Not So Crunchy Lately…

not-so-crunchyI have a confession to make.

It’s been difficult for me to even think about being frugal lately. Having been diagnosed with both Stage 3 Inflammatory Breast Cancer and Cowden Syndrome, I don’t seem to be able to care about pinching pennies.

Plus, with just me and my husband here at home now, I haven’t cared much about cooking. He is often gone, and cooking just for me seems a bit silly.

So I’m not so sure about the future of this blog at the moment. I’m wondering if perhaps I’m being called to write about other areas of my life, and if that turns out to be the case, this blog may closed at some point.

Until then, you can find me elsewhere on the internet:

Stories from This Life

Books, Coffee, and a Whole Lotta Faith

PTEN, Cancer, and a Thing Called Hope

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for…Rest?

I scream, You screamI admit it. I’ve been lazy.

Well, not so much the stereotype of “wife sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and watching the soaps” sort of lazy. Although I do love bon-bons, I’ve mainly been working. And that has generally meant a summer of cold cuts, crackers, and takeout. My husband made some yummy pot roasts in the slow cooker and solar oven over the past few months; these provided us with warm meals and variety. But me cooking? Not so much.

Too we dealt with quite a few stressful family issues this summer, which also tended to encourage my laissez-faire attitude when it came to cooking and homemaking in general.

I never claimed to be Martha Stewart or anyone of note when it comes to cooking, decorating, or the like. I’m just your average Jane trying to keep up with an ever hectic pace of workdays. Lots of dust bunnies to gather both here and at home, but until everything’s shipshape I can share one delightful find from the summer.

Y’all remember Amazon’s Prime Day back in July? Well, I happened to be checking out my Facebook stream when a blogger posted about a great deal on this ice cream maker. My husband just loves homemade ice cream, but we don’t really have the need for a huge batch. This seemed just perfect for a small family, and so I snapped it up while it was half off.

And my review? Seriously, it is the best. Fairly quiet and quick at its work. It certainly makes homemade ice cream a no-fuss affair.

In fact, here’s a picture of our latest batch of creamy vanilla ice cream:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

As for me, I’m a bit tired but still alive and kicking. The heat and hullabaloo of the past few months have given me some needed perspective on life, work, and family. Homemaking will always be there waiting for us. As will work, bills, and other distractions of this life.

Sometimes when the heat becomes a bit too much, there needs to be a bit of grace, forgiveness, and possibly ice cream. And that, my friends, is a good bit of wisdom to gain.

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? –Job 12:12

Hi there! How’s it going? Do you like encouraging posts and cute pics? Then you might like my Instagram. Hope to see you there!

Simple Treats: Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

almond meal cookiesI have to admit that lately I’m feeling a bit worn out. Although I actually enjoy cooking and baking, it just seemed too overwhelming in the midst of all of my work lately. I must confess that we’ve been eating out a lot. Not frugal, but sometimes necessary for sanity’s sake. Rising early and staying up late, I found that cooking can be simply too much when faced with such a schedule. I don’t think it’s bad to ask for help in such times, and seeking rest eventually will help with the soul as well as the mind.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” —Psalm 62:1-2

Luckily, I believe I’m at the end of the heavy work period and so will be able to dive into baking and cooking. To celebrate–a tiny bit, at least–I decided to bake a quick batch of Almond Meal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Coconut. I had some time and all of the ingredients, so off I went to the kitchen.

For my cookies, I chose to use coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar, and I used chocolate from Bulk Foods. The batter was easy to mix up but resulted in a somewhat crumbly mixture. I was able to form the cookies, though, after the refrigeration period, and they cooked up nicely. One tip might be to do the smooshing of the cookies after a few minutes in the oven so that they don’t crumble into pieces. I also baked mine about 9 minutes, which seemed perfect for my oven.

The cookies were sweet, but in a natural way, with a light texture and taste. I would definitely make these again as they satisfied the tastebuds of both children and adults.

So here’s to simple pleasures and treats! Be sure and take some time for rest for your bodies and souls in the midst of heavy schedules. And don’t forget some nourishing treats as well.

 

Focusing on What Matters

focusingonwhatmatters

Well, after being away for over a month, I am back. It was a difficult holiday season full of learning experiences. However, I can’t complain. I have been blessed with work and so have had the opportunity to store up some financial “nuts” for a very cold January. I am tired but glad that God offered me a bit of work to tide us over.

And how about those lessons learned over the holidays? They often had to do with frugal living. Perhaps the one that is most applicable to this blog and community was the renewal of my old weakness, shopping. Yes, my dear friends, I thought I had kicked that in the hiney and pushed it out the door, but it rose up to greet me during a shopping trip with my husband.

While I was an inveterate shopper during my single years, I rarely indulge in such experiences any longer. In order to stay away from temptation, we simply don’t go window shopping. Too, we also do not purchase magazines as they have bright and shiny ads full of lovely things. However, we decided to have a bit of fun and go visit Best Buy back in December.

Looking at all of those gadgets and doo-dads, I found that I had a raging case of technolust. I wanted it all. Worse, I could rationalize that I “needed” it all. I could use that new computer for work, of course, and having a smart phone would allow me to stay in touch even when I was away from home. This all could be true, but I was simply trying to make myself feel better about wanting things. None of it was needed, and so we walked out of the store empty handed.

Confronting our weaknesses can be a bit jarring; it is the only way to grow, though. My own technolust was dampened by a dose of reality from my husband as well as my attempts to focus on those things that will truly satisfy my soul. Home, family, and God are those parts of life that fill up all of those holes that we often stuff with purchases and various addictions. Refocusing my life in the new year has helped quiet my latent shopping urges.

Does this mean I’m cured? No, it sure doesn’t. Staying away from temptation is sometimes the best thing, especially when you’re trying to live a frugal life. The world offers plenty of “wants” but will not ultimately satisfy our desires. As I get older, I realize this more and more. Living frugally can help us to find those things that matter in life by helping us to leave behind what the world says is important.

And that’s what I’m going to remember as we enter this new year. May you all be blessed in the months to come.