Introduction

Hello!!

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Photo: Summer vacation Folly Beach (I’m a Summer girl!)

If you are new here, I’m so happy you stopped by my little space here!  I’d love to connect with you, so please leave a comment!  If you’ve been following for awhile, welcome back.  I’d love to hear from you too!!  I started a blog back in 2011–(feel free to stalk me here, I totally don’t mind; I’d do it too!)

I am a 37 year old woman married to the love of my life.  We have been together 10.5 years, married for 8 and have two kiddos (a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy). We also have two crazy dogs!  I stay home and my husband works crazy hours.  We have a very 1950’s style marriage and I couldn’t be happier.  (I’m happiest in the home!)

It wasn’t always this way…back in 2011, I decided that teaching English 7-12 for 8 years was good enough, and I’d give it a go staying home as a housewife.  Boy did that get a lot of looks and comments!

My husband Joe and I decided that he worked enough hours and if anything, it’d make more sense to stay home because my district looked as though there’d be cuts in a year or so anyway.  I had driven about a 45 minute-one hour commute to and then another 45 -1 hour home each day.  It was about 2 hours of my life daily and as much as I loved the students and the school, it was a lot.

How did I spend my time? Well, I certainly enjoyed it! It was a nice buffer for what was to come, I’ll tell ya that much!  I perfected my cooking skills; think Food Network star worthy dinners 4-5x  a week. Yeah, that kind of backfired once I had kids, haha!  Hubby was like, um….and I was like, ya here’s another pasta dish!  I feel like now that we’re into a groove, my oldest is in Kindergarten and I have one in preschool 2 days a week, for 2 hours each, I have my head on a little more straight.

That said, we also decided to change up our side hustle a bit.  We had accumulated some rental properties, but decided to get into the Rent to Own business.  It’s awesome!! It’s also a lot of work; don’t be fooled.

We have a total of 9 properties and some amazing tenant buyers we are able to help out.  They are able to rent out one of our homes until they’re capable of getting a mortgage.  All they really need is a down payment & to afford the monthly rent–it’s so awesome to help people like this!

I still try to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner daily for my family.  It’s not easy, as my husband has Crohn’s, the kids are, well, kids and don’t eat Kale & spinach readily, imagine that!! My diet works best if it’s lean proteins, lots of veggies, some fruit & complex carbs.  I enjoy food, do NOT get me wrong!  I love burgers, tacos, steaks, grits, fries–and a good old mac and cheese!  However, I’ve learned how my body best responds to food and I definitely plan on sharing that in some blogs. Stay tuned!

I am a Stella & Dot Stylist as a very part-time hustle.  I just love the accessories and helping other women feel a little more confident and cute! It’s nice to connect and talk fashion with fabulous ladies.

I absolutely love to dance; it’s probably my favorite thing ever.  I just love moving and grooving to the music. Luckily my hubby and kids love it too. In fact, that’s one of the biggest things I look forward to with the cooler months ahead: Dance parties!

I am not perfect, nor do I try to be.  I make a ton of mistakes, learn as I go and try to enjoy every moment of this crazy ride called life.  Blogging is a way for me to keep my memories alive, share in hopes of helping another, and cherish what I’ve been given.

You may find me all dolled up in red bottoms, rocking an LV, or I may be in days old hair, sweatshirt & walking our land in the country.  We are really hoping to build this coming Spring and I am beyond excited.

As for religion, all I can say is that I am spiritual.  I feel like that’s a whole post/topic in and of itself, but I’m on journey that is for sure! There’s so much ‘wrong vs right’ when it comes to “being a Christian” I honestly find it ridiculous and a bit hypocritical at times.  I do love Gangster rap, I tend to swear from time to time & I love short dresses.  According to some, I can’t love Jesus too, and if that’s true, then okay. (Yes, I love me some Rachel Hollis.)

I have put blogging on the back burner for many reasons/excuses, but here I am ready to rock and roll this October.  Here’s to an awesome week!

Don’t be shy, say hi!  I’d love to read and follow some new blogs.

Meal Planning 101

Oh my gosh, you guys!! I have always been a good cook. Sure, I’ve made some not so great dishes, but overall, I love being in the kitchen, one of my love languages is serving my cooked food, and I think I’m pretty darn good! However, I feel like a total flop in the kitchen lately.  STRUGGLE BUS. Call me silly, but I keep hearing this “still small voice” to get into the kitchen.  Get back in there, cook wholesome foods, involved my kids and be okay with that.  Yes, I sometimes feel like it’s Groundhog’s Day and I’m unloading the dishwasher for the 30th time this week, but I know my work here is important.

