Category Archives: Prepare Ahead

Time to Get Tough

As strange as it sounds, I have been using this piece of electrical machinery every other day recently. I didn’t think it was a big deal, like maybe everyone does this but my Mom told me it was actually pretty unique and that I should share this on my blog. So here it is!

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In the last week, I have fixed my dryer (I watched youtube videos and figured it out! Thank you Youtube!) , fixed 2 vacuums, put up a baby gate, installed a new door handle with a lock, put up 15-18 baby proofing cabinet & drawer locks, and moved around shelves in my garage using this lovely power drill.

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I am posting this not to say ‘I am so great’ but to encourage others out there that you can totally do this, too!!! Yes, there is a little dirt and grim involved as you can see in the inside of this vacuum, and a little faith as you are venturing to learn something new that might take a little trial and error but it is awesome when you start figuring it out! Practice this willingness to fix it yourself habit and it will be wonderful to 1. not have to call your hubby for every problem who may or may not know how to fix it, 2. wonderful to save money and time by not having to replace stuff right in left with going to stores and calling people 3. wonderful to be able to take the responsibility and then move on with your life without having to wait on others to take care of it.

You can do it!  You can learn to be a just a little more self reliant bit by bit, too. When you have a problem, research it.  Watch some YouTube videos, learn from friends, and pick up a hand drill today.  Ha, ha, no seriously though you have every right to get tough and take charge in your life where possible. You can do this. You are more capable than you realize. Just learn a little bit at a time and you will be amazed what good can come from it!

Marilyn

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Family Meal Ideas

Hey Friends!

I asked the ladies on the Mom Made Magic Facebook Group a question 2 weeks ago that I have been thinking about lately.  Basically the question was,  “What works for you to get family meals on the table every night?” It is a challenge to do sometimes but I think we can really learn from each other as we share and are honest about what really helps us and what doesn’t. And for those of you who aren’t even near this point in your lives, you are just fine. There was a point when I was didn’t do so well at it either. But now my kids in school and there is a need for more structure in this area, I am totally on board.

Some tips that have helped me are:

1 The behind the cabinet door trick: This means have some go-to recipes of things you can always keep a good stock of at home. Then write the condensed recipe on a note-card and stick it behind the kitchen cabinet wherever you typically cook.  There are only 2 recipes pictured here because I am starting up my collection again. I threw away my previous ones because I am ready to start learning some new go-to recipes to change things up.

This is by no means rocket science. I am talking easy easy recipes that you feel good about serving your family and you enjoy, too.  I like to put a number next to the name of the dish to signify how many ingredients are in it. Then once I decide on a meal, I can get straight to work going through the ingredients in my head without reading it while I check the pantry to make sure I have the ingredients on hand. For example, I read  “Chili ‘5’”  then I open my fridge and pantry and see if I can recall all the 5 ingredients as search for them.  It is sort of a fun game I made up that helps me start to memorize the recipe.  Spaghetti is a pretty basic one so that is why it is one of my first ones but not always some of the other ones with 5 or more ingredients.

Pretty soon I will to have 8-10 dinner recipes I have on hand all the time again. Behind the cupboard where I keep the baking stuff I put “baking” recipes which are different than the dinner recipes.  It is nice to have those for go-to treats to make but the dinner ones are the essential ones.

This helps me a ton! These become the staples, the go-to trusted meals I can rely on that save me time, brain power, and effort that I can definitely use elsewhere in my life.

(Please excuse the phone pics!)

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dinner42 Every now and then we really don’t feel like doing dishes so we cheat and use paper plates.  I am not advocating waste so I don’t do this all the time but sometimes honestly, no guilt is allowed, just do it. I like to use the flimsy paper plates for this very reason and not the Styrofoam or heavy duty plastic ones.

20161010_1812133 When I am rocking it with meal planning, I like to use my Meal Plan System! This means following this easy to memorize mantra:

Meatless Mondays

Taco Tuesdays

World Wide Wednesdays

Think Ahead Thursdays (Slow Cooker meals)

Freezer Fridays (a go-to meal from my pantry or freezer)

Soup or Salad Saturday (a big yummy dish to last us through the weekend)

Sunday (Leftovers)

I have a lot of recipe ideas for these categories that I’ve pinned on Pinterest if it helps anyone out there.

Love you all!

Marilyn

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Treasure Hunting

My friend here has introduced me to the art of shopping garage sales. She told me with great delight, “that it gets her blood a pumping.” Hee,hee- it is funny and true. Complete with tips on mainly shopping on Saturday where people are usually ready to get rid of everything and offer 50% off the garage sale prices, have a couple things in mind of what you are looking for, avoid paying full price for things at stores by holding off until the weekend for garage sales, realizing you have to hit several garage sales before you find that one awesome one, and last the you can’t just drive by to access if it is a garage sale-you have to get out of the car and take a closer look. These really have been some helpful tips. The best is when you go to a neighborhood sale or where there are several so it is easier to look from one to another. I had a blast a few weeks back finding lots of great items and kid toys. They enjoyed it, too- especially playing with the toys and the cookie/lemonade stands.

Basically I got all these items for a $1 or less each!!!! Whoa!

These, too!