Preparing Your Child For Back To School

It’s almost time to head back to school.  Those lazy, carefree days of summer are about to be over, which means no more staying up late and sleeping in.  Help get your kid’s school year off to a great start by establishing a back to school routine.

To get them back into the swing of things, you will need to implement your plan as early as possible.  The longer you wait to get your children into the habit of going to bed at a set time, the harder time they will have getting up for school the next morning.  

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you purchase through my link.

You as a parent will also want to make sure that you are prepared as well.  Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies and other school essentials.

Before you get overwhelmed, consider these tips for easing back into the school routine.

 

 

A good day starts with a good night’s sleep

 

Preparing Your Child For Back To School

It’s not unusual for parents to allow their children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year.  My son stays up past midnight on occasion during the summer and then, of course, sleeps late the next morning.

If possible, have your child start going to bed earlier two weeks before school starts.  Explain to your children the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake during school. It will also help them focus on the tasks before them.  

Wake up at the same time every morning   

Most experts agree children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best. Make sure that your child wakes up in time to wash, dress and have breakfast without feeling rushed.  

Stock up on school supplies

Most schools will give you a specific list of supplies that will be needed, but you can make sure you have the basics on hand: pencils, paper, erasers, and for younger kids, you will need to add crayons, markers, and glue.

Preparing Your Child For Back To School

Prepare your wardrobe the night before

By preparing your wardrobe the night before, your child won’t feel rushed or waste precious time in the morning by trying to decide on what to wear.  I am a huge advocate of preparing for the next day the night before.

Have your child gather clothing, shoes, and any accessories that they plan to wear at night so that things will go smoothly the next morning.

Arrange carpools or other transportation

Know how your child is getting to and from school and any after-school activities. Make sure that transportation arrangements have been made ahead of time.

Register for after-school activities

In order to ensure that your child gets to participate in the activities of his/her choice, remember to sign up before the deadline.

Stay on top of paperwork

Go through any papers sent home with your child on a daily basis.  Read each piece, then decide if you should trash it, or put it in a “to do” or “to file” pile.  Mark significant dates on your family calendar.

Image Via StyleandDwell.com

Create a command center or calendar central

Create a centralized place or command center like the one above by Style & Dwell , for all family calendars and schedules in order to avoid over scheduling. I personally use the Day Designer as my family’s calendar. 

Choose a calendar format that works for your family. Include a family event calendar to track all after-school activities and any special school programs. Be sure to include school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules. Post your family calendar in a place that is easily accessible to all family members.


We as parents want the best for our kids.  By getting your kids re-adjusted to a routine before school starts, they are more alert.  When kids are more alert, they are able to function at their best, which of course is our ultimate goal. Here’s to an awesome school year!

Preparing Your Child For Back To School
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Six Ways To Carve Out Me Time When Life Gets Busy

As a busy mom, the thought of enjoying “me time” seems not only self-centered, but often downright impossible. Most of us can barely get five minutes a day to ourselves, let alone squeezing in an hour or two of me-time.

It’s important for your sanity that you spend some time doing things that you enjoy. It can be something as simple as enjoying a few moments of silence while sipping on a cup of tea.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.”

Anne Lamott

My secret to carving out me-time, is by scheduling it. When I plan out my  week, I make sure that I pencil in some time for ME.

I know that it may be impossible to schedule uninterrupted time each day, so instead try setting aside an entire day once a month to spend doing whatever you like.  And it’s quite alright if you spend that day doing absolutely nothing!

Be sure to make arrangements with your spouse or significant other beforehand so that they are available to have the kids while you take some much needed time to for YOU.

Below are six ways that you can enjoy a few moments of  “me-time.”


 

Exercise

We know that health is important – both physical and mental. Go outside and take a brisk walk or if you’re in the mood, go for a run. If your schedule allows, take a group class weekly, or hit up the gym a few times throughout the week.

Find a physical activity that you love, and then the “me time” becomes a bonus.

Treat Yourself To Lunch

Treat yourself to a leisurely meal alone at a nice sit-down restaurant or your favorite eatery. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, this would be a perfect time to try out a new dish or even a different type of restaurant than the ones you normally frequent.

Journal

Let your feelings out on paper. Write down your emotions, stresses, ideas, dreams, worries, fears – whatever you choose. This is something that can be done one time or on a daily basis.

I personally like to journal either first thing in the morning or before I go to bed. Keep a small notebook or journal with you, and reach for it whenever the mood strikes.

