Wednesday, April 1, 2015

{Mastering Your Menus} Packing Lunches




A Little More Research: Packing a Lunch 

Good morning! 

Today I have two fabulous resources for you. A number of years ago I found a site called hillbillyhousewife.com. Miss Maggie had a site chock full of inexpensive recipes and ideas that have helped me *so* much, and her sweetness and giving, humble spirit were refreshing. Unfortunately, the site has now changed hands, and, while some of the content is still there, there is also a lot of advertising and whatnot that disappoints me. Miss Maggie’s family has now had to start eating gluten free (which helps me a lot!!) and her new site is frugalabundance.com. Take a peek there if you want to see what the original feel of hillbillyhousewife was. ☺

Anyway, I found on Miss Maggie’s site a number of years ago two pages that I’d like to share with you today. Both of them deal with packing lunches, but even if you *never* pack a lunch you’ll enjoy the suggestions she offers - especially in the second link.  Be sure to read the comments section, too.  There are some great ideas there as well!

Here you go!


Your challenge for today? Add to your list of lunches, or make a list of lunch box ideas. *And* for those of you who read this far, leave a comment on this post and I’ll be draw a name next time I put up a menu post for a pack of Shopping Lists! 

Blessings!

Tricia

Saturday, March 28, 2015

{Home Bless-A-Thon} Week Thirteen


Hello Again!

This was "one of those weeks" where not a lot got done here because I was sick with my annual Spring cold. : )  I'm starting to feel more like myself now, so I'll have to decide which things I want to play catch up on, and which things I'm just going to let go for now.  We'll see!

I'm ready for my weekly review, how about you??

WEEKLY REVIEW... Let's

1.  Read through the goals we've set for the month/quarter/year and then make some notes of things we would like to be reminded of this coming week. 

2. Transfer any appointments or special reminders on my monthly calendar to our weekly pages. 

3.  Bring forward any unfinished to do's to a new "To Do This Week" list.

4. Look through our menus for the upcoming week and jot down when to take out meat, make things ahead, etc.

5.  Remind ourselves of our saving and spending goals. 

5. Schedule time to work on this week's Monthly Home Blessings.

MONTHLY HOME BLESSINGS
Week Thirteen

Here are a few more things to spruce up our kitchens!

Clean under the sink.
Has anything accumulated that you can organize or declutter? 
Then grab a microfiber cloth and give it a good wipe down!

 Finish cleaning and decluttering drawers and cupboards.
Empty, wipe down, and only return what needs to be there!

* Wipe down the outside of the cupboards.

Prepare for Easter!
Meals, special traditions, and decorations can make the celebration of Christ's resurrection extra special!


See you next week!!

Blessings!
Tricia

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{Planning Forward} April




Good morning, friends!  It's time to look ahead to April!  Isn't it amazing how quickly time passes.  I pray that each of us are redeeming the time to His glory!

Here are some special dates to remember...

April 3rd - Good Friday 

April 5th - Resurrection Sunday  Do you have your meal planned?

Now let's look at our calendars.  Mark April's paydays as well as any scheduled appointments or deadlines and special days.  Are there any birthdays this month?  Do you need any cards or presents?  Have you scheduled a special date with your husband?  Mark that down now!!  Be sure to schedule a day on your calendar early in the month to write all of your anniversary or birthday cards and/or wrap presents.  Remember not to wait until the week of, if you can help it!  Write a little "M" on the calendar a week or so before the special day, then make a note of the date and the card to mail on your Reminder Sheet.  If you get them out on that day you may be early, but if you happen to forget or miss the mail, you'll still have a day or two before you'll be late!! : )

Now look ahead to May.  Are there any special days that you will need to buy or make cards and/or presents?  Make a note of them on your Monthly Reminder sheet so you can pick them up this month.  You'll have everything all ready when Planning Day rolls around again!   Remember that Mother's Day is coming up!

Next we'll check our spending and savings goals.  I'm still working on this one!!  Make your goals and then track your spending through the month to see how you did!

Finally there are practical Purpose Statement goals...

1.  What is your quiet time plan this month?  What passages will you read?  When?  How often?  Will you memorize any Scripture?  Read a devotional book?

2.  Which aspect of your character will you work on this month? Gratefulness?  Trust?  Replacing anger or irritation with patience and love?  What verse could help you?

3.  Which relationships will you focus in on this month?  Will you make time to have coffee with a friend?  Have a date with your husband or a special Mom and I time with a child?  How about making a meal for someone or writing a letter to a relative or missionary?

4.  How would you like to improve your home this month?  Do you need to wash the bathroom walls?  Or repaint them?  Maybe you need a new throw rug, or to clean out a closet.  Or even to remember to take out the recycling on the right day!

5.  What projects head your list for the next month?  Making a quilt?  Trying a new recipe? Researching honeybees?  What is the next step in each of those projects?

I'm always amazed at how much more I get done if I write it down.  Often I don't complete it all in one day, but if I look over the list regularly I really want to complete them so I can check off the little boxes!! :)

PART II of the post today is a preview of the Monthly Home Blessings for April.  We will be working in the Master Bedroom this month, and you'll want to be sure you have a furnace filter. : )


I'll see you back here Saturday with another installment of our Home Bless-A-Thon!

