Grab This Week’s Free Kindle eBooks on Amazon

 Here’s my weekly round-up of free Amazon Kindle ebooks ! I found many more books: for cooks,  kids, and then miscellaneous books I’m interested in {and since I am a crunchy mama…I’m calling them books for crunchy people!}

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list. 4.27

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn me a small commission on your purchase.*

If you don’t have a kindle, but have a computer, iPad, or smart phone, head on over to download a Free Kindle App. Or you could go here and buy a Kindle ! Make sure you check the prices as they change quickly on Amazon. While everything was free when I posted, it’s highly likely that they will change!

Grab This Week’s Free Amazon Kindle eBooks

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list. 4.27

Free Fiction eBooks on Amazon

The Inn at Ocean’s Edge

No Pit So Deep

A Damsel for the Daring Duke

The Gift of Grace

Wisdom to Know

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list. 4.27

Educational Free Non-Fiction eBooks

Living on One Income

Crochet Patterns for Home

Capsule Wardrobe

Square Foot Gardening: How to Grow 10X More in the Same Space

Planting Your First Organic Garden

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list. 4.27

Free Delicious Cookbooks on Amazon

Passion for Pizza

Brunch Essentials

Budget Cookbook

DIY Cheese

For the Love of Caramel

Kids Books for your littles

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list. 4.27

Catalina and the King’s Wall

Muffy and Valor

Animal Stories on Stage

Dexter’s New Home

Seventh Dimension – The Door

I’d love to hear from you about this weekly free ebook post. What types of free ebooks do you most like? Is their a category I don’t cover but should? Please let me know how I can improve this post for you!

Many thanks to Shelly from Frugal Family Home for her help compiling this list of free amazon Kindle eBooks. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I may make a small percentage of the sale at NO additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.

Cookbooks, fiction, nonfiction and children's books are included in this weekly free Amazon Kindle eBooks round-up. Check back every Friday for a new list.

One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You’ll get it all in this post!What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You'll get it all in this post!

*This post is sponsored by One Meal a Day for the Planet. All opinions are mine.*

One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

I was inspired to join the One Meal a Day for the Planet Eating Challenge because of actress, mother, and author, Suzy Amis Cameron. Her new book, OMD: Add One Plant-Based Meal Every Day to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, Save the Planet (coming out in the fall of 2018) challenges people to make small dietary changes. For many of us, going full vegan is just not possible or attractive for one reason or the other. Instead of telling people it’s all or nothing, Cameron advocates swapping out just one meal a day an idea I can fully support.

When I met up with the One Meal a Day Crew at Shiftcon back in February, I knew I wanted to join in. I often lament about modern ag in Iowa. I don’t like the chemicals that permeate our air and water to grow corn and soy for animal feed. I’ve seen the statistics about modern agriculture being a top five contributor to green house gas emissions. I just think we eat too much meat in our society.

Eating plant-based meals is a great way to cut your carbon “foodprint.” One of the reasons I’m a huge propenent of eat local is to reduce our carbon footprint. You can have an even bigger bang for your buck, so to speak, by eating just one plant-based meal a day.

vegan meal for the one meal a day for the planet eating challenge

So what is veganism, anyway?

You’ve all heard the joke about vegans, right? How do you know someone is vegan? That’s all they talk about. It’s similar to crossfitters. How do you know a crossfitter? It’s all she talks about. {I happen to be a crossfitter, so I can totally joke about them.} I am not vegan, though. I was a vegetarian for about two years in college and I really liked it. But then I married an Iowa Farm Boy who liked meat.

And you know what? I like meat too. And cheese. I really like cheese. I’m not about to give it up full time. But I will totally give it up for one meal a day. I already prioritized one vegetarian meal a day – usually breakfast or lunch, but sometimes dinner. How difficult can going vegan really be?

Well, let me tell you, vegan is quite a lot more difficult than vegetarian. And I decided to undertake this One Meal a Day Eating Challenge during one of the busiest times of my life. I have been traveling almost non-stop since Earth Day when I announced this challenge on Instagram. It has not been easy. But it is totally doable, and despite all the traveling and yummy food I’ve been eating, I’m maintaining my 10 pound weight loss from earlier in the year!

