Batch Cooking: Why (& How) I Cook in Batches.

Confession: I don’t love cooking. Not even a little bit. Up until a few months ago, menu planning filled my soul with dread. Each night around dinner time, I didn’t enjoy stopping whatever I was doing to go create a meal. I’ve often wished I was one of those women who loved cooking gourmet food, learning new skills & kinds of food to make. But I just don’t.

Enter: Batch Cooking. I may have realized that I’m not cut out for gourmet cooking… but I adore baking. Batches of sweet, tasty muffins with perfectly crispy edges. Cakes, pies… you name it, I love making it. As I was thinking about baking one day, it dawned on me: Baking happens in batches. The kitchen only gets messed up once, & I have a week’s worth of breakfast muffins to show for it.

Batch Cooking: Why (& How) I Cook in Batches.

Armed with this new knowledge, I began planning our meals in batches instead of single meals. I can’t possibly be the only one who doesn’t enjoy cooking, so I thought I would share with you how I plan our meals! We have a fairly simple goal for our eating habits:

We try to focus on natural/organic foods.

While we can’t afford just go to the health food store & buy all organic, we try to purchase organic on the “dirty dozen” list, & buy the most natural meats we can swing each week. We also avoid lots of processed foods (especially if we can barely pronounce the ingredients). Shopping at Aldi has been a HUGE help in this endeavor, because they have a great selection of affordable organic, non-GMO, & grass-fed products!

 

Okay: on to the “Batch Cooking Method.”

Plan Meals in Batches.

Hubs & I talk about what we want to eat that week on our way to the grocery store. Each meal we choose, I plan on cooking enough to last for 2 complete dinners & at least one lunch. We usually plan 3 different dinners per week, (we often splurge on dinner out one night!). Breakfasts usually consist of scrambled eggs, & a side of potatoes (pre-roasted) or some type of meat. Lunches are usually leftovers from dinners, or peanut butter & jelly for the kids.

Buy Food in Batches:

I usually plan on buying two different kinds of meat for the week, & cook them several different ways so they stretch over an entire week. For example, this week I bought a large package of 6 chicken breasts. I grilled them as whole breasts, nuggets, & skinny strips all at one time. If I buy ground beef, then some is used to make homemade sausage for breakfasts, as well as meat sauce for spaghetti. We get a variety of fresh & frozen veggies, & roast several 9×13 glass pans full at one time.

Cooking in Batches:

Some people who batch cook like to do it all at once, on a scheduled day. I don’t really enjoy schedules, so I tend to cook whenever the mood strikes, & just cook a LOT. A few nights ago I got a wild hair to cook, & prepped an entire pack of chicken for the week. I don’t often feel like cooking, so when I do, I try to make the most of it. When there’s more food than we’ll eat in a week, freezer bags with labels & dates come to the rescue!

Plan Ahead:

Trust me: If you’re anything like me, there will still be some night were you just don’t feel like cooking dinner. Yep, even after all this semi-careful planning. Buy at least one extra “cheat” meal to prepare for those nights. A box or two of organic macaroni & cheese, some organic applesauce. Maybe a frozen bag of green beans you can sauté in a few minutes, or those steam-in-a-bag veggie & rice combos.

 

Last, but not least:

Don’t Sweat It.

If you don’t get it right this week, you can always try again. Get a good list of meals your family loves, try to plan as best as you can, & don’t stress if you eat at Chick-Fil-A two nights in a row. 😆

 

Let’s Chat: Do you have a favorite recipe?


How To Re-Set A Bad Day.

I had a really rough morning yesterday. The kids had been AWFUL the day before; whining, fighting, hitting each other… I woke up dreading the day. I wanted to go back to bed, before I ever got out of it. The morning slugged on, & so did I. I couldn’t get out of my own way, couldn’t seem to get anything done. The kids were cranky & edgy. Well, before I knew it… EVERYTHING was AWFUL.

How to Re-set a Bad Day: Let the redeemer do the work!

I knew there had to be a way to reset the day. Find some quiet. As both kids fell asleep, I began praying for change, instead of trying to make change on my own. I heard the voice of truth telling me: “You are Enough. Today IS a good day. I can turn it around. Rest. There is abundance. There is joy. There is peace.”

