Home is where the heart is

About Me

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Welcome to my Sustainable addiction! I am a DIY addict, Wife, Mother and Grandmother.  I enjoy sharing my all natural recipes, cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene items, gardening and all things sustainable including my farming.  
We are a family owned, woman run small farm located near the Edisto River in Dorchester County SC.
Our farming operation consists of poultry, quail, eggs, dairy and meat goats. You can buy from us with confidence as we hold a permit from SC to sell Poultry and are also licensed as a Wholesale Egg Distributor.
 
Through our farming practices we provide for our community a variety of Poultry breeds, Heavy dual purpose birds, exotic and ornamental chickens as well as Cortunix Quail that are heat tolerant for our hot SC Summers. 

Whether you are looking for Farm Fresh Eggs, Fertile eggs for hatching (Chicken and Quail), hatchlings, grown birds or Dairy and Meat Goats (seasonal births) we have a large selection of beautiful animals.  
 
We also have Dairy Goats and kids. Current 2017 births so far are 5 kids Nubian / Alpine Saneen cross and 2 Nubian / Toggenburg Cross.
  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

SEO and why it is important to your page

The definition of SEO is:

Short for search engine optimization or search engine optimizer, SEO is the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP). The higher a website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user.
It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine. 
credit to Webopedia.com for definition
Now that you know what SEO is, let's take a look at what you can do to get your web site listing higher in the results
  1.  Key words are a important part tied into every page you have on your site. They need to be descriptive to what services you offer. Think of it this way, if you were looking for a business like yours in a different city, what words would you use in your search engine? This will be a good start on building your key words, but there is more to it than that.
  2. Link pages in your site to one another, this will make it easier for the search engines when they crawl your site to pick up on all of your pages.
  3. Have all of your most important pages listed and linked from your home navigation page. Search engines will assume what they find on the main page "home" page have the most important information on them.
  4. Use social networking sites and blogs, tie them into your web page. Post things often and apply labels & tags.
  5. Use Google webmaster tools and Google Analytics - these are invaluable to webmasters as they give you an insight to see things as the search engine comprehends them. They give you insight as to how the key words show up and in what numerical order throughout your web site. If you see that terms or words that you use are lower in the list than less valuable terms in your opinion you can then adjust them on your individual pages to help increase them in search results. IE: Say I am selling widgets and I care about selling them more to local residents than to global. I would use words often in my page descriptions focusing on my local area and the items I sell. 
  6. Upload your site index maps and reload them after major changes on your site. This will keep your information up to date on the search engines. You want the search engines to crawl your site to show up to date information.
If you find all of this overwhelming, you are not alone! It is never easy and it takes a lot of "tweaking" to get your site producing results to the front page, but it can be done with management and careful consideration of what is working and what is not. I strongly suggest that small business owners (when possible) be involved in a proactive relationship with not only a advertising / marketing campaign but also a web host who can help you with all the tools to help you with your placement on the web. This is even more important for those who do their own websites. Make sure you pick a web host who has tools and widgets included in your package that will not cost you over and above your Web Hosting fee's. It is your business, it needs to be all about your details and budget!

We would be happy to help you in anyway we can. Please feel free to contact us at  admin@i-4details.com

Homemade Simple "Karo" syrup

I absolutely love the change of the seasons, when temperature's finally fall into the "livable" range. Anyone who lives in the South / Southeast knows what a blessing it is to see Sept / October flip over on the calendar. Our idea of "livable" is when it finally is only 80 during the day instead of 110+. It is the time of year I look forward to so I can start my baking again! It is the time of year I take note of what I have on hand in my pantry. Some things like Karo syrup & molasses  have a long shelf life, but once I run out I usually just make do without them until the next baking season. I took a proactive step this week and decided that I just needed to learn how to make the syrup from scratch. How hard could it be? Actually making this simple syrup was quite easy, 3 Ingredients and about 5 minutes - Another bonus find :)

Here is what you will need

4 Cups Sugar (2 parts)
2 Cups Water (1 part)
2 Tsp Vanilla flavoring (real) or 1-2 Tbs. Molasses
Candy Thermometer
A re-purposed glass container or Jar (I used a clean and sterilized wine bottle with cork, and it looks so pretty shining through the clear glass!)

