Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deglon Meeting Knife Set

Stainless Steel Knives and Block, Set of 4                  $712.94

Set of 4 knives and block; contemporary and innovative design

Made of high quality stainless steel; set seemingly appears to be created from a single block of stainless steel

Set includes a 3-1/4-inch paring knife, 5-1/4-inch utility knife, 8-inch chef knife, 8-3/4-inch slicer and matching stainless steel block

Designed by Mia Schmallenbach
Made in France by Deglon

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

With the thoughts of Christmas in my mind, I thought it'd be cool to show y'all some gift ideas for the holiday season. You may find something perfect for that special loved one, that perfect gag gift, or even find something to put on your wish list for a later date.

Warning: These are sporadic ideas. Some may be cheap, some expensive, some practical, some over the top. Some fun, some nerdy, and some even flirty.. It's all in fun and I hope you enjoy!

Ready, set, SHOP!

Boon Glo Nightlight with Portable Balls, White $60.99

This is a really cool night light for your little munchkin. It sits beside their bed and they can take them in and out of the base. The lights only illuminate for a short time before they automatically go off on their own.

More info: 

  • Multi-color nightlight
  • Select your favorite color with sliding lever or keep them circulating
  • Portable Glo balls don't require charging
  • Low energy L.E.D. base with 9 volt power adapter included
  • BPA-free, Phthalate-free, and PVC-free

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review of Wendys in Homestead, FL

I never thought I'd be recommending a fast food restaurant, but in this case I feel like I have to. Well I don't have to, but want to. When we first came to South Florida in August, the first fast food restaurant we went to was the Wendy's in Homestead, FL. I was shocked at how good everything tasted. I put it off that maybe I was just hungry. The whole family was in agreement that it was good, but as with myself, we all just assumed we were really hungry. lol

Well since being here, we've been to another Wendy's that is south of the other one. I believe it's in Florida City, FL. This one didn't leave us thinking it was anything special. They didn't even have the drink refill machines available. It just seemed like any other fast food joint.

For us, a drink refill machine is a must with my bunch.. It is so frustrating when you have to go stand in line to ask for a refill. lol

So anyway... Thursday evening, we went grocery shopping and decided to eat out. We decided to go back to the first Wendy's because Hannah thought she remembered them having the drink refill machine out in the sitting area. She was right! We ordered, sat down, and it tasted SO good! Now I'm starting to think it's just this Wendy's. I don't know what they do to make their burgers and fries so good, but I want to commend their managers and staff for a job well done.

I know this may be a silly post for a blog, but if I can get on here and fuss about bad experiences with restaurants, I felt it would be good to tell y'all the ones worth going to try out. So if you are ever on your way to the Florida Keys, don't forget to stop in and visit the Wendy's in Homestead, FL.

While researching for this blog, I went to their website. They have a menu link and a nutrition link. Calculate calories, fat, and carb count here! Very cool!

This is my personal opinion and have not received anything from them to say this. (Thought it needed a disclaimer?) hehe


If there are any Wendy's restaurants you'd like to commend, feel free to add it to the comment below. Please hit "G+1" below this post so others that may live or visit South Florida will have a chance to find out about this Wendy's. If you're going to spend money eating out, you want it to be good right??? :D Thanks!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pinterest! "To do's" went to "did do's!" :)

I did more than pinning today! lol If you're not on pinterest, you're missing out. I had an account and never really did anything with it for months. Than all of the sudden I found myself pinning everything I saw. Not really, but it sounded good. lol Anyhow, today I did three things I've seen on pinterest and wanted to share them with y'all.


1. First thing was buying a small water bottle and filling it with 1 part olive oil and 5 parts water. This will be a time and money saver! You use this to spray on frying pans before cooking to prevent food from sticking. I can't wait to give this a try! It seems plenty thick enough at 1:5 ratio. :)

2. The second thing.. With homeschooling, we go through a lot of paper when it comes to teaching them their lessons, especially math. We live in a travel trailer and I don't have a big dry-ease or chalk board nor room to put it. I saw an idea on pinterest to buy those page protectors for school work, taping the edges, and use them as dry-ease boards. Here's the link to the video on how to make them. The lady said they were super cheep, but when I went and looked at the price, I didn't find them very cheep to make, although her video was really informative. I recommend watching it to get ideas on the things that can be done with your new dry-ease boards.

