Because I like to buck the system not just with my food and health care, I also homeschool my kids 😉 What can I say? I’m just a fiercely independent person! (You can read more about why we homeschool in this post.) Since I know about half of my audience also homeschools, I wanted to let you know about the new homeschool curriculum we’ve been using this year that we are loving called, Build Your Library. [Read more…]
I want to shout this from the roof tops – I love Back to Eden Gardening!!
Have you seen the free documentary on this miracle method? If you haven’t … dude … go watch it HERE!
If you don’t have time to watch it, make time. But for now here’s a quick overview of our experience with the Back to Eden method. [Read more…]
If you’ve been gardening for even a little while, you may have come across the idea of Companion planting.
What is companion planting? Simply, it’s when a gardener plants two different plants near each other because the two plants have a mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe one plant will help the other grow stronger, one will help deter pests from the other, etc. [Read more…]
Are you new to gardening in zone 8? Don’t worry, it’s different here, let me show you what to plant in March.
Most gardening guides will be telling you to plant things like peas and cabbage and lettuce.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…the ship has sailed on that for us in zone 8. The good news is we have plenty we can grow right now, and, when fall comes around, the lettuces and brassicas will get their chance 😉 [Read more…]
Are you on Instagram? If you are, you might want to come give me a follow over there because…we’ve been remodeling our kitchen! And we’re putting in a concrete counter top in our kitchen this week! Eek! I was sooo skeptical about these, but in the end my husband convinced me and I’m pretty darn excited.
What is NOT so exciting though, is that I’m without a kitchen sink or counters for 7 days!! I really didn’t want to eat junk/take out all week long, so what’s a mama to do??
Three words: Freezer Instant Pot.
Did you know that the air inside your house is very likely more polluted than the air outside?! It’s true! Indoor air pollution in our homes can compromise our health in some major ways, and it’s not even something most of us think about.
In my own life I’ve seen undetected mold in apartments cause major health problems for friends, and I suspect it was the cause of much of my family’s cycle of illness before we moved out to the country as well. There are environmental contaminants and toxins all over that are contributing to our bodies overall toxic load. So let’s take a look at how we can be proactive with our health by making a few simple changes. [Read more…]
Getting less eggs then you used to??
Whether you’ve had hens for a while, or you have young pullets that are starting to lay, you may start to wonder which hens are laying or not.
I have a mixed flock and we’ve noticed a decline in our eggs so its time to do some investigating! Luckily there are some tell tail ways to tell if your hens are laying or not.
Five ways to tell if your hens are laying or not:
Who else has a billion responsibilities on their plate right now?? Time management on the homestead, or just in the home, can be super overwhelming.
Between homemaking, homeschooling, homesteading, running a business, church responsibilities, keeping my relationships healthy, keeping me healthy, and all the stuff in between….it’s a LOT. And here’s a secret…I don’t feel busy or rushed most days. Now, I don’t “do it all”, but I have learned how to prioritize things in my life with intention so that there is harmony in my life.
A few years ago I started really maximizing my planner usage. I’m a big big fan of checking things off of to-do lists! But my life was getting so full that I needed more than just a list. So, I’ve tweaked my time management process over the years, and this is what I’m doing now that is really working for me well. So I’m gonna break it down for you here. I hope it helps you find more flow in your days, and less rushed business.
Step 1: Google Calendar
Now, you don’t have to use google calendar, but I highly recommend it if you have a spouse. Because it makes coordinating with them 100 times easier. My husband has a google calendar where he puts in his work schedule (which is nutso) and any appointments he has. And I do the same, I use my Google Calendar for appointments/field trips/obligations/reoccurring homesteading chores that I have in my life. This way we both can see each other’s obligations when we glance at our google calendar and plan accordingly. This helps us avoid overbooking days or having too many schedule conflicts.
