Joy in the Journey

This God – His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.

2 Samuel 22:31

I am a recovering perfectionist. I tend to lean toward the side of things of neat and tidy. I take pleasure at the sight of a straightened up and organized room. As the boys were little, I remember waking each morning and fixing the couch cushions, throw pillows, and blankets that were in disarray from the night before. I recall thinking about how I wish they would pick up after themselves or that I wish I had a firm couch that did not have all the slouchy cushions that needed to be adjusted all-the-time.

I am not exactly sure where this need to always look good came from; but I have a couple ideas. My mother cleaned the entire house daily, at times, she would even vacuum twice a day. Our home was far from perfect. A run down one room farmhouse with a bathroom, inside porch, and dilapidated upstairs. I suppose, keeping it clean made it a less miserable place to be in all day. In addition, I recall my father constantly yelling at me to keep my toys in their places and not have them thrown about the living room/ kitchen area, I can understand now this was due to the lack of space we had.

Over the years, I have let some of this perfection go. I do at times find myself adjusting the firm couch cushions, throw pillows, and blankets. As I do, I am reminded of all of the times I did this when the kids were little… how frustrated I was with the task. If I try hard enough, I can switch that memory to how I got to clean up in the morning after an evening of snuggles and watching movies with my children before we went to bed or how we read stories under a blanket fort. Rather it being a terrible memory of the constant battles with a change of perspective I can lavish in the time we once shared together. I guess it is all about taking joy in the journey.

Are you a perfectionist? Where did it come from? Please share in the comments below.

Until next time …

Pin Me!

Creative Meal Planning with Imperfect Foods and Plan to Eat

I am changing things up at home in the kitchen with the help of Imperfect Foods and Plan to Eat. I am going to show you my new way of meal planning as well as share with you the upcoming menu for January 10th – 23rd.

Step One:

On the evening that my shopping window opens at Imperfect Foods (Thursdays), I scroll through all of the available products: produce, pantry, dairy, snacks, plant-based, meat & fish, and wellness. Then I select the items that I wish to purchase, I have until noon Saturday when my window closes to make these selections final. These items will then arrive at my doorstep on Tuesday, the delivery day for my area.

Here is this week’s order:

  • Imperfect Foods Boneless Skinless Seasoned Chicken Breast for Fajitas (14 oz) 1 $5.99
  • Atoria’s Family Bakery Traditional Naan Bread (2 ct) 1 $2.79
  • Organic Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (1 pack) 1 $4.99
  • Organic Cucumber (1 ct) 1 $1.99
  • Atoria’s Family Bakery Traditional Pita Bread (6 ct) 1 $3.19
  • Organic Cilantro (1 bunch) 1 $1.69
  • Organic Green Leaf Lettuce (1 head) 1 $2.99
  • Imperfect Foods All Natural Smoked Apple Gouda Chicken Sausage (5 ct) 1 $5.99
  • True Story Organic Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage (4 ct) 1 $5.99
  • Coleman Natural Foods Boneless Pork Loin Roast (18 oz) 1 $6.99
  • Coleman Natural Foods Applewood Smoked Bacon (No Sugar Added) (12 oz) 1 $5.99
  • Imperfect Foods Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (8 oz) 1 $3.49
  • Nuovo Pasta Fresh Fettuccine (9 oz) 1 $3.99
  • Imperfect Foods Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (14 oz) 1 $5.49
  • Red Bell Peppers (2 ct) 1 $2.29

Subtotal $63.85
Discount $0.00
Delivery Charge $0.00
Tax $3.84
Credits $0.00

Grand Total $67.69

Step Two:

Based on the items I selected, I begin creating a list of meals that I will use from my upcoming purchase. This is where my creativity is coming in; as well as, my growing meals on Plan to Eat, Pinterest, and my supply of cookbooks. I will incorporate family favorites and include some new recipes as well.

