Saturday, November 29, 2014

November is done - here comes December

I've been setting 3 goals a month for myself. October wasn't too bad - I got a 2/3. November on the other hand ... well I give myself a 1.5/3. Here's a reminder of each goal and how I did this month.

1. Save it, don't spend it. 
Well this one sounded good. But I only give myself a half a golden star. For some reason I thought a $100 Target shopping spree in the middle of November was a good idea and I didn't even buy anything we absolutely needed. Whoops.

2. Start a cleaning schedule.
Um, well I actually cleaned my house a couple times this month. But ... no schedule in sight.

3. Take time to have fun. 
I'll give myself a full golden star here. We did a lot of small things throughout the month that kept fun top of mind. I think it was much needed for me, the kids and the husband.

So this brings us to December. First, how the heck is it December already? I started my new job back in March and I can't believe I'm months away from a 1 year anniversary there. For December I'm keeping things simple. At the beginning of the year I set a word for 2014.
I'm determined to end the year strong and continue to work towards my word of the year. I feel like I've done a good job this year of embracing the life that I've been given and making the best of it. Some of the things I talked about doing back when I wrote that post were finding a new job (done!) and spending more time with my family (accomplished!). 
I feel lucky to have a beautiful home, two healthy daughters and a loving husband. It's hard to remember sometimes that others are less fortunate. I don't want my kids to take the things they have for granted. Part of "living" for December will be to help those around us who need it. We've been picking up items that we will be donating to some organizations that could really use it. 

  • The Children's Hope House is place for families to stay while their children are receiving care at the hospital. We are very lucky to have healthy kids so we'll be dropping off some items from their wishlist.
  • Vincent Village helps homeless families get back on their feet. Again, we are very lucky to have a nice home to live in so we'll be dropping off some items from their wishlist as well.
So what are everyone's goals for December? Do you make donations during the holidays?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What's cookin?

I was way too busy last week to post our meal plan so here's the delayed run down ...
MONDAY: Chicken Melts
TUESDAY: Taco Casserole
THURSDAY: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
FRIDAY: Leftovers or Do Whatever You Want
The Taco Casserole was a new recipe for us and everyone liked it - glad to find a winner - the previous week's Chicken Tortilla Stew was a bust, we made chicken tacos instead. 

This week's plan (posted early!) looks like this ...
MONDAY: Breakfast for Dinner - most likely eggs and pancakes
TUESDAY: Quesadillas
WEDNESDAY: Chicken Spaghetti - one pot?! You are speaking my language!

THURSDAY: Turkey day! Our plans are still up in the air, but I'm sure some turkey will be involved.
FRIDAY: Buffet Day - We will most likely be lazing around the house so we will do a Buffet Day. Pick a bunch of random stuff from the cabinets and freezer and put on cookie sheets. Then we all gather around the living room and much while we watch movies.

Any new recipes we should try for next week? I try to make one brand-new recipe a week so we don't get stuck in any ruts. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

On the table this week

Well we made it through another week which included 1 sick child - of course that leads to this week which includes 1 more sick child. If I get sick, I'm gonna be angry! I hate being sick. But our dinners won't suffer because we have a meal plan!

MONDAY, November 10:
Tater-Topped Casserole - This is a family favorite and I haven't made it for awhile. Tater tots were on sale a few weeks back so I knew I had to make this one!

TUESDAY, November 11:
Chicken Tortilla Stew - I pinned this one awhile back and thought we'd try it out for our normal Taco Tuesday adventure.

WEDNESDAY, November 12:
Spaghetti - This was a special request from the kids. They love spaghetti and it will be easy to throw together since Wednesdays are swim lesson nights.

THURSDAY, November 13:
Make Your Own Wraps with Veggies & Chips - I need a night off, so I'll lay everything out and everyone can assemble their own wraps with veggies and chips on the side. Quick and easy and nobody can complain because they made their own :)

FRIDAY, November 14:
Ham & Cheese Braid - Here's another one I pinned awhile back as a freezer meal idea, but I thought we'd try it first and then we can make a freezer version later if it is a winner.

What are you eating this week?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Goals & Planning

I decided to set a few goals for October. I successfully hit 2 of the 3 goals. See this is why I don't set more than 3 - because 2 of 3 is good. 2 out of 5, not so much.
Goal 1: Meal planning - I nailed this! Check out this and this and this if you are looking for some ideas or to see what we ate. Also check out the bottom of this post for what we are eating this week.
Goal 2: Get active - I give myself 1.5 stars. We did a 3 hour hiking adventure this month but that's about it for getting active. There may have been a bike ride in there as well but for the most part - well let's not talk about it.
Goal 3: Read more - I'm on it! I finished The Interestings - I wasn't ultra impressed with this one, but I pushed myself to finish it. I also just started The Vactioners. We also made a trip to the library where I encouraged A to pick out some "good fit books" that were more geared toward her reading level.
That brings us to November. What do I want to accomplish this month?
1. Save it, don't spend it: Black Friday shopping happens this month and there are some big items on the list this year. So until shopping day I'm putting myself on a stricter spending budget. 
2. Start a cleaning schedule: Keeping the house clean is my least favorite task. I'm sorry if that offends anyone. I don't like dirt, but I sure hate cleaning dirt. I want to implement a cleaning schedule for the whole family so nobody is stuck doing it all and everyone has to help out.
3. Take time to have fun: I think when things get so busy we forget to just relax and spend a lazy Sunday doing nothing but playing games or watching movies. I want to make sure I carve out some time each week for having fun.

I'm happy to say we are continuing with meal planning. This week's options were all proposed directly from each family member - so nobody will be unhappy all week long :)

MONDAY, November 3: 
Meatloaf and Green Beans - During the week I tend to do meatloaf in a cupcake pan so it cooks in a fraction of the time as a loaf would. And you get more crispy edges (my favorite!).

TUESDAY, November 4:

WEDNESDAY, November 5:
Pizza Pasta Bake - The girls have swimming tonight, but since I leave work early I can prep everything before swimming and heat it in the crock pot while we are gone.

THURSDAY, November 6: 
Grilled Cheese and Chili - This is the perfect fall meal. Even though the girls will pick out the beans in the chili, they are still big grilled cheese fans so everyone wins!

FRIDAY, November 7:
Mom's Night Off - Dinner Out! This completely contradicts my first goal of the month but my husband suggested it since we've been saving so much money with meal planning. 

So tell me ... what are you goals, what are you eating or what are you doing this month?