Simplify Saturday: Meal Planning Made Easier

Simplify Saturday: Meal Planning Made Easier

As a busy mother of two with a full time job and a part-time business on the side, I know a thing or two about how difficult it is to cook. I also know that when you’re not prepared, it’s a lot easier to justify running to the drive through, where you end up spending money and making choices that aren’t the healthiest.

Once during the school year, we went over our monthly bank statement to discover we’d spent $400 that month on eating out. We were shocked…and vowed to do better. We are now doing an experiment in our house- we write on the calendar each time we eat out, and write down each time we cook at home. This is helping us keep track of how much we are spending, but also on how often we are eating at home.

I’d also like to share some other things you can do to ensure that meal times run more smoothly in your home.

1. Keep staple ingredients in your pantry at all times.

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Who else here has started following a recipe, only to find that you were missing one or two ingredients you needed? Isn’t it frustrating? Think about your family’s favorite things to eat at home, and isolate the ingredients that are common in those recipes. Then, make sure you keep a stockpile of those ingredients in your pantry and fridge.

2. Plan ahead as often as possible

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Planning ahead means that you already have a good idea of what you are going to cook for that week. I have tried to plan two weeks of meals at a time, but sometimes life happens and we don’t stick to it entirely. I’ve now started planning for one week at a time, and planning based on what I have in the pantry, fridge and freezer that week. This way, I am taking our weekly activities into account as well. Gymnastics on Tuesdays? Use the crock pot so it isn’t as time consuming and there is little clean up. Church on Wednesday night?How about salads for dinner? You get the idea.

3. Clean as you go

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Do you ever find that there is a giant mess in your kitchen after you cook, and you often do not get to it until hours later? I have had to wake up early before to clean the kitchen from the night before. One way that I handle this are to fill the sink with soapy water and wash/rinse utensils as I’m cooking. I can also soak bowls and pans before popping them into the dishwasher. The second thing I do is to reuse a bowl from meal prepping to put food scraps or trash in. Having a trash bowl saves me trips to the compost bin or trash can. I use a dish that I’ve already used so I’m cutting down on dirty dishes. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it really helps.

4. Pre-prepare as much as possible

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve realized I need to spend a little more money at the grocery store to get pre-chopped vegetables once in awhile. I initially felt silly about this, but then I realized it truly does save me a lot of time and prep work in the kitchen.

What have you done to simplify your cooking at home? Please comment below and share your tips with me 🙂

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

 

 

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Farmhouse Fridays: Dollar Tree Upcycles

Farmhouse Fridays: Dollar Tree Upcycles

I was packing up my classroom for the summer when I noticed an abundance of these things:

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I used to use them a lot to organized cabinets at my old school, but I really don’t use them as much as I used to. I got rid of most of them, but looking at them gave me an idea.

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I already owned some white chalk paint and some book plates and gold spray paint. I peeled off the stickers, wiped them down with a little rubbing alcohol, and got to paintin’.

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Two coats of paint later, I decided the bright colors were sufficiently covered, and I attached these gold book plates to the bins and stacked them.

 

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I’m loving them, and since I’m in the middle of shopping for a smaller desk, I’ve decided to use them in my craft cabinet in the meantime. I’ll show you all my newly organized craft cabinet next week.

Have an awesome weekend! Join us tomorrow for giveaway results and tips on simplifying your meal planning.

 

Happy Birthday, America!

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Here at Organized and Simplified, we’re wishing you a happy, safe, and fun July 4th. Happy birthday, America. You’re looking pretty good for 242 years old.

We will see you back on Friday. Have a wonderful Independence Day holiday.

 

 

 

Make it Monday: July 4 Edition

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I had a farmhouse inspired craft in mind for you all today, but Since we are celebrating Independence Day this week, I thought I’d give you a little free printable love.

First up, we have this subway art-inspired print. I’ve always loved subway art but I’ve not created a lot of it. I’m super excited about this one.