Six Ways to Carve Out Me Time When Life Gets Busy

 

Go Shopping

This is one of my favorites! Every now and then my husband and son spend the day doing “guy” stuff so that I can spend the day shopping.

Sometimes I splurge on a few outfits, at other times I simply window shop for a few hours. Often times I will make a day of it and have lunch and even squeeze in a mani/pedi.

Use this time to hit up several of your favorite stores. Even if you don’t buy anything, go ahead and try on two or three different outfits.

If you’re not really into clothes, go to your favorite furniture or home decor store and browse. Or buy yourself a plant or two, or three.  I personally love plants, and sis, you can never have too many.

Catch A Movie

Let hubby tend to the kids, or drop them off with a sitter for a few hours and head to the movie theater. Grab you some popcorn (extra butter of course) and a drink and enjoy the show.

Spend Some Time Outdoors

When the weather permits, I like to spend daily quiet time outside on my patio. Steal away for a few hours and just enjoy some time with nature.

Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds sing, lie in the grass and watch the clouds or grab a glass of lemonade and enjoy a book underneath a tree.

Taking time each day to relax and unwind can help boost your immunity, make you more productive and even help stimulate creativity.

I know that it can be difficult at first, but learn to make yourself a priority. You will be better equipped to care for those that you love when you do.

 

How do you enjoy your me-time?

Seven Netflix Movies Perfect For Couples To Enjoy

Seven Netflix Movies Perfect For Couples To Enjoy
 
One of my favorite pastimes is binge-watching Netflix movies. My honey and I love to snuggle on the couch together and watch a good movie. If you and your significant other can’t find a sitter for the kids or just want to spend the evening at home, why not make it a movie night. Trust me, there is no shortage of good flicks on Netflix. So gather together a few of your favorite snacks, pour yourselves a beverage, grab your remote and chill while watching one of these movies.
 

1. Brain On Fire (Drama)

Susannah Cahalan (Chloe Grace Moretz), is an up-and-coming journalist at the New York Post. She suddenly becomes plagued by voices in her head, along with seizures. As the week’s progress, Susannah delves deeper into insanity. Her violent behavior progresses into catatonia. After a series of tantrums, misdiagnoses, and a lengthy hospital stay, a doctor’s last-minute intervention enables him to give her a proper diagnosis and a chance to rebuild her life.
This movie is actually based on true events and sheds light on a little known but harrowing medical condition.
 

2. Set It Up (Romantic Comedy)

Two young overworked and underpaid assistants in New York City realize they can make their lives easier by setting up their workaholics bosses (played by Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu) on a date. While trying to perpetuate this romantic ruse between their nightmare bosses, the assistants realize they might actually be right for each other.
 

3. Message From The King (Thriller)

After losing contact with his younger sister, Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman) arrives in Los Angeles looking for her. Within twenty-four hours he finds unsettling evidence of a life gone awry – sex, drugs, and secrets in the sleazy underbelly of the City of Angels.
Loaded with action, Message from the King is the story of what happens over the next seven days – a brother determined to bring those responsible for his younger sister’s disappearance to justice.
 

4. Irreplaceable You (Romantic Comedy/Drama)

A couple who have known each other since they were eight are destined to be together until death. Irreplaceable You is the heartwarming, romantic story of Abbie (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Michiel Huisman), best friends since childhood who are engaged to be married, and whose tranquil New York lives come crashing down when Abbie receives an unexpected diagnosis. Faced with the prospect of an uncertain timeline, Abbie begins a touching and all too often humorous search for a new love to take care of Sam.
 

5. Naked (Comedy)

Substitute teacher Rob Anderson (Marlon Wayans) is offered a full-time teaching job but is reluctant to make that long-term commitment. He and his fiancée, physician Megan Swope (Regina Hall), fly to Charleston, South Carolina, for their wedding the next day. Rob goes out drinking with his best man, Benny, only to wake up on his wedding day, naked in an elevator in a hotel that’s far from the church. Nervous about finally getting married, Rob is forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours over and over again until he gets things right before his wedding.
 

6. The Duchess (Drama/Romance)

This movie follows the tumultuous life of the 18th-century Duchess of Devonshire (played by Keira Knightley), a bright, popular aristocrat who is trapped in a failed marriage and has to face personal conflicts – including living with her husband’s mistress and falling passionately in love with a young politician (played by Dominic Cooper). Based on Amanda Foreman’s bestselling novel `Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’.
 

