Categories
Family Healthy Living Parenting

Dear Quarantied Parent

Dear Quarantined Parent,

How are you doing being quarantined? How are the kids doing? Do you have any hair left? I wanted to check in on you because I know I am struggling too! The kids think they are on a really long break from school and just haven’t figured out why I keep making them do learning activities. I can’t go anywhere that I would really like to, you know like Hobby Lobby, TJ Max. Life within these four walls has been very entertaining, and overwhelming!

I am not sure about you, but I have the opportunity to still work from home, which I am very grateful for. My husband however still has to go to work as his project has been deemed “essential”. This means that it is me versus two kids 14 hours out of the day! My home office has become an education center and now looks more like a preschool classroom than the sophisticated “Mom Boss” office that I dreamed of. My house that I thought I would be able to keep cleaner since I am home looks like a tornado passed through, multiple times! I have burnt dinner more in the last week than I have in years!

While I feel like I am failing at so many things right now as I adjust to a new (hopefully temporary) normal, I am giving myself grace. I wanted to help you find some grace in this all as well. I want you to know that you are not alone in this and offer some suggestions to help you keep your peace of mind through it all!

Read

When I say read, I do not mean just pick up any book laying around or some romance novel. I mean, read something that is going to be beneficial to you. Something that will build you up, enlighten you, teach you. For me, I am reading my Bible and a book on Essential Oils. I am finding peace in learning about God’s grace and faithfulness during these times while also learning new ways to care for my family with Essential Oils. Reading things that actively engage your mind will help keep you focused and sharp. This could be the perfect opportunity to learn something that you have been putting off. Invest at least 30 minutes in yourself and read every day! You are entitled to that time to yourself, I promise those dishes will still be there!

Move

Stay active. While we think that this time would be nice to relax and finally get that break that we have been wanting, remember this is not a vacation… not one we have been dreaming about anyway! Moving helps keep blood flowing and helps support a healthy respiratory and immune system, which is important right now. Find an easy at-home workout video on YouTube, join Beach Body, or just walk around your house, go to the park. Anything that you can do to keep your body moving will benefit you and your family. I always say, if I am not healthy, neither is my family.

Remember that you are now responsible for your kid’s physical education as well, so get your kids involved. Kids actually really enjoy being active and feeling healthy too! My kids love working out with me, even if they don’t do it all. Encourage them to do their best and tell them they are doing great! Even if you have a dance party, which is my personal favorite, just MOVE! You will thank yourself later! Bonus, keeping your kids active will help them stay healthy and sleep better!

Get Dressed

I will be the first to admit that the first few days I was so excited that I could stay in my PJ’s for a while or wear my yoga pants. I was so comfy! Then I just felt like I was not myself. So, I got dressed for work. I did my hair and makeup, just like I was going into the office. I was so productive and felt better about myself. Take the time and take care of yourself. Keep some sort of routine for yourself and some self-dignity! Saturday can be your family PJ day, but don’t make it a daily habit. Not only is this not good for your mental state of feeling productive, but it will also be a hard habit to break when life returns to normal.

These are 3 little things that can make a big difference in how this quarantined time at home goes. It will get better eventually but, in the meantime, take care of yourself, check in on your friends and family, and remember that you are not alone in this! Leave a comment and tell me how you are surviving this time and what tips you have for other parents! I would love to hear from you!

Advertisements
Categories
Healthy Living

3 Easy Summer Salads for Any Occasion!

I FREAKING LOVE SUMMER! Yes, I used capitals in that sentence because I need y’all to understand how much I love the warm sun on my skin, the longer days, spending time at the lake, and most importantly the cookouts, or more specifically the food!

We spend most of our weekends in the summer at the lake which is so amazing. While we are there it is nice to have easy go to foods for a quick lunch break between swimming and going on boat rides. However, weekends at home having the same conveniences it just as nice! I hate just having tons on junk food on hand and not fueling my body properly so I can enjoy the beautiful sun as well. That is what made me think about this post. I love go to salads that are quick to make, yummy to eat, and go for you!

I have narrowed down my top three go to summer salads that you can almost always find in my fridge during the summer! They are perfect to meal prep for every day or that cookout you may be headed to!

Chicken Salad

This is one of my favorite recipes to whip up on Sunday afternoon and have on hand for lunches during the week. Chicken Salad is a common dish for events as well so it is like having a party all week long! Well…. mayne not as fun, but just as good! With the different ways to eat it, you won’t get bored either.

My favorite way to prepare my lunch with chicken salad is over a bed of spinach! It is a light way to eat this on hot days. I also really enjoy making a chicken salad wrap on a gluten free tortilla! My husband enjoys it as a sandwich so we are always finding different types of bread to eat it on. Some ones he really enjoys are hoagie buns and croissants!

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prepare and can feed two adults for 3-4 days easily depending on your serving size.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken- pulled and cubed or shredded
  • 1-1/2 Cup Halves Red Grapes
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion
  • 1-1/2 Cup Sunflower Mayo
  • 1/8 Cup Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 TBS Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Tips:

You can purchase a rotisserie chicken or grill your own chicken. When we have a little extra time, we love using Beer Can Chicken in our recipe! If you want to reduce the mess a bit, grill 3-4 large chicken breasts and cube in small bite size chunks or buy pre-cooked frozen chicken. Preparing the chicken is the longest part of this process but it can also become the most expensive part depending on your preference!

I use sunflower mayo because it is better for my paleo lifestyle and I really like the taste. You can use whatever you have in your fridge or pantry. I recommend using a light option if possible though!

Once you have all the ingredients prepped, mix together in a bowl and stick in the fridge until your ready to eat!

Spinach and Fruit Salad

Ok, so I could eat spinach for every meal and I do some days. From breakfast to dinner! It can get boring sometimes though so I love dressing it up as a fun side salad or throwing some grilled steak or chicken on it for dinner!

This recipe I made for the first time a few years ago for Easter and it has now become a staple. My favorite part about it is that it is super quick and easy to toss together and people will think you spent all afternoon preparing! Well maybe not that long, but you get it! So here it is, the easiest and most delicious spinach salad!

Spinach and Fruit Salad

  • 1 container or bunch of fresh spinach
  • 1 small container of Strawberries- sliced
  • 1 large can of Mandarin Oranges drained
  • 1/2 of a large Red Onion thinly sliced
  • 3 Green Onions sliced (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cup sliced Almonds

Toss ingredients together in a large bowl and serve! We love serving this salad with any type of vinaigrette or avocado based dressing! How easy it that?

Summer Fruit Salad

This last summer salad has to be a favorite for my kiddos and I am sure that just about any kid will like it! This is also a great one to get the kids in the kitchen with you to help with!

Prep on this one can be a little more timely and here is why. I use fresh fruit, not canned. When making a fruit salad, I think it is best to use fresh if possible. Fruit naturally has plenty of sugar and most times canned fruit is stored in a sugary syrup and adds unwanted sugar. I also think the texture is better, but this totally a personal preference!

Fruit salad is good at any age but I love dressing this up just a little to make it more grown up too, but spoiler alert- the kids love it too! So here it my grown up fruit salad!

Fruit Salad with Mint and Goat Cheese Crumbles

  • 1 Pineapple cored and cut into half inch pieces
  • 4-5 Red Apples cored and chopped – remove skin if you prefer
  • 4-5 large Pears
  • 2 cups of Red Grapes halved
  • 2 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 2 TBS chopped Mint
  • 1 Small Container of Goat Cheese Crumbles

Optional Additions: Watermelon, Mandarin Oranges, Mangos

After you have chopped all of your fruit, mix in a bowl and add the lemon juice. The lemon juice will help keep the apples and pears from turning brown. Mix in the Mint and Goat Cheese Crumbles right before serving. I love the smooth texture that the goat cheese adds to this otherwise crunchy fruit salad. The mint adds a nice refreshing hint of flavor, perfect for summer!

I hope that you try these recipes out and love them as much as my family does! I would love to know some of your favorite Summer Salad Recipes as well! Drop it in the comments so I can try it out!

Please Like and Share this post so that we can help others enjoy these super easy summer salads too!

Categories
Family Parenting

10 Fun Summer Activities to do with Kids!

With summer in full swing, kids may be bored, and you may be going crazy already! Keeping the kids busy and out of the TV may seem hard, but I am here to help! No matter the age of your kids, I am sure that you can find at least 5 things that you can do with your kids and everyone involved will have fun!

These activities can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make them. I selected them keeping a small budget in mind! I know that trying to entertain kids can get expensive and exhausting. Pick a couple of these activities and your wallet should be pretty happy and you may even get some peaceful sleep!

Let’s make this summer a memorable one with some of these top activities!

1. Go to a Park

There are tons of free parks around the world! Take the kids to the playground, go look for bugs, look for as many animals as you can. Pick flowers, or do an impromptu photo shoot with your smartphone! They grow up too quick, so why not capture some sweet moments! Even if you have bigger kids, this can be fun. Walk through the park and see who can find the most unique this there, or take the best photo of nature… lets face it, kids these days know how to take better ones than we do!

