Sunday, January 30, 2011

February Menu Plan

Lucky for me I'm no longer dizzy & lightheaded but still have some time while sick in bed to organize my menu plan for next month! YAY!  {said with much sarcasm}

For the most part, I'm trying to keep the weeknights simple, so if I get delayed at work anyone can step in & get things rolling. {Insert best Wayne's World impression..."Shaa...right!} I'd like to incorporate more fish and you will notice I've started doing so on Fridays, especially with Lent approaching.

Some nights are themed (Sundays - Mexican, Mondays - Italian, Thursdays - Asian, Fridays - fish) and others are just things that everyone likes.

Doing this menu at the beginning of the month gives me a guideline for shopping and organizing.  Each week, on Sunday, I write the ACTUAL menu for that week on a weekly planner we have in the laundry room.  This planner also holds any appointments, play dates or special events for the week.

Even though I've already got the menu pre-planned, again it's just a guide line.  I revise & substitute according to what we get in our Bountiful Baskets or what sales may have influenced my Saturday shopping trip.

How do you organize your family meals?  Would love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Time Out

That's what I'm doing....taking a time out. Any guesses as to why?

Yup!  It got me.

Stuffy nose, dizzy, lightheaded, nausea, can't eat or sleep nasty cold.  A trip to the Dr. this morning revealed a sinus infection to boot.  Antibiotics and some rest are the only thing on the agenda for me.

Thus, no photos from the Bountiful Basket pick up today, or the grocery store, since I didn't go...but here's a run down:

One bunch of PENCIL THIN asparagus
Head of lettuce
3 cucumbers
8 roma tomatoes
2 bunches of broccoli
Head of cauliflower (looking for a good recipe, anyone?)

7 green apples
2 bananas
8 oranges
one container of strawberries
3 pummelos
one cantaloupe

Never heard of a pummelo?  My parents actually had a pummelo tree when we lived in California.

It's very similar to a grapefruit but sweeter.  Originally native to Asia, it's flower is also used in making perfumes.

That's one of the best things about the co-op...we look forward to the surprise of what we will get in our baskets :)  Plus the kids get to try new things which is ALWAYS a big plus in my book!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Heels & Tractor Wheels

Can I just say how much I LOVE the Pioneer Woman.  She's coming out with a new book titled "Black Heels & Tractor Wheels."  That's such a cute title and so is she!

Needless to say I SOOOOOO enjoy trying her recipes.  They're sophisticated and full of flavor, creative and delicious, but never so complex that I can't make them work.  Perfect for me!

This week in our Bountiful Baskets share we had Anaheim chiles and a pineapple.  I've only used these peppers a time or two.  And I've always avoided whole pineapples since it's so intimidating to attempt to cut it up.... but this recipe just screamed at me!

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple - absolutely di.vine!  Served over basmati rice.  My kids totally DEVOURED it and made me promise to make it again.

This recipe is simple and awesome!  I very much appreciate the Pioneer Woman's awesomeness and beautiful photography & tutorials on her site.   Check her out - you won't be disappointed.  Not just, family & life stories, farm life depiction, etc.  Plus, she's a total smarty pants and will make you laugh :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big Boy Status

It can't be put off any little guy isn't so little and BARELY fits in his crib any longer :( {sniff sniff}  After multiple attempts to order the side rails to convert his crib into a full size bed, along with many turn downs, I've resolved to the fact that I'm gonna have to wing it.

The crib manufacturer (of course) has since discontinued this particular model and it's accessories.  If I want to make the conversion I'd have to pay $175 for non-matching sides.  Not so much.  We'll just go without the footboard.  I've used this as my excuse for so long.  Now I just feel bad for making him sleep in his tiny crib.  The front has been off for the past year though, so at least it's like a daybed. here's the before:

and the after:

Since all of his clothes are in his dresser or armoire, I also decided to take off the bi-fold closet doors and make it into a little reading nook.
 (Yes, that's a punching bag!  Gotta get the wiggles out somehow on snowy days! :)
 The bookshelf was actually in the basement and recently came out of his sister room.  It worked out nicely for holding stacks of wooden puzzles, dress up clothes (capes, fireman costume and Go Diego Do vest & backpack), Lincoln Logs and his lap desk, which also has a sports theme.

This little leather chair:
 has a matching love seat and comes from Pottery Barn.  The "hideout" needs some sprucing up yet, perhaps some curtains and maybe some hooks or another shelf along the wall??

All in all, I'm happy with how it turned out so far, and feel very relieved that he can finally feel like he's graduated to Big Boy status.  Love you, my big boy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

As another component to my New Years SIMPLIFY goal, I've decided to partake in the Bountiful Baskets food co-op.  Local, fresh and less expensive - doesn't get any better than that, right?

There are a few food co-ops that I checked out before deciding on one:

Bountiful Baskets
Community Food Co-op of Utah
Green Bee Produce

They each have different pick-up locations and different guidelines, but we ultimately chose Bountiful Baskets.  Our first pick up was this Saturday.

