Cooking Tips and Tricks for Young Moms or the Not So Kitchen Savvy!

 

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As a young mom one of my biggest struggles has been adjusting to being independent in the kitchen and learning how to cook actual tasty food for my family. At this point I still have a lot to learn and a lot more to create, but I feel so much more confident in the kitchen now. I take a great amount of pride in being able to cook for my family and it is a skill I want to help other young moms to feel more secure in learning.

I am going to share with you my top 5 kitchen tips and tricks as well as present you with some tips and tricks other moms have suggested in my Facebook group! I hope this will be super helpful and allow you to branch out and be creative in the kitchen. If you have any awesome kitchen tips/tricks feel free to share them in the comments!

MY TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. Read your seasonings! If you are unsure on how to season something or you are looking to step out of your comfort zone with seasoning, take a look at the labels on your spices and seasonings. Most of the time they will have suggestions on what types of meats and dishes to use it on as well as what seasonings it pairs well with!
  2. Invest in a crock pot or slow cooker! This will help you save time, as well as make your food super tender, juicy and flavorful. Almost all crock pot recipes are just dumping all ingredients together and then setting it to cook on high or low for a certain amount of time.
  3. Set timers! If I am cooking in the crock pot this is usually already done, but I have made it a habit of setting timers for myself to check my food as well as take it out. As a mom you can become easily detracted and this is a simple way to remind yourself of steps that might come in the middle of cooking, as well as making sure you don’t burn your food!
  4. Taste as you go! Of course you only want to taste if its safe, don’t go tasting raw meat. You can however taste your marinades and seasoning mixtures before you put them on raw meat to make sure that it will be to yours and your families liking. Don’t always trust a recipe, if you don’t like the taste of something then don’t add it!
  5. Measurements are relative! To some extent of course. I remember how hung up I would get on making sure everything was exact, when I first began cooking. Since then I have learned to add what is called for, do the tasting trick listed above and then adjust accordingly. Not everyone likes salt or pepper, and some people prefer more. If you use tips 4 and 5 together your meal will taste how you and your family want it to which in tern will give you more pride in your cooking skills!

MOMS FROM FACEBOOK GROUPS TOP 5 COOKING TIPS AND TRICKS:

  1. “My best tip would be when meal planning always plan a few quick/easy meals because it’ll help keep you from eating out…some days you don’t want to take a long time to cook so it’s nice having those options” – Submitted by Abby Stebbins

  2. “When you take the time to make lasagna or something labor intensive, make a double batch and freeze one tray. I do the same for apple crisp too. When I buy meat for a pot roast, I buy 2 and freeze one for later in the month. It’s easy to throw in the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients and takes less than 15 min of prep.” – Submitted by Sarah Mahan

  3. “Before you go to the grocery store, make sure you have a list for that week or month and don’t go shopping when you’re hungry to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.” – Submitted by Chelsea B.

  4. “Use cute resealable containers to store staple items such as flour, sugar, coffee, etc. because it keeps everything fresh, makes your kitchen look nice, and is less messy compared to scooping out of bags.” – Submitted by Clarissa Henderson

  5. “Create a recipe board on Pinterest, a recipe book or binder to organize all your favorite recipes. Pinterest is also great for finding simple recipes for beginners.” – Submitted by Keira Addams

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Organization for the Unorganized Mommy

If you ask anyone that is close to me you would quickly find out I am not the most organized person. In fact I am a procrastinator at heart and quite lazy! πŸ˜‰ Since I started Blogging I have quickly realized this is not the way I want to be anymore, and I want to make a real life change! It’s a work in progress and I am going to really try to stick to this lifestyle change but so far it has been for the better. I want to share with all you hot mess mommies like myself a few things I have done to ease myself into a more motivated and organized lifestyle.

This week I decided to take a step back and focus on getting a schedule in order, from blog scheduling, guest post scheduling, promoting, along with all my household duties, and doing actual things in my actual real life, I have become overwhelmed and quite busy! I’m sure this is the norm for more seasoned bloggers and work at home moms, but incase you are thinking about taking the plunge into adding on extra activities, a job, a blog, etc. These are a few things I have done that actually help me.

