Monday, June 12, 2017

Fried Apples - Old Fashioned Cooking

After reading the Little House books I was interested in trying out the idea of fried apples.  This was an accompaniment to dinners and breakfasts in the book Farmer Boy.  So I looked it up on the net and then added my own tweaks. Fried apples are really delicious and are perfect for cold evenings.  This is really good with pork or chicken or with a hearty breakfast.  Easy to do too, as long as you have lots of apples.  I buy my apples in bulk from an orchard for 50 cents a lb. and got 125 lbs. so I have lots of apples to play with.  The cooking time varies depending on how many apples you use and what variety. You want to use a cooking or baking apple like galas, granny smith, etc..  I use a mixture of them.  Here's the recipe


Take 10 large apples or less if your feeding less but this reheats well


Peel

Then slice into 1/4 in slices


In your skillet melt 1 stick of butter and add apples and then cook over medium high heat adjusting if apples are burning



When apples start to get soft grate over some nutmeg if you like and add one teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Mix up well.  When the apples start to caramelize and get brown they are done.  Serve with breakfast or a dinner of chicken or pork.  Serve warm or hot.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorite Things - Pie Safe Love

Pie safes were a eminently practical item that every country housewife owned at the turn of the century.  Most women had a baking day where they baked all the bread, pies, muffins, and treats for their family in one fell swoop.  They then needed a safe place too keep their baked goods that kept mice and bugs out, but still provided ventilation.  The punched tin not only was decorative, but functional.  I have been wanting a pie safe of my own for years.  Sigh... someday!
Green Pie Safe ...~♥~...I would love to get a hold of one of these beauties:
Homestead Revival: Pie Safe Love! Farmhouse kitchen decor.:
Antique 1860's Primitive Farm Built Punch Tin Pie Safe Jelly Cupboard:
Pie Safe. Gorgeous  AND I don't know why I find them so irresistible :):
Grandma's Window Screen Pie Safe... Very interesting Website for Old Type Farm - Survival homestead:

Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to make your own dryer balls

I found a great post over at Cuckoo For Coupon Deals HERE on how you can make your own dryer balls. Dryer balls are made from wool and are a great natural way to dry your laundry faster and soften your clothes without chemicals.


They actually work and I love mine!


how to make homemade wool dryer balls

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cheap Easy Effective Homemade Laundry Soap

For years I have been buying very expensive all natural laundry soap from the store because my eldest son has allergies to any synthetic cleaners.  I have learned so much about natural versus synthetic products directly because of his horrible eczema .  It turns out his eczema is caused by any soaps, cleaners, and even air fresheners that are not all natural.

Laundry detergent was one of the most difficult things to find back when we started our journey towards all natural.  It also was the most important because of course clothing rests right on the skin and would cause instant rashes to break out.  The worst was fabric softener or dryer sheets so I haven't used those in nine years but instead use Wool Dryer Balls which work just as well and has the bonus of keeping being all natural.  Click HERE to buy them.  They really are a great investment.  I have had mine for SIX years and they are still working to soften my laundry.  To add scent just put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on them.

Back to the laundry detergent.  I read on several blogs on how ladies made their own and how it was not only all natural, but also ridiculously cheap working out to less than 10 cents per load!  For some reason I never tried it, mainly thinking it would be to complicated, would take lots of time, and it would not work as well as store bought.  Well I was wrong on all counts!  It takes me about ten minutes to make it and the stuff works great and leaves a very pleasing scent on the clothes.  This is nice because we haven't been  able to use fragrance on our clothes since eldest son was born.  Oh and of course it has not aggravated a eczema breakout in the least!  Click HERE for a complete package deal.

I would recommend this to anyone wanting to use all natural laundry detergent that is cheaper than the cheapest regular laundry soap!

1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda
1 bar fels naptha laundry soap

Grate fels naptha and mix with the dry ingredients. I use just a regular cheese grater. Make sure to mix well!  Use 2 to 3 tablespoons for large loads.  It will not suds up like other laundry detergents do so it is safe in your front loader.  I also add a scoop of oxy clean because we have small children who get their clothes really dirty!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates from my amazon partner.  By clicking on/or purchasing an item you will be helping to support my blog by the small commission I earn.  This does not affect your price in the least!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Oven German Pancakes/Dutch Babies - Super Delicious, Inexpensive, and Easy!

