A Minimalistic Approach to Summer

After binging on busyness for nine months, I’m spending the summer purging commitments from our lives. This year, my minimalistic approach to summer includes three Rs: Rest. Rejuvenation. Refocus.

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer Whew. The school year is over. Does anyone else want to breathe a huge sigh of relief with me? In many ways, it feels like my family’s been on fast forward since school began last August. And I’m tired. Even though I homeschool my two children, our year’s been jam-packed with co-ops and lessons. Strangely enough, I tried to be intentional with our plans this year,  yet somehow we ended up with at least one family member having some sort […]

4 Steps Toward Simpler Living

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

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer With seasons of constant change, I often feel like I’m living in crisis mode, putting out fires and just surviving, let alone living simply. I learned about the natural living lifestyle in the fall of 2009 after debilitating sickness threatened to take my quality of life. I grew up on the very SAD American diet, and I didn’t know a thing about natural living. Not a single thing. When I did dive in, I found the water deep and the information fascinating. […]

8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home

8 Weeks to a Less Cluttered Home {Keeper of the Home}

Do you own your stuff or does your stuff own you? Several years ago, my husband and I discovered that the clutter in our homes was eating away at our peace and enjoyment. It distracted us, made us grumpy, created extra work and messes, and just generally detracted from our lives. During that season, we began to really tackle all the stuff in our home and view it with new eyes. We asked questions like: Do I truly find this beautiful or useful? How long […]

10 Ways to Include Toddlers and Preschoolers in the Garden

Childhood is all about exploring and learning to love gardening. Don't force time with your toddlers and preschoolers in the garden. Rather, play into their curiosity and make being with you in the garden fun.

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer Being in my garden is one of my favorite things to do. I love the smell of fresh dirt and feeling the mist from the water hose as I spray my vegetables on a hot summer evening. I love planning what vegetables to grow and where I will put my herb garden. I love working with my hands and the ache of my back from tilling the soil. I love the silence and disconnect from technology. And I especially love […]

Confessions of an imperfect homemaker (and how I survived my darker days)

Dirty dishes piled in kitchen sink, close-up

I vividly remember this one lovingly-but-terribly prepared stir-fry that I served to dear friends just months after having my first baby and becoming a full time homemaker. The beef was so tough and badly cooked, you had to chew, chew, chew, and take a huge gulp of water to try to get it to go down. How they got through that awful meal so graciously, I just don’t know. Then there was the time about a year and a half later when my husband was […]

Quick & Easy Spring Cleaning Chores

Whether you have a lot of time or a little time to clean, use this handy checklist of spring cleaning chores to tackle your home.

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer Each spring I get the itch to start deep cleaning my home. It doesn’t matter if I’m living in a tiny apartment or a house – once the weather starts to warm and the days are sunny, I feel compelled to get rid of the dust and cobwebs in my home. Some years I have all sorts of time and energy to dig in and clean. But most years, I don’t. I’m tired or busy or I just don’t feel like spending […]

4 Simple Steps to a Sustainable Household

Over the last several years, I've made lots of changes to create a more sustainable household. It all started with a few simple steps that anyone can take to create a more sustainable household.

By Nina Nelson, Contributing Writer Over the last several years, I’ve made lots of changes to create a more sustainable household. And while I’d love to tell you that it all began as a means to reduce my family’s footprint and do our part to save the planet, it really started because we needed to save money. You see, we were in debt, had two small kids and one on the way. I worked at a job I hated, but couldn’t quit and we knew that […]

How I Overcame My Obsession with Paper Products

Making the switch from disposable paper products to reusable cloth products can be a long - but worthwhile - process.

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer It’s safe to say that until a couple years ago, I had an obsession with paper products. As I cleaned my home, I HAD to use paper towels. Paper towels for my windows, paper towels for my bathroom (sinks, bathtub and toilet), and paper towels for my kitchen — used to clean countertops and to dry freshly washed produce or hands. I frequently replenished the boxes of paper tissues in my bathroom, and restocked our toilet paper with the cushy, quilted, multi-ply varieties. I […]