Happy New Year – Resolutions and Word of the Year

It’s been a little while since my last full post here. I haven’t added anything new to the site since Christmas Eve. To be honest, I needed a bit of a break after the daily Advent Calendar posts. We enjoyed the holidays and the rest of winter break.

This morning though, as we were getting back into our regular weekday rhythm, I missed sitting down and writing. I think it’s something I want to do a lot more regularly this year. I’m not committing to a new post, article or recipe every single day, I but I do want to work on something most days.

With that said, let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions. I have been making a few and noticed an overall theme with them. My goal for this year is to focus on becoming more disciplined in what I do. What I mean is that I want to establish some good eating, cleaning and working habits and stick to them daily.

Happy New Year 2015

Let’s start with the Word of The Year – Discipline

I’ve been seeing  a lot of people choose a word of the year for 2015 and thought I’d give it a try myself. The idea here is instead of making a lot of resolutions, the focus is on one word.

I chose (as you may have guessed) discipline. I want to get into the habit of doing certain things daily. One of them being blogging more regularly and keeping the Hillbilly Housewife Facebook page updated.  I’m also working on adding pictures to both older and new HBHW recipe posts and sharing them on Pinterest. My overall goal here is to spread the word and introduce more people to the Hillbilly Housewife website. In addition I’d like to create more of a community on the Facebook page. Feel free to stop by and ask a question, share a recipe etc.

The area of my life where I need discipline more than anything though is in the kitchen. I want to get into the habit of fixing healthier foods and eating better. We’ve also gotten bad about leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight. I’d like to get back into the habit of cleaning up after we eat and waking up to a clean kitchen and sink.

How about you? Do you have some eating or homemaking resolutions? Feel free to share them as a comment below and maybe we can hold each other accountable.

Last but not least, I made two crafting goals that I think will help me work on becoming an overall more disciplined person. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I knit and also learned to spin on a drop spindle last year. The picture on the about page is me spinning on one of my drop spindles. My spinning goal is to spend 15 minutes each day on my drop spindles. It’s working well so far and gives me time to think and mediate as I spin along.

I also have a scrap yarn blanket I’ve been knitting on. My goal here is to add at least one new square per day and post my progress on Instagram (along with the daily spinning picture). I only use Instagram for knitting and spinning related stuff.

Here’s a picture of the sock yarn blanket.


The Honey Do List – Five Reasons Why You Need Honey in Your Skin Care Products

My friend Becky from Bee-Queen.com makes the most amazing honey lotion. I have two bottles of it sitting on the counter right now and use them daily. I asked her to share a little bit about the benefits of using honey in your skin care products. Not only does her lotion feel great, it’s really good for us as well. I hope you enjoy this guest post. 

Honey, the elixir of the Gods. A pure and natural sweetener produced by Honey Bees for thousands of years, desired and consumed by mankind throughout the span of time.

Sounds a bit like magic? Well, in some ways it is. Just the very act of a colony of bees producing this golden elixir is in many ways, magical.

Did you know that in the span of a Honey Bee’s lifetime, she will only produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey? And that a colony of bees will visit over 2 million trees and flowers and fly over 55,000 miles in order to produce just one pound of honey? Considering the circumference of the earth is about 25,000 miles, it’s no wonder the Honey Bee is considered the most industrious insect on the planet.

We all know the benefits of raw honey when taken internally. Raw honey has been touted to alleviate allergy symptoms, GERD (Gastric Reflux Disease) and used in the treatment of ulcers. When broken down, this complex balance of both fructose and sucrose promotes better athletic performance and a restful night’s sleep.

Bees making Honey

But have you ever considered the effects of honey when applied externally? I think many of us instinctively feel the addition of honey in many of our skin care products on the market today is the safer and more natural alternative. I would love to share with you the reasons why honey and in particular Active Manuka Honey found in the Bee Queen line of skin care lotions is beneficial to your skin.

