Adventure

Tell it Tuesday: No More School Lunches?

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

When I thought the title for this post up I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about exactly seeing how I do honestly find myself searching for post to write about. I wanted to start writing about things, people, or events that were actually happening around me. Whether it was thousands of miles away from me, in my own home, or around the area I live. When I saw a post come up on my Facebook newsfeed I knew I wanted to write about it on here and kind of see where this post went on to. It just seemed like a post worth sharing because I don’t see it being a great choice especially in the area where I live where it is not a bigger city area its a bunch of smaller rural towns with people who are on the lower income side and that was pre-covid to give you an idea. Anyways Let me start at the beginning.

Local School Taking Away School Lunch?

I live in a area that has a few rural schools both in my town and other towns surround my town. The school in my town has a wonderful program for breakfast and lunch through the school as I used to work there as a cafeteria worker just last year. The school in my town is not the one in this story which is very relieving to me as a parent and a person in general because that is just unfair in my opinion and sort of crappy. Anyways in a town not far from my town where I live which is in southwest Iowa somewhere…I came across a post made by this other school just about an hour ago my time. It stated in this post that this school would no longer be serving school breakfast or school lunches at all the rest of the school year with the exception of tomorrow mornings breakfast because of short notice. Yes they gave a single nights notice.
They said in a letter sent home to families 9/28/2020 that asked if all students if possible could bring sack lunches to school until further notice. The also mentioned that they would be revising the schools transportation program as well. They mentioned in the letter that they would be providing breakfast tomorrow 9/29/2020 and also extra sack lunches for those who do not have them. Which brings me to a few questions that kind of boggle the old brain…why? They said it was to make sure they have enough staff in their school so they cut lunch out but the thing that I feel is super bizarre is that they are still providing sack lunches from the sounds of it. In the United States in general there are a lot of people who depend on school for food for their kids. There are a lot of people who may work and work and never have that extra bit of money for school lunches.
This seems like a bad choice on the schools part because instead of simply just providing the students with sack lunches instead of hot lunches they are pretty much shutting the kitchen down and helping out who they can instead of fulfilling their duty as a public school to provide meals to kids in their lunch program that is government funded. Since this letter I have seen several posts from community members who are willing to help provide meals since this school system has failed to do their jobs. I feel that if they are still open as a public school and having classes why announce with a letter that seems to announce the discontinuance of school meals. I hope that they are going to continue to provide meals for students who depended on the school for their meals because going all day at a place where there are so many other things to worry about was hard enough without having to worry about not having food as well. I will link the post from the school just to give an idea of what the original “letter” said.
Post Over Schools Decision

What are your thoughts?
Do you agree or disagree?
Have you seen this happen near you?

I was super surprised to see this happening in my area and yes I know there are all sorts of factors that led to these decisions. I know that my kids do not attend this school but I know people who do. I do not agree with this decision and feel like they could come up with something else besides what they have come up with. I mean if it’s such a problem then maybe not having school would be the better thing. Feel free to comment below and share this. I am curious what other people think about this.

Thanks for reading and for checking out my blog. Drop a like below and share this post. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon. I hope you enjoyed this spur of the moment post. If you liked this True Story Tuesday post idea let me know. I am all for trying new ways to write and get content out there to share.



Adventure, gardening, Meal Time, Motherhood

Long Term Storage: Food and Everything Else

If 2020 has taught anyone anything its that being prepared is something that is very much needed. I hadn’t really gotten very far in the past when attempting to store food long term or even as a rotating pantry that was big enough to last a long time if needed. After witnessing first hand not having the food my family needed during a time when food was scarce and some even hard to find such as meats or meat products especially those that are typically used in long term food storage. During that time when stores were near empty and this unknown virus at the time was lurking everywhere it seemed I became afraid. I had never been put in a situation like that where I had to ration food for my family. There was that lurking question, What if we can’t get more? Or What if we don’t have money to buy more?

Those are not questions that I had ever had to face as it was always there. I remember more than a few times where my husband and I had to make the decision not to eat or not to eat as much during this time because our kids needed it more than we did. We would do anything for them including starve because we can take it and that is just the kind of thing you do as a parent for your kids. It was at this moment when I realized how foolish we had been in our spending over the years and would need to change them in the future that was if things ever started to feel normal again. Lucky for us it has started to feel normal again and I know that this is not a feeling that everyone is feeling I mean normal will never be the same again and the normal we feel now is different of course.

Rotating Pantry Vs. Long Term Food Storage

It is important to prepare; that is one big thing I learned just a few months ago and that is exactly what we have been doing with whatever extra funds we have. We are preparing for the winter firstly then plan to continue preparing for the future. For our pantry it is planned to be a rotating pantry that is kept well stocked with foods that we will use everyday but replenished so that we have them on hand when needed. What do I mean when I say rotating pantry? Well that is basically a pantry that is constantly being used up and replenished by using up the older stuff first. The stuff closer to expiring should be used first then so on after that. Then you would buy whatever was used up to replace it in the pantry.

On top of a rotating pantry I am creating a long term food stockpile by using Mylar bags to store items such as dry beans, rice, flour, oats, ect. I suggest that when or if you choose to store food in Mylar bags you do extensive research on what you can store and how to do it properly so that it doesn’t go bad in the Mylar bags. I am not a professional at all and am just sharing with you what I have done and will share future updates on how they all turned out. For me I used 5 mil sized Mylar 1 Gallon bags and a plain old iron to seal up the bags and 1000cc oxygen absorbers to take the oxygen out of the bags. The recommended oxygen absorber for a 1 Gallon Mylar bag is 300cc-500cc I believe I ordered the 1000cc because I had a hard time finding the others and so that’s what I got. Now even though I got a much larger absorber means it will work just fine but I would have been fine with a 500cc as well. No big deal as it will do the job it needs to do!

