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

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This week’s top deals:

Lansinoh Ultra Soft Disposable Nursing Pads, 36 Count for $3.99 with FREE shipping with a qualifying order of $35 or more! 

Add-on items can only be purchased with a qualifying orders that include $35 or more of items shipped by Amazon (marked by the Free Super Saver Shipping, Amazon Prime or Add-On Item icon).

Or if you prefer washable nursing pads, like I do, this is a great price on organic ones

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Wipes (70-count Tubs) for $31.14 and save another 5-15% with Subscribe & Save (works out to $4.93 to $5.19 individually).  

*If you’re an Amazon Prime with Amazon Mom member, you’ll actually save 20% on Subscribe & Save items when you place 5 or more orders in a month.

Runa Amazon Guayusa Spice Tea, Organic Cinnamon – Lemongrass, 1 Pound for $18.49  Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save.*

*If you’re an Amazon Prime with Amazon Mom member, you’ll actually save 20% on Subscribe & Save items when you place 5 or more orders in a month.

Laura at is celebrating her birthday this week and has 40% off all downloadable Items.  Check out what she has there!  Some titles include: 

Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal Flour — 16 oz for just $7.67 at until August 12, 2014 (new customers get $10 off $30 with this link


New Wave Enviro Stainless Steel 20 oz Water Bottle – for just $7.89 at (new customers get $10 off $30 with this link

30% Off Organic Freeze Dried Blueberries 1.2 oz (equivalent to 7.5 ounces of fresh blueberries) for only $4.89 at Tropical Traditions now until August 10th.  

FREE Kindle ebooks:

frugal simplicity amazon ebook

Frugal Simplicity: 99 Ways to Declutter, Save Money, and Simplify Your Life

30 minute mexican

30 Minute Meals (Or Less!): The Mexican Cookbook


 homemade tea recipes ebook

 Top 50 Most Delicious Homemade Tea Recipes: Create Unique Blends of Different Teas, Fruits, Spices and Herbs 

NOTE: The price of these ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time. Be sure to verify before checking out that it is still free.

Discounted Kindle eBooks

Paleo for Beginners: 7 day Paleo diet plan for vibrant health Kindle ebook for just $0.99

Fruit Infused Water: The Top 50 Natural Vitamin Water Recipes Kindle ebook for just $0.99

This week’s best coupons:


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!

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries & 18 Unique Cherry Recipes

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

By Emily McClements, Contributing Writer

One of our family’s most favorite things to do in the summer is to visit local U-pick farms and spend the day enjoying the beauty and bounty of God’s creation. We have fun and work together as a family, and we leave with fruit-stained fingers and boxes full of the most delicious fruit to eat and preserve to use throughout the rest of the year.

One of our favorite fruits to pick in the summer is cherries. We prefer sweet cherries but I know other’s love tart cherries too, and I’ve figured out a way to easily pit cherries to get them ready to freeze.

My personal preferred way to preserve our summer fruit harvests is freezing because we have a large freezer to store everything and because I also have a glass top stove that is not the best for canning. We freeze strawberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, applesauce, and hopefully some raspberries every year. We love to be able to enjoy these summer fruits throughout the year! 

How to Freeze Cherries

The hardest part about freezing cherries is pitting them. The farm where we pick cherries offers a pitting machine for tart cherries, but not sweet. I considered investing in a cherry pitter, but then found this method that works just as well, and it’s free! 

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

1. Wash the cherries, removing stems and other debris, and place them into a large strainer.

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

2. Using a firm straw (I’ve actually found that Starbucks straws work really well for this), place it at the point where the stem was attached and push it through the cherry to remove the pit.

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

3. Place the cherries in a single layer on cookie sheets and flash freeze them for about an hour.

4. Transfer the cherries from the cookie sheets to freezer bags for longer term storage.

We try to freeze as many sweet cherries every year as we can.

As one of my kids’ favorite bite-sized treats, they’re almost better than popsicles!

We love to enjoy our cherries fresh and frozen throughout the year! They’re great as snacks on their own and also used in these delicious and unique recipes! 

