Doing the best she can to raise happy, healthy children

Category Archives: Preparedness

Being pretty new at prepping, I try to do something weekly. This sometimes includes buying products or reading an article or inventorying my pantry. I’ve found doing a little each week, it feels less overwhelming.

This last week I made two purchases and I invested in my kids. My purchase this week was a paracord bracelet and laminated brochure about edible plants in the US. These purchases obviously have a lot of benefits. The paracord is a standard in most preppers bags. It also has benefits for hiking or camping. The edible plants brochure also has benefit for camping and hiking. It can also be helpful if you are playing at the park and want to identify if berries are safe.

The second activity I did was an investment in my kids. I took them fishing. I plan to repeat this next weekend. This was not only a fun activity but it is helping teach them a helpful skill. I truly enjoy spending time with the kids and seeing the joy on their face when we caught a fish.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. The kids were done with school this last Thursday. Something  I didn’t realize until this year is how much prep work and “tying things up” occurs at the end of the year. I’m not sure if I just didn’t notice it in previous years or if it’s just because my daughter is older and just finished 4th grade (which was an intensity I also wasn’t expecting but is for another blog post). That paired up with soccer season led to a very tired mama.

However, today I wanted to get a couple of posts up. One of those being a list of prepping things many people are already doing. I think when people hear the term “prepper” they automatically think of the extreme. Part of this is because of how television has portrays prepping. This makes it hard to talk to people about prepping if that’s what they are thinking about.

This list, I’m hoping, will help those who want to open-up conversation with non-preppers about prepping, provide information for those who are prepping-curious, and give others a starting point.

So without further ado, I present to you my list.

5 Prepping Things You Most Likely Already do
1) Shop bulk at Cosco or Sams Club. Shopping in bulk just 
makes sense, right? Most people shopping at the big warehouse 
stores are only there for the deals. Buying enough toilet paper to 
last one month is a convenience, right? Whether its toilet paper 
or canned foods, buying in bulk and having some stockpiled is one 
of the key ways people prep. 
2) Create weekly meal plans. Busy mom's everywhere will say meal 
planning is key to having healthy food on the table most nights.
Many who routinely do this will also say it helps to decrease 
waste as they are using the food more efficiently. The fact is, 
meal planning is a form of prepping. You are preparing for the 
week and planning ahead. That is truly the goal behind prepping, 
planning for the future. 
3) Keep blankets in the car during winter. If you are lucky to 
live where it snows or gets really cold in the winter, you've 
most likely been told by your parents, grandparents, and 
(sometimes) even the news to make sure there are extra blankets 
in your car. Most likely, you have a blanket (or two) in the 
backseat. Heck, you may even have a change of clothes if you 
commute outside of town just in case you get snowed in. If you do 
this, embrace your beginner prepping skills. 
4) Buy medications for 90 days instead of 30 days. In most cases 
getting a 90 day supply of medications just makes sense. It often 
times savesyou money but most importantly, it saves you time. You 
don't have to go to the pharmacy nearly as often. Well, in the
prepping world, having more medication on hand is incredibly 
useful and could save your life in case of a natural disaster. 
5) Go camping. Lots of people love camping. I was just at a 
campground last night and all of the 122 camping spots were full. 
Camping helps teach a lot of valuable skills such as starting and 
maintaining a fire. A good fire can help cook food and keep you 
warm. Camping can also help you begin to recognize plants like 
poison ivy.

So that’s my list. What do you think? Anything you add to this list? What do you do as a prepper that most non-preppers do? I’d love to hear from you.

Today I completed my first hive inspection. My goal was to find the queen and look for brood or proof of a laying queen. I saw the queen go into the hive with the installation. Overall, I feel quite comfortable she was still in there somewhere. However, with a new hive, losing the queen would be tremendous set-back.  So I need to make sure she is there.

Hive inspections through the year will look the same in process. However, the reason for hive inspections will vary. The main reasons to do an inspections are listed below.

The purpose of hive inspections
1) Check for a laying queen
2) Check for brood disease
3) Check for swarming signs
4) Check honey stores
5) Learn to recognize brood pattern
6) Learn to recognize drone vs worker brood

I was able to find my queen and she is laying well. I was excited to see brood cells which means she’s laying. We are good shape to start the season. I was pretty lucky to have honey frames from my husband’s hive to “jump start” mine.

