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Saturday, July 26

Quinoa Salad with Mango & Blueberries

mango blueberry quinoa salad 5

I can’t believe that only a few short years ago quinoa was a fancy new ingredient that nobody had heard of before. Well nobody in the United States. These days I would consider this fun little seed/grain a staple! I serve quinoa salads all the time because they are a fun way to add a pop of flavor to my meal. I was serving a Mexican inspired meal the other day and needed something light and refreshing to go along side the vegetarian enchiladas I was serving. I decided a fruit salad would be nice but I wanted to elevate it. I turned to my trusty Pinterest boards and found this salad that I thought was a good starting point for what I ended up creating. I changed the dressing up a bit, and ended up switching to mint from basil, and the final dish was a total hit with my guests. Everyone wanted the recipe so I told them I would blog it! 

mango blueberry quinoa salad 1.1

Quinoa Salad with Mango & Blueberries with a Lemon Mint Dressing
Serves 6
A refreshing take on a fruit salad by mixing together mangoes and blueberries with quinoa and tossing in a mint lemon dressing.
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Salad
  1. 1 cup of dried quinoa
  2. 1 pint fresh blueberries
  3. 1 mango peeled and diced
  4. 2 Persian cucumbers peeled and diced
Dressing
  1. 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  2. 1 tsp fresh lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  3. 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tsp sugar or honey
  5. 6 Tbsp oil. I used a combo of canola and olive oil
  6. Pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. 1-2 Tbsp minced mint
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Let cool.
  2. In the meanwhile, dice up your fruit and veggies.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. You can make this up to a day ahead and let sit in the fridge.
  4. To make the dressing, in a jar combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake. Pour over salad and toss before serving.
  5. If you want to make the dressing ahead of time, wait to add the mint because the leaves turn black after a few hours.
Adapted from Veggie Belly
Adapted from Veggie Belly
The Glamorous Housewife http://theglamoroushousewife.com/

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mango blueberry quinoa salad 2.1

Friday, July 25

Dear Diary

quote 20

 I’ve been writing The Glamorous House for five years and it has been the five best years of my life! It has really brought me so much joy to write about becoming a glamorous housewife, and every time I read one of your comments it fills my heart up with love. With the exception of my fabulous writing contributors, this has been a one woman show. I write almost all of the posts, pick photographs, format, do all the social media, back end boring things, all the video shooting and editing. If you name it I am probably in charge of it. 

With the potential TV show, and the book being written, and designing a new house from the ground up, I found my time was getting to be very scarce. So to alleviate some of the stress, I have hired a personal assistant to help me with the blog! Her name is Talita and she is amazing! I’ve spent the week teaching her the ins and outs of blogging, which has reminded me of how much time and effort goes into this thing. Writing a blog post is like second nature to me, but when you teach someone else how to do it the details really stand out and I am straight up proud that I have come so far. Ok, I know that is totally bragging, but I think we as women often times downplay our skills and every now and again it is ok to toot your own horn. As the quote above says, life won’t sparkle unless you do, and this girl wants to shine like a red carpet ball gown on Oscar night!

This Time Last Year

Inspired By…

That’s Music to My Ears: Alex Pangman

Why Don’t You…

Why I Don’t Blog About Parenting

A Daisy Dinner Party

What’s In Store?

Every week I go through my sponsor’s stores and pick my favorite items. Here are my choices for this week:

deomas

1950′s Vintage Lace Ball Gown (HERE)

Kinny&Howie

Parisian Rose Pin Up Dress (HERE)

maddyjames

Katharine Jumpsuit (HERE) 

thisbluebird

Chiffon Vintage Robe (HERE)

dalena

1940′s Floral Vintage Playsuit (HERE)

abbysaccessories

1940′s Knox Ladies Straw Hat (HERE

bloomersandfrocks

Vintage German Souvenir Pins (HERE)

Friday, July 25

Inspired Summer #35: Eat Something Decadent

decadent

Food. I really love food. Ever since I was a little girl I adored food and was always somewhat of a gourmand. I was fortunate enough to have parents who also relished in a good meal, and would take my brothers and sister out to restaurants fairly often. Usually about once a week. I grew up in Santa Monica, and there were a myriad of decently priced places to eat with fresh food cooked in what we now call “California style cuisine”. So my palate was introduced to ‘farm to table’ foods from a young age. This is something I have continued to love and going out to dinner is one of my favorite activities. Actually, I wish I did it more often!

