Dear Internet,

110966-internet-woes-and-life-goalsI hope you’re well, but we need to chat. I feel like we have such a volatile relationship. Some days I hate you, sometimes I think you’re the toxic poison seeping in and ruining all aspects of my life, some days I need you more than anything else and some days I just flat out can’t help but spend all of my waking hours just rolling from page to page without any sense of control (or regret).

As much as I feel like taking the inspiration of Esther Emery’s ‘Year Without the Internet’ (blog โ€ข book), I don’t think it would work. But I also am interested in going TV free in our home… as I sit here typing and watching Netflix on my large screen TV….

Internet, I’m in a bit of an unsteady time.

I crave nothing more than a closeness with my husband and kids, screen free and meaningful. I crave a stillness between my heart and God, a pure, distraction free connection. I crave nature, fresh mountain air, paperback books, scratch made everything. I crave realness. Truth. Connection. Meaning.

But…. I also crave creativity. Sharing. Learning. Community that I can take in and be a part of when it’s convenient. I know that everyone havingย  relationships and community strictly thru a screen is causing damage to our system and being, but- for a homeschooling mom of 3, girl boss, generally crazed and run ragged… being able to take some connectivity in the slots that I have open are my option.

I want to spend more time here, blogging, sharing, connecting with like minded folk. I love that I’ve created a business that is successful and provides for my family… but it no longer is meeting everything for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thankful- my bride’s are AMAZING and I just couldn’t be happier with the way our story continues to play out. But the road that living in your business leads to just isn’t a path I’m interested in. I don’t believe in it.

I believe in “retiring” young to live a life worth living. I believe in staying far away from the American dream/rat race. I believe in Biblical focus. I believe in pure, natural living. I believe in self sustainability. In community. In support. In not buying into the ‘who’s the most popular’, ‘who’s getting more recognition on social media’ game that consumes so many.

I know you have to bear with me as I tend to ramble and get off track, but this is my letter to you. I want to engage more with your world wide structure, but in a meaningful way. A way that can actually connect me to the true passion/drive vs. eating up my life with obsession and negativity. I want to share our journey, my story, my insight… not because I think any of it is better than anyone else or that it’s anything special… but because it’s fun to share and connect with others.

So here we are. You and me, Internet. I hope that this collection of my ramblings, stories and $0.02 may one day, possibly, lead to something fulfilling and exciting. Until then, it’s me and you and I’ll continue to use it as a place for my passions and interests with the hope of connecting to others of the same. Thank you for that, what a world we live in huh?

Yours truly,

Heidi, a fellow millennial

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Want to retire young?

keep-calm-and-retire-young-2.pngI do. Heck, some months I think I’m half way there already. I feel like some people judge me that I just want to be lazy, some people picture us as being overly successful and rolling in the moolah, and others just chuckle at how our immature brains could think that is an option.

Let’s say this- retiring isn’t quitting work, it’s quitting mandatory work.ย  I do not have any sum of money worth bragging about, and you’d laugh if you saw my savings account, last point- go ahead and laugh at my ‘silly idea’. In case you don’t know this– I THRIVE off people doubting us. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ #truestory

Being fed the story that we have to work for someone until we’re in our 60’s or 70’s to be able to take out last few ‘golden years’ off is ridiculous. If you’re drinking that water- and buying it, I’m sorry. And please stop. YOU control what YOU choose to do. Prayer always, but you hold the ability to make each and every day what it is.

I am turning 30 this December, and I am actively working on my retirement. I don’t call it that necessarily, we call it “our future”, “life worth living”, “the gift of the present”. Follow my thought train if you will–

Why do we work? Ok, we work to pay bills, buy food, pay off debt, have money to go do fun things, buy stuff we want, to live. That’s probably the majority of where all working man money goes, right?

So what if we get to the heart of those things– what if you didn’t have bills? (or had very few) What if we were more self sustainable? What if our home and vehicle were paid for? What if we realized the act of accumulating stuff doesn’t bring true happiness?

