Category: Life Simplified

Jan 04 2017

Fireworks after the Greenville Drive Game!

With a new year comes a lot of excitement!  The feeling of a fresh start in many areas of our lives, planning for future events and adventures, new goals, and more!  Everyday is a blessing!  While we welcome in the New Year don’t forget to reflect on the many blessings that you have enjoyed over the past year(s).  I encourage you to initiate a conversation with your family (it can be during a family dinner, game night, or any good time when everyone is present).  During this family time focus on these three things as a family to start off your New Year right.  This time together will make a positive impact on the hearts and lives of each individual family member and is worth it:

  1. Reflect back the fun memories and blessings of 2016!  Often the hardest part with this stage is getting the ball rolling.  Before the family time create a list of several good family memories to get it started.  Mention one and let others input their memories tied into that event as well as start adding their own memories.  Give everyone a chance who wants to talk the opportunity.  If there is a pause bring up a different memory to keep them going.  Before long you’ll be laughing and the kids will be bringing up memories connected to the event or new ones that you forgot about.  This is a wonderful way to end a year and begin a new one.
  2. Take a moment to think about the tough times over the past year! While the harder times are not easy to deal with or will bring back sadness or emotions they still have an impact on our lives.  Sometimes during these times of discussion you realize that a family member is still struggling with something.  Whether it is grief over a lost pet or loved one, anger, frustration, or something else.  This is a good time to gauge how everyone is doing and give you an opportunity to encourage each other or help those family members heal.  The love and support you receive from those around you can make an incredible impact on your life as you continue to move forward.  Knowing you are not alone, you are loved, and you have a team of people who want to help you can help the family member heal more quickly.  (Do not use this time to point out problems with each other, but to talk about harder times and to encourage.  Some topics made need to be tabled for a later and more lengthy conversation)  It will give you a good insight into your children and some ideas of what to help encourage them with over the next few weeks as they continue to grow and heal.
  3. Look ahead! As one year wraps up and a new one begins it is a great time to set some goals both personally and as a family.  Use this time to set family goals together.  There may be some activities that the kids have been wanting to do, but you have been letting it slip not even realizing that it was very important to them.  The goals discussed during this family  time should be family related, although they most definitely have a personal impact on each family member.  Write these goals down and review them weekly or monthly or regularly throughout the year to remind the family members of what is important to the family as a whole.  This also provides a lead in for each of the members to think about their personal goals.  It allows a great opportunity to have a group of people focused on similar goals and encouraging each other along the way.  Some family goal ideas (eat healthier, regular family game night, monthly date night with spouse and each child, daily family devotions, learn a new skill together, plan a family vacation, weekly family night, quarterly family service project, etc…).  Make a point to write the ideas down and either make a decision that day or within a few days on the family goals.  Type up a list, print it or email it to each family member so that they can be reminded of the ways your family is working together to create stronger bonds, happy memories, and improving lives.

Setting aside a time when everyone is together can be difficult, however it is important.  It can be during a family dinner, game night, or another time when the family is together.  Make sure it is a convenient time with as little distractions as possible.  A time when everyone is more relaxed (not hungry, ready for bed, or trying to multi-task while having this conversation).  The reflecting on memories helps create a happy bond, the tough times allow family members to see that they are not alone and have the support of people who love them, and looking ahead gives you the opportunity to improve and grow into a better individuals and family unit.  If you do write down the family goals please do your best to follow through as much as possible because these goals are important to the members.

Life has a way of staying busy.  Taking the time to spending reflecting on good memories as a way has a way of bringing everyone together.  It may cause some laughter, tears, and healing.  It is good to be reminded of the many blessings in our life and to realize that we are journeying through this life together.   Yes, we make mistakes along the way, but we can can make the best of it and have a lot of fun too.  Many blessings to you and your family this 2017 New Year!!!

