September 2, 2014

8 Indulgent Brownie Recipes

With the cooler air, we all seem to be anticipating fall & all it brings. For me, that means warm, gooey, indulgent brownies fresh from the oven. This week, I've gathered eight mouth-watering recipes from blogs around the web that I know you will all love. There is something for everyone, from gluten-free to eggless to flourless, there is sure to be a recipe for you in this tasty round up! Head over to now for the details on the Thomas Keller Ad Hoc Brownies via The Owl with the Goblet pictured above as well as seven more indulgent brownie recipes.

September 1, 2014

5 Tips for Rural Pet Care

This past June, we experienced a horrific tragedy in our family. Our rescued family dachshund, Noelle, was attacked, & ultimately lost her life, to a pack of coyotes. This was our second attack in two years & because I witnessed one of the coyotes rip her right off of our front porch, this event was all the more sickening. Noelle brought such joy to our family; particularly to my son, Collin. Noelle & Collin were inseparable, which made this loss hard on him especially. Since the loss of Noelle, I have done extensive research on rural living & pet care. I found very little information for rural pet owners to reference to & when our local newspaper editor's dog was also brutally attacked, I was prompted to share what I have learned with all of you in hopes to prevent any future losses of beloved family pets. Below, you will find six tips for rural pet care that I would advise anyone living in an area similar to mine, to take into consideration.

1. When choosing a family pet, if you plan on getting a small dog or cat, be sure you have the means to keep them as inside animals. Smaller animals are prime targets for predators like coyotes, wolves, & even large birds. Even larger dogs are at risk, but typically can protect themselves if necessary.

2. Do not allow your dogs out around dawn, dusk, or during the night. This is prime hunting hours for coyotes & other predators that won't hesitate to take down even large dogs.

3. When taking your dog outside, always be sure they are on a leash or that you are with them at all times. Rural areas typically have rough terrain & your pet may not see a potentially harmful object like a fallen piece of cactus or thorns on the ground. Our dog, Merry, ran out of our front door when I went to check our mail & ran right over a fallen cactus. We had to tweeze out dozens of thorns from her paws. Another threat would be inconspicuous poison meant for vermin or coyotes.

4. If it becomes necessary to bring your dog out at dawn, dusk, or during the night, carry a flashlight & some type of weapon with you. Do not let them out alone. As I stated before, this is prime hunting time for coyotes & other predators. In fact, this is how our family lost our dog to coyotes in the middle of the night. It is dangerous & just because your pet has been out at night alone before doesn't mean they won't be harmed. Coyotes change their hunting paths frequently & if desperate enough, will even attack an animal close to their home. Our dog was taken right in front of me off our front porch steps. Do not risk your pet's life.

5. When leaving your animal home alone, keep them indoors. If necessary, buy a large crate to keep them in for when you're away running errands. Personally, as a rural pet owner, I never feel safe with my dogs outside, even if they are leashed or kenneled.

6. Make sure your animals are spayed & neutered. There tend to be several feral dogs & cats in rural areas. Even coyotes & wolves have been known to mate with domestic dogs. Please ensure your animals have been spayed or neutered to help keep the animal population under control. And trust me, you don't want puppies. I would know. Our dog, Merry, was supposedly spayed according to the rescue we adopted her from. She became pregnant a few months after we adopted her & we ended up with ten puppies to care for. They can't be re-homed for six weeks, so we had to be their caretakers until then.

What would you add to this list? Do you have a rural pet story you'd like to share? Please share in the comments section below.

September Goals // Weekly Wishes #35

created by my talented friend, Chelsea from

  • Move OHD to Wordpress: This did not happen. I am lacking the funds to be able to do this currently, which is a bummer. It will happen, though. Just not as soon as I would have liked.
  • Paint the laundry room & find some cabinets: This project will be the death of me. I have lined up some things to happen this month that should help be get back on track with this, though. I would really like this project to be completed soon because I am itching to get started on Aiden's bedroom.
  • Focus on OHD & getting posts back on track: With the boys in school & some extra help coming my way this month, I will have time to get my little blog back on track. I have been so out of whack & I really want to focus on getting my posts set up & scheduled & ideas out so that I can be creative. When I'm not having fun & overwhelmed, this Internet world I've created suffers. And I truly love this place, so I want to re-focus & get it all together. 
  • Find storage baskets for our laundry room shelving unit: We purchased a rad shelving unit for the laundry room, but it needs storage baskets to give it purpose & organization. Right now, things are just randomly placed where they can fit & my OCD brain craves organization. 
  • Get my birthday on: I'm turning 29 this month. Bring on the dirty thirties! And by dirty, I know full well that means more poopy diapers, sticky hands, dirty floors, & more. Ha! I just want to have a nice birthday meal & even a night without kids or see a movie all by myself. It would just be divine to not wake up to a baby or someone asking for breakfast right this very minute.

  • Get caught up on my housework: With Jacob's help, I'm back on track for the most part. It's literally a daily struggle. 
  • Get my blog scheduled for one week ahead: Nope. 
  • Mail out thank you notes for Evelyn's birthday gifts: Done!
  • Go through Collin & Aiden's toys: I do this every few months because everything gets so out of hand so fast. I like to sort everything out & toss out broken things, donate what they are neglecting, & reorganize what they'll get to keep. 
  • Mail out birthday cards: I am an entire two months behind. When is it inappropriate to send a late card?
  • Go on a me date: Friday, I have plans to get my nails done, my eyebrows threaded, & possibly even my hair trimmed. Look out, world! It's easy to lose yourself as a busy Mom, & little things like basic grooming does eons for a mother who has been neglecting herself.

The Nectar Collective

August 31, 2014

30 Weird & Wonderful Holidays to Celebrate in September

If you've been a long time reader of OHD, you know by now that I love a good reason to celebrate. Each month, I bring you a list of silly, lesser known holidays that you can use to reference for the month. I enjoy researching these holidays so that I can apply them to blog pots ideas, home schooling projects, & to incorporate to our daily family time if I can.

Who even knew that there was a step-family day?! With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it only makes sense. I'm super stoked about that holiday & intend to plan a small family celebration for our own blended family.

Do you have ideas for celebrating any of these fun September holidays? I'd love to hear your ideas & thoughts in the comments section below.

August 30, 2014

Jacob 35/52

A portrait of my husband once a week. Every week. For one year.

Since Jacob leaves for work before the boys start school & gets home after they're already home, he hasn't been able to see either of them off for the day. Yesterday, he dropped off Collin for the first time. They left extra early to stop by a little diner to grab some breakfast & have a miniature, "Man Date," before school. I loved getting this photo via text this morning.