Best of the Bundle

Early this week I told you about an ebook bundle you might be interested in purchasing. An ebook bundle I am proud to be a part of and proud to promote and support at FIMBY.

our blue walls
 "in real life" homemaking

I love working with other creative and resourceful women and mothers who are trying to share their ideas with the world, help other people, and make some money doing so.

And that is why I contribute to ebook bundles and mention them here. I want to be a part of a community of women working together towards common goals - writing what they know, encouraging other women, and supporting their families.

Women are relational and most of us love a good deal. Ebook bundles feel like a big blogger party - for writers and readers alike. And they are an excellent way for bloggers to make money while offering real value to readers.

I am happy to contribute my own writing and audio teaching to make these ebook bundles attractive to a large audience. (The Ultimate Homemaking ebook Bundle includes two of my audio teachings - Homeschooling from the Heart and Learning in Love.)

the ultimate homemaking ebook bundle sale

However, I realize that many of my readers, like me, don't identify with mass mommy blogger media. Many of you are in a different stage of life than the early homemaking years. And still others are in a completely different culture, and yes, culture matters!

Much of the advice shared by suburban American homemakers about saving money on groceries, freezer cooking, and even getting organized does not "translate" well for those of us living in different cultures or non-standard North American lifestyles.

Also, I am attuned to the fact that many of my readers don't have much in common with the Christian mommy blogger crowd. I understand that since I feel the same way.

We interrupt this post for a word about mommy bloggers.

I used to think of myself as "just" a mommy blogger. This gave me an inferiority complex and I preferred to call myself a writer.

But I have recently re-claimed mommy blogger, proudly, as a fitting description for what I do. I'm a mommy. I'm a blogger. I write mostly about family life. I feel this lands me squarely in the mommy blogger crowd.

The mommy bloggers I know are a crowd of wonderful women who, like me, are intent on beautifying their lives, saving money, living green, raising wonderful kids (sometimes home educating these kids), eating healthy, living with gratitude and purpose, and changing the world - one mommy blog at a time. I'm there, I'm all over that.

And yet, not everything that most mommy bloggers write about will apply to me, or to you. And such is the case with this ebook bundle.

I'm totally done with the pregnancy, birth, & toddler years. So I'll skip those. But if you're in those years, this bundle has a nice selection of resources for you.

homemaking ebooks

I've also got a good handle on time management, budgeting, home organization, simplifying and de-cluttering, menu planning, and cleaning systems. Organization and management are two of my strengths and I've been a homemaker for nearly 17 years, I've had lots of practice. And now with older kids I do a lot of delegating.

If you are still getting established in this area, or need practical ideas and inspiration, oh woman, you are in luck with this bundle. You will be organized, budgeted, and balanced out your wazoo with these ebooks.

We're plant-based eaters and this isn't well represented in this bundle (I don't think it's represented at all actually). Bummer. But I'm used to being in the dietary minority. If you find yourself in the majority, i.e. you eat animal products regularly, you'll probably like these food resources.

kitchen ebooks

Need mothering or marriage help? This bundle has you covered also.

This bundle has some early years education resources but most of these are Christian (which isn't everyone's cup of tea) and a bit more "curriculum-y" than I'm comfortable with. However, the bundle includes my audio teachings which are neither Christian or curriculum-y, so it all balances out (smile).

Ok, so what's left? Well, quite a bit actually. And what's left is still worth $29.97. So even if most of the bundle doesn't apply, the ones that do, are still worth the price. You don't have to need or want it all, you can pick and choose.

So, here's my picks:

  • Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley @ the handmade home. This is a book about making beautiful frames to decorate your walls. Full disclosure: I will not be making any of these frames. I'm just not a DIY diva (oh, there's a book with that title in this bundle also!). But... the pdf is gorgeous. It's home decor eye candy. The quality of this ebook is phenomenal so I have to mention it, even though I will not be doing any of the projects in this book. If you are a DIY diva you'll like this resource.

  • iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli @ Alli Worthington. I have an Android smartphone and I love using it for Instagram, that's pretty much all I use it for since we don't get cell coverage in our woods. (I really want to put some French language resource apps on there.) If you like to play around with phone photography this little book has some neat ideas. 

