6 Ways to Lower Your Stress

Throughout the past few months, it’s safe to say we have all oscillated in feeling a complete variety of ways. One day we might be relishing in our ability to safely stay at home and spend time with our loved ones, and the next day we might feel as though we are itching for the sense of normalcy we felt at the beginning of the year. There is no one right way to feel (we’re leaning into it all!), but we have found it’s important to discover new ways or dive back into old habits in order to keep our stress levels in check. Whether you’re facing decisions about school or a desire to go back in time, try one of these six ways to lower your stress levels below. 

1. Read:

One of the best ways to disconnect is to get lost in a great book. There are plenty of sites to turn to for inspiration if you’re looking to create a reading list or simply find one great read. Try Reese’s Book Club, Read with Jenna, the Bad on Paper Podcast Book Club, and/or this list from Real Simple about the best books from 2020 (so far). The great thing about reading is you can slot in a few moments throughout the day to read a page or two or you can set aside a full block of time to complete a number of chapters. Once you start, we think reading will become a daily habit you look forward to throughout the day!

2. Exercise:

Exercise looks different for everyone. Some people love to get in a spin workout at home on a stationary bike with an app; others like to run, golf, or play tennis; while other people prefer to take a walk. No matter what you choose to do, make sure it’s something that doesn’t feel like a chore. The idea with exercising to lower your stress is to move in ways that bring you joy and boost your mood, rather than spending any time dreading working out as though it’s a to-do you would rather skip over. Before your workout, create a playlist, download a podcast, or purchase an audiobook!

3. Cook:

Whether it’s on our blog or in our app, we love sharing new recipes with you! We find cooking is a great outlet because it combines the process of following steps with an opportunity to be creative. Plus, it’s something that requires focus. Altogether, we find we do feel more relaxed and stress-free when we try cooking or baking a new recipe. The best news? You will (likely!) end up with delicious results to enjoy with your family or share with friends. 

4. Craft:

Similar to cooking, spending time working on a craft also involves working with your hands. Because it’s physical (and clearly creative!), we find our stress starts to dissipate because we have a fun task to focus on. Think about working on a DIY project, making something with your kids (Good Housekeeping has plenty of ideas!), paint, or learn how to sew or stitch. Don’t be surprised when you end up with a number of completed projects and a newfound hobby! 

5. Write:

Oftentimes, things are less stressful than they may seem in our minds once we can stare at them on paper. So, make a list! You might note things you need or want to accomplish, ideas you don’t want to forget, or even specific things that have been adding to your feelings of stress. Journaling or even typing an email to yourself are both known as being great tools to help you process whatever you’re feeling. Once it’s on paper, work to complete the to-dos or try to release your thoughts.

6. Connect:

Sometimes feelings of stress can be magnified when we spend too much time mulling things over within ourselves. So, call a friend or family member and talk! You don’t have to run through all that might be bothering you. Instead, it might be helpful to ask them questions about their lives as a way to turn off your own thought process. Another idea: meet for coffee, a meal, or ice cream together. Sometimes even five minutes spent with another person is enough to fill our wells for quite a while.

It’s safe to say we’re all experiencing stress, albeit for different reasons and in different ways, but it’s important to find ways to cope. So, how do you combat your stress? Let us know on Facebook!

10 Summertime Peach Recipes

One of the best parts of summer is definitely the fruit that is in season! As we celebrate August, we have a new fruit season to celebrate too: peach season! This sweet, sometimes tart, and always delicious summertime fruit is wonderful for both sweet and savory meals, desserts, and (of course!) drinks. We love the great variety offered by peaches.

We also love that many pick-your-own farms present you with the fun opportunity to pick your own bounty with your family. During a time when family outings (or outings in general!) feel a little more complicated as we try to keep our social distance, a visit to a farm to pick fruit combined with a recipe challenge offers a fun and memorable way to spend a day, night, or even a full weekend.

Keep reading below for 10 summer recipes you can make with peaches!

10 Summertime Peach Recipes:

Raspberry Peach Lemonade:

Lemonade is a classic summer drink, and Damn Delicious ups the fun with her take on Raspberry Peach Lemonade. Your kids will love this summery drink!

Easy Homemade Peach Jam:

We couldn’t share a post about fruit without finding a great recipe for jam. The reason why we’re intrigued by this Easy Homemade Peach Jam recipe is because Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom makes it without pectin (an ingredient that can sometimes make jam feel complicated to master).

Easy Baked Peaches:

We have talked about grilling peaches in the past, which you can definitely do. But, we also wanted to highlight a great recipe for baking them. I Heart Naptime shared this recipe for Easy Baked Peaches that also introduces cinnamon sugar topping. We definitely recommend following her lead and completing this sweet combo with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for a wonderful summertime dessert.

Peach Wine Slushies:

To make your glass of wine more fun and summery, turn it into a slushie! Of course, it’s even more delectable when you add peaches. These Peach Wine Slushies from Dessert for Two take minutes to make.

Spicy Peach & Avocado Salad:

We’re fans of summertime salads, and this Spicy Peach & Avocado Salad from Country Living sounds like a great take! It combines peaches together with avocados and a Fresno Chile pepper for a great kick. If you don’t love spicy foods, we think the salad would be equally as tasty sans pepper.

