Save Money on Homeschooling with the Public Library

Depending on the approach, homeschooling can be not just an investment of time and energy, but a serious financial investment. Books, workbooks, science equipment, math manipulatives and more can quickly add up.

Keeping Homeschool Costs Down by Using the Public Library

It’s not uncommon that a family considers homeschooling, but then decides against it because of the cost. Especially when multiple children are involved, boxed curriculum sets can be extremely cost-prohibitive.

However, I’ve found that I can get a great majority of resources that I need for homeschooling for absolutely nothing from the public library. In fact, the library has actually become the main source of the books we use in our schooling! [Read more...]

How a Crunchy Mom of Many Handles a Day at the Fair

One of the many things you may not know about me is that I was a 4-H girl growing up. I spent ten years of my life raising rabbits, of all critters.

I really did enjoy the 4-H program growing up, and the grand finale of the 4-H year was the county fair. A week was spent sleeping in a camper, tending to animals, patrolling with friends, and scarfing fair food. I loved it.

How a Crunchy Mom of Many Handles a Day at the Fair

I’m not the least bit ashamed to say that my girlhood love for the fair has carried over into my mommy years. Visits to the fair aren’t quite a carefree anymore, though.

My week stay at the fair is no more. Instead, we pick our favorite day and soak in as much of it as we can, then we come home exhausted and wait for it to roll around the next year.

It’s a grand day, but it does take some momma skills to coral five littles and advanced preparations to keep us from living solely on cotton candy and fried Oreos. At the end of the day, with happy and tuckered out children, all the work is well worth it! [Read more...]

10 Common Essential Oil Myths: Have They Fooled You?

Sometimes, as a blogger, there are things that I brood over for quite some time before I finally sit down to write. I want to be sure that I’m not misunderstood and that my heart is also in the right place. Posts on essential oils often fall into that category.

10 Common Essential Oil Myths Have They Fooled You

I truly enjoy using essential oils and am very thankful to have them in my home. But I don’t like all of the myths and misinformation that often float about the internet regarding these natural health tools.

Falling for some of these common essential oil myths can have serious consequences. It’s so crucial to have solid information when turning to essential oils so that no one is hurt, and I hope to share some of that with you today.
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Healthy Living Just Got Easier with the 2014 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle

A fantastic opportunity to become more confident in healthy living rolls around about once a year, and that time has come once again! Healthy living can sometimes feel overwhelming, but with the 2014 Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, healthy living just got easier. 

I know that so many of you want to make changes to your lifestyle. You don’t know where to start, and it seems easier to keep putting it off. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

I love sharing these bundle sales with you because I really feel like they give you the information you need to make those changes, and they give you the biggest bang for your buck. You simply can’t get this many resources and bonuses at such a great price any other way!

Ready to learn more?

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What to Do With Lots of Tomatoes When You Don’t Want to Can

Tomatoes tend to be at a surplus this time of the year. If you garden, if a neighbor does, or if you hit farm markets and stands, you have probably noticed the abundance.

In one way, I love having loads of tomatoes in my kitchen. They are so yummy and flavorful right now! But another part of me can’t help wondering what to do with so many tomatoes.

What to do with lots of tomatoes when you don't want to can

Canning is a great option for getting those ‘maters stored for the year, and typically I do quite a bit of tomato canning. However, it makes my kitchen dreadfully hot. Even more so, I’m finding it harder and harder to devote the time to canning with more children in the home.

Rather than see an abundance of tomatoes go to waste, I try to find other ways to use them or preserve them. If you’re not sure what to do with lots of tomatoes when you don’t want to can, this post is for you!  [Read more...]

The Busy Mom’s Best Helper: Balancing Homemaking, Homeschooling, and More with a Baby in the Boba

I don’t know of any mom with little ones that doesn’t feel busy.  Many littles ones can often make a momma feel extra busy. Many children, while homeschooling and naturally homemaking and more, can make a momma wonder how in the world she’s going to do it all. 

If she’s balancing a baby on her hip while balancing all of those other responsibilities, she might fall over. Or drop something. Hopefully not the baby.

 The Busy Mom's Best Helper Balancing Homemaking, Homeschooling, and More with a Baby in the Boba

Life with baby often means that ordinary tasks seem extra complicated, if not almost impossible. Babies want held, but most life activities require these very special body parts called arms and hands. 

What’s a busy mom to do? Put the baby down and just let the little muffin wail? Certainly there’s a better solution that that!

And there is! Baby wearing, of course!  [Read more...]

Natural Remedies for Rashes

Ever have a child break out in a rash and wonder what in the world might have caused it? Most moms probably have. Rashes aren’t uncommon, but they can be a bit of a mystery!

Rashes can be caused by such a variety of infections, irritations, and triggers. If someone in your home breaks out in a rash, you may or may not know the root cause. That can make managing rashes a bit of a challenge.

Managing Rashes by treating the symptoms and the root cause

Managing rashes requires two important steps: treating the visible symptoms of the rash while also finding and treating the root cause. It’s easy to focus only on the skin discomforts since they are so obvious and sometimes very uncomfortable.

However, by working towards the root cause, you can prevent the rash from reoccurring and get to the bottom of whatever illness or irritation is going on in the body. Figuring out that root cause is definitely the best way to manage a rash! It might take a little detective work, but it’s worth it.  [Read more...]

Honey-Sweetened Coconut Flour Coffee Cake {Grain & Gluten-Free}

You may remember a recipe I shared recently for a very tasty grain and gluten-free chocolate cake. It’s one of our favorites!

Since we enjoyed that recipe so much, I thought it would be a good idea to tweak it a bit to make a yummy coffee cake. With a few simple changes, I had a delightful coconut flour coffee cake coming out of the oven and on to our plates.

Honey-Sweetened Coconut Flour Coffee Cake {Grain and Gluten-Free}

Like the chocolate cake, this recipe is sweetened with honey and the natural sweetness that you find in coconut flour. We love ours with shredded coconut on top, but you can leave the toppings off if that’s more in line with your family’s preferences.

If you want a naturally sweetened gluten-free coffee cake, I think you’ll be please with this one!

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Can You Treat Mastitis Without Antibiotics?

Mastitis is a dreaded breast infection that some women consider worse than childbirth. I happen to be one of those women.

It’s extremely painful and utterly miserable. If you’ve never had it, it’s like a terrible flu infection, only much worse.

When you are that sick, you’ll do almost anything to get better. Typical treatment for mastitis usually involves antibiotics, and most women dutifully take their prescription to be rid of the horrid infection.

Can You Treat Mastitis Without Antibiotics

However, we are continually learning more and more about the potential negative effects of antibiotics. Gut flora imbalances and antibiotic resistant bacteria are two major fallouts of antibiotic use or overuse.

This may lead some women to wonder if it is possible to treat mastitis without antibiotics. [Read more...]

Classic Fresh Salsa with Flavor That Can’t Be Beat!

There’s no comparison between fresh homemade salsa and the jarred kind that you can pick up from the grocery store. Classic fresh salsa has a taste that just can’t be beat! Thankfully, it’s extremely easy to make, too.

Classic Fresh Salsa from Smithspirations.com

Homemade salsa is best when the ingredients are seasonal, fresh, and simple. Summer is an ideal time to whip up a batch of fresh salsa since so much homegrown produce abounds! My recipe is actually quite minimal, but I’m convinced that its simplicity is what makes it so delicious. [Read more...]