Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Sunny Spring Days - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway
We are celebrating Spring with this fun Sunny Spring Days giveaway for families! Coordinated by Mommy Scene and sponsored by the participating brands, this fun giveaway has something for everyone! One lucky winner will receive all of these awesome prizes when the giveaway ends 4/14/17.
Charlie Banana One Size Diaper Twitter Bird - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Charlie Banana Diapers

Prize: Charlie Banana One Size Diaper Twitter Bird & Deluxe Inserts
The Charlie Banana reusable diapering system is innovative and Eco-friendly; each set includes 1 cloth diaper and 2 highly absorbent, reusable, washable inserts. The sizable safe-snap system allows the one-size diaper to grow with your baby. Highly absorbent inserts make these cloth diapers great for both daily and overnight use. Learn more at charliebanana.com.

Scrub Bugs hand scrubbers - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Scrub Bugs

Prize: 2 Scrub Bugs Hand Scrubbers
Scrub Bugs are the 1st surgeon inspired hand scrubbers for kids. They are proven to clean hands over 3X better than ordinary handwashing. Cleaner Hands, Healthier Kids - More Fun! Learn more at myscrubbugs.com.
A Wild Dill exclusive print - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Wild Dill Kids

Prize: A Wild Dill Exclusive Print!
Wild Dill commissioned artist Juliet Meeks to come up with a sweet nighttime inspired watercolor for a baby nursery. The result is this magical sleepy narwhal swimming under a starry sky and moonlit night. 8" x 10" high quality print designed by Artist Juliet Meeks. Learn more at wilddill.com.

Kangapouch - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Kangapouch

Prize: Organic Cotton White Sleep Sack, 0-12 months OR 12-24 months
Kangapouch is a cotton down fill baby sleep sack that will move with your baby through rolls and turns during sleep, keeping your baby warm, comfortable and covered at all times. Kangapouch is also ideal for sleepovers and camping. Kangapouch is the original down filled baby sleep sack. CPSA certified and created to the highest quality, ethical and safety standards. Kangapouch has adjustable snaps on the shoulders and Velcro waist fasteners to allow for growth. Zipper-pull guard protects your baby's skin and two- way zippers allows for easy diaper change and added ventilation for use in all seasons. The white organic cotton Kangapouch uses a 550 thread count of 100% organic cotton fabric and is filled with duck down. Easy machine wash & dry. Learn more at kangapouch.net.

Lottie, Finn and Friends - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Lottie, Finn & Friends 

Prize: Lottie, Finn & Friends 7.5" Doll
Lottie, Finn & Friends are age appropriate, relatable and empowering dolls and accessories inspired by childhood. Unlike other dolls, Lottie is based on a nine-year-old child. This collection of dolls and accessories encourage children to be imaginative, adventurous and most of all, to have fun. 2017 will see Lottie launch a series of chapter books with Penguin, as well as a 'Brownie' doll and accessories as part of a licensing deal signed with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Learn more at lottie.com.

Yummi Pouch Jewel Cloth Snack Bags - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Yummi Pouch

Prize: Jewel Cloth Snack Bags - set of 3
Take snacks on the go with Yummi Pouch cloth sandwich bags. These gorgeous Eco-friendly cloth storage bags have a moisture resistant interior, open with a zipper, and are decorated with modern jewel color patterns. Also available in snack bag size! Perfect for crackers, sandwiches, dry snacks, small items, accessories, and cosmetics. Learn more at revelae.com.

Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap - Sunny Spring Days Giveaway

Sudsy Dough

Prize: Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap
Sudsy Dough is an interactive, sensory bath toy that doubles as a moldable scented dough and a cleansing soap. Kids can squeeze and squish Sudsy Dough in the bath, rub it on as body wash, or take it outside the tub and let it dry to make custom-shaped soaps. Sudsy Dough is scented and moisturizing, available in fragrances Sassy Strawberry, Merry Mango, Bubbly Blueberry, and Awesome Apple. Learn more at revelae.com.