 With Bountiful Baskets you have two choices for your produce:  Regular for $16.50 or Organic for $25.       They try to get as local of products as possible and whatever is fresh and in season.  Not knowing exactly what you will get is part of the fun :)

With the pick up spot less than 5 minutes from our house, we were super excited to see what we would get.  Typically you will get 6 fruits and 6 vegetables.  This time we received:

2 bunches of fresh spinach
1 head of green leaf lettuce
7 anaheim chiles
1 basket of cherry tomatoes
3 small butternut squash
1 bunch of fresh asparagus

6 apples
9 tangelos
6 kiwi fruit
1 pineapple
3 asian pears
1 5# bag of Bosc pears

We also signed up for 5 loaves of 9 grain bread from a local bakery for an additional $10.  It's honestly THE best bread I've tasted in such a long time and the kids can't stop raving about it!

Everything so far has been delicious and wonderfully fresh.  This is definitely something we look forward to continuing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

50% off Winter Palooza tickets!

Having a busy household on a budget, sites like Screaming Daily Deals are AWESOME! For Utah locals today you can purchase tickets to Winter Palooza at 50% off.  This will take place at Southowne Expo Center on January 22nd.  Get out of the snow & have a ball indoors with your kids!  Here's the highlights:

Grab the kids and leave the snow suits behind for a day of crazy, indoor fun fit for all. Whether you’re a pack of rowdy boys or gentle girls, Winter Palooza has an activity for any kid. Little gals will take delight in the Princess Festival, complete with themed characters. The boys can have their fill of action packed fun at the paintball arena and the Boy Cave.

With rock climbing walls, eight bounce houses, a mechanical bull, live animal shows, face painting, laser tag, ropes courses, and more any kid will have their fill of fun at Winter Palooza. Fear not parents, you’re not forgotten; food, shopping, and more is available to keep you from a kid overdose.

Even snow-lovers need a break from the winter conditions. Take yours with the help of the Utah Kids Club's Winter Palooza and jump on this deal quick... It might be your only chance to escape.

If you're new to Screaming Daily Deals, you will get a $5 instant credit, making it an ever BETTER deal! Go the Screaming Daily Deals to take advantage of this great offer. We will be there for sure!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January Menu Plan

As part of my New Years Resolution (of sorts) to "SIMPLIFY" I am trying to reduce chaos around the house AND the dinner table.  Being a full time working mom, weeknight dinners can be frustrating and less than nutritionally balanced if there's no plan.  Plus it pushes us to spend more money by using our "go-to" favorite take out places, which include the prepared foods at our local Harmons grocery store - which ROCKS!

So here's my rough plan for the month.

Weekends have a breakfast plan and dinner plan. We can wing it for lunch.  Weeknights have dinner only as we tend to have cereal, toast & fruit pretty religiously.  I always have lunch stuff around and the girls pack their own lunches each morning, as do I - mine are usually leftovers.  I've committed to bringing my lunch everyday instead of eating out to offset the cost of my joining the gym.

Not only will it (hopefully) help at dinner time, but for grocery shopping and spending less.  When we don't have a menu, we tend to buy stuff that sounds good but then we end up without balanced "meals." Then we're left having to improvise with junky hodge-podge dinners we lovingly call "whatever nights."

Chances are, we will probably be switching around the plan to coordinate with our bi-weekly haul from Bountiful Baskets.  More on that in the next post!!

I will be posting my menu at the first of each month and also posting my planning and shopping trips from the weekend each Monday, which I will call Menu Plan Monday.

How do you plan for meals?  What's on YOUR menu?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Nicey Jane Quilt

Last July (yes, I said JULY!) while perusing my favorite fabric shop, Material Girls Quilts, I fell in LOVE with the new Heather Bailey line of fabrics called Nicey Jane.  My mom had requested a quilt for Christmas that was a little "vintagey" and this seemed to fit the bill just right.

I went with the yellow, blue & green colors for the quilt.  When I got home with it, I already knew I'd be using the "Perfect Ten" pattern by Swirly Girls.

Without further adieu:

 This quilt is a most generous size at 60" x 72"!

 The sashing and the back are a nice butter yellow Kona cotton.
Thanks so much to Abby from Gracie Lane quilts for the awesome job on the quilting!  And as you can tell by the date that, despite my early start last July, this wasn't done in time for Christmas.  Lucky for me my mom's birthday is the 4th of January :)  Happy Birthday, Mom! xoxo

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Can't even believe that 2010 has already passed!  The older I get the faster time goes - scary!  Rarely do I actually make Resolutions but this year, for whatever reason, it feels right.

I've noticed that so many people are trying to choose just ONE word that describes their goal or motivation.  If I'm choosing just ONE word for this is SIMPLIFY.


–verb (used with object), -fied, -fy·ing.
to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier: to simplify a problem.
Less complicated?  YES PLEASE! Make it easier? INDEED!
To achieve this one word state of bliss, here are some things I will be attempting to incorporate, in no particular order....
Balance, organize, structure, plan, focus, prepare, create, finish, refresh, repurpose, upcycle.
Be more specific?  I want to find balance in my life between work, home, me, family.  You won't "find" time for all these things...we have to "make" time. Being organized with meal plans (which I will share) which include using coupons and other strategies to save money.  Structuring time and life to incorporate the things I love, like scrapbooking and sewing. I have so many ideas floating in my head, start lots and only finish a few.  I will stay focused and finish those projects and begin new ones to satisfy my creative outlet, beautify my home and surroundings and make others happy in the process.  Using materials and things I've already got to save money, bless our home and become more "green" with less waste.
And of course, as I take on the above principles, I will take you along the journey with my weekly posts, which I vow to no longer put off :)
Happy New Year!