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Looking Back

The First Egg

Chickens eating crushed egg shells for the first time

Our little chicks are all grown up. Their custom, fermented feed seems to have lead to happy healthy chickens. We were just waiting to finally see our first eggs. They were showing all the signs of getting ready to lay, but I wasn’t seeing any eggs. I even put out crushed egg shells for them in preparation for them laying their first eggs. They happily gobbled up the crushed egg shells.

New nesting box

While we were waiting for them to lay their first eggs, I decided to redo the nesting box as I wanted something that was easy to access without needing to go into the coop or chicken run. With a few modifications to the coop, we were able to add a 3-box nesting box to the outside of the coop. Once again, pallets were used for the box. We did use a little plywood this time as we already had it on hand.

Our first egg from our chickens

The nesting boxes were installed just in time to see our first egg laid in the coop. To say that I was excited is probably an understatement. When you raise them from itty, bitty chicks, it’s truly fun to see the process come almost full circle. One day, I hope to see our girls raising their own little chicks. For now, just collecting that first egg was a fun experience. We’re definitely looking forward to having eggs on a regular basis.

Outdoor Living with prAna

prAna sent me the Mantra pant and Ravena top for the purpose of writing this post.

Joshua Tree National Park at Dusk

As soon as we had a break in the high summer temperatures, we knew that it was time to hit the trails and the boulders. D had a long weekend thanks to Labor Day, so while we did have some work that had to get done, our main focus was having some fun in the park. We decided that we’d split our time between climbing at the gym and hiking and climbing in the park. We’re fortunate to live in an area that is rich in outdoor activity opportunities.

Hiking in Joshua Tree wearing prAna Halle pants

Since my new Mantra pants didn’t come in a short length, I still needed to shorten them about 3 inches before I could wear them. With everything going on around here, I hadn’t made time to shorten the pants, so I decided to wear my prAna Halle pants instead. They are one of my favorite pairs of climbing/hiking pants as they’re light weight and super comfortable with a nice stretch to them. D wore his light weight prAna Breathe pants. They’re not only great for hiking, but they make excellent climbing pants. Both the Halle and Breathe pants have held up well to climbing all over some pretty abrasive boulders and rocks. We’re all about durable, comfortable clothing.

Checking out the problems on the boulder

We loaded up on water, grabbed the bouldering book, and off we went in the Jeep. We did end up tossing the bouldering pad and climbing gear in the back just in case we found a sweet spot to climb. It turns out there were a good number of locations, but they were a little more difficult than we were ready to tackle. As the sun was starting to set, we found a bouldering playground that we plan on climbing when we have more time. Even though some of the boulders were off limits due to historic artifacts, there were still so many boulder problems to tackle. I liked that the level of difficulty varied greatly which meant both D and I will be challenged at a degree which works for our skill sets.

Outdoor Living with prAna

Mantra Pants in Black Herringbone

After D went back to work, I finally got around to hemming my Mantra pants. I really wish these came in the short length as it would have made my life a little easier, but it was worth the extra effort as they are super comfortable and cute. The wide elastic waistband with a drawstring allows for a custom fit on the waist. I like the addition of the drawstring as it’s not always easy for me to get the right fit on the waist when the rest of the pants fit my curves. These pants have a wider leg which I think makes them not only nice for various physical activities but also every day wear. Yes, they are comfortable like yoga pants but they look dresser when you’re out and about. They are a soft blend of 53% hemp, 44% recycled poly, and 3% spandex.

Ravena Crew Neck Top in Baltic Print

I received the Ravena top in the baltic print. It’s a 54% recycled poly and 46% organic cotton blend that’s breathable, soft, and comfortable. I normally like solid colored shirts, but the prints on these shirts are quite fun. The fit allows for easy movement no matter what activity you’re doing. I can do all of my stretching in this shirt with no binding or tugging. The length is good, but I’d like it to be just a few inches longer. The sleeves are not tight and a little on the long side which I like.

Climbing some boulders in Joshua Tree National Park wearing my prAna Mantra pants and Ravena top

prAna clothing looks great and performs well.

Of course, I don’t purchase prAna just to look good. It’s needs to perform well in a variety of activities. I already knew that it worked well for yoga, but I wanted to test it out hiking and scrambling on the rocks. Clothing around our house needs to be durable as we tend to be hard on our clothes. That meant that I really needed to head back out and do some more exploring. It’s the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, so it only makes sense to spend as much time in our local park as the weather (and time) allow.

While the Mantra pants allow the flexibility to move around, they are definitely more casual pants rather than climbing pants due to the style. Since I’m short and curvy, the pants are not quite as flattering on me as they would be on someone who has longer legs and is a little thinner (like Munchkin). That being said, I still really like them as they make a great alternative to traditional yoga pants for every day casual wear. As I stated before, I really like the Ravena shirt, but I wish it was a little longer so it wouldn’t ride up as much when I’m lifting my arms, stretching, and reaching. It’s all a matter of personal preference and body shape. prAna does not disappoint on quality of materials and craftsmanship. Their clothing is well made and designed to last.

Outdoor Living with prAna

About prAna

prAna is known for their quality climbing and yoga apparel, but they also create stylish, sustainable clothing and accessories that work for all types of activities from spending time outdoors to running errands. They care about positive change in the community and promote conservation by using sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp and recycled poly. They support Fair Trade and Renewable Energy initiatives. They stand behind all their clothing and accessories with great customer service.

