I’ve always loved books. Always surrounded by books. Too many books, if there ever was such a thing. I have books on my bookshelf that I haven’t even read yet, but they’re there because “I’ll get to them one day…”
So when my friend, Merissa Alink (of the popular blog, Little House Living) announced that she’s publishing her first book – Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life – I knew I had to be a part of it! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, and I dove right in the second it arrived on my doorstep.
Pssst!: Be sure to read til the end of the post, because we’re giving away TWO copies of the book!
I “met” Merissa a few years ago through our blogs. She’s a country girl who lives on a farm with her husband and two adorable little boys. Over the years I’ve watched as this little family has gone through all of the growing pains that come along with starting a family, buying a house, and running a farm.
They’ve lived in a camper (twice!), they’re homesteading, they’re raising animals, they’re making nearly everything from scratch – all this to try and live as simply and frugally as possible.
And that’s why I love following along with Merissa on her blog and social media. I get to watch and learn, and live vicariously through her and her family on their journey to a self-sufficient life!
The Little House Living book comes out today – Tuesday, October 20, 2015!
Little House Living Book Review
Long story short? I *love* this book! It’s very different from other DIY/recipe books I’ve read. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something very special about it. It’s probably just Merissa’s charm bursting right through as you flip each page.
Right away I realized that the latest addition to my book shelf would be one of those books that I come back to again and again – it’s just so useful, and the full-color photos are gorgeous!
With over 300 pages, Little House Living has a recipe for practically anything I’d need to make for the home. The first half of the book has recipes for Body & Beauty, Household, and Children & Pets. From body wash and deodorant; to laundry detergent and oven cleaner; to baby lotion and pet shampoo; this make-your-own guide really covers it all.
And if the book ended right there, it would already be awesome and better than most books I’ve read on these subjects. But of course it doesn’t end there. The second half of the book (which can be split into two sections) is actually my favorite!
My favorite part of the book!
First is the Make-Ahead Mixes – oh my God, you guys! This section is so exciting! Merissa shares almost 30 different recipes for mixes that you can make up ahead of time and just keep in your pantry for when you need them. I don’t know about you, but a big part of why I just can’t seem to get a grip on this whole cooking thing is mostly because of the prep work that’s involved! And having 3 little ones at my feet all day doesn’t really help the situation – LOL. 🙂
My favorites are the pancake/waffle mix, cream of soup mix, and the homemade season mixes (fajitas, tacos, or ranch dressing, anyone?). And of course the muffins, cake and cookies mixes!
I’ve already made and stored the cake mix on page 186. Now, when my 4 year old asks, “Can we bake a cake today, mama?” I can say, “Sure! Should we make a yellow cake or chocolate cake?” instead of trying to convince him that it’s just not a good time right now.
If Merissa had only included the recipes for the mixes, that would’ve been enough, but of course she didn’t… She also shares more recipes to help you actually use those make-ahead mixes! So, for example, after I make up a big batch of the all-purpose baking mix, I could then follow Merissa’s recipes to make biscuits, chicken pot pie, or dumpling soup (or all of the above – yum!)
And if you want to get an idea of how to incorporate these make-ahead mixes into your meal planning, there’s even a little section in the book for just that. Merissa is the person who really got me into meal planning. She has a great meal planning resource that I love, which you can read more about here.
Finally, and perhaps the most practical and useful part of the whole book, is the Appendices at the very end. This isn’t your typical appendix filled with supplementary material that may or may not enhance the content of the book; no, this is like an entire mini-book tacked on the end.
Every title in this section begins with some variation of “10 Uses for …,” and it’s everything from mason jars and milk jugs; to epsom salts and coconut oil; to coffee grounds and egg shells. I love finding new uses for things I already have around the house, so it’s no wonder I’m in love with this section!
Ready to Buy the Book?
Little House Living is definitely one of my new favorite DIY/recipe books. I’m so proud of Merissa for putting out such a wonderfully useful and practical book that I really believe will change lives. If you’re trying to simplify your life, become a little more self-sufficient and sustainable, or you’re just trying to live as frugally as you can by making the most of what you have, you need this book!
The official release date is today – October 20, 2015! You can order Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life from Amazon in hardcover, paperback, or for your Kindle. You can also go and check it out for yourself at your local bookstore – you will love it!
Want to Win A Copy of the Book? Of course you do! We are so excited to be able to giveaway TWO copies of the Little House Living book this week! Because the books are being shipped directly from the publisher, the giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry, international friends!). You must be 18 years or older to enter, and the giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 27, 2015. Full terms and rules in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck! 🙂
Sounds like a wonderful book, can’t wait to read it! Shame your giveaway doesn’t extend internationally… Us New-Zealanders need free stuff too, you know 😉
Haha, believe me I know, Frances! I’m actually in Canada (but most of my readers are in US) so I feel your pain lol. 🙂
I got this book last Saturday after ordering it from Amazon… SO. MUCH. LOVE! Almost all of the recipes will be made by me at some point in the coming months. Already made a batch of muffin mix and we had chocolate chip muffins on Sunday. Very tasty indeed 😀
Thank you so much for pointing this book out to me, Sarah 🙂
Oh Frances, that is wonderful! So happy that you’re loving the book – it’s seriously my favorite! We’re hoping to make some muffins this week as well! And you’re very welcome! 🙂
The book is beautiful! The “mixes” section looks great.
Merissa @Little House Living
Thank you so much for reviewing my book Sarah. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Always a pleasure, Merissa. And congrats again! 🙂
I need this book in my life! I have my own little Yousef (16 months old) so the make ahead mixes part would be helpful right now, but I also love all the other parts of the book. This book is like my dreams! I love to make stuff when I can instead of buying it! It would surely get lots of love in my house,that’s for sure! Great giveaway!
Aww, good luck, Renee! It really is a great book. 🙂
I am looking forward to read about the Body & Beauty ideas, anything done the natural way is always good, look that is a wonderful book to read.
Book looks like it is for ME!
The do it yourself cleaning and beauty recipes look interesting.
Would really love this book. You have so many great ideas. Things I use and make. Thank you for all your work
Love the looks of the book & can’t wait to get my hands on one.
it sounds like Merissa could be a younger version of me! I actually have two ‘cookbooks’ that are all about pre-made homemade mixes for all kinds of things. It isn’t the organic version, but it is easy to convert and to convert to gluten free, also…Anyway, becoming more self sufficient and making what I can for all of my cleaning, beauty and cooking needs is very important to me. This book sounds like a no-brainer . If I don’t win the giveaway, I just may have to add this book to my library.
Haha I think this would be a great addition to your library! Good luck!
Looking to enjoy the DIY Recipe in the book…..Thanks
I’m interested in it all, as a fledgling do-it-yourself homesteader!
This book looks fantastic! I think my favorite is the make-ahead mixes. Thanks for the chance to win!
I’m excited about the 130 recipes. Can’t wait to try them! =)
I’ve loved your recipes for so long. A book is exciting!!
the household section.
The whole book sounds amazing! I love making my own cleaning recipes 🙂
I think this whole book would be a treasure to own. Any thing promoting healthier, natural ways of living are what we need more of! Oh, I hope I win! 🙂
This book sounds like a keeper! I would really make good use of it.
I’m so excited for the make ahead mixes! Genius! Especially in our busy house with 4 little wild things!
Aren’t they awesome?! Yay!