Monday, March 20, 2023

Sweet and Salty Cucumber Salad with Dill Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly

I was trying to think of a way to title this recipe, because I couldn't think of a good descriptor that actually did this recipe justice, because I've tasted many cucumber salads with dill that were just meh, and I didn't mind eating them but I didn't crave them. And then comes this cucumber salad. 

I could eat this by the gallon, as could my family. It is my favorite type of cucumber salad, followed very closely by Korean cucumber salad, with just the right amount of sweet, salty, and sour, enough that it has a good amount of flavor but doesn't have a strong vinegary taste (with that being the predominant taste) as most of the dilly cucumber salads I've tasted have. I've made this both with lemon juice and vinegar and it is great both ways. 

While with most recipes I say you can use either fresh or dried herbs, I really wouldn't make this with dry dill. I mean you can, but it won't be nearly as good.

This recipe is gluten free, vegan, and allergy friendly, and with a tweak can be paleo as well (just choose a different sweetener) and is very easy to make.

Highly, highly recommended. It is even tastier than it looks.

A note about the amount of cucumbers. Since everyone's cucumbers are different sizes, it's hard to say exactly how many cucumbers. This recipe needs enough cucumbers that when sliced the cut cucumbers come close to filling a 32 oz/1 liter container.

Sweet and Salty Cucumber Salad with Dill Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Moving Soon? Here’s what to Look for in a Moving Company

While moving can be rough, a bad mover makes everything that much more horrible. Here are some ways to make sure that whatever moving company you use is a good one.

While purchasing a new home or renting a new apartment can be an exciting experience, it can also be full of hassles. After all, no one likes having to pack up and move all their stuff. That’s where a reputable moving company comes in.

Just-In Time Moving, Phoenix movers, a licensed moving company that provides excellent service, exceeds physical limitations and provides the kind of hassle-free experience that will build the company’s reputation. This is why you should look for a mover with lots of 5-Star reviews, plus an A+BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating.

But what are the specific qualities you need to look into when it comes to choosing the right company for your move? According to a recent article by Consumer Reports, finding the most reputable moving company for your move can take some time and effort, but it’s entirely worth it.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Top Reasons Why You Need Might Need Workers' Comp Coverage For Family Members

When you have a family, you work not only to support yourself but everyone else too. If anything happens that stops you from being able to work, such as when you get a workplace injury, worker's comp insurance can help you manage financially. But you can also get this coverage for family members. Read on to learn more about why you may want this.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection to employers and employees in the event of work-related injury or illness. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits when an employee is injured on the job. For family members who are employed by a business, workers’ comp coverage is especially important as it can provide peace of mind for both the employer and employee.

But, how does workers compensation work in California? How will it affect the workers’ compensation coverage for family members? What are the reasons I might need coverage for family members?

These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in this blog. Read on to understand workers’ compensation:

Understanding Workers' Compensation

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

My Recent Frugal Grocery Shop - Shocking Price Difference

It's been a while since I've done of these "look at my frugal grocery shop" posts, because, honestly, lately I haven't done many grocery shops I've been proud of. I've bought what I needed, and some extra, tried not to exaggerate, but nothing to make me want to show off and inspire others with. 

But I had a physical therapy appointment the other day, an "emergency" one, meaning something that wasn't my weekly pre-scheduled appointment that I need to be able to function, and because she needed to fit me in once she was already fully booked in the city that I see her in usually (she fills up there usually 2 weeks in advance!) I drove further to her town, which is about half an hour further than her office. 

I arrived at my appointment early, so decided to get groceries in the nearby shopping center, where they have a branch of the local cheaper grocery store that I tend to shop in near me. Cheaper grocery store, however, is a misnomer, as prices everywhere have gone up tremendously lately- yay inflation- and the prices locally have been really disappointing. 