Above are the bags I put together recently I did several bags of various types of dry beans and some bags of Jasmine rice as well. On each of them I made sure to label what the contents of each were with a black permanent marker and then wrote the date I packaged them up. Even though it may sound a bit funny on the beans I also wrote that they will need to be checked for rocks before using as usually you will find small pebbles that look like beans in with the actual beans. It is always better to be safe rather than break a tooth or worse!

How did I do this whole process of packaging and sealing them up?

  1. Well first I took each 1 Gallon bag and set it in a pitcher like the pictures below.
  2. Next I carefully poured each type of food I was storing in this case each type of beans in the correct bag in increments of 3-4 lbs. in each bag. I stored black beans, 16 bean soup, & pinto beans. Then of course a few bags of Jasmine rice as well.
  3. I sealed each bag with a hot iron on the edge of my table. (You can use a wooden board for this as most people do this but I figured this would work for me as I did not have a spare board lying around). I made sure to leave a space big enough to put the oxygen absorbers in later for the final sealing. I set them all aside for them to patiently wait until I was ready for that very last step of final sealing them.
  4. I made up 10 bags of food in Mylar bags, this is important because this was the amount of oxygen absorbers in one pack. I would be able to use all of the absorbers in that one pack so none was wasted because I do not have a canning jar to seal them in to keep them fresh for longer.
  5. For that last step I set up each bag in a tote and made sure each had that opening meant for the oxygen absorber opened enough to quickly put it in then seal it up when I set my timer, because you have roughly about 15 minute to get them in the bags and sealed up before they are useless. Note: to make sure they are good to even use check the pack for an indicator that should still be pink as ever package of oxygen absorbers should have an indicator sealed inside with them to tell if they have been compromised or are still good to use. Pink is good white is not!
  6. Once I got them prepped I started the timer and went to town placing the oxygen absorbers in each first then grabbing each bag to finish the seal with a hot iron. I sealed the bags on both sides to make sure they were sealed and to double check I checked each seam just to be sure. The whole process to add the absorbers and to then seal each of the 10 bags only took about 6 minutes.
  7. For best results I will be storing them in a tote that is a solid color with a lid. To keep the light out in our basement which will also be great because it is naturally dark, cool, and dry.

    You want to make sure that when storing food it is sealed in some container to keep bugs out, that it is somewhere cooler to keep it from spoiling, and also that it is not somewhere that will get wet or where there is moisture even if the food is sealed in Mylar. Always take precautions because it could mean the difference between starving and not starving some day!

Setting Up a Rotating Pantry

My family has been fortunate to be able to purchase some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for longer food storage but it is not required. They are a bit expensive and a lot of places were starting to go out of stock and weren’t expected to get them in anytime soon at least the correctly thickened ones that are meant to last a long time. As there are different sizes of thickness for Mylar bags that effect the ability for the bag and product inside to last for longer and shorter time frames. The recommended thickness is at least a 5 mil or higher as they tend to give the longer storage times versus a lower thickness of a bag. They will hold up better and will keep their seal when they are thicker. I got all of my Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers from a combination of stores Pack Fresh USA and Discount Mylar Bags; I would recommend going directly through these companies rather than through Amazon because you would be in direct connection with the company selling to you rather than through another party. I find this to be the best way to do any kind of shopping for stuff like this.

I have done lots of research even before covid happened I had started this process before just never finished it well never really got going just learned about it through research. I have gotten a late start to this now and I think a lot of people have; so let me make something clear Mylar bags are not a necessity and you shouldn’t feel like you have to do food storage quick at the moment at least. Right now during this time where stores are restocking and people are calm is the time to build a food stock pile or rotating pantry nice and easy. No need to panic buy or rush.

Panic buying will only drain your bank/funds and leave you with nothing or possibly very little depending on when you do your panic buying which is usually at the very last minute possible when things have turned for the worse. Pretty much three months ago for a lot of people including myself. Instead be smart about your food purchases so by that I mean whenever you get your regular groceries grab some extra stuff that you don’t need and this should not be limited to food think about all of the things you need on top of food to make your lives easier like soaps, dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, feminine products, diapers, wipes, sanitizer, cleaning products, medications, and so much more! Just when you can grab a little extra when you are shopping and over time you will be surprised on how much you can accumulate by doing this. I suggest that you shop clearance items and if you are able to freeze things grab extra dairy products or meats and freeze them. You could even learn how to can food but that is if you can find the equipment needed for canning as of lately it has been quite scarce. You should figure up how much you and your family will need for at least a 3 month span then start accumulating that amount of extra stuff and food. Then after that continue to at least 6 months.

Other Things to Think About

So now you have established a plan and possibly started accumulating your Rotating Pantry now what? Well there are some things that you should think about which kind of ties into when I previous talked about storing food in Mylar bags it is sort of the same for any form of food pantry like storage. Where and how are you going to store your pantry and household items? This place should be dark, cool, & dry and free from insects or rodents if possible. If you do have insects or are worried about items be sure to place the items that would be vulnerable to damages into airtight lidded containers that are a hard plastic. Items such as boxed pastas, instant potatoes, or anything that would sustain damage from moisture, light, heat, insects, or rodents should be placed inside such containers. And then of course store these items so that they are easy to rotate so I would recommend organizing them for sure instead of just tossing them in a tote. This will be my next thing I need accomplish in my pantry when I can get all of the storage totes that I need to get that is.

