I don’t have to love being pregnant

Overwhelmed and emotional is putting  it lightly. Being pregnant is for some woman and not so for others. I am one who has had both experiences. My first pregnancy was pretty easy. I was working full time in a salon and I was 26 years old. This go around I am 8 years older and my body feels every year. My back, hips, ribs, pelvis, knees, and everything else HURTS!

I am going to be totally honest with y’all; I am done! But I have one little problem. I am only 23 weeks along. Ugh.

How the heck did I do this last time? It’s like you get amnesia about what pregnancy is like so you will have more kids. I truly think a lot of it has to do with my age and how far apart my kids are. Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed to be able to be pregnant and be bringing a new life into this world. My other half is excited to have his first and I can’t wait to meet her. But my body is not grooving this time.

So how do I get through the next 3 months? Good question. I am not working and I take care of the home. I have so many projects I have in mind but keeping a budget holds me back. I thought I could take up sewing, I have always been bad at it and it turns out I am still bad at it. So sewing is a no go. So now I have moved on to making bows. It’s my first girl and I can’t wait to dress her up! I have made a few bows and now I think I have plenty of bows.

Hopefully the weather will come back around and we can have a decent spring. I can get the yard back into shape. Unfortunately I have to take it easy, because everything still hurts. And we have 4 more weeks of school left (thank god) and then I will have to keep my 7 year old entertained too.

While I don’t have any advice for you if you hate being pregnant, I do sympathize with you. If you love being pregnant then I envy you. I did one time too, and I hope I can make the best of these last few months. If you have any suggestions to keep me busy, leave it in the comments below!

~AlanaIMG_1960

My boyfriend still lives in 1999. 

Who still has an old flip phone these days? My boyfriend, that’s who!

I have been dating this amazing man for over 3 years and I still remember the day he pulled that ancient, beat up, old flip phone to take down my phone number so he could call me later and meet up for drinks. I didn’t hold back that giggles when I saw it. The triple button tapping to get to the right letter to spell out my name. It was priceless. Fast forward to present day and he still has that thing!

I have told him for years it is time to trade it in and get a smart phone but he is still holding out. It still works, he says, there is nothing wrong with it, and it is somewhat of a novelty now.

Let me explain to you what happens mid day when he needs a phone number or an address looked up. He texts me…. What do I look like, a phone book? Nope, I just have an iPhone that has access to the the World Wide Web. What a concept right!?

For goodness sake, I am 32 and apart of the millennial age. My 73 year old father has and knows how to work an iPhone. Even my 7 year old some knows how, but he doesn’t have one, yet. But my boyfriend at the age of 35 still had no clue what to do when he messes with my phone.

The day might be near that he turns in that junky thing! He told me yesterday he is going to call and find out if he is eligible for an upgrade. Hahahaha I bet he has been eligible for the last 8 years!

What gets me is that the reason he has finally started to give in to getting a new phone is not for the ability to be apart of the 21st century, but so he can take pictures while he is out hunting. (Place hand on forhead here.) That’s right not for function, but for hunting.

Well at this point I will take it. I will take whatever reason he wants to say just to get him up to speed with the world. Fingers crossed that he goes through with it. At this point I would not be surprised if he brakes down and gets a Polaroid camera instead.

~Alana

Girls Who Hunt!

The mission: to find exactly what I want and more importantly, what I NEED for the upcoming hunting season.

I love hunting and have been doing it for the past 3 years. I have tired a few different brands of clothing and gear over the years and I definitely have my favorites. One of my favorite people to look up to in the woman’s world of hunting is Eva Shockey. She is the leading lady in the movement for girl who hunt. She is quite the role model for young girls and even us 30 somethings.
I live in Oregon and  as you probably have heard, it rains here. A LOT! So the right gear is incredibly important to stay warm and dry. My hunting season starts in October and goes into November. Some days are just absolutely breathtaking and mesmerizing. Some days are just fucking miserable with wind and rain coming down. But the weather will never stop me. Outfitting for the weather is key to not being miserable. I learned that my first season out. I was wearing Cabela’s Her Outfit and it was meant for cold weather but was not water proof. It was only wind proof. My matching jacket and pants absorbed every little drop of water and I was walking around like stuffed teddy bear for miles with an extra 10 pounds. If I bent my arm, it looked like I was ringing out a dish rag. From that day forward I have been on a mission to have the RIGHT GEAR!
But is is not that easy. I have looked in every store, all the websites, and every link. Its not easy finding the right stuff. I get that it is a predominantly male sport and passion, but us girls who hunt are still out there. And we want functional, well fitting gear! So here is a list of things I have tried, how I rate them, and my wish list!