  1. GET A PLANNER!!Β I am a very visual person and it immediately makes me feel better to be able to open up my planner and see a spread of my month laid out before me. I personally prefer a monthly/weekly combo planner because I find it less time consuming to be able to write everything out for the month or week and refer back to it throughout. I don’t like writing a daily plan because as most of you busy moms know, things dont always go as planned each and everyday so it works best for me to simply have a monthly/weekly guideline.
  2. CREATE A SPACE FOR YOURSELF!!Β This is very important to me because I feel the most overwhelmed when I don’t have a place to sit down and do my work, or just have a place to go that I can relax and take some of the anxiety edge off! I recently reorganized my vanity into a desk so that I don’t have to do things on my bed or in the living room with the TV and a screaming toddler.
  3. SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING!! This tool has helped me so much be able to participate in social media for my blog while still spend time with my family. This may not apply to every mom out there but it is especially helpful if you work from home doing direct sales or blogging.Β Β After starting my facebook page I learned about the scheduling feature which is super awesome! I am able to schedule out posts for as long in advance as I would like with anything from sharing links, vids, my blog posts, etc. Sure I still participate on real time every now and then but its one less stress if I don’t have to! I also write out multiple blog posts at the beginning of each week and schedule them out throughout the week as well! This saves me so much time its crazy, I also have my blog posts automatically set to share on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. A lot of people find this kind of thing to be unauthentic but I have to say it is very necessary if you want to live real life while also blogging or working from home.
  4. LISTS, LISTS, AND MORE LISTS!!Β Although I don’t write out a plan for each day I do create plenty of to-do lists and just lists in general for everything! Each day I decide how many things I am going to do on my list, not committing to anything specific then at the day I usually check off what I did and surprise myselfΒ Β with what I am able to accomplish. This is like a fun treat for me at the end of the day too and allows me to go to bed feeling accomplished.
  5. WORK AROUND YOUR CHILD’S SCHEDULE!!Β If you’re a mom of little ones like myself then you probably already know they pretty much run the show when it comes to you getting stuff done. My advice is to just embrace it and work around it as best as you can. That is why I strongly agree with not writing out a “daily schedule” at least not one that includes you getting all your work done! I have found that the best times for me to get things done are nap time (a good 2-3 hours) this is usually when I shower, clean the house, and do some face-booking; early morning (when Braydon is occupied with his morning cartoons or playing) this is usually when I plan our meals, engage in more social media, do laundry, and send out emails; after Braydon is put to bed (his bed time is 8:00pm so this gives me several hours in the evening) this is usually when I do most blog writing, respond to emails, write out my lists, go over all my to-do’s and spend time with Daniel.

I hope this helps you to make a few changes in becoming more organized and motivated. These changes are small and I don’t do all of this every single day but it is becoming more and more consistent and is helping me quite a bit! Share some of your scheduling and organizing tips in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Cinderella Time! Deep Cleaning the Playpen and a Huge Mommy Fail!

For the longest time I have been searching for a way to clean my sons playpen. He uses it all the time and its been through some rough times at this point. I was so excited to find a DIY recipe that works wonders!! It took all the nasty pee and milk smell away as well as most of the dingy brown discoloration. (TMI, I know!) If you decide to use this recipe do not make the mistake of thinking you can soak the play mat insert as well… trust me I made this mistake and even though I worked diligently to dry it the board turned to mush! This recipe works well for cleaning high chair covers and strollers as well. Okay lets get started!

What You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • and half a cap of laundry detergent of your choice ( whatever you use at home or baby detergent will work best)

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Directions:

First you are going to want to fill your bathtub up with the hottest water possible and then add in all your ingredients to the water. place your playpen into the tub and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Again do not put your playpen mat insert into the water to soak! while your playpen is soaking, fill up a spray bottle or soak a wash cloth in the bathtub mixture. use this to clean your playpen mat so that it does not become ruined by the water. After 30 minutes passes flip your playpen over so that the other side can soak for another 30 minutes. By now the water in the tub is probably pretty dirty, that means its working!! Now its time to drain your tub and rinse your playpen. If your shower head disconnect you can spray directly all over your play pen until it is thoroughly rinsed; you could also take it out to your yard and rinse it with your hose, or use a large pitcher like I did to rinse it. You will want to lightly rinse your playpen mat insert as well with a clean rag and a spray bottle of clean water. Now set it out to dry! you will definitely want to do this on a nice hot or non rainy day. Once its dry its time to bring it on in, and that’s it! You go Cinderella! If you have tried this or something similar, go ahead and leave a comment down below and let us know how it worked for you. If you have any handy DIY cleaning tricks let me know, and don’t forget to like and subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!