German Pancakes II Recipe
Photo Credit AllRecipes
Right now I am trying to shift from store bought easy breakfasts like cereals for my family.  Not only are they expensive, but they are highly processed with doubtful ingredients, preservatives, and GMO's!  It has been a challenge because I am NOT a morning person.  It takes me a good hour plus coffee to get up to par. Our mornings start horrifically early as our children have to be out the door by 6:45 to get to school.  Fortunately, I wake up at 5 am every morning without fail or alarm clock.  Years of breastfeeding babies have trained my internal clock to wake up like that so I usually have an hour to get primed for the morning rush.  My children do not like things that would go into a crockpot like oatmeal or cornmeal mush.  But I think I have finally found a winning recipe that not only is easy, but healthy, delicious, and filling.

The recipe, of course, is German Pancakes, also called Dutch Babies.  Could we love it because I am part Dutch :)?  This is simply a puffed oven pancake that serves a family of 6 easily.  I like it because while my coffee is brewing I simply throw the four ingredients into my mixer, melt the butter in my cast iron skillet and preheat the oven.  Then throw it in and 1/2 hour to 45 min later I have a hot filling breakfast for my children.  I love it topped with powdered sugar and berries.  It can also be topped with maple syrup, honey, molasses, stewed fruits, or plain powdered sugar. 

Because it has 6 eggs in it the protein helps my family feel full longer and helps with energy in the morning.  If I were to make just eggs and toast for breakfast we would need about 18 to feed our family.  The other reason this is a time saver for me is because while it is baking I can get on with other morning chores such as making lunches, starting laundry, and assisting the kids get ready for school.

I found the recipe on all recipes, but also have found another recipe that calls for fewer eggs if you need to stretch them and has a much more detailed instruction.  I am going to try it tomorrow.

My children absolutely LOVE these and literally have pleaded with me to make them.  Talk about a hit!  So if you're looking for an easy and healthy recipe for your family breakfasts try this one.  Click HERE to go to the Allrecipes post.  Or go HERE to see the alternative recipe for fewer eggs at a great site called Recipes From a German Grandma.  Love the name :)

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 6 servings        

1/4 cup butter


1 cup all-purpose flour


1 cup milk


6 eggs, lightly beaten


1/8 teaspoon salt


           

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt butter in a medium baking dish (best if you use cast iron).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, milk, eggs and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake on center rack in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while still warm.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to get a broody hen to take mail order chicks

Our old flock of chickens is nearing five years old and many of the old girls have stopped laying on a daily basis.  This last spring I went and bought a mixed bag of pullets (female only chicks) from our local feed store to start on replacing them.  Now I will say I have generally been disappointed in feed store chicks.  Our first chick ordering experience was with one of the best hatcheries in the country, Murray McMurray Hatchery, which if you get their catalog or look online you will see why instantly.


The Chicken Really Bad Hair Day
Not only have I found their chicks to be of superior quality, but as they grow up they have been beautiful, vigorous, and excellent egg layers, often laying every day for years.  Our chickens from McMurry took Best In Show at the fair for our Black Australorps .  I love the Australorp breed.  They are a gorgeous all black chickens with feathers that flash iridescent green in the sun, and black instead of the orange eyes most chickens have.  They are gentle and very good egg layers.


That experience pretty much set a high standard for us.  You may wonder why I went with feed store chicks as apposed to ordering from a hatchery I love.  The reason was simple.  We lived in town at the time and McMurry only does orders of 15 at the lowest and I only needed 10 max for our small yard.

mama hen being broody
Our feed store chicks are laying now and doing well, but now that we live out on 15 acres and next to a country highway I would love to sell eggs as a way to make enough money to pay for feed and supplies.

Two of our very old hens chose to go broody this fall just as I was contemplating their trip to the freezer.  I let them set eggs from other hens and thought about ordering day old chicks from McMurray and seeing if one of the hens would take them if the delivery was at hatching time. In the end I ordered their egg laying assortment because that was the only chicks available close to hatching time.  These are an assortment of the best of the best of their egg layers.

So here is how people recommend you get a broody hen to take other chicks.

