Weekend Links

Keeper of the Home

Links for this week:

Greatest Generation of Moms-A Late Mother’s Day Post @ Clover Lane

Are You a Negaholic? 5 Ways Pessimism Is Ruining Your Life @ Michael Hyatt

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Honey-Roasted Strawberries @ Nourished Kitchen

The Need to Pray for Friends @ (in)courage

On Parenting with Grace and Second Chances @ Live Renewed

Chocolate Dipped Raspberry Brownie Bites (GF, DF option) @ The Nourishing Home

A Surrendered Heart: Don’t Forget! @ Heavenly Homemakers

Because Sometimes Being the Meanest Mom Might Also Make You Mother of the Year @ We Are That Family

The school year ended in a few places this week! How much longer is your countdown to summer?

4 Steps Toward Simpler Living

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer

With seasons of constant change, I often feel like I’m living in crisis mode, putting out fires and just surviving, let alone living simply.

I learned about the natural living lifestyle in the fall of 2009 after debilitating sickness threatened to take my quality of life. I grew up on the very SAD American diet, and I didn’t know a thing about natural living.

Not a single thing.

When I did dive in, I found the water deep and the information fascinating.

My husband and I began making small changes to our diet and eventually my constant devouring of information led me to the idea of simple living.

It seems so common sense to me now, but at the time what I was learning was revolutionary … and exciting!

My health improved dramatically and eventually I got pregnant with our first child. I learned about natural birth, and I ended up in a birth center with our first son and giving birth at home with our second son, neither of which I’d ever even heard of!

My family recently picked up our lives and moved nearly 2,000 miles across the country to plant roots near my husband’s family.

We’ve been on a journey of faith for years now, moving more times than I can count, trusting God in the details, and pursuing dreams that only He could have placed in our hearts.

(You can hear about some of our journey on Stephanie and Ryan’s podcast, EntreFamily.)

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

Yet through it all I rarely feel like I have a steady grip on healthy, simple living … or my life in general.

I read article after article and I try to do better, even making a bunch of changes, but it never feels like enough.

Maybe you can relate.

Like me, you want to live more simply, but you don’t know where to start or just feel like you’re drowning due to so many life changes.

What you need to do is give yourself some grace!

Sometimes I think we make life too complicated.

We have so much information at our fingertips. We have opinions, ideals, and desires buried deep inside us, and we end up play dodge ball with everyone else’s opinions on how we should live our lives.

We sit around comparing ourselves to others when our lives are actually pretty amazing themselves. It just doesn’t feel like it. Darn, feelings.

There is so much we could be doing to live a healthier life and lower our impact on the environment, but we’re human.

Unless you grew up in a real food kitchen and a simple living family culture, you have a lot to learn. The world is certainly not helping you in the direction you want to go. You’re fighting an uphill battle as you reverse bad habits and implement new lifestyle choices.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

You need to give yourself some grace because you’ve likely come much farther than you give yourself credit for.

I’m learning this lesson of grace in the changes right alongside you. It’s not easy, but as a result of what I’ve been learning.

No matter where you are in your journey, I can guarantee you that adopting these four steps first will make the rest of the changes you want to make much easier to do.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

4 Steps Toward Simpler Living

1. Create a mission statement

What are you living for? Or a bigger question. Why do you do the things you do?

Do you know?

Each of us comes equipped with a special set of gifts. With that also comes a special set of weaknesses. Nevertheless, the strengths and weaknesses are meant to be lived out with purpose in our lives and in our homes.

Life on mission is about purpose.

Whether you come at life through the lens of your faith as I do or not, your life matters!

Knowing your life purpose is the start of living a simpler life. Simple living is simply living out your priorities and values. Otherwise, you’re just running around doing this and that never knowing if you’re moving toward your goals or not.

Resources you might find helpful:

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

2. Implement routines around repeated tasks

Some people think routines are boring, oppressive, and mundane.

I happen to think they’re freeing. They allow me figure out the best process to follow, and then just keep repeating that flow.

Routines help me remember the necessities of life and free up my limited brainpower for more important things.

There will be some routines that you do every single day, some repeated weekly, and some that only apply to specific situations.