Anyway, this is what I bought and put together for the kiddos. It is a report folder with the front being clear for them to write on and than I can put any piece of paper inside of it for them. It even has the 2 clips to hold the paper into place. Come to find out, just about any of these kinds of products can be re-purposed as a board for them to write on. These little dry ease markers are the best too! They have an eraser on the end so there's no need to keep up with extra erasers. They just keep this marker with their pencils. :)

 3. Last but not least.. We made doughnuts! This is who gets credit for this recipe! I didn't do exactly like the recipe so I'll post here how I made them. For further directions, I'd recommend you going to the link. It tells you how to make the chocolate frosting and how to mix up the cinnamon and sugar to have as coatings. I went with the all time favorite GLAZE on ours. This is so EASY, I can picture every person who reads my blog to go pick the ingredients on their next grocery trip and try it for yourselves! :)

First you buy some biscuits. They recommend Grands Buttermilk Biscuits. I used the Big Country Biscuits because they were sold out of Grands. I was told that the Texas Style Biscuits were good to use too. You need to cut a hole in the center. I bought cookie/biscuit cutter, but my holes seemed to be a bit big. Do they look to big to you? lol Anyhow, this didn't affect the taste of the doughnuts, so lets carry on. I took regular vegetable oil and filled a pan about 1/2"-1" high. The recipe says to warm the grease to 350 degrees. That was hard for me to gauge so I just made sure it was plenty warm before I dropped the first one in. My pan, as you see, held 4 doughnuts and 4 holes at one time. I cooked two batches which came out to 16 doughnuts and 16 holes. I recommend not overheating the oil. Just make sure you keep an eye on them when you first put them in. The darker they get, the more crunchy they get. Crunchy and doughnut isn't suppose to go in the same sentence. lol If you can tell in the bottom picture, the doughnuts on the far right, they are darker.. They really don't take long to cook on each side. Keep a close eye on them! You'll need some tongs to flip them while in the hot grease.

Once they are cooked, I pulled them out with the tongs and sat them on some paper toweled covered plates and added glaze to them. Oh my Lord, this glaze is GOOD! You mix 1 cup of powered sugar, 2 tbs of milk, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Elijah mixed ours up and each of the children took turns spreading it to the top of the doughnuts with a BBQ brush. We ended up glazing both sides! Yummy! This is a must do! I highly recommend it and I think it's safe to say that we'll never buy doughnuts again! This is the way to go!

Another thing I bought to make was seasonings to make my own taco seasoning. Rachael Ray gets credit for this one! I found the recipe here! I am so going to make this! All I need to get is an air tight container to hold my mixture in. I bought the spices the other day. I get so sick of having pre portioned mixes. Sometimes you need more and sometimes less than what they give you in the packets. I can't wait to try this one! To bad I didn't have it mixed up a couple of days ago when I made tacos for dinner! Here's the recipe!

1 part chili powder
1 part ground cumin
1 part garlic powder
1 part onion powder
1/4 to 1/2 part crushed red pepper

Basically what every portion you use on one, you use on all except the red pepper. If you use 1 cup of chili power, you use the same cup on every ingredient till you get to the crushed red pepper and you only add 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. Make sense? I knew I had a smart group!

I have some other things I'm planning on doing/making. Walmart just didn't have everything I needed today. :( When I do more, I'll share them with y'all! :) If you'd like to follow me on Pinterest, You can find me here! Follow me!

Thanks for reading! ♥

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yearly Cash Flow Spreadsheet

I would like to write up a couple of blogs. One about how I do my family budget and the other on how I keep up with all of our household bills. This one will be about my personal family expenses. I hope you enjoy and learn something that you can put into action within your own household! :)

How many of you know how much debt you owe out as a household? I mean really really know? I can honestly say that I know each and every month how much my husband and I owe in debt.

I have a BIG Christian faith so everything in my life, I TRY (not perfect by far) to live by what the Bible tells me. The bible speaks a lot about money! Did you know that? Here are a couple of scriptures I ponder while thinking of my finances..

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

The rich ruleth over the poor , and the borrower is servant to the lender.

The first one is always in the forefront of my mind when thinking about debt. "Owe no man anything, but to love him." Wow, I could about preach a sermon on that one.. Good stuff! Anyway, as we can see, debt is not a good thing. It affects our outlook on life, our mood, our relationships with family, friends, spouse, and even our relationship with Christ. So with that being said, the reason I did this yearly cash flow chart to begin with was two fold. One, to see where my money was going so I could be a better steward with what the Lord entrusted to me and two, to get out of debt! Plain and simple. Good reasons right?

I have been married 14 years and I have to say I have been doing this since day ONE of my marriage. I can dig back through paperwork from where I was writing it all out by hand. I kinda miss it! I think about going back to the paper version. Both paper and computer have their pros and cons, so for now, I do it on a spreadsheet on my computer. :) Saves me from having to keep up with a calculator all the time. lol All I do is put in a number and it all adds itself up for me. Hey, I told you I'm OCD about my finances! lol You'll see as we go on.

