Royal Rainbow Color Behavior Clip Chart Free Printable


Royal Rainbow Behavior Clip Chart Free Printable from The More With Less Mom

This behavior chart is intended to be a positive tool to help your child visualize the progress of their day or goal. This should be a motivational tool to help your child eliminate negative behavior, as well as reinforcing positive behavior.

This is a very simplistic color chart where you move a marker from level to level. You can use a clothespin to mark the level, use stickers, or write a smiley/frowney face with dry erase marker. I have seen other color charts around, but did not like how often these charts were very negative. And they were backwards, purple is the best and should be on top.

This should not be used for public shaming, you should never point out to a sibling, parent, or classmate that your child is doing badly that day, no matter how bad they were. If necessary, only use the chart when older kids are at school and Dad is at work, and clear the chart later in the day. If your child lands in the red you should explain to them what they did to warrant it, move the marker, and then suggest something they can do to move the marker up. For my children we have a list of suggestions, like do an extra chore, make silly faces until somebody giggles, do something nice, run around the house once, help a sibling, or play blocks with mom (this mom likes playing with blocks).

Photo of Girl Royal Behavior Chart from The More With Less Mom

If you do a behavior chart you have to be vigilant and change it for both good and bad behavior. Small children especially benefit from immediate feedback. You might want to just do this on the weekend or a day when you know you will be home and you can be consistent and pay attention to what your child is doing. This way you can explain what they did and why it was good or bad. This will facilitate a dialogue between you and your child which will help them understand what the desired behavior is.

You can use this chart for a specific behavior goal as well, like taking a week to train your child to put away their coat, not interrupt others, or clean up after themselves after dinner. You can start with something small and then when your child has grasped the concept work up to bigger challenges. I would put up a star sticker for each day the child completes their chore or behavior and then offer a reward after a certain number of stars are achieved. (The stickers are easily removable if you laminated your chart.)

We establish what rewards are and what will need to be accomplished to achieve that reward before something like this is implemented, so the child has the tools they need to succeed. You can write directly with dry erase on the laminated chart what constitutes each level of behavior, for example being asked to put away their coat puts their glimmer dimmer, dropping the coat on the floor on purpose makes them mind the moat. If you are clear about what is expected and what will be achieved your child will have a goal to attain. This is another way to reward positive behavior.

Some examples of rewards are hot cocoa, stickers, fruit snacks/goldfish/fun treats, a toy from the dollar store, watching a video, choosing the game for family time, two minute dance party, choosing from three choices for Saturday dinner, taking a trip to the park, going to the store with mom, baking muffins, or whatever else will motivate your child and is appropriate for the amount of effort involved.

If your child is spending all day every day in the dungeon then you as a parent need to change something. Either you are not seeing the positives, or you need to change something in your child’s day to help them behave better. Make sure you are not setting your child up for failure, and establish reasonable rules and attainable goals.

Levels on the chart:

Queen/King of the castle
A proper princess/prince
Climbing the turret
Ready to sparkle
Your glimmer is dimmer
Mind the moat
In the dungeon
(Yes, I do think boys should be able to sparkle, too!)

Photo of name clip for Royal Behavior Chart from The More With Less Mom

I laminated mine so it was a little more stiff (I just folded over clear contac paper, you can see the crease in the middle where this tried to not work). I used adhesive magnet buttons on the back so there was a space between the fridge and the paper that the clips could fit in. To make my clips I made little name tags for each child. I painted clothes pins with sparkly nail polish and attached the name tags, reversing one so I had one on each side. I used clip art I found online for the crowns and frames on the name tags.

Girl Royal Behavior Chart:

Girl Royal Behavior Chart Free Printable PDF from The More With Less Mom
Download Girl Royal Behavior Chart PDF
(there is no watermark on the PDF)

Boy Royal Behavior Chart:

Boy Royal Behavior Chart Free Printable PDF from The More With Less Mom
Download Boy Royal Behavior Chart PDF
(there is no watermark on the PDF)

Pinterest Boards:

Preschool Home School

Early Preschool Morning Board and Circle Time

What tools do you use to manage your child’s day?

More With Less Mom

*Also see our 4 YouTube Playlists for Preschoolers
The Early Bird Gets The Worm Game for Preschoolers
Baby Songs Cheat Sheet Printables – Lyrics for Play Songs & Lullabies

We hope you enjoyed our Royal Rainbow Color Behavior Clip Chart Free Printable

Shared with Anti-procrastination Tuesday, Busy Monday, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, ISharePrintables.com, Frugal Family, Homemaking Linkup, Motivation Monday, The Party Bunch, Paula’s No Rules Weekend Blog Party, and Project Inspired, Thank Goodness It’s Thursday, Think and Make Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Weekend No Rules Blog Hop, and Weekly Wrap Up

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January 2015 Real Food Meal Plan

January includes my birthday, so cake for me!

January Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom

Ideas and resources for menu planning in January, many seasonal winter and real food recipes. Very simple ingredients, from scratch. As always, these are all frugal recipes intended for a tight budget. Real food/from scratch/traditional diet/nutrient dense/whole food/blah blah blah. My monthly meal plans use an alternative meal planning method, recipes organized into tiers based on how perishable the ingredients are, not sorted into particular days.
*Attention real food purists/whole foodies – the recipes I link/pin are all from scratch, but some of them you may have to make substitutions or modifications. For example, I link recipes that have sugar, but you can substitute whatever your favorite sweetener is.

