Some Good News This Weekend, But Why This Might Be the Last Time I Sell Vanilla For a While

You guys!! Have you seen the price of vanilla beans during the past few months? If not, you’ll need to be sure you’re sitting down when you take a look. Yowza.

My understanding is that there was a crop failure a few months ago, causing a huge shortage of vanilla beans. That made the price of beans go crazy. For years I’ve encouraged everyone to make their own Vanilla Extract because it was a money saver and a more pure way to enjoy vanilla. But now? I just can’t. The price of vanilla beans is too much.

It will go down again. I stay in touch with Amit from Olive Nation who has been my vanilla bean source for many years. He assures me these prices won’t last forever. But for now, we’re stuck taking out a second mortgage if we want to buy beans to make vanilla.


Some Great News for Today

I have a batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract bottled and ready to share. And guess what? I made this batch with beans I bought before the price jumped so high!!! I’ll pass on those lower costs to you, and you won’t have to pay $300 per bottle. High fives all around!

If you want some of this great homemade vanilla, act quickly because I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make more to sell. Nor do I know exactly when bean prices will go back down so that you can make your own batches of vanilla.

In the meantime, I have a small supply ready to ship out to you in time for the holidays! Get it before it’s gone. Enjoy it in your holiday baking or to give as gifts this Christmas!

A note about our prices

The cost of shipping has already been added to the total purchase price, so the amount you see below is the amount you’ll pay. Also, you should know that this is the purest of the pure when it comes to Vanilla Extract. The vanilla beans are of the highest quality.

IMPORTANT: We don’t water down our vanilla. This is strong stuff, made only with alcohol and vanilla beans! I’ve checked other high quality vanilla extracts and the first ingredient is always water. Not this one!

The vanilla is so strong, in fact, you can use half the amount a recipe calls for. This makes your bottle go twice as far, making it a huge value for your money!

First come, first served

It’s fun to offer this to you! Get it while it’s gone! I’ll update this post as quantities become limited.

Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract, 8 ounces
Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract, 8 ounces
100% pure vanilla, shipping included in the price.
Available Qty: 6
Price: $31.00
Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract - TWO 8-ounce Bottle Package
Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract - TWO 8-ounce Bottle Package
Enjoy a discount when you buy a two-pack of our 8-ounce vanilla bottles!
Available Qty: 8
Price: $59.00
Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract 2-ounce bottle
Heavenly Homemakers Vanilla Extract 2-ounce bottle
These bottles of homemade vanilla make wonderful stocking stuffers and teacher gifts!
Available Qty: 10
Price: $10.00

Special Announcement: They’re $1.00 Now, and Then They’re Gone

I have mixed feelings about this one. But seeing how it fits with our $1.00 or less theme this week, I think it’s time to do it.

I’ve been cleaning up my site the past few months, deleting irrelevant posts from back in the early days of this blog. I want to keep everything here fresh and helpful. I want to keep my site user-friendly. So slowly but surely, I’ve been going through the 4,000+ posts I’ve shared here since 2007 – updating them or trashing them or leaving them as they are.

My favorite part of this clean-up work has been coming across pictures like these that I forgot all about. Oh those sweet little boy children of mine.





I could post their pictures for days. But I won’t. The trip down memory lane sure has been fun though. Do you know that my boys were 9, 7, 5 and 2 when I started this blog??? God is so neat. How great to be at this point now – with you as my friends, walking this journey of life with me.

(Of course I’m teary-eyed right now. Did you really need to ask?)

This is a pic we took of our family last week.
The boys are now 18 (almost 19), 16, 14, and 11.

Family at Nebraska City

Well here’s the next thing I need to do as I clean up around here. I need to clean out my shop. Several of those eBooks have been there since the site’s beginnings. Some are still helpful and will stay. Some need to be spruced up and updated. But some need to be gone forever.

This chicken one though. I remember writing it before this site even launched – back when I was dreaming about what I wanted this site to be. I can’t get rid of this one. It’s one from 2007, but it’s staying.


I’ve finally made the decision about which eBooks make the cut and which ones don’t. It’s all a little bit too much to post here, so instead I ask that you click over to my Heavenly Homemaker’s Shop to scope it out.

The books that are going away, I marked down to $1.00. After this weekend, they’ll be taken out of my shop forever.

*UPDATE!* The new shop is here! It looks so pretty!

Visit the Heavenly Homemaker’s Shop here.

Have fun!

Too Many Emails? Here’s a Solution!

Many of you have chosen to be a “daily newsletter subscriber.” That means that whenever I post something on my blog – which is just about every weekday – you get an email sharing that information. Love this? Great! You don’t need to change anything!

