Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Menu Plan Success!

On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I sat down and quickly planned out 17 dinners, lunches for kids and breakfasts for all. From that, I made a grocery list with all of the ingredients we would need plus quite a few things we were out of. Two hours, three stores and $308 later, I had everything I needed. Why 17 dinners? That was how many days until the next pay period, minus one. The minus one was a dinner group evening we have planned with good friends, so dinner was taken care of. We will simply provide a side dish. Easy peasy. And I personally find dinners to be the hardest thing to plan so this was the most important part.

I find this method to be so much easier on me. I have felt like I am at the store almost every day lately and still not sure what's for dinner most nights! Our schedule is so busy with three kids and all of their after school activities that I needed a plan to keep my own sanity and all of us fed. I do not like to cook so having a plan is so helpful for me. This also includes lots of recipes!! I have amassed quite a few tried and true recipes that I know how to make and everyone will eat - two of the most important factors for this household. There are a few recipes that I am writing down for the next go around that we would like to try but knowing I have almost if not all of the ingredients for each and every meal on my list is so satisfying. No more "what's for dinner" followed by the "I'm not sure yet" answer!

Here is the aftermath of my grocery list.

I realized when writing down my ingredient list how scattered it was. So, I did a quick Google search and found this little beauty. It has all of the groceries in categories so when I'm in the produce section I know everything that I need. I even wrote the store's initials next to each item if it was on sale in their circular. Yes, I went to three store but they are all right near each other so there was really no extra driving. AND, of the $308 I spent, my savings amounted to $121. So, yes, I go to three different store, because I trying to stick to me budget this time.  Here is the link for the list in case you you want to try it too: Grocery List Template

So, we are on Day 3 and I have no reason to go to the store today. The Apple Cider Beef Stew is in the crock pot and I am a happy lady. I will have to hit the store tomorrow get pick up some more milk, but that's it! I have everything we need for awhile. And what I don't have, I will make from scratch, like Italian bread for Spaghetti and Meatball night or pizza crust for Homemade Pizza night. I DO like to bake so I don't mind making homemade bread and dough.

And in case you need a little inspiration to do some meal planning, here is the list of our meals for the next two 1/2 weeks. They are simple but we made the list mostly from recall and asking the kids what they wanted to eat. I haven't figured out sides for all but have plenty in my pantry and freezer to choose from.

1. Tacos
2. Tacos (we love them so much they are on here twice!)
3. Chicken & Dumplings with carrots
4. Burgers & fries
5. Beef Roast in crockpot with potatoes & carrots (TODAY"S RECIPE)
6. Spaghetti and meatballs with Italian garlic bread
7. Spaghetti and meat sauce with Italian garlic bread
8. Homemade Pizza
9. Chinese noodles in broth with veggies
10. Chicken Pot Pie
11. Sausage, peppers & onions on rolls
12. Black Bean Burgers & fries
13. Ham & cheese sliders with salad
14. Sloppy Joes, tater tots and carrot sticks
15. Chicken thighs in crockpot with rice & peas
16. Fish (will buy this when ready)
17. Beef & broccoli stir fry with rice

So there it is. Let me know what you think and how you plan our your family meals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Girl's Tween Room Makeover

So in July, I posted that we were doing a makeover to my 10-year-old daughter's room. It was all she wanted for this birthday. She had outgrown the pale green and pink, princess-like room and wanted something fun and older-looking. So here is a before. I had to search for this since I didn't really take many before photos. Now, we had already purchased the new bedding, pictured below and it all was based on those colors.

So, she decided that the wall color would be lime green and the accent colors are hot pink and turquoise. For weeks, we got paint sample chips from every store we were in that sold paint. After matching colors to her comforter, we finalized the wall color and accent colors. As soon as I started putting that lime green paint on the wall, I thought I had made a terrible mistake by allowing her to choose the exact color. However, once the furniture was in and accessories up, it looked so cool and hip! Most importantly, she LOVED it!! The pictures just don't do it justice. It is really a bright lime green - darker that the pictures, but looks great with everything. We have added some more accessories since these pictures were taken.

