5 Ways to make Holiday gift giving not feel like a Burden

Let me first preface this post by saying Christmas is NOT an emergency! It comes every year on THE SAME DAY. So in actuality we should be prepared when the holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start shopping. But I will be the first to admit that I have been one of those people stressed and ill prepared for Christmas. In fact I have felt tremendous amounts of anxiety and sadness and inadequateness (is that a word?) when Christmas was coming because I was not able to afford the things I wanted to give the people I love. Let’s be real, the holidays have become hella commercialized and people spend a lot of money this time of year unnecessarily and if you don’t have it to spend you can feel less than. The holiday season can go from joyful to feeling like you had a chair pulled out from under you REAL QUICK! So I wrote this post to hopefully make us feel what the holidays should be about which is making memories with our loved ones.

So how do you make the most magical time of year feel magical again? Let me give you my two cents!

  1. Manage Expectations– You are not superwoman (or man) and you cannot nor should you even be trying to make everyone happy. When I say manage expectations this means letting the people that matter know where you are at and what you are capable of this holiday season. This includes the kids. My kids usually get one major (i.e. expensive) gift from us (the parentals) each year on Christmas. They may get a few smaller gifts or maybe not but we do try to get the ONE major thing they ask for. They understand and are perfectly fine with this because they know all year long they are getting things they need and may want. If you have smaller kids understand you set the expectation for Christmas now so don’t go overboard or it will be something they always expect. Also I stopped buying for adults a few years back. Let me explain. I was raised in a family where Christmas was strictly about the kids. Also we only celebrated Christmas with immediate family so you only bought for a limited amount of people. My ex husband’s family is the opposite. They buy a gift for everyone! And I mean everyone! The gift could be big or small but anyone that visits them on that day will not leave empty handed. I love this about them but it was very different and intimidating for me after awhile. To try to match that effort was exhausting mentally and financially. I had to learn this is the way THEY celebrate and not necessarily how I should or have to. So a few years back I let them know I would not be purchasing major gifts for adults (I may give something small). If they had kids I would make sure the kids would get a gift. And I make sure my in laws have a nice gift because they are always a help to me all through the year. No one was offended or mad about this and it actually lessened the pressure because I was one less person they had to worry about on their list. So speak up and let people know what you can do instead of trying to make miracles happen.
  2. Set a budget– This should go without saying but you need to have a budget for your holiday shopping. It can be a budget per kid or per person. Or you can say I’m spending $500 on gifts for everyone and that’s it. Now after you have the budget the key is to stick to it! Don’t apply more stress by trying to make more happen than you can. This is one day a year. If you feel like you want to give a loved one something special you can do it ANYTIME of the year specifically when you CAN afford it. And it would probably mean more to them anyway. Who doesn’t want a gift anytime of year?
  3. Use your talents– We all have something we are good at. Whether is cooking or baking or writing or even make up we can always give our talents as gifts to the ones we love. Bake cookies and package them up really cute and give as gifts. If you write for example make a book of poetry or a story especially for that person. Or make a coupon book for a free make up session or even to babysit the kids to give a stressed out mama a night off. With the internet and Amazon anything is possible lol! But use what you got, be thoughtful and you can still give a gift your loved ones will cherish and remember.
    Focus on creating memories– The best and most expensive thing you can give anyone is your time! It’s something you can never get back so it really is a treasure when you take time out to spend and create times you can look back on with your family. I used to host a night when my kids were younger where their cousins could come over and we would make Christmas cookies and drink hot cocoa. My kids still remember this! Now my in laws host a gathering a few days before Christmas where everyone comes over in their pajamas and watch movies and eat lol. This is what the holidays are for in my opinion and this should be the focus instead of just gift giving.
    Give yourself Grace– It is not only important to manage the expectations others have of you but you must also manage the expectations you set for yourself. If this is a rough year for you in whatever way don’t stress yourself out trying to make things happen for one day. It’s never that serious. Accept reality whatever that may be and take the pressure off yourself. Sometimes, no most times we are our own worst enemies. We also live in an instant society that has put a timeline on things and events that in actuality take years to happen. If it’s Christmas time and you don’t got it like that understand that is okay. It doesn’t make you any less than a person. It makes you real & actually wise to not try to make happen what you cannot.

