It goes without saying that it’s fairly inconvenient when your toilet lets you down and clogs up. Calling a good plumber is another task and expense that you have to face. However if you are brave enough you don’t need to rely on a plumber, and who doesn’t love a good bathroom hack?
Unclog a toilet


In some cases all you need to do is flush few time and poke with your handy dandy toilet brush. However if you are having bad day, this won’t do the trick and you will have to rely on few tricks of the trade.unclogging your toilet


If you are going to jump in and try to unclog your toilet yourself, the first thing you need isn’t far away, you need a good dish soap (if you don’t have one you can rely on your shampoo) and medium sized bucket to hold hot water. Two of these would be great as it will save you the effort to refill them again.


Now first you will have to pour in the dish soap into the toilet and let it be for the next 30 minutes or so. The dish soap or the shampoo acts as a lubricant and helps all the stuff to get moving. After 25 minutes you can start pouring the hot water in the flush. It will help in unclogging the flush.


We found that the above method works in the majority of cases, unless you have a more serious toilet malfunction. But if it didn’t work for you then don’t worry we have more great tricks of the trade for you to try before resorting to calling out the plumber.


So if you are still looking for more ideas to unclog your toilet then you can go through this great infographic by DIY experts Legendary Home Services.


Summer is the time for barbecues, salads and family picnics… and not spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Today I thought I would share some of my favorite summer recipes. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do in our family!


Pasta Spinach Salad
I’m always looking for light summer pasta salads and this is one of those recipes! We enjoy it so much I usually double the recipe!summer recipes

Kale Salad
This is such a simple salad, delicious and so easy to make!salad, summer recipes

Beer Can Chicken
As the summer heats up try this delicious grilling recipe for beer can chicken. It’s always a hit!chicken, summer recipes

Pizza On The Grill
We have a wonderful attachment for our Weber grill that turns it into a pizza oven! It makes the best pizza!summer recipes

Garlic Scape Scampi
Wondering what to do with the garlic scapes? Try making this yummy garlic scape scampi. The combination of the garlic and shrimp is delicious!summer recipes

Maple Glazed Grilled Salmon
One of our favorite ways to cook salmon is this wonderful recipe that coats the fish with a maple glaze. We can enjoy the maple syrup that Vermont has to offer with the wonderful taste of salmon, truly a winning, recipe box, summer recipes

Minty Watermelon Salad
Light and refreshing salad. Perfect for your next summer party.summer recipes

Coleslaw Chicken 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!summer recipes

Chicken Orzo Salad
This is one of those recipes that has been passed around between my mother and my mother-in-law and enjoyed by all. I think it is one of those perfect spring or summer salads. Easy to make and delicious! I’ve even made it without the grapes as we didn’t have any in the house and instead I added a bit of leftover corn! Not only was it colorful but it was still delicious!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!summer recipes


Summer Gazpacho
I love the abundance of fresh vegetables in the summer. This is one of my favorite summer soups, perfect on a hot day!Summer Gazpacho, summer recipes

Easy Veggie Pasta
As our garden begins to produce fresh vegetables one of my favorite meals is a Veggie Pasta dish. The original recipe came from a Weight Watchers recipe. I have just made a few changes. This is a flexible recipe, use what you have on hand and enjoy!summer recipes

Mexican Turkey Salad
As the weather becomes more summer-like we often enjoy salads for dinner. I enjoy a meal that I can make early in the day and then it’s ready for whenever we want to eat dinner. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do!Mexican Turkey Salad, summer recipes

Summertime Tuna Salad
I love cold salads on a hot summer day. This salad is easy to make and is a perfect light dinner or  a great lunch to take to the office.Summertime Tuna Salad, summer recipes


Asian Shrimp and Rice Bowl
Looking for a light summer dinner idea? This recipe is a perfect choice. I had some shrimp in the freezer I wanted to use up and this dinner came together in no time at all.summer recipes

Shrimp and Shells Salad
I have mentioned before how much I enjoy shrimp. For me this salad is one of those perfect summertime salads, it can be served as a light dinner with some fresh homemade bread or you can enjoy it for lunch. To make it lighter use fat-free mayonnaise. By all means use fresh ingredients from your garden if possible! This easy salad makes about 9 servings.Shrimp 'n Shells Salad, summer recipes

Light Lemon Pound Cake
This is a delicious cake that brings a taste of summer to your table!Light Lemon Pound Cake, summer recipes

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:
The Smart Way To Purge Your Linen Closet


My Favorite Post:
15 Garden Supplies From The Dollar Store



 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!
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  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.
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Let’s start hopping!

As we continue to pack up our house in preparation for an eventual move I look at my box of seeds and wonder how long will seeds last? Should I pack them up and take them with me? Like most home gardeners I’m frugal and I hate to throw anything away, especially leftover garden seeds from one year to the next.How Long Will Seeds Last


For long term storage seeds should be kept in the freezer. However that is not an option when planning a move across the country. So I will keep my seeds dry and in a dark place until they are ready to be planted again. Seeds should be stored with some type of desiccant in a sealed jar. You can actually use rice as a desiccant.


But how long do seeds last? Some types of seeds are naturally more short lived than others. Did you know that some seeds have a higher oil content than others and that these are the seeds with the shortest shelf life. Parsnips, spinach, lettuce and onion seeds have the shortest seed long will seeds last


Beans, beets, leeks, parsley, peppers, and Swiss chard seeds will usually be good for up to two long will seeds last


Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, and tomatoes should last for three long will seeds last


Turnips and flower seeds are generally good for four long will seeds last


If you keep your seeds dry and cool you may find they will last longer then the time periods I mentioned. I have heard of seed savers who have kept seeds for years and had success growing them.


