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Monday, October 20, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 103 + URBAN HOMESTEAD 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 featuring eggs from the ladies, instead of a leftover lunch. Dinners are listed below: 
  • Monday - Rachael's apple meatloaf (made with beef and pork)
  • Tuesday - Cheeseburgers on a skinny bun with frozen sweetcorn
  • Wednesday - Weekly dinner with friends ($3 tacos at a local bar or potluck at one of our homes)
  • Thursday - Monthly dinner with my teacher friends; John is fending for himself
  • Friday - Ravioli with home canned tomato sauce
  • Saturday - Pork chops and frozen peas
  • 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 Frugal Foodie Frank for linking up Homemade Hummus: Buy or DIY? 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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Favorite Energy-Boosting Essential Oils + YL Ningxia Red GIVEAWAY!

It's not often that I share about our experiences using essential oils, and I think that's because we're relatively *new* in the EO department. What we share here at The Sustainable Couple are mostly projects that we've done and meals we eat that are provided by our little urban homestead. Since early this summer, we've used essential oils for emotional and physical well-being and are really happy with the results. As we share our experiences using EO's, know that we're experimenting with oils and blends that work for us. Do we know these will work for you, too? Nope. Not a clue. But you're more than welcome to try them out for yourself and tell us all about it!

In the spirit of sharing, I want to tell you about our favorite energy-boosting oils that we diffuse around our home. Specifically, these are oils and oil blends that we diffuse after work around 4 or 5 p.m. when we're exhausted from our day, but still need some energy to pull through evening obligations.

Lime, grapefruit, and lemon

I just love this citrus-y blend, especially the lime and grapefruit. I find lime to be a calming scent, and notice there are hints of lime in a lot of the blends that I use when I'm feeling anxious. However, when combined with grapefruit and lemon, this blend is super freshy-fresh and great for diffusing after cooking or while cleaning up around the house after work.


Joy

I use just like Young Living recommends, as a perfume and diffusing in our home. Here are the recommended uses: 


Peppermint and lemon

This combination of fresh and fruity is naturally uplifting, and thanks to a recommendation from a friend (Hey, Courtney!) I diffuse 2 drops of each in my home office while writing or completing paperwork. Peppermint also has other benefits, like these (straight from the Young Living website):


I am also excited to be giving away two pouches of Young Living Ningxia Red! Read all about YL's Ningxia Red products here.


If you're a Young Lifer, you know how awesome this juice is - please enter to win! If you're not familiar with Young Living or are interested in trying something new, here's your chance to enter. You have until October 27th at Midnight to enter to win, using the Rafflecopter form below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 102 + URBAN HOMESTEAD 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 featuring our backyard eggs, instead of a leftover lunch. Dinners are listed below: 
  • Monday (meatless) - Broccoli and cheddar soup with crackers
  • Tuesday - Beef roast in the slow cooker with frozen carrots
  • Wednesday - Weekly dinner with friends, OR shredded beef, pepper, onion, cheese quesadillas 
  • Thursday - Homemade pizza (using whatever is in the fridge, like peppers, onions, olives, etc.)
  • Friday - Grilled chicken legs and veggie couscous
  • Saturday - Baby shower 'back home' for my sweet cousin in the afternoon, so I'll have dinner with my family before leaving. 
  • 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 Our Simple Life for linking up How to Build a $200 Picket Fence 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.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2014 Urban Homestead Preservation Totals

The garden is done for the year, and I am seriously bummed.


Before you ask: No, I didn't plant any cool weather crops. I started a new job in August, and thought I would be totally overwhelmed and planting a 'new' set of crops would be a waste of money.

I was partially right. At first I was totally overwhelmed with my new job, and I could barely remember to feed the chickens, let alone spend an hour tending the garden. Now that I have my feet under me again, I think I could have planted a few things.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 101 + URBAN HOMESTEAD 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 - Pork, carrot and cabbage egg rolls and cream cheese rangoons (from the freezer) and udon noodles
  • Tuesday - Cheeseburgers on the grill and sweet corn (from the freezer) - we planned to have these last week, but didn't.
  • Wednesday - Weekly dinner with friends OR meal we whip up from leftovers or the freezer
  • Thursday - French toast (with eggs from the ladies) and smoked sausage links
  • Friday - Dinner at the football stadium, which means popcorn and candy :) 
  • Saturday - Chicken legs on the grill with a frozen vegetable of some sort
  • 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 Simple Life Mom for linking up 6 Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipes 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, October 3, 2014

Overheated Chickens, & How to Quickly Cool 'Em Off.

I learned a hard lesson this summer, and it revolved around the heat of the summer sun.

We had a fairly mild summer when it came to really hot temperatures. In fact, we really only turned the air conditioner on in our house a handful of times; it never ran consistently for more than 2 or 3 days. This hard lesson I learned involved our backyard chickens. 



I almost killed them when I left them in their chicken tractor in direct sunlight for a few hours. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How We're Becoming Self-Sufficient Farmers.

A week ago my mom and I were catching up with each other; talking about some of the things we'd been up to in the last few weeks since we'd last met. Somehow our conversation wandered to my childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist when I 'grew up'.

Clearly, I am not a marine biologist. I got a journalism and teaching degree, and never really had an affinity for math or science after high school. But, during that conversation, I thanked my mom for not challenging my childhood dream. Never once when I was young did my parents ever laugh, poke fun, or discourage me from those 'pipe dreams'.

And they still don't. Even when I write posts like this.

Back in 2011, I had some very clear goals about where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to be doing with my life by the time 2014 rolled around. While I am reflecting on those goals, I realized that I'm a very long way from achieving some of them. Others, however, were realized some time ago.

For example, one of my goals was that John and I would pay off most of our consumer debt by June 2012, and have about 3 months of "Emergency Fund" money.

Aside from my student loan, which is slated to be paid off in 9 months, we've accomplished this. We also have a 3 month Emergency Fund that we built up last year (even when I wasn't working full time!), and haven't touched it for any normal purchases. Our spending strike in January was also pretty sweet.

Another goal was that we would adopt a child from foster care sometime before June 2012. This did not work well for us, and we no longer have any intentions of adopting. We've let our license for foster care and adoption expire. You can read about that here.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 100 + URBAN HOMESTEAD 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 - Honey sauced chicken legs with some sort of frozen veggie
  • Tuesday - Slow cooker pepper, onion, and steak fajitas
  • Wednesday - $3 taco bar with friends
  • Thursday - Homemade sausage pizza (sauce is home-canned, crust is homemade)
  • Friday - Corn chowder in the slow cooker
  • Saturday - Cheeseburgers on the grill with some sort of frozen veggie
  • 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 Raia's Recipes for linking up Strawberry Apple Granola 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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