Desperate Housekeeping for busy mums and dads

From one mother to another

Grocery Shopping with Kids

20121226-152818.jpgGoing to the supermarket with kids can be quite a challenge! However, if you have no alternative, you can take some advantage of it and even get some fun. Let me tell you my little secrets! 😉

1. Set date and time
-The earlier you go, the easiest it gets… Go as early as you can as it won’t be too crowded.
-Avoid meal times, not only because of your kids routine, but also because it will make you buy more than you need…

2. Master your supermarket
-Design (even if mentally) a map of your usual supermarket and aisles. This step is crucial to avoid last minute going backs…
-Prepare in detail your grocery list by aisles (don’t forget to attach a list of best prices for each item of your list).

3. Teach & Learn
-Make a kids-friendly grocery list by adding some photos to each item. Allow your kid to find each item. Ask some questions about it as you go through the aisles.

4. Bribe, why not?
-Is there anything in your list that actually is your kids favourite sweet? Put this item by the end of the list and let them think they will only get it if they behave… 🙂
-Have some sweets in your bag, just in case!

5. Have fun
Is there an empty aisle? Make a little cart run with your kids, they will love it, and so do you! 😉

What about you? Any other ideas about making the most of you grocery shopping with kids?

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Strawberries – Make the most of it!

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As you know, strawberries are a very delicate fruit that should be eaten in a very short period of time. As I love to eat strawberries, everytime I see a good deal I buy more at once. To guarantee its quality for up to 4 days, I usually use the following tip:

– Prepare the strawberries by washing them and taking out their leaves;
– Cut in halfs;
– Put them in a bowl;
– Add 2 tbsp of sugar, half a cinamon stick and a little water;
– Mix just a little and place the bowl in the fridge.

This way you preserve the quality of the strawberries and even get a lovely and light syrup.

Note: If you’d like a special touch, simply add one tbsp of Port Wine! 😉

Merry Christmas

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Dear all,
Hope you see your best wishes coming true. Have a lovely Christmas with your dearest family and friends.
And don’t forget to start your 2013 To Do List!!

Best Wishes!
Rute

Luxembourg – Giving 2 Someone – Please Help

As some of you know, I recently moved to Luxembourg to start a new life with my husband and kids. As we had the chance to move with all our belongings, I got almost everything packed and sent to our new home. As I was unpacking, I realised that it just didn’t make sense to keep everything, since there were several things we just don’t use a lot. In fact, it just clicked in my mind that it is time to make a change in my life and live with what we really need.

So than I made a list of the home stuff I should get rid off and once again I realised that was quite a lot. that stuff could really mean something for someone else.

As I am quite new in Luxembourg, I don’t have the local contacts to charity associations. So I posted on some local web forums and I got quite surprised with the amount of people who are really in need for everything you can imagine. I received several e-mails from people who came in search of a big dream with little more than their personal clothes. But I have just a few items to give away.

That’s why I writing today for you guys: if you live in Luxembourg, please do some decluttering at home and see what stuff do you have to give away. From pans to bowls, from furniture to clothes… Everything, since it’s in reasonable conditions. for example, there are 2 families in need for a washing machine and some cabinets. Than send me an email for GivingAtLux@gmail.com

Having a list of who has what, we can than arrange the contacts and delivering within the receiver.

Please note that I am not a charity associations, I’m just someone who want to help other people…

Super Quick Mozzarella Calzone

If you are in a rush and you’re not in the mood for a simple pizza, you can try this calzone recipe. It’s easy and you can have it done in just 40 minutes!

It will make 2 portions.

First, you’ll need to make the dough, using the mini-pizzas recipe. Divide the dough in two parts.

20121211-192253.jpg Add tomato sauce, oreganos, 2 chopped mozzarella cheeses, ham, olives and grated cheese. Close the dough into a half moon and press the borders with your fingers. Use a fork to make small holes.

20121211-192630.jpg. Put the calzones into a pre-heaten oven at 180 degrees celsius until cooked.

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Strawberry Cheesecake

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This is my favourite cheesecake recipe ever! Try it and let me know how did you feel about it! 😉

It will make about 10 portions.
You will need about 20 minutes to prepare it and at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Ingredients:
-200gr butter cookies (not too much sweet)
-100gr melted butter
-250gr ricotta cheese
-100gr condensed milk
-8 sheets of colourless gelatine
-200ml whipped cream
-pinch of salt
-200ml strawberry jam

Preparation:
Part 1: Cookie Base
-Mash the cookies and misk it with the butter.
-Pour this mixture in a round cake pan.

Part 2: Middle Cream
-Place 6 sheets of gelatin in cold water.
-In large bowl, mix the heavy cream with the ricotta.
-In a small pan, mix the condensed milk with the drained gelatin sheets within medium heat until melted.
-Add the condensed milk to the cream mixture and whisk smoothly.
-Pour this mixture on top of the cookie base.
-Allow it to set in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Part 3: Topping
-Place the remaining sheets of gelatin in cold water.
-Whisk the jam.
-In a small pan, mix half of the jam with the drained gelatine sheets within medium heat until melted.
-Add the melted mixture to the rest of the jam and whisk it.
-Pour this mixture on top of the middle cream.
-Allow it to set on the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Bon Appétit! 🙂

Roasted Chicken In-A-Rush

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Are you always in a rush? Does it always seem you don’t have enough time to cook? Well, this is one of my favourite recipes in such tricky days.

