Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January 2014: Click-a-Day Photo Challenge

Welcome to the Click-a-Day Photo Challenge! 
 For those that have never done a photo challenge, it is simple! 

The Unofficial Rules:
  • Each month there will be a list.  
  • Every day you will take a photo using the list to inspire you.
  • After you have taken your photo,  post your photo to Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtag #clickadaychallenge
  • Happy clicking! 

To see other participants photos, simply click or search using the hashtag #clickadaychallenge 

If you would like a daily reminder, you can sign up for our "Click-A-Day Photo Challenge" Google Calendar. Google Calendar ID:

Waldorf Inspired Acorn Calendar

There are so many beautiful Waldorf inspired calendars that I have come across both in magazines and online.

Like this one:
waldorf school calendar, homeschool, oak meadow

And this one: 
Today while AG and I were setting up her seasonal table for winter, I thought it would be so nice for her to have a calendar similar to the ones pictured above but not quite as involved. So with just a dozen of saved acorns, some paint, a small plate and some table salt we made this! 

waldorf school calendar, homeschool, oak meadow, acorns, painted

What you'll need:
  • twelve acorns
  • acrylic paint 
  • table salt 
  • a dish of your liking 
  • a sentiment for the center
How to make it:

Paint your acorns the colors that you think are appropriate for the months of the year where you live and work your way counterclockwise around rainbow.  I started with a deep green for March and ended with a bright blue for February.  When your acorns have dried, pour some table salt on a dish to keep the acorns from rolling around and place them in the order which you desire.  Finally, place your sentiment in the center of the circle.  

Monday, December 30, 2013

Homemade Bread Recipe

I can't believe this was the first time I have ever made bread.  It was SO SO SO easy and it tasted like a giant soft pretzel. Yum.  We ended up eating the entire loaf....so much for resolutions!!

Homemade Bread Recipe from Instructables :


  • 3 cups of flour
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 egg beaten 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a stand mixer on low speed mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt.  While mixing, slowly add in the water and butter until the dough has formed.  
  3. Roll your dough into a ball and allow to rest for approximately 10 minutes. 
  4. After the dough has rested, divide the dough into two equal parts and roll into two rolls about 15 inches long. 
  5. Put the two rolls next to each other and "braid" them together. 
  6. Place your bread onto a greased pan and brush your beaten egg evenly over the top. 
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. ENJOY!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Its the Holiday Season....so whoopty doo and dickery doc....

As 2013 comes to an end... thankfully, 2014 brings promise for hopefully a much better year.  Without going into too much detail, it has been a very difficult year for our family. Mainly with Emily's Grandfather now in Hospice care with each coming day of uncertainty and her Uncle dealing with cancer which was found this year in the form of a lump on his neck.  Emily herself had heart surgery last May which was also very stressful, but fortunately went well.

backyard chicken coop, snow, christmas, chickens, winter
The chickens have been spending much of this winter inside their coop. 
 Besides these few major events, there has been numerous others that life has thrown at us and really deserve no mention. I mean aren't the Holidays for just being merry, spending time with family and appreciating what you have? In that case we have a lot to appreciate.

The day after Thanksgiving this year, as has been tradition, we joined my brother and sister in law in picking out the "perfect tree".  The day after that, I received my early Christmas present in the form of a fury ball of dog we named Lola. She is a Victorian Bulldog and has complimented Beckman greatly.  

Victorian bulldog, icefishing, winter, snow, harness, vexilar
My new baby Lola out doing some ice fishing with me!

victorian bulldog, puppy, kids, temperament, lazy, good
Our daughter Autumn Grace napping with Lola our Victorian Bulldog pup.
Christmas Eve is usually spent with Emily's family at her moms house, but this year everyone decided last minute it would be more appropriate for us to host it and relieve some stress from her mom.  We had a wonderful time.  Appetizers were served and roast beef sandwiches were the main dish.  We all drank too much egg nog and wine. Emily's parents decided to spend the night, and that was a Christmas present in itself for the kids.  

Christmas morning was snowy and bright.  My family joined us around 10 a.m. for our annual Christmas morning feast which included a ham I roasted on the grill, Emilys famous french toast casserole, my moms breakfast strata and a few other little extras.  The kids were spoiled as were the dogs, and I became a terrible host after we ate. I decided to  kick back in the lazy boy while everyone finished eating and accidentally passed out for about an hour.  
Luckily no one seemed to miss me. HAHA
Grandpa watching Devin do the " Christmas morning dance"

The plan for New Years eve is pretty simple.  My family will join us and all will participate in board games, a little drink, and a lot of eating... well isn't this the last chance before we all start our diets!?!?

Cheers & Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Solstice Sowing Celebration

Photo Credit Ryan's Winter Solstice Survival Guide 
The Winter Solstice is upon us my friends and just so happens to be one of my favorite days of the year! This year the Winter Solstice falls on Saturday,  December the 21st which is not even a week away!  Each year the winter solstice marks the day when the sun will appear at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon resulting in the shortest day and longest night of the year.  Not to be confused with the "first day of winter," the winter solstice is based entirely upon the season significance of the lengthening of days and the shortening of nights. 

The importance of the Solstice dates back as far as the neolithic times and is still celebrated today around the world with ceremonies custom to the different beliefs of many cultures. To some, the winter solstice symbolizes the rebirth of the sun and during ancient times the Solstice symbolized fertility and harvest. Traditionally winter sowing begins on the day of the Solstice. Trudi Davidoff developed a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of your winter sow by planting four symbolic sets of seeds honoring remembrance, life, Mother Nature and faith. For more information about winter sowing CLICK HERE.

