Cooking with Kids during the Holidays: a simple muffin recipe

Works for Me Wednesday:

Do you cook with the kids during the holidays

kids can help

 

A simple way to get kids involved in preparing for company or helping to feed the family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons . . . let them make cake – well, muffins anyway! This easy, frugal recipe will be sure to surprise you. It makes a delicious, moist muffin the whole family will love.

Ingredients: 

 

pumpkin muffins

Directions: 

Follow directions on box and after spooning into muffin cups, sprinkle generous spoonful of brown sugar on top of each muffin before baking.

Find ways to allow your children to help out in the kitchen. Baking cookies for a sweet neighbor, making muffins for the elderly couple down the street, or even stirring up a special mix of snacks for visiting cousins can go a long way towards making them feel like a big part of things. Encouraging your children as they learn in the kitchen helps grow their self esteem and lets them know they have an important role in the family.

Cooking and baking together can be a terrific way to start family traditions that your children will treasure for a lifetime!

It’s also a wonderful way to teach them to think of others and to show them how to reach out to people in the community.

Try this simple recipe for starters. The muffins are delicious and the children will be so proud!

Linking with Works for Me Wednesday

How about you? Do you have special traditions that involve cooking with the kiddos during the holidays

Learn about more ways to enjoy a frugal & relaxing season with our special Buy One Get One deal on Molly’s Christmas Bundle (read more here) 

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Frugal family fun – for the birds: Frugal Friday Linky

Welcome!  

There are many different ways to enjoy living a frugal lifestyle . . . this is a great place to learn new things, find what works and encourage one another. Below you can share the link to a post on your own blog, share a little about your frugal life and encourage others, or share a frugal Pin from Pinterest.

This linky party will now be open for the entire month of November (expiring December 1). Come and link-up to this great community of frugal followers! I’ll be Pinning away and sharing your posts ~

Link your frugal posts

Our frugal tips for the week: 

Family fun does not have to break the bank this fall!  With only a few simple ingredients and a family walk in the outdoors, you can make these easy bird treats and enjoy educational fun . . . that’s for the birds!

for the birds

It’s a great idea to hang these handmade bird feeders nearby so that you can be sure to see the feathered friends who come visit for a special treat. All that’s needed to make these is a few pine cones slathered in peanut butter and rolled in wild bird seed.

nature project

Add a little more excitement by donning binoculars and a field guide to identify the birds who flock to your yard. These treats are so affordable, you can help feed your new friends all through the winter. Be sure to get the kids involved. Other ideas to turn it into a fabulous learning experience include photographing the birds or sketching them in an art journal.

Don’t have an art journal? You can make one with inexpensive Composition notebooks and personalize them with your favorite scrapbook papers.  These simple journals make a terrific gift for a friend as well. They also make a cool new “smash book”  - crafty and frugal!

nature journals

Take notes and collect data to chart the number and types of birds in your area. Try different kinds of bird seed to see if one attracts more birds or attracts different types of birds than another.

Bird watching is a fun family activity that is not only educational and fun, but also super frugal! Cornell Lab has a wonderful FREE resource to learn more about our fine feathered friends here.

Whether you are looking for a new frugal activity or wanting to add an outdoor element to the family homeschool, all ages can benefit from the fresh air and activities that are For the Birds! 

 

To share a link to your post about frugal living, use the Linky below. But first . . .

1. We’d love for you to share your links that include anything related to DIY projectssaving money, frugal living, made-from-scratch cooking, cleaning products, sustainable livinggardening, organic and anything else related to homemaking. You can also include your struggles while trying to live a frugal lifestyle (like Midge)! Show us how you are thriving while surviving on a smaller budget.

2. Link directly to your frugal post, not to your home page.

3. Please grab our linky button (from the sidebar) and put it on your blog or on your linky post, or use a text link back to our site.

4. If you link-up, please click on others’ links as well. Our frugal followers have a lot to share!

5. By linking up you agree to allow others to share and Pin your post (linking to you of course).

 

Living frugally means living, learning and growing from each other. We can’t wait to see what you are going to share! (Tto see other blogs that have linked up, click the link below.) Ready, set, link!

After you link up your post, go back to this same link below in order to visit other blogs and support and learn from the other participants. I will be pinning away! Do you follow Molly on Pinterest? 

 

If you have not yet subscribed to the Molly Green Magazine . . . This month you can join for $1 for the first month and for $3.85 each month thereafter. The brand NEW Molly is coming out in January so now is the time to get the best rate!