If we handled some of those things, then would you have to work? Or work as much as you do today? If you only required even a few hundred bucks a month, a few thousand a year, to live off of- what could you do with all the other time? Working is essentially an employer purchasing your time- what if your time was yours again?

I don’t have a set time frame- God will lead that path, but I’m actively working on my retirement. My plan isn’t as fancy and detailed as a financial advisor would create (and I used to be one of those, created many retirement plans, this is different), but it works. And I think it sure as hell beats being in my 60’s and 70’s counting down for time to be my own again.

Retirement Plan:

Don’t accumulate debt. We have a little now, DO NOT ADD TO IT. No credit cards, no loans, nothin’! Pay it off however you prefer- Snowball Effect, let it sit for 7 years, call up each creditor and haggle a low amount pay off. Your call. But do NOT add to it.

Keep working our hustle like there’s no tomorrow- we’ve got 4 main focuses in our plan as of today and we’re going for it.

Keep expenses down starting now. The more you realize that you being marketed to 24/7 in a giant game of every company taking your last dollar… the easier it is to just say no. Stop hemorrhaging cash now, look at your expenses and cut out what’s just unnecessary.

Pay off & own out right as much as you can. Lose car payments and anything else! I can’t wait to own our car outright- and even then, when we had to buy a car we went with a well cared for used car that cost us a fraction of what most end up paying. We will have paid less for our gorgeous, pristine condition Mercedes SUV than we did when we bought our first/only brand new car– a Kia sedan. True story- who’s the one getting played now?

990a88b587e5757dc64f867f50a5f2e0Buy a chunk of land and build a simple home. We are looking for a remote lot, full of nature, and surrounded by God’s creation. As far as the home- I want something we can build using alternative building materials. Think straw bale, cobb, shipping containers, etc… Cost effective and manageable with our skills (none), ability to learn and bribe helpers. ๐Ÿ˜„

Continue to up our self sustainability! Grow our own food, buy in bulk, reduce, reuse, recycle. The less we have to depend on the stores and companies, the less we have to pay for. Put in the work up front, reap the rewards. Solar power, your own water source, self sustainability is a lost art. And addictive in the pursuit to reclaim.

Enjoy your time. We don’t know how much of it we’ll get- why waste it? Why do I want to set myself up for a life where I control my time each day? Because I want to be with my kids, I want to have fun, explore, travel, work alongside my husband, volunteer with orphanages in poor countries, lay in a hammock and nap on a hot afternoon, learn to do macrame, grow old and play with my grandbabies all day, to raise our own farm animals and grow our own garden foods. I want my time to be mine. And that is worth the work to set it up, and that is why waiting for someone to give me the ‘go ahead’ just won’t do.

There’s a million stories of those retiring young and pursuing life- you could sit back and count a million reasons why that couldn’t ever be you- or you could throw your arms up and say “Just do it!”

Habits.

4a597a3a6649812cc5248e294716a0afWe know that you have to do something over and over, without fail, for it to become a habit. I have a lot of things I do that fall into this category:

Showering. Cleaning my house. Grocery shopping. Putting the dogs outside. Organizing my house. Checking Instagram. Scrolling aimlessly on Pinterest. Rolling my eyes at Facebook. Watching TV. Ordering off Amazon. Listening to music while I work. Pouring a glass of wine to enjoy each night.

Where’s my time reading the Bible? I’m starting in Genesis with the kids this year for our homeschool plan, and we’ll do that Monday – Thursday. But what about my own personal roots in the word? A daily habit to be in the Bible reading it word for word, praying for discernment and understanding.

I stumbled upon a series on YouTube of Amish families and teenagers meeting British teenagers and families. It was really interesting to see how these people lived, to see their daily devotion (MULTIPLE times thru the day- imagine that), and to see them use that single book as the basis for literally everything. Even one scene where the Amish kids were in England and the issue of dancing came up. The girls spent the night reading all they could where the Bible referenced dancing and what it truly said vs. what they had been taught to believe. They read, questioned, prayed. But the basis of reading was the center to everything. It’s a really cool series!

