April 2008

Hmmm…Q????  I don’t quilt.  I don’t know anything about quails.  I am not a queen.  I have no tips on Quartz.  So what to do with Q for today’s tip?  How about a quote? 

I have talked, even just yesterday, about the minitry of Joyce Meyer’s.  I had the pleasure of attending a conference just recently and she said something that really struck me so I thought I would share it today.  Now if you are not familiar with Joyce she has a point blank way of speaking.  She doesn’t hold back and tells it like it is.  You are never left wondering what was she trying to get to.  That’s what I like about her.  You may not always agree but you know where she stands and I respect that.


“If you think you can’t be happy until all your circumstances are right, you will never be happy.”  This quote was from her website.  Now at the conference she said something likeIf you think that when your husband becomes a Godly Man in the home(i.e. decisions, etc) you will be happy..NO YOU WON’T ( I love the way she said it.).  Then you will be mad that you lost control.”  She gave several more examples of what we think will make us happy rarely does.  We have to choose happiness in our mind.

Do you have a story of something you thought would make you happy and it didn’t? 

Here’s her link if your are interested: http://www.joycemeyer.org/

Have a “Happy” Day!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

CONTEST ALERT – While you are happy as a clam today, please link any of my A-Z tips on your blog, and let me know about it, and I will enter you in my contest.  The drawing will be held after the final Z tip (which isn’t too far away!).


Today for the A-Z tips we are taking a trip to P for Parenting.  I don’t know about you but I can always use some parenting tips.

I receive Joyce Meyer’s monthly magazine and one regular contributor is John Maxwell.  I don’t know if you are familiar with him or not but he writes a lot on Leadership.  Most of the the articles have a business tone, but I believe some of them can work well in parenting.

One article that I pulled out was on “Velvet Covered Bricks”.  I just loved the visual concept of this.  What a great thought that as a parent we are to be soft (velvet) at the same time strong (like a brick) in knowing what is best for our children.  Only I might change velvet to a baby soft blanket.  Aren’t the things so super soft now a days?  I digress.

John Maxwell states that a velvet covered brick is “a leader (parent) that makes difficult decisions, but at the same time, acts as an emotional caretaker to the people their choices affect.  The instill discipline, but they also provide encouragement and inspiration.”

He states that a velvet covered brick leader will confront problems but consider different perspectives, commited to results and relationships, respected and approachable, etc.  Sounds like good parenting ideas to me. 

To see the entire article please follow this link: http://www.joycemeyer.org/OurMinistries/Magazine/0802/Velvet-Covered+Bricks.htm

So wrap up a brick in something soft and now you have a constant parenting reminder.  But I wouldn’t recommend taking it with you when you go to the store with your children.  For ladies, we already have too much in our purses as it is.  You will just have to keep the velver convered brick in mind 🙂

**Contest alert.  I have a contest running until the end of my A-Z tips.  We are on P so you are running out of time.  All you need to do is link and of my A-Z tips on your blog and let me know you did so.  I will then enter you in my contest.  At the end I will draw for some wonderful products.  Please go to this post to see them: https://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/wanna-know-what-you-are-playing-for/

Have a “Good Parenting” Day!

I was away from the house this weekend so I didn’t get a chance to write any tips.  I left off at N so today we will be on Q.  Just testing you to see if you have learned your alphabet.  Is there anyone else that needs to sing the alphabet to file something?  🙂 


If you know me you know I like to organize.  I find that I work better in less chaos.  So today’s simple tip is to look around your home and pick 5 things that don’t make your heart happy and give them away.  The less things we have to take care of allows us to focus on the things we do want to take care of.

Disclaimer – This is meant for your things not hubby’s favorite (UGLY!!) shirt that he has had since 1979 and the odds of fitting into it again is about as likely as children obeying you for an entire day.  Or the childs toy that won’t be parted with even though it’s broken in more pieces than a lego set.  No, I am not suggesting that you remove those.  Keep it to your items only for a less stressful event 🙂


Have a “Purging”  Day! 


Almost forgot.  Don’t you too forget about my contest.  Ping/link any of my A-Z tips on your blog for a chance to win my very first ever blog contest.  Let me know when you do and I will enter you.  See Wanna know what you are playing for to see the beautiful products you can win.

Very late post today!  Yikes my time is flying.

Today’s A-Z tip is N = Nutrition

Did you know that room-temp water is good to drink before meals.  Drink it all at once and this makes your stomach stretch and shut down food cravings.

I think I need a few glasses 🙂

Have a “Bottoms Up” Day.

P.S- Don’t forget to link any A-Z tip on your blog for a chance to win my contest.  I am on N and it I will draw a name at the end of the tips (Z).

Husband:  Honey, what’s for dinner?

Wife: Ok I give, what?

Oh, it’s not a joke you say.  Do you ever go to the pantry and go what am I going to make tonight?  I think we all do that from time to time.  I know a lot of people are into the menu planning for the week and use the grocery ads for the best deals.  I think this is a great idea but it hasn’t worked for me as it seems time consuming the way I tried it.  So that has led me to a different type of menu planning (or maybe not).  I like to use a seasonal 3- 4 month rotation.  Now this doesn’t always happen but it sure makes it easy when it does.

So today’s A-Z tip will be M = Menu planning.

