Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lazy Lemon Bars

I never bake.
Never hardly ever.
When people come over and ask what to bring I always say dessert.
This is partly because baking is not such a great activity for the attention deprived (we tend to put too much or too little of ingredients and burn things) AND it is a terrible activity for those of us with out self control, since a dozen cookies lasts all of 12 minutes.  And that's when the kids are asleep.

Unfortunately, though, I am required to bring something for some function.
Enter, the TWO ingredient Lemon bars over at "I'm a Lazy Mom" (my hero ;)
Angel food cake mix and lemon pie filling (plus powdered sugar to top.

Click the pic to link to the actual awesomely awesome recipe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm not going to make everything a link to a blog or pinterest, but this stove top Mac and Cheese is A.Mazing.

My kids, generally, only liked boxed mac n' cheese, and when I try to make it from scratch they whine and say they want the "real" stuff.
Blah.
Am I the only ones with kids like this?  Or am I just the only one who feeds their kids such a consistent diet of Kraft that they think its a food group?
Anyway-- it tastes and has the consistence of Kraft-- but tons better.  Click on the pic for the link and the recipe.  Basically its Alton Brown's stovetop mac n' cheese with evaporated milk, shredded cheese and eggs.  I don't add the mustard or hot sauce.
***Also, I only use ONE can of the evaporated milk, not two as recommended.***

Friday, December 9, 2011

Socks are So Pinteresting

Lately I have been on Pinterest... which I seriously L.O.V.E.  Seriously.

This idea, though, is one of my favorites and something I actually do.  And Love.  Seriously.  As I've told you, Laundry is one of my nemiseseses.  
Especially little socks.  
I think tiny socks are SO SO SO cute.....until they're in the laundry and I'm trying to match them up and figure out which tiny white or pink sock is exactly the same as some other tiny white or pink sock.
Blah.
Enter, The sock bag.  
Genius.  
This is a life change folks.  


Here's the scoop:
Buy 2 big bags of socks (we have 20 pair total of the same sock) that will fit both kids.  Put the socks into one of those little containers for plastic grocery store bags.  Hang near the shoes.  Don't fold/match/deal with baby/kid socks ever again.  The end.


Now, I understand this is easier for me, given my kids have feet relatively the same size (one is a 9 and the other wears size 11's) but you could totally do it with different sized kids.  Just buy everyone a bunch of the same sock with different colored toes, or mark each kid's with a different color sharpie.
I am totally cheap cheap cheap, but this was so worth the little investment in buying new socks and getting rid of the old ones.
We do have some other socks-- some occasions call for the Princess to have pink socks or other random cutie ones, and TinyTwo#1 occasionally needs black or navy blue socks, but those occasions are rare.
The kids can get their own socks every morning -- which I love-- and they put the clean ones away by themselves :)
You're welcome ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Link: The Suburban Minimalist

The Suburban Minimalist has a great post today-- I could have (almost) written it myself. She and I think a lot alike in many ways (though she's much cooler than I am), so today I'll be lazy and share her tips on
the absolutely positively pain-free way to go simple (and stay chic)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Love this Pesto Pasta Link

Click here for a post by "Charlotte Mom Favorites" titled "The best meal you'll ever make in 10 minutes flat".  Obviously it caught my attention :)  Pesto pasta mixed with any of several options to mix it up- this is a must have pantry meal :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Are you chicken?

My mom's favorite "real" dinner to make with her roommate in college was the following.  Its super easy and does not require you to remember to defrost the chicken first, and it comes out super tender and juicy because the acid in the tomatoes breaks down the meat.  (You might not care about that last part- its the science geek/ "Alton Brown wanna be" side of me.

Ingredients:
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (can still be frozen)
Italian diced tomatoes (or regular)
packet of french onion soup mix

In the baking dish (spray it with pam or cover the bottom in aluminum foil first) throw in the chicken, top it with the tomatoes and sprinkle on the soup mix  and cook at 400 for an hour.  Serve with rice you lazily cook using this recipe right after the chicken goes in, and you have a super quick prep dinner.

I'll call this 5 minutes and 5 ingredients because it only takes 5 minutes of prep.

Monday, September 19, 2011

All. By. My. Self.

I had a sweet friend watch the kids the other day while I had an appointment, and since I needed to pick up a prescription on my way home, I stopped in a grocery store with a pharmacy to kill two birds with one stone.

As I walked around the store (All.  By.  My.  Self.)  I noted the fact I, not only had time to think about a fun lunch and time to casually shop for it, I had an adult to share it with.  What a wonderful opportunity!  I wouldn't, however, have hardly any time to make the lunch since, by the time I finally got home, it would be a little past lunch time already.  After wandering around (All.  By.  My.  Self.  No one.  Crying.  No one.  Running.  Away.  So.  Relaxing.***)

Anyway, I settled on frozen Spinach Ravioli, a jar of alfredo, and a package of Kielbasa sausage.  When I got home all I had to do was boil some water, cook the Ravioloi for 5 minutes, during the last minute I dropped in the kielbasa I had sliced, drained everything and dumped the sauce on top.  in 7 minutes we were eating our quick easy lunch that barely took longer to make than a sandwich :)

Moral of the story- high quality sausage gives you a meat without having to cook it and can make meal prep almost instant.

***How sad I now find even grocery shopping relaxing, as long as I'm alone to do it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Picnic

A few weeks ago my friend was dropping in for the night with her husband and two girls on their way south after a vacation in Canada.  We were trying to decide were to eat, which wasn't entirely easy considering we had 4 younger kids to keep entertained, 4 younger kids' palates*** to appease, and her two were pretty tired to being cooped up in the car all day.

We ended up going to the Subway that's super close and then swinging in the grocery store for a big bag of chips and drinks.  I was impressed at how reasonable the cost was (especially compared to us going out to eat, really about anywhere else)  and the plan was for the kids to play at the park while everyone ate.  It didn't exactly work out that way, but in the end everyone was happy.

***I definitely have my kids eat "adult" food all the time, whether they like it or not, but there are times I think its best to just give them something they'll enjoy so I can talk with my friends and not be hounding the TinyTwo the entire meal to eat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kielbasa in la casa

We had a babysitter on the way and I needed to get ready for the Parent's Open House, get the house looking presentable, get the kids looking semi-presentable, and cook dinner that would be acceptable for the family and the sweet babysitter friend to eat, all in a very short amount of time.

Ingredients:
Rice (I like to add bouillon to the water sometimes)
Kielbasa Sausage, sliced
Can of Italian diced Tomatoes
Can of Black Beans
Seasonings (Rosemary Garlic blend and Italian Seasoning blend)

I added the water to the stove, brought it to a boil, dumped everything in, turned off the heat, and left it for 20 minutes.  When the timer went off, dinner was ready.

5 minutes of work, 5 ingredients, so easy, so good, so awesome.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Green Cleaning

Click here for Cozi's post on easy green cleaning.  I think only using a few ingredients is the lazy way to go- that way I don't have to keep up with lots of different bottles.  Also, I don't have to worry about leaving stuff out for the TinyTwo to get into :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day of School

Today is the TinyTwo's first day of school.  Sigh.  They're getting so big and grown up.  Grant it, we're talking pre-school/pre-k here, but still, its their first time out of the house everydayand dropped off anywhere I won't just be down the hall.  I talked here about the great lunch debacle from day camp and my anxiety over making lunches everyday, but I do have my plan now.  The first step in my plan was to pick up these Ziploc Divided Containers.  Then, being me, I came up with my daily menu.  I'll likely vary occassionally, but as for now I will be packing the same thing everyday:  Cheese toast sandwich, applesauce and raisins with water.  The school provides snack everyday (well, parents take turns providing snacks for the entire class everyday) so I don't have to worry about that except for my 2 weeks I'm in charge of that.  Actually, I guess its 4 weeks since I have 2 kids.  Anyway, I have the lunch thing down.  The kids have their little backpacks and matching lunch bags and everything is ready for school.  Except me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kindle

