Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Why Children Should See Other Countries

Ever since I saw a show about a family that took their kids on a trip around the world, I realized how much I wanted to be able to give my children that experience one day. I was lucky enough to be able to take all my children on a trip to Bulgaria in 2019, and those are some of my favorite memories with them, and theirs as well. Taking my children abroad allowed my children to experience the world in a way drastically different than how we live and it helped broaden their perspective on the world. Here are some other reasons why, if you can afford it, taking children to other countries is a good idea.

Have you ever considered taking a family vacation to another country with your kids? Perhaps you haven't, but the problem is that far too few children get to go on family vacations outside of their own countries. Sometimes it's an issue of money, and other times parents don't realize how vital it is to expose their children to the world around them. In the planning stages of next year's holiday, consider taking a family vacation to a foreign country. If you're still not persuaded that taking your children on vacation overseas is an essential part of exposing them to the wider world, think about the following compelling arguments – you might change your mind.

Monday, August 8, 2022

4 Tips to Get Rid of Household Pests

Ugh, don't get me started on pests. I'm dealing with a pest issue here and nothing seems to be working. Here are some tips so that hopefully you won't need to deal with them.

There are few things more annoying than household pests. You work hard to keep your house in good condition, only for insects and rodents to come in and ruin it. They are a real nuisance and frustratingly difficult to get rid of.

If you have pests in your home that you want gone, you can of course buy pesticides and poisons to eliminate them. But these harsh chemicals are not only cruel, they are also dangerous to have around the house, especially if you have young children around. Instead, here are some alternative remedies for keeping pests outdoors.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Tips and Tricks for Managing My ADHD Life Without Medication

I think it is quite hilarious that I'm writing this when specifically my ADHD made me stop and start and procrastinate and I didn't get it written until now... And I also got up a few times while writing this.... But that aside....

I've known I had ADHD since I was a kid. Everyone in my family has ADHD, so it was always a part of me and my life. My siblings were on medication for their ADHD but I functioned well enough in school without it that my parents never attempted to put me on medication. 

When I was an adult, I went to a psychiatrist for the first time when my anxiety and depression got to such a point that I was no longer functional, and I realized that therapy wasn't enough and I needed medication in order to function. While at the psychiatrist the doctor said to me that it was very clear to him that I had ADHD (ya think?) but that if any psychiatrist would put me on ADHD medication it would be malpractice. The reason he said so is that however bad my ADHD is, my anxiety is so much worse, through the roof, and ADHD medication makes anxiety worse. Not only was I told absolutely no way, no how to ADHD medication, but I was also told that I need to avoid stimulants like caffeine, because that also worsens ADHD.

Tips and Tricks for Managing My ADHD Life Without Medication

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Why Car Insurance Is Important For Every Mom

I've been renting a car lately on an hourly basis, and you can pay extra for insurance, and I always do, because without insurance, if you need to pay for repairs, it can be prohibitively expensive. Here is why car insurance is really important, especially if you're a mom.

If you’ve ever seen a mom at work and witnessed her hard work and dedication to her family, then you may have wondered if she’s secretly a superhero. Mothers are an indispensable part of every family. As a mom, you have a lot on your plate and it can be hard to balance it all. Moms are the nurturing figure in their children’s lives and are often responsible for taking care of the family, making sure the bills are paid, and ensuring that everyone is safe, fed and happy. Not to mention all the millions of details that they keep in line that are overlooked and underappreciated.

One thing that moms often overlook is car insurance. Many moms believe that they don't need great coverage because they don't drive very often or they only drive within their neighborhood. However, car insurance is important for every mom - even if you don't drive very much. Every mom needs superhero car insurance to go along with heroine acts of courage.

Here are four reasons why every mom should have car insurance:

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Top Tips for Stressed Parents

Are you a stressed out parent? I know I definitely am a stressed out Mommy, and stressed out Mommy doesn't always have the patience that mommies need to be able to take care of their kids ideally, so I do my best to try to lower my stress levels so I can be a better parent. Here are some tips if you can relate- and which parent doesn't?

While children are the pride and joy of your life, all parents will get stressed and feel ready to snap. This is completely normal. As a parent who looks after their children, runs the household, and has to keep on top of everything, there’s no wonder you feel like you’re on the edge. Stress can become a vicious cycle when you are a parent because you don’t want to feel stressed with your family. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. It can be a good idea to learn about stress and how you can combat it. This will make you feel better, as well as provide you with stronger relationships and quality family time.

Here are some top tips to help you get started with dealing with stress as a parent and take the pressure off.

Monday, August 1, 2022

My Laundry Rant and Potential Plans

I hate laundry. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. And as a mom, laundry is one of those absolutely never ending things, along with dishes and making dinner. But laundry is one of those things I hate most. And it doesn't help that laundry is always a saga in my house.

I tried liking laundry. Years ago, in our first apartment, we had a washing machine and dryer and all was good. Then the second apartment that we were in for a bunch of years had no space next to the washer for a dryer, so the dryer ended up in my bedroom in a very uncomfortable to reach place (and made me hate my bedroom, among other things) needing to vent out the window, so I rarely used the dryer and line dried everything. But line drying meant getting dressed to go outside, so often my laundry sat too long on the line outside and got sun bleached, or it sat too long in my washing machine and started stinking so I needed to wash it again. My kids helped me with hanging the laundry, but they couldn't possibly do it all, so it was still a lot of work for me. (And it didn't help that if things weren't pegged properly it would fall into the yard below and we'd need to go down to get the items.) It also entailed needing to watch the weather so I'd catch the laundry before it would get rained on.

