10 Tips for Managing Stress and Overwhelm on the Homestead


Need help managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead? Here are 10 tips to help you find peace and balance in stressful times.If I had to choose a single word to sum up 2020, it would have to be “stressful.” Or “overwhelming.” Or…

Okay, I’d choose two words.

Between the coronavirus pandemic, sky-high political tensions, adapting to the “new normal,” going double speed on all of our homestead projects in preparation for who knows what lies ahead…

Releasing two new courses, publishing regular blog posts, videos and a monthly magazine and balancing it all with the regular never-ending to-do list that is our daily lives, including but not limited to…

Our child going back to school, end-of-season gardening tasks, doing our TAXES (ugh), and preserving the mountains of food ready now before it all goes to waste)… I finally cracked this week.

And I know I’m not the only one.

 

Adapting to “unprecedented times”

Across the globe, tensions are high. Here in North America, many people are out of work or trying to balance working from home with homeschooling their children for the first time.

We’re all adapting to social distancing and mask-wearing, and the general feeling of “just get me out of here” that’s become common place in most grocery stores and other public places. Anxiety-inducing to say the least.

Add to that the fact that so many people have let their health slip as they’ve sat home under shelter-in-place orders, watching Netflix and eating junky comfort food to help them through these emotionally draining times. While comforting at the time, this physical toll on our health also affects our mental health too.

Oh, and then there’s the whole systemic racism/social injustice thing that has people in many communities and cities across the US suffering, angry and afraid for both their lives and livelihoods. Not to mention the onslaught of recent environmental disasters (ie. hurricanes, wildfires, pest infestations, etc.), an upcoming political election with no chance of a peaceful outcome and an undercurrent of division in our society like we’ve never experienced before.

And then all the while there are our regular old, mile-long to-do lists vying for our focus and attention as if all of these other things weren’t going on in the background.

Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? I sure am.

 

I finally snapped…

I’ve had a bit of a rough week myself. We’ve just been going hard for so long and it’s been slowly chipping away at my mental, emotional and physical health ever since the pandemic took hold here.

It all came to a head this week, and I’ve found myself in tears a few times; over my own feelings of inadequacy to deal with everything and be everything to everyone; over my own shortcomings and personal issues (we’ve all got ‘em); over the sadness I feel for the world right now; over the uncertainty of the future; and over the anxiety that comes from my inability to cross every, last, thing off my to-do list each day.

Anybody else feeling this way? Please leave me a comment below to let me know I’m not the only one!

In any case, I find it useful to take a breath and put my thoughts on paper (or in a blog post) when I’m feeling overwhelmed like this. When it comes to managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead, it helps for me to walk myself through hard times and give myself the advice I would give someone else; the advice that’s helped me get through many challenging times before in my life when I’ve felt trapped by the weight of it all.

So, because I know that there are others out there who need help to cope with stress and overwhelm now more than ever, I figured I’d take my crappy week and make something good come of it. Hence this blog post.

 

My tips for managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead

These are the tried and true steps I’ve taken time and again when I’ve gone through periods of stress and anxiety. (And I’ve gone through my share of these periods, believe me).

Managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead can often be extra difficult because of the added layer of work and responsibility that comes with homesteading life. So while these tips work for anybody, they’re especially helpful if you’re managing a homestead as well.

No matter what you’re going through, where you live, how big (or non-existent) your homestead, I hope the following tips bring you some comfort and peace in this time of overwhelm and uncertainty, and that they help you to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we forge a path forward for ourselves, our families and each other.

 

1. Focus on what you can control. Let go of the rest.

Okay, this might seem obvious, but it’s really easy to forget that all of the big, heavy things going on in the world right now (and always) are largely out of our control, at least at an individual level.

Instead, focus on what you can control. Focus on your family. Focus on your health, focus on your home… Cook a meal from scratch. Clean your kitchen. Weed the garden. Tackle the next project or skill that will help advance you on your path.

By tackling the things you can control, no matter how big or small, it helps you to feel more in control of your life overall. This is just another reason why I love homesteading as I feel like I’m in much more control over things like my health, food security, finances and self-sufficiency overall.

