April 2017 Goals Update!

Goodbye April and hello May! Do you know what I love about May? Everything! School is almost over, plants are slowly making their way outside and the warmth!  Yay!! This is how my goals are going so far:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! I’ve created a variety of reusable make up removers and I’m going to have to write all about how I made my own sour dough starter!

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. This month we cleaned out the garage and it looks amazing!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month! The picture on the left is everything that we cleaned up around the neighborhood. And on the right is the same picture from last month. We are still in bag number 2!!

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. This month we attended an art walk locally and it was amazing! I met so many interesting people and heard so many nice comments on my products! Great day!!

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Check out our new banner!!

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. I finally got the cooktop moved to the right spot in the garage. Now all I need to do is get my dad to run the electric to it! He’s amazing!

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Future summer kitchen!

6. Expand the garden. We have been able to expand the garden along the fence and we are looking forward to planting some luffa along there too!

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Expanded area!

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year and we are growing them again! Along with cucumelons, my fellow gardening friend gave me some Egyptian walking onions!


8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months, I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees. But, I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! And now we will have some adorable quail over there too!

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They grew up so fast!

9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film and I’m still working on collecting magazines to recycle.

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached around 1.5 megawatts! We are loving these longer days!

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April was a beautiful month!!

11. Continue beekeeping. Not too much to say here! The bees are doing their thing and I separated out a queen cell and some workers into a new hive. I was supposed to get a new hive, but the company hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

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Fun with bees!

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We went to Williamsburg, VA over Easter break and loved the history! (And gardens!)

If you set goals, how are yours going?

January 2017 New Year Goals Update! 

January was a quick month! It had some beautiful days and we were able to get a lot accomplished around our tiny homestead! So, here’s the first month Update:

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! Here’s the last post on what we already do: https://littlellewellynhomestead.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/zero-waste/   This month we made some yogurt to get rid of those pesky plastic containers! 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. We got rid of over 20 plastic storage containers. Well, we cleaned them out and they will be finding a new home! 


3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month! Good news is that we are still on bag number 1!!


4. Merge crafting and homestead business. We were able to get our business number and create our logo! We are going to be at our first vendor show in March!! So we need to get moving on making crafts! 


5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. (And continue preserving our harvest!) Hopefully this will happen before strawberry season! 🍓 

6. Expand the garden. We won’t be planting the grandparent’s garden this year, but we will be expanding our own garden! This will be happening in the spring! 


7. Grow some different plants. Last year I was so excited about the luffa gourds that I grew. I’ll be growing them again along with some other different plants. Cucamelons are definitely on the list! And now strawberry popcorn! It’s not strawberry at all, but definitely popcorn! 


8. Make a chicken viewing area. In the warm months I love sitting by the garden and watching the chickens and bees, but I normally sit on the ground. We are hoping to make a nice seated area in the spring! But here’s a picture of some pretty eggs for now! 


9. Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! We started a plastic film recycling program and it’s been pretty successful so far. We collected 14 pounds of plastic bags in one month. Also, my boss bought paper products, instead of plastic and styrofoam for a faculty breakfast! Baby steps!!


10. Track our solar panels. The panels were installed in December. It took FOREVER for the power company to turn on our meter! So, we used them for about a week in January. 


11. Continue beekeeping. We made it through our first year of beekeeping and we are hoping they overwinter well. They have been out taking cleansing flights on the pretty days! 


12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and have some major traveling ideas for this year! We didn’t do much this month, but we have started planning our big summer trip! 

So, there you have it! January was not the best month, but turned out ok. Let’s go February! If you set goals, how are yours going?

Zero waste?!??

We have already decided what our goals are going to be for this year! (And I will be posting them later this week.) So, spoiler alert, one goal is going to be to reduce the amount of trash that we produce.

So, next question, what is zero waste? It’s just as it sounds! Creating no garbage! It doesn’t mean recycling tons. It’s actually purposefully not creating trash. Some can put their whole years garbage in a mason jar. We are not there yet, but looking to improve! So, the goal this year is to continue on to creating even less trash! (Yes, this is exciting to me!)

