Spring cleaning: Getting organized

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Spring cleaning and getting organized is all the rage as we move into a season of warmer weather and open windows!  We’ve gathered information and inspiration from around the web to help you declutter and organize your home and make it sparkly clean for spring time.

cleaning supplies       organize your supplies

organize recipes        bag storage

Gather information on supplies you need to do a proper cleaning job, and how to store them for easy access. Get ideas and inspiration to organize everything from your family recipes to your garbage bags. Clean and organize everything from your bedroom closet to your bathroom closet.

Molly Saves in the closet       organize the bathroom

Get these tips and so much more from our Home Organization Pinterest board HERE. 

In an archived article from last year,   Organization- Friend or Foe , “Stuff can weigh a person down.”  In March, we introduced you to The FlyLady  who teaches us to break down our home cleaning into zones. You can read more about that HERE.

We learned about Decluttering- Creating a Peaceful Environment HERE

Bullet Points to Jump in and Begin Your Spring Cleaning

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house
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Homemade Baking Mix – with Build A Menu

Homemade Baking Mix

 

 

Homemade “Bisquick” Baking Mix

 These days there are many reasons to consider making your own baking mixes. One, of course, is that it is more affordable for the family.  The other is, with all the additives that go into the boxed products you find on the shelves at the grocery store, it’s nice to get back to basics with ingredients you choose yourself – and ones you can pronounce!
Ingredients
  • 6 cups of flour
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening
Instructions
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Add shortening.
  3. Mix with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, a hand mixer or your food processor.
  4. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer.
Notes
Single Recipe Method: Combine two cups of flour, 1 tbsp. of baking powder, 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of sugar. Mix in one-third cup of shortening.

You can DOWNLOAD and Print Your Own Copy HERE

 

Healthier and Frugal . . . that works for me! 

Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme

Oven-Roasted Fresh Green beans by Build A Menu

 

Delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme are a real treat any time of the year, and perfect for spring!

Have you visited our friends at Build A Menu.com yet?  If you are working on your Spring meals for the family or Easter Dinner for a crowd – they can help you get your ducks in a row.

Here is one dish from B.A.M. that looks good and tastes great on any table: 

“There are only three ingredients in this simple yet elegant side dish.  Fresh green beans, olive oil and thyme.  Inexpensive, healthy, and so yummy.  You can find this recipe and many other delicious side dishes in our menu planning website.” ~ Lisa Holcomb 

Try the delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme on a week night or a special occasion and it may just become a new family favorite!

Hop on over to check out their full list of services and various menu planning options here. 

Enjoy regular recipes and meal planning ideas from the ladies at Build A Menu in each new issue of Molly Green Magazine! Have you joined yet? Get the details and become a Molly Member here.

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De-cluttering Your Home – Creating a Peaceful Environment

De-cluttering Your Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*affiliate links may be present

De-cluttering your home – one step at a time, one room at a time, one day at a time – is the first step to creating a more peaceful environment.

Getting rid of clutter helps you find clarity in mind and emotions. It ultimately relieves anxiety and guilt!

It can be easy to put it off when you are looking at clutter that has built up over time. You can become overwhelmed and end up putting it off even longer.

De-cluttering doesn’t have to be so difficult. We have a plan to help you jump in and get started, and then finish the race like a champ!

Getting Started:

Make a list of the major rooms you want to tackle. Then, break down each room with a list of the most important goals you have for that room, down to the least important.

Make a list for each goal in the rooms. For instance, I have a child’s bedroom that has been used for storage and now needs to be turned into a room suitable for a pre-teen boy. It is a mess.

The biggest problems in the room are clothes that the family has outgrown, and all the toys that they no longer use. Of course, that would be easy enough, but there are clothes in the mix that we need to save for other children, and toys that need to be kept for others.

It has been overwhelming because things have been piling up in that room for a long time – making it most uninviting  – not even a little bit of de-cluttering going on in there.  I have avoided it at all cost!

FlyLady.net

Step number one is to get a bin for clothes that need to be stored and a bin for those to give away, a bin for toys to keep and a bin for toys to give away. It is also important to have a trash can on hand to throw away anything that is broken or clothes that are not worth mending. Turn on your favorite music and jump right in!

