Saturday, 22 June 2013

An Update-ish.

I know it's been a while since I updated this blog. A great many huge life altering things have happened in the time I have been away.

First, it is with a bit of sadness that am announcing that Walnut Cottage is for sale. With Jacob gone managing everything became impossible for me to do alone while working outside the home. We were required under the mortgage to stay in the house for 3 years after purchase and that three years was up at the end of February. The house went on the market in April. This is the reason I quit blogging. I didn't want to make it any harder on myself by creating lovely posts about the house while trying to disconnect myself from it.

The next step in our plan was to whittle down all our worldly possessions to what we could carry in the car and join Jacob in North Dakota. We did this, but unfortunately, oilfield life is extremely unpredictable and Will and I are now back in Kentucky. All I can say is, if you are an oilfield family (or really any family for that matter) save, save, save your pennies! Thankfully, we saved our pennies and are fine and are now back on the upswing.

We are planning to return to North Dakota in a few weeks, but in the meantime was are hanging out here at Walnut Cottage having a great time. We are enjoying the warm, sultry Kentucky summer complete with runs through the sprinkler, solstice celebrations, lemonade popsicles and lots and lots of crafty, arty things.

The house is still for sale and it could sell any time so I suppose that this is my good-bye post from Walnut Cottage. But never fear! This is certainly not the end of my blogging days.

I have been putting together a new blog about camper life in North Dakota. I have been struggling with the name for a few months now and I'm not completely satisfied yet. Once I finally settle on it here in the next few days I will start blogging there about our preparations to go back to North Dakota, then about our trip and finally on making our camper a home. I truly hope that everyone who has followed our family on our journey at Walnut Cottage will join us at the new blog when it goes live.

Well, that's all folks! So long from Walnut Cottage! It's been fun for me and hopefully for you, too! I hope to see you at the new blog!

Lots of love!


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Healthy Me In 2013- Saving Dinner

After a week of being sick and ordering take out meal after take out meal, I decided it was time for a change! Out with the junk and in with the good stuff. After all in order to be truly healthy, one must east healthy first, right?

One of my favorite ways to take control of meal time is with freezer meals. Before Jacob left for North Dakota, once a month we would put together our dinners for the month. After he left I got out of the habit and I wasn't sure if I could do it all on my own, but this Sunday I decided to give it a try. With a little help from the Saving Dinner website, I was victorious and this is what victory looks like:

One full month of freezer dinners!
I've tried to put together my own freezer menus and bought several e-cookbooks dedicated to freezer meals, but nothing stuck until I found Saving Dinner about a year ago. Really, this site is awesome! I have used both their weekly menu mailer and I also own all of their freezer cookbooks and really both the menu mailers and the freezer cookbooks couldn't be easier. I cannot recommend them enough!

What’s Your Plan for Dinner Tonight? Families That Eat Together Are Healthier and Save Money. Get a FREE Week of Recipes Here >

The cookbooks and the menu mailers all come with a shopping list that is grouped together by grocery store section and really easy to follow recipes. There are also a ton of menus to choose from including paleo, gluten free, low carb and vegetarian. We usually do the paleo menus, but next month I'm going to try the gluten free recipes as well. If you click the banner above you can even sign up to get a free week of recipes!

In addition to my dinners from Saving Dinner, I'm also going to be focusing on raw foods during the day using Leonie Dawson's Radiant Goddess Program that I've talked about before.

I'm only a couple days back on the healthy eating wagon, but I'm already feeling much better!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Monday Rundown

Okay, so it's not Monday, but I'm going to do my Monday Rundown post anyhow. After not accomplishing anything last week due to being sick, I've been feeling pretty low. I really had big dreams for the things I wanted to finish up and release out into the world and not accomplishing those things has been a big downer. I've been trying to turn my online projects into money makers, but not having the time to create or to promote has really put a damper on this and I'm starting to feel discouraged.

It's also not helping that Will and I are missing Jacob terribly. We were hoping he might be able to find a drilling job so that he could come home from time to time. Unfortunately, his company is working 7 days a week for 10 -12 hours a day which leaves no time for job hunting. Of course the flip side of this is that if he continues to work for the company he is with he will always have a job. The company he works for right now is a maintenance company and while there may not always be drilling, there will always be maintenance. What it amounts to is that there are a lot of tough decisions not too far down the pike for our family.

In response to all this I've been trying to lighten my load as much as possible. Anything not necessary to our existence is slowly being weeded out. I've also been implementing a much more rigid structure to our days. As I've talked about before, we always do better when we have rhythm and structure.

