Category: Organization Strategies

Organization strategies for home, work, travel, and life.

Quick Meal Prepping

Quick Meal Prepping

Quick Meal Prep
meal plans

The weeks are flying by here in the Midwest which is just fine with us. We’re loving the cooler weather which allows us to keep the windows open and have fresh air breezing through the house all day.

Of course, since I work from home I’m the one who gets to enjoy the majority of time in our new space. Everyone else is running from one activity to the next and falling asleep on the couch in the evening.

Weeknight activities on the calendar often mean we’re grabbing dinner later or we aren’t all eating at the same time. When this happens I often switch to simple meals that are easy to prep on the weekends and heat up later in the week.

Here’s My Quick Meal Prep Strategy

Step One

Take stock of your ingredients on hand. This week in addition to what is pictured I have Satay sauce in the fridge, fresh peppers, and frozen zoodles.

We always have frozen chicken breasts and ground chicken on hand as it’s the main meat we eat.

Pull out all the items you will need to touch for each meal (in this case it’s basically opening cans) and place them where you will see them.

This serves two purposes:

  • It prevents you from running to the store because you think you don’t have something
  • It reminds you to actually use the ingredients you have in your house

Step Two

Consider your options. I make Satay two different ways but they both start with cooking frozen chicken breasts in the Instantpot with some diced onion until they are ready to shred. I also know that I’m going to want to serve the Satay over brown rice for our boys who prefer that to zoodles.

I organize my meals in Plan to Eat. The search functions in this system allow me to quickly find recipes with similar ingredients. You can do the same thing in Pinterest, but I find that it’s hard to keep track of the tried and true recipes we actually like in Pinterest, so once I know we love it, I add it to Plan to Eat.

I now have a few options:

  • I can double the amount of chicken and rice for another meal this week
  • I can double the amount of chicken and rice for Satay at another time
  • I can double the amount of chicken and rice and turn it into something else for a meal later down the road

In all of these circumstances, it takes me very little additional work to double the amount of food I prepare. The clean up is the same, and I will have another meal at some point that I don’t have to make. It’s a win-win-win.

Step Three

Always account for leftovers, but always have a backup plan. With teenage sons in the house and a husband in football season, there are days when I cook what I consider a huge meal and end up making myself a salad while they polish off dinner and make themselves sandwiches.

Then there are weeks where end up with extra food in the fridge from this event or there is an activity where they also provide dinner. Thankfully, breakfast for dinner is always a hit in our house and the boys are old enough to make the pancakes if I’m not finished working for the day.

Prep Work

This week was a very simple prep week. I put chicken and onions in the Instantpot and then shredded them and divided the cooked meat in half. One container went into the fridge and the other into the freezer.

  • I cooked 2 cups of brown basmati rice and placed the rice in a glass container in the fridge.
  • I cooked the taco meat and placed in a container in the fridge
  • I also mixed up some muffins and gluten-free scones from box mixes to bake for breakfasts while waiting for the rice to cook.

Bonus Chicken and Rice options:

  • Chicken and Green Salsa bake
  • Chicken “fried” rice
  • I can use the chicken in quesadillas or in risotto
  • I can use the rice in stuffed peppers
  • I can save for another round of Satay

I’ll likely go with the first options because it’s family favorite and it uses up a bunch of ingredients I have on hand right now. But I’ll see mid-week what our food consumption is looking like before making a final decision. If I do go with the green salsa bake it’s likely to make next week’s meal rotation.

Thanks to Pampered Chef steamed veggies are the only additional prep work I’ll be doing each night as I pull dinner together. In total including clean up, this took about 90 minutes thanks to an empty dishwasher and minimal need to chop veggies.

Breaking Down the Full Menu Week 1

Saturday/Sunday: Gluten-Free Chicken sausages, pork sausages from the local butcher and brat burgers make up the protein. Mashed potatoes, salad, and steamed broccoli will round out the menu for both nights.