So once we moved to this apartment with a space for a dryer above the washing machine, we got a condenser dryer, and I basically vowed never to line dry again. Because for all that it is better for the environment, washing loads of laundry twice, or ruining clothes and needing to buy more isn't good for the environment, and mom's sanity is important for the home environment, also an important environment.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Benefits of Vitamin D for Babies

One of the things that always shows up badly on my blood work is my vitamin D levels. It feels like whatever I do I can't get it high enough. Fortunately, my last blood test showed that I went from severely deficient to low average. Here is why vitamin D is important, especially for developing babies.

The knowledge of vitamin D has been known to the medical world since the beginning of the last century, when German scientist Adolf Windaus described its structure in 1922, receiving a Nobel Prize for this work. However, its prescription for non-skeletal manifestations was very limited for a long time.

For a long time, vitamin D deficiency was associated by pediatricians only with classic childhood rickets and by internists with osteoporosis. Now, on the contrary, it is part of the therapy for many pathologies.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Moving on a Budget: Things You Need to Consider

Moving is one of those things where unexpected costs seem to just add up. Here are some things to consider when trying to move on a budget.

There may be a number of reasons why you want a new home for yourself and your family. Having children may mean that more room is required. Alternatively, you may want space to be able to live off the land, cutting down costs in the long run. No matter your reason, you may not want to spend too much money on the move itself. Therefore, you might need to seriously think before moving forward, so that you are able to reduce the amount you pay as much as possible.

Friday, July 29, 2022

How My Frugality and Cooking Changed Because of Picky Kids with Sensory Issues

My, how times change. You never know what curveballs life will throw at you. My life now and how I live frugally is drastically different from how I did in the past.

I remember when I lived an extremely frugal life by necessity, and I tried to find out what the absolute cheapest foods were, and tried to eat them, because we were barely scraping by (if even) despite living frugally and even more extremely frugal. I did all sorts of calculations to find out the true cost of food, once you include final amounts vs what you start off with, and therefore what foods (and in what form) are cheapest to make, like which starches are cheapest to make, which types of beans are cheapest, and what type of meat is cheapest. I still use the meat calculator, or rather what I found out from it, that chicken breast and wings are generally the cheapest types of meat, that whole chickens aren't as good of a deal, and that thighs and drumsticks aren't worth my time at all because you lose half to bone but they are much more expensive than wings. But it was my looking for what is the cheapest things I can feed my family, and then working from there.

I was talking to my friend Daniel the other day, after he posted how much he loves ful medames, an Egyptian broad bean dip, and he was essentially calling it a wonder food and recommended it to other people, because of how wonderful broad beans are. It brought back memories of when I tried to find ways that I could find broad beans palatable. Because I knew beans and rice were some of the cheapest dishes, I tried to serve them, but just beans and rice wasn't cheap enough- I wanted to make the cheapest types of beans to make the absolutely lowest cost meal. And so I tried to force myself to eat broad beans, even though I hated the flavor. I did find 2 recipes where I could eat them- Sicilian broad bean soup which I actually enjoyed, and ful medames that I could tolerate with enough garlic and lemon juice to drown out what I thought was the gross taste of the broad beans. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

What To Expect When Filing For Divorce

Other than getting married and having kids, getting divorced is basically one of the biggest and most drastic changes in people's lives, and it can be completely overwhelming. One of the ways to reduce the stress and worry is to be more prepared. Hopefully, this post will help reassure you so you know what you can expect when filing for divorce.

Separation is not a decision made on a whim, with many factors to consider. Divorce is a lengthy process that can take up to a year to be finalized.

A trial separation is usually recommended for couples considering divorce. This is a great way to sort through negative emotions before deciding divorce is the only option. You and your partner can look at your relationship differently; once your anger is removed, you can think clearly.

Assuming you have decided to file for divorce, here's what you can expect in the near future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

10 Tips To Help You Practice Safe Driving With Hyperactive Kids

I love driving. It is so convenient and useful... but when kids are in the picture it can turn from fun to scary, especially if the kids are fighting or refuse to sit still in the car. Here are some tips to help keep your drive safer when transporting hyperactive kids.

As a parent, you know that hyperactive kids can be a handful. But did you know that they can also be a danger on the road? 

That's right - if your child is prone to ADHD or other hyperactivity disorders, it's important to take extra precautions when driving.

Here Are Some Tips To Help You Practice Safe Driving With Hyperactive Kids:

Keep your eyes on the road at all times.

It can be tempting to try and keep an eye on your child in the backseat, but it's important to focus on the road ahead. If you need to check on your child, pull over in a safe location first.

Avoid distractions.

The consequences of distracted driving can be great. Therefore it is vital to avoid distractions at all times. This means no cell phones, no eating, and no fiddling with the radio. If your child is being particularly rowdy in the backseat, pull over and deal with the situation before continuing to drive.

Don't be afraid to discipline your child while driving.

If your child is acting up, don't hesitate to sternly tell them to settle down. It's important that they know that misbehaving in the car is not acceptable.

Be prepared for anything.

Hyperactive kids can be unpredictable, so it's important to be prepared for anything. This means having a first-aid kit on hand, as well as knowing what to do in an emergency situation.

Have patience.

Driving with hyperactive kids can be challenging, but it's important to remain patient. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and remember that this is temporary.

Talk to your child about safe driving.

Before you even get in the car, sit down with your child and talk to them about the importance of safe driving. Explain that they need to be on their best behavior when in the car and make sure they understand the consequences of misbehaving.

Model good behavior.

As the driver, it's important to set a good example for your child. This means obeying all traffic laws, using your turn signal, and refraining from road rage. If you want your child to behave, you need to lead by example.

Be aware of your surroundings.

When driving with hyperactive kids, it's important to be extra aware of your surroundings. This means keeping an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and other potential hazards.

Take breaks as needed.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, pull over in a safe location and take a break. This will help you clear your head and refocus on the task at hand. Seek professional help if needed.