The painting of the furniture might be another post. She had light pink furniture that I painted white. I had no idea that it would take 2 coats of primer (which then had to cure for 1 week), 3 coats of white trim paint and 2 coats of polyurethane. It was exhausting and tedious but well worth the end result. So what do you think??

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

Today I had to tell my daughter the truth about the Tooth Fairy. While some of you will think it is naive and ridiculous that a 10-year-old girl still believes in the Tooth Fairy, you must know something first. To know Avery is to know that her heart and compassion can fill a room. She has a sweetness and innocence about her that we both hold on to.

Though she knew in the back of her mind that it really was Mommy & Daddy sneaking into her room to leave money in place of a tooth, she didn't want that to be true. Avery wants desperately to believe that in her world, magic does exist. In her world, there is a place for wonder and believing.

She never questioned it like my older, analytical thinker because she didn't want to spell to be broken. And, quite frankly, neither did I. In this world of kids growing up so fast and over-exposure to adult issues, I wanted my little girl to continue to be innocent and naive for just a bit longer.

This is the year (5th grade) when she will watch the puberty film in school. This is the year when I have to have "the talk" with her. So yes, I was holding on to her sweet, pure heart for as long as I could. Because this is the year when some of that will end.

And truthfully, Mommy was tired last night and forgot the $$. So this morning I decided that it wasn't fair for a 10-year-old to not be told the truth, for fear of embarrassment at school.

It is overwhelmingly sad and joyful to watch your children grow into the people they will be as adults. I am trying not to hold on too tight but I still get teary knowing that I only have one left who still "believes".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Projects galore

I've got so many projects planned that I just don't know where to start! I know that high on the list is the tween update of my 9-year-old daughter's room! She has outgrown the pink princess theme and needs something a bit more "grown up". She has already picked our her dream bedding (from Target - yea!) Keep you posted on that!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

New Boots

Let me start by saying I love the Christmas Tree Shops! I have been wanting a pair of rain boots for a long time. I could never find a pair in a cute print in my size. Finally today I took a ride over to the Chrismtas Tree Shops after perusing their most recent circluar this morning. Guess what was on sale - my rain boots! Not only did they have a cute print BUT they also had them in my size! Yeah!!

Now, I will not go into detail about how I almost passed them up because I really had wanted plaid and there was no plaid print to be found. I will also not go into detail about my slight obsession with plaid - I love it like no other print. It calls to me no matter what the fabric, shoe, houseware or clothing. I more than love it... I LURVE it!! Maybe it stems from the fact that the majority of my peeps (my ancestors, that is) come from The Emerald Isle and the Scottish Coast. Maybe I just love the comfort it evokes, like I could wrap myself all warm and cozy in the lines and colors of the wool. Okay, I may be a tad bit more than obsessed.

Back to the matter at hand, these boots are my new besties. I wore them out to wait for the bus after the 12"+ snow we received over the past two days. It was also flurrying when I was wating out there. I was so enamored that I had to take a picture with my phone. They are actually a nice burgandy color. So here they are; my new boots. The color looks a little weird because of the lighting outside and it was taken with my phone. Oh, and the best part is the price - $14.99!!! Woo hooo!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Never Forget

I came across this posting on one of my favorite blogs - Thrifty Decor Chick - and had to share. It made me cry and feel everything I felt 9 years ago. None of us will forget where we were. My daughter was 4 days old and I was almost late to her first dr's appt because I couldn't tear myself away from the tv.


Mayeb someday I'll figure out how to link to another blog so it looks nice. Until then, just click on the link above.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fan-tastic: Dyed Chevron Rug

I saw this post on Centsational Girl, who posted it from another diy blogger, and LOVED it. Had to share.

Fan-tastic: Dyed Chevron Rug