  • Your skin is the largest organ on the human body. The average adult body carries over eight pounds of skin which converts to about 22 square feet. It stands to reason that we should treat it with the utmost care. It is our first line of defense against harmful pathogens and easily the first damaged from external intrusions. Over exposure to harmful UVA/UVB rays, toxins both internal and external can lead to premature aging and wrinkling. The skin care industry is a 43 billion dollar revenue producer in the United States alone. And yet most of us cannot recognize or pronounce the ingredient list on the back of our skin care products. Doesn’t it stand to reason, that a simple and understandable ingredient deck can be a positive step in the care of this miraculous organ. In the Bee Queen formulations each ingredient is chosen to achieve a specific result to ultimately benefit your skin. For example, the Bee Queen Manuka Honey Lotion has four types of easily recognizable oils.
    • Organic sunflower oil-chosen as a carrier to incorporate honey without grittiness
    • Organic olive oil-adds amino acids and aids in skin repair
    • Organic apricot kernel oil-aids in skin repair
    • Organic meadow foam oil-adds slide. The reason why Bee Queen Manuka Honey Lotion feels so good on your skin.
  • Honey is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants combat and reverse the damage of free-radicals in our systems. A free-radical is a rogue molecule produced when the process of oxidation occurs. Free radicals are cells missing a key ingredient that allows for normal healing and repair. In simpler terms, think of the effect of peeling an apple. Once the protective skin is removed, oxidation causes the apple to become brown, shrivel and eventually rot. Over time our skin is assaulted by a variety of toxic substances. The harmful effects of UVA/UVB rays, environmental toxins such as pollution and cigarette smoke and poor nutrition can trigger the body’s natural production of antioxidants. But over time, these damaged cells overwhelms the body’s natural antioxidants effects resulting in the signs of premature aging, wrinkles and skin discoloration. Doesn’t it make sense to strengthen our skin’s defensive barrier with the application of a powerful, natural antioxidant? Raw honey in our skin care regimen can counteract the effects of these day to day stressors. They can promote the growth of new tissue and eradicate the effect of free radicals.
  • Raw honey is a natural humectant. A humectant is an agent that attracts and retains moisture by locking it inside. In contrast, many skin care products contain glycerin. Glycerin is commonly used as a moisturizing agent. But glycerin, a byproduct of vegetable oil is refined propylene alcohol, a drying agent to your skin. Humectants trap moisture providing a barrier, glycerin absorbs moisture.
  • Raw honey promotes wound healing. The antimicrobial effects of honey are well known. All honey contain properties when broken down form hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antibacterial. In addition, Manuka honey contains an enzyme named Methglyoxal, a germicidal agent 200x’s more powerful than hydrogen peroxide. This enzyme is specific to honey produced by bees who pollinate the Manuka flower found primarily in New Zealand and is closely regulated and rated for its quality control. This is the reason why we have chosen to incorporate Active Manuka honey into the Bee Queen
  • Honey provides UV protection and is an anti-irritant. It is gentle enough to use on sensitive skin and powerful enough to combat the effects of acne and scarring.

As you can see, I am passionate about the benefits of honey and encourage you to incorporate honey into your skin care regimen.  With all the positive benefits, why would you use anything less?

At the Bee Queen, we hand produce a high quality lotion with your skin foremost in mind. Currently available in three fine scents to nurture your skin.

Get yours today and Bee-the-Change!



The Trip To Germany

This week’s article is more of a personal blog post about our trip to Germany. I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures with you of my town, the grocery stores and a few sights around the area. I hope you’ll enjoy taking this little trip with me. Let’s start

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with the town itself. It’s called Merzig and has been around since Roman times. My all-time favorite building in town is the Catholic Church below. This is where I was baptized and went to church almost every Sunday growing up. It’s just such a beautiful building. The picture was taken from the Parish Garden. St. Peter Church - Merzig, Germany   Every time I go back to to visit, I learn something new about my home town. This time I was surprised to learn that the remnants of an even older church where found in what’s today the church parking lot. Sadly it wasn’t feasible to do a whole archaeological dig, but researchers were able to determine the exact location and outline of the old church and recreated an approximate outline in lighter colored stones. The project was finished just a week before I came to visit. The Old Church   Right across from the church is one of my favorite houses in town. It’s a sandstone building. houses-town   The town is also famous for it’s wolf park. We stopped by for a visit and were lucky enough to catch a wolf feeding. Here are a couple of pictures from the park. wolf-park wolves-feeding   And then of course there are the different little grocery stores. There’s the bakery, the butcher shop and the likes. I took a few pictures to give you an idea of what it looks like. Let’s start with the Bakery. My mom would ride or walk to one of the local bakeries every morning and surprise us with fresh rolls and pastries for breakfast. bakery And what would Germany be without sausages? Here we stopped to pick up a few different types to grill. sausages And here they are cooking over a wood fire at my sister’s house. I love these tripod grills. grilling-sausages I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip to my home town with it’s attractions, stores and typical foods. I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes in this week’s newsletter and here on the HBHW site.

Weekday Cookie Recipes – 99 Cents on Amazon Today

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

The “Weekday Cookie Recipes” Kindle cookbook is only 99 cents on Amazon today. Grab a copy at

cookie jar love

Cookies are good any day of the week. But sometimes it takes too long to throw a batch together during the weekday. That’s where these cookie recipes come in handy – they’re quick, easy, and some only require two ingredients.

