Day 21: I Don’t HAVE to… Make Everything from Scratch

31 Days of NOT Having It All Banner

Say it with me:

I don’t HAVE to make everything from scratch.

I don’t have to make EVERYTHING from scratch.

I don’t have to make everything from SCRATCH.

I really love to cook and bake, especially for my family. I love serving them homemade meals and snacks and treats and seeing how much they enjoy them.

But I do NOT make everything from scratch and I have no desire to.

Make Everything from Scratch

We have more healthy food options available at the grocery store than ever before – organic, grass-fed, whole wheat…you get the idea. But I sense this underlying guilt from moms everywhere who feel like they should be making everything homemade.

Even though I love cooking and baking, I just cannot make everything from scratch. There is just not enough time in the day. And while healthy eating is a battle I choose to fight for our family, the homemade thing is not.

There are a few things I do love made at home – bread, pizza dough, granola, taco seasoning – but there are plenty of items that are store-bought and I am just fine with that. And so is my sanity. Oh, and don’t even get me started on having my own garden – it would all be dead before I even planted it…

Many families need to choose more homemade things because of food allergies. I applaud those moms who put so much work and love into making sure their children have healthy foods that won’t make them sick. Some families enjoy making homemade food together as a bonding experience. I really love that idea, but that is just not our family right now!

Whatever a family’s reason might be for making most things homemade, that is their choice and not any kind of judgement on you. Free yourself from cooking and baking expectations you’ve arrived at because of comparison and guilt.

You CAN find healthy options for your family at the grocery store. And choosing more whole foods – fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts – for your family’s diet is actually a great way to feed your family better AND avoid the “homemade” guilt!

If you love making everything from scratch, yay for you! And I would love an invite to eat your yummy food sometime! But if you don’t love it or you don’t have time for it or the thought of making everything homemade sends you into a panic – DON’T DO IT. Just don’t. And be ok with that.

I’m going to go enjoy my store-bought whole wheat English muffin with store-bought natural peanut butter and honey…

Are you a domestic diva when it comes to homemade food, a store-bought girl, or somewhere in the middle?

 

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Day 14: I Don’t HAVE to…Keep a Perfect House

31 Days of NOT Having It All BannerI might have been one of the worst homemakers in the world when I first got married and even more so when I first started staying home full-time.

As a big picture thinker, details often escape my eye and mind, so I would totally miss something that needed to be clean OR notice it and then totally forget about it five minutes later.

Hopefully The Hubby will agree that I’ve improved my homemaking skills over the years, but I’m still no Martha Stewart. The Hubby is still by far the more organized one by nature.

I’m working on it. I have a weekly schedule of chores to keep the house clean, but I still battle with clutter. The boys also have chores to do, but sometimes field trips and vacations and beautiful weather call us on an adventure and those chores get forgotten.

It is important to me to keep a clean house for the sake of the health + sanity + enjoyment of our whole family, but I gave up on keeping a perfect house long ago. I’m not a great decorator. I have three young boys and we homeschool. Legos and Nerf guns are regular fixtures on the dining room table and living room floor. Our home is lived in, not on display.

Keep a Perfect House

I love The Nester’s saying… “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Our homes can be beautiful whether every window is spotless or not. Our homes can be beautiful without designer pillows or large works of art on the wall.

I’m not sure the perfect, lived in house actually exists, but if it does, I stopped trying to live up to those standards long ago. Instead of perfect, I’m just trying to aim for clean and functional for our family. Even just the clean part can be a struggle some weeks, but without the word “perfect” attached to my expectations, I know that what I do get done is not in vain, but for the good of my family.

Whether we stay at home or not, we all have homes to take care of. Are you a natural-born homemaker, a do-what-I-can homemaker, or somewhere in between? How do you keep your home neat without obsessing over perfect or neglecting your family? I’d love to hear from all cleaning personalities on this one!

 

Prayers For Cleaning Day Printable
Since we’re talking about cleaning today, I wanted to offer you a free printable to help you keep the right perspective on those cleaning days! Just subscribe to Home with the Boys and my new “Prayers for Cleaning Day” printable PDF will be linked to at the bottom of the next post you receive! If you are already a subscriber, you should find it at the bottom of this post in your email or feed!

