Mena, Arkansas

Stonehill Cottages in Mena, Arkansas | happy together
This year we changed things up a bit for our summer vacation and went north. We wanted to try out a place we haven’t been too before so I looked up a bunch of places that were under 7 hours away from us and came across a small town of Mena, Arkansas. It looked really pretty and once I found Stonehill Cottages I knew we needed to try it out. I’m happy to say we had a great time and loved where we stayed. Our kids love nature so they had a blast as well because it’s a really small town and nature stuff is about all there is to do. I would really recommend this place if you are looking for a quiet getaway and enjoy the outdoors. It still wasn’t my sweet Tennessee, but it was a nice mountain fix for a much shorter road trip.

Farmhouse in Mena, Arkansas | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together
How adorable are these little cottages? I want to share pics of this place because the couple who owns them did such a cute job in designing and decorating them. We loved the farmhouse decor. My children now want a house like this haha. There were four of these on the property plus the owners house so it felt secluded but not like you were completely alone in the woods. It would be a great place to do a family reunion or something and rent out all the cottages.

Farmhouse Kitchen | happy together Open shelving in kitchen with shiplap | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Farmhouse Sink | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Farmhouse bedroom | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Shiplap walls in bedroom | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Purple Clover
We walked around the property a lot in the evenings and my girls enjoyed picking flowers and exploring. During the mornings we would go out and about for activities. One of our favorite places was Board Camp Crystal Mine. We had a blast and found so many pretty crystals. We like searching for seashells and sea glass, so this was right up our alley. The owner was very kind and goes with you to show you what to look for and all so you are for sure to find something. We walked away with a bucket full of all kinds of crystals and most were found right there on top of the dirt.

Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together
We also took a morning to go to Queen Wilhelmina State Park. It was a pretty drive to get there and the park itself was nice. It has a lodge where you could stay, a camping area, and a few fun things for kids like a mini train, mini golf, and play ground. We were interested in the trails and did the Spring Trail which was shorter but really rocky. Unfortunately it was really dry and we saw no spring. I saw places which looked like water would flow down, but we didn’t see a “spring” like place they make it sound like it has…so not too sure about that. We also hiked some of the Lovers Leap Trail which we enjoyed more because you were able to go to this spot and get a beautiful view. If you can’t tell, we enjoy hiking when there is something to see like an old cabin, a pretty waterfall, etc…. It helps motivate the kids (and us!) when they (we) start to get tired :)

Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together
We are always on the lookout for new places to see, so please share any cool places you like to visit on vacation! -jess

Our Very First Square Foot Garden

Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together This past spring I decided to try and do a legit little garden for my family to enjoy. I have so many fond memories of helping my grandfather and father in their gardens, that I wanted to give that opportunity to my girls. We rent and can’t exactly go tearing up our yard to make a huge garden, so I was very happy when I discovered square foot gardening while browsing on pinterest one day. We actually had a little raised bed that we fixed up last year, but we only grew flowers then. This year I planted carrots, beets, onions, peas, a tomato plant, and spinach in our little garden bed. Then I planted a cucumber plant in a planter and a pepper plant in another planter.

Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together These pictures are mostly from May when we did our big harvest. I should have let things stay in the ground a little longer, but we were getting ready to leave for a long trip and I knew it would be too late by the time we got back. My girls had so much fun pulling out their veggies! And let me tell you, they were so much more excited and open to eat vegetables that they picked themselves.

Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together The peas, tomatoes, and cucumber plants kept giving a continuous harvest for a while, so they were still able to go pick some goodies to eat later.

Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together   I liked square foot gardening because it was more technical for a smaller garden space. Meaning, the sites I found told you how big to make your “boxes” with string (if you like) and how much of each thing to plant in each “box”. That way everything is spaced out correctly and has enough room to grow. I did know that our space wasn’t very deep and it was rocky once you dug down far enough, so I wasn’t sure how the root vegetables would do. Fortunately, they did pretty good! Our carrots are a little funky looking, but that’s okay. It was still fun to give them a try and they tasted fine.

Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together
Our First Square Foot Garden | by happy together Unfortunately, we came back from our few weeks trip to a very sad garden. I figured it would happen since it gets so hot here in Louisiana it makes plants dry up real quick. Aphids and stink bugs also attacked our tomato plant and it was too late to try and save it. I planted some zinnia seeds for the time being and am having pretty flowers consistently. I’m hoping to get some things planted this month for a fall harvest though. Did you grow a garden this year? What did you plant?

-Jess