I figured that I should share what we already do!

1. We grow our own food! Which means no packaging and no traveling long distance for our food!

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Growing our own food!

2. I have hobbies that don’t create excess waste! (And create food!)

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Beekeeping (and raising chickens too!)

3. We can, a lot! Between jams, jellies, sauces, fruits and veggies, summer and fall are quite busy for us! But reusing jars every year is a great feeling!

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We ❤canning!

4. Buy second hand! No excess packaging, plus no extra waste being created!

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My goodwill finds!

5. We use beeswax wraps to cover bowls and food, instead of plastic wrap! They can be reused or composted at the end of their life!

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Beeswax wraps

6. I already said we grow our own food, but we also reuse containers to start our seeds in.

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Reuse containers for seedlings

7. I upcycle garbage into crafts. The juice pouches below were donated by student lunches. We also avoid items that are single use.

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Upcycled crafts

8. We eat in almost every day of the week. It allows us to avoid styrofoam containers and single use plastic. (Yes, we both work full time and have a child!)

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Our yummy orange chicken (homemade)

9. We compost everything that we don’t eat and the chickens don’t eat. Some things go in the compost pile and others go to our composting worms .

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Our red wrigglers make great compost!

10. I crochet our washcloths and dishcloths and avoid those plastic loofahs and sponges. Since they are cotton, they can be thrown in the compost at the end of their life.

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Crochet dishcloths

11. I kind of mentioned this already, but we give the chickens some leftovers and in return, we get eggs and great compost for the garden!

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Our compost machines!

12. We use cloth napkins and towels in our home. We don’t use paper towels at all here!

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Unpaper towels and napkins

13. We make our own soap. It allows for no packaging or weird dyes and fragrances.

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Homemade soap!

Now that you know what we already do here, we are going to try to do even more here in the year to come!

Did anyone else set some goals to green up this Earth? Please share if you did, or do something that I might want to try!

2016 goal recap! 

This year has been amazing, at least when it comes to our goals! We have made so much progress around here for sure! So, here’s the progress we made here: 
1. Begin beekeeping: Our bees are doing their winter thing. We don’t see them often. (Unless it gets above 50 degrees!) But, since it warmed up we actually saw them out and about! ✔

Bees!

2. Make a pollinator garden: I can say that we have definitely completed this challenge! We grew black eyed Susan’s, crocus flowers, echinacea, lavender, roses and cosmos flowers. The 🐝s were happy! ✔


3. Vacation somewhere different:(Now that the boy is getting older!) We have managed to do a good bit of traveling, and plan to do even more in 2017! We have been to Tennessee, Hershey Park, Washington D.C., Gettysburg, Pa, local attractions and lots of camping! ✔

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Hershey Park!
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D.C.!

4. No new fashion in 2016: I know most females would freak out over this one! Well, this turned out to be way too easy. I didn’t buy any new clothes this year! Heck, I even had my momma help me find a second hand bathing suit! All in all, it was nice not wasting money on clothes! But, in 2017, I’m going to focus on more quality made items! ✔

5. Reduce garbage: (Did you know the average American produces 4.4 lbs of garbage per day?!?!) Only 1 bag of trash made during this over consumer kind of month! We burned a lot of paper and checked all plastic packaging for ♻️ symbols! And we are going to continue reducing in years to come! 

6. Complete the 2016 in 2016 challenge: That means getting rid of 2016 things in our home this year! So, guess what?!?! We straightened up around here and got rid of all 2,016 things! So, a big ✔️


7. Finish the kitchen remodel: only the baseboard left! Yes, that freaking baseboard is still left! #damnitmrllewellyn! 😉 But we have accomplished so much in there! And we have our adorable sign above the sink. So, we will give it a ✔


8. Build an arbor and plant some grapes:Still at a stand still! But the grapes won’t be growing anymore this year and the posts are set. This is kind of a completed!✔️


9. Expand the garden: We have definitely completed this for the year! We added on several raised beds and a three sisters garden! We even planted around the chicken run! So we can give this a ✔️

Luffa gourds
The big garden
Birdhouse gourds

10. Preserve more food: I think I can definitely check this off! ✔️We canned so many green beans, tomato sauces, jams/jellies, salsa and chili sauce! I hope that our families enjoy the jelly and jam we gifted to them! 

