Menu Monday and Weekly Goals – June 15

sanjuan3I had an amazing week last week.  I went on a river trip with a group of strangers with a non-profit organization called Soul-R-Eclipse.  They took a group of autism moms on a 4-day trip, and it was incredible.  I accomplished more internally than I would ever have imagined.  I will be sharing more photos and info about the trip on Wordless Wednesday this week.


So anyway, I’m back to reality, and the summer break has begun.  I’m excited to start a new, more relaxed, and still productive, routine.  A huge part of that will always be meal planning.  Because I don’t work during the summer months, our income is less, and our grocery budget is less than the rest of the year.  This menu plan will probably reflect that a bit.  Here are the meals I have planned for the week:


  • Chicken n’ Dumplings
  • Hawaiian Haystacks
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Spaghetti (served with noodles for the kids, and quinoa for me)
  • Taco Soup
  • Leftover night
  • Family dinner for Father’s Day

I also have a set of goals for the week, but it mostly involves getting my family into a routine, so we don’t waste all of our summer days away:


  1. Call and schedule doctor appointments for both kids.
  2. Begin de-cluttering process in each room of the house.
  3. Create a weekly chore schedule for myself and the kids.  This will include “online” chores, such as scheduling blog posts, household chores, and “physical” chores, like getting a daily walk in, etc.
  4. Take my daughter to her first young women’s camp.


That’s about it from me.  I hope everyone has a blessed week!


*Linked at OrgJunkie.



Growing and Harvesting Your Own Herbs – Magnifeko Herb Scissors Review

I love to garden, but I confess, I haven’t been faithful about growing herbs in my yard.  I’ve always been a tomatoes, peas, strawberries and fruit trees kind of a gal.  Well, this last year as I’ve changed my health habits, I’ve begun using herbs much more in my cooking and eating.  That means I need to start growing herbs to make it more frugal, right?  Right!


Basil and Stevia in these pots

So far this year I’ve started growing Stevia, Basil, and Mint.  I want to add Oregano and Cilantro.  Maybe there are other great herbs other than these that I need to try…help me out here, what is missing?


One thing I felt that was missing was a harvesting tool – because if I’m going to start growing herbs, I want to do it right, and I want the tools to keep me motivated.  Enter these awesome Magnifeko Herb Scissors. Let me tell you why they rock:

  • 5 TIMES AS FAST Herb scissors with 5 blades that perfectly tear & shred herbs 500% faster than kitchen shears.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION Stainless steel kitchen scissors won’t bend, rust or corrode. Ultra sharp herbs scissors blades hold their edge well
  • • SIMPLE CLEAN-UP GUARANTEED Just place the kitchen shears in the dishwasher after cooking or gardening!


My favorite thing about these is the FAST cutting.  I love the extra blades in this pair of scissors!  Holy cow, it makes me feel like a pro.  Just look at those beautifully cut up chives in my taco soup:

taco soup


So, let me summarize my feelings about these.


  • 5 blades make it SO easy and SO fast to cut your herbs.  Holy cow, it is a mega time saver!
  • They look awesome.  Call me shallow, but I am so much more likely to use something when I like it’s look.  It’s just the truth.
  • Good price – currently they are on sale for just $12.50 ($11.95 for the green ones)and I feel like that’s a great deal!
  • Safety cover – my son is very curious about these “special” scissors, and so I like having that cover to put on to hide the blades – keeps his curiosity at bay, and I don’t have to worry as much about him cutting himself.



  • I know the description says they are easy to wash, but they aren’t always easy to rinse for me.  I found that herbs would get stuck in the blades and I’d have to get a knife to push them out at times.


Seriously, what other herbs should I be growing?  :D


*I received a complimentary pair of Magnifeko Herb Scissors for the purposes of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.





L & Z Inc 100% Authentic Tencel Bed Sheets

I love a soft, silky sheet!  I’ve heard a little about the fabric Tencel, but honestly, never paid attention to it until now.  Of course, when I read the claim that it is eco-friendly, I had to check more into it.


resize_1f42ed12a8d354552f730c6b6be3287fe2531da9f9617c8e8a24e2228f487cad47dc9dc6256256Tencel is the brand name…for the fabric made from lyocell fiber.  It has become known for being an eco-friendly fabric because it claims to be biodegradable and renewable.  It is made from wood pulp from sustainable tree farms.  It’s also certified by the international Forest Stewardship Council.  This fabric can be combined with other synthetic fabrics, though, so that’s something to watch for.  It’s a popular choice for sheets and clothing.


The sheets I received for review claim to be 100% Tencel, so I can definitely feel good about that.  I got them and my husband immediately put them on the bed.  We LOVE the silky, soft feel!  They are very breathable, if that makes sense.  I think they’ll be great for the warmer weather that is fast approaching, as they are not thick and heavy feeling.  And I know it’s not as important as the feel, but I love the color too. :)  So, I don’t know…regal!  They are pretty sheets and extremely comfortable.

He loves the feel as much as I do!

He loves the feel as much as I do!

*I received a complimentary bed sheet set through Tomoson in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.  

