Friday, March 28, 2014

Would You Survive?

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It came to my attention this week while walking through the grocery store that life could change in an instant. There are always threats of terrorism and crime. Natural disasters like the recent mudslide in Washington devastate us. Ice storms knock out power and can cause you to be stranded inside. What can we do to prepare? How do we survive?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Need Your Rest

In today's world, we never rest. Everything is go-go-go all the time. Every invention is made for convenience and to take less time. No one has patience and no one takes the time to stop. We are running ourselves ragged, and for what? Our career? Our kids' extracurricular activities? Our family's wants? It has to stop. Our bodies and brains were not made to live through such turmoil all the time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little House Lifestyle

We had our big yard sale this weekend in preparation for putting the house on the market and I believe it was very successful. We removed a lot of the clutter from our home and sold furniture that we cannot fit into a camper or storage. The house now feels as large as it is. This was all step one in becoming more self-sustainable and living as a minimalist.

My husband and I have not always been like this. We haven't always dreamed of getting rid of all our stuff and starting a mini-farm homestead. In fact, in the past I wanted to be a big city girl! I have no idea why I ever wanted to live in a crowded city with rude people, traffic, and smog...but for some reason, I did.

That was when I was a teenager. I was feeling rebellious of the "norm" and wanted to be a business woman, not a homemaker. I detested the fact that some people expected the woman to be at home. I wanted to be independent and rely only on myself. I didn't need a man.

When I was really young, however, I read the Little House on the Prairie books and dreamed of that lifestyle. I would pretend I lived back then, putting on a long, flowing skirt and running barefoot outside. I imagined living in a small log cabin with a warm fire and climbing a ladder into a loft to my bed at night. I loved how the family would gather together and Pa would play his fiddle, and how their faith was a big part of their upbringing.

I also dreamed of being a teacher and a mommy back then. Somehow I lost that imagination and dream I once had, putting it off as just some child's fantasy, never to be a reality. Well after some of the circumstances in my early years as an adult and especially over the past couple of years, I realized that my first dream was what I really want. And now I am doing the work behind the dream to turn it into a reality!

As a child, I didn't know about chemicals and pharmaceuticals and terrorists that could wipe out the grid. Now I realize that God placed the dream in me to live simply and naturally because of the way the world is going. I realize that I will be a mommy and a teacher to my own children someday. I will have the cabin and wear long, flowing skirts while I work barefoot in the garden. ;)

I will raise my children to trust in God instead of man and teach them all the ways of the Lord. I will teach them to respect nature and God's design, only taking from it what we need for nourishment, and always giving back to the soil in the form of compost. I will teach them to work hard, always being honest and having integrity.

I will work hard all my days to care for my husband and family, but will always be sure to enjoy those moments I can never get watching my children chase the chickens through the yard, seeing my husband care for the animals and work the land, noticing the wonder in my children's eyes when they see a new baby calf or watch chickens hatch for the first time, enjoying the soft breeze on my porch swing while snuggling with my husband after a day of hard work, putting my children to bed with a prayer and a kiss, and seeing God's glory in the new day's sunrise, greeting it with a smile.

There may be days that we experience loss of animals, a garden disaster, or make mistakes that set us back; but we will always have each other and God and really, there's nothing else that we need other than that. Because I trust that God will take care of us and I trust my husband to make the right decisions. With God as our focus, we cannot go wrong.

Do you live a Little House lifestyle? If you don't, do you dream of it? I would love to hear your story. Please share in the comment section below.

This blog post is linked up to:

The Homestead Barn Hop

Bloggy Moms Blog Hop

 Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop

 The Sunday Social Blog Hop

Friday, March 21, 2014

What are Essential Oils?

Something all-natural that's becoming increasing popular among "crunchy" people are essential oils.

So what are they?

An essential oil is a natural oil that is extracted from plants or other sources. Essential oils have been around for thousands of years and used in everything from aromatherapy to hygiene to healthcare. Fragrance oils and essential oils are different. The oils I am talking about are pure, undiluted and can be used therapeutically.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Keeping Packing Organized

As you all know, we are planning to scale down and live in a camper soon. So I have been working on sorting, purging, and storing items from our house to get ready for the downsize. This week I have been working on storing items that I do not need everyday but that I plan on keeping. I started with keepsakes and heirloom china and I am working my way through the house, packing things and organizing them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Live a Simple Life and Save Time?