I received the most generous gift for my birthday a few months ago... a Kindle.  OK, actually it was for me and Sweetheart, but, in reality, its mine ;)   He knows how to turn it on and get it to read the audio version of Good Night Moon I uploaded.  Otherwise, he's pretty new to it.  I, on the other hand, LOVE.  IT.  Love it.  I don't, however, love to pay to read, and so I was so excited to find this site.  Jungle Deals and Steals has been updating once a week with free Kindle books!
Sometimes the books are awesome, sometimes they're not, but they're free and I always read the comments and ratings before I load one.
Carrying around 100 books in one little Kindle= Lazy
Carrying around 100 Kindle books without having to pay for them= Awesome

Thursday, August 4, 2011

lunch

Well..... Mother of the Year here... again.
I just found out I need to pack lunches this year.  For BOTH kids.  For some reason I had decided that only the full day kids at the school would eat lunch there.  I was wrong and sent my son to school today, his first day, without a lunch.  (He's going to their day camp for 3 weeks this summer, but it is in the same building, is everyday, and has the same hours as school will, so, in all essence, today was his first day of school)  Yes, I can hear the applause at my amazing mom skills.  So, besides being awesome at motherhood in general, and completely new to the "drop kids off and pick them up at school" thing... now I'm going to have to pack lunches.  Peanut and tree nut free lunches.  I'm totally fine with this rule, but its not one we've had to encounter before and an enormous portion of the kids diet involves PBJ.  I found this great post here for ideas.  We'll see what I come up with.
Side note:  as I told Sweetheart about this HUGE adjustment in my planning for the year he responded with, "Great!  You can make my lunches too!"  .... I'm sure you can imagine how that went down.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tortilla Pizzas

Happy August!  How on earth did that sneak up on us????

We love pizza around here.  Like... a lot.  I'd even say we <3 pizza and I never say we <3 anything.
So... when a new pizza recipe came my way- that's super easy and super yummy- we of course made them right away.  And took them out to the pool for dinner :)

First, toast the tortillas a bit so they're a tad crunchy.  Add pizza toppings.  I always use  mushroom spaghetti sauce because I can never remember to buy pizza sauce and I can't tell much of a difference.  My mom, mind you, would disagree.  Do what you think is best :)  Then we topped it with shredded mozzarella cheese, then some of them got pepperonis too.  We put them back in the toaster oven for 5 minutes to melt everything and they were wonderful.  Much like a really thin pizza actually.
You, of course, could use a cookie sheet and a regular oven.  The "toast" setting for the toaster oven is 450, but I'm sure 350 would be better to keep them from browning to quickly.  You want the tortillas to dry out, not brown.  Half of the TinyTwo rolled his up, the other half preferred hers cut up like a proper personal pizza.  Both halves loved them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fishing for Goldfish

My kids LOVE goldfish crackers, but I'm a bit wary of the price and the incredients.
Life Your Way has a post out on how to make your own- and it seems super easy- even to me :)  Click here for the link.  I'll up-date you if/when I make them... let me tell you it won't be today!
100 degrees outside= no baking :)
If you try this let me know how easy it is ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lazy Blueberry Muffins

I posted last time and here about 2 ingredient cakes.  They're spectacular.  You should make some.  
I've also discovered lazy muffins. 
They're also spectacular.  
Aaaaand, they don't require eggs.  
Have I mentioned my weirdness about raw eggs? 
Let me look back and check.....................
Yup. 
I briefly mentioned it here but didn't go into to it.  Let's just say, I don't really like raw eggs.  I'll certainly use them whenever something calls for them, but I have to add bleach to the dishwasher that night and can't hand-wash those egg dishes.  I swear I can still smell the egg on the dishes if bleach is not involved.  I know.  I said it was weirdness.  This weirdness has led me to try a new lazy combo:  
Muffin mix+applesauce.  
Its awesome.  And fast.  And easy.  
Awesome+ fast + easy = perfect for me.
The muffins are moist and, if you somehow undercook them, it doesn't matter because there's no raw eggs.  Which means not having to add bleach to everything those dishes touch easier clean up :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lazy Cake Take 2

Today is my birthday, though I'll be posting this later because I already had something posted for today and I don't want to overwhelm you with my laziness ;)
As a mom, and a wife to a husband who works...  A lot...  I have discovered that its best to make my own deliciousness and awesomeness on my birthday rather than wish someone else would for me.  I guess this could be true for any adult, it just seems especially true being the above.  Which means, generally making my own birthday cake.  Which is fine, except that I don't bake.  I, as a rule, try to stay away from packages and mixes.... except for baking.  I do not bake.  Did I say that already?  If Rachel Ray doesn't, I see no reason why I should either.  I'm terrible at it for the same reason I didn't like Chemistry labs.  I don't pay attention and I'm the opposite of precise.  I had to do more than one chem lab over again in college because of this lack of attention to detail.  Its the same way in the bio lab though, and somehow I majored in that (though only by the grace of God, I'm telling you)
The point being, I don't bake.
But I do like to eat.
I shared with you here about how you can bake cakes with only 2 ingredients (cake mix + soda/ pureed pumpkin/applesauce/ egg beaters/ yogurt.
Recently I learned from my awesome "Other Mother" that there's another one.
Are you ready?
Are you excited?
Its awesome.
I hope you're sitting down.
I'm sure you are since you're at your computer.....
Anyway, I'll give you two words:
Pie
Filling
You mix angel food cake mix and a can of pie filling.  I chose blueberry, in case you were dying to know.  2 ingredients only.  No eggs.  No milk.
Dump it into a 9x13 cake pan.  Do not spray it first.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  It will rise beautifully, then fall and won't be so pretty.  That's OK, as I flipped mine over and "frosted" it with whipped cream.

2 ingredients = Lazy
Delicious = Awesome
Lazy + Delicious = Awesomely Delicious Awesomeness.

And Happy Birthday to Me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Favorite Fajitas

First, and most importantly, Happy Birthday to Me.  Just because, I'm sure, you were desperate to know when to wish me happy birthday.  Well, today is the day.  25 doesn't seem to be a whole lot different from 24 though ;)

In other news, for my "Meal Swap" this month I made fajitas.  I often think of fajitas as "summer food" because I picture the meat being grilled outside I guess.  I, however, do not have a grill, which generally means I do such things over the stovetop.  Yesterday, though, I decided to cheat a little because it is so bloomin' hot outside and I was not interested in having my stovetop on long enough to cook 5 lb of chicken.  "Well," I thought to myself,  "the best way to not heat up everything is to use the crockpot"  Than, I'm sure, I thought, "I am so smart", being that I'm so easily impressed with myself.

I poured all of the chicken breast and layered it with a Mojito Lime seasoning packet just to give it a kick and try to at least come close to what my friends are making.  Seriously, this month one of the meals is Chicken Tikka.  I don't even know what that is.  Anyway, after throwing in the chicken,  I cooked the chopped onion and pepper on the stove top with the Fajita seasoning packet mixed in, then sliced the chicken and mixed everything together.

All of a sudden it occurred to me that everything could be done in the crockpot if done on a smaller scale.  I couldn't get in much more than the 5 lb of chicken, but if I was cooking for just my family, and not 4 others as well, I would totally do it in the crockpot.  I would also, most likely, use that little frozen packet of peppers and onions that I found instead of chopping everything up.

Then, it occurred to me (are you following my train of thought?  it gets derailed sometimes....)  that this recipe is too amazing to not have already been discovered, and I found it, of course, at crockpot365.blogspot.com.  Click here for crockpot365's recipe with steak fajitas in the crockpot)

So, I thought I came up with an amazing idea, but, its OK that someone already thought of it, since the crockpot girl is quite amazing herself.   So, to sum up, in case you're a little ADD like me and that post was a little long to follow:

Add to crockpot:
~1 pound boneless skinless chicken
~packet of fajita seasoning
~bag of frozen pepper and onion mix
Cook on low for 8 hours, high for 4 hours.
Serve over tortillas and any side, like sour cream, salsa, cheese, or guacamole

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Banana Peanutbutter Milkshake

OK, so its not a milkshake.  Its more like a smoothie, but I tell my kids its a milkshake.  And I serve it for breakfast.  Lunch.  Snack.  Treat.  Dessert. 
And- its delicious.
And so simple.
Simple = Lazy
Lazy = Awesome
Delicious + Lazy = Awesomer

So... here it is.

Ice (a cup or 2)
~blend the ice up a bit
A banana (the riper the better)
2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
Milk- enough to make 16 ounces total (or almond milk or soy milk or chocolate milk)
~continue blending until smooth.
~Serves 1, though you can double it and still fit in all in your blender.

