My Motivated Moms Planner and a New Start

Today was supposed to be my Monday Mingle vlog post. It will have to be tomorrow. After watching it I realized I really did just babble incoherently (ok, MORE than usual). I was also wearing my pj shirt.
After a rough start, and end, to last week, I decided to take some time to catch up on some sleep this weekend and get my game face on for Monday. I made it through my Motivated Moms Planner page for today, completed a very unplanned but full day of school, and ran Week 1 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K-again.
The cleaning felt great. School was great. Jogging was great. In between there was much whining, and stomping as we are entering the “tween” years and Doodlebug is going in like a lion!
I even managed to plan out meals for the week:

  • Today:Chicken Pot Pie
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti/Lasagna (sketti for kids, mini lasagna (sort of) for us)
  • Wednesday: Left overs
  • Thursday: Shrimp, Rice and Veggies
  • Friday: Roast Chicken
  • Saturday: Homemade Pizza!

Tomorrow we’ll be prepping homemade cinnamon rolls! The recipe I found is HUGE and I’m not sure what I’m going to put all of them in to freeze them.
I’m pretty excited about the new blog design…made it myself.. from scratch. And while I already see some needed tweaks I’m very excited about getting the basics down.
I finished off a new blog button for Benji’s Broken Heart! It’s a blog about CHD Awareness!
CHD Awareness
I have so much more I wanted to recap but hubby needs to get to bed, he has to get up 1am, and I now have to try and tackle all four of them into bed- by myself.
So, I’ll leave you with this:
Happy Monday Ya’ll!

There was a menu plan..and then

I had a plan, and then I squashed it. 

I called my mom today, trying to act like it was all HER idea to start with, and invited myself and all my kids to her house this weekend!

I can get away with stuff like that.  Peanut helps.  He’s little and growing fast so Mom isn’t going to miss a chance to see him.

Yes, I’m totally using it to my advantage.  Terrible isn’t it.

HOWEVER,

I’m not leaving until Thursday so I still have HALF a week of meals planned out.

Here they are:

Tonight: Crockpot roasted chicken.  (check out our new BlogFrog community, where I just talked about cooking this FROZEN chicken LOL)

Tomorrow: Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini

Wednesday: Bread Bowls and Chili :  this is our freezer night, where we’ll eat something that I made earlier (OAMC).  The bread bowls will be new from a recipe I found here.

We’ll leave Thursday (does anyone else see me visiting Chik-fil-a on the way to the interstate?) and be back sometime Sunday.

What are the chances my kitchen won’t be a wreck when I get home?  Does your spouse keep things clean while you’re away?

Menu Plan Monday- July 12th

It’s time to get back into the swing of things!  Baby is here, all the visitors have come and gone, and it’s time for momma to take back her house, her schedule, her budget and her KITCHEN!  Whoo Hoo!

I’m hoping to post about my new way of planning our menu but for now (as the munchkins will be returning home any moment now) I’ll have to just focus on sharing what our plan is for this week.

Monday: Sandwich Night,  I’m thinking BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Baked Beans and Corn.. I’ll bake up a couple pieces of plain chicken for the girls, and just add bbq to our in the end.

Tuesday: KIDS COOK NIGHT,  we may end up with chicken nuggets and pasta roni but I won’t be cooking!  I’m making a list of easy recipes so that next time I can have better ingredients in stock!

Wednesday:  Pasta Night, spaghetti!!  I have some ground beef already cooked and frozen (a OAMC strategy) so I can toss this together pretty easily.  Good thing too since I’ll be taking the two big girls to the dentist and I’m going to be T.I.R.E.D. after that.

Thursday: Leftover Night,  this is going to be a sad day, as our neighbors and best friends are moving back to Canada that day.  I think we’ll save time cooking dinner and waste it on making cookies instead.

Friday: Tapas Night,  I have to laugh a little here!  I asked #whatsfordinner on twitter the other night and @OttosMomBlogs responded that they were having Tapas.  When I asked her what that was she explained that it was just their way of making appetizer style finger foods sound fancy.  (You can find more of her here on her blog)  I went googling “tapas” and found it was a wide variety of snacks and appetizers in Spanish cuisine.  So, stealing her fancy word, I have decided to start our own Tapas night…  we’ll have raw veggies, nuts, fruits, mini sandwiches, and whatever else I can find for our fingers 🙂

Saturday:  Pizza Night!  Another twitter friend of mine, @adjunctmom gave me an awesome pizza crust recipe.  It makes approximately two crusts, depending on how thick you want your pizza.  So we’re going to make one for the kids and hubby and I will make one for us.  I think this week we’ll make a mexican pizza!

Sunday:  Crockpot night:  Haven’t decided what I’m going to make yet…  but I’m thinking we might finish off the last of our frozen pork roasts with some mashed taters.

What’s on your menu?

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Menu Plan Monday – March 15, 2010

I mentioned in my last post, that I would not only show my menu, but share a little bit of the thought process behind it.

