To Do List(s)

Menu Plan and Weekly Goals – August 17



Another new week, more changes coming.

I started my new job last week.  I’ve been in training, and I’m realizing that it is going to be more physically demanding than what I’m used to.  I’m pretty excited about that, though, because it’ll help keep me in shape!  :)

My daughter is starting school THIS week.  It’s her first year of junior high, so it’s a big and exciting thing for her.  I hope we’ve got everything ready!  Guess we’ll find out soon enough.  I think that as hard as it is to see summer break end, it’s probably good for us to get back into a routine.

20140206-112158Last week, I tried a new recipe for Chicken and Dumplings from More Than Simply Living.  It was a hit!  I’m so glad to have another gluten free crockpot recipe that I can use in my meal rotation now. :)  Here are the meal plans for this week.  As usual, we’re keeping things simple and easy to duplicate.





  • Pb & J sandwiches with carrots
  • Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas
  • Leftover dinners
  • School lunch
  • Salad


  • Hawaiin Haystacks
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Spaghetti (gf noodles for me) with homemade spaghetti sauce
  • Navajo Taco Bar
  • Leftover night

As for the weekly goals, well let’s take a look at how last week went:

  1. Finish back to school/work shopping– YES
  2. Make a freezer batch of Country Breakfast Bowls. – YES
  3. Vacuum out car.YES
  4. Go to the library and return books and finish the summer reading program. YES, I returned the books: NO, I didn’t get the summer reading program signed off.

The goals for this week:

  1. Make sure all is ready for Munchkin to start school.
  2. Make a batch of homemade pickles (the cucumbers are out of control in our garden!)
  3. Get the summer reading program signed off at my local library.
  4. Have dinner on the table every night (this is a goal this week because it’s my first full week being a full-time employee since having kids and I’m nervous I’ll fall behind).

That’s it for me!  I hope you ll have a great week!  What are your plans?

Menu Plan and Weekly Goals – April 6-12 – Eating out of the Pantry 1 comment

Oi, what a week.


My son and daughter both had spring break, so I had some fun plans.  When the kids are out of school, I’m off work, and I was going to get SO MUCH STUFF DONE!


Ha ha ha ha….and then life happened.

PicMonkey Collage1


I was rear ended in my little Kia by a big SUV.  It pushed me into the big truck in front of me.  The two vehicles I was sandwiched between didn’t get a scratch – either one.  My car, on the other hand, is completely totaled, which means that I’m not going to get enough money from insurance to completely fix it, or to replace it. :(


Anyway, the next day I got a nasty cold and I’ve been kinda down and out since.  I’m stressing out, trying to figure out how we’re going to afford a new car.  I drive my son with autism 65 miles to and from school everyday, so I need something reliable, and I need something quick!  Fighting with insurance to speed up the process is not something that will likely be effective, although I’m trying.

The good news is that the only injuries I sustained were minor whiplash and a bruised forehead/upper nose.  The guy who hit me was incredibly nice and felt terrible.  I have to remember to count my blessings, because they are many.  The reason the car is totaled is that the main frame bar (among other things) broke right in half when I was hit, absorbing most of the impact.  Thank goodness!


Anyway, now spring break is just about over, and I’ve got to get back into the swing of things….so I desperately need a meal plan.  I’ve gone back into emergency savings mode since we’re going to be likely accumulating more DEBT (UGH, the D WORD!!!) getting a working vehicle.  This means we’ll be eating out of the pantry.  Good thing we’ve got a stocked pantry!  We’ll be buying fresh produce and dairy, and of course taking advantage of really good sales we can find.


Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:



As for the goals this week, I’m mostly just hoping to get everything straightened up with the insurance company.  The other driver was at fault but his insurance is dragging their heels on accepting liability.  They say they will, but it’ll take some time for some reason.  So my goals are pretty simple:

  • Get a rental car, a new car, or get the original car in the shop.
  • Go through pantry; plan more meals.


Have a great week!



Menu Monday – Weekly Meal Plan and Goals

New week, new month!  Holy cow, did fall suddenly hit you like it hit over here?  We went trick or treating on Friday evening and didn’t even need jackets.  By the next morning, November 1, it was freezing!  I kinda get a kick out of it when the weather acts so on schedule.

