Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

Once a Month Cooking Menu

 

As life gets crazier and busier, one thing I know is that creating a once a month cooking menu is the best way for me to provide my family with quick and easy healthy meals all while saving time, money and being less stressed.

 

I recently started using a once a month cooking menu but organizing myself with Theme Nights and it’s been incredible. Creating a menu a month in advance for our dinners has helped me save a ton of time each week in planning. When you batch organize your meals, you can easily come up with meals your family will love with ingredients you know you can buy often or save on.

 

This post was sponsored by Once a Month Meals and I was compensated for this review. This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Once a Month Meals Review

 

To start once a month planning, I would sit down and start to fill in my grid with my theme night ideas but often would get stuck. I get into a meal planning rut where we are making the same few dinners on rotation and needed some new ideas that fit my budget.

A friend suggested I check out Once a Month Meals and can I tell you, I am OBSESSED with it! Once a month meals provides a ton of recipes, menu ideas, and tips to create awesome meals that your family will love AND shows you how you can make them now and prep them ahead to freeze and add to your meal plan later.

 

 

Once A Month Meals

 

 

I love the idea of multi tasking my cooking, where I can not only make some meals for tonight but freeze some for later. Each recipe also gives you exact directions on how to do it if you want to cook it not or if you want to freeze it for later.

Freezer Meals for your Crock Pot

 

The biggest bonus when it comes to using monthly meal planning and finding a site like Once a Month Meals is that SO many of the meals utilize the crock pot and what’s called ‘dump recipes’.  I LOVE these type of recipes (and you can check out my free 5 day challenge to learn how these can be your best friend too!) 

 

Now I know not everyone loves this kind of cooking but, for a busy mom like me who always has little people underfoot, can I tell you how much stress this saves me! I literally can drop in a meal that I’ve already prepped, turn on the crock pot, and just serve it at dinner time! It not only saves me time but makes clean up SO easy! 

Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes

 

My second favorite thing, besides the easy dinners, from Once a Month Meals was the menus that you can download for toddlers! My 1 year old is at a stage where he eats everything but my toddler has become increasingly pickier.

 

I’ve also fallen into a rut when it comes to making their food and these menus and recipes have given me a new spark to try simple meals that bring in some variety! I’ve gotten into a good groove with breakfast but when it comes to lunches, it’s often just me throwing on plates whatever leftovers we have. The menus they provide have helped me feel much less stressed about providing my kiddos with healthier lunch options while expanding their palettes!

 

 

 

If you’ve never checked out Once a Month Meals, what are you waiting for?

 

I’ve linked below some of my favorite plans that they have to check out for free! You can also head over and get a subscription for super cheap that will provide the shopping lists and more! Go and grab it now and save yourself time and stress in the kitchen!

Once A Month Meals

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2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

 

There are many weight loss plans for breastfeeding mothers out there and I have found that the 2B mindset is made for breastfeeding moms!

 

I have been following the principles laid out in the 2B Mindset program for a few months now and have not only lost almost 20 pounds but there has been little to no change in my milk supply, I constantly feel full, and have transformed the way that I see the scale, food and my body!

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

What is the 2B Mindset Program?

 

2B mindset is a nutrition program from Beachbody, the creators of many home fitness program and nutrition plans.

 

 

The main focus on this program is mindful eating and helping you lose weight without feeling boxed in and restricted.

 

 

I’ve been following the Beachbody programs for 6 years now and have been able to lose 70 pounds before I had my daughter and subsequently have 2 healthy pregnancies where I’ve been able to continue to exercise, eat healthy and drop the baby weight within a year.

 

2B Mindset was created by a registered dietician, Ilana Muhlstein, who herself has lost 100 pounds with this program! (and honestly, there’s just something about following a program from someone who is in the trenches with you that makes it so special).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 2B mindset exercise is ‘extra credit’ and the focus is more on developing a healthier relationship with food. When I heard about this part of the program, I was sold. I knew that even though I exercised 5x a week, there was something missing nutritionally that was standing in the way of my results.

 

 

The program comes with digital access to over 40 videos that you have lifetime access to. You can watch them in chunks, binge them all at once, or just go back to the ones you need when you might be struggling with a craving or need a refresher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You also get access to an iOS app where you can track all your food, a journal to use if you’re more of a paper/pencil type of gal, and a water bottle to help you always be ‘water first’.

2B Mindset for Breastfeeding Moms

 

 

I truly believe that 2B Mindset is the perfect program for a breastfeeding mom. I nursed my daughter until she was 19 months old and am currently still nursing my one year old AND have been able to lose weight at the same time.