Visit prAna.com or follow them on their social media accounts to stay up-to-date on their latest products and get exclusive access to discounts and special offers.

prAna has graciously offered my readers a 15% off discount code. Just enter code MMLPCORP at checkout. The code is valid through October 31, 2016 and can only be used once per customer. It is not valid on gift certificates or with any other offers.

Morning Prayers and Gratitude Journal

I received a copy of these books from the publisher for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

365 Pocket Morning Prayers and Gratitude Journal

I try to approach each day with a positive attitude. Some days are easier than others but trying to have a good outlook seems to make even the hardest of days go just a little smoother.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” ~Proverbs 17:22 ESV

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

Recently, I’ve started reading the 365 Pocket Morning Prayers book each morning. It’s not a full devotional or Bible study. Each entry is simply a themed paragraph with a passage of scripture. The little tidbits get me going and help me focus for the day.

I don’t know about you, but when I first get up, I’m not ready for a deep Bible study. I save that for when I’m a little more alert. At the same time, I want to make sure that I start my day with some time with the Lord. The mini devotionals with scripture are a nice way to spend some time with the Lord before I get everyone moving in the morning.

At only 6.5″ X 4.25″, this journal can easily be tucked into a purse or bag for reading throughout the day. While each entry is labeled for one day of the year, you can also looks things up according to topic.

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal

A gratitude journal is another way to relax and focus on the positive things in life. This gratitude journal is a hardcover journal which includes words of encouragement, scripture passages, journal pages, and activities meant to deepen your faith. It’s set up to not only be a journal but also a faith-based coloring book. The pages are heavy, so you don’t have to worry about bleed-through if you prefer to use markers rather than pencils.

Tyndale has made some of the pages available on their Pinterest creativity page, so you can print them out. You can also see some of their other journaling products.


National Park Service 100th Birthday

Celebrating the National Park Service's 100th Birthday at Joshua Tree National Park

In August, the National Park Service celebrated their 100th birthday. Unfortunately, we didn’t get out an explore like we wanted due to a crazy schedule and high temps in August. Thankfully, the temps decided to cool down over the holiday weekend, so we were able to get out and enjoy hiking, exploring, and climbing at Joshua Tree National Park.

Hiking is a fun way to date your spouse

It’s always fun to get out and hike through the park. D and I are trying to make physical fitness part of our normal routine together. I’m looking forward to continuing to date my spouse. I’ll take these hikes and climbing over going out to eat or going to a movie pretty much any day.


There are boulders and Joshua Trees all over the place. We always enjoy checking out the rock formations.

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

Rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

There are so many different shapes and sizes of boulders and rock formations throughout the park. It’s always interesting seeing the various rock types. Munchkin is our little geology person, so it’s nice when she’s able to go with us as she’s great at identifying the types of rocks. We usually get into a conversation into how the formations came to be.

Thankful to be able to climb the rock formations

Sometimes checking out rock formations and boulders means climbing over and up fields of boulders. I like to climb through crevices and explore the caves and tunnels. D prefers to climb up and over the rocks. Admittedly, he makes me a bit nervous at times. I tend not to follow him on his little rabbit trails when they go up, up, up… Waiting to see if we’re actually going to head in that direction before making a decision on whether or not to follow his path or find my own tends to serve me well.

Climbing some cool rock formations in Joshua Tree National Park

I’m not a big fan of up as I have a fear of getting hurt again, but it’s something that I’m working through it as I get more into rock climbing.

Family Rock Climbing at Desert Rocks

Testing out the holds at Desert Rocks Climbing Gym

Family rock climbing is a fun way to spend time together while incorporating fitness into our routine. A little extra time off for the kiddo and husband meant we got to do a little more climbing this past weekend. We decided to try out a rock climbing gym that we had stopped by a little while ago. We needed a little change from our regular small climbing gym.

D trying a sit start route at Desert Rocks Climbing Gym

Desert Rocks has a bouldering area, a top rope wall, and a different gym that had regular top roping and auto-belay climbs. Their routes are labeled beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Within those ratings are a large range of difficulty levels. The routes are color-coded which makes climbing the routes much easier. There are still times when we’re on the wall that we lost our way, but overall, it’s pretty clear where you need to climb.

D partially up the route at Desert Rocks Climbing Gym

D and I made the first visit without the kiddo. Those pesky college classes are always getting in the way of our family fun. 😉 The gym wasn’t crowded, so we were pretty much able to pick any route and try it out. I was able to flash a few routes which was a new feeling for me as that’s definitely not possible for me at our regular place. D was enjoying all of the variety. He was finally able to try out some different holds.

Munchkin doing a beginner yellow route with interesting holds at Desert Rocks Climbing Gym

The next day, we had planned on Munchkin going with us, but she had too much school work to get done. She decided that she wanted to try to knock a bunch of it out while we climbed. It would allow her to enjoy her day off on Labor Day. It was more crowded this time, but we still had a blast working on more new routes and getting a little better at some other routes.

Munchkin trying a couple of different routes at Desert Rocks Climbing Gym

Sunday was our day off as we headed to church and relaxed. On Labor Day, we made our way over to the gym as a family. It’s was crowded, but we were still able to get a lot of climbing in. Munchkin is fierce when she climbs. She does not like to leave a problem unfinished, so she pushes a lot harder than I do. Of course, she has youth on her side which helps. 🙂 She and daddy play off of each other and push each other. Needless to say, they both ended up pretty sore after the climbing session, but for the most part, it was a good sore. We all had a good time climbing together and look forward to more climbing sessions together.