Removing smells from jars

With going back to work came something I dreaded just a little less than leaving my little boy- the breast pump *insert horrific cry here*. I have high lipase (breastfeeding journey post to come, but you can learn more about high lipase via kelly mom ) so I scale my milk at work and store it in jars until I split into bottles for use or freeze it. I use mostly mason jars, but we have a collection of repurposed jars (mason jars I used for homemade salsa and pickles last year as well as store bought jars we’ve kept). Glass helps the milk not absorb other flavors, and is better for the higher temperature milk, however if your jars still smell like pickles and hot peppers- baby isn’t going to like it- so in 3 easy steps, I rid our jars of the lingering scents and tastes.

  1. Fill a large stock pot with hot water and 1 tbs baking soda, and 1 Tbs liquid dish soap.
  2. Soak jars and lids submerged in water for at least 20 minutes but longer for better results (I did 1 hour)
  3. Thoroughly was jars- I through mine in the dishwasher for  extra sanitation, but a good hand wash will work.

The baking soda helps to absorb the lingering smells and tastes, while the dish soap disinfects any bacteria that could be adding to smells.

This also works on Tupperware! For plastic, double the baking soda and soak longer.

 

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Movie theater popcorn

I know that I have left you all for quite a while but life has just gotten in the way and we’re REALLY making it up as we go now! Little mister made his debut 8 weeks ago and he is doing great, as are his 5, very doting, big sisters! I’ve started back to work, so every Saturday is now chores day and Sunday is family day! One of their favorite family day activities is family movies, on one of my more particularly lenient days, they came up with this masterpiece. With Halloween just around the corner, this is a good way to use all that free candy.

Now I always (since I was a little girl) put M&Ms in my popcorn- I love how the chocolate melts from the heat of the fresh popped popcorn, but the hard candy covering keeps it from getting everywhere. It’s the perfect sweet and salty blend.

So the girls went rooting through their candy bag in the pantry (a compilation of halloween, Easter, and Valentines candy all thrown together and not often touched) in search of M&Ms for their popcorn. Oh but they found so much more. 2EF6A03D-8CAB-496B-9C78-9B4F01E2D9EAWe called this movie theater popcorn, because it’s all your favorite concession stand favorites in one. In addition to M&Ms, they added sour patch kids, mini gummy bears, and Reece’s peeces. They loved the surprise every hand full brought and the sweet and salty together. Try it for your next family movie!

(As a side note, I made mine with the Reece’s peeces and M&Ms only and was in love ~ still the lovely meltyness from the heat and just a simple sweet and salty combo!)

Diaper bag for two

Diaper bag for two

With the eminent arrival of Little Mister looming just a few days away- I am trying to get everything figured out. With Little Miss Mae still being little, I still require a diaper bag for outings with her, but I really didn’t want to carry two (I mean, can you blame me? I’m already carrying two babies, I don’t need two bags too!), so I scoured Pinterest and came up with my own version of the ideas I saw.

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I bought these little lingerie laundry bags at the dollar tree and I have to tell you I am obsessed with them. They come 3 to a pack for only $1 and I have used them to organize everything, from my crochet water balloons to his little socks and hats in his drawers so they don’t get lost. For this I used one for every function- one for diaper changes which have both size diapers, rash cream, wipes, etc all in one bag-so on your trip to the bathroom you just have to grab it! IMG_0145Then each of them have their own meal bag- Miss Mae’s is a little fuller, with punches, and bowls, and travel silverware, but I did include  one for little Mister with my manual breast pumps (which his bag is currently in my hospital bag instead of the diaper bag) a bib and some burp clothes- this will grow and adapt with him.

Then I have a bag with a change of clothes – one for Miss Mae and two for Little Mister, as well as socks and blankets. IMG_0148Finally I have a first aid/ care kit- it has bandaids, neosporin, baby Tylenol, sun screen, hand sanitizer, etc. all the stuff you might need on hand! IMG_0149I also have a final bag with mommy stuff (hygiene, nursing stuff, etc) I don’t have pictured. These bags stand/ stack perfectly in my bag to keep it well organized. I even printed labels for each bag off my computer to ease finding the right bag.

