Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New eBook!!! All Things Christmas

 It has been a while since I've had a new ebook and I'm excited to share this one with you. 

This 27 page ebook is a compilation of my favorite Christmas baking recipes, homemade gifts, and lots of homemade gift ideas. 

It's not too early to begin thinking about Christmas!

The ebook is an automatic download. You will receive an email with a download link after you order

All Things Christmas
Homemaking on the Homestead
The Family Homestead


Buy Now

Monday, October 17, 2016

Menu Monday

It was a wild wet week here in the PNW. We were feeling the tail end/remnants of typhoon Songa and it did a lot of damage to the coast and inland. Two tornado's touched down in two different coastal towns, which is very rare here in this part of the world. Thankfully we are far enough away that we only received a lot of wind and rain, but no serious damage. It sure is feeling more and more like fall!

Fall tells me that the holiday season is just around the corner and I'm thinking about Christmas already as my list is pretty long with 8 children, their spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends and a whole lot of grandchildren! I do enjoy this time of year and find planning and preparing makes the best holiday times. This week I'm going to take some time to sit down and write out my plan for gifts, food to make, and all other holiday organizing.

As for today, it will be a day at home. I have housecleaning and laundry to catch up on. Dinner will be easy. I made a large pot of pizza chili over the weekend and we have enough left for our dinner tonight.

The rest of week is looking like this..

Italian Chicken
Super easy and good Instant Pot (IP) meal. I'll use chicken thighs and my favorite Italian salad dressing to flavor. I'll try and get this recipe up this week after I make it. French bread, sweet potatoes and cooked kale (both made in the IP) will be served on the side.

These will be cooked up inside as our BBQ'ing days are over for the year. I'll serve with all the typical trimmings. I'm thinking of making a potato salad along side the burgers.

Chicken Enchiladas
I saw this recipe the other day. It is for enchiladas made in the IP. I figured I'd give it a try and see what we think. Tortilla chips, salsa, and a salad will round out the meal.

Split Pea Soup
Wet, rainy, cool fall days call for soup sometimes. I'll use either bacon or sausage to flavor the soup. I plan on using my basic recipe and converting into an IP recipe. I'll keep you posted on that goes :). Crackers and a salad will be the sides. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Super Simple Table Runner

If you're looking for a simple sewing project that will add some nice decoration to your home, this easy table runner may be the project for you!

What I really love about it is that it can be done so quickly and the end result can add a lot to your home. It requires only 2 pieces of fabric, a ½ yard and a 1/3 yard.. that is it. If you sew regularly you may even have that already in your fabric stash.

Here are a couple that I've made...

What I like is that you can make several of them for the different seasons or holidays.

The video below shows you how it is done.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Laundry Hacks

Sometimes, even though you've been doing the same thing for years and years you come across a different, perhaps better way of doing it. That is a hack, “a not so common solution to something”. And more specifically I've stumbled across a method of folding laundry that I really like and is different then the way I have been doing it.

Maybe I'm just slow to come around to things like this. After posting this, I'll probably hear from ladies that have been doing it like this or similarly for years.. ha, ha.. :) But I just had to share as lately I've been on a laundry theme.

I was reading through a recent Reader's Digest and came across this article: I was not really thinking I would try it, but did find it interesting. After cleaning out my summer clothes and reorganizing my drawers I decided to give it a try.

All I can say is.. wow! I really like this. It makes the drawers look neat and orderly and the clothes easy to find.

Basically she shows you how to fold your clothing into squares. Then, instead of stacking the clothes on top of each other you lay them horizontal from front to back in the drawer.

I found this method is keeping my dresser drawers much more organized and makes it easier to find what I am looking for.

Now I'm going to tackle my hubby's things and see what he thinks! :) I'm pretty sure he'll be fine with it as he is just happy to have what he needs ready to go when he needs it.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Menu Monday!

How was your week? Are you ready to tackle another week? Lots on my to do list this week but I am ready. My menu is set and meals one less thing I have to think about.

Today is a appointment and grocery shopping in town. I may be home a little on the later side so I'm contemplating picking up a pizza from Costco. I know my family won't mind my choice! :) I'll grab a salad in a bag from the grocery store to make this a super simple night.

The rest of my week is looking like this...

Pan Fried Sirloin Steaks
I found some petite sirloin steaks on sale last week and picked up a package. It is to yucky out to think about a bbq so I'm going to do a quickly pan fry these little steaks. I also bought a couple acorn squashes. I'm going to try doing those in the Instant Pot. I'll serve some biscuits along with this meal.

