Wanted to give you all a heads up on the fun modesty carnival that my sister, Christa, is hosting over at her site, Empowered Traditionalist. Check out all the wonderful posts and stay tuned for more additions over the next two weeks. She is calling me to write a post to contribute, so we will see how that goes! She is also open to receiving submissions from other bloggers…so think of a creative post around the theme of modesty and send it her way!
Archive | August, 2008
As I look back on the summer and welcome in the coming of fall, I am so thankful for each new season of life and the wonderful cycles that God has so beautifully fashioned. We had a full but productive summer!
This month included many adventures…camping with Lightsys (the technology in missions ministry we are joining), a quick weekend trip up to Seattle to visit Aaron’s extended family, lots of family birthday parties (as so many of them fall in this month!), car breakdowns, mommy’s belly starting to pooch out just a little bit announcing new life on the way, Karis starting to walk, enjoying the first fruits of our container garden, storing up wonderful produce for the winter, and the like.
I have also experienced both of my blenders breaking on me (one which came with my Bosch mixer and the other which was a backup and had been loaned to my brother-in-law, and broke shortly after he returned it to me while I waited for my Bosch replacement). Alas…a huge loss around here! Thankfully one is covered under warranty but the piece is on back order for who knows how long…it’s been pushing a month now and yet I still keep adding smoothies to my breakfast menus in faith that it will arrive.
Among all the adventures, the reigning truth is that God is sovereign and always working out His perfect plan in and through our lives. I rejoice to see the good work that He is doing and His merciful provisions in everything.
I have been desiring for awhile now to get starting on composting at our house, not only for the wonderful benefits it will serve in our container garden, but also because it is such a great way of letting nothing go to waste. I hate letting all those peelings and scraps go down the disposal. Why not put it to more profitable use? My Grandma claims that using compost in her garden is what produces abundant tomatoes! That is my goal as I grow in my gardening skills. I just love the idea of composting- everything is used again to create new produce!
My dilemma is my living situation, and that is where your help is needed. We currently live in a small condo (and it will remain that way for a few more years). We really don’t have room in our garage or deck for any large composting bin, so I am looking for a smaller alternative, maybe something under the sink or such.
I would love to hear from those who have accomplished small composting in apartments or condos!
We are taking a pause from our simplifying series today to participate in the Nourishing Portable Food Challenge hosted by The Nourishing Gourmet.
My challenge lately has been to supply my little toddler (who eats a ton!) with portable nourishing food for on the go! We have to be creative in bringing snacks for car rides, church services, extended outings doing errands, etc. or we might just have a disaster! I have learned this lesson the hard way…don’t go grocery shopping when you kids are hungry unless you have something to give them! Being pregnant, I am also having to think about bringing good protein snacks for myself on the go.
Here are a few of our ideas…
Just wanted to pass on a recipe that we have been enjoying for the last month or so for homemade mayonnaise. I have tried several recipes in the past, but nothing has compared to this recipe!
– Based on olive oil & apple cider vinegar – the best choice for oils! Most mayo out there is made of canola or safflower oils (read here for more info on comparing oils nutritionally). The olive oil content is low so the flavor is definitely not overpowering, as I have experienced before in previous recipes. ACV is very nutritious for you as well (read more here)!
- It is simple to make, taking around 5 minutes, and does not require any special equipment.
- Preservative free – most importantly you are controlling all the ingredients that go into it, and thus making the most nutritional, preservative free choice for your family.
(The one exception I make is the evaporated milk in this recipe, but it does provide the necessary thickness and creaminess to this recipe.)
- Frugal alternative!
– I recommend making 1 1/2 times the recipe as it uses a full standard 12 oz can of evaporated milk, and does not allow any to go to waste.
I made another batch this evening and combined some of it to make my own Caesar dressing for dinner! Yum!
Thanks to Michele at Frugal Granola for passing the recipe on to me!
That’s my kitchen tip for today!
Prep: make yogurt, kombucha, soak oatmeal, make tortillas
Prep: soak rice, thaw chicken, soak oatmeal, soak granola
Breakfast: French Toast, fruit salad
Lunch: Chili over Hot Dogs
Dinner: Chicken Curry, Stemmed Veggie (green beans, corn, zucchini)
Breakfast: Oatmeal, apples, raisins, bananas
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches, green salad
Dinner: Dinner engagement
Prep: soak pancakes batter, soak lentils & rice
Breakfast: Pancakes, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers lentils into burritos
Dinner: Baked Potato Bar (with leftover chili)
For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.
Have a blessed week! We are looking forward to settling down a little bit and getting ready for the fall. I found a great deal on peaches at our local Thompson’s Farm, and have to get them in the freezer this week for smoothies and such for the upcoming year. Also need to go out and pick some blackberries too! Storing up for the winter is so fun! Our tomatoes are starting to get big & red, so I am hoping to start enjoying them this week!