The chicks must be just hatched or very close to only a few days old.  Not only does this make the hen more likely to take them, but the chicks if too old won't bond as easily with the hen and stay close to her protective body.

If you are ordering chicks for this purpose it is best to get a delivery date as close to your hen's eggs hatching date as possible.  This is entirely doable with McMurray as they have the ability to ship chicks all the time from spring through fall.

our tophat setting her eggs
Slip the chicks one at a time under the hen at night when she is unlikely to get up and leave.  If she starts getting too upset stop for awhile and leave her be.  Then try putting the rest under.

Check on the mom and chicks as frequently as possible without upsetting the hen too much for the first few days.  You need to watch for rejected chicks.  They will be often hiding in a corner so the hen won't peck them.  If she rejects some or all of the chicks you will have to take them out and rear them yourself.

mama with a mail order chick
When I did this it was in the morning (not recommended) and the hen did fine.  She took the chicks and has been a wonderful mother to them.  Our other hen hatched out her chicks before I could get an order shipped.  She only hatched out two eggs, the rest turned out to be infertile.  I do notice a pronounced difference in the chicks.  The day old chicks do not stay as close to mamma (a possible lack of bonding?) and wander away much more than the mamma with her own hatched out chicks which she sat on for 21 days.  So far we have only lost two chicks. They are free range in the garden and only shut up at night so predation is a possibility.  

Pure white mail order chick
It has been SO much easier letting a hen raise these chicks than raising the chicks myself with a heat lamp, plus the chicks will be much more likely to go broody and make good mothers themselves since they were raised by a mom and not a heat lamp.  This can be a plus or minus depending on your needs.  I WANT more chickens for meat.  Any roosters or surplus hens will go to the freezer.  But if you only want eggs a broody hen is an annoyance since she will not lay eggs.  To us good broody hens are gold, and these old ladies got a reprieve from the pot because of their mothering instinct.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Why Women Need The Second Amendment


Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor
My precious reasons for owning a gun
There is allot of debate on whether America needs to take away the second amendment.  The logic is that if there are no guns there will be no gun violence.  Of course, this is a completely illogical line of thinking because if you look at cities that ban guns they have some of the highest rates of gun violence i.e. Chicago.  The problem is the only people you are disarming are law-abiding citizens that don't commit gun violence anyways.  Criminals don't care if they get their guns illegally because they're going out to commit crimes.  So the only people who suffer are those of us that use guns legally.

As a woman, I am very glad I have several guns in my home.  My father had four children, three of them girls.  He taught all of us how to shoot effectively and safely.  The reason was that women are in most cases unable to fight off an attacker.  He called guns the great equalizer.  Meaning a guy may be stronger and faster than me but he is NOT faster than my gun!

As our economy gets worse and drugs become more prevalent we will, and are, seeing more crime.  I have personally been on the receiving end of this trend three different times now.  All three involve men on drugs coming on to our property.  The most recent is as follows

Just recently we were woken up at 3:00 am by our 17-year-old daughter running up the stairs in a panic because a man was at our back door trying to kick it in.  Our dogs were going nuts and my husband and I sprang into action.  Police will tell you to never confront or allow someone to get ahold of you.  If they are on drugs they often are impervious to pain, abnormally strong, and especially with the new street drugs, extremely violent and dangerous.

My three younger children ages 6, 10, and 11 woke up and were terrified asking if the person was going to hurt them.

My husband and I worked quickly as a team.  I got on the phone and called 911 while I hustled my four children into a defendable and secure room.  I stood in the doorway waiting with a view of the stairs.  My husband got our shot gun loaded and headed down stairs.  While on the phone I also armed myself with a hand gun in case whoever was down there got through my husband.

You see we didn't know if this man was armed or not, or was coming in to kill us.  I could hear my husband yelling that he was armed and if the man came through our door he would defend himself and his family.  This did not deter the man in the least as he kept running and kicking our door.

I prayed and prayed that the door would hold.  We could feel it upstairs every time he kicked the door and our windows were shaking.

Meanwhile, I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher explaining the situation and that my husband was armed.

The police showed up (thankfully) within 2 minutes and were able to get the man.  He was completely strung out on several drugs we found out.  He was making no sense and fought the police when they tried to get him in the patrol vehicle and later fought the jailers.

