Friday, February 24, 2017

8 Financial Stressors Many Couples Face and How to Overcome Them

I found these guidelines on a Military sight and most of them will apply to all married couples. 


8 Financial Stressors Many Couples Face and How to Overcome Them

Not Agreeing on How to Handle Finances

Most couples are made up of one spender and one saver. This can be great as the saver can keep the spender in check and the spender can get the saver to live a little. When a couple can’t decide together how best to handle money, financial stressors occur.
To overcome this, sit down and talk to each other. Set aside time when children are not around and there are no interruptions so that you can have a serious financial discussion. Don’t leave the table until a decision has been made.

Not Communicating

Communication is key in a healthy relationship. If you are not being honest with yourself or your spouse about spending, more financial stressors will occur.
            Do you hide shopping bags in the car until your spouse isn't home so they can't see how much shopping you've done?
Ask yourself why you feel the need to do so. Did you spend more than you should of? Are you worried they will be upset with you for this?
            Years ago I had a friend with out of control spending habits.  She took out credit cards in her husbands name and hid everything from him. She hid the mounting bills that flooded in.  This poor guy remained clueless until the sheriff came to his workplace and arrested him for fraud. She ended up in jail, divorced and lost her children over her fraud. This as an extreme that I pray no one else commits!

Not Creating a Budget 

Forget financial stressors, money-conscious couples that set budgets have less stress. Knowing how much money is coming in and going out will bring relief.
Knowing that you have enough money to pay all the bills by allocating money each month will set fears aside. As a couple, decide how much money you want to save and how much you’re comfortable spending each month.  You can find free activities to do to relieve the . stress until you have enough money to go out again.  

Putting Off Saving for Retirement

When you’re young and facing bills, saving for retirement might be the last thing on your mind. Savvy savers know that saving now for retirement can alleviate financial stressors. You can contact a financial planner, attend a saving for retirement seminar or do your own research.   A simple $10 a month no matter how poor you are is a start until you can afford to put more away.  
The sooner you start saving for retirement, the better off you’ll be when the time comes.

Not Having an Emergency Savings

It is recommended to have an emergency fund with the greater of either 2 weeks’ worth of pay or $1,000. You can use an emergency fund calculator to determine the right amount that your family should save. When an unexpected event occurs that brings in a large bill, financial stressors arise. Help lower the stress by having a plan already in place.

Taking on More Debt Than You Can Handle

You and your spouse need to be realistic on what you can afford. Keeping up with the Joneses is what gets many families into trouble.
Just because your neighbor has a new car or put in a pool does not mean that you need to do the same thing.
How many financial stressors do you need in your life?
Is trying to keep up with the social status of your neighbors or friends worth the burden?
Be realistic with your wallet. If you can’t afford the payments on a new car, maybe you don’t need such an expensive one.
Use combined wisdom before you make major purchases.  Make every penny count!

Struggling with Finances on Your Own During a Deployment

While most of you will not face separation due to work, I am finding more and more families are having to live with these types of separation.  Planning before hand can save both of you a lot of stress.

When your spouse is deployed and you are unable to communicate immediately or even frequently, financial decisions are often made on your own.
It can be extremely frustrating when financial stressors arise during a deployment. You don’t have your significant other to help you make a decision and are forced to deal with it on your own.
Setting time aside before your spouse deploys to discuss what to do in this instance can help significantly.

Not Expecting a Baby to Change Your Finances Dramatically

If you don’t have children yet, you might not understand this but it is true. Children are expensive. The more you have, the more it will cost you. Having a child unexpectedly can create financial stressors if you aren’t prepared. Not everyone gets the opportunity to plan ahead for a growing family, but if you are able to plan financially for your little one, life will be a little easier.  Never put off having children due to money concerns but make sure you do plan for the event.  If it takes both pay checks for you to survive, make sure you plan for child care.  My husband and I arranged different work times so we could eliminate child care. But it was hard on us because we had so little time together.  Other's have family members who can watch little ones.  But if neither of these options work for you, you will need to decide if it is worth one of you staying home instead of working.  Weigh your options before having a family.  Realizing those expenses after the fact can lead to many fights and depression.  
I hope these thoughts help you!
Cherlynn

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lessons learned today: Making Strawberry Icing

My Dad was a romantic soul.  Every Valentine's day he gave all his daughters a small heart filled box of chocolates and Mom always got a big heart shaped box of chocolates. I continued to receive my box of chocolates every year until I got married.   On Her anniversary in December he always brought her a dozen Red roses.  After she died he still put a dozen red roses every year on her grave until he died.  My husband is not cut from the same cloth.  I think he was relived that our 2nd son was born on Valentines Day.  Now Valentines day is all about his birthday relieving my other half of ever feeling guilty about the day.  I miss my Dad on day's like today.

