Finding True Serenity

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Wordless Wednesday: First Bike Ride without Training Wheels! :) September 22, 2009

Filed under: Wordless Wednesday — findingtrueserenity @ 2:43 pm
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S is yelling convincing big brother, J, that she can ride his bike without training wheels.
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J humors S
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To all of our amazement, S is riding a bike for the first time without training wheels!
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GREAT JOB S!!!!

As with all first endeavors, a crash was inevitable…thank goodness for papas!
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Priceless!

Jes

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I am pleased to share this on WordlessWednesday.com and http://www.5minutesformom.com

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Family Size Yogurt Maker September 18, 2009

Filed under: Frugal Friday,Recipes,Thrifty,Thrifty Thursday — findingtrueserenity @ 5:11 pm
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yogurt maker

I scored this brand new, never used beauty at a local church garage sale for a whopping $2.00!!!   I can’t tell you the excitement that was shared when I told the kids we were going to be able to try making our very own homemade yogurt (I’ve tried this in the past with the oven method, but didn’t have consistent results)! 

The kids and I anxiously ran home and began washing everything up.  ***This is very important, whenever you are making yogurt make sure all of the equipment is clean!!!***  Below is the instructions we followed that came with it.

Ingredients:

Two quarts of milk—made from non-fat dry milk (following instructions per package) but use 1/3 Cup more than directed per quart.

Yogurt starter—2 heaping Tablespoons of plain yogurt with active cultures

Directions:

Pour the milk into a pot and place on the stove.  Heat the milk on a low-medium flame stirring occassionally until it reaches approximately 110-120 degrees F

Heating Milk

Add the yogurt starter to one of the yogurt jars.  To this, add some of the heated milk and stir well.

mix well

Pour this mixture back into the pot of heated milk and stir well.

Pour the milk into the 5 serving hars, put the lids on securely and place in the yogurt maker.

wait 10 hours

Put the unit cover on the heater base and plug in.  In ten hours remove the hars and place them in the refrigerator.  Allow yogurt to cool for 3-4 hours BEFORE serving.  At that time you may add flavoring.

I followed this recipe to a T, and after about 14 hours of incubating it was still terribly runny.  I drained one jar into some cheesecloth in hopes of removing most of the whey to get some custard like yogurt, but perhaps I need to let it drain overnight?!  Aside from drinking our homemade yogurt, we absolutely loved the way it tasted!  We added 2 T Agave with 1 t Vanilla, and oh my goodness was it good.  We also added 4 t limeade concentrate to another one with some agave to sweeten and that was really good as well!  Oh the possibilities!  If only I could figure out how to get it to become more custard like.

Anyone out there make their own yogurt with success?  I’d love to hear about some tips to making ours thicker, or oh, using alternative milks.  We’ve tried soymilk and ricemilk in the past.  Soy kinda set up and rice did not.  😦

Have a wonderful day!!!

Jes

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Wordless Wednesday: 8 Year olds decorating suggestion…”Make it Realistic, Mom!” as he moves one of the trees over onto the path…. July 1, 2009

cake

If you like my blog and would like to join me here on a regular basis via email or other reader, please… click subscribe or Entries RSS on the right side bar! Thank you so very much!

Jes

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http://www.wordlesswednesday.com/

 

Almost Wordless Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday: Planting takes Teamwork! June 24, 2009

planting takes teamwork

(I accidentally cut the whole top off the clematis our neighbor gave us while clearing out last year’s dead parts…Ooops!  But the kids done a wonderful job digging a large hole for the root ball we ended up with!  hehehee!  Thanks guys!!!  I never said Mommy was perfect!  🙂  Again…do as I say, not as I do!

Hopefully it will bloom next year!  If so, this will be a thrifty addition to our “landscaping”!!!)

Thanks for stopping by for another Wordless Wednesday and Thrifty Thursday!

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Thrifty Thursday: Homemade Grapevine Trellis June 18, 2009

Okay, I can officially say I have two of the greatest men in my life who I truly adore!  My husband and son noticed our neighbors throwing last years fancy gazebo with the metal scrolled corners out on the curb and a light bulb went off…”Didn’t mom want to make a trellis for the grapevine?”  Our neighbors were greatful we were taking their eye sore away and we quickly went to work. 

Here’s what it looked like before:

grapevine before

And after unbolting a few things and a little rearranging here is the final product!

grapevine after

And look, what do we see?

grape investigators

Oh wait…I know!  It’s baby grapes!

Baby grapes

So in the end this is thrifty and economical in a few ways…

1.  We gathered the items needed for the trellis curbside, while helping our neighbors, so there was no initial cost.

2.  The grapevine that we are training to climb this trellis will provide us with grapes this fall saving us even more on our food budget.

3.  We were able to repurpose something that would have otherwise gone to the landfill.

4.  And last but not least, the remaining posts and corners that we removed will be used to stake up our garden and the peas shall climb up the corner metal scrolls!   (Don’t worry, I will post about this later after my garden has matured a bit for another Thrifty Thursday!!!!)

I love being thrifty when you can create such a beautiful addition while helping others and Mother Nature!!!  And that is how we have it on Thrifty Thursday!   Thank you so very much for stopping by my first post on TT!!!

 

Wordless Wednesday: Unconventional friendships are priceless June 17, 2009

Filed under: Family,Wordless Wednesday — findingtrueserenity @ 2:23 am
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Bunny and tree frog

 

Salamander

 

Baby Turtle

 

Our two doggies

 

Dietary Changes March 10, 2009

Filed under: Family,Green Living — findingtrueserenity @ 2:57 am
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Not many of you know this, but I have been having some problems and began going to a doctor to clean out my “pipes” through hydrotherapy.   To go along with this my prescription was to change my diet…DRASTICALLY!!! 

Rx:  DO Increase fiber intake naturally, drink lots of clean water,  and eat more fresh fruit and dark leafy greens.  DON’T  eat meat, diary, or bread.

To take on this challenge was quite intimidating, but I have been blessed with some amazing people that surround me (You know who you are!) 

GOAL:  Drink a green smoothie every morning for breakfast with the main ingredient being Kale, incorporate flax seeds into our diet as much as possible for fiber (and so much more), complete a detox cleanse for 2 weeks, drink LOTS of water,  cut back drastically on meat, cheese, and bread.

So how am I doing…Overall, I’d say I’m doing pretty good, but there is always room for improvement.  I have cravings that are getting better as I go further into this, but, cravings for chocolate, cheese and bread are a real issue for me.  Every morning for the past 3 weeks I have been drinking a Kale smoothie.  I know it sounds terrible but bear with me…it is really quite good.  I have a few variations I use, but here lately I’ve wanted chocolate so in order to compromise I’ve done chocolate kale smoothies.  Looks terrible, but tastes great!

Chocolate Kale Smoothie:

Handful or two of Kale, 1 Banana, (I don’t measure the following) Ground Flax Seed, Ground Kelp, Cocoa, Raw Agave Nectar, Cinnamon, Cayanne, 4-5 C. Water

Blend until smooth and drink over ice….YUMMY!