What's for dinner?
Hmmm? I'm not sure most of the time.
Because life is so busy, sometimes I barely have time to go to the grocery store. If I'm honest, I always put off the things I like least, and grocery shopping is one of those things. Don't get me wrong. I love to cook, it's just the planning, coupon hunting, label reading, and shopping I don't like.
This year, Dan and I decided to try something radical. First, we had already tried three companies who deliver boxed meals pre-cut and proportioned and all that's left is the cooking. This didn't work for us at all. Either we didn't like the meals or some of the food would go bad before I could use it all. Not to mention, most are way over priced for what you get in the box.
What was the best decision ever?
We went with a menu planning service. So far, the best decision I've made to manage my home in a long time! That's why I wanted to share it with you in this month's blog.
First, let me say that grocery shopping has come a long way. Many local stores have now created one-click shopping which is a great way to save time. Shop on-line, click it into the cart, set up a pick up time, and they bring your groceries to the car. My only problem with this concept is choosing the right products since I can't actually touch them, read them, and economically choose them in person. Clearly, the grocery-gathering team at your local store is probably not as interested in managing your budget or your health as you are.
Believe it or not, that one-click shopping could be more effective and save you more time and money if you went with a menu planning membership. After doing a lot of research, and trying a few free-trial short term on-line memberships, I found the one I love. It's called "Relish, Relish". You can find it here: https://www.relishrelish.com/relish-home/
This is what I love....
If you are in a "What's for Dinner" rut, I highly recommend a menu service membership. Don't forget to look for an online coupon for the membership before purchase. I actually got my membership for half-price with a coupon from retailmenot.com.
Happy Shopping! Happy Cooking!
Do you panic when the tree is up and the decorations are on and an entire strand of lights go out? I know I do. In fact, it's already happened to us this year right at the top of our tree. This means we have to go get out the ladder, drag it up the stairs, climb it and let the hunting begin. Finding that one bad apple that spoiled the whole bunch can be a big headache.
Here's the great new! We own a Light Keeper Pro. It's an "As Seen on TV" gadget but unlike many of the other things the over indulgent infomercials sell, this one actually works! It's saved us a lot of time and headache when it comes to lights going out on the tree. You can find them on line at Lowe's, Hobby Lobby, Amazon and more for around $20 - $25
Here's the link to the manufacturer where you can search for a store near you! You'll thank me later.
Merry Christmas from my palace to yours!
Happy Thanksgiving Y'all! It's one of my most favorite times of the year. The season to gather around the table with friends and family and give thanks for all things good while feasting on all things delicious. I thought I'd share a recipe this month for the side dish that's never missing whenever Turkey is served. It's been around so long I can't imagine Thanksgiving without it. It seems only natural that even Adam and Eve might have tried it. After all they were the first real pilgrims in a new land flowing with milk and honey and they had plenty of cranberries and apples in the garden. We call it Cranberry Apple Crunch, and it's considered a family tradition at the White House. You can serve this dish along side your bird to add a little sweetness to the table. In keeping with God's sentiments at the time of creation, "It is very, very good!"
FOR THE FRUIT FILLING
FOR THE TOPPING
Ever wonder how to clean the goo off your sofa or another piece of furniture for that matter? It can be a real beast to get that undesirable spot out of that "dry clean only" fabric. I'm going to share my secret with you. The magic potion is rubbing alcohol. That's right, rubbing alcohol is much like dry cleaning fluid because it's not water based. That means you can use it to clean fabrics usually without the risk of leaving behind a water stain because it quickly evaporates into the air. In fact, if you are trying to get a wet water spot out of something, you can often use rubbing alcohol to evaporate it more quickly. Alcohol is often the "go to" for many stain remover specialists when it comes to spots on your favorite wool rug, carpets made of other materials, or any other dry clean only textile fabric.