If you can identify the routines you have (and the routines you need), you’ll discover that life becomes much simpler.

Here are Some Routine Ideas to Get You Started:

Additional Resources You Might Find Helpful:

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

3. Eliminate the noise

There are two parts of this equation.

First, eliminate the noise of social media.

Get offline more and get outside instead. Talk to your family without a device in your hand. Don’t Google every question that comes up in your mind throughout the day. Call the restaurant instead of checking your phone app for their hours. Set timers while you’re on Facebook or Pinterest. Don’t check Instagram until you’ve looked your real life square in the eyes and engaged with the people right there in your home.

In other words, live your life and stop looking at everyone else’s all the time. You’ll be amazed how much this will lower your blood pressure make you feel more at ease and peaceful throughout your day.

Second, stop reading every blog post and web article on every method of traditional cooking, simple living, natural cleaning, and the dangers of toxins found in your back yard soil.

Just stop.

Slow down.

Right now, I’m on an information fast. Until I implement some of the healthy living changes that I know to make, I’m not reading about another thing I need to change.

It overwhelms me and paralyzes me when I take in too much information (even good information). I don’t know about you, but too much information coming in means less action going out.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you're just failing, take a step back. Breathe. Then try these four steps toward simpler living.

4. Adopt the mindset of living slowly

I’m learning that just because life is busy, it doesn’t mean you can’t live slowly.

Yes, the end of the day may bring exhaustion of epic proportions and the next day is only a few hours away threatening to continue this cycle over and over again.

But we can stop the cycle.

We can choose to live slowly even in the busyness of life. We just have to discipline our minds.

Incorporate rest into your day, even if it’s just five to fifteen minutes here and there. Start saying no to things that don’t align with your core values. When life begins to swirl around you, take a step back and discipline your mind to think slowly, deliberately. Focus more on relationships than tasks. Get outside and enjoy creation. Let your senses rest from all that’s going on and just breathe.

With the ebbs and flows of my life, these are the four things I can hang my hat on to get me back on track and living according to my values.

I’m learning that simple living is a mindset, not something you arrive at. Simple living is a process, a journey, and a discipline.

So today if you’re discouraged that you’re not moving ahead on your goals, or you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the ways you’re just failing, may I offer you a chance to just breathe?

Take a step back.

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.

Then start with these four steps to get yourself moving again in the direction you want to go.

What about you? How are you seeking to live more simply right now? Do you need to give yourself grace?

 

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

oammgiveaway

Giveaway!  Win a One-Year Pro Subscription to Once a Month Meals worth $170.  The giveaway ends this Wednesday, May 27, 2015

epantry 3

$10 credit + a FREE soy candle from ePantry!

ePantry may be new to many of you. It was new to me earlier this year. I’ve just started using it the last while and I have to say that so far, I’m really happy with it!

Basically, it’s a simple subscription service where you customize your orders (and how often you want to receive them), so that household, cleaning, beauty and even baby products just show up at your door with no fuss and at very reasonable prices.

It’s similar to the Amazon Subscribe-and-Save program in many ways, except that rather than signing up for each product individually, you put together a profile for your household, check off your favorite products, and then set your account for how often you want to receive your orders.

Not only that, but they sell many natural brands of cleaners, baby items, beauty products, and household goods (Seventh Generation, Yes To, Toms of Maine, etc.), their prices are good, and ePantry says their customers save 26% on average by shopping with them vs. their regular grocery store.

If you’d like to try it out, use this link and you’ll receive a $10 credit when you checkout, as well as a free soy candle!

zulily

 

Save up to 80% at Zulily.  Just type “organic” into their search bar to find all the great deals.  Limited time offer.

oils

Just $19.99  Aromatherapy Top 6 – 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Basic Sampler Essential Oil Gift Set- 6/10 ml Kit.  Set contains the following therapeutic essential oils: French Lavender, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint Pharma Grade, Rosemary, Sweet Orange. FREE shipping on qualifying orders.

