Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meal Planning

Mommy friends of mine practice meal planning so I decided to give it a try at the turn of the new year. I preplan what to cook the whole week. I don't necessarily write down the whole recipe at that time. Some spontaneity is preserved, and I can look up recipes revolving around the theme or protein/ingredients I chose for the day. It's been working wonders. We don't waste as much food or end up making a rash choice to get take out for lack of making a decision on what to make for dinner. I can also utilize leftover roasts or hunks of meat and incorporate them into meals on other days. If there aren't lists or a schedule to follow, it's difficult to focus with so much goings ons.

Some people can really save money doing this by buying only what's on sale and using coupons then planning the meals around the sales. I wish I had time for this or really a clue on how to do it for Organic and natural living. It doesn't help that I can't see the coupons from on my browser either. We shop at Wholefoods and BJ's, and it breaks the bank on our already tight budget to buy all Organic products. Our health is uncompromisable though so we still do it.

I'm saving a repertoire of meals in a folder on my computer so I can pick out and rotate meals. Personally I get sick of having the same dishes too often, and my son does too. Although he goes on these kicks where he wants the same thing for every meal or every day, but that's a whole other blog. Finding things that everyone in the family likes is difficult. Honestly my preschooler usually eats something totally different or just parts of the meal. It feels like this will change soon since he's slowly been trying new things. So my meal repertoire will be constantly changing with two young palates. I used to cook so complicated, but it's so difficult with the two now. Easy, nutritious and slightly gourmet is what I like. I try to mix up some inspiration from around the world into the menu too. Latin, Asian, Indian, Italian, and on and on.

The internet is great for new recipes and ideas. I google most of my recipes instead of using cookbooks these days. Sites that I frequent are food network, epicurious, all and even Betty Crocker. However I modify most of the recipes and always omit or substitute things like "powdered soup mix" or "hamburger helper powder" for natural options. We don't use things like that in this house since they might contain harmful preservatives or food coloring. Any chemicals or artificial whatnot aka poison is consumed as little as possible in this household.

I also have a ban on hydrogenated fats, although occasionally they find themselves in the house in the form of Reese's Pieces or Peanut Butter Cups.... Velveeta isn't allowed in this house..... EVER!!!!

Feel free to comment with a good recipe especially delicious crock pot dishes. Also tips for good planning is welcome too. Juggling the new family additions into the mix with all of the regular duties has been exhausting. Thankfully as time goes on I'm figuring out what makes it all run smoothly for us.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tattoo mom of two

Life as I know it has changed with the new addition. Time for me dwindles more and more. it's been interesting finding the rhythm of everyday life as a mom of two. Now that work has been thrown into the mix, it becomes more challenging. I can have my time in the car on the way to work or if they both simultaneously sleep and I happen to be awake, which is rare.

I'm typing this one handed while I breast feed and cuddle my newborn and balancing my computer on my side.

My everyday task workload has multiplied by two. Keep both of them fed, clothed, bathed, napped, and stimulated. Then there's myself. If I can check off two on that list for myself then I'm doing well for the day. Then add up the household chores such as clean the house, cooking meals, and doing laundry.

Then there's my paying job as a tattooist. When Joslyn was 5 weeks, I had to go back to work. As a self employed person, if you don't work then you don't get paid. Hence the shortened maternity leave. Just because I'm in the studio two days doesnt mean I sill don't work everyday. I'm constantly answering emails, booking my appointments and consultations, and drawing and researching for tattoo appointments. The emails have been flying in at warped speed. Some days I've gotten 5 requests in one day. My iCal and iCloud aren't syncing properly or it's really just me. It's so difficult to keep up with all of the emails and booking things without putting a name to a face. The other junk emails come in, and I lose contact occasionally. Please bear with me if I haven't gotten back to you for a few days, and contact me again.

If you want to get tattooed by me, you must come to me in NJ. No more traveling. No night appointments either. I'm booking into May for Fridays and June for Saturdays. You can come in for a consult sooner.

Holy cow... Thank God most days I can harness my inner super hero and utilize my special mom super powers. Thank God for coffee and my husband. He's been a huge help. AND little J sleeps for most of the night so far. Knock on wood.

I've attempted to write about the pain med free birth more than once. It still sits in my files as a draft. Perhaps I'll find time to finish and post it, but for now it hangs in cyberspace purgatory. Someday it will appear here for you to read.

I feel guilty writing when there's so much work to be done. I have three drawings due this week. I could be folding laundry while they nap, which she's been doing 99% of the time for most of Talon's nap time. What a relief.

Check out my little bebe....