Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For the MOMs

This morning I attended my last MOPS meeting of the year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with MOPS, it is a mom's group for "Mothers of Preschoolers," hence the name. What a blessing this year has been as we traveled through the theme of MOMology and learned about the "art and science of mothering" while meeting new friends, learning new tips and just overall having fun! As we went through our theme (we are assigned a new one each year) we were guided through a curriculum that honed in on teaching us how to be the best mom we can be through guest speakers, crafts, meal planning ideas, and so much more!

I realized what a huge impact this group has made on me as we all sat together reminiscing about what really touched us this year. As we supported each other through trials and joy it made each of us stronger as women and moms and friends.

Through writing this post, I want to encourage the Moms of Preschoolers (that could be you if you have a child from pregnancy to age 5) out there to check out the website and see where you can get plugged in. MOPS is an International group so there should be one right in your neighborhood. Here is the link: http://www.mops.org/

I would love to know if you attend a MOPS group in your area and how it has impacted you as a mom! Please share in the comments section.

In this post, I will also be telling you about one of the crafty ideas that was shared today at our MOPS meeting. We had a meeting focused on "ME-ology" today and really learned how to take care of ourselves as moms. We planted basil in a beautiful pot that was given to us, got mini facials, shared summer fun ideas, indulged in chocolate covered strawberries and other goodies as well as participated in making these cute little "clippies" that I am going to explain to you how to make.

Before I do, I just wanted to say that there are so many aspects of MOPS that you can choose to pour yourself into as you tap into the gifts that you were given, be it visual art, speaking, cooking, encouraging or anything else that makes you the shining woman and mom that you are!

Here's how to make the "Clippies:"

•Use ribbon that is 3/8 inch wide.
•Cut ribbon into 4 1/2 inch strips.
•Burn the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying.
•Clip the ribbon onto the inside of the clippie all the way to the end.
•Make a bead of glue on the top of the clippie and smooth it out.
•Fold ribbon over to cover the glue, smooth ribbon out and pinch to seal edges.
•Apply glue to the remaining ribbon and spread out.
•Fold ribbon and press into the "pinch" part of the clippie.
•Pinch to seal edges here also.
•Glue on your favorite embellishment.

Thank you, Stacia for this wonderful clippie idea and even more so, thank you for letting me share it on my blog so moms all over can make these cute clippies for their girls!

(oh, and remember to comment on how MOPS has encouraged you if you belong to one in your area...I would love to read about it!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shop, Stock and Save...the grocery store project!

As many of you know, grocery shopping and meal planning can be an arduous process. Mix in a couple of kids, a crazy schedule and voila, you are looking at the same empty pantry or freezer of rock hard chicken cutlets and slimy lettuce! In this post, I am going to share with you some information on how I am making the change to simplify the process for myself. I hope you can take away some good information that can make life a bit easier for you!

This week I attended my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group where there were a panel of speakers who talked about meal planning to couponing. It was a bit overwhelming, however, I left with a golden nugget of good advice and that was to take one bit of information from each person on the panel and apply it to my life in a way that I think would benefit my family and me.

A few days after the meeting, I was finally able to sift through all of the information I was given from the panelists and I started asking questions to different people. One of those somebody's being my good old mother! I questioned her about a once-a-month shopping trip to the grocery store (ShopRite, Pathmark, Publix) for gathering all of the basics that I would need to stock my pantry and fill up for an entire month of cooking. This was one of the suggestions of the panelists and I wanted to cross-check it with someone with A LOT more experience than me--MOM! She told me that was what she does! Where have I been all of these years? Her pantry is always full of whatever (really, whatever) one would need to make practically anything at any time!

She started rattling off all of the basics and I was like "ahhh, I need to write this down!" So, last night, I got my pen and paper and started listing all that I could remember and then checked it out with her this morning. I was finally off to the store for my basics. I put together a list, organized by aisle, that I will be using each month. As I run out of the item, I will simply put a check mark next to it and bring it to the store as I prepare to restock my pantry each month. Feel free to use the list I have prepared below.

Prior to this Shopping Project, I would plan out weekly meals for my family and shop weekly according to the list, however, I was truly inspired by the monthly shopping trip (that means less time in the food store for me, less impulse buys and more time at home with my little man!) I can still plan out my weekly meals if I want but this time, I am sure to have everything in my pantry! All together I spent $202.63, which added up to 14 full bags of groceries! I hope to cut the cost of this by couponing, which is my next endeavor!

Now, I am going to try and implement the trendy art of couponing into all of this. How? You ask? With the advice from the panelists, I found out that I can pick up a Sunday paper at the Dollar Store! Perhaps, I will make it an after church trip each week and file away all of my coupons for four weeks. As I look at my shopping list and take note of what I need, I can dig into my coupons, compare what is on sale with what coupons I have and clip away. Hopefully, this trick will reap some rewards! I will keep you posted on this end of it.

Now, for the rest....what about the meats and fresh produce...the milk and eggs? Well, you already know that I am going to make one monthly trip to my grocery store (ShopRite). In addition, I will pay a weekly visit to my local farmer's market, where I will gather all of my fresh fruits and veggies along with milk and eggs. Then, I will hit up BJ's (which is just like a Costco or Sam's club for those of you not in the area) for my chicken breasts, meatloaf mix, ground turkey, ground beef, tilapia and other miscellaneous items. Here is my BJs list that you may feel free to use as well.

I will let you know how this goes as time goes by. I hope this post can inspire you to shop, stock and save!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Cup of Tea...A New Favorite Thing!


A few months ago my husband took me out for my 30th birthday and we had dinner at Maze, Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at The London! The food was outrageous and the peppermint tea that I had with dessert was amazing! I asked our server to write down the brand. Ever since, I have been hinting at the fact that he should order me some. To my surprise, I received a big box of Harney and Sons Peppermint Herbal Tea for Mother's Day on Sunday.

It was as delicious as I could remember it and it brought back memories from my wonderful birthday date. Drinking this tea is like breathing in a fresh breath of cool air. There is really nothing like it, hence the reason I was so excited to share this little secret with you.  Would you call me obsessed if I told you that I had three cups of it yesterday?

I hope that you might indulge yourself with a cup. It is well worth it! (I'm not getting compensated for this piece, I just wanted to share one of my newly discovered favorite things with you!) You can find the product here: Harney & Sons.

What are some of your favorite things?
Comment below! I would love for you to share with us. 



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