Come Thrive With Me!

Dinnertime needn’t be a nightmare. Thrive Life makes preparing a delicious, nutritious meal a breeze with our Simple Plate meals. Unlike some other meal delivery companies, Thrive Life has done all the chopping and prep work for you. You just cook and serve! And if your dinner plans change, your Thrive Life Simple Plate meal is shelf-stable and will keep in your pantry for up to three months.

Thrive Life delivers high-quality groceries to your door: no GMOs, nothing from China, just delicious and healthy food for your family. Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and grains, all freeze-dried at the absolute peak of freshness. Can you imagine never chopping onions again? Never wasting half a bunch of celery because you only needed a little bit and the rest got limp and icky before you could use it? We Americans throw away about 20% of our food — some statistics say 25% –wasting money and resources. And frankly, with so many hungry people in this world, it’s a shame we waste so much. Thrive Life has the answer.

So if convenience, flavor, nutrition, and cost-effectiveness don’t tempt you, how about long shelf life? Most Thrive Life foods are good for 25 years unopened. Once you open the can, most of the foods are still delicious and convenient for up to two years. So, if you don’t use a lot of red bell pepper, for example, but you need if for a few recipes you make, you can purchase a can of Thrive Life red bell pepper and you’re set for the next two years after you’ve opened it.

Now, I am an experienced home canner. I’ve canned thousands of jars of fruits, meats, and vegetables over the past three decades. There are some foods I will probably always can myself. But for the rest of our daily-use and long-term food storage, we will be relying more on Thrive Life.

If you would like to know more about Thrive Life foods and what a blessing they can be for you and your family, check out my website below. I really believe you’ll be glad you did.

What are your favorite Aldi deals?

Although I love to buy local and try to do so whenever possible, I’m also on a budget. We purchase locally-produced foods and preserve them for the year, but there are some staple items that I can save a lot of money on at Aldi without sacrificing one bit of quality.

Here are a few of my favorite Aldi purchases:

1. Mayonnaise 

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I am a diehard mayonnaise snob and I only like Hellmann’s or Duke’s. Or at least I thought I only liked those mayos until I took a chance on Burman’s, the Aldi brand. It is delicious. Tastes just like Hellmann’s at half the price, and like Hellmann’s it has zero carbs. If you are a Miracle Whip fan you might like the Burman’s whipped dressing, but I have no experience with that. Although I grew up on Miracle Whip my family doesn’t like it and I prefer real mayo myself, but based on the quality of their mayo, I’d recommend giving the whipped dressing a try.

2.  Fresh salsa
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The Little Salad Bar brand of fresh salsa is simply wonderful. The hot version has a nice kick to it and the mild is still very flavorful.


3.  Peanut butter

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Aldi’s Peanut Delight brand of peanut butter is just as creamy and fresh-tasting as its big-name counterparts, but it costs a lot less.

4.  Indian cooking sauces

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When nothing but curry will do, our go-to is Aldi. These sauces are every bit as savory and authentic as the name brands but cost less. We like to add spinach and chickpeas to the Tikka Masala variety and serve it over rice for a quick supper. I always try to have a few jars in my pantry. The other flavors are equally delicious.

5. Cookies

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We don’t eat a lot of store-bought sweets, but I picked up a package of these thin mint clones on a whim a while back. I defy anyone to taste the difference between these and the ones sold annually door-to-door. The Aldi brand is every bit as yummy and a 10-oz package is 95¢, compared to $4 for a 9-oz package the kids sell. We found the caramel coconut fudge variety a dead ringer for its better-known counterpart as well. If you feel guilty about not buying from the girls in green, mail them a check for the difference. You’ll still save a ton.

6. Refrigerated ready-to-bake pizza

See the source imageFor less than six bucks you can enjoy a fresh-baked 16″ pizza at home. There are several varieties and they’re all good.

7.  Organic baby food

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These handy little pouches were not available when my children were tiny, but we keep some on hand for our grandbaby. His mommy nurses him and prepares him homemade organic food, but it’s great to be able to throw a pouch in the backpack just in case. The Aldi brand is 79¢ and so far our grandson loves them.

8.  Disposable diapers

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The Aldi Little Journey brand is $5 a pack and they are good.

9.  Tortellini

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This high-quality tortellini is flavorful and pantry-stable. It’s a great addition to soups and the price is lower than the grocery store brands.

10. Avocados

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Aldi routinely reduces the price on their Haas avocados. This week they are 59¢ each. Did you know you can freeze guacamole? Yeah. Life changing.

Do you shop at Aldi? What are some of your favorite Aldi products?





I was watching an old Portlandia episode last night, the one where Fred’s hair turns grey overnight and he confronts a scientist, angrily demanding he do something about time. It is not as advertised! I agree. It zooms and slows and halts and races. It is not even and predictable as we were led to believe. Otherwise, I would not be turning sixty this summer. It’s not that I mind getting older, exactly. It’s just so unfreakingbelievable. Now I know why my late mother-in-law would talk about a “girl” she went to high school with, even though that “girl” was currently eighty years old. I get it now. I don’t understand it, but I get it.

