Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Organize Your Eating: Part 2

All you need are vegetables, fruits and ice cube trays!




Every couple of months I pick up a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables. Here’s what I do with them!

 Ø  Cook the vegetables and puree them in a blender. Sometimes I add a bit of butter and or water if needed so the vegetables are nice and smooth.
Ø  Next, I scoop the pureed veggies into ice cube trays and freeze.
Ø  Once frozen put all the little cubes in a big baggie and label it. This works really well with vegetables that you would normally mash like sweet potato or turnip. On a day when I want to cook vegetables for a side dish but I don’t have time to run to the store, I go to my freezer and pull out the appropriate number of vegetable cubes. If my toddler decides one day he’s going to be a picky eater, I whip out some vegetables and defrost on the stove (or microwave).


You can also do this with fresh fruits which are great to have on hand for smoothies or for fruit on the bottom yogurt.
Ø  Puree the fruits and put them in ice cube trays like above.
Ø  You can do individual fruits or if you’re feeling brave, mix them up for a new combination!
Ø  Avoid using bananas as they will turn brown. I find melon also goes a bit squishy in the freezer.


Dollarama has ice cube trays with lids. The cubes are smaller but if you think the veggie or fruits will sit in the freezer for a few days before you can baggie/label them, an ice cube tray with a lid is a better option.



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Practical Ways To Organize Your Eating


Meals have always been a frustration for me. My daycare is open later than most and I sincerely dislike cooking.I do cook but we also spend a lot of money on eating out. I've been trying new ways to eat healthy and yet still practical. Here are some things that have worked for us. Let me know if you have other suggestions!

1) Resealable Soda Can Cover: If you like having a taste of pop or you need a little sugar high. Go ahead and take a swig! Instead of drinking the whole can, you can use these FANTASTIC inventions to reseal a pop can!! It will keep your pop fizzy for a couple days. We bought a pack at XS Cargo. 


2) Make Ahead: Lately when I go grocery shopping I pick up side dish type foods like potatoes. I then cook up a bunch of mashed potato or steam some bell peppers (My fav!) to keep in the fridge. Over the next couple days I can easily pair a meal with these already-made side dishes. Don't forget to choose items that easily pair with many dishes. Some examples: 

  • Plain rice
  • Baked Potato or Sweet Potato
  • Salad
  • Stir Fried peppers
  • Roasted Zucchini and potato cubes
  • Corn
Things that don't keep well as leftovers are steamed broccoli and pasta. 


So, if I forget to thaw out chicken, I can pick up a pre-cooked chicken and the side dishes are already in my fridge at home! There are also meals that are great to make lots of such as chilli. Chili can be a meal one day and a left over side dish the next day!  


3) Super Cook: If you're stumped as to what to cook tonight for supper, check out supercook.com On the left hand side you will see an area to type in the ingredients you have in your cupboard or those you wish to eat. The website will search recipes for those specific ingredients. It will also tell you if the recipe requires other ingredients, asking you if you have those things on hand. 


4) Are your kids picky eaters?  Do you have days where you slave away in the kitchen cooking  gourmet meal that you're sure would win an award?! Ok maybe not, but you're sure your husband will love it! As soon as your kids take a bite ...PLEW! Right on the floor. Always keep a back-up plan so when this occurs you can keep your cool. I keep cans of soup and Costco individual apple sauces in the cupboard. If my kids refuse to eat something i've cooked (which is not often for me thank goodness) then I whip out an easy Plan B: Canned soup packed with veggies and protein! 

5) Finally, a sure-fire way to loose weight: Eat when your kids are around. Its as simple as that! It does not matter how full your kids are, as soon as they see you sit down to lunch you will find little fingers and mouths on top of you. Suddenly you're left with a half-portion meal. We're told that North Americans fill their plate too high. Not a problem for me! People ask me how I stay skinny after having two kids?!?! My secret is out!

Healthy is obviously relative. I work hard to balance healthy and practical for my family and for my daycare kids. There are many ways to de-stress mealtime. Let me know if you find other unique ways.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Laughter is good for the soul




We know laughing is the best medicine! Let's do more of it. When you're having a bad day, take a few minutes to find something that makes you laugh. :)

What about this one?



Here's another great idea: These are the gloves I got from Dollarama ($2). They make me smile every time I start to wash dishes. What better way to start household chores than with a smile?! I have a different pair of gloves for bathroom cleaning. What a great reminder as I'm doing mundane chores!





ALSO! With winter coming, you may find there are gloomy, dark days where you're stuck inside. Depending on your house/apmt, you might find it dark and gloomy inside too! A helpful tip for us and for the kids (so they are energetic too) is to turn on a bunch of lights. You might be thinking "duh" or you might be thinking "That's a waste of energy". Try thinking "Such a teeny tiny difference in my bill keeping the lights on all over my house is worth every penny when it comes to keeping my sanity"!! Seriously turn on lights you don't think you need. It takes away that blah feeling of walking into a dark room. It's just for a day or two until the sun comes back out again!