First thing first- MY FAVORITE BRAND: Under Armour! I am obsessed with UA in my daily life and it also runs into my gear. I just cant get enough.
My other favorite brand is Columbia! I am one lucky girl too, my mother-in-law works for Columbia and I am “on the List” for the employee store and get HUGE discounts! Love it!

What I have and what I LOVE:
Under Armour Sent Control Early Season Speed Freak Pants– The most comfortable pants I have ever owned! I would ware these every day if I could get away with it. They are lightweight but on cold days I layer stretchy pants under them for warmth. They are slightly water resistant and have well placed side pockets with zippers for goodies.
Under Armour Heat Gear Evo Camo Shirt– Again, if I could live in this shirt, I would! Well made and fits so nice. It makes you feel like a girl, not just a girl wearing your boyfriends camo shirt.
Columbia Conspiracy Razor Outdry Sneakers– These are waterproof and really comfortable shoes. I use them for hiking and daily wear. I like them when I go out in the morning and the dew on the grass will stoke through any other shoes but not these!
Under Armour Brow Tine Boots– The most bad ass boots you will ever wear! Hands down The best birthday present I ever got! They are warm, waterproof, and so so comfortable. I don’t only wear these hiking, I also wear them riding. I love the extra support for the ankle.
Under Armour Storm Jacket– The link is for the men’s jacket, what do you know, I cant find it in woman’s fit. Again, UGH! I found this jacket at the UA outlet store and I snagged it up in the middle of summer but I new that this was the one! for over a year I have been looking for the pants that go with it and I have come up short every time. I found them one time in a XXL and that wont fit, so still no luck. If you ever find them, tell me when, where, and link it to me ASAP!

Favorite Store: Cabela’s! Who doesn’t love Cabela’s? We finally got one here in the Portland Metro  aria and it is the best place to go shopping. But…. The selection for the ladies is not what it should be. There are about 3 kinds of full Outfit Her gear, it is Cabela’s brand. I like it but I have invested in UA. Its almost September and it is all gear for deep winter. I don’t need deep winter! We go to Mt Hood for snow. I need rain gear! So I mingle over to the UA gear, of course. They only carry sweatshirts and yoga pants and one pair of overalls that are only water resistant. UGHHH I cant take it any more!!!!

Tell me what you love! Tell me where you shop! Tell me what brands and gear you cant live without!

291678_471796806181221_4900566_oThis blog is to help you find gear that I feel works the best for me. I am not affiliated with UA or Cabela’s in any way. I am just a fan. The links you see will help you shop for MY favorites. Help spread the word that woman NEED more hunting gear for all weather for function and style, not just for fashion.

~Alana

 

Where did the summer go??

WOW! Summer has blown by me! I have had so much fun, tried new things, relaxed with the best of them, started new adventures, and have been incredibly creative.

IMG_0034I am looking through pictures right now and each and everyone of them have brought a smile to my face. One of the first events we went to when school let out was a dirt track race in Banks, Oregon. They race modifies, miniatures, and all kinds of crazy loud and fast cars. Its called Sunset Speedway. But we went on a particularly fun night, it was Kids Night! Every kid was given a raffle ticket and there were about 35 bikes to put your ticket with for a chance to get it. My son, IMG_0038Cody, put his in a blue and white Ambush bike.
Here he is waiting for the announcer to call the winners. And guess what….. HE WON!!!! I was over the moon jumping up and down for him! I could not believe he won a bike! We have rode that bike almost every day this summer and even took it on a camping trip. There have been no shortage of rubber to the ground for Cody
We got ourselves a library card and have been checking out IMG_0047Teacher from the Black Lagoon books. And My personal favorite was Robo-Sause by Rubin Salmieri. You are in for a fun treat with this book because something happens to your book at the end!

Our chickens are growing fast and have truly become our family this summer. They follow us around in the yard, chase after Cody
when he runs back and forth, they have stopped cheeping and have started clucking. I hang out with them and they are all ways gathered around me.

IMG_0075I have prepped the nests for our first egg! But no luck yet. I check every day. I don’t know what I should do with the first one? Some say blow out the yoke and keep it and others say down the hatch! I still don’t know yet.

