Domestic Fail

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Before You Checkout

Do two things. I promise, even with the added steps, it'll be much faster than a Walmart checkout line.

First, run a search on the product name, especially if you're not sure what the normal price is, or the item's apparently being offered at some incredible discount, like on daily-deal sites.

For example check this out. It's a foot rocker from a daily-deal site! It's 75% off! Shipping is only $2! You can fix your plantar fasciitis AND save big bucks! I think the excitement of it all might kill me!

So I pop this into Google, and get the Amazon result:

It's the same foot rocker! It's got a bunch of reviews, so I can decide if it's a product I want, or if something else might work better! It's the same price per item, and I think that trying to use two of these at once might be dangerous, so I can handle that! Shipping over $25 is free, so I can get this, and some books to read while using it! It's even more exciting!

Of course, after reading the reviews, I'll want to do a little more searching, to see if there are better prices elsewhere. I'll also want to do a quick search on, to see if there are any coupon codes. I might also want to see if a cash-back site like or offers anything for the store I choose. I think that might have just become three sites. Whatever. Still faster than Walmart.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vegan Mocha Banana Muffins

I'm not a photographer, so my apologies for the cellphone photo, with its double-papered muffin. I bet you'll like the muffin itself, which doesn't normally survive long enough to have its image captured. This is based on the Edna Staebler recipe, with a fair bit of tweaking, and a wee bit of caffeine.

1 cup of ripe, mashed bananas
1/3 cup oil or melted fat of your choice
1/3 cup sugar - or 1/2 cup if you like things sweeter
1 TB flax + 3 TB water, mix and microwave until gel-ish. Or one egg.
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder. More if you like!
1 1/4 cups flour - I like white whole wheat, or use all purpose.
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Mash the bananas, by hand or with a stand mixer. Add oil, sugar, vanilla, flax and water mixture, and the coffee/espresso powder. Mix well.

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together. Pushing the soda through a mesh sieve helps avoid salty clumps. Stir in chocolate chips.

Dump dry ingredients into wet, stirring just to mix, and scoop into muffin tins, or mini muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Makes 8 muffins, or 12 small-ish ones.


True to blog name, I managed to leave the coffee out, and the muffins were still tasty, but they're just better with it. I ended up mixing about 2 TB of coconut oil, a tsp of instant coffee, a couple TB of cocoa, about 2 tsp of milk (plain almond Silk), and powdered sugar (I didn't measure) to make a glaze to add some coffee flavor. It also looks sort of decorative, if you're trying to impress someone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just Get The Mail Together Already

Rebates always sound great, but unless your organizational skills are great, it's really easy to forget to do use them. They're rare, but I LOVE ones that can be submitted online. I was trying to get the ones I needed together, except it turns out the Sonicare one needed to be sent in in December (the month I was really sick), so at least I know that's not worth worrying about now. So, awaiting a new printer cartridge and a bit of motivation are:

The Physician's Formula eyeliner one. Not the best product, but it was fairly cheap. Google says the form is here. That brings up a whole lot of Windows scripting fail, as does the rest of their site, so let's hope they fix it soon.

The Air Optix rebate, here. Not as cool as Air Jordans, but cooler than Air Bud. This is going to require digging through some paperwork. Actually, why don't I make a folder just for rebate stuff?

Neosporin, rebate here. For those of us with crappy skin.

Also awaiting shipping are a couple shirts for my brother, a jacket and cookie scoop for my mother, and a bunch of random stuff for a sweet friend in NH. I really need to get this all sent out already.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

LTD Cleaning

I'm not a good housekeeper. I'd think that would be obvious from the blog title, but if not, there you go. I've tried FlyLady, which I found kind of love bomb-y, and various, 'One Month To Organized!'-type ebooks, and cleaning lists, and I typically end up overwhelmed, and playing The Sims instead of being useful after my son's gone to bed. So, at one point I just stopped, looked around, and decided what areas of housework make the place most Hoarders-like when neglected, and decided to worry about them, and nothing else. Oddly enough, it seems to be working.

