Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's dinner: Lemon Poppy Chicken Breasts. My recipe:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Writing an internet mkt'g ebook today and making beef dip sandwiches for dinner. These are SO awesome. My recipe:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New SeanSEO post: Do You Ping?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Today: writing about charity, pollution, internet marketing and candida. Editing about hypnosis and appliances. Plus lots of delegating!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Momphabet Soup Has Moved

New digs over at

See you there!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jewelry Collections for Children

This is a guest post for

Not much lights up a little girl's face like the gift of beautiful jewelry. The problem that many people make along the way is focusing on quantity in these small tokens of affection that we give our little princesses rather than focusing on quality.

By providing a few pieces of jewelry for a child that represents superior quality you can create a life long collection she’ll add to throughout her life. Don't be as concerned about children outgrowing these pieces as they make excellent keepsakes and heirlooms for them to pass on to their children one day in the future. This type of gift can be bought from baby naming ceremony to baptisms to graduation and a wedding day.

Jewelry for Children She Can Grow With

If you prefer to do something a little special with the jewelry you give your child as she grows you can always save the pendants to add to a charm bracelet later on. This bracelet can be worn throughout her childhood as she outgrows different chains and moves along to different interests in her life. What better way to wear something old after all than to wear the memories of childhood on her wedding day?

Rings from childhood can also become pendant as adults. It really doesn't matter what type of jewelry you choose for your special little one there are plenty of things you can do with these pieces as she grows. Anklets can become bracelets in time. You will be amazed at what your imagination will come up with to do with various pieces of jewelry as your little one grows.

Make Classic Choices that Grow with Your Child

If you are concerned about the jewelry you purchase lasting you can always go with earrings. They will last throughout childhood and can become lifelong favorites if you choose pieces that aren't overly childlike and provide a little room for growth. By making choices that are classically elegant you will give her a good foundation for future jewelry collections and a little something 'grown up' for her current wardrobe. She will adore the pieces that are designed for younger ears but absolute love those pieces that make her feel more grown up.

You will find that there are many great choices when it comes to jewelry for children no matter what your gift giving goals may be. If you want to give gifts of jewelry that will grow along with her or those whimsical pieces that celebrate childhood you are teaching her the value of beautiful jewelry by providing her with quality jewelry from the very beginning.


To see jewelry collections for children and for adults, visit

Monday, May 26, 2008

Momphabet Soup is Moving

I'm moving this site to its own domain soon. As soon as I can find a wordpress theme that I love.
Be back soon with more news.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tales of Woe, of Writing, and of Snoopy Sno Cone Machines

I'm sick. Sick of being sick is what I am! I am sick for the 4th time this year and I've had enough. This is clearly a sign of poor health and a sad immune system. This is a sign of a run down WAHM. Time to get healthy!

Anyway, I'm sick and am having a rough writing week with a non-paying client who's gotten on my very last nerve and clearly I want the world to feel sorry for me but popped in to share that writing work can sometimes bring you back to a place of wonder and innocence. An assignment tonight for a popcorn supply and machine company took me back to the Consumers Distributing Catalog in 1980 or 1981 in my mind when I was 8 or 9 and the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. I have to write two more keyword articles to finish this assignment and one of them is about commercial snow cone machines so in my research I happened upon:

I know Consumers Distributing isn't around anymore but when I was a kid it was a mail order place that was all over Canada and you walked in and placed an order from the catalogue. The catalogue from my house was dog eared in about 100 places and a few of the things I wanted but never got were the big Barbie doll head on the platform with the hair accessories and make-up and...the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine.

It was nice to see it online and I really would love to buy one. Right now I need to go back to this head cold of mine and sharing my space with DH who is kind of wearing on my nerves at the moment because we're sitting back to back in the computer section of the dining room and he keeps BUMPING into me with his chair.

Ok nuff feeling sorry and enough memory lane. Back to work!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Disgusting Things, Discussing Things and Learning From Roadblocks

My 4 year old told me to "disgust" dinner with Daddy today and let him know if we can eat dinner at McDonald's. Well, it was discussed and we did find that it was a little disgusting.

Rough week.

Add to that, my dear sweet man dropping two contact lenses down the sink from two different pairs of 30-day lenses. The second time it happened, he turned the tap off immediately and figured out normally clogged sink would still have the contact lens sitting in the drain amongst the gunk we knew was in there. Surprisingly, it wasn't. Fast forward two hours later and loads of cuss words from his mouth and our sink is dismantled. There's a distinct smell of burning in the air and the bathroom and bedroom are suddenly trashed.