Here are some of the cookie recipes you’ll find inside:cookie-cookbook

  • Chocolate Chip Weekday Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Weekday Cookies
  • Oatmeal and Cranberry Spice Cookies
  • Coconut Cookies
  • Cinnamon Roll Cookies
  • Flourless Chocolate Nut Cookies
  • Marshmallow Cookies
  • Nutella Cookies
  • Chocolate Puddle Cookies
  • 4 Ingredient Weekday Cookies
  • Everyday Cookies
  • Oatmeal Lemon Cookies
  • Colored Pinwheel Cookies
  • Jell-o Cookies
  • Whopper Cookies
  • Butterfinger Cookies
  • Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • No Bake Cookies
  • Molasses Cookies
  • Date Cookies
  • No Bake Candy Cookies
  • Easy Sugar Cookies With Chocolate
  • Walnut Maple Cookies
  • Healthy Banana Weekday Cookies
  • Chocolate Crackle Cookies
  • Orange Juice Cookies
  • Fudge Crinkle Cookies
  • Fat Free Chocolate Cookies
  • Easy 3 Ingredient Cookies
  • Cream Cheese Cookies
  • Thumbprint Cookies
  • Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Gluten Free Weekday Cookies

The Bargain Bin Cardigan

As you know I love knitting and am always looking for more frugal ways to find yarn. My friend Diana from WizardKnits.com has some great ideas to share with us today. She also kindly agreed to share one of her favorite baby sweater patterns with us. I think this would be a wonderful project to use all this bargain bin yarn for. Here’s a pdf of the Drop Shoulder Cardigan.

And even if you aren’t a knitter, take a look at her website and the beautiful custom sweaters she has to offer.

And here’s Diana’s article on bargain yarn finds:

If you ever come across someone rooting through the bargain bin at your neighborhood yarn store or working the aisles during a yarn sale at Joann’s, Michael’s or A.C.Moore, it’s me.  The bargain baskets are veritable treasure troves. Some of my most expensive and sought after designs were knit with fabulous yarn discovered in the bargain bin.

bargain-bin-cardiganFact is, I do not need to add to my stash but it is equally certain that I will find a purpose for even the smallest skein of yarn. I will probably add it to my embroidery palette.  Duplicate stitching is my favorite way to embellish a simple sweater.

When I find a few ounces each of different colors in the same weight, I make a quick mental note of the total yardage and I create a design before I’ve even paid for the yarn.

And so it was that I came across a few skeins “on sale” which were just too cute to pass up.  One was a beautiful lavender shade which reminded of the violet candies my grandmother had as a treat.  There was also a matching white yarn which would create a perfect contrast.  These were layette colors with a fine thread of nylon that gives it a subtle overall sparkle.

Fingering yarns have tremendous yardage (some close to 350 yards per 100 grams) so 1 skein goes a long way when knitting a tiny size.  Two skeins and you could knit a tiny saddle shoulder sweater and the coordinating sleeveless vest.   Pick a quick and simple pattern shape.  Let the colors create the patterning.

My favorite style for tiny sizes is the drop shoulder.  Not only are they quick to knit but the shape makes it easy to dress little people.

The Bargain Bin cardi was knit with two colors (same weight, same yardage) but some of the new variegated “sock” yarns would work just as well.  On a recent visit to Joann’s, I noticed sock yarns which would be ideal for such a project.  No need to even calculate stripe placement.  Just knit!

bargain-bin-cardigan-neckline-detailCheck out the Red Heart® Anne Geddes Baby Yarn in colors like “Rocking Horse” for a young lady and “Sailboat” for the little man.  The yardage is fantastic and the care is as easy as machine wash and dry.  You may have to adjust the stitch and row gauge to achieve the same “size”.

Do remember that solid colors almost always have greater yardage per skein than the variegated colors.    You don’t want to be a few yards short of a completed knitting project.

You could do what I do…if it’s on sale; I usually buy more than I know I will need because the extra yardage will eventually become part of another mini heirloom gift.

Attached is the pattern for our Bargain Bin Cardigan in the 12 months size.  The instructions were written for the knitting machine and fine four ply fingering yarn but they can easily be followed by hand knitters using the diagrams as their guide.

Most of my knitting patterns do not even include directions.  As long as I have an accurate stitch and row gauge, I follow the diagram and jot down some basic “shorthand” increase or decrease formulas along the side of the chart.

Let’s see how many variations on a theme we can get from this simple design.

Happy Knitting!

Diana shares her handknit items and patterns at www.WizardKnits.com where she’s created a full-fledged, custom sewing/knitting business as well as helping others learn “how to” knit.

Gratitude and Happiness – A Thanksgiving Message

I’d like to introduce you to a new friend of mine today. Her name is Sheri Graham and she’s a homeschooling mom of five and a fellow Christian. One of the things that first grabbed my attention was her happiness and contentment. Life is often stressful, particularly around the Holidays and it’s important to focus on the good things and enjoy our time with loved ones.

Last night I started working through Sheri’s 30 Day Thanksgiving Journal and knew I had to share it with you. Take a look at it. It’s $5 for the ebook and I plan on making it a part of my November each year from here on out. I hope you will as well.

I also asked Sheri to share some thoughts on Gratitude and Happiness with us. Here’s what she’s come up with. I think it’s a wonderful inspirational message for this time of the year.

Choosing Contentment in the Here and Now!Thanksgiving Journal
by Sheri Graham

Choosing contentment is a battle that we all face each and every day.  How do we go about choosing to be content when our work as a wife, mom, homeschool mom, never ends?  When we find ourselves at the end of our strength and longing to be in another place, another time?  How do we do it?  Before I dig in, I want to begin with a quote on contentment from Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl

“Maybe this is the true secret to being fulfilled and content.  Living in the moment with God, defined by His truth, and with no unrealistic expectations for others or things to fill me up.  Not reaching back for what was lost in my yesterdays.  And not reaching for what I hope will be in my tomorrow.  But living fully with what is right in front of me.  And truly seeing the gift of this moment.”