Step 2: Sunday Brain Dump
Then on Sunday evenings I sit down with my google calendar and my paper planner opened up to the coming week write out my to-do list for the week ahead. I just make a big ol’ master list of everything I think I need or want to accomplish during the week. During this time I also jot down a quick meal plan for dinners over the week ahead.
Step 3: Prioritize
Look at your master list and then star or circle or highlight 3-5 things that are the absolute priority for the week ahead. Unfortunately, I usually cannot do EVERYTHING. Nobody can. So this is where it’s really crucial for successful time management, that you know what your personal priorities are. What is most important to YOU? What are the must-do’s, the best-do’s, and what are the just-kinda-nice-do’s. This will take some tweaking over time, and will change over time. But before you start plugging things into your weekly schedule, you need to know what matters most to you. A major key to not feeling rushed and overwhelmed, is learning what to say NO to.
Step 4: Plan the Week
This is where the time management magic starts to shine. Now that I have my google calendar and my master to-do list, I start plugging everything in to my weekly planner. I start with the google calendar and put in the appointments and major obligations for the week on their appointed days/times. Then around that I start plugging in the items from my master to do list. I start with the most important things first, and work my way down. All the while knowing, that those 3-5 top items are most important, anything else that you can manage to fit in comfortably, is just icing on the cake.
I also try to use Time Blocking as much as possible. For instance, 7a-9a is morning routine, 9a-11a is focused on homeschooling, 11a-12p is house work catch up and free time before lunch, 4p-5p is pick up and dinner prep, etc. This helps keep me focused and more productive.
And I always try to regularly schedule in pockets of self-care throughout my days. This is the secret sauce my friends. It has made ALL the difference in keeping things in flow and not feeling rushed. For me this is usually in the afternoon. I keep my mornings as a more productive time, and then block out an hour in the afternoon while my kids are playing outside, for me to read, or do embroidery, or listen to a podcast. This helps fill my cup after a full morning and before our evening routine begins. For you this will look different, but block out some time in your day for rest. Even if it’s just 10min to sit with a cup of tea and turn your phone off.
Bonus: Stick to Routines
I have found that having a simple morning and evening routine really helps keep things in harmony. When you’re doing the same things to start and end your days, that becomes one less thing to worry about. I put all of my to-do list items, in between these two routines. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t happen, and I’m okay with that. We’re shooting for progress, not perfection. Also consider having household chore routines – around here Monday is laundry day, and Saturday is coop cleaning day, just as an example.
My life is full – and newsflash, I like it that way for the most part – but I truly don’t feel busy. I don’t feel rushed. Time management for me is being intentional with what I say YES to, getting comfortable with saying NO, time blocking, and pockets of self-care to keep things in harmony. Most of the time… nobody is perfect 😉
So I want to hear from you, was this helpful? How do you manage your time on the home and homestead?
As I write this, there’s less than one week left of 2018! Can you even believe that?
The year started out pretty rough for me, but it’s turned out to be one of the best years. And as I’ve been looking back, I found I really wanted to share some of my favorite things from 2018. My favorite products, books, podcasts, apps, just anything that I found I really enjoyed or found helpful during 2018. I hope you’ll find this list fun and helpful!
Favorite Health and Beauty:
doTERRA’s Beautiful Deodorant & Body Mist. Y’all, I am so in love with these! You know I usually make my own deodorant, which is great, but this is the first deodorant I’ve found that works just as well and it smells DIVINE. The Body Mist has been just a wonderful. It’s got a 360 spray top so it’s super convient, it has the signiture Beautiful Blend scent and most importantly it keeps my dry skin soft and moisturized all day long. And of course, these are clean products with no harmful ingredients. Love love love.
Toups & Co. Makeup. Now, you probably know I’m not a big makeup girl. I don’t wear it often, and when I do wear it it’s very minimal. That being said, I like it to be clean and to work really well. I go myself some mineral makeup, concealer, and mascara from Toups & Co. during their Black Friday sale and I’m totally impressed and in love with it. First, I was able to match my skin tone over their website. This is sooo impressive to me, because I have always always had the worst time finding makeup to match my olive skin tone. The consistency of the concealer is so smooth and covers like magic. I love the mascara and the mineral makeup as well. It’s only Toups & Co. makeup for me from here on out y’all. They have a bunch of other clean makeup and skin care that is wonderful as well.
