I've been busy planning and working on the herb garden this past month... inspired by the image of a simple yet fascinating circular herb garden I saw on Pinterest (above center left)... the viewing thereof prompted cravings for fresh mint and tangy thyme in our daily salads... not to mention that elusive lemon-y/yet not lemon-y flavor of French sorrel in our soups in lieu of spinach. If the truth be told I began in late December after a visit to the 99-Cent store where I literally stumbled upon a group of lonely looking herbs (bottom right) while putting away the basket in front of the store... sage, chives, oregano huddled together on a small rolling cart... all in need of a nourishing, nurturing home and, of course, they were adopted by me (bottom right collage photo).
As with most people, the advent of the new year has us combing the budget to patch the leaks... reassessing our spending habits... and battening down our spending in order to accommodate a tighter budget. Because of this I've been especially inspired by all of the frugal ideas found throughout this wonderland of Bloglandia. Sending gratitude and thanks to all who so generously share their life~enhancing frugal strategies... you are very appreciated.
Here are a few simple ways we've been practicing the art of frugality in our realm of reality recently.
|I finally tried this great idea that's been rolling around Pinterest for awhile: Instead of throwing out the stub of our organic celery I put it in a bit of water on the window sill and use the leaves in cooking. If all goes well....|
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As I was digging through the soil, I thought of something I'd read long ago: Anything of value multiplies when it's given...
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- Every evening, after dinner, I would choose an old movie to watch on video or television (I enjoy watching those with a holiday theme...to spark my enthusiasm). I settled myself in a comfortable seat in the family room to prepare the apples [for the apple pies I planned to give as gifts]. Flanked by two large mixing bowls, I peeled and cored apples over bowl #1. Next I cut the peeled apples into slices directly over bowl #2 (I also added a bit of lemon juice at the bottom of the bowl beforehand, to prevent the apples from browning). This process continued until all of the apples were processed, taking about two hours. I then seasoned the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and cloves and set them, covered, in the refrigerator. The following evening, while playing my favorite Christmas music, I prepared a quantity of pie crusts, and proceeded to bake the apple pies. [See HERE for more on easy food prep.]
- My "movie watching strategy" is also quite effective for many craft projects as well. You may settle yourself in a comfortable chair and hand sew or craft over a deep (2 inch) lap-size tray (you may substitute cardboard boxes, or jelly roll pans if you have no trays available). Doing this keeps your mess within a confined space (the tray) and makes clean up simple and easy. If your project requires several days, you may set aside your tray (perhaps on a closet shelf) until you have a chance to finish.
- Create a master craft and cooking/baking list helps you to budget your time. Because you are able to see at a glance... click HERE to read remainder of this (much longer) post!
As you probably already have guessed, I am a list~maker and leave very little to memory. In fact, the only thing I really leave to memory is where I put my lists! I've found that lists are an invaluable tool for staying focused. My memory is on overload most of the time so I especially love the idea of a Master List of Potential Accomplishments and have long used this tactic to unburden myself mentally.
I firmly believe there is a kind of a natural magic in list~making. The very act of writing out your potential accomplishments sends a message to your central nervous system and consequently you find yourself doing the very things you want to get done! CLICK HERE TO READ FULL POST.
As promised, here is the basic recipe for the gluten/sugar free muffins I wrote about!
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-- William Shakespeare
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"It was the children who spied them first. Our bare ankles and sandal~ed feet scraped scraped against the cactus~like needles as we stepped gingerly over the vines sprawled across the landscape. They had buried themselves inside a mysterious, shadowy tangle of Pepper and Avocado trees like long forgotten treasure. A colossal patch of blackberries lie before us, not unlike an ethereal gift, the type of gift that night~fairies might leave to mere mortals. The dark glistening berries seemed to blink at the sun's brightness as we gently lifted the brand of an ancient Pepper tree to examine our cache'. Click HERE to continue reading.
Since Mike returned to work a few weeks ago I have been trying to de~clutter my closets and office. This morning I came across several of my old newsletters from the 199o's and early 2000's. (Frugal Times: Making~Do With Dignity which evolved into our Frugal Luxuries newsletters and book series). I confess to spending far too much time reading through them. Happily it wasn't a total waste of time as I rediscovered this little insert in one of the newsletters from 1999 titled "Today's Potential Accomplishments" and decided to put it to use getting my life in order in 2012!
Join nationally recognized multi-media radio talk show host and award winning producer Patricia Raskin, as she interviews Tracey McBride, author of Frugal Luxuries: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul and Frugal Luxuries by the Seasons: Celebrate the Holidays with Elegance and Simplicity--on Any Income. Chicago Tribune wrote "Think of Tracey McBride as the Martha Stewart of the cheapskate set". She had delighted thousands by elevating the skill of living frugally to an art form. Tracey will discuss cost-effective ways to bring in the new year with beauty and joy.
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