Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Homeschool Tips, Tricks, and Questions Answered --Video

Last week I asked you guys what you wanted to see this week on Youtube. A lot of you asked for a video on Homeschool. So here it is....my tips, tricks, and your questions answered in one little video. Enjoy lovelies! Keep the video ideas coming! They are always so inspiring! 

Click the link HERE or the picture above:)

XO Danielle

Monday, January 26, 2015

Setting and Keeping Goals For The New Year...

Setting and Keeping Goals For The New Year...

The holidays are over and we are now into a brand new year. I wish you the happiest of New Years and blessings for your family. What are you doing this year that you did not do last year? What resolutions have you made? Today I want to talk about setting and keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

Most people make a list of things they want to change and then by the middle of February that list gets buried under all the paperwork on the desk or tossed into the recycling bin with everything else. Why do you think we make lofty goals and then fail to follow through? Patterns are hard to break. Change takes time.

When you sit down and think about the changes you want to make, keep things simple. Choose one or two things that you really want to make a change with. Instead of saying “I want to be healthy this year” break things down into smaller goals. Like drinking more water, eating more fruit, walking more….Take things one step at a time.

Choose something that is truly important to you, not what everyone else is doing or what you think they would want you to do. Think about who you want to be and take steps to become that person; one tiny step at a time. Avoid choosing the same thing you tried last year, you will remember your past failure and it will be harder for you to achieve your goal.

Don’t view your setbacks as total failure. It takes 21 days of doing something to create a habit. If you can keep up with something for 21 days, chances are you are well on your way to forming a new routine. Consider keeping a journal, where you can write about your successes and struggles. Write down the reasons why you are working toward your goal so that you can refer to them during times when you feel uninspired and unmotivated.

Explain what your goals are to your close friends or family and ask them to help you achieve your objectives. Better yet, enlist the help of others by joining a group that shares your goal. Having a support system works. The more people to help you achieve your goals the better off you are.

One thing I do is choose a word to describe my year. My word for 2015 is growth. There are different ways to grow. I can grow in my professional life, as a writer, as a mom, as a wife, I can grow spiritually as well. All of these are good things. I will map out a few things I want to do to help myself grow in specific areas. Things like classes I want to take, or bible studies I would like to join, and then I will let the growth happen. I keep a journal so that at the end of the year I can go back and read about the changes that happened and the things that I learned.

What resolutions are you making? Have you chosen a word for 2015? 

XO Erica- Find me on my blog HERE :)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

Sunday mornings have got to be one of my favorites of the week. There is no real agenda for the day, other than going to church and enjoying the lessons shared there. I feel like Sundays are a time to slow down and just be with the family. For us, we try to keep Sundays unscheduled. A day for just being together and enjoying one another's company.

Today is a day to recharge for the week. It is a day to gear up physically, mentally, and most importantly spiritually for all that the upcoming week has enstore for us.

We are still keeping with our A Picture Each Sunday and I have been loving seeing there cute faces in their Sunday best. 

A Picture Each Sunday...

A Picture Each Sunday...

I pray your Sunday is a peaceful one :)

XO Danielle

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Morning Routine Tips, Tricks, and Ramblings...

Today I am so excited to be teaming up with some fantastic youtubers for a fun collaboration. I am sharing my morning routine and all my tips, tricks, and ramblings that go along with it. Besure to check it out and you can check in the video description for all the other fabulous ladies I am collaborating with. They are pretty stellar! :)

Have a fabulous day lovelies!!

XO Danielle

Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes

Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes

Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes

Morning lovelies! My hands are freezing this January morning. I don't know if it is the chill outside or the lack of circulation in my phalanges, either way my fingers are cold and seem to be bound and determine to cause as many typos as they can. Hopefully the three times I read over this post will get rid of whatever errors my frigid hands caused me to make. I seem to always have cold hands and poor hubby has to deal with the icicle fingers all the time. Anyone else have a problem with cold hands? I swear I need to wear mittens all the time!

But enough about my cold hands, lets get to this yummy recipe we tried out this week. I recently checked out The Girl Who Ate Everything by Christy Denney at my library. It had a lot of delicious looking meals and I was very excited to bring that book home and get to creating in my kitchen. The first thing I wanted to make was Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes. I've been trying to prepare more hot breakfasts for those red heads of mine. I had made waffles over the Christmas break and they were shocked that I had made a hot breakfast. I got the hint and started looking for some new recipes ot try out.