Which brings me to my next topic, what's on the agenda for my online projects. I've been working so hard and not accomplishing much that I'm going to be taking a step back this month and focus on writing articles and creating content for my sites (including finishing the family rhythm articles), instead of working on the bigger "money making" projects. I will not look at the numbers this month, instead I'm going to be working on adding value to my sites. It makes me a bit nervous to not pay attention to the numbers, but I think it's time for a reset in mindset.

So, that's it. That's all I've got. Have a great week.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Healthy Me In 2013-Product Review- Tea Tree Oil

Starting to feel a bit better today, but still pretty under the weather. It doesn't help that the weather has turned rainy and dark with a chance of snow over the next few days. I really know how to pick a week off, huh? However, the dank weather is giving me a chance to spend the hours in front of the computer that are necessary to finish some of my five million projects. However, I thought I'd take a break from beating my head against the wall with formatting to do a bit of writing, and since I haven't written a Healthy Me post lately, I figured it was about time.

This Healthy Me post is all about tea tree oil. Is there anything this stuff can't do?! If you read my post about olive oil you will remember that I also use a cotton ball with some olive oil and a few drops of tea tree oil on my face as daily moisturizer. If I use it regularly it keeps my skin completely clear and even if I use it intermittently it still keeps my skin clearer than it was when I was using conventional face products.

Tea tree oil is considered to be an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic and an anti-viral. It can be used for a whole array of skin complaints including candida, dandruff, acne, bacterial infections and  many others. It is important to note, however, that tea tree oil is very strong stuff! Make sure you've read up on it and use it sparingly if you decide to add it to your medicine chest. A little goes a long way!

I'm still trying to find some truly natural make up products to write about, but haven't had any luck so far. If you guys come across any please let me know!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Monday Rundown

Oh, the best laid plans! And, well, you know the rest....

After outlining my to do list for this week this past Saturday, I started to get a bit of a scratchy throat. Then my hips started to ache, which, for me, is a sure sign of the flu coming on. And by noon I was down for the count! After battling through some of the worst flu aches I've ever had in my life I'm feeling slightly better today.

Still, a pretty cruddy way to start your vacation. I'm planning on taking it easy again today. I think my body is definitely trying to tell me something! So, I don't know how much I'll get done this week, but hopefully a good amount of rest will be accomplished.

Have a great week! And take your Vitamin C, folks! This one was a doozy and I sure don't want any of you to get it!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Whew! What a week!

My apologies for not posting anything this week, but it's sure been a wild one! Thankfully, today is the first day of a week vacation from my 9 to 5! In addition to getting lots of rest this is what I have planned for the week:

1. Finish the Urban Agriculture E-Course

2. Finish the 50 Things To Do For The Planting Season List

3. Work on my batik book and e-course for

4. Plant our spring raised beds. 

5. Butcher the dinner rooster who has been hanging around too long and is now bullying my pet   rooster. (#urbanfarmproblems LOL!)

6. Finish my taxes. (Bleh.)

7. Spend lots of time with Mr. William Roo Who. 

I think that sounds like a full week to me! 

Friday, 15 February 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thursday Follow Up

Happy  Valentine's Day, friends! This week has been a bit of a dud as far as accomplishing anything blog or website related. In fact, I end up wasting a day reformatting the HootSuite auto posts for the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Urban Agriculture website and for my Beauty of Batik website also. Apparently, the links weren't correctly formatted, so none of them worked. D'oh! Live and learn I do suppose!

On a lighter and more fun note, Will and I also spent Wednesday evening making Valentine's for Will's class. They were pretty simple, but I think they turned out okay.

However, I am proud to say that last week I was able to finish up the 50 Things To Do For The Resting Season and I transferred some of my knitting patterns into PDF form! Hooray! In case you haven't already, go check out the list or check out the patterns on FREEBIES page of our website. An you can check out the list by clicking on the button below. Please feel free to share it, Tweet it and post it on Facebook!

So, despite my lack of doing much this week, next week I'm going to buckle down and finish up the Planting Season list and hopefully the Urban Agriculture E-Course. Wish me luck!

Friday, 8 February 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's nearing completion! Not quit on time, but better late than never. Hopefully, I will have it out by next Monday, but for now it's still a WIP.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Monday Rundown

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great week!

A couple weeks ago I mentioned the business lessons I learned. This past week paying attention to those lessons and not throwing in the towel paid off and I had some really awesome Airbnb guests!

