Category Archives: home organization

When the rainy days just don’t seem to end

**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. You can find a full list of our affiliate links HERE.

 –Thank you

Do you ever feel like you have a dark cloud over you that you just can’t shake? Well, it’s been that way for a bit here. We’ve had more downs than ups but I know that it won’t last forever.

A few months back I mentioned that we had tried to get a house and it just didn’t work out. We haven’t given up but things have been quite a bit tougher than we ever imagined during this process and honestly, I’m about to lose my ever-lovin’ mind with paperwork on top of paperwork. (I’ve been hinting about a big surprise and was hoping to have some major housing updates by now but so far NADA.)

This quaint little cabin has some major issues and we have been working on them a little at a time but sometimes I just wanna throw my hands up in the air and quit. Seriously, it’s hard living in 600 square feet with 7 people and a doggie. I do love this little cabin and its location but in all honesty, it’s not been an easy transition for me. Continue reading When the rainy days just don’t seem to end

Life Without Plastic Back To School Essentials

Where has the summer gone? It’s so hard to believe that many kids will be headed back to school soon. I know we’ve been plugging along with our schooling here… slowly but surely we are getting through our On The Banks Of Plum Creek Academic Adventure as we’ve had some unexpected chaos come up this summer… more about that soon.

Many kids will be needed packed lunches for one reason or another and as you know we did the Plastic Free Challenge last month and we did really well with even though I didn’t get to post a lot about it. Just because July is over it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to stop using so many one time use plastics. I remember the lunch packing days with the plastic sandwich bags and all but over at Life Without Plastic they have all kinds of plastic-free alternatives for lunches. Why not check them out and see if you find anything that interests you? Change starts with one thing at a time and I know in our house I have been slowly replacing plastic items with more durable glass and/or metal items.

Heres a few of the items they have available on the site:

  • Container Back to School New Everyday Container: The perfect sandwich and lunch container. It fits neatly in a backpack, is made of 18-8 food grade 304 stainless steel and is completely airtight. It is the perfect size for a sandwich and a side salad, a sandwich, and chips, a large salad… you name it.
  • Lunch BagWool Insulated Natural Lunch Bag – Olive Trim: (also available in orange trim) This bag has been loved by our customers for years now. The bag and lining are 100% unbleached certified organic cotton and the insulation is 100% wool. This one has an olive trim that is hand-dyed with all-natural, non-toxic vegetable dye.
  • Stainless Steel Airtight Watertight Food Storage Container – 8cm: The perfect size for yogurt, dips, a little snack of fruit, you name it. Lid & container made of 18-10 food grade 316 stainless steel. Safe for you and safe for the environment.
  • Stainless Steel Airtight Watertight Food Storage Container – 14 cm: For little meals, salads, bigger snacks, this container is our go-to size. It is made of a high-quality 18-10 food grade 316 stainless steel. Airtight and perfect for school.
  • SPORK  Stainless Steel Foldable Spork: Its size and convenient organic cotton carrying case make it the ideal school lunch accessory. Our Spork (Spoon + Fork) is made of 18-8 food grade 304 stainless steel; pouch made of certified organic cotton and printed with all-natural, non-toxic vegetable-based inks.
  • PPC Reusable Thermal Insulated Bottle PPC Reusable Thermal Insulated Bottle:  The bottle is double-walled with a lid that is vacuum-sealed to prevent leaks and keep your beverage exactly the temperature you want it. It keeps drinks chilled up to 24 hours and warm for up to 12 hours. The best part about this bottle is that it is safe; its 100% BPA-free and phthalate-free making it healthy for your day-to-day use.

They have a ton of great products so why don’t you head on over to the site and check them out… you may still have enough time to order a few items before school starts back too and your family can be a leader in the Plastic-Free movement!

Want some more plastic-free/zero waste ideas? Check out my Zero Waste Ideas Pinterest Board for some great ideas on ways to go plastic-free!


**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. You can find a full list of our affiliate links HERE.

 –Thank you

100 Days of Summer Freezer Meals – the series!

I know it’s the middle of summer but I just found this great program that I had to share! I’m always looking for ways to cut back on the craziness around here and I am a big supporter of meal planning. (I do apologize for dropping the ball lately on getting those posted but I promise you I have a very good reason which I’ll share soon!) The one thing I need to incorporate more into my meal planning is freezer cooking.

