Cooling Spray- How We Saved $1000

IMG_0699

Homesteading is not always easy on the budget.

Actually, it never is.

Caring for animals and keeping them healthy is expensive, so we are always looking for ways to do it affordably and naturally.

Now that summer is here in the Midwest, our bipolar weather kicks in.  We get a few days of tropics and then a few days of fall, maybe a day of spring in there.  You never know what is coming.

During the tropical heat waves, keeping the horse and cow cool are a challenge.  We don’t have any shade in our pasture because Bethel likes to eat trees. (Smack the forehead)   When the temperatures rise, we bring them into the barn.  They have shelter from the sun, but it gets stuffy in there.

If money were no object, we would have a couple turbo fans blowing on the girls.  This comes at the cost of around $1000.  Not happening.

Our alternative is a peppermint cooling spray.  Talk about essential oils saving you money!!  A grand saved!!  The recipe is super simple- peppermint oil, water and I add lavender as well to deter the flies a bit.

Animal Cooling Spray

16oz spray bottle

20 drops peppermint

10 drops lavender

Top off with distilled water

That’s it.  The girls each have a small fan blowing on them, which doesn’t provide much heat relief.  But after the cooling spray, that little breeze is turbofied!

Side note:  We use only Doterra oils on our homestead.  After years of using store bought oils and not seeing results, I did the research and we switched.  There are no additives or fillers, pesticides or other chemicals in any of Doterra’s oils so I know they are safe to use around the house and the barn.  If you’d like to learn more about how to get these high quality oils in your life without breaking your budget, reach out to me.  I would love to help you get started.

22nd Week of 2017

 

The new round of meat chicks are doing well.  They’ve settled in and are feathering already.  On warmer days they go outside in the run next to the milk house.

In addition to the two feeder pigs, we have adopted Wilbur.  He was the runt of a litter and got a boo boo on his leg.  We’re bottle feeding him and snuggling him and loving him!!!!

Only a few more days left of milking before Bethel is dried off.  😩😩😩. I’ve been saving it for the pigs and chickens. The chicken and ducks favorite is clabber so there’s a jar on the counter always waiting for them.

The garden is aching for rain. I water every other day with the sprinkler. Thanks to the mulch, the soil is staying perfectly moist underneath. Once the seedlings take off, my watering career will end. Yay!

The peppers are failures. The only way I’m growing peppers ever again is if I have a mini hot house. I have nothing nice to say about them so I will stop there.

I think worms were getting my tomatoes.  I sprayed them down with organic caterpillar killer and the damage stopped. My herbs are now being eaten down. (Angry face). Did I mention that the peppers disgust me.

Jasmine the horse is so beautiful and sweet. She really is like a big dog.  With her winter coat gone and some weight on her she is absolutely stunning.

Next month is the beginning of the farmers market.  I’ll be making bread to sell, a white French loaf and fresh milled whole grain loaves. It will be nice to get out in the community and see what things others offer as well.

The ducks got a bigger pool and they love it!!  We dug a hole in the ground and set it in there so they can get in and out easier. Draining it is proving to be a challenge though.  I really really don’t want to siphon the water out but we may have to. (Gross). I’m afraid of what will happen if I get the water in my mouth.

Summer is here!!IMG_1155IMG_1007IMG_0810IMG_1156IMG_1161

19th Week of 2017

The gorgeous weather is finally upon us. The furnace is shut down for the season and I’ll be cleaning air conditioners out over the weekend. The temps will be in the 80’s next week!!!

Now that the summer season is here, it makes for later night and later wake ups.  This has been difficult with milking in the morning.  My winter routine was to wake up around 4:30, have my bible time then my Facebook time and out I would go.  There was still plenty of time to get the boys up and ready for school.

Now, with later days, I don’t hit the sack until after 10, and wake up around 6:30. The morning has been a rush.  I’ll be thankful for the break in milking and when the kids finish school.

Today was a day in the garden.  As you know from past pictures I had put a bird feeder up in the garden with a birdbath.  It was lovely to see the birds hanging out there.  I didn’t think about the seeds falling into the garden though.  All of a sudden I had a huge patch of green coming up.  I thought it was cucumbers from last year that were emerging.

No…..

