Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ways to Honor Christ This Christmas

1) Have your kids give to kids in need (PROVERBS 22:6)
2) Bake cookies for the local homeless (MATHEW 25:35)
3) Attend a new church in a community you do not usually visit (EPHESIANS 2:19)
4) Do something kind for a neighbor (MARK 12:31)
5) Give cash gifts to low-wage workers who may not be able to afford to play Santa for their children (ex. Grocery workers, hotel staff, restaurant staff) (PROVERBS 19:17DEUTRONOMY 24:14)
6) Give away items that can be used as Christmas gifts on FREECYCLE (JOHN 3:17)
7) Visit someone in prison (MATHEW 25:36)
8) Forgive someone you've been holding a grudge against (MATHEW 6:14)

Do you have any additional ideas? Please share in the comments section.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sale Alert: $1 or Less Museum Admission

Local museums are offering low-cost tickets this weekend. Learn more about participating institutions HERE. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In the Kitchen: Salmon Cakes and Brussel Sprouts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now that you're probably over holiday leftovers I thought I'd share a tasty recipe with you.  I really enjoyed it, and think you will too if you're a salmon person like myself. Here's how you make it. Mix together the following:

  • 1 can on salmon ( I like to use Rubinstein's brand)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tbsp of mayo
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 of a medium red onion chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • a few dashes of hot sauce and worcestershire sauce
  • season liberally with blackening seasoning, old bay, salt and pepper
  • form mixture into patties and bake on 350 degrees until done.

Dipping Sauce (add ingredients to taste):

  • 50/50 mix of mayo and siracha
  • little bit of lemon juice
  • Old Bay
  • cajun mustard
  • little bit of worcestershire sauce
  • little bit of sugar

Brussel Sprouts:

  • rinse and cut brussel sprouts in half
  • season with salt and pepper on top of baking sheet
  • spray with olive oil
  • bake on 350 until slightly brown

Monday, November 9, 2015

Around (Another) Town: Amsterdam

One of the initial reasons I started this blog was to chronicle my family's simple living journey. Simple living can encompass many things, but for me it's largely about minimizing expenses and consumption, in order to provide more time and resources for the things that matter most. About a year ago we hit a major milestone in our journey and paid off all our debts (except our mortgage). It took years of saving, working multiple jobs, eating out less, and saying no to many purchases, but we did it! Goodbye to student loans, credit card debt, and car payments FOREVER. To celebrate we treated ourselves to our first full fledged family vacation, a trip to Amsterdam.

We all had a great time as Amsterdam is an absolutely wonderful city with much to see. There's beautiful architecture.

Along with breathtaking canals that run throughout the city.

If you decide to visit make sure to take at least one BOAT RIDE, as they provide the best view of the city and a closeup of all the lovely houseboats.

Another feature that makes Amsterdam distinctive are all of the bicycles. The Dutch ride everywhere. I have never seen so many bikes in all my life. There are 1.5 times more bikes than people in the city. It was cool to see entire families, babies and all, riding together.

While visiting we learned that Amsterdam is a city of immigrants. Half of the population is not native born. It's multiculturalism makes for some delicious food options. You can get Belgian chocolate at CANDELA.

Or phenomenal (seriously.....phenomenal!!!) Turkish food at SHOARMA MESUT.

By the way, they have the best fries and Turkish coffee in town.

For those of you who are into fashion history, I'd highly recommend visiting the MUSEUM OF BAGS AND PURSES. It's the largest purse museum in the world and housing some truly amazing bags.

The museum also has a fabulous gift shop and tea room worth taking a look at

My absolute favorite thing about our trip was a visit to the countryside. It was so magical. I've seen impressive pictures of it in the past, but to see it in person was truly a blessing. Unfortunately, when we went it was very foggy so my pictures are not the greatest :-(

I'm sure it's even more beautiful in the spring, when the flowers are in bloom.

A part of our countryside tour included stopping by a cheese factory and clog workshop. It was very interesting to see the local craftsmen at work.

Well, that's all for Amsterdam, a lovely city indeed.

If  you are planning a visit I highly recommend staying at HOTEL DE HOLLEN. The accommodations are wonderful and the staff if very friendly. Plus as an added bonus they have the most amazing French toast during breakfast.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Around Town: The Peabody Library (FREE)

When caught up in life's day-to-day obligations, it can be easy to overlook wonderful amenities right under your nose. I am unfortunately guilty of this, and have been making an effort to consciously explore Baltimore and the myriad of sights it has to offer. During my quest I came across Johns Hopkins University's PEABODY LIBRARY.

The library was created in 1878, via funding from Baltimore philanthropist George Peabody. Peabody wanted to provide the citizens of Baltimore with access to a world-class cathedral of books. The Neo-Grec interior was designed by architect Edmond G. Lind, and is absolutely astonishing! I assure you your jaw will drop if you ever see it in person. 

Here are a few photos I snapped while on my visit. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Won't You Be My Neighbor: 512 Hollen Rd., Baltimore, MD 21212

A newly renovated bungalow is now on the market in Lake Walker for $379,900. The 4 bedroom 3.5 bathroom house has been fully gutted, and reconfigured to maximize living space. It has a two car garage, large deck, family room, and finished basement. Sounds nice, right? So without further ado, here's a sneak peek at the home.

 The family is open concept and leads to a very spacious deck and nice yard.

The kitchen is the true highlight of the home. It has a good amount of counter space, beautiful light fixtures, and ample space for counter seating.

There are two nice full baths on the upper level, and one full bath in the basement.

The master bedroom is well appointed with its own bathroom, a decent sized closet, and easy access to an adjoining bedroom that would make a nice nursery.

And here's that kitchen again. I just had to include a second picture, because it's so beautiful. You can see more pictures and learn more about the listing HERE.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Around Town: Pure Chocolate by Jinji

Hello everyone, long time no post. I am making my absence up to you by telling you about the greatest chocolate on Earth. Yes, seriously, pictured above is the GREATEST chocolate on Earth! It can be purchased at BELVEDERE SQUARE at PURE CHOCOLATE BY JINJI. The small store offers an array of healthy chocolate treats made from nutrient dense raw ingredients. The flavors of the items are bold, intricate, and very distinctive. I've tried many of their offerings and liked them all, but I'm particularly fond of the pots de creme. You must try it! For those of you in the DMV, visit Jinji's website to see where you can purchase her products in your area.