family, Pets

Cute Cat Chaos: Preparing Our Home for a New Kitten

I’m sure it’s got to be a rite of passage, in parenting. When your darling little one looks up at you with doe eyes and says, “Mommy, can we get a puppy/kitty/pony/pet unicorn?”

After our beloved lab passed away, I went back and forth between never wanting another pet and wanting one RIGHT NOW. As time passed, I saw the merit in waiting to bring another furry friend into our home. The little ones had some growing up to do, and besides…pet hair. Right??

Well, my oldest is 4 and now the doe eyed conversations happen weekly. My husband and I agreed we would start some research. We understand how big of a responsibility it is to care for a pet, and we never want to treat an animal as though they are here solely for our entertainment. We wanted to make sure we knew what would be compatible for our family and our potential new friend.

First decision was the biggest one: cat or dog? My husband is definitely a dog person (though he likes cats too) and I am just the opposite. We agreed that with our busy-ish lives, that a cat would be better suited for our home at this time. Now what kind of cat?? I am typically a big supporter of “adopt don’t shop”. However, with having small children, we wanted to try ensure that our animal companion will have a gentle temperament, which meant finding a suitable breed and a reputable breeder. I completely understand that there are some very passionate views on this topic, but this is the decision we have made for our family.

The consensus in our house was that a Maine Coon would be the best fit for us and the cat. Referred to as the “cat for dog people”, Maine Coon cats are gentle giants. They naturally play fetch and can be harness trained to walk on a leash. Maine Coon cats are good natured, laid back, and extremely social cats who love interaction with gentle children and other animals.

Next we researched rescues first, then ultimately settled on a reputable breeder in our area. Our little furry bundle of joy will be joining our family the beginning of April. Make sure you feel comfortable with the avenue you choose. Our breeder is very sweet, is always willing to answer questions, and posts weekly updated photos of her kittens. We also had to agree to their contract and place a deposit.

As far as necessary items for your furry friend, it really depends on your animal companion. We asked our breeder for her recommendations on food, cat litter and boxes, grooming, and toys/scratching posts. Maine Coon cats tend to be large and quite active. We had to take this into account when choosing a diet, as well as toys or activity items such as a cat tree.

So far, we have acquired a litter box, litter, a litter scoop, starter food (we plan to transition to a raw diet – I will make a separate post for that), and food/water bowls. We’re researching different cat trees and scratching posts, both those are the next items on our list.

As I learn more, I’ll post more on this adventure. Also I’ll make a separate post on my raw diet research for our kitten.

Do you have pets? Did you get a pet when your children asked? Tell me about your experience!


Calming the Chaos: Finding Fellowship

Do you have a squad? A tribe? A group of besties? A place where you feel at home, among your people? It seems those of us who don’t, are typically searching for it. Maybe it’s a group of like minded moms at your local play ground, classmates at your local gym class, a book club, or church family.

If you’re in a largely populated area, chances are your opportunities for finding like-minded individuals are greater. If you’re like me, and you live out in the sticks, it may be a little more difficult to find people that get you. Especially if you’re a semi crunchy, kinda hippie, health nut, homeschooling mama…then the friendship prospects dwindle considerably.

After living in our town for about 3 years, we have become close with a few farmers from our local market. They’re the most wonderful people. Generous, kind, funny, knowledgeable, God fearing people. They invited us to their church. We’re believers, but have never had much luck finding a church that fits us.

Have you ever tried a new church? I was apprehensive. I’ve had so many bad experiences that I was questioning if it was even worth it to try. I got over that as soon as we walked through the door. Cheerfully smiling faces. Kind greetings. Heartfelt introductions. They had the chairs arranged in a square. It felt like I just walked in to a long lost friend’s living room. Genuine. That’s the word that kept coming to mind. Not to be cliche, but I felt the presence of God there. In every hello, in every hand shake, in every song. In fact, they even sang one of my favorites, (In Christ Alone.) What are the odds?

So here we are now, churchgoers. When you have a busy family of young children, lots of family, lots of activities…it’s going to be sheer insanity to add one more thing in, right? I thought it would be. It wasn’t. Funny thing is, the choas feels less, well…chaotic. It was the gasp of fresh air we all needed. Now we’re involved in small groups once a week also. Meeting new people. New friends and social activities for the kiddos and all is well.

So what about you? Do you have a group of people that you feel at ease with? People who get you, who add to your life in a meaningful way? Share with me! Tell me what makes your life less chaotic!

