by Andrea

THRIVE Founder’s Favorites SALE!

August 4, 2014 in Sales, THRIVE, Thrive Life by Andrea

August marks the 5th anniversary of Thrive cooking classes,
so we are putting on a very special sale just for you!

Our founders have picked some of their favorite Thrive Foods and created TWO limited edition packages, TWO monthly Q-pons, and lots of discounts ranging from 20-45% off all month! 

SHOP THE SALE HERE!

Flyer--August-Specials

 

SHOP THE SALE HERE!

(hurry, these deals are only while supplies last!)

by Andrea

DIY Dining Banquette Bench

June 12, 2014 in Simply Designed, Simply Living, Simply Organized by Andrea

DIY Dining Banquette Seating by Project Simple HomeSo I have been working on a project for quite a while: our brand new DIY Dining Banquette Bench!

Why did it take so long? Well, because I have actually been working on two big projects for a while now. In addition to this beautiful bench, I’m also growing a baby! Yep, this mama is pregnant! Unfortunately, my beautiful bundles of joy come with some serious morning sickness. I only had it the first trimester with Kael, but I’m not so lucky this time. So over two and a half months of weekend nap times and I finally finished our DIY dining bench. A few more weeks and I’m finally getting around to sharing it with you!

I love our home. The main area of the home is one large open space that is great for day-to-day living and entertaining. However, this open concept sometimes left the dining area feeling a little lost in the shuffle. It just wasn’t a well defined area. Our tiny 4 person table was perfect for our previous apartments, yet somehow seemed too big AND too small for our new home.

I spent MONTHS trying to figure out how to arrange the dining room so that we could eventually get a 6-8 person table in there, but it seemed useless. I tried different shapes and sizes of table including a fun triangular one, different arrangements of chairs. Nothing worked…until a blog gave me inspiration.

I came across Chelsea from Pinterior Designer on one of my regular blog reads, Remodelaholic. She was being featured for her DIY Dining Banquette. BINGO!!! My problem wasn’t the space, or even the table (though we will need a slightly larger one to fit 6-8), we were running into so many issues because of the chairs! Replace them with a L-shaped dining banquette and we were as good as gold! After reading the guest post, plus a more detailed post on her own blog, I set to work on my own version.

DIY Dining Banquette Bench. This is the space that I started out with: awkward and undefined. Using banquette seating rather than chairs allowed me to better use the space ~Project Simple Home

The bones of the dining banquette were very much the same as Chelsea’s: 2×4′s and some plywood. We pretty much used her tutorial. If you want to attempt this project, I would recommend you do the same. We did make a few changes to meet our own needs though. We ended up using a more veneer plywood since we weren’t going to upholster the backrest and the back on one side of the L-shape would be visible. We also added hinges to the top of the dining banquette seats since we were going to use the interior of the bench for some much needed storage. Finally, while I had initially planned on doing a similar decorative box molding on the bench, we have decided to keep it basic for now and add it a little later (aka…when I’m not preggo)

You always have that thought halfway through a project: I have no idea what I'm doing! ~ Project Simple HomeSome quirks and facts about our lovely new DIY Dining Banquette:

1) It is MASSIVE. Seriously heavy. While the dining banquette is only anchored into its position at three areas, this baby isn’t going anywhere. Since we have concrete slab foundation, we decided to NOT drill into the ground and only connected the bench at a few points along the wall. Even this might have been unnecessary, but it did make attaching the back board MUCH easier.Kael was more than happy to help with the sanding on our DIY Dining Banquette ~ Project Simple Home

2) The actual seats are large. Roughly 24″ in depth on each leg. We did this to increase internal storage AND so I could increase my throw pillow count. I have an unhealthy obsession with decorative pillows and my husband has given me a strict limit to how many I can own. Since they will provide ALL the back cushioning and support, that limit was doubled…almost tripled…YAY!

3) The fabric for the dining banquette cushions is from JoAnns. It’s a grey and white outdoor fabric that is a beautiful cross between a damask and vine/scroll print. It provides some pattern, but is neutral enough for me to bring excitement in with the pillows. The outdoor fabric is a bit more durable, and has some additional resistance to fading, moisture, and staining. We also ScotchGuarded the crap outta that thing. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the actual name of the fabric and I cannot find it on their online store. Sorry friends! We did watch the sales to get these items for cheap, especially the foam for the cushions. Even at 60% off, the cushions were close to $100. 

