GROCERY SHOPPING IS LIKE CILANTRO

I Β feel like being nice today. And I am hungry, so with that, you get FOOD!!

Grocery shopping is like cilantro. People either love it or hate it.

I personally live for it. (Not cilantro…that shit is fucking disgusting!!)cv07QpA

But Grocery shopping…oh man…I feel like every trip to Aldi is an adventure!

I also love putting all of my groceries away in neat and tidy locations, just where they belong in the fridge. Sigh…makes me smile! Yes I’m weird.

So with my weirdness I’ve made a fun little list for you all.

The perfect grocery list for healthy foods to get you through the aisles.

Remember, don’t buy all of these things, just pic and choose based on your recipes!

And don’t forget, if you need recipes, check out my Pinterest…it’s choc full of them!

And if you need Meal Prep Ideas, check out these POSTS!!

food list

“I’M READY TO LISTEN”…SAID BETWEEN HEAVING SOBS AND STOMPING FEET!

“Have a kid”, they said!

“It’ll be fun”, they said!

“Three years is way harder than two” they said.

“WTF?!?” I said.

Why do people tell you to have children and then when you do, they tell you all the shitty stuff??

It’s like this big prank the world plays on you!

The social media outlets show the highlight reels; your parents regale you with stories of how cute you were as a baby; you nieces and nephews only show the best sides of themselves when you are around; your friends with kids tell you how great it is…

And then you pop this screaming, needy, pooping thing out…AND THEN they tell you all the horror stories.

I feel like this is a terribly unfair method of convincing someone to have a kid. I mean, if you heard all of the ways children rob you of time, money and sanity, who would do it??

I know our population would seriously suffer (but honestly maybe that’s a good thing)!

And in full honesty, I am writing this is the midst of one of the most epic tantrums we’ve ever experienced so I am being a bit harsh, but really, I mean REALLY…OH MY GOD MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!!!

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Ever just want to yell “SHUT UP!” but then you come to your senses JUUUUST enough to say it in a really quiet but exaggerated-faced whisper?? Me. Right. Now.

Ok, so I’m going to put a positive and productive spin on this because it’s what always keeps me sane during challenging times.

Here are my tips to remaining calm and sane during 3 year-old tantrums.

  1. We just discovered the fact that we can send her to her room so we don’t have to hear it. Maybe its the fact that we can trust her up there now, or maybe we’re just slow to come to this, but the dulled screaming is a lot more manageable.
  2. The Whining Chair. A lot of our tantrums escalate from whining. And we learned to intersect that quickly so it doesn’t end up in a full-on thrash-fest, with, The Whining Chair. It’s just what it sounds like. A chair in Β another room for her to sit in when she starts whining. Once she has settled down for a full minute we start the timer and she needs to sit there for 3 minutes. This is different from a timeout because it is expressly for whining.
  3. Recognizing the triggers. For our child, TV + Tired = RUN FOR THE FUCKING HILLS! So when she is tired we don’t even think about TV. Except today, we fucked up. And now I’m writing this.
  4. Rather than distracting the child, I prefer to distract myself, hence, writing right now! A lot of “distractions” for kids when they are behaving badly come in the form of rewards and i don’t believe we should teach them this is ok. So I don’t reward the bad behavior. We have consequences, such as timeout, and if there is a melt-down, we adults, distract ourselves with something fun!
  5. If there is a certain behavior that is a problem and leads to tantrums or whining and is done in an appropriate manner, we reward. So, when our daughter is hungry, if she starts immediately whining that she wants something to eat she goes to The Whining Chair. If she is hungry and asks nicely, we overly praise and then she gets to put a sticker on her chart. 3 stickers per day for a week = a tiny toy reward form the dollar store.

So, there you have it. 5 ways to get through or avoid a tantrum. And as I finish up, the noise is slowly quieting down from upstairs so I will now go talk to her about why she was up there to begin with.

Thanks for sticking with me.

 

HACK THE HACK! SAVE TIME & MONEY WITH THESE 5 MEAL PREP HACKS!

Yes, I’ve written about ways to save time and money when it comes to food before but I’m kind of obsessed so I’m doing it again.

I love that Meal-prepping is a hack.. and now I’ve come up with 5 ways to hack the hack!

Once I started working from home I thought I could bail on the meal prepping.

WRONG!!

I actually need it now more than ever. Working from home does not have as much structure or consistency as a normal ninetofive. It also allows me to wander into the kitchen aimlessly and pick at food I shouldn’t be…and that shouldn’t even be in there!

So I decided MPing is back on in this house and I want to share by top tips to saving moola, time and energy is the process.

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1 – LEFTOVERS ARE THE BEST!

Pick 4 recipes for dinners and make enough for 3 nights of left-over meals. Chilli, casseroles, soups and stuffed cabbages are great for these.

2 – CARRYOVER INGREDIENTS!

