In April 2019 my husband & I bought our first house. Finally after spending years in family owned rentals and just living with family in general we have our own home for us and our little ones. We love owning our own place and pretty much everything is the same for us its just now the house, appliances, & land is ours not someone else’s.
I have always been good at fixing things and I enjoy learning how things of all categories work so I have no problem fixing what I can understand even if I don’t have a degree to fix it. Anymore pretty much anything can be found online more specifically on YouTube so the confidence is high and what I or my husband can’t get ourselves we do know how to ask for help.
Pretty much every appliance that we became owners of besides the washer and dryer came with the house. The one exception was the fridge which lasted not even a year then we had to replace it. That just leaves the dishwasher and with everything going on in the world we can’t really afford to replace that if needed to.
When it rains it pours because this past week maybe within the last couple weeks our beloved dishwasher has started to act up. It wasn’t draining correctly and had water standing in the bottom after every wash. Not to mention the dishes weren’t quite getting clean. I may have muttered a specific word under my breath when I discovered this. I was irritated its like anything that could go wrong in this year of 2020 just has because it could! My husband & I were unfortunately faced with some decisions on what we were going to have to do about it.
Hire someone to fix it.
Look for a used replacement.
Fix it ourselves.
What to do was running across my mind pretty much everyday. I finally decided I needed to at least try to fix it or figure out if I could fix it. We can’t afford to hire someone to come fix it because its either gonna come out to too much money or not even worth it and too much money. The money that goes for that might as well go for a newer one but we don’t have the money for a newer one so that doesn’t make the best of sense in my mind. It’s a circle of going nowhere and a lot of time wasted.
The dishwasher we have is a General Electric Eterna Nautilus; I kind of feel like a badass in a way. Excuse the language but I wrestled that thing all day today and now I feel like we have an understanding on how a dishwasher is supposed to do it’s job. Now you see I am not a snob to washing my dishes by hand I really only need a dishwasher to sanitize certain dishes and currently the big ones are bottles, bottle nipples, & pacifiers. I can wash dishes by hand with the right accessories. I have hand eczema that if or when my hands come in contact with different soaps/moisture they tend to break out and become super itchy. I am not a fan when this happens because it hurts a lot. And after getting over a mango allergic reaction just recently not really looking for more painful skin problems anytime soon.
I took the drain guard out and then the drain grate that sets down a hole underneath it because if it wasn’t draining my mind says it probably has an issue with the drain, right? I cleaned both of them off really good and sifted through the drain for anything that may cause the water to not drain properly. I ran the dishwasher to see if that helped and it seemed to but just incase I also ran some vinegar & baking soda inside it during a regular wash as well. Note: (I double checked with YouTube to make sure I took it apart right & also to put it back together correct). After the baking soda & vinegar I put it back together then decided to really give it a deeper clean by getting out all of the built up gunk in the door at the bottom in the little crevasses that needed cleaned. I even cleaned out that little hole in the door for the rinse aid I figured that since the little plug had come out once or twice … it should be cleaned and vinegar & baking soda would probably be fine. It helped bring up some junk that got in there by using the old volcano cleaning method. I scrubbed with vinegar & baking soda then wiped it down and then sprayed over with some Clorox cleaner to sanitize it extra. I of course wiped it out real good to get that up off of the dishwasher the best I could. And because I was cleaning it I ran a full dishwasher load with nothing in it to clean off sort of residue I may have missed.
After a full days work of wrestling with my dishwasher and taking it apart then cleaning it out I finally was able to run a medium sized dish load. Good news is it didn’t leak which is especially great because it wasn’t leaking before so at least I didn’t break it more. This load seemed to get cleaner than expected but only time can tell for the future.
For the most part I feel I tried as much as I can do on my own and I am happy that I tried to fix it. If the problem continues it would probably be best to find a cheap and I mean cheap replacement versus trying to fix it. Can’t really afford it but if it were cheap enough maybe. I have never owned a dishwasher before just used family members. What I have learned is that I will need to make sure I clean it more regularly to keep all the gunk from building up. I would highly recommend that if you have a dishwasher to clean it regularly. I was cleaning it once in a while but will be more on top of it from here on out. Probably wouldn’t hurt to run some bleach through it once in a while but that is my own speculation not something that I know for sure. Anything that I have done with my dishwasher today and in this post has been trial and error things that I have kind of come up with myself/researched myself. I am always open to any tips for this area of expertise if anyone has any. I am not trained in any sort of working with these types of appliances but I am always wanting to learn about more things. Comment below with any tips about cleaning dishwashers or any fun stories if you have any down below!
