On minimizing to preserve sanity

Let’s face it. Getting home after a 9-5 leaves very little room to motivate, clean the house, cook the food, and spend time with the husband/wife/kids. There’s something to be said of downsizing, minimizing the amount of crap we have hanging around in our lives. This conspicuous consumption culture has created a mess of our living rooms, not to mention our minds. Clutter is everywhere!


So in 2017 I vow to cut down on buying things I want. Not need, just want. And to thank it for its use, the happiness it brought me, and then toss it in the trash or give it away.

Some of my favorite minimalist blogs:

There are plenty to choose from, but these three seem to be my most frequented.


Another thing I’ve been fascinated with is the tiny house movement. The idea of living in 200sf may not appeal to some, and frankly there are days I definitey want to stay as far away from my husband as possible. But I keep seeing these gorgeous tiny houses for sale and I keep thinking to myself, “yea, I could do that”. Plus it’s a lot easier to clean a tiny house than a big McMansion!

What are you doing this year to help yourself be more mindful, present, and free up time from dreaded chores?


Quite a remarkable Pinot Noir

Which wine pairs best with housework

Ask your average 40-something, stay at home mother what wine they like to drink and you’ll probably get a lot of similar answers. Chardonnay, aka the cougar crack, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Merlot are all likely suspects. Whether you’re having a glass with lunch, as an afternoon snack, or with your evening meal, I for one will opt for a nice Pinot Noir.

Quite a remarkable Pinot Noir

Quite a remarkable Pinot Noir

My favorite? Probably Meiomi. It’s available just about everywhere, and goes down so easy. Lots of rich, red fruit flavor and it’s just oh so yummy. But I’ve also found some really incredible offers from Last Bottle. Among my favorites were the Sleeper label, made in house by the team using “declassified” fruit from respected sources.

If you want to go with Chardonnay, I must say that while big, buttery fruit bombs seem to have fallen in favor, I still love them. And you can’t go wrong with the Butter chard. Yes, that’s actually the name, and yes it’s everything you’d expect – big, sweet, unctuous (yes I used that word) and still crisp with lots of bright tropical fruit. You should be able to find this just about anywhere as they are very widely distributed.

Mother’s little helper – the 2016 version

Remember that song by the Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper?

“Kids are different today, I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she’s not really ill, there’s a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.”

They were referencing a very specific drug that’s no longer in existence today. The ever famous Quaalude is what most people think of but according to the website i09 this was about a lesser known drug called meprobamate. It’s no longer around, so what does mommy need today to get by?

Cougar juice. Cougar crack. Aka Chardonnay. Big, buttery stuff, the thick yellow juice that makes parenting, cooking, watching daytime television, and nagging husbands all the better. Whether it’s from Kendall Jackson, Rombauer, or Chateau St. Jean, doesn’t matter. It’s widely available and you can use it for whatever ails you.

The one thing to make chores better

If there’s one thing that can make doing housework and chores better, it has to be marijuana. Doesn’t it make everything better, really? Watching movies, eating dinner, listening to your wife rant about that crazy b&@(# at work, etc. Nobody likes vacuuming, doing dishes, mopping the floor, or mowing the lawn and this is especially true if you’re sober. So the best solution? Get a vaporizer, load that puppy with some fresh ground herbals, and go about your business.


Thing is you can’t just get any old vape. There are sooo many cheap Chinese knockoffs out there that you risk wasting a lot of money. Not to mention precious herb. No, you my friend want to find the best portable vaporizer for your money and that’s exactly what I did. It came down to three really.

First was the Haze V3, an awesome unit with a dual oven configuration that I really liked. Second was the famous Pax, by now on the third version, which seemed greatly improved. Both these first options allow the use of concentrates which I really dig. Last was the firefly 2. A sexy looking unit for sure, but the most expensive.

However if portability isn’t a concern, and you simply want a beautiful, nondescript unit to keep stowed away in your living room, the Arizer Extreme Q is where it’s at. This bad boy is just a powerhouse when it comes to vaping dry herbs. Easily on par with the Volcano, but way cheaper.

In the end I went with the Haze. It seemed to have a rabid following on the Vaporents subreddit, and the company offers a really extensive warranty. And to be perfectly honest, I just love it.

