Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DIY Peppermint Granite and Marble Countertop Cleaner Spray


Did you know that vinegar-based and citrus-based cleaning products can do something called "etching" on granite and marble countertops (which can leave white marks and dull them)? Though I am a big proponent of the inexpensive vinegar-based sprays, being a good steward of what we have is also very important. Here is an easy recipe using the mint extract we made a few weeks ago that is safe for granite and marble countertops. This spray can also be used for cleaning any other kind of countertop so don't be shy and let's do a little herbal-kitchen crafting!


To make the cleaner, combine the following ingredients:

• 3 tbsp. homemade mint extract (you will find a tutorial on how to make it here)
• 1 ½ c. water
• 1 tsp. dish soap

Pour mixture into a clean spray bottle. Give it a swirl and it is ready to use!


The alcohol will help to remove the streaks as you clean (as well as disinfect), the mint adds a fresh fragrance and antibacterial properties while the dish soap does some old fashioned cleaning. You will also want to make sure that you always keep your countertops nice and dry to avoid water spots, etc. for routine maintenance.


You will find our printable recipe with the matching label here if you are interested in adding it to your herbal or homemaking binder. Happy herbal-kitchen crafting, ladies!
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 HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. 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). This recipe was adapted from here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 111


“Nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home.” 
~Jane Austen

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!


* Presenting our potpourri of monthly features
from the last month's worth of link ups.
Please visit a few posts and leave some comment love! *


1. I Hear Angels Crying from The Legacy of Home ~ What a stirring and sweet Titus 2 encouragement to mothers (along with some very good advice to grandmothers)! There is much to glean in this beautifully written article.

2. Personal Bean and Cheese Pizzas by Faith Filled Food For Mom's ~ What a wonderful way to use up those beans that the whole family will enjoy! A clever little recipe to add to my bean repertoire! 

3. Corn Cob Banana Pops by Brandie Raae ~ What a perfectly sweet and healthy treat for summer! 

4. In Life You Can't Always Be Mrs. Fix-It by Joy For Each Step ~ This is a wonderful article for those who tend to be a bit controlling (don't ask me how I know) and place too much responsibility into their own hands. You will want to read about the beauty of giving it to God (and in His much more capable hands)!

5. My Summer Mac and Cheese by Home and Harvest ~ This is a tasty looking, seasonal spin to that oh-so-famous mac and cheese (and a great way to use up the garden goodies)! 

6. Easy Summer Garden Stir Fry by Angie the Freckled Rose ~ This is another excellent and easy recipe for using up your home-grown veggies! 


7. Customized Tea Bags by Tray of Bliss ~ Mimi shares a darling way to craft a beautiful tea bag! These would make such lovely gifts! 

8. Rosewater {DIY} by Gigi Blog ~ Not only is this tutorial helpful, it is also very beautifully photographed! Enjoy! 

9. No-Bake Almond Granola Bars by Simple Joys of Home ~ These would make wonderful and healthy snacks without heating up the kitchen! One more goodie to make instead of buy!

10. Growing, Eating and Preserving Tomatoes by Molly Green ~ I particularly appreciated the tomato tips shared about common problems and pests in this very informative article.

11. Paperclip Flower by Annemaries' Haakblog ~ What a small but sweet project for those that crochet! There are so many possibilities and gifting ideas with this craft!

12. How to Make Rose Petal Jelly by Oak Hill Homestead ~ I can't believe I haven't made something like this yet! What a beautiful preserve to add to your pantry! 

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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


Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Make Moth-Repellent Sachets {DIY} ~ Simple to Sew


“MARCH, 1846-- I have at last got the little room I have wanted so long, and am very happy about it. It does me good to be alone, and Mother has made it very pretty and neat for me. My work-basket and desk are by the window, and my closet is full of dried herbs that smell very nice.”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Diary Entry

(I had promised more ways to use your abundance of dried peppermint!)


Mix up some of your favorite, dried, moth-reppellent herbs...

bay leaves
chamomile
cinnamon sticks (crushed/broken)
cloves (whole)
eucalyptus
feverfew
lemon verbena
peppermint
rosemary
wormwood



Scoop them into a little sachet (hand-made or store-bought)...


We sewed ours. We didn't hem the sides (we left them raw). I think it looks prettier this way...


You can use some of your old fabric scraps or something like ours which were already pre-cut to size...

Once the herbs are inside the pocket, sew up the opening.


Store them away with your seasonal coats, woolens, clothing and blankets

to keep the moths away during the summer months...

Add some liberally into your closets and drawers to further protect your fabrics and provide a sweet scent.


Herbal homemaking is a quiet, gentle and romantic art that slows one down in this busy world

while giving us time to reflect on what is truly important.



