Friday, September 26, 2014

Walking Into the Darkness with Faith... Unemployment Report

Feeling like we have done a 360 and we are back where we started.  Two years ago the hubs lost his job, somewhat unexpectedly.  We have recently returned into the unemployment pool, and I talked about it a bit on this post and this post.

One thing that is different this time around is we have prepared for it.  Since we are on our 100% Debt Free Journey, we have been slaving away at trying to pay off the real estate debts we have.  I am going to do an update post next week on our progress, but here is my last post I wrote several months ago.

It is never pleasant and can be scary to lose a job, whether being fired, laid-off or thing’s just closing up shop. It just isn’t something you want to go through.  When the hubs lost his job two years ago, it was scary and hard.  We were just starting our debt free journey and it felt like a major road block.  It is kind of important to have a pay check when you are trying to pay off debt! J

Although tension has been higher than normal around here the hubs and I both agree, that this time around we are calmer and feel confident that the future holds great things.

Our monthly expenses are minimal, because we have scaled back so much.  We do have a small rental income and I do have the opportunity to substitute teach here and there.  I guess what I am trying to say is that we have done what ever we can to prepare for this.  Despite not wanting it a part of our lives, our preparation is making things a bit less stressful.

Over the past year we have been aggressively job searching, knowing his former job was not the right fit anyhow.  We have not landed a job yet, but there are great things on the horizon.  I can feel it in my bones.  We have networked and have made some great connections.  We believe one of these connections is will lead us to a new job and possibly a new home and city!

We have many new places on the radar.  We listed 12 cities right now (4 of which are still in Idaho) that we have a possibility of a job.  The remainder of the jobs are in: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California.  The hubs has an interview this week with one our top picks. 

We are welcoming all good thoughts and any prayers you can throw our way!!

Thank You!

Happily Hoping for New Employment.

P-S- if you have any leads in Public Accounting please let me know!

Apple Pork Tenderloin

In celebration of Fall this week I am sharing some delicious apple recipes. 

Today it is yummy…

Apple Pork Tenderloin

2 lbs pork tenderloin trimmed

For the Glaze:

1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
½ unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
½ cup apple cider
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.  To prepare glaze, in a small nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion; sauté until softened about 4 minutes

Place onion mixture in a medium bowl.  Stir in apple sauce, apple cider, ginger and pepper.  Mix well.

Place tenderloin in a shallow baking dish.  Brush some glaze over tenderloin.  Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted in the middle of the meat reads 170 F, about 1 hour.  Baste meat every 15 minutes with remaining glaze.

Transfer tenderloin to a carving board; let stand for 10 minutes.  Slice and place on serving plates.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Healthy Meals in Minutes Recipe Card

Happy Cooking! and Happy Apple Week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Delicious Curried Pumpkin-Apple Soup

Fall is teasing us here in Idaho.  Last week we had beautiful mild days in the 60’s it was perfect pre-fall weather.  Today we hit the high 90’s.  Much too warm for my liking.  But in celebration of fall around the corner, another delicious savory soup with a tinge of sweetness.  Just delicious!

Curried Pumpkin-Apple Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups solidly packed pumpkin mash or canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 whole bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Sour cream and chives, for garnish (optional)

Melt the butter in a medium-size soup pot. Stir in the onion, celery, and apple. Partially cover the pot and sauté the ingredients over medium-high heat until the onion is clear, about 8 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and sauté the mixture for another minute. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth and cook it for 1 minute more.

Pour the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor, add the pumpkin, and puree the soup until it's smooth.

Pour it all back into the pot, then stir in the remaining chicken broth, the salt, and the bay leaf. Set the soup over medium-high heat and bring it to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

After 5 minutes, stir in the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of honey. Taste the soup, adding more salt or honey if necessary to get the desired balance of sweet and savory. Simmer it for 2 minutes more, remove the soup from the heat, and serve it hot. For a pretty -- and tasty -- touch, garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped chives. Makes 6 servings.

Recipe originally found at (link no longer available)

Happily Awaiting Fall around the Corner!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Got a Trickling Toilet.....An Easy DIY Fix

Have you ever had a toilet that trickles, dribbles or gushes constantly having a little cascade of water with the tank filling and filling?  If you are anything like me you can’t forget a trickling toilet.  The noise will drive you batty. Not only is the sound a nuisance, with a trickling toilet you are wasting a lot of water.

When we bought our house the toilet trickled now and then and then eventually it became constant.

You could call a plumber, or you could fix it your self.  You tube to the rescue!  I hopped on You Tube and searched and found a video and decided I could do it myself.

$5.00 spent on a new part (click here to to get your part today!) and two little helpers by my side and we haven’t had a trickling toilet ever since (it has been over a year… and yes, I am finally getting to posting J )

The trickling comes from water escaping the reservoir through a worn flapper, down to the bowl. The culprit is this little stopper, they get warped over time and eventually lead to a trickling toilet.
Yes, folks it is time for a new flapper!

A simple snap and hook the chain and there you have it.  You have just saved yourself over $60 for a plumbers service call.

Happy Tuesday!  This post is the first of several Tiny Home Tuesdays where I will share household tips, tricks and my re-modeling at our Tiny Home.  Please come again soon!

What kind of DIY projects have you conquered?

Happy Fixing!

This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

Fall is in the air.  When I think fall, I think apples.  This week I am posting a few delicious apple recipes.  This is what we had for breakfast and it was a delightful little morsel.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 apple diced

Mix all ingredients; batter will be lumpy.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Makes 1 ½ dozen.

Adapted from Dining on a Dime Cookbook. LOVE This cookbook!! Click link below for this recipe book filled with this recipe and other great recipes.

Happy Fall Baking!

Do you have any favorite apple recipes?? Please share in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Substitute Survival: Library Day

I survived my first day as a sub!  I have subbed before, but it has been a couple years.  7th grade reading, went pretty good, if I could say so myself.  Even though I have a K-8 certification to teach, most of my experience lies in special ed preschool with the exception of my student teaching.  So when I go to the Jr. High and High schools it is my little secret that I am a preschool teacher.  I am pretty sure they would attempt to walk all over me, if they knew I usually teach little kids!

My early childhood education might shine through in my voice even when I attempt to fool the kids.  It was library day today and as I was asking the students to line up a student mumbles under his breath as he sneers at me, “Your treating us like Kindergarteners.”  He said it soft enough that I automatically said, “ What did you say?”  He turned and did as I asked, rolling his eyes as we walked to the library.

Toward the end of class this same student was throwing his book in the air and not reading as I’d asked.  I quietly went up to him and said, “If you don’t want to be treated like a Kindergartener, then don’t act like one.” In shock he gave me wide eyes and said, “You heard me?” and buried his head.  Needless to say, he then opened his book.

I am pretty sure you could fill a blog with all the stuff you see as a substitute teacher.  Like when a group of girls surrounded the sink in the library with Dixie cups and water when the girl with the thick rimmed glasses and the asymmetrical hair cut blurts out before she notices me there and says, “I wonder if I can take this in one shot”.  She then threw her head back and attempted to drink it all at once with it requiring two large gulps, she looks at me and says, “Guess not.”  These are 12-13 year old kids, way too young to be teasing about drinking.

Just to sit back and be an observer.  It has been close to 25 years since I was in Jr. High and really not a whole lot has changed when it comes to class structure and cliques.  There are the same groups of kids, nerdy ones, popular kids, the quiet type, class clowns and jocks.  What has changed is how we socialize ie: smart phones, tablet and laptops in class as well as all other aspects of technology.

As it was library day, it was nice to see that there are a few kids out there reading classics like, Ol Yeller. But most kids were engaged in newer fictions like Divergent and Sherman Alexie's latest book which is controversial reading for Jr. High age kids.  I read while the kids read and enjoyed Sparrow Road.

Even though it has been a couple of years since I have subbed in the classroom I was happy to have a successful day at this particular Jr. High.  I had subbed at this school previously and it wasn’t really a great experience.

Thank you for your well wishes!! 

What books do you recommend reading.

Happily Survived My First Day Back Subbing!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Wish Me Luck!!

Mrs. C has returned!  I am going back to school as a substitute teacher.  Today is my first gig: 7th Grade Reading.  Should be fun!  Hope to fill you in on more details later!