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?
by Andrea

Thrive Life Puerto Vallarta Fantasy Getaway

February 8, 2014 in Thrive Life, Uncategorized, Why I Thrive by Andrea

If you were following my instagram feed last week, then you were able to see a few photos from my recent trip to Mexico. Sorry, that doesn’t do it nearly enough justice. This was more than just a trip, this was the Thrive Life Puerto Vallarta Fantasy Getaway!

Andrea's THRIVE Family Tree ~ Project Simple Home

My Thrive Family Tree: Adam & Andrea Anderson, Cory & Misty Marsh, Chad & Rachel Mano, and Lisa & Jeff Warnick. (left to right)

I’m excited to share some stories from my vacation, as well as more pictures and even a few videos! First and foremost, I need to say thanks. Thanks to my wonderful mother who flew from Alaska to babysit while me and my husband had the time of our lives. Though to be fair, she insists that she had even MORE fun somehow (something about unsupervised grand-baby time). Thank you to my mentor, Misty Marsh, who knew long before I did that I had what it took to make this dream a reality. She gave me the tools, training, and confidence to reach for something I thought was impossible. Thank you to my friends, family, and team mates who supported me in my goal to earn this trip. Finally, thank you to Thrive Life and the entire executive team for offering a wonderful experience like none other.

I would like to say that this was a once and a life-time thing, but I’ll admit: I have every intention on earning a spot on next year’s Thrive Life Fantasy Getaway!

Our (5-Star) Accommodations

Our hotel room at the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Vallarta (complete with in room hot tub!) ~ Project Simple HomeOur trip was an all-inclusive 5 day, 4 night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This hotel is FANTASTIC. The staff actively engaged with us, were helpful, and by the end of the trip I was addressing a few of them as if they were old friends. The food was delicious (I’ll be dreaming about the braised short ribs from Ciao for a while…), the views were awe-inspiring, and the atmosphere offered both fun and relaxation. Honestly, I have never been so impressed with a hotel, and I would recommend it to friends and family without hesitation. I easily could have stayed within the resort and had a blast. Beyond the pools (with a swim up bar, music, water-slide, kids area and daily water aerobics), there were endless activities beach side including volleyball, surfing, paddle boarding, and (of course) cozy tanning/reading spots. In the evenings, there was a nightly shows. My husband and I happened to win a Latin dance competition at one of them! 

A Bit of Relaxation

The private beach at the Hard Rock Hotel was perfect for some relaxation and to catch up on your reading. ~ Project Simple HomeI will admit that my favorite part of the hotel was the spa. I don’t typically visit the spa when I stay at hotels, but with a free evening and a little extra resort credit, I was able to treat myself to a Hot Chocolate Spa Body Wrap. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. I’ve had my fair share of therapeutic massage, but this was a whole other world. I received a relaxing massage complete with aromatherapy plus a full body scrub and a full body mask that frankly smelled good enough to eat. I still smell slightly chocolaty…and I’m okay with that. It is hands down one of the most relaxing experiences of my life and if you ever have the opportunity to get this treatment, go for it. I would do it daily if I had the opportunity.

Andrea Rappelling in Mexico during the Thrive Life Puerto Vallarta Fantasy Getaway ~ Project Simple HomeAnd A Dash Of Adventure

However, it wasn’t all rest and relaxation…there was also plenty of adventure! Through Vallarta Adventures, I was able to check off a few things on my bucket list. The first was the Extreme Zip Line Adventure. They weren’t kidding about that “extreme” part! It started off with simple zip-lining through the jungle canopy. Then there was some upside down zip lining. Oh, don’t forget the rappelling! Plus ATV rides and water slides! That still isn’t everything, because to top it all off we got to take a trip on one of the longest and fastest zip-lines in the world: the Superman. Reaching over 60mph and about 4000ft in length, this was a ride like no other! I’m not usually terrified of thrill rides, but this one made me a bit nervous. Hey, who wouldn’t be when you are essentially moving at highway speeds tied to a couple of ropes 100+ feet in the air.

Here’s the videos from my epic ride!

 

And in case you would like to see what I actually saw:

I still get some butterflies watching that. Still (and this is important) the guide team made me feel safe at all times. You can tell that they were well trained, they knew what they were doing, and while they loved having fun, they were focused on our safety every step of the way. Between the different experiences, there was some hiking and the guides showed us many local plants and animals, shared stories, made jokes, and basically made us feel right at home. 