 

 

There are a lot of misconceptions about postpartum weight loss and breastfeeding and many times women either don’t eat enough or hold onto some body fat while they are nursing. This doesn’t mean though that it’s impossible to lose the weight!

 

 

2B mindset is 100% set up to help you have weight loss without feeling deprived.

 

 

 

One of the core principles of 2B Mindset is ‘water first’. This means that you are fueling and filling your body with all of the water it needs (and more) which is perfect for breastfeeding.

 

I know that on days I don’t have enough water, my supply is down and my son is more fussy. By following the 2B mindset, you are ensuring that you have enough water to make your milk AND lose weight. (though I want to toss a disclaimer right here… I am NOT a doctor and every women is different so make sure you check with them if you have questions and follow your baby, and milk supply’s, lead!)

 

Another struggle I had when trying to lose weight while breastfeeding was that I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I felt like I constantly was eating and many times, I wasn’t eating the proper foods for my body. Because of this, I was either gaining weight or stuck in a weight loss plateau.

 

And while it’s true that you burn calories while breastfeeding, everyone’s body is different and, if you’re just eating unhealthy foods to feel full, you won’t lose the weight anyway.

 

The 2B mindset teaches you how to fuel your body the right way AND how to go back for more food if you still feel hungry! This was a game changer for me when it came to pushing passed my last plateau. I finally felt like I didn’t have to feel deprived but could still lose!

 

 

One of the toughest principles to follow (but I’m working on it!) is the ‘dinner and done’ principle. Most of my night time snacking is habit and I’ve found that on the night’s that I don’t eat after dinner, I almost always have a weight loss the next day. But, I also notice that on those nights I may wake up less engorged and just ‘flatter’ than normal. I nurse on demand so I don’t have a number to share  but I can definitely notice a difference.

 

If you find you need something to eat or your supply needs a little boost, adding in some veggies with a higher fat dip like hummus or guacamole might be an adjustment you make! Listen to your body and milk supply and feel it out!

2B Mindset Results

 

In the few months that I’ve been doing the 2B Mindset I’ve dropped nearly 20 pounds and can fit comfortably now in my pre pregnancy clothes. I feel a HUGE difference in my mindset and have inspired my husband to start the program too!

 

I also have started making my kids plates similar to mine and I know that they are eating a TON more veggies and a lot less processed snacks. They are also filling up on water and I’ve noticed asking less for snack after snack after snack!

 

 

 

 

 

2B Mindset FAQ

 

The scariest part for many women when jumping into the 2B mindset is that part of it is to track your weight and use the scale daily. I struggled in the beginning because I really had ‘broken up with the scale’ during my last pregnancy.

 

2B mindset has allowed me to change my mindset around the scale. I no longer see it as ‘the enemy’ or something that will make me sad, but rather a tool to help me see what foods my body prefers. I’m not obsessing over the numbers but rather adjusting course as need be. This allows me to drop my “I’ll try again Monday” mentality and actually create lifestyle changes!

 

 

I also wanted to share what Beachbody itself says about this program and breastfeeding moms…

 

“La Leche League International advises breastfeeding moms to wait at least two months before making any drastic effort to lose weight, allowing their bodies to recover and to ensure a steadymilk supply.

 

However, the 2B Mindset can help you get in the right frame of mind to makehealthy decisions for you and your baby so you can ultimately shed the baby weight.

 

Remember, everybody is different, so you should consult your physician before starting this nutrition plan. Keep in mind that breastfeeding women may naturally lose 1 to 4 pounds per month simply due to the amount of energy required for nursing.

 

You may notice a slight reduction in your milk supply at the start of this program, but it should quickly rebound so long as you continue to nurse frequently, drink plenty of water, eat according to the plan, sleep when you can, and keep your stress low. Some women may also see a decline in milk supply as their baby begins to transition to more solid foods, but that is to be expected for any nursing mother.”

 

 

2B Mindset Costs

 

2B mindset is an incredible program and completely worth the cost! Starting at $99 you can get the entire system with the videos! If you’re looking to incorporate exercise in as well, you should definitely get the package where you get a year to stream Beachbody on Demand AND the 2B Mindset access! This way you can have all the tools at your fingertips!

 

 

If you decide to sign up for 2B Mindset with the link below, you’ll also get access to me as your personal coach to help guide you through! I run private support groups full of women doing the program with similar goals to be in each other’s corner!

 

If you have any questions about which option is right for you, I’d love to setup a 15 minute FREE consultation so we can chat! Just head over here and fill out this form!

 

If you’re ready to get started, go and grab it now! Email me once you do at coachingwithcara@gmail.com so we can get you into our health support group ASAP!

