About karen

Karen is married to a big kid and mom to a head strong, only child. She is happy with her family of three, along with their spoiled fur baby. Karen works full time as a teacher and still finds time to blog, read, crochet, and cook. Follow along as she enjoys this life.

Mommy Cleaning Schedule

Over the years I have seen several sites that offer strategies and cleaning routines. Me being me, I need to always create my own that caters to MY needs. Therefore, I created my own easy to use cleaning schedule. I like to do two/three things a day (besides the needed daily routines like washing dishes and tidying up).

So my cleaning schedule is below. I have laminated it and keep it next to my door in my small kitchen. I check off each task I complete and when it’s filled up I erase and start over.

I adjusted it for our new apartment, since our 1200sq foot condo had more space to cover. Though, 950sq feet is harder to clean, because one thing out of place makes the entire space look messy.

I have a crazy three year old dinosaur and by no means expect things to be REALLY tidy. Life with my guy has taught me to just let it be. He WILL break the curtain rod, he WILL break the wicker basket, he WILL break the plexiglass cover over the screen door.

I teach him to clean up after himself and so that he feels better about hsi space. If it’s messy he will feel messy too. It seems to help, he can find his toys and relaxes in organization.

Mini Banana Muffins and Leftover Egg Muffins

Dinosaur loves to eat food he can hold in his hand. He can eat with a fork and spoon rather nicely, but the best way he eats is when he eats with his hands. As moms know, we have to get our kids to eat anyway we can.

I love taking a trusted banana bread mix and using it to make mini muffins. I follow the directions, instead I pour the batter into a mini cupcake pan.
 

 
Dinosaur loves to lick the spoon and being an only child you get to lick two spoons! 
  

After they are done, they look so yummy and smell delightful. They are the perfect size for Dinosaur’s hands.

 

 These are perfect for daycare as breakfast or lunch, or even dessert with coconut or soy ice cream

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


After seeing this all over pinterest, I had to try it. I chopped up our leftovers from the diner (chicken fingers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and french fries)  and put them in a bowl with four eggs. I added parsley, onion, curry and garlic.
 

 They came out so unbelievably delicious. Dinosaur ate them right up.

Reminds me of quiche, may have to make these when company comes over. Would make a great appetizer.

Pop Pop’s Bday

Anthony loves his Pop Pop, my dad. He has taken care of Anthony when he was sick and Tony and I couldn’t take off from work. Pop Pop has changed Anthony’s diaper from when he came home, heck my dad was an awesome dad changing me and my sisters diapers and cleaning the house.  
 

 

Anthony has bonded with his Pop Pop and thankfully so. So today was Pop Pop’s bday. We went to the beach then out to dinner at our local diner. Anthony loved when the waiters sang happy birthday and was roaring in typical dinosaur fashion. 

Coupon Crazy – Nasty Cashier

I am coupon crazy and try to save money any way I can, especially now being laid off.

I always buy the meat that is on special with a coupon attached to it. Today I went to my local supermarket I won’t say their name since I have had other problems with their products and don’t want to give them any press at all. I bought a pack of thin pork cutlets for 3.76 with a $1 coupon and a pack of skillet steak for 4.78 with a $2 coupon.

 The cashier scanned the $1 twice! 


I very politely said, “You scanned the $1 twice by accident.”

She shook her head. “No, they were both $1.”

I took a breath and try to remain calm. “No, One was $2. That is the reason I got the meat.”

She got snippy with me. “Well, I’ll check, but I know they are both $1.”
Meanwhile the line of people behind me are huffing and sighing. I laugh and try to calm my building anger down. 

She puts all the coupons I gave her down on the belt (which are a lot) and huffs and begins looking through them. Low and behold there are the two meat coupons one for a $1 and one for $2. 

Very proudly I say, “See I told you and you thought I was lying.” 