18 Unique Cherry Recipes 

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Kitchen Stewardship 

Breakfasts or Desserts

Sweet and Simple Cherry Hand Pies from My Humble Kitchen

Cherry Almond Coconut Crepes from Kitchen Stewardship 

Cherry Pie Crockpot Oatmeal from Real Food Outlaws

Chocolate Chip Cherry Muffins from Gutsy by Nature

Sweet Cherry Cobbler from Health Starts in the Kitchen

Cherry Pie (Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free) from Raising Generation Nourished

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: My Humble Kitchen

Delicious Meals 

Easy Chicken Salad from Live Renewed

Greens with Cherries and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette from The Organic Kitchen

Roast Pork with Cherry Rhubarb Sauce from Gutsy by Nature

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Raising Generation Nourished

Frozen Treats

Cherry Vanilla Sorbet from Raising Generation Nourished

Black Cherry Creme Fraiche Ice Cream from And Here We Are

Salsa and Jam

Cherry Salsa from Fresh Bites Daily

Cherry Berry Rhubarb Salsa from The Greenbacks Gal 

Cherry Vanilla Jam from My Humble Kitchen

Raspberry Cherry Conserve from Homespun Seasonal Living

How to Pit and Freeze Sweet Cherries {}

Photo credit: Recipes to Nourish


Green Smoothies from Live Renewed

Homemade Cherry Limeade from The Greenbacks Gal 

Cherry Mango Water Kefir Smoothie from The Humbled Homemaker

Cherry Mint Lemonade from Recipes to Nourish 

What is your family’s favorite fruit to pick at U-pick farms? Do you have a favorite way to use cherries, share the recipe with us in the comments! 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

Weekend Links


Links for this week:

When It’s Hard to Call God Father @ (in)courage

How to Write Down Your Goals and Fulfill Them @ Intentional By Grace 

Anyone Can Cook: Remy’s Ratatouille @ My Humble Kitchen 

7 Reasons Why We Should Stop Praising Excess @ Becoming Minimalist

how to have (not really a) crisis, but slowly @ SortaCrunchy

Easy 5-Minute Homemade Pudding Cups @ Nourishing Joy

What We’re Really Hungry For @ chatting at the sky 

From the Lectionary: 5,000 Companions @ Rachel Held Evans 

It’s August already! When do you start preparing for the start of the school year?

Costco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less

Costco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less {}

By Andrea Green, Contributing Writer

Do you belong to Costco?

If not, have you wondered if the Costco membership benefits are worth it?

With 90% of all Costco members renewing their membership each year, it’s easy to make a case that Costco has a lot of happy, loyal members who value their membership benefits.

I happen to be one of those card carrying, annual membership renewing, Costco members.

About once a month I grab a monstrous sized cart, flash my membership card at the door, and head straight to the back of the store where I can find some of the best prices on real, organic foods.

A Costco membership costs $55 each year for the privilege of shopping the 4,000 items that Costco sells. Your annual membership fee does offset some of the savings you will realize. However, if you shop for real and organic foods, the low prices at Costco really do make shopping there worth it.

Why do I feel the Costco Membership benefits are worth it?

I’ve created an extensive list of Costco deals and organic prices. And I’ve cost compared to see who has the best organic prices.

Costco Membership Benefits: Buy Real Food for Less {}

How much can you save? Check out these Costco Best Buys for stocking your organic, real food pantry:

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil $21.49/78 ounces

To give you an idea of how good a deal this is, head over to the Nutiva website. There you will see that you would pay $21.99 for only 29 ounces! At Costco you get almost 3 times as much for less!

Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs $6.99/2 Dozen

If you don’t have a source of fresh, local eggs, the Costco price on organic eggs is significantly cheaper than what you would pay at the grocery store. I save about $1/dozen. Since we use a lot of eggs in our house, I try to buy all my eggs at Costco.

Organic Spinach $3.99/16 ounces

In my area, you would pay $3.99 for a small 9 ounce bag of organic spinach. At Costco, I pay the same amount as I would at the grocery store, but I get almost twice as much. Organic baby kale is also significantly cheaper when purchased at Costco.

