Enjoying the Great Outdoors {Winter Edition}

Enjoying the Great Outdoors {Winter Edition} Feature Image

I LOVE winter. It is my very favorite time of the year.

And though it may sound crazy to some of you, it is my very favorite time of the year to get outside. There is so much magic and beauty in the winter season, if you’ll just step outside of your warm house to explore it.

I’ve been spoiled this year, since moving to the south I’ve so missed my northern snow-filled winters. But this year, the south has felt COLD! And I think I’m in heaven. We’ve even seen snow a time or two! I may be one of the only southerners rejoicing in this fact, but still…

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No-Hassle Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

No-Hassle Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins Feature Image

It is a new year and as you might have noticed, I ended my 2017 a bit on the frazzled side. So, today, I decided to share with you a no-hassle quick and easy breakfast recipe. One that you can throw together in minutes and enjoy shortly there after. Perfect for a light snack on this Monday morning!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this recipe, though it is gluten-free, probably isn’t considered the healthiest option out there. It still comes from a baking mix, it still has sugar in it, and it is shelf-stable so there are likely preservatives that could be avoided as well. A better option would obviously be to make this recipe from scratch.

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The Country Wife Recommends…Holiday Baking Essentials {Ingredients–Healthified!}

The Country Wife Recommends...Holiday Baking Essentials {Ingredients-Healthified}

So, last week I sort of left you hanging. Sorry about that.

But to be honest, I wasn’t sure how well you’d take this third and final installment of “The Country Wife Recommends…Holiday Baking Essentials” post series.

As you can see by the title, we are revisiting my very favorite ingredients from last week and attempting to healthify them. And usually, for most of us, the holidays aren’t so much about healthifiying. It’s about giving yourself a break and enjoying the holiday season and those goodies that come with it.

However, if you’ve been following along with me here at Country Wife Chronicles very long then you also know that I’m on a bit of a real food for real life journey.

And while I will be baking with the ingredients I shared with you last week, I will also be doing some baking with the ingredients I’m sharing with you this week. It’s about moderation and substitutions where possible. It’s about keeping it simple while choosing health.

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The Country Wife Recommends…Holiday Baking Essentials {Ingredients}

The Country Wife Recommends...Holiday Baking Essentials {Ingredients}

All right, last week was my top 10 absolute, must-have holiday baking tools. This week, we are talking top 10 favorite ingredients in my holiday baking pantry.

I’m not a foodie expert. I haven’t produced a cookbook, and I certainly don’t star in my very own Food Network show.

But I do love to bake.

So while I may not own a bakery or have any chops, so to speak, in the pastry-world, I do have my own personal favorites when it comes to baking. And I can tell you I’m not endorsed by any of the companies whose products I’m sharing with you on the blog. This is just me, in real life, sharing my favorite things with you.

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The Country Wife Recommends…Holiday Baking Essentials {Tools}

The Country Wife Recommends...Holiday Baking Essentials {Tools}

The last time I did a “Country Wife Recommends…” post here on Country Wife Chronicles, I was sharing my very favorite Christian marriage resources with you.

This time, we are taking a bit of a change in direction. Today, we are talking all things holiday baking.

Tis that time of year where you take stock of your pantry and start preparing treats and goodies for the masses. You might be planning your Thanksgiving feast or what dessert you want to bring to the family gathering. Maybe you are starting to think ahead to Christmas and wanting to have everything on hand to make treats for neighbors and friends.

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DIY Antique Moulding Coat Rack

DIY coat rack feature image

This week at Country Wife Chronicles I’m throwing a little country rustic DIY your way.

Temperatures are shifting and the jackets have started to make their way out of the closets. So, a DIY wall-mounted coat rack it is. This one is particularly rustic, because it is actually made from some moulding we pulled out of my grandparents’ old farmhouse.

I can’t take full credit for this DIY, of course, because Wildland Man had an awful lot to do with getting this one done. But I’m pretty confident I could have pulled it off all my by myself if I wanted to. It’s that easy.

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Enjoying the Great Outdoors {Fall Edition}

Enjoying the Great Outdoors {Fall Edition} Feature Image

So, I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk as of lately. I just can’t seem to find the time or the motivation to get my writing days in. Or maybe I’m just a bit consumed with other thoughts at the moment. Either way, writing today was a bit of a struggle.

