Thursday, January 19, 2017

"The Time to Come" ~ Proverbs 31 Preparedness Series


"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come."
~ Proverbs 31:25

To begin with, our family is not what you would call "preppers" but we do believe in being prepared. Not only is prudence spoken of many times in the Proverbs, but there are many other verses which support preparedness in general. As the days of His coming is getting closer, so will the calamities written of such as wars, famine, earthquakes, pestilence and so forth.  As these birth pains occur, we may begin to experience more and more of these signs. As depressing as that thought is, it can be alleviated with some prudent preparations (and always prayer!). Here is where a Proverbs 31 woman might act in advance to protect her household. As keeper of the home, we are to consider our current needs as well as potential future needs. As the guard of our homes, we need to protect it from possible calamities within the boundaries of common sense. This is not a post about panic and fear but wisdom and foresight.


I love what one author from the Back to Basics Living Bundle wrote about preparedness:

"Being prepared is a mixture of skills, knowledge, self-sufficiency, and good old-fashioned work... The pioneers and original homesteaders never referred to themselves as preppers, but they were both. I've heard it said (I don't know the original source) that not all preppers are homesteaders, but all homesteaders are preppers. And I have to say I agree with that..."

And I would like to add that (to me) a homestead is any home where the occupants produce goods on their own which creates their own domestic economy! You don't need lots of land, but a cultivating spirit to prepare for those "rainy days". Perhaps it is a stocked pantry, a thriving garden, knowledge of the old ways and the list goes on.


Many translations (ESV, NIV) of the Virtuous Woman share her as "laughing at the time to come". It seems like an odd verse. What time to come? To me it can mean the future. She has obviously invested her energy into her home. She has made warm garments for her household for those frigid winter days, she has packed her pantry and she has planted her fields (this can be a garden). These are all practical and doable measures of preparedness that we can achieve in our homes. After all, it has been done by our ancestors for years!

"It has occurred to me that I am only doing what every housewife did as a matter of course only a generation or two ago. She always preserved food for the coming year as it came into season and bulk-purchased staples such as sugar and vinegar. Our grandmothers did this not because they were paranoid, isolated survivalists, but rather because they had learned from experience that blizzards, crop failures, and epidemics happened. The prudent, prepared household prevailed. Others did not.

As the winter storms howl outside my window and the political, economic, and ecological news goes from bad to worse, I sleep well, knowing I can care for my family during times of plenty and times of want."
by Kathy Harrison
While we do not have the extra income to invest in buckets of freeze-dried foods, fancy food storage supplies and other helpful "prepper" materials, we are trying to accumulate at least a month's worth of provisions in case an emergency occurs. I would also like to be prepared with back-up systems for my household (i.e., cooking without gas, washing without electricity and so forth) and have other plans worked out in the case of the unexpected. What I will be doing will be general household preparedness that won't dip deeply into the pocketbook while still being a blessing in a time of need. There will also be some basic pantry building. We would love to share this with you in a series (probably a once a month "project" with pertaining printables).


This new series will share simple and practical ways we are preparing in case that "rainy day" ever does happen. The worse case is that we will have extra groceries, etc., in case our income is decreased in any way and our children will be learning along side us valuable lessons that can benefit their futures.

To begin, here is a printable cover page for this homemaking endeavor. I will be placing much of my information in a binder specifically for "the time to come". In the meantime, here are some preparedness articles we have shared thus far to get you inspired to start a Proverbs 31 Preparedness Binder: 
The world of preparedness can be very overwhelming! To simplify it for myself, I will be using this very practical book as my outline (I am gleaning what is doable for a busy homemaking, homeschooling and homesteading mother):



In addition to this publication, the Back to Basics Living Bundle shares many valuable resources in this area where I will also be gleaning:


30 Days to Preparedness By Melissa K. Norris

Increase your self-sufficiency and become more prepared with these 30 days of old-fashioned life skills. Learn how to use the best of the pioneer lifestyle and common sense skills and tools in your modern life from building up your pantry, foraging for food, raising and growing your own livestock and crops, to preserving it, plus old-time advice from our ancestors on saving money and home remedies. All broken down into 30 easy to digest articles.


