I don’t know about you, but having freshly cut or purchased cut fruit start to wilt and soften irks me. I spend money on great hand picked fruit only to have the leftovers end up not being touched once open. I really don’t like wasting money. It wasn’t bad or anything, just Wilted.

Problem solved! I happen to have in my freezer some puff pastry. You definitely can make your own, but I happen to have bought some frozen puff pastry over the New Year.

So to start, this really isn’t a typical recipe, more of a guide. I had leftover cut and cleaned strawberries, cantaloupe and pineapple in storage containers for my family to snack on. Wilted several days later, I decided to create a filling with it. You will have to defrost the pastry as it is kept frozen. If using your own, roll out in a rectangle.

So, I started with mixing the cantaloupe and strawberries in a saucepan on medium heat and the pineapple on its own in another saucepan on medium heat. I then added about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar to each (I had about 2 cups of strawberry cantaloupe mix for 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup pineapple with 1/4 cup of sugar), and let is cook down until it was very thick almost paste like consistency. Time varies here depending on fruit. I then rolled out my pastry into a rectangle and cut horizontally in the middle, I eyeballed it. I then cut individual rectangles about 2×3 inches in size roughly and filled them with the mixture. I folded over all four edges after filling. Then, Bake at 400 until puffed and lightly brown. I’m sure you can use other kinds of fruit as well. This is a great way to not waste food and save time and money.

Give while giving back!

Have you ever wondered where those gifts from family and friends come from? Or what impact they have? Your dollars have a voice, use it wisely. Wouldn’t it be great to have a story of goodwill behind a purchase?

For my site that concentrates on different types of saving, now is a great time to help others and give the presents on your holiday list. Great deals are to be had this retail Friday, but how about SAVING the world as well! These gifts have a great advantage over others in they are fair trade and have a great story behind them helping the artisans make sometimes their only source of living. I really love them. And each time I get complimented on them is an opportunity to tell a really great narrative of where they came from. I know whoever gets any of them will love them as much as I do! Just click on the products, they will take you to them.

This is Cultural Elements.

String saving….using yarn in a different way to make your life colorful…and helpful.

So you might think that using yarn is counter intuitive to saving, but it’s not, really! I think about all the things you can do with yarn it’s amazing. I cannot think of a better activity on a rainy dreary day or cold evening after dinner when the winds are howling. But what about summer? Well, yarn is great for holding up those heavy vegetable plants by tying them to their cages or trellis. How beautiful will that be in the wind? Or leaving bits out for colorful birds’ nests for this winter or for hanging a bird feeding station on a tree?

My favorite to get me in the mood for Fall is pumpkin or leaf patterns. Updating old pillows with tassels made of yarn saves money by using what you have and incorporating it into your new decor! Wrap a frame, package or mark a straight line with chalk. For your auto, wrap around the visor for storing openers and sunglasses. As a tag on your suitcase it’s invaluable or mark your keys.

So many ways to use yarn to save your items. Thank you yarn for being so useful! Reduce, reuse, recycle.

If these projects sound great to you, and maybe you need some color and softness in your life, you can get some great yarn at my favorite outlet here! Or use your stash of bits of yarn.

ps. I happen to like this company as yarn in my area is ridiculously expensive plus this company gives back by recycling saris and giving jobs to women in need. Happy Saving!

  • Price: $35.99

Why you shouldn’t get a Flat Screen TV and how you can save $$

My site and blog discusses how to save money. One of the biggest ways is not buying a flat screen tv and here is why:

  1. They are pricey, even on sale!
  2. They are hard to move, especially if they are large.
  3. No damage on the walls from tv holders when renting, means get your deposit back!
  4. It cannot be mobile.
  5. Too many cables everywhere.
  6. Connecting to a phone, pad or computer is just a hassle, especially older models.
  7. If your using your tv just to game, present your business or stream, there is a better way!
  8. If you travel for work, turn any room into a conference room.
  9. PLUS did I mention it’s great for sharing videos during big life events like weddings, birthdays and holidays!

