Our Baby Blue Baby Waffle Iron

Yes, I’m back again, already.

When you visit our blog, you might notice this line, right under our name (The Low Life): Low stress, low budget, low impact living for a family of 5 in L.A.  And you might think to yourself one of two things.

a) Yeah, right.


b) What ever happened to that?

So, to answer the first part: yes, it’s possible.  All of it.  (really)

On to part B:

You know…so much happened.  Life happened.  Things got super busy, and super stressful; and, honestly, we kept doing a lot of the things we were doing, but…you know…well, we also might have fallen off the wagon in some ways.  In other ways, we were still doing pretty well, but just not really blogging about it.  And, while I am not going to necessarily EXCLUSIVELY write about those topics here, I thought, since they are among the things to which I am recommitting myself in the new decade ~ it’s a new decade.  fight me.  don’t really.  I’m scrawny ~ I might as well write about them.

Okay?  Okay.

Anyway.  That brings us to today’s post.  (At last.  Sheesh.  I’m sorry.  That was A LOT.)

Today, we decided to FINALLY break out the minuscule waffle iron I got ages ago.  To be specific, this is the Mini Maker Waffle by DASH. I’m not sure why it’s a Mini Maker Waffle, instead of a Mini Waffle Maker, but there you have it.  Technically, it reads: Mini Maker Waffle, so I think it is the waffle variety of Mini Maker, which implies there are other Mini Makers, and now I am very intrigued by this possibility… Anyway ~ I think I got mine at Target for about ten bucks…but not really, because it was on sale, and I get the 5% discount, and I might have had a $5 gift card that I got for a previous purchase, so the thing was practically free, you guys.  Importantly, it is robin’s egg blue, tiny, and undeniably adorable.

Not only that, but it came with this equally adorable envelope:
Which contained all sorts of important information, as well as several simple, easy-to-follow recipes.  Kaia and I decided to make the Classic Waffles on page 20 for our first foray into Mini Waffle Making. (Mini Maker Waffling?  Probably not.)
The ingredients were all wholesome, whole foods that we already had at home: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, butter.  We could easily have made it dairy-free for me by subbing the butter with oil, and the milk w/ a dairy-free milk, but for the first try we kept it like this.
Kaia did all of the measuring and mixing…
…then cooked herself two perfect mini waffles.
Then Justice then went out and made herself a tiny waffle, too, and covered it with peanut butter, of course; but, sadly, I didn’t get a picture of them.  In fact, when Shane gets home, I plan to offer him one (not covered in peanut butter).

We’ve been buying the frozen waffles, because, honestly, a toaster waffle is a quick grab on a school morning ~ or any morning ~ and it’s nice that it’s not something sugary; but, obviously, something less processed would be a healthier choice.  It’s just, I’ll admit it, we’re not always up and lugging out the big waffle iron to make a passel of waffles at the crack of dawn on a school day (or any day).  Enter our new tiny friend.

Kaia has suggested we make up some batter and keep it in the fridge so we can pull it out in the morning to make fresh, hot mini waffles, instead of buying the frozen ones.  As she she pointed out, this will save all that packaging from the waffles we’ve been buying (reducing waste FTW!).  I like that they contain just a few fresh, whole ingredients, too.  For what it’s worth, I am sure it costs less to make waffles with a handful of flour and a few other ingredients I already have around my kitchen than it does to buy them frozen.




It’s the ’20s. Where’s your roar?

Nah, I’m not challenging you.  It’s me.  I’m challenging me.  And maybe the 2020s.  I’d like to see what I’ve got ~ and what they’ve got ~ to offer.  I’d like to challenge myself to be bold enough to bring all that I’ve got to offer to the table.

I’ll turn 50 this year, so I figure I’m reaching just about the top of my arc ~ oh, don’t worry, I plan to spend A LOT of time at the top ~ so I need to figure out exactly how I want to spend that time, and what kind of person I want to be.  For me, this might mean some reevaluating, and a lot of holding myself accountable.  Much of this is personal, and introspective, and probably won’t make it onto the pages here…as far as I know, at this time, anyway.  Some of it might.