Delicious.  Easy.  Incredible.  Plus, it has no sugar added, so I'm super happy to have my kids enjoy this treat.
Thanks to my awesome friend and her equally delicious baby for making this for us :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Watermelon

One of my super smart and amazing friends loves watermelon kind of like we do, which is a lot lot lot.  She, however, in her genius way, has found a super easy and clean way to get it.  Wedges, though fun outside, are so messy to eat inside.  Melon balls are cute and fun, but they take forever to do as you get like a tablesoon out at a time.  Chopping the rind off and then chopping the remaining watermelon goodness into cubes is effective, but the juice gets everywhere. 
That's why I was so excited to watch my friend serve watermelon.
Its so cool. 
I was in awe when I saw her carving the watermelon with..... an ice cream scoop.
Its similar to the melon baller (though not quite as cute) in that its easy and clean, but much faster because you get so much more out with every scoop.  So there you have it.  Genius watermelon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Link: Magic Jambalaya

Click here to read The Simple Dollar's post on using leftovers to make jambalaya.
Basically it consists of
rice + beans + jambalaya seasoning + any and all leftovers
Lazy.  Easy.  Cheap.  Yummy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

If you like pina-coladas.....

In honor of the 4th of July-- the day of pools and fireworks-- I submit to you the cheap and lazy pina-colada.
OK- so its not a pina-colada at all, but it has my favorite parts of it:  coconut, rum and fruit juice.
Are you ready?
Are you so excited?
OK.
Here it is.
Orange juice and coconut rum.
Its awesome.
Seriously.
Awesome.
Its awesome and I'm awesome.
;)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lazier Pasta

I just wrote a post about an article here by "I'm a Lazy Mom" on how to make macaroni and cheese entirely in the microwave.  After investigation, I learned that the average box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese has 1 1/4 cups of tiny macaroni, so I would guess that you could use this method for a similar type of pasta- I would say small and/or thin would work best, but I haven't experimented yet-- if I do I'll let you know.  You could then, of course, add your own sauce or whatever else you put on pasta.  Especially in the summer, I like to top pasta with only EVOO, italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.   Just a thought.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Link: Lazier Mac n' Cheese

Click here to read  a post by "I'm a Lazy Mom" on how to make macaroni and cheese entirely in the microwave.  Awesome.  Especially on days like today when I do not, by any means, want to turn on the stove or the oven to make my house even hotter on this 90 degree summer day.
Macaroni and cheese out of a box = lazy + yummy
Macaroni and cheese out of a box and made entirely in the microwave = even lazier + yummy + awesome

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dining Alfresco

I've posted before (here) about a super lazy dinner that I put into action last night.  Its amazingly easy for me to be impressed with myself- and on this occasion I decided I'd share with you.
Sweatheart was not going to be home for dinner, and the kids and I were headed to the pool.  I, of course, was not in the mood to cook or clean being that it was- well- a day that the kids needed to be fed and cleaned-up after.  Instead, I mixed some re-fried beans, some salsa and some shredded cheese, microwaved it for a few minutes, picked up a bag of tortilla chips, and walked out the door.  The kids and I dined alfresco by the pool, which led to no whining about eating  (I let them come and go from the table to eat and swim and back again) and no clean-up.  Genius.  I know.  I can almost hear your applause from here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Link: How to be a More Patient Mom Overnight

Click here to read an article on "Life... Your Way" about being a more patient mom.  I'll give you a hint.  Its about sleep.  Man am I guilty.  I stay up way to late watching TV and playing on the computer, then I'm cranky in the morning.  Huh.  Not hard to put two and two together.  Anyway, I really needed to read this today and so I thought I'd share :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Posting Posts

So now I've learned a new way to "work to be lazy" with my blog.  I often thing of a bunch of ideas at one time, but just posting all of them since like a waste, so I have "discovered" that I can alter the "post options" on the blog and can write something anytime and then schedule them to appear at a later date.

So nice.  I like to think once and post often.

Actually I like to not think at all but that's pretty... uh... lazy... but more importantly, unproductive.

So anyway, just letting you in on my new secret.  This post was written on May 23rd and will be posted to the public on June 6th.  So, if you're reading this, happy June :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Link: Real Mothers Love Fathers

Click here to read an article from "Life... Your Way" about keeping our marriages alive and real.  Its something I needed to read today.  Thought I'd pass it along just in case it could help you too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meal Swap Revisited

So, a while ago I wrote "this" post about a meal swap I was about to join.  Can I just say, "WOW".  This has been successful x 100.

Partly because my friends are the awesomest coolest cooks.  Ever.

Partly because my awesome cooking friends cook things that aren't in my usual repertoire, so on the "meal swap dinner" nights we're not eating the same old thing.  Again.

Partly because I didn't make the dinners (obviously) so its like getting take-out 6 times a month.

Partly because I can "Work to be Lazy" by cooking 6 meals all at one time then just pulling something from the freezer 6 other nights.  

Partly because its cheaper to cook 6 meals of the same thing.  So I can be "Lazy AND Cheap", which you know I love.

Partly because I can think about dinners once and not have to think about it for 6 dinner times that month.

Partly because I can cook the batch meals after the TinyTwo have gone to bed and kind of enjoy creating a meal without anyone screaming at me... having to take someone to the potty... having to referree... having to have little people "help"... having to stop what I'm doing to get someone's toys out from under the couch......

Last but certainly not least...

Partly because we have an excuse every month to get together to actually swap the dinners and so we stay and talk and drink coffee and eat whatever yummy thing my friend "who has 2 small children, is pregnant with her 3rd, which will make 3 under 3, and yet gets much more accomplished in any given morning than I do in a week" has made us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nemesis #2: Dishes

I didn't get any comments about whether its nemesises or nemesisi or nemesi that I talked about here.  Maybe I could look it up.  Or not.

Anyway- I hate dishes.  I actually hate dishes more than laundry.  Which is a lot.  Dishes are so much more constant and I can not WAIT until the TinyTwo can clean them for me without breaking all of them along the way.  I'd love it if they could put all the dishes away too.

Sigh.
One day.
Well, today isn't that day, so I obviously have a lazy plan to bide my time until I can make  train  bribe get someone smaller  younger  under my power else to do it.

First, I don't use serving dishes.  Ever.  Even when I have company.  I decided its more like a restaurant where they "plate" the food.  Or it could be that its lazier to just put it straight from the pan onto the plate.  Either way its the same result.  I'm sorry Mom.  I know I just embarassed you with this public confession.  Mom always puts the food in serving dishes.  Even when its just people she's biologically related too.  Then again, she does have other people to help with the dishes now.  Maybe that's why.  Maybe I'll start to use serving dishes when I can make  train  bribe get someone smaller  younger  under my power else to clean them.  Ask me in a few years.  Maybe I'll become more like Martha Stewart too.  Or not. 

So- bringing the topic back- my new trick, to add to the first, is to immediately put any extra food into a covered dish and throw the cooking pan into the sink to soak.  If someone wants seconds, they can get it out of this dish and I will tell myself that I don't care that the food is now in a container that is larger than necessary.  I certainly will not dirty a new, smaller container, even though an incorrect food to "container size" ratio irks me.  I'm weird that way.  It certainly does not irk me enough to do anything about it though.

This quick pre-dinner step makes the after dinner clean-up very easy, as it includes only the plates we ate on and a quick swipe of the cooking pots.  Since they've been soaking, they're super easy to clean without any scrubbing.  I hate scrubbing.  The remaining left-overs then just have to be covered and thrown in the fridge.   Is the term "remaining left-overs" a bit redundant?  Oh well.  I'm guessing you got the point.