Which seeds to choose:

Seeds of Remembrance: Choose a flower seed at reminds you of someone you knew and loved but has since gone and is no longer with you. 

Seeds of Life: Choose seeds from a plant that produces fruit or nectar.  One that will invite birds and butterflies to your garden.

Seeds of Trees: Choose seeds of trees.  These seeds should be sown in honor of Mother Nature.

Seeds of Faith: Choose seeds of plants that would grow in a zone beyond the warmth that you live in.  This seed is sown to accept "the leap of faith" in or hearts and remind us of the miracles that Mother Nature is capable of.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Sowing

Seeds Pictured: Hudson Valley Seed Library 
It is at about this point every year when I am officially OVER winter.  It's cold, it's dark and at times can really leave me feeling a bit lonely and isolated from the outside world.  While I do love the ocassional snow, the excitement of the holidays and all of the fun that comes along with winter, I miss being outside, the sunshine on my face, the warm breeze of a summer night and most of all, working in my garden.  Every year I wait anxiously for the stores to put their seed packs on display and when they do, an instant wave of giddiness comes over me.  Seeing the seed packs after a long winter brings me hope and a promise that there will be new life again.

But what would you say if I told you that you didn't have to wait until that magical spring moment to start your seeds?  What if I told you that you can in fact begin sowing the seeds for your summer garden right now? If you are familiar with the method called "Winter-Sowing," invented by the brilliant Trudi Davidoff than you aren't at all surprised by this news.  But if you are anything like me having never heard of winter sowing up until this point, my guess is that you are feeling pretty excited aren't you?  

So here's the deal.  You're going to need three things in order to complete this project.  

1. Empty gallon jugs.
2. Seeds.
3. Mother Nature.  

First you will need to make your mini greenhouses.  I am using empty gallon sized milk and water jugs for my mini greenhouses, but you can use any plastic containers as long as the sun can penetrate the walls.  Start by punching drainage holes in the bottom of the jugs and a few at the top to help ventilation.  The easiest way to do this is to heat up the tip of a screwdriver on your stove.  After punching the vents, cut the jug from side to side just below the handle, leaving about two inches to act as a hinge.

Fill your greenhouses with soil.  Any type of soil will work just fine for this project!  Add enough soil to the bottom of your greenhouse so that the soil is approximately two to three inches deep.

Wet your soil.  Water your soil and let drain.

Sow your seeds.  Trudi Davidoff advises that you should sow your seeds twice as deep as the seeds smallest dimension.  Sow your seeds on the surface of the soil, covering the seeds with more soil in order to achieve the proper soil planting depth. 

Label. After you have finished sowing your seeds, slap a piece of duct tape across your container and with permanent marker write the date and seed of the variety sown. 

Put Your Greenhouses Outside and Let Mother Nature Work Her Magic! This is the part of the project that I find fascinating.  While most of us are so accustomed to forcing our seeds into germination by using indoor lighting and heat, winter sowing allows Mother Nature to control the germination process resulting in hardier and healthier stock!  After you put your greenhouses outside in a safe and secure spot where the wind won't blow them away, your work is done until spring! 

Come Onnnnnn Spring!! Small seedings will begin to emerge as spring arrives and it will now be time to tend to your tiny plants.  Be sure to check the soil daily and water your seedling as needed.  Don't forget to close up the tops when you are finished!  
This picture was sent to us by one of our readers. Look how amazing this is!! 

We will be documenting the progress of our sweet little seeds so make sure that you check back often!  

If you are interested in Winter Sowing with us, Hudson Valley Seed Library has offered Our Little Coop readers FREE SHIPPING on any size order when you use the word COOP at checkout. Click HERE to check out their BEAUTIFUL seed packs that are pictured in this blog post!  

What Can I Winter Sow? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mason Jar Snow Globe Nightlight

The Art of Doing Stuff recently posted THIS on their Facebook wall.  I loved the idea and thought it would be an awesome little holiday decoration for the kids rooms at night.  Last night while Kevin and I were at Menards looking for battery powered LED lights for his ice shanty(hmmmm....), I was suddenly reminded of said post and with little effort at all found the perfect lights and Christmas trees to complete the project (thirty precent off too)! It took less than 5 minutes to put together and cost just around $3.50 per jar.   

1.  You'll need epsom salt, a large wide mouth mason jar, a strand of battery powered lights, and little fake Christmas trees...you know the kind people put in snow villages.

2.  Wrap the lights around your fingers to create a contained ball of sorts.  I might advise not unwrapping the lights at all, although I didn't try this so can't promise its the best option here. I do however not recommend putting them in the bottom without any kind of order.  You will need to use half a bag of salt to bury the strands and your tree will end up not fitting in the jar.  Moving on.

3.  Place your large tree(s) on top of the strands of lights.

4.  Cover the lights with epsom salt and screw on the lid!

Now you have yourself a pretty little snow globe that you can put virtually anywhere in your home!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

FREE Arithmetic Village Books Download

To celebrate their one year anniversary, Arithmetic Village is offering he downloadable version of their books for… FREE! Simply follow the link below and sign up for their free newsletter! But what is Arithmetic Village you ask?

From the Arithmetic Village website:

Polly Plus collects jewels slowly and methodically.
Linus Minus is carefree and loses jewels.
Tina Times is impatient and quick, she adds jewels in groups.
King David Divide is fair and equitable, he shares jewels between villagers, if there is a remainder they go to his little dog, Rover.

Purchase the five short rhyming books, create a treasure chest (math kit) and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division!

Children then pretend to be different characters and play games and activities offered on this website and Arithmetic Village’s Pintrest page. 
Introducing math creatively helps to develop a deep understanding of core concepts, and supports a lifelong love for learning.

Click HERE to download your FREE books!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

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