5 Apps I Can’t Live Without

13
Aug
2019

5 of my Best Apps for motherhood and parenting

Saving time, creating engagement, building relationships , making motherhood and parenting a bit easier – if an App can help me in those areas, I am all in!!

Let’s get ready to kick off the school year with some of my best recommendations for some Apps that will surely help you out – are you ready?

Calm App

I discovered this app almost nine months ago when I began to do some deep personal work on myself.  She suggested I use it for the meditation options, and I seriously rolled my eyes.  For me, meditation is just not part of my routine and I honestly feel it was a  complete waste of my time.  But I took her advice, downloaded the app and began using it.

I discovered the meditations to be very much needed and certainly NOT a waste of my time.  It was a perfect  way to  start my day or take a fifteen minute break in the middle of the day.

Even For the Kids

My nine year old also discovered he loved the bedtime stories and will ask to listen to them all the time!  His favorite time is while soaking in the bath (with some epsom salts added in for good measure!), which then allows me some extra “kid-free” time while he relaxes and listens in.

I truly hesitated at the end of my Free Trial to join and pay for a membership.  However, it has been so worth it.  I also use the app for the music, the stories and more while driving in the car. It’s a win/win for the entire family!

And, right now Calm is giving away the App for FREE to every teacher!  GO HERE to snag it if you’re a teacher, or forward the info to a teacher friend.

Also, if you are a health care practitioner, you can grab the App for FREE too – GO HERE!

Libby

How would you love to easily download an ebook or audio book from your library with one touch?  The Libby App does just that!

There are thousands of ebooks and audio books available through your local library, so why not take advantage of them?  The convenience of this App for searching and downloading books has been life changing for me.  I get a book recommendation and immediately will go to my Libby App to see if the local library  I am connected to has the book.

If it does, I can either immediately download it or place a hold for it.  After I read it, if it’s a book I know I must have in my hands, I can then choose to purchase it.  I have literally saved thousands of dollars by using our library system.  What a gift!

My nine year old uses the App as well, and we are currently listening to an audio book as we travel to our long-distance chiropractor appointments.  It’s time well spent.

Thrive Market

I’m an absolute freak when it comes to time saving tricks.  Having the Thrive Market App is one of those amazing time savers.  We order at least once a week from Thrive, because their prices are good, they carry a TON of amazing gluten-free, organic and healthy alternatives to foods we normally purchase and I so love the fact that it is all delivered to my door.

Seriously – you can save up to 50% on things you would normally buy, they offer freebies and I only order when there is a great freebie offered, so I just keep a list going and boom, order when it gives me the best goodie!  I also save my items so I can order $49 at a time, so I can get the FREE shipping offered too.

There is a yearly membership fee, but we save way more than what that costs, and Thrive Market gives back, which I really love.  You can try it out for FREE, and you can get 25% off your first order by clicking here.

Marco Polo

Do you like to stay in touch with friends and family?  Do you have friends and family that do not live close by?  I hope you have heard of Marco Polo!!  It’s a  video chat for busy  people  – and it’s amazing!

I  first began using it for communicating with my Young Living community, but soon  saw the amazing value in using it to keep in touch with my friends and other family.

If you have little ones and perhaps family members who live out of  the area, you must get this!  It’s kinda like FaceTime without having to be live on the phone at the same time.  I love it for connecting and sharing ideas that take too long to type out.  And, let’s be honest, there are times when we really need to share our expression with a sentiment that texting or email just cannot do.

Go get it today!!

YouVersion

I saved the best App for last.  God’s word at your fingertips – it’s simply the best ever and it’s Free!  This Bible App is simply amazing.  It’s a bible, with a gazillion translations, it has a million devotional plans and you can invite others to do a plan along with you.

They also have a Bible App for kids, designed specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level.  Isn’t that the best!!  I have enjoyed allowing my nine year old to use it through the years.

Bible Lens is also another offering they have where you can transform your own photos into images to share on social media.  Download it and try it out – how fun would it be to use social media for a good cause, like spreading the Gospel?