Putting up Plywood. This is the part when you start seeing every little mistake you made! ~Project Simple Home4) We splurged on paint and I’d recommend you do the same. We looked for a paint that we could scrub at without damaging the paint. Choosing a gloss paint helped, but we wanted something so scuff marks, food splatters, and other signs of use would erase with ease. We purchased our paint the same week Lowes launched their new Valspar Reserve line boosting a 40% increase in durability and 65% increase in stain resistance. We chose a light grey called Bay Waves. Thus far, we are happy with our choice. It was thicker than some paints I’ve used, but it’s true to color and went on very easily. I’ve already used some of the extra on a few small projects around the house.

5) This project is NOT finished yet. Honestly, it isn’t even close. In addition to doing the decorative molding (eventually), and getting more pillows for the back rest (hopefully sooner rather than later), we also need to get an appropriately sized table and I’d like to get 2-3 side chairs. I’m also considering a rug underneath but if that happens it will have to be post kid-throwing-food-phase. However, the addition of the dining banquette has already made a HUGE improvement to the space. 

DIY Dining Banquette from Project Simple Home. Create a space saving seating design in your dining room or breakfast nook with bench seating. Adding internal storage makes this beauty pull double duty!

 

Have you ever had a project (small or large) that completely transformed a space? Sure, the table itself still seems a bit awkward, but the room actually seems defined and large enough to host the dinner parties I’d always imagined! That is a HUGE success!  I love opening that window to let in some of the natural light, and just sitting in the corner reading a book.

I want to hear from you!

  • What is the largest home project you’ve even taken on? 
  • How many people does your current dining table seat?
  • Have you ever considered dining banquet seating?
  • Are you addicted to throw pillows :)
by Andrea

The Tale of Two Bananas

May 14, 2014 in Product Education, THRIVE, Thrive Life, Uncategorized, Why I Thrive by Andrea

We all know that fresh is best when it comes to food, right?

There’s some very different ways to look at fresh. If you have a garden where you can pick and eat a tomato that has been ripened on the vine and is still slightly warm from the afternoon sun, you know fresh. If you can drop by your local farmers market to pick up a pint of strawberries that still have a hint of dew on them from being picked that morning, you know fresh. If your only fresh produce comes from the grocery store, well it may not be quite as fresh as you think.  Many grocery store products take up to a month (sometimes longer) to get from the field to your fridge. During that time, it starts sacrificing good things such as flavors and nutrients in order to survive.  Many grocery store products have been engineered (through hybridization or genetic modification) to last longer, but that can also sacrifice flavor and nutrition. Additionally, many fruits and vegetables are picked before they are fully ripened and then artificially ripened before going to the grocery store, so they start their journey lacking their full potential of nutrients and flavor. So while it may be pretty and fresh looking, it’s actually not very fresh.

Take a look at the Tale of Two Bananas

Tale of Two Bananas, or why Thrive foods are even fresher than what you get at the grocery store! ~Project Simple Home  

Thrive Foods are “Fresher than Fresh”

Thrive is different. As you can see from the “Tale of Two Bananas” we allow our fruits and vegetables to ripen fully before harvest, and flash freeze within hours seal in that freshness. Then they are given a longer shelf life through the freeze-drying method, which locks in the flavor, nutrition and color.  Because of how they are freeze-dried and sealed in the can, they can retain their freshness for up to 25 years sealed, or up to 2 years opened. The freeze-drying method removes the solid water quickly without reverting to the liquid phase, leaving 5% or less of the original water in the food. This process is called sublimation. No water, no spoilage! The best part, ever time you take a bite of Thrive, it tastes just as fresh as if you had picked it out of the garden yourself! 