They were sunflowers.  Hundreds and hundreds of sunflowers.  I have spent the morning plucking them out of the mulch.  The tomatoes and peppers and herbs went in this week.  I fertilized them today, along with the strawberries again.  All of the herbs are doing great.  I planted lemon balm, chocolate mint, sorrel, borage, chamomile, pineapple sage and some Calendula flowers, along with some more I can’t think of.

The peas are starting to climb the fence. Romaine and iceberg are finally taking off.  Broccoli and cauliflower are still small, and I’m hoping they liven up soon.  Cabbages look great.

I put in green, yellow and red peppers, jalapeños, sweet banana peppers and a cherry pepper plant.

The only thing left to plant is the three sisters-sweet corn, squash and beans.

Broiler chicks arrived this week.  Our first batch is 25.  Doug will be working on the chicken tractor and pig housing.  With the warm temps arriving next week, maybe the pigs can come soon.

In our chick order, Doug got 2 polish chickens. They’re so cute!  They have little afros on them already.  There was a free rare breed they threw in there as well.  Tori and Emma will work on identifying it this weekend.

My allergies have been terrible. The first year we moved, they didn’t get too bad until August. Since then, they’ve been hitting me sooner and sooner. This past week was terrible.  A friend visited and told me about Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint.  I researched last night and it turns out that the chemical constituents in each, when put together, actually create a natural anthihistamine.  I’ve been using them today while out in the garden and visiting with Bethel and I haven’t had one symptom!  It’s glorious to be able to work outside and not have your eyelids swell up.

The flies are back and were already going after Bethels legs.  She had some areas where the bite marks were very clear.  I had ordered a bottle of Terrashield spray for her and it worked great!  But I needed to stretch it.  To a 32oz bottle, I added the Terrashield spray, 1 cup of ACV and filled the rest with water. The Terrashield smells amazing, even in vinegar.  And the best part is, the flies HATE IT.  After I sprayed her down, they kept coming back and landing on her, but they would immediately leave.  I’m so thankful to not have to bathe her in chemicals anymore.  The spray we have, advises the user to wear a mask when applying it. If I have to wear a mask, what is it doing to my darling cow???

Thats all from the farm this week.  Happy Mothers Day to the moms out there!

Jen

IMG_0838IMG_0831IMG_0836IMG_0843IMG_0848IMG_0849IMG_0850IMG_0851IMG_0804IMG_0810IMG_0792IMG_0820

How To Save Money With Essential Oils

IMG_0369

I love saving money, it’s not only a thrill to get a good deal, but it helps me to serve my family so much the more!  We don’t want to be wasteful, and we for sure don’t want to be spendthrifts, so its important to me to use what we purchase in the most effective way possible.

To save money on meat, we buy from a local farmer, and every bit of it is used, even those soup bones and suet!

The pantry is stocked with items we use most often, and these keep those last-minute trips to the grocery store down.  Cooking from the pantry is our number 2 way of saving money.

I also love DIY projects! They are a another great way to save!  Making toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen and cleaners.  Slowly over time, I have been eliminating toxic products out of our home.  It’s so great to be able to whip up that batch of laundry detergent when you run out, instead of running out to the store.  And when you make these products at home, they are so much better for your family, especially your children.

But the one tool I use that saves us the most is Essential Oils.  Here are some examples of the way we save hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year with these little treasures.  (We use Doterra oils in our home because of the purity and the trust we have for the company, so I’ll be using them as the example for prices)

Stomach upset                                      $0.12 per use

Scratches and other wounds             $0.06 per use

Air freshener and purifier                $0.04 per use

Counter cleaner/ disinfectant           $0.40 per bottle

Muscle pains and aches                     $0.16 per use

Doctor visit for cold/ strep throat    $0.20 per use

Skin care                                               $0.28 per use

Allergy cream                                      $0.16 per use

Allergy relief                                       $.08 per use

Cold relief                                            $0.08 per use

Dewormer for the animals              $0.20 per use

Flavoring for cooking (varies) between $.04 and $0.20 per use

Sunscreen                                           $0.24 a container

Toothpaste                                         $0.24 a tube

mouthwash antibacterial              $0.16 a use

Anxiety medication                         $0.08 a use

Energy supplement                         $0.08 a use

Stopping the stomach flu from spreading——-PRICELESS

And there are so many more!!!  These are just a few of the ways we use them everyday!