52 Week Preparedness Guide By Karen Jensen and Anita Fowler

You will receive a shopping list that will consist of nonperishable foods, personal hygiene items, daily necessities, and emergency preparedness items. The list is broken up into 52 weeks to make it affordable and easy to accomplish. By following this plan, at the end of the year you will have a one year supply of food storage, a 72 hour kit, a personal hygiene kit, a car emergency kit, and daily necessities to last for months.


The power’s out, cellphones don’t work, cars on the street have stalled, and you suddenly realize, this is no common power outage. America’s power grid is vulnerable and without it, our modern life will grind to a deadly halt. To survive this scenario, One Second After the Lights Go Out is the most practical survival handbook you could ever own, with step-by-step instructions and checklists to prepare.





Your Own 72 Hour Kit Plan is a unique step by step system for building a truly useful 72 hour kit for your family. It is especially helpful if you are short on time or money. If you want to feel ready, calm and confident that you can immediately begin providing for your family in time of disaster, this book is for you. And there is also many other foraging and homesteading books in general in the bundle!


Once again, this will not be a "hard-core" preparedness program but a sensible guide for the thoughtful homemaker on a budget. There are many "ordinary" homemakers like ourselves who feel this importance and are sharing their ideas and experiences that you may also appreciate such as Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting and Patsy at A Working Pantry. I also glean much from the Preparedness Mama (though her blog is solely preparedness tips). Being that this is the latest project in our household, I thought to share our journey too. I hope you will join us!

Your homework for the month:
  • Print out the cover page we shared (if you like) and place it inside the cover of an empty binder. You now have started your preparedness binder! (That is an easy start isn't it?)
Extra Credit:
  • Gather up some books on the subject and start reading! I would love for you to share your ideas along the way as we tackle different Proverbs 31 preparedness subjects!
All the fine print. 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 Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 


P.S. The Back to Basics Living Bundle offer ends in 3 days and is 95% off the retail price! The total value of the bundle is over $800 but is sold special in this sale for $29.97. What is a bundle you may wonder? It is basically a collection of related Ebooks, online magazines, e-courses (online classes), video downloads and helpful planners/printables that you can download directly to your computer with no special devices/programs necessary. You pay a single fee for access to the entire lot and then you may download it to as many computers and other electronic devices as you wish in your household!

Special features of the bundle package include:
  • 69 Ebooks
  • 1 Year Subscription to Molly Green Magazine -- An all things home resource! (retails for $29)
  • 5 E-courses & subscriptions (Including a Gardening, Soap-making & Sourdough course!)
  • Homeschool Planner
  • Homeschool Unit Studies
  • 3 month membership to School House Teachers Website (Featuring 300 courses for your entire family brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine including an educational video streaming library!)  (Retails for $36)
  • Pantry and Food Preservation Planner
  • Garden Therapy Coloring Book
  • Preparedness Guides
  • Proverbial Homemaker Planner
  • Your Simple Home Handbook
  • Menu Planners
  • And much more!
If you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE and all purchases through our link will help to support this blog. Thank you kindly!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

DIY "Liquid Morphine" Topical Pain Reliever Essential Oil Blend Recipe + DIY Natural Remedies Ebook GIVEAWAY!


Welcome to the 3rd post in our ode this week to the Back to Basics Bundle! Today we are sharing an essential oil blend recipe which is included in the bundle from the Essential Oil 101 Guide and Recipe Book by Caroline Vencil and a GIVEAWAY (keep reading for more details)! What I like about this book is that she includes recipes for blends. Using the proper dilution method, your essential oils will last longer as well as achieve more surface space on the skin (making them more effective) when you utilize a carrier oil . 


Instead of paying for the pre-made expensive blends, she shares many useful make-your-own recipes such as an allergy blend, headache blends, fight the flu blend, tummy blend, etc. She also shares diffuser blends, pregnancy blends as well as many ideas for using essential oils in the home. Today I will be sharing her "Liquid Morphine" Blend (aka Topical Pain Reliever Essential Oil Blend).