Set a timer for 30 minutes at a time and work against the clock to get through the first pile. It is okay  if you don’t make it on time, just reset the clock and keep on going! Take a break in between or at least every hour or so, move on to the next area on your list until all the clutter in room one has been removed.

Pull out your cleaning list until everything sparkles and shines!

Bullet Points

  • Divide and Conquer – use bins to separate clutter into keep, give away, throw away
  • Set a timer – in 30 minute increments
  • Turn up the tunes
  • Check off your list until each section in the room is clutter free
  • Clean the room
  • Move to the next room in the house

One of the best ways to stay on top of clutter is to educate yourself with great homemaking wisdom from The Fly Lady – who happens to be one of the fabulous Molly Green Magazine writers. She’ll help you make a flight plan and divide your home into zones that will keep you from getting behind ever again.

Visit FlyLady.net to learn tips and tricks from a real pro! 

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Easy Cheesy Crackers from Build A Menu and cooking with kids

Easy Cheesy Crackers

You will love these Easy Cheesy Crackers – another great guest post and recipe from our partners at Build A Menu.

I like to give my kids recipes that involve them getting their hands dirty. They love to make a mess, love to get their hands right down into the process. So I figure, why fight it? I took a recipe for cheese crackers, ramped up the flavor a bit with some garlic, and tossed the pastry cutter idea out the window.

Who needs a pastry cutter when you have ten fingers ready to stir and squish? And while using cookie cutters might be super cute, with a relatively crumbly dough I knew the frustration factor (hard to move from board to cookie sheet!) would be too high for my children. So I had them just roll it out right on the cookie sheet and use a pastry wheel to cut squiggly lines.

They loved it! When the crackers came out of the oven, I actually had excited children standing by the cooling rack.

This recipe is a keeper!

Easy Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

• 4 tablespoons butter, softened

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Put the cheese, butter (cut in pieces), flour, salt and garlic in a bowl.

Cracker Ingredients

Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together between your fingers (squish that butter!) until the dough is coarse crumbs, about the size of peas.

Add the milk and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If you are a 7-year-old boy it is okay to make the dough into a volcano first. This is not a necessary step in creating the crackers, but may be necessary to the creative process; volcanoes often are – if you are a little boy.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. We lined ours with foil because it is an old beat-up sheet, but it proved to be useful as we were able to easily remove the crackers on the foil for cooling. Place the dough on it and roll out the dough until it is 1/8″ thick.

Cross cut dough for cheesy crackers

Cut lines in the dough like a grid to make cracker-sized squares. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then break apart into squares.

Yummy Cheesy squares

Build A Menu is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with it? Take a minute to browse the site and see how it can save you time and money, too!

Go HERE to check it out and download your printed recipe for delicious Easy Cheesy Crackers!

Molly Members – Access Dine on a Dime HERE- Exclusively for Molly Members from Build A Menu! 

Members Page HERE – New MGM 2014 Issues

Molly’s $7 Suppers HERE 

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Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad: Build A Menu

Cilantro Chicken Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doesn’t this Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad look spring fresh and amazing? It is a colorful and deliciously healthy way to welcome in the new season.

Just in case you haven’t noticed … we are big fans of the Build A Menu program! If you are a Molly Green Magazine member, you can download their Dine on a Dime menu and shopping list right from your member page.  You also have a discount code – exclusive for Molly Members to join and start using this fantastic program today!

From Build A Menu

Who says eating on a budget has to be boring? One of our goals here at Build A Menu is to give our members plenty of mouth-watering choices that are surprisingly low cost to make.

Take this recipe for example: Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado Serves 4-6 people and costs under $6 at most grocery stores (that’s for the entire recipe, not per person!).

Not only does this recipe look fabulous and taste scrumptious, it costs less than $1 per serving to make! Want more low-cost recipes to feed your crew? Check out what’s on our menu this week.

How does Build a Menu work? Just choose your grocery store, select the recipes you want for the week, print your customized shopping list and you’re done. You’ll always know how much your groceries will cost before you ever get to the store.

This is an “S” meal if you follow the THM plan. We make grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly!

