OK y’all…I’ve got to admit, sitting down to write a blog post has been a booger to nail down. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve come anywhere near nailing it. Here’s what’s going on and where I’m at. My hope is that not only am I not an odd duck out on this but that somewhere, someone will have insight and inspiration to share.
Have you ever thought about how you think? No this isn’t a trick question. It’s not some mental evaluation or a deeply insightful ideology either. It’s just me getting real about what I often experience in my at home world. Here’s an example of how my thought streams often take shape.
Just today, it went something like……
“I need to get an At Home Woman blog post written and ready to post. How can I possible add anything new, fresh, unexplored? What hasn’t been covered by anyone or anywhere? What could I expand on from another perspective? All those fabulous woman’s life and homeschool bloggers I follow offer so much in the way of motivation and inspiring content. I don’t have as much to offer because I don’t have as much experience in (fill in the blank). I’ll troll the internet to see what jumps out at me. When did that cobweb get there? *Achoo* I need to dust….and vacuum. Gosh, is that a Cheerio under the couch? Ewww….what is that hairy thing under the table? Goodness gracious! Miss Dottie sure does shed a lot for this time of year! I need to do some major cleaning and like….uhhh….YESTERDAY. I really need to get more work on my new website done so my designer can do what she does. WOOHOO! More thinking that has to be done! Uhhh….NOT!?! Oh look at that a cute pic (insert friend’s name here) posted on Facebook! Wow….She sure is looking good! Oh, I wish I had known about that show earlier. I bet it would have been a good one. LOL! He’s more of a drama queen than most teen girls! Dang it! I’ve been sucked into the Facebook Vortex! I should clear all these notes and clutter off my ottoman. Oh dear! I have so many files to transfer to this new laptop that the sweetest At Home Man ever born bought me for Valentine’s Day. GEEZ! Writer’s block sucks and blows all at the same time! My idea bank is just completely empty. Oh, I should reply to that tweet. I need to get my bookwork done. I really need to reformulate that product. I want to get those new graphics and designs done soon. I better check emails while I’m on here. Oh, I really want to paint this room. A nice green would be pretty! That’s a good article. Maybe there’s some potential there. What should I make for supper? Hey that looks like another really good article. I’ll click the link to check it out. “Honey, go check on Little Man. He’s being awfully quiet.” What in the world can I write about this time? Crap! This link is taking forever to load. Hit the stop and refresh buttons! Yes! That made it load right up. Oh, I need to go put sour cream on the grocery list. ”
UGH! I need an intervention….or a brain defragmenting!
Seem vaguely familiar to you? Do you see the problem? SCATTERED THINKING! In every are of my life and on every level….and all at once it seems! I have been going back and forth between professional and personal when I sit down or stand up to do anything these last few days. That is just part of being an at home woman, right?
Seems like the more I have to do, the more my thinking gets scattered about and I lose focus. The more pressures I feel and tentacles there are pulling on me, the more it tends to happen. Oh….I see you nodding your head over there. It happens to you too, doesn’t it? I thought so. It’s not unusual when you think about it. You have a busy life with responsibilities to attend to with home, family, business, school, extra-curricular activities and just life in general.
Truth is we are inundated with information and responsibilities from all sides. For me, the list just seems to grow and grow…like the blob creature from outer space. There’s articles to read, social media to do, local events to attend, lessons to prepare and teach, family situations to tend to, home life to live (laundry, cleaning, meals, finances, pets, etc.). There’s friends to engage with, company needs and entrepreneur tasks that need to to be dealt with (that list is just too long to even try to write here), ministry and church to focus on, local-national-world news to at least have an inkling about. All this can make for BRAIN OVERLOAD, which often results in scattered thinking. And it is not easy to deal with or overcome. What to do about it, is the question.
Instead of giving out instructions and assignments in today’s article, I want you all to lend your expertise to this at home woman. Oh….you thought I had some clever, insightful and meaningful words for you, huh? LOL…remember….I’m experiencing brain overload and scattered thinking right now.
So tell us…At Home Woman. How do you overcome scattered thinking? What ways have you found to be effective when you need to refresh your brain? Do you close out some open windows to decrease information downloads? Do you step away and let time be on your side? Do you prioritize? Make lists or schedules?
