Christmas Mini Sessions (Monroe & Pineville)

We may have moved out of town, but my loyal clients keep me coming back home! This year I will be doing Christmas mini sessions in Monroe and in Pineville! These sessions will be $100, 30 minutes long and can be scheduled at 30 minute increments from 10-12 and 2-5 in Monroe and from 2-4:30 in Pineville. As always, your disk will include 7-10 edited images and printing permission.

NEW for this year!…I will be including a FREE Christmas card design* with every session! I will have multiple designs and sizes to choose from and they can feature one or multiple photos from your session**. You’ll also receive an ornament gift from me, featuring your best family photo and the year! It will arrive with your disk and ready to go on your tree!

Message me soon to schedule your session, because I am already booking slots! Contact me for available times.

How to Book

Email me: bettsdesign@yahoo.com

Facebook: Betts Design Photography

Blog: Comment on this blog post

*Free Christmas card design is included as a design file on your disk that you can get printed at the place of your choice…we recommend Sir Speedy in Monroe. We are not providing actual Christmas cards…just the finalized design.

**Only photos taken by Betts Design Photography may be used in the Christmas card design.

Manic Monday: Insanity #9

WEEK 7 (what was supposed to be)

This week was a little bit of a disappointment. Monday started off a little crazy b/c little man and I were driving back home from being out of town all weekend. My hamstring was still hurting, so I didn’t even consider doing the workout.

As soon as we got back in town, I realized, it was madness as people were tapping the gas stations dry and clearing the shelves at Walmart in preparation for Hurricane Isaac. Starting Tuesday, we were working on preparing our house as it was projected to hit us Wednesday night. Tues-Wed were spent preparing for the storm. Thursday was the day we were supposed to see the worst of it, but it ended up changing direction and we hardly saw even the slightest bit of bad weather.

Because of missing so many days of the workout, I decided to sit the rest of the week out and just start back up this next week. Honestly, I will be so glad when this program is ALL DONE with. It usually takes up my usual break time, where I either take a quiet break from everything or do projects around the house I can’t do while little man is awake. I’m sure I’ll find some sort of exercise/program to keep working on toning my muscles, but this extreme routine is not something I’m up for going through again…at least not now.

THREE more weeks to go!!! I can do this!

Favorite Things Mini Sessions

It’s about time for me to do another mini session date in Monroe!!! I had been tossing around some ideas of what I wanted to do this time and decided on a “Favorite Things” session!

Does your child have a favorite thing at this point in their life and you want to remember it? My son absolutely LOVES his paci and blankie (more specifically, the tags!)…not so much my hubby. 😛 I know he’s going to outgrow this stage soon, but it’s been a huge part of his life up until now and I don’t want to forget it! He wants his paci and blankie when he’s sleepy, when he’s gotten a bobo, when he’s bored, when he wants to snuggle, when he has to ride in the car a long time, when his little feelings get hurt, etc. I think part of me allows him to still have them b/c it keeps his little. You momma’s probably understand. 😉

So what is your child’s favorite thing right now? Does he/she have a favorite toy, shirt or jersey, food, blankie, pillow, or something else? Let me help you capture this special memory before it passes! The best part is, since it’s their favorite, they should feel extra comfortable at the session!

ADDED BONUS!!!

If all 7 of my time slots get booked, one person will get 50% off their session!…just $25 for special memories!

Here’s how you can contact me to book your session!

Comment on this blog post.

Email me at bettsdesign@yahoo.com

Message me on my Facebook page HERE.

Manic Monday: Insanity #6

Day 19 (8-6-12)

I didn’t feel all that bad coming into today’s workout. However, I am now sitting on the couch, blogging after just the first part of my workout today…Pure Cardio. I still have Cardio Abs to go and I am struggling to keep my eyes open. My body is just focussing on doing something else today, so that first workout just wore me out.

