Friday, June 14, 2019

Using the Sun to Dehydrate Fruit Leather

It's been hot lately. Like really hot. Like people were joking that the weather had a fever and needed to see a doctor, because the temperature was above what a human body's fever would feel like, hot. We've been roasting. And complaining. And thanking the makers of air conditioners every single day.
Fortunately the temperature the past few days has at least been slightly more tolerable, even though its still hot.

I saw my friend Jessica post on Facebook about dehydrating fruit leather in the sun, and I thought it was a really cool idea, because if we're going to suffer from the heat of the sun, let's at least try to benefit from it as well, no?

3 sure-fire ways to maximise your income

Saving money is great, but even better is if you can manage to increase your money. If you need some ideas how, here's some suggestions from a reader.

There a ton of quick, easy ways to manage your money correctly, including cutting costs on weekly shopping by choosing where’s cheapest for each item, spending less on takeaways and cooking more meals at home, and even looking at ways to cut your energy bills, such as putting lights and heating on timers, and investing in a smart meter.

And yet, despite this, it does often feel like we could be doing more with the money we make. For those interested in perhaps making a little bit extra on top of their current salary, here are some ideas to think about for investing both your time and money to optimise your income.

Utilising your home
It might seem strange, but taking a look around at what you have in the home is a good place to start. Selling your second-hand gadgets, appliances and alike has never been easier, with sites like eBay and Facebook’s new marketplace feature. Mobile phone recycling is an easy and efficient process, so see if you’ve got any lying about in the drawers.

For parents, de-cluttering your child’s room can again be beneficial, and a good learning experience for the young ones. Studies have shown that children with fewer toys are likely to think more creatively, so it’s worth doing, so long as you aren’t selling-on their favourites!

Got a hobby or craft that you like to do in your spare time? Why not see if there are any ways to monetise your creations? If you have the materials and equipment set up, sites like Esty allow you your own market stall online, selling anything from jewellery to replica medieval weaponry.

Investing your money

Have a portion of disposable income that you’re wondering what to do with? Putting that money into an investment could be a smart, long-term way of transforming your current earnings into something greater. Making a stock market investment is as simple as it has ever been, as with smartphone integration, your purchases and forecasts are only a finger tap away.

  • Remember: Investment is clearly not without its risks. The cliché saying  may sound like something you’d find on a fridge magnet, but it’s true, and you should invest in something you feel comfortable with.

Thinking of putting some funds away for your children, perhaps to help them with study fees or later life? A long-term savings plan would be an investment they will surely thank you for, and passing on the lesson of saving is also a great way to teach your child a real-world skill. It may seem trivial, but presenting your child with a Piggy Bank is also a great learning experience that will teach them about saving for themselves.

Property investment, for those with the initial money to spend, can also prove to be a lucrative venture. Admittedly there is a higher barrier to entry that for those just wanting to make a little bit more each month, but with burgeoning markets in a variety of areas, becoming a landlord is an exciting prospect.

Off-plan investment, the practice of purchasing a property whilst it’s still in planning stages, is also an interesting way of getting early-bird access to emerging areas that are promising, but still in their infancy. Companies such as RW Invest employ VR technology that gives investors from far-and-wide the opportunity to get a more accurate view on what their property will look like, thus resulting in a more well-rounded and informed decision.

Working for an additional wage

Again, using your existing skills and talents in the online sphere is a great way of making a bit of extra money from the comfort of your own home. Online surveys, market research and freelancing can earn you a modest amount without compromising your current work hours too much. If you have a knack for graphic design or video editing, sites like Fiverr are excellent for putting yourself out there to help on others’ projects.

If you fancy getting out of the house, flexible secondary jobs as delivery drivers for services like UberEATS and Deliveroo can be a good secondary option, especially if you live in an area where those services are popular, such as a bustling city.

