Delicious Zucchini Brownies

zucchini brownies

I had extra zucchini from my garden so I made these delicious Zucchini Brownies this week, and my family couldn’t stop eating them. They were so good! My mother-in-law also happen to stop by and we gave her one. She loved it so much that she took a brownie home with her. So these Zucchini Brownies and really yummy! If you have zucchini from the garden you need to use, then be sure to make this recipe for your family. They’ll love it!

 

zucchini brownies in a pan

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6 Tips How to Meal Plan

6 Tips How to Meal Plan

As we move into routines again now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to get back to meal planning, especially with how busy life can be. By planning meals it makes it easier to know “What’s for Dinner?” every night.  I’m sharing a video today of some simple things I do in advance to make meal time run smoothly and not be stressful. Check out the video below with 6 tips to make meal planning successful and make it easier on you every night.

 

 

 

If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube channel here to watch it, and be sure to subscribe while you are there.

 

And for those of you who would rather read the 6 tips how to meal plan, here they are below.

6 tips how to meal plan

1. Create a Menu
Creating weekly meal plans can be simple, and most of us have at least 10 favorite meals that we cook every few weeks. I repeat our favorite meals regularly, but I also try to add in a new recipe or two each week or bring back a recipe that I haven’t made in a while. When I create a menu, I take about 15 minutes and plan two weeks of meals at a time, write down on a paper what meals I want to cook and hang it on the side of my refrigerator. This system works for me.

If you want to take it a step further, you can specify which day you want to make each meal. Some people like Meal Planners such as these Dry Erase Meal Planners here to help them stay organized with their meal planning. Because my days vary with how busy I am or what I feel like cooking or eating that day, I don’t assign days to my meals. I like to know my meals are planned but I like flexibility with which days I cook those meals.

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Homemade Apple Pie Filling

Homemade Apple Pie Filling Bottled I love the smell of a fresh apple pie cooking in the oven when the weather is turning cooler outside. And I especially love making this homemade Apple Pie Filling because once it’s completed it’s so easy to put an apple pie in the oven within minutes.

 

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When making this recipe, I used to peel, core and cut all of my apples using a knife, but I finally invested in a Johnny Apple Peeler. I wish I would have purchased it years ago because it would have saved me so much time! It peels, cores and slices the apples and really makes the process of adding the apples to the jars so much faster. And my little ones love helping me use the apple peeler. It’s a good product you’ll want to look into having if you plan to make homemade apple pie every year.

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8 Ways to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day & What You Should Know

Amazon Prime Day Boxes Delivery

Amazon Prime Day starts July 16, 2018 at 3 p.m. EST and will continue through July 17, 2018 at midnight EST. Amazon Prime Day is like Christmas in July with all of the amazing deals, and some of the deals are better than Black Friday!

Here is what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day and how to prepare for it:

1 – Amazon Prime

If you are not an Amazon Prime member already you should definitely sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime right now so you can take advantage of all of the upcoming Amazon Prime Day deals! Right now is the perfect time to try it out and enjoy the benefits.

 

2 – Amazon App

Download the Amazon App and you’ll get a FREE $10 credit to Amazon for any $20 in-app purchase when you download and sign in to the Amazon App for the first time. This is for both new and existing Amazon Prime members.

 

3 – Amazon Fresh

If you are an Amazon Prime member get $30 off your first order with Amazon Fresh when you use the code 30FRESH at checkout. This isn’t available in all areas yet, so head over here to see if Amazon Fresh is available in your area by using your address.

 

4 – Audible Audiobooks

Amazon Prime members can sign up for an Audible trial for just $4.95 a month for 3 months. And if you’re not already a member, test out a 30-day FREE trial here and enjoy two free audiobooks.

 

5 – Amazon Music

Get four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for only $0.99 (regularly $7.99 per month for Prime and $9.99 for non-Prime) to get unlimited access to thousands of songs. Head over here to start a 30-day FREE trial of Amazon Music.