Enter to win this fun prize collection!

This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on April 14, 2017. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!

Mommy Scene Blog Street Team

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2017 Summer Bucket List


            Hey folks! Is this unusually warm weather getting anyone else excited about summer activities? It's bad enough that it's got us wanting to plant stuff and start more seeds indoors already, but I'm getting antsy to go exploring new places this summer too!
            I guess “summer” is somewhat misleading for this post as I would like to do a lot of these things in the spring or fall when it's not too hot. I'm one of those people who doesn't really like summer all that much. There, I said it! Regardless, let's dive into my (somewhat ambitious) list!

*Visit all of our state parks. I know. A little overzealous, right? But, for the 5,000th time, we got a state park pass for Christmas and I intend on using it! To be honest, I'll be a little disappointed if we don't make it to at least, let's say, roughly ¾ of them, but I'm not going to beat myself up too much either.

*Ride the “Mini Trains” in Johnson County. My husband somehow came across this place through his work. Myka's a big fan of trains and we think she would love this! It starts at a park and the rides run for 20 minutes! And it's only a few bucks to ride!

*Borrow an Explorer Backpack from Griffey Lake. I remember reading about these last year, but it sounded like the kind of thing that would be better suited for Myka when she was older. I have no idea what is in these things, but it sounded like a fun way to incorporate some more learning into our great outdoors experience. Plus, we didn't get to Griffey Lake (in Bloomington, IN) as much as I wanted to last year, so it's a good excuse to visit.

*Go to the pool/Teach Myka to swim. She already has the basic idea down, but I'd really like her to learn to swim for real. I feel like it's an important life skill and she loves playing in the water. I can't exactly teach her to swim in a kiddie pool at home, though, can I? We didn't get to the pool at all last year because the whole “getting out with a baby and being afraid your older kid is going to run off or drown” thing was too frightening.

*Visit the Splash Pad and Sand Playground more. We went here once or twice last year, but I'm hoping to go more this year...Just not when it's so freaking hot out! Pretty sure the baby and I were both miserable, especially the day we went just to visit the new sand playground. There is a giant canopy over the area, but that almost makes it worse and traps heat somewhat. At least we weren't getting sunburnt?

What is on your summer bucket list this year?


P.s. If you're local to the Bloomington, IN area, be sure to click on the bold links (and some of the pictures) above to learn more about the places listed!
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com

Monday, March 20, 2017

Meet Our Newest Farm Friend, Gabby!


           Hey folks! I know I promised exciting news last week, but what can I say? I wrote the soup post and completely forgot. Do you forgive me?
            We brought the newest member of Wild Onion Acres farm home a few weeks ago on March 4th. Her name is Gabby and, if you're new around here, she is an American Guinea Hog (AGH). She will also be the future Mrs to our other AGH, Mr.Bruce, once she reaches maturity. ;)


            When we first brought her home, we put her in the small pen for a few days as we learned our lesson with Mr.Bruce when he first came home. She had eaten most of the greenery after not quite 2 days, so I decided to let her out. It didn't seem like there was much of a threat of her trying to get out of the fenced in area since she had company. However, we weren't she if she was “fence trained” or not and we have an electric fence. Mr.Bruce has (accidentally or otherwise, who knows) pushed her into the fence a few times and she hasn't ran screaming into the wild green yonder, so we're good!