Summer is Coming! Let’s Celebrate With a Sizzling Summer Giveaway

Summer is coming to those of us in the northern hemisphere.  I can NOT wait!  Working at a school, I get at least as excited as my kids for the break.  The sunny weather, the gardening, the camping trips, the nature walks/hikes, and the relaxing at home just make me giddy!


What is your favorite part about summer?


Let me give you another reason to love the upcoming season:  How about $500 spending cash??

Better on a budget


I’ve teamed up with some other wonderful bloggers to offer you a BIG giveaway!!  TWO winners will receive $500 each for their summer activities via Paypal!  This awesome giveaway is open world wide.  So…what are you waiting for?  Enter below, and good luck!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions:T&C for the giveaway: This giveaway is open WW the (2) winner must be 18 years or older to win. The giveaway will end on June 15th and the winner will be chosen by random.org no later than June 20th. All mandatory entries must be completed. The entries will be verified. Full Lives Reviews can void an entry if entrant did not add verification. The winner will be notified via email and will need to respond to that email within 24 hours to claim their prize. Once the prize is claimed a notification will be sent out to the co-hosts for announcement. Void where prohibited.

Frugal Health – Increase Your Water Intake

Do you want a simple and frugal way to improve your health?


Drink more water.


25605607f9d1c9c6fcd709f56b0c88c1It’s an incredibly frugal, simple thing to do, and yet it’s not always easy.


Last summer when I got really sick, the very first lifestyle change I was instructed by my doctor to make was to up the amount of water I was drinking.  When I “graduated” the 6-month program I was given, he reiterated to me that the number one thing I can do to prevent having similar issues in the future is to keep the water drinking going.  It has proven to be true.  I can tell EVERY DAY now when I’ve not had enough water.  It’s insane to me how much difference it makes!



So, how do you stay motivated to keep drinking?  There are a lot of free apps out there that will give you a reminder every so often.  There are also fruit-infused waters that you can make, to give yourself a little more variety.  Infusing your water with fruit also adds other benefits and nutrients to the water!  Honestly, I’ve known about this for awhile, but I didn’t start actually making my own water with fruit until recently, simply because it wasn’t convenient.  Lazy, I know… :)  Enter this Live Infinitely Infusion water bottle:

Live Infinitely Infusion


Simple to Use:
Simply toss your favorite fruits, veggies or tea into the infusion basket, fill up with water, give it a little shake and allow about 10 minutes for the infusion water bottle to work its magic!
Check Out All the Health Benefits that are possible:
✓ Green tea+Mint+Lime: Fat burning, digestion, relieves headaches, congestion and freshens breath.
✓ Strawberry+Kiwi: Immune system protection, blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular health and digestion
✓ Cucumber+Lime+Lemon: Water weight management, appetite control, relieves bloating, hydration, and digestion
✓ Lemon+Lime+Orange: Digestion, immune defense, vitamin C, relieves heartburn, (when consumed at room temperature)


I love this particular bottle because it’s BPA free and dishwasher safe.  The company also back all of their water bottles with a 100% money back guarantee.
PicMonkey Collage5

I am committed to continuing living my life in a healthy way, and in doing it on the budget that I live with.  Using this water bottle is a crazy easy way to do so.  My favorite flavor combination so far is mandarin oranges and blueberries.  I’m looking forward to trying a cucumber/mint combo, or something similar.  I’ve just gotta harvest my mint first! :)


Do you drink fruit-infused waters?  What is your favorite flavor combo?



*I received a free water bottle in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  All opinions are mine alone.

Do you know the beauty uses for coconut oil? (Quiz)

Coconut oil has a tons of uses in your beauty regimen.  It can be used as a makeup remover, cuticle helper, body scrub, body moisturizer, lip balm, highlighter, hair treatment and more.  Take this quiz to learn how to use apply it the right way.

Shop the article:

Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo

Palmer's - Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo, 13.5 Fluid Ounce (Pack of 2)

Coconut Oil Body Wash

Yes To - Coconut Oil Body Wash, 8 Fluid Ounce

[Your text here]

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Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food

SKINFOOD - Elemental Herbs All Good Organic Coconut Oil Skin Food Coconut -- 7.5 fl oz

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.


The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

I really, really want to maximize my garden space this year.  And I really, really want to convince my husband to get on board.


Whether you have a large space or hardly any room at all, there are gardening options available to you!  From container gardening to strategic companion planting to vertical planting – there are ways to maximize whatever space you do have.  You can create a “Postage Stamp” garden!  Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.


The Postage Stamp Vegetable GardenHow?  Well, you gotta read this book. :)  The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is a gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) that uses ecologically friendly, intensive biodynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.

I’ve been gardening for over 10 years, and holy cow, I know NOTHING next to Karen Newcomb, the author.  She writes in detail, including general ideas for improving your green thumb, as well as specific step-by-step instructions (which is what I need).  She includes soil “recipes” that, again, are very specific, but that allow plenty of room for adaptation.  There is a wealth of information in this book, and I will refer to it for many years to come.  I’m giving it 5 stars with a full recommendation….if you want to grow a garden, read this book!



*I received a free copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.