 

And if you have any other questions, just leave them in the comments below!

 

 

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Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Does this sound like a situation you’ve been in before?

It’s morning time, you’ve barely had your coffee and you hear the kids getting up in the other room. You had a busy weekend so you didn’t get a chance to go to the grocery store and have no idea what to make them for breakfast. You know they need something healthy but right now, you can barely find enough cereal to fill a bowl and wish you had a better plan. You are tired of always having to think about what healthy foods to feed your toddler and wish you had a better system.

Yup… I’ve been there too.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

healthy toddler breakfasts

Toddlers are picky. Some days they love something and other days it’s the worst food ever. You may have to try super hard to get something healthy in them and other days they’ll eat the entire pint of blueberries you were hoping to enjoy too.

As our kids grow, it’s up to us to help build their taste buds and help them make healthier choices. Kids don’t know what sugar tastes like until we give it to them. As parents, it’s up to us to give them healthy choices, pray they don’t just throw it on the floor, and fuel their tiny little bodies so that they have all that energy to burn.

Now, before you go thinking we eat 100% whole foods, organic everything, and grow all of our own food (and there is nothing wrong with that!), we’re not there yet. I am currently in the slow transition to making our lives and home healthier which includes what we eat and the products that we put on our bodies. Right now though, we do our best to just make sure we are at least trying to get our kids to eat healthy.

But the thing is, it’s not easy. Tantrums are frequent in this house, I have time where I haven’t make our weekly shopping trip and it’s all about being creative in the kitchen, and sometimes we just choose whatever option is available.

So, I’ve come up with a simple system that we use in this house that allows out kids some choice, decreases the tantrums and makes it super easy to have anyone give the kids breakfast if I’m not home to make it.

What to Feed your Toddler

 

I like to use meals that are quick and easy to make and we are pretty much a ‘no frills’ home when it comes to breakfast. Breakfast is one of our favorite meals and often, we just grab a healthy shake and go,  so  I don’t go all out or make anything too fancy unless it’s a special occasion.

 

I also think it’s important to balance the kids food with the right things that they need. I make their breakfasts just like mine; 50% protein and 50% carbohydrate (and veggies are extra credit!). When I look at which carbs to give the kids, I look for ones that are Fiber Filled… fruits (not juice), whole grains, and high fiber foods. We try to stay away from things with white flour, added sugars, or artificially flavored stuff.

Daily Sunshine is our GO TO Shake for all of our kids! You can grab a sampler pack here!

I’ve created a super simple chart that I keep on the side of our refrigerator so that anyway can create a balanced breakfast. This is super helpful for my 11 year old step son. He makes his own breakfasts about half the time and knows to go right to the chart and pick one thing from the carb column and one thing from the protein column. If it was up to him to make breakfasts he’d probably just have bacon with a side of bacon.

 

The things is at breakfast time we need BOTH carbs and protein. Protein will keep us and the kids full until the next meal and the carbs give us the energy to get through the morning. You want to make sure you balance protein and carb and not just give them two carbs (like waffles with fruit).

 

As for protein sizes, I really just eyeball what I know my kids will eat. With toddlers, I think it’s important to give them less to begin with to eliminate waste, otherwise my dog will eat most of it. I use this same system for my 10 month old as well. He and my daughter will have the same breakfast so I don’t have to make anything else and I will just cut his food into smaller pieces.

 

Check out the chart that we use in our house and, if you want to print one for your house, just drop your email! You’ll get hooked up with my weekly mom newsletter and as a gift, you get your own version of the chart to use in your home!

Simple Toddler Breakfasts

Hey Mama!! Want to Make Breakfast Easier?

Grab this mix and match breakfast chart that makes mornings simple!

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    Easy Breakfast Recipes

     

    I’m not much of a cook but, this year I made a goal to make more of an effort in the kitchen and to make as much from scratch as possible. That means that I always make a huge batch of pancakes, am drooling over this waffle maker I want to buy, and try to mix it up with some new recipes every few weeks.

     

    I’ve also found some awesome, healthy and toddler approved recipes for you!!! Head over to check these yummy recipes out to add to your breakfast chart!

    brandless

    Kid-Friendly Breakfast Broccoli from On My Kids Plate 

     

    Apple Protein Muffins from One Clever Chef

     

    Healthy Breakfast Bowls from 5 Minutes for Mom

     

    Kid Friendly Avocado Toast from Theresa’s Reviews

     

    Blender Spinach Muffins from Joy Food Sunshine

     

    Yogurt Fruit Breakfast Pizza from Finding Zest

    Hope these tips help you feel more in control during breakfast and ready to take on the mornings! Keep it simple, balance what your kids need, and fuel them right!