One of my favorite parts about dining out was trying something decadent. Usually it came in the form of dessert. Maybe it was a new pastry that I had never tried before, or an old dessert cooked in a new way. Other times it was savory, like an amazing cheese platter, or oysters, or caviar. Sometimes I liked it and others I would only have to try once (I’m looking at you oysters and caviar. Yuck!). So this weekend, if you happen to go out to dinner, I want you try something decadent that you have never eaten before. Because we only live once, so why not try something new that might end up becoming your favorite.

Thursday, July 24

The $1000 Challenge

This series will follow one woman as she attempts to cut $1000 off of her monthly budget to put towards getting out of debt. Can she do it? #budgeting #savemoney

Ladies, I have a very special series that I am introducing today. A few months ago I asked my dear readers if they would like to hear more about budgeting, something I had never really written about before but thought was important to discuss because as a housewife we are often the main spenders in our household. The vote for a budget series was an overwhelming yes, but the problem I ran into was my household finances are vastly different than the average person reading this blog. I thought it would be better to hear from someone who struggles with both debt and tighter funds than I do because the lessons learned can be applied to a wider variety of readers.

 So I asked Raki Wright at Outside The Box Mom to come join my Team Glamorous Housewife as the Budgeting Expert. Raki’s blog has a lot of great advice on saving money and I thought she would be the perfect person to discuss all things related to debt and household expenses. I thought it would be fun if she read the book “The $1,000 Challenge” and tried to follow the author’s advice on squeezing out a grand from her monthly expenses. Being a woman who loves a challenge, Raki accepted. So please, will you all welcome Raki to The Glamorous Housewife and both learn from and enjoy her experience as she tries to get out of debt and live free.

________________________________________________

 budget 2

Are you willing to put your family’s spending to the test? Do you think it’s possible to cut your monthly living expenses by $1,000 without sacrificing anything truly important? In Brian J. O’Connor’s book “The $1,000 Challenge: How One Family Slashed Its Budget Without Moving Under a Bridge or Living on Government Cheese,” the author did just that by trimming $100 from each of his family’s top 10 spending categories.

Brian challenged readers to look at all of their monthly costs using bank statements and recurring monthly bills. His suggestion was to trim regular expenditures, instead of ones you were emotionally tied to. If you cut your monthly expenses, you will experience that savings month after month. The author wanted to give his family some luxuries regardless of whether he had received a raise. He completed this experiment over the course of 10 weeks.

Brian’s word of caution – “Your goal probably won’t — and shouldn’t — be $1,000. I chose that number because it made a good headline. But whether your goal is $500 a month, $200 a month or $50, the idea is the same: Cut your current spending as deep as you want or need to go. Focus on your biggest recurring monthly expenses. Finally, redirect that cash at your financial goals.”

After reading the book, I feel optimistic that I could find significant savings on many of my family’s monthly expenses with research and an intentional plan.

I have a large debt I’m trying to pay off, so this savings will immediately be put to use. By nature, I am very thrifty. However, with a busy family and even busier work schedule, I can easily get sucked into spending too much on conveniences and allow expenses to increase each month without much thought.

drowning from debt

My relationship with debt began in 1996, my freshman year of college, with a free t-shirt from American Express and a $500 credit limit. Almost 20 years later, I still have hefty student loans, payments on financed purchases, and lingering debt from things long-gone. I guess I never really got the concept of paying cash or using credit responsibly. The good news is that I don’t have any credit cards or auto loans.

