#592 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

#592 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

592: Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Time

Do you feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it during the holidays?

You are not alone, friend!

Kathi Lipp and her favorite elf Deanna Day Young talk about strategies to keep your holidays less stressful so you can take care of the future you. In Part 2 of a three-part series, they lay out ten time-saving and preplanning tips to keep you moving and merry during this season when time is a valuable commodity.

Listen in as Kathi and Deanna each share five of their favorite holiday hacks such as:

  • How do they plan their holiday outfits? Hint: It keeps things clutter-free!
  • How to keep holiday gift-giving manageable.
  • And they share their favorite holiday recipes with us! Check those out below.

Have you listened to 591 Your Holiday Gameplan When You’re Low on Space? Click here.

Next week Kathi and Deanna will continue the holiday theme as they discuss what to do when you’re low on money. (And who isn’t?)  Sign up here to be notified when the next episode is released.

Do you find the Clutter Free Academy podcast helpful? Would you consider reviewing the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify? Each review helps us share the word about this podcast and reach more listeners with the Clutter Free message. We would be so grateful for your recommendation.

Baked Mac & Cheese
1 Box of Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Prepare Mac & Cheese as directed on package. Add milk and sour cream. Mix well. Spoon into 8″x8″ baking dish. Top with cheese.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and lightly browned.

**This recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9″x13″ baking dish. Increase bake time to 45 minutes.

S’mores Bars
½ c. butter, softened
½ c. sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ c. graham crackers, crushed or graham cracker crumbs
¾ c. all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 regular size Hershey bars
7 oz jar of marshmallow creme

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add crushed graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt and baking powder; beat until well mixed, scraping the sides of the bowl. Put a layer of aluminum foil down in the 8″x8″ pan and grease the foil. This will allow you to lift the dessert out of the baking pan to cool after baking and allow for easier cutting into bars.
  • Spoon half of the dough into a greased 8″x8″ baking pan and spread evenly. Break chocolate bars into pieces and arrange over the dough. Spread a layer of marshmallow creme over the chocolate. Flatten the remaining dough and lay over marshmallow creme. The remaining dough may not cover the entire layer of marshmallow creme but place sporadically over the marshmallow creme layer.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Lift foil out of baking pan and place on cooling rack. Allow dessert to cool and cut into squares.

Honey Bun Cake
Mix together:
1 box yellow cake mix
8 oz. sour cream
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

  • Pour half of batter in greased 9×13 pan.
  • In separate bowl, mix together:
    • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
    • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • Sprinkle cinnamon/brown sugar mixture over batter.
  • Pour remaining batter on top.
  • Bake 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes
  • Poke holes in cake with a fork while hot and pour the following mixture over cake:
    2 ½ cups powdered sugar
    ½ cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla

Artichoke Dip
Servings 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

8 oz cream cheese
1 c. Parmesan cheese – shredded
1 c. mayonnaise low-fat or fat-free is acceptable (pantry)
½ t. dill weed
1 clove garlic crushed
1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped (pantry)


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cream the cream cheese, add the Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, dill weed  and garlic. Mix well. Fold in the chopped artichoke hearts and then spoon mixture into a 9×9 pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes:
Serve with crackers, toasted baguettes, or toasted pita points. Serves 8 as an appetizer

Overnight Sausage, Egg, and Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
1 pound breakfast sausage, crumbled
6 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
12 large eggs
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the crumbled breakfast sausage until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a 9×13-inch baking dish, evenly spread the thawed shredded hashbrowns. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk or half-and-half, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika until well combined.
  • Stir in the cooked sausage, diced onion, diced red bell pepper, chopped fresh parsley, and both shredded cheeses until well mixed.
  • Pour the egg mixture evenly over the hashbrowns in the baking dish. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to gently press the mixture down, ensuring that the hashbrowns are well-covered.
  • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
  • The next morning, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before baking.
  • Remove the cover and bake the casserole in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown. To check for doneness, insert a knife in the center of the casserole; it should come out clean.
  • Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with your favorite hot sauce, salsa, or ketchup, if desired.


The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

Kathi and Deanna share ideas for making the holidays less stressful in this episode.

What ideas do you have for reducing stress during the holiday season? Could you share your answer in the comments?


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Meet Our Guest 


Deanna Day Young

Deanna lives in southeast Indiana on the Young family farm with her husband of 35 years. She and Roger have two grown daughters.

Deanna is the Director of Operations for Iron Timbers, a family-owned custom furniture business featured currently, and for several years, on HGTV’s Good Bones show. Prior to this position, she was a paralegal and managed the international trademark portfolio for 34 years for the Hill-Rom division of Baxter International. Deanna has a degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Ball State University and a Paralegal Certification from Saint Mary of the Woods College.

Fun Fact – Deanna and her daughter are also Chi Omega sorority sisters!! Hoot Hoot.

You can connect with Deanna at deannadayyoung.com