Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

By Kelly Smith, Contributing Writer

Pumpkin and I have had a great relationship ever since I first met this handsome “gourd.” I remember picking out my first plump round pumpkin as a preschooler and watching my mom turn that hard, rough sphere of orange into a squishy-squashy puree of pure delight!

Unfortunately, here in sunny Southern California, the only way we know it’s fall is when the local markets haul in big loads of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes – and of course – start stockpiling cans of pumpkin puree on practically every aisle. That’s when I get down to business filling my pantry with enough pumpkin puree to last the entire year!

If you have a crush on pumpkin like I do, there’s no shame in it. In fact, celebrate! Pumpkin is one of the healthiest squash varieties you can enjoy – it’s chock-full of beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and other important antioxidants.

So, grab your family and head out to your local pumpkin patch (you can find one here) and do some fun pumpkin picking together. Of course, keep in mind, if you’re making your own pumpkin puree, the best tasting ones are those sweet little cooking pumpkins (not the big boys used for carving).

To help you get the most of your pumpkin obsession (and put to use those stockpiles of pumpkin puree), I thought it would be fun to share some of the best gluten-free, grain-free pumpkin recipes from around the blogosphere. 

35 Favorite Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Pumpkin Recipes

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Beverages

 

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Breakfast

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Soups & Stews

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Sides

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Snacks

 

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}

Desserts

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {KeeperOfTheHome.org}
Give the Gift of Pumpkin!

Did you know pumpkin makes great holiday gifts too? With the holidays fast approaching, here are just a few recipes you may want to pin for the upcoming holiday season.

Looking for even more ideas for using pumpkin this fall? Be sure to check out “Jump into Fall with 30+ Pumpkin Ideas.” May your fall be filled with many a pumpkin delight!

Are you a pumpkin lover too? What are your favorite pumpkin treats to make each fall?

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!

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

Real Deals for the week of October 7

This week’s top deals:

Abe

Abe’s Market is having a sale on all Quinn Popcorn Products.  Sale ends TODAY (October 7th)

HFS-CONFERENCE

Just $24.95 Homemaking from Scratch Online ConferencePre-Registration Deal ends TODAY.  After October 7th the price is $29.95.

  • The Homemaking From Scratch online conference is an online conference of homemaking sessions ranging from natural cleaning to biblical motherhood to hospitality to developing housekeeping routines – by 12 homemaking bloggers and authors. 
  • The sessions are pre-recorded for the best possible quality and allows the attendees to listen to the sessions anytime, anywhere, and on any device. They can listen to the sessions again and again – they are theirs to keep forever! 
  • Included in the ticket price is a conference notebook and a private FB group for discussion, fellowship, mentoring, etc. 
Pre-Registration Offer:
  • When attendees pre-register for a ticket (between September 29th and October 7th) they get $5 OFF the price of the ticket (normally $29.95) and
  • $217.14 in homemaking bonus resources (eBooks, printables, etc) from the different speakers. You can see the full list of bonuses HERE

Get registered for the conference here

 

chia

As low as $6.03   Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, 12-Ounce Bag is on sale for $7.09. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

tea

As low as $6.71 ($2.24/16-count box)  Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea, 16 Teabags/Box (Pack of 3) is on sale for $7.89. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

crayonsJust $2.89 Crayola 64 Ct Crayons  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

angel soft

As low as $17.69-$20.99 ($0.37-$0.48/roll)  Angel Soft, Double Rolls, (4 Rolls*12 Pack) are on sale for $21.99. Save $1 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. 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Retail $120.00 Just $59.95/ 1 gallon Tropical Traditions 50% Off Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil  Sale price only until Thursday, October 9th

Palm Shortening 112 oz

Retail $40.75 Just $23.59/ 1 gallon Tropical Traditions 40% Off Organic Palm Shortening Sale price now through Sunday, October 12th

teeth-cleaners

Retail $7.95 Just $5.50/4 oz Tropical Traditions 30% Off Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Teeth Cleaners in Cinnamon, Classic, or Mint  On sale now until Sunday, October 12th

coffee

Retail $9.89 Just $7.90/12 oz Whole Bean ($8.50 for decaffeinated) Tropical Traditions 20% Off Organic Fair Trade Equal Exchange Coffee.  On Sale now until Sunday, October 12th

8GrainCereal_s_450

Bob’s Red Mill Monthly Specials

FREE Kindle ebooks:

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

healing babes

Healing Babies and Children with Aromatherapy for Beginners: Proven Steps on How to Use Essential Oils and Aromatherapy to Care for Babies and Children … Care, Skin Healing, Inhalation, Coughs

home canning

JeBouffe Home Canning Step by Step Guide

quinoa

The Quinoa Master Cookbook: Delicious Everyday Quinoa Recipes For A Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Loss 

back

Easy Recipes for Back to School: A short collection of recipes from the cookbook Wholesome: Feed Your Family For Less

Kindle ebooks for Less Than $1:

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

bodybutter
Body Butter: Homemade Body Butter – 33 BEST Body Butter Recipes To Making Body Butter For A Soft And Nourished Skin!

low carb 
Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes: 30 Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes For The Whole Family

asian paleo

Asian Paleo Recipes: 30 Classic Asian Comfort Foods Made Healthy Without Grains, Legumes, or Dairy

This week’s best coupons:

 

Real Deals for the week of October 7

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!

