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Pumpkin Farms and Pumpkin Carving!

Pumpkin Farms and Pumpkin Carving!

In honor of Halloween I thought I would post some pictures from our pumpkin farm visit and pumpkin carving extravaganza. We have been going to the pumpkin farm with the same group of friends for the last five years and our kids love this tradition! […]

A Not So Brief Hiatus

A Not So Brief Hiatus

About eight months ago I took a break from blogging. There were many reasons, the most pressing being a complete utter lack of time while trying to maintain balance with both Mr. Oscoey and I working full-time with small kids. To say it was difficult […]

Happy Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary!

One Year of Blogging Done!

 

Last weekend was the one year anniversary of Oscoey. I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone! I have learned a lot about blogging over the past year and gotten to know many fabulous bloggers as well.

 

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Huckleberries in the garden.

 

When I first started out blogging with my very first blog post:

 

Welcome!

 

I had all sorts of ideas of what I wanted the blog to be and then the reality of life set in and I had to way scale back my ambitious plans.  There simply was not time for me to be posting quality posts 3 days a week, be on top of social media all day long and be an active member of all the blog groups I am part of and have some semblance of a home life. Luckily I realized pretty early on that it is ok if I can’t write an article for a few weeks or if I miss out on pivotal twitter discussions because I am not doing the blog as a full-time business making gig. I am doing it because I enjoy writing about our life and I love the community of people I have become a part of.

 

Raspberry Jam!

 

My blog first started out as a basic mom blog with many posts about the garden and recipes. I loved my weekly garden posts and will continue them on a less frequent basis this year. I love looking back at how the garden changed over the growing season.  I am probably going to scale back on the recipes though. Mr. Oscoey is more the cook in the family and now that I am working again I really don’t have time to cook much any more.  I use my banana bread and chocolate chip cookies recipes all the time though. They are a great dairy and gluten free choice for any sort of social gathering you need to bring an item to.  I am planning on making my dairy and gluten-free banana bread to bring with a jar of homemade jam to our work potluck at the end of this month.

 

Summer squash.

 

I have spent a little time focusing on urban homesteading on Oscoey because I firmly believe that people should grow at least a little of their own food. It is easy to set out a pot and even just grow a little bit of lettuce. Connecting with nature and understanding the seasons is something a lot of people have lost. Growing your own food is the easiest way to regain that connection and as an added bonus you have cheap organic produce to munch on! I am very excited to start our garden this year and I look forward to spending time out there with the kids every day. They love to graze and eat whatever is in season and that is fine with us!

 

Blue skies.

 

After I had done the mom blog thing for a while and focused on our little urban homestead I found the personal finance community and I haven’t really looked back. I love reading about personal finance, talking about savings strategies and getting inspiration from others. I will be honest and tell you I was a little nervous when I added the “Finances” category to the top of my page but then I did the Uber Frugal Month Challenge this January and I loved being a part of that community and jump starting our frugal mindset once again.

 

Wrinkly full picture off of the frame. 3/30/17

 

My crossstitching progress pictures seem to have fallen by the wayside…and that is mostly because I have not been stitching.  I would love to have the time to stitch every day and I am very inspired by my Instagram feed with everybody’s progress but I am honestly too tired at the end of the day to even think about picking up a needle.  This picture was taken almost a year ago and even though I have actually made progress on the piece I am no where near finished with it like I had hoped.  I also have several sewing projects I would love to write about that I have not worked on in months so I think one of my blogging goals for this year is to talk about some of my projects and spend some time tracking them on a weekly basis to motivate me to finish them.

 

Oscoey had a great first year! I want to thank everyone that is a regular reader of the blog! I love your comments and interacting with you. Here’s hoping to another great year of blogging!

