Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sweets, DIYs, and Deals!

Sweets first, because that's just the way it happened here at home. After lunch on Thursday I was ready for a nice warm cup of tea and a cookie, but when I opened the freezer, none of the few remaining Christmas cookies looked very appealing.  So, I scoured my pantry and found that I had all of the necessary ingredients for this decadent treat that my sister used to occasionally make while we were all still living at home.  

Here's the cast of characters...

It could be argued that pecans, unsweetened coconut and organic butter are all packed with important nutrition. I can't say much for the rest though...

The Magic Bars (also known as 7 Layer Bars and Hello Dolly Bars on Pinterest) were everything I was hoping for. Braden tasted them for the first time and gave his approval too. Ryder has yet to know the goodness.

Also in the works here, we're about to give homemade vanilla another go-round. Last year's supply has been hoarded and used only in the most important baking, but it's nearly gone. Braden first gave it a try after receiving some from a friend in AL, when we were dating. We've made two other batches since then. Thanks to a huge organic sale going on at Costco this last month, we got a great deal on this certified organic Vodka to make our next vanilla extract. Now to order vanilla beans and let the steeping begin. Can't wait!

And lastly, I just had to share my most recent deal with you. Back in WA, it was much more common for me to hit up the local thrift stores to search the masses of junk for great deals.  I don't find myself doing that in our small town, but occasionally when I'm in Reno, I'll swing by Goodwill, since it's right next to Whole Foods anyway. Well, yesterday I was in a hurry, but managed to pick through a bunch of baby clothes to find these two name brand treasures for Little Dipper - for $.99 each.  Now to get them washed and ironed and the best part is, I don't have to worry about spit up and diaper leaks ruining them because we can swing $1.98.

To all of my friends out there with limited budgets (as ours is), growing families and more laundry than you will ever get through - don't give up!  There are so many ways you can live within your means without giving in to an entitled mentality and spending money that isn't there.  Some time I'll have to tell you about our (fairly new) budget plan and how we've really been encouraged to stay out of debt and live in a way that is preparing us for our future and also preparing to leave a financially responsible legacy for our kids.  

Ok, now I'll get off my soap box.  :)

And in case you fear that all I do is eat sweets, I will have you know that I'm off to go stir the big batch of homemade granola baking in my oven...

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