Anyone have any lazy tricks to help with dishes?  I would LOVE to hear them, since dishes are my all time worst of the nemesisi.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lazy Wardrobe Downsizing

I posted here and  here about how to easily minimize your wardrobe to only the clothes you actually wear in a two week time period.  This is great, I think, for the kids.  For me, however, I hang up almost all my clothes.  That doesn't really lend itself to ignoring laundry for 2 weeks.  Instead I do the old trip of flipping all my hangers around so they face the opposite direction.  When you hang something back up, you hang it up the normal way.  In a set amount of time (2 weeks or 6 months or every season)  you look at the clothes still hanging backwards and seriously consider getting rid of them.  I've found the smaller my wardrobe gets, the more I feel like I have to wear, because I do actually wear everything in my closet.  Its a nice feeling and an easy and lazy way to get it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Epic Fail Revisited

I've changed my mind.  Again.  I do that.  A lot.
I posted here about an idea who's premise is not doing laundry for 2 weeks to discover what you really wear, then getting rid of everything else.
I posted here about how I totally failed at that.  That really surprised me.  You'd think my lazy tendencies would come in handy but, as irony would have it, I hate to have dirty laundry hanging around.  Especially the kind that the TinyTwo make.  The bathroom accident drenched/ always wet so they quickly smell like mildew/ covered in honey or peanut butter or some kind of sauce/ caked with mud kind of dirty clothes.
I can, however, not fold clothes for 2 weeks.
That, my friends, I'm awesome at.
I was just realizing this as I was digging through the hampers to find something for the kids to wear.  These were the clean hampers by the way- just in case you were wondering.
Anyway, I was thinking I should take the same premise-- easily deciding what clothes you wear the most by collecting those you wear in a two week time period-- and instead of not washing them, just keeping them separate.  I'd most likely not fold them while I'm at it- but you could fold them and just leave them in the hampers.  I have several pop-up hampers that I use to organize my piles of dirty and clean yet unfolded or put away clothes.  The one caveat is that, to start, all clothes would have to be clean and put away- or at least put in a different section than the other clothes.
Hmm.  Not folding clothes for 2 weeks.  This project I'm confident I will be successful with ;)

Link: An expensive holiday

"31 Rubies" today posted here about Memorial day- a day that, to most of us, means hot dogs and sprinklers.  To those the holiday is intended for- today means our fallen soldiers.   A daddy who won't get to walk his daughter down the aisle, a son who didn't get to say good-bye.  To our soldiers and their families, I say, thank  you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Epic Fail

So, I posted this a few days ago on not doing laundry for 2 weeks to figure out what clothes you (and the kids) wear regularly and get rid of (or pack up for next season) the rest.
You'd think this would be easy for me, as I hate to do laundry.
You'd think this would be easy for me because I'm so lazy.
You'd think this would be easy for me because I'm so good at ignoring things that need to be done.
You'd think this would be easy for me because I actually told you I was going to do it.
Did I?
Nope.
At least thus far, this project is an
Epic Fail.
One little boy's accident getting to the bathroom on time and all my priorities went out the window.
The laundry was started while wet spots were mopped up and sprayed and wiped and towels thrown into the washer before I even considered the consequences.
Oh well.  I'll try to be lazier.  I'll work harder this time.  Work at being lazy.  That's what I do. ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

You know you're lazy when......

You know you're lazy when....
you are in bed and you hear your kids getting something out for breakfast and you stay in bed.
This, my friends, is the dumb kind of lazy.
Why you might ask?  Ok, I'm sure you didn't really ask why this is a bad idea, because I'm certain you know what my sleepy, dazed, stupor self did not.  It caused more work for me.  5 minutes in bed= 20 minutes cleaning.  Cleaning what?  Well, when I finally got up, I discovered mashed bananas all over their seats and tables along with peanut butter smeared everywhere and the mostly empty peanut butter jar that had been obviously had little hands and mashed bananas used to scrape the peanut butter out.  There were also random places in the house where said tiny hands had obviously been after mashing and scraping the peanut butter then playing with toys.
Score 1 for the TinyTwo.  Score 0 for being smart AND lazy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

De-clutter: Clothes

I just read an article, and now I can't remember where, about clothes and figuring out what to get rid of. 
The answer to the problem was fantastic, since it started with:  Don't do laundry for two weeks.  What a great plan! 
To start, have all the clothes clean.  They don't have to be put away, but they do have to be out of the laundry room.  Next- don't do laundry for two weeks and leave all the dirty clothes in the laundry room.  After two weeks, look at the clothes that are left.  Get rid of them or store them for next year or next season if its something that will most likely fit.  I think this might be an easy and great way to "flip" clothes from one season to the next.
I think this might work especially well for kids, since I think they can wear the same things over and over because they'll be getting a brand new wardrobe next year anyway, although this is also a great way to really look at what's left in your own closet and really question how much of it you need and/or ever really wear. 
I haven't done it yet, but today, our clothes are all clean and my kids seem to have too many of them.  The answer certainly should be, "Stop doing laundry for two weeks" :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nemesis #1: Laundry

Is something a nemesis if you have more than one?  Maybe they'd all be nemi? nemisi?
Anyway- I'm not a big fan of the laundry.  The endless.  Limitless.  Always existent.  Always ready to overflow.  I tend to do a load a day or every other day and I don't tend to sort them before hand.  By "do a load a day" I mean clean them.  The folding and putting away always gets me. 
Enter- my new system.  I placed drop-down bars in the kids closets and hung up all their clothes for this season.  Now they can get out their clothes in the morning and...
this is the important part....
they can help put their clothes away.
I'm not a big fan of little kids stuffing clothes into drawers.  Plus, mine can't open their 50 year old dressers by themselves anyway. 
This way, we sit in the living room, dump all the clothes on the floor, and they start to hang up their clothes.  They're good for maybe 3-4 pieces before they start to get frustrated.  They are, after all, only 2 and 4, so we're getting better at it.  As they run to their rooms to put away their newly hung up clothes, I start to hang up a few pieces.  They grab those and run and hang up those pieces.  As they're running back and forth, I'm continuing to hang up their clothes and sort out other pieces.  As I go along I make a pile of all of our dish-cloths and random clothes, make a pile of my clothes
Most of mine have already been hung up straight from the dryer as the clothes were going in the clothes basket.  If some of the husband's clothes are there, I make a pile for them.  If I'm in a good mood, I'll fold them.  If I'm not, they'll get put in a basket and put in a place he'll have to trip over them so he'll know I did his laundry ;) 
I also make piles of their PJ's and undergarments, which go in little plastic drawers under their bathroom sink. 
Pretty soon, almost all the laundry is put away.  YAY!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lotsa Pasta

I love pasta.  Love.  It.  Seriously.  I'm a carb addict.  "The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet" says so.  I don't do that diet anymore.  It makes me cranky.  I've decided that with a husband who works the equivelent of 2 full time jobs and 2 pre-schoolers who spend the entire day with me, its better to be fat and happy than a skinny..... uh.... grouch.
What was I talking about?  Oh, how I love pasta. Love.  It.  I do, however, try to add some vegetables into to the deliciousness and was reminded by my mother

(who is not lazy by the way, but does have some amazing tips for the kitchen, which she tried very hard to teach my ADD self while I was growing up but I was, instead, out kicking people around.... I mean playing soccer... or the stuff I was around for I promptly forgot)

that I was making myself extra work to steam the vegetables separately.

What?
Making myself extra work?
Uh, hello.
That obviously needs to stop 5 minutes ago.

The trick is to add the vegetable to the pasta 3 minutes before the pasta is done, then check the pasta and maybe add 2 minutes to the final time since the frozen vegetables cool off the water.
The other trick is to set the timer for when you want to put the vegetables in, and not try to remember when the timer says 3:00 to put them in.  That never works.  Ever.  The third trick is to set the timer a second time so you don't have carbohydrate mush instead of spaghetti.  I still love the carb mush, but I prefer it to be al dente.  
Having the vegetables and pasta together saves at least one pot to clean.  If you only cook the vegetables for 3 minutes the impact is more like steaming them then boiling them to death.

One less pot to clean = wonderful

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu- 5 minutes, 5 ingredients

OK, I did a series of my menu at the beginning that I've changed since writing it and it doesn't really focus just on the "5 minutes 5 ingredients" meals, which is really where I am the laziest. I'm not a big fan of cooking for real every night, so I like having a few things that I can make in just a few minutes (some take 20 minutes, but only 5 minutes of prep, then you leave it alone for the next 15 until its done. I only count the minutes I'm actually having to pay attention to something) Hey, its my blog, I make the rules.  They might not make sense to you but that's ok.  I often don't make sense to myself.  Anyway, my thought is, unless you're super lazy and make all of them all of the time like me (don't feel bad if you don't-- laziness takes time and practice to perfect ;)  if you keep the items of a few recipes stocked, you'll never have to panic at 5:30 about what's for dinner because dinner can still be ready by 5:50.   To each of the recipes you can always add frozen, pre-cooked meat or a rotisserie chicken for an equally convenient, but carnivorous, dinner.