Here’s where it gets worse…Cardio Abs has a warmup session at the start of it too. Oh boy!!! :/ You know…I’ve noticed myself kind of complaining here a bit lately…maybe not so blatantly, but I see I’ve been doing it. I said from the beginning that I wanted to keep this as real as possible. I never liked reading people’s success stories where they only talked about how determined they were, they found the motivation and had amazing results when done. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want that too and I know I’ve even said some of those things myself, but where’s the REAL stuff? Was every day a breeze for them? Did they never miss a day? Have aches or pains? Doubts they were making any progress? Cheat on their “diet”? I admit, I’m a realist. I wanna hear the REAL story. Not just the positive side of it all. I think people can relate better when they see that others have similar struggles and ups/downs. It’s what makes us human after all, isn’t it?

All that to say, I know I’ve been complaining (in my own way), but I’m being real with you. I don’t like working out. I don’t find it rewarding (I may change my mind after I see my “after” pics). And I REALLY hate having to change my eating habits. Oh…and I really don’t like being hot and sweaty. I like taking it easy. I like working hard on creative projects and find it very rewarding when I complete one. I LOVE sweets…especially things I bake from scratch (and that use real butter!). I like staying cool in my air conditioned house.

I guess I’m just trying to make a positive change in my life and we all know that in order for change to occur, we have to do something different. We can’t continue down the same path, doing the same thing and expect different results. And with most change, comes challenges. How we handle those challenges will ultimately determine how much of a change is made. So, while I may bicker about working out, I’m still working out, because that’s the only way I can improve!

Hopefully you can relate! Now…onto Cardio Abs!!!

Day 20 (8-7-12)

EXHAUSTED! I’m pretty sure my body was telling me “DON’T DO IT!!!”, but my head said “DO IT!”. I should have listened to my body. I felt absolutely horrible this morning. I took meds a short time before the workout though (Cardio Power & Resistance today). I’m not sure if it’s the exercising or the extra strength rapid release Tylenol I took, but the pain was gone during the workout. However, my body is completely drained now and I feel completely worthless. I just kept thinking “I do NOT want to have to make up a day or make this program last any longer than it has to.” Bad idea. Oh well, it’s done now. Think I’ll take a snooze on the couch and hopefully recoup a little.

FYI…this is the workout that has a good bit of jumping and push-ups in it. You’d think I’d remember this before I start the workouts, since I’ve been doing this program for over 3 weeks now. Probably would have helped me in my decision making on “to do” or “not to do” today. 😛

Listen to your body!…but make sure it’s your body talking and not you just looking for an excuse to sit it out!

Day 21 (8-8-12)

Today was Plyometric Cardio Circuit. It’s one of the rougher ones for me b/c of all the exercises involving the push-up stance, but I’m still seeing an improvement in my upper body strength. I was instructed to sit today out (by my mother…aka…family nurse), b/c I was having slight dizzy spells earlier while in a sitting position. I had these spells earlier on during this workout program, but they never got any worse and lasted only for a short while. If I was still having them when it was time to start today, I would have sat out, but they had stopped. Sorry, Mom. :/

I didn’t have any pain today like I had the past 2 days and I hadn’t taken any pain meds either. Those experts are starting to change my mind about this workout thing. 😛 Apart from that, nothing major to blog about today. My body is still tired from focussing on another function, but the pain I usually have associated with it was gone…which is not a normal thing for me…this soon.

Ladies, try to continue to do your workouts during that time of the month…even if you just experiment for 1 month. See if you notice any changes. Don’t let it be an excuse for you to sit out.

Day 22 (8-9-12)

If today wasn’t Cardio Recovery I probably would have sat out. I’m just off today and I’m not sure why. I don’t have any pain at all, but I just feel funny. The fact that I didn’t have to get my heart rate up is the only thing that made me feel like I could do today’s workout. It wasn’t bad at all. Hopefully I’ll see my energy pick back up with these last couple of days of week 4…b/c today, this is what I really felt like doing with my yoga mat…

Day 23 (8-10-12)

I just quit my workout with 15 min left to go…plus I still had Cardio Abs to do too. This has just been a rough week for me. You could probably tell just by how short all my posts have been. I’m just not all here this week. Yesterday was a stressful day for me…mainly b/c I was informed I once again made a financial mistake due to incorrect bank info stored online. Joy.

