When the weather cools off in Vermont and there is a constant chill in the air my thoughts turn to simple soups I can make. Recently I shared another favorite simple soups recipe: Irish Yellow Broth. This Chicken Pot Pie Soup is also a favorite in our family and it is so easy to put together.If you have leftover chicken in your refrigerator this is a great way to use it up while at the same time making a delicious meal.  The soup tastes just like the filling of a chicken potpie; in fact you can also thicken the soup up a little more and top it with a crust for a delicious chicken potpie. However you enjoy this simple soup it is bound to become a favorite in your family!simple soups, Chicken Pot Pie soup

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup of carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup of frozen peas
6 Tbsp butter, sliced
1/3 cup flour
4 cups of whole milk (1% and 2% will work too)
5 tsp chicken bouillon granules
¼ tsp pepper
2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed


In a soup pot cover the potatoes and carrots with water. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the peas and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain; set the vegetables aside in a bowl. In the same pot melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour; cook and stir until the mixture is golden. Add milk, bouillon and pepper to the butter mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Add the chicken and vegetable and heat through. Makes 5-6 servings.Simple Soups, Chicken Pot Pie soup

The soup is thick and creamy. Perfect for a quick lunch on a cool fall day or serve with a salad and some bread for a complete dinner.simple soups, chicken pot pie soup

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #71

Great fall weather. Nothing more fun than enjoying a country fair!old time town fair

Please join us this week for Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop! Thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us each week! It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings! Have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us! Here are the co-hosts of Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.


Tracy at Our Simple Homestead



Sandra at Clearwater Farm



Nancy at On The Home Front



Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead



LeeAnn & Alex

LeeAnn & Alex
at One Ash Homestead


(Remember – If you would like to be featured, be sure to link back to the hop otherwise you will not be featured!)

Most Clicked On Post From Last Week:
Finding the Perfect Homesteadimg_8973


My Most Favorite Post From Last Week:
Grace in the (midwest) Wildernessroad-207312_960_720

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week! If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

The rules are simple: Family friendly posts only. No linke to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products. Keep the Hop fresh, please share only posts you have to shared before. Visit other bloggers and let them know you fund them here! If you wish to be featured you must link back to the Hop. By linking to this Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo is you are featured. Only share content and photos you have created or have permission to share!

Let’s start hopping!

I grew up in the small shoreline town of Guilford, Connecticut. Every year we looked forward to the Guilford Fair. It used to be held on the Guilford Green and the town schools were closed the Friday of fair weekend. It was started as an agricultural fair and people would come from all over to exhibit their fresh fruits & vegetables and exhibit their prized animals.Guilford Fair


The Guilford Fair has since been moved to a dedicated fair ground and has expanded to include numerous rides, food booths and entertainment! The fair may have changed location but it is still a fun old time town fair.Guilford Fair


Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to be in town for my husbands 40th high school reunion. The reunion coincided with the Guilford Fair. Both my husband and I grew up in the same town and we looked forward to returning to Guilford, both for the reunion and the fair.Guilford Fair


When we were in high school each class was responsible for a class float, which would be in the parade. All summer the classes would work on their float hoping to be the best. The reunion committee decided the class should have a float this year. Since the class of 1976 was a bicentennial year the float was decorated with red, white and blue. Judging from the smiles on the float everyone had a blast.Guilford Fair


After the parade we spent time exploring the fair. I love watching the horse pulls and the oxen pulls. Amazing how well these teams of horses work together.old time town fair


The tents of fruits and vegetables are another favorite.Guilford Fair This year there didn’t seem to be as many vegetables on display.Guilford Fair However the displays were just beautiful.Guilford Fair It was nice to see the exhibit of canning.Guilford Fair If I still lived in town I think I would have to enter some of my preserves!


It was so much fun to be back in our hometown and enjoying the fair with our friends. I enjoyed it as much this year as I had as a kid.


It can be unpleasant to have dark circles as they not only have an impact on your appearance but can also affect your confidence. They are nothing but discoloration present around your eyes, either due to bruising or heredity reasons. They often make you look dull and tired.


Various other reasons cause dark circles like lack of sleep, age, bad diet, poor lifestyle, fatigue, anemia, liver issues, medications, and even periorbital hyperpigmentation. You can try natural, home remedies to get rid of dark circles. Not only are they safe, but the ingredients are easily available in your household and kitchen.