First decide which syrup you want, the light or the dark? If you utilize the light syrup use vanilla, the dark use the molasses.

For my batch I chose to make the light syrup. The batch made enough to fill a small wine bottle.

Place the sugar, water and vanilla in a sauce pan put on about medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Watch it closely, once it starts to boil DO NOT STIR anymore! This is important as continuing to stir will crystallize it again. You are going to allow it to boil until it reaches the "soft ball" candy stage which will be about 235. You will know that it is reaching this stage because it will appear to be getting thicker. When you dip your spoon into the syrup and let it run off it will start to thread off of the spoon. Another test you can do is to have a bowl of Ice water drop a spoon full into the water, if it forms a ball it is at the soft ball candy stage. Turn off your burner and remove it from the heat. Allow to cool and then use a funnel to pour it into your bottle / jar. Now I am ready to make some pecan pie!  Use it for any of your favorite recipes that you would normally use your "Karo" syrup. Since most of us always have sugar on hand you will never have to run out to the store to pick up Karo syrup again, and that my friends is a change we can all live with.  Enjoy!





Friday, September 28, 2012

Good Bye Vaseline - Hello Pure Cure for Dry Skin!


On how I love to experiment and make homemade items! There are many factors outside of the money saving opportunities. Many of the items that I make are simple recipes, the items that I use most people already have in their home and they are just plain good for you. They don't have all of the added chemicals and preservatives that are pumped into the manufactured brands to extend their shelf life. I also believe that if it is truly organic - no added chemicals in the growing process, and not genetically modified it has to be better than what we spend hard earned money on!
I have to admit I have been a Vaseline intensive care junkie since my youth! I was raised in Indiana and my skin has always been naturally dry, add the harsh winters and my love of the outdoors it was always an uphill battle keeping my hands from cracking and my lips from being chapped. There is a lot of opinions and health concerns with using petroleum by products. These chemicals are found in almost everything that you can imagine that are produced for skin care. Sure you can buy "organic" brands but what does that really mean anyway. If you read the labels you will find that even some of these brands have what some would still consider a no no. I have read quite a few articles and the evidence and concern with these ingredients / chemicals listed on the label show they are carcinagins. I am not a Dr. nor a chemist, so the only thing I know for sure is that we do have a lot of health concerns and if something is not safe for us to eat, it probably is not a good idea to put it on our skin where it will eventually end up inside of us. My Friday night madness consisted of making a substitute for my trusted old friend Vaseline, and I must say it turned out fabulous! It can be used all over your body and your lips... as a matter of fact I am going to use the same base ingredients for a lip gloss for my granddaughters.... just adding flavoring of spearmint which they love :)
but for now -

Hello Pure Cure for Dry skin
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup olive oil (minus 2 Tbs)
1/8 cup Bees Wax pellets
2 Tbs. Aloe (100% pure)

I poured the olive oil in a small pot over low heat ( i set my stove on 2) I poured the the bees wax pellets in and let them sit there and slowly melt. This only took a few minutes. Remove from the heat and pour it into your jar. I put mine (via a funnel) in a re-purposed lotion bottle. I then added the aloe and shook it up for about 30 seconds while it was still warm to mix in the aloe. It took about a 1/2 hour to completely cool and thicken up. This lotion resembles a course body butter and is oh so wonderful! My hands feel so rejuvenated and my nails even benefited from a quick drink. The great thing about olive oil is it is considered to  be hypoallergenic (where some people may have a problem with the bees wax - see substitutions below), and it has been used since the Bible days. How many of our manufacturers can say that about their ingredient list?
Additional ingredients / substitutions if desired:
You can substitute Coconut Oil for the olive oil - both are great for your health and have many extra benefits for your immune system.
You can add essential oils for scents - possibilities are endless - use citrus scents for focus and energy, Lavendar for calming / relaxation, Peppermint to help with tired / achy muscles. Did you know the mint and lavender can be mixed together to use as a headache reliever?
This can be used as a base for lip gloss - I would decrease the olive oil by about another 2 Tbs. to make it a thicker consistency.