In the past I had set an upper price limit for myself, 65 cents per pound for vegetables, and $1.30 per pound for fruit, trying to get decently lower than that whenever possible, but lately that simply wasn't an option. Veggies have been between 65 cents and $1.30 per pound, usually at the higher end of them, and fruit would almost over be over $1.30, on average being $1.95 a pound but up to $2.60 a pound- even when in season!

But stepping into the branch of the supermarket near my physical therapist's office, I felt like I was catapulted back in time many years, to the time when I would gleefully share my grocery shops with you, having gotten produce between 25 and 50 cents a pound and people would incredulously ask how on earth I got such good prices. That's what I saw when I entered this store- nearly all the produce was on sale, and what wasn't on sale was still about half what I can buy it for at the "cheap" store, and since produce was what I needed at home and why I came into the store this was especially exciting for me.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

5 Key Health Tips to Feel Vibrant, Enthusiastic, & Strong

If you're looking for ways to add more healthy living ideas into your life, look no further. Here are some suggestions.

There is no denying that life is becoming more stressful; we're getting more tired, sicker, and emotionally distressed, despite the progress that we've made as humanity, in technology, medicine, you name it. So why is living becoming unbearable? Why are our youths turning to drugs and alcohol to escape this life?

In this article, we will look at five key healthy tips that most take for granted, yet they could be the difference between living a vibrant, energized life or one plagued by chronic health ailments and depression.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

6 Fun Ideas for Family Game Night

One of those great ways to bond as a family is by playing games together. My kids and I like to play games regularly- Wise Guy is played at least once a week round these parts. If you need ideas for things to do as a game with your kids, here are some great ideas.

Family game night can become one of those heart-warming, nostalgia kick traditions that your kids take with them well into their adult years. It doesn’t take much time to put together a fun night that everyone can enjoy on some level, and even if you have a big age range to cater to there are plenty of options to discover. So, for some good old fashioned fun and a nice way to bond with your family, read on for some ideas to make a great family game night.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thoughts on Being a Landlord, Five Years Later

After renting apartments for 11 years, about 5 years ago my family moved into a home that we bought. It was a one family apartment, but we split it into two apartments, one to rent out and one to live in. When we purchased our home, it was still in the building stages, so we were able to design it in a way that it would need as little construction possible to turn it into a two family house. Officially when we were given it by the builders it could only be one house, and only after divide it into two, but we could do many of the preparations beforehand.

The things we did to make it a rental unit already by the builders while under construction were as follows. We turned our kitchen into a bedroom (so we'd have a three bedroom apartment) and the dining room/living room into a kitchen/living room/dining room, and we made a place for the washing machine and dryer. The upstairs that was supposed to be 4 bedrooms was changed the most- we made 3 of the bedrooms smaller so that we could drastically increase the side of the other one and get rid of dividing walls to turn it into a living room/dining room/kitchen to the extent that it is bigger than the living room/dining room/kitchen in the apartment I live in. We got rid of the laundry room to make the main room bigger. And we put a water and drainage line into the area where the kitchen would be. Another thing we made sure to do was to separate the electricity and water lines so that we could put a water and electric meter separate in the apartment, as well as allow the tenants to heat up their own hot water and not share a tank with us.

Once we moved into our apartment, we hired a contractor to finish up the work. He put in a wall at the top of the stairs to separate the apartments, broke a hole in the wall for the door that led to the outdoor stairs, and added a hot water tank for the apartment. Then my son and I built and installed an Ikea kitchen, then had the gas company add a gas line into the apartment for the kitchen.

It was a large investment at first, but it has paid off. I'm able to keep the rent in the apartment relatively cheap, around the same or even less than the apartments of similar sizes where I live. In the 5.5 years that I've been a landlord, I've kept the price the same, even as prices here go up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

7 Tips for Raising Children While Pregnant

I remember being pregnant with my second kid, being incredibly nauseous and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch, but I had a little toddler that needed to be taken care of. So different than my first pregnancy that I was able to just basically lie in bed for 9 months straight. The next two pregnancies weren't any easier. When pregnant for the first time, it is a completely different experience than when pregnant and needing to manage that while also taking care of children. Here are some tips on how to help with that challenging time.

