recommendations Archives · Ryder Family Farm- Southern Illinois Produce & More
We to a big leap of faith, quit our jobs are moved to the the heart of the Shawnee National Forest to follow our dreams of self sufficiency and to make a go of living off the land… Can we help you feed your family?
Southern Illinois produce, farm, CSA, Goat Milk, Soap, Eggs, meat, local food
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recommendations

Kmart’s Online Layaway Program Ruins The Holiday For Many…

If you are a Kmart customer with an online layaway contract you might be unpleasantly surprised this week. At this writing there are about 704 angry consumers battling Kmart over their unfulfilled layaway contracts. Unfortunately, we happen to be one of them. It seems Kmart did a piss-poor job of reconciling the online layaway order contracts with the actual warehouse inventory and now paid in full online initiated layaway customers and being left high and dry when the time comes to ship the goods. KMART ONLINE LAYAWAY CONTRACTS CANCELLED- ITEMS OUT OF STOCK Kmart sends out confusing emails about layaway contracts being cancelled...

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Reuse and repurposing: Our goal- Throwing less into dumps

There are many ways to recycle, reuse and conserve from day to day. You just have to look at things differently. As I become more and more earth friendly I discover new ways to reporpose, reuse and recycle.
For me, a focus on repourposing and reuse has been what we’ve continued to expand on. Can you believe this family of 4 only fills a regular treash can with dump-bound trash about every 2-3 weeks?
We’ve dramatically reduced the about of stuff that is dump-bound by:
  1. Composting kitchen scraps or giving it to our rabbits & chickens.
  2. Hauling our own recycling to a recycling center once a month.
  3. Basing our buying choices partly on product packaging.
  4. Buying less throwaway stuff, spending less money.
  5. Reusing things like mad.

Since it’s earth day, I’d like to share some of what we’ve got going on here at home where reuse is concerned and I’d love for you to share what you having going too. The more ideas we compile the “greener” we’ll all be right?

Seriously?! An Electric Toothbrush Turned This Mouth Snob Around! #ad

Being the child of an "oral hygene professional" means I've always got someone on my case about my teeth and that I've been exposed to an array of dental products. I remember as a kid, like in the 90's, we had one of those old school electric toothbrushes. It was nasty and strange. The darn thing vibrated my head so bad that it made me sneeze, get a runny nose and watery eyes. I've never really been a fan of putting a motorized device in my mouth, not at home and not at the dentist. I hated using that darn manual toothbrush with a passion but my mom hounded us each night and forced us to use it. The torture! So, you can imagine my joy when my husband got his Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 Toothbrush in the...

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Gorgeous Girl summer pampering gift set, twitter giveaway

This new mom is trying to reduce her custom gift business inventory. It is time for us to purge and organize! Now that baby Everly is here I just don't have the time or energy to sell my stuff at craft shows anymore and I've got so much inventory taking up valuable space in the garage. The result: I am giving this huge gift set away to one lucky twitter follower! The set includes everything needed for a fabulous summer! A wicker tote contains foot pampering goodies, a yoga mat, straw hat, a freezable cooler cup to keep you hydrated and fun bath items that will have you feeling energized and ready for fun in the sun...

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A breastfeeding mom's quest to eat well on the run…

Going back to work has been great for my sanity and emotional well being, it's proving to be hard on my diet and nutrition though. While I was pregnant I gained weight easily because my appetite really increased and also my activity level decreased as it was harder and harder for me to move around. Now that baby Everly is here my appetite has gone back to what it normally was and my activity level has also increased. I am still eating healthy stuff, just burning it faster and eating less of it now. This has resulted in me loosing all but 5 pounds of my "pregnancy weight" and contrary to what you might think this is NOT a good thing. Since I am breastfeeding Everly and not supplementing with formula my diet and...