 

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Prayers for Cleaning Day

Fridays are my cleaning day. I do clean on other days, but Friday, I – and sometimes the boys – do the heavier weekly cleaning. It can be a little overwhelming when I think about it, but once I get started, it’s not so bad.

And it’s really not so bad when I distract myself with music, conversation with my cleaning buddies, or prayer.

As I was cleaning a few weeks ago, I asked God for a better attitude and more diligence when it came to taking care of our home. In the next hour or so, He had filled my head with the prayers below. Before I knew it, the house was clean and my heart was full. Focus off me, focus on Him, problem solved.

My hope in sharing these prayers with you is that you and I can focus more on the joy of doing His work in our homes and less on the drudgery and monotony of cleaning.

Prayers for Cleaning Day

Prayers for Cleaning Day

vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing…

May the feet that walk here chase as hard after God as they chase after one another. May they not follow what the crowd is doing, but where God is leading. May they go where God sends them with joy and courage.

sinks…

May the hands that wash here be dirty from doing the work of Jesus. May they always reach out to help those in need. May they be lifted high in worship each and every day.

mirrors…

May the eyes that look in this mirror see the wonder of who You have created them to be. May they find their worth and identity solely in Christ. May they know that man may look at appearances, but God looks at the heart.

changing sheets, making beds…

May the head that sleeps here be filled with gratitude and praise for You, the one true God. May the thoughts that fill this head be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

kitchen…

May we fill our mouths and minds with only good things from you, Lord. Keep our bodies and souls healthy and nourished by the food You have created and the Word You have given us. Help us make healthy choices that honor You and the bodies You have given us.

toilets, bathtubs…

May all who use these never take for granted every little blessing, even running water and toilet paper. May we praise You for the roof over our head, the floor under our feet, and yes, even the toilets and bathtubs. And may we remember always those who know not these luxuries, and do anything in Your leading to make a difference for those in need.

In Your Mighty Name…

And this is just the beginning. I know He has more ways for me to pray as I clean to unfold in the weeks, months, years ahead. The messes aren’t going away, but neither is He.

Maybe I’ll do a little extra work before Friday to see what He has to say… 

Prayers For Cleaning Day Printable
I put together a free printable of these prayers! Just subscribe to Home with the Boys and my new “Prayers for Cleaning Day” printable PDF will be linked to at the bottom of the next post you receive! If you are already a subscriber, you should find it at the bottom of this post in your email or feed!

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The Best Meal Planning Tool I’ve Ever Used!

This is NOT a paid review. I just LOVE this so much, I HAD to tell you about it! I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Raise your hand if meal planning is one of your biggest struggles as school starts up again!

Summer is kind of a free-for-all when it comes to food around here – snacking, late dinners, leftovers. But our school schedule along with extra activities demands that I be more structured. And my grocery budget thanks me for it as well.

When it comes to meal planning, I have tried EVERYTHING. Calendars, lists, pen & paper, digital, binders…seriously, I have tried it all in an effort to stay more on track with food prep and budget.

I honestly scrolled right past the tweets and posts about Plan to Eat when they first popped up because I didn’t think it could be any different or better than all the things I had already tried. And I really wasn’t interested in a paid meal planning service.

But the 30-day free trial reeled me in, and before a week had even passed, I was hooked.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat is different than other meal planning options and works well for our family for several reasons:

1. We are picky eaters. We do not do well with someone else sending a menu to prepare for the week. Plan to Eat is for YOUR favorite recipes.

2. When I want new recipe ideas, I want them from a friend who has actually tried them and loves them. Plan to Eat has a social aspect – find your friends on the service, browse their recipes, and add the ones you want to try to your recipes!

3. I find the majority of my recipes online, from friends’ blogs or social media posts or on Pinterest, and I want to have all those great recipes organized in one place. Plan to Eat makes it very easy to add recipes directly from a website or blog post with copying and pasting the whole thing! There is even a bookmark you can add to your browser’s tool bar to click on and automatically add a recipe!

4. The $39 annual fee is SO small compared to most online services. And I’m sure I’ve saved that much on groceries by being more organized! {And stay tuned later in this post for a way to get it for even less…}

I could go on and on about my adoration for Plan to Eat, but I really think you just have to try it to see how much you’ll love it. Really – go sign up for the 30-day FREE trial, find me on there {homewiththeboys}, and start

If you get in there and feel a little overwhelmed about where to start, feel free to ask any questions by email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever! My friend Kat wrote an AWESOME series on using Plan to Eat, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel! She covers everything!