This post is also for those of you who need to try a little harder to be lazy.  Sometimes you just need some ideas to get you going in the right direction.  I, my friends, am here to inspire :)

Anyway, here is my "5 minutes 5 ingredients" menu.
9 dinners to make over a week's worth of lazy meals ;)
Click on the title to be linked to the actual recipe.

Stir Fry: rice and frozen vegetables with extra eggs and nuts (maybe pre-cooked shrimp) mixed with stir fry sauce

Meatball subs: frozen meatballs, tomato sauce, rolls, mozzarella cheese + fruit

Soup: beans + rice + vegetables + broth + seasonings = yum

Lentils: lentils, rice, carrots, broth, seasonings

Mexican Mix: re-fried beans, shredded cheese and salsa, served with chips


Breakfast: Mug omelet + fruit + toast

Salmon Noodle Casserole:  Salmon (or pre-cooked chicken for you non-fish-eaters), noodles, cream of mushroom soup, peas

Fake Chow Mein:  Chinese noodles (like ramen only not fried), frozen cooked & peeled shrimp, frozen vegetables, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Yellow Rice:  Yellow Rice (saffron rice), peas, black beans

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mug Omelet

Breakfast:  low fat, low cal, high protein, no clean-up.  Excellent.
The Hungry-Girl makes a great breakfast, which I now make all the time.....
an omelet in a mug.
(link here)
~Spray a mug with Pam, add 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
~Microwave for 1 minute
~Top with salsa

No "cooking", no pan to clean.  Awesome.  I know it doesn't sound that appetizing, but after you mix it up with the salsa, it really isn't that different from regular scrambled eggs.  Really.

My main problem is the TinyTwo LOVE it, and try to make me share my breakfast.  Its hard to teach them to share when I keep saying,
"No, this is mine.  MINE MINE MINE."

This is the cost analysis I emailed to my mom:
my cost analysis:

Eggs-12=$2.19
$.18/egg

Egg Beaters-15 servings=$4.39
$.29/serving/egg

I generally do 2 eggs of the egg beaters (1/2 c).  This equals out, per day, to:
eggs: $.37/per day
Egg Beaters: $.59/day

.59-.37=$.22/day  So that's $.22 more a day to use the Egg Beaters.
$.22 x 7 days = $1.54


So, I'm paying $1.54 more a week for me to have a very low cal, high protein and (here's, obviously, the kicker) low work breakfast, since in a mug there's nothing to clean up and no raw egg to deal with.

Seems like a good investment to me ;)

Also, with 15 servings, that obviously works out to be about a week's supply, so that's $4.39/week.

And this is the email I sent to my mom about the egg omlete, regarding their cruise/RV trip to Alaska this summer:
ooo! oooo! 
So, I was just thinking about how much I HATE raw eggs, and then thought if you picked up a few containers of egg beaters and a little jar of salsa you could have your breakfast and dad's breakfasts-- and if you do it in a mug (spray it first or it doesn't like to come off) and you'd have NO CLEAN UP :)  (except for the 2 mugs to rinse out and throw in the washer)  No dirty pan to clean, no cooking smells, and no raw eggshells to have in the RV.  I'm brilliant.  I know.  I get it from my Mom ;)  Maybe buy pre-cooked sausage and you'd be "breakfast cooking free"


And last, but not least, here is the email about the nutritional info regarding the egg omelet:

the egg beaters are 30 calories and no fat 6 g protein and 1 carb, and as i said, i usually have 2 servings to make 1/2c.

salsa for 2 Tbs is 10 calories no fat 2 carbs and 1 protein. 

2 "eggs" + 2 T salsa = 70 cal, 13g protein, no fat, and 4 carbs


If you've read this far... wow.
And yes, I know I email too much.
And yes, I know I must have too much time on my hands ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Things I've been meaning to do...

Stacey at "I'm a Lazy Mom" has started a monthly post of things she's been meaning to do.  Here's my current list:
~Cookbooks on the china cabinet that have been there for 2 weeks
~5 un-folded loads of laundry
~refinishing the couch and love seat, a project I started 6 months ago
~Random things still out from the trip we got back from a week and a half ago

My list is awfully short right now...usually its a mile long.   I'm sure I'm overlooking things at the moment. 
I'll try to think harder next month ;)

Now we'll see if I can link it correctly.  If I can, I'll add pictures next month.

Click here for her post.



I'm excited I figured out how to add the button. It takes so little for me to be impressed with myself ;)

I'm not only Lazy, I'm also always Late and a Procrastinator.  Maybe next month I won't be 3 days late either ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just Get it Gone

My new favorite form of straightening and cleaning the house is to de-clutter it.  I figure, I can touch this item one time, right now, put it in the "Donate" box, and never have to clean it/pick it up/organize it again.  That, my friends, is the lazy way to clean ;)

My mom said today, "Do you have anything else to de-clutter?"  The problem is I keep buying things, or we don't need things anymore, or the more I de-clutter, the less I realize I need.

And then there's the TinyTwo.  Clothes, toys, and even dishes have a cycle related to what time in their lives the kids are in.  For example, I just emptied out the "Kids Drawer" in the kitchen, which was full of plastic cups and plates and sippees and bowls and tops to sippees and inserts to sippees and on and on.

We've switched them mostly to glass, so today I took the plunge and emptied out some of the last remnants of babyhood.  :,(

This very sad occasion did, however, free up a bunch of space, in which I placed the tops to the Pyrex and the tops to the sauce pans.
A drawer just for tops!
So exciting!  (sigh.  my life.)

This left the other cabinets to be more "spacious", and, so, easier to clean and keep organized.

Easier- is the key word here.
Easier=Lazier
and lazier is always the goal here people.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meat!

My parents and in-laws are taking a 2 week vacation together this summer.  Yes, on purpose.  Yes, they are friends.  No, its not wierd.  Yes, I'm lucky.
Anyway, for a week of the trip (before their cruise in Southern Alaska, the lucky bums) they are RV'ing up to Fairbanks and back down to Anchorage.  That's cool.  A great way to save money on food and lodging and a car rental.  Not so easy to make dinner, though, with limited space, time, and ingredients.  LazyMom to the rescue.  Me.  Not my mom.  In case that was confusing.  Anyway, Mom said "I'll have to check your blog for some of your "5 ingredients, 5 minutes".  Problem is, none of them are big on not having meat for dinner.  Especially the dads.  So I came up with another set of ideas and thought I'd share my genius with you.  Apparently I've learned to be lazy, not humble ;)

Menu
Rotisserri Chicken
~Chicken noodle casserole  
~Yellow rice with chicken and peas

Frozen meatballs
~Meatball subs and fruit:  frozen meatballs with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and Italian bread
~Spaghetti with meatballs and green beans

Cooked Frozen shrimp
~Stir-fry:  Minute rice, shrimp and frozen mixed vegetables and stir fry sauce

Beans
~Mexican mix:  Re-fried beans, salsa and shredded cheese- melted and served with chips or tortillas
~Soup:  can beans + can vegetables+can broth +any other leftovers you have to finish out the week

My other thought with this was that everything is non-perishable except for the cheese, bread, and meat, so you could do all your  major shopping one day and not have to worry about anything spoiling, but not having to buy much after that first stock up trip.  It also doesn't require any seasonings or small amounts of sauces (the stir fry sauce you often use the entire jar, or at least most of it) (the soup, if you buy Italian tomatoes, then there's already seasonings in it).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

oh nuts.

I love stir fry.  Drop in some rice, add some egg, sesame oil and soy sauce with a bag of frozen vegetables and call it dinner.  Except that there's not a ton of protein in that recipe.  Bummer.  What's a lazy girl to do?  Sometimes I add shrimp but my cheap side fights that more often than not.  My answer to Lazy AND Cheap?  Nuts.  I blend them in the food processor until they're in little pieces (not dust, but not choke-able either) then add them to the rice.  Cashews, almonds, peanuts... it just depends on my mood.  I sometimes add a few extra eggs too.  Dinner.  Done.  Fast.  Cheap.  And the kids like it :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm such a hippie

We had homemade yogurt over homemade granola this morning.  I'm such a hippie.  I know.  I can hear you say, "What?  What is a lazy girl like you doing making homemade things you can buy from the store?"  Well, I'm also cheap.  Granola is expensive and we go through a TON of yogurt around here.  AND.... they're super duper easy to make.  Seriously.  Would I make them otherwise?  Crockpot365 (link here) is an amazing website dedicated to cooking without having to pay attention to it.  Awesome.  I know.  She has recipes for yogurt (link here) and granola (link here)

Basically... (But go to her website for exact instructions)...