    Don’t forget to jump over and get your own chart to post in your home and, if this was helpful, make sure you share it on Facebook or PIN it for later!

    Hey Mama!! Want to Make Breakfast Easier?

    Grab this mix and match breakfast chart that makes mornings simple!

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you this bonus chart!

      Powered By ConvertKit

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      How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

      How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom

      How to find time to workout as a busy mom.

      Taking care of ourselves is something most moms struggle with. We feel guilty about taking time to exercise. Our time and attention is pulled in a million different directions. The to-do list becomes so long that taking care of ourselves doesn’t always seem like a top priority. We’re tired and don’t always have the energy to do it. And honestly… we just sometimes don’t feel like it.

      The reality is, exercising can be tough enough when you don’t have kids but, adding kids to the mix can make prioritizing your health and self-care even tougher.

      But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

      This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commision. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

      workout mom

      Why you need self-care.

      I know that it can be super hard to create the time for you between the real like stress and the guilt but can I tell you something…

      You matter.

      Yup, you matter more than you realize and more than you’re willing to admit. Because if you take the time to actually acknowledge how fabulous you are, you’ll have to admit that you haven’t been treating yourself the way you deserve. You’ll have to admit that you’ve put yourself on the backburner and that you need to get back to it.

      But taking that time to workout a few times a week (I currently work out 5-6x a week for around 30-40 minutes) does more than just get your heart pumping. When you leave a workout, you feel accomplished. You feel proud and you are reminded that you are worth that effort.

      You are better when you fill your cup and when you do, you can be a better mom. There is a reason that on airplanes, you are told to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s because if you’re a panicked mess, there is NO way you’ll be able to help someone else.

      And it’s the same situation in life. If you aren’t taking care of yourself and have little energy, poor health, low self-confidence, and just feel generally bad, then that trickles down to your family.

      I find that when I am exercising regularly (which I do now and, though it’s taken years, is now a habit that I hate to miss in my day), I am happier, I snap less at my kids, I feel good about myself, I have more energy, and am just a better mom.

      The thing is, and I’m going to toss you some real talk right now, your kids deserve a happy and healthy mom. None of us can guarantee how long we’ll have on this earth but, don’t you want to spend as much time with your kids as possible? And wouldn’t you do anything you could to make that happen? Then you need to find a way to fit exercise into your life and take care of your health. For you, for them, for the grandkids you’ll hopefully get to be around for, and the pictures taken of memories that you aren’t hiding in because you hate the way you look.

       

       

      How to find time to workout

       

      When it comes to working out, you need to decide what you need and how you want it to happen. I personally, haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years and love working out at home. Some people need to leave the house to get that extra motivation to get it done. Determine the type of person you are, be okay with it (because you don’t have to be like anyone else), and come up with a routine that fits that.

      If you need alone time and want the gym to be your sanctuary, then go for it! I coach and talk to so many moms that tell me they’d love to workout at home like me but really need to get out of the house, have interactions with people, and get time alone. If that’s you… go for it!

      Find a gym that has a daycare included so that you truly can feel at ease. It can be pretty tough to find childcare for just an hour or two to go to the gym each day but, if your gym has a daycare center then you’re kids get interaction, which they need, and you get the time to workout. The first place I’d recommend checking out is your local YMCA. Not only do they have great rates but you can get family packages, which includes childcare, classes, swimming and something for the whole family.

      If you’re going to leave the house to workout, make sure you pick a time in the day that works and makes the most sense to you. You don’t want to go when you’ll be cutting it too close to nap and fearing cranky littles or the dreaded car nap. We have a 2-hour chunk in our mornings that is our only time where we can leave the house to do anything without someone napping so if it were me, I’d make sure that we left for the gym then.

      Get yourself prepared the night before so that you don’t waste any time. If you know that you have 2 hours to hit the gym after one of the kiddos naps but before the next nap (which is our schedule), take 5 minutes the night before and lay out your workout clothes and pack your diaper and gym bag. If you bring bags for the kids with activities for them, make sure they are packed along with any water cups and snacks. This way, as soon as the kids are up and your window to workout begins, you’re not wasting 10-15 minutes packing things up. If you can pack the bags when they are sleeping, you can get it done super fast since you’ll have limited distractions.

      Make sure you also sleep in your workout clothes to save a step and have any shower stuff packed. Many gyms have showers you can use so, you can grab a quick one before you pick up the kids and be on your way!

