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Crock Pot Peach Crisp

Slow Cooker Peach Crisp

Here’s a yummy, simple, in-season recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth without heating up your house. It easily adjusts to be dairy-free/vegan: just use coconut oil in place of the butter.

It’s great either way. Enjoy!

What are your favorite crock pot desserts?

Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 5, 3 and 1). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.

Make the Most of Your Mornings: What To Do When You Fall Off the Bandwagon (Day 14)

Last night, I went to a ladies’ get-together and then had an 8 p.m. dinner meeting with some folks from a company in California that I work with. I knew that it was going to be a late night and I knew there was going to be no way I’d be able to get my evening routine done and get to bed on time.

And I didn’t.

In fact, I didn’t get home until 10 p.m. and then I couldn’t fall asleep until 11:30 p.m. — thanks to the extra cup of coffee I had in the afternoon to try and help me be alert for the meeting! As a result, I got up late this morning (well, “late” is a relative term, but it was quite a bit later than I usually get up) and I started the day tired and behind.

So what do you when you fall off the bandwagon?

1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Life happens, things come up, and things are never going to go along perfectly smoothly all the time.

When you hit a rough patch, have a disruption to your normal schedule, or you’re up all night with a sick child, don’t beat yourself up or feel all frustrated that you got off track. This won’t do anything to help you — and it will likely only make matters worse.

2. Have a Plan B

You’re going to have disruptions. That’s life. Whenever possible, though, plan ahead for them.

Since I knew that I wasn’t going to get home until late last night, I went ahead and planned that I would be getting up late. Knowing that this was part of the plan helped me to not feel so off-track when I got up “late”.

3. Do The Best You Can Do

When things are out-of-sorts or your schedule gets thrown out the window, just focus on doing the best you can do. For instance, I simplified my usual morning schedule today, made sure my to-do list wasn’t too long, and just prayed for God’s grace to help me go through today even when I was tired and feeling behind.

It wasn’t the best or most productive day, but I got the main things accomplished, and I’m going to bed with the house in fairly good shape and things mostly back on track.

4. Don’t Let a Bump in the Road Knock You Completely Off Course

Falling off the bandwagon can be a great reminder of why you’re making the changes you’re making. I realized last night that staying up until 11:30 p.m. felt like I was staying up until 2 a.m. My internal clock is getting re-adjusted back to a schedule that works better for our family — and that is encouraging!

When you fall down or hit a bump, don’t let it throw you off course. Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.

Don’t give up! Tiny steps in the right direction are always better than standing still or moving backward.

Day 14 Project

1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.

2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!

3. Did you get in some exercise yesterday and eat a nutritious breakfast? If not, make a commitment today to a specific way you’re going to incorporate exercise and a nutritious breakfast into your day.

4. Did you create a morning plan of action? If so, tell us how it went this morning! If you haven’t created one yet, go ahead and create one and tell us about it in the comments.

Freezer Cooking in an Hour: Brown Butter Banana Waffles, Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars, and Pancake/Waffle Mix

I did another freezer cooking in an hour session today. I had to split it up before and after swimming lessons (our kids have swimming on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons after school this Fall).

So I mixed up the dry ingredients for the Brown Butter Banana Waffles and put together the Pancake/Waffle Mix before we left.

After we got home, I finished the waffles and baked them. They were more time-consuming than most waffle recipes I’ve made and I didn’t feel like they were worth the extra effort — but I really think it’s because I decided I didn’t love the flavor of bananas in waffles. But don’t worry, with plenty of butter and syrup, we’ll have no problem eating them. 🙂

Since I didn’t have any muffin tin liners, I just made the Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups into bars. I think it was easier to do so and the bars turned out beautifully. Now if I can just have the self-control not to eat half of the pan in the next few days.

I’m going to cut up the Crunchy Peanut Butter Cup Bars and freeze them. And I’m thinking having one of these will be a perfect little pick-me-up at the end of a long homeschooling day. Peanut butter and chocolate… it doesn’t get much better than that! 🙂

Have you done any cooking or baking for your freezer this week?

Now That We Have More Money, We Spend Less

Testimony from Carolynn of My Little Bit of Life

We took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in January of 2007 and are very pleased with our efforts. We have finished Baby Step #3 and are currently working on saving up for a down payment on a bigger house.

However, I was thinking the other day of how my mindset has changed over these past five years.

Our Old Mindset: Buy Whatever We Want or Think We Need

Appearances used to mean a lot more to me. I do still care, but in different ways… and honestly, not as much.

