My Must-Have Weekly Recipes

Yep you read that right, I make the same three staple foods every week! I've been making these three for months, the quiona one for years and it saves me SO much time! I love keeping things simple, healthy and knowing I have my "go-to" options in a pinch.

First up, the most amazing quiona black bean bowl:

-2 cups cooked quiona

- 2 15oz cans of black beans

- 1/2 sweet yellow onion diced

- 3 tablespoons avocado oil

- 3 tablespoons water

- 3 tablespoons red wine vinigar

- 1 diced jalapeno pepper, I remove seeds for a more mild taste

- 1/4 cilantro chopped finely

- salt and pepper to taste

I mix all of this together well and store in an airtight glass lock container, it keeps its flavor well and is so yummy just warmed up as needed! I like to switch up my mix-ins depending on the time of day or whatever sounds good! There is always 1/4 of an avocado cut up in there plus usually some kind of meat or scrambled egg. I'll add tomatos, put it over a bed of spinach or sprinkled on tacos! I eat some version of this for 1-2 meals a day and truly don't get sick of it! It is so versatile, already pre made so I can eat something filling and heathy without taking all day to prep. 

My next go to is crockpot salsa chicken, SO easy! This is a no brainer meal, you just have to remember to put it on in the morning so its nice a tender for dinner. 

- 4 large boneless chicken breasts

- 1 cup organic salsa of choice

- salt, pepper and garlic powder sprinkled lightly over the top

- 1 cup water at the bottom to keep things moist

- cook on high for 6 hours for frozen chicken, 4 hours on high for fresh

We do street tacos, rice/quinoa bowls, on top of salads, mix in quesadillas, in scrambled eggs or just warmed with yummy chips and salsa throughout the week! The boys love it and you can switch up flavors depending on the salsa you use!

Last but not least, my favorite banana zucchini oat muffins! These are loaded with nutrients and are filling and it's the perfect way to sneak in greens and proteins for kids, no added crap and never gets old!

- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons mixed in a bowl and set aside to gel for the "egg"

- 2 small to medium ripe bananas mashed in a large mixing bowl

- 2 cups packed grated zucchini, don't drain the water this works as your "oil"

- 1/2 cup almond milk

- 1/8 cup pure maple syrup

- 1/4 almond butter

- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I love the Aloha brand, clean and whey free)

- 1 tablespoon baking soda, I prefer aluminum free 

- 1 teaspoon vanilla

- 1 teaspoon cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 3 cups gluten free quick oats (rolled works as well, I would pulse them in a blender for a more smooth texture not so chunky)

- optional* sprinkle mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or nuts of your choice!

Grease a muffin tin and bake at 375* for 24 minutes, makes about 21 muffins filled to top. You can use muffin liners but I prefer without because they get a more toasted edge that is so yummy!!

By having these three things on hand, grocery shopping is predictable, everyone stays happy and fed with ingredients that are easy to throw together and keeps us from turning to hot dogs/chicken nuggets or fast food too much! Let me know if you try any and what you think! 

 

 

 

How We've Simplified, Living Minimally

Hi friends, are you still out there?!

I'm teasing, but it has been way too long since I've jotted things down here! I fell under the pressure of "blogging" how I perceived it needed to be. No fault of anyone but myself but it became heavy and the pressure of the perfect photos, linking everything and updating on a schedule took the creative fun out of it. So here I am, back and ready to bring back the 2010 version of my blog! Wha-hoo!! My journal, thoughts, tips, tricks, pretty photos thanks to a talented husband and just more of my heart, I'm excited!

