By contributing writer Tessa
This lasagna soup is filled with delicious lasagna flavors but doesn't require all the assembly time that the casserole does. And it can easily be made gluten free.
My mom's lasagna was always a huge hit growing up. ...
This lasagna soup is filled with delicious lasagna flavors but doesn’t require all the assembly time that the casserole does. And it can easily be made gluten free.
My mom’s lasagna was always a huge hit growing up. Years ago I saw a picture for a lasagna soup and thought it was totally brilliant. What a creative idea! When I recreated it using my mom’s recipe as a base, I was not disappointed.
It really does taste just like lasagna in soup form and comes together in under 30 minutes. With most kids adoring noodles and cheese, you have an added bonus of a totally family-friendly recipe.
So get cooking and make a warming, comforting bowl of lasagna soup!
Your family will love these Baked Parmesan Potato Fries. They’re easy to make and are healthier than regular fries because they’re baked. Try switching up the seasoning to use flavors that your family enjoys (Old Bay would be good!).
Join us February 1st, as we begin the Early Bird Challenge. Do you think you can wake up early every day for 28 days? If you want to get a better start to your day, be more productive and finally get ahead of your to-do list join us for the Early Bird Challenge.
I’m writing this article for everyone who struggles waking up early. I know not everyone wants or needs to be an early riser. There were many years when my husband worked shifts that I stayed up later because he worked late.
But there are many of you who want to wake up early but struggle, I struggle too.
I don’t consider myself a morning person or an evening person. My best hours are from 9 am to 2 pm. I am also not one who feels energized when I wake up super early.
To be honest, I feel tired.
But, when I wake up early I am able to accomplish much more in the morning hours than I am ever able to accomplish by staying up until midnight or one in the morning. So even though I am tired later in the day, I’ve already had my most productive hours in the morning, so I don’t have to be “on” at 8pm.
Since I have struggled in this area I figured I would share some of things that have helped me make the change to become an earlier riser. And if we are being honest, when I say early I mean 6 am. I will never be a 4 am person, I have teenagers, and they seem to want to do all their talking after 10 pm.
Quit the Caffeine
I don’t drink it after 1pm, no matter what. If I do I can’t fall asleep even when my body is exhausted. My mind can’t relax enough to fall asleep.
Turn Off Technology
I’m guilty of surfing the web before I go to bed, especially now that I have an iPad. For many months I even read my bible on the computer in the evenings. I have found that computer, television, tablets, and video games do not help you fall asleep.
Not only do they keep you awake, it is easy to turn on the television to catch the end of a show and end up watching another hour or two because we get sucked in! If you need to do something before you fall asleep try reading a book.
Go to Bed Earlier
Sounds simple, but for some reason it is so hard. I often find myself looking at the clock and realizing it is almost midnight! Give yourself a bedtime and set a timer to remind yourself it is time for bed. If I want to fall asleep at 10:30 I try to go to bed at 10pm and give myself a little extra time for reading.
Reader tip: Set your alarm on your phone for an hour before you want to go to bed. That will remind you that you need to start getting ready for bed and winding down so your bedtime doesn’t sneak up on you.
It is hard to fall asleep earlier if you are waking up later. There will be a few days in the beginning where you have to force yourself to get up early even though you were up late. Pretty soon you will be tired enough to fall asleep at the earlier hour.
This year since we had a change in our school schedule, I need to get up before 6am. This was a huge adjustment since we were really enjoying our lazy days of summer. I eased into an earlier schedule by setting my alarm clock 15 minutes earlier every few days. Now I wake up before my alarm several days a week because my body is use to the new schedule.
Get Enough Sleep
You know how much sleep you need to be a productive person the next day, so make sure you get it! Some people only need 6 or 7 hours, and others need at least 8. Figure out how much sleep you need and create a sleeping schedule to accommodate your needs!
Get a Routine
This is the most important thing for me. I need about 7 hours of sleep, so I try to go to bed around 11pm and wake up between 6 and 6:30. It is important to go to bed and wake up at around the same time every day.
If you are just starting to change your routine I would recommend going to bed and waking up 15 minutes earlier every day until you reached your desired wake-up time. (see above)
Don’t Get Discouraged!
I recently started adjusting my schedule to wake up a little earlier, after two successful days my family was hit with the crud. I wasn’t going to bed until after midnight most nights and was up with sick kids numerous times throughout the night.
I turned off my alarm and got some extra sleep so I didn’t get the crud too! I was discouraged to be thrown off track so quickly, but I realized that the crud would soon pass and I could get back on schedule.
Don’t let little setbacks discourage you, just pick up where you left off and work on establishing a good routine.
If you want help getting a better start to your day- join us on February 1st, for the free Early Bird Challenge- 28 days to jump start your morning. Sign up now!
We have loved jalapeño poppers in our household for years! They make a great appetizer or a fun football snack. Everyone always loves these – it’s just an added bonus they are free of gluten and all grains!
