Got the Monday Blues??? Well Ready This!

 

 

Do you have a case of the “Mondays”? Well join the rest of society. Disliking Mondays is not only common; it’s got some scientific backing. People will spend 34 minutes complain today compared to 22 minutes other days. Many people don’t even crack a smile until after 11am on Mondays! And to top it all off, most people only get 3 1/5 hours of productive work in on Mondays.

So why do people hate Mondays? Well on top of the fact that it’s the first day of the workweek, most of the time sleep plays a part in the issue.  Often times we try to squeeze a lot in to our weekends.  We do yard work, projects and stay up far to late.  Changing our sleep schedule makes it very difficult to get up and adds to fatigue….especially on Monday morning. Changing our eating habits also makes a difference. Over eating or over drinking will play a part in how you feel and your energy levels come Monday morning.

The best way to have a great Monday is to try and get some needed rest over the weekend! Be sure to continue with your exercise routine and eating habits. Another great way to make your Monday and the rest of your week go smoothly is to spend the first part of Monday creating a plan for the week. Often times people are depressed on Mondays thinking about all the things they need to get done that week.  Designating small goals and tasks each day will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and keep you motivated daily.  Remember to leave a little extra time in each day to allow for projects that take longer than planned or for that extra task your boss throws in last minute.

Another way to keep Mondays exciting is to create something to look forward to. People usually take their lunch each day and go out to lunch on Fridays. Try reversing that and make Monday the day you treat yourself to lunch.  It will also give you a little extra time to get ready Monday morning.

Remember, it’s all about your attitude.  Starting the week off with a positive attitude will help your Monday and the rest of your week to be productive and go smoothly! So smile….before 11am  :)

 

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Food Friday – Baby It’s Cold Outside!!

 

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of the beautiful sates of Florida or California, most everywhere is cold right now.  For the rest of us…let’s get warm! On cold days we love getting the crock-pot out and making some great soups that warm the home and smell great.  Todays recipe if for Taco Soup!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans

1 (15 ounce) can black beans

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning

3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

sour cream (optional)

crushed tortilla chips (optional)

 

Directions

1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.

2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

 

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Thrifty Thursday – Super Bowl Party

 

We know how hosting a party can start to add up. The food, beverages and decorations can all get pretty expensive. Here are some thrifty tips to make your Super Bowl Party the best party on a budget!

 

 

 

 

I.     Potluck, Potluck, Potluck!!! Do not try and do everything yourself.  Create a menu with a main dish that you prepare, and then dish out assignments!

II.     Take it easy on the decorations. Don’t go nuts buying a ton of super bowl décor. Most of it is branded for this year and you’ll be stuck with a bunch of dated items.

III.     Get the kids involved! Have your kids help you make party decorations! Brown construction paper and a piece of white chalk is all you need to make a whole lot of footballs.  You can tape them to the windows, hang them from the ceilings and string them together for banners. If you want to get a little more creative or have older kids, grab a hole punch and some string or ribbon to actually lace the construction paper footballs.

IV.     For some fancier decoration ideas, check out theses great sites.

  1. http://camillestyles.com/uncategorized/diy-superbowl-cupcake-toppers/
  2. http://www.celebrations.com/content/easy-diy-super-bowl-party-decorations
  3. http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_home/super-bowl-party-inspiration/

V.     Make it fun! It’s all about the memories not which brand of chips you served. Here are some ideas to make the game more memorable.

  1. For the kids – Use some tissue paper in their favorite teams colors to create pom poms.  Instructions Here: http://wemadethat.blogspot.com/2012/02/super-bowl-pom-poms.html
  2. For the ladies – How about commercial bingo.  Create bingo cards with items like “fast food, talking baby, snickers, go daddy, Doritos, Ford, Budweiser, Justin Bieber” Then when a commercial comes on use a marker, your favorite snack, or bottle caps to mark your card. Visit www.bingocardcreator.com to make your own cards.
  3. For the guys – Set up a pregame white board with some friendly bets like overall winner, total points, half time points etc… Of course we are not encouraging gambling, just some friendly competition to make the game watching more interesting.

