Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I've been waiting and waiting for the weather to turn and my FAVORITE time of year to get here. Yesterday was chilly, jackets were put on and there is a definite sense of autumn in the air.

That means a little of this

hot chocolate yummm

Some of this
did you know I love to bake?

and definitely more of this
nothing beats a good book, cuddled up with above items..

Notice there is nothing mentioned about thinking of christmas or thanksgiving.
I'm just going to enjoy October.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A little entry from my gratitude journal:

As a small (so very small) business owner and graphic designer, I have to WORK to put the bread on the table. I have to figure out taxes and paperwork, work from a very small capital (like 0), deal with technology issues (ummm spilling coffee on your laptop and frying it), work weird hours, handle with a smile overly demanding clients and am always waiting on a check-ALWAYS, and rarely enjoying a raise. I know, give me some cheese to go with that wine.

one little phone call
I was very blessed last week when the publisher of the monthly magazine I'm working on as a subcontractor, got rid of the middle man ( a very greedy company) that hired me to do the magazine (and then made lots of money off of me), and they are now directly my clients.

I know, all you hear is blah, blah, blah.

Bottom line is I am now making a more money, and finally feeling like I am being adequately compensated for the work I do.

It's consistent work that pays on time, I love designing magazines and that my friends is a HUGE blessing! Plus, I am getting referrals right and left to keep me busy the other part of the month I'm not working on the magazine.

I am so happy I get to work from home, gratitude doesn't say it enough. I have had to work VERY hard to get here-I started trying to do it since Taylor was born and he's nine! Lots of sacrifices, companies taking advantage of me, not a lot of "extras" in our house and taking jobs that are sometimes "below me", but I have a God that takes care of me and my family and that is just worth more than anything in this lifetime.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

...both parties have reached a compromise and the deadlock is now over
..certain "conditions" have been agreed to, and negotiations were made

That's right folks, my "labor day-no cooking strike" is over.
Wow, 10 days without cooking, I was really starting to enjoy it.
The other day I overheard Taylor telling Mike, "Dad, I really don't KNOW HOW to make Mom feel more appreciated."
I have been asking them if they even want me to cook because the kids enjoyed several days of freedom. Mike even discovered how to make pizza dough..however by the 4th night of pizza, the kids were asking for something different.
Cereal, sandwiches and pizza do get old after awhile, plus we did go out to eat once.
Then I started asking them if they wanted me to cook and it was "YES!" and suggesting all sorts of things to make. I grilled them if they were going to complain or not show up and they were quick to say "NO"!
I think that I too have learned a lesson on expectations. If I don't have a homemade dinner 5 times a week on the table, my family will be okay.

A New Approach
So last night we enjoyed chicken cordon bleu, rice, fresh corn and a big salad. I made little sticky buns in a muffin pan for dessert and we were all happy.

This made me realize that things will be different from now on. I am going to have the kids participate a little more in meal preparations, and I am going to start making some dishes I LIKE. I love to eat a little healthier and a little less "meaty', but for years for the sake of the family, I compromise my wants for theirs. We have a society that thinks you must feed kids "kid foods", and mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets here we come. Well I really differ with that, and have made compromises over the years with my own kids and am now suffering because of it and they are used to it. When Taylor was a baby, he never got a bottle or formula, had homemade baby food and did NOT get sugar. As a result , he enjoys salad, fruits and really doesn't like candy that much.

Mom's choice
So, once a week, I am making "Mom's choice" and stir fry, tofu, beans and rice, salmon, quinoa, soups and lots more veggies, here we come. My years in Seattle has my palette used to more "granola" type foods as my husband would put it but I never enjoy them. My kids will get an opportunity to try or be exposed to much more healthier foods and I will get what I want, which sometimes doesn't happen when you are a Mom.

To be inspired on some 'natural' cooking here are some links:
Cookus interuptus
Catherine Newman's yummy cooking (look what her kids eat!!)
Good Eats

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I have posts on this blog about my love of cook and baking, finding great deals using coupons to save money and doing freezer and baking days. Well, its over for awhile.

I love to take care of my family but they have just gotten a little "used to" (we'll say) me always having a meal ready, sitting down at the end of the day as a family and sharing home-cooked food, making menus, baking and all together spending lots of time figuring out how to fill them up with nutritious, budget friendly meals and snacks. It started with lots of complaining and lately has gotten to some members missing from the dinner table.

What is a frustrated mom to do?
I did the unthink-able. I said no more. No more dinner making, cookie baking, budget shopping mama.
That's right, this Mom is ON STRIKE.

I told them 3 days ago, I'm not mad, I'm not doing this to be mean, but I am super unappreiciated, taken for granted and the fact that certain family members don't even come downstairs after I've prepared a meal and there is endless complaining, " What is that?", "Do I have to eat that?", "I'm not trying that!" and so on. I really don't want to have those kind of kids that just expect their mother to do everything. And why would I take all this time to shop for, plan for and prepare meals that no one cares about?

So those 42 boxes of cereal I bought might just come in handy!
All I am looking for is an apology, an amending of ways (no more complaining and ALWAYS showing up at the table for dinner whether or not you are hungry) and a little gratitude for what I do. Do I expect flowers and a big speech from members of the family? Of course not, I'm sure I overlooked plenty that my Mom did when I was little. But I always respected her and if I EVER thought of NOT showing up at the dinner table at dinner time or complaining about what she made? *YIKES!!!*

I am really missing cooking for the family and letting them fend for themselves is driving me a little nutty. But most of all I really miss time at dinner to sit around and chat.

But sometimes a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do. We'll see how long this lasts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The whole couponing routine is work, but sometimes things just turn out well and you end up paying $38.xx for a whole bunch of groceries....catalinas, doublers and good sales. Wish I could manage this every week!
BTW: we now have 42 boxes of honey bunches of oats and yummy post selects to see us through the next 6 weeks, and I only spent around $.35 per box for the selects and $.50-1.00 for HBOO.

For all you locals, if you need meat, this week is the time to fill those freezers!
Pauls has ground beef for $1.68 per lb (their meat is great), and albertsons has their chicken breasts for $1.88 per lb. (their chicken is fresh and good quality). I need to stock-up!

Happy shopping!