All posts by themodernwomanlslf

I'm a woman living in a day and age where anything is possible, but perhaps not everything is probable. Trying to find a balance between the two and living each day to the fullest.

Curbing the Closet Chaos

In Texas, everyone has a walk-in closet (even in my tiniest apartment I had one). It felt daunting at first, I didn’t have enough clothes to fill even a quarter of it. Over time it became very easy to fill that “room” to overflowing.

So how do we as women control the chaos that is our closets? (or do we let it run rampid and overwhelm us?)

 

Many years ago I discovered Project 333 and it changed not only the way I organized my closet but also my life. I realized that less IS more and clutter has a very strong hold on our culture. It was stealing my time, energy, and joy. Minimalist living is not something that I have been able to continue to practice in every area of my life, but it has helped my overall viewpoint on “things” and clutter.

Check out my post on Project 333

The last few years I had been able to go the thrift shop on a regular basis (it is still one of my favorite hobbies and personal outlets)  I had a rule, “1 in 1 out” and that kept me and my closet pretty sane for the most part.

 

Check out my post on Thrifting 101

After our last move, most of my personal life went on hold. I was unable to invest time in any of my hobbies and began to neglect my self-care. I was wearing clothing that I disliked and not wearing half of what was in my closet. One month I put off laundry so long that I had 8 loads to bring to the laundry mat (and drag along a 3 yr old).

 

I recently watched Marie Kondo‘s show on Netflix, “Tidying Up”. The first episode moved me to tears. How could something as simple as clutter be pulling this family apart?!

 

When I decided to face the chaos that was my walk-in closet this past week, I remembered what Marie said, “Does this bring you joy?”. I had pieces of clothing that I literally THREW into the get rid of pile. I hated wearing them. They were uncomfortable, I didn’t like the way I looked in them, and it brought me relief to allow them to move on.

There were also a few pieces that were difficult for me to let go of. They held value sentimentally. I had kept them for years, but for all the wrong reasons. Those memories need to be released and I need to move on.

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I then organized my closet by clothing type and realized that I have MORE than enough clothes (even after passing on about half my closet to a friend) the only essentials I still need to find before Summer are a good pair of sandals and a light jacket.

 

 

I used some money given to me for my Birthday to purchase a few new outfits from a discount clothing store. I had forgotten how soft and fresh new clothing feels!

 

I want to encourage you today if you have clutter and chaos in your closet take some time to be alone with your things and decide what brings you joy and what makes you overwhelmed. I think you will find that it brings peace to more than just your closet. ❤

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Meal Planning – Grocery List and Meals

We are on Month 2 of Meal Prep and it is STILL working (insert applause) Right now we are getting the bulk of our groceries on Amazon bi-weekly and then fresh produce and a few other items at Aldi’s. This has helped immensely with overspending on eating out or splurge shopping.

 

Here is what we are doing this week(s):

  • Roast Beef with Roasted Pepper Rice (x2)
  • Tri-colored Pasta with Meat Sauce (x2)
  • Taco Ranch Chicken with Beans, Fire Roasted Corn, and Blue Tortilla Chips (x2)
  • Spinach Lentil Alfredo Pasta with Chicken
  • Beef Popovers (from last week’s leftovers)

 

Simple meals that can be prepped ahead of time and frozen, then reheated in the oven or skillet seems to be what works best for us. This helps with not buying a million ingredients or having to come up with 8 or 12 different recipes.

 

Grocery List

Rice

Broth

Black Beans

Taco Seasoning

Ranch Dressing

Almond Milk

Tortillas Chips

Fire Roasted Corn

Beef Chuck Roast

Boneless Skinless Chicken

Spinach Lentil Alfredo Pasta

Ground Beef

Tri-color Pasta

Pasta Sauce

Fruit

$73

 

 

 

FREE Cleaning Products

So since I love Amazon Fresh so much, my friend introduced me to a subscription delivery service for my favorite Household Products. I also decided a while back to start returning to more non-toxic brands, and this place has it all!

GROVE is a company that provides SAFE, SUSTAINABLE products to you door for less than most grocery stores, and they reward you!

 

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I already have one FREE item in my cart for next month and if I spend the same that I did this month I can earn ANOTHER free item.

Just for signing up you get a bonus gift and if you use my code below you get $10 off and a FREE trial membership.

Let me know what you think!

 

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Meal Planning and Prep (I finally made it work)

I’ve been trying to do meal planning since we got married (7 years almost) and I can never make it work for US. Add in a toddler with sensory issues… I felt pretty hopeless.