The only thing that stood between my children and that man was a regular back door with a dead bolt.  If I had been unarmed and without my husband my only option would have been to pray.  That is NOT an option for me.  Instead of being helpless in the face of attack I am empowered to protect myself and my children.  And you can bet NO ONE is going to hurt them without first having to come through me.

So when people protest about needing to ban guns I think of the countless women and children in countries where gun ownership is not allowed that are raped and murdered.  How many of those crimes would be averted if those women were armed and taught how to use them?  There are thousands of cases every year in America of women defending themselves with firearms against men that never make it to the mainstream media because it doesn't fit with their agenda.

We know that disarming a population does not decrease violence, it just shifts or even increases because criminals know they have defenseless victims.

Guns are not the problem, it is criminals that are the problem.  As my father told us, guns are just a tool.  A dangerous tool just like a skill saw, but still a tool.  You must respect them and use them safely.

My husband and I have been teaching our children gun safety and marksmanship as they reach ages that are appropriate.  My eldest daughter is nervous of guns but an excellent shot and knows how to load and fire.  After the above incident, she told me how glad she was now that we have firearms.

And as I say to my children now.  The only time you need a gun is when you REALLY need a gun.

So how can you prepare for home invasion or violent crime?

1. Be Prepared

Think out different possible scenarios and your reactions in your head.  If you have a spouse talk about them and work out what both of you will do to deal with the situation.  The more you do this the less likely you will be to panic.  Knowing what your going to do is a huge confidence booster.

2. Get A Gun and Learn How To Use It

This is what stands between you and a criminal.  Learn to use this tool and use it safely. Learn how to clean it, load it, and reload it.   This also means educating your children about it and keeping it somewhere secure but accessible to you in an emergency.  You wouldn't leave knives down in a toddlers reach so don't do the same with your guns.

3.  Make your home less attractive to criminals

Have motion lights, lock your doors and gates, and teach your children not to open the door to strangers. Also hardening your home is a good idea.  Have a gravel path all around your house so that if someone is walking around looking in windows it is noisy alerting you or your dog.  Plant thorny hedges in front of windows.  Make sure all doors are well lit.

4.  If you don't have a dog consider getting one

Dogs hear and smell better than us.  Our dogs let us know whenever someone is around.  You don't need a big dog to do this, in fact our terrier chihuahua mix is the best alert dog as terriers were bred to have excellent hearing to hunt rats.

5. Learn self-defense

Most crimes against women start with a man surprising her and grabbing her before she knows what's going on.  That is the last situation you want to be in as a woman because a man is generally much stronger than a woman, but learning personal defense moves can save your life and get you away.

6.  Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Looking purposeful and aware deters criminals.  They want soft easy targets.  When you are walking to your car look around, pay attention, note people around you.

At some time or another most people will experience a violent crime.  It's really not a question of if but when.  So don't be a victim be a victor!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Buttermilk Blueberry Morning Cake

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake


With blueberries on sale right now I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes that use them. I have tried many blueberry quick bread, muffins, and cakes before and I have to say this one is the best.  It is moist with a light texture and the blueberries are just enough.  I only used a heaping cupful of berries instead of the two because I was using frozen ones and it turned out perfect.  I also used sour milk instead of store bought buttermilk but that's a standard substitution.  The whole family raved about it and it is definitely going to become a standard on Monday baking day.  You could use any berry or chopped fruit in this cake.  It's wonderful with coffee or tea.

Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hartz Mountain Lickable Dog Treats Review and Giveaway!

Hartz Hero Banner

Squeaky with a kitten
I have two very very small dogs. One named Izzy who is a female cairn terrier mix and her son Squeaky who's dad was a chihuahua.  They both weigh under 10 lbs, and are full of energy (from the terrier in them)  They are great little alert dogs and let us know whenever someone is around the house.  They are also very loving loyal little souls.

 Now as any small dog owner (or owner of a really elderly dog) will tell you, it is hard to find treats small enough for those little mouths.  This is especially true if you have an older small dog!  