To celebrate the start of the school year and help you get back on track, I have a super special Plan to Eat treat ONLY for you, my friends! Check this out…

PTE-coupon

You MUST take advantage of this now! I don’t think you’ll even need until August 31st to decide to go all in!

And there’s more!

We’re giving away TWO one-year meal planning subscriptions to Plan to Eat, each valued at $39! Thank you PTE! We love you!

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Back to School Boot Camp: Home Management Printables

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

We start back up with school in one week, so I’m putting myself through a “Back to School Boot Camp” to get organized and on track before we resume our studies! If I don’t get organized now, it’s definitely going to be harder after school begins, so now is the time to set schedules, make lists, and stick to a plan!

I always think planning is more fun when it involves cute lists and schedules, so I’m loving the Home Management Printables from Clean Mama Printables that are on sale over at Educents right now!

First of all – do you know about Educents?! It’s a new thing for me, but it’s kind of like the Groupon or Zulily of the education world. You’ll find curriculum and school supplies and books and everything education-related under the sun! Each deal is only for a limited time and is generally 30% off or more from the regular price.

Now, about these Home Management Printables. I know there are lots of options like this out there, so let me tell you some things to love about this particular set…

Home Management Printables

*The Cleaning Kit section includes great ideas for weekly cleaning, once a week cleaning, monthly cleaning, and seasonal cleaning! This isn’t just a place to record what you are doing, but also get ideas for a great cleaning schedule to stay on top of the whole house!

*The Menu Planning Kit portion features weekly and monthly planner sheets, but what I really is love is the inventory checklists for the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I tend to forget what I have tucked away here and there and end up buying more when I didn’t really need more! The inventory sheets are really helpful to use up what you already have when planning your menu!

*I don’t handle the bills in our household because my husband is amazing at math and budgets and all that {and because he knows my forgetful tendencies too well}, but even the Budget and Bill Pay section of this kit gets me a little excited! You can track receipts, bills to be paid, payments toward debt, and much more with these financial printables.

*My kids love checklists and we all get more done when everything is written on a list! I think it’s the motivation of checking everything off – who doesn’t love that? In the Dockets and Calendars section, you’ll find cute checklists and daily schedules to keep everybody on track and on the same page.

*In addition to everything I’ve already mentioned, there are many more pages to get you organized in the Busy Mom Kit such as…

  • In Case of Emergency
  • Family Medical Information
  • Appliance & Automobile Maintenance Records
  • Insurance Policies

*AND the colors are super fun. I’m such a girl, but I just love the bright colors and coordination of all the different sheets in the pack!

The regular price for this whole set is $40, but through July 31st, you can get everything for just $24 over at Educents!

True confession: I tend to shy away from buying printable packs because once you buy it, you also have to pay to print it. BUT, there are a few money-saving options that make this kind of pack work for me!

The first way to save money is to print the pack and either laminate the pages or put them in a binder with sleeve protectors. Using a dry-erase marker will make these pages ones you can use over and over again without wasting printer ink.

The second is a new favorite discovery to me. Using an app called Notability, I can use these “printables” without ever printing them! Notability allows me to write on the pages with a stylus on my iPad. No printing, no papers to keep organized, and it is always with me! To read more about how to use Notability, please check Amanda’s tutorial – she explains it way better than I ever could!

Don’t miss out on this deal – get it before it expires July 31st!

What kind of forms or lists are essential for planning in your home? Do you use paper or technology to keep you organized?

I received these printables in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Natural Mothering eBook Collection!

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site!

I don’t think anyone would label me as “green” or “granola.” Cloth diapers aren’t my thing, but I applaud those of you who brave that world! We vaccinate our children. And I haven’t made my own laundry soap yet, although I do have some of the supplies waiting for me in the laundry room! Just keeping it real here.

I have, however, become quite intrigued by the world of real food and other things natural lately, and for those who of you who are wanting to take the more natural path in life and mothering, I have quite the collection and sale to share with you today!


natural-mothering-bundle-600x400-sale

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A few of my favorites included in this collection…

Unbound Birth was a wonderful book for me to read as we prepared for the birth of Double J last year. Jenny’s words were full of encouragement, especially as he was our second VBAC, waited an extra eight days for him to arrive, and we still wanted to go as natural as possible at the hospital!