Go HERE to join today! 

 

CLICK HERE TO LINK-UP (come back to the same spot and click again to visit the other blogs)

 

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Preserving Fall: crafting with leaves

 

preserving fall

 

Fall is a glorious time of the year. The golden, fiery colors as the trees transition from summer into winter make it one of the most striking seasons. It is at least in the top four!

If you are like me and enjoy making the most out of the beautiful leaves before they dry up, you are going to love these projects.

Preserving fall – really works for me!

Here are a few options if you want to try preserving a little fall for yourself:

1. Wax paper – all you need is your beautiful leaves, wax paper, a towel and an iron. Place the leaves between 2 pieces of waxed paper and lay a towel over the top of it. Carefully press the towel with a warm iron. Some people prefer to carefully peel away the wax paper after ironing to leave a coating on the leaf, others like to cut around the wax paper, leaving a small edge so the wax paper remains sealed. These make great book marks or look nice glued on cards or packages.

2. Glycerin – a great option to preserve leaves is to use a glycerin mixture. Prepare a  bath in a shallow pan for your leaf collection consisting of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water. Submerge the leaves in the water and keep them weighted down with a plate or with little rocks. Soak them in this solution for about a week, or at least 4 days.  When they are finished, pat them dry and they will remain pliable and a bit rubbery. They make wonderful decorations when added to a pretty bowl or around candles on a plate.

 

 

mod podge leaves

3. Mod podge – Preserving  with Mod podge can be a great way to craft with your leaves.  Use Mod podge to glue, seal and finish your leaves. Apply them to glass candle holders, decorative plates, picture frames or trays to create one of a kind gifts or decorations.

Check out these awesome leaf projects:

Leaf bowl - from Mod podge Rocks

Incredible Mod podge leaves - Gingerbread Snowflakes

Framed leaves - by Make and Takes

Decorating with fall leaves – Houzz

 

What kind of fall crafting are you up to? I’d love to hear how you preserve fall! 

linking with: Works for me Wednesday 

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Salmon – Off the Hook

Midge copyGuest blog by: Midge

Ever have a good idea for a meal… that ended up rolling into a dinner party for ten?

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My last Year of the Carnivore Series meat selection is: Salmon!  I decided to be INCREDIBLY frugal and bought some $2 small filets at our mart of many discounts.  Going the easy route, the salmon filets sounded like they would be easy breakfast fixings for just my husband and I.  Then, I started to doubt myself… wait, am I really trying salmon if I just use these bargain filets?

So, last week as I was at the market and I spotted a large salmon fillet on special.  Now, that fish is what a “Midge Challenge Meal” is all about!  Large and in charge, this salmon looked like it could feed an army (or at least four more people – ha ha)!  So, I decided to invite a few people over to dinner.  Soon, the number rose to ten with a few children to boot!

My next point of conflict… what if the children do not like the way I prepare the fillets?  So, I bought a few salmon burgers to even out our salmon choices.  But, when it came down to THE DAY of the big meal I realized what all of my piece meal salmon buying had come down to.  I now had three different packages of salmon to cook for a dinner party of ten with side dishes and new recipes to conquer.  I suppose I have come a long, long way from the Midge of a couple of years ago because surprisingly, I looked forward to the challenge.

I created three separate salmon meals:

A salsa based salmon bake prepared in tin foil in the oven ~ SALMON BAKED IN FOIL

Salmon fillets grilled on our BBQ with limited seasonings ~ VIDEO OF GRILLING SALMON

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And I also bought a pre-made Salmon Burger frozen product and cooked it on our indoor George Foreman grill.

**In case you were wondering, we served it with freshly baked cornbread, fresh raspberries, grapes and apple cider.**

My husband and I favored the salsa baked salmon.  It was flavorful and moist although I would definitely choose to use my own salsa choice next time as the lemon flavor the recipe required was too much and threw off the taste of the salsa and salmon.  Our other party guests enjoyed the grilled salmon fillets but they were a bit on the dry side.  This was probably due to the fact that the sun had set by the time the salmon was finishing on the grill.  I cooked by flashlight and had a hard time identifying whether the meat was “truly” done.  Three out of four kids ate their whole salmon burger… so I can only guess that it was a success!!