Cure Coughs Naturally {& 30 Other Home Remedies}

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {KeeperoftheHome.org}

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer

I’ve never been a fan of medications. Over the counter or prescribed … it doesn’t matter. After being prescribed antibiotics for a good two years of my childhood – and developing severe allergic reactions to them – I’ve preferred treating myself and my family with home remedies when sickness strikes.

Since it’s prime time for seasonal sicknesses, here’s how I cure coughs naturally:

Eucalyptus oil

Every time my children start coughing, I pull out my bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. At bedtime, I mix a splash of olive oil with a half dozen dashes of eucalyptus oil, then massage the liquid onto the soles of my cougher’s feet. If I have extra oil left, I’ll also massage it into my son’s or daughter’s chest. I cover their feet with socks and tuck them into bed. Typically their coughs improve by the morning, and after a second night of eucalyptus oil treatment, their coughs disappear. It’s easy, economical, and safe.

Pineapple juice

Fresh pineapple juice is so powerful at suppressing coughs thanks to bromelain, an enzyme that is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Home remedies

In case you need to treat other ailments, check out these 30 home remedies:

Boosting immune systems and preventing sickness

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Treating colds and flus

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Treating congestion

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Treating fevers

Treating coughs and sore throats

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {KeeperoftheHome.org}

How do you cure coughs – or other sicknesses – naturally?

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

tyndalelogoThis post is sponsored by Tyndale Rewards. Do you love FREE books & Bibles? Tyndale Rewards is a quick and easy way to earn points that you can redeem for great titles from Tyndale House Publishers. Join today and earn towards some great Christmas gifts!

Weekend Links

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Links for this week:

The Mommy Guilt Cure @ The Better Mom

Redefining Abundance @ Be More With Less 

DIY Shea & Vanilla Sugar Scrub @ A Delightful Home 

31 Days of Prayer for Public School Parents @ SortaCrunchy 

Some Days, We Feel Pathetic @ Commonsense Christianity 

Cheesy Raw Kale Chips @ Modern Alternative Mama 

Why Mister Rogers was an Artist Who Influences @ chatting at the sky

An app for free books @ The Art of Simple 

October 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. Here are our sponsors for this month!

Tyndale Rewards | Love FREE books and bibles? Join today and start collecting points toward your first reward!

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

Lilla Rose | Our product line centers around unique, functional, and well made hair jewelry

The Healthy Lunchbox | Sandwich-free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunch

MadeOn Hard Lotion | Hard Lotion For Dry Skin

Tropical TraditionsAmerica’s Source for Coconut Oil

What are your favorite indulgences this time of year?

3 Herbal Teas That Build Your Defenses Against Cold And Flu Season

 

3 Herbal Teas That Build Your Defenses Against Cold And Flu Season {KeeperoftheHome.org}

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

Cold and flu season is right around the corner. What are you doing to build your defenses?

Adding any or all of these 3 herbal teas to your natural medicine cabinet can help keep you healthy all flu season long, thanks to their immune boosting abilities.

Chamomile Tea

If you dread the thought of catching a cold, now is the time to start making a hot cup of chamomile tea a daily habit.

Chamomile is most effective when consumed regularly. So integrating a cup into your daily routine is the best way to boost immunity.

Drink your cup of chamomile tea in the evening, close to bedtime. Not only does the chamomile aide in relaxation and a good night’s sleep, but the flavinoid compounds in chamomile tea also will work as immune boosters.

An additional benefit, chamomile is very gentle, so it is excellent for use for children and the elderly.

In fact, if you don’t use chamomile daily as an immunity booster, this tea should still make it’s way into your natural medicine cabinet. It provides almost immediate comfort for upset tummies.

A word of caution: Because chamomile is a uterine stimulant, pregnant women should ask their doctor before regularly consuming chamomile tea.

3 Herbal Teas That Build Your Defenses Against Cold And Flu Season {KeeperoftheHome.org}

Image courtesy of Farmanac, a produce app

Thyme Tea

Thyme is another useful tea for boosting your body’s defenses against colds and flu.

If you have a sunny windowsill, growing your own thyme for tea is a great way to have a plentiful and inexpensive source of thyme.

To brew thyme tea, simply steep one teaspoon of fresh leaves in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and sip.

While thyme is one of the best herbal cold defenses, drinking too much can actually mimic flu-like symptoms. Add one cup of tea to your day and you’ll have consumed enough to get all the benefits and none of the side effects.

Echinacea Tea

In fact, laboratory evidence has proven echinacea fights inflammation in the body which reduces the length and severity of colds and flu.

