Friday, December 14, 2012

Cloth Diapering

I wanted to talk to you today about Cloth Diapering! I'm sure you're a little surprised I cloth diaper. Well I decided to dive into the world of cloth diapering when we were thinking of how to utilize our smaller budget wisely. At first I thought they would be a nightmare to use so I prepared my heart for what was to come. I pictured poops exploding everywhere when they were sleeping, I would need to hand wash them to get stains out and so many more nightmares!

I started researching cloth diapering and boy was I surprised, please check out these videos on Youtube, they really helped me learn about cloth diapering:

ObbsAndLala - Kayla who is so informational
Kdhoney1 - Great diaper reviews and blog

There are so many different types of cloth diapers out there now that there are communities of cloth diapering moms and parents who love cloth diapering. I tell you it's not like the pieces of cloth you pin to your baby anymore, some are sheets of fabric with an additional waterproof cover you put outside of it to keep it from leaking, some are regular disposable "looking" diapers but made out of cloth!

I decided to order the most economical choice I could find from Amazon with gift cards my friend had given us to lower our out of pocket even more just to try them out. I think in the end I spent about $60. I got two packs of each size (one for toddler, one for baby) of unbleached 100% cotton prefolds and two waterproof covers, one for my toddler and one for my new born. I planned to use these as long as they would last, hopefully till the next baby or whenever!

I made a video on them when I received them here so you can get a better look at them.

From the month and a half of using cloth diapers I really like them. They aren't as horrible as I pictured them, although I did have to deal with some baaaad messes here and there... But yes, I still like them. They are better for the environment and way easier on your wallet. Here are pictures of my two boys in their matching diapers: Immanuel my 2 year old and then Israel my 2 month old.

Honestly, what we have right now can easily last us more than a year. It's when big explosions happen and it leaks on the cover that's the problem, I only have one for each kid, I would need to put the soiled one in the wash, hope my toddler goes potty in the potty and constantly change my newborn because there is no outer waterproof cover to keep everything from getting wet. Because of that I do need to get a couple extra diaper covers for accidents like those.

I am learning so much more about cloth diapers and will definitely post more as I discover more about them! I'm looking into purchasing some all in ones which are the "cloth disposables" which you don't throw away but they look and function exactly the way you would a disposable.

I will educate you all on cloth diapering more for those who are interested because it really is a better system and should really be tried in all families. I hope you all are having a wonderful week and please comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Being Wise Stewards of God's Money

He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. Prov. 13:18

Being frugal with God's money is not at all being cheap, it is a smart thing. God calls us to be wise with what He has blessed us with. For some it's a breeze, for others it takes a process to learn to be frugal. We were so blessed the last few years, we had two incomes and we didn't have to pay childcare or rent. We made some bad financial decisions in our lives but God has helped us learn from our mistakes.

As a lot of you may already know and from my previous posts I no longer work but am a full time stay at home mom. Obviously without an extra income budgeting would be a part of our daily lives. We had to cut down many things like our grocery budget, eating out/entertainment and cable, which my husband already thought about before because he didn't want us spending 24 hours in front of a dead TV.

When working out our finances I was stressed out and worried, I thought I needed to go back to work or find a night job so we didn't have to spend on childcare, how are we going to manage? So many worries went on in my brain. But soon we realized "wow, God gave us just enough.". Enough that I didn't have to work, enough to pay bills and spend on groceries! That's all we need, we just need to spend wisely with our Father's help and everything will be ok. God wanted me to stay at home with the children, He didn't want me to find another job and He was basically shouting at us to wake up and not worry because He will always provide!

He blessed us with so much little extra's here and there, from the grocery blessing (post here) to extra cash here and there. It's so amazing our Father knows exactly what we need. He was there to teach us that our foolish spending ways needed to stop and learn to live frugally and be appreciative of everything He's given us. We need to be wise stewards of His money.

Do you live frugally? How is God providing for your family needs?

Monday, December 3, 2012

A little homesick for food

Some of you may already know I'm a huge foodie. I love to eat food, make food, watch food (on Youtube or Food Network), look at food, and again.. EAT FOOD. Sometimes I wonder if God gave me this passion because He wants me to do something in life with it? Only God knows and He will make it happen if it's in His will. But today I just wanted to share with you some childhood memories of my family with food.

