Meal Planning

Ahhh… food.  Love it or hate it, we gotta have it, and we definitely need to make sure we have healthy stuff on hand for the munchkins.  Because the second half of 2013 was hectic, our family had gotten into a no-so-great habit of eating out.  A lot.  And when we didn’t eat out our diet consisted of soley spaghetti, tortellini, quesadillas and grilled cheese.  Not exactly a diverse menu.

So, as 2014 is the year of the PLAN, we decided to see if we (I mean really, *I*)  could plan and make dinner for the whole entire month of January.  I know this sounds silly.  I bet there are people out there (and not just in other countries…) who never eat out.  Or only eat out for special occassions.  That is how I was raised, actually.  Birthdays, anniversaries and vacations were the only real reasons to eat out.  Otherwise we had a homecooked meal on the table every night.  Clearly my mother was the original super mom.

So, because I do not enjoy meal planning at all and really do enjoy finding lists that help me check things off my own lists, here is what we’ve eaten in January for dinner.  Every night.

January 1:  Lucky Bean Soup

January 2: Roasted Broccoli Pasta

January 3: Tomato Soup and Grilled Provelone Sandwiches

January 4: I am not sure… but we didn’t eat out!

January 5: we went to my parents’ 🙂

January 6: I am not sure… but we didn’t eat out!

January 7:  Black Bean Burgers (I only put the cayenne in with the adults, and I grilled the onions.)

January 8: Pot Pie Soup (Not sure where I got this recipe…)

January 9: Vegetarian Stew

January 10: Oven Baked Bean Chimichangas (definitely a favorite, use ANCHO chili powder.  Trust me.)

January 11: Don’t remember. Some days we just do easy stuff like sandwhiches.

January 12: My parents had us over.  We had an amazing cod with saffron rice and brussel sprouts. 🙂

January 13: Wild Rice Mushroom Soup (hubby said this “tasted like Thanksgiving”).

January 14: Egg Salad Sandwhiches (run of the mill egg salad on sourdough toast)

January 15: Lemon Dill Salmon with Red Potatoes

January 16: Salad bar (girls request)

January 17: Homemade Mac and Cheese with spinach (I use an old Cooking Light recipe I’ve changed over the years)

January 18: Chimichangas again… took dinner to friends with an adorable new baby.

January 19:  Green Chili and Corn Enchiladas (very, very good)

January 20: Tomato soup and sammies again

January 21: Couscous, garbanzo beans, feta, tomatoes and cucumbers tossed together

January 22: Egg, cheese and biscuit sandwhiches

January 23: Tuna salad lettuce wraps

January 24:  Nachos w/black beans

January 25:  Pizza w/ homemade dough (I like to sub in some white whole wheat flour)

January 26: Best Ever Black Bean Soup  – seriously.  best ever.

January 27:  Tortellini w/ homemade crock pot marinara.  This is delish and super versatile.  We’ll use left overs for pizza again in the near future, I’m sure.

January 28: Veggie Wraps (Spinach tortilla, cream cheese seasoned w/ Italian dressing mix, chopped veggies, shredded cheese.  So simple, so good.)

January 29:  Chimicangas (yes, again!)

January 30: Vegetarian Chili

January 31: Pizza for the kiddos.  Getting together w/ friends for the hubby and I.  🙂

And that’s it!  We made it!


Radio Silence


I hesitated starting a blog for months, because, well, blogs take time.  I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of time.  Do you?  If so, will you share?  My mom says its nice to share.

I struggle to keep up with household tasks, and its been even more of a struggle since we started homeschooling.  Each afternoon used to be filled with chores, naps, quiet time etc.  Now our afternoons are filled with science and history.  Equally important, but for this momma… the accumulation of stuff is enough to drive me crazy.  Like cah-ray-z.  My mom had 4 kids and our house was perpetually tidy.  And I mean show-ready at all times.  I cannot fathom how she kept up.  I cannot fathom how the sheer monotony of the task of cleaning up after all of us didn’t send her to the looney bin.

Where was I?  Oh yes.  My lack of ability to keep up with anything (including my own thoughts…).  So, homeschooling, health (because the boo-tay has grown since starting this endeavor) housework and my job.  Yes, my job.  For a few years I’ve been doing graphic design and some marketing for my dad’s company, and recently that responsibility has increased.  Its still not anywhere near a full time job, but it is a substantial part time one.

How does everyone do it?  Am I the only one who feels a little bit like they are drowning?  And I don’t have babies!  So many homeschoolers have babies!

So, I’m on a mission this summer to find ways to simplify and streamline.  I’ve got a couple things we are working on like chore charts (for everyone, not just kids!), homeschool organization and we are making some changes in our school room that will hopefully ease the visual chaos in there, too.

The summer task list:

Chore schedule… yawn.  But, most important.

Update school room, a place for everything!

Re-organize our pantry/hall closet

Girls’ closets

Our closets


That should be enough to keep us busy this summer, I think.  😉

My favorite time saver so far has been  In January we (ok, maybe I and Adam just didn’t argue) decided we were going to eliminate all meat (besides fish) from our diets and that made meal planning an even bigger challenge than normal.  Enter  I’ve done online meal planning programs before and been… less than impressed.  Not so with this.  We’ve enjoyed almost ever meal we’ve made from them.  Their meals are quick, easy and cost effective.  Tonight we are having Balsamic Mushroom Hoagies with Goat cheese.  Is it dinner time yet?!  Nope.  First Molly has day camp, then French, and I have a (photography) session to do.  😉

For a giggle about this exact topic, click here.