Tea Time

qapcuppa

My son has a cold and I feel like I’m starting to get it.  It’s a rough start to the morning but after a nice hot cup of instant coffee (yeah…instant…*sigh*) it’s time for some tea with honey and lemon.  Living in town we don’t really have a good place to have bees, so we get our honey from one of the local farms.

The diet program I’m on for my joint pain is no sugar.  But I’m not sure how to handle that when you’re sick.  We use honey A LOT in the winter in our homemade cough medicine, in teas with lemon etc.  If I buy cough drops or OTC medicine it has sugar in it.  A conundrum for sure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.  In the mean time, I’m going to crawl back on the couch under an afghan, sip my tea, crochet, and read some blogs. Somewhere in there will be a nap or two.  Hope your day is great!

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
Save me, and I shall be saved,
For You are my praise.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

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Decluttering Social Media

Social media website logosWhen we think of decluttering, we usually think of things around the house that we need to either put away, throw away or give away. In my quest to minimize my life, I have found I also need to declutter my online life starting with my email.

If you are like me, you may have more than one email address.  I have a public email, a private email and two business emails.  The longer we have our email, the more places we share our email, the more cluttered our email inboxes become.  Pretty soon we are sifting through all sorts of newsletters, special offers, updates, announcements, notifications, statements etc. to find the things we really want or need to pay attention to.  We end up spending more unproductive time sorting through everything and getting distracted than we do connecting with the things we need to accomplish.

This also happens to our Facebook and other social media accounts where we are sifting through the pages, group posts, and irrelevant memes to find those few that are important.

I am taking some time today to declutter my social media.  I’ll be going through my inbox and deleting all those emails that I’ve never read, going through my subscriptions to weed out the newsletters and subscriptions I don’t need anymore, and making sure I am keeping only those that I really want or need.  I’ll be going through my blog feeds to weed out the ones I’m not interested anymore or the ones that aren’t active anymore.  I’ll be going through my Facebook and other social media accounts to get rid of all the pages, groups, apps, and yes, even friends, that aren’t needed or active.  And I’ll even be going through my phone to delete unnecessary apps, files and contacts.

My hope is that by doing this decluttering I’ll be better able to focus more on the relevant content and better, closer connections to the people that are most important.

How about you?  When was the last time you decluttered your online life?

Apple Season – Crockpot Applesauce

20141027_104820I enjoy pumpkin season, but I LOVE apple season. Right now my diet is limited, but my guys still need to eat.  And they like applesauce.

Applesauce is so easy to make.  You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients.  The very minimum you need is apples, a knife, and a large pot.  Even easier…you can use a crockpot.  Tastes so much better than the stuff you buy from the store, and it is much cheaper as well.

To make the applesauce, start with your favorite apples.  Courtland apples are one of my favorites for applesauce and available here locally in bulk.  You can use Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp or you can use a mix of what you have available.

Peel, core, and quarter your apples.  Use as few or as many as you like, but you can start with about a dozen.  As you cut, drop your apple quarters in a bowl of cold water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice to keep them from browning.  Drain the apples and place into crockpot with about a half cup of water.  Cook on high for three to four hours or on low seven to eight hours (or overnight) until apples are very soft.  Stir apples with fork until desired consistency.  Serve warm or store in a sealed container in your refrigerator and serve cold.  You can put the applesauce into individual containers and they are great for lunches.

You can add sugar and/or cinnamon or other spices to your apples as they cook if you choose, but I find the apples are usually naturally sweet on their own especially if you use the sweeter apples (Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn).

I hope you will trying making your own applesauce.  Once you see how easy it is, how good it tastes and how frugal it is, I know you’ll want to make more.  I’d love to hear how it turned out.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Frugal Friday – Pumpkin Puree

fall-2010

Fall 2010

We may not celebrate Halloween, but I do love pumpkins. I like to decorate the house for fall with them and then use them to make puree. I think fresh pumpkin tastes much better than canned…and it isn’t hard to make. I think once you try making and using fresh puree, it’ll be hard to go back to canned.

First you need a sugar pumpkin…or two. They are the smaller, darker orange pumpkins. You can use the bigger carving pumpkins, but they are more stringy instead of meaty. I’ve used carving pumpkins to make pumpkin bread and it tasted just fine but if you want to make a pie it is better to use a sugar pumpkin. A 4 pound pumpkin will give you about 1 1/2 cups of puree.

2014-10-08pumpkinsaWash your pumpkin, cut the top off and cut your pumpkin in half, then clean the guts and seeds out. Save the seeds as they make a yummy snack too! I choose to bake the pumpkin instead of boiling it. I think it retains more flavor and nutritional value. They contain Vitamin A, B and potassium. Pumpkins are also a source of protein, dietary fiber and Vitamin E. So bake it cut side down in a 375F oven with about a cup of water for about 1 1/2 hours or until soft. Cool, then scoop the pumpkin from the skin and mash it by hand or use a food processor.

Because pumpkins are 90 percent water, the puree will be watery. You will want to drain it in cheese cloth overnight before you use/store it. It can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days or frozen for up to six months (but I used some that was in longer and it was fine).

Now that you have your puree, you can use it to make all sorts of pumpkin yummies.  Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe to share?  Feel free to post it or the link to your recipe in the comment section.  Here are a few of mine:

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Seeds

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

September 11

weddingdayJames 4:13-14
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Yesterday hubby and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We had a lovely dinner with our son and bought new bath towels.  It was very low key but we enjoyed it.  I did take a vacation day from the diet and had cheesecake for dessert.  It was so good, but after not having sugar for so long it was very, very sweet.  I’d do it again.  My pain levels are up a notch today though.

auntiemargieToday we remember the 9/11 attack, I also remember my beautiful aunt we lost a couple years ago.  Still hard to believe her beautiful smile is gone.  I loved to sit and listen to her tell her stories.  She loved her family dearly and she is missed dearly.   Cancer is horrible.

I continue to pray for family and friends who are in the path of fires, floods, storms, and hurricanes.  So much going on around us.

For me it all comes down to this:  We aren’t promised tomorrow.  Things happen so live today as if it is your last and love everyone as much as you can.

1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all that you do be done in love.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re