Meal Plan….Tuesday November 18 2014!

This blogging thing just isn’t happening right now. The problem isn’t lack of ideas (I randomly think up awesome posts), it’s time…3 kids sure keep me busy, plus a house to clean, part time work to do, and feeding a baby every couple hours (3 months, and she still wants to eat every 2 hours most days!). And right now, any free time I have I have been crocheting, and oh boy is there a blog post begging to be written about all my crochet projects….if only I had time.

So there is a little tease, hopefully this week I can share with you all my frugal crochet projects. Some are Christmas gifts, some Christmas decor, and some are just fun little projects!

Until I can get some pictures of those projects, and write up a post about them, here is our meal plan for the week…a day late, opps!

Monday – pizza pasta (your fav pizza toppings in a tomato sauce, over your fav pasta! Super easy, kids love it, make it as healthy as you want with extra veggies!)

Tuesday – tacos

Wednesday – my famous spaghetti

Thursday – meatballs, rice and broccoli

Friday – fish and chips and salad

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As always, I am linking up over at Org Junkie. Happy menu planning everyone! (Changing up my picture, since we got snow the other day, and its well below zero!)

Meal Plan Monday – November 10

These days, I feel like the only time I get to sit down is when I am feeding the baby. Is this normal for you stay at home moms? Do you constantly feeling like you are on the go?

I need to accept that life is busy these days, and that’s just the way it is. I have to be very efficient in everything I do, otherwise my to-dos don’t get crossed off my list! This week I am getting back to my cleaning schedule, and using my calendar to plan out my daily things, not just the kids activities and special things that pop up during the week. I have also started to work a tiny bit each month, from home thankfully, and am planning on making some Christmas gifts…honestly, the busier I am, the better organized and efficient I become! One thing that really helps me during the week, is my meal plan! I don’t even know how to grocery shop without my list and dinners planned out! And I know, come 5:30pm,  would be a frantic mess if I didnt know what was for dinner that night. One less thing for me to think about and stress over :)

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday – one pot cabbage casserole (kids will try a little of this, but I am also making mac and cheese for them)

Tuesday – breakfast for dinner (eggs, hash browns, bacon and smoothies)

Wednesday – chicken nuggets, french fries and broccoli

Thursday – pizza

Friday – fish, roasted potatoes, and veggies

Saturday – hubby’s birthday, his choice!

As always I am linking up over at Org Junkie. Stop by and check out lots of great meal plans, as well as other organizing tips!

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Budgets…

So, my husband and I are about to work on our family budget. Previously we have used Excel for it, but I have been looking at online options, and other software that are more budget specific than Excel is. We haven’t decided what will we use yet, so I’d love to hear from you if you use anything like Mint.com, Quicken, or YNAB. Or maybe we’ll kick it old school and use paper and a pencil!

Hopefully I can share a bit about our process in the near future, but in the meantime you can check out some previous posts I wrote (see below), as well as the awesome posts over at Real Housekeeping, since it is Budget Week over there, and they are so nice to consider me a contributor! (Only one post so far, but many more to come in the future!)

A Stylish Bump on a Budget

Meal Plan!

Kids Room on a Budget

Women’s Money Week: budgets

Closet Organization on a Budget

Saving Can be Easy

 

Again, I would love to hear from YOU. How do you budget? What program/software do you use? Do you love crunching the numbers? Or hate it? Remember, budget doesn’t have to be a “four letter word” ;)

Meal Plan Monday – October 27 2014

I think today was the first morning it was below zero for the walk to school! So I am warming myself with a cup of tea while I write this :). O love these cool days, staying cozy in sweaters and slippers, but who doesn’t?! We hit the pumpkin patch this weekend since Halloween is coming up, and the kids played for hours in the leaves at their Grandma’s house too. What a wonderful time of year! We buy our pumpkins from an older couple that runs a small farm in our town, and she gave use a free pie pumpkin, so it looks like I’ll be making something with that this week. I’ve never made pumpkin anything from a real pumpkin, I always buy the canned puree…so this will be interesting!

Here is what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday – cheesy sausage skillet (we didnt end up eating this last week, so it’s on the menu again this week!)

