Planner Overload….

Let me start by saying that I just love all my planners and I love planning. Recently I have found myself in a “planner overload”. I would not pick up my planner for days or even a couple of weeks.  I became so “planned out” and almost felt done with my planner.

Then a few weeks into this….I missed sitting and writing in it. I missed confirming my schedule or just making some notes in it.  I began to realize that my life had become so crazy busy and so overwhelming in general that I hadn’t even noticed how bad it had gotten. Then I realized it wasn’t my planner but just time in general that had become too busy and crazy and that I needed to slow things down and regroup.  In doing this, I found that I needed to simplify my life in any area that I could.

Throughout the year I will switch from a ringbound, to an A5 Filofax, then to a mini or a Travelers Notebook …. and I enjoy them all.  My planner is not only my “dailies”, but my calendar and also my journal, notebook, and A-Z files for just about everything that I do.  Sticky notes and stickers have become my best friends as well and all the bells and whistles that you can add to your planner.  But when life is busy this stuff is busy too to look at….or at least in my mind.

So what is a “Planner Girl” to do…..I decided to go simple for a while and use a Dollar Tree basic planner and planner inserts that I came across.  They are basic and just perfect for where I am in life.  I found that the simplicity of it keeps my mind clear of business in my planner and a basic and simple calendar helped too.

Someday I am sure that I will find myself back using my “chunky” planners with all the perks and goodies …. but for now simple is better for me.

How about you….do you change-up your planners? What makes you decide to change things around?

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Instant pot… Turnip

I absolutely love having turnip at our Thanksgiving meal and or Christmas holiday dinner table. This year I found some nice large turnips at one of the Amish farms, and as much as I love turnip I dreaded the thought of having to cook it once again.

So this year I decided to give it a try in the Instant pot. Never again will I boil it on the stovetop for what seem to be an endless amount of time.

Here is how I cooked it…

It is called Turnip or waxed Turnip
Cut the outer skin off very carefully with a sharp knife
Continue to cut until you have a clean turnip.
Once clean… Rinse off and start cutting into cubes.
Try to cut into similar sized pieces.
Give it a nice rinse.
Pour into the Instant pot and add a 1/2 to 1 cup of water, depending on how much and how large your turnip is.
Use manual pressure at 4 minutes, once done use the rapid release.
I use a plastic measuring cup in place of a steam cup when I do a rapid release.
Open the lid and carefully check with a fork to make sure they are as tender as you would like.
I add one stick of butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
Use a potato masher to break up the turnip to the consistency that you like.
Pour into your favorite bowl and enjoy as a delicious side dish.

Lynn A. C. Wilson Resume of a Mother

Crock Pot or Stove Top Onion Soup…..YUMO!!!

A cold night…you are just coming home from work or a long day… and you want a nice warm bowl of soup?  That’s what I like to do on a Fall or Winter evening.  But normally I find that I don’t have the time to whip something up on the day that I want it. So instead I  make large batches of soup 4 – 6 times  a year and freeze them for when I need a quick hot meal with not a lot of fuss.

Onion Soup….so simple to make and so simple to enjoy!

Here is my recipe that I make…I hope you enjoy this!

(BTW this recipe is very forgiving….so a little more of this and a little less of that, based on what you have in your pantry is fine)

Ingredients:

  • 2 bag of onions (3 – 5 lbs)
  • 2 containers of Beef Broth (homemade is better if you have some stashed in your freezer)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tables spoons of parsley or basil (your choice)
  • My secret ingredient is Marmite – one heaping teaspoon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions:

  • Melt butter and garlic in a sauce pan
  • Once melted, add onions (slice onions very thin)
  • Add spices to onions
  • Sauté onions until a gold brown
  • Pour onion mixture into crock pot and add broth and bay leaves for 2 hours on high or on stove top on low for 2 hours.
  • Take out the Bay Leaves
  • Grab a bowl, pour in some soup, get some bread or crackers and enjoy!

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

I happened to see this recipe on “Jamerrill Stewart” YouTube channel the other day and it looked yummy so I decided to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure about making pasta in the instant pot… But she said her kids liked it so I figured why not try.

I will leave the recipe below… And pictures of each step I took. I will tell you my husband had three bowls of it, and my youngest son who is a very picky eater… came out said “this is to die for”. So I guess if you were to ask me if it was good… There is your answer!

  • 2 pounds of macaroni
  • 2 cans of evaporated milk
  • 8 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of cheese – of your choice
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Stewed Tomatoes – optional

1. Pour 2 pounds of macaroni into the instant pot.

2. Add 8 cups of water

3. Add salt and pepper to taste

4. Close lid, set to seal, set on manual for 5 minutes.

5. As soon as it is done… Do a quick release

6. Open immediately

7. Stir in your two cans of evaporated milk, one stick of butter, and your 4 cups of cheese. Stir gently until it is all mixed together.

