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

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This week’s top deals:

Coconut oil

As low as $13.59-$15.91 ($0.42-$0.49/oz)   Nature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, 32-Ounce is on sale for $15.99.  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

plum

As low as $15.26-$17.95 ($0.64-$0.75/each)   Plum Kids Organic Fruit and Veggie Mashups, Carroty Chop, 3.17 Ounce, 4-Count (Pack of 6) is on sale for $23.94.  Save 25% when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

san franAs low as  $22.10-$24.70 ($0.28-$0.31/cup)  San Francisco Bay Coffee, Fog Chaser, 80 OneCup Single Serve Cups are on sale for $26 (they’re biodegradable and fairly traded). Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

runa

As low as $13.36-$15.72   Runa Amazon Guayusa Spice Tea, Organic Cinnamon – Lemongrass, 1 Pound is on sale for $18.49. Save 15% when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

tpAs low as $18.65-$21.94 ($0.39-$0.46/roll)  Cottonelle Clean Care Toilet Paper, Double Roll, 24 Count (Pack of 2) are on sale for $23.94  Save $2 when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

tom sauce

As low as  $17.73-$20.86 ($1.48-$1.74/can)  Natural Value Organic Tomato Sauce, 15 Ounce Cans (Pack of 12) are on sale for $27.81. Save 25%  when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

bib

Just $8.61 each  aden + anais 2 Pack Muslin Burpy Bib, Jungle Jam are on sale for $17.21  

 

Robeez

As low as $9.99   Select varieties and sizes are on sale — Check out the whole line.  Robeez I Heart Dots Crib Shoe (Infant/Toddler) is on sale for $9.99 (shown above). 
robeez2Robeez Gracie GY First Walker (Infant/Toddler)  on sale for $11.32

robeez4Robeez Camden First Walker (Infant/Toddler) on sale for $11.32

new_crayon

Today is the last day to get 25% Off Learning Toys at Abe’s Market  

papaya

60% Off Tropical Traditions Atchara – organic fermented Papaya in raw coconut water vinegar

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33% Off  Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Flour until Thursday, September 18th only!

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Buy 1, Get 1 FREE Tropical Traditions Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Scented Bar Soaps only until Sunday, September 21st 

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Get some great September Savings at Bulk Herb Store  

This week’s best coupons:

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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!

15 Strategies for Eating Well & Avoiding Take-Out During Busy Seasons

15 Strategies for Eating Well & Avoiding Take-Out During Busy Seasons

I think I’ve finally learned how to keep serving our family real, whole foods, even when life is busy and I don’t feel like I have time to cook properly. 

Every once in a while, when we have one of those days (you know the ones), my sweet husband will offer that we should order take-out. Tempting as it is some days, I’ve found myself telling him “No, it’s all right. I can pull something together just as fast, and much cheaper.”

For example, last week, during the hectic launch day of our Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle sale (which we’re organizers of), I still served up a delicious lamb and vegetable stew that everyone loved. After lunch, I just dumped ingredients in my crockpot — potatoes, carrots, onions, beans, frozen broth, frozen chopped lamb, frozen tomato puree. I added seasonings just before I turned it off and that was it!

Even on nights when I didn’t start earlier in the day, I can usually get food prepared and on the table in 30 minutes or less, with much less fuss or effort than it’s taken me in years past. 

Why don’t last minute, unplanned dinners stress me out anymore? 

Mostly, I’ve gotten simpler. I don’t expect myself to create gourmet meals every night.

I’m OK with serving up the basics, so long as they’re wholesome foods and they still taste good. Dinner doesn’t have to be an ordeal (nor does any other meal of the day). 

Lowering my expectations was key. I can serve a homemade soup with some bread, breakfast for dinner, or the easiest type of dinner combo – chicken, rice, broccoli, done. 

This isn’t to say that I don’t prefer to serve more robust meals at times. This post is about handling those BUSY seasons in particular (although I think the tips still apply to average days and week as well).

How I shop, plan, stock my kitchen, set aside extras, and a number of other small but effective things really do make all the difference. When I get overwhelmed by a full-to-overflowing schedule or a season with heavier demands than usual, I rely on these strategies to get us through, with my sanity still intact, and without sacrificing our nutrition too badly.

tortilla pizza

Here are 15 things I do to simplify my time in the kitchen and decrease our need for convenience foods: 

1. Create a list for yourself of easy, favorite meals that you can go to when necessary.

This list helps to form the basis of the ingredients that I buy on a regular basis (see #2). These are recipes or meals that we enjoy eating well enough (they might not be our 5-star favorites, but they don’t draw complaints, either). They’re things that I could practically cook blind-folded and so they come together faster and with less effort on my part. 

What are some of mine? Taco salad, beef or lamb stew, hamburger patties or meatballs with a grain side and a sautéed veggie, orange sesame crockpot chicken over rice with steamed broccoli, salmon patties with baked potatoes and a green salad, to name a few. 

2. Stick with the same basic ingredients.

When you buy too many different ingredients, you often a) wind up wasting food, b) spend money on foods your family doesn’t like as much, c) take more time to plan out your grocery shopping and menus. 

By keeping the list of foods that you buy on a regular basis just a bit more simple and limited, it really helps to cut down your time because you know what you have in the house and you know what you can make with it. 

3. And then always keep those pantry, freezer and fridge basics on hand.

This goes along with limiting your shopping list to a more standard set of ingredients. Once you know the meals your family regularly eats, and the ingredients you need to make those happen, you can plan to keep your pantry, freezer and fridge stocked with those basics. 

4. Don’t expect yourself to make everything.

I love cooking from scratch but I certainly don’t have time to make everything. And by everything I mean, I don’t make mustard or ketchup, or sour cream, or tortillas, or sauerkraut, or a whole bunch of items like that. Instead, I find natural brands that use a short, simple list of pronouncable ingredients (and make sure they don’t include any no-no ingredients I really want to avoid).

I do still make salad dressings and spice mixes, I prefer to make mayo because I dislike the ingredients in store bought, and I make my own yogurt and kefir most of the time because the cost differences are huge. I’ve figured that making these particular items is doable for me and they’re important to me, so I prioritize them over making a hundred other things. But don’t be a from-scratch martyr. You don’t have to make everything! 

5. Find some good semi-convenience (but still real food) options.

So here’s a practical example of something I don’t make myself. I love baking bread, and I used to do it on a regular basis. We’re currently in a really busy season and I simply don’t have time, but I didn’t want to compromise on something poor quality.

We’ve got a mix of gluten-free and wheat-eaters in our home, so I found a fantastic brand of organic, gluten-free bread (Silver Hills) with ingredients I’m pretty happy with, as well as an organic, sprouted whole wheat bread (Dave’s Killer Bread) that my husband loves. I can buy both brands at Costco for a much better price than at a local grocery store. I stock up on 4-6 loaves of each type, every time I go to the store (about once a month because it’s a bit of a drive for me), which saves me time.

6. Do a large grocery shop at the beginning of the month.

This has been one of the changes that has revolutionized both our grocery budget and the ease with which I make food over the past 3-4 months. I was frustrated shopping at the local chain grocery stores, since I simply wasn’t getting great prices and couldn’t buy many bulk sized items.

I decided to add in one day per month where I take an entire afternoon to pick up a large co-op order (bulk natural foods) as well as do a big Costco run, or sometimes go to a natural meat shop out in the country. Between these places, I’m able to stock us up for the month on all our major freezer and pantry foods, as well as some things that will keep in the fridge all month (butter, cheese, condiments, etc.). 

Then the rest of the month, I do a weekly run to a farm just a few minutes away for our milk and eggs, and about once every 10-14 days, I zip out for fresh produce (except that right now it’s summer and we’re eating out of the garden a lot). I have cut down on my shopping time immensely, and our home is now full of a good supply of bulk foods that I got for much better prices per unit. 

 

A free printable grocery checklist for real foodies!

7. Keep a running grocery list. 

Having a pre-printed checklist on my fridge or a cork board takes the time and thinking out of grocery list planning

A couple years ago, I was trying to find a checklist that really suited a whole foods, from-scratch diet and I just couldn’t find one, so I made one instead. This checklist comes as part of the printable pages in my popular eBooks, Plan It, Don’t Panic, but today I’m making it available to you for free!

Download my grocery checklist HERE. 

8. Keep pre-cooked meat and beans in your freezer. 

What’s the worst thing to realize when it’s already 4:30 or 5:00 and you haven’t planned dinner? That all your meat is frozen. I’ve been there too many times.  But what if the meat in your freezer was already pre-cooked, in smaller portions, and therefore could be thawed and used that much more easily?

If I’ve got frozen, cooked ground beef I know that I can use it to make taco salad or fancy nachos, add to a soup, to pizzas, to spaghetti sauce, etc. If I have frozen, cooked and chopped chicken thighs or breast, that can be added to a soup, big meal salad, quesadilla, pasta, casserole, or maybe a quiche. It works with beans, too.

