How do you remember to bring your reusable bags shopping?
It took me about 1 full year to completely get into the habit of bringing my reusable shopping bags with me shopping. Now finally, after all that time I am happy to report it is a habit, one that I don’t have to think too much about.
1 year is a long time, but it started out once in a while I would remember to bring the bags with me. After that I would have bags with me but forgot them in the car, and did not want to bother running back out to the car. Like most habits you want to change or form, it is a process but can be well worth it in the end.
There are several reasons I like using reusable bags. The obvious being it produces less waste. Our family already manages to produce enough garbage in our home between braking things, all the food and snacks, not to mention diapers and wipes. It sets a good example for my children. I am hoping because they are so young using reusable bags will be all they know so that they don’t have to work on it for a year like I did.
Another big plus is that reusable bags can carry more weight than plastic ones. I am one of those people that would rather have heavier bags to unload, than have to make more trips to the car. My husband often unloads the bags too, and he prefers that as well.
If this is a habit you would like to make you have to find a system that works for best for you. I tried leaving bags in my car but I would always forget to bring them in, so I decided I needed to come up with another way.
Start out slow. The first goal of mine was to remember the bags while grocery shopping because that was the biggest culprit of waste. I decided to work on other times after I got this one down. The system that worked well for me was to leave the bags in a visible spot in my garage. I walk through the garage to get to my car to do the shopping. Grabbing the bags at this time allowed me to place them in the front seat of my car, where I could easily see them to help me not forget to bring them into the store. Also having the bags in the garage made it easy to return them to their spot, because what good are they if they don’t make it back for the next time.
If leaving bags in your car isn’t working. Try leaving them in a location near the exit out of your home. An added bonus to forming this habit is that I get points at my local grocery store for using the bags, which can use to purchase other items, and I LOVE that!
Once I conquered the grocery shopping, I moved onto other shopping such as clothes, shoes, drug store and all the random times that are not necessarily planned out. For these times I leave to reusable bags in my purse that fold up small. It is great because that way they are always on me.
If you don’t use a purse try putting them in your coat that you wear most frequently, and that will cut down on the times you are without one. Then remember after you unload them at home to put them back where they belong so you have them the next time.After forming this habit, I started to take it even further. Now I even use produce reusable bags. I got these bags free using points I had collected at the grocery store Save-On from using the other reusable bags. Also, when I can I love to use reusable bags as gift bags. The added bonus is a lot of the time they are even cheaper than gift bags. Often you can find them for $0.99. These are 2 of my favorites. One I found at Michaels, and the other Sears.
When I come across a reusable bag I think is cute I buy a couple and store them for when I need a gift bag. You don’t want to have to spend time hunting them down last minute.
Making this habit has been work and a slow progression, but looking back I am happy I did it. Once the habit is formed it doesn’t take much thinking to keep it going.
Have you come across a reusable bag you are particularly found of, or think is cute? If so, where?
It was an interesting trip on the way down to Arizona from Vancouver. Big Brother had his new backpack special for the trip filled with toys and activities to keep him busy. He did such a good job traveling. I have to say being 4 years old now has been by far the easiest travel with him. And traveling with Little Sister made me fully appreciate how good and helpful Big Brother was.
Little Sister was the typical 1 year old. She had a hard time sitting still, and wanted to be climbing from person to person, and left to roam. Hubby said to the person near us “So you drew the short end of the stick, huh?” We were very fortunate to be surrounded by kind people.
We were hoping Little sister would nap in the car, but she didn’t. That may have been the first BIG sign that things were going to get challenging! In the beginning she did the best you can expect a 1 year old to do. She was in pretty good spirits.
When 7:30pm hit, things took a turn for the worse. 7:30 is her bed time. Having missed her nap she was getting very tired, and we still had another 2 hour flight, and 1.5 hour drive to go. About quarter after 8 she started to full out loose it when she was officially OVERTIRED. We tried SO hard to get her to fall asleep on us on the plane, and she was not having it! She was uncomfortable and a wreck. Daddy was walking her in his arms up and down the aisle. It didn’t seem to matter whether she was sitting still or being walked, she was screaming! Hubby and I probably held our breath the whole flight.
Grandpa so nicely drove the long distance to the airport to pick us up. In the beginning of the drive Little Sister fell peacefully asleep. Then after what seemed like way too short of a time, she woke up and screamed the whole rest of the drive home. Grandpa can attest when she is mad she does not give up! Her screams can be very loud and high pitched. When Big Brother was a baby after a little while of crying he would get tired and fall asleep. NOT little sister. She is persistent! She didn’t stop crying until we finally reached our destination.
What the rocky trip down here did do is make us fully appreciate being here! Now it is sunny skies and lots of fun outdoors.
It makes you wonder...
Do we ever have to leave?
