Easy Veggie Alphabet Soup

One argument for eating healthy is that it is too expensive. For example, you can buy a box of mac and cheese for under a dollar, than with butter and milk it cost closer to $2.

I can do better and have done better. This meal is an example of that. I am new to writing recipes but am very familiar with the math, so if a miss something in writing it out please let me know. I am going to round up the prices to give you a “worst case scenario” for this recipe.

1 quart of broth – free (I make my own with veggies scarps)

1 can of diced tomatoes (59 cents at Fred Meyer or 78 cents at Costco for the organic)

1/2 an onion (onions are 39 cents a pound at Costco, so if an onion is a pound the cost for this recipe is about 20 cents)

2 minced cloves of garlic (I head of garlic is 33 cents a piece at Fred Meyer, if there is a dozen in a head The cost for this recipe is about 6 cents)

1/2 a bag or 1 cup of frozen veggies (These were 79 cents a bag at Fred Meyer the other day, for this recipe is 40 cents)

1 can or 2 cups cooked of beans (I used black beans today, which is 83 cents a pound but this could be made cheaper with a cheaper bean, i.e. lentils are 53 cents a pound. For this recipe, I paid about 40 cents.)

1/3 cup of alphabet pasta (I got mine in the Hispanic section at the grocery store for 33 cents a 7 ounce bag. The cost for this recipe is about 11 cents. This could be made even cheaper using rice. Rice is only 19 cents a pound, which would make the cost for this recipe would be 6 cents.)

For the last few ingredients I am going to roughly estimate 50 cents. These are harder to calculate.

1 tbls olive oil

1 tbls cumin

healthy pinch of salt and pepper.

Warm oil in a pot and sweat onions and garlic. Add Add everything except pasta and bring to a boil. Add pasta, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 min or until pasta is tender. Now your ready to eat.

The total cost for this is $2.45. My kids think it is ok and my hubby had seconds. Plus, I have leftovers. When was the last time you had left overs with mac and cheese. If you use lentils, rice and the cheaper tomatoes your cost is $2.02. Eating right on a mac and chees budget!


Essential oil math….. oil vs medicine

I know what your thinking! MORE MATH!!!!! WHY?


Well, if you know me, then you know the best way to convince me of anything is to show me the math or the numbers. That is what weighs the most with me.

I know one of the complaints with essential oils is the cost, that it is too expensive. I decided to do the math for a particular case and really see what the math said.

*Note* Your cost is going to vary depending on the brand you pick and your personal health insurance costs. For the sake of the math, the cost is solely based on the prices at Plant Therapy. I did this for a couple of reasons. I really like their quality, I think it is equal to a lot of the more expensive brands. They, also, have free shipping in the U.S. I did not have to add that cost into my math. I am not an affiliate with them and get nothing if you buy through them. I would, also, personally recommend Mountain Rose Herbs , but they are more expensive and charge shipping.

This started because my friend has a condition. For her privacy, I won’t share what that is. With oils, one treatment can be used for so many things that what I say won’t give it away.

The recipe to treat her condition was:

100 drops of lemongrass

100 drops of clove

100 drops of peppermint

50 drops of frankincense

100 drops of fractionated coconut oil

Put everything in a roller bottle and apply 2 to 3 times a day.

At Plant Therapy, you can buy most of these oils in 10 ml or 30 ml bottle. A 10 ml bottle contains about 166 drops. The drop size will vary depending on the oil. some are thicker then others. Plant Therapy sells roller bottles for $7.99 for a pack of 4. When you divide up the recipe, you will fill 3 roller bottles, 36 drops of each except frankincense, which will be 18.

The total for the cost of oils is as follows.

Lemongrass $6.24

Clove $6.43

Peppermint $7.49

Frankincense $11.93

Fractionated Coconut oil $7.99

Total $40.08 + $7.99 for roller bottles is $48.07

For the essential oils, that is 664 drops. You should be able to get close to 2 recipes out of the essential oils. Fractionated coconut oil is not an essential oil and is sold in a 4 ounce bottle or larger. The price listed is the 4 ounce. That will stretch out over time and not have to be purchased over and over. It is similar with the roller bottles. They are refillable so you won’t have to buy them again, unless you feel they have worn out.

This is about a 6 to 8 month supply. So, taking your total and dividing it by 8 you get $6.01.

Now my prescription copay is at least $7.00, and this is for generic. For this situation, it is a long-term prescription, so you would have to buy it monthly. That is a dollar less a month, and the way this works, you would be healing the problem instead of just treating the symptoms. You wouldn’t be going to the doctor anymore, eventually. Healing takes time, so it wouldn’t happen over night. With essential oil use, you have to look at long-term benefit over immediate “fix.”

Final note, when she has to refill, it would cost her $32.09 because of the items that stretch out or you don’t have to buy again. That goes down to $4.01 a month.

What do you think of this math? Do you think the savings is significant? I say every penny counts.


Empty EO bottle?

This is my short and frugal tip of the day.

Have an “empty” essential oil bottle?

Open the bottle all the way, including taking off the stopper and put it in a ceramic up.

Boil some water. Once it is boiling, pour the water in the cup. Make sure the bottle fills. Do just enough to cover the bottle.


Now place it in a room and it will diffuse the left over oil and you will still get the benefit from it.

