It’s almost summer and have I got a great giveaway for you! You’ll be thrilled with the prizes offered. check out the prizes and enter below!

I’m joining my friend Katherine from Katherines Corner and the Katherines Corner Shop for her In the Bag Giveaway.

One winner will receive a striped tote from Katherines Corner Shop ,

Animal house monkey peeler from Marilyns Treats, Picnic recipe book and $25 Cash prize or Amazon gift card ( winners choice) provided by Katherine and her Hostesses.

This giveaway is not endorsed or affiliated with Amazon, Deedee Stovel or PayPal.

Please remember to follow your sponsors and all of the hostess so you can get all of your entries!

Katherine- Katherines Corner

Diane-Mamal Diane

Nancy- Nancy on he Homefront

Marilyn-Marilyns Treats

Karren-Oh My Heartsie Girl

Nina-Vintage Mamas Cottage

Roz-La Bella Vita Cucina

Christine-I Dig Pinterest

Lisa-Casa Bouquet

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

Disclaimer-Katherines Corner may receive compensation for reviews and advertising provided. However, no compensation will influence the outcome of any review. Katherines Corner provides reviews to readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. Katherines Corner and its affiliate Bobskatie Enterprises reserves the right to not publish a review of a product or products that do not meet the specified instructions provided to product submission companies or individuals. Reviews are posted in the appropriate section at Katherines Corner and also at ( subject to products availability) This in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Good Luck in the Giveaway!

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I love shrimp and my favorite way to enjoy shrimp is a quick and easy dinner of broiled shrimp in olive oil and spices. I figured there was no way to improve that meal until I combined it with pesto spaghetti squash. Talk about a win-win!


Marinate the shrimp in olive oil and herbs and placed under the broiler for 5-6 minutes. That’s it, so easy. Usually I serve it on rice with a vegetable side dish.pesto spaghetti squash However, I’m trying to cut back on carbs and I discovered this recipe for pesto spaghetti squash. The hardest part of the meal is roasting the spaghetti squash! I have to say the shrimp paired with the pesto spaghetti squash is delicious and is going to be enjoyed many times this summer!pesto spaghetti squash


Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp


Roast your spaghetti squash. While the spaghetti squash is roasting combine in a food processor:


2 Cups fresh basil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Clove garlic


Puree in food processor.


Broiled Shrimp in Olive Oil and Spices




2 pounds of shrimp, the larger the better
½ cup olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/8  tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp fine fresh bread crumbs




Preheat your broiler to high. Split the shrimp down the backside, rinse and pat dry. Add the remaining ingredients to the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Line a baking dish with foil and arrange the shrimp over it.pesto spaghetti squash


Place the shrimp under the broiler, about three to four inches from the source of heat. Broil 5-6 minutes. It is not necessary to turn the shrimp as they cook.pesto spaghetti squash


Makes four servings. This recipe can easily be halved as well.


Plan to put the shrimp in the oven just as the spaghetti squash is done. Place the 2 cups of the spaghetti squash in a bowl and pour the pesto sauce over. Serve with roasted cherry tomatoes if you like and the shrimp.pesto spaghetti squash


Any leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day.pesto spaghetti squash

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

We are so glad that you have stopped by for a visit! We encourage you to look through some of the great posts shared by our readers and then take the time to read those that interest you. If you are adding to our list, thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us. It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings. We hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us.


Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Sandra at Clearwater Farm – FacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest


Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
2017 May Gardens In VermontMay Gardens in Vermont


My Favorite Post:
4 Natural Cleaning Supplies You Can Make Yourself


 Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.

Nancy On The Home Front


The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!

There are many ways to protect your crops, and one of the best ways to do this is by utilizing sprayers. Commonly known as garden sprayers, these tools are basically containers filled with various kinds of liquid, granules, or powder. Some garden sprayers have fungicides to combat disease while others act as fertilizers. Additionally, garden sprayers can make use of either man-made or organic liquid products.


Here, we’ll be talking about backpack sprayers and how to properly use them for crop protection. Combined with the best backpack sprayer, the information here should help you keep your garden as healthy and beautiful as possible.