Fresher than Fresh: Thrive is even fresher than what you get at the grocery store! That means more flavor, more nutrients, and they are still longer lasting and more convenient! ~Project Simple Home

  While flavor is important, health is also a big factor. Doctors recommend eating at least 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. However, many people fall short of this mark. The good news is that Thrive often contains more of the natural nutrition that doctors recommend! Why? Because we are fresher than fresh! Plus, since they are so convenient to snack on or add to your meal, it is easier to slip in an extra serving or two!

While I may never be able to give up my garden, or pass on the local farmers market, I feel totally confident in overlooking the grocery produce aisle. I know that my Thrive pantry has all the fruits and vegetables I need. All I have to do is open the can!

Ready to Try Thrive?

You can order Thrive from my website here!  

I want to hear from YOU!

  • Where do you typically buy your fruits and vegetables?
  • Do you have a garden? What do you like to grow?
  • What is your favorite farmer’s market find?

Signature

by Andrea

Sprouting Kit from Thrive Life

May 5, 2014 in Food Storage, New Products, Product Education, THRIVE, Thrive Life by Andrea

Last weekend, Thrive Life totally took us consultants by surprise by offering a brand new product: a brand new sprouting kit

No notice, no fan fare, not even a single tempting hint. Nope, we all just got floored by this awesomeness!

The brand new Sprouting Kit from Thrive Life will have you making your own sprouts within days, perfect for adding flavor to your favorite salads, sandwiches, stir-frys and more! ~Project Simple Home

The Thrive Life Sprouting Kit includes three different sprouting methods. There are two Mason jar sprouting lids (one of my personal favorite methods), a sprouting base with two trays, and a hemp sprouting bag. The sprouting kit also includes six custom sprout mixes (4oz each) to add a healthy dose of flavor to your salads, stir-frys, and more! Here’s a quick menu of the sprouting mixes:Get a Thrive Life Sprouting Kit complete with three methods of sprouting, six custom sprouting mixes, full instructions and more! Project Simple Home

  • Bean Delight Mix: adzuki, lentil, mung, garbanzo
  • Lentil Mix: red lentil, green lentil, french lentil
  • Asian Fry Mix: peas, lentil, garbanzo, adzuki, wheat
  • Health & Wellness Mix: broccoli, radish, clover/alfalfa
  • Power Boost Mix: soy, red lentil, mung, radish
  • Kick Mix: alfalfa/clover, mustard, radish

I’m excited to try all the mixes in our sprouting kit, but I most interested in the Kick Mix to add a bit of spice to my salads and sandwiches. The Asian Fry Mix will also be perfect for Pad Thai! 

You can also order a refill package of all the sprouting kit mixes, and this time you will get 8oz of each!

Both the sprouting kit and the refill package retail for $89.99, however if your order online, at a party, or directly though me, you can get them for a significant discount. The Q Club price is $67.99.

I am hoping that we will soon be able to order individual mixes or even individual seeds/beans soon. In the mean time, did you know that any of our grains are sprout ready? Yep! Pull out that wheat and amarath and get sprouting! 

To learn more about our new sprouting kit, check out this flyer. You’ll also notice on the flyer that we have launched a new melon seed package that also includes pumpkins and strawberries. This is along side our current vegetable seed package. No, you can’t sprout them, but they will be tasty fully grown.

Why Would You Want to Sprout?

Sprouting may be familiar to some of you, while to other’s it is a completely foreign concept. The Thrive Life Sprouting Kit is a great place to start. Why would you want to sprout? Well there are many reason’s, but here are a few that stand out to me…

First, sprouts are delicious! There is a good chance you have eaten sprouts before. Many people first have them on a salad or in a sandwich, but they are also fairly popular with certain Asian cuisines. They offer a fresh burst of flavor to many dishes, and are easy to add to your current favorites. Add them to your morning smoothie, top your lunch time soup, or use instead of lettuce in your next taco or burrito!

Try Thrive Life's Brand New Sprouting Kit! Grow sprouts in your own home to add a tasty burst of flavor, texture, and nutrition to your family's meals!Sprouts are also very healthy! When a seed or bean starts to grow (and that’s really all that sprouting is…a seed starting to grow) many basic changes start happening to them. Sugars are converted to vitamin C or other nutrients, enzymes become active, and more. Remember, you are basically eating a tiny plant! Plus, sprouts contain a surprising amount of fiber, calcium, potassium and protein for such a small package. 