Maple Syrup $12.79/quart

There is simply no substitute for real maple syrup. However, it can be costly. The Costco price saves me $4.00 per quart over what I would pay at my local grocers.

Active Dry Yeast $4.49/32 ounces

Hands down this is the best price on yeast anywhere. If you bake – even if it is in a bread machine - your fresh loaves can be made for pennies. Since this is a large quantity of yeast, be sure to keep your yeast in the fridge to keep it fresh.

Other items that make it into my cart are frozen blueberries, organic coffee and whole organic chickens. 

I know I can buy real food for less at Costco, so the membership benefits are worth the membership cost to me.

If you don’t need a membership right away, keep your eyes peeled for Costco membership discount offers through Living Social or Zulily. Both daily deal sites have offered discounted Costco memberships within the last 6 months. Although there is no guarantee they will offer another Costco promo, if you have the time to wait a few months and see, you can save a significant amount off your first year’s membership fees.

Now it’s your turn! I want to know what your Costco Membership Benefits are. What real food items do you get for less at Costco?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

Tell Us Your #MyNewNormal Story and Win a Blendtec 725! {$649.95 value!}

Share your #mynewnormal story and enter to win a Blendtec 725! {$649.95 value!}


Spoiler alert: Today’s video post is from my husband!

Though it’s certainly not a secret, I haven’t written much about my husband’s battle with cancer 7 years ago. 

It was a difficult and often dark time in our story, though from it has come much healing and hope. 

I could tell it from my perspective, but I don’t think it’s nearly as good as letting him share his journey, in his own words. 

I’ll let Ryan take it from here… 

When doctors diagnosed Ryan with cancer, he felt alone. But now he knows he isn’t.

This is where you come in.

Do you have a story of overcoming a difficult life circumstance? It could have to do with your health–or it could be a totally different type of trial that you overcame.

I want to challenge you to share your story, and to be part of a bigger movement that inspires others to define their new normal.

#MyNewNormal — what’s yours? 

We are currently gearing up for the fall Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, and we are celebrating with a new campaign–#MyNewNormal.

#MyNewNormal will give one reader the opportunity to win a brand new blendtec 725! This high quality blender is worth $649.95!

To launch the campaign, Ryan wanted to share about his battle with–and victory over–cancer. And I think his story is so encouraging. And it’s something I’d ask you to share on social media if you are inspired by it!

But more than that, we want you to tell your story… 

And here’s how we are going to do it:

Choose one or do them all!

  1. Email Ryan at ryan at ultimate-bundles dot com and tell your story. We’ll share many, if not all, of these on our site in the near future. 

  2. Take a picture of yourself holding a sign with #MyNewNormal and then define what your new normal looks like, or will look like in the future. Share it on social media with the hashtag #MyNewNormal and tag Ultimate Bundles where you choose to share it (via Facebook, PinterestTwitterYouTubeInstagram! — or all five) 

  3. Make a video of yourself telling your story of how you took control of your health (or anything else for that matter) and defined your new normal. Upload the video to your favorite video site, share it on social media using #MyNewNormal, and tag Ultimate Bundles (via Facebook, PinterestTwitterYouTubeInstagram!)

Everything is more fun with a Blendtec Giveaway!

To make this even more fun, we are going to choose the most inspirational story and buy that person a BlendTec Designer 725 Blender.

This is Blendtec’s best consumer blender, and is worth $650. Having a high quality blender for fresh juices and smoothies helped me to redefine my new normal, and I hope it does for you too.


Every video gets a FREE Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (New 2014 edition)!

The team is feverishly preparing our 3rd annual Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (This is theoretically hush-hush right now, so please keep it on the DNL. I’ll let you know more details about it in the near future.)

Our goal this year is to put together an incredibly practical collection of eBooks, eCourse, and Bonuses that will help every one who gets one to redefine their new normal.

As soon as it’s released we’ll buy everybody who records and submits their video to our website full access to this year’s bundle.

We can only do this until August 4th, so submit your video right away if you would like us to buy your bundle for you.

Here’s to your new normal!


