Happy St. Valentine's Day


More stuff

I've been thinking about stuff (material goods, things we own, etc.) recently. For a lot of reasons: the environment, the economy, the space, my carpets. We had our rugs cleaned and had to move everything out of the living room and master bedroom. We've moved the essentials back in- the bed, sofa, coffee table, TV- and that's about it (too tired to finish). And guess what? I like it that way! There's so much room for the kids to play and it just feels more spacious.

I came across this article (click here) on Yahoo! Finance a few minutes ago, and it speaks to me. Materialism is rampant in this country. I fall victim to it myself. For me, Target is difficult to resist. I walked in there the other night to buy a replacement carafe for our coffee maker (ours broke) and as soon as I walked in the door I felt like I had to also buy a spring-y blouse, a Valentine tablecloth, and a new purse. I resisted the temptation, but it was really hard. Target has genius marketing people. They make you think you need to redecorate your entire house for every season and holiday. What? I still have brown pillows on the sofa? That's sooooo last fall! What I really need are "spring" pillows. Um, yeah.

My name is Sarah and I am a sucker for advertising.

Anyway, I agree with the basic tenets set out in the article. They remind me of the WWII era slogan:

"Use it up, wear it out,
make do, or do without."

Words to live by.


What to do with the baby stuff

My mom sent me this article (click here) from Seventh Generation; it's a guide to recycling infant clothing and gear.

We all know babies grow fast and most baby stuff is outgrown long before it's obsolete or worn out.
This article lists resources for unloading your baby gear, and for finding used/recycled clothes and gear.

The highlights:

"Buy only what you need! If you underestimate, you can always supplement later."

"Seek used items wherever possible."

"Don't let your inner sentimentalist talk you into saving everything as keepsakes."

That last one is the hardest for me!


Mashed Potatoes, Anyone?

I try to avoid processed foods and buy fresh, local foods as much as possible. If I can make something at home without it taking up most of my day and making a big mess, I probably will.

But... I have discovered the joy of instant mashed potatoes. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it. I had never made instant potatoes until a few months ago. Here's how it happened:
During one of Mollie's steroid binges, she demanded mashed potatoes. So, I got potatoes, boiled them, smashed them. She didn't like them. She wanted the kind they have in the hospital, so we tried instant. Cheap, Publix private label, homestyle potato flakes. I can't remember if Mollie liked them (something about gravy...), but Matt and I enjoyed them. Less time. Less mess. Fewer spoiled, sprouting potatoes.

I will probably stick to the real thing for the holidays, but for our occasional mashed potato eating needs, I'm going with instant.


Lemony Goodness

For Lucy's birthday this year, I made lemon cream cupcakes (click for link to recipe). I've never made a lemon cake before and these were good! They were a little dense (any suggestions to make them lighter and fluffier?), but the flavor was delicious.

Lucy sure enjoyed them!