My Simplified Life

New year, new you? Was one of your New Years goals/resolutions to be more organized, tidy and to destress your life? If so, you need to read “Simplified Life” by Emily Ley. Even from the first chapter alone, I can guaranty that she has helped simplify my life.

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I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I already tend to be a pretty organized and tidy person. However, I’m always trying to find new ways to help life stay organized and make everyday life less chaotic. This book made me realize I still have many things that add to the stressful nature of my day to day.

I love her explanation on why she has a simplified life:

I don’t organize or structure life just because it’s my job or because I want things to look good from the outside. I do these things because I want a life that is rich, seen, and uncomplicated. I don’t want to be weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities. I want to be able to enjoy Saturdays, making memories with my family instead of folding mountains of laundry. I want dinner to be a calm time to reconnect and enjoy good food with the people I love, not a rushed, chaotic evening ritual I’m just hoping to survive. I want to be able to sit with my kids or with a friends and wholeheartedly listen, not spend my days with stresses running through my head. I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful life, not be constantly overwhelmed by it.
-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

Then she starts with the first task; simplifying your space. For the most part I’ve always thought my space was pretty simplified. I don’t have lots of clutter, it makes me anxious, I don’t keep a lot of things unless they are being used or will be used regularly in the next few months. And I’m not someone who has lots of sentimental objects. I love pictures and creating memories, I just don’t tend to keep everything that has to do with that memory or experience. This is not the same for everyone and, believe it or not, people give me a really hard time about this; but it helps me feel comfortable in my home and relaxation after a long day.
My husband actually said something to me the other day that probably meant more to me then he even knew. I was processing with him about if it’s a struggle for him that I don’t tend to keep things or that I’m not saving everything Titus ever did. That sweet husband of mine looked at me and said I would rather have a clean, organized house for the rest of our lives than spend 2 minutes reminiscing on something from our past or present.
↑ so thankful for this man, he so gets me!

So the first space I started was my kitchen, since I figured I would tackle the downstairs first. I went through and thought, “Do we use this?” And “does this help make my life easier or harder?” I realized that I had 30 glasses, 16 mugs, and duplicates of many kitchen gadgets in my cabinets and drawers. Then I asked myself at what point am I going to use all of these cups? Lets be serious, if I’m having that many people at my house, we are using plastic cups so I don’t have to do as many dishes at the end of the day. There are 3 people living in this house and 1 of those people is only 19 months old and will not be using glasses anytime soon. So I kept 10 glasses and my specialized mugs and one of each gadget. The rest I either sold or donated. Then I moved to the dining room and living room and went through my craft cabinet and Titus’ toys. Believe it or not, I do feel more relaxed in my house and it seems like I’m not spending as much time during the day cleaning up, doing dishes or thinking of ways to keep it more organized. It just naturally became that way without so much stuff.

Simplifying your space means giving your home potential to inspire and soothe.

-Emily Ley, A Simplified Life

 I’m loving this journey so far! My downstairs has been simplified and I can feel the difference. I am in the process of doing our bedroom and Titus’ room and it has been a relaxing process. I can’t wait to see what the next chapters hold for our simplified life.

If you want to start your simplified life you should check out Emily Ley’s book, Simplified Life.

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Banana Muffins (Whole30, Paleo)

We are in week 3 of Whole30 and feeling great! I’m not going to say that I still don’t really want a Reese cup or have a desire to have a piece of stuffed crust pepperoni pizza, BUT we are feeling good and seeing the difference that it is already making in the way we feel.

This week I decided to make a new recipe for banana muffins. I made these in the oven and in the Instant Pot. I wanted to try out both ways of cooking to see if one was better or easier over the other.

The difference in the two:
The Instant Pot: The muffins were good and moist, but my husband and I both felt like something was missing.
Oven: This was perfect for us. The muffins were still moist but had a crisper outside.

Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think!


Whole 30 Banana Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Instant Pot: 8 minutes; Oven: 20 minutesIMG_1297

Ingredients:
– 2 ripe bananas
– 1/2 cup apple sauce: I made me own apple sauce, you can find the recipe here
– 1/4 cup coconut oil
– 3 eggs
– 2 cups almond flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 2 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:
1. Add all ingredients into your KitchenAid, or a bowl to mix with your hand-held mixer.

Instant Pot:
2. Add all ingredients into your silicone tray
3. Cover with Foil
4. Place 1 cup of water and trivet to the bottom of your instant pot.
5. Put silicone tray in Instant Pot
6. Set to manual high pressure for 8 minutes. Then QR. Enjoy!

Oven:
3. Preheat Oven to 350ºF
4. Line muffin tin with liners
5. Add mixture evenly in liners
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!


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Cinnamon Apples: Instant Pot

Another quick and delicious recipe for a healthy snack or desert. It has helped fill our sweet tooth since being on Whole30. The great thing about this recipe is you can use it not only for cinnamon apple dessert but you can also make your own homemade cinnamon apple sauce.


Cinnamon Apples:
Prep Time: 5 Minutes Cook Time: 2 Minutes

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Ingredients:
– 5 Apples ( I used Fuji and Granny Smith)
– Cinnamon
– Honey (If you are on Whole30 OMIT honey)
– Water

Directions:
1. Core and Slice your apples. ( I choose to leave the skin on the apples for a better taste)
2. Put all of your apples in the Instant Pot and cover with Cinnamon, Stir.
3. If you ARE NOT on Whole 30 you can add 2 tbsp of honey.
4. Add 1/2 cup of water
5. Set Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 2 minutes
6. Quick Release and Serve
↑ If you choose to make apple sauce, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then mix apples, you can use hand-held mixer or a KitchenAid. Mix until the consistency your happy with for your apple sauce.

