Category Archives: Giveaways

Book Review and Giveaway: A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens

A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens

You guys. I am so excited to finally get my hands on this book (and clearly from the photo above, I wasn’t the only one)! The wonderful Melissa Caughey of has just released her very first book: A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her! It’s a perfect addition to my chicken-keeping library. Furthermore, I get to give a copy away to one of you lucky readers as part of Melissa’s blog book tour (details on entering the giveaway at the end of this post)! And there are so many chances to win–the blog tour stops at different blogs for the next few weeks, so check in with the schedule at to find out where you can enter every day!

Fortunately for me, my copy arrived just in time for a weekend sleepover with the nephews, and they were more than happy to help me review it.

A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens brought to you by

The nephews spend a little quality time reading A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens with the poultry.

This is such a fun book for kids! Not only filled with lots of fabulous information and photos on the ins and outs of raising chickens, it’s also full of the most adorable, colorful illustrations that really kept the nephews (and chickens) thoroughly entertained.

A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from


A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

The audience is smitten.

What’s more, the book is peppered with kid-friendly science experiments, clever craft projects, yummy egg recipes, and real-life kids-keeping-chickens stories. There’s even a tear-out wall poster!

A book review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

Gertie calls dibs on the poster.

A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

My six-year-old nephew knew right away that he wanted to try out some crafts, so he invited over our neighbor buddies and they got to work making treasure boxes out of egg cartons. (As seen on pg. 116)

A review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

Bedazzling egg cartons is serious business.

A book review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

A book review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

I may or may not have succumbed to the siren song of rhinestones.

If you’ve got kids and chickens in your life, or know someone who does, you need this book!!!


Leave a comment on this blog post between today, March 11, 2015 and 11:59 pm, Saturday, March 14, 2015 telling me who you know (chickens or non-chickens) that would love a copy of this book, and my nephew will help me select one winner from the comments at random. Contest open to U.S. residents only.

Be sure to check in daily with to see what great blogs are stops on the tour (and for more opportunities to win this fabulous book)! And don’t forget that A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens is now available through Amazon and other major retailers.

A book review and giveaway of 's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens from

WHAT?! Chickens take baths in the dirt? But how do they get clean if they are just getting dirty? Six-year-old mind blown.

Ball® Heritage Green Jar Giveaway

*****Our winner is: AJ Lemmons! Congrats, AJ!*****Green Jar Giveaway from and Ball® Canning, August 14- August 17, 2014Thanks to Ball® Canning, we have an awesome giveaway starting today, August 14, 2014, and ending at midnight on Sunday, August 17, 2014. On Monday morning, August 18, 2014, one lucky winner will be selected to win a six-pack of Ball® Canning’s Heritage Green Quart-sized Jars, as well as a cute jar hangy-wall-thing made by yours truly (featuring four pint-sized Heritage Jars), and a copy of the book Mason Jar Crafts. Time to get your crafting on (or canning, or organizing, or whatever you do with your Heritage Green Jars!)!

Click here to enter!

A Colorful New Book for Your Garden Library

Review of A Garden To Dye For by

Gardens are just divine, aren’t they? They provide us with impossibly much: food, medicine, an eye-ball-ful of gorgeous, and a basic, peaceful connection to the Earth that is hard to put into words. Leave it to the fabulously funny Chris McLaughlin to give us just one more bit of lovely we can reap from our gardens: natural dyes.

This book is an absolute technicolor dream for the home fiber artist; all you crafty spinners with your adorable goats and sheep and bunnies and alpacas and all their glorious fluff–here is your guide for what to grow in your garden (besides fluffy animals) and how to process it into yummy, yummy homemade colors. I can only imagine the possibilities. But for those of you who aren’t quite to the point of harvesting your own fiber (uhh, that would be me), Chris shows us how and with what to dye yarns, threads, silks, cottons, linens, and other ready-to-go fabrics. But it all goes far beyond fabric; natural dyes can be used on wood, basket-making reeds, paper products, play dough, and since we’ve just come off of Easter–eggs…of course, you can dye eggs with them! Huzzah!