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The Best Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies

the best soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies recipe

For the past month, my daughter has been asking me to make Snickerdoodle Cookies, so I decided to try making them. These Snickerdoodle Cookies that I made are so good! We loved them so much that I made them three times within two weeks. Mostly we just ate them, but we did give some away to neighbors.

 

snickerdoodle cookie balls with cinnamon sugar

Here is the process how to make Snickerdoodle Cookies. Prepare the dough by using the recipe below. Once the Snickerdoodle cookie dough is formed, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Then roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place them on a cookie sheet that has been prepared with parchment paper.

 

 

snickerdoodle cookiesBake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I always take my cookies out at 8 minutes because I like them really soft and chewy.

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8 Tips How to Plan Family Vacations on a Budget

How to plan family vacations on a budgetSummer is approaching and most of us are looking forward to planning and going on family vacations. And while summer is a good time to travel since the kids are out of school, it can also be an expensive time to travel with prices going up during this time. Even though prices may be higher, an enjoyable vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. You can plan fun and inexpensive family vacations on a budget. Some of our children’s most fun vacations are the simple ones like camping, swimming, hiking or going to the beach.

Here are 8 tips for planning and budgeting for family vacations:

 

1.  Research Vacation Places & Costs

Decide on your top 5-10 places you want to vacation then begin to research how much it will cost to visit to each place. Do research online and make phone calls to ask questions. Then add up all of the expenses and figure out how much money an entire trip will cost to each of your vacation spots. The expenses should include travel, housing, food, rental cars, gas, souvenirs and entertainment. You will then need to decide how much you can realistically afford to spend on a vacation and how much you are willing to spend on a vacation.

You can do fun vacations, even if it’s on a small budget. If you can’t afford a vacation this year, that’s okay. A vacation isn’t a need, it’s a want. You can still have a great summer without going into more debt. And you can start setting aside money for an upcoming vacation you want to take.

A few years ago our family decided that we really wanted to go to Disneyland. We researched how much it would cost, and then we began to plan and save for it. It took us about two years to save for it, and we were finally able to go. It turned out to be so much fun! Our kids still talk about it today. You can head over here to read all about our experience, how much money we spent, and how we were able to vacation at Disneyland on a Budget.

 

2. Start Saving

I highly recommend that you don’t go on a vacation until you’ve saved up money for it. Once you’ve determined which vacation spot you want to go to, and you researched how much money it will cost, figure out how much money you need to save each month to have the necessary funds for your trip. For instance, if your trip will cost $2,000 and you can afford to set aside $100 a month, then it will take 20 months until you’ve saved enough money. Sometimes it takes time to save up enough money, but it’s worth it to not go in debt and have that stress of paying off your vacation on top of all your other expenses.

how to budget for a family vacation

For our family when we decided that we wanted to take a family vacation to Disneyland, we made it a family goal to save together. We helped our kids create Disneyland savings jars (above photo), and they did extra chores around the house to save money for Disneyland. They also had a lemonade stand and sold baked goods. The money earned went into their Disneyland savings jars. They were so excited to save that they would regularly ask us how they could earn money to go to Disneyland. Be sure to check out these 13 Tips to Help Children Save Money.

As a family, we also looked for additional ways to save money such as not eating out one week and putting that money towards the vacation or not buying clothes at the store that we didn’t need. And we looked around our house and sold items that we didn’t need and weren’t using anymore. Make sure to get the whole family involved in saving for the vacation. And as you save money, place your money in a special trip bank account or envelope.

As you get closer to your savings goal and prior to booking your vacation, search online for deals and call around to see if there are any special rates. This can save you money and may change how much money you need to actually save up for the vacation.

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DIY Homemade Hair Detangler

DIY 2 ingredient homemade hair detanglerAs a mother of two girls, I’m constantly trying to brush tangles out of my girls’ hair every day. And many times they’ll say “ouch that hurts” as I’m brushing their hair. I want to cut my oldest daughter’s hair so it’s closer to her shoulders and easier to brush, but she said that she wants to grow out her hair so she can donate it to Locks of Love. I can’t argue with that, so we just deal with the tangly hair each day.