2. Have a Picnic

Have a picnic while you’re at the park or make it another adventure another day at a different location, like a riverfront or on top of your favorite hill! Pack a lite snack or a full-on meal for lunch, your pick! Pack some good ol’ fashioned PB&J’s, chips and a couple of bottles of water! Picnics do not need to be fancy! Have fun with it and don’t forget to pack the frisbee!

3. Go on a Hike

Hiking may be best for the slightly older kids who are independent enough to go long distances before their legs grow tired. If you are up for packing your little ones part of the way, this is an excellent way for everyone to burn some energy and explore the beauty that nature offers! There are lots of free trails open to the public. Another option is to ask someone with some property if you can take a walk through the woods!

4. Get Wet

If you have a pool, AWESOME! If not, it can seem like a chore to load the kids up and take them to a pool or water park. Up for a more public adventure? There are several nice public pools and water parks that can offer all day fun! Here are 3 really cools ones that I found in the US thanks to the Travel Channel! Check out more of the top water parks in the US Here!

  1. Kalahari Resort (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
  2. Holiday World Theme Park and Splashin’ Safari (Santa Claus, IN.)
  3. Legoland Florida (Winter Haven, FL)

The next two activities can be alternatives to the having to go to a public pool!

5. Public Beaches

Here you can have free fun playing in the sand and water! Pack some snacks and towels and enjoy a few hours in the water and build an impressive sand castle! For those with older kids, bring a ball or frisbee and play some catch! Don’t forget your sunscreen!

6. Homemade Slip and Slide

Get yourself an inexpensive tarp, some castile soap and turn the water hose one! If you are like me and are cautious about that water bill, limit the kids to 30-45 minutes. They may be sore anyway! You can pick up some legit slip and slides up at Target, Walmart or even online!

7. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

This can be fun in teams or individually depending on the age of your kiddos! If your kids a younger, try to plan a hunt around the house with big signs that are colorful to help the little ones out! If you have older kids that are more independent, you could even plan on that involves some of your families favorite places! Divide between vehicles if possible or places that they can walk to if you feel comfortable! A little friendly competition can be good for a family!

8. Go Camping

This was one of my favorite things to do as a kid! We would pitch a tent in the backyard, have a bonfire, roast marshmallows, and stay up late! Now, I know some places it is WAY to hot for this activity! If this is the case for you, Makes a pallet in the living room and the whole family can stay up late eating popcorn and watching a movie! If you and your family love the outdoors, totally go on a full-blown camping trip! Camping is awesome but making sure you have everything you need can get pricey, so know your budget!

9. Make Homemade Frozen Snacks

This is such a fun activity to do with kids! They really do love to help out in the kitchen. Plus, it helps them become more aware of the foods they are eating! I love getting fresh strawberries, raspberries, or watermelon and blending it up and making popsicles or slushies! If your mixture is a little thick, add some apple juice or water! When the kids come in from a hot afternoon, they have a sweet, refreshing treat that they will love!

10. Build an Animal House

I will admit building anything can be a bit more labor-intensive, time-consuming and may cost you a little extra if you have to buy it all! We built a birdhouse with the kids not long ago. They were a bit too young to do most of the work (3 and 4 years old). They did love painting the birdhouses! We happen to have had the scrap wood laying around which made it was pretty inexpensive. You can buy kits that are easy for kids to assemble or purchase pre-built ones. The pre-built ones are nice if your kids just want to decorate it! If your kids are old enough actually to help use a hammer or even a power tool, try making a dog house and donate it to foster home!

I hope these have given you some ideas for how to keep you and your kids from going crazy this summer! Share what you love to do with your kids, even if it isn’t any of these listed here! The more ideas, the better!

Enjoy your summer and your kiddos!

Categories
Professional Life

The One Reason We Fail At Succeeding: Hint, it’s not your bosses fault!

Tonight, I sat at the table with my son as he wrote his name and traced the dotted names of the rest of the family. His lines were sharp, rigid, and pointed. He then drew a dinosaur. His dinosaur made up of circles of different sizes and held together by two square legs.

I wondered what was going through his four-year-old brain. You could see the concentration in his eyes and the flexing of his jaw with every line he drew. While connecting the dots, he was making noises. “Woop,” as he made the hook on his “J.” “Swoop” as he made the final curve on the “S.” After finishing each letter, he looked at me with such pride. He was so proud of the good work he had done. He was looking for the affirmation in my expression to match that pride, and he found it!

The Realization

I sit here now reflecting on this interaction and realize that as adults and professionals, we rarely have that person to turn to and show our wide-eyed grin too. We even more rarely have that person to turn to and get a grin of affirmation in return. So, while this is what motivated my son to keep going, what keeps us motivated? What makes us want to keep going when our efforts seem to go unnoticed?

Maybe we are still four-year-olds, waiting for the affirmation that we need. For that person to recognize the hard work, we put into our jobs. The sacrifices we make to be there. Anything that would spark that joy that I saw in my four year old’s eyes.

Nearly two years ago I finished my MBA. It may have been the hardest thing I have ever done. Married, a mom of two under two, and a full-time employee to a new job. I had very longs nights and early mornings. It was hard for people understand why I was doing this to myself. Sometimes, I even forgot to be honest.

Find Your Motivation

The reason: I needed it. Not because of a job, even though I hoped to land a dream job. The four-year-old me needed myself to look at her and say “you’re doing great”! I needed to prove to myself that I was more than a statistic of a low-income family. To prove to myself that I would become more than I ever thought I could, and even more than all the others that doubted me thought I would.

This was my motivation the time. However, by the end of it, I was so overwhelmed from defending my reason. I was tired of the strain it had seemed to put on significant relationships. More so, physical exhaustion had taken its toll. I finished one ‘A’ from a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, I had lost my steam and my purpose. I focused on rebuilding the damaged relationships. I gave in to the negative voices I heard all around me.

The Cause and Effect

After two years of graduate school, I can honestly say I have failed to use my degree to its full ability. Eventually, I stopped telling myself that I was doing well and began to believe others when they said it was worthless. A feeling of self-doubt flooded me, and my self-esteem plummeted. I had my Masters but wasn’t good enough to use it. “Anything over bachelors degree was a money trap,” people said. With eighty-two grand in student loans, it is hard to think they are wrong at times.

However, here I am. Finding myself diving back into learning. This time, on the less expensive side!

I am looking into courses on Linkedin. I am also turning to Youtube for “refresher” courses. You can often find courses by college professors on here that are perfect for getting you back into a skill that you may have forgotten. Connecting with co-workers and other professionals for private classes is also an option.

The 1 Reason We Fail to Succeed…

We don’t fail because of the obstacles put in our way. We don’t fail because we have unsupportive family/friends. An unappreciative boss is not the reason either. We are the reason. Our own self-doubting, negative talking selves are the reason we don’t succeed.

We stop investing in ourselves, time or money. If we won’t invest in ourselves, why would anyone else want to? We don’t need a boss to pat us on the back and cheer us on. However, wouldn’t it be nice to have such an invested boss?

Never let anyone make you doubt your capabilities. You set your limits, and only you can lower them! How high are you willing to set them? How much are you willing to motivate yourself to achieve those limits?

Take Action

Start reasurring yourself with positive thoughts and affirmations. We have to believe in our worth, and that we are worth the time, the money, and the sacrifice. You are worth it all, and YOU ARE DOING GREAT! It is easy to turn your ear to the negative, but when you do, you start to believe it. Tune it out and look inside to find your motivation. If you need a face to smile back at you, look in the mirror and smile, dear! That is the best cheerleader you got!

Please share this post, I know that each one of you reading this know someone who is struggling to find their motivation right now. Show by giving them the opportunity to be motivated by reading this!

Like, share, follow and/or subscribe! I would love to stay in contact with you and for you to stay up to date with what is going on here in my nut house!

Categories
Family Marriage

3 Reasons Not to Take Your Kids on Vacation

I know, I know…. You are building family memories and giving your kids some really cool experiences. That is really awesome and I couldn’t agree more that it is totally worth it. However, what about the the most important aspect of your family?

Keep reading to hear me out on this and see why we don’t take our kids on vacations right now!

Memories

I love seeing pictures of families on vacation and the kids playing in the sand. It really does melt my heart! These are memories that should definitely go in their baby books and I really hope you are capturing as many pictures as possible. Right now, if your child is younger than eight years old, those photos will be vital to their memory as they try to recall any part of the vacation. Research has shown that as children grow up, their memories of their younger years fade. Around eight years of age is when they begin to develop better long term memories allowing them to remember events as they age. While they are younger they may remember events from ages two to four.. However, they are likely to forget most of it as their brain develops more.

My husband and I do not see why we need to waste money on vacations they will not remember. We would probably be stressed anyway. Making sure we brought everything they ‘might’ need. Making sure we took pictures to capture their “first time’s”, all while not being present! That sounds exhausting!

