Hello again from the other half of this blog operation. This is Lucy and I probably shouldn’t equate my presence to half of The Green Swan… more like ten percent. JW does all the heavy lifting here, but once a month I get to pop in and give my perspective. It’s fun to say hello to the readers and I love getting feedback and recommendations, especially when it comes to new vegan recipes to try (hint, hint)!
New Routine and Discounts
Returning to work was a fairly smooth transition. I was happy to have a good reason to shower before 10am and welcomed some adult conversations. The main thing that has taken a bit to get used to is how much time we spend prepping bottles! Our routine at night pretty much goes like this: dad get son #1 food while mom feeds son #2, wash bottles, warm up our food, make sure son #1 is eating, check on son #2 who spit up a bit, fill bottles for next day, take a few bites of food, tell son #1 to take more bites, wash more bottles, clean up son #1, convince him it’s time to go upstairs, change into pajamas, brush teeth, read books, time for bed… and finally sit down. Wait, nope! Time to ride the bike and get our exercise in, then sit down and watch something on Netflix. Whew, makes me tired just typing this.
Don’t get me wrong, we love our time with the boys and make it all work… while looking forward to the weekends. Guess that’s why we work so hard to reach FIRE so we can spend more time enjoying each other and less time washing bottles.
Both boys are at the same daycare and that has been a huge help. No need to drive to separate locations for pick up and drop off, they’re right there together. It also allows us a siblings discount, hurray! Ok it’s not much, just 10%, but we’ll take it. We also get a 10% discount through JW’s employer so we’re taking advantage of as much savings as possible. Oh wait, they take credit cards for payment too…which allows us to travel hack like non-other!
Having the boys in the same location means all four of us can continue to commute together also. That means more time together as a family during the car rides. We read books, sing songs, talk about our day, etc. But it also means weekly gas fill-ups for only one car and free parking (my employer provides it). More savings add up!
Last week JW dropped the bomb on ya that we are no longer considering our move to London. Although we went through a period of being bummed out, we’re forging on. For over a year we had put any major purchases for our house on hold as we pursued the move. This would include items like a dresser for our son’s big boy room (we transitioned him out of the nursery before having our second child) and patio furniture for our backyard.
Now that we know we’ll be sticking around for a bit we’ve loosened up on some products and services that make life a little more livable.
One recent purchase was made right before Mother’s Day, but we had to wait until Father’s Day to decide if this sale was sexist or not. The Roomba was offering a big discount on their 900 series vacuums and we pounced. The iRobot Roomba 960 was calling our name… and so was more free time on the weekend! While vacuuming is usually JW’s job, it was worth every penny :).
The discount brought the $700 vacuum down to $600 and although more than we would normally drop for an item like this, we’ve been really pleased with our purchase. Our 3 year old also loves turning the “robot” on, but he also willingly helps pick up before we run it… double bonus for us. And for the record, Roomba is not sexist… they ran the same sale over Father’s Day too. 🙂
Another purchase that wasn’t a need, but more of a want was an electric toothbrush. I previously had a misconception that they were too expensive and after searching online my mind was changed. The thought of this actually started when our dentist gave out replacement heads as opposed to standard disposable toothbrush. JW started researching and found an Oral-B brush that was reasonable.
Thanks to Amazon Prime we had it two days later! Plus we knew we should be using one of these to get a better clean. Great thing is we can share one and each have our own replacement head. Oh and no new technology comes without an app. Go figure you can sync your brush with your phone and track your time spent brushing, earn “trophies”, and more. Genius way to get even adults to enjoy this mundane task.
Stay tuned for some more spending in next month’s Swan Life…maybe we’ll find a good 4th of July sale on our planned purchase of patio furniture :)!
Top Vegan Blogs & Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Just the other day JW and I watched yet another documentary about eating a plant based diet titled What The Health. I can honestly say if you would have asked me a year or two ago about switching to a vegan diet I would have laughed, hard. But now I’m a true believer and get excited about finding new recipes that are not only healthy, but easy to make, and something my kid(s) will enjoy. We ran across this great resource and list of top vegan blogs. I have only scratched the tip of this iceberg and look forward to diving into more of them and finding new recipes.
One of the recipes I found on Pinterest this past month was something so incredibly simple both JW and I thought it couldn’t possibly be as good as the store bought version. The recipe was for a 20-Minute Classic Marinara sauce. We like to double the recipe and freeze some of it in mason jars. At first we thought this might be a cost saving way to make simple spaghetti sauce. After doing a little math we realized it wasn’t a huge savings after all. It is, however, way healthier than the store bought version. Our eyes were open wide after taking a look at the jar and realizing how much sugar the manufacturers put into the sauce! This recipe keeps the sugar and sodium low and we like the thought of feeding a healthier sauce to our boy(s). After letting JW make a couple batches I had to remind him to go easy on the red pepper flakes. He might enjoy the heat, but these taste buds of mine are not a fan!
Conquering The Zoo
We ventured out for our first adventure as a family of four this month. The North Carolina Zoo has been on our to-do list for a while since our older boy is the perfect age to enjoy the animals and activities. It’s a quick hour and a half drive so it’s a great day trip and no need to splurge on a hotel room. Admission was what I would have expected… $15 for adults and $11 for kids over 2 years of age. In total that was $41 for us, not bad!
Luckily I had some insight from coworkers that this zoo was the perfect place to pack a picnic and enjoy outside the park. We showed up shortly after opening in the morning, got a great workout roaming through the zoo and were exhausted and ready to leave around lunch time. Son #1 really enjoyed the animals (the polar bear seemed to be his favorite) while son #2 blissfully slept practically the whole day. It was such a fun family outing, I think we’ll go again in the fall. I really want to do more activities like this as a family. I know I got some great input from readers in the past, but I welcome more ideas for day trips in the North Carolina area!
Thanks again for letting me crash the blog this month. Have you ever put spending on hold and then turned on the faucet a bit and felt like you were on a shopping spree? What items did you hold off on buying for a while until there was a truly amazing sale? Anyone else in love with the zoo and thinking about buying a season pass?