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Giveaway: Flint Creek Soap Company Spa Day Package

We began using Flint Creek Soap Company's products this past summer and they are absolutely wonderful. Made from all natural ingredients, they are pure and simple. Since 2001, they have been sharing and developing products such as shampoo, conditioner, soaps, botanical bug spray, and powders. They'll even send you a few samples (your choice) of their soaps and lotion for a small fee. Their scents are light, simple, and botanical.

These soaps are mild and can definitely be used on sensitive skin. Especially as the colder weather begins to usher in, it's a great time to think about ways to keep your skin happy during the times when it is most vulnerable to dryness, itching, and cracking.

I am super excited about this giveaway. It's time to pamper yourself, your family, and even friends with this amazing spa day giveaway of eight bars of soap and their Rosehip and Hibiscus Facial Serum. Of course, I don't blame you one bit if you don't want to share them! One lucky winner will get one bar of these amazing soaps. All of these soaps are made from essential oils or are unscented.

Honey Almond Oat
Bentonite Clay (unscented)
Moroccan Red Clay (unscented)
Three Little Birds (Lavender and Patchouli)- my favorite!
Peppermint Foot Scrub- Lucky you!
Sunshine and Daydream (Patchouli and Orange)
French Green Clay with Oatmeal- very soothing!

One Bottle of Hibiscus Facial Serum
This silky Rosehip and Hibiscus Serum is beneficial for all skin types. Rosehip Oil is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids & vitamin C, is high in gamma linoliec acid (GLA), and contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F), also known as essential fatty acids (EFA). Hibiscus extract, with its antioxidant properties, blends perfectly with the rosehip oil to create a synergetic combination for all skin types. Hibiscus is widely used in India for its natural astringent properties. This serum is packed with DMAE, MSM and vitamins A, B, C & E for added skin care results.
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How Chickens Say Goodnight

Every night I when I lock up the girls, I say goodnight in "chicken".
Last night, the only exception was that I decided to record our nighttime ritual with my IPhone.
Turn up the volume to hear all of us say our good nights.

Artwork Credit: Lauren Scheuer, Scratch and Peck

Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of  meeting Renea Winchester through Facebook. I realized, like me, she was an author and was passionate about writing. Over the year she has been just a love. She has been a voice of encouragement and friendship. Her second book about her adventures with Billy came out just a little while ago. I  immediately ordered a copy and began reading  Farming, Friends, and Fried Bologna Sandwiches.

Instantly, I was hooked. I could hear Renea's voice reading this book to me about her adventures with Billy, an old time farmer. She suggests their meeting was fate after following a sign on the front lawn for baby goats. I tend to see it more as destiny. As I have read about Renea and Billy's friendship, life lessons, and delicious recipes I can see that their bond is truly one of a kind.

This past weekend, I went to Atlanta for the Country Living Fair. Just prior to leaving, I shared it on Facebook and Renea messaged me. "Why don't you come and visit Billy?!"

Well sure enough, I was able to scoot on up to the farm with about 20 minutes of daylight left. I had made it just in time. As I got out of the car, I was greeted by Domino, a lovely black and white kitty that could pass as a mini-cow. He lead me back behind the garage. I could hear the engine of the tractor, that I had read about in the book. There was Billy. Dressed in his traditional overalls and ball cap. He gave me a big ole smiles and wave, finished tilling the row, and hopped down off the tractor to get a closer look at me.

"Who are you?"
"I'm one of Renea's friends. She wanted me to meet you."
"Are you a Yankee? You say you know Zippy?"
"Yes. She sent me on over and she's on her way"
"Well alright then, let me show you around!"

Billy and I in his living room.
I met the goats, the chickens, and had a formal introduction to Domino. I saw the fields, the gardens, the beautiful fig trees, okra seed pods, cotton, fresh cornmeal and more. It was magical. The pages of Renea's book came to life.

As we waited for Renea to meet me us at the farm. I went inside. There Billy shared with me his beautiful family photos from the 1800's. He was one of 12 children and loves his family so. He told me stories about all of his family members and siblings. He only has one sibling left and he lost his wife a few years ago too from Alzheimer's. He stared at her picture, and gently caressed her face.

Soon enough Renea arrived and Billy invited us to try a bite of venison. It was delicious. He cooked it to perfection in a stove top pressure cooker. After a quick bite and Renea tidying up Billy's place a bit, we went out to put the tractor to bed, lock Domino in for the evening, and gather a few eggs laid earlier by the hens.

"I call these cackleberries", Billy said as he held three eggs in his hand.
Just like in the book, I could not help but laugh. Billy has a wonderful sense of humor and wit even for a man in his mid-eighties.