Being in debt feels overwhelming, suffocating, discouraging, and sometimes hopeless. I compare it to nearly drowning in the ocean. Imagine that you are swimming, but have become overwhelmed by the waves, the water suffocates the oxygen out of your body, the tide gets stronger, and there is no help in sight. That’s how being in debt feels. As the Bible says in Proverbs 22:7,  “the borrower is slave to the lender.”

Is my long-term goal to live debt free? I’m not certain. I think I’m okay with having a mortgage, but beyond that I plan to limit my use of credit, in the future.

I’m bold – my goal is to save $1,000 each month by the end of the experiment.

That is the exact amount I wanted to pay toward this debt before the opportunity to write this series presented itself to me - which I believe is further evidence that this experiment will work. I am working today to pay for something I used yesterday, instead of saving for what I would like to do tomorrow.

lifesaver

I call the large debt I need to pay off the “Lifeboat Fund.” My goal is to use any savings I am able to create during this experiment to pay down that debt – hopefully by the end of next year. I have a few smaller debts that I am paying off this year. I will use that extra cash to pay on the Lifeboat Fund. Dave Ramsey calls this a “debt snowball,” as you pay off the smallest debt first and apply that debt’s normal payment to the next debt, to create the greatest momentum.

Over the next 10 months, our series will cover:

  • Transportation
  • Utilities
  • Kid Costs
  • Work Expenses
  • Personal Spending
  • Entertainment
  • Life Insurance
  • Groceries
  • Housing
  • Miscellaneous

The first category of expenses I reviewed were my transportation costs – car payments, insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, licensing, gas, etc. Part 2 will be in a few weeks and we will see if I was able to trim $100 from my monthly transportation expenses.

Have you ever made significant cuts to your transportation expenses? Share your savings strategies, questions and tips in the comments.

 

Thursday, July 24

Inspired Summer #34: Write down all of your anxieties and then destroy it

anxiety

Worry. It is something we all have to deal with. I am a woman’s woman and have a lot of women friends. Always have. And one of the things that I see in women that I find most detrimental, especially when we have kids, is our ability to take the smallest concern and dwell on it. For hours. I have written about worry before because I think it is really important to take that quality in ourselves and curtail it. But how? Well here is my technique on getting rid of my worries. It works for me and maybe it will work for you as well.

First of all, I schedule time to worry. I know that sounds crazy, but I swear it works. Usually that time is right after I turn out the lights to go to bed. I always have a million things running through my head, and they all seem to be partying right when I am trying to fall asleep. So what I do is let myself worry about every single thing for about ten minutes. I dwell, I concern, I anguish, I mull and I go through every computation on every scenario I can’t get out of my head. For ten minutes. Then in my imagination, I take all of those thoughts and I put them into a balloon. I imagine myself letting go of that balloon and floating gently into the sky. And then I take out my imaginary shotgun and I blast that balloon to smithereens! I know it sounds funny, but it just feels so good to destroy it! I can see all the bits and pieces of balloon and worries fall down like rain, and then I imagine myself turning my back on them and walking away.

If that sounds a bit crazy, trust me, I swear it works. But for those of you who prefer a less weird thing to do, I suggest taking a period of time, like the aforementioned ten minutes, and write down everything that is worrying you. Just put it all down on paper. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just emote onto the paper. Then, when you are finished, take that paper and destroy it. Maybe you can carefully burn it in the fireplace. Or rip that paper to shreds. Or better yet, if you have a paper shredder, enjoy it as you watch your worries getting eaten by the blades. By taking the worries and moving them from your imagination to paper, you are essentially clearing your mind’s clutter. And then destroying your worries gives you the power over them, not the other way around. It might take a few days, or a few weeks, but eventually you will see your perception clearing and your worries will eventually get smaller and smaller.

If you have a technique on dealing with worry, let me know in the comments. I would love to see how others deal with this issue.

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