Pick recipes that have carryover ingredients while still remaining in different genres. Examples are chicken tacos, chicken casseroles and chicken salad for lunch. This way you can bake all the chicken at the same time but it will go into 3 very different meals. And buying in bulk is always best/saves the most money.

3 – DON’T THROW SHIT AWAY!

Go through your fridge before shopping to see what is left for fruits and veggies that you can incorporate into this next week of meals. Leftover veggies are great for soups, cabbage “keeps” forever, freeze your fruit for smoothies for breakfast etc. Wasting is BAD! You should never have an overflowing garbage can when loading up your fridge after going to the store.

4 – BAKING TEMPS MATTER!

Pick recipes that allow you to cook things at the same temperatures. Being able to bake chicken while also baking a “one sheet pan” recipe of steak or sausage allows you to throw it all in at once!

5 – UTILIZE DIFFERENT METHODS!

Pick recipes that allow you to have different cooking methods that can be going all at the same time, i.e. crock potting chili, stove-topping soup and baking chicken. This will seriously cut down on time.

Bonus: Plan to be able to use your scraps! GET CREATIVE!! I made a one-sheet pan recipe today with sausage and cabbage and used my leftover cabbage for Greek Yogurt coleslaw! Win Win!

 

Top 3 Habits of UNSUCCESSFUL People

I’m going to cut to the chase. We all have bad habits. From not changing the toilet paper roll to gossiping.

But there are three main habits that I’ve found in my research that unsuccessful people have that above all else continue to create a world of failure and mediocrity for them.

These three habits can be applied to business owners, little league coaches, CEO’s…you name it!

But I’m here to talk about MOMS.

–>Although if you’re not a mom, please read on if you are unsuccessful in any way, this WILL apply to you too!

  1. BLAMING

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Blaming is soooo easy to do to others but soooo hard to do to ourselves. The husband, the government, the aliens, but most of all THE KIDS. They are the best target because they are cute and chaotic. They are unpredictable and lovable. So when you blame them you don’t stay mad. If you were to blame yourself for all of your failures you would actually have to feel angry.

So how do you stop this? You have to begin to recognize when you do you it before anything else. You have to be honest with yourself. Is it the kids fault you are late to your meeting or did you not leave enough time in the morning? Is it your kids fault that you are eating their leftovers or did you not plan ahead and make your own meal before theirs so you wouldn’t pick at it?

Recognize, Accept and Recondition

Recognize when you are doing it. Accept the true blame. Recondition yourself through daily reminders to think before you FEEL.

2. JUSTIFYING

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Justifying is a kinder but still malevolent version of blaming … but instead of blaming your failure on someone, you are giving yourself permission to fail, suck or be average. I used to do this a lot. “It’s okay that I don’t have a lot of money, young people are not supposed to have a lot of money, it’s part of growing up.” “It’s okay that I’m eating my kid’s leftovers, that’s all part of young parenting, it’ll make for great memories!” All of these all us to feel okay for our short-comings or lack of action / proactivity.

Recognize when you are justifying (all excuses are justifications). Accept that you are doing this. Recondition your brain to say to yourself “this is a justification so I will do X in spite of it.” Today I felt tired. I didn’t want to write this blog. I thought “I got up early today, I deserve a nap. My nap is JUSTIFIED” and my brain said “Nooooo no no missy, this is a justification for why you shouldn’t do something when you know full well why you should!”

3. COMPLAINING

sourceEver been around a constant complainer? OMG it makes me want to shrivel up and die. It’s like their constant stream of blather about how the world hates them and everyone and everything is out to get them never ends. If you are a complainer please look inside yourself and see that what you are doing is actually attracting bad things to you. If you are not a complainer but find yourself in close proximity to one frequently, RUN! Their toxicity spreads like wildfire!!

The feeling you get when you complain is addictive. You know the feeling. It’s similar to the gossiping feeling. A little bit of a high followed by a huge let-down that what you want in life isn’t happening. And then complainers start trying to one-up each other. It’s just all bad.

So…I’ll repeat.

Recognize when you are doing it, Accept the fact that you are, and Recondition your brain to swallow those words and say something positive. “Traffic sucks so bad” turns to “isn’t it nice to have a little extra time this morning to listen to the radio and peacefully sip my coffee.” Nice isn’t it?

 

So there you have it! The only three things unsuccessful people successfully do. They blame, they justify, they complain.

If you are a mama who finds yourself doing these things, reach out to me. YOU CAN CHANGE and live the life you want!!

kellyspencerfitness@gmail.com

 

When Did We Learn How To Quit?

And if it is in fact learned, it means we can unlearn it right??

I watched my baby struggle to try to crawl today. She tried and tried and tried and I KNOW that she will succeed.

Because babies don’t know how to quit. Why can we always take so many cues from babies??

They don’t quit screeching when they’re hungry, they don’t quit crying when they need to be changed, they don’t quit learning how to walk or crawl even though they fall over countless times.

So when do we learn to quit?

