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.

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cowboys

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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.

chickencover

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!”

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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.

One of my goals here at Heavenly Homemakers is to constantly provide you with ideas and recipes to help you fill your table with nourishment while saving you time and money. Beyond that, I create simple resources that will keep our healthy eating journey as easy and doable as possible.

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Garlic Cheese Biscuits

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My biggest goal with those additional resources is to keep them as inexpensive as possible. It seems counterproductive to say, “This will help you be healthier and save you money!” then charge an arm and a leg. That’s just silliness.

Through the years, I’ve created two very inexpensive eCourses that are full of videos, printables, tips, recipes, and more:

I priced them at just $5.00 each because I wanted to make them doable for most everyone. They’ve blessed thousands! It’s been so fun to hear of the real food changes people are making for their families ~ stress-free!

This weekend, I decided to have even more fun and temporarily combine these two eCourses into one package. So through Tuesday, October 27 you can get both eCourses for $5.00 total!

To make this even more fun, because I’ve been really enjoying my Build Your Menu Planning Notebook lately – I’m throwing that into this package for free! You’ll get two eCourses and the menu planning notebook for just $5.00. Not too shabby, huh? (If you already have any of these resources and still want to take advantage of the deal, get the package and pass on the additional resource to someone else!)

2 for 1 Real Food eCourses

Real Food eCourse 2-For-1 Package
$5.00
Add to Cart

I also want to highlight our most recent popular resources that are only $2 each!

Eat Right Away Packet Collection

These Eat Right Away Packets provide you with recipes and instructions to help you prepare 5 (or more!) meals in just two hours or less. These are now some of our family’s favorite recipes. These prove that real food is delicious and does not have to take long to make at all!

Get all the details of each of these packets here.

Take advantage of this 2-For-1 sale through October 27 only.

Real Food eCourse 2-For-1 Package
$5.00
Add to Cart

 Get them now and start working through them this weekend. You can do them on your own time and they will be available to you forever. Blessings to you on your real food journey!

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
 $5.00
What to Do With the Chicken in Your Kitchen eBook
 $4.95
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

$42.79
$12.00

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!

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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
$12.00

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.

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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!

Why I Love My Readers and Do You Ever Wonder What My Blogging Life Looks Like?

I thought it might be fun to share the inner-workings of my blogging life to let you know some of what goes on beyond the words you see on the screen when you pull up HeavenlyHomemakers.com or receive my newsletter.

My blogging life

First, let me tell you how much I enjoy the community here. As in – put a hundred exclamation marks behind that sentence because I really, really enjoy this community. (!!!!!) You all are sweet, smart, funny, well c’mon. You put up with me and you say nice things like “thank you” and “I love your recipes.” On days when my kids are like, “You’re making that again?” and you know, just in general when I get grunts for answers because sometimes boys just don’t have any words – hearing your words is musical-icious. (Also, you are so supportive when I make up words.)

Are you ever curious about the back-end of this blog and about what it’s like to be a full time blogger? This post will attempt to answer that in about 1,800 words. For the record, this one took me about 3 1/2 hours to write (not all in one sitting).

Here’s a picture of the screen I look at while I’m working. Yes, I always have forty-million or twenty windows open at one time. That’s because I’m doing research on different websites, editing pictures in PicMonkey, clicking over to check/answer email, clicking over to Facebook to post something, and etc, etc. I need a lot of windows open at once.

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So there’s that. That’s what a post looks like while I am writing it. I write, edit, upload pictures, categorize posts, update my sidebar, and do dozens of other blogging tasks in software called “WordPress.” When I hit that blue button on the right which says “Publish,” that’s when you see my post on the front end of HeavenlyHomemakers.com.

How long does it take to write a blog post?

Well, that just depends. I would say it takes anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of writing/editing time to complete a post, but usually somewhere in the middle. Some posts take longer to word correctly and I change gears several times, praying throughout. Some posts flow easily. Sometimes I encounter 18 interruptions while I’m trying to write three sentences. This makes me so happy that I yell, “Please family, keep coming into my office to ask me questions while I’m writing because I love it so much!”

When do I write and work on all the other blogging stuff?

I’m trying to practice a better “wear one hat at a time” system this year. If I try to hop back and forth between homemaking and homeschooling and writing and emailing and phone calls and cooking and running the kids to piano lessons – I kind of get overwhelmed (read: grouchy and unproductive, but mostly grouchy). This school year I am being intentional about leaving blog work for the afternoons on weekdays, if possible. This means that most of the morning, I only wear my mom/homemaker/homeschool teacher hat, leaving my blogger hat to rest in my office chair until after lunch. This is working soooo much better than my past “just grab a hat and put it on top of your other hat and hope you complete a sentence and put lunch on the table” system.

Now I will say that part of my homemaking tasks in the morning do often include trying new recipes and taking pictures to use in my writing work later. That’s a huge perk to what I do here – I get to feed my family as part of my work. That’s about the only kind of work-overlap that works well. Trying to write and parent or answer emails and homeschool is just too difficult for me.

