Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Meal Plan | Sept 17

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)



Monday - Leftover burritos after A's soccer practice

Tuesday Paleo Stroganoff (making double to freeze for after twins' arrival!) after L's soccer

Wednesday Paleo Fish Chowder

Thursday Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Casserole (doubling this too) after L's soccer

Friday - Harvest Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet 

Saturday - Breakfast: High Protein Cottage Cheese Pancakes (making extra to freeze!)

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Leftovers

Sunday - Home Group

Also, has anyone tried a meal service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh?  I'm trying to evaluate if something like this would be helpful after the twins arrive or if a meal planning service like Paleo Plan would be better.  I'd love your thoughts!




Have a great week!





Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and then purchase a product, I may earn a few pennies for referring you to the site.  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Don't you love mail?

 **I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.  However, the opinions included in this post are my own honest opinions.  


When was the last time you received a card in the mail?

We receive a few around Christmas, but that's really it.  My kiddos receive cards for nearly every holiday from my grandmother, which is the sweetest thing.

I keep thinking that I should revive the trend of sending cards for no reason at all, but I haven't been particularly consistent with it.  But then, I was at Dollar Tree this week picking up some awesome finds for homeschool this year when I noticed a new addition at the store.  (Seriously, Dollar Tree is my fave for so organizing, school supplies, seasonal decor, birthday party everything, etc.  And one just opened in my hometown in Kansas!  Did you know there are something like 6,500 stores!?)

Anyway, I always get my cards from Dollar Tree (and my gift bags, by the way).  The five or more dollars I would have to spend at a major retailer to get a card I like is most certainly not worth it.  But, getting cards for $1 or less is awesome. 

What makes it even more awesome is that Dollar Tree is now carrying Hallmark cards, and they are beautiful!  Don't you think so? 

(I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a sampler of the new cards for the blog.)  Here are a few of my favorites!







This teal and orange birthday card is my favorite, favorite.  I love how there's a shine to the teal background, and well, it's my favorite colors. 









These two birthday cards would be perfect for Miss Coco or Little Prez.  Super cute. 

















And this last one is simple, but elegant and well done.  It really makes me feel the need for community among family and friends that sometimes we really have to work for in these digital times.







The quality of the cards really is just like that of the Hallmark cards I see in other stores.  They have more detail and style than some of the other options at Dollar Tree.  Little things like glitter and shine and creative edges that really communicate the Hallmark brand that you'd expect.  Click here to check the cards out online. 

I'm thinking about adding this to our homeschool activities as my kindergartener and preschooler improve their reading and writing.  What better way to have a fun writing practice time than to write letters and cards to grandparents, aunts, and cousins who live far away?  The new cards are 2 for $1 or $1 each, so it's a really inexpensive way to bring some joy to relatives while also practicing new skills!




Monday, July 30, 2018

Farm Fresh Meal Plan | July 30th

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)


Last week, I used eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes from hubby's farm in a few dishes as he has quite the eggplant production this year.  I also pickled some eggplant and made another batch of dill pickles using a recipe from Serious Eats.  (Love that site!)


Monday - Southwest Chicken Salad after Lincoln's final tee ball game of the season!

Tuesday - Paleo Stroganoff

Wednesday - Sheetpan Eggplant Parmesan with Pasta

Thursday - Eggplant and Scrambled Egg Hash

Friday - Flounder, Black Beans, Veggies,* and Bulgar

Saturday - Breakfast: High Protein Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Leftovers

Sunday - Leftovers

Also, has anyone tried a meal service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh?  I'm trying to evaluate if something like this would be helpful after the twins arrive or if a meal planning service like Paleo Plan would be better.  I'd love your thoughts!




Have a great week!





Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and then purchase a product, I may earn a few pennies for referring you to the site.  

Monday, July 23, 2018

Farm Fresh Meal Plan | July 23rd

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)


Last week, I used eggplant from hubby's farm in a few dishes as he has quite the eggplant production this year.  I'm expecting the same this week, but I really need more eggplant recipes.  We were not fans of the eggplant parmesan last week.  I canned another batch of pickles, this time adapting an recipe from Serious Eats.  I'm labeling each batch to compare and find our favorite pickle recipe.