Real Fast Food is by the lovely Trina Holden. I love that she is teaching us that real food doesn’t have to take all day to prepare or make! I think that is one of the biggest hangups for people trying to eat more real food!

Teaching Kids to Clean – well, after that title, do I even need to tell you why I love this book?!

This is an intelligent, joy-filled collection that will inspire any mother to feed her beautiful babe well, feel confident in making difficult mothering decisions, and celebrate motherhood (even when it seems overwhelming).

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The eBooks

Want to meet the authors? Click here to read each author’s bio.

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Fearless Birth by Kristen Burgess of Natural Birth and Baby Care ($17)
Nourishing Foods for Labor and Childbirth (article reprint) by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy of Simply Designs ($9.99)
Fertilise Yourself by Natalie Kringoudis of Melbourne Natural Fertility ($19.95)
Eat Your Way to Parenthood by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
Protecting Your Fertility: The Dangers of Conventional Pest Control and Natural Safe Alternatives by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)
The Awful Truth About Cleaning Products and Fertility Revealed by Gabriela Rosa, MScM, BHSc, ND of Natural Fertility Breakthrough ($35)

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Breastfeeding Simply by Pinky McKay, ICBLC of PinkyMcKay.com ($25)
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Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Creative Ways to Calm Your Baby by Justyn Lang of Creative Christian Mama ($6.99)
EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy by Andrea Olson, MA of Go Diaper Free ($30)
oh, crap. potty training by Jamie Glowacki of oh crap. potty training ($15)

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Therapeutic Parenting for Children Who Are Healing from Trauma by Tova Krause Grindlay, CPC of Parent and Family Coaching ($4.99)
Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur of Frugal Granola ($8.95)
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Questions to Ask Your Dentist by Will and Susan Revak of OraWellness ($29)
Tips and Tricks to Remineralize and Repair Your Teeth by Ramiel Nagel of CureToothDecay.com ($12.95)
The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Vaccines by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($2.99)
Finding Balance with Attachment Parenting by Andrea Olson, MA of AndreaOlson.com ($17)
Pain Redeemed by Natasha Metzler of NatashaMetzler.com ($4.99)
The Curative Kitchen (updated version) by Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D. of SusanSmithJones.com ($19.95)
Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide, The Digital Abridged Version by Amanda Rose, Ph.D. of Traditional Foods ($12.95)

Teaching Our Children
Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh Harmon of GNOWFGLINS & Jami Delgado of Eat Nourishing ($30)
Kids in Training: Life lessons that will help lead to productive, responsible and grateful kids! by Rebecca Dulgarian of Blue Cricket Designs ($7.95)
Life According to Me by Stephanie Dulgarian of Somewhat Simple ($5.95)
The Family Dinner Project by Rebecca Dulgarian & Stephanie Dulgarian ($9.95)
Easy Peasy Chores: Homeschool Edition by Alina Joy Dubois of The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)
Teaching Kids to Clean by Dana White of A Slob Comes Clean ($5)

Help for Busy Moms
Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden of TrinaHolden.com ($6)
Crock On by Stacy Myers of Stacy Makes Cents ($5)
Creative Ways to Make Family Holiday Memories by Kit Singleton of Raising Small Souls ($25)

Non-Toxic and Natural Living
Natural Beauty Recipes by Katie of WellnessMama ($10)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford of Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
Accidentally Green by Hilary Bernstein of Accidentally Green ($2.99)
Clean, Naturally! by Kresha Faber of Nourishing Joy ($4.99)

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A Few FREE eBooks and eCourses – no purchase required!

Because we are SO absolutely passionate about getting excellent natural living resources into the hands of every mother (and want-to-be moms and soon-to-be moms!) we’ve compiled a number of e-books that are FREE just for signing up for updates.

There is no purchase required – just click here to get your freebies!

(And as a gesture of paying-it-forward, please tell your friends about this amazing sale!)

Tell your friends on Pinterest:
Tell your friends on Facebook: facebook

 

 

The Fine Print

This Bundle contains digital downloads in ZIP and PDF formats, so there is no shipping involved. You will receive your unique download link immediately after download. Please note that this Bundle is provided as is: no refunds, no exchanges, and no late sales will be provided.
While you must purchase the Bundle by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 17, you have until June 30, 2013 to download the books and redeem the bonuses. It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase by June 30, 2013. After that date, the books will no longer be available for download.
With proof of purchase, we can renew download links until June 30. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, deadlines to redeem your bonuses, and reading the books on your eReader device.
Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase. You may purchase multiple bundles in order to redeem a bonus offer more than once.
For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
All bonus offers are the sole responsibility of the bonus sponsors to provide and are subject to availability.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Summer Tag Banner Tutorial!