Ok, let me try to do this.. without giving out to much of our personal info.. HA I'm going to change almost all of our debts and change the amounts we pay out. I'm sure y'all all understand that.. ;)

These are my steps when I put my "Yearly Cash Flow" chart into place.

1. I wanted the whole years worth of expenses on one or two pages, max, so across the top I have labeled Jan-Dec.

2. I divide all of my bills up into 3 categories. Bills to be paid out/mailed on the 1st of the month, the 10th of the month and the 20th of the month. These are the only 3 days of the month I pay bills. Talk about simple! This is where my budget plays such an important roll. Any bills due between the 7th and 16th of the month are paid on the 1st of the month. Bills due on the 17th through the 26th of the month are paid on the 10th and those due between the 27th of the month through the next 6th of the next month I pay on the 20th. Make sense? This is helpful to anyone who makes a habit of paying bills late. Paying bills late just cost you more money, so we want to prevent that from happening. It is possible to eliminate those late fees.

3. So, going down the first column of my spreadsheet I have listed each bill or expense, starting with the list of bills that are paid out on the 1st of the month.. After that, I list those paid on the 10th, than the 20th. I put all of the bills that are paid once or twice a year at the bottom of the list. This helps me to start at the beginning of the month and work my way down the page without searching out the next bill I need to pay.

Note: These bills/expenses on the spreadsheet are only fixed expenses like power, water, credit card bill, phone, mortgage, insurance, etc. I do not include changing expenses like groceries or clothes because these items don't incur late fees by not buying them. These are items that you buy if/when you have the money. Good, bad, up, or down, through the years I have always paid my bills FIRST. Than I bought groceries and if anything was left it went to other things we needed in our home. Trust me, it has been to that point where we had less than $50 a week to feed a family of 4. Maybe less.. Its been so long, it's hard to remember specifics. Maybe I should have written that down too? lol Anyhow, back to the task at hand..

4. Beside each bill/debt I have how much the bill is for the month and how much I paid. Not all bills have to be paid in full each month (example: credit card bill, insurance, etc.) So knowing how much you owe, how much you paid, and how much you still owe on that bill is important.

On regular bills I just put the amount owed in that month and the payment on the line below it. On others, like line 4. the loan. The first line is how much is due that month, the second line is the payment, and the third line is the balance. At one time I was even keeping up with the amount of interest I paid on each loan. Can anyone say OCD?

I have debts in red so they're easy to see. I have my spreadsheet automatically set up so when I type in a payment, it automatically adds it to my monthly payout at the bottom of the spreadsheet. When I type in my balance it automatically adds it to the bottom as well. Do you know how much of your income goes out in bills each month? At the end of each year I reflect on the debt we had at the beginning of the year and what we had at the end of the year. What debts we paid off and which new ones we incurred.

It's easy to see if I missed a payment and can catch it and pay it (hopefully) before it becomes past due. :) No need for extra files to keep up with BILLS. This also.worked when we were self employed. I was able to keep business and personal expenses separate and had one piece of paper on hand when I filed my taxes at the end of the year. :)

If you are interested in setting one up for yourself or me helping you to set one up for you on your computer, let me know. You'll need a spreadsheet app on your computer. Mine is Microsoft Works Spreadsheet. I could even write up a blog on how I set up the spreadsheet to do all of the calculations automatically for those that do not know.

Don't forget, this can also be done with a pen and paper. You don't need a computer. They have green spreadsheet paper at Walmart. I LOVE this paper! I used this for my budget back in the day as well. :) Don't have to worry about computer crashes when it's written in ink! :)

(This is a 6 column you can do 6 months at a time on. They also have a 12 column pad to do a whole year on.)

Here's a sample "Yearly Cash Flow 2012" spreadsheet!
As you can see, I still have my water bill and vehicle bill to pay this month. :)
I've used this method quite a few times to get us out of debt. If I see that my balance is close to the next $1000 platform, I may pay extra that month to get it below that threshold. Example: The Land debt... The August balance is $2340.93. If I wanted to go below $2000, instead of paying $150 or $200, I would pay like $350. Unfortunately, I didn't have it to pay this month because hubby started a new job after being out of work for almost 3 months with no income, so I was paying only what I needed to. I hate paying the minimum payment on anything! lol I'm hoping to go ahead and knock out these debts as we build our home DEBT FREE! I believe! I believe! I BELIEVE!
This is a passion for me and it's my goal to help families to live free from debt even with the smallest of incomes. If we could do it, anyone can!