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Click HERE for the series of the Amish kids visiting England.

Do you make it a daily habit to be in your Bible reading each and every day without fail? Is it as second nature to be reading your Bible as it is to brush your teeth or have a cup of coffee? It isn’t for me, and I really don’t think it is for the majority of us. What if we made it a habit?

I suppose in this world of social media marketing I should have some really cool video with me looking very perfectly put together but playing it off as ‘casual me’ with a perfectly white background, a polished messy bun and stylized table or desk next to me. Sorry folks, what about a gathering using the internet as a gift to share each day a passage of scripture- no fuss. No fancy. No frill. Just the words. And we can read through the Bible together. We can make being in the word a DAILY habit. No excuses.

I’m in. I have other things I’m sure the world says I “should” be doing, that should be my priority. But God had me up all night (I hardly slept- which is NOT like me) thinking about this. And I’m going to do it- read through the Bible, hopefully with others out there that find this, and plant that habit to grow stronger than my need for morning coffee (and evening wine).

Amen.

K.I.S.S.

Do you ever think that Jesus is the O.G. for the KISS saying?

Keep It Simple Stupid.

Well, he’s Jesus. So maybe in Hebrew that last s was for silly or something not as ‘harsh’ as stupid.

Most people of any level of faith would probably agree that the Bible is important. Heck, it’s a world long best seller. But, we’d also all probably agree that it’s not read as often as it probably should be.

I think we have a few things to blame- ourselves, modern life, busy schedules, laziness, Netflix… seriously- we can binge watch all seasons of Peaky Blinders (and then maybe re watch it for anything you may have missed) but when was the last time you binge read the New Testament? Ya… me either.

But I think part of it is that we’ve over complicated studying the Bible. Follow me and moment if you will….

God gave the gift of his word, the story he wanted to be told to every corner of the world. Something for every man, woman and child to learn of his love and grace, to learn of Jesus and to live a life for Him. Do you think it’s something too complicated for the average Joe to understand? No way!

We’ve made it SO complicated! You have to go to church for a pastor to explain and break it down. You have to get into some kind of theological tangent to even understand. You have to research oodles and oodles of historic documents to know how anything applied and if it still does. You have to have a specific reading plan, with a devotional study book and questions to answer, prayers to recite… it goes on and on. Oh ya, and then we argue and bicker about all of those points just mentioned.

What if you just KISS? What if you just kept it simple stupid? (Or silly, if you think me saying stupid is mean.)

I don’t think many church attending Christians REALLY know what it says and how God directly tells us to live our lives for him. Hint: it’s NOT the way mainstream church culture behaves. (This statement based off of growing up in a church going Christian home, attending Christian school, and hearing time and time again things that are just flat out NOT there.)

But how could we? How could we know without a doubt that we’re on that track when we never root ourselves in it? Can you sing along to more songs on the radio or tv jingles than you can Bible verses? I think something’s off. I know I can’t.

The wise men of the Bible tell us there that we must be in His word constantly! That if we’re reading, praying and listening for God’s direction that we will be on the right path.

Let’s keep it simple. Let’s cut EVERYTHING out and just read the words in front of us. I volunteer to make a super simple, daily scripture plan that you can watch/listen to/read. You need nothing more than you have right now. If you’re reading this it’s because you get on Facebook/Instagram daily, so clicking one more link won’t kill ya. And Netflix will still be there in 15 minutes.

Let’s put away everything we’ve been told, we’ve been hurt by, we’ve viewed as hypocritical, and just read each and every word, take it for what it says, and let that sink into our hearts like a seed ready to sprout. ๐ŸŒฑ

You in?

Gotta go back… back… back to schoooool…. AGAIN.