 

 

 

An Overview of Meal Planning

An Overview of Meal Planning

Meal Planning to Save Time and Money   I have heard of the wonderful idea called meal planning many times over the past few years and every time I read a post about it I love the idea of having all of our meals planned […]

Going back to work after being a Stay at Home Mom

Going back to work after being a Stay at Home Mom

Going Back to Work   Three weeks ago on a Monday marked a new day in the Oscoey household. For the first time in over three years I am no longer a stay at home mom. I went back to work and the next few […]

February 2018 State of the Garden

February 2018 State of the Garden

February State of the Garden

 

I thought I would take some time today to show what is happening in the garden before spring officially is here. Spring is coming fast and now is a good time to get the garden ready for planting and finish cleaning up any debris left over from winter storms. We are way behind on our garden work this year and I did not get around to mulching the vegetable beds last fall but now that we are getting over the massive amounts of sickness that invaded our house this past winter we are able to get outside and get started! Some of our plants seem to think that spring is coming early and started to bloom and grow last week right before the cold snap over the weekend. I am hoping our early bloomers will not be too badly damaged!

 

This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves.We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

Early Bloomers

 

Primrose
Primroses are flowering!

 

Flowers Blooming

 

I forget what these flowers are but they have already started to bloom. Last year this plant took a hit with an aphid infestation but it seems to have come back very well and I am hoping it will be much healthier this year. This is part of the side yard plantings that the previous owners installed that I really like although they are starting to encroach on the path and will probably need to be cut back next year.

 

Slugs

 

slug in the garden
Slugs in the garden.

 

It was very warm earlier this week and while the kids and I were walking around we found this little slug crawling out from some succulents. Slugs are a huge pest in our vegetable garden every year and we go on slug patrol most mornings in the spring to help clear them out.

 

Firewood chopping!

 

fire wood pile
Fresh chopped fire wood!

 

My husband has been hard at work this winter chopping fire wood out of the trees we had removed last fall. We need to find a place to stack it but there is so much we will have to build some sort of structure.  The wood is still pretty green so we won’t be able to use it until next fall but I love having a bunch stock piled for next year!

 

Mulch pile
Mulch Pile

 

Sadly the mulch pile is only about half way spread. I am unable to spread it when I am alone with the kids and we have been so busy I haven’t really been able to work on it. I am hoping to have it finished by the end of March but we have reached a point where trips to spread it take longer and longer so it will take quite a bit of effort to get it to the lower back yard. I really want it out of my driveway though!

 

Volunteer Carrots

 

carrot seedling
Volunteer carrots!

 

I was taking a peek into the vegetable beds and I found a few volunteer carrots popping up! I am really excited about them because we did not have much luck with carrots last year so maybe if they come up on their own they will grow better. I won’t be planting in that bed for a couple of months so there is plenty of time for them to grow!

 

Before and After Hydrangeas

 

Hydrangea bush
Hydrangea bushes in hibernation.

 

Our hydrangea bushes are still in the stick phase. They make such a dramatic change once the leaves start to grow that I thought I would include a picture of them for a before and after shot. These bushes completely take over the space and form a nice cave in between for the kids to play in.

 

Snow!

 

Snow
Snowy February morning.

 

Of course the day after I took all of these fabulous early spring pictures the temperature dropped and it snowed! We only got an inch or so in the grass but it was enough for the kids to play in it a little bit. I am really excited for the weather to warm up a bit so we can start planting our vegetables! I am starting our peas this week and figuring out when to start our squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers. We will buy tomato starts and direct sow our green beans, radishes, lettuce and carrots later this spring. We probably won’t plant much more this year to keep the garden manageable.

 

What exciting plans do you have for your garden this year?

 

Indoor Seed Starting Resources

Indoor Seed Starting Resources

Indoor Seed Starting Time   It is that time of year again when I start to think about what seeds I need to start indoors. This is our third year gardening at our house and the second year for us starting seeds indoors. Last year […]

Some Thoughts on End of Life Planning

Some Thoughts on End of Life Planning

I have been taking a break from the blog the past week or so and just been interacting a little bit on Twitter. I thought I would stop in and talk a little bit about end of life planning. One of my close relatives is […]

Uber Frugal Month January 2018 Wrap Up!

Uber Frugal Month January 2018 Wrap Up!

We have come to the end of our Uber Frugal Month Challenge and we were pretty successful! We kept to our super low grocery budget, were mindful about our purchases and had some great discussions about where we want our life to head and what we need to do to get us there. Even though we had an expensive month with a hot water heater replacement and unexpected car repairs we were still within budget on the expenses we were focusing on.

 

Homemade meatballs, homemade hummus, crackers and salad.

 

One of our main focuses this month was our food. I am sure that if you have been following my posts on Instagram and Twitter displaying some of the meals we have eaten that we tend to eat the same thing over and over again.  That is one of the ways we save money. We bought a huge chunk of pork from Costco and my husband broke it down and made several things out of it including breakfast sausage, garlic meatballs, and what we call basic cooked pork which is pork cooked in a pan with salt and pepper. Basic cooked pork is very versatile and you can add it to all sorts of dishes such as salads, burritos, over rice, in sandwiches and anything else you could think of. We also ate much healthier this month with many vegetables and more vegetarian meals which I am proud that our meat-loving family was able to do with very little fuss. Our goal was to spend $500 on groceries for January and we ended up spending $430.36! We did this without creating a large deficit in our pantry either and made sure to stock up on our basics as we ran out of them.  Too many people fall into the trap of cutting way back on groceries one month and then over spending the next because they run out of basics.  We will probably need to buy a few such as rice, flour and more vegetables next month but we are not out of “everything” so we should still be able to keep within our budget.  Yay!

 

Apparently our son needed “face paint” in the form of stamp ink all over his body.

 

One of the things we also did to be Uber Frugal was to cut back on our outings from the house that cost money. This was pretty easy for us since our kids spent most of the first half of January miserable with colds but it did lead to some mischief making due to antsy children. We did purchase a membership to the Pacific Science Center which we will be using regularly and will give us a discount on summer camps but for us the $140.00 over the course of a year was well spent. Sundays there is free parking and we always pack a lunch so the cost per visit if we go only 6 times this year will be less than $25 for our family of four (oldest will have to use free guest passes when she is in town) which comes out to a little over $5 per person which isn’t bad at all. The more we go the better the deal too!

 

Outgrown clothes off to another Buy Nothing member.

 

When we were doing the Uber Frugal Month Challenge we noticed that we spent quite a bit of money on clothes last year so part of our focus this month was to reduce that. We were able to score some brand new thick leggings for our daughter and a bunch of clothes for our son in the next size up from our local Buy Nothing group.  We also passed on some clothes that our kids have outgrown and other household items that we no longer needed.  I am a huge fan of the Buy Nothing Project! We have both given and received some awesome items from the group. Our group has bonded quite a bit and there was even a meetup this month for group members that we missed but I am super excited to make the next one.

 

The view on my weekly walk with a friend.

 

Another frugal activity I participated in was walking this month. I have a friend that I walk with pretty regularly but we had gotten out of the groove with the holidays and sick kids. We made an extra effort this month and were able to meet almost weekly for our 2+ mile walk through a nicer neighborhood with plenty of gorgeous views. Fitness is a huge part of being frugal because when you are unhealthy it will cost you more in health expenses.  Walking is a great free activity and it also gets you out getting to know your neighborhood.

 

Tulips coming up in the garden.

 

My biggest takeaway from this month’s challenge was how creative being Uber Frugal made us.  We ate some interesting meals and had great fun thinking outside our box with taking the kids for a walk in the rain, reducing our clothing spending and figuring out how to reach our financial goals on paper.  We were previously stuck in a spending rut and this month’s challenge was an awesome way for us to get out of it.  I am excited for all of our frugalness next month and to see how it will change our spending over the long term.

 

How did the Uber Frugal Month change your habits?

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Week 4

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Week 4

We are entering our final days of the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge and it has been a great refresher for us to get back into our frugal habits. I am finally caught up on all of the emails and they really made us think […]