Meal Plan Monday – December 8 2014

I simply cannot believe it is already December 8th! This month is flying by, which means Christmas will be here before we know it! I can’t wait to take in all the excitement that is Christmas morning, it takes on such a new level of amazing when you have kids. This week we will be decorating our house, and I’m hosting my first ever Christmas cookie exchange party! Have you ever been to one? or hosted? Any tips? I have of course pinned loads of ideas! It’s going to be so much fun!

In addition to planning my dinners, and having my cleaning schedule posted on the fridge, I have planned out the rest of my week to prepare for the party, and do some food prep! Today I made some coconut almond granola and washed/cut up the fruit for the week. Tomorrow I’ll make more yogurt and maybe some muffins too. The more organized my days are, the more I am able to get done :)

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday – pizza and salad

Tuesday – kolbasa stir fry with peppers and zucchini over rice

Wednesday – cheesy sausage skillet

Thursday – cheese burgers and salad

Friday – baked fish with roasted potatoes and veggies

As always I’m linking up with Org Junkie

mpmsmallbutton

 

Stop drowning, and get organized! My new weekly cleaning schedule.

I thought I had it under control. I thought I was managing the day to day just fine. But I’m always behind on laundry. The bathrooms are never as clean as they should be. And that sticky spot on the kitchen floor from the 3 year old spilling juice last week, it’s still there!
Perhaps I need to cut myself some slack , I do have a 3 month old after all. But I also know I need to adjust. I need to accept how busy things are, and adjust my daily routine to fit it all in. I need to balance everything better. I need a new plan!

So that’s what I’m doing. And it started December 1st; I am taking on a new weekly routine! It’s printed out and hung in the kitchen, along with our giant monthly calendar, and weekly meal plan!

I searched around online and just couldn’t find one that fit our life perfectly, so I made my own! It was super easy, and I thought I would share it with you! Hopefully it inspires you. I used a simple template, no expensive journal/day planner, no fee to download a cute template off etsy. Free free free! The best price, really.

I have written about cleaning schedules before, and they have worked well for me in the past, so I know it will work this time around too. Life is just different now, and it makes sense to adjust what I am doing on a daily basis. This time though, I’m working around school runs, weekly play dates, and of course breastfeeding the youngest member of our family. So the times on this are just a rough guide, and hopefully I can manage to get everything done each day before dinner time. My goal is to finish before dinner, so that once the kitchen is cleaned from that mess, I am done for the day and can relax with my family, and enjoy the bit of quiet time once the kids are in bed. I want the evenings to be my time to crochet, watch tv, and talk with my husband, instead of stressing over what didn’t get done, like folding laundry, or tidying the house. It’s a fine balance though, because if I pack my days too full, it won’t get done, and tasks will spill over from one day to another, and the schedule becomes pointless.

How do you manage everything? I’d love to hear, especially if you are a working mom. I can’t imagine trying to get everything done in the few short hours each night or leaving it all to the weekend. I intentionally have left Saturday as my catch up day, just in case. And Sunday is always a day of rest, other than the usual kitchen cleaning, and maybe a load of cloth diapers, no chores are done.

Here is what my week looks like, and after the first run, it’s gone fairly well. I even had a snag with a sick 5 year old, and a little more Christmas shopping thrown in, but here we are at the end of the week, and I’m on track to finishing everything I had planned to!

Not A Coupon Queens new weekly cleaning schedule

Here is my new cleaning schedule, feel free to download it and use it to help keep your house clean. Or better yet, personalize your very own! (here is a link to the schedule on google docs)

 

 

Magi on a Journey

In the past I have shared frugal stocking stuffers, and simple ways to celebrate Advent with your family. This year I am adding something new to our Advent traditions. We already celebrate the Feast of Saint Nicholas, and count down on Advent calendars till Christmas day, and of course we attend Mass every Sunday (but we do that all year round), this year I am going to attempt a Catholic version of Elf on the Shelf.

I don’t really like the Elf on a Shelf “game”. The idea of having a creepy elf watching your kids every move, and threatening them with telling on them to Santa? Nope, not happening in our house. And now people have taken it even further, bragging on social media about how naughty they can make their elf. Is it supposed to be the elf pulling pranks and doing bad things, like he is going to go tell Santa the kids did it? It’s just weird.

So instead, we are doing Magi on a Journey. Each morning, my kids come down stairs and search for the Magi (wise men) as they travel around our house on their way to the Nativity set, to find baby Jesus on Christmas morning. I did not come up with this idea, I’ve seen it all over the internet for years now, but thought this year my guys would be old enough to have fun with it. Plus I found this really cute Nativity set at Target this year (for only $10!), and the little wooden wise men seemed perfect to wandering our house on their long journey. I’ve seen people use the Play Mobile wise men, which are super cute, but hard to find to purchase. They have pose able arms, so you can make them do fun and cute things on their journey. My wise men will just be placed in a different spot each morning, which is still fun for little kids.

Magi on a Journey

 

Hope you are all enjoying the start of the Advent season!

 

 

Meal Plan Monday – Dec 1st 2014

I once again didn’t get the meal plan up yesterday, opps! Monday sure is a crazy day around here, and my Tuesday didn’t start that great either :( but things are looking up! I’ve got the Pitch Perfect soundtrack on, getting some stuff done around the house, and a little blogging too!

Here is what we are eating this week for dinner, I am also making banana muffins and yogurt today!

Monday – spaghetti

Tuesday – breakfast (bacon, eggs, fruit smoothies)

Wednesday – pasta for the kids, dinner out for my husband and I :)

Thursday – tacos

Friday – popcorn shrimp, fries and veggies

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

mpmsmallbutton

 

Frugal Tip Tuesday – Homemade Yogurt

I wrote about this a long long time ago. How I wanted to make my own yogurt. We go through so much of it each week, I figured it would be a little cheaper, and healthier too since I know exactly what I put in it.

But it never happened. I pinned the slow cooker recipes/over night oven recipes. My husband even did lots of research and bought me a really great yogurt maker for Christmas. And we never used it. But this past weekend I finally did it! If you follow me on Instagram (don’t be shy, request to follow!) you saw the Saturday night yogurt making party we had.homemade yogurt

It was so easy!

I followed the directions for my maker; heated 2L of whole milk to 82 degrees, cooled the milk to between 44 and 42 degrees, add a little cooled milk to the starter (I used 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt), and add that back into the cooled milk, poor into the maker and leave it for 4.5 hours, and then into the fridge for 8 hours. (To save even more money, you don’t need to purchase a yogurt maker, you can just use your slow cooker! This is a great fool proof recipe to follow)

AND ITS DELICIOUS! You can use whatever kind of milk you like and you can add milk powder, before heating the milk, for extra protein (which I forgot to do, but will do next time). We’ve been eating it with honey and granola and fresh fruit, and the kids loved it with a little strawberry jam.

Obviously the price can very greatly on this, since you can use whatever milk you like, so it may not always be frugal. Adding milk powder will increase the price, but also increases the protein and makes it thicker like Greek yogurt. And Greek yogurt can get pricey! Making it can also be a little finicky depending on what milk you use (whole won’t need anything to thicken it, while skim milk would), and adding different amounts of starter can produce different results. I wrote down on a post it note what I did, so I can adjust next time. My first batch isn’t a thick as I’d like it to be, so I’m going to use more starter and add some milk powder to the next batch.

Give it a try, I’m so glad I finally did!

 

 

 

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