When I bought my first kit with Doterra, I purchased the Family Essentials Kit for $150.00.  After a week, I kicked myself for not buying a larger one because I was using the oils so often every day.  And it was only a few days later, that I realized,  only 1 visit to the doctor would have cost more than that kit did.  It was then, I really began to see all of the ways that it was saving us money! I loved not having to run to the store every few days if someone needed something around the house.  I loved that I wasn’t harming my children or pets with dangerous chemicals.  And the oils weren’t just for Doug and the kids and I, I was using them to support and help the pets and barnyard animals as well!

I do have one caution.  Please be very careful about what oils you use.  They should be safe for ingestion.  They should also be pure and unadulterated, otherwise, instead of offering you any benefit, they could do the opposite and harm you.  This is why we only use Doterra Oils.  The first testing done on their oils are from a third-party lab, and you can go onto their website to see the results for your bottle of oil!   This is what sold us.  For a company to be that confident in their product, they would use an unbiased source to verify the quality and purity of their product, and THEN, show you the results!

If you’re wondering, “Jen!  Where do I get these oils??  How do I start saving money??”

Go to my website here:  http://www.mydoterra.com/JenniferSurprenant

Click on “Join and Save!”  Then just follow the steps to get enrolled.

If you need help walking through the process, I am here to help in any way.

After you complete your enrollment, I will be contacting you to get you set up with some amazing resources to help you get educated on your oils and how to use them most effectively.  I have a special Facebook group where I share all our favorite recipes and uses for the oils.  And again, if you have any questions with the enrollment or your oils, I am here!  You will never be left with a box of oils and no idea how to use them.  Remember, one of the ways I love saving money is by using what we buy!  I will not leave you alone.

I know it sounds cliché, but truly, these little bottles have transformed our day-to-day lives, our health, and our moods.  They are powerful and empowering and I am so excited for you to begin this amazing journey with us!

Jen

 

 

 

 

Homestead Dreams And Debt

 

We began the journey to homesteading four years ago.  We got a milk cow, some chickens, planted a garden, and raised meat hogs.  In the first year, we butchered enough meat to fill our freezer for the winter, tended a garden that filled our larder to the brim, and put ourselves in a lot of credit card debt to be able to achieve it.  Fast forward a couple of years and we still had the credit card debt looming over us, and a new truck payment.  We didn’t realize a pickup truck was an essential if you’re hauling hay and feed!

My husband was already working around 70 hours a week and my time at home with the kids and the homestead were so much more valuable than a minimum wage part time job in town.  We had run out of hours to trade for dollars.  Something had to change.

I had been using essential oils on the homestead to save money on cleaning supplies and medical care for the animals, but I had never given an idea to having my own oil business.   When we got to the point of losing everything because of the debt, I started researching.  Doterra was all of our answers.  High quality oils, a superior product and a trustworthy company.  The business model that they offer is astounding, like no other out there.  I am only in my first few months of business and it is so wonderful to see our debt dropping down!

DoTerra is not a “Get Rich Quick” scheme! Like any other profession or trade, you need to get trained and set career goals. Look at this business plan and then decide where you want to be in 2 years! Are these results possible with your current job?

 

 

It’s exciting isn’t it???  Check out this next video where Lisa shows the awesome compensation plan.  This is the reason our debt is already being knocked out!

 

 

We were convinced.  It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Like Lisa said, it is a business and needs to be treated as such.

If you’re done with the debt looming over you, or maybe you just want to supplement your income to get those dreams to be a reality?  It is possible with this amazing company.   My team offers comprehensive training and education and lots of resources for help, through facebook groups and classes.

And heres another example of how awesome and generous this company is!  If you join in the month of May with an enrollment kit,  you get $50 for more oils!!  You won’t find a more generous deal!  This company truly is changing lives all over the world!

So, are you ready to live debt free, gain more time at home, start seeing your dreams become a reality?  Click the link below and select “Become a Wellness Advocate” to get started.  Any questions or concerns, please shoot me a message and I would love to help you.  This is the first small step to a huge change in your life!

I am so excited for you to begin this journey, and for you to see that a home business isn’t just a reality for a lucky few- it can be a reality for you and your family too!  It became one for us!

 

 

18th Week of 2017

The rain this last week seemed endless.  It was cloudy and dreary cold.  Definitely not fun spring homesteading weather.  I didn’t visit the garden all week and am anxious to see how everything is holding up.  The seedlings in the house are screaming to get out in the ground and I’m ready to have my bathroom back from them.

