Friday, June 27, 2014

Mommy Reality Blogging Challenge #1

Transitioning from one area of our country to another can take some time..and some Alka-Seltzer. While recovering from tummy troubles, I found myself on my phone, scrolling through Pinterest. ( Mostly, because it doesn't make noise and I can be half awake, and still use it.) I happened across a pin from a Mommy Blogger that talked about the snacks we feed our kids, because we're not perfect. I was instantly intrigued! After about 5 minutes of playing the 'click that link' game, I found the main site that started the Mom Reality Challenge.
So, at around 3a.m., not only did I find a few good blogs (So I can follow them on Bloglovin, like mine ), but I found something fun to do!

I'm a little behind, but I figured I'd start with week one's challenge: Show off your car! 

YUP! That's the back of my  '97 Dodge Neon. My homage to Aldi's bag collecting is crammed behind the driver's seat. Not doing too bad, though, considering I cleaned it out in March.

A HUGE 'Thank You!' to A Lavender LifeJENerally Informed, and Leapfrogs and Lipgloss for starting this challenge, to show everyone the gritty, gross, and ugly side of Mommyhood. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breastfeeding Adventures 4! NOW WITH PICTURES!

I got to experience, first hand, the ugly side of breastfeeding during my vacation. The trip itself was fine, but the issues seemed more prevalent in the airport between destination and home.

Four separate women*, all who had children, made snarky comments or snide faces while I desperately tried to nurse my 5 month old daughter in peace. I kept myself tucked away in the back row of the terminal each time, calmly waiting to board my flight. I shrugged off most of these things, until a woman, very loudly, proclaimed, " Someone should just ask her to do that in the ladies' room, that's disgraceful!"
(Image used in the When Nurture Calls campaign, and completely correct)

Let me tell you, Mamas, I was every color red. Not from embarrassment, but anger.
I quickly shouted back, "You don't eat on the toilet,  so why should she!?"
The woman stomped off, dragging her children and husband to the completely opposite side of the terminal.  Other families followed.

The gate stewards ignored the verbal scuffle. After all, part of the Obamacare act was to give nursing mothers more rights: Rights at work (to pump), and rights outside of the home (to freely nurse in any facility). They didn't want to waste their time with a nursing mother who was allowed, BY LAW, to feed her child there. 

It wasn't until afterwards, when Isabel was burped and handed off to Daddy, that I excused myself to the bathroom. 
I locked myself into a stall and cried for a solid ten minutes. The only thought that came to mind was How Dare They?!

It's an awful feeling to be singled out by the people who should stick together in such a stressful environment. We Mamas need to support each other! How can we embrace a healthy lifestyle if all we can do is discriminate and ridicule? Maybe I'm just preaching to the choir, but if I saw another mom nursing like that, I'd whip out my cover,  and go sit nearby, offering a smile and silent support. Because it's a grim outlook with all the ignorance of the general public.

The picture below is what I posted publicly on Instagram and Facebook. It's so lewd, right? Completely inappropriate.  #sarcasm

*It did not seem to ruffle any of the nearby male patrons when I had to nurse my daughter. Most were under headphones or half awake. Only one looked at me, and that was because he was looking for a phone charger on the wall.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Sorry for not updating, but my vacation has been so awesome, I just haven't had time to sit and write.
Updating next week!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pinterest Test #1


So, SOMEWHERE in that wide world of Pinterest, I found a neat and easy way to freeze Kale. I've probably put it on this Pinterest board to explore later, but the recipe was so simple, I memorized it without trying.

You will need:
*Clean Ice Cube Trays
*Kale, washed (Chopped if you don't have a food processor)
*1 Whole Lemon
*Sandwich Ziploc Bags

Step 1:
Put your chopped Kale into a blender. (Trust me, it's the easier than fighting with a food processor to get it to a creamy consistency.)
Step 2:
Squeeze your lemon juice over the Kale.
*Normally, I roll my lemons around on the counter to make sure I get as much juice as I can. I don't have a traditional juicer, so I just chop the lemon in half and squeeze each half into a bowl, then spoon out any seeds.*
Step 3:
Add about 1/3 C of water, then Blend. Watch the mixture, and YOU decide when to go to Liquefy. 
**Warning: Your kitchen is going to smell like someone has mowed the lawn on your counters. **
Step 4:
Pour weird green grass concoction from blender into ice cube trays, as shown. 