  • The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley @ The No Brainer Wardrobe I'm not really into clothes or shopping but this book almost makes me wish I was! You can do some real cutsey things with some time on your hands and a trip to the local goodwill. And Hayley shows you how to pull it all together so it truly is No Brainer, which is good for folks like me (if I actually cared more about my wardrobe).

  • Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy @ A Delightful Home. I have a scrub right now from Graham Gardens. It smells so delish I want to eat it. Sometimes I do. This little ebook teaches me how to make my own. So I can eat and scrub to my heart's content. It's too early for Christmas but these would be nice presents.

  • Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose by Kristen @ The Frugal Girl. What a fun ebook. This crafty mama shows you how to get creative with old clothes. There are some really sweet ideas in here that even the most diy-challenged person could follow. This would be a great project resource for kids also. Two thumbs up.

  • Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music. Music education is not part of my kids' life, perhaps it should be (except that I don't live under shoulds anymore so, take that back). If music is a part of your kids' education, or you're just starting out with music education, would be a good ebook to read.

  • Vibrant Living Strategies for Moms by Lisa @ Well-Grounded Life . It's no secret that I adore Lisa's presence on the web and ever since taking one of her courses I appreciate her work that much more. This is an e-course, not an ebook and it's worth more than the price of the whole bundle.

Even if you only bought the bundle for these seven resources, which of course you wouldn't because your picks would be different than mine, you've got a good deal. See here for how to purchase and don't wait much longer. The bundle is only available till Saturday.

Now what I really want to see is ebooks for the following:

  • Planning for your 6 month AT thru hike. With a special bonus section on how to keep your teenagers and pre-teen satiated during that hike. (I'll tell you it won't be with freezer meals!)

  • Parenting and providing an education for independent minded young adults, letting them study their interests as their education (not on the side of Engish, Algebra, & History lessons) while preparing them for an adult world. Recording and keeping track of said interest-led learning in a way acceptable to higher learning institutions. Help!

  • Helping your children make friends in a different culture and different language.

  • Living as adventurers while building community and local relationships.

  • Working in the world, from home, as a wholehearted woman, homemaker and homeschooler. (I would like this advice from an older woman who has homeschooled her children through high school. I want to see the fruit of her philosophy and living.)

Anybody seen these ebooks anywhere? And if you're a plant-based eater, the other p in this age of paleo and primal, and you're planning an ebook bundle - I am all over it!

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Finding Beauty in Spring Trail Running & Getting Dirty (and sometimes in cleaning the bathroom) »
  • Amanda

    Amanda on May 2, 2013, 7:28 p.m.

    I agree, an AT trip planning website would be handy, especially if it's written by someone who has hiked with children.  I've been wondering what your family plans to do about eating on the AT.  I can't imagine it's going to be easy to eat according to your values!  I thought perhaps you were already dehydrating  lots of stuff to take with you.


    • renee

      renee on May 2, 2013, 7:33 p.m.

      We will be eating a lot of plant foods, heavy on plant seeds, nuts, butters and high energy dried fruits. But we will also be eating a fare share of animal products in town stops (pizza, burgers, ice cream, the stuff all thru hikers eat) because that is what will be available. We will be needing roughly 5,000 calories a day, roughly. At that rate we will be happy to get our calories wherever we can. 

      We are not dehydrating our own veggies. We plan to buy dehydrated veggies (not prepared meals, actually veggies) and have them delivered in mail drops. Damien did the math, it's more economical to buy dehydrated veggies than to do it yourself. 


  • Julie

    Julie on May 2, 2013, 8:44 p.m.

    I was hoping you would be hiking the Pacific Coast trail! It's not too far from us and I think you would like the Sierras.  There was an article in American Girl about a girl hiking the PCT with her dad (6 mos) -- maybe one of your kids can write an article for a youth or outdoor mag.   Sounds like a great trip!


  • Sarah

    Sarah on May 3, 2013, 2:06 a.m.

    If you (or someone else!) writes a book about keeping teenagers fed (healthfully, especially) on any longer (2 week +) backpacking, canoeing or other outdoor trip... I would be first in line to buy it!! Last summer, I went from about 115 lbs to about 105 lbs on a 2 week canoe trip (even with eating not so healthy stuff every day!)... it's one of my major worries about doing a longer trip in the future. Please don't worry about your children--I also got sick (hyponatremia or heat stroke or some combination) about 1/2-way through for about a day and didn't eat for about 3 meals. My eating at home is pescatarian (fish but no other meat), heavy on eggs and light on dairy. (Lots of plants!!) 