Monday: Gluten-Free Satay sauce, Shredded chicken breasts, brown basmati rice, zoodles, diced green peppers, chopped peanuts, pineapple, steamed broccoli. (Make Your own Bowls)

Tuesday: Tacos (Ground beef or chicken because I happened to have both) black beans, corn tortilla chips and guacamole as a side dish. Served with apple slices and plums

Wednesday: This is date night so Ordell and I will eat out. The boys eat something quick. This week it’s chicken patties and fries and probably apples.

Thursday: Leftovers were addressed above in Step Three

Friday: Game Day is always different. Usually, the boys eat something at the field with the coaches and I grab a salad at home. Sometimes they will eat something from the concessions.

Saturday/Sunday: My preference is always to head to the farmer’s market and find something fresh to create. Our market runs all year long and we are members with a local rancher so we receive a discount.

Breaking Down a Full Menu Week 2

weekly menu

This week meal prep was divided into 2 parts. When we got back from the Farmer’s Market we had breakfast sausage and pork shoulder to thaw.

Saturday morning I made Chicken and Green Salsa bake (minus 2 chicken breasts added later that evening) with leftovers from the previous week’s dinners. I also made broccoli slaw, prepped a salad, and spent a little time Clorox wiping out the fridge drawers and shelves.

Saturday evening I made a breakfast casserole for mornings this week while I was cooking the potatoes and pasta for Saturday dinner.

Once the chicken was cooled I finished compiling Tuesday’s salsa bake and placed it in the fridge along with the breakfast casserole.

Saturday: Grilled Chicken, Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Salad. I had Ordell Grill up several extra chicken breasts 2 for Tuesday’s dinner, and some in anticipation of having leftovers.

Sunday: Ordell smoked up a pork shoulder (pictured above) we had leftover roasted potatoes and broccoli and pineapple from satay last week. We also had broccoli slaw and baked beans.

Monday: weekend leftovers

Tuesday: Chicken and Green Salsa Bake, tortilla chips and queso. I’ve linked the original recipe that my family loves. Every time I make this skillet is slightly different depending on what I have on hand. I find this is the perfect recipe to help use up leftover ingredients.

Wednesday: leftovers for the boys and date night for us

Thursday: baked fish, broccoli, fries (I give myself a break with one boxed meal a week. My kids love these Gordon Skillet Crisps which bake up great on stoneware. I’ll make myself baked salmon (gluten-free) to have over a salad and Ordell will usually have a little of both.

NOTE: Thursday is the first meal that I’ll have to do more than pull a dish out of the fridge and heat up some veggies.

Friday: Game Day! (Homecoming)

Saturday: Grilling Burgers we picked up at the Farmer’s Market last weekend

Note: Use my Plan to Eat referral code for a discount!

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Welcome to the Neighborhood

One of the most challenging parts of establishing yourself in a new community is making connections with doctors, insurance agencies, realtors, dentists, auto repair and more.

Of course, word of mouth is helpful in some situations, but what if the recommended people aren’t accepting new clients or your insurance doesn’t cover the care you need? Thankfully there are more and more websites set up to help you narrow down or expand your search results and gather online recommendations.

Medical Care

Here’s a great article from WebMD on how to use medical doctor rating and review sites.

They recommend 3 sites as trustworthy and I’ve included a 4th:

Healthgrades.com

At Healthgrades, better health gets a head start. We help millions of consumers each month find and schedule appointments with their provider of choice.

With our scheduling solutions and advanced analytics applications, we help our health system clients representing over 1,500 hospitals across the country to cultivate new patient relationships, improve patient access, and build customer loyalty.

RateMDs.com

RateMDs provides information, reviews and ratings on everything from the cleanliness of hospital and care center facilities, to physician knowledge, as well as giving patients the ability to share their own personal experiences.

The rating platform and doctor search allow you to locate specialists in your area and get informed through other patients’ experiences and testimonials. Whether you’re looking for a new Family Doctor, General Practitioner or you’re seeking a specialist like a Dentist or a Neurologist, we’ve got you covered.

Vitals.com

Vitals obtains information and data from a wide variety of sources both public and private. These include medical boards from all 50 states, federal websites, hospitals, doctors, surveys, business alliances, and third party affiliates.