Where I purchased my ingredients; Extra Virgin Olive oil - Costco by the 2 gallon packs, Bees Wax Pellets - Dr. Adorable / Amazon, 100% pure Aloe - Walmart online - many times this will be seasonal so I buy 3-4 big bottles at a time and use it in other homemade items as well. This is not a paid advertisement... Just a complete listing for those who may need to know where to purchase the items economically so we can all enjoy "a change we can all live with"













Web Hosting - Things to consider

If you have ever had to deal with searching for a web hosting company you know just how challenging  it can be to your mental health. It seems like every one has an angle, a marketing scheme and well written client recommendations. But what does that all really mean?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Brown Sugar is....Necessary and Easy to make!

Have you ever been in the middle of doing (fill in the blank) and all of a sudden reality just hit you in the face with something so obvious that you are literally amazed that you had never questioned it before? I call those "aha" moments, well depending on my mood and how totally stupid I feel by the revelation lol.
I had one of those moment's yesterday when I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things. As I was finishing up I remembered that I needed brown sugar for my chocolate chip cookies that I was determined to make. Since Saturday when I realized I was out, the thoughts of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies have danced in my head! I proceeded down the baking isle, as a thousand times before, reached for the light brown sugar and then wondered what "really" is the difference between the light and dark? I had to look, that is when I realized that 40+ years of baking I never pondered that thought before. I picked up the bag and when I read the ingredients they were both the same, no different process. Okay I hear some of you laughing hysterically by now, but for the rest of us... I found ANOTHER homemade item... wooo hooo!! Homemade means fun in the kitchen. It means special times shared with my granddaughters. It means teaching the next generation how to learn from my mistakes and laugh at them. It means enjoying really good home baked items with no preservatives. YES a win, win, win situation. So without further delays
Lets make some Homemade Brown Sugar!
It is super easy & it took me less than a minute to mix it up! The cost is near nothing since I buy sugar in 25# bags it cost about .45 / lb and the molasses was 2.39 for 16 oz- are you ready?

                               
1 cup of white sugar
2 Tbsp of Molasses

Mix together with a sturdy wire spatula. Put in ziplock bag or in a re-purposed plastic container with lid. You can easily double / triple the recipe to make bigger batches since it won't go bad anytime soon.  


 I will NEVER buy brown sugar again, and after my aha moment yesterday, and laughing at myself all day today, I give you this change we can all live with! 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My "Green & Sustainable" Addiction

I have been anxiously awaiting my latest order of Organic Coconut oil, Tea Tree oil and Eucalyptis Oil. It FINALLY arrived today! YES!! (forgive me it is a sickness lol ) I know to some this may seem like a strange combination, but to those of us who LOVE to make our homemade (fill in the blank) cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items (ie: hand sanitizer, shampoos, toothpaste, conditioner, cold salves etc.) We know that these are some very basic items to have on hand. I do have a growing assortment of essential oils, bees wax, glycerin and aloe. I buy organic 100% items. It never fails though, every time I think I have a good assortment I find something else "homemade" that I just have to try! My latest madness started a couple of weeks ago, I was running low on deodorant (intentionally) so I could put to use my latest research of a good "organic" substitute. I found a lot of blogs on it, and many good recipes which were pretty close to the same. The one Item I did not have was the coconut oil! ughhh I hate when that happens, it can also be used in toothpaste :) After pondering my situation I did what any good sustainable homemaker would do.... I improvised! I used tips I found at onegoodthingbyjillee.com  (absolutely love that woman) and homeshalomblogspot.com 
It is SO EASY, so Economical, smells wonderful and IT WORKS!!! What more could a person ask for :)