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Chocolate Avocado Popsicles

Chocolate Avocado Popsicles {}

By Rachel Marie, Contributing Writer

The middle of summer means a lot of heat, sun and hopefully fun.

In the midst of summer business of swim lessons, vacation Bible school, and staying up later, we love to have fun outside. We go to splash pads to keep cool, play in the back yard with the hose and often go for bike rides in the evening as the sun is setting.

Always remember to use a good sunscreen or cover up in the sun to prevent skin damage.

Another thing we love is a delicious, healthy popsicle. If you’re wanting a healthy choice, you don’t have to get ones from the grocery store full of unhealthy sweeteners and the bright colors. You can easily make your own!

If you purchase some molds you can make your own popsicles over and over again. We’ve had our molds for about three years. I like silicone push pop molds because they help with the dripping that popsicles often do in the summer months. However, if you don’t have any molds handy, you can easily make these in ice cube trays with popsicle sticks.

Today, I‘d like to share with you a recipe for delicious chocolate avocado popsicles that are full of antioxidants and healthy fats. They’re perfect for summer!

Chocolate Avocado Popsicles {}

Chocolate Avocado Popsicles


2 ripe avocados
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
½ cup water
2 to 4 tablespoons of a sweentener (like honey, maple syrup, or spoonable stevia)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Variations: If you don’t have any avocados you can use bananas. You can also add peppermint extract for a mint flavor or 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee for a mocha flavor.


Gather all your ingredients.

Cut avocados, remove pits, then scoop into your blender.

Add all other ingredients into your blender.

Start on low setting and slowly move to fast until mixture has formed a puffy, pudding-like substance.

Taste to ensure the flavor and add water, milk or sweetener as needed.

Once you like the taste, pour into your molds. Since the mixture is thick you’ll probably need a spoon to help.

Freeze for a couple hours and ENJOY!

Chocolate Avocado Popsicles {}

Check out these these other healthy popsicle recipes:

Do you ever make your own popsicles? What are your favorite recipes?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

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

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This week’s top deals:


50% off sale on Planetwise Snack and Sandwich Reusable Bags from Nicki’s Diapers. Reg. $5.95, now $2.99 each with FREE shipping.

Perfect for cutting down on plastic in your kitchen, or to stock up on for back-to-school lunches! They have a few different sizes/styles for 50% off, and then some others that are 25% off.


Bare Fruit Natural Granny Smith Apple Chips, Gluten Free + Baked, 1.69-Ounce Bags (Pack of 10) for just $23.85 ($2.39/bag).  Save 5-20% with Subscribe & Save. These qualify towards free shipping.


Zoe Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Liter Tins (Pack of 2) for $25.03 (or down to $23.78 with Subscribe & Save).  Save more when you qualify for Free Shipping.

ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM CONCENTRATE 16 OZ.: BUY 1 GET 1 FREE at Tropical Traditions. ENDS THURSDAY   Coconut Cream Concentrate is certified organic whole coconut meat in concentrated form. It contains no additives (not even water). The dried coconut meat is ground into a very fine powder, giving it a creamy consistency due to its high fat content. Since it is 70% fat, it is a rich source of pure virgin coconut oil. Note: this is a food, it’s not the same as coconut oil for cooking. 
 Now through August 1st, get My Buttered Life: Summer edition the My Buttered Life: Summer edition (page 2) and/or My Buttered Life: Gift giving edition ebook absolutely FREE!  Make sunscreen before the summer is over, or get started on your Christmas projects early.


Discounted Kindle book:  Organic Lotion: Recipes for Beginners: How to Create Homemade Organic Lotions For Beauty, Nourishment, and Skin Healing (Treat Your Skin Naturally with … Organic Lotion Recipes Made for Beginners)  Just $2.99 (note: prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing) 

Download a free copy Natural Homemade Cleaners: The Ultimate Guide. (note: prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing) 

Order a a one-year subscription to Urban Farm Magazine for only $8.99 when you use coupon code MONEYSAVING at checkout.

This week’s best coupons:

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Like these deals? Share them! 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!

Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use

Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

Guest post by Nina Nelson

There are some crazes I steer as far away from as possible. Beanie Baby collections? Nah. Mullets? Shudder. Any comeback of ’90s fashion? No thanks. But essential oils? I’m shouting from the rooftops how much I love them. (OK, so mostly I’m just casually talking about them from my little corner of the web – I am an introvert, after all).

Why am I so in love with essential oils?

First, they’re a natural alternative to so many synthetic options. Derived from plants, essential oils are distilled from roots, leaves, stems and flowers. These natural aromatic compounds have a myriad of properties, from healing to cooking to cleaning.

Second, they’re multi-purpose. As a minimalist who lives in a 275-square-foot school bus, I appreciate that the tiny shelf I’ve dedicated to my essential oil collection is all the space I need to keep my family healthy, clean our tiny space and make it smell amazing.

Third, they’re easy to use. Sure, I still use a handful of herbs on a regular basis, but my EOs are my first line of defense because they work so quickly and I simply need to open the bottle to use them.

How do you use essential oils?

So how do you use essential oils? 


Open the bottle, hold it to your nose and inhale deeply a few times. That’s an easy way to use essential oils and one that will help if you’re feeling nauseated, dealing with stress or need to feel energized.

According to the Mayo Clinic, aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions.

You can also place a few drops of essential oils in a diffuser (I recommend the Greenair Spa Vapor Mist) and turn it on to uplift moods and purify the air.


Got some irritated skin? Dilute 2 to 3 drops of lavender essential oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub it in. Or use tea tree oil. Dealing with athlete’s foot? Make an athlete’s foot blend to attack the offending fungus.

Essential oils are typically used topically when you’ve got skin irritation or pain or anything else that would benefit from applying a soothing/cooling/analgesic essential oil.

Dilute in a bit of carrier oil for easier application and absorption (the above ratio works well unless you’re using them with kids – then do 1 drop in a tablespoon of carrier oil). You can also apply essential oils to the bottoms of the feet. The skin there isn’t as sensitive as the rest of your body but the oils still absorb quickly.

Top 8 Essential Oils to Keep in Your Home

There are lots of essential oils available out there. And I’m the first to admit that I have several. But if you’re new to essential oils or you just want to keep it really simple (high-five, friend), consider these eight essential oils a must-have in your home:

Lavender: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

1. Lavender

Widely known as the calming oil, lavender essential oil use is pretty mainstream. And for good reason. Lavender essential oil is great for soothing you when you’re stressed, calming down crazy kiddos and helping you ease into peaceful sleep. But did you also know it’s great for burns? And that it soothes irritated skin? It even takes the sting out of bug bites and makes for some great headache relief.

Ways to Use …

  • Add 5 to 8 drops (depending on your preference) to 2 oz. of water in a mini spray bottle and spritz on pillows and linens before bed.
  • Mix 2 drops each lavender and frankincense in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and apply to temples to take away headaches and relieve stress.
  • Apply neat (undiluted) to fresh cuts, scrapes and wounds to speed healing and kill bacteria.
  • Add 5 drops to a homemade cleaner for antibacterial properties.
  • Diffuse 5 drops in your house to promote peace and calm.
  • Add 2 to 3 drops to one cup of epsom salts and stir into a hot bath for extra relaxation.

Eucalyptus: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is antimicrobial and makes a wonderful addition to any homemade cleaning recipe. It’s also used as an expectorant and can be diffused in the air for respiratory issues.

Ways to Use …

  • Add 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 2 tablespoons of liquid castile soap and hot water to the mop bucket to clean your floor.
  • Add 2 to 3 drops eucalyptus to 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub into your chest when you have a cold.
  • Add 5 drops to your diffuser to clean and freshen the air.
  • Add 5 drops each of eucalyptus and tea tree oil to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle full of water and spray down your shower after each use to inhibit mold growth.
  • Mix 3 to 4 drops into your pet’s shampoo to keep away fleas.

Lemon: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

3. Lemon

Lemon is the ultimate degunkifier. Not only will it get the gunk off of your dishes and surfaces, but if you’ve got a congested chest or gunky throat, it will take care of that as well.