*Don’t forget to read about how I meal plan at Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning!*

In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards


Seasonal produce for January includes:

Vegetables

Brussels sprouts
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Kale
Leeks
Parsnips
Potatoes
Rhubarb
Spinach
Turnips

Fruits

Apples
Clementine
Grapefruit
Kiwi fruit
Lemons
Oranges
Pears
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Tangerines

Epicurious Seasonal produce maps by state
CUESA Seasonal vegetables by month


Recipes from the January Meal Plan (organized by how perishable ingredients are)

Tier 1/Most Perishable (ie broccoli, kale, spinach, shrooms)

Chinese New Year Egg Drop Soup with Vegetables from Sweet Peas and Pumpkins
Lemony Lentil Soup with Greens
Brown Rice, Lentil, and Spinach Soup from Saveur
Tomato Braised Chicken with Kale from My Kitchen Addiction

Tier 2/Less Perishable (ie cabbage, cauliflower, pepper, scallion)

Cauliflower Soup with Sharp Cheddar and Thyme
Chicken & Cauliflower Yakitori
Curried Chicken Potpie from Martha Stewart
Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Ginger Potstickers from Naturally Ella
Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Soba Noodles with Ginger-Honey Sauce from Naturally Ella

Tier 3/Pantry or Make It Whenever (ie carrot, celery, leek, onion)

Basic Veggie Lasagna with Homemade Noodles from Naturally Ella
Chinese Orange Chicken
Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac from Sweet Peas Kitchen

Download Free Printable PDF January Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
Download PDF. This has the links in the order listed above. Keep in mind I don’t limit myself to particular days, so this is not in order by date. Save it to your desktop and you will always have a quick reference when you’re hunting dinner, you probably have the ingredients for Tier 3 recipes at this very moment!


January Meal Plan Pinterest Boards:

Meal Plan January (just look at all that tastiness!)

Recipes to Try Winter


In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards

*Also see our
Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom
We hope you enjoyed our January Real Food Monthly Menu Plan post for seasonal eating

Photo credits: photo from H is for Home on Flickr

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How often do you make an effort to eat seasonally?

2014 Recap from The More With Less Mom

With a new year here, let’s take a look at the wondrous wonders from the past year. Some lovely posts happened in 2014. I might have had a little too much fun digging into stats on the different social media sites. Here is a snapshot of the year on this little blog o’ mine:

Top Blog Posts From 2014

2014 Recap from The More With Less Mom Glow Party Teen Birthday Free Printable Neon Invitations
DIY Glow Party Teen Birthday – Free Printable Neon Invitations
April Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
April Real Food Monthly Meal Plan
May Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
May Real Food Monthly Meal Plan
Glow Party Teen Birthday Decorations
DIY Glow Party Teen Birthday (on a tight budget) – Decorations
Dinosaur Felt Play Mat - DIY Tips and Printable Templates from The More With Less Mom
Dinosaur Felt Play Mat – DIY Tips and Printable Templates
Not-Margarine Spread Recipe - Using Real Butter, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil from The More With Less Mom
Not-Margarine Spread Recipe – Using Real Butter, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil
Hot Cocoalate Mix Recipe from The More With Less Mom
Hot Cocoalate Mix Recipe

Most visited posts so far:

A Crunchy Baby Registry: 34 Things You NEED (or should make) Before Baby Comes 59,000 hits!
Great Depression Era Real Food Recipes
Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning & Price List Download – October 2013 Meal Plan
DIY Glow Party Teen Birthday – Free Printable Neon Invitations
A Crunchy Baby Registry: Bathing
Baby Songs Cheat Sheet Printables – Lyrics for Play Songs & Lullabies

Sites That Sent Me the Most Traffic

Scary Mommy
Scary Mommy
Frugality Gal
Frugality Gal
(Save Money Monday)
I Share Printables
I Share Printables
I'm an Organizing Junkie
I’m an Organizing Junkie
(Menu Plan Monday)

Social Media

It’s so neat to see how posts do differently on different social media platforms!

Pinterest Top Pins

Facebook Posts

I'm getting ready for the next meal plan. Follow my March Meal Plan board on Pinterest and see all the tasty things go by! http://www.pinterest.com/melissadfrench/meal-plan-march/

Posted by More With Less Mom on Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm getting ready for the next meal plan. Follow my March Meal Plan board on Pinterest and see all the tasty things go by! http://www.pinterest.com/melissadfrench/meal-plan-march/

Posted by More With Less Mom on Monday, February 17, 2014

{Oooh look! I was featured on BlogHer!}

Posted by More With Less Mom on Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This is my first attempt at a humor post. You have to tell me if I should never ever try that again.Here’s a little…

Posted by More With Less Mom on Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Some of this struck a chord with me Abandoning Pretense

Posted by More With Less Mom on Sunday, November 9, 2014

Twitter Tweets

Google Plus Posts


Tumblr Posts

Our Family Thanksgiving in Poverty – A G…
New post! Scary Mommy Thanksgiving 2014…
June Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from Th…

Most Read on BlogHer

ROAR! Make a Dinosaur Felt Play Mat with DIY Tips and Printable Templates (FEATURED on BlogHer!)
Use What You Have Lightbox for Blog Photography
Not-Margarine Spread Recipe – Using Real Butter, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil

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Simplify Your Christmas Gifts: Want, Need, Wear, Read, Eat, Create Printable Gift Tags

If you are a fan of simple living most likely you have heard of the Want, Need, Wear, Read gift giving method.

