Review: The City Homesteader

"THE CITY HOMESTEADER: Self-Sufficiency on any Square Footage, written by Scott Meyer, former editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening magazine and author of numerous books on organic living. THE CITY HOMESTEADER is a book for anyone who’s ever wanted to grow vegetables, raise livestock or make beef jerky – all within the confines of their high-rise apartment or suburban dwelling—and live a more authentic, self-sufficient lifestyle. And this homesteader life doesn’t end in the kitchen – Meyer provides ways to turn a home into an eco-friendly space with tips on composting, homemade cleaning products and home remedies. And with a plethora of outside resources, Meyer encourages readers to think outside the book to better adapt city homesteading to their everyday lives."

My thoughts:
The City Homesteader covers a little of everything. It's a great guide for becoming a more self-sufficient home, without being overwhelming to newbies. This is the one book I certainly wish I had a year ago when I first started my garden. There are various helpful tips for planting and seed collection, and a simple diagram for creating a rain barrel (another thing on my to-do list)! However, the sections I found most beneficial were on saving foods for later with drying, canning, and freezing. The City Homesteader even has instructions for making your own cheese and yogurt (two things I've been meaning to try)! I'm also intrigued by the idea of raising my own chickens and other small livestock, but that isn't necessarily feasible for us at the moment, so I may return to that section of the book in the future. Overall, I'm impressed by the range of topics covered in The City Homesteader, and the list of resources provided in the back of the book. I've already recommended this book to a few friends, I know they will find it helpful too!

Buy It: The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on Any Square Footage is available at retailers such as Amazon

Disclosure: I received a copy of The City Homesteader from the publisher in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.


Birthday on a Budget!

Last Christmas, I made a goal of finding as many toys as I could for Jacob on a $20 (out of pocket) budget, and was pretty successful! With his 2nd birthday coming up in September, I've already started thinking about a birthday budget. At this point I've exceeded $20, so it won't be quite as strict. Here are a few of my purchases so far:

Thomas the Train Tough Trike $28.91 on Amazon (reg $42.99 spent $18.16 after some swagbucks and survey earnings) - Jacob is a HUGE fan of Thomas the Train right now and walks around saying "choo choo" all day.

$50 credit to ShopZoolu.com (spent $15 on the voucher after a credit at Mamasource) - I will most likely order a bunch of Melissa & Doug toys

My First RC Dune Buggy from Gifthero.com with a voucher from 8moms.com ($9.99 spent, $23 saved)

Alex Toys magnetic tug boats (Free with
Pampers Gifts to Grow points, saved $9.99)

$43.15 spent for ~$135 worth of toys

Disclosure: This post contains referral and affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!


Wordless Wednesday: He's almost home!

I can count the weeks on one hand!

Review & Giveaway: Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers

Recently, Seventh Generation decided to re-launch an updated version of their Free & Clear diapersIn an effort to contribute less overall landfill waste and continue to ensure a premium standard of absorbency, the new Free & Clear diapers have been redesigned with a lighter-weight core. Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the diapers’ plastic packaging, meaning that each pack now contributes even less overall landfill waste than before. In fact, Seventh Generation Free & Clear diaper packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available. 

We've been using Seventh Generation diapers for almost two years now. When Jacob isn't wearing a cloth diaper, he has on Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers. They perform well in fit and absorbency, and do not irritate his sensitive skin. I also choose to use Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers because of their eco-friendly characteristics. Specifically, they are free of chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum based lotions. 

Seventh Generation provided me a package of their updated Free & Clear diapers to try out. This time Elliot wore them and they still had the same great performance and fit. However, I'm pleased that Seventh Generation has made an effort to use even less material and cut back on packaging. I'm always happy to see an excellent "green" product like Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers improved upon!

Buy It:
Win It: One reader will win a pack of Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers in their choice of size 2, 4, or 5. To enter, please comment below on whether you've tried Seventh Generation Diapers yet, if not what interests you about them? Are there other Seventh Generation products in your home? Make sure to post your email address in the comment if it isn't visible in your blogger profile.

The giveaway ends July 28, 2011 at 11:59pm CT. One winner will be selected using random.org and notified by email. The winner must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Open to readers in the US.

Disclosure: The coupon link, sample product, information, and giveaway were provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark. 


$2 Seventh Generation Diaper Coupon!

Save $2.00 OFF any ONE Seventh Generation Baby Product (Diapers, Training Pants, or Wipes)

Disclosure: I received this coupon link from Seventh Generation through participation in a MyBlogSpark campaign

Garden Update

This morning I was reading The Domestic Princess's garden update, and realized I haven't mentioned my garden much this year.

Last year I planted all sorts of things: tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers, basil, and pumpkins. This year, the plan was to get whatever I could planted because Elliot arrived at the end of April, and with my husband deployed, I have less help. I managed to get 3 tomato plants, a bell pepper, and jalapeno planted in a couple garden boxes, plus basil growing in the house.

So far everything is growing really well, thanks to the constant thunderstorms keeping the garden nice and watered. I'm pleased that my tomatoes are growing like crazy! I've already had tons of ripe tomatoes and a few plants even came back on their own in another box.

All of these are from this morning's harvest!


Pampers Gifts to Grow: New 10 point code!

The latest Pampers Gifts to Grow code is:
FAC711PHWGNXRD7  (10 points)
Expires 7/10
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.