While he's been getting it sorted, the bathroom cupboard contents have been in large blue Ikea bags in my bedroom and we've had to brush our teeth in the kitchen. Kind of a disgusting week. The sink is fixed but not back together and I'm still putting some pieces of my business and life back together too.

I had a few disgusting things happen this week including being let down by a client promising to pay and the continuation of a long battle where a client found work I had a team member do contained a lot of copied work. It's been a challenging week.

Here I am, 12:53 on Friday night and I'm spent. I got through some rough challenges professionally and personally this week with a messy house to boot. Not that you really need to know the next TMI tidbit but to show you just how challenging the week was I also did an herbal colon cleanse in the middle of it that you won't want to know about. Let's just say that I spent several hours of each day in the bathroom that had no working sink and was a disastrous mess. I'll save further details of that experience for my alternative health blog.

All in all, let's just say I've removed a lot of toxicity from my life this week. Bad idea to fill myself with fast food tonight after all of that but I won't continue bad cycles with certain clients or team members and I will now go to bed feeling like I've made it through a rough time that will definitely teach me something.

Everything happens for a reason and if I don't get to earn from it, I do make sure I
learn from it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Is Chaos Actually My Destiny?

It's quiet in my house. Usually I have to write among chaos but right now my husband and boys are outside doing some lawn work. I often talk about the need for serenity and peace and muse over how great it'll be when I have solid spans of time to just work instead of my yo-yo writing career where I yo back and forth between writing and caring for my family and my slightly neglected house.

I thought it'd be ideal to get really productive this aft while I have some peace so I can take tonight off. We're off to a family gathering tomorrow so productivity today will be vital because on Sunday I have about 50 articles coming in to be edited and prepped for client delivery plus a whack of invoicing and paperwork to do. The quiet in the house is strangely eerie though and I find myself surfing and playing instead of working and here I sit having no desire to work. Why is that? Normally I talk about craving peace instead of working in the madness that is a house full of noisy and messy boys.

Sometimes I think I get my best work done under pressure and with loads of noise. Lately I seem to be most productive when the house is humming. My favourite days back in the corporate world include racing the clock and multitasking so maybe being a multitasking WAHM really is perfect for me because I seem to thrive under pressure.

In September I'll have 2 full days one week and three full days alternating weeks from 8-4 with no children at home so I've been dreaming of the freedom and looking forward to having more valuable family time at night and on weekends because I'll have so much productivity during the day.

But just now I had the terrifying thought that maybe I DO need mayhem in order to be most creative. Maybe I'll have to bring my laptop to the kindergarten class my son will be in and sit in the middle of the craziness and write in order to produce my best work..Yikes!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dinner Tonight - The Almost Perfect Meal

Today's dinner is almost perfect. It is healthy, it is fun and it is easy.

We are making build-your-own submarine sandwiches. Darling Husband stopped and picked up stuff on the way home. It took me five minutes to lay out the several types of meats, slice the two types of cheese, the tomatoes, the cukes and put out the mayo, mustard, butter and sub sauce (aka my Hellmann's Zesty Italian Spritzer).

Each of us (including my Wee boy that just turned four) built our own sandwich and when presented with all the colourful choices, the kids will add veggies to their sandwich because it's colourful, because it's there and because they can use it to pile their sandwich extra high.

Prep was minimal, fuss was minimal and cleanup is going to be minimal as well. And, taste factor was maximized as we all got to pick what we wanted on our fresh, piled high sandwiches. The only thing that stopped this from being an absolutely perfect instead of almost perfect meal is the clean up factors as buying paper plates would've made it 100% perfect.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

WAHM Timesavers

I was washing dishes tonight thinking about this post. I was washing dishes by hand because the dishwasher is still broken. It's broken because hubby has been sick all week and the last thing on his mind has been fixing the dishwasher. If he did dishes once in a while, I bet he'd have fixed it immediately but alas, I did teach The Boy how to wash dishes by hand which is a valuable skill. Wish I knew how to fix it myself but then again, hubby needs to feel needed :)

I taught my son about soaking which can be a time saver and rinsing in hot so that the dishes practically dry themselves and I was thinking about time savers while washing the dishes tonight.

