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3 Rules I Use To Keep Pets Safe In The Desert

Posted by in Family, Life Hacks, News, Pets, Pixel

Anyone who really knows me, knows I have three chihuahuas. Mango, Mojo, and Pixel.

I also have three boys, each celebrated coincidentally with a chihuahua.

My first dog was a mini dachshund, Pip. -Total bitch, but she was smart and awesome! She cured our family of bickering in no time when she was still a puppy.

…Which kind of brings me to my point. Pip was 11 years old when she mysteriously disappeared while barking outside, yet still inside my parents courtyard… All that remained of Pip was a little bit of blood on the ground.

We are left to assume it was either a bobcat, coyote, mountain lion, eagle, or some other bird of prey.

It was a harsh lesson for us all. Pip was small. 11 pounds of hot dog sausage fury. Delicious sounding to the average predator, I’m sure.

She died 10 years ago this year and now that I have three kids and three dogs, I am continuing to improve upon my proactive approach of keeping my loved ones safe.

How to keep your beloved pets and things safe in the desert according to Holly:

Rule #1: Never leave your pets alone outside. Just don’t risk it. Sure a pack of giant breed dogs are pretty safe, but even a large dog can become a victim in the wrong situation. …Coyotes run in packs, mountain lions are amazingly strong and fierce (especially when hangry), owls are clever, snakes are sneaky, dare I go on..?

Rule#2: Minimize the reasons an animal might be interested in being near your property. Consider if you’re inadvertently inviting predators by leaving pet or human food outside, or not picking/cleaning up enough after outdoor feasts. I say again: Minimize danger.

-Forethought. Learn it. Live it. Love it!

Is it dark? Use man made lights to your advantage. It blinds or discourages sneak attacks because the lights are too bright in contrast to the natural darkness the wildlife is used to.

Rule #3 Don’t get too comfortable. I mean, predators are obviously good at observing their surroundings and checking for holes in the fence, animals alone, distractions, or learned responses. …Say if every time a door creeks there’s a little doggy that goes outside with a clanky metal collar, does it’s smelly business, barks, draws attention… Predators are smart and resourceful. They will pick up on habitual behavior and look for an opportunity- a weakness.

It may be best to have fencing that is tall, but that will not guarantee any real safety. It adds a level of security, but flying animals won’t even think about a wall or fence and I’ve seen mountain lions and bobcats on the roof, so a 6 foot stucco wall won’t do enough to keep them out.

All the tips and prep in the world aren’t as good as your undivided attention for keeping your pets safe.

Stay alert and your pets are more likely to stay alive!

Have a desert animal story?

Tell me about it in the comments!

‘An Dains Fierm’ The Journey Has Fully Begun

Posted by in Conversation Starters, Inspiration, News

The most recent visit with my husband, who is an entrepreneur that comes home every 2 weeks for the past few years, has been quite fruitful.

After 15 years of intense dedication, hard work, a little bit of suffering, and a lot more determination, we (The Dains) have found and purchased land in Oregon and will be leaving in less than 2 weeks to see it for the first time.

This is very exciting for us! …You see, I have wanted a sustainable farm since before I was 8 years old. I even did a project on it in school. My mom still has it tucked away somewhere. I saw it a few years ago and it made me so delighted to see how eager I was to be a wonderful little girl on this beautiful planet. I didn’t, and don’t, want to be JUST good. I CHOOSE to be wonderful! (…sometimes…, let’s be honest – no one wants to have to be on all the time ; ) …I want to be above good, because I’m the type that is making up for any un-good I find along the way.

We’re going to take our family and my life experience of growing up in a solar household on 6 acres in the AZ mountains, moving every 2 years since I was 5, being a diy youga/dancer, living on small farms, rescuing and raising animals, training horses, going to public school and being homeschooled, attending some college, finding love (or it finding me), marrying young, having 3 amazing boys close together, healing from a triggered auto-immune disorder (due to obvious and immense anxiety and stress), deciding to push through all the hardships and focus on goals and the now, believing in myself and my family, learning through my own research and studying, and emerging the buttercornicus that I have come to jokingly refer to myself as (Laughter is one of my favorite medicines ; ).

In the next months and years, I will be sharing my family’s adventures in our journey to build our own sustainable farm.

An Dains Fierm” as we’ve been pondering to🤔 call it.

