Simplify and Savor the Season

It’s almost Halloween (eek!)! The holidays are upon us and I couldn’t be happier about it! But I know the holidays also bring a lot of stress. Despite our best efforts and hope for making the season feel all cozy and warm and magical and fuzz-covered, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Am I right?

For me, holiday stress doesn’t come from a lack of ways to make memories, or feeling stumped on how to inject the aforementioned fuzzy magic into each day. I’m kind of a Pinterest Mom. Enough said (watch for a long list of holiday traditions to come in the future). My problem with this time of year is in the savoring part. I get so wrapped up in orchestrating it all that I forget to slow down and enjoy each moment as we’re making the memories. Good news, friends! I recently came across a book that is specifically designed to help alleviate holiday stress. It’s called Simplify and Savor the Season, by Connie Sokol.

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This book works like a step-by-step guide to helping you plan your holiday season. It focuses on simplifying by prioritizing activities and events, making a plan, and keeping the people that you love and the spirit of the season in mind. There are worksheets to help you stay organized (maybe my favorite part), and even sweet and funny stories to help you get into the holiday spirit.

The “savoring the season” section of the book is exactly what I need! The book defines savoring as “reclaiming the magic of the season, to experience a mature version of what our young children instinctively feel”. I think that’s something we all want, to feel that magic again. Connie gives you three questions to ask yourself in order to keep things simple and to make sure you’re actually enjoying yourself (imagine that!):

  • Am I doing this to create family memories, or for show?
  • Am I making this because I love my family, or to check if off the list?
  • Am I being present in the moment and enjoying this event or am I thinking ahead to when it will be done, or planning the next thing?

This book was just what I needed to help me handle the stress of the season so that I can spend more time enjoying it! I can’t wait to get planning!

Ready for the part with the free stuff? There’s a GIVEAWAY! Please enter below for your chance to win a FREE copy of Simplify and Savor the Season as well as the Simplify and Savor Planner!

Or, if you don’t have your patient pants on and can’t wait for the giveaway, you can purchase your copy of Simplify and Savor the Season right now by clicking here. If you purchase the book any time during the month of October you will receive a FREE Simplify and Savor Planner. It’s the perfect way to keep your holidays on track. There’s even a gift set version available for purchase here if you’d like to share this wonderful book with your friends!

And for all you book club ladies, join Connie for her first “Virtual Book Club”. You can work personally with Connie to set goals, get feedback and read her book together! Email Connie (http://conniesokol.com/about-connie/contact-connie/)and put BOOK CLUB in your message. She will be choosing 8 women to participate! Fun!

I hope this helps you as you start to think about the upcoming holiday season. Good luck on the giveaway! I’m going to turn on my Christmas music now. Just kidding (but seriously). Happy Holidays!!

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Navajo Tacos

 

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We love Navajo Tacos because of how versatile they are. Put on whatever toppings you like. Fry them if you’re into that, or bake them if you’re not. Use ground beef or save some money and leave it out! Make them how you like them! Here’s how we do ours…

Navajo Tacos

Ingredients:

12 frozen rolls (I use Rhodes), thawed and risen

2 cans (15 oz each) chili

salsa

sour cream

guacamole or chopped avacado

olives

cheddar, grated

lettuce, shredded

green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Flatten each roll with your hands, working the dough into 4 or 5-inch circles (At this point you could fry the dough if you’d prefer). Place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Top with remaining ingredients.

Serves 6

 

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Crock Pot Sunday Chicken

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This is one of my favorite chicken recipes ever because A: Yum! and B: It’s only four ingredients and the crock pot does all the work (hello, easy!!). You won’t want to save it just for Sunday. We should change the name to Any-Night-of-the-Week-You-Want Chicken. Yum. It’ll also make your house smell amazing. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Sunday Chicken

Ingredients:

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 cup sour cream

Directions:

Place chicken in greased crock pot. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except for the sour cream. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours. One hour before serving, stir in sour cream.

Serve over rice, or even egg noodles. Shred the chicken or don’t…it doesn’t matter. It’s going to please the people, no matter what!

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Meatless Meal Ideas

meatless-threelittlemommies.comAfter sharing my tips for saving money on groceries, I got lots of interest in one tip in particular: going meatless. Eating less meat has really saved us some dough. These are my family’s favorite meatless meals. Some of these meal ideas really don’t need an explanation, so I’ll link recipes to the ones that do. Serve these along side veggies and you won’t miss the meat! (These are not meant to be vegetarian meals as some contain chili with meat, or canned soups with meat. And you could easily add meat to any one of these recipes, if you’d like!)

Cheese Mannicotti

Navajo Tacos

Three Cheese Baked Ziti

Breakfast for Dinner- make sure you include eggs and fresh fruit.

Foil Dinners

Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Veggie Pot Pie

Quesadillas- make them with black beans for protein, serve them with salsa and guacamole.

Ravioli Bake

Veggie Spaghetti- use chopped veggies like carrots, zuchinni, squash, mushrooms, and peppers in place of the ground beef.

Potato Bar- baked potato topped with canned chili, cheese, broccoli, and sour cream.

Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Soup

I hope these recipes give you some ideas of how to cut back on meat. I’m always on the look-out for meals like these, so if you have a favorite, please share! Please subscribe to Three Little Mommies and get more things like this right in your inbox!  You can also find us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram!

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Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Soup

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A few years ago (cough cough, ten), at the bridal shower given to me by my family, I was given a gift that I have used more than any other wedding gift. Every guest was asked to bring a recipe to help get me started on my own recipe box. Seriously, this was such a perfect gift! Well, over the years these recipe cards have gotten worn from use, but none as much as this one! This recipe is from my cousin’s wife, and I’ve modified it to fit my family’s taste. I add and substitute ingredients depending on what I have on hand (in this photo I’ve added broccoli). This soup is the definition of comfort food. It’s amazing in a bread bowl, too. Try it.

Ingredients:

7 1/2 cups water

5 carrots, peeled and chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

4 or 5 large potatoes, peeled and diced

5 chicken bouillon cubes

1/2 cup butter, cubed

2 cups  extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (please grate your own cheese. If you try to use bagged shredded cheese this whole soup will fail. Bad.)

1 cup flour

Fill a large soup pot with 7 1/2 cups of water. Add vegetables and bouillon cubes. Cook until tender. Add butter and cheese, stirring constantly until both are melted and soup is smooth. To thicken, in separate bowl, mix flour with enough water to make it smooth. Gradually add it to the soup and stir until soup is smooth.

**Makes A LOT!

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