Today I Give a FREE New Simple Meals Plan to Everyone!

This week is going to be a fun one, and here’s why:

I’m giving everyone this week’s Simple Meals plan for FREE!

(Also, I’m going to blog this week about how I’m using the plan. Stay tuned!)

Why am I giving this week’s plan to you? Simple. I want you to see how great it is.

My biggest goal with Simple Meals is to help you save money, time, and energy so you can enjoy spending more time with your family. Did you catch that? It’s not just about spending more time with your family. It’s to help you ENJOY spending that time with your family.

Sometimes we get to the end of the day and we’re so exhausted that even if there is time to spend, we’re too tired to enjoy it. Been there, done that? Me too.

Each week Simple Meals plans show up in your inbox as if to say, “Here you go. Your thinking, planning, and list making have been done. Also, here are some bonus recipes and time-saving tips. You will love this week’s recipes. Now go enjoy your family.”

I'm giving everyone this week's Simple Meals plan for FREE!

I’m giving you all this week’s Simple Meals Planning Packet because want everyone to see why being a part of Simple Meals is worth it! Also, I love you and it’s fun to give you free stuff. :)

So here you go.

Download this week’s Simple Meals Planning Packet.

I’ve been cooking with this particular plan and taking pictures to show you during the next few days to detail how this plan works for our family. I don’t know what I would do without it, seeing as in the past eight nights in a row, we have been on the run – from meetings to Bible studies to basketball games to church activities. Plus, we spent a day helping our disabled friend move across town, I had appointments out of town one day, and our church hosted 150 kids for a youth rally all weekend, 13 of which stayed in our home for two nights.

This mama needs Simple Meals. (and a nap.)

The days with our children at home are long, but the years are short. I’m staring that reality straight in the face as my kids so suddenly have been turning into men, one right after the other. I want to enjoy putting food on the table for them, but more than that, I want to enjoy laughing at their jokes and listening/watching/cheering/praying for their work and activities and life journeys.

No matter your season in life, whether you have little bitties who require a lot of attention and care, or you have big kids you’re trying to keep up with, or you work full time, or you homeschool, or you are involved with ministries, or all of the above and more than the above – let’s do what we can to enjoy what God has given us. I believe much of this begins with keep our real food meals as simple as possible.

And that, my friends, is why I created Simple Meals.

Try it for free this week! Utilize it for YOUR specific family’s needs. That’s one of the best features of Simple Meals. The planning is done, but you can quickly organize it to suit your family’s needs for each week.

Download this week’s Simple Meals Planning Packet.

Today I’m also giving away a One Year Simple Meals Subscription!

Sign up to win in the Rafflecopter below. I’ll draw a random winner on Wednesday, February 8. Watch for an email sharing who the winner is!

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Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

I’m a big believer in this: If my kids are capable of doing it, I ask them do it.

How else will they learn to clean, cook, think, be responsible, work hard, and take care of me in my old age?

That’s why I asked Malachi, our 12-year old, to put this meal together one morning. Knowing it was as easy as “dump these ingredients into the crock pot, stir it up, turn it on, then run do your math lesson” it seemed like the right thing to do. He’s learning that cooking is simple, I’m getting help around the house, and it’s amazing how cooking a meal by himself makes him stand a few inches taller while everyone eats it up with many, “Wow, this is so good” compliments.

Or maybe the kid is literally growing taller. Well yeah. But we already knew that.

crock pot pasta2

Here’s my little issue with crock pot meals that include pasta: If I have to cook the pasta ahead of time before adding it to the crock pot, what even is the point in using the crock pot? How does that save any time? It certainly dirties up more dishes. I am not okay with this.

Therefore I never make pasta dishes in the crock pot. (Nor do I have my children make them.)

But recently I did a little looking online to see how it might work to dump uncooked pasta into a crock pot. Might it cook along with the other ingredients? A little experimenting turned out this Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta recipe, which is as easy as can be.