DIY "Liquid Morphine"

Topical Pain Reliever Essential Oil Blend Recipe

(shared with permission by the author)

For convenience, place ingredients (in order given) directly into a 10 ml rollerball bottle. You could also recycle an essential oil bottle for this recipe but will need to adjust the ratio according to the size of the bottle (and you will want to make sure that the bottle you are using is compatible (property wise) with your recipe. For instance, don't re-use a chamomile oil bottle (which is a relaxant) for a "Get Energy" essential oil blend! :)


Add to 10ml bottle:
Note: There are some sources that think the oil blend might be too strong, please read comment section for a varying opinion and recipe. I have shared what was printed in the Essential Oil Ebook so please use your own discretion. There are so many theories about safe usage of essential oils and we must all judge accordingly.


Fill the remainder of the bottle with the carrier oil of your choice such as fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, sunflower oil, etc. Make sure to cap the bottle tightly (especially if using the rollerball bottle) and your topical pain reliever blend is ready to use! For a quick label, use a sharpie and write the name of the blend directly on the glass bottle.


Another favorite resource from the bundle is How to Make Healing Herbal Oils by Kami McBride. She shares a different method for infusing oil that looks amazing for extracting the medicinal plant matter. I am going to try her version on my next herbal oil and I am also excited about the homemade blend recipes she shares!

Other downloadable resources in the Back to Basics Bundle pertaining to natural bath and body care include:




A video course is also included in the bundle-- How to Make Lye Soap by Constance Beck:


You can learn how to make basic lye soap safely! In this video you'll learn what ingredients you need and exactly how to put them together in a safe way to create the best homemade soap to keep, give away or sell.

And to further your soap-making adventures, there is also an e-course in the bundle:


Lindy Mayberry Sellers has been making handcrafted soap in her kitchen since 2001. In her Hot Process Soap Making e-Course, she will take you step by step through the very same process that she uses to make her very own Sweet Harvest Homestead soap. You will receive a 23 page e-book and a 20 minute video to guide you along the way.


For those of you who haven't yet purchased our Ebook, it is also in the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle and also includes very frugal bath, body and medicinal recipes using the beneficial properties from fruit scraps (yes, the pieces you would normally throw away!).

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

And finally, we are giving away 1 Ebook -- DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson {PDF File} from the bundle {Retail price $9.99}! The winner will be chosen in 24 hours! Sign up below for your entry:

DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson

"Get 25 simple recipes you can make with just a few ingredients. No need to fill your cabinets with herbs – just a handful will do (ok, maybe two handfuls). Same with essential oils, accessories and other ingredients. DIY Natural Remedies is filled with the best remedies to help you keep your family healthy. Focusing on preventative care and being prepared for when sickness does occur, you’ll find everything you need to create your own effective, natural remedies inside this book."

You will find the following topics covered in the Ebook {PDF File}:

  • Tutorials on Essential Oil Remedies, Preparing Herbs & Herbal Bar Soap
  • Remedies for:
    • Aches & Pains
    • Allergies
    • Babies & Kids
    • Colds & Flus
    •  Immune System Building
    •  Skin
    •  Women's Health (Icluding Pregnancy DIY's)

~ DIY Natural Remedies by Nina Nelson (included in the Back to Basics Bundle)


P.S. You will find the Back to Basics Living Bundle at 95% off the retail price for this week only. The total value of the bundle is over $800 but is sold special in this sale for $29.97. What is a bundle you may wonder? It is basically a collection of related Ebooks, online magazines, e-courses (online classes), video downloads and helpful planners/printables. You pay a single fee for access to the entire lot and then you may download it to as many computers and other electronic devices as you wish in your household!


