Hiii (*waves nervously*) Let’s kick this off with the confession that I am not a foodie or a chef or a professional meal planner. I’m a newbie who still let’s the milk go bad and forgets to use the bananas before they’re squishy and grey.
Alright. Now that my credentials are out of the way…
*In between starting this post and finish it I went through our pasta cabinet and threw out so much expired food. Pasta, graham crackers, panko breading. Not a few months expired… years. Please note: All of that was purchase pre-meal planning. #oops
Toward the end of last year I started meal planning for our family of two. At the start of 2017 I made the lax resolution to meal plan every week. Surprisingly, I’m actually carrying this out with moderate success. A fellow blogger (Carolann, I think?) suggested I talk about my methods. So I thought, ‘Sure! Why not?!’
To be frank, I’m not even 100% sure I do this right. Critique me if you feel so inclined. I have thick skin; I can handle it.
Pick three meals for the week.
Three?? But Audrey! Surely you’ll starve!
Fear not, my friends. We utilize the luxury of takeout and/or dining out at least once a week. (*cough*still working on budgeting*cough*)
Honestly, though. On Fridays we’re usually out with my parents and on Sundays we typically have dinner at my grandparents. Mix in one night of take out and fill that fourth night with leftovers and we’ve got three days left for home cooked meals.
… perhaps I’m not so qualified to write this post.
Stick with me, friends. Pick three meals from anywhere. I usually search Pinterest. Sometimes it’s not a recipe meal- sometimes it’s just burgers and veggies on the grill. It doesn’t matter… it still counts.
Ok. Got your three meals? I’m going to play along here and pick three, too.
Steak & veggies on the grill (+ mashed red potatoes left over from meal #1)
Make a grocery list with the ingredients you don’t have.
Now double check your kitchen for the ingredients you might actually have, but you put on the list anyway because you weren’t sure and you were too lazy to go look in the cabinet to check. (Oh. Just me? ) Cross those ones off.
Go grocery shopping. I prefer Sunday afternoons because for some reason it’s a ghost town at the market but everything is all stocked for the week.
Obviously if there’s an afternoon NASCAR race this gets bumped to Monday night (which becomes the takeout night).
Prep stuff if you feel so inclined.
Often I do not.
This is a good time to figure out WHEN you’re eating your meals. I don’t like to keep asparagus or steak too long so we’ll have those on Monday or Tuesday. If we don’t plan to make something until the weekend or we get busy and have to skip a meal I throw the appropriate meat in the freezer.
Boom Bang Ba-Da-Done.
Some amateur tips:
if you never go out to eat plan for four nights
if you have a super busy week aim for two nights and make enough for leftovers
this doesn’t include lunch… and if you eat leftovers for lunch, go with 4 meals
make that Chicken Fajita Pasta… you won’t regret it
Was that even helpful…? Hahaha. Honestly, I never meal planned before this year but now that I do it’s pretty easy to stick with. This is probably a good gateway to meal prepping, too, but I don’t wanna demand too much of myself…
So tell me… do you meal plan? If so, what am I doing wrong? 🙂 If you don’t plan does this make you want to…?
Be Healthy. (As in eat better & exercise.) Ehh… not doing so hot here. We’re eating at home more often, but exercise has been a complete no-go.
Feel Less Guilty About Downtime. (Less guilt when lounging/reading/unwinding.) I think I’m getting better here. We’ve be so busy all year so I can’t quite get a handle on the balance of responsibilities vs. relaxation.
Read more. (Last year I read 25 books. This year I’m aiming for 40.) According to Goodreads I’ve read 9 books this year and I’m two ahead of schedule. Cool!
Become a Morning Person. (Less snooze button and rushing, more consistency and chill.) HA. No. Still working on it. I just love sleeping (in).
Get on Schedule. (As in meal planning, cleaning, dog maintenance, etc.) I’ve been great about a meal and blog schedule. Now it’s time to focus on cleaning and home maintenance.
(The original list appears here in this monstrous post.)
Make a meal planning journal and, like, actually do it We’ve been REALLY good about meal planning! Every once in a while I skip a day or we opt for take out, but so far I’ve been making lists and planning meals each and every week!
Wash all window treatments & cushion slips Partially done… Whoops.