Raising children while pregnant can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be impossible. With the right tips and advice, any expectant mother can successfully raise her children while managing her pregnancy. Thankfully, https://motherhoodtips.com/ provides seven essential tips for raising children while pregnant, which will make the process smoother and easier for you. So if you're currently expecting a child and need guidance on taking care of your children while pregnant, read on!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

3 Excellent Reasons for Children to Learn Playing a Musical Instrument

I am a big fan of kids learning to play music. Growing up, I had lessons in piano, recorder, and harmonica. For my kids I purchased and taught them how to play those (keyboard instead of piano) as well as using apps that taught. Recently my daughter has asked for a ukelele so is in the beginning stages of learning how to play that. Here are some great reasons to have your kid learn to play an instrument.

Children, at a very young age, are naturally drawn to music. Like adults who turn to listen to their favorite tunes when they feel happy, angry, or sad, music has a way of keeping a child’s emotions in check. The love for music probably begins while a child is in their mother’s womb. Many mothers may sing to their babies while pregnant, noticing responses to the melodies they hum or the soft music they play in the background.

During their growing years, children also develop their favorite music to listen to. They may be watching a children’s show on TV and start singing along to its theme song. They quickly memorize tunes they like as children absorb what they see and hear. Apart from reading bedtime stories, any child falls asleep quickly when a parent sings to them. And when they are around a group of friends, they all share a love for popular bands or singers, singing and dancing along to familiar songs they enjoy.

More than listening to music, children can especially benefit from learning how to play a musical instrument. Actively participating and developing their musical skills can be very helpful in a child's development. Parents can encourage their kids to pursue their passion for an instrument of their choice by providing them with the tools to learn, enrolling them in a music school, and involving themselves in their child's musical activities. If their child shows an inclination to play the guitar, for instance, it would be best for them to get the best guitar books for kids to help them learn more about their instrument and how to play it simply and enjoyably.

Here are some ways children benefit from learning to play a musical instrument.

Our First Car!!!

We welcomed a new member into our family today. This is going to be like one of those posts when I first gave birth and I just shared a picture and a few words, with more details to follow. I'm too exhausted now to write up a whole thing, but I couldn't not share the news.

Today I bought my first car. 

Yes, at 35 years old -- today is my birthday!-- I now am a first time owner of a car. Best birthday present ever!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Top Hacks for Saving Money as a New Parent

Are you a new parent? Looking to make things a little easier financially for yourself? Here are some methods that may work for you in your new stage of life.

Having a big family is something you always dreamed about and now that your baby is here it's time to start thinking about your finances. Raising even one child costs plenty, especially when you factor in the cost of inflation on just about everything today. That said, you need to find ways to cut corners and save money, particularly if you plan on having more than one child. Saving money can be difficult when children are thrown into the mix, but does that mean it's impossible? Absolutely not and this is nothing a few hacks can't fix. In this article, we'll be giving you a few of the best hacks for new parents to save money.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sticking to a Budget While Shopping for Seasonal Fashion

If you like dressing nicely, but also care about your pocketbook, you might find it a challenge to balance the two. Here are some ways you can find a middle ground and shop for fashionable clothing on a budget.

For sartorial individuals, staying abreast of the latest fashion trends is one of life’s greatest joys, but it may be hard to do so in 2023. As reported by McKinsey, after experiencing vertiginous growth in early 2021 and mid 2022, the fashion industry began experiencing a slump, as hyperinflation seriously slashed the budgets of even the most spendthrift fashionistas. Sticking to your budget as a fashion-loving parent is therefore more important now than it has been in many years. The following strategies will ensure you and your kids are “on point” without breaking the bank.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Our Fancy Frugal Weekend Getaway

My family has been through a lot lately, and some of it affected my kids extra strongly, and they expressed to me how hard of a time they were having. In talking to a good friend of mine, she suggested I help them out by taking them away for the weekend, to get away from our home and do something fun, getting out of the location where the stress has been happening. I thought it sounded like a great idea, just what the doctor ordered.