Tuesday - ham, roasted potatoes and green beans

Wednesday - pizza and Greek salad

Thursday – breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon, fruit)

Friday – pierogies with peppers and zucchini and KD for the kids

This menu plan isn’t very inspiring. And since we have a well stocked freezer and pantry right now thanks to some great sales, things are very likely to change. Which is the great thing about a meal plan, you can easily mix things up, it’s not set in stone, so don’t stress over it and think you are stuck with what you planned out if you change your mind. It’s supposed to make life easier, and that crazy dinner time rush a little more relaxed!

 

As always I am linking up with Org Junkie. Happy meal planning everyone!

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Hosting Parties: when to DIY and when to not

If you search online for tips to save money on hosting parties, most sites and blogs are going to tell you to do it yourself. Spending the time to make things and do the food yourself is the easiest way to save money. But you also have to realize that your time is worth something too, and spending loads of timing DIYing may not be the best way for you to save money.

I used to do everything myself. Food, decorations, party games, loot bags, invitations. Everything. When I had one kid it was easy, after the second I started doing a little less myself, and now with three, I have cut back even more. I’ll buy the fruit tray from the grocery store because I enjoy doing the crafty things like making the pinata. For me, right now, it’s all about balance of saving money and time. And after this last birthday party, I know why many people rent spaces to host the party. The amount of cleaning up after my house was invaded by a dozen 5 year olds was enough to put an end to that many little kids at once! Future parties will be smaller or not in our house that’s for sure!

So, would you like to see all the DIYs I did do for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and my son’s 5th? Check them out:

My daughter’s 3rd birthday was a Frozen theme, and we went a little overboard with the decorations and games. Thankfully I had some help from my mom, and the grocery store made the sandwich tray, which saved me loads of time!

frozen party food

The table set up was full of little notes of the movie, from snowballs, to chocolate hugs (because Olaf loves warm hugs) and chocolate kisses (to melt a frozen heart). I made little signs for some of the food, just to show how they related to the movie.

frozen decor

My mom got in on the fun by making some snow flakes to hang all over the house. We had them on the doors, windows and in the basement where the games were happening. This saved me a ton of time, since I didn’t have to cut any of them out, and she even hung them up for me! We played Pin the Carrot Nose on Olaf, Do You Want To Build a Snowman (the kids wrapped white streamers around each other and used hats, scarves and gloves to dress the snow men up, and the birthday girl picked the best one), and Destroy Elsa’s Ice Castle (they threw styrofoam “snowballs” at some clear plastic cups stacked up like a castle).

frozen party

One big money saver was that I made the cake myself. I arranged cupcakes in a shape to look like Olaf, and decorated it with cookies, licorice, candies and pretzels. I think it turned out pretty well!

Everyone had a blast, my son said that the Do You Want To Build A Snowman game was the best game ever (he got to be a snowman!) so we will have to do versions of that game at future parties for sure!

For my son’s party, we ordered pizza and I bought a fruit tray for the kids, which really cut back on my prep work! I spent the days leading up to the party making a mini pinata for each kid (which was kinda a lot of work!) but it was only 2 layers of paper, and the kids helped to paint them. His party was a Skylander theme, so these pinatas became Chompies, and the kids got to stomp on them to break them open, to reveal an explosion that was needed to defeat Kaos in a Pin the Explosion on Kaos game (don’t you just love that you can create a “pin the ____ on_____ game for just about any theme!) Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of that part!

Skylanders party

 

They also played a version of musical chairs, but they had to stop and stand on an element (there are 8 elements in the games) instead of a chair, which I just drew on construction paper. The kids also collected chocolate coins and little burgers (life sources!) as they played the games. They had a blast, but it was very very loud.

Loot bags for both parties were simple and inexpensive treats (thank goodness my kids are born near Halloween, lots of cheap treats in stores!) and dollar store items. Obviously both parties could have been much simpler, which would have been even cheaper, and easier on me too. But I do love throwing parties, and its only once a year, so I suck it p for a few crazy weeks!

Next things will be more low-key for the older kids, since we will have a 1st birthday to plan, and I like to do those up even bigger :)

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