See my disclaimer.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Foraging Wild Amaranth; Wild Edible Green and Pseudo Grain

I really love when there's a plant that I forage and can write about that literally grows around the world. It makes me feel really connected to people around the world and in various cultures, despite our differences. Today's plant that I wanted to talk about, slender amaranth, is exactly one of those. I saw a map about its worldwide distribution and it shows that amaranth grows in every place on the globe other than the extreme north and south parts of it. Not surprisingly, its used as a staple crop in many parts of the world.

I've written before about local foraging, and how some plants are super well known among the native foragers here, such as purslane, wood sorrel, mallow, and mustard, and yet there are other plants like black nightshade, cactus paddles, and amaranth that no one local seems to forage for whatever reason. For years I knew how to identify one of the varieties of amaranth that grows around me, but until I finally met someone locally who foraged it, a family of immigrants from Mexico who called it quintonille, I was hesitant to try it. Finally I got over my hesitation and amaranth has been a regular part of my summer foraging.

Where I live it doesn't rain in the summer, so foraging can be a little bit harder, because not so many things are growing in the dryness. Fortunately, over time I've discovered plenty of summer forageables, from amaranth to lambsquarters to cactus paddles to black nightshade and purslane and much more. Amaranth is one of those plants I can find year round, but locally it seems to grow to its full capacity in the summer.

There's posts on this blog in which I've talked about foraging amaranth before, I've included recipes using amaranth before, but I've never actually written about on how to identify it and use it, and figured that its now time to rectify that.

Going To University: Healthy Body And Healthy Mind

I love my smartphone; while I thought I managed just fine without one in the past, now that I have one I couldn't imagine what I'd do without one. The apps on it make my life so much better. I have to say that my favorite apps, other than social media ones are the ones for journaling, and the ones used in conjunction with therapy.

One type of modern tech that everyone seems to be making the most of today is the app. There are so many different apps available nowadays for people to download. There is quite literally something for everyone due to the sheer number of applications available on different smartphones. Just a few of the different types of apps featured on such phones include; social networking apps, note-taking apps, spiritual apps, shopping apps, video and image editing apps, weather apps and mapping apps. All of these apps can be beneficial when going to university.

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In this blog post, we are going to take a look at how you can maintain a healthy mind and body at university by revealing some of the best fitness apps and spiritual apps.

Nevertheless, before delving into the exciting part it is, of course, crucial to ensure that you have a high-speed internet connection if they are going to download and utilize their apps to the optimum level. You will also need a good and cost-effective SIM deal, which https://www.smarty.co.uk/ provides for students specifically. After all, most students don’t have much money to spare while at university.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I Have Mental Illnesses And I'm Not Ashamed

I am mentally ill. In my local language, the term used unfortunately translates to "sickness of the soul." I prefer the term "having mental illness" or rather, in my case, having mental illnesses, because I have more than one. 5 diagnosed ones, to be precise, not counting my diagnosis of ADHD which I personally consider more neurodivergence than mental illness.

You might ask why would I publicly write such a thing? Why would I taint myself like that especially in such a public forum while I'm going through divorce? Why shoot myself in the foot like that?

I'm doing it because by doing so, I'm publicly calling out those that tell me that it is something to be ashamed of, that those strings of letters attached to my name are but another scarlet A for adultress emblazoned on my chest. That these multiple diagnoses, the way my brain ticks, are a moral failing of mine, a flaw in my essence.

How Natural Gas Help You Save Money

We all want to lower our utilities bills, but how do we do it? A long time reader gives a good suggestion: switch to natural gas. Is it cheaper? This post explores how it is. Fascinating.

In the world of today, the cost of living is ever-rising, and one of the most annoying recurrent expenses happens to be electricity. Without proper caution, energy bills can turn out to be a pain in the back, especially if you’re a big family. But thanks to advancements in technology, you can actually keep your energy bills low without affecting the comfort and functionality of your home.