I did not grow up with good financial role modeling. Growing up, if I wanted something, I usually got it. If my mom thought we needed it, we got it. It didn’t matter if it was really a need or even if there was money for it.

After I got married, I brought this mindset with me. If I wanted new workout shoes, I bought them. I spent tons of money on groceries for two people and we ate out a lot more than we should have.

When we got pregnant, we bought a house (I wanted to get a house for the amount that the bank would loan to us. Thankfully, my husband put this foot down, and we got a house that was $55K less than what the bank would loan us!), and of course when the baby came, he had to have everything.

Before long baby #2 came along and I was close to having to buy groceries using a credit card. That’s when we went to Financial Peace University and started turning our lives (and little did we know, our minds and values, too!) around.

Our New Mindset: Consider Whether Each Purchase is Truly a Need

Now, before we make a purchase — especially a big purchase — we think about if it’s really a need and if it’s really worth it to us to part with our hard earned money. For example, my husband got into a car accident and the car got banged up pretty bad (the hood was bent up). My husband got home, hooked the car to our tow hitch and pulled the hood back down, then took a piece of wood, placed it in certain spots on the car, and used a hammer to even out the rest.

There is also a hole in the front. This happened about six months ago, and we still haven’t gotten the car fixed. It works just fine, it just doesn’t look pretty! (Five years ago, I would have been very adamant about getting it fixed right away!)

Having pictures taken of my kids and family is very important to me. I sometimes go overboard when it comes to pictures and it can add up fast; not only on the pictures themselves, but the outfits that the pictures are taken in.

This past Christmas, we were getting our family picture taken. I had already bought all of the outfits for my children. I found a shirt for me that I really liked and that went perfectly with the other outfits. I also found a sweater for my husband that was a perfect match to one of our son’s outfits.

The only problem: This sweater was over $50. My husband hates sweaters, he never wears them, and I have to bribe him to wear them for pictures. He also had another sweater (that he had only worn once), up in the closet that would work for our family picture. As much as I really wanted to buy him the sweater, I didn’t.

I didn’t want to spend that much money for something that he’d never wear again, that would be stashed in the back of the closet, when I could just go to the back of his closet and get another sweater that would suffice. (This also would not have happened five years ago. I would have just bought the sweater!)

The Irony: Now That We Have More Money, We Spend Less

I find it ironic that when we didn’t have the money, these things were so important and I would have gone ahead and bought them. Now that we have the money for these things, we didn’t buy them.

I find it amazing how much I have changed in five years when it comes to finances. I no longer agonize about money, I handle it. I no longer check how much money we have in our checking account five times a day (as if it gets updated that often, I know, but I did it).

Now do I wish we had more money? Honestly, yes, I do. But money is no longer as stressful as it used to be.

I find it funny that now that we have a savings, we don’t want to part with that money. If something comes up that’s not in the budget, we usually will cut other areas before dipping into our savings. We have a goal of a bigger house and we are being very careful to stay on track.

Carolynn is a former teacher turned stay at home mom of four: ages 6, 5, 4, & 2. She blogs about parenting and life at My Little Bit of Life.

How has your financial journey changed your life?

How long could you go without buying anything new?

My mom emailed me about this story she’d seen online of a woman who hadn’t bought anything new for five years. I was intrigued and had to go check it out. Here’s a snippet of the article:

Katy Wolk-Stanley, 44, of the website The Non-Consumer Advocate, is on a mission to live on less — and not define herself by purchases. Here, the Portland, Ore., writer and mother of two shares her thoughts on why she decided to “de-clutter” her life:

I am a woman who hasn’t bought anything new in five years. But it’s actually not as black-and-white an issue as it seems at first. I do buy some things new, including:

  • Underwear, socks and bras
  • Personal care items (makeup, etc.)
  • Food
  • Harmonicas (I haven’t felt the need to buy one yet, but you never know when the mood might strike!)

It may sound like a pain in the tuchus to stay away from new purchases (an initiative I call “the compact”), but it’s actually turned into an amazing stress reliever. Not because I’ve replaced my new purchases with used stuff, but mostly because I hardly ever buy anything anymore. And when I started to buy less stuff, it made me want less in other areas of my life as well. (It’s funny how once you start examining one area of your life, other areas hop along for the ride.)

Read the full article.

While I don’t think I want to make a commitment to never buy anything new, reading and watching this was an inspiration to me. And Kathrynne (7) and I had a fun discussion on how long we thought we could go without buying anything new. We bought thought we could for sure do a month, maybe more.

What about you? How long do you think you could go without buying anything new?