You see, I’m not sure exactly where this will go.  It could be that I’ll figure out I’m doing all right, generally speaking.  Don’t get me wrong, there are things I know I need to work on, but I don’t necessarily think my life is on entirely the wrong path or anything like that.  It’s just that some of what makes us who we are will always be very personal, and, in what has become a very public world, outgoing as I may always have seemed, I remain a very private person in many ways.  So, hopefully, I will continue to grow, and learn, and improve in measurable ways…whether or not I throw it all up on the wall for everyone to see. I might not make any major, life-altering changes that would be noticeable anyone but myself, or those closest to me.  But who knows what my future will bring?  That’s the incredible promise of the future.  It’s the promise of newness, of opportunity, of endless possibilities.  After all, it’s the Roaring ’20s again, and I have to tell you, after the past decade, I am ready to roar.

I just have to figure out what, exactly, that means for me.  Don’t worry.  I have some ideas.

I can leave you with some of my tangible goals for the New Year, and while none of them are especially earth-shatteringly “new,” or exciting, they’re mine, they’re attainable, and I’m achieving them.  That’s something.

In 2020, I will:

  1. Reduce my use of single use plastic:
    a) Fewer carry-out coffees, & bring my reusable cup/straw
    b) Bring my own shopping bags
    c) Use bar soap/shampoo. Shop for products in larger size and/or refillable containers. Look for more sustainable/non-plastic alternatives
  2. Reduce overall waste; use cloth instead of paper towels, reusable containers. Shop smarter/more carefully to reduce food waste.
  3. Make a schedule for household chores, and try to keep it.
  4. Make time to exercise & time to relax.
  5. Work on patience, gratitude, and leading w/ kindness ( which I know sounds hokey, but I’m trying to refocus my own lens: how I see the world & the role I can actively play in my life)

So, that’s my jumping-off point.  I’ve got a few kinks to work out ~ nothing to worry about ~ before I can really dig in to the “exercise” and “household chores” as much as I’d like, but I am making a solid start on all of these.  I’ll be back to share some tips and info that might be helpful to others who are trying to reduce waste/save money, because that was one of the reasons we started this blog together as a family many years ago.  It will be nice to get back to that.  Of course, I’ll continue to share other parts of our journey as well.

Until then ~ Have a Blessed & Happy New Year.

Just one box ~ by Sam

Are you tired of boxes yet?

I’m sorry.  I never get tired of them.  It might be a problem.

Well, I am still cleaning and organizing ~ I know, I know, super exciting! ~ and I happened to come across this box I just had to show everyone.  Recently, I bought a new pair of sneakers.  Am I the only one who still calls them sneakers?  Well, I bought them, Inkkas, which I was lucky enough to find on sale for $30.  They’re white, wtih silver stars, and very comfortable for walking, which is what I needed.  They came in this box:IMG_7794

Wow.  Scintillating, I know.  I often save a shoe box, or two, just in case the kids have a project to do that involves a shoe box.  I know, I know, my kids are in high school and college, but two of them actually needed shoe boxes just last school year.  It’s not as crazy as it sounds.  So, I opened this box to take out the paper and this is what I found:IMG_7796.JPG
Hmmm…intriguing… Upon further investigation, I discovered that the entire box could be very easily disassembled, turned over and reassembled.  Like this:
Here’s how it looks reassembled, from several angles:IMG_7798
Not bad-looking, right?  (Elvis says, “Thank ya…thank ya verra much.”)

It happens to be exactly what I needed for this shelf in our bedroom, and too nice to turn into a box project, anyway. IMG_7802 So, thanks to Inkkas for the great sale, which is the only way I could possibly have afforded to buy the comfy shoes, and the great reusable box with the striking, attractive graphic.  If you get your own pair of Inkkas (did I mention that they’re comfy?  Definitely worth keeping an eye out for sales, in my opinion), maybe you can find other ways to repurpose your box.  I think it would make a cute gift box.  You could get creative and add colour, cover the top (perhaps with fabric or paper).  I might cover the lid of mine later.  For now, I think it looks kind of cute up there as is.

What a nice little surprise this was, and an easy way to reuse something instead of just throwing it into the recycling bin.

I promise I will write about something other than boxes soon.