Kristin Cooks: An Introduction

Part of my vision with the Women Worth Knowing Project is to share information that we can find useful, from a perspective that is attainable. To that end, Jamie is sharing her tips of Domestic Engineering with us, right now focusing on how to save money with coupons. And now, Kristin is joining us to talk about cooking.

I met Kristin as a coworker, a few years back. She was so kind, and helpful, and she saved me from making a very bad decision about the confusing insurance policies offered at our company. She is another of those wonderful women I’ve been delighted to stay in touch with over time. We even discussed running a little personal chef business. Kristin and my friend Emily being the chefs, me being the driver. No one wants me cooking their food.

That didn’t happen because of me, but if I were going to have anyone in the world cook my dinner, I would call Kristin because I know how much she cares about what she is doing. Without further ado…

Hello there….I’m Kristin. I like to cook. I LOVE to cook. I get excited over baking. If someone would donate to me a lifetime supply of butter, flour, sugar, and all sorts of chocolate, I may be able to quit my job and bake daily. As it stands, this isn’t the case. So, I find myself continuously explaining myself when checking out at the grocery store with 10 lbs of butter! Creating something wonderful to share with friends and family is such a comfort to me….a form of instant gratification. When work goes bad, bills pile up, and the world seems to be turning the wrong direction, I find comfort in following a tested recipe that will give me exactly what I expect.

This is usually the case…. But as recently experienced, not always. About a week ago, nothing would cook right. Fish are about the worst thing you can mess up, everything smells. That happened. I also was successful at both burning and undercooking a single batch of brownies. HOW? I have no clue. But I spent the rest of that week ordering out for dinner and realizing that these kinds of things happen to most people. I realized a lot of people are intimidated by the kitchen, scared of messing up or too tired to find the brain power to think something up. This is why I was excited that Lane asked me to write for WWK.

I have no training in cooking, nothing notable giving me credit to write about cooking….I just have a feeling. I find confidence in the fact that a pizza is only 30 minutes away should I have to throw everything out! I’m happy to get the opportunity to share the ins and outs of my kitchen with you. I am not sure where these postings will go, but I thought I would start by sharing a list of spices that I always have on hand. Pretty much any combination of these creates a decent flavor for meats (chicken, beef, pork, fish, shrimp) and even vegetables. I try to make our dinners consist of a meat, a starch, and a vegetable. Having these spices allows me to create something easy and last minute without having to find a recipe.

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil

Heres an example: Chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary paired (sprinkle chicken with seasoning and bake in a little olive oil over a medium heat skillet) with garlic brown rice and roasted basil zucchini (wash and cut zucchini into ¼ inch coins, toss with a tbs of olive oil and a sprinkle of basil and salt; bake in the oven or in a medium heat skillet).

Something simple that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, and doesn’t have to come from a box! Try it out this week, and share with me any combinations you come up with!

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Giving 100%

Great news! The Outside Lane’s cafepress store has made $25 so far this month! Rather than just giving 50% of the proceeds toward our charitable outreach, I have decided to use all of the profits to buy underwear for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.

If you’d like to be involved in the project’s outreach, this is a great way to do it.

We have several different styles and lots of different art to choose from. Some of the shirts are pictured below, but there are also hats, mugs, bags, and fun stuff for babies.

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Dash of Domestic: You’ve Got Coupons. Now What?

Jamie, from Dash of Domestic, is back:

You’ve got coupons, now what?
Brave soul, fear not!
This is the last start-up post on couponing. I may talk about coupons again in future weeks, but I’m done with the newbie set up posts.

You’ve got some coupons….now what? You need some way to organize them. The Coupon Organizer. It’s not a monster…I promise!

You need some way to organize all the coupons you’ve clipped from the Sunday paper or printed from online sites.

If you’re not planning to do more than the e-coupons then you don’t need this information YET! I’m sure once you start saving money using e-coupons you’ll want to know how to save more. Then…come back, we’ll still be here.

I found this website with a lot of information on coupon organizers Honestly, it’s A LOT more information than you need to get started, but I post it so you can check it out. Please don’t let it overwhelm you though.

I have a plain, purple coupon organizer. I bought it at Wal-Mart, in the office supply area. Mine is plastic and accordion style.