Simplify Your Christmas Gifts: Want, Need, Wear, Read, Eat, Create Printable Gift Tags from The More with Less Mom

Want, Need, Wear, Read, + Eat, Create
Something you WANT
Something you NEED
Something to WEAR
Something to READ
Something to EAT
Something to CREATE

If you haven’t heard of it, it is a way to be more mindful about your gift giving. Most people give four gifts that are carefully thought out. This is a guideline to help you focus your planning. It is not meant to restrict or punish. Many people have adapted these rules to fit their family and lifestyle.

Something to EAT

I believe that things like experiences are an excellent gift that won’t clutter up your house, so tickets for a trip to the zoo would be a bonus gift. Or you can make a coupon book with fun stuff like making cookies together, choosing what’s for dinner, or selecting the game for family game night.

I was contemplating this, knowing that the world should not be without chocolate on Christmas. We need chocolate, but there are a lot of other things my kids need, so I didn’t want to use that one up. There are lots of things my kids want more than chocolate. And some people (who might not be all human) don’t like chocolate. So I added something to eat. One year I raided the produce section and bought every fruit I hadn’t eaten, and we tried all of them. (*Tip: You’re supposed to eat the peel of kumquats, otherwise they don’t taste so good.)

Something to CREATE

I always, always get my kids something creative. I like to give them something to do. Often a craft they can do during vacation, or supplies they’ve been coveting. Like glitter. Oh wait, that’s me. Anyways, I didn’t want to use their want gift on something I always get them.

Please enjoy this printable PDF of Christmas gift tags. They feature Victorian Santas and an ornate frame. The colors are subdued.

These are large tags, 6 to a page and approximately 3 1/3″ x 4″

You can punch wherever you want to thread a ribbon, I used the little dot that was already in the middle.

Download PDF

Click for PDF of printable Want, Need, Wear, Read, Eat, Create Christmas Gift Tags

Other Want/Need Gift Tags

Jones Design Company
Thirty Handmade Days

Also see my complementary Printable Victorian Santa Christmas Gift Tags on HousePunkery

Printable Victorian Santa Christmas Gift Tags

Follow Melissa French: More With Less Mom & HousePunkery’s board Printable xmas tags on Pinterest.

Graphics from public domain images on The Graphics Fairy

We hope you enjoyed our Simplify Your Christmas Gifts: Want, Need, Wear, Read, Eat, Create Printable Gift Tags post

Do you limit your gift giving? If so, how?

Shared with Best of the Weekend, Busy Monday, Idea Box, Inspire Me Monday, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party, Motivation Monday, Project Inspire{d}, Say G’Day Linky Party, Small Victories Sunday, Totally Terrific Tuesday, Treasure Box Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday.

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December 2014 Real Food Meal Plan

December brings a flurry of activity, and some snow flurries, too. There will be crafting, cookies, Christmas music pretty much all day every day… and lots of chocolate. I find it really hard to predict when I will have time to cook when I’m this busy. I like to have a lot of meals planned with ingredients in the house, so I can adjust what I make based on the time I have that day. There are some really tasty-looking pantry recipes I can make any old time.

The offbeat holidays we are using as an excuse to celebrate something are: Giving Tuesday (2nd), Cookie Day (4th), International Ninja Day (5th), Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day (8th), Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (12th), Cat Herders Day (15th), Chocolate-covered Anything Day (16th), Underdog Day (19th), Winter Solstice (21st), Festivus (23rd) and Whiners Day (26th).

December Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom

Ideas and resources for menu planning in December, many seasonal winter and real food recipes. Very simple ingredients, from scratch. As always, these are all frugal recipes intended for a tight budget. Real food/from scratch/traditional diet/nutrient dense/whole food/blah blah blah. My monthly meal plans use an alternative meal planning method, recipes organized into tiers based on how perishable the ingredients are, not sorted into particular days.

*Attention real food purists/whole foodies – the recipes I link/pin are all from scratch, but some of them you may have to make substitutions or modifications. For example, I link recipes that have sugar, but you can substitute whatever your favorite sweetener is.