Fathers day was a blast because my other half and I got to take our dads bass fishing. We took out the boat to the Willamette River and floated down for a 5 hour trip. My dad had not been fishing for about 4 years and there was not a minute of IMG_0122our trip when he was not casting out the line.

We all slammed the fish that day! We made fun little tackle boxes for The Dads and I made custom stickers with my Cricut for the fronts of them. It was one of the best Father days I have ever had! My parents lived 2000 miles away for most of my adult life and to share the experience like this was a treasure.

The month of June is also the birthday month for my son! 7 IMG_0157years old!!! WHAT THE… Ya he is 7 now. I still have a hard time saying he is second grade. We got him a swing set for the back yard, you know the ones that are wood and look really nice and come in a bazillion parts and peaces. One of those. And guess who got to put it together? (Two thumbs…) This Girl and her dad.

Conveniently My other had, Andrew had side jobs and other
things planned and was unable to help out. Granted we had a window of 2 days that Cody would be away. But after reading the IMG_0171instructions that make you feel like putting a key in the door is hard, rain (it is Oregon) and many blank stairs and laughs. Dad and I got it up!

Cody was so excited and loves that he has a place of his own and a “tree house” to play in. Having the space to do this is incredible. I have been in mostly apartments while I have raised Cody and THIS gift felt like I was telling him, baby we are home, even though we have been here for some time now.

Last but not least was the birthday parties. We had one with his friends from school and one with all the family. We took the easy rout and booked one of those bounce places that has kids running every witch way and is a petri dish for new viruses. But when it comes to the kids having fun and this mam gets to watch the fun and I don’t have to clean up, I am in! We also had a BBQ with the family the next day making burgers and hot dogs. All the cousins playing in the back yard, playing video games, and going swimming at the neighborhood pool was the highlight of the day. We even got to play Corn Hole and I built the boxes! But that will be another blog. I will tell you how later.

I will end this long story with the first picture I ever took of my son and present day. I love him to the moon and back. No, I love him to the galaxy and back. No, I love him to everywhere and back!! (Inside joke for us)

This was just the month of  June. To be continued.

So tell me what is happening in your last days of summer!!

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Planning a Chicken Coop

img_9955
Have you ever looked at a house and thought; that would look adorable if it was miniature?
Ya, me neither… But that has all changed ever since I brought home three baby chicks.I originally planned to build my chicken coop on my own time because I have more time for a project like this then my boyfriend. So I started looking at all kinds of coops that were out there. Some were simple boxes, others made out of old dressers, ones you can buy ready to build, and then the ones that look like mini mansion.
After much deliberation and the offer from the man of the house to build me a coop as a gift for our anniversary and Mother’s Day, we have chosen to build a mini mansion. I know it sounds crazy! But it’s going to be so cute. And of course I wanted to share the process with you all.

