Yes, despite the fact that my husband and I argue over whether or not it is actually a weed, we do compromise and let some of it grow. I have reasons why, that I share in the video below, but suffice it to say that the number one reason is of course to 'Save the Monarchs.'
Thank you to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center, Creative Imagery for sharing some of the amazing photos and videos I used.
Click here to learn more about "Saving the Monarch."
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So, we joined a collaboration on YouTube for the first time. This is very exciting for us because it is the first time that we have connected with other homesteads around the world. It is really fascinating to see all the different ways of homesteading there are today. From small homesteads like ours here on Long Island, to really large homesteads with hundreds of acres, everyone is different, but the common theme is the same: they all want to be self sustainable. This is a really big deal today because there is so much dependence upon the world for basic survival that to do it like the pioneers did has become really important to individuals, couples, and families, that only want to depend upon themselves.
In our video below we talk about the homestead we currently live on that is located on Long Island in New York, USA and we talk about the homestead we are currently building in the Adirondack Park of New York for our retirement in a few years!
If you enjoy it and are interested in upcoming videos please subscribe to our YouTube channel "Creating A Simpler Life."
About The Collaboration:
The collaboration was started by two homesteads as a way to connect with other homesteads so that everyone can share what it is like to homestead where they are located because who knows, maybe someone else might want to try homesteading there too! Check out there YouTube channels and their videos below and subscribe if you like what you see!
The collaboration is open to any homestead around the world that wants to make a video and join the playlist. They really want participation from different countries and different states. The more the better! No matter how big or small your homestead is, you can join. You simply need to answer a series of 15 questions (see below) and upload a video to your YouTube account. There are particular ways of titling the video and you will need to reach out to Danny and Wanda and/or Liz to have them share your video on their playlist. You will also need to create your own playlist and add all the other videos that have already been contributed.
Questions To Answer:
No experience making videos? Nobody cares! You can use a cell phone, a camera, or even set up your computer to record. It doesn't matter and it's never too late to try!
Thanks for visiting!
We hope you click the like button and join us on our journey to creating a simpler life now, and for our future retirement in the Adirondacks!
Now that we own 30 acres in a somewhat remote location in the Adirondack Park we started to think about the "what if's." What if someone is on it and gets hurt. What if a snowmobiler goes off the trail. What if someone hunts on it. What if someone goes on it without us knowing.....ugh. There were just too many things to think about so I started to do some research about the laws regarding vacant land, ownership, and trespassing in New York. Of course we wanted to be friendly with our future neighbors, and we certainly wanted the snowmobile club to continue using the trail running through our land but we just didn't know where to start or how to go about posting signs on our land properly. What I found in my research was quite interesting and not what I expected at all.
Here in New York the trespassing laws are controlled by the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) and this is what I discovered:
We Chose To Post...
In New York State, if you choose to post your land, the signs must meet the following requirements:
Since the land was already posted with appropriate signs along the road, we just left them as is and added our name, address, and phone number to the ones we could reach without a ladder.
We also purchased enough signs to post a minimum of every 100' all the way around the entire property. With a border measurement (including both sides the back and the front) of approximately 4,780 feet we purchased 48 signs (they come in 12 packs). We glued the signs to a thick plastic backing as support. It was scrap that we had laying around so that didn't cost us anything.
Since there is a snowmobile trail on our land and we have an agreement with the local club, we also purchased three special signs you see to add to the locations where there are entrances onto our land and at the junction where the trail splits in three directions. We did however add that this was for the 'snowmobile trail' to the signs. Hopefully this works and people respect our property when we are not there.
How We Posted...
We hiked the entire border of the land and posted it! The first half we did with the company of family and then Rich and I finished the rest on our own. This was a great way to get to know and become familiar with the border of our land. We chose rather large trees that looked like they would be around for a while and galvanized nails to post the signs. The signs were posted facing out, away from our property, to prevent trespassers.
Check out our update on our posted signs in the YouTube video below! Please subscribe to our channel too :-)
Products purchased through Amazon (affiliate links):
Check out our other posts about our future homestead!
