Heartland Roasters Review and Giveaway

18 Apr

Well friends, I’m hosting the last giveaway for my “5 Bags Up for Grabs” coffee giveaway from Heartland Roasters. I have to tell you, as the bags were leaving one-by-one, I found it a little hard to pry my fingers off each and every bag. This coffee smells so incredibly good…and guess what? It tastes even better!

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Let me tell you how this giveaway all began. I was searching for products that I love that I could offer to my readers. If you know me well, you know that coffee and chocolate are my weakness. I live in the “Heartland” here in Oklahoma on a ranch, and I wanted to find a great coffee company to work with so I could host a review and giveaway for someone local. I stumbled upon a site and realized they were in the same area as I was! How cool is that?!

So here begins the giveaway story….

I contacted the owner of Heartland Roasters about my idea on a giveaway featuring his coffee. I have to say, he has been fantastic to work with. Not only did he supply me with bags to giveaway, but he was generous enough to provide 5 bags for my readers. AWESOME!

I was given samples to try myself and the flavors were the same as the giveaway bags. Creme Brulee, Snickerdoodle, the Secret Blend, Irish Cream and my favorite in the whole wide world: Caramel Macchiato. The winners of these bags have stayed in contact with me and fully agree that this is some GOOD coffee!

Here’s a little background story on how Heartland Roaster came to be: (taken from their site)

“Heartland Roasters is owned and operated by 3 friends in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. After home roasting coffee for many years as a way to share quality, specialty coffee with friends and family, we finally decided to make a longtime dream come true. An opportunity allowed us to acquire a 1985 GN-12 Probat-Werks roaster handcrafted in West Germany. After finding a suitable location on a ranch, we relocated the roaster to Green Country (thanks for your help Dad) to start roasting great coffee!”

That was what attracted me to Heartland Roasters….they had a dream and went for it! And…..there was a ranch included so you know…I’m partial to that!! Now, back in the day, when I drank coffee there was a whole lot of sugar and a whole lot of milk involved. I don’t think it could be considered coffee after I attacked it with enough cream and sugar to supply a bakery with. I often would get asked if I wanted coffee with that sugar….but I was cool….I drank coffee…..I was young…..and had a constant sugar rush……..and look out….the crash afterwards was not pretty…..

But today, I’m an “add a dab of butter (yes……butter….Kerrygold grassfed butter to be exact) and a splash of cream and I’m good” kind of gal. But guess what? With my Heartland Roasters coffee, most was drank just black…I graduated….my dad will be proud to hear this!

Hearltand Roasters coffee is without a doubt, on my “favorites” list. Their prices are very reasonable, and the bags they use work as a great gift! I’m using them for birthdays, Christmas, and all the in-betweens. They would make excellent hostess gifts too! (Or…how about a gift for a new dad? My sweet baby niece was born this weekend….I’m on “all things baby” mode.)

I asked a few of the winners of the previous 4 bags of coffee how they would describe the flavor they received.

EmmaLee won the “Irish Cream” bag and said it is “Bold and flavorful! Nice roast and I like the Irish Cream taste!”

Erika mentioned this about the Secret Blend, “It was yummy goodness with the perfect flavor and hint of sweetness, no cream or sugar needed!”

Please visit the Heartland Roasters website and check out all the wonderful coffee they have to offer! They have Signature Blends, Roastmaster Selections and even offer the Heartland Club, that delivers monthly coffee to your door!

They also have a Facebook page, please visit!

I’m currently hosting the givewaway for bag #5 of their coffee! It’s Snickerdoodle…and it’s divine! Please enter and help spread the word!

You can find the giveaway here.
Good luck!
Love,
The New Farmer’s Wife

Potato Nachos

8 Apr

Our weekly meal plan is usually very simple and pretty routine. We are a Paleo family, and I generally stick to the same recipes (just for…..ease?? Or maybe it’s a little bit of laziness on my part). Pinterest can be too overwhelming some days when I have 4 little ones that won’t let me even go to the bathroom alone….for some reason the thought of creating a work of art food I found on Pinterest makes me tired just thinking of it.

We usually have “Steak Roast”, Sloppy Joes, Meatloaf, a soup of some sort, Steak and Brown Gravy, Taco Salad, and leftovers of the just listed items, all with sides of either potatoes (peeled….no eating of peeling allowed here from veggies, fruit or otherwise…ha!), sweet potatoes, rice, roasted carrots or broccoli.

