Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Less is catching on

I think we are all just learning how overwhelming and suffocating 'stuff' can be check out this video:

I've actually been feeling this urge to "organize" my stuff lately and I think the reality is I just have more than I can deal with. I have found that my large home has accumulated with "stuff" and it does stress me out. We have actually contemplated moving at times but love our neighborhood....so we'll stay but I do a have get rid of stuff to-do list!

This is easier said then done when we work and have the kids but I've done it before, just one room at a time. I usually put down some toys and baskets and let the kids play and sort. I'm just super strict and if it isn't getting used it goes. If there is too much to deal with or we have to move on I just get back to it later. We all have small closets and don't buy a lot of cloths so mainly it is toys and housewares or gifts and gadgets (half started projects I thought would be cool or things we have just outgrown as a family). I don't deal with garage sales I just donate and giveaway.

The trick is not accumulating so much new stuff that I have to start all over again once I'm done. If there was ever a time we needed to simplify it looks like today's environment has really been trying to tell us something. Are you hearing the call to de-stuff too?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kids Cook Monday

The super sweet folks over at Meatless Monday have started a new campaign focused on cooking and eating together with your kids. They emailed me earlier this week about possibly blogging more about my adventures in cooking with my kids. I have to admit that - with a 1 yr old and 4 yr old and two jobs the idea of finding time to cook with my kids on Monday was almost hysterical. So while I'm titling my posts Kids Cook Monday... the reality is we eat leftovers on Monday or we focus on a quick meatless meal.... so we don't really cook Monday.

BUT... the concept of cooking and eating with your kids is so important to me. My mom was an amazing stay-at-home mom who can and did cook nearly every meal for us... so why is it that I can't cook? I didn't take an interest and I regret it now - so I'm focused on getting my kids in the kitchen and developing their skills (and maybe passions).

I didn't have time to take photos this weekend but with the baby in the highchair (dragged right into the kitchen to watch and copy us) and my older at the bowl with a spoon this weekend we took 5 mins to show grandma how we make bread. ok, with kids it's more like 15....but I'm talking about the very basic Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day recipe (we use half whole wheat half white Bob's Red Mill flour). I don't know of anything simpler or more versatile to make with my kids and we make it often. Needless to say  - I think we may have hooked even grandma on making bread this is so easy!

That night my older helped dad make a pizza (she seriously is in awe every time daddy flips the dough in the air). We used the rest to make just a simple loaf of bread but in the past we have done pita pockets, bread sticks, and the latest I can't wait to try is to make bread bowls for our weekly soup nights.

So I realize they are young and we are busy. But we are still going to keep up our attempts to make meals in our small kitchen together. If you cook with your kids and blog about it Let the folks at Kids Cook Monday know about it... and if you don't and want to post here one Monday just let me know - I'd be happy to hear and post your stories.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sponsoring our schools??

I admit it... I'm a sucker for those do-good reality shows - the latest being School Pride. These shows make me cry and realize just how good of a life I have. But this latest one is also tugging at me in another way. While I am AMAZED at what they are doing with these schools... I'm a little torn at all of the company sponsorship this is being displayed in the school to support the changes. The "Microsoft lab" is very cool - don't get me wrong...but the big giant Microsoft logo on the wall is also a bit disturbing to me. Our kids are bombarded with millions of advertisements - do they need them in their school computer lab too?

Yes, they need the technology and if the government can't give it too them I give them props for finding a way to get their needs meet and give these kids more... but I'm just a little concerned how far they could take this. I mean, why the need for product placement for the kids - I get on the show but if they really care about the kids just donate it and leave the logo out of the room.

This is a tough one... It tugs at the heart strings - but concerns my mind.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good Old Public Transportation

I saw this post a while back titled Why public transportation is good for kids and it peeked my interest enough to share it here. Public transit where I grew up was a really slow bus that went some places and a boyfriends car :). I walked a LOT growing up. I didn't get a car when I turned 16, or 18, or even when I went to collage.

That is because I went to college in San Francisco and living in the bay area with a bike, bus, and BART was really the best experience a kid could have had. I eventually got a car and frankly - I rely on it way too much now. We walk and bike some with our kids but this article really got me thinking that it might be time to just see where that bus in our hood goes!

Do you take public transportation with your kids?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Connect -and Cook- with your Kids this Monday

Eating a family dinner is a huge priority in our family. We do it basically 7 days a week and I really enjoy it even more the more people we have so I LOVE having other family and friends over if we (and they) can find the time. This is why I was really intrigued by this weeks Meatless Monday post Connect -and Cook- with your Kids this Monday and the book by Laurie David mentioned here "The Family Dinner".

All too often my older child is ready to run away at the end of a meal or is asking for "TV". We try to talk about our day and even allow coloring or activities at the dinner table but that doesn't always end the way I would like. So I'm very interested in this book and ideas the author Laurie David might having on keeping family dinner time sacred.

Next up - Library hold. If I can get a copy I'll let you know what I think!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sodastream Review and Giveaway

I have been super interested in these Soda making machines and did a bunch of research on them a while back.... We don't keep soda in the house (I don't actually like carbonated beverages really at all - I know, weird) but my husband really loves fizzy water (hmmm this may have started after our trip to Europe) and I hate hate all the glass or plastic bottles that we go through drinking it. That said, the machines are rather expensive and the CO2 canisters you usually have to toss and buy new ones with the exception of this Sodastream that actually recycles the canisters (woot). My husband sort of felt that at the cost of just one person drinking soda it would take us quite a while to actually save money. So even though we really want to do the right thing we've been waiting a while to get one...

Want to check out a review and enter to win one? check out Your Green Helper who has a Sodastream Review and Giveaway... and actually Crunchy Chicken also had a review (giveaway is over) that had me sort of re-interested in this particular model (looks as though Sodastream is doing some blog level marketing).