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Friday, January 19, 2018

Staying Healthy During the Winter

Anyone else have the winter blues or notice those pounds creeping on? Parenting, work, and winter make exercising challenging. When we don’t get enough exercise our mood is affected. Pounds creep on, and we neglect our personal development. I admit I’ve been struggling with finding happiness during the darkest winter months.  I’m excited that I found a healthy way to improve my health and happiness when daylight is at it’s shortest.

Let’s face it’s hard to find motivation to go for a run when the air hurts our face, and we get half way down the driveway and slip on the ice. There’s not always time to go to the gym, and the elliptical gets boring after awhile. I’m so excited that I found workouts I can do in the warmth of my home! I found a ton of fun workouts. My kids actually like doing many of them with me. It’s like a Netflix of workout videos with all the popular ones like 21 Day Fix, Insanity, 80 Day Obsession, and so many more. I’m doing 21 Day Fix now and enjoy it.

Finding time to eat a healthy breakfast can be a challenge when you are trying to get kids ready and out the door in the morning on time. While being a mother of two and working full-time, I’ve been too busy to eat breakfast and exercise.  I’ve been gaining weight gradually and lacking energy. I’ve always been active, but like many of us it seems impossible to make time to eat right and exercise. After we get a certain age, we realize that it’s not as easy to feel healthy like it was in our 20s. Let’s face it when you have kids and work, saying if you want it bad enough you can make time just doesn’t work.

I’ve been looking for a quick breakfast that gives me energy and workouts I can do with my kids. Guess what? I’ve found both. I lost 10 pounds this month and feel peppy and great. I have energy for my students, kids, family, and friends.

Adding breakfast actually made me loose weight and gives me more energy. I don’t want to spend tons of money on fancy diet plans that alter my life. I want to eat, exercise, and be happy. Breakfast is important so I decided to start having shakes in the morning. I need energy to get my metabolism going and to give me energy to do my job. 

I’ve always felt good about myself, but this year I’ve noticed the pounds adding on and my confidence started to decline. I’ve been struggling with a lifelong battle of depression that few know about. Exercise has helped me win the battle. This is something most people I know don’t understand. Some of us don’t have as much serotonin and exercise increases it. This increases our happiness. 

Exercise and diet can enhance our moods and change our lives. Breakfast in the morning and doing exercising in my home a few days a week is changing my life. I’ve lost 10 pounds in a month and feel happier than ever. My endorphins are high, and life is good. I’d love to help you and support you in your journey to wellness. I’m starting my journey as a health coach. If you’d like to know more about my health journey and would like to change yours email me at mnoutdoormommy@gmail.com, and we can chat. I’m looking forward to helping others as a health coach and supporting others on their journeys to healthy happy lives.



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie Recipe 

Looking for a new recipe to help you get rid of those turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving, or maybe you are just looking for a new recipe? Look no further. Try this new turkey pot pie recipe with homemade crust and gravy. It's so yummy.

Homemade Crust


Add 7 tablespoons butter Crisco and 6 tablespoons butter to 7 tablespoons flour. Mix and then add 7 tablespoons water. Split into two, and roll out each section. Put one on the bottom of a pie pan.

Turkey Pot Pie


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add 10 small clean sliced baby red potatoes. Add about a cup of corn and a cup of peas. I use frozen. Cook on medium until potatoes begin to brown. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and thyme. I grow mine in the window during the winter. 

In a glass measuring cup add 2 cups of warm water and 4 teaspoons of chicken broth base. Beat in one egg. I love adding farm fresh eggs from our chickens for extra flavor. Add the mixture to the skillet

Add 2 cups of turkey to a bowl with 2 tablespoons flour. Stir the turkey so it is coated in flour. Add to the skillet. Cook until thick.

Pour into pie pan. Add the top layer of crust to the top. Seal edges with a fork. Cut about eight slots in the top. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then at 350 for 25 minutes.

Gravy


Add 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons chicken broth base to a small sauce pan. Add salt and pepper. In a separate pan add 1.5 tablespoons melted butter to 2 tablespoons flour. Add flour mixture slowly to saucepans. Cook on medium until thick. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas with the Cluck Clucks: A Holiday Chicken Story

It's our chickens' first Christmas so what better way to celebrate it than to release a new Christmas chicken book on Amazon.This book teaches children that families come in all shapes and sizes and that family is more important than presents. This book is dedicated to all little chicken lovers. We are excited to share our love of Christmas and chickens with others. Feel free to share with any chicken or Christmas lover.

Christmas with the Cluck Clucks: A Holiday Chicken Story


Monday, November 13, 2017

Duck Versus Drake

The last two ducklings we brought home came from a family farm and were not sexed. We anxiously waited to see if the ducklings would grow up to be drakes or ducks. When and how can you tell the gender of a duckling?

