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Monthly Archives: November 2012




Today is the day! Ink! We celebrate at a delightfully quaint coffee shop in Ogilvie, MN. Below is one last look at us as the artists prepare our designs. Bucket lists should be done early in life, so that things can be crossed off and new lists can be created.





Kelli at Prizm Tattoo in Mora, MN is a family friend. She did a great job!






Jeremiah 29:14 “I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” A woman lifting her arms, throwing back her head in joy. I hope this will inspire conversation that will lead people to the Lord.





Michael looks very handsome and husbandly with his wedding ring inked right onto his finger. As an oil field worker, he cannot wear any jewelry on site. This loving tattoo shows his devotion to our marriage. The wedding ring depicts a crown of thorns woven like a cord of three strands, which cannot easily be broken. What a good man! You can’t buy that kind of dedication.





State of the art coffee roaster at GroundHouse Coffee. Delicious coffee, good company, and charming atmosphere to celebrate our tattoo date.





I like it! This mini bar-with-a-view could be easily created at home. You just need a sturdy ledge at a window, 2 bar stools, and someone to share it with.





Assigned parking: “Tea Lovers Park Here; Coffee Lovers Park there.” etc.

A truly beautiful day in cold Minnesota with my sweetheart, coffee, and my long-awaited tattoo.


Western Woman

Black Friday at home

While some shop in the wee hours of the morning, we will enjoy peaceful slumber.




Enjoy sweet family time instead of bustling crowds.




A fun craft to recycle old denim instead of spending money on new gadgets. (Do you remember what you scored last year? I do! A good night’s sleep, and an online deal on a camera.)



Maybe even clean house.





Nice and warm. If you are lined up outside a store right now, shivering in the cold, my heart goes out to you.




Also, it goes without saying that those who forego shopping get first dibs at leftover pie.


Western Woman

Sweet Balsamic Sprout Salad

Here is a winner for Thanksgiving; healthy, delicious, and so easy. Do you always use store-bought dressing? Growing up in Spain, we didn’t even have “dressing.” Here, we make our own. DIY was never easier.


You will need…

  1. Sprouts
  2. Grapes, thin-sliced apples, raisins, or some other dried fruit
  3. Pecans or walnuts, chopped
  4. Sea salt
  5. Drizzle of raw honey, if desired
  6. Balsamic vinegar
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (organic and cold pressed, of course!


Break up the sprouts if needed. They should be in bite size “clumps” if they are not completely separated, otherwise people will have to cute their salad, which is a little odd. Add all ingredients to serving bowl in the order above, toss gently but completely, and serve. Notice I didn’t mention amounts? I dont’ know how many people you will be serving! Also, a little light on the vinegar, heavy on the salt, etc. should be according to your taste. If the ratio for sprouts seems too chewy, add more fruit and nuts.

Enjoy your deliciously healthy, superfood salad which includes protein, probiotics, minerals, and healthy fat! Even small portion does good to every function of the body.

Be healthy, be blessed, be thankful.


Western Woman

Permission to Cheat

Permission to Cheat

Is it OK to cheat?


As long as you don’t regret it in the morning.




Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!


Western Woman



Greens are expensive, and mostly devoid of nutrients this time of year. Good news is you can solve the problem cheaply and easily by sprouting seeds at home!

Sprouting is my “perfect 10” of 10 Ways to Save.

Usually one pays around $4 for a container of broccoli sprouts. I paid $31.75 for my 5 lb bag of seeds from Azure Standard. Using just a tablespoon of seeds to produce a quart jar of sprouts, this is a really good deal! There are many, many tablespoons of seeds in a 5 lb bag! You can shop around for the organic seeds that you like, such as organic chia, alfalfa, watercress, or whatever else your body is craving.

Sprouts are a wonderful addition (or replacement) to salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish. I like to add mayo or sour cream to mellow the flavor of the sprouts if I let them get too green.

This is the perfect time to prep your sprouts for that Thanksgiving salad. I just did! (I will share my recipe for the salad another day if you want it! Yummy!) It will take 3-5 days to sprout, depending on how often they are watered. Once complete, the sprouts can be moved to the fridge, where they can last several days.

Sprouts are delicious! We love them.




1. Measure (or freepour!) your seeds into the glass jar. Secure a piece of screen to cover the sprouting jar. You can use a rubber band or a mason jar metal “ring.” 1-2 T/quart, and (I am guessing) 3/4 C for a gallon jar.



2. Cover seeds with filtered water.



Random: It is such a pretty jar.

3. Let sprouts absorb soak for one night, then drain.

4. Tip jar at an angle (over a bowl) to let seeds breathe and drain water. Store in a dark cupboard. In this picture you also see my kombucha on its 2nd ferment, water kefir, whey, and filmjolk, all enjoying the dark cabinet with each other. You can see this is a large gallon jar, instead of my usual quart jar. I am preparing extra sprouts for a large Thanksgiving salad!