There are so many wonderful recipes and tricks of the trade in this book, but, as a painter, one in particular jumped out at me…making your own watercolor dye paints. I knew I had to try this. I also knew I wanted to use materials that I either had on hand, or had in the garden. Red cabbage, beets, turmeric, and black tea were all already in my kitchen and would give me blue, red/pink, yellow, and brown dyes, so I got to work. In retrospect, I also realized that I have swamp mallow, marigolds, hollyhock, rose, and coreopsis growing in the garden–all dye materials listed by Chris–but I had ants in my pants and overlooked these at the time. Dang it. DANG IT.

As with all natural dyes, a little experimentation was in order. Ultimately, I landed on a pretty decent recipe that was just a miniature version of what Chris outlines for dyeing a big batch of fabric.

To get blue dye paint, you’ll need:

-4 tablespoons of finely chopped red cabbage

-1 cup of boiling water

(I actually started out by putting the cabbage bits in a mason jar, boiling water in a tea kettle, and then pouring the boiling water over the bits and letting them sit for awhile). This color was pretty, but ultimately, I didn’t think it was strong enough, so I then transferred the contents of the jar to a small saucepan, and boiled the liquid down by half. This gave me a great blue color.

To get red/magenta/pink:

-4 tablespoons of finely chopped red beets

-1 cup of boiling water

The tea kettle method worked great for this and I did not need to boil the liquid down further. This yields a very saturated dark pink. Obviously, if you want it lighter, pull a small amount and mix with water to water it down to your desired color.

To get yellow:

–4 teaspoons of powdered turmeric

–2 cups boiling water

The tea kettle method actually yielded a nice, light yellow color, but ultimately, I wanted it more saturated so, again, I boiled the liquid down by half after the fact.

To get brown:

-6 standard black tea bags

-2 cups boiling water

The tea kettle method yielded a very light brown, which was great, but I wound up boiling this liquid down by half, as well, which gave me better saturation.

To get green:

Mix equal parts turmeric and cabbage dyes.

To get reddish-orange:

Mix equal parts turmeric and beet dyes.

To get reddish-brown:

I kind of mixed equal parts of all four base colors.

Obviously, one can mix any variation of these colors and get all different shades and colors. Experimentation is key! Chris also suggests using binders to help the color stick: these include whole milk, egg yolks, or egg whites (but each of these will change the colors slightly, so test first). I opted to not go with any binders, and so theoretically, my colors will fade slowly over time.


DIY All-natural Watercolor Dye Paints from A Garden to Dye For via

My resulting colors.

And my subsequent watercolor painting:

DIY Natural Watercolor Dye Paints from A Garden to Dye For via

Eloise and Gertie in all their all-natural colorful glory. All natural except for the Sharpie outline. I’m a cheater. I do what I want!!!

This book was just a pleasure to read–Chris’ trademark humor and gift for ‘telling it like it is’ get me every time. Be sure to visit A Garden to Dye For’s Facebook page and Chris’ blog Home Ag with a Suburban Farmer because to celebrate the launch Chris is giving away a Natural Dye Starter Kit with all sorts of goodies (including a copy of the book) to get you started on your home-dyeing and gardening adventures. To enter, you just need to follow her on Pinterest and leave a comment on the A Garden to Dye For Facebook page telling her what your favorite kind of garden is. On May 20, 2014, her Chiweenie helper will select a winner at random. You gotta love that. And if you don’t win the prize package, never fear, A Garden to Dye For is available at all major booksellers including Amazon.

Cheers to pretty colors!

Review of A Garden to Dye For via



Hello Spring! Giveaway

Hello Spring! Giveaway from


Okay, folks! Here it is! Spring is in the air so it is time to get your garden on–who’s with me???