During the week I am always looking for new ideas to make our family’s dinners healthier without adding a lot of time. Pasta is a dish we have in our home on a weekly base. Lots of the time we keep it simple by just adding tomato sauce and parmesan cheese, with a side of vegetables. Other times we will add ground beef to the sauce or make meatballs.
The times that I don’t want to add meat to our dinner but I still want to make the meal more filling, as well as add a healthy source of protein, an easy addition to the meal is beans. For tonight’s dinner I used a can of pinto beans. I have also used chick peas and that works great too.
There are 2 fast and easy ways to add beans to your pasta dish without adding much time to the preparation. For both methods I start by rinsing and draining the beans from the can.
· The first way works well when you are either making sauce or heating sauce on the stove. Add the can of beans to the sauce, and let simmer for a few minutes to heat the beans through.
· The second way is great for when you are serving sauce straight from a jar. When there are 2 minutes left in your pasta’s cooking time, add the can of beans to the boiling water, then drain the pasta and beans together as usual, and top with your favorite toppings.
Adding beans to your pasta dish is an easy way to cut down on your portion of pasta while increasing the nutrition, which the beans provide. I also find that pasta with the addition of beans is more filling, allowing me to eat less and still feel satisfied.
Pasta is one of the meals we usually make during the week when we don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. Beans are a great addition, and at the same time keep the dish simple to make.
What topping do you like on your pasta?
Greetings from Arizona!
We have been really enjoying ourselves on vacation. It is hard to believe more than a week has already flown by. There is a lot to share from our trip, and I look forward to giving you a glimpse in upcoming posts.
The weather has been stunning. It is amazing how wonderful the sunshine feels, and how good it is for your spirit. Having breakfast and drinks outdoors has been such a treat.
Going from the hot tub to the pool, and back to the hot tub again has been wonderful quality time for our family. Big Brother and Little Sister LOVE the water, and so do Mommy and Daddy J!
Our favorite way to spend happy hour is right in front of the fire pit, where Big Brother has enjoyed a marshmallow or two.
We are so fortunate to be spending time with the proud grandparents. There have been lots of precious moments, but luckily we have not come across any Javelinas.
At least any real ones that is! J
I can’t wait to share lots more from our trip, but for now it is bed time, and we are soaking up every precious moment of vacation that we can.
See you soon, my friends!
What is your favorite happy hour drink?
What do you do with your scrub brush, rag, or sponge you use for cleaning dishes?
A couple of years ago I decided I wasn’t happy with them sitting in the sink, or making a mess of the counter. Instead I purchased an inexpensive rectangular white plate that is the perfect size for the edge of my sink. This is where I place my scrub brush that I use for cleaning dishes. It keeps water from seaping everywhere. When the plate starts to look dirty I put it in the dishwasher, and it is new again. Usually, I put my scrub brush in the dishwasher along with the plate to give it a good clean.
*Note: Be careful if your brush holds soap that it is COMPLETELY empty before putting it in the dishwasher. One time I forgot and the dishwasher was ouzing bubbles. Luckily we caught it before we went to bed or who knows what would have happened to the floor! :-0Another thing that seems to pile up near the sink are baby wash cloths. Like Amy, I use these wash cloths in my kitchen to wipe up my kids faces and hands after they eat. They are young so messy is putting it nicely! J And, as Amy says they are soft on the kids skin.Instead of making a million trips to the laundry basket each day, or having a huge pile of face cloths build up, I put them into this cute little heart dish.
I got this dish as a gift at a fun baby shower I attended for a wonderful friend who had a little girl 2 weeks after Little Sister was born.
For me it is a great alternative to having the face cloths sit in the sink, which can fill up with dirty water quick. It also allows me to take the cloths to laundry once per day, while minimilizing the mess by my sink.
Can you give an old dish a new life?
The next time you need a card for a special event, consider making one of your own. If your kids are old enough and enjoy making crafts or doing art work, a fun project is having them make the cards for your friends and loved ones.
These cards were made by a very special 4 year old friend.
One for Big Brother
And one for Little Sister
I adore the love that goes into a homemade card. It gives the cards that extra special touch.
Another amazing friend of mine makes her own cards. It can relieve stress, and is a wonderful creative outlet. What’s better than putting your creativity to work, and making little pieces of art for your friends and family to cherish?
Look at the details on these cards. I just love that!
When a card is made especially for you by someone you care about, it holds a special place in your heart!
Does art work relieve stress for you?
