“Real Food Meets Reality” Menu Plan: August 30-September 5

Check out this week's healthy, kid-friendly meal plan that the whole family will love! #thrivinghome

Confession time.

After a summer without full use of my right arm (due to a dislocated and fractured shoulder) and then putting our house on the market and moving to a new house and putting our kids into a new school, I did a miserable job of meal planning and eating at home. Really, I pretty much failed all summer at cooking and feeding my family well. We ate out more than we probably ever have in our whole time as parents. It’s truly been survival mode for months. It happens, right? But…I’m excited to be back on the bandwagon this week!

You’ll notice that many of my dinner entrees have an asterisk (*) by them. That’s because I’m working hard the next few weeks to re-stock my freezer by using my time wisely and doubling these meals. That way I have some family favorites ready to pop in the oven or warm up on the busy weeknights to come. To learn more about freezer meal cooking, start here or take a look at our HUGE freezer meal recipe collection.



Mini Chicken Burgers with Herbs*
Roasted Carrots and Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme

*Double and freeze extra burgers for another meal.

Monday: Meatless

Light and Easy Penne Rosa
steamed green beans (cook right over the pasta pot in a metal strainer)
fruit salad

Tuesday: Leftover Night

leftovers or pull something out of the freezer

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Oven Omelet
whole wheat toast
Summer Peach Smoothie


Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sliders
steamed broccoli
watermelon slices

*Double and freeze extras for later.


Yummy Fish Sticks*
Mashed Cheesy Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes (recipe to come!)
green peas

*Double and freeze extras for a meal later.


Beefy Baked Ravioli*
green leaf salad with Balsamic Parmesan Dressing

*Double and freeze second batch before baking for dinner another night.

Breakfast Ideas:

Chocolate Zucchini Waffles*
Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches*
Banana and Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal*

*Double and freeze extras of these recipes for easy breakfasts later.

Free Printable Menu Planner

Here’s an easy way to get started on saving money and eating healthier–download our free printable menu planner!

Free printable menu planner

Pulled Pork with a Mexican Flair {Freezer Meal}

Deliciously flavored pulled pork. I'll never go back to BBQ pulled pork after this!

Lets see. How do I communicate the deliciousness of this flavorful pulled pork recipe? Should elaborate on the tangy-rich-mexicany flavor that comes with each bite?

Should I explain how great it is in a tortilla combined with guacamole, lime juice and sour cream?

Should I tell you how super easy it is to make AND that the recipe yields a ridiculous amount of freezer friendly pulled pork?

Or maybe I should just quote my husband as he was sneaking bites while I was taking pictures.

  • “Woman, what have you done?”
  • “This is dangerous.”
  • “Oh my gosh. We are never going back to BBQ sauce pulled pork.”
  • “You done did it.”

While I continue to ponder which route I should take to convince you to try this recipe, let’s walk through the steps on how to make your own flavorful pulled pork. 

The 4 Essential Habits of Healthy Families (FREE E-course!)

The 4 Essential Habits of Healthy Families - Try out this FREE mini audio ecourse to get your family headed in a healthy direction.

Like me, I’m sure you worry a lot about the health and fitness of your family! You want everyone to eat good, wholesome food. You want to have plenty of energy. And you’re suspicious of all the unnatural chemicals in the products you use around the house, not to mention in the medication you give your kids.

But it’s tough to know where to go for more information, right? Where should you start? Who should you trust? You end up flailing around, following a few principles and pieces of advice when you have time, but not really having any sort of roadmap to follow.

Until now.

Our friends over at Spark Health and Ultimate Bundles have put together a FREE mini-course called “The 4 Essential Habits of Healthy Families”.

The course contains a collection of quick and easy-to-follow lessons from trusted bloggers:

  • Essential Habit #1: “Nurturing your Best Self” (with Heather from Mommypotamus)
  • Essential Habit #2: “Staying Fit as a Family (Gym Membership Not Required)” (with Crystal from Money Saving Mom)
  • Essential Habit #3: “From Scratch Meal-Making” (with Katie from Kitchen Stewardship)
  • Essential Habit #4: “Using Natural Remedies” (with Katie from Wellness Mama)

Each lesson comes with a 20-minute audio lesson, PDF transcript, and a practical “Take Action” guide.

If you want to get your family on the road to real health, it’s simple to get started: sign up for your FREE mini-course now!

P.S. Hurry because this mini course is only available until Sunday, September 6th. Don’t miss your chance to access this exclusive content! Grab it now.

Pacifier, Be Gone!

Clipping the pacifier-2
The time had come.

My 2 year old, pacifier-loving son has reached a point in his manhood that takes much courage. Much strength. Much hardship.

It was his time.

His time to lose the pacifier.

Every young man comes to this turning point in his life. Some at the ripe age of 6 months. Some as they graduate to a walker. And some hold on to their “num-num” as my son calls it, longer than toddlerhood. I cast no judgements upon the duration of the pacifier. I just knew it was time for my little man to move on in life to better things.

Delicious Lemon Bars

Classic Lemon Bar Recipe. I love this recipe because it has a thicker crust than most. For sure worth a try! | Thriving Home

I can’t say when, but at some point lemon bars got in my head this summer.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to make them so when my husband asked his interns to come over for dinner, I found my excuse. Lemon bars for everyone! I looked at a few recipes, realized they are all pretty much the same and ultimately decided to use Pioneer Woman’s recipe with some minor tweaking.

This was a good choice. I mean, any Pioneer Woman recipe is a good choice. Maybe not a good choice for your waist band but we can worry about that tomorrow.

I think it’s worth mentioning that two people who ate these told me they normally don’t like lemon bars but really liked these. So if you have a lemon bar snob in your life, this recipe might be their point of conversion.

Here is how to get started making your very own delicious, fresh lemon bars.