“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
~ Matthew 6:19-21


Note: To remove any form of deception, I normally would not have much time for such sewing pursuits. It would seem like a project like this would be last on a busy homemaking list. However, I save these sorts of gentle doings and desires for our mother-daughter time together. When making these moments of bonding, I am also able to share a slower lifestyle where the loving details do matter, light conversation, some basic sewing procedures, instill a passion and knowledge for herbs and good, pure, old fashioned homemaking. Perhaps you now have permission to enjoy a project like this with your children? Even boys can be involved by foraging for some of these herbs (i.e, climb those eucalyptus and bay leaf trees)!
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 HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. 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).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Through Wisdom a House is Built ~ A Practical Application


"Through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
~ Proverbs 24:3-4

What I love about the Scriptures is that many verses have a practical meaning along with a spiritual lesson. The one appeals to the Martha in me while the other nourishes the Mary in me. Another joy is when a verse suddenly presents itself in a new light and you enjoy the moments of meditating and delighting in its truths as you perform your daily duties. Such has been the case with Proverbs 24:3-4 as of late.


Over a decade ago, I was a different woman. Much of my time was spent strolling through the malls and seeing what I could find "and needed" to buy in the stores. I was not building my house, nor filling my rooms with riches. In fact, the only thing I was building our home with was debt and the only thing I was filling it with was clutter. When extra time was on my hands, I was reading stacks of novels (though they were inspirational and the classics, it was all that I read). I remember the day I soaked in the words from one of my first "encouraging" books that a God-fearing woman in our church shared with me. The author suggested that we women try and insert a nonfiction book in between each fiction book that we read. As I did have a desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman and didn't know where to start, I felt this would be an excellent beginning to my new career.


And so the journey began! Before I treated myself with a favorite fiction book, I forced myself to read something spiritually uplifting and/or practical for running the home (hobby books are a great start!). The Homemaker's Mentor magazines (unfortunately they are out of print) were among the first in the homemaking category and I was at once hooked into the world of a Titus 2 woman! I began to take an interest in all things home. Whether it be the building of a prudent pantry, the chemical-free and frugal way to clean, the thrifty and nourishing way to cook, the healthy and herbal way to heal, the proper way to preserve food, and so forth. I began to devour books on the biblical role of women and prayerfully attempted to apply its truths. 


And do you know what miraculously happened? Those great big malls didn't seem necessary anymore. In fact, the challenge of reusing, recycling, and repurposing became a lot more enjoyable. Those stacks of novels began to lose their luster as well. Though I still enjoy a "good read", I find myself craving more information on how to do "all things home" and that is now where my heart is! This brings me back to the practical aspect of the proverb.


When we apply the biblical wisdom of the Scriptures in our home, we are building it. When we seek to understand what He is writing directly to us women, we can see the created order of things and our direction is established. And when we began to apply the spiritual truths and basic, practical skills of the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman, it is through this knowledge that we begin to fill the rooms of our home with "precious and pleasant riches"!

What do these riches look like? Practically speaking, they can be endless blessings manifested in a multitude of ways! Perhaps they are jars of brightly colored home-canned pickles and preserves (like that of a gourmet store!), a freezer filled with pre-made, home-made food (ready to bless someone in need), beds piled high with hand-sewn blankets and quilts (everyone stays warm and cozy), a cabinet filled with hand-made herbal remedies (a well stocked home apothecary), a garden filled with fresh and healthy produce (a farmer's market), walls and shelves beautifully adorned with the work of your hands (a lovely atmosphere), soups simmering on the stove (a nourishing home), cakes baking in the oven (a whole foods bakery), flowers growing in your yard (endless bouquets), closets organized neat and tidy (order and peace reign), tables set with love, and most importantly-- the intentional grace, patience and care you show your husband and children and everyone else God puts in your path.


Instead of haunting the malls, I have found second hand stores to be such a blessing for providing the needs in our home and at a fraction of the price. In fact, I remember the beginning of this era in my life when my cake beaters gave up the ghost. I was with my mother at Macy's and she pointed out a brand new set for $60. I told her these were way over my budget and I would keep looking. The very next week I made my way to a Goodwill Store in search of a "new" skirt. Lo and behold, a brand new set of Kitchen Aid brand beaters presented themselves for only $4.99! Needless to say, my retail days were 90% over!

Through the knowledge gained in food preservation books, blogs and resourceful women, I have been able to pack my pantry full of food for at least half the retail price and with less preservatives and artificial flavors. There is no need for a daily grocery store run as we have one in our home! In hard times, this is treasure indeed!


When I take those moments to stitch something pretty up or to patch what we have, I am practicing what our foremothers have done before us, creativity and practicality through a common needle and thread.

When I utilize the information found in health and herb books to feed and care for my family, I am  able to produce rows of natural homemade medicine for pennies! What satisfaction to have them lined up along our shelves as a sign of loving provision. When I implement those healthy recipes and cooking strategies, I am building good nutrition around our table. When both are implemented, we find doctor visits have almost disappeared. Health is wealth!

And the list goes on! Whether it be wisdom in first aid and CPR, knitting, crocheting, animal husbandry, crafting, candle-making, beekeeping, soap-making, cookery and so forth...