Step 5:
Freeze overnight.
In the morning, pop those bad boys out and put them into your ziploc bags. 

YIELD: About 1 1/2 trays of cubes

I use these in my smoothies!

Any other recipes or DIY things on Pinterest you think would be fun to try, but don't have much time or resources? Leave a comment, and maybe you'll see it in a future post!
Happy Blending! 

Monday, June 9, 2014


Pancakes are a rare delicacy around my house. I never seem to find the time in my busy morning before work to make them. But when I do? Oooh, it's a doozy of a batch!
I don't make just any ol' pancake. Oh, no. I make 'homemade' apple cinnamon pancakes that you can eat with our without syrup!

*pancake mix ( just add water)
*ground cinnamon
*apple sauce (sweetened or unsweetened)

I'm very much a measure by sight gal.  I never follow directions on the pancake box because the consistency with the apple sauce just doesn't work with the measurements given. This can be fun for you and the kids to play with!
-In a mixing bowl, mix together pancake mix, a glop of applesauce, and a fair bit of cinnamon. Mix together. It'll look dry.

-Add water, little by little, while stirring the mix. This gives you the chance to make your own thick or thin pancakes. 

-A spoonful of batter is what we use. Grease up a griddle or skillet and lay 'em out. Don't set the heat very high.  The natural sugars in applesauce means these bad boys will scorch easy if the heat is too high or you don't watch them. 

-Turn every few minutes.  Yeah, they're gonna look burned.  I promise that they aren't.  You'll smell it if they are.

Once they're off the griddle, serve 'em up! If your middles feel a tiny bit moist, that's ok. If they're super gloppy, that just means your heat was too high. There's a low learning curve for these, so you can experiment however you want. 

Yeah, that's right! I make more than what I expect to eat, and pop these babies in the freezer for mornings I don't feel like cooking. 

*You can fit 2-4 in sandwich ziploc bags
*They thaw fairly quickly, and can be reheated frozen if needed
*Put 'em in the toaster (temp depends on frozen/thawed) and they pop out delicious!

One less thing to worry about in the mornings! 
Do you have any special recipes you like to make ahead for breakfast?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Where I Am In This Wide Web

You can find me easier than Waldo!

Bloglovin'! This fun li'l website makes it so all of your favorite blogs are on one feed. I love this because I follow so many that update almost daily, and that's a lot of emails notifications!

Well, look-y there! I'm a Pinterester, too! Yes, actually, I was bitten by the Pinterest bug a while back. I have tested quite a few of the ideas there as well.
(Maybe I'll even start doing DOES IT WORK?! blog posts. That'll be fun!!)

Facebook? Yeah, no, Facebook is my personal page. I use it to show off pictures of my girls to all my relatives.

Yes, I even use the Twitter Machine. Sometimes. >.>
I'll admit, I don't see much use to it, but on occasion, I find fun little things to read. I follow Stephen King, and he's a  riot! #noideawhatI'mdoing #nofilter

Instagram! Wait, I only just signed up for it this week. I have no idea how this thing works. But if you really want? Emprata

Is there any other way to plug into the Social Media Monster? Leave a comment with your favorite!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't Eat Off My Floors

I just saw this link while taking a break from cleaning my house. Yeah, I take breaks during my routine. I'll admit, I was raised to do spot cleaning during commercials during my grandmother's 'stories'. It was unheard of for her to miss an episode, and yet her house was always tidy. I do the same thing, only this time I use Baby Einstein movies, or my music player. When the video is over, or a commercial comes on, I haul the baby to her high chair or saucer, and we go do dishes, fold laundry, whatever for as long as she doesn't start screeching. On an average day, I clean for maybe an hour, tops. I try and do this on the days I don't work.

But, there are days when I just don't feel like scrubbing. I don't wanna touch another dish or another piece of clothing. (These are the days I've been pooped on multiple times, and showered more in 6 hours than I had the previous week)
Some days, I wanna sit around in my thermals with my thick wool socks watch a full season of House, M.D. (Which is probably my most favorite show of all time)
For summer? A tank, shorts, and flip flops with messy hair and *gasp* NO BRA.

How do I keep my house clean when these moods strike? How do I balance homemaking and child raising?

I don't.

