Minnesota Parent - October

MNP 1019_Cover_RGB

The October issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.


My ramblings in my School Days Column this month's Education Issue is all about what parents can do to support their child's learning from home.MNP 1019_Cover_RGB
Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking -->HERE.

Find the online link to my column---> HERE.


If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As, always - thanks for reading!

On my bookshelf...

Happy Friday Friends!

Here's my "Friday Fave,"a series highlighting fun and interesting things (products, experiences and/or ideas) that I would recommend to others.

This week I would like to share just a few of the books I have read over the past six months and that I would recommend if you are looking for something to add to your bookshelf:


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is a captivating story. - fiction - mystery - unforgettable characters.


Me Before You 


 After You


Still Me

I loved this series by Jo Jo Moyes.  So often when you end a story you want to know what happens next - and in this case you get to find out.  


Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

I just finished this one.  It is a historical novel following four siblings and their dramatic experiences over a monumental summer.


Here are my recommendations - I would love to hear what you have been reading!


I am part of Amazon’s affiliate program in order to offset some of the costs that are associated with running a blog. If  you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links of my tried and true, honest recommendations, I get a very small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support in this area!


::Paperless Post::


Around Here.....

Around Here - 4
Around Here - 4
Around Here - 4
Around Here - 4
Around Here - 4
Around Here - 4Life has been BUSY in our neck of the woods....

Sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the richness of it all.

In the past week the fall colors have really started to pop.  We are enjoying our beautiful surroundings.  Some recent heavy rains has also saturated our creek so it is full and flowing.

We have had warm and humid temperatures so our garden is producing a bountiful fall harvest!   We have tomatoes and grapes that I have been canning and preserving.  It is also apple season.  We have some apples growing on a few trees in our yard, but we were recently gifted a two paper grocery bags full that we will be putting to good use.   

Today I am also recovering from a 13.1 mile half marathon race.   Friday our 14 year old and 12 year old participated in a 5K fun run and yesterday our youngest two ran their last 1.2 miles of a kids marathon.  I ran the half marathon and also helped organize and run a bake sale fundraiser alongside all of the race festivities.

Fun, busy, rich and full.


A Conversation with author Ashley English {and a GIVEAWAY of her New Book!!!}

Ashley English I first "met" Ashley English when I discovered her Homemade Living Series at my local library when I was seeking tips for my backyard homesteading endeavors. 

Since then, I have been inspired by many of Ashley’s wonderful publications, and I have the privilege of both meeting her in person (At the Taproot Gathering at Squam back in 2013) and sharing pages as a contributor in Taproot Magazine.

I am excited to share that Ashley has just published a new book!

It is with great pleasure that I am sharing my recent conversation with her as well as an opportunity for YOU to win a copy of her new book Homemade Living:  Home Apothecary with Ashley English:  All You Need to Know to Create Natural Health and Body Care Products courtesy of Sterling Publishing.

Ashley English 3Q:  Ashley, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – where you live, your family, and your interests?

A:  I live on 11 forested acres in the small town of Candler, about 15 minutes west of downtown Asheville, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I share my home with my husband Glenn, our sons Huxley (age 8) and Alistair (age 2),  cats Harold and Maude,  dog Dexter, and a flock of chickens.  

Glenn and I work together from home full time on books (of which there are 11), magazine articles, classes, lectures, workshops, and assorted and sundry homesteading projects. Huxley goes to the sweetest little Reggio-inspired nature school on an organic farm a few towns over, and Alistair is with us at all times (for now, at least!). 

We work and talk and write about anything related to natural living and small-scale homesteading. Additionally, Glenn has an MFA with a concentration in color, so he also does work related to color consulting and information, as well as various art-related classes. 

Ashley English 1 Q: Please tell us how your writing career has grown. 

A.  When I met my husband in 2007, I was working as a nutrition consultant and medical assistant at an integrative medical practice in Asheville, NC.

Glenn already owned the property and home where we live, which had been a certified organic edible flower and herb farm when he bought it in 2005. There were still several hoop houses on the land, and, as much as I loved the patients and staff at the doctor’s office, I thought about taking a big leap and maybe bringing back the farm.

I gave a month’s notice, and literally days before my final day of work, I got a call from a close friend, who also happened to be a senior editor at Lark Books at the time, asking if I would like to write a homesteading book series (later titled “Homemade Living with Ashley English”), as I was already doing all of the topics she hoped to include in the series.

So, I left work, took a month off, and then jumped headfirst into writing my first two books in tandem, “Keeping Chickens” and “Canning & Preserving,” which published on the same day in 2010. After that, I authored three more books with Lark, including two more titles in the “Homemade Living” series (“Keeping Bees” and “Home Dairy” which published in 2011), and a book on seasonal pie-making, “A Year Of Pies” (published in 2012).