I own a tiny mobile projector that lets me be free of large objects(TVs) on my walls. I can go anywhere and watch, present or game anytime. Moving? No problem, no big bulky screens to move. So for the small price I paid for my mini projector, I saved myself thousands of dollars, can adjust my viewing from large to small, have my own high quality included speakers ring out great sound and can move it to any room. I absolutely love it and am dollar wise for it!

Look for a great one like this projector PIQO -The Smartest Portable Projector Ever.

Creamy Dreamy Strawberry Yogurt Breakfast

I don’t know about you, but sometimes deciding on what to eat for breakfast is time consuming. Let’s face it, breakfast recipes are mostly breads. As you can see with the bread cookbook behind, this breakfast is anything but! And…it is pocketbook friendly.

A simple creamy delight of fresh strawberries, homemade strawberry preserves, homemade pasty cream and on sale plain yogurt and a sprinkle of mini rose petals breaks that bread trend. If you wanted to purchase the jam and pastry cream along with yogurt and strawberries then I understand as time be gets us all. I like making my own and having it on hand. You can find a great lemon curd recipe on my Breakfast Pinterest board which is far superior than the store bought stuff. It lasts in the refrigerator for a long time and is great on ice cream! Strawberry jam is also there.

Creamy Dreamy Strawberry Yogurt Breakfast

  • 4oz Cream cheese, , softened
  • ¼ c Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 Lemon zest, (whole lemon)
  • 4 oz Lemon curd
  • Yogurt, plain Greek
  • 4 large Strawberries, hulled and washed (or more)
  • Strawberry preserves, jam or jelly, store bought or homemade

With a mixer or whisk mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and lemon curd in a bowl until creamy. Clean, hull and slice fresh strawberries. Open Greek yogurt add 4 tablespoons full to a serving bowl. Add lemon curd infused pastry cream. Top with fresh strawberries And strawberry jam and edible flower petals. I had miniature rose petals on hand.

The Year of Weddings!

This year has some joyous weddings coming up. What’s really going on in it’s basic form for those not making the union themselves is helping the intended couple culminate a scene of lasting fun and remembrance. I find the ultimate goal as a participant is to give the couple some help setting up home, heart, and health. Some great ideas are in my Pinterest board “nieces weddings” for party/ceremony ideas you can do yourself.

This past weekend was my beautiful niece Sarah’s shower. I was only happy to do an avid search for a great cast iron enamel stew pot. I use these heavy cookers for stews, soups, etc. it’s really a great investment piece and adding a family recipe warms body and soul during cold seasons. Decorating the gift was all to easy with a Dollar Store tissue paper flower. Instructions can be found on my board “nieces weddings” or YouTube search. Here is mine. Perfect, no, but fun and creative and cheap, yes! Best part, 5 minutes to learn and make!

The Holiday Put Away!

Most of my readers know my blog is focused on savings. After the Holiday malaise or should you be hit with whatever flu or bug this 2020 should bring your way and your on the mend, finding a quick way to undress your holiday decor can be on your back burner. Procrastinate NOT!

A few short tips and tricks to help pack and reduce for next year:

Using what you have for storage, just make sure to cover for dust or moisture your storage place might bring.
  • Have a central location for your storage tools, whether boxes, crates, bags, for only what your keeping for next year.
  • Another location for all items needing recycling or donating. Remember donation is a great way to give decor that has life left. Otherwise, recycle. Some areas, like mine, have a lighting recycling drive schedule which can only be a limited time. So check your local area or ask a friend if they do this in their area.
  • Now, remember to have a container on hand for all those hooks, sticky wall tacks, etc that need to come down. Recycle any paper, donate holiday gift bags too. Remember, take those batteries out of decor to preserve them for next year. Check your locale for battery and bulb recycling. Keep this list for next year in with your stored holiday decorations.
  • A step stool or ladder for higher up items.
  • Now that stations are setup, think about your general color scheme for next year, keep only what you love and let go of the rest.

This is a great way to store less, keep your beloved items, share holiday items with others next year and recycle those broken lights. All while clearing away your holiday decor. Remember, even if it takes a couple of days, it’s the progress that’s important.

Finally after your containers are put up, space in your home is open for the new year to be welcomed in and your time and mind clear.

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