Functions and Benefits of a Backpack Sprayer


Different backpack sprayers have different purposes. Some gardeners use them to deal with pesky bugs while others are great for weed removal. Likewise, there are sprayers with the sole purpose of either mildew control or fertilizer application. But why should one use this to maintain one’s crops?garden sprayers

One of the amazing things about a backpack sprayer is that lessens the stress and overall fatigue you experience whenever you take care of your garden. Back pain is essentially removed because your back manages it and you keep a proper posture throughout the activity. Moreover, carrying a backpack sprayer means you no longer have to carry heavy canisters, which often lead to shoulder strains. Of course, a backpack sprayer can still be relatively heavy. In particular, individuals often use sprayers with a motorized pump if the garden is quite huge. As your garden becomes bigger in size, your sprayer can also become heavier and require more maintenance.


Properly Using a Backpack Sprayer


While the usual backpack sprayer only has a pressure going from 15 to 95 psi, there are variants that have high pressure. Also, there are sprayers that decrease in pressure with each spray. This might not seem like such a big deal, but it is essential to maintain the same pressure throughout the spraying process if you are applying chemicals. Thankfully, many of these already contain pressure regulators. In case your backpack sprayer does not contain one, you can always order a pressure sprayers

Speaking of pressure, you’ll notice that many sprayers contain a piston-style pump, which effectively produces high-pressure sprays and is ideal for non-abrasive chemicals. If you are going to use herbicidal products, you should definitely go for a backpack sprayer with a diaphragm pump, which excels in durability. Additionally, don’t forget to get a decent spray wand – one that doesn’t lead to spray leaks and is capable of precise applications.


Common Spraying Methods


There are two common ways to spray a garden using a backpack sprayer. However, both techniques require uniform pressure and speed, so remember what we talked about pressure earlier. The first method requires you to carefully hold the tip of the nozzle above where you want the spray to be applied. Specifically, it should be at least 15 inches from the target location. On the other hand, the second method requires more motion while spraying. Instead of simply standing still, you walk and appropriately move the wand from left to right as you sprayers

Maintenance of Garden Sprayers


Keeping your backpack garden sprayer working well does not have to be time-consuming. If you pay great attention to cleaning them, you shouldn’t have to constantly check for issues. All you really have to do is to rinse the backpack sprayer with clean water. Doing this alone should reduce the number of repairs needed in the long run. If you are a little picky about the cleaning process, you can even use a tank cleaner instead of water to rinse the equipment. In relation to rinsing the tanks, you have to make sure that no herbicidal formulation remains inside. Just to be safe, you should also read up on proper disposal of these products.


The changing of the seasons can also mean disaster for your garden sprayers, so watch out for them. If you know that winter is about to arrive, you should apply automotive antifreeze to stop your equipment from freezing during storage throughout winter.


Overall, using a backpack sprayer isn’t that difficult if you know what its functions are in relation to crop protection.

What exactly is an essential oil? An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

Essential oils are nothing new – in fact they have been around for thousands of years, offering a variety of benefits from cosmetic and dietary purposes to spiritual and religious use. The oils are extracted through careful steam distillation, resin tapping and cold pressing; the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they come.essential oils


How do you use essential oils? The three most common practices include aromatic diffusion, topical application and dietary consumption. These three methods bring the purest essence of healthy promoting botanicals to your home, family and life. You could say I’ve dabbled in essential oils, I haven’t used them so much in dietary consumption, but I have used them often in making products for topical application. Recently I was approached by a small company called Aroma Foundry and was asked to review some of their essential oils. At Aroma Foundry, they take the adage “My Body is My Temple” seriously. they work really hard to deliver an incredible oil you can trust, only sourced from their native locales which are famous for each respective crop. They’ve put together a collection of oils with quality, purity, transparency and consistency you can trust.essential oils


The quality of their oils is impressive. They are hand bottled in California, in small batches to maintain quality control. You’ll never find synthetic additives in Aroma Foundry essential oils; all the oils are 100% pure and all -natural. When you smell the Aroma Foundry oils, you can be sure you are experience the essence of mother nature.essential oils


I was so impressed by their packaging. Each bottle was contained in a small box and well protected for shipping.


One of my favorite uses for lavender essential oil is making a hand lotion. Living in Vermont my hands get very dried out in the winter. I am constantly looking for a decent hand lotion. With only three basic ingredients plus water I can make a wonderful hand lotion that not only smells nice but also keeps my hands soft. It’s too thick to use as a body lotion but works perfectly for my hands. When you first put it on your hands it seems a little greasy but it soaks in in no time. My favorite essential oil to use is lavender, but you could use whatever you want. I had the olive oil on hand and purchased the emulsifying wax from Mountain Rose Herbs. I used the bottle of lavender I received from Aroma Foundry to make the most recent batch of hand lotion.

essential oils

Hand lotion cooling


Next time I’ll have to find a recipe for making a homemade beeswax lotion as we have our own beeswax. I poured the lotion into a wide mouth pint jar, which I now keep by the sink.