This recipe was quick and easy to make. It also only requires those pantry staples we all have in stock. I love when recipes only call for those. It makes this Mama's heart happy :)

This would also make a quick dinner idea for when you are in a rush. It can be prepared and baked in less than 25 minutes. Less than the time it takes to load up your car and go to your local golden arches!

Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes

Here's how to make these little puffs of goodness! 


6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter


Preheat your oven to 400' and spray two muffin tins with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together well. Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter. Baked for 15-17 minutes or until pancakes are golden around the edges. Remove from the tins and serve with fruit, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.

*This recipe makes 18 pancakes. I took one cup of frozen strawberries and thawed them in my microwave (about 2 minutes) and then added 2 tsp of white sugar to the top. Mash the strawberries with a potato masher and use as a yummy syrup. We added powdered sugar and homemade syrup as well. It was delish!

Mini Puff-Puff Pancakes

What new recipes have you been trying out lately?

XO Danielle

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Word For 2015....

It is almost the end of the month and I have yet to share what my word is for 2015. A few years ago I changed up the whole New Year's resolution thing. Instead of making a bunch of resolutions I would end of forgetting about I thought I would pick one word to focus on throughout the year. This worked wonders for me. My word was grow and it was amazing. Having one word to focus on, gave me so much strength. I kept at for the whole year. In 2014 I didn't pick a word. If I did, it would have been endure. 2014 was extremely hard for myself and my family. My brother passed away in November 2013. That was a little over a year ago. When I type that it still doesn't seem real. For me 2014 was all about enduring. I had to get up each day. I had to put one foot in front of the other. I literally went through the motions of life and endured as well as I could. As the year went on, I gained strength a little at a time. It still comes in waves. I will have days when all I want to do is lay in bed and pull the covers up over my head. It is on those days I force myself to get up and face the sun because no matter what I am going through, that sun is still shinning. I still have a family who is counting on me. This is something I remind myself of often. Thankfully these mornings have become fewer and I am feeling stronger and more able to tackle all the things that are required of me.

My Word For 2015....

As I thought on this upcoming year and all that I want to accomplish many words came to mind...create, live, be....I just couldn't decide. I prayed on what my word should be for this year. What word could encompass all that I have planned for myself this year? I want to do more with this blog. I want to write more and I want more people to be able to learn to live providently. I want to be a better Mom, Wife, and Homemaker. I want to grow stronger in my testimony of my God and my Savior. I want to be able to stand tall no matter what comes my way. I want to give more, serve more, love more. With all of these ideas, goals, plans, whatever you call them going through my mind, I couldn't come up with a word to truly encompass all that I dreamed for this year. Then a simple two letter word came to mind, one Sunday during Sacrament. "Do". So simple and yet it really encompassed all that I had been praying about. 

I want to do more for my family. I want to share more of God's word. I want to serve more and be more, so the Lord may share his Light through me. I want to be able to Do more with this blog and help more people learn to live a financially free life. With all of these ideas, the word "do" kept coming back to me, so that will be my word for this year..."Do".

My Word For 2015....

I will Do more and Be more, so that I can grow to love my Savior more. I can learn to have faith in Him more because he is truly the master and I am but an apprentice, learning and gleaning from his sweet inspiring words.

I pray that this year I will be able to focus on this word and live it. I pray that you all will continue with me on this journey of frugal living. I want this to be a year dedicated to living a law of frugality. I want us all to make that change for our own families and I hope we can do it together. I pray we can encourage, uplift, and inspire one another to do more and be more. We are amazing daughters and sons of a King. We are amazing people! I pray we remember that today and throughout this year. We can DO hard things and we can DO them well. 

Inspiration found HERE and HERE :)

XO Danielle

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Freezer Clean Out: January Edition

Freezer Clean Out: January Edition

Morning...errr......afternoon......it's been a long day can you tell? I'm not even sure what time of day it is haha! The Tuesday Mama struggle is real people! I swear :) We have been busying working on some writing projects and cleaning up our house. Somehow the weekend caused a tornado to run through and we are just now picking up the aftermath.

I do have  a few spare moments though (the kids are having computer turns and I am enjoying this bit of quiet me time), so I wanted to share my freezer clean out for this month. I have a freezer chest and a fridge/freezer combo. Both reside in my kitchen. Is it the prettiest thing to have in your kitchen?...umm..not really, but I sure do love all the extra space it allows me for food storage. So practicality outweighs aesthetics in my kitchen.

