Monday, December 31, 2012

Making Blessings Stretch

Alhamdulilah sometimes as parents we want to be able to give our children the best of the best and sometimes the best things to give our children may not have to be expensive.

 There are some of us who may be experiencing hard ships with finances and some of just may want to save money and do things in a healthy way.

There is no doubt that our homes and children can feel a financial difference if we began to make a big deal out of it in a negative way. When the money runs low... or iman should not. When the money runs low.. our hopes and trust in Allah are high...

We have to make our blessings stretch ... so tonight I sat down and thought of a few ways we can save money.

1.) Menu plan: yes this helps us to save money honestly. We take one day of the week and that is usually Saturday, to write down the weeks menu. Best thing in my opinion is to make a menu based ff of what you have in your home already! This way you're getting rid of leftovers and saving money. Then compile a grocery list of items you do not have to complete the meals you are putting together in your home. You may have flour and milk to make a cake, but no eggs. So you would put eggs on your grocery list.  Alhamdulilah menu planning also takes the stress off of, whats for breakfast, whats for dinner?!!! rush.

2.) Foundational Cooking- get back to the foundations of making it ourselves. Alhamdulilah we saved money making our own yogurt than buying it at the store. You get more of your money's worth making it and it last longer alhamdulilah! Also baking bread for us has saved money, there is so much you can make with flour that getting flour is cheaper than buying a loaf of bread, a box of crackers, and a cake combined... yes with flour you can make all those items (made crackers recently mahaAllah, turned out good)

3.)Homeschool on a budget/ educational materials- Alhamdulilah sisters if we can get together and start sharing our unused homeschooling materials with each other and those in need, many of us may not need to spend a lot of money for curriculums. MashaAllah even if we sell them, it does not have to be expensive for others to buy. Alhamdulilah  the local library has many books that we can constantly check out over and over again that can help us. I have been blessed alhamdulilah with good friends that has helped in our homechooling so much.

4.)Spend less on trips- One of the things we love about the summer time (and a lot in the winter too) are the free fun trips for children in our City. Each first of the month the museums are free and sometimes they are open with discount days. You would be surprised how much you can do for free on a budget, mashaAllah aslo never neglect the simple joys of taking a nature walk and exploring your local community. The fire station loves when you bring children in to visit... they were so happy when we brought the children by for a sit in the fire truck,

5.) DIY- alhamdulilah you can save the planet and save money by making your own natural and healthy products. No need to spend so much money on cleaning supplies. Alhamdulilah you can make your own:

Deoderize carpets-
Mix baking soda with a little scented oil, mix it together- test it on a small spot, for us our carpet was fine with it and we sprinkled it on the carpet then let it sit for a little and vacuumed it.
others have used baking soda with cinnamon or clove... just be sure to test it in a small spot inshaAllah

All purpose cleaner-
Tea tree oil .. mix equal parts water and vinegar and add tea tree oil for smell and anti bacterial benefits mashaAllah place it in a bottle and label it

You can also get cleaning done with baking soda, salt, lemon, vinegar and different essential oils help to enhance it.

Organic fruit and vegetable wash-
1 lemon
2 tbs of vinegar
1 cup water
Squeeze the lemons and mix with vinegar and water

Alhamdulilah there are many things you can make on your own that would be better for your family health wise and financially mashaAllah

Of all these we should always remember Allah, alhamdulilah it is all a test, how we respond and react is important... patience, prayer, and positivity .. subhanAllah needed this reminder! Our families also need this from us, and this was in my heart tonight so I am very happy to write and share it with everyone.. I really pray it helps someone... I know its helping me subhanAllah alhamdulilah

“We will surely test you with something of fear and huger, and the loss of wealth and lives and the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say—when afflicted with calamity—“To God We belong, and to Him we shall return!” They are on those whom descend blessings from their Lord, and Mercy. Such are the rightly guided.” (Quran 2:155-157)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Milling Our Own Flour

Alhamdulilah we have been milling our own flour off and on for a couple months
I rather enjoy the process of milling the flour and watching the wheat berries turn into the flour we use for our bread.

In the picture we milled some brown rice, made it into flour and then made bread with it alhamdulilah it was different, taste a lot like cornbread in my opinion.

