Thursday, May 23, 2013

June Meal Plan

For the longest time I would wait to decide what I was going to have for dinner until it was actually dinner time. When I started to stay home I decided to take the time to create a meal plan for the month. Now I wonder why I didn't start it sooner. It has actually saved me time and best of all, money.
At first, I was creating a new meal every night. That got to be more expensive than I wanted, especially since there's just the two of us and we always have leftovers. So now, I am trying to create meals that can be used for other meals too. I thought with all this preparation, I might as well share so hopefully someone else can benefit from it too.
Most of my recipes are coming from Why haven't I found this blog sooner? LIFE SAVER. I also found another website I like as well: This blog seems to have a lot of simple stuff.
So here's what I've done:
I first create a monthly meal plan. I go and pick out the things I want to eat and write it down.
Then I grouped them together to see if I could find meals that could be used together to combine the ingredients. Meat especially.
After that, I went through and found out the ingredients that I'll need to have on hand for them that week. I actually go grocery shopping usually only once a month since we don't use a ton of fresh dairy. I also freeze everything I can think of. I freeze spinach, fruits, and vegetables that don't go bad very fast. However, for what I'm sharing it will show the breakdown by week. Most of the stuff I have on hand. But if you don't have it, you'd want to make sure you did. For example, I usually have frozen ground beef, chicken, always have pasta sauce, spices, potatoes, and cheeses.
Anyway, I hope this helps.

Week 1
Saturday June 1
Pizza Bake found here:
Sunday June 2
Pot Roast found here:
Monday June 3
Using the left over beef I will make French Dip Sandwiches found here:
Tuesday June 4
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken over rice found here:
We just had this last night and LOVED it. Se
Wednesday June 5
BBQ chicken quesadillas with left over chicken. Just put the left over chicken and cheese in a tortilla and brown in a skillet. Don't forget to add some extra sauce. Serve with salsa.
Thursday June 6
Baked Ziti found here:
This actually makes two meals in 2 8x8 dishes. Score! I will save it and use it later on in the month.
Friday-Saturday June 7-8 I will be out of town.
Sunday June 9
I usually use rotisserie chicken for this week's recipes. One chicken from Costco can usually cover all the chicken meals this week. I just freeze it for the stuff I will use later in the week.
Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas found here: *Use rotisserie chicken
Monday June 10
Black Bean Tacos found here:
Then, if I want to I can add some of the left over chicken from last night to this.
Tuesday June 11
Mexican Hashbrown Casserole found here:
Wednesday June 12
Bow-tie chicken Caesar salad: *I will just use a salad mix for this and the next meal. along with rotisserie chicken
Thursday June 13
Caesar salad wrap:
I got this recipe from a friend. She just mixes a salad mix with Caesar dressing. Put on a tortilla and top with rotisserie chicken, corn, tomatoes, and croutons. Wrap it up and enjoy.
Friday June 14
Chicken Ranch Tacos found here: *use leftover rotisserie chicken
Saturday June 15
Homemade Pizza found here:
Sunday June 16
Pot Roast (same recipe as before):
Monday June 17
Using the left over beef I will make French Dip Sandwiches found here:
Tuesday June 18
Grilled 7up Chicken found here:
Wednesday June 19
Chicken Tacos using leftover meat from yesterday.  found here:
Thursday June 20
Use the extra Baked Ziti meal I had in the freezer.
Friday June 21
Chicken Parmesan Pizza found here: * I will probably use my dough recipe instead of buying the pizza crust, especially since I have the ingredients on hand.
Saturday June 22
Taco Salad found here:
Sunday June 23
BBQ Ribs found here:
Monday June 24
Ribs Pasta using left over ribs found here:
Tuesday June 25
Honey Lime chicken enchiladas: *Use rotisserie chicken
Wednesday June 26
Bean Enchilada Casserole found here:
Thursday June 27
Sweet and Sour Meatballs found here:
Friday June 28
Chicken Tortellini found here:
Saturday June 29
Bean Burritos found here: * I will just used can refried beans though.
Sunday June 30
Honey Glazed Grilled Chicken found here:

Shopping List by Week:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Never Say Never

