Looking for a New Home

Hey Everyone!

The time has come for me to really be looking at leaving Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest, in search of a career and home of my own.

Portland has been a good place to learn how to live a dairy free & gluten free life, as well and wanting to live a better life, and adhering to a clean eating lifestyle, that includes a lot more outdoor time.

My passion is for history (especially 1800 – about 1900 in the western US, as well as the 1950’s in American History), literature, homemaking, growing my own food, preserving food, knitting, and living a simpler lifestyle.

Portland can no longer meet my needs, or provide me a job, so it is time to move on, and expand my horizons and learn how other live, in a different part of the country.

Even though this blog won’t always be Simple Homemaking in the PNW, it will always Simple Homemaking, written by me, wherever I am living. I love writing my homemaking blog, and sharing my successes in clean eating, dairy free & gluten free food, gardening, and preserving food for winter. None of what I normally write about here will change, just where I am doing it, and what else I am doing in addition to what I have already been doing. There is so much more I want to do with this blog, and share, such as decorating, how I decorate myself, home organization, having a home library, as well as possibly having a craft room.

#Gardengoals

Hey Everyone!

With spring being here, as rainy and chilly as it is, I have gardening on the brain, as well as the desire to have my own place and enough room to have a decent sized fruit and vegetable garden, as well as a rose garden (it doesn’t have to be huge), and a flower garden (again, doesn’t have to be super big). 

I love working outside, and working in the dirt. I definitely want to do a lot of canning and jam making. Homemade and homecanned food, tastes better than store bought. When it comes to things like garlic dill pickles, canned peaches, canned pears, strawberry jam, raspberry jam, etc I can totally taste the difference between homemade and store bought, since I was raised on homemade.

Over the past few years I have been collecting cookbooks, including the ball complete book of home preserving, as well as the illustrated cook’s book of ingredients. They are both really cool, and I want to put them both to really good use. 

Three of the things I love about this part of the country, are how well fruits and vegetables grow here, as well as the availability of nurseries and such to purchase what you want in the way of starts (like rose bushes, lilac bushes, fruit bushes, fruit trees, strawberry plants, etc). We also have places like the Portland Honestead Supply Co, as well as Home improvement stores that have awesome garden centers that have everything you want and more, to be a modern homesteader. 

Black Currants:

Elderberries:

Black and Golden Raspberries 

Urban Homesteading?

Hey Everyone!

For the past year or so, Urban Homesteading has been something I have definitely been wanting for myself. 

The whole idea of being able to grow most of my own fruits and vegetables, and what is not feasible to grow on the small scale or can’t grow enough of to do all the jam making, canning and preserving, that I would like to do, I would locally source my food by going to the farms themselves, and purchase from farmers at farmers markets. 

In the past couple of years, I don’t know exactly when, some time after developing food intolerances, I have definitely taken a turn somewhere from being very mainstream to being more non traditional. 

In today’s society, we have become all so consumed with having what we want when we want, that for many, the idea of working with our hands outside, growing our own food and self sufficiency are a thing of the past. 

Part of it is the city I live in, the self sufficiency, DIY, Urban Homesteading, shopping local, buying local food, shopping at farmers markets, organic food, is definitely very prevalent here. 

I am very much one who would rather be outside, working in the dirt, growing as much of my own food as possible than sitting in an office. When I was little, I was the one who would be outside playing in the the dirt, digging up worms. I was also the one who loved camping and fishing so go figure. 

The part of the country is a great area for growing food, like Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peaches, pears, cucumbers, corn, pumpkins, squash, cherries, apples, pears, and so much more. 

Healthy Eating is Taking Shape

Hey Everyone!

Today, being my day off of work, went out and ran errands. My errands included, but were not limited to: Bob’s Red Mill, Fred Meyer, New Seasons and Safeway. 

For breakfasts this next week, I bought what I needed, but didn’t have for DIY home made cranberry almond clif bars, using almond butter instead of honey or peanut butter, and I added some puffed rice cereal to it as well. I was surprised at how easy it was to make, and how good it turned out. 


