Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory Printable

Christmas decoration storage inventory printable

Well, Christmas is finished for another year. You may be thinking of taking down all your decorations but dreading the mess that your storage area becomes. Or what about next Christmas when you can’t find the specific decorations you’re looking for?

Look no further, I’ve got you covered with this handy Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory printable! Simply print out a page or two (depending on how many boxes you have) and get to work filling the paper out as you put away decorations. Label the boxes with the corresponding number that you have marked on the papers. For example, on the paper, box #1 includes all the Christmas lights. Be sure to label the actual box with #1 too!

Print your Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory printable here.

Christmas Baking Planner (Free Printable)

Christmas Baking Planner

I thought I’d make up this handy dandy Christmas baking planner to help you in your holiday baking!  The planner provides space to write the recipes you want to create, where to find the recipes and a shopping list!

Download your Christmas baking planner now!

I’d love to know what’s on your baking list this year.  Share in the comments below!

Checklists for a More Organized Christmas

The 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series started yesterday, but I wanted to make a separate post with the downloads I made available to you!

There are three different packages to download.  The first being blank checklists that you can personalize with your very own things you’d like to get done.  The second is a set of checklists with some suggested things to get done each week leading up to Christmas.  The third is a Holiday Planner that is the Simply Frugal store!

Simply Click on each image to access the downloads!  I hope they’re useful to you!

organized christmas blank printables

organized christmas printables

The Holiday Planner is available for $4.97 and includes 7 useful printables that will ensure you have an organized holiday season. There’s also a bucket list that will help you get all the sightseeing, craft making, movie watching and whatever else tickles your Christmas senses. 🙂

Are you tired of the holiday chaos? I came up with a holiday planner that will help keep me and you on track and in charge of our holidays, instead of the holidays taking charge of us!

Free Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable

Looking for a fun outdoor activity that will get the kids excited? You’ve got to print out this Nature Scavenger Hunt then! It will get the kids running all over the place discovering exciting things that can be found in nature.

Looking for a fun outdoor activity that will get the kids excited? You've got to print out this Nature Scavenger Hunt then! It will get the kids running all over the place discovering exciting things that can be found in nature.

Click here to get your free Nature Scavenger Hunt printable or click on the image above. It’s also available in the Summer Bucket of FUN.

You could turn this into a fun learning activity by discussing each item on the list. I bet the kids will be fascinated to learn unique details about each object. In case you need some help, I’ve listed a few interesting facts about each item below:

Butterflies:

  • Butterflies can’t hear, but they can feel vibrations.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet.
  • Butterflies breath through openings on their abdomen called ‘spiracles’.

Clouds:

  • Every planet with an atmosphere has clouds. That includes the moon.
  • Clouds are white because they reflect light from the sun. Gray clouds become so filled with water that they don’t reflect light.

Ladybugs:

  • Ladybugs bleed from their knees when threatened.
  • A ladybug’s bright colors warn predators to stay away.
  • Ladybug larvae resemble tiny alligators, with elongated bodies and bumpy skin.

Caterpillars:

  • Caterpillars are nicknamed “eating machines” since all they do is eat, eat and eat
  • The life span of a caterpillar is approximately from two to four weeks
  • Caterpillars breathe through little holes on the sides of their bodies called spiracles, not through its mouth. The mouth and strong jaws, called mandibles are just for chewing their food.

Flowers:

  • Roses are related to apples, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears and almonds.
  • Tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland in the 1600s.
  • The largest flower in the world is the titan arums, which produce flowers 10 feet high and 3 feet wide.

Mushrooms:

  • Mushrooms are made up of around 90% water.
  • There are over 30 species of mushroom that actually glow in the dark. The chemical reaction called bioluminescence produces a glowing light known as foxfire. People have been known to use these fungi to light their way through the woods.
  • You can make beautiful colors by boiling wild mushrooms and dipping cloth in the resulting broth.

Bees:

  • There are three types of bees in the hive – Queen, Worker and Drone.
  • The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. …
  • Honey bees fly at 15 miles per hour.

Spiders:

  • Spiders are found on every continent of the world except Antarctica.
  • Spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined.
  • When a spider travels, it always has four legs touching the ground and four legs off the ground at any given moment

Birds:

  • Birds have hollow bones which help them fly.
  • Some bird species are intelligent enough to create and use tools.
  • The chicken is the most common species of bird found in the world.