*Don’t forget to read about how I meal plan at Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning!*

In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans


Seasonal produce for December includes:

Vegetables

Beets
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Fennel
Kale
Leeks
Mushrooms
Mustard Greens
Onions
Potatoes
Radish
Rutabaga
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Turnips
Winter Squash

Fruits

Apples
Cranberries
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Lemons
Oranges
Pears
Pomegranates
Tangerines

Epicurious Seasonal produce maps by state
CUESA Seasonal vegetables by month


Recipes from the December Meal Plan (organized by how perishable ingredients are)

Tier 1/Most Perishable (ie broccoli, kale, spinach, shrooms)

Apple, Kale & Cheddar Melt with Red Onion-Rosemary Marmalade from Poor Girl Eats Well
Bread Soup (Panade) with Onions, Chard, and Mushrooms from Simply Recipes
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza from Budget Bytes
Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew from Real Simple
Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup Recipe from Simply Recipes
Potato, Red Onion, and Kale Pizza from Woman’s Day
Turkey, Apple and Broccoli Breakfast Hash from The Healthy Foodie

Tier 2/Less Perishable (ie cabbage, cauliflower, pepper, scallion)

Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos from Cooking Light
Chicken Cheesesteak Sandwiches from Simply From Scratch
Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl from Cooking Light
Easy Weeknight Lo Mein from Shrinking Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Pizza from Woman’s Day
Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup from Back to the Book Nutrition
Spicy {Slow Cooker} Sweet Potato and Chickem Stew from Shrinking Kitchen
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas from Cooking Light

Tier 3/Pantry or Make It Whenever (ie carrot, celery, leek, onion)

Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew from Cooking Light
Classic Chicken Tetrazzini from Southern Living
Ginger Chicken Soup With Vegetables from Real Simple
Ginger, White Bean & Chicken Soup from Raia’s Recipes
Leek & Cannellini Bean Soup with Cous Cous from Poor Girl Eats Well
Moroccan Fruity Chicken Tagine from Simply Fresh Dinners
Spicy Turkey Soup with Yogurt, Chickpeas, and Mint Recipe from Simply Recipes
Turkey Stew with Root Vegetables Recipe from Simply Recipes
Tuscan White Bean Soup {Crock-Pot} from Artful Homemaking

Download Free Printable PDF December Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
Download PDF. This has the links in the order listed above. Keep in mind I don’t limit myself to particular days, so this is not in order by date. Save it to your desktop and you will always have a quick reference when you’re hunting dinner, you probably have the ingredients for Tier 3 recipes at this very moment!


Other December Real Food/Whole Food Meal Plans

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for December 7–20 from Nourishing Home on the Better Mom
December Meal Plan from Letters from Sunnybrook
Grain-Free Weekly Meal Plan from Real Food Outlaws
Real Food Meal Plan: December 6, 2014 from Real Food Whole Life
Real Food Meal Plan Week 43 from Real Food Real Deals
Weekly Meal Plan: December 7 – 13th from The Vintage Mom
Whole Foods December 2014 Menu from Once a Month Meals


December Meal Plan Pinterest Boards:

Meal Plan December (just look at all that tastiness!)

Recipes to Try Winter


In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans

*Also see our
Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom
We hope you enjoyed our December Real Food Monthly Menu Plan post for seasonal eating

Shared with Busy Monday, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop, Fat Tuesday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Family Friday, Pennywise Platter Thursdays, Real Food Wednesday, and Treasure Box Tuesday.

Photo credits: Mason jars photo from Susy Morris on Flickr

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How often do you make an effort to eat seasonally?

Christmas Gift Tips from a Mama Pro

Christmas Gift Tips from a Mama Pro from The More With Less Mom

Here are some tips for Christmas and gift giving. With four kids you have to be organized. Over the years I have developed some methods for making things easier, keeping track of everything, and not spending too much.

Gift Herding

Have a place for gifts, like a hall closet or the attic. You should have somewhere for random birthday and hostess gifts (gift closet?), and a place for Christmas gifts. This can be the same place, but there should be an official place. This should be accessible year-round so if you get something from a yard sale or clearance you can stash it.

Ugly sweaterWe are very clear from a young age, the rule is if you see a present, wrapped or not, you don’t get it. My kids know I will follow through, and I keep their gifts hidden where they won’t see them casually. I don’t want little ones climbing around trying to kill themselves in my closet sneaking a peek.

Keep track of your gifts. You can keep track in a notebook, a household binder, a Word doc, a note on your phone… How you organize this will be whatever works best for you. I used to have a gift notebook and kept sections for people, ideas for gifts to make, etc. Now I keep my information on the computer. When you get your purchase home, or even right when you buy it, make a record of it. If a gift is something that will have a lot of influence, like you bought curtains you need to match things to, I take a photo so I can see what I have without digging it out. I use this list to keep track of what I have purchased, what I have received (what has been shipped and arrived), what I have to make, what I have made, and what I have wrapped. When something is wrapped I put a check next to it.

Christmas list

This photo is my working list for a weekend crafting/wrapping marathon. You can see that wrapped items have a check. Later this will all be entered into the master list.

Shopping

Be prepared to shop. Have a list with you (including in late December when you hit the Xmas clearance sales) of sizes and colors people like. On my phone I have a note with clothes and shoe sizes. I have a pic of the curtains we are basing my daughter’s room around. This way I have this info with me wherever I go. I also keep a note on Facebook that is visible only to me just in case. I update these lists often as little ones grow.

Change purseYou should always be shopping for gifts. This means you should always have money in your budget for gifts, even if it’s a little bit every month. One year I got a snowboard and boots at a yard sale in the summer. It was a great deal, but it was enough money that if I had not had the money set aside my daughter would not have gotten a snowboard that year. I have a little change purse that is specifically for this money, it lives in my purse so I have the cash if I need it. Otherwise it is not touched.