I hope this post gives you some things you can do to make this season a good one. Please understand people & time cannot be replaced no matter how hard science is trying to clone folks. Many people have lost ones they love either through separation, divorce, death etc and they wouldn’t care not one bit about a gift if they could get a few minutes with that person. So it is so important to know life is the most precious gift of all. Spend the holidays, give your time and believe me things will be just fine.

Love Ricki

Creating a better morning

If you read my last blog post you know that one of my ways of beating stress or at least lessening the Single Mama blues is to be better prepared and more organized. Especially on the weekdays when it’s a mad rush to get out of the house on time. I wanted to share the new morning routine I’ve created to make getting out of the house in the morning not just easier, but way less stressful.

Every morning routine actually starts the night before. This is the time you should lay out your clothes (or at least think about what you are going to wear) and have your kids do the same. This includes undergarments and socks. Especially socks – do you know how many times I’ve almost been late because Lil Diva was trying to find socks? Anyway if you are packing a lunch, do it now and also if anything needs to be signed or checked make sure you complete that and have the kids tuck it away in their backpacks. This whole routine should take you 15-20 minutes but will save you hours of frustration in the morning time.

The first thing I like to do in the morning is take 15-20 minutes for myself. Before anyone wakes I take some time to read my bible verse (or more) in the morning, say my prayers and affirmations and also have a little personal time scrolling through social media. This helps me get going in the morning and sets my intentions. I also make sure to thank God for everything big and small. Gratefulness is a wonderful way to set your attitude in the morning.

Next I start my coffee machine and then if I am planning on wearing make up I take a few minutes to start applying it and do my hair before I wake up the crew. I need that time to focus on me and my morning needs. Just like the airplane air mask, you can’t help others if you don’t have yourself together.

I then wake up Bean and Lil Diva and drag her out of the bed. I always have her get ready in the bathroom while I finish my routine. It helps me to make sure the gets all her tasks done like washing her face and brushing her teeth. Otherwise she will forget or drag on the process. Next year she will be in fifth grade and we will transition her to getting ready without supervision but for now this is what works for me. Always do what works for you. Please don’t let anyone tell you how to run your tribe!

Finally we will get dressed, backpack and laptops and lunches and head out the door. Bean is a pro about being ready in the morning and Middle Diva doesn’t have to get up as early because her school bus comes later. One thing I try to do every morning is check our calendar and to do list to see if we need anything else before heading out the door. I usually create this list the night before so I can be prepared.

Me & Lil Diva doing our morning Instastories!

This is what works for me in the morning. I encourage you to create a routing that works for you and your family and start the night before preparing for your day. This is the major key that helps my morning flow smoothly. Also don’t forget to take a few moments for yourself. What tips can you share to create a better morning? Comment below. Also check out my Morning Routing Vlog style where I show you how my morning goes IN REAL LIFE. Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe!

Love Ricki

Single Mama Blues & How I deal with them

The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. Some things have went really well like my cookbook (thanks everyone for the support) and my social media is growing. I’ve really felt like I’ve been on my purpose which is to encourage and inspire women in some way, shape or form. However some days I have barely been making it. Baarly (say that like the lady who said she was legally blind lol). This week I was frustrated & stressed trying to get my children to school safely (it was storming and they normally walk) and ended up being late for work. Like a possible write up late. I broke down in the car. I know life has it’s peaks and valleys but it is sometimes too much when they happen in the same day. I cried real tears this week, it was a struggle.

When you are a single mother it ALL FALLS ON YOU. Now don’t get it twisted I have help which I am grateful for but at the end of the day I am the decision maker, boss, executor of tasks, ALL OF THE THINGS. I am blessed to be in the position to be several people’s mama but I am also still stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes. But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to feel this way. I posted on my social media earlier this week how the first thing someones says when describing a black woman is that they are strong. And I don’t like that. Don’t get me wrong I am strong, I believe it’s an inherent trait built in ALL women (I mean we bear children and that shit hurts!) but it is not our defining characteristic. In fact the description of strength we have been given has somewhat been our downfall. As I’ve talked about before we think of ourselves as Superwoman and have thrown on this imaginary cape and all it’s really doing is choking the life out of us. I am not here for any of that. I was put on this earth to be an example of God’s love, to love my children unconditionally and live an abundant life. All this other stuff that we’re trying to live up to so we can shout about being strong to whoever is listening (nobody) doesn’t do anything but stress us out. Plus from the Bible I read it says something along the lines that our strength lies in God. Not us. And that’s what I had to remember this week when I was overwhelmed from trying to do everything on my own. Especially when I don’t always have to. I got my self help tools out and took some of my own advice to get myself together and get back on track again. I am sharing my tips below:

