Monday, May 25, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #54

"We gather simple pleasures like daisies along the way." 
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Today we are featuring our "sweet six" posts from Last Week *

{I would love for you to choose a few of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}


1. End of School Year Questionnaire {Free Printable} by True and Faithful ~ I love this idea of having your children fill out a questionnaire at the end of the school year. The information they share may surprise you, encourage you and help you to understand what they appreciated in their education. What a valuable tool and keepsake!

2. Blueberry Lime Jam by Clearwater Farm ~ Sandra shares a recipe for blueberry lime jam that sounds amazing (and easy to make!). I will be giving this a try next year as I just finished preserving over 30 pounds worth from a local farm (This included jam, pie filling, freezing and blueberry syrup! :)

3. Your RX Answer for Anxiety by Dr. Michelle Bengston ~ This article was very encouraging and I pray that anyone who has ever faced anxiety will be strengthened and comforted by these words.

4. Crocheted Hair Curlers by Foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains ~ These crochet-your-own hair curlers are so clever (and much softer to sleep on than those pink plastic types). 

5. Freezer Meal Party in Lieu of Baby Shower by Our Alaskan Family Adventure ~ Loved this concept of having a meal party for the new mother instead of a shower! This would be an extra special blessing for a mother who already has a house full!

6. How to Make Pretty Fabric Covered Tins by Beautiful Girlhood ~ And finally, I adore pretty projects that you can feather your nest with that cost pennies. This sweet DIY is delightful and doable using your old recycled tin cans! 

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 Ways to Enhance Your Link Up Experience to Make it Lovely:

~ Drink a cup of tea or coffee as you peruse the posts.

~ Visit an article with similar interests and leave a comment. She who likes visitors should also try to visit :)

~ Return a visit to someone who has left you a kind comment, the "Golden Rule" is always lovely when applied.

~ Show that you have similar interests by publicly "following" that person's blog. Many will choose to follow you back and that is how a                                                              sweet community is born.

And finally, thank you for joining us each week! It is a pleasure to have you :)

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On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Strawberry Patch of Posts


"Mrs. Elton, in all her apparatus of happiness, her large bonnet and her basket, was very ready to lead the way in gathering, accepting, or talking — strawberries, and only strawberries, could now be thought or spoken of. — “The best fruit in England — every body’s favourite — always wholesome. These the finest beds and finest sorts. — Delightful to gather for one’s self — the only way of really enjoying them. Morning decidedly the best time — never tired — every sort good — hautboy infinitely superior — no comparison — the others hardly eatable — hautboys very scarce — Chili preferred — white wood finest flavour of all — price of strawberries in London — abundance about Bristol — Maple Grove — cultivation — beds when to be renewed — gardeners thinking exactly different — no general rule — gardeners never to be put out of their way — delicious fruit — only too rich to be eaten much of — inferior to cherries — currants more refreshing — only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping — glaring sun — tired to death — could bear it no longer — must go and sit in the shade.”
~ Jane Austen, Emma



In honor of strawberry season, here are some posts from the past which pertain to this favorite fruit of mine {titles are linked}:

  • How to Freeze Strawberries
  • Raw Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
  • Strawberry Honey Jam Recipe
  • Strawberry Honey Jam (No Pectin Recipe)       



  • two round mason jar labels
  • two gift tags
  • one garden gift tag
  • three round strawberry "scrap" pieces
  • two rectangular strawberry "scrap" pieces
  • twelve strawberry bunting flags




"We are to walk about your gardens, and gather the strawberries ourselves, and sit under trees;—and whatever else you may like to provide, it is to be all out of doors— a table spread in the shade, you know. Every thing as natural and simple as possible."
~ Jane Austen, Emma

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Make Your Own Seasoning Mixes with Printable DIY Recipe Kit


"She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."
~ Proverbs 31:14

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, with more and more loved one's going gluten-free, I have had to re-evaluate our pantry. While it is obvious which bulk foods contain wheat, the sinister products that sneak up on you are the seasoning mixes. Even if you aren't trying to avoid gluten, think of a future guest (I almost used taco seasoning on my mother who is gf). Also, making your own seasoning mixes is frugal and healthier (no MSG's, GMO soy additives, anti-caking agents, weird chemicals, etc.). Not to mention, you can chose more quality ingredients such as replacing table salt with sea salt, sugars with a less processed brand (or eliminate altogether) and organic ingredients if your budget allows.  We are sharing the six seasonings we use most often in our home along with printable recipes, labels and directions to paste onto your jars.