Our quest to find a great hot tub cover

Not long ago we were faced with an untimely decision. What to do with our hot tub cover. It was heavy, soggy with water, probably molding under the vinyl, and a big eyesore. Not to mention nearly impossible to lift.

warped hot tub cover

Status: needs replacing asap.

Being as it had been nearly five years since we had to buy a new hot tub cover, the time was due for sure. We started looking around town, called a few places that sell hot tubs, and got some responses that varied from “sure we can do that for you and the cost is $549” to “nope, sorry we dont’ carry hot tub covers”.

Ok. Time to search online. There are plenty of places to buy, but we settled on Hot Tub Cover Depot. They make every cover by hand, exactly to your order specs, using high quality materials. Best of all, they’re located right here in the USA.

We live in a pretty varied climate. Hot summers, cold winters, lots of rain, snow, and sleet. So our cover needed to withstand these types of conditions. They had three different thicknesses, from 4″ to 6″ with various density foam cores. We went with the highest level, 6″ thick with a 2.0 lb core and extra thick vinyl. Hopefully this lasts more than 5 years. Total cost? Around $400 with all options, and shipped for free to our door.

Can’t recommend these guys highly enough. Check them out next time you need to replace your cover. https://hottubcoverdepot.com for more info

5 simple inventions to make your daily routine easier

Between working a fulltime job, raising kids, and trying to take care of yourself, it’s tough to find enough time to handle the rest of your daily duties. Cooking dinner, cleaning up after everyone, and doing laundry are just a few of the chores that fall to the wayside. Hell, how many of us have a few loads of laundry piled on top of the guest bed, waiting to be folded? I know we do…

  1. A hot tub cover lifter. Do you have a hot tub/spa? You probably know how heavy those hot tub covers can get after they soak up some water. A cover lifter attaches to the sides of your spa cover and makes it much easier to life/remove from the tub, saving you time and energy.
  2. A dust buster. Seriously folks, how handy are these things? As a single person I forgot about them. As a parent I’m all about them. How else will I clean up the cheerios, legos, bread crumbs, and every other conceivable thing that falls onto the floor?
  3. A good alarm clock. Sounds simple, right? Well waking up early in the morning is a key step for successful people because it gives them extra time to catch up on things they might otherwise ignore. Our advice? Check out this article on morning routines for entrepreneurs.
  4. Meal delivery services. I confess, I used Blue Apron for a year before quitting them, and I still think about the delicious pre-packaged recipes on a regular basis. You know how much time we spend shopping for food, debating what to make, and then getting pissed when we forgot something crucial in a recipe? A lot. The time saved here is huge, not to mention the meal planning effort.
  5. The iRobot roomba. Ok I admit I was skeptical of how well this thing works. But just read our previous post about it and you’ll see this thing is a beast! Really makes it so much nicer to come home to a clean floor. With the dust buster in tow I never do any vacuuming anymore.

Roomba by iRobot is a life changing invention

Is there any chore worse than vacuuming? You gotta lug the heavy vacuum around, unwrap the cord, adjust the height, and then reverse all those steps. Frankly I’ve never met someone who said “Gee I really love vacuuming. It’s so peaceful and rewarding”.

So when iRobot made the Roomba vacuum you bet we were thrilled. Jumping with joy you might say, not only because the dog would have something to play with during the day, but because we could come home to a clean house.

The good

Really small, easy to hide away and totally discrete looking unit. Very easy to get unpacked and set up. Your robot vacuum will be running in ten minutes after getting it. Easy to setup on a regular schedule, so it cleans without getting in your way when you’re out of the house. Even with three cats and a dog this thing picked up a massive amount of material! Very surprising how well it worked. As for allergies, they’re mostly gone. Simple incredible. Life changing. I’m just amazed at how well this thing works – and it cleans the edges, dusting, and vacuuming all at once.

The bad

It’s not cheap by any means. But do a little math here – how many hours do you spend vacuuming each year? Ten, twenty? What’s your time worth…multiply that by the number of hours you’re working and I bet you’ll find it pays off handsomely. Plus if you have a cleaning crew coming through your home regularly you know how expensive that can be. So yea, it’s a small investment up front, but one that pays off very nicely over time. One thing worth mentioning is this works GREAT on wood floors, but you might run into issues if you have lots of high rugs in the house.

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