Ways to Use …

  • Add 1 drop to 1 teaspoon of honey to soothe a dry or sore throat.
  • Diffuse 5 drops in a room to kill nasty odors and to lift your mood.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat to remove sticky residue (either from your hands or surfaces).
  • Use 3 to 5 drops neat to remove gum from fabric (or hair).
  • Mix 5 drops with 4 oz. unscented liquid dish soap for extra grease-cutting action.

Apply topically with caution if you’re putting it on skin that will be exposed to the sun – it may cause sensitivity.

Peppermint: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

4. Peppermint

Peppermint can be used to help relieve nausea, increase energy and ease headaches.

Ways to Use …

  • Apply 1 drop to temples and forehead to relieve pain. Don’t get it in your eyes. Trust me.
  • Add 5 to 7 drops to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle of water and use as a cooling spritz when it’s hot out.
  • Inhale deeply from the bottle to relieve nausea.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops to the bottoms of feet to reduce fevers.
  • Add 5 to 7 drops to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle full of water and spray around molding to keep pests out.
  • Combine lavender and peppermint to make this super simple balm.

Don’t get it in your eyes!

Frankincense: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

5. Frankincense

Yes, frankincense is a pricier oil, but there’s a reason for the saying, “If in doubt, use frankincense.” I use it regularly to relieve stress and deal with any headaches that might pop up. It also gets added to my baths with lavender and epsom salts for a super relaxing experience.

Ways to Use …

  • Apply 1 drop to minor cuts to speed healing and relieve pain.
  • Apply 1 drop to bug bites and stings for immediate pain and itch relief.
  • Apply to temples with lavender to relieve stress and headaches.
  • Apply 1 drop to the temples or bottoms of the feet daily for immune system support.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat to scars on a daily basis to reduce their appearance.
  • Massage 2 drops mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil to soothe painful muscles and joints.

Tea Tree: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

6. Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil is a must in any home. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties make it a powerful addition to homemade cleaners. And its skin-soothing properties work wonders on rashes and owies.

Ways to Use …

  • Apply 1 to 2 drops neat around the base of the ear to treat ear infections naturally. (This is the only reason I’ll use it on my kids, otherwise I keep it out of their reach – make sure they do not ingest it.)
  • Apply 1 drop neat on skin rashes to stop itching.
  • Add 1 to 2 drops to your homemade shampoo and hair rinse.
  • Add 5 drops to cleaning spray recipes to help kill germs.
  • Apply 2 to 3 drops diluted in 1 tablespoon coconut oil to toes and feet twice a day to stop athlete’s foot.

Oregano: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

7. Oregano

While oregano essential oil makes few appearances in our home, it’s still a must-have. Oregano has powerful antibacterial properties, and, while it will leave you smelling like pizza, it’s great at helping your body fight illness.

Ways to Use …

  • Dilute 2 drops in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub onto toenails plagued with stubborn fungus twice a day until its gone.
  • Dilute 2 drops in 1 tablespoon coconut oil and dab on skin tags to remove them.
  • Apply 1 to 2 drops, diluted, to the bottoms of the feet when you’re fighting a bacterial infection (every 4 to 6 hours).
  • Add 1 to 2 drops to homemade cleaners for potent germ-killing properties,

Avoid during pregnancy and always dilute before using.

Wild Orange: Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

8. Wild Orange

While you’d probably want to use wild orange for its amazing smell alone (I know I do), you’ll be pleased to find that it’s got a lot of great properties. It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, sedative (seriously!) and used for digestive upset.

Ways to Use …

  • Mix 1 drop with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and rub onto an infant’s upset tummy for relief (a stronger mix can also be used on adults).
  • Massage 2 to 3 drops mixed with 1 tablespoon coconut oil onto the chest at the onset of a cold.
  • Diffuse 3 drops wild orange and 2 drops lavender for a soothing effect (and amazing smell).
  • Diffuse 5 drops in any room to kill bacteria.
  • Mix 3 drops wild orange, 3 drops peppermint and 20 drops liquid carrier oil in a roller bottle. and rub on the back of the neck for help with focus.

