The Willard HomesteadThe Homestead, the Emporium and simple living on our funny farm.

  • Living the glamorous life!

    This Jan. 1st I shared on Facebook that I was going to start walking, outside, every day! I asked if anyone would like to join me. Some did, hopefully more still will!

    So far we’ve walked outside for 30 mins every day.

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    First day we walked the field, next day to the lake down the road and hubby joined us.

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    Yesterday we started down the road towards the lake and soon turned around to the shelter of our treed yard. It was WINDY!

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    Today however, we opted out of a walk in favour of something more glamorous.

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    We scooped ‘poopsicles’ instead. I think the hour and a half of poopsicle scooping we did was probably the equivalent to a few hours of walking! Phew!

    Farm kids work hard, and no, it’s actually not glamorous, but it comes with benefits of extra fun!

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    Lots of extra fun!

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    And when we were all done, the horses were thankful.

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    And we went in for some well deserved hot chocolate!

  • Small Business Big Wishes

    My wish for HomesteadEmporium.com is to grow!

    We are a family business run by myself, Pieternella (Peggy) with each of our 7 family members helping wherever possible!

  • MeLuna.ca give away!

    Contest Closed!

    And the winner’s are…

    Julie M.!! AND Tannis W!!

    Congratulations to you both! Please email me at homesteademporium@gmail.com with your address, your choice of size, and style, and I will send the information off to MeLuna.ca so they can ship your prizes to you!

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    meluna

    MeLuna.ca has generously offered to give away TWO MeLuna cups, to TWO winners, along with sterilization cups! I didn’t even know they HAD sterilization cups!

    They will even pay the shipping!

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    MeLuna.ca is giving away:
    1 MeLuna Classic Blue, (with choice of style and size) and an Orange Collapsible Sterilization Cup
    AND…
    1 MeLuna Soft Silver-Glittery, (with choice of style and size) and a Blue Collapsible Sterilization Cup
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    MeLuna.ca will also cover the shipping to the winners! Isn’t that fantastic?!Information from MeLuna.ca:
    The Meluna Classic Cup, is made from the Classic TPU material and is
    slightly stiffer then most silicone cups, making it easier to pop open
    once in place, and less likely to leak. It’s smooth design, and
    comfort choices allow you to get the best fit. Available in Volume
    Optimized Sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large. With 4
    different styles, you can choose between the traditional stem, ball or
    ring or if you are a more advanced user, the basic might be just
    perfect for you. Every cup comes with a Micro Fiber bag, and detailed
    instructions.The Meluna Soft Pink Cup, is made from the 25% softer TPU material and
    is as soft as the softer silicone cups, making it even more
    comfortable and easy to removed. It’s smooth design, and comfort
    choices allow you to get the best fit. Available in Volume Optimized
    Sizes: Small, Medium, Large and Extra-Large. With 4 different styles,
    you can choose between the traditional stem, ball or ring or if you
    are a more advanced user, the basic might be just perfect for you.
    Every cup comes with a Micro Fiber bag, and detailed instructions.
    Closable, space-saving sterilization cup for your MeLuna or other
    menstrual cup of any size.
    Made from food safe, microwavable silicone.
    Dimensions folded: Diameter 80 mm / Height 20 mm
    Dimensions unfolded: Diameter top 80 mm / Diameter bottom 50 mm / Height 80 mm
    Volume: 225 ml.
    Entering for your chance to win is simple!
    First, be sure to ‘like’ MeLuna.ca’s facebook page here:
    Then come back and leave a comment here, letting me know that you ‘like’ MeLuna.ca’s facebook page!
    For a second entry, be sure you’re on OUR facebook page here:
    https://www.facebook.com/HomesteadEmporiumThen come back and let me know in a comment that you ‘like’ Homestead Emporium on facebook too!
    Would you like additional entries? Feel free to leave comments for any of the following additional ‘entries’ below! Be sure to leave a comment for each thing that you do to gain yourself extra chances to win!
    Check out our hyenacart shop and leave a comment with a link showing us you’d love for yourself, or someone else, from our shop! http://hyenacart.com/stores/HomesteadEmporium/
    Subscribe to our blog using the ‘SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG’ just under the header on the right hand side of this page here: http://homesteademporium.wordpress.com/Follow us on twitter here: https://twitter.com/HomesteadMama
    Two winners will be chosen next week via random.org
    The winners will be announced back here on our blog on this very post!
  • Ice Balloons? Ever tried it?

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    Last spring or summer I had seen this idea shared on Facebook and couldn’t wait to have cold weather so we could try it!

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    It’s simply balloons filled with water, and food coloring. We put them outside to freeze and hopefully before tonight’s birthday party we can peel the balloons off. They should look something like pretty ice marbles!

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    I’ll share ‘after’ photos later! Hopefully it works!