If you're struggling to deal with your child's hyperactivity, don't hesitate to seek professional help. There are many resources available to parents of hyperactive kids, so don't be afraid to reach out for assistance.

In Conclusion

Practicing safe driving with hyperactive kids takes patience and perseverance. But it's worth it when you know your child is safer on the road. By following these tips, you can help to keep your hyperactive child safe on the road. Safe driving is a responsibility that everyone shares- so make sure our kids are ready for it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread Recipe -- Allergy Friendly and Frugal

When I have overripe bananas I usually make smoothies and don't have any left for banana bread, but recently I had a lot of bananas overripe at once and therefore had enough to use for baking without affecting our smoothie making capabilities. My problem with most banana bread recipes is they call for a specific amount of bananas and mine often is just a total mush in the freezer, or they are incomplete bananas because I had to remove yucky parts. So I looked for a recipe for banana bread that I could convert to suit my diet that included cups of bananas in the recipe and not just amounts of bananas, and I found this one

In addition to making my version gluten free and dairy free, I doubled my recipe. However, I realized only after it was in the oven that I forgot to put in twice the amount of baking soda and baking powder, and worried that it would fail. It did not. It worked perfectly. So I put the range in the ingredient list, both how much I should have put in, and the amount I actually put in, so you can decide which you want to do.

This was a pretty easy recipe just using things I have in the house and cheap ingredients (flax seeds and gluten free flours are normal ingredients in my house), including oil instead of the butter I saw in many recipes, and it tasted great. I will note that this recipe is sweeter than the standard banana bread recipe, that I'd debated calling it banana cake instead of bread, but I decided to leave it as that, I'm just noting this for you to be aware of.

This recipe is allergy friendly and vegan and it was devoured by my family.

I will accept no criticism for my using a disposable pan- I deal with disabilities and this is what I can manage.

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread Recipe -- Allergy Friendly and Frugal

Giving Your Pet the Best Quality of Life When Finances Are Scarce

I've had my dog for about 4 years now, and getting her was one of the best decisions of my life. We got her at a time when finances were more challenging than they are now, and I was concerned that she would cost us a lot of money, but 4 years later we are finding that the biggest expense really is medical care, and because she is still young those fees aren't yet high, but as she grows older they will be greater. If you are tight on money but have a pet, here's how to give them a good life while not going broke.

One of the hardest things that we can all experience as a family is a lack of proper finances. We all want to give our children the best lives and, of course, this means our pets too. But pets can get short shrift, especially when we are struggling with our finances. This is why we've got to focus on the quality of life for our pets. So what are the things we need to ensure are in place?

Monday, July 18, 2022

Selling your house: A guide to open home viewings

Are you a home owner who needs to sell their house, either to be able to move to a house that is better suited to your family, or because you are moving to a new area, or selling for any other reason? You want to be able to make as much money on your home as possible. Here are some tips to help you with staging your home so that you can make it more enticing to buyers.

Open home viewings can either halt or quicken a real estate purchase depending on how prepared you are. But with so much to do and so many things to consider, how are you going to ensure you’ve shown your house off in the best possible way?

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Progress Report on Building My Son's Loft Bedroom

Wow. Do I have an update for you! But since I have been so busy that I didn't write updates as they went along, I actually will be dividing this into two (or three) updates to make it more manageable to read, and so you can actually feel like you're following along with the project. (We'll just pretend that I wrote this last week and the week before.)

So last I shared, we were starting the preparation for building a loft bedroom for my son. I guesstimated a price after looking up pricing for different equipment we'd need and posted about that.

I was off. I already can tell that it is more than I originally thought, if only because I forgot some things. Obviously. They say you should always add more to your budget when doing construction because things always end up costing more. So that isn't surprising.

The first thing we did, after writing up the plans for how we'd build, was removing everything that was on our stairs. It took some time because that was basically our storage area for out of season things, memorabilia, etc. (The types of things that you'd put in an attic basically.) This is why we first needed to get the yard together and put up our pool, so we'd have room outside to put everything that was on the stairs. And this specifically is why I wanted to do this in the summer, because it won't rain on our things. (Of course, I forgot about dripping air conditioners and some of the stuff got wet and ruined, fortunately, nothing really important.)

Next was the sledgehammering!

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Before Gambling: The Best And Worst Casino Game Odds

Some people enjoy gambling and going to casinos. The thing is, when you do that, you need to know that the odds are stacked against you. You are more likely to lose money than you are to win. You therefore, when gambling, should just be doing it for the fun, have a set budget and stick to it, and don't expect to win money. However, if you want to increase your chances of winning at least something, here are casino games that have the best and worst odds.

Some individuals go to a casino to have fun and play the games they like. To boost your chances of going away with more profit at 10 dollar deposit casinos in Australia than you started with, you'll need an advantage and know where to get 100 free spins, no deposit. Before you settle down comfortably at a casino table, find out which games offer the best odds so you can spend your money wisely.

Before you start, please remember that almost no casino game provides players with equal odds. "The house ultimately wins" is a well-intentioned remark. Every casino game is set up to increase house-winning odds, albeit some are more distorted than others. So, it would be helpful to know which table games have the most odds?

Monday, July 4, 2022

10 Effective Ways to Manage Your Vacation Rental 

When looking to increase income, some people choose to rent out apartments for vacationers. There are many ways that people do this- some people do construction to make a vacation apartment using their own property, some people rent or buy a separate place to rent out to vacationers, and others go away to family or friends while renting out their apartment for visitors. Whatever the method in which it is done, here are some ways to manage your vacation rental more effectively.