However, you need to take echinacea at the first sign of a viral infection in order for it to work to its full potential.

Please note, echinacea is not a daily treatment for boosting your immunity like chamomile and thyme. Instead, it should only be taken at the first signs of a cold or flu.

One thing to consider before adding echinacea tea to your diet: If you are allergic to ragweed, you are likely to be allergic to echinacea.

If you are making herbal teas part of your regular routine, you may be interested in these Herbal Teas that Detox.

Our family uses herbal teas on a regular basis, does yours? 

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!

Are You Using That Kitchen Knife Properly? How I Learned to Save Time (and My Fingers!)

top

I’ve occasionally been known to spend a happening Friday night puttering around my kitchen making things like laundry soap and homemade deodorant. I’m a party animal. What can I say?

Still, I surprised myself by happily spending two hours taking a free online “mini” knife skills class until I finally realized it was almost midnight!

Truth be told, I’ve never thought much about the way that I cut food.

Sometimes I’ve frustrated myself, struggled to do a job properly, nicked myself in the process, or ended up butchering what was an otherwise lovely tomato or butternut squash in my amateurish process.

Not anymore!

Tonight I learned how to:

  • properly hone my knives to keep them sharp between actual sharpenings. I actually skipped straight to this in the last lesson because I had never, ever done it before (honestly, I was scared to try it), and it had been bugging me lately how dull my knives were. Sharper knives = easier, faster cutting.
  • hold my knife correctly, for better maneuvering, smoother cuts, and not wrenching up my back or shoulder by doing it wrong
  • hold the item I’m cutting more securely so that I can get precise cuts, without cutting off a pinkie in the process
  • tackle large or tricky items, like pineapples and squash, with ease 
  • dice onions more finely and without making my eyes water
  • make prettier looking julienne cuts for salads
  • a few tricks for slicing more evenly and more quickly 
  • cut using a more flowing, circular motion instead of a rough, chopping motion, which feels more pleasant and makes the task go much faster
  • the only three knives that most cooks ever need and how to figure out which ones to buy

When Craftsy asked me to review a class, I initially had my eye on something more complicated and gourmet, like making homemade Italian-style fresh pasta or the perfect pie crust. Their suggestion of trying out their free mini-course on knife skills sounded a whole lot less fancy and impressive.

Nonetheless, I agreed to it (as well as an artisan baking class that I’ll tell you about later this month), and as I prepared to take the class, I got to thinking that realistically, I would make homemade pasta maybe twice a year. Tops.

onions

But I use my knives every single day. Why not get better at using them?

The surprising thing was… learning to chop and dice and slice like a pro actually made me feel like I could make something more gourmet out of any old meal, and in less time than usual.

Brendan, the teacher, has been a chef instructor for 8 years, with a specialty in knife skills (honestly, I didn’t even know that was a thing, but listening to him showed me just how much I didn’t know about knives or how to use them!).

He made it look so easy, and the further I went in the class, the better and faster I could feel myself getting with practice. I bet in no time these new skills will actually become habit and will seep their way into all of my food preparations.

I even noticed halfway through my time tonight that every time I picked up my knife wrong, I noticed right away, immediately corrected, and found that it felt more familiar each time I did it.

Want to take the class yourself? It’s free, y’all!

Sometimes I write sponsored posts (and this is one – thanks, Craftsy, for supporting Keeper of the Home!) where I’m promoting a product that you could go and buy.

The really awesome thing about this particular post is that this mini-class is absolutely free to anyone, whether they’re my reader or not.

They’ve made some of their high-quality online courses free so that people can check them out, see if you like how they work, decide if you think they’re worth it, etc.

video

I’ll admit, I was impressed. The area where you go to watch your videos is totally intuitive and easy to figure out. It’s all streaming, so you don’t have to download anything.

I thought it was clever that they have a 30-second rewind button so that if you want to quickly go back and hear something a second time, it’s a quick click of a button. My favorite feature was the notes bar, where you can type in notes as you’re watching, and then just hit enter to save them to your account. Brilliant!

I kept typing notes during the first video in particular, where Brendan talked about different types of knives and what to look for in a good knife, since mine are terribly old and dull (and yes, pretty cheap) and I know that with just one or two really great knives, I could make my cooking so much more efficient.

I’m motivated now to keep my eyes open for a good deal on a quality knife, especially a chef’s knife, and then probably a serrated, followed by a paring knife. With those three, you can do pretty much anything and it suits my minimalistic style to have only a few knives with which I can handle pretty much any task.

4256_complete-knife-skills-1390247104628

Want to spend an afternoon or evening being super cool a bit of a geek like me and learn to wield a knife properly? You totally can. Here’s the link to take the class:

Complete Knife Skills with Brendan McDermott (free mini-class)

All together, it’s 5 lessons, the 1st and 5th of which are fairly short (less than 10 minutes), and then the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th are a bit longer (more like 30-40 each). You can watch them whenever you like, and I found that if I stopped to go do something or had to refresh my computer, it saved exactly where I was in the video so I just picked up where I left off.

