Friday, September 28, 2012

Can preschoolers be grateful?

The kids broke their train table. Apparently it wasn't important enough to take care of it. So my lesson for next week? They will have no toys. They will have no movies, tv, or games. I realize they are only 3 and 4, but I know my daughter will do anything to please her little brother. I'm not here to entertain them 24/7. I've already lost my sanity and cannot wait for the free 8 hour overcrowded babysitting service called public school. Will it work? Will absolutely no toys teach my kids to be grateful for what they have?

I've got a lot of projects going on around the house. Filing, cleaning kitchen cabinets, starting a new diet, keeping the house clean, etc. Plus entertaining children. Why not? Seems like I do this everyday. Nonstop- even when hubby is home. I'm so bored as a SAHM, but I seriously cannot get a job (even with my college degree). So I'm stuck at home with a 3 and 4 year old pulling my hair out and grinding my teeth.

My son pulled out his dresser drawers last week. This week he and his sister broke the train table. This makes me wonder what they will break next week?

They've already gotten into the board games in the living room. At 8am, the living room is spotless (other than needing vacuumed). By noon, the living room is covered in game board pieces. I ask them to pick it up in thirty minutes before lunch. The rule is if they don't pick up, they don't eat. I'm not a clean freak, but after I clean the house, I expect it to stay clean for at least one day. That's apparently too much to ask for. Their thirty minutes fly by and they are wrestling each other on and off the sofa. Without much complaining, there was still some, they marched off to their rooms or at least in that general direction. Without lunch.

I'm not one of those moms who sits on the floor with them and plays with them all morning. I did that for their first two years of life. They aren't babies anymore. They want to get up and move-which is absolutely fine! Go ahead! Go outside and run around! But don't expect me to hold their hands every step of the way. I've got a house to clean, meals to cook, and laundry to wash. They can entertain themselves. I don't have the car most days, so they are usually playing outside (and getting into mommy and daddy's stuff although it is put away) or inside, tearing up the house (after I just cleaned it). My hair is literally starting to fall out by itself around noon everyday.

This morning the kids actually helped me clean. They attempted vacuuming the hallway which was very sweet of them. Then they fought over who's turn it was before they realized it was too heavy to push. My daughter helped me pick up the bathroom floor (since it was mostly her clothes). They helped this morning, then decided to pester mommy for a snack. Why do they think I always have snacks and meals ready to eat whenever they get hungry? You don't know how many times I want to tell them to make something themselves. I can't though. My daughter will literally try to cook something.

Last night they cleaned their room with Daddy, which was fantastic. However, today at naptime, I heard them playing, so I yelled at them to go to sleep. Forty-five minutes later, I hear crack. I get up (filing is today's project) and walk through the house to find both kids in my son's room with his clean socks and underwear all over his floor. He informs me that sister helped him put his socks on. Great. I just hope he doesn't pee all over his clean clothes.

If I could go back in time, I would do a lot of things over. This is not what I wanted to do with my life. I'm so frustrated all the time, I can't get a job anywhere, and have added spanking to my hobbies apparently. That'll look great on my resume. I'm not that great at actually doing anything, let alone being a good mother. I've learned to accept and actually be grateful for what I do have in life. I know my husband and kids love me no matter what and yet I keep trudging through this life because its the only one I'll ever get.

The kids will be in school soon enough and life will get better. I hope next week will teach them to appreciate what they have in this world without toys, movies, or games.

~Thanks for reading this frustrated mom's post~

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I am so frustrated with the kids. We bought them a nice train table with train tracks, buildings, and trains plus drawers to store all the pieces in. Hubby and I bought that for our first Christmas here. And now, four years later, it's broke.

What the heck goes on through their minds? They are suppose to be taking a nap although they think if they are quiet enough, mommy won't notice they aren't sleeping. I hear dresser drawers slamming, my daughter shushing my son, and the doors opening and closing. And I can't hear them. Yeah right.

I really do hate spanking them, but it seems to be the only way they listen to me. You can get them all these educational toys, boxes, expensive or cheap toys, and where do they wind up? Outside (even though I tell them no), dirty, greasy, poopy, or plain broken.

