5 Things We’ve Learned About Blogging This Year

Five Things We've Learned About BloggingFour years ago, when Rachel and I stepped into the world of blogging for business, we had no idea how little we didn’t know. Now, several years in, Rachel and I still feel like we are on a learning curve. Yes, we’ve figured out how to turn our hobby into a part-time job for both of us but we are constantly modifying what we do and how we do it.

If I could sum up this year with one word, I’d have to say it would be: Strategy.

Both Rachel and I have such limited time to put into the blog, we’ve just had to get smarter about where we put our time and how to make more income with the allotted hours we have in our lives right now. As we’ve learned to work a bit smarter, we’ve gleaned some valuable lessons this year that we thought would be worth sharing.

10 Favorite HealthMarket Products and How I Use Them

I find that I get the best bang for my buck (and for my health) with these 10 favorite HealthMarket products. See which ones regularly make my grocery list!

Sponsored by Hy-Vee of Columbia

I’ve been shopping Hy-Vee’s HealthMarket ever since the first one opened in my hometown many years ago. They stock a vast variety of the healthiest foods and products in town at competitive prices. Plus, a bonus is that the store dietician is always on hand to answer any questions I may have.

But, like you, I’m on a limited grocery budget. I want my money to be used on ingredients and products that give me the most bang for my buck and for my health. So, I’ve put together a list of my 10 favorite Hy-Vee HealthMarket products that repeatedly make my grocery list because of their versatility. I’ll explain why I think they are a worthy investment and some ways I use them in my kitchen and around the house.

Disclaimer: I have to say this, right? I am not a doctor or medical professional. So, although I link to many sources below to make my points, my product recommendations are my personal and non-professional opinion. Please do good research before using a new health food product to decide if it’s a good fit for your own dietary needs.

I’d love to hear what your favorite HealthMarket items are too! So please leave a comment and share so I can give some other products a try.

“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: February 1-7

FEB 1-7, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Wednesday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Someday I look forward to trying new and exciting dishes and having more time in the kitchen. But, the reality is I have two jobs, three somewhat picky kids, and quite a bit of running around to do after school each day. So, the necessary grid I run my menu plans through is this:

  • Will my kids eat it? (Most of them at least!)
  • Will it be easy to prepare at home?
  • Did I include a good variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and meat?
  • Can I afford it? (Lining up my meal plan with Hy-Vee’s ads each week helps me stay within my grocery budget.)

I hope you find these simple plans helpful during this phase of life. And maybe, just maybe, someday I can start experimenting more with recipes like the ones I drool over in my Bon Appetit magazine.


Reader Question: Is Thriving Home a “Real Food” Blog or Not?


From time to time, we get some great honest questions from readers. I thought I’d share this one we got recently, because many of you may be wondering the same thing: Is Thriving Home technically a “real food” blog? We welcome any thoughts or feedback you may have on this topic!

Cardboard Cookies–An Easy Valentine’s Day Craft for Kids

Kids love decorating their "cookies" and have a lot of fun with this Valentine's Day craft idea. Most of the materials you likely have around your house! | Thriving Home

I stumbled on this cute Valentine’s Day craft idea that my kids loved: Cardboard Cookies!

There is something about calling them “cookies” that makes the craft idea more fun for kids. I love this because almost any age can have fun with this AND it can be done with supplies you likely have around your home.

Kids love decorating their "cookies" and have a lot of fun with this Valentine's Day craft idea. Most of the materials you likely have around your house! | Thriving Home