I’m thinking of letting my almost 10-year-old daughter work through this class as well. She loves to help in the kitchen, but I want to make sure that she’s using a knife safely (which he emphasizes over and over, pointing out exactly how not to hurt yourself– I confess, I had to laugh at several of his examples of doing it “wrong” because it was exactly how I do it!). If you’ve got an older child or teen that’s learning to cook, this would be a perfect introduction for them.

Are You Using That Kitchen Knife Properly? How I Learned to Save Time (and My Fingers!) {keeperofthehome.org}

Have you ever learned how to use a knife properly? Or do you sort of hack your way through fruits and vegetables like I did? :)

Disclosure: This post was paid for by Craftsy. All opinions expressed are my own.

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

real deals 700px post image

This week’s top deals:

bob As low as $11.87-$13.96 ($2.97-$3.49/ pack) Bob’s Red Mill Oats Rolled Regular, 32-Ounce (Pack of 4) on sale for $13.96.  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

spa

$30.97 on sale for $9.95  Spa Party Planning Package Available for Limited Release!  This “package” includes 3 eBooks: Simple Scrubs to Make and Give, Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin, and a comprehensive guide that provides all the steps for hosting a spa party (including recipes, shopping lists, and more).  You’ll also receive a few great coupons and some bonus printables.

OR Save big:

$543.32 on sale for $29.95 Group Party License Package.  This package allows the hostess (you!) to pass on up to 20 copies of Simple Scrubs to Make and Give and Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin to your friends and party attendees.   Also includes a ton of bonus items, such as 40% off natural facial moisturizer, free video downloads on self-care and self-massage, a special package with party favors like handmade soap, lip balms, lotions, and a free clay mask.

slim snack

Just $13.95  Slim Snack: Fits in Lunchboxes Where Bulky Lunch Containers Don’t. SNACK BAG & POPSICLE ALL IN ONE! Bring Snacks to Work, School, Gym & Make Blender Pops! (Pack of 4)   This fun deal is back on sale for the lowest price to-date!

scale

Just $18.95 Smart Weigh Precision Digital Vanity / Bathroom Scale, “Smart Step-On” Technology, Tempered Glass Platform and Large Backlight Display.  Another lowest price to-date deal!

(Hat tip to Jungle Deals & Steals for these two deals!)

apple cider

Just $3.13 Vitacost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar — 32 fl oz  Regular price $4.49    (note – this is our referral link, and if you want, you can sign up for a $10 off $30 coupon – if you don’t want to, just search “Vitacost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar” in the store search bar to find it.)

diaper

Nikki’s Diapers has some cloth diapers on sale.  Just Click “Sale” (left hand side of site) and then “Cloth Diapers”.  

There are Best Bottom Training Pants regular $12.95 on sale for $6.95.  Just click “Sale” and then “Closeout Sales”

While you’re there, check out this great baby/shower gift:

$17.95 on sale for $11.98  the eBook Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom’s Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering by Kelly Wels takes everything you need to know about cloth diapers and puts it in one easy to understand, informative book! Kelly Wels is a leading authority in the movement toward modern cloth diapering and has done the research for you with a book that is fun & easy to read.

Kelly explains the different diaper types, brands, and accessories available without using confusing diaper lingo. The book discusses how cloth diapers can save you money and help save the planet. It covers cloth diapering at daycare, how to get Daddy involved, washing cloth diapers and the health benefits. She explains what and how many diapers you need, how to buy what will fit and how to launder it. 

leggings

$36.00 on sale for $15  BabyLegs 3 pack at Nikki’s Diapers.  Or maybe you just want one pair: $12.00 on sale for $10.  Many different discounted prints on sale!  Just click “Sale” and then “Baby Items”

abe

Save $10 TODAY ONLY Abe’s Market $10 Off Purchase of $40 or More.  Use Coupon code AUTUMN.  Offer expires September 30, 2014.  Check out their sale section and save even more!

FREE Kindle ebooks:

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

granny

The Granny Plan: 12 Steps to Everyday Home Cooking

easy back

Easy Recipes for Back to School: A short collection of recipes from the cookbook Wholesome: Feed Your Family For Less

paleo snack

Paleo Snack Recipes: Healthy and Delicious Paleo Diet Snacks!

paleo pizza

Delicious Paleo Pizza: The Best Homemade Pizza Recipes 

1 min

One Minute Metabolism: How to boost your metabolism in 60 seconds every time you eat and never diet again. Two techniques to increase metabolism naturally. (Just FYI, I haven’t read this book, so I’m not sure whether I would agree with it’s principles or not.)