Is it just me that breaks into song thinking the words “back to school”?

Probably… but that’s ok. You should have seen it when Grease went to theater’s– best sing-a-long performance! Man… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜…

Homeschool, much different than Rydell High, for us this year is set. Good to go. It took me one afternoon to prepare. This is a record folks!

Kids being schooled: a 6th grader (age 12 next month), a 1st grader (age 6 here soon) and a tag-a-long 3 1/2 year old

Curriculum: a Bible. This one in fact: ESV Bible on Amazon

Back to school shopping list: 2 Bibles (one for 12 year old, one for mom/dad), 4 notebooks (each kid & mom), pack of highlighters, pack of pencils (to be kept up in a closet, in a box, guarded. Otherwise… they all disappear! ๐Ÿ˜ค)

Total Back to School/Homeschool bill: Less than $25. ๐Ÿ’ช Yes please.

Plan:

By 10 AM -ish (we wake up slow), Spend 15 minutes in silence. Pray, listen for God, listen to the birds, whatever. 15 minutes of silence. Added bonus: daily practice of self control. ๐Ÿ‘

Read the Bible, starting in Genesis. No set time, until we’ve reached a good spot or kids seats are too wiggly. We will watch What’s in the Bible to correlate with our reading.

Journal any special verses that stood out, thoughts we may have or questions of things we don’t understand. A few moments for mom & the oldest to write some thoughts and I’m thinking I’ll provide one of the verses for the 6 year old to copy write.

We will have a page in our journal that we can all add prayer requests to. People we know, people/things we’re thinking about, and we’ll close out time with a family prayer for these things.

The rest of our ‘school’ day? Service.

Taking the wise council of things like Dr. Raymond Moore, the ways of the Amish, books like Cleaning House & that ol’ Bible- the rest of the day will be spent enjoying the gift of the present and serving those around us.

We started this month with the importance of clean rooms & good hygiene. Setting a morning and evening room check for tidyness and keeping the kids in routine of actually getting dressed, brushing teeth, etc… (even on lazy days ๐Ÿ™ˆ).

Next month, and with the start of our school routine, we’re adding cooking for your family & cleaning the kitchen. Each week all three kids will be responsible for picking out one meal they want to make, creating the list of needed items, and then shopping for said items. On Monday we will all prepare & serve the meal together, then each kid has a set day that they will get to provide dinner (with some help of course), serve their family (8 of us total), and properly clean the kitchen after. I think we’re all pretty excited for it!

Each month an additional area of service will be added in to what we’re already focusing on, with the morning routine of silence, Bible, journaling and prayer to remain the same. I am super excited for this year! ๐Ÿ˜ No, my kids may not know the things that most 6th graders are learning… my 1st grader may be a little off… but that’s ok. I’ll take a lack of fact reciting to a year we spent growing closer to God and serving all we come in contact with. We can always work on fractions next year. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here goes nothing- September, we’re ready!

 

P.S., Thanks for being so easy on my pocket book! ๐Ÿ˜˜

What’s for Dinner? Episode 2

WFD 2Sometimes you’re broke. The moolah has run out. And fraudulent charges to you account left a big ol’ hole and cards that are useless. Welcome to my day. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

But, you may not want to sacrifice the quality of food and the organic-ness of it for something cheap and full of things you can’t pronounce. (Why do we consume ingredients that we can’t pronounce let alone understand?!)

Enter- The Poor Man’s Dinner! Organic, wholesome, clean burritos!

Homemade, from scratch tortillas, grass-fed organic beef, refried beans, some toppings- Voila! Even enough for a delish dessert! All for literally a few bucks, what you have already laying around… and I feed 8 people. (5 adults, 3 kids)

Homemade Tortillas

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

3 cups of flour (unbleached) — Plus extra for rolling

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup oil ( I used sunflower)

1 cup warm water

Bowl for mixing

Rolling Pin

Griddle or pan

 

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Turn on some cookin’ music! Put on aprons! ๐Ÿ˜™

Step 2:

Mix all dry ingredients together. Then add in the wet ingredients and combine. Turn on the griddle or pan on the stove- I use an electric griddle AND pan on the stove to speed up the process- just medium heat.