One was in town for the Cyclocross World Championships. Not only was he an all around nice dude, he was a real trooper, too. He went with the flow when we had to shelter in the root cellar due to tornado sirens. Thanks, M!

The second guests this week were a couple celebrating their anniversary. One lived in MO and the other lived in TN and they were meeting in the middle here in Louisville. I didn't get to spend much time with them, but was glad to host. With Jacob being in ND, I sympathize with them being so far apart from each other.

So, all in all I'm glad I stuck it out despite having had a rather negative experience a few weeks ago.

In other news I'm plugging away at the e-courses. I've formatted the first day of the Urban Farm Planning E-Course, only 6 more to go! Phew! I should finish the 50 Things List tomorrow. I think the Family Rhythm E-Course is going to have to be postponed a while and may even be released as late as the end of the month with the 50 Things For The Planting E-Course.

Finally, Will is back from his grandparents and we had a ball today playing in the snow at the park. I sure do miss him when he's gone.

So, all things considered it's been a great week! Let's you and I make this next week great, too!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Monday Rundown

Monday again?! I guess so! Well, we weathered last week's cold snap and are preparing for this week's 70 degree weather. You just never know what it's going to be like around here!

Will is spending the week with Jacob's family so I get a bit of time to myself. I had s home spa day on Saturday and on Sunday I did some deep cleaning on the house. The floors have never looked so good!

I'm also working hard to make sure the e-courses get finished. I'm still hoping that by some miracle they will be finished for the 2nd, but it's looking more like it might be Monday the 4th. However, barring a disaster, it looks like 50 Things To Do For The Resting Season List will be on time. Since Resting Season starts on the 2nd, it is a top priority for me.

The 2nd is also Candlemas, St. Brigid's Day, Groundhog Day or Imbolc, depending upon your belief system. I have no grand plans, maybe light a couple of candles to welcome in the spring, but other than that I will be keeping things pretty quiet. If you are planning a celebration, leave me a comment and tell me about it. I'd love to hear your plans! And of course have a happy whatever-you-celebrate!

So, I think that covers it! Goodbye, until next week! Make it a good one!

Friday, 25 January 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

As the deadlines for my e-courses and 50 Things list grows ever closer I am busy putting the final touches on them. This week's project is the background image for the 50 Things For The Resting Season List. I am absolutely amazed at how it turned out! I did not know that it would have such interesting circles, but I am really happy with them! The next phase is the illustrations and then to put it all together! Yay! Look for it to be released on February 2nd!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday Rundown

It's Monday again! Hope you all had a great week! Will and I got outside a bit this weekend and cleaned out the chicken coop and the chicken yard. Not much fun, but with the cold air moving in this week it's good to get it cleaned up and refilled with good warm hay. They say it's going to be the coldest weather we've had in two years. Yikes! I am no great fan of cold so this does not please me in the least. I predict lots of time snuggled down in bed reading and working on projects.

Even with cold on the way I spent last week looking forward to spring by starting seeds. I had some Michihli cabbage seeds left over from the previous season that I started early in the week and then finished up my seed starting when my order from Baker Creek came in on Saturday. My gardening strategy is a bit different this year with Jacob gone. I've got fewer varieties and I'm starting fewer plants. I tried to find varieties that were short season so that I'm not gardening into late fall this year. I'm also going to start some of the plants that I usually direct sow under the grow lights to give them a jump on the season. I'm trying to make things as quick and easy as possible this year. We'll see how this goes!

I also brought a little spring indoors this week by getting out my sprouting jars and trays and starting some sprouts. It's been so long since I've had fresh sprouts (maybe even since before we moved into the house?!) so they were quite the treat!

I haven't had a chance to do much on the website this week, but I have been working on the e-courses and I am still hoping to have them released on February 2nd. Someone send me some energy if you have any to spare! I know my desire to do anything computer related is going to be low this week what with the cold weather.

That's pretty much the week in review! Hope your upcoming week is magical!

Friday, 18 January 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Plants for Trade

This morning, in the quiet early hours that are the signature of winter, I came up with an idea. Every year I always try to start enough seedlings so that I can sell a few as well. It never works out well for me. This year I'm going to try something a bit different and I hope that maybe you will join me and make it into a movement.