3270015543_largeHartz Mountain Corporation introduces Delectables, the first lickable stew treat for dogs, available at Walmart, Amazon.com and select retailers around the country.  “Delectables Stew Lickable Treats for dogs represents a true innovation in the canine treat category,” says Susan Burris, Brand Manager, Dog Treats, Hartz Mountain Corp.  “Perfect for small dogs, Delectables Stew is a delicious and lickable wet dog treat that provides a new occasion for treating and healthy snacking and is ideal for dog parents who love to pamper their pets.” 

Izzy with her crazy hair
I really like these treats for my little dogs.  They LOVE them.  It's like watching a shark feeding frenzy whenever I put the treats down!  And now they are begging for them all the time.




3270015544_large



Ideal as an in-between meal treat or as a savory topper for dry food, Delectables Stew Lickable Treats’ convenient, single-serve pouches provide dogs with appealing, low-fat treats made with real chicken, beef, cheese, and vegetables, without meat by-products. Delectables Stew Lickable Treats are available in four varieties, including ChickenChicken with CheeseChicken with Beef and Chicken Senior Formula


The Giveaway!


Hartz Mountian has invited The Renaissance Mom to host a giveaway with entrants invited to share a photo of their dog for the Delectables “Tongue Out Tuesday” .  Just post a pic in the comments below of your dog with a good email address!  They will send the winner a 12-pack of Delectables Stew Lickable Treats.  Giveaway ends 5/30/17. Open to US entrants only.


The Renaissance Mom was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, Pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the Giveaway form which uses Random.org.  The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  The winner has 24 hours to respond to the email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to the US only.  All winning Entries are verified.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Two Bonne Maman Giveaways!

easy-delicious

I am excited to be giving away one jar of gourmet Bonne Maman Preserves to a lucky Renaissance Mom Reader!  Good luck and happy Mother's Day!


Also head over to the Bonne Maman page HERE to enter to win one of dozens of prizes. It's a very easy one click entry!



The Renaissance Mom was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the Giveaway form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All winning Entries are verified.

Bonne Maman Gourmet Preserves and Jams Review And Giveaway

Bonne Maman Logo

Have you ever had homemade jams, preserves, or jellies?  If you have you know that they taste so much better than what you can buy in the store.  Or so I thought!  I put up dozens of jars of jams and preserves every year, and it spoiled me for store bought.  The taste, consistency, and ingredients are just not as good as what I make at home.  That is until I tried Bonne Maman!

 I was sent three different preserves for the purpose of this review.  Strawberry, Cherry, and my favorite Red Raspberry.  These are the best tasting jams I have ever tried!  The flavor is a burst of fresh berry's and very intense.  And it's no wonder when you read about their standards and ingredients.




Their Story
easy-delicious
The secret of Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies is simple – our ingredients. Made from the same time-honored traditional French recipes used to create the brand, our preserves and jellies are made with natural ingredients and feature only the finest quality fruit.

Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies, produced in France, are Non-GMO Project Verified, have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial coloring or no preservatives added. Everything in Bonne Maman Preserves and Jellies could easily be found in your Grandmother’s kitchen cabinet.

crepes
I love their packaging too, because it looks like something you would get from a sweet grandma!  What a great gift this would make for that special Mom in your life!  There are so many ways to use them not just for toast.  But think of a dollop of strawberry preserves on crepes or pancakes!

You can find Bonne Maman in many grocery stores and also online HERE.  


Two Giveaways!


Click HERE to be taken to the giveaway page

The Renaissance Mom was not compensated for this post, I did receive a sample product(s) for the purposes of review. This did not influence my review or my opinions. My views are 100% my own. This post may contain affiliate links. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook, pinterest, twitter, or any other social media website.  The winner will be chosen through the Giveaway form which uses Random.org.  Winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of contest end.  Winner has 24 hours to respond to the  email.  Failure to respond will result in a new winner being chosen.  Open to US only.  All winning Entries are verified.
 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Guest Post - Wen Hair Care

The Real Benefits of Using WEN Hair Care

A revolutionary and innovative approach to hair care, the WEN® hair care product line was created by celebrity stylist Chaz Dean. There are several different formulas that are designed for different types of hair, helping people to find the products that work the best for their hair.

