My Favourite Things – 2023 Edition (aka. The Modern Homesteader’s Christmas Wish List)

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.


Every year around this time, I compile a list of my favourite things: Things that I love, use or covet for my own homestead, and things that I know other modern homesteaders will love too! 

As each new holiday season approaches, I update the list to include new gadgets, products and gift ideas that have made their way onto my favourite things list over the past year, and I curate the list even further. 

As a general rule, I’m all about quality over quantity, and while that certainly doesn’t have to mean expensive, it does mean I look at items as investments, whether they’re for our family or for someone else’s.

This year I narrowed down what was once a very long list to just a handful of my favourite things for gift giving (and receiving!)

Every single one of these products, big or small, is worth the investment, even at regular price. But right now during this Black Friday weekend only, you can save on all of them!

I’ve included coupon codes wherever applicable. Otherwise the discount should automatically be applied. Just keep in mind, most of these discounts won’t last! Some expire at midnight on Black Friday and others expire at the end of the weekend. So get ready to stock up on all of my favourite things! I’m confident they’ll soon become some of your favourite things too:)


Stocking Stuffers & Gift Sets


Farmhouse Teas

*** The Deal: 20% Off at Farmhouse Teas ***

Farmhouse Teas is a family-owned business specializing in looseleaf teas, kombucha, medicinal herbs and more. Their Country Christmas Teas Set and their Holiday Trio make beautiful gifts, whether as stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or gifts for moms, aunts, neighbours, etc.

Pair a tea set with some artisan foods, or all-natural personal care products for a gift that’s as delicious and nourishing as it is beautiful.

Use code FARMHOUSE20 to save 20% off most things right now at Farmhouse Teas (this Black Friday weekend only).


Plant Therapy Holiday Set

*** The Deal: BOGO 50% off Site-Wide at Plant Therapy ***

Plant Therapy has made my favourites list year after year. They carry a huge selection of 100% pure, third-party tested essential oils, which is what got me hooked on them years ago. But they’ve also diversified over the years and now carry a wide range of natural home and body care products supplements and more. 
I love their holiday products, which change a little bit every year, so it’s always a surprise what scents they’ll come up with! This year the Holiday Traditions Set, the Holiday Ornament Diffuser and the Candy Cane Naturally Scented Candle are my top picks for gift-giving. They also have a curated gift guide to help you choose the perfect gift for the right person.

Right now you can buy one, get one for 50% off EVERYTHING site-wide! This deal is only available this Black Friday until 11:59pm (November 24th). Shop Plant Therapy now and save BIG! (No coupon code needed). 


Gifts For the Cook & Kitchen


*** The Deal: 40% off Cast Iron Cookware ***

Nothing will make you feel more like Ma Ingalls than a set of cast iron cookware. Not only does cast ironheat up and cook more evenly than stainless steel or non-stick pans, they’re much healthier to cook on too. 

Cast iron is built solid and made to last. In fact, well-seasoned and cared for cast iron can be passed down for generations!

Right now you can save 40% off this 5-piece Lodge Cast Iron set, which includes a griddle, 2 skillets and a dutch oven.



*** The Deal: 40% off site-wide + an ADDITIONAL 10% off at Cultures For Health ***

If you or someone on your Christmas list is interested in fermenting or culturing foods of any kind, Cultures For Health has everything you need to get started making your own fermented vegetables, kombucha, sourdough, yogurt, kefir, cheese and more at home!

You can get everything from packaged kombucha SCOBYs, sourdough starters, yogurt cultures, kefir grains and cheese starter cultures to full fermenting kits and equipment. My favourites for gift-giving (and receiving!) include the Mozzarella & Ricotta Cheese Making Kit, the Kombucha Starter Kit and the Artisan Sourdough Bread Kit.

Save up to 40% off site-wide, plus save an ADDITIONAL 10% when you use code HH10 at checkout!