The gift of this moment…It seems that when I am discontent, I am not acknowledging “this” moment as a gift from God.

Another quote on contentment from Linda Dillow’s book, Calm My Anxious Heart

“Most of us base our contentment on our circumstances, on our feelings, or on other people.  However, true contentment is separate from our circumstances.  Contentment is a state of the heart, not a state of affairs.”

I want to share now something that the Lord laid on my heart a while back. While this article is on contentment, I feel that what I am about to share is closely tied to not choosing contentment…not choosing to acknowledge “this” moment as a gift from God…not choosing to be content in the “here and now”.

“Instead of relishing each moment, each year, each opportunity, each step on the journey, I’m constantly overeager to get to the next thing, which always looks more enticing than what’s currently before me.”  (excerpted from The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer)

HappinessIt is this very attitude, this state of mind, that I struggle with at times, and what the Lord dealt with me about one morning a while back…

One morning when I was doing my reading, I came across some verses in John 6. Jesus had just finished teaching that He was the bread of life. That He was the Living Bread that would fill them and abide in them. Here are some verse quotes:

John 6:60 – “Many therefore of His disciple, when they had heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can hear it?’”

John 6:66 – “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.”

John 6:67 – “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’
Then Simon Peter answered Him:

John 6:68-69 – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

When the teaching got too hard, some of the disciples left and followed Jesus no more. As parents, when what we hear the Lord teaching us (through His Word and His Spirit) gets too hard, do we bail out as well and not continue to follow Him for our lives and for our families? Will we also “go away?”

When the teaching gets hard (steps on our toes or is overwhelming) and others are turning away and not following Jesus any longer..will we follow suit? OR will we remain steadfast following Him because we KNOW that He is the Bread of Life..the ONLY ONE who can impart Life to us!

As parents, are we following Jesus because He is our Life or is it because we seek the benefits He brings us? What are we imparting to our children? We are to disciple them as the Lord disciples us. If we as parents are not truly being discipled by Jesus, then we cannot disciple our children as unto the Lord.

This phrase, “Will ye also go away?” has been running through my head a lot lately. This is what the Lord has been speaking to me . . .

  • When my children come to me wanting to me to do something with them, and I would prefer to sit and read, work on the computer, etc. what will I choose? Then I hear, “Will ye also go away?”
  • When the heart training times get so challenging and I don’t know if I can deal with one more battle . . . I hear “Will ye also go away?”
  • When responsibilities at home, such as getting the house organized & cleaned, meals prepared, laundry done, etc. are needing attention, and I would prefer to just sit or leave the house to do something with the kids (to avoid my ministry at home) . . . I hear “Will ye also go away?”
  • When my children are eager to tell me something and I am in the middle of doing something else. . . will I stop to “really” listen to them or . . . then I hear “Will ye also go away?”
  • When the best thing for my children is to bring them alongside of me during the day to really disciple them and train them up in the Lord, BUT I don’t want to take the time – I hear . . . “Will ye also go away?”
  • When I am feeling the Lord leading me to be a little more organized and intentional in educating my children at home, but I prefer to just “go with the flow” (and not get much done in the process because of lack of discipline and laziness) . . . I hear, “Will ye also go away?”
  • When it is the Lord’s will for me to be a true helpmeet to my husband and support, honor, and submit to him in the Lord – but I would prefer to do things MY way – I hear . . . “Will ye also go away?”
  • When dinner time comes and I haven’t been a good steward and planned ahead, I hear . . . “Will ye also go away?”
  • When I sit down for my quiet time but then realize there is something else that needed done before the kids wake up, I hear . . . “Will ye also go away?”
  • When I see sin in my children’s lives and realize that they are a reflection of me – will I choose to go to the Lord to allow Him to change me first OR . . . “Will ye also go away?”

I could go on and on with ways that the Lord has spoken these words to me. It has challenged me in so many areas of my life. Will I choose to also go away? When times get hard, the teaching gets tough, and those around you are choosing the wide path . . . Will I also go away or will I choose the narrow path (Jesus) that leads to Life?

Will I choose contentment in the “here and now” or constantly strive for the future when things will be “better” or “different”?Thanksgiving Journal

As we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and as we desire to be thankful and content, my prayer is that this has been a challenge to you. May these few simple words penetrate our hearts and spur us on to choose His way – His Life – in all we do each day, and choose contentment in the “here and now”…where God has us!

The Hillbilly Housewife Recommends:

Ready for more from Sheri? Take a look the 30 Day Thanksgiving Journal.

For each day of November there is a verse to copy, memorize, and/or journal about.

Hosting Sergiy Is Becoming A Reality – More News From Christine And How We Can Help

As you know, my friend Christine “The Menu Mom” is hosting an orphan Ukrainian boy this summer. I asked her to share a little bit more about this endeavor with us. Here are the questions I asked her, followed of course by Christine’s replies.

