Monthly Archives: May 2014

Post 31 of 365 Real Foods Series: Super Green Smoothie


Back in the day, before I knew I could make my own smoothies with ease, I always had Odwalla Superfood green smoothie in my fridge. I started every day with a small glass and I loved the taste. Fast forward a bunch of years and I now own a Vitamix and I happily blend everything and anything (I don’t recommend mushrooms or onions – very gross) into my smoothies.

Below is my own version of Odwalla Superfood Green Smoothie. It has a great taste and the powdered Spirulina adds a ton of nutrients. The Spirulina gives the smoothie a dark green color.


  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 /2 of a handful of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 of a handful of frozen kale
  • 1 handful of frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered Spirulina (I like Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina Powder best)
  • A drizzle of local, raw honey


  • Blend all ingredients in blender
  • ENJOY!




Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 30 of 365 Real Foods Series: Sunny Day Cookies


These cookies are simply all kinds of yummy! They are gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, and Paleo. These make a great breakfast or snack option because they are high in protein and healthy fat. You can certainly omit or add in your own ingredients (raisins are high in sugar).


  • 1 cup organic cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup of raw, local honey
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil (I used organic, unrefined)
  • 1 egg
  • About a half of a handful of organic Thompson raisins
  • About a half of a handful of organic sunflower seeds
  • About a quarter of a handful of organic, raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp. of organic, raw coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Put the first four ingredients into a bowl
  • Combine first four ingredients with a stand mixer or hand beater. A quick blend is good
  • Add remaining ingredients and blend quickly
  • Refrigerate dough for ten minutes
  • Drop coffee scoop sized dough scoops onto ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Remove and allow to cool on a cookie rack






These are not too sweet and very filling. They make a healthy treat, breakfast item, or dessert. ENJOY!

Happy Baking,

The Joyful Homemaker

Post 29 of 365 Real Foods Series: Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jello


Jello brings back memories of summers in Maine, and family time. My grandmother always made a fruit filled Jello that was simply amazing. She would add strawberries, orange slices, and bananas to boxed Jello. I remember shoveling in dinner super fast so we could get to the Jello. 🙂

Fast forward twenty years and I am now aware conventional gelatin products in the grocery store contain dyes, artificial sweeteners, and are devoid of anything healthy. People have steered away from Jello and gelatin based products in recent years, as they are avoiding synthetic dyes and Jello is out of vogue. BUT what if I told you gelatin has amazing healthy benefits, it’s super easy to make your own, and kids sort of dig those wiggly shapes? Would you then give it a try? If so, below is my recipe for Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb (my inspiration for said recipe comes from none other than, Mama Natural –


  • 2 Cups Organic Juice (I used a rhubarb juice we canned two summers ago)
  • 2 TBS Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin
  • 1 cup chopped organic strawberries
  • 2 TBS raw, local honey



  • Pour two cups of rhubarb juice into medium sauce pan.
  • Add two tablespoons of gelatin.
  • Whisk together until gelatin is pretty much dissolved.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and add honey.
  • Allow to sit for a few minutes.
  • Add strawberries.
  • Mix together and pour into glass container or mold of choice.
  • Refrigerate for 3+ hours.
  • Cut from pan or use cookie cutters of choice to make fun shapes.







There you have it! A super easy and delicious treat for summer. Jack loves this recipe. We are packing up our healthy jello shapes and taking them to a picnic this evening. 🙂


Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

April Homeschool Roundup


It is almost the end of May and I am finally getting to our April roundup.

April was a great month. We did some fun things and nothing too serious. We explored outside, stayed indoors, and simply played. Take a peak at some pictures of our April homeschool month. 🙂

jack tiles 2

JAck gems 2

wes 1


Wes letter block

JAck gems 3


jack paint 1

jack paint 2

Happy Homeschooling,

The Joyful Homemaker

Five Ways We Save Money


We all have a few unique or easy ways to save some cash, and let’s face it, saving money is important. The more I save, the more we will have for the future (or zombie Apocalypse preparations). 🙂

This morning while sipping my first cup of coffee, I started quickly reviewing the ways we save money. I am curious how others save cash, work their budgets, and spend the money they do have.

Below are a few ways we save each month and over the course of the year.


Water wasn’t always the case. When Jack hit 12 months, we started with juice. Big, BIG mistake! Not only is juice unhealthy, it is expensive. We would buy apple juice and water it down (YUCK). It wasn’t long after we started we realized we could save money (and his health) by switching to water. It wasn’t easy but now he drinks only two things; almond milk and water. Occasionally, we have some juice in the house, but it’s rare. Usually around birthday party time and in the summer, we have a few (healthier) juice boxes on hand.


I realize for many, hunting isn’t really an option. We are lucky that my husband grew up hunting each fall because he is able to hunt, package, and freeze enough meat (a half of a deer) for one year! Yup. It only takes a half of one deer to feed us for one year. We rarely ever buy beef (we usually trade with others – a lb of venison for a lb of beef) and we often share our deer with our friends and family. The only other meat we buy is chicken. Hunting is time and time is money, but it is worth the time and effort. It saves money and deer are a far better quality than beef bought in the grocery store.


We use cash for purchases. If we use a credit card, it gets paid off with cash we have on hand for the purchase. We do not own debit cards; therefore, we can only spend what we have.

 I Bring My Kids to the Store

Ah, kids in the grocery store. Just getting into the store is a huge task, so once I am in there with a three-year old and a seven-month old, I simply want to get what I need, and get out. I am an impulse spender by nature but my kids (and cash) keep me in check!

Make Certain Foods At Home

We make quite a few pantry staples and other foods in our own kitchen. Below are a few things we make.

  • Humus
  • Chicken Stock
  • ALL soups
  • Ghee
  • Apple and pumpkin butters
  • Apple sauce
  • Baby food (baby-led weaning) also, we are starting to fill our own pouches with homemade puree.
  • Granola

What are some unique or easy ways you save cash?


Happy Homemaking,

The Joyful Homemaker

May Organizational Roundup: Spring Cleaning!



It’s spring cleaning time here at the Morgan Homestead. I am generally a very organized person; however, due to our move in October, and life with a three-year old and a baby, some areas of our home need a bit of attention.

I spent some time this past weekend cleaning out the attic (allergic haze and all) and I got a ton of stuff out of our house! Most went to Goodwill, some went into the yard sale section of our garage, some kids items went into a box for the consignment shop, and a few items I posted on a Facebook resale page. I still have a few hours worth of work up there, but I am happy with the progress I have made thus far.

Last week I completed the following organizational tasks:

  1. Cleaned out the desk. I shredded what was no longer needed, and recycled the rest. (I found $17.00)!!
  2. Rearranged the laundry room. I re-organized our current homeschool and craft materials and put all unwanted materials into the yard sale. (I found a $35 gift card)!!
  3. Cleaned out and re-organized the linen closet. I put all of our unwanted sheets, and towels into donation bags.

Below are some images of our efforts while in progress.







This week I have the following items on my list:

  1. Pull out winter / early spring clothes from Jack’s dresser and closet. Place in designated storage tote in attic, and bring out the remaining summer items.
  2. Clean out and either use up, or toss, food items in kitchen cupboards (stay tuned for my meal planning blog this week – it is all about using what’s inside your cupboards).



What areas of your home could use some attention? Do you have a specific spring cleaning routine?

Happy Spring Cleaning,

The Joyful Homemaker