On a side note, I did panic a “wee little” bit (okay, a lot) before attempting to create the salmon.  But, I put out a call on my Facebook page saying, “help, there is a salmon in my freezer and I don’t know what to do!” or something like that ;) .  I had many helpful hints from my friends and felt a lot more confident embarking on this salmon cooking endeavor than before I posted my cry for help!!!  Two of my favorite were ideas from Christina Mann and Rachel Crites; writers at the HIDING THE PEAS BLOG.  Christina shared her favorite recipe with me for a sweet bourbon salmon…. Wow, that sounded good (wish I could share it here!!)!

And Rachel, shared a few helpful hints plus the following recipe:  Wrap your salmon in tin foil and add butter, lemon juice and dill weed.  Bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes until it is white and it flakes apart.  She stated that this was the main way they enjoyed salmon.

And really folks, salmon is just that easy.  Although for me and my taste buds, we will just stick to MAHI MAHI and TILAPIA ;)   Salmon is a bit too fresh “off the hook” fishy tasting for me!

 

How do you cook your salmon?  Every have a small dinner turn into a dinner party for ten… or is that just me? ;)

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post — DIY Ribbon Windsock

I love color, and I love the flow of things in the wind, and I love cute ribbon, so I combined all of them into a Ribbon Windsock! You can use any color you like and any size hoop you like to get your desired effect. I personally just dug out leftover ribbons from the hair bows I made the girls.
 
To start with you need whatever ribbon you selected (it takes quite a bit) and an embroidery hoopYou really only need the inside of the hoop or something else that is round and stiff enough to hold a good amount of ribbon.
The actual process to making these is very simple. Cut your ribbon in pieces that are double the length you want your finished product. I wanted mine to be varied, so I just randomly cut my pieces. Then take a piece and fold in half. Slip the fold under your hoop and then pull the ends through the folded area. Tighten. Some ribbons don’t tighten as well as others, so if you are wanting this to hold up you might want to use a little hot glue on the inside of the fold. Continue around the hoop. You can make stripes or a single color or an eclectic combination like I did.

Once your hoop is covered you can securely tie a piece of ribbon to either side of the hoop to use to hang it. Then hang your ribbon windsock wherever you need some extra color!

 

So a more appropriate name for this project might be a ribbon mobile or a ribbon chandelier, but it does blow in the wind like a windsock! The problem I found with it is that it is made of ribbon which doesn’t hold up particularly well to various weather conditions. You could use ribbon intended to be left out or you could just hang it inside. In fact it is so simple that you could easily make one to match party decor and then take it apart to re-use the components!

A classic strong-willed child, Ashley, fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian in 2005; only to realize a new dream had formed, having a family with her husband (another strong-willed child). After much heartache, they were blessed with two daughters and a son, who are all proving to be just as spirited as their parents! Though she is still working part-time, she fills her days off with fun activities and lots of learning with her three kids. And this is where the blog comes in. Life with Moore Babies is where she documents the activities they do and the places they go in hopes that someone might be inspired to do some “fun learning” with their kids.You can find Ashley on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google +.

Frugal Friday Linky Party~ Paper Crafts

There are so many different ways to live a frugal lifestyle . . . this is a great place to learn new things and encourage one another! Below you can share the link to a post on your own blog, share a little about your frugal life and encourage others. This linky party will now be open for the entire month of August (expiring September 1st). Come and link-up to this great community of frugal followers!

If you get my Friday newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question about my favorite kind paper craft to do with children (if you don’t get my FREE newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner). Read below to see my response.  Molly

Dear Midge,

I must confess, paper crafts aren’t super high on the list of favorite things to do with my children. I laughed when you mentioned origami- we did try that. Once! I  got an origami book from the library and carefully cut out many pieces of paper to the exact size needed. The directions looked so easy to follow and the end product (in the book) looked SO beautiful. We gave it our best shot. . . some of the animals we attempted actually turned out pretty good! Mine, on the other hand, not so much. I forget which animal I tried to make but I do remember it was barely recognizable. LOL! Who knew origami would take that much patience?

Speaking of paper crafts, we do have fun with scrapbooking supplies. I began trying to “teach” the children how to “correctly” make a certain type of card. That was more stressful than it was worth so now I let them loose with the supplies and just let them create. Some of the things they come up with are so creative and cute! The birthday cards they made you last year were made from one of our “scrapbooking” days. :)

Love ya, Molly

 

Frugal Friday Linky Party www.Econobusters.com

To share a link to your post about frugal living, use the Linky below. But first. . .