This week’s best coupons:


real-deals-pinterest-sept-30
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: Stacy {Mom of 3 Striving for Change While Living in Grace}

A Day in the Life {Keeper of the Home}

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

This is my third year writing a day in the life post for Keeper of the Home. And I must say, it feels strange! It’s caused me to reflect over how my life has changed in the past few years and I’m wrestling with a little frustration over the fact that I’m not changing as fast as I’d like to. 

When my health fell apart last year (I ended up being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease), my home suffered too. It’s been a hard journey for the whole family. Some days I carry a lot of guilt and shame. Others, I’m trucking along just fine. It’s a mix. 

I hope this retelling of one day in my life will show how I am striving for change, while giving myself grace. I also hope it demonstrates how I’ve come to accept the help of others, simplified things, and stopped packing my day full to the brim. 

The day I chose to share is a Tuesday. Tuesdays are nice days for me; my mother-in-law takes the kids for a few hours after lunch and my introverted-self gets a little quiet time. I look forward to Tuesdays every week. 

And for a little background, I’m a stay-at-home mom of three kids, ages 13, 9, and 4. We homeschool. My husband is a preacher and works next door. 

6:30 a.m.

The day begins when my alarm goes off. I hit snooze and rest for ten minutes. So much advice about becoming an early riser suggests NEVER pressing snooze, but, it’s my way of easing into the morning. Those ten minutes of snooze time are delicious. It’s an opportunity to wake up a bit and feel rested before I start to move around. I aim to only hit snooze once. 

I’ve also taken to making my to-do list the night before, so I know exactly what I’m doing when I get up. Here are some of the tasks I planned for today:

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

After the alarm goes off again, I get up and go to the comfiest chair in my living room. I grab my Bible on the way. Once I realize I don’t have my book light, I get the iPad instead. (Everyone will wake up if I turn on a light. This house is small and the rooms are close together). 

I open my Bible App and read Psalm 27. I’m praying this passage for a friend who requested it. I think about her situation and ask God to turn things out for good. I sit in awe of my friend’s faith, too. 

After reading, I move to the floor and do some push-ups and squats. These are nice, quiet exercises that don’t wake anyone! 

Next, I do some stretching. I pull out the iPad again and read while I stretch. I read this wonderful post by Ann Voskamp and feel determined again to be intentional with my kids today. Why is that so hard sometimes?

Then I mess around on Facebook for a while. 

7:30 a.m.

I put on water for tea. I discovered an allergy to coffee a few months ago and I still miss it some mornings! 

I pray for the day. My daughter starts a new class this morning, so I pray especially about that. We have some concerns and are not sure how it will go. 

While the water boils, I start breakfast (sausages and eggs, plus a tiny bite of spinach). From the freezer I grab a bag full of chicken and veggies. This will become our dinner. (I prepped a bunch of freezer meals over the weekend, using a gluten-free Costco meal plan. It was the easiest freezer cooking I’ve ever done.)

Since I forgot to thaw the bag out last night, I cut it off and place its contents in the Crock-Pot. Hooray for massive Crock-Pots! It’s great to know that this frozen mass with become soup by dinner time. 

7:45 a.m.

The kids start to wander out. After many years of super-early mornings, I treasure these later ones. 

My son is excited about the sausages for breakfast (he’s been asking for them), but my 4-year-old tells me she doesn’t like sausages. 

8 a.m.

We sit down to breakfast and read Proverbs 1 to the kids. I only get a few verses in before my son has demolished his breakfast and wants more. 

We get through the chapter amid plenty of interruptions and a few pauses to get my littlest to eat her sausage. (Which she ends up liking!)

As we clean up after breakfast, my son talks to me about his upcoming birthday. My oldest has now gone to shower and the youngest is playing at the table.

8:30 a.m.

I’m feeling productive. Then I look down and notice I’m still in my pajamas! 

I’m headed to the room to get dressed and also help my 4-year-old get ready for the day. 

My older kids do math with their dad while I do a little “school work” with my youngest. I’m finding that giving her attention first is helping the rest of the morning go more smoothly.

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

Once we are done I fold some laundry before taking my oldest daughter to her class. 

I’m thankful my husband is willing to stay home with the other two while I do this. 

We arrive at class. Once my daughter is settled, I work on my lesson for the ladies devotional. I only teach once or twice a year and tonight is my turn (along with another friend). We are working though the fruit of the spirit. My topic is kindness. 

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

As I work, I listen to the interaction between my daughter and her teacher. I’m really happy with how well it’s going! Phew. 

Once the lesson is over, we head back home and my husband goes to his office. The kids and I work on their other school lessons until lunch time. 

This time is peppered with a few difficult moments. Since my kids are getting older, I won’t write much detail about that online, but I’m sure you can imagine. 

Part of the time I help my oldest prepare for an online class she will be taking. While I do that my son helps his little sister with a reading lesson. 

We have a quick lunch (leftovers from dinner) and head to grandma’s house. Throughout the morning I have been gathering necessary items to take with us:

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

My mother-in-law does a little a schooling with them too. I know. I am seriously blessed! 