Sun:

  • Over one million Earth’s could fit inside the Sun
  • The Sun is almost a perfect sphere
  • The Sun is travelling at 220 km per second

Spider Webs:

  • Spider webs are actually made of Spider silk.
  • Spider silk is stronger than steel
  • Tarantulas do not spin spider webs

Trees:

  • Some trees produce a bitter chemical to ward off predators
  • Stress makes trees stronger
  • In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air

Acorns:

  • Each acorn is unique to the type of oak tree that it comes from, it’s like a fingerprint for the tree.
  • The animals that most like to eat acorns are squirrels, mice, pigeons, ducks, deer and pigs.
  • Acorns are nuts that form on mature oak trees. The older the tree, the more acorns produced, and trees that are 70 or 80 years old can potentially produce thousands of these tree nuts.

Leaves:

  • Fallen leaves are an essential part of a forest’s ecosystem, providing protection for tree seeds to germinate over the course of winter.
  • Leaves need carbon dioxide that humans and animals breathe out, and they return oxygen, which we need to breathe in.

How I Put Menu Planning on Autopilot

You know planning a menu is a good thing, but sometimes it only feels like another chore to cross off the to-do list. Well, end that once and for all by putting your menu planning on autopilot!

How I put Menu Planning on Autopilot. Menu Planning Tips.

You guys, I have not been feeling the love for menu planning for quite some time now. That makes me sad because without a menu plan, our meal time is definitely not what it should be. I’ve been resorting to quick prep meals (think frozen pizza, pasta with a jar of sauce poured over top and grilled cheese & tomato soup…) Not good! Between picky palates and no desire to cook, menu planning took a real nosedive in the last year or so. On the other hand, the grocery stores were probably quite happy, because I was spending more since I had no plan. 🙂

That brings me to today. I’m pleased to say, I’ve found a system that works for me! Actually, I’v put menu planning on autopilot! It initially took a little bit of work upfront (still only 4 steps!), but now we’re smooth sailing.

Here’s how I put menu planning on autopilot:

Step 1: Brainstorm

This part took me the longest. I sat down one afternoon (interrupted by the 4 year old and baby, often) and wrote down all the meals we like to eat. Our family favourites. My goal was 60 meals, but I quickly realized that was a lofty goal. In the end, I came up with 40 meals. Enough for 8 weeks of eating when I allot 5 meals a week. I like to leave 2 days free for last minute events, trying out a new recipe and Sunday dinner at my parent’s house.

Here are the meals that made the rotation. Keep in mind that they must be simple, enjoyed by all family members and not require any weird ingredients:

  1. Slow Cooker BBQ Sauce Pork Chops
  2. Sausage and Potato Bake
  3. Waffles/Pancakes
  4. French Toast
  5. Chicken in basil sauce
  6. Balsamic Beef Roast
  7. Pesto pepperoni pizza
  8. Hashay
  9. Creamy chicken soup
  10. Spaghetti
  11. Meatballs
  12. Quiche
  13. Sweet & Sour chicken and rice
  14. Sloppy Joe calzones
  15. Peanut chicken pasta
  16. Pesto pasta
  17. Fettucine Alfredo
  18. Balsamic almond chicken
  19. Chicken Cacciatore
  20. Baked Beans
  21. Sesame chicken
  22. Pizza
  23. Perogies & Sausage
  24. Lasagna
  25. Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
  26. Hamburgers & pasta salad
  27. Sticky garlic chicken & broccoli
  28. Chicken pesto stuffed shells
  29. Maple pineapple ham
  30. Chicken satay with peanut noodles/rice
  31. Ramen Vegetable stirfry
  32. Soy sauce pork tenderloin
  33. Greek Chicken
  34. Shredded beef sandwiches
  35. Tacos
  36. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
  37. Hamburger soup
  38. One pot pasta
  39. Chicken Fajitas
  40. Black Bean and Salsa Burritos

Most of these meals can be made with pantry staples, which are easy to stock up on when they’re on sale. Also, I whipped up a couple of printables for you to help you brainstorm. A “Our Favourite Meals” sheet and some recipe cards! (click on the images to get the free printables.)

favorite mealsrecipe card
Step 2: Write all recipes on index cards

Now, once I picked all 40 meals, I wrote each meal down on an index card. Sometimes I wrote the entire recipe (if it was not found online or in a cookbook). Other times I wrote the name of the meal and where the recipe could be found (Pinterest, page 3 in a cookbook…etc.) I also wrote down side suggestions and any adjustments I like to make to the recipe.

Step 3: Place them all in a recipe box/binder

Next, I placed all of the index cards in an empty recipe box that I had, in no particular order. You could place the index cards in a binder with protective sheets instead, but I liked the idea of a recipe box.

Step 4: Pull out a week’s worth of meals and place in front

Here’s where the autopilot comes into play. Since I’m only choosing 5 meals a week, I pulled out 5 random index cards and placed them in the front of the box. I put a divider card behind the five recipes so I know when I’m done for the week. Once all 5 meals are made, I rotate those index cards to the very back of the recipe box.

Step 5: Repeat Step 4 over and over!