 

1. We’d love for you to share your links that include anything related to DIY projectssaving money, frugal living, made from scratch cooking, cleaning products, sustainable livinggardening, organic, and anything else related to homemaking! You can also include your struggles while trying to live a frugal lifestyle (like Midge!)! Show us about how you are thriving while surviving on a smaller budget!

 

2. Please, no link-ups to giveaways or blog topics in which you are just selling a product.

 

3. Link directly to your frugal post, not to your home page.

 

4. Grab our linky graphic (from the sidebar) and put it on your blog or on your linky post.

 

5. If a linked up post does not meet the above guidelines, it will be removed.

 

6. If you link-up, please click on other’s links as well. Our frugal followers have a lot to share!

 

Living frugally means living, learning, and growing from each other. We can’t wait to see what you are going to share (to see other blogs who have linked up, click the link below)! Ready, set, link!

CLICK HERE TO LINK-UP!

Works for Me~ Summer Emergency Supplies

The sun definitely deserves respect! Having fun this summer is a priority but protecting your family from sun danger is a must! In times like these it’s important to turn to the right source. Please see the information below on what Priscilla Slagle, M.D. has to say about staying safe in the sun.


It’s summer and the heat is on.  You’ll likely be outside more than usual, hopefully having a good time.
 
Although getting outdoors and exercising is great for your health, it can also be dangerous, if too hot, and  you are not prepared. Make sure warm weather enjoyment doesn’t turn into dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion or worse.
 
Before you begin any sustained outdoor activities it is important to know the heat index. The heat index is a combination of the temperature and humidity to reflect the actual heat effect on us. It is more telling than just the temperature. It is helpful to use this linkto determine the heat index for the day before you start any outdoor activities. Just type in the zip code in the upper left corner to find the heat index for any area you wish.
 
Here are a few summer health tips as a timely reminder to keep you safe and healthy while working, playing or vacationing in a hot climate.
  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER & ELECTROLYTE (SALT)REPLENISHING FLUIDS WHEN THEY ARE INDICATED
 
Next to air, water is the most essential element for our existence. Water is much of what we are, as the average human body is 60-70% water.   If you wait to drink until you are thirsty, you are already 1-3% dehydrated.   So drink before you get thirsty, especially in warmer climates. Thirst mechanisms are not totally reliable and are particularly impaired in the elderly.  Research suggests that at best 70-80% of us walk around in a  state of mild dehydration.  Imagine how much more at risk we are when out in the hot weather. Under ordinary circumstances, the average adult loses 10 cups of water daily by breathing, sweating, and eliminating.  This is magnified when there is excess heat, sweating, and activity.
 
Even when swimming you need to drink plenty of fluids. Just because you are in water does not mean your body isn’t losing fluids that need to be replenished.
 
I am amazed to hear from my patients how many people do not like  water!  These people need to be especially careful to drink enough. Since they tend to avoid water, it works best for them to put a 24 hour supply in a glass container, then take water from that supply and make sure all of it is gone in each 24 hours.  Counting glasses can be tedious and inaccurate.   If you are minimally active, the ideal number of ounces to drink in a 24 hour period is your weight divided by 2.
 
BUT HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED TO DRINK?
If you are active, your water needs increase.  You can calculate your daily water needs, cross referenced with your activity level at this link.  You will see that the more exercise you do, the greater is the need for water. The difference can be dramatic.  A 158 pound person’s daily need for water would increase from 79 oz when sedentary to 125 oz with daily aerobics. Many do not adjust water intake to activity level.  The best way to make sure you keep hydrated is to always have a glass or bottle of water with you to remind you to keep drinking.  Be sure you do not leave your bottled water in hot cars or other warm places as the chemicals in the plastic are more apt to leach in to the water when heated.
 
WHEN DO YOU NEED ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHING FLUIDS?With high intensity exercise or work for more than 3-5 hours , or with prolonged excessive sweating you may also need to add the electrolytes, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium such as in a electrolyte drink or electrolyte powders added to a drink.  Smart water, Powerade Zero, Ultima Replenisher have electrolytes, but no sugar or calories.  If you drink an electrolyte drink too fast it could be nauseating.  Vegetable juices also contain electrolytes. Emergen C powder contains electrolytes and can be added to any drink. There are numerous electrolyte sports drinks on the market. Unless you are an endurance athlete or are doing hard sustained physical labor in the heat, you will usually not need anything beyond water, fruit, vegetables, and vegetable juice.  Researchers also found that skim milk worked as well as an electrolyte drink in tests they performed on exercising subjects.
 