  • Cry – This is one of the main reasons why I don’t like this whole strong woman definition. It makes us think it’s not okay to feel. We are feminine!!! We were made to feel emotions, to be soft and vulnerable and loving and nurturing. It is therapeutic to cry. It helps us get out emotions we may not know how to put in words. It also cleanses us. It’s okay to cry. I give you permission to do it but more importantly give yourself permission to.
  • Ask for help – You knew that was coming right? I know what you’re going to say tho. If I had help I wouldn’t be in this situation. You probably have help you just haven’t asked for it. And usually it’s because we are ashamed to (trying to keep up some image), we don’t want to be disappointed, and we don’t like giving up control. We need to stop thinking we were created to be islands in this world. We all need each other at some point and it’s usually not a one time thing. When you have to ask for help look at it this way, you are giving someone the opportunity to be a blessing to you and in turn one day you can be a blessing to them. Simple as that. So stop being prideful and ask for what you need. It’s way better for someone to be able to throw you a life preserver now than try to perform CPR after you’ve already drowned.
  • Take a break – Whether it be from social media, TV, a bubble bath with the door locked, or a fast food meal in Walmart parking lot, take a few minutes or more for you. Even if you have to steal them from somewhere else. As women and especially as mothers our lives move super fast. We are always going and doing and never taking the time to slow down, hell sometimes we just can’t for whatever’s reason. However we cannot keep going if we don’t take some time to break away from the busyness of life and breathe. So even if it’s a 15 minute break before you lift the garage door and all the kids run out telling you who did what to whom, take it!!!
  • Talk to someone- I am grateful for my family and friends because I know when I need to sort the thoughts running thru my mind or just express what I’ve been feeling, I can call and do that without feeling judged or like I’m being a bother. And they can do the same to me. It is vital that we do not hold things inside. It only hurts us, not just emotionally or mentally but physically. Also there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with speaking to an objective third party, aka a therapist. Sometimes we just need to talk and let it out or get an opinion or make sure where headed in the right direction. We may not have a person we trust, so that’s where a therapist can come into play. Shoot they even have them online. Whatever you have to do tho, get those thoughts out to someone.
  • Prepare & get organized- This is something I don’t like to admit but we often cause our own stress by not being organized. By not packing a lunch the night before or figuring out what we are going to wear. We run thru rushing in the morning, hollering unnecessarily, forgetting things and just making life harder than it has to be. Do yourself a favor and when you have time use it wisely by getting prepared for what you know is coming. You know you have to go to work and school so stop looking like a deer in headlights and save some time and stress and make it easier on yourself.

Those are some of the things I do when I start experiencing the single mama blues. But you don’t have to be a single mother to do these. It applies to all women just out here trying to live our best lives. We play so many roles as women from daughter, sister, wife, auntie, mama, caretakers, business women, teachers, lovers and on and on we have to learn to preserve our most important role – YOU.

Love Ricki

5 Slow Cooker recipes using only 5 ingredients or less – and none of them are soups!

I recently wrote a blog post on the my love for the crockpot. It is my sous chef of sorts and helps me get dinner done a few times a week. Sadly I know everyone doesn’t utilize this wonderful appliance as they should. So I began to think of ways to help you see the wonderful benefits the slow cooker has and of course recipes came for mind. Here are 5 easy but delicious slow cooker recipes that you can add to your meal plan. I made sure to use simple easy to find ingredients and give you meal ideas to use along with them. For the purposes of this post we are not counting seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc) as one of the ingredients because those are things you should have on hand already. Feel free to season according to you and your family’s taste. Also I would suggest oiling or spraying your slow cooker with oil prior to use or pop in a liner. Now let’s see what we can get cooking!

Chicken Taco Meat

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts or tenders (about 2 lbs)
  • Ranch dressing mix
  • Taco Seasoning mix
  • Salsa

Add chicken breasts to slow cooker and add both packets of seasoning. Pour salsa over (you can also add a 1/2 cup of water but that’s optional) and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Shred chicken.