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Sep 19 2016

http://www.blessingsmultiplied.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/4088699532_ae44f04b7dc.jpg

Last week went by quickly and as we approach a new week it is another full schedule.  Thankful for a family who works and plays together.  We had a great weekend, but are preparing for another crazy week of school and work ahead.  The menu will be slightly different this week with everything going on, but I will try to stay on track as much as possible.

It will be another busy week, but glad that the family is working together to get everything done.   This week I have some special events going on and I need to utilize the items in my pantry.  Trying to keep it healthy, yet simple since several nights we are tighter on time.  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree):  Sloppy Joe’s, Fresh Salad
  • Tuesday (Seafood, Soup, Salad, or Sandwich Entree):  Sandwiches, Salads, Fresh Veggies
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree):   Hotdogs, Baked Beans
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): Crockpot Pork Roast, Mash Potatoes (we switched this night around last week so it’s back on the menu)
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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Sep 12 2016

http://www.blessingsmultiplied.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/4088699532_ae44f04b7dc.jpg

This week we are back to our “new normal” schedule.  Last week was a little different since the girls were out of school Monday for Labor Day and Tuesday and Wednesday for Teachers Professional Learning Days. LOVED having extra time with my sweet girls and Jake over the Labor Day weekend!!!

We are gearing up for another full week of school, work and extra activities.  The girls are starting to have more club and after school activities starting this week too.  Along with a handful of appointments and other fun activities so it will be a busy week for the  whole crew, but looking forward to hitting a rhythm.

It will be another busy week, but glad that the family is working together to get everything done.   This week I have some special events going on and I need to utilize the items in my pantry.  Trying to keep it healthy, yet simple since several nights we are tighter on time.  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree):  Chili, Corn Bread
  • Tuesday (Seafood, Soup, Salad, or Sandwich Entree):   Tagliatelle & Garlic Pasta, Asparagus, Stone Ground Wheat Bread
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree):   Sweet & Sour Chicken, Steamed Rice
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): Crockpot Pork Roast, Mash Potatoes
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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Aug 29 2016

http://www.blessingsmultiplied.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/4088699532_ae44f04b7dc.jpg

We are starting to establish more of a school and work routine.  I would be lying if I said everything has gone completely smoothly, ha!  A couple of nights this past week after a full day at work, picking up the kids so we can do homework, dinner, get everyone settled into bed, I was exhausted and ready to go to bed as well.  Typically, I am good staying up late and love getting up early, but with the transition I have had to go to bed around 9 or 10 at night (for those who know me that is early)!

Thankfully we are getting settled into the routine.  I think this week will be easier now.  This week I have some special events going on and I need to utilize the items in my pantry.  Trying to keep it healthy, yet simple since several nights we are tighter on time.  Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Our Weekly Menu Plan

  • Monday (Beef or Pasta Entree):  Beef, Tomato and Noodle Soup, French Bread
  • Tuesday (Seafood, Soup, Salad, or Sandwich Entree):   Baja Fish Tacos, Salad
  • Wednesday (Chicken or Vegetarian Entree):   Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki Chicken, Steamed Rice
  • Thursday (Pork Entree or Kid‘s Night to Cook): BLT Sandwiches, Pasta Salad
  • Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  Leftovers, Family Preference, and Hosting

I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth).  It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned.  I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.

Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family.  On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home.  As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes.  If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).

As a family of four our life can get busy.  What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget.  Our family typically eats 6 to 7  dinner meals at home a week.  We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat.  Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family.  Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day.  Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends.  The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety.  We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.

Photo by Liz

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Jun 28 2016

 P1670429c

Have you ever been in the middle of hosting an event at your house and realized you are out of napkins?  Gone to brush your teeth only to discover you are out of toothpaste?  Went to start the laundry only to find out that you are out of laundry soap?  All of these are possible scenarios and can be quite frustrating.  I speak from experience!  It is not cool to run out of essential items when you really need them!

At the time it is not funny when you realize you need something and do not have it on hand.  It can be a big inconvenience because you may have to stop what you are doing and go to the store to pick up the missing product. You may need to be creative with your available resources because you cannot pick up the missing item (using cloth napkins while your guests are still visiting or napkins).  Whatever the resolution in those crazy times it simply would have been easier to just have the item already at the house!

