Monday, May 25, 2015

Menu Plan Monday | Birthday Week!!

First and foremost, Happy Memorial Day! May we mourn those you gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and celebrate the lives that they lived during their much too short time here on Earth!

It's a big week here in our house, I'm turning 30! So for this week's Menu Plan, birthday cake is involved! Probably for more than one meal even!!

Menu Plan Monday | Real Life on Reagan

Monday - I meant to put dinner in the crock pot for Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Tater Tot Crock Pot Bake since it's one of the kids' favorites, but here it is almost dinner time and I didn't put it in there so we'll probably just grill the chicken breasts I have thawed. 

Tuesday - Girl Scouts and Baseball Games will make for a quick dinner of hot dogs and mac and cheese before running in different directions for the evening.

Wednesday - Homemade spaghetti and garlic bread

Thursday - White Chicken Enchiladas
                  Homemade Funfetti Cake

Friday - DATE NIGHT! I think hubby and I will try something new and the kids will hang out and home and enjoy some pizza!!

Saturday - Birthday Celebrations will continue with all sorts of snacks to enjoy with friends coming over to party!

Sunday - French Toast for breakfast!!
Golash and Mashed Potatoes for dinner -- Cause my little sister will be here and it's one of our favorite meals!!!

Check out more dinner ideas at! Every Monday, Laura, the organizing junkie herself, shares her plan for the week and there's a link-up with lots of blogger's sharing their menu plans!!

How was your three day weekend? Any exciting plans for the week?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Motivation Monday | Post-It Note Motivation Method

The weekend went by so fast! But I had a great time with my own girls and my troop girls at Great Wolf Lodge, then just hanging out with the family for the rest of the weekend. Now it's time to get back on track and make this a productive week! Something that has helped me over the past week is a little bit of visual motivation. And I thought I would share it with you today to inspire you to get your mojo flowing!

Motivation Monday |

Here's how my Monday morning started...

Motivation Monday |

Bowl of oatmeal at a messy desk! Old newspapers, toys, papers to be filed, papers to be trashed! It was a mess but that's real life!

Then I took 5 minutes to clear it all off and it's looking much better now...

Motivation Monday

It was a start to getting motivated this morning! But the part I really want to share are all those Post-it notes all over my screen!!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small portion of the profits if you make a purchase using this link.

This has been my workout schedule and motivation for the past week! I've been doing the 21 Day Fix Workouts right here in my office everyday. I took the schedule that you are suppose to do them in and wrote one day on each Post-it. Then stuck them to my screen. You wouldn't think that this would be great motivation but it really is.

Here's why, you don't want to continue to look at those Post-its everyday that have listed the workout you are supposed to be doing and you sure as heck don't want to take down the Post-it until you are done with the workout. So the only way to get rid of them is to get that day's workout done and throw away the Post-it with a good feeling of accomplishment.

I'm excited to already see them going away for the 21 days! I missed a few this weekend so I'm doubling up for the next two days!! This method is a lot more satisfying than waiting to see the scale go down or measurements change. Everyday I get to take pride in the fact that I got to take that Post-it note down!

Got any other tricks to stay motivated? Let me hear them in the comments below!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

High Five for Friday : Ready for the Weekend!!

Yeah! It's Friday again! I recently let go of some stressors in my life and I couldn't be happier with how things are looking up now!! So here are just 5 things I'm excited about cause who's not super excited about Fridays!

In no particular order....

1. Katelyn is almost potty-trained! No more diapers! No more wiping butts! I'm still extremely sad that she's my last baby and won't be a baby forever but there are a few perks to this whole growing up thing!

2. Girl Scout Trip to Great Wolf Lodge! Headed out to spend some time with my favorite girls and ladies! I've never been and neither have my girls so we're all really excited about this trip! It should be a great time and I can't wait to hopefully head back this summer with the whole family.

3. My son did pretty good at his last baseball game! I can't wait to hear about how this Saturday's game goes. We had a little pep talk the other night and I think it worked! He seemed so much more confident when he was up to bat and I can't wait until he's hitting past center field in games like he does at practice. Listening to parents during the games is another story though. I recently finished The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny and that review will be up soon! Highly recommended book for all parents with children in little league.

4. Started the 21 Day Fix Workouts (not doing the food plan currently) on Monday and I'm feeling sore in a good way! Moving your body brings some great energy and motivation. Bring on summer! I really like this program! I think this is the kind of exercise I should stick too. Walking/Running is too boring for me. Weightlifting at the gym with my husband is intimidating and doing it on my own feels awkward. But 30 minutes on the floor in my office is something I can handle. I'll try to share a little trick for motivation I've figured out next week on the blog.