Sanuk Yoga Flip-Flops. These are my FAVORITE flip-flops of all time. I’m a Florida girl, so I have a thing or two to say when it comes to flip-flops 😉 and these are the BEST. The soles are made from yoga mat material and they are ultra comfy, and they come in all kinds of styles and colors. They are well made and will last you a good long time.
Letscom Fitness Tracker Watch. If you want a FitBit without the high price tag, check these watches out friends. I got one for mother’s day this year, and I have loved it. It tracks steps, logs sleep and heart rate, and it has several exercises to choose from to track your heart rate, pace, and distance. I picked up running again this year and so I’ve really enjoyed having this watch to track my runs, as well as my sleep patterns, heart rate, and steps everyday.
Patchouli and Vetiver. If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you may know that this year I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. And these two oils have been a great source of help, healing, and comfort to me. These essential oils have been a resource for me to help me manage and lessen anxiousness, and I’m so grateful to have them at my finger tips. They are both very grounding and calming to the mind and body. They’ve definitely earned the spot as my favorite oils of 2018.
Favorite Home and Homestead:
Americaunas and Leghorns. These are my favorite chicken breeds from this year. It’s hard to pick just two, but if I had to it would be these. I love the fuzzy earmuffs and beards of my Americaunas and their light blue eggs are just goregous. And my leghorns, well, they are the most reliable layers I’ve every had. I love the consistency. I got them because I wanted to still have a few eggs in the winter, and they are steadily producing. I’m so grateful and love them for it!
Sweet Potato Slips. Can you believe this is the first year I ever grew sweet potatoes?! Why on earth did I wait so long?! If you live in the south, don’t be intimidated by sweet potato slips. Just buy some, or grow them yourself (I’ll have a post coming on that in 2019) and throw ’em in the ground. I never neglected anything like I neglected my sweet potatoes, I’m sorry to say, and yet, they seemingly flourished! They produced us some beautiful sweet potatoes, and I can’t wait to see what they do with a little more TLC in 2019.
Instant Pot. I was actually gifted an instant pot from my neighbor this year! She bought it and didn’t really like it and so she gave it to me! What a sweetheart! I love it. I’m a minimalist and I’m pretty skeptical of new kitchen gadgetry. But I gotta say, I use my instant pot several times a week, and I really love it. Some of my favorites to make in the instant pot are, mashed potatoes, “baked” sweet potatoes, Peanut Chicken Satay, rice, dry beans, and oatmeal. I highly recommend it if you’re on the fence.
Grocery Pickups. I resisted this for a long time, but this year, I finally gave them a try and I’ve become completely hooked. I’ve used Sam’s Club and Walmart grocery pickups consistently this year, and they have been a life saver for me! Really cuts down on my time in town (gotta love that), makes shopping with 3 kids way easier, and saves me money as I can’t impulse buy anything 😉 If you wanna try Walmart pick up and you haven’t yet, use this code to get $10 off your first pick up! You’re welcome 😉
123 Magic. This is my favorite parenting book that I read in 2018. I love that it focuses on the parent-child bond as well as correcting behavior. And it works, I started seeing results the first day I started implementing it’s advice. If you’re looking for more peace and less chaos in your home life, this is a quick and helpful read!
The Women of The Castle. This is a historical fiction that is set in Germany in the WWII era, and follows 3 different women before, during, and after the war. It’s gripping and simply marvelous. I loved it.
Spenders Guide to Debt-Free Living. If you’re looking for some debt crushing inspiration and advice, this is a great read. We’ve put a lot of this principles in to practice since I read this book in July and we’ve paid off some debts already. I highly recommend it. It’s an easy and fun read, the author is really down to earth and relatable.
