Super Busy Start To The Summer

Oh my goodness, the past few weeks have been so super busy… but then again it seems that we are always so super busy anymore which is something I definitely want to work on because this Momma is exhausted! Anyway, hopefully, we will see the rewards of some of the projects we’ve been on and will be able to share them here soon.

The past couple of weeks we have been doing some major cleaning and organizing around here. I started in the storage shed where I bought a couple of big shelves from Sam’s Club when they had a special going on for Memorial Day.

 

The kids wanted to make bunk beds out of the shelves and I’ve seen some Pinterest ideas where they have used them as such but I needed them for organization. They did go together fairly easily which was a good thing. I put both shelves together one morning and then worked on the shed for a couple of days. Here is a rather embarrassing picture of the shed before:

img_7454-2

As you can see, it was nearly impossible to find anything without moving a ton of junk beforehand.

And after:

I can find my square dance outfits easily and the kids love having space where they can play with some of the neat homeschool resources they haven’t seen before. I do need to sort through a lot of stuff and donate a bit but I am so happy that I finally have all of my homeschool stuff in one place! Really, you just don’t know how happy that makes this Momma!

We also decided to tackle the porch and the results have been great even though there is still a way to go before we can start enjoying the porch like we’d like to.

Here’s a before and an after photo:

I’ve never been able to walk off of that side of the porch before and I can actually set up my Gazelle and exercise out there… I haven’t yet but I could. We can actually find our fishing poles too now when the urge to fish hits us. The kids have had great fun running in circles through one gate and out the other… Oh, what I wouldn’t do for just a wee bit of that energy!

26254b3a-31ac-466f-af01-593b5c70fbae-244-00000002cb32a690_file

We also cleaned up the yard quite a bit and gathered up limbs, trimmed trees, and I finally got my little flower garden looking halfway decent, it still needs some mulch of some sort. We have also marked quite a few trees that need to be taken down because of various reasons. This will probably happen sometime during the next week or so.

That reminds me that we are still working on eating healthier and I am constantly learning new tricks and tips on this journey and I have been reading through my Trim Healthy Mama books over and over for more information. I can honestly say that I am feeling so much better than before and even though the scale isn’t showing a lot of progress you can definitely see and feel a difference.

Free report on herbs and supplements to combat illness!

We’ve definitely found some winning recipes and then we’ve also found some ‘not my favorite’ ones too while also coming up with a few of our own. I’m also working on tweaking our old favorites to make them a bit more trimmified… is that even a word? You can check out our menu for this week HERE.

img_2692

In addition to the healthy food habits we’ve been working on I also decided to get a Berkey. You can read more about that HERE if you haven’t already. We are really enjoying the fresh clean water and it tastes SO GOOD! I also feel good knowing that we have a good way to purify water in the case of an emergency.

Click here to learn about why the Berkey Water Filters are so good!

It has also helped the littler kiddos be a bit more independent as they can reach and operate the Berkey without help. Instead of whining and complaining that no one has filled up their water bottles they can take care of it themselves… unexpected wins are GREAT!

The kids have also been learning about Emergency Preparedness in their On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure. They were surprised to see that the Herb Fairies Book they are currently ready actually mentions the book, On The Banks Of Plum Creek, that we are reading also.

Yes, I know most kids are out of school for the summer but we’ve decided just to go year round as we often need to take little breaks here and there for different things that come up. It also seems that if we break for more than a week or two at a time it takes FOREVER to get some of the kiddos back into the school routine so this is what works for us right now.

On top of all this, we are still square dancing at least two times a week and trying to keep up with two businesses. I have a wedding to officiate later this month and I need to work on some things for that as well as decide exactly what I plan to wear… I might need to buy something to wear but don’t tell Mr. Awesome… Shhhh! I’ve also been working on getting the kids caught up with dentist appointments and just made appointments for everyone to get their yearly physicals… Oh, what fun that will be! I’ve really been enjoying the ease of the Walmart Grocery Pickup service as I can go to the dentist and pick up my groceries on the way home… multitasking at it’s finest.

I’m sure there are a ton of things that I’ve forgotten to mention but maybe I’ll remember them and include them in on the next one. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and have a lot of fun plans! I’ve got to get off of here as I still have a ton of things to do today like give the dog a bath and make dinner among other things.

Talk to you soon!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Meet Our New Berkey!

Oh my gosh! I was so excited last night when we got home from the dance. I had a couple of big boxes sitting on my recently cleaned off porch… another story for another day as we’ve been doing a lot of changes around here and may have even more to come.

Ya’ll know that we’ve really been trying to make some healthier choices around here and one of those is to drink more water. Now we did drink our fair share but I know that I need to increase my water intake a bit because water is so vital to being healthy and I want to set a good example for my kiddos. I just had a harder time with it for a couple of reason.

Our water is hard water and even with the water system, it has had a kind of smell and taste. Well, to me it does. There are a few people who don’t seem to notice it at all but I grew up on spring water from the mountains and this water is not spring water! On top of the smell and taste, it has had a bit of an orangey color to it… GROSS! TRIPLE GROSS!

Related image Continue reading Meet Our New Berkey!

All-Purpose Baking Blend

As many of you know we are on a healthy eating journey and I have been scouring the web for alternatives to many of our favorite recipes. The hardest thing for me was finding a baking blend that we liked. Many of the blends were either too expensive or just didn’t have a texture that everyone seemed to like.

After a little bit of trial and error, we have found a blend that works well for us and we have been testing this out with some of the Trim Healthy Mama recipes that call for their baking blend. This recipe has worked well for us so far but if I find anything that needs to be tweaked I will update the recipe. You may want to try making a half a batch when to give it a try before making the big batch that we make here. I also found this great container to hold my big batch. (You can also find it and most of the ingredients below at some Walmarts or just add them to your grocery pickup order so you don’t have to search for them.) 😉

91MRZ-STs3L._AC_UL320_

All-Purpose Baking Blend

Ingredients:

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients together in a container with a tight-fitting lid (or a big mixing bowl) and shake or mix thoroughly.

We have been using this as a 1:1 ratio for recipes calling for the THM Baking Blend.

Note: You can also add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sunflower Lecithin for every 1 cup of flour used in your baked goods. Dissolve the powdered lecithin (or use the oil) in the liquid ingredients before mixing together.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

This is such an easy and delicious way to get some greens into your diet. They are good served with any meal as well. I know I always wanted to eat my spinach so I could be strong like Popeye but most kids nowadays don’t know who Popeye is and they don’t want anything to do with green veggies. My kiddos love this stuff though!

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients:

Directions:

Heat the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the spinach to the skillet and cover; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle in the seasonings and cover again for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and/or nutritional yeast, if desired.

Serve immediately.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Super Yummy Caulitaters

When Mr. Awesome made the decision to give up some of his favorite foods I knew I had to get creative with some alternatives to the potato dishes that we eat so frequently. I had tried to make some ‘fake taters’ before without success but this time we finally had a winner.

This version is close to what they have in the Trim Healthy Mama books but may not be entirely on the plan as I have added a few extra ingredients which takes them to a whole nother level! If your crew isn’t entirely sold on the idea of cauliflower taters then try using half potatoes and half cauliflower, to begin with. These are really good on top of Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet as well! (You can sneak some extra veggies and/or spinach into that recipe as well!)

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 c. cauliflower florets (can be fresh or frozen)
  • 4 T. butter
  • 2-3 T. sour cream
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 t. nutritional yeast, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste (we like to use mineral salt or Lawry’s garlic salt)
  • bacon bits, optional
  • chives, optional

Directions:

Steam or boil the cauliflower until tender.

Drain well, pressing down a bit to get out as much water as possible.

Place into the food processor and add the remaining ingredients except for bacon bits and chives.

Blend until smooth and season to taste.

Garnish with bacon bits and/or chives, if desired.

Serve with any meal where you normally serve mashed potatoes.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Do you have a wanderer?

I know I just recently posted about a bad dream I had but yet again I have another topic that we really don’t want to think about. Just recently a story made the news in our area about a young child who had wandered out and the result was a tragedy.

The babysitter had fallen asleep and the little one wandered out the door without her knowing. In our area we have a lot of retention ponds as we have a lot of wet areas and when it rains the extra water needs somewhere to go. Many of these ponds are fenced in but there are many that are not.

This little guy somehow managed to find his way to a pond that wasn’t fenced in and he fell in. No one knew he was missing until it was too late. A family has lost something that can never be replaced and a whole community is grieving.

The news has countless stories of children who have wandered away from home. Sometimes they are searching for days before they find them. Other times they never find them at all and the searches are called off. For every happy ending, it seems that there are a few with tragic endings.

I know how hard it is when you have young ones. They love to explore and they love to be outside. Even older children love these things too but generally, they have been taught some safety rules. Then you some of the special needs children, like one of mine, who are drawn to the water. They will do anything to get to the water and all they can think about is how much it is to play in the water. It can be very challenging to help them overcome their urges. Continue reading Do you have a wanderer?

10 Foods to Fight Depression & Anxiety in Kids

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Statistics are grim: 1/3 of our kids and teens experience anxiety or depression, and we’ve seen a massive increase in recent years.