I knew that I'd be going to an Airbnb because that is a much cheaper option than going to a hotel, and it also allows me to get a place with a kitchen to save the cost of eating out. I didn't have a specific place planned, as long as it was not in the city near my house, because then what would be the point. I tried to think of what the maximum distance I would be willing to drive each day and decided that four hours would be the most I'd feel comfortable doing each way. 

My kids and I went through Airbnb options together that looked luxurious and with amenities we wanted that were within the price range of $250 for the five of us that I set for us. I didn't want a place that wasn't fancy; it was supposed to feel like a nice vacation and not like we were just going to go to any old house that looked like a friend's house. My kids and I made an Airbnb wishlist of possible places that fit those criteria.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

6 Ways To Elevate The Taste Of Your Food

I'm a foodie. I like food. I like good food. I would consider myself a pretty decent cook. And there are some things I do to make my food taste great. I use most of the ideas listed below- look no further than my recent batter fried fish and bananas recipe for my experimentation or how many spices I have on my spice rack. If you want to make your food taste even better, here are some things you might want to try.

If you're looking to take your cooking skills up a notch and make your meals more exciting, then this blog post is for you. Whether you're a novice or an experienced cook, there are some simple tips and tricks that can take the taste of your food to the next level. From understanding flavor profiles to selecting fresh ingredients, here are some ways to help you enhance your dishes' flavor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

How to Start Building Financial Stability When You Have a Family

A lot of things are more challenging to do when you have a family vs when you are single. Financial stability is just one of those challenges made more difficult when raising a family. Here are some ways you can work on becoming more financially stable while raising kids.

If you've always lived paycheck to paycheck, finding financial stability as a parent can seem next to impossible. Every time you think you're catching up, your kids need new shoes or coats, or some other unexpected need for money crops up. It can also just be tough to say no to your kids when you technically have the money for something they want, even if it isn't the smartest financial choice. However, you can start to build a life of stability and frugality for your family even if it means making some big changes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Curried Batter Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

Ever have a really far fetched ridiculous sounding recipe idea, but you have this really strong hunch that it would not only work well, but also taste terrific? That happened to me the other day. My oven had been broken for some time. I wanted to make some tilapia, but I found most stove top fish recipes ended up tasting pretty bland. My daughters had been on a streak of making fried banana after fried banana, going through multiple bunches of bananas, and fried bananas were on my mind. I had this far out idea that fried bananas would give tilapia a great flavor. But I was unsure. I'd never tasted the combination. 

When I come up with ideas for a recipe and food combination completely on my own (and not inspired by a recipe I'd seen or heard about) I like to Google if a recipe with such a combination exists, and the results I came up with were making a vegan fish alternative using banana flowers. I narrowed the search paramaters and got recipes for fish cooked in banana leaves. Finally, I found a recipe using fish and bananas and curry, which then was my bouncing off point for this recipe. I made it quite differently than them, but the idea of using curry with the combination I had been planning was the spark of inspiration that I needed to transform this idea into the divine tasting dish that I made.

I know this is a really strange sounding idea, weird and kooky, and the pictures don't make it look so amazing either. And that is with my choosing the better photo for the main image for this post. But it tastes terrific, with the spices in the curry giving a good balance to the sweetness in the recipe. The one problem with this recipe is that it tastes so good that it's hard to share it with others, and I may have devoured most of it in one go the first time I made it (smaller batch). 

I have one kid who doesn't eat fish, so I knew he wouldn't touch this recipe, and my most adventerous eater wasn't home both times that I cooked it, but surprisingly my picky eater daughters ate it- one kid enjoyed both the fish and bananas, and the other one enjoyed the bananas (even if she wasn't willing to try the fish- she doesn't like tilapia). And the guest I had over devoured it as well, and loved it so much. I had asked her to have some in part to know if it was a good enough recipe to share here, or if it was just too weird. She said it is definitely a recipe that needs to be shared. So you don't just have to take my word for it.