Homemade Hand Lotion



1 ¼ cup hot water
¼ cup emulsifying wax
¼ cup olive oil
15-36 drops of essential oil



In a Pyrex measuring cup I combined the olive oil and emulsifying wax and microwaved it on high for 1 minute or until the wax is melted. The temperature is about 155 degrees.


I then removed the wax – olive oil mixture from the microwave and heated up the water in another Pyrex measuring cup for one minute. While the water was heating up I added the essential oil into my melted wax-olive oil mixture. I only used 15 drops of lavender essential oil.


Then pour the hot water slowly into the wax-olive oil mixture and watch it turn milky white. At this point the temperature is about 125 degrees. I then poured the hot lotion into my wide mouth pint jar and let it cool over night.


I was a bit skeptical that it would thicken, however the next morning the lotion was a nice thick consistency.


I could have used more essential oil but I really like the gentle fragrance of the lavender, it is not overpowering at all.essential oils


I have also used essential oils to create a bug spray that works quite well! We have an abundance of biting insects here in Vermont and this bug spray works every time!essential oils


Making my own lip balm is another way I have used essential oils in the past. I make this lip balm almost every year and give it away as a gift, keeping enough for myself of course!


There are many ways to incorporate essential oils in your everyday life. You can use a diffuser to enjoy the medicinal fragrance of the various oils. Essential oils should never be applied directly to your skin but can be diluted with coconut oil.


Popular Uses of Grapefruit Essential Oil


  • Diffuse to sharpen focus while studying or reading..
  • Diffuse or apply topically to help clear congested areas.
  • For performance Stress, add to bath water, drop several drops in your water.
  • Add 2-3 drops to a glass of water after a night drinking to support the detoxification systems of the body.

Popular Uses of Rosemary Essential Oil


  • Diffuse Rosemary to help reduce tension, stress, and fatigue.
  • Add a single drop to the hands, rub together, and cup over the mouth and nose to flood the senses for up to a minute to assist with transitioning.
  • Add a single drop of rosemary essential oil to the hands, rub together, and cup over the mouth and nose to flood the senses for up to a minute, in order to help alleviate the nerves.


Popular Uses of Bergamot Essential Oil


  • Diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress levels or tension is high.
  • Use with Fractionated Coconut Oil for a calming and relaxing massage.
  • Add one to two drops to your favorite skin care product for added cleansing properties.
  • For SELF (worth, love, acceptance), inhale directly from a pendant or diffuser.
  • .essential oils

Caution: Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Eye irritant, avoid contact with eyes. Possible skin sensitivity, do not use undiluted on skin. If pregnant or lactating, consult your healthcare practitioner before using. Not for internal use.


Aroma Foundry sent me four bottles of essential oil to write a review. The thoughts and comments are mine. I was not paid for this review.

Spring is the time of year we all get recommitted to eating healthy and exercising more. The weather is nicer and fresh greens become more readily available. As we incorporate salads into our daily meals one of my favorites to include is this delicious spring salad. It is one of my favorite salads, a pear and blue cheese salad with candied nuts. Candied nuts are a wonderful addition to this salad they add a nice crunch and help dress up the salad just a bit. You can read more about making your own candied nuts by clicking here. As you look for a salad to include in your meals try this delicious spring salad. It’s perfect to enjoy with a simple lunch or alongside your dinner. The homemade dressing made with maple syrup is an added bonus! Adding an avocado and dried cranberries is optional, and delicious, addition to the salad.


Pear & Blue Cheese Saladdelicious spring salad



1 head of spinach or about 10 oz of fresh salad greens
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 pears, thinly sliced
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
½ cup candied pecans or walnuts (see my blog for recipe!)
1 avocado, cubed (optional)
¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)



¼ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
⅓ cup mayonnaise
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper


Layer the greens, onion, pears, blue cheese and, pecans. Add avocado or dried cranberries as desired. Blend the dressing ingredients together in a blender or a small jar. Pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.delicious spring salad



As we enjoy the beautiful spring weather take the time to get outside and go for a walk. Plan your meals ahead of time making healthy choices and be sure to include this delicious spring salad in your menu planning! You’ll be glad you did.candied pecans, pear, salad



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