Category Archives: Life

My “Pet” Chickens

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Since we are finally getting eggs, I feel like it’s a good time to talk to you all about my chickens. If you recall, that was my birthday present this year. My husband promised me that we would build a coop.

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I had chickens growing up, and was super excited to start this journey as an adult. I began researching- I read books, I joined Facebook groups, and I read probably a hundred blogs. All because I wanted to be super informed. Because I did all of this, I feel pretty good about sharing my knowledge (and what I’ve learned along the way) with you.

Building the coop

Building a coop doesn’t have to be expensive. It is as expensive as you let it be. The most important thing to think of is how many chickens you think you’ll have (take that number and triple it, because chicken math is real). I wanted 6 to 8 chickens, and I now have 20, with plans to possibly get more in the spring.

We took an existing building with a cute little shed attached to make our coop. I have seen other people use dog runs. You can go with a pre-made coop, but they’re smaller, and I have seen a lot of people unhappy with them in the long run.

To start our coop, we bought two 100′ rolls of chicken wire (we didn’t use all of it), several metal fence posts, and used some leftover lumber from when we added on to the house. We built a fence out from the little shed to give a nice run for the chickens. My hubby is pretty handy and built a door himself, but buying a screen door probably would have been easier.

I took cinder blocks that I had found around our property and placed them around the run. We still didn’t have enough for what I wanted, so I drove to Home Depot and bought more. I then filled those blocks with potting soil and planted marigolds around the run.

After building, I turned into a nervous Nelly and bought poultry netting to go across the top of my run. I will never regret this, it’s inexpensive, and keeps my babies protected.

A Place To Roost

Roosting bars is something that I honestly did not remember from my childhood. Did I mention that I had chickens growing up? I think that was the best part of growing up country- all the different animals that I got to experience!

Anywho… The plan was always to reuse and repurpose whatever we could to keep the costs down, right? I probably drove my husband crazy when I suggested pulling a bedroom set out of storage to put in the coop, but I had a vision.

I set the bed up, frame and all, and started planning how to make a roost for my birds. My first plan was to put 2x4s across from the head to the foot of the bed, but it just wasn’t working out. I ended up placing three pallets inside the bed frame- one at the head, one at the foot, and one in the center. I then found some large branches and some 1x4s to attach to the pallets. Oops! I almost forgot to mention that YES, I screwed EVERYTHING into place. I wanted it to be super sturdy.

This has worked like a dream. The chickens don’t always roost there like I would like, but they love hanging out on it and using it as a jungle gym. What I have found is that they are always going to find the highest point they can and roost there. It is what it is. And it keeps them safe, so why worry.

My Nesting Boxes

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Remember I said bedroom suit, right??? After bringing the bed out to make the roost, I dragged the dresser and matching night stands out as well.

At this point, you may be like my husband and think that I have lost my mind. I’m pretty sure I have, so this is a fair assumption.

I took the middle drawers out of the dresser, making space for the chickens to be able to get into the bottom drawers. I took the top drawers out of the night stands and attached them to the top of the night stand, creating two nesting boxes out of each night stand. To keep them easy to clean, I did purchase plastic tubs to sit in the drawers. This was by far one of the best decisions that I made! I also got these awesome nesting pads off Amazon to put in the tubs, and my chickens appear to love them.

At the last minute, I decided to attach the mirror to the dresser, mostly to be cute. Remember when I said they go to the highest point they can to roost? That’s where most of my chickens roost at night.

Time To Eat

I have gone through two feeders and a ton of waterers in search of the “perfect” ones. When I only planned to have 6 chickens, a small 2-3 gallon waterer was fine. When chicken math hit though, I needed something larger.

I found a 5 gallon waterer at Tractor Supply and it was “okay”, but filling it, making sure that the bottom was screwed on correctly, and then flipping it back over was the worst. Eventually I started searching for a top fill waterer, and I am so glad I did!

I found this guy on Amazon and absolutely LOVE it! The only problem that I had in the beginning was the legs popping off, but I finally got them in correctly and have had no issues since. It has a little piece that you move at the bottom to cover the water valve when filling up, and once you’re done, you just securely screw the top back on and uncover the valve. This thing is amazing! We have plans to get the matching feeder soon!