On Sunday, when I pull out the 5 meals for the week, I also create my grocery list. I write down everything I don’t already have in the pantry/fridge/freezer.

Now, you could take this a step further and look at your store flyers first to determine which index cards you should pull out for the week according to what’s on sale. For example, I may not want to make the Balsamic Beef Roast this week because I don’t have one in the freezer and I don’t see a sale at any of my local stores. However, pork chops are on sale so I’ll make the slow cooker BBQ Sauce pork chops instead.

Does that all make sense?  This system has been life changing for me! I hope it might work for you as well if you’ve been struggling with menu planning.

Have you found a menu planning system that works for you?

Free Christmas Recipe Card Printable

recipe card image

I’m sure you are bound to have someone ask you for one of your holiday recipes this year. Or you’re bound to come across a delicious recipe at one of your holiday parties.  Why not have a few of these free printable Christmas recipe cards on hand?  I think they’ll even work really well if you’re planning on giving out edible gifts in jars.  Like these Peppermint Brownie jars 🙂

To get the printable Christmas recipe cards, simply click this link then print as many as you need! I provided a 5″ x 7″ and 4″ x 6″ size.

Hope you enjoy!

What will you be using these recipe cards for?

Checklist for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Do you want to know my secret for a stress-free Thanksgiving? (or any big family meal for that matter…)  Yeah? Okay. Just have your Dad, who loves to cook, prepare all the main dishes and Turkey, then all you have to do is bring along the dessert. 😉

While this is a realistic scenario for our Thanksgiving and special occasions, (my dad is the best!) I’m sure it’s not for most families.  We can get away with this because we usually have a maximum of 8 people to serve.

Since I know big family meals can be hectic (I’ve experienced many of my husband’s extended family get-togethers), I thought creating a checklist would be really helpful to those of you that want to cut back on some chaos.

This checklist doesn’t tell you what to cook (I trust you have your family favourites) but I’m hoping it will give you a guideline for when things can be completed.  Also, I realize that Canadian Thanksgiving is only a week away, but I think this checklist can be used for any holiday dinner. Simply click on the image below or click here to download your free Checklist for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving.

Checklist for a stress-free thanksgiving

How to you lessen the stress of big family meals?  Also, I’d love to hear what goes on your Thanksgiving menu in the comments!

Free Printable Wall Art for Your Home

free printable wall art

One of my good friends celebrated a birthday last month and I wanted to do something a bit more personal for her this year.  We’ve been through our ups and downs together for nearly 18 years.  18!  Now, that in itself is special. 🙂

I have been having a lot of fun creating the graphics for Simply Frugal so I knew I wanted to try my hand at creating some wall art.  So, I asked her what her favourite bible verse was and got to work playing around with different fonts and colours.  Fun!

This is what I came up with:

ezekiel2

I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out and my friend seemed to love it!  Especially, I think, that it was made just for her.  I gave it to her in a picture frame I picked up somewhere along the way.

I was having so much fun, I decided to make another one:

Life does not have to be perfect2

Of course, I can’t show you these without making them available for you to download and print for yourself!  Each picture is made to fit a 5×7 frame and perfect for decorating on a budget!

I hope you enjoy!

The Master Cleaning List (Free Printable)

Master Cleaning List

I’m a weirdo, but I actually enjoy cleaning.  It’s a nice way to “take a break” from working or a loud toddler.  She likes to clean too though, so quite often I’ll hand her a rag and her mini mop and she’ll go to town!  That girl sure is thorough! Even the walls get done regularly with her around.

Anyways, I had fun creating a Master Cleaning List that I intend on putting to use in our own home, but thought you might like it too!  The top portion includes daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly cleaning suggestions.  The bottom portion is a spring cleaning list!  Once Spring hits, I’m planning a bit of a challenge that hopefully many of you will want to join with me on that uses the spring cleaning tasks! 🙂  I’ll have more details once the time draws nearer.

Download your free Master Cleaning List here.

The Ultimate Packing List Printable

Ultimate Packing List

This list is not just any list, it’s The Ultimate Packing List! I don’t think I’ll ever forget anything with this packing list. It’s perfect!

This list is not just any list, it's The Ultimate Packing List! I don't think I'll ever forget anything with this packing list. It's perfect!

Since we’re in Mexico and all, we had to do some extensive packing for the three of us.  It also seems as though I make a new packing list every time we go somewhere.  So I thought I’d make up a list that you and I can print off each time!  This list is not just any list, it’s The Ultimate Packing List!  It includes items that you would bring on any trip, but also breaks down into specific trips you may be making. For example, a business trip, a camping trip, a trip to the beach and more.  Neat, right?

I’ve also included a list of things to to before you go away.

Check out and download The Ultimate Packing List here!

If I forgot something, or if you like to bring specific items, just turn the paper over to write your additions.