So what is veganism, anyway? Veganism means avoiding any and all animal products from food to clothing. That means no eggs, honey, meat, cheese, or milk products. I’ve heard from many vegans that they chose the lifestyle for health reasons. Other people choose to go vegan for the health of the planet. Still other people choose to go vegan out of concern for animal rights. 

Whatever reason you might choose to go vegan, over the last two weeks, I’ve found that it can be tricky – particularly when traveling.

old quebec city - navigating vegan travel

Navigating Vegan Travel Opportunities

During this challenge, I’ve realized that vegan travel is not really that easy, but it can be done. In the last couple of weeks, I spent almost an entire week in Charleston, South Carolina, and another {almost entire} week in Quebec City, Canada. Here are a few tips I have for the vegan traveler:

  1. Choose ethnic cuisine. Certain ethnicities are just really conducive to veganism. Do you like Mexican or Thai food? You’re in luck! They both have lots of vegan friendly options. One of my favorite vegan lunches has been the rice and bean bowl. Add sauteed veggies, guacamole, and spicy salsa and I hardly miss the meat or the cheese! Yum! Phad Thai with tofu? Also yum!
  2. Check out – a phenomenal database of vegan and/or vegetarian restaurants.
  3. Pack your own snacks for those times when you really can’t find any vegan options at all. They do exist, but if you take along your favorite granola or have access to hummus and veggies, you’ll be all set until you can find a restaurant or shop with vegan options.
  4. Book a hotel with a fridge at the least, or a kitchen, so you can prepare your own food if you’re in a pinch.
  5. Ask restaurants for substitutions. I found more vegetarian options than vegan, but it’s totally acceptable to ask a restaurant to leave off the cheese or the honey topping to make a dish vegan.

tropical nice cream - vegan dessert

Vegan Food Ideas I already had on the blog before starting this challenge!

Turns out, I already have several vegan snack ideas on this blog before I started this challenge. If you’re looking for vegan meal snack ideas, check out all of these recipes. They’re either already vegan, or can be simpy by leaving out an ingredient or subbing an easy ingredient – like almond dairy for milk dairy.

Pineapple / Pomegranate Smoothie

Tropical Nice Cream

Blueberry Nice cream

Almond Milk Pancakes

Olive Garlic Hummus in the Instant Pot

Want to join me in this 21 day OMD Challenge? Click the link and sign up to receive the newsletter! It’s filled helpful info, sample menus and more. It’s pretty easy to do and you might be surprised by the benefits of changing your diet for just one meal a day!

 “The very same foods that protect your health also protect the health of the planet.”–Neal Barnard, M.D.


5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Homegrown tomatoes are the best!! And it’s not that hard to grow them, but you can do a few things that make a big difference in growing successful tomatoes from the very beginning. To get your tomato seedlings off to the best possible start, you must know these five tips for transplanting tomatoes! It all starts with the transplanting.Must know tips for planting tomato seedlings

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! Today, you’re in for a treat. Not only do we have lots of great gardening tips to help you get your spring planting right, but we also have a few homemade gifts you can quickly put together, just in time for Mother’s Day! Make sure to read to the end of the post and check out all the great ideas from my dear gardening friends.

5 Must Know Tips for Transplanting Tomato Plants

Have you planted your tomatoes yet? It’s generally safe to plant them around your frost free date.  Our official frost free date (May 15) is right around the corner, but I always check the long range weather forecast before deciding when to tansplant my tomato plants. Fro the last three years, we have had a killing frost after May 15, so quite often, transplanting tomato plants has to wait. If you’re looking forward to transplanting tomato plants, too, make sure you read these must know tips!

pinch off bottom leaves
1 .Dig a deep hole and pinch off the tomato plants’ lower leaves.

I like to plant my tomatoes deep for a couple reasons. First, it’s super windy out here in the Iowa Prairie and planting them deeply gives them better support from the wind. It  allows roots to develop all along the tomato stem which helps make the plant stronger. So, dig a hole deep enough that only the top leaves will be showing on the ground. Pinching off the lower leaves also encourages roots to develop too, so carefully pinch off the leaves before you put the seedling in the hole.