So, I cried my tears, tried to start back with the workout and just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t even b/c of this particular workout…I wasn’t tired, barely even sweat…just wasn’t gonna happen. I’m done for today. Going to take a much needed nap and hopefully I’ll feel better when I wake up. :/

Day 24 (8-11-12)

I think the stress finally got to me. I ended up completely sitting out today’s workout. There was just absolutely no way it was going to happen…too many stress symptoms. This is one of those times where I know my body is screaming at me to just STOP and take a break. I ignored it a few times before, but there was no ignoring it today. Next week is the rest/recovery week. It’s not as intense as the workouts have been, up to this point, but it will still keep your system in check and used to a regular routine. The hubby is already in the 2nd half of this workout and it looks to be so much more intense. I’m honestly not looking forward to week 6, but I’ll stick it out…luckily I have week 5 to do first! 😉

Manic Monday: Insanity #4

Day 7 (7-23-12)

Today wasn’t so bad! I was back in the comfort of my own living room with a full speed ceiling fan just feet from my head! 😉 I seriously did not even want to do today’s workout, though. After the break I got on Sunday (you do this program 6 days a week, getting Sundays off), and the stupid long trip to Walmart I had earlier this afternoon, the last thing I wanted to do was workout. Nevertheless, I put little man down for his nap, relaxed for about 30 min and then started up the DVD.

Let me warn those of you who are thinking of starting, have started or are about to start a program like this. By the 2nd week, the hubby was noticing he was gaining weight. I know that when you work out as extremely as this video calls for, you are bound to gain muscle, but something didn’t seem right. He asked me to look up “gaining weight with Insanity” online. Here is what I found…

1. Yes, you will lose fat and gain muscle and yes, muscle weighs more than fat, BUT you should be burning fat faster than you gain muscle, therefore a weight gain this early should not represent muscle gain.

2. This type of workout is EXTREME and causes sore muscles. Sore muscles are due to the tearing of muscle fibers. This tearing of the muscles also creates fluid retention..aka swelling. Most likely, the weight gain is from the excess fluid.

3. After week 2, your muscles should become a little more used to the workouts and the swelling should decrease. If you have changed your eating habits (for the better) and are continuing to work out properly, you should begin to see the numbers go down during week 3. If you don’t, you need to look at what you’re eating. Exercise does NOT make you gain weight…what you are eating DOES! Make adjustments in your diet where necessary.

TIP: Don’t depend on the scales to see if you are making progress…take measurements on day 1 and continue to check them every 1-2 weeks. That is how you will know if you are making progress.

I plan to start posting some of the healthier recipes our family has been using during this workout. It may seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be rather easy to take a favorite recipe that isn’t too healthy and turn it into one that is!

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED! STICK IT OUT AND STAY FOCUSSED!

DAY 8 (7-24-12)

Today was a repeat of Day 5’s workout…Pure Cardio. I’m honestly amazed at how much my cardio has improved in just one week of doing Insanity. If I had tried this workout on day 1, I may not have made it to day 2. On the first day, I was taking a breather in between almost every single exercise (and they were much easier on day 1 than today). Today, I made it through about 4-5 exercises before I took a break! Now, I did take a few 3 sec breaks to correct my form because I was getting a little tired and slightly sloppy. Sean repeats multiple times during the workout to NEVER sacrifice form for speed. If you lose form, stop and start back correctly…or else the workouts aren’t working in your favor.

Today was also the most I’ve sweat yet…pretty sure that’s b/c my cardio has improved so much that I can last longer in the workouts! Improved cardio = longer stamina = harder workout = better results!!! 