Thanks for visiting and have a great day :-)
We have bats. I know for a fact because they have literally flown past my head. This mostly happens ad dusk when we are swimming in the pool. The bugs just love to hover right above the surface of the pool so the bats just love to swoop in and "chomp" on them! I don’t mind though. In fact, I am actually thrilled because with all the mosquito born illnesses being discussed on a daily basis in the news we certainly want to get rid of them. So we welcome the bats because, well, they eat this nasty mosquitoes right up!!!
Think about it. Have you ever heard anything good about mosquitos? I certainly haven't. I just 'googled' the question and the only good thing that came up is that they are part of the food web. Yup, they are good food for birds, fish,frogs and, of course, bats! Their purposes on Earth is to be food for other animals. Sort of the bottom of the food web.
So I guess it makes sense that we (humans I mean) do everything we can to either get rid of or to minimize their presence. On a community level they spray neighborhoods regularly where we live. I don't really like this, but even with the spray the mosquitoes are horrible. On a personal level people use all kinds of sprays and lotions, burn citronella candles, buy mosquito zappers, and more. In our yard we make sure there is no standing water, we make natural DIY mosquito repellant (essential oil recipe here), and of course use citronella in lots of places.
And now, we finally have a bat house that holds up to 100 bats! But we are not hanging it at our current house, we are hanging it on our future homestead! Yes, that's right, we have decided to hang the bat house on our land in the Adirondacks. We chose to do this because the summer is when the mosquitoes are the worst and last summer when we were working on the land we were literally eaten alive. So this summer we are hoping to decrease the mosquito population by luring bats in the area where we plan to build our house.
Check out our video on You Tube of How NOT to Hang a Bat House:
What are the benefits of a bat house?
What are the negatives?
Check out our YouTube video about why you NEED a bat house! Please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos!
Buy or build a bat house – some links for plans and some links to buy it
1. Build a Bat house with one of these plans:
- Single Chambered Bat House by Bat Conservation International
- Plans, Tips and More from from the Organization for Bat Conservation
2. Buy a Bat house at this link (same one I have):
- Single Chamber Bat House by Organization for Bat Conservation $49.99
Paint the Bat House:
Depending upon where you live and the average temperatures, the color you paint it will vary. We painted ours black because of our location.
Hanging the Bat House
If You Build it They Will Come....Maybe
"What?" After all that work there is a chance that no bats will move in?
This is true, thats a possibility. So here's how to increase your chances of having bats move in:
Update! We have purchased a new ladder (Gorilla Ladder 22') and relocated the bat house! Check out our new video of us using the ladder to relocate the bat house :-)
Thanks for visiting!
I would love to hear if you have a bat house and how it has worked out for you :-)
Check out our Bats and Bat Houses Pinterest page for more information and tons of other plans and ideas.
This crochet plastic bag dispenser doesn't appear jumbo to start with, but the stitch it is made with will stretch to accommodate hundreds of plastic bags! Well, maybe not hundreds, but definitely tons more than any other plastic bag holder I've ever seen. Look no further for an awesome FREE pattern!
I would consider this pattern to be of medium difficulty due to the fact that you will need to have some basic skills and knowledge to work your way through following the directions for the handle. However, to make it simpler, you could just add the handle completely separately!
Supplies (affiliate links):
Written Directions for Main body:
(pictorial directions and video below)
Finishing the top & Making the Handle:
Video (Pictorial Directions Below):
It will hold a lot of bags!!
Check out all of our other
FREE crochet patterns here!
check out our YouTube channel too!
This was a super simple project to make. It was also probably one of the easiest out of all the projects I did for my daughters wedding last September. Not only that, but I also think it was one of my favorites because it used something that was just literally taking up space in my garage!
I used an old picnic basket to make this DIY Wedding Card Holder, but no worries if you don't have one. You can simply decorate just about any container. Look around and see what containers you have that might work. Do you have an old suitcase? Maybe a small trunk...be creative, think outside the box, and please share your ideas (and pictures) with me!
Check out my how-to video on YouTube:
Materials purchased from Amazon (affiliate links):
- 2" Lace Ribbon
- Green Leaf Ribbon
- 2" Burlap
- Burlap "Cards" Hanging
Note that the flowers were from the dollar store and I used hot glue to secure the burlap, lace, and flowers in place!
