I've put this entry into most of my blogs today. I realize I usually keep blog posts separate from each other, but I really felt this warranted across-the-board posting because it's good stuff. And it's stuff I knew a long time ago and forgot.

Today I'm enjoying dandelion tea with fresh ginger shavings. What a flavour treat! I have to say, the ginger is surprising me. I've never been fond of ginger in cooking, but really enjoyed the homemade ginger soda my son and I made back in August. I decided to add some to my tea this morning and it's so good.

Back to dandelions.

They can be used in such a variety of ways. And they have amazing nutritional value: Calcium, Iron, Protein, Fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and more!

Go ahead, check it out!

Christmas is Coming!

A friend pointed out today that there are 107 more days til Christmas. One of my daughter's friends has had "put up the Christmas tree" fever for a couple of weeks already.

Our family is having a consumerism-free Christmas this year. The initial conversation with my daughters was that we wouldn't exchange gifts, but rather just focus on spending the day together playing games and visiting and eating.

My son and I, however, have decided that we're going to make/repurpose gifts. We've been poking through items/supplies at the thrift shop and figuring out what to make with them. So far, we've come up with - well, I suppose I can't tell you in case family members read this post!

What I can tell you, however, is that we have spent a total of $1.20 on items that we are repurposing into 3 adorable gifts for my grandbabies, $4.00 on an item that will just require sandpaper and paint to make a beautiful gift for my granddaughter's first birthday, and less than $2.00 on items that will be repurposed into 3 other gifts.

It's such a feel-good to do creative things together! Then there's the added feel-good of doing less harm to our planet. And it's fun!

Low-Income Nutrition

Some of the most common meals in our home this summer have been:

-a big bowl of hummus with cucumbers, carrots, and rice crackers/corn tortilla chips
-potato patties with salmon or basa filets and vegetables
-fishcakes (Chef loves making these, and usually does up 9 for each of us!) with salad and fresh fruit slices
-chicken/cucumber mix on lettuce wraps with fried potatoes
-salmon or basa filets with mashed potatoes and vegetables
-salad rolls with soup
-rice fusilli with tomato/carrot sauce and herbs
-vegetarian chili
-homemade soup with rice crackers
-various "everything in 'em" salads

-fresh fruit, boiled egg, rice cake with jelly
-cornmeal on its own or with spice toppings and/or fruit
-cold cereal with homemade almond milk
-breakfast smoothie
-rice cracker mini pancakes

Our most common snacks are leftovers, air-popped popcorn, fresh fruit, and sometimes tortilla chips. Occasionally we make gfcf brownies, gfcf cookies, or potato candy.

I usually purchase blueberry juice and tomato juice as well.

We enjoy cooking, and almost everything we eat is homemade. We employ a gluten-free, casein-free diet, but we rarely buy any packaged gfcf products.

For some of our recipes, feel free to visit: http://www.findthesimplefoods.blogspot.com

Fall Clothing

I have told more than one person that our local thrift shop is possibly the best in the province. There are newly-donated items to see every week, there's a fairly huge selection of clothing, and the bag sales ($7 for all the clothing you can fit in a bag - some restrictions apply) make quantity and quality a reality. Even without the bag sales, quality items are generally made affordable.

A few weeks back, I posted the following on my Facebook status:

"For a Grand Total of $34, today's finds were: beautiful green long-sleeved Izod sweater, white long-sleeved button-front Monaco shirt, foresty olivey green long-sleeved button-front Gap shirt, grey chunky-knit long-sleeved turtleneck, light green long-sleeved spring coat, oatmeal-coloured lightweight handknit wrap, head scarf, beige Ralph Lauren fall jacket, 2 shirts and a pair of shorts for (my son). Love it."

My cousin responded:
"I see frugal shopping is in the genes. No need to go without. No need to go overboard."