9. Have “easy” meats on hand.

This is my other way of getting around not having thawed out a whole chicken or a roast or something more substantial earlier in the day. Meats like sausages or sandwich meat are so much faster to thaw and use.

I have done my due diligence over the years to locate good sources of nitrate-free and clean fed sources of sausages, deli meats, bacon, etc. Canned salmon is also really quick and handy. Though we don’t eat these more than once or twice per week, they are so helpful when I just need to pull something yummy together quickly. 

10. When you’re making something useful, make extra.

If I’m going to bake potatoes, I don’t just bake enough for that meal. I usually bake at least twice as many as I think I need. Already-baked potatoes make for the easiest, fastest home fries (hashbrowns) the next morning, can be added to a soup in a jiffy, can be sliced and form the bottom of a Spanish tortilla, or reheated to create some sort of fancy baked potato lunch with whatever toppings can be found in the fridge. 

I do the same with rice, quinoa, beans, shredded cheese — anything that will only add just a teensy bit more effort to make more of, but that can be frozen into the right portion size to help me pull together a meal quickly on a different day. 

simple dinner

11. Don’t feel guilty about serving random “non-meal” meals.

To be honest, who cares if dinner occasionally ends up being slices of cucumbers, crackers spread with soft goat cheese, a bowl of raisins and nuts, and a glass of milk for everyone? Or what about whipping up a pan of scrambled eggs to eat with sourdough toast and butter and a pickle? 

It’s still real food. It’s still nutritious. Bellies are being filled.

For lunches, we often do what’s known in our home as a “nibble plate”. This is when mom raids the fridge and pantry, pulls out every sort of interesting looking finger-type food she can find, and sets it all up on a couple of big plates and puts them in the middle of the table. In our home they usually have things like: cheese, rolled deli meats or sliced European sausage, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, any sort of raw veggie slices, fresh fruit, crackers (we like nut-based crackers or things like sourdough Ryvita), bread and butter, an assortment of whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit we have on hand, and things like that. 

12. Use your crockpot. A lot.

I wish I remembered to use my crockpot even more often, because it really is that wonderful. These days, there is no excuse for not making great use of your crock. It should hardly ever leave your counter.

There are recipes for practically anything you can think of, whether for breakfast, dinner, or even dessert, and other uses you might not have even thought of

13. Fill up your freezer.

But I’m not talking about freezer cooking in the conventional sense, like Once a Month freezer cooking. No siree.

Instead, I make larger amounts of what I’m already making. So I’ll double up a casserole or pasta dish, triple a muffin batch, cook 3 lbs of ground beef  instead of 1, make a really large batch of spaghetti or pizza sauce, or stir up a giant pot of soup. Then I freeze the extras.

Since I was already cooking, it’s hardly any extra hassle to make a bigger batch. If it takes me 45 minutes to make a pot of soup, and an extra 5-10 minutes to chop more veggies to triple that soup, I’d say getting three meals of soup out of 55 minutes is a whole lot better than 1 meal out of 45, wouldn’t you? Plus, I only clean the dishes once (this might be the best reason of all, come to think of it). 

14. Eat breakfast or sandwiches or smoothies for dinner.

Why not? Who says dinner has to be meat, starch and a side?

If you’d enjoy it for breakfast or lunch, why not dinner? Be a rebel. I dare you. 

15. Don’t rely so heavily on Pinterest or blogs for recipes. 

This might sound funny coming from a blogger, but truthfully, blogs are not the primary place I find recipes (although I have found many amazing recipes through blogs). I also pin a lot of recipes on Pinterest, but they’re more for my interest and later reference, as a reminder of something I want to try one day, or a fun place to go when I’m really stuck and needing inspiration.

Instead, I recommend that you choose a few cookbooks that really suit your style of cooking and your dietary needs, and rely more heavily on them. This works with paperback cookbooks (of which I have about 15, although there are probably 3-5 that I use far more frequently than the others), and also with eBooks. I have a good selection of ebooks, but as I go through them and try out some of the recipes, I pick the ones that work best for me and stick mostly with those books. 

Here’s the thing- the recipes on Pinterest may look enticing, they may even look easy. But constantly trying out new recipes is exhausting. You’re using them from a variety of different blogs, different cooking styles, they may require you to do different-than-usual ingredients. All you’re doing is adding to your own work. What you want are recipes that use ingredients you’re regularly buying, from a cookbook author you get to know and like, written in a familiar style and format. This is how you get winning recipes that work for your family and that take less time and effort to make.  

How do you make sure that your family still eats well during busy times? Share your tips with us! 

Disclosure: As organizers of this sale (and as an author, since my own ebook Clean & Simple is in the bundle), our family benefits from each purchase that goes through Keeper of the Home. In fact, this is a primary way that our family earns an income as entrepreneurs, and we value your support, so thank you! It’s our privilege to put these bundles together and to make sure that they are of the absolute highest quality, and we genuinely hope that they are a blessing to your family’s health journey.  

Top image by rpavich

Weekend Links

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Links for this week:

Can Children Still Run Free in 2014 @ The Art of Simple  (similar in theme to my post this week, Are We Hurting or Helping Our Kids With Overprotective Helicopter Parenting?)

To the Wife Trying to Get Her Husband to Eat Real Food @ Don’t Waste the Crumbs

Why Rest Takes Courage @ (in)courage

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Recipe @ Mommypotamus

5 Ways to Say No @ Live Well Spend Less

Carmelized Green Beans @ How Does She? 

Blueberry Mini Muffins with Lemon Coconut Frosting (gluten free, dairy free) @ Made to Glow 

#WorldWideOx Packing List: Kid Edition @ The Art of Simple Travel (aka what you might bring for your kids if you want to travel the world — our kids traveled with a very similar amount of stuff for our Big Trip)

Want to see what’s been arriving in my mail lately?

NOTE: This sale is now over. We’ll be doing it again next year, hopefully! :) 

I’m a sucker for getting packages in the mail. And this week has been especially fun, as my bonus offers from the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle started showing up at my door (or my MIL’s door down in WA – I’m a Canadian and that’s how I get around shipping costs sometimes). 

There are so many excellent bonuses this time around, and I thought you might like to see what they are! 

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I’m excited to be trying the OraWellness Healthy Mouth Blend out. I often have sensitive gums, and we’ve been trying to heal up some cavities, and I’m really looking for anything we can do to bolster our approach to holistic dental care.

You can either brush with just a few drops of the blend, put it on your floss, add it to your regular toothpaste, or use it with a bit of water as mouth wash. So far, I like a couple drops on top of my usual Earthpaste toothpaste. 

The blend is usually $22.97, but you only pay the $3.95 shipping (and the special toothbrushes don’t come with it, but you can use any brushes you like). 

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Ok, so this one didn’t come in the mail. But it did show up right on my computer. :) 

I wrote earlier this week about how I’m using short but effective workouts to add exercise into my busy days. The Mini Yoga Breaks and 3 Pose Shorts from Stay At Home Yoga will fit in great when I don’t have time for a full length workout. 

I love that this one is a full 4 months. That’s enough time to really explore and use the membership and decide if it’s something that I’d like to use long term or not. 

Trilight-health text

I haven’t placed my order yet, since I’m still trying to decide what I want from TriLight Health. Just a few weeks back I ordered their Worm Out in the largest size (we’re dealing with parasites – lovely), plus the small bottle of Lympha Rub (which goes farther than you would think). 

Right now I’m leaning towards getting a bottle of Scout Out, a natural antibiotic formula for colds, flus, earaches — whatever! I just need to decide if I want to get the small bottle (same size as the Lung Tonic in this picture) for free, or put $15 towards the next size up. 

Shipping will be $4.99 (or free if I get the bigger bottle). 

two straws text

I put our $15 store credit at Strawesome towards 5 glass straws — I found 3 of these black smoothie straws (but shorter – kid sized) in the clearance section, then I also got 2 of the larger smoothie straws for my husband and I. It was $27.90 for the 5 straws then $6.44 for shipping, but after my $15 store credit I only paid $19.34. 

I’m really happy with it because we’ve had a couple of these straws before and love them and I wanted to have enough for the whole family. 

yogurt starter text

For my free Cultures for Health starter (value $12.99), I choose the Filmjolk Yogurt Starter (I could have picked any of the yogurt or sourdough starters). The reason I went with this one is that you can make it with room temperature milk, and gosh, I am forever accidentally boiling my milk over and making a mess of my stove. I can’t wait to try this, and I’m really eager to get back to my usual yogurt and kefir making, mostly because it saves me so much money and I prefer to know exactly what goes into my family’s food. 

