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Showing posts from December, 2014

Quick & Dirty: Make gift-giving easier with color-coded wrapping paper

The rule in our house has always been, "Those who don't believe in Santa don't receive gifts for Christmas." So it stands that at 30 & 33, my brother and I have never uttered words that might indicate Mr. Claus might possibly be imaginary, and certainly not in front of our mother. Magic, bringing gifts for parents to wrap (those overworked elves, you know), possibly non-corporeal, maybe even formerly-a-person but currently just an idea. But not real? NEVER.

Sometime when I was in middle school and my brother was in high school, my mom had a kind of genius idea. Instead of taking the time to write tags on gifts for us from Santa, she grabbed (what I'm assuming is like 12 rolls) some wrapping paper that clearly related to each of our interests. In our case, it was the Tazmanian Devil & Winnie the Pooh. We each got a couple gifts from our parents and some years even each other, but all Santa gifts to a person were in their own wrapping paper with no tags. I …

Cost/Benefit Analysis: Un-Paper Towels

Sometimes I look at things people post online and I marvel at how many people seem to have more money than sense.

Multi-layered, snap-together to make a roll, "unpaper towels" are the impetus for this particular rant. They seem to be an expansion of the cloth menstrual pads stores, more than anything, and presumably therefore made to appeal to the same demographic. But, there are better ways to accomplish a lot of goals sometimes, and this is one of those times. I love that people want to reduce their paper usage and their contribution to landfills. That's great!

The ones I'm seeing about typically use a single-sided terrycloth on one side, and quilting cotton on the other. I've seen a few with interfacing or batting in the middle to increase absorbency. They have snaps on each corner so that you can snap them together in a row and roll them up to be stored on the paper towel holder. Presumably, this is to help the household adjust to the new method, because they…

Moving Again

I can't say I'm ENJOYING moving as often as we have been, but I will say that it's been informative. This time thankfully we have officially 6 weeks to move. We get our keys to the new place Dec 20, sadly have to pay double rent for January (and let me tell you how stressful THAT is), but by all rights have access to our current apartment through January 31st.

We still intend to finish moving in a timely manner and cleaning up our "old" place so that wall repairs & carpet cleaning can happen to rent it out as soon as February 1st. But at least we can wait until the Christmas Crush is through at Mr. Moon's work to worry about packing & moving in earnest. It also has the benefit of giving us time to snag boxes from food & liquor deliveries at his work and local businesses. No paying for boxes this time! And since we're not paying for boxes, a) I feel less inclined to keep them sitting around awaiting our next move; and b) I got to splurge a bit …

Menu: Dec 15-21

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We spent more on groceries last week than I think I have ever spent at once. Our refrigerator is full to bursting and I've no excuses for myself. We weren't even shopping while hungry! On the up side, quite a bit of it was just dry staples that happened to run out at the same time as we had money and good deals, so most of it wasn't perishable. However, it was and is important that we properly store it all so that we CAN use it, DO use it, and DON'T go out shopping for oh, the rest of the month except for milk & coffee cream & maybe some fresh veggies such as they are.

I'm quite proud of us though: We managed to make a menu for this week that doesn't require a single purchase, utilizes some prepped leftovers, gets us out of a rut, brings back some old favorites, tests a new recipe, AND utilizes our new rice cooker to make it more than s ingle-use item. To top it off, as I write this, we've already prepped what we can for the week, and it's a lot…

Home Remedies: DIY Pain lotion

A lot of my life is spent with sore muscles. Pain relievers only help so much, and depending on the pill & the person they can rip your digestive tract to shreds.

It was Jillee's Pain Cream recipe that started this. I decided to go ahead and make my own version, to see how it works. Of course, I did a little research myself, and I wanted this cream to do a few different things. One thing I saw was about having some essential oils that cover the smell of the eucalyptus, so it's not so overpowering. Well, I'm here to tell you, that's hogwash--covering the scent also decreases the efficacy a bit. However, if the ones you add to it have purpose, it might be worth a little dilution.

Without further ado, my pain lotion recipe.

Ingredients:

1 three-ounce travel bottle of your preferred lotion. I use a coconut-oil-based lotion. 10 drops peppermint EO10 drops eucalyptus EO10 drops lavender EO5 drops clary sage EO3-5 drops cinnamon EO5 drops rosemary EOOkay but before we go an…

Menu: Dec 8-14

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What's on the menu?

Breakfasts: Bagels & cream cheese, bagel sandwiches, english muffins w/ peanut butter & honey.

Lunches: Leftover chinese food, turkey sandwiches, grilled cheese & tomato soup.

Snacks: .

Dinners:
Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs Marinara [simple, beef, pasta, Italian; leftovers]
Using the leftover meatballs from my party on Friday!

Tuesday: Buffalo Chicken Wings & Garlic Broccoli [chicken, freezer]

Wednesday: Mushroom Stroganof [pasta, vegetarian]
Using the leftover mushroom gravy from my party, and adding sour cream.

Thursday: French Onion Soup [soup, vegetarian, ]

Friday: Pickle Plate [simple, snack]
We have plans with friends at a brewery an hour away, helping with wedding planning; the likelihood of us wanting a full dinner when we get home are pretty slim. But at least we have a snack plan in case we want it!

Saturday: Thai Curry Chicken & Rice Soup [chicken, rice, crockpot, soup, spicy]
I'm craving a version of this I can't get anymore, …

Managing expectations: Living with adult ADD, disability, and limited space

Mr. Moon is the first to admit that he's scatterbrained and unfocused. And he'll be the first to tell you that if he doesn't have a list, it doesn't get done. However, making lists isn't exactly his strong suit. Thankfully, he married a woman who lives by her love of lists & structure. The hard part is struggling with falling into stuffy old gender roles. Ultimately though, we have to do what's best for each of us and our partnership, utilizing our strengths and working around our weaknesses, even if they're the ones we learned through a society that taught them to us based on our perceived genders. Recognizing where they came from doesn't negate their existence and the reality is that I'm both a lot more organized than him, and have a lot more time to BE organized.

With the wedding out of the way and staring down the moving target of daily parenthood, we had a long discussion about priorities and what we want the rest of our lives to look like.…