Monday, October 20, 2014

Make-Ahead, Freezer, and Crock Pot Meals

Like most moms I know, I'm always looking to save time, money, and panic when it comes to supper. It's so daily, you know, and everyone expects to be fed. <sigh> I created a new Pinterest board, Freezer and Crock Pot Meals, to help me out. You might find help there, too.

Source: Add a Pinch

Some meals are ones you make ahead and then freeze. Some are simply slow cooker meals. Others are those so-called "dump" meals: dump all (or most) ingredients into a freezer bag; freeze until needed; then dump frozen contents into your slow cooker in the morning and cook all day. I must admit -- those are my favorites for saving time.

It does take a bit of planning to make these happen. But the investment you make at the outset saves gobs of money and time -- not to mention last-minute panic over what to have for dinner -- that it is worth it to protect your sanity.

Do you have any favorite time-saving meals? If so, I'd love to hear about them!

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Linking up with:
Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday
Motivational Monday
A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Finally: Kitchen Lighting Decision!

I say "finally" because Himself and I agreed on it. He has his tastes and I have mine, which often coincide. But in the case of lighting for the kitchen, they most decidedly have not. But hallelujah, we've come to a meeting of the minds. Here's what we've chosen:

The above pendants will go over the cooktop peninsula.

This sconce will go over the sink.

Aren't they pretty? This particular design is called the Kellie II. I love the seeded glass and the Edison bulbs. We both love that these lights are handmade by a company in Maine, The Lamp Goods. And the price is reasonable. I enjoy supporting small business craftspeople whenever I can.

I'm ordering these today. Look for pictures soon after we get them installed!

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I'm linking up with:
Metamorphosis Monday
A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Life in Review this Year

Over the last year, my life has taken quite a turn. We moved. The girls started private school after six years of homeschooling. I went back to work. I'm hear to tell you, that's a lot for a girl like me, who enjoyed her life as it was. It's required a lot of dark chocolate to get me through.

If you've been reading my blog, then you know our new house, lovely as it is, demanded a complete overhaul. It was built in the early 80s, and NOTHING had been updated or changed. There were (okay, still are) gouged, nail holes, and pushpin holes in the walls. All trim was dark stained, as was the carpeting! We immediately had new carpet and hardwoods installed. Then we later had the popcorn ceilings scraped on the main floor. I painted the kitchen cabinets. We painted the kitchen, dining room, foyer, and living room. There's still a lot we could do, but with college only a mere four years away, we're starting to prioritize.

The change from homeschooling to private school last year was a big one for us. The girls enjoy the school, which is a university model school. They attend classes on Tuesdays and Fridays, and then they complete assignments at home the other days. I'm pleased with the course of study. Our elder daughter, Amelia, who began high school this year, also goes on Thursday mornings for student council meetings and yearbook. Last school year was a big transition for all of us; this year has been much smoother so far. I miss homeschooling, though. I enjoyed the lifestyle; and, as a lifelong learner, I enjoyed the study we did together. To be honest, I also miss being the top boss. I'm no longer in complete charge.

I went back to work, too. For the last several years, I've been dabbling in writing. I'd had an article published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine and another in Impart online magazine. I'd had two storied published in an online children's magazine (now sadly defunct) called Fandangle. I wrote reviews for that fantastic homeschooling website The Curriculum Choice. I took on a few freelance editing projects. And I worked here and there on my own manuscripts. Oh, and I blogged.

Then some friends from church approached me about working with their company as a writer. When I was duly employed (pre-family), I worked in the newsletter industry and also in corporate communications, so this was right up my alley. I took on a couple of clients, which has now grown to several clients for whom I produce monthly email newsletter articles, website content, email blasts, and the like. I've also continued freelance editing. I now spend several hours a day on my various projects. And laundry, grocery shopping, schlepping kids to and fro, cooking, washing up, sweeping, scrubbing toilets, etc. You know.

So my life is different now than it was for several years. It's taken some getting used to. At first, I wasn't sure I approved. But I've settled into the new normal.

I plan to better schedule my blogging time. When I blog, I'm practicing my writing, I'm chronicling our lives together, and I'm reaching out to a sphere I don't necessarily inhabit physically. I think that's neat. I have also found that when I don't blog regularly, I miss it. I compose posts in my head that never see the light of day. then I feel unproductive and lackluster, no matter how many loads of laundry I've washed or how I've planned out our meals.

I guess I'm weird that way.

More later, on books I've read, things I've been pinning, and other stuff!

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