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Tip Tuesday – Getting Rid of Leftovers

 

Does your family hate leftovers? Sometimes it’s hard to get them eager to eat something they ate the night before, but it’s even harder to throw away all that food.  Next time you want to clean out the fridge try making it fun.  Create a quick restaurant style menu that has all your leftovers on it.  We had great success and our families thought it was fun.  Sure we wouldn’t encourage anyone to “cook to order” on any other night, but this is actually pretty easy.  Just have them circle what they want off the menu about 10-15 mins before dinner.  Most everything on your menu will be a quick reheat in the microwave! If you wanted to make it really fun you could even take turns being the waiter and actually go around the table and take everyone’s order.  Even dad and the kids can prepare a microwaved meal every once in a while!

 

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 

Today represents a time in history that reminds us to stand up for our rights, and what is right. It reminds us that our voices do make a difference.  Although it may sometimes feel like our efforts are small and unrecognized, it is important to continue working towards the “right” thing.  Equality is still lacking out there.

This cartoon depicts how sometimes we site of what we are complaining about.

To read more about the story behind this cartoon, check out this link to the LA Times:

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/12/nation/la-na-tt-breastfeeding-moms-20120705

Have a great MLK day.

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Food Friday – Mini Meat loaf with Spinach and Blue Cheese

 

If your family likes meatloaf, you’ll love these. These individual sized loafs are great for serving and what a great way to sneak in additional veggies. The spinach doesn’t alter the flavor at all. The blue cheese is subtle yet gives a little added flavor. If you like your meatloaf with ketchup or BBQ just add a little to tops of each muffin!

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

¾ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup diced onion

½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup chopped fresh spinach

2 eggs

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions

1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a large muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine ground beef, blue cheese, onion, bread crumbs, spinach, eggs, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl until well blended. Divide meat mixture evenly into the prepared muffin pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

For the full recipe and instructions visit

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/blue-cheese-spinach-meat-loaf-muffins/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=mini%20meat%20loaf&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

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Tip Tuesday

 

 

Todays tip is for those with babies on the go! Do you ever find yourself out a little later than expected and need to lay your baby down for bed? If you’re at a dinner party and don’t have a baby monitor on hand, make a Baby Monitor! Download the application at codegoo.com/page/baby-monitor ($4.99), then stash your phone near the babe. If he stirs, your phone will call a number you’ve chosen (e.g., Daddy’s cell).
Let it Lull Download the white-noise ambient application ($1.99; tmsoft.com/iphone-whitenoise.html) and place the phone in your baby’s car seat or stroller. The app also offers a variety of sounds, including some as quietly calming as lapping waves and rain.

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It’s all about the coconut oil!

If you haven’t already heard, coconut oil is all the rage right now.  Its benefits are high and its uses are plenty.  Our tip for today is….Get some quick! Here are some reasons/uses for your new purchase:

  1. Great for cooking. Preferred over your veggie and canola oils with great health benefits.
  2. As an eye makeup remover
  3. As diaper cream
  4. As a supplement for energy, to support healthy thyroid function and boost metabolism
  5. As a lotion (with a natural SPF4 sunscreen)
  6. Hair treatment for frizzy ends
  7. Use to fight fungi like athletes foot or topically for yeast infections
  8. Can help insulin levels
  9. Reduces itch from rashes, bites, chicken pox and sooths burns
  10. Can be rubbed into scalp to stimulate hair growth

These are just 10 out of hundreds of great reasons to get your coconut oil today!

 

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Food Friday

 

It’s hard to find great authentic food, but we’ve got a secret connection that you will love! We found a great local native Indian that makes the best tamales this size of the Mississippi.  Each tamale is hand made fresh to order. Offered in hot, medium and mild, there is a perfect fit for everyone. For just $15 per dozen, stock up and freeze them for dinners or after school snacks. These are only available during the winter season so get them while you can! You can place you order for Suazo Tamales by calling 801-608-0020

 

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