This year our son requested a chocolate cake with Strawberry icing.  I've never made Strawberry icing and quickly discovered there was a learning curve on this project.  Looking back now I realize it should of been a no brainer.  You cut strawberries up and add a little sugar and let them sit awhile and it pulls the juices out.  Had I started out thinking about this the project would of went much better than it did!  I used a pound of frozen strawberry slices and semi thawed them and just dumped them into the icing.  12 cups of powdered sugar later I finally awakened to my stupidity.  I should of added a little sugar and let it sit and then add in some clear jell and stir again.  This thickens and stabilizes the strawberry before you add it to the icing.  I added the clear jell to the frosting and it did thicken but I have a ton of it now and we are not big on sweets.  

I haven't posted much lately but I thought I should pass this along in case anyone else wanted to make strawberry icing.

Blessings,
Cherlynn

Friday, November 4, 2016

Food Storage



I have been getting Non-GMO Freeze dried food from http://www.thrivelife.com/.   I set up "Q-Shipments so they come each month.  While we were in Utah I was told to go to blazefreefood.com for a deal of a lifetime.  That site is now gone,  their special of free 72 hour kits is out.  But these deals came from http://www.mypatriotsupply.com/  and you can still order from them at a slightly higher price but you don't have to listen to a spill going on for 10 to 20 minutes for each page before you can order or not before going to the end.  This product is also all non-gmo and all food was grown in the USA.  



I don't suggest buying all your food storage in freeze dried,  I am a firm believer in having a diversive supply.  Having dehydrated or freeze dried supply would be perfect if you ever had to bug out.  Its light weight and easy to pack but it can also be bad to have if you have a limited water supply.  So I am trying to collect 1/3 supply in freezed dried/dehydrated.  I also am aiming at having 1/3 supply in canned goods.  Then the rest in dry goods and freeze/frozen.  I greatly limit my freezer stuff in case of a total power outage that last long term.  I need to be able to use/ can it if that ever happens. 

 

I am also making sure everything is non-GMO and I am storing grains for those who need GF.  Nothing like facing a disaster only to discover no one can eat the food you stored.  

Have fun and store the things your family loves to eat.   My husband and I have made it a priority to rebuild our food supply now that we are out of debt and can do so.  We are getting enough food for the whole family knowing that if something big ever happens they will be coming home.   They are all living in apartments so we have told them to put aside a 30 day food storage and we will have the rest.   

Blessings,
Cherlynn
brchbell@yahoo.com

Friday, September 2, 2016

Awesome 3 cheese Mac and cheese

I just tried a new recipe for Mac & Cheese and it was great!   It was the best recipe I've ever had!  Make sure you read the recipe all the way through before starting.  I made 3 smaller casseroles out of one batch

1 pound Rotini or other pasta
2 cups whole milk
8 oz. Cream cheese
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cup grated smoked gouda or muenster cheese

Cook the pasta and make the sauce: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the pasta following package directions. Strain the pasta, rinse with cold water to cool and prevent clumping, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside. Combine the milk, cream cheese, butter, pepper, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter and cream cheese have melted -- about 10 minutes.
Assemble the macaroni and cheese: Toss the Cheddar and Gouda with the reserved pasta. Add the hot milk mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer pasta to a 3-quart baking dish and bake until the macaroni is set and the top is golden brown -- about 30 minutes. Divide macaroni and cheese among 8 plates and serve hot.

We were having terrible cravings today and this totally took care of it.

Hope you enjoy it!
Cherlynn
brchbell@ yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Are you suffering from memory loss?

When I went off GMO foods my memory greatly improved.  But of course other things happened at the same time.  A new government study found out they could totally reverse Memory loss.  They call it ICT Protocol.  And its totally natural.  They had their patients avoid all simple carbs, gluten and processed foods.  Increase fish intake.  Do yoga and meditate.  Take Melatonin, B-12, D-3 and fish oil.  Make sure you get adequate sleep.   They reported that 2 weeks to 6 months they totally reversed all memory loss even in Alzheimer's patients.   Here is the best link I found when I researched this.  http://abc7news.com/health/non-drug-treatment-may-reverse-alzheimers/336963/.     Most sites have video's and want to sell you this information or their special pills.   No need to endure hour long sells pitches when it is all natural and you can do it yourself.    

