Five Tips To Help You Get Up Early From A Lifelong Night Owl

tips to get up early

I have always been a night owl.  My mom eventually gave up on enforcing bedtimes earlier than 10pm because I simply couldn’t turn my brain off and go to sleep any earlier.  But, now that I’m a mom, I have discovered that waking up after my kids means waking up to chaos, which, in turn, makes me not want to wake up at all!  However, I still crave that quiet time where I can just BE without everyone needing something from me.  So, after years of fighting it, I have learned to get up early so I can get a little time to myself and be awake and prepared for the day before the kids start stirring around.  

How to get up early

Here are my top five tips to help you get up early in the morning.

  1. Prepare the night before.  A messy, cluttered house and a kitchen sink full of dishes is enough to make even natural early birds pull the covers back over their heads.  Take some time the night before to prepare for your rising.  Pick up the house.  Clean the kitchen, and sit out everything for your morning coffee (or other favorite morning beverage).  I even like to start breakfast.  This crockpot oatmeal or these freezable breakfast burritos are my favorites, but I also turn to several of these quick morning recipes when I want to switch things up.
  2. Swallow the frog!  I know.  You’re wondering what on earth that means.  Whatever it is, it sounds like something that makes you want to hide UNDER the bed, not get out of it.  LOL!  It actually refers to a quote by Mark Twain:  “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”  A lot of people use it as motivation to do their hardest jobs first.  Then, the rest of their day is easier.  I love the concept, but for a life-long night owl, getting up early is the thing that I dread!  So, as soon as I wake up I “swallow the frog” by hopping out of bed.  Since I just did the hard thing, I have better things (like a clean-ish house, my favorite drink, and breakfast) ahead of me.  I may actually have another frog to eat once I get my day going, but I can deal with that once I’m fully awake, showered, satisfied with good food, and ready to take on the day!  Not swallowing the frog is actually just a way to put off the hard or undesirable things that we all have to do, if you struggle with procrastination, check out my tips for overcoming procrastination.
  3. Spend at least 15 minutes out in the sun shortly after you wake up.  Sunlight turns off the flow of melatonin (which makes you feel sleepy) and causes your brain to produce serotonin (which is thought to produce feelings of well-being and fight off depression).  
  4. Be consistent with your sleep schedule.  It’s tempting to sleep in, especially if you were up late the night before.  But, sleeping in will make it harder for you to sleep well that night which makes you sleep in the next morning, and it becomes a vicious cycle.  
  5. Get a good night’s sleep.  It’s easy to be unrealistic about the amount of sleep you need when you are deciding on a sleep schedule.  Don’t give in to the temptation to cut yourself short on sleep so you can get more done.  You may accomplish more in the short term, but eventually lack of sleep will catch up with you and you will suffer from lack of focus, exhaustion, poor health, and general moodiness.  To figure out how much sleep I need, I went to bed at the same time for several nights in a row and paid attention to what time I consistently woke up without an alarm clock.  When I woke up, I got up and started my daily routine. 

By the way, if you struggle with keeping a daily schedule, I have a free worksheet to help you develop a daily routine–a general flow to your day to keep you on-track without the stress of keeping a strict schedule.  Following a daily routine instead of a schedule revolutionized my days at home with kids (because we all know kids have a way of blowing even the most perfectly thought-out schedule).  I call it my schedule with grace!  Get the free Daily Routine Worksheet here!

daily routine builder

What about you?  Do you find that your days go better if you get up before your kids?  Do you have any tips for someone who is struggling to get up early?