Even though I feel like this when I finish a workout, I’m excited to see what the results will be when all is said and done!

DAY 9 (7-25-12)

Today SUCKED! It was a repeat of day 6…Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Again…b/c my muscles can withstand the workouts better now, I push myself harder, which means I get winded faster. Despite the fan full-speed today, I sweat my butt off (I wish it was that easy to lose my extra butt poundage!). I made it through though! I’m at that point now where I’m wanting to see results already and even though others say they can see some difference, I’m not noticing it as much. I guess it’s because I see myself everyday and slight changes go unnoticed. I’m hoping there’s a difference in my progress pics I take this weekend.

I had a friend recently tell me that she and her hubby didn’t see much of a difference until week 6 and then they really saw results. So, I’m not giving up! She also stressed how important it is to keep a healthy diet! We knew this, but it’s still hard…especially when you have a somewhat picky toddler in the house that has to eat too. Breakfast and snacks are easy to manage, but it’s supper we have a hard time with. Like I said earlier, I plan to start posting recipes again, but just healthier versions. They may not be 100% in line with what the Insanity program calls for, but they will be “reduced” almost everything…except flavor!!! 😉

Tip: An easy way to reduce fat intake and not lose flavor…use TURKEY substitutes for recipes that call for ground beef and bacon. You lose the grit that is sometimes in ground beef and a good amount of fat (if you use the 97/3) and we can’t tell the difference in the flavor! You’ll see me use ground turkey meat in a lot of my recipes. Turkey bacon is AMAZING! They even sell it in “lower sodium”…EVEN BETTER! Due to the lower amount of fat in turkey bacon, you don’t lose a lot of your substance when you cook it. The bacon is thicker, doesn’t shrivel up and it tastes great. FYI: Bacon is on the list of approved breakfast foods and mid-morning snacks! But with the reduced sodium turkey bacon, you can eat twice the amount!

Check out the comparisons for Oscar Mayer’s Original vs. Turkery Lower Sodium Bacon.

Oscar Mayer Original Bacon

Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Lower Sodium

Here’s a sample breakfast for me. Keep in mind, my caloric intake per meal (3 meals, 2 snacks) is right around 300 calories. Yours may be different depending on your goals.

2 organic eggs (with approx. 1 Tbsp organic 2% milk) – approx 140-150 calories total (organic and free range eggs appear to have fewer calories and less fat!)

1 slice of cantaloupe (8-9 pieces) – approx 25-30 calories total (I cut 12 slices out of a large cantaloupe)

2 slices of turkey bacon (lower sodium) – 70 calories total

Total of 250 calories. I had 50 more I could and maybe should have eaten, but I honestly couldn’t hold any more food. 😛

If you need more calories, add a slice of reduced fat cheese OR use a whole wheat tortilla wrap. Check the calories though to make sure you aren’t going over your allotted amount.

Don’t forget…you HAVE to change your eating habits too…especially if you are wanting to lose weight. Bad eating habits are what led to being overweight in the first place. And don’t torture yourself…if an unhealthy food is NOT in the house, you WON’T be tempted to eat it!

Day 10 (7-26-12)

Today was Death to Thighs…I mean, Cardio Recovery. It’s still just as awful as it was the first time I did it last week. Again, your heart rate won’t go up hardly any with this workout, but when Sean says “deep muscle burn”, you better believe it. Today was definitely a nap kinda day, but I didn’t succumb. Cardio Recovery is just a little over 30 min long…one of the shortest videos in the set…so it doesn’t take long to get through it. I know there are a lot of girls who have thigh issues like me. If I gain weight, that’s straight where it goes…nothing else ever seems to get much bigger…which is sad. Weight gain only in the hips and thighs is AWFUL…at least for me. 😛 Thankfully, Insanity works your thighs and glutes A LOT! So hopefully by the end of this those trouble areas will be redefined!

Not that this is a recipe, but here’s a sample lunch for me on this new nutrition plan. Again, this is not exactly a meal that they suggest in the guide, but it does use a lot of the same “ingredients”.