Then, since I was already paying the $3.99 shipping, I also got a package of Milk Kefir Grains. Since we moved back from our travels, I have not for the life of me been able to source out kefir grains locally, and I miss it so much! 

amber bracelets text

I’m still waiting for this one to arrive, but I actually chose the adult bracelet for myself from Sweetbottoms Baby. I know there are so many great benefits for kids, but they also apply to adults, like reducing chronic inflammation, reducing pain, boosting energy, enhancing the immune system. I’m eager to give it a try! All I paid for this was the $5 shipping. 

tradisehn text

As soon as bundle week ends and our family isn’t so busy with all the work that accompanies running these huge sales, I’ll get back to my meal planning and try out my 3-month Tradishen membership

Kate (the creator of the site) tells me that it’s particularly great for families with lots of allergies or special dietary needs to work around, which I appreciate, since 3 of us are currently eating grain or gluten free. 

homegrown text

This will be a fun one to receive. It’s a beautiful gift package from Homegrown Collective with Dead Sea Salt, lavender and olive oil salt scrub, plus a luffa. Sounds heavenly. Just right for a “mom only” in-house spa treatment. :)  

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I said earlier this week that I was going to use my $15 at The Joyful Giraffe for Squooshi smoothie pouches for lunches, BUT it looks like a bunch of other customers already beat me to it (hmm, maybe I should keep my mouth closed until I’ve already ordered what I want).

So, I looked around a little more today and found this really fun looking game that I know my kids will love. They’re wooden and made in America, and there seem to be an infinite number of ways to arrange and stack them (we’re all about creative toys in our home). I’m going to order it now with my $15 off (it’s $24.99) and then set it aside for a wonderful Christmas gift. 

made on gift text

And lastly, a package I’m always grateful to open from MadeOn. Two lip balms (one their popular peppermint scented, the other a shimmery Vanilla Dust which I love and am so happy to get a new tube of since my other is nearly gone). Plus, a travel size of their hard lotion bars. These things work. I use them for my hands, because I get eczema in seasons of stress or tiredness. I won’t use anything else anymore. They rock. 

Every last one of these bonus offers is YOURS when you buy the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

There are $200 worth of freebies here, all included in the $29.97 price tag (you just pay the shipping, as I mentioned for some of them).

Even better — along with these freebies you get the entire package of eBooks and eCourse resources, valued at $1030 (one of which is an Essential Oils ecourse worth $95 – that alone is 3x the bundle cost)!

I highly recommend you check it out, and do it right away. It’s available for just a couple more days, until Monday, Sept.15th at 11:59pm

A special webinar for my readers only

I’m offering my meal planning ebooks PLUS access to a special webinar where I’ll be teaching you how to easily and affordably put more real food on your family’s table.

It’s free and it will include my very best tips with a lot of detailed information, but it’s only for those who buy a bundle – see the details HERE

Want to get these fantastic bonuses for yourself? Good – because I’m giving a bundle away! 

Giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks for entering! 

It’s not fair to tempt you with these all these goodies, without offering you a chance to get one. 

So, here’s what we’re going to do: 

  1. To get entered, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me which bonus and which eBook or eCourse (see them all HERE) you most want to get. You have to tell me BOTH things to get entered, OK? :) 
  2. This is a flash giveaway, so it’s only open for a short period of time. We’ll close comments and choose a winner by 6 pm EST Saturday, Sept.13 (that would be tonight). If you are that winner, you’ll hear from us by Saturday night. 
  3. I don’t want you to not get a bundle just because you’re waiting to see if you win. Go ahead, buy your bundle now AND enter the contest. If you happen to win, I will personally refund what you paid for the bundle, and then you’ll have two. One for you, one to give to a friend. Good deal? 

Have a fabulous weekend and don’t forget to go get your bundle and enter to win!

Are We Hurting or Helping Our Kids With Overprotective Helicopter Parenting?

Are We Hurting or Helping Our Kids With Overprotective Helicopter Parenting?

I remember the summer I was nine.

Living in Maple Ridge, a small suburb of Vancouver, Canada, I had the utmost freedom. My bicycle took me everywhere.

It whisked me away to imaginary play as a princess in the woods, or to build forts in a friend’s backyard, or a water fight at the school playground, or sometimes just to the corner store eight blocks from my house in search of baseball cards and sour soother candies.

There was a great sense of empowerment. Oh sure, I had rules. No going in a stranger’s house, never take a ride from someone you don’t know, tell my parents where I was going, be back in time for dinner.

But within these simple confines, I made up my days with all sorts of fanciful activity, imagination, creativity, exercise, and exploration. It was magnificent.

Today’s kids aren’t so lucky.

In this hyper vigilant society, where we super-sanitize and anti-bacterialize everything to death, we won’t let our kids ride their bikes solo to the park down the street, let alone to the corner store or a friend’s house ten minutes away.

We obsess over watching or being near them every second of every day, to the ridiculous level of neighbors calling social services on one another because they saw the children playing unattended in the front yard or moms being arrested because they let their kid walk to the park.

Danger, it seems, is lurking everywhere and well, we like to play it safe. Parents today seem to be trying too hard. They want so desperately to protect their kids from any remotely conceivable threat of peril that they wind up insulating and even hovering over them, helicopter style.

But let’s go back for a moment to my idyllic childhood liberties…  did you grow up with those same sorts of freedoms?

I’m willing to bet that most of us who grew up in the 70′s or 80′s walked to and from school by ourselves or with siblings, rode our bikes around town (or at least our neighborhood), visited friends on our own, explored local woods or streams, babysat or held a job at a young age, and spent our allowance at the convenience store on things our moms wouldn’t have said yes to had they been present. 

Which, of course, leads us to the million dollar question:

Should kids today be allowed the freedom to play and explore without a parent watching them at all times? 

I would tend to say yes. 

I haven’t always felt this way. At times, the struggle to give in to the societal norms, or to allow anxiety to pervade my thoughts, has made me grasp too tightly onto my kids.

My husband finds it easier to let go. As a young boy, he remembers playing for hours behind their house, climbing tall trees (which apparently need warning labels these days), and pulling generally reckless boy stunts. As a young teen, he walked or rode bikes around town with his friends once his homeschool work was finished for the day.

Today, although fiercely protective of our kids when he thinks there is genuine danger (for example, he had them in nearly a death grip when we visited the Grand Canyon and discovered half of the trails had no guardrail of any sort!), he also frequently reminds me to loosen the reigns. 

I get nervous when they want to shimmy up the ancient plum trees in our backyard. Or scramble up steep rock faces when we go out hiking. Or balance on precariously high points on a playground. But he doesn’t. He tells me how thankful he is that his mom let him explore and find his own limits as a kid, and that she didn’t hover over him when it came to his play. 

Thanks in part to his encouragement, I’ve been easing up a little. I’m more willing to let kids be kids, and trust that these childhood adventures and freedoms are ultimately teaching them crucial lessons in common sense, their physical limitations, problem solving and responsibility. 

Are we hurting or helping our kids with overprotective helicopter parenting?

Here are some things that we allow: 

  • Our 9 1/2 year old can ride her bike within a perimeter of a few streets (none of which are busy) for 15-20 minutes before checking in. She’s well aware of the safety rules regarding going in someone’s home or vehicle. 
  • When she was 7, we lived on a busy street that wasn’t safe for biking, but let her walk alone to get the mail or to the 2nd fire hydrant (2-3 minute walk) before turning around. 
  • Our current 5 and 7 year olds can play by themselves in our front and back yard, but can’t go onto the road without us nearby. We live in a regular neighborhood in a city of 80,000. 
  • The 2 1/2 year old can play outside in the back yard without us, if one of his siblings is with him. If they come in, so does he. 
  • We stay to watch our 5 year old at her gymnastics class, but drop the 9 year old off and pick her up after. We’ll do the same with the 7 year old. 
  • The 7 and 9 year old can play in neighbor’s yards if we can see them from our house, but not in the back yards or inside any homes. The 5 year old can invite friends to play in our yard, but we don’t directly supervise, just keep a window open to hear what’s happening and check in occasionally. 
  • While living in Argentina when Abbie was 8, she could walk across the street to the corner store to buy veggies or eggs for me. We don’t have any stores near us right now, but if we’re out, she’s allowed to go into a store without us and make a purchase on her own. 

The 9 year old is begging us for even greater freedoms, like riding her bike 10 minutes away to the local bike park or a corner store. We’re not quite there yet, but I’ve thought a lot about the fact that at nine, I roamed all over town by myself and at twelve, I had a regular babysitting job every morning and afternoon for two younger boys. What makes my childhood so different from hers? 

To some, what I’ve just listed might seem crazy or reckless even. Others may have similar ways of doing things or give their kids even far more freedom. It’s very hard to say what the “right” decisions should be, although I’m thinking it comes down to a lot of things like where you live, the maturity of each specific child, and so forth. 

But still… there’s a bigger picture here. Are we right in wanting to be uber-protective to the point of sheltering them, or should our kids be given a whole lot more free range?

What are free-range kids?

This week I’ve been reading Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry). It’s a fascinating (and entertaining) read, one that I was first introduced to in this post at The Art of Simple. The comments on that post surprised me and opened my eyes, but they got me thinking long and hard, and I’ve wanted to read this book ever since. 