The other day I was craving nachos. Just out of nowhere…..nachos became an obsession. “Give me nachos”…..”Must eat nachos”…..”Can’t survive another day without nachos”…I don’t know why I had this sporadic moment of nacho obsession taking over my life, but I did and I dealt with it. I made my version of “Potato Nachos”…and guess what? It worked! And, the kiddos even liked it. Score!

Peel (PEEL…..PEEL those veggies and fruit….just trust me…..more on that later) several potatoes and slice them. I used about 6 medium potatoes. Toss them in some extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on your roasting pan.

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I used my convection oven, and heated it to 450 degrees and cooked the potatoes “about” 30-40 minutes.

While your potatoes are cooking, brown up 2 pounds of beef.

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Once your beef is cooked, you’ll need to add some spices. I’ve posted my taco salad seasoning recipe  here.

Get those flavors in that beef and simmer for a few minutes, and you get this wonderful, tasty, “super duper yummy” (as my kids like to say!) beef.

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You’re ready for the next step! Your potatoes should be nice and crispy. I tossed mine half way through, so both sides got brown.

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Now you’re ready to start layering! I grabbed a pyrex pie plate and started with the potatoes, then beef mixture, and finally shredded cheese. Do this twice and you should have used up all your ingredients.

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I just cooked it a few minutes in the heated convection oven and once the cheese was melted, it was ready!

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The Mini Farmers gave me a “Check and two thumbs up!”…so yeah….it’s pretty yummy! Enjoy!

Love,

The New Farmers Wife

 

 

 

“My Blue Boat” Book Report Activities

4 Apr

I’ve got another set of book report activities for you! Today we read, “My Blue Boat”. It’s a very simple book but the kids love it. We read this a few years ago, but while I’m sorting through and organizing our library, I thought we could have some fun with it! I read the book to the little Mini Farmers, and while they worked on their notebooking page, I made some homemade slime for my presentation. It’s super easy to make. Equal parts liquid fabric starch and clear glue. (I used 1 cup of each). Plus if you want food coloring, you’ll need to add that, which I chose blue to mimic the water.

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Once I had the slime all mixed together, I created my presentation for the kids. I have 3 Mini Farmers that are old enough to participate….Itty Bitty Little Mini Farmer was taking her nap. I just used 3 small pyrex dishses and filled the bottom with slime and added a boat to each dish. (Each kid got their own….I had a feeling “sharing” would be a little hard with all the excitement).

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The kids had so much fun squishing and squeezing that blue slime! They pretended to be in the boats and had fun creating big waves with the slime.

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At first…..they were unsure of what this slime was capable of….

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Perhaps a little timid……

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But as Mini Farmer #3 portrays, sometimes ya just gotta dig in! Now….notice the blue hands….we didn’t have staining from the slime…no….he um…..grabbed the bottle of blue food coloring moments before and painted himself with it. This was also after he decided to become an artist all over 2 walls with his pencil, in a fashion much like “Harold and the Purple Crayon”….he is adventurous and always 3 steps ahead of me.

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Once the Mini Farmers figured out the full potential of this amazing slime, we had several contests (which included Math….love it!) They measured to see how long they could stretch the slime, they twisted the slime, they rolled the slime into a ball, they took that slime and created countless things and had a blast!

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After our slime fun, it was time for a lesson on sinking and floating. I discussed how the boat in the book floated on the water and how some things can float and some can sink. We had a little experiment with some trinkets we found. I just filled a pyrex measuring cup with water and asked the kids what items they thought would sink and which ones would float. Their reactions were priceless. They loved this activity!

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Isn’t is awesome how a simple book can lead to so many fun activities?! I LOVE making these books come to life. I’m sorting our books for next week so please check back for our book report activities along with some new giveaways!

“Jenny’s Surprise Summer” Book Report Activities

4 Apr

I’m BIG into Notebooking as part of our homeschooling. I think it’s an awesome way to get those little (and even big!) learners to really grasp what they’re learning. We have several notebooking “workbooks” I’ve created by using my Proclick binding set (I LOVE this thing!!). We have notebooking workbooks for pretty much every subject I teach. The kids know if it’s book report time, they grab their book report nobebooking workbook. If it’s handwriting time, grab that handwriting notebooking workbook (say that 5 times fast, won’t ya!), etc.