May 6th is Childhood Depression Awareness Day – but rather than figure OUT if and when our kids have depression (or anxiety!!), wouldn’t it be better to PREVENT and actually HEAL from it!?!?

Don’t let your kids be a statistic… grab a copy of this FREE download: 10 Foods to Fight Depression & Anxiety in Kids today!

I just grabbed my FREE copy and I can’t wait to try out some of these great recipes!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Celebrate Earth Day With Grove!

Happy Saturday! You guys know how much I love shopping with Grove and all the fantastic products I get from there, so I wanted to let you all know that with Earth Day just days away Grove is featuring a free gift bundle ($30 value) for New Customers!

This eco-friendly and sustainable bundle features innovative Grove products that your family is sure to love such as the Grove concentrated solutions. These solutions feature a reusable glass spray bottle that will allow your audience to do their part in reducing the amount of plastic that enters the ecosystem. I love the glass bottles and concentrates!

In addition, you can shop the wide variety of Grove sustainable products from reusable straws and plastic bags to eco-friendly hand soap, dish soap, and laundry detergentWe’ve just switched to the Grove Collaborative – Ultra-Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent in the Citrus & Woods scent as it comes in refill packages for less waste!

Please see below for the full details of the Earth Day bundle contents:

Grove Earth Day Bundle Contents: 
✦ Grove Concentrates (3 pack)
✦ Grove Glass Spray Bottle
✦ Grove Cleaning Caddy
✦ Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges

So what are you waiting for?  Shop with Grove for all of your cleaning and laundry supplies while doing your part to help our planet!

Earth Day Exclusive: Receive an Earth-Friendly Cleaning Kit

for FREE with your 1st purchase of $20+ 

 

**This post does contain affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Be The Parent You’ve Always Wanted To Be

Some of you may remember that I’ve mentioned I have a couple of special needs kiddos. These two have been quite challenging and I have faced many parenting issues that have been quite difficult to get through… I mean like heart wrenching issues that made me doubt my abilities to parent them at all.

Well, a lot of those doubts, fears, and worries have vanished and faded away after I started taking the Positive Parenting Solutions Course. Just the first course made me feel more confident in my abilities and gave me some tools to put to use right away. The changes have been amazing and I only wish I had found out about this course sooner.

You’ve tried everything: Time-outs. Reward charts. Counting to three. Punishments. Nothing works.

If you or someone you know has been facing parenting difficulties then you need to check this out, NOW! Don’t wait because you are losing precious time… stop the yelling, stop the threatening, stop feeling defeated and give this a try.

Guaranteed to transform your family… or your money back!

No More Lines At The Checkout!

Do you hate grocery shopping as much as I do? Well, it hasn’t always been like that for me but here lately it just seems like we stay so busy I can’t find time to get the shopping done. I do like to find deals but I haven’t had a lot of time for couponing either.

Another issue that we’ve had is that the path to our local Walmart, which is normally less than 15 minutes away, has been undergoing some MAJOR reconstruction and it is such a mess! I really HATE driving into town but that’s really the only place close to go too… what’s a busy Momma to do?

Well, a lot of our appointments happen to be about 45 minutes away from where we live and there just happens to be a Walmart on the way back home. Still, the idea of dragging 5 kiddos into the grocery store after we’ve been sitting for a couple of hours is not a pleasant one. Granted my kiddos are generally pretty well behaved but I’m usually ready to get home. Then it never fails that we get to the front of the store to check out and there will only be one checkout open! Seriously???

Here comes the part where I have learned how to avoid those grocery shopping blues, long lines, and guilt from buying way too much junk food. Are you ready? I’ve been using the Walmart Grocery Pickup for the past few months and I LOVE IT! I don’t use it every time and sometimes I go to Sam’s Club as they have a very similar service… Yes, I know I sound lazy and maybe I am a little but there are so many more things that need my attention and energy so anything that makes my life a little bit easier is something to love. Did I mention that the pickup service is FREE? Yep, I said FREE!

A big ‘Thank You’ to Daniel for helping us load everything into the van.

Right now you can give the Walmart Grocery Pick up a try and get $10.00 off your first order and Sam’s Club is offering a $20 e-gift card after you join. Yes, we will get a small little kickback if you order through one of my links and we appreciate anything anyone does but really we wouldn’t recommend these apps and services if we didn’t love them as well.

There are so many added benefits for us like saving money on gas and the time saved! Have you given it a try yet? If so, what has your experience been like? If not then you should go ahead and try it out!

I mean it! Click the link, add the groceries to your cart, select your pickup time (same day pickup is often available), and check out now!

Walmart Grocery Pickup

Save time and money by using their new grocery pickup service!

Tigers, Gardens, and Portfolios… oh My!

Have you checked out the great products over at UnitStudy.com? What are unit studies? They are a great way to help kids learn about a topic in a fun way that they will remember.

My kiddos love unit studies and they have so much fun learning about so many different topics. Units studies have made my life easier as I can take things that my kids are interested in today and let them learn about it in a way that encourages them to keep learning.

Unit studies don’t have to be a ‘homeschool only’ kind of thing either. Summer vacation is coming up and maybe you need some fun ways to keep your kids entertained. By using unit studies you can help them to learn about new topics and help prevent that dreaded ‘Summer Slide’.

Terrific Tigers will be marked down to just $5 for National Zoo Lovers Day
 
April 12-14 – Gardens will be marked down to just $9 for National Gardening Day
 
And it’s that time of year to make your portfolios so check out those products too!
 
Have fun!
**This post does contain affiliate links for products that we use and love in our home.
We may earn a teeny tiny commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.
These commissions help to support our blog, our family, and our homeschooling mission.
-Thank you!

Join me for The Reclaim Your Body Summit!

Wonder why 95% of dieters gain their weight back?
The answers may surprise you.

To lose weight and keep it off, you MUST have the right motivation; do it for you, not for a partner, event or season. Permanent weight loss comes from doing your “inner” work, addressing the wounds, trauma and emotional triggers that keep you eating in ways that make you fat.

It’s time to stop yo-yo dieting, discover your answers and create healthy habits that work for your body at The Reclaim Your Body Summit!

–Learn how to reclaim control when you attend this free, online event!

WHY ATTEND?
You’ll learn from others who’ve been overweight and learned how to transform their lives. Our experts bring practical wisdom and powerful tactics for healing, losing weight, keeping it off and feeling good in your body.

Your host, Mordechai, found himself 130 pounds overweight. He didn’t recognize himself in the mirror. He was a successful entrepreneur, but still felt ashamed and disappointed. He made a decision to do his “inner” work, which helped him lose the excess weight and keep it off.

He’s here to share what he learned from his journey to support you in reclaiming your bodily wisdom… once and for all!

Join us for The Reclaim Your Body Summit, if you:
• Have been on diets and can’t keep the weight off
• Are confused by diet choices and conflicting nutrition advice
• Think eating healthy is too much work or can’t taste good
• Have a secret fear that you’re “not good enough”
• Feel ready for the support you need to change your habits
• Experience anxiety every time you try to button your pants

You’re not alone. There are answers. We can heal together, reclaim energy, lose weight, and regain focus to be the amazing humans we’re meant to be.

Join me at The Reclaim Your Body Summit, online and free from May 6-12, 2019!

I look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. It’s time to stop yo-yo dieting, discover your answers and create healthy habits that work for your body at The Reclaim Your Body Summit! Register for free now!

Puddin’ Cake Time!

We were gifted with some fresh juicy strawberries earlier in the week. After eating a couple bowls of them the kids wanted to make something special. I knew just the recipe to pull out… Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake.

Here’s a few pictures of all the fun they had making it…

They had a ton of fun poking holes with the wooden spoon handle:

Then they had to pour on the jello:

img_6945

Next comes the strawberries (I think a few didn’t make it into the bowl):

Now a layer of pudding and then cool whip:

img_6941

Repeat the layers and make it pretty:

 

I tried to catch a few of them eating it but they gobbled it up way too fast!

I’m thinking the next time I might just give it a try without the vanilla pudding as I think that might taste more like a traditional shortcake… yummy!

Do you need some inspiration on how to get your kids helping out in the kitchen? Check out the Kids Can Cook Real Foods website for lots of helpful ideas!

** This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family. We may receive a small commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.

When God Says No, Not Yet…

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some BIG NEWS that we might have to share… well, unfortunately that big news is no news a this time. Yes, I’m a little heartbroken, well maybe more than a just a little.

Once again we had set out to look for a house but this time we had found the PERFECT one! It wasn’t too big or too small… in fact it was the only one we’ve seen that felt like HOME the moment I walked in the front door. I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to ‘jinx it’. I prayed and had some of my family and close friends praying about it. I also knew in my heart that I needed to be prepared for any outcome.

Everyone seemed pretty optimistic as we filled out the paperwork and submitted it for approval. Let me tell you that waiting, with fingers and toes crossed, is very agonizing. Then we got word that the loan was not approved… my heart sank. We tried again with a co-signer, then again with another company, and another with the same answer. I knew that GOD was saying NO, Not yet my child.

However now we know what the problem(s) are and we are taking steps to fix this in the future. These issues have probably caused us to miss out on this PERFECT house but I know that in the future there will be a time when GOD does say YES and it will be more than we ever expected.

