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! 

linking with Works for me Wednesday

 

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

linking with Works for me Wed 

Cheesy Tuna Casserole: Dine on a Dime Recipe

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 

They had me at cheesy!

Once I read the rest of the ingredients for this  Cheesy Tuna Casserole, I was a goner for sure. Fresh mushrooms, onions, chicken stock, and whipping cream are a few of the top-secret tips that dress up this cheesy tuna casserole. The creamy ingredients add rich flavor and have made it one of my family’s new favorites! I bet your family will love it too.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

 Ingredients 

  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna, drained
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen green beans
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onion(s), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Cook the green beans as directed on the package; drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and onion in the butter until very soft and starting to brown a bit.
  3. Add the broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Let the liquid reduce by half, then stir in the cream. Bring back to a boil.
  5. Turn down the heat a bit and cook until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently and watching closely so it doesn’t boil over.
  6. Season to taste.
  7. Stir the tuna and mushroom soup mixture into the green beans.
  8. Add salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Mix in the cheese; put into a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole.
  10. Microwave or bake until hot and bubbly.

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plans, Cheesy Tuna Casserole is an S.

This recipe only cost an average of $9 at most major grocery stores and serves four to six, making it an affordable option, before you even consider pulling out the coupons. I haven’t tried yet, but I think a couple of substitutions could be made to save even more on this dish. I’ve been known to make a cream sauce using powdered milk, a bit of butter,  flour and chicken broth (homemade, of course), and though I’m certain the heavy cream is tastier, I could pull this off in a pinch. It’s hard to beat, just the way it is.

Perfect cheesy tuna casserole makes a wonderful meal for a good old-fashioned family dinner!

You can download a printable copy of this recipe right from our friends at Build a Menu HERE. 

Remember, you can enjoy regular menu plans and printable shopping lists from the Build a Menu – Dine on a Dime plan right from your Molly Green Member page! It you haven’t joined the All New Molly Green yet, go here to get the details.

Inspired Bloggers Network – Family Dinner HUGE Giveaway for $800 set of cookware is HERE

Raising Bottle Bucket Calves: Family Homestead link up

raising bottle bucket calves

 

 

Raising bottle bucket calves is a great way to get started on a family farm or homestead. A “bucket calf” or a “bottle calf” is any calf that must be hand fed, by bottle or bucket. Some even just call them “bottle bucket calves” . . . We call them ADORABLE!

Where to Find Them

Dairy farms are a great place to purchase these baby cows. Once they have stopped producing colostrum, the mother cow goes back to work doing her job producing milk for the farm. Often times, a busy dairy farm does not have the time and dedication it takes to care for all of these babies. The calves may then be purchased at an affordable discount. This makes them an extremely frugal choice for a family cow.

Check with your local chapter of 4-H to discover local resources. Track them down through the national 4-H site here. 

Types of Cows

Jersey, Guernsey or Milking Shorthorn may be more affordable choices for a family milk cow than the larger Holsteins. They don’t produce as much milk as the Holsteins, but for the family homestead, 10 or more gallons a day is simply not needed.
types milk calves for family homesteading

The Jersey heifers are known for their creamy milk production, and sweet disposition. They are tan or brown in color are smaller in size, and can usually be found at a much lower cost than the larger breeds.  Guernsey cows are similar, but larger, light reddish brown with white spots. They also make a terrific family cow. The Milking Shorthorn is known as a forage­-efficient, healthy, long­-lived and productive breed of dairy cow. Learn more about various Heritage breeds of cattle here.

Feeding Calves

Much like a human baby, once the mother’s milk is no longer available, there is formula to be had. Mixing the powdered formula with warm water is an important part of feeding the youngest of calves. Although there is some cost involved, overall, feeding your calf is not an overwhelming cost. Of course, if you happen to have a family milking goat . . . you won’t need the formula!

feeding calvesGoat milk is another terrific option and can help avoid any instances of digestive problems. You will have fewer cases of scours and the calves grow quickly.

It is a good idea to begin with a rubber nipple. A healthy calf will always act about half starved! They are vigorous feeders. If you notice any change in this behavior, your calf could be in serious trouble. Pay close attention to any major changes in behavior: unclear eyes or a dirty bottom may be signs of scours. The sooner you get help, the better chance they will have.

Whenever possible, buy your calf from a local dairy farm, where you can observe a feeding, can know that they have at least had several days of colostrum, and have not experienced the stress of travel or shipping. If this is not possible, find out what you can about it. Let it suckle from your finger to simulate a feeding as the healthy ones should be very interested in any attempt at feeding.

Once your calf is home and has been feeding by bottle well for several weeks and is healthy and strong, you can switch to bucket feeding to save time and effort. Hand-fed by bottle or by bucket, the trouble and effort you go through for a small calf is well worth it and can be the perfect way to get an affordable milk cow for your family homestead.