gold_label_virgin_coconut_oil_32oz_2-pack

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Quarts at Tropical Traditions.  Sale ends Thursday, May 28, 2015

benefect_hand_sanitizer_logo

benefect_hand_sanitizer50% Off Benefect Botanical Hand Sanitizer 4 oz Pump at Tropical Traditions. Benefect Hand Sanitizer kills over 99.99% of common germs including MRSA, Staph, E. coli and Salmonella in 15 seconds! Benefect’s active ingredient is their proprietary, fast-acting, broad spectrum antimicrobial created from a patented blend of natural thyme.  Same pH as skin!  On sale now through Sunday, May 31, 2015

deodorantsBuy 1 Get 1 FREE Aluminum-Free Virgin Coconut Oil Deodorants at Tropical Traditions 

Tropical Traditions Natural Deodorants are chemical-free, paraben-free, and aluminum-free deodorant roll-ons. Your underarms are one of the most sensitive and absorbent areas of your body, so don’t put harmful chemicals into your body through antiperspirants or harmful deodorants!  Three varieties available: Classic, Lavender, and Frankincense.  On Sale now through Sunday, May 31, 2015.

blendList Price $29.99 On Sale $18.45  Hamilton Beach 59765 2 Speed Hand Blender.  FREE shipping on qualifying orders.

fanList Price $34.55 On Sale $12.79  Honeywell TurboForce Fan, HT-900  FREE shipping on qualifying orders.

abes

Sale On Sale! Save an additional 10% at Abe’s Market.  Order value must be $100 on qualifying products with the flag “TAKETEN”.  Sale on Sale ends TODAY (May 26, 2015)

parchement
Lowest Price To-Date!  List Price $13.89  On Sale $10.99 Kirkland Signature Non Stick Parchment Paper 205 sq. ft.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

 

mirror

A Father’s Day Gift Idea!  

List Price $59.95  On Sale $39.95  Deluxe LED Fogless Shower Mirror with Squeegee by ToiletTree Products. Guaranteed Not to Fog, Designed Not to Fall.  Get FREE Shipping on qualifying order.

(Hat Tip to Jungle Deals & Steals for these 3 deals)

FREE Kindle eBooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notices so please double check the price before purchasing)

slowSlow Cooker: Slow Cooker Recipes One Month of Low Carb Crock Pot Recipes That Everyone Loves

freezer
Freezer Meals: 33 Quick and Easy Make Ahead Meals Your Whole Family Will Love

hill

Hillbilly DIY Remedies: Homemade, Organic, And Natural Healing Recipes From Grandma To You

Kindle eBooks for Less Than $1:

stress

Managing Stress: 10 Ways to Feel Less Stress When Life Get’s Crazy Buzy

(Hat Tip to Money Saving Mom for these eBooks)

This week’s best coupons:

real-deals-pinterest-may-26Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Homemade Canned Soup Replacement

Who needs canned soup when you have this simple recipe for cream of chicken condensed soup? It can be adapted to work homemade canned soup replacement for cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup as well. Now you don't have to worry about trying to adapt your old recipes – just keep this on hand as a replacement!

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

When I think back to my newlywed days, and all the canned soup we consumed, I cringe a little.

As a newlywed, I learned to prepare all manner of meals while clutching my Betty Crocker Cookbook. I followed each recipe step by step, not thinking much about any kind of health ramifications. I just wanted to make dinner for my husband.

At that stage of life, I knew very little about real food. But, as time went on and I became more aware of the additives in many processed food products and began to eliminate them from our diet.

Canned soup was one of the first things to go.

Many canned soups contain a myriad of chemicals, GMO’s, and a high amount of sodium (Source). None of these are good for our health.

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to create a canned soup replacement, which means we can continue to make delicious and comforting soups, casseroles, and Crock-Pot recipes.

Who needs canned soup when you have this simple recipe for cream of chicken condensed soup? It can be adapted to work homemade canned soup replacement for cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup as well.

 

Today I want to share a simple recipe for cream of chicken condensed soup. It can be adapted and changed to work as a replacement for cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup as well.

