Welcome to the Simple Homestead Anniversary Blog Hop!

 

Today’s blog hop happens to be extra SWEET because we’re giving away not only a jar of all-natural maple sugar, fresh from a small New England farm (courtesy of Michelle at SoulyRested.com), but also an amazing, beautiful, $39.95-value book to help you in your own sugar making efforts — The Sugarmaker’s Companion (courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishers).

For mouth-watering ideas of ways you’ll be dying to use maple sugar, as well as her Top Ten Reasons that maple sugar is the best sweetener you could ever use, Michelle has put together info, lists, recipes, and more on her post this week, over on SoulyRested.com.

To read Michelle’s review of The Sugarmaker’s Companion, along with her 5 top reasons you might want to make sure you have your own copy of this fabulous book, head over here.

But whatever you do, make sure you enter in the box below for your own chance to win this SWEET giveaway!

 

 

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:
Tips on Growing Cabbage

 

My Favorite Post:
How To Grow Lavendar

 

 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! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


May in Vermont tends to be a wet month. Elsewhere the sun may be shining and the flowers are in full bloom while here in Vermont we are experiencing a cool wet spring. After last year’s drought we do need the rain. However after a long cold winter I’m really looking forward to getting outside once again and working in the garden. Our May gardens may not look like much but it is wonderful to see things greening up after the winter.May Gardens in Vermont

 

Since the house is on the market I’ve cut way back on my vegetable gardens. However I want the rest of my flowerbeds to look their best so I do have some work to do.May gardens

 

The first step in clean up for the gardens is to rake all the gravel out of the lawn. Our plow guy does the most excellent job but inevitably we end up with some gravel that needs to be raked out. My husband tackled that job this year and he did an excellent job. The grass is coming in nicely and the gravel is where it belongs, in the driveway!

 

This year it’s taking a while for the daffodils to come along. The forsythia was beautiful this yearMay gardens and it won’t be long before the lilac is in full bloom.May gardens

 

Our rhubarb is also doing well. It won’t be long before I’ll be making a delicious rhubarb cake! I’m going to have an abundance of rhubarb this year and not doing any canning I’ll have to give a lot of it away. We have way more than I can ever use!May Gardens

 

The strawberries are coming along. I’d forgotten that I created a new strawberry bed last year! I was surprised to see them filling the garden bed. I look forward to our own fresh strawberries, a yearly treat.May Gardens

 

I picked up some small plants at the local nursery to fill our planters. I have a small planter that sits in front of our chicken coop and two larger plants that sit by the back entrance to the house. We haven’t had many sunny warm days but I managed to get out between showers and get the pots planted.May Gardens

 

The raised beds will be planted before June first. I plan to plant a few vegetables and lots of flowers! I look forward to being able to fill the house with cut flowers over the summer.May gardens

 

How is your garden coming along? Do you have a lot of spring clean up where you live?

Guilford ConnecticutOver the weekend we drove to Connecticut and spent four days with my mother-in-law. I love that we can still go back to enjoy the town both my husband and I grew up in. Guilford, Connecticut is a very special place, not only because it is our hometown but it is a town filled with old houses kept in wonderful condition. I have mentioned this before in a previous post and it is worth mentioning again. My mother-in-law lives right on the town green so everything is within walking distance.Guilford, Connecticut

 

Before the rains set in I was able to enjoy a beautiful day and walk around town. At the top of the green is the First Congregational Church of Guilford, the church that my husband and I were married in. Our oldest daughter was also married in the same church. This church was founded in 1643, just a few years after the first settlement of Guilford in 1639. The original simple stone structure was replaced in 1713 with this building. It is reputed to have been the first church in Connecticut with a steeple clock and a bell! The Congregational Church is still quite an active church.Guilford, Connecticut

The town green is surrounded by many old homes and several churches. Several of the old homes have been turned into dress shopsGuilford, Connecticut

 

As you walk away from the green and turn down Broad Street you’ll find the street is lined with picket fences.Guilford, Connecticut Lilacs and picket fences are so New England.Guilford, Connecticut

