Welcome to our new site

I’ve decided it’s time to move away from Blogger to WordPress.  So here we are!  We have lift off.  A very warm welcome if you have stumbled upon us by chance, and a huge thank you if you have followed us from Blogger.

Who are we?  A family of 4:  Tracy (hi), Steven, Grace and Jack.  We moved to our lifelong dream home back in January 2016, so we’re fast approaching 3 years.  Life has grown since then and dreams really have started to be fulfilled.  The dreams have also grown!  Every year, we’ve had new ideas, new projects, new animals and new friends!  Truly blessed.

The North East of England isn’t thought of by many as one of the most idyllic places to live, but I love it.  We’re 10 minutes away from the local town and pretty much 20 minutes away from everything else, yet we are secluded in our little piece of England.

Today we’re running low on animals, mostly due to Mr Fox.  We have 9 chickens, 4 geese and 4 ducks and  19 chicks.  We had 70+ chickens and more geese and ducks at one point but the fox wiped us out over a couple of months.  So we are now trying to increase our stock again, hence the chicks.  15 of those are being bred for meat as we raise our own meat and the other 4 are Rhode Island Red chickens of which 3 are female and 1 male.

We have 3 dogs (Annie, Rodney and Buster) and 3 horses, 3 ewes and their 6 lambs from this year.  3 of these lambs are in the freezer now with the last of the pork from last year’s pigs. Hopefully we’ll get more of both this coming year.

Over the summer, we have preserved as much as possible, using the freezer a lot more this year actually.  We thought we were stocked up on logs however we are going through them at a fast rate. We’ve just taken a small delivery of oil which we hope to take us through the last of the winter and we’ve plenty of coal in.

The hayledge has been ordered and animal bedding delivered.  We do need more hay though and word has it that if it’s a bad winter we will see a £10 increase per bale next year so fingers crossed we don’t.

So we should be all set outside, what about inside? The word of the year is FRUGAL.  Income needs to be maximised and outgoings minimised. We’re wanting to save as much cash as possible for the next few years, so the blog will focus on the usual smallholding antics with the animals, the growing seasons but with a thought all of the time to keeping all costs down.

So free fun, frugal meals, cost saving ideas, income generating thoughts and a make do and mend attitude are the order of the day now. It’ll no doubt be a turbulent ride but we’re ready for it.

At present we’re eating out of the freezer, we’d like to empty one so that we can switch it off until we have the next lot of bulk meat to go into it. We’ve had a lot of “freezer surprise” meals in the last few days! Next on the cards is sorting the electric reading out to see what our monthly payments should be as they’ve suddenly shot up.

Making things a little more difficult is our new health drive. This isn’t a new year resolution thing, don’t worry. Since September 2018 I have lost 27lb and found a love of exercise. We’re both getting fitter (Ste already was!) and keeping the weight off. It’s doable but just takes a lot of planning.

So that’s us for now. Both back to work as of last week and taking lunches from home. Healthier and keeps the cost down. Watch this space for updates as we move through the year.



12 thoughts on “Welcome to our new site

  1. Hi Tracy, wondered where you had got to but nice to see you back. Hope you had a very good Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year. Very pleased to see you back actually as missed your posts. We are living out of the freezers too at the moment. I am emptying them so that they can be stripped cleaned out and then can start to fill them again. I am still at the present still at home and not working. That might have to change but I have been enjoying the time at home. Do not like the cold weather though. I know this year has been milder than usual and it is normally January if it is going to get really cold. I hope not but one never knows! Anyway glad you are back and look forward to your posts. Take care Tricia xx


    1. I’m here :). Life got so hectic, I’m taking a step back from it and realigning. Much needed. That’s very kind to say you missed my posts. I’m back with avengence now. Hope the living out of the freezers is going well for you? I think I’ll do something with all of the fruit that’s in there this weekend, though some of it might end up being frozen again but in a different form, like pies! I do think we have a cold spell to come though not for a few days here. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time at home, that makes me happy. Take care x


  2. Good to see you back in action, and on WordPress now. I look forward to reading about what life brings for you in the coming year.

    I think Tricia’s idea of emptying a freezer is a good one – my smallest is full of fruit and would be much better emptied and turned off!

    Sorry you lost so many of your poultry flock. We didn’t have so many problems with foxes here (despite there being plenty about) but Polecats were the bane of our life – they would sneak in through the tiniest holes.


    1. Hi Jennie, lovely to see you. I look forward to catching up with you and everyone else now I’m back. I’ve really missed it and making sure I put time aside each week to stay in touch and update on this side.
      Interested to see what you’ll do with your fruit, we’re probably going to give a go to the fruit this weekend as we’ve loads frozen. I don’t think we have had polecats, hope I haven’t spoke too soon


  3. Hi chic. Nice round up of events. I’ll probably ask you again but how easy is it to move to WordPress, I have considered it and does it cost anything? Looking forward to seeing your exploits in writing and lots of pics.xx


    1. Hi Lou, I’m just getting used to the best way to reply to comments. Almost missed this one. It was really easy!! Part of the reason I didn’t use blogger in the end was due to how hard it was to upload photos. No I don’t pay anything and haven’t. Xx


    1. Thank you! I find the app so much easier to use when I don’t have time to log into a pc. Time is always of the essence. Thank you for commenting now you can, I look forward to hearing from you!


  4. Nice to see you back again and I can’t quite believe it’s nearly been 3 years in your lovely homestead…well done!
    I too have lost weight (due to high cholesterol and scary heart palpitations) since last Jan I have lost an amazing 4 1/2 stones, which I am very proud of….but no more cakes for me lol!

    Anyway, take care.



    1. Hi Lisa, thank you for stopping by. I often wonder how you’re getting on. Congratulations on your weight loss, that is a tremendous amount! I do miss the baking side of things but if you bake it then you have to eat it right? Treats for the kids is about it in this house on a normal week.


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