Cooking once for the whole month. Take 2!

Its February!  yay! We have less than a month until our due date! And boy am I feeling pregnant these days!! Can’t wait to meet this growing boy and to be done being pregnant! haha It’s truly amazing what our bodies can do, and being a part of this miracle is incredible!

 

I loved not cooking last month! I had a freezer stocked of 30 meals and didn’t have to worry about much when it came time to getting food on the table each night. No matter how busy we were or tired I was!

 

So, we did it again for this month! This time I chose to create my own menu from scratch, searching through so many wonderful recipes at Once a Month Meals! I mixed it up with different serving day options, mostly using my Instant Pot but also my oven!

I love how easy it is to find recipes your family will enjoy, and customize them for your family size!

 

This time along with the 30 meals for us, I also made a few dinners for my parent’s freezer and selected a few different recipes for lunches for myself. (Pizza stuffed sweet potatoes, turkey zucchini boats, and marinated chicken thighs, yum!)

 

I won’t deny that it was a lot of work and at the end of the day this time, I began to feel like I over did it… (at this point just trying to walk and breath is a workout though! ) AND the truly awesome thing is now I’m done cooking for a while and providing dinner for my family each night involves very minimal effort and hardly any mess! In fact looking at our schedule we will probably stretch these meals out through March as well!

 

I wanted to show you a few of the details and lists that I love about Once A Month Meals and why I wouldn’t do this without their wonderful help!

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Walmart Grocery – What I Think After A Month

Walmart Grocery Pickup

 

We started using the new service at Walmart a little over a month ago. And not to sound dramatic BUT it has changed everything about grocery shopping for our family!

 

How Our Family Uses This Service

I place an order through Walmart Grocery Pick up once a week! I still do a monthly stop by Winco Foods bulk section for the staples like flour, sugar, etc. And Monthly Sam’s club trip for our big things. But as for our weekly needs like produce, bread, snacks, breakfast, and other meal items. It’s all been coming from Walmart and I haven’t had to step inside a Walmart store in a long time! (insert happy dance here)

 

We have discovered (at least for our area) same-day order/pick up doesn’t work. Because they are just so busy, in fact one of the workers told Ryan they have had up to 70 orders in a day!!

So, I place my order the night before I want to reserve a pick up time and I’ve never had a hard time getting the time I want.

Because I can fill my cart anytime on the app I usually have a few items in there all the time. When I’m standing in the kitchen and we use up the last piece of foil, or Ryan is digging in the fridge and says, we are out of lunch meat.. Instead of writing it on a list somewhere, I just put it in the cart on the app and it’s there, ready for when I complete my order.

We have been reserving to pick up between 5-6pm and it’s works out so great for us. Ryan gets off at 5 and then heads over to pick up the order. We usually choose to have our own bags in the trunk and the workers just put all the groceries in them right there at the car.

What happens when Walmart is out of an item you have ordered?

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Once A Month Meals!

Have you ever prepared freezer meals for your family? It’s the process of preparing and cooking up a bunch of meals all at once and then freezing for a later time. It is really nice to have meals already prepared and ready to go when you are in a rush or the day has been crazy!

I’ve done freezer meal prep in the past for a few recipes. Usually, I just pick a few meals for either the crock pot or the oven and buy all the supplies to make them. Then I would spend the day making them all and sticking them in your freezer.  The mess and work all happens at one time and then done.

It does take some planning and it is work! But I think it can be really worth it. And you can add fun to it by inviting a friend to do it with you! I especially start thinking about this kind of prep right before a new baby arrives… since dinner time can be very unpredictable.

 

Recently I discovered a website called Once a Month Meals. They take this freezer prep/cooking idea to the max. I was instantly impressed by the organization and customization they provide.  I have signed up for meal planning help in the past and the only bummer I found in the ones I’ve tried is that you are kind of stuck with recipes your family doesn’t like.. no fun there!  With Once A Month Meals you can pick from their 6000+ recipes and substitute them into your plan And nothing else I have seen has been anywhere close to this! Read More

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I stopped reading books when I became a Mom…

books I love reading!! I think I always have. In my younger years there usually wasn’t a time when I wasn’t in the middle of a book, or three! I really liked to balance things out, so if I was reading a great fiction I would also pick up a Christian Living book or a Biography or something.

I’m thankful I had family that cared about installing a love for reading in us as children.

We have an Aunt and Uncle who sent us fabulous stories every Christmas!! And our Grandma lived with us when we were small and I remember hours upon hours of sitting in her chair with her reading!! Trips to the library in our home school years were always fascinating.