The last time we had friends over to our house for dinner I decided to make Magic Cookie Bars from Eagle Brand. I found the recipe on AllRecipes.com.It is a bar cookie so it is really easy to make. The dessert was for both children and adults. What I like about this recipe is the variety of flavors that compliment each other: coconut, chocolate, nuts, which I find more appealing when serving to adults too.To make this recipe a 13x9 inch pan is recommended. I took the opportunity to use my Perfect Brownie Pan, and it worked perfectly. I love how the squares came out nicely, and did not crumble apart when cutting. My love of baking is partly visual. I enjoy the artistic side of making baked goods look beautiful. However, crumbly or not these magic cookie bars are delicious.Here is the recipe:Magic Cookie Bars from Eagle Brand – on AllRecipes.comIngredients:½ cup butter, melted1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs1-14oz can sweetened condensed milk2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips1 1/3 cups flaked coconut1 cup chopped nutsDirections:Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees FCoat baking pan with non-stick sprayMix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter
Press into the bottom of baking dish
Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over graham cracker layer
Next spread evenly chocolate chips, followed by coconut, then chopped nuts.
Here is where I inserted the divider, if you use one.
Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
Yum, right out of the oven. I removed the divider, and drop the sides of the pan while the bars were still warm to help prevent sticking.
Easy & Delicious!
Try adding different layers of your favorite toppings.
What is your favorite kind of bar cookie?
This post is a BIG thank you to my husband! For a long time I have been sitting in the corner at my computer straining my eyes with a lack of good lighting. It is amazing how hard on your eyes it is when you are working in a dark area.
Recently, my husband installed a chandelier above our dining table, and it has made a HUGE difference. I am one happy wife J! For those of you familiar with home renovations or improvements, you may be wondering what the big deal is. However, the reason this is so big for me is because my husband went completely out of his comfort zone to do this. Home improvements are outside of the box for him. No, that is not an accurate description, it’s in another galaxy, and he did a fantastic job!
Here are some pictures of our chandelier.
In case you are in the market for a chandelier we were able to find this one at our local Costco for $79. He even installed a dimmer switch, just perfect for that mood lighting. With each improvement completed around the house, Hubby gains a little more confidence in his skills, and I’m LOVING it!Thank you darling, for the love, sweat, and frustrations that went into that one. I really appreciate watching your knowledge in this area grow, and all the wonderful benefits our family is receiving from it.Now, I just have to watch the size of that honey-do list JDo you find your eyes strain more working in dark areas?
Ever since I saw garlic on Dr. Oz’s Anti-Cancer Shopping list, I have been thinking about how I can add more garlic into my family’s diet. The best way I came up with in order to add garlic to our diet on a more regular basis is to add it frequently to our veggies at dinner.During the week there is not always a lot of time to cook vegetable dishes so I thought I would share the easiest way to add garlic to your vegetables, and make them even tastier.Method 1:First chop and peel a few cloves of garlic. Try to give them 15 minutes exposed to the air before cooking to maximize the benefit. After you either steam or boil your vegetables such as broccoli or green beans, drain the veggies and set aside. In the same pot, to use less dishes of course, and save on time because the pot is already warm, add olive oil and sauté garlic for a few minutes to lightly brown.Pour the veggies back into the pot and toss in the garlic-olive oil mixture. This is a great time to add your favorite seasonings if you would like. Toss briefly to reheat veggies and serve.Method 2:If you are roasting veggies, which I highly recommend to bring out their natural sweetness. Again chop garlic first and let sit exposed to the air for 15 minutes. Toss the raw vegetables in olive oil and chopped garlic, and then roast in the oven.For dinner we made garlic green beans using the first method, and we really enjoyed the heightened flavor the garlic brought to the dish.
How do you like to add garlic in your diet?
And we’re off!
Today we start our journey to Arizona, and we are all pumped for a nice long vacation. We’ll be gone for 2 weeks. This will be the longest we have managed to get away before. I know! What were we thinking; we should have done this earlier. J
While we are away we will get to visit with lots of family! All the grandparents will get to see Big Brother and Little Sister. Oh, and of course us! J
Getting away to a warm climate is just what we are in need of. Although the weather has made a turn for the more beautiful, we have endured a lot of time indoors and rain this winter, so getting outdoors more is going to be wonderful.
I’m sure we will have lots of fun adventures along the way, and maybe a few challenging ones. This will be Little Sister’s first time flying and she is just at that perfect age of 1. Too old to sit still, and too young to care about watching an in-flight movie. Wish us luck, and the people around us a lot of patience! I feel for them already.
Here is a picture of Big Brother’s favorite doll the last time we visited.
OK, so maybe he was too scared to walk down the hall, but I think it’s neat, and how many grandparents do you know cool enough to have something like that in their hall?! Watch, Little Sister will probably just laugh and want to play with it?
For the 2 weeks I’m away, posting may be a bit sporadic at times. I like to change things up while on vacation and prioritize relaxing as much as possible. I have been hard at work preparing some posts ahead of time, and anything I don’t fill you in on while we are away, I will be sure to do when we get back.
See you soon, my friends!
Any must-dos while we are in AZ?