Avoid the Oops

No one likes that sinking feeling when you reach for something only to realize it’s all gone. Avoid those oops moments by stocking up at Walmart.

One of the best ways to “avoid the oops” and running out of staple items is to keep a stock of essentials from Protector & Gamble.  Whether it is an impromptu summer event, gathering, or last minute outing.  It is always great to keep the daily or regularly used items on your list and small stockpile (one or two spares). The best way that we  have helped to “avoid the oops” in our household is to create and use a system.

First, we try to keep at least 1 extra of the essential items that we use regularly in our house.  Whenever, any member uses or opens up the last of an item they automatically add it to our shopping list.  It doesn’t matter if I use the last item, my husband or kids, everyone has the freedom to update the list.  It helps us keep what we need in stock.  Until recently I would pick up any items on our shopping list around town, however, using WalMart’s “avoid the oops” program would save me the time and energy of running errands.  Plus, I get the opportunity to order great products and have them delivered directly to our house (extra bonus)!

Save Time and Money:

Who doesn’t want to have a little extra time at the end of the day or extra money left in the budget at the end of the month!  Some weeks it takes everything you have to balance schedules and all the activities (school, work, family, extra curricular, and more).  If you could have something already in place that would allow you to quickly and easily order quality staple products online for a reasonable price and have them delivered to your home it may reduce some of the unnecessary stress in your already busy schedule.  Most shoppers don’t realize they have the option of shopping for the same great household essentials at Walmart’s everyday low prices on Walmart. And by doing so, they’ll also save time so they can enjoy more of that summer sunshine.

Share Your “Oops” Moment:

Have you ever had an “oops” moment?  Please share!  We are all human and have had those moments at various times throughout our lives.  We can laugh or cry together about them!

I was thrilled to hear that SheSpeaks teamed up with Walmart to showcase their “Avoid the Oops” program.  Practical products are awesome!  I love it when my house is stocked with the basic necessities and the house looks as well as smells fresh!  Thank you Walmart and SheSpeaks for helping me tackle my shopping list and clean my house!  It is always great to find products that are useful and easy to get.

She Speaks, WalMart, Avoid the Oops Review

AMAZING Household, Cleaning, and Health & Beauty Items from Walmart that we Received:

  • 2 – Pampers Baby Fresh Baby Wipe Tubs (72 count each)
  • 6 – Bounty Basic Big Roll Paper Towels (95 sheets per roll)
  • 9 – Charmin Basic Toilet Paper Bulk Rolls (319 sheets per roll)
  • 1 Box – Gain Powder Laundry Detergent Original
  • 1 Pack – Gillette Simply Venus Disposable Razors (4 count)
  • 3 – Crest Cavity Protection Toothpaste 6.4 oz each
  • 10 – Ivory Original Soap Bars
  • 2 – Mr. Clean Magic Kitchen Scrubbers
  • 4 – Puffs Ultra Soft Strong Non-Lotion Boxes of Facial Tissues (56 sheets per box)
  • 4 – Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original
  • 2 – Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power House Cleaning Pads
  • 1 – Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Original Scent
  • 1 – Mr. Clean Hawaiian Aloha Multi-Purpose Liquid Cleaner (40 fl oz)
  • Sample goodies to try too!!!!

I received ALL these products shipped directly to my house for under $60!  They were super easy to order online at Walmart and arrived quickly.  It was a big time savings for our family!  Head on over and try out avoid the oops today so you will be stocked up on your products for tomorrow!

You can shop in all of the following categories:  Kitchen, Laundry, Cleaning, Health & Beauty, Baby, Bathroom and More!!!

Additional Information Can be Found About This AWESOME Program at:

As a member of the SheSpeaks Blogger Society, I was given samples of these products and program to write an informed review.  The opinions expressed in this post are my own.   A special thanks to SheSpeaks and Walmart for providing the products to review.

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