Fall Gardening: Get Ready for a Second Radish Harvest

Fall Gardening: Get Ready for a Second Radish Harvest (Home Ready Home)

It may be July, but the planning of your fall/winter garden should already be under way. If you live in a cooler climate like I do, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to growing fresh veggies when those temperatures drop. A great choice is the radish. Radish is from the Brassicaceae family, a family that also includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and turnips, all great choices for an autumn garden. For many, in the springtime, radish are usually the first crop of veggies that gets planted and because of how quick they grow, more than likely their first vegetable [Read More...]

DIY: Homemade Vanilla Extract (+Weekly Roundup)

DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract (+Weekly Roundup)

My girls home for the summer means only one thing: We go through a lot of chocolate chip cookies! If you've been hanging out with me here at Home Ready Home for any length of time you know that cooking is not my strong suit. Baking on the other hand?  I got that down. Here, take a look... Lately, I've been thinking about the ingredients I use in baking. More than once, I found myself wondering, "Hmmm. Can I make this myself?"   Then, this week, I came across a post from Janet at Timber Creek Farm on how to make vanilla extract. Turns out, yes! I can [Read More...]

How to Stick to a Budget (+ Weekly Roundup)

How to Stick to a Budget (+ The Weekly Roundup!)

  Create a budget. You see this advice in every article you read about how to take control of your finances. For me, it's kinda like dieting advice. The problem isn't knowing what to do (eat right), it's knowing how to keep doing to it.  When my husband and I got married, we were in the hole with $50,000 in consumer debt and student loans. (I know, yikes!!) The first year of marriage is supposed to be a happy one but all I really remember is a whole lot of stress and non-stop thoughts like how will we ever pay off this off?   Three years later, we [Read More...]

Will Your Dog Protect Your Home?

Will Your Dog Protect Your Home? (Home Ready Home)

My neighbor rang the bell the other day. All three of my dogs threw themselves at the door, barking like mad. It took a minute or two but I eventually got them under control.  "Geez, Julie. If I didn't know those dogs, I'd be scared out of my mind." Yes, Henry and Lola are pretty scary. Iggy? Not so much. She'd use that big ol' bulldog tongue to lick you to death. :) The conversation got me thinking though. How scary are my pups and could I rely on them to protect my home? I did a little research and check out the video I found: Okay, so maybe we can’t [Read More...]

FREE Gardening Webinars + Weekly Roundup 7.5.14

Grow Your Own Food Summit

You don't need to hang out with me for long before you figure out that gardening is a big part of my journey towards a more self-reliant life.   That's why I was beyond excited to learn of the Grow Your Own Food Summit!  And, I can't believe I didn't hear about this sooner!!?!   In case you haven't heard about either, I wanted to make sure to share it with you in this week's roundup.  The Grow Your Own Food Summit is a series of FREE webinars taking place Monday, July 7 through the following Monday, July 14. Each day, 4-5 presentations will be [Read More...]

15 Ways to Use Dehydrated Fruit

15 Ways to Use Dehydrated Fruit (Home Ready Home)

This month, for our Cooking Tip of the Month series, I was going to talk about how to dehydrate fruits and veggies because I believe learning how to preserve your own food is a huge part of cooking and preparing meals from scratch. However, I gather this may be a topic that has been beaten to death. As I did a little research before writing, I realized that there are all too many posts on how to dehydrate, but not nearly enough posts on how to USE those dehydrated goodies! So, if you don’t know how to dehydrate, I will refer you to my friend Jane over at Mom with a Prep for her 6 [Read More...]

Two Canner Giveaway: Win a Waterbath and Pressure Canner!

Two Canner Giveaway: Win a Waterbath and Pressure Canner!

THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. Thank you to everyone who entered.  Raise your hand if you want a pressure canner. I posted that sentence on Facebook last month and the response was overwhelming! Y'all were raising hands (and feet!) like crazy!! Seems everyone was wishing for a pressure canner and I felt so bad because I only had one All American Pressure Canner to give away at the time. So this month, when the opportunity to give you another chance to win a canner came my way, I jumped on it. Only this time, the winner receives one All American Pressure [Read More...]

Weekly Roundup 6.28.14

Weekly Roundup 6.28.14 (Home Ready Home)

How did your week go? Mine was busy with canning and gardening.  The raised bed garden is starting to produce. So far, all we have is cucumbers and zucchini but we've had a good number of them.  My daughter found this one a few days ago... Not sure how I could've missed this enormous zuke!?!   Anyhow, our friends on Facebook had a ton of good suggestions for me on how to prepare it. Chocolate zucchini bread seemed to be the favorite. So this weekend, I'll be giving Huffpost's chocolate-chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe a shot: Chocolate-Chocolate Chip [Read More...]

Gear Review: ZquaredAway-Fire Resistant Protective Covers

Gear Review: ZquaredAway ~ Fire-Resistant Protective Covers (+Giveaway!)

If your house was on fire and you could save only one thing, what would it be? For me, it’s a no brainer. I’d grab my box of memories.   The handprint mother’s day card carefully crafted by my oldest daughter during her first year of preschool, the snapshot of my younger daughter in the pumpkin costume on her first Halloween, my husband’s Lehigh University football team photo (Go #24!), our wedding pictures, the photo of my grandmother as a five year old, the sheet of first issue Marilyn Monroe stamps my dad gave me... The list goes on and on... Most of the stuff in the house can [Read More...]

Weekly Roundup 6.21.14

Weekly Roundup 6.21.14 (Home Ready Home)

The Weekly Roundup is back!   I took a break from scouring the net for links to share with y'all because I was traveling. My husband and I took a trip to the Caribbean island, Nevis. The last time we were in the area was on our honeymoon—sixteen years ago!  Yeah, it's funny how, those first year of marriage grand plans ("We'll go back every anniversary to celebrate!") don't really pan out. :) Anyhow, we saw a lot of things on the trip we just don't see here at home. Like this for one... And we had lots of different [Read More...]

Win a Camp Chef Double Burner Stove!

Win a Camp Chef Double Burner Stove!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who entered! Father's Day is right around the corner and every year the girls and I struggle with what to get my husband. I mean, how many golf clubs can a guy have??? Well, struggle no more! We have the perfect idea for this Father's Day... A Camp Chef Double Burner Stove! Take a look at this video and tell me what you think. Pretty cool, right? And you know what's even cooler? You get a chance to win one! I got together with some blogger friends to offer you this giveaway because even though the Camp [Read More...]

Weekly Roundup 5.31.14

Weekly Roundup 5.31.14

Summer is here! Yay!  My kiddos are finishing up with school and it will be nice to have some more family time together. This week I've been busy working on a project.  Not ready to spill the details yet, but hang tight. More on it coming soon.  I heard about this FREE webinar series—Summer of Survival—and after checking into it I signed up. Why don't you join me and sign up too? Starting June 3rd, on every Tuesday and Thursday through August 21st, you'll have access to an expert presentation on topics ranging from gardening to first aid to [Read More...]

Cooking Skills 101: How to Chop an Onion and Mince Garlic

Cooking Skills 101: How to Chop an Onion and Mince Garlic

Since this is our first cooking skills lesson, I wanted to start with two very basic tasks: Dicing an onion and mincing garlic the RIGHT way.  For some, this is a no-brainer (if that’s the case and you can skip right over this) but if you’re anything like me, no one ever taught you these basic skills.  Growing up, my family was on the go a LOT. We had some sort of school activity every night—baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, church, youth group, Beta club, volunteering, drama club, band…you name it, at least one of us did it—and while my Mom tried to cook for us, it was [Read More...]