Here are the basic ingredients you will need in order to make all six seasoning mixes for your pantry. I prepared an approximate pint of each but larger families may want to make a quart. Or, once you know what recipes you like, then you can double them and so forth. We also live in a humid climate so I don't go larger than pint sized jars or they will quickly cake up on me.
  • arrowroot powder (cornstarch and/or tapioca starch would work also)
  • basil (dried)
  • black pepper (ground)
  • cayenne pepper
  • celery seed (celery salt would work too if you reduce salt in recipe used)
  • chili powder
  • chives (dried)
  • cumin (ground)
  • dill weed (dried)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • onions (minced)
  • oregano (dried)
  • paprika
  • parsley (dried)
  • red chili pepper flakes (crushed)
  • salt (we use sea salt and/or himalayan pink salt for a healthier seasoning)
  • sugar (we used organic sugar but you may omit altogether on certain recipes)
  • thyme (dried)
  • turmeric

Italian Dressing Mix

1/4 c. garlic powder
1/4 c. onion powder
1/4 c. sugar (we used organic)
1/2 c. dried oregano
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 c. dried parsley
1 tsp. celery seed
1/2 c. salt (we used sea salt)


Blend all ingredients together in a blender and store in an airtight container. 

Directions: To prepare dressing, whisk together 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 1/3 cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil are good choices), 1/4 c. water and 4 tbsp. of the dry mix. You could also experiment with different vinegars to get different flavors.


Italian Seasoning Mix

1/2 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup dried basil
1/4 cup dried parsley

Optional Herbs to Add into the Mix:

2 tbsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. dried rosemary
2 tbsp. dried sage


Directions: Use like you would any Italian seasoning mix. Herbs are so good for you so feel free to use liberally! :) We add this onto our pasta sauces, pizzas, roasted vegetables, etc.


Ranch Mix

2 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsp. + 2 tsp. salt (we used sea salt)
2/3 c. dried chives
2/3 c. dried parsley
1/3 c. dried dill
1/3 c. garlic powder
1/3 c. onion powder


{Notes: This mix should be shaken well before measuring each time to evenly distribute the herbs and spices.}

Directions: To make a ranch style dip, add one or more tbsp. of mix to one cup of sour cream until you reach desired flavor.

To make a ranch style dressing (we love to dip our pizza crust into this), mix together 1 1/2 tbsp. ranch mix with one cup of mayonnaise and either one cup of kefir, buttermilk or homemade plain yogurt (I mention homemade because it is runnier).


Seasoned Salt {Lawrey's Copycat Recipe}

2/3 c. salt {we used sea salt}
3 tbsp. sugar {we used organic}
2 ½ tsp. paprika
1 ¼ tsp. turmeric
1 ¼ tsp. onion powder
1 ¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 ¼ tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

{Note: The good part about making your own seasoning salt is that you can replace the generic salt with a healthier alternative like sea salt or himalayan pink salt.  You could also eliminate the sugar altogether though it may change the potential "Lawrey's" taste.  Adapted from this recipe.}

Directions: Use like you would any seasoning salt. We especially love this on our meats, fried potatoes and baked french fries.




The recipe I used can be found here.

{Note: The author shares a "large batch" recipe at the bottom which I doubled in order to accommodate an approximate pint jar worth of seasoning.}

Directions: Use 2 tbsp. of mix per pound of ground meat.


Taco Seasoning Mix


The recipe I used can be found here.

{Note:  I didn't have the onion salt and so I replaced it with 1 tbsp. of onion powder and 1 tbsp. sea salt to equal the 2 tbsp.}

Directions: Use 1 1/2 tbsp. per pound of meat with 2 tbsp. water.


Our printable includes the recipes and labels for the six seasonings (borrowed from our "Seasoning, Spices and Such" label set). 


It also shares instructions for the mixes so that you don't need to look them up each time you prepare them. I affixed mine to the back of each appropriate jar.


It is so satisfying to add usable items like this to your pantry at a fraction of the cost and with all natural ingredients! I store the bulk seasoning in jars and refill my spice containers as needed. You can also find spice jar lids for your mason jars here if you like. Happy homemaking ladies!



For our "Make Your Own Seasoning Mixes DIY Recipe Kit Printable", simply click the menu link above which takes you to the document hosting service. Then, download and print the PDF file for FREE. You can either print the labels and directions out on plain paper, cut to size and affix to your containers with glue (or decoupage) or print them out on sticker paper and cut to size. If you have any problem accessing them, email me and I will send you the PDF file. I also invite you to subscribe to this blog (located on the sidebar) to get updates and access to future homemaking printables.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #53

"Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait."
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* I am sorry ladies, I wasn't able to prepare features this week *

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

 Ways to Enhance Your Link Up Experience to Make it Lovely:

~ Drink a cup of tea or coffee as you peruse the posts.