When William came along it was still great for my reading habits for a little while. When he was just a babe I would read while feeding and rocking him. ( I had to adjust to electronic books so I could read in the wee hours but I was still getting to read!) I even enjoyed reading them aloud to him just for fun! But, then he grew.. and the Lord didn’t put a whole lot of
sitting still qualities in that little guy. 🙂 And of course with a growing household, chores and other things take over…. So, I found myself not picking up a book or journal for months at a time, or I would start one only to forget about it and find it 6 months later.

I also, longed to create a love of reading in William and James and found creative ways to stick reading into our day… like reading one of their books aloud while they played in the back yard (it’s amazing what these boys pick up even while they are busily exploring their world.) These days I’ve added reading to them during lunch time which works really well for us IF Mommy has had a chance to eat first 🙂

But still I found that I wasn’t picking up many books I cared about.. especially ones I hadn’t already read. What a bummer for this book lover… I found my wish lists of books I’d like to pick up growing and growing but no chance in sight to actually attempt any of them.

But, recently I realized I just needed to prioritize a bit and if it was really important to me I could make it work in this busy Mom life I’m adventuring in. One thing I do know is that “important people”, World-changers are often big readers. 🙂 In an effort to always expand your knowledge and more importantly wisdom – books are a great tool!
Some books I have lying around right now are:
Dr. Dobson’s Parenting collection
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman ** haven’t read this yet, I can’t wait!!
Mom’s raising boys to be men
Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur

In my wish list still:   ( I have an Amazon wish list called “Books We Want” it’s public so you can check it out if you are interested in more titles… most of them have been recommended by friends, or on the radio or during another book I was reading)

Wild Things: The Art of Nuturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker M.D.

For The Love by Jen Hatmaker

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

I was one of those readers that really didn’t like electronic books at first.. I will say I still feel like there is something missing when you can’t cuddle up with a book and actually turn pages ( I’m a huge highlighter too.. so i miss my pens. haha) But, I am learning to love the times we live in, and the resources that are so readily available for us. Purchasing actual bound books isn’t always possible and I find it’s harder for me to sit down with a book to read… But if it’s on my phone, well then, at the Dr’s office, or while I’m waiting for laundry to be done, right before bed (even if the lights are already out) I have a book!!!

I have found some new ways to get good electronic books in my hands (most of them free!) And have committed to reading them more than facebook, emails, etc. And I’ve put these apps on the first page of my phone so I see them even before I see all the other distractions!

Amazon Kindle: You can use the Kindle app on any device even if you don’t have a kindle. Just start an account, download the app onto your Ipad, Phone, computer.. whatever. SOOOOO many books are offered for free especially if you are a Prime member.

C.S. Lewis: A Life inspired

The Four loves by C.S. Lewis

Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman

The Help by kathryn Stockett

God’s Astounding Opinion Of You by  Ralph Harris

Amazon also has a great collection of classic reads…  Little Women, Northanger Abbey , The Secret Garden etc..  And they are FREE!!!

Scribd: My newest subscription. This one is $9.99 a month. But you get a ton of books and many of them available in Audio. I’m discovering that I’m motivated to read more in Scribd since it’s costing me every month. I know that if a month goes by and I haven’t used it, I’ll need to cancel my membership. So, it’s working 🙂   Get a FREE 30 day trial here!

I’ve started playing audio books in the car or while I’m doing laundry or dishes (this works especially well when I can send the boys outside to play)

So far most of the books I have searched for in Scribd have been available.
Here’s some of my recent reads and ones I have waiting in my library.

Undaunted by Christine Caine * I loved this book!! Full of encouragement to follow God’s calling no matter what!!

Chopin    This was such a fun audio to listen to… Full of History and very interesting facts plus, lots of Chopin’s beautiful music! I enjoyed entering the classical world my husband loves for a little bit and  plan to listen to a few more about Mozart and others.

love Does by Bob Goff   This book was an incredible read!  He has a great perspective on things and lives a pretty cool life, so his stories are awesome! If you want this book in another format it’s available on Amazon too….

 

Loving our Kids on Purpose   Just added this one, can’t wait to start it.

The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Great Kids by Joanne Kraft  *again this one is waiting for me! but I heard it recommended on K-love.

You’ll notice I’m deeply interested in any parenting wisdom I can glean these days (seems like a desperate Mother’s cry?? you’ve got that right. We need all the help we can get to guide these little hearts to and for Jesus)

I hope this encourages some one out there to just pick up a book (or electronic read) Even if you can only get a couple of pages at a time. Honestly I have surprised myself how quickly I’ve read through some books now that I’m mindful of its importance to me!

