I started out the new year with a goal to learn how to make a variety of dairy products. I made almost everything on my list (except mozzarella and butter, which I determined was kind of pointless for me, since I could get it cheaper from a local farm than I could make it), and I blogged about some of it: Super Simple Yogurt, Sour Cream/Creme Fraiche, and How to Make Ghee. Mission accomplished! (Except the mozzarella. I might never get to that one.)
My bloggy friends and I did a series in February called “Sizzlin’ Soups“ (We even made a free eBook – anybody want a copy? I’ll be offering it to subscribers pretty soon here!). My contribution was a delicious healthified version of chicken and dumplings. My mouth is watering even now as I think about it (and the eBook contains a gluten-free dairy-free version as well!).
In celebration of International Woman’s Day, March was all about Women’s Wellness. We talked about everything from easing PMS symptoms to the sun and Vitamin D to emotional and spiritual health. Plus, there were a few recipes (of course!): Choco-Cado Smoothie (a favorite around here), Savory Oven Pancake (another favorite), and the Healthified Shamrock Shake (yet another favorite – it was a yummy month!).
April was a slower month for me blog-wise, but it did bring another standby recipe that I L-O-V-E: Vegan Oat Muffins. This is one of those recipes I love that always turns out no matter what I do to it. Plus it’s wheat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, which are kind of important around here.
Some friends and I participated ina one-day blog series about The Real Truth About Real Food. My post for the series was all about how I’ve come to learn that relationships with people supercede my relationship with food every time. There’s a great freedom and balance that comes when you learn that important lesson. And your friends (and husbands) are a lot happier, too.
In June, I launched my first ever eBook, Your Grocery Budget Toolbox! To celebrate, I focused on grocery budgets for 7 days, with posts like A Budget for Every Personality, Menu Planning, and How to Become a Gardener. It was an exciting week for me, and I’ve been thrilled with the positive response to my eBook. Self-publishing is a highly fulfilling experience; I recommend it!
I had the privilege of experimenting with a WonderMill grain mill starting in July, and posted about the experience on the Grain Mill Wagon. Some of the recipes inspired by the mill: The Best Pancakes Ever, Grandma’s Biscuits – with Spelt, and Spelt Pizza Crust,.
August brought big changes – this blog went from Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy (mainly focused on food) to Authentic Simplicity (broadening that QECH focus to include life in general). I didn’t waste any time, either – I participated in a week-long series where I featured all the different ways I save money on organizing products: at yard sales, with empty jars, at dollar stores, and with shipping boxes.
I kicked off the school year with a series of posts detailing my simple approach to preschool at home. It was very well received, particularly the posts about phonics and reading. Which is awesome because that happens to be one of my passions in life.
In October I was privileged to attend the Allume Conference, which prompted two posts: one a recap of the event, the other a post written by my DH! I have to say, he did a fantastic job. The man has skills!
In November, I launched another facet of my online business: I became a distributor of Young Living Essential Oils (note that the giveaway mentioned in the post is no longer open). You can read the whole story by clicking on that link, but to sum up: I’ve decided to focus on essential oils as a natural method of helping the body to heal, and I learned that becoming a distributor was the best way to make high quality oils affordable. I’ve been very happy with my decision, and am, in fact, about to go apply some oils to my coughing little Tiger Cub. I know they will help immensely, and I’m thrilled that I have access to them.
December was all about keeping it simple: A Simple Christmas was the theme. I’m going to tell you a little secret: I wrote all the posts and scheduled all the social media updates prior to December, and I took the whole month off of blogging. Oh, I still did some work here and there, but by and large, I had myself a nice, month-long vacation. And a lovely, simple Christmas. Ahhhhh!
Now it’s back to the grind for me! But thankfully, I happen to love my chosen grind. Here’s to a wonderful New Year here at Authentic Simplicity!
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