This week I’m taking part in Sarah‘s Tidy Up Tuesday series; I’ve been inspired by the other posts I’ve seen although I’ve been hesitant to show off any “before” pictures (but I’ll tell y’all how much weight I need to lose, no problem). I like the idea of crossing one small project off the “to do” list every week, and this week I chose our coffee and tea area,which has slowly spiraled out of control. We love coffee and tea in our house – yes, I do own four coffee makers – and I drink a lot of both on a daily basis. I have tons of herbal teas, coffee beans, coffee pods, and each time I add a new flavour my cupboard gets a little messier.
Today while my little friends napped, Haden and I gave that area of our kitchen a make over. Gotta love that flexible home school curriculum! (more…)
A little while ago, I posted my favourite photos from 2010, which I had printed for a special project.
I took my 60 printed 4×6 photos, a package (and a bit) of awesome Fotoclips purchased at Photojojo and a package of push pins, and for less than $30 created this fabulous wall hanging of my favourite moments in 2010.
These little clips are light and hold surprisingly well. They also don’t leave immediate impressions on the photos and you can slide them around without scratching, giving you lots of wiggle room for getting them lined up as straight as possible. I spent a few days creating my arrangement on the dining room table, and then when it was time to hang it the whole thing held perfectly while being carried to the other room.
They have a hole in the middle of each clip that is just the right size for a push pin. I think Jeff slightly disagreed with putting so many push pins in our newly painted walls, but in my opinion putting holes in the walls with little consequence is one of the privileges of owning your own home. I’m not worried about filling them later if I need to. A really great plus to this system is that the photos themselves don’t attach to the walls, meaning you can straighten them to your heart’s content, and also remove them later and do something else with them.
I haven’t printed any photos for myself in a long time, and it’s making me very happy to see my own work displayed in our family room. I love this!
Stuff I’m Loving
Random things that are making life better this week. What are you loving?
- Lose It! – I’ve used Lose It! before to lose weight, and for me it works really well. I can’t restrict certain kinds of foods or I’ll go crazy, so calorie counting (with an eye on nutrition) is where it’s at for me. Since the last time I’ve used it they have added friends lists with a feed and social networking integration. I am loving having the support of my friends right there in the app and knowing they’re watching helps keep me accountable. You can also add recipes through the website portion, which is a quick and easy way to get the nutritional info for home cooked meals with lots of ingredients like my Whole Wheat Lasagna. (more…)
My post on meal planning remains one of my most popular, and I’m often asked about how I do it. I use a combination of computer spreadsheets and paper worksheets, following the steps outlined in Meal Planning 101. Although I’m a high-tech kind of person, I find writing our meal plan on a printed calendar works best for our family. Personally I live and die by Google Calendar, but it’s not easy for my 8 year old to check. So I print a calendar, write our meals on it, use it to generate my grocery list, and when I’m done I put it on the fridge so everyone can see what the plan is. My usual plan is two weeks, although lately I’ve been doing three (which is amazing!), in which case I use a month-at-a-glance calendar.
Today I’m sharing with you my 2 week meal plan worksheet. This sheet will help you simplify your meal planning process and is flexible to accomodate your family’s needs. There is space each day to write any special notes, like kid’s extra-curriculars, dinner parties, etc. The meals section is large enough for multiple meals if you want to plan both lunch and dinner (I do a diagonal line through the rectangle). On the bottom is an area to list any missing ingredients you need from the grocery store, and another flexible notes section for items needed at specialty stores, or any other special comments.
I hope this helps any of you who are interested in meal planning, but need some tips getting started. January is a time for fresh starts and new plans, and I hope this contributes towards your nutrition or home organization goals for this year.
This is a super easy all natural wood furniture cleaner. Works beautifully for me, but of course be sure to test it on any priceless furniture first! An economical alternative to pricey store-bought solutions and I like that it’s perfume free.
All Natural Wood Cleaner
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp oil oil
Mix ingredients in small container or spray bottle. Use sparingly and rub in with a soft cloth. A little goes a long way!
I sat down Saturday to do my meal plan, and I was feeling quite un-enthusiastic about the whole process, so I was quite delighted when my 10 year old volunteered to help me with it. At first he joked about how we’d just have lasagna every night (his favourite), but then he honestly sat down at the computer and with a bit of help planned out two week’s worth of meals. He is very excited to try the Black Bean Lasagna recipe I picked up on a previous MPM link. I made it a few weeks ago on a batch cooking day, and am using it as one of our freezer meals this week. We’re away this coming week-end, so there’s a few less meals to plan (YAY!). Our BBQ meals will be rounded out with salad and veggies from our organic produce delivery service, so they’re not itemized here… we’ll eat what they send us!
So there you go, proof positive that meal planning isn’t that hard… with my system a 10 year old can do it! Hmm, I should consider adding it to his regular chores ;)
Have a great week!
Two Week Meal Plan by Haden
Saturday: BBQ chicken with potatoes
Sunday: Oven Baked Pasta with Cheese
Monday: Chicken Stir Fry and Rice
Wednesday: BBQ Turkey Tournedos with rice and veg
Thursday: BBQ beef and veggie burgers, fries, salad (Canada Day BBQ)
Monday: Chicken Vegetable Soup with Cheese Tortellini (slow cooker meal)
Tuesday: Chicken Cacciatore with whole wheat egg noodles (freezer)
Wednesday: BLTs and salad
Thursday: BBQ chicken pieces and potatoes
Friday: Friday Fun Night for the kids/Pizza for grown ups