Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Doing what I love for the rest of my life

We are all familiar with the saying, "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Oe of my biggest fears is not being able to find that job. The one I love. The one I look forward to every day. I've always had a general idea of what I wanted to do after school, but nothing solid. Mostly just theories about what the perfect job was for me.

Since I was a little girl I had always wanted to be a veterinarian. Not only did I enjoy caring for animals, but I enjoyed helping people. I loved taking our family's dogs in for their appointments and observing the steps taken by our long time vet. He even let me come in one summer and watch him perform surgeries.

When I joined the Marines, I always just assumed I would continue with my education after service. But I never really considered how it would essentially "set me back" 4 or more years. By the time I had finished my service all my peers from high school were graduating college. Some were even starting their careers.

When I started school I enrolled in Mesa College in San Diego as a vet tech student. Shortly after I met Garrack. By the end of the spring semester we were engaged and planning our move cross country to Connecticut.

That, of course, put my schooling on hold for a bit so I cold find a school and get to know my surroundings. But by the time I was accepted into Quinnipiac University I found that they no longer offered a vet tech degree. The only other school in the whole state that held accreditation was to far away to commute on a daily basis.

I had to come to a realization that as a 24 year old who was preparing to marry and wanting a family soon, a career as a vet was just not viable. I had to complete my bachelors and then move on to an additional 6 or more years somewhere else. It was time to explore my options.

I still really wanted a career working with large animals in some sort of health profession. While searching online I came across equine massage therapy. Perfect!

Recently we've been talking about the possibility of moving back toward the Colorado area. We miss the big sky and the people in the heartland of the country. We just aren't "coast dwellers". The only downside of that was realizing that we would be moving from an area with lots of highly competitive riding stables to an area with far less of them. The likelihood of being hired by a cattle farm to massage a horse is much less than a show jumping stable.

Back to the drawing board.

It has taken a lot of thought. A lot of moments where I've thought "Maybe... no... not that". Truthfully, I've known what would make me happy for a good year now. I've kept it secret though, afraid of being laughed at or told that I couldn't possibly do it.

This week I couldn't ignore my heart any longer. I finally shared my idea with Garrack. And though I know he would support me in anything I wanted to do, he basically told me, "What took you so longer to figure that out?!"

The Fox & Bear Homestead will no longer be just a hobby or something to help feed my family. It will now also function as a source of income for us.

I am so excited to dedicate myself to this. To join the farming community and provide real food for local families. I've become very passionate about farm to table and food that people can truly trust.

This fall I'll be digging in and planning everything out to have a great first year in 2016. I'll be sharing the journey, of course, on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram (@foxandbearhomestead). It will be trying and a lot of hard work, but I know it's something I will look forward to every day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


I'm finally back! Excuse my sudden hiatus from everything. My computer caught some strange virus thing that kept me from being able to get online. And me, being very tech knowledge limited, had not a clue what to do to fix it. But all is well now. And just in time for this super awesome Thrift Store Swap!

I teamed up with 5 wonderful ladies in a fun exchange. We each were paired with another blogger and had a $10 spending limit to play with.

I was paired up to receive from MidMichigan Mom and to send something to At Home with Sweet T.

So this is what I got from MidMichigan Mom...

Opening the package was like Christmas and I was beyond excited with the treasures I got.

I am currently working on fixing up and decorating the indoor balcony that connects to my daughter's room and goes out into our sun/green room. I wanted her to have a cool "hideaway" just for her. So I knew I wanted to use these items to create some neat decorations for that space.

The color palette for the balcony.

I started with the candle sticks and "&". The "&" I didn't want to do too much with. I thought i was pretty cool already. But I did need to brighten it up with a coat of spray paint. I had some leftover from my DIY bird bath, so I just knocked it out quick.

Isn't it just so cute?! I couldn't bring myself to mess with it too much with all that beautiful detail. And it fits so perfectly on top of these cute little Winnie the Pooh board books I got from the Target Dollar Spot.

The candlesticks also needed some paint. So I took a can of baby pink to those suckers and made them all girly. I was inspired by this teacup bird feeder and thought what would go better with pink in a little girl's hideaway than tea cups?

I picked up a couple from the clearance section of Marshall's along with two porcelain birds with cut out details to sit inside of them. I then glued some pearls I found at Michael's around the bottom of the candlesticks and made a little nest of moss inside for the birds to sit on.

Are you ready for the magical bit? I noticed that the birds had holes on the underside. So I picked up LED color changing tea lights from the Dollar Tree to put inside to make them glow.

Next I tackled the weird box game thing. The bottom of this box actually pulls out to reveal a storage compartment. A secret hiding spot!

The best secret hiding spots are ones that look like something else. So I pulled out the little horse figurines I had glittered for Arlette's first birthday (I knew I would use those things again) and created a wild glitter pony scene.

I painted the box coral, glued some moss on top, and then picked out the best looking ponies to run free through the "grass".

I think this is my favorite piece out of the bunch.

I wish glitter ponies were real.

The hidden compartment.

All together everything looks so cute on the shelves.

Finally I had the 3 pieces of leather. I thought it would be cool to frame them with some sort of art. Following with the theme of nature and birds, I picked up some white feathers from Michaels. I painted the tip of them to match the color scheme and then colored the rest of each feather with a metallic gold sharpie. Then I just glued them to the leather and framed them with Dollar Store frames.

I am so in love with how everything turned out! It has added so much neat character to the balcony.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I turned someone else's "junk" into little treasures for my daughter. What would you have done with all these goodies?

Now go check out how MidMichigan Mom and At Home With Sweet T did up their swap items! They're pretty amazing.

Or hop around amongst the other ladies who took part in the swap and see what they made:

CC McAfee Perspective
Five Kids, a Dog & a Blog
Happily Ever After, Etc.