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Budget crunching: Grocery costs. Could you manage to save some $$$

These days when all the bills and birth cost savings are out of the way we are making out with an average of $100 left for groceries and possible discretionary spending. We are normally pretty money conscious people but now that we are chunking away $700 a check for the home birth it has squeezed the budget even tighter. One of the only ways we can cut back is with our grocery bill. When we started out tackling the grocery budget we were only shopping at one or two stores. It was the super Walmart the other was Sam's Club. We were spending so much just buying all that we needed in those two places. Sure we were buying food in bulk so we had lots to last us but the...

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Don't worry, I am not dead- just blog slacking.

Don't worry, I am not dead. Just crazy busy. I survived the tornado warning and am still doing well with Tater. We are still moving stuff in to our new place and I did actually do the video tour of the new house today. The video is kind of a speed demon tour though, lol. I feel like we are going though the days in "fast forward" and the video really illustrates this. Today I took care of fixing the peony bed here at the old place. In the fall I divided a portion of the bed, it looked much more bare and spread out unlike the rest of the bed which was clumpy and overgrown. Peonies like other rhizomes need to be divided and spread out as the years pass....

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DOLE Recipie Review, what do you think?

I got some DOLE canned fruit and notification of a contest DOLE is running right now, the DOLE Make me a Chef Essay Contest. It runs from March 16 through May 8 and all you have to do is write a 200 word or less essay on “How DOLE Canned Fruit is part of your pantry.” Win the chance to cook alongside acclaimed chef, Ben Ford. Ben has created four signature recipes with DOLE Canned Fruit and wants to share his culinary tips with you and three of your friends at his latest hot restaurant in Los Angeles. Enter your short essay and you could win a beautiful weekend in Los Angeles in June cooking and sharing a feast with Ben Ford! Now, normally we aren't canned fruit kind of people but...

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Summertown & Nashville Tennessee weekend recap, fun times!

We had a blast this weekend and even took some photos to share with you. Hopefully you enjoyed the belly shot photos I shared with you over the weekend. If you haven't seen those yet you can by following this link. For those of you who didn't already know we planned to spend my birthday weekend in Tennessee. It was our last appointment with our midwife out at The Farm until we come to stay and deliver Tater in early June. We figured it would also be kind of nice to plan a mini vacation for that weekend since it will be basically the last time we travel for leisure as just the two of us before Tater arrives. N did have a nice dinner planned for me at The Melting Pot in...

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How much do you pay to banks each month? Take a closer look!

I am curious, do you know the exactly how much money you are paying in interest and bank fees each month? I ask because recently I've been particularly worried about this one credit card account I have. It was literally the first card I got when I decided to try reestablishing myself credit wise. This means I had to pay an annual fee for the card and a pretty high interest rate. It was something I felt was necessary though since nobody would extend credit to me otherwise. Well just the other day I got a notice from that credit card company about how the account terms are being changed. The annual fee is going up and so is the interest rate, big time. It's been five years since I accepted that car...

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The Filter Queen, a cute country home and more landlord drama…

Today was an early and productive day for us. We woke up and headed to our bank to discuss getting some legal documentation against our landlords. You see they closed their accounts prior to the beginning of February and our electronic bill payment to them (for rent) wasn't paid since their account is no longer...

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Weekly Winners January 12th- 18th

Here is this weeks Weekly Winners post, as with last week all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera. Here is Alexandria-Maybelle, the bunny. We have had her since way before the move to Evansville. We ended up buying her at the feed and tack store one spring while my mom was visiting us in Flagstaff. We had a bunny, Baby Bunny, prior to Alexandria-Maybelle but because of living situations (the landlord forced us to remove our unauthorized pets from the rental) we had to send her and the cats down to The Ranch to live with my mom for a few months. Anyway Baby Bunny died (from eating apple core and seed we suspect) and we went several months, almost a year, without a bunny in the home....

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Waho… My energy is back folks!