Turkey & Cheese toasted wrap, cantaloupe and chips

Tortilla – 130 calories – Mission 100% whole wheat

Cheese slice – 70 calories – Sargento colby jack, reduced sodium

2 oz. Turkey – 40 calories – Sara Lee mesquite turkey breast from deli (you can look up nutrition for deli meats online…just be sure you remember the brand name)

Chips – 60 calories – about 7-8 Baked Lays

Cantaloupe – 25-30 calories – 8-9 pieces (1slice)

Approx 330 calories. The chips put me over and are definitely not included in the nutrition plan, but I splurged a tad. :/

Day 11 (7-27-12)

I admit, I was NOT feeling the workout today. I dreaded it, was not in the mood, too tired, wanted to take a nap, etc. I still did it though and now I feel sick and am shaky. I said before that I am not the type that uses exercise as a stress reliever (I wasn’t stressed today, just not in the mood) and today proved that. I took a lot more breaks today than usual and I just didn’t care. Earlier today I was having dizzy spouts for no apparent reason and mostly when I was sitting down. They cleared up before the workout, but I’m still not sure what was going on. All this to say, I can come up with a million excuses to NOT workout, but none of them are legit (unless you’re sick of course…and I’m not). They’re just that…excuses. So…are you going to get up and do your workout or just give another excuse? Time is ticking and it’s just your health that’s fading away.

Day 12 (7-29-12)

If you pay attention to my dates, you may have noticed that I didn’t do day 12 on the actual 12th day, but rather the 13th. We were going non-stop yesterday afternoon and were out of the house from about 2:30-9:30pm. My workout falls into the first part of that time slot, so I missed it. Once we were home, there was no way I was about to do Insanity, so I waited until today. Good thing too, b/c I was exhausted last night and to have done it then would have destroyed me. 😛

I admit, I did NOT even come close to eating the way I was supposed to before the workout today. Let’s just say, I didn’t eat much, what I ate was nowhere in the nutrition plan and I didn’t drink any water, but instead just an 8 oz. glass of V8 Fusion. Today SUCKED for me. Best part?…the hubby was home to watch me crash and burn (this was the first time he’s ever seen me do Insanity). On top of that, the schedule called for Pure Cardio AND Insane Abs…yep, 2 workouts. My chest was actually hurting after some exercises and I took longer breaks than normal to help it recoup. Like I said, it was ROUGH.

So, take my word when I say you HAVE to eat and drink properly before you take on this workout. You will seriously regret it if you don’t.

Manic Monday: Insanity Week 1

I didn’t want to over do the blogging by posting every day about my Insanity challenge. Instead, I’ll write every day after my workouts and just post them all at one time on Monday! Since you already know how my first day went (since I blogged it here), this post will start with Tuesday…

DAY 2

Today was hard, but I survived!

I kind of knew what to expect b/c the hubby likes to watch the next day’s workout the night before, so he knows how to mentally prepare and can try to get the steps down before he gets to the actual workout. Honestly, I was still surprised at how long I was able to last. Now keep in mind, I don’t go as fast as the people go in the video (they are beyond fit and have all done Insanity before), but I do go as fast as I can…so I’m not slacking or taking it easy. I did take a lot of breaks today though, but if I hadn’t I would have quit very early into the workout. Plus, the first break wasn’t until about 10 min in and my little out of shape heart just can’t take it that long. I need to get a heart rate monitor…he tells you often to check your rate. Know your proper rate for exercise before you start. You can still check it without the monitor, but trying to count it when you’re exhausted is a challenge. They do about 3 reps of a series of about 6 exercises. I made it thru the first set of reps just fine, 2nd was tough and I started to take breaks, 3rd was a struggle. He made you go faster with each set of reps. Further in (about 32 min in and 8 min to go), he started the exercises that start in a push-up position (some being actual push-ups) and this chick gave slap out. I have practically no upper body strength.