This is one topic in your life that you have to get mad at to see change in it. I literally HATE debt! You have to get to the point that you hate it too. See it as I do.. As bondage. It keeps us from having and doing what is purposed for us to do in life. Personally, we have been way over our heads in credit card debt before and with the Lord's help and guidance, He helped us pay it off. Now on my credit card debt you see on this page, I pay the bill off every month. I don't plan on paying anymore interest than is absolutely necessary.

Feel free to share your goals and achievements with me. I want to celebrate them with you. As you can tell with my goal to build my home debt free that I believe with God, anything is possible!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ready for Florida!

Sorry I haven't been on here to update everyone. The word "busy" would be an understatement! As you know my husband has been in FL working and I've been working to leave and go be with him. Well that day is about to arrive! After 3 very long weeks, kid's camp, house plans drawn up, birthday parties, and getting the cows ready for us to leave, we are just about ready to go. Who am I kidding? I was ready to leave with hubby 3 weeks ago, but things HAD to be done! haha With the help of the Lord above, I can see an end in site. All I have left to do (of my huge list of "to dos") is buying our vehicle tags for our vehicles. :)

My dad is suppose to come up to my home on Thursday morning and help me hook up the travel trailer and get it pointed out the driveway. Than I'm headed to buy our tags on the way out of town! I'm super excited to get on the road. Hubby's been anxiously and impatiently waiting our arrival. hehe

Will y'all please pray for my travels? I'm driving approx 800 miles in two days hauling a travel trailer, 3 children, and our dog alone. I know I can do it or I wouldn't attempt it, but prayers are always welcome! :) I'll be staying overnight somewhere along the way as to get rested up for the final stretch. It's a lot of work on the Yukon to haul for 15 hours straight without a break. Not to mention what that drive will do to the kiddos or the dog. I'm predicting lots of stops with three children and a dog in tow! lol

It's kinda bittersweet to be leaving now that I have my house plans ready and in hand. I was hoping so much to have at least my plans, permit, and foundation poured before we went on the road again. I'm hoping we can get someone to come up and get the site ready to build while we're gone. That way we can pull our permit and get started when we come home again (whenever that time may be).

Never a dull moment in the live of the Reeds! I wouldn't trade one second of it for anything in the world. Thank you so much for following me. I hope to have more updates soon!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prepairing to go to Florida!

My husband works at nuclear plants as an ironworker. He works outages for them which means we travel from job to job. There are so many plants, that it's possible not to work at the same plant twice. The first place we went to was over close to Dothan, AL. We were there for almost a year and a half (off and on). Last outage we were in MS, south of Vicksburg. This time, the job took him all the way to Miami, FL. :)

He left out Sunday for a "make it/break it" welding test. This means that if he doesn't pass the test, he has to come home. If he passes, he gets the job. He took the welding test all day yesterday and when they tested it, he had PASSED! I'm so proud of him! I thank the good Lord above because we were trusting Him 100% on him passing. This job had a high flunk out rate, so when he left, he was going against the odds on passing, but he did it! :D

Now for the hard part... Hubby's down in Ft. Lauderdale, FL filling out all of his paperwork before he goes down to the job site south of Miami and I get the job of wrapping up all the odds and ends around the house so we can go join him. :)

The day before hubby left we were able to get the rest of the hay for our cows to make it through the Winter and we were able to meet up with the guy drawing up our house plans and get him started on the final draft. :)

So now before we can go to FL, I'm waiting on a few things to happen.

1. Next week the children are going to Kid's Camp with our church. Talk about excited! They've been wanting to pack for the past two weeks! lol

2. Than I need to buy the children's school books and supplies. I normally drive over to Pensacola, FL to buy our supplies and I'm thinking I'll drive over there the week the children are at camp. I'll have peace and quiet so I can find everything I need to get for the school year. lol

3. I also need to get our COMPLETED house plans from the guy drawing them up. YAY!!

4. Than I need to get our tags on our vehicles renewed before we leave. This puts us leaving in August. This also puts us into birthday season for the Reed clan. Isaiah's is in August, Hannah is in September, and Elijah is in October. I'm thinking I need to have a small party for them before we leave town. Oh, so that makes #5!

Wow, the more I think about it, the greater my list grows. I do believe I need to stop thinking about it. lol

I'm looking forward to traveling down to S. Florida. The furthest I've been in FL to date is Panama City! I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on what's going on with us. What an adventure we are up for! ♥

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paper bracelet tutorial..

Isn't it beautiful?
I've been looking into things to make that would fall under recycling. I'm not a wacko about it, but I am conscience of my environment. I am also frugal so it's a win win situation. haha  I came upon the idea of making my own beads from paper. Yeah, PAPER! I thought, "Hey, I can do that!"