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There’s nothing I loved more than exploring the kitchen as a kid. I loved mixing different combinations of foods together making new recipes up along the way. I ended up becoming the cook in the house for my family growing up they loved all the different things I made up and it was great for my parents because they didn’t have to cook all the time. Now that I have my own kids I want them to have the ability to explore the kitchen the way that I did. I want them to have those life skills that they enjoy rather than feeling pressure to learn it at a later time in their lives. If they can learn it now as kids maybe they will learn to enjoy cooking and possibly find a passion for it.
I have been given a unique opportunity to do an review/unboxing for Raddish Kids. They send out monthly cooking boxes directed towards kids so that they can learn about cooking, food safety, & kitchen safety all in one box. These neat little kits can be done with a parent for younger children or some supervision for older ones who are already pretty comfortable in the kitchen. I love that such a box service like this one exists. As a woman who grew up in a time where these sorts of things didn’t exist I am thankful that they do now for my kids and for other kids & generations to come!
I want to refresh your memories about what or rather who Raddish Kids are and what they do as a company just a little bit better. I wrote up a post on the all about Raddish Kids Box a couple of weeks ago but I am sure like my self when I read something eventually I need a refresher on what I read eventually with time.
Raddish Kids is a monthly cooking club for kids ages 4-14+ that teaches about cooking food, food safety, & kitchen safety. It brings the education of learning about food and how to cook it as well as the fun of making new recipes home. When your kids learn with Raddish Kids they will develop new skills and make fun memories in the process.
How to get started?
Raddish Kids offer a 3 payment plans to help you pick the right one for your family. For a month to month plan prices start at $24 per box. Next there’s the 6 month plan where you pay for 6 months up front and the price per box for that plan is $22 saving you a bit of money compared to the month to month plan. Finally if you would rather pay yearly your price per box would be $20 per box per month up front for the year. On top of those great prices you are able to add up to 3 extras per sibling on to each plan. This is great for families with multiple kids so nobody feels left out! Lastly you can even ad in an apron to your first box for the special patch that is included in each monthly box. This is a great way to remember what your kids learned with each box in a fun way!
What is included in each box?
Inside each box/kit:
There are 3 recipe cards that happen to be laminated just in case things get messy. On top of that feature the recipe cards include fun skills to learn in the kitchen as well as the ingredients and the step by step instructions with pictures for the recipes being made.
A Kitchen Tool, every box includes its own unique kitchen tool that is necessary for making the recipes in that months box. Each kit helps build up your kitchen tools but at the same time teaches your kid(s) how to use them properly.
A Creative Kitchen Project, each kit includes a hands on craft, experiment, or food game for family fun!
Monthly Collectibles, that include conversation cards about food or kitchen talk and a fun apron patch to remember what you learned month to month.
Grocery Lists for all of the ingredients that will be needed to make all of these amazing recipes of course.
I was given a box from Raddish Kids to give a review over there cooking kit. As with all of my reviews I give my honest opinions that are my own. I want to bring my readers great family products and anything that I give a recommendation for I want to make sure I would use them for my own family first rather than just saying hey go an try it out. Which brings me to this review; so let’s get started.
This box has a lot of different parts to it and I think that it makes it very unique. I will start by unboxing it and then going through each recipe inside. Finally I will show you the recipes in real life as I have made. In the the end I will give a full and honest opinion over this entire box and the recipes that were made. I will base my review on quite a few things including: the packaging, how the contents fit together, & how easy everything is to understand (recipes, games, & projects ect).