Now, this is a meatless meal. You’re more than welcome to stir cooked hamburger or cooked chicken into your crock pot. But then, of course, you’d have to cook the meat first, which means dirtying up another dish, and I refuse to take responsibility for making you do that. Also, you should know that my family full of carnivores ate this and never once asked, “Hey. Where’s the meat?” I think the three cheeses in this recipe make this hearty enough to keep everyone happy.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (25-32 ounces each)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella, cheddar, or Colby jack cheese
  • 1 pound UNCOOKED whole grain pasta, any shape
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump all ingredients into a crock pot and stir well.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours or until pasta is tender.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Serve this easy crock pot dish with a quick salad and steamed veggie. It’s as simple as can be. I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s delicious. This is a given. And now we know that we can dump uncooked pasta into the crock pot and turn out a great meal in just a few of effortless hours.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

We’d love more of you to join Simple Meals! There are some exciting plans coming up!

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The Surprising Thing I’ve Learned After 22 Married Valentines Days

Yep. This will be my 22nd married Valentine’s Day with my husband. Oh to be an oldie-wed. I truly love it.

We’ve never been into gifts or flowers. We rarely even go out for Valentine’s Day anymore. After raising kids together for 19+ years and being in the very thick of spending many of our daily hours parenting, schooling, working, juggling, and ministering to others, Matt and I have found that the simple gift of quiet, alone time together is what we seek most. We have to work to make it happen because if we don’t, it absolutely doesn’t.

You guys – there are teenagers everywhere! And they don’t like 8:00 bedtimes. What is wrong with these people? I’m ready to pass out at 8:00. How can they not understand?

So this is our life right now, and there are no words for how much I love it. (Except for all the parts I don’t, but isn’t that how life is in every season? Of course.)

This is the moment in the post where I start to give you perhaps a tiny bit more information than you bargained for. Maybe? I want to share with you something I’ve learned after 22 years of marriage. It’s rated PG, and it’s important enough that I feel I’d like to “go there” with you, my dear friends.

It’s this.

Sometimes with all of our comings and goings, with teenagers hanging around every corner, and busy schedules that are mostly fantastic but also exhausting – connecting with my husband has become a little bit more difficult during this season. I don’t have the energy I used to have at the end of the day – because there are not enough Fat Bombs in the world to help me keep up with all the activities and schedules and work deadlines and weighty decisions and theme papers. So can I tell you (with a bit of a red face) what has helped my husband and I to stay connected?

It’s skin-to-skin time. 

I mean, we all know that maintaining a healthy sex life as a married couple is vitally important. But I’m not just talking about sex (but yay for sex, because God sure did give married couples a gift, did he not?!).

We have found that being snuggled up, skin-to-skin, has been incredibly life-giving to our relationship. Two shall become one, after all. Connecting through the gift of touch – well, there aren’t words to describe it. I’m just thankful God revealed it, and even as I feel quite shy right now, I’m happy to share it with you.

Sometimes we pray together, skin-to-skin. Sometimes it leads to “other stuff.” Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I cry during our skin-to-skin time – either from joy, or stress release, or because I’ve missed being connected and am so happy to find it again. It’s rather beautiful.

And as an aside, though very much as another recommendation of a way to stay connected to your spouse, I want to put in a plug for MELT. Massage has been a fantastic way Matt and I have stayed connected through the years. There are so many benefits to massage – it relieves stress, it provides an opportunity to catch up and communicate, and in keeping with today’s topic, it offers wonderful skin-to-skin opportunities.

Matt and I have had access to MELT: Massage for Couples resources for two years and we highly recommend them. There are no awkward moments and there is NO nudity – the videos simply teach great massage skills and techniques for married couples. The clips are short and to the point and professionally done. It’s been fantastic to learn so many massage skills and benefits through these videos!

I recommend the MELT videos (there is a Valentine special going on right now!) as a great gift for your marriage. Make time for some skin-to-skin. Make time for massage. Make time for each other. Your marriage depends on it.

P.S. The discount offer from MELT is only good through Feb. 14 and it is a pretty significant price reduction. Check it out here!

