Setting up the Side Porch

  One of life’s little pleasures when I was a kid was sitting in the laundry mat, the sleepy joint’s fan on full blast nearby, flipping through glossy Country Living magazines or Martha Stewart Living while my mom did laundry. I especially loved when they’d showcase budget, flea-market makeovers. And now I’ve gone ahead and…

Quick Easy DIY Tzitzit

Since becoming a Torah-observant Yeshua/Jesus follower, tzitzit wearing has been one of those things I strive to do, but don’t always succeed at. (If you are wondering what tzitzits are see my two part series on the meaning of tzitzits here and here.) I’ve tried making my own tzitzits, and I’ve ordered them online. I’ve…

Modest Mamas

I wanted to do a post on modest nursing-friendly mom outfits, but I realized modesty is one of those things that might be defined different for everyone. Clothing shopping seems like such a minefield these days! How does one define nakedness in these modern times? The Bible makes it clear that we are to cover…

Natural Play on a Budget

Natural, imaginative wood or metal toys are beautiful, last a lot longer than plastic toys, and avoid the health concerns that plastic toys have. However they can be very expensive. One way I have found that saves money and avoids plastic toys is to either improvise using stuff I already have on hand or buy…

The difference between praise and encouragement

I’ve been reading a new parenting book lately called UnSelfie by Michele Borba, and I’ve realized how often I conflate praise with encouragement. The Bible tells us to encourage one another, 1 Thess. 5:11. But how should one do this with words? Ms. Borba suggests utilizing words that encourage character rather than words that praise…

The Simple Playdress Tutorial

Play dresses are one of those things that are hard to justify spending too much money on. Baby Girl wears them everyday: they get food stains, they get paint stains, they climb trees, they ride bikes. They must be pretty for playing ballerina or they won’t get worn. They must be completely comfortable, or, you…

No-Fuss, Non-toxic Face

Six years ago I ditched almost every beauty product I owned.  Newly pregnant, I was reconsidering every thing I put on my skin. I knew that whatever it was (sunless tanner, facial cleanser, facial toner, foundation, lotion, shampoo, conditioner…) it was going to make it into my bloodstream and into my baby. I used the…

Non-toxic Sofa on a Budget: Going Vintage

Family size is on the rise around here, so coming up with creative, natural seating options that don’t break the bank has been a top priority lately. If you have followed Anna’s Hyssop for any amount of time, you know we don’t do synthetic foam or chemical flame retardants. We want our home to be…

French Roast Vegetables and Beef in the Crockpot

I love my crockpot. Life as a mom just would not be the same without it. It almost ranks up there with my baby carrier – almost. So it is getting to be winter here in the Midwest, and root vegetables are in. This is an easy go to crockpot recipe with a lot of…

The Suitcase System

I’ve been a mother for almost 5 years now and it took me 4 years to finally hone in on a laundry and clothing storage system I really love. It is easy and efficient. It allows me to only do laundry once a week. Putting away clothes for a family of five takes only 30…

Moving the Porch Swing Indoors

A number of years ago I resolved to eliminate chemicals from my furniture. This meant purging polyurethane foam (read a great article about why here), chemically flame retardant treated mattresses, and pressed-wood furniture. Since then I’m always on the look out for cost-effective ways to replace those ubiquitous treated overstuffed sofas and recliners. The fact…