You can add this to tortillas or hard shell tacos and serve with rice or beans. This can also be used over nachos or a filling for enchiladas or a chicken version of Mexican stuffed shells.

Pulled Pork

Ingredients:

  • Pork loin or roast
  • Can of dark soda (Dr. Pepper, root beer or cola)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Chopped or sliced onions (optional)

Add onions to slow cooker if using. Season pork to liking and add over onions. Pour over BBQ sauce and add can of soda. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred meat.

You can serve this in hamburger buns or sliders with French fries or chips on the side. Also the leftovers make great carnitas, just fry them in a sprayed pan til crispy.

Mississippi Roast

Ingredients:

  • Beef roast (about 2-3 lbs)
  • Ranch dressing mix
  • Au Jus gravy mix
  • Stick of butter
  • Pepperonis (optional)

Add roast to slow cooker. Season with both packets of seasoning. I wouldn’t suggest adding additional salt because the seasoning used is already salty enough. Add pepperoni if using. Place stick of butter on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

This can be served with rice or mashed potatoes and whatever veggies you like. Also can use it to make Upside Down Mississippi Roast. Recipe here.

Angel Chicken

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts or tenders (about 2 lbs)
  • Cream of mushroom or chicken or both (whichever you prefer)
  • 8 ounce block of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • Italian dressing mix
  • Mushrooms, fresh or canned (optional)

Season chicken to taste and add to slow cooker. Add Italian dressing mix, cream cheese, soup and mushrooms if using. You can add water if you want more sauce but this is optional as the chicken will make liquid while cooking. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

This is great over any pasta with a salad or steamed veggies on the side. Also makes a great filling for a chicken lasagna.

Meatballs – 2 ways

Ingredients:

  • Package of frozen meatballs (usually found in the freezer section)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Grape jelly
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)

Or

  • Package of frozen meatballs
  • Italian dressing mix
  • Jar of marinara sauce

Add meatballs to slow cooker. Warm BBQ sauce in microwave and then mix in grape jelly. Add over meatballs and pour in water if using. Cook on low for 2-3 hours

Serve as an appetizer night – I like to do this on Sundays with nachos or wings. Or add veggies and Mac and cheese.

Add meatballs to slow cooker. Add Italian dressing mix and marina sauce. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Serve over pasta with a salad and garlic bread for dinner. Or add to hoagie rolls and top with cheese and put under the broiler for a minute or two for meatballs subs. Also cut them up and add a pizza topping to tortilla pizzas.

I hope these recipes I shared make you reach for and use your slow cooker more. It works while you are busy with life and and produces yummy recipes that can be used in various meals with a little imagination. Tell me in the comments which one you plan on trying! Also make sure you’re following me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama and tag me if you try any!

Love Ricki

Looking for more recipes? Purchase my cookbook here: https://payhip.com/b/WN19

I wrote a cookbook & here’s a recipe from it!

Yaassssssssssssss!!! Unless you’ve been living under a rock then you already know I wrote a cookbook! I want to share that of course and a recipe from my book but more importantly I want to share that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT IN LIFE!!! No matter what! It was not easy accomplishing this but I set a goal and met it and I have to say I’m proud of myself. I work a full time job, raise 4 people, write for this blog, make videos for YouTube, manage all my social media and did I mention I’m single. Whew Chillay! Yeah this was hard, but not impossible. What kept me going was the words of Myleik Teele saying “Done is better than Perfect” I have told y’all many times that technology and me are not friends so when it comes to creating things on the computer I AM LOST! But I can say I googled & Youtubed everything whenever I had a question. I was determined to get this done because the uncomfortable feeling I’ve been having lately wouldn’t let me stop. All I can say if you’ve been feeling something inside you telling you to make a move or a change DO IT!!! Don’t think about it, just do it. There is no failure only lessons!