Because decreased water impairs the optimal functioning of the body at the cellular level, dehydration worsens almost any  pre-existing health condition, such as allergies, asthma, heart disease, strokes, infections, kidney stones. Dehydration also impairs  mental and physical functioning.  For every 1% of water weight we lose, our capacity to do work or exercise decreases 10%. Pretty dramatic!
 
Trying to get quench thirst with the wrong liquids can make matters worse. Alcohol, and caffeinated or carbonated drinks act as diuretics and can easily dehydrate,  leaving you feeling tired and worn out. If it is hard to quit drinking these types of beverages all together, try to limit the amount you usually drink, switching from a large container every morning to a small container every other day.  Also drink more water to try to compensate.
 
 Carbohydrates help extend duration of activity, especially when combined with protein. Small amounts of caffeine limits the deterioration of performance associated with fatigue.
 
Those who have higher risk of heat related illness include:
 
  • Infants and children up to four years of age.
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill
  • Endurance athletes and hard physical laborers
  • Those exercising at high altitude
 Also at higher risk are those taking the following medications:
  • Psychotropics, such as major tranquilizers or antidepressant medications.
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease, because they can inhibit perspiration
  • Diuretic medications or “water pills” that affect fluid balance in the body.
 The Symptoms of mild dehydration can be  thirst, headaches,  general fatigue, nausea, dark colored urine, constipation and bloating, dry skin and mucous membranes, and a flushed face.  If you ever get a dull headache immediately start drinking water and you will usually find that the headache disappears.
 
The symptoms of moderate dehydration can be fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, light headedness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, impatience and irritability, headache, cold hands and feet,  muscle cramping, fainting, and reduced urine output.
 
  •  REMEMBER EXTREME HEAT CAN BE DANGEROUS!
All outdoor activities in high heat are physically stressful and can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. The difference between the two may mean life or death.
 
Heat exhaustion sets in when we become so dehydrated that our body cannot sweat enough to cool down causing the temperature to rise. The person’s temperature may be elevated up to 104 F.
 
Heat exhaustion symptoms can cause pale cool, moist skin, profuse sweating, muscle cramps or pains, feeling faintness or dizziness, headache, weakness, thirst, and nausea. There may be a rapid pulse, and decrease in blood pressure.
 
Heat Stroke is a life-threatening condition which occurs when your body temperature reaches 104 F (40 C) or higher. High environmental temperatures can bring it on, especially when combined with  strenuous physical activity or  other conditions that raise your body temperature. Whatever the cause, you’ll need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage, organ failure or death.
 
Heat Stroke Symptoms include unconsciousness, markedly abnormal mental status including dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, flushed, hot, and dry skin (although it may be moist initially from previous sweating or from attempts to cool the person with water), slightly elevated blood pressure at first that falls later, and/ or hyperventilating. If you or someone around you have heatstroke, you need to go immediately to the emergency room to receive intravenous fluids.
 
  • PROTECT YOUR SKIN & EYES FROM HARMFUL UV RAYS
Even if you don’t plan to spend too much time outdoors, apply the right sunscreen to exposed areas of your body, but cover as many areas as possible. Sunscreen can prevent painful sunburn, skin damage, development of moles, wrinkles, as well as skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB harmful rays is the best choice.
 
Not all sunscreens are equal and some are even harmful.
 
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) developed a rating  scale based upon safety and effectiveness for all sunscreen products. To achieve a top rating the sunscreen had to contain the minerals zinc or titanium, which help reduce UVA exposures.  The sunscreen  should not contain oxybenzone or Vitamin A. Studies have suggested a possible link between using suntan lotions with oxybenzone and a subsequent higher risk of  skin cancer.  The EWG also recommends  you avoid powder or spray sunscreens.  Some people are allergic to most sunscreens, such as myself.  I have found our Aloe Non-Chemical Sun blocker to be very useful.
 
Here is the EWG top ranked list of sunscreens, all rated 1:
 
Badger
Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, Unscented,
Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 30, Unscented,
Sunscreen for the face & Body, SPF 30, Unscented
 
Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+
 
Loving Naturals
Sunscreen, SPF 30+
 
Purple Prairie Botanicals
Sun Stick, SPF 30 SunStuff, SPF 30
 
Soleo Organics
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
 
Atlantis Resort
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
 
Wyland Organics
 All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30
 
 Avoid sun exposure during the most intense periods of the day. Avoid prolonged sun exposure between noon and three, or eleven and four if you’re very sensitive to the sun to keep your skin covered.
 