*** The Deal: Get 34% off this 11-piece Sourdough Baking Kit ***

Whether you’re buying for an experienced baker or looking for something to pair with your sourdough starter kit, this sourdough bread-baking kit comes with everything you need to make beautiful loaves of artisan bread at home, including 2 bread proofing baskets, liner cloth, butter paper, a metal scraper to divide and portion your dough, a plastic scraper, a wooden sourdough lame, a bag liner for packing, baking mat, dough whisk and a brush.

Grab the entire 11-piece sourdough baking set right now for 34% off (just $32.99 this Black Friday only!)

*** The Deal: Up to 50% off ForJars Canning Lids & Equipment + an ADDITIONAL 10% off site-wide! ***

A few years back during the great canning lid shortage of 2020, a new company emerged and began to fill the gaps in the market. ForJars Canning Lids offers a diverse range of canning and preserving products, from their signature bulk canning lids to their very own pressure canner, vacuum sealer kit and their cute, canner-shaped kitchen timer (which would make a fantastic stocking stuffer, just sayin!) 

This Black Friday you can save 50% off a 24 pack of mixed regular and wide mouth canning lids and rings, take over $40 off a bulk pack of 400 canning lids, and save 25% off a ForJars pressure cannerat ForJars Canning Lids.


Gifts For the Gardener

*** The Deal: 15% off all gift items at True Leaf Market ***

Winter may have just arrived but spring is just around the corner! True Leaf Market is a great one-stop shop for a huge variety of garden seeds, indoor growing kits, sprouts, microgreens and more!

My top picks for gift-giving include the Culinary Herb Seed Starter Kit, the Medicinal & Herbal Tea Growing Kit and the Self-Watering Microgreens Kit. If you’ve got a special feline on your gift list, they also sell pet themed kits, like this Barnwood Planter Cat Grass Kit (purrfect for the winter months when even your cats are craving something green!)

The assorted seed packs also make great gifts! I like the 15 Pack Heirloom Garden Seeds and the Emergency Storage Seeds Long Term Storage Can with over 50,000 seeds! Plus, right now you can save 15% off all of these garden gifts and more.

Use code TLMGIFTS15 at checkout to save 15% off all True Leaf Market gift items!


*** The Deal: 30% off this 11-piece Hermsche x BHG Garden Tools Set ***

This Hermsche Garden Tools Set comes highly rated with all of the hand tools you’ll ever need in the garden, including a hand rake, weeder, folding saw, crack weeder, transplanter, trowel, curved pruner, straight pruner, gloves, and a storage tote bag + 10 T-type plant labels. It also comes packaged in a beautiful box that makes a gorgeous Christmas gift and will inspire even the biggest brown thumb to get out in the garden this coming spring!

Save 30% this Black Friday and get the Hermsche Garden Tools Set for just $27.99!


Gifts For the Chicken Lover

*** The Deal: $32 off plus an ADDITIONAL 5% off a ChickCozy Automatic Chicken Door ***

We’ve had an automatic chicken door for a few years now and it’s been a game changer! No remembering to close the coop at night or getting up early to let the girls out in the morning. Plus we don’t need to worry about them being totally secure at night.

The only downside to the chicken door we were using is that it was hard to set and reset at different times of the year. You needed to climb right in the chicken coop and honestly, I didn’t know how to work it! But this automatic chicken door from Chick Cozy is beyond simple to install and operate. Simply screw it onto your chicken coop door frame and set the digital timer! It’s also stylish and comes in a vibrant green colour or rustic goldenrod. Plus you get a pack of cute chicken stickers in each kit, and who doesn’t need more chicken stickers?

Right now you can save $32 off a ChickCozy Automatic Chicken Door, plus get an ADDITIONAL 5% off when you use coupon code THEHOUSEANDHOMESTEAD at checkout!


*** The Deal: 40% off this Spiral Egg Dispenser ***

Baskets of eggs on the counter are great, but this Spiral Egg Dispenser is a next level statement piece that’s also highly finctional! It holds up to 3 dozen eggs and is a super stylish piece of functional decor that makes a great addition to any homestead kitchen.