At the end of Broad Street you can look over the East River. This is a brackish river which means it connects to the salt water and experiences tides. Sometimes the water will be very high other times you can see the mud flats.Guilford, Connecticut

I tend to take a long walk when I’m enjoying the sights of Guilford, Connecticut. I love that one minute you can be enjoying the view along the river and the next view is of the oldest house. The Henry Whitfield House was the first house built in Guilford, built in 1639 just before the town of Guilford was settled. It is the oldest house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in New England. The house was built for Henry Whitfield. He was a puritan minister who had come from England to flee religious persecution. It is open to the public.Guilford, Connecticut Around the corner from the oldest house are several other beautiful old homes. Both are now museums. The stately Thomas Griswold House was built in the first or second decade of the 18th century by Thomas Griswold, a local blacksmith. This house is also a museum and open to the public. It includes the 18th century period New England saltbox, a historic blacksmith shop, a barn with farm tools and implements, two corn cribs and a Victorian era three seat outhouse!Guilford, Connecticut Just down the road is the Hyland House.This colonial house was built in 1713 and is also a museum and open to the public. It is a red saltbox built by Issac Parmelee and has been open to the public since 1918.
Guilford, Connecticut

Aren’t the old windows just wonderful? I am so blessed to have grown up in such a wonderful town filled with so much history.

 

All too soon my walk is over and I am back at the town green.Guilford, Connecticut It was a wonderful weekend and I certainly enjoyed the sights of Guilford on this beautiful spring day.Guilford, Connecticut

It hasn’t exactly been feeling much like spring around here. The weather has been cool and cloudy with lots of rain. However one of these days it will be time to get the grill our an fired up! I love chicken wraps and this recipe is one of my favorites. This recipe originally came from Healthy Cooking, which was a division of Taste of Home.

 

I love Taste of Home recipes as they all taste wonderful and usually come out looking exactly like the picture. This is a perfect grilling recipe, fast and fresh. The dressing serves as both a marinade and as a topping for these wraps.

 

The chicken is grilled but could be done ahead of time; the wrap is as good hot or cold. Which means if you have any leftovers they would make a perfect lunch the next day!

 

Coleslaw Chicken Wraps

 

Ingredients:

 

1 bottle of poppy seed salad dressing or make your own
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 package (14oz) coleslaw mix
1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained (I used crushed pineapple)
1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
8 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch)
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted (op)

 

Directions:

Marinate the chicken in 1 cup of the dressing for one hour.chicken wraps

 

Drain and discard the marinade. Lightly coat your grill with oil and grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side or until done. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.chicken wraps

 

Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the pineapple, coleslaw mix, red pepper and the remaining dressing; toss to coat.chicken wraps

 

Divide among the tortillas; top with chicken and sprinkle with almonds.chicken wraps

 

Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks if you like.chicken wraps

 

There is nothing easier for a get together than a delicious chicken wrap. Perfect for the next time you decided to do some grilling!

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:
Frugal Homemaking Lessons From the Great Depression

 

My Favorite Post:
Spring Planting and Clean Up

 

 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 so many reasons to not want to go to a gym. No one ever wipes off the equipment when they are done. Trainers are walking around constantly soliciting services when you just want to get on your machine. Membership is so expensive.

 

Then, there are the judging eyes when you’re working out. Maybe even the errant person who decides to snap a photo of you so they can laugh at you online. The gym is where all the gear is, though, how do you work out without equipment?10 Home Workouts

 

Well, the good news is that people have been in shape long before equipment existed and you can buy some for your home. All you need to do is make some space and you have a judgment free zone to exercise with these routines on peace.

 

Bosu Ball

Bosu balls are easy to use. They are multi-functional, can be used in nearly any sized space and can be utilized for most workouts and stretching aids. Bosu stands for Both Sides Utilized. The ball side up is utilized for athletics and aerobics. The flat side up is used for balance and stability. The Bosu routine by peanut butter fingers is a total body workout that consists of 9 exercises to complete at one-minute intervals in 3 cycles. Overall, it is a 27-minute workout that will be sure to get your heart pumping! In their article, the great people at PBF also offer ways to decrease or increase the intensity and full descriptions of how the exercises should be done.