As the old saying goes, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

 

2. Do a brain dump

Sometimes when I’m so overwhelmed that I feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack, it’s because there’s so much swirling around in my head that I don’t even know where to start or how to keep track. I’m unable to focus or prioritize because everything feels equally important.

At this point, it helps to just sit down and do a brain dump, which is basically where you just vomit all of your thoughts onto a page.

Okay, not literally vomit. It’s really just about getting everything that’s taking up mental space in your brain out on paper so you can see it for what it is. It’s about closing all the “open tabs” in your brain.

Once it’s on paper, you can stop worrying about having to think about it. That’s the first step toward more mental freedom and clarity.

Next, it helps to look at your list and categorize things. Categories could include Family/Home, Work, Homesteading/Gardening, Cooking/Food, Finances/Paperwork, etc. For example: Harvest tomatoes, Replace animal bedding, Plant Cover Crop, etc. could all go under “Homesteading.” Monthly budget, Taxes and Registration forms could all go under “Finances/Paperwork,” and so on.

The human brain likes order and classification, so by categorizing everything on your to-do list, you begin to eliminate the chaos and overwhelm that comes from trying to keep everything straight.

To help with this, I’ve uploaded a Time Management Planner to my Free Resource Library to help walk you through the process. Click here to gain access to the Resource Library and grab this free printable! (Find it under the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” section of the library).

 

3. Choose your “Big 3”

There are only so many hours in the day, and while many of us have to-do lists a mile long at all times, it’s just not possible to get everything done in a single day.

I struggle with this. I’ll constantly put more on my daily schedule than I can reasonably handle, and then feel defeated and overwhelmed when I fall into bed at night with most of the tasks still unchecked. But I know that when I do do this -when I focus on just three things instead of 33- it feels much more manageable and I go to bed feeling a lot calmer and happier about my progress that day, which, in turn, helps me to wake up feeling less overwhelmed the next day.

Choose the top three things that absolutely must get done that day. This might include work that needs to get done on deadline, food that needs to be preserved before it goes bad, paperwork that needs to be submitted, bills that need to be paid or even a load of laundry that needs to be done because no one has clean underwear. Whatever needs to be done ASAP to avoid consequences or mitigate loss should go on your Big 3 list.

After that, if there’s space for it, choose things that actually move the needle forward for you or help you get ahead. Maybe that’s working on your business or tackling a project on your homestead or doing a workout or prepping meals for the week ahead.

Only once you’re finished with those three things can you choose what to work on next from your brain dump list. Anything after three is a bonus. This makes you feel like a time management rockstar when you accomplish “bonus” tasks on top of your Big 3.

 

4. Make a plan/Schedule your tasks

It’s one thing to prioritize your tasks, but if you don’t know how or when to do them, you can still end up feeling frazzled.

Take a few minutes to sit down and schedule out your tasks. Decide when you’re going to tackle each task and put it on your calendar or daily scheduler. Use time blocking to assign each task to a given time frame in your day. (Hint: Always allow a little more time than you think you need, just in case).

Plan out your day the night before (or in the morning before you get started). Again, this helps to take the pressure off you because you don’t need to always be thinking about what you need to be doing. You can just check your planner!

You can either use a tangible, paper planner to write everything down or you can use an app or the calendar on your computer or phone. I like using Trello to schedule all my tasks because it’s easy to add, delete and move things, and I can set it up however I want. You can have Trello boards for different projects, you can create one with your weekly schedule (that’s what I do), and you can even make group boards to schedule out your family calendar. Plus, it’s free!

If you prefer to write things down on paper, I’ve included a daily and weekly schedule template that you can print out in the Time Management Planner, which can be found under the “Homesteading Resources” section of my Free Resource Library.”

 

5. Start with the quickest/easiest task

While there’s definitely something to be said for the whole “eat the frog” approach to getting things done, when you’re feeling stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, it’s often best to start small and work your way up.