The Truth About How Cooking Healthier Foods Has Saved Me Time (and dirty dishes)

Raise your hands, wives, if you can recall a day you spent extra time on your hair, makeup, and outfit so you could impress your husband – only to have him not even notice. Now leave your hands raised if you can recall another day you pulled your hair into a 5-second messy bun, never changed out of your mis-matched sweats from yesterday, and forgot makeup existed – only to have your husband give you a second appreciative glance, grin, and say, “Well hey there, Cutie.”

Rest assured, he appreciated the nice hair, great outfit, and perfect makeup day too. Perhaps he was just too distracted or busy at the time to say so. Let us all be thankful he loves us on our “prettiest” days and even (especially) on the days we’re singing “oh where is my hairbrush?”

What does all this have to do with saving time while cooking healthy food? Everything. It very much relates in every way.

The Surprising Truth About How Cooking Healthier Foods Has Saved Me Time (and dirty dishes)

See, one day recently, I was having an “I can’t keep up, what even is a kitchen, I don’t feel very well, we have got to get this assignment done” kind of a day. I don’t even have to tell you what my hair looked like (and I recommend you save yourself the embarrassment of trying to conjure up an image). More importantly, dinner prep kept getting pushed farther down the to-do list.

I finally found two minutes (and a bit of energy) at lunchtime to put some frozen chicken into the crockpot, dump on some bbq sauce, and crank it to the “hi” setting. At least we’d have some meat ready before the boys left for drum lessons and basketball practice, thought I.

The chicken cooked itself all afternoon. Just before dinnertime later that night, I stir-fried some carrots and broccoli with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and salt. I grabbed a jar of applesauce from the pantry and declared it a meal, such as it was. My hair though. There was nothing that could be done.

Would you believe? My husband walked into the kitchen after putting in a 10-hour work day, saw the food I had “prepared” and not having any idea of the ridiculously short amount of time I’d spent cooking said, “Wow! This looks fantastic! What a great meal! Thank you!!”

saucy chicken3

Not that he isn’t equally appreciative when I have taken the time to roll out homemade noodles or have produced a fresh loaf of bread. But his gratitude reminded me of this:

  • A meal doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious.
  • Sometimes the healthiest meals are the very simplest.

The busier I have become through the years, the simpler our meals have needed to be. I’ve noticed that the simpler our meals have become, the healthier they are.

Isn’t that unexpected?

And here people still think cooking healthy food takes all kinds of extra time.

Take it from the girl who took five minutes to cram frozen chicken into a crock pot, and then threw out a few veggies just before meal time. Learn from the mom who has learned to make a complete meal of Parmesan Broiled Fish with veggies in record time (10 minutes, start to finish, thanks for asking).

I believe the simpler we keep our meals, the healthier they can be. Stop making healthy food complicated. Focus on the basics (meat, veggies, fruit). Save the special, longer-to-make meals, for special occasions.

Just think. We might even find more time in our day to change into a cute sweater before dinner.

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Psst! If you join Simple Meals, you’ll have more time to change out of your mis-matched sweats. We promise.

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A Fun Date Night Freebie for You and Your Honey {Time Sensitive!}

Look what I just found!

top cash back restaurant freebie2

TopCashBack is offering new members a FREE $10 Gift Card that can be used at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or four other fun restaurants! If you’re thinking about a Valentine’s Day date or a “just because” date – this can cut your bill in half!!

Here’s how to get your free-with-no-catch gift card:

top cash back restaurant freebie

I completely trust TopCashBack and people I’ve shared freebies with have never had any trouble with them except this:

You must confirm your account via email if you want your refund! So once you set up your account, find the email from them asking you to confirm your account. Easy, peasy!

This freebie offer is for new members only, but if you already have an account, keep in mind that they allow more than one account per household. :)

Get started here by signing up with TopCashBack ( <— that’s my referral link). Get your free gift card and enjoy a fun date with your honey!!

This offer is only good through Feb. 2.

Real Food Compromises I Make So We Can Stay Within Budget (and ways I will never compromise)

Pardon me while I eat my organic raw greens with free range chicken IN BETWEEN SIPS OF PEPSI.

