Monday, March 31, 2014

Duck Coop DIY under $20


My husband and I are becoming quiet the little homesteaders. About a month ago we acquired some endangered Welsh Harlequin Ducks (Pictured Right). I figured we could get some organic free range eggs from animals treated humanely and hopefully save money, not to mention I'm a huge animal lover so BONUS!

Me being me, I bought the ducks first, built the coop second. Below is a picture of our coop, ducks and their beloved shrubbery hide out... and one of my husband working on it, you didn't seriously think I did the heavy lifting on building this thing right =)

While our coop isn't the prettiest thing out there it is very eco friendly and economical. Our coop cost less than $20 in supplies.

Coop Supplies
2x2 Pallets FREE
Reclaimed Wood $11 a truck load
Hinges FREE
Nails $8?

Since building the coop we have decided upon several changes and I do things I would have done different.

  • Pallets are great but building your own frame is sturdier than trying to attach Pallets
    • We will be reinforcing our frame!
  • We are adding a Window! We will be putting hardware cloth there to prevent predators but we want the window to keep rain out since it likes to come at an angle here!
  • We are expanding the coop! I am getting more ducks so this one won't be big enough for the new additions!
  • We are putting in a concrete floor, I have seen how easy it is for my dog to dig and almost get in so this is a safety thing and since we have lots of rocks in our soil digging and putting a concrete perimeter isn't going to work for us!
DIY coops are totally doable though not as easy as they might seem! I spent time looking on for coop ideas before starting and was shocked how hard it was to build what we have (this is our first building project). 

For our coop adjustments the additional costs will be
            $11 load of reclaimed lumber w/enough left over for 1 or 2 other projects from the 2 loads
             $.50 for two hinges from habitat for humanity
             $2 for a window from habitat for humanity
             $8 for concrete from home depot (got one bag with a rip for 50% off)
             $12 for gravel/pebbles for concrete base

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We are boycotting Kellogg's and you should too!


When this picture showed up on my facebook feed I decided to investigate. While the picture above may seem funny, the truth is not.

Many countries have seen the risks in GMO's, they are banned in 26 countries and other countries REQUIRE labeling. In ours we don't have the RIGHT TO KNOW what is in our food or our children's food!

GMO's are genetically modified to include pesticides, do you really want to be eating or feeding your child something designed to kill?

There is scientific evidence that GMO is bad not just for us but for the environment and ecosystem as a whole! Don't you think you have the right to know whats in the food that you feed your family? I'm boycotting Kellogg's because they oppose both labeling for GMO's and they use GMO's in cereal that they then market for our children! My family has bought Kellogg's since I was a little girl, I have given Kellogg's cereal to babies since GMO's came out. I trusted Kellogg's, that while their cereal wasn't the healthiest on the market, to provide food that wasn't harmful!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Marcal Paper Towels Review


It has been a while since I reviewed an eco friendly product so lets begin =)

Marcal® Small Steps® paper products are made from 100% recycled paper. They are hypoallergenic and are free of dyes and fragrances. All products are manufactured without chlorine bleaching. All are virtually lint-free. (taken from

I picked up the Marcal paper towels at my local commissary (military shopping). It has been a while since I purchased these, but knowing myself I wouldn't spend more than $4 for a 2 pack.. and if I remember right it was less than $3.  

I was really happy when I used them. I used them for germinating seeds, which requires getting them wet. With most paper towels getting it wet means its a sopping mess or it starts flacking/shredding apart. These absorb moisture very well! I ran one of these under the sink then transferred the moisture from that one on the second one by pushing down. I have to say as far as absorbency it is by far the best paper towel I have used lately!

There isn't really too much to say about paper towels so to sum it up:

  • Soft
  • Absorbant
  • Hold up well
  • Eco Friendly
  • Cost effecient
  • Made from 100% recycled materials =)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How Much House Do You Need?


Buying a new house, one of the first questions out of peoples mouth is "how many sq. ft. is it?". For us, the answer is 1523 sq ft, plus a sunroom and a garage that aren't counted in the sq. footage. Many have people have commented how small or even tiny our house is, but to us its the biggest house we have lived in since we moved out of our parents.

Our house consists of three bedrooms, a master bathroom and hallway bathroom, two hall closets, a large living area, a midsize kitchen with umpteen cabinets, a coat closet, a laundry room, a garage, and a sunroom. To us it is by no means tiny.

Our household consists of two adults, two dogs, two ducks, two rabbits, and 5 quail. 7 of the animals were added yesterday!

The ducks, rabbits and quail are currently making their homes in the garage. The fence guys are out today finishing our privacy fence and then I need to make the duck coop, quail hutch, and possibly a rabbit hutch. For these guys we plan on them being housed in the backyard, or sunroom or garage if necassary. There is plenty of space in the garage since only my car will be placed in there, but the sunroom shouldn't get as hot...

Our indoor population consists of my husband, me, and our two dogs... who we are also wanting to spend more time outdoors, and also making dog houses for!

We have lived here two weeks and we have one room we never use, PLENTY of EMPTY cabinets/hall closets, and an entire half of the living area which is room size that isn't used. For us this is plenty of space for now. We use one of the bedrooms as an extra living/computer room. Our sunroom is also empty!

I recently posed the question to another blogger, Ashley from DomesticImperfection. Ashley has two adorable boys and a 1650 sq ft. house. You can read her blog on the subject here

This picture shows how much the average home size for a family of four has grown. I am probably more of a minimalist, don't get me wrong I like shopping as much as the next girl... but I also love purging. Ashley wrote another blog recently about spring cleaning, or getting rid of unused clutter. I'm huge on that. I wonder if the increasing size of homes isn't due to items rather than people. As much as I love my privacy I also wonder if creating so much space for individuals and to get away from each other would be good for family bonds or not.

Anyway, these are my thoughts on the subject. I would love feedback from my readers. What is your ideal house size?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

DIY bathroom basket


Allow me to start this post by begging you, please PLEASE, try to avoid the hideous wallpaper in the background. I know its distracting but the focus here is on the basket.
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I first came up with the idea of a basket on the toilet when I came across one at a yard sale. I thought it would look nice with some potpourri in it and then considered where to place it. Potpourri eventually will loose its scent but mine lasted months, it should last especially long and fill the room with scent if you keep the door closed. For some of you I realize it isn't practical to keep the door closed between children and guests (after all you want people to know the bathroom is free for use), however if it is then trust me the smell will fill more of your bathroom if the door is shut!

The candle isn't just for looks. Obviously this is placed in a bathroom, nuff said! I don't want to discuss details I find revolting, nor do I want to smell them.... please use the candle ;)

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The total cost for this? $3!

Potpourri $1 (dollar store, kroger, anywhere)
Wicker basket $1 (Family Dollar)
Candle $1 (Kroger)