Blessings!

Tricia

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Monday!

Hello everyone!

It's a happy Monday here because great big snowflakes are falling and it looks like the first snow of winter outside... al pretty and white.  Inside I'm going to be curled up with a blanket and a box of kleenex while I weather some coughing, sneezing, and aching that my husband shared with me. : )  I hope you all have a wonderful week and I plan to be back Wednesday with a {Looking Ahead} post.

See you then!

Here's today's Happy Monday prompt...

A soft blanket is like...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

{Home Bless-A-Thon} Week Twelve



Happy Spring, everyone!

I had such a great time this past weekend working through my Quarterly Review that I almost forgot that this quarter isn't done yet!  My Weekly Review is keeping me on track, though.  So let's start there!

WEEKLY REVIEW... Let's

1.  Read through the goals we've set for the month/quarter/year and then make some notes of things we would like to be reminded of this coming week. 

2. Transfer any appointments or special reminders on my monthly calendar to our weekly pages. 

3.  Bring forward any unfinished to do's to a new "To Do This Week" list.

4. Look through our menus for the upcoming week and jot down when to take out meat, make things ahead, etc.

5.  Remind ourselves of our saving and spending goals. 

5. Schedule time to work on this week's Monthly Home Blessings.

MONTHLY HOME BLESSINGS
Week Twelve

Here are a few more things to spruce up our kitchens!

Clean the oven.
Hopefully you can open the windows a little and let in some warm Spring air!

 Clean the oven hood.
Microfiber cloths help break through the grease!

* Work on a cupboard and/or drawer a day.
Empty, wipe down, and only return what needs to be there!

* Clean the dishwasher door and inside gasket.
A bottle of dishwasher cleaner will spruce up the insides of your machine, but don't forget to clean out the filters and work on the gaskets and hinges to keep away any buildup of gook. : )


Thanks so much for joining me!!

Blessings!
Tricia

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{Mastering Your Menus} Lunch


Merchandise Research: Lunch 


Hello everyone!  Today we are going to do some "merchandise research" into lunch options.  A question for you to think about if your family is mostly home during the day - perhaps if you are homeschooling, or your children are still very young - is whether it would be less expensive for you to make another “meal” at lunch, or to eat “lunch” type food. For example, does it cost less to make a soup and muffins, or some sloppy joes, or even bake up some chicken legs, or is it more cost effective to buy some Hot Pockets or lunch meat, bread and chips? The easy answer is, of course,  the homemade “real meals”! BUT, there are days when they don’t work because of time, and there are allergies and likes and dislikes to deal with. So… with that in mind, I’d like you to brainstorm again. For your challenge today, I’d like you to think of a number of “real meal” type lunches - we'll think through packing lunches tomorrow. For today I'd like you to write down things that you couldn’t easily send if you were packing a lunch… except as leftovers to heat up. Things like…

Hamburger Vegetable Soup & Blueberry Muffins
Mexican Beef & Bean Soup & Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chicken Alfredo Soup and Pumpkin Bread
Sloppy Joes in a Bun with Chips
Baked Chicken Legs, Peas & Finger Jello
Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato Sandwiches
Hamburgers & Fries (Homemade or Out!)
Hot Dogs, Buns, Condiments, Chips
Macaroni & Cheese (Homemade or from a box)
Tacos
Chef Salad

See if you can think of at least 10 options and write them down, just as you did with the breakfast ideas.  It would be wonderful if you could have 20 or even 30 ideas on your list before you file it with the one from yesterday!  And remember -- Don’t lose these lists!!  We will be using them to create our "Captain's Log" later!

Thanks so much for working with me on this challenge.  : )  I'll be back with another menu post on Wednesday, April 1st.  See you then!

Tricia





Monday, March 16, 2015

{The ABC's of Gratitude} Not "I"

Pride.  What a topic for a Happy Monday post!!  I certainly wish it is something that I would just outgrow, don't you??  But I'm afraid it grows more quickly than I do.  It may look like just a little shoot here and there in the garden of my life, but when you tug on it, you'll find that it has a network of roots underneath the soil that would threaten to rip up every other plant around it.  Sigh!  So what does this have to do with gratitude?  I am THANKFUL for a Master Gardener who can skillfully use the double-edged sword of the Word to point out and uproot those patches of pride in my life.  I am THANKFUL for the writers of decades old devotional books that show me that the best life is one lived for others through the power of Christ.  I am THANKFUL for the frequent, painfully necessary reminders to talk less about me, to listen more to others, to not try to outdo others, to not have to have the last word, to always be moderate in my wants and wishes, to spare others from unnecessary concern on my behalf... and the list goes on and on.  And I am THANKFUL that Christ conquered death and sin through His cross and resurrection so that I too can be made a child of God.  "Not by works of righteousness, but according to His mercy".

"Oh, that it may be no more "I" dear Lord, but Christ be seen in me."  

That is my Happy Monday prayer for all of us as we draw nearer to Holy Week and  all throughout the year.

May Christ be seen in you this week!

Blessings!

Tricia

Here's a Happy Monday prompt for today...
The first sign of spring is...