While this isn't the easiest recipe in the world to make (lots of standing over a frying pan, cooking a little bit at a time), it is pretty frugal (tilapia is one of the cheapest fish to buy), is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and allergy friendly other than the fish. And you can use regular wheat flour if you don't need to make this gluten free.

Curried Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

Sunday, January 15, 2023

How To Save Money On Coffee Daily

If you're a coffee drinker, you may or may not notice how much this habit of yours costs you, but it can add up to be quite a lot, especially if you're picky about the quality of your coffee. Here are some ways to save money on your coffee while still enjoying a good drink.

Nothing beats the smell of coffee first thing in the morning. Coffee is a part of a lot of people’s morning routine. Every day Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee in the United States. An average American coffee user consumes three cups of coffee each day. These figures add up when you consider that around 150 million Americans are passionate coffee drinkers.

Whether you prefer a simple cup of black coffee or an iced latte with all the fancy stuff like whipped cream, coffee might feel like a cheap treat. That small pleasure and energy booster, however, is becoming expensive.

While you may not find spending an extra 30 or 50 cents on your cup of coffee a big deal, this may slowly add up and mess up your budget at some point. Fortunately, several methods exist to enjoy your morning cup of coffee and still maintain a frugal lifestyle. Continue reading for practical ways to save money on coffee.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

5 Kitchen Tools to Invest in as a Beginner Chef

I've written about the kitchen equipment you'll want to have if you're trying to save money in the kitchen. Here are some ones you'll specifically want if you're learning to be a better cook.

Every chef needs the right tools. If you’re an aspiring chef who is just getting started in the world of cooking, you’re going to need the essentials before you begin.

Whether you’re aiming to turn cooking into a career and become a professional chef, or you simply want to learn the basics in the kitchen, investing in the essential tools will set you up for success. Here is a list of kitchen tools that you should own as a beginner chef to prepare healthy dishes for you and your family.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

My Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Mallow from my yard

It's been a while since I did one of these posts, where I list the recent frugal things I've done. This hasn't just been done in the last week, more like the past month plus, but who cares? This is also to encourage me to do more frugal things, to remind myself that even when I feel like a frugal failure I'm not actually a failure, and hopefully to inspire you to do more frugal things as well.

Here are the frugal things I did recently, broken down by category:

7 Ways to Decarboxylate Cannabis (And How to Do It)

I wrote recently about making easy firecracker cannabis edibles, including how I decarboxylate the cannabis first, as well as why it's needed. Here are some other methods you can use.

Cannabis is a versatile plant and has been used for centuries in various forms. But to get the most out of your cannabis, you need to decarboxylate it first.

Decarboxylation activates the cannabinoids in cannabis, unlocking their medicinal properties and making them more potent.

Here's everything you need to know about decarboxylating cannabis and how to do it effectively.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

5 Reasons to Renovate Your Family Home

I recently renovated- my son needed a bedroom that wasn't shared with his sisters, so my kids and I built a bedroom for him by hand. There are so many reasons why someone might renovate, especially when you have kids; here are some of them.

Credit: prostooleh via FreePik

Home renovations can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly—and that’s at the best of times. Toss in kids, the holidays, and running a busy household, and you might wonder why anyone would put themselves through all the trouble.

It’s not because they’re masochists — fixing up your home is necessary sometimes, and it comes with a lot of benefits. Here are five common reasons why people renovate.

A Fun Homemade Scattegory Type Game -- DIY Wise Guy Card Game

My friend has a great game that we like to play together, whose name essentially translates to Wise Guy. It is so much fun to play (and it doesn't hurt that I'm terrific at the game), but the game is in our local language and my grasp of the local language is the best in the family, and I want to be able to play with my children as well. Additionally, I felt like the game was too short, and had too little variety, so I wanted to adapt the game, keeping the same rules, but making it better.