First, ask everyone what their favorite meals are.  Compile a large list.  Put down fancy and even non-fancy items like mac ‘n’ cheese.  But not too many pre-boxed stuff as you will find better alternatives doing this that will save not only money but will be healthier.

Next, break them down by seasons.  I.E. salads for summer, soups for winter, etc

Now you want to think of your schedule.  Are there nights, like Wednesday night church, that you will need a quick dinner or leftovers?  What about some night that everyone can try a new recipe together?  Don’t forget breakfasts and lunches when needed.

With all this info in hand you want to start putting a 3-4 season (some of us don’t have as many seasons as others…ours just hot, hotter, and “Where am I again?”) menu together i.e. Jan-Mar or Jan-April, etc.  Next list your Sunday-Saturday’s.  And finally fill in the menu items.

Make sure when you plan this to add a new recipe night at least once in the rotation (but try a few more if you can).  And try not to double up as much as possible.  If you take time to create this I bet you have more things that you know how to cook then you think.

Finally gather up all your info and put it into a menu planning binder.  You may want to use clear protectors since this will end up in the kitchen no doubt.

Use can use this binder for your shopping.  And if you want to use the store ads to get the best deals just shop ahead. Take your binder and look at what’s on sale to what you are going to be cooking in the next month or so for non-perishable items or items that can freeze.  Make sure you make note that you have purchased that item so you don’t pick it up again.

Menu planning is a stress reliever.  It may not always happen but when it does it sure makes life happier when you don’t have that deer in the headlights look at 6 pm.

If your hubby is the cook, as I know a lot of men are, this may be helpful for them.  This works great for anyone who is having trouble with added expenses on last minute purchases at the store, the people saying AUGGHH when fixing dinner, those who may always seem to forget key ingredients to recipes, and those who are fixing the same things over and over again.  But if hubby is the cook and there are no problems don’t mess with a good thing!

So what do you say?  Wanna start?

Have a “planning” day.

P.S – Don’t forget about my contest.  Link/ping any of my A-Z tips and let me know so I can enter you in my first contest.  See post on wanna know what you are playing for to see prizes.

Well not really but it’s for the lettuce in your salad. 

For those of us who serve lots of salads in the summer here are some tips for handling your lettuce.

SELECTION AND STORAGE (taken from http://www.foodreference.com/html/artlettuce.html)

Lettuce is a delicate vegetable and great care should be taken when selecting and storing. Most lettuce is showcased on ice or in refrigeration. When selecting your leaves, be sure that they are fresh and crisp, with no signs of wilting, slim, or dark spots or edges. Remember when selecting your lettuce that the darker outer leaves are the most nutritious.

Lettuce tends to keep well in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Iceberg lettuce keeps the best, lasting around two weeks, while Romaine, ten days, and butterheads types and endives lasts approximately four days. The very delicate greens don’t last very long, so it’s best to buy only as much as you need at one time and use immediately.

Salad greens should not be stored near fruits that produce ethylene gases (like apples) as this will increase brown spots on the lettuce leaves and increase spoilage. Greens that are bought in bunches should be checked for insects. Those leaves that have roots should be placed in a glass of water with a bag over the leaves and then placed in the refrigerator.

And don’t forget to wash up those bags of lettuce.  As we learned from the recalls they aren’t always as clean as you think.

Don’t forget “Lettuce” give thanks for the food we have recieved.  🙂

***Do you know about my contest?  If you link/ping any of my A-Z tips on your blog, I will enter you into my very first contest.  Please make sure to let me know you linked me.  Please see post on Want to know what you are playing for to see the prize pictures.****

My K tip is on proper knife care. 

If you have nice knives you will really want to make sure you protect your investment.  If you have cheaper ones you may want to take the plunge into some nice knives.  Since knives and cookware are two of your most used tools, it makes sense that you would want to have quality tools for the job.  A quality painter isn’t going to have the cheapest brushes, right?  You spend so much time in the kitchen why not get the tools that will make the best use of your time.  Yes, a proper knife can save you time and money.

If you don’t already have quality knives you can start by getting one at a time and don’t be afraid to mix and match.  A knife set is not necessarily the best way to go.   There are lots of recommendations on the internet.  You can try America’s Test Kitchen or Alton Brown.  You may also find some books on the library as well.

Back to the knife care part of the tip. 

  • Always read the use of care for each knife. 
  • Don’t wash them in the dishwasher!!!!
  • Wash and dry them immediately.  Keep a damp towel right by your side with detergent or bleach to wipe knives down as you use them.
  • If you don’t use the towel, be sure to wash them separately.  This will prevent you getting cut when sticking your hand in the sink but will also keep them from being damaged or damaging other items.
  • If you use a block to store them in, place it blade side up.  Don’t put blade down as it will rub on the wood more and will dull it faster.
  • Honing tools help keep the blade straight.  This is not a substitute for sharpening.  You may need to sharpen your knives once a year depending on use.  A professional knife sharpening may be needed if you have high quality knives. 

If you have any other tips on knives please make sure to share them with us and leave them in the comments. 

*** Don’t forget my contest in running right now.  To enter you need to link/ping one of my A-Z tips on your blog and leave me a comment that you did so.  If you don’t have a blog just let me know that and I will enter you.  Here is what you have the chance of winning: https://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/wanna-know-what-you-are-playing-for/

Have a “Sharp” Day!

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