English: Example of dark circles

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Curing Dark Circles Through Home Remedies


1) Cucumber Juice

Considered one of the best astringents, cucumber juice is an excellent way to make your skin soft and glowing. Also, it is a commonly used home remedy that is used for getting rid of dark circles.  


Take two cucumbers and grate them. You can either use a food processor or your hand to squeeze out the juice and place it in a small bowl. Now take two cotton balls, dip them into the cucumber solution and apply on the dark circles present under the eyes. For the best results, you need to keep the cotton balls on for about 15- 20 minutes.


Besides removing dark circles, it helps in relieving your eyes from burning sensations. Along with the mixture of refrigerated cucumber, just add lemon juice and lanolin cream to the affected area. Then leave it for about 20 minutes and rinse off with water.


2) Almond Oil

One of the best and most commonly used natural ingredients beneficial for the delicate skin under your eyes is almond oil. With regular usage, your dark circles will fade away. Furthermore, along with almond oil, use vitamin E to reduce the appearance of dark circles.


Just before you hit the sack, take some almond oil and apply it on the dark circles and softly massage it into the skin. Allow it to remain for the entire night, and wash off with cold water in the morning. By following this remedy every day, your dark circles will instantly disappear.


3) Rose Water

Rose water contains incredible ingredients that are beneficial for skin. Not only does it rejuvenate the skin but has a soothing effect on your tired eyes. Because there is a mild astringent property, it is an excellent skin toner.  


First, you need to take some rose water in a bowl and soak cotton eye pads in it for few minutes. Now take the soaked pads and place them on your closed eyelids and leave them on for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure to follow this remedy two times a day.


4) Raw Potato

The natural bleaching agents in potatoes help in lightening dark circles and removing the puffiness around the eyes. Grate two or three raw potatoes and extract their juice. Take two cotton ball, soak them in the juice and place them on your closed eyes. Try to make sure that the juice is covering the dark circles present under your eyes and even the eyelids.


Allow it to remain on your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Try to repeat this procedure once or twice every day for a few weeks. Instead of potato juice, you can also use thick potato slices to get rid of dark circles.


5) Vitamin-rich Diet

A vitamin-rich diet is necessary for healthy skin as well as to avoid dark circles under your eyes. Foods rich in vitamin C assist in combating dark circles present under the eyes. Tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries, papayas, green leafy vegetables, and melons are rich in vitamin C and consuming them every day can reduce dark circles.


Furthermore, vitamin E rich foods like carrots, spinach, apples, sunflower seeds, beef, avocado, celery, whole grains and asparagus help in removing dark circles and making the skin more glowing and soft.


Check out the infographic below, to know more about the benefits of Vitamins.
14 Potent Vitamins for Younger and Healthier Skin





There are various natural remedies available to reduce dark circles. The ingredients given above are the common ones and are easy to use. To know more about the other beauty tips like the best primer for acne prone skin, check out the Fix Your Skin website.


So, go ahead and try these remedies and also provide your feedback in the comments.


Did you ever learn the bucket analogy in Kindergarten? It’s an object lesson that teaches kids to treat each other with kindness. Imagine that everyone’s going around with buckets of water. As we interact every day, some people take dippers of water from our bucket, and others give dippers. Some people positively pour water into our buckets.

And then there are those who completely drain our buckets.

In the adult world, there’s a common phrase used to describe these people: emotional vampires.Young woman in the image of the vampire

Emotional vampires tend to drain us, sometimes so subtly that we don’t even notice initially. They can be found in our families, our friend groups, at work, or in the PTA.

Signs that You’re With an Emotional Vampire

  • When they’re around, you feel anxious, insecure, drained, or pessimistic.
  • After talking with them, you feel heavy and listless.
  • You dread social engagements if they’re going to be there.
  • They take time and energy that you’d rather direct elsewhere.
  • You’ve tried to disengage from them before, but then somehow always gotten roped back in, often because you think they need you.bad news on the phone

Emotional Vampires Are Not Lost Causes

Most commonly, those who are most plagued by emotional vampires are those who are naturally giving and nurturing. They want to help and befriend and despite numerous signs that the relationship is unhealthy, they continue to persist. That’s why we know that few people reading this will willfully cut these emotional vampires out of their lives cold turkey. That’s not what we’re saying you should do. After all, while some emotionally draining individuals are acquaintances that you can do perfectly well without, others are family members that are an important part of your life, or coworkers that you have to learn to deal with.

