Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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Jul 30, 2017

Two Free Chalk Paint Re-Dos, Kickin' Collard Greens & Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts, Hornet's Nest, Why I Love Costco (Mostly)

Two Chalk Paint  Re-Dos-
It has been HOT here! 100+ temps most days. We've been watering, weeding and just starting to harvest summer veggies! I asked Dave to trim our pear and peach tree this morning. It was that or have the branches snap off under the weight of the fruit. It was the best way to go with the space we had. Peaches are turning color, still hard, maybe 2 weeks or? I will try and take at least one day off work to process. We didn't want the each tree pushing up on the roof. Dave spotted out first tomatoes , Lemon Boy, Friday night. Just in time for dinner. We  were eating it still warm from the garden. Now that's organic! We just drizzled with some balsamic glaze ($3.00 at Trader Joe's!) and some roman cheese.

Our first Italian pepper!

yes, it is!

Green beans are about ready, more tomatoes coming, some hot peppers, and herbs doing great too. The hen's egg production is way down, not a surprising with the heat. Here they are waiting in line for some treats, they love rolled oats! I give them cool treats in the heat, love cuke chunks as well!

Gwynne on the left, Rosie in the middle, Ellie on the right

So... it's project time! I have put this off for three weeks, so today was the day! I bought this little thrifted mirror over a year ago when I was supposed to move into a large cubicle at work. We never moved. It was pretty gaudy silver/fake bamboo frame, but nice mirror- 

Cubicle move didn't happen, so I stashed it and recently thought chalk paint! I had some white leftover Reclaim Beyond Paint that I did a test/review on, and my old table came out great-

I also wanted to re-paint my little wood tote for papers on my desk. It was already spray painted off white, just wanted a minor refresh.

Before off white wood tote

 I also wanted to use a printed sheep graphic that I already had, free, from this website-

After 1st coat chalk paint

Printed design applied with 1st coat Modge Podge

All done!

Mirror taped off, ready to paint

1st coat

All done! I may move to another location...

All in all time well spent, and I find these small projects pretty relaxing! :)

Kickin' Collard Greens & Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts- 
Our collard greens are doing great! They love the heat and part shade of the raised bed. I didn't grow any last year, seeds never took. My last cooked batch (from 2 summer ago) was a bit bland so I found and tried this recipe Kickin'CollardGreens.  It was awesome! I think the chicken broth, garlic and red pepper flakes really helped-

Collard greens cooking

I was looking at the bacon that was still sitting out from the collards. I was going to cook chicken breasts for dinner that night. I thought bacon, chicken? Hmmm. I found recipe and I already had honey mustard dressing on hand. recipe here- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts The thick sliced smoky bacon really made it!

Ready to go in the oven

Hornet's Nest-
Last week our neighbor's grandchild, on a second story deck, asked Dave what the ball was growing in our tree? With the bugs going in and out? And it's getting bigger every day? Dave looked up to find a BASKETBALL sized hornet's nest, right above our desk. Oh s**t. He showed me when I got home and we both decided for safety reasons to call an exterminator. The Internet said you can leave them, but it was right over our deck and we could have all gotten stung multiple times. Since I was at work, I had asked Dave ahead of time to ask the exterminator not to douse our back year with poison. Since they do spray the nest, killing them, I didn't want any contamination if possible. He nicely covered our herb box with a dome contraption. he sprayed onto the roof, which contained things more. After seeing some couch sized nests online (I kid you not!) he said it was small. He nuked it and Dave removed it off the roof a while later. The bug guy said they wouldn't come back. $95.00 later all gone. sigh of relief. If the high winds had knocked it down it would have been a nightmare!

Why I Love Costco (Mostly)-
You know how sometimes you run of of certain things all at once? For me it was- shampoo, face wash, body wash (no more soap scum!), antihistamines (terrible allergy season), cat litter, and TP. Add a few other odd things, we decided it was time for Costco. I usually buy face wash and shampoo at a local drug/grocery store. We ditched bar soap after reading how it is the cause of soap scum in showers/tubs. Last winter when I had terribly dry skin I spotted two huge bottles of naturally moisturizing Kirkland Citrus Body wash for $10.00, SOLD!  Here's a little tidbit about why it's much more "natural" than other brands as well!  Great stuff, very mild, not too scented for me. I also found a BIG two pack of Cetaphil skin cleaner with a bonus travel size too. Again a great steal, $20.00. One for the shower, one for my little bathroom. That will probably last me thru the end of the year or more. Kirkland Allegra generic was $33.00, for 180 tablets. I have been paying $15.00 for 20 tablets I think. Do the math. Costco is .18 cents per pill, pharmacy was .75 cents. That a about a 75% savings. I probably won't use it up this year, since I'm only taking it while the pollen count is so high. I got a monster sized chunk of Asiago cheese, $7.00. The rest I won't bore you with. On the MOSTLY comment- not everything in Costco is a good deal. One shampoo was about the same size that I usually I get, same price. Some foods there are not a great deal. Steer clear of the junk food too. Way to easy to eat too much since it's so CHEAP. I looked at their luscious peach pie, $15.00! Separate from the fact my peaches are almost ripe (2 weeks?) $15.00 for a pie? Really??? I mean it's good sized, but.... I did get 2 big loafs of their rustic french bread for $6.00 fresh out of the oven-

So, in general buyer beware, crunch some #'s, do the math and shop wisely! And skip the samples, your waist will thank us!


Kathleen RosePrairieQuilts said...

I'm amazed by all you do. Plus you work full time. I love reading what you are up too. I hope the cooler weather soon

Kristen - said...

What a fun post to read! I cannot BELIEVE that hornet's nest!! You may already know this, but thought I would mention that sometimes eating a little bit of local, raw, unfiltered honey helps a lot with allergies. We started doing this as a family, and was able to cut way back on allergy medications. Have a great day!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks and I am ready for fall!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks Kristin! This is actually the first year I've had to take allergy medication in decades

Rain said...

Hi Nancy :)) I love that sheep graphic, the projects look great! Your tomato too, ours are just starting to show up, I think we still have another month before we can have them fresh. Your salad looks great, I had a similar one the other day with my Mozzarella. Summer is so great for eating :) The chicken looks great, I'm always looking for new ways to cook it, we love chicken. Oh my I'm glad you got rid of that hornet's nest! Looks scary!

We thought about a Costco membership, but realized that it wouldn't be worth our while. The nearest Costco is quite far and we don't have the space to always buy in bulk. We went one day with a friend, just to compare prices, and with the gas expense, we wouldn't save all that much more money considering we shop by the local flyers. You're right about doing your homework.

Susan said...

I love the transformation of your little projects! I don't have a membership to any of the big stores, but I know you're right. It's too easy to spend money on things that are not good. Pies around here are almost $20 if you're lucky! Yikes! My girls like cucumber chunks, too - a nice, cool snack!

Susan said...

P.S. That hornet's nest would have given me nightmares! Good thing you got rid of it!!!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks and yes sometimes it's not worth it to pay for the membership and gas Etc

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes I about had a heart attack when I saw that nest! We're lucky our grandbabies didn't get starring the backyard.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

get stung, sorry!

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