Start by choosing the smallest, easiest, most “doable” task on your list and tackle that first. Whether it’s sending a quick email, feeding the animals, doing the dishes or having a shower, by tackling something quick and easy first, you give yourself a quick win and get to cross one thing off your list right away. This helps boost morale and build momentum, making it easier to move onto the next task and the next.

 

6. Batch the tasks on your to-do list

One of the most effective ways to knock a whole bunch off your to-do list all at once is to batch similar tasks together and get them all done in one chunk of time.

I don’t know about you, but I find that my most productive days are when I’m focused on a single task or when I’m “in the zone” with a particular type of work. On the other hand, my least productive days are when I lose hours transitioning from one task to another without actually getting much of anything done.

For example, if I’m working in the kitchen preserving food, cooking, baking, making kombucha, etc. I’m most effective and in flow if I just stay in the kitchen and focus my attention there rather than flitting back and forth between the kitchen and the laundry and the garden and, and…

Likewise, if I’m working in the garden, I get much more done if I devote a chunk of time to knocking off a bunch of my gardening tasks all at once. Same goes for work. As a blogger, I wear many hats. But I always find I’m most effective if I group like tasks on the same days and batch them. I like to do all of my writing at the same time because I get in the zone with writing. Same with filming and then same with video editing, financials, etc. Batching tasks together doesn’t just keep you focused and eliminate a lot of time spent in transition from one task to another, it can even help you get ahead of the game, which can take a whole lot of pressure off.

 

7. Turn off all unnecessary devices

TVs, smart phones and computers can not only keep you distracted, they can keep you (or make you) feel even more stressed out and overwhelmed!

I don’t need to tell you that the news these days isn’t exactly good most of the time. Nor does it need to be said that there are a whole lotta mean-spirited people on the Internet just waiting to ruin your day with their negativity. This is a huge drain on your energy and on your mental and emotional health.

Take a break from social media and television and just quiet all that noise. You may want to consider taking an extended break for a few days, or simply scheduling phone/Facebook/TV-free time each day (I didn’t include computers as you may need to work on your computer, but you should definitely keep social media to a minimum).

If you have trouble putting down your phone or you just can’t seem to stop scrolling on Facebook, there are apps that will help you block certain sites, apps and social media platforms. Offtime is an app that helps you block distractions like social media, games and text messages. Focus is another good distraction-blocking app that blocks websites like Facebook and Twitter for a specified amount of time. Plus, if you try to visit these sites while you’re blocked, a motivational quote appears instead!

 

8. Take a break/Go outside and get some fresh air and exercise

This is another “no-brainer,” and yet, so many of us struggle to allow ourselves to just take a break and get outside for some fresh air, sunshine and movement when we’re feeling overwhelmed with everything on our plate, or stressed out by the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Instead, we put our heads down and trudge forward with the things we need to do, often feeling stressed out the whole time (which reduces our effectiveness overall).

But taking a little brain break and a quick walk around the block, on the trails, down a country road, through the park or even around your property if it’s big enough is often all it takes to ease some of your anxiety, practice mindfulness and recharge your batteries.

If you can’t go for a walk, go spend some time in your garden or petting your animals (animals are such great therapy!) or simply sit outside for, say, 15 minutes and just be. Don’t look at your phone or get distracted with anything. Just practice being in the moment.  This can really help to clear your mind and gain a new perspective on things.

 

9. Prioritize your health

Without your health, you don’t have anything, so staying in good health is important to help you manage stress and anxiety and avoid total burnout.

Sleep is so important when it comes to how your brain functions and processes the world around you. Know how much sleep you need to feel fully rested and aim to get that many hours every night. Lack of sleep is the quickest path to grumpiness, lethargy and a general inability to function at a high level.

Likewise, eat good, healthy foods and drink lots of water. What you put into your body truly does effect what you put out too. The healthier and more well-rested you are, the happier and more high-functioning you’ll tend to be, which makes dealing with stress and overwhelm on the homestead and in life all the much more manageable.

 

10. Learn to say “no”

I honestly feel a little ridiculous giving this piece of advice because I am so bad at this. I have terrible guilt when I say no to other people, so I tend to say yes simply to avoid the guilt. But I almost always end up regretting it when I say yes to things that I really don’t want to do out of a sheer feeling of obligation.

