Shawna’s Simple Hamburger Helper

As you know, we love, LOVE to simplify! We are all busy, and it’s very easy to resort to eating out or eating something that doesn’t make us feel good. We’ve all done it. It’s time we get over our mistakes; understand that we’re not alone and then try again another day. I decided that I was going to make something good for us and quick and easy for a busy Thursday night last night.

Tinkyada PenneI didn’t want to resort to the highly processed “Hamburger Helper” like I used to! Instead, I came up with my own that was just as easily prepared and was gluten-free! It took less than 1/2 hour to get it on the table. We ate it so fast that I forgot to take a photo!

Here’s my simple recipe:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Tinkyada Penne (or other gluten-free pasta)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green onion (optional), chopped

Brown beef. Add water, penne, salsa & corn. Simmer for 15-18 minutes (rice pasta takes a little longer than regular pasta noodles). Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese until melted through. Serve immediately with green onion sprinkled on top.

We like to add more “spice” to ours, so we added Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or you could use a spicier salsa.) You could also top with a dab of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4 (You could also add some black beans to make it “go further” and serve 5 or so). Make it even faster by browning the beef ahead of time (when you buy a big package of beef at the grocery store, brown it up and freeze it individually, ready to use for these kinds of recipes! That’s planning ahead! Plus, only one mess to clean up!)

Let us know how it worked for you and any variations you made. We love your feedback!

Did you know: We have created a meal plan just for YOU! It was created to help you find that balance between healthy (mostly!) and simple recipes with ingredients that you can actually find at the grocery store. It is called Bad Ass Meal Planning.

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We teach Meal Planning Classes? Yep! Get your group of gals together and let’s learn how to eat healthier AND save money!! Contact us to set up your custom class!

Calendar Craziness

It’s New Year’s Eve!!

What a perfect time to get going on celebrating all that was 2012 (We LOVED 2012 and are so thankful for YOU!) and move forward to 2013.

That’s what I love about New Year’s – it’s a “stepping forward” and “new beginnings”! However, both Krystal and I believe that resolutions do not stick unless you really mean them. We don’t even like to call them “resolutions”! Personally, I like to sit down a few days prior and just after to physically write down my goals and plans for the coming year. I loved, LOVED using my Create Your Goddess Year Workbook and I’m soooooo stoked as I have begun to use my new Create Your Incredible Year Workbook & Calendar (click to get your own!)

calendars

Krystal gave me a gorgeous calendar of the two of us that I will be using for SLC planning. We’ll also be using our new Create Your Incredible Year – Business Edition from Leonie Dawson to set up our intentions and track our progress! The Cevraini’s also have a STARS calendar on the wall where all the family stuff gets written down and can be visible from the supper table when those discussions come up. I usually have my daughter and husband help with filling in school holidays, school field trips, hubby’s work schedule and more. You don’t have to do all the work! It’s good for everyone to get involved in the calendar process – this is a MUST KNOW life skill! (Note to self: Get my sons more involved in this process!)

As most of you know, we’re pretty techie too. We love to sit down with pen and paper and create with these gorgeous paper calendars & workbooks, but we also MUST have all of this marked down in our iPhones for on the go. We use Google Calendar for this each and every day. This way, we’ve got our SLC calendars side by side with our family calendars and personal calendars. I created a little video  showing you how to do this for your family too!

(turn up your volume, I’m a little quiet in this one!)

We can help you get your calendars organized with a one on one mini-session – 77$ for 1 hour in the evening/weekend to get you started. We can even do this virtually! Contact us if you’d like to know more!

Did you know:

  • We post daily challenges on Facebook to help you get organized one step at a time?
  • You can also follow us on Twitter for these and other tips & tricks!
  • We live in Olds, Alberta Canada, but can help you virtually, anywhere in the world! We are tech-savvy organizers!

Chores. How to Get the Children to Pitch In?!