I also created this art print for those who just want something simple. I’m a simplistic kind of girl myself, so this is right up my alley.

To download, simply right click on the picture and save to your device. For best results, have it professionally printed at an office supply store. I use Staples for mine.

And have a Happy Fourth!

Scripture Sunday…and a word of the month

Scripture Sunday…and a word of the month

John 15:7

As you know, it’s about to be July. It’s hard to think about 2018 already being half over, and it’s hard to think about going back to school next month.

We talk each January about a word of the year, but what if you had a word of the Month? I thought it might be a good idea to choose an area of focus each month. I thought about it, and a single word kept popping in my mind: abide.

ABIDE

Abide is defined in the dictionary as, “to live or dwell without fading or being lost.”

What does it mean to abide in God? And what happens when we do?

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Abiding in him and his words means that you keep His words in your heart and do not forget them. And when you abide in him, he will surely bless you.

This month, I need to abide in His word and His plan for my life a little more. I know no matter what I face, God’s got me. I simply need to stop worrying so much and just trust Him.

Abide in Him and you’ll never regret it. ❤️

Simplify Saturday: Finding Peace on a Daily Basis

We live in a fast paced, stressed out world and sometimes it’s hard to find a moment’s peace. Who else sometimes finds that they are spread thin, with too much to do and you feel like you have no time to breathe?

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do to relax and destress. They work well and they don’t cost a thing!

1. Pray daily

Prayer makes your day much less stressful. Anytime you’re struggling or stressed out, just talk to God about it. I find that praying about my stressors is a major source of relief. You have a confidant who is always available to listen 🙂 Prayer for me is often instant peace.

2. Stop and notice the beauty around you

Take a moment to stop and notice the beauty in the world around you. I took this picture while traveling to my grandma’s house. Sometimes, we have to struggle to see the beauty around us, but if you’re willing to pause and look, you can usually find it.

3. Spend time in the company of those who bring you the most joy

If you want to find peace and contentment in your life, spend some time in the company of your family or friends. Actual time- no phones, no TV; just conversation and good fun.

4. Forget about what people think and just do something that makes you happy

Is it silly to get in a giant kiddie pool with your children? Sure! But I don’t care. I did it, and my kids loved it…and seeing them happy makes me happy.

5. Do something nice for others

What brings you more joy than doing something nice for someone else?

6. Get a hobby that you enjoy and spend a little time doing it each day.

My garden gives me a lot of joy. I love to water it and spend time working in it. And I love to eat the food it produces. Working in this little garden gives me a lot of peace.

What brings you joy and peace?

Free printable Friday: 5 free art prints for little girls’ rooms

free art prints for little girls

As you know, I love to update the art work in my girls’ rooms, as well as in the rest of the house. Purchasing artwork is often expensive, but it’s surprisingly easy to create your own. Today, I am sharing some free art prints that I made using Canva (www.canva.com). Please feel free to download, print them off, and enjoy them!

  1. Esther- Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.

What better role model exists for your young girl than Queen Esther in the Bible? Her story is all about taking risks, taking chances, trusting God, and having big things happen as a result.

Created.

2. Esther 4:14 with a floral design

the moment

3. Inspiring our girls is important. This art print is positive and encouraging, and sure to remind your girl to be everything she can be.  I love this one so much I printed it and put it on my desk at work.

she believed she could, so she did.

4.  When we are children of God, we sometimes need to be reminded “He’s got this” when things get rough. This sign is a perfect reminder for little girls and old girls, too.

I am a child of God

5.  “For you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I found a print very similar to this at Hobby Lobby, but I wasn’t going to pay $26 for it. I decided to make it myself for free! I love the vibrant colors and the floral wreath, and I hope you will, too.

For you are fearfully and wonderfully made

To download, simply right click on your desired print and save it to your device. For best results, I like to send mine to Staples to have them printed.

I hope you have enjoyed these printables! Oh, and PS: You don’t have to have a little girl to download and print them. You can enjoy them anywhere  in your home or office 🙂