Four Reasons You Should Invest In Yourself

reasons you should invest in yourself

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am really cheap frugal.  I love being a “home economist” and spending my time and efforts making the most of our financial resources.  And, honestly, it has served us very well.  We are now completely debt free (including our mortgage) and are able to focus on saving and investing for our future!  I’m always a little hesitant to share that, but I do because I want others to know that it can be done with the power of budgeting and having a plan.  But, with all of my intentionality, there is one area where I really struggle and have failed many times.  And, that is my refusal invest in myself!  So, today, I would like to encourage you to invest in yourself, because if I need to hear it, I’m sure somebody else does, too!

invest in yourself

We live in a time where information is EVERYWHERE!  So many times when asked how I learned to do something, I have just smiled and said, “You Tube“.  But, the challenge with having so much information available is that it can be hard to weed through what is truly useful and what is fluff–or even worse, completely wrong.  But, because of my frugality, I have spent hours digging through various websites and gleaning bits and pieces of information so that I could develop a plan or a system to accomplish a task.  Yes, I did eventually accomplish what I needed to without spending money on training, but I was not taking into the account the amount of hours, lost sleep, and frustration this was costing me!  In fact, just last week, I spent over ten hours trying to figure something out (technical stuff for the blog).  I finally broke down and spent $30 for a different service provider (instead of the free one I was trying to retro-fit).  I learned the new system and created what I needed in an hour or two.  And, I now have something that is easy to reproduce EVERY TIME instead of constantly trying to make something work in a way that it was not intended to work.  My stress level has dropped immensely.  I am able to be more productive.  And, I am nicer to my family.  (Let’s face it.  When we are stressed, it’s hard to be patient with those we love the most!)  And, that is all because I simply chose to invest in myself.  

Here Are 4 Reasons You Should Invest In Yourself:

  1. Your time is valuable!  Whether we realize it or not, our lives are made up of time.  So, when we don’t value our time, we are not valuing our lives.  No matter how much wealth, fame, or prestige we achieve, we cannot add to the days we have been given here on this earth.  Spending money on the tools we need to accomplish our day to day tasks is an investment that pays dividends in time to spend with our families and enabling us to achieve our goals.  
  2. You believe that you are not worth it!  This one is especially common for–but not exclusive to–moms.  If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you went shopping.  You may have looked at that new outfit that you would love to have, but at the end of the day, you put it back on the rack and headed to the cash register with something for your kids.  Many times, we will spend time and money on everyone else but feel guilty about using any resources for ourselves, even when it will help us serve our families better.  Listen to me!  I need you to set that guilt aside and invest in yourself!  Trust me.  When you invest in getting the tools and knowledge that you need to do your job better, not only you, but your whole family, benefits!  Yes, you can find all of the information you need on the internet for free, but there are many people out there that have spent the time and money to package up everything you need into one convenient resource.  Let them be a blessing to you and your family by providing you with that time-saving product, and bless their family by paying them for their efforts.
  3. You think you wouldn’t be able to follow through with it anyway!  Let me tell you, I have tried about every free resource that I have come across.  And, I have fallen behind, given up, or lost interest somewhere along the way.  However, when I invest our family dollars into something, I approach it in a whole different way.  That financial investment drives me to push through the hard stuff and not give up because when I look at the budget, I don’t want to have to admit that I wasted money.  By sacrificing part of our family budget to invest in me, my whole family is giving me a vote of confidence that I can learn and grow and WIN.  And, that, my friend, is incredibly powerful and encouraging.
  4. Your kids are following your example!  We encourage our kids to never stop learning and growing.  We tell them that it is important to invest in yourself.  We want them to learn a trade or get a college education to make themselves more valuable in the workforce.  We need to set the example by being life-long learners who are not afraid to invest in learning new things.

So, don’t just set goals and spend your days banging your head against the wall or give up on them all together.  Set a goal, then look for ways to invest in yourself so that you can be successful!  

Your time is valuable!  

You are worth it!  

You can follow through and achieve your goals!

You are an example!

What about you?  Do you have goals that you have given up on?  Are there resources that you should invest in, but you are hesitant to invest in yourself?  Have you found an on-line class or other resource that you love?  How has it helped you achieve your goals?