Having a mantle to decorate has been such fun for me this past year since we moved into our house! When I took down our winter banner and left the hooks blank for a while, the boys decided they would take a turn at sprucing up the area…

Boys Banner

Not really my style, but they are creative! I did want to get them involved with making our summer banner, and our brand new Cricut from Staples was just the thing to help us!

Cricut

I’ve been wanting this bad boy – the Cricut Expression – for a while now and we are having so much fun using it! I’m really looking forwards to using it for school projects this next school year as well – I have lots of ideas!

But let’s get back to this summer tag banner so you can make your own!

Summer Tag Banner

What you’ll need:

  • Cricut machine {or other die-cut machine or scissors!}
  • Colorful paper – we used construction paper and magazines! Scrapbook paper works really well, but we used what we had!
  • Mod Podge or glue
  • Twine or string – whatever you want to use to string up the tags!

What to do:

Choose a tag shape for the base of your banner. The tag reminded us of travel and we do a lot of that in the summer, so it seemed like a good fit! The boys chose yellow paper because of the summer sun! We used the tags on the Plantin School Book Cartridge and made them 6 inches tall.

Cricut Cartridge

The Cricut Expression came with two cartridges – the basic font one shown above and one with one designs called Accent Essentials. There are tons of other cartridges to buy, but we’re having fun with these for now! With three boys in the house, I might have to get this All Sports cartridge someday!

After cutting out your tags – we made six for the letters of SUMMER and two for decorative tags at each end – do a test letter of your biggest letter to figure out a font size. We used the M as our test letter since it was the widest. This part will take a little experimentation.

Cricut and Magazine Paper

We also decided to use old magazines for the letters. Honestly, it probably wasn’t the best choice because they didn’t cut well every time, but I had the boys pick colorful outdoor scenes out of the magazines to give the banner another fun dimension! I really like how the letters turned out once they did work! You could pick fun summer scrapbook paper to achieve a similar look without the difficult cutting!

After cutting out the letters, the boys chose a couple of sun patterns from the Accent Essentials cartridge. I think they made cute book ends to the letters! You can spruce yours up however you want!

Cricut Sun

The letters need to be attached to the tags now. I opted for Mod Podge, but glue would work just fine. To make sure the banner would keep well for possible later use, I also laminated each tag, but this is not necessary. I just like to laminate.

The last step is to string those letters up! String, twine, yarn – any of these would work. I have a ball of twine I’ve been using for all of my banners and I like the earthy look, especially for this outdoor-inspired banner!

And voila! Here is our finished project…

Summer Banner Up Close

I loved that we worked on this together – the boys were able to pick out paper and designs and push buttons on the Cricut while I dealt with the actual loading of the machine, Mod Podge, and banner hanging! It makes me smile every time we walk in the room!

A few words about the Cricut:

Easy Cricut

I was actually quite surprised at how EASY it was to get everything set up and running {of course, that button has been pushed to death by the boys – and maybe the adults as well}! I had read some negative reviews, but I’ve loved working with the Cricut Expression! We’ve found lots of different ways to use it and it has performed very well at cutting everything we’ve tried! I’m thinking about ordering some iron-on paper to make some fun t-shirts for the boys!

Staples carries a wide selection of Cricut items – from machines to cartridges to replacement blades and mats! And I’ve been really happy with the customer service I’ve received from them, both in the store and online! They’re fun to tweet with as well at @Staples!

What kind of summer decorating have you done?

Full disclosure: Staples.com provided me with these products for review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Feel free to shop their entire line of crafting and back to school supplies online.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle Sale!

This sale has ended!

I have been DYING to tell you about this amazing sale including some of my favorite writers and ebooks, but I had to keep it hush-hush…

UNTIL TODAY! It’s the Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle Sale!

{Seriously, this is incredible. Read on!}

For 6 days only, more than 75 widely-known bloggers and authors in the homemaking sphere have joined together to offer 97 of their most popular eBooks and eCourses, valued at just over $600, for the incredibly low price of $29.97!

