FREE Molly Green Magazine: March, April

FREE MGM March - April

Leap into Spring with a jump start on all things Homesteading. Right now – you can get the new issue of Molly Green Magazine . . . FREE!

A sneak peek at what’s inside:

  • In Notes from the Heart, Patricia Hunter talks about using what you’ve got
  • The FlyLady (Marla Cilley) talks to Molly readers about getting started with a system to help life become more organized
  • Sharon White provides a fun, votive candle holder project in Something Old, Something New
  • Gardening from the North and Gardening from the South are sure to give you great gardening tips, spring is the perfect time to begin planning!
  • In Hearth & HomeLisa Barthuly brings you some examples on natural spring cleaning
  • Eric Osborn is back and writes from the male perspective in Ancient Ways in the 21st Century
  • Kids in the Kitchen is just one of the featured articles from our friends over at Build A Menu
  • In Here’s to Your HealthSusan Lyttek shares how to survive ear infections at home
  • Beekeeping 101 is yet another featured article that will walk you through the basics of beekeeping

The Spring issue will help you get organized using what you have, and with efficient tips from our resident expert Marla Cilley – aka. The FlyLady. Home projects, gardening, and natural cleaning articles will inspire and equip you to be the best homemaker you can be. Get recipe ideas the whole family will enjoy. Increase wisdom and know-how by learning about natural cures to keep the family healthy, and investigate the idea of a new family hobby with Beekeeping 101.

This is just a taste of what you will find in this Spring issue -but  best of all – for a short time you can get it all for free!

Go HERE to get your FREE copy now

Molly Members Can Access the Member Page HERE

Molly Green Magazine: Homesteading 101

Molly celebrates Homesteading!

In this issue, Molly brings you on a tour around the homestead, just in time for spring!

MGM_Mar-April 2014_Cover_X-Sm

Look for these topics and more:

  • In Notes from the Heart, Patricia Hunter talks about using what you’ve got
  • The FlyLady (Marla Cilley) talks to Molly readers about getting started with a system to help life become more organized
  • Sharon White provides a fun, votive candle holder project in Something Old, Something New
  • Gardening from the North and Gardening from the South are sure to give you great gardening tips, spring is the perfect time to begin planning!
  • In Hearth & HomeLisa Barthuly brings you some examples on natural spring cleaning
  • Eric Osborn is back and writes from the male perspective in Ancient Ways in the 21st Century
  • Kids in the Kitchen is just one of the featured articles from our friends over at Build a Menu
  • In Here’s to Your HealthSusan Lyttek shares how to survive ear infections at home
  • Beekeeping 101 is yet another featured article that will walk you through the basics of beekeeping

See why readers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!


Click here for a preview!

Director of Publication: Becky Bleck
Director of Advertising: Lisa Barthuly
Project Editor: Dara Ekanger
Cover Design, Layout, and Art Direction: Ronda Bodenstab

Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Lisa Barthuly, Karee Blunt, Leah Courtney, Betty Daley, James Duke, Meredith Duke, Sharon Duncan, Lisa Holcomb, Patricia Hunter, McKenzi Knapp, Susan Lyttek, Eric Osborn, April Schroader, Sharon Shirey, Morgan Treece, Anna Vaagen, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White


Publication: 2014
Pages: 71
File Size: 10.9


Spring is in the air with Molly Green Magazine!  Now is the time to spruce up your finances and sweep out the unnecessary expenses. Why not let Molly Green Magazine help you Spring Clean with savings inside and outside your home to get some more green in your wallet. ~ Laura Williams

Subscribe to a Molly Membership and receive all these goodies for just $7.95/mo!

All the back issues (from 2009-2013), 5 Molly E-Books, the new 2014 issues, The Old Schoolhouse Planners, exclusive access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime menu planning, cottage industry market place shops for handmade goods (a networking and selling platform for handmade & homemade items), wonderful new columns from FlyLady, TheCookieLady, and the ladies of Build a Menu to name a few. Molly is spreading her wings to include back yard farming, sustainability, and all things home industry!

For only $7.95 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the bi-monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also MUCH more!