We’ve got such amazing products in this fun gardening gift basket that will go to one lucky winner. Enter here or by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.

But let’s run through all the goodies first, shall we?

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

WOOT!! A 6 Month Seeds of the Month Club membership! If you all haven’t joined this amazing program, you simply must check it out. Every month, they send you four packets of non-GMO seeds (mostly veggies and herbs) selected specifically for your growing zone and season. You never know what you are going to get, but that’s part of the fun! You can find out more by following them on Facebook, and Twitter.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

A sampler pack of my favorite fertilizer: Authentic Haven Brand Manure Tea. This stuff is good, you guys. I’ve been using it for a couple of seasons now, and I am a huge fan. ‘MooPoo Tea’ is 100% organic and sustainable, and the plants really dig it. Furthermore, it is produced here in sunny Southern California on the Haven Family Ranch: follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and see some amazing snapshots of ranch life on Instagram.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

A copy of one of my favorite small-space gardening books, Vertical Vegetable Gardening, by the incomparable Chris McLaughlin. Chris is the author of several gardening how-to books, the homesteading guru for, and queen of all things Home-Ag. For more about her, visit her website,, and you can also follow along with her on her suburban farming adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

A hand-painted 12″x12″ reclaimed steel message board, made by yours truly (multiple versions coming soon to a certain Etsy storefront!).

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

Well, you need some garden-themed magnets for that message board, don’t you?

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

A package of seed storage envelopes from Williams-Sonoma’s Agrarian Collection, in case you have any leftover Seeds of the Month Club seeds.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

My favorite little garden gnomey and gloves from Threshold Target. Every garden needs a gnome to watch over it, in my professional opinion.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

A set of gorgeous copper garden tools (a hand fork and trowel), and a brass-tipped tamper-dibber all from Williams-Sonoma’s Agrarian collection.

Hello Spring! Giveaway from

And last, but not least, this gorgeous gathering basket to put it all in (also from Williams-Sonoma).

Contest begins today, Friday, April 4th, 2014, and ends at midnight, Wednesday, April 9th, 2014. The only mandatory entry requirement will be for you guys to leave a comment on this blog post (but please do so by using the Rafflecopter link below and following those instructions), but I will give you lots of non-mandatory extra entries by going around and following all our contributors’ social medias. The more you follow, the more entries you’ll earn.

So who’s ready to win this thing?!

Enter here!!!!

Meet The Farmstead…and a Giveaway!

***We have a winner!! Congrats to Brenna W.!! ***

And thank you to all who entered…remember that you can pick up a print of your very own at The Farmstead’s Etsy shop.***Meet The Farmstead and a Giveaway from

Hands down, one of my favorite spots amongst the interwebs: this wacky, wonderful thing that is The Farmstead. I cannot get enough of the whimsical images that they churn out (please, please go follow them on Facebook so that you can fully appreciate…go right now! I’ll wait here.) depicting life on their small and lovely and simply magical farm in Olympia, Washington.

Image by The Farmstead-

“Let Them Eat Cake”. Lol.

'Date Night' by the Farmstead-

Image by The

Image by The Farmstead-

I agree. Completely.

Image by The Farmstead-

Meet Nick and Rachael: Mr. & Mrs. Farmstead, wearers of many hats. Pig-herders, chicken-wranglers, goat-whisperers, barn-raisers, documentary photographers; they do it all, just the two of them.

Well, they get a little help from baby daughter, ‘Gizmo’.

Image by The Farmstead-

Gizmo and Kitchen Pig.

They’re in good company with their motley crew of free-ranging Tamworth pigs, Katahdin Hair Sheep, and an assorted collection of goats, chickens, donkeys, dogs, and cats.

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Lest these lovely images lead you to believe that The Farmstead is all brains and beauty but no brawn; rest assured, this is a real, working farm. Their heritage breed pigs provide pastured pork to the local masses, as do their lovely grass-fed lambs, and their laying hens are hand-raised and loved on to become sweet-natured flock members for backyard chicken enthusiasts. All their animals happily free-range and forage under the canopy of the forest, living the good life, working their best angles for the camera.

