Thursday, September 26, 2013

Taking a break

Hello Friends,
    I just wanted to let you all know I'll be taking a blogging break.  I need to evaluate some aspects of my life.  So I'll still be announcing the giveaway winner on October 1st. I want to thank everyone who has followed my blog and cared enough to comment.  You taking time out of your day to stop and visit has meant the world to me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My 250th Post!

Good Morning Blogging Friends!
   This is my 250th blog post!  I never imagined that when I started my humble little blog, I would ever have anyone reading my blog, let alone following it!  Who knew I had that much to say that someone else would be interested to read!  I am so flattered to have blogging friends commenting on my posts and so happy to be building relationships with wonderful women all over the country and world.  To all of my readers, I thank you!
    In honor of the milestone of my 250th blog post, I an having a giveaway for a Fall decorating package.
Pumpkins, crow, wooden pumpkin shelf sitters, silk leaves, and a 9 foot long Happy Halloween banner.
In order to get an entry for this giveaway, you must publically follow my blog--following by e-mail is not included.  Then you must post a comment on this blog to get your first entry.  To get a second entry, post a link on your blog about my giveaway and then post a comment saying you have done this.  To get a third entry, post about my giveaway on your Facebook page then post a comment here saying you have done so.  So you can have a maximum of 3 chances to win! I would like to wish you all good luck and the winner will be randomly chosen October 1st, 2013! 
Again , thank you to all who have stopped by my blog to visit and I hope you come back real soon!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Giveaway is coming!

Hello all,
Welcome to the Herb and Botanicals Homestead Blog!  I have been blogging for a little over 2 years now and this is my 249th post!  Who knew I had so much to talk/write about!  Heee heee!  Well, I am planning a giveaway in honor of my 250th post.   Monday morning, I will be posting details about the giveaway.  Remember, in order to qualify for the giveaway, you must be a public follower.  Following by e-mail is not enough.  You must sign up as a follower of my blog!  So if you are not publically following my blog, please do so and comment on Monday’s post.  If you share this giveaway on your blog, you get an entry, if you post on facebook, you get another entry.  Just comment when you have completed these things!   Good luck to all and thanks so much for your support and comments—it means so much to me.  Remember to stop back Monday to see the giveaway!

Bloggy Blessings,


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Batch cooking to save time and money! 2

      It’s time again to share another way I batch cook  main dishes for my family. Meatloaf is a great food to batch cook.  I won’t give you a recipe, because everyone has a favorite meatloaf recipe(Lol). Just use 3 times the ingredients and make up a triple batch. 
I use my bread  loaf pans to cook mine in and it makes a perfect sized meatloaf for our family.   Once supper is over and your family has inhaled your wonderful meatloaf, just wrap the other 2 in plastic wrap then foil and freeze.  The night before you want to serve meatloaf again, just put it into the refrigerator to thaw.  Bake on 350 degrees until meat loaf is 165 degrees inside.  And there you have it--make a triple batch ,and cook all 3 loaves at the same time to save time and money!
Bountiful Blessings,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Last Weeks Savings

     Hello, come on in and sit a spell!  Have a glass of tea and make yourself at home!  What were you able to accomplish last week to save money? Well, I had a busy weekend-had two separate cake orders.  One for Saturday-36 cupcakes and a 6 inch Grad cap cake and one for Sunday—2 half sheet cakes.  I was able to take the money and add to my pantry.  Meijer had a 10 for 10 and get the 11th free sale so I stocked up on Tom’s favorite pretzels, spaghetti sauce, and a few more good deals.   I also bought 10 jars of salsa which are regularly $2.39 –on sale for 99 cents! This will do us for the winter!  I wish I had been able to make homemade but I wasn’t able to get my garden planted due to my surgery in May.
   I have been buying beef/soup bones for the last few months to make a pot of beef bone broth. I have it simmering and the house smells amazing.  I will be canning it when I get home from work tonight.  Providing wholesome nutritious food for my family is so fulfilling, don’t you think?
   I found hair barrettes and pony holders at the grocery store marked down to 25 cents from a dollar so I bought some for my Grandbaby and my nieces for Christmas.  How is your Christmas crafting and shopping coming along?  I am just about half way done right now.   I have also started stocking up on my Christmas food list. I always go overboard buying all sorts of yummy things for Christmas-I always bust the budget in December so I am trying to start early so I can stick to my budget. We always have an abundance of food so I would like to cut back and simplify the entire Holiday season. 
    I had ordered and paid for a beautiful leaded glass door and sidelights back in the summer.  Well, to make a long story short, It finally arrived at the store but it was built wrong.  Have you ever seen an out swinging door in a family home?  Neither have I.  So after great thought (I wasn’t sure about the door-I wanted it but was it needed) I decided to ask for my money back.  I was so frustrated but at the same time relieved that I would be getting the massive amount of money back.  Do we need a new front door?  Heck yes, but do we need that expensive door—No, not really.  I almost feel like it was a sign from God that I was not supposed to get this beautiful, expensive door that I would have been so proud of. Pride goeth and all that.
   So I saved a boat load of money by cancelling the door purchase.  I think I will be checking in with the local Habitat for Humanity Restores for doors.  Buying a door there would be such a blessing to my budget and help build houses for the less fortunate.  That, I think, is a win- win!

  Well, thanks for stopping by!  Hope to chat with you again real soon!
Frugal Blessings y’all,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Want a garden or a bigger garden? Get started now!


