Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on February 27, 2010 · 14 comments

It’s time again for Non-Consumer Mish-Mash, where I write a little bit about this and a little bit about that.

The Reincarnation of a Roasted Chicken

Believe in reincarnation? How about meal reincarnation? Because, this week our meals went a little something like this:

Tuesday — Roasted chicken, served with roasted new potatoes and a salad.

Wednesday — Yakisoba noodles with chicken pulled from the chicken leftovers. Mixed with leftover cauliflower from last week and broccoli.

Thursday — Mexi-bowls, which were layers of rice, beans, carmelized onions, leftover potatoes, broccoli, cheese, avocado, tomatoes leftover from last week’s tacos, salsa and sour cream.

Friday — Chicken soup made from the last of the chicken, stock was homemade, and leftover rice from the Mexi-bowls was added.

My favorite part of all these meals was that one chicken was able to be stretched into three separate meals. And I spent $3.88 to buy it.

Unlike Kristen over at The Frugal Girl, I do not schedule out a meal plan. Instead I stock the cupboards and buy a few ingredients here and there to supplement. However, I might be singing a different song if I had to pack up four small children every time I went grocery shopping. We both are doing what works best for our individual situations. ♥ her.


I have a hard time staying motivated with the stupor inducing more routine tasks of daily life. Putting laundry away, doing dishes and keeping on top of paper clutter just don’t hold my attention. I’ve found that motivational tricks have a very short lifespan, and I have to constantly be on the lookout for fresh ideas.

I was going about my household routine the other day when it occurred to me that I would be much more likely to jump on my chores if I got a small chocolate at the end. Right then and there, I came up with the idea of a paper wrapped chocolate printed with the words “To-Do.”

Finish an item on your to-do list, get a treat. Very behavioral therapy, very Pavlovian. This, I decided was my million dollar idea.

So I bought a bag of Peppermint Patties at the store today fulling intending to put my idea into action.

But first I needed to check my e-mail to see if there were any blog comments to moderate, and while I was at it, I should probably have a chocolate mint to get the ball rolling. Mmm . . . maybe one more, and perhaps another?

The boys came home from school and descended on the bag like hyenas on a particularly tasty rotten zebra.

I put the bag into the freezer to try and salvage my original plan. And guess what? Frozen Peppermint Patties are really delicious!

At this point, there were so few candies left that it wasn’t even worth trying out my original plan. *Urp*

So what did I learn from this experience? That the kind of person who needs candy as inspiration to get the laundry put away is not the kind of person who can be trusted with a bag of candy. Period.

So much for that million dollar idea. I guess I’ll have to stick with scratch-off lottery tickets.

As a complete aside, check out my mother’s revamped laundry room. As the owner of three guest cottages, my mom does more laundry than your average former beauty queen grandmother. So she turned her awful laundry room into a thing of beauty, with bright colors and even a motivational poster. Who among us could resist the motivation to run yet another load of laundry if this was lurking in our basement?!

Doesn’t it look like Peter Max might be tossing in a load of  wash?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

WilliamB February 27, 2010 at 4:03 am

I do the drudgery of life because if it sits around too long, it bugs the hell out of me. Is there a TV or radio show you like, or books on tape to listen to while you do drudgery?

Your chocolate reward amused me to no end. It’s so true!

Your mom’s laundry room is a hoot! I bet, with those washers, you want to bring *your* laundry over when you clean.


Sense of Home February 27, 2010 at 8:17 am

Yeah, that’s pretty much how a bag of chocolate goes around here. I have to rely on music to help me get the housework done. That’s what I’m doing right now, well, except, I needed to check my email and then maybe a blog or two, anyway. Very funny! Thanks for sharing.


Judy February 27, 2010 at 9:41 am

I love your mom’s laundry room. We did something similar with ours a few years ago prior to our daughter’s wedding. Most of our house is painted with subtle pastel colors or off white. When my husband was taping off the laundry room cabinets (also my pantry) he used the bright blue masking tape. Aha, I loved the contrast with the cabinets. Thanks to Lowe’s mixing paint to match the tape, that room is now bright blue and we all love it. When you come in from the garage or backyard, or look from the kitchen or family room it is like a wakeup call to the eyes and senses.