8. Add one can of stewed tomatoes if you like an extra yummy taste… And any extra salt and pepper you need.

9. Grab a big bowl and spoon and enjoy!

This is definitely designed for a large family meal… or if you have a small family like mine you’ll have lots of leftovers for snacks and an extra meal or two during the week.

This is a quick pic of each step.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Hubbard Squash and pumpkin Goodies

At one point we became members of a 4H group… for a fund raiser they would make pumpkin pies to sell at a annual fall festival. People swarmed over to our table to get these homemade pumpkin pie’s as if they were something really special. Being new to the group I couldn’t figure out what was so interesting about these pies… since it didn’t looked any different from any other pumpkin pie I’ve seen in the local supermarket. So I had to ask them what the secret was… and they shared it with me, it was Hubbard Squash.

First of all I have never heard of that style squash… and when I went to look for it here in New Jersey I had a hard time finding it. One fall afternoon we were in Pennsylvania… and I spotted this weird looking blue colored squash, when I asked them what the name of it was lo and behold it was “the Hubbard squash”. Absolutely overjoyed that I found it… I picked it up for just a couple of dollars and brought it home.

At first glance I thought I would just cut it into chunks and cook it down like I would for a pumpkin. There was no way in the world unless I got an axe that I could actually cut into this thing. So I decided to put the whole thing in the oven and cook it down and it took about 12 hours. So I have continued doing this for the past 12 years or so.

One of our favorite outings is to go to Pennsylvania and hit the Amish farm markets in the Fall. There I can get a 5 to 7 pounds Hubbard Squash… anywhere from $3 to $5 dollars. This is a good size to make several loaves of bread, muffins, soup and or cookies. It freezes well… And taste just like pumpkin but even better!

Here are a few pictures of it going into the oven, what it looks like coming out of the oven, cutting it open and scooping up the pulp etc. I will put it in freezer bags… and freeze it for when I need to bake. Check out this funny looking squash… try it out and taste and see how delicious it is! Let me know if you have any good pumpkin bread recipes to share!

Before going in the oven…

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After cooking on 200 for about 10 hours…

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The first cut before cleaning out the pulp…

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Cleaning out the seeds….

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all cleaned out….

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yummy pulp for pumpkin pie, bread, soup, muffins and cookies….

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Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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Homemade Laundry Detergent! Yay or Nay?

I used to watch people make their own detergent and I thought that they were nuts!!!! I could not understand why anyone would take the time to do this when you could go to your local grocery store with a coupon in hand and catch a good sale and purchase some that was already made up in a pretty bottle.

I am on a kick to make everything homemade these days…that I can make for our home. I really enjoy making things for my family whether it be for a delicious meal, something pretty for the house… or even laundry detergent.

We struggle with hard water/ high iron and my wash has never looked better after making this detergent. My cloths stay newer looking. I love the simplicity of it…simple to make, simple to use and no fragrances to deal with.

When I make a batch it seems to last me about 6 months or so and it costs about $7 to make. I tend to use a little more in my wash since I usually only do extra-large loads and also I use a little more than normal due to the hard water. (Normal amount would be 1 tablespoon per size of load… For example 1 tablespoon for small, 2 tablespoons for medium load.) But all in all for $7 and it lasting 6-8 months, I think that is pretty good deal. As well as I just down right like it!!!! When is the last time that you only paid $7 dollars for laundry detergent that lasted you six months?

Here is my recipie….hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below if you make your own and if you like it. Also do you have any other different recipes to share?

Homemade laundry detergent recipe:

I will let you know I get a big tub and I dump all the ingredients into it. I then store it in an airtight container… and I put some in a smaller container to use on a daily basis. On the larger container that I store the bulk of it in… I have the recipe written on the lid of it so that I always know where to find the recipe.

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

I hit a wall!!!! Emotional whiplash!

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever hit an emotional wall so hard that it felt like whiplash?  Well I have….and yikes!

Our summer season is usually filled with lots of fun day trips, but not this season. We usually have one day where we would run some errands… and maybe hit the beach or similar afterwards. Then one day is spent doing a day trip or a mini vacation day. And of course the evenings would be filled with visiting friends, listening to some local concerts on the beach, and any other summer event that’s here at the Jersey shore. Why wouldn’t you… why not fill your summer with lots of fun before you settle into the fall and winter seasons. This is the normal for us… but not the case this summer! Somehow we slipped in and out of this summer with out ever really taking advantage of a summer fun season. We were extremely busy, with on going things, but when all is said and done we really didn’t feel like we had a relaxing and enjoyable summer, but one that was filled with just extreme busyness. But the question remains in our minds… what were we even busy with? Why did we come out exhausted… and not feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from a beautiful summer season. Why do we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and feeling fried and an emotional wreck?

