Well, for awhile I've been wanting to try freezer cooking. Life is so hectic that we end up picking up lots of dinners out due to lack of planning and/or laziness. I kept my eye on craigslist and picked up a freezer for only $50. This past Thursday I saw a tweet from Money Saving Mom about freezer cooking this weekend she and Fishmama at Life as Mom are planning. Well, I thought this is perfect timing and said I'd participate. Now, this is of course last minute and I have no clue what I'm doing. It started Friday, but I was working so I decided to try to come up with some sort of plan of what I wanted to make. I don't work on Mondays, so I figure I have that day if I need it. I was also supposed to write this post yesterday and link up with the above post, but things got crazy and it didn't get done. Well, better late than never. Here goes:
I'm going to keep this simple so not to overwhelm myself. Here's what I'm going to concentrate on getting into my freezer over the next couple of days.
BBQ Chicken Marinated Steaks Taco Meat Sloppy Joe Meat Meatballs Meatloaf Spaghetti Sauce Cincinnati Style Chili A few pounds of pre cooked ground chuck
Ever since this post, I've been posting weekly on any progress (or lack thereof) towards them. I'm happy to report that I've exercised every day this week. My big issue is food. I'm just so busy all the time that I just grab whatever is nearby and stick in my mouth. Usually I don't eat anything until after lunch so I'm always starving. I know I need to plan ahead but I just can't get myself to do it. I think what it boils down to is not making myself a priority. I'm going to try to work on that this next week.
I'm soooo ready for things to get back to normal. It was so stressful last week with Abby having pneumonia. That really came out of the blue. I mean she's fine at breakfast and by dinner she's really sick. I'm just happy to have that behind us.
I got a deep freezer. I've been wanting one for awhile so I could start making some meals to freeze as well as stock up on good deals at the grocery store. Last night I made a baked ziti for dinner and it was so easy just to make a second one to put in the freezer. I'm going to be doing some research into items that freeze well and those that don't.
I've started a weekly feature on my blog called "Etsy Seller of the Week". My first seller is Ambrey's Accessories. Please go take a look at her shop if you get a chance. She's offering my readers a 15% discount. The info in this post.
I'm starting a new feature on my blog entitled "Etsy Seller of the Week". I hope to feature sellers who sell products that will make life a little easier for us moms (and dads too).
The first seller is Rachel at Ambrey's Accessories. I asked Rachel a few questions about how she got started in her business. Please see the bottom of this post to learn how to get a 15% discount at Ambrey's Accessories.
How did you originally get into making these adorable accessories?
I had my first baby, Ambrey, last February. After she was born, I loved finding ways to make her look cute but the little pack of headbands that I bought at Walmart were too big for her head. I ended up gluing those little ribbon bows to her head with KY jelly. I wanted my little girl to always look girly. At the same time, I was starting to feel the financial pressure of having my husband only work part-time while going to college. I started looking for ways to be able to make some money from home. A friend had told me about Etsy, and I checked it out and was trying to come up with a good idea for something to make and sell. I had two goals for this: to find a way to make money, and to find something that made me happy. I tried to find inspiration in everything, and I finally found it in a little yellow dress. My uncle gave Ambrey a cute little yellow dress to wear to church. I was so excited for her to wear it to church, but I wanted her to look extra fancy in it. The little ribbon bows were simply not cute enough, and at that point her hair had grown out so that the bows wouldn’t stick to her head very well. I looked through my little craft box and found some yellow ribbons and crafted a very cute little bow out of it. I ripped apart the Walmart headbands (they were ugly) and attached the bow to one of the bands that matched it. At church the next day I was so excited in how adorable Ambrey looked in her little yellow outfit. Then I started to think, “this bow looks so cute on her head, but now the band can only be worn with a yellow outfit….I wish they were as easy to switch as those little sticky bows were.” It didn’t take long after that to figure out what I wanted to do. Within the next week I had picked up a few supplies and made a few prototypes to try out on Ambrey. I was so excited that the snapping accessory idea actually worked and looked cute! Over the next several weeks I put a few items together, perfected my bow making system, and got everything ready to start up my etsy shop. I really have a passion for what I do. I love coming up with different color combos, and figuring out what my next product will be.
How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I started my shop up on June 18, 2009, so it's been about 6 months.
Do you have a favorite item out of the items you sell?
I really do love all of my items, but I think I am particularly fond of my box bows. I love to wear them in my own hair. The Neopolitan Box Bow is one of my favorites…it reminds me of ice cream! I really love the wine satin bow and the white iridescent posy.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I play the piano, love doing floral arrangements, and I crochet. I like to cut and style hair and play around on photoshop.
Rachel sent me a couple of her items to try with Ava. She sent me a white headband with an interchangeable white and pink bow. She was grumpy when we took the pictures, so a smile was out of the question. The headband is easy to get on and stays on quite well. All I had to do was unsnap one bow and put the other on without ever having to take off the headband. I think she looked so adorable, grumpiness and all.
Rachel is being very gracious and giving my readers a 15% discount on a purchase from her shop. All you need to do is let her know in the note to seller section that you got to her shop via Doin' The Working Mom Thing. Please go take a look at Ambrey's Accessories. Her pictures are great and really show how beautiful her items are. I'm sure you'll find something perfect for the little girl in your life.
Well, I'm a couple of days late on this post. For those that aren't aware, I've committed to posting every week on my progress toward my New Year's Goals.