I found super cute fancy ones on ETSY I’m sure there are more from other sellers, but this is one I found.

You could just use envelopes or ziplock bags…

I separate the coupons by type….
Store coupons **(Tom Thumb, Target, Walgreens, CVS) **
Snack items (including chips, crackers, soda, coffee, water, cookies, etc..)
Paper goods (including t-paper, paper towels, foil, trash bags, sandwich bags, batteries, etc..)
Health and Beauty items
Produce and refrigerated dairy goods
Canned goods, pasta, sauces
Cereal, baking goods, sweeteners and spices
Frozen items
Cleaning supplies (including Laundry detergent and dish soaps)
**Don’t forget that the store coupons can usually be combined with manufacturer’s coupons**

Happy Saving!
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Women Worth Knowing: Meet Samantha

I have really, really, really looked forward to making this post.

I met Gina through LiveJournal, courtesy of Sydney, and something clicked for me. I’ve been reading her journal for years now–since before Thor was born–always avidly interested in the way she talked about her children, and especially interested the relationship she described with Samantha, her youngest daughter who was still at home (it reminded me of my relationship with my own mother.) The “Wee Beast” as Gina called her, was a source of amusement and delight for me, and in that strange internet way, I feel like I’ve watched her grow up.

I asked Gina if she would do the honors to introduce us to her daughter, Samantha, the youngest women we have profiled to date.

Gina said:

When I was asked to do the introduction to my daughter Samantha, I wondered what avenue I could take with this, considering my bias. I think to know Samantha you need to understand a few small nuances. She has been raised solely from day one by me, a single mother. To further complicate matters she was brought up in a very conservative right wing, two-parent, highly religious part of Southern California by a very open-minded, non-religious, left wing single-parent. It’s taught her balance, and tolerance and acceptance. It has shown her that she has choices. She has bucked the odds in a number of ways. Society said she had a higher rate of teen pregnancy or promiscuity. It didn’t happen. Percentages show that children of single parents dabble or become addicted to drugs and alcohol quicker than their two-parent counterparts. Not in this case. She was born with a strong sense of right and wrong, and it has been her beacon from birth.

If you were to meet her randomly, you would see a somewhat shy, very sweet and polite young lady who has a smile that welcomes you immediately. She carries herself with a grace, and dignity that is almost old school in today’s age. If you were to hang around a bit longer, you would probably be struck by her intelligence and continued thirst for learning. If you were fortunate enough to remain for even a little bit longer I think what would get to you the most would be her sense of humor, and her overall empathy for humankind. Neither ever waivers. She brings laughter, kindness, and a sharp wit with her every where she goes.

Underneath the carriage of grace, she is a bit fragile. She has the same sets of insecurities that most girls her age do, but she doesn’t let them define her. Her fragility is balanced with a secure sense of self. She isn’t easily, if ever swayed by the crowd. She frustrates when she is misunderstood, and she is easily angered by unfairness. She is studying law, because she believes in the rights of all, even the downtrodden that are overlooked by most. She stands firm in her beliefs and is not waivered by arguments. This bleeds into her social life and gives her a fierce sense of loyalty to friends she has had nearly a lifetime.

She isn’t perfect, but she is darned near close in my eyes.

I like to think that God took the best of me, the parts I am not good at keeping polished, or evenly maintained and placed them in this smaller package with instructions to care for and learn from. I’ve been given nineteen years thus far to admire and tweak and learn in absolute amazement from this wonderous human being, and I hope before I die I have gained at least a tenth at what she has to offer.

I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I have enjoyed raising her.

Meet Samantha.

Name: Samantha
Age Range: 19
Preferred Job Title: Office Assistant and Disney Cast Member
Industry: Association Management and Retail

Who are you?
I am a nineteen year old girl who is trying to find her niche in life. I’m funny and love making people laugh. I’m bilingual in English and Sarcasm. I’m a movie junkie and an avid reader. I have a weakness for stuffed crust pizza and have been known to fall in love with every pug I see. My family and friends are so important to me. I have strong opinions, but an open mind. Sometimes I think I care too much about others, not in the way that I care how they feel about me, but how they feel about themselves. It really hurts me to see other in pain; emotion and physical. I’m very passive aggressive and can be incredibly lazy, but overall I mean well.