Until next time, have a peaceful week!



Gardening Mini Planner


Gardening involves planning, learning, and growing. Literally and figuratively. Tending a garden can be as simple or as complex as you want.

If you have limited space or time, container gardening might be right for you. If you have plenty of time or space, you may want to have a larger garden that you can share with family & friends, or even sell at a local market.

Are you like me and you have a moderate amount of space and time? Then you have options as well. You can maximize space with raised beds and vertical gardening. These types of gardens can also maximize time by cutting down on your area to weed and by keeping the amount of plants you grow small, to make harvest more efficient.

To get you started, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. I will help you break down your garden planning, with these questions.

Question 1: Why?
Why do you want to start a garden?
To feed your family?
For landscaping?
To sell?
For herbal remedies?

Question 2: What?
What do you want to grow?
Fruit, Veggies, Herbs, or Flowers?
All of the above?
Companion planting?
Pest management?

Question 3: Where?
How do you want to plot your garden?
Big garden? Small garden?
Do you have sun, shade, or both?
Do you want to grow on your property or utilize a community garden?

Question 4: When?
When should you start?
Cool weather crops? Warm weather?
What planting zone are you in?

Question 5: How?
Will you start seeds indoors or direct sow your seeds outside?
Stagger crops to maximize growing season?
Container planting? Raised beds?
Vertical planting?
Plants? Trees? Shrubs? Vines?

Gardening season will be here soon and planning is half the battle. I hope this was helpful in your planning process.

Do you have any helpful tips to add or questions about the outline above?

Comment below with your thoughts!


Spring Playlist


Spring is a time to be on the move: Spring Training, Spring Cleaning, Spring Break….no matter which of these is an event in your life, one fact remains the same. You need a good playlist to get ish done.

Depending on who you ask, my taste in music is the bomb (if you ask me) or just plain weird (if you ask my husband). At the very least, I hope you come across a song that makes you say “wow I haven’t heard that in forever” or “hey I’ve never heard that song before, I really like it”. I will also accept “this chick has a really awesome taste in music”. No pressure. 

  Comment below and tell me what’s on your current playlist!

Did you find any songs here that are favorites? 

Any songs here that are now in your rotation? 

Did I miss any that are must haves? 

I’d love your feedback!


Smooth(ie) Operator

Clockwise: Noosa Yogurt (Honey), Coco Libre Coconut Water, organic beets, organic mango


Do you eat a lot of veggies? I honestly love vegetables, but I run out of creative ways to prepare them and then I get bored. Lately, I have been searching for easy ways to infuse more fresh fruits and veggies into our diet. My research (on Pinterest, of course) has led me rediscover the smoothie. Light bulb moment. Why didn’t I think of this before?

What a mystifying invention! You can pack in way more veggies than you would ever eat in one sitting. Add in some fruit to sweeten it. Voila! A healthy creation that young & old can enjoy. Which is especially great for moms who have to fight to get their kids to eat anything healthy!


A smoothie can be a great way to sneak in supplements too. Probiotics, vitamins, and other nutritional addition can easily be hidden by the fruit and veggies. We like to add hemp seeds for protein, yogurt for probiotics, and camu powder for Vitamin C.


Here’s our favorite recipe:

Do you make smoothies for your family? If so, comment below with your favorite “recipe”!

Do you have another way to sneak in healthy foods? Please share with me in the comments below!

Until next time, have a fantastic day! 🍓


Shoofly Dont Bother Me…


What do pie and a squealing toddler have in common? One tired mama. Come along, won’t cha?

Let me start by saying a few things. First, I love my daughter more than anything. Second, I try to eat as healthy as possible on a regular basis. Okay. Having said all of that, sometimes when your toddler is driving you up a wall you just need to find peace in a slice of pie. Or I do, at least.

A little back story. We recently relocated our little family several states away for my husband job. I had a full time career as a RN, but chose to stay home with our daughter once we moved. I feel very blessed to have that opportunity. It has been a unique transition though. Being a housewife does not come naturally to me. And I used to work 12 hour shifts, now I have 24 hour shifts. Ok ok, I’m being dramatic. Occasionally I get to go to the bathroom without my daughter barging in & sometimes she takes naps long enough for me to do this Tasmanian Devil style cleaning of my house. But I digress.