If you have something specific in mind you can check Craigslist or eBay periodically. You could get a friend a 50s hutch that will go perfectly in their retro dining room, for cheap if you hunt. You can get your niece a used iPad without worrying about eBay weirdness, from Craigslist. Look around for something before you run to the store. You could find a nicer item that is just older.

If Black Friday is not your thing don’t forget that many online retailers offer free shipping, if not great deals, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you know you want to buy something online you can wait until this period and use their free shipping and often a discount code to get the same item. This past season I got some good presents from the Claire’s online clearance with free shipping and a discount code that still came off of clearance items, and I went through eBates.

Wooden toyIn our family we don’t give a lot of gifts, so you have to put some thought into the gift you do give. You should always pay attention to your loved ones so when a new interest pops up you can use that idea when shopping. And it never hurts to pay more attention to your loved ones.

Consider your purchases, make them more deliberate. Once you spend those dollars they aren’t coming back. Are you wasting money on junk that will break the first day, or something your recipient won’t really like?

Crafting

Gifts in jarsYou should always be looking for crafts to make. Before the days of Pinterest, you had to go to the library and check out a bunch of books and pour over hundreds of ideas. Now you go on Pinterest and can get completely overwhelmed and not dig yourself out for a week. There are some good boards to give you ideas specific for your recipient, like Gifts for Geeks DIY. Or you can make general things like hot cocoa in a mason jar that can be a hostess gift or a mailman gift.

This means that you should also always be on the look-out for supplies for your crafts and wrapping. You can’t beat yard sale prices for mason jars. If you have some ideas in the spring for what you want to do next Christmas, you can look at yard and rummage sales for supplies. If you hit the right lady you can get tons of yarn for practically free. Keep an eye out for ribbons and embellishments for your gifts, too. Also you can start way early in the year and not feel so pressured during the holiday season.

DIY Gift Rose Oatmeal Scrubbie

One of the most popular gifts I have made was a rose oatmeal scrubbie. You put oatmeal and grated soap in a washcloth with rose essential oil. Make it into a ball and wrap elastic around it to secure. This was nearly free for me to make, but it smelled so good people just raved about it. Don’t think that because you made it it will seem cheap, this gift made the recipient feel like they got a spa treatment. Homemade vanilla is a great gift, but it has to sit for 6 months.

Plan ahead and you can get ahead. If you have all of your crafting gifts done in September you will have that much more time to enjoy the holidays.

Wrapping

Cut open a toilet paper or paper towel roll and use that to hold a roll of wrapping paper closed. I find that sometimes the toilet paper rolls just give out and don’t hold, but the paper towel rolls last longer. I used to use elastic bands but I found these were getting caught and tearing my paper.

Sparkly paperShop for next year’s wrapping paper in this year’s clearance sales. I only buy holographic/super sparkly paper new, since I am raccoon-like in my love for shiny things. Also grab some clearance gift bags you can use for gifts year-round, like that surprise birthday party.

Don’t be afraid to use unconventional materials to wrap. Stick a bottle of wine in a sock and wrap that other sock around the neck like a bow. Get a pretty pillowcase from the thrift store to wrap with and the recipient can use it to wash their delicates in the washer.

Vintage treeSave paper from gifts you receive, just like grandma did. If you use saved paper underneath your tree will be a beautiful patchwork of different papers. My sister thinks paper is wasteful, so she only uses gift bags, which you can use over and over.

Roll out brown kraft paper on the floor and let the kids go to town with markers, stickers, or paint and their hands and feet. Or make a star stamp with a potato, stick it in glue, and sprinkle glitter on your stars.

Brown paper packagesI don’t waste money on tags anymore. I use a sharpie to write the recipient right on the gift. If I want a tag I will fold over a scrap of wrapping paper to make a tag, or print something really pretty I find on Pinterest. I have had gifts lose their tags so I always write the recipient on a piece of tape on the bottom. This way if the gift gets wet, the tag gets lost, the paper gets torn, or the dog eats it I might still be able to figure out who it is for.

Wrap early, especially if you have small children in the house. I pretty much have to wrap when the wee ones are asleep. I know some people leave it until Christmas Eve and wrap it all at once. And stay up way too late. I try not to torture myself any more than necessary, I pull the wrapping paper storage containers (clearance from Brylane Home) out with the Halloween decorations and start wrapping then.

Pinterest Boards:

Christmas

Dollar Store Christmas Decorations

Christmas Party for Preschoolers

Printable xmas tags

DIY Handmade Gifts Foood

DIY Handmade Gifts (Not Food)

DIY Handmade Gifts for Kids

DIY Felt Gifts

*Also see our Frugal, Useful Gifts for Men

Shared with Busy Monday, Frugal Family Linky, Natural Family Friday, and Treasure Box Tuesday.

