Kandi Pitrus' Blog
What steps does it take to plan and execute a make-ahead meal plan? You need a desire to take on a big project. Along with planning what meal recipes you will use you will need to prepare for the grocery shopping trip. You will need a prepping and cooking game plan for the day you put these meals together. Having all the storage space cleaned out ahead of time will be a necessity. You will need to decide on the types and sizes of the storage containers you will use for each meal. Then again check your motives because this is an undertaking for the brave.
How to Organize Before Cooking
Start with the recipes and how many meals you want to make ahead. Remember this is a lot of work and take s a block of time, so starting small is still a start. You may already have a few recipes that you know will freeze well and that your family enjoys. Then do some research from freezer cookbooks from the library. Pinterest is a quick and easy way to find recipes. The website www.allrecipes.com has a search method that allows you to put in, or leave out, specific ingredients, create a grocery list and save to your favorites. Once you have the recipes, you can start your grocery list. Remember to “shop” your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. You can cross-reference your grocery list with the weekly sales circular. Now schedule the shopping trip and the cooking on different days, but close enough that your fresh food does not spoil. Finally, make sure any of your small appliances or cooking utensils you will be using are clean and in working order.
The Day of Prepping and Cooking
Most of the articles on bulk freezer cooking advise you to get a good night sleep, eat a hearty breakfast, and keep a glass of water nearby on the day you will be cooking. Take the advice to heart. You will also want to dress for comfort and wear supportive footwear. If you are working with someone else, go over the day’s schedule and split up the tasks. Prep work includes washing and cutting up any of the fresh ingredients, preheating the oven if needed, and starting some boiling water if you are precooking any kinds of pasta, vegetables, grains, beans, etc. Whatever has the longest cook time is what you want to start first. Remember one step at a time, and you will get it all done. Once you have everything prepped and precooked, you can begin to assemble the meals in the containers. Make sure you choose a storage method that works for the meal, ensuring you can both store and reheat in the same container. Remember to label the meal and if possible, any cooking instructions. When you finish your long day of make-ahead freezer meals, do a little happy dance, you did it!
Want a quick make-ahead plan? Next time you make one of your family’s favorite meals, double the recipe and put in the freezer for the future.
Your outdoor deck will often serve as the preferred place for entertaining and relaxing on a sunny day. But wood decks do not last forever. It's imperative that you repair your wood deck and its weak posts to keep your deck in top shape, but when wood rot is concerned, it's better to take out the rotten wood entirely and rebuild the deck.
1. Identifying Wood Rot in a Deck
Weakened wood doesn’t necessarily indicate rot with rot, the wood is usually soft and spongy to the touch, with the outer surface losing its coloration. When you push anything into the wood, it will push in very easily, with the wood crumbling. There is usually the presence of fungus with wood rot. The interior of the wood is rotten and very porous, often falling apart when touched and disintegrating with a feel close to that of dry bread.
2. Remove Rotten Wood Deck Boards
Use a claw hammer or pry bar to remove rotten wood deck boards, while you are standing on the ground or mounting a ladder next to the deck. Remove as many of the intact sections as you can. After all whole sections are removed, turn the boards over to the other side and remove the nails from the back. Repeat it on the front side, removing the nails with the claw hammer, and throw away the nails. Any sections of rotten wood left on the joists can be chiseled off with the pry bar. Pry off the nails still on the joists with the claw hammer and dispose of them.
3. Cutting Rotten Deck Post
Rotten wood deck railings are particularly dangerous for people using the deck as they depend on them for safety. Most people who use the deck assume that railings and guards are safe to use and may end up leaning against them with their full weight. Remove the rotten railings by using your hammer to strike beneath it, hitting upwards. This angle removes the nails which are holding the rails. Continue by sliding the pry bar underneath the railing or guard and wrenching upward. Posts that provide support railings and guards can consequently be removed by hand. To be safe, you should remove all nails as soon as they come off the destroyed deck.