I had magazines on hand, but in my reading it says, you can use just about any THIN paper you may have on hand.. The thinner the paper the better. That way, the beads have a smoother appearance when completed. The beads can be made in different shapes and sizes. With that being said, let's begin! :

Step 1: Choose any paper that has the colors you want to make beads from. Don't worry about the design on the page because the designs will not be noticeable when it's rolled up into a bead.

Step 2: Cut the paper into a strip from about 1/2" - 1/4" at it's widest, down to a point on the other end. The narrower the base, the shorter the bead. The longer the paper strip, the thicker the bead will be when it's completed. You can also thicken your beads by using more than one strip of paper. I used up to five on one of my beads.

Step 3: Take a toothpick and start rolling the paper (face down) starting with your widest end of your paper strip on the toothpick. You can see I made 2 smaller beads on my toothpick. I was attempting to make my center pieces for my bracelet, but decided not to use them. :)

Step 4: Add glue to the last 2" of the paper and roll the rest of the paper onto the toothpick.

Step 5: Once the paper is rolled and in place the way you want it, take clear fingernail polish and cover the entire bead.

Step 6: Once dry, slide the bead off of the toothpick. If you'd like the bead shorter, this would be the time to take the scissors and trim the ends back. See the newest bead in the middle? These were my rejects I discarded from my selection of beads for my bracelet I made. You can see here the different shapes and sizes that can be made. That biggest blue bead was made with five strips of paper.

To make my bracelet, I had some green floral wire on hand. I threaded my home made beads with some store bought beads. Like I said previously, I tried to make some solid colored beads, but I thought the store bought beads looked better overall. :)

This is a great great project to do with your children. My 7 year old even made 2 bracelets for himself. They weren't even trying to color coordinate them and they turned out cute! Hmmm.. Let me see if I can add a picture of Elijah's and Isaiah's bracelets.. :D

There they are! :) The two on the left were made by 10 year old Elijah and the two on the right were made by 7 year old Isaiah. I didn't do ANYTHING to theirs at all! They made them all by themselves! They even look boyish don't they? haha I have to admit, I want to steal some of their beads.. *giggles* I'm still waiting on Miss Hannah to finish hers. I think she's a little OCD like myself and wants them to be perfect.

Have I inspired you to get creative yet? See, even a 7 year old can do it! :)

Comments, ideas, feedback???

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Still holding on..

Hey guys! It's been a little bit since I've posted. I just wanted to update to tell y'all that there is nothing new on the home front. ha Exciting, I know!

Since hubby was laid off at the end of April he decided it was time for him to go back to work. We were hoping he'd get a call for the next nuke outage but so far, this hasn't been the case. He's suppose to do some welding and fitting on his new job. Bad news, he'll be working nights, they are 12 hour shifts, it's temp work, it's about an hour and a half drive from our home, less pay, he's suppose to work 7 days per week till the job is over. Good news.. It's a JOB, it's a JOB, it's a JOB!

The bad part of him working nights is trying to keep 3 children quiet in a 28' travel trailer while he's trying to sleep. His working 12 hour shifts leaves about 6 hours of sleep each day. The older he gets, it seems like the more sleep he requires (haha). I kinda like it being temp because he can work a lot and than maybe just maybe we can get something done around the farm when the job's over. There's just no spinning the hour and a half drive into a positive.. Less pay? I am thankful it's something! :)

This company said they "may" want him to go to Pensacola, FL for more work when this one's over. Hubby said if he gets sent for that job that we'd pack up the camper and head over there and stay. I'm not liking this idea because we still have so much that needs to be done at home. We still need to gather up another 12 rolls of hay for the cows, we need to get our house plans finished. We also need to get the house site prep work done so we can start when the house plans are finished.. He still needs to cut down a TREE that sits smack dab in the middle of where he wants to put the slab!!! lol

I always try to see the positive in every situation.. Try! :)

More news on the home plans? NADA! Haven't heard a word yet.. I called him last week with my elevations (because it's going to have a floating slab) and he said he was going to work on it at the end of last week and get back with us this week. So far I haven't heard from him. I PRAY PRAY PRAY he gets it completed soon, so we can do our final revisions (if needed) and than have them sent over to the number's man who does all of the calculations that the county requires with the plans. Shew, crazy stuff!

We did have someone come out and see the spot on which we want to build. What a great help he was!