There is a lot of room for creativity with this recipe. I have shared our most frequently used recipe, but if your family is not huge on spice, then make this a bubbly hot dip to be served with fresh vegetables, crackers, or bread chunks! The bacon can be wrapped around the poppers or cooked and chopped and then mixed into the cheese filling.
And if you are dairy free, I have even made these with a cashew cream cheese and Daiya cheese shreds!
However you make them, enjoy some popper amazingness!
There are so many wonderful tips and ideas for getting organized. I’m kind of an organizational junkie myself. I like to read books and blogs about organizing and I love to organize my own things (and other people’s if they give me a chance).
The best tip I have for getting organized is not something you can buy at Ikea or The Container Store. The best way to get organized is to get rid of the junk! I once took a time management class and learned that if you don’t take care of something the first time you pick it up, you touch it 40 more times before you actually deal with it. What a total waste of time!
No matter how many bins, baskets, drawers, containers, files, and notebooks you own, managing these tools takes time.
The less you have, the less you have to maintain.
As someone who likes to save money, I have a tendency to hold on to things because I might need them in the future. Better to reuse something you have than buy something new, right? Well… that is sort of right. When you hold on to everything it becomes difficult to manage, things become disorganized, and you end up not being able to find the stuff you were saving.
In my life there are only a handful of things I wish I hadn’t thrown away or dropped off at Goodwill, and those few things are replaceable.
Here are a few ideas for living an organized life with less.
Stop holding on to all the these use to fit me in college outfits.
Seriously, if you ever fit into them again they will be so outdated you won’t want to wear them. Keep a basic wardrobe of items that fit you and your lifestyle. Clothes are cheap to replace at yard sales and thrift stores, so only hold on to pieces that fit you well today.
Paperwork clutter can drive a person bonkers! I created a notebook system to help me track all my paperwork. I keep only what’s necessary and shred the rest. Another way I simplify my paperwork is online banking and bill pay. I pay almost all of my bills online and this has greatly reduced the paper clutter in my home.
I’m plead guilty to toy clutter in the first degree. With seven kids it is almost impossible not to have a toy filled house!
Whenever the mover went into our basement she remarked that it looked like a Toy’s R Us, and that was after I had given several van loads to Goodwill.
I’m preaching to myself here, but kids don’t need every toy ever invented. They don’t even need .0005% of the toys invented.
My kids are happier and play with more of their toys the less they have. Toy clutter overwhelms kids and they end up not wanting to play with anything. Or, toy clutter gives kids the opportunity to make incredible messes with all the toys. Go on a toy de-clutter spree. Your kids will not notice and you will have a better life, I promise.
I’m guilty of kitchen clutter too. I love kitchen tools! They are so much fun and helpful, when I can find them! Have you ever spent 10 minutes searching for that certain kitchen tool in the over-crowded drawer? I have. It isn’t fun, and it is a big time waster.
Go through your kitchen and get rid of things you have never used, then go through it again and get rid of the tools you haven’t used in over a year. You really can do more with less in the kitchen.
A disorganized pantry is a huge time and money waster! How many times have you cleaned out your pantry only to find several of the same item and not because you were stockpiling? Or perhaps you run to the store to buy that needed ingredient at full price, only to find another bottle unopened in the back of the pantry weeks later.
Have you thrown out food because it has expired or gone bad in a disorganized fridge? While it is great to stock up on sales at the grocery store, create a system before you begin. Meal plan so your family eats all the leftovers and nothing goes to waste in the kitchen.
Stuff, you know the things that clutter your home, waste your time, and rob you of your joy? The refrigerator magnet that came in an advertisement, the broken frame you know you are going to fix…. one day…, the books you will never read, the magazines you have already read.
Get rid of them. Give it away, throw it away, burn it in the wood stove, but get rid of the stuff you don’t need.
Having less truly is having more.
More time, more space, more joy. This year get organized by getting rid of the things you don’t need so you can spend time on the things that are important.
Are you tired of wasting precious time shuffling papers and looking for your missing shoe, or your vanishing purse? You dream of short-cuts to make your life more organized, but is it possible?
What if you could learn from a group of organizing gurus all at once — regular people who’ve found practical solutions to their everyday struggles, and want to share their best tips and tactics with you in all the areas you find most challenging?
The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle includes 38 digital products on topics like how to organize your photos, decluttering, family systems, meal planning, time management, and much more. All together, it’s worth over $650, but right now this bundle is 95% off.
Here’s how it works:
Visit their website, take a quick look at all the goodness that comes in this Super Bundle, then click “Get my copy now!” to go through their simple 3-step checkout process.
You’ll receive an email with a login to their online access portal, where you’ll begin downloading your eBooks, signing up for your eCourses, printing out planners, and redeeming your free bonus products.
Use their Getting Started Guide to pick the area you want to tackle first and start getting organized!
It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can know for sure that it’s right for you. I’ve purchased several of the products in this bundle (at full price) and love them, so don’t wait to get some of my favorite products for 95% off!