I called it quits for the rest of the video. BUT, he then changed the moves and I pulled my butt off the coffee table and jumped back into it…meaning I only sat out for 3 min of the video.

Rundown for Day 2? It was really hard and I have muscles that have never hurt with previous workouts, hurting me now…and sooner than they did yesterday. I always scare myself with how hard I expect the workouts to be, and it wasn’t as bad as I had prepared for. That doesn’t mean it was easy…I was prepared to want to die 10 min into it. 😛 Not only did I not die, but I made it through to the end (only sitting out that 3 min I mentioned before)!

This is right after I finished…my face hasn’t been that red since I played tennis in HS. 😉

DAY 3

This morning, MY CALVES HATE ME. So much so, that I can barely walk…not an exaggeration. I’m having to hold on to things to take steps so I don’t hit the floor. Not giving up though! I took Ibuprofen and have eaten my first meal of the day already…this will not beat me.

I ended up having to stretch my calf for about 40 min (while I watched today’s video since we didn’t last night), before I felt comfortable enough to actually start the workout. Of course the first exercise on the video (part of the warmup) was jogging in place…bad, repetitious impact for my calf. But, the more I stuck with it, the less my calf hurt and about 5 min in, it didn’t hurt at all. The first half of today’s workout was brutal for me, but in the 2nd half he started with moves we hadn’t done yet and it focussed on different areas, so I was able to get my momentum back. I’m still struggling with push-up exercises (not a shocker), but I do at least attempt them. I figure if I don’t, how will I ever be able to do them? I found myself saying “OK” a LOT today. Kind of my unintentional way of saying “ok…I can do this…ok, go!” I mainly did this when I took a break and needed to get back into it.

If you decide to do Insanity, I encourage you to film yourself every now and then. It will help you see your form and improve your workout (I just use my iPhone). Plus, for some reason, when the camera is on, I feel more of a need to do my best. 😛

Took a nap after today’s workout…these past 3 days have taken a toll. I woke up and was unable to walk on my left leg. I’m not sure if it is just extremely sore or if I have injured it. I’m not able to straighten it all the way out and can put absolutely no weight on it without it being extremely painful. I’ll access tomorrow and determine if I need to sit out a day b/c of an injury or if I just need to work through soreness.

DAY 4

Looks like I’ve injured my left calf. I’m not exactly sure how, b/c I made it through the workout yesterday just fine and had no pain when I was finished. I never heard anything pop and never had an “OW!” moment. I’m still unable to put any weight on it and cannot straighten my leg out all the way. From looking online (I know, I know), it seems as though I have a Grade 2 calf strain…which apparently requires a min of 5-6 weeks recovery.

Honestly, I’m very pissed. I never commit to a workout like I was with this one and I get injured. I stretched properly before starting each workout and did the proper stretching they did on the DVD. I’m still NOT quitting though. I may have to take a break, but I’m not quitting. I’m working on getting in to see a Dr. tomorrow, just to make sure it’s not worse than what I think. If I do have to sit out a few weeks, I’ll most likely just start back over completely with the program. What’s funny is I used to put more strain on my calves playing tennis than I did with this workout and I never got hurt playing tennis. Oh well. I’ve had my mini pity party for myself. Now I just need to focus on getting my leg heeled so I can start back up again.

DAY 5

I tried getting in to see a Dr., but b/c we are new in the area and I would be a “new” patient, the earliest I could get in was the end of July. :/ It’s a good thing I’m not actually sick…geez! So, no Dr. for me. Luckily, after icing it a lot last night, I woke up in a LOT less pain this morning. I’m now able to put a little weight on my foot, but still can’t flatten it all the way on the floor. I had to get out to renew my license today…boy was that a sight to see. A handicap tag would come in handy now 😛

With the progress I’ve made since I injured my calf, I think I may be able to start back up with Insanity after next weekend! At least that’s what I’m hoping for. Stay posted! Like I said before…I’m not giving up. I started this with intent to finish! Despite the setback, the good news is that tomorrow is my birthday and now I don’t have to exercise on it! Happy Birthday to me! Haha! (Insanity hasn’t made me insane enough to enjoy working out…just yet. :P)

*Watching the hubby do the workout tonight…he kicks my butt at push-ups (no surprise there). Just a heads up…Day 5’s workout appears to be the hardest yet. Sean (instructor) even just hit the floor and said “This s*#% is bananas!!!”