If applying to skin, wait at least 6 hours before sun exposure as it can cause photosensitivity.

Phew! Even though that was just eight essential oils, you’ve still got over 40 ways to use them. And that’s not even all you can use them for! But it’s plenty to help you get started so you can start enjoying the benefits of essential oils.

Want to learn more about how to use essential oils in your home? From today until August 1st, Nina is offering her ebook, DIY Natural Remedies, at 30% off!

Top 8 Essential Oils for Home Use {}

Do you use essential oils? What are your favorites?

ninaimagecircleNina Nelson writes at Shalom Mama and loves helping families simplify natural living, especially with essential oils. Click here to find out more about where to find high-quality essential oils plus get a free essential oil user guide.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, it helps to support this site, so thanks!

Weekend Links


Are you an entrepreneurial family? Or would you like to become one? 

Today I’m going to let the cat out of the bag a little and announce that sometime in August, we hope to have our family’s new website ready for launch

As entrepreneurs, there is a wealth of fantastic business information out there. But what’s often lacking is help for those who are starting or running a business(es) while balancing life as a family

We’ve been on our own entrepreneurial journey for the past 6 years or so, and we absolutely love it. It has given us the freedom to both pursue our passions, while being at home with and educating our four amazing kids, not to mention being location independent enough to travel for a year. 

And while we wouldn’t have it any other way, it can be a tough road. Starting a business and working for yourself is hard enough, but when you’re also trying to balance quality time with your family, manage your home well, and make conscientious choices that match your family values (ie. homeschooling, serving, traveling, etc.), it takes a lot of intention and effort to do it well.

It can also be a bit of a lonely road, as it’s often difficult for those who aren’t entrepreneurs to grasp the nuances of what we do day in and day out. 

For those reasons and many others, my husband Ryan and I have decided to launch this new site together. It’s currently in design and preparation mode, and we cannot wait to unveil it to you.

It will include conversations on work-life balance, productivity, goal setting, sharing roles in work, home and family, raising entrepreneurially-minded kids, and designing a lifestyle that matches your family’s values and priorities. We’ll write blog posts, record podcasts both as husband and wife, and also interviewing other entrepreneurial couples, share our favorite resources, and get our community talking and inspiring one another with their own stories. 

If this sounds up your alley, we would LOVE to hear from you! 

We’ve created a short survey, that could take as little as 1-2 minutes, or maybe up to 5 minutes if you’re crafting some thoughtful answers. Either way is fine with us, we just value your input. 

Take our short survey HERE. 

You can also sign up in advance to be the first to be notified when the site is up and running!

Sign up to be on our email list HERE

Thank you so much for your support. This site is not really about us, but about you, and the dreams your family has. We can’t wait to connect with you in this space. :)

Links for this week:

I met God in a mental hospital @ The Art of Simple

When I Learn From My Child’s Fears @ (in)courage 

Goulash – We Got Real

5 Tips for Creating a Capsule Wardrobe @ Shalom Mama (Stephanie also wrote just a few months ago about how she enjoys a small wardrobe!)

Can Full-time Bloggers Live Off Of Rainbows + Hugs? @ decor8 

Sweet and Sour Chicken @ Wellness Mama

A Short PSA: Using Caution and Care with Essential Oils @ SortaCrunchy

Don’t Buy Stuff You Don’t Need @ Becoming Minimalist (This includes a link to a free ebook titled, “Marriage Hacks: 25 Practical Ways to Make Love Last.”) 

What are your family’s dreams for the future?

Top image by Rebecca

45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer

Today Stacy brings you a roundup of 45 excellent slow cooker recipes, categorized by protein type. This is a continuation of Jami’s roundup a few weeks back, where she shared 42 recipes, divided by meal type (breakfast, lunch/dinner, sides, dessert/beverages). Now you can easily fill that crock pot every day for the rest of the summer! I’m inspired myself, actually, to go pull mine out and get dinner started right now (it’s 8am as I write this)! ~ Stephanie 

45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer {}

By Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

No one wants to turn on the oven in the heat of summer! The extra temperature in the house can make you completely miserable.