Can you tell us a little more about how you found Sergiy and what made you invite him to spend the summer with you and your family?  

Sure!  When we learned about New Horizons for Children’s Summer Hosting Program, we printed off around 10 kids to think about and pray for.  Sergiy is the one who stuck out to both my husband and I.  We then decided the timing wasn’t right for our family.  However, just a few days before hosting commitment closed, he still wasn’t chosen.  At that point we just knew that we had to jump in with faith and host him!  We felt if we didn’t we would regret it for a long time.

I’ve heard a lot about the “New Horizons For Children” program. Can you tell us a little more about it?

Sure.  New Horizons for Children (www.newhorizonsforchildren.org)   is a Christian International Hosting Program for Orphaned Children. Two times a year (Christmas and Summer) they bring orphaned children from Latvia and the Ukraine to visit the U.S.

The goals of the program are:

  • To share the love of Christ with the children
  • To care for the children while the orphanages close for the summer
  • To help them learn some English (they often learn in 5 weeks what they learn in 5 years in their homeland)
  • To gift them with the love of a family – something many have never felt before
  • To build their self-worth
  • To advocate for the possibility of adoption

Any fun plans for the summer? I’m sure there’s a lot you look forward to.

Yes, we plan to swim lots, teach Sergiy how to ride a bike (that was one of his wishes), just relax, take a few day trips in the area, and also take a trip to the Wisconsin Dells.

Hosting a teenager from another country for the summer will certainly have its challenges. Do you have some tips on how to prepare and put a support system in place? 

Teenagers do not scare us tooooo much…(I know, I should be careful what I say!)  My husband has been working with teens for 10 years, so we have an idea of what to expect.  We have also been told that the orphaned kids from Ukraine are much smaller and “younger” than the U.S. kids.  So most likely he will have a similar mentality to our almost 12 year old.  I’m not sure anything can totally prepare us for this, but we are excited for the adventure!  As far as a support system, we have family and friends that are very supportive, and NHFC also has support in place.

I’m sure Sergiy will have a wonderful time this summer, but this is also an awesome opportunity for your kids. What do you want them to get out of this? 

I am hoping they will learn to give.  They have to give up a few things to make this happen.  When we first talked to them about it, they were all for it, but as they are beginning to have to live out the things they have to give up, it has been a bit harder.   I am hoping this will be a summer they will never forget!  I am guessing they will learn some Ukrainian, they will learn patience as they try to communicate, they will learn to share all they have – their things and their parents, and they will learn to love.

What else can we here at HBHW do to help you bring this boy to the US for the summer?  

Well, I am sure most of your readers have heard by now that we have a donation site available here:  https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/eJ3d9  We also have a great “Fire Sale” going on through May 22nd here:  www.hillbillyhousewife.com/sergiy .  It is hard to guess exactly how much we will need for the summer – we never know what type of medical things will come up etc.  If we end up raising extra, we will either put the extra money towards adoption (if we end up going down that road) or we will donate it to New Horizons for Children to help other families experience the joy of hosting.  We would also love for your readers to share about Sergiy with their friends.  We of course could use prayer support.  And, we invite everyone to follow our journey at www.themenumom.com  I have started an orphan hosting category to make the posts about this experience easy to find.

How To Eat Healthier On A Tight Budget

This is a guest post by my friend Tracy Roberts of MomsInABlog.com.  Tracy and I have been on a journey of eating healthier and moving more.  One obstacle to eating healthier has always been the belief that healthy food is expensive food.  We know there are ways to eat healthier on a tight budget, because we are doing it!  Here are the tips Tracy has discovered in planning her own healthier lifestyle:

Many of us are trying to live healthier by moving more and eating better. One commonly held misconception about eating healthy is that it’s too hard to do on a tight budget. The truth is, it’s possible to purchase foods that are good for you and good for your budget, too. Yes, it is possible to eat healthier on a tight budget.


Like many things that make life easier, eating healthier on a budget is all about planning. You have to plan ahead to get the best food you can for the money you have available.

Walking into the grocery store unprepared is one of the biggest downfalls for both your budget and your healthy eating habits. With that in mind, let’s talk about planning your healthy meals, and sticking to your budget.

Plan meals around sales.

Find the sales ads for the grocery stores in your area and plan your meals for the coming week around what’s on sale. You know what you want to eat to stay healthy, so look at the sales on those items. If you see a nutritious food item on sale that you haven’t tried yet, now’s the time.

Make a grocery list.

After you’ve planned your meals, write down everything you need for each meal. Check your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to see if you already have some of the items. Be sure to include EVERYTHING you need for each meal. You’ll want to check your supply for basics such as flour, spices, oil, and other staples you may need. And don’t forget the beverages for your meal.

Clip coupons.

When you plan your meals around sale items, there may be coupons involved. Be sure to clip those and attach them to your grocery list. Avoid coupons for items you don’t need for the week’s menu so you are not tempted to “save” money on items you may never use.