According to google translate, this is ‘The Dains Ranch’ in Irish-ish (The Dains version-we’re like that : )

My family and I are so excited to share our adventures. We have invested in a DJI spark, a DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, GoPro Hero 5 Black, along with Samsung Galaxy Note 8, IPhone 6s, and 6plus.

We’re working hard to learn every aspect of what we need to do. Like I’ve stated before, I use my iPhone 6 Plus for almost everything, especially the WordPress blogging, which I squeeze in whenever my world allows for it. To clarify, I’m a mom first, wife second, and entrepreneur third. This is how I keep myself prioritized for a happy me and happy family (what can I say? I’m a family first kinda-girl!)

I have wondered if my husband wishes he came first, being that If it weren’t for him, the kids wouldn’t even exist, but any mom out there knows: you can’t mess with a mothers love and sometimes spouses unwittingly challenge you to find out who you love the most – and as a partner – you want to be everything for someone (wether you admit it or not) if you seek or are in a relationship, it’s as natural as giving birth itself. You want your favorite version, right?

We know that the road ahead could be long and hard, but that’s all up to the attitude in which we embrace the adventure. We’re not noobies to the diy world. My husband has been a professional welder, electrician, roofer, custom woodworker, builder, lab tech, phlebotomist, EMT, Firefighter, farmer, truck driver, Entrepreneur: All in the past 20 years.

He’s got the skills for the both of us, but I am the yin to his yang. Everywhere he hasn’t had time to learn yet, I’ve seemed to naturally dabble in. I am the creatively chic girl next door that you didn’t know even lived there – haha.

My favorite things to do are usually by myself or with my family and friends. – so a family farm = Happy Holly!

I already have 3 start up business models that I’ll be working on for the property we purchased! I want my “jack of all trades” husband to pick what we work on first, because he’s so talented and we’re at our best when we encourage each other to use our intuition and stay true to ourselves. In doing so, it creates a go-with-the-flow relationship that we both deserve and each personally desires. We love being #dramafree, but life is anything but fully predictable, so let go of anything that’s holding you back, breathe in that good-ass-prana, accept yourself as you are, allow good things to flow to you, and check back soon.

Things happen fast around here…

#andainsfierm !

Avengers: Infinity War Short Review – No Spoilers

Posted by in Uncategorized

We have been longtime Marvel fans in our house, but only since the first Captain America came out.

I had heard of comic books, but I was more of a word search and MAD Magazine kinda-kid.

The latest installment of The Avengers had me in tears. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that Marvel outdid itself when it picked such amazing actresses and actors to play their super-human and alien characters.

Well done actors and actresses, well done!

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My Truth About Blogging

Posted by in Uncategorized

Bloggy Bloggerton…

…I am not.

To clarify: I want to blog. I just have a lot to do. We just moved all of our belongings into storage. Bought an RV while raising 3 kids and 3 dogs(wouldn’t have it any other way-wait till I finally have my farm- Can we say animal rescue!!!) In order to help my parents in recovery from my dad’s cancer treatments.

Since we have arrived at my parents house in Arizona, it has been very rewarding, yet exhausting. I blog whenever I can, from my iPhone 6 Plus. (I don’t recommend this method…)

It’s a big phone. Kinda awkward to use for long periods of time and it gets hot pretty fast.

Who knows what it’s doing to my body…

I decided to blog about all this because I kept coming up with reasons for why I’m too busy to “do the work” (of running a blog).

I was legitimately and appropriately managing my time for what was most important. In my head it’s about like this:

“-Are the children taken care of? Have the dogs been taken care of? How’s grandpa? Time to cook. Let’s help grandma in the garden. Let’s clean up. What’s Photosynthesis? Let’s look that up to explain it best. You want to color? Swim time! Watch me on the trampoline! Let’s check the mail. Time to pay the bills, and so on and so forth. ”

..The usual for me.

I love it! My life is unlike any person I’ve ever met and I look forward to it staying that way. I used to worry constantly and let people’s expectations of me dictate my actions and I was a definite people-pleaser.

I will always be a bit of a people-pleaser… because it pleases me to please people : )

… Just no more self sacrificing on an unnecessary level. As a mother. Self sacrificing is part of the gig. In my experience, you’re not doing it right if you don’t have occasional pangs of guilt or worry bitch-slapping ya back to reality. I am aware that I go above and beyond for my loves. Whoever they may be. If I love you. You will know it and you will like it 😘

-It’s the people pleaser in me.