Step 3:

Pull dough off in 1-2″ clumps- sprinkle a little flour on the counter, sprinkle some flour on the rolling pin, squash your dough down on the flour in a circular shape, roll out until tortilla thin. (Not so thin that there’s holes, but not too thick- experiment to find your fave!)

Step 4:

Turn the oven on to warm/250. Take a plate, and a tea towel that’s been run under hot water & rung out. Make a bed on the plate with the towel for the tortillas to be set in. This will keep them warm and moistened while you cook the meat!

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Step 5:

Put the tortilla on the heated surface- cook until you start to see some bubbles/it starts to become transparent, then flip! Once done- add to the center of the towel set up on the plate.

Step 6:

Continue rolling, flipping, rolling and flipping until you’re done. I average 12 or so tortillas with each batch.

Step 7:

Put plate on a cooking tray and place in warmed oven- turn oven off.

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Taco/Burrito Meat

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 pound grass-fed organic beef

seasonings of choice (I sprinkle in some minced onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika, onion salt, garlic powder, oregano… whatever I’m feeling!)

refried beans (SUPER easy to make- cheap & healthy, but I wasn’t prepared, so we had to do canned. Always read the ingredients list and choose the option that has ideally 5 or less ingredients & they’re all REAL food that you can pronounce!)

 

Step 1:

Gather ingredients, brown meat, add your spices.

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Step 2:

Add beans! Mix and heat.

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Step 3:

Pull tortillas out of oven, add whatever toppings you like/have. Lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, pico…

BONUS: Cinnamon Chip Dessert!

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

Homemade tortillas

Real butter

Sugar

Cinnamon

 

Step 1:

Rub butter on both sides of the tortilla(s). Preheat oven to 350 or so.

Step 2:

Take a pizza cutter and slice up!

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Step 3:

Put all pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon!

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Step 4:

Lay all pieces out on a cookie tray. Cook for 10 minutes or so- will depend on how many you do, once you start to really smell the cinnamon cooking and they look crunchy, you’re good!

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Step 5:

Eat ’em all up! Perfect with a little vanilla ice cream or a fruit salsa! Mmmmmm!

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This entire dinner can be made in no time flat and for literally a few bucks, you probably have most all of this in the house anyway! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy!

What’s for dinner? Episode 1

WFD 1I hate that question. Hate it. Every day these people want dinner?!? Whhhat? Regardless… I’ve been working for ways to solve our dinner/nutritional/budget/health issues. Figured maybe I’d start documenting them.

Note: We believe in eating organic, growing your own or eating local, chemical free everything, clean eating- meaning we read the ingredients on everything and don’t buy it unless we know what every ingredient listed actually is and preferably it has less than 5 ingredients. I love baking as much as we can from scratch too! We’re not perfect- but those are generally our goals. Also, we have 8 people in this house. 8. Mom & Dad in the 30’ish area, 2 Uncle’s in their mid-20’s, a pre-teen boy, two always on the move little girls and Grandma. Food is a big deal here. ๐Ÿ˜†

Tonight for dinner- Carb Mania! Rolled Lasagna & Homemade Bread Rolls

This Lasagna is my brother’s favorite. Like I can’t wait for him to be married and have to tell his lovely bride… “Well, it was good… it just isn’t like my sister’s.” One day… ๐Ÿ˜น

Starting- the easy bread rolls! Don’t be intimidated! Want to spoil your family and be Wonder Woman? Bake bread. Often. Everyone will love you!

