Friday, October 19, 2018

Upcoming festivals- Fall on the Lawn!



i'll be set up all day selling my glass pendants and jewelry.  Come on out for a fun filled day! 
October 27 , 12 -8 pm behind the Floyd Center for the Arts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Italian Wood Cook Stoves by La Nordica (sponsored).

For over 18 years we've been heating exclusively with wood. We are blessed to have many acres of land to collect firewood from downed trees, so we essentially heat our home for free.  Although i love my little wood stove, i dream of one day getting a wood cook stove so that i can heat our home and do our cooking on it too. Once we switch to solar power (hopefully within the next few years), i will very likely be switching to a wood cook stove. 


i've been checking out lots of the different wood stoves online and have fallen in love with this one. This is the Regina model  it is made by Lincar in Italy. Lincar is an Italian leader in the sector of wood & pellet stoves. Regina is made primarily of steel with the cook top being cast iron. It's a very solid piece of equipment. . Both the firebox and the bake oven are large and both feature see-through glass doors. There is also a storage area under the baking oven.  The color of this one would match my slate perfectly, and i just love the overall design of this stove.


Wood burning cook stoves offer a perfect blend of design, quality, and efficiency for your heating and cooking needs. Made in Italy, La Nordica cook stoves feature great durability, efficiency, safety, and quality. The primary function of these stoves is indoor cooking however they also provide a very significant source of heat for home, cabin, or cottage, even in the harshest climates! 




Easy, efficient, independent cooking with a wood cook stove from the best known Italian producer. Wood burning cook stoves offer stylish and off the grid cooking and heating. Very different from their century-old predecessors, these stoves are designed and made in Italy combining clean burning technology of the 21st century with practicality and modern home design trends. Apart from everyday cooking and baking a wood cook stove will also contribute significantly to heating your home. Exquisite maiolica tiles, live flames, and cast iron parts are sure to add elegance to any room. And soon after wonderful aromas will follow: fresh bread, buns, muffins, roasts, stews, and cookies. Nothing unites a family like a warm and delicious smelling cooking stove on a cold winter evening. A family tradition, a culinary delight, a practical tool for energy independence - a wood cook stove is all of these.


The slate in this photo is very similar to what we have with our wood stove. This one is also a similar size to ours, and makes it really easy to imagine putting a wood cook stove in it's place. 
What are the advantages of wood cook stove over gas or electric stove? First and foremost – independence, being able to cook & heat off the grid. Ambience – a live fire is a pleasure to sit by and enjoy on a cold winter day. Style – our stoves carry a distinctive Italian design. Heating – a cook stove is a powerful source of heat for your house.

Discover stylish, efficient, and off the grid cooking & heating with an Italian wood cook stove. La Nordica stoves already work in hundreds of homes in the US. 
To learn more and watch videos visit woodcookstove.com

i really love having a woodstove and look forward to eventually switching over to a wood cook stove one of these days, once we are set up on solar power.



*This post was sponsored by Woodcookstoves.com. i received compensation for posting about their products.  My opinions are my own.

Summer Round Up- Garden Season and Mushroom hunting.


We've had a really weird garden season this year. Snow in April, non-stop rain in May, July temps and drought in June, then pretty much non-stop rain the rest of the summer.  The cold in April and heat in June caused a few things to get a late start and then bolt early, but other things are doing okay.  It rained almost every day during late summer, and although it wasn't good for my garden it was great for wild mushrooms! We saw a crazy amount of varieties this year we've never seen before on our land. We are still finding tons of chanterelles even though it's nearing the end of October.


 Even though i haven't been posting updates here on the blog, i've been taking lots of photos and sharing them on facebook and instagram.  i figured i'd post a few of my favorites here. 
This one is from 8-27. End of August, we were still getting lots of tomatoes, beans and got a few more blueberries from out late varieties.


9-2 We began September with lots of tomatoes and peppers. Starting to get a few eggplant, and still getting lots of eggs.


Harvest 9-10  Finally starting to get some of the fun tomato varieties i'd planted. With all the rain, they didn't do well at all, but i did get to pick a few of each. The Barry's Crazy cherry tomatoes, were really heavy producers. They just went non-stop and were very yummy.  Each week i'd go out mushroom hunting and pick enough chanterelles for a couple meals.



9-18  Peppers are really coming in now, and i'm starting to see some different colors. i planted red, yellow, green and purple.  Still finding tons of chanterelles, and occasionally something more fun like a black trumpet.


9-23  Still getting a few beans. Most of the tomatoes i'm harvesting now are coming from the greenhouse. The ones in the garden basically drowned. Kenan went out mushroom hunting and came back with our first Hen of the Woods and a few more chanterelles.



10-1  More tomatoes and peppers. Lots of wild mushrooms!