Purchase your very own membership NOW!

Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

For just $4.95, download just the March/April issue now!

 Join Molly daily and follow her adventures in fiscally responsible homemaking at

And then keep watching for the next Molly Green Magazine.


Frugal healthy lunch ideas: works for me Wednesday

frugal healthy lunch

Frugal healthy lunch ideas from Midge

Hi all! It’s Molly’s cousin Midge here. Molly knows I’ve been working hard to find new ways to be frugal and for this new year – I’ve set some personal goals for my health as well.

Fortunately for me, my Molly Green magazine membership will allow me to have exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime menu planner from Build a Menu (coming soon) AND I get a big discount on a full membership to BAM which includes the fabulous Trim Healthy Mama recipes to help me even more.

Now, I know you may be thinking “lucky Midge – being related to Molly and all”  but, this is not just a family deal - YOU get the same benefits with a Molly Membership – see,  you can join the Molly Family too!

So now, about those frugal healthy lunches . . .

I’ve been making my very own kind of “Lean Cuisine” meals for the week.  When I do my batch cooking  or prepare evening meals – I set aside food to build the lunches with the tips as follows:

  1. Measure 1 cup of extra brown rice to add to broth. Freeze in baggies for quick access.
  2. Place portions of rice in freezer containers and add chopped veggies for a frugal, healthy homemade lean cuisine.
  3. Use broccoli stems to chop small pieces to add to rice for lunch stir-fry or to salads.
  4. Use the tops of tomatoes and bottom portion and chop for a fresh pico de gallo - to add to beans, salad, or chicken,  a Mexican rice dish or fish – for an instant burst of flavor that will light up your taste buds!  pico de gallo
  5.  Use tops and bottoms of white onions and peppers you might normally toss out for the same purpose. Chop ‘em small and throw them into sauce or soup too.
  6. Freeze washed berries and grapes individually on a tray and then divide them into portion sizes for your smoothies and health drinks.
  7. Chop bite size pieces of leftover meats – chicken, fish, steak – and freeze in portion sizes to go into your rice or healthy pasta for a protein boost at lunch.
  8. Once cooled, freeze lunch size portions of your homemade chick broth  in Mason jars or other freezer containers – add leftover rice, chicken, and veggies for a hearty hot lunch.
  9. Use frozen broth to make a homemade Egg Drop Soupfrugal healthy lunch: egg drop soup
  10. Freeze stuffed bell peppers  for a flavorful lunch – use leftover ingredients of rice and lean ground beef, turkey, or venison to fill them with.

Frugal healthy lunches can be yours with just a little bit of prep and planning ahead of time.

Don’t wait to get your Molly Membership so you can take advantage of the big discount for Build a Menu and have the Trim Healthy Mama recipes at your finger tips – or just use the Molly Membership to enjoy the ever frugal Dine on a Dime menu planner!

Go here to get your first month for only $1 and only $7.95 ever after. 

linking with Works for Me Wed

Enhanced by Zemanta

Molly Green Magazine: Molly the Teacher

Put on your Teacher Hat!

Molly has a lot to teach you this month!



You’re never too old (or young) to learn! This issue of Molly Green Magazine includes articles that will both encourage and challenge you. As a homeschooler, learn how to prepare your heart before beginning to teach. How about learning how to clothe your family with only $100 per year?! Be ready for that avalanche of school papers with our tips. Using our 15 minute cooking system, you’ll have made from scratch meals on the table with ease. Molly and her team have packed this issue with teachings on all sorts of topics!