By acquiring knowledge and skills for our family, we have the opportunity to physically and spiritually fill our rooms "with all precious and pleasant riches".  There is much satisfaction in this kind of home-building and there is still so much to learn! But I am enjoying the challenge of becoming a professional Proverbs 31 woman! It is my chosen vocation and I will continue to take it seriously. I will study, learn and gain knowledge whenever that chance appears. With each time we honor our husband, with each child that we love, each devotional we apply, each homemaking tip we learn, with each penny that we save, with each sickness we help heal, with each healthy recipe we serve, with each item we add to our pantry, we are building up our homes and I can't think of a better investment of time! This is the day to put off that "boring homemaking notion" and treat it as the art that it is! We are treasure-makers when we spiritually and practically apply the knowledge we glean! Let us gather the "tools" and begin to build ladies!

"Through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."
~ Proverbs 24:3-4

"Every wise woman buildeth her house..."
~ Proverbs 14:1

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 HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. 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).

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 110


"Domesticity gives us the opportunity to express ourselves, and the gentle arts are the most satisfying and achievable means of doing so. Domesticity frees our minds and hands and eyes to enjoy often neglected and undervalued skills, textiles, color, textures, patterns and comforts, all of which can bring pleasure to both the domestic artist and those around her."

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 sharing a "post from the past" ~

{This is where I feature a post from the link up archives that I have tried and appreciated.}


Block 1: Gentle Domesticity by Jenny of Elefanz (Archive Date: January 2016)

I love doing basic embroidery (and trust me when I say my skill level is also very basic!). I think it is because you don't need to measure and cut, you simply get to begin the creative process amongst your busy life (and can leave off and come back to it without any deep thinking)! Jenny shared this pattern in January and continues to add each month (you will see my rendition in the photo at the top of the post). The first month the pattern is featured, it is free, so I encourage you to join in as soon as possible if you are interested. I don't quilt so this particular design is going to be framed. The February design she shared (that I am currently working on) is getting stitched directly onto a tea towel (you will know why if you visit here!). The fun part about this series is that the theme is "Gentle Domesticity" and is something close to my heart! If you like these kinds of handwork projects, I encourage you to visit Jenny of Elefanz for further inspiration and homemaking encouragement! 


In other news, we are concluding our 2016 spring series with Beatrix Potter for the season. I hope you enjoyed the whimsical posts as they are quite fun for me to sprinkle in each year!

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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


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Our Favorite Fresh & Easy Summer Salads and Side Dishes


"... the wind changed into a softer quarter;
the clouds were carried off;
the sun appeared; it was summer again."
~ Jane Austen, Emma

Summer is on the way for those in the northern hemisphere and there is nothing I like better than recipes which don't include heating up the kitchen! Here are our favorite salads and side dishes. All fresh and healthy and bursting with flavor!


Avocado Salad Salsa and Side Dish {aka pico del gallo}

We serve this with tortilla chips and as a side salad/salsa to all our Mexican dishes.



Caprese Salad

This makes for a nice light lunch, appetizer and side dish to serve with grilled meats.



Confetti Cabbage Salad

We prepare a large bowl of this coleslaw at the beginning of the week and

serve as a convenient side dish during the week.



Marinated Vegetables

We prepare a large batch of these vegetables for convenient snacking,

as a healthy side salad and for on-the-go picnics and BBQ's.

This will last for at least a week in the fridge.


Though not pictured, we also love the black bean salad recipe shared here, and this is our favorite pasta salad recipe (you can use the blanched broccoli version or the grilled zucchini as the "main" vegetable version). You may also like to make some Quick and Easy Deli Style Refrigerator Pickles to go along with your summer sandwiches. Enjoy your seasonal homemaking! The changes in the weather make for a lovely pattern of life when we embrace each time and appreciate what each season graciously offers.
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 HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. 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, June 14, 2016

How to Make Peppermint Extract {DIY} ~ Free Printable Labels


Have you begun an herb garden this year or perhaps a dried collection in your home apothecary? Do you have wonderful plans for all the creative ways you can use them? Today I wanted to share how to make an easy peppermint extract. This will come in handy for some homemade ice cream, peppermint patties and other recipes that refresh in the summer! We will also be sharing other homemaking DIY's in the future that could be made with this extract as a base! Visit our guest post {here} at Raising Homemakers for the complete tutorial and printable!

What to Make with Homemade Mint Extract? {And More Ideas Coming Soon!}
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 HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadFrom the Farm Blog HopAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou FridayShabbilicious FridaySimply Natural Saturdays and Clever Chicks Blog Hop. 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).

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up 109


"The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years."
~ Audrey Hepburn
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!

~~ Features will be shared at the end-of-the-month link up. ~~


In other news, I have been working on making the switch for this blog's printables to Google Docs since so many had troubles with the last program. Our latest addition is our food preservation planner. Happy pantry building!

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

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


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