Posts tagged creative
VITAMIX: by michele fordice

  At Christmas time I was gifted the money to buy something I had been wanting to purchase for a long time but just didn't have the chunk of change to make the splurge. What, you might ask? A Vitamix blender. I know, I know, who would dream of buying a blender?! Well, it is much more then just a blender. It can pulverize anything and everything you put inside of it and will literally last you the rest of your life. Our whole family is kind of obsessed with it and we use it a minimum of 3-4 times a day.

I've been wanting to shout it from the roof tops and tell everyone I know to go buy one... however a commercial grade blender is not exactly in everyone's monthly budget.

When I heard how my dear friend, Michele, saved up to by a Vitamix for her family I begged her to share it on the blog.



VITAMIX: by michele fordice


On most days I have about 5 new ideas.

To be honest, very few of my genius ideas actually come to fruition.  Some just weren’t good to begin with.  But most of the time, I just don’t follow through and implement.  I am a constant visionary.  I currently have two entrepreneurial ideas circling my prayer life right now.  And who knows where they’ll go.  My biggest problem -- when I start one project, 5 others seem to appear in the process.  It goes a little something like this:

“Hey, babe!  Let’s paint our room!” (That’s code for, “Jay, will YOU please paint our room?”).

That quickly leads to:

“Honey, should we paint the study too?”

Which, of course, leads to:

“Gee, let’s sell our couch and get a new one. Oh, and we need some new pillows here….”

And so it begins.  Sound familiar?

That’s why I shouldn’t have been surprised when our entire house was thrown in upheaval the second Elizabeth made a small, extremely generous offer.  Preparing for a family trip, Elizabeth offered to let me borrow her Vitamix.  I was beyond thrilled…and a bit surprised.  I mean, really?  Not only is Elizabeth gorgeous and sweet hearted, but she’s kind.  Who lets a neighbor borrow a crazy expensive kitchen appliance?

I had heard a ton of things about this little miracle machine.  But, I needed to see first-hand what all the ridiculous chatter was about. (And my own mediocre blender had just gone belly up.)  A week passed and the only problem I was facing was the fact that the Mossers were on their way home and my kale in my garden wasn’t keeping up with the demands of our smoothie obsession…

…Oh, and that meant my new favorite toy was going to have to be returned.  Visions of us living without the most amazing smoothies and homemade peanut butter and pesto and anything else I could think to blend turned to nightmares.  How was I going to make my post workout green drink or hide kale in the boy’s afternoon smoothies (and not have chunks floating around)?  There was no way we had money budgeted to splurge on an expensive kitchen appliance.

(Elliot finishing my smoothie after drinking his)

And so, my visionary brain kicked in.  And this time I had the nightmares of life without a Vitamix to motivate me.

So, with my husband’s encouragement, I started a “FUN fund.”  I took a long look at our house and began a list of all the things we really didn’t need.  I purged my kitchen, bedrooms, garage and anything that wasn’t functional in our house and decided it was time they needed to find a new home to dwell.  Two months later, thanks to Craigslist, I had sold $800 worth items.

From our “FUN fund,” we were able to buy our beloved Vitamix and put an end to my nightmares of life without kale smoothies.  And, in true Michele fashion, we added a new couch and several new pillows to the mix.  Oh yeah, and a little paint for the bedroom and a bedspread.  (I told you, my ideas always multiply.)  It was like Christmas in July. 

If you are anything like me, the decision to buy something expensive, like a Vitamix, isn’t easy.  Money is tight.  I want to stick to my budget.  I want to honor the Lord with my resources.  But, like you, my heart is also to feed my boys GOOD tasting, GOOD for you foods on a budget.  Foods that we call “GO” foods, not “slow” foods that are going to bring us down.  I saw a Vitamix as a way to help me accomplish that, whipping up smoothies, sauces, peanut butter, jams…and I can’t wait to try some winter squash soup this fall!  And my summer purge helped me make it happen.

(homemade peach and strawberry jam)

Eating healthy and providing a diverse cuisine doesn’t ALWAYS have to be spendy.  It just might take some creativity.  Bringing value to our home and marriage is a personal priority to me.  To show my husband respect and that I appreciate his hard work.  To not spend money flippantly on items that don’t provide a function or purpose in our home.

How do you bring value to your kitchen or create space for a “FUN fund”?  Buying in bulk with a friend and splitting the goods.  Use coupons.  Have a side business.  Do meal swaps with groups of like minded foodies.  Make homemade baby food.  Purchase portions of cows, pigs, etc.  Buy into a co op.  Preserve summer’s fruits and veggies.

The ideas are endless.

Will you please share your creative ideas?  We can learn so much from one another to be more industrious, creative and frugal!



  • Costco carries them for a discounted price whenever they are having a live demo. Click here to see demo schedules.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond also carries them and often has 20% coupons.
  • They can also be found on Craigslist!

When Brook and I first met, he didn’t like fish. Of any kind. Ever. I loved fish… but was terrible at making it.

Needless to say, for the first few years of our marriage, there was no fish being bought, prepared or consumed in our household.

Until… one summer we were invited to a ranch that some friends of ours own and they had hired a fantastic chef to cook for us all. We happened to be having salmon for dinner and Brook LOVED it.

I don’t remember what the chef used on the fish (I was too distracted by Brook’s sounds effects as he ate it) but I do remember how excited Brook was about it.

This in turn inspired me to try a bit harder to incorporate fish into our diet on a regular basis and made me determined to find ways to prepare it that Brook would like.

With some time, lots of trial and error and a very patient husband… we now eat fish several times a week and we BOTH love it.

May I encourage you to keep an “open pallet” when it comes to food? Even foods you or your family may not love initially? Just like we individually grow and change… so do our taste buds!

I am not saying make yourself eat things you hate.

There are just some things you may never like.

I want to say that I like beets. They are SO good for you and pretty! The reality is I have tried them in every shape and form and I still think they taste like dirt. Some say they have an “earthy” flavor. I beg to differ.

What I am saying is try new things every once and while and be creative with how you prepare foods.

Especially with your children! Keep trying to find ways to help them eat whole, nutrition filled foods.

I have a 2.5 year old myself and I know how hard this can be! Yet, I already see his tastes changing and as we “strongly encourage” him to at least try a bit of everything.

Today’s recipe is one way we love to eat fish. We usually use it on salmon but it would work on any kind of fish and maybe even on chicken.


PS: if you like beets, maybe you can send me new recipes to help change how I feel about them! Until then… I will steer clear.




Serves 2 – 3 (if you are feeding more, simply double or triple the recipe)




1 T brown sugar

1 T cumin

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

A few dashes of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

Lemon Juice

Olive oil

Salmon/Tilapia – as much as you need to fill the bellies of whom you are feeding.  Adjust quantities of the rub according to how much salmon you use. I used about 10oz of salmon to feed Brook, Duke and myself and this was the perfect amount of rub for that.

Preheat oven to 400F

In a small mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir.

Arrange fish on a baking sheet and squeeze or drizzle lemon juice on each piece. Drizzle just a bit of olive on each piece as well. Use your hands to rub it in a bit.

Scoop the rub onto the fish and use your hands to evenly coat the top and sides of the fish.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake until it flakes with a fork. The baking times will differ depending on what kind of fish you use.


It goes great with rice, potatoes, pasta, salad… just about anything. And a side of veggies of course!

We ate ours tonight with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.