Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The BEST Deal on eBooks: The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle

Yesterday I shared about how last year's Ultimate Homemaking Bundle was the best $30 I ever spent!

Today I'm so excited to tell you all about the 2014 Bundle!

By popular demand, 100+ homemaking bloggers are bringing back The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, and this year is even better than last year!

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking—a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come.  I've LOVED reading the eBooks I got in my bundle last year, and I've definitely grown in a lot of areas because of the books I read.

Unlike a library of print books, though, you don’t have to spend years building it up. The Ultimate Bundles team has done the hard work for you, searching the web to find the very best eBooks from top homemaking authors and combining them into one essential collection that you can buy in one simple purchase.

This week you can get the ultimate eBook collection on homemaking at a once-in-a-lifetime price.

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle

I'm confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere -- and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (not including $200+ in bonuses!). But you can have all of them for just $29.97!  I just bought my bundle, and I'm blown away with everything that is included!

Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and this year it's now available!

I believe it’s the best deal on homemaking eBooks anywhere on the web. But it will only be available for six days. So grab yours before it's gone!

You get ALL THIS in The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!

This huge wealth of information and guidance will be right there on your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or Kindle, whenever you need it.

If you don't have an eBook reader, that's okay!  When you buy the PDF version of the bundle, you can read right on your computer.  (This is also handy for printing out recipes, etc.!)

Here's what you need to know about the sale:

When? 8 a.m. EST Wednesday, April 23 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, April 28

What? 78 eBooks, 2 eCourses, 2 audio files, and 2 printable packs PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you'll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle here.

How much? Well now, that's the best part. The entire package is worth nearly $900, and it's selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

Get ALL of these eBooks for 1 LOW Price! One Week Only!

What books are included in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle? ($698 value!)

What are the Ultimate Homemaking Bonus Offers? ($200+ value)


In addition to all the amazing eResources, this bundle includes the best bonus offers it has ever had. These deals are worth over six times the price of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. So you more than "break even" right away!  Many of these bonuses would make great gifts if they aren't things you'll personally use.  (If you're concerned about shipping costs for the bonuses, all of the companies are honoring their standard shipping rates for the bonus offers, so they won't be hiking up the rates to "compensate" for giving the product to you free!  And several of the offers do not require shipping.)
  1. DaySpring—A FREE 10-pack of Premium Greeting Cards. ($20.00 Value. Standard shipping applies.)
  2. HopeInk—$15 HopeInk store credit to be used towards anything + a FREE 8×10 Art Print with order. ($39.00 Value. Standard shipping applies.)
  3. Redeeming Beauty Mineral Makeup—3 FREE eyeshadows of your choice from Redeeming Beauty. ($16.47 Value. Standard shipping applies - only ships to US and Canada.)
  4. Marie-Madeline Studio—A $15 store credit for anything in Marie-Madeline Studio's online store. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies.)
  5. Once a Month Meals—A FREE One Month Pro Membership from Once a Month Meals. ($16.00 Value. No shipping required.)
  6. DizolveFREE 64-load pack of Dizolve Laundry Strips for you PLUS a Free 64-load pack of Dizolve Laundry Strips for food banks. ($25.98 value. Standard shipping [$3] applies. Only ships in the US.)
  7. TrilLight Health—Get a FREE 2 oz. bottle of a liquid health formula OR $15 store credit from Trilight Health. ($15.00 Value. Standard shipping rates apply.)
  8. ListPlanIt—Free 3-month membership OR 3 free ePlanners from ListPlanIt. ($15.00 value. No shipping required.)
  9. Bulk Herb Store—Instant download of the instructional video Making Herbs Simple Volume 2 for FREE from Bulk Herb Store. (up to a $15.00 Value. No shipping required.)
  10. Fit2B™ Studio—FREE 2-Month Online Fitness Membership at Fit2B™ Studio. (up to a $20.00 Value. No shipping required.)
I'll admit, I'm most excited about the FREE One Month Pro Membership to Once a Month Meals!  Can't wait to do a freezer cooking day this spring.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, April 23 to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, April 28th.

Buy the PDF BundleBuy the Kindle Bundle

This would make a great gift for Mother's Day!  If your husband likes strong hints, send him a link to this page.  :)  You can also grab a bundle for a friend or family member, or split up the individual books as gifts for several friends!

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post.  If you choose to buy the bundle using my links, it will help support our family and this blog. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Best $30 I Ever Spent

Last year, the number of eBooks I read outnumbered the number of physical books I read!  The main reason for this was that I bought a fantastic bundle last spring that was chock-full of the best homemaking eBooks around the blogosphere.

