12
Jul

Ylang Ylang and Fennel Ice Cream

by Tiffany in Recipes

Ylang Ylang and Fennel Ice Cream

The inspiration for this ice cream began when I had a similar flavor at a local artisan ice cream shop. The sweetness of fennel and the floral notes from the Ylang Ylang essential oil just sang to me. And because I can source grassfed cream from the same local farm, making our own version was a no brainer. It is good….no REALLY good. It is silky, sweet, and luxurious. The addition of the candied fennel seeds also gives it a delightful crunch…as well as that green color (as I explain below). We have made it with regular fennel seeds too and it is just as yummy, but I prefer the candies. It makes about 5-6 small servings and that is more than enough for this really rich and satisfying dessert.

Ylang Ylang and Fennel Ice Cream

1 pint heavy cream (grassfed)
1 can organic sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C candied fennel seeds
3 Drops fennel essential oil
3 Drops Ylang Ylang essentially oil

Whip the cream, condensed milk, and oils to soft peaks and transfer to the freezer or an ice cream maker. Sprinkle with more candied fennel seeds for a crunch. It is a deliciously decadent and silky smooth ice cream! Oh and the green color is due to the constant rotation of the ice cream in our ice maker and transference of the candy dye. Regular fennel can be used as well, just toast them first for the best flavor. Enjoy!

Ylang Ylang and Fennel Ice Cream with Essential Oils

6
Jul

How Being Organized Can Save Time and Money

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

So are you bad with money or are you just disorganized? So many folks who think they just aren’t “good with money” are in actuality lacking good organizational skills. Being good with money is more about having a good mindset and good habits. Those habits need to be rooted in a very organized system. It is time to release your inner nerd and GET ORGANIZED! Once you do that, the money stuff will flow a whole lot easier.

The same applies to time mismanagement. You have all the time you need, you just need to allocate things better and organize your life better. Organization is beneficial for everyone and can be easily adapted to suit individual needs. Being organized in your everyday life actually saves you time and money. Here are a few of the reasons why.

Efficiency Creates Stress-Free Living

If you keep your belongings organized…if everything has a “home” (ie KonMari), you don’t need to spend time looking for them when needed. This is especially handy in the case of important yet rarely used items, such as that immersion blender you only use for homemade soup or insurance or tax information that you need once a year.

The key to keeping things organized is to come up with a place to keep something and stick to it. If you want to keep important mail in a desk drawer, make sure you keep all of your important mail in that drawer. Don’t be afraid of sorting your things too much. The more categories of things you come up with, the easier it will be to find exactly what you need when you need it. Imagine tax time without having to search through piles of paper or multiple filing cabinets. Imagine knowing exactly where that birthday cake pan is. Everything (and I do mean everything) needs a home.

organized to save time and money

Organization Keeps You From Wasting Money

Being organized keeps you from buying items that you already have, but you’ve forgotten about or lost in your household or workplace. How much food have you thrown out because it was expired and yet you kept right on buying more when you needed to use up what you had? It used to happen to me all the time. I also had to keep buying new items to replace ones I could not find. You’re more likely to forget about a pack of batteries you bought several months ago and never opened, than your car keys or your wallet. Combined, these types of purchases can end up costing you a significant amount of money for items that you already have or never needed in the first place.

Fortunately, this is a very fixable problem. By cleaning and organizing the designated “junk” drawers in your home or office and creating an inventory list of all the items, you will easily find the item you’re looking for the next time you go searching. This prevents unnecessary purchases and impulse buys at the store.

Organization Keeps You Sharp With Details

It can be hard to keep track of every detail when you have a lot going on in your life. Sometimes, bills can get lost in the shuffle and go unpaid, or household maintenance gets overlooked. By keeping all of your activities organized, you can get them done in a more efficient manner and you make sure that every detail is taken care of. Mail needs a home, unpaid bills need a home, bill payment needs a process and a place on your schedule, think about the processes you go through and organize them. Never pay late fees because you forgot a bill or run the risk of damaging your furnace because you forgot to add filter replacement to your calendar. You really can tackle all these little life details with better organization.

I love the ListPlanIt website for all the little details. They have a collection of lists that are so helpful. Do you need a weekly cleaning checklist, a fall cleanup or winterization checklist, a coupon inventory, or a car maintenance schedule? They have all of these and hundreds more.

Being Organized Saves Money on Shopping

If you plan out a menu for each month, you can buy many of your groceries in bulk, saving you time and frequent trips to the store. If you prepare a list ahead of time, you can also look for coupons or rebates ( I love iBotta!) that offer savings on the things you plan to buy.

The same applies to non-food items, which can be bought in bulk and stored for later use. Staying organized and keeping essentials stocked up saves you the stress of running out to make a special trip for more. You can also plan out birthday or holiday gifts well ahead of time, so that you can keep an eye out for a good deal AND start saving for bigger ticket items by putting money aside every week.

