Emeals Makes 4th of July Easy!!


E-meals-4th-JulyI love how eMeals makes meal preparation and planning so easy – even better for holiday dinners.  Do you have a great menu planned for the Fourth of July yet?  If not, or even if you do – you might find a new recipe to start a new Fourth of July tradition here from eMeals.

Ready for great food and good times on Independence Day? Get inspired with eMeals’ FREE Fourth of July Menu.

This menu includes:

Easy Baby Back Ribs
Bacon Potato Salad
Marinated Slaw
Crunch-Topped Squash Casserole
Watermelon Salad
Berry-Topped Thunder Cake

It is FREE with any eMeals subscription purchase, so check out 1 of their 60 meal plans on their website today to help you get dinner on the table in a snap every night.  I especially love my meals menu plan for the week, but it is so fun to have a special holiday menu ready made for me – then I can enjoy family time instead of searching for new and interesting recipes to make a holiday special.

Now, onto the sneak peek recipe for Bacon Potato Salad from the July 4th menu!

Bacon Potato Salad:

4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
6 slices bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomato

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover with 1 teaspoon salt 20 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 15 minutes.
Cook bacon until crisp.
Stir together mayonnaise, mustard, pepper and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl.
Peel potatoes; cut into 1-inch pieces.
Add potatoes and eggs to mayonnaise mixture.
Stir in bacon.
Sprinkle with tomatoes.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe serves 8-10

If you have missed hearing about eMeals, I have shared about how I use it in my home and how it saves time and money for us.  It has made my life much easier and I love supporting a family business too!  Save 15% with the code:  FOURTH on your meal plan today!

Top 10 Posts from 2013



Welcome to a new week wonderful ladies!  Is it just me or is everyone looking forward to getting back to a routine?  Oh my goodness…this Christmas break was so long for me!

I thought it would be fun to highlight the 10 Top Posts from 2013, especially since we have a lot of new moms who have discovered The Confident Mom – woo-hoo!  I love that everyone is excited to begin their New Year with a laid out plan to help organize their home management tasks with the Weekly Household Planner.  So far the free household planner has been downloaded over 30,000.  That makes my heart smile big, even with all the technical issues – thank you for your grace!


1.  Breaking Free from Depression – Naturally


Easy-Homemade-Body Wash

2.  DIY  *Good For You* Body Wash



3.  Four Tips to Better Consistency



4.  Weekly Household Quick Tip – Creating Routines



5.  Answer the Call to Serve


My Dad

6.  Four Things I Learned from My Dad



7.  The Christian Homemakers Guide



hand of young  woman  melancholy and sad  at the window in the rain

8.  My Struggle with Sin



9.  You’re a Good Dog Riley – We Will Miss You!


Feet soaking in spa bath with space for text

10.  20 Ways to Take Care of Mom


Gain More by Losing the Excess



I told you that today I was going to talk about taking better care of your body, and like I said yesterday….. it’s not all about losing weight.  Although it seems like that is on almost everyone’s New Years list, I have a real problem with so much focus being on “how much you weigh” and I want to share with you how you might consider changing a few things on how you nurture your body with regard to food choices and having a plan.

A few months ago I shared how I was rather fed up with my body.  I had been struggling with a few extra pounds and just felt out of energy and frustrated.  I know you can relate!  We all experience this at different times.

I was fortunate enough to run across this 30 day PALEO challenge and decided it was time to jump in.  I got a girlfriend of mine onboard to join me, as we both had read how Paleo can really benefit those who struggle to fight different autoimmune conditions, as well as many other benefits.  I did the 30 days, lost 8 pounds and was very happy.   It began a larger journey for me – really thinking more consciously about the food I was putting in my body as well as my family.

If you are looking to make some changes for the New Year, I suggest to make small changes so they can last.  When we try to overhaul in a BIG way, we often fail.  We lose momentum and get discouraged.  I don’t want that for you.