If you look at my lists of books I read in 2013, you'll see many titles that were included in last year's bundle.  While that bundle is over and gone, there is a pretty amazing new one starting tomorrow!  I can't share all the details yet (I can tomorrow, though!), but I will say that it is a FANTASTIC deal.

When I ordered my bundle last year for $30, it was a little tough to spend that much at once.  I typically get eBooks for free or spend $3-$5 on individual titles when I see one I want to have.  Getting the bundle was somewhat of a stretch financially, but it ended up being the best $30 I ever spent.

Suddenly I had a HUGE library of eBooks on topics ranging from food to homemaking to marriage to blogging!  I read and/or referenced over 40 of the books that were in the bundle last year, making each one less than $.75 (not to mention all the ones I still have yet to read, plus the bonus offers that were included with last year's sale)!

A few years ago I never would have imagined I would like reading eBooks as much as I do (don't worry, I still love "real" books too)!

Check back tomorrow when I'll spill the beans on this year's Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!  You don't want to miss it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy Ham and Swiss Pasta Carbonara

I often post favorite whole grain recipes, but I've slacked off a bit lately in sharing our family's favorite main dishes!  This is a new favorite that is frugal and fast to make.  I've added my own spin on it (it traditionally is made with prosciutto and Romano cheese; I've subbed ham and swiss) to make it perfect for using leftover Easter ham!

It's a pretty kid-friendly dish too.  I think both the girls had seconds the other night when I made it!  This recipe serves 6-8, so we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

It takes less than 30 minutes, start to plating, so it's a great "Ack! What's for dinner?!" meal.
Pasta Carbonara
   adapted from here

1 lb. whole wheat thin spaghetti
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup cooked ham, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup finely grated Swiss cheese

Start boiling water in a saucepan for the pasta and continue with next steps below.

In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and lightly brown the ham in it.  Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook just until garlic is fragrant (30-60 seconds).  Add white wine and scrape bottom of pan while cooking.

Add pasta to boiling water.  Drain when cooked al dente, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

In a bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup pasta water.

Add drained pasta to the pan with the ham, oil, and wine.  Pour egg mixture over and add finely grated Swiss cheese.  Toss well to coat.  Remove from heat.

Serve with chopped fresh parsley and an additional sprinkle of cheese, if desired!


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For more of our family's favorite recipes, click here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Blessings

We had a beautiful Resurrection Day celebration today, and we hope that you did too!

Our pastor spoke on how Jesus is the true and better temple.  It was a great sermon!

Hebrews 9:11-12, "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (emphasis mine).

I enjoyed preparing a nice meal for our family (and we're all still a little stuffed from it!).  I think the girls ate as much food as I did!

Jude was smiley and sweet on his first Easter!

Instead of doing Easter baskets this year, we focused more on reading books about the true meaning of Easter and opening our Resurrection eggs each day leading up until Easter.  Vera is at an age where adding candy to a holiday quickly transforms its meaning to be candy-centric rather than Jesus-centric.  So candy this year was very, very minimal.  :)

We sang this song at worship this morning, and I love it!  Listen to it today if you have time.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zero to One, One to Two, Two to Three

Tad and I have talked recently about the transitions we made in having children: from no kids to one, from one to two, and from two to three.

We realize we differ in our opinions as to which transitions were harder!
Zero to One
My Take:  Going from having no children to having one is definitely a big jump.  Suddenly you're in charge of caring for every need of a helpless baby.  I remember how hard it was to get out of the door, and how (mostly) giving up spontaneity was challenging.  There is also so much of an opportunity to trust God in the face of temptation to worry about everything concerning your baby's life.  Everything is new: diapers, feeding, milestones, sleeping, etc.  People are always giving (well-intended) advice, and it's sometimes hard to feel confident in making decisions (since there are so many different ways to parent well).  I did eventually get in a groove, but shortly after that time, we had a new one in the mix!
Tad's Take:  Zero to one changed everything.  It meant we had someone who was completely dependent on us for every need that she had.  On the way home from the hospital, I had the thought, "What are they thinking letting us take her home?"  We didn't know what we were doing, but we were able to figure everything out.

One to Two
My Take:  This was really hard for me.  The first time I ever went a whole day without seeing Vera was the day after Cordelia was born and we were still in the hospital.  It completely broke my heart to be spending time with Cordelia instead of both of them together (even though Vera was being lovingly cared for by my mom).  That feeling of being "torn" didn't go away for a while.  It was crazy challenging to try and meet the needs of two little people, both of whom did not understand waiting.  This transition may be easier for families where the age gap is greater, but for me, it was really hard.  I didn't go anywhere with the two girls without Tad's help for months.  I was really brave (I thought) last summer when I took both girls out to eat for Vera's birthday (sit down restaurant, potty-training preschooler, food-flinging toddler, and full-term-pregnant mama).  Getting up the nerves to make that trip was really hard, but I'm so glad I did it.
Tad's Take:  We brought a baby home from the hospital before, so we knew what we were doing (kind of).  There were two of us, and two of them, so we were evenly matched.  One of us could always take care of each of them.  It was difficult when both of them were left with me, because then I was outnumbered.  Also, sometimes they would both demand our attention, so it was sometimes difficult.  I believe this was the easiest transition because we already had experience with a baby, and we could do a man-on-man defense.