Never go grocery shopping hungry.

Everything looks yummy when your tummy is empty. A bag of chips will certainly satisfy you immediately. That head of cabbage is just not the same. But, if you are full, you can imagine that cabbage in a nice salad when dinnertime rolls around. Eat before your trip to the store. If you can’t go to the store right after you’ve eaten, take along a light healthy snack like a little bag of almonds to help you resist temptation while in the store.

Shop the perimeter of the store first.

In most grocery stores, the layout is the same; items around the outside walls, the perimeter, are the healthiest choices. These areas will have the fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy items. The center items are usually the prepackaged, processed, or convenience foods. These foods are not only more expensive, but they normally aren’t the healthiest choices. There are exceptions, but this is usually the case with most foods.

Buy in season.

Look for produce that is in season as these will often be cheaper than non-seasonal choices. Another seasonal item is turkey. Stock up and plan turkey meals when the prices are cheapest; around Thanksgiving time.

Buy bulk when possible.

Choose foods that are in larger quantities as the price is typically lower. For instance, rather than buying individual pieces of fruit, buy a larger bag. You’ll find the price per pound is cheaper. The same goes with meat, chicken, and fish. Stock up and save in the long run.

Buy store or generic brands.

Years ago, it was believed that brand name food would be better food. Those days are gone. Nowadays, there usually isn’t much difference in the taste or quality, but you can definitely see a difference in the price. Always compare prices before you buy.

Eating healthy on a budget is all about a system.

As you can see, a systematic approach to grocery shopping can help you save money while eating better at the same time. Choose healthy foods first from the grocery store sales, plan your menu around those sales, make your list, then head to the store… on a full stomach, of course. Once you get to the store, stick to your list and the savings will add up. Your budget will thank you, and so will your healthier lifestyle!

What’s stopping YOU from becoming A Healthier You? Is it the thought of going on a diet? Or is it the notion of taking an hour out of your day to exercise?

Perhaps, like me, you just get to the end of the day and think; “Why did I eat that bag of chips?” Or; “Why didn’t I go out for a little walk today?” It’s those little choices that make all the difference – the difference between being healthy and being unhealthy.

Don’t let another day go by ignoring your own needs! Join our community of folks just like you who want to finally, once and for all, live the kind of life we were meant to live… a HEALTHY life! Learn to eat healthier and get up and move so you can enjoy every minute of every day. Click on and sign up and become a member of A Healthier You today!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

A Healthier You – Sharing The Journey With My Friend Tracy Roberts

If you have been following along in my newsletter, you know I’ve got a confession to make. I have not been treating myself very well. Over the winter, I fell back on some of my unhealthy habits – eating bad and not moving. Through the months, I tried to go on diets and I tried to follow exercise programs. Nothing worked. I couldn’t stick with the programs. Basically, life got in the way.

When I finally shared this struggle with my friend Tracy Roberts of MomsInABlog.com, she couldn’t believe it. This is EXACTLY what was happening to her! And she was letting it happen, just like me.

That’s where this story starts. But, I’m going to let Tracy tell you about it herself. So, let me stop right here and introduce my friend, Tracy Roberts, and our personal journey to A Healthier You.

Thank you, Susanne, for inviting me to share my story. Well, it’s really OUR story, and the story of so many busy women (and men!) out there.

You said it; “Life got in the way.”

I was on a good diet and exercise program. But, cooking those “diet” recipes and finding an hour a day, even a half hour a day, to exercise was getting old fast.

I was hungry. I wasn’t losing weight. I was avoiding my exercise program. Nothing was working. And, I wasn’t having any fun!

Another month would go by; then another, and another.  No results.  I was so frustrated and sad. Was I going to be like this for the rest of my life? And what’s going to happen as I get older?

I felt alone. In my imagination, everyone else was successfully dieting and exercising. Everyone else found a diet program they loved and went to the gym for an hour every day. They had magical powers to find the time to fit all this in with a busy family. Why couldn’t I?

That’s the frame of mind I was in when my friend Susanne came to me and told me that SHE was frustrated, and sad, and had tried everything, too! We couldn’t believe how we both were suffering from all the ups and downs of dieting and exercising, yet never talked about it before.

What happened next isn’t too surprising – it happens to a lot of people. We looked at each other and both said;

“Why are you treating yourself like that!”

Yes, we could accept our own unhealthy habits, but we couldn’t abide by our friend treating herself badly. We personally allowed ourselves to eat bad food and sit on our behinds all day, but when it came to watching our friend do it, THAT was unthinkable!

And THAT is exactly when the idea for A Healthier You was born. I learned some very valuable lessons that day with Susanne:

  • I learned that I was not alone in this struggle.
  • I learned that I was not treating myself with the same respect I treat my friend.
  • I learned that I was more likely to take care of my health if someone was watching me.

Then I sent out the word to my other friends. I asked them; “How would you feel if your friend was making choices that would guarantee she would have serious health problems?” Everyone responded the same way; “I would be very upset.”