Save 40% off this Black Friday and get the Spiral Egg Dispenser for just $23.99!


The “Investment” Item

*** The Deal: Up to $500 off a Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer ***

Home freeze dryers are a game changer when it comes to food preservation. Unlike canning and regular dehydrating, you can freeze dried just about any food without worrying about safety. The difference between a freeze dryer and a regular dehydrator is that a freeze dryer will flash freeze your food first and then dry it. This makes it safe to dry things that a normal dehydrator can’t, like eggs, dairy and even whole meals! It also apparently won’t change the texture like a regular dehydrator does. Plus, your freeze dried food will last up to 25 years on the shelf!

A Harvest Right Home Freeze Dryer has been on my personal wish list for quite some time now. They’re not exactly cheap, but they’re also an excellent investment piece that will be worth every penny in the long run.

Right now you can save up to $500 off a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer during their annual Black Friday special! (Save $300 off a small freeze dryer or $500 off a medium, large or the brand new extra large pro freeze dryer!

Shop the Harvest Right Black Friday sale here (no coupon needed), plus enter to win a FREE freeze dryer while you’re there!


The Gift Of Knowledge (and Life Skills!)

*** The Deal: 30% off both of my signature courses, including my Organic Gardening Course and my Home Canning Course ***

There’s perhaps no greater gift than the gift of education and skills that will last a lifetime. Right now I’m offering 30% off both of my signature courses to help you level up your homestead skills.

First, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to grow your own 100% organic food at home in my Seed to Soil Organic Gardening Course. From prepping your property to starting your seeds, indoor growing to caring for your garden and bringing in the harvest, you’ll go from overpaying for groceries to creating your very own organic grocery store right in your backyard!

Of course, you’re also going to want to know how to preserve all of that food coming out of your garden so that nothing goes to waste. I’ll teach you how to stock your pantry with delicious, nutritious SAFE home-canned food in my Yes, You CAN! Home Canning Course. Learn how to can fruits, vegetables, pickles, pie fillings, jams and jellies, meats and even full meals in a jar! Plus get a free copy of my Home Canning Handbook!

Save 30% off my Seed to Soil Organic Gardening Course AND my Yes, You CAN! Home Canning Course this Black Friday weekend only! (Offer valid until 11:59pm on Sunday, November 26th)


Well, that’s a wrap for this year folks! Now I want to know, what are YOUR favourite things???

I’m always on the lookout for new tools and products to make life just a little bit easier or more enjoyable! If you have any products or items that you love and use all the time, comment below and share!

And remember, while favourite “things” can certainly compliment our lives, at the end of the day, the best parts of this season are the things that are priceless. So above all else be sure to take time to slow down, spend time with the people you love most and make a conscious effort to be grateful for everything you already have. There may be a great many problems in the world today, but there’s so much to be grateful for too.

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons…




  1. Debbie

    Another thank you for your suggestions. I have been using an immersion blender for a few years now as I hate pulling out my huge blender and I have “gone through” a number of cheap immersion blenders. The plastic parts always seem to break down. I took your advice and purchased a Breville. It is fantastic. I’ve had it for a couple of years now and use it on a regular basis. Definitely worth the money instead of replacing the cheap stuff over and over again and being frustrated when they break down in the middle of using them. This would be a great Christmas gift for someone you love. Breville is the best.

  2. Debbie

    OMG, Love, love, love Plant Therapy. Thank you for introducing it to me. I also have tried many brands especially the ones that are in the stores around Christmas. None of them are even close to Plant Therapy. My very favourite essential oil is Persian Lime. I use it daily. I haven’t found it anywhere else but Plant Therapy. Thanks again for bringing this into my life.

  3. Kristina

    I think you should check out Doterra essential oils. They are non-chemical based essential oils, and they have many other products on there that are natural too. I for one use the laundry detergent (its even gentle enough to use for my 8 month old clothes and bedding); I use their essential oils for a variety of different things, like on dryer balls.