       

      beachbody on demand

       

      Working out at Home 

       

      Working out at home is my jam. I get to wear whatever I want, get all sweaty and not care, try moves I would never do in public, and get my groove on to some great dance workouts all while looking pretty embarrassing. I also don’t have to worry about commuting or taking the kids anywhere and can be flexible if they are fussy.

      That being said. It’s not easy. Getting my daily workout in at home takes planning and a system that it’s taken us a few months to really get the hang of. But, once you get the routine it can also be fun.

      My kids LOVE workout time and a tantrum normally happens on the weekends when I go to workout in our home gym alone since my husband is home. I get to be an example of health to them and they get to join if they want. I always invite my 11 year old stepson to workout with me and, though he almost always says no, the other day he asked if I could help him train for basketball and my heart swelled up with excitement.

      My first suggestion is to find a workout you love. I use Beachbody On Demand and have for the past few years. I used Beachbody workouts to lose 70 pounds before I had my kids, the 50 I gained with my daughter, during both my pregnancies and currently using it to stay healthy and drop the baby weight after my son.

       

      21 day fix pregnancy

       

      There are so many workouts out there that you can pick but, here is the thing… if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. In the past few years, I did some soul searching when it came to workouts and decided that just because everyone else was trying the newest workout, didn’t mean I had to. I love to stretch out of my comfort zone and try new things but, if I don’t like doing a workout, I just pick something else.

       Now, at first you might not like any workouts because working out isn’t the most fun all the time (particularly when you’re out of shape), but I guarantee there is something out there for you! When I was pregnant and my goals were different, I did some home dance workouts or yoga because I knew it would make me feel good. Find what lights you up, challenges you, and makes you happy and I swear, over time exercising will become a part of your lifestyle.

       You can also find something that your kids love to do can include them. Another reason that I love Beachbody on Demand is that they have a kids channel but my toddler loves doing the dance workouts with me, climbing on my back for pushups, and kickboxing is her fav! Your workouts with them may not be as hardcore as before, but remember DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!

       You can always workout at home during nap time if your kids still nap. I choose to do it when they are awake because I use naptimes to work but, you can make that your time to take care of you, grab a shower, and then get to all the other tasks. The cleaning and laundry can wait… your self care cannot!

      lose baby weight

      How to include your kids in your workout block

       

      My first tip is to find an area of your house that is the most conducive to you getting the workout done, not being frustrated with interruptions, and sets them up for success. I tend to do more bodyweight exercises than weights because, when I do have to use our gym and bring the kids in there, they are ALL over the place. On those days, I put my 9 month old in the pack and play and my daughter plays with her kitchen set or easel that I’ve left in there but, since there is so much more to look at and touch, it’s normally more of a headache for me.

      I choose to workout in our playroom on most days. Their stuff is there, they can watch a TV show, and it’s baby proofed. That does mean I have to pick and choose workouts that fit in that space and don’t have weights but I”m okay with that. It helps to keep them contained so grab a good baby gate or pack and play so that you know that they aren’t trying to escape or eat little things off the floor!

      Keep them occupied

       

      Next, figure out how much time your kids can hang before they don’t want to play independently anymore. My kids (2.5 years old and 9 months) have a sweet spot of 35 minutes. If I do anything longer than that, someone is fussy or needs more attention from me, so I try to average a 30-minute workout.

      30 minutes is also about the time of one kids show so yes… this is when they get to watch TV. The baby could care less about TV but my toddler loves it so, during a workout, she gets a show. I do try to do my best to limit the amount of TV she watches and besides working out and when I do her hair, we keep a mostly tech-free day.

       There are some super cute shows out there that don’t include too much sass (my biggest pet peeve with shows today!) and the kiddos love!

       We love;

      • Little Baby Bum (Netflix)
      • Owlegories (Amazon Prime)
      • Super Why (Netflix)
      • Daniel Tiger (Amazon Prime)
      • Doc Mcstuffins, Nellie the Princess Knight, Sofia the First and anything about a girl show isn’t just a damsel in distress
      • Sesame Street (PBS)
      • Word Party (Netflix)

       We could go on about some other shows we love but I always give her two choices of what she wants to watch and, if I’m being real, this keeps her attention long enough for me to workout in the playroom and her not to attack or take all of her brother’s toys so he gets fussy.

      Oh, and I have to toss in a disclaimer because maybe you’re rolling my eyes at the fact that I let them watch TV so I can workout. You need to take care of you too mama, your kids are fine with a little TV while you do so, let go of the guilt, and stop judging any mom who does things you might not *drops mic*

      Be Prepared 

       

      The best tip I can give you for working out at home is to be prepared before you begin. I always make sure that we have a few things handy.