UHeB-large-HomemakingBundle_revised

More than anything, our goal for this sale was for it to be, well… ultimate! We firmly believe that you will not find a more comprehensive collection of homemaking resources anywhere on the web, and particularly not in this price range. For this low price, you gain access to every single one of these resources, so that you can customize your own collection to contain exactly the ones you want and know you’ll use.

This library of homemaking helps include topics such as mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, spiritual growth for both moms and kids, home décor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools.

To sweeten the pot, we’ve also teamed up with 10 companies to bring you over $140 in bonus offers, giving you an affordable opportunity to get products you’ll use and love for only the cost of shipping, or in some cases, entirely for free!

What’s Included in the Sale?

When you purchase The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection, you will get instant access to any of the 97 eBooks and eCourses listed below.

PLUS over $140 of FREE Bonuses

Each The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection comes with more than $140 of FREE Bonuses from 10 companies that we know you’ll love. More on these bonuses below.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered.

Home & Property {Cleaning, Organizing, Decor}

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae @ SarahMae.com ($4.99)

Getting it Together: Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Management System that Works by Kayse @ kayse pratt ($3.99)

Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks by Becky @ Clean Mama ($10.00)

Simple Living by Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)

NOT a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)

One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)

28 Days to Hope for your Home by Dana @ A Slob Comes Clean ($5.00)

Organizing Life as Mom by Jessica @ Life as Mom ($9.00)

Clean Enough: Simple Solutions for the Overwhelmed by Jenni @ Live Called ($4.99)

10 Steps to Organized Paper by Lisa @ Lisa Woodruff.net($5.00)

Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley @ the handmade home ($9.95)

Easy Peasy Chores: An Easy-to-Use Chore System That Brings JOY Back Into Family Chores by Alina Joy @ The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)

Educational Children’s Resources

Princess Training by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($3.99)

The Armor of God by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($2.50)

My Bedtime Learning Book by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($1.00)

Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($6.97)

Raising Rock Stars — Kindergarten Bundle by Carissa @ 1plus1plus1equals1 ($10.00)

The ABC’s For Godly Boys Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)

The ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)

K4 Curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler ($15.00)

Write Through the Bible (print) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)

Write Through the Bible (cursive) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)

Balcony Girls (books 1 & 2) by Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer ($19.90)

The Dig for Kids: Luke (Volumes 1 and 2) by Patrick, husband of Ruth @ The Better Mom ($5.98)

Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Budgeting {Finance & Time}

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ From Debtor to Better ($10.00)

Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($2.99)

The Homemakers Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule by Amy @ Raising Arrows ($4.99)

Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne @ Authentic Simplicity ($7.99)

Finding Financial Freedom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($5.97)

Become a Frugalista in 30 Days by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($3.99)

In the Kitchen {Recipes and Cooking}

Crock On by Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents ($5.00)

Real Food, Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Wholesome Mixes by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)

20-Minute Meals by Leigh Ann @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)

Restocking the Pantry by Kresha @ Nourishing Joy ($9.99)

Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking by Crystal @ Money Saving Mom ($3.99)

Simply Summer by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($7.95)

Do the Funky Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($4.95)

Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS and Jami @ Eat Nourishing ($20.00)

Seasonal Menu Plans on a Budget: A Month of Meals from My Humble Kitchen to Yours by Diana @ My Humble Kitchen ($4.99)

Just Making Ice Cream by Marillyn @ Just Making Noise ($12.00)

The Curative Kitchen by Susan @ Handy Pantry ($20.00)

Pregnancy & Baby Care

First Bites by Hilary @ Accidentally Green ($9.99)

Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Stress-Free Baby Shower by Sara @ Your Thriving Family ($4.00)

Unbound Birth by Jenny @ The Southern Institute ($2.99)

My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy @ Simply Designs ($9.99)

My Buttered Life Baby Edition by Renee @ Made On Hard Lotion ($5.00)

The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($5.00)

Redeeming Childbirth: Growth & Study Guide by Angie @ Redeeming Childbirth ($3.99)

Holidays & Special Events

Festive Traditions by Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen ($7.95)

Holiday Mixes: Gifts in a Jar by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)

Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)

Family Camping Handbook by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($6.95)

Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Oh, Amanda! ($7.99)

Plan a Fabulous Party by Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect ($4.99)

iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli @ Alli Worthington($9.97)

