Thursday, February 20, 2020

End of 2019 recap

 The end of 2019, was a crazy busy time.  December is always busy just with the holidays, but then add in christmas parades and band concerts, plus this year i sign up to set up at a couple different shows.  It's a wonder i ever got any shopping or cookie baking done. 

The first event i set up at was the Gift Local Holiday Market in Roanoke at the GreenBrier Nursery.  It was a really nice event with live music and plenty of vendors. It was a very different crowd from the Artisan Market in Floyd, which made for a very different experience.

Despite being the middle of December it was pretty mild out, and the solarium got really warm during the day once the sun came out. So even though we were set up sort of outside, it was very comfortable. i really enjoyed the event and look forward to doing it again next year.

My market friend Sarah invited me to set up at her open house at Spoon Mountain Farm. It was a really small event with only 4 of us set up, but it was also a lot of fun. 

Only a couple people attended the open house, but i still did better than i do at some market nights. 

Somehow with everything else going on i still managed to do a little holiday baking and decorating, although definitely not to the extend that i've done in the past.

Our holiday cards were put together about a week before xmas. Trying to get a photo with both teens home at the same time and cooperating was nearly impossible. i gave up all hope of getting one with all 4 of us, and finally managed to get this one after a bit of yelling and threatening.   i only got cards sent out to maybe 5 people, before giving up entirely.  

i did manage to get a family photo on xmas.  We are only missing one kitty and me in the photo, as i was taking the photo. As the kids get older and life gets busier, it's getting harder and harder to get photos of all of us together. 

December was so mild, we ended up going for a hike after opening gifts. We took two of the dogs and just made a day of it.  It was really nice spending the day together.  Life has just gotten so busy these days and i don't see it slowing down any time soon.  This pretty much wrapped up our 2019. We had a few lazy days to end out the month, before starting fresh in 2020. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Rituals for the Holidays- The Ritual of Sakura (sponsored)

Everyone love getting a gift in the mail. i recently was gifted this beautiful Rituals of Sakura set to try out.   #TheRitualofSakura medium gift set is another great product by Rituals Cosmetics. Rituals is a unique luxury lifestyle brand focused on ancient traditions for body and home. As the leading bath and body brand in Europe, they encourage ‘slow down’ moments for the mind, body, & soul. Rituals aims to turn everyday routines into cherishable moments, helping their customers to “find happiness in the smallest of things” with the use of their products. Inspired by ancient Eastern traditions, each product uses specific fragrance combinations to help stimulate the senses and encourages you to immerse yourself in some “me time”.

i'm a complete sucker for packaging and the keepsake box that the set comes in is really sturdy and beautiful. The inside packaging tray is even compostable. The outside of the box is decorated with a ribbon and metal charm than can be reused, and the paper sleeve can be recycled. 

This is a really nice set, and would make a wonderful gift. i love the light scent of rose blossoms and rice milk. The scent is perfectly balanced . The lotion is very moisturizing, with a light scent and doesn't leave a greasy residue. The hand soap is a nice addition. Overall it was a gorgeous, luxurious and indulgent box that left me feeling very pampered. Anyone would feel very special receiving this as a gift. 

The Ritual of Sakura Medium Gift Set contains a shower foam, body scrub, body cream and hand soap. Celebrate each day as a new beginning with these care products based on the fabulous aromas of Cherry Blossom and Rice Milk.  The entire set is lovely and aesthetically pleasing. 

The body scrub is so moisturizing and nice, i just wish there was more of it. i always use it up first! i really like the foaming shower gel. It lathers wonderfully and is silky smooth, like shaving cream but better. The scent is light, but lingers and is not overpowering at all. i really enjoyed these! They have many different collections available and i'm excited to explore some of the other scent combinations. 

Rituals is never tested on animals. You can purchase this gift set here- 
 You can learn more about the Sakura collections here- 
Connect with Rituals on social media Facebook- 

*i received these Rituals products for free from Tryazon in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Updating our Dining Room Lighting with Parrot Uncle Rustic Wood Chandelier.- Sponsored

Finally getting around to doing a few upgrades to the house. We built it 6 years ago, and still haven't painted the walls or really changed a thing (except the basement which still isn't finished).  i came across this pendant lamp and thought it would look amazing in our house.

This Lodge inspired Castello 4-Light Rustic Wood Chandelier is by Parrot, a subsidiary company of Eileen Grays Network Technology Co., Ltd., it is a specialty retailer striving to satisfy your home lighting requirements.

We have the perfect spot for it, and i happy to replace this boring light that i've never really cared for. 

i absolutely love the look of this metal and wood Pendant style #chandelier!  The weathered wood finish has a slight olive color that matches perfectly with my dining room rug and the slate on the wall and the black finished wrought iron framing matches the black cast iron on my wood stove.