Photo credits:
Christmas list by me, The More With Less Mom
Maniacal child is mine
Brown paper packages from estonia76 on Flikr
Change purse from Nemo’s great uncle on Flikr
Gifts in jars from Nina Nelson on Flikr
Sparkly paper from catiehead on Flikr
Tissue paper rolls from jodimichelle on Flikr
Ugly sweaters from TheUglySweaterShop on Flikr
Vintage tree from NCReedplayer on Flikr
Watercolor packages from jimmiehomeschoolmom on Flikr
Wooden toy cat from Malene Hald on Flikr

We hope you enjoyed our Christmas Gift Tips from a Mama Pro post

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7ish of the Bestest Holiday Posts from The More With Less Mom

Come join me on a tour of my best posts for the holiday season. Apparently I get excited about posting for the holidays, because that’s when I post the most. And yes, I am totally a Christmas freak. The first song my two year old sang was Jingle Bells.

I’ve got it all – recipes, Thanksgiving meal planning, activities for kids, acts of kindness and gratitude, gift ideas, printables, how to be frugal and save during the holidays… and of course, some chocolate.

7ish of the Bestest Holiday Posts from The More With Less Mom

1. Hot Cocoalate Mix Recipe

2. Happy Holidays from My Family – A Gratitude Tradition for Your Holiday Cards

3. Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times – Frugal $50 Meal

4. Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times – Thanksgiving Blessing Bags & 4b. You’ve Been Gobbled Printable

5. Our Family Thanksgiving in Poverty – A Glimpse at the Other Side of the Holidays

6. Frugal, Useful Gifts for Men

7. Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar – 7b. RACK Printables, Cover Photos, and Links

Bonus Posts!

Check these posts out for some more fun.
Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs
November Real Food Meal Plan
Scary Mommy Thanksgiving 2014

New post!

Christmas Gift Tips from a Mama Pro

Holiday Pinterest Boards:

Thanksgiving

Frugal Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving Toddler

Advent calendar

Christmas

Printable xmas tags

Christmas Party for Preschoolers

Dollar store Christmas decorations

Crafts - winter

DIY Handmade Gifts food

DIY Handmade Gifts (not food)

DIY Handmade Gifts for kids

DIY Felt gifts

We hope you enjoyed our 7 of the Bestest Holiday Posts from The More With Less Mom post

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Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs – A Frugal Holiday Activity

Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs - A Frugal Holiday Activity from The More With Less Mom

Dyeing eggs is a frugal activity that can be practiced the whole year. You should already have all the items you need. This is a craft that is easy to scale to different age groups.

Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs from The More With Less Mom


Step 1: Hard Boil Your Eggs

*Note: We got the colors in the photo using brown eggs.
There are a gazillion ways to hard boil eggs.

Use your preferred method, or use the Simply Recipes method. Quick version: Boil, sit 10 min covered, ice bath. I did this last time and they came out absolutely perfect.

Save your cartons to store the eggs in when you’re done, but don’t put them in until they are completely dry or the carton will scratch off some of the color.


Ready to color Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs

Step 2: Pre-Dye Decorating for Your Eggs

There are a bunch of things you can do to your eggs before you dye them.

You can use the wax-resist method, color your eggs with crayons and the dye can’t penetrate the wax. We did this on a dish towel so the eggs wouldn’t roll away. We did feathers, leaves, and a turkey. Unfortunately the turkey was murdered in a fit of preschooler rage.
The same thing goes for stickers, apparently this was not as fun this time around and we skipped them.
You can wrap rubber bands tightly around your eggs to make lines. I love this look but the 4 year old nixed it.

Halloween Dyed Eggs

Crayoned eggs ready for dye


Step 3: Dye Your Eggs

You don’t need a kit to dye eggs! You have the stuff.

Take a mug, I used my soup mugs. Bowls won’t work, they aren’t deep enough (never mind the photos, that was me letting my boy help set up).

Add 1 1/2 cup hot tap water.

Add 1 teaspoon/a splash white vinegar.

Add 20(ish) drops food coloring. We made every color but yellow, since you can’t really see it with brown eggs.

You can see that I used brown eggs, which gives you more rustic colors. I thought they were pretty but your results can be a little different than you expect. The brownish color you see was from using straight blue to dye it. If you know your color theory you know blue and orange make brown.

If your eggs got a little cracked no worries, you just get a marbled pattern on the actual egg. I think it’s pretty, and it’s just food coloring, it won’t hurt you.

Dip your egg in the dye, using your fingers, a spoon, a whisk, a wire dipper thingie…

The longer you leave the egg in the deeper your color will be.

You can re-dip parts of the egg to get layers of color, changing position and/or colors. A whisk is helpful for holding an egg partially submerged. This is how I got the almost ombre stripes.

Or cover parts with tape and re-dye.

I put a kitchen towel down to dry them on, you can gently roll them to encourage them to dry.
If you store them in an egg carton it will scratch off a little of the color.


Halloween Dyed Eggs

Step 4: Post-Dye Bling for Your Eggs

There are many ways to decorate your dyed eggs.
You can use markers to draw faces and designs on them, or crayons.
You can add stickers.
You can add glitter. We painted on glitter glue, but if you glitter them odds are good you will be eating glitter.
You can paint them.
You can glue tissue paper pieces or hole punches on.
You can use pipe cleaners to make arms, legs, wings, etc.
Make holders for your eggs with little strips of cardboard taped into a circle.
Store your eggs in the fridge and eat them within 5 days.