We do not edit any of the comments or rating selections of doctors or practices. Vitals does reserve the right to remove from public posting any comments which may be deemed offensive, malicious, inappropriate, sexually explicit in nature, or not made in good faith.

CareDash.com

CareDash launched in 2016 after our CEO and Founder, Ted Chan, noticed two troubling trends: healthcare provider review sites tended to cater to and attract patients of a higher socioeconomic status and many existing sites accepted financial compensation in exchange for the removal of negative reviews.

Childcare

This is one of the biggest stressors for two-income families. Do you need before and aftercare, all-day care, or part-time in-home care? It’s challenging to know until you find a job, and then you will need something right away. Some areas have waiting lists and extremely expensive options or restrictive hours.

Some websites to search include:

Other options to consider are:

  • Call local churches and see if they have mom’s day out programs or can recommend someone
  • Contact local colleges and see if you can post a job
  • Contact home school groups and see if any high school-aged students can flex their schedules
  • See if someone is looking to do a sitter share option
  • See if you have a remote work facility with daycare
  • Call the park district and YMCA (especially for summer and before and after school care)

Drycleaners, Plumbers, and Haircare

When it comes to finding reliable care these days the best thing you can do is check customer reviews. A word of caution. If you only see glowing reviews I’d question if negative reviews are being removed somehow. It’s impossible to always satisfy every customer. At the same time, when you see a one-star review take the time to dig a little deeper.

Working in digital marketing I’ve seen time and again where a customer is angry that they didn’t get their way on a bill or they expect they should have received something for free and they retaliate by leaving a less than truthful Google Review. Hopefully, the business owner is doing their due diligence and has responded with the full truth.

Here’s a list of places to consider when looking for reviews on businesses:

  • Google My Business Page
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Yelp
  • BBB
  • Angie’s List
  • A local website that features businesses such as a macaronikid.com local site.

Apps

Have you heard of Nextdoor? This app is great for connecting with neighbors and alerting them quickly to things such as “hey we’re having a garage sale!” or “there is a random bike in my driveway” 🙂 It’s also helpful to know who lives around you when you forget that neighbor’s name again.

Need to purge or fill a house? Check out Freecycle not only is this trendy, but it will save you money and save the environment!

Kiwi allows instant online background checks.

The sooner you establish these things the quicker you will learn about your community and begin to feel your way around. You never know, you may be able to flip the script and tell someone something about a doctor or dentist yourself!

Favorite Free Resources

Favorite Free Resources

favorite free resources

I’m a sucker for a good freebie. But the thing is there are a lot of things out there that say they are free, but then you try to sign up and it turns out you are only getting a free trial. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite free resources. One note: you may need to include your email address.

Crafts:

Check out these adorable free crochet patterns at Crochet and Craft with Me. The Moss Stitch and Washcloth pattern are my favorite.

I love a quick hand embroidery project and Wild Olive has some of the most creative ones out there. She offers a monthly free pattern in both cross stitch and hand embroidery perfect for quick projects.

Wooly Simply has your beginner knitting patterns covered. Everything from scarves to hats.

Digital Marketing

Canva is my go-to for creating images for my website and social media.

Luna Pic this site is great for cropping images into circles, ovals, and other shapes

When it comes to finding stock photos that aren’t copyrighted it’s best to go to websites that are set up for just these things. Here’s a list of my favorites:

https://pixabay.com/

https://www.pexels.com/

I recently switched from MailChimp to HubSpot for Email Marketing and I’m THRILLED. You can check out my new newsletter by signing up here. While you’re there check out my freebies too!

Looking to make a video out of a blog post? Check out Lumen5

Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to send directly from Gmail. This is a great feature for you night owls who don’t want the time stamp to indicate your working hours.

Audiobooks

Christianaudio.com offers a free Audiobook every month. Some of the recent downloads have included Love Lives Here by Maria Goff and Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman.

Check out your library to see if you can access Audiobooks through the Libby App or Hoopla as well.

eBooks

Amazon isn’t the only place for free eBooks. Christianbook.com, BookBub, Free-eBooks.net are all great resources. Check with your library for access to lending through Overdrive, the Libby App and Hoopla for eBooks as well.