Right now, it is more important spend money on memories that we can make as a married couple. It is more important to support the foundation of the family.

Supporting the Family Foundation

While making memories as a married couple is fun and important, there is more to it! Any couple with children know that your relationship often comes as a second thought to the kids and all the running that it takes to support the daily activities. With two kids less than two years apart, it takes a huge toll on us. Not to mention that we both have side jobs that we are doing to generate more income and support for our family.

Our marriage is important to us. We have worked really hard to get where we are and we take the time to put focus on this relationship because without it, there is no family. We are the head of the family. Taking a vacation that allows us the time to reconnect and relax is worth every penny! These vacations can be long weekends or a week long. If money is tight, plan a date night, but making time to support and nurture the maintain relationship in the family is necessary!

Opportunities for the Kids

When taking kids on vacations I think to think that we want them to be entertained and to have some really awesome experiences, right? Do I have the wrong idea? Surely there is more to these family vacations than cute pictures of the toddlers playing in sand. When I take my kids on a family vacation, I want to be able to have fun adventures. I want to ride ALL the cool rides at Disney. Most importantly, I want to do it all as a family! Not divide and conqure becuase sissy is too little to ride all the rides bubba wants to ride. I certainly don’t want to pack the kids everywhere because they get tired!

Making sure that the kids are age appropriate and that the vacation is enjoyable for us all is big to me. Why am I going to waste money on small pointless vacation right now? I want to save and take awesome vacations with my husband! We can take more adventurous vacations with the kids in a few years!

Our Vacations Without Kids

Two years ago we were lucky enough to finally take our honeymoon vacation. We were able to head far south down to Antigua! Let me tell you, IT WAS AMAZING! We were able to go as we please. We snorkeled (twice), paddle boarded, went on a catamaran around the island, laid out, read. Never once did we have to plan around nap times, make sure a restaurant was child friendly, or pack kid snacks to the beach. This year we are heading down to St Lucia. We couldn’t be more excited to do it again!

As a couple, we welcome these vacations and the time we spend as husband and wife. Focusing these years and our kid-less vacations on us. We come back ready and eager to be parents again and to offer a solid foundation of a family to our kids. Taking care of us is the most important thing.

So if you are planning a vacation, don’t feel bad if you are wanting to leave the kids behind with grandma and grandpa. Don’t feel bad for taking a really cool vacation without the kids because they can’t enjoy it right now. Instead, embrace it! Relax and remember why you love your significant other!

Tell me, do you always take your kids with you? If you do, where do you take them? What do you recommend to those who feel they need to as well? If you are like us and opt for the kid free vacation, what has been your favorite one? Where would you recommend couples going?

I can’t wait to hear from you all and t to tell you more about our vacation coming up to St Lucia! BRING ON THE SUNSHINE!!!

Please like, share and subscribe if you like what you see here and want to get more life and family tips, tricks and support!

Categories
Family Uncategorized

3 Important Tips Home Improvement Projects

Any home improvement project to your house can be a stressful time. Having just gone through the process of getting quotes to completion, I thought I would share what I learned. Keep reading for 3 very IMPORTANT tips that apply to any home improvement project and can help make it a little less stressful!

First let me tell you about our house. We moved in with hollywood dreams and a list of home improvements we would do. Then life happened. First we had to remove the awful smelling carpet. New flooring downstairs was put in before me moved in. A new wood burning insert was put in within a year. We painted some rooms and customized it to our liking! Thanks to some hail damage, we have a new roof too! We added new windows and door to the front of the house as well. All these improvements have been successful!

At this point we have unfinished hand rails on the stairs, counter tops that were past being dated, and brass hardware that had to go! While we love our first home, situations in our life have changed and we are needing to relocate closer to my husbands dream job… the farm! This was part of our new year goals for 2019! However, this means it is time to get these other projects done to sell the house!

Let the work begin! We started with updating the hardware since that was easy and done within a day! Next, painting, which has been a learning process. Maybe more so for me than my husband. So here are my tips that I learned, kind of the hard way!

Get Multiple Quotes

When obtaining quotes for your home improvement project, get more than one! Do not settle for the first person that promises you the moon. Going through this process will not only give you a range of price points to work with, but also ideas. When we began getting quotes, I wanted to whole house painted, top to bottom! The goal again is to get the house ready to sell. Painting everything is not what was going to help get us ready. The painters that came to do the first few estimates did not seem to be mindful of my true needs or budget. They were than willing to quote me almost nine
or ten thousand to do everything I “wanted”, not “needed”.

It took one very honest person to come in and set me in the right direction. Pointing out that the trim and doors are gorgeous and do not needed painted. The kid’s rooms were good and did not need any changes. I do think that job then became to small for him to take on as he is a larger contractor because it took a while to get the quote back. By the time I had received it, I had already given the business to someone else. I did however follow his advice to only paint what really needed to be done!

Getting second quotes from the same contractors are not a bad idea either. You may change your mind on the scope of work to have done with the original home improvement project and they may need to adjust cost. While this may not seem beneficial and annoying to the contractor, it is important to know exactly what you will be paying for. Which brings me to the next point!

Communicate The Specifics

When we were getting quotes, I often did It on my own due to my husbands work schedule. I thought we were on the same page as to what exactly we wanted. I thought that we had agreed firmly on what we were having done and our time line to have it done in. When it came down to it, he did not know that I wanted the living room and our bathroom repainted.

Likewise, communication with the contractor is important. The painting company that we used came once and did a quote. I really liked the owner. He was polite, professional and had children around my kids age. Not to mention he is a veteran and I love supporting veterans whenever I can. When I called to schedule the work, I asked if he needed to come requote since it had been a while or what we needed to do to move forward. He called back 3 days later and was ready to schedule the work.

I did research on my own on paint colors that are good for resale value. My husband and I went and picked them out, and I TEXTED them to the company. Never once did the painter come and confirm what work was being done or verify colors. This stressed me out to be honest. However, when you hire a professional, you put your trust in them. Day one he calls and confirms work, suggests more and tells me he misunderstood what I wanted when quoting. This conversation added $1100 to our total. While I agreed to all the extras, I failed to discuss it with my husband. This caused tension between all three of us the rest of the project. I felt like I was walking a fine line to keep both my husband and the painter happy.

Ugh! Talk about a tough situation. The lack of communication between the three of us inconvenienced all of us. The strain it placed during the 5 days that our house was a mess was not worth it. The takeaway here is to make sure you and your significant other are there for the quote and be very specific on what you are needing or wanting done. Always request a second quote from the contractor you select for any home improvement project. This gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments before the project starts and you will not be caught off guard. Lastly, select a contractor that is willing to assist you in this process. Make sure they are willing to come do a second quote. Do they help in selecting the colors or even to meet you to select them?

Don’t Settle For Less Than Perfect

After this home improvement project was finished, we began cleaning up our home. Being satisfied with the overall job done, we overlooked thee imperfections and we decided to fix them on our own in order to “be done” with painting. The house is brighter and looks clean and complete for the first time since we moved in A day later we noticed white paint splatters on the floor and stairs. Tiny, but there.

Anyone that has redone any part of their house knows that you take great pride in it. You also know that it is not cheap. I had originally told the owner of the company that I was going to clean the floor myself, I quickly changed my mind. We paid good money, that we worked hard for to have a good quality, professional job done. I will not be spending my time cleaning up their mess! Nor should anyone else have to!

I hope that the lessons I learned will help someone from making the same! It is easy to get caught in the excitement of a project and miss small and minor details. Make yourself a list and don’t settle!

Good luck to you as you take on any home improvement projects! I would love to hear any more tips, tricks, or lessons from you all! Please comment below with any advice or recommendations you have!

Please like, share and subscribe to hear more about our home improvement and (hopefully) building process!

XOXO- The Squirrelly Mom!

Categories
Healthy Living Mom Life Parenting

The One Pep-Talk We all Need!

It’s no secret that parents judge one another. We don’t even mean to and sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing it. Often, the unawareness of our judging brings us to give some unsolicited advice. What if I gave you some unsolicited parenting advice that can be used in all aspects of your life? Well… I am going to, but it is more of a pep-talk!

The Original Thought

There other day I was chatting with a new mom of a three month old. She was telling me that her child has had some issues being fussy and possibly having so reflux issues.

I so badly wanted to blurt out my experiences with these situations with my own children. I wanted to to tell her that we had to give up breastfeeding both kids because they had such bad reflux with it and that it took 3 different formulas to figure out which one was best for our son. In the meantime, he often was worse and I cried when he cried. Most of all, I didn’t want to leave him. I wanted to share all of my trial and errors with her to save her the heartache. She never asked for any of that information though.

In fact, she mentioned her own trial and errors and what she was doing to work on these issues. She told me about the advice she had received from others and the pressure she felt. She said she felt like she felt like she was failing her child. The worst thing any non- alcoholic, drug addicted, sex abusing parent could say.