    Anyway, all that is to say that I would LEAP FOR JOY if there was a book about healthy eating (for kids and teens, especially) on extended outdoors trips. Of course, I can experiment myself... but it would be nice if I could just go the easy route and benefit from someone else's mistakes :).

    Also, I am so excited for your AT hike! I know it's a while off... but I can't way to hear more about it. (It's incredibly inspiring to me as I look towards how I'd like to live my life in the future!)


    • renee

      renee on May 3, 2013, 11:57 a.m.

      Sarah, I'm not worried, but I appreciate you sharing your experience. Our children have no weight to lose, they are lean, mean machines. Getting enough food is my main concern for our kids but I know it can be done... it's going to be interesting. 


  • Jennifer3

    Jennifer3 on May 3, 2013, 4:49 a.m.

    "Living as adventurers while building community and local relationships."

    I love this idea. That would be a great e-book/ blog post/ article/ something!


  • Alaina

    Alaina on May 3, 2013, 7:01 p.m.

    That made me laugh- freezer meals on your AT hike.  I needed to laugh, thank you!

    This is definately a great deal for many.  I am at the point though where I just don't want to read one thing more about what I could be, should be doing...instead I am just trying to do.  If that even makes sense.  There is a time for good seasoned advice and times for just doing what needs to be done.


    • renee

      renee on May 3, 2013, 7:19 p.m.

      Alaina, I'm actually in the same place. I'm not in an ebook reading season myself, or even heavy blog reading, "what are other's doing?" season. I'm in "doing what needs to be done and what I want to do season". Consequently, I'm really enjoying my life right now (smile). 


  • Alaina

    Alaina on May 3, 2013, 7:02 p.m.

    Although, after posting my other comment, I'd love to hear more on building community in any form- whether its where you are at or others.  It doesn't seem to be something that anyone knows how to do anymore.


  • Lisa

    Lisa on May 3, 2013, 10:12 p.m.

    Admittedly, when I first saw this bundle making the rounds my initial thought was, groan "not another one", however that being said, I appreciate your approach and how you broke it down. I actually took the time to have a look and there were a few that are actually of value to me where we are right now.

    On another note, I am so interested to hear more about your plans for your latest adventure! As I try to plan feeding our children well for a month as we drive and camp across the country I can't even imagine planning meals for an extended hiking adventure!! :)


    • renee

      renee on May 3, 2013, 10:20 p.m.

      Lisa, You know, I really struggle with ebook bundles also. I made a promise to myself to not participate in too many. (They can be very lucrative for bloggers, to the tune of thousands of dollars, with a big readership who market the heck out of them). Overdueing marketing doesn't feel good for me and it doesn't feel right for FIMBY readers.

      And yet... I really like getting my teaching out there and partnering with other mommy bloggers, and supporting them too. And yet... FIMBY is not a blog about selling things. And so, I waffle and wiffle about these things and try to find the best approach for who I am and what I want FIMBY to be. So, I appreciate your feedback, "groan" (tell me about it).

      Driving across country - you've got it easy! You'll be closer to grocery store access! Yeah, I can't imagine it either. I'm letting Damien do most of the "imagining" right now because it's too overwhelming for me to think about!


  • Mystie

    Mystie on May 4, 2013, 3:41 a.m.

    I have been targeted by lots of ladies for this bundle, and decided to keep quiet about it myself because of its overpromotion, but I did buy it through your link for Lisa Byrne's ecourse. I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me.


    I also enjoyed your homeschooling audio (I had already listened to it). I'm looking forward to your next set of resources, because as I listened to the one targeted for the 5-8yo crowd, I realized that we are on the same page in a lot of ways, but I am on the brink of the next stage, which is maybe why I feel like I'm losing it! :) My oldest will be 10 in a few months, and my second will be 8 this month.   


    Your list of ebook ideas is funny. There are so many out there already! I feel like I have another in me, and it's one I've been asked to do, but I have to live it a bit longer myself before I can write it.


    • renee

      renee on May 4, 2013, 10:40 a.m.


