Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

For everyone who is home with a family to feed during lunchtime every day, this List of Simple Lunch Ideas is for you! These lunches are all made with simple, real foods. (Coming soon: A list of great simple, real food lunches to pack and take to work and school.)

Keep Lunch Simple

As a brand new school year approaches and I am praying away the scheduling craze that is trying to creep in along with the turning of the calendar pages, I’ve decided to put together Master Lists of food and recipes and ideas to make lunches, breakfasts, snacks, and lunchbox options as simple as possible each day. Today’s list:

The Master List of Simple Lunch Ideas

But Laura! You home school and work from home so you’re home all day. Why is it difficult to get food on the table?

{And Laura falls on the floor laughing and crying and kicking the chairs in her path while throwing couch pillows.}

Dear friends. Homeschooling only means that our books and software live in the house and our school is operated out of the home instead of a classroom. We are on the run a significant amount of time between music lessons, college classes, field trips, service opportunities, athletic events, church activities, library runs, and the like.

For our family, homeschooling and working from home has offered us the coolest, most wonderful, and fabulously flexible opportunity and we are extremely grateful for the relationships we have with our kids and with the community because of it. But it also lends itself to extremely full days with little down time. So in the name of sanity…

This mama needs a Master Simple Lunch List.

And a Master Breakfast List. And a Master Snack List. Watch for those lists, coming very soon. (Subscribe here so you don’t miss them!)

Where’s the list of Simple Dinners? This is already taken care of with our Simple Meals plans. I follow those, so our evening meals hit the table very quickly. I am so, so thankful for this!

Why not eat sandwiches every day for lunch?

The short answer is that it would cost my family too much money. The other short answer is that we prefer more variety of nutrients and less carb-heavy meals.

No matter what though, I recommend that we always, always…

Eat a fruit and a veggie with each lunch.

This is easier than you think. I’ll tell you how! I think it’s time for the list, don’t you? (To make this much easier, you can download this entire, beautiful Master Simple Lunch List here.)

Your Real Food Master Simple Lunch List

You can download this entire list here. But I’ll share it all on this post for reference also. I also recommend that you pin it so you can find it quickly as needed!


We’ll begin with fruits and veggies because instead of thinking of them second, let’s start thinking of them first!

Fruits and veggies that can be pulled from the fridge and served immediately with little to no prep (beyond washing):

  • Baby carrots (I like the petite carrots – they are sweeter and easier to eat!)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mini sweet peppers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Clementines
  • Fresh Spinach or Mixed Greens

Fruits and veggies that take a few minutes of prep but are still super simple:

  • Sliced apples
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Steamed peas (frozen peas cook very quickly!)
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Raw broccoli “trees”
  • Cut cantaloupe
  • Watermelon wedges
  • Sliced pears
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Steamed green beans (frozen green beans take just a few minutes, but can cook themselves while you get the remainder of lunch ready)

If you have Homemade Ranch Dip or Hummus on hand, these can be thrown onto the table quickly to help get the veggies down!


Simple Lunches that can be made ahead of time and warmed up quickly:

Simple Lunches that can be thrown together with little prep time:


Simple Lunches that are flexible and can be eaten in more than one way:

Would you like to make this Master List of Simple Lunches even simpler?

Sign up here to receive the entire Master List of Simple Lunches in a free downloadable document! Then you can keep it handy on your computer or print it and put it on your fridge as a super handy reference!

Master List of 40 Simple Lunch Ideas

Grab a free download of the Master Simple Lunch List!

Watch for more Master Lists coming this month, filled with real food and simple snacks, breakfasts, and lunch box ideas!

What would you add to the list? What are your favorite simple lunches to feed your family?

Simple Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

True friends are the kind that hear your family mini-van has died and they say, “Here. Take our car until you find a vehicle. Keep it as long as you need it.”

True friends are the kind who come over to check out your “new” used mini-van and pick up the car they gave you on loan and while you’re talking in the driveway, you decide you must certainly invite them in for dinner, even though dinner is…

Random leftovers.

Yes. You can invite true friends in to share your random leftovers.

So we did. We said something like, “You guys want to come in for dinner? We’re not sure what we’re eating…” It was an invitation they couldn’t refuse.

We sat together and ate re-warmed Hawaiian Beef Roast with a few other odds and ends, and it tasted just as good as a meal made fresh that day, because true friends make any food taste better.

But what really makes a friend true is when you’re eating leftovers together and they tell you about burgers stuffed with cheese. Indeed, a true friend is someone who tells you to cut a hunk of cream cheese and wrap your burger around it before you grill.

Today, my friends become your friends and this recipe becomes your BFF, because today I’m sharing my friends’ brilliant idea to make Cheese-Stuffed Burgers.

cheese stuffed burgers

So what if these make your grill a little bit messy? Also, so what if I served these burgers on white burger buns? Indeed, I did. Would you like to know why I did this?

1) Because I don’t have time right now to make Homemade Buns. Maybe I will again eventually. Right now I have to compromise a little so I can keep up with life.
2) Also, I compared the ingredients to the 100% Whole Wheat Buns available at my local store. The ingredients in those were still terrible and they don’t taste as good. Why pay more for something that doesn’t taste good and isn’t actually healthier?

So I caved and I bought gross, cheap white store-bought buns. I’m not proud of this but I just ate a Cheese-Stuffed Burger so I actually don’t even care because all of life is better with these burgers. (Which, for the record, I ate without a bun because I’m personally not interested in buns right now. Meat and cheese though? Yes, please.)

cheese stuffed burgers2

To make these burgers, you’ll need to cut the cheese. (Saying that never, ever stops being funny.) I made it simple by cutting my cream cheese half, then in half again, then in half again…until I had eight squares of cream cheese. I then divided two pounds of hamburger meat into eight pieces, wrapped the beef around the cheese, and onto the grill they went.

I’m quite sure you could use any variety of cheese you like. I’m thinking Pepper-Jack would be a fantastic choice!

Simple Cheese-Stuffed Burgers

Simple Cheese-Stuffed Burgers
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 pounds hamburger meat
  • 8-ounces cream cheese (or any cheese you like)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Divide meat into 8 patties.
  2. Cut cheese into 8 pieces.
  3. Wrap meat around the cheese and flatten slightly.
  4. Grill or pan fry until meat is no longer pink, seasoning to your liking.
  5. Serve right away.

Simple Cheese Stuffed Burgers

More Simple Recipes

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Master Travel Packing List

Every time we drive from Nebraska to California, we stop in Denver the first night to stay with friends and we stop in Vegas the next night to stay with friends. It cuts our travel costs and we get to see people we love!

Travel suitcase

It was in Vegas one year that our youngest left behind his backpack full of clothes and toiletries. We were all the way to Bakersfield before my friend discovered it and texted, “Uh-oh! I just found Malachi’s backpack in the boys’ room.” Guess who had to wear his cousin’s clothes all week? Eh, it could have been worse.

And not to throw my friend Robin under the bus, but I just saw on Facebook that she recently went on a trip and assumed her husband had thrown her bag into the trunk of their car. She made it all the way to their destination before she realized that one should never, ever assume.

Bagless, Robin headed to Walmart to get everything she needed for (wait for it) her mom’s wedding. #nobigdeal

Want a Master Travel Packing List?

Free Master Travel Packing List Printable

I’ll venture to say that this Master Travel Packing List we’ve put together for you won’t be of any help if you don’t follow through with actually putting the bag into the car with you. But at least this can help ensure that you don’t forget to pack your toothbrush.

Every time we go on a trip, I always say to myself, “Well if we’ve forgotten anything, at least there’s a Wal-Mart.” But that doesn’t work very well for items like prescriptions and eyeglasses. And also, who wants to run to Wal-Mart to buy what we already own?

So to remedy that for you today, we’ve created a Master Travel Packing List.

Obviously, some of the items you can scratch right off the list and some of the items you’ll need to fill in that are specific to your family and situation. But seeing as all year ’round many of us hit the road, we thought this would be a helpful resource to hand out.

Kudos to my friend Kim for helping put this together for all of us!

It looks like this, it’s as simple as can be, and it’s free for the taking…

Get your Master Travel Packing List

master travel packing list

Sign up to receive this freebie Master Travel Packing List here!

Answering Your Questions About the Healthy Coffee, Tea, and Other Drinks I’ve Been Sharin

The emails about our Javita Dollar Coffee Club have been flooding in and rightly so. There’s a lot to know! Is this coffee as good as I say it is? What’s in it? Does it really help people lose weight? What if I don’t need to lose weight? What if I don’t like coffee? What if I can’t have caffeine?

javita cups

I love that so many have already given these great drinks a try! And I love that so many are asking about it!

See, if I was normal (and we are all well aware that I am fAr FrOm nOrMaL) I would have you all into my home to learn about Javita. We’d sit at my table and I would make you a cup of coffee or tea, and I’d fix you a sample of all the cold drinks, and we would chat in person while I answered your questions.

javita party2

Be here I am...not being normal. I have had several very fun moments of sitting around my table with local friends sipping the drinks and sharing about Javita! But for all of you who live in other states and countries, it’s just not possible. So we’ve been partying through emails. Keep the questions coming and I’ll answer all I can! To make this process just a bit easier, I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions here today…

Answering Your Questions About the Healthy Coffee, Tea, and Sweet Javita Drinks

What is so great about these drinks you’re telling us about?

In short, they are filled with fabulous God-given herbs and mushrooms that our bodies need for great health. We could grow these herbs ourselves and utilize them every day to help cleanse our systems, give us energy, regulate our blood sugar, and so much more. Or we can take advantage of the fact that the hard work has been done and the wonderful herbs are already prepared for us in these delicious drink packets!

Personally, I am beyond thrilled that I can enjoy my beloved coffee every day and know that it nourishes me and gives me the wonderful enjoyment of coffee too! All the other drinks are super for my health and drinking them feels like a huge treat – all day long. Javita is so much fun!

I don’t like coffee. So I’m not interested in Javita…

Only two out of the eleven drink options are coffee. Beyond coffee, there are two kinds of healing teas, a hot cocoa (that is out of stock and coming soon!), and six cold drink options that are sweet, delicious, and wonderful for our health. Each drink has different health benefits, so you can pick and choose based on your needs or the needs of your family. (I’m happy to help you with this. Email me and tell me what you’re looking for and I can give suggestions for what would benefit your specific health needs the most.

javita products snapshot2

Is there a difference between the two coffee options?

The Burn and Control coffee is great for helping a person lose weight as it reduces cravings and gives your metabolism a natural boost. But I drink it because the herbs naturally remove toxins from around my organs. Yes, yes, yes!

The Energy and Mind coffee is great to help with alertness, concentration, memory, and of course, energy. I tell you, it works!

Both coffees are wonderful because the herbs in them alkalize the coffee, which is one of my favorite perks to this. No more acidic coffee!! They both taste really great to me, and I happily drink them both daily! If I had to pick which one I like best, I would say that I like the flavor of Energy and Mind coffee just a tiny bit better. Just a tiny bit. I really love them both. :)

Instant coffee? How can that possibly be good?

I know!! I thought that was so weird when I first saw that you dump a little coffee packet into hot water and stir. You all know I love a goooood cup of coffee and avoid that cheap stuff in a red canister if at all possible!

But believe me when I tell you this is not anything like cheapo instant coffee. It’s finely ground and I’ve loved it from my very first sip. I almost always add cream to my coffee, but Javita coffee tastes so good to me I happily drink it black. Or sometimes with cream if that’s what I’m wanting that day. I love it either way!

One thing to note: The package suggests stirring the coffee into 6-8 ounces of hot water. I personally like it best stirred into 10-12 ounces of water. But you can play with it to see what you like best!

Can I doctor up this coffee with cream and such, or will that defeat the purpose of drinking “healthy coffee?”

Yes! Add cream or whatever you normally put into your coffee. No matter how you drink it, you’ll still be enjoying all the health benefits of it because you’re getting all the wonderful herbs mixed into the coffee. Now of course, if you add loads of sugar, you’ll be slowing down your health progress. But baby steps, right? At least the coffee benefits you! And I would venture to say that these drinks will likely help you break free of sugar addiction, so it’s a win-win!


I can’t have caffeine. Will these drinks still work for me?

Absolutely! The Lean and Green tea has only a tiny amount of caffeine, so that makes it a great option. You’d need to avoid the coffees, of course, and the Rush drink. But ALL THE OTHERS are free of caffeine. That leaves seven drinks that are safe for you to drink, all of which will still give you great health benefits!

I really want to lose weight. Which drinks do you recommend?

I really recommend that we drink these with only their health benefits in mind, letting possible weight loss be a fun bonus benefit to becoming healthier! But if weight loss is a specific goal you have, I’d drink the Burn and Control Coffee (or the Lean and Green tea – or both!), the Control (cold pomegranate drink that helps regulate blood sugar and provides appetite control), and the Fiber (to help cleanse your system).

I really don’t care about losing weight. Which drinks do you recommend?

All of them. :) They are all so beneficial for our health that there is not one I don’t recommend no matter your size or situation. I’m personally not drinking Javita drinks to lose weight. I’m drinking them daily to help naturally rid my body of toxins and to give my body energy and balance. They do not disappoint! I can now get to the end of the day and be tired (as in, I feel a normal tired after a hard day’s work), but not so done-in and exhausted that I can’t finish my sentences and I forget how to be nice.

What are you drinking every day, Laura?

Well…I’m plowing through about four or five drinks a day. Excessive? I don’t think so. I think my body needs these right now. I’ll adjust as necessary as I go along in this journey.

I begin the day with a Fiber drink (and it’s working so well I may write an entire post about it!). I follow that immediately with a Burn and Control coffee. Later in the morning I’ll have a Flex (if I am feeling stiff and tight) or a Defend (if I feel my immune system could use some love). In the mid afternoon I drink an Energy and Mind coffee while I’m working (fabulous for brain clarity!) and I try to just listen to my body for anything else I need before the end of the day.

I also drink one-two glasses of water between each Javita drink, so no doubt I’m getting plenty of good hydration throughout the day. And yep. I pee a lot. But what’s new?

Can you drink these when you’re pregnant or nursing?

If you’re nursing, it is recommended that you avoid Rush. But otherwise you can drink these as you wish. If you’re pregnant, you can enjoy FiberDefend, and the occasional Flex. But you should probably wait to drink the others until after baby is born. The herbs in these drinks are wonderful, but perhaps a little strong for a growing baby inside you. :)

Can I give these to my kids?

Yep! Even little ones can drink them, especially Defend and Flex. Rush is great if your kids are athletic. Fiber is wonderful for their digestion. They’ll feel like their drinking a big treat! (I hear you can give them the drink stick and let them eat it straight out of the package like a pixie stick. For real.)

Are these hot drinks or cold drinks?

Yes. Both. Either.

You can make the green tea and coffees either hot or cold. (Though I’ve found that it’s best if you add the drink pouches to a tiny bit of hot water to dissolve it first, then add cold water and ice and whatever else you like.) You can even add Control or another of the sweet drinks to your Lean and Green tea for fun flavors and extra health benefits. You can drink these however you want! (The only exception is that it is not recommended that you add the Fiber drink to anything but that you drink it as-is without stirring it into the tea or anything else. It’s more effective this way!)


I think this could be a great at-home business for me. Can you tell me more about the business side of Javita?

I actually think many of you could benefit from being a part of the business side of this if God leads you to it. Not very many have heard of this company and the products sell themselves because they are so wonderful and because so many people love coffee, tea, and sweet drinks! So this is a great time to join.

I’d work side by side with you as you get off the ground to share these products with the people in your life you know will benefit!

To become a business partner on my Javita team…
  1. Go here and click on “Build a Business.”
  2. Click on “Join Today.”
  3. Assuming you live in the US, click on United States (it’s at the top). Or click on whichever country applies to you!
  4. There you will see the package options. I recommend the $499 package as you’ll get plenty of product to share with people so they can taste it and love it with you. I can’t believe how fast I’m blowing through drink packets as I share them with people! (The $299 package is totally fine too, you just don’t get as many boxes of goodies and you may run out quickly!)
  5. Under each of those package listings you can click on “more info” to learn more about what is included.
  6. Once you’re ready, click “Continue.”
  7. Look at the options and click “Select” on the one you feel is best for you. (I went with the Variety pack so I’d have some of everything!)
  8. You can then go through the final checkout process, in which you’ll need my Member Number: 433280.
  9. Once done, you’ll need to confirm your account via the email they’ll send you and THEN YOU WILL BE IN!!
  10. You can get started sharing right away, and your products will be at your home in just a few days.
  11. I’ll help you in any way I can!

Note: The only “minimum requirement” you must have to maintain your member status is to have an Autoship of products coming to you each month. This isn’t a problem as you’ll likely be drinking them yourself, plus you want to have plenty on hand to share with people as you tell them about what you’re offering! And, you can quickly get your Autoship products for free after having just a few people sign up to purchase products through your Dollar Coffee Club!

javita coffee club

If I don’t want to be a business partner, but I want the products in my home each month in the least expensive way possible, what do I do?

Simply become a part of our Dollar Coffee Club. That will get each of these healthy drinks to you at just $1 each! Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to check out our pretty new Coffee Club Shop.
  2. Click on “Learn More” or watch the video if you like.
  3. When you’re ready, click the “Order Now” button.
  4. Select your country.
  5. Click “Build Your Own.” (You can select a “Popular Pack” if you like, but I found it best to build my order specific to our family’s needs.)
  6. Select 2-5 boxes that you feel will benefit you and your family most. (I started with both varieties of coffee – the Burn + Control and the Mind + Energy – plus the Flex, the Defend, and the Fiber drinks.)
  7. As long as you select 2-5 boxes of coffee, shipping is free!
  8. In a few days your first shipment of drinks will arrive and you can have as much fun as we are having!
  9. After that, you’ll receive monthly auto shipments of drinks, but you can change your drink selections, add or subtract boxes, or cancel at any time.

Phew! After all that, you surely have more questions, so fire away! What else would you like to know about Javita drinks?

Simple Crock Pot Creamy Stew Meat (with Rice, Potatoes, or Pasta)

Did you know that life is terribly unfair? It’s not fair that we let our youngest son go to camp by himself at age 11 but we made his brothers wait until they were 12. It’s not fair that one boy got more ice cream than his brothers. And it’s not fair that our entire family had to smell this Stew Meat cooking all day but couldn’t eat it until the evening came.

Torture. Smelling this meat cooking all day is torture, I tell you.

Slow cooker stew meat

Honestly, it doesn’t look like much in the picture. But the flavor of this meat is incredible because of the simple seasonings you sprinkle on. The crock pot does the work of cooking this slow and low so that the meat becomes tender and juicy. Then you add cream at the end to finish it off to perfection.

Having Ranch Dressing Mix and Onion Soup Mix on hand makes putting this meal into the crock pot very quick. As you probably expected, I didn’t thaw my stew meat ahead of time. I just pulled it from the freezer and put it directly into the crock pot. Easy, easy, easy!

Crock Pot Creamy Stew Meat

Simple Crock Pot Creamy Stew Meat (with Rice or Pasta)
Serves: 6-8
  • 2-3 pounds beef stew meat
  • 3 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. In a crock pot, stir together stew meat, seasoning mixes, and water.
  2. Put a stick of butter on top.
  3. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  4. Add cream and heat for another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve over rice or pasta

Simple Crock Pot Creamy Stew Meat

We really loved this stew meat over steamed brown rice. But it would be equally wonderful served over mashed or baked potatoes, or even whole grain pasta!

Keep in mind that if you do make mashed potatoes to go with this meat, you must make them in the simplest way possible! (I suppose this would require that you have two crock pots though. Hmm…)

More Simple Recipes

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The Easiest No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

As one who types for a living, I often find myself shocked at the words my fingers produce without asking me first. It’s as if they go on auto-pilot, typing with a mind of their own. There’s nothing I can do about this, and we can all be thankful for my ability to edit the words my fingers type without first asking my permission.

For instance, I’m so used to typing “Heavenly” (because I type at least twelve times a day) that every time I write the words “heavy whipping cream” into a recipe my fingers automatically type “heavenly whipping cream.” In this case, I do think my fingers are brilliant because heavy whipping cream is quite heavenly, is it not?

The recipe I’m about to share with you happens to include said heavenly whipping cream. But also? According to my fingers that type on auto-pilot, this ice cream is of the un-churched variety. Sad, isn’t it? Allow me to explain…

strawberry ice cream

Without exception, each time I’ve typed the title of this recipe, it has come out like this: The Easiest No-Church Strawberry Ice Cream. Every single time. So this recipe is “the easiest” because you don’t even have to churn it. But no matter how much I concentrate on telling you that, my fingers type the words “No-Church” and this leads us to believe that this ice cream needs Jesus.

Do not miss the irony of this, because as we’ve already discussed, this “no-church ice cream” is made with none other than “heavenly whipping cream.” Thank you, fingers, for keeping me on my toes and confusing my brain. From now on, please let me tell you what to write instead of taking matters into your own hands. Literally.

The Easiest No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Easiest No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
Serves: 6-8
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Maple syrup to taste (1/4-3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients thoroughly until smooth, creamy, and slightly thickened.
  2. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Cover and freeze for 2-3 hours.
  4. Scoop out ice cream and serve!
  5. If Ice Cream is in the freezer for a long time, simply set it on the counter for about 15 minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop.

The Easiest No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream2

So as you can see, you don’t need to churn this Strawberry Ice Cream. And contrary to the message my fingers are trying to convey, you and I can actually take this to church if we want (because my fingers are not the boss of me.)

If we do take this treat to church and people ask how it’s made, we can tell them about the “heavenly whipping cream” that is the not-so-secret ingredient that makes the ice cream taste so good.

Who knew that an easy ice cream recipe could be the gateway to deep spiritual discussion? Who even knew?

Want more No-Churn Ice Cream recipes?

A note about sugar content:

In this Strawberry Ice Cream recipe as well as the Chocolate and Vanilla versions shared above, replace maple syrup with stevia or the other way around. My preference is to use about 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup and about 30 drops of liquid stevia. The stevia cuts the sugar content dramatically while the maple syrup takes away any bitterness the stevia leaves behind.

Enjoy not churning your ice cream. Or not churching it. Whatever.

What Happens When You Ask Your 15-Year Old Son to Open Your First Aid Kit

It’s amazing that in our household of four boys we haven’t been to the emergency room more often {knocks on wood}.

Our oldest son holds the record for “most times in the ER for stitches.” For once, his brothers are okay with losing a competition. But by the way – why is it that most “emergencies” take place after normal business hours? (And why does a tiny piece of gauze cost $52 in the ER? Did you know you also pay a fee for the tray that holds the gauze? I am very serious.) I’d like to request that in the future, all accidents should take place between the hours of 8:00a-8:00p where stitches cost a fraction of the price. Is this too much to ask?

Just a few weeks ago, our youngest took a pretty hard spill off his bike – after normal business hours, of course. Not that I think about money when my child is bleeding. But still.

My husband was a rock star and spent about an hour and a half getting him cleaned up, comforted, and bandaged. Thankfully, we didn’t need an ER visit this time, and Malachi limped along for a few days while he healed up. The timing of Malachi’s fall was perfect (as if there’s ever a perfect time to fall off your bike?). What I mean is – we’d just received this First Aid Kit as a review item and were so very grateful to have all its contents on hand just when we needed it!

macgill first aid kit

It contains everything a family needs to handle basic emergencies at home so a wound will be cleaned and bandaged properly. It holds everything from cold compresses to eye wash to bandages and gloves. We’ll probably keep ours in the car to have at all our sporting events. I’m not sure why we hadn’t thought of this genius idea before!

But allow me to share when I heard when I first asked my 15-year old son to unpack our new First Aid Kit and give me an idea of all it contained:

“Let’s see. Here is a bandage to use when someone gets stabbed. Here is a pair of small scissors…to cut out bullets. Here is a handy little barf bag…” And on he went…

Yes. For all of our many bullet removal and stab wound needs, we are now prepared, thanks to the MacGill First Aid Kit. And in a less likely, practically unimaginable event that one of our kids falls off his bike or turns an ankle on the basketball court, I suppose we’ll be prepared for that too.

We were especially impressed that the MacGill First Aid Kit came with so many items we didn’t already have but really do need. Sure we’ve always had bandaids and ointmen in our cabinet. But this little kit holds such a variety of helpful items beyond bandaids. And the best is that it holds a simple but thorough instruction card so that in the case of an emergency, we can reference it to see how to properly proceed with treating a wound.

Definitely check out this First Aid Kit! What a great family tool to have on hand.

You can win a free one when you enter the Rafflecopter below! I’ll draw a random winner on Wednesday, July 26.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special thanks to the folks at MacGill for sending this First Aid Kit my way!

Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast (5 Minute Prep!)

I first attempted this Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast recipe about a month ago on a busy night in which I was feeding out of town guests who had come to watch our youngest son, Malachi, perform in our local Children’s Theater production.

hawaiian roast beef

Malachi is the first of all our kids to choose to be involved in theater. It is a gross understatement to say that before this summer, I knew nothing about being a theater mom.

I kept calling the costumes “uniforms” because I have been a sports mom for so many, many years. But more difficult than this is the fact that I volunteered to help create said costumes. What in the world was I thinking?

Well, I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that since all parents needed to be involved in some way with helping to pull off a huge 50-kid theater production, volunteering to help with costumes would be a better choice for me than volunteering to put on stage make-up. No way, no how should I be allowed to attempt to paint a child’s face.

I showed up to the first costume meeting where about 10 talented moms joined to talk to the director about all the costume needs. For two entire hours, everyone sat and discussed costumes – in German. Thoroughly lost while hearing all the words I didn’t understand, I eventually asked the director a question. He kindly said, and I quote, “Blah, blah, blah, stuff, stuff, blah. Does that make sense?” [DEER IN HEADLIGHTS]

I wanted to exit back stage left. Please someone tell me where I can sign up to bake cookies!!! Deliver me from trying to understand how to put together uniforms! I mean costumes.

As it turned out, the other moms did a marvelous job creating fabulously impressive costumes. The make-up moms transformed kids’ faces so that they actually looked like daisies and rabbits and mice.

Malachi's play 1

In the meantime, I used my talent to write actors’ names on Wal-mart bags with a sharpie so we could keep track of each character’s gloves, socks, and shoes. Rock on.

When all was said and done, I had so much fun meeting theater parents and kids from our community that I would join the costume committee again next year if I’m “needed.” I might even remember to stop calling them “uniforms.”

malachi's play 2

So this roast recipe. It’s so simple you can throw it into the crock pot to cook all day without exerting any effort. You can set out plates and direct your guests to help themselves to the roast as you head out the door to go help 30 sweet girl actors between the ages of 7-17 don their hedgehog, cook, queen, and daisy costumes as you pretend with all your might that you actually know what you’re doing.

Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast

Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast (5 Minute Prep!)
Serves: 6-8
  • 3-4 pound beef roast (frozen or thawed!)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 20-ounce can of pineapple, drained (or 2 cups fresh or frozen pineapple)
  1. Place roast in crock pot.
  2. Pour barbecue sauce over the top.
  3. Add pineapple.
  4. Cook on low for 10 hours if roast is frozen and 8 hours is roast is thawed.

Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast

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A Frequent Discussion With My Husband About Coffee: Is it Healthy or Is it Not?

As most of you know, I started loving coffee about four years ago. Yep. I went from really disliking it to totally loving it within a matter of months. Why? I’m not even sure. (Well, except that I started drinking it about the time I started to consistently dig into God’s Word each morning. So coffee time to me = Jesus’ beautiful Truth and fulfillment. So of course coffee began to taste delicious.)

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My husband has never been a fan of coffee and wasn’t sure how he felt about me starting “the coffee habit.” He questioned the healthiness of coffee because of negative reports he’d heard. So he began to read about it, especially when a couple of our boys started having an occasional cup with me in the mornings. (Indeed, I was pulling them over to the dark side…)

Coffee: Is it healthy or is it not?

Coffee Is it Healthy

As often happens when one does thorough research – Matt found conflicting articles. Coffee is good! Coffee is bad! Drink more! Drink less! Don’t drink it at all! Have as much as you want! But what we ultimately concluded was that as long as we didn’t overdo, as long as we continued to drink plenty of water each day, and as long as we didn’t load our coffee with sugar – we could settle into feeling okay about drinking coffee.

coffee for asa and britt

Correction: He could settle into feeling okay about coffee. I already felt good about it because of the incredible yum factor, the time with Jesus that comes with it, and basically I just love everything about coffee (especially when it has a shot of real cream in it).

After years of coffee discussions at our house…

…our friend Nikki told us that she’d discovered a “very healthy coffee.” Matt definitely wanted me to check into it – especially because we know that when Nikki says something is “healthy” we know we can trust her. She has a significantly larger understanding of herbs, oils, and healthy living than we do and has been a great resource and friend through the years.

I already shared here that after Nikki introduced us to Javita coffee, not only did we both agree that it is a healthy option, we loved it so much we bought a Coffee Club! Matt’s conclusion has even become, “Our whole family should be drinking this. Not only is it not bad, it is very, very good.”

How about that? This is like a dream come true for my coffee-lovin’ self!

javita cups

I seriously love that each morning when I drink my cup of coffee (the perfect thing to fill my Prayer Mugs!) I have complete confidence that what I’m drinking is actually benefiting me. When our kids drink it, they are being filled with nutrients. Matt has even started to drink Javita coffee! (Finally, I can have a coffee date with my hubby. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time!)

So is “regular” coffee bad for us?

That’s a tough one to answer now that I’ve experienced Javita. I guess I would answer that it’s not necessarily bad, as long as we don’t overdo. But one of the biggest issues with regular coffee is that it can be hard on our insides as it is highly acidic. Too much acid in our bodies can cause some big time damage, and while I’ve known that, I’ve loved coffee too much to give it much thought.

Javita though. Javita coffee has a wonderful mixture of herbs included, which takes it from an acidic state to an alkalinized state. Therefore, when we drink it, we suffer NONE of the regular ill effects we typically would from acidic, regular coffee. There are more benefits (shared below), but I would say that so far in my research, the acid —-> alkaline factor is my favorite perk!

So because of all we’ve experienced with Javita so far, we’ve come to this conclusion:

If we’re going to drink coffee, why not drink what is truly good for our health?

And if you aren’t a coffee fan, I’ll instead point you to the Green Tea Javita offers. More info below! Here’s a general breakdown from the Javita website of the coffee and tea so you can understand more about why they benefit our health so much…

About Javita Coffee

Created by coffee lovers for coffee lovers, Javita understands what you want (and expect) from your coffee, which is why ours offers you MORE energy, alertness and mental clarity, We’ve infused medicinal herbs (Bacopa monnieri, gotu kola and green tea), so it doesn’t just taste great, it’s also great for you.

Based on Asian Ayurvedic medicine, these herbs have been used for thousands of years to improve mental clarity (Bacopa monnieri), to enhance memory development, learning and concentration (gotu kola) and to increase energy, suppress appetite and improve mental processes (green tea).

About Javita Lean + Green Tea

Flavorful teas and great conversation have been bringing people together for centuries. However no other tea—black, red, oolong, etc.—has the dedicated following of green tea.

Its mild taste and sweet aroma provide a combination of invigorating and calming qualities, as well as having the highest concentration of beneficial phytonutrients, not to mention the thousands of studies on the health benefits—including supporting heart, brain, immune and blood sugar health, and countless anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic benefits.

Combine the widely reported fat-burning benefits of green tea, with the incredible fat-blocking power of Garcinia Cambogia and the sweet-stopping, crave-busting control of Gymnema Sylvestre, and you have Lean+Green—Javita’s one-two-three knockout punch to fight the ongoing weight-loss battle.

The long and short of it is that if we’re going to drink anything but water, why not drink favorites like coffee, tea, and sweet flavored drinks that taste great AND benefit our health?

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Eventually I’ll go into more specifics of what each drink offers. We’ve tried almost all of them and plan to eventually have a supply of every single one!

A note about Javita coffee and the weight loss perk

I want to emphasize again that Matt and I and our family are not drinking these as “weight loss” drinks. Our goal is good health, strong immune systems, removal of toxins, clearer minds and memory, and better concentration. That’s what we’re experiencing. That’s why we love it. That’s why we’re sharing it with you.

But we know several people who are also losing weight while drinking it, so take that and run if that is a goal you wish to achieve.

Silly as it may sound…I love fun drinks!

How fantastic that these are so very enjoyable and affordable and they happen to be so very good for us too! Coffee is one of my favorite things. I’m so grateful that this coffee fills my cup, brings so much enjoyment, and benefits my health too. All for just a buck a cup.

I encourage and invite you to become a part of our Dollar Coffee Club. Here’s how it works:

  1. Click here to check out our pretty new Coffee Club Shop.
  2. Click on “Learn More” or watch the video if you like.
  3. When you’re ready, click the “Order Now” button.
  4. Select your country.
  5. Click “Build Your Own.” (You can select a “Popular Pack” if you like, but I found it best to build my order specific to our family’s needs.)
  6. Select 2-5 boxes that you feel will benefit you and your family most. (I started with both varieties of coffee – the Burn + Control and the Mind + Energy – plus the Flex, the Defend, and the Fiber drinks.)
  7. As long as you select 2-5 boxes of coffee, shipping is free!
  8. In a few days your first shipment of drinks will arrive and you can have as much fun as we are having!
  9. After that, you’ll receive monthly auto shipments of drinks, but you can change your drink selections, add or subtract boxes, or cancel at any time.

If you want to do more of your own research, head over here and click on “Our Products” at the top of the page. Then you can click around on each product to read more about what they offer. When you’re ready to order, click “Order Now,” select your country, click on “Build Your Own,” and continue as described above.

There is no risk to trying these as they offer a 30-day guarantee. You can change your Auto-Delivery at any time, switch out products, or skip a month. Truly Javita makes it easy for you to enjoy their products without giving your life away. Starting out in the Dollar Coffee Club is what made us fall in love with the products – then we signed on as members so we could share it with you. That can come later if you like, and you can email me to get more info if that’s something you’d like to do as you share this with your friends. (Our Member Number is: 433280. If you decide to sign on as a member, which is super fun, you’ll need that number to get you started!)

Let me know if you have questions. My email address is

Healthy coffee and tea and sweet drinks for the win!

How to Make Cheesecake in a Crock Pot (Crustless! Low Sugar!)

You know how I eat these Fat Bombs every day? Well, I also eat one of these Low Sugar Mini Cheesecakes every day.


They are lightly sweet, filling, and full of good fat and protein.

So what’s a girl to do when she runs out of her Mini Cheesecakes on a hot day in the summer? She certainly doesn’t want to turn on the oven to bake more for herself. And I think we all know the waffle iron just won’t work for something like this (but don’t think I didn’t at least consider it for one insane moment).


How to Make Cheesecake in a Crock Pot

How to Make Cheesecake in a Crock Pot
Serves: 12
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 full droppers of liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a crock pot.
  3. Cook on low for 3- 3½ hours or until the center of the cheesecake is no longer liquid.
  4. Turn off crock pot, remove lid, and allow it to sit for 1-2 hours to cool.
  5. Transfer cheesecake to the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before serving.
  6. Cut into 12 slices.

How to Make Cheesecake in the Crock Pot

I forgot to mention – this Crock Pot Cheesecake is crustless. (I’m so used to eating them this way, I forget cheesecakes are supposed to have crusts. Ha!)

This same idea will work to make these Low Sugar Brownie Cheesecakes in the Crock Pot. Follow the recipe on this page and the directions above to make a chocolate version.

Or, if you want some No-Bake Cheesecake Varieties, check out the list below.

Can’t wait to hear how you like this Cheesecake in a Crock Pot idea!


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