This Weeks Menu 1/4 – 1/10

VintageHousewifeCooking

Sunday 1/4Breaded Pork Chops w/ Carrots & Green Beans

Monday 1/5Pan Fried Trout w/ Sauteed Squash, Zucchini, & Onions

Tuesday 1/6Chili Lime Tilapia w/ Asparagus

Wednesday 1/7Lemon Rosemary Salmon w/ Steamed Winter Vegetables

Thursday 1/8Rosemary Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb w/ Red Potatoes

Friday 1/9Grilled Tilapia w/ lemon butter & capers w/ asparagus

Saturday 1/10Olive Oil Poached Salmon & Artichoke w/ Lemon, Garlic, Mayo Dipping Sauce

Please feel free to reach me through the contact page or email me at theretrohousewifelife@gmail.com for any of these recipes 🙂

Hello Fresh – Review & Discount Code!

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I love to cook.  I love trying new foods, learning about new ingredients, and best of all, seeing the smiles on my family’s faces as the enjoy the delicious meal I’ve just cooked for them.  Unfortunately, creating gourmet meals at home is incredibly time consuming and expensive.  You have to find the right recipe, get the sometimes impossible to find ingredients, make sure you get the freshest meats and produce, etc.  It can be a lot of work to put a great meal on the table!

Until now.

Hello Fresh makes putting a delicious meal on the table as easy as opening a box and following directions.  I’m able to have the freshest ingredients along with an easy to follow, step-by-step recipe delivered right to my doorstep!  Hello Fresh, where have you been all my life?

Hello Fresh is a weekly meal delivery service that you can have as often or not as you’d like.  It’s so simple, you go online and fill out your profile including dietary preferences, select how often you’d like your deliveries, and wait for that lovely box to arrive to your home.  That’s it!  No more meal planning or walking up and down the aisles at the grocery store trying to find what you need.  Hello Fresh delivers it all right to you, and the ingredients are even already portioned out for you!  The box is also insulated and full of ice packs, so if you’re not home right when the box arrives you don’t have to worry about ingredients spoiling.

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I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out my very own HelloFresh box at home!

The first meal I made was the Creamy Penne w/ Chicken & Sun-Dired Tomatoes.  Here is the recipe card:

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As you can see it lists all of the necessary ingredients, all of which were included in the box except for the olive oil.  I love that it also gives you the nutritional information!  On the backside of the card they give you step by step directions including pictures.  I promise you, even the most novice of cooks can follow the directions and end up with a delicious meal for your family.  The pasta was delicious!  It was very rich and flavorful, the kids kept stealing it off of our plates!

Next was the Caramelized Onion Shepherd’s Pie.  Here’s the recipe card:

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I have to tell you I was very nervous about making this one.  My husband grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie, and his mother is an excellent cook.  I’ve never even tried to make it just for that reason, so I was really hoping that this would compare.  It ended up being a huge success, and he even asked that I start making it using this exact recipe!  Thank you Hello Fresh 🙂

The third meal I made was the Mustard Crusted Trout.  We eat a lot of fish in our house, so I was really excited to try a new fish recipe.  Here’s the recipe card:

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Absolutely delicious!  The trout was very good quality and the flavors were excellent.  I will definitely be repeating this recipe again in the future.

 

With Hello Fresh, you are getting the “best of the best” ingredients.  Everything is local and farm fresh, and they even have an in-house dietician that approves all the meals.  Having professional chef’s design your meals also means you get to learn about new ingredients, as well cook new things you wouldn’t usually make at home.  As a housewife, it really helps relieve the stress of finding recipes, menu planning, and grocery shopping.  Sometimes I feel like I’m at the grocery store half the day by the time I’m done, so I’ll definitely be using Hello Fresh again.

Hello Fresh and myself want all the readers of The Retro Housewife Life to try their amazing service too… so they are offering 25% off your first order!  Use the code HELLORETRO at checkout.

 

* Disclaimer: I was given one free box from HelloFresh for this review.

How To Keep the Holidays as Stress Free as Possible

Thanksgiving came and left in the blink of an eye.  Isn’t it amazing how we spend an entire day cooking (sometimes even two!) just for one night of dinner?  It is a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.  Bringing family and friends together over an enormous, delicious dinner one night of the year is priceless.  It also seems to be the one night when the children actually eat their dinner!

Along with all the joy and love that the holidays bring, it also brings an enormous amount of stress.  Family members stopping by or staying over, decorating, cooking, cleaning, shopping… it seems to never end.  The holidays should be a time to celebrate, not to be stressed out!  Here’s how you do it.

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Lists, lists, lists.

I swear I could not function without making lists!  Really, I don’t know how anyone functions without making lists.  When you try to rely on keeping everything memorized in your head is when things are forgotten and mistakes happen, which definitely add to your stress.  As mothers and wives we are pulled in a million different directions at all times, so having a list to rely on to remember things rather than our memory is a huge help.