But Rachael and Nick say it best on their website: We are committed to creating an environment that sustains our presence without sacrificing the land. In Europe the term “High Farming” is used to reference the perfect balance between plants and animals. Animals enrich the soil, the soil produces plants, the plants feed the animals. On The Farmstead we aspire to succeed at “High Farming” and, in turn, nourish the people.

Our farm has made the conscious decision to raise animals with respect and dignity. We believe by giving animals a free and protected environment they will grow happy and healthy, without the constant bevy of antibiotics, hormones, and fillers, factory farms are forced to use. We also believe when animals are raised in fresh air and sunshine (or in our case, rainshine) their meat and eggs are healthier for us.

Cheers to that.

Their stunning photography demonstrates just how much they love their animals (and visa versa), as well as showing off the couple’s quick, quirky sense of humor.

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Image by The Farmstead-

Which brings me to my favorite The Farmstead image ever…The Winged Goat:

The Winged Goat by The Farmstead-

I gushed over this image when it came through my feed on Facebook. An embarrassing amount. So imagine my delight and surprise when a print showed up in my mailbox. My real mailbox. Where mail goes. A real print of my very own–to hang on my gallery wall:

The Winged Goat by The Farmstead via

See? There it is! Prime position.

Rachael and Nick. They’re just good people.

I’m completely excited and humbled that, together, we are giving away a framed copy of The Winged Goat to one lucky winner. To enter, just follow the link below and leave us a comment telling us where you’d hang this print. Contest runs today February 28th, 2014, thru midnight Tuesday, March 4th, 2014. We’ll announce the winner on Wednesday! Good luck!

Enter here: Meet The Farmstead Giveaway

And don’t miss out on all The Farmstead fun–follow along with Rachael, Nick, and Gizmo on their farming adventures at OlyFarmstead.orgFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Image by The Farmstead-

Gershwin & Gertie Twine Holder Giveaway

Gershwin and Gertie Twine Holder Giveaway with Farmhouse38We’ve got a giveaway and a special offer for you guys!

First things first: I am so pleased to be partnering with the incredible Gershwin & Gertie–their farmhouse decor is so up my alley it’s not even right.

Starting today, enter (using the widget below) to win this adorable cast iron twine dispenser with shears.  All you have to do is visit Gershwin & Gertie, take a look at their wonderful products, and then leave us a comment telling us what your favorite is.  It’s hard to choose–trust me!  You’ll gain additional chances to win by following along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  The contest runs until midnight this Friday, January 17th.

Additionally, for a limited time only, by using the coupon code FH38 at checkout, Farmhouse38 followers will receive 15% off of any order storewide, or 30% off of any order over $150.00 (this is in addition to the 15% off storewide sale they are already having, people!).

All right–who’s ready to win this thing?!  Enter by clicking the link below:

Gershwin & Gertie Twine Holder Giveaway

********AND THE WINNER IS: Ashley Sexton!!!********


Put an Egg on It Giveaway

Put an Egg on It Giveaway from Farmhouse38

The giveaway is now live!  Along with a copy of Put an Egg on It , by Lara Ferroni (see my review of this fab cookbook here),  one lucky winner will also get a few of my most favorite kitchen accessories from World Market: a matching set that includes a chicken apron, dishtowel, and potholder, along with a cute blue frying pan, a yellow ceramic egg-holder, and a retro-inspired egg beater…Everything you need to whip up some tasty egg dishes straight out of your new cookbook!

Put an Egg on It Giveaway from Farmhouse38

We’ll be running the contest until Friday (11/15/13).  Enter by using the following link:

Put an Egg on It Giveaway

Good luck to all my egg-loving friends out there! 🙂

***Congrats to our winner, Nichelle M.!!!***

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