Recently when I went to a salon to get my hair cut, my stylist and I were discussing tangly hair. She told me about a hair detangling brush that works really well. I want to try this hair detangling brush here. However, I decided to first do some research online about how to make a homemade hair detangler, and I found that I only needed two ingredients. It’s so easy and inexpensive to make! I can’t believe that I didn’t do it sooner. And I’m saving money by not going out and buying hair detangler at the store. The complete directions to the DIY Homemade Hair Detangler is below:

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Easy Crock Pot Glazed Sweet Rolls

Easy Crock Pot Glazed Sweet RollsThis past week I was in the mood for some sweet rolls, and so I made these easy Crock Pot Glazed Sweet Rolls. I placed them in the crock pot in the early afternoon so they would be ready for my girls to eat when they came home from school. They really loved this warm treat as part of their afternoon snack. These Glazed Sweet Rolls are so easy to make. I had them in the crock pot in less than 10 minutes. Plus they tasted good too!

 

Glazed Sweet Rolls in Crock Pot

After lining a crock pot with parchment paper, take refrigerated buttermilk biscuits and dip each one in butter and then in a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Then place them in the crock pot. Place a paper towel over the top of the crock pot before putting the lid on. This will help keep moisture from falling onto the rolls.

 

Glazed Sweet Rolls in Crock Pot Finished Cooking

Cook the rolls on high for one and a half hours. Let stand for 10 minutes, then drizzle the glaze on top.

Below is the recipe to make the Crock Pot Glazed Sweet Rolls:

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7 Tips to Keep Your House Clean

7 Tips to Keep Your CleanI really like to have a clean house, and I try to keep it clean every day. I understand the challenges of keeping a house clean, especially with children around. When my house is clean, I feel like I can function better and that I’m more productive through the day. For me it’s important to teach my kids how to clean, so I have them help me clean it on a regular basis. Here are 7 things you can do to keep your house clean every day. Watch the video below or read the post for daily habits you can do to keep your house clean and keep the clutter minimal.

 

 

If you can’t watch the video above, head over to my YouTube Channel here and please subscribe.

 

Tip #1:  Make Your Bed Daily

This sounds like a simple thing to do but when you make your bed it starts the day off right and your room looks cleaner. Also, teach your kids to make their beds daily to make their rooms look cleaner.

 

Tip #2:  Never Leave a Room Empty Handed

Anytime you leave a room, take something with you and put it away. Go by the one-touch rule, which is anytime you pick up an item don’t put it down somewhere else or take it with you from room to room. Pick it up once and take a few seconds and to put it away.

Any time I know I’m going to my kids room or downstairs, I’ll take something from the front room or kitchen and put it away. It takes a few extra seconds, but it helps to keep things clean. Another tip is to take a laundry basket and fill it up with the items that don’t belong in that room.  After you put the items in basket take a few minutes to go put them away where they need to go. Check out my video of How I Speed Clean the Front Room & Kitchen.

 

Tip #3: When You Take It Out, Put It Away

When you come in the house and take off your jacket, don’t put it on a chair or on the ground, take 30 seconds and hang it up. Same with taking off your shoes. Take 30 seconds and put the shoes on the shoe rack rather than leaving them at the entry. Or after you change your clothes, hang them up or place them in the hamper rather than putting the clothes on the floor. By taking an extra 30 seconds to put something in its place, it will save you time from having to go back through the house and pick up items later that day or that week.

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Baked Italian Sandwiches

Baked Italian SandwichesI tried out a new recipe, and it turned out so good! These Baked Italian Sandwiches are delicious, and my kids loved them too. I ate a few more sandwiches than I probably should have, but they just tasted delicious. What I love the most about these Baked Italian Sandwiches is the melted cheese and that they were warm right out of the oven. The pasta sauce used as a dipping sauce added to the flavors of the sandwich. If you need a quick dinner idea for the family, this is a great meal to make. It took about ten minutes to prep and 16 minutes to bake.

Baked Italian Sandwiches in a baking dish

 

Hot Italian Sandwiches

Here is how to make the Baked Italian Sandwiches:

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