In The End

Is it worth it? Absolutely! But there are some things that I would have done differently.

  • I would have done a little more research on making the coop predator proof. Walking out and finding a dead hen is devastating.
  • I probably would have poured concrete around the run and coop. This would prevent anything from digging in.
  • I would have gone with the largest and best feeders and waterers I could afford in the beginning. The small ones I started out with were a total waste of money.

Until next time,
Alicia

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Let’s get to cleaning… An honest review on Vabroom

I truly do not believe that ANYONE loves cleaning. If you do, I honestly believe that you’re more than a little weird. BUT, this post is NOT to make fun of you, I promise. I am one of these people who believes that you take a task that you hate, like cleaning, and make it more enjoyable. That’s where my newest gadget, Vabroom, comes in.

Why I decided to give Vabroom a try

Honestly, the absolutely worst part of sweeping to me is trying to figure out what the last person who did the job did with the damn dust pan. For some reason, the males in my house seem to be completely incapable of putting the broom and the dust pan in the same place. I’ve tried dust pans that attach to the broom, and I’ve tried dust pans with a handle, IT DOESN’T MATTER, they still get misplaces.

Let’s not even talk about the little line of dirt that gets left behind because it just WILL NOT go in the dust pan. I hate it. It really, really irks me. I can’t explain why it does, but it really makes me feel like I did not do my job correctly. So yay for that.

Anywho… I rarely get a full night of sleep. This means that I wake up at odd hours and scroll social media quietly, praying that I don’t wake anyone else up. You know what happens? Typically I see an ad for a gadget and I laugh my ass off and think “Who the hell would need that?”

That’s exactly how I found Vabroom. I was scrolling at 2:00 one morning, saw it, and thought “GENIUS!!!” And then I ordered it, and promptly went back to sleep.

Vabroom in use

A few days later, Vabroom arrived. It came in a itty bitty box. Great. Pieces to put together. It’s actually not as bad as it sound though. The handle just screws together, and then you plug it up to charge.

It doesn’t take very long to get a full charge, so after that, take it for a whirl. I have a house full of animals and kids, so sweeping daily, and sometimes multiple times a day is a must. This means that I used Vabroom almost immediately.

Pros and Cons

So here’s what I don’t like- The suction cannot get up dog hair. I have an Aussie and a German Shepherd and they SHED nonstop. I’m honestly not surprised about the dog hair issue, but it would have been awesome had it gotten it up. I also think it’s a little pricey… If I hadn’t bought it in the middle of the night, I probably would not have ever pulled the trigger on the purchase.

What I love about it- No more hunting down a dust pan. Seriously… I hate hunting it down. I hate touching it. AND I hate bending down to use the dust pan when I’m sweeping up a mess. This checks all those boxes on things I no longer have to do. I also LOVE the feeling of completion when I no longer have the little line of dirt when I’m done sweeping. Don’t make fun of me, I know I’m not the only one. I hope I’m not at least.

Finally…

So here’s the deal… I will continue to use Vabroom. And if you can afford it, I highly recommend getting one. It’s a cool gadget, and yes, you can live without it, but do you want to?

Until next time,
Alicia

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A New Daily Routine

With all three boys in school I’m struggling to find a new daily routine, but I am determined to find one that WORKS. I hope that you will join me on my journey, and perhaps leave a comment telling me what you think would be helpful to add to my routine.

How to Create a Daily Routine That Works For You

My Tentative Routine

  • 5:00- Wake up, have coffee, and write out a to-do list
  • 6:00- Wake up boys, and get them ready for school
  • 6:40- Take the boys to the bus
  • 7:00- Go for a walk/run
  • 8:00- Shower and get dressed
  • 8:30- Take one hour to clean the house
  • 9:30- Work for two hours on printing shirts, embroidering, website work.
  • 11:30- Take a lunch
  • 12:00- Work for an hour
  • 1:00- Take an hour to clean and prep for dinner.
  • 2:00- Work to-do list, get anything done that hasn’t been accomplished, draw, paint, etc.
  • 3:50- Pick up boys from the bus.
  • 4:00- Go through backpacks, and sign any necessary forms.
  • 4:30- Cook supper.
  • 6:00- Have supper with family.
  • 7:00- Lay out clothes for the next day, and go through bedtime routines.
  • 8:30- Have 30 minutes of quiet time to read before bed, go over my to-do list, and check my planner for upcoming events.