It will make about 4 portions.
You will need about 55 minutes to have it ready, but it will only take you about 10 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:
-2 chicken breasts or big chicken legs
-1 garlic clove, chopped
-1 bay leaf
-Oregano and paprika
-4 tbsp of olive oil
-1 cup of white wine
-2 tbsp of tomato sauce
-3 cups of water
-Beef consommé
-pinch of salt

Preparation:
-Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.
-Put the chicken on a tray and rub the garlic, salt, oregano, paprika and olive oil on the chicken.
-Add the rest of the ingredients.
-Let it in the oven around 45 minutes, until coloured.

C-Section – A hard recovery

A c-section recovery is way too longer than it is from a natural one. A cesarian is an abdominal surgery so, as any other surgery there is a recovery period that includes healing. In fact, our body needs about six months to fully recover from this type of surgery.

There are some tips to help you reducing the natural discomfort from the first days after a c-section:
– Use a pillow by your belly to help you laugh or caugh, so then you won’t fell so much pressure during these moments.
– Use an appropriate post-partum waistband under your clothes.
– Avoid drastic movements or hold heavy things.
– Walk a little inside your home and frequently change your body position to reduce wind
pains.
– Find your best position to breastfeeding your baby. Usually, it’s more comfortable to doing it when lying in bed.
– You may feel some discomfort when you go to the bathroom, especially after the second week. It will disappear during the healing process.
– If you’re feeling down or any strong sadness, please go and speak immediatly to your doctor. The earlier you avoid a post-partum depression, the less impact it will have in you and in your relationship with the baby.
– Ask your doctor about the usage of a specific skin regeneration cream to apply on your scar. In spite of being for life, there are good specialty products which help to minimize how t looks like.
– Whenever you feel itchiness in your scar, don’t scratch!! Please take a warm bath and apply a fat cream.
– You should also apply every single day a good moisturizing cream all around your belly to help your body to recover elasticity] and shape.

It’s really important that you remember that a c-section recovery is not only to heal the exterior of the skin, but also the uterus, several muscle layers, blood vessels, the fat and finally the skin.

During the first post-partum appointment your doctor will assess your body’s good recovery. He would also [aconselhar] about the right moment to initiate some exercises to help your body and, of course, your mind! 😉

Breastfeeding – Tips for Success

Being able to breastfeeding a baby is one the most rewarding things in life a woman can face (besides being a mother, of course!). I really don’t understand how is it possible some mothers simply decide not even try it. It is not only the best nutrition for the baby’s development, but also the best solution for the mother when recovering from the pregnancy. And it is so delicious seeing those little things becoming so relaxing after a good ‘meal’… 😉 Amazing!!

However, I understand that breastfeeding is not always easy and there are some crucial moments when you could face some strong doubts whether to continue or not:

Crucial Moment Number 1: The first moments with my baby. Am I going to be successfull doing it?

> At this point, you should accept all the precious help from the nurses at the hospital. They will be more than happy to help you and your little one at this first steps knowing each other.

> It is perfectly ok if your baby is sleepy. You’ll have to use your imagination to find the best way to awake him in order to breastfeeding every couple of hours.

Crucial Moment Number 2: How can I possibly know the best position to breastfeeding my baby?

> You won’t be able to answer this question from the first moment. Instead, you will learn it, gradually, with your baby. You should simply relax and use a trial-basis approach to each position until you feel you are quite confident doing it.

> Most important of all, you need to be comfortable! As well as your baby, of course!

20121113-144214.jpg Find out more in ABC Parenting

Crucial Moment Number 3. What should I expect from the first days of breastfeeding?

> I think those moments would really depends on each woman’s own experience. And even more between a first and a second baby. However, there are some common ‘stages’:

> Nipple sensitivity is one of those challenging moments. You could use some appropriate cream to moist the area (e.g. Bepanthene Ointment or Uriage Bariéderm). This would minimize cracked nipples or even bleeding.

> By day 3 or 4 after the birth, the milk ‘comes in’. By this time you should feel a heaviness in your breasts (this is quite a phenomenon, it always surprises me!!). Feeding as frequently as possible would be the best solution to avoid more discomfort. Also, a warm shower or hot gel pads would be very helpful.

What about the other moms in the block? Any other good ideas to share?

Homemade Glue for Babies and Toddlers

Following the line of Homemade Paint for Babies and Toddles, today I’m sharing other quite interesting recipe for you to make with your little ones: Homemade Glue!20121113-024346.jpg

One very funny activity is to pick one theme, like Disney characters for example, then cut several character photos from old magazines and allow toddlers to paste it into a cardboard. You can also suggest them to paint the cardboard.

Ingredients:
– 1 cup of flour
– 1/3 cup of sugar
– 1 tbsp vinegar
– water

Preparation:
Put the flour and the sugar in a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of water and stir together until there are no more lumps. Add another 3/4 cup of water and stir until smooth. Add the vinegar. Cook on medium heat and stir it constantly. Allow it to thicken. Let it cool.
Keep it in an empty jam jar, for example and store it in the regrigerator.

Have a nice cut & paste activity!

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