Cherish the Good Things

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Definitely need to remember that!

And some links for you this weekend:

50 Ways to Love Your Child Every Day Using Love Languages | Bow of Bronze

Fill the Freezer with Easy Recipes for Summer | Life As Mom

Put the Phone Down and be a Mother | Growing Home

Be Like The Sun: Move Slowly, Radiate Warmth, Shine | Simple Mom

40 Preserving Links (and canning with honey!) | Simple Bites

Links for a Wonderful Week

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us

that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

-Bill Watterson

 

Have (North) American Parents Got It All Backwards? | Huffington Post – Some serious food for thought here for all us mothers!

Why Kids Need Both Choices and Boundaries | Not Just Cute

You Can’t Do Anything You Want | Simple Mom

Practical Ideas for a Summer of Learning | Simple Homeschool

Let Your Kids Get Dirty | Simple Mom

15 Ways To Eat More Vegetables | Motive Nutrition

10 Ultimate Summer Popsicle Recipes | Weed ‘Em and Reap

Have a great week!

 

 

Save Money By Shopping Online

Over the last few years, I’ve been doing more of my shopping online, especially for clothing and home décor items. And I’m becoming more convinced all the time that it’s a great way to save money… always a bonus!

There are a few ways to save when you buy online what you would buy anyway the next time you went to the mall.

Sign up for email updates from your favourite stores.

For me, it’s Carter’s, Old Navy and Zulily, just to name a few. I know those daily (or more!) emails can get a little annoying, but how else will you know when a store suddenly has a quick online-only sale? The best thing to do is to set up a separate email address solely for this purpose, so you don’t clutter up your usual inbox with all of these updates.

Get paid for shopping online.

Seriously.

I shop through Ebates. How does it work? Well, it’s simple: you sign up for an account at Ebates.ca, make sure every time you shop online you first go to their website, and then select the store you want to shop at. It will redirect you to that store’s website to complete your shopping. Ebates keep tracks of every dollar you spend and adds a certain (pre-determined) percentage of your purchase to your Ebates account, which you then receive in the mail every quarter (as a cheque).

And, when you sign up for Ebates, you can choose to get updates on sales and special events that stores might be holding for Ebates members. Every day there are a few different stores offering double cash-back or other good deals.

The only hard part is remembering head to the Ebates website before you shop.

Save money (and time!) by shopping from home.

Don’t waste your precious time driving around town looking for good deals. And we all know fuel is not cheap, so that’s an extra bonus for shopping online.

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While I love to buy most of our clothing online, I realize that some of you might not agree with me. I’d love to hear your point of view.

How do you feel about online shopping?

10 Habits for a Well-Run Home

If you feel overwhelmed at times (or all the time!) with housework, cleaning and just life in general as a mom, I’d like to share some very practical tips to help you manage your home a little better, and feel like things are under control. I stumbled across this list on Pinterest a while back, and found it quite useful for myself, so I’m sharing it in the hopes that some of you will be helped by it too.

Bernice over at The Stressed Mom shares advice with moms on making life easier and feeling more organized.

Here are her first 3 habits to practice:

1. Wake up early. I know this one stinks, but it is the best way to get a jump on your day. Otherwise, the day seems to be in control rather than you controlling the day.

2. Waking up early starts with going to bed earlier. I know that you like the time after the kids have gone to bed for yourself, or for working on projects, or even for trying to catch up on housework. The fact is, shutting down and turning in earlier will make for a better morning and you will likely be more productive. This may not be accurate for the true night owls out there, but I urge you to give it a try.

3. Evening preparations. Make sure everything that is needed to leave the house in the morning is prepped and where it should be. Teach your children this habit as soon as you possibly can, it can make your life easier.

For the rest of her list, visit The Stressed Mom.

Here’s to more organized moms!

The Muffin Tin Lunch

Or supper. Have any of you tried this? I got the idea from Pinterest recently and tried it a few times for my son… he loved it! The last time I used sliced summer sausage, cheddar cheese, pickles, carrot sticks, some cheesy crackers, and mandarin orange segments – all in a mini muffin tin:P1110945

There’s just something about being able to choose what’s in your next bite and play around a little. For a 3-year-old, that’s pretty cool!P1110949

And I like that it’s quick, easy and you can use whatever you have in the house!

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

12 Secrets to Planning Menus | Design Mom

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Lindsey Johnson shared her wisdom in the meal planning department over at Design Mom a few days ago. Here are her first 3 secrets to planning a great menu:

Secret Number One is identifying all of the main dishes and side dishes your family likes to eat. The less surprises, the less scowls and growls! Sit down with a notebook and make a list of all of these foods — everything from spaghetti to stir fry. Be sure to ask each member of the family for their input.

Once I’ve listed the meals my family likes, it’s time to gather the recipes in one place. And that’s Secret Number Two: Dedicate and organize a binder, folder, or recipe box with the most-used, most-loved recipes for quick reference, and keep it with your cookbooks, or somewhere easily accessible when cooking. If those recipes are in a cookbook, bookmark it so it’s easy to find with bright, colorful tabs.

Next comes the fun part. Fill in an empty weekly or monthly calendar with the meals. Secret Number Three is all about scheduling and sticking to it: Make sure to add in any special occasions, appointments, or other events that will be helpful when deciding when to eat which meal. If you have a birthday that month, you might want to make a note somewhere about any special meals or desserts you want to make or if you’ll be eating out instead. What I said earlier still applies here: The less surprises, the less scowls and growls! Want to go the extra mile? When I’m planning main and side dishes, I try to add in at least one thing I know for sure each person will love so there is something on their plate they are guaranteed to enjoy.

For the remaining 9 secrets to creative, smart menu planning, head over to Design Mom to learn more!

Happy planning!

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Easy Weeknight Dinner | Taco Lasagna

Valerie is hosting a blog party this week! The theme is Easy Weeknight Dinners. The idea is to post an easy recipe that your family loves to have for dinner and then link up oveat her blog to share it with others. The collection of recipe links will be on Valerie’s main page from Jan. 21-25… check it out if you’re looking for some dinner inspiration!

Here’ s my recipe:

Taco Lasagna

Taco Lasagna

Taco Casserole

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tortillas
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brown beef in skillet; add taco seasoning. Divide beef into four parts. In a round 2.5 quart casserole dish, evenly spread 1/4 of beef in bottom, 1/4 cup of cheese on top, a tortilla, 1/3 cup sour cream, and a scoop of salsa. Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with remaining beef, green onion, and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until heated through.

Makes 6 servings. Enjoy with a Caesar salad!

(Also delicious using oven-ready lasagna noodles instead of tortillas, in a 2.5 quart rectangular casserole.)

Hop on over to Valerie’s blog to see more delicious easy dinner recipes!