Here's a great organizational idea :



This has worked fabulously for me both as a mom and also for running 1-2-3 Childcare. I bought this pack of small sticky labels at Walmart for about $2. There are 525...so enough to last awhile! I use them to label everything. It keeps my life so much more organized! Mostly I use them to label sippy cups!! One of my babies can't drink milk and another doesn't like this and one is sick and can't share their cup, etc, etc, etc. I quickly print the first letter of each kid name on a bunch of stickers. Then they are ready to be used throughout the week. When I give each kid their sippy cup, there's a label. When they're finished with the cup it goes in the fridge for later (depending). A few hours later when they want to finish their drinks, I know exactly who owns what without having to think! ;) I also use it to indicate my husband's lunches or anything with Strawberry's (another baby is allergic). If a child doesn't finish their lunch, use a sticky to label it. It's super easy, already prepared and they come off easily too.

Maybe these tips will give you a new perspective this coming week?!?! I hope so!

Mucho amor,

Stephanie

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Link to 5 Tips for Taming the Family Schedule

I found this blog article last night. I thought it had some good tips. It's written by a Christian woman but the principles apply to any family dynamic.


Click on picture or link below:
http://celebrateeverydaywithme.com/2013/10/tips-for-taming-the-family-schedule.html

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Fitting Hobbies into your Crazy Busy Life

This is my first entry on this new blog! First off, I am not an expert blogger and I’m not going to pretend that I can get a million followers by next week. BUT I love to share ideas and receive ideas too! I am going to write posts with ideas that work for me and I hope you will find some helpful tips. I also hope you are able to launch your own ideas that work in your own life. Please share them with me!!

Today I am going to write some ideas on fitting hobbies into your crazy busy life.

Try Everything Once
Just because I have homemade Strawberry Rhubarb jam in my fridge doesn’t mean I am a canning expert! I love to try new things. I may never become an expert in one field but I get joy from new experiences. I have dabbled in taupe painting, scrapbooking, gardening, canning, blogging, singing among other things. I have enjoyed them all but after a while I like to try something new. If you’re like me, don’t feel bad about not having an expert field! Don’t feel bad about not having the time to perfect a certain hobby. There’s nothing wrong with trying new hobbies as long as you don’t quit with a bad attitude.


Motivation(less!)
Some ideas of great motivation helpers/energy boosters:
         Coffee!
         Orange Peko tea (has caffeine)  
         Music! Canning goes faster while dancing to Katty 
                                        Perry’s Roar
         Stretch to get your blood flowing & heart going
         A glass of cold water will give you a boost
         If you're iron is low talk to your doctor about Proferrin                                   (over the counter Iron Supplements)  
  

First Pick What You’d Rather Do
I am a do-er; a hands on kinda girl. What worked for me was getting rid of cable, saving myself $1000 a year and I use my free time for projects. Don’t get me wrong, I still have favourite shows online for those lazy nights. Mmmm Simon Baker 



and who doesn’t enjoy a weekly dose of Cam and Barney?        

However, something has to give. You can’t do it all! So you’ll have to take a look at your schedule and decide what has to go. Why not choose the next couple of weeks for one new project. Try giving up something else in it’s place and see how it goes! No one is making you sign a contract to this…just give it a try ;)




What Free Time!?!?
You have to intentionally create it. Sometimes I leave the dishes pile up while I blog…
The bible says, "You shall not covet your neighbour's house". And I say, “For thou may not have it all together but neither does she”!


Personal Time
Do you like to finish a book the day you start it? If so, that's great that you found  hobby that you like to focus on. If you're more like me, it could take it months to finish a book. I would rather use one day to read a few chapters and the next day use my free time to blog or check out Facebook. The next day I might try yoga. 


Simplify The Cool Ideas
If you have time and creativity go here for some cool toddler sensory bag ideas. If you love looking at others' blog but like me lack time, resources and skills, try simplifying ideas. Don't get overwhelmed with amazing mother blogs. You can do your own version. Here are some sensory bags that I created after pulling random things from my cupboard. The soft one is hair gel died with food colouring. The hard one looks gross but young kids don't care. It's filled with sprinkles, pretzels, old walnuts, etc. To seal the bags: I couldn't find duct tape but I found electrical tape. It works too! 








Devote Your Time to God

Psalm 1 says:
       "That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers". 
In other words, if you prioritize God in your life and take care of your family and yourself in your (intentional) free time, you will prosper. It doesn't mean you will be a gold medal runner or have Company's Coming looking for your recipes but overall you will be a happy, successful person. 




More to come but that’s it for today. Please share your thought/ideas/comments below or email stephaniedemoran@gmail.com


Mucho amor,
Stephanie