 

This month has brought a lot of changes for us, and one of those is what and how we eat. With the mindset of “Intentional”, we began looking for ways to make it WORK FOR US.

The first thing that REALLY helped was checking out Your Ideal Form and signing up for their FREE recipes and Tips for Meal Prep.

Then we decided what WOULD and would NOT work for us.

Leftovers don’t happen in our house. They just die, slowly and sadly. So, we decided on meals that can be repurposed on Day 2 or frozen for a later time. (somehow it feels less like leftovers if I pull it out of the freezer the following week and cook it in the oven)

Start small

“Take chewable bites” is my new mantra when it comes to tackling things I want to do at work (and in life). So we decided for our trial run to only prep for 2 weeks. We chose 3 meals that would have enough for 2 meals each and the leftovers could be frozen or repurposed (ex: the beef I am making tonight can be made into sandwiches tomorrow or frozen).

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Since we choose to stick with one vehicle (#SummerOfSneakers) we decided to check out some Grocery Delivery options. This worked extremely well this time around because it was much easier for me to see exactly what I was getting and ensuring that each item had a purpose in a meal for the next week or so. No random add-ons or sale items that rot or sit in the cupboard forever. I was also able to make my list and then come back and add things throughout the day, then I submitted it when I felt I had remembered everything (ex: Toilet paper, dish soap, and portion bags)  It also helped me see a realistic dollar amount as I shopped, so I knew I wasn’t blowing the budget out of the water. Not to mention it was kind of nice to not have to search the aisles in the middle of the night with a toddler in tow 🙂

While there were several options for Grocery Delivery in our area, I chose Amazon Fresh. We already have a Prime Membership, so it is only an additional $14.99 a month and we received the first month FREE (whereas Wal-Mart was a $9.99 fee per delivery).

I chose my delivery window and they left them outside the door (I couldn’t tell if they knocked, between the puppy and the toddler running around)

 

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Everything arrived FRESH and COLD. I was able to start some prep right away, but I saved most of it until Kiddo had gotten on the bus for PPCD.

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I started dinner in the Crock Pot (by the way – all three recipes I chose are cooked in the crockpot and I love using my crockpot to reheat those frozen leftovers) and then began to wash, chop, and portion out veggies. I didn’t buy fruit this way because it was much more expensive. I will buy fruit and milk as needed when it is on sale. I used the portion bags and containers (that I was also able to buy on-line grocery shopping) to make grab-n-go snacks.

We live in a “get it quick” society. If I am going to make eating healthy work for us, fruits and veggies cannot be in a bag needing to be prepped. So I did all that work today and we have easy access to healthy options all week.

I made sure to use snack size bags, the less in each bag the more likely I am to grab a variety and actually finish it without wasting any.

ABEA89DA-D57E-496B-A630-6972C6295A30The last thing I did was to combine ingredients for the second recipe and place them in a ziplock bag in the freezer (putting the non-cold items in a special cupboard) The third recipe was all already frozen or pantry items, so no prep is needed there until the morning of. Tomorrow I will prep the salads for lunches (I forgot to get the bowls and dressing at work) I choose a simple chicken ceasar salad using the frozen grilled chicken strips for less work.

 

 

 

A few tips I learned along the way:

  • Plan recipes you know you like or will want to eat
  • Base your shopping on those recipes and one or two lunches that you can prep in bulk and snacks that will be easy to grab.
  • Shop On-line
  • Plan a prep time that you will not be interrupted by the kids
  • Do the dishes and take out the trash the night before (you will have enough of both those things after all this is done)
  • Invest in a good knife and cutting board (and crockpot)
  • Have portioning bags/containers and gallon size freezer bags
  • Plan your Work, Work you Plan
  • If it doesn’t work, change one thing

 

 

 

I am really excited to taste these recipes and to see if it works out as amazing as I think it is going to *cross fingers*

Book Review – Lemons are a Girls Best Friend by Janet Hayward

Happy Friyay everyone! I hope you are as ready for the weekend as I am (even though I have to work, I am excited to spend some QT with the kiddo and see friends since the rain is finally gone away) We had a pretty busy week, but I was able to get in some time for myself. I had lunch at Coco’s Tea Room on Thursday (amazing!) and then we walked around the Antique Mall. Today I wore my favorite shade of Pink (makes any day better) and took the dog and kid to the park ( because I needed a work break since I was doing the second half of my day from home)

 

I also received my next book to review in the mail this week! “Lemons are a Girl’s Best Friend” by Janet Hayward talks to us about 30 different superfoods, giving a description of the food’s benefits and then two recipes for each superfood, one for the inside and one for the outside. This book could not have come at a more perfect time for me. I have been slowly detoxifying my beauty routine and using learning how to use foods, herbs, and natural things is just what I needed. I also was inspired by Vegains Food to start eating more colorfully so the “Inside” recipes are amazing places to begin. I am excited to try each of the recipes. This book makes a great gift and is a must-have for my Book Shelf.