I'm not sure how my passion for food grew this big, perhaps I was raised in a family that loves good food and as we traveled we lived alongside many different types of cuisines. My "Gong Gong" (grandpa) on my mom's side cooked authentic Cantonese food. I remember as he grew older he had to give whoever cooking being my mom or aunty or his maid the exact instructions to make dishes as he wasn't able to cook himself. If the food was not up to his taste standards, he would not eat it. Yes, he was rather picky and had the power to be picky in his house. So as a result, my mom and aunty knows how to make Chinese food.

My "Ah Ma" (grandma) on my dad's side made authentic Nonya Malaysian food. I remember a childhood memory looking into the kitchen, seeing my Ah Ma and my mom, including whoever she had over for dinner (just the ladies) gather around a table with their beautiful Sarongs (Malaysian skirts for both men and women) dangling down to the floor as they sit and pick the ends off long green beans, preparing it for dinner that night. My dad would be alongside my Ah Ma watching her as she cooks and thus, my dad cooked Nonya food.

I spent most of my young years in Singapore, because South East Asian countries were so close we would travel to Malaysia very often. We would have dishes like Rendang beef (thicker curry-like dish), Chow Kuay Teow (friend noodles) and Rojak (a tofu, squid and sweet sauce salad) and so much more. I grew up in Thailand for 7 years too so Thai food will always be one of my favourites. Neither of my parents know how to cook Thai food but love to eat it! So now when I do get the chance we go to a local Thai restaurant in Vegas called Komos to bring back tasty memories of my childhood. I also lived in Taiwan for several years and I miss Taiwanese food as well, from roadside spring onion pancakes to beef noodle soups to pork and vegetable dumplings. Chinese food is so simple and yet so heart warming.

I wish I paid more attention to my parents cooking when I was younger, I get so homesick for Cantonese food and Malaysian food sometimes. I can only look for recipes online to try and mimic the taste but it will never be the same. Enough said about food, it's making me homesick for home cooking, I can just smell the aromas in my head! May I just end with pictures of our rather easy yet scrumptious cucumber sandwich my son and I had for lunch today? :)

What are some of your favourite foods or childhood memories with your family?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Groceries! Blessings from our Father

I am so excited to write this post today because an amazing blessing happened to our family last night and I give all credit to our loving Father. Words cannot describe what this means to our family and it was truly an act of pure love, love which overflowed from our Father Himself, working through others.

My family and I have had to watch our budget very closely as my husband is the only source of income currently, I mentioned this in the previous post. We were able to stretch our groceries for 5 whole weeks. I will talk more about cooking ahead and grocery budgeting if any of you are interested if it will help, just let me know!

At the end of our 5 weeks our fridge was bare, I saw we had some milk left and a tupperware of mashed sweet potatoes. My husband got paid on Friday and we were so excited to go grocery shopping again for the month and that was the plan this weekend.

My husband called me after getting off of work last night and said "Guess what?", I anxiously asked "What??" as I started running through the possible good news scenarios it could be. He said two friends (who shall me left anonymous) of ours decided to go grocery shopping for us, that we have a whole trunk full of groceries, FOR US. "Are you serious?" I exclaimed with my jaw half way down my face. I was in shock and awe, neither of us had ever witnessed something like this before.

He went on to saying the Lord will always provide, He showers us with blessings we don't ever deserve. He is so merciful and so giving all the time and we should always trust in Him. I was in tears at that point. I was just so touched by the blessings He has given our family.

Here are the pictures of the groceries and the inventory just to show you all the magnitude of this.. lol. I'm still in shock!! So overwhelming!

  • 2 boxes of cereal (not included in pictures as I forgot I put them away)
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • A whole cake! (It was someone's birthday at work and decided to give us the rest of the cake :) )
  • 3 packages of beef sirloin tips
  • Nutella snacks
  • Hot dogs
  • Fruit which included: Kiwi, apples, oranges, bananas, avocados, tomatoes
  • Veggies: Lettuce, onions, garlic, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, celery
  • 2 whole chickens
  • Cookie dough
  • Eggs
  • 4 packages of rice
  • 2 silk milks
  • 2 packages of fish
  • 1 package of chicken legs
  • Ground turkey
  • A sack of potatoes
  • Cran-apple juice
  • 2 Apple juice (Do you know how long it's been since we had juice in our fridge? We have been living off of water lol!) 
Oh boy what a blessing. I love my God :)