When I have bad days, I often try to fix them myself. I try to pull myself up by the bootstraps, get out of my own head, & plow through until the end of the day. It reminds me of Martha:

“But Martha was distracted with much serving…”
(Luke 10:40a)

Just like Martha, I get upset because I feel like I’m doing all the work. I get so caught up in making ALL the changes in myself, for myself… by myself… and I forget to rest at the feet of the change-maker.


Friend: God has SO much more for us than that.

While I was quieting my heart, I realized that Jesus is the redeemer. He’s the redeemer of our souls… our lives… & OUR DAYS. He redeemed us on the cross, yes. But He doesn’t stop there: He’s still redeeming us TODAY. All he wants is for us to set aside our Martha “fix everything” attitude, & sit at His feet.

How to Re-set a Bad Day: Let the redeemer do the work.

Today, I encourage you to put aside your list, the noise, the work. Put down the things that are overwhelming you, & sit. Find (or make!) 10 minutes of quiet, & just rest. If you have to hide in the bathroom, or sneak out of the office during lunch: DO it. Fall into the arms of the ONLY one who can redeem your day. Let your worries & stresses be known, & then listen. Wait for a reset. Wait for His voice to come alongside & quiet your storm.

 

You can redeem this day… but you don’t have to DO anything.


Introducing: Well Collection

Friends! It is here! FINALLY, I get to share the new collection with you all. 😌 This has been a long- awaited collection for me… I began planning it during 30 Days of Slow, & I could not possible be more thrilled to show you…

The Well Collection

Well Collection - a series of t-shirts designed to inspire health & wellness. Embracing Jesus, Slow Living, & being Whole.

Once again, Sam from Samantha Jane Photography has completely knocked my socks off with her skills. 😍 She makes magic happen with her camera!

Take a peek at the Lookbook.

I’ve also made a pretty big change with the online shipping… all U.S. orders get FREE standard shipping! 

Shop The Collection!


Want to be the first to hear about new collections?

Only More Love.

I don’t understand. I don’t understand how anyone can kill people, just because they’re mad about something. It doesn’t make sense that good friends can become enemies overnight. It saddens me to hear of siblings having an argument, & never talking to each other again. Maybe it’s because I’m a peacemaker at heart, & I avoid arguments at ALL costs. Or perhaps it’s because I’m really good at seeing both sides of a disagreement. This morning, I heard about another shooting. In Florida, this time… a disgruntled employee looking to get revenge on his old company, or something like that.

I just don’t understand.

I DO understand this:

Life is short. It’s too short to be spent arguing over silly things. It’s too sweet to spend my life fighting people when I could be loving on everyone I meet. Life is too precious to be wasted on senseless hatred & anger. Last year, I read & wept over a story of of young man getting cancer & having to leave his beautiful family. I’ve heard stories of people who have regrets over relationships lost, because they were young & quick-tempered. I’ve lashed out so many times at my Hubs, because I was angry & didn’t think before I used words like a sword.

Today, I hope you draw those closest to you & hold them tight. Remember that we’re not promised tomorrow… so treat each day like it’s the last, BEST day ever. Do random acts of kindness, take care of someone who needs help when you can. If you disagree with someone, remember this: the greatest commandment is LOVE. Love no matter what. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how tough it might be. No matter how many times you have to give & give & give.

LOVE. 

 

 

That is all.

 


What are you Afraid of?

My finger hovered over the keyboard, unsure if I should push the “publish” button. I had just finished writing the announcement for my first class, 30 Days of Slow. For some unknown reason, a wave of fear & doubt hit me smack in the face. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested. Maybe people wouldn’t get it, or I wouldn’t be able to communicate what was on my heart. I’ve experienced that feeling of fear or doubt welling up in me before. Often, it’s fear or self-doubt mingled with excitement. When I feel that kind of fear building up, I have to stop & ask myself:

What are you afraid of?

Are you afraid of not being heard? You’ll never be heard if you don’t say it. Are you afraid of being misunderstood? There will ALWAYS be people who don’t understand your heart. Are you afraid your new product won’t sell, or your new idea won’t take off? You’ll never know unless you try. Are you afraid that you’ll be laughed at? You’ll have to learn who to handle difficult people & situations if you want your light to shine.

 

Sometimes you have to jump off the cliff & grow your wings on the way down. - Encouragement to just START.

Sometimes doing big things is scary. You have to be willing to open yourself up to failure. You’ll doubt yourself, doubt your mission, wonder if the whole idea was silly. Doing big things IS hard, & it is scary. Most leaps of faith are. 