Freezer Clean Out: January Edition

With us focusing on #NOSpenduary, I thought it was probably time I dig through that freezer of mine. I pulled everything out of my freezer chest and place it on towels on my floor. I try to do this before every monthly shopping trip, but last month I didn't (I blame the holidays) and this month I didn't stock up on meat or anything (only the essentials), so I didn't go through it either. Anyways back to the cleanup....I pulled everything out, so I could see what goodies were buried in my freezer. I also pulled out all my frozen milk from the freezer above my fridge. They were scattered in both freezers and I really wanted to get them all in the same place. We were given a bunch of milk from a dear friend at church, so we have had an abundance lately. I haven't bought milk in a month! (thank you Ing) I like to keep my milk at the bottom of my freezer chest, since they're the bulkiest item in there.

Freezer Clean Out: January Edition

Once everything was pulled out, I took stock of what I had. I grouped my meats together, my cheeses, veggies, fruits, purees, etc. Keeping things together allows me to have a better idea of what is in there. I also found a few freezer meals I had forgotten all about. Is it sad I felt like it was Christmas when I found three tubs of soup, just ready to be eaten this winter? I did my own little happy dance. That was three meals that now I didn't have to plan. I could just pop them in the crock-pot and call it good. Having those freezer meals reminded me how much I love making freezer meals. I really need to get back into making them. Note to self: request freezer cookbooks at the library

Once I organized everything, I chipped all the ice off the insides of my freezer chest. I used a plastic spatula, so I wouldn't ruin the insulation. This took less than ten minutes. Once I was done my freezer was looking all kinds of purdy. There is something about a clean, ice less freezer....it makes this mama feel good....like I tackled and conquered a task with extreme determination....chipping ice is no joke people...oh man does that make me sound lame? Yes? No? Don't tell me. Let me stay blissfully unaware:)

Freezer Clean Out: January Edition

Once the freezer was cleaned, I decided the fridge couldn't be left out. I pulled everything out and gave it a good wipe down with my all-purpose cleaner. I am a a bit of a germaphobe and dirty fridges are the worst! I try to stay on top of ours, as much as I can.

So now that I just spent far too long talking about my freezer cleanup, let me share with you why cleaning out your freezer is important....

A lot of times we stash things in the freezer, thinking "no worries it is in the freezer it can't go bad". Wrong! It can! Nothing last forever, not matter how much we wish it did. Going through your freezer allows you to use up the old stuff before it goes bad. It also lets you see what you have, so you don't rebuy or over buy on something. Preventing this saves you time and money. I am all for saving me on both of those. So check out your freezer and give it a good clean. Knowing what you have stashed in the freezer and fridge will help you plan meals better, which ultimately keeps that family of yours in happy town:)

You can check out my videos on gearing up vfor grocery shopping. I talk more about how I clean out the freezer each month:)

How do you guys clean out your freezer?

XO Danielle

Monday, January 19, 2015

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3
Happy Monday lovelies!! So we are on our third week in January! Man this month is already zooming by! This past week of meal planning went over fairly smoothly. I hadn't realized that with book writing and then the holidays, I had gotten out of the habit of really menu planning. I would stick to a few simple recipes, so I could get everything on my to do list done. Well with the holidays over and my book now off to the editors, I have been enjoying menu planning and making more then the same five meals over and over again. Sometimes repetition in the kitchen can be quite mundane. I am excited for this new menu format and the ability it gives me to share with you what we're eating and all those recipes. I hope you are liking the new format as well. 

So without further ado..here is what we ate last week and my frugal tips, tricks, and recipes to go with. Enjoy! :)

Monday 1/12/15- Fried Flounder, Mashed Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli

We have been trying to incorporate a bit more fish into our diet. I usually can't work it into our budget very often, since it is more expensive to eat fish, but when I was at Wal-Mart a while back they had the bags of individually wrapped fish fillets on sale. I ended up snagging some tilapia, salmon, and flounder.

For fish night, I decided to try the flounder. I dipped the fish fillets in eggs and then lightly breaded it with homemade bread crumbs (I'll include the recipe). I then fried them in oil for 3 minutes on each side. These were fairly quick to make and the family loved them. I added red chili pepper flakes, seasoning salt, and black pepper to my bread crumbs. It gave it a great kick, which Hubby loved!

I steamed the broccoli in my rice cooker and made pressure cooker mashed potatoes. Yum!

Tuesday 1/13/15- Creamy Mushroom Zucchini Bake with fresh fruit 

I love this mushroom bake, since it is easy to whip up and is a meatless entree! Using wheat berries instead of meat is a great way to save money, without skimping on the protein. Wheat berries are also suppose to lower blood sugar and cholesterol! We buy ours in bulk from the LDS Cannery. You can also buy them from Winco, Bountiful Baskets, and Costco. I cook 4 cups of dried wheat berries in my pressure cooker and then bag them in 1/2 cup portions to freeze. That way it is easy to quickly pull out a bag and thaw in the microwave when I want to throw them into a casserole. You can also eat them hot with milk for a filling breakfast/snack!