Finally, sprouts are often hard to find in stores. Even when you do find them, they tend to go bad quickly…that is if they aren’t afflicted with health concerns as you go through the check out line. Many people remember the E. coli break out a while back that was attributed to commercial sprouts. While it wasn’t the first time this is been an issue, it has been practically impossible to find sprouts in your basic grocery store ever since. Some restaurants stopped offering them as part of their menu as well. While I understand their concern, it was a sad day. Luckily, this is actually a fairly rare issue, and home sprouted sprouts often don’t face the same perils as commercial sprouts. As long as you properly handle and wash your sprouts, you should be fine. That being said, if you want to be on the safe side it is recommended that those who have compromised immune systems (including infants, the elderly, and those pregnant or breastfeeding) only consume fully cooked sprouts.

BONUS! Anyone who is preparedness minded should have sprouting skills and supplies in their arsenal. I even mentioned it as one of my 31 days of often-overlooked prepping! While we all have extra shelf stable food on hand, having a bite of something fresh after a week or so is always a big mood booster. We can’t always predict when a crisis will happen, and there is a decent chance that it wont coincide with the harvest of your backyard garden. Sprouts are an easy and quick way to grow a little bit of produce any time of the year. Plus, this is one skill you wont mind practicing again and again! So pick up our Thrive Life Sprouting Kit in your next order or Q shipment, and start having fun!

I Want To Hear From YOU!

  • Have you ever tried sprouting before?
  • Which one of our custom sprouting kit mixes are you most excited to try?
  • What is your favorite method of sprouting? Mason jar, sprouting tray, or sprouting bag? Do you have a preferred method that isn’t included in the sprouting kit?
by Andrea

Thrive Life Bakery Line

April 28, 2014 in New Products, Non-GMO, Recipe, THRIVE, Thrive Life by Andrea

The brand new Thrive Life Bakery Line has everything from cookies to breads!

 I don’t think I could ever go completely gluten-free. Don’t get me wrong, I admire those that do (out of necessity or by choice) and I do try to be reasonable about my gluten intake. I just happen to adore pasta, cookies, bread, pizza, donuts, pies, rolls, and the like. I’ve been making my own home-made bread for over a year now, home made cookies since I was a child, and I’ve even  been known to whip up a batch of tortillas or pasta if the mood strikes. While I love making things completely from scratch, I often don’t enjoy the time, effort, or odd ingredients needed to make such tasty treats. 

Luckily, I have a new way to make “home-made” bread, cookies, and more without the extra struggle! The brand new Thrive Life Bakery Line had been launched. With these five basic mixes you can make hundreds of delicious carb-filled treats!

Plus our new Thrive Life Bakery Line line has some extra special perks including…

  • all non-GMO ingredients (yes, even the cornbread!)
  • no artificial colors or flavors
  • no hydrogenated oils
  • unbleached flour!!!
  • exclusive in-house formula created by our own Chef Todd!

Lets take a look at the individual items just released:

Golden Cornbread from the Thrive Life Bakery Line

Golden Cornbread

The first new bread line is actually fairly familiar if you are a Thrive Life independent consultant; our Golden Cornbread mix has been available to consultants for about a year now and is so popular, that we have finally released it to all customers! Just add water to make corn muffins or corn bread (try adding fun mix-ins like our cranberries, green chilies, or cheddar cheese!). You can also use the mix for stuffing, griddle cakes, or pineapple upside-down cake!

Click Here to see more recipes featuring the Golden Corn Bread Mix

 

Make the perfect loaf of bread with our Country White Dough from the Thrive Life Bakery LineCountry White Dough

This is the classic peanut butter & jelly bread that you remember from your childhood…but better! Our Country White Dough is moist, dense (but not TOO dense), and perfectly toast-able. While it is perfect for your lunch time sandwiches, don’t stop there! This dough can also make killer rolls, pizza dough (try adding out Italian blend seasoning to the dough), cinnamon rolls, and more. 