            They are getting along pretty well so far. Pigs, or at least AGHs, are kind of like dogs. There was a lot of butt sniffing at first on Mr.Bruce's part. I have to admit I was a bit worried about him trying to * ahem *, get a little frisky with her right off the bat, but I haven't caught him doing so yet, which is good since she's still too young for that. That's probably why he hasn't tried anything, but you never know. I'm new to this and I worry too much, ok?!
            Like I said, everyone seems happy so far. Mr.Bruce probably thought he had died and gone to heaven because we moved him to a new area before we brought Gabby home. Ha ha Fresh green stuff and a new friend?! He doesn't seem to care about me as much any more, which is fine. ;) Maybe now I will be able to clean their house without him getting his big butt in the way! Speaking of which...
            It was so cute the afternoon I let her out. It started raining harder later on and I was curious as to which house Gabby would go in, her barrel house or Mr.Bruce's glorified dog house. When I went to feed them dinner they both came out of his house. Aw! As for dinner...


            That is pretty much the only time Mr.Bruce doesn't get along with his new roommate very well. He is not used to sharing his food and kept chasing poor Gabby off. So, being the spoiled little pigs that they are, I just feed them in separate bowls. Ridiculous, right?

            What do you guys think of our newest farm friend? Do you have hogs?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thirsties Natural One Size All-in-One Cloth Diaper Review


            Hey folks! If you're not on YouTube or don't follow us there, you may have missed out that we won Love Notes, the special Valentine's print, by Thirsties in their natural, all-in-one, one size diaper via Diaper Junction's “Feed Your Stash Friday” giveaway last month! It seems to be such a popular cloth diaper right now with a lot of interest, so I decided to do some video reviews, which you can view at the end, if you like. If you're more into reading and looking at pictures instead, read on! (Plus, I'm including a couple of things I forgot to mention in my second video. Oops!)


A little about the Thirsties Natural AiO OS diaper...

*Waterproof, TPU laminate outer
*Hemp & organic cotton inner
*11 layers of absorbency
*Two sewn in soakers
*Available in hook and loop (Velcro) or snap closure
*Fits most babies/toddlers from 8-40+ pounds
*Three different rise settings

Our experience and what we liked/disliked...

On the smallest rise

*The only time we've had issues with leaking was the first time after I initially washed it...But that could be due to two possible different factors. Chances are, it's because I didn't prep it exactly as the instructions called for. Or, I just needed a bit more absorbency for my 13 month old.

*Every time after that, I added a Hemp Babies doubler thing and had no issues. I generally change her every 3 hours.

*Even with the extra insert, these diapers are very trim underneath clothing...Which is a nice change for us!

She is as rotten as she looks!

*The fit also seems very good in general. I did get it a little tight the first couple of times around her chunky little thighs and the elastic dug in. But, as with all new diapers, trial and error, right?

*I went with the hook and loop closure because I feel like it gives the best fit. However, Ripley is getting to the age where she realizes she can get it undone if I let her run around with no pants on. Just something to keep in mind. With that being said, though, the aplix is super sticky! I always forget how wonderful it is on new diapers, but it's even stronger that that of the Best Bottom covers we usually use! It was super strong on our Thirsties newborn covers too!

*To be totally honest, we haven't experienced a poo yet, so I can't attest to the effectiveness of the diaper in that aspect. However, I do have this to say...

*I am a bit disappointed there are no double gussets on the legs. I haven't gotten spoiled, I guess, and they really do come in handy for poo-splosions. So, this may or may not cause issues with runny, little baby poo. Solid, older baby poo should be just fine, though, in my not-so-professional opinion.

*I love that this diaper uses natural fibers for a couple of reasons. 1) With both girls, I couldn't use microfiber or synthetic materials. Insta-rash. 2) The Thirsties Natural diaper dries faster than all-in-one diapers made with synthetic material because cotton and hemp both dry a lot faster! So, no need to run your dryer extra long to get this puppy dry all the way!

*The price is comparable to other all-in-one diapers at $24.75 each.




            Have you tried the Thirsties Natural One Size All-in-One diaper yet? Don't forget to visit Diaper Junction's Facebook page every week to see what they're giving away for their “Feed Your Stash Friday” giveaway!

ethannevelyn.com
Thinking Outside The Pot

Monday, March 13, 2017

Easy & Delicious Potato Soup


             Hey folks! It's still soup season, right? I hope so because I have a really yummy potato soup recipe to share with you today! I actually got it from my mom, who probably got it off some website, but it's too good not to share! While I mostly follow the recipe, I will include the minor tweaks we make too. Enjoy!

