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Seeking Sponsors!! (& a chance to win free stays at a bed & breakfast in Maine!)

I’ll be right up front and let you know that this is a selfish endeavor, not for charities or medical research or anything otherwise philanthropic*, so if that turns you off, feel free to click away- no hard feelings 🙂

*(unless you consider making an effort at acquiring more financial security for my family to be unselfish and philanthropic.)

I am entering this contest, it’s an essay contest and the winner becomes the owner of a beautiful & successful bed and breakfast in Maine. The current innkeeper won it in the same way, by winning an essay contest, and felt that it would be fitting to pass it on in the same way, now that she is ready to retire.

I have lived many of my dreams. I have joined the Amish and lived sans electricity and learned to drive a horse and buggy into town to buy my groceries. I married the man who has the key to every portion of my heart and mind within months of meeting him. I have lived, with a rapidly growing large family, in a travel trailer for approximately 4 years. I have 8 children, that I’ve birthed at home and that I homeschool. I have a vibrant friendship with my 19 year old daughter. I am successfully teaching myself coding and have already designed one website as a business woman.

I have another dream, that I have dreamed since childhood. I have long fantasized about running a bed and breakfast, as a way to support our family while working together in a homelike atmosphere and simultaneously teaching my children business administration, work ethics, and hospitality. I get warm, goofy smiles thinking of being a facilitating part of many people’s happy memories of enjoyable vacations. I get excited at the thought of being in a situation that would enable me to offer love, comfort, good food, & comfortable rest to so many people.

I want to live this dream. I want to use it as a part of helping others live their dreams.

There is a $125 entry fee to enter this contest. I am writing my essay, and scraping together my pennies. I want to ask you to join me in dreaming my dream, and offer you the chance of sharing the joys of dreams coming true if I win. For every $10 contributed, I will, if I win, grant one free night at the bed and breakfast every year for your lifetime or as long as I am innkeeper.

Click here for a chance to win!

Click here for a chance to win!

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Frugal Kitchen Tip #1

A friend of mine asked me for some frugal tips on how to manage their food budget for their growing family. It made me start paying attention to all the little things that I do that seem to add up to helpfulness in that area. It also has made me think about how frustrated I get with blogs about frugality and money-saving. It seems like so many of the tips, while helpful in saving money, really don’t apply to people who are trying to save money. I mean, “cut down eating out to only three times a week”???
If I could afford to eat out three times a week I wouldn’t be looking at for frugality tips trying to save money! Well, I suppose I probably would-I’d be broke no time flat! Anyway, the tips that I’ve often found really seem inapplicable to someone in my situation or situations that most of my friends are in. So, I’ve kicked around the idea of posting a series of frugal living tips on my blog. Mostly that’s as far as I’ve gotten-kicking around the idea and then forgetting it again. I’m still not sure if I’m ready to commit to a whole series, but tonight I caught myself doing something and trying to remember to tell her about it next time I see her. I figured I’ll just blog it 🙂
What is working for our family right now in the meal department is this: I make a week or two of main dish entrées at a time, put them in gallon size Ziploc bags, and either freeze them or store them on a dedicated shelf in the fridge. At supper time I pull one out, cook it up according to the directions, and steam a few veggies for a side dish. Voilà! Dinner is served without that crazy what-am-I-going-to-have-for-dinner panic that can hit at 4 PM. Today was the day that I did all the prep for those meals. All of the onion peels, apple cores, potato ends, carrot scrapings, celery leaves and ends, and other produce leavings that we don’t eat went into one big bowl. After I got the kitchen all cleaned up, I dumped that bowl into a large stockpot, added a teaspoon or two of salt, filled it up with water and put a lid on it. I popped it on the back burner to simmer for a few hours, and then put the resulting vegetable broth into a few quart jars and freezer containers I have sitting around the kitchen. Those will go into the freezer to be broth or stock for recipes the next time I cook. The last time I checked at the store, it was almost 4 dollars a quart, so just by using things I would have thrown away, instead I made/saved $16!
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