Click Here to see more recipes featuring the Country White Dough Mix

 

Our Honey Whole Wheat Dough makes bread, rolls, and more. New from the Thrive Life Bakery Line

Honey Whole Wheat Dough

You’ve grown up, perhaps your taste buds have also and now you prefer the rich cocoa color of wheat bread. Well, you are in luck because our Honey Whole Wheat Dough is here for all your baking needs. Feel free to use it just like you would our Country White Dough: its perfect for pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, and scones. Full of flavor and made with 100% whole grain flour!

Click here for more recipes featuring the Honey Whole Wheat Dough Mix

 

 

Let your childhood imagination run wild with our classic cookie dough mix, new from the Thrive Life Bakery LineClassic Cookie Dough Mix

C is for Cookie, and that’s good enough for me! Sorry, I’ve been watching WAY too much Sesame Street with my toddler recently. We’ve also had our fair share of cookies because of this amazing Classic Cookie Dough Mix! The mix is an easy and delicious base, so you can focus on getting creative with the add-ins! Chocolate Chips are always a classic, as are nuts, or even oatmeal & raisins. Why not try adding some Thrive fruit! Let your imagination take you away just by opening the can. (PS: check out my own personal recipe at the end of this post!)

Click here for more recipes featuring our Classic Cookie Dough Mix

 

Our Vanilla Sugar Cookie base makes everything from snicker doodles to fruit-fillled dessert pizza! Brand new from the Thrive Life Bakery Line.Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix

We all love chocolate chip cookies, but they alone do not make up the entire cookie universe. Our second cookie dough base, the Vanilla Sugar Cookie Mix, will easily double your cookie baking potential. Use as is, or as a base for snicker doodles, frosted holiday cookies, or peanut butter cookies. It also makes a great base for a delicious “fruit pizza!” 

Click here for more recipes featuring our Vanilla Cookie Dough Mix

 

 

To complement our new bakery line, we have also launched Instant Dry Yeast. It comes only in pantry can size, and includes 30 packets premeasured for our new breads!

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cookies  made with our new Classic Cookie Mix in the Thrive Life Bakery Line ~ Project Simple HomeLast week, I decided to play with our new Thrive Life Bakery LIne classic cookie dough mix. Initially, I was going to make some simple chocolate chip cookies, but I decided to have some extra fun last minute. I made the base recipe, then added a half cup of semi sweet chocolate chips, a half cup of white chocolate chips, and a half cup of our Thrive Freeze-Dried Raspberries. It is important to lightly rehydrate the raspberries (sprinkle them with just a touch of water until they are just moistened) and then fold them into the dough, being sure not to crush them too much in the process. 

Two notes that I have on our cookie mixes. They direct you to bake for 9-11 minutes at 350. If you like thinner cookies, this is perfect. However, I enjoy thicker cookies so I chill the dough for 30 minutes-1 hour in the fridge, then bake at 325 for 11-14 minutes. Also, using real butter is a must. Don’t try to substitute margarine. Here’s the final product, before they were gobbled up at our neighborhood Easter Egg hunt!

 

I want to hear from YOU!

  • Which of our new Thrive Life Bakery Line products are you just itching to try? 
  • What is your favorite type of cookie?
  • Do you make baked good often? 

 

by Andrea

Thrive has Caught March Madness!

March 17, 2014 in Sales, Thrive Life by Andrea

Summer Clearance

The Biggest Sale of the Year starts tomorrow! Yep, we’re even beating out BLACK FRIDAY prices! During March Madness, you’ll get up to 50% off ALL THRIVE foods March 18–25 when you shop on my website! Pantry cans, #10 cans, cases, and 10 packs will all be on sale, with even more amazing savings when you buy our cases or 10 packs! Now is the perfect time to stock up on your Thrive Life favorites!

Click above to see the March Madness sale pricing and fill your shopping cart now! You’ll be ready to make your order with one click once sale pricing becomes active at 12:01am MST March 18 — that’s tomorrow! Please note that your cart will show the higher prices until the sale becomes live March 18th.

Need help with your order? Contact me at (907) 229-7264 or ProjectSimpleHome@gmail.com, and I’ll put your order in for you.