My nightly routine is:

Laundry - Put dirty stuff in the machine, or a basket, if you'd rather, and run the machine when it's full. I wash everything together on cold, so no color-bleeding, and let the husband wash his own shirts and undies. Run the machine if it's full, dry it if it's done, fold and put away clothes (or leave a basket of folded clothes outside a sleeping kid's room). When we were still using cloth diapers, I'd put them on the drying rack outside at night, so they could get some sun, and bring them in the next night, since I'm not around during the day.

Trash - Pick up whatever half eaten muffins, bits of frozen vegetable bags, and junk mail might be lying around, and toss them. Take the trash out if it's the right night, take the bin back from the curb if it's just been picked up.

Dishes - Put them in the dishwasher and run when full, or wash by hand. Empty the dishwasher or rack.

If you have the energy, wipe down the counters, clean the toilet, or do whatever else needs doing. I find that when I only commit to bare-minimum cleaning I'm more likely to keep going on other tasks, so I try not to put too much on my list, or the little computer people start calling to me again.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Banana Muffins a la Edna Staebler

I'm sure everyone's familiar with the concept of food porn, but imagine, for a minute, a book full of useful, practical, adaptable recipes, rather than fanciful pictures of cupcakes and things with sauce dribbled over them. More like a food Sunday Night Sex Show, which isn't a phrase I can see catching on soon. Maybe it's not pretty, but it's helpful, and you can use the information at home tonight.

I'm not sure she'd appreciate the comparison, but Edna Staebler wrote that sort of cookbook. Initially she was a journalist, and then she ended up collecting recipes, wrote a couple books, and lived to 100 on good Mennonite cooking. The Schmecks books have been reprinted, and are available on Amazon, but there were also a series of small, themed books you might still be able to find, though probably not in the US. Just as a sample, here's her recipe for Very Ripe Banana Muffins, with my edits. Make a batch in mini muffin tins, and toddlers will swarm like seagulls.

1 cup of ripe, mashed bananas
1/3 cup oil or melted fat of your choice
1/4-1/2 cup sugar - I prefer the lesser amount, but she liked her muffins sweet
1 tsp salt, or a pinch
1 egg, well beaten, or a flax egg*
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups flour - all purpose, or white whole wheat. It's all good.
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 chopped nuts or chocolate chips, if you want 'em

Mash the bananas. Putting all the ripe bananas on your counter into a Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment is pretty satisfying. Add the oil, sugar, and salt, keep mixing, then add the egg and vanilla, and mix again. Mix the flour, soda and powder, adding nuts or chips if you want, and mix into the wet stuff, just blending, not beating.

Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes (depending on the muffin tin size). She suggest letting them cool only slightly and serving with tea. That's good advice.

* 1 TB of ground flax + 3 TB of water, zapped until gel-ish = 1 egg. Great for veganizing things, or if you're low on groceries.

Time to Consolidate

Okay, time to start updating here. I've migrated from LJ to Dreamwidth so I can keep watching people with better vintage magazine collections than me post old ads, I'm making plans to start moving files to one computer from, like, five, and I need somewhere to write down anything I can think of that's vaguely clever before that idea totally evaporates. And commit both terrible run-on-sentence, and fragments! Blogger, yo! I don't claim to be especially brilliant, but I'll be trying to keep up with trying to survive parenting, being an adult, and general nerdery here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Reading a coupon list

You can get lists of deals from various blogs, like

These will list items the blogger feels are a good deal, with links to printable coupons (just go and print 'em), or info on the insert a coupon was in. For example:

Dole Can Fruit $1.25
-$0.50/2 Dole Pineapple or Tropical Fruit 4/10/2011 SS Insert (exp 6/30/2011)
=$0.75 ea after coupon


Dole fruit is on sale at $1.25 a can. The Smart Source insert that came out on April 10th had a coupon for 50 cents off TWO cans of Dole fruit. If you keep your inserts whole (just stack them in a drawer or folder), you can flip through to find the one with that date on the spine (or write it on the cover when you get the insert), you can flip through that one until you find the coupon, clip it out, and get your cheap fruit. Why would a 50 cent coupon give $1 off a purchase? Easy. Bashas' doubles coupons so they're worth up to a dollar in value. Fry's does the same. When they're tripling, it means what it says, though there's still a $1 limit, so a 25 cent coupon is now worth 75 cents, but a $1 coupon, or 70 cent coupon, is worth $1.