Write thank you notes for Christmas gifts
Get Lylee on a walk schedule again
Clean the junk out of the basement
Hire someone to come in and clean the carpets
So overall I did pretty terrible with the seasonal goals. Ha. I’ll be rolling most of these over into spring I guess…
Wash cushion slips
Scrub grease build-up off cabinets
Replace/fix water heater
Get Ly on a walk schedule again
Clean junk out of basement
Hire someone to come & clean the carpets
Finish 3 year scrapbook
Order pics for year 4
These are all doable AND borderline necessary. So… here’s to hoping I get them crossed off!
Linking up with Sara & Steph (tomorrow)! What are your spring goals?
I decided this post was happening 15 minutes before I left work yesterday. I was going to post about our trip to Texas but I didn’t have the pictures edited. I know some folks document their whole day, but this was a last minute decision.
Time to go home. I prefer to grocery shop on Sundays but the NASCAR season started and my Sunday afternoons are now tied up. Instead, I popped into the grocery store tonight to get goodies for the week.
(Usually I buy enough for three meals. This week we have some evening activities so I skimmed the list down to two meals.)
Once home I’m greeted by the welcome committee.
And then they expect me to play with them…
Typically I’d start dinner, but the local cantina changed up their menu and my parents invited us to join them for dinner.
Home again. Time to feed the dogs, throw the leftovers in the fridge, and change into not-real-pants. (#FavoritePartoftheDay) Now I’m working on this post and lounging on the couch with the husband and dogs.
The Voice is on. So I’m still glued to the couch. But now I’ve got some ice cream.
A dog farted. It was Lylee. K and Enzo both almost puked.
Technically The Voice is still on, but K’s show comes on (Gas Monkey Garage) so I bid him adieu and retire to the upstairs.
So… now I either crack open a book or switch on some Netflix (cough* Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries *cough).
K usually wanders up to bed and we drift off to sleep watching Bob’s Burgers.
… 11:00 pm
Let’s be real. I’m usually still awake at 11 so I watch an episode or two of Family Guy. Then I finally fall asleep.
And there ya have it. I’m always curious to see what other people do in a day/night so I figured this might entertain some folks. Some days are a little more productive than yesterday… I squeeze laundry or dishes or organizing into my nights. Monday was pretty lazy because #Mondays.
The last three months of the year are my favorite. I love colorful trees and cool weather, I love fall fashion (a.k.a. jeans and a sweatshirt) and fall foods, and I love how seamlessly fall becomes winter- November flurries, Christmas lights suddenly appear on the neighbors’ houses, leaves in the streets become drifts of snow. Also, does anyone else love a blue dusk? I know summer and fall have the prettiest sunsets, but I just LOVE how the sky turns blue at the end of a winter day!
In September I made two separate posts for my Fall Goals and my Fall Bucket List. Apparently this was my ‘get it done’ season because I most certainly did. With the first day of winter a week away and Sara & Steph‘s link-up on Friday, here’s a recap of my fall season + some goals for winter.
The FALL Bucket List
Go to a local apple orchard & bring home a bushel small bag of apples Thanks to my mother- & sister-in-laws for going with me!
Get all the fall decor out & around the house And now we’re on to Christmas decor!
Visit a few fall craft shows (preferably with Mom) Mom & I went to one little festival, but technically it’s a CHECK
Pick out some bright orange pumpkins
Carve said pumpkins (preferably with Fred & Christina) I carved them alone, but that’s ok
Drink lots of apple cider
Get a PSLDONE 😉 I checked this off at the start… ha
Host our annual Halloween Party It was a 90s theme and it was a success!
Take the dogs to a local park or nature trail for hikes Ly and I went hiking- it was too chilly/long for Enzo
Visit a haunted house
Bake a few new fall cookie (No, but I failed HARD with these… Ha!)
Fall vacation with the husband Charlotte and Myrtle Beach
Add a few classy, seasonal pieces to my wardrobe
Thank you, Old Navy
Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
Create & enjoy a fire pit area in our yard We created it… ‘enjoying’ it is a different story…
The FALL Goals
Paint the front door (I’m bloody determined to make this happen.) | YES. Done!
Keep with the #30DayYogaChallenge that I signed up for | I went 13 or 14 days straight, then I got sick and fell off the wagon *sigh*
After the challenge is over continue to practice yoga weekly | Nah.
Continue volunteering weekly | Try bi-weekly…
Order 3 year photos for scrapbook
Get invites out for Halloween Party
Walk/bike to work at least twice a week | Not twice a week, but I walked to work occasionally.
Create a fire pit area in the backyard | Ok, so we upgraded the backyard and added a concrete pad & fire pit area, but our neighbor straight-up lost his mind and went passive aggressive psycho on us. As in, called the fire dept. (911!) to report our small, legal, backyard fire. Like, walk your ass over and talk to us like an adult, dude. It’s been a headache, and I’m leaving out a ton of detail, but things seem to be resolved and we’ve had fires in our backyard since. (Seriously, though. People are insane sometimes. )
Get all the pieces of my Halloween costume together BEFORE the week of the party | Ha. No. We rush ordered my costume. But whatever, we looked fly.
One crockpot meal a week (**buy crockpot liners!) | At least I bought some liners…
Hardcore wash the dog beds & blankets | Multiple times, in fact
Wait until the end of Nov. to break out Christmas stuff | I lasted until mid-ish November…
Get X-mas shopping done! | Most of it!
I did OK with the goals. I straight up killed the bucket list. Thank you to everyone that helped! (After reading the goals results I feel like I should post about our exterior home improvements. Is that of interest to anyone?)
OK, on to some Winter Goals…
Make a meal planning journal and, like, actually do it
This week I was reading posts from my usual bloggers and all of a sudden I felt so sad that I live so far away from most of y’all. Seriously, though. As an adult it’s pretty tough to make friends out of the blue but there are so many bloggers that I follow and communicate with that I know we’d get along and wander through Target together every weekend in real life. If any of you want to move to Ohio I will absolutely help you find a house/apartment. Ha.
Alright, so that was a little off topic.
Today I figured I’d look back on my goals that I made in this beginning-of-the-year post. October kicks off the last quarter of the year so hopefully I’ve at least scratched the surface of these goals….. ha.
Nooooooope. I was feeling confident in July but eff that shizz. Honestly, I think I’ve found my groove with yoga. I’m good with that. Bye for now, running shoes.
Learn to cook more (vegetarian) meals.
Yeah, dude! I made wings for the first time this week! I actually texted K on Monday and told him I was planning to cook every night this week. He was pumped and offered to make his chili one night, too. (And it made for a yummy Wednesday!) Still working on the vegetarian part, but at least there’s some progress in the kitchen!
Find a word for 2016.
Most of y’all probably know I picked “embrace.” I’d say things are going alright. Haha.
Read, read, read. And write.
So many people read WAY more than I do, but I’m feeling good because last year I barely touched a book. Most of what I’ve read this year can be found here. My writing has taken a backseat lately, but I’ve made progress this year so I’m still crossing it off.
Ok, I’ll finally talk about it! 🙂
I’ve been volunteering at a wilderness rescue and rehabilitation center on Saturdays. So far I’ve syringe-fed baby squirrels and cuddled a duckling and tossed meat to vultures. They also have a resident fox and I swear my heart bursts each time I see her ❤︎
So in conclusion, I’m feeling pretty good 🙂
These past two weeks of sinus-crude have knocked me off my social game, but just looking back on what I’ve done this year recharges my battery! And I’m working on these Fall Goals, too, but I’ll talk about that when the season ends. How are you doing with your 2016 goals/resolutions?
Yeah, not much accomplished. I’m going to approach Fall a little differently. I believed that life is too short to do a whole bunch of things you don’t want to do. A few weeks ago I put in my notice at Justice and then I decided to dedicate Saturdays to volunteering and then I signed up for a yoga challenge. Less obligatory activities and more me-time activities.
Paint the front door (I’m bloody determined to make this happen.)
Keep with the #30DayYogaChallenge that I signed up for (I’m 5 for 5 days right now!!)
After the challenge is over continue to practice yoga weekly
Continue volunteering weekly
Order 3 year photos for scrapbook
Get invites out for Halloween Party
Walk/bike to work at least twice a week
Create a fire pit area in the backyard
Get all the pieces of my Halloween costume together BEFORE the week of the party
One crockpot meal a week (**buy crockpot liners!)
Hardcore wash the dog beds & blankets
Wait until the end of Nov. to break out Christmas stuff (... yeah right)
Get X-mas shopping done!
Easy enough. I made 5 goals for summer and accomplished half of one so I bet I’ll do great with 13 goals. (Ha.)
Linking-up with Steph & Sara today. What are your F A L L + G O A L S ?