58 Things I Love About Getting Older

Today is my fifty-eighth birthday.

1. self-acceptance

2. increased contentment

3. grey hair = natural highlights

4. less hair on legs (for real!)

5. hands look capable and have that cool, veiny look

6. already having most household stuff you need

7. long-term friendships

8. less striving

9. having nothing to prove to anyone but oneself

10. Early Bird specials: an evening out and you still have a full evening left at home!

11. getting up early to enjoy the morning quiet
12. forgetfulness means arguments are shorter and less frequent
13. visits from our grown kids
14. senior discounts (although 55 is NOT a senior)
15. the realization that age truly is just a number (55 still not senior, though)
16. wisdom showing up, whether you sought it or not
17. encouraging younger folks on their journey
18. comfort >fashion (to a certain extent)
19. giving oneself the privilege of not finishing a book you don’t like
20. online courses in subjects you find interesting
21. learning for the sheer joy of it
22. gratitude to and for others
23. remembering all the times God has been faithful
24. diminishing fear
25. knowing how to cook
26. trying new things when you want to and not trying them when you don’t
27. courage – how’d we get so brave?
28. growing faith
29. prioritizing becomes second nature
30. wearing less makeup takes less time and looks better, too
31. going to bed at 8:30 if you want to
32. feeling less competitive with others of your gender
33. realizing you have a boatload of skills you’ve picked up over the years
34. passing those skills along to others
35. freedom to say no to buying stuff to keep up with the Joneses
36. realizing you have no desire to keep up with the Joneses
37. realizing you don’t even notice what the Joneses have, anyway
38. looking forward to that first cup of tea each morning.
39. but that second cuppa – Heaven!
40. letting go of clutter with no remorse
41. realizing you kind of like yourself, warts and all
42. having plenty of silverware

43. still needing more Fiesta ware, though.
44. long car rides with a long-time spouse
45. freedom to enjoy a life that is not perfect
46. freedom to love fully, with no reservations
47. knowing that, no matter what, things will get better
48. granny panties – cotton, comfort and coverage
49. no more monthly
50. everyone you meet reminds you of someone you already know and probably love
51. appreciating the little things more than ever
52. fewer freakouts over trivial BS
53. reaching age 50 and telling AARP you don’t want their stupid card
54. letting your freak flag fly
55. the colors I like > Panetone’s Colors of the Year
56. even if I like the same colors for twenty years
57. realizing life is not a contest and finding joy in cheering on others
58. deep and abiding gratitude to God

Karen’s pantry

We are ALL moms!

I recently read an article on the four types of moms you see at Target. Every one of them had little kids.

Really? How about the older moms who lie awake at night and pray for their wayward adult children? The moms who have ached and agonized when their beloved children have suffered the hell of divorce, or illness, or whatever else life hurls at them as grownups. What about the moms who have poured out their lives for their families and are having a hard time adjusting to a newly empty nest? The moms who grieve because their kids are caught in addiction and they can’t fix it for them. The mom whose kid is in jail? We are all still moms! In fact, we are black-belt moms. We are moms with decades of courage, building strong, flexible mothering muscles. We have calluses on our knees from praying for our precious kids. And guess what? We still love being moms! We love our big, grown-up children just as much as we did when they were small enough to ride in our shopping carts. only now we get to enjoy them as peers, too.

Oh, how I love young mothers! I am such a fan of good mothering I can hardly stand it. On many occasions, I have whispered to a stranger in public, “Good job, Mom” when her child is pitching a fit and she doesn’t back down and give in. It thrills my heart when I see a loving mom (or dad) ignore the embarrassment of a child’s public misbehavior to take the opportunity to build their character. My heart is always to encourage and love on younger mothers. But girls! Don’t be so shortsighted as to believe you will only be a mom until your little one is a big one.

I have a beautiful daughter I look square in the eye, and two handsome sons I have to reach up to hug. They are the light of my life and they always will be. I would lay down my life for them without a second thought. I hurt when they hurt and I rejoice with their every victory. I am so proud of them I could burst, and my gratitude for them knows no bounds. I like them. I enjoy them.

I may not wipe their noses anymore, but there are still times I have the privilege of drying a few tears.

We are ALL moms. Enjoy the little-kid years, sweet girls, but don’t kid yourself into thinking motherhood gets easier. It changes, it gets different, but it is never ‘easy’. The main thing that changes as the years go by is you. You will get stronger, and love even more. Motherhood is a precious gift for those of us who are profoundly blessed with that privilege. I do not take that gift lightly. Don’t you either, okay?

If you are worn out to the back teeth and need prayer or a hug or a few minutes alone, ask an older mom for help. It is our privilege to help you; in fact, it’s one of the reasons we are here. We get it! Our hair may be grayer and our bodies softer, but we are still moms and we understand your struggle better than you know. If your own mom is, for whatever reason, unable or unwilling to be that ‘mom’ you need, by all means find yourself a second mom.

PS: You are doing a great job!