Spring Break Ideas (...when you're stuck at home and it's still winter outside)

Friday, March 6

For most parents out there reading this, there will be a 5 day vacation coming for your kids in the next week or two. This vacation for your kids will likely mean more work for you, but it can be fun (really, it can) if you organize it properly. 

If you are taking this time off from work - first off, good for you - and second, what do you have planned? If flying south or driving south or whatever sort of getaway you’d like to take isn’t in the cards, check out our list of ways to spend time as a family without spending the kids college funds.

Here's our ideas...

The Best Time to Clean Your Fridge

Saturday, February 21
by Robin

I've been struggling with blogging lately. There was a time I truly enjoyed it. I was excited to share ideas.  I love sharing!  I love ideas!

But, I've been feeling differently lately. Part of it is my life stage - I am a working mom, with 2 young kids, plus I am a caregiver for an aging parent. I am sandwiched and my plate is full.  The time (and energy) to blog is scarce. 

But also, something's changed about blogging. It feels less about sharing and more about competition. It feels like there's an expectation of perfection. Photos with perfect light balance in perfect on trend rooms with perfect children with no ketchup on their faces.  My life doesn't look like that - is it still worth sharing at all?

Also, sharing a single tip that works for a real mom is no longer seems enough. It's got to be: "THE BEST 57 tips that will change your life (...# 5 will astound you!)".  Ugh.  I don't even have the energy to read all that, let alone write it.

I just can't do it. I'm far from perfect and to be honest, I think if I pretend to be it does other real moms a disservice. "How does she do it?  Why can't I be that perfect with everything?  Am I the only one?"

So. Here's me being braver than I normally am. Here's just one tip. It won't change your life, not even close, but it's real and doable. Here's my unedited photos of it too. 

So finally, the tip:

The best time to clean your fridge is... when you can't wait any longer before going for groceries.  That baby's empty.  If someone doesn't shop, supper tonight will be margarine on jarred red peppers with a baking soda sauce.

When it's this empty, it's just plain easier to shift the few measly containers around while you drag out the shelves and wash them in a sink of warm soapy water.

I've also found it's also best to do this while your spouse goes out to the store for the fresh groceries.  They will return to a clean fridge and will resent it less that you got to stay in your warm home with the kids, while they braved the elements and grumpy shoppers at the store.

I also find I feel less guilty about not being the one to go shopping.  So a bunch of wins there.

There you go, one simple tip. 

Antennas Direct - now at Best Buy and Future Shop: Review Coming Soon!

Monday, February 16
By Ed

My review model Clearstream 2V - UHF-VHF for our country's varying signal options

 Heads up Canadian Cord Cutters! The good people at Antennas Direct have got distribution in Canada with two of our countries largest Big Box electronics retailers: Future Shop and Best Buy. This means most Canadian antenna fans now have some great options within driving distance or easy online shopping.

Hey look - unique to Canada labeling with our local networks featured on the box! Yup. I get excited about stuff like that...
 So to celebrate, we're getting some friends who are thinking about cutting the cord to take the first step. They are going to check out the reception and give a layperson's take on trying out antenna TV: is it just for dorky, frugal blogging nerds or can anyone do it? They are braving the cold weather to tinker and see what comes of it.

Unboxing the C2V - I love that Antennas Direct includes the Roof Mounting hardware, right down the asphalt seal patches and adjustable mount bracket. Solid build and clear instructions as always.
We're giving this a true test run in live field conditions and I honestly don't know how it will pan out. Check back soon and see what the verdict is...

Recipe: Pizza with 5 Minute Artisan Bread

Sunday, December 21
by Ed

Sure, takeout pizza is pretty cheap, and very easy and isn't that the point?   With a batch of 5-minute bread dough and fresh (or frozen) ingredients you can have pizza cheaper and quicker than waiting for delivery.
Our kids enjoy eating anything more when they've had a hand in making it themselves.  (And, recently, our son is a bit whacked and likes his pizza with only pepperoni.  No cheese.  Just pepperoni.  Would a pizza joint even make that for us?)

Homemade pizza is fun and easy and I defy you to find a tastier crust that isn't loaded with fat.

  • At least 1/4 batch of 5 minute Bread Dough (I use half a batch in this recipe).  Here's more info on the cookbook "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day".
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (A.K.A. Poor man's tomato sauce)
  • 1-2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
  • other toppings you dig (we keep sliced pepperoni in our freezer to always be ready, but other meat and vegetable toppings work well in the from-freezer-to-pizza too)
  • other seasonings you like (we use mostly garlic and basil)

Here's the How-to:

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