Sunday, July 5, 2020

Throwing Good Money After Bad? My Biolomix Blender, Second Update

I wrote about my Biolomix blender from China, that I ordered on Aliexpress 2 years ago. Then five months ago when someone asked me how it was holding up, I wrote about it, and why I was still happy with it, despite having to order a new blade for one of the jars because the ball bearings part broke.

And then more happened. And I didn't update about it. After I replaced the blade on the jar it started leaking. I tried tightening it and it didn't help. And then the entire base of the jar fell off, blade and all.

Not good.


Now what?

Friday, July 3, 2020

Adding Personality to Your Child's Room

If you want to make your kids' room nice, you might think that doing so would be extremely costly. However, here's some suggestions from Nancy Evans on how to update your kids' room without breaking the bank.

Decorating Your Child's Room

Decorating a child's room can be a fun but somewhat stressful project. You get to create a fantasy dream room for your mini you while staying on a budget. And whether you have a son or daughter can determine what options are available. Their age can determine how simple and childlike their room will be. But there are several things you can do to give their room some personality and make it unique to them. From paint to decor, furniture to the walls, there are plenty of ways to have fun and be creative.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

We Got a New Pool -- How Much It Cost and What We Needed

Growing up I didn't really know anyone with a backyard pool. I mean, I knew people with baby pools, wading pools that anyone over the edge of 2 or 3 wouldn't really appreciate, definitely nothing an adult or teenagers could enjoy. I assumed that in order to have a real pool you needed to be extremely wealthy, so never even thought about having one.

Fast forward a bunch of years, and my friend Libby, who, while not extremely frugal, is pretty money conscious, and isn't "rich" by any stretch of the imagination, tells me that she has a pool that her whole family uses. I was shocked, because, as I mentioned, pools in my mind were for rich folk only. But Libby taught me that you could have an above ground pool that fits in your backyard, which you then put away for the winter, and it is pretty affordable.

And so, it was a dream of mine to get one once we had our own backyard. But things happened and it never was a priority and I never got around to getting one. And then corona happened, and with everyone more or less stuck at home (even once things are opened, just for comfort's sake) I decided that this summer I'd be getting one.

And then I went to my scratch and dent store, and what do you know- they were selling a 3 meter diameter, 1 meter deep, round pool, for a very affordable price. So I got it.

We set it up, but I honestly was clueless about what I actually needed, and how many more expenses there would be involved, so I turned to friends with pools and joined various Facebook groups to learn more.

Here's what I ended up needing for the pool, and how much it all cost me.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Visiting Florida? Check out these water safety tips all families should follow

As you'll read next post, my family just got a new pool. Water safety is super important, and it is definitely on my mind now. Here's some very important water safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.

When the weather is unbearably hot and humid, there’s nothing better than jumping into a cool pool or taking a swim in the ocean. And when you’re visiting Florida, it’s simply a way of life! Florida is a wonderful place to take your family on vacation, but it’s important to remember that just because you’re on holiday, you and your family aren’t immune from disaster, injuries and accidents.

In fact, a large proportion of accidents that take place in Florida are water-related. With drowning being the number one cause of accidental death. This is particularly worrying if you have young children, or if you're travelling with teens who might not take water safety seriously.

No one wants their holiday marred by a terrible water accident, whether they’ve slipped by the pool, fallen from a broken ladder or diving board, or drowned – reach out to an Ocala personal injury lawyer if you want more information about PI cases. So, read on for some simple water safety tips all families should follow.

How We Dealt With Our "Bathroom Issue"

One of the most important things, in my opinion, as a parent of two autistic kids, and honestly kids in general, is to get on my kids' team and figure out why they are doing what they're doing, what their needs are, and try to work with them. I find there are some parents of autistic kids that view their kids as having problems that they need to try to fix, but I would never take that approach. Instead, I try to understand the reasoning behind their behaviors that I find difficult, and either find a way to accept these as unique quirks of my kids that don't need to be changed, or find an alternative for them that meets their needs while taking into account the needs of other family members. To do this, I ask for advice from other autistic adults, as well as family therapists and my kids' school therapists.

So a little more than a year ago I wrote about bed time issues in my family, and the advice I followed from my kids' therapist which ended up really helping. The kids went to sleep more easily, but still, Rose was coming into my bed in the middle of the night and it was making it really hard for me to sleep and made me wake up all touched out. I figured out a solution that helped her be able to get what she was looking from me in the middle of the night- touch- via massaging her as I put her to bed. But there was still another factor. My bathroom.

In our small home, we have two bathrooms. One that is off the main hallway, and one en suite in my bedroom.

Rose refused to use the regular bathroom. She only ever would use my bathroom. She wanted me right outside the bathroom as she used it, and if I was in the bathroom, she would have an accident instead of using the other bathroom.

And since she was coming to my bathroom in the middle of the night, she ended up in my bed despite what I was doing at bed time.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Family

Are you thinking of starting a family? It's a big decision, life altering and important. For that reason, it is good to be prepared. Here's some suggestions from a reader about things to consider before starting your family.

Whether you are newly married and feeling broody or you have been in a stable relationship for years and feel now is the time to try for a baby, there are a number of important considerations you ought to make.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Foraged Mallow Chutney Recipe -- Making Chutney From Wild or Store Bought Greens -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

I know, I know, I know, this isn't the most flattering picture, but sometimes weird looking things can taste terrific, and this is one of them.