Well I am very happy to present my cookbook Cook Yo Meals Volume One. It includes over 20 recipes to inspire you to make dinner for your family. The recipes are easy, delicious and use simple ingredients. Almost nothing makes me happier than when people enjoy my recipes. All I ever want to do is make cooking enjoyable again and I hope my cookbook does that. My cookbook is available for purchase below:

https://payhip.com/b/WN19

As a thank you for following me I wanted to share one of my newest family favorite recipes, Upside Down Mississippi Roast! And I also recorded a Cook with Me video to go along with it. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

Boneless beef roast

1 pack of Au Jus gravy mix

1 pack of Ranch Dressing Mix

½ cup of water

2 sticks of butter

¼ cup of onions (I use frozen)

1 package of frozen green beans or can use 1 can of green

beans

½ cup of sliced mushrooms (optional)

4-5 Russet Potatoes

1 block of cream cheese

Seasonings – salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder

¼ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

1-2 cups of shredded cheese, I used Colby Jack but feel free

to use whatever you like or have

Directions: Spray or oil crockpot so roast won’t stick.Place roast inside and sprinkle half the pack of gravy and ranch mix. Turn roast over and season other side. Place stick of butter on top and add the ½ cup of water to the bottom of the crockpot. Place lid and cook on low from 4-6 hours depending on how fast your crockpot cooks and how big your roast is. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When roast is done cooking shred with fork and add the frozen onions and green beans to the crockpot and let warm while you prepare the potatoes. I prepare my potatoes in the instant pot but can also boil on the stove until tender. Here are my instructions for the instant pot: Add potatoes to the instant pot and fill with enough water to cover. Set on manual for 12 minutes and don’t forget to set vent to sealing. Once done perform quick release (set vent to venting to release steam). Open instant pot and drain water from potatoes. Can place back in Instant Pot and then add cream cheese, butter, seasonings and mash. Add heavy whipping cream. You want it to be somewhat thick in order to spread. Place shredded roast with green beans and onions in a casserole dish or 9×13 pan. If you are adding mushrooms, add them now. You can add a layer of cheese now if you would like. Spread mashed potatoes to cover roast. Add cheeses on top and place in oven for 15-20 minutes just until cheese melts. This dish contains the meat, potatoes and veggies so it is a complete dish. Add the bread and you’re done!!!

Check out the YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/dJ_Y8116Bts

I hope you make this! Tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama (make sure to follow) and show me what you’re cooking! And also follow me on Pinterest under the same name!Pin the recipe here:

Love Ricki

Cleaning Tips for the Single Mama

I titled this post Cleaning Tips for the Single Mama because that is what I am for and it is the viewpoint I speak from for this blog. Please don’t side eye me though because the tips I share can be applied to any mother married or single. Now that we have that out of the way let me start by saying, CLEANING IS NOT LIFE!!! I love to have a clean house, candles burning and everything in order just like the next mama but that is not reality. And if I try to make it a reality everyday I will only drive myself crazy. And crazy me is not cute. So I have learned not to obsess over having a clean house. I also think a lot of people live this way to or else Clean with Me videos on Youtube (see mine linked below) would not be so popular. I truly come from a place of you can only do what you can. Also just because your home isn’t sparkling doesn’t make you a nasty or bad person. It makes you human. Again, I clean and enjoy a clean house but I also enjoy living and sometimes that can get a little messy especially with a family. FYI: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is not in the Bible *shrugs shoulders*

  • Tip #1: Establish a routine – I’m old school so my cleaning routine usually is on Saturday morning and consists of Pine Sol and Comet and music blaring on the speakers lol. Saturday mornings I usually take the time to give the kitchen a deep cleaning and clean out the refrigerator since it is trash day. This also helps me take inventory of what we have on hand or may need because I also usually “make groceries” that day to. Assign a day and commit a few hours to get important cleaning done such as the kitchen and bathrooms – the most used spaces in a home.
  • Tip #2: Everyone gets a job – even the little kids. If he or she is 18 months and above they can pick something up and put it away. Lil Diva has a job and even though she despises cleaning (she took a “vacation” for almost a month at her granny’s house to avoid cleaning – that’s how much she dislikes it!) she knows what she is expected to do. We are a team and even though kids least favorite thing to do is clean they do enjoy a clean, fresh smelling space. I also do not give my kids an allowance for cleaning. To each his own and no judgement if you do but cleaning is a necessary skill of adulthood and since I’m raising several people it is understood you need to learn how to clean as a life skill, not an extracurricular activity.
  • Tip #3: Make a system – I have a way of doing things. It helps the process flow and ensures I get everything completed. I started off going from one place to another and truth be told I am not a great multitasker. It is not my strongpoint – if too much is going on I get overwhelmed and frustrated and nothing gets done. I learned I have to have a system. You’ll hear me say in the video I wipe everything down first and onto the floor and then I sweep and mop last. Do things in a particular order that works for you.
  • Tip #4: Stop trying to do everything – I used to try to have EVERYTHING done in one day and then want to cry when a few hours later things started getting a little messy again. Plus I took up my whole off day! We actually live in these spaces. Which means things will get left out of place, spills will happen and dust will collect. You will frustrate yourself trying for perfection. Saturday mornings are for my kitchen and bathrooms. Sundays are laundry and straightening the bedrooms. During the week we make sure the kitchen is clean Saturday thru Thursday and I make sure kids put backpacks and shoes away etc. Fridays I usually give myself and the kids a break from cleaning anything. We just don’t try to fit it all in one day because in my opinion ultimately it’s wasted energy. I wouldn’t suggest you do it either.
  • Tip #5: Give yourself a reward – I learned this from @farahjmerhi. She lights a candle when she finishes a room. I pretty much do the same but mostly because I love the smell. Reward yourself with fresh flowers or a satisfying cup of coffee or tea or 15 minutes of Youtube or an audiobook. This will motivate you to keep the routine going. It really works.