    • Anna Sakawsky

      I actually did try DoTerra when I was looking for a brand of oils I liked. But they’re way too expensive and I don’t like the MLM business model. After doing a few years of research on reputable oil companies, I discovered Plant Therapy oils are just as natural and effective but at a fraction of the cost and without the predatory business model. I also use them on my wool dryer balls:)


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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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The Modern Homesteading Conference is just a few short weeks away, and I have TWO free tickets to give away to one lucky winner.

This is a live, in-person event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on June 28th and 29th. I’ll be there speaking and teaching alongside expert homesteaders like Joel Salatin (Polyface Farms), Melissa K. Norris (Pioneering Today), Carolyn and Josh Thomas (Homesteading Family), Lisa Bass (Farmhouse On Boone), Anne Briggs (Anne Of All Trades), Lisa Steele (Fresh Eggs Daily), Robyn Jackson (Cheese From Scratch) and more!

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I’ll be drawing a winner this Thursday, so make sure to enter by tomorrow night (Wednesday, June 5th) if you wanna win!

May the odds be ever in your favour 😉

18 4

For Mother’s Day this year, my husband is teaching our daughter to empty the dishwasher on her own. It may seem like a small feat, and for anyone who has kids who already do this and more, this may seem like nothing to celebrate. But for all of the moms who understand how much quicker and easier it is to just “do it yourself,” slowing down and allowing our daughter to take ownership of this even if it’s not perfect or takes twice as long is a huge milestone, both for her and for us as parents!

While it may sometimes feel like the work that we do day in and day out is just mundane and repetitive, the way we show up every day over many years with our children will have a huge impact on the type of people they’ll grow up to be.

What we teach them—the skills we pass on and the values we instil—will help to shape who our children become as adults, and who they become as adults will help to shape what our future world looks like.

It may seem as simple as emptying a dishwasher, but what this really symbolizes is that we’re raising a capable human being who takes responsibility for contributing to our household and is a valued member of our family. And since she will someday grow up to run her own household, possibly be a mother herself, and contribute to our future society, that means that we, as parents, (and especially us moms!), have immense power to shape what the future looks like through the simple actions we take every day to teach and empower the next generation.

All of that to say, thanks for everything you do moms! You are more valued and powerful than you know.

Happy Mother’s Day, and may someone else be doing the dishes for you today!

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Hot cross buns are an Easter tradition in our house, so naturally I wanted to learn how to make them at home.⁣

They're surprisingly easy to make with just a few basic ingredients, including flour, dry active yeast, milk, eggs, sugar and spices, plus raisins or, more traditionally, dried currants and/or candied citrus peels. ⁣

Click the link in my bio to learn how to make your own and enjoy hot cross buns fresh out of the oven this Easter!

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I’m not always so good at sharing all of the awesome stuff I’ve got going on in life and business here on social media. When you’re a full time homesteader, business owner, editor, mom and wife, sometimes IG falls by the wayside 😬

But I just had to pop in this morning to let you know that I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and offering anyone who would like to try out my online membership program—The Society Of Self-Reliance—the opportunity to join for just $1.

Yup, you read that right: Right now, you can get unlimited access to The Society Of Self-Reliance for an entire month for just $1!

Here’s what you get access to:

🌱 Over 150 video lessons to help you build your skills in the kitchen, garden, workshop and home.

👨‍🌾 A private community of amazing people sharing their on journeys and supporting you in yours.

🫙 Our monthly live group coaching call, where you can ask questions and where I offer personalized help and guidance on your homesteading journey.

🌿 Exclusive bonuses: Get downloadable digital copies of my Home Canning Handbook and the annual edition of Modern Homesteading Magazine for free (regular $40 for both), as well as access to other bonuses, like my gardening and preserving masterclasses and bonus interviews with other top homesteaders.

I’m only offering this deal for a limited time, and after it’s over, the membership cost will be going up. But if you join now for $1 and decide you love it, you’ll still be able to continue with your membership for the introductory price of just $20/month (or $200/year).

