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the homemade pantry: a giveaway!

HomemadePantry2-1024x682Okay, friends.  This is exciting!  It’s time for my first giveaway.  And what better prize is there than my very favorite cookbook of all time?!  You’ve heard me rave about The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila before, but let me reiterate: It. Is. The best.  I bought this by chance at a Barnes & Noble when we first really started cutting back on store-bought, processed foods and I loved it immediately.  It makes Ryan laugh, but he has caught me (on multiple occasions) reading this cookbook before bed in place of a novel.  It’s just totally my style – great photographs, a story to go along with every recipe, and kind of a cozy feel all around.  Alana’s writing is so wonderful & down to earth that it gives her recipes personality.  The way she writes about cooking as a part of her family story reminds me that so many of the best moments happen around the table with friends and family.

It’s jam-packed with great recipes for the basics, but some of our favorites are her yogurt, granola, instant oatmeal, pancakes & waffles, cornbread, pizza sauce, hamburger buns, tortillas, maple popcorn, yellow cake, and pudding…just to name a few.  I’m so excited to share this great book with you!

So here’s the deal:  Enter the giveaway via the form below.  You can earn a total of three entries if you subscribe to the blog & leave a comment – I’d love to know what cookbooks top your list of favorites!

I’ll choose a random winner next Friday, January 30th!  

xoxo, hayley

P.S.  Check out Alana’s blog, Eating From the Ground Up.  You’ll love it!


Big congrats to Anna, who won the giveaway!!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  That was fun!

How to subscribe to the blog & get credit for the contest:
1. Enter your e-mail in the ‘Subscribe Via E-mail’ section near the top right of this page.  Then click the ‘Subscribe’ button.
2. Go to the Rafflecopter form, below, and enter the same e-mail you used to subscribe and click ‘Enter’.
3. Check your e-mail. You’ll get a message asking you to confirm your subscription to the blog.  Click ‘activate’!  Then you’re all set.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


January 23, 2015 - 10:35 pm

Sarah Wingo - Would love to try out this cookbook! 🙂

January 23, 2015 - 10:37 pm

Sarah Wingo - Also- Pioneer woman cookbook tops the list as my favorite.

January 23, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Hannah O'Polka - Thanks so much for tagging me! I love adding new recipes to my collection. I actually find many recipes at and They even help you with grocery lists! 🙂

January 23, 2015 - 10:49 pm

Hayley - Sarah – Yep, Pioneer woman is great. I don’t have her cookbooks, but I love watching her show!

January 23, 2015 - 11:52 pm

Hayley - Hannah – Definitely! I’ll have to check out both those sites. Like you, I’m always looking to add a little something new & exciting to our routine recipes!

January 24, 2015 - 6:44 am

Cassie B - Looks like a great practical cookbook. I love having a fully stocked pantry and want to start making more of the stuff I stock it with.

January 24, 2015 - 7:37 am

Kathleen - I have loved watching you and Ryan create new habits and delicious foods! So glad you are doing well!

January 24, 2015 - 9:33 am

Janet Holland - Where do I join your blog?

January 24, 2015 - 10:36 am

Hayley - Janet – I added instructions on how to subscribe to the post, and also tagged you in some visual instructions on Facebook. Hope that helps! I’m so happy that we’ve gotten back in touch. 🙂

January 24, 2015 - 1:53 pm

Anna Kraft - I love cookbooks for pictures and stories too…love the Pioneer Woman’s cookbooks, and I am currently reading through Keepers and The New Midwestern Table, but they are on hold with Whole30. 🙂

January 24, 2015 - 8:44 pm

Peggy - I love trying new recipes and any you recommend would move high on my list. 😉

January 27, 2015 - 11:29 am

Amanda - Thanks, Hayley! Sounds like my kind of cookbook!

January 28, 2015 - 12:21 am

Amanda Cervantez - Oh, I’ll have to check this cookbook out! My current favorite cookbook is The Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen!

January 28, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Kara - I rarely use cookbooks. We normally try to find recipes online and then adjust them. This one sounds absolutely wonderful, though! I would love to find replacements for more processed stuff. Is there some sort of a cracker recipe? Soren has gone cracker crazy and I feel bad about all the junk he is ingesting in them.

January 28, 2015 - 7:36 pm

Hayley - Kara – Yes! She has a cheese cracker recipe and a ‘wheat thin’ type of recipe.