3 Recipe Cards
Creative Kitchen Project
Lesson Plan for Spooky Kitchen
Spotify Playlist for Spooky Kitchen
Rad Family Dinners
Rad Family Dinners: October- Spooky Suppers
Recipe Time: Boo-nana Bread
Out of the three recipes in the box I let my son choose which one he wanted to do. He chose the Boo-nana Bread and so that is what we made below. I opted not to make all three for this unboxing because since this is a past box that can still be purchased I didn’t want to reveal too much. If you are curious about this recipe as well as the others and want to try this box out for yourselves it can be found HERE. Below is the ingredients we needed. Which were: Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Salt, Very Ripe Bananas (we had Ripe Enough Bananas), Flour, Butter, & Eggs. This recipe was one that used the special tool that came with this box, if you guess potato masher or masher you guessed correct. My middle son is the one who helped make this recipe he is four and even though he needed some reminders here and there due to him being four he could pretty easily follow the directions given. I think his favorite parts of making it was the mashing of the bananas & the mashing. Then the eating part was after it was made which is pretty much the best part over all! We were going to make muffins but ended up changing our minds because he wanted it as close to the picture as possible. (Note: I was the one who did the oven cooking parts; he knows that ovens are only for adults. He is 4 after all.)
On each card there are the ingredients and kitchen utensils/items needed for each recipe; the directions in picture form for making each recipe; and some fun tips/tricks in both reading comprehension & science about the kitchen or recipe card being used. Those were more for older kids and will be great for my 6 year old to learn about when he gets back from his weekend at the grandparents house!
One last picture I wanted to add in was our clean up time where he is cleaning the recipe card off with a Clorox wipe (he wore safety gloves); the cards are laminated and water proof which means when they get messy they can be easily cleaned up for future uses. Having younger kids usually means there are going to be messes especially in the kitchen!
What He thought:
“Nanna Bread”, “Made recipe with smasher, Yep. Now can have nanna bread?”
As quoted by a 4 year old.
What I Thought?
The first impression of this box upon opening it is that it is very well put together and that a lot of thought went into the box it’s self and all of the packaging as well. The packaging is a very nice quality and I love that they use a variety of colors to make the activities & recipes pop out rather than just using words.
Which brings me to the recipe cards; on each individual recipe card they have the ingredients all printed out on the card in picture form and the instructions are in picture form as well. On top of that all of the cards front, back, & everywhere in between is laminated, meaning that you can get banana bread batter on them for instance and they will wipe clean and they will be able to be reused no problem for future use!
There is just so much information packed into this little box kit not including the “Bonus Bites” section online where you can find a bunch of extra’s for the current and past monthly boxes. There are even dietary substitutions for each box.
I was curious if I could find the dietary substitutions for the Boo-nana Bread recipe so I went to their site Raddish Kids, then I found the Bonus Bites section at the top and clicked on it, next I found a search bar on the Bonus Bite’s page and typed in Boo-nana Bread as sure enough the Dietary Substitution/Restrictions popped up.
Even though we didn’t need to use the substitutions for this recipe the fact that we could if we needed to is great. I love that I can go back in the future and find the substitutions for it is great too because as a person who does have some allergies to certain foods I know that they can just pop up for really anyone or kids who are still growing.
Like I mentioned above I made this Boo-nana Bread Recipe with the help of a 4 year old; who still needed some reminders while making it but it was simple enough for him to be able to follow directions in making it. He naturally gets distracted so there’s that. I think that him being able to see the directions in the picture format was a huge helper for him. He cannot read yet so being able to see what the recipe needed and when the ingredient was supposed to go into the bowl was a very nice feature that I think a lot of recipes could use because it makes teaching kids to cook a lot easier this way. I thought that it was very cool of them to print it all in color as well so that kids like my 4 year old can tell what was needed by the color of the item in the picture not just what the picture looks like in general.
All in all I felt like everything was pretty easy to understand most of it was even easy for my 4 year old with help of course for him to grasp onto and understand especially with the help of the pictures included on the recipe cards. I feel that if he can understand by use of the pictures with some help that my older 6 almost 7 year old would be able to understand not only the recipe cards but the games that came with this box as well. However since he was not home for that part we skipped it for now but will do that part with him when he returns home from the grandparents house. The little game in this box was a word game where you create a little story using fun words that is inserted into the sentence as it is read. There was also a fun little crossword but that is something that kind of flies above both of my kids heads but could be something for an older kid or adult to do.
The box has a bunch of different fun recipes & fun exercises/things to learn. It has a lot of neat and fun things to do in general. I love that the box can be done with as much help or as little help that is needed depending on the age range of child/children working on the box. As well as fun things to do inside the box/kit I love that each month brings extras todo along side all of the other things. You simply go to the Raddish Kids website to their Bonus Bites page and look up what ever box you are on in the search bar. The bonus content for that box will pop up and then you have a whole other fun list of recipes, songs, & activities to do alongside or after you get through all of what was included inside the main box.