I also was told Frankincense Essential Oil used in diffusers and drops under the tongue would cure most cancers.    

Now I know most are not willing to give up their current diets.  I had no choice as my throat swells shut any time I am even around processed foods and GMO products which of course is what all processed food is.  But I can tell you that I have felt so much better since I went off processed GMO foods.  More and more, it's coming out that GMO foods are not good for us.  

I wanted to see if I could help others improve their health by changing their diet.  I hope this helps you!

Blessings,
Cherlynn
brchbell@yahoo.com



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Second Dose Of Popsicles

See I am not making you wait forever! Here are the Popsicle recipes I will have to go get stuff for but some of them I just can't wait for! I've been making up my green smoothies for over a year now and I learned that bananas makes them much smoother and creamy so I added them to the berry Popsicle's I made and they were wonderfully creamy too!

Now to make a green smoothie: You need a blender. Add in 2 cups Kale or spinach & 2 cups water. Blend until well blended. Now add in 2 cups of fruit what ever you have on hand and a banana or two. I grow kale and pick it and drop it into boiling water for 30 seconds and then into ice water and pat dry and freeze in freezer bags. I get two tall glasses of this. I drink one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Its a real pick me drink! When ever we have fresh pineapple I always cut the core out of the middle. Instead of throwing it away, I cut it into small pieces and put into freezer bags and freeze. I use this in my green smoothies with mango or berries or what ever is around. Taste just like pineapple. I confess I hate spinach and dark greens. This is a great way to get them and you can't even taste them!

Now back to those Popsicle recipes! I only have one more can of coconut milk. I use it a lot but haven't been replenishing in case we end of moving real soon. One recipe also calls for cocoa nibs. This is really good dark chocolate with no sweetener or anything else. This is what they make chocolate out of. I've become addicted to getting these little bits of dark chocolate. It also called for Spirulina which is a type of blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. Now if you don't have cocoa nibs I would think you can chop up chocolate chips to use instead. In place of spirulina you could add a tiny bit of sea weed. Sea weed is very rich in vitamins and minerals and would have a green color to add to the popsicle's or you could simply leave it out. Chia seeds most people know what those are due to chia pets that use to be heavily advertised. They are very nutritious and most grocery stores carry them. You can make these in the pretty layers or just blend them all together and freeze and eat. I tend to be busy and just want to make them up and be done with.

Lava Flow Popsicles
uthor: One Lovely Life                    

Ingredients



For the pineapple swirl:
  • 1½ cups pineapple
  • 1 cup mangos
  • ½ cup – ¾ cup coconut milk
For the strawberry swirl:
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 3-4 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (omit or use agave to make it vegan)
    INSTRUCTIONS
For the pineapple swirl:
  1. Place ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Add additional coconut milk as needed.
For the strawberry swirl:
  1. Place ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth.
To assemble:
  1. Alternate scoops of pineapple and strawberry smoothies into popsicle molds. Insert popsicle molds and freeze until completely solid.
  2. Tip: If you use paper cups, freeze the popsicles about 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks. The sticks will shift less this way.

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles


Author: The Pretty Bee                                               


Ingredients
  • 3½ cups seedless watermelon cubes
  • 3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 tsp. sugar (optional, amount may vary based on your kiwi)I think I'd use ¼ tsp. Stevia instead of sugar
    METHOD

  1. Put the watermelon cubes in a blender, and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour watermelon into popsicle molds, filling each one about two-thirds full.
  3. Place sticks in the molds and freeze until watermelon is firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Place the kiwi and sugar in the blender and blend on high until smooth.
  5. Pour the kiwi mixture into the popsicle molds.
  6. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
Mango Chia Popsicles
Author: Jelly Toast                                                 


Ingredients



  • 3 cups mango, chopped (about 2 large mangos)
  • 10 ounces coconut water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds

      DIRECTIONS

Place mango and coconut water into blender and blend until smooth. Stir in chia seeds. Pour mixture into 10 - 3 ounce popsicle molds and place a wooden stick into each (or follow the directions of your popsicle mold). Freeze until frozen, at least 6 hours. Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Popsicles

Author: The Nutty Scoop                           

Ingredients
  • 4 oz coconut cream
  • 1 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp. spirulina
  • 2 tsp. mint extract
Drizzle
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan
    Instructions
  1. Place all the popsicle ingredients into your blender and pulse until the mixture comes together. Divide the mixture among the popsicle molds and place a wooden stick in each compartment. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Before serving the popsicles, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt in 30 seconds intervals until completely melted.
  3. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the frozen popsicles. Enjoy!
Notes
*You can either use canned coconut cream, or get the cream from a can of coconut milk. For the latter method, simply refrigerate a can of coconut milk for 24 hours prior to making the recipe. Once you open the can, you’ll see that the creamy white portion (the coconut milk) has risen to the top. Scoop it out and use it in the recipe.