I’ll be posting our themed book report lessons on here regularly to give you ideas to use for your kids! This is one of my favorite times of the day. I read the book, my kids do their book report (which entails drawing their favorite scene and writing about it), we have snacks based on the story, and a few activities go to along with what we read.

Today’s book was “Jenny’s Surprise Summer”. We had a little heat wave yesterday and today. 82 degrees and sunny, so…..you know….we pulled the sprinkler out….true story. Anyway, as I was trying to pick what book to read today, I noticed the warm breeze coming through the windows (opened at 7 a.m……it’s “open the windows” time!), the air was humid and I heard several birds and ducks chatting away and it seriously felt like we were out on the beach or something. So……I grabbed “Jenny’s Surprise Summer”.

The kids listened to the story, and then drew their favorite scene and wrote about it. Now…my 6 year old is writing by himself. My 4 year old narrates and I write EXACTLY what she says. If her sentences don’t make perfect sense, it doesn’t matter. This is all about her retelling the story from what she understood and visualized.

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Since the story took place on the beach, I threw together some homemade moon sand. This is one of those things that I LOVE when it’s used outside. It…..is…MESSY but so…much…FUN! Just mix 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of oil together (any oil….cooking oil or baby oil). Mix it with your hands and you’ve got the perfect moon sand!

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When I have my activity ready for the kids, I present it to the kids in a fun way along with the book we are reading. Gets them excited!

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Now, in the book, Jenny’s surprise was kittens. I just had my kids pretend they were on the beach and found treasures in the sand. I found a stash of trinkets and buried them in our moon sand and they “dug” them out. We used our picnic table outside (thanks dad!) and they enjoyed some fresh air and put on their “pretend caps”.

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Look at these fun treasures!

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It was time for snacks….I’m sorry…but do your kids think they live in a 24/7 all you can eat buffet? My goodness….I fear our grocery bill when they are teenagers! Anyway….I thought almond butter resembled sand pretty good so I peeled and sliced apples and made “Apple Sandwiches” for snacks. YUMMY!

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We had so much fun with this book! I hope we gave you a few ideas to use for your kids!

Heartland Roasters “5 Bags Up for Grabs” Bag #4-Caramel Machiatto

3 Apr

Hey friends! As you may remember, I’m hosting a giveaway for some super yummy, scrumptious coffee from my local friends at Heartland Roasters. The giveaway has taken MUCH longer than I planned because, oh my goodness….this flu….this horrible, awful flu has nagged at my family for months now. It has reared it’s ugly head numerous times. I pray…..extremely hard that we are done with sickness and can move onto something a little more fun….like health!

Here’s a picture to remind you of those 5 “smells soooooooooo good” bags they were generous enough to offer my readers.

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5 bags…..did you count them? The 3 previous winners have been “super, duper, triple excited (as my kids like to say)! Irish Cream, Creme Brulee, and their “Secret Blend” have been given away already. Today……well…..this bag is uber hard for me to give away. My “ALL TIME FAVORITE” coffee ever to be created is Caramel Macchiato. So…..I’ve tried my hardest to come to terms with the fact that this bag doesn’t belong to me…….but to one of my lucky readers!!

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Are you ready to win? This giveaway starts today and ends April 11, 2014. Please go to my facebook page and “like” it if you haven’t. Purdy please?  You’ll see the giveaway info posted. Visit me there often. I’d love to hear from my readers. I have TONS of posts coming up here on the blog and we have some pretty exciting things happening here at the ranch that I can’t wait to tell you about. Until then…well….I’ll just smell this coffee and shed a little tear when I have to ship it off to the winner. :) 

Love,

The New Farmer’s Wife

 

Dear Mama’s Like Me:

8 Feb

I am sitting here in complete silence this cold, icy morning. Silence doesn’t usual occur here, but when it does, I usually have a heart wrenching moment. The New Farmer and Mini Farmer #1 are at church and I’m home with the rest of the gang. And it happened……..3 children napping at the same time…….a very rare moment indeed.

My list of things I wanted to accomplish during this spontaneous event was large. I am a list maker…an obsessive list maker. Like……I’m mentally making a list as I’m typing this post….but I rarely mark things off my list because, well…..life happens.