This is what I said to her….

YOU ARE ROCKING IT! YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. SO, DO YOU! YOU DO WHAT YOU FEEL LIKE IS BEST AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK.

After this mini pep-talk, I started thinking. “why don’t I ever say this to myself? Why don’t I apply this to other aspects of my life? Where could I?”

So this my friends, is my own self pep-talk. I hope that you can talk something from it as well and and go rock your life!

The Pep-talk

YOU ARE ROCKING IT! YOU ARE GIVING IT ALL YOU HAVE GOT AND MORE!

Marriage

My marriage is a work in progress. Just as it should be. My husband and I have been through our fair share of heartache, we share many joys and plan for more! We are not perfect. Is there a perfect couple though? Don’t ever compare your relationship to someone else’s. You never know what happens when no one is around. Instead, Pray for them.

Know that you are doing everything you can for your relationship. I love spending time with my husband. Therefore, weekend getaways are a high priority for us. We try to do 4 a year. If more become possible, we jump on the chance! I am rocking it. I make sure my husband eats, has a (mostly) clean house, I give him his alone time when I can tell her needs it. He feels loved. We cuddle and watch TV together, and we communicate. Right now, we are doing our best and giving everything we can. We are always looking for new ways to grow closer. For right now, WE ROCK!

Work

I am constantly standing in my own way. Doubting my own ideas, my capabilities, and my desires. I let others opinions of my influence how I see myself and let them determine who I am and what I can do. I know I am rocking it though. Somewhere in all that self doubt, I am still fighting. I strive to better myself. I continue to educate myself and look for opportunities to use my education. Is my “work” limited to my 9-5, anyway? I don’t think so!

Home

My kids not have everything. They may not have seen every signle Disney movie. I know y’all….stop judging! We don’t even have a DVD player or game console! But they know manners. Yes, we are still working on using them, but they know them! My house may not always be spotless, but stop by anytime! We live here and we are happy to share our space with you! Laundry is never “always done”. Whose is? If you say “Me”… you better tell me that you have a laundry service or you are single. Otherwise, SHHH!

At the end of the day, my family eats, we have clean clothes and we are all still alive! So guess what? I ROCKED IT!

If you are like me and you are harder on yourself than most people are on you, then give yourself this pep-talk…Tell yourself, “I ROCKED IT”! You really did. If you have given everything you have, then you are doing great momma! We are all doing our best! No one ever gave us owners manuals for the kids, much less our husbands. All we can do is pray, read our Bibles and thank God everyday that we survived! Next time you are feeling down, make a list of all the things you have done that day, not matter how small the task was. I bet you will have done more than you even thought!

YOU ARE ROCKING IT!

Categories
Healthy Living

POSITIVE MIND SET Part 2: The 6 Truths About Positivity

Did you know that there are facts about positivity? These facts outline the way in which being positive works in the body. Just as being negative changes the state of mind you are in, positivity does too. I’m not sure about you, but I prefer to look on the positive side! Now, some days that is easier than others because I have bad days too, but how we respond to those days and how long we let them take hold of our moods matters just as much. This my nutty friends, is called being resilient. Bouncing back from a bad day and being able to still see the good. Understanding the 6 simple facts about positivity can help us to focus on being more resilient! As mentioned in my previous blog post, these are based on the text Positivity by Barbra I Fredrickson, PH.D.

FACT 1: POSITIVITY FEELS GOOD

We have all had those days where things just go right. We feel encouraged, happy, and like we are on top of the world. No one can stop us! It is such an amazing feeling and we would really like for it to stay around! Keeping a light heart and not letting the little things get to us is an easy way to keep the positive vibes around! Smile often! Smiling has actually been proven to help elevate your mood by releasing natural chemicals in the body that help reduce stress, hearth rate and act as antidepressants!

FACTS 2: POSITIVITY CHANGES HOW YOUR MIND WORKS

When we train ourselves to focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we are also blocking negativity. We are discouraging it to come take over our minds. Now, I am not saying it can’t happen and I would be lying if I told you that I took a break from writing this because I let negativity get in my head and I had to refocus! It happens but being resilient and acknowledging the mind state you are in and then refocusing is important.  When we start letting positivity flow through us we are also able to see other possibilities. We find ways to handle the situations that arise in that may not have gone the way we planned. You know what that is called? Problem solving. That is right, when you are in a positive mind-set you can be a better problem solver!

positivemindset 6 fasts

FACT 3: POSITIVITY TRANSFORMS YOUR FUTURE

Over time, being positive can bring the best out in all of us. We become better problem solvers as previously stated. We are able to adapt to the changing circumstances with grace by focusing on the new opportunities that the change can bring. We are more resilient. There are a multitude of changes that can occur in each of us when we allow positivity to have a place and they may be different for each of us. I have a little story on this and I have shared this in a previous post, so it will be a recap!

There was a time in my current “day job” that I became very unhappy. I was disconnected and rarely had anything good to say. One day I decided I had had enough of bringing myself down and even if this job was not meant for me or wasn’t going to be my career, I should probably make the most of it and do my best while I am here. So, I changed my mindset on the current situation. This job is providing an income for my family. It was providing health insurance. I get to work with my two best friends every day. When I changed my mindset I became engaged again, my work performance improved, my relationship with my colleagues improved as well. Since then I have had several opportunities present themselves that helps to further my career here. A slight change in my mindset, had a huge impact on my work, my family and relationships. All for the better!

FACT 4: POSITIVITY PUTS THE BRAKES ON NEGATIVITY

Negativity sneaks in quickly. It can take over like a wild-fire before you are even aware. Positivity can too! It is really amazing how if you can find one positive in a negative situation how it starts to turn around. Positivity suppresses the negative. We are better equipped to bounce back from bad situations when we keep a positive mindset.

FACT 5: POSITIVITY OBEYS A TIPPING POINT

The text, Positivity, says that a tipping point, when linear is the amount of input that changes the proportion of output. However, positivity is nonlinear therefore the tipping point is different. When we have small input of our positive actions and thoughts, we can have output that makes a huge difference. My thought process on work for example -small change made a big difference!

FACT 6: YOU CAN INCREASE YOUR POSITIVITY

Positivity is not something that comes to us. It is something that we have to work on and actually try to have as the forefront of our day. Since we have to work at being positive, we can increase it. It is a learned behavior. So is negativity though. Which one do you want to work on?

YOU CAN GET BETTER AT BEING POSITIVE!

Positivity seemed so foreign to me before I read this book. I cannot stress enough how much I encourage you to read Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson. The rest of the book takes these truths and leads you in incorporating them into your life.

I pray today that YOU, start to examine your life and see areas that you view negative and try to turn it around. I pray that you will be inspired to like more positively.

Please Like, Share, and Comment! Please also subscribe to this blog if you would like to receive email notifications in when I post new content!

Categories
Mom Life

5 Tips to an Enjoyable Summer

Hey Y’all!

I am sure this is a busy time of year for everyone, especially parents.  School is almost out, sports are in session, traveling, holidays… this is supposed to be an enjoyable time of year, right? How about all those other tasks that none of us want to think about, laundry, cooking and dishes, cleaning bathrooms… The list goes on! I want to share 5 tips with you to help get you through the summer and get the most out of it.

SummerSunset

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

1. Making Shopping Easy

These days taking an hour to go to the store is a chore. Loading up the kids and then having to drag them in the store. They fight over who walks and who rides, and that’s if they both are not pushing to stand at the end of the cart. Not to mention having to tell them they can’t have every toy or junk food they see! Now I opt for any way possible to avoid these situations! I really enjoy going shopping by myself but again, that is not always possible. My dear friend introduced me to Walmart Pick Up! Have you heard about it? If not, Walmart grocery pick up is an online grocery service where you simply do your shopping online, add it to the cart, pay for it, and PICK IT UP! That is it! They bring your groceries out to you and load it in the car! The first time I went I tried to help load the groceries and the lady told me to have a seat in my car and she would take care of it! How awesome is that! If you order something that they are out of they replace it with a higher quality item for no additional charge as well.

Maybe not needing food, but you’re running low on toilet paper and laundry soap, you can get that from Walmart too or order it from Amazon. Amazon Prime members can benefit from home good deliveries arriving to their door in just 2 days. All you have to do is search for your favorite products, add your cart just like normal and check out! It is that easy! Just be sure you remember to put your order in a few days before you run out of toilet paper! If you are needing some groceries, check out the Prime Pantry so some good options. Here you can buy in bulk as well. Some products may even be eligible for same day or next day deliveries with prime, depending on your location! 

2. Make Meal Prep Easy

Planning meals when you are busy is the worst! Having to plan meals and then figure out if they will cook on the stove, in the oven, crock pot… you get the point. Well let me tell you what has made my life so easy! My mother in law recently introduced me to sheet pan meals. These meals you can prepare ahead of time, put everything in a ziplock bag until ready to cook, then literally put it on a sheet pan and cook! I cover my pan with aluminum foil to make clean up even easier! My favorite one so far is sausage and vegetables. 