7. The Week Of (Comedy)

The week before the marriage of their children, two fathers with opposing personalities, Kenny Lustig (Adam Sandler) and Kirby Cordice (Chris Rock) must put aside their different views on how the wedding should be planned and work together to overcome a series of obstacles. This movie will have you laughing out loud.

What are some of your favorite Netflix movies?

How To Increase Productivity While Working From Home

Do you struggle to prioritize your business with all of the other things going on in your life?

Juggling the demands of work, husband, kids, household chores, and all the other things that life tends to throw at you can be overwhelming.  Trust me, I know the struggle all too well.


Here are five habits that you can implement into your day so that you can increase your productivity – and maintain your sanity. 

 

WAKE UP EARLIER

I know there a lot of people who are on the fence about this one, but I have found that waking up at least 30 or 45 minutes before my family allows me to sip my coffee in peace, gather my thoughts and mentally prepare for the day ahead.


If I sleep in, I tend to feel rushed for the majority of the day.  Now don’t get me wrong, if I feel that I NEED the extra sleep, I have no problem snoozing an extra hour or two.

I have just made it a habit to wake up earlier in order to plan for the day ahead. And I feel so much better when I do.  

 

GET DRESSED

I know, I know. Many of us who work from home consider wearing pajamas all day an added perk. But staying in your pj’s can actually have a negative impact on your daily productivity.

By wearing pajamas all day, it sends signals to your brain to relax.

Dr. Karen Pine, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire says, “When we put on an item of clothing it is common for the wearer to adopt the characteristics associated with that garment. A lot of clothing has symbolic meaning for us, whether it’s ‘professional work attire’ or ‘relaxing weekend wear’, so when we put it on we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning.”

While there is no science that proves wearing a full business suit while sitting at your desk at home will make you more productive than wearing say, a pair of sweats, according to Dr. Pine, the symbolic meaning of the clothes you wear does matter.

I make it a habit to shower and dress daily, even if I have no plans to leave the house. Most days I wear leggings and a tee, but I add a bit of lip gloss and put on earrings. When I make myself look good, I feel better and actually get more accomplished during the day.

By having a designated workspace, you can actually focus on your work when you are in that space.  Without a designated workspace, I can get distracted by the dishes in the sink or the clothes that need to be put in the wash. Next thing I know, I’ve wasted a whole hour running back and forth throughout the house instead of focusing on a single task.

I am fortunate to have an extra bedroom that I use as my office. You don’t have to have an actual office, you can create a separate workspace in a small corner of your home.   When creating your workspace, you will want to accomplish three things:

1) Make sure it is a comfortable space.

2) Make sure your space is clutter free.

3) Make sure your space is free of distractions.  

Creating a designated workspace helps signal to your brain that it is time to work. 

 

Productivity

 

 

TIME BLOCK

I am definitely a pen and paper kind of girl. By writing things down in my planner, it helps me to remember it, and I also get a sense of accomplishment after going over my calendar and actually seeing how much I’ve accomplished that day. Time blocking has increased my level of productivity tremendously.

What is time blocking you ask? A simple definition of time blocking is “blocking off” a time of day in order to accomplish a certain task. You can do this by assigning a task to every hour of each day, or by blocking off 2-3 hours at a time in order to tackle different projects or tasks.

What I do is set aside blocks of time each day for all of my daily tasks such as checking emails, making/returning phone calls, housework, blogging, etc.

While the time blocking method may seem a bit rigid for some, for me, it enables me to plan my day more easily because I know exactly what I have to do and when I need to do it. I also focus my attention on a single task until it is completed. This helps me out so much because I am one who tends to get easily distracted.

Of course, my schedule has to be a bit flexible because I am a stay at home mom and my husband doesn’t work a traditional 9 to 5 job, but time blocking helps to ensure that I will have enough hours set aside to do what is needed for that particular day.  

 

LIMIT SOCIAL MEDIA

In this day and age, I think this is one that we all struggle with.  If I am not mindful of what I am doing, I will have spent a full two hours on social media without even realizing it!

Set aside specific time slots each day for social media. But limit that time! Apart from my specific work time (posting, scheduling and responding to comments), I spend time simply enjoying social media, and interacting with friends.  

Try setting your phone timer for 20 or 30 minutes and enjoy scrolling. And then when the timer goes off -STOP, and move on to the next task.  You can always spend a bit more leisure time on social media during the weekends.  

