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Friday, September 25, 2009

10 Healthy Foods for Under $1

I thought I share this with you. These are some great tips for healthy foods under 1.00

When it comes to food, there is a commonly held belief that if it's cheap, it can't possibly be healthy and if it's healthy, it's not going to be cheap. That may be true if we're talking about fresh wild salmon or fresh blueberries purchased in the middle of winter, but there are untold healthy options that are affordable on any budget. Here's a quick grocery list to help you cut food prices while you boost nutrition, and a few recipes, too.

1. Oats. Oats are high in fiber and good for lowering cholesterol. One dollar will buy you breakfast for a week, or give you a good start on oatmeal cookies for a tasty treat. Spend that buck at a store like Whole Foods or Sprouts that offers oats in bulk and your buck will buy even more.

2. Eggs. A buck will get you about six eggs. Bring on the protein-rich egg salad sandwiches!

3. Sweet potatoes. Keep the Swine Flu at bay by eating foods that are rich in beta carotene, which strengthens the immune system and promotes bone and eye health.

5. Apples. Apple season is here, so this fruit is plentiful and cheap. A dollar will buy enough to enjoy fresh slices as a lovely snack or tasty dessert, and a great way to dress up a meal.

6. Nuts. Peanuts, walnuts and almonds are cheap "power foods" and perfect snacks to keep you energized throughout the day. Buy them in their shells to get the best price.

7. Garbanzo Beans. Also called "chickpeas," these help balance blood sugar levels, and are high in fiber and protein.

8. Whole Grain Pasta. This cheap staple is made up of complex carbohydrates, meaning that it packs more nutritional punch than does its white-pasta counterpart.

9. Sardines. These little fish don't come with a mercury warning, just plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health. Chop them up and add them to salads and pizza or mix them with lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty spread.

10. Spinach. Your mom always told you to eat your spinach, and she was right. This leafy green can be prepared in oh-so-many ways, and it is packed with calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin A. Skip the washed and bagged spinach and wash it yourself to save.

Here are some recipes to help you put these affordable ingredients to use:

Garbanzo Bean Soup

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 (15.5 oz.) can garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

In a blender or food processor, blend 3/4 cup chicken broth, garbanzo beans, tahini, mustard, garlic, and red bell pepper until smooth. Transfer the blended mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining chicken broth and cook until heated through. Serves: 4.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 apple, cored and chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, honey, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a smaller bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda and cinnamon; stir dry ingredients into the creamed mixture. Add oats and apple and mix to combine. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Whole Grain Pasta with Sardines

8 ounces dry, whole grain pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon
1 (3.75 oz.) can sardines in tomato sauce
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook as instructed on the box (usually about 8 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the sardines with their sauce. When the sardines heat through, reduce heat to low and simmer.

When the pasta is almost done, drain, and add it to the sardine sauce. Stir, cover, and turn the heat off. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Squeeze juice from the lemon over the pasta. Divide onto serving plates and top with red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan cheese, as desired. Serves: 4.

Tip: Crush the garlic and leave it at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes before you cook it. Several studies show that this little step helps to maximize the cancer-fighting enzymes of garlic.

Greek Spinach Salad

1 bunch Spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
24 Greek olives
3/4 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/4 pound crumbled feta cheese
Three Herb Dressing (recipe follows)

Toss spinach, cucumber, tomato, peppers, olives and almonds with Three Herb Dressing. Top with feta cheese and serve. Serves: 8.

Three Herb Dressing

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Courtesy of Everyday Cheapskate

Friday, September 18, 2009

Social Networking Websites




There are so many social networking websites to choose these days. At times I feel like I am caught in a numbers game as to who to join, which one is the best for me and so forth and so on. It boggles my mine that not only are there many new social networking websites but now people are creating them just to be creating them to keep up with the major social websites. I am constantly getting emails to join social groups. It is really getting out of hand. No one I mean no one can keep up with all the websites unless you have no life and spend the majority of your time on the internet all day.

First let's start off with Facebook. Ok I am speaking for myself here. I don't join social networking website because it is the "IN" thing. It's whats everyone is doing at the moment. Facebook will soon be a memory just like Myspace has become. Give it some time. No one ever talks about Myspace anymore. I wonder why? hmmm. I am not a follower of trends. I have my own mind to think for myself what is best for me not what is the latest trend or style. I get this all the time " you should join because...

1. Oh everyone else has one you should get one too. I don't think so
2. Oh it would be great for your business. Possibly
3. It is a great way to advertise. Maybe
4. You can keep in touch with old friends. NOT

I have had Facebook way before it has become popular and to be honest, I didn't like it. And now that is has become the number 1 leading social network out on the web today and it is still not making wanna jump on the band wagon. I don't like signing up for things that I know I don't like for one and secondly, I know I won't be spending much time on it. Time is always a concern for me and joining these clubs and social programs is time consuming.



Now lets take a look at Twitter. I have Twitter, Twitter is ok not something I want to write home to my grams about. I just don't see what the big fuss is about. Letting strange people know what you are doing and thinking all day long. I think I may tweet something maybe once or twice a week if that. Twitter is a good way to have someone stalk you LOL. Call me paranoid if you must but in today's world I leave nothing to chance. I like my privacy and would like to keep it that way.