I was saving some time even while washing dishes because although it took me longer to do them manually than it would have taken me to load my dear dishwasher, I was multi-tasking by brewing up some blog and article ideas for this and for a project I'm working on this weekend.

Here are a few things I was thinking about as time savers when you're a busy work at home parent.

1) Delegate. I can't stress this enough. It doesn't always work well but it helps. Even though the kids don't do the best job at cleaning, you can cope with tidy and the responsibility is good for them. I even find little jobs for my four year old like lining up the shoes nicely in the closet or watering Mommy's houseplants. It all adds up. He also does great with the Swiffer Sweeper. Dust gets cleared and it is fun for him (for now, haha)

2) Use cooking spray. Cooking spray rocks because it saves oodles of time on pots and pans. They're so much easier to clean. Even better than cooking spray is tin foil because it can go over baking dishes to save you from washing them altogether. And can be great for wrapping things up as leftovers that go into the fridge because you can throw it out without washing a dish if it doesn't get eaten

3) Zip Loc bags. Use these instead of containers in the fridge and freezer whenever possible. They are much easier to label, much easier to toss in the bin when the food goes bad and great for organizing just about anything edible or non-edible.

4) One pot dinners like with your crockpot and double duty meals. I write plenty of double duty recipes at my Cooking With Love blog. This is where you cook once and eat many times and not even eat just the same thing but getting creative by cooking a roast and then turning leftovers into submarine sandwiches day two, stew on day three and beef pot pies for the freezer for a day after that. They help immensely in terms of saving cooking time.

5) Double duty housework. Clean the bathroom or organize it while your young child is in the tub or dust while watching TV.

6) Fold laundry at the computer. While I'm waiting for pages to load I do things like that including dusting or paying bills, etc. Don't overdo it on multitasking or you'll develop Writer's ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and find yourself less than productive but a bit of multi-tasking is something us Moms are made for.

7) Exercise at your desk. I sit on a stability ball sometimes or lift hand
weights while I work. Sometimes I even rig the stationary bike at my computer and balance the keyboard on the handlebars.

I'm sure I have plenty of other time saving tips I've picked up as a WAHM over the past few years and I'm sure this will be the first of many time saving posts.

8) This last one for today is vital: Loosen standards once in a while. Sometimes you need to just relax or let things go a little. The dishes will keep, your life won't.

Right? Write!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Writing Procrastination and Procrastination By Way Of Blogging About Procrastination

I'm a very productive person but find myself procrastinating at times by doing one thing to avoid another. The thing is, I'm never really slacking though.

I write to procrastinate from housework and I do housework when I'm taking a break from writing. When does a WAHM take a real break? It took a mini one today by having dinner with the inlaws but usually a break from work is housework and I'm often multitasking while I work because I'm folding laundry and sometimes deskercising while working too.

Anyway, tonight I needed to procrastinate from work although I'm not sure why because the assignment looks really easy but there's a lot to do before I can go to bed but I felt inspired to blog instead so I wrote four new recipe additions and submitted them to Cook it With Love. That made me hungry even though I've already eaten dinner and dessert and then a granola bar an hour ago.

So, then I decided to log all my food eaten today on which tells me about my caloric intake, where my calories are coming from and tells me about any nutrition deficits by analyzing the nutrients I've eaten. I need to drink more milk before going to bed. Logging all my food now tells me what I've eaten today so helps me plan any late night snacking so I don't overdo it.

Ok, so I'm here procrastinating but disguising it as blogging about procrastination still because...because I don't know why. I don't really know why I don't just get that assignment done. Let me tell you first about the four recipes I posted tonight:

Raw Broccoli Salad: I love this salad and the fact that I am thinking about it must mean I'm really ready for bbq / picnic season. Daydreaming about summer is a way to not get your work done in the cold of winter.

Carmella Soprano Lasagna: I wrote the post up last week but forgot to save it so re-wrote it tonight a little ago to procrastinate that project. It got written after ten minutes of looking for it on my computer.

Cesar Salad: I wrote it because it goes with lasagna. I need to go back and relink that new link in the lasagna post.

Bruschetta. Not sure what prompted that one but that one probably reminded me to dig up the lasagna.

Ok, I'm going now but am going to make a cup of decaf green tea first and check twitter first and THEN get that dang assignment done. Oh shoot, look at the time, need to bathe the Wee boy and do the whole bedtime routine first.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour 2008: Monopoly, Candle Wax Burns And Buzz Cuts Oh My!

