{printables} Fridge Menu & Shopping List

So it’s summer and I get bored easily. New printables!

Nobody loves a pretty fridge menu more than I do. It’s a great place to jot down what’s for dinner and any evening activities. When I couldn’t find one that was just what I wanted – I made one! I love that the boxes are large enough to write more than one meal or any activities that are scheduled for that day.

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How to make a balloon cloud

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I’m not a very craft-y person but I love throwing a good party. Our oldest daughter turned 13. I’ve written about her birthday shopping trip already, but we also had a party for family and close friends. Decorations were minimal – just balloons and streamers – but we wanted to make something extra special.

It started out as balloon garland. But as we put it up on the wall, it turned into a balloon cloud. Okay so my balloon cloud looks like Bob the Bear is going to eat it, but you get the idea. Here’s how we did it:

First, blow up lots of balloons. Enlist help. You’ll also need thread, a needle and some ribbon.

Second, thread the needle and gently push need through the little tail at the end of the balloon. I did two at a time.

Third, take the two balloons that are threaded and sew them into the ribbon.

 If you want a very full cloud, keep your stitches into the ribbon as close together as you can get them. It will get harder as the ribbon fills up. If you want more of a garland, spread it out.

Make sure you leave plenty of ribbon on each end for hanging. I think these would be really fun over a table at a birthday party or even a baby shower. They would hang nicely from the ceiling, but be sure you’re securing into a stud. The balloons weigh more than you think once they’re hanging.

Our ceilings are too high to hang from, so we just kept it on the wall. You can’t really see the depth of it here but the balloon cloud stands out from the wall about two feet. I really liked how it turned out. Festive and different, without being expensive. The best part? The whole thing cost about $3!

Farm Update

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We are slowly turning into a full fledged hobby farm. Because of the very wet spring, the newly cleared land that we planned on using for my garden space wasn’t ready in time. So no garden for me this year.

The animals are all doing well though! Here are some photos of what we’ve been doing:

We now have 14 laying hens. It will still be around 2 months before we get any eggs but we are enjoying getting to know our little flock of girls. (Poor Hubby. Even our animals are all girls!)

This is Jase the Chicken.
She has a beard.

(Can you tell we have some big Duck Dynasty fans in our house?)

Jase is an Araucana, also known as an Easter Egg chicken. She and her two sisters will lay colored eggs – mostly blues and greens from what I’ve been told.

The two white chickens above are Pretty One and Pretty Two. There is also a Pretty Three. They are Columbian Wyandottes. And I love them. Prettys One, Two and Three will lay brown eggs.

 

Then there are all the Polka Dots. There are six of these girls. They are Barred Rocks, a very traditional cold weather-tolerant chicken. Another brown egg layer, too. Because really, if you’re going to collect eggs in your backyard shouldn’t they always be brown?

Inside our chicken coop, there is a wall down the middle splitting it 60/40. There’s a screen door so we can get from one side to the other and to keep the air flowing. Our flock of girls are on the 60 side, since they’ll be here for the long haul. We want them to be comfortable. They now have their own run, which you can see below as it was being framed off to the right. We will soon be getting more meat chickens for the smaller side of the coop. I’m thinking 25 is all we can have, while ensuring that they will still have space to lead a decent little chicken life. The meat chickens also have their own run. We’ve heard bad things happen when you mix meat and egg birds, so we are practicing a bit of segregation. Terrible, I know. 😉

Addie loves going into the chicken’s yard. They flutter and run around her, sometimes standing still long enough to be pet. As they get used to one another, I’m sure they will slow down for her a bit more.

~~~~~

Then there’s the pigs.
They’re gross.
And big.
And smelly.
And obnoxious.
And did I mention smelly?
And filthy. I’m not going to show you a picture because no matter how hard we try to keep their yard decent, they wreck it. And it’s gross.

 
This batch of smelly pigs will be going to the butcher on July 8. I am not very sad about this. At all. Part of the problem is that we built our pig pen in January, when it was way below zero and the ground was frozen solid. Once these fatsos are gone, we have major work to do so that the next batch of bacon and ham will have a larger, cleaner yard. I do feel a bit bad that these piggies have been in a small, wet, smelly yard. But then I remember that they’re pigs. Unless they are on solid concrete, they will make anything wet and smelly. They dug up huge rocks and carried them INSIDE their house. Why?! I don’t know.
 
So that’s life on our little farm. It keeps us busy, especially in the warm weather. 
 
How is your summer going?