Food and household items are very important things to stock up on but there are other must haves to think about. For instance if you have pets or other animals you need to think about keeping a food source open and readily available for them long term. You should also think of how you would provide clean water not only for them but for you and your family as well. A way to sanitize and clean your water so it will be drinkable is just as important as having a food plan. Then if you have animals depending on you as well as a family you need to think about how to accomplish this whether you get a water filtering system, invest in rain barrels for water collection from rain/snow, or if you invest in some sort of purification plan from other sources. There are a lot of ways to obtain fresh clean water you just need to figure out what will work best for your family and any animals you have!

Now what if a scenario happens that forces you to utilize your food pantry & water system for purification but the power goes out. What would be your plan for a power shut down? Most people depend on electricity in there homes to survive in these modern times but it would be wise to have a back up plan if the power grid were to shut down suddenly. A generator would be something to invest in but one with enough power to power items such as freezers and refrigerators’ or AC units and other important items that run on power. With this being something that would help keep freezer running which are important for my family because it preserves some of our food I would suggest a solar powered generator. Stocking up on enough fuel to run a gas powered generator long term seems like it may not be the right choice since a power grid outage would also effect surrounding business such as gas stations and fuel is a resource that would have to be replenished once it ran out. It would be very unpredictable to assume that you would always have access to a gas station in the future if something like this scenario ever happened in real life. Unless the sun all of a sudden goes out of commission you would have the best luck with a solar generator along with proper knowledge of how one works ect.

Speaking of knowledge being able to accumulate knowledge both in your head and in a physical book will be of great value because a book will generally last longer than the internet. The more knowledge you fill your mind with now will be able to help you in times that may happen later on when that knowledge isn’t readily available to learn at that time. Maybe you print off information from the internet, buy books, or simply copy from the internet or books by long hand if you don’t have access to a printer and also cannot buy books. There are tons of ways to accumulate knowledge but definitely worth investing in it in the end.

Finally one of the last things that is important to think about in preparing for just in case scenarios in this post is that you should make yourself familiar with growing your own food some way and all of the knowledge needed to not only grow your food but to also preserve it and keep it going year after year. It would be wise to learn this skill even if you just have a few plants in containers growing on a porch or if you have a full on farm with animals and crops. Being able to grow/raise your own food will be valuable if you ever ran into future scenario where food was scarce again not only for eating but also as a way to barter for other items that you may need and don’t have. You should not leave any stone unturned when it comes to learning new skills and preparing for the future just in case something like what happened just months ago happens again or much worse! Get prepared!


Thanks for reading my post and checking out my blog! Drop a like below and follow my blog for future posts. Check out some of my other posts why you are here and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon!

Meal Time, Motherhood, Review

Misfits Market Future Review Update

In my review of Misfits Market I mentioned I would be trying out the smaller box to be able to compare the large box vs the small box. While I would love to do this and was super excited to give another unboxing and comparison I will not be able to do this myself. Unfortunately I found out I am allergic to mangoes and mangoes came in my box this time and from what I can tell there are mangoes in this upcoming box for this week as well; I also need to take into consideration that they may cross contaminate other fruits when packing the boxes by touching the mangoes so for these reasons I will not be able to do the second part of my Misfits Market review. I may see if I can buy it and have someone else unbox it for me and try out the contents of the box but I may not depending on whether it is worth the time and effort. I loved this box service and would have liked giving that second part of the review for sure but safety first.

Note: I am okay I didn’t know that I was allergic to mangoes prior to eating them so it was a surprise. It was a delayed reaction and not a life threatening one so no worries there; however I will share something that I did not know.

Mangoes are in the same plant family as cashews, pistachios, poison oak, poison ivy, & poison sumac. If you have allergies to any of those above mangoes are probably not something you should tango with. The toxin that causes the allergy is Urushiol. I happen to be allergic to cashews, poison ivy, & peanuts and now I guess mangoes as well. I thought I would share this with you because I did not know this and it could have been worse than what I ended up having which was just a reaction on my lips/mouth area. It feels awful but it is manageable!

If you are one of the lucky ones with no food allergies I encourage you to check Misfits Market out they are a great company! Thanks for reading. Drop a like below and share this bit of information about mangoes as it is not a well know fact at least its not in Iowa!

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Adventure, Review

Sunnie Press Review

You know me always on the look out for all sorts of neat and fun things; preferably something I can do with my boys that is both engaging and fun. I will start by saying that this is a review I am doing on my own and am not being paid and do not have an affiliation with this company.
I have been seeing these ads on Facebook for Sunnie Press for some time now and I thought it was a pretty neat idea but wasn’t sure if I wanted to try it out but after some debating I went for it. Stick around for my review down below but first I want to share what Sunnie Press is and what exactly they sell.


What is Sunnie Press?

Sunnie Press is a unique service that was based around the idea of providing a fun activity for kids without the need for TV or Video Games but still engaged them in something well fun! Every month a fun and exciting map is sent out to you; this map is huge and is meant to be colored and played with. Every month there is a different theme and something different to learn about on them by including fun facts about each design/theme. Maps feature map like designs that can be used for more than coloring. As long as your kids have big imaginations then the sky is the limit. (Map size is 20″ x 26″ and will be folded down to a 7″ x 10″ for mailing) with free shipping for all subscription rates.

How does it work?

  1. Just head on over to Sunnie Press.
  2. Click Subscribe.
  3. Then choose you subscription rate which starts at $8/per month, $7/per month for 6 months at a time, & $6/per month for 12 months at a time.
  4. Be sure to check out their social media pages for discounts on you first order. Here’s their Facebook & Instagram.
  5. Enjoy the Fun!

Speaking of Fun: Here’s a Review Over Sunnie Press

(This is not sponsored at all!)

Sunnie Press Fun Facts

  • You can order past maps when available. (Sometimes there are extra maps printed up and that means that you may be able to get a previous map ordered if you missed it before signing up! Keep an eye out.)
  • During checkout you can add your child’s name to the shipping address for some added fun; nothing like getting something special in the mail as a kid!