Bon Appetit!

~ The Team At Build A Menu

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad

Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad on Avocado

Recipe type: Main       Cuisine: Chicken        Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Tbsp mayo
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 5 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 3 avocados
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Half avocados and remove seeds.
  2. Mix all ingredients together (except avocados) in a small mixing bowl.
  3. Spoon into each avocado half and serve. Enjoy!

 

PRINT A Copy For Yourself HERE

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Teach Kids About Work and Money: Free Online Chore Chart

*affiliate links may be present

 

I just love this free online chore chart!

The chore list

The chore list (Photo credit: demandaj)

I’m always on the lookout for specials and free deals to improve our lives on the home front. MyJobChart.com is a valuable resource for families. Teaching kids about work and money is an important part of  family life. Having tools that make it simple can take the sting of chore time as they tend to build motivation.

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

Motivating Your Kids Is Easy: Just 1-2-3:

1) Sign-up for MyJobChart!

2) Assign Chores to Your Kids

3) Reward Your Kids For Great Work!

 

Chores in a children's home

Chores in a children’s home (Photo credit: theirhistory)

A Chore Chart makes it easy to assign chores, and makes it more motivating for children to fulfill them.  It facilitates fun, engaging, hands-on learning and teaches children the principles of sharing, saving, and spending.  MyJobChart.com gives parents the tools they need to instill a strong work ethic and teach financial responsibility.

For me, an effective resource needs to be both frugal and simple to use – in order to be worth the time and effort of using it. As long as you are reasonably familiar with using online services, you should not have trouble with this one. I believe it can be especially beneficial in organizing large family chores.

Once your basic information is in place, it only takes a short time each week to add additional information to personalize any particular week or month for your family.

Do you use chore charts in your home? Have you tried an online version? 

Molly Green Magazine members gain wisdom and knowledge from years of practical application in the arts of household management from FlyLady.com  - Find out more about the extra benefits of becoming a Molly Member HERE. 

 

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Money Matters: Four ways to teach kids to save

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.

Money Matters

Four Practical and Effective Ways to Teach Kids How to Save

Ages one through six-years-old is the perfect time to teach your kids about money. Teaching them in their formative years about the value of money and how to save effectively will definitely build a strong financial foundation for them. If you’re going to impart lasting wisdom and knowledge to your kids, it might as well be about managing their personal finances.
1) Be intentional. Decide that it’s something you want to teach your kids in the long run. This means you have to plan it out and follow through with your goals. If you truly see the value of what you want to teach your kids, you wouldn’t give up or stop. It’s best to start teaching them about money while you can still influence them. Once your time is up (teenage years), you and your kids might come to regret it.

2) Make it fun. Most people hate math because it’s “boring.” Don’t let your kids feel the same thing just because saving money involves numbers! The only way to make your kids love saving is by teaching them how it could be so much fun.

  •  Books: Who says reading a bedtime story always has to be about fairy tales or your horrible recollections of that embarrassing experience you had when you were 12? You can inspire your kids to save through books that teach them the value of saving money instead. Try the books Dolly Parton’s A Coat of Many Colors, or The Berenstain Bear’s Trouble with Money by Stan Berenstain.
  • Toys: You can buy cash teller machines or cute piggy banks to encourage them that saving money can be a lively and fun thing to do. Play games with your kids. Add little colorful piggy banks at every corner of the house and tell them it’s a challenge to “feed” your house pigs coins to keep them healthy. The possibilities are endless.
  •  Shows: Expose them to television shows that show how important money is, like Cha-Ching in Cartoon Network.  You can search for other resources online.
  • Apps: Do you know a kid who hasn’t played a touch-screen app yet? Kids are definitely regular users of smartphones and tablets, and like you, they deserve apps that encourage the better use of money. Download apps: Life Quest, Kids Money or Virtual Piggy.

3) Trust them. Your kids will love it if you treat them like adults. Trusting them with money and believing that they will do good with it will boost their confidence. This way, you’re effectively showing them they’re more than capable of handling and managing money. Try to be their “savings buddy” saving. Give them challenges or ask them for “help,” anything that would make you and your kids save for something. If you all reach your common goals, then your kids will definitely be more motivated in saving money. Don’t forget to be encouraging and supportive all the time.