Monday - MIL is bringing BBQ for after L's teeball game

Tuesday - Leftover Bowtie Pasta with Farm Fresh Tomato Sauce* and Baked Eggplant*

Wednesday - Leftover Orange Sriracha Drumsticks with Stir Fried Veggies* and Rice

Thursday - Seven Spice Roast Beef with Veggies* and Fruit after t-ball

Friday - Flounder, Black Beans, Veggies,* and Bulgar

Saturday - Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs

Lunch: Sandwiches

Dinner: Leftovers

Sunday - Leftovers

Also, who has Joanna Gaines' cookbook, Magnolia Table??  I know it's not Paleo, but I really want it!  I just think it needs to sit next to my Pioneer Woman Cooks and Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime.  What do you think?
Image result for magnolia table cookbook
Source: Amazon

Image result for The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Source: Amazon
 
Image result for The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime
Source: Amazon
  Have a great week!





Related Post: Healthy Cheesy Potato Soup


Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and then purchase a product, I may earn a few pennies for referring you to the site.  

Monday, July 2, 2018

Farm Fresh Meal Plan | July 2nd

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)


Last week, we tried to use lots of farm fresh veggies and we have more farm fresh veggies on the menu this week from Song of the South Farm, my hubby's market garden.  I'm making a big batch of zucchini muffins to freeze this week, so we'll have some quick breakfasts already baked!

peppersMonday - Scrambled Eggs and Country Potatoes*

Tuesday - Couscous Salad* with Quesadillas

Wednesday - Brats and hot dogs with cucumber salad*

Thursday - Cheesy Potato Soup*

Friday - Potluck with Friends

Saturday - Breakfast: Oatmeal

Lunch:  Sandwiches

Dinner:  Company's Coming...Gorgonzola Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Eggplant*, Salad*, and Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle*

Sunday - Lunch:  Sandwiches

Dinner: Seven Spice Roast Beef with Veggies and Fruit


Have a great week!





Related Post: Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Recipe


Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Goals: Mission to Financial Freedom


Time for an update.  I missed June, but here's where we stand on May's Financial Goals.

May 2018 Financial Goals
  1. Add at least $500 to our emergency fund. - Done
  2. Pay at least $500 extra toward student loans. - Done
  3. Update our budget. - Done, but no budget meeting
  4. Stick to or be under budget for the month.
  5. Start couponing again for diapers and other essentials.  Garage sale more? - Nope
  6. Work on starting or improving a revenue stream.  Side hustle, woohoo! - Nope
Summer is always a weird time for us financially because I am on a nine month schedule and my hubby's businesses only generate revenue during the academic year as well.  I also teach summer classes for extra income, but I don't know from summer to summer how many classes will be open for me to teach.  Usually, I teach two classes per summer.  This summer, I have three, which means extra income to put toward our goals.  This next year, my husband will be opening a CSA (community supported agriculture) business, Song of the South Farm & Market Garden, so we hope to have more consistent summer income from that new venture starting in 2019.  **fingers crossed**

July 2018 Financial Goals

1. Add at least $500 to our emergency fund. 

We are expecting twins in September, and because it's a high risk pregnancy, we have spent a lot of time at the doctor's office getting ultrasounds to check the boys' progress, which means we are also spending quite a bit of money on those ultrasounds and visits that are not part of the normal pregnancy costs.  

I've also read that giving birth to twins is on average 5x more expensive than giving birth to a single baby, and that families have been bankrupted by having complications with twins right after birth.  So I definitely want to make sure we have set aside some funds for medical bills when the time comes.  We are obviously praying that we make it to the magic 37 week mark and don't have any complications, but many twins arrive much before that and must spend time in the NICU.  So far, our insurance has been great, but I'd rather be at least a little prepared, just in case.  

2. Pay at least $500 extra toward student loans. 

Yep, same goal again as May.  We have cut our student loan balance in half in the past few years, but haven't been as diligent in the past year as we should have been.  I'm torn between putting more money in our emergency fund for the twins and paying off loans, but at this point, I think we need to balance the two because interest adds up so quickly.  Especially on graduate student loans.  

Image result for student loan meme
Source: Memedroid

Related Post: Like a Gazelle

    
3. Update our budget and have a budget meeting.

Our budget is pretty consistent each month with the biggest variables being costs for electricity and food.  We spend less on gas in the summer because my husband doesn't have to commute an hour every day, but our biggest downfall lately is, you guessed it, restaurants.  I've been super tired during this pregnancy, and it's so easy to just pick up pizza or go out and have someone else serve us dinner.  But, it has to stop.  For real.  NO MORE EATING OUT!  