One Skillet Peach Glazed Chicken:

Meals that can be made in a single pot, skillet, or pan are always up our alley. When we spotted this One Skillet Peach Glazed Chicken recipe from The Seasoned Mom we added it to our “to make” list right away! The prep time for this dinner dish is 5 minutes. Need we say more?

Peach Mango Coconut Oil Banana Bread:

Our passion for banana bread continues, and Averie Cooks shared a Peach, Mango, & Coconut Oil Banana Bread recipe that combines three amazing fruits together! The great news is this recipe includes coconut oil for a healthier option.

Turkey, Brie & Peach Panini:

A panini is a wonderful way to make lunch more fun, and Foxes Love Lemons created a Turkey, Brie & Peach Panini! It combines all of the flavors you would think, plus arugula, brie, and Dijon mustard.

Slow-Cooked Peach Salsa:

The summer is meant for salsa, and it’s always fun to create your own. Taste of Home shared a recipe for Slow-Cooked Peach Salsa that makes plenty of servings (11 cups!) after cooking for three hours. This would be excellent for a Mexican themed taco night!

Georgia Peach Homemade Ice Cream:

Rather than purchasing ice cream from the grocery store, why not try your hand at creating your own at home? This Georgia Peach Homemade Ice Cream recipe from All Recipes has over 400 positive reviews, and the results sound incredible.

We can’t wait to hear about the peach recipes you make! Fill us in on Facebook, and make sure to share any peach recipes you love that we have yet to discover.

12 Foods to Always Stock at Home

Because we have been enjoying many more meals at home (and we think this will continue for the foreseeable future!), we thought we would share the foods we have been keeping on hand to make meal and snack prep simple and quick. Keep reading below for 12 foods we’ve learned to always keep stocked in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer! 

The Pantry: 

1. Pasta and Jarred Sauce:

Pasta is part of many of our weekly meal plans, and it’s a quick and easy meal that almost always allows for leftovers. Consider adding ground meat or vegetables to your pasta, and stir in sauce from a jar in order to keep your meal prep simple.  

2. Rice:

Rice has a long shelf life, which means it’s likely to not expire before you use it. Plus, it pairs well with many different lunch and dinner recipes. Consider mixing it into taco bowls for a Taco Tuesday!

3. Soup:

Rainy days make us crave soup and grilled cheese no matter the season, so we always like to keep it in our pantry. If you’re looking for a challenge, try making your own soup from scratch! 

4. Prepackaged Snacks:

If you have kids, think about dedicating a shelf (or a few!) to snacks your kids can reach and enjoy on their own. Prepackaged snacks work wonderfully for kids because they’re already portioned, which means there’s not a need for them (or you!) to portion out the proper serving size. They’re also helpful for adults too, especially now when multiple snacks throughout the day has become part of the norm.

5. Boxed Baking Mixes:

Baking has become one of our go-to hobbies while at home, and sometimes it’s just as fun to whip together a boxed mix as it is to create a recipe from scratch. We love having a box mix for cake or cupcakes, brownies, muffins, or cookies on hand for a fun treat that’s also serves as an activity.

Refrigerator and Freezer:

1. Yeast:

We mentioned in this post that we have been baking bread often, so we’ve found it’s helpful to keep yeast on hand. Yeast does keep for a while, so you won’t need to worry about it expiring. Plus, you will always be ready to bake your next bread recipe!

2. Sliced Fruit:

There are preferred ways to store your fruit, and it’s best to only cut up what you plan to eat in order for it to keep and not spoil. But, if you know you will be eating your fruit quickly, keep it prepped in your refrigerator, so it’s ready for you to grab and go! 

3. Cut Vegetables:

The same notes about fruit we mentioned above are also true about vegetables. But, we all do feel more encouraged to snack and cook with vegetables that are washed and cut in advance. One great trick for vegetables is mini carrots! Most are snack sized already, and they’re also already washed. 

4. Salad Mix:

If you’re looking for a new option for lunch, consider adding prepackaged salad mixed to your refrigerator. Some even have dressing and other ingredients, like nuts, cheese, or dried fruit, included, so your salad will be ready to serve and enjoy in minutes.

5. Meat:

We like to keep meat, like ground beef and chicken, on hand. You will want to make sure to defrost it in advance, which does involve thinking ahead, but meat does keep longer overall if it’s frozen.

6. Pizza:

We like to enjoy pizza on the weekends, but it’s fun to do an impromptu pizza night during the week too! As a result, we always keep a pizza or two in the freezer that we can heat in the oven with a moment’s notice. You can still add toppings to frozen pizza too, so don’t be afraid to add those ingredients to your shopping list.

7. English Muffins or Bread:

If you’re not planning to bake bread or you would prefer to keep other ready made options available, consider storing your bread in the freezer where it will stay fresh longer. As a note, English muffins are wonderful for breakfast paired with eggs, plus you can also make sandwiches with them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And, they’re the perfect base for English muffin pizzas – a favorite among kids and adults alike!

Let us know how you are stocking your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer on Facebook!