Freezer Sandwiches

I posted on Instagram about my kids’ lunch hack of freezer sandwiches.  I originally got the idea from pins on Pinterest for DIY Uncrustables.  In case you don’t know what those are because you live under a rock (or most likely just don’t have young kids), they are frozen  little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that have been cut into a circle shape and sealed around the edges (and consequently don’t have any crust).  They are very convenient for busy days and hungry kids.  They only take an hour to thaw at room temp.  They’re a wonderfully convenient product.  However, you don’t get to control the quality of ingredients and you are paying a premium on what is normally an cheap sandwich.

Some genius ladies have discovered you can make your regular PB&J’s at home (to your own degree of nutrition or cost or whatever), seal them with a sandwich cutter (similar to this one but I have seen them at the grocery store on the bread aisle for much cheaper) and it works exactly the same way.  Boom!  I love the internet and all the knowledge we can share. They are a staple in our house. 

After two or three batches of these crust-less sandwiches, I noticed how much waste I was making with the trimmings.  I hate to waste food….and time.  Cutting the sandwiches was an extra step.  One loaf of bread makes 10 sandwiches and that’s 10 actions I realized I could eliminate.  So, from then on, no more cutting the crusts.  The sandwich not being sealed did not effect the outcome.  The only thing different was my kids complaining. LOL.  But, it’s a harsh world out there and this is just one of the many gentle ways I can teach them about disappointment. 😉

The process is simple, make your sandwiches like normal. Bag them in sandwich baggies and then put the individual bagged sandwiches in a gallon sized freezer bag. Then…freeze. I would plan to use them within a month. With 4 kids this is not a problem in my house.

Here’s a SUPER SECRET TIP I’ve discovered. This trick works for meat sandwiches too. 🤭 My oldest started parting ways with PB&J this past Summer. So, I did a trial Turkey and Mayo Freezer Sandwich. It WORKED!! Also Ham and Cheese works. My only side note is that the meats sometimes need a tad bit longer to thaw. So if we set them in the fridge the night before, they are perfect by lunch.

A few people have asked me how much time does it really save me? Doesn’t it take the same amount of time to make a sandwich whether you’ve made one or ten? Well, kind of, but not really. Factually speaking, if I get all the ingredients out one time and make 10 sandwiches, I’ve saved multiple trips to pantry and fridge. So…there’s that. But, also it is 10,000 times easier to do chores when my precious monkeys are not around (like in the morning before school). I am like a super efficient super woman when I’m not interrupted 1,000,000 times. So, I make 10-20 sandwiches at a time after they go to bed and I save so much time and stress and chore time while the kids are awake. 🙌🏻 Halleluyer!

Do you have any hacks for keeping life with kids easier? I love tip sharing!

The Simplest Things

Recently we celebrated the new year.  Resolution time! Goal-setting season! My husband is very achievement driven.  He likes to set goals and then evaluate himself regularly to track his progress.  I am not really like that at all.  I tend to be concerned with the tasks at hander than looking to the future.  Just whatever needs to get done to get us to the next thing.  I don’t think one way is better than the other.  They just each serve a different purpose.  Perhaps it is good we have each other to cover all our bases.  Being married to Matt, he likes for us to sit down together and plan for the year  Usually it is not a problem.  I can think of a few practical things I’d like to work toward. This year however, I was coming up blank.  I attribute it to a hectic season of life that just has my brain on overload. I felt scattered and overwhelmed.  I don’t have time to think about the future!!  Look at my to do list RIGHT NOW! Have you ever had so much to do and so many things to tend to that things were falling by the wayside and it just felt insurmountable?  I’m assuming this is some type of anxiety? That’s where I was.  With everything that has to be done, I felt problems mounting, but I just feel tired and spent at the end of every day.  I feel short tempered and stressed.  On top of the to-dos and emotions, my body is still not fully recovered from having four babies and I just don’t feel like I have time or energy to give to repairing it. Basically there are a million things I’d like to accomplish, but my plate feels full with the daily right now.

