Wasting Food

We are absolutely terrible with food. 

A couple of days ago I threw out a large container’s worth of Taco Soup, along with another, smaller, container of pulled pork and two heads of romaine lettuce. That food could have been four to six more meals, with some additions to the lettuce. We have a bowl of cold cooked pasta in the fridge too that will probably be thrown out tomorrow, in total I’d say it was a waste of about $40. 

This might not seem like much, but our food budget is $400 a month, so that is one tenth of our food in the bin. 

What did we do instead of eat these meals, you ask? We got take-out or fast food or we went to a restaurant, ultimately spending at least $20 each time, which is $80 – $120 spent on meals that we already had in the fridge!

After giving it lots of thought, here is my solution:

By having a handy reference page we can make a meal plan based on the food we already have, and try to get ingredients that can be used for multiple meals. 

So, instead of having a bag of salad slowly wilt and turn to soup, we can have lasagne (we already have the pasta sheets) and burgers (we already have the buns) using the same 2lb, $10, serving of ground beef.

Ground beef $10 + Salad $3 + Lasagne sauce $3 = $16

Which makes it only $3.66 each, per meal!

We have some serious planning and grocery shopping to do this weekend,

Wish us luck!

Until next time,

Laura x

Frustrations of a Stay-at-home-Mum

I have been very lazy in the past month.

By ‘lazy’ I actually mean busy, too busy to put some time aside to write even a single blog post.

The annoying thing is that I can’t even remember what I’ve been busy doing. I know that an awful lot of my time is spent being a responsible adult and parent, which sadly doesn’t leave time for ‘frivolous’ things like writing.

One thing that I know I have been spending time on is getting new designs in the store.

Not having any time for myself is having a detrimental effect on my relationship with my boys, J2 is now 2, and J3 is coming up to 9 months.

J2 is independent, he likes to pick out his own clothes, he loves playing with the trucks and trains that he got for his birthday, and he never sits still.
Nothing in that previous sentence should indicate to you the amount of frustration and stress I’ve been feeling on a daily basis. Even reading it back to myself I can’t see how I get so angry that I regularly need to step into my bedroom to calm down.

Let’s break it down:

  • Independent But still acts like a baby when his brother is getting attention!
    I know that this is a developmental and social thing but it drives me insane.
  • ClothesSometimes decides not to wear clothes at all.
    This isn’t actually usually a problem, and he will change his clothes if I pull some different ones out, but on the days when we have to go out and he is throwing a fit because he doesn’t want to wear pants I do not have the patience or time to deal with him.
  • Trucks & Trains They are so loud!
    We have mostly wooden floors in this apartment, only our bedrooms are carpeted, and, not only do the trucks have buttons on that when pressed sound sirens and warnings, they crash and clatter in a way that I thought wasn’t possible!
  • Can’t sit stillHe even falls off his chair from a sitting position for no reason.
    It’s pretty much self-explanatory, and I know that this is a developmental thing, and he is getting better at it, but at those times when Josh and I finally sit down so we’re all eating dinner together and then J2 just randomly falls off his chair, or decides that he needs to see what we’re eating, I just lose it.

Again, I have only listed four things that seem innocuous enough, minor issues that can be dealt with using a calm voice and a good example, but I don’t have time for that.

Take into consideration the fact that I also have a 9 month old who is also independent, has started walking while holding onto things, likes to feed himself, doesn’t like getting his diaper or clothes changed, and is as busy as his brother, and you may see where most of my time and patience goes.

J3 is like a greyhound, as soon as he is on the ground he will army crawl his way to the nearest vertical surface and work his way up so he’s standing, he will either then make his way to something more interesting, or stand there until he gets tired and starts whining. This wasn’t an issue with J2 in our previous almost completely carpeted apartment, but these wooden floors hurt when he falls down.

He is also like a bloodhound, but for food and drink he’s not supposed to have yet, he will army crawl his way to J2’s table, pull himself up, and if necessary climb up, and grab whatever his little baby arms can reach.

He is just a baby. He wants mummy’s attention, he wants brother’s attention, he wants hugs, he wants freedom, he wants to be fed, he wants to feed himself.

I know what you’re thinking,

You’re doing it wrong.

You just need to calm down.

You should appreciate this time with your children more.

You need to stop being selfish.

You’re the adult, just deal with it and move on.

You should try to do activities that they will both enjoy.

You just need to have a set schedule.

You need help.

You’re not being a good mother.

I know that’s what you’re thinking because that’s what my inner voice is screaming at me while my outer self is getting more and more riled up.

The real problem here is rest.

I don’t get enough.

I don’t give my body and brain enough time to process the stress of the day before, so the next day it just piles on top.

I need to go to bed early to rest, and to get up early to energize.

I know that’s what I need to do, but how do I do that and still have enough time for blogging, designing, playing video games, hanging out with friends, having quality time with Josh, cleaning, crafting, writing, journaling, painting my nails, exercising, grocery shopping, meal planning…

I know that’s what I need to do.

Wish me, and my boys, luck,

Until next time,

Laura x

Party Prep – Cleaning House & Operation: Marker Rescue

I’ve decided that I’m going to either sweep up messes as soon as they’re made, or just not sweep again until Saturday morning because I’ve discovered J2’s special talent, he can make crumbs out of anything.

He’s eating cookies, I expect crumbs; he’s eating a sandwich, again I expect crumbs. He’s eating tomatoes, hotdogs, grapes, I don’t expect crumbs, and yet somehow there they are!

The constant crumb trail means that I’m going to leave the Swiffering until Saturday morning, so that’s one thing off my plate for the rest of the week. 

Job #2 for today was to clean up J2’s coloring area and sort his markers. 

After throwing out the trashy paper.

I ordered some nappies from amazon a few months ago and I expected them to come just as they were, but with an address label on. Instead they turned up together in this huge box, that I had to pick up from the main office of our apartment complex and transport home, and it was the solution to a problem I’d had for a few weeks. 

I needed a place that J2 could color where I wouldn’t be too concerned about our deposit.

I used a box cutter to take off the flaps, then carved a rounded entryway to make it look slightly more than just a box with a hole cut in the side. 

As you can see from the photos above, there is crayon and marker all over that box, but none on the walls around it!

So, I used the tried and tested method of scribbling on a piece of paper to check the markers, and I found five that were drying up. 

One of them is a Color Wonder marker, so I needed the special paper to test it out. 

When I was younger we would lick the marker to get it work for a few seconds, bleurgh, goodness knows what they were made of back then. 

Not wanting to do that, I checked out Pinterest, my ‘go-to’ for ‘How-Tos’, which told me that rubbing alcohol was the answer.

I needed to dip the markers in rubbing alcohol until just a bit of ink seeped out, then leave them for an hour with the cap on. So, I gathered my supplies and I was ready to go. 

After soaking them, I ended up leaving the markers with their caps on for a lot longer than necessary, the end of nap time coincided with the last cap being replaced.
Sadly, I was disappointed when I eventually got around to seeing the results. 

Although there is a definite improvement in the regular markers, they faded quickly and needed a ‘rest’ before coloring again. 

It is hard to see, but the Color Wonder marker actually got worse, to the point where I threw it away. It didn’t color anymore and even started taking the black ink off of the page. Obviously the special ink they use wasn’t compatible with the rubbing alcohol. 

In conclusion, if you’re using a particular marker for a project and it dries up, this method is good for a quick fix, until you can replace it. Or, it’s fine to make your kids markers last a little bit longer.

Have you tried a different method for rescuing dried up markers?

Until next time,

Laura x