Not only can you use it at home, but it may come in handy when shopping. Recently I found a great chair I wanted to purchase, but unfortunately it had a few issues. I wasn't sure if they were fixable. I just happen to keep those little alcohol packets you get at fast food restaurants in my purse for just such an occasion. I grabbed an alcohol packet from my purse, tore it open, and spot tested it on a hidden area underneath the chair. Realizing that the alcohol was not a risk to the fabric, I used the towelette to clean off one of the spots on the chair. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The spot came right off. The chair also had two small spots where sticky goo from a price tag had stuck to the chair and it wasn't coming off by hand. I tried to get it off with my finger nail but to no avail because it was a velveteen type fabric. I then used the alcohol swab to see if I could get the monster goo off one of the smaller spots. Hooray! It did come off with a little elbow grease. Here was my reality. I knew the store was not going to go to that much trouble to clean up the chair and they had already reduced its price. I called over the manager and showed him all the spots. Then I asked him what was the best price he could give on the chair. Amazingly, I walked away with a $250 dollar chair for $54 bucks. That's what I call "bringing home the bacon". With just a little elbow grease and some rubbing alcohol I had myself a deal!
The next time you're eating ribs or in Chic-fil-a with children and gooey hands, grab a couple extra alcohol packets for your purse. When you're out shopping for that perfect item but what you find has a few imperfections pull out the swab and see what happens.
My philosophy is it's saving the environment when we are willing to take something with a few flaws, versus having to buy everything in perfect condition. It keeps a few more items from the garbage heap. After all weren't we a mess covered in monster goo when Jesus found us? The way I see it, if he hadn't thought it worth his while to clean me up I would have remained in my messy state and never have reached my potential. I am grateful for his mercy that cleaned up my life and gave me a chance at destiny. In fact, I think he gets a bargain, after all our dirty spots are removed we're not left with flaws but real character!
Have you ever lost your car in the proverbial parking garage? I hate to confess it, but I have and more than once. What's worse is when you can't find your car and it's so cold you have a brain freeze and can't remotely begin to think about where you parked. So here's a few hacks I recently came up with as I was wondering through that deck from the Twilight Zone.
Let's face it, if you've lost your car and your short the dilemma is even more real. What that means for me when I'm trying to find my misplaced car is the necessity of standing on my tip-toes to try and see over the multitude of vehicles to spot my ride. If you have a popular make and model, that task becomes even harder. My car is a popular one and I've found myself a few times trying to get into the wrong car because I failed to remember exactly where I parked. Here are some basic things I've come up with to fix the dilemma.
Use Your Technology, You Are Paying for It!
The next time you find yourself parking in a deck or large parking lot, take out your cell phone and text yourself the location where you parked. Better yet, take a picture with your cell phone of the lot and row signs before leaving your car behind.
Use that Automatic Key Fob, It Does More Than Just Crank Your Car!
If you have an automatic key fob opener with an alarm, set it off. Hit the alarm button and the task gets a whole lot easier and it makes you safer in the shady deck as well. This is great if you don't even know what floor you parked on. You'll quickly be able to tell if your on the right level. If not go to the next level and try it again.
Raise That Hatchback or Trunk!
If you don't have an alarm, but you happen to have a hatch back with an auto open button on the key fob, take advantage of it. If I'm in a parking lot and I can't spot my car, I hit the auto hatch back button and the door slowly raises. The great news is, my car suddenly becomes taller than all the other vehicles in the lot and I can see it from a distance despite my short stature. Once I spot the hatchback door, I simple close it back and lock the car and make my way to my vehicle. If you have an auto trunk pop button and you drive a sedan, you can do the same thing. Your car won't be as tall as that mini-van or SUV, but it will definitely point out your vehicle among all the others.
Nobody wants to be stranded and wandering around looking for their car especially in the Fall and Winter months when it's too cold to think straight. Take advantage of these ideas, trust me they work. Good luck the next time you take a drive to a large lot or parking deck. It's a jungle out there!