Seed Selection Made Very, Very Simple

Seed Selection Made Very Simple

Heather, a friend of mine and a fellow blogger over at Queen Bee Coupons, emailed me last week and said, I’m completely overwhelmed by the options in the seed catalogs. I just want you to tell me what to order. I want simple and I want a little bit of everything – a selection of [Continue Reading...]

Organizing Kids Toys: The Toy Closet Solution

Organizing Kids Toys

If you have kids then you know how toys can multiply, especially over the holidays. Here’s how we solved the Kid Toy Madness issue our house. We took the vast majority of our kids toys and moved them into The Toy Closet. The Toy Closet didn’t start out as a toy closet. It started as the [Continue Reading...]

Habits, Not Resolutions. Here, Not There

New Year's 2014

It is January 1st, 2014 and I have no resolutions. Looking back at the past several years – what they were, not what I resolved them to be – 2012 was The Year That Knocked Me On My Ass, and 2013 was The Year of Recovery from 2012. And so here we are on the [Continue Reading...]

Biweekly Menu Planning Form (Free Downloadable)

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This year, with my son in preschool, mornings are spent shooing two kids along and getting everyone out the door on time. The AM has to be far more regimented, and fast breakfasts and easy, (often make-ahead) lunches are essential. We are also doing a lot more freezer-meal cooking to streamline dinner these days and [Continue Reading...]

How To Organize Your Spice Drawer With Mason Jars

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Like most pretty serious cooks, I have a pretty serious spice collection. I’ve been a fan of buying my spices in bulk at my local Yuppie-Hippie Co-op for years now. The spices you get in bulk, if you are in a place that rolls through their stock, tend to be fresher and of higher quality [Continue Reading...]

My Big Fat Hippie Pantry: A Full Larder For Fall

Pantry Oct 2012 (16)

A friend of mine who’s known me for eight years or so was over a few days ago. She was checking out my pantry and said, “When we met, you had a total Costco pantry. And now it’s a total hippie pantry.” Excuse me while my heart swells with a little self-indulgent pride over my [Continue Reading...]

How To Martha-Up Your Jam Labels For Nearly Free In About 5 Minutes

Avery Label Options For Canning Jar Labels (7)

The pile of canned tomatoes and pickles and jams on my dining room table is begging to be put safely away in the pantry. The only problem: I like to Martha-up my jam with cute labels. Although I have, in the past, recommended inexpensive cut-out labels for jam jars, many readers have enlightened me to [Continue Reading...]

By Popular Demand: Pressure Canning Planning Sheets For Low Acid Foods

Pressure Canning Planning Sheet

A few of my readers mentioned that a planning sheet for low-acid foods to go with last week’s Canning Planning Sheet would be pretty useful. Ask and ye shall receive, Gentle Readers! You’ll find this on the downloadables page paired up as a two-page PDF with the (Water Bath) Canning Planning Sheet, so if you want both you [Continue Reading...]

More Organized Food Preservation: A Canning Planning Sheet

Canning Planning Sheet Thumbnail

I’m a bit late to the game this year in terms of laying out my canning goals. But, with the majority of the summer harvest still to come on in this area, it’s not too late to make a game plan. For a canning overview, I like to list out my canning projects by type (jam, [Continue Reading...]

The Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading: Screening Storage Areas with Pallets

Pallet Screen (5)

Perhaps your garden, like mine, has a dumping ground area. Some place where random bits of lumber, useful but not in-use buckets and lengths of rebar mingle with weeds, neglected tools and a compost bin that’s seen better days. That’s the Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading – it’s when a focus on reuse and the [Continue Reading...]

The Urban Homesteader Food Pyramid

urban homesteaders food pyramid

I’ve been thinking about self-sufficiency: what that means, and what is truly achievable in a small space, such as our 1/3-acre property. The key to eating more food from your own backyard, it strikes me, is to have a diet that focuses more on foods that can be grown in your backyard. Even though we [Continue Reading...]

Burning Polly Pocket: My Clutter-Clearing Fantasy

Polly Pocket

I can tell it’s officially spring because yesterday I was hit with an overwhelming urge to take everything in my house, pile it in the driveway and burn it. In my pyromaniacal fantasy I haul room-fulls of stuff out into the street and pile it up until all my precious individual things have blurred into an undifferentiated mountain [Continue Reading...]