Those are my tips for maintaining a clean space. Nothing fancy just get the basics done and don’t worry about trying to have everything perfect. It’s just gonna get messy again anyway lol.

Check out my very first Clean with Me video below! Also in the comments let me know what your cleaning routine is!

Love Ricki

I’m in love…with the Crock Pot

I really should be saying slow cooker but just like we call tissues-Kleenex, we call slow cookers-crockpots so that’s what I’m going to refer to it as here. He treats me well and even feeds me, what’s not to love about a crockpot??? I know in the world of instant everything a crockpot seems outdated and old fashioned. Especially since the Instant Pot or pressure cooker hit the scene. I do have a little thing going on with my Instant Pot (post soon come) but it can NEVER REPLACE THE LOVE I HAVE FOR MY CROCKPOT!!! So let me count the ways…

  • It takes cheaper cuts of meats and tenderizes them – That meat you can purchase because you’re on a budget is sometimes a little tougher but it will be broken down by the slow and low cooking of your crockpot. Also great for beans.
  • It cooks a meal WHILE YOU’RE GONE!!! – this in itself should be one of the number one reasons that you should own a crockpot! Who doesn’t want a meal waiting for them when they get off from work, errands, & chauffeuring kids around? I’ll wait…
  • This is a great appliance for beginners – There is nothing complicated about using a crockpot and there are so many great easy recipes for new cooks!
  • They use less electricity – Crockpots actually can reduce electricity costs especially if you have a newer version and they actually use less energy than a pressure cooker.
  • There are soooo many recipes – from simple to complex a lot of things can be made in the slow cooker.
  • Flavor – because of the slow and low cooking the food has better taste in every bite.

So since I’m all about this slow cooker life let me give you a few tips as well:

  • Get a slow cooker with a timer. A lot of us leave our home for the day and we are not always back to turn the crockpot to warm when the 4-6 hours are up. Do yourself a favor and get a crockpot with a timer so it will automatically switch to warm when the time is up and you won’t have burnt food (contrary to popular belief you can burn food in the crockpot- ask me how I know). I have linked one <a href=”http://&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>here.
  • Prepare your food the night before or meal prep on the weekend but you are more apt to use your crockpot if you have your ingredients ready to go ahead of time.
  • Stop lifting the lid on your crockpot!!! One of the ways it cooks is it keeps a certain temperature for a certain time period, sometimes your recipes don’t come out as tender or flavorful because you’re lifting the lid before time. That increases cooking time so if you need to check on it just peep thru the lid- that’s why they make glass lids!
  • Use crockpot liners- they are life savers! You can get them from any local grocery store and they make clean up a dream! Or check them out with this <a href=”http://&#8221; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>link.
  • Be creative! There are sooooo many recipes you can cook in the crockpot beyond taco soup (even tho that’s a great one). Get on Pinterest, check Amazon for books (I’ve linked them on my storefront) or check out my blog and Instagram for recipes, ideas and inspiration.

So those are some of the many reasons I fell in love and still am to this day with my crockpot. I have linked my most recent grocery haul and mini meal prep below that helped me prepare for some delicious crockpot meals I made this past week. So do you own a crockpot? What’s your favorite recipe to make in it? Comment below!

Love Ricki

If you decide to make a purchase through my links, I will earn a small commission  for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to offset expenses to run this blog and other platforms so thank you!”