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 cup of warm water (like bath water, not too hot to the touch)

1/2 cup oil (I usually use sunflower or similar- learn more about cooking oils HERE)

2 tbl yeast

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt (usually use Himalayan Pink Salt)

1 egg

2 tbl honey

3 1/2 cups flour (usually use unbleached white or a whole grain wheat or even 1/2 & 1/2)

Butter (NOT margarine) to grease the pan

Bread ALWAYS comes out best when cooked in stoneware! I have a Pampered Chef casserole dish type that I use for rolls.

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Turn on music- Indie Folk Revival on Pandora. Or you know, something else. Pour a glass of wine. Some Chardonnay maybe? Mmmm… Make it a habit- every night when it’s time to begin dinner, do this! The kids love dancing while listening to Frank Sinatra croon, the soft music is a welcomed atmosphere while you prepare a healthy feast for your loved ones. And wine. Always wine.

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Step 2:

Pour the warm water, oil and yeast into a large bowl. Let sit for 15ish minutes. Sip wine. Dance. Sing. You should start to see the yeast coming alive– my 5 year old LOVES this part!

Step 3:

Add in the rest! Sugar, salt, egg, honey, Mix. Add the flour (Remember- take a smaller measuring cup and pour the flour into the measuring cup you’re using. You want it light and fluffy not packed in- then take a butter knife and scrape it level with the flat side. See HERE. Mix everything between cups of flour.

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Step 4:

Sprinkle some flour onto the counter and flop the ball of dough onto it. Knead it out a little bit, sprinkling flour on your hands/dough as needed. It shouldn’t be wet/sticky anymore. Start to work it into a rectangular shape. Not perfect, don’t stress it too much. Take a big ol’ knife and cut up your rolls. I usually do two cuts horizontally and then how ever many I end up with across. We have a big household- so I’d prefer to have a higher quantity over having bigger rolls.

Step 5:

Grab each square and roll around into a ball shape. Doesn’t have to be perfect- kids LOVE this part! (Although they constantly sneak bites of dough! ๐Ÿ˜‹) Place each ball into the already buttered dish… assuming you already did that. If not, set down the wine for a minute and butter your stoneware pan. sides and bottom. I guess glass will work too… stone is just better.

Step 6:

Place the pan off to the side, let the rolls rise for a bit while we work on the lasagna. ALWAYS clean up your station between items– keeps the kitchen tidy, sets a good example for the kiddos (clean up your mess before you start something new!) and there’s you know… health benefits. I usually like to load the dishwasher as I go, makes it easy peasy!

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Larkin Approved Lasagna Rolls

I LOVE these, and I’ve never been a big lasagna person. But they’re sooo good- and even better the next day for lunch! Yummmm! This here made about 18 rolls.

Needed:

{ALWAYS choose organic as much as possible!}

1 pound grass fed beef

2 jars of Newman’s marinara sauce (Love Newman’s!)

Some seasonings- salt, pepper, Italian herbs, garlic – your call

Small jar of ricotta (need to learn to make my own- one day!)

1 egg

1 block mozzarella cheese

Italian blend cheese (either buy a couple blocks of cheese you like- or cheat and buy a pre-shredded baggie- I try not to do the latter option very often)

18 lasagna noodles

Olive Oil

Step 1:

Gather all ingredients. Refill wine if needed, make sure music is still going, welcome kids to help as you can, bread should still be rising in a warm-ish spot.

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Save on organic grass fed beef– stalk your local grocery store for beef that’s coming up on it’s ‘sell by’ date! 1/2 price- I use some right away and freeze the rest! Score!

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Step 2:

Boil a pot of water- I add a splash of olive oil, some salt and some parsley/basil to it. Once boiling cook your noodles per package instructions. Brown the beef- I add a mix of seasonings here. Some salt, pepper, minced garlic & dried onion, some parsley/basil/oregano… whatever I’m feeling. Once browned, add 1 jar of the marinara sauce and simmer.Feel free to drizzle some honey over your rising rolls. Mmmmm… honey!