So, my garden. I had really big dreams for it when we purchased this house, thinking of what I'd do with it. I mean, from the way my dreams were, you'd think it was a whole bunch of acres with so many options. But really all I had to work with was a small front yard and a small back yard. And while my dreams included having wild plants in the back yard (as long as they weren't thorny), and the front for growing vegetables, it didn't really end up working out that way. The front yard did have my vegetable and herb garden but the back yard got overgrown and it stopped my family from wanting to go outside to spend time in it. My kids begged me to put down Astroturf so when I saw it being sold cheaply at a discount grocery store, I bought some. My kids cleaned the yard out of the dried weeds... and then we never laid down the Astroturf.

Then there's this winter where my yard blossoms and I think about how nice it is to have a yard filled with live green stuff, all edible. And then it grows and grows and overtakes the entire yard, again making it not pleasant to go into the yard, and this time I decide that I'm finally going to put down that Astroturf so my yard could be a pleasant place to go. But I looked at the yard and how green it was and I couldn't stomach the thought of just tossing all those edible goodies into the trash (no, we don't have a compost, it's dangerous for dogs...) so I decided that before I cleared the yard, I would pick as many greens as I could and make something delicious out of it.

The yard was nearly all filled with mallow, gigantic leaves, as we usually have here, so I picked a large amount. I was trying to decide what to do with all of it, and then I was in the mood for Indian food, and figured almost everything tastes good as chutney, an Indian sauce, that goes terrifically with curry. Chutneys tend to either be sweet and sour or spicy, and after googling whether the concept of chutney made out of greens even existed, I put together this recipe, basing it off a bunch of different chutneys I saw made with spinach or other greens. Its a little bit spicy, a tad sweet, and though it looks like swamp paste, it really makes your lentil dal and rice really pop. (I also made beet chutney, recipe to be shared in a bit, as well, if you were wondering what else that was.)

If you don't have mallow, you can make this with whatever greens you do have, though I'd recommend a green that isn't overly bitter. If you aren't a forager, feel free to do this with spinach, kale, or swiss chard, and if you are a forager, things like sea beet, chickweed, sow thistle, milk thistle, and amaranth greens would all be lovely in this.

Just a reminder, chutneys aren't eaten plain. That's like eating ketchup plain. Eat it as a topping on our dishes, spread onto flatbread, or as a dip. 

Oh, and this recipe is gluten free, vegan, paleo, allergy friendly, and pretty much good for any diet.

Foraged Mallow Chutney Recipe -- Making Chutney From Wild or Store Bought Greens -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo

Is Your Dog Itchy All The Time? Don't Waste Time And Check For Allergies Immediately!

I have a deliciously lovable dog named Snickers. And while I've been lucky that she's overall healthy, she does have one minor issue, something called cherry eye, that cosmetic that at this point needs surgery to deal with it (but isn't urgent), and I'm planning on getting that done as soon as I can. But there are some other issues dogs have, and many times, they end up being related to allergies. Read more here to see if that is an issue with your dog.

Allergies are a huge issue in the human world, especially nowadays. From gluten to lactose to peanuts and more, people are now more than ever aware of the many allergies that people have to deal with on a day to day basis. The same, surprisingly, applies to our dogs.

Allergies vs Intolerance

Food intolerance can be a reaction to bad food. For example, if your dog eats spoiled food and experiences vomiting, then that is an intolerance to bad food. If your dog has milk and cannot digest it and has diarrhea as a result, then it is classified as food intolerance.

On the other hand, if your dog’s immune system responds adversely to a common food like rice in a bad way, that is a food allergy. There is always an immunological response in cases of food allergies, and that is usually determined via medical tests.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Talking With People (Yes, Even Kids!) About Consent

Especially as someone who has been through abuse, consent is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. As a parent of children, it is very important to me to teach my children about consent, both regarding being on the receiving end and on the giving end. My friend Zoe wrote this post explaining more about consent and about how to teach it to kids especially. I hope you find it as invaluable as I did.

I hate the tea analogy. You know the one-where someone says, “yes, I’d like some tea” and then the narrator explains that, “I don’t want it shoved down my throat every time I see you” should go without saying? Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes. But the gist of it is essentially that drinking tea once doesn’t mean someone likes all types of tea, that he/she has to drink it once someone puts it in a cup for him/her, that he/she should be forced to drink tea unconscious, etc.

I hate it. I mean, I’m happy that it clarifies so much, but I also think it’s only part of the conversation we need to have about consent.

7 Ways to Indulge Lavishly on a Budget

After having lived an extremely frugal lifestyle without taking care of myself at all, I broke. At that point I realized that you can't be so frugal that you never take care of yourself, never have any luxuries, because "all work and no play..." and all that... So I started taking time for self care, for little and bigger luxuries, that fit into my budget. Here's some suggestions from a reader on frugal ways to indulge yourself.

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about the luxurious life you could lead if only you had a little extra cash? Everyone gets carried away by this fantasy at one point or another. We crave beach getaways, fine dining experiences, and some much needed pampering.

The truth is, you can have a taste of luxury if you plan for it.

In this guide, we're going to help you create luxurious experiences on a budget that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. And you don't need to save up all year to do so! Here are seven ways you can indulge right now for cheap.

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