5 from 1 reviews
Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup Replacement
 
Serves: equivalent to one can of soup (about 1¼ cup)
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached, white flour (or whole wheat)
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: ½ cup sliced onions or shallots.
Instructions
  1. Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. If using onions or shallots, add to the butter and sauté until soft. Once butter has melted (and onions are soft, if using), add the flour.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring rapidly with a whisk, until the mixture is thick and slightly bubbly. Don't let the butter turn brown.
  3. Add the chicken stock and whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk again.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring often.
  5. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. This will keep for a couple days in the fridge, but it's generally best to use the day it's made.
Notes
Adaptions:
Cream of celery: Slice a stalk of celery into thin pieces and sauté in the butter before adding flour. Once soft, add flour and proceed as described above.
Cream of mushroom: Chop 3-5 mushrooms into small pieces. Sauté mushrooms in butter before adding flour. Once soft, add flour and proceed as described above.
Gluten-Free: Use arrowroot flour or white rice flour in place of the wheat flour.

Not only is this homemade version of canned soup healthier, it tastes better too!

Who needs canned soup when you have this simple recipe for cream of chicken condensed soup? It can be adapted to work homemade canned soup replacement for cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup as well. Now you don't have to worry about trying to adapt your old recipes – just keep this on hand as a replacement!

What would you make with this homemade canned soup replacement?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Weekend Links

{Keeper of the Home}

Want to fill your freezer and fill your schedule?

This week we’re giving away a 1-year Pro Membership to Once a Month Meals – go get entered here!

Links for this week:

Into Iraq #2: What the News isn’t telling You & Why We Can’t Afford to Pretend It’s Not Happening @ A Holy Experience

When You’re Tired and Just Tempted to Parent on Cruise Control, Do This Instead @ Lisa-Jo Baker

Stress Relieving Lavender Lemon Balm Iced Tea @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Chasing the Right “Likes” @ Becoming Minimalist

A Suggestion @ Sarah Bessey

Celebrate with a Patriotic BBQ Menu! @ The Nourishing Home

Don’t Be the Next _____ @ Shauna Niequist

A List Worth Printing, Posting, Remembering, & Living @ Hands Free Mama

How’s your garden coming along?

Homemade Iced Tea Popsicles

There's nothing better than a cold snack on a hot day! Our family loves popsicles, especially now that we make homemade iced tea popsicles! They're extra refreshing, low in sugar, frugal, and you already have everything on hand to make them. Here's how to make your own – with a strong flavor you'll love!

Like all kids, mine love nothing better than a cool snack on a hot day.

A common summertime treat around our house is popsicles. Since popsicles are so easy to make, we stick with homemade ones, rather than buying them.

Sometimes we make them out of a smoothie-type blend of frozen fruits, with things like coconut milk or yogurt blended in for creaminess. Ice cream or frozen yogurt recipes also taste amazing poured into popsicle molds instead of an ice cream maker. I’ve also been known to make lemonade or limeade pops, which are so light and refreshing.

This year, though, I wanted to try adding iced tea pops to our repertoire.

I was inspired by my most recent visit to David’s Tea (this is not an affiliate link, just a local place that our family enjoys buying tea from). They had several summer flavors specifically intended for turning into iced tea pops and I thought, “How clever! That’s what I’ll try next!”

And so I did.

How to make your own Iced Tea Popsicles

It’s pretty straightforward to brew tea, pour it into popsicle molds and enjoy frozen.

BUT, the main thing you need to keep in mind is that while a tea may taste fantastic hot, it loses a lot of the flavor once you freeze it. So the key to making great tasting iced tea pops is using extra-strength tea and adding some sweetener.

When it comes to brewing your tea, there are two main ways to get the strong flavor you’re looking for:

1. Brew for twice as long

2. Use twice as much tea and brew for normal length of time.

Personally, because I’m rather cheap, I opt to brew my tea for twice as long. That said, I feel that using twice the amount of tea can give a slightly fuller, better taste, but generally, I think you get similar results going either route.

There's nothing better than a cold snack on a hot day! Our family loves popsicles, especially now that we make homemade iced tea popsicles! They're extra refreshing, low in sugar, frugal, and you already have everything on hand to make them. Here's how to make your own – with a strong flavor you'll love!

Which tea to use for your popsicles?