So, tell me – do you have already use these Apps?  Do you have another one you’d add to the list?  I would love to hear about it.

Frugal Travel Tips

2
Jul
2019

frugal travel tips

Planning a vacation can be exhausting and frustrating, especially when you are trying to stay within a budget.

I’ve learned some amazing secrets over the years and I want to share them so your family can benefit.  Wouldn’t it be great to take more vacations and spend less money?  I am frugal to the bone.

I am currently away on a solo retreat, AKA, Soulcation….just me….alone…. with no one to care for.

I know, mom to mom, this is what we dream of!  Do not get me wrong, I love my family for sure, but there are seasons where some alone time can really be beneficial for our soul.  This post is not about that topic, however it is about how I managed to get away for FOUR nights at a FIVE star resort with airfare for about $150, including meals.

If you prefer to check out the Facebook Live I did, you can watch here, otherwise I will give you the written tips here!

Credit Card Perks

Okay, if you are a Dave Ramsey fan, you will likely not agree with this section, but just hear me out.  I will say this, if you can not pay off your credit card each and every month, please skip this section.  Now, if you can use a credit card to your advantage, by collecting it’s perks while purchasing your normal, everyday purchases, then pick one or two that will benefit you.

For our family we have two different airline credit cards which are used in order to accrue mileage to locations we desire to go, like Hawaii. In February 2018 our family of three went to Hawaii for literally free.  We paid taxes on our airline ticket and we had a hotel room for six nights for free.  More on that in the next section.

A few tips with credit cards.

Pick an airline that has routes you desire to travel to and from.  This can take a bit of research, but well worth your time.  For our family, we like Hawaii and the Pacific Coast, so one of the cards we chose was Alaska Airlines.  It works well for our needs.

Look at the yearly fee.  I know we will pay a yearly fee on a credit card that gives us great rewards, we consider it a cost of doing business and getting “free” stuff.  You can be smart to find a card with the lowest fee and the perks you desire.

Pay the card off each month. This is non-negotiable.  If you are carrying a balance on your credit card, you’ve lost any ‘reward’ perk you could have earned.  Paying interest is just not smart.

Hotel Loyalty

My husband travels for a living and we do a lot of side travel as well.  For us, having one hotel company we try to stay at consistently has proven to have huge benefits.  With frequent stays at the same hotel (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott) you will accrue points when you sign up with their free loyalty programs.  The hotel we chose had us moving up that program fairly quickly and we soon had free nights to redeem.

We redeemed six nights in Hawaii last February and it was amazing.  An ocean front room with a club lounge for breakfast and evening appetizers, which also ends up saving you a bit of money with food expenses.

You can also get free room upgrades, special gifts from the hotel and more.  We’ve also decided to snag this hotel chains credit card as well, because we can earn that much quicker.  It’s been a huge benefit and has additional rewards.

I just returned from four nights in Huntington Beach where I had an ocean view deluxe room for free.  I also redeem airline miles for a ticket and paid $11.

When you pick a hotel chain to stay with consistently it does end up paying off with rewards and perks.

Uber for the Win

When you are traveling by air, truly look at your options for getting around.  Sometimes, the parking fees at resorts is expenseive.  The hassle of driving around, finding locations and driving in new areas can be stressful.  If you are going to a resort and pretty much staying put, consider not renting a car and using Uber to get around.

Lately when I’ve been traveling, I have ditched the rental car and used Uber to get form the airport to the hotel as well as traveling a few places during my stay.  It has saved me money since I was not paying for a car and paying for parking.

Uber Eats, Grub Hub, Door Dash

Traveling with a family is expensive, but there are always new ways to save.  Consider doing Uber Eats, Grub Hub or Door Dash for a few meals while on the road.  I recently used Uber Eats for several meals and saved a lot over dining on the resort property or ordering poolside.  I actually purchased for two meals, lunch and dinner.  I ate the hot entree and usually put a salad in the hotel refrigerator so I could enjoy that later.

Room service is nice for sure, but it is costly.  Those fees add up.  You can still enjoy dining from your balcony but just a bit differently when you order in using one of these services.

Amazon Prime Now and Instacart

Another great tip for food and supplies while at a hotel with out a rental car is using a delivery service like Amazon Prime Now or Instacart.  I mean, you’re on vacation, who needs the hassle of grocery shopping?

Amazon Prime Now is a Free APP – and I have used it to get bottled water delivered, wine, kombucha, fresh fruit, personal care products we’ve forgotten and more.  If you order a certain amount, usually $40 delivery is free, you just pay a tip.

Instacart is a service which is paid  service, so you will be paying a  fee for delivery.  Depending on your area, this may be the only option.  I recently visited Salt Lake City and instacart was the only option for grocery delivery.  It was much easier to just pay the delivery fee than venture out and carry my items myself.  So much easier.

Zeel

This is a special one for all the busy mamas!!! I have used Zeel for massages while traveling and it’s been one of my best discoveries!!  You can even grab a membership and use it in your own home town, unfortunately it’s not available where I live, so I can only benefit when I travel.

You simply type in your zip code and if they service your area, you can book a massage.   The provider comes to your location, no going anywhere and you can choose from a variety a massages and durations.  The prices are so reasonable and I simply have loved not having to leave our rental home or hotel room.

Be sure to check it out the next time you travel, or if you are wanting a little self-care for you, make an appointment for when your little ones are napping!!  WIN, WIN!

What tip did you find the most helpful?

 

2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner READY NOW!

5
Dec
2018

2019 Weekly Household Confident Mom Planner

It’s here – the much awaited 2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner. It’s ready and waiting for you to download!

I know you’ve all been so excited to grab your copy for 2019 and begin to get organized.

Grab Yours Now!

Check out the 2019 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner NOW!

(If you are reading this via the RSS feed, click through to view the video below.)

You can grab your FREE copy here. Don’t forget to grab your Supplemental Pack that is available for $8 with all the printables you could ever need to get your family organized for 2017! I loved adding new forms to the pack this year so moms can stay even more organized and on track.

Get More Organized!

The 2019 Weekly Household Planner Supplemental Pack includes handy fill-in forms, enabling you to add your information directly into the form.

Just type your information, save, and print! This is a wonderful feature when you are adding lengthy information or important names and numbers!

  • Master Family Planner – Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
  • Appointment Calendar – Organized by week, use this to keep track of appointments, meetings, and other events.
  • Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner – You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
  • Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet – Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
  • Babysitter Information Form – This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
  • Quick Contacts – Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
  • Family Emergency/Medical Information Form – Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form – it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
  • Website/App List for Kids – An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
  • Website/App List for Me – A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
  • Account Keeper Sheet – Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
  • Household Maintenance Log – Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
  • Special Occasion Reminder Chart – To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
  • Gifts Received List – For recording gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
  • Let’s Plan a Party Form – Helps keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
  • Blessings For Your Home – Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
  • Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List – Arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
  • Monthly Bill Schedule – Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form.
  • Track Donations – Make tax time easier when you write down all your donations on one form for the year.
  • Freezer/Pantry Inventory – Helps with meal planning and also saves you from purchasing something you already have on hand.
  • Multi-Store Shopping List – Get rid of all those little sticky notes and scraps of paper! List all your shopping list items for different stores on one organized form.
  • Bible Bookmarks – Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire Bible in a year.

Go grab your FREE copy now, and you can add the Supplemental Pack too for only $8! Be sure to pin this page to Pinterest to pass around this FREE household planner so other moms can grab a copy too.

Five Simple Instant Pot Dinners Perfect for the Fall

8
Oct
2018

Simple Instant Pot Dinners for Fall

Who needs some new ideas for dinner this week?

Easy Fall Instant Pot Dinner Ideas just for you!

I am in love with my Instant Pot and it calls to me nearly every single day to be used now that the weather has turned chilly.

I have gathered a few of my favorite dinner recipes so you can easily put a healthy dinner on the table for your family and still have time left over to even sit and read a book!

INSTANT POT CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH + APPLE SOUP {AIP, VEGAN, WHOLE30}

This is so yummy and perfect on a cold and rainy day!

https://www.ourfoodfix.com/instant-pot-creamy-butternut-squash-apple-soup/

Instant Pot Chicken Mole

Um… this one – amazing!!!
https://www.wellplated.com/instant-pot-chicken-mole/

Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Our family is doing a bit more meatless cooking, so this one has become a great hit!


Instant Pot Lentil Curry

Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato + Kale

This one packs a punch with flavor!!  I love using sweet potatoes and kale in recipes, because they are incredible for your body and packed with nutrients!

sweet potato peanut stew

INSTANT POT SPICED QUINOA AND CAULIFLOWER RICE BOWLS

I am not a big fan of Tofu, so I just delete from this recipe or will add a bit of chicken if I want.  The cauliflower for rice is AMAZING!!   I buy my cauliflower rice from Costco – saves me a ton of time!


instant pot quinoa tofu bowls

So, which one looks like a MUST try for dinner this week?

 

Want to learn a bit more about how you can incorporate essential oils into your life to sleep better, have more energy and be empowered as a mom?  Jump into my FREE 5 Day series to learn more!
Essentiel Oils Made Easy

Instant Pot Sunday Pot Roast Dinner

10
Sep
2018

Hey lovely friends

Is it Instant Pot Time? I think yes!!

Who loves their instant pot?!!!  Wait… you don’t have one?  Oh my, I will let you in on a secret.  Even this somewhat-minimalist mama needs this kitchen tool.  It’s a secret weapon on getting food cooked and on your table in minutes – for real!  This is the Instant Pot I have and it is one of my top used appliances in my kitchen.

Best Instant Pot Cookbook

So, now back to cooking really good food with your Instant Pot. When I got my Instant Pot, I also grabbed this highly rated cookbook,   “Great Food Fast”, by Bob Warden, to help me make good use of the new gadget.

You need this cookbook – it has great recipes!  Our family loves the two versions of Macaroni and Cheese, the Homemade Sausage and Gravy (which is easily adapted to Gluten Free), Dirty Rice and now the amazing, Perfected Pot Roast.

Perfected Pot Roast

I made this recipe, the one featured on the cover of the book a few weeks back when my son and his wife were out visiting us at the beach.  I know that my son loves pot roast, and I wanted an easy recipe, where I could put it on and forget about it while we were down on the beach having a beach fire and enjoying the day.

It turned out amazing, and the best part – it was simple and easy.  I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in preparation or clean up.  Win/win for all!

Since we live about forty minutes from a full-size market, I make use of online services that deliver.  About a month previous, I had placed an order for Grass Fed Beef, through Thrive Market and had a gorgeous Chuck Roast just sitting in my freezer, perfect for this recipe.  If you haven’t checked out Thrive Market, its certainly worth looking at.  I save time and money on organic and healthy food items that are delivered to my door – including meat.   I buy my coffee creamer, chips, healthy snacks, bone broth, soup, nuts and more and it comes right to my doorstep – and often cheaper then what I would pay at my local supermarket.

Thrive Market

If you decide to try Thrive Market out, you can get 25% off your first order and I will get $25 in Thrive Market Cash.  You get a deal and I get a deal!

This Pot Roast recipe is still being talked about at our house!  I had enough to freeze and make an easy dinner on a hurried weekday night too – just pull it out of the freezer a few hours before I need it.  So easy!

So, if you are in need of a great recipe that is simple, easy and is some true “down home cooking” I encourage you to grab the supplies from amazon and also Thrive Market.  I know you will find several recipes that will keep you and your family happy for weeks inside this cookbook.

Plus, it’s fall – which is all about cozy and warm food, right?

What is your favorite Instant Pot recipe?  I would love for you to share.