Establish A Daily Routine Without The Schedule

daily schedule with toddlers

When I was a new mom, I was suddenly thrown into the world of trying to keep the house under control and dinner on the table with the added responsibility of a tiny human being relying on me for his every need.  I was overwhelmed to say the least!  As I searched on-line for guidance, the re-occuring advice was that I needed be on a schedule.  By the time I had several years (and several kids) under my parenting belt, I was the queen of making schedules.  But, it wasn’t because I was succeeding in my role as a mom and homemaker.  No, it was because I had made so many schedules!  And, within weeks, each one would fall flat, leaving me flat on my face crying because I just couldn’t get my stuff together!  It wasn’t until many years into this vicious cycle, that I was introduced to the idea of creating a daily routine!

a daily routine instead of a daily schedule

A daily routine is similar to a daily schedule but without the strict time constraints.  It is the order, or the flow, of your day.  You see, the reason my schedules kept failing was because I had kids!  (Ironically, I needed a schedule so badly because I had kids!  LOL!)  But, kids can completely obliterate even the best of schedules with a single diaper explosion or melt-down over a math problem.  My day would be going along exactly as planned, then an unexpected incident would completely de-rail my whole operation.  Before I knew it, I was two hours behind with no hope of ever getting back on track.  It doesn’t take very many days of that to make you completely give up… again. 


daily routine builder

But, a daily routine is a schedule with grace.  When un-expected events occur, it’s okay.  Since you are not under time constraints, you have the freedom to deal with the un-expected, then move on to the next thing.  Yet, your daily routine is always there to give you the next thing.  Without that, you waste tons of time and mental energy between tasks trying to figure out what you should do next.  My daily schedule has truly given me the structure that I need without taking away the necessary flexibility required for successful, peaceful parenting.

Have you found yourself in the same boat?  If so, follow these simple guidelines to give the daily routine a try:

  1. Write down everything that needs to happen in your typical day.  This includes getting up, daily devotions, meals, nap times, school drop-off, homeschooling, housework, computer tasks, play time, self-care, bath time, bedtime… Everything.
  2. Establish “check points” with grace.  Check points are a way of giving yourself accountability with grace.  Check points are times during the day where you would like to be to certain points of your routine.  For example, the best check points to begin with are when you would like everyone to get up and go to bed.  The time between when you (the parent) get up and when you go to bed is the time-frame for the rest of the family’s daily routine.  Next, establish a few check points during the day.  These mid-day check points should include meal times, nap times, and necessary obligations (where you have to be somewhere at a certain time).  Write these check points in order on a piece of paper with plenty of space to “schedule” the time in-between.  Block out the 30 minutes before each check point.  This is were the grace comes in to your daily routine.  That extra thirty minutes is going to serve as “catch up” time for that portion of the day.  You are always going to have unexpected things pop up.  Knowing that you have several thirty minute periods scheduled for catching up during the day removes that stress and allows you to deal with your kids in a kinder, more patient way!
  3. Fill in the rest of your time with the remaining necessary tasks.  Go through your list of remaining tasks for the day and jot down how long you think each task should take.  Then, fill in the empty space on your paper with those tasks.  For example, if you have three hours between breakfast and lunch, pick tasks that add up to 2 1/2 hours worth of time (remember, the other 30 minutes is your grace period), and add them to your routine.  
  4. If you have more tasks than you have time slots, re-evaluate.  If the tasks on your list outnumber the hours in your waking day, it’s time to re-evaluate your list.  Can you get up 30 minutes earlier and still get a decent amount of sleep?  Can some jobs be done every other day?  If so, they can share the same slot on your routine.  Are you constantly falling behind because your home is full of clutter, or are you exhausted because you have poor eating habits?  There are great resources to help you on-line.  Invest in them!  Here is why it is worth it!  Are you doing too much?  If you can’t fit everything into your daily routine, it’s time to have a family meeting to decide what you can cut out of your schedule or delegate to someone else.  This one is hard because we want to do everything, but it is necessary for your quality of life!  Seeing everything written down is good for you and your family to really understand what you are asking of yourself on a day-to-day basis and will provide clarity when making those hard decisions!
  5. Adjust your daily routine as needed!  You are not going to get everything perfect the first time.  Write your daily routine in pencil, and spend the first couple of weeks tweaking it!  You will settle into a rhythm that works for you and your family, and you will be so glad you stuck with it!
  6. Don’t wait.  Do it now!  Don’t put off making a family routine until later.  If what you’re doing isn’t working, then something needs to change.  Simply click the button below, to get our free Daily Routine Worksheet, and give the daily routine a fair try.  If it doesn’t improve your life, you can go back to how you are doing things now.  I promise.  If you’re struggling with getting started, here are some tips to overcome procrastination.

daily routine builder

How about you?  Have you tried and tried to establish a schedule and failed?  Do you create the perfect schedule only to have it de-railed by life?  Do you have any tips that have worked for you?

