Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept 22/14

Menu Plan Monday for Sept 22/14 - come join us!

Hello friends!  It’s Menu Plan Monday and here we are once again reunited as we prepare our menu plans for an organized week ahead.  Whoot, whoot!

So last week after a busy day, I had a moment as I walked into the kitchen and was just so relieved to see the slow cooker working away on the counter. I had to share my relief on Instagram of course :)

Slow Cooker

Gosh I love my slow cooker.  It’s about 15 years old but it keeps slugging away for me week after week.  I’d much rather prepare my food in the morning when I have more energy in my step and not worn down from the day.  I’m always surprised that more people don’t utilize this amazing appliance.  It’s such a beautiful thing :)  You can find some of my family favorite slow cooker recipes HERE.  Do you love or hate yours?

Menu Planning Resource:

Speaking of slow cookers, I found a  great site called The Sassy Slow Cooker and they shared earlier this month a September calendar full of slow cooker recipes that you can download for free.  Check it out HERE.  It looks like they prepare a new one each month.


My Weekly Menu:

Monday:  BLTA with Spicy Mayo with Warm Lentil Salad

Tuesday:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Wednesday:  Fettuccini Alfredo with Sausage (I’ll add some peas for a veggie as well)

Thursday:  Church get together ~ No Bake Peanut Butter Bars, dinner is leftover buffet as usual :)

Friday:  Crab and Corn Chowder with Bacon & Jalapeno

Saturday:  Slow Cooker Honey Maple BBQ Ribs served with mashed potatoes and corn

Sunday:  YOYO (you’re on your own)

Have a great week everyone!!


Menu Plan Guidelines, banner selections and recipe helpers are here.

More family favorite recipes here.

Don’t forget to join the growing Menu Plan Monday Facebook Page!!

One of my favorite menu planning resources:

  Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat


Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

5 Ideas for Fitting in Exercise at Home

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.

I am guessing that most of us wish that we had the time (or found a way to make the time) to exercise more often. And even though we might belong to a gym- finding the 20 minutes to drive there, arriving at least 5 minutes before the start of the class, taking the class, and then driving the 20 minutes back home takes a sizable chunk out of our day. For me, I find that I can barely squeeze in the hour to work out- so driving to/from a gym makes me throw in the towel (literally) and opt to do nothing at all.

5 Ideas for Fitting in Exercise at Home

But honestly- there’s no need to join a gym in order to make exercise a part of your life. There’s plenty of ways to exercise at home- you just need to be committed to a routine that works for you. So here are a few tips that are helping me to fit in exercise at home:

Fitting In Exercise- Clothing

1. Dress for Success

As soon as I am up for the day, I put on my workout clothes and sneakers. If I am dressed to exercise- then I feel this constant pull to actually do it. Even if I prioritize a few other things first (like getting my kids off to school), looking down at those workout/yoga pants is a reminder of my commitment to get moving!

Fitting In Exercise- machine

2. Consider Investing in Equipment

We invested in a really nice elliptical a while back, justifying the cost by telling ourselves that for the price of two year-long gym memberships, we could have our own gym-quality piece of equipment at home. And then, the darn machine went unused for so long. One way that we forced ourselves to get more use out of it was to move it into our bedroom. We figured if we saw it every day- hopefully we would remember to use it! (And it worked!)

These days the elliptical is down in our finished basement, which is actually a great place to exercise. But what gets me on the machine is the lure of a good book. I can read from my e-reader while working out if I increase the font size of the text. And once I am hooked on a good book- the draw to read another chapter or two is enough to motivate me to get on the machine!

Now keep in mind- you do not need to buy brand new gym equipment from the high end store! Craigslist and Freecycle are great sources for inexpensive or even free treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. Many with very little wear on them (as people buy these machines with good intentions but end up not sticking with their plan!). I also use a set of hand weights and a soft mat (for sit ups and push ups) in my “home gym”.


3. Go For a Walk

But honestly, when the weather is nice, you don’t need any fancy equipment…. just a good pair of walking shoes and the paved road in front of your home! Walking can be great exercise if you set a pace that keeps your heart rate up- and just about everyone can do it- for free!

I’ve downloaded the Nike Running App (for free!) and even though I am not a runner, it keeps track of the distance I’ve covered, and the time for each mile walked. It motivates me to pick up my pace and walk for longer distances.


4. Make Exercise a Family Activity

I love to go on long hikes in the woods. It combines my favorite things- walking and enjoying nature! But my kids don’t naturally share my enthusiasm for this activity- especially when it means getting up early on a Sunday morning! So my husband and I came up with a way to inspire them to want to join us… and we gave it a name: Sunday Morning Hiking Club! (Because once an event has an official sounding name and a rewards system- I can get the kids to do pretty much anything!).

For every 10 hikes they take with us, they earn a trip to their favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt shop and they can order whatever they want with whatever toppings they would like! Now they actually ask to go hiking each Sunday!

5. Yoga at Home

I also love practicing yoga- for the calm and peace it brings to my mind, for the way it helps me to stretch my muscles and improves my balance. And for several years now I’ve been doing yoga at home using an online yoga studio called yogaglo. For $18 a month, you can stream unlimited yoga classes. They offer classes in 9 different disciplines and at 5 different mastery levels. And there are various class lengths as well- so if I only have time for a 45 minute class, I just choose the type of practice (I am a fan of Vinyasa Flow), and the level (2), and class length- and in seconds, I am in class!

The sessions are filmed at a yoga studio in Santa Monica CA, and the camera is stationed in front of the instructor but towards the back of the room, so you get the benefit of seeing and hearing the teacher, but also of watching other students too. It’s a lot like being in the actual class!

What are your best tips for fitting in exercise at home? Please leave us a comment and share!

Sharon Rowley Head Shot 150 x 150 Thumbnail If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me over on GreatFamilyRoadTrips- where I share ideas and itineraries to inspire you to hit the road!





Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Sharon

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

I promised this recipe for gluten free apple crisp awhile ago and have just now gotten around to making it again and taking some pictures for you.  I honestly could never be a food blogger, you wouldn’t believe how many pictures I took just to get these couple of half-way decent ones.  Anyway I am […]

Filed under: Recipes, Recipes-Allergy Free

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept 15/14

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle on Sale Now!!

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday!  Whether you are here for some quick and easy recipe ideas or sharing your own weekly menu plan with us I’m so glad you stopped by!! I’m happy to say that after our day of snow fall last week it is all gone now.  Whew, I was not ready for […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday

My Organized Traveling Pharmacy

My Traveling Pharmacy

So one thing I find really helpful whenever I’m doing any kind of travel, whether it’s via air or road, is to take along a traveling pharmacy.  If you’ve read my blog for awhile you’ll know I like to be prepared for all the things and when it comes to medication, I’ve learned, it’s important […]

Filed under: Containerizing, Organizing Solutions

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept 8/14


Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere I look on blogland.  Oh my goodness stop the recipe madness ha!  Just kidding, I know many of you love all things pumpkin in the fall season which is why it appears in my above fall Menu Plan Monday banner.  However I did get pretty excited when I shared on Facebook my […]

Filed under: Menu Plan Monday