I then pitched several books to Lark, but they were all turned down. Then, Amanda Soule of Soulemama and Taproot, reached out and asked if I’d like to write for Taproot, which she was just starting. We traveled up to Maine in March 2012 for the magazine’s launch and stayed with the Soule family. During our time together, Amanda asked what new books I was working on. I told her how things had stalled, and she asked if she could connect me with her editor at Roost Books, Jenn Urban-Brown. That connection turned into four books with Roost. 

I also have since put together with Lark a collected edition of the first four books in the Homemade Living series, entitled “The Essential Book of Homesteading.” Additionally, the newest title in that series, “Home Apothecary with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Create Natural Health and Body Care Products”, officially publishes October 1st, 2019. 

Ashley English Books

 Q.  What strategies do you use to balance your professional life with your family life and your role as a mother?

A. Well, as I joked when you previously interviewed me, when you work for yourself, you’re kind of always working, especially when you work from home, and even more so when there are little ones underfoot. It can be difficult to differentiate those separate spheres of captial W “Work” from home life. Fortunately, much of my paying work dovetails with home life. For instance, if I’m writing recipes for a magazine, then that takes care of dinner, too! Or, if I’m doing an out-of-town lecture but it’s at a location that’s not too terribly far away, the whole family goes together and makes a fun little exursion out of it. 

I’m also fortunate in that I have Glenn around. Which is to say, there’s an extra adult on hand at all times, both for working with professionally, and for helping watch Alistair, who is 2 ½. 

The back story on Alistair, though, was much more harrowing than the sort of cavalier way I’m mentioning him here. I’d had pre-eclampsia with Huxley, so we knew to keep an eye out for it with Alistair, as you’re much more likely to have pre-e with subsequent pregnancies. With Huxley, though, I made it to almost 39 weeks in my pregnancy. With Alistair, however, everything went sideways when I was only 27 weeks along. 

As a result, he was born 13 weeks premature, weighing just a wee 1 pound, 12 ounces at his birth on April 5, 2017. He spent the next 79 days in the NICU at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. Fortunately, since we work for ourselves, and since Huxley was being homeschooled at the time, the three of us were able to come to the hospital every single day during his lengthy NICU stay, offering skin-to-skin kangaroo care, and to even introduce nursing when he was only 30 weeks! It was a tremendously difficult time, suffice to say. 

The following year was equally challenging, as the hospital staff told us to keep him out of the general public (at least indoors) for a year after he came home on June 23rd. An entire year! Phew. Well, we managed to keep him safe and healthy. Aside from emergency surgery on a herniated hydrocele he was born with last September, he has no residual health issues from his micro-premie birth whatsoever. What a miralce he is! And with a full head of red hair and a mischevious, rascally nature, he keeps us on our toes, from day one all the way on up to today! 


Q: Tell us about your book.

A. My newest book, as mentioned above, is Home Apothecary with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Create Natural Health and Body Care Products.  It’s the 5th book in my Homemade Living series, but it also works as a stand alone title. It continues the small-scale homesteading/DIY ethos of its predecessors, however, serving as a primer for getting into crafting homemade health and wellness remedies for you and your family. There are 20 remedies for Natural Health and 20 remedies for Natural Body, making a total of 40 DIY projects. They’re approachable, affordable, and just plain fun to make. 

Q.  What’s next for you?

A. Glenn and I have been working with a local film production company on an idea for a documentary-style tv series. It’s in the way, way early stages, but we’re excited for what may come. I’m also still hoping to create a series of online classes, some on topics related to my books, others on various subjects, including Glenn’s expertise in color and other topics. 

*all photos from this post were used with permission from Ashley's instagram feed


If your comment is selected by the random number generator, you'll win!  
Giveaway ends September 18, 7:00 p.m. CST

*Want even more chances? Earn bonus entries by:

**Following me on Instagram 

**Subscribing to this blog's feed

  **Sharing a link to this giveaway on your social media  

**Following Ashley English on Instagram

**Following Following Ashley English on Twitter

**Subscribing to Ashley's feed at www.smallmeasure.com

**Following Sterling Publications on Twitter

**Following Sterling Publications on Instagram

Just make sure, whatever you do, that you come back here and leave a separate comment for each entry option. 

ex. "I just followed you on instagram", "

Good luck!


Back in the Swing of Things....

First week - 1 (1)Well, we survived the first week of school!

We hit the ground running with a 9th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader and 2nd grader.   This mama started her 19th year of teaching.    

It is always a big transition, for me especially, as my responsibilities and care of children increases exponentially with the onset of the school year, but we are all getting back into the swing of things.

This year I am continuing to work on self-care and stress management strategies and I also have a goal of "working smarter, not harder."