DAY 6

Today is my birthday! What’s so great about today, so far, is that it’s the first day I’ve been able to put my foot flat on the floor since I injured it!!!

Flatfooted…yay!!! See the bruise? I had jumped my shin into the stool I was using to get around the house a couple of days earlier. That was not a good day.

I’m able to walk a little more normally today, so I’m feeling pretty hopeful about being able to start back this next Monday!

Like I said before. I’ll be starting back over with the program as I feel like I’ve sat out too many days to jump back in where I left off. Since I won’t have anything personal to blog about Insanity next Monday, I may post the hubby’s 2 week progress/pics! That is, if he’ll let me 😉

-Lisa 🙂

Get It Together – Pantry

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Did you enjoy the break from work and take some time to reflect on what it means to live in a FREE country? We are truly blessed and I am very grateful for those who leave their families back home to go fight for us! What a sacrifice…one that we may never truly understand. Hope you took time to remember all of those who fought for us and continue to do so while you were enjoying time with your friends and family! I got to spend most of the weekend with my mom and little sis. They had a wedding to attend in New Orleans and I got to tag along! It’s been years since the 3 of us took a trip together, so it was a good break! It was also the first time I’ve ever spent a night away from my kiddo…who is almost 2 1/2. I SURVIVED and did NOT have a meltdown! 😉

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First off, I apologize for not blogging sooner. I’ve had some technical problems with more than one piece of my equipment. I’m working as quickly as possible to get it resolved. I have loads to blog, and it’s driving me nuts that I’m getting behind already. I’ve got more recipes and a fun craft project coming up too! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a quick little tip with you that has made my life easier!

There are too many nights where I am just too tired to cook, let alone even think about what my family should eat. I usually buy my groceries according to what meals I want to cook that week and used to simply unload everything in the pantry when I got home from the store. Doesn’t sound so bad, right?…until I FORGET what I bought certain ingredients for, or would end up using an ingredient for a spur-of-the-moment recipe only to discover I REALLY needed it for another recipe I had originally planned. Here is my solution…

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This is my “Meals to ‘Go'” pantry! I saw the idea on Pinterest (of course) and just adapted it a little. I got the storage bins a Walmart for around $2/ea. I got ID badge clips and sleeves to hold my meal cards and simply clipped them to the bins (I think a pack of each was around $2 too)! (I plan on designing cuter cards later, but I was in a hurry today). This way, I put every ingredient I need to cook that meal (unless they have to be refrigerated) inside the appropriately labeled bin. We’ve decided to stick with a meal plan for each day and not stray even if we aren’t “in the mood” for that particular recipe that day. This way, all the ingredients get used the way they are supposed to and nothing goes to waste. The best part? No more “What do you want to do for supper?” We know what we’re having every night and I simply pull out the bin for the meal to be cooked and everything is already there! 

It’s these little things that seem to make life so much easier! Who would have thought? 😉 

FYI…these little bins make great containers for bandaid boxes, ointments, medical tape, etc. for the medicine cabinet! Ours is labeled “Owies”. If someone gets a scrape or cut, it’s so easy to just pull that bin out of the medicine closet, fix the “owie” up, and put it back. 

I also put one in the fridge to hold all of our shredded cheese bags! We eat a lot of cheese. They had the tendency to get lost in the drawer and when just stacked up on a shelf, they slid everywhere. Easy fix!

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Do you make weekly meal plans for your family? How do you use storage bins around your house? Would love to hear your ideas!

Lisa 🙂