Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Frugal Family Winter Trip To Cyprus - The Itinerary - Part 1


If this is the first post you're seeing on the topic, I'm doing a series on our frugal winter family trip to Cyprus. In this post, I'll be sharing with you what we did in the first part of our awesome family vacation, when we were based in Paralimni, on the eastern coast of Cyprus. 

I'd made a family meeting with the children when planning the trip to see what types of activities they most wanted to do on the trip, then looked at the list I'd made of potential winter activities in Cyprus to create a potential very full itinerary of things to do, taking into account the proximity of each activity to one another and where we'd be staying. I knew there would definitely not be enough time to do everything on the list, but I included extras so we could decide as the trip went along what we'd want to do then.

We were supposed to land in Larnaca, Cyprus in the afternoon and we hoped we'd be able to see something of Cyprus on that first day. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed so we landed in Cyprus later than we originally planned. They made us check the cabin luggage, so we needed to wait at the baggage claim carousel. Then the representative from the car rental place that was supposed to meet us at the Arrivals area wasn't there right away, but eventually we found him.

By the time we were in our rental car, it was already quite late, and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us, since we were staying in Paralimni, all the way on the eastern peninsula of the island. But because of the time, I was worried that we'd only get to Paralimni after the stores closed, so we stopped at a Lidl (a relatively cheap European grocery chain) in Larnaca for the first few days' groceries before heading to Paralimni to our AirBnB. We settled in, ate supper, and tried to go to bed early so we'd have energy for the big day ahead.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

3 Ways to Make the Job of Cleaning Less Daunting

Cleaning is my bane. I can't think of things I like doing less than cleaning... other than maybe going to the dentist. Or taxes. But it's unfortunately necesssary. So anything that makes getting it done less scary is helpful. Here are a few things you can implement to maybe make things just a little less daunting.

Navigating the Teen Years: How DBT and CBT Can Support Your Teen's Mental Health

6 years ago I went through a very big mental health crisis and while it was a time in my life I would certainly never want to repeat, because of how bad of a situation I was in, I enrolled in an intensive DBT course through my psychiatrist's office. And it was life changing. Not only did that help me in my healing process from all my trauma, it also gave me tools that are so useful, not only in my day to day life with my own issues, but in parenting my children as well. I use DBT and CBT skills that I learned in therapy to help my children cope with my own challenges. Author Isabella Finn wrote a book teaching teens to use CBT and DBT skills called Essential Coping Skills Workbook for Teens which is really exciting, and she wrote this post to introduce you to the concepts of DBT and CBT and how you can use them to help your children thrive.



The teenage years—when your world revolved around acne, braces, and emotions that felt like hurricanes. Remember those days? The awkwardness, the confusion, and the question of why your locker seemed to double as a trash can for chewed gum.

Now, fast forward to today's teenagers. They are grappling with the usual adolescent challenges and navigating a digital world fraught with social media fame (or shame), soaring academic expectations, and a relentless barrage of curveballs from life itself.

It's no wonder they sometimes resemble ticking time bombs, trying to balance flaming chainsaws while riding a unicycle over a shark tank (albeit with slightly less dramatic language).

You're not alone in this emotional upheaval as a parent, guardian, or concerned adult. You can be the lighthouse guiding them through the storm. And guess what? You've got what it takes!

Is your teenager giving you a hard time with mood swings and struggles? Don't worry; here is a secret recipe for dealing with grumpy adolescents.

Forget therapy jargon; think of this as equipping your teen with secret weapons. We're discussing cool stuff like managing stress, boosting happiness, and mastering emotions.

The famous author and psychologist Dr. Seuss once said,

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

Let’s help your teen steer themselves toward happiness and success!

Here’s a guide for you on supporting your teen's emotional well-being—a partner on this bumpy journey, complete with insights, practical tips, and just enough humor to keep things light (because, the fact is, parenting teenagers can be downright hilarious, even in the midst of head banging moments).

Monday, February 12, 2024

Our Budget Winter Family Trip to Cyprus - A Wonderful Success


I'm currently sitting above the clouds, at the top of Mount Olympus writing this post. My kids are busy playing in the snow while I sit here enjoying the cool weather. I know better than to try to walk around on slippery snow because my balance isn't great as it is, and because of my EDS, any injury from such a fall can cause long term damage. But just sitting enjoying such a view and the crisp air does so much for my soul and I feel close to a state of bliss, no exaggeration.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

We're Off to Cyprus!