Shannon February 27, 2010 at 9:52 am

I don’t put laundry away anymore 🙂 My husband refers to the loveseat in the living room as the “alternate wardrobe.” I get it washed, but man I hate putting it all away. Last week I got wise and made every man put his own clothes away, and surprise! It worked! Maybe if I had a cheerful, spacious laundry room like your mom’s, my kids wouldn’t have to move the baskets to watch television.


Pennie February 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

Loved your candy story–it would be so true in our household, too!

I’m of the “non-structured” food/meal-planning sort as well. It allows me to use up my leftovers and what-nots easier on the fly, and besides, I’m so terrible at following a script anyways…

My motivational tool for getting my chores done is that I don’t allow myself to sit down to the computer to read blogs, or crochet, or read, or whatever it is that seems delicious at the time, until I’ve checked off a certain number of items on my to-do list. Silly but works for me.


Lisa February 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

I love mishmash days! Most of my days are of that type. No menus here either…I cook by the seat of my pants. Meals are dictated by what’s leftover, what’s on sale, or to satisfy a particular craving.

I LOVE the laundry room. If any area of my home looked that good, I’d be too ashamed to allow it to get messed up. Hmmm…maybe that’s an indication that I should get back to doing renovations. I’ll get right on that as soon as I have my chocolate!

LOL! My weakness for chocolate – especially this Winter- has graced me with about 20 lbs to lose. I’ve concluded that the only safe chocolate is that which remains at the store. Even then, I can cook and bake chocolate fixes with my baking cocoa. Sigh… the only option that makes sense to me is to increase my activity levels.

…which brings me to the topic of routine chores…aka housework. I read recently about a lady who has turned her housework chores into an exercise routine. Rather than focusing on being efficient, she deliberately throws more movements into the mix. I suppose this could be effective if I could stay focused long enough to get any actual work done, but I already seem to have a problem in that area! Like Pennie, I get more done using ‘punishment’ as incentive. There’s no sitting, tv, crochet, or computer, etc until I get stuff done. I hope one of your readers can come up with a million dollar idea of rewards rather than punishment that would be effective.


magdalena February 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Too Stepford Wives for me! But funny!


magdalena February 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Now, I’m one of those horrid people who get the little tasks done within the needed time period. I look forward to ironing. Filing though…Although I really want to get two old boxes out of the closet and stow it properly in the briefcase, as soon as I get file folders. And other excuses.


Karen February 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I love the idea of Peter Max throwing in a load of laundry! (And who could blame him, in such a beautiful laundry room.) Now all I can think of is those elephant bell bottoms my husband wore when I first met him in 1977…! And his orange and purple psychedelic shirt. Ah, the good old days!


Katy February 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Pictures Karen, we need pictures!


Katy Wolk-Stanley
The Non-Consumer Advocate


Karen March 1, 2010 at 10:11 am

I will look around and see what I can dig up, Katy!


Laura from beautiful West Michigan March 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

Instead of candy (which I would also eat up!) I give myself half hour of work then half hour of reading or knitting. I find that I usually get into the work once I start, so sometimes, I even go longer! I have to set the timer though for the reading or knitting because otherwise I totally lose track of time. By the way, my husband and I are empty nesters, so my fun time is totally my own, except for a sweet dog gently saying “I need to go out, please!”


WilliamB March 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

Another thought – what about the “small steps” concept? The idea is that you set yourself one small task or dedicate only 15 min to a dreaded task. After that’s up, you must stop! The goal is to minimize the oppressiveness by keeping the task small.

I’m experimenting with this idea now. It doesn’t always work for me but as Angela MyYearWithoutSpending says “Baby steps, baby.”


Kaz in Oz March 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I’ve been using Facebook as my motivational bribe today. Do as much as I can in 15 minutes (love small steps)and once times up, sit at the desk and post to a friend what I’ve finished. Today this has included the dreaded washing and ironing trek back upstairs, vacuuming and tidying kids rooms. Alas, I sat down to post and then checked out Unclutterer and somehow ended up here. Looks like you have a new follower though.


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