Here are all of the things you should create a list for in preparation of the upcoming holiday:

Christmas Card Recipients

Christmas Gift Recipients & What They Will Be Receiving

Christmas Dinner Menu

Christmas Dinner Groceries

If you are going to have guests staying over you will also need:

Guests Visiting & Arrival/Departure Dates

Checklist for essential guestroom items

(If you also celebrate on Christmas Eve as well you will need to add it to the list)

 

Along with your lists, you will also need to schedule dates for everything.  You want to have a date set for when you will have all your Christmas cards completed and sent out by, when all your gifts will be purchased and wrapped and mailed if necessary, what day you are going to put up all of your Christmas decor, when you are going to grocery shop for your Christmas dinner groceries, what foods you can make or prep in advance and how long,

Besides creating lists and schedules, I also recommend keeping extras of things just to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.  What if another family member wants to stop by or stay over?  Maybe you receive a gift or Christmas card from someone that you didn’t expect?  Extra Christmas cards are a must, and having a few gift cards from popular places like Amazon, Target, or Starbucks make it easy to give a gift to someone you weren’t expecting.  Also having extra travel size toiletries and towels can be so helpful.

Eliminating stress during the holidays means having everything prepared so you are not sitting around worrying or trying to remember something.  Have it all written out and done in advance!  Another huge help is sticking to your cleaning schedule!  You won’t have to worry about doing any major cleaning before guests arrive because it will already be done.

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So sit down, get organized, and have a stress free holiday!

 

 

 

 

Living a Selfless Life

That’s what it’s all really about, living a selfless life.  All the posts I write about being submissive, being a mother, being a housewife, the common theme is that you put your families needs before your own.  You may think to yourself “Well, I do that all the time!  I’m always doing things for them!”  But when it comes down to it, are you really?  Are you doing things without asking for or expecting anything in return?  Are you truly living selflessly?

1950s HOUSEWIFE IN KITCHEN HAVING HUSBAND TASTE FOOD ON STOVE

My husbands needs, wants, etc. are met before anyone else’s.  There’s no question about it. He knows it.  I know it.  The children know it.  He is the head of the household, and he is cared for first.  Please don’t take that to the extreme, it’s a general statement.  If a child is injured, sick, crying, etc. obviously they have to be tended to first at that moment.  We are reasonable, logical, caring people, but there is definite order within our household.  I’ve used this analogy before, but I believe it is so accurate.  A Fortune 500 company doesn’t have two CEO’s or two Presidents, they have one.  One person that is in charge and has the final say.  It doesn’t mean that the rest of the employees or board members aren’t heard or aren’t important, but there is one person that makes the final decision about things.  That is what makes these companies run smoothly and successfully.  The same works for a family.  Think of your husband as the CEO or President, you can be the VP.  You are still very important with a role that is essential to the company being successful and running smoothly.  The company couldn’t run with just the President, he needs the VP there too.

By being able to step down and let your husband take the role that comes naturally to him, you are truly doing your family a favor.  You are benefiting everyone, including yourself.  A wife and mother have endless responsibilities as it is tending to the house and children, let your husband be in charge and make the tough decisions for you… let him alleviate some of that stress for you!  Not only does it benefit you, but it benefits him.  Taking this role is what is natural to him, and you will see him become more loving and comfortable in his role, you will see him succeed because this is what he was born to do.  Your children will benefit because they see a strong leader and a loving relationship between their parents, and it will really influence them in a positive way by setting good standards and morals.  The family was meant to function a certain way, and doing so will make it successful.  So why have we strayed so far from a method that works?

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In my opinion, it’s about personal wants and needs.  To say it bluntly, selfishness.  A mother, instead of spending time with her young child and raising them herself, brings them to a nanny or daycare so she can take on a career in an office setting.  Who is this benefiting?  Definitely not the child(ren).  The child(ren) wants to be with their mother.  But the mother chooses a career instead of motherhood.  This is most definitely not living selflessly.  And many times mothers that are working are not able to take on the wifely role at home either.  This is not good for a marriage as the husband is now forced to take on many “wifely duties” in order to help out.  It is unnatural, and will likely cause strain within a marriage.  The wife is upset because she feels the husband should help out more, and the husband is upset because he feels the wife needs to be responsible for her duties as a wife.

Did you know only 29% of women choose to be stay at home mothers?  I understand of course that some women don’t have a choice, they may be single mothers or the family cannot afford for her to not work.  That is a different situation.  But when a woman has the choice, why would she choose to spend time in an office instead of with her children?  This is something I will never truly understand.

So I urge you all, take a step back and look at your family dynamics.  Are you allowing your husband and yourself to take on your natural roles?  If not, make a change, it’s never too late.  You will see such improvement and happiness in your lives!

My thoughts on our drastic changes in behavior.

Let’s start by thinking about one simple concept.  Could you imagine talking or acting towards your parents the way your children do to you?

Really, take a few minutes to think about that.