To help me stick to my schedule, I am programming it in my phone, and I also have it written as a visual in my planner. Of course, on any given day this is subject to change. This will at least give me a point of reference to put me back on track or keep me from sitting around wondering what I SHOULD be doing.

Wrapping things up

I will check back in after a few weeks and let you all know how it’s going. And I am really hoping that it goes well! Don’t forget to comment below and give me some helpful advice! I would love to hear about your routine, or what you think would be great to add to mine, especially if you think it will help me accomplish my goals!

Until next time,
Alicia

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July In Review

I think it’s a good time to start doing some income reports. July is always a rough month for businesses like mine, and honestly several other business owners I know, so this is definitely going to look AWFUL.

My income comes from different sources- My booths at The Warehouse in Cuthbert and Dawson, my website, and local sales… And I guess the blog.

Income Statement Icon , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey

The Warehouse

This month my sales at The Warehouse amounted to about $325. For July, that is actually a great amount of sales. However, my booth rent and items that I bought on credit took most of that money. It reminded me that I need to keep an eye on my spending though!

My Website

Website sales this month were only $365. I probably could have advertised a lot more and put more products on social media. I definitely intend to do better in August about this!

Local Sales

$2596. Although this may seem like a large amount, about 75% of it is a really large bulk order for Richland Rum.

Blog

A whopping $0.58. All I have on here for now is affiliate links, so I made this off of one Amazon sale. I really expect this to be better in the month of August.

The Grand Total

For the month of July, my income is a grand total of $3286.58

While this may seem like a lot, this does not account for the products that I had to purchase. However, for July, it makes me feel pretty dang good!

Until next time,
Alicia

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Let’s get cleaning- An honest review on the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush

I think the hardest part of having kids and pets is trying to keep up with cleaning up after them. In my experience, the messes that they make are usually far from an easy to clean up place. Over the years, I have tried hard to get every tool I can at my disposal to clean such messes, and that’s why I have to tell you about my latest favorite: The Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush!

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Powerbrush Cleaner - 2846 : Target

First time user

My first experience with this little beast involves an incident with spilled (and spoiled) chocolate milk in the middle seat of my Pathfinder. The dreaded words “Uh oh” were heard behind me, but the only mess that I saw was actually on JW, so after I cleaned him up, I forgot about it. Until the next afternoon. I had to ride to town and the smell slapped me in the face.

Since I was in a rush, so there was no getting to it then. I sprayed some smell good in my car and hoped for the best in the hot Georgia summer. As soon as I got back home, I decided to pull my new toy out and give it a try. The Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush did an amazing job! There was caked up chocolate milk on top of the seat that the spinning brush took off with ease! The smell was taken away almost immediately as well!

Second use

A few days later, Mollie (my beautiful Australian shepherd) threw up all over my favorite chair. I cleaned it up, but the smell was lingering. I pulled my trusty buddy out to give a try again. A few quick minutes and my chair was as good as new!

Becoming a Pro

Now I’m going to give you a tip so you don’t make a stupid mistake like I did the third time I used my new toy…

By the time I pulled my little friend out to use a third time, I thought I knew it well enough that I had no worries. SOMEONE (JW) spilled a drink in my bed. Bissell to the rescue! The one thing I didn’t think about was my soft mattress not standing up to the spinning brush. Good news though- I was paying attention, and I only have a few strings loose, and not a hole in my mattress! After cleaning the most recent stain, I decided to go over some older ones… It got rid of them ALL!

To sum it up

I honestly could not be more pleased with my Bissell! I have one of their carpet cleaners already, and could probably have used the attachments for one or all of these jobs, but I loved the idea of being able to bring it out to my car without running an extension cord! Another thing I love is the ready made formula for the portable machines! This stuff smells amazing!

Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush Plus Portable Carpet Cleaner in  Titanium and Electric Blue | Nebraska Furniture Mart

If you haven’t tried the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser PowerBrush, I highly recommend that you order one today! You will not regret it!

Until next time,
Alicia

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