Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review- Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

I recently read the book Zero Waste Home.

I read it quite quickly and enjoyed it greatly. Basically it's about a woman in San Fran that has eliminated virtually all waste from her home. I mean this lady has got. it. down.

She shops at a bulk food store where she uses reusable jars for things like meats and dry bulk goods. She uses jars to fill up her glass shampoo jars from the bulk section. Her fruit of course goes into reusable produce bags.

She makes paper from her kids school work paper they bring home.

She also has great lists for a minimal household. Things like a complete wardrobe with minimal pieces and what you actually need in a functioning kitchen.

I really enjoyed the book and got some great ideas. I do recommend it, as it is a very interesting read.

I live in a small town, and I live even farther out into the country, so the likelihood of me being able to find somewhere that sells bulk household products and even food sometimes is difficult. I don't think it is realistic to think I'm going to make my own paper from my kid's paper scraps, however I think there are some alternatives mentioned in her book that I could do.

It made me think of ways that I could do better. Ways I could really cut down on my trash. Some of the things ( like composting) I already do, but other things have given me great insight and I'm now trying out for my own family.

Read this. I think you will like it.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Knowing what matters

We live right in the middle of where the recent EF4 Tornado came through about 3 weeks ago. We were in the storm cellar, with my husband, brothers and dad pushing against the door to keep it closed. We felt it come over, heard it, felt the air sucked up from the cellar. Let me tell you, it was scary!

Once it was over, we peeked outside and saw trees down everywhere, debris was everywhere but our house, as well as my parents ( right down the road) were all safe. A few out buildings were gone, and many trees but we are VERY thankful we are all okay. We looked and could see that the path was probably less than 500 yards from us....

My thoughts immediatly turned to our family friend/ babysitter. We could tell her house was in the path of the storm. She is such a precious lady and has watched our kids for the last 5 years.

I texted her immediatly to ask how they were...

She texted me back " We are all okay! So thankful!!!""

So, like all good country boys, my dad, brothers and husband go out with their chain saws and tractors/4 wheelers to check on neighbors. They got back in about 2 a.m and my husband tells me that our babysitter's home, barn, camper, and all of their other outbuilding like their sheds, goat pens etc were gone....


I guess what struck me was that in the midst of total MATERIAL devastation, she told me " We are all okay, so thankful!!!"

I wrongly assumed, that she meant their home was safe as well. She later told me that in the sheer and utter chaos there was nothing to do but thank the good Lord that her family was okay. They were in the cellar as well.

Our community has come together. We have grieved the loss of friends and community together. We have relied, not on FEMA, not on the Red Cross, not on any other government agency to help. We have helped each other and are relying on our friends and family during this time.

So two lessons in the midst of this storm
1- Make sure you have a cellar
2- Know what matters


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Saving Money on HEALTHY foods: No coupons required

It's difficult sometimes to find coupons for things like fresh fruits, vegetables, things that are healthy you know? Saving Star is great and I've been using it for a while now. It's great for a few reasons:
1. No coupons to clip: you simply log into your account and it puts the coupons you want onto your shoppers card. When you purchase certain items it goes into your account, when you get $5 you cash out. I always use it to get Amazon cards.
2. They offer a new fruit or vegettable EACH week. So this week you get 20% back on yellow onions. They have done bananas, sweet potatoes, asparagus, apples, all kinds of great items.
3. On Friday of each week they offer a FREEBIE. Some are healthier than others but I have found several items that my family likes.
4. So EASY. So EASY.
Honestly, you should really sign up. Just give it a try. Totally free . Click here to sign up!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I won! Thank you to Stone Cottage Adventures


I linked up with the Great Blog Train Giveaway and I won this amazing prize from Marci at Stone Cottage Adventures.

I love the handmade soaps, and look at the cute little bags they came in. She also included some wonderful tea bags. Such a fun treat and thank you so much Marci.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Great Book series for young readers- Dave and Pat Sargent Books

We have 3 little ones: ages 8,6 and 2. The older two are of course really getting in to reading. I happened across a book written by Pat Sargent a while back at a yard sale or something and it had been in my daughter's book shelf. One day she found it , and read it. She couldn't put it down!.

Then she read it again. And again. I started looking online at Ebay, Amazon etc. and found that Pat Sargent has a whole series of "Barney the Bear Killer" books, as well as many other books her and her husband Dave have written.

The series my daughter really loves, is about Barney a black and tan coon hound, and his owner an 8 year old little girl, and their adventures in the Ozark Mountains. It is a wonderful series and I have since read them all to myself, and aloud to my younger daughter. My older daughter has read them all herself multiple times.

They do have another series for younger readers that each one teach a moral or character lesson.
They are called the Animal Pride Series and are very nice as well.
They do have their own publishing company as well and I have found many books at a bargain price at www.ozarkpublishing.us  . Many of the paperback books on that site are only $1!
I know it can be hard to get kids interested in reading sometimes, but this is a series my kids all really really love, and hopefully some of you will find it as lovely as I do.

Friday, January 3, 2014

One Small Thing- Soup Bucket

Yes a Soup Bucket!

It's been unusually cold here, and soup is just nice on a cold night isn't it?
One small thing I've been doing for a while is to keep what I call a Soup Bucket in my freezer. It's really just a few freezer Tupperware type containers, but here's the premise:

- Every so often I have a few little tablespoons of veggies left over at the end of a meal.  Instead of throwing them out, I put them in the freezer. This works well for things like green beans, carrots, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, even kale or spinach. Just throw it in there.

- Also when I make corn on the cob and have maybe one or two cobs left, I'll cut it off the cob and put the kernels in my bucket.

- We had a wild boar ham about a month ago and I had a few pieces left, I cut it in hunks and put it in my bucket.

- So yesterday I had to take all three kids to the dentist, I had made a loaf of fresh bread, and soup sounded good.

For the base of the soup I freeze tomatoes from the garden, so I took a few out, defrosted them, and ran them through my blender. It made a great tomato base.

I put it all in the crock pot and by the time we were back from the dentist we had a lovely meal ready for us.

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!

Super Frugal and Fun Birthday Cake

With three little ones, plus a husband, plus myself it seems like birthdays are coming around pretty often.

Next time instead of purchasing a super expensive bakery cake, try this. I do it for most of the birthday's around here.
Make their favorite kind of cake, and frost it. Then spell out there name with colored chocolate candies ( aka M&Ms). It's always a hit and done for probably about $4 total, if that. The biggest expense are the candies. The kids love to help decorate as well.

Happy Homesteading Ya'll!