IN CONCLUSION

Simply put, get up a little earlier so that you can mentally prepare for your day. Plan out your days ahead of time, both business and personal. Create a designated environment free of distractions that will allow you to be more productive so that you can get more done. Rid yourself of time wasters and try not to get sucked down the rabbit hole that is social media.

 

How to Increase Productivity While Working From Home

 
What are some of the things you do to increase your productivity? I’d love to hear them.

Seven Summer Essentials Every Girl Must Have

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using my links.

Images are clickable

Summer is officially here! Can’t you just picture it … clear blue skies, lazy days by the pool, and endless sunshine.

With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure that you are prepared to enjoy those fun-filled and carefree days of summer.

Check out this list of essential items that every girl should have.


A flattering swimsuit

A nice swimsuit is a no-brainer for summer. Whether you are chilling by the pool or relaxing on a sunny beach, this item is a definite necessity.

Here are three of the cutest I’ve seen this season.

Vintage Sailor Pin Up One Piece Skirtini

One Shoulder Asymmetric Ruffle Bathing Suit

Women’s Snakeskin Bikini Set

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are another no-brainer. Not only do they help to protect your eyes from damaging sun rays, they also add the perfect touch to your summer outfit. These Jessica Simpson sunglasses will complement your outfit perfectly.

Stylish Oversized Tote Bag

You will need a nice and sturdy tote bag to keep all of your essential items in one place . Things like your wallet, phone, lipstick, camera, books/magazines, water… you get my drift. This round Bohemian top-handle tote would hold all of your summer time necessities!

A cute, yet comfy sundress


You will definitely need a cute sundress (make that sundresses) for the season. Dresses are light, airy and oh so feminine. Simply pair it with the right accessories, and you are ready for a summer concert, date night, or evening with the girls.

This Off The Shoulder Ruffle Shift Dress can be transformed from a day to a night look seamlessly.

Denim Shorts

Shorts, like these rolled hem distresssed denim shorts are perfect for those days when you want to keep it really casual, but still be super cute.

Throw on some denim shorts along with your favorite t-shirt and sneakers, and you are good to go.

Cute Sandals

Who doesn’t love a great pair of summer sandals! Trust me, you will definitely want to give your toes some breathing room as the temperature climbs. Opt for a pair that is comfortable, yet stylish like these Steve Madden espadrille sandals.

Sunscreen


Protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays by wearing sunscreen. My family’s favorite is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion. Be sure to reapply it as necessary, especially when you are swimming.

There you have it, friends. My list of summer essentials. What would you add to this list?

40 Fun Summer Activities For Kids That Will Keep Boredom At Bay

 
School is out for the summer!  Now, how in the world are you going to keep the youngster’s entertained these next few months?  

Some of you may be sending your kids off to camp, or some type of sporting league. But if you are like me, your kiddo will be with you 24/7 all summer long.

No need to fret, there are many ways to keep the kids occupied with fun and engaging activities while school is out.



Here is a list of forty free or cheap summer activities for you and your kids to enjoy and make memories in the process.


1. Go on a backyard scavenger hunt.
2. Pay a visit to your local library.
3. Arrange a play date with neighborhood kids, or kids in your mom group.
4. Visit the park.
5. Watch educational movies on Netflix or Hulu.
6. Teach your kids to cook. Bake cookies and other desserts.
7. Go on a hike in the mountains or a nearby forest.
8. Build a lemonade stand.
9. Go camping under the stars in your own backyard.
10. Spend the day at an amusement park.
11. Make and bake a homemade pizza together.
12. Build a birdhouse.
13. Make your own homemade board game.
14. Plant trees in the backyard.
15. Visit a local splash pad or water park for some fun water play.
16. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Purchase a used instrument from places like Craigslist or a yard sale.
17. Make snow cones out of crushed ice.
18. Go swimming. If your kiddo cant swim, take swimming lessons.
19. Have a water balloon fight.
20. Explore your neighborhood. Go for family walks in the mornings or after dinner.
21. Read news stories together. Explain the story to your child in an age-appropriate manner.
22. Write letters to distant relatives.
23. Search for “free admission” days to the local museum, art gallery or zoo and make a day trip out of it.
24. Go on a bicycle ride.
25. Feed the ducks at the local pond.
26. Grab the garden hose, and play in the sprinklers.
27. Have a “mathlete” competition – see which kids can solve math problems the fastest!
28. Plant a garden and watch it grow.
29. Play a trivia game. You can find questions from the internet.
30. Host a sleepover for your kids.
31. Play frisbee or soccer.
32. Attend a baseball game.
33. Make mini-popsicles using ice trays and juice.
34. Play hide-and-go-seek.
35. Fly a kite. As an added bonus, have your kids make their own.
36. Visit an aquarium.
37. Build a backyard obstacle course.
38. Go bowling.
39. Have a picnic in the park.
40. Have a backyard luau.