Are you struggling with mom guilt?  Read this.

Processed food and other mommy wars...And the reason behind them. #parenting #mommywars

You may also like these tips for getting your kids involved around the house:

 

How To Make A Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner

This citrus All Purpose Cleaner is completely non-toxic and costs only pennies to make! #homemadecleaners

When my kids were babies, I would spend their nap times in the bathrooms with the vent fan running, scrubbing away and trying not to breathe the toxic fumes.  However, the day came when they no longer napped, and, even worse, they wanted to help!  I didn’t want them in the room, much less handling the chemicals in those cleaners.  So, I set out to find a better way to a cleaner home. 

Honestly, I didn’t think natural cleaners could live up to the cleaning power of chemical products.  But, for the most part, I have been pleasantly surprised.  In the cases that I do have to turn to a chemical cleaner, I simply rest in the fact that our exposure has decreased substantially.  

This citrus All Purpose Cleaner is completely non-toxic and costs only pennies to make! #homemadecleanersThe staple of a great natural cleaning arsenal is a great all purpose cleaner.  This easy-to-make cleaner combines citrus (which works as a degreaser, stain remover and freshener) and vinegar (which serves to break down mold, grease, mineral deposits and bacteria).  It’s completely safe for the kids, cheap to make, and smells amazing!  Use it to clean and deodorize sinks, stovetops, countertops, bathtubs, floors, toilets, and more. 

Grab the printable recipe below!

How To Make Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Glass jar
  • Orange peels (or any other citrus fruit peels)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of salt
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
Instructions
  1. Fill your glass container with orange peels. (You can save orange peels in the freezer until you have enough and are ready to make the cleaner.)
  2. Lightly coat the orange peels with salt and let them sit for at least 30 minutes. This will pull the oils from the peels for a great citrus smell and more cleaning power.
  3. Fill your container with vinegar and water. I like about half and half.
Notes
Any combination of citrus fruit peels can be used. Experiment to find a scent you love! Essential oils can also be added along with the vinegar and water.

Now that you have a cleaning product that’s safe for your little ones, check out these tips for getting your toddler to help around the house!

Do you cringe when your toddler wants to "help" you around the house? Read why you should let them help and how to deal with the messiness. #parenting #momhacks #toddlers
Are you concerned about the chemicals in your home?  Have you made any of your own cleaners?

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Want to save money and reduce toxins in your home? This diy laundry detergent will do just that! Give it a try! #homemadecleaners #diy wwwourlifeouthere.com

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Five Tips To Overcome Procrastination

Stressed out? Procrastination could be the cause. Check out these 5 tips to overcome procrastination! #stress #simplify #simpleliving

I recently shared in this post how procrastination almost cost the life of one of our chickens.  Even though procrastinating doesn’t always result in such obvious problems, it always costs us something.  Many times it is unnecessary stress, wasted mental energy, or strained relationships.  We’ve all spent days with that feeling of dread looming over our heads or snapped at our kids because we were in a time-crunch to do something we should have completed weeks ago.  That’s why it’s essential that we overcome procrastination.

Stressed out? Procrastination could be the cause. Check out these 5 tips to overcome procrastination! #stress #simplify #simpleliving

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

I get it.  We’re all busy.  We always have more stuff to do than time to do it.  But, if we would just take the extra time to do that stuff, it would relieve a lot of the stress in our lives.  