For dinners this next week, I made spaghetti, using organic tomatoes and tomato sauce as well as a pound and a half of antibiotic free, hormone free, ethically raised, free range, yada yada yada, chicken. Yes it was a dollar more a pound than the stuff at the large chain grocery store, but it is also about as close I can get to doing it all myself – which living in the city doesn’t afford me. I noticed that this chicken that I bought not only tastes better, but is a better texture than the large chain grocery store ground chicken. If I had the means to raise my own chickens and do it all myself, I totally would. 


I also picked up some gluten free & dairy free bread to try, with my lunches. Yes, I had picked up a single orange, I had had plans for it, which I ended up not doing, yet anyway. 

I am really working to get back to being on the gluten free band wagon 95% or more of the time. I always feel better when I am. 

I realize that being as hardcore eating as natural as possible is totally sustainable while I live in the city. I am preparing myself for the eventual fact that if I am able to make it happen where I am able to live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, it is going to be a lot harder to keep it sustainable. I am definitely going to have to find a way to stick to being gluten free and dairy free, that’s not an option. I just realize it is going to be more difficult than living here in Portland, where living the gluten free, dairy free lifestyle is so common. 

Sticking with a 100% dairy free and avoiding gluten as much as possible, isn’t easy. Though anything that is worth doing, is never easy. I can’t imagine my life now if I weren’t dealing with these food intolerances and sensitivities. Yes I am pretty much OCD about kitchen cleanliness and washing my hands pretty much every time I touch something in the kitchen. I am this way, because I know what it is like to have food make me sick, and it taking my body a week or more to get back to normal after each run in. It’s not pleasant. 

I wouldn’t trade having food intolerances for being normal any thing now. Part of my love of homemaking has grown out of having developed food intolerances as an adult and sharing what I have learned with others. 

The Art of Homemaking is being Lost

Hey Everyone! 

Where do I begin on this? I am going to just dive in, and hope it makes sense. 

While we, as a society and culture have come a long way in gender equality, there is still a ways to go in closing the pay gap and all that goes along with equal opportunities for women. I am not against equal opportunities for women where we can hold our own with men. 

That being said, the Art of Homemaking has been lost in the process. Growing up, even on the subconscious level, I was taught I could do anything I wanted to, except be a homemaker, that I needed a career and making something of myself besides ever being a stay at home wife and mother, even if that it what I wanted to do. While I want to be able to have my own source of income, and contribute financially or take care of myself financially. 

I grew up learning how to cook from scratch, doing some canning, and preserving of food, as well as knitting from the time I was 10. As a teen, I found it odd that my friends and cohort were off playing video games or other things when I was learning how to cook, because I wanted to. Not all that long ago (2 or 3 generations before me), grew up learning how to cook, keep house and so much more. 

My main point, that I am trying to make is while not all women are supposed to be stay at home wives, mothers or be able to cook a traditional Sunday meal or holiday dinner from scratch on their own (we all aren’t Donna Reed, Julia Child, or Paula Dean), or be the stay at home types, that’s okay. But don’t demonize it for those women who want that kind of lifestyle, and telling young women and girls that they can do anything they want except being a stay at home wife and mother, or really learning any kind of domestic arts is doing them just as much a disservice as telling them they can’t do anything else they set their mind to. 

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize the disinterest I have in being a part of the rat race that is Corporate America. Yes I currently have a job, and I spend 40 hours a week doing work for a large corporation, because I need an income in order to pay the bills I have. 

What have I learned in the almost 11 years that I have been out of high school? I have learned that I love history, especially women’s history and history of the American West. Put the two of them together (especially they way of life women had on the frontier, and living off the land) back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While I know a lot has changed and improved since then (like having indoor plumbing, electricity, and internet), but some things haven’t, like the need for food, heat, and shelter haven’t. 

I am the kind of girl who prefer making things with my own hands, being outdoors and going on adventures. I also enjoys cooking from scratch and having a home of my own to make homey and welcoming. 

Off Grid living and Homesteading have begun to make a resurgence. While I am not one who wants to go the whole 9 yards, I am one who wants to find a balance between living 100% on grid, buying all my food from the mainstream big box grocery store, and not thinking about where my food comes from and what all the processed food is doing to my body. 

