Category Archives: Parenting

Emergency Preparedness: Prepping For Hurricane Dorian

**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


Ahhh… it’s been a busy week as we’ve been trying to get back into the school routine and trying to keep an eye on a storm that was headed our way. Earlier in the week, our fears were confirmed and now every county in the state has been declared a state of emergency. The models have been changing almost every time I check for an update and the latest ones I have seen are predicting that it will be a Category 4 by the time it makes landfall south of where we are.

Needless to say, there are a lot of people panicking and some evacuating. Many Floridians, like ourselves, will be staying and weathering out the storm. This means that we need to be prepared for at least a week without power. Maybe that doesn’t sound too bad for some of us who may enjoy those camping trips but if you aren’t prepared for this it could be a disaster. The little town where I grew up was known for power outages that lasted a week or longer at a time. They could happen in the dead of winter so we learned to be prepared.

What are we doing to prepare? Continue reading Emergency Preparedness: Prepping For Hurricane Dorian

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

Try out $5 Meal Plans for FREE!

If you’re anything like me or thousands of other moms the last thing you want to think about is meal planning. Meal planning for me is a necessity as it keeps the dinner time drama to a minimum but if you really don’t know where or how to get started then maybe it’s time to check out $5 Meal Plan.

You may be asking ‘what is $5 meal plan’? Well here is how they describe it on the site:

What is $5 Meal Plan?

[$5 Meal Plan is a weekly meal plan service that can make your meal planning as simple as possible.

We surveyed 2,134 families and, on average, they spent two hours a week on meal planning. Those same families say they hate meal planning because it’s time consuming, boring, stressful, and they’d much rather spend that time with their families!

For just $5 a month, we will send you a delicious meal plan where every meal will cost about $2 per person, and in most cases less. (Erin makes these meals for her family of 6 for $5 per meal!)

We will save you money, save you time, and save you the stress of having to spend hours each week planning your meals instead of enjoying quality time with your family, unwinding with your favorite show/book/beverage, or whatever else you’d rather be doing!]

When I first started my meal planning I did join a meal plan subscription site for a year. This gave me tons of ideas and recipes to try out and add to my collection. Now I have them organized on a recurring schedule on my Cozi calendar along with the recipes so that my meal planning is a lot simpler.

Why not give it a try?

Start My Free Trial Today!

100% risk-free, cancel anytime, no questions asked!

 

Also, check out my upcoming post ‘100 Days of Summer Freezer Meals – the series!’ for more great meal planning ideas! Remember 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.


**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

FREEBIE ALERT: Ultimate Spa Package e-Book

The Ultimate Spa Package is your guide to a natural girls’ night in! We know that not everyone can fit in a trip to the day spa, but with the Fresh Facials and Scrumptious Scrubs e-Book, you can enjoy being pampered anytime!

This time of year is perfect to share for a great “girls’ night” before school starts again or a bridal or baby shower! Who will you invite to your natural DIY spa party?

Be sure to grab your free copy TODAY! 

spaday


**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

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

Just in case you haven’t read about the Wildcraft game or the Learning Herbs books in any of my previous posts I’m going to share this with you now. My kids have absolutely been loving the Herb Studies we’ve incorporated into our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures. Recently I came across the Herb Fairies book series that they are enjoying as well. When I purchased the book series Amazon had recommended this game, Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game, as others had also purchased it. I did buy the game and my kids love it!

Continue reading Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game

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

Kick The Summer Blues With Some Learning Adventures

Are your kids complaining that they are bored yet? Well, mine pretty much know better than to tell me they are bored because Momma will find lots for them to do like cleaning out the van or the stinky trash can… lol. We have some fun things also like working on our Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventures.

My kids also love doing unit studies as they love learning. Whether they are asking about the stripes on tigers or how a robot works I can usually find a unit study for over at UnitStudy.com. Right now they have a few special going on that you might want to check out for your kiddos or grandkids to help keep their brains from turning to mush over the summer vacation.

What are some things your kids have been interested in learning about this summer?


**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!Summer-Sensations-Cover-1_compact

Celebrate National Sugar Cookie Day

Did you know it’s National Sugar Cookie Day? I didn’t until just a few minutes ago. I’m not sure if it made our July Holidays list but I do know my kids love helping out in the kitchen and we have so many great memories from making cookies and such.

The folks over at UnitStudy.com are having a FLASH SALE on their Crunchy Cookies unit study… it’s just $5.oo for today only! So hurry and grab this deal so you can get started making some great memories with your kids and grandkids today! While you are over there check out some of the other great deals they have as well.

In case you don’t want to grab that deal you can check out our cookie recipes 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.

 –Thank you!

Homemade Grain-free Pizza

As many of you know I’ve been on this Trim Healthy Momma kick for a bit now. While I admit that there are some foods that I do miss on occasion, I am feeling so much better in so many ways that I will never go back to the way of eating that I had done before.

One of the things that I’ve missed out on was pizza which I have bought a few times for the kids but I usually just have something else instead. I know you can take the toppings off and eat them on or along with a salad but the bread is what I like the most… I know I’m weird.

I have been working on cleaning out my emails this week and ran across one from Katie over at Kids Cook Real Food. She had a video of her kids making this Grain-Free Pizza recipe which I think will work with my new way of eating and I’m so excited to give it a try. She said her kids made it so hopefully, it won’t be that hard for me to duplicate and I know my kids will love making it as well. They’ve been begging for a homemade pizza night as we haven’t had one in a while.

Check out the post HERE or  their video here:

I’m so ready to try this out soon!

Do you have a favorite pizza crust at your house? If so you can share the recipe in the comments below!


**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!

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.