One of the most common reasons that we find ourselves always giving in to these emotional vampires in our lives is because we see through the toxic behavior to the person beneath; someone who’s struggling, just like all of us, to be understood, healed, and cared for. However, it’s also important to understand that continuing to let ourselves be drained by these people isn’t helping them to learn and develop and foster the authentic connections and internal resources they need to find solutions to their problems. Often, it’s important to put up some specific boundaries and learn some coping techniques when dealing with these types of people.

Common Forms of Emotional Vampires

Judith Orloff, M.D. wrote a book addressing the issue of emotional vampires. In it, she defines a few different kinds of emotional vampires. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • The Narcissist: Everything’s about them, they have a hard time showing empathy. In order to communicate, you have to let them know how things will benefit them, and stroke their ego. However, you need to keep your guard up with this relationship. Everything you give will be sucked into a black hole.
  • The Victim: This is someone who always blames the world for their problems. They love to whine but won’t take action to correct their situation. You want to help them out, but all of your best attempts get sucked into the vortex. It’s important to set healthy limits and shut down the conversation when it’s time. Try this line: “come to me when you actually want help.”
  • The Controller: They need to be in charge of everything. Often, this makes you feel diminished or impotent. If you don’t conform to their expectations and plan, they can make you feel rotten, whether that’s because of our eating habits, our parenting techniques, or simply our fashion sense. To counter this influence in your life, be confident, but don’t try to control them or accuse them.
  • The Drama Queen: This might seem very similar to the narcissist, but often, the stories that the drama queen loves don’t even have anything to do with them. Don’t give into the drama, keep calm and even-keeled. Don’t give big reactions to the stories either, and if there are problems, communicate them clearly and kindly.

How to Regain Control

    • Stop feeding them. Whatever it is that they’re hungry for from you, you don’t need to keep giving it. Don’t give the drama queen your shock and awe, don’t stoke the narcissist’s ego. Often, when people fail to get what they crave from you, they’ll move on.
    • Set healthy boundaries. When it’s someone you want to keep in your life, but you need to shore up your own defenses in order to keep from being constantly drained by them, you need to learn to set and stick to boundaries. This might mean telling them that you can talk during lunch, but you need to work on a certain assignment right now. It might mean asking them not to contact you during family time, or letting them know that it’s not okay when they criticize your looks or weight.
    • Direct them to other resources. Certain kinds of emotional vampires just need to learn how to deal with their issues in a more healthy way. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for them is to encourage them to seek professional counseling.
    • Be confident. Don’t let their negative feedback keep you from valuing yourself the way you deserve to be valued. Practice self-care, and focus on the positive when it comes to your own self-esteem. Remember that the reason that these people are feeding on you is because you have extraordinary internal resources that they want for themselves. Stand up for yourself.
    • Think of the bucket analogy and evaluate trust in your relationships. The most dangerous thing about these sorts of relationships is that we can get fooled into thinking these people are really our friends, when in fact, we get drained by them but never get anything back. We’re not saying that you have to lock yourself up in a vault, but practice your best judgment when you’re thinking about who you rely on and trust. Is this person giving back to you in any way?stop!

Guest post by: Christine Hill

My husband and I are always trying to think of ways to save money, especially on our food budget. This is the one area we tend to over spend on. There are numerous blogs dedicated to frugal meals, one of my favorites is Premeditated Leftovers. Don’t you just love the name! Alea has a wonderful cookbook out called Prep Ahead Meals From Scratch. CookbookYou may already know that the best way to save money on your meals is to cook from scratch. I cook from scratch the majority of the time and over the years have come up with many frugal ideas for our dinners.frugal meals

We have many frugal meals that are so tasty they have become favorites. As the weather cools, this is one of my favorites. I love macaroni and cheese and the additional of  tunafish and vegetables makes this dish even more delicious. It’s a great way to sneak a few vegetables into your  dinner. This Tuna Veggie Macaroni is perfect for my husband and I. There is usually a little left over and that is perfect for lunch the next day. If we have company this recipe is easily doubled.frugal meals


Tuna Veggie Macaroni



1 ¼ cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 oz Cheddar Cheese
½ cup milk
2 cups of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 can (6 ounces) of solid white tuna, drained
¼ tsp dill weed


Cook the macaroni according to the package directions; drain. Add the cheese and milk and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the vegetables, tuna and dill. Heat the mixture through.

Makes three servings.

As the weather cools what are your favorite frugal meals? Usually soup is the number one favorite in our house, but I have to say this Tuna Veggie Macaroni is an all time favorite. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!frugal meals

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