You walk into your home with your work bag, a grocery bag, and a pile of your kids’ coats and bags teetering precariously between your arms. You stumble up the stairs as the dog runs excitedly between your feet. You trip over the shoes that your family has kicked off in the door way. You glance to the left to see that their sweaters and jackets have been thrown on the back of the couch…again. When will they ever listen? You tell them every single day that they need to hang up their coats and put their shoes out of the way on the shoe rack. You stop to hang them up because it’s easier than having the same old arguments. You just walked through the door and you don’t want to battle.
You ask them to put their backpacks away and empty them but this falls on deaf ears. You can feel your blood start to boil as you try to get supper ready and on the table before you have to head out the door for them again. You wonder, who is going to set the table without groaning? Why is this so difficult? As you put something in the already full garbage you notice that the dog is out of food AND water. Now you are stopping what you were doing to do this as well. Where was I? You think to yourself, “Now who was the last one to set the table?” And it goes on and on.

Well this was a typical day at our house. I was at my wits end. I wanted this to stop; to get easier for all of us. I decided that I needed to make myself clear. I decided that intentions needed to be set; something definitive that would make sense to the kids for their ages. I wanted something that they could reference that was user friendly for kids.

Here is what I made for my daughter who is in grade four. The top list is compiled of daily chores that she gets allowance for (if she completes all without constant cuing and instruction). The bottom list is what is expected of her when she first arrives home from school.

And seeing as my little guy in grade one hasn’t quite learned to read yet, he gets a picture chart!

Both charts are posted in their bedrooms in clear view so that they can easily refer to them. I no longer have to ask them if they have completed task, a,b,c,d and so on. I just have to ask them if they have completed everything on their list. Although it is not perfect, things are sooo much easier and less stressful for everyone! I would say that this was successful and I am even considering one more chart for my little guy to remember every task that he has to complete while getting ready for school in the mornings!

Do you have ideas on how to get your kids to pitch in? Do you use a chart method or something else? Let us know, we would love to hear from you!

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Computer Tip – Change Your Gmail Background

I’m a sucker for pretty backgrounds. I don’t like to stare at the white space around my screen. I change my desktop background often – usually to some sort of nature picture or inspirational message. It is just part of creating my creative space.

My email is the same. The plain white background of my Google gmail is just too “quiet” for me. Currently, I have a mountain theme (because I love the mountains) as the background. I have helped many people with their computers, and I’ve noticed the plain white and I’ve wanted to show people how to change it. Here are step by step instructions to change your gmail background if you want:

  • Open your gmail
  • Click the little “gear” icon (top right corner)

  • Click Themes
  • Select any theme listed by clicking on it – your background will immediately change.

 

  • Play with the colors and themes until you find one that suits you.

What about you? Do you like to have a clear background or do you like to “jazz” it up a little? Let us know in the comments!

I love to help people be more productive (and have more fun!) with their computers/technology. If you have computer organizing and how to questions, please Contact me!

Computer Tip: Show Desktop

There is no “Quick Launch Bar” in Windows 7. One of the side effects of this is that there is no “Show Desktop” icon. Previously, this icon allowed you to minimize all the windows at once.

This function is still available; it’s just in a different spot:

  • Click the Show Desktop bar (the far right of the taskbar, beside date and time)

This bar also has a feature called “Desktop Preview” that makes all opened windows transparent so that you can see the desktop. Move the mouse over the bar without clicking it for this to work.

This is great for many of you who have a lot of icons on the desktop and don’t want to minimize one window at a time to get to them. From an organizing perspective, I don’t like to have a lot of icons on the desktop – it’s too cluttered for my taste! Instead, I have my my most important programs pinned to the taskbar. Alternatively, I use the powerful Windows 7 searching and just type in what I want to open (I’m a fast keyboarding person).

I would love to hear if you are a “Everything-On-The-Desktop” person or a “Clear-Desktop” person…and why you do that. Let us know in the comments!

We offer computer organizing sessions as well. We can come to your desk personally (if you’re within our trading area) or virtually and help you get control of all those computer files and icons! Contact us to arrange a consult!

As many of you know, I have been an IT (Information Technology) person for more than 20 years. I recently left that life behind. However, I am still a geek and always will be. I plan to share my various tips and tricks for learning how to use technology to be more efficient and productive.

This is a post that I originally wrote a while ago, somewhere else 😉