The Magnolia Story. I found such inspiration reading Chip and Joanna Gaines story! If you enjoy The Fixer Upper, you’ll love this book. I love how they both take turns writing things from their perspective, it feels like they are sitting in your living room sharing their story and pouring out wisdom.
Make It Happen. This was another really inspiring and healing book for me. I really enjoyed Lara’s openness on her struggle with perfectionism and how she let go and let God do an amazing work in her life. I highly recommend this short wonderful read as you’re looking at making goals for 2019.
The Small Queendom. I really enjoy this podcast, if you’re a mom wanting to go from surviving to thriving, there are some great nuggets of wisdom and inspiration here. She’s very open about her life story and at the same time keeps things light hearted. It’s a delight to listen to.
The Crystal Paine Show. I’ve been following Crystal for a long time, reading her blog Money Saving Mom in my early mom days with a new baby trying to pinch pennies however I could. And she started a podcast this year that’s full of inspiration for women. She too tells her story, as well as has wonderful guests on her show to help address many of the struggles women face on a daily basis.
Better Than Happy. This is a wonderful podcast for mindset work. If you’re wanting to shift your thinking and take control of your life, I can’t recommend this podcast enough. She addresses a lot of common struggles women have and helps us deal with them with our thinking first. This is a really useful tool and I have been really grateful for the wisdom she offers.
iOS Screen Time Settings. If you have an iPhone, you may not know this, but with the latest iOS update, there is a brand new feature where you can set screen time limits! As an entrepreneur it’s really easy for me to spend too much time on my phone, so I jumped on the screen time settings immediately. I love that these are totally customizable, you can choose different limits for different apps, you can choose down time perimeters as well. It’s really great and I highly recommend you use it and experiment with some screen time boundaries for yourself. It’s a real blessing.
Google Calendar. I don’t know if you’re already using this or not, but even if you are, are you using it to it’s fullest? My husband has a bizarre and fluctuating work schedule, and he works two jobs. Add in my church responsibilities, the homeschool group I help run, doctors appointments, and oh ya, our homestead, our calendar is full. And thankfully we’ve been using Google Calendar for a few years and it’s a life saver. You can add different calendar “groups” and users and color code them all, so at a glance you and your spouse can look at your Google Calendar and see what you’ve got going on in the month, week, or the day. I still use a paper planner for my daily to-do’s and weekly outlooks, but we couldn’t survive without our Google Calendar.
Period Tracker. This might seem weird, but I really like having this period tracker app on my phone. It has customizable cycle lengths, and it tells you when you’re ovulating, when you should expect your period, but it also has symptom and mood tracking, as well as a notes section. And it lets you input when your period actually starts and ends. This is a really useful tool if you’re trying to get pregnant, but we are NOT trying to get pregnant and I still like it. Because your menstrual cycle is a really important aspect of your health as a woman, and paying attention to it can really help you notice if other things are off. I also really like the mood tracker feature, it’s easy, and it’s also very helpful to know that “oh wait, okay, I’m a hot mess today because I’m always a hot mess on this day of my cycle, I’m not crazy, I’m hormonal”. Trust me, that’s useful!
MyPlate. This is a new app that I’ve just started using recently but I really do like it. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been on a journey dealing with anxiety and depression this year. And so my mental health has been my main focus in 2018, and I’m happy to say I feel amazing now. And since I feel great in my mind and heart, I’ve recently felt ready to tackle the extra “baby” weight from my last pregnancy. I’ve already been running as a part of my mental health plan, but I haven’t really dealt with food. MyPlate is a really intuitive calorie tracker, it tracks exercise, weight, macros and water intake as well. It’s really easy to use, very visual which I love, and it’s early to say for sure, but I do believe it’s helped me loose a bit of weight in the first 2 weeks I’ve used. So if you’re looking for a calorie tracker, give it a shot.