Unfortunately when you are self-employed it can be rather difficult to prove your income and had we realized the issues earlier we could have made changes. One of those changes was that last month I worked on getting my Notary/Wedding Officiant Business up and going. I haven’t had any clients yet but hopefully that will change soon as I have placed a couple of ads here and there.

Although I have been paying down debts that were incurred before, during, and after my divorce my income-to-debt ratio was a couple of numbers above what they really wanted to see. I have been doing a few other miscellaneous side jobs to bring in a little bit of income to help pay down these debts a little faster.

The disappointment still hurts and I have been a bit disheartened by the whole experience. I had already gotten my hopes up, counted my chickens before they had hatched you could say, and was saving Pins and screenshots left and right. I could picture us in that house and it seemed so PERFECT. The view of the pond would’ve been the best thing to wake up to every morning and I was so looking forward to it.

I have really been missing the fact that I haven’t had my own space here… a place where I can just relax and have a time out every now and then. That house had plenty of space where I could chill out and blog or work on one of the many projects I have laying around. It would have also had the perfect area for homeschooling… sigh… it also had two bathrooms and two bath tubs!

Now bringing myself back to reality and out of my daydreams has been hard. Have I questioned GOD? No, honestly I haven’t because I know from past experiences that I must trust HIS plan and not question it because HE knows our future and HE knows what is in store for us down the road. It is a hard thing to accept that HE has said NO to this when it all felt so right.

It is a very hard thing on some days more than others. I can remember when I first walked in and I saw the kids faces… they were so excited! They actually had plenty of room to roll around and play in the floor. The whole layout was just so wonderful… if we ever had the opportunity to build our own house I would probably want a similar layout with just a few minor tweaks here and there.

That will be sometime in the future… maybe. But for today I have to just accept that it isn’t in the plans right now and trust that something will come along in the future. We will keep working towards our goals and hopefully be better prepared when the next opportunity comes around. We do have one more loan request out to a private lender but it may be a little while before we hear back so I will wait as patiently as I can.

The past few weeks have been stressful to say the least. All of the waiting and such had made me quite irritable. Not too mention that we kept putting things off because we were ‘waiting to see’ what would happen. This meant a lot of things kept piling up around us as we were kind of in a limbo. Our little cabin was beginning to look and feel a bit cluttered.

The clutter was really affecting me because I just don’t function well with the clutter. I knew that I couldn’t control what happens with the housing situation but there are some things that I can control. Things like the way our current house looks and feels.

Today I decided that we needed to do a quick spring cleaning of sorts. Earlier in the week I had decided that we would go back to our old cleaning routine as the new one was not working out quite as well as I had hoped it would. Today we got caught up on some of the other chores and moved the furniture to clean thoroughly. We also managed to find a few things that had gone missing.

While our house is still small it definitely looks and feels better right now. I still have a pile of things that I need to work on and I did manage to make a small space to work even though it isn’t really separate from anything. I had to move our ‘Google‘ to another location as the kids love using it to answer questions, play games, and watch videos. Now I have the island pretty much to myself and my numerous projects which have been piling up. For a stay at home I stay pretty busy with a wide variety of tasks.

I think this weekend I will also be getting back to journaling as that helped me so much when I was going through some difficult times before. I will also be going through the school supplies I have stored in the shed to find the supplies I had bought to go with our next Little House on The Prairie Book, On The Banks of Plum Creek.

I had put everything in totes back when we planned to build a new book shelf but like I said everything has been in limbo waiting to see about the new house and now I need to go find my stuff in the shed. I have made up a basic set of lesson plans that I’m really excited about and the kids have been begging to start the next book so this needs to happen this weekend!

Anyways… just remember not to lose hope when things don’t go as planned. Remember that GOD has a plan and HIS plan is ALWAYS better than anything we could imagine. I know its hard to do sometimes but have FAITH and try not to be discouraged.

*Any links in this post can be assumed to be affliate links and we may earn a small commission if a purchase is made through these links. These help to support our blog and our family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]=[;

 

Keeping Memories

This past weekend I was helping to sort out some sheds with Mr. Awesome. There were a ton of items with a ton of memories attached. However some things were decided to go for Yard Sale items and a few were given to me like this photo album…

How often do we take photos and print them out anymore? Do you still clip newspaper articles to keep? I know that I many things saved in my Bible but nothing recent. I also have a few photo albums from when my older kids were little but over the past 10 years or so I haven’t had that many photos to keep.

After finding this lost post I decided that this was something I was going to change, today. The world is so digital now that it is many times easier to keep the photos on your phone or computer. What happens if you don’t have them backed up on something and your phone is lost or destroyed? That is something I don’t even want to think about.

This past year I had some photos and other important items get destroyed because they had been improperly stored. It wasn’t intentional as the place they were stored was intended to be temporary but then LIFE happened and they never got relocated. I’ve shed my tears over those precious items but I am determined not to let that happen again.

Continue reading Keeping Memories

Pine Tree or Palmetto Bug?

When I first tried Grove products I was on a mission to try to use healthier products in our home. I believe one of the first scents I tried was the Iowa Pine… I was in love! It reminded me of fresh cut pine trees in the mountains. It had been a while since I had ordered this scent and I decided to try it out again because I loved it so much.

Image result for pine trees in the mountains

I cleaned the house one day and was again amazed at the fresh scent and felt good knowing that these products are better for us than a lot of others out there. Well, Mr. Awesome happened to come by about then and he kind of crinkled up his nose. He asked what happened? I told him I had just finished cleaning and he said it smelled like I had crushed a giant Palmetto bug in the house… Ewwww. Not the reaction I was hoping for.

Yuck… just seeing this picture gives me the Heevy Jeevies… I really do despise these little pests and they are abundant here in Florida. Now that Mr. Awesome has made this connection I won’t ever think about Pine Scent the same way… sniffle. That doesn’t change the fact that I have an ample amount of pine scented cleaner already so I’ll have to use it up or find somewhere else to use it… maybe I can donate it somewhere?

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a  purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which  costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE

His favorite scent so far has been the Gernamium… crazy huh? My favorite scent that I use most often is the Lavender… oh how I love my Lavender! Best thing is that these are all great and they all meet the Grove Standard which means everything available at Grove has met their standards for non-toxicity, efficacy, and sustainability, and is cruelty-free. What more can you ask for?

My next scent to try is Mrs. Meyers Rain Water… it sounds so refreshing, doesn’t it? Have you tried out Grove products yet? If so what is your favorite scent and/or product. If not why don’t you give them a try right now and get a little something special too when you use my referral link.

Click Here To Try Out Grove Today!

Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

I know how busy life gets and we all… ok, most us… feel like we need more time every now and then, right? Well, there are only 24 hours in a day and we can’t make more time no matter how hard we try so that means we just need to find ways to use our time more wisely.

First we need to get our priorities straight and make sure we are getting the things done that need to get done like feeding everyone and making sure they have clean clothes to wear. We should probably make sure we clean the house from time to time and if you homeschool you gotta have time for that too. Not to mention that there are so many other things like appointments, grocery shopping, and other obligations that happen everyday.

Click here to read about our our Google Home Hub has helped this busy Momma keep our routines and schedules organized.

Sometimes it seems like there is no time left for the fun stuff but I promise that routines can help. I have written many a post about our routines here. Our routines help keep us running smoothly most of the time. The routines work when we follow them and sometimes we don’t but we quickly realize how much we need them. As soon as we get back on routine our lives get less chaotic.

I have included some pics and screenshots of our different routines and schedules below but please don’t think this is complicated. Ours are far more complicated than most as we have a lot of things going on here and I need these to keep myself and my household organized. Every family is different and every set of routines will be different What works for us may not work for you but feel free to use these as a guideline for setting up your own routines and/or schedules.

Continue reading Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

DIY Corner Entertainment Center

I guess its better late than never. As I was going through some of my drafts I’ve found a few posts that never made it to be published and this is one of them. I know I’ve shown a few pics of this little masterpiece before but here is the story of how it became to be.

Before the trip to PA last year we had been working on the house, as we have been doing pretty regularly lately, and had just finished up a new project:

I had been having a lot of trouble sleeping which leads me to writing or sketching in my notebook. This was one of the sketches I came up with.

img_5287

I must say that Mr. Awesome nailed it! Hopefully we will get around to completing some of our other many projects when we get back on track. Continue reading DIY Corner Entertainment Center

Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

So in a few of my past posts I’ve mentioned my new friend, Google, and I may have even shown a picture or two but I haven’t really introduced you yet. I have always loved Google as I can find answers to just about anything I need to know with Google but this Google is different.

So without further ado, let’s meet my new found friend and personal assistant…

ME: Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

GOOGLE: You’re the cereal to my milk. I like to think we compliment each other... she’s so funny!

ME: But seriously, Google, this is my blogging friend and I want to tell them all about your most important features.

GOOGLE: I have lots of powers and they are growing everyday… lol… I told you she was funny.

Continue reading Hey Google, I’d like you to meet my friend…

Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

Hey ya’ll its been a few days since I’ve checked in with you. I hope everyone is doing well. We are finally getting over these colds that have been passed around and around and around… you get the point. I’m tired of being sick and tired and of being around whiny kids who are sick and tired… yeah not a fun week at all but it has been productive even though I ended up getting this post out a day late… Oops!