Yogurt-
Dump half a gallon of milk in the crock on low. 
Leave it alone 2.5 hrs. 
Turn it off and cover it. 
Leave it alone for 3 hours.
Mix 2 c of the milk with 1/2 c yogurt and mix it back in.
Leave it alone for 8 hours.
Done.

Granola-
Dump the oats, some butter, and everything else you want to add in the crock on high.
Vent the lid with a chopstick (isn't that part funny?)
Leave it alone for 3-4 hours, except when you start to smell the wonderful granola smell and remember to stir it.
Done.

Cheap and (moderately) lazy.  I prefer full-board lazy, but cheap does sometimes take over.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Watching Jillian

Yesterday I did the "30 day shred with Jillian Michaels".  I know, I know.   I'm in danger of ruining my reputation.
My kids LOVE it... sickos that they are.  
Here was the comments by the eldest of the TinyTwo:  
Mommy, Can we watch Jillian?!... Mommy, I'm tired. Can I sit down?... Mommy, did you just say she's mean?...Mommy, I'm gonna take her away and put her in prison!... Mommy, did she just say flap your wings? (she said shake it out, btw)... Mommy, why is she standing there with her hands on her hips talking like that?... Mommy, can we watch Jillian again?!

Monday, March 14, 2011

2 scoops

Actually, a lot more than 2 scoops.  I recently bought 2 sets of measuring cups (at the dollar store, just so you understand what kind of major investment this was).  Anyway, I put those little 1/2 cup scoops and 1/4 cup scoops into all my containers- like the popcorn container that I always use a 1/4 cup scoop for and always have to go looking for it (and it, somehow, is dirty).  So, now, the popcorn has its own scoop.  The oatmeal container has its own scoop.  The flour container and rice containers also got new additions to their containers.  I had a few 3/4 cup scoops leftover (which I never use anyway because I'm not good enough at math to do fractions in my head ;) so I stuck them in my kids' kitchen for them to play with.  This is another example of how I'll work a little now to be lazy later :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monthly Grocery Store Trip

I do not like to go to the grocery store.
Especially with my TinyTwo helpers.
So, what is a lazy girl to do?
I made a rotation of lazy meals, then, one month, wrote down everyday what we had to eat, (or at least completed the spreadsheet every couple days when I remembered to fill it out and tried to think back to what we had for lunch and dinner on Tuesday).  Then I figured out what we needed to make each of those meals.
This doesn't sound lazy?
Well, it was between that and actually doing something.  Like cleaning or folding laundry.  I prefer to play at my computer making lists to make my life simpler.
Anyway, I now  have a "Master sheet" of a month's worth of groceries.  We don't always eat exactly these things, and I will add other random things that I like to keep on hand for dishes that aren't in my "lazy rotation", but I have a base.  I, armed with this list (that I cross reference with what I actually have on hand) shop once a month (on-line at Harris Teeter of course).  After 2 weeks I will send Sweetheart to the store after work to pick-up milk, bread, and produce.  This has SERIOUSLY cut down on our grocery expenses, as I am not actually IN the grocery store to spend money, I am more likely to find something to make that is here if I am not "allowed" to "just run in to pick up a few things for dinner tonight", and, of course, its much lazier.     

Monday, March 7, 2011

Instant dinner: Meatball Subs

Ingredients:
Frozen Meatballs
Jar of spaghetti sauce
loaf of French or Italian bread
Mozzarella cheese
fruit or salad as a side (Little Man decided that he loves mandarin oranges lately, so that's what we've been having :)

How have I not been making this lately??  I used to make meatball subs all the time, but somehow I "forgot" about it.  Instant.  Yummy.  Perfect.  AAAAAAAAnd, the kids love it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

You know you're lazy when...

You know you're lazy when...
your daughter finds a pen, writes on her foot, and you finally get around to cleaning it 2 days later. (in my defense, she was wearing socks most of that time... somehow when I say it to you it doesn't sound any less lazy... though it seemed to make sense when I just said it to myself as I was scrubbing said foot.... ahem)
On a similar note, the same daughter gets glitter glue in her hair.  The next day-- still there.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Project 333

Rachel at TheMinimalistMom brought up Project 333 and I was wondering how many pieces of clothes I actually wear.  (PJ's, under clothes and workout wear don't count, shoes do.)
Hmmmmm....... So let's see what's in my closet/shoe shelf:


  1. Shoes:  Black ballet flats
  2. Black SAS shoes
  3. Adidas tennis shoes
  4. Pants:  grey-light
  5. grey-dark
  6. grey-striped
  7. black-striped
  8. black- striped
  9. jeans
  10. black yoga
  11. grey sweats
  12. black skirt
  13. Fleece:  black
  14. pink
  15. Long sleeve T-Shirts: pink v-neck
  16. dark green
  17. coral
  18. purple
  19. maroon
  20. red
  21. pink
  22. pink
  23. white
  24. white
  25. white tank
  26. white short sleeve t
  27. Sweaters:  pink
  28. blue
  29. black cardigan
  30. red cardigan
  31. green
  32. Coats: black pea-coat
  33. purple/pink winter coat

This is certainly not all the clothes I own, but honestly, this is basically what I wear, and if I were to do this project this is what I would "choose", since there's not a whole lot left that isn't totally out of season, things I only wear on special occasion, or items that don't fall into the "don't need to count" category.  That was a very long sentence.  So why did I list my clothes for you?  To take stock for myself how much I have, how much I wear, what I have that I didn't count, and to assess what I have that I don't need.  Have you ever taken a really hard look at what you have?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Swapping Dinners

I just joined a meal swap.  What a genius idea that I am so excited about.  We'll meet once a month and each bring 5 of the same meal to trade with the others (there's 6 in the group).  Obviously these will be frozen until ready to serve.  Also, we'd like to not eat only lasagna.  What's your favorite freezable meal?  I found a few good websites but would like other ideas from you :)  Have you ever done one of these?  Any tips/tricks/things to watch out for? Was it as awesome as I'm expecting ;)
PS- Only rules are no peanuts or pork.  And it can't be too difficult to make (but you should have assumed that last part ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

shopping from home

Harris Teeter is having a week of FREE "Express Lane" pick-up, their online shopping.  If you have the option in your area, and especially if you've never tried it, now is the time!

Pop Pop Pop

I LOVE popcorn.  Love.  It.  I have been making the lazy AND cheap (hooray!) homemade version of it (click here for how) and spraying on it Pam Butter Spray and adding salt.  According to Sparkpeople.com, 3 cups of plain popped popcorn is 92 calories, 19 carbs 1g fat  3g protein.  Heaven.  Obviously not for the low-carbin' girls, but for me, when I need SOMETHING to chew on, this is much much much better than most alternatives.  Love.  It.  Tell me if you try it.  And, seriously, the staples don't explode in you microwave.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Egg-celent Dinner

 Click *here* for a recipe I found on allrecipes.com.  I, of course, didn't really follow the ingredient list at all, but instead just dropped into my pre-made (a la Betty Crocker or whoever in the world makes pie crusts that you buy in the freezer section) crust the required number of eggs (3), some sausage I'd cooked this morning, a handful of shredded cheddar and some fresh baby spinach I have left-over from not eating nearly as much salad as I told myself I would this week.  Oh, and I dropped in my triumvirate of perfect seasonings, of which I put in almost everything:  onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.  Even with "help" from the TinyTwo, it took me 10 minutes from "hmmmm, I think I'll make a quiche" to quiche in the oven.  Now we're waiting an hour but I'm not counting that time because, obviously, I'm sitting here at my computer, writing to you, and, obviously, not cooking.

Actually, I doubled the above and froze one of the pies in the freezer for a time that I, a) want quiche/eggs but are out of them or b) want to bring a meal over to someone but don't have the time/ingredients for it.  I wrote the directions on the top of the foil, because you can be certain I've already forgotten them and will not want to look them up when it comes time to cook it or I'll forget to tell whoever I give the quiche to.

