Paleo Honey Mustard Dressing

This homemade paleo honey mustard dressing was a surprise for me. One taste and it quickly became one of my favorites. It's also kid friendly.By contributing writer Tessa

This paleo honey mustard dressing was a surprise for me. I never really liked honey mustard dressing growing up, but one taste of this homemade version and it quickly became one of my favorites. It’s also kid friendly, and you might even have your kids willingly eating a salad!

I have been making my own salad dressings for some time. The quality of ingredients can’t be beat because I choose the oils and use no weird seasoning enhancers or stabilizers.

But most importantly, the flavors are SO much better! And the price can’t be beat either. In just a couple of minutes, you can have a delicious dressing that you’ll be eager to use and eat!

I believe using homemade mayo really sets this dressing apart, and it takes less than five minutes to make your own. Try it. We have become total mayo snobs in this household because of this recipe. Even my kids will refuse the store bought stuff now!

And while you can use this dressing in any way you see fit, my favorite salad for enjoying this dressing includes mixed greens topped with hard boiled eggs, cubed Dubliner cheese (or other sharp cheese), and mini bell peppers…yum!

This homemade paleo honey mustard dressing was a surprise for me. One taste and it quickly became one of my favorites. It's also kid friendly.

Paleo Honey Mustard Dressing
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup good quality mayo (I use homemade mayo)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 tablespoon raw onion (finely minced or grated if you are not blending)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and whir briefly to blend thoroughly.
  2. Alternately, you can place all ingredients in a mason jar, use an immersion blender or place the lid on, and shake vigorously until the honey dissolves and blends in.
Notes
I use my own homemade mayo, which is KEY is my humble opinion!

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Five Smart Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

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By now most people have filed and received their tax refund. In fact, I can remember trying to file as early as possible when we knew we were getting a refund.

While it can be tempting to blow your tax refund on fun and entertainment here are five smarter ways to spend your money.

By now most people have filed and received their tax refund. In fact, I can remember trying to file as early as possible when we knew we were getting a refund. While it can be tempting to blow your tax refund on fun and entertainment here are five smarter ways to spend your money.

Pay off lingering bills

If you are still paying for that furniture set or washer and dryer from nine months ago, put your tax refund to work for you. Paying off your revolving debt will free up extra money every month for you to save towards other expenses, investments, or family fun.

Invest in your home

Do you have an old, rotting tree that needs to be cut down? Is your refrigerator on the fritz? Has your carpet seen better days? Repairing or replacing items in your home before they completely stop working can actually save you money in the long run.

Home improvement projects such as getting an air conditioner tune up, replacing light bulbs with LED’s, or installing ceiling fans are great ways to invest in cost saving, environmentally friendly improvements to your home.

If you own your home, certain repairs and upgrades can actually be a tax deduction if you ever sell your home.

Build your credit

For my children, tax refunds can be a great way to build credit. My son doesn’t have any credit cards, because he’s not the best budgeter. However, he can use his tax refund to apply for a Discover it® Secured Credit Card.

The credit limit on a secured card is equal to the deposit on the card, so it helps him learn good spending habits because he can’t spend more money than he has.

The Discover it Secured Card offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% on other purchases. There is no annual fee, a fraud liability guarantee, and the same awesome Freeze ItSM feature, which can help prevent new purchases if your card is lost or stolen.

Invest it

It’s never too early or too late to start investing your extra money. We have several Roth IRA’s as well as a traditional IRA. It’s nice to build up your retirement accounts (or emergency fund) with a big deposit once a year.

Start a business

Last year I started a business with a $1,500 investment (which is about ½ the amount of the average American tax refund). With a lot of hard work, I was about to turn that $1,500 into a $100,000 business by the end of the year.

If there is a business that you have been thinking about starting, using the extra money from your tax refund can be a great way to get started.

Remember, while it might be fun to brainstorm ways you can blow your tax refund, making smart decisions with your money will improve your financial future.

  

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Free 2016 – 2017 Homeschool Planner

It's time to plan for next year, and this amazing free homeschool planner will help you easily organize your school year with printable logs, calendars, and more.

With the current school year ending for most of us, it’s time to plan the next school year. And Lisa of HomeschoolPlanners.com has an amazing free resource for you to help you easily organize your homeschool year.