As darkness fell, we returned inside. Then he lit a fire in the most amazing stand alone vintage stove. I had never seen anything like it, but it blew hot air from the flames across the room. We chatted some more and eventually said goodnight to Billy. Of course, I did not leave empty handed. In my pockets were an okra seed pod, an ear of dried Winchester corn, and a delightful bag of cornmeal. This Yankee can't wait to add a bit of Southern to her gardens and her kitchen.

Giveaway: Louise's Country Closet Prize Package

I have been a fan of the small business, Louise's Country Closet for many years. I first met Mandy and Brenda a few years ago when poor Dolly suffered a terrible pecking from the girls when she was broody. Immediately they came to Dolly's rescue and sent me some of their saddles to sample. I was hooked and immediately added a few assorted sizes to my chicken first aid kit. Dolly made a full recovery and every now and then, I have to put the saddle back on her.

The saddles hold up well. Wash beautifully and can be reused over and over again.

Advantages to using Hen Saddles
1. Cost effective. You don't need to have a hospital for your chicken to recover.
2. Speeds up recovery. Out of sight, out of mind. The chickens stop picking.
3. Keeps your girls comfortable with overzealous roosters.
4. Ensures that your hen keeps her place in the pecking order.
5. Helps decrease your anxiety about your poor hen's injuries.
6. Keeps them warm during the Wwinter months when their backs are bare.

But that is not all, Louise's Country Closet also sells chicken diaper for those who keep house chickens inside full time or temporarily. They all sell lots of other fabulous merchandise too. Go check them out!

Today's Giveaway is for:

One Butterfly Saddle- covers the back and the wings
One Regular Saddle- covers the back
One Chicken Diaper- covers the bum
and a Keep Calm and Love Chickens Keychain

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Down Home Blog Hop~Number 102 + Acorn Mason Jar Candle

We spend as much time as we can outside, until finally the weather becomes raw, cold, and snowy. The acorns are abundant right now and the kids and I always love to collect a few to turn into crafts. As we gathered the acorns, we were plopping them into a found Mason jar in the garage, then it dawned on me- How pretty would a jar, turned candle, look filled with acorns?

I'm not sure if you have discovered this spray paint, but it remains see-through and just applies a sheen. It's called Tint-IT by Design Master and it comes in oodles of colors. Just a quick single coat does the job.

Once the paint dried, we filled it the jar with acorns, a glass votive holder, and candle.
If you'd like to make one, head on over to my post for HGTV Gardens for the entire tutorial.

As you are reading this, I'm getting ready to hop on a plane to the Country Living Fair in Atlanta, GA to go and chat about chickens. If you're in the area, I'd love to meet you! So head on by. I'll see you when I return. Enjoy this week's party!

Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

Giveaway: Two Country Living Fair Weekend Passes

Join me next weekend as I chat about chickens at the Atlanta Country Living Fair on Saturday, October 25th. The fair is held in Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta from October 24-26th. If you have never been to a Country Living Fair, you should definitely put that on you to-do list.

There are awesome live demonstrations, talks, crafting, cooking, and vendors galore and all things country. Plus, it's always fun to meet the amazing staff behind the magazine. At this fair, you can also meet the Beekman Boys and Cari Cucksey too!

Here's the best part, I'm giving away two weekend passes to the fair! Click below to enter. Good luck and I can't wait to see you at the fair.

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Photos by Tilly's Nest from the Rhinebeck, NY Country Living Fair. Prize retail value $40 each.

Down Home Blog Hop~ Number 101 + Mini Pumpkin Lanterns

It's hard to believe that Halloween will be here in just about two weeks! Where has this year gone? A few weeks ago when I was hanging out at our local craft store looking for inspiration, I discovered that all the metal gardening hooks and planters were on sale for fifty percent off. Of course, I love a good bargain and I scooped up a few of these darling miniature shepherd's hooks. Surely, they were versatile for use in my crafting adventures and also in the garden.

My next stop was food shopping at Whole Foods. Outside there was a plethora of pumpkins. Of course if you know me, I am an addict of all things pumpkin- fancy gourds, white, greens, pinks, cinderellas, warty and all. I'll take one of each! I scooped up a few of these little cuties and got carving with the kids.

In no time, we had crafted a few carved friends to greet this year's trick or treaters.
For the full tutorial, please take a peek at my post over on HGTV Gardens.

Good morning friends!  Welcome to this week's hop. I'm so glad you are joining us again this week! I can't wait to see what has kept you busy.

Photo Credits: Tilly's Nest