January 29, 2015 - 10:41 am

Jaime Arnold - My favorite cookbook that I have (that I currently lent out and wish I had back!) a cookbook from the Christian bookstore here in town. It is a family cookbook with tons of easy dinners that aren’t exactly healthy but they got my family excited about cooking! Dan was excited to try the recipes and Lexi loved helping make them. What I loved is that it was also a devotional that you could use with your family over dinner. I will probably buy more copies to give as gifts! But I can’t remember the name of it at the moment, ugh! Anyways, I know you have raved about this cookbook for years so it would be really cool to win one! Even if I don’t I’ll have to go buy it. ☺️

Sleepy Time Rub with Essential Oils

sleepy time rub -

So, I shared in this post about how much I’ve been loving my Young Living essential oils starter kit.  And I think now I’ve even sold my husband on them with this Sleepy Time Rub.  He also might have just said that because he got a foot rub, but I’m calling it a win.  Take five minutes to whip up a batch with the recipe below!  (Or if you’re interested in learning how to get started with essential oils, check out this page.)

sleepy time rub -

Sleepy Time Rub
+ 1/3 cup coconut oil
+ 10 drops Lavender
+ 10 drops Peace & Calming
+ 10 drops Valor

Melt coconut oil.  Add essential oils & mix.  Pour into glass container & let it return to a solid in the refrigerator.  Apply to feet or wrists or chest before bedtime.  Sleep like a baby!

What’s your favorite way to use essential oils?

xoxo, hayley

January 23, 2015 - 10:34 pm

Alison - Did they cure the headache? I suffer from migraines and am really curious on a method that is less invasive (shots) and harsh on my body.

January 23, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Hayley - Alison, I can’t say that I have personal experience since I don’t suffer from migraines. But I did a bit of reading and it sounds like many people swear the peppermint & lavender combo. I just diffused it, but it seems like most add it to a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply it to their temples, back of neck, etc.

Young Living also has an oil blend that specifically targets migraines called M-Grain. I’ve read some success stories, so it might be worth a try!


So, by now you know that I think natalie is super cool.  I saw this list on her blog today and thought it’d be a fun way to get out of my writing slump.

currently -

I’m currently…

reading:  Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf forever, and I’ve started it a couple different times only to be distracted by some bright and shiny young adult fiction (I know, I know, I’m just not great at liking the grown-up books!  Especially the non-fiction…).  So, this time it’s going to happen.  Even in just the first chapter, it packs a powerful punch.

playing:  the All Sons & Daughters Live album.  All day, every day.

watching:  nothing to speak of, but Friends is on Netflix now (yay!) so that’s my go-to.

trying:  to figure out what shade of white to paint the second floor bedrooms.  If you follow me on instagram, you’ve heard my desperate pleas for help.  I have no skills in this area.  I’ve read all the blogs and asked all the people and held up all the paint chips.  To me, the greenish-whites and pinkish-whites and grey-ish whites all look white.  So, I think I’ve decided to just buy big buckets of plain white eggshell paint off the shelves and paint everything.  Problem solved.

currently -

cooking:  baked potatoes & veggie toppings with my hubby.  Not my best ever Whole30 concoction, but let’s be real:  some days you just have to use that microwave – you know – so it doesn’t feel left out from all the stove top and oven stuff that’s been going on lately.

eating:  all the Whole30 things.  I’m in a bit of a sweet potato/aidells chicken sausage/eggs over easy rut, but it’s day 9 & I’m still hanging in.  And actually, I’m feeling great.  The toughest part of the whole thing for me has definitely been the social aspect (having to bring my own food or having trouble ordering off of a restaurant menu when out with friends), but I’m finding it easier and easier each day.  And I can honestly say my cravings for sweet treats are gone!  (Cue hallelujah chorus.)

drinking:  peppermint tea.  My fave!

calling:  my mom, if anyone.

texting:  ryan.  Five-thousand times a day.  (Sorry, babe, I just have so many thoughts…)  And Anna.  We’re doing this Whole30 together and trying to get a workout in each day.  Accountability is a must!

pinning:  ideas for our house!

tweeting:  gah, I don’t even know about twitter.

crafting:  painting, really.  Painting a linen cabinet to help with our lack-of-storage dilema.  Painting our bedroom.  Touching up the white woodwork around the house.