Just what can you share that will help all of us with brain overload and scattered thinking? The platform is yours. Ready – GO!
Last week, we talked about how to re-invent the meal using left-over beef roast or ground beef. If you didn’t read it, please do. It will help you get better acquainted with what re-invented meals are as well as how to plan and shop for them.
This week, I thought we would toss around re-invented meal ideas using leftover chicken or turkey (or any poultry protein). It’s in plenty of time for you to plan for Thanksgiving leftovers, too. I’m going to hit these quickly since most everyone has favorite recipes they like for most of the meal idea dishes. If you need a boost to pull a meal all together, I recommend Food.com for a resource to find good recipes with lots of user interaction and reviews. You can search for any of the dishes I list here and get lots of recipes. Or just email me and I’ll try to help you out.
Original Meal – Roasted, Baked, Grilled, Rotisserie, Boiled or Fried Chicken or Turkey (Remember – cook at least twice as much as what you need to feed a family of 2-4 for this meal). What’s not eaten in this sitting will bcome a re-invented meal or two. You can sub turkey or other poultry protein in any dish that calls for chicken and vise versa.
Re-Created Meal Ideas – Stand alone re-invented meals from your chicken or turkey
Cold Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches
BBQ Chicken/Turkey Sandwiches
Chicken/Turkey Alfredo Pasta
Chicken/Turkey with Pasta (use favorite herbs, spices, garlic, butter, tomatoes/tomato paste to create a sauce)
Chicken/Turkey Spring Rolls
Chicken/Turkey Egg Rolls
Chicken/Turkey Stir Fry
Chicken/Turkey & Vegetables in gravy
Chicken/Turkey & Dumplings
Chicken/Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Chicken/Turkey with Rice (use herbs, spices, butter, etc. for flavor and to create a sauce)
Hobo Dinner – (chicken/turkey, onions, carrots, potatoes, veggies of choice and seasonings, wrapped in aluminum foil then baked in the oven until veggies are tender)
Re-invented Dishes – to serve with your favorite sides. *Remember, Colorful Meals = Nourishing Meals.
Sweet & Sour Chicken/Turkey
OK, my thinker is thunk out of ideas. I know, I know! That’s bad grammer. Hey, don’t scold me. I’m not sitting in my home educator seat right now. I’m in my homemaker chair. *wink*
As you can see, the possibilites are practically endless. You never have to prepare a boring or the same ole’ meal again. With this re-invented meal using pre-cooked meat method, you’ll save time and headaches to get it on the table. You’ll save money if you purchase your meat or poultry in quantity when on sale or in bulk. It’s WIN-WIN-YUM!
Quick Tip #1 – You can freeze your leftover protein in the freezer for later use or make up many of the meal ideas I’ve shared today and last week, ahead of time and freeze for in a rush meal nights.
Quick Tip #2 – If your original meal of chicken or poultry had the bone in, and you plan to store your protein in the refridgerator for several days before using, remove the meat from the bone before storing. This will save you time when preparing your re-invented meals and dishes and reduce the risk of spoilage and bacterial invasion.
Quick Tip #3 – Remove any stuffing from the bird before storing in the refridgerator or freezing. The moist, starchy stuffing is a hospitable breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.
I hope you found some useful re-invented meal ideas this week. If you have any ideas to add….please share with us at the At Home Woman community.
Happy re-inventing the meal, y’all!
Get real and enjoy your at home world.
The Fall season means colorful landscapes, cooler weather, warmer clothing and more time indoors. With the extra time indoors, you begin to think of getting ready for the holidays and making your at home world comfy and cozy for a long winter’s stay.
#1) Are you noticing gnats coming in, looking for a nice place to eat, drink and be a merry annoyance? They tend to do that as the weather turns cooler or gets wetter. And they always seem to congregate in the kitchen and relax in the bathroom. Don’t we all?
TIP: Put out a shallow glass dishes of vinegar, such as a dessert dish or pie plate, in the kitchen and bathroom. Gnats are drawn to vinegar like it’s the divine nectar of choice. They will get in it, trying to drink it and will drown.