All I can say is that it has been one hell of a week. Abby, my 6 year old daughter, all of the sudden became sick last Monday. She got really sick very quickly. Looking back, I really should have taken her to the emergency room that night. I did take her to her doctor the next day, and she was diagnosed as having pneumonia. I have to say I was shocked. She did end up in the emergency room that night but got to come home. This past week was focused on getting her better. She missed school all week, and I missed work. The fever didn't break until Thursday. We're still dealing with the cough and chest congestion but she's on the road to recovery.
So, I didn't focus too much on anything else this past week. I did lose 4 pounds. That's about all I accomplished, but I'm ok with that. I certainly don't expect to make major changes every week. Life happens.
Daddy has been working really hard to get Ava to say dada. She started making the "d" sound and it was so stinking cute. You can see her really concentrating and trying to figure out what to do with her tongue.
I don't think I could say it any better than the words of my 6 year old daughter who said, "He was a good man." I hope that she always remembers to judge a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin.
I hope you've all had a good week. It's time for my weekly report on any progress made toward my goals for this year. I guess the biggest one for this week is that we started a Biggest Loser challenge at work on Wednesday. I think it will be great fun to challenge each other. I already started the trash talking. I'm making myself eat in the mornings. I have a really bad habit of going until the afternoon without putting a morsel of food into my mouth. Of course at that point I'll eat anything you put in front of my face. I think the key here is preparation. I need to plan ahead and have things available that I can feel good about putting into my body. I'm thinking about purchasing a juicer to help in this process. I've been exercising using the Wii but plan to start Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred tomorrow.
So it's the end of the 2nd week of January. This is the time when people start giving up on those goals they've set for this year. How do I know? Well that's what I do every year, and I'm not doing it this year. I written down what I want to do and I'm going to revisit that list regularly.
I'm challenging all of you out there in the blogosphere to not give up! If you haven't already done so, write down what you want to do. Put it somewhere you'll see it regularly. You can do it! I found a good article on achieving those New Year's resolutions that you might find helpful.
I want to hear how you're doing. Please leave a comment and we can all support each other!
I'm writing this post as a requirement for entering a contest for a month's worth of Cottonelle toilet paper as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.
I absolutely cannot stand to see a roll of toilet paper that rolls out from under the roll. I have no idea why, but it drives me crazy. Maybe it's because you can't see it and have to feel around underneath the roll to try to find the end. Why wouldn't you just have the toilet paper roll out over the roll? Just a quick glance and you'll see the end of the roll. When you've got a baby screaming from the next room, that extra .5 seconds makes a difference!
So, what's your preference? Are you Team Over or Team Under? Leave me a comment and you'll be entered to win 1 of 10 Cottonelle gift baskets randomly chosen on January 29th, 2010 from all entries. Go to Cottonelle Roll Poll (http://www.cottonellerollpoll.com) to vote and see if your team is winning!
Well, I'm finally working on getting the Christmas tree down. I don't think I've ever waited this long to get it done. It seems there are lots of things I don't get done now that Ava is here. If I remember correctly, I don't even think I put up a Christmas tree when Abby was a baby. Oh well, I plan to have it all put away by the end of the week. I'm not going to stress out about it.
Speaking of baby Ava, I think she's finally well again. She had thrush, and that was not fun. She also had an ear infection. The antibiotics for the ear infection actually make the thrush worse at first and so it took almost two weeks to get rid of it. God love her, even when she doesn't feel good she's such a little sweetheart.
Abby went for allergy testing last week. I couldn't take it anymore. The child constantly has a runny, stuffy nose. She sometimes wakes up coughing. She's always had seasonal allergies, but lately she has symptoms daily. I knew she had to be allergic to something in this house. Well of all things, she's allergic to the cats. We've had these cats since before she was born. She also had the typical pollen and ragweed allergies that give problems in the Spring and Fall. The doc put her on some medicine, and it appears to be helping. I'm happy for her because I know that it was driving her crazy. I certainly know it was driving me crazy.
I'm gonna start featuring Etsy sellers on my blog. If you know of someone who would like to be featured, either leave me a comment or send me an email.
I'm really serious about working on all the things I mentioned in my previous post for this year. Since Ava was born in August, I've completely fallen off the wagon with my coupons. I love to shop with coupons. My previous routine was to buy 4 papers each Sunday to get the coupons. I used to clip every single coupon and put them in a binder. I moved to filing the inserts every week and then clipping the coupons I want. Well, I've still been getting my papers but just throwing them in a big pile. As you can imagine, that pile has gotten pretty big since August. Well, this week I went through my old inserts and got rid of the ones that only had expired coupons. I then went through all the piled up newspapers to pull the inserts and file them.
If you've never used coupons, I would highly recommend it. When done right, it can save you loads of money. The key is to use the coupon when the item is also on sale. For example, a tub of butter is normally $1.99 but is on sale for $1. The stores I shop double coupons. So, if I have a coupon for 50 cents off that butter and that coupon is doubled to $1 then I just got my butter for free. If you have multiple coupons, then you can get several of those for free. Even if your store doesn't double, getting if for 50 cents is pretty darn good. I bought tons of diapers when I was pregnant using coupons. Diapers are expensive, but it's possible to get them really cheap when you catch them on sale and have the coupons. When I first began doing this, I used the Grocery Game. It's a service that you subscribe to but they tell you the best deals at your store weekly and what coupons are out for those items. The key is to start buying papers or ordering coupons online so that you have them when you need them. An item for which a coupon comes out this week might not go on sale until 2 months from now.
There are lots of blogs out there that just focus on giving you the best weekly deals. My favorite blog for deals in my area right now is Mommy Snacks. There are tons of great ones out there.
I'd love to know what resolutions you've started working on since the beginning of 2010!