Vacation rental properties are a terrific investment. To get the maximum income from a vacation rental, managers must stay ahead of the game. Keep reading for ten effective ways to manage vacation rentals.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Gluten Free Egg Free Beef Egg Rolls Recipe- Allergy Friendly and Frugal

I shared in my recent post that, after missing egg rolls for so many years, since becoming gluten free, when my gluten free friend came over we made gluten free egg rolls. The first step was making gluten free vegan egg roll wrappers. Here is a link to that recipe for egg roll and wonton wrappers made gluten fee and allergy friendly

When it came to figuring out how to fill it, I looked online and found many recipes but none of them seemed like what I wanted. I remembered having egg rolls with beef and cabbage and carrots, so I ended up just making this recipe up, and it was terrific.

If you're vegan, I'm pretty sure this recipe would work just as well without the beef, but I'm not making any promises. I can try to make this again without the beef and update you and this post (or make a new one), but I haven't yet.

This recipe is allergy friendly, and can be top 8 free if you use coconut aminos instead of the soy sauce. If you don't want the work of making egg rolls, you can just use this mix as a tasty stir fry over rice. The amount in this recipe is more than needed for one batch of my egg roll wrappers, so consider doubling the egg roll wrapper recipe.

Of course, if you don't need allergy friendly egg rolls, you can use regular egg roll wrappers, either homemade or store bought.

Gluten Free Egg Free Beef Egg Rolls Recipe- Allergy Friendly and Frugal

Saturday, July 2, 2022

3 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base

You have a business. You know what you're doing. You are talented. But you don't have enough clients. How can you get more clients? Here are some ways to grow your customer base and bring in more income.

Nothing is more important for your business success than your ability to attract and retain customers, and find ways to be worthy of their loyalty. This is one of the companies’ main tasks – to find ways to grow their customer base, meaning gain new ones and retain old ones.

And establishing a strong, ever-growing online presence is one of the most effective ways to create a lasting relationship with customers and attract prospects to your business.

Friday, July 1, 2022

How to Save Money When Moving

Summer is the most popular time of the year to move, especially once kids are in the picture, so they don't need to change schools in the middle of the year. Since so many people are moving right now (I myself have a few close friends moving within the next week) I thought these money saving moving tips would be helpful.

There are few things that scream “unexpected expenses” louder than making a big move from one place to another. However, as long as you plan ahead, you can both save dramatically and reduce the stress associated with leaving an old life behind. Planning is an invaluable hedge against unplanned problems. Let’s dive right in.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Egg Roll and Wonton Wrappers Recipe -- Egg Free and Allergy Friendly

My friend Zoe and I have both been off of gluten for ten years. Something neither of us have had during that time was egg rolls. We've had spring rolls made with rice paper wraps, but it just isn't the same. Perhaps they make gluten free egg roll wrappers available to buy, but I don't know of anything locally. Egg rolls have been something both of us have missed, so we decided that when she came to visit, Zoe and I would make some egg rolls, with homemade egg roll wrappers. This wasn't my first time making this dough, but I'd only used it to make wonton wrappers before, not egg rolls.

The last time I'd made this, even for wontons, though, was at least 7 or 8 years ago. So I was really excited. I posted my recipe for homemade wonton and egg roll wrappers here on my blog 12 years ago but since then I'd converted it to make it gluten free and egg free (since I eat neither) but never ended up sharing it here. 

When Zoe and I were making this, the first time I tried doing it, it failed miserably. You see, I was trying to make life easier for myself and use a store bought gluten free flour mix, but the dough sucked. Even though I added extra xanthan gum to try to make it more pliable, the dough kept ripping, didnt hold together nicely, was so hard to work with, and just made me want to give up. I told Zoe that making the dough shouldn't be nearly this bad, and I think the problem was that I wasn't using my own homemade mix. (There's this assumption that store bought products are more tested and official and better than homemade, which is why I thought it would work.)

Eventually I decided that enough was enough and I started over with my homemade gluten free flour mix, and from the first instant I saw that my memory was correct- while gluten free dough is always harder to work with than gluten dough, and the lack of gluten affects the flexibility of the dough, this dough was a dream to work with compared to the dough from the store bought flour mix.

To make my egg roll wrappers I first rolled it out a bit, then rolled it through my pasta roller (makes it a lot less work on your arms, and makes the dough more even) and then I rolled it some more with a rolling pin. The reason for this is the dough from the pasta roller is not the widest, and you want to have wider egg roll wrappers than what a pasta maker rolls (at least mine), but the pasta maker alone works fine for wonton wrappers which are smaller than egg rolls. The edges can fray a bit, so pressing them together can help, But just be careful, because the dough is fragile.

When making these egg roll wrappers, just note that they will not be as thin as regular egg roll wrappers, so you'll just have to deal with a somewhat thicker wrapper. Again, gluten free dough doesn't have the gluten to allow it to stretch that way.

This recipe makes enough for approximately 10-12 egg rolls. (To be honest, I didn't count, I just ate.)

Please note- do not make substitutions for this one. Use exactly what I say in this recipe or I can't guarantee that it would work- the dough is very finicky. Other than egg. You can use an egg in place of the ground flax seeds and boiling water.

There are some other gluten free (but not egg free) egg roll wrapper recipes out there, but many of them use hard to find ingredients. This recipe is all normal and easy to find ingredients, other than xanthan gum, which is a staple for gluten free cooking, so that falls under "normal" ingredients for this. It was important for me to make this recipe so that it works

Part two will be how to make the actual egg rolls.

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Egg Roll and Wonton Wrappers Recipe -- Egg Free and Allergy Friendly

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

My Thoughts on the Sleepsteady Mattress Protector

I remember when my brother, Josh, was diagnosed with an allergy to dustmites. The first thing I remember my parents doing was putting a mattress protector on the bed in his room to keep dust from getting into his mattress and to protect him from being exposed to any dust mites that may be there already. The mattress protector was plasticky and gross. I didn't want to touch it. When you put a sheet on it, you still could hear the sound the plastic made from underneath. And if your sheet accidentally came off in your sleep, you'd have the really pleasant experience of having your skin stick to the gross plastic.