I honestly just want to share the entire book with you, but I’ll restrain myself by giving you one excerpt (bold mine): 

“Think of how, thanks to fear, we restrict so many other aspects of our children’s lives. They’re not allowed to walk alone (cars!), explore (perverts!), or play in the park (those perverts again) or in the woods (ticks!) or in trees (gravity!) or in water (drowning!) or in dirt (dirt!). It’s not your imagination: childhood really has changed. Forty years ago, the majority of U.S. children walked or biked to school. Today, about 10 percent do. Meantime, 70 percent of today’s moms say they played outside as kids. But only 31 percent of their kids do. The children have been sucked off America’s lawns like yard trimmings. 

Where did all this fear come from? Take your pick: The fact that we’re all working so hard that we don’t know our neighbors. The fact that the marketplace is brimming with products to keep our kids ‘safe’ from things we never used to worry about — like shopping cart liners to protect kids from germs.

Then there’s the way our brains cling to scary thoughts (girls murdered on a country road) but not mundane ones (all the girls who walk home from school without getting murdered). That’s just basic psychology….

Fear, fear, fear. We’re always expected to be thinking about fear…. Everyone is exhorting us to watch out, take care, and plan for the very worst-case scenario. Which puts a damper on things, to say the least.”  Taken from Chapter 1 of Free-Range Kids

I spent a bit of time perusing the author’s website, and I stumbled on a page of crime statistics, which emphatically makes the point that, despite the way our fears are on the upswing, crime all over the board is actually DOWN.

Read them for yourself. I’ll admit, I was surprised, but I can’t argue with the facts. 

Which begs the question,

What do you think about allowing children to be “free-range”? And is today’s world really less safe than the one we grew up in? 

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. 
Top image by the jbird. Second image by Martin Terber.

10 Minute Workouts for Busy Moms {That Really Work}

10 minute workouts for busy moms (that really work)

I gave up trying to do lengthy workout videos long ago, and the gym hasn’t been much of a thought since my first baby arrived . 

These days, I’ve got four kids around, at least one or two of whom have radar for when my feet hit the floor each morning. 

In other words, it’s hard to find the time to workout, even if I wake up early. At least, not without being interrupted by “Can I have a glass of milk?” and “When are you going to make breakfast?” or my personal favorite “Change me – I have a poopy bum!” (which of course will be followed by “Mommy?? I spilled my milk… “). Awesome. Bring on the day. 

I had always thought that for exercise to be effective, it needed to be long, sweaty, and agonizing. So for a season, I would drag my weary behind out of bed at o’dark-thirty to get in a 45 minute Jillian Michaels video before the kids woke up. Was it getting me in shape? Sure. Was it fun? Not on your life.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Working out makes me feel great. It gives me a huge energy boost. It improves my mood. It reduces my stress and anxiety. It even makes me feel more creative. Not to mention all the usual benefits we hear touted, like cardiovascular health, disease prevention, detoxification, cell oxygenation and cancer prevention, weight loss, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and the like.

wanted all of those benefits. But I was having a really hard time consistently fitting exercise in, between being mommy, teaching homeschool, working part-time from home, keeping up with the house, etc.

Last summer, I discovered what has been pretty much like someone handing me a slice of chocolate cake and telling me it was a magical health food. I learned about 10 minute workouts. 

I was first introduced to the idea of short but intense workouts through Trim Healthy Mama, but since that time, I feel like I keep seeing and hearing it all over the place. 

I’m no expert when it comes to exercise. What I really care about is finding a way to work out and be in shape that fits my lifestyle. 

Why 10 minute workouts for moms? 

Last June, while our family was traveling around the world, I stayed in a small town in southern Spain for several weeks with just my three youngest kids. I barely spoke the language, knew no one, and so we spent most of our time either in our rental home or just exploring town a little. 

I had no equipment, no internet, no books, no workout printouts, pretty much nothing. But I was determined to start working out during those two weeks. So, I made it up. 

Each day, before it got so blazing hot that we were forced to stay out of the sun, I would go outside (inevitably followed by all three kids) where I would rotate through things like squats, lunges, jumping jacks, jogging in place, pretending to skip rope (without a rope), wall pushups, using tomato sauce cans for weights, or simply doing short sprints back and forth across the tiny yard. 

The kids thought it was awesome. They chased me around and mimicked me. I would usually last for 10 minutes of this before I was totally winded and just wanted to stretch and get out of the heat. 

I felt fantastic. I started losing weight. I had more energy. My moods improved. I was loving it. And it proved to me that I didn’t need long, drawn out aerobic videos or one-hour yoga or pilates sessions. I just needed to go hard for a short period of time, consistently. 

How do you know if it’s enough? I don’t know the scientific answer to this and I’m not a fitness expert in the slightest, but I just try to make sure that I’m moving the whole time, getting my heart rate up, and that I’m feeling it (and I usually do, especially the next day) so long as I’m not hurting myself. 

The fact is that anything is better than nothing. If we’re moving and getting active, we can’t go wrong. Even 3-5 minutes a day of something is worthwhile. More is better, of course, but I’ve been really surprised to see that even as little as 8-10 minutes per day (I aim for more like 15+ if I’m doing something less intense, like yoga) is effective.

10 minute workouts for busy moms (that really work)

My personal style of working out these days

These days, I usually try to get in a 10+ minute workout first thing, before I get dressed for the day.

I don’t bother with workout clothes (I usually wear pajamas or just shorts and a t-shirt). The only equipment I have are two small sets of hand weights (3 lbs and 5 lbs) that I bought at a thrift store.

Sometimes I do a yoga or pilates video online, or the 7 Minute Workout (see below), one of the workout routines linked to below, or a mixture of random exercises like I described above that simply get me moving. Ideally, I like to switch it up from day to day.

If this kids come in, it’s not a big deal. I let them watch or try to mimic me as long as they give me a bit of space, and because it’s so short, they can usually handle waiting for me (hurray!).  

It doesn’t have to necessarily be in the mornings. That’s just what works for me.

You could fit in 10 minutes, or maybe two 5-minutes slots, anywhere in your day, perhaps while the kids take a homeschool recess, while you wait for a pot of water to boil, or whatever. A friend of mine even bought a kettle bell, kept it on top of her fridge with a printed page of exercies, and whenever she had a few extra minutes she would pull it down and do something right then and there! 

Putting it all together and sticking with it

I wish I could say that I stick with it every day, but I don’t.

I will often skip several days at a time, then go back and do two days in a row, skip another couple, then hit 4 in a row. It’s very random for me. 

I’ve chosen not to let that get me down. I used to hold myself to rigid goals of doing it X number of times per week, but all that did was defeat me as soon as I didn’t meet my goal.

I cheer myself on for the days I’m faithful, instead of berating myself not the days I’m not. It’s liberating to choose to simply do my best and let it be ok. Focusing on how I feel better when I do it, instead of viewing it as something I failed to do, keeps me so much more motivated. 

10 minute workouts for busy moms (that really work)

Here are some workouts I’ve been enjoying lately:

It doesn’t have to be fancy. There are many free workouts available that don’t require any special equipment or know-how!  

Two options for a 7 Minute YouTube Workout – they actually take more like 9 minutes, as they build in small rests for your body between exercises. 

The Scientific 7 Minute Workout

7 Minute Workout 

Others that I’ve saved in my Pinterest board “Short & Sweet Workouts”

**Note: I won’t do all of these workouts with my sons around depending on how the women are dressed, so just check them out yourself first and decide which ones are appropriate to do by yourself, or with others around. 

Upper-Body Hand Weight Workout (Emphasis on Shoulders) - requires hand weights

No Rest Tabata Workout With Isometric Holds  – no equipment

3-Minute Workout – Arms (Beginner) – no equipment

Towel Workout – requires two kitchen towels and a smooth floor. :) 

The Quickest Muffin Top Workout – nothing required (5 min.)

12 Minute Kettlebell Blast Workout – requires 1 kettlebell 

10-Minute No Equipment Needed Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Healthy Stuff – 10s in 10 – no equipment 

The Lazy Girl Workout – entirely on the floor, no equipment 

15 Minute Total Body Blast – requires hand weights or resistance bands 

10 Minute Workout Plan - requires kettlebells and weights 

10 Minute Kickboxing Workout - no equipment

10 Minute Beginner’s Pilate Workout – mat or soft floor ( I do yoga and pilates in our office which has a nicely padded carpet) 

Lower Body Blast – technically 20 min, but you could do less reps to keep it shorter. No equipment.

Yoga with Adriene: 10 minutes or less - 6 Minute Abs Workout & Morning Sequence

Yoga with Adriene:  20 minute sequences – Freedom Flow (18:10), Yoga Flow for Detox and Digestion (20:37) & 20 Minute Vinyasa Sequence

How do you find the time and motivation to workout? Have you tried short workouts like these? 

