10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Even though I set goals late last week, I didn’t do all that bad getting things crossed off my list.

It helped that we spent most of the weekend at home. We did have a long day away on Friday, because we had to drive to Chicago for a regular appointment with David’s stem cell doctor. We ran a few errands on the way home, but didn’t get to everything we’d hoped to before traffic and hunger started to get the best of us. ;)

Then on Sunday, we went out to shop for groceries and things we need for our upcoming trip to Florida for David’s wish. But other than that, I spent the rest of the weekend planning, cooking, cleaning, watching movies, and eating.

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini muffins — I ran into a few problems with the zucchini. First, it seems they froze having been in a bag towards the back of the refrigerator. I noticed that some of the pre-made mashed sweet potatoes I’d put in bowls for later also had icicles on them, so we obviously needed to adjust them temperature of the fridge. ;)

Anyway, I had set the zucchini out to thaw, and afterwards, they just didn’t look good. So I decided not to make zucchini muffins after all!

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Go to bed by 11:00pm the rest of this week — Oh man. I failed miserably at getting to bed by 11:00pm, but I am going to bed earlier overall. I’m also getting up earlier, which is my ultimate goal. I want to get to bed at a reasonable time, so that I can be up and ready before most of the kids are up.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Finish homeschool planning

Business Goals:

9. Rework my home/work/homeschool schedule in Google Calendar

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts — I’ve been letting this slip, but now that I’ve reworked my schedule, I’m hoping to cross this off next week. :)

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Plan a fun Family Night

Personal Goals:

3. Finish reading  Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Get up by 6:00am every morning — So far, so good! I woke up when my alarm clock went off at 6:00am today.

Home Management Goals:

7. Sew two items that need it

8. De-clutter my desk

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

It’s Thursday. Yes, I know.

I should’ve written this post and published it on Monday. I’ll blame my lateness on the endless dishes that need to be washed, getting ready to start our new homeschool year, and the many impromptu family nights that seem to keep happening so that we can squeeze in more Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies.

(I love family nights, by the way. :) )

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Go shopping for clothes to wear on David’s wish trip! I need to pick up some things for myself and the kids.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill — I ended up logging around 45 minutes on the treadmill. Now if the treadmill had been located in front of the television, then I’d have made my goal easily. ;)

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — I’ve decided not to finish this book and instead just work on going to bed earlier, so that I can wake up before my kids. I made it to bed before 11:00pm last night (big accomplishment), and next week, I’m going to try to be up by 6:00am every morning.

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum stairs

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming blog post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts — I didn’t write every day, but having this as a goal has definitely made a difference.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini muffins

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Go to bed by 11:00pm the rest of this week

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Finish homeschool planning

Business Goals:

9. Rework my home/work/homeschool schedule in Google Calendar

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Child Hunger Ends Here: Map the Meal Gap and How We Can Help

This is a sponsored collaboration with The Motherhood and Child Hunger Ends Here
to bring awareness to child hunger in our country.

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)

When I read the online headlines or simply check my Facebook news feed, it seems like there’s no shortage of bad things happening in this world.

They’re everywhere. And it all seems so overwhelming.

I’m sure you know a lot of the headlines I’m eluding to, but one particular issue that has my attention right now is child hunger. To be more specific, child hunger that’s happening here in the United States — in our own backyard.

Child Hunger Ends Here Program

Last month, I talked about the Child Hunger Ends Here program and how you can easily make a difference in a child’s life by simply buying foods your family already loves and entering the codes found on certain products into the widget in my sidebar.

For those families and others across the country, every meal counts, and you can help! You can continue to visit the Child Hunger Ends Here website to enter codes found on participating ConAgra Foods product packaging through August 28, 2014.

Each code represents one meal for a child who needs it!

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)

Map the Meal Gap

This month, I want to show you one way you can get an idea of how child hunger impacts your state and even your local community by using this hunger map. I checked my home state of Illinois and found that there are nearly two million people that are food insecure! That simply should not be true! :(

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)The hunger map actually lets you take things a step further and allows you to see how many people need meals in your local community. This was also eye-opening for me.

DID YOU KNOW? Child hunger is an issue that is closer than you think. You can find hunger statistics for your area on the Child Hunger Ends Here website.

Just select your state and county from the interactive map and learn more about your neighbors struggling with hunger and the food banks that serve them.

