Friday, January 01, 2010

New ideas around our house...


I have been reading my notebook from the Waldorf seminar I went to (Lifeways) and I have been inspired to make some changes around my home. One of the articles that really struck me was about wearing aprons. Now, I know, it sounds silly... But I have been wearing the apron I made that you see pictured above, and I think my attitude changes. You have a uniform, and like any uniform it helps you get your head in the game. I have long heard programs about getting organised and extolling the virtues of getting up and getting dressed every day. Don't hang around in your PJs and expect to get things done. In my mind the apron takes it to another level. Now you are dressed and ready for a very specific job, nurturing your family. So in my epic struggle to be a better mom, wife and homemaker... I will count the apron as a small step in the right direction.

The other thing I have been trying to do is get more whole foods into my children's diet. DH has his tastes... So it's hard to do in my family because he won't eat it. Once again at the Lifeways training I had the opportunity to learn about a great way to get more whole grains and veggies into your lunch menu. Enter the new permanent resident in my kitchen, the rice cooker. I have been using it to cook different grains and then I saute some veggies and mix them in... Lunch is served. The good thing about it is that it's quick. In maybe 20 minutes prep time I have a nice lunch ready. This week... Rice with onion, zucchini and tomato. Millet with onion, sweet potato and spinach. Quinoa with onion, cucumber and tomato. All by cooking the grain with 1 cup grain to 2 1/2 cups water and then sauteing the veggies and tossing them in once the grain has finished cooking. It's a revelation! Whole grains without the fuss... And I haven't ever been big on lunch meats or chicken nuggets, so this is perfect for lunch. I'm planning on sending the kids to school with it next week!

So there you go... We have had a fun winter break, and I have gotten some things done around the house that I have been meaning to get to for a long time, which feels great. I have purged the kids rooms. I am down to a much simpler environment for them. I kept a kitchen and a wooden dollhouse plus two cloth dolls for the 3 year old. And the boys have legos and some army toys. My older girl has a couple of stuffed animals and her art supplies. And collectively they share a dress up chest. I have told myself no more mediocre toys that just become clutter from now on. If it doesn't foster creative play, why would I buy it? It's a work in progress. I want to make their beds nicer, and maybe rearrange their desks... But it's getting there!

We have been making things too. Felt balls and tie dyed shirts. Both were fun projects. Although I hate working with gloves, so my hands are still green from the dye!LOL There is a great tutorial on making felt balls (although I do it a little differently) at www.crunchyparent.com. And for tie dye I recommend checking out www.dharmatrading.com for anything and everything you need.

I hope the new year is good for everyone... Talk to you all again soon!

8 comments:

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Hakima Midwifery said...

salaams, i love that you have done the lifeways training. please post more about it. i am fascinated by their work.

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Miriam said...

Assalamu Alaikum Sister,

I found your blog while searching for fun projects to do this upcoming Ramadan, inshaAllah. And it seems like we live close by to one another maybe. And it also seems like you are an American revert married to an Arab Muslim, like myself? I tried to use the contact feature so I can be more private, but it asked for me to log into a yahoo accnt, and I don't have one. Nice to kind of meet you :) Fee eman Allah

UmmLayla said...

Miriam, I tried to e-mail you, but I'm thinking it didn't work. If you see this my email is ummlaylagd@yahoo.com and you can contact me.

UmmLayla

laura said...

I love my rice cooker, which pretty much every home in Korea has. It is common here to add things to the rice when cooking it. I love adding barley, black rice (a small handful of it makes the entire pot a purplish color and I love the taste of it) and a few other things which I'm not exactly sure what they are other than the fact that they are better (healthier?) than just having plain rice. Sometimes they add red or black beans but they aren't quite my taste.
I agree with the apron. Pajamas or sweats create a sort of relax mode. An apron means work and does work.

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