Our Thoughts

Color Explosion!

Seems pretty clear from the picture above that my kids loved this fun activity. They are still working on it and probably will for a while and even when they are done they can use their cars and other toys by playing a whole new adventure with the map. They are anxiously awaiting Octobers map to come in the mail, I have to keep reminding them that it is not October yet.

I think that for the uniquely low price just for the map and for the fact that shipping is free due to its size this is a great deal for the price and it is a fun activity for kids to work on and keep them busy with hours of fun.

I love that each map is different and that they have different scenery/designs on them. The fun facts on the maps are neat too. This one was for the month of September which features a Zoo print theme; on one side it is a map of a Zoo and on the other it has all sorts of fun facts on the different Zoo animals/creatures as well as some fun activities.

Sunnie Press is affordable and also very fun at least it was fun for our family. I do recommend trying this out and I have not had any issues or complaints to note. Be on the look out for a update post for the Halloween map coming in October. I am loving this awesome company and their unique product! So check them out at Sunnie Press.

Meal Time, Review

Misfits Market

Imagine strolling through the grocery store your filling your shopping cart up. You start by getting the pantry items first, then you make your way to the colder items, & finally finish in the produce aisle. Time to gather fruits and veggies for your family so you pick and choose which fruit or vegetable is right for you. Thinking to yourself that one looks a bit funny so you grab a different one; after all they all need to be perfect, right? You leave the ugly fruits and veggies where they are you don’t want any part of them. You’ve become a produce snob; if it ain’t perfect and blemish free you don’t want it and that is that.
Now the question is what will happen to that ugly produce the answer it will more than likely be thrown away rather than donated if it has made it to an actual store due to that stores policies. Now some stores in the bigger cities have unique programs worked out to be able to donate ugly produce and old product; but not all have this option and that is just sad!

Did you know that the United States of America is one of the most wasteful countries in the world?

We as a people have the mind set that we can just get more, we can get something better because of the United States and their over production of product. A long time ago way back in my youth one of my major passions was to try to salvage unused products thrown away from grocery stores; so I happen to know a thing or two about this particular subject. Even though I don’t participate in dumpster diving anymore, I still feel very passionate about not wasting and trying to get every possible use out of something before I try to up-cycle it into something else.

When I discovered that there are companies on the rise to help with the waste of produce I thought well are they available in my area because this is great! One of those I was anxiously awaiting to come to my area was Misfits Market. A lot of the companies were not in my area but just so happened that I heard this one company was trying to come to Iowa, I just didn’t know how soon that was. Apparently sooner than I thought!

I am not being sponsored for this review over Misfits Market, I just wanted to share this company with you. I hope to be able to share other companies similar to this one some day and then have something to compare it to but lets just start with this one first!

Misfits Market

What is Misfits Market?

Misfits Market is a company that offers a flexible scheduled box of rescued fresh organic fruits and vegetables that can be delivered weekly or bi-weekly with the option to pause scheduled deliveries whenever you feel like it! They currently offer two sizes; The Mischief (their smallest box at approximately 10-13 lbs that according to the website will feed 2 people for one week). The Madness (their largest box at approximately 18-22 lbs that should feed up to 5 people for a week). Now you may wonder what I meant when I said they rescue this produce. Misfits Market sources out all sorts of fresh produce that is deemed ugly in the eyes of the people of the US and essentially rescues it from becoming compost or worse. They have taken that ugly produce and given it a new purpose. It’s kind of funny how something that is frowned upon by all sorts of people just because it is different can be taken in by the right people and be put to good use. I guess you can say its kind of cool to be ugly! All of the produce they source is organic and fresh. The price for the amount that you get it is a pretty great deal in my opinion.

How much does it cost?

I mentioned the two sizes of boxes that they offer earlier; but how much do they cost per box for each of the different sizes? The Mischief box; the smallest box starts at $22 plus taxes and shipping. If you were to buy this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would cost you about $35. The Madness box; the largest box starts at $35 plus taxes and shipping. And if you bought this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would be about $65. Plus with your very first box you get a 25% discount (COOKWME-JP3VPP) which saves you even more.

How to get started?

  1. Go to Misfits Market; Click Order Today!
  2. Then Choose Your Box.
  3. Enter Your Zip Code.
  4. Select Your Preferred Delivery Day.
  5. Select The Delivery Frequency.
  6. Then Proceed to Checkout.
  7. Enter this promo code for 25% off your first box (COOKWME-JP3VPP)
    (this is my referral code; it gives you 25% off your first box and helps me out in the future and helps me bring more fun unboxings to the blog!)
  8. Note: You can always change the frequency of your subscription and you can even pause it for a while even after you have received any amount of boxes. (This is great if you can’t necessarily do month to month payments or even weekly; it gives you some control of your subscription!)

Do they offer any extras?

Misfits Market has a neat add on program that to my understanding has just opened up to new customers so not just long time customers anymore. This means that you can choose to customize your order and get exactly what you want to get when that window of opportunity opens. You can also add on extra food items that could be paired with the produce such as “fresh herbs, spices, specialty produce, beans, soup mixes, and coffee” (according to their website). You can only do this when the literal window is open meaning that they will notify you by email when this shop is open and it is only open for a limited amount of time and with a limited stock on everything in it! You must also have an active account so if your subscription is on pause you won’t get this deal.