At MyFreezEasy.com you can find all kinds of help in this area and I’m loving this Summer Freezer Meals series. I have been trying to eat healthier and the whole family is getting on board with this change as well. Being prepared is half the battle when it comes to making healthy choices in the kitchen. It’s much more tempting to order pizza or grab something quick to make when you haven’t already planned out what’s for dinner. An easier solution would be to have something already prepped in the freezer for these situations.

Grab your FREE Guide to Freezer Cooking and Meal Planning Success (Yours FREE.  Pay only shipping.)

I admit that I’ve about used up all the freezer meals I made a few months ago and this series is just the motivation I needed to get myself back on track. Things have been so crazy here lately and it seems that if something can go wrong it will and has… just last week the dryer conked out on us so we’ve been air drying everything. We haven’t put up a clothesline so I’ve been using a couple of portable clothes drying racks set up on the porch. Well, of course, it has been very humid and we’ve had thunderstorms almost every day which has made this chore a little bit more difficult than it should be… that’s life though!

With this Summer Freezer Meals series, there’s nothing to worry about. Everything you need is right there and all you need to do is go grocery shopping and follow the directions. With the Walmart Grocery Pickup, you can get the grocery shopping done in a fraction of time… I’m patiently waiting for our local Walmart to start this service soon.

Check out the site, the workshops, and grab your Summer Freezer Meals series while you’re there!

Did you read the post about $5 Meal Plans? If not check it out HERE.


**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. You can find a full list of our affiliate links HERE.

 –Thank you

Chicken Bacon Avocado Wraps

These things are amazing and good for you too! You could add a variety of other things to them but they are so easy and simple to make I’m sure they’ll be added to our menu plans on a regular basis. This recipe is for one to two people but can easily be doubled or tripled to fit your family.

You can prep a lot of these ahead of time to make these super easy to throw together. These also work great for any meal or as a quick snack when you need a little boost.

Chicken Bacon Avocado Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 oz cooked and seasoned chicken breast or canned chicken
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced thin
  • 1-2 slices bacon, cooked crisp
  • lettuce, sliced thin
  • mayo, sour cream, or salad dressing of choice
  • 2-4 tortillas, flatbread, or Wonder Wraps p. 204 Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Directions:

Spread a thin layer of mayo or sour cream on your wrap. Add the remaining ingredients as desired. Fold and 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.

 –Thank you!

Cover Image by stenholtz from Pixabay

Swedish Death Cleaning At The Cabin

Whoa!…. That title sounds kinda scary, doesn’t it? Well, it shouldn’t as the Swedish concept of döstädning, “death cleaning”, or “one last sweep”, is actually something that can be quite wonderful. I know from some of my past experiences with decluttering that getting rid of stuff can make you feel so much better. You can even invite your friends and family to help and use this as a bonding experience.

Last summer we did a big decluttering session here and the house felt so much better afterward. Well, that feeling has since worn off as we’ve had Christmas and birthdays which brought in more clutter as well as the fact that other clutter has found its way in the house as well.

With 600 square feet and as many people as we have, things can get quite cluttered quite quickly. When my mom-mom died last year and we went to visit the family I saw that she had done some major decluttering herself. The house still looked the same in many ways but many things that we remembered had been gifted or removed by her before she died.

I can understand how important that decluttering can be for someone as many times we surround ourselves with so much stuff that we don’t even notice how cluttered things have become. Who will be responsible for taking care of the STUFF when we are gone? That’s not something that I want to leave for my kids to do.

I have read a little bit here and there about this Swedish Death Cleaning and there are a ton of books on Amazon about the Swedish Death Cleaning. There are also a ton of blog posts and articles about the subject that you can look into for more information.

This month, starting today, I plan to do our own version of the Swedish Death Cleaning here in our little cabin. Like I said before it is a very small home and with this many people, it gets cluttered very easily.

I’ve really tried to limit the number of things I personally bring into the house but I can’t always control the number of things that come in and our house has become a little bit uncomfortable with all of this clutter.

Not to mention that we have been extraordinarily busy with different things going on and some of the clutter has resulted just from ‘dumping’ things in places that they don’t belong. Much of our homeschool stuff was recently relocated to the shed where it was organized but we do have a good bit of school stuff still in the house as well as books… yeah, we have lots of books which I know will be one of my hardest areas.