But for the rest of you? I continue to see people unsubscribe saying, “My inbox is too full!”


Oh how I hear you. I think we’re all at a place in our lives where we want a less cluttered email inbox. (I’d also like a less cluttered house and yard. Would someone please unsubscribe me from the constant flow of dirty dishes???)

While I completely understand people’s desire to see fewer emails, I really don’t want to lose you as a reader and subscriber! You mean a lot to me!

Here are some solutions to your “I get too many emails!” conundrum:

1. Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter Instead

You’ll still get all the information I post here, but it all comes in one email on Monday afternoons. The only drawback to this is that sometimes I post something that is time sensitive and by the time you read about it on Monday, the deal has expired. That’s rare though, I and do my best to avoid this issue if I possibly can.

Want to switch from daily newsletter to weekly newsletter? Do that here.

2. Join our Heavenly Homemaker’s Savings Club

These emails go out roughly twice each week and they share the best money saving tips and deals I have found. You might want this newsletter in addition to the regular one, or you might want it instead of. Either way, you can count on this email to offer you great ways to save money in your healthy homemaking endeavors!

3. Join our Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone

This one is specifically for those of you who are looking for educational resources for kids. Many of these resources are free!! I continue to have fun putting together Educational Learning Packets to share with members of the Learning Zone. (Right now if you subscribe you get free Springtime Activity Packets.) Again, you might want this one in addition to any of the other subscriptions. You make the call.

Love reading what I share at Heavenly Homemakers daily as it comes out? Continue reading directly on the blog here or subscribe to our daily newsletter!

I just wanted to catch you all up on all the options available. We aim to please!

What’s your preference? Does your inbox overwhelm you?


MockMill Giveaway Winner!!

Suz: belauvibes@ – you win the Mockmill Grain Mill Giveaway from Pleasant Hill Grain! Email me and I’ll forward your info on for your prize!

What Do You Consider To Be the “Best Of” Heavenly Homemakers?


It’s been a dream of ours for over three years now to put together a new book (the paper copy kind!) that includes the “best of” our posts here at Heavenly Homemakers. Enough dreaming about it already. It’s time to do this!

Our idea is to put together some of our most popular articles, mixed with our most popular recipes – and combine it all in such a way that it creates a super fun read along with some practical tips and delicious kitchen delights. We want it to be enjoyable for all ages, kind of a coffee-table book that anyone could pick up and enjoy, but one that might also inspire a person to head to the kitchen to whip up something tasty.

Matt and I have some definite ideas as to what we consider to be the “best of” what I’ve written during the past eight years. But you are really the ones who get to have opinions about the “best of.” After all, you’re the ones reading here. Your vote matters most.

There are over 4,200 posts here at Heavenly Homemakers. We’d like each of you to spend several entire days reading through all 4,200 of them, picking which ones you like the most. We don’t ask for much.

Or, since I guess that request may be a little bit impractical (you guys can be so whiny sometimes), here’s a better idea:

Think for a few minutes. Click around for a while. Make good use of the search box in our side bar under the One Child Matters banner (where it says “Search this website). What posts, articles, series, and recipes come to mind that make you say, “I loved it when you wrote *******!!!” Even if you don’t remember the exact title of the post or the specifics of its contents, you can give us some hints like, “Remember that one time you wrote about that one thing and how it made us laugh and then we cried and some of us snorted and then we all made bread? Definitely include that one.”

If you happen to come across a very specific post you love during all of this thinking and searching you’ll be doing, feel free to grab the exact link to that post to leave along with your comment. In other words, we want you to do all the hard work for us. No biggie.

While you’re thinking, if you also come up with a clever title for this book, that would be great too. Otherwise we’ll just call it:

Laura Wrote Some Stuff

Because everyone would buy that.

Tired businessman sleeping at the table over white background

Friends, this is going to be fun. I’m incredibly curious to learn which posts are your favorites. From practical to silly to serious to borderline ridiculous – tell us what you have loved the most!

To get us started, I’ll share that the book will definitely include the story of the 2008 rooster attack. We’ll pair that story with some egg and chicken recipes. It just makes sense.


Let the thinking and the commenting begin! I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

What do you consider to be the Best of Heavenly Homemaker’s?

Merry Christmas! A FREE Chocolate eBook for EVERYONE!!

Instead of a giveaway where you have a chance to win, we decided to give copies of our What to Do With the Cocoa in Your Kitchen eBook to every one of you! After all, chocolate is a great way to celebrate Christmas, right?