What You'll Need:

-2 C. water
-2 C. potatoes, cubed
-1/2 C. carrots
-1/2 C. celery
-1/4 C. onion
-1 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-1/4 C. butter
-1/4 C. flour
-2 C. milk
-2 C. cheddar cheese

*Combine water, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper in a large pot. (We don't use celery as Myka used to be able to not eat it, so we just never have it on hand any more. We also usually have more onion and potatoes than it calls for because I just eyeball it instead of measuring it out. Ha ha Just be sure you have enough water to cover everything so it cooks well. It will turn out fine, even if you add closer to 3 or 4 cups. Trust me.)

*Boil 10-12 minutes. (It may take longer if you get a little overzealous with the veggies, which I have also done. :D)

*In a small pan, melt butter, add flour, stir in milk slowly, and cook until thick. Add cheese and stir until melted.

*Pour sauce into undrained vegetables. Heat and serve.

             That's it! Super easy and super yummy! :)


ethannevelyn.com
Thinking Outside The Pot

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Our Afternoon at Dobb's Park (Terre Haute, IN)

bird craft

            Hey folks! As I (think) I've mentioned recently in another post, my biggest goal for the year is getting out and exploring more of Indiana! We received a state park pass from my parents for Christmas, so that's even more incentive, right? Although I don't plan on JUST going to state parks. Case in point...
            Dobbs Park in Terre Haute, Indiana. With the weather still being unpredictable here, I decided to get online and see if there were any other cool nature center type places nearby besides the one at McCormick's Creek State Park. (It's only about 12 minutes from us and is one of the best nature centers I've ever been to!) Myka and I both enjoy going to them, so I was happy when I came across Dobbs Creek Nature Center. It looked really awesome from the pictures on their website, so I was excited to check it out.
            I was pleasantly surprised when we got there. I had only read about the nature center online, so I had no idea there was also a pond, walking trails, and a pretty nice playground! There was even a Native American “mini museum” right next to the nature center that I didn't know about until the day before when I looked up directions on how to get there! It only took us about 50 minutes to get there, but I also invited my cousin's wife and their kids to come with us, which took them about an hour and 20 minutes to get there from where they live, so I was glad it was totally worth the drive for everyone.
            Naturally, the first thing the kids noticed was the playground, so that was our first stop. I wouldn't say it was huge, but it had enough to keep the kids entertained for quite awhile. In fact, the playground ended up being our last stop before heading home per all of the kids' request! Myka was obsessed with the bouncy teeter totter and finally went down the big slide after watching all of the boys go down.
            Since it was a bit of a drive for all of us and we didn't meet up until 11, we decided to bring our lunch with us. There was a nice covered area with picnic tables right next to the pond, so that was our cafeteria for the afternoon. There were some geese hanging around in the pond and Myka loves all things birds, so she thought that was really cool.
            It was such a nice day that after lunch we decided to check out their trails. We had no idea where we were going and kind of blindly following the older kids, but luckily the trail we went on looped around. It circled around another pond/marshy area and we got to see a line of turtles sunning themselves on a fallen tree in the water. We went on part of some other trails too and winded up back at the first pond. The trails weren't strenuous and offered plenty of shade, so that was nice since I have to carry roughly 25 extra pounds on my back in the form of a 13 month old, backpack carrier, and all the goodies inside the pack. The only warning I do have is that there are quite a lot of tree roots in spots! If you have little ones that can't walk, I don't think I'd even recommend a jogging stroller. A baby carrier or hiking carrier is your best bet.
            After stopping by the first pond for a bit after walking, we finally convinced the kids to check out the nature center. Some of them were kind of whiny about it...Until we actually got inside, then they were all super into it! This was, hands down, the best nature center I've ever been to. They had so many things for kids and adults alike to check out, including live animals such as fish, snakes, and turtles, an objects from nature display (which you could actually pick up and check out) that included snake skins, bones, antlers, etc., a bird viewing area, books, and even animal puppets to play with!
            The nature center also included a decent sized meeting room, which I assume they use for their special Saturday programs and group programs. And if that's not enough, if you can't make it to their Saturday programs, they offer their extra craft materials so you can make them at home! (I don't think any of them cost over $3.50 or so, if I remember right.) Myka surprised me and wanted the bird to paint instead of the snake, which, if you know how I feel about snakes at all, was fine by me! My cousin's two older boys did get wooden snakes to paint, as well as a bird call, and their daughter got a bead kit to make a butterfly, if I remember correctly, as well as a butterfly life cycle activity. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what they have and, for reference, our kids range from 1-12, so there's just about something for all ages!