Disclaimer: I am not trained in physical fitness nor do I hold any sort of professional certification, and I cannot advise you on which exercises are safe for you or not. These are my own opinions and preferences, and are intended for the purposes of encouraging you to look into it yourself and find what works for you. This post also contains affiliate links, through which I earn a commission when you make a purchase. This website helps to bring in an income that supports our family, so thank you! :)
**For those who aren’t so sure about yoga: I know that there are many people who are opposed to yoga for spiritual reasons, but I personally think that it can be practiced with discretion. Much of yoga (or at least, the videos I use) focuses on slowing down, being present in the moment, paying attention to your body, quiet moments of meditation, and practicing gratefulness. These can absolutely be practiced within a Christian worldview and I have no problem recommending them. If you have a different conviction, I absolutely understand that, but I also don’t want to see the comments littered with criticisms, either.
Top image by Liz West. Middle image by Deb Hultgren.

My Handpicked Tools for Busy Moms & Healthy Families

 

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

This year’s Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2014 is now OVER. We hope that you all enjoy your bundles and watch for the next sale to come around again next year. 

We usually also do a homemaking sale every spring. If you’d like to hear about it, make sure you sign up for our emails — we have two options. 1) You get every new post as it comes out or 2) You can choose to get just a weekly digest. Sign up HERE (and you can always unsubscribe at any time). Thanks! 

What would help you to live a healthier life? 

Recipes and meal plans for grain free or allergy-friendly diets? Simple meal ideas for busy weeknights?

Home remedies for cold and flu season, or even to help you beat more serious illnesses? Workouts and guides to help you get fit?

Resources to prepare you for a great birth, or to help you raise a happy, healthy baby? 

These are just a few of the topics covered in this year’s Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. It is back and better than ever! 

 As some of you know, my husband Ryan and I, together with our friends and partners Will and Erin (of The Humbled Homemaker) run these sales twice a year. It’s been fun to pull this latest bundle together – mostly because I honestly think this is the best one yet!

Want to see what’s in this year’s bundle? 

I’ve set up a page where you can check out all the specific details of the bundle (and starting Wednesday evening, Sept. 10th there will be a whole bunch of giveaways for you to enter, including one for a Kindle Fire!).  This page lists every single eBook, eCourse and bonus offer in the bundle — and there are many! 

All told, the bundle itself is worth $1030 plus another $200 in bonus offers. It’s pretty astounding, really. 

What we love about these bundles is that for a super limited time (6 days only, or 30,000 bundles — whatever comes first!) we can sell them for the ridiculously low price of $29.97. 

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

Something for everyone 

Naturally, we don’t expect that you’ll want to read every eBook or take advantage of every bonus offer.

The whole idea behind gathering up such a varied package of goods is that we want there to be something for everyone. And there really is! 

I took a bit of time (OK, I took way too much time) sifting through the entire list of eBooks, eCourses, and bonuses. I wanted to show how this bundle is useful and worthwhile for anyone, with a wide variety of tools to equip you to live a healthy lifestyle on a day to day basis. 

For our family right now, the biggies include recipes for gluten & grain free eating, tools to help us reach our fitness goals, quick and easy family-friendly meal ideas, and some of the natural health and home remedy resources for my own continued learning (this is an area I’m already passionate about, but there’s always more to learn and add to my repertoire!).

What I’m personally most excited about in this year’s Healthy Living Bundle? 

(Psst… you can see what these books I’m mentioning are all about HERE, and the bonus offers HERE.)

  • Grain free recipe books- Gluten Free and Grain Free Breads, Batters & Doughs, Grain Free Goodies, Grain-Free Grab’n’Go, Grain Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide, and The Nourished Kitchen’s Guide to Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Baking, Sweet & Treats. 
  • Easy meal helps – 42 Simple & Healthy Dinners, Everyday Nourishing Food, Allergy-Friendly Comfort Food, Let’s Do This ecourse, and Gluten Free 30 Day Meal Plan 
  • Smoothie recipes – My husband Ryan is on a smoothie kick, green smoothies in particular. The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge eGuide, together with Smoothie Secrets Revealed should give him all he needs to make this a daily habit. 
  • Essential Oils eCourse – I’ve been learning about EOs for several years, but never really studied them in depth. This course looks awesome, but like something that I could just use as much as I have time and energy for. There is so, so much conflicting and frustrating information out there on essential oils these days that I’d love to get some solid info from a science-based course, not just internet folklore. This course alone (worth $95) is worth 3 times the cost of the bundle!
  • Glass straws – I’ve already used my $15 gift certificate for Strawesome to get a skookum discount on these glass straws, which I love. I got a couple of them years back and they’re my absolute favorite kind of straw, hands down. 
  • Yogurt starter – I really wanted to get a yogurt starter that could be used with room temperature milk, instead of the typical starter where you have to boil and then cool off the milk first. Making the process easier helps me to make sure that yogurt gets made in my busy schedule. Instead of paying the usual $12.99 plus $3.99 shipping, I got my brand new Filmjolk yogurt starter culture for just the cost of shipping. Woot! 
  • Squooshi Reusable Food Pouches - This is what I’m buying with my $15 gift certificate from The Joyful Giraffe (I’ll have to pay a few extra dollars plus shipping, but it sure beats paying for it all out of pocket). I want to use these to send frozen smoothies with my kids in their lunches or to take with us on busy mornings. 
  • Fit2Be 5×5 Challenge AND Stay At Home Yoga 4-month membership – To keep things cheap and easy with four kiddos at home, I usually do online workouts or use DVDs I’ve purchased. It’s always so nice to be able to change things up and add something new to my routine! 

I know that you all have different areas where you need more help than others. 

That’s why I broke the bundle down into various topics and needs, to show how both the resources included as well as the bonus offers, match up with what you’re looking for.  

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you’re into natural remedies (alternative health, essential oils, etc.)  

Total value: $261.69  

  • Liquid herbs and remedies from TrLight Health - (2 oz. bottle or $15 store credit)
  • One bottle Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness - $22.97
  • Essential Oils and Natural Health eCourse  ($95), plus the eBook Essentials of Essential Oils ($2.99)
  • $15 store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com (you could put this towards some of their children’s natural remedies)  
  • Making Herbs Simple instructional videos Volume 1 and 2 – $29.90
  • Real Food Cleansing eGuide – $29
  • eBooks : Traditional Remedies for Modern Families ($9.99), DIY Natural Rememdies ($12.95) & Herbal Preparations and Applications ($9.99). Plus, The Eczema Cure ($29.95) and A Practical Guide to Children’s Health ($17.95)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you’re in a season of pregnancy, birth & babies 

Total value: $227.45

  • $15 store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com (their shop is primarily for babies and young children, along with some products for pregnancy or just for moms)
  • Free Baltic Amber baby bracelet (or adult’s bracelet) ($15/$19.99 value)
  • Liquid herbs and remedies from TrLight Health - (2 oz. bottle or $15 store credit)
  • 5×5 Fitness Challenge eCourse from Fit2B (pregnancy/post-partum friendly) – $10
  • 4-month Stay at Home Yoga membership (more pregnancy-friendly exercise) – $23.97 
  • MamaBaby Birthing eCourse – $97
  • eBooks : Post-Partum Herbal Guide ($3.99), Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert ($12.50), Crash Course in Natural Parenting ($4.99), and First Bites and Beyond ($30)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you want to make easy, tasty, real food for your family (especially for busy moms!)

Total value: $248.75

  • 3 month Tradishen real food recipe & meal planning membership- $45 
  • Free sourdough or yogurt starter culture from Cultures for Health – $12.99
  • $15 store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com (they carry some insulated water bottles, and great snacks bags, plus my pick, these Squooshi pouches for sending frozen smoothies to school)
  • Grocery Savings Made Simple eCourse ($37)
  • Let’s Do This eCourse (to walk you through food prep to simplify your kitchen time - $5) plus the eBook Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking ($2.99) 
  • From-scratch, whole foods recipe ebooks: 42 Simple and Healthy Dinners ($4.99), Everyday Nourishing Food ($4.99), From Scratch:50 Easy and Quick Real Food Recipes ($9.99), Easy. Homemade. ($5.99), Whole Foods for the Everyday Cook ($6.99), & Simply Salads by Season ($17.95)
  • Breakfast focused recipe ebooks: The 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge eGuide ($15.00), Smoothie Secrets Revealed ($19.99), Simple. Healthy. Tasty. -Breakfast ($6.95) & The Granola Book ($7.99).
  • eBooks to help you make a plan: Meal Planning Made Easy ($7.95) & Meals ePlanner ($5.00).
  • For every mom – ebook Kids Eat Real Food ($16.99)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you want to make DIY beauty & skincare products

Total value: $200.43

  • MadeOn Skincare Products -  $16.50 gift package of handmade goodies for your skin and lips 
  • Homegrown Collective - $19 gift set with more skin-pampering goodness
  • One bottle Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness - $22.97
  • $15 store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com (check out their baby and kids gentle skin and hair care options)
  • Essential Oils and Natural Health eCourse  ($95 – so you’ll know how to use them in your own DIY products)
  • eBooks full of recipes and tutorials: A Beginner’s Guide to Natural Hair Care ($4.99), DIY Face Masks and Scrubs ($5.99), Easy Beauty Recipes ($5.99) & Natural Soap Making ($9.99) 
  • My Buttered Life – Gift Giving Edition ($5 – not just for gifts- make these luscious skincare goodies for yourself!) 