The kids only take a few things to work on at Grandma’s. But it gives me permission not to rush the morning and also provides a little break. It’s really nice not to have to do everything. 

I stay and chat a while with my mother-in-law then head back home. 

Once home, I work on taking pictures for an upcoming project (which releases today! If you’ve ever wanted to host a spa night with your friends, you’ll want to check it out).

I edit pictures and try to make an ad. 

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

Two hours goes by fast and it’s time to pick my son up for martial arts. 

I go get him and take my  notes for the ladies’ devotional to look over while I wait. 

I am thankful to have found some things close to home. In the past I have travelled a lot further to get to classes and activities, but recently, we have discovered some that are only minutes from our house. This is a huge time-saver and blessing!

After martial arts, we go to Grandma’s to pick up the girls. Grandma has fed them dinner! Yay. I forgot she would do that when I put my meal in the Crock-Pot this morning! But, it won’t go to waste since my husband still needs dinner and we can eat it for lunch tomorrow. 

My son eats while I talk with my mother-in-law. Then we go home. 

5:30 p.m.

My oldest and I head outside to take a photo for her profile picture in her online course. She wants an image of her hands writing (since she loves writing so much). I take the picture and accidentally sit in a puddle. Yep. 

6:00 p.m.

I decide to live on the wild side and take a shower before the ladies devotional. (It starts at 7 p.m.)

I let the kids watch a show while I get ready. 

My husband gets home and I give him a bowl of soup as I head out the door with the 13-year-old. We go to the ladies devotional and have a nice time visiting with everyone. 

I pretend I’m not nervous and deliver my lesson. You can get the gist of what I said here: On Kindness.

After the devotional everyone stays to chat and eat. My daughter is ready to go home and I take her to the house. I come back and visit some more. 

Many of the ladies stay longer than usual. I don’t get home until almost 10 p.m. My hubby has put the kids to bed. 

10 p.m.

I take my magnesium drink and get ready for bed myself. 

This has been a good day. One I got a lot of down time. Most days are not quite this easy. Or even close, actually. I am grateful to have people in my life who help me and allow me the extra time to take care of myself. 

I am still on a journey of taking back my health and home. It’s a bumpy ride. Sometimes it feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step back. And others, I’m taking three steps back! 

If you’d like to know more about my journey back to a healthy body and healthy home, you can learn more here.

What do you do when it feels like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back … or three steps back?

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 for this week:

You’ll Always Lose at the Comparison Game (So Stop Playing It) @ The Art of Non-Conformity

A different look at drudgery. @ Joy’s Hope

My Favorite Autumn Salad @ Nourished Kitchen

the gift of ordinary time @ A Deeper Story 

The Precious Hem @ (in)courage 

10 Easy Ways to Pack More Fermented Foods in Your Child’s Lunch @ GNOWFGLINS

The Thrill of an Unrushed Yes @ A Holy Experience

Customizable Coconut Milk Smoothie: Rich in Healthy Fats to Curb the Munchies @ Red and Honey

What inspiring things have you read lately?

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Mom of 2 and Work-at-Home Virtual Assistant}

 

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

By Rebecca, Contributing Writer

There really is no such thing as a “typical” day in my house. I grew up without a mom, so becoming a mother four years ago was quite challenging to me in that I didn’t have an example of my own to emulate. This resulted in a kind of go-with-my-gut approach to parenting that works well for me some days and not so much other days.

We also went from a one-kid household to a two-kid household seven months ago after the birth of our daughter, and I honestly think we’re still trying to recover. Throw into the mix the fact that my husband was laid off from his job of ten years back in June and there’s yet another element to make our days anything but ordinary.

We have a loose weekly schedule that includes things like grocery shopping on Mondays and family outings (or field trips to go along with our son’s preschool curriculum) on Wednesdays, a load of laundry every day and specific times for work, but there are weeks that these things don’t happen when they’re supposed to or even at all. We try to have grace with ourselves and each other through it all and know that this crazy time of life isn’t permanent. All too soon, the tiny people we’re raising will be big people and the struggles with naps or long, sleepless nights that permeate our days right now will be a thing of the past.

I love these day in the life posts, not only because I get to see a glimpse of the lives of other women, but also so that I have a record that I can look back on some day to remember what life was like for me during a particular season. I’ve done these back when I was still in college as well as when I only had a one-year-old little boy and didn’t work from home. I can reminisce about these times fondly, but also be thankful that I’m no longer struggling through some of the more difficult stuff!

Various Early Morning Hours

If you want to be technical, my day starts in the wee hours of the morning when my 7-month-old daughter wakes up. She was an amazing sleeper until she hit about six months and suddenly decided to start waking up every few hours or so (some nights every hour!), but usually (if I’m lucky!) I’m able to nurse her back to sleep fairly easily.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

7:15 a.m.