So Earth Hour 2008 was rather eventful. We turned off the lights, the four computers, the two televisions and lit lots of candles around the dining room table with the plan for a game of Monopoly.

Just before the lights went out, my inlaws presented the Wee Boy (4) with a new Nintendo DS. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that he's rather addicted to video games. The Boy (12) wasn't allowed anything that wasn't educational until he was almost 8. He didn't have his first game boy until he was 9 but 'tis not as easy with a younger child when the older brother is an avid gamer. I'll have to establish usage rules.

Wee Boy knows he's only allowed games Rated E for Everyone and funnily wouldn't even watch a G rated movie with his grandparents until I stopped in to say that it was ok that it wasn't rated E. Good boy :) Bad Mommy that he's learning to read his ABC's by way of video game rating system. We do educational mostly and lots of fitness on the Wii, honest :)

Anyway, tonight we sat down and Darling Husband, The Boy and I started on Monopoly. Wee Boy sat with us with his new Nintendo DS.

We're playing for what seems like forever and I really don't love Monopoly beause DH is a ruthless player who crushes us every time but oh well.

First, DH starts to complain that the scented candle on the table is giving him a headache. It wasn't scented but his parents are downstairs in the basement during the winters and I know my mother in law loves scented candles so I assume it's her but decide to move the nearest candle away from Hubby's spot. The tea light isn't self contained in one of those tin thingies (that's the technical term. Uh huh) so the hot wax starts oozing all over me. I screech and drop it and there's purple hot wax all over me and the carpet. I get to the sink and run the water and start scraping the burning wax off my hands and my wedding rings. "It has to be 9:00 by now. " DH bellows. I turn the light on and inspect the purple wax and my purply looking sore fingers. "Oops, 8:52". Dh shouts from the bedroom. I turn the light off. Sorry Planet Earth.

I slather Aloe Vera all over my hands and we get back to being destroyed by Mr. Trump the Second who's ready to wipe the floor with us.

After a few minutes we decide to turn the lights on as it's about 9:10 and DH starts blowing out the candles with some quick jerk kung fu wrist action. We're all impressed so we bring him all the candles one by one to see his mad moves and the last candle was a large pillar one that was filled with a pool of wax. DH miscalculates his Kung Fu and the candle flies up in the air and wax lands all over Wee Boy. His hair was covered. How he didn't get burnt, I'll never know because when the teensy weensy tea light landed on me it really smarted.

I put him in the tub and tried to wash it out but it looked like an immovable severe case of cradle cap. I headed downstairs and my mother in law pulled out her haircutting kit and sweet Wee Boy's cornsilk curls ended up all over the floor. Sigh.

It's now 10:43 pm. The candle wax incident got me out of Monopoly though although DH and The Boy are still at it (The Boy just got hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk though. I hope he kicks Daddy's butt!) and Wee Boy with his new buzz cut has traded the Nintendo DS for a large bowl of popcorn. An eventful Earth Hour at my house!

Praise The Lord, A Dandelion!

This winter started in early November. We've been dumped on and dumped on. The Boy has had more snow days than you can shake a stick at and I'm fed up. It's the end of March and we have 12 foot snowbanks on some corners and our back yard has what I call a snow wall because the snow blows in off the lake and creates a massive snow wall behind the house. Last year the snow wall wasn't gone until spring had been in full bloom for several weeks because it was so big. This year I'm afraid it'll be here until August!

But I'm starting to see dirt patches. I'm starting to hear the geese return and hallelujah my husband saw a dandelion yesterday!

No one loves dandelions on their grass; except kids. People poison their lawns to get rid of those durn things and when your kid gives you a bouquet of them of course you have to be polite and say they're beautiful. When they go to seed you have to pretend with your toddler that you're blowing wishes when really you wince knowing you're increasing your dandelion problem next year by spreading the seeds around.

As a side note I had to do a project last year on the health benefits of dandelions and was astounded at how good they are for your liver; but I digress. Yesterday darling husband was at school and was walking innocently outside when he heard shrieks and screams of blissful happiness. Two women were huddled over a tiny patch of grass that was amid dirty old snow, marveling at the beauty of the little yellow weed. It may still look a lot like winter around here but hallelujah, Spring is near!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Protecting The Easter Bunny From Daddy

We're gearing up for Easter and this writing wahm is trying to keep the real reason for the holiday in mind. It can be tricky when your kids see chocolate bunnies dancing in their dreams.