That was me just a few years ago. Cute, huh? Makes no sense, right? Those were the days I had a small panic attack anytime someone offered my kids a non-organic apple. No! That will poison them!! It MUST be organic! Regular beef from the store is horrid and so is all milk that comes out of a jug! Oooh, are those Nacho Cheese Doritos? Don’t mind if I do.

Suffice it to say that in the early years of my real food journey, as I was learning about nutrition and food sources, the good, the bad, and the ugly – I turned a little bit crazy. I over-freaked out about all the food issues in America and had nightmares about evil pesticides coming to life and grabbing us by the throats. But all the while, I had an awful time giving up Pepsi, Doritos, and basically anything that started with a de and ended with a ssert. Oh yes. I loved my sugar.

chocolate_cake

So first things first: If you’re new (or not so new) to eating real food and struggling to trade in all of the “bad stuff” for all of the “good stuff” all at the same time, RELAX. You’ll settle in to what’s best for your family. Your body and taste buds will adjust. Your cravings will change. God will help you.

It took years for me, but I don’t even want Pepsi or sugary foods now. And (shhh), sometimes my kids walk into the room and find me snacking on raw spinach leaves. You don’t even have to tell me how weird the spinach thing is. I already know, because it is obvious, and because my kids have been happy to tell me. (But I also still like a Dorito or three now and then, because when you refuse to read the ingredient list, the disodium guanylate can’t hurt you.)

So now that I’m about 11 years into our Real Food Journey, let me share with you some of the food patterns I’ve settled into. Some of these decisions have been made because I took a big chill pill and realized that when all is said and done, God is bigger than a free range chicken.

I’ve also had to make some choices based on our ever growing food budget needs. With four male teenage athletes in our home, along with a hard working, athletic husband – we buy a huge cart full of groceries every week. If I bought organic everything, free range everything, the very best of everything everything – I would spend $3,000-$4,000 a month on groceries (not an exaggeration). I think my food budget is already high enough, thank you very much.

Real Food Compromises I Make So We Can Stay Within Budget

Real Food Compromises I Make So We Can Stay Within Budget

1. Not everything I buy is organic.

I used to be much more diligent about this – especially when it came to the “Dirty Dozen” list. But as our kids got bigger and began eating huge quantities of food, the cost of buying organic food exclusively became impossible. When it came to fruits and vegetables, I noticed that since I couldn’t afford all organic produce, I stopped buying much produce at all!

So let’s see…should we stop eating many fruits and vegetables because I couldn’t buy them all organically, or choose to buy the “regular” ones so we would still be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables?

Through prayer, I found much peace in buying regular produce and feeding us a wide variety of fresh produce consistently. (This applies to our dairy products too. We have a great source for organic, raw milk, but not for sour cream, butter, and cream cheese.)

When foods are available at reasonable prices I can afford, I most definitely buy organic. But my bigger goal is to fill us with many nourishing fruits and vegetables every day, even if they haven’t been grown in a way I feel is best. God is bigger, but my budget is not. So God wins.

groceries 411

2. Sugar is sugar, so why pay more?

When making treats, I still prefer to use organic sucanat. But I’ve stopped using it exclusively because it costs so much more than regular ol’ brown sugar. At the end of the day, our bodies don’t care what kind of sugar we’re feeding it – it wreaks the same kind of havoc. So that’s another compromise I have made, which you can read details about here.

I do still avoid high fructose corn syrup, which means we use Real Maple Syrup on our pancakes and waffles and to sweeten a few treats (like smoothies). I’ve personally found that Liquid Stevia is my favorite sweetener, though my kids aren’t huge fans. :)

sucanat

3. The cheese may not be raw. But at least it’s cheese.

I really like raw, organic cheese that hasn’t been turned freakishly orange with food dye. But wow do we go through a lot of cheese at our house. Therefore, to save money, I’ve gone back to buying regular Colby jack cheese blocks at the store. You can read more about this here.

cheese

4. I buy pork products at the store.

I have had a huge dilemma over this through the years. Pork is not the healthiest meat choice – I know this. I used to avoid it altogether. Then I started buying a little from a farmer who had healthier, but kind of expensive, pork options. Then, because I’ve found that starting our day with a high protein breakfast really is best for my family of teenage boy athletes (and their non-athletic mom who really feels much better when she eats a lot of protein and fat) – I started adding in more bacon and ham.