It really, really, really put me off the idea of mattress protectors. Because in my mind they all were some type of torture, and something you only used as absolutely needed, because it was the "less bad" option. Like if your kid was a serial bed wetter, yes, having a mattress protector is important so they don't ruin the mattress, but only because a mattress protector is less bad than a ruined mattress. Fortunately my kids were all potty trained young and not bed wetters so I didn't need to deal with that.

When my kid was diagnosed with dust mite allergies, I didn't want to have anything to do with the mattress protectors, because of how awful they were in my experience.

But then I was asked to review the Sleepsteady mattress protector I decided to give it a shot. Couldn't hurt, right? At worst I get an icky plasticky mattress protector.

I was never happier to be proven wrong.

This mattress protector is unlike anything I had ever tried before. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

White Rice: a Staple Food That Often Goes Unnoticed -- With Recipes

I grew up eating a lot of rice. As in multiple meals a week. My father has a sensitive stomach and rice was his "medicine" allowing him to manage without stomach pain as long as he ate it regularly, and so, it was a staple in our home. Being gluten free myself, we have a lot of rice in my home too. I always get shocked at people that cook just one or two cups of rice, since I cook 4-5 cups at a time and sometimes more, because I use rice as the base for so many meals. Here's some more about rice that you might not have already known:

In this vertiginous life where we receive tons of new information every second, we may feel lost trying to keep up to date. This situation occurs in all aspects of our life, well, at least in mine, particularly when planning my family’s meals.

I am constantly searching for fresh ideas for cooking and keeping the line of frugal, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. With all the incoming information, new trends, new cooking techniques, new superfoods, and so on, I forget that I already have in my pantry all I need.

One of those unnoticed and underused ingredients is rice. Yes, rice, as you read. People are unaware of all the benefits and use this grain offers.

All about rice

Friday, June 24, 2022

Top Tips for Parents Taking Online Degrees

One of my bigger regrets in life is that I got married and had kids before I went to college and got a degree, which meant that I went into motherhood without much money making capacity since I didn't learn any profession. For people in that situation, who realize that they need a college degree to be able to increase their income potential, but are already parents, getting an online degree is more doable than going to college in person. Here are some things to consider if you are planning on doing an online degree.

Taking an online degree can be hard when you have no dependents, but when you are a parent, taking an online degree is even harder, and you may find it more and more difficult to keep up with all of the tasks that you need to do to get the top grades. Then, if you are already thinking about focusing on parenting rather than also boosting your education, here are some top tips for parents who want to take an online degree.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

My Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Some of the amaranth I foraged

Today's the special day where I get to share with you the things I did to save money, also to remind myself that I did actually do frugal things when I feel like a failure there, and to hopefully give you some ideas of what you can also do to save money. or remind you of how you are already doing that.

So here are some of the frugal things I did since the last time I shared such a post (wow it's been a while!):

My Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Thai Coconut Rice Pudding with Jasmine Rice, a South Asian Dessert

My kids love rice pudding; it is something I can always agree to get them to eat. But my rice pudding is somewhat different than this recipe, and I can't wait to try this Thai version of rice pudding. It looks like a terrific gluten free vegan comfort food. 

With over 1.7 billion people, millennia of written history and a great number of different languages coexisting, South Asia is a subcontinent that hosts Indian, Thai, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Sri Lankan people, to name a few. Even though its land area is larger than the entire European Union, due to the West's lack of knowledge, South Asia still is quite difficult to conceptualize.  

In terms of culture, this region is very diverse: for example, the Dharmic religions like Hinduism or Buddhism live side by side with Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. As a result, many different lifestyles end up coexisting and giving birth to the identity of an entire subcontinent. However different they might be, some unifying cultural and culinary factors can be found. 

The most versatile, nutritious and unifying ingredient 

Rice is the staple food in South-Eastern Asia; this grain plays a huge role in this region and is a common factor that can be found in nearly all of its countries. Rice is the seed of cereal grass; it is a great source of carbohydrates, which helps people to stay energized, satisfied and healthy. Moreover, it is very versatile: rice is referred to as a staple food because it acts as the perfect base for any dish. Savory or sweet, this grain can be combined with any source of protein, vegetable, spice or sweetener and the outcome will always be more than perfect. 

There are as many recipes with rice as there are types of this grain. It comes in several varieties: arborio rice, which is Italian, medium-grain rice; Basmati rice, commonly grown in Pakistan, India and the Himalayas; Brown rice, mostly known as a more "nutritious" grain, and Jasmine Rice.  This last variety is a long-grain type initially cultivated in Thailand which was named after its color, similar to the jasmine flower. This grain contains an exceptionally high amount of manganese, great for wound healing, regulating blood sugar levels and for the nervous system and bone structure development. 

We would like to encourage you to try this jasmine rice recipe by Mahatma® rice, which is guaranteed to make you fall in love with this variety of rice and will also make you feel a little bit closer to Southeast Asia and its culture through their flavors. There is nothing more perfect to get to know a region than trying out its cuisine.  

Thai Coconut Rice Pudding with Jasmine Rice, a South Asian Dessert

Monday, June 20, 2022

Preparing to Start Our Summer Construction Project

A rough sketch I made when trying to figure out how to design the floor.

For a long time I'd planned to build my son a loft bedroom above our stairway that doesn't reach anywhere (because we made the second floor into a rental unit) but things came up and then I was waiting for answers regarding my divorce that would affect my finances. But I never got answers, and my son needs a room of his own more and more lately, so I decided that this summer we'd do it, we'd build him his room.