Here is the list I created:

Step three:

I take a look at my planner and see what is going on for the week (after school meetings, out to dinner plans, evening activities, my husband’s work schedule, etc). Then I start plugging in the above meals in the Plan to Eat Planner. I make sure to include the notes of eating out on the planner and also rearrange meals to have leftovers on busy weeknights or when my husband is at work (he is on 24 hour shifts as an EMT).

Step Four:

This is the fun part, thanks to Plan to Eat! Once the meals are in place, I select Shop and the dates that I am creating a grocery shopping list for. Plan to Eat will take all of the meals and ingredients that I have added to the planner and create a shopping list so that I can create all of these delicious meals.

You can see in the image that it separates out the items in categories and groups like items to make shopping list creation super easy and manageable.

Step Five:

Now I go through and remove from the shopping list all items that are coming in the Imperfect Foods delivery as well as any items I already have at home. I like to physically go through my refrigerator, spice cabinet, and pantry to take inventory and not rely on my memory. This is a good time to straighten things up, wipe things down, and throw out anything that has gone bad or expired.

Step Six:

Add additional items for lunches, breakfasts, snacks, and beverages; plus the items on the magnetic list I keep on the side of the fridge for requests.

Step Seven:

On the Plan to Eat Mobile App you can choose Grocery Delivery! This will move everything from your shopping list to your online grocer of choice. Here I select Walmart, choose the preferred brands and sizes, add them to my cart, and then select pick up.

Step Eight:

Print out menus and post on fridge! Menus are also available on the phone app and are completely functionable. If I need the recipe, I just click on the meal. If there is a change of plans it is easy to reschedule. Plan to Eat also links to my calendar app so I see what I have planned when I check out my day each morning.

On average it takes me about an hour to an hour and a half to complete this eight step task. This seems like a lot; however, for the next 2 weeks I know the answer to the question what are we having and I have only one shopping trip (well my husband does.. he is picking them up on the way home from work). I would say this saves a lot of time, decision making, and hassle… not to mention money since I purchased what I needed and plan on using.

How do you plan and create your meals? Please let me know in the comments below.

Until next time..

Pin Me!

Dressember 2022 Day 31

Traffickers prey on society’s most vulnerable members. The Dressember Network protects vulnerable populations through prevention programs in the United States and works with local officials to provide culturally appropriate care. In addition, one of the Dressember Network partners actively works to support criminalized victims of trafficking who are often wrongly accused due to bias and discrimination.  

I am taking a stand with Dressember to advocate for the dignity of all people, especially society’s most vulnerable. Join me by making a donation to my Dressember campaign today.

Dressember 2022: 1 Month, 1 Dress, 1 Purpose. Join me in the fight against human trafficking by giving to Dressember today.

Dressember 2022 Day 30

 Human trafficking is an issue that impacts the most vulnerable in our society, in this case: the foster care system. 

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, approximately half a million youth in the United States experience foster care placement each year. The risk of trafficking increases when an individual runs away from a foster care placement, and youth who have experienced trafficking are grossly overrepresented by those in the child welfare system.

The Dressember Network provides vital research and resources to the anti-trafficking movement and also supports prevention programs among vulnerable youth in the U.S. and beyond. By giving to Dressember, you help provide training and support to prevent children from becoming victims in the first place. Some of the ways Dressember does this is through foster care support programs, LGBTQ+ youth training and care, and more. Thank you for taking a stand with me to protect vulnerable youth.

Dressember 2022: 1 Month, 1 Dress, 1 Purpose. Join me in the fight against human trafficking by giving to Dressember today.

Dressember 2022 Day 29

Many everyday products, like chocolate bars and t-shirts, are potentially made by people who are not earning a living wage or working in safe conditions.

The Dressember Network is working to prevent exploitation in supply chains and educate the public on conscious consumerism to reduce the demand for products and services made by forced labor.

I’m on a journey to becoming a more conscious consumer and am committed to learning more about how I can support fair trade in my everyday purchases. Follow Dressember to learn more about conscious consumerism, and consider giving to my Dressember campaign to help end exploitation in supply chains for good.

Dressember 2022: 1 Month, 1 Dress, 1 Purpose. Join me in the fight against human trafficking by giving to Dressember today.