To date, you are the youngest women we have profiled. With the world in front of you, where do you think women should be focusing their efforts for the future? This may sound corny, but just what makes them happy. I don’t think women should be judged because what they want to do is make a career for themselves and thrive in the business world, and the same for the women who will fufill their lives taking care of their home and family.

What has been the biggest challenge in the transition between high school and college?
The lack of guidance and rules in college in comparison to High School. High School it seemed like you couldn’t even blow your nose without asking permission. In college, students walk in and out of the classroom in the middle of the lecture with no punishment. I know for some it’s hard to motivate themselves when it comes to lack of structure, while others, like me, thrive on the freedom to get things done on your own time.

What are you most looking forward to?
Living life! Finding out things about the world that come with age; not television, books and movies. Experiencing new experiences. Making friends that last a lifetime, making friends that last a few months, falling in love, making mistakes, forming accomplishments, everything life has to offer- the good and the bad.

Describe your family: Very unconventional. Very few of us left, and the ones that are still here have a twisted sense of humor, quick wit, and love for eachother that is deep.

What does the first hour of your day look like?
Usually with my phone alarm clock going off a few times and my tired brain calculating how many times I can hit snooze before I must RUSH to get to wherever I am going. When I must finally rise I’m usually running around getting ready, but I always make time for breakfast!

The last hour?
Most of the time on my computer checking out emails, facebook, and tumblr. Other times it could be reading the book of the week for me, or watching the last bit of bad reality TV.

What makes you feel successful?
Accomplishment in myself. When I know that I did the absolute best I could and I achieved it I feel very successful. In fact, even when I don’t achieve it fully but I know in my heart that I put all I could into it I still feel good.

What brings you joy?
Others joy. Knowing others are sad, insecure, or just down on themselves makes me sad so why not switch it around? When I feel others are happy I have the same feeling. Also, family, friends, music, and long talks make me joyous.

What women do you admire?
Strong women who understand that they have flaws. Knowing you can overcome whatever problems you currently have in your life and be strong about it is a huge quality I admire. I often don’t sweat the small stuff but keep it built up in my head until I have a meltdown every once and awhile. I admire those that can take these little inconviences and breathe. “It’s not the end of the world” and that’s it.

What do you like best about your closest friend?
I love the way she stands up for what she believes in. She has opinions on life, politics, music, and even pop culture and has reasons and knowledge on all these subjects enough to form an educated opinion. I like associating myself with people like this because I feel like I am the same way. I don’t like when people blindly form opinions that are biased because of religion, what political party you belong to, and what the 10 o’clock news has told you.

What do you like best about yourself? My loyalty. I’m more loyal than your favorite dog! I’ve been burned in the past by some important people in my life and in some ways it has hindered me. For example, I hold grudges like it’s no ones business, but in other ways I think it makes me fiercly loyal to the ones I really care about. I know what it feels like to hold someone in high regard and I do not want that happening to my loved ones.

What advice would you give boys about girls?
Well, for one, I shouldn’t be the one giving advice! However, if I had to I suppose I would say, “Man up!” Even if a girl really likes you she will not wait forever for you to decide on your feelings. She has a life and feelings as well.

How do you overcome adversity? As I stated earlier adversity and I are tricky friends. Most would see me as the type of person who is very laid back and doesn’t let small things matter. When in reality problems can eventually build up and become something overwhelming. I suppose it’s nothing a good cry can’t get out.

How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who mattered. Even if it was through 5 people. I want to make an impact on SOMEONE’S life where they can be eighty years old, sitting in their rocking chair, talking to their grandchildren, “I remember when I was nineteen and I had this great friend Samantha…”

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A Dash of Domestic: Home Ec with Jamie

Jamie, from Dash of Domestic shares more about couponing this week.

Hello WWK readers, it’s me again, your resident domestic adviser. This week we’re talking about coupon stacking and Internet printed coupons or IP coupons for short. I was going to focus more on IP coupons than coupon stacking in this post, but I believe they deserve equal time.

Most people know what an IP coupon is, but fewer people understand coupon stacking.

Coupon stacking.

It’s about increasing your savings. Using store coupons in concert with manufacturer’s coupons to get the most for your money. Not at all like stacking the deck, because this is not cheating, and no one’s going to take you out back and break your fingers for doing it.

