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Thursday, September 18, 2014

3 Easy Ways I Started Using Essential Oils

This happened two Saturday's ago: 


My homestud screwed this wooden "crate" to our newly renovated bathroom wall. For what would he do such a thing, you ask?

Well, because I told him to.

And because I needed a convenient place to store (and display!) my growing essential oil collection. I wanted a place that was within reach in our home; a place that can visually and literally replace a traditional medicine cabinet.

Meet my new medicine cabinet, sweet readers:


Since beginning our journey into using essential oils to for physical and emotional health this summer, we have nearly phased out the already-small stash of over-the-counter medications in our home. Allow me to explain:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 99 + URBAN HOMESTEAD MEAL PLAN!

I'm trying something new in my version of Mostly Homemade Mondays, which includes sharing our weekly meal plan. In this week's meal plan, you'll find some items are bolded, which indicates a homegrown or local item from our urban homestead. Of course, there will be a few repeats throughout the week since we try to eat in-season. 

Note: Lunches are always leftovers, and we rarely have dessert. On weekends, we usually have some sort of brunch instead of a leftover lunch. Dinners are listed below: 
  • Monday - Grilled brats (no bun) with foil pouches of sliced bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms 
  • Tuesday - Stuffed bell peppers (with a little ground pork or beef, cheese, onions, rice, and spices)
  • Wednesday - $3 taco bar with friends
  • Thursday - Monthly dinner out with my teacher friends (John will hunt and gather for his dinner)
  • Friday - Grilled kabobs, with chicken, green bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and pineapple
  • Saturday - Grilled steak and a baked potato
  • Sunday - Family dinner with John's sisters - not sure what we're bringing yet. We'll hash out a menu via group text on Saturday. 
Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:


Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Living Life Granola for linking up How to Save Money at Whole Foods to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>
AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.

Friday, September 12, 2014

How Chickens Create a ZERO WASTE Urban Homestead

It all started with these little fluffy butts:


I didn't quite realize how a handful of laying hens would transform our city lot into a true urban homestead. In fact, over the last few months, I've been thinking a lot about how chickens create a zero waste urban homestead. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Savory BLT Wontons

It's impossible not to love a juicy BLT sandwich this time of year. Especially when that sandwich is made from a homegrown tomato, quality bacon, homemade mayo, and has a few extra ingredients (like a slice of swiss cheese, green pepper strips, and sliced onion).

Imagine my disappointment when one evening we ran out of my homemade bread, yet had all the other ingredients for a BLT sandwich.

Enter, the Savory BLT Wonton. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 97

Friends, it's been one heck of a Monday. I was up bright and earlier (brighter and earlier than usual) to head to work at a school about 40 minutes from my home. You'll remember that I took a job about a month ago where I am supporting first- and second-year teachers, and I am working with 16 different teachers in three different districts. I am really enjoying it so far, and don't really mind the 40 minute drive to one of my schools. 

However, I've kind of lost my mind. 

Between managing our urban homestead (which is NOT taking a backseat to my day job, I assure you), learning the ropes at this new position, and keeping up my thriving social life (*ahem*), I am a bit disoriented when it comes to organization. 

Hence the reason why Mostly Homemade Mondays is just now going live, at 4:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon. 

Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:


Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Creating Silver Linings for linking up Coconut Sugar Simple Syrup to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>
AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Canning Tally: September 2011

This post was originally published in September 2011, and documents the food we 'put up' from our backyard and local farms that year. Look for a post soon that chronicles our food preservation from 2014 and more recent years. 

I LOVE FOOD PRESERVATION!


Especially canning. It's weird for a person my age, I know. There's just something about harvesting produce from my garden, turning it into natural, wholesome food, and then preserving it for the depths of winter when greenery or freshness are merely a figment of my imagination.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Urban Garden & Chicken Update: September 2014

Early in the summer, my backyard looked like this:


It was young, green, and oh-so-new. Now, however, the summer is coming to an end and my garden is nearly done for the year. I am not planting many fall crops this year, since I am working a new job and will not have the time to care for the garden like last year. Sadly, a fall garden would likely be a waste of money this year.

Here's what my garden and coop looks like now:


Monday, September 1, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 96

Do you have the day off today? We do, and we're so grateful for some extra time together. We had a fantastic weekend, which included watching our nephew play football, attending a Hawkeye football party to watch the game, a baby shower for a friend, some time on the Harley, and plenty of time in the garden. 

Check out my carrot harvest: 




My garden is almost done for the year. I still have plenty of tomatoes and a variety of peppers yet to harvest, as well as cauliflower and green and purple beans. Our leaf lettuce is pretty much done, and I don't think we'll plant a fall crop. We do have a variety of herbs that are still going strong, like sweet basil, rosemary, parsley and chives. 

Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:

Jess from Scratch Mommy

Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Taylor Made Ranch for linking up MYO Italian Seasoned Tomato Leather to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.
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