 


 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Let me know if you try it out and look out for my next blog post on Friday! Happy Monday!

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Homemade Chicken Jambalaya

I have always loved to cook but I am the kind that once I find something that I really like I will cook it over and over again until everyone is sick of it. Since getting my Instant Pot and now starting Whole30 it has pushed me out of my box and has me testing out new recipes and even creating some of my own. To me, that has been one of the best things about all of it, being able to create new, tasty and healthy meals for my family. So on my meal planning calendar I planned to make Jambalaya for dinner this week but I couldn’t find a recipe that I really loved. I thought one of the points of Jambalaya was a delicious meal with lots of spices and flavor but for the most part you could make it the way you want. So thats exactly what I did, last night we had homemade Chicken Jambalaya and boy was it good!


Chicken Jambalaya
Prep Time: 7 Minutes Cook Time: 15 MinutesIMG_1137

Ingredients:
– 2 lb boneless, skinless Chicken breast, diced
– 4 Chicken Sausages
– 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
– Salt
– Pepper
– 1 Cup chopped onion
– 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
– 2 cans diced tomatoes; 1 can diced, 1 can fire roasted
– 15 oz tomato sauce
– 3 cups chicken stock
– 2 tsp Paprika
– 2 tsp Thyme
– 2 tsp Oregano
– 2 tsp Garlic Powder
– 2 tsp Onion Powder
– Cauliflower Rice or Spaghetti Squash

Instructions:
1. Dice Chicken breast and chicken sausage, chop onion and mince garlic.
2. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté and add above ingredients, until lightly cooked.
3. Turn off sauté.
4. Add Additional ingredients, stir.
5. Cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes.
6. Serve with Cauliflower Rice or Spaghetti Squash.


Enjoy!!!

 

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The ease of the Instant Pot

Every time I use my Instant Pot to cook something new, I love it even more than when I first got it. What could you not love about a Pot that does EVERYTHING. You can read why I love it so much here. But I am going to show you 2 things that I cook regularly that the Instant Pot has made that much easier for me.

Titus and I both love sweet potatoes, we could both share one every night. So Instead of spending the time prepping them for the oven or having to cook them for an hour, I can put them in my Instant Pot.

Instructions:

  1. Clean Sweet Potatoes
  2. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  3. You can either put sweet potatoes on Instant Pot Trivet or if you have a steam basket you can use that
  4. Set for manual high pressure for 15 minutes
  5. Slow Release for 20 minutes once it’s finished cooking

 

I’ve always loved to make recipes with spaghetti squash. I love the taste and it does make me feel like I am eating spaghetti. Nathan on the other hand hates it. But I’ve always looked for easier ways to cook a spaghetti squash. Most recipes tell you to cut it in half and bake, or poke holes in it and bake/microwave. I don’t know if you have ever tried to do either of these, but it is not easy to cut or poke holes in a whole spaghetti squash. So the Instant Pot has made it even easier for you. Doing this you can literally peel the skin off, cut it in half, and then remove the seeds. I am loving this new way to prepare mine!

Instructions:

  1. Place 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot
  2. Place trivet in pot and place spaghetti squash onto trivet
  3. Set for manual high pressure for 30 minutes
  4. Quick release once its done cooking
  5. Your spaghetti squash should be ready to peel off the skin; cut in half and remove seeds

 

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Hello 2018

How do you feel about new years resolutions? Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Do you find yourself just a few months into it and you didn’t stick to anything?

That’s me! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve said “New year, new me!”, “I’m going to start working out and keep it up”, or “I’m going to eat better this year.” I can honestly say that I have never made a new years resolution that has stuck throughout the entire year. I read an article that said 8% of people actually keep their New Years Resolution. That should tell you something about resolutions. So this year I decided to set realistic goals for the year and write them down. But then I decided to take the rest, what would normally be considered a new years resolution and take it month by month.

For example, instead of saying in January I’m going to have me time, I sit down at the beginning of the month to decide what I want for my me time to look like, and schedule it right then or mark it in the calendar to happen. Another thing I want to do is slowly continue to do little updates on our house. So for the month of January I wrote down 1 thing that I want to do in the house that month. Small or big, but only 1 thing. Then I thought about where Nathan and I dream to be financially, So I have it set on a monthly plan; how much we want to put into savings in the month of January.

I want this to be a great, healthy and successful year for me individually and for my family. So I want to be realistic in setting these plans and goals for myself. I want to not only make big plans for the first of the year but things that will stick for the entire year.

Something that has been helpful with this is my 2018 planner. At the beginning of every month there is a spot for your monthly mission board. IMG_0917

It includes: 

  • Me time
  • Be Social
  • Home
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Dream Big
  • Blank: God Time
  • Blank: Volunteering

So at the beginning of every month I am filling in those spots with my monthly goals. I have chosen to use my blank spaces for God time and Volunteering. This mission board is really going to help me think through what I want to do each month, to be more intentional and hopefully help me grow every year. Not a goal planned out for the entire year that I more than likely wont stick to. If you feel like a monthly mission board would also be helpful for you, I’ve created a print out that you can print, fill out and look at every month. There is power in writing it down and looking at it every day!

Your Own Monthly Mission Board or if you want to pick up your own monthly planner you get can it here.

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