Ok I am not saying that people should not use Twitter, no I am not saying that at all. I have friends that love using Twitter but hey what floats your boat. I have even seen people try to tweet when they are standing in line at the grocery store, and at the Post office. It has become a obsession. Twitter has its purpose yes I agree. For every thing good from Twitter comes bad. I get about 1-2 followers that are from the porn world and all the spamming I can take. People don't want to follow you just because you are interesting, they only follow you because they want to see how many followers they can get. I think if you have over 1000 followers the less likely you tweets will even been seen by anyone.

Now Plurk is something I can get into. Not only have I met some incredible people on plurk but I have establish wonderful business and personal relationships with my friends. I can communicate with them, my friends respond to my plurks unlike twitter where you have just a bunch a strangers that could care less what you have to say and never respond. I don't known why Plurk hasn't become as popular as Twitter has? Oh well maybe sometime in the future Plurk will get its time in the spotlight.

I feel that we as American are so tech savy now that we no longer socialize with each other face to face. Everything we do and say is all on the computer, cell phones, Ipods etc. No one send a letter or picks up the phone anymore to call anyone. A quick text message will do the trick. We have become such a anti social society now.

So really in closing, social networks are good for me only if I can put in the time for them and if I actually like them. Joining them just because it is the in thing to do is not for me. I would like to be leader and not follower. :-)

Have a great day and have fun with Facebook, or Twitter or even better Plurking. ;-)

Michelle

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Sale Plus New Items




Well the summer is supposedly official over during the Labor Day weekend. I have to say I am not sorry to see it go. I am not a fan of the summer and I am so looking forward to the nice cool crisp Fall weather. I love the color changes of the tress and the Fall spirit of drinking warm cider, candy apples, spiced wafers and hot chocolate and Halloween.

This Labor Day weekend, we will have all of our items 15% off now til Monday September 7th. Come by and take advantage of this sale before it is over. Plus if you spend 50.00 or more, get free shipping. Thats right you heard me right. Ok so now you need the discount codes for these savings. Easy peasy just type in "labor09" to take 15% off every item and "freeshipping" to receive free shipping on items 50.00 or more. You can use one or the other but not both. Free shipping of 50.00 or more extends past Labor day so this code can be used anytime. Items must be 50.00 or more excluding the shipping cost. And of course any over payment in shipping cost will be refunded if over $1.10

Now for the really good stuff. New items. I just listed some really great items at Artfire. My Etsy shop will be back maybe after Labor Day. I am still debating whether I should reopen my Etsy shop or not but if I do, it will be right after Labor Day.

Olive Asian Goats Milk Soap



This soap has to be one of my favorite of all my soaps. This soap was made with the best Goats Milk and Olive Oil soap base. This is a really large bars so it will last a long time. I am in love with this scent. Olive Asian Tapenade is a A luxury Mediterranean spa fragrance that is pure harmony. A blend of Asian fruit, sweet olives, and Japanese florals with hints of Eastern spices. This is a must have soap. A must to try. I am so in love with this fragrance that I had to make this soap from it. I only really made this soap for myself but my husband thought everyone would like the scent and the lather from this soap so I thought I would list it and see.

Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Bath Melts



These have been one of my all time favorite items in the Fall and Winter weather months. They have made their return and I hope these bath melts find their way to your home. These bath melts are made with Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Almond oil, goats milk, baking soda and citric acid. You place them in a warm or hot bath and they will begin to fizz when they react to the water. Just sit back and relax.

Natures Jelly



This is a great alternative to Vaseline. This is our very own Natures Jelly. Very similar to Vaseline but without petroleum. Who wants to have petroleum on their skin to clog up their pores. Petroleum jelly in my opinion sits on top of the skin where our jelly penetrates the skin and quickly absorbs without leaving that tacky sticky feeling. Great for babies and kids too. Available unscented or scented with your favorite fragrance.

Scented Lotion Bars



What are lotion bars? Simple, just lotion without water. These lotion bar do not contain water and easy to apply to the skin. Great for traveling and for the kids and baby to use. Simply just twist from the bottom, apply anywhere you feel it is needed and pop the cap back on and you are on your way. Very convenient to have around. I use this on my face at night before bedtime and my face is really soft in the morning. It can also be applied to your feet at night. Apply it, rub in, wear some socks to bed and wake up with really soft feet. A must have for the upcoming cool dry weather season.

Last but not least, Whipped Body Butter





This body butter is made from scratch. This is our first time having it in a 2 oz size jar. We did not add any cornstarch to this body butter. Some may not like that oil affect it has when applied so some sellers add cornstarch. I chose not to add it because after all it is made out of butters. It is suppose to melt on skin contact. The best part about using this butter, is that it quickly absorbs into your skin so it does not leave you skin feeling greasy. This Whipped Body Butter is available unscented or scented with your favorite fragrance. It is also available in a 4 oz jar.

Stop on by and take a look at all the wonderful new items we have in stock for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons. Subscribe to our newsletter so you can be the first to get all the discount codes and special offers just for our newsletter customers. Don't worry we only send out a minimum of 1 newsletter a month so you don't have to worry about constant emails from us.

Thanks for stopping by
Michelle

Artfire