But I don’t have limitless energy, and when I run out of steam and everyone is like “Aww, you used up all Holly’s energy 😔😔😔to everyone else.

I have found that listening to my intuition above all works out best. I draw from 32 years of life experience and 10 years in the research and development phase.

I relieved myself of a lot of excess duties when I realized just how much people-pleasing I had gotten to myself into and when I learned how to take a step back from it, breathe, and allow myself to set whatever boundary that needed to be placed. My true self seemed to take shape when I was fairly young because not much had to change.

I essentially alleviated decades of self-inflicted guilt and stress by acknowledging and letting go of the expectations I was able to see were from others and not me.

– I erased all personal and internal doubt when I got consistent confirmation that listening to my intuition gave me my desired outcome in all situations.

– Good thing I don’t use it ferr evil – #amiright ?!

(Jk. Because you get whatever you put out and when I used to be just the tiniest bit vengeful as a young child – and rightfully so – “karma” would always kick my ass. I learned this very early on in my life.)

I am more aware of what I should be paying attention to. I’m able to argue with others and not get upset, unlike in the past. I am always aiming to be completely rational and honest. I’m able to think to the end to whatever desired outcome works best for everyone and proceed with just enough forethought to avoid the usual pitfalls that can strike in everyday life.

(I am not saying I don’t slip up ever, but I allow time for rest and I aim to stay in a continuous state of my natural flow. Practically just observing others. Never reacting. Always encouraging. Incorporating fitness in whatever task I take on because in all honesty, I may not have time to cut out a work out. I keep my flow best while using my intuition.)

This is how I am taking my family “The Great Dains Dynamite Dynamic Dynasty” to wherever we want to go!

-haha!

Well, I digress.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day : )

– Holly

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Homemade Essential Oil Facial Scrub

Posted by in Beauty Mode

I surprisingly get asked my age a lot. I grew up watching and learning from other women that it was rude to ask your age.

I never really minded because I was the youngest in almost all of my family circles.

Just a few days ago my mom told me, “You could be 16 for all they know!” After people were staring at us load my Honda Pilot. After we finished a jaunt to Costco for some recycled rubber tire/mulch mixture that we used to cover cardboard boxes to keep the weeds down and hide the cardboard so it looks ‘classy-like’ (…yet another post ; )

All I know, is that everyone I know is concentrating on looking younger than they are and it can be nearly impossible to hide your age, but you can always do things to help look younger. For this, you do not have to go under the knife, just follow some natural remedies and you can easily avoid aging signs that appear on your skin.

Today’s post contains one such natural remedy to keep on hand. One that promises to scrub and remove aging signs like wrinkles or dark spots from your skin in just a few applications.

Make sure to let me know how it goes in the comments!

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Baking Soda

½ Tablespoon Honey

1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil (EO)

1 Drop Frankincense EO

After Application and rinse:

Rose Water or Witch Hazel

Directions:

1 Combine the baking soda and honey together until it looks like a paste. Add one drop each of lavender and frankincense essential oils.

2 Place a warm washcloth over your face and hold on skin for a minute or so to open up your pores.

3 Gently rub face with facial scrub using small circular motions (be gentle with your skin!). Keep massaging skin with scrub for 3-5 minutes to fully remove dead skin from face and to let the essential oils work their magic.

4 Rinse off with warm water.

5 Your face may be red for a bit but this will wear off.

6 Use this scrub no more than 1-2 times a week.

7 This scrub is alkaline to the skin, so to even out your pH it is a good idea to splash your face with rosewater or witch hazel afterwards. This will naturally balance your skin.

Most of all! Have fun in beauty mode!

#beautymode

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You Can’t ‘Fudge’ This Recipe Up!

Posted by in News, Recipes

No marshmallows, marshmallow cream, or chocolate chips needed in this fudge recipe and if you fallow these directions, you will soon be enjoying your new favorite fudge!

Old Fashioned Scratch Fudge Recipe:

  • 4 Cups organic sugar
  • 1 Cup Cacao Powder
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 8 Tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Real Vanilla
  • Optional: 1 cup of whatever you might want to throw in! [Cashews, pecans, walnuts, homemade marshmallows (recipe coming soon), raisins, pistachios, macadamianuts, dare I go on?]