Calculators

Need to convert a recipe? Checking your BMI? The Handy Everyday Calculators link has everything you can think of and more. Financial calculators, Unit Conversions, and Cooking Conversions all in one link and all for free.

Bible Study Resources

There are a lot of ways to find theological opinions online, but that doesn’t mean they are all equal. A few I consistently rely on include:

She Reads Truth

IF: Equip

Bible Gateway

Virtual Assistant Work

Virtual Assistant Work

Virtual Assistant Work

Every few months a fellow coaches’ wife asks about streams of income other than direct sales and I pull out my blog post Top Jobs for Coaches’ Wives.

The more moves you have under your belt the more challenging it becomes to find a job. Employers see those resumes and regardless of how qualified you are, they aren’t sure how long you will stick around. That is why working as a Virtual Assistant is an ideal job for a coaches’ wife.

It’s important to know that VA opportunities are not all equal. If you are considering pursuing a career as a Virtual Assistant there are a few things to consider such as how to market yourself, what certifications may be helpful, and which industries you are best capable of serving.

The Benefits of Virtual Work

The biggest benefit of virtual work for me is that I have the ability to flex my hours. I’ve been blessed to connect with amazing clients who trust I will complete my work by the deadlines they request. This affords me the flexibility to take time in the middle of the day to meet with friends for lunch or attend a weekly Bible study if I feel I have the time in my schedule.

The other thing I love about virtual work is that every minute I am working is work. When I was an administrative assistant at a small college the summers were absolutely miserable. There was nothing to do for 7 hours a day and all I wanted to do was go home and clean my house. I hated that my job felt like a waste of time not to mention my skills and abilities.

Speaking of cleaning my house, another benefit of virtual work is that in-between tasks I can hop up and switch a load of laundry or start dinner. I’m home in case our boys miss the bus, have a day off school, or aren’t feeling well. I can even take time for a Walmart Grocery pick up in the middle of the day without it impacting my “office hours” or PTO.

I usually work in yoga pants or workout shorts because there isn’t a reason to dress up. This is convenient in case I want to squeeze in a mid-day workout. Because I don’t have to commute I can flex my schedule and sleep in rather than wake up early. If my nieces call during a break in their day I can usually pause to chat over a video call with them without concern of bothering a coworker. I’m able to flex my time for doctor appointments as well.

Essentially, working virtually eliminates everything that frustrated me when I worked in an office. The external stresses that were unnecessary because of inefficient wasted time are eliminated by the opportunities to multitask from home.

The Challenges of Virtual Work

Most VA’s are 1099 contractors meaning they don’t have paid vacation days. While we are able to flex our time, extended vacations may require skipping paychecks to accommodate travel or working a few hours while on vacation.

Virtual work requires a lot of additional communication. It’s important to make sure your clients know that you are working. Additionally, since you are likely working on contracts with specific hour allotments, it’s important to understand the details and scope of a project before you work on something incorrectly and waste both time and money.

There are always new ways to do things, and often virtual work includes finding the balance between convenience and cost. While it may seem more cost-effective to have newsletters printed, hand stuffed, and mailed, when you combine the cost of the work plus materials it may be better to outsource the project. It often falls to you as the Virtual Assistant to assess these tasks and help your clients make informed decisions.

Many times a VA becomes the catch-all. Especially when working for small companies the line between work and personal will blur. A VA may find themselves booking vacation reservations and work travel on the same day. As a company grows your client will likely need you to grow with them. Job security for a virtual assistant exists in your willingness to continue to learn new things, adapt to new technology, and look for more efficient and effective ways to accomplish tasks.

Finding Clients

So, how do you find clients? There are companies that recruit clients and match VA’s according to skill sets and there are many Virtual Assistants who work on their own. If you are just starting out, I encourage you to consider working with a company that will match you with clients for a few reasons. First, the company will vet the client for you, so you will know that you will have some assurance that the job is legitimate. Additionally, if many times the company will ensure you are paid. Second, if an issue arises you have someone to back you up and work through the conflict rather than handling things on your own. This can be helpful as you work through learning how to best communicate virtually.