4. Stick to or be under budget for the month.

May the odds be ever in our favor.


5. Start couponing again for diapers and other essentials.  Garage sale more? 

Garage sales are hard work here in South Carolina where roads make no sense and it takes 15-20 minutes just to drive between sales, so garage sales may not be in my future, but I'm going to start monitoring for sales with essentials like kids' clothes.  

Couponing may be possible, it just seems to take so much more time.  Why?  Who knows.  Probably because of the three screaming children running circles around me.  Ha!  At the very least, I'd like to get a diaper stash started for the twins because nobody likes running out in the middle of the night for more diapers.


6. Work on starting or improving a revenue stream.  Side hustle?


Does selling used kids' clothes to Once Upon a Child count?  I don't think so, but that's the most progress I've made on this one.  Maybe this month we can brainstorm better ideas!

Related Post: Three Crazy Ways to Make Extra Money


You can read more about our Mission to Financial Freedom HERE.


What are your financial goals for the month of July?


More Posts on the Frugal Life:



Monday, June 25, 2018

Farm Fresh Meal Plan 6/25

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)


Last week, we tried to use lots of farm fresh veggies and we have more farm fresh veggies on the menu this week from Song of the South Farm, my hubby's market garden.  I'm making a big batch of zucchini muffins to freeze this week, so we'll have some quick breakfasts already baked!


Monday - Grilled cheese and Pioneer Woman's Tomato Soup after tee ball.  (I plan to throw the soup ingredients in the crockpot on the way out the door to the game, so it's ready by the time we get home.)

Tuesday - Dinner @ the in-laws!

Wednesday - Gorgonzola fettuccine alfredo with chicken and summer squash (from the farm!), along with a quick walnut, craisin, pear salad, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (soooo amazing!)

Thursday - Crockpot Chicken and Squash with Rice after tee ball.  (Another crockpot meal attempt for after tee ball.  Chicken and squash will go in the crockpot, and rice will go in the instant pot right before we leave for the game.)

Friday - Chicken tikka masala for Alexander the Husband's birthday

Saturday - Breakfast: Zucchini Muffins

Lunch:  Sandwiches

Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday - Lunch:  Sandwiches

Dinner: Seven Spice Roast Beef with Veggies and Fruit


Have a great week!





Related Post: Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Recipe


Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Five on Friday

**This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will earn a few pennies.  :-)**



Hello Friday!

It's that time of the week to share five anythings.


1. Twin Update

We have officially hit 24 weeks today!  The twins are doing great and moving around A LOT.  Bump update coming soon!

Harvey Ever After - Twin Baby Bump
Get this Jessica Simpson Maternity Top HERE
And that super cute apron HERE


2. Song of the South Farm

My hubby's market garden/mini farm means lots of farm fresh veggies on our meal plans for the rest of the summer.  Yay!  They are so much tastier than store bought veggies.  Sorry, Aldi.  I still love you.



3. Maternity Clothes

I'm loving my new maternity clothes.  It's so hard to feel cute and super twino preggo all at the same time, but I'm so thankful for my wonderful husband who took my shopping last week.


My current favorite maternity shirt is this Teal A-Line Sleeveless Top.  It's super cute and comfortable.  I'm crossing my fingers that it gets me through the rest of the pregnancy since it's not a stretchy fabric.  Even if not, it may make a great post-partum piece.


4. Twin Boy Nursery Themes

My mom makes the most wonderful quilts for all of my babies, plus all of her friends' babes as well, and she's been asking me about themes for the babies.

Well, I wanted to do a different theme for each of the boys.  It must be hard enough to be an identical twin, so I want to encourage them to be their own unique souls from the start.  But, I also wanted to have something that's somewhat unifying as I decorate their nursery room.

And this week, my five year old helped me decide on themes for the boys.  We considered dinosaurs, robots, and superheroes, but decided on...

Explorers! 

One of the twins will have space exploration for his theme, and one of the twins will have earth exploration for his theme.

  Map, Explorer, Travel, Vintage, Nautical, Background  

Now it's time to get nesting and shopping for these little guys.  I'm hoping to post some inspirations and progress on their themes and room in the next few weeks!


5.  __________________

I have nothing for five.  I'm blaming it on pregnancy brain.

Image result for pregnancy brain
Source: The Bump
    


Have a wonderful weekend, ya'll!