Get more detailed information for raising, feeding and housing your calf from Jackie Clay here

Detailed feeding and care instructions can be downloaded from SavaCaf.com here.

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your own frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY, or crafts and share ideas to inspire others:

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

 

Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!

Build a Menu recipe- Philly Beef Skillet: Sneak Peek Monday

Philly Beef Skillet Recipe

Build a Menu RecipePhilly Beef Skillet: on Sneak Peek Monday

If you have not yet met our friends from Build a Menu – you should hop over to their blog or their Facebook page (here) and say hello!

 

Enjoy a few valuable words from Lisa -

I have to admit to you that my kids LOVE Hamburger Helper.  However, I don’t.  I don’t like how processed it all is and how much sodium it has in it.  It is fast and convenient and can make a busy mom feel like she’s cooking a nutritious meal.

I’ve been known to do so as well.  However, I can honestly say it’s probably been at least 3 years since Hamburger Helper has made it’s way into my kitchen.   So, I started looking for other alternatives to the much loved (by my kids) Hamburger Helper and I’m telling you , this recipe is just as quick and easy.

Sure, I had to chop some onion but that really wasn’t a big deal.  It was fast, easy and yummy and I had the satisfaction of knowing that it was also so much more healthy and “clean” than a box of Hamburger Helper.  AND…..it only cost about $10.50 at most major grocery stores for the ingredients and serves 4-6!  Enjoy!

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, then this is an “S” meal.

 

Philly Beef Skillet

 

Download your FREE printable recipe

and read more about the mission and the resources available at Build a Menu.

Molly Members – Check your Member Page for a special discount code to save big on the already affordable full program at BAM or take advantage of your exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime menu planners – now also downloadable from your Molly Green Member page!

We have more great member benefits coming your way – stay tuned!!

 

Importance of family dinners: & Recipe from Build a Menu

In the fast paced world we live in, it can be easy to forget the importance of bringing the family together around the table.

Guest post by Lisa Holcomb of Build a Menu

Nacho beef soup - build a menu

 

10 Conversation Starters for Dinner Time

     When you think of happy families sitting around the table eating dinner do you conjure up thoughts of “Leave it to Beaver” or some other old sitcom?   The mother walking around in her apron, high heels and pearls with a perfectly set table, perfect dinner and perfect family all sitting at the table.

Well, let’s get real please.  I know that’s sure not me.  Just like you, I’m a homeschooling, chauffeuring, (sometimes scatter brained), Jesus loving, busy, busy mom.  I’m usually doing good to get all four of my boys and my husband to the table in the evening.  Not that they don’t want to eat, just our busy schedules can get in the way.  However, we do try to make it a priority to eat dinner together as a family as many nights during the week as possible.  Some nights are harder than others.  Some nights we’re not all at home.  Still, we make it a priority as much as we can and I find that we are able to be together around the dinner table more often than not.

It really is amazing what a difference a positive meal time can make in children and families. Studies show that children who dine with the family:

  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • are happier
  • are better adjusted  
  • are more socially adept
  • get better grades
  • are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol
  • are less likely to suffer from eating disorders, obesity or depression

Kids of all ages benefit from family meal time together.  Teens and tweens need the family table time.  They need the positive atmosphere and conversation that should take place at the table.  They need to be reminded that they are valued and loved.

Our two youngest children were adopted from the Texas foster care system and its amazing how much healing can be done around the kitchen table eating a meal together and bonding. Families who eat together share values together.

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sunda...

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sundays the two married sons of the Sergents, their wives and children often… – NARA – 541343 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Need some conversation starters for dinner time?  Here are just a few fun ones:

  1. If you couldn’t watch TV or go online for a month, how would you spend that time?
  2. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?  (This one is a regular topic at our table.)
  3. How can you tell someone you love them without using words?
  4. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
  5. If you could trade places with your parents for a day, how would you do things differently?
  6. If you could have another name what would you choose?
  7. Would you rather meet your great great grandparents or your great great grandchildren?
  8. If you could be brilliant in one subject, which would you choose?
  9. What do you think Heaven will be like?
  10. In what era would you most like to have grown up (besides the current one)?

Does your family have any favorite topics or dinner time games they like to play? We’d love to hear about them.

Try this fun dish for family game night!

This soup recipe really hit the spot and was so easy and quick to make and cost about $11.00 for the ingredients to feed my family of 6.  If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama, then this is an “S” meal for you.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did.

nacho beef soup

 

Molly Green Members enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime –  weekly menu & shopping list -access right from your Molly Member Page!
Members – be sure to check out the SUPERBOWL Menu in your Dine on a Dime section this week!!! Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?

Build a Menu Anniversary Special

build a menu special

The Build a Menu Anniversary Special is here!