We have been sticking to our goals and our Plan of Action that I made earlier in the month. The kids are listening and behaving better, well for the most part, even thought they’ve not been feeling well. We’ve been working on keeping the noise level down and I’ve found that my little friend Google has been AMAZING at helping me with this. I have been asking Google, ‘Hey Google, can you play me some music please?’. Note that I do use my manners  and she really appreciates that. When the kids can’t hear the music they know they are getting way too loud.

Continue reading Freezer Cooking Made Me Cry Yesterday

The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Let me tell you guys about this awesome new trick I learned for ‘boiling’ eggs. Well, first it may not be new to some of you and if you don’t happen to have an instant pot or power cooker than it might not be an option but I was so excited and it is really gonna be such a game changer here. (Recipe at the bottom.)

Continue reading The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Celebrate With A Birth Date

We all have one and so do our kids, parents, friends, and other family members. Around here we have more than others or at least we celebrate more than others. However this is one topic I’ve failed to post a lot about… birthdays.

I recently read about the ‘new minimalist’ birthday trend called ‘Fivers’. I laughed a little as the article explained the trend and how it worked. Basically, according to the article I read, you have a birthday party and ask the guests not to buy a gift but they may give a card with $5.oo, if they like. This money can then be pooled for a larger gift of the child’s choosing, used for an ‘experience’, or saved for a later date.

Sounds great and I’m so happy to see so many people jumping on board with this idea. I just thought I’d share how we do birthdays here which is how we’ve done birthdays for awhile now. Now don’t get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with the way anybody celebrates birthdays but we do things a bit different than most.

When my older kids were younger we did do the traditional parties… cake, ice cream, and gifts. Sometimes I would have two parties instead of four as they had birthdays close together and sometimes we would just do one big party.

Most of our parties were just for family and a few very close friends and they were never very big. The biggest one we probably ever had was in NC. We held an ice cream party for all four of my older kids. That was so much fun! We had everyone help to make homemade ice cream and then we had a variety of toppings. There was plenty of other food too but everyone always remembered the ice cream and how good it was.

There have been many times were I would plan a semi-elaborate themed party like the Sock Hop party we did several years back. It was so much fun and the kids really enjoyed it.

Nowadays we keep things simple. One reason is because William (and Caitlyn at times) has a very difficult time with birthdays. We have tried a variety of ways to help him but he always seems to have a MAJOR meltdown when someone else celebrates a birthday or receives a gift. It has been a crazy ride these past nine years… wow, I really can’t believe it has been that long since they first came into my life!

After discussing this with his doctors and trying SEVERAL approaches (we had plenty of opportunities to experiment with ideas) we decided the best thing was just to quit having parties… which wouldn’t have really been fair to everyone else so we came up with a compromise. Now we have a simpler ‘Birthday Routine’.

When a child has a birthday we always have it marked on the calendar so there is plenty of time to prepare for it which is important for William. He likes to know what to expect and when to expect it. He DOES NOT like change and a birthday means that someone else will be getting a little extra attention that day (ex: calls from relatives, cards, etc.) and that is a CHANGE for him.

On the day of their birthday I usually try to let the birthday child pick out a special dinner and we will have some cakes, cupcakes, or other special dessert. We sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and blow out candles too. We don’t normally have anyone other than just our family but on occasion some of their older siblings may show up but normally William is OK with this as he knows what to expect on a birthday now.

Check out this post HERE for some of the fun cake ideas that we’ve come up with.

Each child will get $5.00 from me and $5.00 from Mr. Awesome. We also try to take each child out to eat for their birthday. We will go to whatever restaurant they choose which is usually somewhere like Dairy Queen or Steak N Shake. They really like to get a special treat like a milkshake or a hot fudge sundae too. After we eat we will go somewhere so that they can pick out a gift with their birthday money.

Our ‘Birth Date’ may not be on their actual birthday but we try to aim for the  same week whenever possible.

This gives each child some special one on one time with me and gives them a chance to do things that they might not get to do when we are together as a group. They really look forward to our ‘Birth Date’ and they are planning out where they want to go months in advance. As they are getting older they also try to save up their money so they have more to spend when we go out.

Sometimes their older sisters or brothers will ask them what they want and they will get them something small that they have requested. They also get a small gift from grandparents and occasionally their dad brings them a small amount of money.

For the past few years this has been our ‘normal’ for birthdays and it has worked rather well. It might change in the future as the ‘social side’ of me has been dying to have a HUGE party… maybe I’ll just put that energy towards our first Polar Express Party in the cabin later this year?

This approach to birthdays may not work for every family but it does work for us. It is also a great way to help manage clutter around the house. We don’t get a lot of toys so the ones they do get are usually ones they have chosen and they enjoy them a lot more. We also don’t have any more birthday MELTDOWNS!

At one point when we first brought the middle three kiddos to our home we tried to make everything extra special. Maybe we were trying to ‘make up’ for things they never had or things they had never experienced. In the long run we have learned that, even without the traditional parties, we have given them so much more.

Now they know what to expect, when to expect it, and they are prepared for it. They also know that they are loved and that they are each special in their own way. With the routines that we have created and continue to improve we are helping them have the sense of security and safety that they never had before.

It’s all about creating memories that they will look back on and cherish. Even though we don’t celebrate in the ‘traditional way’ we do make sure each one of them feels loved and gets a little extra special attention on their special day.

Wishes To Reality Update

As you probably know from reading our latest posts we have been staying CRAZY BUSY in 2019 just like we did before. However even though our schedules have been busy I have been trying to work in some changes, a couple at a time, to help us turn those wishes into realities.

My first wish of having the kids to listen better seems to be going along fairly well. I have been making it a point to work more one on one with each of them as I can. I have also not had to speak to them as much because I’ve went over what I expect and given them a list of rewards for when the goals are met or some consequences if they aren’t met.

I had also noticed that I was yelling more… ok, I felt like I was yelling. People sometimes laugh when I apologize for yelling because my yelling doesn’t seem like yelling to them… anyways I was having to talk much louder than I preferred and I didn’t like that. Did you know that yelling makes it seem like you aren’t in control? Well that was definitely not the message I wanted to convey to this little army I have here!

I also know that yelling doesn’t fit into the overall picture of wanting to create a more loving and peaceful home. We have a small home so when one or two people start yelling it begins to sound a bit like a busy coffee shop in NYC!

Continue reading Wishes To Reality Update

Making Time For Devotions

If you’ve been following along with my blog you probably have seen that we are really trying to make some positive changes around this little cabin. I will be the first to admit that towards the end of last year I was not a very happy Momma. We were in the midst of a very rough parenting phase with my two special needs kiddos who are 16 & 11 (going on 30)… their attitudes and behavior were at a point that I really doubted my parenting skills and abilities. Something had to change, actually a lot of somethings had to change.

Personal Devotions

One big thing that I had gotten away from was my daily devotions. I wasn’t having my ‘quiet time’ in the mornings before the kids woke up which meant I wasn’t having any one on one meetings with my LORD. Boy have I missed those sessions!

Well, 2019 is the year for me to stop wishing for CHANGE and to start making it happen! I’ve been posting a lot about some of the things we’ve been working on and one of those the past couple of weeks has been to start making time for devotions.

Not everyone may feel the same as I do but I really do need some time to myself. I need time to plan, to organize my thoughts, and talk to my LORD. I also have things I want to do like blog, arts & crafts projects, and I have a ton of reading to catch up on.

First things first though is making time for my daily devotions. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of getting up early before the kids so that I can have my ‘quiet time’. I’ll admit that this hasn’t been easy especially on cold mornings like this today. Then yesterday I got up early but I had issues with the coffee maker and ended up not getting to my ‘quiet time’. I like to get comfy when I study or read so I like to have a drink with me. Sometimes I will snuggle up with a warm blanket and other times I might like to sit outside on the porch just depending on the whether and how I feel.

I also keep a notebook with me to jot down notes and also to keep track of different things I am praying about or people/situations I am praying for. One of the really important things I really try to include in prayer is our homeschool journey because without GOD’s help I can’t do this. This is a good way to keep myself organized and I can look back through my notebook to see just how much GOD has done for me and my family through the year.

Before we moved I had transformed part of my closet into a place where I could find some ‘quiet time’ even in the middle of the day. I kept my BIBLES, devotionals, and prayer journal in my desk there. It was so easy to ‘find’ time because I had everything organized. However here, in this little cabin, I don’t have a dedicated space so it has been more of a challenge for me.

Secondly, I never seem to know where to start when it comes to reading my BIBLE. Sometimes I’ll go through a phase where I just open it up and read wherever and then other times I try to follow along with a book like one of these here:

First Light Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal

Starting Your Day Right

I have started both of these books at different times but have never completed either one of them… sad but true. This year I am determined to finish one of them!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.if a product is purchased through one of our links.