Here is my version:

1/8 cup Baking soda
1/8 cup Cornstarch
8-10 drops of Olive oil (instead of coconut oil 1-2 tsp)
1/8 Tsp of Cinnamon (this is a natural deodorizer)
1 drop of Lavender essential oil (or your choice of scent)*
* Tip - you can leave out the essential oil if you want or need a unscented product. You can also substitute it with any other scent, maybe a sandalwood or rosemary for men. 

I mixed the olive oil and lavender so the smell would be uniform, mixed together the soda, cinnamon and cornstarch with my wisk, then poured in the oil mixture, mix real good - at first it will have the look of dough when you cut in butter, just keep mixing it for a minute or so and it becomes silky soft and a hard paste!  Done! I currently have it in a small re-purposed hand butter container. It turned out close to solid enough that I think I may be able to reuse an old deodorant tube. This recipe requires no refrigeration to keep it solid. 
Enjoy and let me know how it worked for you!  
Green and Sustainable living is a change we can all live with!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eco Friendly Web hosting

How much power does it take to host your website? Have you ever thought about it? The implications are much bigger than what appear on the surface! I never realized just how much electricity it takes to not only host a web site but each person who stares endlessy into our monitors day after day, not that I have EVER done that ;)
I stumbled upon, literally some amazing information when I was building a website for my Church about 4 years ago and I have been a "green convert" every since! That is why my web hosting services that I offer is not only 100% wind powered but the electricity is actually offset by 200%! That still just blows me away - no pun intended :)  When you host with us you will have available to you this banner to list on your site that shows the world just how much difference your 1 green website has made. Please read this certificate. This is a change that we can ALL live with.

This Website is Green Certified

EPA Green Power Partnership
This certifies that the data centers, web servers and web hosting offices supporting i-4details.com are powered by 100% wind energy.

What Makes i-4details.com a Green Website?

By choosing wind-powered web hosting solutions, i-4details.com has become a certifiably green website.

Green Certified

By partnering with Community Energy and belonging to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program, we certify that i-4details.com’s hosting is powered by 100% wind energy.
That means by using wind-powered hosting, i-4details.com has helped prevent the annual release of approximately 2,660 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, without sacrificing the functionality of their site. To put this number into perspective, the benefit is equivalent to planting nearly 2,390 acres of trees or preventing the environmental damage caused by 6.1 million miles of driving.
Since it is impossible to have wind turbines on our roof tops, the company buys wind-generated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset their energy use. The number of credits purchased by the company is equivalent to the KWH of electricity used.
For more information about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, please visit Community Energy Inc. or the EPA Green Power Partnership Program.

When Web Hosting companies advertise LOW rates

 rHave you ever noticed how many companies advertise Web hosting? It literally has to be hundreds, maybe thousands. The rates seem unbelievably low some as low as 1.99 per month! WOW, then you go to the website and realize it was just a scheme to get you to come to their site. It pays to be diligent and read all of the small print. Sometimes they make it hard because they want you to click "purchase" before giving you all the details.
Many web hosting sites will advertise extremely low monthly fee's but when you look at what you get, you see that it is only for the first couple of months (1-3) you have only 10 Gb of data that you can store for use on your site. That may be enough storage for some people, but even for someone who likes to blog with pictures and video's it will not take you long to burn thru that data allotment. Then how much are they going to charge you for the overages? You don't have to worry about that with us. We honor our sales price for 12 full months! You get Unlimited storage and bandwidth plus you get the latest tools including google analytics and SEO / Meta Tag help to make sure that search engines find you and drive business to your site. You get all the same advertising and marketing credits from Google, Facebook and yahoo. You get your site builder tools for the DIY Tech Savy or we can help you to achieve your place on the Web. Compare us and see the difference! It is your business, it should be all about your details.