Hopefully you can own up to the fact that the answer to that question is no.  Never in a million years would it be ok.  I’m not saying that your children or mine are horrible, but my goodness how times have changed.  The manners and etiquette of children is nothing like it use to be.  In today’s day and age most kids spend their time with their eyes glued to a TV, tablet, or smartphone.  And it seems to be happening at a younger age.

How often do you see a young boy holding a door open for a woman or girl, taking of his hat when he goes into a building or speaks to a lady, or even pull out a chair for her at a meal?  How many times a day do you see a child talking back, arguing, and being downright disrespectful to their parents?

Mother seeing children off to school

Perhaps one major thing that has changed is the way we view our families.  Today, children seem to be the complete center of our universe.  Our lives revolve around them.  And in many families the children’s needs even come before a spouses.  In the 1950’s, this was not the case.  I’m not saying they didn’t love or care for their children, that wasn’t the case at all.  But the family dynamic was different.  Mom and Dad were the King and Queen, the rulers, they were in charge and questioning them was not considered.  More than anything, they were treated with respect.  Never did they have to ask their children to put their phone or ipad down and help bring in the groceries.  Children did this because it was expected of them.

We’ve all heard the expression “speak when you are spoken to”.  I admit my children most definitely do not follow this rule.  Children of the 1950’s however did.  They had this respect for their parents and other adults that I feel has been completely lost in our modern times.

I hope you don’t think I sound like a broken record, but I think there is one very obvious thing that has changed in the lives of children since the 1950’s.  The role of women.  I’m not saying we should go back in time when women weren’t allowed to vote, drive, or have a voice.  I don’t believe that and I believe the original idea of feminism has done wonders for women all over the world.  But a major change is that the majority of women are not at home, they are not the ones raising their children.  The majority of children today are raised by teachers in day care centers, after school programs, or a nanny.  Mother’s are not the woman raising their own children.

And these care takers cannot be blamed.  They are not the parents.  Sadly, when you see a child that continuously misbehaves, say at your child’s school, have you noticed their family dynamic?  Is the mother there dropping her child off at school and picking them up?  Is there a father in the picture?

That’s another thing that I believe has contributed to the downfall in children’s behavior.  Divorce rates are higher than ever and continue to rise.  Do you know what the divorce rate in the 1950’s was?  It ranged between 20-25%.  Today it is 50%.  It has doubled!  There is no question that divorce has a negative affect on children, and perhaps their decline in behavior is a result of this.

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The “golden age” is lost, and it seems as though things are only getting worse.  We are at the point now where we can’t even let our children walk to the store to get a candy bar, or ride their bikes up and down the street in the neighborhood.  It’s no longer safe.  I think of what a drastic change just the last 20 years have been, what is in store for us in the next 20?

Sweeten Up Your Weekend

 

Sweeten up your weekend with some delicious chocolate chip cookies!  Not only do they taste great, but children love to help make them!  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 lb unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3 cups baking flour

1/2 tbl salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 16 oz bag chocolate chips

 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Using your mixer, combine butter, both sugars, and eggs. 
  • Put mixer speed to low and add flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips. Mix until well combined. 
  • Use a large cookie scoop and scoop dough onto a lined baking sheet. You want your dough balls to be approx 2 inches apart. 
  • Cook for approx 20 min or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. 

 

The Evil Stepmother

I’ve known her since before I can remember.  She was in Cinderella, Snow White, Ever After, Tangled, even Hansel and Gretel.

She is the evil, wicked stepmother.

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Now I know of course Disney is not to blame for this.  They simply took stories and turned them into movies.  However, if you think about children start watching these movies at a very young age, my daughter was about 2 when she started her Disney Princess obsession.  So, starting at the age of 2 are 3 they see a stepmother as an evil figure.  She is an awful, jealous, cruel woman.  At this young age, stepmothers are given the label of “bad”.

And as they get older, things don’t change.  I can’t count the number of movies that portray the stepmother aw awful, often times being referred to as a “stepmonster”.  It’s as if all step-moms out there are being setup for failure!

This came to my attention when I was in the kitchen with my significant other’s 5 year old daughter.  She was helping me prepare dinner when she suddenly turns toward me and says “Nicki, I don’t want you to be my stepmom.”  Obviously this caught my completely off guard and I was right away nervous about where this conversation was going.  So I simply said, “Ok, why not?”  “Because stepmoms are bad.” she answered. “Why do you say that?”  And then she paused for about 30 seconds and replied “I don’t know, they just are.”

 

As I continued stirring my spaghetti sauce I sat there trying to figure out where this idea came from.  I don’t believe anyone told her this, and the fact that she didn’t know why she thought that, she just did.  Obviously this idea has just been sort of “implanted” in her mind through these stories and movies.

Now trust me, I am not trying to beat up on Disney Princess Movies.  I love them and own just about every single one of them.  I just find it very interesting that there is definitely a universal theme about stepmothers, and it has definitely impacted children on how they view stepmothers.

Have any of you experienced anything like this?  I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions!