Thursday, August 18, 2011
A friend of mine has this great new blog called Double Duty Foodie. Great recipe ideas for picky kids. Her first post is a yummy Chicken and Applesauce Meatballs. Can't wait to try them tonight! Looking forward to see you future posts Deb!
Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)
Friday, July 15, 2011
Here is the recipe and the link. Hope you have as much fun as we did!
things you will need:
1 quart size Ziploc bag
1 gallon size Ziploc bag
2 trays of ice cubes
6 tbsp salt
1/2 cup milk (can use whole milk, 2 %, soy milk, chocolate soy)
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp cocoa powder*
*can experiment with flavored syrups too or sliced fruit, chocolate chips etc.
put the milk and sugar and any other flavors in the qt size bag and seal.
put the ice cubes and salt in the gallon bag.
put the quart bag inside the gallon bag.
shake vigorously for 7 - 10 minutes
remove the quart bag with ice cream in it. cut a corner off with a scissor and squeeze into a bowl. Enjoy!
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Ways to frugal living for a healthy financial life
If you lead your life frugally, you’ll be able to have a great life ahead. Living frugally isn’t scrimping and living cheap. You can even enjoy that life and once it becomes a habit, you’ll be happier. Take a look at how simple ways can make your life frugal and enjoyable:
- A beautiful garden
This can really help you earn money as well as have healthy diet. If you can inculcate this as your hobby, you can lead a happy life. You’ll not need your television sets or anything else to pass your time. This can easily help you have a good hobby. You can borrow books on gardening from your friends and neighbors and read them when you’re free. There are a lot of libraries that can help you save money as well as acquire knowledge on gardening too.
- A day care center
You can solidify your savings if you earn a bit of extra money. If you have a house, you can easily use it for your purpose in anyways you want. You can open a day care center or service at your home; you can have a good busy life too. You can start small so that you don’t have to put in much money in it. You can take care of kids and toddlers and earn well. You can start babysitting at your home and then you can grow it into a day care business. You can even start teaching school kids at your home which can also help you earn extra apart from your daily job.
- Cook on your own
Cut-out completely on restaurants so that you can save that money to buy groceries and other daily items. You can cook food at home and you can even enjoy doing that. If you’re a member of a library, you can get home few of the recipe books or borrow it from your neighbors or friends so that you can try new dishes. This can also become a hobby of yours and once it becomes a habit, you can even save on catering services if you organize any sort of party at home. You can even get help from your relatives and friends when you cook something different.
So, if you follow the tips given above you can easily lead a frugal life as well as save for the future. Try out some home-made recipes to make cleaning agents so that you can save on your grocery items. If you can manage you finances well, you can have a good financial life ahead.
Samantha Spuckler is a writer for various finance related Communities including Debt Consolidation Care. She is a financial writer by profession and has specialization in dealing with financial problems and its solutions. She is well equipped to write articles on debt consolidation, savings, planning, frugality, debt settlement etc.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
This time of year we are covered with bug bites and haunted by the itchies that come with them. Coupled with the sun and heat rashes from the sudden 90 degree humid days, whats a mom to do? Normally I would grab a packet of the soothing oatmeal bath from the bathroom cabinet and pour a nice warm soothing bath for my little girls to soak in. The other day I was faced with.......yes, you guessed it.... an empty box! So I quickly went online and looked up homemade remedies and found a recipe for a homemade oatmeal bath. Guess whats in it? OATMEAL! Since we are a family that eats oatmeal a lot, I buy it buy the case load. I had plenty on hand to spare for this experiment. So I just took a full container of old fashioned oats, put it in the blender and pureed it til it was a fine powder. I returned the powder to the original container and now keep it in my bathroom for emergency itchy evenings when my girls can't sleep for all the scratching.
Just put 1/3 cup into a bathtub of warm water and let it sit for a few minutes til it gets a milky color. then its ready to climb in. It worked great. Who knew it would be so simple.
Hope this tip helps some of you easy through this lovely spring and summer.
As always thanks for tuning in - Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Wow, a Facebook, LinkedIn kind of community for Adoption. Fascinating! Here is an press release for an amazing new website called www.DirectAdoptions.com. They connect parents wanting to adopt a baby & birth mothers together. What an amazing new avenue for adoption. I hope you find this as interesting as I do. - Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)
Online Community Offers New Option for Birth mothers
Choosing Private, Open Adoption for Unwanted Pregnancies
Direct Adoptions.com™ uses a social networking platform to empower birth mothers and prospective adoptive parents by allowing them to meet directly without using an adoption agency in a process that is professional, safe, simple and affordable
www.DirectAdoptions.com™ is a new on-line community founded by adoptive parents to empower birth mothers and adoptive parents by increasing their direct access to private, affordable, open adoption. It is committed to providing a process, based on a social networking platform, that includes many of the positive attributes of traditional agency adoptions, such as professionalism and confidentiality, yet offers the further advantages of simplicity and affordability.
DirectAdoptions.com™ is endorsed by The National Adoption Foundation www.nafadopt.org which was also founded by adoptive parents who saw the need to address the fact that many prospective adoptive families and individuals with limited resources require financial support and assistance to meet the costs associated with agency adoptions.
“Finding a loving home for a child should not be deterred or become overly complicated by cost, uncertainty or complexity,” said Aaron Ghermezian, one of the founders of DirectAdoptions.com™ and an advocate for adoption reform. “The reality is that for adoptive couples and birth mothers, the adoption process can be frustrating, costly, and fraught with obstacles. Our goal is to empower birth mothers and prospective parents and encourage adoption as an option for all birth mothers, but especially for young, unwed mothers.”
