Monthly Archives: May 2012

How to Save Money on your Laundry

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Image from reneeks-ramblings.blogspot.com

 

Long gone are the days of doing my laundry once  a week.   Now the laundry pile seems never-ending and the cost is exorbitant.   Chatelaine created a list of Eight Ways to Save Money on your Laundry and I have shortened the list below and added a few of my own.

 

 

 

 

  1. Use Cold Water.  Using warm or hot water accounts for up to 90% of the laundry cost, so using cold water is the more economic option.  However, sometimes you may need to use hot water to get those potty accident stains out.
  2. Use a clothes line or drying rack.  Not using the dryer will save you money as well as it is a better option for the environment.  If you live in an apartment, drying racks save on space as well as money.  You can find inexpensive ones from Ikea or home furnishing stores.
  3. Use coupons.  The cost of detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets can really add up, and they don’t always go on sale.  Using coupons either from in store promotions or sites like P&G Saver can help cut down on the cost.  It may only be $0.50 – $1.00 here and there, but over time, it really adds up.
  4. Make your own detergent.  This may not be for everyone, but making your own detergent will be greener, both for the environment and your wallet.  TLC Home has some great detergent recipes.
  5. Rewear your already worn clothes.  My mother used to preach to me about putting clothes away that were only lightly worn.  This doesn’t mean underwear, but if you wear a shirt or pants for a short period of time and they aren’t dirty, fold them up and put them away.  This will cut back on the loads of laundry you will have to do.

2012 Marks another Mini Baby Boom

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Image from Trickyrelativity.wordpress.com

 

It may not be to the extent of the Baby Boom that happened after the Second World War, but now the average child per woman is 1.7, up from 1.5, marking the biggest boom since 1946.  Yahoo Canada reported that since 2006, the number of wee ones under the age of 4 is up 11%.  Demographers argue that this is due to an increase of women in their prime “child-bearing” years and this boom also has its benefits; an impact on policies such as building more schools, daycares and parks, and more taxpayers to support the growing senior population!

The Trials and Tribulations of the Working Mom

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I am a working mom.  I took a little time after coming off Maternity Leave before going back to work full-time, going back when she was 18 months.  I worked part-time nights on the weekend after my leave ended.  I thought 1 year was not yet old enough for me to be apart from her.  You only get some much time with them, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of the time.  But eventually, I needed to go back.  I noticed that when talking with other adults, the only thing I could talk about was the Princess.  I was up-to-date on developmental skills and the latest children’s toy, but as for fashion, gossip and news, I was lacking.  After discussing it with the hubby, I made the decision to go back to work.  On any given day, this is what my day looks like;

  • 5:30 am – Hubby goes to work, the Princess crawls into bed with me until we have to get up to start our day
  • 6:30 am – I get to enjoy my breakfast
  • 7:00 am – The Princess has risen and “FEED ME” is the first thing she bellows.  Treehouse goes on the television, her breakfast is eaten and I begin sorting out our clothes, feed our cat (Remi) and 2 parakeets (aptly named Alfred and Hitchcock after my favourite movie, “The Birds”)
  • 7:20 – 8:10 am – We shower, brush our teeth, brush our hair get dressed, run around hectically, search for lost shoes, and one last potty trip
  • 8:20 am – Wait for our bus to come
  • 8:30 am – Our bus arrives and we’re on our way
  • 9:00 am – We arrive at her daycare, shoes are changed, kisses and hugs goodbye are exchanged and I am begin walking back to the subway
  • 9:15 – 9:50 am – I am on the subway for my daily commute to work.  This is the time where I get to read.  As I am an avid reader, I am doing the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge and I’m currently reading “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood
  • 10:00 am – 5:30 pm – I am slaving away to “The Man”.  My lunch is used to update Hubby on dinner, complain about our days, and ask what the plan is for the rest of the night
  • 5:35 – 6:15 pm – I’m commuting home
  • 6:30 pm – Dinner starts (Hubby picks up the Princess at 5 pm so as he’s home first, he starts dinner)
  • 7:00 – 7:30 pm – Quiet family time, for example colouring, reading, etc
  • 7:30 – 8:00 pm – Shower time for the Princess
  • 8:15 pm – Bedtime along with hugs and kisses and a bedtime read
  • 8:30 pm – dinner dishes begin and a quick tidy
  • 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Relaxation
  • 10:00 pm – Mommy and Daddy bedtime

Now this the presumed schedule we have set up, but that’s not to say that sometimes there aren’t a few bumps in the road.  Sometimes there are delays in the bus and subway, or work runs late for both Hubby and I, or the Princess gets sick at daycare and one of us has to go pick her up.  In any given day, I get approximately 2 hours of relaxing time.  Oh the joys!

