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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.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Parmesan Salmon with Green Beans Recipe, Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Easy


I went shopping today and as I put my groceries in the freezer, I took out a small package of salmon that was "getting in the way" of nicely organizing my freezer, and decided to make it for supper. Then I was cleaning my refrigerator out and noticed I had two open packages of Parmesan cheese. And that, my friends, is how this recipe came about. I did some googling to see what generally goes well with Parmesan and salmon, and most of the recipes contained bread crumbs. I considered making some gluten free crumbs (out of cereal or crackers, not sure) but then decided to use some almond meal that I had instead. 

Oh, and to make it a whole meal I decided to put green beans in instead. Frozen ones, though.
I ended up with a delicious meal that, once the salmon was defrosted, took less than 15 minutes start to finish. I made it while I was playing a virtual game of Dungeons and Dragons, it was that easy.

This isn't one of my more frugal recipes, there are quite a few more expensive ingredients in here, but that's fine, not every meal has to be frugal. Sometimes you just want a dish that kicks butt and this is it, with the perk that its really easy, low carb, naturally gluten free, and delectable.

Try this one.

Parmesan Salmon with Green Beans Recipe, Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Easy

Ingredients:
2 serving size salmon fillets
3 cups frozen green beans
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 pinches salt

Instructions:
1. Defrost your green beans. I usually pour boiling water over them and strain.

2. Put your green beans on the bottom of a baking pan.

3. Make sure your salmon skin has no scales if the skin is still on it.

4. Place your salmon fillets on top of the green beans.

5. Mix your Parmesan with almond meal, dill, garlic powder, and salt.

6. Spread your salmon fillets with dijon mustard.

7. Pour the Parmesan mixture onto your fish, trying to get as much of it as possible onto the fish. When there is no more room, pour the rest on the green beans that stick out from beneath the fish.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350, ideally on the higher shelves of the oven. Remove when you can flake the salmon or when it is cooked to your liking.


Enjoy!

What is your favorite way to make salmon? Ever had salmon with Parmesan cheese before? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

5 Affordable Gift Ideas for Daughters

Gifting. Sometimes its easy, but sometimes its really hard to think of that perfect gift for your special someone. Here's some ideas for gifting your daughters, sent in by a reader.


It's hard to shop for kids, especially when you're on a tight budget. Kids and teens can be picky, especially daughters. If they have expensive tastes, it can be even more difficult to find them something they will love for a fair price.

However, shopping affordably is not impossible. with the right inspiration and ideas, you can find the perfect present that won't break the bank.

Next time you're shopping for something to give to your daughter or niece, here are five ideas to help you find something perfect.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Gungjung Tteokbokki with Tofu Recipe, Korean Royal Court Rice Cake Stir Fry, Gluten Free, Vegan


I've posted before about how I make tteokbokki, stir fried Korean rice cakes, usually in a spicy sauce. While spicy tteokbokki is the most common as a street food in Korea currently, this recipe, gungjung tteokbokki, is the type of tteokbokki that was made in the Korean royal courts, and it is quite different from the other kind but no less delicious. Korean royal court tteokbokki is traditionally made with beef but making it with tofu is terrific and makes this vegan friendly, in addition to being gluten free and allergy friendly.

For this recipe I used the vegetables listed, but you can play around with this and use whichever stir fry vegetables you like.

Gungjung Tteokbokki with Tofu Recipe, Korean Royal Court Rice Cake Stir Fry, Gluten Free, Vegan

Time to step up: How to help a loved one after they become disabled

Some people are born disabled, but for other people it happens later in life. If someone you love recently became disabled, here's some tips from a reader on how to be the best ally for them possible.


When someone we know and love suffers a huge physical or mental change, they turn to friends and family for emotional and even physical support. Having someone like you on their side through the biggest challenge they’ll ever face can make a huge difference in their ability to adapt to their new circumstances, their ability to recover quicker and even improve the quality of their new life.