 I was looking through weekly ads when I saw this adorable scene. Delilah was playing peek-a-boo with Isabel, who just happened to realize her feet were within reach!! After snapping the picture, I got down on the floor and played with them, being the tickle monster and getting at least half an hour of giggles out of both girls. 
So what if dinner was late? So what if I didn't do the dishes from the day before? My children were happy, and I was happy because of it. They slept well for me that night. And I did, eventually, stack all the dishes together and wipe off my stove. Chores for another day.

However, there are some days where I drop off Delilah at school, then pop Isabel in with our favorite sitter, and come home to rock out with my broom and mop. $15 for the day-care, and a clean house. I can live with that. If day-care isn't an option, ask a grandparent to come over and see the baby. You can clean while they play. Win-Win!

Monday, June 2, 2014

How Am I Still Broke? (Part 1 of 3!)

Hi everyone! So, I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm broke. Can I emphasize that? I am B-R-O-K-E! There are a few reasons: Unstable hours at work (Yay retail), Bad Spending Habits, and Leaky Spending Habits. What's the difference? Where do we start? What am I rambling about?!

I want to break this into three parts, and really go in- depth with why I'm still broke. Maybe you're broke, despite best efforts. If I can just pinpoint that one thing that's draining our money, there's hope to fix it.

The first one is something I don't see many of my fellow Mommy Bloggin' Ladies talk about: Unstable income. When I first started my journey on the frugal path, the one thing I always asked (*cough* complained) about to my husband was 'Why aren't there any budgeting tips for people who DON'T have a salaried income?' But then it hit me. Why don't -I- try to do that?
Well, let's just say I've got two left feet for the budgeting tango. But I'm trying! I really am.

Joe's job picks up during the summer, but slows down a LOT during winter. My current job slows down a LOT in the summer, but stays steady during winter. You'd think our incomes would even out, and budgeting would be simple. I'm telling you, it's definitely difficult.

Tiny background story:
I used to work in healthcare as a PCW, or Personal Careworker. It's like being a CNA, without the certification. There's usually on-site training you go through, but not much more. The pay was nice, the shifts pre-set (30 hour weeks, plus the chance to pick up shifts), and I adored my clients. Some health issues arose, and after a scary collapse in a home, and some serious talking with my doctor and chiropractor, a diagnosis of Scoliosis was reached. Well, as you can imagine, helping 200+ lbs people get in and out of bed or a wheelchair was not the best choice for a career after my condition was stabilized. But, I was stubborn, and stayed in that line of healthcare until I became six months pregnant, where I went into retail with the local video store, and have been there ever since.

A few tips Joe and I learned to take have helped, such as:

*Enroll in a budget for your electric/gas bill. With our local company, we had to wait six months before we could enroll, but it was worth it. Our bill was out of control, but now we can expect $90/month, every month. We run the AC, have 2 computers, and night lights for the girls, and still the bill is affordable.

*Our tax refund pays forward on a few bills, like the internet, and our car/renter insurance. We try to do either 3-month or 6-month payments.

*We switched to a cheaper cellphone company, known as Lightyear Wireless. We buy gently used phones on ebay, and only pay $64 a month for unlimited talk, text, and data.
Back before our move to Wisconsin, Joe and I used Sprint, and my bill alone was $180. This has saved us,  not only in standard rates, but with overage fees. (I was a huge texter!)

*We purchased a Playstation 3. Now, hang on a minute. How is a purchase supposed to save money?
-Instead of cable, we have Netflix, and we watch it on the Playstation.
-Perk of my job means a couple free rentals, and prescreening movies. Talk about a night in!
-Youtube is accessible through the Playstation Network, and this is where I watch my workout videos, as well as tutorials for my crochet hobby. And Youtube is free!
-Our Playstation3 was from a friend who happened to be buying an upgrade. For 4 controllers, a wireless charger, the system, and 4 video games, we paid $200. That's a sweet deal.

*I do what I can to make homemade things, like spaghetti sauce or cleansers.

*I wash and reuse containers. Well, OK, most of 'em.

These wonderful tips aren't enough, however, when something happens and we miss a day of work. One day without pay is detrimental to our budget, and things get shifted around in a panic. With unsteady paychecks, we seriously balance on a wire, and sometimes, a budget just puts us in a world of stress, instead of handling bills as they come.
It's both wonderful, and annoying, to have our income, and a budget. I've yet to see anyone really talk about how to save money with my type of living arrangement.

Hats off to my wonderful Blog Mommies, because y'all can do so much with what you're given. :)