I asked them both what happened to the train table. They stood there staring at me like I had an elephant on my shoulder. My son says nothing while my daughter as usual denies doing anything. 

So as a punishment for breaking the nice train table, all their toys are taken away. I swear if anyone gets them anymore toys, I will throw them away. I'm about to throw their toys away right now as it is. They can't pick them up when I tell them to, they get dirty or broken, and I'm seriously tired of the headaches.

I'm not saying that I'm a perfect mom with a perfect house or that I want my children to be perfect, but these kids can't seem to respect anything -especially me, their mother. I want to provide the best for them, but if they aren't going to learn to respect each other, their toys, and myself, then they don't deserve anything.

Maybe that's what is wrong with these kids. They have no respect for anything given to them because they haven't earned it. They haven't worked for it. They need to learn to be grateful for what they have, but they refuse. "Let's climb on the table and jump off!" "Let's sit in the drawers!" What is going on in their empty heads?

I'm grateful for what's been given to me, but why can't the kids understand that? Why can't they be grateful for the toys they have already? Why do they seem to want to break everything in sight?

Very aggravated and frustrated today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What to do?

All of my life, I've never wanted to do one thing. I've wanted to do anything, everything, plus travel. I wanted to be a bus driver, an architect, a landlord/property owner, a college instructor, and an author. Have I accomplished any of it? Not one. Life changed for me after high school. Not that I was Ms. Cheerleader, President of Class 2004, or really anything. I met my husband during my senior year of high school and during college (as I changed my degree several times), we got married and had kids. During college.

Would I change any of it? Do I regret the decisions I've made? Just college. I wish I had gotten a more technical degree like I planned to do in the first place, but other than that, nope. Nothing I least until 7pm- bedtime.

Life never goes the way you plan it to and right now I could be a famous best-selling author or a property owner if I hadn't had kids. Heck, if I really tried and worked at writing, I could write a book. Who knows? The only thing that really matters is family.

I called my grandmother in Oklahoma tonight. She and my grandfather are such an amazing couple. They've been married around thirty years and more or less put up with each other. My brother and I use to stay with them for one week every summer until we turned 17. Its sad to see ourselves growing up and not going back to visit every summer like we use to. Although the grandparents understand us having to pay bills and take care of our own kids, I miss not having to worry about bills and appointments. Hubby and I talk about going back to the Midwest to visit for the past three years now. It's extremely hard to do when all our money goes towards bills. And we aren't extravagant.

Of course moving cross country really doesn't help us to visit family easily, but with Skype, it can be done in seconds. That's one great thing about technology! You can be there without actually being there.

So what am I going to do when the kids start school? I have absolutely no idea. All that I know is that I want to be there to pick them up from school. I know I won't be able to have a six figure income with a part time job, but knowing that my kids and hubby are safe and cared for, then I know my job is complete. I looked into going back to school. I would love to go back to the community college and take some classes, but I'm not sure I know what I want to do still. Additionally, we can't afford to the bill or another loan. We're having a hard enough time trying to pay our car loan. Heck, I'm having a hard time getting the kids to actually go to sleep!

Maybe I'll become one of those extravagant homesteaders that grows all of her family's food. Or make a six figure income writing this blog (highly doubt). All I know right now is I'm a stay at home mom with no real direction for when the kids start school. Maybe just maybe I'll take a couple community classes on photography or write the next Red colored cookbook that everyone has in their kitchens. God is the only one with the answers. I'll just keep trying new things and driving around California until I find the answer.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lost weight

Loosing weight has been an uphill battle since my last pregnancy. My son was 9 1/2 pounds and I gained roughly 25lbs onto my usual 130 pounds. It was sad. I was around 120 in high school, but when college started and dating my now husband, I ate again.

My husband and I have always eaten a somewhat well balanced diet. At first, we ate no salads with our meals unless we had people over. I mean, come on, who loves salad that much?