In a conversation I had recently, I was complaining about my post partum body and all it’s struggles. The details are TMI, but I have to share in order to share how I arrived at my revelation. Now, if you’re a man or a PYT who is untouched by or unaware of the harsh realities of childbirth reading this, I’m sorry.  This is just a fact of life for many women. Anyway, my friend asked, “Well have you tried doing Kegel exercises?” Well….no…. Gah! This would literally be the first path of treatment any professional would give me. I was spiraling out of control in my mind about it and then she just goes and smacks me in the face with some truth.  Are you doing the most basic thing they tell you to do when you have this problem?

Sorry for the graphic example, but that conversation is what brought me to this place. It got me thinking, what other of the “simplest things” am I not doing that would improve my daily life.  What obvious answers to my problems have I been ignoring and writing off as “probably won’t work”? After much thought (one car line worth of thought), I’ve decided to focus on these three simplest things as my 2019 goals and just leave it at that for now.

  1. Kegels. Because…childbirth.  Again, I am sorry about the TMI.
  2. Drink Water.  I have a whole litany of struggles that I have spent many hours pondering how to fix them  Considered spending lots of money on creams, vitamins, therapies, whatever. All of these things (dry skin and hair, oily skin and hair… yes at the same time, fatigue, inability to focus to name a few) can be made worse if you are dehydrated. So, I’ve committed to aim for a gallon of water every day. I’ve set some rules for myself to help me accomplish this. My first rule is I have to drink a cup of water (or celery juice…I can share more on that later) in the morning before I get to have coffee. My second rule involves my super sexy “vintage” Clemson cup that is 32oz.  If I want a second cup of coffee, I have to fill that cup and finish it before I can have more coffee.  The same applies for lunch, dinner, or a glass of wine.  Before I consume the thing I am wanting, I have to down that water. Sometimes that looks like me chugging it, but it gets done.  And you know what? My skin is nice and smooth and hydrated and not greasy.  I have more energy.  I am not fatigued at 3pm.  It has also helped lose about 5 pounds!  BOOM! It’s almost too easy. Cheers! img_651828129
  3. Pray/Read Scripture. This is the single most important thing I can do to improve any part of my life.  The anxiety I was feeling, my lack of patience and joy in the every day moments, numbness to the blessings of my life.  I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way, but life just gets busy and I get caught up in the mundane and the to-dos. I forget about the magnitude of the abundance God has given me. A home, a beautiful family, friends, love, forgiveness, salvation.  They just become common place in the every day moments and I forget to be thankful and give praise.  Also, these blessings are all tangled up with hard things too.  With family and friends you often hurt each other.  Owning a home brings lots of responsibilities and costly maintenance.  Opening yourself up to love and forgiveness also opens your heart to hurt and disappointment.  When I don’t check in with God daily, I tend to focus on all the hard parts and get bogged down in negativity.  I’m stressed, I’m emotionally drained, I am just weary.  But, prayer and reading God’s word turns my heart in the right small things direction for the day.  I am reminded that these hard things are all blessings too.  I am filled with his love and a positive perspective. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galations 5:22-26).  So, spending time every day with the single most important being EVER is my last “simplest thing”.  Whenever I make a habit of it, my days are noticeably calmer.  More focused and less chaotic.  Why would I ever not make it a priority?

So, those are my goals.  They are simple and small.  However, these simplest things are foundational for the biggest things.  And you know what?  I think that the devil is at work in that.  If he can keep us from the most basic things for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, we are easier to tear down.  Especially when he can distract us from daily time with our Father.  I’d love to hear any simple things that you sometimes let fall by the way side, but know make all the difference in your life.

Also, I wanted to share one of our favorite songs about the fruit of the Spirit.  I literally do not recite them without singing this tune. LOL