Spiritual Growth

Pursuit of the Proverbs 31 by Amy @ Amy Bayliss ($3.99)

The Best of Visionary Womanhood by Natalie @ Visionary Womanhood ($5.00)

God’s Word in my Heart: A Scripture Memory Learning Guide with Verses {all 4 versions} by Jenn @ The Purposeful Mom ($3.99)

Kept: a 13-Week Inductive Study on 1 Peter by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($4.99)

Love Like Him: an 8 week Inductive Bible study on 1 Corinthians 13 by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($2.99)

Marriage & Romance

Rekindling Romance by Jason & Jami @ A Biblical Marriage ($4.99)

Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene @ Time-Warp Wife ($2.99)

31 Days to Build a Better Spouse by Ashley @ Ashley Pichea ($4.99)

31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila @ To Love, Honor and Vacuum ($4.99)

Entangled: Recognize Your Emotional Affair by Amy @ Amy J. Bennett ($4.99)

Motherhood

The Heart of Simplicity by various authors @ The Heart of Simplicity ($9.99)

True Christian Motherhood by June @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home ($7.00)

Hula Hoop Girl by September @ One September Day ($4.99)

When Motherhood Feels Too Hard by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($4.97)

Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Days ($4.99)

From Cube to Farm by Heather @ From Cube to Farm ($2.99)

4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by various authors @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Parenting E-book ($7.99)

That Works for Me! by Kristen @ We are THAT Family ($8.00)

Health & Fitness

100-pound Loser by Jessica @ Muthering Heights ($4.99)

Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Danielle @ Domestic Serenity ($2.99)

42 Days to Fit by Brandy @ The Marathon Mom, Emma @ Real Fit Moms and Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($4.99)

Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)

Personal ePlanner by Jennifer @ ListPlanIt ($5.00)

Beauty

Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae @ SaraMae.com ($4.99)

The Cottage Mama’s DIY Guide by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)

Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)

The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley @ The No Brainer Wardrobe ($7.99)

Embracing Beauty by Trina @ Trina Holden ($9.00)

Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose by Kristen @ The Frugal Girl ($3.99)

Working from Home & Blogging

Your Blogging Business: Tax, Talk and Tips by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)

The Bootstrap VA by Lisa @ The Home Life {and Me} ($12.99)

How to Grow Your Blog and Manage Your Home by Jacinda @ Growing Home ($4.99)

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)

Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel @ Small Notebook ($8.00)

Ecourses

Learning in Love: The Preschool Years by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)

Homeschooling from the Heart by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)

Grocery University by Carrie @ Colorado Bargains ($24.95)

Vibrant Living Strategies for Moms by Lisa @ Well-Grounded Life ($59)

You Can Do This! The First Five Steps to a Real Food Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.00)

PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these companies…

A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio, where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are tummy safe and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs). ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A $15 store credit to TruKid. With products like their aware-winning sun care, they are dedicated to providing all natural skin and hair care for kids, babies, and now pets. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

Your choice of incredible natural products like sea salt and clay for FREE. Choose from the Redmond Trading Earthpaste Bundle ($24.90 value) or the Facial Mud Bundle ($26.90 value). (Standard shipping applies. Continental US only.)

Your choice of a FREE heirloom sourdough starter or FREE yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, the leading supplier of starter cultures and supplies for making cultured and fermented foods ($12.95 value. US & CAN addresses only. Standard shipping applies.)

Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription (for new accounts) or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A FREE Culinary Herbs Assorted Seed Pack Check just in time for spring planting from www.wheatgrasskits.com, a living whole foods company. ($11.95 value. Standard shipping applies to all US states and territories- no international shipping for seeds.)

Get $10 off Union28’s original “my husband rocks” tee. Their marriage apparel lets you celebrate your spouse in style. ($10.00 value. Standard shipping rates apply. International shipping available, but free shipping only available within USA.)

A $10 store credit plus 1 FREE lip balm from Bee All Natural. Their whole body products nourish and heal, and are made using only the highest quality, food grade, organic ingredients. ($13.49 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

A FREE 2 oz. bottle of your choice of liquid herbal formula from TriLight Health. They specialize in fast acting, great tasting natural herbal remedies. ($12.95 value or more. Standard shipping applies, within the USA only.)

Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Membership to ListPlanIt, whose mobile lists will help to organize your life. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

The fine print:

Bonus Offers

  • Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase.
  • For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
  • All bonus offers are free gifts from the bonus sponsors, are their sole responsibility to provide, and are subject to availability.
  • All bonus offers expire at midnight on May 19th, 2013 (2 weeks from the last day of this sale).

General

  • It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the 1-month download time-frame. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links up until August 1st, 2013. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
  • Due to the nature of this sale, there will be no refunds available. However, we would invite you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, the download process, how the bonus offers work, etc.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered, so make sure that you get your bundle right away!

Particularly for those wanting to read these ebooks on their mobile devices (iPhones or iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) you will want to learn more about the file types, how to download them correctly, and how to transfer them to your device.

This post includes affiliate links, and I make a portion of the sale of each ebook bundle. Thanks for your support of this site!
The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Choosing Homemade: Six Foods I’m Making at Home

I feel so blessed to be at home with and for our family at this stage in my life. I know this isn’t possible – or desirable – for everyone and I pray that I don’t take a moment of it for granted.

One of the things I really enjoy doing with my time at home is making homemade foods for my family. I do NOT make everything from scratch, but if it can save us some money and make something a little healthier for us, I like to give it a try!

I think time is very valuable as well, so I don’t make things from scratch that will take up too much precious time with my family. And I like to choose things I enjoy making – for obvious reasons!

I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite foods that we make at home now instead of buying from the store! These are all recipes I make on a regular basis – they are tried and true!

One side note: Whenever I make a bread machine recipe, I mix the dough in the machine on the dough setting and then bake the dough in the oven. I like the shape of the loaf better than when it is baked in the machine! Just personal preference!

1. Blender Salsa

 

2. French Bread

 

3. Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

 

4. Granola

 

5. Pizza Dough

 

6. Taco Seasoning

 

 

What foods do you enjoy making from scratch?

 

I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday today! Check out all the yummy recipes posted over there!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

In Need of Pouring In

I’m a leader by nature. My personality lends itself to interacting, connecting, and taking charge. I have held a leadership position in almost every group or organization of which I’ve been a part. That’s always been the way I liked it as well.

But I am tapped out. Running dry. In need of being poured into.

This season of life requires much from me physically, mentally, and emotionally at home. We are in a new place. We have three young children {and boys at that!}, including a nursing baby. The Hubby just began residency, which is demanding of his time and energy.

I have no complaints – I am merely stating the facts of life here and now. I am more than happy to give my all to my family. It is a joy to be the one to provide comfort and stability and a haven to my husband and boys. These are ALL blessings in my life.

But, I also need a way to fill up and refresh so I don’t burnout or wander down the path of self-pity, grumpiness, or worse.

Instead of letting this season wear me down, I am actively seeking ways to be filled up.

This is what I’ve come up with so far…

The Word
In any form I can get it. Quiet time when the baby gets up in the wee hours of the morning. Devotions with the boys. Seeds Family Worship playing as I wash the dishes. God’s Truth fills me up like nothing else.

Bible study
I signed up for a Bible study for doctors’ wives and we’ll actually be doing a Bible study about being a doctor’s wife! I am so thankful to have connected with this opportunity at the beginning of our residency journey! I’m really looking forward to getting together with other like-minded, like-situation women!

Reading
I am stealing away more moments to read books that will encourage and challenge me. Some about my faith, some about motherhood, some about marriage, some about homeschool. I need more time in the day for this!

Seeking mentorship
Did you know it is ok to ask for help? I’ve never been a shy one, so I am the woman who sees another woman who has similar priorities, interests, giftings with a little more life experience and asks for her to share her wisdom. I did this nine years ago and now call that woman one of my best friends. Now I am looking for a different kind of mentorship and I know God will provide it at just the right time!

Working on leadership at home
The Hubby is the head of our household, but I am our family & home manager and homeschool teacher for our boys, and that requires plenty of leadership from me. I do not need to take on any other roles outside of my home to fulfill my “need to lead.” I just need to grow in the leadership roles I already have! While I cannot guarantee God won’t ask me to step into leadership somewhere at some point, I know these next three months {at least} are my time to BE LED and not pursue any additional leadership positions.

I’m trying to take a cue from Little J in the picture above and have some time of “lying in green pastures” while God refreshes my soul!

What steps do you take to fill up when you are running dry?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook