7 Make Ahead Freezer Meals

I love having make ahead freezer meals on hand especially on busy days when I don’t have much time to make dinner. If I have easy dinner ideas I can pull out of the freezer, this saves me from running to the store at the last minute or going to the drive-thru to purchase fast food. It takes time to plan and make freezer meals, but in the long run it saves you time and money.

I’ll admit that when I was planning out a week of freezer meals, I thought I would have time on one day to get all these freezer meals completed. Well, guess what? Life happened, and every day when I was trying to do the freezer meals, I would make one freezer meal and then that’s all the time I had. So I’ve learned that for me and my crazy schedule, I can only plan to make one or two freezer meals a day. And since most of the freezer meals make a double batch, I usually used one of the freezer meals for dinner that night and then I froze the other one. So for those of you busy moms like me, try only doing a few at a time like I did.

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Below are 7 make ahead freezer meals that my family enjoys eating.

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6 Ways to Make Meal Planning Successful

Meal Planning Successful

Whether it’s raising kids, working outside the home, running children to activities or keeping the house clean, all of us are busy. And trying to come up with a meal to cook each night can be challenging, especially if you wait until the last minute to decide what to cook and it needs to be on the table quickly. I’ve found that if I do a few simple things in advance, meal time runs smoothly and isn’t stressful. Here are 6 ways to make meal planning successful and make it easier on you every night.

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Homemade Baby Food

Homemade baby food Final

After having a baby, one of the ways we’ve saved money this year is by making our own homemade wholesome baby food. It does take a little planning ahead and time to make it, but it’s definitely much more cost effective than purchasing the ready-to-eat baby food at the store.

Years ago, I tried making homemade baby food for my second child. She didn’t like it as much. But that was because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and I also didn’t have a very good blender. The food was too chunky for her to eat. That blender has since broken and my husband purchased a Ninja Blender for me as a present this past year. It has been wonderful to not only make baby puree food but also to make smoothies. This Tropical Green Smoothie is our favorite. And my baby has enjoyed eating the baby food. Below are simple, homemade baby food recipes.

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7 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

Ways to Save Money on School Lunch

With the school shopping complete or nearly complete, the kids are headed back to school. But one thing you still need to think about is school lunches for your children. My daughter will be in first grade this year, which means she will be eating lunch at school. However, paying for cafeteria lunches each day can start to cost a lot. With some planning and preparation, you can pack school lunches for your children that are nutritious and yummy, and if done correctly, can actually be cheaper than buying lunch. And packing school lunches doesn’t have to be too much of a hassle. Here are 7 ways to save money on school lunches.

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7 Ways to Save Money on Children’s Clothing

Children's Clothing Save Money

Purchasing children’s clothing before school begins can add up to be a lot of money. Read these 7 Ways to Save Money on Children’s Clothing.

 

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Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

A few years ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to this homemade ice cream in a bag. It was so much fun to make, and it’s is so easy to do. The recipe only has three ingredients. Since it’s been so hot lately, I thought this would be a fun activity to do with my girls outside. My oldest daughter had the most fun shaking the bag. And she ended up shaking my younger daughter’s ice cream bag too.

 

Ice Cream in a Bag Ingredients

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Lemon Coconut Homemade Sugar Scrub

Lemon Coconut Homemade Sugar Scrub

This Lemon Coconut Homemade Sugar Scrub is so simple to make, and it makes my hands feel so soft. Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than store-bought skin moisturizers and exfoliating products. And this would make a great gift for Mother’s Day, which is coming up soon. Here’s what you need:

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Clay Art Projects for Kids – 3 Simple Ingredients

Clay Art Projects for Kids Final

If you are looking for a fun activity for the kids, these Clay Art Projects for Kids are easy to do. My daughters really loved making them, and the clay is made of 3 simple ingredients.

  • 1  1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

Directions to Make Clay:

  • Combine the water and salt in a bowl and mix well.
  • Add the flour and mix until the ingredients are combined.
  • Then mix the clay with your hands.

 

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough

Clay Activity - Kneading Dough Together

  • Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the clay on the flour. Knead the clay until smooth.
  • Tip: If the clay is sticky, add more flour. If the clay is dry, add more water and knead until smooth.
  • Create a project of your choice (Below are step-by-step instructions of how to create a picture frame, snake, pig, and cat).
  • Keep the leftover clay fresh for several days by placing it in a plastic bag or container.

 

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

  • Tip: If you are making a project that is thicker than 1 inch, crumple aluminum foil into the shape you want to make the project. Use a rolling pin to flatten the clay to about 1/4 inch thick. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers. I used this method for the pig and cat. By placing aluminum foil in the middle, you use less clay and it won’t take additional hours to bake in the oven.

 

Clay Activity - Ready to Bake

  • Place your projects on a baking sheet, and bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours. The smaller projects only need about 2 hours. The larger projects such as the pig and cat need about 4 hours.
  • Tip: If a crack appears in the clay after it bakes or if a part of a project falls off while baking, wait for the project to cool. Use dough to fill in the cracks or attach the part that broke off. Bake the project again until the clay is hard and dry.
  • Allow to cool. Paint your projects using acrylic paint. Allow to dry and then apply a sealant such as Mod Podge or make and apply your own sealant using equal amounts of glue and water.