Once you have a better understanding of how virtual assistants work, don’t be afraid to network and go out on your own. For one thing, you will have the opportunity to negotiate your contract and can include your preferred hourly rate.

Companies to check out if you don’t want to freelance as a Virtual assistant are: 

Resources

My two favorite resources for learning about Virtual Assistants are VA Elevated and Belay Solutions both are ones I’m personally familiar with so I trust the content is accurate. There are plenty of others out there, but I encourage you not to pay for anything.

If you are choosing to freelance as a Virtual Assistant it may be necessary to pay to join a group at some point for job leads, but not at first. Learn about the industry, build up your resume, see what you can do for free.

This article was updated for freshness and accuracy 5/19/2020

Organization Strategies

Organization Strategies

One of the best things I heard in 2018 was an honest answer the question “How do you do everything?” Thankfully, we’ve started being honest with ourselves and those around us and we’re admitting that we don’t do everything. The best tool in a coaching family’s tool belt is the ability to ask for help, but we can’t delegate everything.

Organization strategies are only as good as one’s ability to implement them, so it’s important to take the time to figure out what systems work best for you and implement them slowly. It takes several weeks to develop a habit and changing everything at once is often too overwhelming.

Identify Your Pain Points

The first step is to organization is to consider your pain points.

  • What are the most overwhelming, stressful, or frustrating parts of your week?
  • What times of the day do you find yourself with too much to do?
  • What are the things you are always forgetting?

Block Calendar

Next, take time to breakdown your day into 30 or 60 minute increments. Here is an example of what my calendar look like. It’s broken down by color. Dark green is exercise, purple is a weekly Bible study.

block calendar

The best part of creating a block calendar is the opportunity to see everything in one location from start to finish. You will notice my calendar has a lot of white space. Those times are intentionally included to remind me to rest.

Your block calendar will also help you embrace a realistic perspective of what you can and can not take on when you are asked to volunteer or increase your workload.

Digital vs. Analog

I’ve found that for our family digital is best, especially apps that update in live time. Whether my husband is on the road or at work, we don’t have to remember to update each other.

For Example:

Google Calendar (color-coded of course) means we all have access to what is scheduled. By including the location in the calendar appointment we can easily trade who is driving the kids around without needing to give directions.

Google Keep allows for shared lists. We have a grocery list that we can both add things to when we think of them. This drastically reduces the time spent trying to remember what it was I was asked to get “the next time I’m at the store.”

Plan to Eat is recipe storage and meal planning all in one. It works seamlessly with online recipes and also stores images. You can also add recipes manually.

Still, while digital apps are great for collaboration I love using Powersheets for my personal goals and tasks. Writing things down solidifies them in my mind and helps me to process in a different way.

Take time to figure out what areas you need organizational help in and hop on Pinterest of the App store. I promise you will find a list of suggestions to consider.

Regardless of what you do to implement structure and organization into your weeks, it’s worth the time and effort to set things up for long-term stress reduction. Making sure everyone knows what is going on is a great start.

Powersheets in Review

Powersheets in Review

2018 Powersheets Lessons From The Sidelines

I’m reflecting on Powersheets today. I’m pleased to say that I was diligent about using this binder for all of 2018, but of course, some months were more intentional than others.

Here’s What I Loved:

I loved that the tending page is one page. It has clear boundaries which require goals to stay simple. Additionally, they have sections for daily, weekly, and monthly goals all in one space.

I loved the quarterly check-in pages. I was way over ambitious January-March of 2018 with the number of goals I set as well as all the action steps they required. Still, when I sat down to review things I realized my diligence had paid off and 2 goals were already accomplished for the year. Evaluating each quarter allowed me to redefine some goals and remove others off my to-do list.

I loved how sturdy the binder is! My Powersheets look almost brand new even though they were dragged in my work bag all over town.

I love how many ways are provided to consider goals. By including brainstorming pages I was able to think about goals differently. Halfway through the year I identified my biggest stressors I restructured my goals to meet the most stressful one first. This meant I needed to reprioritize somethings temporarily, but now that the goal is complete I’m thrilled!