Happy reading everyone,

Let me know which awesome reads you’ve read or heard about.. my wish list is always growing.

 


There are some affiliate links here for Amazon. Which just means if you click and buy from links in this post, Amazon will give me a little something as a thanks for recommending them to you! Pretty cool. Thanks for shopping!

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toys toys toys and how we organize the chaos

boys and toysIf you have young kids then you know that toys can very easily take over your life!
Especially when birthdays and Christmas come around!! We love that our boys get fun new things and that they have family and friends that love on them! 🙂 But this lady quickly became overwhelmed by the mess!!

Since I know that we can’t be the only ones, I thought I’d share the method that has worked for us. It may not be what works for everyone but if you need to try something new, give it a shot!!

So, with so many toys we started with trying the fabric cubes in a bookcase idea… something similar to this.

I even made labels with pictures of the different kinds of toys. I like the idea that it would look cute, organized and still be accessible to the boys. This simply did not work for us. at all!

First of all , not all our toys fit in these cute little bins. labels were ripped off and toys still seemed to all be dumped, every. single. day. So, the chaos continued. (we now use this bookcase and bins for the boys clothes in their closet and it works really well for that!)

I will say that this method works for some people. especially if you have one child, who is still young and just now getting into toys.

So, we moved everything to big plastic tubs. This way our whole collections of trains, blocks, cars whatever will fit in the same tub and has a lid!!

Still, having them in the play room meant that there were days that every bin was emptied… even if we tried the idea ” you have to put away one before you get the other one out. ” thing.
bonus points to you if you monitor your kids play time that well! 🙂

Eventually what I decided to do seemed drastic, but it works so well for us!!

ALL of the tubs of toys found a place in the garage. Every one of them!!
The boys know that they get 1 or 2 tubs into the house at a time. When they are ready for something else, we pack them away and get another one from the garage! Usually it’s trains and cars that stay in the house but everyone once in a while William will remember a certain toy and will ask where it is, so we switch them out!

This has brought a ton of peace to our play room! It’s so much easier to clean up when everything goes into the same tub! And I realized the boys weren’t even able to really play when they had so many toys surrounding them!
Also, right before Christmas I will put EVERYTHING in the garage so they can really enjoy the new things they get! And both our boys birthdays are soon after Christmas so we’ll probably spend a few months just exploring our presents! 🙂

I hope this helps if you haven’t found what works for your house!

 

I would love something like this for in the garage (as of now they are just stacked up on the side) but maybe some day 😉  (for now it will stay on the forever growing honey do-list)

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Spice organization!!

One of the fun little projects that I’ve been able to accomplish during the giant kitchen project is revamping my spices! They will be going into a nice big drawer.. much better then the previous basket organization I had! trust me on that one!!

I bought racks from Ikea when we picked up the cabinets.. Amazon has some similar styles. But there are so many great ideas for spice racks and organization.

spice organization In this picture you can see I printed my labels on regular paper to test them out.

I wanted to check the size and which way I wanted to place them on each jar… I also printed out a couple other label samples to pick from but ended up with these!

The jars I decided on were from Cost Plus World Market, But, again there are soooo many to choose from!


Amazon also sells these sticker pages for the printer! I am in love with these!! And can’t wait to make labels for everything!!! 🙂
 These labels feed into your printer just like paper.

and then you simply cut out your label and

peel off the back paper to reveal the sticky side.

I read a tip about them on pinterest,

saying that you should wait 15 minutes between

printing sheets and cutting them out so that the

ink dries completely,  this would also be true if you

are printing more than one page so that it doesn’t smear each other.

 

 

 

William helped me fill the jars! It was a fun little project for us to work on together!

20160706_220105935_iOS spice reorganization

There are lots of label options as well.. many pinterest finds were great.

These fun labels here or here were some of the many I thought about using.

But Ultimately, I decided to just create my own with a fun font in Word. I thought this might help when I want to add more later!

spice labels

I think I’m going to love these when I can put them in the new drawer!!

 

pretty spices

And apparently I have way more spices than I realized. I started with 21 jars.

I have at least 15 more or so.. But I’ll just add them soon (maybe the next time I get a coupon for World Market! :))

 

 

 

 

 

Have you reorganized your spices? What do  you love about it?


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Father’s Day is this Sunday!


This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we love. By making purchases through the links, your price remains the same but I will earn a small commission that helps to fund this site and maybe even my coffee obsession. All recommendations and opinions are always 100% my own.