5. Went to the Commissary yesterday, with my new Errand Planner of course, and I saved $19 in coupons. Add my Ibotta savings in there and I managed to save over $21!!! I'm really thrilled that I am seeing the savings while using my planner.

Hope everyone had a great week! And is looking forward to an exciting weekend!

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Pinterest Food Success

Over the past two weeks or so, I've been trying out quite a few new recipes. And they've all been great so I thought I should share some of my Pinterest Food Success with you!!

Pinterest Food Success |

First up, was our Fight Night Fiesta! If you follow me on Instagram, might have seen some of the crazy pictures! We had a full house and a great time, up until the boring fight! The most important part of any party is usually the food, of course. One of my husband's co-workers offered to bring over all the makings for tacos so I was just left with some appetizers and sides.

I made some Seven Layer Dip that was devoured before the cameras ever made it out for pictures.

And this awesome Mexican Pasta Salad...

It took a little bit of work to make the dressing but it was well worth it! And when they say there's enough for a crowd the weren't lying! We ate this at the party and my husband and I continued to eat it for a few more days after that and still didn't finish it all! 
Mexican Pasta Salad | Pinterest Food Success | Real Life on Reagan

I also made two desserts for our Fiesta!

Strawberry Margarita Bundt Cake

This was super sweet and delicious!!
Strawberry Margarita Bundt Cake | Pinterest Food Success | Real Life on Reagan

Fried Ice Cream Dessert

This was quite like Fried Ice Cream you get at a restaurant but it was pretty close and my son and I loved it! 
Fried Ice Cream Dessert | Pinterest Food Success | Real Life on Reagan

For Mother's Day, we hung out at home but I got a special treat because my husband made an early dinner for me! 

I love Carrabba's Chicken Bryan and so earlier in the week I bought all the ingredients needed to make it at home. My husband did a great job and it was amazing! My son even liked it so that's a plus! I was too hungry to even stop and take a pic before we chowed down so here's a photo from where we got the recipe from. 
Chicken Bryan Copycat | Pinterest Food Success | Real Life on Reagan
Photo is not mine! lol I was too hungry to get one! 
Original Recipe: Chicken Bryan Copycat

Had an Pinterest Food Successes lately? Any Pinterest Fails? Share some recipes you've found on Pinterest that I should test out in the comments!! 

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Friday, May 8, 2015

High Five for Friday | 5 Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Mom

I became a mom 10 years and a little over one month ago! And with Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I thought I'd share 5 things I've learned since that crazy day in April when I became a Mom. (Little Sister, listen up! I need you to have babies soon and you'll need this info!)

5 Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Mom

1. When they say sleep when the baby sleeps, just do it! Your house will eventually get clean and the dishes and laundry will get washed. But in those first few months you'll need all the sleep you can get and you need to hold that baby as much as you can before they don't let you anymore.

2. You can't spoil a baby. Holding them too much, rocking them to sleep, all those things that people say, "Oh you shouldn't do that or baby will never do this!" Who cares? Especially, when they are just newborns. Carrying them around the house won't mean they never walk, rocking them to sleep won't mean they never learn to self-sooth. They are babies and they deserve to be spoiled!


3. Trust your gut. It's your kid. You've been there since the day of conception! You know when something isn't right with your little baby. Just because a person with a piece of paper framed on the wall says otherwise, sometimes it's ok to get a second opinion. You are that child's voice in the world, stick up for them and make sure that if something doesn't feel right to you, you fight until it does.
First family of 4 photo

4. Take deep breaths, count to ten, take a break. Being a parent will be one of the most challenging things you'll ever do in your life. It's amazing how much you can love that little human being and how much they can frustrate you all in the same minute. Take a breath, count to ten, leave them in a safe place and walk out of the room for a minute. It's better for them and for you.

5. Do your thing and I'll do mine! That's the great thing about being a parent, there's no right way to do it. Don't bash on someone else because they do things different, who really cares. The important things are that everyone is raising intelligent, responsible and respective citizens that will go out in to the world someday and do their part to make it a better place.
Katelyn and Mommy
Some how they manage to grow up and get bigger so fast! Slow down and enjoy your time with them! Everyday seems to go by so slow sometimes but then looking back the years go by so quick!

My three crazies

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Moms of the world! Hope you all enjoy your weekend and special day!

What are some things you've learned since becoming a mom?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Errand Planner: Helping Me Save Money and Time

Michelle from Sprinkled Just Right, has this awesome Errand Planner. And being that we are friends in real life and not just the blog world, I've seen this thing in action and it's amazing!! The thing is incredibly helpful and saves her money! I needed to get in on something like that, so I made my own!! Now my shopping is more organized and streamlined and I'm saving money and time while I'm out and about with my Errand Planner!

Errand Planner |

Here's how I did it, how I use it and how it's helped me save money and time after only using my Errand Planner for a week and a half! 