My schedule is normally full with work and our regular activities of life…but we soon started to realize that so many unusual things were happening and I could feel myself slipping into a wall of emotional overload.  With extended family, church, ministry, friends and our normal needs of a “special needs” family…we seemed to be on overdrive for the past few months.  I woke up one day realizing that I could hardly breathe, lift my head and or want to even do anything at all.

I had a friend who suffered from “work burnout”.  I have heard of this but could not really relate.  My friend in the end… ended up in recovery for several months.  I was not at that point ….but looking over a 10 day period of our life that took place this past summer, we began to realize that 7 different major stressful events took place in that short amount of time. This left me feeling completely empty.

I am blessed to have a husband and partner in life who noticed how I was feeling and he also realized that he was falling into the same situation. So it was time to sit, chat and make a list of what all just happened to us.  We were both amazed that we could almost still function with all that hit us so hard and fast. After chatting with each other we needed to dissect each area where there was an emotional wall.

We gathered our emotional bandages, an emotional neck brace and some emotional crutches and started making a plan.  It was not easy to dissect all of this but we needed to do it. With some time in prayer and reflecting on some verses of scripture and a good hard look at what was happening we have made a recovery plan.

I normally know myself enough and when I am reaching “overload”, I can stop, stand still and regroup but not this time.  It came too fast and too hard.  Now that we have a plan we can take one step at a time and regroup together.

I hope all of this makes sense to you….if you break your arm you see the hurt and discomfort.  But when you break your spirit it does not leave any visible things for people to see that you have discomfort.  This made me realize even more that behind every face is a story and to be more kind to those around me as well…since you never know what people are going through.

One brick at a time of the wall is now coming down.  In some case we just got a bulldozer and took the wall down and oh boy did that feel really good. We are on the road to recovery… by making better decisions, better choices, and being wiser people. Life is enjoyable and should be… But we need to sit back and realize when we are overloaded with stress and stressful situations. There needs to be a time of refreshment, a time to be able to regroup, and a time to be able to reflect what has just happened so that you don’t hit an emotional wall.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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Roasted Tomato Sauce

How many times have you wanted some homemade tomato sauce or as some would call it …homemade gravy for your pasta? The thought of letting it cook all day in a pot, even though the smell wafting through the house would be so yummy… is just too much for a busy mom. So what we end up doing is opening a jar of sauce and calling it a day.

My friend Janelle… From Parsnips and Parsimony YouTube is the one that shared this yummy recipe on her channel. Check out her website for this delicious recipe the way she originally made it and many other wonderful recipes.

www.parsnipsandparsimony.com

Her recipe calls for basil which I did not have but I did have green peppers, so I tweaked the recipe a little bit as well as I used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. When creating a recipe it’s not always worth running out to the store for one thing when you can improvise with what’s already in the pantry and create something similar.

Janelle took her delicious roasted tomatoes and put them in a blender to make a sauce… I will be putting mine in bags and place them in the freezer to add a delicious fresh taste to my crockpot recipes.

This was a great way to use up a bunch of ripe tomatoes that we picked at the Amish gardens in Pennsylvania. We will have some wonderful meals made throughout the winter months using these tomatoes.

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Give it a try… and let me know what you think. It’s a whole lot quicker and easier and less bother to roast them up in the oven… then to make homemade tomato sauce on the stove top.

Thanks to my friend Janelle for this inspirational recipe!

Lynn A. C. Wilson- Resume of a Mother.

Quick and easy breakfast on the go…

If you’re like me… Breakfast is one of the hardest meals to make. I am not a big egg eater… and neither are my kids, although my husband will enjoy one now and again. I find it hard to come up with some recipe ideas for something quick and easy.  Especially when we’re always running out the door first thing in the morning most days.

So what’s a mom to do when you work full-time and you need to have a healthy quick breakfast that you can grab and go with? Breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos and many of these other types of quick breakfasts are good too, but I just found a quick and easy recipe that turned out to be very yummy and simple to make when you have a busy schedule.

Only three ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats (I found 2 1/2 cups worked out better)
  • Half a cup of honey or half a cup of maple syrup (your choice and I preferred to only use 1/4 of a cup)
  • One cup of peanut butter (natural is better for less sugar)
  • Mix all three ingredients together, place a piece of wax paper in a baking dish, add your mixture to the dish and pressed down firmly to even out the mixture in the dish. Put it in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight, and then enjoy.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for a quick and easy breakfast. Send a comment below with your recipe.

Lynn A. C. Wilson –  Resume of a Mother

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