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

Author: Wallflower Kitchen                         

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Mix the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add the blueberries and pulse until they've' been "smashed" but not completely blended.
  3. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.
NUTRITION INFORMATION

Serving size: 1 pop Calories: 95 kcal Fat: 7.6g Saturated fat: 6.9g Carbohydrates: 6.8g Sugar: 5.4gFiber: 0.4g Protein: 0.5g

I hope you enjoy these delightful healthy popsicle recipes!
Blessings,
Cherlynn
brchbell@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Popsicles

I love ice cream treats but the ones in the stores are full of so much junk.  Most of them I can't even eat because they have GMO wheat and soy in them.  They are also full of sugar which really isn't good for anyone.  So I have been collecting healthy recipes and will share some of them with you today.

I like popsicles because it limits me to one small serving.  If i get a bowl of ice cream, I might settle for two scoops but I am more likely to get six to eight scoops while I'm dipping up.  So making popsicles is better for me.
                                                                   

Creamy Coconut and Mixed Berry Popsicles

Recipe by: Fork Knife Swoon
Yield: 10 Popsicles
Ingredients
  • 1 (15 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1/4 cup pure honey, divided
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • I only used 2 Tablespoons of honey and I added a banana to make it more creamy. I also use my frozen raspberry, blackberry and blueberry mix to use it up and it turned out wonderfully!  I dumped it all into my blender and mixed and poured not messing with the 2 layer thing. Also note my can of coconut milk was 13.5 oz and that's what I used.
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the coconut milk, vanilla and 2 Tbsp of the honey, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Blend together the berries and remaining honey, until smooth and combined. Add more honey, to taste, as necessary.
  3. For a creamy pop: Stir together the coconut milk and berry puree, and divide evenly between the popsicle molds. Freeze for 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks, and continue freezing for 4 hours, or until firm.
  4. For a layered pop: Divide the coconut milk equally between the popsicle molds. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or so, then top with the berry puree. Freeze again for 30 minutes, then insert the popsicle sticks and continue freezing for 4 hours, or until firm.
Note from Laura
Use any combination of your favorite berries, adjusting the sweetness level as necessary. Remember, the sweetness will mellow once frozen.

You can substitute granulated sugar, agave or maple syrup for the honey, if you prefer.

I choose to use full-fat coconut milk in this (and most) frozen coconut recipes because it results in a creamier frozen texture that more closely mimics dairy cream. You can certainly use a lower fat-content coconut milk, but it will result in an "icier" textured pop.

To remove the popsicles, either let them sit out for 5-10 minutes until soft enough to pull out, or submerge the bottom of the popsicle mold (up to the edge of the top) in room-temperature water for 10-15 seconds, then gently pull to release.


Avocado Lime Popsicles           

Author: Healthier Steps



Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 lime, zested

Directions:
Cut avocado length wise, remove pit, scoop out avocado flesh using a spoon and place in a high speed blender or food processor along with  coconut cream, maple syrup, banana, lime juice and lime zest. Process until smooth, scraping down sides. Pour into  popsicle mold evenly, insert popsicle sticks and freeze for about 6 hours.

And my last one today is fudgesicles made better!  I used my natural peanut butter as that's what I had on hand.  Everytime we get bananas I take the ones that's getting ripe to fast and peel and up in half in the middle and roll in lemon juice and place them into a freezer bag.  push out the air and seal and freeze.  I use these in my green smoothies and now have them for my popsicles too.   Don't forget to add in your tablespoon of cocoa!  Yum!

Almond Butter Banana Popsicles        

Ingredients
  • 4 bananas
  • ¾ cup California almond butter
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. unsweetened California almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
    INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
  2. Pour the batter into 8-10 popsicle molds (will vary depending type of mold used) and freeze for at least 6 hours, until solid.
  3. Enjoy! Store in a sealed container in the freezer until ready to serve.
NOTES
For chocolate version, add in 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

I hope you enjoy these healthy popsicle treats and when I get some time I will do another blog with the rest of my collection. 
Blessings,
Cherlynn