Now back to today's topic, I talk a lot about minimalism on my Instagram and a few of you have been interested in more details of the why and how we have done that. I know "minimalism" has become super trendy which is kind of annoying to be honest because while I feel like there are SO many amazing benefits behind it, the real point of living minimally sometimes gets lost. You don't have to have a white home decorated in light woods, black and white everything and clean lines. If you want bright colors, crazy prints and photos on every wall that can still be true as long as it is true to YOU! You can have both!! Shocking, right? Living minimally is getting rid of the excess that you don't need in all aspects to be able to open up space for the things you LOVE. For me getting rid of things around the house and living on the essentials more has opened up time and space physically as well as head space, creative space, play space and brings such a peace to our home. I love a well decorated home, living comfortably, having the boys look clean and well put together, having a stocked fridge and none of that has to be given up. I feel like Carl and I have gained so much in getting rid of the extra stuff. We don't have a storage room in our current home and while it can be annoying at times for things like a Christmas tree, we do actually love that it helps us stay mindful of what we do have! Clutter for me adds stress and stress makes me grumpy. Two things I really try to avoid. I love the quote, "decluttering is getting rid of the things we don't want. Minimalism is realizing how little we actually need." It is SO freeing. Think of all the mindless trips you make to Target or fast fashion stores to grab things you'll wear once or twice. I spent years doing this. If I had a fun event coming up that meant a new outfit! I'd go to the store and find something cute, nothing I really LOVED or would wear a million times but it would be fun for that one thing. I'd buy it, wear it a couple times then it would collect dust in my closet. Such a waste of money, space, energy and time. Don't tell me I'm alone in this cycle. We all fall into these traps and sometimes I still do but thanks to having my boys with me and growing another one inside me I just don't have the time and energy to run around, so in turn I've learned to really think purchases through. It's been a huge blessing being able to train my mind to wait it out when I think I really want something. I'd say nine times out of ten I walk away and never think about it again! Things like "swipe up" features on every app makes it so in our face all the time but next time you see them just simply don't swipe up! After awhile it won't feel so daunting and you'll be able to save for the few things you really do need/love and will use or wear over and over!

Here are some of the basic things we do to keep ourselves in check, we are constantly a work in progress but I do feel like we have come such a long way!

- Go through our closets monthly, you will be surprised how little you need to have an amazing wardrobe that you actually love every piece in there. Always get rid of things you haven't worn in 6 months or that don't fit. Don't hang onto things for when you get to your "goal size". Love where you are and when you need to, purchase something nice that will last and fits! I read the book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" a few years ago and while I don't do everything she suggests in her book there are some things I still do. If you have pieces that were given to you or that you're hanging onto to maybe wear if you had this specific thing... thank the article for bringing you joy and donate or sell it to someone else who will have that joy now!

- Toys. We do have quite a few toys but they all have their place organized and put away. The boys know they can have one big thing out at a time and if they want something else you have to clean up the other first. This keeps things from getting so out of hand, overwhelming and chaotic.

- Meals. We eat a lot of the same things week to week, this makes meal planning and grocery shopping easier. I love making a big batch of salsa chicken every week that we can use on tacos, salads, in quiona bowls, quesidillas or plain. It is simple and we all love it! I make healthy zucchini oat muffins every week that we have a few times a week for breakfast as well as grab and go snacks. We keep carrots, raw nuts, cucumbers, applesauce packets, kids cliff bars and apples on hand for easy snacking. We all love them! One tip I have with food, if you're wanting to eat and feed your family healthy meals, buy healthy groceries! It seems simple and really it is, if you're buying good quality healthy bread, eggs, milk then things that kids love like a grilled cheese is still giving them the nutrients they need, it's simple and they love it! Don't over complicate meals, I would love to make things more fancy but in our stage of life with little ones that aren't as adventuresome this works so well for us!

- Laundry. I've written a whole post on how I do laundry but simple don't allow it to pile up. Don't buy so many clothes that you can go weeks without washing, ironing and putting things away. It will help keep things SO simple!

- Makeup/personal items. I used to love trying new makeup, lotions, lipsticks things like that but I would never use them up and they'd go bad or I'd get sick of them. Now I have a few brands I love and I just rebuy those same things as they run out. I don't have stacks of extras lying around I just know when I'm getting close to the end I will order or pick up one more. This keeps things organized, less wasteful and you always know what you have.

- Junk drawer. We all have one, its somewhat of a necessity but it doesn't have to be a "junk drawer" more of just a catch all but keep it limited to the things that will help you. Tape, stamps, pencils, scissors things like that need a place but keep an eye on it that that is all it is and not fill it will junk. Go through it often.

Hopefully this helps give you some ideas on how you can make the switch in some areas of your life! This way of living isn't for everyone but if it sparks your interest I encourage you to pick something today to sort through and keep just the few essentials. It's addicting the freeing feeling when your things don't own you and weigh you down. Don't be afraid to throw away, donate or sell things, I really think you'll love it!! Comment below and let me know what you have done to simplify your life!

