I know I've haven't posted regularly in a bit but I'm back.  I've been severely sick twice, traveled for work a lot, traveled for my own business a little, and shoveled a lot of snow.  That about sums up the last month or two.  Joking of course.....

Here's what we've been up to around here.

Snow Day + Chit Chat

It snowed today.  All day.  We ended up with about 6 inches which isn't bad at all considering it went throughout a majority of the day.  It is absolutely beautiful!  The Coop Girls, as you can imagine, are less than impressed.  Actually, they're just downright angry.  If you don't have chickens you are likely wondering how one knows if a chicken is angry.  Well, they have a distinctive chatter and hum that is full of sarcasm mixed with absolute disgust.   It was heard all day today.


It's hard to believe that January is almost over.  Spring is truly just around the corner.  On days like today it can be hard to remember that, however.  We awoke to a few inches of sleet.  While better than freezing rain, because at least you can get some traction to walk and drive in it, it's still a bit miserable.  Tonight we are expected to get some snow.  That's not quite as miserable.  Unless you're a chicken.  Or a dog who hates to get his feet wet {Emerson}.  In those cases, it's the worst kind of misery.  :)

Weather drama aside, the Coop Girls are doing very well.  They are laying consistently and generally in good spirits.  Of course that will all change this spring when new girls are introduced.  But we won't get them all excited about that yet.

The weekend was actually not bad.  Saturday's weather was beautiful!  We didn't get a whole lot accomplished, however, the slow pace of the day was a nice change.  Sunday we had the market.  Well, J handled the market while I cleaned the house.  The benefits of a few slower weeks is that we can split and get more things done.

This year has begun with absolute chaos.  I know every year starts off with a bang, of sorts, but this

The BEST Whole Slow-Cooker Chicken

Not the best photo in the world because, unfortunately, chicken cooked in the slow-cooker doesn't have much color, but this chicken is AMAZING!  Fall-off-the-bone tender it makes a perfect dinner or cook it up for use in lunches and dinners all week (chicken enchiladas, chicken quesadillas, chicken soup, chicken casserole, etc....).

Why I'm Changing From A Goal of A $60.00 A Week Grocery Budget To A Goal Of Eating Locally

I don't see myself as frugal, although I would like to be and strive to be, in many aspects of my life.  One of those areas is groceries.

I previously shared with you that years ago, when I discovered the concept of meal planning, I also discovered it was a great way to help reduce grocery cost. 

And it is!

Then, we went to a one-income household and I decided to challenge myself in reducing our food costs to $60.00 a week (dividing the annual cost by 52 weeks so that $60.00 is the average) as a means of ensuring financial success.

And now I've set a new goal.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of December 19, 2016

Since we've been sick for just about 2 full months I've not been so good about posting in this series.  Let's just say there was a lot of soups and stews for a few weeks and very little shopping.  The good news is that the household is back up and running and we're back to favorites and new recipes!

I scored an amazing deal on a prime rib.  It was marked at $29.99 and then had a coupon for $10.00 off!  We usually cook one on Christmas Eve so this was a perfect find.  And the turkey for Sunday we bought right after Thanksgiving at 49 cents per pound costing a whopping $6.37.  We will have plenty leftover for soup and casseroles next week!

Weekly Meal Plan


There's nothing like posting "weekend" posts at the end of the week......  It was a seasonal weekend last weekend and by seasonal I mean snow, sleet and cold.  It snowed about 4 inches on Saturday.  While it was beautiful, it didn't help us get traffic flow to the show we attended.

We had been invited to participate in an open house at The National Museum of (Horse) Racing here in Saratoga (photos above).  They opened up their doors with free admission for the day and dear old Santa visited the kids in the afternoon.  The museum is absolutely beautiful and they had a great variety of vendors.  It's funny because every single year J and I talk about visiting the museum (we'd never been until Saturday) in the off season since the town is PACKED with horse racing fans in the summer, but it still hadn't happened.  Well, we finally went!  And made money!


We finally removed the Fall décor after taking this photo.  :)

This poor tree was damaged again by the last ice storm.  We now are helping it out with a little bracing.

We have snow!!  Technically we already had a couple of inches, but now we've added about 5 more so we definitely have snow!  It adds to the Holiday feel.  Last year was too warm to feel like Christmas so this year, although the days are racing by, it at least feels like it's coming.

On that note, it's going to be a chilly week in these parts.  Some snow and mixed precipitation and then a drop in temps for the end of the week.  Saturday we have a show in town but right now they're saying we may get hit with a big snowstorm.  We shall see if that story changes at all.

I finally removed my outdoor fall décor this weekend.  Nothing like waiting until the next holiday..... 



 So, the Holidays are fast approaching which means business gets very very busy.  We've ramped up production , trying to keep up with the shows, market, orders and requests.  It's a great ending to an amazing year.

On another business note, the end of the year means sitting back and reflecting.  We will be looking at shows we want to do/don't want to do, markets we'd like to add or drop, and the product line itself.  Many people give ideas or suggestions throughout the year of items they would like to see us make and carry.  I truly do appreciate the fact that so many are asking little 'ol us to make products because they know and trust our business.  That being said, there is just no possible way for us to do it all.  I'm hoping any of you reading this who have been so kind and generous to share your thoughts understand if you don't see your suggested items make it into the line-up.

new sign for the kitchen

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge + Weekly Meal Plan - Week of November 14, 2016

So I decided to try 3 new recipes this week.  I usually only try to fit in 1 or 2, but I felt pretty confident and decided to go with 3.  The Orecchiette recipe, Creamed Spinach recipe and Cheesy Farro with Roasted Cauliflower recipe are the newbies and are from Rachel Ray.  I must tell you that I love Ina Garten's creamed spinach recipe, so I'm interested to see about this one.

I pulled the last of the carrots from the garden this week.  I'll let the rest come back in the Spring so we'll be able to enjoy them early in the season.  We did some more bartering for burger and pork roast this week so they are not in the final total below.  More stocking up in the freezer....

The pot roast on Saturday will be made in the electric skillet.  This is something my mom has always done and results in the most melt-in-your-mouth tasty pot roast ever.  Ever!  It requires some attention (turning and adding broth every 1/2 hour or so), but it is well worth it.

Weekly Meal Plan