Simple Life Tips

Easy Life Crockpot Recipes: Mozzarella Meatballs and Spaghetti

Whether it’s busy afternoons at the ballpark or late nights at work, the crockpot can make feeding your family so much easier.  With a little prep time, you can be ready to eat within minutes of walking through the door.
Try out this simple and yummy meal right in your crockpot!  The best part is that it will please your pickiest eater!  Enjoy!
meatballs

Crockpot Mozzarella Meatballs and Spaghetti
Cut low moisture mozzarella cheese into 3/4 inch cubes cubes. Store in refrigerator while preparing the meat.

In a large mixing bowl combine:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound hot Italian sausage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup parsley (optional)

Roll meat mixture into size of a golf ball. Place mozzarella cube into the center.  Pull the edges of the meatball and roll to cover cover the cheese cube.
Arrange meatballs in slow cooker and cover in tomato sauce.
Cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours.
Serve over spaghetti

Lifestyle, Simple Life Tips

Happy and Simple Life: Tips to Give Your Life a Fresh Perspective

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If you’ve been following my blog or social media posts lately, you may have noticed a common theme: How to live a more simple, happy life. This has included time-saving tips for busy school mornings, how to keep your home clean without feeling you spend your weekend scrubbing the floors, and fun projects to make your house the place you want to be every single day.It seems like our newsfeed is filled with heartbreaking stories and bad news. The purpose of my blogs and posts are to have more “feel good, be happy, and live simply” approach.

Here are FIVE great tips to make the most of each day:

1.Get dressed everyday– Sounds crazy, right? But getting up every single day and getting dressed gives you a sense of purpose opposed to staying in sweatpants all day. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work from home, or retired, this will give you the motivation to go to the library or meet friends for coffee. The upside benefit? Studies have proven that when you get in clothes that require buttoning and zippers that you tend to pay more attention to what you are eating than wearing yoga pants. Win-win.

2.Don’t cancel on plans– Have you ever made plans with friends to do something fun but dreaded the “going out” part? However, once you got there, you were happy that you didn’t cancel. Make plans with friends and put it on the calendar. No matter how tired you are, don’t cancel! Relationships are a cornerstone to our life. Make sure you nurture them accordingly!

3.Try something new– Find something that interests and inspires you. Some people enjoy a “bucket list” of local restaurants while others have one for travels. You might enjoy building a roadmap to every state park in Arizona! Whatever you decide, use these interests to fuel you through stressful or difficult times.

4.Show appreciation– Think about the influences in your life who have helped you along the way. Whether it be a friend, stepparent, or teacher, send them a note of appreciation. It could even be buying a coffee for an army service man or service woman in the line behind you. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to their face.

5. Volunteer- It’s been often said that rarely when a person volunteers or serves a charity or organization that they regret it. There is something good for the soul to give back. Consider serving your time in at a place that you hold near and dear.

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Simple Life Tips

5 Great Tips to Make School Mornings Run Better

 

alarm clockThe lazy days of summer are almost over and soon enough, alarms will sound off to get kids out of bed and off to school.  We all want less stress and no drama in our lives especially with school mornings.  The key is having a routine that everyone can contribute to in order to get out the door.

1.) Do the prep work the night before- Save all the stress for what to wear for the night before school.  Choose and lay out clothes down to socks, shoes, and accessories.  No more frantically running around to find things.  Bonus: Check the weather forecast for the week!  This will prevent you from sending the kids out to the bus stop without a raincoat or jacket!
clothes

2.) Give the kids responsibility tasks- Give the kids a checklist for tasks to be accomplished the night before to eliminate morning headaches.  This could include making sure papers and agenda are signed, snacks, water bottles, and lunch money are packed, and backpacks are ready and next to the door.  Even younger children can participate in this and feel free to add tasks as the kids get older.  Not only will this save time scurrying around to find things but it will be a teachable moment of responsibility.

3.) Save it for the weekend- I know.  The thought of chores on the weekend is exhausting.  But take a quick assessment of your inventory on Sunday afternoon.  Make sure plenty of laundry has been washed and pantries for lunches and snacks are stocked.  This will be a huge time-saver for busy mornings when you realize there are no clean socks or you have run out of peanut butter on Wednesday.

4.) Meal plan- Some kids are making a mad dash out of the door so make sure that they have something that will sustain them until lunchtime.  There are so many quick options such granola or energy bars (Cliff bars are a favorite!) and trail mixes.  For those who enjoy breakfast out of bowl, set a timer (ie: 10 minutes) to eat so nobody loses track of time watching TV or playing on the iPad.  Look into breakfast recipes in the slow cooker, too.
cereal picture
5.) Hire a trustworthy older kid- Odds are if you are a working parent, you’ve needed to leave before your child’s bus has arrived.  If you need to leave a few minutes before your child’s departure, consider talking to a responsible older child (and their parents) who rides the same bus to see if they would be interested in taking your child under their wing at the bus stop.  Make sure the parents of the older child can keep a watchful eye on them as well.  It’s a good buddy system and gives them an opportunity to earn an extra $10 every week.

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Lifestyle, Simple Life Tips

Simple Life: 10 Great Tips to Create More Time and Less Mess in Your Life

simple life

The one thing that I try to focus on is simplying life. Maximizing time and money allows more freedom for what matters most.  Easy life can also tie with reduced stress.

Here are a few of my favorite tips for cleaning, organizing, and cooking.  Enjoy!

  1. Put an old newspaper at the bottom of your trash can and absorb leaks.  A real lifesaver for your floors when you’re taking bags out to the curb!
  2. When cleaning a blender, forget the dish brush or sponge.  Fill the blender with soap and warm water.  Plug it back in and whirl the cleaning solution.  Pour out the dirty water, rinse, and dry!  Simple.
    blender
  3. Did you know that you can find out if a battery is good or bad by a simple bounce?  It’s true.  Drop them on a flat surface from 6 inches.  A good battery will give a small bounce and fall over.  A dead battery will continue to bounce across the surface.  Try it!
  4. Looking for a safe place to keep your valuables (keys, money, cell phone) at the beach or pool?  Use an old lotion container or wrap them in a (clean) diaper.
  5. Place a wide rubber band around a can of paint.  This is a great way to wipe off excess paint.
    paint can
  6. Place a wooden spoon over boiling water to prevent it from spilling over onto the stove.
  7. When boiling eggs, add one teaspoon of baking soda to the water.  It will make it much easier to peel the shell.
  8. Have you ever thought of organizing your shirt drawer by storing them vertically?  It makes it easier to find while you are looking for opposed to searching through a pile.  shirt drawer
  9. Place a cupcake wrapper around the base of a popsicle on the stick.  This will catch all the juices as the popsicle melts.  Best of all- no more sticky hands!
  10. To get rid of residue, wrap a baggie of vinegar around a shower head overnight.  It will work its magic for a clean shower head with no work while you sleep. shower head

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