Managing This Race Called Life

In the busy society we live in, most of us are running around like chickens with our heads cut off  trying to stay one step ahead of the game.

I’ve been there.  Raising an infant/toddler, working 40+ hours a week, teaching piano lessons, eBaying, and coordinating the special music at our church…….trying to keep my sanity.

One day it hit me, I need to simplify things.  What could I cut from my schedule?

Well the most obvious thing I wanted to cut that took up the majority of my time was my full time job, and I started working toward that.  Within a year of the realization that I needed to simplify, I  quit my job and became self- employed.

One of the best parts about being self-employed is setting your own schedule, and not having to ask for vacation time :)

Simplifying for me means being efficient, working smarter, not harder so I can enjoy my family and enjoy what I do for a living.

One thing that I like to do to help simplify things is to have homemade snacks, breakfast items, etc ready to go for the week so that we can grab something quick and not fill up on junk.

Here’s a great after school snack that is gluten free too!  We don’t have gluten allergies in our house, but I figure why make cookies with gluten in them if you don’t need to?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

What you’ll need:  1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

12-15 unwrapped Hershey’s Kisses

Mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla together until it’s mixed well, spoon small spoonfuls of the mixture onto your ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes on 350* F

Pull them out of the oven and put an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss in the middle of each cookie.  Let them sit until cool or place on wire cooling racks to cool.

Enjoy!

Rachel

Make Your Evenings Easier

During the day, I tend to work on my online store and take some breaks to fold laundry, bake muffins,or  go for a walk so that I don’t get bored and don’t sit in one position too long.

I try to have everything that I need done right away accomplished before my daughter comes home from school.  Some days, I reach my goal and other days I fall short and those tasks get pushed to the next day.  I usually work until about 4 PM and then stop so I can start getting dinner ready, and help her with her piano practice and homework.

One thing that I like to do that has made my life a whole lot easier is once my little one is settled in bed for the night I get any items that were paid for in the afternoon or evening packaged and labels printed so that they’re in my bin and waiting by the front door to be put on the porch in the morning.
I used to leave it and ship in the morning, but a lot times, there would be sales over night or payments made over night and pretty soon what was 4 or 5 packages last night is now 8 or 10 in the morning.  This way, I have the ones that are paid for that evening ready to go and in the morning I just have a few to ship out and I can get right to work on my agenda for the day.   I find that it makes the next morning a whole lot smoother, and I go to bed knowing that all of my shipping is done for now.

Here’s something else that has made my life a whole lot easier.

A few weekends ago, I was at Lizzie’s house and we were working on eBay listings together while the kiddos were out playing.  We decided to make nachos for dinner.  I was busy listing and Lizzie told me that she was going to make the meat and use her own seasoning, not a taco seasoning packet.

We built our nachos and I started eating mine.  ”I thought you weren’t going to use a seasoning packet.”  I commented.  ”I didn’t.” said Lizzie……I looked at her (It sure tasted like she had)…….you could have fooled me.

First of all, I had no idea that you could make nachos or tacos and have them taste like you had used a seasoning packet without using one.  Second of all……….what have I been doing wasting money on seasoning packets all these years.  Third and best of all, Lizzie’s seasoning has NO MSG in it.  We love tacos and have used this several times since my enlightenment.  It’s good with either chicken or beef.  What would I do without my sister?

Lizzie’s Taco Seasoning:

Brown your meat and then add

2 Tb chili pd

1 Tb onion pd

1 fresh garlic clove–or 2 (I used minced garlic and it tasted just fine.)

1 Tb cumin

Lizzie says that she usually doesn’t need to add any water but you can if it looks too dry.

Stir is all up and…………..YUM!  Super easy, super cheap, and super fast.

Rachel

Lizzie

Simple Steps To Simplify Your Mornings & A Blueberry Muffin Recipe

September 26, 2012 by The Selling Sisters  
Filed under How To..., Recipes, Working At Home

Getting everyone and everything out the door in the morning can be hectic.

I like to plan ahead a little to make our morning routine (especially Monday!) as quick and stress free as possible.  Schedules are different so what works for some people won’t work for everyone, but here are some things that I do to get our day off to a good start:

#1 Pack lunch the night before.

This has been a HUGE timesaver for me.  Packing lunch only takes a few minutes, but I prefer to do it at night. That way, if you’re running a couple of minutes late in the morning, you’re not stressed about it, lunch is already ready, just grab and go.

#2 Lay out clothes before you head to bed.

I’m not a morning person at all, so having clothes ready the night before is another great timesaver.  It only takes me about a minute to do it the night before, but for some reason, if I have to pick out my clothes when I wake up in the morning, it seems to add a good 10 minutes onto my morning routine since it takes me a little bit to wake up.

#3 Have baths and showers done at night.

I like to sleep until the very last minute possible, so by having everyone’s baths/showers done the night before, everyone’s ready to go when they get up in the morning.  Also, my hair takes awhile to dry and I never use a blow dryer on it, so washing it in the evening and letting it air dry the night before is the only way I can get out of the house at a decent hour and still look good.

#4 Get dressed after breakfast.

I know that a lot of people get up, get dressed and then have breakfast.  I like to have breakfast and then get dressed.  This works best for me and my daughter.  We made this change a few years ago because I started noticing that she’d be dressed and ready for school, sit down to eat breakfast and spill and drop things on her clothes.  It was frustrating and would make us late getting out the door in the morning.  This simple change has made our mornings a lot less frustrating.

#5 Have a quick breakfast solution ready for those mornings when you’re seriously behind.

Sometimes it seems like no matter how prepared you are for the mornings, something happens that catches you by surprise.  I like to keep bananas on hand for a quick breakfast and I usually make up some muffins to have on hand for the week.  I like blueberry, blueberry banana, apples and oats, and cranberry orange.

Here’s the recipe I use for Blueberry Muffins…………it’s a favorite around here and quick to mix up.

2 1/2 Cups Blueberries

1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Cup White Flour

1 Cup Wheat Flour

(or you can use 2 C White Flour instead of 1 C White Flour and 1 C Wheat Flour)

2 t. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Salt

1 t. Vanilla

1/2 Cup Milk

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and blend.  Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla.  Mash 1/2 of blueberries, add the rest of the whole blueberries and stir by hand. Grease muffin tins (or use muffin papers) Scoop the mixture into the muffin tins.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Let them cool completely.

You can also sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the mixture before you bake the muffins.  Sometimes I add a banana to the batter when I add the blueberries for a little bit of variation.

Rachel