Chili sauce
Strawberry jam
Green beans

11. Organize the least organized place in the house, the garage: I don’t know if the garage will ever be perfect, but it looks the best that it ever has! The recycle area is usable and I have bigger plans for this area in 2017!


12. Treat my crafting more like a business: I did so well this month! I made some money, and also made some amazing gifts! Definitely a ✔!!

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Some of my craftiness!

13. Work on budgeting and paying down the house: We had a certain number that we were shooting for being at for the end of the year, and we are there already! So this goal is already a big ✔️! 💰 

I have loved writing about these goals every month! And don’t you worry, we have 13 more goals selected for 2017! I will definitely be sharing them very soon! Even if you don’t blog, write down a few goals and put them in a place that you see often! And if course, if you want to share some of your goals with me, please do! 

November goals update!

Only 1 month left this year?!?! How is that possible? I am so proud that I have followed through on these goals!

1. Begin beekeeping: Our bees are doing great! I can still see them coming out for a nice cleansing flight every once and a while. But, they are just doing their own thing! So a big ✔️ to beekeeping!

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2. Make a pollinator garden: I can say that we have definitely completed this challenge! So many different flowers!✔️

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The bees 🐝 enjoyed these! 

3. Vacation somewhere different:(Now that the boy is getting older!) The boy went camping again! And, we made it to Washington D.C.  The boy has been wanting to go there again forever!

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Washington D.C.!!

4. No new fashion in 2016: I know most females would freak out over this one! I picked up a few shirts for the boy, and a few for me. Plus a pair of jeans. All from the goodwill! So, this is pretty much a ✔️
5. Reduce garbage: (Did you know the average American produces 4.4 lbs of garbage per day?!?!) Only 1.5 bags this month! Did I mention that I never have to buy garbage bags? It’s kind of awesome!
6. Complete the 2016 in 2016 challenge: That means getting rid of 2016 things in our home this year! So, guess what?!?! We straightened up around here and got rid of all 2,016 things! So, a big ✔️

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2,016 + things outta here! 

7. Finish the kitchen remodel: only the baseboard left! We will finish in December! (Are you reading this Mr. Llewellyn?)
8. Build an arbor and plant some grapes:Still at a stand still! But the grapes won’t be growing anymore this year and the posts are set. This is kind of a completed!✔️

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Grape arbor! 

9. Expand the garden: We have definitely completed this for the year! We added on several raised beds and a three sisters garden! So we can give this a ✔️


10. Preserve more food: I think I can definitely check this off! ✔️We canned so many green beans, tomato sauces, jams/jellies, salsa and chili sauce! I hope people are ready to receive some as a gift!


11. Organize the least organized place in the house, the garage: I don’t know if the garage will ever be perfect, but it looks the best that it ever has!
12. Treat my crafting more like a business: So many sales this month! People are going to be getting lots of homemade gifts this year!

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Some of my craftiness! 

13. Work on budgeting and paying down the house: We had a certain number that we were shooting for being at for the end of the year, and we are there already! So this goal is already a big ✔️!

I am so glad to be finishing these goals this year! But, I’m planning on just as many goals next year!! Does anyone have a goal they’d like to share?!?!

 

 

October Progress Goals Update!

I have really enjoyed sharing the goals that I had for the year! I’m not sure if anyone actually reads them/or is interested, but I’m pretty proud of not giving up after 1 month!

1. Begin beekeeping: Our bees are doing great! I need to winterize the hives. I also, with lots of help, tried to save a tree hive. But they didn’t make it. But overall this has been a good season!