I also like to keep some of these FREE booklets in my bags so that I have something to read when waiting at appointments or such:

Our Daily Bread

In Touch

There are also a wide variety of email devotionals and apps that you can use from your phone which make it so much easier to do this on the go. I have also found this site HERE which has many plans to use and I am going to try to read through the BIBLE this year… even though some of it may be more listening than reading. This is a goal I have had since I was young and I’ve never completely read through the entire bible yet. The site has several other FREE plans to help you with your spiritual life and you can even join as a group with friends to encourage each other.Y

Many people think that devotions need to be an in depth study but that’s not true. Your devotions should be what feels right for you. The LORD will lead you to more in depth studies when HE knows you are ready… and HE will make it all POSSIBLE.

I do have a couple of Proverbs 31 studies that I’ve bookmarked to work on this year as well as some others that I’ll share as we go through the year. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much information. If there is something specific that you FEEL led to study then you can always do a GOOGLE search on the subject (ex: becoming a proverbs 31 woman bible study) and find many options to choose from.

If you aren’t sure how to set up your prayer journal you can find lots of useful ideas and printables HERE or some more great ideas HERE.

Family Devotions

I feel that not only do I need to do my personal devotions but I probably need to start including more time for family devotions as well. Now we do have some BIBLE studies and such worked into our homeschool routine but sometimes we may need to add to it.

We may try to start having a scripture reading at a designated meal time or maybe just have a certain time of day to read scripture… I’m not really sure about my plans for this addtional devotion time yet but I am working on it. Sometimes we have BIBLE discussions in the van when we are going places so really it could happen anytime and anywhere.

I have found a few different ideas for family devotions HERE and HERE. If you don’t like either of those you can check out this GOOGLE search. My kids and I really enjoyed using this book here too:

Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God

Couple Devotions

This is another area that I think is important but we don’t really do this yet. We have discussions on occasion but never anything set or intentional. Now for this to work it has to be something that we both can agree on and something we can work into our schedules.

Many other people may find it difficult as well but remember that you don’t have to physically be in the same place at the same time. You can decide to them via phone, FACETIME, or SKYPE or maybe just have a designated time each day to spend on your devotions.

I’ve found a few ideas for couple devotions HERE and HERE.

Not married or don’t have a partner? You can always spend a little time praying for that special person. I know I prayed for Mr. Awesome before I even met him and I am so glad I did. I loved these books HERE and HERE for this.

In the end I don’t think you will regret any time you spend on your devotions. You should definitely start out slowly and work your way into this new routine. It takes a little while to get a new habit started and if you happen to be like me this will be a habit that will grow on you and get easier as time goes by. This one habit can make such a BIG difference in your whole LIFE… I know it does in mine.

If it seems that you are having trouble getting it started then pray for GOD to lead you in the way you should go. Maybe you are trying to do too much? Or maybe what you are trying to do just isn’t what is best for you or your family.

Have a blessed weekend!

Freebie Alert: Martin Luther King Jr. Unit Study

I haven’t posted one of these in a while but with Martin Luther King, Jr day fast approaching this seems like a good one to post. The deadline for this deal is January 12th so please HURRY!


Free Martin Luther King, Jr. Notebooking Pages from NotebookingPages.com.

You can also check out all the other FREE goodies they have HERE!

Join Me At The Toxic Mold Summit

I’ve really been trying to make 2019 the best year ever here in our little cabin. One thing that I’m always hearing about is toxic mold… how scary does that sound? It sounds terrifying to me so I’m really wanting to learn more about what it is and what I can do to protect my family from it.

--->>Click here to download your free eGuide: Got Mold, Now What?

Did you know it could be mold toxicity if you are, or someone you know is suffering from sinus infections, bronchitis and migraines; weakened by gut issues, brain fog, fatigue, neurologic symptoms; constantly challenged with sleep issues; enduring terrible mood swings, anxiety and/or depression; reacting to chemicals, smells, foods, medications and more!

All reasons not to miss The Toxic Mold Summit, online and free from January 28 – February 3, 2019!

Join Me At The Toxic Mold Summit by Reserving Your Spot HERE !

A New School Routine For The New Year

This was our first week back to school and as I mentioned in this post HERE we started a new school routine which has worked out rather well so far. We will be doing our Group studies on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with Mondays and/or Fridays being left for their independent studies and/or completing assignments they didn’t finish with the group.

We are also using Mondays & Fridays to do the majority of our household cleaning & chores, running errands, etc. This has helped out so much being able to dedicate a big chunk of time on projects that I’ve been wanting to work on and just haven’t been able to get to lately. This included getting our house back in order after the holidays… it was such a MESS! If you don’t believe me you should see the pics in this post.

After getting the bulk of the organizing finished up on Monday we were FREE to FOCUS on our school work with minimal interruptions. No pausing to check laundry which normally meant a 15-20 minute interruption. No waiting for stragglers to quit lollygagging around with chores as we have a set time to get them finished or they just wait until the school work is finished. I mean a few dirty dishes or crumbs in the floor won’t kill anyone, right?

Continue reading A New School Routine For The New Year

Keeping Up With The Bills Free Printable

It’s the 3rd already! Where has time gone? I’ve not been feeling up to par the past week or so and today it dawned on me that I need to pay bills… Oops… I apologize to my creditors in advance. When I finally sat down to get to work I realized that I needed a new sheet printed off. (See this post HERE if you missed my post last year about how I keep track of my bills.)

Well, that was easier said than done as my worksheet was saved on my old laptop… the one the kids killed last year. I had worked on it a bit last January and gotten it to come back up but I have only used it 3 or 4 times during the past year and each time was tricky as the laptop doesn’t act right and still shuts down frequently. Luckily for me (and you) I was able to get to the files I needed and get them saved on my portable drive (which was originally another laptop that a couple of the kids killed a few years ago)… yeah, lesson learned as they are no longer allowed to play on Momma’s laptop.

If you haven’t read the ‘Keeping Up With The Bills‘ post you may want to check it out so you can see how I use these worksheets to keep our bills organized and paid on time. Since I know that many of us have made resolutions to get more organized I am including links to FREE printables for anyone to use.

monthlybillsblankpic

Monthly Bills PDF

monthlysubsblankpic

Monthly/Yeary Subscriptions PDF

Happy New Year!



A Look Back On 2018

So I’ve been posting quite a bit about my goals for 2019 but let’s not forget about all the good times we had in 2018. Sure, there were some sad times and some hard times but remembering the good times can help ease the pain of the not so good. Here’s a quick peek back on some of our pictures, posts, and activities from 2018:

Continue reading A Look Back On 2018

A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

So a few days ago I posted about my goals for 2019. I’m not waiting until the New Year to get started because there is no time like NOW to get started on these goals. You don’t have to wait either and you can follow along with me on my journey to finding a simpler, happier, and better functioning lifestyle here in our little cabin.

It’s so easy to get discouraged with LIFE at times, I know because I’ve felt myself falling into a HUGE pit of discouragement lately. It feels like I just keep hitting walls in so many areas of LIFE and I just don’t know how to get past them. The one thing I do know is the GOD is in control and if there is something in my way HE can help me overcome it.

I also know that a lot of times our failures come from inside of ourselves. We get unhappy with things and want to change them but sometimes the change must come from us first. This can be hard to do and sometimes it can be hard to admit that we aren’t PERFECT.

Over the holidays so many people are posting pictures of their families. Many of these pictures seem to show PERFECT homes and families but behind the scenes can be a different story. In reality LIFE is MESSY in so many ways. I can tell you that my LIFE is MESSY for sure with so many kids and special needs not to mention that we HOMESCHOOL and LIVE in a TINY CABIN. Boy can it get MESSY. Don’t let those pictures get you feeling depressed or down. You can follow along with me, a normal (well, somewhat normal depending on you definition of normal) Momma, as I tackle some of this crazy mess we call LIFE.

Continue reading A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

My 2019 New Year’s Goals

As you read the title you may be rolling your eyes because we all make resolutions but many of us, myself included, don’t quite keep to them or just never even start them. I know last year I had some really great ones that were not so specific but somehow they managed to slip away from me.

Part of the blame falls on some major life changes (big sister moved away/death in the family), an illness that took me a while to recover from, and LIFE which seems to get busier everyday. When you combine all of those with the fact that we had recently downsized and moved (from 2,000 sq ft to just barely over 600 sq ft) its no wonder I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to do but I did manage to make a little progress in each area.

SO what are some of the top resolutions for 2019? According to an abc news article they are as follows:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Save money
  3. Travel
  4. Make new friends
  5. Get a new job or hobby
  6. Find love

Hmm… some pretty interesting resolutions. Have you thought about yours yet? I have given it a bit of thought and here are my goals for the upcoming year in no particular order:

Continue reading My 2019 New Year’s Goals

My 5 Fav Slow Cooker Recipes You Can Make in Your Instant Pot (+ 40 More!)

Were you lucky enough to get an Instant Pot for Christmas? If so you may be wondering just what the heck to do with it now. Did you know that you can make things like BBQ ribs, chili, and even cake in your Instant Pot?

Check out this affiliate link for many, many easy recipes to start cooking today!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/ipslowcook/happy2bmyownboss/

Is Food Causing You to be Depressed? What You Didn’t Know About How Food Affects Your Mood

Have the holidays got you depressed? Well, it might not be just the holidays… Check out this affiliate link for more information and find out how to use food to fight depression!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/depressionfood/happy2bmyownboss/

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

Do you need a quick and easy make ahead breakfast idea? One that’s simple and healthy? Well, then have I got the recipe for you! Check out this affiliate link for a recipe that may soon be a family favorite in your house!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/SAO/happy2bmyownboss/

It’s All About The Fudge!