The way the game works is that there are cards with categories as well as cards with letters. Each round a category is read and then a letter is shown, and the first person to blurt out a word that starts with that letter and fits that category gets that category card to keep. 

This is a fast paced game that stretches your brain, which is why I understand why its name is the local language equivalent of wise guy, literally translated as "sharp head". 

I made these cards in English, and added many, many, many more categories than the original had. I first looked online to see if I could find an English version of this game, but the closest I could find was the game Scattergories, but with Scattergories you don't need to do things starting with a specific letter, and it is a written list of who can get more, whereas this is a blurt it out game.

The Best Gifts for Autistic Kids

Some autistic kids are very verbal and can tell you exactly what they would like as a gift. Trust me, my autistic kids make it very clear what they want, and often it is something to do with their special interests. My daughter's special interest is makeup so it makes it very easy to figure out what to get her. If you are looking for ideas for what you get your autistic kid if they are less expressive, here are some ideas.

When you are the parent of an autistic kid, you might sometimes struggle to know what to gift them for the holidays, their birthday, and whenever you want to treat them. As such, if you are struggling to find the perfect gift to give your kid for the next celebration of the year, here are some of the top presents that you can buy for them.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dealing With The Third trimester: What To Do Before Your Baby Comes

Preparing for a new baby can be really exciting, but the last trimester definitely can be difficult and stressful, with all the preparations that need to be done before the baby comes, as well as dealing with any health issues or aches and pains that may crop up during the end of the pregnancy. Here are some things you might want to do in your third trimester. 

If you're in the third trimester of your pregnancy, you know that things are about to get a lot more exciting. Soon, you'll be holding your baby in your arms, and all will be right with the world. The third trimester can be fun as well as challenging at times, but there are several things that you can do to ease some of the discomforts that come with it.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

WonderFold W2 Or W4 LUXE Folding Wagon Stroller Comparison

I have been out of the stroller world for quite a few years (my youngest is turning 9 in March!) but I remember how important a good stroller was for my family to be able to function. Especially when living without a car as we did, strollers end up being like a mini car for the family, and it needs to work well. When you have more than one kid needing a stroller, it can be even more challenging to find the right one. Wonderfold makes folding wagon strollers that a family with a few children might be considering. Here is a comparison between a few of them.

The WonderFold W2 and W4 Luxe are two of the most popular folding stroller wagons on the market today. They are both highly affordable, and they offer a wide array of features that make them perfect for any parent. However, they both have their pros and cons. To help you choose the right model for you, we've written a guide that compares these strollers and their features.

How We Gifted This Year For the Holidays

Every year for the holiday season people tend to spend lots of money on gifting, which can put a huge dent in people's finances. I know there is a lot of emotion attached to gift giving, so some people are reluctant to change how they do things. However, if people would like another suggestion on how to give gifts, here is how we did it this year, something that we've had as a tradition already for a few years.

Before anything, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about gift exchanges, because they can be hit or miss. I took part in a gift exchange this year between friends and got a really sucky gift, but oh well. 

Gift exchanges can be really great, though, if people put an effort into it. The gift exchange that I was part of that was between friends gave a really thorough questionnaire. It asked what people's hobbies were, what they liked, what genres of books and movies they liked, if they collect anything specific, if they prefer something mass produced or individually made, if they prefer consumables or non consumables, and if there's anything they'd particularly like as a gift. I liked how thorough the questionnaire was. If, for example, I'd have a person who was an animal lover and collected funky mugs, I totally would have gotten her a mug with an anthropomorphized (made to look like a person) dog or cat, because that would be a perfect gift for a dog or cat lover, especially one who collected funky mugs. But gift exchanges should specify the price range for the gift, so that everyone gets approximately the same value of a gift.

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