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?
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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!
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!
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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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.
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.
Be sure to check out their social media pages for discounts on you first order. Here’s their Facebook & Instagram.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!)
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.
(This is not a paid or sponsored review)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!