Recently, I've been adding salad to every dinner. Hubby and I have been wanting to lose weight. The salad is the main factor why I've been loosing weight. However, after eating everything on my small portioned plate plus a huge salad, I felt like I was overdoing it. So I decided to cut up a small portion of meat to add to my salad. It was really good.

Hubby went out of town and I wanted to watch something different. I ran across "Food, Inc.", "Food Fight", and a bunch of other food documentaries. All I can say is wow. It really makes you look at the supermarket/grocery store and government in a whole new light.

I haven't weighed myself in 14 days, so I thought I would see where I'm at after eating salad for lunch and dinner for the past week. I do have salad dressing, but its not allowed to have any oil in it. Not canola, not soybean, not even olive oil. Smash an avocado and add either a small amount of lime or lemon juice. You have your dressing.

Very little if at all meat and poultry. Whole grains. Some beans. No oils, fats, or sweets. You want to really lose weight? Fruits and Vegetables only. Plus water. Period. Some people don't cook their food (raw foods diet) and others don't eat fish because of the contaminants in oceans, rivers, etc.

I don't like beans, so beans are out. Although I may make them for the kids and hubby. I guess we'll end up throwing out the all purpose and bread flour since we won't be using them anymore! Its going to be a challenging challenge (actual phrase?) to invent and find recipes for the family.

It feels great to loose weight- especially when I have an extremely hard time doing it. All I had to do was change my diet. So in the last 14 days here at the Bako Depot, 10.4 pounds have disappeared. In a way I'm decluttering me and my family.



I have my own photography business and well, I'm not 100% awesome with the pictures that I take. I never took any classes, but with the help of hubby and the wonderful internet, I'm learning. It's been fun taking pictures of random things including the kids. I would love to actually learn what I'm doing, but every time I look on the internet, it's like a foreign language to me. I'm a hopeless case, but I'll just keep playing around with it.

Let me know if which ones are your favorites!

A Boy & His Dog

Beach Bum

Hello Mr Pig

Mountain Flowers

Tanning Tortoises

The Open Road

Out in the Country

Sandy Shoes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bakersfield. No a/c until 4:30pm. Day 5

Sorry for posting this so late! I Skyped with mom first thing this morning and then headed to the farmer's market for our groceries. It starts at 9am, so its quite nice to have first pick.

The last day of my no a/c until 4:30pm challenge. I would have to say its been a great success. It got a little hot during the day, but to me, it wasn't intolerable.

We sort of cheated today. Our family had run out of milk and since I have the car for the weekend and next week, I might as well go to the grocery store. We went to Sam's Club since the milk there seems to be the cheapest out of anywhere. Plus with my three year old potty training, the family restroom is a huge bonus while shopping (even though I hate using public restrooms). Another advantage is when it is just me shopping with the kids, I can't pick them up to put them in the cart. They're not fat, they just keep growing! There's a lot less people in the store at 9am so the kids can room to run around and help throw things in the cart.

We returned home and unloaded the groceries. Hubby likes a full fridge, I like an empty fridge-that way I can actually see what is in the fridge and use it. When its full, I can't see anything and when I can't see it, I forget all about it.

Frankie, our English cocker, needed a new dog tag, so I loaded the kids and Frankie into the car to get that replaced. It wouldn't be so bad if he would stay with us. As soon as he sees another animal or person, forget about calling his name. Out of sight, out of mind. Kind of like me! Sort of. The kids had a blast checking out the different animals (mice, gerbils, fish). I swear Petco is a mini zoo. If you can take an animal home, they've got it. Why adopt all those animals when you can just visit them at the store?

I didn't get any dog treats at Sam's like I usually do. So I decided to let the kids pick out one bag of treats for Frankie. I don't think Frankie really cares, he just wants treats! So instead of picking up rawhide bones and dehydrated poultry, the kids pick out wheat gluten-free dog treats. Then they picked out vegetarian treats plus some other health-nut dog treats. I even found yams for dog treats. I'll have to try making those myself. $30 for a bag of dehydrated yams is a little expensive. I might as well buy some healthy alternative dog treat that the kids picked out (even though it was the packaging that did the trick for them). In all honesty, I didn't see any of the dehydrated treats that I usually give my dog at Petco. Very strange. I guess I can enjoy the fact that the dog will now be eating healthier too. Going to Petco is a real treat for the kids. I could care less about seeing animals, but we were there for a good hour looking at things -especially the dog toys.