 

Foam roller

Foam rollers are amazing tools. They may not seem like much, but their benefits are immense. Brynne Elliott at Muscle and Fitness wrote an article expressing how foam rollers are great for self-myofascial release. Which is essentially a low force dragging massage, which after a period restores mobility between layers of sliding soft tissue. This may not sound like a big deal, but it increases the blood flow throughout your body and decreases the recovery time between exercise sessions. Also, better circulation increases range of motion. They are also small and light, so you can put them anywhere and utilize them anywhere. Tone It Up offers some moves to stretch out sore muscles.

 

Elliptical/ maxi climber

The elliptical and maxi climber are both total body fitness machines that can be used in the home. The ellipticals tend to take up more space and are a bit more expensive. The vertical climber workout is the new big deal, it doesn’t take up much space and folds up easily to be put away.

 

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are the classic exercise equipment that has been utilized for aerobic and weight training for decades. They can be stored in a closet, on a shoe rack or in a garage and you can utilize them anywhere. There is no real trick to figuring out how to use them other than picking it up. If you can do that, you are moving in the right direction. To get some real benefit from them, there should be some routine. 2Fit Magazine suggests a set of 6 exercises that target each muscle group.

10 Home Workouts

 

Chair

Now just any old chair won’t do for these workouts. No, you don’t need to go to the store to buy a special chair. You just shouldn’t try doing workouts with armchairs, recliners, or rolling chairs. Injuries may ensue. If you have a few regular old wooden kitchen chairs, there are many exercises you can do with them. Of course, you should make sure that they are sturdy and not wobbly. Nicole from Pumps & Iron offers a great full body routine of chair exercises that are easy to follow with pictures and directions.

 

Pilates ring

Pilates Rings are utilized with Pilates sessions and provide a light resistance for movements. This resistance raises the difficulty of holding the positions and adds more tone to the muscle groups being worked. Since they are also light, they also reduce the risk of accidental injuries. Womanista has a great workout routine with a Pilates ring that can help target thighs. With these exercises and the power ring, you will find that you will feel the burn all over.

 

Bodyweight

If you have a body, you have a means of exercising. Ever since humans have existed, they have been able to keep in shape without exercise equipment. Your body can be your weight resistance if you know how to utilize it. Bodyweight exercises are easy and can be done anywhere. These workouts also boost your metabolism, burn calories and build up your muscle. Rodale wellness suggests 27 exercises and a cycle of 20 reps of 30 to 60 seconds each with a very short pause between to keep the heart rate elevated.10 Home Workouts

 

Swiss/ stability ball

Swiss/ stability balls create a deeper workout than bodyweight alone. Since the ball is an unstable area, your core muscles are working harder for balance. These balls come in different sizes and the size you choose relates to your height (>5’ = 45 cm, 5’1” – 5’7” = 55cm, 5’8” – 6’2” = 65cm, and <6’3” = 75cm). They do not take up much space, but you should have a sizable area available in case of you falling or escaping ball. Otherwise, the exercises are invigorating and Rodale Wellness offers a full body routine that is sure to be a regular.

 

Resistance band

Resistance bands are adaptable to any exercise routine, physical therapy or just stretching in general. These bands can be rolled up and put into a pouch that can fit into your pocket and taken anywhere. You do need to be careful which band you utilize because each band is of a varying resistance level. It is recommended you try your routine with the lightest level and work up until you are using the band level you are comfortable with. Tone and Tighten has a total body workout with resistance bands that you can use to get started.

 

Yoga

Yoga is another no equipment exercise. It can be done anywhere and it is easy if you practice, practice, practice. Yoga is not just a practice that is good for losing weight or getting fit. It promotes flexibility, blood circulation, and can even correct bone alignment. There are many new versions of it out and for those who are still new and looking how to get started, Brooklyn active mama has an article with an array of videos to help.

10 Home Workouts

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