We started out with a set of plans I found through looking on the inter webs. We have made some changes to it to fit our needs and wants, but the over all structure is about the same.

~~~Here are some links to products I use with my chickens : Chicken Feeder, Water Feeder (its for dogs), cat pooper scooper, chicken scratch, and chicken treats. These are only suggestions and what I have used. I plan on doing water nipple system and getting Grandpas Feeder in the future. ~~~

We needed a few things to be just right when it came to making a permanent home for the ladies. First we live in Oregon and it rains here, A LOT! So it had to be water proof. We do not get snow, except for a day or two in the winter. Insulation was not needed in our case. We also wanted a run that would be enough room for the ladies to play and hang out in when we are not at home. And lastly, but most importantly we needed it to be safe!

After determining a list of what we needed to get, our first of many trips to the hardware store began…..

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We started off by building the base and the floor of the coop. We did this on the patio to help us keep everything strait and square. Next I took some time and made sure that the place we are going to have the coop was level. I used a laser level to make sure I got all 6 feet of the coop were level.

The framing went up next, mapping out our door and window. We made one of the walls into an enter door so i could get in the coop for deep cleaning when needed. (That is the wall sitting on the ground.) We then moved the coop over to a place that is under a very large and shady tree. Figuring out the roof peek was a mater of tail and error but we got it pretty quick. We put the roof peek together with L brackets and a 2×4 down the center. As you can see there is even a covered porch!

After all the framing was complete we used sheeting to finish the walls and the roof. The boys then wrapped the house and roof in tar paper. It is an extra insurance that all will be dry in our wet winters in Oregon.

The egg box was another one of those things were we figured it out as we went. Coming up with a neat hing system that will be easy to gather eggs and also able to secure it. At this point we have been working on the coop (off and on) for about 3 weeks. We got the siding put up. We used the easy sheets of prefabbed siding. Up it went and like magic, it looked like a house!

The run also went up. For the run we dug post holes and berried the posts. The chicken wire was then berried in the ground about 10 inches to keep out critters. And as soon as I could, I got to work painting!

There are tons of small details you have to think about when building a coop. Lucky for me I have a really handy man. He made this all possible. I am handy as well but he was the main brains and muscle on this beautiful home. We moved in the girls after I put sand on the ground and coop as litter. They seem to be really happy. Its been almost a week since they moved in.

Follow along as I fine tune and make their home perfect with DIY projects!

~Alana

 

The Adult College Life #SchoolDayz

It’s coming to the end of another term and the work load is getting big! I mean big! Spring term is always the most stressful for me because it is not only my school that is wrapping up but also the kiddos.

I have written 3 papers today, alone. I am brain dead. Hahaha and now I am here writing another…. But that’s ok, it’s a little ME time! I still have 7 more papers to write over the next 8 days! That’s not including the tests and final tests. Can you say OVERLOAD!!

I know that sounds like a ton of stuff to have in a short amount of time and at first I bet you thought I procrastinated and just put it off. But that is not the case here. I have kept on a diligent schedule. but even with that, I feel overwhelmed.

I am not stressing. Trying not to stress. Ok I might be stressing a little. But I will take a deep breath and know that I will get it all done, one way or another.

As I sit here by the window watching my little chicks eat and play, the sun is shining, I want to go pull weeds out of my garden, and my son is begging me to go to the pool (but it’s not warm enough), this is the stress of spring term.

It’s totally different now as an adult going to school. 10 years ago I was planning on what party I was going make an appearance at, what camping trips to take, making sure I was already on the check list of people who were boarding the boat, and figuring out what concerts were playing. That is not what I am doing today.

Today I am making our house a home, planning activities to keep my almost 7 year old boy entertained all summer long, (I am still) planning camping trips, arranging birthday parties for kids, and figuring out who to call for play dates in 2 months when the fun of summer wears off and boredom sets in.

It seems like a world away. But I would not change it for anything. Work hard, play harder. Family is everything and being with family makes the rainiest days shine bright.

~Alana

 

My Little Etsy Shop

I have a little Etsy shop called Ms Jean Designs and I have been in business for one year now. I wanted to share with you my space and what I do.

I have one main focus in my store, words. Inspirational, uplifting, and funny words all the way down to one letter monograms. But I have two ways to use those words. There are stainless steel hand stamped jewelry and there is hand painted wood signs. I know they don’t really go together but I truly love doing both of them and could not choose to pick just one.

I know many forums will say to only have one type of product on your Etsy page, but how can I choose between what I love making??? I guess you can say I’m a rebel. I have always loved to create art, make crafts, and work with my hands. Painting and jewelry making started to be more serious to me when I was in college and I never let it go. I learned about metal jewelry from a class I took in school. They had us bring in all of our coins and we would flatten, sadder, and stamp them. Painting became an outlet for me when I first started struggling with depression. A canvas and a paint brush turned into my therapy.