We're so excited! The family and I are off on our trip to Cyprus - our second trip together abroad - the last one was in December of 2019! I went abroad last March of 2020 and I really have missed the enjoyment and soul nourishment of my trips abroad. 

To get ready for our trip I bought 3 carry on size suitcases- though we can take 5 on the plane the car we're renting can only hold 3 in the trunk. I shopped around until we found the cheapest place and am happy with our choice.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Syrian Inspired Green Beans Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly, and Easy


I wanted to make pasta for my children, but I was trying to come up with an idea that would be a little less boring than just the average pasta and tomato sauce, so I decided to make something based off of this Syrian recipe for djaj wa rishta, chicken with tomato sauce and pasta, just leaving out the chicken. But since I made it with glutenous pasta, I couldn't eat any of it, but the smell of it was tantalizing. 

I decided to play around and see if I could make green beans with this very same idea, same spice combination, etc... It was terrific. I don't think I would have come up with this on my own if I hadn't first made my kids their pasta, and I'm glad I did. Just a note- depending on how you want to eat this dish, you may want to include or more less green beans. If you want to eat this as a topping on rice, for example, you may want less green beans so the flavor is stronger, but if you want to eat it plain, I'd add more green beans to make the flavor more mild.

Syrian Inspired Green Beans Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly, and Easy

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The 7 Best Tips on Budgeting for Single Moms

Living on a budget is important for everyone (the size of the budget differs for everyone, but even well to do people should still budget their money, or they can go bankrupt) but when someone is a single mom and only has one income to provide for her and her family, it is extra important. Here are some budgeting tips that single moms can benefit from (as can everyone else). 


Single moms face countless responsibilities, and managing finances in accordance with the needs of the whole family is one of them. If you're a mommy feeling overwhelmed by budgeting, let’s sort it all out. Explore 7 practical budgeting tips for single moms to master frugal living, stretch your budget, and find some income-boosting side hustles. Here’s a look at a few smart strategies to simplify budgeting and secure your financial future.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Our Long Awaited Family Vacation -- To Cyprus!


My family and I are really excited. Honestly, I'm not sure who is more excited, myself or my kids. I haven't left my country in 4 years, since I had to return home a day early on my trip to Austria in March of 2020, since all the flights afterwards were being canceled because of Covid, followed by a long lockdown and shutting down of borders. And 4 months before that, I had taken my kids on their first family trip abroad (and first time abroad for my younger 3, period). 

Going on vacation abroad has been a panacea for me. In 2017 I traveled to Poland on my own, my first time going abroad since moving to my current country in 2006, other than a short work trip back in 2011. It was during the lowest point I got to in my mental health journey, and it had such a healing effect that I made sure to go on such trips regularly. Frugal trips, certainly, but I had been so burnt out by my giving my all to my children homeschooling them and dealing with their special needs and had no time for myself, that even the cheap and non luxurious trips I took provided such healing for me. Between July 2017 and March 2020 I traveled to Poland, Belgium, Romania, Greece, US, England, Bulgaria, and Austria, and every second of those were so healing for me. Romania was with my eldest son, Lee, and Bulgaria was with all my kids.

And then everything stopped because of Covid. And lockdowns meant we were stuck together more. I tried booking tickets between then and now, but new waves of Covid and airport shut downs canceled them including my planned trip to Venice that never happened... 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Building a Nurturing Environment to Help Your Special Needs Kid Thrive


Parenting is a journey filled with joys, challenges, and countless growth opportunities. When a child has special needs, the journey takes on a unique set of challenges. Understanding and navigating these challenges is crucial for fostering an environment where special needs children can reach their potential. Whether special needs or not, parents can play a pivotal role in helping their child's development, but this can be extra important with a special needs child. 