Not to mention that many of us are spending a lot more time outside, enjoying our family, or working on special projects, leaving little room (or desire) to slave over a meal in the kitchen.

This is where the slow cooker comes in handy. Toss a few ingredients together in the morning, and enjoy a scrumptious meal at night. What could be more perfect?

One issue I have with many slow cooker recipes is that they contain undesirable ingredients, like cream of chicken soup (from a can). To save some time, I’ve collected 45 real food slow cooker recipes.

All of the  recipes below contain real food ingredients so you don’t have to worry about weird additives. There many be one of two that use items such as brown sugar, but you could switch that out for honey or sucanat.

Without further ado, here are 45 real food slow cooker meals for you to enjoy this summer:

45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer {}
Image credit:

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals

Slow Cooker Chick Pea Curry @ Better with Cake

Eggplant Parmesan in the Slow Cooker @ The Greenbacks Gal

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili @ Two Peas and their Pod

Slow Cooker Eggplant Potato and Mushroom Curry @ SkinnyMS

Garlic and Dijon Slow Cooker Chicken @ Baked by Rachel

Super Easy Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Curry @ The Paleo Pot

Crockpot Sweet Potato Lentils @ Pinch of Yum

45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer {}
Image by Lynn Gardner

Chicken Slow Cooker Meals

Slow Cooked Barbecue Chicken @ A Delightful Home

Slow Cooker Chicken Caccitore with Quinoa @ 100 Days of Real Food

Slow Cooked Chicken in a Tomatillo Salsa Verde @ My Humble Kitchen

Quick and Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas @ The Greenbacks Gal

Slow Cooked Honey Chicken @ A Delightful Home

Crock-pot Hawaiian Chicken  @ Sweet Treats More

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken @ The Nourishing Home

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken @ The Nourishing Home

Aunt Beulah’s Saucy Chicken in the Crock-pot @ Red and Honey

Buffalo Chicken and Eggplant Lasagna @ The Paleo Pot

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps @ Once a Month Meals

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry @ Perry’s Plate


45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer {}

Image by RPavich

Beef Slow Cooker Meals

Easy Slow Cooker Steak Chili @ 100 Days of Real Food

Spicy Mango Ginger Beef Roast @ Just Making Noise

Sun-dried Tomato Balsamic Onion Pot Roast @ Real Food RN

Easy Crockpot Grass-Fed Beef Sandwiches @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop

Crockpot Korean Beef @ Whole Food. Real Food. Good Food.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff @ A Happy Healthnut

Slow Cooker Italian Roast with Peppers Aus Jus (Gluten Free) @ The Nourishing Home

Crockpot Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce @ Red and Honey

Slow Cooker Flank Steak Fajitas @ 100 Days of Real Food

Chili Colorado @ DJ Foodie

Easy Slow Cooker Taco Meat @ Rubies and Radishes

Delicious Crockpot Beef @ Delicious Obsessions

Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs @ 100 Days of Real Food

Stuffed Cabbage Un-rolls @ Kitchen Stewardship

Slow Cooker Ginger Beef @ Kitchen Stewardship

Slow Cooker Cuban Vaca Frita @ The Curious Coconut

Seafood – Pork – Lamb Slow Cooker Meals

Crockpot Seafood Paella @ The Humbled Homemaker

Slow Cooker Shrimp Marinara @ Taste of Home

Crockpot Jambalaya Recipe @ Food Renegede

Slow Cooker Pineapple Pulled Pork @ Mommypotamus

Slow Cooker Pork Vindaloo @ Nourishing Joy

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin @ Add a Pinch

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast @ Six Sisters Stuff

Slow Cooked Pork or Lamb Chops with Cabbage and Fennel @ My Humble Kitchen

Crockpot Leg of Lamb @ A Year of Slow Cooking

Slow Cooker Lamb, Apricot, and Olive Tagine @ Real Simple

45 Real Food Slow Cooker Meals for the Summer {}

What are your favorite slow cooker meals during the summer?

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Top image by BozBros