At home, we ate a mixture of baby spring mix and romaine hearts salad with a few things added in there. I am very grateful that my kids love salad. There has to be dressing on it, but that's easy to make myself.

Starting to get warm at lunch in the house, so we all had some ice water before putting the kids to bed for a nap. We were not going to have the meltdown like last night. No way jose!

After the nap, I noticed the house getting really hot, so I checked the temperature. No wonder it was hot- it was 103 degrees outside! The kids and I drank more ice water and kept the lights and electronics off. They played in their rooms with the ceiling fans going. Thank God for legos, trains, books, and toys in general. They didn't want to go outside, which was fine. I made tater tot casserole using the oven for an hour. It got hot, but I made it after the air kicked on at 4:30. The house pretty much remained hot since our house is set at 78 degrees.

When dinner was eaten I watched a Netflix show on my iPad and the kids decided to go play outside. It wasn't much cooler than anytime earlier. The kids still enjoyed swinging on the swingset and riding on their scooter.

Overall, it wasn't that bad with no a/c until 4:30pm. It is definitely a luxury and an experience I will probably forget within time. It's not as horrible as one might think. We used less electricity and got creative. We didn't change our regular schedule much, but we have been drinking a ton more water.

What's the next challenge?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bakersfield. No a/c until 4:30. Day 4

Another beautiful hot day in Bakersfield. Day 4 wasn't much different. The weather was mid 90s but that didn't stop us from our usual activities.

We didn't get to go for a walk, but that's alright. We went out back and played baseball and soccer for a long time. Those kids still love to play outside- no matter how hot or cold it is outside! When the kids and I did come in, they did more arts and crafts. My four year old daughter absolutely loved making a construction paper fire truck for hubby's co-workers. She has apparently changed her career choice from model to fire man. All because she got to visit a fire truck. I wonder what will happen if I take her to a lawyer's office?

They've been doing an excellent job of keeping their room clean until naptime. This is when all the toys fly out of their toybox-mostly in my three year old son's room. Trains, cars, tracks, and blankets scattered all throughout his floor. I'm surprised half of them aren't broken by now.

They decided to play instead of taking a nap. Grrr! Mommy needed a nap too. The dark circles under their eyes became even darker after their dinnertime. Quite a few times I've been cheating on dinner and making anything from the freezer. So we had potstickers, mixed veggies, and hot dogs. The hot dogs were left over from my son's birthday party. Might as well get those gone. I hate hot dogs.

After dinner, the kids played outside some more, even though the air was on and running fantastically. The blasting air felt wonderful after warming up food on the searing stove. Too bad it didn't help the kids attitudes and the dark circles under their eyes. Luckily, the kids went to bed and sleep with no problem although they kept repeating they weren't tired. Yeah right.

I actually sat down to watch a movie. I usually have Netflix on my iPad in the background during the day, but I keep a movie on for noise. Occasionally I'll pay attention to it. There's not much I care to watch anymore via Netflix. But I wanted to watch Food Fight and Food, Inc. All I can say is wow.  Maybe now I'll be motivated to eat healthier like I've been wanting to.

I didn't complain about the weather. They didn't complain other than about nap time and not being tired. I guess the kids only worry about one thing: not going to sleep. What a life they live! No thinking required and another successful day.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bakersfield. No A/C until 4:30pm. Day 3

Well, its been three days of no a/c until 4:30pm. You know what? It's actually not that bad! I didn't get too much done today, but it was worth it.

The kids and I took hubby to work (went out of town), came home, and pretty much did arts and crafts this morning. See- totally worth skipping the chores! ;) They love doing that stuff. It's not that I don't like doing those things with them, I'm just not that creative. The extent of my art skills is cutting out construction paper and gluing stuff on like confetti or yarn. They love using scissors even though it makes a big mess. As long as they clean it up, it's great practice for them.