While most people hope for all ducks, I have been hoping for a drake for a few reasons. Ducks are very different than chickens. Our hens run to me and love to be picked up and held.  The opposite is true for ducks. Drakes are much more friendly than ducks. I'm able to pick up our drake, but the ducks aren't interested. The second reason I hoped for at least one drake is that they are much more quiet than ducks. Drakes also exhibit bolder colors. Finally we want to hatch some eggs and need a drake to do that. 

From the characteristics listed above I had a strong hunch that Donald was a Donald and Daisy was a Daisy.  Donald has always been more friendly than Daisy. As Daisy got her quack Donald developed a raspy sound. At 13 weeks Donald got  his Drake feather, which is a curled up feather on his tale. 

So what does a Drake sound like? Listen to Donald and his lady friends to find out. 


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Building an Inexpensive Duck Run

We just finished the duck run. It's 8 feet by 16 feet that encloses the duck house and pond. The ducks don't even want to leave it when the door is open, and instead the chickens leave their coop and join the ducks. I have to admit the tire pond makes it look like poultry paradise.


The run is made of PVC pipe, treated 2 by 4s, and chicken wire. I know many of you will frown on chicken wire, but we wanted to keep the cost minimal. Hardware cloth would have made for a very expensive run. This run was built for under $100.



Tire Pond
There are still finishing touches that need to be added. This setup would be great in warm climates but will not withstand a Minnesota winter like this. It will need to be tweaked for winter. Hopefully green house plastic and more braces will keep it up through winter.


Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Build a Duck House for Free

My preschoolers and I fell in love with ducklings and started building a duck house after seeing baby ducklings at our last visit to purchase chickens. My kids love projects, and I proposed that we think creatively and design a duck house using stuff we already have. Luckily we have scraps from our chicken coop and house. We also searched Facebook garage sale groups. It was trial and error. Our first attempt was to build a house using old pallets that my parents had from building their house. Those turned into an additional compost bin instead of a duck house. I just tied four pallets together with wire to make a compost bin. We ended up with a duck house spending $10.70 for the outdoor pond, which we probably could have got for free if we took more time to search. The only expense was an old tractor tire found on a Facebook garage sale site for $10. I know a lot of people have to pay to get rid of them so it would be possible to find one for free.  However we were anxious to have a complete home for our new ducklings. We also bought a few sedums to plant around the pond for $0.70. Here is what we used and how we built our duck house for practically free.

We had some extra plywood and 2x4s, roll roofing, nails, screws, hardware cloth, paint, a tire, siding, trim, landscaping plastic, and tarps.  Luckily my five year old is handy and does an amazing job hammering nails. He stuck with me helping me for the 3 full days it took us to build it. My preschool daughter assisted as well. It was an awesome lesson about engineering, safety, teamwork,  and budgeting.

First we used plywood with 2x4s as a frame creating the floor and roof. We propped them up with 2x4s for support creating a lean-two. We nailed the 2x4s to the floor and roof. I did most of the hammering for his part because I had to hammer at an angle.

Next I used leftover siding and hammered it on the front. I had to add a few 2x4s inside in the floor and ceiling for extra support. I then painted the siding to match our house and chicken coop with leftover paint.

I used extra roll roofing for the roof. I actually took some from under our chicken coop so it isn't in perfect condition, but I don't think the ducklings will mind. I used extra trim to line the the bottom.

I sawed extra trim to line the front. I used extra white paint to paint the trim to match the house and chicken coop.For the sides of the duck house and I used hardware cloth for ventilation. Ducks need more ventilation than chickens. In the winter I plan to modify this. I might line the hardware cloth with plastic. I hammered plastic on the floor for an easier clean out. The door was made from a frame and hardware cloth fastened with clips.

I used some plastic bins for nesting boxes and sleeping areas. I put straw in the boxes. We found a tote for a swimming pool and created a ramp out of plywood and 2x4s. We took the top of the tote and used as a tray to put their feeder. We quickly discovered that ducklings are messier eaters than chickens. The cover makes for easy clean out.

Finally we made a pond from a tractor tire lined with a tarp. We lined the pond with rocks. This cost us $10 for the tractor tire. We added a few plants that we got for 79 cents.

We are in love with our ducklings. I'm sure we will adjust the setup as time goes on. We are in the process of building a pen to surround the duck house. Stay tuned for our next post on building a duck pen/run.



Monday, August 14, 2017

Can a Duck Drive a Truck in the Muck?

New children's book just released! Available in print and on Kindle!

Bud and Sis explore rhyming in the outdoors. They ask many silly questions and learn about the outdoors and rhyming. This funny interactive story with Bud and Sis is one you don't want to miss.

Get a copy here!