Grow It, Build It, Save It! How one family saves over $11,000 each year, and you can too!

My ebook is finally published! Grow It, Build It, Save It! How one family saves over $11,000 each year, and you can too! gives you many of the steps our family took to pay off over $66,000 in debt and build our emergency fund over the course of 3 years. Each chapter is full of practical tips designed to help you and your family build your savings, pay off your debt, and regain control of your financial future!

Grow It, Build It, Save It! How one family saves over $11,000 each year, and you can too!

And best of all, this book is FREE for Kindle and Kindle apps from March 4-6!! So go download it, read it, and take control of your money today!

Don’t have a Kindle? No problem! Get the FREE Kindle Reading App here!

If you like what you read, please go to Amazon and leave a quick review letting others know what you thought! Thank you!

Posted in Books, Budgeting, Dave Ramsey, Frugal Living, Giveaways, Money | Leave a comment

How to Make Birdseed Ornaments without Peanut Butter

Birdseed Ornaments

The traditional way to make a bird feeder with your kids is to use peanut butter and a pine cone  While we do not have any nut allergies in our home many people do, so this type of project simply won’t work. The great folks at Folk Magazine came up with a great recipe to make birdseed ornaments without the use of any nut butters! We made these as gifts this Christmas (notice the Christmas tree in the photo). They were a hit with the recipients as well as the birds!

Birdseed Ornament Recipe

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3  T corn syrup
  • 4  cups birdseed
  • wax paper
  • cookie cutters
  • twine for hanging

Little Helper

* Line a cookie sheet with wax paper
* Pour flour, water and corn syrup into a bowl and mix together until combined
* Add birdseed and continue to stir until combined
* Pour mixture onto wax paper lined cookie sheet
* Press the mixture with your hands until it’s compact (about 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick)
* Press various cookie cutters into birdseed mixture and leave to dry for about 8 hours, or overnight

Helping Hands
* Remove ornaments from cookie cutters, turn them upside down and let them continue to dry until hardened
* Twist twine around ornaments and give as a gift or hang from a branch
* You can lay all the leftover pieces out for the birds as well!

Birdseed Ornaments

 

Original Recipe Source: http://www.folklifestyle.com/2012/11/christmas-for-the-birds-making-birdseed-ornaments.html

 

 

Posted in Frugal Living, Holiday Ideas, Natural Living | Leave a comment

Healthy Desserts! Avocado Chocolate Pudding & Fresh Berry Sorbet

Sweet treats are a weakness for many of us. Today I am posting two desserts that not only taste great but are also pretty darn good for you!

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

pudding

  • 2 medium ripe avocados
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of honey, raw agave nectar or other sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

In a blender or food processor, blend avocados until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed thoroughly.  Scoop into a bowl and chill for at least half an hour.  Garnish with dark chocolate shavings and fresh berries for a delightful treat!

Recipe courtesy of Folk Magazine

Fresh Berry Sorbet

sorbet

  • Frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Fresh berries to garnish

Blend frozen berries and heavy whipping cream in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the whipping cream slowly until you get the desired consistency. Garnish with fresh berries and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Vinnie Tortorich – Angriest Trainer Podcast

Posted in Food, Natural Living, Recipes | Leave a comment

Sausage and Veggie Breakfast Scramble Recipe

One of our goals for 2013 is to fuel our bodies with more REAL food. Here is a recipe for a delicious sausage and veggie breakfast scramble that keeps you feeling full and energized all morning! Feel free to substitute turkey sausage for pork sausage, or to leave out the sausage and add more veggies depending on your own preferences.

Scamble

Ingredients:

  • Yellow Onion – Diced
  • Garlic – Minced
  • Red Pepper – Diced
  • Eggs
  • Ground Sausage
  • Baby Spinach

Directions:

In a large skillet saute the onion and red pepper for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Once the onion and pepper have softened add your garlic. Saute for another minute or 2.

Add your sausage and cook through with the onions, pepper and garlic.

Once the sausage is cooked drain any excess oil and then add your eggs. Be sure to stir and mix the scramble so the eggs don’t stick or overcook.

Once the eggs are nice and fluffy throw in a few handfuls of spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1-2 minutes.

Enjoy!

Note: I did not include the amount of each ingredient because with recipes like this I tend to just eyeball it and never know the exact measurements. I believe with this recipe I used 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a red pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 a pound of sausage, 3 eggs, and 2 handfuls of spinach. This amount made a nice sized breakfast for my husband, our 4 year old, our 1 year old, and myself. Next time I want to throw in some broccoli, I feel like it would be even more delicious with broccoli! This recipe is great because it will work with a large variety of ingredients, play around with it until you find what you like!

