Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekly Menu Planner

So, to help me with the 12 New things Challenge I've joined over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee's site, and my proverbs pursuit I developed this weekly menu planner for this months skill. As I mentioned in a post or so ago, we've been trying to be mindful of what we're eating and what is in what we're eating so we've been buying more organics but I'm also still a coupon/deal addict and want to get the most bang for my buck while eating well.

So I added two lists as a guide for what the Environmental Working Group deem as the Dirty Dozen list of foods (dirtiest as in most pesticides found/used) to buy organic and the Clean fifteen list of foods that are deemed okay to buy to buy non-organic.

Anyway, I thought I would post this in case anyone wants to print it out and use it for their menu planning. I have done pretty good this week, hopefully I will keep up the pace! I think using a planner helps, it's a good form of accountability....okay accountability with an inanimate object lol but never the less I think it helps by seeing something already planned out you're less likely to not actually go ahead and make the meal.

Also another tip is to laminate this if you have a machine, or you can do like I did and use the self laminating sheets I got on sale and get it laminated in a second and hang it on the fridge with a magnet so it's reusable.

If you want something more simple there is a super cute menu planner that I used and linked to in a post below you could use also.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

12 New Things

Click to learn more about 12 New Things on
Like a Warm cup of Coffee's blog...

I finally decided to narrow down my plans of focusing on proverbs 31 characteristics in my last post, to doing better with grocery planning and meals aka bringing food from afar. So later I take a look at one of my favorite blogs over at and see her latest post, it's about choosing 12 new skills, and focusing on one a month for 12 months to join as a community of bloggers.

This fits awesomely with my own plan but really kicked my butt into gear once there was something to join and I penned out what I should focus on that went according to what season of our life we would be in a particular month. So thanks for a kick in the butt without even knowing it, Sarah Mae! Otherwise, all of my good intentions might have floated around with the dust bunnies and paint splatters around here ( can we say: stilllll renovating! lol)

So anyway, here is my list of twelve, I really truly (do you hear that procrastination??) want to accomplish this next year!

August: She is like merchant ships bringing food from afar:
Shopping wisely and meal planning, we will get through the weekend with home cooked meals this month!! I swear!

September: She gets up while it is still dark, provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls: Start getting up and staying up now that the nausea is waning, like I used to, to make breakfast and lunch,put the dishes up, and start laundry.

October: She considers a field and buys it, out of her earnings she plants a vineyard:
Take care of money carefully, make good investments, set up a budget and stick to it, track expenses. We are renovating our house to sell and have a baby on the way, lots of investments there : )

November: She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes:
Work on some business ideas I have with my mom. Between online ventures I am considering and starting a Gift basket / favor business we are pretty excited. Prepare for our first craft show in December.

December: She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy:
I always have the highest hopes, the best intentions, and the worst execution of those intentions come Christmas season. I want us to be more charitable at Christmas time. There are so many in need, and so many that we could be serving. This year I am purposing for us to not be busy and weave that into our traditions. Serving sounds like a good skill to focus on.

January: Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value:
Prepare my mind and body for a natural birth at our midwifery. Spend this month prayerfully so that we have full confidence in my body's ability to bring this new life into the world. (this is also ongoing obviously, but in January it's time to really hone in and make sure we are prepared.

February: She makes coverings for her bed, she is clothed in fine linen and purple:
Maybe I won't be making my own bed coverings but ones for the baby. I want to tackle making a crib bedding set, room decor, and a few layette items. I can and love to sew, but always put things off and never have accomplished anything like crib bedding. Accomplishing this skill in February gives me the perfect time limit!

March: She watches over the affairs of her household, she does not eat the bread of idleness:
Help my family develop and stick to routines ala Flylady. I always try to on my own but it seems to go by the wayside eventually. This month I will develop routines for our family and individually and stay focused on keeping us on track with them....we'll need them with a newborn.

April: She speaks wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue:
Homeschool with two children for the first time.....this may be my bravest skill to learn yet : )

May: She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for the task:
Start working out to get in shape.

June: She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night:
Get our house on the market and work diligently to get it sold ourselves.

July: S
he is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come:
Get the momentos and quadrillons of photos out of the boxes and make a scrapbook /chronicle of my children and marriage. I may be even able to laugh at the days that have passed if I can start writing them down to remember them all haha ; )

And that is that, that's what areas I want to work on for the next 12 months, here goes nothing yall. : )

Friday, August 13, 2010

Found my focus

printable menu planners from Alma Loveland
(these are too cute.)

Well, that was quick. I've found my verse/ characteristic to focus one...... the one that is in desperate need of attention around this house that is!

She is like merchant ships, she brings her food from afar....

Oh, I bring it from afar alright, as afar away from now as possible. While we have been trying to be very diligent in becoming more conscientious about what we are eating, I have let my entire shopping/planning/cooking process disappear as soon as my morning sickness appeared. But that should be wearing off soon, and the lack of planning is frustrating. Just today, my husband called to ask what's for dinner.

My unfortunately familiar response of uhm gave him a good laugh. So we went through ideas on the phone and everyone of them had something in that our fridge did not. So we opted for chinese and I opted to do better from now on! I said you know, I need to get back to taking dinner out to thaw in the morning then I know it's planned. My husband said yeah, babe I think that's a good idea. Actually, I've been thinking that too but I knew you'd realize it on your own and get back on track. He's so gracious.

So here, I am going to get back on track. I'm tired of having last minute thrown together meals, running out of our favorite foods before it's time to head back to the store, and eating less healthy out of haste. But there's no sense in beating myself up for it nor should anyone else in the same boat. We get thrown off sometimes, life just happens. But the thrilling part is being motivated to get back on track and see the improvement it will bring.

Some ways I plan to do this is:
-Clipping coupons again.
(this former coupon addict even let this go to the way side, even if they're aren't a lot available for most of the non-processed foods we've started to buy, there are plenty of savings for toiletries and household goods)

-Make a monthly bulk shopping list.
(this means only one or two "big" trips instead of more little ones. This is major for me as we were hitting a big box store and whole foods store on the same day to get the shopping done and first trimester fatigue was not working with it!, Also this includes non perishables, anything that can be frozen, toiletries, and household goods)

-Make a weekly perishable shopping list.
(when you plan to shop this way, your bound to eat healthier and not splurge on junk food)

-Make a weekly menu from what you buy and were able to get on sale, even if only for dinner.

-INCLUDE THE WEEKENDS IN YOUR MEAL PLAN....did I say that loud enough! : ) Really, I need to yell it loud enough to hear it myself. I would plan a five day meal plan and come time for the weekend, dinner plans were a lot of uhms and empty stomachs that resorted to eating out.

-Keep up with the nightly routine of washing the dishes as SOON as dinner is over, if you wait so will the dishes and they will only get more gross sitting there in mystery water. You are so much more inclined to cook when you have clean shining pots and pans that are put away.

-Put dry dishes away in the morning.

- Lastly, take dinner out to thaw and arrange everything on the counter or on a shelf in the fridge so it is all gathered and ready when you are ready to cook.

I think this should get me off to a good start, here's to starting over this weekend! : )