In my conclusion I honestly love this box and think that the price is spot on. When you break down all of what is included inside the actual box and then factor in what you get in extras this is well worth it. I will be back as a future customer for sure. I loved being able to do these fun recipes with my kiddos and would love to continue to make some fun recipes from this company with them again. Definitely excited to grow our recipe collection a bit more as well!
Thanks for checking out my review over Raddish Kids, the box I reviewed was “Spooky Kitchen” if you wanted to get it for yourself. I have enjoyed working with this company and love the product that they offer. I am always on the lookout for fun family products for my family as well as products that I can share with you!
Quick Note: Thought I would include this tid bit of information that I copied directly from their FAQ page. I know I have readers from other countries other than the USA so I wanted to make sure I included this information in this post. Just in case this speaks to you!
“When do you ship? Do you ship internationally?
Your first kit will ship via USPS within 1-3 business days unless otherwise selected during checkout.
Orders placed by the 20th of the month will receive that month’s kit. Orders placed on the 21st and after will receive the next month’s kit.
Subsequent kits will have an expected arrival date of between the 5th and 10th of each month.
Outside of the United States, International shipping is available for an additional $7 USD/month shipping fee. We ship to the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovak Republic (Slovakia), Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Please allow 3 to 5 business days after shipment for U.S. delivery and 14 business days for international shipping. International delays are possible due to customs. If you do not receive your kit within 3 weeks of receiving the tracking email, please contact our customer service team.“
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Around where I live here in Iowa Fall is in full swing. The leaves are falling to the ground and that winter chill is not far off as things begin to cool down. Even though 2020 has added to the usual sickness that you normally go through during Fall in Iowa sickness is sickness its all icky! I wanted to share some tips I use for myself and my family during those icky sick days & nights. This past week and part of last I have been dealing with sick kids and a teething cranky baby. How have I been able to manage?
I am a mom who fully believes in using whatever over the counter medications will work but when the usual Motrin or Tylenol isn’t quite cutting out the fever I need to intervene because sometimes they can’t handle those high fevers by themselves. One big way I help keep those pesky fevers at bay is to run a warm bath or shower depending on the kid or myself. It is important to not shock the body with a cold bath or shower and of course you don’t want to burn anybody with a super hot one so I keep it in the middle with a nice lukewarm to warm bath/shower. And when I can’t get my littles to get in a tub or if they are super HOT I will use the same water warmth and wet their hair instead! When their hair is wet it will help cool the rest of the body down as it cools down. No matter which way I cool them off I make sure to wrap them in a warm blanket or blankets to keep them from catching a chill!
Once I have the fever in check I need to soothe those little noses and throats and in my opinion there is nothing better than using a chest rub to help soothe a cough or stuffy/runny nose. Our favorite brand is Vicks Vaporub but I have used other brands when I just needed something! I will slather my kids and myself up; typically on the chest and back but I will sometimes coat the necks and bottoms of the feet (they need socks on afterwards). The vapor soothes the coughs and helps either open up the nasal passages so we can breathe better or just helps soothe our noses from all the runny noses.
Anytime sickness hits our house I always have a pot of some sort of brothy soup on the stove top. I love a good chicken noodle soup homemade when possible but canned is great too! The warm/hot liquid helps soothe sore throats and helps with clearing up nasal passages as well. It always makes the day so much more better and for just a bit you forget that you are sick; at least I do. In our house I am usually making a homemade soup; I fill a stock pot with water and some sort of protein surrounded with cut up vegetables and I bring that all to a boil. I then put it on a medium/low simmer for a few hours or until my protein is fully cooked through. Next depending on the type of protein I will either strain everything out if there are bones in it then add it back to the pot with out the bones. This step usually includes sorting out the meat from the bones then putting the meat and veggies back into the pot but if there were no bones I do not have to strain anything. I will then add in what ever spices and pasta if any into my broth and bring back to a boil until the pasta is cooked through and veggies should be tender. This is always a family favorite and super easy to make!
Soups or other warm/hot beverages are a great way to warm up and feel better when you are sick but another great way my family and I kick sickness to the curb is by enjoying something cold. It is not usually encouraged to have dairy or at least a lot of dairy when you are sick but sometimes depending on the type of sickness we enjoy the occasional cold treat. Usually its a nice bowl of ice cream but we also dabble in ice pops especially those that are made up of fruit by Outshine, Pineapple is my favorite. The extra vitamin C is an added bonus. We love our ice pops or ice cream in moderation. We have found that they help sore throats the most and sometimes after feeling awful for so long it is nice to have something to help pick up your spirits with a little joy!