I'm sure you can agree, especially with the way society is these days, that time flies. It seems as if the hours disappear. Days, weeks, months, and even years run together! Have you ever wondered why that is? As a child, time seemed much slower. We had less responsibilities and our imaginations were allowed to run wild, as were we (sometimes).Why does there seem to be less time in the same 24-hour day the older that we get?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Recipe Friday!

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I have a confession...I LOVE chocolate! Okay, well that probably isn't really a confession. It's assumed that most women love chocolate. I know I can't be the only one. :P Today I wanted to share with you my favorite "healthy" brownie recipe.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Problem with Organizing

I have a problem. It seems that every time I try to organize, I run into it. It's a time waster. It prevents me from accomplishing what I set out to do. It may not be a bad thing itself, but when I'm trying to organize under a time crunch, it does not help me at all. You may struggle with it too when you try to organize...

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Kitchen Disaster

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I am the world's worst at keeping my kitchen clean. I really don't understand how mothers with young children do it. It is just my husband and myself in our home and yet I can't seem to keep the dishes clean. They pile up like crazy. I will not blame my husband because it is mostly my fault. I always use excuses of not having enough time or being too tired.

That is true to an extent BUT I cannot let that make me live in a pigsty. I decided I would bear the shame and devise a plan to deal with it and share with you so that you can also use these tips if you have the same issues as I do. If you do not have these issues and your kitchen is spotless, please leave me additional tips and tell me whether my plan will work or not. :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Dreaded B-Word

We don't want to use it because others may look down on us. We feel like we don't need to use it in everyday life so we don't. But we DO need to use it and be PROUD of it. It doesn't hold us back but actually gives us freedom! I'm talking about the dreaded BUDGET!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Good or Bad?

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I've been doing some thinking lately about our world as it currently is. There is so much going on in the world that is not ideal. There are chemicals, genetically modified organisms, radiation, and pollution that threaten to take over the world. Most of the bad started with a good idea. Someone wanted to make the world a better place and invented something that seemed like it would help, but does the good outweigh the bad?

Monday, March 3, 2014

How To Organize Your Closet in 3 Easy Steps

Well I got my closet cleaned out on Saturday and I was blown away by how much stuff I have. I focused mainly on my bedroom closet so it is mostly clothes and accessories I am getting rid of from that closet. When I moved into my house, one thing I loved about it was the huge walk-in closet. That has turned out to be a downside now that I realize how much stuff I had filled it with...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Organizing the Closet

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So I hoped to have it finished before today's blog post, but then I got overwhelmed and didn't realize how long it would take. That's right, I'm cleaning out and organizing my closet. I started by purging a LOT of clothes but I still needed to go back through it AGAIN! This will be my weekend project to finish and come Monday, I will tell you all about it and how to do your own. I'm just teasing you because I know you want to know what's behind that door! Come back Monday for the reveal! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Clean Your Oven Without Chemicals

Ever since I stopped using chemicals in my home, I wondered how I could clean my oven. Most oven cleaners are loaded with chemicals. You aren't supposed to inhale the fumes, so why would you want to clean your oven (that cooks your food!) with them? Well I found a natural alternative to get that oven clean!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Coming Soon...

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Be on the lookout for a new series I will be posting in the near future about childbirth. I'm in the research and interview phase as of right now. I have interviewed professionals as well as mothers and will present what I found out regarding the subject of childbirth. Just to give you a taste of what is to come...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Effects of Sugar

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One thing that is wrong with our modern diet is the amount of sugar that we eat.  Processed sugars are the worst for us, but they are very common, showing up in everything from baked goods to pickles.  Most people love sugar.  It tastes very good!  It makes things more pleasant to eat.  The problem is that processed sugar is not found in natural foods.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Raised Beds vs. Container Gardening

So our plans may be changing for our garden.  We have already started planning and ordered seeds but we may have to change our minds.  We were going to do raised beds this year.  We measured them out and everything but then we were having trouble finding the right cedar boards to build it.  After some discussion, we made another big change in our plans.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What is BPA and Why Should We Avoid It?

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What is BPA?  BPA (bisphenol A) is a chemical found in many items used every day in the United States.  When ingested, the chemical actually mimics estrogen in the body.  It isn't something you would think you ingest but due to the items it is used in, there is a big possibility that you come in contact with it daily.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Living Sustainably

What is sustainable living?  If you ask one of our ancestors, they would say living sustainable was normal living to them.  Back then they had to live sustainably because there was no other option.  Especially for those who were poor, they had to reuse and recycle.  In today's world it is just too easy to throw stuff in the trash.  It is normal to throw away old things and buy something new.  It is normal to acquire a lot of stuff with no useful purpose.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Are Artificial Dyes That Bad for You?