Many stores offer STORE COUPONS. Walgreens has them in their weekly ads, some grocery stores offer them (like Tom Thumb and Albertsons) and Target has printable coupons on their website and sometimes printed coupons in the Sunday coupon section. These store coupons can be combined with a manufacturer coupons for increased savings.

For instance, let’s take the Tide I bought at Target on Wednesday. I had a Target store coupon for $1 off Tide and a manufacturer’s coupon for $3 off Tide, so I got $4 off of my $11 Tide purchase. To see my Target trip this week, click this link

IP coupons.

Internet printable coupons are very popular right now. I see commercials on TV about IPs, I’ve heard radio ads, even Wendy Williams spoke about IPs on her show last week. Don’t ask me why I watch Wendy Williams, I just do.

Many companies offer coupons on their websites. If I buy a certain brand or a certain product, I check the company website for a coupon. After all, it’s easy to check the website while I’m online catching up with Facebook posts.

There are also websites devoted specifically to coupons.


There are others, but that’s the three I mainly use.

Sign up with your e-mail address on the websites of the brands you use.


First go sign up for a free e-mail account at your preferred mail site (like Yahoo) then go to the websites of the brands you buy and sign up for their e-mail list with this spiffy new e-mail address (that way the promotional e-mails won’t clog your real inbox) then you’ll be notified when they have promotions or offer coupons.

Check Facebook, I print coupons from “fan” pages all the time.

Okay, I think I covered it.

Stacking, printing, NEW E-MAIL, signing up, “like”-ing.

That’s it for this week’s post. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Happy saving and have a great weekend.

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Women Worth Knowing: Meet Lisa

As I have met so many wonderful women, Charlcye introduced me to Lisa. It was a beautiful, early summer day when I sat across from this amazing person, who was driven to start her own business as a means of being able to stay at home with her newborn daughter. She was passionate, and serious, well researched, and very rational and reasonable about her chances of success, and what she was going to have to do to get to where she wanted to be.

I’m a dabbler, so I love being around people who really dig into an idea, take hold of it like breaking a horse, and then make that idea work for them. Although I don’t know Lisa well, I do know that she rides her idea up and down the avenues of the DFW metroplex every single day. She has turned a dream into a show pony of a business.

I’ve seen her work (and I’m linking to it, so you can) and I can tell you it is beautiful. If you are looking for a photographer who shoots from the heart, you are looking for Lisa.

Lisa writes from the heart, too. What follows is one of the most open, honest, introspective WWK profiles I’ve read. Lisa gives very good, very solid, very practical advice, and I think it could apply to many of us.

Meet Lisa.

Lisa Cavet
age 35
Wedding Industry

Who am I?? Hmm… that is a loaded question for someone like me! I am a very … extremely passionate person about pretty much all I do but over the top with my daughter and my business. To my determent I will sink everything into my desire to be a perfect mother and flawless business owner/photographer. My quest for learning balance seems never ending!!! But to me life has way more appeal when you are passionate about something.. or everything in my case 😉

Advice to new couples
.. never stop doing nice things for each other. Always set out to keep that same motivation to please the other one with acts of service.

As for what I look for in a setting for my work
– it ALL begins with my clients. I work with them to first discover what they WANT out of their images. Gain the best understanding possible for how they see their images. If they need help then I learn about them.. who they are as a couple, who they are as individuals so I can build some ideas for how I see their images. Then we work together to come up with the best vision and build locations, wardrobe.. and shooting style from what we have learned. Again… the setting and all things coming from the images is based on my clients needs and wants and expectations.

Advice for women building their business – ugh.. its so damn hard to do I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless they had a ton of cash/capital and a major, passionate reason to do so. My reason was an over-the-top desire to keep my daughter from going to day care. I started out always wanting to own my own business and I turned something I loved into it.. but that is NOT enough. To drive yourself every day to put up with the worry and the 18 hour days and the digging and building… the research.. the set backs and the constant worry about money.. you HAVE to have a good.. passionate reason for wanting to be self employed. Something that when your own motivation and self discipline falters.. you can say to yourself.. “I MUST keep going because I want so badly to have or to accomplish “said reason.” And as for money.. man oh man there is no question you must have cash flow and capital! Otherwise you will spend so much time trying to figure out how the hell your going to make this work!