When someone suffers as a result of a disease or even an accident that renders them unable to move, leaves them in chronic pain or robs them of their independence, it’s not easy for their loved ones to accept. Check out this Blair County personal injury lawyer for more information. There follows an adjustment period for friends and family who also need to come to terms with what has happened whilst they put the needs of their disabled loved ones first.

You may be wondering how you can help and support your loved one in their new circumstance. Here we'll take a look at some simple ways you can step up.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

I Wish I Could Be a Hunter

My hunter friend, Julie.

I have a lot of admiration for vegans.

Ok, you're probably reading that first sentence and then looking back at the title, then back at the first sentence, and becoming very confused. A post about wanting to hunt but starting with admiration for vegans?

But hopefully, as you read more, you'll understand.

I have a lot of admiration for vegans. I think its important that people be ethical with the food they eat, and think about not only nurturing their body, but making sure that they are considering the ethics behind that nourishment. And I think its great that the vegan movement has brought more awareness of the ethics of meat eating specifically to the forefront of our society.

I personally could never be a vegan, nor do I have a desire to be. My body doesn't tolerate a vegan diet. I have a very sensitive stomach, and vegan proteins in general don't agree with it. Add to that that my kids are picky eaters, and have now refused to eat lentils and beans are more or less a no go. Our meals at home nearly always are animal protein based. Because that's what works for us. And, to be honest, I don't think most bodies are able to get enough nutrients from a vegan diet, especially because vegan protein sources are some of the hardest to digest and with the least bioavailability, making vegan diets lacking in vitamin B12 and other things.

So though I don't want to be vegan, I admire the pursuit of food ethics that vegans have, and I have learned a lot about many of the problems in our food sources.

Benefits Of Getting Same Day Loans Online

Hopefully you aren't strapped on cash and can manage without a loan. But sometimes emergencies happen, and if you get stuck, here's one type of loan to consider, sent in by a reader.


Any person can experience a lack of funds, especially during emergencies. When your salary is still far off, you can borrow money from people you know or apply for the same day loan.

You can find many offline and online companies that offer same day loans. It’s up to you to select the one that fits your budget. What you should understand, though, is that a same day loan is preferably the last resort when one has no other to turn to.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Who's to Blame for Abuse, and Why People Get it Wrong

This is quite a personal and emotional post, much more personal that I usually do, and I wanted to share it because its a topic that matters a lot to me, but I just wanted to warn people that if abuse is a sensitive subject for you, you might want to skip this one.


I've unfortunately been the victim of abuse from so many people in so many circumstances throughout my life. The who's, what's, and how's of the situations are not relevant or important, but suffice it to say, unfortunately, this is something I have plenty of experience with. In addition to all that, I run support groups for various issues online and the vast percentage of the people in those groups have also been victims of abuse. So no, I don't have any PhD on the topic (though if the school of life gave out degrees I'd certainly have some), but something stuck out for me and I wanted to share.

People, even otherwise nice people, even people who you'd never expect to do so, generally blame the victims of abuse. Of course, it isn't done with those words, and if you asked them, of course they'd say "I'm not blaming you" but even so, they are.

Questions like "What did you do before that happened?" "What did you do that caused the situation to happen?" or statements like "It takes two to fight," or "You could have prevented the situation by just doing x" or "Why didn't you just?..." are so insidious and dangerous.

Because these questions often come from people who are otherwise supportive, who would agree abuse is wrong. And then if even they say things like that, it implies or straight out "proves" that the abuse could have been prevented by you, and therefore, it's at least partially your fault.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Korean Mung Bean Salad Recipe -Sukju Namul


I finally figured out how to make homemade mung bean sprouts that are just as good as store bought stuff, not bitter at all, and with the right sweetness and crunch. But that also means that I have a lot of bean sprouts at a time, so I'm looking for things to do with them.

This bean sprout salad is a traditional Korean recipe and can be eaten hot or cold. Its allergy friendly, gluten free, vegan, and depending on your definition of Paleo, this is paleo friendly as well.

