Lentil Soup

Go ahead and tell your husbands and your kids to thank me because I have a top notch recipe for a meatless, veggie loaded soup that they will request on their birthdays for years to come.

I made a huge pot last week so we would have a meal to welcome us home after our trip to Charleston. It was comforting, coming home to this lentil deliciousness after a 7 hour drive and being jolted back to reality after a romantic getaway.

So... here ya go...

1 large onion diced
3 carrots diced
extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dry lentils (soak for a few hours if you have time)
enough water to cover lentils, seasoned with beef bullion (I use Better Than Bullion)
1  28 oz. can diced tomatoes
chopped frozen or fresh spinach (several handfuls)
fresh parsley

Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with olive oil, heat, add onions and carrots. Cook until tender and then salt and pepper generously. Lower heat, add garlic and stir. Add lentils. Cover with water/beef bullion. Bring the heat up and allow lentils to simmer until soft (45 minutes to 1 hour). Add tomatoes, spinach, parsley, and more salt and pepper to taste.

Allow to simmer at least an hour before serving with a slice of French bread! Also, if you like a little kick, drizzle some pepper sauce on your serving. It's so good! Bon appetit! You're welcome!

P.S. Soup is forgiving. Add more liquid if your need to or any other veggies that you like.

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Philosophies of my Sorta Clean House

Over time, I've fallen on two philosophies that give me perspective and help guide me in keeping my house (sorta) clean. At the very least, these mindsets take the pressure off and keep me from feeling like I've failed in the house keeping department.

1. I don't have to do it alone. It's not a one woman show. While I am primarily the one responsible for keeping our home clean and tidy, this does not mean I have to be the one doing all the work of it. When I re-frame my role as a manager of cleaning instead of the cleaner, I am significantly less overwhelmed.

What this looks like is delegating jobs to my family. Also, I hire help. With 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat (Rodney is so messy, jk) cleaning is just too big a job for one gal.

If I ever decide to forgo the help, I will definitely redistribute the responsibilities between all the family members. I love the idea of a Saturday morning deep clean. Many hands make light work.

2. Give it my all (for a limited time) and then it is done (for now). Getting my house clean (or halfway civil) should not take up all my time, but it does require some time. I used to try to marginalize tidying/cleaning into the tiny corners of my day. But I've learned that if I give it my focused attention, both the quality and the quantity of tidying/cleaning improve and then I can lay it down and be done with it...for a little while.

What this looks like is just setting the timer and doing it! I used to listen to podcast, but recently I've been uni-tasking the cleaning and straightening. It gets done faster, and because housework can be so mindless I've discovered I do some of my best thinking during cleaning sessions. It's like shower time, when we all have our most brilliant ideas.

Giving it my all for a limited time also gives me a stopping point. It's like this..."I cleaned for thirty minutes with focused attention. And now I'm done. I'm going to read my book with a glass of wine. The end."

(Pics below of my sorta clean house this week. Includes rotting pumpkin in a child's bedroom, which reminds me...honorable mention two my 3rd cleaning philosophy - Lower those expectations! ) 

Also on this topic...
Complete the Cycle (I love this)
My Super Simple Daily Housework Routine

What are your cleaning philosophies? Mantras or sayings? How do you fight the overwhelm of it all?


Somehow We Manage BEST OF FALL - link round up

Finally, the temps have dropped, we have hit our stride with school routines, and our Halloween costumes are all planned out. We feel ya, fall! And we love you.

Since my blogging has been nonexistent for weeks, I thought it might be fun to do a little round up of the best of SWM with a nod to fall.

Here we go....

Back to School 2016 - Two Things Making Me Not Crazy

Forever and always the best after school snack - banana bread

My go to fall meals

Use What Ya Got (how I stored our backpacks, lunchboxes, and shoes before our lockers were built)
Tip for Wearing Button-Down Shirts

New Coat + I'm so over buying expensive clothes

Dressing For Fall When It's 80 Degrees

Spending and Saving + Girls Clothes tips for taking summer dresses to fall and winter

Halloween 2015 feels like yesterday

20 bags in 20 days I know de-cluttering is typically a spring thing, but it's not a bad time of year to do a big clean out in anticipation for Christmas, speaking of....Five Great Toys and A Toy Worth Investing In: Magna-Tiles

I snapped this picture on a school holiday, for sure a day we had to push past the boredom.

So what's new with you?
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