The homeschool planner includes:

  • Attendance logs
  • Field trip logs
  • Reading logs
  • Student forms in six different colors so that you can color-coordinate a set for each child
  • Monthly calendars for August of 2016 through July of 2017
  • Weekly calendar pages in a vertical format (perfect for those who love to decorate their planners with washi tape or stickers)
  • Plenty of room to write your daily agenda, whether you prefer to block it out by morning/afternoon/evening or by time slots
  • And more!

Download your free planner here:

Homeschool-Planner-2016-2017
Homeschool-Planner-2016-2017
Homeschool-Planner-2016-2017.pdf
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About Lisa: I am a stay-at-home mom raising three incredible kids with the most wonderful hubby. I created this planner for other moms, just like me, that are desperate to keep their sanity while juggling our many responsibilities. Homeschooling can be challenging. I’ve offered this planner for free because, as a homeschooler myself, I understand that our budgets oftentimes are stretched to the limit. My prayer is that this planner helps you to organize your time so that there is more of it to spend with your precious family.

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Fruits and Vegetables – to Refrigerate or Not?

The next time you are putting your produce away, consider these tips for which fruits and vegetables to refrigerate and which not to refrigerate.

Nothing is more frustrating than buying fresh fruits and vegetables only to have them go bad after a few days. It is a waste of food and feels like a terrible waste of money. In most cases, improperly storing the produce is the issue, but the good news is this is a preventable problem.

Storing your produce properly is the best way to make it last and prevent premature rotting, so you get your money’s worth out of the product and nothing gets wasted. If you are unsure of which produce items you should refrigerate and which you shouldn’t, wonder no more.

Take a look below at some helpful information on which produce items should find a home in your refrigerator and which ones are nice and cozy on your counter tops. Knowing this information could save you tons of produce and money.

1. Tomatoes

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Refrigeration can make tomatoes soft and affect their flavor. Instead, store tomatoes on an open counter where they are allowed to breathe. Do not keep them in a bag, which can cause them to ripen quickly and turn to mush.

2. Onions

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Onions don’t do well when refrigerated as they can soften quickly. They love fresh air, so keep them in the mesh bag they came in and store them in a dry place such as the pantry.

3. Potatoes

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Potatoes don’t like to be refrigerated because the cool temps can make them soft and affect the taste. It is also not wise to store them with other produce items on the counter or in a pantry as they give off gases that can make produce around them go bad quickly. Instead, store them in paper bags in a cabinet by themselves.

4. Grapes

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Grapes thrive on cool temperatures and must be kept in the refrigerator at all times. Leaving them out of the refrigerator will make them become soft and in a few hours they will start to wrinkle. Instead, place the bag in the refrigerator away from other produce items that could speed up their ripening.

5. Cucumbers

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Cucumbers are quite sensitive. Cool temps can make cucumbers get soft and slimy quickly. Instead, keep them at room temp and away from other produce items because they are sensitive to the gases other fruits and vegetables give off.

6. Avocado

The verdict: Do refrigerate

This one may surprise people since most people keep avocado out on their counter tops until they need them. While this can speed up ripening, you want to refrigerate the avocado as soon as it has reached the perfect ripeness. This will help slow down the ripening so it stays fresh and ready for use for a good 3 – 4 days.

7. Leafy Greens

The verdict: Do refrigerate

You want to keep leafy greens cold, as this keeps them fresh and crispy! Storing them in a paper bag can help absorb moisture and keep the greens nice and fresh.

8. Green Peppers

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Peppers are quite durable and do well when kept refrigerated. In fact, a green pepper that is kept free from moisture can last a good 10 days in the refrigerator. This is true for most other varieties of peppers as well.

9. Bananas

The verdict: Do not refrigerate

Don’t even think about putting those bananas in the fridge. Instead, keep them on a counter top away from other produce items that can speed up the ripening process and make them go bad…fast!

10. Carrots and Celery

The verdict: Do refrigerate

Both of these items do well when stored in the refrigerator and the cool temps can help extend their life by days. Cut and wash both celery and carrots, and store them in a container or covered bowl until needed.

The next time you are putting your produce away, consider these tips for which fruits and vegetables to refrigerate and which not to refrigerate. It can help you make the most of your produce!

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