So… do you have something that has been heavy on your heart for a long time? Do you want to help women in third-world countries? A story to tell, or a book to write? Is there an amazing idea brewing inside you, that you just HAVE to share with the world… but you just don’t know where (or how) to start? Let me encourage & push you; just like I have to remind myself:

Just. Start.

Share your story. Write it on social media, or talk about it on your Instagram stories. Start that blog. Allow that brewing creation or idea to come to life. Show somebody. Publish that photo. Seek out a tutor to help you with a book proposal. Most of all, when you feel fear over starting something you’re passionate about, take a deep breath, & jump.

You’ll grow wings on the way down.


Before The World…

When I was a kid, my family went to see Reba McIntyre in concert. She sang powerfully on stage with her bright red sequined dress on, & needless to say, I was very impressed. My five-year-old self pointed to the stage as I told my Mom; “I’m gonna be up there someday.” I was always the kid who wanted to be on center stage, to have the audience & enjoy the limelight. I was always telling stories to get people to laugh, & I not-so-secretly wanted to be a rock star, complete with head banging, leather pants, & an electric guitar. (My poor mother! 😆)

Clearly, my life goals have changed… or.. have they? With time, my desire for an electric guitar & a stage has faded… but my desire for a platform hasn’t. My love for singing on center stage is gone, but my longing to share truth hasn’t. Every day I am on a journey towards living intentionally & slowly. A journey towards joy & peace. I am learning how to make my own way in the world, & that my voice is unique… there’s only one Me. I am learning to not conform to what everyone else is doing, or to what everyone else says is right.

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be? - k.w. You are not a mistake. You are strong, powerful, & full of incredibly special gifts.

This year has already brought me so much growth. I have begun to let the truth sink in that that I am created with a purpose. That I have the ability to impact lives with my story. My journey has included natural remedies, dear friends with listening ears, & a WHOLE lot of Jesus. I have gone from self-doubt to self-assured. The fires I’ve gone through are turning me into someone SO much stronger. I know that I have a voice… & that I can make a difference. I know that I want to share truth with you.

I know this is true:

You are not a mistake. You are strong, powerful, & full of incredibly special gifts. There is hope if you are living a defeated, overwhelmed life. You are strong enough to keep going, to keep fighting for what you believe in. You are worth it. You are worth standing up for what you need. You can make it through this day, this fight… & learn to live in victory. You were designed for a position of influence, not matter where you are right now. You have a message to tell, no matter how insignificant you may sometimes feel.

Do Not be Conformed- You are not a mistake. You are strong, powerful, & full of incredibly special gifts.

Each of our journeys will look very, VERY different. Here’s your permission slip from me: Seek the life you long for. Often, the things that were deepest in our hearts when we were young are still under there… hidden down deep, because the world around us said our dreams were too dreamy. They said they were silly… or completely IMPOSSIBLE. Look back to your childhood… before the world told you to be quiet, or stop dreaming impossible dreams. Who were you then?

Who are you NOW?

 

I would love to hear from you: leave a comment & share
something that you absolutely LOVED as a kid or teen!


Embracing My Mess.

From the time I was a child, I knew my brain worked a little bit differently than the rest of my family. I was always the forgetful one, scatter-brained one. I lost pocketbooks frequently, had absolutely No sense of direction, & always had my Mom in stitches over the unique way I answered math problems. 😆 Creative thinking has always been my strong suit, & in school my book reports were a thing to behold.

My family loved me no matter how crazy I was, thankfully. Yet, somehow, I found myself more & more frustrated by the things I “failed” at. Why did I lose stuff so easily, or jump from idea to idea with even a second thought? There must be something wrong with me, right? I spent years wishing I could be less scattered & more analytical. Wishing my brain somehow worked more… normally. Differently… ANYTHING. Then, I read this quote:

It's time to embrace your natural "flaws" for what they are... a fun, unique part of an amazing you. Click to keep reading...

I’ve found myself learning to love the way my brain works. I have a GPS now if I get lost, & am learning that putting things away in the same place helps me remember things better. I’ve also learning to appreciate the creativity that comes so easily to me. I’m always coming up with new ideas; in fact… they multiply like bunnies!