Oh wait, I do have news! We started our own fishing business. It's not fancy or anything, but hubby's bought his commercial freshwater fishing license and license to sell them. We had just bought the license on Monday when he received the call about this job. Crazy how things work. He has an order for $75 worth of catfish next Monday, but with hubby working 7/12's, 1 1/2 hours from home, I don't see it happening! He won't have enough time for sleep, much less fish!

Hopefully with hubby working again and our plans coming along, my dream of building our own home DEBT FREE will become a reality. I am trusting the Lord that it'll happen! ♥

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I can still eat toast with preserves and still eat low carb!

As you all know, I have been doing the low carb/sugar free diet for about 9 months or so now. Maybe longer, maybe less. I'm unsure of when I officially started. Anyhow, I have now exceeded my goal of 25-30 lb weight loss and am now at 40 lbs of loss. WOOHOO! I DO NOT need to loose anymore weight. I actually stopped trying months ago but just continue to loose. It's not at a rapid pace or anything, but loosing none the less. With that being said, I still don't want to completely go back to the way I was eating before I lost the weight, because I don't want to gain the weight back again. So I still watch what I eat and keep a close eye on my carb count and sugar intake. Any time I want to eat higher carb foods, I look for the low carb alternative and give it a try. :) With this blog I'm going to share some new preserves I've found and compare the sugar and carb counts between eating toast the "regular" way as compared to "low carb/sugar free" way. I think you'll be shocked and eager to try it for yourself.

First let's look at the carbs the "regular" way.

I buy the Golden Bake Wheat Bread for my family to eat. It has a total of 15 g of carbs, less than 1 g of fiber, and 1g of sugar for 1 slice of bread. So if we take the fiber away from the carb count (although it's less than 1g) that's 14 net g of carbs.

Butter/margarine have 0g carbs

Now for jam. I don't have any regular jam, jelly, or preserves on hand but I found this one online. Bama Jelly carbs and sugar count It says there are 13g of carbs and 13g of sugar for 1 tbs of jam. I'm not sure what the difference would be between jam, jelly, and preserves, but I'd assume they'd be similar. 13g of carbs for 1 tbs! Uh oh!

All of this comes out to 27g of carbs and 14g of sugar.. WOW!!! When you start out on Atkins, that 27g of carbs is more than you're able to eat ALL DAY long! This also has LESS than 1g of fiber per these ingredients! Yikes!

Now let's look at the bread I use to eat sandwiches with and compare the two together.

I looked over EVERY label on the bread isle and I think I found the one with the lowest carb count. For myself, I buy Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat with Honey Flavor. The label shows the count for one or two pieces but I will just show you the amount for 1 piece for comparison. For one slice of bread it has 7g of carbs, 2g of fiber and 1g of sugar. When you take the fiber away from your carb count, you have a net carb count of 5g of carbs per piece and 1g of sugar. Not outstanding, but you've cut the carbs per slice by 2/3rds!!!  You can eat 2 pieces of bread and STILL be under the carb count in ONE of the regular pieces of bread. :)
We all know there is 0g of carbs in the butter/margarine..

Now for the preserves... I'm SOOO excited to share these preserves with y'all! They are new on the market. I have NEVER ate preserves in my life! I've always been a jelly girl. I like to see through what I'm eating and never liked my spread to be chunky. lol I'm strange, I know.. but anyway I found some Polaner Sugar Free Preserves WITH fiber at Walmart and thought I'd give it a try. It comes in a 13.5 oz jar.

Here it is on Amazon..

Now for the nutrition facts! 5g of carbs, 3g of fiber, and 0g sugars per tbs! No LIE! That gives you a net carb count of 2g of carbs and 0g of sugar! That is 1/6th what regular jam has in it!!!

Now let's look at the total for the new improved low carb/low sugar toast.. It comes out to a total of 7g of carbs and 1g of sugar!!!

If we compare the two together.. Remember, this is one piece of toast now..
Regular toast: 27g net carbs, 14g of sugar, and less than 1 gram of fiber
Low carb/sugar free: 7g net carbs,1g of sugar, and 5g of fiber!

Just picture what the totals would be if you at 2 pieces.. That's 54g of carbs, 28g of sugar for the regular toast and 14g of carbs and 2g of sugar for my way!  WOW! Don't forget to add the fiber. 10g of fiber for 2 pieces is nothing to turn a blind eye to. Fiber is the good carbs! I can eat 4 pieces the low carb way (not saying I should) and will just make it to the carb count in ONE piece the regular way. What do you think about that???

I know some may or may not be able to eat this number of carbs, but for me, it works! You can even share a half a piece with your child and shave off half of your total. I was bad this morning and ate 2 pieces, with the exception of my taste testers aka my children. lol

Living the low carb/sugar free way doesn't have to be sad, boring, depressing, or nasty.. This one is a KEEPER!

