Meal Plan Monday – October 20 2014

Well, after a crazy weekend I am so glad to be back to our weekday routine. Weekends are always busy around here, but this one was loud. And intense. And did I say loud? We hosted our son’s 5th birthday party in our little house, with 13 of his closest friends. Those kids were super loud! Oh the yelling, occasional fighting, and wrestling! We tend to host the parties in our house because it is so much cheaper, but its very likely that next year it won’t be at our house! Or if it is, only a handful of kids will be invited! But, it was still fun, and the kids loved the games I planned, so watch for a post later in the week about how to save money on kids parties by DIYing!

For now, lets just focus on the dinners we will be eating this week:

Monday – burgers and fries

Tuesday – one pan cheesy sausage skillet (this was a HUGE hit with everyone last week, so you’ll be seeing it a lot!)

Wednesday – baked chicken breasts with easy potato skins and Greek salad

Thursday – spaghetti

Friday – pierogis with red peppers and zucchini

Saturday – breakfast for dinner

As always, I am linking up over at Org Junkie! Happy meal planning.

meal plan monday

 

 

The Return of Meal Plan Monday

It’s only been oh, 5 months (!!!!!) since I last posted our meal plan. I love sharing our dinner plan with you, and I know there are a few of you who check my plan for your own dinner ideas, so I hope you are as excited as I am to have it back!

I know a lot of people think I’m a little crazy for jumping back into sort of fancy dinners (meaning they are from scratch and sometimes complicated), and making soup and bread from scratch. I feel like I should clarify that my family doesn’t expect these meals, I just really love cooking. If you can count making healthy meals as a hobby, than count it as one for me! I love looking through my cookbooks and Pinterest for new recipes, tweaking them to fit our tastes, and seeing if I can even make it with sale items. And planning out these dinners allows me to relax, knowing that I don’t have to think up dinners at the last minute each night.

But, don’t think things always go as planned. I do have a 8 week old after all, which means sometimes she needs me and I can’t stand in front of the stove or oven for even 15 minutes! That’s when the frozen pizza, box of pasta, or takeout happens. We aren’t perfect, we don’t eat super clean and healthy all the time, but I don’t think anyone does. But this week I will try my best, since we have been enjoying far too many cakes and pies since we’ve had several birthdays plus Thanksgiving recently. When my hubby requests salad for the meal plan, I know it’s time to step up on the veggies, and cut back on the carbs!

So here is what we are eating this week:

Monday – Thanksgiving leftovers with the inlaws (turkey, ham, more pie, but lots of veggies too!)

Tuesday – Bill Clinton’s Fav Enchiladas, using leftover turkey (my husband requested this, so a change to the meal plan was made)

Wednesday – Salisbury steak with homemade bread and Greek Salad (with my favourite and super easy dressing)

Thursday – Cheesy Sausage Skillet with garden salad

Friday – Baked tilapia with french fries and peas

Saturday – Harvest bake (with sausage, apples, raisins and rice) and garden salad

 

I also have plans to make soup at some point, and probably muffins too.

 

meal plan monday

 

As always, I am linking up over at OrgJunkie. Happy meal planning everyone!

 

Back to Normal

Ok. I think I’ve got this mom of 3 thing down pat now. It just took 7 weeks to get back to normal. Well, our new normal. Squeezing in chores between feeding the baby and making school runs. Throwing laundry on knowing it may sit in the dryer for a day or two before being folded and put away. Running errands between nap times. Doing things with one hand. Asking for help when I admit defeat and realize I can’t do it all.

But it isn’t always that challenging. There are days when it goes smoothly and everything manages to get done, and I find a few minutes to sip a cup of tea without anyone needing anything from me. I’ve even managed to get back to cooking from scratch and making muffins and bread on the regular! Our bank account thanks me for that last one! Prior to the last couple weeks, prepared foods and takeout were happening way more than they should have, but that’s what happens when you have a newborn! I had to cut myself some slack somewhere, and food is the easiest one to change!

Next week I am even going to attempt cloth diapering! Which right now seems crazy, since I’m constantly behind on laundry, so adding another 2 loads a week seems insane! But, Id rather try it out than buy another case of disposable diapers and wipes!

Getting back to our frugal life means I can mentally relax a bit, which is a big deal for me. Getting back to a regular laundry schedule during the cheaper times makes me feel better because I know I am saving energy and money. Spending more time in the kitchen cooking eases my stress knowing that I am preparing healthier foods and saving us more money. And yes, the added work of cloth diapers makes me relaxed as well. Sounds a little silly, and I’m sure that means something else will fall behind…so don’t stop by unannounced, because the bathrooms might not be freshly scrubbed, and that laundry might be sitting there needing to be folded.

And getting back to normal also means getting back to this blog! I love writing, and I miss it! I have no idea how I will find/make time for it, but I’m going to give it a shot!

School Lunches

Is it to early to be thinking about back to school? Considering the flyers in my area are full of backpacks and pencil crayons, and Costco has Halloween costumes out now, I think it’s safe to start planning! Also, I’m going to have this baby any day/week, possibly not until the first week of school, so I if I can plan out some things now while I’m not nearly as sleep deprived, I’m going to.