My family – My daughter is by far the most wonderful thing that has every happened to me. She is a busy busy busy and never stops moving but my gosh she is the happiest little girl. She will be two in July. My marriage is in a re-build stage to be honest right now. My husband and I did a fantastic job of ruining something that started out very amazing. We recently made it through about 75% of a divorce only to discover how horrible we had been to each other for the last two years and now we are making our way back to each other. We have some work to do but thus far its wonderful to be with him. If we can stay on this path of being nice to each other again.. doing things for one another.. then our lives will be all the better for the mistakes we have made.

The first hour of my day is always the same
.. get the baby up when she is ready… we brush our teeth together then I feed her and get my lap top on my lap…start the day.

The last hour is spent with my lap top on my lap.. usually getting some editing done and its always done in my bed.

I feel successful when
I have seen the work I have done over time turn into something. I feel successful all the time because my goal is to keep my daughter our of day care and I have managed that for 21 months.

I feel joy when
I get feedback from my clients that exhibits their excitement about their images. I am constantly overcome with joy when they are happy and when I get referrals from them.

What I love best about my closest friends
they are listeners… they know when to speak up with advice or opinions and when not to and they do NOT judge.

About me I guess I like my tenacity and drive and passion. These also have to be some of the things I dislike about myself as they truly are a double edge sword.

Advice to boys and girls is
to always dream and to pursue what makes them happy but to always hold on to what is stable.. family or otherwise. So.. when things are rough and become difficult there is a network and safe place to go.

I wish I could say I have some profound way of handling adversity…I actually.. keeping to form of all these answers.. am very high stress and tend to freak out during adverse times! But I just apply the good things about me such as tenacity and drive and push through.. after the melt down of course 😉

I want to be remembered as a woman who
did everything it took to do what was right by her family and their future. That ethics and morals and basic goodness were always the forefront of her actions in business. That honesty and integrity were not something she had to work for but instead were part of who she was.. always.

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Free is GOOD!

Starting this week, Jamie from A Dash of Domestic will be joining us on Fridays with tips and advice on home economics–you know, the class I never took, but absolutely should have. Jamie raises domestic engineering to an art form, and I think you’re going to enjoy her.

By Jamie from A Dash of Domestic

When Lane asked me to write a weekly post for the Women Worth Knowing website, I was so excited! I love sharing information with people about domestically inclined issues.

Who am I?

My name is Jamie. I’m a wife, a mother, and a coupon clipper. I am a stay at home parent, a frugal shopper (watching the sales, stocking up on items I use a lot when they are on sale), and using coupons helps me make the most of our single income. I’ve got a wonderful life, a loving husband and two fantastic children.
Using coupons and shopping sale prices has allowed me to cut my grocery bill nearly in half. A few years ago…I paid $700 plus a month on groceries. Now I spend about $400 a month. I still buy the same types of items, some name brand and some store brand. I still buy about the same amount of food (maybe more), but coupons allow me to pay less.

Some things I get free. Free is GOOD!

From the outside, coupon shopping might seem very time-consuming, right? I’m sure we’ve all seen a coupon shopper with the huge binder full of coupons, if you’re like me then the idea of a school sized binder full of coupons makes your eye twitch. *twitch* *twitch*

Even if coupon clipping (either from the Sunday paper or printed from online sites) is not your thing, depending on where you shop, you might be able to save money by using e-coupons.

If you shop at some stores (like Kroger or Tom Thumb) you can load e-coupons directly to your shopper’s reward card. Using your computer or smart phone you add the available coupons you want to your shopper’s card, shop like you normally would and when you check out, hand the cashier your shopper’s card and SAVE!

Follow these steps to see if your preferred store offers e-coupons.

1. Check the store’s website to see if they offer e-coupons.
2. Check and to see if they offer coupons for your store.
3. Check .
4. add coupons, shop and save.

~~~Things to remember about coupon shopping~~~

*No one’s perfect. I have days where I fail to bring the coupons I needed with me to the store and I buy the items anyway. I buy things that I don’t have coupons for. I buy a lot of fresh food items that usually don’t have coupon offers.

*It’s only a great deal IF you’re going to use it.

Next week I will tell you about coupon stacking and IP (Internet printed) coupons.
Until then, have a Blessed week and Happy saving!

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