Kissing the Dolphins at the Vallarta Adventure's Dolphin Experience ~ Project Simple HomeI also had the opportunity to experience and Dolphin Adventure with the same company. It was fantastic to swim and interact with one of the most amazing creatures on earth. We were able to get in the water with the dolphins (our friend was named Nemo) so we could pet, dance, kiss and ride with them. There were actually two different dolphin rides: the belly ride and an quick underwater ride. 

It was amazing to see how powerful these creatures were. They carried us with ease and moved so quickly through the water. They were able to leap into the air as if they were on a trampoline. They were also very smart and perceptive, able to recognize a pregnant friend by the baby’s heartbeat. While all these traits left me awe inspired, there was one that made me down right jealous. Did you know that dolphins NEVER sleep? They simply rest one side of their brain while thinking with the other, and then switch when needed. Imagine how productive you could be with this talent!

Jumping Dolphins at the Vallarta Adventure Dolphin Experience ~ Project Simple Home

Would You Like To Go With Me Next Year?

It was such an amazing getaway. I was able to get some much needed relaxation, enjoy some time with friends, and check a few things off my bucket list. Like all good things, it eventually came to an end, but I loved every single moment. I never would have been able to do this without the help of a great company: Thrive Life.

If you would like to have the opportunity to earn a spot on next year’s Thrive Life Fantasy Getaway, contact me to learn about signing up as a Thrive Life Independent Consultant. You can read some of my story here, but I would be happy to answer any questions you have. Also, the Annual Thrive Life Convention for me and every other Thrive Life Consultant is coming up in April. If you would like to attend, I would love to have you as my personal guest. Learn more about Convention here, or feel free to leave a comment below. 

Andrea playing with a baby turtle ~ Project Simple Home

by Andrea

Organizing Your Food Storage with Special Guest: Misty of Your Own Home Store

January 30, 2014 in Food Storage, Simply Organized, Simply Prepared, Thrive Life, Uncategorized, Your Own Home Store by Andrea

Organizing Your Food Storage With Special Guest Misty ~ Project Simple HomeI am so excited to introduce a guest at Project Simple Home today: Misty of Your Own Home Store! I know many of you are familiar with her blog and a few of you have participated in her 26-week series to build your own 72 hour kit. If you haven’t yet, you can get the entire program on her E-Book: “Your Own 72 Hour Kit” which I HIGHLY recommend. I also guest post on her blog with a “Skill of the Month” series. Misty and I are great friends, but she is also my personal mentor at Thrive Life (though I look up to her in many other respects as well). In fact, both of us are currently playing in Mexico on the Thrive Life Fantasy Getaway, so please forgive us if it takes a day or two to reply to any comments.

Take it away Misty!

Hello! I am so excited to be featured here at Project Simple Home today! Andrea and I are dear friends. I love her positive attitude. I admire her organizational skills and her drive. It is an honor to be featured here on her site. Today I wanted to share just a bit with you about how I organize my food storage. First, I’ll walk you through how I plan what to store. Then, I’ll show you how I actually store it. Last, I’ll talk just a bit about how I rotate through what I’ve got.

Planning What Food to Store:

There are a few mistakes people make when storing extra food in their homes:

  1. They store food based on calories alone. Most adults eat around 1500-2000 calories / day. Many I know store enough calories per day, but that doesn’t mean the food they store is well-rounded or that they will be able to make actual meals with it. You simply won’t be able to do much with just wheat, rice, milk, flour and sugar, even if you have 2000 / calories per day worth of it!
  2. They store foods they don’t regularly eat. I was soooooo guilty of this when I first started storing food a few years ago. I wanted inexpensive foods with a long shelf life. So, I stored wheat, powdered milk, powdered eggs and oats. I had no idea how to use those things, so we never ate what I stored! It just sat on our shelf. Some of it still is.

A few years ago, I decided that I would plan what I stored differently and I recommend all my readers do the same. It is really profound. Are you ready?

Choose what to store based on what you eat!

That’s it. Simple. Not really profound. If you eat oats, store oats. If you eat broccoli, store broccoli. If you love Spaghetti, store the ingredients for it.

When you plan what to store, I recommend you create a list of 15 dinners, 7 lunches and 7 breakfasts that your family will eat. Make sure they are meals you can make with 100% shelf stable ingredients (remember, you can get and use most fruits and veggies in freeze dried form…Andrea can help you with that). Then purchase enough ingredients for 2 of each dinner and 4-5 of each lunch and breakfast. That will give you a 1 month supply of food for your family. Do it again and again until you have a 3, 6, or 12 month supply of food (or whatever your goal is).