They say one of the benefits of milling your own flour is one, you can ehance it however you like. For us we use flaxseed, while it is whole and then combine it with the wheat berries, to have a whole wheat flax seed combination mashaAllah.
Sometimes if we are making homemade crust you can mill the wheat berries with whole cloves into a fine .. autumn smelling and tasting flour. Alhamdulilah that's one of the nice things about milling the flour.
Even though we enjoy getting 100% whole wheat flour from our grocery store and Whole Foods, we have read that even that flour the germ is removed from it. Removing the germ is said to help the flour have a longer shelf life, where as keeping the germ and milling it, it can go bad in a couple days.
Another interesting thing is, milling your own flour is not expensive, as the cost of rice and oatmeal are not expensive and if you are going gluten free, there is no gluten in oatmeal and rice. It's not time consuming or a burden to grind some for when you need it, at least not to me mashaAllah.
It's good to mill just enough for what you need so you do not waste any by it going bad! My sister in law gave us a lot of wheat berries recently, and another neat thing about wheat berries is the ability to grow them into sprouts, sounds good in a salad or sandwich right? mashaAllah
Whether we will venture in completely milling our own flour, i know its been a nice experience. We have made almond butter and inshaAllah we plan to turn our garlic, tumeric and coriander into powders inshaAllah
Maybe in a week or so we will try milling oatmeal and making a bread with it inshaAllah to see if we like it much better than wheat.
we are using a nutribullet to mill our flour. It was a blessing to recieve it as a gift from my mom in law. Not only does it mill flour, it also turns veggies and fruits into juice mashaAllah. Alhamdulilah it has helped us more in making our foods healthier.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Giveaway time!!!

It's time don't you think? Well alhamdulilah we have been doing a few youtube videos and decided that we would do a giveaway of the second book:
Its available on amazon alhamdulilah!! :TMH: Thoughts Of A Domestic Darling
December 28th inshaAllah we would love to have all the wonderful essays :) emailed to so please do spread the word and keep us in your duaa!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Pudding- Goodbye Box Pudding!

SubhanAllah I had a craving for banana pudding today mashaAllah! I think it was because the children were opening the bananas and not fully eating them hmm, well we have been really striving to not do the box -processed foods and do a lot more of.. what we like to call foundational cooking, homemade meals and items 

We just knew somewhere in the world someone has made pudding before and alhamdulilah found an easy simple recipe! Sadly, we ate it all before I could take a picture so the picture here is not of my homemade pudding... you have to use your imagination!!

The recipe called for vanilla pudding but we did not have vanilla so we used cinnamon and sugar in the raw, not white sugar. It was good and the children loved it!

The recipe is:

1/3 cup sugar
3 tbs cornstarch if you do not have cornstarch then 3 tbs of flour replaces 1 tbs of cornstarch!
a little salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon - optional

Combine the cornstarch salt and sugar on the stove and slowly add in the milk, boil until thick and then place in the fridge.

We added banana's on top subhanAllah what a treat!! Didn't think it would be so easy and the family approved.

We can add this to our list of box items we won't buy anymore alhamdulilah!

Homemade Butter

Alhamdulilah we have a few youtube videos on our youtube channel.
Some excerpts from the second book and a homemade butter video :) mashaAllah please do check it out and share! We enjoyed making it

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yummy Yogurt

Alhamdullah you will be surprised at how easy it is to make your own yogurt. Not only is it easy, its much more cost effective than buying yogurt from the store. All you need is patience, milk, crockpot and a small container of yogurt (for the live cultures).

You could buy cultures but alhamdulilah it was much easier for us to buy a yogurt that had live cultures in it.

How to make yogurt in your crockpot:
Pour gallon of milk in crockpot
Heat on high for 2 hours
Turn off the crockpot and leave it alone for 3 hours

If you can put your fnger in the crockpot for 10 seconds then take out two cups of warm milk, mix in the yogurt starter and then pour it back into the crockpot.

Wrap the crockpot with a towel, to help the yogurt cool down slowly and then let it sit for 11 hours and better overnight. Some people put it in the oven of course with the oven OFF, just as an extra way of locking in the heat. This is optional, just don't forget that the crockpot is in the oven!

Enjoy yogurt with homemade granola or fruit jams!

Wow I should have done this a long time ago mashaAllah! We have some good yogurt mashaAllah and my husband enjoyed it, looks like the children will be having homemade yogurt for snack today!

If you need tips for thicker yogurt: Tips for thicker homemade yogurt