Homemaking Tips and Tricks

20
Mar
2014

Homemaking-Tips-Tricks
As I sit and type, it is 2:12 PM on Wednesday, I am behind on my blog writing, I need to leave in 25 minutes to pick up my little guy from school, this post will likely be left to finish later, I just threw my first load of laundry in the washer, have two phone calls to make and I have no idea what is for dinner.

UGH!  But I was able to get together with my ladies for our bi-weekly bible study.  Sometimes days just do not go as planned!

“There are no perfect homemakers – just real moms, deciding what’s right for their families and working to create a warm, nurturing home for those they love.”

I share, because I want you to know there are days……often many days where I struggle a lot to keep things together.  For me, it seems to be especially when my hubby is out of town. 

After thinking though, I remember – I have some soup in the freezer that is perfect for days like this.  I was out of town at the Hearts at Home Conference all weekend and have yet to get to the grocery store, so when I remember those ‘bits’ in my freezer I am quite relieved.  {I still have to tell you all about my wonderful trip and the time I septa visiting with Jill in her home before my flight home….so treasured!}

I love this chapter of homemaking and learning tips (From No More Perfect Moms) on how to make it work a bit better for you.  We all have areas that we are strong at and areas we are weaker in.  For me, meals are a bit stronger, than say decorating.  I always seem to feel defeated before I even start with decorating, and right now while we are in the midst of ‘re-decorating’ or family room I am feeling very un-inspired.

Hospitality is also a weak area for me, but this year I am trying to stretch myself and invite more people into our home, even in the midst of it feeling like it is not together yet.  Will it ever be all together?  I think we can all feel like our homes will never be quite there, so instead of fretting and delaying, just step out.  I am doing that more and I feel so thankful.

What have I learned about these areas of homemaking?

There are no perfect meals, but there are ways to streamline the meal-making process!

Meals

I love the tips Jill gives and will reiterate a few.  I have already shared my little tip on preparing in bulk and freezing, think about all your family favorites and then out of those what can you cook in larger batches to freeze?  I bet you will be amazed.

I also use eMeals to help me plan meals and keep me sanity.  I honestly enjoy looking at recipes on Pinterest, but to take the time to put together all the ideas, make a shopping list and such is a bit too time consuming for the season I am in right now.  I love that I can grab my eMeals meal plan from my computer or even their new APP and decide if I like all the ideas on the menu or delete a few and add in some family favorite, like simple tacos or chili.  My life is made easier and it doesn’t break the bank, especially when I am trying to eat PALEO or at least Gluten Free.

Decorating

I am like Jill, not much of a creative thinker when it comes to decorating – but I can re-create an idea from Pinterest or a magazine. I can allow the negative self-talk get me down as well, but try to remember that I can’t be great at everything, so that I why I have friends who are gifted in decorating!

Hospitality

This is a goal for 2014 – creating and spending more time in relationships.  

“Hospitality is our opportunity to be Jesus to those around us.”

What resonates with you when you read that line?  Are you living out your life as The Lord would want you, sharing His love with others?  I know that I am not and am intentionally working on this.  I am happy to report I have stretched myself and it feels good. Relationships are important, in fact….they are almost THE most important thing.

Which of these areas spoke to you most?  What do you feel is truly at the heart of the issue and why you struggle?

Where did you learn about the art of homemaking?  Did you have a good role model or did you have to learn to ‘wing’ it?

In what way can you stretch yourself this week or weekend?

Please begin reading Chapter 10, I will see you Monday!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a great giveaway you will not want to miss – if you care about improving your family’s health – do not miss it!

If you missed my post on Facebook {Which most do since only 2% of followers see it!!} here is the opening from the Hearts at Home Conference on Friday – it was incredible!!  The best part, the performer is none other than Jill’s son Austin.  It was incredible – take a minute and enjoy – YOU ARE AWESOME!!  

If you are reading this in your email – you will need to click through to the blog to see the video  :-)

 

Gain More by Losing the Excess

31
Dec
2013

emeals-weight-loss-meal-plans

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.

emeals-plan-how-it-works

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

20
Dec
2013

 Become-a-Fruglista-main

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!

Meal Planning for Health and Sanity

21
Nov
2013

 Meal-Planning-tips-emeals

Chapter Sixteen:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“This required fuel for daily living has the power to take my focus off priorities, cause me to overspend, and steal my time.”
“With a plan, food take its proper place in our households – and that’s a healthy necessity and an enjoyable part of the day spent with those important to us.”
The big one for me:

 ”Is it possible we have elevated food above the position God intended?  I believe he wants us to enjoy food – otherwise, we wouldn’t have pizza and brownies.  But it was never meant to dominate our days and checkbooks with overindulgence and unnecessary time and money spent running to the store or through fast-food establishments.”  (AMEN!)

 

 

 Next week on our Getting Read – Conversations that Spark Change Conference Call, we are talking with Jane Delaney one of the co-founders of eMeals and she will share with us not only ideas for meal planning, but how to keep your kitchen the heart of your home without losing your mind!  I can’t wait.  

Jane-DeLaney-Call-1

(If you missed my email blast last week, they have a great code – 30% off any meal plan using code:  CYBER.  They have dinner plans as well as add on’s for breakfast too – making meal planning even easier!)

If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest doing so.


Save 30% with code Cyber

 

Oh, and just to get you started thinking about Thanksgiving, here is a yummy recipe for you to add to your collection from eMeals!

emeals_holiday_paleo_turkey-e1383586384206

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Do you have a meal plan system already working?
  • What is your biggest struggle with meal planning, time involved, coming up with ideas, or picky eaters?
  • Does cooking come to you as a natural, fun thing, or a tedious and time consuming task?
  • If you have a system that works, please share with others, this is an area that is troublesome for many.
  • Do you only plan dinner, or are you also in a routine to plan breakfast and lunch?
  • Are you able to grocery shop and get all your items together in one trip to avoid wasted time later? 

eMeals to the Rescue Again!

9
Oct
2013


I’ve been sharing with you a bit about my journey since beginning a 30 Day Paleo Challenge last month.  I was thrilled when I heard from many of you who were going to give it a try too!  That is the best part, sharing in something together.

I am happy to say, I’ve managed to stick with it and am happy with the success I’ve had.  I am down 9 pounds and I know I’ve lost a few inches.  My clothes are loose and my endurance and energy is up!  The wonderful 30 Day Challenge that I was following over at Robin’s Sweet Confessions started as a great guide and then I was able to choose other Paleo meal choices as well as continue with my workout to train for my half-marathon next month in San Diego (so excited!) [Read more...]