Monday, August 29, 2016

The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed

For the times in the car that letting your kids read a book would be great, but they can't read yet. Or the times at home when they want you to read to them, but you're cooking dinner. For the times when you don't want them to watch t.v. but you need them to be distracted just for a bit. Play them a book!

The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Why You Never Feel Relaxed

I was sitting there so so frustrated. Why do I never have the time to do the things I want to do? Like relax a little, write on my blog, etc...(the list is way too long). All I want to do is have a break! But I do normally watch something (at least attempt  to) to help me feel like I got a little break. But, I never actually feel any better after I do it. Sometimes when I don't want to cook, we go somewhere, feel extremely dissatisfied with the food, and it feels like it wasn't actually a break. I actually get quite a bit of breaks ever day, so why aren't they feeling like breaks?And, why am I still feeling unproductive?

Then it hit me, the first thing in my list was to relax a little.

When I think back to my childhood and what it was like during the day and evening at my house with my parents, I remember a lot of cleaning, a lot of yard work, a lot of assigned jobs, a lot of dishes being done, a lot of bills and taxes being paid, a lot of cooking. What I don't remember is a lot of relaxing.

I was talking to my friend the other day, and she said that she has been more tired than she has been in years. This was completely blowing her mind, because for the past few years she has been going to bed between midnight and one in the morning, and just recently they have been going to bed at eleven. Her husband works full time and is also currently getting his masters degree. So, he comes home from work, eats, helps put the kids to bed, and then does homework until about eleven. So, the only time they have together is the time they are willing to stay up late. She said during that time she felt more energetic than she does now, going to bed at eleven when he finishes homework. Interesting, yes. Surprising? Not really. Have you ever noticed that the later you sleep, the more grumpy you are, or the more tired you are throughout the rest of the day? AND IT JUST MAKES NO SENSE BECAUSE YOU ACTUALLY GOT SLEEP! Well, what I have come to realize is that when I go to bed way too late, my body runs of some sort of adrenaline the next day. Like, it is in survival mode. Then, when I go to bed earlier to get more rest ( like at eleven) I actually just end up more tired because I am not hitting my adrenaline survival mode, but I also am just plain not getting enough sleep. So, that means I need to go to bed even earlier! I'm talking like 9:30 or 10:00.

But. Wait.

That is around the time I finish getting the kitchen cleaned up and the house even slightly organized. So, where is my time to relax? Watch a show? Eat a snack?

Back to my parents. I don't ever recall them "watching a show" or a movie for that matter, during the week. Even then, I recall only a few times even seeing them watch something on the weekend.

My epiphany you ask? My epiphany is this: Our generation is so so set on finding time to relax, that we never feel like we can relax. Watching a show every night never feels satisfying. Playing games daily doesn't seem like a break. Going to the movie weekly never feels satisfying. Going out to eat has become "blah" and nothing special.Going to the pool during the week is sometimes stressful. What I am confused about is how subtly and quietly we all somehow got the idea that we are supposed to have a break from life EVERY. SINGLE.DAY.OF.OUR.LIVES!Why oh why, when I am exhausted from my kids, do I want to just lay there for hours and eat crap and watch shows?Why don't I just remember, "Oh yeah, this is the work week."

It's like my kids who ask to go to the Maverik everyday to buy a drink or want candy every single day or want to play with cousins every single day or want to eat cereal every single day(haha!). My Man and I tell them, if it happens everyday it isn't special. It will stop feeling special.

My friends, if you are feeling unsatisfied in your everyday life because you feel overworked, yet you are doing something "relaxing" everyday, my challenge is to stop doing that thing. Think of the week as what it is, a work week, and then do your best to work the heck out of that week. Not only will you find more time to do the things you actually want to do, but I think you might feel like when you watch a show on the weekend or you go to a concert or a movie or out to eat, you actually ARE getting a break or relaxing, because it's not so normal anymore.

My family reunion's motto last year was "Work answereth all." And it does. Work, go to bed early (earlier than eleven) and wake up early, and do what you're supposed to do. Work. And then on the weekend, do what you're supposed to do:work again. And then take a little break, and my guess is that you will have one heck of a productive week and that little break will feel oh so good, just like it did for my parents.

This is what I am going to be trying---so if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to bed now, at least it's not eleven yet....and if this didn't make sense to you, just pretend you didn't read it.....

Friday, August 19, 2016

Product Review: Nesco Pressure Cooker

Recently our rice cooker broke. The little tab that you press down to start the cooking process just stopped staying down and would mess up the rice. To me, it wasn't a big deal because I kind of don't think it is THAT big of a help that it stops cooking automatically when the rice is done, I'd rather have one less appliance. So, I was cooking our rice in a regular pot and was going to get rid of the rice cooker. 

But, My Man would have none of it. He was going to get me a rice cooker if it was the last thing he did! Even though I didn't even tell him I wanted one haha. The TRUTH is, he wanted a pressure cooker and he loves going to this kitchen appliance store with the girls. So, one day he took them in and came out with the new Nesco Pressure Cooker, Rice Cooker (see? we needed it), Slow cooker, Steamer and Browner (whatever that means). Guys, this thing isn't cheap but also isn't a life decision like buying a Blendtec or a Bosch. I am pretty sure he said he got it for around 100, but you can get it on Amazon for significantly less! Check here. We do enjoy supporting small businesses, though, so we buy from that appliance store.

So far, I have loved it. You can put raw meat in loaded with vegetables and have steamy hot stew with tender meat within twenty minutes. We eat so much stew, and we like the meat to be extra tender, so we love that aspect. I've also used its slow cooker setting which worked really great. Apparently you can do ribs in it and cheesecake! There are a ton of recipes that I will be trying. I currently have ribs in the freezer and cream cheese in the fridge. I love the fact that it does so many things, and all in one pretty decently sized appliance. The size is a big pro, but also kind of a con for us. We make our own large batches of broths and so we need something big that can fit a lot of great stuff into it, so sadly we still have our huge slow cooker (which we also bought from the same appliance store and which I also equally love), but now we have two big things. We have to keep our big one for the broths, but it is so big that if I just want to slow cook a dinner there is not enough stuff in there for it to reach the minimum fill line. Life is hard, I know. Sigh. But then I get over it and move on.

I love our Nesco pressure cooker and its size and the fact that you can seal the lid on. So, if you are looking for a slow cooker that does dinner sized meals, a rice cooker, a pressure cooker that is bomb, and something that will also steam or brown your food, this is the thing for you!

*This review isn't sponsored at all. It's all true and hopefully helpful.