On Tuesday, the kids got to see a water tender aka a fire truck at hubby's work, so I cut out a little fire truck shape out of construction paper and the kids had a blast decorating them. What a way to say thank you! Plus, they are complaining the kids haven't made them any art work since October. Oops!

They got to watch their usual hour of tv in exchange of their clean room. Lately, it's been Barney and Bob the Builder. I guess its an okay show for them to watch. Apparently the messages on the Barney show are getting to my 4 year old daughter. She keeps singing "Stay Away from Fire" in the Row Row Your Boat tune. Catchy for her. Not that she's usually around fires, but is it a young version of Smokey the Bear?

Kids had PB & J since they ate all their dinner from the night before (no leftovers). I had a small piece of toast. I just can't seem to give up carbs. It's darn hard when I'm tempted to make it. I want to be good at something!

I cooked hamburger helper on the stove inside today and it wasn't too hot. By the time I got done cooking, it was around 4:30 and the air turned on. We ate and then actually went outside to play baseball, soccer, and swing. The kids didn't care that the air turned on. They just wanted to play. Anything. I didn't get to check the temperatures...maybe around 95 degrees? It's at least in the 90s right now, so it's not too horrible and the humidity is almost non-existent anymore. Double score!

Why haven't I done this before? I guess as long as the crayons don't melt in the house, then we aren't too hot I guess. Friday is suppose to be triple digit weather. At least we do have the air if we really do need it. Another successful day of no a/c until 4:30. It's been a huge success so far.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bakersfield. A/C challenge. Day 2

What can I say? Another day without A/C until 4:30 (when hubby gets home). Did the kids and I survive?
Hubby and I didn't walk at the crack of dawn which means more sleeping time. :) So instead, we dropped hubby off at work (one household vehicle) and when the kids and I got back home, the kids got on their bike and we rode (well, I walked) to the mailbox. We have one of those lock-boxes (I really do miss my mailbox on my property).

The yard picker-uppers emptied our green waste bin! Yay! So I swallowed my breakfast yogurt fast as the kids sat down to eat their homemade cinnamon rolls (thank you hubby) and yogurt. It always takes them a long time to eat, so I got outside and refilled that green bin. It took me half an hour, but it got done! I'm not usually that motivated, but we have other yard waste that needs to leave. I didn't realize that all that sitting grass and twigs was starting to decompose, so there's a nice little layer of compost where the grass pile was! I'm sure I'll have more for a compost pile if I start that again. I want to start growing and canning our own produce, but I need to get other things done first before I start another new project.

The kids of course took their time with breakfast and when they are done eating, it's all hands on deck. My son, 3, hates using soap when washing his hands. However, once he did, I mentioned going outside and with no pull-up on his butt, he was ready to go!

They absolutely love being outside which is fantastic! I had a bundle of mail to send out so it was a perfect time to walk to the mailbox. They also love finding puddles *stand back* and sprinklers that to water sidewalks. Sometimes the dog comes along too when we can find his leash. I'm not sure about other people with dogs, but our leash tends to wander around the house.

When we got back, I let the kids watch one show on Netflix since their rooms were clean. It seems to be their incentive to keep their room clean (plus it gives me some time to write this). Right now, Barney seems to be the show of choice. It varies, but it's all age appropriate.

When I do have the car, I usually want to go shopping or to the mall, but never quite seem to make it there. Hubby goes to work by 7am and most to nothing is open at 7am. Not Target, not Costco, not even the library or mall. I would rather shop at 7am. There's less traffic, less shoppers, and no tantrums. The kids are willing to go to the store for once! I love to browse the thrift stores, too, but when I have the kids and they see all those filthy toys, the tears and screaming that's out. Not that any of them are open at 7am. We get home after taking hubby to work and I often forget to get the kids back in the car or it gets super hot out that we just don't go anywhere.

With this no a/c, I really wanted to not use the oven. So what should I do all day? I have a list of things to do: file bills, market my business, work on my blog, find a local groomer, etc. The usual chores list around here. I know I need to just get it done.

