Resources to help you make the most of your pandemic pantry

Store cupboard recipes to make the most of your pantry. 
#pandemic #coronavirus #COVID-19 #stayathome

Life in lockdown – it’s been just over a week and we’re starting to fall into a bit of a routine. I’m finding it helpful to focus on all the things I can do, rather than the things I can’t. We’re very fortunate that our daily lives are relatively untouched. We’re not essential workers, we work mostly from home anyway, we still have work and our cosy little house in the sun. The beach is still right there and we can still go for a walk. 

One thing that has changed, I can’t just nip to the shops and it’s a bit of a lottery as to what’s left when you get there (although I hear that’s calmed down). I’m trying to avoid going to the supermarket and that means making good use of what I’ve got in my pantry. It’s a bit like a month-long MasterChef mystery box challenge. 

I’ve always been good at working with whatever’s in the cupboard, but it isn’t so much fun when I HAVE to do it. It took me a while to adapt to the new normal, but I’ve found my groove and I’m quite enjoying it. Finding some inspiration online definitely helped. Here’s a roundup of resources that I’ve found useful and you might too. 

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Tips for working from home

I’m writing this shortly after the Prime Minister of New Zealand asked all New Zealanders to work from home if they can in order to slow the spread of Covid-19, echoing moves around the world. In the midst of this big, scary pandemic, and all the changes that come with it, I hope that sharing my experience can make one change a little bit easier. 

Tips for working from home
Not my desk! Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Working from home can take some adjustment. I’ve mostly worked from home for the last three years, and my husband for over 10 years. It’s our preferred way of working. I’ve pulled together our advice on making working from home work well.

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Adventure – my word for the year for 2020

Adventure - my guiding word for 2020

To celebrate the end of the school year, we went out for dinner as a family. This isn’t something we’ve done before. We’ve consumed food in cafes, pubs and restaurants at dinner time, but in the context of desperately trying to survive a social engagement with a rapidly expiring child. Chips and pizza were often involved.

This was different – it was an occasion. We all put on nice-ish clothes and headed to a local Indian restaurant I’d heard good things about. Excited, but with the odd tinge of apprehension we walked into the restaurant. Hopes were high for a fun night – and it was. It was new and different and lots of fun. 

Reflecting on the evening, it was evident that our family is in a new season of life. 

That family outing was the inspiration for my word for 2020 – ADVENTURE. 

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Everyday ways to help your future self

Everyday ways to help your future self - simple living

Do you keep biscuits (cookies for North American readers) in the house? I like to have them as a treat when kids come to play, but I don’t normally keep them in the house. Rather than saving the biscuits for guests, we (and by “we” I mean my husband and his 6-year-old accomplice) invariably end up eating them right after we buy them.

Instead, I keep the ingredients for biscuits ready to go and whip up a batch before someone comes over. Except, that’s just another thing to do, is useless for impromptu guests and we end up eating all the leftovers. At least, that was the scenario until I discovered slice-and bake-biscuits . Problem solved. Every so often, I make a big batch of dough that sits in the freezer, ready to slice and bake when needed. No dashing about before friends arrive, no eating too many biscuits.

This is very much at the trivial end of the spectrum of world problems, and finding a solution is hardly world changing. But I thought it was worth sharing as there are a lot of trivialities in everyday life and when added up they’re not inconsequential. Freeing yourself from little everyday annoyances and dilemmas can make a big difference.

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Starting as you mean to continue – gratitude in the morning

My Mum recently found an old Garfield toy of mine in her attic. I loved Garfield as a child – we both liked lasagne and hated mornings.

garfieldmornings

July in New Zealand means dark winter mornings – getting up when it’s dark outside puts me out of kilter and can leave a cloud hanging over my whole day. Spring will come, but in the meantime, I’m open to strategies to beat the winter blues.

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Staying home and remaining sane

I’ve been both a working mum and a stay at home mum and they each have their difficulties. I’m fortunate that I have a choice and I’m happy with the choices I’ve made. That’s not to say that I love every minute.

The challenge

Right now I am a stay at home mum. One of my motivations to leave work was to stop the rushing and have time to enjoy life, rather than just survive. One of my biggest challenges now is that I have all the time in the world, but often not much control over how I spend it.

The rhythm of my day is driven (if not dictated) by my little one. He is my constant companion and, at times, a fairly demanding one. This is what it is and that is how it’s going to be. I accept that, but I also acknowledge that it can be draining.

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