  • Elsa & Serafina

    Life is lessons, one after another, some good, some bad. We take each one as it comes, the best way we know how.

  • How to turn 1 chicken into 3 meals for your large family, plus 2 lunches for your hubby.

    This is a quick and ‘dirty’ post!
    I say quick & ‘dirty’ because I’m posting it from my phone, and using phone photos. Probably a big ‘no-no’ among real food bloggers but I’m not a ‘real’ food blogger!

    Too often I don’t share tips, tricks, or daily goings on at the homestead because I just don’t always have time to snap great photos, edit, upload, and write a big long post! So I’m going to start doing more ‘quick & dirty’ posts from now on!

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    Every Tuesday my four girls have Taekwondo. It’s right around our usual dinner time! I like them to eat a little dinner before they go, but not a full meal or they will get cramps. Then by the time they get home at 7:20, they need a real meal so… I decided that Tuesdays would be Homemade Soup Tuesdays. This way they can have half a bowl before they go, and a full meal of soup with some bread, biscuits, or buns when they get home! Works great!

    Right now we have an abundance of whole chickens in our freezer, often I’ll start with one of those. Today I realized that, like me when I first began making soups, maybe others don’t know what to do with a whole chicken! So I snapped some photos along the way because this way, is SUPER easy! And super frugal!

    However, you do need to be ok with handling cooked chicken. With your bare hands.

    First I start out in the am by simply putting a whole frozen chicken into a BIG pot of water, enough water to cover the chicken. Some might put spices in now but I give the scraps to our dogs & cats, so I hold off on adding anything. Nothing goes to waste this way!

    I bring it to a boil and cook it hard for a while, about 30 mins or so. Then turn it down to medium heat for about another 1.5 hours or so, leaving the lid on. I’m aiming for a real good broth out of the chicken.
    (You can also transfer it to the crockpot if you don’t want to leave it on the stove top.)

    Once the chicken is well cooked and I’ve got a flavorful water left, I pull the whole chicken out of the pot of water, being careful not to let it break into a million bone-y bits!

    I set the chicken aside on a platter to cool down.

    Then I start to turn my water/soup base that’s left in the pot, into a real soup.

    Today I added a large can of diced tomatoes, some baby carrots, left over peas from last nights dinner, chopped celery, onion, and spices such as poultry spices and anything else that sounds good. I also added a cup of barley. Last week I added noodles. Next time I’ll add wild rice.

    If I feel there’s not enough flavor, I also add a little chicken soup stock. Since I make such a huge pot of soup, the flavor from one chicken doesn’t always seem to be enough otherwise.

    This is my soup before adding the chicken meat.

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    I turn my pot on medium-medium high and bring it back to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then I turn it down to low.

    It’s time to get my hands dirty and tear apart the whole chicken! Yes, I use my hands. It’s the fastest and best way to get the job done well.

    First I remove all the skin and set it aside for our dogs & cats. Boiled chicken skin is slimy and gross. You get get over it after a few times.

    Then I remove obvious bones.

    Next, I pull off the nice white meat, the chicken breasts ect. and set them on one dish for another meal.

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    Then I separate the garbage meat, from the meat suitable for my soup. Anything slimy, an unappetizing color, or just not pleasant looking goes onto the scrap dish.

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    Yuck to me, but a special treat for the pets!

    This next plate full is what will go into the soup.

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    Some of the dark meat on top is close to being for the pets, but it just made the grade.

    All I have left now is the empty carcass!

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    My two helpers get to clean up the juices and bits left on the plate!
    (Never the chicken bones though, raw chicken bones yes, cooked chicken bones NO.)

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    And the good stuff goes into the pot for two meals worth of soup for the whole family, and one lunch for hubby to take to work. Sometimes some of the kids will have it for their lunch too.

    The white meat I set had aside earlier is then divided up, some for another meal, and some for two chicken sandwiches for hubby’s lunch!

    For the full family meal, one of us will either make chicken quesidilla, chicken wraps, chicken sandwiches, or any other chicken dish we can come up with! One of the kids will usually make the next meal from the left overs, since it’s so easy now that the meat for that meal has already been cooked!

    And that’s how I turn one small whole chicken into 3 full family meals and at least a couple of lunches for this family of seven!

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    I know this post isn’t pretty, but hopefully it’s practical for anyone just learning how to make the most out of a chicken!

  • Liner Give Away! TOTALLY Free!

    This liner is totally on me, no shipping to pay or anything! 100% FREE from me, to you!

  • Great list on homeschooling, by a public school educator.

    Such a mixed blessing it is, the good, and the bad, but that pretty much sums up homeschooling! That also pretty much sums up parenting! It`s the hardest thing we can do, yet the most rewarding as well!

  • Give away time here at Homestead Emporium!

    Give away time here at Homestead Emporium!