Here’s What I Didn’t Love (and How I’m Fixing That)

There aren’t any pockets, so I found myself paperclipping extra notes throughout the pages. I stumbled upon a photo post in the Powersheets Facebook Group and there is an easy (and cute) way to add pockets by taping cardstock to the front and back cover. Easy fix!

I didn’t want to add a day planner to my stack of resources since I mainly use a digital calendar for work and family activities. Still, there are some action steps that are helpful to plan out with goals. I am guessing I’m not the only person who was looking for an in-between option because this year the Cultivate What Matters team created a Weekly Sticky Notepad

What I’m Adding

This year I’m adding a smidge more accountability. As a verbal processor, I often find that ideas aren’t clarified until I’ve considered different angles. Talking through goals and outcomes is a valuable part of the Powersheets process for me, as well as the accountability of showing someone which goals I did and didn’t achieve each month. I’ve started sending a photo of each tending sheet to my friend Harmony at the beginning and end of each month.

In addition to bi-weekly chats with a girlfriend in town, Harmony’s voice is one I value because I  know she will thoughtfully ask questions I’ve yet to consider.

Entering year two of Powersheets I’ve also spent more intentional time on the prep worksheets. I’m expectant for what 2019 holds, but I’m entering the year with different goals, including striving for a different daily pace for our family. If you are on the fence about using Powersheets but have a goal you want to chip away at I encourage you to take the leap. Powersheets is a little more work than other goal setting strategies I’ve used but it’s 1000% times more effective.

Why not invest a little time and money into yourself this year? I guarantee it will pay dividends for decades.

What I Learned Fall 2018

What I Learned Fall 2018

What I LearnedFall 2018

 

Limitations

This will be one of the years I look back at as a milestone reminder of my limitations. I accepted an extra short-term assignment helping cover a maternity leave. It was a huge blessing for our family, but it also meant ten fewer hours each week for friends, family, football, and chores. It also meant operating with zero margin.

On a positive note, I’ve become much more comfortable asking for help, which was one of my Powersheets goals!

Another thing I learned this fall is that conveniences aren’t always as helpful as we expect they will be. Everything is a trade-off. Using Shipt was a great way to reduce hours reserved for errands, but that also meant our food budget had to increase to off-set the lack of sales. Additionally, over half of the Shipt orders were incorrect, meaning I either needed to run to the store myself (the thing I was trying to avoid) or spend time dealing with customer service.

While every area is different, the winner for us is Walmart pick up with both cost and accuracy.

Tiny Wins

With a full calendar, I found my progress on goals was also reduced. Great strides were no longer possible because there were too many areas requiring my attention. But that didn’t mean no progress was made. I found myself celebrating tiny wins and you know what? This is a discipline I’ve grown to love. Every step of progress deserves acknowledgment because each requires effort and attention.

New Bible Study Techniques?

I read Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word and while it is a thorough way to study Scripture, in this season of my life it’s just not possible. I loved the inclusion of the “why” behind Jen’s study method. Still, I’ll be sticking with the other 5 P’s for now presented by Priscilla Shirer.

It’s great to know that there are so many ways to study the Bible, but this was also a great reminder that we all need to do what we can within our learning styles and time restraints.

New Opportunities

This fall was a rough one on the football field, but there was a glimmer of hope with our freshman and so far they are showing signs of maturity lacking in previous teams. Another thing I learned this fall is that sometimes you just need to cling to the future while still loving the mess in front of you.

I’ve started working through the prep worksheets for Powersheets for 2019. I’m applying all the lessons I’ve learned in 2018 as I plan out goals and action steps to achieve them. Each lesson learned paves the way for new opportunities.

I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman for What I Learned. Head over to her blog to see what others are posting.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sharing our family’s favorite peppermint hot chocolate mix today. The recipe is based on this one. But of course, I’ve made a few adjustments.  Fair warning, this makes a huge batch. I usually store it in a 1-gallon ice cream tub.  The best part is that most or all of the ingredients are found at Aldi, so it doesn’t have to break the bank and can last the whole holiday season.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

11 c. powdered milk

1 c. confectioners’ sugar

11 oz. powdered coffee creamer

2 lbs. powdered chocolate milk mix

4 T. cocoa powder

1 box instant chocolate pudding mix

1 bag of peppermint baking chips

Combine well, store in airtight container. Add to hot milk, hot water, or even coffee for a great holiday treat.