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Step 3:

In a bowl- mix the ricotta, egg and half of each cheese. You can also turn the oven on to 400ยฐ and add the rolls once it warms up. I bake them for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know when they’re done when something smells REALLY yummy. And the tops should be golden.

Step 4:

Once pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Take your baking dish and coat the sides and bottom with butter. Then take the 2nd jar of sauce, pour some in, and spread around the pan.

Take a cookie sheet/wax paper/etc… and lay it out on the counter. Lay out the noodles and put a line of the cheese mix down the center- not too thick. Then add a spoonful of the meat/sauce mix on top. Then roll them up like a fruit roll up and place in the buttered/sauced pan.

Step 5:

From the 2nd jar of sauce, add a spoonful of sauce to the top of each roll. And then the extra cheese- sprinkle all over! Mmmm… cheese….

Step 6:

Bread should be good, take that out. Now pop in the lasagna. It only needs enough time to warm up so cook until the cheese is melted. 10-20 minutes is usually perfect.

Step 7:

Dish up the carb mania!

Step 8:

Enjoy your dinner!

Step 9:

Summon help for kitchen clean up! Push through, resist the urge to plop on the couch and get the kitchen back to sparkly clean! (You’ll thank me in the morning)

And yes, that’s a watermelon in my dish rack which we keep in the right side of the sink. My girls like to mess with stuff- seemed like the safest place.

P.S.

You should probably watch your carb intake for a few days. ๐Ÿ˜„ If all went well- it was worth it at least!

Foaming hand soap on the cheap!

I love foaming hand soap, it lasts forever and works so much better with my kiddos. I especially love buying super fancy (and usually pricey) soaps, or spending a ton of time making them with my essential oils. Sometimes you need cheap and easy. Agree?

Running thru Ingles today they had these super yummy smelling Seventh Generation soaps! Pleading ignorance: I have not researched each ingredient, marketing tells us that Seventh Generation is a good/chemical free type company… marketing also tells us that McDonald’s is good for you and Trump will make America great again… so know that I take marketing knowledge for about as far as I can throw it. And I have chicken arms. ๐Ÿ˜œ

Anyhoot– DIY Cheap n’ easy foaming hand soap!

Step 1: Purchase some awesome hand soap, these Seventh Generation soaps smell wonderful! And 2 for $4- score!

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Step 2: Boil some water. I always boil water when making soaps and such for extra purification.

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Step 3: Gather various foaming hand soap dispensers. I have some old ones from JR Watkins soap, a couple glass ones from Wally World, a quick Amazon search will give you dozens to pick from….

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Step 4: Fill each container with 1/4 soap & 3/4 water (wait for it to cool down a bit first!)

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Step 5: Screw on tops & give a shake! $4 on good soap will fill at least 10+ foaming soap dispensers. That’s $0.40 a bottle of good soap!

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I recently found Puracy and am IN LOVE! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I’ve used the body wash for that and as shampoo, and have the laundry detergent and lotion ordered! I’m definitely interested in ordering their foaming hand soap too! Not as cheap as this hack- but excited to try it! I love supporting companies that actually DESERVE to be believed in!

*Note, I’m pretty sure it’s blogging no-no #1 to use non professional-straight from your old cell phone pictures. But, done is better than perfect. Here’s what ya get. ๐Ÿ˜ Maybe one day I’ll be able to stage whole photo shoots around a 5 minute process of soap and water mixing… today’s just not that day.

Why your house is dumb.

Let me clarify- it’s not JUST your house. It’s mine. And theirs. It’s all of them. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results- guys, we’re all insane.

I have dreamt of building my own home- especially710ece6850f9eb1834d34cd2e80fa0f4 out of alternative/eco building materials. Think of straw bale homes, earthships, heck– even a yurt! That’s my future goal, I dream about it, I look at floor plans and building types constantly, drool over Sunray Kelley’s cob homes, you name it.