**This post contains affiliate links for products we use. These links don’t cost you a thing but help to support our blog and our family when a purchase is  made through a link we’ve posted. Thank you!

Yes! It’s that time of year when I make a lot of FUDGE! I’ll probably be sick of Fudge this time next week but it’s good stuff and everyone loves it so much that they request it every year.

In case you haven’t tried your hand at making Fudge or if you are just needing a couple of good recipes I’m reposting the links to our favorite varieties down below.

I’ve tried a lot of Fudge recipes in the past as we always loved my mom’s Fudge. When we moved to Florida we weren’t as close to my mom as we once were and I had to figure out how to make it for my family… well, it was either that or spend a fortune in gas driving to visit grandma everytime we got a hankering for Fudge!



The kids and I went shopping today for supplies and I’ve ordered a few really cute tins to put the delicious treats in. As soon as the tins get here we will get started in the kitchen.

I promise that these recipes are fairly easy to make and we always have great success with them. I love that the base recipe can be changed for different flavors and this makes it one of my favorite candy recipes ever!

Here are the links to some great Fudge recipes:

My mouth is craving some FUDGE! We hope you enjoy these as much as we do! If you have a favorite Fudge recipe or Christmas Candy recipe please leave a link in the comments below as we’d love to give it a try!

Treat Yourself And Make Housework A Little Easier

**This post contains affiliate links to products we use.

I’m always so excited when I see my box from Grove Collaborators  come. This month was a small order as we are pretty well stocked up on supplies but I wanted to share with you what we did get:

Since we are in the midst of the Christmas season I thought it only fitting to get the Peppermint scented soaps. We got one Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap and two of the Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap. We really love both of these products and when we use the Walnut Scrubbers they make dishwashing a breeze.

The cleaners come in a wide variety of scents and I really enjoy trying out the different scents depending on the season.

Continue reading Treat Yourself And Make Housework A Little Easier

Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I know most of us are probably not ready to think about the New Year as we are in the midst of holiday choas right now but with as many kiddos as I have I am always looking ahead. There are doctor appointments, dentist appointments, birthdays, and so many other events that I need to keep organized.

Our calendars keep our day to day activities running smoothly and help to keep us prepared for upcoming events. They are vital to keeping this Momma sane!

What features do you look for in a calendar? I know I like it to have enough room to write things in the blocks. I also like to have the moon phases and holidays on the calendar.

Do you like the stickers or not? I kinda like the idea of stickers and it helps me to tell at a glance what we have coming up if there are stickers on it.

While I absolutely love my Cozi mobile app and I always have it pulled up on my laptop. I keep everything from appointments to recipes on my Cozi calendar and my family members all have access to it as well. I still like to have a wall calendar as well so that I can refer to it quickly if I’m on the phone or if Mr. Awesome needs to double check something he can refer to it as well.

This led me to check out Amazon for some new planning calendars today. There is such a selection to choose from I’m really not sure which one I want to get yet but here are a few of the ones I’ve found:

Continue reading Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

I don’t know if this is actually the recipe that my Mom-mom used but it is close. If you don’t like the ‘skin’ that cooked pudding has then simply place a piece of plastic wrap over the warm pudding so that the wrap touches the top of the pudding. When cool you remove the wrap and the ‘skin’.

Just Like Grandma’s Chocolate Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 4 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 T. butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium size saucepan whisk together the first four ingredients. Slowly stir in the milk.

Cook this mixture over medium heat until it boils. Stir constantly and boil for about 1 minute.

Remove your pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into a serving bowl and chill for about 2-3 hours.

For Pie:

I usually only use 2 cups of milk and then pour this into a baked pie shell or a graham cracker crust. Chill for 2-3 hours. Top with whipped cream, if desired.

 

Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

**This most may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. These links are provided at NO EXTRA charge to you, and in some cases they may offer a special discount or offer, but we may receive a small commission from any purchases made through these links. 

This might sound a bit scary to some of you as it did to me, at first. Last year I started doing a few ‘Click n Pull’ orders from Sam’s Club  and I loved the ease and convenience of the whole process. Not to mention the time (and $$) it saved me by not walking the whole store every time I needed something. (Don’t you hate it when stores move something and it takes FOREVER to find it? I’ve found that stores have been rearranging EVERYTHING for the holidays and I spend so much time trying to find our ‘regular’ items it’s not even funny!)

Well, some of you may already be familiar with the Grocery Pickup service offered at some Walmarts but I hadn’t had the chance to give it a try although I really wanted to. After shopping with all of the kids last week and realizing how hard it is to get around some of the stores this time of year I figured now is as good a time as any to give it a go. Continue reading Strangers Did My Grocery Shopping This Weekend And I’m Glad!

Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House On The Prairie Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans

Continue reading Little House On The Prairie Adventure Weekly Guide Links

My Routines Helped Me ‘Survival Mode’

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

First I want to say that I’m not a psychiatrist and the only psychology background I have was a class I took in college many years ago.

Second I can only tell you what my experience has been and offer a few helpful tips that have allowed me to get through some difficult times.

Maybe you’ve experienced some traumatic event, illness, death or some other loss, or maybe it’s just a burnout from stress. Whatever the reason your body will do what it needs to do to protect you and sometimes we find ourselves in survival mode.

I’m not talking about your plane crashing in a remote jungle… even though sometimes that might seem like a better place to be… I’m talking about the struggle to get through your day to day activities.

Most of us can handle a certain amount of grief and stress but there comes a time when a switch flips and your brain says enough. That’s when we go into survival mode. If we aren’t careful it could send us into a deep depression.

Some of us are pretty good at hiding the fact that we are falling apart inside. Some of our friends and family may try to help but they just don’t know what to say or do. Others may just tell us to ‘Snap out of it!’. This is easier said than done.

I’ve had several events happen over the past few weeks, months, and years that have totally changed my life. The most recent was the passing of my Mom-mom (grandmother). That hit me a lot harder than I expected it too.

A lot harder. Continue reading My Routines Helped Me ‘Survival Mode’

Weekend Warrior Project: Old Window Transformation

**This post contains affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support my family and our blog.

We have been working a lot around this little house just trying to make it feel more like ‘HOME’. It’s been a little over a year since we moved and we are finally starting to really get settled. I feel like I can finally relax and put my feet, at least every now and then. This past weekend was not one of those times.

When I was doing my major cleaning this past summer I had thought of the idea of doing a faux stained glass window in the kitchen but haven’t found the time to do that yet. I did however decide to do something with this one BIG window that we have in the main room. It is so dirty on the outside that it has been driving me completely BONKERS!

I’m sure some of you are thinking that I should just get out there and clean it and trust me I would if I could. This window is over the pond and I have no access to it of any kind so cleaning it is IMPOSSIBLE right now. The inside has been cleaned and cleaned but it hasn’t helped a lot as the window is OLD and has seen a lot.

Before we moved in the window had been boarded up for many years, I guess someone else didn’t like the dirty view either. After we built the sleeping loft and got rid of the bukbed that had been in front of the window we couldn’t ignore how dirty it was. Then comes the fact that I moved the dining table in front of the window and we now had to see it a few times a day. Mr. Awesome didn’t really like the window and wanted to cover it up again but I like light, lots of light, and I wanted to have the window clear so that it would help to illuminate this rather dark little cabin.  Continue reading Weekend Warrior Project: Old Window Transformation

Learn How To Plan Your Homeschool In 15 Minutes Or Less Per Week!

**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family. 

As a Momma of 9 I am constantly looking out for my kids. I worry about them, like all moms do, and try to be there for them any way I can. I am also constantly looking for new ways to encourage them and keep their curiosity and eagerness to learn alive.

They really do love learning however sometimes they get bored with what we are learning or the way I am teaching it. I admit I get bored sometimes too but I love homeschooling because I am learning right along with my kids. Seeing the look on their face when they finally ‘get’ something is priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

On the other hand I often feel frustrated and tired because things don’t go as planned. We also experience A LOT of interruptions in our day to day life and that can cause some frustrations too as I feel like we just aren’t GETTING ENOUGH DONE in our day.

Not to mention how exasperating it can be when you plan a lesson or activity only to have your kids totally HATE IT! Hours and hours down the drain on what you thought was going to be such a FUN LEARNING EXPERIENCE.

Planning and learning can happen on its own, and the results are mind-blowing!

Continue reading Learn How To Plan Your Homeschool In 15 Minutes Or Less Per Week!

Little House On The Prairie Pioneer Journals

Oh my goodness! We have been having so much fun with our Little House on the Prairie Academic Adventures. One of the projects we recently completed were these Pioneer Journals.

img_5060.jpg

These were so easy to make and I kinda got the idea from the old book covers we used to make in school to protect our textbooks.