Having spent most of my life living in the Pacific Northwest these issues have been around my whole life. Now that I am an adult and have food intolerances and sensitivities, and really just want to know where my food comes from and how it was raised, as well as wanting to use more renewable resources, living a semi off grid life with enough land to grow a garden. I also want to continue being close enough to be able to purchase locally what I can’t grow or it wouldn’t be feasible or cost effective to grow myself, in order to make jams and can others for later. 

Trying to figure out how to turn my passion for homemaking and living a more natural life, while still earning an income to support myself is what I am still trying to figure out. 

Eating Cleaner

Hey Everyone!

It’s still January, and I am really working eating healthier. These past few months, I have been not eating as healthy as I know I should and I have been feeling that. I have also been noticing how expensive it is trying to eat dairy free and gluten free while not eating healthy. I realize that fruit, vegetables and lean proteins are not the cheapest. I have been figuring out where I can shop locally to get the best prices for what I want to eat.

I have also noticed that when I am not eating as healthy as I know I should be, that by mid morning and mid afternoon, I feel like I haven’t eaten all day. This weekend though, I have been eating healthy, and I have been staying fuller, longer. I am also figuring out what types of healthy snacks I like to eat in between meals, that are good for me. 

This past Friday I did my grocery shopping, most of which was done at Trader Joe’s. I don’t do my whole shopping there just because of the limited selection of dairy free staples that I am used to. But in terms of produce, and snacks they have an amazing selection. 

I had spent a little over $52 at Trader Joe’s for this week, and this is all that I got for that money:

From Safeway I spent about $25 and this is what I got:


I have not been a fan of red meat for a while, and I can’t eat dairy, which helps with clean eating. I am definitely trying to eat more fish – especially fish that comes from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon/Washington) or Alaska, and white meat, and do more vegan complete protein that isn’t tofu to change things up. 

Part of my goal is to eat more local foods and food that grows naturally in this part of the country. Because this part of the country is so temperate, and we have plenty of natural waterways, that fish, berries, nuts and such have been available here for quite a while. 

Stay tuned for more clean eating grocery hauls! 

Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

Merry Christmas (it is still Christmas here on the West Coast) and Happy Boxing Day to all of those for whom Boxing Day is a holiday! I get Boxing Day off this year, beings that Christmas fell on a Sunday. 

As 2017 quickly approaches I have been setting goals that I hope to maintain. One of which is to actually eat healthier, stick to a clean eating, dairy free, gluten Free, egg free diet while eating more fish and white meat. A lot of that has to do with my food sensitivities. 

I am definitely needing to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, nuts, gluten Free whole grains and fish into my diet. I am by no means going vegan, as I like to eat chicken and fish, as well as honey. I seriously need to do more research on how the First Nations people of this area ate. Beings that waterways and rain and plentiful in this area, in this part of the state they were more settled / less nomadic as the food supply was consistent and there was always something around to eat. 

I have been working on preparing for when I am able to have my own place, and am able to do more actual homemaking. Homemaking and urban homesteading are two things I am passionate about, and want to live, and share. Living a more natural, healthy life while not completely shunning modern society is my goal. 

Food Sensitivities update

Hey Everyone!

It is hard to believe that I have been dealing with my food intolerances and sensitivities for 5 years now. 

In the past 5 years I have gone Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Coffee Free and most recently almost completely egg free. About the only thing with eggs in it that doesn’t seem to bother me is if they are in baked goods and mayonnaise. I also recently figured out how sensitive I am to Gluten. 

I know I can’t have any dairy or coffee. Since I have come to figure out that I am also sensitive to gluten and eggs I have had to figure out how sensitive I am to these things. I am definitely not celiac. I have learned that Gluten causes inflammation and I have definitely noticed more inflammation and acne when I regularly eat gluten. 

The life I am Working For

Hey Everyone!

I have been writing posts for a while about how I want to live a more natural lifestyle, live Semi off grid, grow my own food and know where it comes from and all that Jazz. 