When you are out and about cover up. A hat that shades your face and neck is a must-have. Wear clothing that covers you. White clothing, especially flowing cloth, will help to keep you cool; the tighter the knit, the more protection from the sun’s rays will be provided.
 
 If you spend time gardening, a long-sleeved shirt and gloves to protect your hands will keep you safe. Sitting in the shade is a great way to stay outside without having to worry about your skin, so don’t feel like you can’t enjoy the great outdoors, just be conscientious while doing so.
 
Don’t forget to include sunglasses in your summer wardrobe. Select sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays and have a wraparound style that prevents sunlight from shining into your eyes.  Adequate eye protection from the sun can help prevent the formation of cataracts.
 
  •  BE SURE TO SCHEDULE TIME TO REST AFTER ACTIVITY
We all know that sunshine & warm weather provide us with a wide range of activity choices. But we must be aware of our physical limitations to avoid letting overexertion sap our energy and impair our judgment.
 
 If you  need to be working in very hot temperatures, you should try to acclimate your body by only spending a few minutes a day in extreme heat for the first couple of weeks.
 
It is very important to schedule time to rest, relax and even take a nap if necessary.
  •  DON’T STOP EATING HEALTHFULLY
With vacations & summer picnics comes the temptation to pig out. Try not to. Excessive  junk food, heavy fatty foods, spicy and starchy foods, & sweets fail to provide your body with the nutrients and water found in healthy food. Junk food eating can deplete your body of essential energy.
 
Summer brings with it a wide variety of fresh fruits & vegetables, so enjoy them freely.
 
Foods high in beta- carotene including carrots, spinach, apricots, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mangoes, papayas, oatmeal, and lots more can protect your skin against sun damage.
 
 So make healthy eating a priority this summer by focusing on simple snacks that don’t take much  work such as:
  • Fresh berries kept in the refrigerator to add to salads, yogurt and ice creams
  • You can also freeze all sort of berries or grapes for a delicious cooling snack.
  • Healthy extras, like lettuce and tomatoes, kept in your produce bin.
  • Try homemade Popsicles by freezing 100 percent juice.
  • Cut up raw vegetables to serve with low-fat dips or yogurt.
  • Blended fruit smoothies with protein powder and ice are easy to make and only limited by your imagination.
  • Nutritionally dense and delicious, almonds make a fabulous snack.  A top source for vitamin E and magnesium, and a tasty way to get your daily fiber, they also protect against digestive cancers, and contain phosphorous, an essential building block for healthy bones and teeth, that is also helpful in the absorption of other vitamins, like B-complex vitamins. Almonds are also rich in healthy fat, protein, potassium, calcium, and iron. 
  • Walnuts and pecans, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds are also healthy snacks.  You can snack on nuts alone or by mixing with dried fruit, such as cranberries, or blueberries. You can also chop or sliver  nuts add to many dishes, breads, cereals, and desserts.
  • Green tea is a healthy refreshing drink which is mostly water.  You sip on iced weak green tea all day, preferably sweetened with Stevia Powder or non sweetened.
 
Safe summer fun works for me! What summertime precautions do you take when having fun-in-the-sun?
 
 
Dr. Slagle has incorporated vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, natural hormones & other natural substances into her practice since 1975, being one of the pioneers in the Alternative Medicine Field.The Way Up From Downpresents her natural “precursor” methods for lifting low moods & relieving the negative effects of stress.

Kids in the Kitchen ~ Safety

Guest post by: Inger Koppenhaver

My children were just two years old when they began helping me in the kitchen and when I first started to teach them the art of cooking. My twin girls stirred two separate bowls with big plastic spoons while smiling from ear to ear. The moment ended in a disaster when one little one stirred a bit too hard and fell off her chair! Cookie baking time was over for them that afternoon but it would definitely prove to be the first of many adventures in my girls’ journey to helping me to cook in the kitchen!

One of my twin girls at six years old learning how to frost a cake.

One of my twin girls at six years old learning how to frost a cake.

I now have four children ages (almost) 4, 9, 12 and 12. One of my biggest goals before they leave home is to help each of them to become proficient in the kitchen. I also own a small town café along with my mother-in-law so I am able to bring all I have learned in my commercial kitchen back into my home kitchen, as well.