So I asked; “Why is it okay for you to make unhealthy choices when it’s not okay for your friends to do the same thing?”


Yes, that hurt. We all have friends who don’t take care of their health the way they should. And now I realize that I’m one of those friends.

That’s the story of how my membership site A Healthier You came about. I realized I was not going to get healthier alone. I needed to share my struggle with Susanne before I saw that I am worth the effort, just like Susanne, and just like all my friends.  And YOU are worth the effort, too!

This journey is NOT about dieting and exercising. Those two words have never done much to get me motivated – other than motivated to complain! Instead, what we need to do is EAT HEALTHY and MOVE!

If you’re thinking this is exactly what you need, please come and join us and start enjoying A Healthier You.

I know there are so many people living busy lives, just like me, who are having trouble finding the time to make healthy choices. But, more importantly, there are far too many of us who have trouble BELIEVING we owe ourselves the healthiest body, mind, and soul that we are meant to have!

When you join A Healthier You, I promise to make the commitment right along with you. I am researching the very best information to get all of us through a healthier day. I’ll share helpful tips for choosing healthier foods, including some fun recipes, along with tips for finding ways to squeeze ‘moving’ into your day. And not the kind of moving we do getting kids up for school, driving them around, running errands, or even working. We need the kind of moving that lifts the spirit while stretching our limbs so we feel better, more alive, more flexible, and more fun!

In your monthly membership, you will have no obligation, other than to yourself. Please click on the link here – A Healthier You – to read more about me, my story, and my commitment to you… and to me!

Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’ll be getting in Month One when you sign up:

  • Introduction to Creating A Healthier You Guide
  • Positive Affirmation – Neutralize Bad Habits with Good Food, Exercise & Healthy Living
  • Motivational Wallpaper – A gorgeous graphic
  • Healthy Recipes – Eating Better: Choosing the Right Foods to Become Healthier
  • Self Reflection Worksheet
  • Overcoming Obstacles Worksheet
  • Weekly Weight Loss Goal Tracker
  • Weight Loss Diary
  • Overcoming Food Addiction Worksheet
  • Access to our PRIVATE Facebook Group where you’ll find support & accountability without judgment

Then, as a member, you will receive a weekly email which will include items such as:

  • Affirmations- to help you keep a positive attitude
  • Motivational Wallpaper – to keep your motivation high
  • Healthy Recipes – to tempt your taste buds and keep you satisfied
  • Weekly Guide to Creating A Healthier You – to guide you along your journey
  • Worksheets/Checklists – to track your goals & progress
  • … Other Goodies – you KNOW there will be extra goodies!

Can you afford to continue making unhealthy lifestyle choices?  I know I can’t!  The damage we continue to do to our body, and soul, is heartbreaking.

The good news is, it’s never too late to start eating better and moving more. Click on, sign up, and make the commitment today for A Healthier You!

  • Do it for yourself.
  • Do it for your family.
  • Do it for a friend!

p.s.  Not sure about making the commitment yet?  As an EXTRA INCENTIVE, from now through March 31st, sign up for ONLY $15 for the first month, and $10 per month thereafter for as long as you are a member. Don’t let another month go by while you struggle to stay healthy. It’s so much easier with the support of a community.  Click on and join A Healthier You today!

p.p.s.  Still not sure yet about making this commitment?  Your membership in A Healthier You is 100% satisfaction guaranteed.  Click to read more about my guarantee:  Creating A Healthier You.  I’ve got you covered so you are perfectly safe to try it out!  Go ahead, click on, and join us now!

What’s stopping YOU from becoming A Healthier You? Is it the thought of going on a diet? Or is it the notion of taking an hour out of your day to exercise?

Perhaps, like me, you just get to the end of the day and think; “Why did I eat that bag of chips?” Or; “Why didn’t I go out for a little walk today?” It’s those little choices that make all the difference – the difference between being healthy and being unhealthy.

Don’t let another day go by ignoring your own needs! Join our community of folks just like you who want to finally, once and for all, live the kind of life we were meant to live… a HEALTHY life! Learn to eat healthier and get up and move so you can enjoy every minute of every day. Click on and sign up and become a member of A Healthier You today!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The Housekeeper's Symphony

I came across this in a very old coobook and just had to share!

“To do the best that I can, from morn till night.
And pray for added strength with coming light;
To make the family income reach alway,
With some left over for a rainy day;
To do distasteful things with happy face,
To try and keep the odds and ends in place.
To smile instead of frown at Fate,
Which placed me in a family always late
For meals; to do the sewing, mending and
The thousand small things always near at hand,
And do them always with a cheerful heart,
Because in life they seem to be my part;
To know the place of everything and keep
It there, to think, to plan, to cook, to sweep,
To brew, to bake, to answer questions,
To be the mainspring of the family clock.
(Or that effect) and see that no tick, tock
Is out of time or tune, or soon or late,
This is the only symphony which I
Can ever hope to operate.”

Getting Motivated To Clean House – A Homemaker's Story

Jill and Tawra from Living ON A Dime just sent me a great story to share with you. It's called “When Queens Ride By” and was written in 1926.

