Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
The Premio Dardos award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well as individual values, through their creative writing.
The rules of the award:
1. To accept and show the distinct image
2. Show the link to the blog from which you were given the award
3. Choose 10 blogs to give the Premio Dardos Award to.
4. Let the nominees know about their award.
Most of the blogs I read are personal family blogs so I will share the awards with them privately as they may not want to be advertised to the world on my blog. I am honored to receive this award! Thanks again, Sondra!
- Use only one or two cards.
- If you are just starting out, consider using a secured credit card to impose some self-restraint. Using a secured credit card requires you to put money in your account in advance and only draw on what is in your account with your credit card.
- Keep track of what you charge just as you would a checking account. That way, you won't be shocked when the statement arrives.
- Use cards only for essential needs.
- Save for big-ticket items instead of putting them on a card. If you must borrow for that item, there are less expensive loans from banks and credit unions that may be available.
- Pay credit card bills as soon as they arrive. This lowers the average daily balance on which interest in charged and avoids late payment fees.
- Always pay more than the minimum balance due. If at all possible, pay off the balance each month. If you develop the habit of paying the balance each month, be sure your card is one that doesn't charge interest as long as the balance is paid in full by the due date.
- If the balance begins to mount, quit using the card for a while.
- If the balance continues to mount, leave the card at home.
- If the balance still continues to mount, call the credit card company and request to have the credit limit lowered.
- Use a low-interest rate card, with either a low annual fee or no annual fee. Shop around using the Internet or offers sent to you in the mail. Rates vary widely, (Retail cards issued by department stores tend to charge the highest interest rates.)
- Be wary of cards that offer extremely low interest rates "for a limited time." all too soon, the time is over, and the new interest rate being charged may be well above average.
Source: Your spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowent for Financial Education, 2004.
Monday, May 11, 2009
(equivalent to Bisquick)
5 cups flour
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and blend well.
Put in a large, airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 10 to 12 weeks.
Makes about 13 cups.
Hot Fudge Pudding CAKE
1½ cups quick mix
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup chopped nuts
½ cup milk
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup cocoa
1½ cups boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an unbuttered, 8-by-8-inch pan, combine quick mix, oil, vanilla, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, nuts and milk and blend well. Combine brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa in a small bowl. Add to water and bring to a boil. Gently pour over the top of the cake mixture, and do not stir. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the edges separate from the pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes before serving. Makes one 8-inch square cake.
Instant Oatmeal Mix
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
½ tsp salt
Grind oats and salt in a blender or a food processor (in two or more batches if necessary) to the consistency of wheat germ. Scoop half-cup portions into separate, resealable bags. Flavor each portion using mix-ins below.
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried apples
1 tablespoon cranberries.
(You can also leave out the cranberries and use 2 tablespoons of apples)
Brown Sugar and Spices:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of raisins
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of blueberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking instructions: Add 1 cup water to packet (1/2 cup oatmeal and mix-ins) in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2-2½ minutes. If a creamier oatmeal is desired, use 1 cup milk instead of water or add 1?3 cup instant non-fat dry milk to the cup of water.
Almost Hamburger Helper Mix in a Jar
2 c nonfat dry milk
1 c corn starch
1/4 c beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder
Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.
Use this mix for the following recipe:
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 c water
1/2 c macaroni noodles (uncooked)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1/2 c Hamburger Helper mix
Combine all and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.
Note: I sampled this at our stake preparedness fair and it was very good!
Sources: Deseret News http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705300240,00.html?pg=4, Scranton Stake RS Presidency
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
- Don't wait to act. Just as investments compound over time, so do debts.
- Create a get-out-of-debt plan. Although each creditor has to receive payment every month, put any extra cash toward the debt with the highest interest rate.
- Cut expenses. Try to find a few things that you could stop buying or buy less often.
- Sell rarely used items. Sell these items yourself. Avoid going to a pawnshop.
- Honestly assess your ability and then take the appropriate action. If you bought a car and are having trouble making the payments, for example, it may be better to sell the car and pay off the loan than to let the creditor repossess the car. A repossession will hurt your credit record.
- Try to increase income. Is it possible to get a second job or get paid overtime and use the money to reduce debt? )If you have family responsibilities, first consider what effect your absence will have on the well-being of your family. It's important to balance the need to get out of debt with the need to spend time with your family.)
- When one debt is paid off, keep making the same payment--just put it toward another remaining debt.
- Consolidate loans. Shift higher interest loans to a single lower-rate loan and stop running up new charges.
- Keep only one or two major credit cards. Cut up the other credit cards and call the credit card companies to cancel the accounts. Keep the remaining one or two credit cards at home (as long as the card won't be used by anyone else.) Consider having the credit limit lowered.
- To stop most credit card offers from arriving in your mail, call (888) 5OPT-OUT.
Source: Your Spending Your Savings Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowment for Financial Education, pp. 26-27.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Potato Bean Soup
1/2 C sliced celery
3 medium carrots, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cut
2 tsp dried dill or fresh
1 15 oz. can of white beans
1/2 c sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
1 T flour
4-5 c chicken broth
Cook celery, carrots, onion and garlic in hot butter for 4 minutes. Stir in broth, potatoes and dill. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Lightly mash 1/2 of the potatoes. Add drained beans. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, flour, with a little salt and pepper. When mixed together, stir into soup, continue stirring and cook until the soup thickens.
"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.
"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference
"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference
“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley
"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.
"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust
“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995
"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson
"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.
“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …
“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …
“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …
“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference
“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375
“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8
"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson
"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36
"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.
"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball
“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball