SOCIAL MEDIA

13 April 2022

Meal Planning Made Simple - In Four Easy Steps



When Alex & I first started living together, he was really the one who made all the meals. After all, he was a chef, and me . . . well I was really good at baking. But over time, I started to take a more active role in cooking and yes, I even started to enjoy it. In the beginning, meal planning was definitely not on my radar. Once our little one made his way onto the scene I started diving into meal planning because sticking to a budget became a bigger priority. And let me tell you, once I got our meal planning routine down, taking care of the meals (and our budget) got a lot easier. So today I wanted to share four simple steps to make your meal planning simple.

Step One: Designate a grocery shopping day and determine what you already have.
Saturdays are my grocery day and because it's essentially set in stone it makes meal planning a breeze. I essentially have two days to get our meals for the week in order. First check to see what we already have in the fridge (including remaining leftovers) and the pantry. Now since our grocery store's flyer comes out on Thursdays, the flyer sets the tone for most of our meals because it makes it lends itself well to budgeting. Which leads me to the next step . . .

Step Two: Browse the flyer for ideas and sales.
If I'm stuck on what to make certain nights I'll use the flyer to come up with meals that coincide with any current sales. It's pretty straightforward - let's say ground beef and shredded cheese are on sale. Guess what we're having for dinner one night . . . you guess it, tacos! What's really great is when there are buy one get ones. I usually stock up on those and repeat a meal two weeks later.
 
Step Three: Keep a running list of favorite meals as a backup plan.
If nothing good is on sale, or I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas, I tend to rely on my running list as a backup plan. You could even have set days like meatless Mondays, Slow Cooker Sundays, etc. Or even a list of everyone's favorite recipes. Anything that you find that helps you with your end goal of setting a meal for each day and sticking to it.
 
Step Four: Use a meal planning template and laminate it.
This step has been an absolute game-changer. I used to use meal planner notepads but I always found myself scratching days out and rearranging the meals, which in turn wasted a lot of paper. One day I decided to laminate two sheets of the meal planner notepad and use Vis A Vis maker and viola! If I have to change a meal for a day, I just wipe it off and write the new meal in. I use the second one as a catch-all throughout the week if my family mentions any cravings and add it to a meal planner for the next week. That way I'm one step closer to having the following week filled out. If you'd like me to share one, let me know in the comments below.
 

What do YOU do to make meal planning easy? Do you do what I do? Do you have a tip that I didn't share? Let me know in the comments below.
17 March 2022

A Guide To Spring Cleaning + A Free Printable



With Spring right around the corner, I thought it would be nice to share a simple checklist that I use to help me tackle all the tasks that need to be done around the house during this season. Now here's the thing . . . I'm not obsessed with cleaning. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a clean and tidy house - but I don't always have time to regularly do all the deep cleaning that I'd like to during the year. So, once Spring rolls, around I make it a priority. Below you'll find a guide to getting all the things done. 

To make things easier, I created a printable that you can download and use. Just download it to your computer, it out, and add it to your homemaking binder! You can download the checklist here

Spring Cleaning Checklist

THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
  • test and replace smoke and alarm batteries
  • replace air filters as needed
  • clean all light fixtures, including lamp shades
  • clean all ceiling fans
  • clean air vents/registers 
  • clean all windows and windowsills
  • wash all curtains

 ENTRYWAY

  • sweep and mop floors
  • wipe down the walls and baseboards
  • clean the door and handles
  • shake out or wash any doormats
  • remove unnecessary clutter

KITCHEN

  • clean the stovetop
  • deep clean the oven
  • clean the microwave and deodorizer
  • clean the refrigerator
  • clean the dishwasher and deodorizer
  • wipe down drawers and shelves in the fridge and freezer
  • discard old or expired food in the pantry, fridge, and freezer
  • remove everything off the counters and do a deep clean
  • de-grease cabinet doors and backsplash
  • remove items from cabinets and thoroughly clean the shelves 
  • clean fridge/freezer seal
  • dust high up places
  • mop floors
  • clean floor mats

DINING ROOM

  • dust and polish all furniture
  • wash all table linens
  • vacuum and spot clean cushions
  • vacuum or mop floor
  • wipe down the walls and baseboards 
  • donate unused items

BEDROOMS

  • dust and polish all furniture 
  • wash all bed sheets and duvets
  • organize the closets
  • donate unused clothing
  • vacuum floors

BATHROOMS

  • discard expired personal care products, makeup, and old medication
  • clean the mirror, sink, and countertops
  • deep clean the tub/shower
  • clean the showerhead
  • clean or replace the shower curtain liner
  • wash the shower curtain
  • deep clean the toilet
  • vacuum and mop floors
  • wash any rugs
  • wipe down the walls and baseboards

LIVING ROOM

  •  dust and polish all furniture
  • clean the television
  • wash all blankets
  • wash pillowcases
  • vacuum the couch
  • vacuum/mop floors
  • dust all electronics
  • sanitize remote controls
  • organize entertainment center
  • donate unused items

 LAUNDRY ROOM

  • clean the washing machine (inside and out)
  • remove lint from the lint trap
  • clean the outside of the dryer
  • check the dryer hose
  • organize laundry supplies
  • wipe down the wall and baseboards
  • vacuum/mop floors
24 November 2021

The Best Apple Crisp - Just in time for Thanksgiving . . .

Last year during the quarantine we bought a lot of apples and I spent the majority of my time at home perfecting the recipe. This recipe is super easy; it has no oats - just flour, butter and sugar. I think it's the best because one: it tastes SO good and two: my dessert hating husband LOVES it. This apple crisp is the perfect mix of sweet and savory, which lends itself for both dessert and breakfast. Trust me, it's that good.

 INGREDIENTS

5-6 peeled and sliced Fuji apples
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon + extra for the apples
1 unbeaten egg
1/3 melted butter
 
DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add some olive oil to a 8x8 glass baking dish, spreading around the bottom and edges with a paper towel.

Peel and slice the apples, sprinkle with cinnamon (just eyeball it). You can also add ginger and clove, if you're feeling festive. Mix until evenly coated and add to the baking dish arranging them evenly.

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and egg. Pour the mixture over the apples, making sure that the apples are properly covered.

Melt the butter and pour it all over the flour mixture. Take some olive oil and pour on just the top sides of the apple crisp.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is nice a golden. Top with homemade whip cream if you're feeling indulgent.

08 April 2021

I'm Officially a Stuffie Surgeon

I performed my first stuffie surgery a week ago and I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for this moment. I know that sounds weird but I can’t wait to tell my son about it when he gets older . . . The story of how when his beloved Shadow’s blankie ripped from it’s tummy, mama sewed him back together - good as new. Except nowhere near as fluffy as he used to be. Lots of baths will do that.