It tastes so ridiculously good.

We eat more beef and chicken than pork, but I’ve stopped worrying about avoiding pork altogether, and I typically buy the regular ol’ piggies from the store. I usually stock up when there’s a good price-match option, so this helps save our budget. Then I save time by cooking it up ahead of time for fast breakfasts.

oven-bacon3

Real Food Compromises I Just Can’t Make, Even if it Saves Money

1. I will never buy margarine.

I don’t even like to type the word. At our house, it’s real butter all the way. I don’t care that it costs more. I trust real butter because it is made from cream and salt – and those are real food ingredients our bodies can use for nourishment. Marga-blech is made in a factory from chemicals our bodies don’t recognize and can’t utilize for nutrition. This makes my stomach churn. Butter for the win.

butter

2. I make unattractive faces when I think about Jif and Skippy.

Peanut butter “spreads,” as they are labeled, contain FULLY hydrogenated oils and a bunch of added sugar. When I learned this, our family transitioned to buying Natural Peanut Butter, though admittedly, we didn’t love it. (Plus I found that stirring it every time we needed it was a big pain in the neck – and messy too.)

Next I started making peanut butter like this, which is more amazing than ever. THEN, I discovered how to make this creamy, spreadable homemade peanut butter and we are all in love. My kids actually brag about this peanut butter to their friends.

peanut_butter

3. “Processed Cheese Food” shouldn’t have a shelf life.

I had a hard time giving up velveeta – and I won’t say I’ll never eat it again – but it’s kind of freakish, wouldn’t you say? I’ve noticed that the price keeps going up (over $6.00 for a block, really?) so it’s not like buying it actually saves money compared to making our own cheese sauce.

But who even cares about velveeta now that we can make this amazing Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip Recipe!

Real Food Velveeta and Rotel Dip

I’m probably forgetting a thing or two, but I would say those are the main compromises I make, as well as the biggest compromises I feel strongly about not making. Care to share what real food compromises you make to help you save money – and what you feel like you just can’t compromise on?

Ways Our Family Saves Money So We Can Afford Our High Grocery Bill (And a few ways we splurge)

Hi. I’m the mom with the really high, make you pass out, grocery bill. There are about zero things I can do about it, what with all my teenage boys in the house, so we’re continually thankful that God keeps providing.

(Actually, speaking of things I can do about it, I’m planning to document our grocery spending very specifically during the month of February to show you all the ins and outs of what I buy. I’m also going to challenge myself to see if, in fact, there are any other ways I can cut grocery costs. Stay tuned.)

Ways our family saves money so we can afford our high grocery bill

Today I decided to make a list of non-food ways we cut spending so we can make our monthly grocery budget bigger. I’d love to hear about some of the ways you save too! I’d also love to hear what some of your splurges are. (Every family has different events and items they consider priority or treats, right?)

Here are a few ways our family cuts back so we can buy the amount of food it takes to keep our family full and healthy.

Ways we save money so we can pay our high grocery bill

1. We make coffee at home.

Sound silly? What I mean is – we very rarely buy coffee and specialty drinks at a coffee shop. If I want to enjoy coffee with a friend, typically I invite her to my home to drink coffee at my table. (I can make a pretty mean cup of coffee, if I do say so myself.) At $3-$5 per cup for specialty coffees, and with 6 people in our household, going to a coffee shop for a treat is exactly that – a treat. It’s very rare and it’s a splurge. (If the boys want to meet friends at the coffee shop, they use their own money.)

Coffee Milkshake

2. We pack food when we travel.

We do eat out occasionally when we’re on the road, but even “cheap” fast food costs $40-$60 for our family. If it’s possible, we load up a cooler instead. When we do eat out, it’s with a purpose. (For instance, if several of the families on our basketball team are eating together after a game, we join them if we can. Relationships with these families = priceless.)

