photo of Joanna Overly with glasses on and blonde hair down. Wearing a camo shirt in this article about her favorite things.

Favorite Things

Favorite Things and Helpful Links all in one easy-to-access location.

This is my place to store my favorite links and items that I share either here on my website or on Instagram. I only share things that I really use or if I can’t find the exact same item, I work hard at finding a similar item as a substitute.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate,  I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our family in this way, it truly means a lot to me!

If you are looking for my latest blog posts, you can find my home page here.

I want to help you succeed in homeschooling, homesteading, or in the kitchen!

Use the links below to jump to the area you’d like to check out:

Favorite Things for Homesteading

For the Garden

Pest Control

Seed Companies I Love

Books for the gardener

Favorite Homeschool Things

Favorite Kitchen Things

Canning Equipment

Companies I buy in bulk from:

Favorite Cook Books

homeschool morning time menu pinable
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Homeschool Favorites

When we first started homeschooling back in 2016, these were some of my first investments.

Amazon Basics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine

Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches, 50 Pack Laminating Sheets

Swingline Desktop Hole Punch, 2- 3 Hole Puncher

Morning Menus

When choosing a menu for morning menus, make sure to get one that fits regular size A4 paper. Otherwise you’ll have to trim each page and that is just a hassle.

Individual menu

10 Pack of menus

Kitchen Favorite Things

Companies I buy in bulk from:

Azure standard is a place where we get a lot of our favorite things

Azure Standard is a family-owned company based out of Oregon. They carry a wide variety of items from chicken feed, to organic dairy as well as have a great line of cleaning supplies. Azure Standard has drop sites all over the country. They deliver to each of them on a monthly basis.

To place an order you first should make sure there is a drop site near you. Once you have a drop site chosen, the website will let you know when ordering is “open”. (As well as stating by what date and time the deadline is to place your order.)

Once your order has been placed, you then arrive at the specified location/ time. However, there are drop coordinators that should be in contact with you to update if there are any changes. Everyone works together to unload the truck. Also dividing items up to each household. After everything is unloaded, you grab your items and head out! If there are any items missing or issues that arise, your drop site coordinator can help you with that as well.

If you use this link on your first order over $100, it helps my family on our next order! Which we so appreciate!

Naturally A Deal is a Natural and Close-Out Co-op

Naturally a Deal is a company that is similar to Azure in that you place an order online and then meet the delivery truck for the pick-up. It is usually every 3 weeks and their delivery range is to 66 locations. (In these states: AL, IN, MI, MS, NC, NE, OH, PA, SC, TN, and VA.)

Some items are close to the “best by date” or if they have passed, are usually frozen before that. I have been able to find some great deals through them but do pay attention to those “best-by dates”. You can check out their website at Naturally a Deal, this is not an affiliate link.

favorite thing my dutch oven by lodge cast iron with a round loaf of sourdough bread inside,

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven: This is the dutch oven that I have. (As pictured above with a boule of sourdough bread fresh out of the oven) I’ve had mine for many years and season it with organic flaxseed oil. Its size is 5 quarts and I find that a good size for baking bread.

Canning Equipment

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: a great starter book for canning.

16 Quart Presto Pressure Canner: a great starter canner for the beginner.

Canning headspace measuring tool: super handy little tool that makes measuring headspace simple.

Canning Kit: although I try to avoid plastics when canning metal isn’t always suggested as it can have a negative effect on the finished product.

One of my favorite cookbook is Jill Winger’s The Prairie Homestead Cookbook.

Favorite Things for Homesteading

Jessica from Roots and Refuge Farms standing on green grass by Joanna Overly with a blue sky background

Jessica Sowards from Roots and Refuge Farm was my first teacher in the garden. If you have yet to meet her, let me give you a virtual introduction.

For the Garden:

Raised Beds: I have 6 of these raised metal beds in my gardens. The long ones in the back with my trellises are actually two kits put together as one long bed. (Which I have one long bed on either side of the centered wooden one.) This also allowed for some end pieces to be turned into herb planters from leftover pieces of the kit.

Drip Irrigation Kit: Fairly easy to set up and I am super happy with the amount of coverage it provides.

Nylon Garden Trellis Netting: This is what I use to make very tall trellises in my garden.

5 by 30 feet Nylon Garden Trellis Netting: Covers a very large space. Can be used vertically for trellises or can be put horizontally to help very tall flowers that need support.

10-Pack 10 Gallon Grow Bags: The exact pack I have in my garden currently with potatoes, garlic and onions.

Plant Labels and Cd Pen ( Cd pen is so the writing doesn’t wash off. Also, do you know what a cd is? 😉

Pastel Plant Labels: Because sometimes I want a little color before everything is in bloom!

Greenstalk Tower Gardens: Greenstalk tower gardens are multi-leveled and have deep enough pockets to grow anything from lettuces and herbs to tomatoes in their Original 5 tiered planters.

Books for the Gardener:

Grow Great Vegetables Tennessee: A super helpful book with month by month activities.

Not growing in Tennessee? There are 12 other states covered by this company.

Grow Great Vegetables State-By-State (13 books)

This 2024 Tennessee Home Fruit and Vegetable Garden Calendar is really helpful too!

Pest Control

Sluggo: Organic option for slug control. It is designed to bait and poison these pests along with earwigs, sow bugs, pill bugs, and cutworms.

Monterey BT: Use sparingly even though it is an organic option, it can harm other beneficial insects. This pest control is designed for use on caterpillars and worm-type insects,

Seed Companies I Love:

Baker Creek: Lots of amazing varieties that can be hard to find.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds: Has great options for hybrids or heirloom vegetables as well as speciality flowers.

Botanical Interests: I love how detailed their packaging is with tips on how to successfully grow their seeds.

Southern Exposure: Great options of seeds that are specifically selected to do well in the Southern parts of the United States.

MiGardener: A good place to try out different varieties of plants as the seed packs are only $2 each but don’t come with a ton of seeds in them.

Floret: One of a kind Floret originals that are all stunners.