 

5 Simple Recipes to Survive the Season

5 Simple Recipes to Survive the Season

I’m highlighting my top 5 go-to recipes to keep my family fed during our busy weeks of football.

Head to Friday Night Wives to read the whole article. Here’s a preview:

The less planning we need to do during the season, the easier life is for everyone. It doesn’t matter how busy our week is, my kids insist they need dinner every night! I’ve yet to convince them a bowl of popcorn and some apple slices is a well-balanced meal, so instead I’ve learned to keep a few things stashed in the freezer to avoid the drive-thru as often as possible.

Here are my 5 Go-To Recipes During the Season

Tacos

Taco meat freezes perfectly and is very versatile. We use taco meat in tacos, over nachos, and as a protein in burrito bowls. I’ll often made a few pounds of ground chicken up and immediately freeze half for the following week.

With growing boys I’ve learned the best way to keep the cost on tacos low is to add canned beans to the mix. Pinto and black beans are inexpensive protein sources which also happen to be great pairs with tacos!

Here’s my favorite homemade taco seasoning recipe:

  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground Cumin

Store in a mason jar.

Thank God for Powersheets

Thank God for Powersheets

2018 Powersheets Lessons From The Sidelines

I haven’t written much about Powersheets this year, but I have used them faithfully and this month I realized they are an invaluable part of my daily routine. The process of reflecting on the month as it comes to an end is great, but it is the Tending List which has helped me establish boundaries an follow through on goals.

This month has been one of the craziest I’ve experienced in a very long time. It’s a month of my own doing, and I am in not bragging when I say I am juggling so many things I drop one of them at least once a day. I’ve had to reschedule more meetings with friends than I care to admit and I’m not exaggerating when I say the ONLY reason my family has had dinner is due to an amazing sale Prep.Freeze.Cook had in August coupled with a day of freezer meals I stashed.

It’s amazing how productive one can be when they know they are heading into a season where there is little to no margin and yet still not take steps to avoid the season altogether. But that is a subject for another day!

When my days are full to overflowing during football season I become reliant on the alarm of my Google calendar, but there are many things that need my attention that I don’t consider calendar appointments. Exercise, devotions, writing, volunteering and time spent planning dates with all the men in my house are important, but not calendar appointments.

This is why Powersheets has become my favorite tool for prioritizing and remembering.

The Tending List divides items into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Each space allows for notes and tracking. Let’s be honest, when the to-do list seems endless it’s even more satisfying to checkmark tasks complete! But I’ve learned something more important than writing out a to-do list this month.

By taking a few minutes at the beginning of the month to acknowledge that even in a very busy time there are things that are important for self-care and family care I wrote out my true priorities. As the month continued and balls were occasionally dropped I could look at my Tending List and remind myself that I was doing my best to balance everything, including my family’s needs.

There were some days where I knew I had things to do and I couldn’t figure out where to start. A quick glance at my Tending List would remind me of where I needed to focus my time. There were also days where I knew I needed to conserve my energy. Again, that simple list helped me to make quick decisions. I knew I could trust the list because I had spent so much time planning out and praying over my priorities earlier in the month.

Powersheets go on sale tomorrow and I’m so excited to get my 2019 set ordered! If you are looking for a system to help you stay organized when you have margin in your life and when things get overbooked, I encourage you to check out Lara Casey’s website Cultivate What Matters.

We cannot cultivate what we do not prioritize. And while I hope never to have another month that is quite as intense as this one has been, I’ve been a coach’s wife long enough to know that it’s more likely than not to repeat itself! I’m thankful for a tool that allows me to reflect on all areas of my life and prioritize what I value.

**I’ve included an affiliate link for my friend Heather! Show her a little love and buy your Powersheets through her link.

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