Here are my favorite tips for overcoming procrastination:  

  1. Consider the cost.  What problems could be caused by putting this off?  What can be gained by doing it immediately?
  2. Avoid committing to stuff that you know you will dread.  Yes, we all have to do some things that we don’t like, but how many times do you commit yourself to something simply because you are afraid to say no?  Consider how much time and energy a project will take before you give it your “yes.”  Jon Acuff says it like this:  “The word yes is very expensive.  You only have a few opportunities to spend it every day.  Don’t waste it on situations that deserve to hear the word no.”
  3. Practice “doing it now.”  We are constantly teaching our kids (and ourselves) to not walk past something that needs to be done.  No, that piece of trash left on the ground will not end in tragedy.  However, by picking it up immediately, you are developing the good habit of not putting stuff off until later.
  4. Be honest with yourself about how long something will take.  So many times, I put something off for WEEKS–only to find out that once I got started, it only took me 10 minutes.  I could have saved myself a lot of stress and mental energy if I had just done it!
  5. Just get started!  Getting started is usually the hardest step.  

I’ve created a free printable to help you get on track when you are struggling with procrastination.  It’s perfect to hang on your refrigerator, at your desk, or wherever you tend to have a hard time staying on task!  I’d love to send it to you!   Just click here if you would like one.


overcome procrastination

I hope these tips help you overcome procrastination and get stuff done!  Do you struggle with procrastination?  What are your favorite ways to overcome procrastination?

Could you use some help scheduling your days?  Read this!

a daily routine instead of a daily schedule

 

Are you striving to teach your kids these life lessons early?  Read about another life lesson your kid needs to learn:

Sometimes in order to build confidence, we have to let kids struggle with the hard things in life. #parenting #dohardthings

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Kitchen Faucet: Invest In High Quality, Save Money In the Long Run

This post brought to you by Kohler. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Our Life Out Here.

Saving money and living frugally is important to us.  But, I have learned that investing in high quality products to begin with saves me money in the long run.  One place I have definitely learned to invest in quality is my kitchen faucet.

My days revolve around caring for four young children, as well as keeping our house and small farm running smoothly.  It seems like I use my kitchen faucet hundreds of times every day—making lunch, washing eggs, cleaning the kitchen, washing my hands… It never ends.  So, I need a sturdy product that holds up to our lifestyle.

It’s good to know that I can rely on the quality products from Kohler.  And, with the Cardale and Elliston  faucets now available only at Lowe’s, I can get a beautiful, high-end faucet at a great DIY price!  Both faucets feature Kohler’s Scratch Resistant Shield™ finish that resists corrosion and tarnishing, ensuring that whichever style I choose will look great for years to come.

We try to live really frugally, but sometimes I've learned that investing in quality up-front save money in the long run. #ad #KohlerIdeas

I love the classic look of the Cardale Kitchen Faucet and can image it being a lovely addition to an apron farmhouse sink or a traditional double basin drop-in sink.

We try to live really frugally, but sometimes I've learned that investing in quality up-front save money in the long run. #ad #KohlerIdeas

But, beyond it’s attractive appearance, it features Kohler’s pull-down, two function spray head with touch control, Sweep Spray™ (which creates a forceful blade of water designed to sweep away any stuck-on food that you may have left sitting in the sink for… ummm, a few too many hours), and aerated stream settings.  Also, the temperature memory allows the faucet to be turned on and off at any temperature setting… No more leaving the water running because you don’t want to try to find that perfect temperature again!

If a more modern look is for you, check out the Elliston Kitchen Faucet !

We try to live really frugally, but sometimes I've learned that investing in quality up-front save money in the long run. #ad #KohlerIdeas

This sleek faucet is tall enough to fit your big pots under and the pull-out head gives you even more flexibility.  In addition to the Scratch Resistant Shield™, the MasterClean™ Spray Face resists mineral buildup, making it a snap to clean!  And, of course, we all can appreciate that!  Also, the Elliston faucet features a high temperature limit stop, so you can let your little ones help in the kitchen without worrying about them getting scalded.

Whichever look you prefer, you can’t go wrong with one of these classy new faucets from Lowe’s.  The Cardale or the Elliston will be a staple in your kitchen for years to come!

