Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The easiest ongoing shopping list (free template!)

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

Do you hate wandering aimlessly through the aisles, trying to remember which one has the salad dressing, peering at a hastily scribbled list and trying to decipher if that addition by a family member says beef or beer? Do you hate getting home, only to realize you forgot five things you needed for the week's meals?

I recently came up with an incredibly easy shopping list hack that I want to share with you. It's an ongoing shopping list that's targeted to our family and that matches the order of the aisles in our local grocery store.


Allow me to elucidate.

I wanted this list to have five salient features:
  1. Offline: My husband doesn't believe in new technology. His phone cannot handle a fancy app that syncs with mine. In any case, I actually do prefer to have a physical list on the fridge, because that's where we're thinking about what food we need.
  2. Tracking all our regular purchases: We wanted to see at a glance what foods we normally buy so we could run down the list before a shopping trip as we checked our stock of essentials.
  3. In aisle order: I wanted to walk from one end of our usual store(s) to the other, gathering our groceries in an efficient manner as I went.
  4. Easy to mark: I needed this list to work well from a practical standpoint. It needed to be easy to see what we wanted to buy, what we'd already gotten, and any notes or additions we had.
  5. One page: This isn't a manifesto, people! It's a shopping list!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pokemon Go baby says Pikachu

He might be too young to play it, but he's not too young to say it.

Well worth the 24 seconds this takes to watch:

P.S. If you can't tell by the awe-inspiring attitude,
someone just turned 2.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The best photo of the kids

We went to JC Penney for our annual family portraits.

It gets hairier the more kids we have,
because we have so many occasions to shoehorn in.

In the fall, we have to manage
the older kids' "school" photos
(I don't think even homeschool kids should be exempt
from an awkwardly smiling yearly head-and-shoulders shot)
and the youngest child's commemoration of turning another year old.

We also about this time start thinking
we could really use another portrait
of all five of us.

So many frames.

Add in the fact that my kids are
at posing for photos.
They don't seem to know you're supposed to look toward the lens.
They are incapable of arranging their bodies as instructed.
They don't know how to order their muscles into a smile.
They just have no earthly idea.
Coaching, showing them a mirror, trying to get them to giggle
— no dice.

I actually enjoy cataloging their awful smiles
and know they'll have a laugh looking back at them someday.

Anyway, we broke our portrait session into two this time,
so we didn't have to manage ALL those poses in one meager day.

This meant, too, that if something went awry in one session,
we had the next session to try, try again.

Enter: The photo of all three brothers together.

Getting three kids to look at a camera and look pleasant,
all at the same time,
is a pip, my friends.

And I didn't know, when reviewing the captures of the day,
whether we'd miraculously get anything better the next time.

So I chose this.

Are you ready?

You're really ready?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Read along with us! Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl

Hobo Mama wants you to know she's a professional blogger! Look at how professional she's being!

We're having piratey fun reading this book Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl, by Sanae Ishida, a children's picture book about a ninja girl and her samurai friend who learn the value of shugyo (practice & discipline).

It's got delightful watercolor illustrations with whimsical details. You and your kids will love the silliness throughout, and the message is one that I think we all need to hear: that being good at something almost always takes practice, practice, practice.

Plus, isn't it nice to see a ninja girl?

Learn more about Sanae Ishida, a Seattle artist and author, at her page. I learned, for instance, that her name is pronounced Sun-eye, so now I know, and she has a new book out for grown-ups that also looks fabuloso called Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well. (Doesn't that sound like fun?!) Visit Sasquatch Books, the publisher of Little Kunoichi, here.