Have you “met” the ladies from Build a Menu? We have a special word from them today and we are excited to celebrate with them on their 2nd Anniversary.

Find out more about who they are and what they are all about in the guest post below:

Trying to get dinner on the table for your family and keep your grocery budget under control can be frustrating. Any busy mom can tell you menu planning can be one of the most frustrating jobs we have! Fortunately, there are services such as Build a Menu that can help you plan a menu your family will love. Build A Menu not only provides you with new recipes to choose from each week, each recipe shows the current cost to buy its ingredients at the store, making it super easy to keep a handle on your grocery budget.

BAM helping families

What makes it even better is that you can design your selections around the grocery store where you shop. Choose from different recipe categories based on your family’s individual preferences. You’re not locked in to just one menu, but rather you can mix and match any way you like!

BAM 3 easy steps

 

In three easy steps you can select the store you like to shop at, pick your recipes and print your customized shopping list. Voila! You’re done menu planning for the week!

Build a Menu has a variety of recipes to choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and desserts as well. Simply select the store where you want to shop, choose the recipes you want, print out the recipes and shopping list, and you’re ready to go…including the prices for the ingredients that you will be purchasing.

How great is that!?

BAM categories

You can choose recipes from any of these categories to create a menu that’s perfect for you family:

Family Friendly
Trim Healthy Mama
Low Carb
Gluten Free
Low Fat/Sensible Portions
Allergy Friendly (No gluten, dairy, nuts)
Vegetarian
Slow Cooker
Soups On
Crowd Pleasers
Manly Meals

Not only is Build A Menu committed to helping families save time and money thru menu planning, they also donate a portion of their proceeds to orphan care charities, so when you join Build A Menu, you’ll also be joining in their effort to support these charities!
To save you even more money, use Coupon Code 12for35 and get ½ off a year membership making it only $35 for the entire year.  Hop on over and get started now!

Molly members – Get a 3 month membership for Only $15 (regularly $8) See your Membership page for special code and link.  Molly members also have exclusive access to the special downloads from BAM’s Dine on a Dime menu and shopping lists – RIGHT from your Molly Member page!

All Molly readers can get a special $4 off on your first month with coupon code SaveMeMoney – or take advantage of the SUPER 1/2 off the annual membership with Coupon Code 12for35 – Go here to get started today! 

Build a Menu: Puffy Chicken Recipe

build a menu - trim healthy mama

 

This Build a Menu: Puffy Chicken recipe has 3 ingredients, takes about 5 min to prepare and about 35 min for it to cook! It costs an average of $10 at most major grocery stores.  Best part is, my family really enjoyed it!  Hope yours does as well.  Enjoy.

build a menu - puffy chicken 3 ingredients, about 5 min to prepare it and about 35 min for it to cook and cost an average of $10 at most major grocery stores.  Best part is, my family really enjoyed it!  Hope yours does as well.  Enjoy.

If you are on the Trim Healthy Mama plan then this is an S meal.

Ingredients
  • 4-6 chicken breast boneless skinless
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Mix together Parmesan cheese with mayonnaise, to make a thick paste.
  2. Place chicken in a pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven till half-done.
  3. Turn over the chicken pieces and coat each thickly with the cheese/mayo mixture. Return to oven and bake until done.
  4. The paste will puff up into a delicious coating.

- See more and print the recipe on the Build a Menu blog here.

Molly Members will soon have weekly exclusive access to the BAM – Dine on a Dime planners!

Find out more about the new member benefits here.

Learn how having a Molly membership can save you money!

New Molly Green: Sneak Peek Monday

all new molly green

All New Molly Green Magazine

Launching in January with all new benefits

Just in case you haven’t heard, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the all new Molly Green Magazine!  The blog will be getting a makeover and members will gain all new benefits as well as a new focus for the magazine.

You’ll enjoy the same frugal advice and information you’ve come to trust, with a deeper focus on the art of homesteading,  back yard farming,  and all things home industry.

Benefits include a video sharing platform to share how-to’s on canning, recipes, gardening and all related topics. Members will have the opportunity to network and sell their homemade & handmade/small business items in their very own cottage stores at no additional cost.

New columns from our friends at Build a Menu with exclusive access to their Dine on a Dime planner, and monthly column by The Fly Lady and more!

Right now, you can lock in the special rate – $1 for the first month, and $3.85 monthly thereafter.  This special introductory rate won’t last. The membership price will increase with the new launch and platform coming in January.

If you are considering a membership to the all new Molly Green, now is the time to get this valuable resource to help you save money, become more self sufficient, and to learn about all things home industry.

Join us here to get your membership and lock in your discounted rate today!

Need a recipe to use up leftover Christmas ham? Go here

Check back tomorrow for a delicious recipe & more – to help you ring in the new year!