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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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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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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Gardening for Healthy, Fresh Eating

We have learned to focus our gardening efforts on growing vegetables that we love to eat fresh.  I get so spoiled in the summer, not having to run to the grocery store but rather the back yard when we need a veggie side.  Then winter comes and it’s a hard lesson to relearn to plan for a veggie side again (frozen steamable anyone?  canned green beans?).

So far this is our line up for 2016 & how we use each vegetable:

Gardening for Healthy, Fresh Eating |


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Eating Clean as a Busy Mom

Because we don’t all have the time to read EVERY. SINGLE. LABEL. on every package of food we purchase every week.  And because I’m a real mom who has a real daughter that enjoys her animal crackers just as much as the next kiddo, we all struggle with eating and feeding our families clean, healthy foods, right?

So this is what I’ve found works for our family…

Tips for Clean Eating as a Busy Mom |

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