Ahhh!

Father’s Day is this Sunday but don’t panic… we’ve got the internet on our side! 🙂

With Amazon Prime we can still get some amazing gifts in plenty of time for Dad’s big day! And spoil the men in our lives properly!

Check out some awesome gift ideas I’ve found

There are lots of deals under $100. here’s a whole page on just that

http://amzn.to/24LOgj5

There’s a coupon for $20 off any $100 purchase of Dewalt tools for the Handy man in your life…
http://amzn.to/1PXgh5K

use it on deals like these:

 

If your budget isn’t quite that big, don’t worry, mine isnt’ either! There are still some great deals in the tool department.

 

there are lots of items to browse through!

Have more of a techy man?

 

Umm, for the record (because my handsome husband reads my blog, thanks babe!) these links don’t actually show what I’m ordering for Father’s Day, just some general ideas for everyone! 😉  hehe

If you are looking for something specific, leave a comment and I can help you look for it!

Oh and don’t forget Target.com and Walmart.com are still great options with their order online, pick up in store features!

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

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For the Love of Target shopping…..


This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we love. By making purchases through the links, your price remains the same but I will earn a small commission that helps to fund this site and maybe even my coffee obsession. All recommendations and opinions are always 100% my own.


Do you love shopping at Target?

It’s a great place to shop for so many things! And even if you don’t want to deal with couponing and stock piling.. you can still get some great deals!

 

The easiest way to get a deal EVERY time you shop is with the Target RED Card.  (either Debit or Credit) The Redcard gives you 5% off everything you buy in store or online. AND if you are shopping online at Target.com you will get free shipping every time you pay with your card! Plus you get an extra 30 days for returns on your purchases!

 

And did you know you don’t have to go into the store to open up a gift registry? You can create and add items to a gift registry on your computer or tablet or phone.. whatever you want!?! Pretty exciting!

                       

 

Check out these clearance savings!

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Preparing for summer vacations?

This post may contain affiliate links to products and services we love. By making purchases through the links, your price remains the same but I will earn a small commission that helps to fund this site and maybe even my coffee obsession. All recommendations and opinions are always 100% my own.

 


It’s vacation season!! yay!

We haven’t done much vacationing as a family yet so there are some items we just need to invest in for this and  future trips..Just in case you need to upgrade some traveling “necessities” here’s a fun handy list!

sleeping bags (or I guess their new name is “slumber bags”? weird)

Suite case organization?? yes please!

 

Amazon.com

 

I just think those are so awesome!

For the kids suitcases I decided to try this idea… and I’m kind of in love with this plan!!

kids suitcase

Each bag has a shirt, pants, and either a diaper or undies (depending on child) for the day!

kids luggage

 

then because we are talking about the children there is an “extras” bag for each.

packing the kids

 

I am really excited to try this on our next trip, I really think it will eliminate some of the unorganized frustration of living out of a suitcase for a few days! AND a big plus will be if anyone wants to help me get boys dressed during the day it will be easy for anyone to find what they need! 🙂

need suite cases? Amazon has some great options!

Amazon.com

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

These pinterest ideas for organization are Ah-mazing!!

 

free-printable-vacation-lis

 

packing list/outfit planner

 

 

I just love lists!! These help me keep all my thoughts in one place as I think about all the things each person needs!

And this probably goes without saying but I’ll say it anyways 🙂 It’s always a good idea to check local weather at your destination before you pack!

 

And if you don’t have a vacation planned yet, Don’t forget about Groupon Getaways!


Groupon Getaways

Whatever you do this summer, wherever you go, I hope you stay safe, have fun, and make memories!

 

Yay for summer family time!

 

 

 

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Shop Rotita

Rotita is one of those stores you see advertised on facebook and google. You know, I never know what to think about those kind of shops but they had some cute things so I took a chance….

 

I bought a bathing suite for this summer since I need one that actually fits 😉 and not quite ready to invest in an expensive one just yet since I’m still “shrinking”

 

It has arrived.. first of all you must know that this comes from china and so shipping can take a while, so be patient!

Second, be sure to measure yourself and not just guess your size when ordering through sites like these because they are foreign sizes most of the time….

The material is definitely not super high-grade, but of course I knew that I was getting a $24.00 suite not one that costs $150.00. So I wasn’t surprised… still it is good enough, pretty cute and I am happy with my purchase! I think it fits well and I hope to order some of the other cute things I’ve seen on their site soon!

They have lots of summer dresses, cover ups and things that look really fun!

Check it out

swimwear

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