       My 2.5 year old is recently potty trained so I make sure she tries to go before I workout. I also keep the portable potty in the playroom so, if she has to go, she can go there. But be careful… one time I did not stop my workout to empty it and my 9 month old pushed it over… ONTO ME during my pushups.

       I also make sure all the toys are there for the baby and he has plenty of things to chew on, bang together, or build.

      Also, make sure you get the milk cup filled up and have a snack ready so that you don’t have to stop. I workout pretty much right after breakfast and it never fails that my toddler will ask for a snack at least once during my workout.

       You’ll also want to make sure that you pick the right time to workout so that you aren’t dealing with too fussy of kiddos. My son normally naps at 9:30 so I aim to workout at 8:15 am which gives me enough time to workout without him being fussy because it’s too close to nap. On the days when he gets up early and his nap is at 8 or 8:30, I put him down first and then workout with just me and my toddler.

       

      Adjust your expectations

       

      There are times when working out either at home or in the gym just doesn’t go as planned. Kids need things. Life gets in the way. You may have to stop and modify and hold your kid during that last set of squats, let them play horse with you while you do pushups, or sing “if you’re happy and you know it” through the last 10 minutes of your kickboxing workout.

       That’s mom life.

       But you’re a better mom for just trying to take care of yourself than saying “well it might not be perfect so I shouldn’t do anything”. 30 minutes of your day will go by super fast with you guys just sitting around playing or watching a show, so why not get your workout in at the same time?

       This week, I challenge you to find 30 minutes or less each day to do SOMETHING active with them. And if none of these suggestions work for you, put them in the stroller and take a walk! Something is better than nothing and DONE is better than perfect!

       

       

      Know that it is possible to workout with kids but you have to create a routine, be prepared, realize it might not be perfect, and do your best. Your kids should be one of the reasons you take care of your body and health, not an excuse not to!

       

      Did this help and inspire you to get moving??? Share it on your Facebook or PIN it for later!

       

       

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      The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

      The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

      Creating a Goal Setting System

      I’ m a goal setting junkie, like I’m sure most of us are around January 1st.

       

      Does this sound like you;

      • Dream big about what you want out of life.
      • Get a new notebook or planner and make a million lists.
      • Decide THIS is the year you focus on you.
      • Have a really great first few days or week once you’ve picked your goals.
      • Life gets busy.
      • You forget about your goals.
      • You get put on the backburner.
      • Those notebooks get lost on the junk table.
      • The end of the year comes and you have no idea if you’ve even gotten any closer to achieving those goals.

       

      It sounds like me a lot of times too. I am the queen of buying cute notebooks, love to write things on my to-do list just so I can cross it off, and love to dream big. But I also love data. I love systems. And I love giving myself a gold star whenever I achieve even a small goal.

       

      This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

       trello for goal setting

       

      Organizing Your Goals

      I got tired of all the paper clutter and making lists that I never checked in on, so I knew that I had to find a system that would work better for me.

      Enter Trello.

      Trello is an online website and app that allows you to create charts, workflows, and organize anything in your life. It is PERFECT for creating goal charts that you will actually check, stick to, and accomplish.

      If you’re typically a paper and pencil girl, stick with me on this. While Trello may move you into the digital age, it will also help you check in with your goals more and keep them organized. Trello lets me see what I’m prioritizing for the current and next few months, shows me where I may not be as balanced, and lets me have a massive thought catcher for things i want to accomplish, suggestions other people give me, link and website I want to check out, all while tracking my progress towards me goals.

      Trello is perfect for us busy moms who already have a million things to remember. We don’t need another paper system that might get thrown away or colored in by our toddler. We need our own space that will sync up with our phones and give us alerts and reminders when it’s time to kick butt and work on us. It’s super simple to use and is much more streamlined than putting a million notes in your phone that you forget to look at (guilty!)

       

      I want to share with you a step by step walkthrough on how I use and create boards on Trello to track my goals and keep my life less of a hot mess! I’ve already done a few other videos that you can check out on how I organize my prayer time, cleaning routines, and birthday party organization so make sure you go and read those too!

       

      You can watch the video above to create the board with me or just read through the steps below! You also can directly copy my board and save it to edit with your own goals!

       

       

      Step #1: How to Copy My Boards

       

      If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free so that rocks. Once you log in and go to the link, head right on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!