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you need help with gluten-free & dairy-free eating 

Total value: $194.89

  • 3 month Tradishen real food recipe & meal planning membership- $45 (can filter for major allergies, including gluten free, dairy free and others)
  • Free gluten-free sourdough starter from Cultures for Health – $12.99
  • Grocery Savings Made Simple  ($37 – to help you save money on those expensive speciality ingredients)
  • GF-friendly meal plans: 31 Days of Gluten Free Meals ($1.99) and Gluten Free 30 Day Meal Plan ($9.99)
  • GF/DF resources: Allergy-Free Cooking (GF/DF – $20) & Allergy Friendly Comfort Food (GF/DF – $3.99)
  • Easy gluten-free baked goods with recipe eBooks: Gluten Free & Grain Free Breads, Batters and Doughs ($24.95), The Breakfast Bread Bible (GF/DF – $2.99) and The Nourished Kitchen Guide to Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Baking, Sweets, and Treats ($27.00).
  • Healthy Thanksgiving 101 ($8.99 – allergy-friendly holiday recipes)
  • Plus pretty much all of the grain-free books below will also work for a gluten-free diet, and many for dairy-free as well (an extra $59.81) 

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you eat grain-free and Paleo/Primal 

Total value: $215.74

  •  3 month Tradishen real food recipe & meal planning membership- $45 (can filter for major allergies, including gluten free, dairy free, and many grain-free options)
  • Free yogurt starter culture from Cultures for Health – $12.99 (for those who do dairy, of course)
  • Grocery Savings Made Simple  ($37 – for anyone wanting to save money on whole foods)
  • Beyond Broth: Nourishing Homemade Paleo Soups ($9.95)
  • Oodles of grain-free baking and snack recipes: Gluten Free & Grain Free Breads, Batters and Doughs ($24.95), Grain-Free Goodies ($4.95), Grain Free Grab-n-Go  ($9.97), and The Nourished Kitchen Guide to Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Baking, Sweets, and Treats ($27.00)
  • Grain Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide ($18.00)
  • More grain-free everyday recipes eBooks: Keeping it Real ($6.99) and Well Fed 2 ($9.95)
  • Healthy Thanksgiving 101 ($8.99 – holiday recipes for those who eat grain free)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you’re thinking ahead to the holidays

Total value: $130.41

  • Gift buying made easy (and cheap!) - free Baltic Amber bracelet (baby $15/adult $19.99 value), store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com ($15), beautiful glass straws from Strawesome ($15 store credit), $16.50 gift package from MadeOn Skin Care Products, and a lovely $19 skincare gift set from Homegrown Collective. Pay just $3-5 shipping for most items, and get the gift set or store credit free!
  • My Buttered Life: Gift Giving Edition ($5 – make lovely homemade skincare gifts to give)
  • Real food eBooks for healthy holiday meals: Feast! ($7.99), Healthy Thanksgiving 101 ($8.99), Nourishing Cookies for a Healthy Holiday ($4.99), Real Food and Health Magazine (Nov/Dec holiday issue) ($4.99), and Simply Salads by Season($17.95)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you’re looking for tools to help you get fit 

Total value: $53.91

  • 4-month Stay at Home Yoga membership - $23.97
  • 5×5 Fitness Challenge eCourse from Fit2B - $10 (great for you and for the kids, too)
  • 42 Days to Fit ($4.99)
  • Belly Lovin’: What You Can Do About Diastasis Recti  ($5)
  • Get Up and Go! Fun Ideas for Getting Fit as a Family ($9.95)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If sustainable living & growing your own food is important to you

Total value: $66.88

  • The ultimate eBook to help you manage your Natural Homestead ($24.95)
  • Oh Lardy’s Guide to Backyard Chickens ($9.99) AND The Urban Chicken ($3.99).
  • The Art of Gardening ($18) and The Gardening Notebook ($9.95)

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If you want a more natural, non-toxic home 

Total value: $58.92

  • Beautiful glass straws from Strawesome.com ($15 store credit)
  • $15 store credit at TheJoyfulGiraffe.com (check out their natural home and laundry products)
  • Tons of natural cleaning recipes: All Natural Living ($2.99), A Simply Homemade Clean ($12.95), Clean & Simple ($2.99)  & DIY Natural Household Cleaners ($9.99). 

Take charge of your health with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle! $1200+ value for just $29.97.  Available for 6 days only!

If cost is one of the big barriers that gets in your way of healthy living

Total value: $96.37

  • Use the cheapest foods you can: Everything Beans Book ($8.95) and Will Forage for Soup ($6.97)
  • Learn to really manage your grocery budget while still eating healthy: Making Organic Food Affordable ($18)
  • Grocery Savings Made Simple: A Real Mom’s Guide ($37 eCourse)
  • Babies don’t have to be expensive – Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert ($12.50) 
  • Use planning to keep your expenses low - Meal Planning Made Easy ($7.95) plus the Meals ePlanner ($5)

But when you think about it, I’d say 80% of the resources in this guide will help you to save a lot of money on a healthier lifestyle. Gardening helps, DIY beauty tutorials, cleaning recipes, making your own home remedies, tools for fitness at home, not to mention $200 of bonus offers.

Helping you save money on a healthier lifestyle is really at the crux of what these bundles are about. 

Bottom line: There are so many high value items in the bundle. If even a handful of them (or gosh, even just one like the $95 essential oils eCourse) appeal to you OR is something you’d consider buying anyways? Then get the whole bundle.

There are so many other useful tools and fun goodies included, you’ll be so glad you did. Don’t worry about whether you’ll use the whole bundle or not. It’s sort of irrelevant. If you’d get enough value out of it to justify $29 bucks, then just do it. 

Lastly, this is the first time ever that we’re putting a specific number limit on the number of bundles we’ll sell.

Officially it’s for sale for 6 days… BUT we’ve committed to sell only 30,000. If we hit that limit, the sale is over. Don’t wait until the last minute. I’d hate for you to be disappointed and miss out on it. 

Get yours now and tell me what you’re most excited to get first or start reading! 

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 7 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, September 10th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, September 15th. There will be no late sales.  

From our family to yours… we hope you LOVE it! :) 

Disclosure: As organizers of this sale (and as an author, since my own ebook Clean & Simple is in the bundle), our family benefits from each purchase that goes through Keeper of the Home. In fact, this is a primary way that our family earns an income as entrepreneurs, and we value your support, so thank you! It’s our privilege to put these bundles together and to make sure that they are of the absolute highest quality, and we genuinely hope that they are a blessing to your family’s health journey. 

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

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This week’s top deals:

This is the deal I’m most excited about!

 Even more than the best deal of the week, the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is coming in just one more day… it goes on sale Wednesday morning! 

But even better, this is your last day to share the news with your friends and family for the chance to earn your bundle for FREE! 

Sign up for our Refer-a-Friend program HERE

Refer 1 friend, get a $5 discount on your bundle. Refer 10 friends and you get your free bundle! 

 

total_blender_classic_ws_black.a4f10f6c

Only $279.95 Blentec Certified Refurbished Total Blender Classic  $384.35  On sale $279.95  or check out the whole line of Certified Refurbished Blender deals.

berkey-sys

Berkey Water Filter System has a Scratch & Dent Sale.  You can still get one of these great water filters at a great price!   

7th gen

As low as $3.25-$3.82/pack  Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes, 70-count Tubs (Pack of 6) are on sale for $26.94.

Save $4 when you clip the coupon below the product description ( you must be logged in)  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE shipping with qualifying order.  If you’re an Amazon Prime Prime with Amazon Mom  member, you’ll actually save 20% of Subscribe & Save items when you place 5 or more orders in a month.

20% off your entire order at Abe’s Market 

Abe’s Market is offering 20% Off your entire order now through September 11, 2014.  Use code MEGHAN.  

And FREE Shipping on orders over $49 $29  For order below $29, shipping is a flat $4.99, no matter how many sellers you order from.  Here are just a few items they have on sale right now to save you even more money:

star

$6.75 each Star Naturals Baby Sunscreen Stick  SPF 25, Water resistant and non-whitening $12.99 Now $8.44.  Just $6.75 after coupon code MEGHAN.  Click “Sale” then “Baby & Kids”

spork

$3.99 each Bambu Kids Spork 6 Pack $37.43 Now $29.94.  Just $23.95/pack after coupon code MEGHAN.  That’s $3.99 each.  Click “Sale” then “Baby & Kids”

kale

$5.60 each Kalenola Organic Maple Cranberry 3oz  $8.00 Now $7.00.  Just $5.60 each after coupon code MEGHAN. Click “Sale” then “Food & Drink”

miracle

$2.40 each Miracle Noodle  Shirataki Pasta 7 oz $3.75  Now $3.00.  Just $2.40 each after coupon code MEGHAN.Click “Sale” then “Food & Drink”

coconut oil

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE ($40.00 for 2) Tropical Traditions Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Quarts.  Now, through Sunday, September 14th only, you can purchase 1 quart of certified organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions for $40.00 and get a second quart for FREE! That’s an $80.00 retail value for only $40.00, and $15.50 off of their normal sale price for two jars! 

