When I spied this Merry Christmas Banner in a photo on my friend Amanda Dykes Facebook page I instantly fell in love. If you hadn’t noticed, I have a things for books, re-purposing, and Christmas. This project is the perfect marriage.
I invited her to share it with my readers and she graciously wrote up this tutorial so you can make yours. Plus, we have some extra fun free things involving books at the bottom of this post.
Let me introduce you to my talented friend.
Amanda here: Simple trimmings warm my heart in December. A little touch here, a sprig of berries there… vignettes sprinkled throughout to warm the home.
One of the things I love about a simple style of decorating like this, is its ease and affordability.
The hanging pine cone bouquet, for example, which you can read more about in Melissa’s new release, Pioneering Today: A Homemade Christmas.
Here’s what the banner looks like over your mantel. Doesn’t it make you want to sing a carol or two? Continue reading
With next week commencing the kick off of the six week official holiday season between Thanksgiving and News Year Day, I know a lot of people get a tad stressed out. It can be difficult to find time to breathe, let alone cook things from scratch, and enjoy the season.
What’s a person to do? I can help ya out with some of that.
We practice many pioneering skills at our homestead, from butchering pigs, raising beef cattle and chickens (a proud flock of 6 laying hens), heirloom gardening and seed saving, with traditional cooking and meals, but before today I had never rendered lard.
Well, not in the traditional sense. I’ve saved bacon grease from the pan after cooking and poured it into a small jelly jar and stored it in the fridge. Which on a small scale is exactly what rendering lard is, but I’ve been wanting to do it on a larger scale for some time.
One of the best things about the changing seasons is the new fresh fruits and vegetables that come with them. While we’re wrapping up most of the fresh produce for winter around here, I still have grapes to harvest.
Learning about herbs and natural ways to treat myself and my family is high on my list. The pioneers didn’t run to the store for every little sniffle and I think we have much to learn and benefit from by turning back to some of these “old time” remedies.
When my herbalist friend Amanda shared her new herb magazine with me, I was thrilled to learn all the wonders of ginger. I already love baking with ginger, but didn’t know a whole lot about it’s medicinal purposes, other than it is good for stomach issues.
I am so glad I read her magazine, it may have saved me a costly medical bill later, or worse. While natural remedies are wonderful, they still have side effects, and one of ginger’s side effects prevents the blood from clotting. My daughter suffers from Von Willebrand’s disease (a blood clotting disorder). I had no idea ginger would worsen her condition. I’ll make this honey for the other members in my family (because it has some awesome properties), but her’s will be ginger free. Praise God He got this information into my hands before I needed it.
I believe in learning about our foods and herb use so strongly I decided to become an affiliate for Natural Herbal Living Magazine. If you think like I do and subscribe, I’ll receive a small portion back. To read my full disclosure policy, head here. Big thanks if you do, it helps me with the costs of running this blog and website.
Here’s some more ginger wisdom from Amanda.
I have a thing for home canned foods, kind of like an obsession, but a healthy one. Because there is such thing as a healthy obsession, don’t ya think?
I believe in an emergency situation home canned food is your best bet, and I wrote a full article about it over at Mom with a Prep. But another reason I love home canned food is because it’s my fast go to meal when I didn’t plan dinner… because sometimes I get busy and don’t realize I forgot until it’s only twenty minutes before dinner time. You do that too, right?
Raising your own livestock is one of the best ways to become self-sufficient, eat healthy organic meat, and increase your preparedness in times of disaster with a ready food supply. Because the time to prepare is before you have the need.
Being prepared does not have to be scary or overwhelming! With the right approach, it’s simple and practical — but especially, it’s extremely important for a family’s safety and security.
We raise our own beef cattle, but what if you don’t have land? What’s urban or country folk to do? Raise chickens!
I’m so excited to have Erin giving us the low down on how to raise chickens. We went the baby chick route a couple of years ago and in four months went from a flock of fifteen down to one.
Photo Credit Erin Kelly of Blue Yurt Farm
While Pinterest can steal time, I’m so excited to share this project with you. I love gaining inspiration and ideas from creative folks on Pinterest. I’ve got an addiction to Mason jars, you can check out my board on how to Reuse them here.
Like any pioneer woman, the beginning of summer marks jam and jelly season at our house. Fingers are sure to be stained with the berry of the moment and snack breaks are taken at the bush with the most ripe fruit.
The first fruit preserving of the summer for us is strawberries. My husband loves strawberry jam, it is his absolute favorite. There is nothing that tastes better than homemade jam, the stuff in the store doesn’t compare. Not only is it tasty, but it’s frugal, two of my favorite things.
I love two for one deals, can I get an amen?
On my quest for to eradicate all processed foods from our home, I’ve started making my own lemonade. It’s super easy, cheap, and delicious. But another side benefit is leftover lemon peels.
I’ve been making and using my own homemade cleaner for almost two years. I’ll never go back to purchasing store bought window or multi-purpose cleaners again. Call me crazy, but the smell of vinegar isn’t displeasing to me, but I know many people shy away from vinegar cleaners because of the smell.
But you can make your own citrus cleaner from vinegar. It has the added benefit of a pleasant smell, plus the boost of citrus oil for cleaning power.
After you’ve made your lemonade, save the lemon peels. Fill a glass Continue reading