2.27.2016

Clear The Clutter...

Can I do it before this next baby gets here? I'm not really sure.

All I know is this:

Crap keeps coming into this house and there's not much crap leaving this house.

That needs to change.

So far I can think of at least 25 items that need to leave this house.

This includes: stuffed animals (GOOD GOD. HOW MANY STUFFED ANIMALS DO PEOPLE NEED TO GIVE US. NO MORE. NO MORE. NO MORE); old small kids chairs that no longer are used or are too small or just take up space; The Monkey's old baby clothes that won't work with a boy; a few gardening items (but I seriously do need a pitchfork); two old platters that I don't use; and then in June - maternity clothes (OMG, will we actually be done having kids though??? That answer might change, I'm not sure!); and some other clothes that don't fit me.

Next week (after menu planning) I'm going to start on bags and piles of "stuff" that needs to leave this house. And I'm going to try to take pictures because I'm already amazed at just the things that I can think of that need to leave this teeny tiny 1949 house.

2.26.2016

You Can Find Me on Facebook!

Yeah.

On a whim I decided to make a Facebook page. I don't really follow many other bloggers' Facebook pages because instead I read the blogs on Feedly - I figure most will just be posting links to their blog posts anyway and I read Feedly so...no point in following them on Facebook anyway.

But if you're curious or just want to see me a bit more...follow me on Facebook here.

Happy Friday!!

Frustrations. Girl Mom Frustrations.

The amount of sexism in toys isn't really apparent until you ARE a parent.

Why do I say this?

I don't have a girl that likes typical "girl" toys. Does she like dolls and Barbies? Yes, but she also wants to be a construction worker, a mechanic, a gardener, a Star Wars character and lots and lots of other characters that wouldn't be considered a "girl" thing to do, especially according to toy companies.

Toys are not for boys or girls. Toys are to play with. Toys are just toys. They don't all need to be pink or blue. They don't all need to be marketed to just boys or just girls.

Crap like this really irritates the shit out of me. Why? Because boys can play with dollhouses too. Girls can be construction workers too. There's no boundaries or limits to children's imaginations.

The Monkey asked for a pink utility belt.

Blue, yellow, green, red? Yes. Your typical "boy" colors? Yes.

BUT PINK. I COULDN'T FIND PINK. WTF.

So I made one. A better utility belt than I could have purchased.


And I'm tempted to make more and sell them.

Parents of girls need more options when it comes to dress up clothes. Melissa & Doug has absolutely awesome options for dress up clothes, but when it comes to kids that know what colors they love to wear and are concerned about fashion at a young age...it can be hard to find what your kid will play with.

Same with boy options too. Not all boys want blue. Some want green, yellow, red, teal, orange, AND pink. All of those colors are awesome options.

All children need to be treated equally and have an equal opportunity to imagine whatever they want. As parents it's our job to cultivate their creativity - and to make sure they have what they need to play. Can I change how toy companies make toys and their color choices? No, but I can make my child happy by making what she wants.

Are there any other children out there that want "utility" belts like this?

2.10.2016

Mount Rushmore




The Fresh 20 For One Week (Winter Menu) - Review

I bought The Fresh 20 cookbook last year thinking that this was going to be awesome (because I do like menu planning, I like eating fresh, I like cooking), but I bought it on Kindle and so it's not like you can resell it if you don't like it. What I should have done was borrowed it from the library first because I have a problem with it.

I really like the menus for Spring, Summer, and Fall but the Winter menus are so perplexing to me. And I only really like one week out of the four that are in the recipe book. The three menus that I don't like have ingredients that The Monkey won't eat - and recipes that I probably wouldn't like either OR food that's not in-season and food that's not cheap in Minnesota (like clams - those bastards are so expensive!). 

So I tried the only week that looked good to me and that looked like it might be a fairly reasonable budget. 

THANK GOODNESS I already had meat in the freezer because to be quite honest - if I didn't have the meat, our grocery bill for one week would have been over $175. RIDICULOUS. I had a three pound roast, chicken breasts, turkey sausage, and fish already so it wasn't too bad (but buying all that meat for one week would have been so expensive from either Byerly's OR the Co-op). 

I did it though - I made a beef roast, sausage, fish with veggies, a vegetarian meal, and a plate of pasta with the leftover roast beef. 

All of the recipes were really great, and tasted awesome. But I think I'm going to have to review the Spring menus to see what I can mash together for when we start getting our CSA boxes - my problem is that not everything we have will fit together with pre-planned menus SO I need to be able to fudge recipes a bit and move things around, when dealing with leftovers that can be hard to do (plus it's not like you actually want to cook EVERY NIGHT when a frozen pizza will do the job...). 