We’re up for the day for good this time! My first task of the morning is changing a diaper, then I start in on my daily reading. I try to do this first thing in the morning as it’s really the only time of day I have to myself … sort of (generally my daughter is climbing around on some part of me while I attempt to read, so I often read out loud to her to try and keep my concentration). Right now I’m working my way through Jesus Calling, A Jane Austen Devotional (because I’m kind of a Jane Austen dork), and Glimpses of Grace (because I’m also kind of a Madeleine L’Engle dork).

8:00 a.m.

While my husband takes a shower, I set up our “arena” in the living room which basically consists of a large, baby-safe area, blocked off by a bench, couch cushions, and random pillows, where my very active daughter can roam FREE! I’m also doing a very loose preschool curriculum with our 4-year-old son this year, so I read him his books for the week while I nurse our daughter.

8:30 a.m.

My husband is out of the shower, so I start breakfast. While the eggs are frying, I also start boiling some water to brew kombucha and throw some frozen chicken bones, water, and apple cider vinegar into the slow cooker to make stock. Confession: I haven’t made kombucha in months. I write the date on the jars so I know when to stop brewing them, and I see that it’s been two months since I last brewed any. Today, though, today it will be done!

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

8:45 a.m.

Breakfast is ready! We gather around the table and our son picks a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible for me to read, then we pray and dig in. Most weekdays we have scrambled cheesy eggs, avocado, yogurt, bananas, tea for me, coffee for my husband, and some fermented cod liver oil. For our daughter, we’re introducing solids very slowly using the baby-led weaning approach (which we also did with our son). When she gets solids, it’s generally some avocado, banana, and egg yolk.

9:15 a.m.

We’re finished with breakfast and it’s time to lay my daughter down for her first nap. I nurse her to sleep while our son and (mostly) my husband clean up after breakfast. I’ve really struggled with her nap time routine, but I also struggled with my son’s routine so I try to keep in mind just how temporary this is. Some days it takes a while to get her to sleep. Some days it doesn’t take any time at all. Some days she won’t even go to sleep. Thankfully, today is right about in the middle and it takes about 20 minutes. I’m relieved as she has been really fighting naps, so this is a minor victory for mama!

9:35 a.m.

While she sleeps, I head into my “office” to get some work done. We live in a very small house, so we converted a corner of our master bedroom closet to my office area and I’m able to work quietly in there while still keeping an ear out for her.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

10:00 a.m.

I come out of my office and my husband heads off to do some work of his own, which can be anything from consulting work, studying for a class he’s taking, or job searching. Our son and I continue his “classwork” for the week and start gathering the ingredients for pumpkin spice loaf. This week’s curriculum theme is dairy products, so we made butter using the jar-shaking method the day before and today we’re making some bread to eat with the butter! I crack the eggs into the bowl along with the other wet ingredients and my son asks if he can stir it with the whisk. He ultimately just ends up jiggling the bowl around a little and telling me the eggs are dancing, but I’m glad for anything that gives him a love of cooking.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

10:15 a.m.

I pause breadmaking to get my daughter who has woken up from her nap. I change a diaper and then strap her on my back in my mei tai before heading back to the kitchen. After I stick the bread in the oven to bake, we finish the kombucha since the tea/sugar mixture has cooled enough. I pour everything into the jar, then put the mother/SCOBY in and pour the old kombucha starter liquid on top. My son proclaims that the mother is all tucked in and helps me write the date on the outside of the jar.

10:45 a.m.

I take my daughter off my back and change a diaper then nurse her while my son asks no less than five times when the bread is going to be done. (“Soon!”) She then goes in the living room play area while I start a load of diapers to wash (I did not take a picture of the dirty diapers – you’re welcome!).

11:00 a.m.

I strap my daughter on again and we tackle cleaning the two bathrooms. Confession: it’s been weeks since I cleaned the bathrooms. I somehow manage to clean the toilets once a week, but all the other surfaces in the bathrooms are another story entirely. Today, though, I’ve got an hour-and-a-half of nothing else scheduled or planned so the bathrooms will finally be cleaned! My son helps me by wiping various things with a cleaning rag and asking me when the bread will be done. (“Soon!”)

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

11:30 a.m.

The bread is done (finally!), so I pull it out of the oven to let it cool. My son wants a piece NOW. I tell him he has to wait until lunch time so it can cool off. He doesn’t much care for this.

While the bread is cooling, I fill a pan with water to make hard-boiled eggs for my son’s lunch. Then I empty all the trashes in the house and sweep the bathroom floor.

12:15 p.m.

I get the rest of lunch started.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

12:30 p.m.

Lunch time!  Our mid-day meal is usually a smorgasborg of leftovers and whatever else I can find in the fridge. Today my son is having hard-boiled eggs, steamed broccoli, homemade sauerkraut, and, of course, some pumpkin bread with the butter he made. I’m having hot dogs, broccoli, and pumpkin bread as well.

1:00 p.m.

