Archive | June, 2009

Salmon/Tuna Melts


Yummy wild salmon or tuna is another delicious and light lunch. Fish is so incredibly beneficial for the heart and should be consumed regularly in your diet. It is important to make sure to select wild fish options. Why? One article shared the following report:

In a study published in the journal Science in 2004, researchers discovered that farm-raised salmon had more dioxins and other chemicals like PCBs—polychlorinated biphenyls, which the Department of Health and Human Services has determined are carcinogens—than in wild salmon. Not just more, but 11 times more! Another study published in a 2005 edition of the journal Nutrition found similar results, theirs showing PCBs were ten times higher in farm-raised salmon than in wild salmon.

1 (14 oz. can) wild salmon (we like the Trader Joe’s version as it is fairly cheap. Beware of small bones, but they are easy to remove prior to adding the rest of the ingredients)
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3-5 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole grain bread or English muffins
Tomato slices
Cheese, shredded

Combine the salmon/tuna, seasonings and mayonnaise until smooth and to your taste. Spread onto your bread and top with a slice of tomato and cheese. Grill till melted in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 servings.

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How to Enjoy Reading Frugally

Picture 2In light of my recent post on building your marriage and one of the suggestions being reading together, a reader asked, “How can you maintain a reading habit frugally?” Here are some of the ideas that were shared along with some of my own. Reading is my hobby. I love sneaking in snippets of reading while nursing my baby, during nap time, and before bed as time allows.

But…the cost of books surely does add up. How can we pursue the joys of reading and all the benefits it brings without breaking the bank?

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Wahoo and to the beach we go!

It has been a long time coming and a greatly anticipated event! We are off to enjoy the Oregon Coast for the next several days with my family. We will be enjoying some much needed rest and refreshment. Blessings upon your weekend!

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Building Our Marriage & Strengthening Our Faith

It is a constant battle in this day and age to preserve, uphold and treasure the design of God in covenant marriage. We are no exception. I am often plagued with doubt and fear in my husband’s provision for us, or in self-centered thoughts of feeling unloved. Take that plank out of your own eye first, dear. We have found we must be active in preserving our marriage for the glory of God. God has designed marriage to be a reflection of His beautiful union between Christ and the church. Marriage has been the number one means of growing in sanctification and maturity in my life! Here are a few practical ways we are actively seeking to grow and cherish our marriage until death do we part….

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In Season: Strawberries

strawberryThose lovely juicy strawberries are coming off the vine and they are packed full of vitamin C to boost your immune system. Did you know that there is more vitamin C in the green leafy tops than in the red succulent strawberry itself? I freeze my strawberries for year round use and keep the tops on. When I prepare a smoothie, they get blended in quite nicely. Plus if you preserve the entire berry you have no waste and get more for your money!

Our favorite strawberry concoctions include…

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Homemade Bubbles for Littles

IMG_5238What fun we have playing with bubbles around our house! You can make your own bubble fun play with a simple empty spool of thread and your favorite castile liquid soap. Can’t get much better than this for frugal fun!

Empty spool of thread
Castile liquid soap (Dawn’s dishwashing soap, Dr. Bronner’s or Trader Joe’s castile soap all work well! I prefer the natural castile soap as my little girl likes to eat the bubbles!)

Combine about 1 Tablespoon soap with 1/4 cup water in a small container. Dip one end of the empty spool into your soap and blow out the other end! I store the spool in the container with a lid until future use. An 8 oz jam jar works perfect. Have fun!

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Learning Resources for Toddlers

IMG_5848One of my projects lately has been to map out a plan for spending some more purposeful learning time with Karis this summer and into the fall. My goal is to spend 1 hour each morning, from 10-11am, during Titus’ morning nap, to have some special one-on-one learning time with Mommy. The first half hour will be an activity followed by a half hour of reading books together (keeping encouraging that love for reading thanks to the local library!). I am excited to explore together with her! Here are some of the resources and ideas we are using…

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Hummus Platter

IMG_5917 We stumbled across this idea after trying it on the appetizer menu at a local restaurant. We loved it and couldn’t wait to try it at home! It is best served as a delicious light dinner, for a Saturday evening at our home, or an appetizer with a Mediterranean dinner of sorts. It is hands on all the way! If you like hummus and feta, you will love this dish! When you make your hummus from scratch, this is a very frugal meal! Hummus is an excellent source of protein and nutrition from garbanzo beans and sesame seeds. Yum!

Hummus (we tried this homemade hummus recipe with good results using homemade tahini – it’s so incredibly easy and cheaper than the store! I used dry garbanzo beans, soaked them for 24 hours, and then cooked them for 5-7 hours in the crockpot. I added about 1 tsp cumin to my hummus with excellent results! Tahini, a main ingredient of hummus, can easily be made at home with a little coffee grinder and sesame seeds! Check out the recipe here.)
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Olives, kalamata or black, as desired, sliced in half
Naan, Pita, or flat bread (I attempted to make soaked whole wheat naan, but it was a failed experiment. For now, we greatly enjoy Trader Joe’s Naan. Next time, I will try this Whole wheat naan recipe!)


Scoop a little of each topping onto your piece of naan or pita and enjoy!

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Homemaking is About People

love“I found making a home is not about all your stuff or even doing household chores. It’s more than just how you take care of your personal space. It’s what Titus 2 talks about – how you fulfill your role in the church and in your relationships with other people, and how you glean from them and disciple others. Just to stay home, isolate yourself, and have a nicely decorated, tidy house is not the point…It’s always about the people. Making a home is not about the physical space; it’s about the people who are coming and going from this place.

“Homemaking is simply the collection of tasks that keep a home running. These tasks are no more the ultimate definition of “looking well to the ways of a household” than cleaning out electronic files, deleting emails, answering the phone, and booking travel reservations are to the actual definition of office work. Every sphere has its repetitive tasks that contribute to the larger goal of productivity. The point of being a keeper at home is to provide a haven for a godly family to thrive, to offer hospitality to fellow Christians and non-Christians alike, and to provide a place for the church to meet.

Quotes shared from Caroyln McCulley’s Radical Womanhood

How can I make my homemaking today more about the people who abide here or enter through my doors? How often do we get so consumed in the tasks of homemaking and loose sight of the very purpose of our homes? Your home is a centerplace for the gospel! Let’s renew that goal together and strive to make our homes overflow with the fragrance of Christ today! Stop right now and focus on your spouse or child. Write a note of encouragement to a family member. Let’s turn on that praise music, let’s sing together, let’s post Scripture truths around our homes, and let’s invite the lost through our doors to witness His love!

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Soap Nuts FAQ’s

soap-nutsIn light of our recent discussions and giveaway with soap nuts, I have received several repeated questions, so I thought I would share the responses for all to see! Italicized answers are from Chris Sicurella, the founder of NaturOli. Don’t miss the soap nuts giveaway!

By the way, several people have mentioned that they didn’t want to make the big purchase of soap nuts before giving them a try. You definitely do not have to! NaturOli offers many different sized packages of soap nuts – everything from a 5-load sample pack (like we are giving away!), 40 load package, to a 640+ bulk package. You save more money the larger quantity you buy, but definitely try the sample pack first! Check out NaturOli!

I also just discovered that Mountain Rose Herbs (my favorite frugal supplier of coconut oil) carries soap nuts. I have not tried their variety yet, but the prices appear to be even more reasonable than NaturOli. They offer 4 oz packages for $2.50, or 1 pound package for $7.00. Yahoo for soap nuts! After further research, I would not recommend you try MRH soap nuts. See below.

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