doing:  the couch-to-5k running plan.  I’ve always wanted to be able to run, but I’m terrible.  I’m on week two and still going strong, so that’s something.

going:  to start selling more things on ebay.  I’ve noticed it even more since we’ve been moving things around to paint: We have way, way too much stuff.  New motto: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  (William Morris)

loving:  my essential oils premium starter kit from Young Living.  I’ve been diffusing Peace & Calming before bed & putting a drop of lavender on our pillows – and now I’m sleeping like a baby.  (If you’re interested in ordering your own starter kit, click here.)

hating:  our power bills.  I guess that’s what you get when you live in a big, old, uninsulated house in the middle of the midwest.

currently -

discovering:  how much better I feel (physically & mentally) since I’ve started the Whole30 & an exercise routine.  It sounds so obvious, but it makes a world of difference.

enjoying:  being on the leadership team for a Christian girls’ weekend retreat.  It’s been really uplifting to be spending time with a community of faithful, encouraging women.

hoping:  to make an IKEA trip sometime in the near future!

celebrating:  warm, fuzzy blankets.

smelling:  my Fireside Yankee candle.  The best.

currently -


thanking:  my husband, Ryan.  I’ve been reminded over the last days how deeply he cares about the people he loves.  Their hurt is his hurt.  Their joy is his joy.  He’s a special guy.  🙂

considering:  learning calligraphy.  But I don’t know where to start.  Any suggestions?

finishing:  the talk about communicating that I wrote for that upcoming girls’ retreat.  Maybe I’ll post more about that later.

starting:  to make plans for my garden this year.  We’re planning to build five raised beds this year & add some cool heirloom veggies to the mix.  So exciting!  

What are you up to these days? Any good books to recommend? Anything exciting going on in your life? I’d love to hear about it!

xoxo, Hayley


my one word for 2015

my one word for 2015

This year, I think I’ll take Natalie’s lead and choose one word to represent my hopes and goals for 2015.  And since the moment I considered the idea, I’ve heard my word echoing from the mountaintops (of Illinois??) – “be present“.

present, adjective: not past or future; existing now

Being present is something I’ve struggled with for pretty much always.  I’m a worrier, and a planner, and a stress-outer.  During work, I’m making notes about how I want to (re)decorate the house.  During meals I’m mentally already clearing the table.  During crafty projects, I’m thinking about how good it will feel to finish.  But I never seem to be right here, right now.  This year, that changes.

my one word for 2015

I will say yes to today and enjoy it for what it is.  (And stop focusing on what it’s not.)

I will invest in relationship – with my husband, with (new) friends, and with God.  This is hard – dependence, vulnerability, turning off that performance mentality.  But I’m in.

I will learn to be grateful for the process – each stitch of a knitting project, my time at the gym, each page of a book – rather than just focusing on the finish line.

my one word for 2015

I think part of my inability to be present stems from disorganization.  I’m committing to doing 15 minutes of preparation for the next day before bed each night with this printable.  It helps me to get everything in one place and stop worrying about what I’m forgetting.  I’m seeing that the most important parts of the planning, for me, are

  1. setting three top priorities:  I’m learning that my to-do list will always hold more than I can accomplish in one day, so setting a few things above the rest helps me focus and feel accomplished;
  2. deciding on some things that can wait until tomorrow: This is powerful stuff – telling myself that these things don’t have to take up space or time today.  Plus, this helps me think forward to what the next day’s to-do list might contain; and
  3. leaving room for my mind to wander, but keeping a handle on it: So my brain is a little bit of a jungle, full of ideas and whims that I can runaway with, accidentally leaving my real life behind, for like, hours.  So, new rule: Write down the things in a list.  Immediately resume working/listening to sermon/driving/eating sushi.  Revisit jumbled, crazy list of random thoughts at a later date and attempt to decipher.

So.  Here’s to being here – being present.

What is your word for this year?  Let me know in the comments!

And check out Natalie’s post about her word for 2015 here.

January 1, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Olga | teamconfetti - I’m so glad that the to do list helps you organise so well! Such a funny idea that someone on the other side of the planet is using it. 🙂
Have a great new year!

January 1, 2015 - 6:15 pm - Olga – It’s wonderful! Thank you so much for creating it! 🙂 Happy new year!

{This Moment} 12.30.14

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{this moment}* ~ A Friday Tuesday! ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Painter Family Christmas*inspired by SouleMama