However, I did have a big win in this department when I was asked to teach my daughter’s dance class a couple weeks ago and said no, full stop. While I did feel a little bit guilty for saying no, I knew without a doubt that there was no way I could possibly take this on with everything else I have going on and not have a total mental breakdown. That’s one HUGE time commitment and filler of mental space that I avoided even adding to my list in the first place by saying no. Instead, I get to use the time to do the things that light me up and move the needle for me, my business, our homestead and our family.

Practice saying no to things you don’t really want to do, or to things that you know you don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with right now, or that take away from the things that really light you up and fill your cup.

Will you feel guilty? Maybe. I know I sure do. But I’m learning that I’d rather feel a little guilty than have a complete and total mental and emotional breakdown from taking on more than I can handle. And I have a feeling I’ll get over the guilt eventually if I just practice saying no more often.

 

Managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead is different for everyone, but you are not alone

Everybody has a different tolerance for stress and overwhelm and deals with these issues in different ways. Sometimes it’s more of a time management issue and all you really need is help organizing your to-do list and getting things done. For help with this, be sure to download the free printable Time Management Planner from my Free Resource Library. (Find it under the “Homesteading & Self-Sufficiency Resources” section of the library).

Other times it’s more of an issue of feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, or working through some tough personal issues, which can affect your every day life and how effective you are at taking care of your responsibilities at home, at work and as a homesteader, etc. Read more about coping with anxiety on the homestead here.

While there are no easy, one-size fits all answers for these types of problems, my best piece of advice for you would be to give yourself grace and permission to be human. Allow yourself to feel it all. Cry if you must (I have!). Get it all out and grieve if you need to. Scream into a pillow. Go for a run. Whatever it takes to let out everything that you’re feeling so you can let it go.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of big, stressful, overwhelming problems that you alone are not in control of or responsible for fixing. While I always think you should be part of the solution and not the problem, you don’t need to be a martyr either. When it comes to managing stress and overwhelm on the homestead, taking care of yourself and your own mental and emotional health before taking on other people’s is what’s most important.  Just remember to breathe, because this too shall pass.

At least, that’s the advice I’d give myself. And ya know what? I think I just did:)

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Holly

    Anna, those are great suggestions. Strangely, I was in about the same place as you a week ago. I normally plan before I leave the garden what my next tasks will be, usually for the following day, unless rain is expected. Overwhelmed as I was, I decided to start limiting myself to three garden tasks a day. I also decided to get back to my once-a-week “bake & make day,” And I decided, for my own mental health, I needed to let go the idea I could get everything done. Sound familiar? I told myself I would do my best, but not to the point where I was going crazy. This meant some of the tomatoes I picked were going to spoil rather than get canned, so that that was a hard decision. It meant the house wasn’t going to be clean this week, though I did get to some of the usual household tasks. It meant that some of the seeds I was putting in for a fall garden might not get in when they should. But mostly, it meant that I felt better.

    I reminded myself that kindness matters, not only for me to be kind to others, but to be kind to myself. Running myself ragged with high expectations… make that unrealistic expectations of myself is not being kind.

    And then, while I was cleaning up a bed and prepping it for the next planting, I started thinking about how I might smooth out next year’s garden schedule, just a bit, so that that I’m not quite so overwhelmed next year. I could plant with a plan so I can even out my harvests a bit. Maybe I could adjust things so that I’m not simultaneously trying to clean up and plant some beds while tomato canning is going on. I can inventory and get supplies in for canning before the season.

    You had some other good tips I can try now. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Holly,

      I love those tips too! I’ve been saying for a couple years now that I’m going to start making freezer meals in the spring so at least I have some quick dinners ready when the kitchen is a mess with canning and everything in the summer. And I want to do less crops at once but more succession planting next year too so that things are staggered.

      Every year is a new learning experience and no, we just can’t do absolutely everything. I think as women, especially, we can be extra hard on ourselves with expectations. But something always has to give in order for other things to take priority.

      Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, cleaning my house is almost always the first thing to go when I’ve got too much on my plate!

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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***GIVEAWAY TIME!!!***

We’re officially halfway through the pantry challenge and we’re into the “messy middle.” This is the point in the challenge when it can start to feel like a bit of a slog, and even if you’re not doing the pantry challenge, you may still be feeling the slog as we hit the mid-January mark, so to spice things up, I’m offering a pretty massive giveaway...

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So, how to enter??

1. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram.

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3. Tag a friend who you think would also like to enter or who would like to take their gardening/homesteading to the next level this year! (Every person you tag = another entry to win!)

4. *5 BONUS ENTRIES: Share this post to your IG Stories for an additional 5 bonus entries!

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The contest is open to anybody anywhere and will run from now until Midnight PST on Monday night and the winner will be announced this Tuesday at 9am PST.

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Well, it was no small task, but I FINALLY got everything in my pantry inventoried, organized and put away.

I wanted to share my process with you too, so if you’re interested in getting a full tour of our pantry and seeing how I organize things, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and check it out on YouTube!

P.S. I know you’re not supposed to stack canning jars as having multiple heavy rows stacked on top of each other can compromise the seal of the jars on the bottom. I avoid stacking when possible, but due to the style of our pantry I have made the conscious choice to stack one row (max) on top of the bottom and always make sure to stack jars of equal or lesser weight on top. And yes, we do have plans to add more shelves soon. Just a disclaimer since I’m sure I’ll get more comments about it;)

Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know about any pantry organization hacks you use! I’m always looking to improve our system:)
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#homesteadpantrychallenge #homesteadpantry #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity #pantrychallenge #pantrygoals
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Finally got around to taking EVERYTHING out of the pantry today and now getting ready to take inventory.

When everything is buried in the pantry, it can be so easy to forget what you have. That’s why I always recommend taking everything out when starting a pantry challenge so you know exactly what you’ve got. I was feeling like we hadn’t preserved enough food this year to get us through the month, but now that I see everything, I’ve got all sorts of creative ideas for how to use up the abundance of food that we have.

I’m also finding things I didn’t know I had, seeing what I have more than enough of and finding gaps in my food storage. This is one of my favourite reasons for doing a pantry challenge: it’s an excuse to pull everything out and actually see what we’ve got so we know what we’re working with.

In order to keep everything organized, I also created printable pantry, fridge and freezer inventory sheets where I can record everything I’ve got (so it doesn’t get lost at the back of our very deep pantry again). If you wanna grab these printables, along with my weekly meal planning sheet, homestead pantry checklist, pantry substitutions chart and 31 Days of Dinner Ideas cheat sheet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and sign up for the Homestead Pantry Challenge and I’ll send everything to your inbox:)

Alright, back at it. Wish me luck!

Have you started organizing your pantry yet??
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#homesteadpantrychallenge #pantrygoals #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity
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🌱 One of the things I get asked the most during the #homesteadpantrychallenge is what we do for fresh veggies. Now, I much prefer to eat seasonally, which means eating the veggies that we preserved over the summer and fall during the winter. But I do start to miss my fresh greens by the time January rolls around.

Sure, I could grow some salad greens over the winter months, but that would require a level of organization that I frankly haven’t reached yet. And quite honestly, I don’t love going out to the garden in the middle of winter due to the torrential rain, swampy mud and frigid temps we get here in the PNW. No no, I’m a little too lazy and disorganized for all that! I’d much rather plant seeds a few days before I want to harvest them and do it all from the comfort of my kitchen during the nasty weather season.

And so, I turn to microgreens to provide me and my fam with fresh greens this time of year. They’re not only packed with nutrients (said to be higher in nutrients than their full grown counterparts!), they can be grown on your countertop and are ready to harvest in just a few days!