Halloween Dyed Eggs

Other Fun Things to Do With Dyed Eggs

Sticker Stenciling on Dyed Eggs

Rubber Cement Dyed Eggs

Melted Crayon Eggs from Spoonful

Tissue Paper and Parsley Eggs from Aunt Peaches

*This is a rehash of my Valentine’s Day Dyed Eggs post

Thanksgiving Pinterest Board

Halloween Dyed Eggs

*Also see our Halloween Dyed Eggs OR

Dinosaur Felt Play Mat – DIY Tips and Printable Templates

Dinosaur Felt Play Mat – DIY Tips and Printable Templates

We hope you enjoy our Thanksgiving Dyed Eggs post

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November 2014 Real Food Meal Plan

What are we eating for Thanksgiving, you say? ALL THE THINGS. One year I realized that I was completely jazzed while preparing our Thanksgiving dinner. It suddenly came to me that I was making all of my very favorite things. I look forward to that dinner like no other. I have planned out a super frugal Thanksgiving dinner and I start with my from scratch recipes every year.

The offbeat holidays we are using as an excuse to celebrate something are: National Plan Your Epitaph Day (Nov 1), World KindNess Day (Nov 13), and Use Less Stuff Day (Nov 18).

November Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom

Ideas and resources for menu planning in November, many seasonal fall and real food recipes. Very simple ingredients, from scratch. As always, these are all frugal recipes intended for a tight budget. Real food/from scratch/traditional diet/nutrient dense/whole food/blah blah blah. My monthly meal plans use an alternative meal planning method, recipes organized into tiers based on how perishable the ingredients are, not sorted into particular days.

*Attention real food purists/whole foodies – the recipes I link/pin are all from scratch, but some of them you may have to make substitutions or modifications. For example, I link recipes that have sugar, but you can substitute whatever your favorite sweetener is.

*Don’t forget to read about how I meal plan at Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning!*

In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans


Seasonal produce for November includes:

Vegetables

Artichokes
Arugula
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Garlic
Kale
Leeks
Lettuce
Onions
Parsnips
Peppers
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Squash
Sweet Potato
Swiss Chard

Fruits

Apples
Clementines
Cranberries
Pears

Epicurious Seasonal produce maps by state
CUESA Seasonal vegetables by month


Recipes from the November Meal Plan (organized by how perishable ingredients are)

Tier 1/Most Perishable (ie kale, spinach, shrooms)

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart with Gruyère from Cooking Light
Chunky Italian Vegetable Stew from Real Simple
Clean Eating Autumn Harvest Turkey Chili from The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Chicken & Parsnip Soup from The Gracious Pantry
Harvest Vegetable Orzo from Once A Month Meals
Mushroom and Lentil Pot Pies with Gouda Biscuit Topping from Epicurious
Quinoa Minestrone Soup from Generation Y Foodie
Rustic Spinach and Cornmeal Soup from Bon Appetit
Savory Sausage, Spinach, and Onion Turnovers from Cooking Light

Tier 2/Less Perishable (ie cauliflower, pepper, scallion)

Buttermilk Chicken Dumplings from Country Living
Chinese Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot from Eating Well crockpot
Crispy Cauliflower-Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli from Oh My Veggies
Pasta Primavera with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce from Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Slow Cooker Mexican Style Corn and Potato Chowder from The Nourishing Home crockpot (tier 3 if you use heavy cream)
Winter Vegetable Soup Recipe with Butternut Squash & Cauliflower from Cookin Canuck

Tier 3/Pantry or Make It Whenever (ie carrot, celery, leek, onion)

Chunky Lentil and Vegetable Soup from Budget Bytes
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup from Cooking Light
French Onion and Apple Soup from Cooking Light
Graupensuppe (German Barley Soup) from Saveur
Pumpkin Black Bean Bake from Better Homes and Gardens
Root Veggie Tartiflette from Gnowfglins
Slow Cooker Veggie Pot Pie Stew from Skinny Ms crockpot
Sweet and Savory Moroccan Stew from Big Girls Small Kitchen

Download Free Printable PDF November Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
Download PDF. This has the links in the order listed above. Keep in mind I don’t limit myself to particular days, so this is not in order by date. Save it to your desktop and you will always have a quick reference when you’re hunting dinner, you probably have the ingredients for Tier 3 recipes at this very moment!


Other November Real Food/Whole Food Meal Plans

Bi-Weekly Whole Food Meal Plan for Oct 26–Nov 8 from The Nourishing Home on The Better Mom
Frugal Real Food Meal Plan November 2014 from Don’t Waste the Crumbs
Grain-Free Weekly Meal Plan 11/3 – 11/8 from Real Food Outlaws
November Meal Plan from Letters from Sunnybrook
Real Food Meal Plan: November 1st, 2014 from Real Food Whole Life
Real Food Recipe Round Up + Weekly Meal Plan November 2nd from Sassy Moms in the City and Musings of a Housewife
Real Food Meal Plan Week 37 for Real Food Real Deals
Real Food Weekly Menu Plan 11.3.14 from O’Boy Organic
Weekly Meal Plan: November 2nd – 8th from The Vintage Mom
Whole Foods November 2014 Menu from Once A Month Meals


November Meal Plan Pinterest Boards:

Meal Plan November (just look at all that tastiness!)