Among the many energy alternatives available, natural gas is arguably one of the most affordable fuel sources, especially used in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 60% of homes in the United States use natural gas as their primary heating source. This is mostly due to the many advantages of natural gas, including the fact that it is a cleaner energy source compared to other fossil fuels such as coal. But in a nutshell, what is natural gas and how can it help you save money?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My Jungle of a Garden

I started writing this post a while ago, while everything was lush and green. Now its the drier season and my garden is mostly brown and dead, but I still wanted to share this with you, so I hope you don't mind that it is a bit out of season. Those who live in cooler climates or where it rains year round will probably find these things growing now, so it's not so bad.

I grew up with a nice sized yard. In addition to having lots of space to play ball games on our spacious lawn and having trees to climb, we also grew so many different fruits and vegetables, from asparagus, snow peas, tomatoes, and chives to apricots and wineberries and raspberries and blueberries, strawberries, gooseberries, cherries, you name it! Most of my fond childhood memories took place in our garden.

When we first were married we lived in an apartment with a yard. We rented it on a year to year basis, and since we never knew when we'd be leaving the apartment, we didn't want to invest in the backyard. And so it was just a jumble of weeds. We had chickens and built a coop in the yard, and finally in our fourth year there, we decided to try to grow some plants, and then right after that, things tanked quickly with our landlord and we ended up moving, leaving our brand new garden, and for the next five years, we lived in a teeny tiny apartment with no yard, and no porch even.

In those years, I dreamed of gardening. I wrote plans here on my blog about my dreams of a future garden. I attempted to do whatever types of container gardening I could.

And I failed pretty abysmally.

How to Make Money when Going to University

College students have a reputation for being broke, and for good reason. However, you can change that, by finding some ways to earn money while at university. Here's some tips from a reader how to do that.

Going to university can be a very daunting experience to say the least. If you want to help yourself, or someone you know make some money while at college then here are a few things that you need to know.

Share what you Know

They say that the best way for you to learn would be for you to teach. If you want to help other people, then it is always a good idea for you to tutor younger students. Teamwork can be very fulfilling and it can be a fantastic way for you to make money in college too. The best thing about tutoring other people is that it gives you the chance to brush up on your own knowledge and it can also be a good way for you to maintain your flexibility too. As you teach more and more people, you can then have them spread the word and this is all free advertising for you!

Image source
Babysit, or Petsit!

Sweet and Sour Quick Pickled Beets Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, Easy

There's this restaurant that I like to go to because its conveniently located, and has good Wifi, so I'm able to work while I'm there. But unfortunately, they don't have such a large selection of gluten free items on the menu. Fortunately, though, one of their menu items suits my dietary needs and tastes delicious. It's this quinoa salad that contains these raw pickled cubed beets, and is topped with a tahini dressing. These quick pickled beets are inspired by that, and are so delicious and great to have on hand to add to a variety of different dishes.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of bringing healthy lunches with me to work, but I specifically want things that are good cold. I bought a bunch of salad ingredients to use to throw together a quick salad before I head out for my day, and made a batch of these quick pickled beets to throw in my salad for an extra bit of pizzazz. Of course you can just eat these plain, because they're good enough to eat like that.

This recipe not only is easy, but is also gluten free, vegan, paleo, allergy friendly, etc...

Sweet and Sour Quick Pickled Beets Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, Easy

Benefits of Teaching Your Children to Help the Elderly

I didn't grow up with grandparents around, but my children have grandparents who live in the general area. Most of them are not really elderly, but they are getting older, and I'm happy to learn from reader, Nancy Evans, about the benefits kids have by spending time with elderly people. In fact, this post makes me want to look into volunteering with some elderly folk in my area.

Parents who teach their children to show compassion for the elderly are giving them a gift that can help them grow to be a better adult. A child sitting next to their grandparent on The Perfect Sleep Chair, reading a story together, can have lasting memories. There are many benefits in helping your children manifest the desire to assist the elderly. Do you have an elderly relative in your family, whether it be grandparents, an aunt, uncle, or cousin that your family could help?

There are programs now in several countries that are closing the generation gap between the elderly and young ones. These programs have profound results for both the older person and for the children. The elderly are more positive and hopeful in life, and the children are more open to new ideas and well-rounded in their thinking.

What are some of the benefits your children gain from bonding with an older relative?

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