The story is about the big difference an organized and clean home can make in our life. It's so easy to let decluttering, straightening up and cleaning go undone when there are so many other “more important” things to do. Read this beautiful story and find out why that may not be a good idea.

Jill wrote a very inspiring introduction to the story that shows how the lessons learned still hold true today. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I have.

When Queens Ride By

You are welcome to share this free ebook with family and friends. Email it to anyone who could use a little inspiration during tough times.


Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

A Mothers Day Reminder – Sometimes A Little Push Is The Right Thing To Do

All Mothers know that it's hard to let go of the notion that our babies will always be our babies.  Sometimes we watch them spread their wings and we say 'STOP!'  Not yet!

But then there are other times when we know the right thing to do is to give our youngsters a little nudge, maybe even a push, to get them out into the world so that they can grow.

This Mother's Day, I just wanted to give all the Moms out there a little encouragement.  It's hard to know when we're doing the right thing, sometimes until years later.  Have faith in your abilities and your instincts.  Motherhood is a tough assignment, but you have the strength and wisdom to make the right decisions.

Happy Mother's Day!

The Wilma Rudolph Story – Beating Unbeatable Odds

Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely, weighing only 4 1/2 pounds.  She was born into a large family – a very large family – she was the 20th child of 22 children.  Millions of people were poor in the 1940’s, but Wilma’s family was not only poor, they were African American, living in a segregated society.

Being born premature was just the beginning of Wilma’s medical troubles.  Because of the racial segregation at the time, the family was not permitted to have the same medical treatment as white families.  So, when Wilma suffered with one terrible illness after another, it was her family who tended to her.  This was no small task for a poor family.

The moment came when the family received the dreaded diagnosis – polio.  According to the doctor, Wilma Rudolph would never walk.  However, the family never gave up hope.  Instead, Wilma’s parents and siblings learned how to do the physical therapy needed to help her get strong.  This family sacrificed everything they had to help Wilma walk again.

And so it was, by the age of 12, with hard work and dedication, Wilma Rudolph walked again – without braces or crutches.  Then and there, she decided that if she could learn to walk, she could learn to run.

Four years later Wilma won a Bronze medal in the 1956 Olympic games.

Wilma Rudolph became an Olympic legend.  In 1960, she became the first American woman to win 3 gold medals, and paved the way for women to compete in areas previously barred to them.

Why is this an inspirational story, aside from the obvious Olympic story?  The real inspiration is the fact that Wilma and her family never gave up hope and fought with fierce determination against all odds; odds which included poverty and discrimination.  Even when the world and all the rules were stacked against them, the fierce love of family along with the desire to “win” overcame every obstacle.

Healthy Crockpot Meals

My friend Angie from Sizzlin’ Circuits shared some of her favorite crockpot recipes with us here recently. Today I asked her to share her thoughts on crockpot cooking in general and why it works so well for her family. I also asked her to give us some tips on healthy crockpot meals and lat but not least a little more information on her new home workout program.

Here’s Angie:

Why Do I like crockpot recipes?

1) We’re a busy family, and to be able to put the ingredients into a crockpot and have the freedom to leave the house and go about our day while it’s cooking is ideal for us. Most recipes cook for 6-8 hours so kind of like, “set it and forget it.” It’s not like cooking in the oven or on the stove, where you need to be close by to keep on eye on it and be ready when the timer goes off. This is great because you don’t have to be standing in the kitchen all day over a hot stove.

2) Prep time is really quick. We usually just add the frozen whole chicken, roast, or fish and add in some veggies and spices.

3) It’s great to know that you don’t have to cook dinner at the end of a long day.

4) Clean up is quick too!

5) We love how the meats, such as chicken and roast soak in the flavor of the seasonings and the veggies… especially sweet potatoes, when they are blended together all day long.

6) The variety and possibilities are endless. You can almost throw in anything that you want.

How do we make sure they are healthy?

1) When cooking with chicken we only add water or chicken broth. We stay clear from the creamy soups the majority of the time. We find that the chicken absorbs the flavors from the spices and veggies better this way too.

2) Same with Roast… we only add water or beef broth.

3) We make lots of soups that do not need cream. For soups and chili’s we usually just add water or a tomato base.

4) Typical ingredients that we add to our crockpot recipes are chicken, fish, roast, sweet potatoes, carrots, kidney beans, corn, broccoli, lentils, and tomatoes.

About Sizzlin’ Circuits

Our latest program is called Sizzlin’ Circuits. It’s designed for women and targets specific problem areas, such as the butt and thighs. It’s a home based workout that can be done in a small amount of space and only requires a stability ball and some dumbbells. The workouts are time efficient, burning loads of calories and boosting your metabolism all day long.

Sizzlin’ Circuits includes follow along workout videos (digital), a workout journal to record your progress, 3 motivational audios, a 7 day meal plan with behind the scenes videos of the meals that we eat (much like the crockpot videos in this post), our Fat Loss Quickie Mindset Bootcamp book, and the Fat Loss Quickie Support Community.