I know this isn't a food post, but I thought about putting my thoughts and things on here. Since it's mainly my family that reads this, I thought it wouldn't matter. :)
Why I Am Totally Fine Just Being A Mom
If there's ONE thing I've learned in my lifetime it's, "NEVER SAY NEVER"! I've found this to be especially true since being a new mom.
I've always been the person that said I could never stay home with my kids. "There is too much I want to do, I would get bored, and I want to be someone successful". I told myself that being a mom isn't the only thing for me out there. My husband and I decided long ago that I would go to work once the kids were in school full time. I hate to say this, but I would frown upon parents who stayed home while their kids were in school full days, leaving them fully capable to work. We convinced ourselves that it was good for me to work and good for our kids to see that I have goals and can stand on my own two feet as well.
 Make no mistake, I completely agree with that, especially if it's fitting for your situation. However, for me, I learned to never say never when it comes to this situation.
I had even thought about going back to work once the baby was old enough to be in day care. I would spend my 6-12 weeks at home with him and then be on my merry way, fulfilling my dreams. Little did I know, my dreams would completely change over the first few months of his life.
I have gone through different phases of "visions" after my baby has been born. I have wanted to work, I have felt overwhelmed, I have loved every second, I have wanted to find hobbies, I have been completely content, and I have wanted to pull my hair out being "just a mom". I still want to pursue a career in some way and I still have dreams (which I think are important for EVERY SINGLE PERSON). When the time is right I will go down that path.
The moments that have changed my perspective:
Long ago, before being a mom, I had a life changing experience. One that I could have let pass me by. It all happened at Wal-Mart, of all places! I was living my life. Actually, no I wasn't; I was living for the future. I was working full-time, going to school full-time in a field I didn't love, hating my job, and trying to make the best future I could for myself. My husband and I often talked about the "one day" and "when we do this, we can do this".  This led to a lot of dreadful days and bitterness. It WAS important that we were trying to work towards something, but at what expense? I didn't realize the path I was on until I was walking through Wal-Mart in my heals, unusually fast, as always. I heard a little girl say, "Mom, why is that girl walking so fast?" I stopped and asked myself that VERY same question. Why was I walking so fast? Why am I always in a hurry? I thought about that the remainder of the day. I realized that life was passing me by. I wasn't living life at all. I was living to make my future better. But what if I never had a future? Would it really be worth it? I told myself I would NEVER feel like that again. I made some drastic changes and have since improved my happiness dramatically. I have that little girl at Wal-Mart to thank, and she doesn't even know! Naturally, I have days where I still feel like this, hence the never say never, but I am a completely different person because of that experience.

During the first month of having my baby I was humbled quite a bit. Being a mom was hard work. I thought I would never feel like myself again. How did people have more than one baby at a time? I told myself I would NEVER have another kid. It was too much work. Never say never, right? ;) I later learned that you DO feel like yourself again, and it DOES get better. I'm sure I will be saying this with the next kid though.

The next few months got easier. I was thoroughly enjoying everyday. I loved watching my baby grow and change. I put myself on a cleaning schedule and tried to be a mom that did it all. I loved being there with my baby. I loved doing the laundry. I loved making dinner. I was NEVER going to hate being home. Well, never say never, right? That got old pretty quick. Much quicker than I thought. I got so bored with the monotony of it all. I finally had enough that I applied for jobs and said "that's it, I'm working". My poor husband, he has seen my crazy hormones go from content, happy, to anxious, and everything in between. He's so great to stand behind me and encourage me to do what I want.

In the middle of all of this, I went to lunch with some friends and family. We were discussing how one of the girls was going to go back to work when the kids were in school full-time. I immediately piped in and said, "I think that's a great idea and I think all moms should go to work then".  One of my closest friends, someone I consider a sister, gave me a different perspective on the situation. She talked about what a wonderful mother she had who taught her many things. She loved her kindness, love, and support she always had from her mom. The only thing she wanted different was one thing: Her mom worked throughout her school years and she was a little disappointed that her mom couldn't be there for field trips, classroom parties, and other things like that. However, she WAS grateful that she was there when she got home from school, and she still wouldn't change a thing from how she was raised. This tiny conversation changed my view forever. I didn't realize that I would be missing out on certain things with my own kids, while I would be doing those with other kids. I decided that FOR ME, I would want to do those things with my kids.Since then, I've tried to take each day and just be happy with everything that I have.

Perhaps the biggest thing I learned that day was far more important than anything else I learned. Everyone has their own outlook on life. Everyone has their own opinions on what they think is best. I am NEVER going to judge another for what they consider is right. This is one never I hope I don't have to say never say never to.

 I am happy just being a mom for these reasons:
I get to wake up to a smiling child that loves me NO MATTER WHAT.
I have time to get to the things I told myself I would get to one day.
The grass isn't going to be greener with me working.
I am still successful, in a different kind of way.
I've realized that I'm not perfect, and don't have to be. Life will still happen whether or not I'm perfect. :)
I have found things I never knew I was passionate about.
I can be a better friend, spouse, and daughter.
I've learned that there are LOTS of other people that feel the same way.
I capture moments that I never would be able to.
I don't have any excuses for not being who I want and should be.
I am lucky enough to be a mom.

*All of these things can be enjoyed whether or not you work. Again, for me, I've learned these things for me being home.
I know I'm VERY lucky to be able to stay home with my children. However, just because I'm lucky it doesn't mean I don't have hard days where I want to do other things with my life.  I know many people would love to only have this to complain about. However, it has been a challenge for me to be happy with what is.  I'll still have days where I'll love it, hate it, and want to go to work again.

As long as you do what you think is best for you, you are doing the right thing. If you want to stay at home, don't feel guilty. If you want to go to work, do it and love it! Do what makes YOU happy, and the rest will fall into place. Don't ever compare your situation to another's. It's not fair to you OR to them. We are all in this together.


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