To build his room we'd need to first remove everything that we store on the stairway (we'd be able to move them back under the loft once it is built) and since we don't have room for that in the house, I'd keep those things in my yard. Summer is not only a time that my kids are off from school and so we can do this project, but it is also a time that it doesn't rain, so putting things out in the yard won't ruin them. 

I'd had this rough guess in my head how much this project would cost. I have no idea why but the number $2250 stuck in my head as how much this would cost. I made a plan for how to build this room, what type of wood would be needed, where it would be needed, how long the would would need to be and how many boards I'd needed, and then asked professional carpenters if my plan was safe and if the wood I wanted to use was strong enough for the room to be safe, and I got the go ahead. And then I priced it out.

Much cheaper than I'd thought it would be. Much much cheaper. Of course, that is just talking about the wood, but still.

Friday, June 17, 2022

5 Reasons Why Extended Car Warranties Are Worth It

If you have a car one of the biggest expenses, after gas, is repairs. But are there ways to lower these expenses while still making sure your car stays in good working condition? Yes, an extended car warranty can help with that. Read more to find out how it can help.

If you've recently purchased a vehicle, you may be considering ways to protect your new asset. Of course, insurance is essential, but you might want to take things one step further with other plans.

Extended car warranty provides coverage for things such as breakdowns and repairs. However, it's typical to have doubts about whether or not it is a suitable investment for you.

Below we are going to talk about just five reasons why extended car warranties are worth it.

Interested in learning more? Then keep on reading!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Remote Working Problems Nobody Ever Mentions

As a parent, figuring out how to do everything between work and your kids and all your other responsibilities can be challenging, but working from home helps with that. But as someone who works from home, I can tell you that there also are challenges involved. However, I work for myself which has its own perks and difficulties that are different from when you work remotely for another company. If you are considering working remotely, here are some things you might want to consider that are challenges in that situation/

For whatever reason, your organization has started to work remotely. You thought this was a good idea because you’ve heard everyone talk about the benefits of remote working. It can help you save money, it allows your employees to be more productive, and you eliminate carbon emissions created by commuting to work.

Okay, there are (admitedly) a lot of things to like about remote working. It can very much be a viable option for your business - and for many other businesses. Nevertheless, you can’t deny the drawbacks as well. The problem is, hardly anyone talks about some of the problems that stem from working from home.

So, this post will uncover them! Carry on reading to find out the remote working issues nobody ever talks about:

Monday, June 13, 2022

Functional Medicine A Bust For Me

I'm dealing with some health issues still with an unknown cause. I've gotten four diagnoses (in addition to my mental health ones), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia, IBS, and Hashimotos thyroiditis. However, I have some symptoms that don't fit any of those diagnoses and we've yet to figure out what is causing them, let alone how to deal with them. This is quite frustrating, to say the least. 2 years on and still it's a mystery. 

I've been to so many different doctors, but for each specialist, it was me doing the research about what the issues can possibly be and which doctors were the right avenue and then asking my PCP for the referral, not the PCP figuring out what type of doctor to send me to. It has been quite frustrating that I need to be in charge of all this, not a doctor, and needing to do my google sleuthing, and then following up on it. Like shouldn't a doctor be the one trying to help, and not me doing the doctor's job?

I was thinking about what might possibly help. About 4 years ago I went to a functional medicine doctor paid for by my insurance, and he had some ideas about what the cause might be, but he wanted me to do special testing not covered by insurance, and it was too expensive for me to afford, so I never did it.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

6 Job Ideas For Parents

We all need money, unfortunatey, to survive. But when you're a parent, that isn't always so easy. Many jobs do not work well with having a family and can cause big work-life balance issues. Here are some jobs that are more suitable for a parent with little ones.

It can be challenging to find a healthy balance between raising children, holding down a job, and bringing in a decent wage. Many hard-working parents are better off taking a part-time or flexible job that allows them to spend time with their children and satisfies their need to work in a role they enjoy.

Here we look at six exciting job options ideal for busy parents to fit around raising their families.

12 Amazing Gifts For The Girls In Your Family

Some kids are really easy to figure out what to gift them. Others can be extremely challenging to figure out what they'd enjoy receiving as a gift. For those of you trying to figure that out for your children, hopefully this list will give you some inspiration.

When it comes to buying presents for either your own children, family members, or friends' children it is always a good idea to find out what sort of toys or games they are into. This way you don’t get something random only for them not to like it. If you get something they like then there is a higher chance they will play with it for longer than a day. If you are trying to navigate the minefield that is buying presents for girls then fear not, we have twelve ideas below that will hopefully give you some inspiration.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Gluten Free Egg Free Cheesecake Recipe -- Easy, Allergy Friendly, and Delicious

I made a delicious gluten-free egg-free cheesecake recently but one of my kids was disappointed that I didn't make enough for them to have seconds, so I decided to make it again especially since it wasn't hard. 
Of course the first time I didn't write down the recipe, so I had to do this from scratch. The second time I made it, I used less flour than I did the first time and I was worried it wouldn't solidify, and it took longer to cook, but it ended up so moist and delicious and, dare I say it, better than the first time? 

The only slight issue with it is that the top ended up with a bunch of little holes on it, I guess where the liquid evaporated, but to be honest, neither I nor my kids cared, but if you want something that looks perfect, I've heard that baking cheesecake in a pan of water is supposed to help, but I can't verify that it works for this recipe.

This recipe is allergy friendly, other than dairy. And I have a sensitive stomach and much dairy bothers it, which is why I used fake milk (rice milk one time, almond milk another), but cream cheese and butter in small amounts don't bother me. I can't promise this will be good for you if you have a sensitive stomach, but just putting it out there. You can also use milk for this recipe... I assume. But I can't promise because there's lemon juice in that. So feel free to experiment. Or just leave this recipe as is.

Oh, another thing that was important to me was that a recipe didn't have a ton of ingredients, I wanted to use cream cheese and what was in the house only. No whipping, no food processor, no mixer.

Basically, this came out really delicious and I highly recommend it. And if you do need an egg free cheesecake but don't need to be gluten free, of course, you can just use the gluten alternative.

Gluten Free Egg Free Cheesecake Recipe -- Easy, Allergy Friendly, and Delicious

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

College and University: The Complete Guide for Supportive Parents

You would think that with my oldest kids being 14 and 12, college is a far away concept for me, but my 12 year old has already looked at colleges that he wants to go to, and my 14 year old has also talked about it. If you, like myself, are thinking about college for your children, whether it is something immediate or further in the future, read on to learn how to be a more supportive parent.

As parents, we all want what’s best for our children. This becomes increasingly apparent when they reach pivotal points of their life and start making decisions that can impact their future. A key point for most teens? The point at which they leave school and decide what direction to take next. Your teen may decide that higher education is on the cards for them and you’re going to want to do what you can to make this journey as positive and beneficial as possible for them in every way, shape and form. But what can you do to assist with this and be as supportive as you can? Here are some suggestions that can help!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Why Choose a Home Appliance Warranty?

If you own a home, you might be worried if anything in your house breaks or get destroys, because you don't have a landlord to come fix those things. You may have heard of homeowner's insurance, but what about home appliance warranties? Read more to find out.

Repairs are an inevitable part of living in a home, regardless of whether you are a homeowner or renting.
Appliances break, faucets leak and HVAC units can stall in the middle of a heatwave. You can purchase home warranties to protect your appliances and systems rather than depleting your savings on the unexpected and unplanned costs of repairs.
Are home warranties worth it, especially if you take care and look after your appliances?

Where To Find The Top Hotel Executive Recruiters?

If you're looking to increase your family's income, you may be considering the hospitality industry. When going in that direction, you might want to consider going through a recruitment agency. Here is what you should consider.

One of the most essential components of every company is the process through which new personnel are brought on board. If there is not an effective process of hiring taking place inside the firm, the business will be unable to grow and flourish. Because of this, it is of the highest necessity to engage the most brilliant persons through the utilization of an efficient recruitment process.

At this point in the process, the picture gets more complicated as a result of the emergence of agencies that take on the job of recruiting as part of the services given to a company. These organizations are required to have an exceptional level of judgment and skill due to the sensitive nature of the job that they conduct.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

A Great Frugal Book Haul

I love reading. It is one of my favorite things to do in down time. Yes, movies and shows are also great, but there's nothing like being curled up with a good book. Growing up I used to satisfy my voracious book appetite by going to the library and bringing home massive piles of books every week or two, often with books ordered via inter-library loans so I could get my hands on books from my favorite authors and try books recommended to me by the librarians that got to know my taste. I almost never bought books, other than some select favorites, because I could get what I wanted from the library.

Moving abroad to a non English speaking country has made reading more challenging for me. There aren't as many libraries here as there were where I grew up, and at least in my area, most don't have English books, and there definitely aren't interlibrary loans like we had growing up. So I never bother using the library because going there was like perusing someone's personal bookshelves, and not like actually going to a library with a large selection and variety. (Our local library has maybe 2 or 3 bookshelves of English books, all told, mostly all old books that locals donated.)

So, so starved as I was for reading material, I got to the point where if I'd see a book in English, I'd give it a shot, as long as it wasn't something that sounded absolutely terrible. I couldn't be picky with such limited options. 

Here and there I'd check out second hand book stores, but the selection there was very limited, and honestly, most of the books there were quite overpriced. 

Instead most of my reading came from books that I borrowed from friends, but that relied on my friends having the books I'd wanted to read. I also found out about these little free libraries placed in bus stops, where people left books they no longer wanted and picked up books that others left there, and that helped a lot, but it wasn't usually the books I wanted, but at least it was something.

I finally found out about Betterworldbooks.com and Bookdepository.com where I could get cheap books with free international shipping, and when a friend didn't have a book I was looking for, or when I loved the book I borrowed from a friend so much that I wanted to own it, that's where I'd purchase it from, by checking between the two to see which had it cheaper.

But there was this one place where I have been able to find great cheap books locally, and all my taste.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Top Resources to Help You On Your Journey to Becoming a Chef

I love cooking. One of my biggest joys in life is making good food and watching people enjoy it. If my life had gone differently, like if I wasn't a single mom of 4 dealing with disabilities, I would have thought about pursuing becoming a chef, so I could make money from what I love, but alas. If you're someone who dreams about becoming a chef, here are some resources to check out.

There are many people who dream of having the opportunity to take their passion for food and cooking and turn it into a career. Becoming a chef is no easy journey, however, and isn’t one that should be started on a whim.

The simple fact is that the culinary world is one that is filled with a great deal of competition. Many talented chefs are all vying for the top positions at the best restaurants around. Moreover, many people have the desire to be able to start their very one restaurant one day. This is arguably one of the more challenging routes to go when you want to have a career as a chef.

That being said, with the right amount of dedication and work, you can end up as a successful chef. You should look to make use of any and all resources that you have at your disposal as you seek to develop your skills and find your way as a chef.

With that in mind, here are some of the top resources that can help you along on your journey to becoming a successful chef.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Common Mistakes That Are Made When Selling Your Home

I don't ever want to move out of the house that I own, but for those that are selling their home, here are some important mistakes to avoid to have the sale be as successful as possible. 

There’s a lot to keep in mind when you’re planning to sell your home and a lot of concerns as to whether or not you’re making the right decisions along the way.