Since we’ve been “working ” more, I’ve come to realize how dang hard it is to get a good meal on the table. I am not in the mood to meal plan, because sometimes I feel like it’s a waste of time. Half of what I cook isn’t eaten or I don’t get to cooking it…but this has got to stop!  I figured if I just took the hour or so to research new meals, schedule it out and hold myself somewhat accountable, I may be better off.

I feel the madness in me from not being consistently in the kitchen.  So, today I sat down and made a “March Menu.”  Granted, it’s a little more than a week into it,  but I wrote down 6 meals for each week left in the month.  I thought I’d try it this way, as opposed to giving each meal a day.  I just came up with 6 meals; they can be interchanged with a lunch.  I chose only to do 6 because usually there are leftovers or a lazy day, where we’ll go out or eat sandwiches.

Tips:

1. Set Aside Time

The hardest part for me is time.  I only have so many hours in a day (as do we all) and selfishly, I don’t always love having to choose between meal planning & reading a book, blogging, or whatever…clearly I interwove blogging and planning into this one; winning!  I am hoping an hour of planning saves hours later of me trying to scramble and figure out what to feed my troops and eliminates the stress and worry that comes with it.  I used to do it every Sunday, but I’m going to try this new once a month tactic. I will report back to ya!  Some meal planning essentials: Wine & Green Tea.  I kid…I kid…

2. Print off Recipes

I literally printed off a few new recipes. (You see, that was one of my excuses. I’d “like” a recipe, or write it down but then really never get back to that site…) I love the internet but I’m such an old school, write-it-out kind of girl! I placed my 3 week menu, the printed sheets, and my week one grocery list on a clipboard.  I’m thinking I may just buy a new binder; that’s how I started. I would print off a favorite recipe and place it into a plastic sheet, and sorted them all in a binder.

3. Plan Meals out or cooked by someone other than you.

I know that I get burnt out in the kitchen, so that is another reason I only wrote 6 meals per week.  We love sushi takeout and Joe does love to grill. I just need to prepare and buy the food to be grilled! I’m excited that it’s getting warmer out…life gets easier when we aren’t hibernating. Look at the calendar and see what birthdays or holidays are coming up.  Can you get together with friends and host a potluck? You’ll not only be inspired by new foods, but you may find a recipe you and your family really love.

4. What you focus on increases.

Whenever I feel something is off balance, I will shift my focus on that subject. I am well aware that there is no such thing as “perfect” or even “balanced” but I feel like for the most part, I have a nice ebb and flow on things…and lately, there not enough love flowing in my kitchen! So, I’ve been trying to watch more you tube videos, putting on the Food Network in the background, and spending a few moments consciously pulling up recipes etc.  I strongly believe what we put out there, comes back to us. Plus, I always learn something from my favorites on Food Network!  Go dust off some of those cookbooks and show them some love.  I bet you’ll re-discover a family fave!  Please share with me, I’d love to know!

5.  Keep it Short and Simple (KISS)

Try to do a theme each week.  Maybe it’s Meatless Monday, or Taco Tuesday.  I chose to do “One Pot Pastas”.  I also went through my cupboards to see what spices I had etc. I love Tastefully Simple and I knew if I just took a few minutes to go through what I had, I would throw together a list in no time.  Don’t overcomplicate, don’t feel like you have to whip up lavish dinners, and who cares if it flops?! There’s always pizza, but at least you tried!

Totally pinched for time?  Stop in the store, pick up a whole rotisserie chicken, bagged salad and a fresh loaf of bread.  It’s better than going fast food and you still are making efforts.

I am nowhere near perfect, but I know if I put in a little more effort, it will be better.  I am waving the white flag and saying hey mama, I too serve Dino- nuggets and fish sticks like the best of them.  However, I know that if I can make a little effort, I’m opening my kids’ minds and doing my very best.  You betcha this kid friendly pasta meal is on the menu!

Oh, and have fun!! I know the days are long, but the years really are short!! Take a few minutes and throw together a little something special for your loved ones.  My kiddos go crazy for hot chocolate with marshmallows.  My husband also loves breakfast in bed; giving them yummy foods makes me feel good putting smiles on their faces. (Boxed muffins are a big deal to little and big kids!)