Korean Mung Bean Salad Recipe -Sukju Namul

5 Budget-Friendly Habits Every Cat Owner Should Introduce to Their Household

I am definitely a dog person, not a cat person. We had a cat when I was a cat, but I'm not a fan. I love my dog though. However, for those of you who are cat people and have a cat in their household, here's some good habits to make a part of your routine, sent in by a reader.


As responsible and worrying owners, we want our pets to have the best possible life. We often feel bad about living on a budget and depriving them of fine foods and fun trinkets. While our beloved friends don’t know they’re being deprived of anything, it doesn’t help us feeling like we do just that. And we can’t but feel like it’s too much expenditure on the other hand. However, there are tricks to go about this, harder to incorporate in weekly routines, but wiser and more cost-effective in the long run.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Thai Coconut Salmon or Tilapia Recipe; Easy, Delicious, Gluten Free, Paleo


Every time I have salmon, I tend to make it the same way. With lemon and dill. And while that is delicious, and really lets the delicious flavor of the salmon shine through, this time I wanted something different. Coconut milk was what immediately came to mind, so off I was to google if there was even such a concept of coconut milk salmon (I mean, hello, why wouldn't there be? But still...) and quite a few results came up that were using traditional Thai ingredients. So I knew that would be the direction that I'd take this, and from there, I just winged it.

And the results were so phenomenal. It might have been the best salmon I ever had. The sauce is delectable and I loved dipping my gluten free bread into it after, and it was also amazing on pasta or rice.

So I decided to try it with other fish. And it is just as delectable with white fish, such as tilapia. Basically, it rocks.

Just note, when you make it perfectly, the fish should look a little more moist than in the pictures. I kinda overcooked it when I went to take the picture. It still tasted great, but not as delectable as when it wasn't cooked as much.

This recipe is gluten free, paleo if using coconut aminos, and simply an easy recipe to make. Totally make it if you're a fish fan.



Thai Coconut Salmon or Tilapia Recipe; Easy, Delicious, Gluten Free, Paleo

How to Optimize Your Bedroom for Better Sleep

Sleep. I love sleep. Once I'm sleeping I'm in an amazing dreamland world and don't want to wake up. But falling asleep at night? That's hard for me. Here's some tips from a reader on how to make your bedroom a more conducive place for sleep so that you are able to be better rested.


We are all aware of how important sleep is for our mental and physical health. Waking up feeling well-rested and ready for the day ahead can boost productivity levels and help you flourish in your personal and professional endeavors.

If you’re struggling to get enough shuteye, the environment you sleep in could be to blame. Your bedroom should be the one area of the home where you feel the most relaxed, so if stress levels are high and you’re finding it difficult to drift off, here are a few things you can do to optimize your bedroom for better sleep.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Homemade Japchae Recipe, Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry, Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo Option


I love when there are foods from around the world that are naturally gluten free, that I don't need to make any substitutions to make them suitable for me. Japchae, Korean glass noodle stir fry, is one of them and has become one of the favorites in my family. Literally meaning mixed vegetables, it is sweet and savory and typically made with starch based noodles, like sweet potato noodles, but you can also make it with other starch based noodles, like bean thread noodles, or rice vermicelli. Starch noodles are more or less see through and are more chewy and stretchy and hardy than the rice vermicelli though.

While I wrote this recipe using these specific vegetables, feel free to play around and use whichever vegetables you like.

Traditionally in japchae, each ingredient is stir fried separately, then mixed together and seasoned, but I stir fry it all together, to make it easier and less time consuming.

You can eat japchae cold, warm, or hot. It is delicious all those ways. And while I made this just with vegetables, you can add whatever protein you like- animal proteins, tofu, tempeh, whatever, just cook them first.

This recipe is naturally vegan, allergy friendly, and is gluten free if you use gluten free soy sauce. You can make this paleo by using sweet potato noodles, coconut aminos, and paleo approved sweeteners. But no matter what your diet, it's delicious.