  • Back to school time is a great time to celebrate Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Having a regular eye exam is important for eye health. With back to school themed sales, now would be a perfect time to take care of this appointment.
  • As Patricia Hunter shares, it’s who we are, what we do, and how we respond to life’s challenges and opportunities that make a greater impact than what we teach. Our children are watching us. Learn to prepare your heart as a homeschool teacher.
  • With the 15 minute cooking system shared by Rhonda Barfield, supper time won’t arrive with you wondering what to make for supper. Or worse yet, ordering pizza for the 3rd time this week. Simple, easy to follow step-by-step directions make using this system a breeze.
  • With the national average ranging from $300 all the way to $1200 per year for clothing for ONE child, you’ll want to read how April Schroader clothes her children for only $100 PER CHILD!
  • What can you make with old clothes, an empty milk container, spray adhesive, and fiberfill? Follow along with Patricia Hunter as she shows you how to make teaching puppets!
  • Are you taking a trip to the beach this summer? Don’t let the learning stop! Pat Fenner shares how to learn everywhere you go!
  • Nothing seems to go right when Mom’s physical, emotional, and spiritual states get out of whack. Rhonda Barfield has practical tips to get back on track.
  • Routine in your homeschool. Does that scare you? Let Jill Reiner show you how a simple routine can make your day run smoother.
  • Inger Koppenhaver helps you to prepare for the coming avalanche of school papers and projects so that they don’t end up lying on counters or overwhelming the side of your refrigerator!
  • Do you ever wonder who learns more, the student or the teacher? Amanda van der Gulik’s article will encourage you to grow as a student, which will help you grow as a teacher.
  • Starting children on chores when they are young can sometimes feel like a never-ending teaching task. Let Rhonda Barfield’s reflections on raising her children with routines encourage you to stick with it!
  • Learning the fundamentals of money management is so very important, especially for teens heading off to college this time of year. Follow along as Pat Fenner shares her tips on teaching this needful lesson.

Chores! Who likes to do chores? Well Molly Green Magazine might just change your mind this month as well as give you some great tips for back to school for your children.
Laura Williams
Wife, Homemaker, Homeschool Teacher, and Mother of 8

See why homemakers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!
TOS-Molly-8-13-MollyTheTeacherSpreadClick here to view a sample!

Molly makes it fun and easier to be frugal! Think about it—with so much to learn and save, if you apply just one money-saving idea, you’ll recoup the cost of this E-Book right away!

Project Manager: Becky Gustafson
Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Alayna Cann, Pat Fenner, Patricia Hunter, Inger Koppenhaver, Jill Reiner, April Schroader, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White
Publication: 2013
Pages: 39
File Size: 6.4 MB

Need to economize? Subscribe to a Molly Membership!
For only $3.85 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also much more!

Purchase NOW!

Every month, Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

For just $4.95, download this Molly Green Magazine now!

Or become a monthly Molly Member and subscribe for only $3.85 per month!

Five Telecommuting Opportunities You Might Not Know About

Guest Post by Jill Hart


Work At Home Mom

Because I run a website dedicated to work-at-home moms, I get a considerable amount of email filled with questions about working from home. Without a doubt the question that I get asked most often is, “Do you know of any companies that I can work for from home?” The exciting thing is that yes, I do. In part because of the hard economic times that we find ourselves in, more and more companies looking for qualified professionals to represent their businesses from their own homes. Here is just a sampling of companies currently hiring at-home workers:

1. VIPdesk ( – This company hires home-based workers for customer service positions. They represent numerous high-profile brands such as Eddie Bauer and BlueFly. From their website: “A proven premium service provider with 20 years of experience, VIPdesk specializes in delivering Concierge and Virtual Call Center Services for national brand leaders in several industries that include travel, auto, financial services and retail, by providing high-touch, high-tech branded service platforms that deliver real results and real return on investment.”

2. wiseGEEK ( – This is just one of the many websites that pay freelance writers. These sites generally pay per article written. From their website: “wiseGEEK writers get to choose the topics to write on out of a pool of hundreds of titles. You can opt to write on categories that you are familiar with, or venture out a little to explore new frontiers.”

3. Convergys ( – At-home agents are nothing new for Convergys, a company who also supplies customer care services to well-known companies. From their website: “As a Convergys Home Agent, you’ll interact with customers of well-known and respected top companies. You may answer questions, determine product opportunities that best meet your callers’ needs, place orders on their behalf, provide technical support, or enroll callers in health, entertainment or other plans.”

4. American Express ( – American Express is, of course, primarily known for their credit card, but in some cases they also hire home-based travel agents. From their website: ” …American Express operates 2,200 travel offices and many call centers around the world. Some Travel Counselors work on-site at our clients’ businesses, while others may even work at home.”