How to get your Christmas gift from us:

Head to our Heavenly Homemakers Shop. Scroll down to find our What to Do With the Cocoa in Your Kitchen eBook. (It’s one of our very first eBooks and therefore toward the bottom of our shop page.) Add the eBook to your cart. Use the code COCOACHRISTMAS to get the book for free!! This code is good through Monday, December 28.

Have a Merry, Merry Christmas!

227 Healthy Snacks eBook ~ Win One for You and One for a Friend!

As Christmas approaches, I thought it would be fun to give away some of our most popular shop items. Then I decided it would be even more fun if you had a chance to win one for you and one for a friend! We began with Learn Your Letters (and Numbers), Learn to Serve Complete Curriculum Kits. Be sure to enter for a chance to win copies for you and a friend here.

Today, we’re giving away copies of 227 Healthy Snacks eBook!

227 Healthy Snacks 2


I think you’ll love these snack ideas and recipes as much as my family does.

This book contains 59 pages full of 227 awesome snacking ideas.  These have all become our snacking staples, and they are sure to become yours too!

  • All 227 of these snack ideas and recipes can be prepared ahead of time for easy snacking.
  • More than 200 can be prepared or mixed up in a matter of a few minutes.
  • 145 of them are naturally gluten free or are recipes that can be easily adapted to become gluten free.

And how about the 78 recipes in this book?  I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had creating new recipes for this resource!  From homemade Payday candy bar knock-offs to oyster crackers to hearty cookies and bars to several varieties of crackers and so much more – you will love these simple, real food recipes.  Just for fun, I’ve even perfected a homemade fruit snack (lightly sweetened with honey)!

227 Healthy Snacks


Read more details about 227 Healthy Snacks here.

If you’d like to win a copy of this book for yourself and for a friend, leave a comment on this post. Be sure to tell your friends about it so they can come enter too. It gives you more chances to win, assuming your friend will share one with you if she wins!

I’ll draw a random winner on Wednesday, December 30. Be watching for a post sharing the winners of these Christmas giveaways. You’ll be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen!

Now think of a friend you’d love to bless. Leave a comment here for a chance to win copies of these books for both of you!

One For You ~ One For a Friend: Learn Your Letters and Numbers, Learn to Serve Curriculum Giveaway

As Christmas approaches, I thought it would be fun to give away some of our most popular shop items. Then I decided it would be even more fun if you had a chance to win one for you and one for a friend! We’ll start this Christmas giveaway fun with Learn Your Letters (and Numbers), Learn to Serve Complete Curriculum Kits!

Learn Your Letters and Your Numbers Package Deal

Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve is an 183 page downloadable kit that includes thorough lesson plans, games, crafts, recipes, memory verses, Bible story suggestions, vocabulary stimulation and discussion, play, books to read and so much more…all while encouraging service to God! We recommend this for ages 2-7.

To go along with it, we recently created Learn Your Numbers, Learn to Serve. It contains 148 pages filled with activities, patterns, printables, instructions, crafts, and games – all with the purpose of teaching your child numbers, counting, Bible stories and teachings, and a heart of service.

Learn more specifics about these curriculum kits here. Academics is important, but teaching our kids to serve is most important of all. These books equip you to teach both!

If you’d like to win a copy of both of these books for yourself and for a friend, leave a comment on this post. Be sure to tell your friends about it so they can come enter too. It gives you more chances to win, assuming your friend will share one with you if she wins!

I’ll draw a random winner on Wednesday, December 30. Be watching for a post sharing the winners of these Christmas giveaways. You’ll be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen!

Now think of a friend you’d love to bless. Leave a comment here for a chance to win copies of these books for both of you!


character badges

Psst! The winner of our Character Badges Giveaway is: Jennifer: themightywriter@. Jennifer, email me and I’ll forward your info on for your prize!

Remember that Character Badges is also offering us all a 10% discount on any order! Use the code HH10 to receive the discount. This offer is good through December 31, 2015.

Getting Started on a Healthy Eating Path – Here’s Step-by-Step Help.

Of all the questions I get from readers, the one I hear the most is:

How do I get started eating healthy?

It can be overwhelming! Conflicting information is everywhere! There are too many things to change at once! What does healthy even mean anyway? And on it goes.

I want to tell you this basic truth I’ve learned on our healthy eating journey:

There is no one-size-fits-all plan. There is no perfect formula. There is not one right way or wrong way to do this.

What if you just did healthy the way that makes sense for your family right now?

What if?

Even as I look back on our healthy eating journey of the past 10 years, I see changes and shifts and different focus points. What used to work doesn’t work now. Some of what I used to prioritize, I no longer do. What my family needs now that our boys are teens is different than what we needed when they were little.