Get a Plan

One of the things that can be hard with changing habits is just developing new habits to take the place of the old ones!  With regard to eating….this is key.  If you know you would like to eat healthier to feel better or to lose some weight, then you have to have a plan.  I hate coming up with my own plans, I can’t wing it.  I just want to be told what to do, what to eat and what exercise to fit into my daily schedule.  One of the things that worked so well for me was following the 30 day Paleo Challenge and then switching to the eMeals Paleo Meal plan – I didn’t have to think about making it all work!

If you are unfamiliar with eMeals they are a site that will give you a weeks menu plan, complete with recipes, grocery shopping list – all done for you.  You can print the information out or have it on their great APP – which is really handy to access anywhere.


They just released a new 500 calorie meal plan, perfect if you are looking to simply reduce calorie intake.  This meal plan includes a grocery list itemized by section of the store, 7 healthy main dish recipes and sides, and is a simple tool to help you get organized and lose weight in 2014! You can choose to get this meal plan for a family or for 1-2. Each recipe and meal as a whole is broken down with a calorie count to help you track and measure your goals. It’s never been easier – they do all the work for you!  You can join now, and enjoy any plan for 15% off using the code DINNER through January.  You can also change your meal plan too!

Stay Focused

As with any goal you truly have to be focused and committed.  If you are looking to change your eating habits, then make that the focus.  If you can add in some movement each day – do that.  If it is too much to do at the beginning then stick with one area.  If you try to do too much at once, then you will get overwhelmed and quite.  I hear this over and over again from moms…..and I know I struggle with it myself.

So if changing your eating is goal #1, focus there.   If getting your body moving is goal #1, focus there.  Do not stretch yourself thin ladies….have grace with yourself and be realistic.

Each Day is New

This is a biggie – we will fail – every single one of us – we will cheat, eat something we shouldn’t have, but life goes on.  You need to stay committed and realize that each day is new and you do not need to hold onto the mistake you made yesterday.  Begin each day new and feel the power that can come from that.  Give yourself lots of grace, encourage yourself with motivation when you are successful.  Find a buddy who you can share both your success and failures with along the way.  It was such a relief when I could share with my friend that I had cheated and “fell off the wagon” when we were trying to be on the strict 30 day Paleo challenge.

Find Your Weakness

Okay, we all have them – chocolate, salty foods, crunchy things – those items that just call our names when we know we cannot have them!  For me, it is salty chips.  They are my downfall….but you know, if I allow myself to have 4-5 chips when I crave them, I can let the craving go.  It isn’t sitting there haunting me every time I walk into the kitchen.  

What is your weakness?  Maybe this is a bigger issue for you?  If it is, I encourage you to participate in this online book study over at Proverbs 31 ministries where they will be studying Lisa Terkeursts’ “Made to Crave“.  This might be just the study you need to be set free from issues related to food.

made to crave

I pray that whatever your goal is for the New Year that you find encouragement to succeed.  Find a plan, follow a plan and be good to your body.  No one is perfect….so remember that.  Each day is new, so capture the joy in knowing that!

Become a Frugalista — On sale $.99



My book, Become a Frugalista – Money -Saving Secrets for the Frugal Family Manager  available on kindle is discounted today through Sunday.  If you do not have a copy yet, you will want to get it today – as it is the lowest price!  .  Did you know you can easily gift a kindle book to a friend too?  All you need is their email address!   What a great gift for only $.99 – I’m sure they will appreciate all the money saving tips they will get!

Become a Frugalista — Money-Saving Secrets for the Frugal Family Manager has 30 chapters that are chock full of ways to get more for your hard-earned dollar and do more with your family for less money.