       

       

      Step #2: Create Workflow Cards

       

      The first thing that you’ll want to do is create lists with all of the headings for your goals. I suggest creating a list of the general topics such as;

       

      -Personal

      -Professional

      -Social

      -Finance

      -Health

       

      I also like to create lists for the time frames I want to complete them. This allows me to really be focused on a goal because I can drag the appropriate cards over to either ‘This Month” or “Next Month” or even “December” and know that I have a plan for when I will complete them.

       

       

      Under each list, create cards for that specific goal. For example, if your list is ‘health goals’ you could create a goal card that says ‘lose 15 pounds’, ‘run a half marathon’, or ‘track my meals’. Dream big and create whatever goals your heart desires! If you need help figuring out what areas of your life could use a boost or how to create goals, check out this series I did on just that!

       

       

      Step #3 Breakdown Cards

       

      After you’ve created each card, you can customize them to not only keep lists of things you need to do to accomplish your goal, but a timeline of when it will happen, and links you might want to check out. I tend to always add things to Pinterest but forget to go back to them when I need them! I like to add them to my Trello cards for that specific goal so, when I am ready, it’s just a click away.

       

       

      I suggest putting a few checklists on each card. You can create one for things you need to do AND create one to track what gets done. For example, if a goal of yours is to read 2 books a month, you can have a checklist with books you want to read or that others have suggested to you and a second checklist that tracks if you’ve accomplished it. This might say “January Book 1” and “January Book 2”.

       

      If you don’t track the progress to your goals, how will you know if you’ve achieved it! And instead of using a separate planner or checklist, Trello allows you to keep the to-do list AND the tracker in one spot!

       

      On the right-hand side, you can also add in labels to organize what type of goal they are or maybe what month you want to complete the goal in. This will let you see a big picture of your goals when you glance at your board as a whole.

       

       

      The right-hand column of each card gives you a ton of things that you can use to customize the card. You can add in a due date of when you will accomplish something or a LINK or IMAGE you want to go back to later! These are listed under ATTACHMENTS and, as I previously mentioned, are the perfect place to put blog articles or PINS you come across and want to check out!

       

      Trello is a super easy and efficient way to track goals, progress, and remember to take care of what matters to YOU too! Hopefully, this tutorial helped you feel ready to conquer the world (and decrease paper clutter!)

       

      trello for prayer requests 

      Did this help you get organized?? Loved some tips? Do me a fav?? Hit that Share or PIN IT to help another mama!

       

       

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      5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries (without using coupons)

      5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries (without using coupons)

       

       

      How to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons

       So I want to start with saying that I actually LOVE coupons.

      Using coupons was one of the strategies that helped us when my husband was unemployed for 7 months and we had virtually NO money coming in for groceries.

      During that season of our life, I used coupons to stretch the budget, pinched pennies like crazy, and did a lot of small side jobs to make ends meet. Thankfully now, he is back working and we on our way to getting back on our feet.

       But just because we have more of an income coming in, doesn’t mean that we went back to spending like crazy. Our time of no income actually taught us a lot about wants vs. needs and helped us create amazing habits that is really helping us get rid of a lot of the debt we accumulated in those months.

       Yes, I still use coupons for things that we use (it’s actually one of my hobbies now!) but I also incorporate it with a variety of other money saving hacks that allow us, as a family of 5, to have a $100 a week grocery budget with ease.

       

      Use a Meat Delivery Service

       

      I have been looking for a great meat delivery service for a long time. I kept hitting a lot of roadblocks in my search, such as they were WAY out of my budget, the meat quality wasn’t as high as I hoped, or that they didn’t deliver in my area.

       So when Zaycon Fresh opened in my area I was jumping for joy. 

      I had heard a lot about their farm to table meat services and was super excited to try them. The way it works is that you order your meats (they have everything from chicken breast to beef to bacon) online in bulk (orders go in sets of 40 pounds a package) and select a pick up date. When it’s your day and time to pick up, you simply drive through the line, give them your name and get your meat. The process takes minutes and you get a TON of great meat.

      Since we don’t have a large freezer space, I got my first order and split it with 2 friends. I also had a coupon code for … get this… $1.49/pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (!!!) so I couldn’t pass it up. The typical price for chicken there is $1.89 a pound which is still a steal and the meat tastes great.

      You do have to order about a month in advance but, we’re at the point where we’ve ordered enough so we have a great selection and variety in the freezer which makes cooking so simple. And seriously… the price can’t be beat!

       Even if you’re not sure you’re going to get it now, I recommend making a free account  because they’ll email you a ton of promo codes each week and you can take advantage of sales. If you’re a blogger or influencer, or think you might recommend the service to others, you should take advantage of their referral program! You get $15 per person that uses your link to order (so thanks in advance if you use mine!) and that’s a great way to pay for your meat! Oh, and at some locations you can even volunteer to help on delivery day for a $10 meat credit.