Here are three things I am focusing on to start the school year:

Drinking More Water.    On our summer vacation to the Pacific Northwest I got a new Hydroflask Water Bottle as a souvenir.  I am trying to drink two full 32 ounce bottles during the day.   I have been adding Nuun Immunity Tablets to give me a little boost as well.

Yoga.  I am continuing to incorporate yoga into my life.   I am aiming for one session a day.  My go-to home practice is a video from Yoga with Adrienne.  This week I have done her Sunrise Yoga, Stress Melt, and Yoga for Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back.   These free, quick videos have really helped me feel better.

Getting Help with Meal Planning.    Meal planning is a huge chore in my life.  Last school year I had a whole series of meal planning posts. where I created a collection of posts with weekly family meal plans.   This school year I am trying out a recipe meal planning service called emeals.   I subscribed to the "Kid Friendly" plan and every Wednesday I get an email with dinner recipe ideas and grocery lists for a whole week of meals.  I have been trying this out for a couple of weeks and I like it so far.  It is making this big responsibility in my life a little bit easier.  

There are several different meal planning menu theme options (ex. Quick and Healthy, Vegetarian, Budget Friendly and Clean Eating to name a few).   If you are interested in trying checking it out, try it free for two weeks using my referral link:   http://emeals.com/invite/megan-devine.    


I hope your school year/September is off to a good start.   If you have some strategies that you are using that are working for you to get back into the swing of things I'd love to hear about them!  


Minnesota Parent - September

MNP 0919_cover_RBG

The September issue of Minnesota Parent Magazine is available throughout Minnesota and online now.

My ramblings in my School Days Column this month is all about how birth order can affect relationships, especially with children. School Days - September - Megan Devine
Pick up a print copy, or read the full issue by clicking -->HERE.

Find the online link to my column---> HERE.


If you like what you see, social media 'shares' are appreciated!

As, always - thanks for reading!

Friday Fave - Back to School Round Up {Grey Duck Bags & Gypsy Bandanas GIVEAWAYS!!!}

Hi Friends!

First of all I want to THANK YOU for stopping by this internet space I have created.   Maybe it is your first time here or maybe you are even a subscriber. Header - Kids  Lakes  Loons and PinesMy Kids, Lakes, Loons and Pines blog has developed and grown over the years from a family journal to an outlet for creativity that has given me a platform for sharing my published works as well as a means for being intentional in practicing gratitude with my words and photographs.  

My intentions with my efforts to keep this space is that that you find some inspiration from my experiences or from what I share to enrich your family life.

Back to School Giveaway - 3

Because I am an educator with 4 school-age kids, our household is quickly shifting into back-school-mode.   Going back to school can bring some mixed feelings,

but today I am leaning into excitement!!!

For today's Friday Fave post I am partnering with:

 Grey Duck Bags6a01053643b439970b022ad37dc6f1200c-150wi&

Gypsy Bandanas


To highlight some fun products that are great back-to-school accessories

{with accompanying giveaways!}

Grey Duck Bags - 

Are you a teacher and/or busy mom that is needs a large capacity bag for all your day to day things?

Do you need a bag for your child to hold crayons and pencils and another for snacks?

Check out the great selection of bags in a variety of styles and prints at Grey Duck Bags.
Grey Duck Bags
Grey Duck Bags
Grey Duck BagsGrey Duck Bags are stylish, practical, Minnesota Made and Grey Duck Bag Co. donates 3% of its sales to programs for area youth.


Gypsy Bandanas 

I have developed a new go-to style with Beth's gypsy bandanas headbands.   Whether I am going for a run, out on the town, or getting ready for a day of teaching I am always pulling my hair back and adding a little pop of color to my wardrobe with the comfortable and fun variety of prints available with Gypsy Bandanas accessories.   

Gypsy Bandanas.
Gypsy Bandanas.
Gypsy Bandanas.Check Beth's handmade bandanas, headbands and ponchos at Gypsy Bandanas.


For this giveaway I am partnering with Tara and Beth to help YOU get ready to go back to school.
Enter to win one of the following prizes:

$25 credit to Grey Duck Bags online shop

$25 credit to Gypsy Bandanas online shop

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post.  
If your comment is selected by the random number generator, you'll win!  
Giveaway ends 9/28/19 7:00 p.m. CST

*Want even more chances? Earn bonus entries by:

**Following me on Instagram 

**Subscribing to this blog's feed

  **Sharing a link to this giveaway on your social media  

**Following Grey Duck Bags on Instagram

**Following Gypsy Bandanas on Instagram

Just make sure, whatever you do, that you come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know how you shared.  

ex. "I just followed you on instagram", "

Good luck!

comments closed!

The winners are:

Gracie:  lucky #1 $25 to Gypsy Bandanas

Michelle: lucky number #52 - $25 to Grey Duck Bags

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 7.44.32 PM
Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 7.44.32 PM
Thanks for playing along!