      With the world in the shape it is in, I want to try to be more self- sufficient.  What about you?  Do you want to be totally dependent on the grocery stores for your food?  In an emergency, do you want to wait for the Government to rescue you? What would it hurt to grow more of your own food?  It would be so much healthier and cheaper to grow your own food and make you feel more secure in the event of a job loss or even in an emergency situation.
    So how can you grow more of your own food?  Well, if you are in an apartment, grow in planters in the window or on your balcony or deck.  Many veggies can be grown in containers-there is even a new Deck Corn seed available at Burpee!  Carrots, radish, lettuce, and spinach are also great container plantings!
    If you have a yard, put space to productive use instead of just having water guzzling grass. You will have less grass to mow and have more homegrown food.  No tiller—no problem!  Lasagna or layered beds are so easy!  Just cover the ground with layers and layers of wet newspaper, then layer straw, compost, leaves, grass clippings, egg shells, and dirt on top.  Then voila!  You have a bed of great soil to use in the Spring for growing your own veggies! 
    Plant dwarf fruit trees in your front yard.  Just mulch around them and landscape with flowers or more fruit bushes like blueberries. Plant perennial rhubarb in a flower bed—it will provide beautiful color and valuable food for the family. Love Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie!  Plant Strawberry plants in a flower bed—ground cover with a fruit bonus!  Plant peas along a fence for a ready- made trellis for them to grow on.  You are limited only by your imagination(and maybe zoning rules but that is a story for another day!)  Get creative and grow more goodness for your family!
   I challenge you to grow more of your own food for your family!  If you already garden, increase the size of your garden. If you garden now then get chickens or rabbits to provide eggs, food, and manure to help with garden production.  We can make a difference in our families’ lives, both health wise and budget wise so start preparing now to have more garden space next Spring!
Come on, Let’s Grow Girls!
Garden Blessings to you all,

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How's the Weather at your House?

  Have I told you I love Fall weather?  I know it isn't officially Fall, but the weather has started to change here in Ky.  Nice days with highs in the low 70's and cool nights down to the low 50's. Can you say PERFECT?   I really love the cooler crisp temps!  I sweat or glow like no other in the heat of the Summer so I am ecstatic when the weather starts to change. Did I tell you I love Fall???  Ok, ok........ you get the point!  Brisk temps, lower electric bills (Lol), caramel apples, warm apple cider, and pumpkins--all bring joy to my heart!

  How is the weather at your house?

Cool Blessings,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quote of the Week

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and energy into something positive.
                                                            -Lee Iacocca 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Batch Cooking to save time and money!


 Hello all,

  Cooking  once and  eating 3 times is a great way to save time and money!    One of my favorite things to cook in bulk is Pork Tenderloin.  I am able to buy pork tenderloin at our local Meijer for $1.49-$1.89 on sale.  When I find them this cheap, I buy several for our freezer.   The crockpot (my favorite appliance) is my friend in the kitchen!  Just put the whole tenderloin into the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  You can salt and pepper if you want.
  When done, I slice/pull the tenderloin apart. 

At this point, you can use it all to make BBQ or take out several baggies full to freeze for later meals.  I add the pulled pork to gravy and serve over bread and mashed potatoes or make pork and gravy with noodles.
 Almost no work to get several meals worth of pulled pork!   So cooking once  and eating 3 times is a tremendous time and money saver!

Frugal Blessings,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Puttin' Up!!

Puttin' up!!  That's right, I made  apple butter, sugar free applesauce, beef stew, and swiss steak! All in one day!   Here are pics from my adventures:
                                                    Applesauce and apple butter supplies.

This is my least favorite thing!   I think I need a new food mill!
Apple butter simmering in the crock pot.  I let it reduce all night!
Sugar free applesauce!
Prepping stew veggies,  I found cut up celery and carrots on markdown! See them in the top left corner. So I  cheated a little-I won't tell if you won't!
I found my round steak on mark down that morning.  Couldn't pass it up!

My bounty for about 6 hours work! Doesn't seem like much but I guess I  am slow at canning!!

Oh well, it sure will taste good later this year!!

Home Canned Blessings,

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Peaceful Morning at our City Park

Here are some pics of our City Park.  They were taken early in the morning and it was just so restfull.  I loved sitting by the lake and watching the critters-just absorbing the peacefulness!

My son jogging!
We are so very lucky to have such a great place available for our citizens!
Peaceful Blessings to you all,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crock Pot Recipe

Crockpot  Beer Bratts
A fall favorite for my family is beer brats, kraut and potatoes.  An all in one crockpot meal.  That means supper is ready when the cooking time is over—no muss, no fuss.  FYI—the alcohol does cook out of the food leaving you with just the flavor!
  You can adjust the amounts up or down for your family size.  So here it is:
Crock pot Beer Bratts
Bratts of your choice
Kraut-any but the sweet kind
Potatoes peeled and quartered
1 t caraway seed
½ t pepper
One can of beer
Put brats into the crockpot then add potatoes on top.  Mix caraway seed in with the kraut and pour over brats and potatoes.  Pour beer on top and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 4.  Serve brats on buns slathered with brown mustard and/or kraut.   A whole meal in just one pot!
Remember to tailor the amounts to what you think your family will eat.  If your family loves kraut, by all means add extra kraut!
Crockpot Blessings

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Quote of the Week


                                Delete the negative—Accentuate the positive.

                                                                                   -Donna Karan
Positive thoughts and Blessings,