There have been more and more studies that show artificial dyes are not good for us.  Artificial dyes are petroleum-based, made from the same petroleum that fuels our vehicles.  According to CSPI, three of the most widely used dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6) contain known carcinogens, which are agents that are directly linked to the cause of cancer.  Now why would the FDA allow such ingredients to be added to our food?

Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Eat Clean When Busy

Everyone is busy these days.  Life is just filled with so many activities.  We work, we take care of family, we clean, we have extra activities to attend, etc.  There just never seems to be enough time.  A lot of people resort to eating out or grabbing fast food just because it's more convenient than cooking at home.  When you look at the effects on the body and also the monetary cost of that though, it isn't the best option.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why I am Leaving the Debt Cycle

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I have a personal mission right now to get out of debt.  Most people who have any kind of debt realize how much of a burden it is.  Carrying payments to have stuff is a huge burden to bear.   In modern society, the problem is the "get it now, instant gratification" mindset.  No one asks how much it costs, but they ask what the monthly payment will be.  When you want it now, why not use credit cards or loans?  As long as you have a stable income, you can always make the payment right?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Benefits of a Small Home


There are more and more people who are joining the Tiny House Movement.  It's not really an official movement but there are many people who are leaving their current lifestyles behind to live in a tiny house.  Some of those houses are as small as 100 square feet!  Now I am not saying we should all live in that small of a house, but there are benefits to living in a smaller home.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Are You Being Idle?

We've all heard the saying, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."  What does it really mean to be idle?  Why should we be wary of idleness?  Idleness is simply a state of being idle, lazy, non-moving, not productive, not in motion.  Now I am all for rest when our bodies need it and our minds need rest more than ever in this world we live in; but are we being idle and not even realizing it?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frozen in the South

We live along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, so we aren't used to freezing temperatures.  Our area received a winter storm to remember yesterday.  We are just not prepared for something like this.  We have the beach with a hot sun and hurricanes to deal with, but not ice covered everything.  A lot of slush fell from the sky yesterday and overnight and today the temperature hasn't gone above freezing so everything is solid ice.  It's dangerous to drive because we don't have the systems in place to remedy this like salt on the roads.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Awesome Effects of Eating Clean

Today I am going to update you on the awesome effects of the changes I've made in the past three weeks.  Exactly three weeks ago I started the Daniel plan and changed my diet.  Not only have I gone completely vegan, I only eat whole foods, no processed stuff; and I have no sugar other than the natural sugars in fruit.  I also cut out caffeine which I thought I had to have to be able to focus.  But I was very wrong.  I have been sure to buy as much organic stuff as I can.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili 
This week I made a great vegetarian chili for the first time and I think it was pretty awesome.  It had a lot of wholesome ingredients and took me awhile to chop everything, but it was well worth it.  It would probably go even faster if you chopped ahead of time or had a buddy helping you.  NOTE: Please use gloves when chopping up hot peppers!  I'm glad I did not have to learn the hard way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All Natural Cleaning

This past weekend I cleaned my house.  That is usually a normal thing for most people who work full time, but I'm proud to say that I did not use any chemicals.  I strictly used vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and Castile soap.  I'm not a clean freak but when I put forth the effort to clean, I want it very clean and usually that means I deep clean so it takes me a long time.

Here are some of the ways I cleaned my house with these all natural cleaners:

Monday, January 20, 2014

Why Grow an Organic Garden?


When I wrote about eating organic on a budget last week, I left out an important money saving tip: gardening!  Keeping your own organic garden is the most cost effective way to save on your produce.  Anyone can garden regardless of where they live.  If you live in an apartment you can do a container garden.  Set out pots on your balcony and plant what you would want to eat.  If you only have a small yard you can use vertical space to garden.  There are many tips on how to do this in gardening magazines and online. If you have a lot of space and time to care for it, you can do a big garden planted in rows right into the ground.  There are even more ways you can garden...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sticking to Budget When Buying Organic