As an added bonus, why not make a photo journal or a family yearbook showcasing some of the activities that you did over the summer.  

 

What are some of your favorite summertime activities?

25 Self Care Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Life

Self-care is oftentimes associated with selfish behavior. This type of mentality usually makes us feel guilty for even thinking about taking a break from our everyday lives to do something that, simply put, makes us feel better and improves our mental health.

We’re all familiar with the saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, but how often do we actually take heed to those words? I, myself have been guilty of this. But I had to learn to make myself a priority.  No matter how fancy the term “self-care” may sound, it is extremely crucial to our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

When it comes to carving out the time to practice self-care, consider this: You probably don’t engage in it often enough, which in turn means that you are left feeling tired, run-down, and overwhelmed. Therefore, honey, it’s time to treat yo self!

spa-candles

 

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

Audre Lorde

 

25 Self Care Ideas

1. Turn off your phone for a few hours, and totally unplug.
2. Have a mini pamper session.
3. Go for a long walk, or run.
4. Start a gratitude journal. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.
5. Indulge in some retail therapy.
6. Treat yourself to your favorite dessert.
7. Buy yourself some flowers.
8. Close your eyes and listen to some relaxing music.
9. Create a vision board for yourself.
10. Call someone you love and have a meaningful conversation.
11. Curl up on the couch or bed and read a good book.
12. Take a much-needed nap.
13. Plan a fun weekend for yourself and your partner.
14. Do something you love.
15. Sleep in on the weekend.
16. Spend some time in the sun.
17. Have a girls’ night in, and pop a few bottles.
18. Cuddle with your favorite person (or pet).
19. Engage in some aromatherapy. Burn your favorite candle or diffuse some essential oils.
20. Watch a stand-up comedy show, and laugh out loud.
21. Enjoy the outdoors. Sit on your porch or patio and just soak it all in.
22. Take a day off of work if needed.
23. Take several deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
24. Journal. Get it all out on paper.
25. Lie in the grass and watch the clouds.
Lastly, don’t wait until you can “fit it into your schedule” to take some time for yourself. Start immediately, and make it a part of your regular routine. Trust me, my friend, you won’t regret it!

How do you practice self-care?

25 Self Care Ideas To Incorporate Into Your Life

5 Tips to Finding The Perfect Car For Your Family

Thank you Cars.com for sponsoring this post.

Are you in the market for a new car? Car shopping can be a seemingly daunting task. Besides being a large purchase, it is also something you and your family will be using daily for years to come. This is especially true if you have kids.

Being that my family and I are looking to purchase a new car soon, I thought I would share some of my tips on finding the perfect car for you and your family.

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cars.com. As always, my opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please read my full disclosure here.

Determine Your Needs

When you’re in the market for a new vehicle, one of the first things you will need to do is determine exactly what it is you need in a new vehicle.

For my family, we need a lot of back seat and trunk space. Even though we are a small family, we need lots of room in the back seat. Groceries take up a lot of space in our trunk, not to mention all of the extra things that I like to keep stored in my trunk. Know ahead of time everything you need and/or want.

Set A Budget

You will want to make sure that you have a set budget before you step foot on a car lot. You know exactly how much you and your family can afford, not the car salesman. If the sales person really wants to sell you a vehicle, he/she will make it work for you.

Always keep in mind that there are plenty of car dealerships around, so don’t be pressured into a situation that you are uncomfortable with. If the sales person is unable to meet your needs, it is perfectly okay to walk away.

Do Your Research

Now that you’ve determined what your exact needs are in a vehicle, and set your budget, it’s time to do your research.

Cars.com makes it super easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Start with the desired body style, and Cars.com will show you everything you need to know about many different vehicles – pricing, mileage, seat capacity, and safety ratings to name a few.

On top of that Cars.com offers expert and consumer reviews, as well as recall information.

Features

This may seem a bit trivial to some, but the features in a car are very important. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle (running errands, kids after school activities, etc.) like I do, you want to make sure that the vehicle comes equipped with the things that you want.