So, the one thing i didn't really consider was the installation. Replacing a lamp that is almost 18' up is not an easy task when your ladder is only 8 ' tall. ha ha!   We had to balance the ladder on the kitchen table and the husband had to climb all the way to the top which was all a little sketchy just to reach it. 

Once we got that figured out, the actual installation was very straight forward and easy. 

i really love it! It has a farmhouse feel, but also great for industrial or modern rustic decor. Such a unique design that can lend itself to many surroundings. The candles remind me of the floatin candles in Harry Potter, and my son thinks it has a very gothic feel. It is quite large, with a width of 20 inches, height 22 1/2 Inches the adjustable chain cord length 39”.  

i love the way it fits with our dining room. It gives off a beautiful light to the room. It really creates a mood, much more than the other light that was here. 

i'm planning to get the LED candelabra bulbs with the bent tips to really give off a candle vibe, but you get the idea.   This is really well made, sturdy piece! #ParrotUncle is dedicated to offering you the best quality and the largest selection of home lighting fixtures. From modern designer ceiling lighting to cottage chic wood handmade lamps, you can enjoy the warmest light and the most decorative style for your house

You can find more information about it here on Amazon- 

*i received this products for free in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own. This post contains referral links. i may earn a small commission when you click a link and make a purchase. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Summer Honey Harvest!!

Earlier this Spring did our first honey pull. We pulled over a hundred pounds and sold out almost immediately to friends and family.  Since then we have done two more pulls. Our total for the year has been close to 350 lbs of beautiful raw wildflower honey!

We did solid wax foundations on a few of the hives and ended up with some cut comb the second half of the summer.  It's been a really popular seller. We are sold of out it, but will have some comb honey in clear plastic boxes soon.  They make wonderful gifts and have a very nice presentation.

Besides selling locally to friends and neighbors. i take honey to the Artisan Market every week. i also have it listed for sale on our website farm store. 

i'm super excited to be offering locally made honey dippers. These are make by David and Patricia Spangler in Floyd. They make all kinds of wonderful wooden cooking utensils. At really reasonable prices! My kitchen is stocked with their wooden utensils, and now i have one of their honey dippers too! i'm really excited to be able to offer these with our honey.

Very soon we will have cutcomb available. We ordered clear boxes like this (not my picture) but they were back ordered so we are still waiting for them to ship. i'm really hoping to put together a few gift box sets for the holidays that include other locally made items as well as our honey.

Right now our honey can be purchased at the Floyd Artisan Market (friday nights), on our website Shady Grove Homestead & Arts and from us directly. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Introductions! Our homestead is growing!

Meet Finn.

  Back in June my daughter asked for a bunny for her birthday. We checked marketplace ads and inquired about a few and then ended up stopping by a Rural King one afternoon and coming home with this little guy. His name is Finn and he's as sweet as can be.

We have him as an indoor bunny, but he loves to explore outside.  i'd like to eventually make him a bunny run, so he can spend time outside during the day unsupervised.  i hate seeing bunnies in tiny little hutches. i want a nice grass enclosure for him.

During the day i let him out to get a bit of exercise. We have him litter box trained, so he can run about exploring the livingroom and it's other inhabitants. 

The other kitties watch him from upstairs, but piggy (Banjo)  doesn't seem to mind him at all. 

Just a few weeks ago we were talking about how our dogs are getting older. Both are almost 10 years old, and haven't been doing their job lately.  The deer walk right through the yard to eat peaches and have even gotten into my garden this year.  The dogs spend all day sleeping on the deck and don't even wake up when the deer is 20 feet in front of them.  When mentioning it to the kids, both kids said they wanted a German Shepard. Kenan and i both wanted a working dog like a border collie or Australian Shepard.

Literally the day after our discussion, i saw a post come through my facebook feed, someone local was giving away free puppies. The father is Pure bred German Shepard and the mother is purebred Australian Shepard.  Pretty much exactly what we were looking for.  i sent the link to Kenan with the message 'here's your puppy. lol. '  i was really kind of joking. i didn't expect him to contact the folks, but it really was exactly what we wanted.  So Kenan sent them a message, and it turns out the folks giving away the puppies are practically neighbors. The girl was on her way to Willis to give them away to some other folks that were interested, but offered to stop by here and give us first pick. 

So just like that, a day after mentioning we would need to get a new dog...we had a brand new puppy. My daughter picked out the only boy from the litter. After several days of not agreeing on a name, we (kenan and i) decided to call him Jasper. 

He's growing super fast. He was born on the 4th of July, so he's a little over 3 months old and is almost the same size as my other two dogs.  He's going to be a big boy. He's really smart and already knows how to sit on command.  He has a great Phoenix marking on his chest and makes a great hiking buddy. We are excited to have him join our homestead. 

Our apiary is also growing! When we started last year we began with 4 hives, and ended the year with 8.  We were able to over winter them all successfully and started this year with all 8. We are now up to 17 and will be going into the winter with 17 colonies!   They have done way better than we expected and are excited to see what next year brings!