Throughout these 30 chapters, I cover the following topics:

  • Keeping a budget and earning extra money
  • Saving money on entertainment, eating out, and travel
  • Saving money on cooking and grocery shopping
  • Saving money on household expenses
  • Extra saving secrets (additional tips, tricks, and secrets)

Tips, techniques, and systems you’ll learn during your journey to become a frugalista include:

  • How to earn free money
  • Selling items online for extra cash
  • Taking advantage of credit card cash-back programs
  • Purchasing and utilizing gift cards
  • Getting more bang for your buck
  • Double and triple dipping to save more faster
  • Saving money on family vacations
  • Effectively saving with coupons
  • How club memberships can save you money
  • How to save money on health-related items/prescriptions
  • Utilizing websites that can save you money, including links to several sites I personally use or suggest looking into
  • How to cut back on things you must have
  • And many more!

In Become a Frugalista — Money-Saving Secrets for the Frugal Family Manager, I share how these money-saving secrets supported me during my time as a single mother and how they are helping me see one of my long-time dreams come true today. Saving money is never easy, but these techniques worked for me and I believe they can help anyone that puts their mind to becoming a frugalista!

Hop over and get your copy or gift a copy to a friend today!

Don’t have a Kindle – don’t’ worry.  You can download an APP to read on any device!

Magical Bean Recipes Rescue the Budget


We’ve been making some changes in our home with regard to the food we eat over the past month.  We’ve gone to drinking raw milk, eating only pastured eggs, grass-feed beef and cutting back on unnecessary snacks.  There are many reasons for this choice and I will share more in the weeks to come as I journey this new frontier for our family.

But, one thing I have discovered is our food budget is being stretched – real food is more expensive.  Instead of paying $2.98 for a gallon of milk, we are paying $9.99 for a gallon of raw milk.  Eggs are no different – $4.69 for a dozen instead of $1.59.  I have had to look for ways to reduce my food budget and one of those ways is to use more beans!  Yep, that magical fruit!

I wanted to share with you two recipes I’ve been using and love.  One is a recipe for Black Beans that I have adapted from eMeals and the other is for homemade refried beans.  I’ve been making batches of these beans in the crock pot and then freezing them so I have a stock pile of ready made food available.  They are easy to make, can be done during the day while I am doing other things and it saves us money, they taste better and are better for us!
Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker

I love my slow cooker, I purchased it last year and it is programmable, is larger than what I use to have, which makes double batches super easy and is dishwasher safe too

Black Beans

I’ve used these black beans for use in casseroles, enchiladas, tacos, chili and bean dip.  They are a fantastic base and super easy.  I typically make a double batch and then freeze them in quart size Ziploc bags.

1 lb dried black beans  (I buy in bulk for $.95/lb)

2 ½ cups chicken stock

2 cups water

½ cup diced onion

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon salt (I use REAL salt)

1 can Rotel tomatoes (I get these on amazon, subscribe ‘n save for less than $1 a can, when I have my monthly order)

1 bay leaf

1 diced jalapeno pepper (optional)

Sort, rinse and drain beans.  Place in slow cooker.  Stir in chicken stock, water, onion, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, tomatoes, bay leaf and jalapeno.  Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours or until beans are tender.


I love using these black beans in eMeals Beef and Black Bean Chili – this recipe is at the top of my families list of favorites right now!


Crock Pot ‘Refried’ Beans

2 lbs pinto beans  (I buy in bulk for $.89/lb)

1 large onion, chopped

6 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

1 Tablespoon salt

1 jalapeno, finely diced

10 cups water

Sort, rinse and drain beans.  Place in slow cooker.  Stir in onion, garlic, pepper, cumin, salt, water and jalapeno.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours and LOW for 2 hours.


Remove any extra liquid, but leave enough to mash into the desired consistency when the beans are mashed.  Take a potato masher and mash until you get the desired consistency.  Serve or let cool and freeze – I use quart size Ziploc bags.

These two recipes are so easy and will certainly help stretch your family food budget, regardless if you are making other changes to your eating habits.  We are turning to more meatless main meals, and beans often are our “meat” substitute.

Do you use beans to stretch your family budget?