5. West at Home ( – Another customer service related employer, West at Home has been employing home-based workers for over twenty years. From their website: “Greater staffing flexibility, better educated, highly motivated and more productive agents – it all contributes to what makes West at Home the leading provider of home-based agent solutions.”

There are many home-based positions available today. It does take time to sift through them all to find the “diamonds in the rough” yet in the end the flexibility and comfort offered by a work-at-home position can be well worth the effort. So, polish up your resume – make it as professional and current as possible as you’ll be competing with hundreds if not thousands of other job candidates – and get to work.

Jill Hart is a writer, speaker and coach, showing others how to follow their calling and build successful businesses. She teaches her clients how to overcome the fear of getting started and helps them discover ways to make money from home. Ready to discover how you can work from home? Check out Jill’s short and sweet ebook, 70 Creative Ways to Make Money from Home Quickly (

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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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! 


head shot

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 and her café can be found here:

Enhanced by Zemanta

My Small In-Town Hobby Farm

Guest Blog by: Inger Koppenhaver

Last spring, my family was inspired to continue our vision of developing an in-town hobby farm. Our original backyard plans can be found in THIS EDITION OF MOLLY GREEN MAGAZINE and the updated article from last August can be found HERE.


First, we staked out the yard in order to place our mini-barn/lawn tractor garage next to our other out buildings. Then, with my father-in-law’s assistance, we constructed the barn. We transported our chickens from their temporary coop into a fancy one-room apartment coop just in time for winter.

This summer we are hoping that our three older kids get to complete their year of the 4-H chicken project by showing them for the fair.  Even if they do not get the chance to show them at the fair, just having the chickens in our backyard has been an incredible educational experience. They even had a chance to see one of their chickens actually lay an egg.


Our small supply of fresh daily eggs has been such a blessing to our family!

Our small supply of fresh daily eggs has been such a blessing to our family!

Recently, we were devastated by the death of one of our rabbits. Sweet Dreams who was nicknamed “Fat Apple” was my daughter’s first pet and will also hold a treasured spot in her heart.  She lived for many years and was a super cuddly companion and a gentle bunny to the whole family.

Even with the passing of our bunny, we are still continuing on with our plan to install the final touches on our “bunny paradise”. Our little mini-lop, Cookie, has become quite pampered lately and is enjoying lots of fresh grass and alfalfa during the warm spring and early summer days. Cookie will be getting a new hutch when our final plan comes together later this summer.


Our newest addition is Charlie, the duck. He joined our family this year as a tiny duckling and now has his own little duck habitat on the other side of the mini-barn complete with an indoor duck pond. He will be getting his own fenced-in area soon as well. There will be privacy fencing running along the side and back of our yard.


Our backyard chickens have brought us tremendous joy and lots of fresh eggs. It has also given the gift of being able to have a few outdoor animals which has been an incredible blessing to a family where the mom (yup, that’s me) has so many allergies! Our town has been in discussions for many years over what kinds and how many animals should be allowed in town. So, before you decide to start your own in-town hobby farm be sure to check your local statutes as they may be in the process of adapting or changing laws.

What do you think about having backyard chickens or a small in-town hobby farm? What types of small animals do you think would be appropriate to have in your backyard? 

 Here is a great article which answers question about whether backyard chickens and health related concerns:  READ ARTICLE HERE


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. Inger currently writes Ditch the Desk, a hands-on monthly theme curriculum for K-5th grade, at DITCH THE DESK.  She also writes consistently for Molly Green Magazine and you can find her cafe at BADLANDS CAFE MT

Our now grown up duck loves listening to the radio.  When it turned off by accident, he came over a quietly quacked at us until we fixed it!  Who knew?

Our now grown up duck loves listening to the radio. When it turned off by accident, he came over and quietly quacked at us until we fixed it! Who knew?

Guest Post — Healthy, Frugal Eating Tips


Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The first wealth is health.” We couldn’t agree more, and so we’re here to guide you in the direction of a few healthy, frugal eating tips. Healthy eating is a priority for more and more households. Information about food allergies and food processing has led many a mom to take control of grocery shopping with new determination.