Make sure to support the stem as you cover it with dirt. Be careful when you’re covering the plant with dirt so you don’t accidentally harm the little seedling. I like to support the stem with one had and fill the hole with dirt with the other hand. You don’t want to break the stem as you cover it – I’ve done it and it makes me very sad. Make sure you cover the seedling up to the top leaves.

2. Wondering how far apart to plant tomatoes?

Make sure you give your tomatoes enough space to grow.

  1. Dwarf tomato varieties only need to be about 1′ apart, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  2. If you’re staking your tomato plants, they’ll need about 2′ of separation to grow, with 2′ – 3′ between rows.
  3. Using large cages? They’ll need to be about 3′ apart, and probably 4′-5′ between rows.
  4. Want to let your tomatoes grow without support? You’ll need a lot of room! About 3-4′ between plants, and 4′-5′ between rows.

water the tomatoes after planting

3. Water tomato plants generously after planting.

Newly planted seedlings need a nice drink of water immediately after planting so make sure you water right away. I like to make an indent in the dirt around the plant so the water stays near the seedling instead of running away. You’ll want to continue watering for a few days if you don’t get a rain pretty quickly after planting.

mulch tomatoes

4. Mulch right away.

Since you’ve gone through the effort of planting tomatoes, just go ahead and mulch them right away. I’m often tempting to skip this step and get to it later, but I’ve found later sometimes never comes. Mulching right away is a great way to keep down the weeds and it also helps keep them moist. I used old hay we got for free in this picture, but a better mulch is straw because it’s weed free. My hay is very, very old, so I hope nothing will sprout from it. I could be wrong though, and end up seriously regretting the use of this old hay. I’ll let you know if that’s the case!

support tomatoes with homemade tomato cages

5. Add a support trellis or basket immediately.

Another key to tomato success,  is to add support right away. Tomatoes like to be supported and I know from experience that if I don’t support them right after planting, I won’t ever get back to it. Pretty soon I end up with a huge tomato jungle – and while I don’t think that’s a terrible thing, it does make picking the beautiful fruits more difficult and a lot of them end of smashed by my big feet. In years past, I used these homemade tomato baskets last year. They are easy to make and easy to use, but they take up a lot of space so you need a large growing area if you want to use homemade tomato baskets.

tomato trellis from moss mountain farm

This year I am hoping to use these homemade support systems I saw a Moss Mountain Farms. I love that this tomato system takes up less room than my huge cages and I think it’s awfully pretty too! Also, it’s a way to grow more tomatoes in less space since you don’t have to set the tomatoes so far apart. Do you have a favorite tomato trellis you like to use?

And that’s the start to a successful tomato season! Have you planted your tomatoes yet? I’d love to hear your ideas for success too. 

tuesdays in the garden

Tuesdays in the Garden

Want more garden tips from my friends from around the web. Make sure you click over to everyone’s posts and check out what’s going on in different parts of the country! We’ve got a couple homemade gift ideas that might be perfect for Mother’s Day this weekend, as well as growing tips too!

frugal family home

Shelly from Frugal Family Home is sharing a mini green house idea for small spaces!

hearth and vine

Patti from Hearth and Vine is sharing a cute DIY Gazing Ball – what a great gift is this?

an oregon cottageJami at An Oregon Cottage is sharing her homemade Salad Dressing Gift Basket

homemade food junkie

Diane from Homemade Food Junkie is sharing tips for growing strawberries in DIY towers

angie freckled rose

Angie the Freckled Rose is sharing tips for adding visual interest in your garden!

If you liked this post with tips for transplanting tomatoes, you might like these post too.