This year my son will be going to school all day, and even though we live around the corner from the school, he will be staying for lunch (most kids do, and I don’t want him to feel like the only kid that has to leave, unless of course he wants to come home for lunch…). Last year all I had to pack was a morning snack (usually consisting of a granola bar, some fruit and some cheesy fish crackers), this year he will need a morning and afternoon snack plus his lunch. He isn’t much of a sandwich eater, unless you count Nutella (which he can’t take due to nut allergies), so I’ve been a little worried about what this sometimes picky eater will take.

For months, I have had in my head that August will be the month. To try new lunch ideas. To gradually drop his nap. To make sure we are practicing our writing. Well, today is August 1st! I’m 37 weeks pregnant and very tired, but I knew this was coming. It’s time to suck it up and get this stuff done! Thankfully Pinterest has pretty much done the job for me, as there are a MILLION pins filled with awesome lunch ideas for little kids. So this post is more about making a list of ideas for myself as to what I think my son will eat. He does enjoy a “plate of things” as we call it, for lunch and dinner sometimes too. Which is just a divided plate filled with random things: fruit, cheese, crackers, etc. Think the trendy bento style kids lunch without the over priced bento box. I plan on buying some divided containers for him, but they aren’t going to be the $50 stainless steel ones that’s for sure!

school lunches

So here is my list of foods that will be going into my son’s school lunch:

meat  (he’s getting better at eating more meat, and lean turkey and salami slices rolled up seem to be ok with him)

cheese (strings when they are on sale, otherwise just cubes of cheddar and mozzarella)

fruit (the kid LOVES fruit: grapes, apples, apple sauce, berries of any kind)

crackers (cheesy fish, triscuits with red pepper dip, pretzel sticks)

veggies (normally saved for dinner, but I might be able to sneak in some carrot sticks or cucumber slices once and a while)

bread (the kid loves just bread and butter, perhaps a nice homemade whole wheat slice would be good)

leftovers (sometimes he might want a hot lunch, especially in the winter: leftover spaghetti, or canned pasta in a preheated thermos)

granola bars/ fig bags

muffins (he loves just about every kind, and loves to help make them even more, during the school year I bake them every single week)

In addition to the divided lunch container, he’s going to need a bigger lunch bag as well…hopefully bought at the same time so I know everything fits. I also love the little silicone muffin liners, they are a great way to divide things up in the larger section of the container, plus they are fun and colourful, and reusable! And with the addition of these new items to our kitchen, that means I’ll have to reorganize our cabinets, which I am sadly excited about!

I’ve seen an idea on Pinterst about making your own ice pack using a sponge in a baggie, that way as it thaws it doesn’t leave a mess, and that saves me from buying those little ice packs that are kinda pricey!

Am I missing anything? I would love to hear from any experienced parents who have been packing lunches for years. Any tips and tricks?

Life as we know it…

The kids have settled into a movie, so I thought I would grab a few minutes on the computer and give a little update on life right now. First things first, I have not had the baby yet. I’ll be 37 weeks this week, which is a great milestone to reach because it means this baby is full term, and can safely arrive at any time! I’m not at the point yet where I have to answer the phone with “No baby yet” but I’m getting close. I told my mom this morning that I was done; rough night of sleep with a daunting grocery store trip ahead of me and I just didn’t want to be so large and so tired anymore. But thankfully, I am still having more good days than bad. Which is nice for a change, since this pregnancy has been the roughest so far. I hate complaining, because we are so blessed to have this little life being added to our family, and I really haven’t had any serious complications…it’s just been long and tiring, and that is all to be expected.

We’ve been making good on our summer bucket list, which has made for some very happy kids. We’ve done the beach, and splash pads, and play dates, and bowling, and crafts and loads of other fun days!  We’ve also had lots of quiet days at home filled with baking brownies and watching movies. Its been a great balance, and I think I can easily say my kids have had a great summer, especially considering just how pregnant I am!

Our vegetable garden this year is doing really well, which is surprising since I’ll go days without getting out there to water it or check on it! Everything is growing like crazy, and we even have teeny tiny watermelons starting to grow! We’ve been enjoying the never ending lettuce, lots of carrots and green beans, and this week some of the turnips should be ready!

This third trimester has also brought the nesting bug into our home, but not in the way that it normally arrives. I think it’s pretty typical for most women to “nest” by getting things set up for their soon to be born baby. Me? I get stressed about house projects and little things that keep getting put off. With my son I had lots to keep my busy because we had just moved. With my daughter I wanted the entire main floor of our house painted. And with this pregnancy, I’ve been slowly redoing our living room: searching out the perfect curtains, buying fabric to make a slip cover for a chair and some throw pillows (which I will hopefully share with you!). You know, projects I don’t physically have the energy for, but mentally I will go crazy if they don’t get done! The nursery is sort of set up, I still need to pack my hospital bag and should strip my cloth diapers, but picking out curtains and fabric is much more fun!

So the count down is really on now. I cannot wait to see who this little person is that has been tiring me out so much! I can’t wait to see my husband holding our baby, and our two other kids meeting them for the first time. I don’t want to wish these last few weeks away as a family of four, but I really am looking forward to being a family of five!

I know things have been quiet on this blog, and they will be for the next few months, so feel free to follow me on twitter, or request to follow me on Instagram to keep up the day to day. Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far!

 

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