Yesterday, Wee Boy (just turned four) says something about chocolate and I tell him, "We do celebrate Easter with chocolate and bunnies but we need to remember that the real reason for Easter is that Jesus died for us so he could save us and we could go to Heaven."

He looks at me and says, "But who's gonna save the Easter Bunny from Daddy?"
Daddy is a hunter and frequently talks about hunting for bunnies at Easter and reindeer at Christmas.

A few years ago when The Boy(now 12) was smaller, he was really concerned about Daddy catching the Easter bunny on Easter Sunday but Daddy slept late. Funnily, when we woke up to hunt for Easter eggs,he realised that the Easter bunny played a trick on Daddy. He put Daddy's shoes up on top of the chandelier. What a sight! The Boy was in his ether.

Happy Easter everyone. And, if you're gonna indulge in the kid's chocolate treats, go for the good stuff and make it worth while! We chose to buy the really good chocolate this year :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Having Houseguests Amid WAH Mayhem

It's March break here so The Boy is off school for a week. We've had SO much snow this year it didn't even feel special because he's been off school sooooo much.

Anyway, I arranged for my sis and her two kids to come visit. Her older child is my older son's age and her daughter is a year older than my Wee Boy so I thought it'd be good for the kids to have some company since we didn't have any real plans to go out.

I figured I could work like crazy the day before she came and get by with checking e-mails just a few times to keep things manageable with work for the 24-35 hours she was planning to visit for.

Well, the freelancer's life isn't smooth most of the time and of course I had a broken dishwasher and 6 loads of dishes to do the day before she got here. And, I had a massively overflowing basket of laundry (broken down washing machine too. Don't ask! Our appliances decided to boycott us all at once, it seems.) I had to get the house clean and guess what? I had LOADS of work.

I'm not the perfect housekeeper but I do get incredibly anal about the house being clean when company is coming. I have to make sure even the cupboards are clean should my guests have to go rooting for anything. I really do put myself under enormous pressure when people are coming.

Two days before sis is due to arrive, workload starts flowing in with the force of an avalanche!


One of my client throws work at me with no warning. Anything that comes has a 72 hour turnaround time and I never know how much I'll get. They threw a bunch of work at me.

Another project wasn't going smoothly with the team member I had assigned it to and because I had to bounce it back three times I finally just decided to do it myself because it was a new and picky client and it needed to be "just so".

Now I had 2 rewrites and 8 new articles more to write in the next 48 hours and more clients sending me work. I also have multiple projects already going on and work coming in by the truckload to be edited and checked before going off to the client. Plus...half the team is busy with other clients of their own this week. YIKES!

Choices: Cancel or Muddle Through?

I had two choices. I could either cancel with my sister or I could make the best of it. If I canceled, she'd be disappointed and she really needed to get away for a day.

Even more importantly, my kids needed some stimulation. Wee Boy was cleaning his room for his very first sleep over in his room because my niece was going to camp out on a mattress on the floor beside him. For him, it was huge!

The Boy was excited too. It's his school break and all he'd done so far was play video games.

Me, I knew I could use a visit from my sis and some laughs even if it would be a challenge to clean, entertain AND keep my clients happy.

(Also, I haven't had company in a while and my house could do with a good sprucing!
Did you know that the best way to get your house clean is to plan a party or invite someone over? It is for me!)

So I decided I'd get through it. I told my sister I had to do some work while she was here and if she was ok with it, I wouldn't cancel. She said it was fine. She played on my sons' computer while she was here and although I did get a lot of interruptions I was able to get everything that HAD to be done finished.

The Outcome?

I'm knackered but:
1) The kids had fun
2) My sister was happy
3) I got to have a few laughs and my sister brought me a gift of some bath gels, hand cream and three brand new mascaras which made it a bit Christmassy
And... The house is now clean which gives me more juice to get my writing marathon of work done this weekend. I always work better and smarter when the house is clean.

If I'd canceled, we'd all have been disappointed and one of the reasons I want to work at home is because of flexibility.

Sometimes you have to make small sacrifices to manage your writing career but you have to live a little too otherwise, "What's the point?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The House Doesn't Have To Be Perfect ...The Writing Does

If you are a working freelance writer, you will inevitably get a messy house. Unless you don't really write for the money and can afford a housekeeper....