~ Visit an article with similar interests and leave a comment. She who likes visitors should also try to visit :)

~ Return a visit to someone who has left you a kind comment, the "Golden Rule" is always lovely when applied.

~ Show that you have similar interests by publicly "following" that person's blog. Many will choose to follow you back and that is how a                                                              sweet community is born.

And finally, thank you for joining us each week! It is a pleasure to have you :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Friday, May 15, 2015

The Blessing$ of Old Fashioned Work ~ Part Three

She cuts the lengthy lawn with strength and purpose, in straight, orderly rows. The green grass spurts from the machine and the aroma is fresh and earthy. The dew has slowly evaporated but her shoes are still wet with the heavenly waters. 
Though she sweats, she smiles. 
She does contribute to the income, in these old fashioned ways, by "working willingly with her hands".  
No need to hire a gardener. No need to purchase a gym membership. 
She "works out" at home... and for the home... 
She is a "keeper at home".

"He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand:
but the hand of the diligent maketh rich."
~ Proverbs 10:4

When considering the bountiful blessings of old fasioned-labor, we mustn't forget the sweetness of $avings, especially in todays challenging economy. Taking some tasks into our own capable hands might be a financial incentive for those who are struggling. Not only will you receive the benefits and satisfaction of a job well done, health for the exercise it provides, but you are also rewarded with monetary compensation. Instead of money going out, you have kept it "in".

{See part one here and part two here of this series.}


It is ironic how we pay a gardener to mow our lawns because we have no "time" to maintain them. Yet at the end of the day, many of us "spend" the time and head out to the gym to exercise. Some pay out funds to sit inside a sauna to sweat. We rely on indoor machines and equipment in a stale room while the mower, hedgers and clippers could have provided physical activity the old fashioned way, in the fresh outdoors, in manageable daily doses while being productive and economical at home.

"It has been said that the best cure for hard times is to cheat the doctor by being temperate; the lawyer, by keeping out of debt; the demagogue, by voting for honest men; and poverty, by being industrious."


In the same way, growing your own vegetables will save you a pretty penny! There is also the task of washing your own car, cleaning your own house, cooking your own meals from scratch and the labor list goes on.

"The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing:
but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat."
~ Proverbs 13:4


Perhaps we should consider going back to "work at home" and reduce the excess spending:

A weekly lawn service can cost between $65-$90 for cutting, leaf blowing, hedging and shrub trimming.

A monthly fitness club membership averages $35-40 per month.

A car wash costs on the average of $5-15 for a basic service.

Using the clothesline instead of a dryer will also offer significant savings.

This totals at least $200 per month and doesn't include half of what is spent in many homes on "old fashioned labor".


"Simple industry and thrift will go far toward making any person of ordinary working faculty comparatively independent in his means. Almost every working man may be so, provided he will carefully husband his resources and watch the little outlets of useless expenditure. A penny is a very small matter, yet the comfort of thousands of families depends upon the proper saving and spending of pennies."


"Washington and his lady were examples of industry, plainness, frugality and economy - and thousands of others of the wealthy, labored in the field and kitchen, in older times, before folly superseded wisdom, and fashion drove comon sense and economy off the track." ~ The Royal Path of Life, 1882


The old fashioned way of working with our own hands makes "cents" in many ways! Not only does it bless the bank account, it blesses you with health and the sweet satisfaction of a job well done.  Dear ladies, when you labor at home, you are contributing to the family income! Being a keeper at home is a beautiful, noble and rewarding profession. Let us not forget the benefits that come from your dedicated hands and the advantage your home has financially because you invest your time and energy into it!

"The noblest man of earth is he who puts his hands cheerfully
and proudly to honest labor.
Labor is a business and ordinance of God."


{See part one here and part two here. Part four will be shared in the next month or so.}

*Note: I realize that many of you are in challenging stages with many responsibilities, specifically those caring for little children or with an illness. I am suggesting and encouraging these opportunities for women who have the extra time, have become sedentary or are in financial need. 


This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2sdaysTitus 2 TuesdaysRoses of InspirationTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays, Wildcrafting WednesdayCoffee and ConversationSo Much at HomeHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeHome Acre HopFrom the Farm Blog HopFarmgirl FridayFront Porch Friday Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpSimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog HopThank you lovely ladies for hosting these.  Some of the laundry paintings are by Charles Curran.  Source of information for monthly fees. 

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