Clam Chowder
I made it a few weeks ago and it was so good I figure for the cool wet weekend a head it will be perfect. I'll add crackers and a salad along side.

Pizza Chili
Just a unique twist on a pot of chili. I came up with the recipe a few years ago while trying to use up some items in my fridge (leftover pepperoni and sausage from pizza making). I'll a side dish of dinner rolls and a big green salad.

Roasted Chicken
I'll make my “roasted” chicken in the Instant Pot of course.. :) Makes it so easy. Rice and a veggie (yet to be determined) will be served on the side.

Friday, October 7, 2016

After 14 Years!! Love & Friendship

We meet many people in our life. Some just pass through, some become friends and then we lose touch as life moves forward and some become true friends. Those women that are like sisters to us. The ones that we share our ups and downs and share our hearts with. The ones that love us, hold us close to their hearts as you hold them close to yours. Usually in life we don't have a lot of those trusted friends and the ones we do have hold a special place in our heart and lives.

Fourteen years ago I was in a Yahoo Group (remember those? :) for moms and I met Laurie. She was expecting her 4th baby. We immediately started a friendship. She was a stay at home mama, a homeschooler, homebirther, she loved all things homemaking, we both had a love for country life, a love for Jesus, and the list went on and on. The one thing that caught our attention right away was our husband's names. Her husband's name is Toby, my husband's name is Tobin. Very similar and not common.

As the years went on I started my website and message board. She joined and our friendship just grew. Then we joined FaceBook and the friendship continued.

We always talked about one day meeting each other in person. How amazing would that be. When we met we could not have lived farther apart. I live in Washington State and she was living, at the time, in Florida. And with raising children, homeschooling, and very busy lives a visit or a meet up seemed like only a dream for the both of us.

Until last week. We talked about it more seriously last year and set a time that would work for both of us this year. And we were finally able to make our dream of hugging each other in person and spending a few days together a reality.

She arrived on Wednesday and returned home on Saturday.. way to short for the both of us! People can wonder if the person you know on line is the same as the one you will meet in person. And she was all of that and more. We talked non stop. I know for a fact that if she had stayed another week we would never have run out of things to talk about. Fourteen years of life to fill in the details to share more in depth about so many things.

I took her to see a few sights, the beautiful scenery here, her first trip to IKEA, and more I wanted to do if the time had allowed us.

I'm already plotting in my head how we can make our next visit happen!! We both are thankful that God allowed this time together for us.

Laurie is also a fellow Blogger and has a wonderful blog..  I hope you take a few minutes to check it out and enjoy it

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Laundry Revisited

A few blog posts back I mentioned laundry. I asked if laundry was a job you liked, disliked, or loved. I've never been a big fan of laundry. Maybe because over the years raising 8 children we had a LOT of laundry. It was a daily constant chore. As someone who had many children said long ago, if the washer and dryer are not running, we are in trouble. :) And that was so true.

When the children were at home it was all about the system of laundry. Everyone old enough did their own laundry. Each child had their own laundry basket, each child had their own color of towel and washcloth (which they hung on a hook after use and washed with their laundry). And each child did their own laundry once a week. There was still general/family laundry to do such as kitchen towels, cleaning rags and such and my and hubby's laundry. So to me laundry was a home management task, not something I took time to enjoy.

Of course nowadays that hecticness is behind me and life is not the pace it once was for me. So laundry had me thinking.

Sometimes the chores in life are more about our attitude then they are about the job itself. When I asked about views on doing laundry, I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the replies. Some loved laundry. I was actually encouraged to read this and that is when I had to stop and remember, it can all be about attitude.

Since posting about this, I've done some rethinking on laundry. I realize how thankful I am to be able to do this task for my hubby and for my home. One thing I think about with all household tasks is, time. If you were to time how long it takes to do certain chores you realize that it really does not take that long. Such is the case with laundry. It's a pretty easy process so why not stop and appreciate the smell of clean clothes, stacks of neatly folded clothing, dresser drawers restocked and ready to go for another week, and blessings of keeping a home.

One lady responded by saying she would listen to music or an audio book while doing laundry. I loved that idea. I also thought, what a great time to also listen to a Bible study or a pod cast.

Life to me is often about living and enjoying the process, focusing on the positive and the blessings. Even the blessing of laundry.