Here are a few pictures from my inspection.


Queen Abaddon and the girls 


Me removing the first fram 


Just Abaddon and some bees

That was my inspection today. I’ll probably check it again in a week to make sure we’re doing well. If the bees continue to grow well, I’m hoping to add an additional box in the next couple of weeks.



My husband and I have kept bees for about 5 years, give or take some. Mostly my husband has been managing our hives. He did most of the management the last several years. Although, I picked-up pieces of information, I did not actually manage any of the hives. Well, until today that is.

I received and installed my first package of bees into a new hive today. It was a bit cold and rainy today which made the installation process easier and more difficult. The temperature was around 40 degrees. Since the temperature was low, I did not spray them with sugar water. The cold also meant they were clumped together pretty tightly which made it more difficult to get them shook out of the package container.

It was a bit unnerving to have the bees on my veil. I didn’t like seeing them so close to my face. I was quite nervous about touching them as well. I know as I manage the bees more my comfort level will increase. However, since it was cold and we didn’t want the bees to freeze, my husband did jump in and help me out a bit. He also got a bit of a laugh out of my response to the bees on my veil/touching them.

Here are a few pictures from the installation.

I plan on my beekeeping adventures to be a blog series. So stay tuned for updates throughout the summer.

One of the easiest ways to prep for unplanned events is building up your food storage. This is a great idea for everyone. I look at the recent natural disasters that occurred this year including the fires, mudslides, and hurricanes and I’ve realized that life can change without notice. Loss of income can also come along with little notice and can impact the ability to purchase food. Having a stocked pantry can help decrease the blow to any of those things.

There are plenty of websites and blogs that can give you a list of things to stock-up on. These lists can be a good starting point. Keep in mind, each person/blogger prepares for different things and their food list/pantry guide will reflect this. So I recommend looking at several lists and determine what you want to be prepared for and plan your pantry accordingly.

Here are my 3 tips for beginner food storage

  1. Store what you like to eat. Let’s face, if you don’t like eating it now, you probably won’t like eating it in an emergency situation. If your kids don’t want to eat it now, they won’t like eating it for 3 days straight. I like to buy a little extra of the things we normally eat to put away.
  2. Start with essentials first. A good place to start is with the basics. Start thinking about a 3 day supply just in case there’s a bad storm. What do you need to survive for three days. You’re most certainly going to need water and basic easy to prepare food. Tackle these first. Then move on to add either variety or quantity to your storage.
  3. Canned food is your friend. Canned food is a great staple to your food storage. Canned foods are cheap. Sometimes I can get 4 cans for $1. It can store for long periods of time. Its easy to store by stacking. You can easily rotate the food so you are eating the oldest first. All sorts of food comes canned. You can get canned meats in the form of tuna or chicken, an assortment of vegetables, lots of fruits, juices, potatoes, etc. Its pretty amazing what you can easily stock-up on.

These tips are pretty simple and common sense. I know when I first looked into building up my food storage, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options and people’s opinions. This was my starting point.

Have you been building a food storage? What are your beginner tips? Did I miss a basic tip you think should be included? Let me know what you think!

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As I’ve stated in other posts, I did recently obtain a permit to carry. You can read my previous posts HERE. I will say, I’ve not exercised my right to carry as I’m working on practicing with my 9mm. I feel like that’s responsible thing to do.  So far I’ve logged 1 CCW class and another 1.5 hour of shooting at a range. To be honest, I’m not sure what the right number of hours one should have before carrying. I think it depends a little on the skill and comfort level of the person.

But alas, I am rambling. Here is my review.

Greystone Holster Shirt for Conceal carry

This shirt is designed for deep concealment. It allows for left or right hand draw. It has the added benefit of a compression shirt which also aids in concealment. You can view the product on Amazon HERE.

The Pros
Comfortable: I wore this over 12 hours while at work and hanging out at home
Easy to conceal: I was able to easily conceal wearing multiple shirts, blazers
and sweaters.
Its Flattering: The compression of the material helps to suck-in fat where
Its Ambidextrous: You can draw either way. This is a nice feature so you
don’t need to worry about ordering the wrong one. I also, believe you could
carry two at one time if you wanted.

The Cons 
It takes practice:
I picked this shirt because I wanted an easy way to conceal
which would work with multiple outfit types. I didn’t think through the need
to practice drawing and replacing. When I first placed my 9mm in it, it went
pretty smooth. Then the second time, I realized I had my weapon pointed at
myself and had the risk of accidental shooting myself! OUCH! So, I need to
practice some.
Its all soft: Again, I didn’t think about this originally when considering
this holster. I’d worried about it with the abdominal bands because its
easier for little fingers to slip into the trigger. A soft trigger guard
can be problematic.

Overall, I think its a great option. I’m a bit curvy and not a small woman by any means. This makes it a bit more challenging to conceal. I was glad to find this shirt that can make concealing less challenging. I also like how it looks nice under a blazer or sweater if one didn’t want to add another layer.

On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being not recommended at all to 5 being you can’t live without it, I give this a 4.  I marked it down for the lack of a firm trigger guard and the need to practice to easily holster and draw. I know that regardless of the holster, one needs to practice; However, I’ve found a belt holster to be a bit easier for a beginner.

Do you have this holster? What do you think of it? Do you have a favorite holster? I’d love to hear what you use to conceal carry.

I totally understand not everyone is pro-guns. I don’t intend to get into any debates on here. Comments that are rude or an attempt to pick a fight will not be approved.

Now with that stated, let’s move on to how I ended up with a permit to carry. I’ll admit, I’ve yet to carry. I don’t have any plans in the near future to do so. However, after the party mentioned in the previous post (which you can read here), I and my friend began talking about going to a range to shoot, for fun. We thought it might be a fun girls night. I’ll be honest, I’d been wanting to shoot since I left the military.

So we started investigating and I found most of the ranges required you to have a permit to shoot/rent. Uncertain how to get around this, I began researching how to obtain a permit. This lead me to getting my permit to carry. Since that time, several things have happened both in the local news and national news. So, I’ve explored the option of carrying.

This is what it took to get a permit to carry in my sate. Please note every state is different.

  1. Register for and take a basic permit to carry which includes passing a shooting portion
  2. Apply for a permit to carry and pass a FBI criminal background check
  3.  Have your picture taken for the permit to carry

That really is it. Its pretty simple to get a permit. One must remember  this is a big responsibility. Once you start carrying, you have increased legal risk and you need to understand those risks and accept responsibility for anything that may (hopefully not) happen.

My next post will discuss what’s next after obtaining your permit.  I’ll also be writing a product review soon.

I feel like my late 30’s has been this HUGE re-identification time. I went back and obtained an advanced degree and am now doing something I NEVER would’ve consider in my 20’s. I have switched the church we attended through most of my adult life. I’m looking for meaning and meaningful relationships which included evaluated my current relationships. This season of life has created a lot of change. I’m embracing it completely.

One change started the beginning of October, so about 2 months ago. It started with some friends inviting us over for an evening of socializing and playing games. One game was a what if game that focused on preparedness. The questions asked were similar to this, what would you do if your traveling and a major event occurred. You had to get home and travel by vehicle isn’t an option?

That got me to thinking. What would I do? How would I handle it? Then I started thinking about the hurricanes that had occurred this year in Texas and Puerto Rico. It occurred to me, there are some BIG changes I could easily make that would help my family if something happened. Specifically thinking about natural disasters because realistically, they are most common.

I made 3 changes in the last month. I started buying extra food to begin a modest food storage. I put together two backpacks with basic survival items (one for my car and one for the house), and finally, I obtained my permit to carry. That was a BIG step for me. I’ve never not liked firearms. I was in the military after all. However, I’d never really felt like I needed to own one.

I’ll be honest, I’ve always had some idea of what I’d do if something really bad happened. But, its much better to have some items here at the house in case there is a bad winter storm. It’s certainly better to have it here then having to run out with all the crowds to stock-up.

I thought I’d write a little about my experiences of what we’re doing to help our family be a bit more secure with food and financial resources but also with safety. At this point, I’m planning this to be an ongoing blog series.

My next entry will be about the my decision to obtain a conceal carry and to purchase my first firearm.

It only took one game……