Acorns: Investing Your Spare Change

Hey there! Don't let the blog title bore you or scare you away. I promise I'll be quick and this will be worth your time :)

I've always been interested in saving and investing money. I'm the guy stopping to pick up a penny in the grocery store parking lot, and even though I'm 29 years old, my face still lights up when I visit my parents in Arizona and my dad gives me a bag of coins or tells me to keep the change after paying for something at the store. I know that pennies add up and I've seen that over the years.

As a father and husband, supporting my family and planning for the future (and doing it well) is a main goal of mine. I'm always looking for new ways to make money and new ways to save/invest my money. When I heard about the Acorns app, I knew it was perfect for me. 

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Acorns makes saving painless. You can link any of your debit or credit cards to your account and Acorns will round up each purchase to the nearest dollar. That round up amount will be invested in your Acorns app. Below is a video that shows how it works:

Super easy, right?

I started using Acorns a couple years ago. I signed up and wanted to use it to secretly save for a fun 10-year anniversary trip for Emily and I. I was too excited about the app so within about 2 days I told Emily about it and ruined that surprise, but it's been fun watching it grow and we are trying to decide what to use it for! Maybe remodeling our tiny master bathroom at some point :) This is such a great way to save up for retirement, a down payment, a car, an emergency fund, etc. Also perfect for any stage of life!

In addition to the round ups with each purchase, you can do the following to increase your savings: 

  • Recurring investments - For example, you can deposit an extra $10 each week, or $5 each day, whatever you want! I personally have a recurring investment each week and it adds up quickly! I have slowly bumped it up over time and you don't even notice the small increases.
  • One-time investments - If you get a bonus at work or some birthday money from grandparents and want to invest it, just do a one-time investment for whatever amount you would like. Put that money to work rather than sitting in a savings account.
  • Found money - This is money you get when you make purchases through their app with one of their many partners. I have used this a couple times. The first time I used Airbnb I booked it through Acorns and got 2.8% of the total price invested in my account. I also get rewards when I pay for my Dollar Shave Club purchases, which is 10% of my total order price.
  • Referral bonuses - You get $5 when a friend signs up through your link. They occasionally have limited time bonuses. In January, you can get a $1,000 bonus if 10 people sign up with your link. That's in addition to the $5 bonus for each. Not bad! 

My goal is to help at least 10 people sign up and start saving this month! You will get $5 when you sign up to get you started! If you have questions, send us an email or comment on this post. I love talking about the Acorns app (or any other ways to save/invest) so don't hesitate to ask. 

>> Start investing now! Sign up HERE. <<

BONUS: We want to send you a free Slouch Headwear beanie if you sign up and make your first deposit in January! Once you sign up and make your first investment, send us an email at SlouchHeadwear@gmail.com and we will get your beanie shipped out.

Comment below and let us know what you would use Acorns to save up for. If you want to hear more ways to make or save/invest money for you and your family, let me know what you would like to hear more about. Happy saving!

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Carl Fillerup

Husband to Emily and father of two adorable boys, Hudson and Riley. I'm the financial analyst for the Department of Surgery at a hospital in Utah. I enjoy drone photography, sports, travel, finance, meeting new people and managing our online company, Slouch Headwear.

Minimalist Stocking Stuffer Guide

Growing up Christmas was HUGE at our house, every year felt like magic! My parents would find the perfect gifts, my mom would hand make and embroider doll dresses and dress-ups, find the perfect jewelry item or surprise us with the treat we always asked for! It was the highlight of every year, Christmas Eve pj's and Christmas Day are some of my very favorite memories. While I want that same magic feeling, the excitement of waking up to see what Santa brought and finding those perfect gifts I feel so torn on the actual amount of what to gift. I want it to be a super special and exciting day filled with fun toys and treats but also lots of memories laughing with family and just hanging out. I get so overwhelmed with too much stuff around the house and the toy clutter is a major contributor. The rest of the year I spend getting rid of excess and only buying things we actually need so I don't want to undo all of that on Christmas. I love finding those perfect gifts and the way some friends have suggested to gift is something to read, wear, want and need makes me feel a little too trapped. So send any ideas you have my way, this year we have kept it pretty small with a few toys they have fallen in love with. Books in my opinion are one thing kids can never have too many of so we always do books as well as family games like Sorry and Candy Land things that we can all play and do together. Here are a few of my minimalist stocking stuffer ideas, these are things you'll find in our stockings pretty much every year and things we use every day!

Organic Hard Candies - I like to find fun little treats that we don't buy normally just to have something different and makes it special!