Well, it all depends on what you like! My kids usually enjoy tea most when it’s made up of mostly fruity flavors (although they’ll also sip on things like chamomile or peppermint, and they love honey and lemon in their tea).

For these particular iced tea pops, I used:

  • a loose tea blend with honeybush (an herbal tea with a pleasant, somewhat-sweet flavor) and dried coconut
  • a fruity blend that included dried apples, sour cherries, cranberries, kiwi, and dried coconut (this was our favorite – such a nice, balanced fruit flavor)
  • a stronger strawberry-flavored blend that was mostly dried strawberries, apples, rosehips, hibiscus, and I can’t remember what else because I ran out and threw out the bag. Oops!

But really, you could use anything.

You very likely already have something that would work in your cupboard, so go ahead and give it a try!

There's nothing better than a cold snack on a hot day! Our family loves popsicles, especially now that we make homemade iced tea popsicles! They're extra refreshing, low in sugar, frugal, and you already have everything on hand to make them. Here's how to make your own – with a strong flavor you'll love!

5 from 1 reviews
Homemade Iced Tea Popsiscles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Note that this is just a basic ratio. You can make as much or as little as you like!
Recipe type: Desserts and Sweets
Ingredients
  • 1 heaping teaspoon loose tea (this is about the same as one tea bag)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp. honey per cup of tea
Instructions
  1. Measure your tea into something like a French Press (perfect for loose tea) or a jug or bowl (fine for tea bags) and pour correct ratio of hot water over it.
  2. Allow it to steep for about 4-7 minutes (if using double the amount of tea) OR 10-14 minutes (if using the single amount and wanting to brew it stronger).
  3. While still hot, strain out the tea or remove bags, and then add sweetener to taste (particularly if you're adding honey, you want it to be able to fully melt before the tea cools).
  4. Pour sweetened tea into popsicle molds (if they're plastic, you'll want to let it cool down first).
  5. Stick it in the freezer and wait patiently. :)

You can double, triple, or quadruple this basic recipe depending on how much tea you want to make.

Be aware that it’s really easy to make too much, though. In this particular batch, I made two cups of two kinds of tea, and three cups of a third kind, and ended up with WAY too much tea for my 14 popsicle molds (I had one tray that holds 6 and another that holds 8), so we just ended up drinking the extra tea on its own. Which was still fine and yummy, just unnecessary.

There's nothing better than a cold snack on a hot day! Our family loves popsicles, especially now that we make homemade iced tea popsicles! They're extra refreshing, low in sugar, frugal, and you already have everything on hand to make them. Here's how to make your own – with a strong flavor you'll love!

A note on sweetening:

Some tea flavors, especially those that use dried fruits or flowers that are quite naturally sweet, don’t need quite as much sweetener.

For example, I find dried apples and coconut fairly sweet, peppermint is a strong herb, and hibiscus is a strong-tasting flower. Others that are more tart (like dried berries, for example) add nice flavor but are more tart, so they may require more sweetener.

I personally like the flavor of raw honey for sweetening tea. I feel like it accentuates the fruit flavors especially well, since honey has a bit of a fruity taste itself.

Stevia is also a great option and since you’re brewing the tea anyways, this is a perfect way to use the dried leaves rather than the processed stevia drops or powder, since you can just toss the leaves right in with the tea to add natural sweetness while brewing.

There's nothing better than a cold snack on a hot day! Our family loves popsicles, especially now that we make homemade iced tea popsicles! They're extra refreshing, low in sugar, frugal, and you already have everything on hand to make them. Here's how to make your own – with a strong flavor you'll love!

Looking for more summer treat ideas?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links to teas I think would great taste as popsicles. When you use my links, it doesn’t cost you anything but helps to support this site, so thank you!

Once A Month Meals Giveaway: Win a 1-Year Pro Membership Subscription to Simplify Your Meal Times!

Once A Month Meals Giveaway! {Keeper of the Home}

Want to fill your freezer and free your schedule? Then you’ll love today’s giveaway from one of my favorite online resources, Once A Month Meals!

Once-a-month cooking is a wonderful way to keep your freezer stocked with ready-to-eat meals. All you have to do is pull them from the freezer, heat them up and you’ve got a nourishing, home-cooked meal on the table for your family.

