Special Mother’s Day eBook Give-Away!

The ebook versions of three of my recently released (or re-released) books are FREE this week!  Tell your friends! :)

41rIlTMZdiLThe Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book

Hints and hacks for home and family.  The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book contains tips and suggestions for everything from cooking, saving money, celebrating the holidays, and just generally raising a family. If you’ve been looking for some simple ideas for life and homemaking … from someone who’s been around the block more than once or twice … look no further. Have no fear, the Original Simple Mom is here!

BookCoverImageMix-n-Match Recipes

Creative ideas for today’s busy kitchens.  Do you remember that old children’s story, Stone Soup? Everyone came along and threw a little of this and a little of that into the pot with the stone, and before their eyes, the first unofficial Mix and Match soup was born! And remember how much they all loved it? Contributing something to the finished product goes a long way toward increasing a child’s enjoyment of their meal.

Just think of Mix-n-Match cooking as an art form all its own. This book will give you the general guidelines and starting points—you take it from there and see what tasty concoctions your kitchen has hiding in the dark recesses of its shelves and drawers. To get started using this book, you won’t need to run out to the store to stock up on hard to find ingredients. Just pick from what you already have on hand.  Save time, save money, and save your sanity!

51BlGAcUHnLA Twaddle-Free Education

An introduction to Charlotte Mason’s timeless educational ideas.  Are you disappointed with dumbed-down reading material (“twaddle”) written for children? Do you wish for your children to feast their hearts and minds on noble ideas, fine art, and great literature? Are you hoping your children gain an appreciation of nature and a deep understanding of natural sciences? Most importantly, do you want your children to develop a lifetime love of learning? If you answered “yes,” you may discover a Charlotte Mason-inspired twaddle-free education is just what you’ve been looking for. In the mid-1990’s, I set up one of the first Charlotte Mason homeschooling websites and edited The Charlotte Mason Monthly ezine. I currently edit The Charlotte Mason eMagazine.

Hurry!  These special Mother’s Day offers are only good through Thursday, May 14th.  After that the ebooks return to their regular price of $2.99.  Feel free to pass this information onto your friends.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book – re-released!

41rIlTMZdiLI’m excited to announce that my book, The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book: Hints and Hacks for Home and Family, was just released. (This book was first released in 2007 as The Simple Mom’s Idea Book, but I revised the title to avoid confusion).

If you missed getting your copy the first time around, I’m pleased to tell you that it’s available once again!

You can order the new edition online from Amazon.com at:

Soon available in digital Kindle format, too!

Contents Include:

Homemaking Ideas

  • Simplifying Phone Calls
  • Saving on Home Heating Costs
  • Keeping Your Summer Organized
  • Simplifying Party Planning

Seasonal Ideas

  • Valentine’s Day on a Shoestring
  • Frugal Easter Basket Ideas
  • Teacher Appreciation Ideas
  • Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Family Ideas

  • Friendship Bags
  • Family Entertainment on a Budget
  • Frugal Family Field Trip Ideas
  • 200+ Summertime Fun Ideas for Kids

Kitchen & Cooking Ideas

  • Emergency Cooking Substitutions
  • Vegetable “Hide-and-Sneak”
  • Building a Better Burger
  • Healthy and Inexpensive Meat Substitute
  • Beating the Breakfast Rush Hour
  • The Joys of Crockery Cooking

Healthy Ideas

  • Setting Simple Exercise Goals
  • Avoiding Mosquito Bites
  • “Shoo Fly!  Don’t Bother Me!”
  • Striving for Balance … One Habit at a Time

Grocery Savings Ideas

  • Using Up Leftovers
  • Crisis Meal Planning
  • Low-Budget Meal Planning
  • Winning the Grocery Game
  • Simple Ways to Save on Groceries
  • Super Simple, Super Cheap Recipes


While starting life as a new wife and then mom to three children, Deborah Taylor-Hough always wished for a personal mentor.  Someone who could take her under their wing and show her the ropes of being a stay-at-home mom, live on a single income, survive in a tough economy, educate her three lively kids, and raise children who grew to be successful adults with character and integrity.  Deborah’s own mother had experienced several strokes which left her unavailable to offer generational family advice.