Scramble

Posted in Food, Natural Living, Recipes | 3 Comments

What’s in Season Now? A LOT!

Eating fresh, in-season produce is easy in the summer. Farmers markets are busting at the seams with juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, spicy peppers, and much more! Even spring and fall boast a full bounty of cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach, radishes, and broccoli. So how does a person eat fresh, in-season foods in the winter? It’s easier than you think!

Here is an extensive list of food that is in-season during the coldest months of the year:

Apples
Arugula
Bay leaf
Beef
Beets
Broccoli
Broccoli raab
Brussels sprouts
Burdock
Cabbage
Cardoons
Carrots
Cattail shoots
Cauliflower
Celery
Celery root/Celeriac
Chestnuts
Chicory
Chickweed
Clementines
Collard greens
Cranberries
Cress
Dandelions
Endive
Escarole
Fennel
Figs
Frisée
Garlic
Garlic mustard
Grapefruit
Hazelnuts
Kale
Kiwi
Kohlrabi
Leeks
Lemons
Lettuce
Limes
Mâche/Corn   salad
Mizuna
Mushrooms
Mustard greens
Nettle
Onions
Onion grass
Orach
Oranges
Parsley root
Parsnips
Peanuts
Pears
Pecans
Persimmon
Pineapple
Pomegranates
Potatoes
Pumpkin seeds
Quince
Radicchio
Radishes
Rampion
Rose hips
Rosemary
Rutabaga
Sage
Salsify
Scallions
Scorzonera
Shallots
Sorrel
Spinach
Sun chokes
Sweet potatoes
Swiss chard
Tangerines
Thyme
Turkey
Turnips
Venison
Walnuts
Winter squash
 

List courtesy of Mother Earth Living magazine, November/December 2012

Posted in Food, Natural Living | Leave a comment

Happy Halloween!

“Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite All are on their rounds to-night, In the wan moon’s silver ray  Thrives their helter-skelter play.

Fond of cellar, barn,or stack, True unto the almanac, They present to credulous eyes Strange hobgoblin mysteries.

Cabbage-stomps-straws wet with dew- Apple-skins, and chestnuts too,  And a mirror for some lass, Show what wonders come to pass.

Doors they move, and gates they hide, Mischiefs that on moon-beams ride, Are their deeds, and, by their spells,  Love records its oracles.

Don’t we all, of long ago, By the ruddy fireplace glow,  In the kitchen and the hall, Those queer, coofllke pranks recall?

Eery shadows were they then- But to-night they come again; Were we once more but sixteen, Precious would be Halloween.”

- Joel Benton

Posted in Holiday Ideas, Quotes | Leave a comment

21 Days to a More Disciplined Life – Review and Giveaway!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? Do you often feel frustrated with yourself? Then Crystal Paine’s new ebook, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, is for you!

Crystal is a busy homeschooling mom of 3, a dedicated wife, an author, and a blogger at Money Saving Mom®. To put it mildly, she’s busy! A recent goal of hers was to become more self-disciplined. I’ve been told it takes 21 days to create a new habit. In her newest book she outlines how to create a new positive habit in just 3 short weeks, one small step at a time.

I read her book over the weekend and I have to say I was inspired! There are so many habits I want to create for myself! While I have a few areas of my life under control I am by no means perfect (I know, who is?). I have a few nagging areas that leave me frustrated with myself. I am terrible at meal planning, getting out the door on time, and cleaning up clutter on a consistant basis. I think I’m going to pick one of these areas and revisit Crystal’s book this week!

Here’s what others are saying about 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life:

“I loved, loved, loved Crystal Paine’s new book, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life.  Although I am a pretty disciplined person by nature, this book hit me right between the eyes – in a good way.  Her encouraging way of writing, the topics she chose, and the practical application section found in each day make this book a perfect read for everyone.” – PJ Friedel

“Crystal has taken the concept of self-discipline and put it in such a simplistic format that even those of us with serious self-discipline issues can understand and relate without having to over think her words. She also dispels many of the reasons we lack self-discipline, mainly our own excuses, which aggravated me as I would think of an excuse while reading, only for her to soon remind the reader again of the irresponsibility that shows when excuses are given. I was quite convicted of my lacking in this area, yet came away encouraged to give the 21 day plan a try because she didn’t condemn but instead gave hope! I will be embarking on my 21 days soon, and look forward to reading and applying her advice many times over the next few months as I strive to greatly improve this area of my life. Thank you, Crystal!” – Amy K.

You can read more reviews of the book here!

If you are interested in developing more discipline for your own life Crystal is running a 3 day promotion on her book. From October 23 – 25 you can download a copy of her book for only 99 cents!!! After the 25th the price will return to its regular $4.99 (still a steal!). You can also get a copy for your Kindle here.