This sale is while supplies last, so plan what to order now to make sure you get all your favorite THRIVE foods at unbelievable prices!
 

~Andrea Anderson         

 


See sale flyer
     
 
All sales items are available only while supplies last. These products are available in different sizes and packaging options.Not all products are available in Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Japan.
by Andrea

Family Chore Cards to complete you Chore Chart

March 4, 2014 in Simply Organized by Andrea

Family Chore Cards as a companion to my Chore Chart ~ Project Simple Home Last week, I gave you a peek the Cleaning Chart (with FREE printable!) that my family and I have been using to keep order around the house. But you probably noticed an odd blank spot in the lower right hand corner. Fear not, your printer didn’t malfunction (unlike my own printer this last week…which totally died). This is where I keep my Family Chore Cards! 

Family Chore Cards can come in many different forms. If you have older children, you might have a card dedicated to them with their personal weekly responsibilities written on them. Maybe a punch card to help keep track of how often they are doing their chores. Or, perhaps you have “extra” chores that your children can do to earn an extra reward. Maybe instead of chore cards, you use fun Popsicle sticks! The options and ideas are endless.

For my family, I have written how I would like each room cleaned in more detail than I have on the Cleaning Chart, including which cleaner I prefer. On the back of each card, I made a quick list of what supplies and cleaners you will need to get the job done. Since I also have homemade cleaners that I use, I’ve also included the recipes for those on a separate card.

Chore card holder made from a recycled box and pretty wrapping paper ~ Project Simple HomeI love that me or my hubby can take the card with us while we are cleaning and check off the chores as we go. I really love knowing chores will be done to my satisfaction because each step is written out. Not more forgetting to sanitize the light switch or refilling the bathroom supplies! I’m planning on making one for each of the big yearly chores, but it will be a slower process. 

The cards themselves are simply 3×5 note cards that have been laminated. While some printers allow you to print directly to note cards, I’m still getting the hang of my new ink filled friend and decided to just print the front and back information on plain paper. I then cut it out and attached the info to the card before laminating. Lamination allows for longevity, plus we can use a dry erase marker to check off the different chores. 

For more fun ways on how I use my laminator to organize, click here.

Family Chore Cards as a companion to my Chore Chart ~ Project Simple Home The ways that I made the “box” for the cards is a very similar process to how I created my free DIY drawer dividers. I used an recycled paperboard box (the Zatarain’s Rice boxes are perfectly sized), sliced the top off, and covered in pretty paper. A command strip or two to secure it to the picture frame and that was it. I had searched for other options including note card boxes from major office supply stores, but most of those are horizontal rather than vertical. Plus, this option was free! 

While the Chore Chart alone is working wonders with helping our family keep order around the house, the addition of the Chore Cards allows me plenty of room to adapt and expand as our family needs change. While it is still a relatively new system in out home, I’m already seeing the benefits. This visible reminder helps everyone stays on the same page.

 

by Andrea

My Cleaning Chart (Free Printable!)

February 20, 2014 in Printable, Simply Organized by Andrea

Free Printable Cleaning Chart with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly chores. PLUS it has a spot for chore cards! ~Project Simple HomeNow that I have a toddler, keeping the house clean is a bit harder than it once was. Not only is it more difficult to find time to clean, I usually have a little one undoing things as quickly as I can tidy up! 

I’ve dealt with this in two ways: first, I have lowered my standards some. No, I haven’t given into the chaos entirely, but I have come to terms with the fact that my house will not be spotless for the next couple of years. While I will continue to regularly do dishes and take out the trash, I wont constantly freak out that the couch pillows have been thrown around the room or that the laundry has been folded but I have yet to put it away. 

Second, I’ve made a Cleaning Chart to help us ALL focus on keeping the house at a relatively clean state. This serves two purposes in our family. It helps me know what I need to focus on each day (Monday means cleaning the kitchen, the toothpaste in the bathroom sink can wait if needed) and it helps the rest of the family know what they can do to help pitch in and HOW I would like each task done. More on that later.

The Cleaning Chart is designed to fit on a 11×14 sheet. Some places will print it off in on a 11×17 sheet, so you may have to do some trimming. I put it into a 11×14 photo frame so I can check chores off with a dry erase marker as I complete them. Plus, it looks a little nicer than paper simply taped to the wall. 