Last but not least because it is number one, even though these weren’t in any particular order but this one should always be number one; WATER! Good old fashioned h2o is the number one way to kick any sickness to the curb. We enjoy drinking water to help keep us hydrated which helps loosen flehm and if its cold enough it helps the throat. I have found that sipping water helps settle my stomach when it is upset and it also helps me stop coughing or at least it helps the cough not be so bad. Water should be on everyone’s list in my opinion even if it is flavored because we all need water to live so there’s that!
Thanks for reading hope you find that these 5 tips for kicking sickness to the curb help you out in some way! Feel free to share with anyone who it may help as well.
Drop a like below and also I would love to hear what helps you & your family feel better in the comments below! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for another post coming very soon!
(This is not a paid or affiliate post) (Just writing)
Last month I did a review over Sunnie Press a monthly coloring activity mat designed to keep kids entertained in more ways than one! I reviewed it because I want to share fun products that I as a parent come aware of and want to give an honest review over the product I share with you. Last month was the September map which was themed around a fun zoo with lots of animals and artwork designed around a zoo with all sorts of zoo features & facts. My kids enjoyed it and are still using it as a play mat, it can be colored for a long amount of time and it has fun little roadways printed on each map for playing with cars or action figures as well. (My Sunnie Press Review) I figured it couldn’t hurt to show off the October 2020 map to see what you are missing out on because I love this company! If you have ever just needed an activity for multiple kids or siblings more specifically to work on together this is perfect. I am always looking for ways for my boys to work on sharing and just playing together to build the social skills amongst each other. It is important for siblings to play well together and to not only build social skills outside the home but also social skills between siblings so that they are able to create bonds with each other. My boys are at that age where they both are into coloring and cars at the same time so working together on this fun activity is great for them to do together. I was given the idea to have these mats laminated to make them last longer for the future. That way they could stick around for future generations in our family hopefully; they are great for building memories with your family!
This months theme is based around Halloween since that is usually the typical October holiday for the month that brings a whole lot of fun!
If anyone has ever raised boys or just brave adventurous children it is quite common for those children to develop a sense of invincibility. Most of the time they are dare devils who will seek out the thrill that a lot of people tend to stray away from. My middle son is my little dare devil. He has no fear and that is good to some degree, but there is a limit that this mom has for danger. My boy has a knack for climbing what ever he can find worth climbing, jumping from tall heights off of furniture around the house or outside playground equipment, he is not afraid of much and even if he is afraid he soon conquers his fears. Although seemingly fearless there are those creepy crawlies that he fears but of all of the creepy slithery things he loves playing with snakes! The only snakes on our Iowa property have been harmless garter snakes the kind that eat worms, frogs, mice or bird eggs so I am not worried that they are dangerous to him. However a snake is a snake and I don’t want my 4 year old playing with snakes! However boys will be boys. Earlier today similar to another time this boy comes running inside the house from playing outside in our fenced in back yard. He comes running inside and boy did he have a story to tell! I can always tell its a doozy of a story because he starts by saying “So! Let me tell you about it!” It being the thing he comes running excitedly inside about. He tells me that he put a snake in a bucket and that I need to come see it, Now! I let him out side for about 10 minutes and he could only be outside with our family dog because that dog is an alarm and will sound off when anyone walks past any part of our house. Anyways we walk out expecting to see a live snake but I would have to say how proud I was when he informed me that it was dead because the dog killed it. Why am I proud? Well because the last time his story involved a snake he was holding that live slithering thing in his hands! Slinging it around the yard chasing his less enthused older brother. He is quite the adventurous boy possibly too adventurous at times!
Have you had a similar experience? Any fun stories?
I am not terrified of snakes otherwise I might have fainted. I tend to toss them over our fence weekly due to our dog hunting them then ending their slithering lives. He is a terrier and I love that we have our little hunter at times but there are just so many snakes to be had; I wish there weren’t so many sometimes. I can only imagine the neighbors watching me from their windows tossing snakes over the fence (not toward them of course), what crosses their minds?