Not to mention, they taste delicious and look beautiful! I made this cheesy pasta dish topped with broccoli microgreens for dinner and the microgreens (which are just the seedling version of the full grown plant) tasted just like broccoli. Plus, the purple and green colours take an otherwise kinda boring dish and make it pop💥

I get all of my microgreens from @trueleafmarket, one of the sponsors of this month’s pantry challenge, as well as the current issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

To enter to win your own self-watering microgreens growing kit from True Leaf Market, be sure to join in the Homestead Pantry Challenge on Instagram, and to learn more about microgreens AND score yourself a sweet 10% discount off all True Leaf products, make sure you’re subscribed to Modern Homesteading Magazine (discount code is in the magazine and in the delivery email).

If you’re not yet subscribed, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and subscribe for free!

What’s your go-to source for fresh greens in the winter??
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Well, we made it. It’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally behind us, but here we are, at the dawn of a new year; A fresh page and a new chapter.

This past year has been one for the history books for sure, and it most definitely has not all been good. But it hasn’t been all bad either. Us humans have a tendency to focus on the bad. It’s a survival tool that’s hard-wired into our brains to be on the lookout for danger. So we have to make a conscious choice to see the good in bad situations; To find what we can control and cling to it in a sea of things that we cannot control and, therefore, must let go of.

But with a new year comes a symbolic chance to let those things go and to move forward with hope and determination. No matter what’s scrolled on the pages of the past, the future has yet to be written.

As we enter 2021, I encourage you to remember that those things that were out of our control last year are still out of our control this year. They always have been, and always will be. But what is in our control are our thoughts and actions; How we choose to see and react to the world and to each other.

My hope is that we can begin to leave the past behind us and choose to see the world in a new light. In the Universe there is no good and bad. Everything just is. We assign the value.

I also hope that we begin to see each other as fellow travellers on the same journey, and to treat each other with equal respect, no matter our skin colour, gender, political or religious beliefs.
 
Finally I hope that the trend of people taking an interest in modern homesteading and taking action toward living a more sustainable, self-sufficient life continues long after COVID is behind us. As a whole, I think this was one of the best things to come out of this past year; A bright silver lining on a dark cloud.
 
There’s no way to know for sure what 2021 has in store for us, but I know that if we enter into this next chapter with open minds and hearts, along with a willingness to step up and take charge of the things in life that we can control while committing to let go of the rest, well then 2021 will be a good year no matter what.
 
To a new year and a fresh start 🥂
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year...

Time for the 2021 Homestead Pantry Challenge to begin!!!

Every year in January, I like to challenge myself to eat only what I've managed to store away throughout the year and avoid the grocery store at all costs. And after the year we’ve just had, many of us are doing our best to avoid the grocery store already. Plus, with the financial impacts of lockdowns and the fragility of our global supply chain, saving a few bucks and taking steps to become more self-sufficient are top of mind for a lot of people right now.

Needless to say, a pantry challenge might be just what you need right about now to reign in your spending, put your resourcefulness, kitchen skills and creativity to the test, increase your self-sufficiency and decrease your dependence on the grocery store and on people and systems that are outside of your control.

Kicking things off with a fun pantry challenge can help you to start the new year off on the right foot and gain momentum and motivation that will help get you moving in the right direction and take control over your food supply right off the bat so that you set yourself up for success in 2021, regardless of what unexpected surprises it may bring.

This year's Homestead Pantry Challenge is even bigger and better than before too, with some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a @lodgecastiron skillet, a self-watering micro greens growing kit from @trueleafmarket and an 8-quart Duo Nova Instant Pot!!!

🥫To join in and enter to win, post photos or videos of your pantry, your meal planning, your meals, etc. during the pantry challenge and use the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge in the caption. Every post equals one entry:)

🎞 You can also post in your stories using the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge and tagging me @thehouseandhomestead for additional entries!

I'm SO pumped about this year's challenge and I really REALLY hope you'll join me!

The challenge officially begins on January 1st and runs until January 31st, but you can sign up via my link in bio @thehouseandhomestead and get all the details before we begin!
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Merry Christmas friends!

While this year, and subsequently this Christmas has been anything but normal, and while we weren’t able to be with our extended families this year , I hope you’ve been able to find peace and joy this season, and to enjoy slower, more intimate moments at home with your immediate family.