Conclusion - if you hate menu planning, you can cook 5 out of 7 days, and have approximately $150 to spend if you eat all organic, then go for it. Buy the cookbook, cook the food (which the recipes are really good!) and plan away!

2.09.2016

Oh...I Miss Gardening...






Freezer Cooking - Homemade Garlic Bread

One of my tricks to getting dinner on the table AND meal planning is doing freezer meals. Well, sort of. In general the protein portion comes from the freezer (organic, non-GMO, humanely raised chicken, turkey, or wild-caught fish. One new thing to note: I had to go back to rarely eating red meat. Pregnancy fucks with your digestive system AND your body AND your head and my body just couldn't handle the red meat anymore), and our veggies are mostly fresh organic, non-GMO and supplemented with organic frozen veggies.

Yes, I really AM that person - we eat pretty darn close to 90% organic, non-GMO food and our bodies are fucking healthy. And yes, I'm going to swear when I say that because I can seriously tell the difference between when we eat conventional food and organic food - especially with dairy products.

So in any case, one of our favorite sides to a meal of spaghetti is garlic bread. Bimmer Man is pretty addicted to the Cole's garlic toast where you just put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes. And I tried to replicate it by making my own frozen loaf of garlic bread.


So I sliced up a loaf of fresh french bread, slathered one side of each slice with garlic butter and herbs (butter with garlic salt, and chopped fresh herbs - basil, oregano, tarragon, and thyme). Then I wrapped it all up with saran wrap, covered in tinfoil and then froze. 


But it didn't cook up in the pan like the Cole's bread does. SO. I learned my lesson. Don't wait until the last minute - defrost for a few hours in the fridge and then bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes instead. 

And you know what...I haven't made homemade frozen garlic bread since. Fresh is always better so now I know. I will probably never try this again. Which is why I also like to blog about recipes that DON'T work - I'd rather warn you about the disappointment. 

2.03.2016

Gotta Get Back Into A Frugal Habit

With such a large change coming soon, I'm suddenly feeling the need to get back to being more frugal - like last summer - hanging clothes out on the line, eating only from the CSA box, doing free activities, and in general, just buying less stuff.

So I'm starting up actually listing out five frugal things that I've done in the past few days. I'm hoping that I can inspire myself to keep doing more and more frugal things.

1. Walked the Monkey to school today - the car is in the garage, no gas used today. WOO HOO. Well, gas is cheap at the moment but still, we didn't use gas.

2. Turkey 4 Bean Chili for lunch - I made it back in January and froze it, one of my all time favorite freezer meals - chili always tastes better leftover!

3. The Monkey needed a new scarf so I pulled out my crochet hook and her favorite purple yarn and made her an awesome scarf.

4. I received a bulb catalog in the mail and suddenly realized I had all these seeds saved from last year - I can't wait to get them started with the egg cartons that I've saved, but I just have to be realistic about how much I can plant in May after I give birth.

5. My neighbor has been slowly clearing out her closets too - which means that we've been reaping the rewards! We've received a whole bag of paper, and next is scissors! Art projects galore!

Happy Frugal Wednesday to you!

February. It's Here!

It's the 3rd. There was a blizzard. AND IT'S SO AWESOME. I've shoveled twice, watched The Monkey build an "igloo," and we walked to preschool. I really do love snow!

Baby Chewy's room has been painted, the rug is down, two pictures are put up, a few necessities have been purchased, and we're well on our way to having a finished 2nd child's room by May. Hopefully.

I signed up as a repeat customer at Turnip Rock Farm for a CSA. I signed up for a medium box, a cheese share, and a half egg share (6 eggs per week instead of a full dozen). I'm hoping to get the similar amount of veggies so that I can fill our freezer again for the winter (we've got corn left...and that's it!).

If you have a child then you know just how much stuff kids have. And clothes. The Monkey has so many clothes so I've been trying to explore different options to sell her clothes. So far I've made over $80 at Once Upon A Child however, she has a lot of really nice clothes that I know I can resell for much more than $1 or $2 per item. I've been looking at Kidizen (I listed one item...we'll see how it goes considering I have no idea what I'm doing), and also trying to figure out how people are actually selling clothes on Instagram (I KNOW...PEOPLE SELL STUFF ON INSTAGRAM). I'm a bit leery of selling items on Facebook groups - I've had one person absolutely flake on me three times and then she asked me to meet her in a city that's 30 minutes away for a $5 item. No, that's more than the amount of gas it would take.

SO. Do you sell clothes? Do you sell kids clothes? Do you sell your clothes? I need ideas of how to sell buckets and buckets of STUFF.