Unboxing/Review

(This is not a paid or sponsored review)

The Packaging

I didn’t go crazy with pictures because its pretty much opening the box but I do have a comment on how they packaged everything. In my box (I assume every box is the same) anyways my box upon opening had a fun recycled insulation wrapped in plastic I assume they did this to help keep condensation from absorbing into it thus ruining the insulating properties. In my opinion I would guess this insulation serves as an insulator as well as a buffer to the outside of the box to help during shipping to keep the produce from bruising. I thought this was neat; I will be looking for some sort of use for this insulation as it is cloth and kind of fluffy almost as if it was recycled clothing or fabric of some sort. Next upon opening the box you find the produce and two ice/cool packs that are sink safe it also says garden safe but I only saw the instructions for dumping contents down the drain safely and would be curious to do more research on these as this company seems to take into consideration the packaging used instead of just slapping it all together.

The Produce

Quite a lot of produce for just the one box.

After opening the box here is the produce I found: 1 Bunch of Green Leaf Lettuce (live for replanting), 4 Large White Onions, 1 Ginger Root, 1 Jicama, 6 Pears (I believe they are Bartlett), 6 Gala Apples, 6 Lemons, 6 Potatoes, 1 Bunch of Celery, 4 Zucchini, 2 Mangoes, and 6 Roma Tomatoes. I went to my local grocery store (Hy-Vee) to add up how much this would have cost me to buy there, I found all but the Jicama. My total came to $41.48. I researched around my area that a single Jicama costs $1.33 on average. So if I added that in to my previous in store total my new total came to $42.81; that is roughly what I would pay to purchase all of this produce in person versus ordering through Misfits Market where I paid $31.75 for my first box. If I would have not had a discount my total would have been $40.10.

My Thoughts

If your only going to be purchasing the one first box you do save quite a lot of money so it is worth it however I don’t think that it is worth it in the long haul unless you are home bound or don’t like to visit the stores with everything going on. You would be saving a little money even paying full price but to me I wouldn’t think it is 100% worth it in the end but it does have its perks. I have done some shopping around to hopefully compare this box to another similar service I haven’t found any with a lower price. I looked into Imperfect Foods where you are required to pick a non produce option along side the produce option in order to become a subscriber that is not a fair thing in my opinion as I was only looking for a produce box and didn’t want to buy any extra junk plus this hiked the price total way up from the $16-$27 produce box price range depending on the size of your family. I definitely won’t be ordering from them as I feel it should remain optional for extra items. If they allowed you to only purchase produce they would have had the lowest priced boxes, but having to add an extra on still making the lowest priced item added only $34 before shipping/Taxes which wouldn’t be that bad but I don’t like being forced to buy something I don’t even want in the first place. Then you don’t get to even choose how often you want it until after that first box. Then I looked at Farmbox Direct and i’ll just say wow, super pricey compared to both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market. I believe the lowest priced box was $43.95 per delivery. That price even comes above what I added up for my own grocery store list above when this is all you get in a box see pic below according to their website. This makes me wonder which one of these are made of solid gold!

Farmbox Direct Picture for Comparison

My Conclusion

Even though the amount of produce in the box I received was about two dollars lower in price compared to my local store I myself may not buy another box however from what I have researched for other similar boxes (unless I missed a box) I feel that Misfits Market is worth it compared to other boxes if you are looking for a produce box with the optional extras for a fair and decent price without being gouged! I recommend trying Misfits Market because they do have a great product in my opinion. I was able to try some fruits and veggies I wouldn’t have normally have purchased at my local stores. The quality was also pretty good in my opinion even if a couple of my zucchini were broken but that is just how companies like this one work. They take those unwanted produce and give them new life! I will probably buy them from here on out again as my family and I discovered that we enjoyed a lot of the newer (to us) produce that we hadn’t tried before. So yes check them out even if it’s just once. I may not purchase the large box again but I am curious what the small box consists of so look out for that one in a future post because I just need to know! It has been a neat experience.

Have you tried this company before?
Have you tried similar companies like this one?
What was your experience like?
Do you have any similar box recommendations that I missed?


Check Misfits Market out by using this code exactly as typed (COOKWME-JP3VPP). This will give you 25% off of your first box.

I do plan on purchasing the smaller box for doing a comparison of the two sizes of boxes and who know I may change my mind and fall in love with this company, I mean it is super nice that I don’t have to go to a store to get my produce!


Thank you for reading my post and review over Misfits Market. I hope you do check them out. I love what they do and what they stand for.
Drop a like below and follow my blog. Don’t forget to check out some of my other posts, just look around my site there is so much to see! Stay tuned in for more fun posts coming soon.

homeschooling, Meal Time, Motherhood

Raddish Kids

Being home for most of this year has brought so many great companies & products into our families lives. I am always on the look out for new activities and teaching fun to do with my kids. I want all of my boys to be able to be independent and take care of themselves eventually with out help. One of my goals for this year is to teach them at least the older two how to cook and fix some of their own meals. I will of course cook most of their meals being their mom but I also want them to feel comfortable in the kitchen and comfortable making some of their own snacks or meals as well. I recently came across a pretty neat company that helps kids achieve just that independence.

Raddish Kids

Join Raddish Today. A cooking club for kids.Raddish is a cooking club for kids. The kitchen is the tastiest place to learn!

Raddish Kids is a monthly cooking club that teaches kids of all ages how to cook with confidence in the kitchen, either with help of an adult if they are not quite old enough or by themselves if they are ready to move to the next level in their journey in cooking. While keeping kids ages 4-14+ in mind Raddish creates and sends out monthly cooking kits that help learn all about the kitchen and the many different recipes that can be created.

How does it work?