Storing my food:

Since I am lucky enough to be a THRIVE Life consultant, I use their incredible food rotations systems to store my food. These fantastic first in-first out systems simplify so much for me! I’m always able to make sure I’m using my oldest food first without having to sort through a bunch of cans on a shelf to check expiration dates I keep the bulk of our storage in a cold storage room in our basement. I know I’m SUPER lucky to have this.

Food Storage Organization

If you don’t have such a room, don’t fret! If you are buying your food like I taught above and using your food like I will mention below, then go ahead and store it in your garage etc. You will use it WAY before it reaches it’s shelf life! Remember, most shelf lives are based on about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10 degrees above that, you cut your shelf life in half. So, even at 90 degrees, foods that claim a 25 year shelf life will last at least six or seven years. That is plenty of time for you to use it as long as you are storing meals and not calories!

In addition to the food in my storage room, I also keep an open can of each freeze dried product in my kitchen pantry. I love having fruits, vegetables and meats at my fingertips:

Kitchen Pantry

Using My Food Storage:

Since my food tastes good (THRIVE really is incredible, just ask Andrea), and I’m storing meals, not just calories, it is very simple for me to use and rotate through my food storage.

Each week, I simply plan to eat two “shelf stable” breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I have a 1 year supply of most food. So, it would take me about 3 1/2 years to rotate through my full supply at two meals / week.

But not only does this allow me to rotate through my storage, it makes meal planning simpler, last minute meals do-able and cuts down on our grocery bill! In fact, I would say that while I typically only cook two 100% shelf stable meals each week, there is very rarely a meal in which I don’t use some sort of “food storage” item. My freeze dried veggies and meats especially are items that make my life simpler.

I keep three lists in our storage room downstairs and I update them each time I remove something from the food storage room:

  1. Items I need to re-stock from the grocery store. I do this weekly.
  2. Items I need to re-stock from Costco. I do this quarterly
  3. Items I need to re-stock from THRIVE. I do this monthly through my THRIVE Q as well as placing an additional “purchase” using free product benefits I get as a THRIVE Life consultant.

These lists are just on a plain white piece of paper. When I take one shopping with me, I just replace it with a new blank piece of paper.

I actually have one additional list. While we have a 1 year supply of most items for our meals, there are a few things we are missing. I have a list of these items and I use free product benefits at THRIVE to get the freeze dried items and the money we are saving from using THRIVE to get the other things that THRIVE doesn’t carry.

So there you have it! I hope you’ve found this helpful and that it inspires you to start or re-vamp your food storage system. Storing a bit of extra food (aka “prepping) is a good idea, no matter what. Perhaps you are worried about huge disasters or economic collapse. However, it is also great for mini emergencies like forgetting to thaw out the meat or having a poor nights sleep that results in little energy to wash and chop veggies!

Thanks Misty!

I agree with her thoughts on how to build your home pantry and food storage. It make much more sense to build off of recipes you already know and love, rather than calories. The dishes will be familiar (aka “comforting”) during trials, and you will have a much simpler time rotating them properly. I also appreciate her opening up her pantry to us, and reassuring us (okay, me) that storing some extra food in the garage is fine as long as you rotate it properly. 

I want to hear from you!

  • How are you building your food storage/pantry?
  • Where do you store everything? Are you lucky enough to have a cold storage room with Food Rotation Systems (and yes, they do ROCK!) or do you use the garage, under the beds, etc.
  • What is one dish you and your family couldn’t do without, even during an emergency? Do you have a shelf stable recipe, and would you like to share it?
by Andrea

Mom’s Mason Jar Hangers, a better way to store your canning jars

January 24, 2014 in Simply Organized, Simply Prepared by Andrea

Mom's Mason Jar HolderThe canning season has come and gone, and we are all eagerly awaiting spring and getting ready for a new year of gardening. Perhaps you are dreaming of this season’s promised bounty while chowing down on some of last summers pickled green beans. Or perhaps you are desperately searching for that last mason jar of salsa among a sea of silver lids. So many silver lids. There has to be a better way of organizing your canning jars, right? Well, with your help, there could be.