1- 2 Packs favorite smoked sausage sliced

2 Red Bell peppers cut into chunks

10-15 Brussel sprouts cut in half

2 Large sweet potatoes cut into chunks

Put ingredients in a large zip lock bag, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Shake the bag to coat all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 375. Place contents of zip lock bag on a foil lined sheet pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Make Cleaning Easy

For me, staying on top of the cleaning is the hard part! We are always on the go and if not then the kids are tracking in sand from the sandbox! Not to mention all the dirty clothes… it is never-ending. Cleaning our homes could be a full-time job in itself and we don’t have time for that!  However, we don’t need a cleaning service to do to it for us, not daily anyway! Staying on top of it is key. We can’t let laundry pile up and do it all in one day… well you can but you will miss out on other activities and memories because you are practically locked in the laundry room for hours! How do we do it? Start a load of laundry every night, gather up all the clothes from the day and toss them in the washer. In the morning, switch the load to the dryer. When you get home take 5 minutes to fold and put away the laundry! You can save towels and do one or two loads a week. Same with sheets, make that a Saturday morning chore. Dishes are my least favorite task (we cook a lot though). What I have found to be easier is to load the dishwasher at night, wash what does not fit by hand. Run it while you sleep and empty it in the morning.  After I load the dishwasher, I wipe the counters down and sweep real quickly. It takes maybe 15 minutes after we are done eating and then I have a nice clean kitchen in the morning!  We have hardwood floors throughout our home so when I sweep our kitchen, I go ahead and do a quick run through of the house. With a dog that sheds and the kids, it helps keep the dust and dirt under control! These are basic tips, there will be more to come on how to keep your house clean and cleaning schedule soon!

4. Get in a Routine

The hardest part about the previous three steps is getting used to them! Getting yourself and your family into a routine will simplify it all and make your life much easier! Set time aside on a Sunday afternoon to prep your meals. Even if it is just two or three for the week because you know you will be eating out the rest of the time. Prepping now will save you 30 minutes a night during the week.  When you are in a routine it feels normal and second nature. It will be easier to be on the go on the weekends and enjoy your family and friends because most of the hard work is already done! Missing a night of laundry is not the end of the world, but just make sure you get back on it the next day so it doesn’t pile up! Give yourself about 2 to 3 weeks to get used to your new routine and you will be amazed! 

5. Relax

Spring Time Gardening

 

We are busy people and life is crazy. We are on the go all the time. We have kids to run everywhere, dogs to walk, jobs to go to, family and friends to see. However, it is important to remember to take time to relax and take care of ourselves! Yes, I said it, FOR OURSELVES!!! If we don’t take care of ourselves, who will? Here are some things I like to do to relax; watch a movie, sit on the front porch and be away from our electronics, get a massage, take a bubble bath, and work in the garden. Relaxing looks different to everyone, you decide what is relaxing for you and take the time to enjoy it. I love massages but obviously do not have time for them daily. However, I can sit on my front porch and listen to the nature around me! This is relaxing to me.Also, I wake up early with my husband every morning and make him breakfast. When he leaves for work, I take time to do my Bible study and daily devotional. This gives me time to relax in the morning so I start my day of in a good place. Maybe you need to update your patio furniture or get a hammock to relax on, or Try to find what works for you and your schedule! 

 Enjoy Summer

I hope these tips help you to enjoy this busy time of the year a little more! Go enjoy the sunshine and warm weather! 

XO-

The Squirrelly Mom

Categories
Faith

Faith Wins!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving us another day! I thank you for blessing us with the opportunity to share our faith, love, and joy with those around us. Thank you for placing people in or lives that support us and encourage us to be and do better. Lord, I pray that I am that person to my nutty followers. Please help me to offer support even when I may not know they need it!

Amen!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.

Welcome back y’all!

I am so excited to see the out pour of support- y’all are the best and know how to make someone feel special! I wanted to jump in and tell you how and why I decided to start a blog. It has been a long journey of self-doubt and negative talk that has kept me from it in the past!

Who Has Time

When I was pregnant with my first child I read several blogs to get parenting advice. After he was born I stopped – who has time as a new mom or parent to read blogs? Then on his first birthday I had my first doctor’s appointment for my pregnancy with my daughter. I really was not going to have time for it now, chasing two kids around is so much work, right?! As time went on I had random thoughts that would make a great blog post. Most of the time I thought to myself – “Oh, I wish someone had of told me this” or “Surely, I am not the only parent that feels this way”. Of course, a year later, I don’t remember those ideas! I am sure they will come back to me, eventually! Don’t get me wrong, there are some great blogs out there that have a ton of valuable information on them, but some of the things I thought of I had not seen yet!

Categories
Family

UPDATE: Big News for 2020

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia|600|||||||”]

Hey y’all!!!

Wow- does anyone else feel like this year is already flying by? I mean January is already almost over! If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw early on this month that this year was going to be a big year for me and my family. I didn’t give much detail at all because things were still fresh. However, I am ready to share a little bit of what we have planned for this year and tell you all how this year started for us! I am pumped to finally feel comfortable enough in this process to share!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-NEWS.png” _builder_version=”3.26.6″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia|600|||||||”]

So, first if you have ben following me then you know that my husband and I have been in the process of getting our house ready to sell for a while now. We really didn’t rush this because we haven’t had a reason too. We found several places that we wanted to buy but nothing worked out. We bid on land to build and lost, we looked at a huge fixer up that ended up being way more than we wanted to bite off, and then finally decided to wait and take out time until God brought the right place to us. This means that we took our time on finishing our home improvement projects, while still looking for the right place. We really figured we would stay where we are for at least another year or so.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia|600|||||||”]

We decided to check out a house that we had looked at on Zillow few times with our realtor. Little did we know that the same day we looked at it there was an open house and about 15 other families looked at it too. This was more people than we had ever seen at an open house, and we have been to a lot! So, that day we decided to put an offer in! After a few negotiations, they accepted! WHAAAATTT!!! We were so excited! Then we realized we had to get our ducks in a row: getting re-approved, getting our what seemed enormous TO-DO list completed, and getting our house on the market!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/for-sale.png” _builder_version=”3.26.6″ min_height=”585px” custom_margin=”45px|||||” custom_padding=”3px|||||”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_padding=”||10px|||”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia|600|||||||” custom_padding=”||0px|||”]

Today, as I write this post our house went on the market! This is such a relief for us. We really would love to sell our house and close on it soon after we move into our new house!  As is anyone’s dream who is buying and selling! I have spent lots of time cleaning out closets, removing items we didn’t use and removing personal items from our home. The kids can’t wait to get into their new rooms, but the dog is very confused and not liking the change! We are confident that he is going to love all the space at the new place though!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″ min_height=”200px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia|600|||||||”]

Anywho! I wanted to give you all an update on what is going on and I can’t wait to share more with you all!  We are to close mid next month on the new house and I will for sure be sharing some of our future plans there with you all!

I pray that you all are having a great start to your new year and that life isn’t throwing to many curve balls your way!

Until next time, XOXO!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column _builder_version=”3.26.6″ type=”4_4″][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_text][/et_pb_section]

Categories
Healthy Living

3 Tips for an Easier Health Journey in 2020!

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″ admin_label=”Section”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″ collapsed=”off”][et_pb_column _builder_version=”3.26.6″ type=”4_4″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.26.6″ admin_label=”Image” src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-health-journey.jpg”%5D%5B/et_pb_image%5D%5B/et_pb_column%5D%5B/et_pb_row%5D%5Bet_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||”]

We are a little over halfway done with the first month on 2020!! It sounds o crazy to even say this out loud! Time is already flying by. I have set some goals and I have been evaluating them over the last week. Doing so made me reminisce on the progress I have made over the last 3 years and more so over the last year and a half when I really decided to take my life into my hand (and Gods) and really take care of myself.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||”]

Over the last year and a half, I have made it a priority to be healthier. This ranges from  eating better, taking supplements, to working out regularly and beyond. I will tell you it has not been easy and some days I had to remember the reasons why I was doing it. In the long run, it has been totally worth it! Since I know these journeys are very common for people as part of their New Year’s Resolutions, I want to share with you a few of the I did that helped make a “health journey” a little easier. Hopefully this will help you as you are starting yours or even if you are thinking it is too hard already!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”3_5,2_5″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”3_5″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” custom_margin=”|5px|||false|false”]

NO DIETS

I hate when people say, “I am starting a diet”. I see a diet as a short-term plan to help you reach a short-term goal. If you start a diet, lose 10 pounds, succeed and then go off the said diet, you will likely gain every pound back. Yes, this maybe a mental thing I tell myself, but it works! I do not do diets but rather make lifestyle changes. If you want long-term results, you have to make long-term changes.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” custom_margin=”14px|5px|||false|false”]

