Convenience is a Con

Convenient! Cheap! Easy! Free! Music to a mother’s ears. These words entice us, they beckon to us as our child has a meltdown, the dishwasher overflows or we realize we forgot the item we drove to the store for in the first place. They are our friends, caring for us in the haggard moments we try not to let others see. Hello boxed meal, you have saved dinner! Nice to see you again pinterest, I am so excited to work together! Oh sale price, you look great! But in a world with so few princes and so many frogs how many times do these magic words lure you in and leave you emptier than you came?

I have to come to accept that convenience is almost always a con. It comes with a hidden cost.

Buying a prepackaged, prepared or otherwise “easy” meal means you will probably pay more and/or lose nutritional value.

Waiting until the last minute to buy a gift means you will probably pay more for it and put less thought than you should have.

Looking for “inspiration” on the internet may mean you squash your own creativity or waste time.

Finding that sale item may mean you get lower quality that doesn’t go the distance.

Are there times things can be a little easier or cheaper without a bid hidden price? Sure, but those princes are few and the frogs are many. Beware the “easy way out”.

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A Time Saver and A Life Saver

Two little tips and tricks that I love:

First, a time saver. I’m sure i’m not the only one who hates chopping onions but finds herself needing chopped onion multiple times each week..sometimes in the middle of cooking when I realize I need a little more flavor. So a few months ago, fed up with this constant dilemma and the time constraints of two children I started buying frozen chopped onion. I quickly realized you don’t really lose much flavor wise which is nice but you do lose money! Onions are cheap, frozen chopped ones are not.

So I decided to make my own.   I bought a bag of onions and set out to chop them. Thankfully my husband knows I stink at chopping vegetables and stepped in. 15 minutes later I had a large mixing bowl full of fresh, fragrant chopped onion.

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Next, I took a 1/2 cup measuring cup and a stack of “snack size” ziplocks (which incidentally hold almost precisely one half cup) and divided the onion up for freezing.  My 5 onions yielded 7 cups (14 half cup bags).

 

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Finally, I froze them. Next time I will place the snack size bags inside a gallon bag because I could still smell them when I opened the freezer for a day or so.

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Now when a recipe calls for onion, or I just feel like throwing some in, I can do it quickly and without a mess or fuss :).

 

That is my time saver, but I also wanted to share a life saver.

So, my husband drinks hot tea everyday, usually multiple times so his mugs are A. really important and B. get alot of use.

None of this was a problem until recently though. When we moved into our new house something changed, I don’t know if it’s just because our water composition changed or what but suddenly there were stains building up inside EVERY SINGLE MUG. Alot of these are sentimental so throwing them out was a last resort only but no amount of soap, scrubbing or dishwasher seemed to help.

These mugs were scrubbed, with dawn and a dish scrub brush by hand, then they were run through the hot cycle on the dishwasher and they came out still looking like this. I was so annoyed. We’ve been cleaning these things for YEARS and suddenly they just can not be cleaned. It just didn’t make sense.  Plus it was really gross, look.

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Enter my friend baking soda. Why? Because I’m half convinced baking soda is left over dust from the manna

God sent the Israelites left here on Earth to save me from daily insanity.

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I made a little paste with water and used my hand to rub it around inside the mugs.

It was clear that something was happening since the paste immediately began to turn brown.

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A minute or two of scrubbing gently with my hand and baking soda and….

CLEAN.

I had scrubbed this thing for weeks using the dishwasher, soap and tears only to apologize repeatedly to my poor husband

for making him drink out of an increasingly disturbing looking set of mugs and now. VOILA! Cured!

Thank you manna from heaven baking soda! You are a life saver.

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The Joy of Gender Roles

Usually when I hear people use the phrase “gender roles” it is not in a positive light. Modern culture suggests that women and men do not have gender roles, that they are equal and capable of doing all things the same (save childbirth).

We are supposed to earn like men, lead like men and all but be men. The problem is I. AM. NOT. A. MAN.

Just thought I would get that out there. Am I as valuable and worth while as a man? Absolutely. Can I do “everything a man can do”? No, not really. More importantly I don’t want to.

I have always been a strong opponent of most of the ideals of feminism as it is popularly held. I can feel more absolutely than ever though the joy and freedom of living within those gender roles now that I am staying home.

Am I an intelligent, educated and capable woman? Yes. Have I been the bread winner in our marriage before? Yes. Do I speak my mind and have a huge role in the decisions of our family? Yes.

Do these things change that my husband is the head of our household? No.

I defer to his leadership whenever an important decision arises, more importantly I want to live in a way that makes his life better and easier.

Why? Because I love him, because he loves me and because God placed him in the position of accountability for our home.

I have been living with one foot in for a while because despite my desire to be a good wife to my husband I found that after working full time and being a mom there was little time or energy leftover to devote to my poor husband. I could not cook him meals as often as I wanted, grocery shop or do the dishes to prevent them from being a burden to him or show him the kind, gentle support he deserved. Instead I often found myself splitting the household duties and getting grumpy with him over small things simply because I was stressed out from trying to be all things to all people.

Staying home has allowed me not only to devote myself full time to being a better, less frazzled mom to my children but also to being a better less exhausted, stressed wife to my husband. I don’t think I realized how much my entire household would benefit from my being home, in fact I felt guilt over doing so, but as I see the rewards play out I recognize that I am already reaping a harvest from this decision and it is confirmed daily that I made the correct choice.