My dishwasher broke down in the midst of a very hectic week with multiple deadlines and a few snafus due to staffing issues. What a nightmare! I love that the Flylady tells me to shine my sink before I go to bed at night. She's absolutely right that waking up in the morning with a shiny sink will help me start my day off right but I'm staying up until 1:30 am writing and am back up at 7:30 writing. The dishes have to suffer as the writing cannot.

The writing pays the bills... to bring the food to the home... so the family can eat... and the dishes can get used... so the dishes can need washing (and so I can buy the replacement part to fix the dishwasher.) Therefore, writing supersedes dishes on the priority list.

And the green grass grows all around all around, and the green grass grows all around.

Besides, writing is more fun...

Here's how I'm getting through it:

-Teaching The Boy how to wash dishes. He's 12 and on spring break from school and at his age I was doing dishes by hand and a heckuva lot more housework! He doesn't love it but it's a necessary skill.

-A coffee spoon is ok to use for your yogurt even if it's for the Wee Boy who's just turned 4. Mommy can lick the drop of coffee off and move on. No need to get a fresh spoon (especially if the cutlery drawer is empty.) Wee Boy looks at Mommy oddly but accepts that this is ok.

-Sandwiches. Sandwiches don't need pots. Boy and Wee Boy can make a game out of making sandwiches for lunch on paper plates so Mommy can keep writing. I think pizza sounds good tomorrow (as well as sending darling husband to the appliance repair shop)

-Lessened standards for the week. Why stress if I can't do much about it? I find that the more stressed I am, the less productive I am.

I might have a bit of a messy house but my work needs to get done. I'll ask for help from the husband and the boys and even if things aren't clean to my normal standards, I'll just get through it as best as I can.

Gosh I love that dishwasher....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Links: WAHM Fun

Three ways to have fun :

1) Get connected with other work at home moms. My favourite time waster is It's a great forum and I've connected with many online friends and colleagues there as well as gotten some great writing gigs.

2) Here is some fun for your kids while you're working: Funbrain. It's a new thing for my little one to work while mommy works so I have his art easel set up near my desk so he an work while Mommy works and Daddy's computer recently got put near mine so he can keep busy helping me keep busy too.

3) Here's a fun way to get help getting organized too...join Flylady

Saturday, March 8, 2008

WAHM Timesavers: Soup!

When you are a wahm you can have days where it's difficult to manage the house and the job but soup is a great idea for doing multiple things.

First, soup is economical. You can make many meals out of a pot of soup. It's very budget friendly for using leftovers and for stretching the dollar! It's great for lunch or for dinner and a hearty meal can be made with some rolls and a salad.

Soup is nutritious. If you are like most parents, you want your family to eat well. Soup gives you a great opportunity to get vegetables into your kid's diet. If they don't like it much, they might like it when they don't know what it is. Pureed and creamed soups can help you disguise healthy for yummy. Puree a soup with loads of good stuff and add milk and cheese and make a great vegetable chowder. You can also lose weight eating soup if you go for low calorie soups.

Soup is easy to make. A few minutes invested can yield a great meal that practically cooks itself and in only one pot! The crockpot is a great friend to soup as well!

Soup goes a long way so when you make a pot, make extra and freeze it to bring it out on another day. I once read a tip about keeping a container in the freezer and adding all your leftover vegetables after each meal for several weeks until it was full. Then, make a great soup out of it. I wish I knew who to credit this tip to but must say it was great advice that has helped me get more mileage out of leftovers. I have turned into a great soup chef. Here are some great bases as well:

-tea. White tea is great when you're sick for antibacterial properties. Green tea and regular tea work great as well and for something different, try using chai tea as a soup base.

-Bovril. Beef, vegetable and chicken Bovril are staples in this WAHM's house. I love it!

-Motts Clamato or V8 juice makes a great base for Sacred Heart Soup or any other vegetable soup.

-Campbell's Tetra Packs of Soup broth. They can go in the fridge and a little goes a long way.

Experiment with different recipes and with textures and don't shy away from spice. A great way to get soup to be a winning meal in your house is to fill it with flavour and cook it with love.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This WAHM Finally Got High Speed!

I moved to my house in September of 2005 and all we had was dial up. I had recently left a high tech job in the IT sector and was yearning for a simpler life in this small town by the lake. Little did I know this rural pocket outside of town didn't have any technology. No cable, no internet and no natural gas. So we had a satellite dish put in, we begrudgingly use electric heat and I dealt with dial up.

