Whew, what a weekend it has been! When you are busy little bees reading this on Monday, I will be busy running kids through piano lessons, taking guitar lessons (that is, if I dont forget my guitar this week), teaching an amazingly smart group of homeschool kids about music from the  1600-1700’s, and thinking longingly of catching a nap somewhere in the day.

Which will never happen.
We just dont roll like that at my house.
Or when I am away from my house.
So many fun and wonderful things have been happing around here in real life, that I had to take a step back this weekend
 and just let my family life and roles take over for a little bit.
I get so busy when I am on here, sharing with you all that I am learning, and doing, that sometimes it is just nice to shut things down  
and spend time with the family.
You understand that, dont you?
I know you do.
 I can hear heads nodding.
I have had to do some serious refocusing this weekend, and decide where I am heading with the blog, how much is too much, what days I should be posting and which ones I should be not posting…….
if I am keeping you up with everything as well as I should,
and I realized some things are doing really really well…
and others need to slide for right now.
So after today, you are only going to be getting four posts a week.
Make It Mondays rock,
and Tasty Tuesdays are so much fun to share new recipes with you each week.
 I Love that we are covering an herb every Wednesday and talking about how to use it, grow it, and heal with it.
 I super duper love Fabulously Frugal Fridays,
 and I love posting on Thursdays, because I get to share with you what is on my heart.
But in real life, I am struggling to find the balance of making the ones I love the priority, so that they see the same me that they have loved, 
and that you can see through my blog.
With three children, a business from my home, and a Handy Hubby, I am searching for that balance.
downloadJune2012 080
So many of you write to me and tell me you can hear my “voice” through my writings, and I want you to know, I really strive for that. I want to be as real, even if there is a computer screen between us, as I would be with my family. I want you to feel like we are sitting across the table from one another, sharing a cup of coffee and I am talking about all the cool stuff I am learning, and what is new and exciting and fun, writing down recipes for you, etc etc etc.
But sometimes, even the crazy creative people need naps, right?
So rather than come up with something spectacular today
(its been a slow weekend in the creative department),
 I want instead to send you to some of the cool places I have been lately,
update you on one of the Make It Yourself Projects in the works,
announce the AWESOME AND INCREDIBLE WINNER of the giveaway of our AWESOME AND INCREDIBLE NEW SPONSOR from this weekend,
and send you on your way.
I will be doing a special post on Friday to make it all up to you for not posting a new “Make It Monday” post for you all.
Cool Places I have been recently:
Making these super neat salve packets from a straw and homemade concoctions for healing salves. Brilliant idea. Waterproof, doesnt leak, individual size so no contamination, etc. Since I am working on building up our first aid supplies recently, I want to applaud the ingenious efforts of people like this who inspire people like me.
Its a great blog too, so head over there, and check it out.
Next I have three adorable, crazy, and fun girls, and I have been looking for simple ways to make headbands for them. My oldest daughter immediately jumped all over these, and this is one of those things that are simple to make, and make a huge impact for a gift if you have a small girl in your life.
Lots and LOTS of great ideas on here if you are crafty or futzy like I am and want to do something with your hands to keep busy while you are watching TV, etc.

Now on the home front, we have been working towards being a Homemade Home, or in other words, starting to learn how to make all the things that we use each day, know what is in them, and then use them on a daily basis. I have looked at many many recipes for homemade deodorant, as well as tried them, and I think this is the one we are sticking with. Crunchy Betty just ROCKS, and I have found tons of stuff on there I love, so seriously, browse while you are on there. You may lose a couple hours before you come up for coffee, but it will be well worth it.

Next, what would my suggestions be without some seriously to die for food items for those that just cant help themselves? We made a few of these this weekend, and are planning on making more for the holidays, so feast your eyes on these:
Caramel Apple Pie Pops
Or end your day with a killer mocha recipe?
Now, arent you glad I chose to do that? Seriously, the blogger brilliance all around me is amazing, and makes me feel simple in comparison. But, I know you all love me and appreciate the little things I bring you,
and I just wanted to say thanks.
Update on the Make It Yourself Monday Extracts from last week:
Here is a pic of three of the four–the almond is getting a strong almond smell and clear yellowish white color to it, but we shook it up before pics and it was NOT pretty.
I was NOT taking a picture of that one, sorry. 🙂
 Call it avoidance if you want. 🙂
Here are the others:
Left to right you have the cinnamon, vanilla, and mint.
And they are amazingly powerful smelling already, so I cant wait to see what they smell like in another couple weeks. 🙂 I am gonna rock the Christmas gifts this year.
And now, for the announcement of the reader who gets the Deluxe Starter set of beautifully handmade pads from our newest sponsor, Naturally Simple Women’s Products, drum roll please:
Ivette Luciano!!!!
Ivette, Please contact me immediately so we can get you connected with Amber for your wonderful prize package!
source credit–cracks me up every time I look at it
And a big WAHOOOOOO for the five winners of the free Master Mix Way Ebook from the pod cast with Get Real, Get Prepared with Vickilynn Haycraft:
1.Kimberly (thehannabunch)
2.Charlotte Column Beard
3.Shelli Riedsel
4.Mandy (ajoemandy)
5. Sandra Ivette (YOU WON TWICE!)
 Thanks for participating!
And congratulations! 🙂
You should be getting an email from me with your link to your free Master Mix Way E~book! 🙂
Remember, we are in our final days of the Grain Mill Wagon challenge….3. more. days. The numbers look awesome. The competition is stiff. It is only up to you whether you want to see a WonderMill on your counter for Christmas or not. Because if we win, that baby is getting turned around and given away to someone very very lucky.
You choose which recipe you want to go with the next three days, and you head over there and share it once, each day. That is ALL I am asking. Mail it to your mom. Call you BFF and ask her to run over there and like it. Whatever. Light up FB or Pinterest with Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Or Cinnamon Harvest Comfort Pie. Or Crazy for Coconut Cupcakes. Or Applesauce Spice Cake. Or Gingerbread Sweet Rolls.
We can do this.
I know I know we can.
 So click.
The day is done. The post is done.
Thanks for getting through this mammoth post from me.
SO much to share and so little time.
Tomorrow we are right back here with Sweet Tater Twist bread–a special holiday recipe that you can present on your Thanksgiving table for the appreciation of your family,
and the thrilling of your mouth.
This ones a keeper, folks, so see you back tomorrow.
Many many blessings to you and yours,