But, what I do a lot of is make a mental note of things we won’t have in our home because they suck. Cleaning them sucks. They’re a pain in the ass. Why do we keep putting these things in EVERY house? HGTV- why do you tell us how amazing they are and how we MUST want them?!? WHY?!?! This is dumb. And it’s making your house… dumb.

At the risk of being hated and boycotted by all women, the entire entity of HGTV, and all of this considering no one actually reads this… ๐Ÿ˜‰

The DUMB list that’s infecting your home and ruining your life:

087543459fb61862d75a429ac24167f5Molding. All molding- base boards, crown’ed, door ways, decorative trim around your cupboard doors…. ALL of it. Guys- this SUCKS to clean, it’s just a bunch of fancy dust collectors that make all grime and gunk nearly impossible to get off. I’m still dizzy from cleaning my kitchen cupboards– maybe you can blame that for this ranting post. Let’s say NO to molding, mmm-k? Sure, it’s pretty. Buy a book of cool homes to gaze at from time to time, save yourself the trouble.

White. Paint, furniture, floors, appliances, before or after Labor day. This is SO not me– I would have a white house everything in my dream world. Then I wake up- white is dumb. Or maybe it CAN be ok if you’re smart about it. I HAD to have a white kitchen- had to. Now I scrub cupboards every week. (see the above mention at my state of light-headedness) Thought of doing a white wash on the custom table my brother is going to build me— DUMB. 8 people, homeschool, holidays? Dumb. Remember the white Pottery Barn sofas we all needed a few years back? Please.

Anything other than full gloss paint. My fancy friend painted her whole house- all with gloss paint. I remember thinking, “That’s weird… I thought you only did the high gloss stuff in bathrooms? Maybe I’ve been reading the sign in the paint department wrong?” No- she’s a genius. High gloss EVERYTHING! Clean up? The best. Anything other than high gloss in your house– dumb. Still need to have some white? High gloss. Problem fairly solved. (That and keeping your kids/dogs/husbands in bubbles.)

6714adef6a74b921a884bf53c0f04c99Doors. Ok, privacy- I get it. But doors get SO dirty! Dust collects on the pretty trim and indents (see point 1), grimy hand prints muck up all kinds of areas, dogs leave a slew of marks along the bottom portion– they get GROSS. And I cannot stand gross doors! Future home– as FEW doors as possible and probably some form of natural wood doors with as flat a surface possible. And no white, see the two previous points. (Also- great way to use macrame– a new obsession! Door curtains? YES!) Closet doors fall here too! HATE closet doors!

Anything other than natural flooring. Dumb. Carpet- collects SO many nasty things! Dirt, fleas, germs– YUCK! And I swear any form of laminate/plastic compound of some sort just gets so dirty SO quick! Raw wood sanded to perfection or an earthen floor. I’ve even contemplated concrete- then I could use a leaf blower to clear it off and power wash the floors. Boom.

aa34108505da525357d47ee34c03983bLots of cabinets/closets/storage. If you need that many places to tuck crap away– you have TOO much crap! You don’t need it, stop cluttering your home and wasting your money. A few, high quality, key items, a specific spot for each, and be done. It’ll look better, cut down on cleaning, be cheaper and your mind will feel at ease.

Tile. On the floor, counter tops, shower, anywhere! Some may be gorgeous.. but the GROUT… UGH! Scrubbing grout sucks- no way around it! And it gets so nasty- just say no. Maybe a little, well sealed on like a backboard or something. Flat surfaces that will constantly by used/walked on? No– that’s dumb.

Any furniture not hand crafted. I love you Ikea, I do. Pottery Barn, Overstock, Homegoods– love ya all. All the furniture? Guys– it’s crap. Stop investing in particle board pressed off a machine, covered in something pretty and called furniture. Build it yourself (you CAN do it) or buy local/handmade. Every time– you’ll thank me later.

 

Imagine cleaning a house that resulted after removing all those items! I hear angels singing… ahhhh…. One day!

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