Mom’s Mason Jar Hanger

There is currently a Kickstarter project going on for the “Mom’s Mason Jar Hanger” from Otter Lab. This innovative project allows you to store your jars in a way that I have never seen before: hanging by their tops! This allows you to easily organize, locate, and retrieve your goodies all year long. The racks can be mounted underneath cabinetry or against a wall. This allows you to take advantage of valuable vertical space without staking cans on top of one another. Just look how it doubles the available storage on this shelving area!

Mom's Mason Jar Hanger Doubles Your Shelf Space. Support the Kickstarter Project ~ Project Simple Home

If you want to show off your goodies, hang them directly on the wall! Your jars will become artwork in the kitchen showing off the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labor, while keeping them within easy access for your daily use. You can store your jars with or without the rings, regular or wide mouth, depending on your needs. You can create you own custom canning rack to fit your space, your needs, and your lifestyle. It’s a beautiful marriage of self reliance and organization.

The Mom's Mason Jar Hangers allow you to hang your jars from the wall or underneath shelving/cabinetry ~ Project Simple HomeBeyond the Garden

While Mom’s Mason Jar Hangers are great for organizing and storing your canned goods, they also can be used for so much more. Use them in the garage to store screws, nuts, and nails. Or use them in the craft room to corral everything from buttons to pom poms. Mount them under your cabinets and store spices within easy reach. Exhibit your goods are farmers markets, craft fairs, and home shows. These Mason Jar Hangers have almost as many uses as Mason Jars themselves!

Get Your Own Mom’s Mason Jar Hanger

If you are as intrigued by the Mom’s Mason Jar Hangers as I am, now is the time to take action. This is a Kickstarter project, meaning that to make this dream a reality, they need your help. They are a small business and your donation will help bring their products into production. Plus, depending on your donation, you can receive anything from a t-shirt to a set of these wonderful racks! There are only 15 days left in the campaign and they are sill in need of over $10,000! Whether you donate $1 or $1000, every little bit will help. See the video below to learn more about the project, then click here to donate.

I want to hear from you!

  • How would you use the Mom’s Mason Jar Hangers?
  • Do you prefer wide mouth or regular mouth jars?
  • What is your favorite thing to can? 
  • Do you ever use mason jars for non-canning purposes?

I am in no way affiliated with Mom’s Mason Jar Hangers, Otter Labs, or Kickstarter. I am simply sharing this product because I believe that it would benefit you (my readers) and would love to see it succeed! For more information, see my disclosure policy.

by Andrea

Why I Thrive: Food Rotation Systems

January 17, 2014 in Product Education, Thrive Life, Why I Thrive by Andrea

Make your pantry storage and organization a breeze with Thrive Life's Food Rotation Systems ~ Project Simple HomeToday I’m sharing a Thrive product line that I haven’t really shared before: the Thrive Life Food Rotation Systems. The fact that I haven’t shared much about the Food Rotation Systems is actually fairly odd since it was THIS product that really caught my attention way back in 2008 and introduced me to Thrive Life. It’s also why Thrive Life was once called Shelf Reliance (we changed our name to Thrive Life in 2013 to better encompass our vision as a company). Many accredit our initial success to this group of revolutionary storage systems. 

However, this first product has humble beginnings. It was designed by two college kids (Co-Founders Jason Budge and Steve Palmer) in a tiny apartment. Initially the tried to sell their first product, the nearly 6ft tall Harvest, door to door. You can imagine how successful that was. Luckily, someone else caught their vision and when the Harvest was sold in retail stores across the nation, it was hit. So much so, that Jason and Steve were able to expand the product line to include many other sized food rotation systems, as well as a delicious food line (called Thrive) to fill their shelves! 

There are many reasons to love the Food Rotation Systems but I’ll highlight a few of my favorites:

Organization:

The Thrive Life Food Rotation Systems are first and foremost a way to organize and store your cans. They help you keep your cans in “first in, first out” using gravity. You drop in your cans from the top of the track, and pull your oldest cans from the bottom of the track. As you take a can, the rest will roll forward, keeping your food properly rotated! You drop and pull from the front which means that the unit can be stored in against a wall. Each section of the track has dividers so even if you run out of a certain item, the rest of the cans will still rotate properly. There is also spots to put labels (you all know how much I adore labels!) so you can organize even further. Larger units will include some magnetic labels with Thrive Items. I’ve also used simple label-maker labels. 