 First, I made a trip to to the office supply store and grabbed a few things.
**(All of these items are available online and listed in the shop page of my blog too! 
Check them out but know if you buy anything I might get a small portion of money.)**

Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

Supply List Included but not limited to:

I laid everything out and determined the best layout for what I wanted this thing to do.
Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on ReaganSave Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

My tabs are labeled:
  • Menu Plans & Grocery Lists
  • Errands & Shopping Lists
  • Coupons
  • Store Cards
  • Spending & Receipts

Here is what is in each section:

Menu Plans and Grocery Lists
Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

As I arrange my menu plans on one side I can jot down the things I need to buy on the other! So far I'm loving this system and we've ate at home all week!! Lots of money saved by having all the ingredients I need and having a plan so we don't end up at a fast food joint or local restaurant.

Printables are from I'm not sure these exact ones are available anymore but they have some cute stuff! Check them out. 

Errands and Shopping Lists
This is where I just have some loose leaf lined paper. Throughout the week as I know I have some errands to run or specific things to get from particular stores, I jot those notes down here. Before I leave the house I can streamline those errands and make sure I'm not driving all over like a crazy lady to get everything done. Living in the middle of no where means that when I do go to town I need to make sure I don't forget anything so I don't have to make the hour long round trip drive again later in the week.


Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

In this section, I used card stock and cut it in half to put in the sheet dividers and created different labels for the different types of coupons I have. And I used some washi tape to make it look a little fancier. 
Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

 I started with Michelle's list of coupon categories but took out some and added others. Here's what I have currently:

  • Baking
  • Breads
  • Canned Goods
  • Cleaning
  • Condiments
  • Dairy
  • Drinks 
  • Dry Goods
  • Frozen
  • Make-Up
  • Meat
  • Paper
  • Pasta/Rice
  • Plastic
  • Snacks
  • Toiletries
  • MISC
  • Diapers
  • Food Lion - my main grocery store
  • Stores - other store specific coupons

I also made a spot for coupons while we are out to eat.

Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

As I have been using this errand planner though I've took note that I should soon include this categories:

  • Breakfast
  • Cereal
  • Candy
  • Medicine
When I make my grocery list I add a little star to the items I know I have a coupon for. So while I'm at the store I know what to look for. If I end up using the coupon I pull the coupon out from it's category and put it in the front pocket of the binder so they are all ready to go when I check out! Going to the grocery store is a lot more exciting when you have a big stack of coupons to hand to the cashier at checkout!! Who doesn't love saving money?

Store Cards

This is where I used the business card holder pages to keep all those pesky rewards and punch cards in one place. 

Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

No more forgetting them! It's already worked out in my favor several times over the past two weeks while I've been using this Errand Planner. Getting that extra savings from downloading coupons to the card has really helped me out. And I'll get all the punches on my punch cards now too, so I can reap those benefits.

Spending and Receipts

Here I included some more lined paper so I can keep track of what I've been spending for the day, while out shopping. And I found this awesome velcro pocket that I can stash receipts in. Which will be super handy when going over my accounts. If and when I need to make any returns I will also know where the receipts are!!

Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

In the end, I took some more card stock and washi tape and decorated the front cover. 

Save Money and Time with an Errand Planner | Real Life on Reagan

It took me a couple hours one afternoon to get it all put together, organized and make it look pretty. But I'm super happy that I spent the time to get it done and the rewards of saving money and time are already showing up! I'm so glad I put together my own Errand Planner and can't say thank you enough to Michelle from such a great idea!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Screen Free Week!

Screen Free Week is something my family has never participated in, but this year we are! 

Screen Free Week - Click here to learn more!

I'm tired of my children's attitudes some days and I'm tired of how often we are all just sitting around watching tv or playing with something. Time to get up and move!!

My kids are going cold turkey and staying completely screen free all week! I'm going to limit myself to 45 minutes every morning to computer only. From 8:15 when I get home from dropping the kids off at the bus until 9 when the baby gets up, will be the only time I'm online over the next week. My phone will be used for music only!! My husband is in his last week of this semester's online classes so he can't really adhere to the screen free week stuff! But good luck to him on his finals!!

Somethings I plan on getting done instead of sitting in front of the tv or computer include:

  • Gym Time
  • Organizing my closet
  • Organizing the basement storage room
  • Finishing a few books
  • Planning for summer
  • Library Trip
  • Spray painting projects I need to get to
  • and lots more
I'm really excited about this adventure. I don't think I always spend too much time looking at screens but I know I spend way more than I should. I think it's going to really put in to perspective how much time I waste online or watching tv and I can't wait to gain some of that time back!

Have you ever participated in Screen Free Week? Do you spend a lot of time online and on the couch already or do you have it under control?