Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

Did you know that spending time in the sun is good for your health? Sunshine provides many benefits that can improve our physical and mental wellbeing. Sunshine provides vitamin D, which the human body needs to grow and carry out important processes. Spending time in the sun also leads to a better mood, while not enough exposure to sunlight contributes to symptoms of depression. As referenced here, increased exposure to sunlight has even been shown to help with insomnia.

Are you looking for some fresh ideas to spend more time in the sun? Unfortunately, at this point in the summer you may be sick of spending time outside in the heat. The key is to find outdoor activities that are enjoyable!

Here are 15 simple ways you can spend time in the sun and enjoy it:

1. Start a water war. Get your friends or family involved and start a war in the yard with anything that holds water. Consider buckets, plastic containers, water guns, water balloons, a hose, water bottles with squirt tops, or even clean ice cream jugs.

2. Play badminton. Volleyball is pretty common in the summer, as is tennis. Consider trying a sport that falls in the middle and try badminton instead.Girls playing badminton

3. Paint with your toes. Purchase some finger paint and large rolls of paper (or posterboard). Place the paper on the sidewalk or driveway and paint a mural using only your feet.

4. Row or paddle a boat. Head to the nearest body of water and rent a watercraft. Whether you head out in a rowboat, canoe, kayak, paddle boat, or even small sailboat, you can enjoy time on the water and get some exercise.

5. Play bucketball. Grab all the buckets and round balls you can find. Head out to the yard and set up your own game of bucketball. Set buckets up all over the yard and then place a ball at each shooting point for each basket. Assign a point value to each bucket. Players then have the opportunity to toss each ball into its designated bucket and collect points for every shot made. Have some fun and make up your own variations!

6. Go for a walk. Use your car less and your legs more. Use a work break to go for a short walk around the outside of the building. Walk between errands that are close to each other. If you do drive, park far away from the entrance and walk a little more.

7. Picnic. Take every opportunity you can to eat outside. Consider eating breakfast outside. Make simple meals and spread out a blanket on the grass, instead of setting the table inside. If you eat at a restaurant, opt for outdoor seating when available.

8. Get your hands in the dirt. Plant flowers, herbs, or a full scale garden. If prime planting season has already passed in your area, try making a sandcastle, cleaning up an area in your yard, or find a place where you can pick your own vegetables.

9. Read outside. Use the sun to light up the pages of an exciting novel. Or do some research on a topic that interests you. Do you have a lot of reading to do for work or another assignment? Take the reading outside!Studious guy

10. Visit the nearest zoo. The zoo is a great place to visit at any age. Most zoos have indoor and outdoor exhibits, offering a great way to enjoy time in the sun and take a chance to cool off in the shade too.

11. Shop at a sidewalk sale. If you love shopping, find out when your favorite stores are holding sidewalk sales and shop outside. You can spend a little time in the sun and get some great deals too!

12. Attend an outdoor event. From festivals and outdoor concerts, to air shows and art walks, you can find an outdoor event that matches your interests. Remember that you don’t need to spend time in the sun during the heat of the day to still enjoy many of the benefits of sunlight.Airshow

13. Cheer on your favorite team. Do you know a child or adult on a sports team? Go cheer them on at their next game or meet. Baseball games, swimming and diving meets, track meets, and even races can be fun to watch, especially if you know one of the athletes involved.

14. Spend a day at a fair or carnival. Ride the Ferris wheel, knock over some milk bottles, and enjoy some cotton candy. Go with friends, family, or on a date.

15. Schedule outdoor family photos. Does your family need updated family photos? Hire your favorite photographer to take some pictures outdoors.

While spending time in the sun does provide many great benefits, you may also experience some negative consequences as well. Make sure that you always wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and take breaks in the shade. By choosing outdoor activities you actually enjoy, and in taking necessary precautions, you can add extra light to your life.

Guest post by author: Whitney Hollingshead

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Nancy On The Home Front

 Welcome to

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #3!

It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after time away. However there is plenty to keep my busy! With all the rain we’ve had the weeds have been taking over and I’ve been spending every sunny day outside trying to get the gardens back in order!flowers and weeds

I hope you 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! Each week I will feature our most visited post from the week before, which also linked back to the hop, and my weekly favorite. I hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us!

We would love to have you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Etsy, Google+, Instagram or by email

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop Hosts are:
Tracy @ Our Simple Life
Sandra @ Clearwater Farm,
Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead,
Heidi @ Pint Size Farm
and Me! (NancyNancy On The Home Front)

(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:
11 Ways Anyone Can Be Self-Sufficient written by Karissa over at The Crunchy Chronicles.selfsufficiency
My featured post:
Harvesting, Curing and Storing Garlic written by Rachel from Grow A Good Life.harvesing-storing-curing-garlic-growagoodlife

We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week! If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!

You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling! 
  • 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!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog… in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!
  • 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.
  • No giveaways please!
  • Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted!
  If you were featured be sure to pick up your, “Our Simple Homestead” button. We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab a button to display proudly on your blog.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

 

Let’s start hopping!


In June we can find an abundance of wild strawberries in our fields.