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2. Make a pollinator garden: I can say that we have definitely completed this challenge! So many different flowers!✔️

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Echinecea is even growing finally! 

3. Vacation somewhere different:(Now that the boy is getting older!) The boy went to a weekend scout camp, but nothing else new to report

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4. No new fashion in 2016: I know most females would freak out over this one! I didn’t get a single item again! So, this is pretty much a ✔️
5. Reduce garbage: (Did you know the average American produces 4.4 lbs of garbage per day?!?!) Only 1 bag of garbage this month from the kitchen. We also had to throw out some unusable items from the garage.
6. Complete the 2016 in 2016 challenge: That means getting rid of 2016 things in our home this year! We really got caught up this month! I’m loving this challenge!

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1,654 items out of here!!

7. Finish the kitchen remodel: We still need the baseboard put in, but that’s it! We will be finished this year!
8. Build an arbor and plant some grapes:Still at a stand still! But the grapes won’t be growing anymore this year and the posts are set. This is kind of a completed!

9. Expand the garden: We have definitely completed this for the year! We added on several raised beds and a three sisters garden! So we can give this a ✔️

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Garlic for next year! 

10. Preserve more food: I think I can definitely check this off! We canned so many green beans, tomato sauces, jams/jellies! We are already loving the taste of summer in our canned food!

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Deeee-licious!!!!

11. Organize the least organized place in the house, the garage: I got rid of so many items from the garage! I’m hoping to have a craft show here this month or next in there!
12. Treat my crafting more like a business: Only a few online sales, but I sold a good bit at 3 different craft shows this weekend!

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Craft showing!!

13. Work on budgeting and paying down the house: We had a certain number that we were shooting for being at for the end of the year, and we are there already! So this goal is already a big ✔️!

Only 2 months to go!!! How are your goals going?!?

September Progress update!

For the New Year, I set a list of goals. I decided to share the goals to keep me more accountable. And you know what?!?? It’s been working!

1. Begin beekeeping: The bees are looking great! And I was even able to get a great deal on some super boxes! I’m really hoping to get them all set for winter!

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2. Make a pollinator garden: I can say that we have definitely completed this challenge! So many different flowers!✔️

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Finally a cosmos!

3. Vacation somewhere different:(Now that the boy is getting older!) We weirdly enough didn’t take the boy, but we went to the Mother Earth news fair!

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Great time was had!

4. No new fashion in 2016: I know most females would freak out over this one! I didn’t get a single item, but I did get a new shirt for my birthday.

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Kinda my new favorite shirt!!

5. Reduce garbage: (Did you know the average American produces 4.4 lbs of garbage per day?!?!) Still better than most, but closer to 1 and a half!
6. Complete the 2016 in 2016 challenge: That means getting rid of 2016 things in our home this year! Didn’t quite get rid of enough items this month, but next month will be better!

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1,462 items outta here!

7. Finish the kitchen remodel: The mister painted the whole kitchen and put new outlet covers on! They looked super 80’s  before! Almost finished!

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Update from the 80’s!

8. Build an arbor and plant some grapes:(I’ve wanted to do this for years!) Almost there! Just some boards horizontally and we are finished!

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9. Expand the garden: We have definitely completed this for the year! We added on several raised beds and a three sisters garden! So we can give this a ✔️


10. Preserve more food: we took some of the grapes from our sweet neighbor and turned them into delicious grape jelly!!

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Grape jelly! 🍇

11. Organize the least organized place in the house, the garage: We cleared out garage stuff at a yard sale! Made some money and cleaned out the garage.

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Yard sale!

12. Treat my crafting more like a business: Only a few online sales, but also made a few sales to friends. Also, I have been working on Autumn Glory crafting

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Crocheted ball jar coozie!

13. Work on budgeting and paying down the house: We had a certain number that we were shooting for being at for the end of the year, and we are there already! So this goal is already a big ✔️!

Only 3 months to go, and we might just be able to pull this off! If you are weird like me, you might just be thinking about your 2017 goals!!