Well, that mentor Debi had hoped and prayed for never appeared.

Not to be deterred, Debi kept plugging away.  She also kept notes as she went about her day-to-day life, convinced that someday she may have opportunity to be that mentor she’d always longed for in her own life; a friendly guiding hand for someone else just starting out a similar life path.  Following her husband’s diagnosis with a rare degenerative brain disorder, she also learned firsthand about the special challenges of single parenting.

Now that all three of her children are grown, Debi’s beginning to see the fruit of her labors over the years; a loving family with kiddos who truly have grown into wonderful young adults.  And she even learned a thing or two about cooking and cleaning along the way.

The Original Simple Mom’s Idea Book contains tips and suggestions for everything from cooking, saving money, celebrating the holidays, and just generally raising a family.

So if you’ve been looking for some simple ideas for life and homemaking … from someone who’s been around the block more than once or twice … look no further.

Have no fear, the Original Simple Mom is here!

New books coming!

Quick little teaser announcement: I have a couple of new books coming out over the next few months!

Well, actually one of them will be a fresh new edition of an older book that had gone out of print. There’ll also be a book on home education for those of you into that sort of thing.  Stay tuned for more announcements as we get closer to the release dates.

In the meantime, have your read my other books yet?  Frugal Living for Dummies® recently came out in Kindle format, by the way (and the Kindle version is 38% off the regular cover price, too!).  You can download a free Kindle app from Amazon to use on your computer if you don’t own a Kindle.  :-)

Browse My Books:
Easy link for Amazon Shoppers

To order your own copy of any of these titles right now, click on the book titles (below).

Books by Deborah Taylor-Hough:

  1. Frugal Living For Dummies®
  2. Frugal Living For Dummies® – Kindle version
  3. Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month
  4. Frozen Assets Lite & Easy
  5. Frozen Assets – Kindle version

Debi’s Mix-and-Match Soup Recipe

This recipe is excerpted and adapted with permission from the book, Mix-n-Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Today’s Busy Kitchens by Deborah Taylor-Hough.

by Debi

Ever spend so much time involved with a project that you forget to think about what you’re going to have for dinner?  Yeah, me, too.

But I have a back-up plan for those nights when I forget to think about dinner.  Basically I can clear out my cupboards and fridge and make homemade soup.  Yep.  Mix-and-Match Soup, you’re my hero!

This is a seriously simple way to make a meal out of whatever’s hiding in the back recesses of your cupboards or freezer.  It’s the answer to the age old question, “What do we eat when there’s nothing to eat?”

It’s sort of like the classic children’s story, Stone Soup — only without the stone!  :-)  I’d probably break a tooth.

(Excerpted and adapted with permission from my book Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)

Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)

Broth (choose one)

  • Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
  • Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
  • Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water

Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)

  • Ground beef, browned
  • Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
  • Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
  • Ham (cut up)
  • Lentils
  • Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)

Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)

  • Rice, cooked (any variety)
  • Barley, cooked
  • Pasta, raw
  • Corn
  • Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)

Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Peas or pea pods
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell pepper
  • Zucchini (add raw)

Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)

  • Basil
  • Cayenne (dash)
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Oregano

To Prepare Soup:

  • Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.

Slow Cooker Prep:

  • Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is a freelance writer and author of Frugal Living for Dummies® and the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  Visit Debi online at: www.Simplemom.com

NOTE:  Come by and “Like” Debi on Facebook!

Browse My Books:
Easy link for Amazon Shoppers

“I resolve to read to my child just for fun every day this year.”

One year–a long, long time ago–my New Year’s resolution was to get into the habit of reading aloud to my kiddos every evening from a “just for fun” book.

That was a resolution I kept for many, many years to come. And one of the best habits we ever built into our family.

I highly recommend it!  :)

For suggestions on books to read aloud with your family, check out this list of Twaddle-Free Literature by grade level:

Recommended Children’s Literature by Grade Level

Happy reading! :-)