Some Things that have been Working for Me

12 January 2017

So...seems like I've been seeing a lot of people blogging about items/practices/hacks that are making a difference in their lives. I always read these types of posts. (I just typed "poasts.") Mostly because I'm a sucker for a good hack. Or at least reading about a good hack - I don't know how often I put new things into practice. But, know, that if you've got a title like: "5 Things That are Saving My Life Right Now", this lady will be clicking in a flash.

Despite how much I like to read posts like these, I don't tend to blog about them, but today that changes.

Here we go!

Rosewater and glycerin
I'm gonna lead with my strong suit here, because the rest of these aren't very original and it has an affiliate link. So you're welcome. (And thank you.)

I first bought rosewater and glycerin (this one) when I was trying to DIY some kind of face wash. I never made the face wash, but I use this as a quick moisturizer all the time. I spritz it on my face a lot, especially in the winter. Before make-up, after make-up, mixed with some emu oil if I'm extra dry. I spray it all over the kids after baths. And it literally smells like roses.

The sound machine app on my phone
Baby is really good at sleeping through noise because he has lived in a construction project his whole life, but when they're literally reroofing over his little sleeping head, a sound machine app saves the day. We don't have any actual sound machines because I'm allergic to stuff. (I know it's annoying when people are all "I'm a helpless minimalist," but trust me, my aversion to buying new things annoys me more than you, and my husband more than both of us.)

Here's the real reason this is on the list: This method necessarily decommissions my phone during nap time. I've found that pressing my phone into lullaby service has been really good for me and any hopes I have to do something meaningful during naps. I use the Relax Melodies app by Ipnos. (A trio of river, rain, and wind, if you must know.)

One on one outings with the kiddos
In the past, if Jacob was home and I needed to run an errand, I ran and didn't look back. That blessed freedom from car seat buckles!! Carefree meandering through the grocery store! Picking up hold books at the library without ending up with some twaddle involving ninja pigs!! Bringing a kid along, when I could be all by myself would have sounded crazy. I don't think it even occurred to me for years.

So if you're still there, I get you. Cheers!

But recently in that situation, I've taken to bringing one of the big kids with me. It's delightful. At three and five they're both still pretty much excited to come no matter what we're doing. We chat. They pick the music in the car. I don't have to deal with the anxiety of having multiple children in public. I feel less like a ruthless cattle herder and a mom holding a kid's hand.
Tea time and other things I like
At the end of naps the kids and I have tea. Usually some kind of chai with honey and milk. They put a blanket down in their room, and I bring the tea in on a tray with some little cookies. Always the tray. Mutiny without the tray. It's a really sweet time.

This one started as part of a new year's resolution to do things with the kids that I like doing. Instead of waiting for the kids to ask me to do something I don't want to do, I ask them to do something with me that I do want to do. Little House on the Prairie before I get stuck under the weight of Mr. Scarry's pickle car. Uno before Chutes and Ladders. Etc.

And in the kitchen...
Boiled potatoes
I try to keep boiled potatoes in our fridge most of the time. I chop them up for a quick starch for the kids - who eat them with ketchup. Or I'll grate them and throw them in a pan with some brussels sprouts for me to eat with a soft boiled egg. Eh? Eh?
Roasted cauliflower
We eat a lot of vegetables here because we're enslaved to our weekly farm share till the summer (THIS ONE if you're in the Houston area.) And the kids are pretty good sports about the mountains of okra and chard. But one veggie that never fails us is cauliflower. I've mashed it, riced it, tried it as a pizza crust replacement, and all the trends, but we always end up back here:

Chopped up and tossed in some lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt and roasted on 400 until the edges begin to caramelize.

I make it as an appetizer 2-3 nights a week and throw it at the hangry children when dinner's not quite ready, and they eat it like popcorn.

So there you go. Maybe one of these will save your life! Or probably not, but I'm touched that you're still here and that counts for something.

As I was writing this post, I kept thinking about all the things (like this?) that "would probably be saving my life, if I had them" so I'll be debuting those sometime before my birthday next month.



  1. Ooh the boiled potatoes tip is actually brilliant - I love frying up leftover potatoes with eggs and am always sad when I don't have leftover potatoes... Obviously I could just KEEP cooking potatoes to keep in the fridge. Duh. Why did this never occur to me???

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  3. Asking them to do something you enjoy before they ask for some....less appealing...activity is so brilliant. Why do things like this never occur to me?!

  4. I love reading your posts, Katie! You and Chelsea are two of my model mothers...for both the beauty of the struggle and the incredible realness of the dialogue.

  5. I, too, love the sound machine apps and can't bring myself to buy one :) But it's airplane mode over here for our sound - actually, it's for me, not the baby. I have also taken up the one kid outing thing now that we have three and it seems like we've both discovered the same delight! But your tea time advice is just so cute and I got a new rustic tray made by my wonderful husband for Christmas so... we are having tea tomorrow!

  6. I love these kinds of posts too! I know exactly what you mean about the one-on-one time with kids. I have 3. Leaving the house with 1 is honestly delightful. Three can still be very shaky and nerve-wracking at times, but one! Oh, to be out with just one of them. I love it!

  7. Love the roasted cauliflower....and your comment about books your kids choose at the library. Why is there so much junk at the library?? I have on a couple of occasions put a handful of children's books on hold just so I can have more control over what comes home with us. Something that's actually a story I want to read.

    Also my youngest two are close in age and they nap in the afternoon while my four year old and I hang out. It's the best hanging out with just him!

  8. This post is fantastic! I'm totally going to implement a few of these...rose water, tea time, and one on one trips to the store sound awesome!

  9. what a great idea - to do things with my kids that I like! I'm very hands-off about entertaining them, but I get so annoyed when they want to do things I hate. I must simply preempt them. Yes!

  10. I highly recommend the garlic peeler. I am a Chinese and use garlic in almost every dish. With this tool, I can sit down by the dinner table instead of standing by the kitchen counter to peel the garlic - I usually peel two to three heads at a time and have a small bowl of peeled garlic handy in the fridge.


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