Kids sick? So many people to call… 2 tips to mange this better

Last year the kids were sick more than 10 times. With my eldest taking a special needs bus to  school, childcare, therapists appointments and carers that help, every time she gets sick we would need to inform about 3-4 people depending on the day. The first few times we would forget and this would mean particular people suffered a financial loss.

We are very thankful that there are so many people in her life but if we didn’t call by a certain time the normal morning routine gets in the way and I kept forgetting to tell the right people on time.

Tip #1: use an app to send group email/sms

I’ve finally found an app that allows me to set up email and/Sms templates to set groups of people. I can create a generic message such as:

“Hi <name> is sick today so won’t be coming in. Hope you have a good day! Thanks <signed parents>”

I can then save this to be sent to different groups of people for the diff days.

Naming the template with the day and location helped me to quickly identify which one I needed to send.

No more trolling through my contacts and missing the one person.
Now when she is sick with a few clicks I can notify her bus driver, school, teacher, carer, therapist and of course my boss all at once.

Unfortunately I can’t link the app that I used here as my phone has since upgraded and it no longer works. There are a number of different apps if you search for ‘group sms email’ that allows you to create templates.

Thankfully, this year is much simpler in terms of carers, school and appointments, so this is no longer needed. Instead of we have gone low tech using a summary sheet of emergency numbers on the fridge and on speed dial on the phone. So whilst, this may not be needed for every family, it’s a great tip for when you need it.

Tip #2: group emergency contacts

Grouping all the numbers you might need in a particular emergency is the best way to be able to use it at a moments notice.

In particular we have a home doctor service that always asks the same information, I keep that all summarised on our emergency contact list. This allows us to easily access it when on the phone, attempting to book a doctor.

Small time savers make the difference. What’s your time saver?

Recipe: quick one pot spaghetti bolognaise

Spaghetti bolognaise is the first dish my mum taught me to make from scratch when I first moved out of home, so it’s one of the few dishes that I can do without a recipe and know how to adjust. Normally it’s on the stove but with the addition of two expensive appliances in my kitchen this year, and with two hungry kids needing some dinner I thought I’d try my hand in some shortcuts “just to see” if it was faster. Normally I would cut the veggies by hand but I’ve found my 3 year old is very good a picking them out of her food, so I thought I would try blending the veggies this time.

Ingredients

2 carrots

2 zucchinis

1 capsicum

1 onion

4 knobs of garlic (I actually didn’t have this but it would have added a LOT more flavour)

2 cans of tomatoes

1 can of tomato paste

2 Tbsp virgin cold pressed coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil)

500g beef mince

500g penne pasta (or any other type of pasta)

1 Tbsp oregano

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp parsley

1 Tbsp of sugar

Salt

pepper

Materials

Vitamix – or any blender/food processor

Instant pot/pressure cooker

Wooden spatula

Method

  • Wash and cut ends off veggies and pop them straight into the Vitamix
  • Add 2 cans of organic tomatoes, 1 can of organic tomato paste
  • Blend on speed 1 for 10 seconds using the tamper, turn up to speed 3 and pulse to desired consistency. [optional: add a little more water and then turn up to speed 10 for 6 min and use it to heat up the sauce]
  • Salt and pepper the mince
  • Turn on the pressure cooker to the stir fry setting and add the coconut oil before it heats up
  • Stir fry the mince for 5-10min or until mostly browned.
  • Add the blended sauce and stir through
  • Add herbs of your choice – I used oregano, basil and parsley. Note: the quantities are approximate, you can adjust this to taste.
  • Fill the Vitamix jug half way with water (approx 4 cups) and pour it in the used tomato tins swirl then pour it back in the jug. Pour the resulting tomato juice into the pressure cooker pot.
  • Add 500g pasta and stir, ensuring the sauce covers the pasta.
  • Put the lid on the pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 13 min for al dente (for a lower glycaemic index) or 15min for softer pasta.

     

    Serves approx. 8 people

    Total preparation time: 10-15min

    Cooking time: 13min

    Total time from fridge to plate: 25-30min

     

    The verdict

    I stopped the cooker after 13 min and let the steam out and the pasta turned out to be al dente. However, if you prefer a softer pasta, you can try it for 15-20min instead.

    For my first attempt I left out the sugar, so it was a little sour.

    Was it faster? Possibly.

    Was it easier? Definitely.

    Would I do it again? Definitely.

     What are your super quick go to recipes? If you have any great time-saving tips in the kitchen then I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.