So, if you get a quiche from me someday soon, you'll know I made it today ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Geranium's in the sink

This is what I commented to "this post" about "Terrific (non-thing) Things".  I am a weirdo.  I know.  But I thought I'd share anyway ;)

I bought Mrs Meyer's Geranium dish soap yesterday and I am close to intoxicated by it.  What a difference it makes in cleaning!  You're brilliant!  I tend to do a lot of cleaning with a vinegar/water/few drops of soap mixture, so I (albeit wastefully ;)  poured it out and made it again with the Mrs Meyer's and now my entire house smells wonderful :)  My husband, yesterday, commented, "What's with your cleaning today?"  I couldn't get enough.  Of cleaning!  When has THAT ever ever happened!    

I LOVE it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My little secret

I have a secret.  I don't separate my laundry.  GASP!  But how do you get your whites as blinding as Tom Cruise's smile?  I don't.   Whaaaat?  That's right.  I don't.  I occasionally will soak whites in biz or bleach or help them get their sparkle back.  Most of the time though, I don't tend to care if my white's glow in the dark.  For me, what's more important is just getting it done.   If I do laundry everyday, starting a load while my coffee is pouring itself (I love my Keurig) then my laundry gets done.  If I worry about sorting everything, then it doesn't.  Don't worry, Mom, I will add this disclaimer:  my mother is horrified at this and wants you to know she taught me to do laundry "correctly".  She also tried (very hard) to teach me how to make a pie crust, yet there are 2 store-bought ones in my freezer. Some lessons just didn't take I guess.  I suppose one day I'll return to sorting laundry, most likely when the kids are big enough to do it themselves and I will be compelled to teach them the "correct" way to do it.  Until then, if you see me with socks that are more "mother of pearl" than "white as snow" you'll know why.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spinach for the Kids?

My mom was watching Giada the other day, and she had a recipe (here) for "Grilled cheese with spinach and pancetta".  Mom said "Maybe Mr. 'I don't eat vegetables' would try this." I said, "Its certainly worth a try."
Of course I totally demolished sweet Giada's recipe and did this instead:

~Crammed the little food processor with fresh baby spinach and shredded cheddar (about half and half) and blended it until it was uniform
~Placed this green goo on tortillas and microwaved them until they were gooey and melty.  
~Wrapped them up and told them Dora's favorite color is green.  In honor of her we were having "Special" green quesadillas today.

The kids One of the kids LOVED them.  Mr "I don't eat Vegetables" still was not thrilled.  Oh well.  I'm going to keep trying with this one though.  As a side note, I try not to have cartoon characters do the parenting for me, but occassionally (like when spinach is involved) I will cave and invoke the power of Dora.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kitchen Fairy

Where is that kitchen fairy?  Why didn't she come while I was gone to clean up the kitchen?  Seriously, what are we paying her for anyway? ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conversations with myself

I've been doing a couple things daily almost every day... since the only thing I do every day is sleep and eat.

Laundry.  I seriously have been trying to start a load of laundry every morning while I'm waiting for the coffee to make.

Dishes.  I try to get the sink empty at least once a day.  I try to keep the dishes in the dishwasher, but seriously, that obviously doesn't really happen.

Bathroom:  I wipe down the bathrooms regularly and keep all of the counters clear of stuff and either under the counter in baskets or in the cabinet.

Clutter:  I try to keep as little as possible in the house.  The less there is, the less there is to clean.  I keep the kids toys in rotation with at least half their books and toys stored in the closet.

These things keep my house pretty clean and orderly, without much effort.

This doesn't sound very lazy, I can hear you say.  Well, yes and no.  Its not so lazy for the "Current" me, but pretty lazy for the "Future" me.  For example, its a lot less work overall if I rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher right away.

I occasionally have this conversation between my current self and my future self

Current me:  I'll do that later
Future me:  no way!  it will take you 5 minutes and me 25 minutes!  how is that lazy??  YOU do it now so that I don't have to do it later!
Current me:  awwwww mannnn..... I don't waaaana do it
Future me:  you know we're the same person right?  you do realize that if you don't do it now you'll have to do it later? if you're so lazy shouldn't you do the lazy thing and do it now?
Current me: ooooooooooh. fine.  but you better thank me.
Future me:  I will.

and that is how i get stuff done.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Another in my list of vegetarian meals, not because they're meatless, but because they're lazy easy.

Ingredients:
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 c broth
2 T lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 c yoguart (plain or vanilla)
2T soy sauce
2 T ginger
coconut flakes or cream of coconut
sometimes I mix in spinach to make it a one pot wonder

mix all ingredients and heat over medium heat
serve on pasta

5 minutes- literally.  I timed it when I made it tonight, and that included getting everything out (one at a time... I obviously don't think ahead and have everything ready beforehand) and putting everything away :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 min clean

Click here for a link to the article at "a life your way" about cleaning your house in 30 minutes.  They mention most of the tips that I use.
I, of course, can not imagine taking 3 hours to clean my house- but just in case you do-- or if you think that's what's necessary- read up ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meal Swap Revisited

OK, so back in April I did "this" post on the meal swap I was about to join.  Can I just say, "WOW".  This has been a success x 100. 

Partly because my friends are the awesomest coolest cooks in the world.

Partly because the meals are often things that aren't in my repertoire, so its not eating the same old thing for dinner.  Again. 

Partly because I don't cook the meals I swap for (obviously), so its kind of like getting take-out 6 times a month.
 
Partly because I can cook one evening after the TinyTwo have gone to bed and be able to kind of enjoy creating meals without anyone screaming at me that their hungry or that someone stole their toy or that they need to use the potty or that some just hit them or.... 

Partly because I can cook 6 dinners all at one time, which is the ultimate way to "work to be lazy".

Partly because its a lot cheaper to make 6 of the same dinner, which is another ways I can be lazy AND cheap.  You know how I love that.

Partly because I can turn on the oven, throw in a meal and go out to play at the playground here or swim at the apartment's pool.  Please don't lecture me on this if you find it offensive or overly irresponsible that I leave while my oven is on.  I am lazy after all, I never said I was responsible.  Also, I'm not gone that long.  Anyway, we get back from playing and, VOILA! dinner is ready and waiting.

Partly because the meals are in disposable containers, (aluminum trays if they're oven friendly and freezer ziplocks if they'll go into a frying pan or microwave) which means clean-up is fast.

Partly because my kids love it when I say "so and so's Mommy made this for you!" and are more likely to eat whatever it is.

And last, but certainly not least,

Partly because it gives us an excuse to get together one morning a month to do the swap and just happen to spend all morning talking and drinking coffee and eating whatever my "super star friend with 2 little ones and is pregnant with a 3rd and still gets more done in most mornings that I do in a week" makes us to snack on. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

15 things I don't pay for

I find having to remember to buy certain things a bother.  Yes, I'm that lazy.  Also, I'm pretty cheap (I know, those are 2 ongoing themes here) and I prefer to buy something once instead of over and over and over.
So, here are some things that I don't buy (at least not very often)


  1. Paper napkins:  I bought a bunch of cloth ones.  Plus, I use the ton of kitchen dishrags for the kids faces and hands.
  2. Paper towels:  I use the ton of kitchen dishrags I have to clean up spills.  The tablecloth also catches a lot of spills.  The dishrags get tossed into the laundry with whatever I'm washing that day so I don't have yucky wet dishrags hanging around.
  3. Dryer sheets:  I have 2 of those funny ball-like things that stay in the dryer.  I haven't noticed a difference in static
  4. Water:  We bring our own everywhere
  5. Coffee:  I hate to wait and wait at a drive though to pick up coffee that I can make better at home for almost free and doesn't take but 2 minutes to make.  I tend to take a cup of coffee with me almost every time I walk out the door in the morning.  I *heart* my Keurig. A lot.  Did I do that *heart* thing right?  I've never done it before and kind of think its annoying, but for the Keurig, I'll make an exception ;)
  6. I love my Diva Cup.  Love.  It.  (Girls- check it out.  Seriously. You.  Check it out.  Boys- don't...or at least don't say I didn't warn you)
  7. Storage:  We keep everything we have in the space we have.  I've gotten rid of a TON lately.
  8. Car payment:  We've paid for each car we've gotten since we got married with cash
  9. Interest on credit cards:  We pay it off.  Every month.
  10. Cable:  We don't have a TV so I watch hulu instead.
  11. Movies:  OK, so I pay $1 at Blockbuster Express (like Redbox) We never go out to movies.  We're not against it, we'd just rather watch a movie at home.
  12. Pre-school:  We'll be paying next year for a private Spanish emersion Pre-K program.  Otherwise, we've kept the TinyTwo at home.  I like to teach them colors and numbers and how to read myself.  It makes me feel smart ;)
  13. Books:  Except for text books.  Otherwise we use the library.  I read too fast to make the expense worth while.
  14. I'm testing out making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent.  I'll let you know how that goes.
  15. Diapers:  Hopefully. The Princess is potty training as we speak, though back in the day when I had two in diapers I used cloth BumGenius 
What do you not buy/pay for that lots of other people do?  I'm always looking for ways to cut back...monetarily and work wise - so please share :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rice

I learned recently that not everyone makes rice the way I was taught.  I always wondered why people bought rice makers and complained about making rice.
An interesting twist, obviously my mom taught me to make rice, my husband's mom taught my mom this trick, back before I was born.  Funny huh?  We have interesting family history.

Without further ado, drum roll please...............

Do the usual 2 to 1 water to rice ratio (ex: 2 cups water to 1 cup rice)
Bring to a boil
Put a lid on it then turn it off and leave it on the burner
Leave it alone for 20 min
Do NOT check it and Do NOT lift the lid
Fluff and serve.

OR

Boil and cover
Leave alone for 20 min

By the way, this works for white rice only, you have to simmer the brown rice for about 10 minutes before you turn the heat off for another 40 min.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lazy dinner equation

I tend to have a basic equation for dinner:

pasta or rice (often brown instant)
+vegetables (canned or "steam in its own bag)
+can of beans or frozen shrimp or other meat (previously cooked, chopped, and frozen)
+jar of sauce (this is endless:  salsa, tomato, alfredo, pad thai, sweet & sour, teriyaki, etc etc etc)
=Dinner


Cook the rice or pasta
Open up the cans or defrost the vegetables and/or meat, possibly with the sauce (this takes 5 minutes max)
Add everything together
Eat

Shoe Shelf

I HATE looking for shoes when its time to go.  Hate.  It.  Few things make me as enraged as flying through the house trying to find the other 1" sized baby shoe to match the one in my hand.  Seriously.  So, I've tried very hard to train the TinyTwo.  They are 2 and 3 and now know (most of the time) to take off their shoes as soon as we get in the house and place them on the "shoe shelf".  We don't have a proper coat closet near the door so I made a make-shift "drop-off" spot instead.  Now, when its time to go, I say "Put on your shoes!" and they do.  They don't do well searching for things.  Then again, neither do I.  So anyway, now the shoes are there and there's less scrambling right before we leave the house.  And less yelling.  Usually ;)
By the way, it took months of reminding them every time we walking in the door, and reminding them to go back and put the shoes away if they forgot.  I work for laziness, remember?  ;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lazy Crafts

For a great post on lazy crafts, click here.  The author gives lots of ideas and links to crafts that don't involve a lot of mess... my favorite kind!

Friday, January 21, 2011

No frantic cleaning

My mom is driving down today for a visit.  This used to entail a feverish cleaning today.  (I always wait until the last minute, even on feverish cleaning ;)  This is not to say that my mom is one of those condescending or critical mothers- she's not at all.  I would be, however, embarrassed at the state of my home.  For anyone (even my mom) to see past the living room (which I was able to quickly get "clean" by throwing everything upstairs) required some effort.

Not today.  Today I realized every room but my son's is picked-up.  He is there playing right now, and could have it clean in 5 minutes.  Also, my dishes are clean.  There's no sink piled high.  I "actually" cleaned the house on Monday (very quickly- a quick vacuum and dust)  Wow- I was thinking to myself this morning- what a transformation!

Now, honestly, part of this transformation is really the kids.  Instead of having an infant, which has been the case the last 3 1/2 years, I now have a 2 year old and a 3 year old.  And they both sleep through the night :)  Two toddlers sounds, to some, like a lot of work (sounds like heaven to those of you with 4, I know ;)  I find them to be a ton less work now that they play together, can feed themselves and (the newest task mastered) can put on their shoes by themselves.  Anyway, the point is much of my change was outside of my control.  Especially the sleep part.  I love sleep.  I so missed it for so long.  Having sleep (and getting to drink coffee again after a 3 year hiatus during the consecutive pregnancy, nursing, pregnancy and nursing years)  makes me a lot happier.  And more energetic.  Not that I would ever consider myself energetic.  Just more energy than before.  Before was a tired time.  So so tired.

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah.  My transformation.

So, some of the change came from life changes, but some came in the inspiration from, specifically 2, websites/blogs.
I've mentioned them before, but I certainly need to mention them. Again.  This time in more detail.  Lucky you.

I discovered Flylady.com 3 1/2 years ago right after my son was born and I started staying at home.  She has a couple major points that have stuck with me.  The most life-altering was that we've heard "If you can't do something right, don't do anything at all" throughout our lives by well meaning parents.  This is intended to teach a child a certain work ethic- which I certainly agree with.  It doesn't, I don't think, necessarily translate into the adult world where we  have so much to do everyday.  Lots of things need to just get done.  Not done perfectly, just done.  Flylady has more of a "Just Do It" mentality than a "Do it perfectly or you have failed so you shouldn't bother doing it at all" that I had before.  Another part of the "Just Do It" mentality is that few things around the house take as long as we think they will.  Unloading the dishwasher for example. I.  Hate.  It.  Hate.  Doing.  It.  Occasionally I'll time myself and discover that it only took 5 minutes.  Why on earth was I so avoiding a task that doesn't physically hurt me, and is only a 5 minute one?

Flylady also has habits she wants you to develop.  One is the swish and swipe, where I keep shampoo in the toilet wand holder and swish everyday  whenever I think about it.  I also keep windex wipes that I wipe down the entire bathroom-- mirror to sink to counter to toilet everyday whenever I do the previous.  Another habit is quick cleaning the house once a week (vacuum, dust, mop, wipe down mirrors, purge paper, change sheets, empty trash).   The last habit is doing an entire load of laundry everyday.

The other major instrument of change and inspiration is missminimalist.com  I discovered her right before we moved in June.  Something clicked in my little lazy brain.  Wait a minute, I thought, less stuff = less to pick up/less to organize/less to keep track of/less to clean/less to find places for.  I need to jump on this bandwagon immediately!  I did, as I was packing, toss/donate a bunch of stuff.  The big overhaul, though, was after the move.  I only unpacked as needed (the kitchen, the clothes, the kids favorite toys first, everything else stayed boxed until I decided I needed it, then I would unpack that box)  After a few months I realized how many boxes I hadn't even looked at, nor even though about what was in them.  I went through all those boxes and donated a ton of stuff.  We can actually get in the closets.  The kids don't have so many toys they don't know what to do.  We can pick-up the house in 5-10 minutes.  Its wonderful.  We also pared down our furniture.  It makes our space seem bigger without so much stuff.

So there you have it.  My lazy journey in  organization and a "clean" house.  It continues :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Embarrassing Potato Soup

OK.  This is kind of embarrassing.
But that's OK.
Its lazy, so I'll share it.
I love Loaded Baked Potato Soup.
This is my "not really at all like it, but it kind of reminds me of it" soup.

1.  Boil amount of water according to directions on the Instant Mashed Potato box.
2.  Add a little extra so its soup and not just mashed potato consistency.
3.  Add bouillon and Italian Seasoning to the water.
4.  Add the amount of potato according to the box.
5.  Let it sit a few minutes.
6.  While its sitting, blend a can of Northern Beans.
7.  Add to the potatoes.
8.  Blend/chop/dice steamed broccoli.
9.  Add to the potatoes.
10.  Add shredded cheese.

or

1.  Make mashed potatoes with extra water + seasonings
2.  Add blended beans, chopped broccoli and shredded cheese.

5 ingredients.  5 minutes.

I count the bouillon and Italian Seasoning only once and don't count the water.  In case you were wondering how I came up with 5.  Because I like 5, that's why.