I had a more productive week at home than I normally do and I've felt better than I have in a long time.  I’m usually very tired after work and don’t feel like cooking, but I made myself cook every night because we are eating strictly vegan and organic.  It’s hard to grab convenience foods that fall into those categories anyways.  We also have to stick to budget though.  The first week we shopped for groceries for the Daniel plan we spent double our food budget!  It’s so crazy because it’s only two of us!  I realize it’s because I did not have a plan or a menu prepared before shopping. We just simply bought a variety of foods and thought we would be so hungry we would need it all, but it turns out that we did not.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why I Avoid GMOs

Source (edited)
I have become passionate about things such as this recently.  People like me who are concerned for their safety and the safety of their families are standing up against big corporations and demanding that they be heard.  They want to know that what they consume is safe beyond a shadow of a doubt.  If there is even a slight chance that our concerns are real, then change should come swiftly.  Right now there is a debate on whether GMOs (genetically modified organisms) should be labeled for the consumer when it’s a food source.  The big corporations that control the GMO market have fought to NOT have to label their products.  Now why is that?  If their GMO food was as safe as they say, why would they care about labeling it as GMO?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Turning a Coffee Can into a Pot for Plants

Today I wanted to show you how to easily and quickly repurpose an old coffee can by turning it into a pot for a plant.  I did this a few months ago one morning really early in the morning before work.  I accidentally broke a plastic pot I had when I was watering my indoor plants.  It caused the plant and all the soil to fall on the floor, making a huge mess.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mushroom Rice Pilaf

Last night I tried a new recipe and I think it was awesome so I decided to share it with you guys.  It’s a made-from-scratch recipe that doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time if you have a food processor.  It had good flavor and was very filling.  It fits the vegan diet I am trying for 21 days but it can also make a great side dish for regular family meal.  It’s also budget friendly...about $2.00 per serving AND it’s all organic! 

Here it is:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Started It All

There were certain turning points in my life over the past two years that really made me want to do things more naturally in life.  Most of them happened one right after another.  The first thing was attending a class on making homemade cleaning products conducted by a friend from church.  It was for charity and I wanted to help out.  I learned to look at what I was using to clean with, mostly filled with chemicals that can be harmful.  I learned how to make my own homemade, non-toxic, all natural cleaning products using essential oils.  I bought my first pure essential oils after that and started researching more natural products and making homemade stuff.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Goals for 2014

The natural remedies worked, and now that I am well I can focus on my goals for the new year.  I am so excited for a fresh start!  This is what I plan to do this year:

1) Eat only real foods, preferably organic, and made from scratch at home

This is two goals in one really.  I want to eat well but also want to cook it at home.  Even having learned so much about the food industry and the “nasties” that are in processed food over the past couple years, I have found myself migrating back to eating fast food and processed junk on occasion…and the more I eat it, the more I want it, and the worse I feel at the same time.  (That’s some bad addicting stuff!)  It’s time to stop the cycle and discipline myself to only eat the good stuff so I will only crave the good stuff from now on.  This is essential for me to lose weight and get healthy, but also important just in general to maintain good health for a lifetime.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Natural Remedies I am Trying

So I've been doing the natural remedies to boost my immunity and my fever has stayed pretty low since it started. Unfortunately I could not sleep well last night due to body aching and not being able to turn my mind off. I woke up every few minutes it seemed then was up for about four hours straight. I hope that the lack of rest does not set me back.  I still plan to go the natural route.  Since my fever has not gotten worse, something must be working.

I have sneezed and coughed a few times and my throat started to get slightly sore today. I have also noticed my teeth and jaw ache like they do when I have sinus issues. It was a very busy day at work and I was so stressed out.  I still have a lot to catch up on next week.  Because I was so busy, and didn’t really get a break for lunch, I did not have any of my remedies until tonight.  The hot lemon and honey water is my favorite!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year, A New Start

So we have a new beginning starting today.  We have a new year to set goals and pursue our dreams.  I felt like there was no better time than now to start my blog again.  I hope to be able to make time for it this year on a regular basis.  I was off work today and had so much planned.  I wanted to clean the house from top to bottom, get a really good blog post finished to start off the new year, and enjoy some reading that has been delayed for a long time.  Unfortunately I ended up not feeling too sporty all night last night and all day today.  Now it is almost time to go to bed and I have developed a fever to accompany my body aches. 

With the flu going around, I should have been focused on my immune system but I have not been doing all that I could to prevent it.  It is unfortunate that I have been in close proximity to many people with the flu within the past week and have not taken measures to build my own immunity.