5 Favorite YouTube Channels

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I really love YouTube. So many times I’ve need to figure out something and there is always videos on YouTube that have answers.

While I have a channel on YouTube, I don’t use it to make and post my own videos anymore.  It just wasn’t something that works for me.  But I do follow quite a few amazing channels and thought I would share five of my favorites in no particular order or topic.

1. Darci Isabella – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3_A9yDRB1TMyah5CD0TfyQ

She is AMAZING and funny, and inspiring. She has a large family and minimalist lifestyle. As a hoarder (yes, I admit it) I soo, soo want to minimize and she has giving me lots of ideas and encouragement.

2. Townsends (James Townsend & Son)https://www.youtube.com/user/jastownsendandson

They are located near us and I first came across them at a local festival. While I’m not really into reenacting (although I could be persuaded!) I love all the recipes that are shared here, and have tried quiet a few of them. I also really like that videos are presented in 18th century costumes and settings.

3. Our Half Acre Homestead – https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMrsVolfie

Bev is so amazing and has so many helpful videos on all sorts of cooking, canning, crafting, and homesteading topics. She is very real and her videos are quite like you just popped in for a visit.

4. Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXyRtDXzptYN56-UxNhYAbQ

I wish I could harness half her energy. lol I love her! Her channel is full of good and solid information on homesteading and raising animals and I’ve learned and applied so much from her on raising chickens.

5. Starry Hilder Off Grid Homestead – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqTGYxXH21MTYnMoOZGvX6A

While I have learned quite a bit from her, I admit that I just enjoy watching her. She is uplifting and encouraging, and I love seeing how well they live off grid and the beautiful scenery. If I were to live off grid, THIS would be how I would want it.

There you have it. It was hard to pick just five because there are so many great channels I enjoy including John Suscovich, Growning Your Greens, The Boss of the Swamp, One Yard Revolution, and one of my newest favorites Sounds Like Reign.

I hope you’ll check them out and let me know what you think. I’d also love to hear what some of your favorite YouTube channels are or even if you have your own channel, maybe it’ll become my new favorite!

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

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Decluttering Social Media

Social media website logosWhen we think of decluttering, we usually think of things around the house that we need to either put away, throw away or give away. In my quest to minimize my life, I have found I also need to declutter my online life starting with my email.

If you are like me, you may have more than one email address.  I have a public email, a private email and two business emails.  The longer we have our email, the more places we share our email, the more cluttered our email inboxes become.  Pretty soon we are sifting through all sorts of newsletters, special offers, updates, announcements, notifications, statements etc. to find the things we really want or need to pay attention to.  We end up spending more unproductive time sorting through everything and getting distracted than we do connecting with the things we need to accomplish.

This also happens to our Facebook and other social media accounts where we are sifting through the pages, group posts, and irrelevant memes to find those few that are important.

I am taking some time today to declutter my social media.  I’ll be going through my inbox and deleting all those emails that I’ve never read, going through my subscriptions to weed out the newsletters and subscriptions I don’t need anymore, and making sure I am keeping only those that I really want or need.  I’ll be going through my blog feeds to weed out the ones I’m not interested anymore or the ones that aren’t active anymore.  I’ll be going through my Facebook and other social media accounts to get rid of all the pages, groups, apps, and yes, even friends, that aren’t needed or active.  And I’ll even be going through my phone to delete unnecessary apps, files and contacts.

My hope is that by doing this decluttering I’ll be better able to focus more on the relevant content and better, closer connections to the people that are most important.

How about you?  When was the last time you decluttered your online life?

Texas and Preparedness

A friend from Texas (just outside of Houston) posted live videos on Facebook this morning as he tried to get around his town to get some supplies.  He couldn’t get very far as everything was flooded.  My prayers go out to everyone down there as the flooding continues.

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We aren’t doomsday preppers or zombie preppers.  We do keep practical emergency supplies on hand and have plans in place in the event emergencies happen…and we’ve used them when things did happen.