I AM a mess. I still could love my head if it wasn’t attached to my neck. I still get town names confused with other town names that start with the same letters. I lost my purse in the house last week… it had fallen off it’s designated spot! 😂

But God doesn’t make mistakes. I can forget about my dish pile because I’m taking time to help a friend brainstorm ideas for her business. I can get lost, but I sure have un doing it! I’m the crazy one telling stories & laughing loudly… & I’m usually the last one to leave. I AM a mess… a crazy, glorious mess.

So are You.

It’s time to embrace your natural “flaws” for what they are… a fun, unique part of an amazing you. Isn’t it cool that the God who made the oceans & galaxies looked at the world & thought it needed one of you? You are a unique individual. There’s only one of you. Today, & every day after, I hope you embrace your own glorious mess!

What is one thing you’re thought is a “flaw” that is actually an awesome messy part of an amazing You?


3 Things (Vol. 9).

Hello again, friend! It’s been a busy week over here, & I’m looking forward to a joyfully busy weekend. This week I’m hoping to begin renovating my vintage camper & turning it into a studio. I have a LOT of new products planned, & I could really use a space to spread out, without trying to squeeze more craft supplies into our tiny (ish!) home! The camper will be a space for me to screen print & create, while the kids can be right outside playing in a nice fenced-in area. 😍 I can’t wait to share more about it with you!

This month, I’m talking a lot about Self-Care… so today’s 3 Things is going to follow the theme! Here we go…

3Things: Vol 9- 3 Things I love for self-care... amazing sea salt spray, & a stunning diffuser necklace from Lava Essentials!

  1. Coddiwomple. Ummm… could this word be any more perfect? I mean. There’s nothing I love more than traveling towards a vague destination, & purposing to enjoy the trip. 😍 This is basically my travel-goals & self-care all rolled into a nice, neat package. Coddiwomple. Yep. It’s perfect. 😆
  2. Marc Anthony’s Beach Spray. I actually just bought this today. As soon as I came home, I had to try it out… & I love the texture & volume it gives my hair! I’m a low-maintanance girl when it come to hair care No styling, blow-drying, or much of anything. Having something that will help my hair hold the natural wave is spot-on. 👌🏼
  3. Lava Essential’s Minimalist Dainty Triangle Necklace. I am in LOVE with this simple necklace, & it’s 100% on my must-have list. I may just splurge & buy myself one… SOON. I don’t usually wear jewelry, but having a simple necklace like this, that is not only stunning, but useful? It’s a Must-Have.

Here’s to a good weekend! May your children nap, & may you have lots of fun with those you love. 😉


GIVEAWAY! – My Favorite (Handmade) Essential Oil Lotion

Hey friends! I meant to have this post up MUCH earlier today… but sometimes Mommin’ trumps running a business. 😉

🎉 It’s Giveaway Time! 🎉

Today, I’m hosting a giveaway over on Instagram! I’ve made a new batch of my ALL-TIME favorite handmade lotion. Made in my kitchen with coconut oil, vitamin E oil, & lavender & frankincense essential oils. Frankincense oil is known for it’s ability to help the skin’s elasticity. Lavender oil is known to aid relaxing & calming… so this lotion is a perfect blend of pampering & self-care! It’s love in a jar. 😍

handmade lotion giveaway on instagram!

I have two 5 ml. jars of this gorgeous lotion to give away, so I’ve made 2 self-care packages, & decided to  have TWO winners! The rules are posted on the Instagram post, so check them out & enter by CLICKING HERE!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!


Learn to Rest (Not to Quit).

There’s something so basic & obvious about the idea of resting. Usually we relate resting to sleep. As a teen, everybody told you to get plenty of sleep (you probably ignored that advice & stayed up until 2 am). Moms make sure their toddlers are taking naps, & often we try to avoid caffeine a few hours before bedtime. But rest is SO much more than getting enough sleep! (Although, that is a big part of it!) Since April is self-care month, it seems like the perfect time to talk about rest.

There's something so basic & obvious about the idea of resting. Usually we relate resting to sleep. But rest is SO much more than getting enough sleep! Click to keep reading...

(Click the picture above for 👆🏻 FREE 👆🏻 iPhone wallpaper!)

So… What Is Rest?

To Rest is to STOP.

