Heidi person was I hated so much. It was that real to me! Also, it’s no secret that Lauren Conrad is still a major inspiration to me. I recently re-watched “The Hills” on Hulu and wrote down all the life lessons that stuck with me and even some I didn’t pick up on when I was younger. I hope you enjoy reminiscing on this sweet time in T.V. history with me or that you pick up a few helpful tips to be successful in life!

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Behind The Scenes Of My Former Life

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One day over a cup of coffee my new friend asked, “So do you think this town is a good place to own a business?”

I took a long pause as I thought back over the past few years. I had opened and had been operating a small digital marketing firm in “the biggest small town” in South Central Texas. It was fairly successful, but it had come with costs.

“On paper, I think this town has all the resources needed for a new business to be very successful. But in reality, it’s not exactly a fair playing field.” I replied.

“What do you mean?” my friend pursued.

At the time, I was still very much in the game and trying to play by all the rules. However, now having been out of the game a couple years; I am finally ready to share a few glimpses behind the scenes of my former life.

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Our Late Dog Wesley: A Cautionary Tale

Okay friends, between Vegas and wine tastings, my last few posts have been fairly fun. I am afraid I have to bring us down a little this month, but I promise I am only sharing to help spare another family from heartbreak. If you aren’t one for sad stories, then I suggest you skip this post altogether or skip down to the pet health and safety tips.  Also, please note that I am not a veterinarian or animal medical professional. I am simply sharing what we learned in an effort to spare you some mistakes.

Back in 2017 before we moved to Kansas, we had our house on the market down in Texas. We had to do this crazy routine everytime we had a showing. We would load up the whole family, which at this time included 3 dogs, and go hang out in a park somewhere. We had a pretty solid offer on our house, but our real estate agent said it would still be a good idea to continue accepting showings. We had a request for an early morning showing on a Saturday, so we decided to visit Palmetto State Park. It was only an hour or so away and we had been there before, so it seemed perfect.

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My Thoughts On “A Simple Favor”

I was just chatting with another mom the other night about how there is a point in time where you simply miss out on movies. Your kids are a certain age or your life is in a certain stage where having the time to grab dinner and movie is all of a sudden complicated. You have to arrange child care and practically double your date night budget because of it. On the off chance that you do get to go to a movie, it absolutely sucks when the movie turns out to be bad.

On the other hand, with so many streaming services available I sometimes get overwhelmed at the options and end up watching the same movies over and over. It’s also always been a struggle to find a good family movie to watch all together. Luckily, Disney+ has all but solved that issue.

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