Did our parents teach through modeling what to do when they got frustrated? Did their parents teach them? Is it to soften the blow of an undesirable outcome, to avoid facing failure?

Is it because we say to our kids “no you can’t climb up there its too high”, or “that kid is too big too play with” or when they fail at an attempt we say “its okay, you’re just a kid”?

As I was trying to research whether or not these are learned behaviors or if they just develop in the brain at a certain point I read a blog that said “failures force us to quit”… I wholeheartedly disagree!!

We choose to quit. Failures simply become the rationalization for that choice. But we choose it ourselves.

Adversity will always present itself in our lives and we need to be okay with that when it does. We don’t have to feel good about it, but we need to understand that it is a law of nature. Life can’t be perfect all of the time. It is how you react to that adversity that determines where you will go in life. What your story will look like in the last chapter.

So take a moment today to look at the things you have quit in your life and what the reasoning was.

Was it because you truly didn’t enjoy what you were doing? If so, good for you!

Or was it because you came across some adversity and let it win? If so, you need to get back out there my friend! Start crawling if you have to!!

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Choose Your Own Napkin-Adventure

Going out to eat with children can be stressful to say the least. We’ve actually had times where we decided not to go eat somewhere because we didn’t want to have to figure out how to keep her occupied in a 5×4 box of hell!

We’ve used the phone and books and toys. The phone always works if we need adult time – real conversation without interruption. But now with #2 here, the idea of a peaceful meal with the kids is completely out the window … AND I prefer to keep screen time to a minimum if possible.

So I’ve come up with a new strategy that seems to work great, at least for 30 minutes or so.

I call them napkin adventures.

  1. Take a napkin and unfold it. Preferably a paper one depending on how much you want to piss the restaurant off (and if you’re going to a cloth napkin restaurant with kids, you’ve got your shit together and probably don’t need this…or else you’re just crazy and don’t need this either.)
  2. Β Begin in the lower left hand corner with a pen and let your imagination go where a child’s would go with your kids. I prefer to go the route of “once up on a time there was a little girl named Rowan who decided to take a walk in the woods.” This is when I take my pen and draw a stick figure and some lame trees and a curvy road.
  3. Next I ask my kid, “then what happened?” And she tells me and we draw it. At every intersection I ask the same question: “then what happened”. The key is to draw terribly and dramatically while making exaggerated faces and listening with intense enthusiasm!

Then you’re pretty much it in. You follow the napkin as far as it can go with the story.

Then you switch roles.

Child becomes the artist and mom or dad becomes the story teller.

This sounds lame, but how many of you have kids that play with the cardboard box rather than the toy inside? Same concept.

Simple + enthusiasm + engagement = happy child.

Today we had an encounter with a monster pig who ate our whole family then barfed us back up because Isla was sad and then somehow we all ended up in a hot air balloon stuck to a cloud full of lollipops…go figure, tough luck I guess?

Let me know when you try this how it works! It’s been a gem for us lately!

 

 

FOOD HACKS TO SAVE YOU LOOT

I hate wasting money but I hate wasting food more. There are too many people in the world without enough of it for us to be throwing it away just because we get lazy. Here are my top food hacks to save your food before it goes bad which, in turn, will save you money.

  1. Fruit Water
    1. Fruit goes bad the fastest in our house. When it’s on the verge, when it starts getting a little soggy and before the mold takes hold, slice it all up and throw it in a pitcher of water. This can be refilled a few times over 24 hours with it still tasting great! Plus it’ll help you get the hydration you need.
  2. Soups
    1. Soups are a soup-er (hehe) easy way to combine a bunch of foods about to go bad into a bulk (and freezable) meal. Add a few bullion cubes or beef/chicken/veggie stock and toss in whatever seems good! Add some bean or meat for some protein! Just make sure to label it when you put it in the freezer so you know how long its been in there.
  3. Snack Bags
    1. Pretzels, goldfish, raisins…you have 10 bags with a few crumbs left in each…combine into small zipper-lock lunch bags for easy-to-hand-out snacks for the kids. You can even keep them in an easy to reach location so they don’t have to ask over and over again!
  4. Stir Fry Bags
    1. This is one of my favorites for couples where one half does not know how to cook…in this case it is my husband. When the veggies are on the out I like to throw them all into a freezer storage bag, add a smaller bag filled with your favorite sauce combos (soy, teriyaki…) which also freeze very well! On nights when the usual cook doesn’t have it in them, have the other half throw it all in a sauce pan and voila!
  5. Casseroles
    1. As long as you have a pasta or rice on hand this usually makes a very fast and easy meal for left overs that are headed to the curb. Chicken, veggies, some form of starch, an easy-to-make roux or can of cream-of-something soup…leftovers extended!
  6. Popsicles
    1. Yogurt, juice, fruit…about to hit the expiration date? Throw it in a blender, pop it in the freezer and you have a summer treat thats healthy and cheap and the kids are none the wiser.

You’d be surprised how long you can stretch your budget and your fridge contents if you really put your mind to it!