Help Fight Child Hunger! It's easier than you might think to make a difference in a child's life. :)
Teachable Moments

I’ve been working on planning our home school year, and I’m going to add a lesson on child hunger and what we can do about it. I’m hoping my kids take it to heart and it becomes teaching that sticks with them for a long time to come. :)

Did you check out the hunger map for your area? What are some ways you’ve helped fight hunger in your local community?

A Quick 1 to 2 Minute Survey

Would you be willing to take a quick 1 to 2 minute survey to help gauge awareness about child hunger? If so, head on over here to share your thoughts. Thank you kindly.

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

Last week, we drove to Chicago to visit the hospital for two scheduled appointments for David, enjoyed a fun family day together at Six Flags Great America (Chevy invited a group of bloggers and their families to an event there, and after it was over, we got to experience the park on our own. Much hand sanitizer and wet wipes were used that day. Thankfully, no one ended up sick.), and on Sunday, we invited Ruben’s parents over for a visit.

All that to say, a few of my goals ended up being neglected. ;)

Here’s what I did get accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Type up plans for David’s Make-A-Wish trip

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — I believe I read about 12 pages.

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub — I didn’t get to this book at all.

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean refrigerator

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Get caught up on email

10. Spend 15 minutes each weekday writing blog posts — I only did this three days last week.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Go shopping for clothes to wear on David’s wish trip! I need to pick up some things for myself and the kids.

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 60 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Vacuum stairs

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Shoot and edit photographs for an upcoming blog post

10. Spend 15 minutes a day writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

10 Goals for the Week

10 Goals to Tackle This Week

This week is going to be busier than usual, so I’m going to try to keep my goals a bit simpler.

We have a fun family day out planned one day and then a not-so-fun day planned at the hospital for David. He has two appointments this week (on the same day), and we’re also going to be meeting with a dermatologist for his most recent skin issues.

Thankfully, the dermatologist will be coming to see David during his appointment with his transplant doctor and nurse as opposed to us having to schedule a third appointment and get on a shuttle to go from the hospital to the dermatologist’s office.

David’s skin is a constant issue because of his bone marrow transplant. It breaks my heart. :(  I’m planning on writing an update soon about how he’s doing, and I’ll explain more then.

On a happier note, David is very excited about his Make-A-Wish trip this year! We’re going to spend extra time planning it this week.

Here’s what I accomplished last week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Make zucchini bread

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein — By the way, the new Hobbit teaser trailer came out today for the final movie. Not that I was waiting for it or anything…

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean bathrooms

8. Start home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Make and photograph a recipe to include in an upcoming post

10. Spend 15 minutes per day writing blog posts — I was able to get this done during the week, but then missed writing over the weekend. After mulling things over, I actually think it is best to take a break over the weekend. On Sundays, we try to really limit time spent online, and Saturdays aren’t always predictable.

Here are my goals for this week:

Family/Mothering Goals:

1. Continue to work on memorizing two verses of scripture as a family

2. Type up plans for David’s Make-A-Wish trip

Personal Goals:

3. Read 20 pages of Virtual Freedom (affiliate link) by Chris Ducker

4. Walk a total of 85 minutes on the treadmill

5. Read 20 pages of The Hobbit (affiliate link) by J.R.R. Tolkein

6. Read 10 pages of The Early to Rise Experience for Moms (affiliate link) by Andy Traub

Home Management Goals:

7. Clean refrigerator

8. Continue home school planning

Business Goals:

9. Get caught up on email

10. Spend 15 minutes each weekday writing blog posts

What are your goals for this week?

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman Soy Sauce

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Kikkoman and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

My favorite food in the world is tacos.

I remember the summers I spent in Mexico as a kid, and the many times my family and I took a very familiar one minute stroll to our neighborhood taco stand to eat seriously scrumptious soft tacos. Oh, they were good!

Those are fond childhood memories that I’ll never forget. It is perhaps because of all those trips to the taco stand near my aunt’s house in Mexico that I love tacos so much today. :)

So Many Varieties of Tacos to Choose From

I have tried so many different types of tacos over the years, but if I had to choose just one that would win over the rest, it would be tacos filled with carnitas.

Yes, I have a deep fondness for carnita tacos. Can you blame me? ;)

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Easy Carnitas Recipe

I know what you may be thinking, especially if you’ve never made carnitas at home before. You might be thinking that carnita tacos sound absolutely delicious, but they’re probably difficult and incredibly time-consuming to prepare. At least that’s what I thought before I started making this dish for my family.

You might be surprised to find out that it is not at all difficult to cook carnitas in your very own kitchen. It’s quite easy, and you can get that same authentic flavor infused into your homemade carnitas by using a versatile ingredient like Kikkoman soy sauce.

