Sunday, October 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 24th


I tried a new cookie recipe tonight & they were soooo good. I noticed they had actually won a cookie recipe contest, so I just had to try them. Lemon Crinkle Cookies. They taste like lemon bars, only in a cookie. I think they'd be perfect for a brunch or a tea.

I'm starting to include breakfast on my menu as well as dinner since I'm not a morning person & it's so much easier to just look on the menu to remember what we're having for breakfast.


Since I have a baby to nurse in the mornings, my husband has been cooking breakfast every morning for almost a year, but recently we changed things around, so as of the beginning of October, I am now doing breakfast (except for the weekends).

I'm still getting used to it (we've had cereal far too many times this month, I'm afraid), but I'm actually enjoying cooking breakfast again. As long as I've planned out what we're having, that is. lol


Here's our menu for the week:

Monday
Breakfast: Overnight Egg Brunch Casserole
Dinner: Meatloaf, Oven Fries, Broccoli (never made this last week)

Tuesday
Breakfast: Waffles, Green Juice
Dinner: Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Crockpot Acorn Squash

Wednesday
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Yogurt, Fruit
Dinner: Crockpot Beef Stew, Homemade Bread

Thursday
Breakfast: Crepes, Smoothies
Dinner: Shepherd's Pie

Friday
Breakfast: Potatoes, Sausage & Eggs, Fruit
Dinner: Spaghetti Pie

Saturday
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Sunday
Dinner: Bacon, Potatoes & Eggs

For more meal plans, visit Organizing Junkie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Seasonal Activities

As I strive to be more intentional with the time I have with my children, I recently decided to make a list of fall seasonal activities that I am wanting to do with my family. My 10yr old gave me his input, and then I found more recipes and craft ideas on Pinterest.


Here is the list we came up with:
  • Nature walk (weekly)- collect fun things for crafts & enjoy the outdoors
  • Visit the pumpkin patch
  • Make crockpot applesauce
  • Make bean mosaics (pumpkin & leaf shapes)
  • Make construction paper pumpkin faces
  • Check out fall-themed books from the library
  • Make roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Make pumpkin spice cake
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Make pumpkin seed mosaics
  • Make pumpkin pie play dough
  • Attend a fall harvest party
  • Go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood
  • Paint pumpkins
  • Play in the leaves
  • Make pumpkin scones
  • Make fall leaf coasters
  • Make fall leaf paintings in baggies
  • Decorate mini pumpkins with craft supplies
  • Fall paper plate wreaths
  • Make hot apple cider
  • Make streusel-topped pumpkin custards
  • Cinnamon apple spice play dough
  • Popsicle stick scarecrows
  • Make spiced yogurt pound cake
  • Tissue paper turkeys
  • Celebrate Thanksgiving
  • Make pumpkin pie
  • Paint pine cones
  • Play Apples to Apples game
After making the list, I divided everything up between the next six weeks (thru the end of November). Then during naptime yesterday, I got out some scrapbooking paper & made a 12x12 chart to hang on the wall so the whole family can see what is planned for each of the weeks.


I really need accountability if I'm going to keep up with something like this, so hopefully this chart (& putting it on my blog here) will help me with the follow-through. I'm only breaking things down by week, that way I still have some flexibility as to which day we actually do them. And I'm sure I'll still move things around a bit, but for the most part, I think it should work well.

I also left a few blank spots since I couldn't come up with anything else, but wanted to get going on it rather than wait till I have it perfect. lol I can always fill it in as I come across more fun ideas.

Here's a closer look:

I'll post pictures as we complete some of these. And if it works well for us, I plan to do one for Christmas time too.

In fact, today, we did our first nature walk & we couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous fall day. My 10yr old doesn't really enjoy collecting leaves & things anymore (he says he's too old for that...sigh). Yeah, he was sort of embarrassed carrying a bag around the park (lol), so he just went along for the walk. I was just happy to have him there with us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 17th


I've been trying so many new recipes lately since it's such a fun time of the year to be in the kitchen. But this week I've decided to just do a week of our basic, easy meals. Mainly because I'm getting some new things added into our schedule and doing some other planning, so I'm wanting to spend more time on that than in the kitchen this week.


Here is what we're having for dinner:

Monday: Burritos

Tuesday: BBQ Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

Wednesday: Spaghetti & Salad

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken & Rice, Carrots

Friday: Meatloaf & Baked Fries, Broccoli

Saturday: Crockpot Enchiladas, Corn

Sunday: Leftover, Sandwiches

To see what others are having, visit Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tot School: Magnets, Sorting and Lacing Activities

Tot School
Jordan was 34 months in these pics.

These are a few of the activities we did last year during Tot School.


We have a magnetic alphabet set that we got through Rainbow Resource when my oldest was in kindergarten. When I first got it, I had to punch out all the letters & so I ended up with all these interesting little shapes leftover. I kept them, not knowing yet what to do with them... until now. Jordan had fun sticking them onto the magnetic board and also sorting them into cups.


He also liked to sort his army men into cups. He calls them "my guys".


Then his big brother came along & wanted to play too. This is the scene I found set up in the living room. lol

It's the rainbow guys against the camouflaged guys.


Another thing he enjoyed was lacing with different types of buttons and beads. It was good practice for him.



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Our Favorite Board Books

My 10-year old has been a big reader since he was in kindergarten. He enjoys staying up an extra hour each night, reading in bed. I'm hoping my other children follow in his footsteps with their enjoyment of books. So far, they've been pretty into books too, which has been great! Except sometimes maybe a little too into them... lol


Up until the past few months, most of the books my toddlers have read were ones that we owned. I had checked out a few board books from the library when Jordan (3yrs) was 18 months old, but one day, we found him sitting in a corner eating it! And he had already chewed the entire corner off!


I was hoping we wouldn't have to pay for it, I mean it was just a corner, the book was still readable, right?? Ummm sure. Well, I decided to just turn it into the library hoping they wouldn't notice, and well, they did. We got a postcard in the mail saying we owed $15.00 for "chew damage". Yikes! Needless to say, that was the last of the library for toddler books.


Well, it's been almost 2 years now, and my 3yr old was starting to get "bored" of his "board" books (actually I think it was more that I was getting bored reading the same books over and over for 2 years!), so I decided to finally start checking out some picture books from the library for him. He's been doing pretty good with them, although I still have to make sure that the 1 yr old doesn't rip them & that the 10-mo old doesn't eat them. So we're trying to keep them on a shelf up higher.


Today I'm actually taking the little ones to their first Library Story Time.


These are some of the board books we own that my boys have seemed to enjoy the most over the past few years... the ones they have brought me most often to read to them. Although, I'm sure there were a few other good ones that got eaten along the way... :)













Goodnight Moon

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pinterest: My New Addiction


As much as I enjoy organizing, I certainly don't always feel organized. I'm always on a quest to find ways of doing things differently that will make life easier. I'm all about making life easier. It's exciting when you discover something that helps your day go more smoothly, whether it's in your menu planning, routines, organization, whatever it is.

my garage organizational system- love it!

The internet is so full of great ideas that it can sometimes become overwhelming. You have to pick & choose just which things might be a good choice for your family, and then narrow that down by which things you might actually do. That can be the hard part. So many choices!


But I've found that a big part of the battle is keeping all those great ideas organized so that you can find them again when you are ready to implement them. Things like new recipes, arts/crafts ideas, curriculum choices to look into, even decorating ideas. The list can be endless.


Until now, my ideas have been scattered all over the place. I have ideas filed in binders. In email folders. I bookmark things into folders on my computer. I tag things in my google reader, which is where I usually read a few of my favorite blogs as well as all of my friends blogs. I also have tried tumblr.com as a way of bookmarking, but never really found it very user-friendly. From there, I tried delicious.com, and I've liked it okay, but again, not as user-friendly as I'd like.


Well, about a month ago, my friend introduced me to Pinterest, an online pinboard, and I have to say, I am hooked! It's So. Much. Fun! It's incredibly user-friendly, you can just login with your facebook account (we all use that, right?), and you can organize all your bookmarks by whatever categories you want. If you come across a photo, website, or blog post that you want to save, you just click "pin it". So easy.

But I think the best thing about it is that there are pictures! Every bookmark you "pin" has a picture to go with it, and it makes it so much easier to scan through your bookmarks when you're looking for something later. Or when you just need some inspiration.


So the past few weeks, I've been slowly transferring all of my bookmarks to Pinterest. It's been nice to have them all in one place. Another great thing is if my computer ever crashes, I won't lose all of my bookmarks because now everything is online. Also, you can share all of your bookmarks with others & also see what things they've bookmarked. It's another great way to discover some new ideas.

So if you haven't tried Pinterest, I'd highly recommend trying it out. Although, you just might become addicted to it like me! Which wouldn't be a bad thing necessarily. Like anything else, it all depends on how you use it & what your purpose for it is. I can see how it could become a big time-snatcher if you're not careful. I thought this quote was funny:


But Pinterest has really been helping me feel more organized, as well as helping me be more intentional in actually implementing things I've wanted to do because I'm not so overwhelmed with trying to keep track of all those ideas! Besides, I have these guys to keep track of & they're a whole lot more fun...


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