10-15  We spotted a lion's mane in the woods behind the chicken coop, and still finding chanterelles.  The tomatoes and peppers are almost all coming from the greenhouse. We have a frost coming in the next week, so this may be the last of my garden pics.  We found all kinds of mushrooms this year, but i'll put that in a different post later this week.

i canned tons of tomatoes, picked the peppers and we froze lots of chanterelles. We ended up getting a free stand up freezer, and already have it filled up with garden produce for the year. Lots of beans and corn and other things.  Although my garden season was disappointing, the mushroom season made up for it, so i really can't complain.  It seems like every year, we have new challenges and new surprises. Our bees are doing very well (with just a few hiccups) and i'll update on that again soon.

i hate to admit it, but i'm definitely ready for the cooler weather and the slowness that comes with the season.



Summer Round Up- Live music and Bubbles

Our summer went way too fast this year. i'm still struggling to figure out how it is already October. Although we didn't take any big trips or vacations this summer, we still packed a lot of fun into our quick 8 week summer vacation.





i use to love going to music festivals, but once i had kids it sort of lost the fun.  It's hard to sit back and enjoy the music when your kids are bored and complaining, or want to spend the whole time in the kids universe playing. Now that the kids are older, i've started volunteering at a few of the local music festivals. Sometimes i go by myself (which is really nice) and sometimes i bring a kid along to help out. ;) Sage and i volunteered to help out in the kids area at the Floyd Fandango festival. 


My husband surprised me with Avett Brother tickets this summer. They were playing at the Kingsport Funfest . i absolutely love the Avett Brothers and have been listening to them since 2009, but this was the first time seeing them live.


They put on an absolutely amazing show!  It really reminded me how much i love live music and that i really need to make more of an effort to get to more shows and music festivals. 



One more picture, because i just adore them so much. i'm going to be watching their tour schedule closely so i can see them play again soon.


This year i also volunteered to host giant bubble workshops at  Floyd Fest.  As a volunteer i got a couple extra passes for helpers, and we were gifted another extra pass from a friend, so the whole family got to come out and enjoy a day of the festival.


The highlight for me was seeing Old Crow Medicine Show play on Sunday night. They put on a really fun show and i got to dance my booty off. i was really reminded of how much i enjoy it.  i'm already eager to see the line ups for next year's  music festivals.  i love hiking, traveling and kayaking each summer...but really need to fit in time for live music.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Sunday, August 26, 2018

End of Summer fun- Pool Party Movie Nights at Home. (Sponsored)

This year for our anniversary instead of going away or getting each other a gift, we decided to get a pool as a family gift. i was content to get one of the big blow up pools, or the inexpensive ones you can find at Walmart these days, but the husband wanted a real pool. So he spent the summer excavating the land behind out house and building the pool.


It's been really nice to have a place to cool off this summer, and we are working to turn the whole area into an outside hang out/entertainment area.  We have our fire pit set up back here and eventually we plan to build a deck around the pool, and have a paved patio area with an outdoor wood oven.  We've been brainstorming on what could add to make the area fun and the kids suggested outdoor movie nights from the pool. 



So i've been on the lookout for a mini projector to use for our outdoor movie nights. i had the opportunity to review this mini projector by #pravette and jumped at the chance. It's exactly what we've been wanting for our pool parties. 

The Pravette mini projector is great for indoor or outdoor movies, Slideshows, gaming, music and more. It was easy to connect to my computer with an HDMI cord.
It also Supports up to 120 inch screen

 * 1080p HD * HDMI, A/V, VGA, USB and SD card inputs 
* Compatible with Mac, PC, iphone, Android phone, TV, DVD, Chormecast etc. 
* Ventilation cooling fans * Manual focus lens * Includes projector, remote, manual, power cable and AV connection cable
 * Built in speakers 
* Can connect external speakers 

It's very light weight and easy to set up. The dimensions are 7" x 6" x 3"  and it only weights 2.4 lbs. Includes projector, remote, manual, power cable and AV connection cable


So when i agreed to do a log post for this review i didn't realize it would be so hard getting good pictures or that it would too cold this week to get in the pool. lol. My night shots all turned out really blurry. The actual movie picture isn't blurry. It's very clear and crisp. We played around with the best place to put it and ended up used a sheet hanging from the deck as a screen. We could have just used the concrete wall behind it, but i thought the sheet worked well (it was just a little small) .  


We had to straighten out the sheet, but it made a nice screen for now.


We got it all set up before it as really dark, then hopped in the pool to enjoy the show.



A few of my ridiculously blurry photos of the evening. The movie image was very clear. i just can't take night photos apparently.  It was really a lot of fun floating in tubes and chilling in the pool while watching a movie. We also plan to be hosting a few outdoor movie nights this fall (not from the pool) but when the kids are camping in the yard and we are  having bonfires outside. 

The projector came with an instruction booklet and i'm playing around with it to get it all figured out, but it really seems like a nice affordable projector for anyone wanting to watch movies on a big screen without leaving the house. 

The Pravette mini projector is available for purchase on amazon  https://amzn.to/2LuvBpk



*i received this item for free or at a discounted price to facilitate my review. my opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. By clicking them i may earn a small commission.