A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, June 28, 2019

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Little House LIving: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient life by Merissa Alink- A Book Review


From the immensely popular blogger behind Little House Living comes a motivational homemaking book, inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder;s Little House on the Prairie, featuring creative, fun ways to live your life simply and frugally.

Shortly after getting married, Merissa Alink and her husband found themselves with nothing in their pantry but a package of spaghetti and some breadcrumbs. Their life had hit rock bottom, and it was only after a touching act of charity that they were able to get on their feet again.

Inspired by this gesture of kindness as well as the beloved Little House on the Prairie books, Merissa found that a life of self-sufficiency and simplicity could be charming and blissful. She set out to live an entirely made-from-scratch life, the Little House way, and as a result, she slashed her household budget by nearly half saving thousands of dollars a year. She started to write about homesteading, homemaking, and cooking from scratch, and over the next few years developed the recipes and DIY projects that would one day become part of her now beloved website, LittleHouseLiving.com.

As whole foods became staples of the family diet, Merissa realized the dangers of putting overly processed ingredients not only into our bodies, but on or near them as well. In addition to countless delicious, home-cooked meals, she developed natural, easy-to-make recipes for everything from sunscreen to taco seasoning mix, lemon poppy hand scrub to furniture polish. With their simple ingredients, these recipes are allergen friendly and many are gluten-free.

With over 130 practical, simple DIY recipes, gorgeous full-color photographs, and Merissa's trademark charm in personal stories and tips, Little House Living is the epitome of heartland warmth and prairie inspiration



Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient LifeLittle House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa Alink

Little House Living: The Make Your Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa Alink is a 2015 Gallery Books publication.

I admit I grew up in the era of quick and convenient. I bought pre- mixed cake mixes and scoffed at the idea of making anything from scratch. Instead of home remedies, I bought over the counter pain relievers and cold medicines, and never would have considered making my own soap, dish detergent, or other household products.

But, my daughter would tell me about making her own facial scrubs and using peppermint essential oils for various maladies, but I still never imagined myself doing any of these things myself.

First of all, you have to buy all the ingredients, and when I did the math, and figured in the amount of time it would take, I figured I was just as well off buying it from the store… until I got this book.

First of all, it should be noted that this is not just a recipe book for cooking or food. This book has a little bit of everything in it.

Body and Beauty 'do it yourself' recipes such as:

Bath Salts
Lip Balm
Hand Soap
Chest Rub

Household items such as:

Dish Soap
Floor Cleaner
Dusting Spray and furniture polish
Window Cleaner

Ideas for Children and Pets

Diaper Rash Cream
Play Doh
Pet treat mix
Pet Flea Wash

And of course food-

Make ahead mixes:
cake mix
Hamburger help mix
Onion soup
Hot chocolate
These are just a few examples of the items listed that you can make yourself at home.

Are you on a busy schedule and don't think you would have time to make your own products?

This book is packed with very easy recipes for those on a busy schedule, such as deodorizer disc made out of everyday baking soda and water with a drop or two of essential oils, placed in a muffin tin and left to dry for a day or two. The disc can be placed discretely in odor prone areas of your home. It took me all of five minutes to do this, and the essential oil is not necessary. Baking soda is a natural odor absorber.

The cost?

Well, for some of the projects, there would have to be some investment on your part, especially if you want to put the mixtures into cute containers and such. I made the chest rub, but I didn't have a glass jar to put it in, but I did have a very small Tupperware container that worked perfectly.
Most of the ingredients can be purchased at Amazon for less than buying them at a health food store, and I had no trouble finding the ingredients. A few items were a little pricey, but once I had everything I needed, I saw that I could make double, even triple, the amount of goods, which meant I saved money and time by making the items at home.

The Items I Made:

I made the chocolate cake mix and the cake turned out great, but it wasn't as moist I am accustomed to. But, the flavor was fantastic and there were some variants on the recipe that I may try in the future.


Bath Salts:

I made bath salts for colds:

This is super easy-

One half cup Epsom Salts

One half cup Sea Salt ( I bought bulk, because it was cheaper)

5 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil

Just mix together! That's it!

I also made the chest rub which was simply coconut oil and peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. Just stir together, and store in a container. It took less than five minutes to make this and it smells like chest rub you buy at the store. I rubbed some on the soles of my feet one day when my allergies were bothering me, and it worked wonders.

As I noted earlier, I made the deodorizer disc, too. But, the disc dried out quickly and broke easily. I ended up putting some of the mix into small Dixie Cups instead.

I also made the dusting spray which consisted of white vinegar and oil ( I used EVOO) and a few drops of lemon essential oil.

Overall, this is a fun book and I loved how easy it was to make the products and the ingredients weren't some kind exotic stuff I could never find anywhere. I'm planning on making more of the food recipes and want to make up some of the body butter for Christmas gifts.

The only disclaimer I noticed was in regards to the use of essential oils, so be sure to read the directions carefully and do not allow children to use the oils unattended, or at all if they are very young.

This is a hardcover book with color pictures and illustrations on glossy paper. The sections are well organized and planned out, with step by step instructions and money saving tips.

Overall, I am a happy customer and will be referring to this book often for many household items and beauty aids.





Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life

For more information on Merissa check out her 'About Me' page at :

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