My Push Playlist! – Playlist for labor

I was listening to the radio on my way into work yesterday and they mentioned a study that showed listening to music while in the hospital helps relieve pain and anxiety .  I just got a new iPhone 7 with 256 mb so I might as well fill it with music, right? So here is my Push Playlist for labor and delivery– we are scheduled to be induced to have Little Mister Monday morning! Here’s what I have- do you have any suggestions to add? Continue reading “My Push Playlist! – Playlist for labor”

HelloFresh- A Mom Review

My husband and I are both avid cooks. We love to do it, and are always creating recipes of our own (I think we rarely actually follow a recipe- it’s always kind of a suggestion), plus it is a common hobby, so a great way to get a couple minutes to spend together in our busy lives. But when my husband had an hour commute to and from work daily, and we had 5 kids to feed- cooking an elaborate meal wasn’t always feasible. By the time we would get home at night, the kids would need to do homework and eat dinner, shower and bed. So when a friend started posting her amazing looking HelloFresh meals- we decided to try it (our first order we used her buddy code and got 3 meals free!).

The first one was a bit rocky though. I was almost discouraged. I didn’t have time to customize my order prior to it coming, and we got stuck with a shrimp meal- did I mention I’m deathly allergic to shrimp? Beyond that, each box is supposed to come with three proteins, and then a box that has all the “additional ingredients”- we got two of the same boxes- for the shrimp and grits- rendering only one meal edible. However, when I called HelloFresh customer support they were AMAZING. They immediately credited a meal to my account, and that money came off my next order!

We kept ordering for several weeks, and once I discovered the app was much easier to customize, things went much more smoothly. You can easily switch up your meals or skip a week whenever you want. The meals come in a very heavy-duty cardboard box (which we saved as moving boxes) with a nice thermal liner, and large ice packs! We saved all of these for future use, however HelloFresh says the inside of the ice packs are water soluble and environmentally safe to cut a corner once they are defrosted and pour down the sink. Everything else can be recycled.

Pros:

  • Delivered to your door! No more stopping at the grocery store a hundred times for ingredients while the kids hang off the cart complaining they want cookies for dinner.
  • It took a lot of the “what do you want for dinner” argument out of the week. It was more “we have these 3 meals at home- which sounds best?”
  • Portion control! We were in the midst of going to the gym and trying to get into shape, so having these already portioned out meals really helped with portion control.
  • Cost effective!- though $60 a week might sound expensive- that boils down to $9.99 a person (we got the classic 2 person meal– which was enough for us on days the older girls were at their dads, as the 2 person fed us, Bug, and the baby perfectly fine)- that is way less than the cost of even eating out! We typically spend $20- $40 on just one dinner if we eat out, and hello fresh is a much healthier option.
  • It helped us try new things.- my husband and I both have a pretty decent pallet and are willing to try things, however you don’t always want to buy a lot of something to try it at home (especially a seasoning or something that may take several different ingredients that you need to buy way more than you need for one use). For instance- we tried the Dukkah crusted cod– not something that was our favorite, but we were glad we tried it, having never heard of Dukkah before.
  • You can customize your delivery day to what works best for you- since my custody agreement had me with all the kids Monday, Tuesday- we had our delivery Wednesdays when it was just the 4 of us- this worked our better as we often could get them all eaten before the next delivery.

 

Cons:

  • For our personal pallet, we found it to be a bit under seasoned. We added salt, pepper, and garlic to pretty much every meal they sent.
  • It auto renews weekly- so if you want to skip a week, make sure you cancel it!
  • Due to the auto renew, if you don’t pick your meals (I forgot from time to time) you get stuck with their first 3 options- in my case, it was sometimes inedible if it contained shell fish.
  • You cannot customize your preferences due to allergies- I could select NO SEAFOOD but then I wouldn’t get any fish at all- when we signed up in the middle of lent, I didn’t necessarily not want fish. There are other options, such as vegetarian, gluten free, etc- and you see the list of ingredients when choosing your meal, so as long as you remember to change them, you can customize to your needs.
  • If you got busy and didn’t eat a week- it kinda just hung out in the fridge. We had this problem in the middle of our house search, when we were spending late nights with our realtor- we had several items that ended up thrown away and it kind of hurt.

 

We just recently cancelled our subscription (literally this weekend)- but not because we were dissatisfied with the service, but rather, with the older girls moving in full time next week, it just no longer fit our lifestyle.