One thing that has not changed is the desire to shop economically. Whether eating gluten-free, going organic, or tweaking an existing diet, there are several strategies that work for all to keep costs down.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan – Meal planning saves both money and time, and it makes eating healthy easier! First, take inventory of your pantry and see what needs to be used right away. Then create your meals for the week. Creating meals around what needs to be eaten first means less waste and fewer unnecessary purchases at the store. Make your list based on your meal planning and start checking it against the weekly coupons offered. Most stores provide online options for coupons and weekly specials and many will honor competitor coupons.

  2. Eat Naturally - Fresh fruits and veggies will always be an enormous part of any healthy eating plan, and there are tricks for keeping costs low. Keep a chart of what is in-season and try to buy as much of that as possible. Get familiar with The Dirty Dozen (foods to always buy organic) and the Clean 15 (foods that tested low in pesticides). Don’t forget about frozen choices; frozen fruits and veggies are a great addition to a well-stocked pantry.

  3. Supersize it – Buy in bulk whenever possible. This means stocking up on Buy-One-Get-One-Free items or shopping at wholesale stores for specific items. Another option is online retailers like Amazon, where organic and gluten free products are often on sale.

  4. Make Your Own – Want to reduce the amount of processed foods eaten or need to eliminate particular ingredients? Making foods from scratch is an easy way to eat healthier and save money. Look for free recipes for Gluten Free cooking and to discover new combinations for those in season veggies. And don’t forget options that can often double or triple a recipe and freeze some for later.

  5. Grow A GardenPlanting even a few herbs or vegetables can produce big results. A family garden gives the opportunity to cut out pesticides as well as plant what will inevitably be eaten. Even without a yard, several plants like tomatoes and cucumbers can be grown in pots and do well virtually anywhere. Look for resources to help maximize square footage and tips for canning, freezing and preserving so that the savings keep going after the garden ends.

Eating healthy and living frugally can work together. Although it takes a bit of time and effort, the end results of a balanced meal and balanced checkbook are well worth it.

About the author: offers free website coupons, coupon codes, promotions, product specials, sales, and any other type of information to help consumers get the best deal on what they are looking for. The Savings Blog offers savings tips, shopping news, savings tutorials, store reviews and tips for bargain hunting.


Sneak Peek Monday~ Coping With Job Loss


Take a sneak peek into my A Light Heart in Dark Times magazine today!


Coping with Job Loss: A Lesson From the Trenches

by Christina Wong

I was completely unprepared for my husband’s job loss. Some people think that the hardest part about losing a job is the financial side of the equation, but there are so many other worries. Most people who lose their source of income don’t plan for it; I know we certainly didn’t. We were not prepared for the financial and emotional consequences of going from a nice income with benefits to having to draw unemployment and doing whatever we could to make ends meet. If you are in a similar situation, you might wonder how to cope. Let me share with you what we did to help keep ourselves afloat.

I had just signed a lease on a bigger, newer apartment that cost about $300 more a month. I was also having some health issues, and the bills were already beginning to stack up. I had anticipated following my husband to wherever the Army sent him, so I had taken the semester off from school and had no paying job. I had started my blog, Youthful Homemaker, and intended for it to one day become a business, but that day was far into the future.

Instead of letting the bills pile up, I found a few easy solutions to help infuse a little income into the budget. The first was through a friend of mine. She has two beautiful twin girls who needed a nanny, and I took the job. She dropped them off at my house four days a week, which meant I could watch them and work on my website at the same time. The other way I added a little more income to our budget was to spend more time working for my family’s business, Wheat-n-Things. My parents were selling their whole grains and homemade bread at one of the local farmers markets and needed an extra hand baking and selling. I also started baking my own specialty breads and made an occasional craft item to sell, bringing in a nice little income that way.

Ways We Saved More Money. . .


For more of this article on coping with job loss, CLICK HERE to purchase A Light Heart in Dark Times as a single issue.

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out May 2012.

If you’re not a Molly member, sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!