Plant Swap: a Free Food Resource

Along the same lines as the annual FREE Seed Swap hosted by ToledoGROWs, the annual Plant Swap encourages local gardeners to split their perennials and bring splits, cuttings, or even gardening paraphernalia (books, tools, etc) to trade.  And the fact that this is a great FREE resource for plant starts (which equals FREE FOOD) and tools for the job is something worth planning for.

Toledo Community Plant Swap |
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Honey Bran English Muffins

Can you tell I’ve been on a carb kick lately?

These Honey Bran English Muffins started out as an experiment back when I was living in apartments and one of my roommates was going vegan and juicing a lot for different detoxes.  It was fun to see what she was trying and I was also experimenting with making *all* my food from scratch.  To the best of my ability without losing too much flavor.

This was one of those experiments and I have to say is still a favorite I pull out every so often because of How. Delicious. hot-off-the-cast-iron they are.  :]

Honey Bran English Muffins | Continue reading

First Things for Urban Homestead Beginners

If I was starting my urban homestead all over again, I would start the orchard (apples and possibly pears and plums) and berry patches (strawberry, blueberry & raspberry) as soon as we got the keys.  I love using edible landscaping to plan out our fruit patches.

If I Had to Restart My Urban Homestead

Next, if it isn’t fall or winter, I’d have the hubby build raised bed frames and install our vegetable garden asap.

2017 Raised Tomato Bed
2017 Raised Bed: Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Basil, Cilanto.

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What Do Affiliate Links Pay for?

Do you ever wonder what all the buzz is about those “affiliate links” all the bloggers disclose about?  What are they and what do that do with “all that money”?

Ha.  Well, first “all that money” can be anywhere from $2/month on up to super-bloggers making thousands a month.  Hint: I’m NOT one of those bloggers…. But I *do* do a happy dance when I get an amazon payout of $11-20 for the month because then I go and apply it to our diapers on Subscribe And Save.  Or to purchase nails or other small supplies for finishing our Ever-Going Home Addition.

Second, all those “affiliate links” are links to the mentioned product or service that let the business site know who referred you to their site.  It doesn’t have to be sleazy or sales-y.  In fact, you are most likely clicking on that link to find out more info about that said product or service.  And if the blogger didn’t link to it, you’d be doing a google search to find out more information!  So not only did that blogger just save you a ton of research, but they *might* be making a small “thanks” commission from the business. NOT FROM YOU.  Which they wouldn’t have gotten if you had spent an hour google searching.  Win-win.

So you are simply giving the blogger a small “thank you” commission without ever paying them anything — that’s the business’s job (to pay their referrers for bringing them traffic to their site).  So be a doll and click all the links.  It’s free for you and it helps support your favorite bloggers!

Plus, most bloggers (myself VERY much included) live by the Rule: Only recommend what you, yourself, would recommend to a friend.

Using Affiliate Link Funds

I’d love to hear what you use your Affiliate Link Funds for!  Tell me all about it in the comments below!
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Sticking to a Budget

Because I suck at doing it.  But so far, 2 weeks in, I haven’t broken it yet!  Which, sadly, is a success over previous years.

So far I think the best “trick” that’s worked for me is setting up different “accounts” within my bank account (all under the same number) and labeling them based on what their sum is used for.  Previously the “Envelop System” that everyone (myself included) loves just wasn’t working for things like MOST of our bills: recurring, electronic bills.  And I got flustered, confused, and frustrated so I’d give up when something would go through that threw off my budget.

Not this year!  We’ve been over on one or two hindsight expenses, but I’m not letting that deter me.  I’ll use the “extra” money I made teaching this month and keep chugging.  Noted and adapt for next month.

4 Strategies to STICK TO A BUDGET & Pay off Debt

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How We Make Money Buying Online

There are so many different sites now that promise to save or make you money “all within the comfort of your own home” that it can be extremely hard to find the right one(s) for you.

I know I have always been a penny-pincher, trying to maximize my savings whenever I have to purchase something (discount price? coupon? rebate? reward points?).  So when I came across Ebates and I realized how easy it was to MAKE money every time I shopped online; I was hooked.  My first check in the mail was $11!!  YES! They send you a CHECK.  That you can CASH!  

I quickly started formulating how to purchase everything online so that I could make money on each purchase (groceries? clothes? household products? home construction supplies?).  

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Stocking the Pantry: Soy, Dairy, Egg Free

For anyone that knows the struggle — because this seems to be becoming a more regular occurrence which is scary — there are many foods at the grocery store that are on the DO NOT BUY list.

But on the flip side, there are MANY MANY MANY. REAL. FOODS. that are on the Safe List.  So instead of repeating myself for all my friends that ask and more importantly for all those other friends struggling with this new lifestyle, here is my Go-To list of what I stock in my Pantry for our daily meals.

Stocking the No Soy, No Dairy, No Egg Pantry

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Soy- Dairy- Egg- Free: Tried + True Substitutions

There are many google searches in my history for “egg replacer” “egg substitute in muffins” “butter substitute” “how much applesauce equals one egg” and more.  My dad even gifted me this little LIFE SAVER I’ve dubbed the Substitutions Bible that I never thought I’d open more than my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook.  But it has all the beauty of handwritten notes, turned page corners, and creased binding to show it is well loved.

And I’ve shared many of these cheats with my friends who are on their own soy/dairy/egg free journey that I thought it was time to give them a quick link to reference instead of lost in Facebook history. Continue reading

Busy Mom Automations

Hello friends!  I’ve missed blogging and sharing all the things we’ve found to feed our family healthier meals and save money toward finishing our home additions.  Honestly, we’ve been busy with the same-old around here, implementing everything I talk about and we haven’t added too many new habits in the last year.

But since I’ve been sending so many friends links to previous posts, I thought it was time to get back and publish all these other blog drafts I’ve written.  Because I want this blog to be the easiest, best reference guide possible for YOU.  So I am polishing up all my drafts (with SO many more in-depth topics and tricks we’ve used personally) so you can read and use them as they work for you.  

I hope you had a blessed Christmas and Holiday season with those you love.  And I hope to have many more blog posts for you this coming year.  Thanks for following along!


Automating the Everyday for the Busy Mom

All moms are busy trying to keep the family fed, get everyone off to their respective responsibilities prepared and on time, pay the bills, keep the house tidy + organized, and possibly still hold a job herself.  Nevermind squeezing in her own relaxation time so she can feel fulfilled + refreshed (and maybe blog a little).

That’s why I’ve round up my favorite tried-and-true automations that help make my life a little less hectic, keep things rolling smoothly, and allow me to focus on the important stuff of my family’s life before I miss it. Continue reading

The Myth of “Getting it All Done”

I’ve had a few friends recently ask me how I manage to “get it all done.”  At first, I was flabbergasted that they thought I even remotely had it together, let alone getting something actually “done.”  But then I realized maybe out of necessity I’ve actually stumbled upon some “parenting hacks” that aren’t widely known yet?

So here are my real-life processes to keeping my home, my family, and my small business *relatively* afloat.

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