When the water cools, I add it to my ultrasonic diffuser  and continue to use it.

Now the bottle is clean and ready for the recycle. Plus, you didn’t waste a drop! YAY!

Face wash recipe for my cystic acne

This was a slightly insane morning. Not for the normal reasons, though. The kids were great. My son was ON IT! He was ready for school super early. My daughter was dressed before he was. It was great. Then I head to the bathroom for my turn. I get started and realize I am out of face wash. Thank goodness I make my own and it only takes 5 minutes.

Now a slight word of caution. I have bad, large cystic acne and to treat it I use oregano essential oil . Oregano oil is a HOT oil, meaning it can burn when you put it on. If you have sensitive skin, even just a little bit, but want to try this recipe, leave that ingredient out. The recipe should work without it if you just have acne prone skin.




1 tbls of coconut oil

1tbls of honey (I use raw)

1 tbls bentonite clay

7 drops lemon essential oil

7 drops geranium essential oil

7 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil

1-3 drops of oregano essential oil


Put everything in a glass, ceramic or metal bowl, it is important to avoid plastic. Essential oils can leach toxic “stuff” out of the plastic and deposit it in your face wash.


I whip everything with a hand mixer. You can use a fork and mix it by hand. I have done that, but it takes longer and you won’t get a nice whipped texture.

I store everything in an upcycled, glass baby food jar. This will last you 6 to 8 weeks. I use it once a day and I always use it when I take a shower. I put a little bit in my hand and add a little bit of baking soda that I keep in an upcycled spice container in the shower. The baking soda acts as a gentle exfoliant. I rub my hands together then rub all over my face. I do this first thing in the shower. I wash up, then rinse my face last.

It really has been amazing. My acne causes a lot of pain. I have been doing this for 3 months or so and this is the first time I have not been in pain. There seems to not be a lot of visual change because of all the scarring but now I am able to start doing something about that. It really is exciting when a continuous problem starts to heal.

How I got my babies to sleep at night.

It is amazing what can inspire you to write. I have a beautiful friend, with a three-week old that still sleeps mostly during the day. I feel sorry for her. I never really had an issue teaching my 2 babies to sleep at night. That got me thinking, what did I do differently. So here is a short list on what I did and my attitudes on getting my newborns to sleep at night. I’ll add quickly that this is just a list of what worked for me. Pick and choose what you want or use none of it. This was simply me.

First, sleep was a top priority. It may not have been number one but it was up there. I know me and know how much I need. It.

Second, I hate swaddling and so did my babies. They were out of the womb and I didn’t want to imitate that experience. I would wrap them at night but during the day the only reason for a blanket was a really cold room or we were leaving the house.

Another was naked time, or limited clothes during the day. This is when common sense needs to kick in. I had a winter baby (January). I had to be aware that it was cold and I needed to adjust. The point is to have your baby a little uncomfortable during the day. You are not to torture them, but a little uncomfortable is ok.

Floor time was important from the beginning. It doesn’t have to be tummy time, just flat on the floor gives the baby a chance to stretch and use his/her muscles. A playmat is nice for this but a blanket is just fine.

Lastly, for the first several weeks, if not months, there were no naps in the crib or away from the activity or light (literally) of our living room. I did not hush people around the baby. The sleep during the day was never a hard sleep. I wouldn’t poke at her/him to keep them awake but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to make it quiet. Night time was really quiet and everyone could sleep soundly.

Now, this isn’t advice to get them to sleep through the night. My last baby didn’t sleep through the night until she was 14 months old, but when she got up, it was for 15 minutes to nurse and that was it. I can think of only a handful of times where my babies would wake up at night and want to play.

I hope this helps anyone who baby wants to sleep only during the day. Was there anything that you did to help your babies sleep at night? I would love to hear it.

Mountain Rose Herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

Now, if you follow me on facebook, then you know I was accept by Mountain Rose Herbs as an affiliate.

What that means for me is that I get a small commission off any purchase made through a link on my blog.

I love them because the quality is top shelf, the specialize in organic and fair trade items, and, lastly, they are local. These are all things that are important to me. They are very good at educating the consumer on how to use their products and what to use them for. I am very excited to be partnering with them. Take a look at what they offer and comment on what is your favorite thing.  They have specials every month. Take some time and take a look.

Simple Serenity Solutions – review

I am always on the look out for great, natural products. They are few and far between and a lot of times I can’t afford them.

My mother introduced me to Annie, at Simple Serenity Solutions. She is a WAHM, here in Washington State. She has a great story. If you get to know her, she is one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She wants to love her kids and hubby the best she can, and is trying really hard.


Awhile ago, she gave me a container of her body butter to try. I love it. She list everything on the container and you can understand it. One of my favorite things, though, is that I have wickedly acne prone skin. I really try to be careful what I put on it. I can hop out of the shower, put on the body butter and then do my face routine and not have to worry about what is going on my face.

I have, also, tried her lip stick. She doesn’t have any on her web site right now but the next time she does, you should grab some. It is soft, beautiful, and worth every penny!

Now, head to her website and facebook page and tell her I sent you. 😉 She has a ton going on as she gets ready for the holidays.


Do you have a favorite body product? Please share it with me. I would love to hear all about it.