You can get the materials you need from any hardware store around you. You should also wear a respirator because there are potentially dangerous fungi accompanying wood rot.
Adding a new furry friend into your life can be fun and exciting until you notice that your favorite shoes have bite marks in them. If you've recently added a new puppy into your life or getting ready to, it's essential to protect your belongings to enjoy this excellent adventure fully.
Puppy-proof your home.
Objects such as shoes, wires, and pillows can be a puppy's playground. Before committing to this addition to your family, it's essential to prepare your home to protect your things. It may require getting out of the habit of taking off your shoes at the door and start putting them inside a closet where the puppy can't access them. You may also want to consider hiding any exposed wires to reduce the risk of chewed up wires and broken electronics. Another area to be concerned about is curtains and pillows. During the youthful stage of your puppy, make it a point to keep curtains off the ground and pillows off of furniture. They can be expensive to replace, so for the time being consider putting them out of reach.
As soon as your furry friend comes home, start the training process. Start with potty training, crate training, and simple commands. If you plan to enroll your dog to school to get professionally trained, he or she should already know how to sit, stay, and come. If you plan on fully training your pet yourself, then be sure to educate yourself on effective methods and fully commit to the process. It can be a long process, but it is definitely worth the overall investment.
The earlier you start setting boundaries, the sooner your puppy will practice them. If you do not want the puppy in certain parts of the house, put up a fence or start the habit of closing the doors. Be sure to enforce these boundaries as soon as possible and don’t let up on them no matter how adorable those puppy eyes are.
Let your dog be a dog.
Having a new dog in the home can take up a lot of time. In order to give your puppy an appropriate outlet for its energy, take it on regular walks, trips to the dog park, and set aside time to play. When you don't make time for your furry pal, it will find another way to let its energy out, and that usually results in something being chewed up. If you're away from your home for a large portion of the day, hire a dog walker or sitter to play with your puppy while you're gone.
Adding a new pup to your home can be exhausting in the beginning, but with the right tools and commitment, you’ll start enjoying its company. If you’re having problems training your puppy, contact a local dog training school and enroll them as soon as possible.
Outside exercise like running a certain distance can be a great way to workout, be physically fit, and even reduce weight. You don't need any gear or pay an excessive fee just to be a member of a gym.
Running is the perfect outdoor exercise. Running not only makes you physically fit but also gives you a chance to have an expanded view of your new city. Running new routes allows you to be more familiar with your new town.The only tricky problem attached to running in a new town is finding safe, secure, less crowded, and enjoyable running paths.
Below are tips that will help you in mapping out a safe 5k run in a new town:
- Have a chat with a local: Make friends with the people who have been living in that town for a while. Ask them about the safe routes in the city suitable for a 5k run. The locals already know their town inside out. Make sure you ask them if there's a popular running path that is totally safe and not too crowded.
- Use a mobile app: With the technology advancements, you gain access to almost any information needed. There are lots of mobile applications to help you map safe 5k routes. For example, check out All trails, Realbuzz, Strava's global heat map, iSmoothRun, Endomondo, MapMyRun, Runkeeper, Runstatic, or Couch to 5K.
- Check online for recommendations: You can research online for a specific trail you want to map out for a safe 5k run. People's reviews and testimonies go a long way in helping you. Try using Yelp to searching for “running trails.” Local runners use the site to post their recommendations.
- Find a running friend or a running group: You can run with a friend or a group to be able to check the environment personally to know if it is indeed safe or less crowded. Local athletic shoe stores often know of running trails and groups to join. Check at work, the local library, or Meetup to see if they keep a list.
- Do adequate research on the route: If the path you’ve chosen leads through public parks, neighborhoods, or trails, take time to locate any posted rules. Certain courses may have hour restrictions, and some locales may have regulations about running on school property during school hours. Introduce yourself to the school office or stop by the city’s parks and recreation department. You’ll meet new friends while finding the information you need.