Be Kind to your mind! Seriously, as moms and busy parents we have a tendency to be kind and loving to everyone around except ourselves. We tack on overbearing pressure and even carry anguish around 24/7. This week lets practice talking to our-self a little more kind and a lot more loving! A great analogy we found from the incredible Brene’ Brown says, “talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love” and wow, those words really hit home! So this week, let’s push past the negative talk and remind yourself how truly incredible you are in each and every moment! #PositiveVibesOnly
Dinners this Week
So a great rule of thumb is one night dinner, the next night leftovers. Most of the time we have a hard time doing this because I have a man and two teens in the house, they’re literally bottomless pits. This week, we’re utilizing the Instant Pot & Crock-pot because, one pot meals are life & momma has zero time to make dinner 7 times this week. So here we go!
Find ways to use ingredients in multiple meals…
- Monday: Olive Garden Copy Cat- Zuppa Toscana from Margin Making Mom website.
- Tuesday: Chicken Caesar Salad (Romaine, Shredded Parm, Grilled Chicken & hard boiled eggs)
- Wednesday: Leftovers! Soup & Salad for dinner
- Thursday: Jasmine Rice with Stir-Fry veggies from The Schmidty Wife Blog
- Make it a meatless night, or try: tofu, chicken, beef, or shrimp (all are delicious!)
- Make your own teriyaki flavor with:
- 1/2 c. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp of corn starch or try Xanthan Gum if watching carb in-take
- Friday: Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 4-6 thighs, 3-4 breast or even a whole chicken in the Crock-pot
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of red enchilada sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, & 1/2 tsp salt
- Cook on low 6-7 hours OR high for 4-5 hours
- Pull chicken out and shred, strain sauce from pot to remove chunks.
- Add chicken and sauce back to pot
- Make tacos, nachos, or even burritos
- Saturday/Sunday Leftovers:
- Use up that leftover rice & Mexican flavored chicken for a Chipolte inspired bowl!
Soul Scripts to Remember
There’s nothing more comforting and inspirational, than reading a great devotion to help a mom when she’s stressed out. Some really awesome books I flip between each morning, when I’m having coffee with Jesus, and before the whole house is up, are:
- Too Blessed to be Stressed by Debora M. Coty
- God Hears Her; Stories by multiple women & families
- Pressing Pause by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk (this is my absolute favorite!)
These books help ground my thoughts, and calm my soul, because Lord knows I am not perfect and need as much help as I can get. So here’s a great soul script I hope gives you peace as you are going about your week:
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.Proverbs 31:25-26 NIV
This scripture is always a beautiful reminder of what I’m working towards. Most of the time, however, as a human I worry, and am consumed by overwhelming moments of anxiety. When our kids are young we think of every possible catastrophe that can occur. As our babies grow into adolescents we just turn that spinning worry into “what if’s?” But, what if we could turn our worrisome thoughts into powerful inner strength?
Keeping Kids Busy While Working at Home
Alright moms! We are living through history in the making and as if there wasn’t enough on our plates, this COVID thing is exemplifying emotions, our work loads, and ability to juggle a work-life balance (whatever that’s supposed to mean). Mom’s have been asking for ideas to keep kids busy during the day so they can get busy at work. Here is a break down of some cool ideas for kids of all ages that helped me get through each day.
Stations for Little’s
- Set up 2-3 stations in your house & swap them out weekly (I know it’s a pain, but it REALLY works!) here were the kids favorite:
- Shopping center: grab cans, pasta boxes, whatever, and tape a sticky on it with a price tag. Set up a little grocery store with a calculator (the one’s that make sounds are primo) and tell the kids to go shopping for you to make: a cake, dinner, a snack for daddy…whatever.
- Math Station: Use white boards, erasable markers, chalkboards free downloadable printouts, and cereal to create little math activities based on your child’s age. Draw a number and use a glue stick to have kids put cereal on.
- Spelling Station: Similar to math, pull down worksheets for your child’s age, grab some crayons and maybe add in a YouTube video for learning (PBS Kids is a great place to find ideas also).
- Art Caddy: Fill up an art bin with multiple dollar store crafts and projects. Play-doh, beans or rice for a sensory table (this one is messy so make it outside: fill up the water table with beans/rice in winter months). Washable hand paint, those fuzzy little balls & googly eyes to make little creatures, but most of all make a folder on Pinterest and save some ideas.
- Creativity Box: Try using those leftover Halloween costumes or hitting the thrift store for dress-up items. We had a bin full of costumes (Thank you Aunt Betty!!) from our incredible in-laws that saved all of their boys costumes and handed them down to us.
