Bargain Headboard from Craigslist

Bargain Headboard

I bought a bargain headboard from Craigslist!  I am working on updating my guest room and did not have a headboard for our queen size bed.  I recently moved our oak filing cabinets into the guest room to use as night stands.  They are the perfect size to use as a nightstand and I already had them… so the perfect re-purpose of something we already had!  Then I started watching for a new headboard.  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.) 

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Carb Counting to Help Manage Diabetes

Carb Counting

Carb Counting to help manage diabetes!  About a year and half ago, my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  His blood sugar numbers were too high… over 230 (which was really high for him).  (Please note that I am NOT an expert about diabetes and anything I share here is just what we are doing to help him.  Please contact your health care provider for more specific information.)  We use diet control, prescription medicine, and exercise to manage his blood sugar levels at this time.  This may change and if it does, we will change with it!  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.) 

When he was first diagnosed, his physician suggested that he lose weight to help with these issues and he also recommended that we take nutrition classes to help with controlling the diabetes with his diet.  I am happy to report that he has lost over 20 pounds and his blood sugar numbers stay fairly steady as long as he watches what he eats.

Learning Carb Counting

We started out our learning process with the nutrition classes that were provided by our local hospital (check to see if there are costs for this service – sometimes there is!).  We learned basic nutrition and what to look for as it related to diabetes.  They also covered exercise and medications for living with diabetes.

The most important tool that we learned to use was carb counting to help manage his diabetes.  Simply put:  most foods contain carbohydrates and if they are managed well they can and should be a part of a balanced diet even for a diabetic.  For instance, the recommend amount of carbs for an average man per meal is 45-60 carbs and 15-30 carbs for each snack, The guidelines for an average women is 30-45 carbs per meal and 15-30 per snack.  So we started by writing out every meal that he usually eats and then making changes to fit the above guidelines. We did this by reading the nutrition labels on each food. It was a little painful at first, but it didn’t take us long to get in the routine of it.

Reading Nutrition Labels

Here is a nutrition label for his bread:

Bread Label

Note that each slice of bread has 11 grams of carbs per slice means that his sandwich for lunch is 22 carbs for bread alone.  Then he can add other ingredients as fits with his guidelines.

Here is a nutrition label for a can of Chunky Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables Soup:

Soup Label

Note that the carb count is 18 grams of carbs per serving; however, the can of soup is two servings.  So if he eats the whole can (and he will) then the carb count for this is 36 grams of carbs which fits for a meal for him.  He will add cheese(protein)  and maybe a small piece of fruit to round out this meal.

Balancing Meals

The next thing we learned was that he needs to balance each meal and snack with a carb and a protein.  As long as he does this regularly, it has really helped keep his numbers in line.

We definitely have had to make lifestyle changes but he is doing really well with it now.  We are very blessed that his is controllable with medication, diet, and exercise.  I know that some of you are dealing with it much more severely than this and my heart goes out to you.  I know it is a daily battle.  My hope was to just share one thing that is working for us right now.

 

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Working Girl Lunches!

Working Girl Lunches

Angie and I have come up with some successful Working Girl Lunches! We have found some great ideas and want to share them with you! We plan to bring you Working Girl Lunches regularly, so please be sure to subscribe to our blog to keep you updated!  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.) 

Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup

Panera SoupOne of our favorite lunches (and dinners sometimes) is Panera Bread Soup!  I absolutely love the Baked Potato soup!  These can be purchased at Sam’s Club in this 2-pack 32 ounce tubs and they have been on sale this month in our area for $9.98 for two containers.  I got Lynn hooked on them too!  I simply separate the soup up into individual freezable containers (see below).  I can get 8-10 small servings from the two containers and they make a perfect lunch on the go!  I just bring the soup, crackers, cheese, and fruit and it makes a great lunch!