Right after lunch, I hit my office. I have accomplished much (hopefully) in my home all morning, so now I can focus on writing and all the other blog stuff.

Saturday I am in my office as much as possible between family life and ball games – trying to catch up on blog work I got behind on during the weekdays. If I can, while my kids are chilling on Sunday afternoons, I can usually get some solid writing time in. This is my favorite time to write – on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

One weekday each week (usually Tuesdays) I am practicing a Sabbath rest. That’s the day I take a break from almost all of my work, from cooking to blogging. This is so necessary and good.

What else is there to do for the blog besides write?

Beyond writing during my work time, I spend time editing pictures and creating “Pinterest friendly” images on PicMonkey. I upload those into my blog posts as I write. I also spend quite a bit of time emailing readers, answering questions, and trouble shooting eBook purchases. I email other bloggers I’m working with on projects. I reply to potential advertisers letting them know of my review/giveaway policies.

I do paperwork and accounting to keep track of my income and expenses for tax purposes. I jot down new post ideas. I organize and schedule posts in a way I feel will be most interesting to you. I correspond with my tech guy if there’s anything I need him to do or fix on my site or newsletter. I work on eBook projects. I have a weekly column in our local paper, so I tweak something I’ve written on my blog to make it work for a newspaper. All together, my work usually takes 30-40 hours each week.

What is this income and expenses stuff of which you speak?

When I first started this blog, it was basically free to run. This site has grown in every way (yay, Heavenly Homemakers community!) so that it now takes several hundred dollars every month to keep it up and running. My monthly costs include paying for a dedicated server to house this website (it’s kind of like paying rent for cyberspace), paying for my subscriber newsletter service that gets sent out every day, paying paypal fees for every eBook transaction, and paying for internet (gotta love that tax write off). I pay someone to help answer emails (because I can’t keep up by myself) and someone to help with Pinterest and Facebook marketing. Those are my regular monthly payments. Every few months I pay my tech support guy to do all the stuff that makes my eyes cross. There are some yearly subscription payments also, like for PicMonkey and GraphicStock.

Thankfully, this site also makes an income to cover these expenses. The ads on my sidebar accrue income each time someone visits my site. I did the math, and the amount-per-reader is so tiny it made me wish I’d never opened my calculator. But you know what – it does add up, so advertising money is a huge help with my site expenses and to help pay for the time I put into this work.

Obviously, I make money when I sell my own products in my shop. I also share deals I come across online – which is a win-win because we all get a good deal if it’s something we need, and I make a small cut on the purchase amount.

To be honest (which is a phrase I never say because I’m always honest so why would I say that?). But the truth is, even though I really love what I do here, I couldn’t/wouldn’t do it if I didn’t make some money while I was at it. Fun as it is, this can be hard work and it is time consuming. It would be like working a full time job for free. No one can keep that up for long.

How do you support the work here at Heavenly Homemakers?

1. You show support just by being here.

It never costs you anything to visit my site. I love this. My blog and newsletter are free to you – all the time. When you come, my advertising software sees you (not with eyes, just with cookies…um, it just means my site gets a hit and my advertiser pays me a percentage of a penny for your visit). So keep visiting! That benefits my work here! And…without you, there would be no Heavenly Homemakers community. That is worth so much to me.

2. When you share our posts and recipes on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

When you share or pin posts, that means other people have a chance to click over and join this community. Thank you for doing this!

3. When you buy my eBooks or click through my links to make a purchase anytime I share something you need/want/like.

If it’s something I love and use, I will share it with you. I typically wait until that particular something is on sale. Then it’s even better because we can buy what we need and save a buck or twelve, all without leaving the house. For no extra cost to you, but simply because you clicked and purchased something you need/want/like through my special heavenlyhomemaker link – I’ll get a little cut from the purchase. It’s how some companies market and advertise, so it’s a win/win/win.

A note about the deals or posts I share that don’t interest you

There are a lot of you – and while we are a fantabulous community, we are all unique. Some of you are retired, some of you are teenagers, and the rest of you are somewhere in between. I am not going to hit a home-run with all of you each time I share a recipe or a deal or a spiritual reflection. It’s like walking into a store (except not really, but just work with me here) and picking and choosing what you need and what you like and what works for you.

Do you go through coconut oil like water? You love the deals I share for that. Allergic to coconuts? Well, shucks. Love whole wheat recipes? I’ve got ’em. Have to eat gluten free? Eh well, the whole wheat recipes aren’t helpful to you at all. Love what works for you (and maybe give it a Facebook or Pinterest share!) and skip what doesn’t work for you. We can all still be friends.

So how about you?

Have you ever written or do you currently write and maintain a blog? How much time have you found that it takes to do it well? Do you love it?

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This posts includes affiliate links. (I’ll always disclose that on posts so you know if I’m making a potential commission on anything mentioned.)