Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Meal Planning Tool With FREE Printable!

Let's chat a bit about meal planning. Do you love it? Like it? Loathe it? I tend to fall into the "love it" category. But I know it can be such a chore that quickly gets tossed aside. But come 4 o'clock on a weekday, we often wish we would have planned some meals for the week. The baby is screaming, the house looks like a tornado went off and your hubby is due home in an hour. Yikes. 

And all you can think is, "I should have planned some meals for the week."

In a future post we will chat about the process of actually meal planning but for now I wanted to give you a simple tool to help you meal plan easier and faster. 

It's a place to write all of your families favorite meals. Sometimes we can get in a major rut when it comes to our meals. We tend to cook our favorites or the things we know our kids will eat over and over again. Don't they say that variety is the spice of life? Or something like that. :)

So here is a page that you can print to add to your Home Management Binder or tape to the side of your fridge. You can slip it into a clear protective sheet and keep it from spills and messy fingers. I actually had a list of our favorite meals written into my planner but with 2015, that planner was no longer relevant so I decided to create this printable for myself...and you! 

Take some time to sit down with your family (maybe over dinner tonight!) and get a list of their favorites too. Bring the family back together around the table and let planning meals for your family be something that isn't a major stress. 

Let's Eat! 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

My YouTube Channel

So in the name of jumping into something new and fresh, I started a YouTube channel. I know, what?! Let me just say...guys...I'm so excited about this. I've been watching YouTube videos for about a year now. I found I could easily watch while getting ready for the day, while putting away laundry or just to unwind at the end of the day. I've found this amazing community of moms that I just love to follow. They were having so much fun. I wanted to be a part of it! 

So I jumped on it. 

I got out of my own way and hit record. And before I knew it - I was on the internet. My talking, bumbling, batty eyed self. 

It's comical to see yourself and hear your voice. I was in my total natural state of being so to see myself in my element is so bizarre.

But I'm loving it. 

My channel is an extension of my blog. For now I'm posting mostly organizing videos though I have some varied content coming up very shortly. 

On my blog I will focus on more heart related things though I will still explore lots of other content. It's easier to post how to's in a video format while it's more difficult to talk about heart matters on YouTube. It's better for me to put fingers to keys and blog. 

So be on the lookout for content from both avenues. I'm also building a Sweetly Home Facebook page where we can connect as well. I'll share that link as soon as it's launched. 

In the meantime, you can find me at my instagram account or on Pinterest. And of course, here is a link to my channel. :) 

Here's my latest video about organizing Aubrey's clothes for school. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, January 05, 2015

What's In A Name?

If you've been hanging out with me awhile, you may notice a few changes around here. Most notably, my blog name. I'll be honest - that was a really hard change. "Finding Home" had been birthed in my heart several years ago and it truly was what this blog was all about. As we have been out of our home for the past four years due to our renovation, it felt even more true. We really were finding our home when we didn't have a physical structure to even call our own. Where was home? How were we creating it? With the addition of our children, the face of our home changed even more. We were Finding Home.

But in the midst of this time, another blog came along with the same name. And she created something beautiful. And big. And her blog and her presence came to be known as Finding Home. And it was hard to see that precious name I held so dearly be birthed into something so big that wasn't mine. But this beautiful thing that she created was just so good. And it only felt right that I changed my name. Not that my blog - or my social media presence - would probably even cross paths with this other Finding Home - but I didn't want to chance it. I didn't want confusion. And I didn't want to be in the shadow of something so great.

And so I let Finding Home go.

And it was hard. It hurt.

But something new was birthed.

And it feels good.

And right.

And that's all that matters.

So welcome to Sweetly Home. There is so much goodness wrapped up in this title. So much that I can feel tangibly. All I want in this life is to create a beautiful, sweet, wonderful space for the people in my life who I love so dearly. It is the the sweet spot in my life. The place where I can create and craft and conjure up this beautiful life for my family and those who we are blessed to call friends.