She blushes and scans the $2 coupons and leaves on the $1 she scanned twice. A sorry would have been nice, but I guess her embarrassment was enough for me. I turn to look at the woman behind me and stare her down then say. “I think it was worth waiting for two dollars. If it was you would have waited too.”    
 
You must always stand up for yourself, speak up for yourself. I try to model for my son how to be an assertive person who doesn’t let others hurt her. I show him how to speak his mind while being respectful. We always show respect, especially towards ourselves.

ANYWAY…with this meat I can make two meals with packet for my son and I when hubby works at night. Or this is a perfect portion for all of us for dinner. We don’t need left overs. Besides we have dessert after dinner and before bed. that’s what the $1 cookies or my banana muffins are for.

Have any of you ever had coupon drama? 

Unemployment Blues

I am trying to not let the sadness overtake me, but its rather difficult. I got laid off two years ago and now once again. I thought we paid our dues, went through hell and would finally get back on our feet. But fate had other plans.

We lost our condo and finally found a cute rental and now I am unemployed again. The worst part is I can’t find work again. Eveyrone keeps telling me if I keep looking I’ll find work…. YEAH RIGHT!

Everyone is fighting for teaching jobs, in fact hubby told me that two thousand, YES TWO THOUSAND, applicants applied for one 4th grade position at his school. TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE fighting for one job. Two Thousand people fighting for jobs all over the city, county, and state.

I am a high qualified reading specialist and reading teacher, but I can’t find work. I can’t even find work in other fields because I don’t meet THEIR qualifications. What am I supposed to do? I am a good person, sure I may curse a lot and often tweet while playing with my son, but I don’t steal and murder. I don’t cheat the system or even use handouts. So why am I in this position. Where is MY good karma?

Is is good people like me that turn to devilish and horrible acts to just make money. I mean what else am I supposed to do? No one wants to hire me. NO ONE. I cry myself to sleep sometimes afraid for what else I will lose. The only thing I have left is my pride, perhaps I can sell that to provide for my son.

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DINNER

Tonight I made chicken cutlet strips with potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.

I cut thin cut chicken cutlets into halves, then marinated them with olive oil, water, curry, allspice, onion, garlic, and parsley.  After an hour, I placed them in hefty ziploc bag with bread crumbs and crushed french onions and shook them up to coat them. I cooked them in cast iron skillet on each side, then out them in a container until later. 

While chicken was cooking, I marinated potatoes and veggies in left over seasoning. Put them in skillet, cover and place in oven at 300 for 30 minutes. Our oven is an old electric oven and cooks pretty fast

 Hubby was thrilled with the way dinner looked, I thought me might have gone to heaven.
He gave me a clean plate and a two thumbs up. This makes me very proud. 
 

Proud Mommy

Cashier at the grocery store said my son had good manners and was on the right path. Then she said it was a reflection of his mom. I almost cried.
Every mom wants to hear that. I want my son to be that kid that every loves and other parents know he’d a good kid. So glad that ours evident at only three years old.

LIFE WITH A BOY Cars everywhere

As some of you already know, those who know me, know my son is crazy for his cars. He will spend countless time lining them up then crashing them. Sometimes dinosaurs will crash their gathering and send them hurling through the air. Even punish them for not sharing or hitting (so happy he is paying attention to when I speak).

His favorite cars are the “Cars” cars, if one of them goes missing the world ends till we find them.

No matter how much I have tried to keep his room clean, there are cars everywhere. I have given up! I expect him to clean his room with help from mommy, but it will never be a perfectly clean room. I have excepted this. My mother (Mrs. Clean) has a hard time accepting this notion.

I have learned a long time ago to only listen to yourself as a mom. I feel its okay to let the clean up of toys slide in order to spend more time with my happy little dinosaur. Life is about moments I get spend with him not worrying about everything being put away every moment of the day.

In turn my son, feels better when the cars are put away at night. This fact alone shows me that he knows he has to clean up, but knows when to do it and when to have fun.