Category Archives: Eats

The Post-Holiday Detox: How I’m Getting Through a Whole 30(ish)


hile my diet generally consists of what I like to call “real food,” the holidays were a magical revelry in sweets and white flour.

Magical, yet ambivalent: I would daily swing between two extremes–one minute purging everything but a single candy cane from my daughter’s bag of treats from church and the next eating handfuls of the best ginger cookies on the planet.

In the end, though, my body was crying out for a detox.

Enter: A Whole 30 (ish).


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Why a Whole 30?

The Hubs was ready to try to kick his sugar habit for good. And we both were curious if modifying our diets for a season would improve some of the annoying (though not serious) health issues we’d been dealing with.

Based on the experience of friends and my own research, I’m pretty convinced that sugar, pasteurized dairy, soy, and grains (or at least gluten?) are the culprits of many health issues.

So a Whole 30–which is pretty much just one month of eating only veggies, fruit, meat/fish, nuts, and quality oils–seemed to fit our goals best. Continue reading

Real Food :: On a Budget

Real Food :: on a Budget | Day 2 Day Joys

nyone else ringing in the New Year with some kind of detox? After consuming more sugar and white flour in the past several weeks than I have during the rest of the year, my body is crying out for fruits and veggies.

Even if you’re not doing anything drastic, maybe you just want make better food choices in 2014–avoid processed stuff, replace some conventionally-grown produce with organic, eat more locally-grown stuff (good luck in January, right?), or just be mindful of how certain foods make you feel.

However, if you’ve started down the road to eating mostly “real food,” you’ve probably noticed it’s easy to spend waaay more than usual on groceries.

The reality is quality food costs more than junk. It’s a bummer, but it’s true. And, in many ways, it makes sense.

Is that to say you’ll have to dole out hundreds more to eat well? Not necessarily.

In my experience, it is possible to eat real food while sticking to a reasonable grocery budget. It just takes a little planning and strategy.

**Join me over at Day2Day Joys to read the rest–and share your best tips for eating real stuff on a real budget! :)**

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Day 31 :: What I Learned About Hospitality in October


‘ve learned a lot about hospitality over the years.  Mostly from seeing the generous, gracious sharing of homes modeled by others, the rest by my own trial and error.

But this month, even as I wrote about all that I believe to be true or have found helpful, I learned a few new things.

Over the last 31 days, I traveled to Canada, Chicago, and Ohio, hosted new friends for dinner, and filled my home with a couple dozen peeps for a potluck.

Through all of that, I’ve been reminded that simple is beautiful, bread is awesome, and the best way to beat perfectionism is one mismatched dish at a time. Continue reading

Day 24 :: Hospitality on a Budget


much joy as hospitality brings me, it can also bring some tension into the grocery budget–especially since a while back, I hopped on the “real food” bandwagon.  Since then, we’ve eaten better but as real food tends to cost more than Cheetos, there’s less margin in the grocery envelope.

Unwilling to sacrifice the practice of hospitality or the serving of (mostly) real food, I set out to resolve my dilemma. I won’t say I’ve arrived at a perfect plan (or that one even exists), but here are some ideas that have helped me so far. Continue reading

Day 23 :: Simple Food for Company

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o, you’ve got hospitality on the calendar, you’ve done some quick cleaning, and you’re self-talking your way to a joyful hosting experience.  Now, the remaining question is–what to eat?

I love quality food and could enjoy sharing all kinds of dishes with friends.  But in this season of life–and especially when it comes to cooking for larger groups–I’m looking for simple meals.  Post food revolution, I’m also trying to serve “real food.”  On a budget.

With all of these criteria in mind, here are links to a few staples that haven’t let me down yet.

Simple Food for Company

Main Courses

Appetizers and Snacks



What is your favorite dish to serve company?

This is a post from a 31-day series on Real, Simple Hospitality.  Read all the other posts here.  Check out all the other 31 Day-ers here.

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Day 16 & 17 :: Just Say Yes


ee what I did there?  It’s called holy moly I am ever sick–and behind on writing.  But lest you think you’re getting shortchanged a day in this series, I promise that a.) you’ll get an extra post at the end of the month and b.) today’s bit on hospitality really is worth ruminating on for two whole days.  Really.

Moving on.

Today’s word is one that took me a while to take to heart.  It’s applicable to much more than hospitality and easier said to others than practiced yourself–but in the end is incredibly freeing:

Just say yes. Continue reading

Day 15 :: Dear Friend Who’s Hosting Me and My Wild Posse

Hosting Kids | A Simple Haven

hile yesterday we chatted about how to prepare for company when little ones are afoot, today we’re looking at hosting pint-sized guests. Especially if you’re not in the baby stage.

(And if that’s you, bless your heart for even considering inviting me and my wild little posse into your home).

Dear friend without babies who’s invited us over,

Again, bless you.  It’s such a treat not to have to cook a meal.  I enjoy cooking and I’ll happily bring a side or dessert, but really, thank you from freeing me from an evening in the kitchen. Continue reading

Day 12 :: Real, Simple Hospitality and Eats {Weekend Links}


hile last weekend brought lovely adventures in Canada, this weekend brings me back to my quiet life in Farm Town–and pumpkin patches, lunch with our local-ish farmer, and dinner shared with new friends.

So as I rise early this morning to caravan to Amishland with my little family and sweet friends–blueberry muffins and coffee in tow–I leave you with a podcast that just may change your dinner parties forever, stress-free cleanup tips from a favorite food blogger, and a recipe that I’m sure will become a fall staple in my home.

Hope your weekend is full of beautiful foliage and simple, soul-filling meals shared with those you love.

Real, Simple Hospitality and Eats from Around the Web

How to Have Better Dinner Conversations :: Michael Hyatt Podcast

The Entertaining Aftermath: 8 Steps to a Quick Cleanup :: Simple Bites

Sometimes You Need to Make Soup :: This Vintage Moment

This is a post from a 31-day series on Real, Simple Hospitality.  Read all the other posts here.  Check out all the other 31 Day-ers here.

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