Visit Sponsors Site

How To Chop An Onion Like A Boss (And Without Crying)

You don't need a special kitchen gadget to chop an onion, just a good knife, a cutting board and this technique. #kitchenhack #kitchentip #onions

Years ago, at my wedding reception, I sang “Any Man Of Mine” by Shania Twain to my very surprised new husband.  I don’t think he understood the full weight of the line “When I cook him dinner and I burn it black, he’d better say, ‘mmm, I like it like that.'”  In addition to multiple burned meals, he endured very garlic-y salsa because I didn’t know the difference between a clove and a bulb, gravy made with wheat flour because it was all I had and didn’t figure it really mattered, extra trips to the grocery store because I was convinced that I couldn’t make grilled cheese sandwiches or toast without squeeze Parkay, and then there was that sauteed burned onion…

You don't need a special kitchen gadget to chop an onion, just a good knife, a cutting board and this technique. #kitchenhack #kitchentip #onions

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one and choose to make a purchase, I may (at no additional cost to you) receive a sales commission.  Your support allows us to continue bringing you great content.  🙂

Even though I don’t consider myself a great cook, I’ve definitely come a long way, baby.  And, along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things that have made my life easier and my time in the kitchen more enjoyable.  A faster way to chop onions has definitely been one of those things, along with the fact that chopped onions can be frozen.  Simply chop the onion, put it in a Ziplock freezer bag, squeeze the air out, flatten, seal, and freeze!  Next time you need onions for a soup or casserole, they’re ready to go!  Now, that’s just crazy talk!

Check out the video!

By the way, if chopping onions makes you cry, check out these onion goggles!  If goggles in the kitchen aren’t your thing, try one of these techniques.  

Did you know how to cook when you moved out of your parents home?  What tips have you learned to make your time in the kitchen easier?

This one tip made mealtimes with our four kids so much smoother. #momhack #mealtimehack

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How To Make Powdered Laundry Detergent Without Grating Soap

Last week, as I was grating a bar of soap to make another batch of homemade laundry detergent, I decided that there had to be a better way.  So, after a little poking around on-line, I learned that Ivory soap expands and turns to a foam when heated in the microwave.  Aside from being a really cool science experiment to do with the kids, I found it to be the perfect solution to my soap-grating woes!


When removed from the microwave, the Ivory will be brittle and flaky but will retain all of it’s cleaning power.  So, it’s super easy to run it through your food processor and end up with a fine powder–perfect for the powdered laundry detergent recipe below.  Or, you can simply crumble it with your hands and add it in place of the grated soap in this liquid detergent recipe.

Do you want to make homemade laundry detergent but don't like grating soap? This post will show you how! (Plus, it's a really cool science experiment!) #laundrysoap #homemadecleaners

Remember, this only works with Ivory soap.  Oh, and be sure to check out why it works

Update:  A reader informed me that this will also work with Fels Naptha.  Just keep a close eye on it and don’t “overcook”. 

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I may (at no additional cost to you) receive a commission.  Thank you so much for your support!


Powdered Laundry Detergent 

Tools you will need:  A microwave, food processor, and a recycled container for storage.  (Here’s a quick way to remove the label.)

Ingredients:

Place Ivory soap on a plate in the microwave and cook, watching constantly. It will turn to a foam. Once cooled, use your food processor to turn it to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and store in recycled container. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

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Easy Sausage Gravy (Plus A Freezer Recipe)

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

I love old movies!  I love getting a peek into how life might have been before we became so industrialized as a nation.  One thing that has always fascinated me is how the whole town seemed to look forward to the County Fair.  The whole family would load up their buggies with their best animals, quilts and mama’s famous pies.  The anticipation was so thick that you couldn’t help but be drawn into the excitement on the screen.  The day was full of rides, interesting sites, and sweet treats for the kids.  The ladies took their placement in the domestic arts competitions very seriously.  And, the men enjoyed a little gambling on the buggy races.  I don’t know how historically accurate those movies are, but the nostalgia of everyone taking a day away from their incredibly hard work to come together for fellowship, fun and friendly competition always puts a smile on my face.

