Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Frugal Christmas Cards

I’ve become jaded when it comes to Christmas cards.  Too many Santa’s and elves.  Writing out Christmas cards has become a chore, not a joy.  This year, to bring back the joy and creativity, I decided to design my own cards.

I sketched out a poinsettia on watercolor card stock.  Since I had just purchased an Artezia watercolor  pen set I decided to paint with them.  Much to my surprise there were no cool toned colors, all of them were warm toned and very vibrant.  I ended up with a completely different color scheme than I had planned.

And you know what?  I liked getting out of my comfort zone.  It resulted in a process that made me happy.

Laying out the design

Almost finished!

Now I need to find a reasonably priced printer to transfer the painting onto card stock.  I had fun and am looking forward to sending Christmas cards this year.

God bless, Pam

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Frugal Acne Treatment

Starting in eighth grade my daughter developed cystic acne.  Not horribly severe, but once or twice a month it was embarrassing for her.  I started noticing her hiding her face under her hoodie.

Like most parents I took her to the dermatologist and she was given samples of prescription medications to try.  Each and every one caused her face to become swollen and red, not much better for her self esteem than the acne.

So, I did some research and found some products that actually cleared up the cysts and prevented them from returning.  She would wash her face twice a day with Hibiclens, tone with Hylamide Pore Flush, then spread on a thin covering of benzoyl peroxide gel.

She would still get small breakouts that looked like whiteheads, but would disappear after one or two days.  I then learned about fungal acne and it’s symptoms.  So she started washing her face in the morning with Nizoral, and evening with Hibiclens.  Now her skin is clear with rare small breakouts.

All of these products are available at the drugstore, except the Hylamide.  It can be purchased from Deceim.  My other hint is to buy a pack of twelve white cotton washcloths and have the acne prone person use a new washcloth everyday.  White because they can be bleached.

I hope this skincare routine works for the young person in your life.

God bless,

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Slowing Down And Refocusing

I have been missing in action for nine months now.  It took many months for my husband to recover from his December 2017 heart attack.  He is feeling much better and, with family encouragement, cut down his hours at work to part time.

The rest of my focus was on dear daughter’s accomplishments.  She finished this, senior year, years curriculum as of mid February.  She worked intensely on her subjects, so I was needed more often for instruction.  She has also gotten her driving learners permit, so driving lessons are happening.

And (drum role please) apparently between my last EKG and my most recent one I suffered a “cardiac event”.  So this week the new medical testing begins to figure out how I’ve been affected.  I didn’t miss the irony of me being so busy concentrating on the needs of others that I missed my own heart attack.

So this blog is back on my mind and I’m planning to post about our latest adventures.  We are converting our yard over to all Florida native plants, will be traveling to Korea and Japan, and I’m going to be drafting new patterns to sew daughter a new, more adult, wardrobe.

Front yard grove 4 months old

Take care and God bless,

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Good Reads: Dietland

DietlandDietland by Sarai Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dietland is a full length novel about personal growth and how our society casually mistreats women.

The first part of Dietland introduces us to the main character, Plum, whose life has been shaped from childhood by the mere fact that she is obese. The subtle and overt abuse against her, simply because of her size, has made her a timid recluse.

A parallel story begins after Plum is introduced about a vigilante group that pops up in the U.S., then worldwide, that punishes men that victimize women. A manhunt is on to find the groups leader, Jennifer.

Plum finds herself drawn into the vigilante drama due to accidentally being associated with one of the group members. She begins to metamorphosize from a beaten down woman to a woman confident in herself and comfortable with her body.

I found Dietland to be uplifting and incredibly cogent to what's happening in the U.S. now.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Frugal Kitchen: Easy Generic Korean Pork

This dish is a bastardization of all Korean food, but it also uses ingredients that you can find in the average grocery store.  And it literally takes no time to make.


2 large boneless pork chops or pork cut of your choice
1 Tbsp. mirin
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, black
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 jalapeño cut into thin slices or pickled jalapeño, optional
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
Green onion sliced, optional
Sesame seeds, optional

Thinly slice the pork into bit sized pieces.  It's easier to do if the pork is still slightly frozen.  Place in a bowl with the mirin, garlic, sesame oil, sugar, salt, pepper and soy sauce.  Stir until all the pieces are covered in the marinade, cover and let sit for a half hour.

Place the cooking oil in the wok or large fry pan, when it's hot pour in the ingredients.  If your family loves hot food add the jalapeño at this time.  Stir fry until all the liquid is evaporated and the pork is nicely caramelized.

Serve over rice or noodles.  If you didn't add the jalapeño when cooking, add pickled jalapeño as a garnish.  Pickled jalapeño is not as hot.  Garnish with green onion and sesame seed if you wish.


God bless,

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Frugal Kitchen: Pork in Green Sauce

I've been cooking Asian like crazy lately, but today I decided to go south of the border.  Pork in green sauce, carne de cerdo en salsa verde, is fairly easy to make, but filled with flavor.


Boneless country style ribs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Crema to taste

For the sauce:

12 tomatillos
2 large garlic cloves or 3 medium
1 small onion
2 peppers with the hotness you enjoy
1 chicken bullion cube
2 Tbsp. lime juice

Place the vegetables on a greased sheet pan and roast in a 425 degree fahrenheit oven until the are brown and collapsed.  Pour the vegetables, bullion cube, lime juice,  and any leftover juices into a blender and puree.

In a skillet add olive oil, ribs cut into bite sized pieces and salt.  Brown the meat on all sides, then pour the green sauce over the top.

Wow, I really need to clean the cooktop.

Simmer covered for about 30 minutes.  The sauce should thicken, but if not take the lid off for a few minutes.

Serve over rice, with cream drizzled over the top.  You can also sprinkle cilantro over the top if your family likes it.  If your family loves cilantro add a bunch to the green sauce before you blend to a puree.

Fun fact:  The liking or disliking of cilantro is genetic.  To people that dislike cilantro it tastes like soap.


God bless,

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Frugal Kitchen: Chicken Kung Pao

This is a quick stir fry recipe, so be sure you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.  I made this recipe mild for my daughter, but just add more red pepper if you like your food spicy.



2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1" pieces
1Tbs.  Chinese wine or dry sherry
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. or more of red pepper flakes


3 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. turbinado sugar
1 tsp. corn starch
1 Tbs. Chinese wine or dry sherry
1/2 cup stock, chicken or vegetable

Other ingredients

cooking oil
2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
2 Tbs. finely chopped ginger
green onions cut into large pieces
1/2 cup peanuts rough chopped
1 tsp. sesame oil

Put the chicken ingredients into a bowl and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.

Mix together your sauce ingredients in another bowl.

Add 1 Tbs. cooking oil into a medium hot wok.  Add chicken, toss until it is done, then remove to a bowl.  Add 1 Tbs. cooking oil into wok, add garlic and ginger, and toss until lightly browned.

Put the sauce ingredients into the wok, then add in the chicken.  Stir until sauce thickens, then add the green onions and peanuts.  Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.

Serve over rice or noodles.

You can adjust this recipe to include any firm green vegetable cut into 1" cubes.  It's quite versatile and a good recipe to teach children how to cook.  Enjoy!

God bless,