Wildland Man is gone for work this week and he just so happens to be driving through some beautiful country where he is seeing some amazing fall colors and relishing that crisp autumn air. Since moving to the south the thing I miss THE MOST is the seasonal changes we used to experience when we lived further north.

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Fall Mason Jar Decor

Fall Mason Jar Decor Feature Image

So…crafting. Hmmm, how do I explain my convoluted relationship with crafting?

I love it.

I hate it.

I wish I were better at it.

I have great ideas for it…justzero follow-through.

Until today. Cuz today, I kicked crafting’s butt.

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How to Freeze Fresh Peaches (without sugar)

How to Freeze Fresh Peaches (without Sugar) Feature Image

Not so long ago, here on Country Wife Chronicles, I shared with you my journey to becoming a bit more self-sufficient. And one of the tips I shared with you was to “Learn to preserve.”

Today’s post is a prime example of doing just that. Preserving the yummy, juicy, summery goodness of fresh peaches to enjoy all year long.

And even better, preserving these gorgeous, plump, uber-ripe peaches without any added sugar. Simply natural fresh frozen peaches can’t be beat…

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Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 2}

Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 2} Feature Image

Have you ever thought about what era you would have enjoyed living in had you not been born when you were?

Am I alone in this pondering?

Gosh, I hope not. That would just be weird.

Well, I’ve always pictured myself in the days of the pioneer. Maybe it was the joys of playing The Oregon Trail in my childhood, but I could always picture myself as a prairie wife. You know, a real Sarah, Plain & Tall in a Little House on the Prairie setting.

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Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 1}

Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 1} Feature Image

I’ve been on a bit of a daydream vacation over the last couple of weeks. I sort of get in these dreamy mindsets whenever Wildland Man is away on a fire. It must be a coping mechanism. And it surely isn’t coincidental that my dreaming of the future almost always involves us being together, not separated during a fire season.

Maybe I should talk to a therapist about these daydreams.

Nah, I’ll just share them with the entire world. Maybe y’all can help me make sense of them 😉

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Planning Ahead Series {Part 3}: My Monthly Master Grocery List

Planning Ahead Series Part 3 Feature Image

I’ve always been a planner and list maker. It’s a problem really. I pretty much have an addiction to the satisfactory feeling of crossing things off a list. I’m working on it, I promise.

Add in the fact that I’m the Country Wife here at Country Wife Chronicles and my work-at-home lifestyle and rural living pretty much requires organization and planning ahead.  

The past two weeks here at CWC have been all about Planning Ahead.

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Planning Ahead Series {Part 2}: Meal Planning Basics

Planning Ahead Series Part 2 Feature Image

I can’t seem to remember what our meals were like prior to learning how to meal plan. I’m sure it was a black hole of Hamburger Helpers, mac and cheese, and hot dogs.

I do, however, vividly remember my first experience with meal planning.

We had recently left our professional careers for something new, and in so doing had to drastically revise our financial spending and budget. We lived 20 miles away from town and it no longer made financial sense to run into town on a whim. Every trip and gas expense was accounted for and needed to be worth their while.

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Planning Ahead Series {Part 1}: How I Meal Plan & Grocery Shop Just 2 Times a Month

Planning Ahead Series Part 1 Feature Image

I chose the country life. It’s true. I made the conscious decision to live outside the definition of urban life on purpose.

And in so choosing the country life, there are some lessons to be learned. One of which is today’s topic: Planning Ahead.

I was sort of forced into planning ahead when it came to meals and groceries, simply by the sheer distance between me and the store.

But I can honestly say that if I were ever to live within city limits again, I think I’d do my very best to maintain this system of planning our meals that I’ve perfected over the past few years.

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Encouraging a Love of the Outdoors through Gardening

Encouraging a Love of the Outdoors through Gardening Feature Photo

I grew up loving the outdoors, as a child I used to practically live in tree in our yard.  It had a perfect little nook where I could climb and hide away.  Whether I was watching the clouds pass me by or stuck with my nose in a book, that tree opened the doors to let my imagination run wild!

I’ve shared my love for the outdoors here, here and here.

I’m pretty sure my love for everything in nature was spawned by all the time I spent with my dad outside growing up.  I remember riding along with him to fix fence, spending days on the lake fishing, and bearing the cold and snow to scout coyote or deer.

I’m a believer that we all need our own unique connection to nature in order to appreciate it.  We all have our own story and our own memories that sparked our love for the outdoors, if we had the chance to interact with it on a deep, personal level.

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