Whether it’s blue-tooth capability, a sunroof, or a remote start, be sure that the necessary features are available in the vehicle that you are eyeing.

Go For A Test Drive

Lastly, you will want to take a test drive of the vehicle of your choice. You may have multiple vehicles that you are eyeing, but honey test drive them all! You need to get a feel for the car, and play around with all of its features.

Test driving is your opportunity to get a feel of what it would be like if you actually owned the car.

Final Thoughts

Car buying can be an exciting time and when you’ve been driving the same car for a long time (like me!), it’s hard not to make a rush decision.

Know that your new vehicle is an investment – one that you will likely be paying for over the next several years. With that being said, you don’t want to make a hasty decision and wind up driving a vehicle you really don’t like, or one that ends up not being what your family needs.

February Goals

Can you believe it is almost February?  The month of January seemed to fly by, in my opinion.  I did not accomplish all that I set out to accomplish at the beginning of the month.  To be totally honest, the reason is that I have not been very focused. 

I got off to a good start, but seemed to lose my motivation only a couple of weeks in.  I was juggling too many things and wound up getting sidetracked, which in turn caused me to lose all motivation completely.
New Month New Mindset Quote
Even though I didn’t accomplish all of my goals for January, I didn’t beat myself up about it. I am re-focused and intent on reaching each goal that I’ve set for the month of February.  Here are my goals for the month:
 

Personal Goals

Read one book.
Eat more vegetables.
Move (exercise) more.
Journal consistently.
Go to bed on time.
 

Blog Goals

Plan content for February and March.
Be more active on social media.
Interact with other bloggers.
 

What goals have you set for February?  Share them with me.

Homemade Chili Recipe

When the weather is cool outside, I always fix my family’s favorite – homemade chili. I mean, let’s face it, cool weather and chili go together like peanut butter and jelly.

A piping hot bowl of chili on a cool, crisp fall or winter day is always a hit. Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter, and jelly sandwiches,  or a huge piece of cornbread.

The great thing about chili is that you can freeze it for later.   You can put your leftovers into a freezer friendly container a store for a week or two.  When you want a quick weeknight meal, just thaw, heat and serve.

Homemade Chili

Ingredients:

1 pkg of Wick Fowler’s 2-Alarm Chili Seasoning Kit

2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey

1 – 8 oz can kidney beans

1 – 8 oz can pinto beans

1 – 16 oz can tomato sauce

1 – 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes

1 cup of water

1 cup of beef broth

1 large yellow onion chopped

1 bell pepper chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

 

Cooking Instructions:

1. Brown meat, onion and bell pepper in a large skillet or a saucepan. Once browned, toss in garlic and let cook for about two minutes.  Remove from heat and drain excess fat.

2. Empty the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, and water into a large pot and heat. 

3. Add cooked meat to your sauce.

4. Stir in all of the Wick Fowler packaged ingredients (except masa flour).

5. Cover skillet or saucepan and let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

6. Mix masa flour into ¼ cup warm water and pour into chili. Let simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. You can skip this step if you prefer a thinner chili.

7. Remove pot from heat. Let chili rest 7 – 10 minutes.

8. Add desired toppings and serve.

Ready in about 60 minutes
Serves 8 people

Tip:

If you like your chili a little spicier, you can add more red pepper.  If you prefer a milder chili, you can skip the red pepper altogether.

What’s your favorite cold weather comfort food? Share in the comments.
Homemade Chili Recipe

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

I love a good quote.  Motivational quotes have the ability to change how we feel about ourselves.  An inspiring quote can sometimes be the very thing that helps you to make it through a tough day, or encourage you when you are feeling a bit down.

It’s amazing how a few simple, inspirational words can impact the way we feel.

I keep a list of motivational quotes in my travelers notebook, and I also keep several on my computer.  When I am in need of a little motivation or a pick me up, I open up my notebook or computer and read them.  

Here are ten of my favorite motivational quotes that I hope will encourage you as much as they encourage me.

1.  Your only limit is you.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

2. If you can change your mind, you can change your life.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

3. A goal without a plan is just a wish.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

4.  It always seems impossible until it’s done.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

5. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

6. Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, take another shot.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

7. There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

 

8. When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

When One Door Closes Motivational Quote

 

9. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day

10. Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.

10 Motivational Quotes That Will Help Transform Your Day
 
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes? Share them with me in the comments.