Category Archives: Meal Planning

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:

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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/

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!

7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today

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

I had originally written this series of posts in honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, which falls during the first week of August, I decided to make a short list of 7 easy steps that almost anyone can use to simplify their life starting today. With the New Year fast approaching I thought it might be helpful to post this again for anyone looking to simplify their life and have more FREE time.

Now I’m not talking about anything drastic like selling everything you own and moving into a small secluded cabin with no electric. This actually sounds like a really good idea to me right now but my kids wouldn’t really like that. The tips below will not only help you to simplify your life but they will help you to be more efficient.

Click on each link for more information and helpful tips.

  1. Take Care of Yourself
  2. Reduce Your Screen Time
  3. Learn to say NO without feeling guilty
  4. Declutter your closet (and your house)
  5. Get Organized
  6. Set Up Routines
  7. Pay Off Those Debts and Bills

I wish you the best of luck with getting your life simplified! Let me know, in the comments below, of any tips that you have used to simplify your life.

Click here to get started on Step 1.

Start your  FREE account with the  Wealthy Affiliate program.

 

 

 

 

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

Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Oh my! I think I’ve finally recovered from my Thanksgiving food coma… have you? I’ve tried to hold off on posting too many new recipes lately because some of you may not even want to think about cooking so soon after Thanksgiving but I just had to share this one. These are so good I could probably eat a whole batch by myself!

A while back I posted our Smushed Taters recipe and that was a hit in our home. Well, at one of the Thanksgiving square dance dinners we attended there was a dish that reminded me of this recipe except that it had been made in the crockpot. Hmmmm…. what? Why had I never thought of this. I didn’t get a chance to get the recipe but here is how we made our version last night. Which was another smashing hit when served with Steamed Asparagus and Broiled Parmesan Tilapia!

I think I want to give this a try with red skin potatoes or cauliflower at some point.

Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and washed well
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pats
  • non stick spray
  • Salt and pepper (We like Lawry’s Garlic Salt)
  • shredded cheese
  • chives, optional
  • bacon bits, optional

Directions:

Spray your crockpot well with nonstick spray.

Place the potatoes in the crockpot and cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-4 hours, just until tender. (I didn’t add any water but you may want to add a little if they seem like they are drying out.)

Take a potato masher or large fork and slightly mash the potatoes.

Place the pats of butter on top.

Season as desired.

Top with shredded cheese, chives, and bacon bits. Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve as is or with sour cream.

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We did and we ate so much good food and will be eating some delicious leftovers for a few days. One of the best desserts was the Blackberry Dumplings I made in the crock pot (they can be made in the oven too). This recipe is similar to the Blackberry Pig in a Poke recipe but so much easier!

The caramel sauce and nutmeg are optional but they make it so much better. I think this would go nicely with some vanilla ice cream on the side too! You could also experiment with other fruits/berries as well as maybe changing the soda to Sprite or Mountain Dew. Add in your favorite nuts, raisins, or maybe some white chocolate chips too… whatever you and your family likes. Just have fun and enjoy experimenting as I know we do here.

Easy As Pie Blackberry Dumplings

Ingredients:

Dumplings:

  • 2-3 cans of crescent rolls
  • 2-3 c. blackberries
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 12 oz ginger ale, Sprite, or Mountain Dew

Sauce:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • a bit of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)

Directions:

Crock Pot Directions:

  1. Spray your crock pot with non stick spray.
  2. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  3. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  4. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the bottom of the crockpot. I did one layer to make sure they all got finished.
  5. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  6. Cook on high 3-4 hours… they will smell amazing!
  7. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  8. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Oven Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick spray.
  3. Place the berries in a small bowl and toss with the sugar. Let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Place 2-3 berries in each crescent roll and roll up making sure to pinch the sides closed.
  5. Place the ‘dumplings’ in the greased pan.
  6. If you have any leftover berries you can mash them up and add them to the soda and then pour this over the dumplings.
  7. Bake 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. When ready to serve place the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbly. Stir well.
  9. Drizzle the sauce over the individual servings and then sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

Our Family Favorite Thanksgiving Desserts for 2018 (plus a peek at our Thanksgiving Menu)

I know this is a tad bit late but maybe it will be helpful for those of you still trying to find that perfect dessert for your family get together. Below are the 10 desserts that made the cut for our family Thanksgiving Dinner this year:

  1. Luscious Four Layer Pumpkin Cake
  2. Blackberry Pig in a Poke (I may try to experiment with a simpler version.)
  3. Chocolate Pudding Pie – (This was something I always looked forward too with my Mom-Mom)
  4. German Chocolate Pie
  5. Pumpkin Pie
  6. Pecan Pie
  7. Pumpkin Roll
  8. Brownies
  9. Easy Banana Pudding
  10. Cheesecake

I’m not sure if all of these will be homemade or store bought as I have quite a bit on my To-Do list already. I know that my oldest daughters will be helping with some of the dishes as well as other guests. Just writing this post has made me HUNGRY!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Want a peek at our Menu? Look below:

Thanksgiving Dinner 2018

I’ve also sent out a ‘draft’ with names beside each dish so everyone remembers who was making what… lol… I’m so forgetful sometimes it really helps. Many of these recipes can be found on our blog as well!

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

I know that this time of year there are ao many pumpkin related recipes going around but Pumpkin Pie is a big traadition around here so I wanted to share our recipe. You can put this into a store bought pie shell or try your hand at a made scratch from pie crust as well.

Pumpkin Pie Filling From Scratch

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust, store bought or made from scratch
  • 2 c. pumpkin, cooked and mashed
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 t. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 t. ground cinnamon, 1/2 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. ground nutmeg)
  • 1/2 t. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Put your pie crust into you pie pan.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour into the pie shell.

Bake 40 -50 minutes or until the center is done.

Enjoy as is or with cool whip.