5. Rinse seeds with filtered water 2-4 times per day. Pour excess water through the screen into the sink, and return to the same position on the bowl.

6. When sprouts have reached desired size (or filled up the jar) continue the same rinsing/draining process near a window. This allows the sprouts to green. One day should be sufficient. You will find (as I have!) that overly green sprouts have a bitter taste and need extra dressing of some kind to tone it down.

7. Use right away, or move to the fridge and start your next batch.

There she is! My baby girl loves her sprouts with butter and soaked pinto beans. Yum!

I think we should eat these every day!




Start your sprouts now and have a wonderful salad to feed the masses next Thursday.


Western Woman



Gifts, Anyway Budget

How does that title make sense? I figure we have our “anyway budget.” The money we spend on our kids’ craft supplies, for example, is “anyway money.”

This is # 9 of 10 Ways to Save!

In our family, birthdays and Christmas are both coming up. I don’t feel the need to buy my girls things they wouldn’t get anyway. I mean, this is America. Goodness knows they have enough toys to fuel 3 garage sales. And they always play with the same things! So, toys are out. I plan to purchase things I would get them anyway, like craft supplies, educational things like musical instruments (if I find a good deal on ebay!), girly snow boots, and  hair accessories. I know they will be thrilled! My gift list for them is planned out, knowing they will love it, and it will all be put to good use–not thrown in a corner and forgotten the next day.

My husband and I are a little more high-maintenance, I’m afraid. We want expensive things. Well, if I get my expensive gift, it will be something I’ve been wanting for the last 3 years, and it will be a combination of birthday-Christmas-anniversary. Was I going to buy it anyway when I had the cash? Yes. Is it useful? Yes! The same is true for my husband’s gift. There, it is justified.

For my family and friends, I plan to give anyway gifts like baked goods on a pretty plate from the thrift store, craft items I make myself like hankies wrapped in a pretty bow and placed in an artistic clay pot, and for my close girly friends–maybe even an accessory of mine they have previously admired as a bonus gift. These are all anyway gifts. We feed our friends and family anyway; we make crafts or have some kind of hobby anyway; and we downsize our closets (even things we like, for a close pal!) anyway!

Not everyone needs a gift. Schmoozing the boss might help you out if you want to bring in some hot chocolate and homebaked cookies, or maybe just a card. Bosses tend to get really stressed around the holidays, and it might make your life easier if he/she gets a moment to relax and enjoy your gift. Teachers, babysitters, pastors, (those who offer a service that don’t get paid a ton) deserve a little something-something. Again, I don’t think it needs to be expensive. But a gesture that you care goes a long way. For groups of people and extended family, it is good to draw names, which takes the pressure off everybody. If someone has not already organized parameters for a gift exchange, then step up and be a leader!

Gift wrap need not be a cost factor. I’m a fan of buying a roll of Easter basket plastic wrap post-season for $0.25 each, and using a square of that and piece of leftover ribbon from last Christmas to wrap a plate of cookies. Or I might make my own gift bags, as you have seen in a previous post! I might use “wrapping paper” consisting of beautiful drawings from my daughters. Once I scored a box of old Christmas wrap in the attic, which has lasted me several years. For a good laugh I might even wrap someone’s gift in newspaper. Tape? Yes, you will probably need to buy that, unless you are very creative with string or recycled ribbon.

Honestly, I think we obsess way to much over the wrapping. People don’t care how much you spend, they care that you care.

Yes, I will occasionally pay full “gift price” especially for gift registries, and when I’m surprised by a birthday! (Funny how they sneak up on you every year.)

Food for thought.


Western Woman 😉

Wear It Out, Replace Wisely

Wear It Out, Replace Wisely

Am I shopping for fun? And what’s going on with the clothes I already have? Here is how I break it down:

#7 out of 10 Ways I Save: Use it up, wear it out. Why am I buying jeans? Because my last pair died. There was a hole in the crotch. holes in the knees can be overlooked for a time, but these jeans had truly lived out their days. (And I recycled them! More on that later.)

#8: Replace wisely. First of all, does it need to be replaced? In the case of my jeans, the answer is yes. I had only one remaining pair. I need 2 pairs of jeans for my kind of lifestyle–no more, no less. I had two choices: One, shop online for a pair of skinny’s. Two, check out the consignment shop. $8 at the consignment shop got me what I needed. Not the most amazing pair of jeans in the world, but hey, I am in the market for a house, not BCBG denim.

tips #7 and #8 refer specifically to clothing but could be expanded.

What do you think? Pass on your tips to me! I am your student. Teach me.

Cheers, Frugally Yours,

Western Woman

PS See that picture of me with the purple hair? Everything I am wearing came to me second hand, except for the boots, which I purchased on sale 6 years ago. And I like my look, if I do say so myself 😛