I hope to share many other fun stories about our life raising wild boys and other fun family stories that cross our paths in our life adventure! Thanks for reading, drop a like below, & follow my blog! Stay tuned in for more posts coming soon.
A morning for me isn’t complete unless I have something to wake my mind up a bit; enter coffee! I used to be one of those people who used a coffee maker who had it so much more simpler; or so I thought. I would plug in my coffee maker or Keurig depending on the mood and wait patiently for my morning cup of get up and go to brew. It was so easy but it wasn’t good for me; so I quit! I made that choice to live with a little less in my life I kicked the coffee maker to the curb and tossed my Keurig along for the ride as it had gotten a little snobby for my liking. I was done with those devices but I still longed for that brewed morning cup of wake the heck up. I knew what I had to do. I now make a much more simpler cup of coffee that has many reasons and I thought I would share them with you then I will continue on with how I do things now.
In todays world everything in the United States at least and a lot of other countries have taken the easy route in how we do pretty much anything. There’s really no doing things like they were done hundreds of years ago not by a lot of people that is. Especially when it comes to making coffee. You used to have to brew it over an open flame, then we moved on to brewing it on the stove top. Those just weren’t fast enough for the pace that we humans were moving at and needed that caffeine kick quicker; enter the coffee maker which brewed coffee not only faster but better and it even came with a little more precision than the old ways. After the simple coffee maker there were some other devices mixed in there but ultimately next came the Keurig and boy was that a game changer especially for us folks at home! If you have the extra money to throw around and coffee is something you won’t live with out then by all means go out and buy one but they are expensive. My first reason in this little count down at reason number 5 to ditch the coffee maker/Keurig is because of price; and I don’t mean the price of just the machine there is the up keep of the machines as well. What if it breaks and you need a replacement part or need to clean it as they do get gunked up believe it or not. You don’t want to be drinking mold, right? On top of maintenance and machine upkeep you have to think about how much those little pre-packaged containers of coffee cost for your little coffee drinking experience. That Keurig will empty your bank account with out a sweat and it brews coffee!
Just think what you could do with more counter space! What if you had an extra spot on you counter that wasn’t taken up by a machine that really could be replaced with something of greater value and use? Think of the possibilities! One of the reasons that I ditched my coffee making machines was because I didn’t need to make room for something that wasn’t 100% necessary. I could use that precious space for something else, something better. Short, Sweet, and To The Point!
Suppose you were to lose power and you don’t happen to have a back up generator or if you do your surely not going to waste that precious power source to use a coffee maker instead you conveniently have an option that would work with or without the need for electricity. Relying on electricity fully is great and all but what happens when the lights go out? Using an alternative way to make coffee just saves you the heartache when it comes to a situation like that.
There they are my three reasons for ditching my coffee maker; but I know you are asking well how do you brew your coffee? Well it is really quite simple and my reasons are done listed above for why I do it this way. I simply boil some water in a tea kettle (that could also be boiled over a fire with out electricity) anyways boil the water in the tea kettle on the stove top then pour that boiling hot water directly over a metal mesh basket with a coffee filter that is filled with my favorite coffee of choice (Folgers). I can brew up as much as I want directly in my mug then I simply wash it all up and put away for easy storage.
How do you make your coffee? Would you consider ditching your coffee maker?
Thanks for reading my post and for checking out my blog. Drop a like below and follow my blog if you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to check out some of my other posts!
Being able to see the world from someone else’s perspective is something we as people cannot even begin to imagine until we are given the opportunity to do so by seeing it ourselves or even by reading it with our own eyes. When you wake up in the morning and gather yourself its always going to be different from what someone else will do. It can never be the exact same experience as another.
A single day for me is a whole lot different now than what it was a year ago and I am sure it can be different for others as well as our lives are always changing from day to day. As a person who used to have a job to go to work at everyday who now does a different form of work by staying home as a stay at home parent kind of changed my perspective. I no longer have that rush of going to an actual work building sure, however it is kind of the same in some ways. Even though I don’t leave my home or even log in to a computer for a stay at home job I still am doing a job; and at times it is a tough job to do.