Let me know if you're going to try it and let me know when you do. I'd love to hear your opinion on it! :)

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My 1st sketch is complete!

Well we gave the guy a down payment to draw up our house plans. We've been waiting 3 weeks to hear from him! Hubby finally called him today and asked how the progress was going for the sketch. We can't get the plans officially started until we get the sketch right, right? He said he had them ready and he would be able to meet with us today or tomorrow. Guess which day we chose? lol

Anyway, we go meet him and I take a look to see what he has. I'm happy with a few things he did to my original plan, but other ways I was freaking out! I am such an emotional person and get overwhelmed easily. He was feeding me so much info, I thought my head was going to spin and drop off. lol

I couldn't get out of there soon enough! I cried on the way to my vehicle. :( I questioned picking this plan, I questioned building a home, I questioned everything! I just knew my husband would be his less than supportive self. He gets upset because he doesn't like to see me upset, but it doesn't help.. ya know?

Don't get me wrong about this guy drawing our plans.He is a very nice guy. He knows what he's doing. He doesn't even know I was upset (I hope). He just wants us to think of every possibility.

He wants us to add more sq ft to our house plan. lol I just wish he understood where I'm coming from. We have lived in a 12'x55' mobile home for 10 years with 3 children. We have lived in an 8'x28' travel trailer for the last 2 years and will continue to do so part time once our home is built. I wish he understood that we don't need a big blank wall for a 55" flat screen t.v.. Those are just not our goals as a family. He really is obsessed with the length of our walls in the living area.. lol This house is literally 4 times as big our travel trailer! It'll feel like we're living in a mansion at under 1200 sq ft! lol

My goals for a home? Hubby and myself PRIVATE space so we don't have to kick the children out to get alone time. Having a decent sized OPEN living area because we spend most of our time together in one room. A porch on either the front or back for our enjoyment.. Have at least one bathroom, my washer/dryer inside, washing machine, wood burner/fireplace, and a few others quirky things that are a must for me. lol It's also important to keep small enough to build with cash! Bigger the house, the more money we'll need!

I honestly try not to be difficult........ Hubby may say differently. lol

Anyhow, after seeing and thoroughly going through his sketch, we have decided on the revisions we want made to the plan. We will have to set up a new meeting with him and show him the things I want changed. I'm feeling a lot less overwhelmed and a bit more optimistic about the process. I just want it DONE and hubby had to explain to me that it's a process and that this is the most important part and we don't want this part rushed through.

Please pray for us in this area and that the Lord will provide the finances? Thank you!

*Living by faith*

Sunday, May 20, 2012

House built by faith!

Just a short short background.. Well as short as I can get it. lol

I have been married for 13 years. It's been my dream, as it'd be with anyone, to have my own home. Hubby and I bought the property we live on about about 16 years ago with the dream of building our home on our property. We've lived up here in a trailer that cost us $2500 and was suppose to be temporary when we moved up here 12 years ago. 

Back about three years ago we had FINALLY made it to the point that we thought that maybe, just maybe we could get our dream home built. We went and was EASILY pre-approved for a mortgage. This was the time when the housing market took the nose dive. We told them everything up front and they told us everything was fine so we went and paid $500 out on some house plans through a contractor. At the time we didn't owe out ANY debt, hubby was making good money at his job, and we were putting up $70,000 worth of land to build a house that cost $120,000 to purchase. We thought for sure everything was going to go smoothly. Well it didn't! They found every reason they could find to turn us down. Talk about upset! I was VERY upset! I cried for literally WEEKS! I just didn't understand after all we had done. After trying to do the right thing, not trying to get in over our heads, or biting off more than we could chew... After waiting till the time was right for us, we were turned down for this construction loan. I was utterly devastated!

It took me by complete shock! Don't think I'm trying to toot my own horn (at all) but after paying all of hubby's child support off, after paying all of our other debts, having good credit, trying to do everything right, we felt like we were being punished.

If I'm going to be completely honest here, I was upset with the Lord as well. All those years of waiting till the right time, waiting till we were at a place we could afford it, all the time of trusting the Lord to provide, I felt that He wasn't providing for us. I know this my sound bad some "religious" folks, but it's the truth. Like I said I was devastated!

Waiting all these years in a single wide with three children, the place falling down around us, and we can't get a home! I still don't think I'm completely over it. I'm no longer mad at the Lord, but I am at the whole system. I'm mad at the banks!

After this happened, we FIRED our bank! We bought a truck through them, had a business account, checking account, and all the children had savings accounts and we fired them! I wasn't going to allow them to make one more penny off of me if I could help it. Even if this meant I had to drive further to go to another bank.