While it may take a bit of effort (or alot), organizing your life allows you to use your time more efficiently and to take full advantage of your finances. You become the master of your time and money and not the other way around! Not only that, but the more thought-out your budget or schedule is, the less you will worry about them.

2
Jul

Instant Pot Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls

by Tiffany in Recipes

So I got a wonderfully large head of cabbage from my local CSA delivery service this week and I wanted to try my hand at making cabbage rolls. As often happens though, when the time comes to actually make the recipe, it seems like too much work. Blanch the rolls to soften them, fill them up, roll them, cooking time is too long, etc.

Instant Pot to the rescue. I took all the ingredients I wanted to use for my cabbage rolls and tossed it all in the Instant Pot. In six minutes we had a lovely deconstructed cabbage roll soup. It was a pretty big hit. Even my picky kids ate it. I love how much time and effort it did NOT take.

Instant Pot Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls

2 lbs ground beef or ground beef/ground turkey mix
1 Packet or equivalent homemade taco seasoning
1 Medium yellow onion
4 Cloves garlic
8 Ounce can tomato sauce
14 Ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Cup beef broth
1 Head of green cabbage (sliced in ribbons)
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground meat in the taco seasoning. When done, add the onions and garlic and stir around until they are tender and almost translucent. Transfer to the Instant Pot and add the tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, beef broth, salt and pepper, and the cabbage. Cook on manual for six minutes. Enjoy!

30
Jun

Frugal Friday – Feeling the ibotta Love

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

Here are my recent wins with money…

ibotta – So I am a bit late to this game I think. I joined the app about a year or so ago and quickly decided that the rebates offered where not for stuff I would normally buy. So just like coupons for random stuff you don’t need, this app was not a good fit. Fast forward to NOW and there are some rebates here and there I will use. The weekly .25 cent refund for buying anything and the .25 rebate for bananas…sure. I will take .50 cents every week. Oh but then they offer $2.00 for coconut water when it is already on sale for $2.99 and $2.00-3.00 off craft beer, which my husband buys every week. Yep, sign me up. In three weeks time I made…$27.25. Download it, redeem two different rebates on branded items, and get $10 back immediately.  Oh and from the rank section of my app I can see how much my Facebook friends are saving. A local friend has earned over $8,000 from this app. Good golly!

Admittedly it seems like an invasion that you can even see this info but you can see how much your Facebook friends “earn” from ibotta. One of my friends has made over $8,000. Good golly!!!

Facebook Marketplace – I LOVE that Facebook now has a marketplace. In addition to local buy sell groups on Facebook I have been selling off unused or unwanted stuff with great success. Every little bit helps because we just renovated our master bathroom!

It is also great for buying stuff cheap. My daughter and I have started playing tennis and we got two rackets for $5. We could not have done any better at Walmart.

Menards Rebates – We love Menards for all the rebates they offer, including their famous 11% on everything offer. We bought kitchen counters during one of their 11% events. Booyah! Anyway this month we used $46 in rebates to buy stuff for our bathroom renovation, making all the paint (and not the cheapy stuff) pretty much free.

Focus Groups – Did two focus groups this month and got paid $215 for three hours of my time, which was spent sitting and chatting. Nice.

How are you winning with money right now?

29
Jun

GloryBrew 100% Compostable Coffee Pods

by Tiffany in A Green Home

Every morning for the past few weeks my day has begun with GloryBrew coffee, bulletproof of course. Yes these are coffee pods and yes we do have a Keurig (the 2.0 specifically). My husband adores it…seriously its a little concerning just how MUCH he adores it. So I embrace the Keurig and its kcups too. Marriage is all about compromise and while at first glance it may seem that single use disposables is a place to draw a hard line, you cannot come between a coffee lover and their coffee. You just can’t do it!

Not to throw my man under the bus though. I too love the ease with which we can brew a cup of coffee for one and making tea has never been easier either. Just throw a mug with a tea bag under the Keurig and you have tea brewing in 30 seconds. I can’t lie, that is very nice.

Early on we embraced the reusable cups that you can use in these machines and often times we buy loose coffee grounds to brew instead of disposable cups. But I am loving the Glorybrew 100% compostable coffee pods and they will need to be a part of my regular Amazon Prime orders.

As mentioned they are 100% compostable in 7 weeks time because they are made of plant based materials. No petroleum-based plastics are used in the ring. It is made from coffee chaff, a waste product of the roasting process of coffee beans. The bottom part is a soft, compostable mesh filter, made using renewable materials.

Glorybrew is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance™. This means it is grown to meet standards that require environmental, social, and economic sustainability. This make coffee pods a guilt free purchase for me…one that I can feel good about. I also LOVE love the flavor of the coffee and my husband does as well, especially the extra dark roast, which has subtle hints of chocolate. He loves dark roast coffee while I prefer medium. The variety pack on Amazon is perfect for us.

Stop by the Glorybrew website to subscribe to their newsletter and you will get a 10% off coupon for Amazon. Their coffee is already really budget friendly but every little bit helps! Enjoy!