Cleanse Your Hair With Conditioner
Central to the WEN product line is the cleansing conditioner, which simultaneously conditions and cleanses the hair in a five-in-one product. Using natural herbs and botanicals, the cleansing conditioner gently restores the hair's strength, shine and vitality in a single step. There are no harsh chemicals included in this product. When you use the WEN cleansing conditioner, you will not need to use any detangler, deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, regular conditioner or shampoo because it replaces them all. The ingredients that are contained in the cleansing conditioner include the following:


  • Panthenol, which makes your hair stronger and more resilient
  • Glycerin, which moisturizes your hair
  • Chamomile, which calms and soothes
  • Rosemary, which has soothing properties
  • Wild cherry bark, which helps with hair conditioning

Many people who try the cleansing conditioner report noticeable differences after just one use.

Boost and Lift Your Hair While Repairing It
Another essential hair product in the WEN product line is the WEN nourishing mousse. This lightweight formula contains sweet almond oil and botanicals to help repair damaged hair while providing you with the lift, hold and shine that you desire. It is not sticky and will not flake, leaving you with beautifully styled and shiny hair that stays in place. It is formulated to work well with blow-dryers.

Get Anti-frizz Styling
The WEN anti-frizz styling creme is another terrific product to add to your hair care regimen. It adds body and shine to your hair while smoothing frizz away. Lightweight, it keeps frizz at bay for up to eight hours. When you use it, it also helps your hair to become stronger and to experience significantly less breakage. It contains botanicals to help to add shine and softness to your hair. It also has panthenol for added strength and propylene glycol, which conditions and provides nourishment to your hair.

Get a Spa-like Hair Treatment at Home
With the WEN Re Moist intensive hair treatment, people can enjoy the benefits of the type of intensive moisturizing treatment that they might expect to receive at a spa. It contains shea butter and sweet almond oil for an intensified boost of deep moisture, softness and shine. When it is used on a weekly basis, you can receive hair that is beautifully shiny, strong and soft.

WEN's hair care products offer terrific benefits to people who have all types of hair. People may find the formulations that work best for their hair and then be on the way to having terrific, beautiful and shiny hair.

For more information, visit WEN on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Renaissance Mom was compensated for this post. Renaissance Mom is in no way responsible for The opinions and statements of this post.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Cave Tools Salad Spinner Review Plus Coupon

Today I am reviewing a salad spinner I received from Cave Tools.  They are a great company that makes the highest quality outdoor cooking accessories that last!  Just look at their return policy - Our guarantee is simple. If at any point, you feel you have received less value than what you paid for your item, then feel free to contact us for your full money back...GUARANTEED. Now there is a policy you can really count on for getting a good product!

I received the Salad Spinner and immediately took it out to try it. Click HERE to go to the amazon page or HERE to go to the product page on Cave Tools website.  I've actually never owned a salad spinner or used one. Many times though I have wanted one when dealing with fresh greens from my garden.  Anyone knows that when you have home grown salads they are very dirty first coming in.

But it's too early in the season for any salad greens from my garden.  I did have a bunch of store bought strawberries.  The neat thing about a salad spinner is that you can use them on berries as well as greens and veggies.

The salad spinner I received is very simple to put together and use.  It took me about 5 seconds.  Also it is easy to clean which I love because right now we have no dishwasher so everything is done by hand.

My strawberries came out squeaky clean and didn't get bruised at all.

I highly recommend Cave Tools.  They have a large selection of really cool products for cooking outdoors.  My husband loves to BBQ so he wants them ALL!  Barbecue Season and Father's day is coming up so take a look HERE for that great guy in your life.

Also as a bonus receive 15% Off by using the below coupon code when buying your own salad spinner from Cave Tools!
SALAD15


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Using Chickens to Clear Land

Now that we have moved into a new home I  wanted to plant a garden.  I knew in our last house was only temporary until we found something more suited for our family so even though I was itching to plant I didn't do more than some tomato plants.   I never really knew how much I loved gardening and canning until I was suddenly unable to do so.  Last year I was so ill all summer that I was happy just to be breathing and couldn't even think of gardening.  But this year I so wanted to get my hands into some dirt again!

The problem was that although we could garden as much as we wanted the entire yard is in grass which is such a pain to clear.  Both husband and I revolted at the thought of the back breaking labor of breaking sod after all the work we have been doing for a solid two months so we took the lazy mans approach that is slower but just as effective.  We used our chickens as land clearing machines!

