Category Archives: Sanity Tips

Sanity Tip: Food Prep

As a single mom, dinnertime for me can be stressful. With my daughter’s crazy gymnastics schedule, it can be difficult to get dinner prepared and served in enough time for her to eat and get ready for bed at a decent hour.

I’ve been buying food at Costco and separating the bulk items, vacuum-sealing them into portions for two and freezing them for future dates. But nowadays it’s not always just two of us eating in my kitchen; sometimes “Brad” eat with us, too. Occasionally that means I have to defrost more than enough for the three of us and then use up the leftover portion the next night or so. It can leave us uneven for a few days.

Tonight I had an “Aha!” moment.

I’d bought some tri-tip last week and put it in the fridge with the thought that I would cook some on one night and freeze the rest for another time. Just as I was getting ready to put them into the oven, a thought struck me: why don’t I cook all of the meat but leave the ones we won’t eat tonight slightly undercooked? My mom had suggested that to me when we first moved out of their house, and I’ve done that many times. But I took my food prep one step further: individually vacuum-sealed pieces of meat!

It really seems like such a “duh!” moment. But I’m quite glad I finally thought of it!



Score one point for Mama! Or, rather, five points. One for each portion.

Example of a Medical Treatment Authorization form

Santiy Tip: Medical Treatment Authorization

As a parent, I am paranoid that something will happen to my child when I’m not around. Everytime I’m at a movie or event without “Em,” I flinch when my cell phone buzzes. I just know  the babysitter is calling to tell me Em got sick or burned or broke a bone or something. Of course, it’s never happened (knock on wood), but what if it did?!?

Flashback a decade or two ago to O’Neill Park, Irvine California. My parents have been camping regularly for as long as I can remember. For awhile we used to camp for a weekend at O’Neill Park. My sister and I were allowed to alternate who could bring a friend with them. There are two distinct memories I have of O’Neill Park:

  1. Riding out the Northridge Earthquake in a trailer
  2. My parents having to take a friend of mine to the hospital

The earthquake is actually not that exciting; camping trailers are made for shaking and bumping and I can’t imagine a safer place to be during a quake; water, food, gas, electricity, shelter and tightly locked cabinets. The event that’s relevant to my post is the trip to the hospital.

My friend, my sister, other kids whose families were camping with us and I were playing in the creek that runs through the park (now a restricted area). My friend slipped on a rock in the creek and gashed her leg. I remember a lot of blood, probably because the water was spreading it around. Anyway, my folks had to take her to the hospital while my sister and I stayed behind with other families camping with us.

It was that incident that made my parents decide to always get a medical authorization form for any friends we brought along with us; having to wait to get treatment for a kid because their parents are unreachable is not a pleasant scenario.

Which brings me back to the reason for this post: Medical Treatment Authorization.

When parents go out for the night and leave their child(ren) with a sitter, hopefully the parents have left contact information for each of the parents and the location they’ll be at. But another piece or two of paper should also be left behind: something that gives the sitter permission to have a doctor treat the child if the parents are unreachable.

I used to type out a long Word document that had my information, Em’s information, where I’d be and how someone could reach me, along with the doctor’s information, hospital information and the fact that Em has no known allergies. But I wanted a signed form with the right wording on it.

I found a website: Rocket Lawyer. In addition to a whole slew of legal documents you can create, the site has a form for Medical Treatment Authorization of a Minor.

Example of a Medical Treatment Authorization form

 Rocket Lawyer will take you step-by-step in the creation of this document. Questions about who will be watching your child, your child(ren)’s name(s) and date(s) of birth, what kind of treatment you will allow, when the document takes effect, other emergency contacts, doctor’s contact information, hospital name and address, your insurance information and when the document will no longer be valid.

The even better part? You can create a free account on Rocket Lawyer, save the document for later referrence and you don’t have to pay to get your saved document! You can print it right then and there without cost (really, you don’t even have to put in your credit card information!).

AND, nothing you put into the form is considered a required field. For my own document, I left blank the following: name of the person watching my child, when the document takes effect, and I chose to have the document valid until I choose to terminate it. That way I can print (and save to my own computer) the document whenever I need it and just fill-in-the blanks!

Just 5 minutes of your time can save your sitter the trouble of having to wait for your permission to get emergency treatment when Junior decides to climb the bookshelf!

I was not paid for this post. I have no affiliation with Rocket Lawyer or their subsidiaries.


Sanity Tip: Amazon Wish Lists

There is a question that I dread a few times a year: What do you want for your birthday/Christmas? There are two reasons for this seemingly silly fear:

1. I feel awkward telling people what I want; I feel like I’m saying “Spend your money on me!”

2. I can never remember right at the moment what I want. I may see things while I shopping or browsing the internet, but I push them to the back of my mind and never remember them at the appropriate time

Amazon wish lists are nothing new; I’ve been using them for a long time to help me remember something I want to buy but can’t afford right now or something I don’t need until later. But what I didn’t know was that I could make multiple wish lists, choose whether I want them to be public and that I can add items from other websites!

And since my sister moved out-of-state, Christmas and birthday shopping is even more difficult because we no longer have regular conversations about things we like or we might want to get someone else.


Enter the Amazon Wish List and their “Add to Wish List” add-on for internet browsers! Available for IE, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and iPad, this little button on your browser will allow you to add any item to your Amazon Wish List! Want that movie on Amazon?tag=associatizer-20 Click the button! Falling in love with that sweater on another store’s website? Click the button! You can even add the things you covet to different wish lists. I currently have 2 public lists: 1 for things I want for Christmas and 1 for things I think my daughter would like (as it should be, my daughter’s wish list is bigger than my own).

And the best part (at least for me) is that when I go look at someone’s wish list, I can have the gifts I purchase for them go to the shipping address they’ve chosen; I don’t have to remember their address or ask them for it and make them suspect that I’m up to something! And to make sure your gifts from others are kept a suprise from you, you can edit your list settings and click a little box that says “Don’t spoil my surprises.” The item you wish for will stay on your wishlist for several weeks, but you’ll be warned against duplicate purchases if you try to buy it after someone else bought it for you!

So, go ahead! Wish all you want! Tell your friends and family! You might just thank me later!

*i was not paid for this post. the picture and links posted will take you to through my affiliate link