In the past few months I have been weeding out all of our standard hair and body products in order to simplify and replace with more natural and safe alternatives. I just love having one product for most of our basic needs! This has been the main purpose…to simplify! I honestly got tired of purchasing five or more different products for our needs (shaving cream for me, hair gel for him, etc). Now I just buy two products that together supply most of our needs.
Most body products have an unending list of ingredients which are impossible to pronounce. This alone makes me wonder what they really put in all of them. Skin Deep is a good resource to refer to in evaluating the contents of your favorite products.
So we have finally nailed down what works for us in simplifying our body care products! I formally tried the no-poo approach, and although that would be the ultimate frugal option (using baking soda & apple cider vinegar alone), it didn’t fly too well with the hubby. I also didn’t enjoy the lack of soapiness which I find necessary to really make my hair feel clean. I wanted to have a system that worked well for all of us, including the littles!
Thus begins a series on pursuing a healthy and natural pregnancy. Upcoming posts include Karis’ homebirth story, midwifery, exercise during pregnancy, and other related topics. I do not profess to be an expert on health and nutrition, so make sure to run things by your midwife or practitioner. If you have a topic to add to the discussion, please send it my way!
One of the most important things I understand to be in the increased in the consumption of a pregnant mother is protein (recommended between 80-100mg per day). This is essential, especially during the first trimester but continuing throughout the entirety of the pregnancy, for the healthy growth and development of the little one inside!
For further reading on the recommended diet for a healthy, natural pregnancy, check out the diet recommendation by the Bradley Method.
In my effort to increase protein and yet stay within my budget, I have been trying to think of creative ideas to increase proteins in my diet found in dairy, eggs, and beans, as they are more frugal than meat.
I try to aim to eat 20 grams at each main meal of the day and an additional 20 grams from a snack, totally 80 grams per day. I definitely do not accomplish it perfectly every day, but here are a few ideas that work for me.
One of Karis’ toy baskets
I have been bombarded on many occasions by the overwhelming amount of toys I have come across at different homes I have visited over the years. Shelves and shelves of toys, a whole toy room dedicated to toy play. What a lovely mess they make! How many dolls does your daughter really need? How many cars does your son really have time to play with? Considering it has been shown time and time again how contented a child can be while playing with the box that his Christmas present came in, totally oblivious to the gift. I have been pleasantly surprised how my little girl can find more lasting entertainment with a little recycled container.
*My number 1 recommendation: if all possible, avoid plastic, battery operated toys and your life will be so much more peaceful! Replace these toys with wooden toys that will last and don’t need the extra money to replace the batteries. If you can start when you children are young or before they are born in keeping the collection small you will make things a whole lot easier for yourself (even if you get rid of toys when they are young, they most likely will not even notice!). Starting early in building contentment and allowing children to develop creativity and exploration skills will go a long way.
As my little one is pretty young still, we haven’t been overwhelmed with too many toys, but rather have been deliberate in carefully selecting items for her. As I have been seeking out the input of some well-seasoned mothers, here are some tips to keeping the toy collection simple.
I always wondered why my lemon meringue pie never fluffed up the way it was supposed to…but I love lemon meringue and have been on a quest to solve this problem! Well, I think I finally figured out the trick (at least I think, help me out if I am wrong!). It is all in separating the egg – careful and complete separation of the whites from the yolks. I always used the egg shell approach by passing the yolk back and forth in the shell and letting the whites drain out. I have learned this is not the best method for separation and is more susceptible for mixing of the yolk and white. I have learned that if even a tiny bit of the yolks get into the whites they will not foam.
So for all your egg separating needs, here are a few ideas. Thanks to WikiHow for the help in developing my egg handling skills!
1. Crack eggs on a curved surface
Apparently, you are ten times more likely to break the yolk of an egg on a flat surface as opposed to a curved surface.
2. Crack your egg over a funnel or slotted spoon
Hold a small funnel over a bowl, or let rest standing up in the bottom of the bowl. Allow the funnel to collect the egg yolk while the bowl collects the whites. Another choice is to crack your egg in a slotted spoon over a bowl, allowing the whites to drain into the bowl. Shake gently.
3. How to catch a shell
To remove any shell that may fall into the bowl, instead of fumbling around like me using my fingers to try to carefully scoop it out, follow this tip: use another piece of the egg shell. It acts like a magnet and will take 1/10 of the time as the finger route!
4. How to peel an egg
This was my second pursuit…how to successfully peel a hard boiled egg without destroying the egg or losing half of it in the shell while trying to peel. Check out these other suggestions. It’s all about getting rid of the air bubbles in the end of the egg first!
That’s what I have been learning lately! Hope you enjoyed my silly kitchen tips for the day!
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