Our Chicken Journey: Autumn

The warmth (and humidity) of summer is still lingering. The chickens made it through the sweltering summer months and October is here already. They have been laying eggs now for almost two months. It’s funny: the very week they decided to lay their first eggs, we were away on vacation! I was kinda bummed to have worked so hard all spring and summer making a good life for those chickens and they go and lay their first eggs for the chicken sitters, go figure! I’m over it now, as gathering the eggs has become a daily task. It’s still exciting though! Just today I happened upon a chicken in the nesting box right as the egg came out and I watched it dry before my eyes. It’s pretty amazing.

The experience as a whole has been rewarding. Sometimes yucky but mostly fun. The kids love going to get the eggs and most of the eggs have made it back to the kitchen!

In regards to the ladies themselves, I really enjoy watching them and seeing how they get along. It’s been fun seeing them grow up, and they sure did grow! They are big fat chickens! The pecking order is real! I have been pecked many times by the “bully” and she is the smallest one. I told her to be nice or she might become fried chicken.

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Easy Blueberry Lemon poppyseed muffins with cream cheese icing

It’s been a while since I’ve made anything creative in the sweets department (not counting my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe) but I was feeling inspired by all the fresh blueberries at the grocery. Plus my kids always love it when I make muffins.

I had recently seen a beautifully delicious blueberry lemon poppyseed cake one blogger made for their sweet baby’s birthday. It looked so yummy and it got me thinking about trying to make one for us, just because.. So I went about gathering the ingredients but we had no lemons or blueberries or poppyseeds (which cost a little over $5 btw) or cream cheese for the icing…

I set about my task from another direction, a simpler, more cost effective direction. And it probably didn’t take nearly as long to make my version.

Win, win.

Here is my version of blueberry lemon poppyseed cupcake muffins with cream cheese icing.


Here’s the ingredients I used…

Do you see the simplicity of this recipe?!

All you need to do is get a bowl,

empty in both bags of muffin mix,

Add 1 cup of milk…

Add the zest of two lemons if you’re feeling adventurous (I was!)

Stir it up… pour batter into muffin cups  (it will fill 12)

If you feel even more adventurous, add some fresh blueberries to the tops of each  cup before baking!

Bake according to directions on back of muffin mix bag… don’t burn them!

Let them cool completely before icing with your “homemade ” cream cheese icing!


I left some un-blueberried… some little folks in this house don’t like to be as adventurous…


Put them out on a pretty little plate and watch them disappear!


I don’t think making these could be any easier! Unless you just buy them already made from your new Publix supermarket bakery… ; )

Go try them out! Let me know what you think! What other ways do you simplify your recipes for the win?

Our Chicken Journey: Summer

We are easing into summer. The weather has not been too hot so far and the rain has been consistently falling each week this past month. I haven’t even had to water the garden except to add food because the thunder storms have brought the rains.

The big kids have a few more weeks of school and then we will take on the summer with its pool days, lazy afternoons and chicken keeping. Hopefully before school starts back we will have four egg-laying hens. I can’t wait!

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Right now, their favorite treats are arugula, apples, corn on the cob, and dried meal-worms. I’ve started composting so at least they are “paying” in poop. They are fun to watch and do some pretty funny things when they are frightened.

One thing’s for sure, we have really enjoyed watching them grow.

Our chicken journey: weeks seven & eight 

The weather has been really nice and sunny the past couple of weeks. I’ve enjoyed being outside with the babies. We happened to make an impromptu mosaic patio around our existing fire pit and we got a trampoline 🤗 so things are looking quite exciting in the backyard.

The chickens are doing fine in the coop and we are getting into a little routine with keeping them. They put themselves to roost each night ( which is really neat) and maintaining them is not too much work. I feed and water them daily and clean out the poo almost every other day.

They like to roam around the yard and scratch around under the pine trees. I need to make them a place to take a dust bath.


They are besties! And they are getting more used to life in our backyard! Now to brave the hot NC summer!

Fun Fiesta Birthday Party

My baby turned one, or should I say “uno” last week! I cannot believe the speed in which this last year has passed by! Like a super-duper whirlwind! Is that normal? Maybe it’s just that there are so many people around me all the time, it feels like a whirlwind… maybe that’s it : )

We had a fiesta for Oaks’s first birthday. It seemed a good idea since it is so close to Cinco de Mayo. And who can pass up chips and cheese dip/guac/salsa… better yet, mango salsa? Not me. It was quite yummy! And we had a fun time hanging with family as usual!

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These balloons are so fun! And they don’t require helium.

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I made burrito cakes! Each “burrito” is a vanilla sponge cake rolled up with buttercream icing inside and decorated with icing and starburst candies. Wrapped up in its foil, you really can’t tell it’s cake from a distance! We had fun eating it, too!

He started sipping from a straw too! Way to go, Oaksie!

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I love that you are getting so big, but I’m sad it’s going by so fast! This year you’ve helped me keep my cool and have brought much peace to my heart.

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You have three teeth and sweet little curls. You love to eat, can crawl and pull up, like to dance, like to imitate laughing, can clap, say “ball”, “mama”, “dada” and what sounds to be ” Ezra” (big brother).  You’re not sleeping through the night yet. You are a good shopping buddy and like to people watch.  You love to wrestle with the brothers in the pillows. Everybody loves you! (especially me) Each day is brighter because you are in it!

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Happy first birthday, my baby!

Our Chicken Journey: Week Two

These little ladies are growing so fast! We brought them home two weeks ago and they are making their way into our hearts pretty quickly! It’s fun to watch the kids interact with them. And the chicks are becoming less jumpy around the kids! Every time you put your hand into the box, you will most likely bring back a chicken! They like to perch on your finger. I already feel like they’ve taken to me as their “mama” (since I am the one mostly taking care of them ; )

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We found a free chicken run that needs some TLC but hey, it was free!

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Now all we have to get is a hen house for them to roost in at night. We are hoping to find something affordable on-line but might end up constructing something ourselves…. but we still have some time.

We took them on their first backyard excursion and they loved it!

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Ez, the chicken whisperer.

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Roosting practice!

The chickens have moved out of the house (yeah!) and are living in a giant dog crate in the carport. The kitchen was getting kinda stinky ; ) And I think we are all allergic to chickens or pine shavings or something… quite a few colds are a brewing coincidentally. Maybe it’s just the wonderful pollinated spring air…or it’s the chickens!

So far it’s been really fun to have chickens! And I just have to keep thinking it’s fun!

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A few more Parties with my People

I have five children and guess what? They all have a birthday. At this point in time there have been 18 birthday parties (the baby is not quite a year old, so no party yet: )). That’s a lot of parties!

There are two spring babies and one in each of the other seasons. I love how that worked out! We get to celebrate all year long!

I have written about a few of the parties over the years (found on my party gallery page) but I haven’t kept up like I’ve wanted to. Sometimes it’s just too much trouble to host, plan, decorate, and photograph a party by yourself, let alone write about the whole thing! But I do like looking back on what we did and seeing how the kiddos grow over the years.

So I thought I’d share some photos from other parties we’ve had. Some have themes, some don’t. But all are memorable and bring a smile to my face when I see those sweet memories!

Ezra’s 4th Birthday Pirate Party

Satchel’s First Birthday – Geometric shapes and bold colors

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Satchel’s Bug Birthday Party

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Piper’s Spring themed 4th birthday Party – rabbits and flowers

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Knox’s 3rd Birthday Party – Superheros!

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