Homemade Japchae Recipe, Korean Glass Noodle Stir Fry, Gluten Free, Vegan

How Planning And Charities Can Help Parents Raising Disabled Children

I'm lucky that I live in a place where getting disability payments from the government for kids with disabilities is not so difficult (well, depending what the disability is). But for those that don't, the extra costs entailed by living in a society not designed for disabled people including kids can be quite costly. This post from a reader gives some tips on how to work with the situation to make life easier for the family.



Across America, there are over 2.8 million children living with a disability: roughly 6% of all children. Raising a child with special needs presents a multitude of challenges, both emotional and financial. Medication and accessibility modifications can quickly drain a bank account, while the difficulties of child rearing can be made all the more stressful. However, with the support of organizations and a few simple measures, it is possible to provide a healthy environment in which your special needs child can thrive.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Super Easy Ricotta Cheese Cheesecake Recipe- Gluten Free, Egg Free, Allergy Friendly


A while back I got a bunch of free ricotta cheese, something that I otherwise never buy. I put it in my freezer and took it out bit by bit to try to use it up. One thing that has become a staple in my house because of it has been this egg free gluten free cheesecake. It is so simple and easy and tastes amazing. No, it doesn't have a crust, at least when I make it, but feel free to make a crust if you want, and then pour this in. The ingredient list is so simple and short but the taste is amazing.

To be honest, I feel like I still need to play around with this to see if I can get other variations to work- like I can't imagine why it wouldn't work with yogurt or sour cream, with a bit of adjustment, I just haven't done that yet.

Unfortunately, my stomach doesn't like the ricotta cheese and rebels after I eat it (I'm able to have certain other dairy without issue but not this) but I eat it anyhow because it's so darn good.

While I generally make this plain vanilla since my kids prefer it that way, I often make it marbled with chocolate inside, because it's absolutely divine that way.

Super Easy Ricotta Cheese Cheesecake Recipe- Gluten Free, Egg Free, Allergy Friendly

10 Restaurant-Grade Recipes to Try Out at Home


I love going out to eat, in theory. But so many times it falls short, because the food I buy is very overpriced for something that doesn't even taste as good as food I can make at home myself for a fraction of the price. For that reason, I have started to make myself homemade versions of restaurant food. If you'd like to do that too, here's some ideas for such foods, shared by a reader.



Are you and your significant other craving for some of your favorite restaurant dishes but are both unwilling to pay the exorbitant prices that come attached to them? Well, why pay for such overpriced dishes when you can recreate them in the comfort of your own home? You can also adjust the ingredients that you add to your dishes to make them healthier. So channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and treat the process as quality time spent with your partner or your family. Without further ado, here are some of the top fancy foods which you can try that are extremely easy to follow in your own kitchen.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

An Awesome Frugal Haul From The Scratch And Dent Store!


I haven't left my house much these days because of Coronavirus, and because of my reluctance to take public transportation now, I haven't left my town much at all. The few times I did get to the city, I decided to check out the scratch and dent stores, but unfortunately I didn't find much there of use to my family.

Today, though one of the stores didn't have much by way of groceries my family would enjoy, the other scratch and dent store had some things that really excited me.

Here's the thing.

It's so useful to have a good relationship with store owners, especially frugal shops like scratch and dent stores. Not only do you sometimes get special sales, they also often point out to you dirt cheap items that are up your alley that you might have otherwise missed.

Take this shop today.

5 Things to Consider When Your Child Wants a Smartphone

Do your kids have smartphones? Though I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 17 and living away from home, the world is a very different place today, and locally, anyhow, kids as young as middle school need smart phones to be able to keep up with their classmates and even homework assignments. My two older kids, 12 and 10, each have their own smart phone, and I'm very glad for that decision, but for those who haven't gotten their kids ones, but are considering it, this post from a reader has some good points to consider.


You might have been dreading the day that your child asks you for their own smartphone, but you knew that it would eventually come. These days, kids seem to be getting phones younger and younger, and there’s no set age for parents to give their kids a smartphone, making it difficult for parents to decide when it’s a good time. If your child has begun asking you for their own smartphone, here are some factors to consider before you go out and get one.

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