It was a week of indoor stuff.  Cleaning and working on business stuff. Both jobs are equally enjoyable. With cleaning, an added benefit is a good workout, and the end result is so peaceful. When your home is in order and tidy, there is just a peace that flows out to you- even in cold dreary yucky weather.

I’m still doing a lot of training with the business.  Also, I’m patiently waiting on my team to start building up.  I can’t share the experience until I’ve educated myself enough on it, and I plan on spending these first few month doug just that.  I’ve learned so much about using essential oils and other natural remedies on the animals. It’s so wonderful to learn new things.

If the weather wants to finally hold, our piggies should be arriving soon.  I ordered the first round of broiler chicks today, and a couple polish ones for Dougs delight.

Soon Ill be drying Bethel off to prepare for her new calf in August!  The babies are one of my favorite things in homesteading.  Kittens and chicks and ducklings and calves.  We’re hoping someday to have a new foal as well!

It was a quiet week.  Blessings to all!

Jen

IMG_0717IMG_0733IMG_0737IMG_0756IMG_0757IMG_0763

17th Week Of 2017

We awoke this morning to a frigid 58 degree temperature in the house. It’s windy and cold and yucky outside. If there is anything that messes with my mood, it is boys peeing on the bathroom floor and bipolar weather.

We did a lot of running around the past week.  Monday we went and made some oil goodies with church friends. It was a lovely time of fellowship and the weather was gorgeous.

I fertilized the strawberries again because they were looking a little down. The rain coming tonight and tomorrow will be exactly what the garden needs to kick everyone into gear.

I went by my friend Ruth and dug up some Bee Balm, Echinacea, Hostas, Lambs Ear and Lily of the Valley.  They are planted in various spots of the property now .  The south garden bed that was once all lilacs is a mess. The lilacs were infested with bugs and died.  Fortunately, lots of shoots sprung up, so Doug will be cutting down the old bushes for me and I’ll replant the shoots in a lovely arrangement with more Lily of the Valley.

Allergies are starting and they show up as swelling on my face. Today I’ve begun applying Frankincense to help.  It is so soothing.  Next week my order arrives and I can’t wait to dig into it.  I’m already out of lavender and am desperate for a new bottle.

Bethel has moved to the rented pasture during the day and into our pasture with Jasmine at night. Of course, with the yucky weather, our pampered princesses got to move indoors today.

On calmer mornings, I’ve been milking in the pasture and it’s beautiful. I tie Bethy to a tree and then milk and watch.  Jasmine always has to be to close to her, so she stands a few feet behind us munching on grass.  The chickens and ducks soon arrive to eat up the last of the grain that Jasmine drops on the ground  from her breakfast.  Harley shows up to lay among the chickens and pretend like he’s on sentry duty.  And there’s always a cat, either rubbing it’s way around me, or throwing a dead mouse in the air, playing with it.  The sun is slowly rising, the air is quiet, and the horizon feels as if it goes on forever.

Truly magical

Thats all for this week. Blessings!

IMG_0664IMG_0666IMG_0671IMG_0676IMG_0683IMG_0699IMG_0708IMG_0717

16th Week of 2017

There is something about the spring weather that just changes everything!!!! Perhaps it’s all the sun, the warm air, the longer days with gorgeous sunsets?  It’s such a productive time of year.

The barn was painted a bright and shiny hue of “barn red” this week.  The barn was an old garden shed that we put primitive stalls in and then began calling it a barn. A barn, technically would be a place to house animals and farmy things, kind of like a garage for a farmer.  But all that to say- we have a red barn now. The whole color scheme of red, green and yellow on the buildings, really takes the emphasis off the garbage and junk piled around the property.   It works.

Spring time means spring milk!!!  And I love spring milk!!!  It takes on such a unique fresh flavor with very slight grassy undertones.  The color becomes a brighter yellow from all of the beta carotene in the fresh new grass.  It is truly a delightful gift to have once a year, especially after the much milder winter milk.  Bethel is so pretty laying out among all the dandelions with the horizon reaching far far back behind her. I love spring!!!

My favorite place to be though, is in the barn.  Even in 20 below temps, it’s still the barn. There’s something so special about it. In the cold nasty weather, to walk through the snow and wind and then enter the building to quiet and stillness.  If there is a storm, it rages outside, but within the walls there is peace.  The animals are content, so how can you not be?  In the spring, the work is so pleasant. Cleaning and sweeping, tidying up places that got full of junk from the winter. The earthy smells of horse and cow mingling together, and an added treat is the cool breeze that blows in the side door.  Sigh…..