Vermont, spring, prudent living

Our field

They are tiny but packed with flavor and they make the best strawberry muffins.

recipe box, muffins

Tiny strawberries

Something about the tiny size and the burst of strawberry flavor just enhances the taste of the muffins. My husband has a real fondness for these muffins and each year he will diligently spend an hour or more searching and picking these tiny little berries.wild strawberries In exchange I use them to bake up a batch of his favorite Wild Strawberry Spice Muffins.

We each enjoyed a few and then I froze the rest to enjoy later this year.

muffins, berry, strawberries

Wild Strawberry Spice Muffin

The strawberries are short lived and if you don’t go right out and pick them the birds will eat them up.

This recipe would be wonderful with blueberries or even regular strawberries but I use it each year to make our delicious Wild Strawberry Spice Muffins!

Wild Strawberry Spice Muffins

1 ¾ cup flour
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 cup wild strawberries

Topping (optional)

1 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon

muffin ingredientsIn a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Combine the egg and milk. Add the egg mixture and butter to the dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Fold in the strawberries.fold in the strawberries

Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

batter, muffins

Muffin tin filled 2/3rds full.

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool for five minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.muffins cooling Makes 1 dozen.strawberry muffin

Enjoy!

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Nancy On The Home Front

It’s always fun to get away. Going away in June can be a challenge. I managed to get the garden all planted before we left and even got a few of my raised beds mulched. However, while we were away there was plenty of rain and when we got home I found my garden full of weeds!

In some of my raised beds it was hard to figure out what was growing and what needed to be weeded!Weeds everywhere!

The beans are off to a good start.Beans

Unfortunately some of my lettuce, which was too small to pick before we left had now bolted. Guess I’ll be saving the seeds instead of enjoying a nice salad!Bolting lettuce

My onions are growing well and definitely need to be weeded!onions

I did find a few strawberries hiding in our berry patch.strawberries

It was also nice to see some beautiful blooms in the garden.flowers

Glad I enjoyed a nice restful vacation! I’ll be spending the next few weeks getting the gardens weeded and finish my mulching!

Sometimes it seems that the unexpected is the only constant in life. While you can never be fully prepared for every unexpected occurrence in your life, there are many cases where it’s better and much easier to be safe than sorry. Below are a few different ways you can prepare for the unexpected and minimize the damage of fate.

Natural Disasters
Preparing for natural disasters is a fairly simple, straightforward task. First and foremost, having a supply of clean drinking water is absolutely essential. Second, you’ll want to make a few different plans attached to different potential hazards. For example, make a plan for what your family will do if there’s an earthquake in your area. Establish a family meeting spot in case you get separated. Next, you’ll need to assess what types of supplies you’ll need for each scenario, and what type of food storage is most feasible for you to keep on hand. If possible, gather the needed supplies and food storage and put them in a spot that is easy to access in an emergency. Lastly, it’s important to have an out-of-state contact who you can rely on to have on call should you require outside assistance.Filling Water Jug

Fire
Home fire safety is a fairly easy and feasible undertaking. The first step is to remove all fire hazards in the house. Most of these will be self apparent. It might be a good idea to consult the internet (or even a more reliable source such as your local fire station) to see which household items might be unknown fire hazards to you. Beyond that, having working smoke alarms and a well-rehearsed fire escape plan can save your life and the lives of your family members. You may also want to consider having important documents and treasured items in a safe place so that you can quickly grab them in an emergency. Upload favorite family photos to an online site so that you can reprint them should something happen to the originals.

Illness
While illness is a bit more difficult to be prepared for than fire or natural disasters, there are plenty of steps you can take to be prepared. In addition to having a wide variety of over-the-counter medicines and other therapeutic items on hand when the first signs of illness arise, it’s important to have a plan and make preparations for more serious illnesses. For example, do you have money in savings if you are unable to work? Do you have adequate health insurance? Prepare for the worst, but also be prepared for good news to manifest itself as well. The body is an unpredictable thing, so the best thing you can do is make preparations for multiple outcomes.

Injury
The best thing to do for injury preparation is to research the relevant judicial and medical red tape associated with it. As outlined by the experts here, it’s important to know, for instance, to seek medical care immediately after a work related injury. If the employer has no designated medical care provider you are free to choose your own doctor, and you’ll be more likely to be able to do so the sooner you seek treatment. In addition to work injury rules and regulations, it’s important to be aware of medical laws that can help you during a time when you need medical care. Consider having a lawyer on hand who will be able to ensure that you aren’t kept from the treatment you need.Incident injury report form

Unemployment
Job security is a rare thing in today’s professional world. Being prepared for unemployment is essential to almost everyone who wants to keep control of their destiny. The first thing to do is look out for the signs and symptoms of your company going under. This will vary from company to company, so you’ll have to gauge accordingly. If it’s hard to tell exactly how well your employer is faring, begin cutting personal costs and planning an effective budget so you have a lifestyle that is sustainable for a few months of unemployment. The best thing you can do to prepare for unemployment is to save money. Having a sturdy savings account can make all the difference in freeing you up to seek other employment opportunities during times of unemployment and take some of the stress off your family life.money

Guest post by author: Andy Andersen

Linked to some of my favorite link parties!

Nancy On The Home Front

Linked to some of my favorite link parties!

Nancy On The Home Front

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