Thank you for journeying on with us. There is so much more to be written and so much more to be shared. Come along with us, won't you?

It Takes A Village - Do You Have One?

The other day I was ready to crack. It was one of those days where I could feel the proverbial noose tightening and I felt like I was going to explode. My eleven month old son, Colt, cried nearly all day. ALL. DAY. And the last thing in the world that he wanted was me. And all he could have was me. So it didn't make for a great combination. My ears felt like they were going to bleed from listening to his loud screams and nothing I was doing was comforting my little man. He wanted what he couldn't have - and was throwing a fit. Haven't we all been there before?

In that moment, I knew that I needed my village. I needed the people in my life who love and care for my family to step in and lend a hand. That is how the saying goes, right? "It takes a village to raise a child". And step in they did. My father-in-law offered to hold Colt so I could go lay down and collect myself. He could see that I needed a break. So without hesitation, I took him up on that offer to go recharge my batteries for a bit.

So it really got me thinking about that concept of a "village". And what does a momma do when she is at the end of her rope? What if she doesn't have a village to turn to? What then? Here are my thoughts.

Your village is the people in your life who love you and your family. They could be relatives like grandma's, grandpa's, aunts and uncles. Or it could be friends who have become like family. Or it could even be someone who has come along side of you to offer mentorship and guidance. Your village is the people in your life that you can turn to with no strings attached to ask for help and a soft place to land when things get overwhelming. If you are a momma, your village usually loves your little ones just as much as you do and they willingly step in to help shelter, protect, and care for your littles just as you would. I live with my village. We are staying with my in laws while we finish renovations on our house so my village is as close to me as one can get. That's not to say that they are always around. No, they have busy, full lives and there are many times where it is just my kids and I at home. But more often than not, my village sweeps in when I am at the end of my rope and offers me time to be alone and refresh myself. Your village cares for your little ones just like you would. They love on you and they love on your littles. 

Don't be afraid of that. Let them help.

So what if you don't have a village? 

What if family lives far away and you just don't have the friends to lend a hand. I get that. I am in Canada while my parents, sisters and my dearest of friends live in the States. It's a hard road when you don't have that physical presence of the people you love so much. That's why it's important to find people. You've got to make friends. It's not easy. I get that too. Trust me. I'd rather stay home, curled up on the couch reading a good book than out making new connections. I 100% get it. But it's vital. It's vital to your emotional health as a mom and as a woman. Plug into your local church to find a group that would work for you. Join your local MOPS. Search your community website for programs in your area. Join a club. Find a group of people you will connect with. Dare to reach out. 

Be brave, momma. It's not easy but it will be worth it. 

Find those things that will feed and soothe your soul - if only briefly. For me, I laid on my bed and popped in a DVD of one of my favorite TV shows that always makes me laugh. I turned on a fan to drown out the noise from the rest of the house and let my village take care of my babies for a half hour. When I'm alone, I still do a form of this - only I put my baby in a safe spot like his pack n play - and recharge for a few minutes. It's vital. I have to or momma will explode. 

Maybe you've got your Bible and some notecards of verses that lift your soul on standby. Maybe it's a few select songs on a playlist that take you to the feet of Jesus where he can fill you back up. I've always said that God hears the cries of a desperate mother. He loves you so much. Let him fill your weary self back up. 

"He tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. He gently leads those that have young." 
 - Isaiah 40:11 -

You've got to erase the mommy guilt that says you need to be hands on at all times. If you are about to break, you've got to be okay with putting your littles in a safe spot and taking some moments to recharge. 

It's vital to find time for this on a regular basis. Maybe it's a coffee date with yourself each week where you can go get lost in a book at the local bookstore. Or maybe it's dessert with a friend after the kiddies are in bed. Maybe it's escaping to have a luxurious bath a few times a month. Whatever it is - you've got to allow your village to be with your little ones and you've got to put yourself in the priority seat. You need it momma. And your babies need you to do it too. 


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