Customization:

The Thrive Life Food Rotation System is more than a single product. There are actually many different items that are designed to fit your needs. There are large shelving systems that are perfect for storage rooms, garages, or even a large pantry. There are also units small enough to fit in your cupboard and everything in between. Not only do the actual units vary in size, they also can hold almost any size can. It doesn’t matter if you are storing a big #10 can, or a tiny tuna can, we have different sized adjustable tracks to handle it! 

System Sizes

The Harvest Food Rotation Systems (easily our most popular FRS collection!) are all 36.5 inches wide. Remember, that is a bit larger than 3ft, so measure your space carefully.  If you need a different width, we have several other Food Rotation System collections: check out the Plenty (30.5 inches), Pantry (24.5 inches), or Reserve (18.5 inches). I’m sure we have something that will fit your needs! For simplicity sake, I will only talk about my favorite free standing system, the Harvest. I will be talking about our smaller “Cansolidators” in another post.

Utilize wasted space for food storage with the "under the bed" harvest food rotation system from Thrive Life ~ Project Simple Home

You can get the Harvest in two depths:

  • 24.5″ 
  • 18.5″ 

and six heights:

  • 10.5″ (designed to be used under a bed)
  • 27″
  • 39″ (add a butcher block counter-top and this becomes a very attractive island work space!)
  • 51″ 
  • 72″ (the most popular!)

There is also a Harvest System that is specifically designed to hold only Pantry cans that is 78″ high, however this is not available online and must be ordered directly through me. 

Can Tracks

The can tracks themselves are designed to fit your particular needs. The small can tracks will hold most standard cans you would find at the grocery store; soup cans, tuna cans, vegetable cans. As long as they don’t exceed 4.5″ tall, they will fit just fine. The medium tracks will hold everything the small tracks will hold plus larger soup or stew cans and the larger fruit cans you find at the grocery store. These are also the tracks you would want to use for Thrive Pantry cans. Finally, the large tracks are designed to rotate #10 cans. Depending on the size of Food Rotation System you choose, you will have storage for between 90 and 460 standard cans, or 28-112 #10. 

Configurations

There are also various configurations you can choose for your Harvest. The standard Harvest comes with three small tracks, one medium track, and one large track. You can also find systems that hold only #10′s (perfect for preppers or big families), and even a few that only hold pantry cans. While these systems are designed to maximize available space in your Food Rotation System, you can build your own custom system. Contact me with what you would like and I will do my best to make it a reality!

Extra Accessory Options

Add a front shelf to your Thrive Life Food Rotation System for easy access to open cans ~ Project Simple HomeThere are also accessories to help you customize your Food Rotation System even more! 

  • The Front Shelf is one of my favorite accessories available. I like to keep my open can on the front shelf for easy access. You can store up to six #10 cans in each front self.
  • A Top Shelf is a great way to get a little more storage from your Harvest Food Rotation System. Often vertical space is left wasted when organizing and this helps you utilize it!
  • Side Shelves are a great way to add extra items that don’t roll (I’m looking at you cereal boxes.) You can add up to 4 per side, but be sure to keep the weight even on each side to avoid a tipping hazard!
  • Switch out the a few of your tracks on the Thrive Life Food Rotation Systems to add extra storage for emergency preparedness supplies ~ Project Simple HomeHave something a little too heavy to be stored safely on a side shelf? A Drawer Kit will come in handy then! Use it to store emergency supplies like generators, bug out bags, or even some water! FYI, you will sacrifice track space for this one, but it is the only accessory that will reduce the amount of cans your Food Rotation System will hold.
  • Castors are by far the easiest (and safest!) way to move the Food Rotation Systems once they are fully loaded. 

Don’t have a suitable space to store your harvest, or REALLY looking for easy access? Many consultants and customers have no issue storing their Food Rotation System right out in the open. But if you want to keep things a bit more subtle, check out these Cabinet Wraps that help your Harvest blend right in with your kitchen.

Design:

These guys are meant to last! The frame is a durable steel. The tracks are a heavy duty plastic that helps your cans slide smoothly without damage. My toddler has been “testing” our Harvest system for a while now (he likes to make sure our cans are well rotated!) and it is no worse for wear. 

This special Harvest Pantry Can Food Rotation System from Thrive Life is ONLY available from Independent Consultants like myself. Increase your pantry storage and organization today! ~Project Simple HomeIt is easy to use. Since everything is front loading and gravity fed, there is really no struggle to use the Thrive Food Rotation Systems. It is easy to find just what you are looking for because you aren’t digging on a shelf. You don’t lose cans and find them expired years later. You know when to restock with just a glance. Things stay organized just how you like them. 