3. We have high deductible, low monthly premium healthcare coverage.

I can’t say enough good about this. Can you believe we pay only $135/month for healthcare coverage for our family of six?! It’s perfect for us since we typically go to natural doctors not covered by insurance. Saving hundreds every month on our monthly healthcare premium helps us afford groceries to keep us healthy. I am so thankful for this for so many reasons.

4. My husband’s truck is rusty.

What I mean is, we don’t have the nicest vehicles on the block. They run great, they do the job, and they are paid for. Our sons drive “grandpa cars” that they bought themselves after years of hard work and saving.

5. When we want a treat at home, we buy it at the store.

Say we want to enjoy a special family movie night or game night – something fun for the family and a break from cooking. Instead of going out to eat or getting take out, we’ll get something fun from the store. This is rare because even the $30 it costs to buy enough take-and-bake pizzas to fill us is a splurge, but at least it’s cheaper than the $60+ it costs to eat out. If we want ice cream, we’ll buy a container at the store for $3.50, which feeds us all, instead of paying that much per person at the ice cream shop.

6. Redbox all the way.

It’s got to be a really exciting, really great movie if we’re actually going to pay to see it in the theater. Sometimes the boys pay their own way if they want to see a movie with their friends. But usually, we all wait until a few weeks after a movie comes out, save at least $50 by getting the movie from Redbox for $1.50.

7. We don’t have cable.

Sometimes, we really, really wish we did (like when it’s time for the Olympics or the World Cup). But every time we check into the options and do the math, we just can’t justify the added expense every month. It’s worth a mention that we’re thankful for friends who are happy to have us join them in their living room for big games. ;)

8. Our kids don’t get a cell phone until they get their drivers license.

We’ve decided that our kids don’t really need a phone until they are driving. (They have had hand-me-down ipods before they’re 16 so they can text and keep up with their friends as long as there is wifi available.) That we’ve avoided adding our kids to our phone plan until they are 16 has saved a lot of money through the years. Though we do have a small heart attack each time we add a new driver to the household – adding him to our car insurance and cell phone bill. Yowza.

Ways we don’t hold back on spending money

As much as we spend frugally for most everything, there are a few ways we have found it’s not worth it to hold back.

1. Quality food

But we’ve been through all of this already.

groceries 411

2. Quality shoes

Nobody needs the $200 pairs. But neither have we found it worth it to compromise on good foot/ankle/back support when it comes to shoes, as our athletes will be running and jumping and cutting and sliding across the field or court. When the kids were younger, buying shoes at Walmart or Payless was just fine. But as the boys have gotten older, their athletic shoes have needed to be better. Cha-ching. I don’t really like to talk about it.

3. Giving

That comes off the top of our monthly budget, without compromise. I’d rather cut back on food spending and eat beans all day than give less than we feel God calling us to give. This is saying something because well, just think what it would be like at our house if we ate beans all day.

4. Good coffee

Look at me – beginning and ending my post by talking about coffee. While we rarely buy coffee at a shop, I really do love good quality coffee at home. Folgers just doesn’t cut it, bless its heart. I like buying coffee beans from a gal in Haiti to help support her work with boys on the street. Or I buy this one so yum.

Coming up next week: Specific food compromises I make so I can stay within budget (plus ways I will never compromise).

I’d love to hear ways you save and ways you splurge. Share your ideas and what works for your family!

Supporting a Company that Makes a Difference (a Love Justly Giveaway!)

I always want to support good causes and sites with ethically sourced products, but I’ll admit that sometimes the prices hold me back. This is why I’m so excited to learn about Love Justly. It’s the best of both worlds!

love justly

What if we can get a good deal on great products and help people too? What if we can buy items that are fair trade, are ethically sourced, or have a social mission? And what if the products are super cool too?

This is what Love Justly is all about. I encourage you to read the specifics of what this site offers to learn about how they choose the products they offer. Each of the items they offer are high quality, reasonably priced, and fun! We can feel good about where these products came from and who they help support.