#2) Do you rush around the week or two before Thanksgiving, cleaning every nook and crannie so your home is ready for guests, holiday fun and decorating? And you just feel overwhelmed with it all, right? Been there, done that!
TIP: Start now with your deep clean to-do’s and turn them into ta-da’s. If you take one or two rooms a week from now until the week before Thanksgiving, you will have your home ship shape and will not been worn out, biting the family’s heads off and kicking the dog. Then you will only need to do normal weekly cleaning through the holidays, leaving you time to enjoy yourself instead of being cranky because the nooks are cluttered and the crannies are sprouting an alien life form.
#3) Do your non-washable drapes or comforters need freshening and lightly cleaned but you just can’t afford to take them to the dry cleaner? Or possibly, you’re like me and have had a very, VERY bad experience with taking your beautiful and expensive drapes or bedding in to be cleaned? As long as they are not stained or extremely dirty, you don’t have to.
TIP: If you haven’t been doing this monthly already, vacuum your drapes or comforter with an upholstery brush to remove loose dust from the surface. Remove them from the rods or bed, toss into your dryer on the air dry, fluff or the very lowest heat setting. Do not use a medium or high heat. Toss in a few dryer sheets or make your own freshener with a cloth very lightly dampened with white vinegar and a just few drops of essential oil of choice if desired. (I’m partial to lavender or orange). Let them toss around in the dryer for 15-30 minutes. Remove and rehang or remake the bed. Whallah! Fresh and dust free.
#4) Carpet and large rugs looking a bit icky and smelling more like summer gone bad than fall in paradise? Freshen them up quickly and on a budget.
TIP: Mix 2 cups each of baking soda and corn starch together. Add 20 – 30 drops of essential oil of choice to the mix, stirring it very well throughout the powdered mixture. Sift mixture to loosen up any clumps. Sprinkle fairly evenly on carpet/rug. Let it sit overnight if possible or for a few hours minimum. Vacuum well to remove soda mixture. Sniff! Smells good doesn’t it? And just look at your carpet!
#5) Do you struggle with inspiration for easy, inexpensive fall or holiday decorating? We all love the colors and warmness of it all but getting it to look nice on a budget can be hard. These not only look nice, they smell even nicer.
TIPS: This has several tip options in one.
(A) Pick up some fresh fruit (oranges, apples, cranberries, mini pumpkins, large in the shell nuts), cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Arrange the fruit (ex. several oranges with cranberries, apples with nuts) and a few cinnamon sticks in a pretty glass bowl or wide glass vase for a centerpiece or to just sit on a side table. I like to cut the cinnamon stick into smaller pieces. You can do this with a saw or even break them into pieces with a hammer. Just put the sticks in a baggie and smash them a couple of time to break them up.
(B) Take a 3″ – 5# pillar candle or a small scarecrow (about 6″ tall), put in the center of a large plate, charger plate or small serving platter. Arrange fruit and cinnamon sticks around the base to add texture, visual appeal and scent to the room.
(C) Lay out a blend of these elements (fruit and cinnamon) in clusters down the center of you dining table, with tapered candles in holders here and there. Arrange clusters anywhere you want to add some fall to your home.
(D) Small finger bowls or wine glassed of whole cloves will be pretty and fragrant. Toss in some cranberries and you also have instant color.
(E) For a “didn’t cost me a dime” variation on these, use a few pine cones, acorns, hickory nuts, or other natural elements, that you can collect yourself, to your arrangement. Add to the fruits, nuts & spices or use alone for a more rustic decoration.
Don’t fret over making the arrangements perfect. Just the colors and aroma will ooze with Autumn delight.
Bonus Tip: RELAX! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Really, it is not worth the bother. Regardless of what you do or don’t do, every day should be enjoyed. That’s not going to happen if you are fretting over the details that no one will ever really notice but you. None of us can be Martha Stewart. Even Martha isn’t Martha. She doesn’t do it alone. She has an entire crew and assistants to help her make it look effortless and as if there’s no time involved. Remember that the next time you’re trying to be like Martha….or any other celebrity who gives you home functioning advice.
Happy Fall, Y’all!