Stop working late into the night. Quit running from one thing to another. Stop the busy, the rush, & the hustle… & just BE. Allow your mind, body, & soul to stop the daily pressure, & give yourself time to smell the roses. Drink a cup of tea. Relax in the tub. Put the kids to bed a bit early. If you feel that your body is tired, then use some relaxing essential oils & get in bed with a good book. I have found that if I listen to what my body is “telling” me (aches, pains, early signs of mental stress), then I’m able to stop before the stress & overwhelm feel like a flood.

If you don’t stop… I can almost guarantee you: something will stop you. It says in Psalm 23: “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” Sometimes, if we won’t rest on our own… He has to MAKE us. A lot of times when I’ve pushed myself too hard, I’ll wake up feeling crummy, & find myself on the couch with tissues & the TV remote. Our bodies NEED rest, & if we don’t get what we need, they find a way to get it.

To Rest is to UNWIND.

My mind is almost always busy. On good days, it’s full of ideas & thoughts, things I should do, projects to make, writing topics & how I can improve myself, my home, or my business. On bad days, it’s chock-full of STRESS. How many more time will I have to sweep crumbs up, the dishes are piles, the sheets needs to be changed, & nothing ever seems to go quickly or easily… the list goes on & on.

If I don’t let my brain unwind, then I’m not feeling rest even when I try to sit or sleep. On good days, I love to get all of those ideas out into my bullet journal, or I’ll create a mind map to unwind. On bad days, my go-to is to grab my Bible & journal, & talk to Jesus for a while. Sometimes the stress or overwhelm I feel causes extra muscle tension. I love to use relaxation techniques, stretching, & essential oils help my body to unwind.

To Rest is to RECOVER.

It’s easy to feel bogged down by daily life. The stresses of your dream job start piling up, or the commitments you’ve made seem too overwhelming. Even if they’re things you are crazy passionate about, you can still burn out & be tempted to quit. If you’re feeling bogged down or stressed by the things that you love, you’re not letting yourself recover.

Something you need to take a break from things that you love in order to recover. A lot of times, that’s not possible, so removing other things to allow for more rest is workable solution. Allow yourself enough time to recover, & I bet you’ll find yourself more ready & excited to do the things you were ready to quit the day before!

I’m no expert, but I am a work-at-home Momma who has dealt with stress, overwhelm, & every other emotion you can imagine… all because I was trying to balance too many things without allowing enough time for rest & slow. Learning to rest was my first step to living a slower, more joy-filled life! I hope you find rest today, & take the time you need to care for yourself. ❤️


April is Self-Care Month.

Hello friend! I’ve been writing my fingers off for 30 Days of Slow (which started on Saturday!), & it’s fun to see how much I’m loving having a pen in my hand. If I don’t get to write one day it seems so strange! (I draft all my posts the old-fashioned way… with my favorite pen & a notebook.) So… it’s April already! I’m not sure how that happened, but spring is in full bloom here on the east coast. March flew by so fast! Each month, I try to pick a topic or theme for my blog. It’s a way for me to keep this space feeling cohesive, so when you read it it’s totally random. I always have so many ideas running around in my brain… if I didn’t pick a theme you’d all be totally confused! 😂

As I was thinking through the things I’m sharing in the 30 day challenge, it seems fitting to focus on Self Care this month. My journey towards slow began when I realized that I was really neglecting a very important person: ME. I don’t mean to sound selfish when I say that, but I was pouring out to my family, friends, business, & I was drained. I dreaded weeks with lots of appointments, & even fun outings had somehow become stressful.

So, for April, you’re gonna be reading a lot about taking care of YOU. I’m even planning a give-away of my all-time favorite lotion (& sharing the recipe for you DIY-ers)! Seriously… I am SO excited about all this month, & super passionate about self-care; probably because I am SO bad at it. Here’s what to expect this month:

Mondays:

A favorite quote or saying related to Self-Care, & why I think it’s important.

Wednesdays:

I want to have a few heart-to-heart chats about self-care, share DIY’s, & other interesting news.

Fridays:

I’ll be doing my usual 3 Things posts! Extra posts may also show up thorough the month (Kind of like this one!). 

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!


Guest Post – Intentionally Designed

Hey friends!

I’m just popping in here to let you know that I’ve had the privilege of guest posting for Rachel at Intentionally Designed today! I’m sharing a bit of my story, plus a few ideas for getting started if you want to seek Slow as a way of life. Click below to read more:

Embracing Slow - Slow Living as a way of life (Guest Post at Intentionally Designed)