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52 Brand New

Last Sunday after the kids went to bed, I reluctantly taped a sign to our TV that read, “Sorry We’re Closed”.  New Experience #17 was not going to be fun.  There might even be a few tears.  I was starting to have second thoughts, but I had already told the kids about our next experience and didn’t want to back down now.  We were going to participate in Screen Free Week, the brainchild of a Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.  For the entire week, the kids would not be able to use the TV, computer, or anything else with a screen.  I was also participating, but in a modified way.  I would not watch TV, use Facebook, or waste time on Pinterest, but I would still check my e-mail and update the blog when my children were not present.  I braced myself for a tough week.

On Day 1,  I…

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A Mommy-Daughter Weekend Away

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The Princess and I have just safely returned from a weekend away where we visited family.  We had taken advantage of MegaBus’ $10 deal and travelled 2 1/2 hours to Kingston.  My sister and her husband live there and as hubby had to work all weekend, it was time for some Mommy-Daughter time.  My husband and I try to stress the importance of individual one on one time.  We like to do things as a family, but I think it is important that our princess spends time with each one of us individually.

On Friday, we packed up all our things and with Daddy in tow, we made our way to the Toronto Bus Terminal.  It seems as though I have finally learned to only pack what we need to reduce our luggage.  I’m definitely one of those “just in case” kind of packers.  This time we only had 1 small suitcase and a large carry on.   The Princess was given her child gravol to stave off any motion sickness that she is sometimes subject to, snacks and items to keep her occupied for the journey.  Nothing makes a long journey longer than vomit and a bored child.  When it was time to board, we gave kisses to Daddy and found our seats.  The one thing I really enjoy about the MegaBus is that it is sometimes a double-decker and Princess loves sitting at the front on the very top.

Our visit in Kingston was a success.  With no full-fledged meltdowns, a visit with a friend, sprinklers, pools and a sandbox, Princess and I had a wonderful weekend with family.  We are finally home and now we are having some cuddle time while watching a good movie.  It’s these moments that I love whole-heartedly and I cannot wait for another Mommy-Daughter date.

Momjitos!

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Allrecipes.com is one of my favourite sites for recipes and cooking ideas.  I came across a Mojito recipe and gave it my own little twist by substituting raspberries for strawberries and taking some of the suggestions from fellow reviewers.  I have aptly named it “Momjitos”.

Ingredients

  1. White Sugar for the rim, although coloured sugar gives it an aesthetic appeal
  2. 1 large lime, quartered
  3. 1/2 bunch of mint leaves
  4. 1/2 cup of sugar
  5. 2 cups of mashed raspberries
  6. 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice
  7. White rum
  8. Lemon Lime pop drink (or club soda, depends on your preference)
  9. Ice cubes

Directions 

  1. Pour 1/4 inch of sugar in a shallow dish.  Run a lime quarter around the rim of each of the glasses, dip into the sugar and set aside.
  2. To create the simple syrup, mix 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice and 2 cups of mashed raspberries, bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat, strain through a cheese cloth and let cool.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of simple syrup to each glass then add mint and remaining lime, and muddle.
  4. Add 1 shot of rum, top with lemon lime drink and ice and stir.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 glasses

Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Great to be a Mom!

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I love being a Mom.  I take pride in being a good parent and watching my daughter grow into the person she is becoming. It’s one of my greatest achievements.  I live it, breathe it, being a mom is as closely tied to my personal identity as being a grown, adult independent woman.  I could talk all day and night about the things my daughter does, says, thinks and acts.  When I say she is my life, I am far from exaggerating.  So I have compiled a list of my Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Great to be a Mom!

  1. Creating life beyond my own.  I remember clearly the day my daughter was born.  Despite the haze and sedation of the anaesthesia, when I looked at her for the first time and saw her looking back at me, it was the single most awe-struck moment of my life.  I counted her 10 little fingers, her 10 little toes, and could only mutter “Isn’t she the most beautiful baby you have ever seen?”  I didn’t cry when I first saw her, I was speechless and in love.
  2. Being called “Mom.”  Whenever I hear my daughter call me Mom, it’s like the password to my heart.  My arms open immediately, a smile spreads across my face and I drop to her level so I can envelop her with my embrace.  I prefer “Mom” to “wife” or “Miss, Ms and Mrs.”
  3. Getting to do all the fun kid stuff again.  Now that my daughter is older, I am truly enjoying doing all the so-called kid stuff again.  I love watching cartoons, running in the park just roll down the hill, going to splash parks and petting zoos.  It’s like reliving your youth all over again.  I especially love doing crafts.
  4. Reading bedtime storiesI am an avid reader and if there is one thing that I hope she carries on throughout her life,  its reading.  My daughter is building her collection of books and stories that she thoroughly enjoys and I love watching her face light up when I do the funny voices and her reaction to them.  I try to imagine what ran through my head when my parents read to me and what must be going on inside hers.
  5. I have the World’s Best Daughter!  No explanation needed.