5 Things That People Should Know About Being a Stay at Home Parent
It may not be a traditional job where you clock in and out but it is a job; a hard one at that. I know we’ve all heard it before staying at home as a stay at home parent is a job too but sometimes I feel like it is taken too lightly because it’s just as hard but in different ways. Last year I worked in a kitchen at a school and before that I worked in a hospital cleaning and doing laundry. I have worked many other hard working jobs before those as well and when I compare them all to staying at home with my own kids here’s how it comes out. * Both require my full undivided attention. * Both will wear you out and then some. * Stay at home parents are doing a natural job that usually never ends unless they are given a break occasionally. At most jobs you eventually go home for a break but not for all of them. * Although unlikely the shit will literally attempt to hit the fan while at home at times especially those of us with small children… and fans! If this happens at a work place I would look for a new job unless you are in that business of course!
Stay at home parents get the opportunity of being a jack of all trades even if they didn’t plan on it. Staying at home more has allowed me to just expand this ability because being a parent in general gave me all sorts of tasks to accomplish kind of making me and expert at some of the jobs the world has to offer. I am an on call doctor at times; a personal chef always; most days I am a teacher of all sorts of things; & sometimes I even get to try out being an actress… not that I am the greatest or anything. I have worked in all sorts of jobs but none can ever prepare you for a single day at the amusement park of a stay at home parent. There is always something unexpected good and bad.
It’s a given that a stay at home parent is well home pretty much all of the time and that is just a reward on its own even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. Being able to be home more with your kids gives you that bond or the ability to create a special bond with your kids that you would have otherwise missed. As a mother to three wonderful little boys who are always rambunctious, wild, & sweet it can be hard to grab a moment with each of them on their own well that is if I were working outside the home and really more time with the older boys as I am constantly with the baby most of the time. Before I found that I was feeling disconnected from them at times because of school and work. When we all got home there was a short amount of time together before bed as everyone was wore out most days. Then of course there was the weekends but they didn’t want to spend those at home because they missed going to the grandparents houses so then they weren’t home that much then either. Now that I am home these days I have been able to connect more with them and find that I have more energy when my oldest comes home from school in the afternoons and feel much less sluggish or tired. I have been able to spend more one on one time with both of the older boys and the baby of course. I am loving this so much!
Being at home more does have its wonders and rewards but sometimes it brings in other feelings relating to stress and sadness. Feelings of hopelessness and sadness are not going to skip over people because of professions or who that person is. It doesn’t matter who you are because things like stress and depression happen to everyone. Here’s the thing you shouldn’t feel any shame in it either! While these feelings can hit anyone at anytime they will effect people who are closed off from other people or who spend a lot of time alone. I know this because I have suffered from a lot of dealings with depression and stress. The depressive feelings tend to happen more when I am not really in contact with other people besides my kids or husband I believe this is because people need to have connections with other people. Even if you are not in a person to person conversation with another person out side of your home and it is just typing on the computer that conversation alone can help out someone dealing with depressive feelings a lot. It can be very easy for someone who is at home as a stay at home parent to close themselves off or even just feel closed off from the rest of the world. This can mess with your mind a bunch and just imagine only being able to have conversations with children for most of your days and possibly yourself. I am lucky enough to be able to get on my computer or my phone and talk to people so that this doesn’t happen to me as much. There are people that don’t have this kind of luxury even if that seems strange and I also count myself lucky to have a husband who is someone who I can talk to because some spouses for others would not do the same. Being home all day long with kids can drive you up a wall believe me and I love those little faces so much but sometimes I just need a break or someone to talk to to help tame those feelings that sometimes creep up. Some days I overcome them with victory and others I do not but even though I fail at overcoming them sometimes I still have some way to connect with someone else. Keep this in your minds before you judge a person who stays home whether they are a stay at home parent or at home for some other reason because the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
This full time job of staying home all day everyday with our children some of us homeschooling others just home until they can go to school anyways we all work hard and even if we complain a little bit we still do this job. This stay at home gig, job, task; whatever you call it doesn’t pay a darn thing and it never will. We stay home everyday, feed our kids and ourselves everyday, keep up on housework everyday, clean up mess after mess all hours of the day and night, kiss boo boo’s and make little tummies feel better when they don’t feel well at all, we push our bodies to the max and then some more, we stand strong and try our hardest even when it feels like all of our hard work is collapsing around us; this full time job never ends and it may never get easier but we will continue to work this job because without us it just doesn’t work for our families otherwise. It’s what we do.
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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?
Well first I took each 1 Gallon bag and set it in a pitcher like the pictures below.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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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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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 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.
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).
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!
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!
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