dobbs park map

            Again, we kind of had to drag the kids into the Native American museum after the nature center, but they (mostly) had a good time. (It was getting towards some of their nap times. :) ) Naturally, they all loved playing in the “house” displays, which included a wigwam and longhouse, and food preparation area. Myka and my cousin's 2 year old were pretending to make cupcakes, which was amusing. I used to be really into Native American culture, so I'd love to spend some more time in there next time we go. Oh. And I also found a trail map while we were in there. Better late than never?
            I absolutely loved this place and Myka did to, which was evident by her asking to go back there repeatedly for the next several days. It was right up our alley since we all enjoy visiting nature centers and hiking, plus the added bonus of the playground for Myka. Speaking of which, the only other “warning” I have to give is that if you have babies or toddlers who don't do much walking, if any, steer clear of letting them roam around the lawn leading to the play area. It was goose poop city! Other than that, I have no complaints and highly recommend you go check it out with the kiddos if you are local or visiting the area! You can see more pictures and check their hours on their website.

            Speaking of pictures, I am totally lame and didn't get any. I know. I was too worried about getting videos to put together for a YouTube overview vid, which I hope you'll watch below. I will definitely be getting some next time!



This Is How We Roll Thursday Party
ethannevelyn.com
Thinking Outside The Pot

Monday, March 6, 2017

Homesteading Update: Garden Work

garden tools

            Hey folks! The piddling around the farm continues until we're fairly certain the crazy Indiana weather is going to stop messing with us. It is back down in the 20's and 30's (brr!) again the weekend I'm writing this, but we were lucky to take advantage of the warm weather some before it cooled off again. It's supposed to be back in the upper 40's tomorrow, so we'll be working on one of the pig fences, but more on that in next week's post!

roto-tilling pig

            Since, for whatever reason, we didn't have Bruce's first garden area fenced off as big as we planned on making it this year, I decided we could just stick him in the “baby pen” to finish the job. Since it was so nice out one Wednesday and we were already doing some other stuff outside, I decided to go ahead and get started. He was easy enough to move in it. He plodded right along and didn't put up a fight or anything. Plus, he went nuts over all the green stuff since his new semi-permanent area is pretty lacking and mostly covered in vines. The pictures above are what he accomplished in just a little over an hour!

garden rows

            We spread some wheat, clover, and pea seeds around, but John wanted to plant some in the garden too to make sure we actually had some that made it. We didn't do any clover here, but we did plant some of the winter peas and red wheat berries. This will be part of the chickens' food!

compost pile

            Not very exciting, but I finally turned over the compost pile. I really need to get better about making sure it's equal and, ya know, turning it more often. Yes, those are daffodils popping up. They are kind of the bane of my existence right now. Don't get me wrong: I love flowers as much as the next person, but they are EVERYWHERE...Mostly places I don't want them! At least they don't last long?

            Have you guys been able to do any gardening or planting yet? Don't forget to come back next week for (hopefully, if everything falls into place) an exciting update!