The problem, however, lies in being able to find recipes that convert to freezer cooking, making grocery lists, and figuring out when you’re going to actually be able to make all those meals. Who has time for any of that?

This is where Once A Month Meals comes in. It’s a convenient, tried-and-true service that offers delicious recipes, detailed instructions, and thorough grocery lists, to help you stock your freezer full of nutritious meals.

Once A Month Meals

Actually, with baby #5 arriving very shortly, this is on my to-do list. Each time I prepare to have a new baby in the house, I try to fill my freezer with as many nourishing meals or meal components as possible so that we still eat well during those bleary, sleep-deprived early days and weeks.

In fact, freezer cooking is helpful any time you’re going through a busy season OR for the mom who wants to find a way to remove some of the stress from what can be a really hectic time of day.

Meal planning in and of itself is a huge help for reducing late afternoon and dinnertime chaos, but having full meals already prepared and in the freezer takes it even a step further

What makes Once a Month Meals particularly helpful in these situations is that it removes so much of the prep work involved. For me personally, one of the most challenging aspects of freezer cooking has always been the planning.

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Finding freezer-friendly recipes, creating these huge grocery shopping lists, figuring out how to structure my day so that I can get the work done as quickly as possible… it’s a whole lot of hard work.

BUT, with their meal subscription, it’s all given to you, ready to go. You simply choose which type of menu you want to make (more on this in a minute), buy what’s on the pre-made grocery lists, and then follow their instructions for making your cooking day a success.

That sort of help is exactly what I need to actually make freezer cooking a reality. You can see what it includes and how it will streamline your process here.

Got a special diet? They’ve got you covered!

One of the things that I love best is how many different types of menus there are to choose from, such as a whole foods menu, gluten-free/dairy-free menu, Paleo menu, and more.

Nearly every kind of culinary preference or special diet is covered- and I know what a big deal that is, as we have so many readers with families on restrictive diets, dealing with food allergies or intolerances, or simply wanting to eat really wholesome, real foods.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 10.29.13 PM

And, if you decide you want to customize your monthly menu, you can also swap out recipes from other plans and all of the instructions and grocery lists will be automatically updated. You can see how it all works here.

I absolutely love this service!

It’s wonderful knowing that when 5 o’clock comes and I haven’t had a chance to even think about supper, I can just pull a meal I made earlier in the month from the freezer and not have to resort to take-out or convenience foods!

Today we’re giving away a 1-year pro subscription to Once A Month Meals. Enter your details in the form below to enter!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

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This week’s top deals:

ninjaList Price $249.99 On Sale $159.99  Ninja Mega Kitchen System (BL771) Includes a traditional blender, food processor, individual smoothie cups and more. FREE shipping.

Abe's

Up to 80% Off Spices, salts & Rubs at Abe’s Market.  Check out all their organic spices, sauces and condiments!  FREE shipping on orders over $49.

meyer's

As Low As $7.47-$8.83 Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent, Lavender, 34 Fluid Ounce is on sale for $13.59.  Save 30% when you clip the coupon. (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

 

meldeens
As Low As $8.82-$9.86 Meldeens Raw Organic Extra Virgin Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, 14-Ounce Jar is on sale for $10.38.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

 

midland

Just $3.97 with rebate!  Midland HH54VP Portable Emergency Weather Radio with SAME (Black).  List Price $49.99 On Sale $23.97.  FREE shipping with qualifying order.  Go to Midland for a $20 rebate on the purchase of this radio!  Rebate valid through 6/30/15.

coconutIn case you missed it, it’s still on for a deal!

As Low As $17.07-$19.07 ($4.27-$4.77/16 oz bag) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, 16-Ounce Units (Pack of 4) is on sale for $20.08.  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

zicoAs Low As $12.68-$15.49 ($1.06-$1.29/bottle)  ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water, Chocolate, 14 Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12) is on sale for $28.18.  Save 40% when you clip the coupon (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.

danishJust $6.45 for the 11″ or $8.50 for the 14″ Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″ or 14″  FREE shipping with qualifying order.  This hand whisk is perfect for mixing sticky doughs, more effective than a wooden spoon or traditional whisk and easy to clean.