My daughter, bless her little heart, is entering a pivotal time in her life where she has all these emotions but cannot yet tell me what they are. The only way she feels she can appropriately express herself is with this high pitched squeal or by slapping me in the eye. Luckily this typically happens at home. She doesn’t care how calm or AP I pretend to be. She knows my mind immediately goes “I wonder if we can try for an early bedtime tonight.” To which, she reads my thoughts and gives me a cute but sassy “no.” Oh that’s a word we have figured out!

So we are living in a new area and some days the toddler struggle is so real that I couldn’t bear doing actual grocery shopping, like in an actual grocery store. Lucky for me, there is a cute little store down the road from me,  that is my haven. My escape. My home away from home. This store & I have bonded on such a level that sometimes I make excuses just to go in there. Except today I had a real reason (um hello, they sell the only bread I will eat) and there it was. Like a beacon of hope through the storm of a few bad tantrum days. A little slice of sunshine waiting to chase my blues away. A single serving of Shoofly Pie.

What is Shoofly Pie you say? Whaaaa? It’s deliciousness of an indescribable level. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a recovering sugar addict, so this probably wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve ever had. But where else on earth are you gonna find this sweet slice  of Heaven in my neck of the woods?

So yes I bought it (it was under $2, come on!) and yes it was everything I thought it would be. Amazing.

Basically the moral of the story is to find the simple pleasures in life when things get a little rough. Find some thing that will put a smile on your face and to recharge your batteries, so to speak. Even if it goes against your diet. Ok again, maybe just me.

Disclaimer: I will write about health & wellness here. I will extol the virtues of a healthy, organic, real food diet here. But I will also have real talk. I am human, and do have days where I break my own rules. Moderation is important in all aspects of life & so is doing what works best for you. Everything written here is my own thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. I make no intention of advising, treating, or diagnosing anyone. Thank you.


Friday PicDay

It’s been a while friends, sorry for the absence. You know how chaotic life can get, especially with a toddler. Enough excuses, here goes….


Care packages from family are the best, she may start stalking our mail person


I ain’t skeered, I’ll show you my messy office. We moved 3 months ago, this was my last chaotic room to attack. I see floor, it’s a victory.


We take gardening/landscaping very seriously…and barefoot, apparently


A little girl & her grandpa


Gorgeous views on our nature walk

So that’s about it for the week for me! What was your week like? Any great stories? Vacation? Back to school? Finally tackle that project? Tell me about it in the comments below!


Friday PicDay


Moving is a blast…in toddler world.


Playtime or lunchtime?


Mom please, you’re embarrassing me in front of my stuffed animals.


Just a girl, her dog, and her dinosaur.


We’re unpacking these cupboards, right mom?


I have this brilliant idea, Morgan. Ok, so you distract mom…


Farewell old house, we’ve been there 7 short years but already made so many memories.


Have you hugged your farmer today?


Well I didn’t hug him, that would have been awk-ward.  But I did shake his hand. Why do you care? Why do I care? Well, because I am trying to make healthier, whole food choices for my family.

 My name is Christen, and I am a recovering junk food addict.

So back to the farmer. No I don’t live in the boonies. I actually found the most amazing service called Your Family Farmer I live in PA, so this exact place may not be available to you, but check out their website or do some googling to find something similar in your area.

You can order organic meats and produce, raw milk, eggs, butter, yogurt, honey, maple syrup, etc. All from farmers who have similar farming practices such as grass fed, no antibiotic, and humanely raised. You can pay online or in person at one of their many drop locations where you pick up your order.

So if this interests you, I recommend you check out RealMilk and use the Real Milk Locator. Even if raw milk doesn’t interest you, you can still locate farmers with other products. That’s how I found my farmer, and even got to shake his hand. You can’t do that at the supermarket.

Photo courtesy of



Sun is shining, birds are chirping…

#loveygirl #nofilter #nomakeup
#loveygirl #nofilter #nomakeup

I actually only hit snooze twice this morning which is no small feat for me because…

a.) i love sleep

b.) it’s my day off from work

c.) i have Lovey Girl nestled beside me

In fact, as I type this, little feet are kicking my arms. And with that I’d like to introduce you to my Lovey Girl. My 7 month old cupie doll, who smiles all the time and is my calming force. She’s our first, and may be our last, we haven’t decided yet. But she definitely brightens my day, even when the sun’s not shining. Even when she’s trying to rip out my tattered iPad cord, which is now.

ubhkhgkmybk. C bn. T. M f cc.  <—- this is her two cents

Until next time!