Directions:

  1. Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa and milk in a medium saucepan. Stir to blend, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
  3. Place candy thermometer in pan and cook until temperature reaches 238 degrees F(114 degrees C). If you are not using a thermometer, then cook until a drop of this mixture in a cup of cold water forms a soft ball. Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it is the right consistency. It should flatten when pressed between your fingers.
  4. Remove from heat. Add butter or margarine and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge loses its sheen. Do not under beat. It will take some muscle if you’re able to use a mixer, it may shorten the beating time.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and let cool. Cut however you like!
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Post a comment on how it turned out! : )

Do You Know Your Ultimate Desire For Contentment?

Posted by in Conversation Starters, Family, Inspiration

I found that it makes me happiest if I keep my needs very basic and, if you are anything like me, you too desire a life of contentment.

-You’re powering through most days with an ultimate goal of self satisfaction and ever-lasting fulfillment at that rest point I hope you’re imagining in your head for the future (When you’re not living in the now, of course; ).

-That place you can’t wait to be. The one you get up in the morning for and go to bed re-evaluating if you can check any “to-do’s” off your list.

My husband and I work (some would argue: overwork) our butts off in pursuit of this very goal, broken down to its most basic form: Find an attainable position of peace for our family to experience some form of comfort and security-before we’re too old to enjoy it.

For us, this means figuring out OUR best guess of where we would be happiest, purchase property there, create a fully sustainable life, create, live, love, enjoy, share and spread how we decided to do it.

I’ve taken the past few years to study everything I ever wanted to online. I wrote a project about “There is No Harm in My Farm” when I was 8. The fact that it has taken so long for me to attain my dreams was because of self made limitations brought on by my society (the world only I, personally was subjected to) That’s the world that only I experienced and that only I have memories of. It’s the world that created who I am today. I learned my lessons. I grew. I accepted and embraced who I really am and she loves love.

It feels completely attainable. I am aware that there are unfortunately plenty of heart wrenching things going on, practically every moment (somewhere in the world), but I want my families very existence to counter that stuff. However we can.

I want to know that whatever I purchase or make may alleviate suffering somehow.

Did I grow organic (un-poisoned) flowers and other plants for local bees?

Maybe, I purchased something with a 100% compostable packaging.

Maybe, I didn’t do anything at all… Maybe I spent more time at home, not driving around or ordering anything to be delivered.

I have started to do more myself. Looking into what I could be doing on my own instead of a product.

We have to remember that product commercials are meant to sell what they are talking about, so hearing “Why” you need something is meant to convince you that you need it.

I frequently think of how basic our needs really are, and when all those needs are met for every individual… Now that would be one peaceful world 🌎✌🏻.

That’s all I have time for right now. The kids are waking up and if I don’t post this now, I will fill my day with so much fun and chores, I may not find it again until I’m too tired to use my iPhone’s keyboard.

Peace ✌🏻

-Holly

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Holly’s Favorite Homemade Ranch Recipe

Posted by in Recipes

Makes about 1½ cups

Ingredients

1 cup organic mayonnaise of choice (I use Trader Joe’s or another store brand organic mayonnaise)

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (probiotics!)

1 tablespoon unsweetened plain nut milk or water (I use water)

1 small garlic clove finely minced or pressed, OR ¾ teaspoon granulated garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill

2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives

¼ teaspoon sea salt

dash fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

Prep fun:

Stir all ingredients together then transfer to an airtight glass container to store in the refrigerator—a Mason jar works perfectly.

Add more or less unsweetened plain nut milk or water to your desired consistency. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop—it’s even better the next day. It will keep for about a week, so halve or double the recipe if needed.

This recipe is adapted from Mind Body Green‘s website for Vegan Ranch Dressing.

So simple! Give it a try and let me know how it goes below!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins – Holly-Style

Posted by in Recipes

Ingredients

1/2 cup grass-fed butter, softened

3/4 cup organic sugar

2 eggs (preferably your own or local free range)

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 cup organic milk

1 1/2 cups organic blueberries

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons organic brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons grass-fed butter, chilled

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with paper or silicone muffin liners.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over unbaked muffins.

Gently fold blueberries and streusel topping until desired consistency and spoon into prepared muffin tins. I fill them up to the brim of liner, filling as many as I can along the way : )

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on muffin size), until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it went below!

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