This week we have Activity Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and as of right now we’re pretty sure Daddy is going to be sent out of town for at least two nights (just not sure which ones yet).  My picky eaters are not going to care to much for authentic Irish dishes yet, and I just had corned beef and cabbage.  For this reason, there won’t be anything special on the menu for that, at least not for dinner.  I am considering making green clover pancakes for breakfast.

We have at least one busy day (Activity Day), and two days where we don’t need ‘big meaty meals’ for Dad.  We have no plans for the weekend so I am going to need to fill a full seven days. 

My ‘junk’ day will be Fish Sticks, French Fries, and Veggies.  If this ends up being a day with Daddy home then he’ll have a fish fillet while we eat the other. (I don’t care much for fish)

Our crockpot meal this week is pot roast, red taters, and veggies– probably green beans since all the kids will eat them.  This is usually good for leftovers the next night.  This will have to be supplemented with fruit, maybe another veggie or bean as the girls have yet to really appreciate a good pot roast!

Doodlebug’s new favorite: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  This is a favorite of hubby’s as well and I’ve only made it once in the past two years! 


Spaghetti, this is a standby for when Dad is out of town.  All the girls love it and it’s a guaranteed leftover maker.  I’ll stuff the sauce with pureed broccoli and maybe even pureed carrots for extra goodness. 

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo is my last planned meal.  Don’t think I’m cool or anything… this is precooked, packaged chicken and some canned sauce.  I’m getting slow and tired will return to making stuff from scratch later.  Right now my goal is to fill a tummy or two. 

That makes five meals, at least two of which will provide next day leftovers!

Now I wait to see if Mr. B will leave today or tomorrow.  Then I can get a general idea of what order I’m going to cook things.

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I’d also like to make up some bread this week, and maybe a batch of cookies with my girls.  I’m also considering making up a double batch of spaghetti sauce to freeze for after Peanut arrives.  This is about when I started planning frozen meals for when Bubbagirl would arrive, and it was a life saver for Mr. B.

What’s your menu this week?

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Meal Planning, at it's laziest

a small plate with a serving of mashed potatoesImage via Wikipedia

Meal planning has saved my sanity, and probably my marriage.

I used to call Mr. B. around lunch time and ask:

Me: “Hey baby, whatcha want for dinner?”

Him: “I dunno”

Me: “You feel like chicken?”

Him:  “I dunno”

Me:  “You want a big meal or a little meal?”

Him:  “Whatever you want to fix honey…”

Me:  “You’re no help.”

It would frustrate me to NO end!  I had food to choose from but no idea where to start.  It never failed that if I made a big dinner, he wouldn’t be very hungry.  If I made a quick and easy “salad and a sandwich”, he’d be STARVING.

A wise woman once told me, “Cook it, and he’ll eat it, and he’ll like it.”

She was right.  Even if he wasn’t in the mood for what I fixed, he did eat it, and he did like it.  Rarely does he complain.  The more I thought about it, I tend to NOT complain too as long as I didn’t have to prepare it.  I’m just grateful to have been fed something.

This is what prompted me to give Meal Planning a try.  After reading all sorts of posts and articles on inventorying your pantry and indexing your cookbooks I almost gave up on the idea.  That was entirely too much for me to keep up.

I tried it anyway.  When I take the time to just write out some dishes, it actually takes a lot of stress out of my week.  Here’s how I do it, in my head mostly:

Weekly Meal Planning, the lazy way 

1.Review the weeks planned activities.

  • Do we have activity day? classes? 
  • Any doctors appointments?
  • Will Daddy be working out of town, or be working nights?
  • Will we be home this weekend?

   Count up the busy days.  “Busy” days will tell me how many easy, crockpot, or leftover days I will need to plan.

2. Usually my goal is One easy/junk/takeout day, 2 potato side dish days, 2 rice side dish days, and 2 pasta side dish days.  Sometimes there is no taters, rice or pasta, just lots of veggies.  This ‘goal’ keeps me from making mashed potatoes EVERY night.  There is almost always two vegetables available, or a vegetable and fruit.  They are typically chosen at the last minute.

3.  I ask ‘the question’ to hubby:  “What one thing would YOU like to have that I haven’t made in a while?” Normally, I get the standard “I dunno”.  He had his chance. 

4. What does Momma want!

If I have time I might flip through a cook book for ideas.  Sometimes I leave the plan pretty generic where I’m pretty much just planning my ingredients.  This comes in handy with picky eaters.  For example: instead of planning a fancy schmancy chicken dinner, I just plan on chicken, rice, peas, fruit.  I know to take the chicken out to thaw.  I can bake up a piece for the girls, and do something ‘cool’ with the rest for hubby and myself.

My final bit o’ lazy:  I don’t plan for a specific day.  I just pick out however many meals I need to fill the week and decide in the morning which one we’ll cook.  We can thank my pregnant appetite for this trick.

I’ll be posting my meals for this week shortly and I’ll add a few details on why I picked what I picked, so you can see my planning in action!

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Do you do meal planning?  How do you decide what to plan? 

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Menu Plan Monday – March 8, 2010

Image via Wikipedia

After a week of sickies, I’m ready for some decent food.