While some dietary plans may have diet in the name, do not let it define the longevity of it. When you are getting healthy, you don’t do it for 30 days or even just 90 days. It needs to become a lifestyle change and be followed for the unforeseeable future! It is ok to modify as you go to fit your bodies needs in there. For example, I followed Paleo very strictly for about 8 months. I felt great at first and then slowly started becoming tired and low on energy. I modified how I was eating some by adding more carbs back in with gluten free pasta and more vegetables and my energy levels increased.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”2_5″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_image _builder_version=”3.26.6″ src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/health-journey.jpg” custom_margin=”|||5px|false|false” min_height=”344px”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

When I first started my health journey it was after birthed my second beautiful child and I had gained nearly 50 pounds. I think I must have done something wrong because the baby weight did not just fall off me while breastfeeding like I had read about! My husband and I booked our honeymoon ( a few years late) for just 5 months after she was born. I was determined to be able to feel good about myself in my two-piece and wanted to look good too! So, I started walking and running some but still did not see the results I wanted. I started a 15 Day Mommy Fit Challenge and did see some great results but still not where I wanted to be. I felt let down because I watched the videos of other moms trimming up and looking great just weeks after having a baby and here,  I was still almost 15 pounds from my goal weight. When you are short, those 15 extras pounds can really mess with ya! I went on that vacation feeling like a bowl of jelly.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

After that I realized that everyone is different. We will not all drop weight or tone up like someone else. It is important to understand your body and know what it is capable of. Then, base your goals off of that. These days I know better than to give into a single 15 days routine to look my best so I plan head and will complete at least 30 days before looking for the results I want! Don’t base your results off of anyone else’s!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

DONT BUY IT

When I was starting my health journey, I knew it would be hard to get my husband on board with all the healthy foods. So, I kept buying the junk food I knew he liked and lets face it, me too! I would then end up eating it too. This makes it really hard to stay on track and reach goals. I found myself almost blacking out and eating a whole bag of chips one night then feeling horrible when I didn’t reach a goal set that week. It was not worth it at all, plus my face broke out too!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

 So, I have found it easiest that if you have people who are not on the same journey you are on for them to buy their own snack food. This made me feel like it was not mine so I could not eat it. It helped me mentally be able to resist. If you have children that you think may not be on the same journey, get them on it. They will thank you later! My kids eat just about everything my husband and I eat and are now not picky eaters unless they are in a “mood”!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

I am not one to make more than one meal either unless I think our meal will take a while to cook or if it is special for my husband and I and we eat after the kids. Cooking one meal is way easier and less messy! There are some really good ways to cook healthy that the whole family will enjoy. Find your preferred food plan (paleo, keto, low carb, etc.) and then just Google healthy recipes for it! You wont be let down! However, don’t let feeding your family what they will eat (junk food), override your health journey. Getting a family on the same bandwagon is not always easy, I know, but if you can start with the food, the rest will fall into place and the whole family will be better for it! Also, if you are just starting out and eating healthy seems to be too expensive right now, cut your portions in half. Plate the food up for the family and then immediately put the leftovers away so you are not tempted to go back for seconds.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″]

I hope that these few tips help you reach your goal and motivate you to be the best you can be! This journey is not always going to be easy, but I am here for you, cheering you on! You Got This! Best of luck!

Check me out on Instagram @thesquirrellymom and tag me in your pics of you going after your health goals no matter what they are!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Categories
Family

New Year. New Decade. New Goals.

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” inline_fonts=”Chelsea Market”]

Happy New Year y’all! I am so glad to be ringing in the new year with you all! I hope you have had a great time celebrating the recent holidays with your family and friends! I know I sure have! To be honest though, I am so glad to be starting a new year and a new decade and to have the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind me, for the next 10 months anyway!

This coming year I have some big plans! How about you? Have you set your resolutions? I personally don’t set resolutions, but I make plans and set goals. I don’t like to make resolutions because I am not going to start or stop doing something but improving some things that I am already working on. I like to think of new years as a time for me to evaluate how I did over the past year, what can I improve on or do differently. So, I want to share a couple of my plans with you all! I find that when I tell people my goals or plans, I hold myself more accountable than if I just kept them to myself. I need someone to help me stay focused and on task rather than being able to tell myself that I will do it later or that it isn’t that important! So, here they are!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_fullwidth_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/New-Year-2020.jpg” _builder_version=”3.26.6″][/et_pb_fullwidth_image][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ inline_fonts=”Chelsea Market”]

GOAL 1. 

Over the past year I have started several posts for you all but I have not been very good at finishing them and definitely not good at getting them posted. My goal this year is to post at least twice a month. I want to keep you all well informed of healthy living habits that can help you all reach some of your goals over the next year. I will be sharing on s few topics from easy at home workouts to healthy eating habits that won’t break the bank! I will also be sharing about doTerra essential oils and how to use them to help support you and your family’s needs! I will also  be throwing a few in there throughout the year on updates on my family and what is going on in our lives!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_margin=”-48px|auto||auto||”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_margin=”14px||-32px|||” inline_fonts=”Chelsea Market”]

GOAL 2.

I have a goal of reorganizing my house this year! One room at a time. This one already sounds terrible! However, if you ask anyone that knows me, I hate clutter and I hate having things just for the sake of having them. I need them to serve a purpose in my life or I don’t need them. I also am not a person that holds on to things that are broke for very long. If I think I can fix it I give myself 30 days and if it is not done then it’s gone. With that being said, I also like to rearrange things and find ways to make better use of space. This will be my primary goal this year. While we are still always looking for our perfect forever home, I want to make the best out of our current home for our family. I will keep you updated on this process through my post in my family section!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.26.6″ min_height=”307px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ min_height=”268px” inline_fonts=”Chelsea Market,Trebuchet”]

GOAL 3.

Finally, my biggest goal that I have is to me more involved and in tune with my kids. I know that this sounds like I am an absent mom or maybe even a crazy thing to say but hear me out. I see my kids for about four hours a day during the week since I work outside of the home and they go to school. During those four hours there are two meals, cleaning up and bath time. There has seemed to not be much time for quality time and I am working on changing that! This year we will play games together and read more books! I will have to change my schedule on the time that I do things and I think this will be the biggest adjustment. Finding the time to do it all while maintaining my sanity! However, this are the years that I want to really start making memories with my kids! They are able to do more now that they are a little older and I want to make the best of these years… You know, before they hate me and think I am the worst person ever!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_2″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2019-christmas.jpg” _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_margin=”|14px||0px|false|false”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.26.6″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.26.6″ custom_padding=”||33px|||” inline_fonts=”Chelsea Market”]

I would love to hear some of your goals so maybe I can help you with achieving them as well! I pray that you all have had a great start to the New Year, and I can’t wait to share more with you all!

 

XOXO- The Squirrelly Mom

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Categories
Healthy Living

3 Quick & Easy Chicken Recipes for Any Meal

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px” text_orientation=”center”]

Sometimes you can get a great deal on meat when you buy in bulk. Knowing what to do with it all is a completely different thing. I want to share with you some recipes that have been staples in my family while I was growing up along with some new ones that we have discovered over the years. The next couple of posts will be recipes for a few types of meats and veggies.

Be sure to check out my post on tips for meal prepping on a budget.

Cooking the same meals over and over can get really boring no matter how much your family likes them. That is why I tried to pick recipes that are easy but unique all while being ones the whole family will love! I have collaborated with my mom and sisters on these meals and many of them we all said to start with than had a few extras. I look forward to bringing you into part of my nutty family, and what a better way to do than over food! Yum!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/CHICEN-RECIPE.jpg” _builder_version=”3.25.3″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

To start this series off, let’s talk chicken. It is probably the most cost-effective meat to purchase, is high in protein, and cooks quickly. The thing I love about chicken is that you can season it so many different ways or all one way and it is still delicious! When I buy chicken in bulk I find it easiest to season it with salt and pepper and cook it all the same way. Whatever dish you pair it with, the chicken will pick up that flavor. Now, that being said, if the Chicken it the highlight of the show, take some time and season it well and differently than if you are going to meal prep several meals. Buying a rotisserie chicken is also a great option since all you have to do is pick the chicken off! No prepping or cooking. Sams Club has really great prices on their rotisserie chicken, by the way! 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ fullwidth=”on” _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_fullwidth_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/chicken.jpg” _builder_version=”3.25.3″][/et_pb_fullwidth_image][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″]

1. Chicken Pizza

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Y’all, this is the one recipe we all said when I asked, “what meals come to mind when I say chicken”! This meant it had to be the very first one I mentioned here! It is super easy, pretty quick- 30 minutes or less, and so freaking good! I am not sure how this meal began in our family, either Moms’ creativity or maybe a Pampered Chef recipe. Either way, thank God it came from somewhere!