After hearing about all the devastation down there in Texas hubby was concerned about our own preparedness.  We may never see a hurricane here in Indiana, but there are many other things that we should be preparing for.  We haven’t done much with our emergency supplies in quite a while and when we began going through things we found we were not in good shape.  Our emergency bags (bug out bags, 72 hour bags) had outdated/expired supplies and missing items.  Our vehicle emergency boxes were not even in our vehicles.  Hubby’s get home bag was in the closet.  Our pantry is rather empty.  Our water storage is low.  Our plans and paperwork haven’t been updated.   We’ve got some work to do.

Preparedness is for EVERYONE.   Having basic emergency supplies on hand is not something that should be overlooked.  Every family should have plans in place if they are faced with an emergency situation.  For example, does your family know what to do in the event of a house fire?  Do you have copies of important papers and contact numbers that aren’t all in your phone?  We had a couple homes here locally that were totally lost to fires.  Thankfully everyone was safe.

You NEED to do this for your family.   You can’t plan for everything, but doing what you can ahead of time will make a huge difference when emergencies do happen.  Here are a few websites to get you started.

Ready.gov https://www.ready.gov/
Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies
CDC https://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/index.asp
FEMA https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90354

We continue to pray for those in Texas as they deal with the flooding and devastation from the hurricane.

Unplugging

img_20170103_155518We recently cancelled our internet service here @ home.  There were many reasons for it, the main one being that it was getting expensive.  We are still able to connect through our cell phones, but having limited data has made us realize we spent WAY too much time online.  It has been a benefit not to be tethered all the time and I have found I am spending more real time with my family and more time getting things done.  Go figure.  The best benefit to unplugging is getting back to living life.

I do miss connecting with all the blogs, YouTube channels, and other streaming I was subscribed to, but now it’s a treat when I do, not a given.  I can do things like blog posts offline and

And in God’s perfect timing, the extra money in the budget helped in a financial pinch that would have really hurt otherwise.

Now I am looking for other things to unplug from.

How about you?  Have you thought about unplugging?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Favorite Finds Friday

Here are a few of the most interesting, fun, practical, weird, frivolous, informative, creative, yummy, etc. finds I have found on the internet this week.  Let me know what you think!

woven-rag-rug-1Woven Rag Rug from Craft Passion

I’ve always been interested in rag rugs, but never had the patience to sit down and try to make one.  Which is funny because I do have the patience to sit and crochet a big afghan.  This project is a great way to recycle those old sheets into something useful other than rags.  It doesn’t look too hard and the finished product is really nice.  I’d love a couple of these for my kitchen!

Hidden-sources-of-BPA-and-why-alternatives-may-be-worseHidden Sources of BPA (And Why You Should Care) from Wellness Mama

A couple years ago Hubby and I made a concerted effort to remove sources of BPA in our home.  We’ve done a lot since then, replacing a lot of plastic with glass and metal.  That was actually the easy part.  There is a lot more BPA (and other junk) in our lives than we realize, like canned goods.  It is really hard to find canned good that don’t use it, it’s almost easier just to avoid buying canned goods when possible.

CreamOfMushroom-800x533Homemade Cream of Something Soup by Once A Month Meals

I find that so many recipes today start with a can of “cream of (fill in the blank) soup”.  Convenient, yes.  For most people.  But not so convenient if you need or want to avoid some of the ingredients they contain (especially dairy for me), if you are concerned about BPA inside the cans, or if you plain just run out.  This recipe for Homemade Cream of Something Soup is actually quite handy to have on hand for everyone and even has instructions for freezing.  I made a tuna casserole with this and it was great!

hot-process-soap-recipe-2Homemade Hot Process Soap Recipe in a Crock Pot by The Prairie Homestead

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making soap.  She mentions a fear of the lye, and that has always been why I hesitated.  I even have the lye, I just haven’t been brave enough to actually try it.  This article has given me a little encouragement in the direction of trying it, and maybe this weekend while the guys are fishing I can muster up enough courage to do it.

That’s all my finds for this week.  More next time! If you come across something you think I might be interested in (or maybe you posted it yourself), leave me a comment and I’ll check it out.

Colossians 3:23 – And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.