 

 

seed

10% Off Seed Purchases from Sustainable Seed Company.  Just use coupon code Keeprofthehome at the checkout.  This offer is only applicable to seeds and cannot be combine with other offers such as free shipping.  It expires June 1 at midnight.
braun

Father’s Day Gift Idea!
List Price $80.99 On Sale $39.95  Braun Series 3-340s Wet & Dry Electric Shaver.  FREE shipping.

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How to Make Colorful Homemade Sprinkles (plus DIY yellow cake mix!)

Here's an all natural recipe for homemade sprinkles – no artificial food coloring. They’re easy, they’re definitely fun, and they add a certain je ne sais quoi to cakes, cupcakes, and other festive foods.

By Kresha Faber, Contributing Writer

While I was writing my book, The DIY Pantry, it was essential to me that the book include the staples that people actually USE regularly in their kitchens.

A few things were obvious, like taco seasoning and ketchup, but of all the vast array of foods we eat, what’s actually essential? And perhaps more importantly, what are the items people really want to skip at the store yet still want to have available as they cook?

So I asked my readers for a few suggestions, and to my surprise, homemade sprinkles showed up more than once on the wish list for items to be able to make at home. Actually, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, since homemade food coloring has been one of the top-trafficked posts on my site for two years running, but homemade sprinkles made the list nonetheless.

Thus, today I’m excited to share the recipe for homemade sprinkles here. They’re easy, they’re definitely fun, and they add a certain je ne sais quoi to cakes, cupcakes, and other festive foods.

If you’re wanting to pair these homemade sprinkles with yummy cupcakes, skip the highly-processed boxed versions of cake mixes and get the recipe for a super-easy homemade cake mix here: DIY Yellow Cake Mix.

And since I mentioned taco seasoning and ketchup earlier, here are three other DIY articles not to be missed:

Happy festive party prepping!

Homemade Sprinkles
 
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon extract (almond, peppermint, vanilla, cherry, etc) - optional
  • Natural colorants (see how to make homemade food coloring)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vodka or water
Instructions
  1. Place the powdered sugar and cornstarch into a sifter and sift 2-3 times into a medium-size bowl to make it fluffy and to remove every single clump.
  2. If you're wanting multiple colors, divide the powder into equal portions in small bowls according to the number of colors you want. Add a few drops of extract to each, if desired; then add the colorant and vodka a few drops at a time until the mixture becomes a very thick, smooth paste. Have a large piece of waxed paper, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat at the ready.
  3. Spoon the paste into a piping bag with a very fine, single round tip or into a sandwich baggie. Cut a tiny corner off of the sandwich bag after the paste is inside, if using.
  4. Pipe the paste into long, thin lines down the length of your prepared sheet. Set aside and let dry until the insides are completely dry - the line will snap when you break it, about 24 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can place them in a food dehydrator on the very lowest or "fan only" setting for 4-6 hours.
  5. Break the lines into the desired size and store in an airtight container for 3-6 months.
Notes
Don't worry about the vodka in this recipe, even if you're making the sprinkles for kids. The alcohol evaporates off completely, and using vodka instead of water speeds up the drying process. You may certainly use water if you prefer, but be sure to give it at least the prescribed 24 hours to dry fully.

Also, you may certainly increase the ratio of powdered sugar to starch if you prefer sweeter sprinkles.

What kind of kinds of party food do you love to make from scratch?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Weekend Links

{Keeper of the Home}

Links for this week:

notes on what we’ve learned about our son [so far] @ Preston Yancey

When You’re the Pregnant Girl at the Prom… @ A Celebration of Grace

S’more Bars (Grain-Free, Paleo) @ Deliciously Organic

Romance the Unexpected Way: The Gummy Bear Way @ (in)courage

When God Interrupts Your Plans @ Desiring God

Fabulous Fritatta @ Sarah Fragoso

Turning a Moment of Shame Into an Anthem for Life @ Hands Free Mama

21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own @ Becoming Minimalist

What goals do you have for the summer (which is coming up soon!)?