This meal calls for as little as four ingredients to six ingredients. Simple. Quick. Here we go

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″]

Ingredients

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

  1. 3-4 Chicken Breast- Seasoned with salt and pepper (Italian seasoning is optional), cooked however you wish, and chopped in to bite size pieces.
  2. 1 medium Onion chopped and sautéed (optional)
  3. 2 table spoons minced garlic or garlic powder (optional)
  4. 2 cans of Pizza Sauce
  5. ½-1 box of Spaghetti noodles (Depending on your families noodle consumption), broke in half and cooked
  6. 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_image src=”https://thesquirrellymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Eat-together.png” _builder_version=”3.25.3″][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Directions

After you have cooked your chicken to 165 degrees, cut it up into bite size pieces. Sauté the onions for 1-2 minutes then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Combine the chicken, onion, garlic and pizza sauce into the pan and heat through. Cook the noodles as directed on the package. Once the noodles are cooked, you can either leave them separate or add to the chicken combination. Mix in the cheese until melted.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px”]

That is easy, right? Now I will say this, this is a nontraditional way to do pizza. You can add more to it if you like. My kids love black olives’, so we add some to theirs when we make this. This can be a fun way to make “pizza” as a family!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″]

2. Chicken Fajitas Bowl

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

I feel like taco nights are a thing at many homes and the fajitas are left to the restaurant, but I love fajitas! When it comes to the kids eating them it got a little messy. I wanted an easier way to make it fun for the family without being a hassle. This is how the chicken fajita bowl was born in my house.

The prep for fajitas can be a bit much on a weeknight when you just want to get dinner done. I prep this all on Sunday, put it in a freezer bag and set it aside until I am ready for it! It makes the busy night super quick and easy with much less mess! 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″ column_structure=”1_2,1_2″][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Ingredients

  1. Olive Oil
  2. 3 Cooked Chicken Breast Or about 3 Cups
  3. 2 Green Peppers
  4. 1 Red Pepper
  5. 1 Medium Onion
  6. I can of Black Beans
  7. 1 box or pack of Spanish Rice
  8. 1 pack of Fajita Seasoning
  9. Shredded Mexican Cheese
  10. Salad, Salsa and Guac are optional but always great additions!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px” _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||”]

** Meal Prepping Tip**

 

Throw the chopped food into bags and stick in the fridge until ready to use. If it will be later in the week, put them in the freezer to help keep it fresh. To thaw, place the food in the fridge the night before or morning that you want to fix this meal.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Directions

For this recipe, instead of cutting the veggies into strips, I chop into bite size (yes kids bite size) pieces. Assuming I have prepped the chicken for this meal with the rest of the chicken for everything else, I chop the cooked  chicken up into bite sizes as well. I keep the chicken and veggies separate since the veggies will need a little more time to cook than the chicken. I keep a can of black beans on hand and a box of Spanish rice on hand.

In a 12” skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil  on medium high heat. Add the chopped veggies and cook until slightly tender. While the veggies cook, I cook the rice and heat the beans per the directions on the packaging. After the veggies have become slightly tender add chicken into pan with the veggies. While the combination cooks, prepare fajita seasoning and add to the chicken and veggies. This takes about 15 minutes total to prepare.

If you choose to have the optional items, it is more cost effective to buy prepared items as it has less waste than what you need to make it fresh. That is unless you just really like these and eat them for 5 days straight, at that point, make it fresh!

To assemble, put in a bowl with rice and black beans and enjoy! This is a super quick meal for the week night if you have it all prepared ahead of time, but worth it too if you don’t!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_row custom_padding=”0px|||||” _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″]

3. Italian Chicken Sandwich

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Ok, so I will admit, I did not even think of this one. My mom and one sister said Italian baked chicken and my other sister said Chicken Panini! I am so glad she did too! It made me remember this meal from my college days! This is a really good sandwich and would pair nicely with a salad or even some chips! There is nothing easier than a sandwich on the weeknights and this one is no different. If this mean is on your menu when you buy the chicken, set aside a chicken breast or two. or this meal, you will want to season the chicken differently and possibly cook it different as well. I love this grilled or baked.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row custom_padding=”25px|||||” custom_margin=”|auto|-188px|auto||” _builder_version=”3.25.3″ min_height=”717px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

Ingredients:

  1. 2 large chicken breasts cut in half (butterfly style, but all the way)
  2. 1 loaf of French Bread (frozen of fresh) warmed and cut into 4 pieces
  3. 1 small Red Onion thinly sliced
  4. 1 bottle Italian Dressing
  5. Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese Slices

Directions:

First, you will need to cut the chicken. You will be making thinner pieces out of these chicken breasts. Marinade the chicken in the Italian Dressing for at least an hour, but longer is better! Once ready, cook the chicken however you prefer. When I was in college, I would cook this on the good ‘ol George Foreman grill! Now, I love to cook it on the grill or bake it. If you bake it set oven to 350 and cook until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. While the chicken cooks (it should only take about 10-12 minutes since we cut them down), heat the bread up and cut into the four pieces. Thinly slice the red onion. Assemble the sandwich by placing the cooked chicken inside the French bread and topping with onion and cheese. Enjoy!

I will be the first to admit that I rarely make this meal, but when I do, it never lets me down! It has become a favorite and a treat all at the same time. You can use any kind of bread that you would like as well, like hoagie buns.

 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″ custom_margin=”||-2px” custom_padding=”||0px”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25.3″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.25.3″ text_font=”Georgia||||||||” text_font_size=”16px” text_letter_spacing=”1px”]

I hope that these recipes have sparked a little creativity in you and that you enjoy them as much as my family does. 

Please share this with anyone that you think would like to try these. Also, please share what your favorite chicken recipes are so that we can try them out! 

 

Be sure to subscribe so that you can stay up to date and receive more great recipes to try! 

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Categories
Healthy Living

Meal Prepping on a Budget

Are you new to meal prepping or a seasoned veteran? Either way, knowing how to meal prep on a budget and get the most out of it can be daunting. I remember the thought of meal prepping would make me go into a full on anxiety attack. My mom used to try to talk to me about it, and I would shut down!

Who has the time to meal prep ALL DAY! Who has the time to plan out meals for a WHOLE WEEK? Sound familiar? Have you thought the same things? If so, you are not alone! These were my exact thoughts until I just decided to try it. I have not turned back since then!

What has changed is how I prepare for meal prepping. I used to go into the store with general ideas and wing it. This method worked, kind of! This method also cost me so much money, and I ended up wasting most of the food I bought.

After figuring out some of the ropes, I decided to share these tips with you to make it easier for you too! Meal prepping is designed to make life easy and more cost-effective, not stress you out and break the bank! So here are my top 3 tips to help you stay on budget and enjoy meal prepping!

Shop Your Supplies, then the Ads

After you have an idea of what you need, double check your stock and make sure you don’t have anything frozen or in the pantry that you can use. Man, does this save some money! Not only do you not buy what you already have, but you use up what you have so your not letting it sit and waste! Often, I can make a meal or two out of what I already have. You can get creative doing this too! If you are not that creative, check out this website for help finding a recipe for what you have!

After you have checked your supplies, it is time to review ads. Every week, grocery stores send out advertisements for cost savings. I used to throw these away. Not any more! Take a minute to look at them and compare other stores sales. Shopping ads are a great way to make sure you are getting the best deal. Some sales are during the week due to the slower shopping times. This is a great time to stock up for a day of prep as long as it won’t go bad beforehand. We don’t want to waste money here either!

Buy Bulk Items

I used to think it was only worth it to buy non-perishable items in bulk because they wouldn’t spoil. Why would I buy spinach in a large size container and half go to waste? Well, because I was ignorant! Now, that being said, there are some guidelines for buying in bulk. First, make sure you have room to freeze a portion of what you purchase. Second, make sure you have the proper freezer storage materials.

Hint: Regular ziploc bags are not the same as the freezer bags!

Here are a few of my favorite items to buy in bulk and some ideas about how to use them!

Meat: I love, love, love buying meat in bulk. I prefer to buy from local farmers, but if that is not an option Sams Club and Costco have great deals as well! When buying my meat in bulk (over 5 lbs), I try to find ways to use it or I will freeze a portion of it.

Using meat in several recipes for the week is the easiest for me. For example, my husband loves Chicken Salad for lunch, and I like Grilled Chicken Spinach Salads. When I buy chicken, I cook it all the same and divide it between recipes. If I still have some left over, I will think of dinner meals I can use it for like Chicken Fajita or Chicken Pot Pie. If I find a good deal on ground beef, I will buy it and cook it up. You can then divide it into 1lb containers, freeze it and save it for later use!

 Meal Prepping: Chicken Salad with Greens

Fruits and Veggies: My family enjoys fresh fruits and veggies, but sometimes, it is hard to eat them before they spoil if you don’t know how to prep them. With veggies like carrots or spinach, I will use what I can then before it spoils freeze it. Before freezing carrots, corn or other hardy vegetables, I recommend blanching them. You can also can them once they are blanched as well! Canning will help cut down on thawing time when you are ready to use them.