Special features of the bundle package include:
  • 69 Ebooks
  • 1 Year Subscription to Molly Green Magazine -- All things home! (retails for $29)
  • 5 E-courses & subscriptions (Including a Gardening, Soapmaking & Sourdough course!)
  • Homeschool Planner
  • Homeschool Unit Studies
  • 3 month membership to School House Teachers Website (Featuring 300 courses for your entire family brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine including an educational video streaming library!) 
  • Pantry and Food Preservation Planner
  • Garden Therapy Coloring Book
  • Preparedness Guides
  • Proverbial Homemaker Planner
  • Your Simple Home Handbook
  • Menu Planners
  • And much more!
If you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE and all purchases through our link will help to support this blog. Thank you kindly!
All the fine print. 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 Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Vanilla Bean Syrup {with Printable Labels and Option to Can} & Favorite New Pantry Cookbook


This week is our ode to the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle and we will be featuring some tutorials, tips and other products from the collection that I personally love. Today I am sharing a resource from the bundle that has become a favorite of mine and a recipe from it! It is full of old fashioned meal ideas and is shared by a woman who had lived for three years off-grid with no modern appliances and minimal electricity. The reason I mention this is because her recipes are real and down to earth! I love it to so much that I will be printing it out (and it is over 300 pages!). These are the kinds of recipes that have been interesting to me as of late-- ones that are nourishing and can be prepared from your basic pantry staples without needing a trip to the grocery store. I have only dreamt of a cookbook like this -- for the common farm pantry and frugal, from-scratch cook! No need for fancy ingredients to make these homemade and healthy comfort foods! May I introduce you to...




"A Cabin Full of Food" by Marie Beausoleil (349 pages!)

~~ The Ultimate "Store What You Use and Use What You Store" Cookbook ~~

As Marie (the author of the cookbook) explains...

"you don't need another cookbook that requires a shopping trip before you make dinner. You need to know how to cook with what you have...

The Irish have a saying: Better a cabin full of food than a hungry castle.

I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, too many people would rather be in the middle of a cabin full of food because most of us are not used to dealing with food (and lots of it) in its natural state.

Whether you’re on the farm or in town, you’ll find great classic recipes that you can use today in this cookbook. If you have a fully stocked pantry, you have what you need to feed your family!

This book is organized by food type (grains, vegetables, fruit, meat) and written in a conversational, easy to follow format. It’s packed with almost 1000 easy, frugal, traditional recipes that will help you make the best use of what you have in the pantry already!

This is a massive, value-loaded book with over 300 pages of recipes.

This isn’t a cookbook so much as an encyclopedia on homestead cooking written by someone who knows what she’s doing – the author lives deep in the woods, raising four children in an off-grid cabin with solar power, wood heat and no fridge.


FARM FOOD

My grandfather always said to eat food that remembers where it came from.

But in this era of cans, boxes and bags, it is sometimes hard to know what to do with simple, from-the-farm food.

My book contains over 1000 of my own recipes, or ones that I have adapted and used over the years to make my own. There are lot of plain old classics that have almost been forgotten.

And quite a few come from the hand-written tried-and-true recipe books of my Old Order Mennonite friends.

These are recipes that have stood the test of time.

FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FANCY

You don’t need another book telling you how to make exotic ingredients into meals. This is real, down home cooking at its best. Save money by making your own ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato soup and more from fresh tomatoes.

I’ll show you how to put up the garden bounty to quickly use it all winter. Learn to keep up with the egg and milk abundance when you have small livestock."

  ~ A Cabin Full of Food by Marie Beausoleil (part of the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle)


Marie also shares a variety of pre-made spice recipes, a section on grains which shares many interesting frugal recipes such as a mixed coffee substitute, war yeast bread and leftovers quick bread. It is not a normal cook book but reminds me of an old fashioned receipt book. Her book is segmented by garden produce and how to use each one in each category and even includes some home remedies. There is a recipe for bean loaf instead of meat loaf (lots of bean recipes) that I am eager to try (lots of frugal recipes in general)! This book retails on Amazon for $23.99 so you are really getting a great deal for it in this "Back to Basics Living" Bundle as it is included with 70 other resources for $29.97 (yes, for $4 more and you get an enormous amount of downloadable e-courses, books, charts, organizational printables and much more)! 