Below is only half of my work space, the other half is in the garage. Where I cut, sand, and stain the wood. Its a mess in there right now, as any garage is if you are using it right. Some of my best sellers are the Inspirational Bar Necklace, Class of 2016 Key chain, and the Mind Your Own Biscuits sign. Olivia has the Nautical Set in her nursery!

  This is my space. I was able to build it slowly piece it together to be exactly what I like.

  I try to keep most of my signs in stock to help with processing time. But some are originals, like the sun burst painting. And you will notice some props from my store pics.

  Paint brushes, tools, and pins are kept in mansion jars. They’re cute and practical.

 Many kinds of stamps and tons of fonts to choose from, the handwritten is my favorite.

Thanks for checking out my space! I would love to see your space! Comment below with a picture or tell me about it!

~Alana

 

First Time Chicken Mom

 

I have three new babies! They don’t call me mom, yet. They just chirp at me, but I still have hope.

This past week has been all about planning. I brought home my little baby chicks on Monday and before they came home I made a happy home for them inside a plastic tote. Overall it is simple place with only the necessities like bedding, food and water dishes, and a small dowel for them to learn to roost. Because I have a cat named Kitty, she can be questionable at times, I sawed out with a mini hack saw the middle section of the lid then adhered wire mesh to it. I did this to assure Kitty would not be able to move the lid or meshing off or in the tote when I was not looking.


My ladies need to stay warm while they are still so young. (only 2-3 weeks old) For heat I have rigged up a heat lamp that I can adjust in height. I don’t like leaving the thermometer in the tote with them so I just check the temp when I spend time with them. I read that chickens will peck anything that is red and will even peck at each other. This is true and why I don’t leave the thermometer in there.


I have taken on these birds for 2 reasons. First I want the fresh eggs. Second is we wanted another pet. The eggs wont starting arriving for another 4-6 months and I am looking forward to that. I have a couple Americana and one Silver-Laced bird that will produce blue/green eggs and brown eggs.

I want to worn those thinking that a cute chick would be perfect gift for their kids; they do not stay cute and fluffy for long. Chickens need to be in flocks in 3 or more birds. Daily feeding, watering, and cleaning of the border box (tote) is a priority. I have been planning the build for the outdoor coop that will be in the back yard and I am not going to sugar coat this, IT IS GOING TO COST YOU! They are going to have 4×4 coop and a 4x 8 run. This is some serious restate in your backyard. And when they are in the coop, it will be a daily choor to care for the coop and the chickens.

I hope you follow me along the way of raising my beautiful baby chick! I will be blogging how I plan and build and make a happy home for my little ladies. If you have any questions, comments, or tips you would like to share, please do so. I would love to learn all I can!

Baby Chicks Have Arrived

The past few days we have been preparing for our baby chicks to arrive! After school got out, we went and picked them up. Cheep cheep cheep cheep is all we hear now. My son has fallen in love with them and so have we.


After hanging out with the ladies we did figure out their names. We have Viva, Gloria, and June. This is our first time ever having chickens and I have been reading every blog I come across with how to do, what to feed, how to care, and everything in-between.
The chirping is starting to settle down as we all get used to each other and they finally take a nap. They hare happy and warm in a plastic tote I conformed for them to be a temporary home until they get their feathers and I build a coop!! Soon I will post how I put together their tote and later I will show you the build of the coop.
Do you have chickens? How many? What are your tips and advice for this new chick mama? I would love to hear what you have to say.

~Alana

Simple First Foods for our Babies

Store bought baby food – it’s OK but is there a better way?  Yes!  And I promise it’s easy.

Think about it this way, mother’s for centuries have been feeding their babies without the commercialized containers of baby food you can buy just about anywhere.  It’s only been since the 1930’s that convenient pre-made baby food was on the market.  Now I’m not downing the cute little containers of baby food.  I have bought plenty and will continue to buy some.  But now I know how easy and awesome it is to make your own in 4 steps!

  1. Clean the food    2. Steam the food    3. Puree the food    4. Store the food

After washing and peeling the fruit or veggies, chop into 1/2 inch chunks.  Place in a cooking pot with enough water to come half way up the good.  Place a lid and steam the chopped good until it is soft.  If it is not steamed long enough then the good will be chunky- fine for an older baby but not for first foods. 

 The water from steaming the fruits or veggies is full of nutrients – don’t throw it out. Use it to help smooth the food to the correct consistency for your baby.  Place steamed food and water in a blender and pulse several times to purée until you have the right texture for your baby food.  It never hurts to go a little smoother rather than chunky.  

Let the good cool.  Once it is cooled, pour it into a plastic sandwich baggie with the corner cut out.  Squeeze puréed food into the ice cube containers.  Cover and freeze.  

Once frozen, pop the individual good portions out and store in a freezer bag.  

Enjoy the process- have fun!  Taste the food and be proud of what your babe is eating!

If you have access to a baby food maker then all the better.  It will combine a few of the steps for you.  I was talking to my neighbor about making baby food and she offered to let me use her Cuisinart baby food processor.  I was a little skeptical and nervous about it not working out.  what is it’s too chunky or what if he doesn’t like it…  But I’m here to tell you that it’s awesome and I will continue making my babe’s food.   Since then I have made two more batches – Pears and Carrots.

When he is ready for his meal I pull out a portion of food and thaw.  If he’s really hungry – I can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Enjoy!  Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions, tips or tricks!

Olivia