The fruit I always freeze if I am not going to use it. Freezing your fruit makes it super easy to throw in a blender later and make a smoothie or homemade ice cream!

Double Your Meals

When meal prepping and buying in bulk happen at the same time, one of the smartest things you can do is double your recipes! There will come a week in your busy life that you don’t make it to the store, and you don’t want to feed your family fast food. You will thank yourself in that moment for taking the extra 3 minutes to double the ingredients and freeze that meal!

Again, my mom used to tell me this all the time. Growing up in a house of 5 on a tiny budget, meal planning and prepping was her thing! She was extremely good at it too! It wasn’t until we had our son and my sister in law made us several freezer meals so we could toss them in the oven and not have to worry with cooking and cleaning that it hit me! THIS IS SO GENIUS!

You can pick up some aluminum pans with the aluminum lids at most of your grocery stores. These make it easy to prepare your meals, bake or not, and cover with aluminum foil before putting the aluminum top on. If you won’t have time to make dinner, set a meal out in the morning and give it time to thaw. Doing so will help it cook quicker and more evenly. If you don’t set it out, you can still cook it, just give yourself some extra time to cook it, as it is thick and will take a while to thaw and heat the center!

Making casseroles is one of the easiest ways to freeze meals and feel like you are getting that “home cooked meal” every time. However, these dishes can get boring. I am a fan one sheet pan meals that are quick to prepare and only dirty up one baking pan. These types of meals can also be quickly prepared and frozen for a fast, weeknight meal.

If you are low on freezer space, I have a solution for you as well! Got a friend or a neighbor? Ask them to split the cost of the ingredients with you, double the meal, or divide the ingredients. Both parties get the benefit of the bulk savings and a great meal!

Be sure to check out the links in this post for some of my favorite recipes! More to come soon! Don’t forget, meal prepping is supposed to be helpful, not stressful! Comment and let me know some of your favorite ways to plan meals for the week or meal prep! Reach out if you have any questions as well! I am here to help! 🙂

Categories
Family Mom Life

The Three Essentials to Preparing Your Mothers Day Brunch

Mothers day is in ONE WEEK. Yes, I know us moms already know this! However, sometimes we still let it slip our mind. We get busy, and life goes on. Many moms are behind the scene making sure everything goes smoothly on the daily. We forget that what we do matters and that we deserve a day for whatever we want or need.

Last year, I wanted to have breakfast in bed, the kids to cuddle and tell me they loved me (I mean, they are the reason I am a mom), then I wanted a lovely family day where the kids would be perfect. Not one meltdown, they would play together, and we would all laugh and take adorable pictures. The reality, I woke up to the kids crying, we went to breakfast, and then my afternoon was consumed with meal prepping and laundry. Hello, mommy duties!

This year, I have decided to take my next Mothers Day and plan it out, well at least part of it! I want to make sure a good breakfast/brunch starts my day! Now, I know it may be out of the norm to plan the start of my own Mothers Day day, but I want to help make it as easy on my husband and kids. After all, that’s what we moms do!

Now, even though I am planning out the morning of my Mothers Day, it is equally important to remember our moms and mother in laws. Take this guide and make it so easy for your partner to spoil all the moms in their lives!

So here are three essential things you need to make your brunch go off without a hitch!

Drinks

Let’s start with the most common and highly debated as a necessity, drink… Coffee. You can never go wrong with handing the mom in your life a nice warm cup of coffee. Kids may not know how to make coffee, and your husband is likely to make his first, so set that baby up to brew for you! Most coffee pots have a timer setting, so the coffee is ready for both of you. You can prepare the kureg so that all they have to do press start to brew your perfect cup of joe!

Have the juice ready to go! For kids to help prepare your meal, have a glass of your favorite juice prepared to grab out of the fridge. Your husband should be able to pour this for you, but you may need to let him know you want it! If a morning mimosa sounds good, have the bottle of champagne next to your OJ, this is not a job for the kids (under age 21 anyway)!

Main dish

I love breakfast casseroles, quiches, and breakfast muffins. Luckily, these are all super easy to prepare ahead of time and quickly reheat. Making it super easy and with little to no thought for your loved ones to serve you! Here is one of my favorites that you can take and make it any way you want!

9 large brown eggs
1 lb breakfast sausage
2 cup chopped spinach
1/2 small butternut squash (shredded or small cubes) about 2 cups
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 medium onion chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook sausage. While Sausage cooks, whisk eggs with the salt and pepper. Prepare the other ingredients while sausage continues to cook. Coat the bottom of a 9×13 pan with olive oil or butter if you would like. I cheat and do not drain the sausage and use this as my oil to keep it from sticking! You can also make this in a muffin tin following the same process. Layer the sausage, shredded squash, mushrooms, onions, and spinach evenly. Pour the whisked eggs over the top. Using a fork, press down along the casserole to make sure the eggs disperse evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

You can make this ahead of time and cook it the morning of or pre-cook and reheat. If you pre-cook, let cool, and then you can cut into pieces and place in a bag or container. To heat, place in microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute depending on the size of portions.

I love making these up for the week as well for a quick and easy breakfast, not to mention they are healthy and paleo!

Fruit

Fruit! Easy! Grab a container of strawberries and blueberries at the store. Wash and cut the strawberries and then combine them with the washed blueberries. Go ahead and divide it up into little bags if you want. Not only will this help your family know just how much you want, but it also will help you prepare a quick snack during the week! The kids can help with this one, too! Even if you store your fruit in a container, they can easily scoop some into a bowl for their beloved Mommy!

As moms, it is not always fair that we even have to plan our special day and prep for it. However, I have learned and reflected on this holiday for four years now. Growing up, my mom was lucky if she got a homemade card, much less breakfast or any other special treatment. Moms work very hard, and it is a shame to let Mothers Day slip by and be disappointed. Not all men or kids know how to make the day unique for the women in their lives. The day of, they probably panic and not do anything. Prepping before takes the stress off them and helps you to be able to enjoy it as well and helps them to pull off breakfast confidently!

Categories
Mom Life Professional Life

3 Tips For Being an Effective Working Mom

“Mommy!” “Mommy! I am going to be sick!” That was my wake up call at five AM. After caring for my sick little boy, I text my boss and let him know I will not be in today.

Caring for my child is always going to be my top priority. However, as this comes just a week after being asked if everything was okay at work because I have “been missing more work,” it is hard not to feel some way. Is it guilt, fear, or something else?

Growing up, my mom was a stay at home mom. She was always there for us when we were sick. I never thought I would be any different. I knew I wanted to be a “working mom,” but I never imagined the balance being so hard. So, how do you walk this fine line? How do you navigate the career path while still being a mom?

Well, it is hard, but I am going to try and offer some advice that helps me. Here are my top 3 tips for being an effective “working mom.”

Being a working mom is hard than ever imagined. Implementing these three tips can help reduce the guilt we feel from either being at work or at home.

Support

Making sure that you have a great support team is vital! Your support can be a spouse, grandma, friend, or babysitter. Making sure that you have someone that can help take some of the responsibility for you will help to reduce the amount you miss work. My mother in law is that person for me. She helps out as much as she can when the kids are sick. She keeps them, runs them to the doctor, picks up their medications, she does it all! However, you have to be respectful of their time too and realize that sometimes, they can’t drop everything to take over for you.

Take Care of Yourself

Doing double duty is hard. You give your all both at work and at home. You run yourself ragged. Since we are moms who give it our all, self-care is crucial. I hate calling into or leaving work early because I am sick, but this has happened. If I am going to miss work, I want it to be because I am taking care of my kids, not myself. Better yet, I want it to be because I’m on a tropical island!

So, how do you take care of yourself? What is the best way to keep your immune system up? Go to bed earlier, take a bath, get coffee with a friend. Do anything to help you relax and rest. Eat well. Take your vitamins and drink plenty of water; you know all the things mom’s tell their kids, so they stay well! We have to do it too so that we stay healthy.

Know Your Goals

Since having my son, I have started two new jobs. During both interviews, I stressed that being a mom and caring for my children would always be my top priority. However, I have professional goals that are equally as important as being a good mother. Taking care of your career will require some extra work, and you may have to work late when you can or work at home if given a chance.

When mom guilt sets in, I know that I am not performing the best I can at work. My mind is elsewhere, filled with “should of’s” or “if’s.” The guilt that I get when I miss work to be a mom isn’t any different. There is worry about what my bosses think of me being absent from work. I can’t help but worry about my review that is coming up and how it will affect it. Will they think I am slacking or underperforming?

I have set my goals though. These goals are not just work-related, but personal too. If you have these goals set you can continue to strive towards them no matter what circumstances arise.

Finding a balance is hard, and I don’t see it leveling out any time soon. Women in the workforce continue to have lower chances of advancement. The corporate world is still ostracizing moms for their dual responsibilities, despite all the equality movements. It is up to us as mom’s to find our balance and make it work for us individually.