“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: February 15-21

FEB 15-21, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Wednesday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

One of the advantages of being in a Freezer Club for so long was that our family got to enjoy a variety of meals each week–from vegetarian to Asian to seafood to Italian. Over the years, this helped expand our palettes and now my kids (although certainly picky in many ways) are much more likely to enjoy foods like shrimp, tilapia, or even–heaven forbid!, according to Honest Toddler–a casserole. That’s why I try to include a variety of different cuisines and types of foods each week in our simple menu plans. Pick and choose what works for your family, but I encourage you to challenge yourself and your family from time to time by branching out. You might be surprised at the results!

How to Get Yellow Stains Out of Stored Baby Clothes

How to remove the yellow staining that shows up in stored baby clothes. And yes, this will likely happen to you!

A rumbling-tumbling-jumping belly, achy back, out of breath…all the time, decreased appetite, and hating 95% of clothing can only mean one thing: the third trimester!

It’s game time baby.

The nursery is starting to take shape and I’m starting to knock off some to-do’s before baby #3 arrives. Since we aren’t finding out the gender of this one, one of my big tasks was to dig out infant clothes for both genders. I’ve stored and hauled around bins and bins of these pre-washed, organized baby clothes for years knowing that this day would come.How to remove the yellow staining that shows up in stored baby clothes. And yes, this will likely happen to you!

So, I’m sure you can imagine the shock and horror I experienced when I opened up the first container to find a mysterious yellow staining on almost all of my baby clothes! I washed these, I tell you! The yellow staining was particularly bad on the girl clothes that had been stored for 4 years now. The boy clothes did not escape the yellow-plague by any means either.

Lessons From My Kids’ Confiscated Toys

toys

Guest post by Nathan (Rachel’s husband)

Water balloons. The missing ear of a stuffed animal. A Pez dispenser. A doll (inevitably) missing its clothing. Two old iPhones. And both medieval* and futuristic toy weapons. What do all of the things in this picture have in common?

Taken together, they look like either (a) the evidence room in the kid version of a hard-hitting cop drama, or (b) they’re waiting to board a boat heading for the “Island of Misfit Toys.” But the truth is they’re actually all items that my wife and I had recently confiscated from our three kids, who range from 5 to 9 years old.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably been there. The kids are fighting, or they’re not listening, or they’ve unleashed enough raging chaos that you fear for your hearing and/or sanity. You eventually diagnose that the problem is related in some meaningful way to a particular object. And since you’re determined to prevent your home for descending into a real-life version of Lord of the Flies, you decide to remove the object from the equation.

“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: February 8-14 (+ Homemade Valentine’s Dinner!)

FEB 8-14, 2016: A FREE healthy, easy meal plan that the whole family will love every Wednesday at Thriving Home (thrivinghomeblog.com).

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Valentine’s Day is only a week from Sunday. I don’t know about you, but the idea of going out to dinner that night does not sound fun anymore. A long wait. An expensive meal that is often mediocre. And leaving my kids out. Boo! So, I’ve got a home-cooked plan that I think my family will love. Plus, we’ll top off our fancy-schmancy dinner with our annual Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt.

valentine's day scavenger hunt for kids

5 Things We’ve Learned About Blogging This Year

Five Things We've Learned About BloggingFour years ago, when Rachel and I stepped into the world of blogging for business, we had no idea how little we didn’t know. Now, several years in, Rachel and I still feel like we are on a learning curve. Yes, we’ve figured out how to turn our hobby into a part-time job for both of us but we are constantly modifying what we do and how we do it.

If I could sum up this year with one word, I’d have to say it would be: Strategy.

Both Rachel and I have such limited time to put into the blog, we’ve just had to get smarter about where we put our time and how to make more income with the allotted hours we have in our lives right now. As we’ve learned to work a bit smarter, we’ve gleaned some valuable lessons this year that we thought would be worth sharing.