After all of this happened 3 years ago, we looked at our live and tried to figured out what the Lord had in mind for us. We were in business for 8 years and we closed it down when the housing market fell. He was working for contractors and wasn't happy with what he was doing. We couldn't build a home. The trailer we were living in was in bad shape so we knew we had to do something so we just sought the Lord.

For a few years hubby has felt the call of the Lord on his life to go out into the highway and hedges and preach the good news of Christ (A street preacher). We felt like we were not to rely on anyone to give us money to do the work of God. Not knocking anyone who does, but we just believed that if God wanted us to do this, He was going to have to make a way for it to happen. This was going to be our way of knowing it was His will and not ours. Well when we were turned down for the loan, we felt this was Him telling us that He was making that way for us. Sound crazy? This is what it means to walk in faith. I knew that if the house wasn't His will for us, than SOMETHING else MUST be!

So after seeking the Lord, hubby decided to get on with the local Ironworker Union. We knew that no matter what, we could no longer live in our trailer. The roof leaked, the plug ins were smoking and trying to catch fire, mold growing everywhere and a host of other problems. Let's just say it was NOT livable. Most of it's issues came from 2 very active hurricane seasons in which we had to flee to the North so we wouldn't get swept away.. Gotta love living in the South! ha

So believing the street preaching was the Lord's will we decided to hit the road! We bought a travel trailer and went! Since being rejected for the loan we have been on the road approximately 2 of the 3 years. Coming home to visit, and a few months here and there to work close to home. Hubby gets home sick often. lol Each time we come home we have to stay in our travel trailer because of the issues with our old home. It still sits out back desperately needing to be torn down. We're going to tear it down board by board.

A home has always been in the back of my mind. I think of my 13 year old daughter having her own bedroom and hoping and praying that we'll have one before she's grown and gone from my home. :( The thought of her space consisting of a space the size of a full size bed (literally) and sharing the top (bunk) portion with her brother. The thought of having to kick my children out of the travel trailer in order to get alone time with my husband. It all makes me tear up just thinking about it.

So not to to long ago, I'd say sometime last year the Lord started speaking to me. He kept showing and telling me on a few occasions that HE was going to give me that home I want. He told me to trust Him. I questioned Him on how. Isn't it crazy how we want to see the ending before the beginning? What did He tell me? That He was going to provide. He told me that as I walk in faith and take each step, He was going to pave the way for the next one. It was so hard for me to believe, but I do! I do believe Him! Problem is, believing Him is not enough. Having faith requires action. I can say I have faith all I want, but unless I do something with that faith, I'm not sure if you could call it faith. Well?

Anyhow, this gets us to today! We have decided yet again build a home for our family! This time we decided to do it differently. One of the major differences.. We are no longer going to rely on a bank, we are going to rely on the Lord. This is His way, not ours. We are no longer going to build a bigger house that is to much for us. We're planning on building something that is approx 1200 sq ft. We plan on building with CASH as the Lord provides! Lord knows we don't have the money at this point to build, but that is what living by faith is all about.

This is what He has told us to do. I can't see the end, but He is having us begin, trusting that He will make a way. Since the time He told us that He was going to provide a home for us, I started doing things online to make money. EVERY penny I make is going to my home. Anything over and above bills and living expenses is going to our new home. The Lord gave me a great ability to budget. Thank you Jesus! So living on little is something I'm comfortable with in order to get what He has promised me.

Last Friday, May 18th, we met with a guy my uncle recommended to us to draw up our house plans!!! We gave him all the ins and outs of the home we want to build and gave him the $300 to get started. I am so nervous and so excited all at the same time. I just have to trust the Lord that He is going to make a way where there seems to be no way. At this point in time, hubby's laid off from work, we have no income coming in to our home, not even unemployment. We don't know where/when the next job will come, but we trust God to provide. We have enough to get the plans, the building permit, and maybe even the foundation. :D How exciting!

We still believe in the Lord's call on hubby's life. We still believe that his job gives us a means and a way of preaching the gospel to the lost without asking a penny from anyone. HE will provide the way! We just would like to have a place to stretch out when we come home, thus the house He is going to build for us.

The reason for this blog? So y'all can see where we've been, where we are, and where we are going as a family. I'm hoping that through this little (little?) I said here, it will help to build your faith and help you to seek the Lord on His will for your life. Without knowing His call and His will for our lives, things aren't near as good for us. His perfect will is where I want to live!

Get ready, because I plan on providing plenty of updates!!! :D Thanks for reading my little story! ♥