This  year, instead of selling my plants, I am going to offer them for trade. Not just any old trade, but a trade for a single vegetable from the plant that you took. I am going to set up a table in front of my house with plants and growing instructions and ask that the person who takes the plant bring me back a single vegetable when the plant begins to produce. Any vegetable that is brought back will be used to create a dish to give back to my neighbors. In doing so I can introduce my neighbors to gardening, help provide them with a bit of fresh food and in turn give back again when they bring me back a vegetable.

I am going to set up a page with some buttons to take if you'd like to participate and please feel free to pass this along as well so that we can get other folks involved too!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Healthy Me In 2013- Product Review- Olive Oil

So, I missed my product report on Tuesday, but better late than never, eh? Here you go!

Okay, this may be a duh one to some of you out there, but I only recently discovered the amazing effects of using olive oil on my face. I have fought and fought with my skin for years. I've used harsh cleansers and expensive moisturizers and all kinds of fancy things on my face. All it ever got me was more bumps around my hairline, yucky skin and sometimes even burning pain on my face due to the harshness of the chemicals.

Then one day, quite by accident, I found out how wonderful plain old olive oil can be. Truly, it was just one of those intuitive things that popped into my head. Maybe I'd read about it somewhere before, but I don't remember. However, after suffering from a particularly nasty dry red spot on my face, I picked up a bottle of olive oil and thought to myself, "Why not?" I got myself some olive oil and smeared it on the ouchie spot. It felt pretty darn good! So, I got some more and smeared it over the rest of my face and rubbed it in and that felt really good! I thought to myself, "Hey, there must be something to this!"

Upon doing a bit of research I found out that olive oil can be amazingly beneficial for the skin. So, now instead of piling on harsh cleansers and expensive products, twice a day I've been following the routine I'm going to share with you and my skin looks and feels better than ever!

It is important to remember to use the best, most pure olive oil you can! 
I've been using NOW Food olive oil and it seems to work well. 

First, I scrub my face down with warm water to get my pores warmed up and open. Then I rub about a teaspoonful of olive oil all over my face, let it sit for a minute or two. Then I wash it off again with a wash cloth. Once my face is scrubbed clean I then take a cotton ball with a dab of olive oil and some tea tree oil (More about this next week!) and smooth it on to my face and massage it in. Seriously, best skin I've had since I was a teenager!

Next week I will be discussing tea tree oil and all the wonderful things you can do with it. After that I am going to be looking for some natural make up products, which is a whole new territory for me, so if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments and let me know!

Thursday Follow Up

It’s Thursday once again, which means it’s time to check in on my projects. I hate to say it, but they are moving at an abysmally slow pace. I’ve been working on the Radiant Goddess E-Course, which includes lots of raw foods, which means raw food detox, which means super sluggishness. Blah. Thankfully, I’m starting to see the other end of this journey where I have ALL KINDS OF ENERGY! YAY!

Check it out here if you're interested! I'm really loving Leonie Dawson's work!

So, despite spending most of this week resting, The Urban Agriculture course is written and now it just needs formatting. I’m still writing the Family Rhythm course, but it’s coming along at a nice pace. The 50 things freebie is coming along as well. The herbs course, well, I’m not so sure it’s going to make the deadline, but I’m still hopeful.

I’ve been really trying to work through the suggestions in the Business Goddess course to make sure I meet my deadlines and it really seems to be pushing things forward at a great clip.

I just have to keep focused (which I am notoriously bad about) and things will come together! I will keep it up and in a couple of weeks I will be announcing here that everything came together magically! Stay tuned!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Monday Rundown

Well, it's been an interesting weekend to say the least! I don't want to get into all the details cause frankly I don't have the energy, but let me suffice it to says many great business lessons were learned this weekend! Let me share them with you!

Chelsea's Business Lessons for the Week

1. Trust your intuition - If something seems like it's wrong or not a good fit, trust yourself and act accordingly. This, THIS is the most important lesson I learned this weekend. Had I done this, I wouldn't have had to even consider the next lessons!

2. Be willing to take your lumps - If it means giving up money because you did #1, that's okay. You will be better off for it in the long run.

3. Packing up your toys and going home is not the answer- While I considered doing that myself this weekend, a certain local restaurant owner who abruptly closed, leaving her employees in the dark, taught me that it's best to stick it out when the going gets tough.

4. Focus on the positive.

5. Don't let other folks steal your energy.

There were more, but I can't remember them all right now. So, there you have it. You've been schooled, as was I.

In other news, I spent a good part of the weekend cleaning out our seed starting supplies and will begin bagging up herbs from the drying rack and converting the drying rack over into the growing rack. I found a whole bunch of seeds that I'd forgotten I had and thankfully I hadn't put in my seed order yet, so it looks like I'll be saving a bit of money on seeds this year! Yay!