 

 

 

 

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Book Giveaway – Gospel Centered Mom

February is that limbo between Winter and Spring. In Texas, the weather cannot make up its mind one day to the next. While we continue to fight off a cough and the dreary weather, I decided to make some Hot Cocoa on this lazy Sunday afternoon. Epicurious has the perfect recipe for a single cup of happiness.

 

 

 

I feel like I haven’t done much these last few days. Adjusting to a puppy feels a lot like having a 1 year old in the house (potty training x2)

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With the word “Intentional” being my mantra for 2018, I’ve made some amazing choices and progress in areas that I always used to “wish” about. One of the things I said I wanted to change was my Beauty Routine. Normally I would think it was too much of a task to return to natural and non-toxic products. This time I took it one step at a time and did what I could when I could. I am now about 95% of the way there! The key is to continue to go in the direction I started. One of the things I did was to purchase some mascara from Root Pretty. A friend of mine was one of their models in 2017 and I kept “wishing” I could buy such wonderful make up products. Then I  JUST DID IT. The prices compare to Sephora and I am way happier with my choice. I also received a sample that I am beyond excited to try. 28276113_10215144635630236_680301918_o

Being a Mom is exhausting and scary, even after all this time. What do kids REALLY need? Do I have what it takes? How do I handle this situation? I feel alone.

You are not alone. Brooke McGlothlin wrote an amazing book to help you through this season. “Gospel Centered Mom” The Freeing Truth about what Your Kids Really Need is a great addition to every mom’s libary. In this book she will help you embrace your moment-by moment need for Jesus, help you to release the stress of believing everythin is your reponsibility, learn to fight FOR rather than AGAINST your child, believe that the story God is writing with your life is worth the sacrifice, practice the daily disciplines that lead to Gospel-centered parenting.

At the end of each chapeter is a Hard Truth and a Beautiful Truth to help you focus what you have read and learned.

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I am currently doing a GIVEAWAY on my Instagram for this book!

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great week!

~Stacie

Welcome Koda – Our Newest Addition to the Family

It’s FriYaY!

I hope that your week was as crazy adventurous as mine (minus a bit of the emotional stuff, but I blame that on the Super Blood Moon Eclipse) I have been working really hard to live “Intentionally”, but it proving to be more difficult than expected. People and circumstances are unpredictable and often discouraging. I don’t do well when people cancel plans or things do not work out the way they are supposed to. That is part of why I just DON’T do things. Today I was about to cancel plans with someone because I assumed they would not want to after someone else canceled in the group. Come to find out they felt the same way. We were both afraid the other person wouldn’t want to do something and assumed instead of being open and expecting a good turn of events. Now we have a great day planned and I am stoked for some Friend Time!

 

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Every Thursday I am doing a Journal Prompt on Instagram. This week’s was very appropriate to what I am dealing with right now. I self-sabotage my Friend Time by assuming they have plans or will cancel or don’t really want to spend time with me… and I miss out! I need to stop those negative thoughts and words and replace them with intentional words and thoughts that will bring me to a place of being able to spend quality time with people and invest into relationships and myself.

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Another place in my life I am being more intentional is in my Dating Life (yes, I am still married). When we were first married we made it a point to have Date Night no matter how busy or poor we were. Somewhere in the midst of moving, Careers, job changes, car accidents, kiddo with ASD, and new puppy we have forgotten about Dating. (yes, I threw the new puppy there in the middle of a sentence) Now I plan one Date Night a month on the calendar (and get a sitter in advance) and we have a lunch date once a week when Kiddo is in school and we are both off from work (if the stars aline once a week that is).

 

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Today we went to Brunch at “First Watch”. It was amazing! That bacon was caramelized in Maple Syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne. I have honestly never felt so good after indulging in pancakes. I think this will be my new favorite brunch spot.

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And the moment you’ve been waiting for… meet Koda! ❤ He is Labmix and Great Pyrenees. 6 weeks old. These two are already best friends. Our goal is for Koda to become Kiddo’s Service Dog.

 

I hope you have a Great Weekend!!!