I'm sure you all know that if you leave chickens in a run long enough they will turn it to bare dirt.  The smaller the run the faster it goes to dirt.  They eradicate every blade of grass, every weed and weed seed, and every bug in the area.  Chickens are quite wonderful in this way.  So husband and I set their run over the area we wanted cleared and BAM! Two weeks later weed and grass free land well fertilized and ready for planting.  Husband turned over the dirt a few times and I watered it a every day for several days to mellow it out and now I just planted some seed perfect for a fall crop.

I planted

beets
broccoli rab
peas
kohlrabi

Here are some picks.  We have 10 chickens in the run

BEFORE 


ONE DAY AFTER THEY ARE MOVED ON


AFTER AND READY FOR PLANTING



Oh chickens how I love thee!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Considerations When Buying Your First Chickens/Chicks


Black Austerlops
I always recommend to people wanting to get chickens that they first and foremost read a good book on home chicken raising first! These are living breathing feeling animals and have a right to be raised in such a way that make their little chicken lives enjoyable. Almost every library in our nation has at least one book on chicken raising so you don't even need to spend money to learn if you really want to embark on a chicken adventure. One of the most complete books on chickens that I have read is Story's Guide to Raising Chickens 

with a close second being The Encyclopedia of Country Living

 Both are full in information on the realities of chicken rearing.  And here are some good kindle editions  as well









That being said you don't have to do much to make chickens happy. Food water and a clean shelter is what they most desire with occasional scraps thrown in to make life interesting. Because we live in town our chickens are not let out to roam (chickens don't understand property lines and like to explore) but have an enclosed run. When we lived in Wyoming our chickens free ranged at will and we only lost one chicken to unknown causes. Chickens are the easiest farm animal to raise in our opinion.

Barred Rock Hen
OK so here is what we have learned from keeping chickens in town.  Part one is going to be about what you should consider before you even get your chicks.

The most important consideration is if you can have chickens legally in your town.  Surprisingly many cities and towns are now making it legal to have chickens .  Many times up to 10 hens although roosters are often banned due to their joy in crowing.  Or you might live in a town that doesn't have a law either way. That is true in our case.  Our town only stipulates that you get the city councils permission to have chickens.  My daughter (who does chickens in 4-H)  wrote a presentation on her chickens, got written approval letters from all our neighbors, took pictures of what we were going to use as a chicken coop, and also outlined how many chickens/what breed/fly control/waste disposal that would occur.  The city council loved her presentation and approved us on the spot.




So after you figure that you can have chickens what else should you consider?

First off what do you want out of your chickens?

Do you want exotic beautiful birds just to look at and enjoy?  Lots of eggs? Occasional meat? A little of everything?

These are important thoughts because many of the best egg layers are rather ugly and have skinny frames for eating when they are past egg laying prime.  And the more exotic chickens don't lay as well as a commercial egg laying breeds.

Buff Orphington Hens
For us we want both egg laying, pretty birds, and a decent rack for when the hen gets old.  Plus I wanted to get heirloom breeds to help keep them from going extinct.  The breeds we enjoy most are Buff Orphingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Black Austerlops, and Barred Rocks.  All of these birds are very attractive and lay eggs like crazy.  They are also gentle and non aggressive for the most part.

From our 9 laying hens we get about 7 eggs a day in summer, a few less in winter.  We do not keep a rooster because they are very noisy.  Hens do make noise when they lay an egg.  They let out a cluck cluck squawk call for a few minutes, but that is much quieter than a rooster.  Our neighbors don't mind our chickens at all, especially since I give them periodic gifts of eggs.  Bribery works!

There are hundreds of chicken breeds so you are bound to find a breed that suits your taste in color, size, feathering, laying capacity, egg color, and temperament.  If you are looking at getting banties then also consider that they lay small eggs and not as well as the larger breeds, but as an upside they are very broody and make excellent mothers.  We once had a little black banty hen that was the best setter and mother we have seen.  So if you want to raise chicks (you need a rooster here to get fertile eggs) then having a banty or two will be a good choice.

Also I have to say that there is nothing like really fresh eggs for cooking and it is so exciting when you go out and gather your first eggs!