Wednesday 1/14/15- Cheese Quesdillas with Crunchy Sweet Potato zucchini Sticks

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Zuchinni sticks

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Sweet Potato Chips

On Wednesday I received a goodie package in the mail from Food Should Taste Good. These yummy chips were in there, along with three bags of multi-grain tortilla chips. Well  the littles and I busted open the sweet potato chips in two minutes flat. We then continued to consume them with bean dip for a pre-dinner snack. Thankfully there were two bags of sweet potato chips, so I could make Baked Parmesan zucchini Sticks to go with our cheese quesdillas. They were really good and will definitely be had again in our house:)

Food Should Taste Good has a lot of recipes, with a bunch being vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free. I was pretty excited. We've been eating less meat and upping our whole grains and beans, so their recipes are right up this mama's alley. I am thinking about these Nachos for next week. Don't they look good?

Thursday 1/15/15- Crock-pot Ham, Potatoes, and Carrots

Last week, when I made the sugar honey baked ham, I placed all my leftover meat into baggies and froze them. Thursday morning I took a bag of that leftover meat and made it into a crockpot meal. This was one of the easiest and yummiest meal to come out of my crockpot lately.

I cut up my veggies, placed them in the crockpot and added the meat! It was so dang simple. I served it with applesauce and fresh baked bread. It filled tummies and was pretty dang good. I also loved that I didn't have to slave away over the stove to make it. Oh how I love my crock-pot! Fix it and forget! Best phrase ever!

Friday 1/16/15- Leftovers 

Saturday 1/17/15- Asian Chicken Spinach Salad

This recipe came together when I bought a Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Salad Dressing. It was definitely an impulse purchase. It was on sale and I fell victim to the under $2 price tag! Haha! I'm a weak mama! It ended up being great though because I came up with a new family favorite salad recipe. We have been trying to up our veggie intake and so salads have become a regular part of our day. I love tossing a salad together for dinner. It is quick, easy, and healthy! Triple Win!

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3 Asian Spinach Chicken Salad

Sunday 1/18/15- Vegetable Barley Soup with French Bread

The vegetable Barley Soup was a meal I found when I went through my freezer. I decided that if I was going to make a dent in my freezer chest, I should probably go through and organize it. As I went through it, I was pleased to find I had quite a few freezer meals I had completely forgotten about. Often when I make soup, I will make a large batch. Doing a huge batch in my crockpot, not only uses up all those pesky leftover vegetables, but it allows me to make two meals. One for us to eat that night and one to put in the freezer for later in the coming months. Well that is what I had done when I made this barley soup.

Cooking a double batch of something is a great way to stock your freezer with quick and easy meals. It is also a great way to use up anything in your fridge that is on its way to expire.

I don't have an exact recipe for this soup, but I can give you a few pointers to making a vegetable soup. I always look in my fridge and pantry for a few basic ingredients: carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. If I have these things than I am doing good. Sometimes I will only have one or two of them. When that happens I try to look at what else is in my pantry/fridge. Do I have barley, rice, or pasta that could replace my potatoes? Do I have tomatoes, green beans, peas, corn, or other leftover veggies that could replace carrots? I also try to have broth in my freezer or pantry for my soup base. Once you have these few things in place, you can make a soup. Try to Google a few soup recipes and see if you have anything in your pantry that can work with that recipe. I Googled it here and you can see how a TON of recipes pop up. I do this a lot when I am trying to think of a yummy season mix to add to my soup. You may not have exactly what the recipe calls for, but if you think outside of the box you can substitute and make a yummy meal for your family. Oh and adding home baked rolls or bread to soup night will always make the soup taste 100 times better. Trust me on this ladies! My hubby is not a barley fan, but when I pair it with yummy bread, he is all about it :)

Family Meals on a Budget: Week 3

This week was a great week. We stuck to the menu plan and were able to use a lot of fresh ingredients and some staples from my pantry staple list. On an unrelated note, how cute is our dear Watson up above? When the kids are outside playing, he loves to sit on this chair and paw at the window. It is super adorable! Can you tell we are loving having dear Watson around? He's the best!

Now onto the recipes. You can find all of this week's recipes in a printable version HERE. Have a fabulous day lovelies!!

What did you guys have on the menu plan this past week?
XO Danielle
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