Save $15 on a 6 month membership

  1. First things first you will need to “Join the Club” by choosing your monthly subscription rate. You can choose from three different options as far as billing is concerned: Monthly, 6 Months, and 12 months. Each with their own set of perks of course! The monthly priced kit is $24 and includes everything in the kit that would normally ship you can add an apron on for purchase but it is not included in this option they are $15 each with a max of 4.); however the 6 months option adds on a sweet perk with a free apron for the first box added into the mix (I will explain why this is so cool in a minute). The 6 month option is also quite neat because the price per box drops down to $22 (that is $132 paid up front; with a savings of $12). If you want to save $4 more per box and still get that free one time apron in the first box try paying for a while 12 months at a time as you will pay a cool $20 per box. (This option totals $240 up front which in the end saves you $48).
  2. Now you have got you kits all tidied up and they will be shipping out to you shortly what is it that you will be expecting? Every kit includes of course the monthly cooking kit, some digital recipes and activities, as well as a great online community through Raddish Kids many social media platforms and website! Each kit has its own theme for each month it is sent out; which means specialized recipes for each one of those boxes surrounding the theme. How cool is that? I thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share it with you, because why not!
  3. Remember those aprons I talked about earlier? Well here’s what is so cool about them. Your apron is a place to hold all sorts of memories as you create amazing recipes with your family through your journey in the kitchen but it also is a special badge holder of sorts. Each cooking kit sends a special badge (patch) that you can sew or attach to your apron as a keepsake. You get to have something that ties a bond of sorts to each apron kind of like a little trophy of what you have accomplished. Also included in every kit you will receive the neat badge, some recipe cards, new culinary skills, and a new kitchen tool to help you on your journey for the current recipe or any others you come across in the future. Your kit will always be different as kits never repeat so don’t worry about filling out your very own cookbook because your readers won’t get tired of creating those fun recipes you have collected for your book!

What are you waiting for?

Join the club. The Raddish monthly kits are great for family fun & learning. They will give you and your little ones a new connection with your kitchen so go check out Raddish Kids, your kitchen adventure awaits!


Thanks for reading my post! I hope you enjoyed, don’t forget to drop a like below and follow me on social media. Stay tuned for more posts on the way soon!

Motherhood

The Long Pause

You probably have noticed quite a long pause in posts on my blog I believe its been a week maybe longer; I apologize that content came to a sudden halt. My family and I have been dealing with a lot of family issues with one of my sons and came to a not so great conclusion in a huge decision for our family in 2020. Everyone is alive and well, so don’t worry.
Not that I owe any sort of explanation but rather that I want to share some of the things we have been going through in hopes that someone out there is going through something similar and maybe it helps them and maybe they can help me by knowing your not alone!
My oldest son is 6 years old, he is a great kid and a great brother; but for 6 years he and our family have been battling what feels like a monster that you want to just hide away and never speak of it to anyone. He has behavioral issues and other issues that seem uncontrollable at times for him. It has been having a huge impact on our family as of lately especially me as his mother.
We recently decided that for safety concerns due to this virus we would be homeschooling our two older boys at home this school year. It has been going great and I haven’t really had any problems except the occasional temper tantrum but nothing close to everything else that has been going on with our family. And for that I am thankful. I have enjoyed the time I have had teaching them both and really wish I didn’t have to make this hard decision to hopefully help take away some of the stress I have been under outside of school hours.
Our 6 year old sees his therapist and a behavioral specialist every week multiple times at that and he is currently in between medications as we are having a hard time finding the one that works for him. We were really hoping that he could live without such things (medication) but it has been complete hell lately and everything we are trying as parents is not working for him. We are currently switching psychiatrists and during our time in this limbo it has been advised to us that he would do better back in a physical school. I am at odds with myself about it; I am terrified to send him to a place we specifically have avoided but when I weigh out the pro’s & con’s of the situation, I have decided that I am more terrified of the person he could become if we are unable to get him under control. I as his mom am angry with myself because I am having the most trouble with him and I cannot do it right or well enough to fix it. It pains me to even consider sending him back to a school building with covid in existence the way it is but when it is weighed out I feel it is worth trying because we have since failed to fix it.
In this last week I have had to come to the conclusion that it is not our faults as parents because we are trying to help him, we are doing everything we can do for him, and we are going through it with him. I will not allow myself to feel like crap about this decision because we haven’t given up and we haven’t not tried because we have. This battle that we as parents are facing is scary but I can only imagine what him as a 6 year old is facing. He cannot control himself half of the time and to not know what is causing it to happen or why he is like this must be hard to wrap his mind around. We are braving this monstrous storm together and hopefully we will find some light in the lining of the clouds in our path, even if its just a glimmer of light.
In other news I still plan to do homeschooling for my preschooler at home and work with him on preparing for Kindergarten. I would like to continue homeschooling with him and eventually our youngest when he reaches school age as I have really come to enjoy it just as my 4 year old has. In the state of Iowa it is not mandatory to do preschool for homeschooling as the ages seen for schooling requirements doesn’t even start until age 6. Which is first grader age but I would like to try to continue working with him to prepare for his grade ahead.
In our situation I can do many things a lot of nonsense worrying and I can pray. I can pray to my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ; that I know he has our family in his hands. That he knows what is best for us. That he has got this! I cannot do anything but pray and do my absolute best to follow guidelines from the schools and just use my commonsense in this situation.

Has anyone else gone through something similar?
Any advice?

Thanks for reading my post, thank you for your patience during our long pause. Drop a like below and follow my blog. I am writing more posts and will be releasing them very soon so stay tuned for them!

