My Entire Library Only $2.24 This Weekend

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In spite of the excuses I made, deep down I knew that drowning in clutter was keeping me from doing more important things. I rarely opened my home to visitors because it felt like too much work.

I was almost always late because I couldn’t find things like shoes, keys, and clean outfits.

And I couldn’t spend much time serving others because so much of my time was just spent putting out (figurative) fires.

I never dreamed that God had plans to use my mess for His glory (Romans 8:28). The discouraging days, the embarrassment at unexpected company, the guilt I felt for letting my family down, the times we rushed in somewhere late again —there was beauty in those ashes.

Part of the beauty is that I know and I understand. I know your heartache. I understand that letting go of your things and changing habits are tough. But you know what else I know? I know that you don’t always have to live this way.

You can be free.

That’s why I want to offer my entire eBook library to you for only $2.24 this weekend.

Here’s how:

1) Buy Chaos to Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps to an Organized Home for only $1.25.

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2) Purchase 28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person for just $0.99.

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3) Subscribe to my blog to receive a FREE copy of 101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms.

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The sale will go from today (11/28/14) through Monday (12/1/14).

See more information about each book here.

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Happy Thanksgiving & Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hopefully you’re having a lovely day with your family. But if you’re feeling a little frazzled right now, I recommend taking just a few minutes to read this Live More, Love More Thanksgiving Recipe at Hands Free Mama.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend instead of today, make sure to check out my ultimate last-minute Thanksgiving prep guide. It includes help with simplifying your schedule, menu tips, cleaning shortcuts, and simple activities for the kids!

You can also see all of my other Thanksgiving articles here.

And, after you’re finished lingering over too much pie, but before you throw out your leftover turkey pieces, make sure you read about how to make your own turkey stock from scratch – it’s a frugal, delicious, and incredibly healthy way to use every part of the turkey.

My favorite stock & soup recipe is a simple five-step tutorial on Frugal Indy’s site.

Homemade Broth and Turkey Noodle Soup:

Step One – Introduction

Step Two – Ingredient list & instructions for cooking the broth

Step Three – Separating broth from the other stuff

Step Four – Adding noodles to finish the soup (a really delicious gluten free noodle recipe is here)

Step Five – Freezing the remaining broth

And there you have it – homemade turkey noodle soup! My family absolutely loves eating this turkey noodle soup on Thanksgiving weekend and freezing the rest of the stock to have throughout the winter!

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe - a perfect way to use leftover turkey!


The Simplified Last-Minute Thanksgiving Guide

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Sometimes it happens – we’re busy and before we know it, Thanksgiving is TOMORROW and we’re not quite ready! Ack, PANIC! Only, don’t really panic because I’ve got you covered!

Here’s your ultimate last-minute Thanksgiving prep guide:

Scheduling

The first thing you’ll need to do is take 20 minutes to gather your thoughts and make a to-do list.

This will help you stay focused when you’re in that crazy-rushed mode since you won’t even have to think about what’s next – just look at the list and do what it says! This great, simple last-minute Thanksgiving guide should help you get started.

Menu Tips

The next thing you should do is finalize your menu plan. To help you out, I have a simple and delicious last-minute menu plan here and I’ve included everything from allergen-friendly tips to how-to video links.

Cleaning Short-cuts

Have a messy house and company coming? Fake your way to clean in 20 minutes or less with these great tips!

Easy Kid Stuff

Here’s a Thanksgiving craft that won’t clutter up your house. Need an even easier idea? Give your kids fall-colored construction paper with some crayons and let them draw their own Thanksgiving scenes!

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You could also set your kids up with History.com so they can learn about the history of Thanksgiving! I love the Thanksgiving story that’s retold by children, as well as the other great Thanksgiving videos.

Remember the Reason

Finally, remember the reason for Thanksgiving. While it’s my own personal favorite food day of the year, Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food, and it’s definitely not about impressing others with our awesome cooking skills. Not at all. Whether in time of abundance or in time of need, Thanksgiving is really about being thankful.

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13 (NASB)

Read all of my Thanksgiving posts here.


Thanksgiving Menu

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{Photo credit Apolonia / FreeDigitalPhotos.net}

It’s Thanksgiving week! Some of you have your turkeys thawing, your pies planned, and ingredients for your side dishes in your cupboards. The rest of us… well, we know that we need to plan something.

Whether you’re taking a side dish to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving or hosting the meal in your own home, having a menu in place will help tremendously!

Here’s an example of what I like to serve for Thanksgiving, including links to recipes I love or links to something that’s similar to a recipe I love:

Main Course:

Turkey – This isn’t quite how I prep a turkey. I stuff mine with STUFFING, I had no clue about the skin trick, and I cook mine in a turkey bag to help retain moisture. But, for those of you who have never prepped a whole Turkey before, this is a great video and I’m sure that Chef John’s turkey is delicious!

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Stuffing – After trying this recipe, I’ll never make boxed stuffing again! If you’re using regular bread instead of gluten free bread, try using only half a loaf instead of a full loaf (gluten free loaves are tiny!). If you do want to buy stuffing, cook it in the bird for plenty of extra flavor.

Giblet Gravy - My husband makes this gravy every year and it is SO good!

Sweet potato casserole – Some years I top my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. Other years I top it with pecans. And sometimes, I just bake the sweet potatoes whole and set out butter with brown sugar and marshmallows. Any way you make it, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving feast!

Mashed potatoes

Green beans or peas

Fruit – cranberry salad, clementines, applesauce, or a fruit salad

Bread – Consider making rolls or easy pumpkin muffins. If you want to buy rolls, buy Sister Shubert. They’re hands-down the best store bought rolls out there.

{Main Course Tip: If you’re short on time then skip a couple of side dishes or purchase a rotisserie chicken or two instead of making a turkey.}

Dessert:

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Pumpkin Pie – If you only make one pie, make sure it’s pumpkin. A Thanksgiving classic, it’s also one of the easiest pies to make from scratch. And if you need a dairy-free whipped cream option to go with it, then give this 3-ingredient whipped cream recipe a try!

Apple Pie – If you must buy your Thanksgiving pie, then do yourself a favor and buy a Sarah Lee apple pie. It’s not your grandma’s recipe but it is the best store bought apple pie I’ve found.

Brownies or something else chocolate.

{Dessert tip: Need a simple gluten free pie crust? Check out this delicious recipe and this how-to video. If you can’t make your crust roll out properly, just lightly smash it into the pan like I do – you can’t tell a difference after it’s baked!}

Beverages

Grape punch – I make this every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and nobody has a clue that it only takes two minutes to throw together!

Hot cider – buy a gallon of apple cider, dump it in a crock pot, and turn on the crock pot. Or simply microwave it by the cup.

{Beverage tip: If you’re really pressed for time, then just buy a few sodas and consider the beverages done!}

I also love this post on Money Saving Mom about the $9 Thanksgiving meal.

And if you’re cooking for gluten-sensitive guests, make sure to check out this incredibly helpful video about how to shop for a gluten free Thanksgiving.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

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