Meal Plan Fall

Recipes to Try Fall

Thanksgiving

Frugal Thanksgiving Meal


In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans

Shared with Fat Tuesday, Flaunt It Friday, Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Linky Party, Menu Plan Monday on Org Junkie, Merry Monday, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Motivation Monday, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, The Party Bunch, Real Food Recipe Roundup, Say G’day Saturday, Thrifty Thursday, Turn It Up Tuesday, Oh My Heartsie Girl’s Wordless Wednesday, Real Food Wednesdays and Wake Up Wednesday

*Also see our
Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times – Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes and Costs Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times – Thanksgiving Blessing Bags Our Family Thanksgiving in Poverty – A Glimpse at the Other Side of the Holidays
Scary Mommy Thanksgiving 2014
We hope you enjoyed our November Real Food Monthly Menu Plan post for seasonal eating

Photo credits: Thanksgiving place setting from A. T. on Flickr

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How often do you make an effort to eat seasonally?

October 2014 Real Food Meal Plan

The bad news is October is kinda sorta over. The good news is the beauty of planning your meals seasonally is most of the produce in this month is still cheap. You can go back a month, or forward a month last year, and still choose frugal, easy, from scratch meals. There are a lot of pantry recipes in this meal plan, and some of the first tier recipes could be pantry if you left out the one pepper. I also put in a couple of slow cooker recipes, I’ve found myself going from my regular recipe and making it crockpot when I don’t have time to cook later. The offbeat holidays we are using as an excuse to celebrate something are: National Homemade Cookies Day (Oct 1), Mad Hatter Day (Oct 6), and Devil’s Night (Oct 30).

October Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom

Ideas and resources for menu planning in October, many seasonal fall and real food recipes. Very simple ingredients, from scratch. As always, these are all frugal recipes intended for a tight budget. Real food/from scratch/traditional diet/nutrient dense/whole food/blah blah blah. My monthly meal plans use an alternative meal planning method, recipes organized into tiers based on how perishable the ingredients are, not sorted into particular days.

*Attention real food purists/whole foodies – the recipes I link/pin are all from scratch, but some of them you may have to make substitutions or modifications. For example, I link recipes that have sugar, but you can substitute whatever your favorite sweetener is.

*Don’t forget to read about how I meal plan at Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning!*

In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans


Seasonal produce for October includes:

Vegetables

Beets
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Butter lettuce
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Corn
Cucumbers
Kale
Peppers
Potatoes
Pumpkins
Sweet potatoes
Tomatoes
Winter squash

Fruits

Apples
Blackberries
Cranberries
Grapes
Melon
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Raspberries
Watermelon

Epicurious Seasonal produce maps by state
CUESA Seasonal vegetables by month


Recipes from the October Meal Plan (organized by how perishable ingredients are)

Tier 1/Most Perishable (ie peppers, snow peas, zucchini)

Mexican Pork and Sweet Potato Stew from Woman’s Day
Slow-Cooker Soy-Glazed Chicken With Stir-Fried Vegetables from Real Simple crockpot
Southwestern Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie from Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice
Squash Enchilada Casserole from Better Home and Gardens crock pot
Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas from two Peas and Their Pod
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas from Cooking Light
Vegetable Polenta Casserole from Budget Bytes

Tier 2/Less Perishable (ie leeks)

Turkey & Leek Shepherd’s Pie from Eating Well

Tier 3/Pantry or Make It Whenever (ie carrot, celery, onion, pumpkin)

Chicken Pot Pie with Crumble Topping from Your Homebased Mom
Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese from Cooking Light
Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe from Taste of Home
Middle Eastern Lentil and Rice Soup from Oh My Veggies
Pumpkin Black Bean Tamale Bake from Once a Month Meals
Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Calzones from My Kitchen Addiction

Download Free Printable PDF October 2014 Real Food Monthly Meal Plan from The More With Less Mom
Download PDF. This has the links in the order listed above. Keep in mind I don’t limit myself to particular days, so this is not in order by date. Save it to your desktop and you will always have a quick reference when you’re hunting dinner, you probably have the ingredients for Tier 3 recipes at this very moment!


Other October Real Food/Whole Food Meal Plans

Frugal Real Food Meal Plan October 2014 from Don’t Waste The Crumbs
October Meal Plan from Letters from Sunnybrook
Real Food Recipe Roundup + Weekly Meal Plan October 26th from Sassy Moms in the City
Whole Foods October 2014 from Once A Month Meals


October Meal Plan Pinterest Boards:

Meal Plan October (just look at all that tastiness!)

Meal Plan Fall

Recipes to Try Fall


In this post: Seasonal Produce ~ Recipes ~ Download PDF ~ Pinterest Boards ~ Other Plans

Shared with Fat Tuesday from Real Food Forager and Real Food Wednesday from Kelly the Kitchen Kop

*Also see our
Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning OR Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template from The More With Less Mom
Frugal, Flexible Monthly Menu Planning OR Weekly Meal Plan Printable Template
We hope you enjoyed our October Real Food Monthly Menu Plan for seasonal eating post

Photo credits: Squirrel swiping corn from Ken Slade on Flickr

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What are you planning on cooking this month?