Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

Moving across town can be a very different experience from moving across the country. Before making a move from one coast to another there are a few things to consider. Moving is an adventure but you also need a reliable plan. There are several things to consider when planning a move.


By starting now, before we even have a contract on our home we can make the actual moving part of our relocation go smoothly.


First of all we know where we are going. At least we know the general area. We won’t purchase a house until our current house is sold. So in the meantime we look at real estate in the area we want to move to. We talk to those we know in the area and are finding the parts of town that we would like to end up in.Planning a Move


If you’ve been reading my blog you know we are in the process of getting rid of excess stuff. A move across country is based on weight so we want to lighten the load as much as possible. We have items we want to keep, items we want to sell, stuff we want to give away and junk we just need to trash. As we go through our belongings those are the categories we divide the items into. As we pack up the clutter we pack room by room. When we eventually arrive at our destination we want to know which boxes things are in. When we’re looking for the coffee pot we want to know it is in a kitchen box!planning a move


As we sort through our belongings we try to use the one-year rule. If we haven’t used it in a year consider donating it to someone who will use it. There are a few exceptions, such as my grandparent’s turkey platter! We didn’t celebrate the holidays at home this year but I’m planning on packing that platter and taking it with us! It’s all packed and ready to go!moving


While we plan on doing the majority of the packing ourselves there are a few larger items where we will enlist the help of the movers. Professional movers know how to pack and transport a houseful of items with a minimum of breakage and fuss. The larger precious items we will let the professionals pack.planning a move


We don’t know when our move will take place as it depends on when our house will sell. However we continue to pack up the items we really don’t need but want to move. Eventually when we have a move date I will have a schedule. Time can get away from you when you are in the middle of a move, so I will want to stay organized to stay on target. There is a lot to consider when planning a move but if you can stay organized it should all go smoothly and before you know it you will be unpacking in your new home!

The first day of spring has arrived but here in Vermont we can expect cool weather to continue for another month or so. There is still time to enjoy a bowl of hearty black bean and sausage soup. The combination of sweet Italian turkey sausage, jalapeño peppers and fresh cilantro gives this black bean and sausage soup a distinctive flavor. If you have any leftovers they are easily reheated in the microwave or can be frozen for later use. Serve along with a leafy green salad and a loaf of bread and your have a meal!Black Bean soup


Black Bean and Sausage Soup




½ pound sweet Italian turkey sausage

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

3 (15.5 oz) cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro




Spray a large nonstick saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium low heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate and when cool enough to handle, cut into ½ inch slices.


Heat the oil over medium heat in the same saucepan then add the onion, garlic and jalapeños. Cook, stirring until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors have blended, about 8 minutes.


Transfer 2 cups of the bean mixture to a blender or food processor and puree. Stir the puree and the sausage into the soup. Simmer, uncovered, until the soup is heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove form the heat, stir in the cilantro  or sprinkle on top and serve.Black Bean and Sausage SoupIf you have an emersion blender that could also be used to puree the soup.Black Bean and Sausage Soup



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

Tracy at Our Simple HomesteadFacebookTwitterPinterest

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Sandra at Clearwater Farm – FacebookPinterestInstagram

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:
Thrifty In The Kitchentrifty-kitchen

My Favorite Post:
Slow Cooker Granola, A Great Kitchen Hack!



 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!

We are all looking for ways to improve our lives and achieve success. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut or just don’t know where to begin to achieve the best results in the shortest time. Following are 10 ideas to help you stay focused and improve your professional and personal life:



  • Healthy Breakfast



Begin each day with a healthy breakfast for maximum energy. So many of us skip this very important meal, but if you are serious about being successful, adopting this simple habit will pay dividends in your daily productivity and mental clarity.useful habits



  • Make small goals every day



Pay attention to details to achieve your goals. This will help you to focus on the results of your efforts and see the value of every step of the way. Realizing the purpose of the smaller details makes us appreciate the big picture and directs our purpose for getting there.



  • To-do lists



Make lists of all that you want to accomplish daily. A weekly, monthly and yearly plan are important, but getting into the habit of breaking each day into the steps necessary to reach our goals reminds us of what is most important. It also keeps us accountable to ourselves and makes sure that we allocate each 24-hour period in the most efficient manner. Articulating our goals in written form also allows us to appreciate milestones along the way to achieving the big picture. This is necessary to inspire future actions that will result in the success we crave.



  • Learn how to manage your time



Managing time efficiently is required in addition to making lists. Each day only has 24 hours, so we need to make the most of every moment to get the best results from our precious time. Adopting a habit of proper time management is essential at leveraging each moment.


Implementing good time management makes anything possible, but it requires conscious effort and consistency.