Now that I know how long seeds will last I can now sort through my seeds and check the dates on the envelopes and decide which seeds I will be taking with us. Another thing that I will have to consider is will the seeds grow in the Pacific Northwest? I believe most of my seeds will do fine. Vermont has a very short growing season and although the PNW may have more rain and less sun I should still be able to have a vegetable garden. Any of my readers familiar with growing vegetables in the PNW?planning your vegetable garden

There’s always been a stigma surrounding mental health. In the past, if anyone admitted to their inner demons and said that they struggled with anything concerning their mental health, they were looked down upon. Thankfully, talking about mental disorders is less taboo now, and when someone admits that they struggle, they are often welcomed with open arms, because more and more people are admitting to their own struggles. This is just showing that more people struggle with things like depression and anxiety than we had previously realized. While the normalization of mental disorders is a good thing, it’s also unintentionally affected the meaning of the words anxiety and depression. These two disorders have become romanticized; some individuals think it’s noble to suffer from these disorders, and will claim to have them for the attention. Others are using these words interchangeably with other words when really what they mean is that they’re nervous, sad, upset, or stressed.stress


External stresses


There’s quite a big difference between having anxiety and being stressed. Anyone can feel anxious for a moment, or even for a while about a certain thing or event, but it doesn’t mean that they you have anxiety. Feeling upset or stressed about something for a while doesn’t mean you’re having a panic attack.


Stress comes from external forces. You’re stressed about your job, money, family situations, friendships, romantic relationships, and so forth. When things becoming strained or difficult in your life, you can easily become stressed.


However, stress goes away. Your issues will always get resolved one way or another. When the things that you’re stressed about go away, so do your feelings of being stressed.


If you’re still feeling stress once the subject of your stress has truly been resolved, what you’re feeling may be anxiety. For example, you’re upset about something in the relationship you have with your spouse. You’re nervous to talk to them about the thing that’s upsetting them, so you spend all day fretting about what you’ll say and the correct way to tell them how you’re feeling. At the end of the day, you sit down with them and share your concerns, and the issue becomes resolved. The stress of the situation is now gone, and therefore, you’ll no longer be feeling stressed.


Anxiety is when, after having this conversation with your spouse, you continue to worry about it, chronically, for days. In your spare moments you’ll be wondering if you should’ve said something different, you’ll worry that they’re mad at you despite them being understanding and kind about the situation, and you’ll begin to tell yourself that you shouldn’t have been upset in the first place. Anxiety may cause you to obsess over simple things that aren’t, or shouldn’t be, a big deal.


Often, stress is mislabeled as anxiety. A lot of people don’t like going to the dentist. Leading up to a dentist visit, many people will feel anxious and nervous. Unless the anxious feelings of going to the dentist linger much longer after your visit, this is simply stress, rather than anxiety.


A lot of people mistake these issues as just stress, or just anxiety. Knowing what the cause of your feelings is can help you know how to handle them. For example, some people use alcohol or other substances to help them “de-stress” when they’re feeling overwhelmed. However, alcohol can be easily abused, and in situations where an alcohol dependency or addiction develops, it’s often caused by anxiety, rather than stress.stress


Internal Forces


Anxiety is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, often meaning that the neurotransmitters in the brain aren’t functioning the way they’re supposed to. The neurotransmitters that are targeted in an anxiety disorder are gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine.


GABA inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, which calms nervous activity. Serotonin affects your mood, social behavior, appetite, digestion, sleep, and sexual desire. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that sends signals to your muscles to tell them to move. It’s also often considered the “feel good” chemical. Epinephrine helps regulate your breathing, stimulate your heart, and raise your blood pressure if it’s dropped.


An imbalance of any of these neurotransmitters can mean trouble. If there is a chemical imbalance, your body won’t be functioning properly, and therefore won’t react the way it’s supposed to. These imbalances can cause you to obsess over things you normally wouldn’t, make you feel useless and upset, lazy and lethargic, and even cause your heart rate to spike for no apparent reason.


What’s important to remember about anxiety is that, although it can be affected by or triggered by outside forces, what causes it is a chemical imbalance. If you have anxiety that’s affecting your daily life, seek out professional help to get a handle on it.stress

My husband and I love to entertain. However, when we have company I like to enjoy the company and not spend all my time in the kitchen! I am always looking for recipes that I can make ahead or at least reduce my time in the kitchen. I really don’t want to be spending time cooking in the kitchen when I could be enjoying our company. These antipasto kabobs are the perfect solution!Antipasto Kabobs There is a little work involved the day before which is just cooking the tortellini and marinating it with the olives and salad dressing. Before your company arrives you can put together the antipasto kabobs so they will be chilled and ready for sharing.Antipast Kabobs


The added bonus is that they are light in calories. You can enjoy two antipasto kabobs for only 139 calories. Delicious and low fat, my kind of appetizer!


Antipasto Kabobs




1 package of refrigerated cheese tortellini (9 oz)

40 pimento stuffed olives

40 large pitted ripe olives

¾ cup Italian salad dressing

40 thin slices of pepperoni

20 thin slices of hard salami
Can of artichoke hearts in water, drained




Cook the tortellini according to the package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, olives and salad dressing. Stir gently, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


Drain and discard the marinade. For each appetizer, thread a stuffed olive, folded pepperoni slice, tortellini, a folded salami piece and ripe olive on a toothpick or short skewer. If you like you can also add a piece of parsley.Antipasto Kabobs


Makes about 40 appetizers.


These antipasto kabobs would be perfect for your next summer gathering. They were certainly a hit with our company!Antipasto Kabobs


Do you have a favorite appetizer you like to serve? One that doesn’t have you spending hours in the kitchen? Please share in the comments!

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