Check out more wedding ideas on our YouTube Playlist and on our website at https://www.creatingasimplerlife.com/...
Have a great day!
One of the many projects I completed in anticipation of my daughters wedding day. And what a day it was! Simply perfect in every way :-)
Check out how easy it was to make these little bags of lavender to toss as they walked back up the aisle!
Watch the video below, or scroll down for a pictorial explanation. Supplies list is below the video.
Note that links to products are affiliates which means that if you click on them and make a purchase I receive a small commission for directing you to their site. This does not affect the price of the item it any way. The expense to you does not change.
Thank you for visiting!
Check out our other DIY Wedding and Shower Ideas!
FREE Printable Recipe Cards!
I love parties and I love them even more when I am providing healthy beverages and snacks that are suitable for most, if not all, of the guests! Check out these two party favorites!
WATERMELON PUNCH is a healthy and delicious beverage that is sure to make any party, especially an outdoor summer party, extra special! My daughters mother-in-law made it for the backyard bridal shower last summer and it was an absolute hit with the guests!
The original recipe comes from Rachel Ray who is known for her fabulous, and simple, recipes, however a few minor changes were made. The watermelon was not used as the bowl and the alcohol was not added. Instead, the punch was provided in beverage dispensers (see photo above) and a bottle of rum was on the side to be added if guests chose to spice up their drink! Extra limes and lemons wedges were also included in bowls on the side for added flavor if desired.
Honestly, it was delicious and refreshing with or without the alcohol!
GREEK YOGURT RANCH DIP is a healthier, and in my opinion, better alternative to all other ranch dips because it is high in protein and low in calories. It's made of all natural (preferably organic by choice) ingredients and if you buy a high quality yogurt with live and active cultures it is a giant plus for the digestive system! It can also be eaten by anyone that is lactose intolerant because apparently the good bacteria takes care of any lactose for them. Definitely another bonus for guests, including any lacto-vegetarians!
Print out these two FREE 5x7 Recipe Cards Now!
Simply click on either of the recipe cards below or the link above to download an 8.5" x 11" pdf document. Then simply print it on 8.5" x 11" card-stock paper (affiliate link) and cut them out! I always include two recipes at a time so theres as little paper waste as possible :-)
Thanks for visiting!
Check out our other printable recipe cards and/or
our Weddings & More page for more great party ideas.
I don't know about you, but I spend an inordinate amount of time in my kitchen. Whether it is cooking, baking, or cleaning, I am always doing something in there so if there's a way to make it simpler, then I'm all for it! These are my 'go to' kitchen tools to get it all done!
You can watch this video or skip down to pictures, descriptions and affiliate links to products. P.S. We are sort of following a Plated Recipe for three adults that we doubled so that we could feed five adults instead!
Tool Descriptions & Links
Dexter Knife - This is my favorite knife for everything from cutting fruits and vegetables to cutting meat. It is super sharp and perfect for cutting anything you can think of! Sort of a one-knife-does-it-all that I couldn't imagine not having in my kitchen. Not only that, but it is made in the USA and literally will last forever. For less than $40 I have had mine for over 10 years now so it was, and is, worth every penny! How much simpler can it be to have one knife that does everything? Dexter-Russell V-LO 7-inch Carbon Steal Duo Edge Santoku Style Chef's Knife on Amazon (affiliate link).
Recycled Plastic Cutting Board - I was sick of all those smelly, ugly cutting boards that just did not ever seem clean enough no matter how hard I scrubbed and sterilized it. This one cutting board solved that problem! It cleans up wonderfully, lasts a super long time (much, much longer than wood), can be put in the dishwasher for sterilization, and can be recycled with the company it was purchased from when you are done with it! Less than $20 will get you the best cutting board out there that will last nearly forever! Oh yeah, and it is made in the USA! Eco Smart Cutting Board on Amazon (affiliate link). The one I have is red and my daughter has a beige one...but it is the same company and they all work great!