Real Estate Broker companies like the team at Compass work with agents to help make your selling process as personalized and smooth-sailing as possible, and there’s more info available if you’re eager to sell your home without making some unforeseen mistakes due to inexperience.

In the meantime, avoiding these other common mistakes below is essential if you want to sell your home quickly and with as few problems as possible.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Penniless Dad's "Moussaka" Recipe - AKA Leftover Surprise

Apologies for all the food purists out there, as this is by far a really non traditional version of moussaka, a dish traditionally eaten in the Middle East and the Balkans. The most well known version of moussaka is the Greek one, made with layers of eggplant, ground meat (generally lamb) in tomato sauce, and topped with a bechamel sauce. However, there are many other versions of moussaka around the world, and this recipe actually does fit into the loose definition of moussaka, which is either eggplant (generally) or potatoes (in the Balkans), tomato sauce, sometimes meat, sometimes cheese, with many different variations. So even though none is actually like how my father makes it, the name is still technically correct.

I was cleaning out my fridge the other day and while deciding what things there were too far gone and needed tossing, and what could still be used, and I saw the following:

Leftovers from an antipasti platter I made, mostly roasted eggplant, and a tiny bit of zucchini and peppers. Hot dogs. Leftovers from a whole chicken that I cooked, plus some mushrooms and potatoes, and an open can of tomato paste.

As looked at those things, what immediately struck me was how this was literally the base of what my father would use to make what he'd call moussaka. But it really just was a way that he used up leftover chicken or turkey. As a kid I had no idea that it was that, and I loved it so much that one year on my birthday, when we would get to decide what would be for dinner, I asked for moussaka, and my father, bemused, obliged. I actually wrote about this once, over 10 years ago here on this blog, but who actually is reading posts that old, and I was a much worse blogger then than I am now, so here it is.

This recipe is allergy friendly, and free of all the common allergens such as gluten, dairy, or eggs, unlike many moussaka recipes. Feel free to play around with this recipe, since the point is to use up leftovers. I used mushrooms, a bit of zucchini and pepper, but feel free to add other vegetables if you want. Eggplant is necessary to make it moussaka (in my opinion) and I never do it without hot dogs, but the point is to take this idea and use up your leftovers in a way that appeals to you and yours. Be creative, have fun, and minimize waste. (I took the potatoes that were with my chicken and mushrooms and turned them into revamped mashed potatoes.)

Penniless Dad's "Moussaka" Recipe - AKA Leftover Surprise

Thursday, May 26, 2022

5 Frugal Tips for Moms and Dads

Looking for some ways to save money that work for parents? Here are some tips to consider.

Living within your means is one of the secrets to managing your finances. With prices constantly on the rise, it’s never been more important to make your bank account balance. Below we look at five things you can do to help keep your finances in check and to spend less than you earn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

8 Ways To Succeed As A Video Content Creator on Instagram

If you're looking for ways to earn money, Instagram is a way to aid in that. Video is a media that can be very engaging, and if you make good content, it can be a great way to get clients for your business. But to do that, you need to have a successful video platform, such as an Instagram account. Here are some things you can do to help succeed as a video creator on Instagram.

Even though Instagram had been widely popular before it was bought by Facebook, combining it with the world's largest social media platform made it a force to be reckoned with. With over 1 billion monthly active users, the platform has become a favorite site for advertisers from all industries and regions of the world. Instagram is used by both local family-owned businesses and big corporations to promote their products and services, and it works brilliantly.

While images are great for promoting your business, don't underestimate the power of video. An Instagram video marketing strategy that is well-thought-out can help you increase your reach, engagement, and brand visibility. Not sure how to succeed as a video content creator on Instagram. Don't worry we have noted down all the tips and tricks for you in this blog.

My Mental Health Journey's Story

Me cuddling with my dog on the floor, to help cheer me up, during a bad depressive episode

In addition to being Ehlers Danlos Awareness Month, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, where people try to bring these stories to light to reduce stigma. So I wanted to tell you about my story. (PS for those who are saying to be careful with sharing this, my ex and his lawyer know all about this already as does social services and fortunately, it hasn't been able to hurt me.) Warning- I will be talking about some triggering stuff.

I had a pretty miserable childhood. I dealt with a lot of abuse at home, physically, verbally and emotionally, was bullied in school, etc. I had a lot of sadness and hopelessness in me but tried to be positive. At the age of 14 things reached a point that completely broke me and I just couldn't anymore. I was angry at God, angry at the religious community I was a part of and the world and was super depressed, started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and started getting myself into trouble. Someone special came into my life and accepted me as I was, gave me hope that things didn't have to be so bad, and I decided to try to fix up my life and give my community and society another chance.

My family moved to abroad when I was 16 and I was totally heartbroken, and it wasn't an easy year for me. I was also pretty miserable in addition to feeling very lost spiritually and didn't have any good friends. I was sent to a therapist by my head of my school but after once I never went back.

The next year back in the US I found myself religiously and discovered a religious movement and it's approach to being happy and making yourself happy and I decided that, while I knew I had a depressive nature, I'd shove it down and make the decision to  force myself to be happy all the time since that is the "correct thing to do". I tried therapy, knowing that I'd gone through tremendous abuse. But because of the "I'll force myself to be happy" I was in such denial that I never mentioned to the therapist about the abuse I went through and gave up after four sessions.

I got married very young because I desperately wanted someone to love me, afraid everyone would leave me like I felt everyone did to me in the past, and pressured him into marrying me. And it was a bad marriage from the start. But I was in a new community in a new country and I wanted to make friends and felt that no one would want to be friends with someone who was a mopey miserable mess and didn't want to be a "depressive person" so I decided to shove it all down. "So I'm a depressive person by nature, doesn't mean I need to feel depressed. I just need to avoid those thoughts and be positive."

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