They are attractive. Even without the cabinet wrap, I find the design of the Harvest and other Food Rotation Systems visually pleasing. Then again, I do love the bright color coded Thrive cans! 

Get a Thrive Life Food Rotation System in your home

There’s a reason why the Thrive Life Food Rotation System caught my eye as a young interior design student and organizing enthusiast so long ago. It is a quality product that just makes sense. I still remember taking a picture and adding it to my “home wish list.” That was way before pinterest, I printed pictures and kept them in a binder. I finally have my own Harvest and I couldn’t be happier with my Food Rotation System. I would highly recommend them to ANYONE. I even put my own name behind the product and sell them. I’m happy to offer the best possible prices and you can be notified of sales by signing up for my newsletter. Let me help you make your pantry, basement, or food storage room a bit more organized and contact me today for a consultation, or shop online here.

 

I want to hear from you!

  • Do you have a Thrive Life Food Rotation System? Which system do you have? When did you get it?
  • Would you use your Food Rotation System for grocery store cans, or larger food storage cans?
  • If you can have any of the accessories, which would you take?
  • Where you you keep you Thrive Life Food Rotation System? 

Signature

by Andrea

Thrive Smart Start 200 Challenge

January 6, 2014 in The Q, Thrive Life by Andrea

IThrive Smart Start 200 is a Thrive cooking course in a box! ~ Project Simple Home‘m sure you all know how much I love my Thrive Q. I shop online for flavorful fruits and vegetables that are non GMO and gluten free. I have a supply of delicious sausage crumbles (and a whole verity of other proteins) that I can use by the spoonful if needed, not the pound. I have a selection of spices, herbs, sauces, and desserts that add flavor and verity to my meals planning. Everything is pre-washed, chopped, and (in the case of meats) cooked to cut my daily cooking time in half, but Thrive also has an average 25 year shelf life making it perfect for emergency storage. Best of all, I can get the entire line of Thrive Foods delivered to my door at a comparable cost to my local grocery store! 

Benefits of the Thrive Smart Start 200

I’ve been enjoying my Thrive Q for well over a year, but there is one special program in the Q that I have yet to utilize: the Thrive Smart Start 200. The Thrive Smart Start 200 is a essentially a Thrive home cooking course in a box. It comes in three consecutive Q shipments at $200 each. While you can order the Smart Start Program at any time, where it really shines is when you begin your Q for the first time. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • You’ll start your Thrive Home Store pantry with 66 of our most popular Thrive Ingredients.
  • Experience the full range of Thrive foods: Thrive Express, desserts, drink mixes, sauces, seasonings, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.
  • An exclusive recipe book with 38 dishes written and tested by Chef Todd, our in house culinary expert.
  • Meal planners and shopping lists for easy meal preparation.
  • Additional discounts on the Thrive ingredients than if you purchase them separately.
  • Free year long membership to the Thrive Q club that offers exclusive recipes, coupons, and loyalty points.*

Thrive Smart Start 200 includes 38 different Chef created dishes ~ Project Simple HomeI really wish I would have started my Thrive Q experience with the Thrive Smart Start 200 package, because it really is a Thrive crash course. I remember getting my first Q shipment full of items I was excited to try: sliced strawberries, passion-fruit yogurt, red bell pepper, and tomato powder. While it was fun to try them individually, together they didn’t make anything. I wasn’t really able to combine them into a recipe. This happened with the first several shipments I received. Yes, I was building my pantry, and yes I was able to switch out one or two ingredients in a dish, but I sure wasn’t able to make Tuscan Chicken, or Creamy Red Bell Pepper Polenta, or Angel Food Cake with Berry Sauce. With the Thrive Smart Start 200, you can! 

The Thrive Smart Start 200 Challenge

For the next three months, I will be testing some of the Smart Start recipes and sharing my experiences. I would love to invite you to join me! If you already have a Q, simply add the Thrive Smart Start 200 program to your January, February and March shipments. If you do not have a Q yet and would like to join in on the fun, then either sign up here, or contact me and I will help you set things up. 

I would love to hear from you!

I’m very excited to finally take on this challenge and I hope a few of you will accompany me on the adventure. I would love too know what you are looking forward to and what your experience with Thrive is: are you a Thrive newbie, have you simply been storing it or do you use it in your daily cooking like a Thrive pro? Have any of the recipes featured in this post piqued your interest yet? 

*only for new Q members