I turned on my computer and what did I see? Oh yeah, a recipe for ciabatta bread! That's what I'll do. So I made ciabatta bread. It took five minutes to put the ingredients in and 2 hours for the dough to form in the bread machine. I could write an ode to my bread machine. It's probably the most used small kitchen appliance in my house.

Once the dough formed, it took 15 minutes out of the bread machine to rise, then another 15 minutes to sit on the cookie sheet to rise again. Then 45 minutes baking in the oven at 425 degrees. Whew. Then it came to be time to cook dinner. I fired up the grill, put broccoli and baked chicken in, and closed the lid. I'm glad I tried this. The broccoli didn't survive, but the chicken actually cooked faster than in the oven by 1/2 the time. Amazing!

In the house with the oven turned on, it didn't get too hot. We went about our day normally (just the kids and I) with the screen doors open. The cool morning air disappears quickly around 9-9:30, but that's perfectly okay. I figured that if I don't complain about the heat, then the kids won't either. I just keep them occupied throughout the day with painting, playing in the pool (small blow up), and other activities.

I think that us adults think its hot b/c we have to complain about something. We want to be comfortable and lazy as we get older. When you were a kid, did you complain about the heat? Where I came from, we weren't allowed to complain about the heat. There's no point in complaining about something you really can't change. With the no a/c, I'm actually feeling really good about not making a carbon footprint during the day. I am limiting myself one luxury as a stay at home mom. It's not that bad to live without the a/c during the day. I always liked a good challenge! :)

Do you sahms think you could challenge yourself to turn off the a/c during the day while at home?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bakersfield. One Week. No A/C until 4:30.

Life at the Depot is H-O-T! No A/C Hot!

I'm always looking for new ways to cut our budget. I mean hubby works really hard for his money, so why shouldn't he be able to enjoy it too? Other than eating out. I'm currently finding ways to cut our food, gas, etc. budget. I asked hubby how else can we cut our expenses? I'm willing to do anything. Our highest bill after the mortgage and car payment is *dun* *dun* *dun* PGE. Not a big surprise. Alright. We've downsized. I don't vacuum everyday anymore. I only run full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer. I refuse to hang clean clothes outside- especially with dust and dirt blowing 365 days a year. We'll figure out a way to get those lower, but for now, the a/c has been running non-stop since we got it fixed (and we never go lower than 78 degrees).

Even if it means turning off the a/c on 90+ degree days to save money, I'll try it. Yesterday was our first day. It turned out to be 97 degrees. That's actually not too terrible. The a/c would kick on at 6pm, mostly for the kids getting ready for bed.

How did our first day go? Well, unfortunately, we didn't go for a walk as a family. It was a bummer, but that's okay. The kids and I didn't go outside to get any yard work done like I wanted to, but that's okay. I'm not a huge fan of yard work, but it looks so much better when you do. Plus the yard waste bin was overfilled waiting to be emptied.

So instead of going outside to enjoy the fresh crisp morning air, the kids watched a movie. I'm not a big fan of watching tv all day, but I did promise them they could watch television if their room was clean. Surprisingly their rooms were clean! For once...

The kids never complained about being hot so I didn't either. They had 2 cups of watered down kool-aid while I had ice water and one sweet tea (after dinner). We weren't dehydrated or bored. So I'm really hoping we can cut down expenses aka PGE.Half a day with no a/c, good so far!

It wasn't until I started cooking dinner that it really got hot in the house. Our kitchen receives the western exposure of the sun so even if I don't cook, it's hot in my kitchen every afternoon, even when I don't cook. I was tempted to pull our standing fan in the kitchen, but decided I would just go outside where it was much cooler to start the grill. I still had to boil carrots and put the au gratin in the oven. Whew. I think au Gratin uses the most energy when cooking. We don't usually eat carbs and I can't get myself to just throw the food out of our pantry. We bought it, so we might as well use it.