Panera Bread Soup

 

Lunch Prep

Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

So this has fast become one of my favorite lunches!  Angie and I both are not fans of frozen meals like this, but we were pleasantly surprised at how tasty and filling these were!  This month, they are on an Instant Savings at Sam’s Club making them $2.00 less for a 4-pack.  In our area, this makes them about $1.25 each!  Even when they are not on sale, they average about $2.00 each.  Prices may vary per location, but either way it is an inexpensive lunch!  Adding vegetables makes this even healthier!

We hope you find these helpful and stay tuned for more Working Girl Lunches – some purchased, some homemade!

 

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Freezer Cooking: Twice Baked Sweet Potato (with Maple Syrup and Bacon)

Twice Baked Sweet PotatoSo, I wanted to try to make my own twice baked potatoes and freeze them.  I am always looking for ways to freeze recipes that can be heated up quickly.  So, as I was researching for recipes on Pinterest, it became clear that there was a lack of these recipes with sweet potatoes.  My kitchen became a cooking lab and I came up with a tasty recipe:  Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Bacon!  I hope you find you like them as much as my sister and I did (she was a willing tester!)  The detailed recipe is at the end of this post for easy printing.  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.) 

 

 

 

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Holiday Baking: Poppy Seed Bread and Snickerdoodles!

Holiday Baking

Don’t you love this time of year?! All the baking that goes on for friends and family? I have two particular recipes that are my favorite for one very important reason: Christmas memories!  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)

Snickerdoodles have always been my favorite cookie.  My Mother used to bake them all year, but especially at Christmas for us!  Today’s recipe is straight from my Mother’s Recipe Box!  See the recipe later in the post for printing!

Poppy Seed Bread is my favorite sweet bread!  Diana, a wonderful woman who was like my second Mother, made this every year for Christmas and passed them out!  I was one of the lucky recipients!  The recipe for this I will share today is the exact one she used!  See the recipe later in the post for printing!

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Freezer Cooking: Chicken Casseroles for Two!

Freezer Cooking: Chicken Casseroles for TwoRecently, I realized that I had gone through all my Single Serving Casseroles and needed to do some more freezer cooking.  This time I wanted to do something with Chicken so I went to The Thriving Home Blog – they are experts at freezer meals!  I chose two casseroles to make:

Please follow the links above for the complete recipes.  I was able to create these two recipes and freeze nine meals for two in an hour and a half.  Let me show you how I did it!  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)

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How to Create Christmas Bags of Goodies!

Christmas BagsHave you ever just wanted to create some Christmas Bags of Goodies for friends or co-workers?  Well, I did just that this week and want to share them with you!  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)

I am very blessed that Angie likes to shop!  She found the bags for me to use and they are perfect!  She got a great deal too!

Let me show you below just how I did these!

 

 

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Simple Freezer/Pantry Inventory for Meal Planning

Freezer Pantry InventorySo…it’s time to meal plan… and I have no idea what is in my freezer or pantry!  I do most of my meal planning on my lunch hour… so I can’t just go to the freezer to look and see what’s there.  I started doing a very high level inventory of basic meal ideas.  I do this by looking to see what “meat” or “main course” ideas that I have on hand.  This is not a comprehensive inventory of everything in the freezer or pantry.  It is just what I have on hand that will be the “backbone” or “basis” of a meal.  (This post may contain affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)

I do this in three stages:  (1) Indoor Freezer, (2) Outdoor Freezer, and (3) Pantry.

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Single Freezer Meals: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving LeftoversTurn your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers into single serving meals that can be frozen and reheated.  So many times I have put the leftovers in their own container in the refrigerator, only to throw them out a week later when they were not used up.  (This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)  

Remember the term ‘TV dinners’?  Create your own!  There are so many types of containers these days that allow us to do just this and save the food for convenient heating and eating later.  Below are a few ideas to help you save the food you worked so hard to make and enjoy it later!

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Chocolate Fudge Pie – Quick and Easy!

Chocolate Fudge PieThanksgiving is right around the corner and Chocolate Fudge Pie is the perfect addition to the Thanksgiving menu!  It uses common ingredients that you probably already have on hand.  It is super easy and tastes great!  It takes less than 15 minutes to get it into the oven and only 40-45 minutes to bake! (This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)  

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