The challenges of special needs children encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from cognitive and physical limitations to social and emotional struggles. Every child has a unique set of challenges, and many times they have more than one type of special need. When parents first find out that their child has special needs, it can be challenging, because as much as parents hopefully will love their kids no matter what, parents all have dreams of what they hope parenthood and their children will be like, and when they find out that it won't be so, they sometimes need to mourn the loss of a dream, before they can then move on to accept the challenges that come along with the blessings in their child's life. Educating oneself on the specifics of each of their child's disabilities is very important, as well as joining support groups with other parents, where we can vent and get advice and assistance from people who've been on similar journeys.

Monday, January 15, 2024

New Blog Look, Theme, and More

My new page profile image on my Facebook page.

So... does something look different around here?

I should hope so.

I changed a lot about the design of this blog, from the layout of the sidebar, to the menu options across the top, updated the about me section, fixed the subscription option that had been broken and I hadn't noticed, so please subscribe.. oh, and did you notice the new header?!?!?! 

I really needed to update that header... like years ago. A graphic artist friend made mine for me not long after I started out, and it was beautiful and it reflected what my blog was about then... which in many ways was nothing like it is now. 

The image had a baby in a cloth diaper, homemade pickles, homemade bread, solar cooking, baking soda... all representing the extreme frugality (and mom of babies) that this blog was about back then. 

My life has changed a lot since then. I'm no longer in dire need of saving every last cent that I'd need to cook using the sun. My youngest has been out of diapers for... 8 years... I don't live extremely frugally anymore. And the logo having the words "A Rich Life on a Minimum Wage" no longer is relevant, because I don't live off a minimum wage. 

Crafting a Gaming Paradise: Budget-Friendly Tips and Upcycling Hacks for the Ultimate Gaming Room

I'll admit, I'm definitely not a gamer. I didn't grow up as a gamer or with any gaming devices, and I don't have any in my house, unless phones or computers count. Many people, though, find gaming to be a good source of enjoyment for them and their families, and they may want to create a dedicated gaming room. If you want to do that, you might think that this automatically has to be an expensive endeavour, but with some thrifting, upcycling, and other frugal hacks, you can create a gamer's paradise on a budget.


In the world of gaming, having a dedicated space that is both immersive and comfortable is a dream for many enthusiasts. While the idea of creating the ultimate gaming room might seem financially daunting, fear not! In this blog post, we will explore creative and affordable ways to transform your space into a gaming haven without breaking the bank. Better yet, we'll delve into the world of upcycling to breathe new life into old items and elevate your gaming room to new heights.

The Ultimate Guide To Throwing A Wine-Pairing Dinner

There's not much that I enjoy more than feeding people a good meal and watching them enjoy it, especially if it's a crowd of people that aren't my immediate family. Going out with friends for a nice meal is terrific, but it can be pricey if its a nice meal. You can make a fancy dinner at home for less than you can get in a restaurant, and often a very fancy meal at home is still cheaper than a less fancy meal at a restaurant. Of course, if you don't enjoy cooking, then this obviously isn't for you, but if you're like myself, a wine pairing dinner can be done quite frugally, especially if you purchase the wines on sale (they don't spoil so you can stock up on each when you see a good price) and the same with meat or fish (they both also freeze well uncooked) and use seasonal produce. 

So, let's say you want to have a wine pairing dinner (I might want to do that next month when I turn 36!), here is how you'd do it.


Wine pairing is an art that turns a regular meal into a memorable dining experience. When the right wine meets the right dish, it creates a harmony of flavors that can elevate the taste of both. It could be a romantic dinner or for a large group of friends but either way, it will be better by picking the perfect wines to match the food.

Imagine a perfectly cooked steak of American Wagyu beef paired with the wine that best compliments it. You’ll have a dish that was already good in its own right become something much more memorable. In this article, we will go over what you need to know to pair wines with food.

13 Wild Edibles I Found Outside Therapy Today!


I arrived at therapy a little early today (since I'm the type to run late, I try to aim to arrive 30 minutes early, just to be on the safe side) and as I was about to enter the building I saw this beautiful patch of wood sorrel, one of my kids' favorite wild edibles, and honestly, the favorite of many kids. It is one I foraged as a child, I just called it sour grass. When I teach it to my foraging students, I mention the 3 heart shaped leaves reminds you that children, including 3 year olds, love this plant. It was raining lightly, after some recent heavy rains, and I decided to take the opportunity before my class to see what wild edibles were growing in the typically green yard of my therapy building. I was not let down.