Easy Carnitas Recipe #KikkomanSabor

How to Cook Carnitas with Kikkoman Soy Sauce

I use Kikkoman soy sauce to enhance the flavor of the carnitas both before and during the cooking process. Beforehand, I marinate the meat in Kikkoman for thirty minutes before putting it into the oven. Then as the meat cooks, I add a little more soy sauce to bump up the flavor even further.

By doing things this way, the carnitas end up flavorful and mouthwatering.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Green Salsa or “Salsa Verde”

When it comes to Kikkman soy sauce and carnitas, I don’t stop at the meat. Part of the fun of eating tacos is about what you choose to put inside of your taco besides the meat, right?

For carnita tacos, green salsa is a fantastic accompaniment. And like carnitas, green salsa (also known as “salsa verde”) is easy to make at home.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Green salsa isn’t just spicy. It’s savory and adds a burst of freshness to your taco.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Carnitas and green salsa go very well together. To be honest, my eyes and my stomach both wanted tacos with green salsa as I sat and edited pictures for this blog post. ;)

Other Ideas for What You Might Include in Your Taco:

  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • avocado
  • lemon/lime
  • cilantro
  • pico de gallo

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

I’m hoping at this point you’re hungry and would like the recipes now. :)

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Here is the Easy Carnitas Recipe:

Easy Carnitas

Ingredients

  • 1 5-lb. bone-in pork shoulder butt roast, cut in half (feel free to trim a little of the excess fat)
  • 5 teaspoons Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place pork roast pieces in a large baking pan. Sprinkle sea salt all over the meat and rub both the tops and bottoms of the meat with one teaspoon each of Kikkoman soy sauce. Then cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once 30 minutes have passed, remove the meat from the refrigerator, uncover, and add water to the bottom of the pan. Then, once again, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place the baking pan in the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the meat from the oven, remove the aluminum foil, then brush the top of the meat with one teaspoon of Kikkoman soy sauce and sprinkle with sea salt. Turn the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees, place the now uncovered meat in the oven, and cook for 50 minutes more. *Very important: Flip the meat every 10 minutes during this time.
  4. Once the meat is done cooking, remove it from the oven, flip it one more time, and then let it sit in the pan for at least 20 minutes to cool before shredding.
  5. Once the meat is safe enough to handle, transfer it to a plate, and shred it.
  6. Serve carnitas with warm corn tortillas and your favorite accompaniments.
http://thesensiblemom.com/2014/07/easy-carnitas-recipe/

A few additional notes about preparing carnitas:

  • Bumping the temperature of the oven up to 425 degrees after the meat cooks for 90 minutes allows the carnitas to develop a nice outer crust.
  • My favorite way to prepare carnitas is in a glass baking pan. I’ve made them in a ceramic baking pan a couple of times, and while they still turned out great, I found that the carnitas cooked much faster in that type of pan, which meant that I had to keep a close eye on the oven.
  • Cooking times may vary depending upon the weight of the piece of meat you’re preparing.

Deliciously Easy Carnitas Recipe and Green Salsa made with Kikkoman #carnitas #KikkomanSabor

Here is the Green Salsa Recipe:

Green Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Ingredients

  • 3 to 5 tomatillos (Only 3 are needed, if they're medium in size. Use 4 to 5, if they're small in size.), husked and rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole with skins left on
  • 1 jalapeño chile, whole
  • 5 to 7 green onions (also known as scallions), trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kikkoman soy sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño chile, and green onions on a baking sheet. Then place the baking sheet in the oven, and broil ingredients on high for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes are up, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and turn everything over. Repeat this step until ingredients are soft. *Very Important: Ingredients will not soften all at the same time. Once you notice an ingredient is soft, remove it, and place it on a plate to cool. Repeat this will the remaining ingredients until everything is cooling on the plate.
  3. Once ingredients have cooled, peel the skins off the garlic, and remove the seeds from the jalapeño chile. Peel away any overly charred pieces of skin on the vegetables.
  4. Place everything in a blender, add Kikkoman soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. *Optional: Add a little water until you get the consistency you desire.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy the green salsa with food.
http://thesensiblemom.com/2014/07/easy-carnitas-recipe/

Carnitas and Family Time Together

If you’re a regular reader, you know that my family and I make a big deal about spending intentional time together every week. Well, I’m really looking forward to our next family day, which happens to be on Sunday.

The green salsa is already in the fridge, and my husband brought home the meat to make carnitas on that day!

I can’t wait. :)

What’s your favorite way to eat tacos?