- Art in a box: Kids love boxes as much as cats…If you give them a box and let them go at it with crayons (little kids) markers (bigger ones) construction paper, glitter, etc…I promise you won’t be disappointed. Plus for little one’s it counter acts as a play-pin! You can also print pictures of things like curious George and glue to the inside, ask your child to, “color George a fruit garden…” or something similar to get their imagination going.
There really is no wrong way to have a station, but the idea is to set up 2-3 that will give moms some time to get work completed throughout the day. I know kids can get tired of things pretty quickly, so give them some ground rules such as (math table time), “I need you to make me three 5’s with cereal so I can send this to grandma” and each time the child comes back give them another task.
Once my kids hit a certain age, we stopped doing stations and started going to a daily calendar with set time-frames for each task. For my busy life, working full-time, traveling, and having the boys home during the summer months, time slots worked best for us. It went like this:
- 9-10 a.m. Wake Up: Clean Room, Brush Teeth/Hair, Quick Shower, Hang Towels, and Grab some breakfast.
- 11-12 noon Help Around the House: Do your designated chore for the week, if you don’t do it, you don’t get an allowance for that day (we give allowance daily based on their work. If mom/dad has to ask you to do your chores you loose your money. They swap weekly and include: dishes; their bathroom; feed & water animals; clean sliding glass door; empty trash in all rooms of the house, vacuum the rugs, and sweep tile.)
- 1-1:30 p.m. We all make lunch together and eat, or we have a treat and go out for something quick (if I can step away from work that long).
- 1:30-3:30 p.m. Free time, which pretty much means X-Box.
- 3:30 – 4:00 Read a book together for 30-mins. This month we’re reading “The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas” by John Boyne.
- 4:00-4:15 We talk about the book and what we think is going to happen.
- 4:15 – The rest of the day: Kids go outside and swim, ride bikes to pond, go fishing, or do the Pokemon Go tracking (my youngest is still obsessed with Pokemon).
This is pretty much the routine we keep for the summer, and at least once or twice a week we were going to the library with weekends spent at the beach or fishing/kayaking, however, this summer with COVID-19, we don’t have the library, so I’ve been buying books online at Alibris.com or the used section of Amazon.
Netflix & Podcasts
This week we’re dishing out our favorite Netflix & Binge shows AND our favorite Podcasts! Sometimes you just need to take a break and get away from it all while listening/watching your favorite show.
Netflix & Chill
- Ozark: Season 3 is out now and whoa! From business man to money laundering dad, Jason Bateman really pulls out all of the stops in this suspenseful series. Characters along for the ride don’t disappoint either! You’re gonna love this if you liked Breaking Bad.
- Colony: What happens when aliens come to take over the Earth? You’ll find out in this action packed series. The ride is non-stop and the drama never-ending. If you like apocalyptic shows like “The Walking Dead” you’ll definitely enjoy this one.
- Unsolved Mysteries: Ummm, can someone say bring back the 80’s please??? This old-school series refurbished is legit incredible, and you actually might finish it all in one day. Super well done, and still captivating as ever!
- Stranger Things: I watched this by myself the first time around, but we just watched all seasons with the tweens. It was just as great the second time around, and still bringing that excited anticipation of the approaching climax.
Podcasts Worth Binging:
- LISK: The Long Island Serial Killer: This show is incredible all the way through. It’s captivating, holds your attention, and engulfs an “Up and Vanished” type of setting. Well done, well thought out, and absolutely executed to perfection! If you like True Crime mysteries, this one is for you!
- Up First: I can’t watch the news lately, it’s suffocating and just over the top riddled with pushing a hateful agenda, and I can’t do it. However, I do want to know what in the heck is going on, without a biased gene, and I LOVE the way “Up First” with NPR is doing a quick morning synopsis of the previous day’s news. The research is well thought out, and the information can easily be fact checked.
- Overheard: a National Geographic Podcast bringing out the science of everyday life through a series of different different stories including prehistoric facts, engineering, and history through the eyes of a Mongolian Paleontologist. Great quick pods about all kinds of interesting tidbits of info!
- Uncover: A CBC Production: There are several Series within this Podcast, and each is fantastic! You can’t pick just one favorite. Starting with Season 1 we hear the story of people in Hollywood on trial for running a cult ring at NXIVM, and then Season 4 captivates with a small town mystery and a missing cat lady. WOW! All of the seasons are brilliantly laid out.
That sums up our weekly tips! We hope you enjoyed or at least got some great ideas to help your week flow a little easier and lighter. Drop comments below on what you liked, didn’t, or want more of! We’d love to hear from you. Have a great week mom!