Palm Shortening 112 oz

$23.59/gallon Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening (1 Gallon) is on for 42% off the retail price now, through Sunday, September 14th.   Regular price $40.75 now on for just $23.59.  

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Buy 1 Get 1 FREE ($7.50 for 2) Tropical Traditions Organic Liquid Virgin Coconut Oil Soap (8 Ounce). Now, through Sunday, September 14, 2014.  These come in foaming dispensers. which make the soap last longer saving you more money.  The scented varieties cost a bit more as they have organic essential oils added.

 

FREE Kindle ebooks

(note: prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing) 

declutter

Declutter Your Life in 3 Simple Steps 

play

Precious Play Time: 50 Ideas To Help You Get The Most Out of The Time You Have With Your Child

 

Kindleebooks Less than a $1 at time of Post

Quinoa

Quick & Easy Quinoa Cookbook: Gluten-Free Recipes Using One of the World’s Best Superfoods 

creative

Creative Slow-Cooker Meals slow

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes

This week’s best coupons:

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Find 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!

A Day In the Life: Hilary {Homeschooling, Work-at-Home Mom of 2}

 A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer

As I write this Day In the Life post, my family has just started our school year. As a homeschooling, work-at-home mom of 2, I’ve tried to create an ambitious daily schedule to fit all my work in during the year, but this is the first day I’ve actually put it into practice.

I discovered – as usual – that life has its own rhythm and while I may have good intentions, I can’t schedule every part of my life. This particular morning – our first day of school! – I was up early, but every other day I seem to sleep right through my alarm and spend the rest of my day scrambling to catch up.

5:45 a.m.

The music from my alarm wakes me up. I wish it could still be summer vacation – or a Saturday morning – and I could try to sleep for a couple of more hours. But it’s not. If I don’t get up soon, I’ll be missing out on prime working time – and that means I’ll be playing catch up the rest of the day.

5:58 a.m.

The music on my alarm is still playing. I should get up. I pray to start my day, then head downstairs as quietly as possible. The wood floors in my bedroom and hall are so creaky that I’m afraid I’ll wake the kids way too early. I grab my Bible and sit on the couch, still trying to wake up, as my husband is finishing his breakfast at our dining room table.

6:15 a.m.

I finish my time in the Word and my husband gets ready to walk out the door and head to work. We pray together, kiss goodbye, and I turn on my computer.

It is so tempting to start off by checking Facebook or e-mails, but if I don’t get working on a blog post right now, I’ll end up frittering my work time away on social media. I start writing about why moms should give themselves grace.

7:10 a.m.

I am in my writing zone – and just finishing up my post as my 6-year-old son wakes up and comes downstairs. I hurry to finish photos and formatting, then reward myself with a quick e-mail and Facebook check while he watches a little TV.

7:40 a.m.

My 4-year-old daughter wakes up, too, and comes downstairs. Since it’s the first day of school, I probably should make a special breakfast. Lucky for me, I still have some pancake batter in the fridge, so I decide to make pancakes in the shape of the letter A since my daughter will be learning about the letter this week.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

7:50 a.m.

I overhear my son picking on my daughter. As I go to break up the (very loud) fight, I’m surprised to see my son sorting laundry. I’ve started using a daily chore chart with him and as a first-born, he’s thriving with checking tasks off his list. If he’ll start doing chores around the house, it will be a huge help.

8:00 a.m.

Breakfast (cheesy fried eggs, letter A pancakes and orange slices) is on the table. The three of us pray, eat and visit. When I finish my meal, I start in on a Bible lesson – reading from Proverbs, and our brand-new textbook, Who Is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) – Biblical Worldview of God and Truth,  I’m surprised with how much the kids are engaged.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

8:40 a.m.

As I’m washing dishes and we’re listening to our Classical Conversations memory work on CD, the phone rings. It’s our local school district, calling to confirm that I’m homeschooling my son this year. In my mind, this call officially starts our first day of school!

8:55 a.m.

I’m finishing up washing breakfast dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher) and need to stop and break up another fight. Siblings. I hop in the shower, fully knowing I had hoped to start school at 9.

9:16 a.m.

School starts. And even if it’s just the first moments of our new school year, already I love it.

Last year’s first day was the worst day of homeschooling EVER. My son screamed and refused to start his classes. It was a day filled with tears (both his and mine), doubts and plenty of prayers. To see my son so excited to start first grade is thrilling.

10:44 a.m.

Our book work is done for the day – in the past hour and a half, we’ve covered math, handwriting, the letter A, and common nouns. Now it’s time for snack and on to oral presentations and social studies.

11:20 a.m.

I run to the basement to stick a load of laundry in while the kids are busily drawing Native American pictographs.

11:45 a.m.

It is pouring rain outside during my planned recess, so I back the car out of our garage and my son rides his bike in there. Then he decides he wants to throw the football – outside in the rain. When he’s soaked to the bone, he comes in and needs to change into dry clothes.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

12:15 p.m.

For lunch, I heat up black bean chili leftovers I’ve stored in our freezer. I dice up some fresh tomatoes and tomatillos from our garden to add to the chili, along with a sprinkling of cheese and a dollop of sour cream. We’re learning about American history this year, so I’m highlighting American musicians and artists. This week our musician is Louis Armstrong, so I dig out one of his CDs and use it for our lunchtime music.

1:45 p.m.

After lunch we’ve played a round of Trouble(the board game), snuggled up on the couch and had our reading time. My 4-year-old and I are slowly working our way through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessonsmy 6-year-old is reading stories from a 1950s reader I found for a dime at a book sale, and I’m finishing up reading Beezus and Ramona aloud. 

Sorry for the blurry photo … my 6-year-old is practicing his photography skills.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

1:55 p.m.

My husband surprises us with an early day home – so we sit and talk about our days.

2:25 p.m.

Catching up with my husband is nice, but it’s time to get to work. I sit down to my computer, check my e-mail and discover that I have a ton of completely unexpected – and urgent – work for my afternoon. I’m teaching writing classes in the fall, and the coordinator has sent me the contact information for my students and asked me to send a welcome letter and policies TODAY. Surprise! I need to create my policies. Right now.

4:00 p.m.

I’m still working on my writing class, but I need to start supper. Maybe I can do both at the same time?

4:02 p.m.

I remember that I had hoped to whip up a special first day of school dessert today. This is probably not going to happen.

4:26 p.m.

Dinner’s in the oven (roasted chicken), and I’m e-mailing the parents of my writing students. But shoot. I had planned to exercise right now, and I can forget about that.

4:45 p.m.

I’m done with writing class details and e-mails. Whew. I can turn my computer off.

5:05 p.m.

My husband and son are upstairs building a teepee out of a toy construction set. I think I can get a first day of school cake baked – maybe not frosted prettily, but it will still be a special dessert. I ask my daughter to help me – and she happily does.

5:35 p.m.

Our cake’s baking in the oven, the frosting is whipped, couscous is made, and our chicken is ready to come out of the oven. Quick! Steam some broccoli!

6:05 p.m.

After eating a slice of cake (it’s so hot the frosting completely melted … but it still tastes good!), my husband’s off to his Monday night Bible study. I clear the table, ready to start the dishes.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

6:25 p.m.

I’m on the phone with my mom and notice that the kids are outside playing – in the pouring rain. They’re using our sliding board as a water slide and look like they’re having a ridiculous amount of fun together. (Yes, if you notice in the photo, my daughter is still in her pajamas.)

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

6:58 p.m.

I’m washing dishes and my son is reading to his sister from his school book while they both sip hot chocolate. I’m amazed they’re getting along. And reading!

7:12 p.m.

I take our garbage can out to the curb and keep washing dishes.

7:22 p.m.

I take a timeout from dish washing as I break up – another – argument.

7:24 p.m.

I just want to be done cleaning up my kitchen!!!

7:32 p.m.

Finally I’m done in the kitchen. I run to the basement to change loads of laundry.

7:41 p.m.

Time to start bedime! The kids change into pajamas as I get their toothbrushes and washcloths ready. Even when my husband’s not home to help, our bedtime routine is always the same.

7:58 p.m.

After reading from the Bible, I read Chapter 1 in Henry and the Clubhouse. I started reading my old Beverly Cleary favorites this summer, and both kids LOVE them.

8:20 p.m.

My 6-year-old son is sound asleep, after a busy first day of first grade. My 4-year-old daughter asks to go to bed.

8:32 p.m.