Here is a list I created of the top three kitchen safety tips for those of who are looking for a few hints on where to get started with teaching their children in the kitchen. I noticed that Molly Green’s Facebook page has been full of dialogue on occasion with advice from fans about helping kids learn to use recipes and learn safety skills. Feel free to add your advice in the comments section! I look forward to having you share them with us!

My almost four year old got more than hands on when making pizza crust!! But, those hands sure were clean!

My almost four year old got more than hands on when making pizza crust!! But, those hands sure were clean!

1. Washing Hands

Yes, washing hands is my number one tip for kitchen safety!!! If you had a tiny hand camera following your little ones’ hands around all day, I think you would be amazed at all of the things that they touch. When working around food both in our café and in our home, we emphasize hand washing. Wash your hands before you begin cooking, after working with raw meat, after touching your face or fixing your hair, and of course, after using the restroom. When in doubt, wash!

For little ones (and us older ones too), make sure they also clean the area underneath their fingernails. When my twins were in the ICU as preemies, we were asked to wash our hands all the way up to the elbow for a five full minutes. Now, I am not suggesting that you do this BUT sometimes my kids will do the “five second soap and water wash” or the “I just washed with water” trick. Find a happy medium between extreme washing and fast power washing and that should work the best! Our health care provider suggested to have your children sing the Happy Birthday song two times through while washing. It works for my kids!

Start your child out with a butter knife or a dull knife with lots of supervision.

Start your child out with a butter knife or a dull knife with lots of supervision.

2. Kitchen Safety

I have encouraged my children to help me cut vegetables starting at an age at which I felt they could handle a knife responsibly. How to properly hold the knife, while using it to cut a firm vegetable, is an important skill to learn. Start with something simple like a green pepper or a tomato. Find videos online with a detailed tutorial on the correct way to cut each veggie.

Then, as the teacher, I would demonstrate to my child how to cut the vegetable. While I am there watching him, I have him demonstrate the skill. We usually practice many times before moving to the next step of having him try the skill independently. I will walk away from him and work on another part of the meal. I will stay close enough to help, if needed, but far enough away for him to experience doing it by himself. Finally, when they are old enough and have enough experience, I will tell them which parts of the meal need to be accomplished. Then, they can work independently to achieve those goals.

We also use the same technique when teaching them how to use the oven and the stove. It took my oldest children longer for them to feel confident with using the oven in comparison to using a knife. So, take it slowly. You may have to stay on steps one and two for quite some time until they feel secure enough to do it by themselves.

Last month the older children participated in a cooking competition for 4H.  It was a great way for them to showcase the skills they have learned and to try new recipes.

Last month the older children participated in a cooking competition for 4H. It was a great way for them to showcase the safety skills they have learned and to try new recipes.  Both my daughters had to use the oven independently and my son used a sharp knife to cut vegetables.

3. Food Safety

There are common rules everyone knows when working with food such as keeping your uncooked meats separate from other side dishes until they are cooked. Also, keep a keen eye on the correct food temperatures. Not only do you need to make sure your meat is at the right temperature before you serve it but you need to focus on keeping the correct holding temperatures for your other food, as well. If you are serving a large meal and your corn soufflé is done an hour before everything else, this could be an issue. Here is a GREAT WEBSITE WITH CHARTS about food temperatures. Help the kids to learn how to test the temperatures of your food by purchasing a thermometer and follow the food safety charts to make sure it is kept at the right temperature.

Here is a basic “Check your Steps” food safety article to help your young children as they are starting on their cooking adventure: CHECK YOUR STEPS

Remember to wear cute aprons and cook up some fun with your kids in the kitchen this summer! 

 

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Inger grew up in a city by the beach in California, but loves living in her small Norman Rockwell kind of town on the prairie in Montana. She is a published author, a homeschool mom of four adorable children who also just happens to own a 50′s style café with her mother-in-law. You can find her blogging at www.hidingthepeas.wordpress.com and her café can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/badlandscafemt.

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Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

What kind of vacation can you look forward to on a frugal budget? You’d be surprised!

Rest, relaxation, and adventure don’t have to cost a bundle! Explore summer fun and vacation ideas plus innovative ways to save, in this edition of . . . Molly’s Money-Saving Magazine -Frugal Family Vacations.

Do your plans for the coming months include some time for rest and relaxation? Even in these days of uncertainty and change, it’s possible for nearly every family to enjoy a vacation, “stay-cation,” or “day-cation.” Discover great vacation ideas –even for those that can’t afford a vacation right now!