I am a terrible dieter.  I enjoy control over my food and schedule and eating. Therefore I was a complete failure in taking the Slim and Sassy blend.  I used it for a few days and noticed a decrease in my appetite and cravings.  As for the metabolism part, I don’t know- three times a day was a big commitment for me to remember. (Ha)  I have nothing to report there.  BUT, I have been diffusing all kinds of lovely things and it really, really has changed the moods around here.  We’ve had a lot more peace, joyful laughing, and contentedness.   I’ve also been using my favorite Frankincense on my face and the feeling is nothing short of luxury.  Also in the diffuser has been an allergy blend because our eyes are getting watery and noses are getting drippy.

The great thing I love about oils is that they’re so versatile. They all have so many uses, so you don’t need a cabinet of 100 to get the jobs done. A steady few can keep you on the path of natural living. If you’d like to try some, please, come to a gathering or get in touch with me and I can get you samples to try for yourself!

Not a lot happened in the kitchen this week. The peas are coming up in the garden, along with LOTS of volunteers from last year.  I’m tempted to just plant my seeds in the winter and let them come up themselves in the spring. It would be a fun experiment. Strawberries are doing really well after their poop treatment.  Iceberg and romaine are slowly getting there.  I think after a good thunderstorm, everything will really take off.  This weekend the temps at night are going to get low, and if the tomatoes and peppers make it in their mini greenhouses, I will put the rest out.

Staggering the garden planting is so lovely, especially when you have a large bed. It removes the pressure of getting it all in at once in a hurry and extends your time with hands in the dirt.  I think God did that on purpose when he created these plants for us. 🙂

When are broilers and pigs coming?  Still not sure. Hopefully the chicks will be ordered by the end of the month and piggies will come when the weather gets steady.

Thats all for this week!  Blessings!

IMG_0601IMG_0610IMG_0563IMG_0573IMG_0575IMG_0628IMG_0632

Essential Oils In the Garden

Everyday, I am blown away by the many uses I find for my essential oils.  Not only in the house and on our bodies, but in the barn and the garden as well!  When we first moved here, I felt like I was taking the 30 minute drive to Farm and Fleet three times a week. Now, I have a whole cavalry  of natural solutions in my cabinet. And they’re in little brown bottles!

You may be thinking, “They’re too expensive.”

Take a look at this-

IMG_0369Yes!!!  Pennies!!!  Please use only a Certified Theraputic Grade Oil in all of your homestead uses!  You’ll see how a little goes a long way in the sections below.

If you’d like to know more about Doterra oils or get started, email me or check out my website.

https://www.mydoterra.com/jennifersurprenant/#/

So here are my new favorite ways of using oils in the garden from The Prairie Homestead blog.  If you haven’t visited her yet, her site is a MUST.

1. Companion planting

We know that certain plants work really well together, and EO’s work in the same way!  Just add 1 or 2 drops to your watering can.

Basil EO- asparagus and tomatoes

Chamomile EO- cabbage family or onions

Dill EO- cabbage family

Oregano EO- pumpkins, cucumbers, melons and squash

Peppermint EO- cabbage family, tomatoes, peas

Rosemary EO- carrots, cabbage family, beans

Sage EO- carrots

Thyme EO- cabbage family

The cabbage family seems to love EO’s more than anyone! 🙂

2. Slugs

Theyre gross.  We allow our ducks in the garden to help with this issue, but if you are without ducks, I’ve heard these EO work great.  Add about 5 drops to a cup of water and make a circle with the solution around the plants to deter the slugs

White Fir EO

Cedarwood EO

Peppermint EO

3. Attracting pollinators

We love bees and butterflies.  Unfortunately, we’re surrounded by Roundup ready crops, so have been hesitant to invest in hives.  But, again  EO’s to the rescue!  Add a few drops of these oils onto cotton balls and place them all around the garden.

Lavender

Orange

Coriander

It seems like the possibilities are endless.  There is so much more- around the house, for the kids, on the cow 🐮.  If you’d like to learn more about essential oils and natural solutions for your homestead and family, please contact me. I would love to help you learn all you can about oils and different natural solutions for your everyday life.

Happy oiling!