1031141127 1031141848a


I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday weekend.  Now that it’s over, it’s time to get back to the schedule.  Here is our menu plan this week:


  • Whole grain toast and or Bagels (for the kids)
  • Fresh fruit (for all of us)
  • Home canned applesauce


  • Leftovers (for me)
  • Whole grain bread (for the kids)
  • Fresh fruit and fresh veggies (for all of us)
  • Greens chews (for the kids)
  • Turkey bacon (for the kids)

Quinoa Crusted ChickenDinners:

Monday – Turkey and Cheese Quesadillas (For the kids, I’ll have plain turkey quesadillas), Cucumber Guacamole

Tuesday – Crepes

Wednesday – Slow Cooker Sausage Chili, Fresh Baked Bread

Thursday – Crust Free Turkey Pot Pie

Friday – Leftover Night

Saturday – Quinoa Crusted Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sunday – Oven Porcupine Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Green Salad


I was able to complete all the “to-dos” on my list last week:

  1. Start new HIIT Training program designed by my doctor just for me (so I guess there is some benefit to these weekly dr appointments!)
  2. Finalize Halloween costumes for the kids.
  3. Go to church Trunk Or Treat on Tuesday.
  4. Wednesday:  NBA Jazz game (we got free tickets)
  5. Go over final budget numbers for October.

The fun plans this week:

  1. Activity Days
  2. 1 doctor appointment (only one this week; hooray!)
  3. Buddy Boy starts his rock climbing class.
  4. Picking up 40 lbs Zaycon chicken
  5. Fundraiser fun run for my son’s school
  6. Gymnastics for Munchkin


I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed week!






Menu Plan and Weekly Goals Oct 27 – Nov 2

So, I skipped a couple of weeks of menu planning.  Not very organized, but hey, I’m keeping it real.


I gotta be honest with everyone.




I can’t keep up with anything, and I’m getting more and more stressed out. This whole 65 miles every day JUST to get my son to and from school is rough.  It’s what you do when you have a special needs child, though.


And you want to know something?  This whole having to eat 6 times a day, but not being allowed to eat soy, dairy, gluten,  sweeteners, canned/frozen/juiced fruits/veggies, processed anything, shellfish, table salt, etc is getting old.  REALLY OLD.  If I was seeing better results, I might feel more motivated.  I couldn’t think of what to make for dinner before when I could eat all that stuff, and when I only ate 3x a day!  Holy cow, it’s a production just to make a snack:  buy some dry beans, cook them for 8 hours to soften, then dry and roast for an hour to make them crisp again.  Yay, I have one snack!  Ugh.


Ah, well.  I s’pose that’s why I need to MAKE time to menu plan.  Right?  Geez, one day.  One day I’ll have my head screwed on straight.  I’ll be sure to let you know when it happens, so you can watch out your window for all of the flying pigs.


Sorry.  I’m ranting, and I hate when I do that.  It does feel better to have it out, though.  I know I’m blessed, and I know I’m lucky.  I’m just having a day.  Forgive me.  I’ll get to the meal plan:



  • Whole grain toast (for the kids)
  • Cereal (for the kids)
  • Fresh fruit (for all of us)
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Home canned applesauce


  • Leftovers (for me)
  • Whole grain bread (for the kids)
  • Fresh fruit and fresh veggies (for all of us)
  • Greens chews (for the kids)
  • Turkey bacon (for the kids)
  • String Cheese (for the kids)


Steak and Potato StewDinners:

  • Monday – Leftover chicken and roasted potatoes
  • Tuesday – Mexican Style Brown Rice, Homemade Refried Beans (adapted so I can have them)
  • Wednesday – Roasted Potato Soup (from Monday’s leftover potatoes)
  • Thursday – Leftover Night
  • Friday -Roasted Turkey, Carrots, Lettuce Salad
  • Saturday –Steak and Potato Stew
  • Sunday – Brown Rice and Homemade Turkey Gravy (made with home canned chicken broth and leftover turkey)


The goals for the week:

  1. Start new HIIT Training program designed by my doctor just for me (so I guess there is some benefit to these weekly dr appointments!)
  2. