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Backyard Chickens

We have debated on whether to get chickens for about six years. We currently consume about 10 eggs per day so we figured it might be time to give backyard chickens a chance!! We had no prior knowledge about chickens other than what we read on the internet. There are so many varieties it can be a little overwhelming.

We found an ad on craigslist and decided to give it a try. We went to a local chicken breeder and took the plunge. He was a wealth of information and helped us pick out our first flock of 11 chickens. We decided to go with 6 one year old chickens, 2 younger than one year old and 3 chickens that were 3 years old. We wanted to start having eggs right away and didn’t want the hassle of baby chicks.

We are three days into this process and have had 10 eggs laid for us so far. The chickens usually are lower in egg production when you move then and it can take 3 to 5 days to resume normal laying. We also aren’t letting them out in the yard yet to make sure they get accustomed to their home and return at night when we eventually let them out. The funny part is we didn’t give a thought to the dogs and how they would react…. it was eye opening! The chickens are interesting to watch and almost hypnotizing. They are sweet for the most part – I have only been pecked a few times and it doesn’t hurt!

Assuming that the chickens lay around 10 eggs per day our payback period should be about 3.5 months with the cost of buying the chickens, materials for their area and the feed. This is becoming a popular trend and I think I understand why!!!

To Simplify or Not to Simplify?!

This question hounds my very existence some days!  Paxton and myself have a tendency to go all in on just about anything.  This tendency has gotten us into a lot of fun and unexpected situations!  On the other hand, we know it has also cost us in some ways. Obviously, I would not be contemplating this question if we had clones of ourselves or even like minded entrepreneurs like us!!!  Let’s not get carried away though – that is entirely different blog post.

You hear people preaching the simplistic lifestyle is better and that it makes things – well obviously – more simple.  I am just not sure if that is true or if I would be happy with things being more simple.  Simplicity seems to be something that I yearn for, but then right after that thought, I will have another thought to go and buy some more land for a hunting plantation or let’s go find another historic house to go completely restore.  It feels like there are two different perspectives at war within my mind.  I want to get down to the one that is the essence of me or what I would have been without the cultural influences that shape us into something else.  Maybe I should try just simplifying in certain areas – for example, I am going to simplify my schedule or house projects.  The problem is that it seems so unattainable that I am not sure how to start.

We purchased a historic home four years ago this March.  I was in love with the house and had to have it – we were shown the house on Christmas Day!  This house was a massive undertaking – it needed everything updated or painted.  We were running our Moving, hardwood and lawn businesses at the same time – I was also writing articles for a local magazine and teaching yoga classes.  We were eating dinner at midnight and then waking up and doing it again the next day.  We were loving the thrill of getting this house ready and it was a great opportunity that we grabbed.  However, it seems like we are just getting back to the point where we do things that we always did at the other house – simple things like put out weed and feed.  Well that doesn’t seem hard – no it does not, but did I mention that we are in the process of reclaiming two old barns right off our property to rebuild a new barn on our property.  We had a land company come to finish clearing the old pecan orchard and the field looks like a bomb went off in it.  We also had to get the invisible fence extended so the dogs could have more room – the full 8 acres – which meant we had to spend a whole day putting out wire in the woods!  I hope that shed some light on why we have not gotten to the simple things yet, but I feel if we don’t do these things now then when?  When our son is older, we will be more focused on his activities and there will hopefully be other children.  It feels like now or in 30 years to me and who wants to wait for that?

I will keep trying to find that balance in my life and I wish you good luck to do the same!  Please post your comments on how you try to simplify or if you think the complex life is the way to go!

 

Sugar

Sugar is a very controversial subject and it is a very deceiving subject as well.  Growing up most of us consumed refined cane sugar.  There were no other options and, if there were other options, no one had heard of them or even that sugar was HORRIBLE for you!

A few years back, I started breaking out around my mouth and I could not figure out what was going on and why it was happening.  I called the Doctor (I recently had stopped taking birth control and thought it might be a weird symptom) and the nurse told me I probably had acne.  I was appalled that she even suggested such a thing!  I have always had beautiful, healthy glowing skin (the glow was apparently from the birth control though).  Long story short, I found out that my rash was being caused by consuming dairy and refined cane sugar.  At that point, I tried to start cutting dairy and sugar.  Both were more difficult than it should have been to cut out.  It turns out sugar is in everything we consume.  In recent news, a skittle truck turned over.  The skittle truck was headed to the dairy farm to feed the cattle.  This news didn’t shock me, but it did shock my husband.  This is exactly why Americans are having so many healthy issues, because even when we think we are making “healthy” decisions – i.e. drinking milk- we are not!

Take control of this insanity, by checking your labels.  You will have to make some concessions unless you want to make everything from scratch, but you make that choice.  My concession is my sodelicious coconut vanilla coffee creamer.  It has some evaporated cane juice, but I know it is less than I would consume at a Starbucks and I don’t like the taste of the plain with honey or coconut sugar.  It is time we take our health and food choices back into our hands!  Good luck!

Do you have Coconuts in Your Diet?

In November 2012, we starting eating dairy free and stumbled on coconuts as a dairy free alternative. This is one of the best discoveries we could have made for our diet and we want to pass this along to you!

I was amazed when I found out how many health benefits the different coconut products have – just Google coconut health benefits – you will be blown away.

Here are a few of MANY:

  • Helps you absorb calcium better – so good for bones, etc.
  • Heart Healthy
  • Builds a better immune system
  • Good for skin ailments – coconut oil – eczema, dry skin, etc.
  • Weight loss – speeds up metabolism
  • Coconut oil – good for hair
  • Has now been linked with preventing HIV!!!!
  • Natural UV protection – and they are found where that would be needed!!!!
  • Digestion

So that got me thinking why are we not using this more in our society for products and our diet? I think this is finally starting to catch on and you can find more coconut products out there.   One thing that wasn’t included in the benefits is that they are delicious!!! Something that is natural, good for you and yummy – now that is a combination you can’t beat!!

 

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is a very hot topic, especially in the New Year.  There are so many misconceptions on what healthy eating consists of and how to achieve it.  I will try to shed some light on this vast subject in this post.  For many years, we have been lied to by the food industry, about what we are eating and if it was good for us.  I have been trying to eat healthy now for 6 years and I still find myself reverting to old thought processes at times.  This is not an easy task to achieve and it will take TIME!

If the label says, “fat free”, “sugar free”, “light” and a whole host of other misleading things then STAY AWAY!!!  I have even found that you are not 100% safe in the organic section; even though the food is higher quality in that section.  I realized one day that I was being tricked by thinking that there was no sugar in the food I was currently buying. The food companies started using evaporated cane juice, cane sugar, etc. on their labels and we were used to seeing sugar.  If you think about how often the food industry has mislead us it is infuriating.  Even food that should not contain sugar has it added into it, pasta sauce, chips and much more!

What can you do to keep yourself and your family healthy?  Start small is the answer.  Try and find products that are actually good for you and then add them into your diet.  If it is prepackaged then it is most likely not healthy – I have found one exception to that rule – Lara bars.  These are prepackaged and easy, but have a few ingredients.  Look at the labels, if you see sugar or corn syrup in the first four ingredients then toss it!  Try to focus on finding simple foods, if you want a bag of chips, then make sure it doesn’t have sugar in it.   The fewer the ingredients the better!!!! This is not an easy process, but it is well worth your efforts!!!

Welcome

Thank you for visiting my blog!  My name is Jennifer Taylor and I am many things that vary from a wife, mother, yoga teacher, interior designer, business force to be reckoned with, visionary, blogger, investor, historical property restoration expert, event planner, horseback riding lady!  My interests are many and my attention is span better than you would expect!

I love my life and all the possibilities that could be around any corner! My husband and I are a great team and we really play well off each other with our ideas.  We support each other and we are somewhere completely unique, because of that balance!

I look forward to writing about the many things that we are getting up to at the moment and I welcome any feedback or questions!

Love,

Jenn

Time

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

"Do you spend your time doing what you love?"
“Do you spend your time doing what you love?”

Time is a funny thing.  It can go really fast, if you are having fun and preoccupied, or it can go very slow, if your bored or in a spin class racing for 60 seconds!  The important thing about time is to make sure you plan how you are going to use it, if you don’t it might be too late.

Our culture is very busy crazed. Don’t get me wrong I am part of that too, but if we don’t take control of our time and how we use it – we might regret it later.  There are so many different ways to spend your time – if you don’t already know how you enjoy to spend it – figure it out! I am not big into New Year’s resolutions – I think they are silly, but that would be a good one this year!

I love to spend time working and it is very fulfilling. However, I am also busy planning how I will be working 5 or even 10 years from now and it will be working in a different way (that is another blog post – lol).  I also love spending time with my family – my husband of 10.5 years, our 2.5 year old and our 6 dogs.  I love exercising, whether teaching my yoga and Pilates classes, or taking step aerobics, spin, horseback riding lesson or walking our dogs.  I just started taking horseback riding lessons almost a year ago (I did take some months off last summer) and I have really enjoyed it!

You answer to yourself when you look back and have regrets – Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!  Love your life and how you are spending your time.  If you don’t then now is the time to make that change!