Free Cleaning Chart Printable to help with your cleaning schedule ~ Project Simple Home

 

Download Cleaning Chart Printable Here

 (if you are having difficulty downloading or printing the image, please contact me to let me know)

The Cleaning Chart printable is fairly self explanatory. It operates on a weekly rotation. Each day I have a different focus. Monday is the kitchen, Tuesday is the bathrooms, so on and so on. There are a few things I do daily so they are in the “Everyday” box to keep things looking fairly presentable in between their focus days. I’ve talked about the 15-minute clean up before; set a timer and clean non-stop for 15 minutes. This little trick is amazing because you’d be surprised how much you can really clean in just a few minutes. Occasionally, hubby and I have a competition to see who can clean the most during that time.

Free Printable Cleaning Chart with space for Chore Cards ~ Project Simple HomeEach weekend of the month, I have a special chore as well. This might be an organizational project such as organizing our clothing closet and donating excess, or a home improvement project such as muddling and taping the dry wall in the garage (this weekend’s chore). I also have a “Yearly” chore the first weekend of the month to help remind me to do those things that aren’t always so easy to remember, such as changing the air filter. 

Finally, I have scheduled rest times. Notice how I don’t have ANYTHING for Sunday, I don’t even have a box for it. That’s because I have better things to focus on that day, namely my family. The dishes can wait. Also, the last Saturday of each month is a “rest weekend” after the outdoor chores so we can schedule something fun there instead. Maybe a trip to the kids museum, or a random road trip for the most delicious bagel sandwiches I’ve ever encountered. The occasional 5th Saturday can also be considered a rest day. If needed, we can use our rest day as a make up day. 

Finally, you’ll notice two extra blank spots on the Cleaning Chart. The first blank spot under the “Yearly” box is to write a reminder if there is anything out of the ordinary that needs to be done. Maybe you ran out of vinegar or need to replace some weather strip under the back door. Second, the open area on the lower right is for chore cards. I’ll be covering these next week, but they are a great way to help your family know exactly how to do each chore, including what cleaners to use.

I placed my Cleaning Chart in the developing “command center” that is located dead center on our lower floor. It also has our family calendar and I have a few more helpful aids in mind. We’ve been able to use this chart for a little while and it has really helped me focus my efforts. Like all organizational systems, it will evolve and change, but for the time being, this is perfect for our little family. Even my little guys is learning to help out a bit. His favorite tasks currently is helping spot clean the floors (scrubbing with a rag) and sorting laundry. 

I want to hear from you!

  • Do you have a cleaning chart? Where do you keep it in your home?
  • Do you work on a weekly, daily, or monthly schedule (or something in between?)
  • How have you encouraged your family to help with the cleaning and organizing tasks?
  • What is the one household chore you hate? Any you love?
by Andrea

Free THRIVE Cooking Classes in Spokane WA

February 17, 2014 in Cooking Class, Thrive Life by Andrea

I am offering several FREE Thrive Cooking Classes in the Spokane Area. 
 

Classes will be held Saturday Feb. 22nd at the Spokane Valley Super 8
2020 E Argonne Rd
Spokane Valley, WA
99212
 

Three class times/menus are available:

~10am Weekend Breakfast:
(a hearty sausage hash loaded with veggies. finish it off with a delicious fruit smoothie!)
 
~1pm Build-a-Soup Bar
(what could be a better lunch than a delicious cup of soup? build your own and see how quickly you can upgrade your typical workplace meal. still hungry? enjoy a chocolate milkshake!)
 

~ 7pm Family Dinner Faves!
(we know that you don’t always have time to make a healthy home cooked meal for your family. we’re here to help. see how you can put a nutrition packed pasta marinara on the table in minutes with no chopping! don’t forget dessert: a light angel food cake with mixed berry sauce is sure to please!)

Please click the class link to register. While registration isn’t required, it helps me make sure that I have enough food for everyone. Thank you.

You are welcomed to attend AND bring a friend. Anyone who brings two or more friends is qualified to earn 10% back in free product on their own order and their friends orders! 
 