In conclusion- I would definitely refer a friend (I have given out my coupon code to several), but with the suggestion you download the app for better customization. Its best for busy couples who need something simple, or those who are learning to cook, and needs something already put together for them.

Oh! One more pro I forgot to mention! I LOVED all the cute, little bottles the oils and vinegars came in as they were individual sized! I kept them all (but I’m kind of a hoarder like that), and even added some of the little boxes (after they were empty) or tiny egg cartons to the girls’ play kitchen.

My Morning Inner Monologue

Every morning I set 2-3 alarms (come on, I know I’m not alone). The first is to arouse me from my deep sleep, and prepare me to wake up. The second is the one I should get up on (but I usually don’t) and the last one is if you don’t get up now you’re going to be late for work.

So today I had this inner monologue, and I wanted to share because I wonder how many others go through this. It went a little like this:

Last alarm: *****beep beep beep beep****

I will just hit snooze, it snoozes for 8 minutes but I won’t lay here the whole 8 minutes, I’ll only lay here 5, I will just hit snooze in case I do fall back to sleep.

But I really should get up- I still need to shower.

30 minutes is plenty of time to get the kids and I out the door, we all have our stuff laid out, I’ll just lay here my 5 minutes.

But I really should get up.

*****5 minutes later*****

I’ll just go to the snooze.

Its only 3 minutes more- it’s not like that 3 minutes is really going to change much.

I deserve those 3 minutes damn it. I’m laying here.

*****beep beep beep beep****

Crap I really gotta get up, I’m gonna be late and I still need to shower.

 

 

Tell me I’m not the only one. I mean- I deserve 3 minutes?!? What exactly is that 3 minutes really worth?! Tired me is sometimes irrational. *sips my iced coffee because I’m still half asleep*

 

The sad thing is this is most mornings. And this isn’t the only weird monologue that goes through my head during the day. Recently it’s been a lot of “come one water, if you would just break we would be all done with this misery” and “well there’s only 3 Oreos left in the package- you can’t very well leave only 3 Oreos” (There are also a lot of negative monologues about the house, if you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, check it out now to see why!)

 

Can anyone relate? Comment and share your inner monologue stories! I’d love to hear them! (PS I pulled into work 7 minutes early- so the 3 minutes definitely didn’t hurt anything.)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Doctors’ Office

I work for a local doctor, as the front desk receptionist. I assist with different billing aspects, answer the phones, schedule patients, and check them in and out. Here are a few observations from my time here.

  1. Answer your cellphone in the crowded room on speaker phone
    1. No one wants to hear your conversation
    2. you have to yell over those in the waiting room, or those scheduling appointments making it uncomfortable for everyone around you
    3. Especially if you have to say “I don’t even know who this is” before answering.
  2. Act as if the waiting room is your living room
    1. This includes taking your shoes off to relax
    2. Leaving a mess behind- our office offers complimentary coffee and home baked cookies. It is unreal how many times we have had to clean up napkins just left on the tables, crumbs from the floor, and pouring a full cup of coffee in the trash can-someone else has to clean that up behind you.
    3. reorganizing the furniture- just why?
  3. Bring your ill-behaved children to a long visit
    1. ok- I understand that you may not be able to find a sitter every time you go to the doctors (helloooooo mom of 5 here), but really, if your appointment is an hour and a half, and your spouse/mom/friend/neighbors’ cousin has to sit in the waiting room with the child- at least make sure they are well behaved.
    2. This includes everything in #2
    3. kicking and screaming and carrying on is very disruptive to those that work here, and other patients.
    4. Walking back-and-forth in front of the automatic door 100 times letting the hot air in (or out depending on the time of year) is rude, annoying, and distracting.
  4. Take as much as you can of the “complimentary” items
    1. The afore mentioned free cookies and coffee- that’s pretty much one per patient- that doesn’t mean all 4 of the kids you brought with you should have one and then one to go.
    2. Putting the Keurig pods in your purse (or sugar packets, creamer cups, etc) to use at home is not “thrifty”- its rude and pretty much stealing.
  5. Hovering
    1. When we are communicating with other patients, it is rude to hover near and eavesdrop- we are trying to protect their privacy just as much as yours.
    2. When we are working it is very distracting and nerve racking.
    3. Do you want someone else hanging around while we talk about your results?!