Garlic Chopper - OMG. I love garlic. I mean love it. But as much as I love it, I hate having to chop it up. Talk about annoying. I solved this problem with this handy little tool....seriously, just pop the clove in, close it up, and roll it around. A few, literally, seconds later you will have perfectly chopped garlic that can easily be added to any meal! Roll it around a little more and you can have minced garlic too! Want to do more than one clove at a time? Then buy the extra large size model. Either way, simply rinse in hot water when done and it's ready for next time! At a cost of under $10, it is worth it just in the time you will save alone. Check out the small size garlic chopper here on Amazon (affiliate link).
Cast Iron Skillet(s) - I use them to cook anything and everything on a daily basis. They will literally last forever, are actually good for your health, and clean better than any non-stick pan I have ever owned! I simply pour some water in immediately after cooking (only for certain foods like eggs), let it sit, and it cleans right out. For less than $50 you will have it for the rest of your life and your children will have it for the rest of theirs too! Read more about My Favorite Skillet here or check out the 11" Cast iron skillet on Amazon (affiliate link) and the 12" Cast Iron Skillet (affiliate link) and if you are going to use these skillets it's a good idea to have the silicone handles shown below so you don't get burned. I have the in both red and black and the color really doesn't matter, however I do prefer the red because at a glance it is easy to know it is there.
Aluminum Baking Pans - These pans are fabulous. I wish someone had told me years ago how great these were. I could have avoided years of using nasty cookie sheets! I use these aluminum pans for roasting any type of vegetable, for cooking chicken, pork shrimp, fish, etc. in the oven. Sometimes I put the meat and the vegetable on the same pan! They are also amazing for baking things like yummy cookies! What makes these pans so particularly awesome is two things. First, they have a lip around the edge so you can add some oil or other sauces with no worries. This is great for cooking the meats and veggies in the oven. But even more importantly, they clean up amazing. Seriously, like new! I won't be needing to replace them. Ever. I don't know what I would do without these great pans. For less than $25 for two bakers half sheets, they are definitely worth it! Check them out on Amazon! I also have the full bakers sheet and depending upon how many people I am cooking for it comes in handy as well!
Extra long handled thin silicone spatula - These let you get to that absolute last drop of anything! Whether you are trying to reach the far corner at the bottom of a container, scrape the last drop out of a bowl, pot or pan, this tool is amazing. An invaluable tool for reaching those hard to reach corners at the bottom of all those jars. Stop going nuts trying to get that last little bit of almond butter or mayonnaise out for under $10! Extra long silicone spatula on Amazon (affiliate link).
Bamboo Utensils - These are a must have for stirring up food in those cast iron pans. You can use plastic or metal, but I prefer bamboo. I don't cook without them! Here is the set of 6 Bamboo utensils that I have (affiliate link).
Thanks for visiting!
We LOVE the Adirondacks and if you've read anything about our Future Homesteading Dreams then you know we have 30 acres in the Adirondack Park that we will be moving to permanently when I retire. We really can't wait...especially for the cold winters where we can ride snowmobiles on the trails that run right through our land! How convenient:-)
But the Adirondacks get cold. Really cold lately. And there are hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails that are very often not within easy walking distance of anyone or anything. And of course it's hit and miss with the cell phones. So I started thinking about safety. My parents are both in their 70's and still out there snowmobiling. Oooh. What if...what if....Nope. Instead of thinking about the 'what ifs' I decided to do something. I made them each a simple 'survival' kit to keep on their snowmobiles.
It's not a perfect kit, but for it's easily portable size it has the basics that could save a life if necessary and that is all that matters to me. Nobody in their right mine goes out there snowmobiling alone anyway. At least they shouldn't :-)
Snowmobile 'Survival' Kit (affiliate links):
Of course these mini 'survival' kits have multiple other uses besides snowmobiling. Depending upon what you add or remove from them they can be suited to fit any activity. I made similar kits for bike riding (straps to the bike), hiking (fits right in the backpack), and for the cars (they fit in the glove box). Each kit is pretty much the same with a few minor differences because who knows? And why not be ready just in case?
What a thoughtful way to show your family how much you love them! God bless and have a wonderful day.
Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life blog. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!