In early 2006 I serendipitously launch my writing career and while I found dialup difficult, it was all I had so I had to make it work. two years later I have a small writing agency of my own that was started on dialup internet with a dinosaurus of a computer.

I got high speed installed two days ago and must say that I feel like a new person who can meet and achieve my writing business and career goals for 2008. I'm giddy. I'm paying Paypal invoices in record time, I'm downloading files instantaneously, researching multiple sources of information for work is taking a fraction of the time and I'm doing my article directory submissions in half the time. I'm in awe! (So is my twelve year old who is downloading music right now!)

This Mom aims to have more productivity in the work day so I can do a little more with a little less time and hopefully earn more money! Zoom zoom zoom!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Multitasking WAHM Writer

Most Moms whether they're working Mothers, SAHMs (stay at home moms) or WAHMs (work at home moms) quickly become very good at multitasking. When I had a career in an office I was really good at multitasking. Those skills come in handy as a wahm who writes at home while raising a family and trying to keep a house.

While the tasks are a bit different now than they were in my old cubicle, I've gotten better than ever at getting multiple things done in short spurts of time. I am also now quite good at forcing myself to get focused when I only have a short bit of time to write. Sometimes I only get ten minutes to get down as much as I can before I get an interruption. This results in my trying to make the most of my time all the time.

While I'm writing for a living I can do many things to save time. Here are a few that help and a few that I find I can do quite effectively if need be.

I can...bounce a crying or a happy baby on my knee as well as rock a small child to sleep. (The pitter patter of the keyboard can be very calming, it seems)

I can breastfeed a baby (when I nursed my baby I spent a lot of time at the computer. For the sake of typing, that baby was on the left I could easily surf and I've gotten to be quite the quick little single-handed typist when need be...(As a result I had a left side slightly larger than the right side. Thankfully it evened out when I weaned!)

Fold laundry from the basket beside me while I wait for screens to load.

Cook dinner by coming back and forth from the computer. I've gottenlots of use out of a kitchen timer which saves me from burnt dinners!. A crockpot is a wahm's best friend!

-Dust the environment around me or organize clutter waiting for screens to refresh.
-Have a conversation with dear husband or dear children without missing a beat on the keyboard
-Talk on the phone (for those with high speed...)
-Moisturize my skin (big tube of hand cream on the desk
-Do manicures or pedicures while researching/reading for work
-I've managed to read stories to kids through working as well by encouraging toddler on lap to point to pictures and tell Mommy what that is while I do less strenuous tasks on the screen like research or clerical stuff
-Exercise while working. Sitting at a desk all day ain't great for sculpting the abs and keeping the junk outta your trunk so sit on stability ball while typing, do squats or lunges while waiting for downloads or jump on rebounder beside the desk while waiting for computer programs.

Some days nothing gets done and that's ok because it means I've hit a deadline or spent extra time having fun with the kids but on tricky days my best defense is to multi-task and lower the housekeeping standards. Other days I encourage the kids to play a cleaning game where my preschooler uses a feather duster or waters the plants and my tween does a half a vacuum job (half a clean rug is better than a fully dirty rug!).

Do what you need to do but make sure you also take some time for you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Learning Lessons In WAHM Balance

Balance ain't easy when you work from home. You're conflicted between the kids and the deadlines and you have to manage it all. People think you're home all day so you have time to chat and the house should be spotless. In reality you're often pulling your hair out, staying up way too late working, getting up before everyone else for work and trying to entertain and earn all at the same time. The house can be trashed for days on end, it seems. It's a fine balance. My almost four year old has endured this life for almost 2 years and doesn't know the life of a Mom who works outside. My 12 year old knows both and prefers this one!

I have finally convinced my little one that I work for a living at the computer and this along with his recent 'sort of' understanding about needing money to buy things surmised that endless amounts of cash could conceivably ooze from my CPU the other day when I said I didn't have enough money for something.

"Mommy, why don't you go work some more on the computer."

Truth be told, I do have the power to get endless amounts of cash outta this PC and I LOVE that!

Funny how he goes from begging me to take a break to the other extreme of marching me straight to my desk so I can buy him a new book or new v smile game :D

I often balance work and kids by working while I talk to them. I do have to stop and double check they're not about to do something I didn't meant to permit or to check and make sure I'm not writing what I'm saying though. He did make me smile the other day when on my lap talking to me and watching me type by saying, "Mommy you're an awesome writer."

Thanks sweetie pie :)