The matching process offered by DirectAdoptions.com™ is straightforward: birth mothers who choose to participate register on the web site by filling out an uncomplicated confidential form. Prospective parents also register on the site, however, they provide more detailed profiles, including photos and videos that are available to the birth mothers to view. Birth mothers may review the profiles and decide if, when and how they would like to contact the prospective adoptive parents who have posted their profiles. The birth mothers remain anonymous until they agree to communicate openly and directly; birth mothers and adoptive parents communicate directly and make all decisions on going forward with the adoption process.
“DirectAdoptions.com™ allows prospective parents to adopt for less cost and meet birth mothers directly, while birth mothers can actively choose a family for their child,” said Norman Goldberg, an adoptive parent who is also a founder of DirectAdoptions.com™.
All parties are required to follow applicable state child adoption laws. DirectAdoptions.com™ provides resources and information; however, it does not provide counselling or legal advice, and more importantly, does not act as an adoption agency.
There is no cost for birth mothers to join and register with DirectAdoptions.com™. Adoptive couples and individuals are asked to pay an initial $295 membership fee, with a $59 monthly maintenance fee; they are not required to sign a contract and may discontinue at any time after the first month. DirectAdoptions.com™ also includes forums, chats, groups, profiles, friends, photo galleries and calendars as a way to establish a unified community, provide peer support, and offer information and resources.
The National Adoption Foundation was established in 1994 by adoptive parents to address the unmet needs of adoptive families for financial support and advocacy. Everything the Foundation does is driven by a clear understanding of the challenges faced by families in the adoption process and beyond. The National Adoption Foundation is the only national resource dedicated exclusively to providing financial support, information and services directly to adoptive families.
“We've created DirectAdoptions.com™ as a community for adoptive couples and individuals to meet birth mothers in a safe, secure and anonymous environment. Birth mothers are free to directly contact as many prospective adoptive parents as they like,” said Mr. Ghermezian. “Our goal is to transform what with traditional adoption can be a negative experience, into a great experience within a vibrant community full of love and support.”
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I just came across this yummy recipe on Facebook on the 'Once Upon A Chef' website/link. She has such great ideas. And all have been tasty and simple to make. My kids will love this one! (If I don't eat them all first! LOL) Enjoy! Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)
Crispy Honey Nut Granola Bars
I’ve tried dozens of homemade granola bars over the years – some crunchy, some chewy, some loaded with dried fruit, some studded with chocolate chips, some with honey and some with peanut butter. This one, according to me, is the end-all, be-all. The secret ingredient (believe it or not) is Rice Krispies, which make them wonderfully light and crispy. In fact, if you can imagine what a cross between a granola bar and Rice Krispy Treat would taste like, this is it.
To make them, begin by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toasting old fashioned rolled oats and nuts in the oven.
Add the unsweetened coconut about halfway through so it doesn’t burn.
In the meantime, combine honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and whisk to blend.
Combine the wet and dry mixtures along with the Rice Krispies in a large bowl and toss well.
Transfer the mixture to baking pan.
Spread evenly with a spatula, and then bake for twenty minutes.
Cool completely, then cut into rectangles.
These bars are perfect for breakfast on the go, family outings, road trips or afterschool snacks. Once you try them, you’ll never go back to the boxed stuff again. Enjoy!
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Crispy Honey Nut Granola Bars
Makes 12-16 granola bars
1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup sliced almonds
⅔ cup shredded unsweetened coconut (available at Whole Foods or natural food markets)
½ cup honey
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup crisp rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
2. Spread the oats, walnuts and almonds onto prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 7 minutes. Add coconut and toss well, then place back in the oven to cook about 8 minutes more. Keep an eye on it towards the end; you want the coconut to turn golden but not burn.
3. In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir with a whisk until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off heat and set aside.
4. Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Combine the the oat mixture, honey mixture and rice cereal in a large bowl and toss well. (Reserve aluminum foil.)
5. Use the reserved foil to line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, then spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Turn granola bar mixture out into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly, being careful not to press down too hard. Bake for 20 minutes (be sure heat is reduced to 300 degrees). Remove from the oven and cool completely, about 1-1½ hours. Use the foil overhang to tranfer bars to cutting board, then use a large knife to cut into rectangles. Store in a single layer in an airtight container for up to a week (do not stack the bars or they will stick together and fall apart).
*You can swap in your favorite nuts and seeds as long as you keep the proportions of dry to wet ingredients the same. You can also toss in some dried fruit. On occasion, I’ll sprinkle some chocolate chips over top for the kids (you can't mix them in or they'll melt).
**Be sure your oven is fully preheated before toasting nuts; the initial blast of heat to preheat the oven can burn them.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I was listening to the radio (Froggy 101 to be exact) a few weeks ago and heard an advertisement for Care.com. Now I thought this is a great concept, but does it really work? So I thought I would try it out and see. They are a website that puts parents in touch with babysitters.
This sight is great! You are able to see childcare providers in your area, get their references, availability, and background checks are done already. You are able to correspond with them to see if it is a right match for you both. And you can also post a job if you are looking for someone to care for your child/children. They have areas for pet care providers, special needs providers, tutors. Tips on how to interview a potential sitter, healthy meal ideas, activities for kids etc.
They even have a payment calculator! You put in the zip code you live, how many children and the amount of experience the sitter has..... and it tells you what you should be paying hourly. I mean how many times have you had no idea what you should pay your sitters!
So I went on the sight and found several sitters in my area of PA. Spoke to each of them and was pleased with their experience and personalities. I used 1 of the sitters and was very happy, my kids loved her and will defiantely be calling her again soon.
This is a great tool for moms. I also do childcare in my home and a mom found me and now I am watching her daughter. Awesome. Hope this helps you too! As always I love to hear your feedback! - Tamra (a.k.a. The Frugal Mom)