Can’t make it to the class but would still love to see how to cook with Thrive? Contact me at (907) 229-7264 to set up a private cooking class in your own home! They are still free AND you can even earn free and discounted products by sharing with family and friends!

by Andrea

Tuscan Chicken with Creamy Red Pepper Polenta

February 10, 2014 in Recipe, Thrive Life, Uncategorized by Andrea

Smart Start ChallengeThe Thrive Life Smart Start programs are essentially a Thrive cooking class in a box. It includes nearly 40 recipes designed by out in house chef, and 66 different ingredients. The program comes as three different monthly Q Shipments allowing you to gradually grow your pantry while learning to use Thrive in your everyday cooking. There are main dishes, side, snacks and desserts. To join the Thrive Smart Start Challenge, simply add the Smart Start 200 Program to your existing Q. If you need to set up a Thrive Q, let me know and we’ll get you cooking with Thrive in no time!

As part of my Thrive Smart Start 200 Challenge, I’m cooking up several of the recipes and reviewing them for you. This week, I’ve made up two excitedly tasty dishes: the Tuscan Chicken and the Creamy Red Pepper Polenta

I made both dishes together to complete the meal and they were a perfect compliment. The best part was that it only took about 30 minutes to make!  I felt great giving my family a healthy meal full of Thrive non-GMO ingredients including vitamin rich vegetables, protein packed chicken, and satisfying whole grain.

While the recipes are exclusive to the Thrive Life Smart Start 200 Cook book (available when you order the Smart Start 200 on your Thrive Q), I can show you some of the ingredients that went into making these delicious dishes:

Tuscan Chicken Ingredients ~ Project Simple HomeTuscan Chicken Recipe: Thrive FD Seasoned Chicken Strips, Thrive Chicken Bullion, Thrive FD Onion, Thrive FD Tomato Dices, Thrive FD Green Bell Pepper, Thrive FD Red Bell Pepper, Thrive FD Mushrooms, Thrive FD Zucchini, Thrive FD Parsley, Thrive FD Basil, Thrive FD Mozzarella, Garlic, Olive Oil, and Balsamic Vinegar. (FD = Freeze Dried)

 

 

Creamy Red Pepper Polenta Ingredients ~ Project Simple HomeCreamy Red Bell Pepper Polenta: Thrive Cornmeal, Thrive Chicken Bullion, Thrive  FD Red Bell Pepper,  Thrive FD Onion, Thrive FD Mozzarella, Thrive FD Parsley, Thrive FD Basil, Thrive Chefs Choice Seasoning, Bacon, Heavy Cream, Garlic, and Paprika. (FD = Freeze Dried)

 

 

 

The Tuscan Chicken is extremely flavorful. The chicken was moist but still had a firm texture. The vegetables were al dente, with a slight pop when you bit into them. Everything was very fresh. Even the zucchini had a unique, distinct, vibrant flavor. While the recipe called for red and green bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms, you could easily add or substitute green beans or any other Thrive veggie. 

Thrive Life Tuscan Chicken ~ Project Simple Home    Thrive Life Creamy Red Bell Pepper Polenta ~ Project Simple Home

 While I loved the Tuscan Chicken, the Creamy Red Pepper Polenta was the real show stopper. Creamy, smooth, and absolutely delicious. The bacon gives a nice smoky flavor and the red pepper has a slight acidity that cuts through the creaminess. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Even my toddler asked for seconds. Luckily, it was super simple to make because it will be regular rotation.

One fun trick employed in making the Creamy Red Pepper Polenta is actually taking some of the red bell pepper and zipping them through a food processor to make a fine powder. This both flavors and colors the final dish while keeping it smooth and creamy. I’ve used this same technique in other recipes (including my Bulgogi) to play with flavor and texture. You can also powder vegetables to hide extra nutrition in your children’s meals! 

I’m planning on making another fun recipe next week (a dessert!) so stay tuned. 

I want to hear from you:

  • Do you cook with Thrive?
  • Between the two recipes, which would you like to see on the dinner table tonight?
  • How much time do you typically spend cooking dinner each night?