      When you say there are so many out there already - do you mean ebooks in general (I agree) or ebooks like the ones I'm looking for? Because I haven't found those ebooks! And thank you by the way.

      Also, what is so ironic is that your ebook was somehow mixed up in my downloads from this sale. Must have been in my downloads for the last couple months. I was going to recommend it in my best of the bunde because I think it's a useful resource for digital organizing, which is something I do. And then I couldn't find it in the list of books and I was so disappointed because I wanted to mention it in the list. 

      I think your ebooks would be a great addition to a homemaking ebook bundle (my audio teaching aren't about homemaking much at all, except that I spend more time homemaking than homeschooling!)


  • Mystie

    Mystie on May 6, 2013, 3:35 a.m.

    I meant there are tons of ebooks generally; it appears to be the hip thing to do these days. :) I haven't seen any on the topics you listed, but I think that's a great idea to put it out there. 

    My Paperless Home Organization was in the Bundle of the Week this last week. Bad week for it, I'm sure, but I did get quite a spike in traffic nonetheless. Thank you for your kind words about it! I'm always happy to hear it's useful for people. I know it was for me, and writing the book gave me motivation to finish up my own set-up and also clean it up.

    I'm looking forward to your next set of homeschooling resources. My oldest will be "5th grade" (whatever that means, nothing we do is graded materials) this fall and I'm brainstorming ways to give him more ownership of his education. I want him to intelligently participate, not be pushed through hoops, but it's hard to walk the line between letting them have ownership and also not letting them give up when it actually takes work.


    • renee

      renee on May 6, 2013, 12:16 p.m.

      Mystie, I would love to produce a next set of homeschool resources but I'm having a hard time doing so.  Really struggled with that late this winter (as I mentioned in this letter) on the heals of a disappointing go of it with this webinar plan. Also, our lives are so full right now of "living" and I want to spend my writing time sharing this living.

      I'm trying to find that sweet spot for me finding what works for me in terms of content creation and producing teaching materials balanced with what works for my "audience" (brother, I don't like that word). Webinar is case in point of something that didn't work. Not sure how to proceed from here, which is kind of frustrating because I have lots of ideas but either no energy to carry those ideas forward or the ideas don't work well for the audience.   

      I have lots of thoughts on what you've shared in this comment and the next stage of materials would definitely address this. 

      I really love one on one coaching. (smile).


    • renee

      renee on May 6, 2013, 3:24 p.m.

      So Mystie, I got to thinking (actually Damien asked me the question and got me thinking)... what is it exactly I could provide that would help you? It might not be that hard to create. Sometimes I think too big and then of course get overwhelmed when I really need small & do-able. Would a podcast work? Don't feel you have to respond but if you have a specific product in mind (written, audio, etc that would be the vehicle for the message) that might help me get something out there sooner than later. I'm thinking I might be able to record a podcast to address the stage you're at. If you have any ideas, I'm all ears!


      • Mystie

        Mystie on May 6, 2013, 9:39 p.m.

        I do the same thing! Thank goodness for down-to-earth husbands. :)

        My favorite type of resource is a podcast or 45-60 minute MP3 download that I can listen to while folding laundry or weeding the garden. I often pay $3-$5 (or more, for conference sets) for an MP3 by people I respect on a topic I'm interested in.  

        I think the piece I'm most bewildered about is effectively coaching my own children, rather than directly instructing or simply correcting work.

        By the way, I love your instagram widget on the side. So lovely to see slices of a life being enjoyed and appreciated.


        • renee

          renee on May 6, 2013, 9:48 p.m.

          Gotcha. Thank you for this feedback Mystie. And what a great question and it's the key piece to the later years of home education for sure. We are in complete "coach" mode with Celine right now and in and out of that mode with the younger two.


          • Lisa

            Lisa on May 8, 2013, 7:15 p.m.

            I think the podcast route is a great one for a lot of people these days.  I have tried signing up for various webinars over the last year or so and find I don't end up making the time to watch for whatever reason.  On the other hand, a 40-50 minute podcast is perfect in the evenings after children are in bed and I am washing dishes and cleaning up and I can listen as I work.  I have a few friends who spend a fair amount of time in their car.  They tend to listen to podcasts while driving.  Good luck with finding that sweet spot with what works for both you and the people you are trying to reach!  You will find it, there just might be a bit more trial and error before you do. :)


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