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These are a Few of My Favorite Things

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

As I’m writing this, I’m amazed that 2014 has come to an end. I’m thankful for another beautiful Christmas with my family and to celebrate another year of wonder and blessings.

I just wanted to share a few things that I found especially wonderful in 2014. There were so many highlights of this past year … one highlight was just a few weeks ago when I sighted the second book in my series at a small tourist town in central Pennsylvania. I was so excited!


Here are a few of my favorite things from 2014.


Sarah Clarkson.

I’m a nut for books about books. Our homeschool is very eclectic and leans heavily on the methodology of Charlotte Mason. When I ran across Sarah Clarkson and her books I was smitten. What a wise young woman and homeschool graduate. She shares amazing knowledge about literature and a child’s education. I’ve always believed in the power of story but even with my obsession with books and impact fiction can have on the soul and heart of a child (or any person) I was still dumbstruck with the beauty of Sarah’s books. Find her here: storyformed.wholeheart.org.


As a work-at-home mom writing novels from the comfort of my home and homeschooling our young children along with choosing to live a very clean lifestyle I’m very busy … and I don’t really have time for another hobby. BUT, after my book released in October and with my third in the series handed in to my editors, I decided to take a few weeks off … and learn to knit. I’ve been a crocheter for a decade but have always wanted to learn to knit. I simply love it and here’s the video to my first lesson.


I had my first real garden this year and it wasn’t a flop! It wasn’t a complete success either but I used my own tomatoes and made my first jars of pickles. I went into this adventure with low expectations and a willingness to mess up as I learn. I’m looking forward to another garden next year. I will be working more on square foot gardening like this one.



A few years ago I started using henna to dye my hair but now 2 years into this new routine I feel I’m a true believer and convert. I greyed pretty early … to be clear … I was about 25% grey when I was 23 and by the time I was 35 I was over 90% grey. I’ve been using conventional red dyes all this time but decided a few years ago to really rid my body of any toxins and chemicals I had some control over and hair dye was one of those things. After a lot of research I decided to try henna. I only buy it pure (NO metallics or additives) and I couldn’t be happier with my non-chemical red hair. Click here to learn more.


I started using oils at the end of 2013, but in 2014 I really learned how to really use them practically. My family is happier, healthier, and we have full embraced the oil lifestyle. If you want to learn more about oils go here.


I have been a big fan kombucha for a few years but it’s so expensive to buy. I decided to jump in and try to brew it myself and it’s been an amazing success! It’s not as hard as I expected and, according to my husband and children, it’s as good as store bought. Here’s more on how you can brew Kombucha.


My family and I have been eating gluten free and clean for several years. So when I learned how plantains can be used to make grain-free pancakes, cake, brownies, bread, etc., I was ecstatic. Here’s my favorite plantain recipe. TIP: Add some cinnamon!!!

I’d love to hear what your favorite discoveries have been for 2014. It’s been a wonderful year!

Bis Spater,

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Elizabeth Byler Younts (29 Posts)

Elizabeth Byler Younts used to be Amish, and even after her family converted, she still grew up among her Amish family. She is still very close with them and still speaks Pennsylvania Dutch regularly. She is the author of an Amish memoir titled Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. Seasons is the story of her grandmother Lydia Lee Coblentz who grew up in an impoverished Amish family through the Great Depression. Seasons was released in August 2010 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller in three categories. Elizabeth is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force Officer’s wife with two young daughters and makes her home wherever her family is stationed.


  1. Love this post. I started using oils the end of 2014. Still learning, but love it. Henna looks very interesting. I am definitely going to check it out. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I seem to be baking more since my husband retired and made more things from scratch and tried things I’d always wanted to bake in 2014.

  3. I read about the Henna but I do not understand what color to use. can you explain it to more ?

    • Elizabeth Byler Younts says:

      I have experimented only on myself so I’m not sure I’m qualified to give you any major suggestions…except to do LOTS or research. Henna is not as straightforward as regular dye. For instance…as far as which color to use…it says it’s based on your natural color…but my natural color is mostly gray but I had red dyed hair over it…I did a test strip and the henna definitely affected both my light grey roots and my dyed hair uniquely. So PLEASE do a test strip…no matter what. Leave your test on long enough and make sure you keep it bound with serran wrap around your head. Once it’s out let it oxydate (not sure on the spelling there!) 😉 for several days. My first round went from bright penny orange to a nice auburn within 3 days. That’s how henna works. I have uneven color…like undyed hair isn’t all exactly the same shade, neither is henna. if you want everything super even, it might not be for you. I like that aspect b/c i feel it’s a more natural look. I have dyed my hair a year into henna b/c I made the mistake of doing henna too close together (3-4 wks) and my hair got way too dark for my preference. I dyed it back to the rich auburn I like and started up with henna again. I had no problem switching back and forth b/c the henna I use has NO additives or metallics. If the ingredients aren’t pure henna…it’s going to make it dicey if you need to dye your hair again using conventional dyes. It’s NOT as messy as some on the internet say it is. No way. But you do have to leave it in your hair for several hours…usually. I do my from 2-4 hours. Henna doesn’t fade fast…so I only do my roots for most of the year…around every 12 mos I do an all over color for about 1/2 the time as my roots.

      I would highly recommend reading as much info as you can. Morrocco Method, where I buy from, has been amazing with products and with helping. I have asked several questions and they usually get back with me quickly. I believe they communicate through their Facebook page. Best of luck!

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