4) Finally, practice what you preach. If you constantly teach your kids about saving money and yet they see you indulging in a ton of unnecessary things, you might as well give up on raising money-savvy children. Kids are the best copycats. They look up to you. Mommy and Daddy are their first superheroes and idols, and it’s only natural for them to follow whatever you’ll do — the good things … and the bad. So always be cautious around your children because, most times, they’ll follow your example — even when you don’t want them to.
Your children’s financial success depends on you! The earlier you start teaching them about savings, the better off your kids will be in the future!

About the Author
Jep Barroga is a freelance writer and blogger for MoneyHero, a Hong Kong based finance portal that provide unbiased information on loans, credit cards, and other financial products. Jep will be sharing more information about teaching kids to save money next week. He will share with us his favorite apps to use to make it a fun and memorable experience.

 

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Free E-book about God’s Extraordinary Love

free ebook on God's love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a copy of this wonderful FREE Ebook by Jennifer White!

These tales of God’s Extraordinary Love will inspire and delight you, as you are reminded of how much our Father God loves you!
Description of the E-book:

This short book is filled with eighteen real life problems that were given to God in prayerEach problem was met with the incredible power of God. Each victory reminds us that God is alive. God hears. God moves on behalf of His people when they call out to Him for help.

God’s love for you is extraordinary! Be encouraged. God is Who He says He is. He is proving it all around us. We can depend on Him. He and His Word are alive and active. He is aware of you and your needs.

yellowflowersbluesky

 

Join with me in celebrating this God Who is faithful to each of us. Let these accounts of His faithfulness fill you with hope.

God is listening to you. God wants you to discover His giving, shepherding nature.

God Answers Prayer. 

Link to sign up for FREE Ebook: http://eepurl.com/KiGHr

Bio Jennifer White

Bio 
Jennifer O. White is an author, speaker and encourager to those seeking a life of hope, peace and confidence. You are invited to join her on a brave life, marriage, and world-changing adventure with Jesus at her blog: Prayerfully Speaking, and her free E-bookPrayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love in 18 Ordinary Lives. Check out her upcoming book for new brides here.
Jennifer O. White
info@jenniferowhite.com

Grab FREE E-book

Prayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love in 18 Ordinary Lives

Inspiring stories to help you grow and enjoy a closer walk with your Creator – who loves you so!
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Garlic Pretzel Hearts: from Build a Menu

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Garlic Pretzel Hearts? Yes, please! Our friends (and columnists for Molly Green Magazine) from Build a Menu – have done it again with these super simple, tasty treats for your favorite pretzel lovers!

Garlic Pretzel Hearts

Ingredients:

1 roll refrigerated garlic breadstick dough (8 oz)

1 egg coarse salt (also called kosher salt) note: if you are unable to find garlic breadstick dough you can use plain breadstick dough and replace the coarse salt with garlic salt.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  Open roll of dough, and separate strips of dough. Fold each strip in half lengthwise and gently roll the strip so that the edges pinch together; try not to lengthen the dough while rolling.

rolling pretzel dough

Make a circle by crossing over the ends of the dough rope, twisting the two ends together, and slightly pinching the tip into a point. Somehow we did not get a picture of this part; I guess we were so engrossed!

Put the circle onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, make the twist point into the center, and shape into a heart. Repeat with remaining ropes of dough. Beat the egg.

Paint egg onto each heart until covered.

Sprinkle salt onto the pretzels (if you are using plain dough, sprinkle garlic salt now.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

fresh baked heart pretzelsCool on rack – and ENJOY!

This is a wonderful semi-homemade gift idea for little bakers.  Help them create as a treat for the family this Valentine’s Day! Of course, they are simple enough to be enjoyed any day.

How are you showing the family some love this week?

For more great ideas, visit the ladies of Build a Menu today – download a printable copy of this recipe here. 

Get a membership for Molly Green Magazine and receive menu planner and shopping list from Build a Menu’s popular Dine on a Dime here.  Get the full details on what the all New Molly Green membership is all about!

Looking for our $800 Giveaway for All-Clad cookware?  Find it here.