Two to Three
My Take:  Slipping a third baby into our family was easier for me than going from one to two.  I think there are several reasons: Vera is old enough to be somewhat helpful (plus she understands waiting), Cordelia is a more compliant child than Vera (though not perfect by any means!), and Tad has been home a lot because of his job situation.  I didn't deal with baby blues at all this time (I did when Vera was born, though I didn't realize it until later), so I'm sure that has helped.  When you're down, it's hard to see the big picture and enjoy the present.  Even though we're outnumbered all the time, I do try to keep a sense of humor.  For example, we have a "rule" that we can't have all three kids crying at once, so Tad and I do whatever it takes when we're nearing that moment (2 out of 3 are wailing with a third one's lip quivering) to not let all three cry at the same time (we pick one up, dance, are silly, etc.).  Because I don't have enough hands, I think I'm more aware of my dependence on God in this season.  I'm learning to trust and let go more while praying lots for protection for my kids.  God loves them even more than I do, and that's a lot!  This season with three is the "new normal," and now that Jude is 7 months old, I'm starting to feel like things aren't as crazy as they used to be.  (Just wait until he starts walking!)
Tad's Take:  Going from two to three was difficult because we now have three children and only two of us.  The position of authority is almost an illusion when you have three children and only two adults. (If children ever realize this, we'll all be in trouble.)  But what are you to do when your youngest child just spit up on himself and had a blow-out, your middle child is running around naked, and your oldest child is crying in the corner because she lost her coupon?  (I'm not making this up.)  You're going to have to make some challenging ethical decisions about which child to save (spoiler, not the one crying over a coupon).  The transition to three was difficult, but I hear it gets easier at 4 (no, this isn't an announcement).  

Ultimately, we know that God has sustained us at each point of transition and that he is using parenting to sanctify us!  Having kids is challenging, definitely, but it's another beautiful opportunity to cling to the Lord in all things.

We're dying to know... if you have one kiddo, how was the transition from 0 to 1?  If you have more than one, what were those transitions like for you?  Anyone out there with upwards of 4?  We've been told that's the point where it gets easier.  :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just the Girls

Yesterday morning I asked Tad if he'd take some photos of "just the girls" before church.

Vera wanted me to take her picture in the rocking chair first.
My, what big blue eyes she has!
Of course Cordelia Mae wanted her picture taken too!  She picked out her (my) scarf to wear also.
I love my sweet, sweet girls!

Thankful for relaxing Sundays and the opportunity to go and worship together as a family!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jude's Seven Months Old!

Happy seven months, Jude!
Some milestones:
-weighs 22 pounds
-puts some weight on his feet when you hold him up
-loves to chew on his toes, and anything for that matter
-has one tooth on the bottom that just came through!
-loves to take baths before bed
-grabs for everything
-rolls across the floor (both ways)
-is starting to like stuffed animals and blankets
-started going to bed at 9:00-9:30pm and sleeping until 5:30-6:30am
-nurses 8 or 9 times a day (hungry boy!)
-makes funny noises (little "shrieks" are new this month)
-smiles a lot
-is very ticklish

We love our sweet boy!  (And aren't his little plaid shorts adorable?)

Thursday, April 10, 2014


A sweet lady at my parents' church was giving away these lovely succulent plants, so my dad picked some up for me!  I potted them in a few containers I had already (two on left: IKEA, one on right: thrifted).

I've had succulents before (posted about them here and here), and they did better when I wasn't watering them very often.  This works out great for me, since I am pretty bad about remembering to water plants.

I'm hoping I'll be able to keep these alive, because they are gorgeous!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Undercover Mama

Today on She {hearts} It I'm reviewing a great nursing shirt that helps make breastfeeding more convenient.  I love this top, and I know you'll want one too... which is why I'm also giving one away (open to US and Canada)!  Click on over to enter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


On Saturday, we met my family "in the middle" between our two cities at a beautiful community park.  The weather was absolutely amazing, and we enjoyed a picnic lunch, a fun playground, rides, and lots of laughs!

Vera loved riding the carousel.
Cordelia wasn't as sure, but she did ride it once.

I also took some pictures with my cell phone.

Jude liked seeing his Uncle Nich.

The boats were very popular!
Vera told us that it was her "favorite day!"
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