You will need:

**affiliate links below.

  • brown paper (paper grocery bags, wrapping paper, or packaging paper)
  • tape
  • scissors
  • tacky glue
  • pictures of kids
  • marker
  • spiral notebooks or composition books

Continue reading Little House On The Prairie Pioneer Journals

Weekend Warrior Project: A Little House Sleeping Loft

Wow! Where has time gone? I’ve been meaning to get around to this post but time has really gotten away from me lately. With school starting back at our home, those posts are soon to come as well, square dance classes starting up, and so many other things going on life has been a blur lately. However we had some plans get cancelled out on us this weekend so I have a little bit of time to get to my blogging.

I better get to work on telling you about what we did because its already late and I have been taking a screen free break on Sundays. This project actually took us two weekends to complete and it has made such a BIG difference in our little house. It might not be practical for everyone but we are loving it and so are the kiddos!

As many of you know we moved into a small cabin last year. We went from about 2,000 square feet of living space (plus a huge storage shed) to a little over 600 square feet with practically no storage except for a small area that we had tarped off on the porch. We have arranged and rearranged furniture so many times and we were making this little house work but we really needed a little bit more living space. Continue reading Weekend Warrior Project: A Little House Sleeping Loft

Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Click Here for Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Week 1 Lesson Plans

  • Language Arts:
    • Read Chapters 1 & 2
    • Discussion
    • McGuffey Primer Lesson
    • Vocabulary
    • Writing Activities
    • These week we learn about fiction vs. nonfiction
    • Make a Pioneer Journal
    •  Mother Goose Phonics: Pat A Cake
  • Math:
  • Geography and History:
    • State Study: Wisconsin
    • Research Pioneer Life
  • Science:
    • Learn about Bears
    • Learn about Panthers
    • Research Microbes and Bacteria
    • Learn about Density
    • Bonus: Why does fire burn different colors?
  • Life Skills:
    • Research Pioneer Chores
    • Making our bed
    • Interrupting
    • Memory Work
    • Fun activities: Make Butter
    • Bonus Skills: Memorizing the books of the Bible, Archery, and/or Baking
  • PE, Health & Safety:
    • Stranger Danger
    • Play Little Brown Bear
  • Music, Arts, and Crafts:
    • Crafts: Hog’s Bladder Balloons, Corn Cob/Husk Dolls, Snowflakes, and Paper Dolls
    • Art: Bulldogs, Jack Frost
    • Music: Yankee Doodle Dandy, Butter Churning Song

Continue reading Little House In The Big Woods Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links & Guide

Loop Scheduling Made Simple With An Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule

**Although I try to provide as many FREE resources as possible this post may contain affiliate links alt no extra cost to you. We may earn a small commission, if a purchase is made through these links, which helps to support our blog and our family. Thank you!

Instructions for the Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule at the end of the post.

Many of us have started back to school and some of us started and then quit…errr… well, maybe I’m the only one that did that but I am happy to say that we are well on our way to getting back on track. The big project I have been working on is finished (YAYYYYY!!!!) and I am hoping it will be ready to post this weekend so keep an eye out for it.

In preparation of our new school year I pulled out our old Loop Schedule so I could change it out for this year. What a better time to show you how I do it?

Last year one of the sanity savers I used was this Loop Schedule. You may have heard of Loop Scheduling and I thought it was something new but actually it was something I had already been doing and you probably have too!

I always start the year out with all kinds of fun activities, games, and ideas for us to work on. Before our Loop Schedule I was always trying to make sure we got the ‘meaty’ subjects like Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science finished before we moved on to anything else. If we didn’t get those areas completed we would just not do the other areas.

(These links will update soon and take you to our first Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventure!)

I always felt like we weren’t getting everything done that I wanted to get done. Our days got so BORING! We would be doing the same things over and over and never had time for the fun activities that I had planned for us to do. There’s only so much time in the day so what is an overwhelmed Momma to do? Continue reading Loop Scheduling Made Simple With An Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule

Homemade Chocolate Syrup (with healthier options)

Chocolate should definitely have its own place in the food pyramid. This homemade syrup is so good and can be used for so many things like chocolate milk, over ice cream, on Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations), and on Hot Fudge Sundae Cake! With our updated version this is even better for you than before so you can still enjoy some of those sweet treats while on your journey to becoming healthier.

You can whip up a batch, or two, and keep it in the fridge for those special occasions.

Note: If you don’t have the glucomannan or xantham gum you can mix 1/3 c. water with 2 T. cornstarch to use as a thickener.)

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder (I am partial to Hershey’s cocoa for this recipe.)
  • 1 c. milk (or water for dairy-free)
  • 1 c. sugar, to taste (I have been using Stevia in place of the sugar)
  • 1/8 t. mineral salt
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

For a thicker syrup:

Directions:

Whisk cocoa powder and milk together thoroughly in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.

When the cocoa is dissolved add the sugar and whisk to dissolve.

Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Watch constantly for boil overs.

If you want a thicker syrup:

Gently shake the Glucomannan powder into the syrup mixture and whisk vigorously.

Cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla extract.

Serve warm or cool completely and store in a clean, covered container in the refrigerator.

The syrup will thicken a little as it cools.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Meal Plan: June 23 – 29, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Good Grub Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 64

Fried Eggs

Lunch:

Personal Pita Pizzas

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Taco Soup (Double Batch**)

Rice

** This will make enough for a meal plus leftovers. Use the optional ingredients and don’t eat with rice.

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Orange Smoothie (Creamsicle Shake)

Lunch:

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Salmon & Okra 

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Cinnamon Butter Bundt Cake Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 380


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

Fat-Stripping Frappa from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Lunch:

Tuna Salad Sandwiches & Veggies

-or-

Salad w/tuna

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

-or-

Crunchy Chicken

Cheesy Squash Casserole -or- sauteed squash

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Try a new muffin recipe from Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Lunch:

Hot Dogs

Veggies

-or-

Soup (Use leftovers)

Dinner: ++

Creamed Spinach and Bacon-Smothered Chicken Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table  p. 219

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Collagen Berry Whip from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 375

Root Beer Floats… try this recipe: ROOT BEER SHAKE


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches & Fruit

-or-

Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 190

Dinner: ++

Daddy Can’t Wait Casserole

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

-or-

Celery with Peanut Butter


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Sopapillas

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Saturday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Big Boy Smoothie from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 414

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Perfect Stuffed Wraps

-or-

Salad in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 188

Dinner: ++

Mississippi Pot Roast

Mashed Potatoes -or- Super Yummy Caulitaters -or- Baked Sweet Potatoes

Vegetable Casserole or add some chunked veggies to the pot roast if desired.

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Cake from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table 

Baby Frap from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Advertisements

Meal Plan: June 16 – 22, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

-or-

Banana Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Hot dogs

Veggies

-or-

Perfect Stuffed Wraps

Dinner: ++

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Potato Salad (with cauliflower alternative)

Land Your Man Baked Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Muffins from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Salted Caramel Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Choco Secret Big Boy Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.415

Lunch:

Leftovers

Salad w/cucumbers, tomato, feta cheese, black olives, and an oil and vinegar dressing

Dinner: ++

Red & White Pasta

Salad

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cupcakes (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

-or-

Magic Salted Caramel Cupcakes Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 378

 


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

-or-

French Toast in a Bowl

Lunch:

PB & J Sandwiches

Fruit

-or-

Soup & Salad

Dinner: ++

Fish w/Honey Mustard Sauce

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Pudding Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 350


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins 

-or-

Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 364

Lunch:

Ham & Cheese Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Tortellini Soup

Buttered Bread

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

-or-

Fat Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Tuna Salad

-or-

Tuna Wraps 

Dinner: ++

Easy Bean Tostadas

Brown Rice (Make a double batch and use leftovers for tomorrow)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

Lemon Cake

-or-

Sheri’s Chocolate Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal -or- Can-Do Cereal – Quick Version Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p.349

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

-or-

Creamy Grains Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 253

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken

-or-

Creamless Creamy Chicken Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 78

Brown Rice

Pan Fried Green Beans

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Orange Dream 


Saturday

Breakfast:

Cheese Danish

-or-

Low Carb Cheese Danish

Fruit

Lunch:

Leftovers

-or-

Crispy Salmon Siesta Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 80

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Free Day

-or-

Chicken Stir Fry (I usually just buy the HUGE bag of veggies and add some cooked chicken  or steak to it)

Chinese Fried Rice with Veggies, Brown Rice, or Cauli Rice

Snacks/Desserts:

Cake

Tummy Tucking Ice Cream Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 363

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Perfect Stuffed Wraps

These are so easy to make and so good! Everyone can make their own wrap just the way they like it.

Perfect Stuffed Wraps

Ingredients:

  • Pita Bread or low carb tortilla
  • 4-6 oz. meat, cooked
  • Veggies:
    • avocado, chunked
    • lettuce, shredded
    • tomato, sliced
  • Condiments, as desired

Directions:

Warm your bread, if desired.

Load your bread with meat and veggies.

Add condiments, if desired.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post even more FREE articles, projects, and recipes! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Easy Alfredo Sauce

This is so easy to make and so much better for you than the store bought stuff.

Easy Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3-4 T. minced garlic (optional but we love it)
  • 16 ozs cream cheese, cut into chunks (can use the reduced fat)
  • 2 c. Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • parsley, optional 
  • nutmeg, optional 

Directions:

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat.

Saute the garlic in the butter.

Add the cream cheese and stir until completely melted.