Ever have one of those days where your brain moves way faster than your hands? I am totally having one of those days today. I am even finding trouble slowing down to eat, poor Tater Tot. Lets see, I have a huge burst of energy so I figure the bills and wrote checks and all are waiting to be sent out tomorrow. I got an unpleasant collection notice about a lab bill that I was actually making payments on so I had to sit down and write up the standard "cover your butt" letter to the collection agency about how I dispute the validity to the debt and please show me proof that they amount you are trying to collect is valid...

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I am home, woho!

Last night we got back to town at 1am. Our time on the party bus officially had ended! It was an interesting time. The party bus was so cool but not conductive to an 8 hour drive, things were a bit tight and uncomfortable but it made for some great memories. We had a great driver, Kevin, who took very good care of us despite the fact that one of our students hit the "dump" button instead of the "flush" button in the bus bathroom. Our transportation was provided by InTheSceneLimousine, an Arizona Based transportation company for those of you who are wondering. We had a very positive experience with them on this trip, besides aren't the vehicles awesome looking? The kids played movies on the bus, guitar hero, they could hook...

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Some fun TriScents contest entries

I just spent some time viewing the contest entries for the Renuzit TriScents “Transform Your Home with Tanya Memme” Promotion, the winner with the most votes will receive a $20,000 home makeover with Tayna Memme! I talked about how you could enter in a previous blog post and I wanted to take a look and see who all entered (to see if I recognized any people) and what the entries looked like. You can view the semi-finalist gallery like I did and pick your favorite entry today. The contest allows viewers to place one vote per day through June 7, then the winner will be selected. I had a hard time deciding which entry to vote for. The first video I saw was narrated by a 3 year old. She read this witty...

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What? Mothers Day is THIS weekend?

If you just realized that mothers day is this weekend chances are you don't have a gift for mom. If that is the case don't fret! You can still show up at her home with a thoughtful card and take her out. I am going to make soap with my mom and garden this mothers day, you know quality mother/ daughter time! If you don't live near ma anymore or simply don't have the time to visit her consider sending a thoughtful gesture to her that shows you care. Send flowers! Every woman loves flowers, you can send cut ones or live ones depending on what your mother likes best. I personally would prefer live ones but I am not a mom, yet. For the widest variety and delivery options consider 1800...

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WTF, the shower curtain is making me crazy!

The rental we are in right now strangely enough came equip with shower curtains. When we first moved in the shower curtains wreaked of urine and the house hadn't been thoroughly cleaned so we contacted the rental company and they sent out a house cleaner. The house cleaner who barely spoke English told me they don't clean shower curtains. Since the shower curtain came with the rental it must be returned with the rental when we are done, that means I had to deal with it! I read somewhere that throwing the shower curtain in the wash would clean it right up so I tried it, the nasty urine smell went away! Just a few days ago the smell came back (no we aren't peeing on it!) so I went to work...

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A day in the life of my pants! LOL

Lets see, my favorite pair of pants is my new black pair of Capri workout pants, they say "Guard" on the pant leg. I love these because they are comfortable and because they are durable. What would a day be like for my pants? Hm, it would be hard I think. I wake up in the morning, have some coffee and then I spend about 30 minutes sitting in the car (dropping N off at work in town and driving back home). Once I get home I have some breakfast, sit on the couch and work on the computer for about an hour. So for my pants that basically means lots of sitting. I head back into town to teach at about 10:30am, when I get to the school I dance my...

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Fair Credit Billing Act, do you know your rights?

I have a credit card account with HSBC card services/ orchard bank. I got the card to rebuild my credit and have rediscovered why I hate most credit card companies- The are out to SCREW you, but you need them. Okay, I know what you are thinking. "Ditch the credit cards and just live off what money you have".. the thing is that you need to have credit cards to build your credit and keep a good history. We are going to be buying a home soon and well, good credit is necessary for this. So, back to my HSBC drama. They have this online payment system and I paid my bills through it all the time. This one time my payment comes back as "returned", well the money is in...

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