Thursday, September 29, 2016

10 Most Practical Preparedness Items

We're big believers in being practical when it comes to preparedness. It's easy to lose sight of the basics  when you see the latest and greatest technology. But practical preparedness is all about:

-Being prepared for an emergency or disaster that can and probably will actually happen.
-Preparing in a way that makes sense for your family
-A preparedness plan that's actually achievable

With those things in mind, here's our list of the most practical preparedness items.

1. Food
2. Water filtration
3. Generator
4. Heat source
5. Fire starter
6. Protection
7. First aid
8. Vinegar
9. Way to cook
10. Gasoline

We'll break each one down in future posts but if you focus on these items, you'll be able to get your family through minor and major emergencies.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Getting Started: Making Room

One issue with getting prepared is always having enough room. Supplies can take up a lot of space and that's not something we usually have in spades.

Here are some helpful hints on making room.

1. Use space wisely - Is there extra room under your bed? What about in your closet? Start to look for pockets in your home where there might be extra space, you'll be surprised where you find some room.

2. Think before you buy - Some food and water options are more space friendly than others. Whenever you're buying supplies, consider how you'll store them before you buy.

3. Get organized - You might find that once your house is nicely organized, space will open up. I can't say we've followed this one perfectly but every time we get one more room organized, we find more space for storage.

4. Don't over buy - Think through what you'll really need. Don't over buy on things because everything takes space.

5. Start with essentials - Start with the things you know you'll need. That way you can prioritize what you're storing instead of trying to make space for unnecessary things and running out of room for the essentials.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

9 Ingredients to Always Have in Your Kitchen

Running out of a kitchen essential always causes a problem, it can ruin dinner, waste time and even waste food. Here's our essential list for ingredients in the kitchen. If we have all of these on hand, we know we can make a meal out of any protein and/or veggies.

Most of them are also useful outside of the kitchen. For instance, we use white vinegar in a lot of our cleaning. Olive oil and honey both have their own medicinal purposes.

The best part of these staples is that they tend to have a long shelf life. That's my 3 part checklist for a staple:

-Used multiple recipes
-Long shelf-life
-Uses outside of the kitchen

This is our list:

1. Vinegar

2. Honey

3. Olive Oil

4. Salt

5. Pepper

6. Flavorless oil - Safflower is our favorite

7. Onion powder

8. Garlic or garlic powder

9. Rice

What's on yours?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Favorite Recipes: Lemon Rosemary Beets

I'll be the first to admit, I used to think beets were gross. But they are always in supply at the local farmer's markets and they are a great veggie during pregnancy so my husband was determine to figure them out.

Then one day at the office two co-workers showed up with beets, some herbs and a crockpot. I was timid but gave them a try at the end of the day and loved them.

Here's our favorite recipe for beets, from My Recipes.

We love this one because it's easy, always has leftovers and is of course, very healthy.

2 pounds beets (about 6), peeled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 rosemary sprigs
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1. Place first 8 ingredients in a 4-quart electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until beets are tender. Remove and discard rosemary sprigs; stir in lemon rind.

Here's the link.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Leaving Baby for the First Time

I recently had a new experience, I left my baby girl for the very first time. Very early on in my pregnancy I was asked to be a good friend's wedding in Virginia. Given our location and the location of the wedding, there was no easy way to get there and back. This left me with two long days of traveling and 4 nights away from my 4.5 month old.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that I am exclusively breastfeeding.

This made for a nervous time for myself and my husband in the days leading up to and during the trip.

While I will do everything I can to avoid doing it again, I did learn a few important things from my first time away from our little family.

1. Count on your partner - I chose the word partner there very carefully. If you're in this with a true partner, you should be able to count on them. I wasn't really nervous about how little one and my husband would do alone but it was so great to see that I didn't have any reason to worry.

2. Plan - Planning ahead makes everything a little bit easier. We carefully planned how much milk we needed and every other detail of what would happen while I was gone.

3. Take advantage - If you're away from your family for the first time, take advantage of it. Do something of the things that you used to do before you were "mommy". It will help you come back refreshed and happy to be back.

4. Sleep - I missed it.

It wasn't a easy trip at all. Being at a wedding alone is lonely and I was surrounded by babies closer to my little one's age. But I tried to see the bright side and in the end, it made me hold baby girl a little bit closer and have a deeper appreciation for my teammate. All in all, it could have been a lot worse.