Category Archives: Reviews

Fall Garden Planning (and a Giveaway)

It’s finally here! Have you been waiting for summer to end like me? Here in Florida, there’s only a handful of items we can grow during the summer. It’s so hot and I long for fall so I can start planting again. I just planted a few rows of green beans and speckled butter beans a few weeks ago and they are popping up nicely.


I’ve been gardening for years and every year, it’s always a trial and error. If something goes wrong one season, I just learn from it and try again the next season. Do you ever have those “so close to amazing” moments in the garden? Ok, I’m the only one LOL?

I always start with designing my garden each season with a scratch piece of paper. You have to draw it out so you don’t plant the same crop in the same spot. Crop rotation and companion planting are the biggest points in laying out the garden. Once you get that accomplished, it’s easy breezy!

So, I created some cute sheets to help me manage my crops better and so I can see at a glance just how everything is doing. I also made this book where I tear out pages in magazines that I know I will want to reflect back on. Oh, you do this too? So glad I’m not the only OCD person over here LOL.

So here is where you come in. I am launching my super cool amazing garden planning sheets soon, but I need a few “testers” to try them out. Are you in? All you have to do is download them, print them out and start using them in your own garden planning. Did I mention they are “FREE” to you? If this sounds like something you’d like to help me out with, then comment on this post and I’ll email you the link so you can get started. I want your honest opinion. Tell me what works and if you want to see anything else on them. Our next planting date is September 5-6, according to the Farmers Almanac. I pretty much follow their guidelines. Once you provide me with your email, I will send you a more detail list of how this whole TESTER thing works.

After I get everyone’s feedback back, I am going to list these downloadable sheets in my Etsy shop. I want to help as many people as possible have successful gardens. We are all busy and these sheets I feel are going to minimize the stress and trial and error in the garden. Looking forward to meeting you TESTERS!

Now, on to the amazing GIVEAWAY!!! If you’ve been following along lately, then you know I’ve been part of a book launch team for KariAnne Wood’s new book “So Close to Amazing”. She is the blogger behind Thistlewood Farms.

Live Party & Book Giveaway!

This book made me laugh and cry, was inspirational, uplifting and full of hope that we don’t always have to be “perfect” and we all “mess up”. I’ve been honored to be a part of this team and I’m also part of the Book Tour. You can read all about it HERE.

So, in honor of my friend, KariAnne, I am giving away two, that’s right TWO copies of her book and they are both signed by the amazing author herself!!

This book needs to be in the hands of every woman out there. Give them to new mom’s, grandma’s, friends, sisters, etc. They make awesome gifts!!!

If you want to pre-order, you can do so HERE and KariAnne has some amazing gifts if you order by September 4th. You can get it on Kindle right now for $9.99 and hardcover is only $12.36. Both such a great deal!!

To enter the giveaway, here’s all you need to do:

1. Like my Facebook Page – Little House Simple Living
2. Comment on this post. I want to hear about all of your “So Close to Amazing” stories. We all have them right? Let’s build each other up and encourage one another.

CLICK HERE to ENTER – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and I forgot to mention, at the end of each chapter of “So Close to Amazing”, KariAnne is sharing some amazing DIY’s that you can try out at home! Isn’t she the coolest!!!

Good Luck and I can’t wait to pick the lucky winners! There will be 2 of them drawn using Rafflecopter.





So Close to Amazing


Do you ever have a day where everything goes right and you’re like “bam”, I’m the best mom ever? And, then there’s those days that absolutely nothing goes right.  Are you with me?

I am honored to be part of the Launch Team to my new friend KariAnne’s book – So Close to Amazing! KariAnne Wood is the beautiful inside and out lady behind Thistlewood Farms. If you don’t already follow her blog, go check it out.  You can thank me later. She’s absolutely amazing!

My job as part of the Launch Team is that I get to read the book before it hits the shelves in September. I can share with you some highlights and from the looks of Chapter 1, this is going to be an awesome book, especially for all of us moms! Oh, and I didn’t mention all the cute DIY tutorials at the end of each chapter. 🙂

Feel free to share this first post with all of your friends and join me on this journey. Your friends can sign up for my blog HERE. This way, they will receive all of my weekly updates I will be making weekly prior to the launch of the book in September. Chapter 1 is about taking a “Jump”. Have you ever been in a situation where you want something so bad but not sure if it’s the right thing to do? Do you ever hear God speaking to you and you just ignore him until he’s tugging on you and tugging on you? NO. Oh, ok….well I have! Instead of trusting HIM, I get scared. This book is encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and JUMP! So, are you with me?

Embrace the you God created you to be.
And discover the amazing that was there all along ~ KariAnne Wood


So Close to Amazing, KariAnne Wood



What To Do With Fresh Picked Peaches

What do you do


So, have you heard of the best kept secret in Lake County?  I’ll give you a little hint…..

It’s orange and they grow on trees!  No, silly, it’s not oranges….it’s peaches!  Georgia peaches have got nothing on these peaches that are grown right here in Umatilla.  I went to Graham’s U-Pick Peaches located at 14803 Lake Yale Road in Umatilla. So, if you live in the south, you know a good peach when you taste one!

So, Saturday morning, my sister, mom and niece decided to head out and pick some peaches.  I ended up picking around 24 lbs.  These are the BEST tasting peaches ever!  I’m seriously saying that you pick them right off the tree and they are so juicy!

FullSizeRender (2)

They are nearing the end of the season…’s a very short season, like only the entire month of May.  Here’s how it works:  When you get there, go up to the tent where you will be greeted by some of the friendliest folk here in town.  They have a few different size baskets you can take and fill them with as many peaches as it will fit.  You might have some overflowing and the basket might get a little heavy, so they have some carts you can put your baskets in to make it easier for you.

They also sell local honey and blueberries.  Call or check their Facebook Page before heading out there just to make sure they have availability.  I guess word has gotten out and the peaches are almost picked!

Oh, and be sure and tell Mary I sent you.  Word on the street is that her husband is the “Peach Whisperer”.  I can vouch for that cause they are the sweetest and juiciest peaches I’ve ever had.  Their phone # is 352-636-3821.  They are open today, Memorial Day from 9am-4pm.

Now, what to do with them…….

I brought mine home and cut up 7 quart sized ziplock bags and stuck them in the freezer. They will make for good peach cobbler, smoothies, peach pecan ice cream, peach salsa, peach jam and oh my goodness, peach anything!  I even love grilled peaches!

You can even “can” them.  Click HERE for the recipe on how to can peaches. Watch this video on how to dehydrate them too.  And the last thing you can do with peaches, is just eat them LOL.  I saved about 20 peaches and put them in my crisper drawer in the fridge for us to snack on over the week.

P.S. Check out Graham’s U-Pick Facebook Page – they used my pretty filled basket of peaches in their flyer!



Eat More Beef!

Eat More Beef!

I’ve recently found this amazing burger place that I just can’t quit talking about!  It’s not your typical burger joint, like Five Guys or Burger Fi.  It’s way different!  It’s called Square 1 Burgers.  Have you heard of it?


When you walk in, you feel like you’re out west somewhere.  The cool thing is, that it’s a Florida based restaurant with only a few locations.


You can get these bad boys on Wednesdays for only $3.  That’s right! Their beer battered homemade onion rings are the best around and only $3 every Wednesday. Served with their homemade sooner sauce that is amazing!!!


Having a little fun with my kiddos and my nephew! He He


The decor is so inviting.  They have paintings of cows and street signs all of over the place.  I took this photo on the way to the bathroom!


Now, onto the food.  I literally can’t stop talking about this place.  They are reasonably priced and actually, you could share a meal with someone as the portions are huge!  They even offer your burger “green style” aka NO BUN.  Not to mention that you will want to get the fried dill pickles or the baked mac ‘n cheese for an appetizer. LOL


The one that I frequent and that’s closest to me is in The Villages.  Be sure and check them out!

And of course, Enjoy!