We keep making changes. We keep making improvements. I relax more instead of feeling like we have to do it all perfectly. I now go by these basic principles:

  • Food is nourishment. Let’s eat to nourish, not just to fill a hole.
  • Real food is simple and uncomplicated. Let’s just keep it simple.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Go easy on the sugar.
  • Stick with healthy, real fats (coconut oil, butter, olive oil, palm shortening)
  • Let God be God. Trust Him in this.

To give you a visual on this, here are some pictures sharing sample meals my family eats.


Garlic Cheese Biscuits

alfredo leftovers 2

What are some simple changes you’ve made through the years to make a healthy lifestyle easier?

You Can Do This! Real Food Beginnings, Menu Planning Fun, Deals, and Freebies!

If I could say one thing to encourage you as you work toward a real food kitchen, it would be to say this: You can do this (because you are amazing)!

I know cooking isn’t fun for everyone nor does it come easy to everyone. I know the transition from processed foods to real foods can be challenging. But as we all know, food is a necessary part of life, several times every day. Nourishment is necessary too.

I’m good at food. This is not a boast, it’s just that I love food and everything about it – just like you love what you love and are good at what you do. I also know that many of you are good at food, and some of you are better at it than you think you are! I’ve been working at this real food gig for 10 years now, and I love providing you with good recipes that are still easy and quick. I love putting together resources that will make your real food journey easier.

So this weekend, I had fun putting together a super inexpensive package deal of many of my favorite “You Can Do This! Real Food Resources.” I also compiled some of the free downloads from my archives that will help you on your journey. Real food deliciousness can be easy when you follow these simply laid out steps, ideas, and recipes.

Real Food Beginnings

First, I’m offering our You Can Do This eCourse, along with 6 of our simple, real food kitchen eBooks – worth $42.79 – for only $12.00. Total. For all of it.This is to encourage you on your real food journey.

You Can Do This Real Food eCourse and eBook package

This package includes:
You Can Do This! The First Five Steps to a Real Food Kitchen eCourse
What to Do With the Chicken in Your Kitchen eBook
What to Do With the Cow in Your Kitchen eBook $4.95
Do the Funky Kitchen eBook $4.95
Heavenly Homemaker’s Real Food Weekly Menu Plan Ideas Packet $5.00
1-2-3 Menu Planning eBook $5.00
Build Your Menu Planning Notebook $5.99


Add to Cart

Next, I’ve put together a list of freebie resources you can enjoy on your real food journey!

Come Get Your Real Food Resource Freebies!

breakfast_e-book cover_sm

Enjoy these resources, and be sure to grab the big package of You Can Do This! Real Food Resources at a huge discount here now (discount ends Tuesday, September 29)!

You Can Do This! Real Food Resources

Add to Cart

New ~ You Can Receive a (Free) Once-a-Week Newsletter!

How about a weekly newsletter? Yes!!

Fun news for all of you who are screaming, “Ugh! My inbox! Somebody do something!”

I’m finally getting around to doing something. And there are freebies involved. 

How my free newsletter works:

Every day when I post something new here on my blog, the content goes out in a free email newsletter the very next morning. This works great for people who prefer to read content via email or who simply don’t want to miss a post.

Then there are the people who don’t want to miss a post but don’t like having their inbox overflowing all the time. This creates a conundrum (my new favorite word). 

So finally, we (as in, my tech guy did all the work and I said “thank you”) have set up an option which will allow you to receive all of our posts in one single newsletter each week (still free!). Subscribers will receive this each Monday afternoon. It will include all of the blog posts I’ve written during the previous week. All the info – less email clutter!

Keep in mind that every once in a while I post a deal or freebie that is time sensitive – so reading just once each week means you might miss out. If that is the case, and I feel it is important enough, I will send out a brief “special newsletter” to keep you in the know. I predict that will happen like…four times a year. I think this will be a great option for those of you who prefer one big newsletter instead of six daily newsletters.

Obviously, you can still just visit my blog directly any time you want. Read the content, search the archives, look for recipes – it’s all there just waiting for you.

If you are currently subscribed and receive my daily newsletter, and you decide you’d rather switch over and instead receive the Once-a-Week Newsletter, simply subscribe to the new Once-a-Week system and you will be removed from the daily newsletter automatically. If anything wonky happens, let me know!

So how about those freebies?

Well, there are two. All subscribers receive this free eBook along with a fun set of inspirational cards to download and use as you wish.

breakfast_e-book cover_sm

Free Gift to Subscribers

Get these freebies by subscribing to our free Daily Newsletter here.

OR get these freebies by subscribing to our free Once-a-Week Newsletter here.

Any questions? Let me know!