       

      Check it out now!

      Shop Now at Zaycon Fresh

      Look for Grocery Markdowns

      Using grocery markdowns is one of the major ways we not only got some variety in our menu but, save money on fresh produce!

      Most grocery stores have a section of clearance or markdown items. For my local stores, you can find them in the back corner by the produce and also by the meats. These are items that are either close to expiring (but not expired, they aren’t allowed to sell those), the manufacturer is getting rid of, or were seasonal and didn’t sell.

      The cool things about these sections is that they change daily based on what gets pulled off the shelves so essentially, if you wanted to go to the store each day, you could make a killing using these items.

      You’ll often find bags of fruit where maybe one of the apples is bruised, meat that is about to expire (but you could toss in the freezer to extend the shelf life) or really random pantry items that most people in your area might not buy.

      What’s great about this section is you can also use a coupon if you happened to have it to make it even cheaper but, if you don’t, most things go from as low as .50 cents to around $5. You could grab items from this section to make your dinner that night (so they don’t go bad and you wate them) or just freeze them to use later. We’ve often frozen fruit that is close to going bad to toss in smoothies at a later date or make banana ice cream with.

      Shop the Discount Stores & Farmer’s Markets 

      People have told me for a LONG time that I needed to check out Aldi Markets and I never bothered with it. SHAME ON ME.

      Aldi is the best thing since sliced bread and now, between one Aldi shop and one coupon shop, I have everything we need for the week for less than $100.

      Aldi is an employee owned store that is a ‘brother store’ to Trader Joes. They have some pretty odd quirks you have to remember like bringing your own quarter to get a cart and bagging your own groceries (so make sure you grab those reusable bags) but if you can get passed that and not be a brand snob, you’ll LOVE Aldi too.

      They also have a great line of gluten free and organic products at a fraction of what you’d pay anywhere else. They save a lot of money because they don’t sell name brands (you might see the occasional name brand floating in the clearance section) and because they don’t always have the same items. For example, my Aldi will always have yogurt but might not have the cauliflower rice that is a new staple in our home.

      I also love that I can get more snacks for the kids without the gift. All of their cereals don’t use food dyes but instead use natural coloring and many of their meats are without added nitrates (we love their deli sliced turkey breast and turkey bacon for that reason)

      Save Money at Aldi Markets

      The one thing I will say is I don’t love the produce at my local Aldi so I do go to a farmer’s market for that. Our farmer’s market has a great selection and I love knowing that I’m helping our community while giving my family stuff that has been treated with less pesticides and is better for their little bodies and our environment.

      Meal Plan and Use Leftovers 

      The #1 way to save money on food is not to waste what you have. How often have you thrown out that gross moldy tupperware container of leftovers that no one eats or had to toss the product that you forgot you put in the crisper?

      Each week, I spend a little time adjusting my meal plan (I plan a monthly dinner plan so I only need to adjust some lunch and breakfast ideas) and do a shop to get any ingredients I am missing. I spend about 2 hours on Sunday cooking and preparing (and making a huge mess in my kitchen) so that I can save time during the week. You can see my whole system here!

      This saves me a TON of money because I only shop for the ingredients that I actually need (not just some random impulse buys of things that I think I need) and use what I already have in my pantry. We also make sure to use leftovers to mix up some menu items and repurpose them for lunches which helps us save.

      Every 3 months we also take the challenge to eat only what we have in our pantry (but can buy some fresh stuff that we need) and see how creative we can be. I love the site SuperCook where you can put in the ingredients in your cabinet and it gives you sample recipes. If you do this for one week every few months it’ll help you clean out the pantry and save money.

       

      Use Rebate Apps

      Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about coupons but I have to add a bonus section for Rebate Apps… I mean technically they aren’t the same as clipping coupons right?

      I love rebate apps and find them to be the easiest way to save some money here or there. Rebate apps get downloaded directly to your phone and you can use them after you shop to get cash back. You use what you already purchased on your receipts to claim money that they’ll send you, most of the time via paypal.

      For most of these apps, you may only get a few dollars each time you shop but, trust me, I’ve gotten HUNDREDS of dollars from these apps by just claiming a few dollars each time I shop. You can read more about my favorite apps and why I love them here!

      So whether you love or hate coupons, know that you CAN save money on your groceries if you’re willing to take a few steps to get there! I suggest aiming for $20-25 per person per week for your budget and really look at what you’re buying. Cut out some luxury items for a bit, clean out your pantry and shop smarter to save money and cut costs!

       

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