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control for a Weed-Free Garden

Companion plants you must have in your vegetable garden

How to grow a three sisters garden

How to kill cucumber beetles organically

Fun Things to Bring Camping for Ultimate Camping Fun

In these days constant electronic use, camping can be a great way to connect with your family and with nature. If you’re going camping this year, make sure to check out this list of fun things to bring camping for ultimate camping fun!Fun things to take camping shown on a picnic table

*This post on fun things to bring camping is sponsored by EcoSurvivor by Jasco. All opinions are mine. #ecosurvivor*

Fun Things to Bring Camping for Ultimate Camping Fun

Dan and I used to camp a lot, pre-kids. After having four kids in quick succession, though, we got out of camping because it just seemed like an awful lot of work with so many young kids. Last year we finally got back outside and had a blast camping in the Cascades of Washington State. This summer we’re very excited to head to Yellowstone for a week of camping too.meat on a grill and a bunch of camping chairs around a campfire

Essentially, we’re starting over on the camping front. Last year my sister took care of all the camping supplies but this year, we’re on our own. So I’m putting together lists and gathering camping supplies now to make our camping adventures as awesome as possible.

Here are items I think we’ll need to take along for ultimate camping fun. I’m not talking camping supplies per se, just a few necessities for FUN – like a good attitude, a willingness to try, and a few tangible items:

  • Small games, because the goal is to put electronics down, right, and rely on each other for amusement
  • EcoSurvivor USB Lantern & flashlights, because we’ll need to see to play those games and find things in the dark!
  • A portable speaker, because music is always nice

reading a book in a hammock at a campsite

  • A ukulele, they’re just so fun and easy for campfire amusement
  • A hammock, because they make things right in the camping world
  • A book you’ve been meaning to read for ever
  • A journal for doodling, writing, and pressing flowers

playing in the Cascade River

EcoSurvivor’s Water4 Mission

Camping is a great way reconnect with family, and it also does wonders for appreciating the beauty and wonder of nature. It helps us realize that we need to be good stewards of the earth, too. One reason I’m excited to partner with EcoSurvivor on this post is because of their commitment to clean water. If you’re a long time reader here, you know that clean drinking water is one of my passions. I know what’s like to worry about drinking water, because our own well water is unsafe to drink.

EcoSurvivor Water4 Purpose

Millions of people around the world don’t have access to clean water either. While we take safe drinking water mostly for granted in the USA, women in Africa walk an average of 3.75 miles to collect their water. Their kids don’t get to play in clean water like mine did last summer in the Cascades. Sadly, 80% of illnesses in developing countries are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.balancing rocks in the cascade river

I’m pleased to tell you about Jasco’s Water4 mission –  a nonprofit organization empowering people to eradicate their own water crisis through entrepreneurship, education and technology. To support clean water for everyone, EcoSurvivor by Jasco will donate 50% of their net profits to help nearly 1 billion people improve access to clean water and help prevent over 3 million deaths each year. That’s a mission I can get behind. Learn more about Jasco’s Water 4 Mission here.

EcoSurvivor USB Lantern & Bluetooth Speaker by Jasco 

EcoSurvivor USB Lantern & Bluetooth Speaker by Jasco 

It’s easy to support Jasco’s mission because they have some really cool camping products. We’re excited to add a few EcoSurvivor items to our camping kit this year and support clean water at the same time. They’ll come in really handy when we’re camping at Yellowstone in July. Eco Survivor Bluetooth Speaker and EcoSurvivor USB Lantern

The nice thing about the EcoSurvivor gear is that its rugged construction means my kids (who break everything) won’t be able to break these. They are dust, impact, and water resistant.

We really like the USB Lantern that includes three different light levels and can also charge a cell phone in an emergency. It’s dimmable and battery operated, so we don’t need fuel or matches to turn it on. On the lowest light level, the lantern provides 200 hours of light.

While we prefer fair weather camping, we’ve been in some pretty nasty weather at campsites before. It’s comforting that this lantern will continue to work even in the rain or splashing water. It’s rated IP54 and also protects against sand and dust in addition to water.

The other EcoSurvivor item we really like is their portable speaker. It’s powered by a rechargeable 4,000 mAh battery and can play music for up to 12 hours. It’s easy to see how much battery is left with the fuel gauge button and the handle comes in really for carrying it around.Campfire at a campsite

Are you a camping family? I’d love to hear what fun things you take along camping and I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this EcoSurvivor gear! Have you tried their products? What did you think?

If you liked this post on Camping Fun, you might like these posts too:

Global Water Crisis

What’s in YOUR Drinking Water

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Must have items for fun camping trips