Hubby came home around 4:45 and complained it was hot. It was hot outside and it was hotter inside. He couldn't stand it being so hot, so he left the searing kitchen to the not so cooler living room. The a/c turned on at 6pm (after dinner was done cooking). It was so nice to have that cool air! I didn't check the temperature at 6pm, but any temperature was cooler than the kitchen!

So day 1 (Monday) was a success! I decided that Day 2 we would cook outside to see if its more comfortable. Who doesn't love grilled food?


Hubby's office is usually set at 70 degrees, so when he comes home he wants to be comfortable, not too hot nor cold. It really is hard to save money when you are on two different ends of the budget/expenses saving goals. He just cares that we get the bills paid and I am really trying to save money anyway I can. We'd have more disposable income if I worked, but I truly believed that family comes first no matter what. If I only had a job...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cleaning House

This week has been one of the worst weeks of the year for me! Hubby has been in and out of the house traveling (mostly day trips), I got sick and still have sore muscles (all over), and the kids are refusing to listen. If only there was a magic button for any of this!

There is no magic formula for life, but that's quite alright. We manage no matter how our days go. There's always tomorrow to look forward to (even if your body doesn't quite agree). Tomorrow is our neighborhood yard sale and I'm more than ready to get rid of all that clutter, foolishness, and extras that we have. Ours is primarily baby toys and clothes with a few odds and ins.

After watching "Clean House" via Netflix, it was inspiring to see how families got rid of their "foolishness" as the host calls it. Our house wasn't quite that bad, but it definitely needed to gone through since most our move was never unpacked.

I feel so lightened after cleaning our house that we have more time and money to do things that we really want to. Or clean those parts of the house that really need it. There's also nothing quite like finding things you haven't seen in years...or not finding things after a move.

We lived in our last house for seven years, this one in lovely Bako, three years in February. They say there's no place like home. They are right. Other than they are missing a couple words. There's no place like a clean home!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Single Serve Whip Cream

My throat has been sore this morning so I decided I would have a cup of hot chocolate. We have so much hot chocolate that its ridiculous. Anyway, I don't buy premade cream in a can or tub cream. I make it. And why not? It's so easy other heavy whipping cream is perishable.

I didn't want to get my kitchenaid mixer all dirty again. I literally just washed it! So I wondered if I could use my small dishwasher friendly food processor?

I poured a small amount of cream in, scooped out 3 teaspoons of sugar and mixed the two. It took awhile, but within a few seconds, viola! Single serve whipped cream!

Another success! Now I'll have to try making chocolate whipped cream without using the whole carton of my precious whipping cream :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Homemade Gold Fish crackers

I swear every time I go into the grocery store (or wholesale), those cute brightly orange fish crackers smile at my kids and I. They are definitely one of those items that make its way into the cart- and not always for the kids.

I don't buy the colored ones-too much artificial coloring for myself, so I asked my daughter if she thought we could try making them sometime. "Yes!" She exclaimed ready to make them. She's my free little not-so-perfect mini me hired help.

After Google-ing (is that an actual verb yet?) "homemade goldfish crackers", lots of recipes and blogs came up immediately. This is one recipe that the kids can definitely help in the kitchen! My kids love turning the food processor on and off.

So I tried the first one from Tasty Kitchen's blog: 

Five basic ingredients:
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 c flour (you can use whole wheat if you so desire)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 T water

Place everything EXCEPT THE WATER in your food processor and blend it all together. It should look like sand. Add water and turn on again until a dough ball forms.

Next step is to wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 mins-24 hours. This is a great activity for after nap or snack time.

After at least 20 minutes in the fridge, roll out your dough to about a 1/8" (similar to sugar cookie thickness). You can use an actual mini goldfish cookie cutter from Amazon. I think its around $15. I don't have one so I used a train, snail, and bat mini fondant/cookie cutters. My kids get bored relatively easily, so they were done in 5 mins, so I got left to cut the rest.

After cutting out as many as you can, bake them at 350 degrees for 15 mins or until they are lightly golden. They don't taste the exact same as the commercial brand, but seriously, how many preservatives do we really need? I know what's in my "goldfish crackers".

Next time I'm going to try adding more cheese...mmmmm
Let me know how yours turn out!