There are a lot of strategies to get started with as some suggest going from top to bottom (attic to the basement) while others suggest going room by room, Some suggest starting with the larger items first and working your way down to the smaller more meaningful items for last. Some suggest doing it all at once while others suggest doing a little at a time. The main concept is to sort through your belonging and get rid of the unnecessary stuff.

This is also a good time to get your personal affairs in order and put them somewhere safe. Be sure to include items such as:

  • passwords
  • financial information
  • wills
  • insurance information
  • burial plans
  • other important information

The three most important questions to ask yourself while doing this cleaning are:

  • Will I ever need this again?
  • Will someone else need it?
  • Will anyone be happier if I save this?

When going through this process it would probably be best to have a couple of bins or piles for ‘Throwaway‘, ‘Keep‘, and/or ‘Donate‘. A good idea to keep in mind is that some of the sentimental items could possibly be regifted to a friend or family member who would really appreciate them.

Occasionally you will come across an item that you realize may cause problems between family members if it is ‘left’ for one and not the other. I have read that it is suggested to take care of it beforehand, maybe even selling it, to eliminate these kinds of issues after you pass.

Another thing that you should take care of would be personal and private items. If you have any of these that you can’t get rid of right now you should put them in a container and label it with something like:

Do Not Open

Personal and Private

Please dispose of IMMEDIATELY!

-or-

Throw Away Without Opening

Doing these things will not only help you with the clutter in your life but it will help your loved ones later on when the time comes for them to sort through the belongings you have left behind. This should give you a sense of peace knowing that your loved ones will have an easier time going through your stuff.

Remember that this is likely not to be a one time purge that will never need repeating but if you do regular mini sessions you can stay on top of it and not need to do a major purge later on. This can also be an emotional process so go at your own pace and get others to help whenever you can.

We’ve had another death in the family recently and we still need to go through the sheds full of belongings which is taking some time to get started on as this happened quite unexpectedly. I’m sure there will be a lot of emotions and choices to make when we do get around to doing it though.

We have a different reason for this major decluttering that we will be doing and it will not be as thorough as a traditional ‘death cleaning’ but it will be quite helpful for us in the near future. When it comes to my personal belongings I probably will go ahead a get rid of some things as I know I things that I’ve just held onto for no particular reason.

Have you tried the Swedish Death Cleaning Method? How did it help you?

Be sure to follow along with our blog for updates on how our decluttering is going.

** This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use.

 

Meal Plan: June 30 – July 6, 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.

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:

Banana Crumb Muffins or Banana Nut Muffin (S) p. 277

Scrambled eggs

Lunch:

Super Simple Egg Salad with or without bread

Sliced Cucumbers

Dinner: ++

King Ranch Cauliflower Chicken

Green Beans

Baked corn tortilla chips

Snacks/Desserts:

Popcorn

Fruit


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.

Lunch:

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches w/Cheese

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Creamless Creamy Chicken Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook p. 78

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:

Fruit

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


Tuesday

Breakfast:

French Toast

Lunch:

Soup

Oven Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Dinner: ++

Upside-Down Meatloaf

Super Yummy Caulitaters

Salad

Snacks/Desserts:

Boiled Eggs

Fruit


Wednesday

Breakfast:

Basic Muffins or Blueberry Muffins with Lemon Glosting (S) p. 364

Lunch:

PB & J sandwiches – Use the Peanut Junkie Butter recipe (FP) p. 481

Fruit

Dinner: ++

Poppy Seed Chicken

Brown Rice

Veggies

Rolls w/butter (As long as you aren’t on the weight loss plan. I am working on a few bread recipes because I know it is one of the hardest things for me to give up.)

Snacks/Desserts:

Muffins

Fruit


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:

Leftovers

Dinner: ++

Free Day (July 4th)

**Cook extra for tomorrow

Snacks/Desserts:

Holiday Themed dessert

Fruit


Friday

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.

Lunch:

Tuna Salad Sandwiches w/or without the bread

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Leftovers

**(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.)

Fruit


Saturday

Breakfast:

PB Toast w/ Fruit

-or-

Stuffed Mushroom Omelet

Super Simple Sauteed Spinach

Lunch:

Hot Dogs

Veggies

Dinner: ++

Breakfast for dinner

Snacks/Desserts:

Banana Splits

Fruit

++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

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.