This issue is loaded with ideas, tips, recipes, checklists, and more to help you plan for those special family outings –all within your budget! Here’s a little more of what’s inside:

  • Keeping it All together –Budget Your Vacation: There are oodles of economical vacation ideas plus money-saving tips on: transportation, lodging, entertainment, food, and souvenirs. And don’t miss this! Two special forms –Budgeting for Your Vacation and the Vacation Checklist!
  • Feather Your Nest –Frugally –A Painting Makeover Project: An old curb side chair from someone’s trash transforms into a beautiful treasure! The cost? $0.00. Check out the photos!
  • Pull Up a Chair –Reasons to Celebrate in June and July: You’ll have plenty of reasons to pull out the picnic basket and fire up the backyard barbecue grill! Try these favorite wrap ideas and recipes for Caesar, Mexican, Chicken Salad, and Hummus and Veggie fillings. Plus more!
  • Parenting That Pays –Honoring Our Fathers and/or Husbands: Wonderful, heart-felt tributes to some special dads are shared by many, highlighting something learned from their fathers –there’s much you’ll admire and appreciate from every one of these responses!
  • Something Old, Something New –An Old Baking Table Turned Beverage Station: Fixing a cup of coffee or cocoa is a snap in Eleanor’s kitchen now –with her all-in-one station spot for hot beverage preparation and serving. See the photos!
  • Goal-Getter Spotlight: Elizabeth shared a life-long dream of her husband’s, but farmland without a house takes some creativity! You’ll want to read her story.
  • Readers Write In: How did one reader’s family spend their “stay-cation”? What do you pack for a 3,000+ mile trip with kids? You’ll want to pack and take along this travel tote bag! Monica tells you how and shares some terrific must-read tips!

With over 40 pages, there are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine today for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out June 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

Frugal Friday~ Linky Party

There are so many different ways to live a frugal  lifestyle . . . this is a great place to learn new things and encourage one another! Below you can share the link to a post on your own blog, share a little about your frugal life and encourage others. This linky party will now be open for the entire month of July (expiring August 1st). Come and link-up to this great community of frugal followers!

If you get my Friday newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question about my favorite go-to craft item to have on hand (if you don’t get my FREE newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner). Read below to see my response.  Molly

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Dear Midge,

Because I still have school-aged children I always like to have stickers, construction paper, watercolor and tempera paints (along with freezer paper, various size paint brushes and sponge shapes) in my art supply stash. The girls love to glue little pompoms to their projects and you’d be amazed how creative kids can get with a package of popsicle sticks! I have yet to find a great way to organize all of these things, it seems like art supplies are ALWAYS spilling out of the cabinet I store them in.

I usually wait until after the school year begins and then take advantage of the super cheap sales the week after when stores are trying to get rid of their inventory. I also watch the bigger craft store chains and get their coupons via email or through the mail. I wait until some of the craft supplies go on sale and/or use a good coupon to stock up on other items not found in a department store.

Over the years, I’ve also come across the issue of storing art projects for all of my children. Just last year I began taking photographs of them and I’m now compiling a digital file instead of trying to cram them all into my filing cabinet. :)

I was thinking of getting the kids all together to make some handprint stepping stones for Grandma’s garden. I gathered the supplies using THIS SITE as a guide. Here’s some instructions on how to do THIS PROJECT along with some other TIPS AND TRICKS. HERE ARE some pictures of different shapes and styles, which ones do you like?

Love ya, Molly

Frugal Friday Linky Party www.Econobusters.com

To share a link to your post about frugal living, use the Linky below. But first. . .

 

1. We’d love for you to share your links that include anything  related to DIY projectssaving money, frugal living, made from scratch cooking, cleaning products, sustainable livinggardening, organic, and anything else related to homemaking! You can also  include your struggles while trying to live a frugal lifestyle (like  Midge!)! Show us about how you are thriving while surviving on a smaller budget!

 

2. Please, no link-ups to giveaways or blog topics in which you are just selling a product.

 

3. Link directly to your frugal post, not to your home page.

 

4. Grab our linky graphic (from the sidebar) and put it on your blog or on your linky post.

 

5. If a linked up post does not meet the above guidelines, it will  be removed.

 

6. If you link-up, please click on other’s links as well. Our frugal followers have a lot to share!

 

Living frugally means living, learning, and growing from each other. We can’t wait to see what you are going to share (to see other blogs who have linked up, click the link below)!  Ready, set, link!

CLICK HERE TO LINK-UP!