As I stood looking at my list, I felt a tugging…..I usually ignore that nagging, tugging feeling. But, today I can’t. It’s so dang cold here…..inside and out. Our first pond is literally an ice skating rink for the geese visiting. Everything looks so insanely frozen. And inside, it’s chilly. The heaters here are overworked and The New Farmer didn’t get a cozy fire going before he left……brrrrrrr

So….as I mentioned I’m sitting here in quietness….and coldness….with a heart tugging. There’s something I feel I need to write to mamas like me. Because I’m having a “moment”.

You see……I don’t like the house being

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I mentally can’t enjoy seeing a mess no matter how much fun we’ve all had creating it. I like things in their place….at all times. If there’s a mess…well….it seriously makes me

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And usually, when I’m bonkers, it leads to me being

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I despise being cranky. But….it happens…..and right now my house is messy….and during this rare “all kids napping” moment, I really want to clean this place up. But as I sit here in cold, quiet, messy aloneness…..I realized I need to

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Slow…..down……

I scurry around the house all day picking up messes…..and I am missing some very precious moments with my children. This….is….heartbreaking.

Our children need more of us…..because later in life, the one thing they’ll want and wish they had more of from their parents, is

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And time goes by

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And in the moments where I feel I must keep a spotless house, the priceless memories I could be making during that time, well……they’re

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They….are….gone. I want my children to look back and say how much fun their mama was……but instead, they may say their mama cleaned, organized, and the house was picked up nicely. My gosh……I have missed special moments.

I have made precious memories, spent time snuggling, teaching, caring, and playing with my babies. But I’ve realized I’ve missed a lot too.

So, dear mama’s like me, I know the mess and chaos can feel overwhelming. I see it every day. And as hard as it is to let that mess sit there, I have to let it sit because the days go by so quickly. And honestly, my kids love to help so we can pick up the messes together when the timing is right. One day this house will only hold me and The New Farmer. The quiet, icy days with me sitting and gazing at the ice skating geese will outnumber the messy days we’ve had here. And hopefully, while I sit in those moments, I’ll look back with no regrets…..and fill my heart with all the fun memories we’ve created.

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The New Farmer’s Wife

My Favorite Laundry Detergant-Revised

25 Jan

I’m starting this post with a rant….a “tantrum”, if you will. The flu is a sickness that should not “be”. It is a cruel, mean sickness that is a big, fat bully. There. That feels better. We’ve ALL got the flu….again. Get gone you mean, stupid flu.

Ok. I’m now to the part of the post that actually has something to do with my title (thank goodness, I know). I have tried numerous recipes for laundry detergent. I’ve loved some, felt “ok” about others, and have become “slightly obsessed” with one.

I’m OCD about laundry. I don’t like laundry waiting to be washed. I am a washing machine robot….”must…wash…any….laundry….beep….beep”… (I still have the flu…I apologize for my “need calories and sleep” self at the moment).

I found a recipe on Pinterest that caught my eye. It contained Castile soap, baking soda, water and essential oil. I tried that version, loved it, but it had me wanting a little more stain fighting power. So……I fixed it. Yay! Go me!!

This is fantastic, amazing, wonderful stuff. Ready for me to share? This will make a gallon.

I usually use 4 one quart glass jugs with tightly fitting lids. You can use whatever, as long as the lids tightly fit! (I made a double batch today, so I have an extra gallon jug in my picture).

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1/2 c castill soap (Dr. Bronners)
1/2 c sal suds (Dr. Bronners)
1 c. Baking soda
Water
Essential oil (if you want)

Pour the soap, baking soda and essential oils in a bowl. Mix to a paste.

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Divide that paste equally in your containers (or if you just have one container, put it all in one). This can sometimes be difficult to spoon as a paste so add some water to loosen it up if needed.

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Once the mixture is equally divided, fill the containers with water. This will cause some foaming.

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Wait a few minutes and the foam will “calm down”, as my kids say.

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Add more water. Repeat until your containers are pretty much full of liquid. (I got a little inpatient….Itty bitty mini farmer #4 was in a “mood”…having the flu and cutting 4 teeth will do that to a gal, I suppose).

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You’re done! Now….I mentioned you’d need a tight fitting lid. That’s because you’ll need to shake this before you use it…every time. Don’t complain about it….this stuff is awesome.

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Use about 1/4 c to 1/2 c in an HE washer. I am hooked on this! Stains are no longer an issue. In the event of a pesky stain, I just use my dawn/peroxide mixture.

Enjoy!!

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