So, this year the kids and I gathered up our creations and submitted them for display and judging at our local county fair.  The entry part was a little tedious–filling out what seemed to be 100 tags and standing in line multiple times with four kids to submit our items in the proper categories.  However, I chalk a lot of that up to lack of experience.  We’re going in with a plan next year!  And, Saturday morning, when we walked around as a family seeing our goodies on display and finding some of them with ribbons (and even cash prizes), it was totally worth it!  The kids were thrilled with their ribbons, and all have plans to come back next year with even better entries–including rabbits and chickens!

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

That morning, I also competed in the gravy cook-off and Towhead showed his eggs.  We were both happy with the results.

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

I have to admit, winning meant quite a bit to me.  More than anything, I want to be a skilled homemaker, but I grew up in a generation that didn’t really value those skills.  For years, making anything without a recipe scared me–especially gravy!  Trust me.  If you had witnessed some of my failures in my early years of marriage, you’d understand.

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

Anyway, years ago I read a newspaper article written by a Home Economics teacher.  She shared a gravy recipe that she has been teaching students for over 25 years.  There’s even an option to freeze the cooked sausage and flour, then just add milk and cook for a quick breakfast!  Nowadays, I don’t stress so much about the measurements, but the basic idea is still the same.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have.  🙂

This sausage gravy is easy to make and will remind you of grandma's home cooking! Even better, the recipe gives freezer instructions for a quick, hot breakfast! #biscuitsandgravy #sausagegravy #homecooking

Easy Sausage Gravy (Plus A Freezer Recipe)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ pound sausage
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Brown the sausage in heavy skillet.
  2. Pour off grease and add 6 tablespoons of flour.
  3. Stir until the flour is evenly distributed.
  4. Add 3 cups milk, ½ cup at a time.
  5. Stir to make a paste, as you add the remaining milk, evenly mix the milk throughout.
  6. Cook until thickened.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Notes
To make ahead of time, brown the sausage, drain the fat and coat it with flour. It can then be frozen. Just add milk and cook until thickened.

 

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Use this easy lettering technique to make a "hand-painted" pallet sign! #pallet #craft #farmhousesign www.ourlifeouthere.com

Grandma’s Chicken Salad: A Perfect Use For Leftover Chicken

chicken recipe

Years ago, my grandma put together a recipe book.  Not only did she collect recipes from everyone in the family, but she also wove family pictures, special dates, and other fun tidbits throughout the book.  Today, my copy is well-worn, and many of the recipes on it’s pages have become staples in our home, including this chicken salad.

This easy chicken salad recipe is can be made with chicken breats or leftover chicken! It makes a great light lunch when served on potato bread or kaiser buns! #chickenrecipes #shredded chicken

There’s something very special to me about a shared recipe.  I may forget to preheat the oven to 375 degrees or beat the eggs before dumping them in, but I never forget who shared that recipe with me and the circumstances surrounding the occasion–the chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe that a sweet neighbor brought over in an envelope filled with recipes printed just for me, the chicken spaghetti that a friend served one evening when my husband and I came over for dinner, the macaroni and cheese that my aunt has brought to Thanksgiving and Christmas for as long as I can remember….  Every time I prepare a shared recipe for my family, I think of the person who shared it with me, reminisce just a little, and smile.  

My hope is that you will enjoy this chicken salad as much as we do, and that, when you prepare it, you’ll think of our little family and our connection (even if it’s only through this blog) and smile.  And, that–just maybe–you’ll share a favorite recipe with me.  🙂

Grandma's Chicken Salad
Author: 
 
This chicken salad is perfect for a light lunch served on potato bread or kaiser buns.
Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts (or leftover shredded chicken)
  • 18 ounces mayonnaise
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • 1½ cups seedless grapes (cut in halves)
  • 1½ cups raisins
  • 1 cup halved pecans
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil chicken breasts and cut into small pieces. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix in remaining ingredients and chill.
  2. Enjoy!

Use your kitchen shears to make quick work of shedding the cooked chicken:

This one tip made mealtimes with our four kids so much smoother. #momhack #mealtimehack

 

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