On Badly Behaved Adults & Doing Good to Others

Today, I was leaving the store with my three little kids. It had been particularly crowded with all the holiday shopping, but the kids had been miraculously well-behaved. We survived the trip, cashed out, and steered our cart toward the exit.

As we were leaving, we heard raised voices. An older man and middle aged woman were shouting at each other on the way out to the parking lot. When we walked outside, their voices became louder, and profanity after profanity started spewing from the man’s mouth.

My children gaped at this behavior. They silently stared as our cart approached.

I was feeling more and more offended that they weren’t thinking of my children as we walked past. My kids, who are seeing all the signs and cards that proclaim the season “Merry & Bright.” My beautiful children, to whom I am nearly always repeating myself about not screaming or hitting, being patient, using kind words.

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Simple Slow Cooker Pork and Cabbage

This simple slow cooker pork and cabbage recipe is quick to throw together and delicious to come back to after a day at work. It’s appealing to a broad range of tastes, and perfectly warming and comfortable on a chilly autumn or fall evening.

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When I was a kid, I wanted nothing to do with cabbage. Even in my college years, I turned my nose at the stuff. I remember one occasion when a family who didn’t have many worldly possessions invited us over for cabbage soup. They were so excited to share their favorite meal. I am ashamed to say that I gagged down a bowl and didn’t accept a second helping. I just couldn’t bring myself to get over the fact that it was cabbage.

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Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

Brown paper packages tied up with strings- these are a few of my favorite things!  For real. I love frugal gift wrap that is both unpretentious and pretty.

sixfrugalgiftwrap

I hate that wrapping a present can often cost just as much as (or sometimes more than!) the gift itself. I cringe every time I actually have to buy something to wrap up a gift. Beyond the cost, the amount of waste that gift wrap creates is incredible- anybody else have 2 or 3 kitchen garbage bags of wrapping paper to throw out after its short-lived purpose was fulfilled?

For the past few years, we started looking for other ways to wrap our gifts. We stared finding free gift wrap all over the place by using recycled and/or reusable material. Here are some ideas for you to try!

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Healthier Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite winter treats after chilly morning chores or an afternoon of snow-day play. However, the sugar-ridden packets of hot cocoa mix probably aren’t an ideal way to enjoy the drink. Hence, the need for a healthier hot chocolate!

Healthier Hot Chocolate

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You’ll find a gamut of hot chocolate mix recipes on the internet, usually full of sugar and powdered milk. It’s nice to have something pre-made on occasion, but to me, it’s not all that much more convenient than making it fresh. (Besides, fresh just tastes better!)

Here’s the guilt-free recipe that I make for our family.

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Why We Quit Raising Meat Rabbits

Anti-Overwhelm Strategy #1: Quit Raising Meat Rabbits.

There are SO many great reasons to raise meat rabbits. They are one of the least expensive sources of lean protein because they grow out to processing weight so quickly. They are prolific, producing litters of 6-10 or more kits with each breeding. They’re tasty, healthy, and don’t require a lot of space or pricey equipment.

However, we found that meat rabbits are just not a good fit for our family. Some of the very same things that are such great benefits to raising rabbits are also a detriment for families like ours. Let me explain what I mean.

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Jewelweed Plantain Soap (Homemade!)

Jewelweed and plantain are common weeds, both easily located, identified, and prized for their soothing, healing properties. They are a perfectly intuitive combination for calming homemade bath products. Today, I am so excited to share a jewelweed plantain soap recipe from Jan Berry of The Nerdy Farm Wife!

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Saying Goodbye to Homestead Overwhelm

Homestead overwhelm: it’s a real thing. In fact, being overwhelmed is such a common theme in my life that it hardly seems necessary to mention it anymore. I am a lady with too much going on.

Apparently, I like to revisit this problem repeatedly. I think I can take on the world, then I realize can’t keep up. So, I melt down and give up certain things. Then I am happy for a while– until I decide to try it all over again.

This summer, we planted a garden and built a new chicken coop. We had good intentions to try to improve the systems we have established to help our homestead become more efficient.

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Apples, Apples Everywhere

It’s officially fall, and apple season is in full swing here in Pennsylvania. Our trees have apples. We bought apples from an orchard. Our neighbors have brought us apples. My mom brought us apples. My friend offered apple picking from her tree. I think I’ve been dreaming apples.

Apples, Apples Everywhere!So what does one do with so many apples?

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How to Make Homemade Chicken or Turkey Stock

For many of us, there’s not much more nostalgic or comforting than a delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup. Condensed soups, and even higher-quality commercial canned soups, can hardly compare to the taste of the homemade chicken or turkey stock. And if you didn’t know it already, there are many health benefits to homemade stock as well. It’s so much better than bullion!

How to Make Homemade Stock

The good news is that making your own stock is simple, delicious, and almost free (once you’ve bought the bird, of course). It takes a few minutes to get it started, and maybe another 15 minutes to strain it and store it at the end- but that’s a small price to pay compared to purchasing stock at the store.

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How to Make Homemade Yogurt

There are a gazillion and one “how to make homemade yogurt” posts out there, so I don’t offer any new knowledge here when I write this. However, I may bring the knowledge to a new audience, and that is what I care about!

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

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Homemade yogurt is really simple to make, at least half the cost of store-bought yogurt, and healthier because you can control what goes in it. In only has 2 ingredients, and takes only a couple minutes at each step. It’s also a perfect way to help me get in some inexpensive, healthy protein and gut functionality when I’m on my $25 grocery challenge to myself.

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