Now that the big day has come and (almost) gone, it’s time to slow down, to rest deeply and recharge for the year to come. Nobody knows what 2021 will bring, but after the year that was 2020, we’ve proven to ourselves just how resilient we can be. And that is one of the greatest gifts of all. (Well, that and this accidentally inappropriate ornament we got to commemorate a year that will forever live in infamy;)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night ❤️
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Cranberry sauce is a holiday tradition, but if you’ve ever had store-bought cranberry sauce out of a tin, then you probably know how unappetizing it can be.

From the “glurp” sound that it makes as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, to the way the jelly stays formed in the shape of the tin even after it’s out, to the bland boringness of the flavour.

No offence to anyone who loves commercially canned cranberry sauce, but even if you love the store-bought stuff, then you’re definitely gonna love homemade cranberry sauce!

I know a lot of people put orange juice or orange zest in their cranberry sauce, and you can totally do that too! But I’m actually not a fan of the orange-cranberry mix, so my recipe calls for a little cinnamon and vanilla, as well as some sugar to give it a sweet spiciness that goes oh so well with Christmas dinner.

But perhaps the best part is that you’re able to can this cranberry sauce too, which means you can make a big batch this year and have enough homemade cranberry sauce on your shelves to last you multiple holiday seasons! Or you could even give some away to loved ones with whom you’re not able to spend Christmas with this year.

Whether you want to can it for later or eat it fresh or just refrigerate it until Christmas, this recipe is a must-try this holiday season.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to get my full recipe plus canning instructions:)
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#homemade #fromscratch #christmasrecipes #cranberrysauce #delicious
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Look at that JIGGLE!!!

If you don’t make your own bone broth, this might look really weird (and kinda gross tbh), but this is actually EXACTLY what you wanna see in a homemade bone broth. This jiggly gel means this broth is super high in collagen, which comes from the bones, skin and ligaments of animals (in this case grass-fed beef cattle). It’s also the most abundant protein in the human body, and many studies have show that increasing our collagen intake can help up the collagen in our own bodies.

Collagen has so many health and beauty benefits, including healthy skin (and reduced wrinkles), shiny, healthy hair and strong bones, cartilage, joints and muscles.

I love making my own broth at home because I can pretty much guarantee a good gel and lots of collagen in each batch. Plus I make mine super frugally, with bones and veggie scraps that I save in the freezer.

I’ll be posting my recipe (and canning instructions) soon. Start saving those scraps!
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#bonebroth #collagen #nourish #wholefoodnutrition #homesteadkitchen
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After 9 long months of extreme hand washing and sanitizing, the last thing our skin needs right now is the harshness of winter. But winter is here my friends, and that means it’s time to give your skin a little extra TLC.

I make my own body butter every year around this time, and it’s become my favourite way to moisturize my skin during the winter months. Much like a deep conditioner works on your hair, body butter absorbs deeply into your skin to help moisturize, repair and protect it.

While lotions contain water (aqua), they also requires additional preservatives to keep them from going moldy due to the water content. But this homemade whipped body butter doesn’t have this problem because it’s made of nourishing oils and fats like shea butter, sweet almond oil and coconut oil (plus beneficial essential oils for all-natural fragrance). These oils are not only all-natural and highly beneficial for your skin, they’re also easily absorbed, giving your skin a “deep conditioning” rather than just a surface moisturizing.

But the best part of all is how quick and easy this body butter is to make up in your kitchen, and what a nice gift it makes this time of year too! So you can make a jar for yourself and a few jars for the people you love:)

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-body-butter/ to get the full recipe and “whip up” a batch today;)
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#bodybutter #naturalbeauty #naturalliving #skindeep #homemade #handmade #naturalskincare
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The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my FAVOURITE THINGS!!! 🎉🎁🎄(aka. The modern homesteader’s Christmas wish list;)

I’ve rounded up all of my fave kitchen tools, books and home and body products that I use all the time and could not live without (ok, I could live without them, but I wouldn’t want to!) and I’m sharing them all with you in this week’s YouTube video!

Grab a mug of something warm (or a glass of something chilled) and come on in for a tour of all the goods!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead for all the latest videos:)
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