  • Make decisions and stick to them



Be decisive not impulsive if you want to reach your goals. Carefully weighing the advantages and disadvantages of our actions and possible changes allow us to make the most of every opportunity.


Also, take the time to consider things that didn’t go as planned turns our mistakes into learning experiences that will guide us to better decisions in the future.



  • Stick to your goals



Stay committed to your goals and be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve them. The only way to find success is through hard work and staying on track. Many people get easily distracted and give up. Winners know that commitment is the key to success.



  • Budget your money



Budgeting and tracking expenses are key to getting the most of our financial resources so that we have enough money to achieve our goals. Sound financial habits keep us aware of how we are allocating our resources and makes us aware of what we need to do to be able to afford the things we need for success. If done properly, good financial management should result in savings for the future or more money to invest allowing us to do more down the road.useful habits



  • Exercise



Exercise regularly for a better mind and body. This will give you energy, help you sleep better and make you healthier and happier. Too much mental activity is not good.  We also need physical activity to keep us balanced and energetic. Having the best home gym is a step in the right direction as it will remind us of the importance of daily exercise to help us find the success we each deserve.



  • Be positive!



Stay positive to help yourself to overcome challenges. Negativity only drains our energy and thus winners must constantly practice positive self-talk to stay motivated and on track. So don’t get discouraged by small setbacks. Keep reminding yourself of the big picture and the small successes each day and soon these will add up to a winning year!



  • Sleep



Get Enough Sleep to keep your body and mind performing at their best. A regular eight-hour sleep cycle will allow us to process new ideas, focus better during the day and improve our memory and mental capacity. Not getting enough sleep will ensure that we are not at our best and may lead to other problems such as illnesses, depression or accidents which will get in the way of achieving our goals.
In order to achieve success, we all need a plan. This must include healthy habits and good practices. I hope these 10 tips have given you fresh ideas to jumpstart your journey to a better life. We are each the architect of our own destiny. Anything is possible if we imagine it and take the right steps to see it through.


Guest post by Evelyn Kail

Perhaps you’ve entered into the thrifty journey. You’ve mastered being thrifty in the kitchen. Here is the case for a brown bag lunch. When it comes to the weekday lunch rush it’s easy enough to think of your convenient dash to the deli or pizza place as a negligible expense. After all you’re not sitting down to a three-course meal! But deep down, you know it’s no good for your wallet. Perhaps you just need a little convincing.Brown Bag Lunch


Everyone’s got a different lunch preferences, but let’s start with a plain turkey sandwich. Packing a no-cook lunch costs only as much as the bread you buy and the cost of sliced turkey breast purchased at the store. Add a little lettuce, cheese and some mayonnaise and you’ve got a sandwich that is probably costing you no more than $4.00. To buy that same sandwich from the deli will probably cost you twice that. If you make your own bread you can save even more money!Delicious Homemade Bread


Might sound like small change but over the course of a year it adds up! Brown bagging may not sound glamorous but how do you like the sounds of an airline ticket to a tropical sandy beach? You could also pay your cellphone bill for the entire year or take a chunk out of your car insurance payments.


Once you get good at making your sandwiches each day you can get creative with your lunches. If you have access to a microwave at work bring leftovers that you can just heat up for lunch. Go onto Pinterest and look up lunch ideas, you’ll be amazed at the ideas you can find.brown bag lunch


There are many people that will prepare whole weeks worth of lunches on Sunday night. That will not only save you time but it will save you money. Your brown bag lunch will be the envy of your fellow workers!brown bag lunch


Take small steps. Start packing your brown bag lunch and see how much you can save!

Monday Muffins – Doughnut Muffins


This delicious doughnut muffin recipe has been adapted from one I found on the King Arthur website. I replaced some of the butter with applesauce. The end result was very tasty and I like to think a bit healthier! The doughnut muffin has a basic sugar-cinnamon flavor and is more reminiscent of a plain doughnut than anything else. It would be a good candidate for additions of dried fruit or nuts or garnished with a bit of jam or fresh preserves. doughnut muffins


Doughnut Muffins




¼ cup butter

¼ cup applesauce

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp nutmeg

¾ tsp salt

1 sp homemade vanilla

2 2/3 cups flour

1 cup milk




3 tbsp melted butter

3 Tbsp cinnamon sugar




Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. In a medium bowl cream together the butter, applesauce and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and beat to combine. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Stir the flour into the butter mixture with the milk. Make sure everything is thoroughly combined.


Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until the muffins are a golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes or until you can handle them. While they’re cooling you can melt the butter for the topping.


Use a pasty brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter.doughnut muffinsThen sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Or simply dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar.doughnut muffins


Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight to enjoy later.doughnut muffins Makes 12 muffinsdoughnut muffins


If you are planing to freeze some of the muffins I would freeze them before dipping them in the butter and cinnamon sugar.

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