Slowly whisk in the milk and parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle in seasonings to taste, except for the parsley.

Continue to heat and whisk until smooth and creamy.

Garnish with fresh or dried parsley.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post even more FREE articles, projects, and recipes! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Personal Pita Pizzas

These are so easy to make and so good! Everyone can make their own pizza just the way they like it. When paired with a nice Salad they make a great meal as well!

Personal Pita Pizzas

Ingredients:

  • Pita Bread or tortillas
  • Tomato Sauce, spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce or try Easy Alfredo Sauce for a white pizza sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Toppings of your choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat the tortillas or pita bread on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes until slightly crisp.

Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on top.

Top with shredded cheese.

Add additional toppings as desired.

Place in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post even more FREE articles, projects, and recipes! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

Meal Plan: June 9 – 15, 2019

This is our basic meal plan for the week. Sometimes we will switch the days around if I forgot to set something out or put something in the crockpot. Please feel free to use this or change it around to suit your family’s needs.

I have started trying to do easier meals on days that I have square dancing obligations. This helps me to be able to put a nice meal on the table without feeling guilty about having some much needed ‘Mommy Time’. Some of these meals may also help with those that have busy or irregular schedules due to work or extracurricular activities.

I do have ‘Snacks/Desserts’ listed as well. I always try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit out on the counter or table for the kids to snack on. Sometimes I will make a special snack or treat for us to enjoy.

We have also been using the Trim Healthy Mama books to try to convert some of our favorite recipes to be healthier. Meal planning really does help keep this tired Momma from completely losing her sanity. It also helps when I can quickly locate the recipe and ingredients I need for grocery lists and meal prep. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplements and such that we are using. You can always buy them a few at a time or many of them can be substituted or even omitted, if necessary.

Some recipes are from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table. These will have a link to the product on Amazon as I can not post the recipes online without prior permission. In many cases, I have tried to tweak our recipe to be more in line with THM but I can’t guarantee that they would be 100% on the plan but I can say that they are healthier than their previous versions.

I do still have a lot of recipes that I need to convert so this will be a bit of a process for us as well. Some recipes are better as they are and we will try to make them work as best we can. I know the kids need a few extra calories and nutrients so we do usually have a few extras (like bread and rolls) that us grown-ups will need to exercise caution with but other than that it has been pretty easy to follow along with this plan so far. If the meal happens to be something that I feel is not on the plan I may choose not to eat part of it or make a big salad and top it with whatever protein source everyone else is having.

I know the THM plan says that you may not see any weight loss at first but that your body will be healing from the inside. I know that we are eating much healthier than we were before and I’ll try to be content knowing that we are getting healthier one meal at a time.

I also love to utilize the grocery pickup services from Walmart and Sam’s Club not to mention that Amazon Prime Deliveries can make life so much easier as well.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Meal Prep Ideas to make this week a little easier.


Sunday 

Breakfast:

Sensible Scrambled Eggs

Toast

Fruit

Lunch:

We had a family cookout so this ended up being a FREE DAY.

We took:

Boston Baked Beans

Apple Sonker (I used frozen blackberries sprinkled with a bit of sugar instead of apples)

Dinner: ++

leftovers

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruits (We were gifted with some yummy watermelons that we will be snacking on this week.)


Monday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Fried eggs over cubed zucchini fried in butter

Lunch:

Salad topped with cooked shrimp, chicken, or other meat

Dinner: ++

Personal Pita Pizzas

Salad

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)

Cottage Cheese with sliced strawberries


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Chocolate Fat-Stripping Frappa Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 418

Lunch:

Leftover French Toast w/jelly

Fruit

Yogurt

Dinner: ++

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole (I’ve made some adaptations to the original recipe to make it a little bit more waist-friendly.)

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Peanut Butter Pudding


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins

Chia Pudding in a Jar Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table p. 352

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches

Veggies

-or-

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

w/small Salad

Dinner: ++

Chili Dog Casserole

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Leftover Muffins

-or-

Muffin in a cup recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook or the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table.


Thursday

Breakfast:

Protein Power Pancakes (3 variations) or Trim Healthy Pancakes or Waffles (E) p. 259

Blueberry Syrup (with healthier options) or Pancake Syrup (FP) p. 480

Lunch:

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

-or-

Waldorf Cottage Cheese Salad Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook  p. 190

Dinner: ++

Mustard Crusted Pork Chops

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Snacks/Desserts:

Fruit

Lemon Cake


Friday

Breakfast:

Cereal/Oatmeal or Apple Pie Crunch Granola (E) p. 255

The Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook and the  Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Healthy Table both have some great ideas for cereal alternatives you can make at home.

Field of Greens Om Cake Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 240

Lunch:

Soup

Grilled Cheese

Dinner: ++

Philly cheese steak sandwiches

Salad

Use Wonder Wraps Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 204 in place of bread

**(This is usually a fairly quick meal to put together as we have a class/dance in the evening)

Snacks/Desserts:

Cookies (** I will try to make a few extra to take along for refreshments at the dance.)


Saturday

Breakfast:

Bagels w/Cream Cheese

-or-

A plan approved toast with laughing cow cheese

Fruit

Lunch:

Tuna Salad (use lettuce to wrap the tuna instead of bread for an on plan lunch)

Choco Chip Baby Frap Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p.421

Dinner: ++

Salmon Patties

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Creamed Peas

Snacks/Desserts:

Butterfly Wings Cake (FP) p. 301 with fruit and whipped cream (I never got around to making this last week)

++I have a few kids who seem to be going through growth spurts right now and are always HUNGRY. I have been keeping a pot of beans, blackeyed peas, or another vegetable as a side. I also have been buying a few extra snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. 


Meal Prep Ideas

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken or cook a few chicken breasts and shred for salads
  • Make your own bagged salads
  • Make some The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever! for meals and snacks
  • You could also mix up the pancake and muffin batters the night before to make your mornings a bit easier.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission and allow us to continue to post FREE articles, recipes, and tips.

 –Thank you!

Pan Fried Green Beans

Sometimes we get in a rut when we are trying to eat healthier and we find ourselves eating everything steamed or broiled. Sometimes we are afraid to season or use any kind of fat but really all fats are not bad and our body does need them sometimes. This recipe is kind of a variation of my Oven Roasted Green Beans as I forgot to preheat the oven and didn’t want to take the time to do it one day. I think this method would probably work well with some asparagus or Brussel sprouts too.

Pan Fried Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. of fresh, rinsed and dried or frozen green beans
  • 2 T. Olive oil, butter, or bacon drippings
  • 1 T. Red palm oil, (optional)
  • 1 t.  mineral salt (or try Lawry’s Garlic Salt)
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced onions, (optional)
  • 2-3 T. bacon crumbles (optional)

Directions:

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. (add the palm oil, if using)

Once heated add the beans and onions.

Sprinkle with seasonings and saute until slightly crispy and browned, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with bacon crumbles, if desired.

Serve.

We like to eat these along side of Super Yummy Caulitaters.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

All-Purpose Breader

This has been a lifesaver for those of us who crave fried foods even though I tried to make them sparingly since we started our healthy eating journey. Mr. Awesome has had a craving for fried chicken so when he saw that I had set out some chicken to thaw he bugged me until I gave in.

If you fry them in refined coconut oil or palm shortening they can be a bit better for you though and this all-purpose breader seems to be a winner with even the pickiest eaters here… they devoured almost all of the fried chicken before I could get a picture!

I think this would work well on pork chops, fish, and veggies too although you may need to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. (I really can’t wait to try this out with my Fried Cauliflower recipe!) For fish and seafood, I may try it with some lemon pepper instead of the garlic salt but either one would probably be fine. It would probably also work great if you decided to bake instead of fry.

All-Purpose Breader

Ingredients:

Directions:

Mix it all together in a container (I like to use a pie plate).

We usually beat a couple of eggs to dip the meat/veggies into before dipping them into the breader. (You could also do this with egg whites only.)

Fry or bake as usual.

This coats 12 -14 pieces of chicken thighs and legs with a little bit left over.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy-weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

[STARTS MONDAY] These experts will help you detox!

HealthMeans has teamed up with Bridgit Danner for The DIY Detox Summit, starts THIS Monday –> Register for free now!

There’s detox, and then there’s do-it-yourself detox!

Learn the at-home tips, tricks, and strategies to deal with the more than 80,000 registered chemicals in the world.

No matter how hard you try, you’re still bound to accumulate toxins in your body.

And, the topic of detox may sound overwhelming and complicated but, actually, most of it is under your control. You can learn how to avoid toxins in your home and gently remove them from your body through food and lifestyle.

These are the experts you definitely DO NOT want to miss on Monday!
+ Jay Davidson, DC, PScD: 3 Golden Nuggets of Detox
+ Wendy Myers, FDN-P, NC, CHHC: DIY Heavy Metal Detox
+ Christine Schaffner, ND: Finding the Root of Chronic Illness
+ Jason Prall: Creating Your Detox Lifestyle
+ Michael Murray, ND: Detox Essentials

1. Register immediately to make sure you’ll see the free talks! Continue reading [STARTS MONDAY] These experts will help you detox!

Family, Faith, Food, Fun, & Freebies

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: