Growing up, we were the family that never, EVER ripped the wrapping paper. We carefully peeled away the tape pieces and refolded the paper so it could be used again. I’m pretty sure I had the exact same piece of wrapping paper on my birthday presents for 18 years. My mom is the queen of eco-friendly gift wrap because it literally never got thrown out. But short of recycling the same paper for a couple of decades, here are some really fun diy eco friendly gift wrap ideas!
Finding creative ways of wrapping presents can really be half the fun of gift-giving! Everyone will ohh and ahh over your efforts and you can save your slice of humble pie for another day. Nobody forgets an occasion where the wrappings were just as amazing as the gifts!
In Part 1 of this series I talked about the importance of carefully composing a shopping list based on the sales. I’ll say it again, when grocery shopping NEVER PAY FULL PRICE FOR ANYTHING! That post had a beautiful meal planning cheatsheet too, where you can create your plan based on which proteins are on sale. This is the most frugal way to meal plan so to that end I’ve got an epic list of 101 protein based meal ideas! These meal ideas for busy families should help you easily fill in your meal plan cheatsheet in no time, getting you one step closer to simplifying dinnertime!
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Meal Ideas for Busy Families
Dinnertime is hard. The last thing you need at the end of a long day is to be staring into your fridge desperately trying to come up with a decent meal while the kiddos climb up your legs and whine. No thanks.
I’ve got an awesome list + printable cheatsheet of 101 protein based meal ideas so you can easily pick out the week’s meals while you make your shopping list. Easy peasy. Step 1: Find which protein is on sale. Step 2: Locate an idea from this list using that protein. Step 3: Fill in your shopping list. Bam Done.
When I took a critical look at my day-to-day with the kids, I determined that the dinnertime hour is the most difficult part of our day. No question. Everyone is tired, hungry and irritable. The kids are extra needy while I’m desperately trying to produce a healthy (ish) meal. They start crying because I won’t give them a snack and my husband comes home to find total chaos. Does any of this sound familiar? So I’m on a mission to simplify dinnertime and calm the chaos. And it starts with carefully prepared grocery lists and meal plans!
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A HUGE stress point for me is figuring out what I’m going to make for dinner. It’s way more stressful than actually cooking dinner. I go from slightly frustrated to full on resentful that I have to come up with a dinner plan every single night for the rest of my life. UGH. (Not my proudest moments.)
Dinnertime goes so much better when there is a plan made ahead of time. And since we’re still paying off student loans, I gotta do the meal planning on a budget.
The trouble with baby clothes is that they are so darn cute. There’s something about teeny tiny dresses and tuxedo onesies that makes everyone forget what their credit card limit is. The result is that most babies have way more clothes than they could possibly need after parents, grandparents, friends and church ladies have all made their purchases. And then, as moms, we go ahead and get sentimentally attached to every single onesie. So we need ways to upcycle baby clothes that are reasonable, useful and meaningful.
I have 3 large bins of baby clothes that I can’t bring myself to part with. I did make a bunting for my youngest’s room out of clothes that were too rough to donate or use again. But that only made a small dent in my collection. Every piece I pulled out reminded me of how tiny my boys were and I could remember cuddling them in that exact outfit! Then I started to cry and put everything right back in the bins. Thanks hormones.
So here are a number of ways to upcycle baby clothes. I plan to tackle a bunch of these so I can justify keeping all the adorable clothes my boys wore!
Since having kids, dinnertime has been a super stressful part of the day. I don’t know what it is about the five o’clock hour that makes children a little bonkers, but I think it’s fairly common. The kiddos are extra needy and demanding when I’m trying to prep dinner. Compound that with the fact that I hate cooking and absolutely despise having to come up with meal ideas and you’ve got a recipe for a cranky monster of a mama.
“What’s the Hardest Part of your Day?”
I was chatting with a friend a few months ago about my daily struggles. She’s a ‘let’s take action’ kind of mom which is just what I needed, she’s a good listener too but has no patience for excuses. So she asked me a simple question: “What’s the hardest part of your day?” I thought for a sec and replied “Dinnertime.” Without a doubt. Then she asked: “What can you do make dinnertime easier?”
And I didn’t really know how to respond! There are so many aspects of motherhood and life in general that are hard, that I use up all my energy just to survive that I didn’t even consider that there might be an easier way. I think I had resigned myself to the idea that dinnertime was hellish and always would be!