Jenny, of Love Justly, offered to send me something from their site to try out. I chose this beautiful Crystal Pendant Necklace.

starfish necklace

 

While the necklace itself is beautiful and wonderfully made, the best news is that it is part of the Starfish Project. From the Love Justly site:

Starfish Project provides dignified employment for women who have been rescued from exploitation and abuse. Each piece of jewelry is handmade by women in Asia, whose lives are being restored thanks to Starfish Project.

 Every purchase helps:

  • Provide career opportunities;
  • Reach the exploited;
  • Provide safe housing;
  • Provide counseling;
  • Provide vocational training;
  • Provide health care;
  • Unite families;
  • Educate children;
  • Facilitate empowerment.

Isn’t that fantastic? My necklace is so much more than a piece of pretty jewelry. There are many more options to pick from on the Love Justly site – from clothing to kid’s items to shoes and bags. Not only are the prices great, you get free shipping on orders over $50. And don’t forget the best part of all – buying these items helps make life better for others!

I’m so glad to be made aware of Love Justly and to share it with you, too! To help the excitement grow, Jenny is giving away a $25 gift certificate to be spent in the Love Justly shop. Sign up below for a chance to win! I’ll draw a random winner on Monday, January 30. If you sign up, be watching for an email with winner information.

Even better! Jenny’s created a 20% off discount code for all of us to use! Use the code 20%off at checkout for the discount to apply. Take advantage of this great offer!
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Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast

Remember the Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken recipe I shared? That’s becoming one of my new go-to recipes to help me feed my family on busy days. This, of course, led me to experiment more with the idea. What else, I wondered, could be cooked in the crock pot overnight to make my day simpler tomorrow? Well. One result this Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast.

Simple Overnight Beef Roast

Just like the chicken, you can put your roast into your crock pot directly from the freezer. It thaws and cooks overnight. The next day, the meat will fall apart and melt in your mouth!

Why would we want to cook meat in our crock pots overnight? Let me count the ways:

  • When we wake up to cooked meat, we have something good to pack for lunches if that is a need.
  • We can turn the crock pot to the “keep warm” setting and have meat waiting for us later at lunch time at home.
  • We can turn off the crock pot and cool the meat to eat in big chef salads at lunch time.
  • We can put the meat in the fridge to pull out any time we need it during the next few days.

The concept is so simple, and it presents so many easy meal options!

Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast

Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound beef roast
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix (recipe below)
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Put roast in the bottom of a crock pot. (Roast can be frozen or thawed.)
  2. Pour Worcestershire sauce, Onion Soup Mix, and water over the roast.
  3. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Here’s my Onion Soup Mix recipe.

Simple Overnight Melt in your Mouth Beef Roast

This roast is delicious no matter if you serve it with mashed potatoes and veggies or if you serve it in a chef salad. The flavor is incredible!!

Have you tried cooking meat in a crock pot overnight? What has your experience been like?

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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New Free Printable Packet! Color, Count, and Cook – for Early Learners!

We’ve got a new free packet available for all of you who have young learners at your house!

This one includes bright and fun learning activities to practice counting skills and color identification. Plus it offers some fun, healthy recipes you can make together with your kids!

Color, Count, and Cook – free printable

Color, Count, and Cook cover

 

There are 7 fun printable pages included. While they are geared toward Pre-K students, the recipes can be enjoyed by the entire family! Maybe, just maybe, they will make eating fruits and veggies more enjoyable. :)

Free Printables from Homemakers Learning Zone

It’s fun and it’s free! Simply sign up here and watch for instructions in your inbox. Joining our Learning Zone will provide you will a huge page full of freebies beyond this one, by the way. Wait till you see!

I’m excited to share that signing up for these freebies will connect you to our Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone. It’s free, of course. You can unsubscribe at any time, your info will never be shared or sold, and being on this list means that you’ll be the first to know of the other fun (yes, FUN!) educational tools we’re putting together!

P.S. If you are already subscribed to Heavenly Homemaker’s Learning Zone, you should have received an email yesterday giving you instant access to this freebie. Look in your inbox for the subject: FREE Color, Count, and Cook Learning Packet!