Motherhood

4 Tips To Help Deal with Stress

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and take that deep breath because parenting isn’t going to go as planned most of the time. I get pushed to my breaking point quite frequently raising rambunctious little boys. Screaming, yelling, & chaos is our normal. Always loud. Someone is always doing something involving noise; I often feel relief I have all boys because how on earth would a little lady fit into all of the boy! I guess I always pictured a quiet and shy little girl if I ever did have a girl.
Lately I feel as if I am on my last nerve. My boys mostly my oldest have been testing my patience and just seeing how far they can push their luck. Mom feels like the bad guy most of the time as dad can get away with being the bad guy no problem for them but when I am the bad guy that is just the end of their little worlds. He yells at them and they do what is expected; they give him respect. My question is; where is mine? You got me I feel a tad bit jealous.
Isn’t that okay though? To feel jealous at times when I as their mom can’t seem to get down to their level. Dad can just swoop in and get them to follow what he says no fights and if there is yelling, its cool. I want that, that respect. I have to yell and scream and just lose my mind completely to get their attention; unless I let them just run wild that is. That won’t be good for anyone.
I love my wild little guys and I love that they have chaos and that they are noisy but some days I want it to be easy…well easier. I guess I am dreaming as it is never ever easy for anyone. It’s meant to be difficult; but wouldn’t it be nice? I know that I am not alone in that mind set, I just can’t be!
Right now when I am writing this it is almost 10 PM and those little bodies are still wound for sound. I have been arguing back and forth since 7 PM three hours ago that it was time for bed. I have implemented no TV tonight due to bad behavior earlier this evening; safe to say it didn’t go over very well! I know I am the mom but sometimes I feel lost. Sure there isn’t any schooling for us tomorrow since today is Friday but even if there was this would still be a battle. I feel sort of bad to be writing this at the moment glancing over to check on the baby keeping him in my reach and then to make sure the other two are safe patiently waiting for dad to return from work. I have just had it this week, this month really. At this point when nothing is working I have decided to just sit back and take that deep breath. I mean a real deep breath! After all mom needs to be taken care of too!
Sometimes you need to close out all the chaos and noise. You need to relax a little bit. Those times when I feel like hiding from my children or letting go of the reigns even if for a minute or two. That is what I am feeling tonight and that is okay! If anyone else out there feels this way I would enjoy hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. Anyone?

So there you have it my thoughts for the evening! If I could share any tips with you about what I do when I feel this way these would be the ones. Here are 4 tips I have learned to use to deal with stress:

  1. First when I feel like I am at my breaking point; I take that break, I take that moment, & darn right I take that extremely long deep breath! Nothing helps me more to relax quicker than to stop and get out of that moment I was in and take a breather.
  2. Second if that breather still didn’t do it for me, next I would take a walk. Walk away if I can. If my husband was home with me; I would escape for a while. Of course if he’s not here like now that wouldn’t be an option. I would then try to find some other way to get some sort of exercise. Cleaning or walking around the house. Seems like getting my blood pumping in a positive way other than yelling helps out quite a bit.
  3. The third thing I would try would be turning on some tunes. Listening to some music is a great way to relieve some stress. Kind of like a deep breath for your brain. My kids think it is for them; they stop there target practice on me and join in for some relaxation. I turn it up and it just helps calm everyone down.
  4. This next way may not be your cup of tea but it sure is mine. Maybe I need to do some screaming at this point if all the other ways are working. Scream, yell, break something release some built up stress. My kids do this all the time so why can’t I do it too? Exactly! You could try one of those stress balls if you really wanted to, but where is the fun in that. I often picture in my mind how my kids would react if I just started acting like them. Giving them a big tantrum and flailing around the way that they do when they are out of control. Wishful thinking that they might finally be on my level but I know they would more than likely join in with me; wouldn’t that be a mess.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my post. If you are ever feeling this way; maybe it’s not about kids but something else that is really stressing you out. I think that it is worth trying some of the above tips to try to bring that stress level down. I mean it sure is worth trying. Do you have any tips? Feel free to comment them down below.

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Adventure, homeschooling, Review

Keep Calm and Read On!

Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Now seems like a great day to start a new adventure. In our house we tend to have a lot of different adventures that kind of just happen all around us. My boys are always full of energy and looking for some kind of adventure to go on or get into. We have been home for almost half a year now not going anywhere except to those occasional doctors appointments or if mom/dad need to run to the store. After a while being home all of the time starts to wear on you emotionally and physically. You get interactions through the computer or TV for the outside world but not like it was. My kids need to have things switched up to make things feel like they aren’t always the same because that is…. So boring! (as my 4 year old would say) He’s right it get’s boring after you do the same things over and over. To combat this we have started to change out toys switching between different sets and of course reading more books. Especially since school just started back for us just a couple of weeks ago. Reading has become something we do a lot of everyday. I read to my boys during their homeschooling as well as afterwards, if they are not tired of hearing my voice that is! My 6 year old is just now starting to read and is getting pretty great at it too. Just today he read through an entire book by himself with very minimal help.
I would say that reading has become a staple for fun in our household and that may be a weird thing to say for most people who might have already had a reading time implemented in their households. For our family books were a once in while thing like a super special time that we tried to do and that was if no one ripped, ate, or threw a book that day. My boys went through various stages of each of those…I as their mom was kind of in shock and wondered why they did those things. In my mind maybe they just weren’t ready for books. That might have been true then but today they are totally different for the most part about books. They have become more excited about them and believe me that didn’t just happen. I had to start over and over with book for my kids until I came up with a solution. We would create a library of sorts. If you wanted a book you would have to check it out and then return it if you wanted another or just a plain old toy. It seems to be working as its so far so good.
With that they have learned to take care of their books more during school and when school is over with. I also have started to feel more connected with them through books and learning. Every time I open a book they get so excited and we enjoy that time together.
According to The American Academy of Pediatricians “Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.” I would definitely agree with that statement as I already mentioned earlier I feel closer to my kids being able to read books together. And I am loving the adventures and new memories we create together.
With schools starting back now during all the chaos whether you are homeschooling like my family or sending your kids back to physical school buildings I encourage you to make time for reading. Go on your own adventures to keep your minds busy and focused on fun things. Just remember to Keep Calm and Read On!


Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Recently I wrote a review for Bookroo HERE; check that post out to learn more in detail about Bookroo and their company. When I first learned about their awesome company I knew I wanted to be able to share them with you! Bookroo is a monthly box subscription service that sends books for children neatly wrapped up like presents in the mail every month. You have a few choices between types of boxes offered; there are three to choose from: The Board Book, The Picture Book, & The Chapter Book Box. Each for a specific age group (0-10 yrs). Each book sent out is individually wrapped in wrapping paper like little gifts I know that my kids were so excited to open the previous box they felt special when they got to unwrap their book. I think that wrapping them up give it a unique personal touch to this monthly box. It helps them stand out from the crowd! For the entire month of September Bookroo is offering a special promotion check it out below and follow the links provided to get the deal! Don’t forget to use the special code at checkout.

Bookroo has a very special promotion going on through the entire month of September 2020. Get 20% off any 3 month subscription with code KEEPCALM! Monthly or Gift included. (Code cannot be combined with any other offers or used more than once per household. Valid Sept. 1, (12:01 am ET) – Sept. 30 (11:59 pm PT).)

This month we were very fortunate to receive a second box from Bookroo to unbox for you! I am happy that I get to share this one with you as well. Bookroo offers three different types of boxes this one is the chapter book box. If you are more interested in seeing what the picture book box is like click HERE for my previous review/post.
Everyday for our homeschooling we have read aloud times where I grab a book usually a chapter book as they tend to last longer than a single day read and I read a chapter or two to both of my older boys. While they listen they usually have something to keep their little hands busy such as play dough or drawing in their reading journals over what I am reading about currently. I love being able to read to them and just share all sorts of adventures with them in every book that we read!
The chapter books came very nicely packaged just like the picture books came! Both were wrapped in different wrapping paper and I love that they are always wrapped in different kinds/designs of wrapping paper instead of it just being plain. My middle son helped with this unboxing he loved opening up “his presents”… I believe today was also his birthday party as he always says! He tends to have a birthday party every day. This made his day for sure.
Our first book is by Cornelia Funke; Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid Tale. This book looks like a great read for our home school read aloud’s. We are looking forward to going on another adventure, this one looks like it will take us “Under the Sea”. After we venture down to the deepest depths of the sea we will journey back to the surface for our next adventure!
For our last book it looks like we will set out for an adventure in the stars on a magical journey with The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker. This one looks like it is going to be a fun magical adventure for our school year. It is a bit on the thicker side so it will definitely last us a great while longer for our read aloud’s. Longer books also mean bigger adventures for our minds to escape into!
Again I encourage you to check out Bookroo so you can go out on your own adventures too! Grab a book and escape from today’s reality, set your mind on something great! Remember to Keep Calm & Read On!


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Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Motherhood

My Top 3 Must Have Baby Products

Today I thought I would share some great products that have been life savers for our family, literally! (This is not a sponsored post)

1) Our newest little guy was born this past February he was born at 34 weeks gestation and has had pretty mild issues considering being born premature. Like my other two boys he has had quite a lot of trouble with re-flux, well actually a lot! Definitely more than my older boys. He has been on re-flux medications for the past 3 months and for the most part that has been working but sometimes it doesn’t. I am a firm believer in the nasal bulb syringe; I don’t go anywhere with out it. The only issue with the ones you get from the hospital is that they can be very difficult to keep clean and when you think you have got it good you question your self because you cannot see inside…at least I do. After a recommendation from my sons doctor to get one of those nosefrida’s I spent quite a lot of time researching it and reading reviews. I wasn’t convinced that the Frida Baby brand was for us, so I dug deeper. Upon reading reviews about the nosefrida I found a diamond in the rough NeilMed’s Naspira Plus. I read through reviews and took the plunge; I love it! It works great and the tip is smaller so it doesn’t cause as much discomfort for my little guy. It is easier to get the nasal passages clear as well. It has the bulb syringe part that has the removable tube that connects together and best of all they are both see through for easy cleaning. I feel a lot better knowing that I can use it with and without the tube as well so I can use it for his mouth if I need to and his nose. When we were in the NICU one of the scariest times would be when he spit up as he still does at times, some were very bad up through the nose. I will never forget what one of his nurses told me; M then N. Meaning Mouth first then Nose! I encourage you to check it out in the link above. $14.99 at Target.

2) Owlet Smart Sock; This is a more pricier item but I feel is worth every penny. I used this with my middle son as well and definitely gives me a peace of mind with our little one now as well. The sock we have is the second generation sock; the company just released the third generation sock last month. Our second generation has worked great and will continue to work great! This device monitors heart rate and oxygen levels when baby is resting. It will sound an alarm if it is placed incorrectly, if there is not a signal, or if at anytime either the heart rate or oxygen levels are not where they should be. I keep track of it all on my smart phone through and internet connection. It has helped both my husband & I sleep a little better at night. You can buy it new at $299 plus tax and shipping HERE or buy a refurbished device directly from them for $199 plus tax and shipping HERE.

3) Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker; Is another life saver for us. Our little guy uses this more for just sitting in now but when he was much smaller he would spend his supervised naps in this and no judging we used it as a bassinet here and there. It has a base that can make it into a lounger that can be moved from rocker to lounger when needed. As I have mentioned he has really bad re-flux and for a very long time he could not be flat on his back at all without being at an inclined position. This helped up tremendously! Now he uses it more for sitting up in or on days when he needs to be at an incline. $44.99 at Target.


These are my top three favorite baby products! They have saved our little guy more than once and given us a peace of mind! We love these and cannot imagine life without them!

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