This is probably one of her fanciest recipes that I am sharing today as it uses a vanilla bean (while the remainder of the book focuses on common pantry ingredients, garden harvests and animal products) but as a coffee lover, I had to try it! Marie mentions what a nice gift it would make and I must agree (I am sharing some vanilla bean syrup labels in case you would like to make some!).



She also says to drizzle it over baked goods, add to hot beverages or stew fresh fruit with it. I would like to add that you could even create the fancy cold coffee drinks with it! A bit of leftover morning coffee from the fridge... a splash of cream, a few cubes of ice, a drizzle of this syrup and you have an iced vanilla coffee.



Vanilla Bean Syrup Recipe 

(shared with permission by the author)

Bring to a simmer the following ingredients in a small saucepan:
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 vanilla beans (split lengthwise and scraped) *
Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into 2 half-pint jars. Make sure to distribute the beans into each jar. You can refrigerate once cool or you can preserve it for your pantry she says. To do so, wipe the jar rims, apply lids and rings and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner for a shelf stable syrup. Do make sure your jars have been sterilized first if you opt to can the syrup like I did.

* I get our vanilla beans on eBay from a French merchant as they are much more affordable this way.



Other homemaking books included in the bundle from the "Cooking From Scratch" section are:




The "Gluten Free Muffins" cookbook is something I am really interested in since my daughter is affected by gluten. These recipes are all with whole food ingredients which I really appreciate. We are also beginning to dabble with sourdough (which she seems to tolerate well since the gluten is eaten in the fermenting process) and so I look forward to digging into 'The Discovering Sourdough" resource. The "How to Become a Better Home Cook" is a 101 booklet for those who are ready to begin cooking their own meals. The author also shares a few of her favorite recipes and they all look delicious and like something our family will eat! There is even a "10-Minute Prep Freezer Meal" e-book in this mix!

There are also a few books which are "meal planning" inspired! You are shown step by step instructions on how to menu plan. The author also shares a month's worth of her meal plans. The bundle also includes two other meal planning recipe books which are created for your convenience and nutrition in mind. If you are interested in testing out some of the new kinds of healthier eating concepts out there, there is a a 4-week menu complete with simple and delicious grain-free and dairy-free recipes and done-for-you grocery lists. We tried the "grain-free dinner roll" recipe with our tuna sandwiches for lunch and it was delicious! The same author also shares a booklet for a 4-week menu complete with simple and delicious gluten-free recipes and done-for-you grocery lists. Many of these recipes will be used when some of our family members come to dinner that have dietary restrictions and I am grateful for these resources!


And lastly, for those of you who haven't yet purchased our Ebook, it is also in the "Back to Basics Living" Bundle and includes very frugal recipes to enhance your meals using fruit scraps (yes, the pieces you would normally throw away!). Are you interested?


You will find the bundle at 95% off the retail price for this week only. The total value of the bundle is over $800 but is sold special in this sale for $29.97. What is a bundle you may wonder? It is basically a collection of related Ebooks, online magazines, e-courses (online classes), subscriptions website memberships, video downloads and helpful printables/planners. You pay a single fee for access to the entire lot and then you may download it to as many computers and other electronic devices as you wish in your household!

Special features of the bundle package include:
  • 69 Ebooks 
  • 1 Year Subscription to Molly Green Magazine -- All things home! (retails for $29)
  • 5 E-courses (Including a Gardening, Soapmaking & Sourdough course!)
  • Homeschool Planner
  • Homeschool Unit Studies
  • 3 month membership to School House Teachers Website (Featuring 300 courses for your entire family brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine!) 
  • Pantry and Food Preservation Planner
  • Garden Therapy Coloring Book
  • Preparedness Guides
  • Proverbial Homemaker Planner
  • Your Simple Home Handbook
  • Menu Planners
  • And much more!
If you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE and all purchases through our link will help to support this blog. Thank you kindly!
All the fine print. 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 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 


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