Chocolate - I prefer super dark chocolate, Carl loves milk chocolate or any gummy treats!

Gum - hands down the best gum out there, keeps its flavor forever!

40oz Hydro Flask - by far the best water bottle I've found, The straw lid is a MUST and such a game changer from the twist top!

Doterra's OnGuard beadlets and tablets - We love these little things for ourselves and the boys on days when we're going to be out around a lot of people or when we feel a little something coming on. They are filled with oils to boost immunity naturally from the inside out!

Tweezerman tweezers - THE best tweezers out there, I've tried so many brands and every year on Christmas I love getting a new pair!

Tongue Scraper - Have you heard of tongue scraping and all the benefits?! I started doing this awhile ago and LOVE it! Your body naturally detoxes over night and a lot of that crap sits on your tongue so waking up and drinking or eating something just puts all of that detoxing back into your system. Brushing just moves it around and then it sits in your toothbrush. You simple scrape your tongue a few times morning and night and just rinse with hot water, you'll never go back it makes your mouth feel SO clean! I love this brand and although I've ordered for Carl too they always send pink haha the only downside!

Hand Sanitizer - This one is natural and a spray which is so convenient for kids when out and about!

Chapstick - Carl is a chapstick hoarder... he can't go anywhere without it! When he played football he would even keep one in his sock just incase he needed it while on the field haha, I love it about him! His all time favorite is Blistex!

Stance socks - If you or the man or kids in your life haven't tried Stance socks this is THE perfect time and gift for them! The quality can't be beat, they last forever and the designs are amazing!!

I hope that helps, it's nothing crazy but some fun useful gifts that anyone would love! Hope you all have the Merriest Christmas with the ones you love!

DIY Laundry Soap

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I have been wanting to make the switch to clean, DIY, no harsh chemical type soaps and cleaners around the house for awhile now and I'm proud to say I've done it and I LOVE it! It is so fulfilling to make something that is so useful, actually works and is safe for my family, not to mention cost effective! This laundry soap recipe is effective, smells amazing and yes it actually cleans your clothes! I love that it doesn't have borax, that has always been my hesitation with making a lot of the DIY recipes out there so I've been super excited about this one! You can also grate a bar of Fels Naptha into the mixture and that will make it a little thicker too if you prefer that. Here's the recipe I used, now when I do my laundry it smells like a spa in my home that isn't filled with fake, hormone disrupting chemicals so I can feel great about using it which is so rewarding!

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DIY Liquid Laundry Soap Recipe

1/2 Cup Super Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Baking Soda

3/4 Cup Castille Soap - I use Dr Bronner's Lavender

Wooden spoon

20-30 Drops Essential Oils of your choice - I use Serenity, Citrus Bliss, Balance and White Fir. Mine are all Doterra and this combo smells like the Capri Blue Volcano scent, aka Anthropologie smell!

You will need a 2 gallon bucket, I bought a new clean one and just store everything inside of it so it all stays clean and together for easy mixing!

These are the jars I got, you will need two. I love that they're glass so the oils don't go bad in there, they are a great size so you can give the soap a little shake before using and they're just simple and clean looking. I also love that I bought it all on Amazon, it doesn't get any easier than that!

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Steps

1. Pour 1/2 cup Super Washing Soda into the 5 gallon bucket and add just enough hot tap water to cover the soda. Stir until dissolved.

2. Add in 1/2 cup Baking Soda to the mixture, stir until dissolved.

3. Fill up the bucket almost all the way to the top leaving about 1 inch. Make sure you do this before adding the soap or you'll have a big bubbly mess!

4. Pour in 3/4 cup Dr Bronner's Castille Soap and mix well. Like I said, I love the lavender scent but you can get unscented or they also have peppermint and citrus and things like that too!

5. Add essential oils. I did about 10 Serenity, 8 Citrus Bliss, 6 Balance and 4 White Fir. Use whatever you love, this is the fun part!

6. Pour laundry soap into the jars. I just use my measuring spoon then when it gets lower I pour the rest in.

You will use 1/3 Cup per load for standard size loads.

*This laundry soap separates a little when sitting so just shake it before you scoop into your washer.

Also the smell is not overpowering like you're used to with detergent, just because it smells good doesn't mean it is clean. Clean laundry smells crisp and fresh but not like perfume. Let me know if you make it and how you like it! I am so excited with how it has worked for us!

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