However, if you decide The Society Of Self-Reliance just isn’t for you right now, you can cancel any time.

All you have to lose is $1, but what you have to gain is priceless:

—> Independence and self-reliance in all areas of life.
—> Security and confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones in good times and bad.
—> Freedom from complete and total dependency on “the system”
—> Skills and knowledge you can pass down to the next generation.
—> Fellowship and community with other likeminded folks.

And so much more!

Comment “Society” below and I’ll send you the deets!

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Me shopping for Easter candy for my kids, and walking out empty handed because it’s all full of absolute garbage!

I don’t mind my kids having sugar now and again, but I draw the line at food dies, seed oils and artificial ingredients. (Or at least, I try!)

Hey, we’re not perfect, and yes, our kids will get Easter candy on Sunday morning. Ryan has already bought some and I’m sure he didn’t check all the ingredients like I do! I’m fine with the 80/20 rule most of the time. But the meta question here, is why are these types of ingredients allowed in foods to begin with? Especially food marketed toward kids!

Yes, it’s “junk food.” I don’t expect it to be HEALTHY. But it could be made better by omitting the known carcinogenic ingredients that have been linked to everything from ADHD to hormone imbalances to cancer!

Folks, we must demand better. We DESERVE better, and so do our kids.

27 7

We said goodbye to a family pet yesterday. My mom has had Zoe since I was a teenager, and Evelyn has grown to love her during her visits with nanny.

It’s never easy to say goodbye to a family member, human or furry. But we don’t shelter our kids from death either. Evelyn was with us when we found our rabbits dead. She went with my mom to say goodbye to her other cat a year ago. And she knows where the chickens go when it’s their time.

Having a healthy relationship to death is important. It is, after all, the only certainty in life.

Today Ryan is heading down to clean out his dad’s place after he passed last week. They had a strained relationship, so our kids never knew him as their grandpa. But still, it’s never easy.

It does, however, teach us to be grateful for every day we’re alive, and to appreciate the ones we love while we’re still together, because you never know how much time you have left.

RIP Zozo ❤️ See you over the rainbow bridge 🌈 🐾

94 16

When I first started homesteading, gardening, and trying to be more self-sufficient, I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new to me, and I had no one in my life to teach me the ropes.

I’m not a second or third or fifth generation homesteader. I’m a born-and-raised city girl who had to figure it out on my own, using books from the library and resources from the internet, and advice from random strangers on social media.

While these free resources have taught me a lot, I’ve also come across lots of bad (or just wrong) advice online, and sadly, I’ve dealt with a jerk or two in the comments section of public Facebook groups.

Eventually I did invest in online mentorship and my success from there was exponential. Now, less than a decade after leaving the city in pursuit of our new life as homesteaders, I’ve not only learned how to grow an abundance of food and troubleshoot all kinds of plant issues to ensure a healthy crop and successful harvest, but I’ve learned how to be more self-sufficient in just about every area of life.

I’ve learned how to
🌱 grow my own groceries
🫙 can and preserve my own food
🌿 make herbal medicine and natural products
💵 create multiple income streams
🆘 prepare for a wide range of emergencies
and more.

Plus, with my husband’s help, he can also
🛠 fix or build most things
so together we’ve got a wide range of skills that allow us to live a more empowered, self-reliant life.

Now I want to help you do the same…

I recently reopened the doors to The Society of Self-Reliance—my private membership program where I teach you the skills and mindset you need to become more self-reliant in every area of your life.

Not only do you get access to nearly 150 step-by-step video tutorials (and counting), you also get monthly live group coaching calls with me, and access to a private, SUPPORTIVE and knowledgeable online community of likeminded folks on the same journey.

For a limited time, you can join The Society for just $20/month (or get two months FREE with an annual membership!).