 –Thank you!

Emergency Preparedness: Water Purification with Berkey

As many of you know we have entered Hurricane Season where we live. (The season officially began on June 1, 2019, and will end on November 30, 2019.) Hurricanes and other natural disasters can wreak havoc all around us and cause many serious issues so it is important to always be prepared.

One of the most important things you need in the event of a natural disaster is clean drinking water. Boy, do I know how fast water flies off the shelves and how hard it is to get if you wait until the last minute. (The last time that happened we had no choice but to wait to the last minute as we had no transportation at the time.) I try my best to stay stocked up but in this little house, there is only so much water we can hide under beds and such.

We have been washing out milk jugs and filling them with water. These have been placed in the bottom of a big chest freezer we have out in a shed. If an emergency hits they will help to keep the freezer cold and can provide us with water for drinking and cooking so I feel pretty comfortable that we would be okay if we had a power outage of a few days but more than 4 or 5 days would be pushing it.

We do have a generator that we can, and have, hooked up to run the water pump but you never know when something like that will fail or if we were to run out of fuel it may be hard to get out to get more for a time as the roads around us are frequently flooded after major storms. We needed a better plan, or at least I thought we did.

Use Code KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

I have been looking at the Berkey Water Systems for quite a while now and really began to take an interest in them again recently. After debating and thinking about it I finally decided to go ahead and take the plunge… yes, they can be a bit expensive but they do have some great ways to save money with the Berkey Filter Scratch & Dent Sale which I had planned to take advantage of and may take advantage of in the future as I can see that these would make wonderful gifts too!

However recently we have been having some water issues here. We have hard water and we have a system for that but the system has been malfunctioning. The water has a slight smell and taste which they have assured us is nothing bad… they aren’t the ones drinking it though. It also has an orange color to it that has been discoloring EVERYTHING from the toilet bowl to the water bottles. YUCK! It made me sick just to look at it.

After waiting patiently for the system to begin functioning properly again, which it is working better but doesn’t quite seem to be at 100% yet, I decided ENOUGH was ENOUGH. I can’t let my family drink this water any longer! I mean the investment in the system is for our health and well being. The cost when compared to the smaller units you can buy for your faucet will be an even better value in the long run. (I believe the estimate the cost to be less than $0.02 a gallon! Now that’s a great value!)

Well, I still wanted to check out the facts and make sure that this was what we really needed. After checking out all the information they have on the website and reading about the different purification reports they have listed on the filter pages I was convinced that this would be the best thing for us.

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

They have a variety of sizes and I believe we have the largest size available (the Crown Berkey) as I know we go through a lot of water. The way this filtered water tastes makes me think I need to invest in some more black filters too so it can be ready faster as we are sure to be drinking even more water from now on! It is a very noticeable difference in both the look and taste of the water. The more filters the faster we can have purified water. Yes, there is a difference between filtered and purified water and boy does it show!

Related image

Not to mention that you can use it to clean virtually any kind of water. I’ve read reviews about people using stream water, pond water, etc. I know they do have suggestions for treating this kind of water before filtering just to be safe so you would probably want to check that out beforehand. This is really good to know though as things can get quite desperate in emergency situations.  Berkey filters can remove 200+ contaminants from water and they have the certified lab results to prove it too!

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They also have several bundles right now that can help you to save even more money! Not only do they have systems for your drinking water but they have a shower filter that is getting rave reviews! They are currently sold out but you can have your name added to the list to be notified when they are back in stock. I did this and I can’t wait to be able to order mine!

They shipped our order super fast too and it was so easy to set up. I had the system set up in less than 20 minutes! Yep, it was that fast. Getting the first batch of water run through the system did take a bit longer though but this morning we had clean, fresh water to drink. The kids were happy that it was clear and I am happy knowing that it is so much healthier for everyone! I really can’t wait to start making some of my Trim Healthy Mama drinks with this!

Don’t forget to use Code

KIRBY5 for a 5% discount on your order TODAY!

Here’s a few pics of our system as it arrived and was set up. I was so excited to see it out on the porch when we came home from a dance I stayed up after midnight to set it up!


**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. This means that we can keep bringing you great recipes, ideas, and tips for FREE! Click HERE for a full disclaimer.

 –Thank you!

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!

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!

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! Continue reading Super Busy Start To The Summer

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!

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!