All of that and then some is the life I am working for. Growing up I was just another city kid who didn’t bat an eye at the food at the grocery store, or question how it was raised and cared for. I didn’t question what I put in my body until College, even then it Wasn’t like it is now. Now that I have food intolerances and sensitivities. The whole having to reword my brain around food has made me want to learn more about how to live a healthier life, and know what I am putting in my body, and where it comes from. 

I have loved fishing and being outdoors since I was little, I have always lived that kind of thing. After visiting my cousin in Canada 4 years ago, who was raising chickens for food at the time, was another bite from the homestead bug. 

I also grew up helping my mom can fruit, and pickles. So that is a skill I learned young.

All of this from growing as much of my own fruit and vegetables as I can myself, and what I can’t grow (or isn’t feasible or realistic to grow myself), purchase from local farms. I want to be able to can in the summer and early fall, as well as put chicken that I raised, and fish that I caught in the freezer for winter, so that the only food I need to purchase from the store is dried fruit, nuts, coconut almond milk, oatmeal, flour, and items I can’t get from my backyard or local farms. 

I also want a couple of goats for the fun of it. 

I am wondering is some of my issues are related to the quality and types of food that I am eating and is available to me, and maybe if I had eggs and fish that I gathered or caught myself that were raised in the wild or on a natural diet and had part of their coop outside where they could get fresh air and sunshine if I might have different results, and feel better over all. 

What the ItWorks Reps don’t tell you

Hey Everyone!

I decided to completely quit itworks about 2.5 months ago, and the first time I “quit”, my uplines were all trying to talk me into staying, which I did for another couple of weeks, but I really did quit for good then. 

I know I have talked about my reasons for quitting in another post, and how the products were making me sick and not working and all that good stuff. 

I had tried many of the products, including a couple wraps, defining gel, greens, greens chews, the complete nutrition pack (vitamins), fat fighters, thermofit, relief, probiotic, hair skin and nails, and the face peel. Of the pills, I was using many at the same time, so there was upwards of 12+ pills in addition to greens and chews that I was taking any given day. Some of the pills themselves caused an upset stomach and sessions in the bathroom, and when combined with the pills hole concoction only made it worse. Even when I was drinking enough water, greens themselves when I was taking them daily caused constipation, fun right? 

Hair skin and nails worked while I was on it, but after I quit taking it, my hair was falling out, and fast. For a long while after I quit, my hair was coming out in clumps. My hair has now thinned out in spots to the point it is noticeable. 

Most distributors aren’t straight up honest about the 3 month commitment or $50 membership fee to get the distributor price for the products. I have also found most Itworks reps to be pushy and there are too many that are back stabbing as well.  One thing I had kept hearing was “it typically takes 8 to 12 follow ups to get someone to sign up”, and that just didn’t sit right with me. When someone doesn’t want something, No means NO. 

While I was an Loyal Customer, before becoming a Distributor I had this one chick on Instagram randomly picked me and began constantly bugging me to become a distributor on her team, and I kept telling her no. After I had become a distributor I also had other distributors harassing me to join, after I had already joined, and I was like what the heck? I have my itworks profile private for a reason, and what gives them the audacity to cold message me, basically demanding I become a distributor on their team, when they can’t even see my posts?” The whole cold messaging someone when they either haven’t accepted, have rejected or just straight up messaging someone without sending a follow request is tacky, rude, and harassment. This tactic only makes people not want to join your company that much more. 

I had also heard “everyone needs it, they just don’t know it yet”, that is also a bunch of bologna. I was fed a bunch of lies, and was impressed upon to sell, sell, sell, and post 6 times a day on Instagram and Facebook. Some of you may already know how annoying it is to constantly be seeing people push the products they sell, and you aren’t interested, yeah itworks is one of those.

The “friends” I made while doing itworks, once I moved on, fell off the face of the planet, which I had expected. I knew they wouldn’t stick around or be supportive of what I was doing once I was no longer participating in the business, that is how clicks go. They were totally nice and all, but it was time for me to move on. 

Itworks has gotten itself a bad name, at the hands of its distributors. But it’s not the only.

I couldn’t honestly promote a line of products that didn’t work for me, and had such bad side effects, and honestly aren’t that good for you. I would just as soon eat a balanced and healthy diet, and exercise.