We clean up after lunch. My husband rejoins us and while I lay our daughter down for her afternoon nap, my husband reads our son a few stories before he starts his afternoon “quiet” time and my husband returns to his work time. I use quotes because, really, I don’t think quiet is a word that 4-year-old boys understand all that well. Every so often, he actually takes a nap during quiet time, but this happens few and far between these days. Usually he just plays, looks at books in his room, and asks every so often (or sometimes every five minutes) when quiet time will be done.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

1:30 p.m.

As with her morning nap, the length of time it takes me to get our daughter to sleep for her afternoon nap varies each day. Some days there’s absolutely no hope of getting her to sleep, so I bring her back out to her “arena” area so she can play while I sit on the couch and get some work done. Today, though, she falls asleep relatively easily and I head back into my closet office to work.

2:10 p.m.

Like clockwork, she wakes up after about 40 minutes (right now it feels like this phase will never end). There usually isn’t even a buffer of in-between consciousness. She’s either completely asleep or completely awake. I do try to get her to go back to sleep, but she lets me know that she’s not interested. So I change a diaper and we head back out to the living room so she can play while I finish what I was working on.

2:30 p.m.

I finally get a shower today! Hooray!

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home} 

3:00 p.m.

I head back to the living room to play with our daughter. Her current favorite activities include rubbing her two new tiny teeth on random objects, climbing all over me, and grabbing the cat’s tail. The last one on this list has caused me more than one heart attack in the last few months.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

3:30 p.m.

Our son is up from his nap, so he snacks on some raisins. He likes to wander around and play with his train set while he eats so it takes him about a half hour to finish them.

4:00 p.m.

I get supper started.  Tonight we’re having roasted chicken thighs, carrots Vichy, and roasted Brussels sprouts. The chicken takes two hours to roast so I have to get it started early, but this is one of the easiest main dishes I make since all of the prep takes about five minutes. By the time I’m done with the side dishes, it’s all ready to go together.

5:00 p.m.

I start preparing the carrots and the Brussels sprouts. In some ways, I find cooking cathartic. Leading up to supper time, I can sometimes convince myself that I just don’t have the energy to get everything on the table and we should rely on our old friend Chipotle again. But then once I start peeling and chopping, I’m on auto-pilot and I find that I’m able to just think while my husband plays with the kids.  I have a chance to work through all the half-baked thoughts I had throughout the day that were interrupted for whatever reason. I think it provides me with a little needed mental “down time” after spending most of the day with two tiny people.

A Day in the Life: Rebecca {Keeper of the Home}

6:00 p.m.

Supper is on the table! We’ve been lighting a beeswax candle during our evening meal recently per our son’s request and I think it might have to become a permanent ritual as it’s a great and easy way to set a calmer mood during the meal.

6:45 p.m.

Supper is done and clean-up begins. I get our daughter ready for bed while my husband tackles the kitchen and my son (supposedly) picks up the living room. We’re still working on that last one….

7:00 p.m.

It’s time for bed for our daughter. Her daddy and brother say good night to her and I take her into the bedroom. She usually goes to sleep pretty easily at night, which I’m truly thankful for, and tonight is no different. I nurse her to sleep while listening to an audiobook on my iPod. This is really the only way I get to “read” these days.

7:30 p.m.

She’s asleep so I (once more) head into the closet office to get a few more things done on the computer. I use this time for anything from work (which is what I happened to do this night as we had a big bundle sale coming up) to meal planning to balancing the checkbook. I have at least 40 minutes until she wakes up the first time, so I try and get as much done as I can so my husband and I can spend some time together in the evening. Usually she only wakes up this one time in the evenings and then sleeps for a few hours, but there are also bad nights where she’s awake every hour. Luckily those are rare.

Meanwhile, my husband is giving our son his bath. They’ll read stories and then I’ll head in to our son’s room to tell him a “tiny friends” story which is this goofy series of stories about a tiny fox, tiny penguin, tiny panda bear, and a tiny kangaroo that I happened to tell him about one night and now he wants a story about them every night. If anyone has any suggestions for more tiny friends adventures, feel free to let me know! I’m running out of ideas!

football

8:45 p.m.

The kids are in bed and my husband and I get some time together! He makes pumpkin pie smoothies for us and it happens to be a Thursday, so we watch a football game together. I like watching football with him because, well, I like football, but also because we can chat when there’s not much action on the field. We’re all about the multi-tasking!

10:30 p.m.

Bed time! I don’t always go to bed this early and sometimes push myself to midnight or 1 am just so I can get a few more things done without interruptions, but I always end up regretting it the next day. I’ve been trying to be better lately and I think it’s been good for me.

I didn’t get the diapers switched out of the washer (which also means I didn’t actually wash any clothes today), I didn’t take our son for a walk (since we don’t have a yard, I try to take him for walks as much as possible), and there were probably several other things on my to-do list that didn’t get done. But I was able to cross off a few things and no one died or was seriously injured, so I call the day a success!

What season of life are you in right now? How have you learned to accept it with grace?

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!