That means no chicken noodle soup. (Sorry Campbell’s)

No takeout (Sorry China Xing).

NO PIZZA DELIVERY (Domino’s should never be more than once a week)!

Because we’re very pregnant and our tastes change by the hour, as does our ability to smell a food without turning green, I am picking the dishes I plan on cooking but not yet specifying a day.

  • Chicken Fajitas (this was supposed to be quesadillas BUT hubby came back from the store with fajita wraps instead of big burrito ones… oh well), rice/beans
  • Hamburger Helper, pick your favorite!  I have a stockpile of Hamburger Helper (75 cents a BOX)… so we’ll let Daddy pick which one he wants.  This will be on a super lazy day or a big bad day because the ground beef is already cooked.  Made up 9 lbs of it in the crock pot last week. 
  • Roasted Taters with Pork Roast.. easy one oven dish and a crock pot..
  • Baked Potato Soup 
  • Risotto with Chicken and Carmelized Onions… (I can dream big right)
  • Picnic dinner…  hot dogs, mac and cheese, and baked beans. 

What’s good on your menu this week?

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Menu Plan Monday – Feb 1st – Mexican and Crock Pots!

Hi Ya’ll!
Who got snow?  We did, and I’m over it… totally…
at least hubby got us out and about yesterday so we didn’t go stir crazy!
Here’s our slacking menu for the week….
Monday – Leftover Quesadilla’s with Newly made rice and beans, con queso cheese dip with chips
Tuesday – Hubs works day and over night, and we need to hit the library so we’re going to Crock Pot some taters and green beans.  Might fix the hubs a steak, the girls will have chicken.
Wednesday – Hubs working overnight again, which means he’ll be home when I’m cooking… I’m planning on trying to make homemade fried chicken…without catching the kitchen on fire!
Thursday – Big Sammy’s and Soup…  
Friday –  Pizza and party foods (piggies in a blanket) veggies and dip…  popcorn!
I didn’t plan out the weekend because we may end up with company coming…  going to have to wing it as the in-laws are on special diets…  and sometimes they take us out!
What’s good on your menu this week?
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Menu Plan Monday – January 25, 2010

Here’s our dinner menu for this week:
Monday: Steak and Rice (I haven’t decided if I’m going to cook the steaks as steaks or cut them up like stir fry)
Tuesday: Laid Back day… Hamburger Helper!
Wednesday:  Fried Pork Chops and Roasted Taters w/ veggies…
Thursday:  Fish (Fish sticks for the kids) and Tater Tots w/ veggies
Friday:  Chicken Pasta and Veggies… recipe not decided on yet.  Might try an alfredo lasagna!
They are calling for snow this weekend, so there may be a lot of soups and sammys…  I wasted food over the weekend by defrosting it, changing my mind (because things came up) and forgetting about it.
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Menu Plan Monday-January 18th 2010

This is our first week participating in orgjunkie.com’s Menu Plan Monday!
I wish I were as put together as her but alas, I am not… no pouting about it though.  It’s not easy to figure out what TWO dinners to fix everynight as I think we have the weirdest little eaters ever.
I’m getting a little break this week.  The Mr. is working out of town again for a couple of nights so as long as I’m willing to eat what the girls eat, I’ll only have to cook one meal (as opposed to 1 and 1/2 or 2)
**This would have been posted sooner, but Mr. didn’t want to get up and double check the freezer for me.  I have a weird issue with the freezer, and I don’t go in it unless I have to.  The sound of the grating ice just hurts… yeah I know, I’m weird. What’s new?**
Monday: Meatloaf and Mashed Taters…  I haven’t made meatloaf in 7 years. Not since he decided he liked my cottage pie.  Well, tonight is the night!  And I might do roasted taters instead.. still wishy washy on that one.
Tuesday:  (Daddy’s Gone!) Breakfast for dinner!  Pancakes and Pancakes… maybe some eggs.
Wednesday:  I’m making it up !!  The girls want spaghetti again.. I do NOT.. So I’m going to create a recipe… Baked Spaghetti Muffins!  I’m going to put 1/2 a biscuit in the bottom of a muffin pan, a swirl of cooked noodles on top, then some sauce, then some cheese and bake until the biscuit is done.  (Don’t worry, I’ll leave some extra noodles and sauce out in case it’s a big F A I L  LOL)
Thursday:  (Daddy Comes Home) Here I will make the Pork Roast we were supposed to have this past weekend.  We have our Homeschool Group Activity Day that day and this is an easy crock pot recipe I can start before we go.
Friday: TACO TACO TACO!  Now this could totally turn into burrito pie, but at least I have a theme.  The girls will get their choice of wonderfully bad things that are easy fixes, because on Friday I’m lazy.
Saturday and Sunday we wing it,  usually because whatever we plan to do get changed at the last minute.
I have my Mary Kay party Saturday (trying to startup my biz again after moving) and we will be having lots of finger foods that day.  Sounds like a good day for Domino’s!
Want more Menus?  Visit I’m an Organizing Junkie and see who else has planned this week!