I switch laundry over again and sit down on the couch to fold the baskets of clean clothes.

8:44 p.m.

I check my e-mail and Facebook. I start uploading our first day of school photos just as my daughter saunters down the steps.

A Day In the Life: Hilary {KeeperoftheHome.org}

8:48 p.m.

My daughter curls up on the couch beside me with a pile of books to look at and I explain to her that this is mommy’s time to work – so I get started planning an upcoming homemaking talk.

9:01 p.m.

My daughter decides she wants to look at pictures from her Slamwich card game. I dig the game out and take it up to her bedroom in hopes that she’ll stay up there.

9:12 p.m.

My daughter’s back downstairs. Again. To get a drink of water – and sit with Mommy.

9:18 p.m.

My husband comes home from Bible study and our daughter runs to greet him. He tucks her into bed, comes downstairs, we talk about our nights and discuss weekend plans.

9:39 p.m.

I keep working online, but at this time of night I’m apt to waste time. And so I do … I wrap up my work, do random Internet searches that I finally remember to do, and respond to e-mails.

10:32 p.m.

Time for bed! I head upstairs, chat with my husband while we get ready for bed and set our alarms.

10:44 p.m.

Lights out. I feel like I’ve been running all day long yet still know there’s so much to do.

My house isn’t as clean as I’d like, my garden desperately needs weeding, I have unfinished work to tackle tomorrow, and I know many of my homeschooling days in this school year will include spur of the moment activities that I throw together on a whim. It’s my life. I’m continually learning to embrace the fullness and chaos by attempting to relax and go with the flow.

Even with everything that still needs to be done tomorrow, I am grateful for today. There will never be another first day of first grade for my son. Baking a cake and snuggling with my young, cuddly daughter will soon become a fleeting memory. It has been a true gift to catch up with my husband on the couch and my mom on the phone. 

This has been a day filled with busyness and blessings, and for that I can fall asleep thankful.

A Day in the Life {Keeper of the Home}

Do you try to plan your days with a to-do list, or do you just let your days happen?

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

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Links I loved this week:

Why I (Desperately) Need Friends @ Accidentally Green

Dear Kids: Why Wait till Marriage — What No One Tells You & What I Wish Someone Had Told Me @ A Holy Experience

How to Make Rose Water @ A Delightful Home

Five Responses to Extreme Poverty @ Shaun Groves 

Praying for Your Children On Purpose @ The Better Mom 

Eggplant Salad with Meatballs @ My Humble Kitchen

4 things you don’t have to do with your money @ The Art of Simple 

ITA #53 – No More Mommy Brain – Finding the Time for Learning – An Interview with Stephanie Langford and Erin Odom @ Inspired To Action

Are you getting your free bundle next week? 

I hope so! But maybe I should back up, because you haven’t heard what’s going on… 

Our newest Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is coming out in just a few short days (watch for it this Wednesday, Sept.10th!). This year we’re giving our readers a really fun way to actually earn a bundle for themselves, completely free! 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up here with your email, and you’ll get a referral code.
  2. Share that referral code with your friends and family.
  3. If 1 signs up, you get a $5 discount, which is sweet in and of itself. Get 5 to sign up, and you get our free series of 12 healthy living webinars with popular bloggers. Get just 10 to sign up, your bundle is FREE! 

There are only a few more days to take advantage of this, so go do it now! 

freebundle

September Sponsors

Are you looking for companies that share the same values you do? Here at Keeper of the Home we curate a fabulous selection of companies that fit well with our audience and we’re so grateful for each of them. Here are our sponsors for this month!

Plan to Eat | Eating at Home is About to Get Easier

Tropical Traditions | America’s Source for Coconut Oil

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle | Take Control of Your Health!

The Healthy Lunch BoxSandwich-free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunch

MadeOn Hard Lotion | Hard Lotion For Dry Skin

How is your September starting? Are you starting to see a change in the weather where you are?

A Day in the Life: Andrea {Stay-at-Home Mom to Teenagers}

A Day in the Life {Keeper of the Home}

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

I captured our day in the life on the first day of school for my girls. This first day of school is extra special in our house because my oldest daughter is a senior this year.

Just typing that brings me to tears. My goal for this year is to soak up every moment I have with both girls at home.

So this is how our day goes:

5:45 a.m. 

I’m out of bed and head straight to the coffee pot.

Armed with coffee I head into the girls’ room and let the dogs out of their crates and turn them loose in the backyard.

5:55 a.m.

I hear the first girl get in the shower so I whip them up breakfast: French toast, cantaloupe and milk.

6:20 a.m.

Breakfast is finished, so I start on the lunches.

 A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Couscous with roasted vegetables, watermelon, cheese slices and a little Annie’s Homegrown snack mix.

I also pack up Healthy No-Bake Energy Balls and a large water bottle.

Both girls do sports after school and so are gone from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I find the energy balls help give them the energy they need.

What this picture doesn’t tell you:

Although my girls enjoyed the couscous salad, they both report back that everyone at the lunch table thought their lunch was “weird.” Although these comments always get under my skin, I’m grateful to have two girls who will eat more than a PB&J sandwich.

On the other hand, everyone wants to know if they will share their energy balls.

7:00 a.m.

I take the girls’ first day of school picture realizing that next year I’ll only have one sweet face smiling at me from the front porch step.

 A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

I take a deep breath and savor this moment before watching them drive off to school.

7:05 a.m.

It’s time to take care of my two other charges.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Meet Nina and Copper. The girls worked at odd jobs around the house to “earn” Copper’s adoption fee.

What this picture doesn’t tell you:

Nina came into our lives 8 months ago. In December we purchased my husband’s grandmother’s house when she moved into assisted living.

Once our GG (nickname for great-grandmother) moved, she could no longer care for her dog. We now have Nina part-time and bring her to GG’s to visit her for several hours everyday.

7:40 a.m.

The dogs and I are back from our walk and I realize I have 20 minutes to shower and get dressed. Looks like it is going to be a ponytail day!

8:00 a.m.

 The workmen start to show up at the house.

The house we purchased is a one bedroom. We are trying to make it a 3 bedroom. This is not for the faint of heart.

8:30 a.m.

After a 30-minute meeting and walk-through with the contractor, I need to load Nina up in the car and deliver her to GG.

9:10 a.m.

On my way home from GG’s, I hit the local grocery store.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

What this picture doesn’t tell you:

I’m in a white shirt. Apparently when I lifted Nina out of the car, she had muddy paws. Not realizing this, I am now cruising the grocery store with mud streaks all over my front and I have no idea.

Also, what you don’t see: I am in a white and gray striped skirt.

I don’t realize it, but I am cruising around the store with a dryer sheet stuck to my booty.

Mud streaks down the front. Dryer sheet stuck to the back.

It isn’t until I get home that I catch my reflection in the front hall mirror and see the mud streaks.

The same mirror reveals to me the dryer sheet.

It’s just a suggestion, but if you don’t have one, you might want to get a mirror. It’ll point these things out to you even if no one at the grocery store has the heart to.

10:00 a.m.

I’m taking tennis lessons! Knowing that my years as a full-time mom are quickly coming to an end, I’ve decided to learn how to play tennis. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m finally doing it!

11:15 a.m.

I’m back home AND I’M ALONE IN THE HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE MONTHS!!!!

Since I have my website, I decide to sit down and answer e-mails, work on finding deals, and indulge in a bit of Facebook!

1:00 p.m.

Knowing that the whole family will be going different directions tonight, I put my P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wrap Copycat Recipe in the Crockpot. It’s a family favorite and everyone will be able to help themselves.

1:45 p.m.

My oldest daughter gets home from school. She is only taking 5 AP classes this year, so she gets out early.

We decide to get her school supply shopping done.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

3:00 p.m.

School supply shopping is done for one kiddo, and she is off to her cross country practice.

3:15 p.m.

Nina needs to be picked up from her visit with GG.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

3:45 p.m.

I realize I never bought milk at the grocery store so I quickly go back to pick up a gallon.

4:00 p.m.

Rice is my favorite side dish to go with our lettuce wraps, so I decide to put some in the rice cooker.

We are out. I then remember that just yesterday I received this text:

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Let’s review. I’ve been to the grocery store twice today. Not going back a third for rice. We’ll go without.

5:00 p.m.

I decide to catch the last half hour of volleyball practice since I need to pick up my youngest daughter.

5:45 p.m.

Everyone is home… for 15 minutes. My husband takes my oldest daughter shoe shopping for new cross country shoes.

My youngest daughter and I sit down to eat.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Thanks to the renovations, we have no place to eat inside. We are enjoying eating on the patio.

7:00 p.m.

Kiddo number 2 needs her school supplies so we are back at the office supply store.

7:45 p.m.

Don’t be jealous, but my man does dishes.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

8:00 p.m.

My favorite spot and how you’ll find me most evenings.

A Day in the Life: Andrea {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Do you have teens? Do you find it is hard to get everyone home for dinner at the same time?

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!