 

PICTURE FRAME CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Heart Final

Clay Activity - Heart with Blog

Clay Activity - Dough Heart with Paper Clip

Picture Frame Clay Project Directions:

  1.  Choose two cookie cutters and make sure one cookie cutter fits inside the other.
  2.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay.
  3.  Take the large cookie cutter and cut out a shape. Take the smaller cookie cutter and cut out the shape inside the large shape.
  4.  Press a paper clip into the top of the frame. This will be used to hang your frame.
  5.  Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the frame. Tape a picture on the back.

 

 

SNAKE CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Snake

Snake Clay Project Directions:

  1. Take a piece of clay and roll your hands back and forth over the clay until it becomes a long rope.
  2. Shape one end to be the head, and shape the other end into a point to be the tail.
  3. Form the clay into an S shape or curl it up into a coil.
  4. Bake at 200 degrees for 2-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the snake. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

PIG CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Pig

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Clay Activity - Pig Tail

Pig Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into a round or oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place them on the bottom of the body.
  5. Make a curly tail by wrapping a thin rope of clay around a toothpick. Attach the tail to the body. I used the toothpick to secure the tail so it wouldn’t fall off.
  6. Make the nose by flattening a small ball. Poke two nostril holes using a toothpick. Attach the nose to the head.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the pig. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.

 

 

CAT CLAY PROJECT

Clay Project - Cat

Clay Activity - Dough with Tin Foil for Pig

Cat Clay Project Directions:

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Crumple aluminum foil into an oval shape to make the body. Cover the foil with the clay and smooth out the seams using a little water on your fingers.
  3. Make a smaller ball of clay to create the head and attach it to the body.
  4. Roll four small balls for the feet and place two of them under the head, and two of them at the back of the body.
  5. Roll out a short, thick rope to create the tail and add it to the body.
  6. To make the face, roll two small balls for the cheeks and put them side-by-side right above the feet. Roll a smaller ball for the nose, and place it on top of the cheeks.
  7. Make two triangles for the ears and attach them on top of the head.
  8. Use a toothpick to create two holes for eyes.
  9. Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until hard and dry. Allow to cool. Paint and seal the cat. After the paint dries, embellish with googly eyes.
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Valentine’s Day Activities & Ideas

Valentine's Day Activities Final

Check out the these fun Valentine’s Day Activities and Ideas you can do with your family, children, and spouse!

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Simple Frozen Birthday Party Ideas

Frozen Party - Simple Ideas - Table

My two girls, ages 6 and 3, absolutely adore Frozen’s Elsa and Anna. So this year for my oldest daughter’s birthday, we had a Frozen party and invited girls to come dressed up as princesses. Here are some simple Frozen Birthday Party Ideas that were fun, yet not too expensive.

Frozen Coloring Pages – As the princesses arrived, we had them choose a coloring page that they could work on until everyone arrived. I just found them online and printed them off. Most of the girls kept coming back to their coloring page to work on it throughout the birthday party. I thought this would just be a filler at the beginning of the party, but it turned out to be really enjoyable for the girls. Be sure to print extra Elsa coloring pages, because that’s the one that most of the girls wanted.

 

Frozen Party - Hide and Find

Frozen Hide and Find – We played a Frozen Hide and Find game where one girl would leave the room. We would then hide an Anna doll with a ring on her arm. When the girl came back in the room to find the doll, she had to listen as all the girls sang the Frozen song soft or loud. If the girls sang soft, that meant the girl finding the doll wasn’t close to it. If they sang loud, that meant the girl was very close to the doll. We gave each girl a chance to find the doll, and they got to keep the ring. The girls loved playing this Hide and Find game, especially since they received a Frozen ring.

If I didn’t already have the Anna doll or another Frozen character, I would have just hidden the ring somewhere in the room for the girls to find, and I think the girls would have loved it just the same.

 

Frozen Party - Dancing

Frozen Freeze Dance – We played the Frozen song and let the girls sing and dance around the room. When the must stopped, the girls had to freeze in place.

 

 

Frozen Party - Pin the Nose

Pin the Nose on Olaf – Using orange construction paper, I cut out triangles to make noses for the girls to pin on Olaf. We placed a blind fold on them and watched as they tried to pin the nose on Olaf. It was quite entertaining and cute!

Since we had an Olaf poster, we used it. But to keep it less expensive, rather than purchasing a Frozen poster, print a picture off of the computer of Olaf or use a poster board and draw a snowman.

 

Frozen Party - Decorate Cupcakes

Frozen Cupcakes – I used Frozen cupcake liners and made yellow cupcakes. I also made blue and white frosting using a simple butter cream frosting recipe. The girls then decorated their own cupcake with frosting and sprinkles. Everyone loved using sprinkles, and of course the were all over the floor. 🙂

 

Frozen Party - Olaf

Throw Snowballs at Olaf – I printed off a picture of Olaf and taped it to one of my white laundry baskets. I then found white styrofoam balls at Michaels and used a 40% off coupon to get them less expensive. You can also find them on Amazon. The girls then each threw the balls and tried to get them in the laundry basket.

 

Frozen Party Take Home Gifts

After the party, each girl took home a small bag with Frozen trinkets and candy.

 

Frozen Party 1

And my girls said they had a really fun time!

 

Frozen Birthday Party Ideas

And be sure to head over to Pebbles and Piggytails where you can find more Simple Frozen Birthday Party ideas.

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