What You Can Expect to Learn From This Book:

  • How to prioritize and name your goals so that you can accomplish them faster than ever.
  • How to expose the obstacles that will come up, and then make a plan to conquer them.
  • How to break up a goal that feels insurmountable into bite-sized pieces.
  • How to stop making excuses and get the job done now — and then enjoy the rest of your day!
  • How to put accountability in place to help you stay on task and motivated.

Purchasing this ebook also gives you access to printable worksheets to make the process even easier!

Now for the Giveaway!!!

Even more great news! Crystal has been gracious enough to give away 5 copies of 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life to 5 lucky readers! See below for how to enter! The winners will be chosen on Thursday, October 24th and contacted by email. The giveaway ends at 12:00 am, October 24, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Books, Giveaways, Goals, Inspiration | 12 Comments

Final Harvest and a Butternut Squash, Parsnip, and Pear Soup Recipe

 

The nights are getting colder and the days a little shorter. We’ve had a couple frosts here in SE Ohio, not too bad for Mid-October. Last weekend I spent some time collecting the last of the summer veggies out of the garden. Time to retire the beds to rest for the long winter.

We had a very nice harvest of Butternut Squash from the one vine we planted earlier this year. I decided to use some of it to prepare an amazing looking soup I saw in the November/December issue of Natural Health Magazine. It was pretty good stuff! Hubby and both kids gobbled it up! Since my infant son enjoyed it so much I froze a portion of the leftovers to use as his baby food in the coming weeks.

Butternut Squash, Parsnip, and Pear Soup

(Recipe adapted from Natural Health, November/December 2012)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 butternut squashes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 D’Anjou or Bartlett pear, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash of parsley or another favorite herb for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat canola oil in a large stock pot over high heat. I used a large cast iron dutch oven.
  2. Add the squash and saute until golden around the edges, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add parsnip and continue to cook over high heat until the parsnip begins to color, about 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low, add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions soften.
  5. Stir in paprika, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  6. Add 1 cup of stock and deglaze the pot (use spoon to loosen all the bits from the bottom of the pot). Add the remaining 2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  7. While the soup is cooking, heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat (I use cast iron). Add the pear and toss to coat. Stir in the sugar. Let the pears caramelize and then stir until golden. Set aside.
  8. When the soup is ready add the pears and their juices to the pot. Puree half of the soup in a blender (careful, it’s hot!) and add back to the pot. Stir to combine.
  9. Serve soup garnished with parsley or another favorite herb.

 

Posted in Food, Gardening, Natural Living, Recipes | 2 Comments

Why I Love Fall

Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love the smells, the colors, just the overall feeling that this season brings. I especially love that I get to drive by one of the most amazing displays of fall color every morning. I had to take a picture of this beautiful tree, even though the picture doesn’t really capture the vibrance of the color. Here are just a few reasons why fall is my favorite season:

  1. Warm days and cold nights!
  2. Bonfires with hot dogs and marshmallows.
  3. Caramel apples
  4. Pumpkin everything!
  5. The reds, oranges, yellows, and browns of the changing leaves.
  6. Halloween!
  7. Thanksgiving!
  8. The final harvest from our summer garden.
  9. Soup!
  10. Apple cider
  11. Not sweating as soon as I walk outside :)
  12. Jeans and long sleeves (but not needing a coat).
  13. Decorating the front porch with mums, pumpkins, and gourds.
  14. Open windows again!

What are the reasons you love fall?

Posted in Photos | 2 Comments

Contest to Create a Logo for Golden Goat Creamery!

Calling all artists! Our friends at Golden Goat Creamery, Inc. are getting their business off the ground and are looking for a logo for their brand. They are located in the rolling hills of SE Ohio and make amazing, natural goat milk soaps. The winner will be chosen by the owners of Golden Goat Creamery and sent four full size bars of their soaps, including Margarita Lime (complete with coarse sea salt!), Cucumber Melon, Honey Oatmeal, and Unscented.

Submit any logo ideas by email to britni(at)oureventualhomestead(dot)com by 12:00 am est, Thursday, October 11, 2012. In the subject line of your email, put the words “Golden Goat Logo Contest”, as this will help me sort the entries.

Rules:

  • The logo should be your own creation, no stealing!
  • The rights to the logos, once submitted, will belong to Golden Goat Creamery, Inc.
  • All submissions must be received by 12:00 am est, Thursday, October 11, 2012.
  • Contest is open to residents of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
  • Participants may enter as many logo ideas as they wish.

Once a winner is selected they will be contacted via email to claim their prize.

Good luck!

Posted in Giveaways, Natural Living | 2 Comments