Come, join a community of people who will lift you up and ensure you DON’T starve 😉

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Never before have we had access to so much information at our fingertips. Whether you have a question you need answered, are looking for a tutorial to walk you through a specific task or are searching for a recipe to help you figure out what to make for dinner, all you have to do is Google it.⁣

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While it's definitely an exciting time to be alive, so many people are feeling overwhelmed, and are craving a return to the analog world; To a world where information was shared in the pages of trusted books and publications, or was passed on from human to human, from someone who held that knowledge not because they Googled it, but because they lived it, experienced it, even mastered it.⁣

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No matter where you are on your homesteading journey, if you've been feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information and the noise of the online world and have been craving a return to the real, the tangible and, quite frankly, the human, Homesteading Monthly was made for you. ⁣

For homesteaders, by homesteaders.⁣

*** Comment "Homestead" below and I'll send you the link to subscribe! ***

38 14

When I graduated from university with a degree in journalism many years ago, I remember thinking that while I knew how to write, edit, interview, shoot, and handle just about every part of creating a publication from the editorial standpoint, I really had no clue how to actually get published, let alone how the printing process works.

Over the years I’ve followed my passion for writing, editing and creating content, figuring much of it out on my own. From creating my blog to “self-publishing” my own digital/print magazine for the last 4 years, I’ve taught myself most of the practical skills necessary for turning an idea into a publication and getting said publication in the hands and in front of the eyes of many hundreds of readers.

But now that I’ve joined forces with the team at @homesteadlivingmagazine and @freeportpress, we’re all able to level up and reach many THOUSANDS of print and digital readers together.

People are HUNGRY for tried and tested advice on homesteading and self-reliant living. There’s a huge movement happening right now as more people wake up to all of the corruption in the world and realize that many of the systems we have come to depend on are fragile and on the brink of collapse. People are ready to take matters into their own hands by growing their own food, preparing their own meals, becoming producers instead of merely consumers and taking control of their health, freedom, security and lives.

I’m so proud to not only be a part of this movement, but to be at the forefront of it with some of the most passionate, talented and driven individuals I could ask to work with.

Getting to meet and brainstorm with some of the team in person and tour the printing facilities over the last few days has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, not just for me, but for everyone who considers themselves part of the modern homesteading movement. We are growing faster than I could have ever imagined. We’re creating a system outside of the system! We’re charging full steam ahead and we invite you to climb aboard and join us for the ride:)

#homesteading #modernhomesteading #homesteadliving #selfsufficiency #selfreliance

31 5

It’s been a minute since I popped into IG to say hi. (Hi! 👋) But before I share what’s been going on behind the scenes, I thought it would be a good time to (re)introduce myself, because I’ve never actually done that before!

My name’s Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader living in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. I live with my family (human, furry and feathered) on 1/4 acre property where we grow and preserve hundreds of pounds of our own food every year, and strive to live a more self-reliant lifestyle in all that we do.

I grew up in Vancouver and had pretty much zero experience homesteading before my husband, Ryan and I decided we wanted to escape the rat race, become less dependent on the modern industrial food system (and all modern industrialized systems), and dove head first into this lifestyle around a decade ago.

We packed up and moved to Vancouver Island where we live now, started our first garden, and the rest is pretty much history.

(Well, actually that’s not true… There have been A LOT of ups and downs, successes and failures, wins and losses, struggles, challenges and pivotal moments along the way, but those are stories for another day).

Over the past few years, our decision to follow a less conventional path that aims to break free (at least in some part) from “the system” has been affirmed over and over again. We all know for a fact now that our food system, healthcare system, financial system, transportation system and so much more are all really just a house of cards built on shaky ground. We’ve been lucky so far, but sooner or later it’s all liable to collapse.

But preparedness and security isn’t the only thing that drives us… The peace of mind I get knowing that everything we grow is 100% organic, and that the ingredients in our food, medicine, personal and household products are safe and natural is worth more than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

(I’m not perfect though. Not by a long shot. I still rely on the grocery store, on modern medicine, and on many modern conveniences to get by, but I balance it as much as I can:)

(Continued in comments…)

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