I also started the Radiant Goddess program today. Lots of raw food, meditation and movement! I'm thinking it's a great way to start off the new year. Although, I am feeling a bit headachy since I haven't had any caffeine. Might have to cheat a little and indulge my coffee tooth!

So, anyhow, that's been my week! Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Release Dates

As I come to the end of some projects and get ready to begin others, I think it's time to set some concrete dates. This is what you can expect to see from this blog and the Urban Agriculture Info website in the coming year!

February 2nd
Urban Agriculture E-Course
Family Rhythm E-Course
Free 50 Things To Do For The Resting Season E-Booklet
Free Herbs E-Course

February 26th
Free 50 Things To Do For The Planting Season E-Booklet

May 21st
Urban Agriculture Business E-Course

June 11th
Free 50 Things To Do For The Growing Season E-Booklet

July 30th
Free 50 Things To Do For The Preserving Season E-Booklet

October 28th
Free 50 Things To Do For The Handwork Season E-Booklet
Family Rhythm 2014 Planner and Workbook
Urban Agriculture 2014 Planner and Workbook

And the big super special hopeful project for the year is to create a membership community that will provide access to all these courses plus a forum to post in for one special low price! Hoping to have this part up and running by December. This is a pretty ambitious plan, but dream big, do big, ya know?

I'll be checking in with you on these goals every Thursday, so if you see me slipping, don't be afraid to shoot me an email and let me know!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today's work in progress is a bit different. Instead of knitting, I've been doing a bit of drawing. What for, you ask? Well, I'm just about ready to release the Urban Agriculture Basic E-Course and this is background for the lessons and worksheets. I'm so excited about releasing this e-course as it will be my first one! It is scheduled to be finished on January 31st, so stay tuned!

What are you working on this week? Post a link in the comments to your WIP!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Product Review- Argan Oil

Good morning, friends! Hope everyone is having a beautiful day! It's sunny and bright here and they tell me it's supposed to get up to 53 degrees today. Doesn't feel much like January, but I'll take it! 

In yesterday's post I told you that I had been doing a lot of work on myself this year. Well, one of the changes I've decided to make is to switch all the products I use on my hair and skin to natural ones that aren't filled with toxic chemicals. Each week I will tell you about a natural product that I've switched to or a new one that I'm trying out. I may even add in recipes for products that I'm making myself. 

The first thing on my list of natural beauty goodies to share is argan oil. I love this stuff! If you have thick curly hair that needs a bit of taming this will be your new best friend! 

The argan tree is native to Morocco and the oil is produced from the kernel of the argan tree using press extraction to obtain the oil. Now, admittedly argan oil is a bit pricey since it is one of the rarest vegetable oils. However, it doesn't take much to do the trick and it's so good for your hair whereas products such as gel or mousse can be drying and damaging, that the price is totally worth it.

I've tried all kind of natural products to tame my hair including coconut oil and even olive oil, but they've all given me the grease ball look. Not so with argan oil! Use it sparingly and wisely and it will give your hair amazing shine and definition. 

Oh, and if you don't like it on your hair, it also makes a great skin moisturizer. It is also commonly used in culinary applications as well. 

So, there you have it! Need to tame a crazy mane? Check out argan oil! You won't be disappointed!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Monday Rundown

Hello friends! Hope you have all weathered the holidays well! We had a few days of the flu and such, but are seemingly on the mend. I have been planning our garden for next year and will soon be ordering seeds and starting seedlings. I am currently working on a post on choosing seeds and should have it up in the next few days.

This past weekend Will and I cleaned up what was left in the big garden and picked up the sticks that the wind has scattered around the yard. We have a nice pile in the middle of the garden ready for a small fire. I'd hoped to do the burning on Saturday, but the threat of rain has delayed it. I'm thinking maybe we might even wait until Candlemas as a nice fire would be holiday appropriate.

I've not been working as much as I would like on the website, but instead I've been doing a lot of work on me. Appropriate for the new year, don't you think? Here is one of the awesome courses I've been taking. This woman is amazing! Her words are exactly what I need to hear! If you're interested in coaching or e-business, I encourage you to check out her stuff!

After working through this course I think I've got my work cut out for me this year! What are you doing out there in blog land this year, folks? Hope whatever it is that it is spectacular! If you need a little oomph! check out this course!

The little one is calling now and it's almost time for bed, so I'll be signing off! Have a great week!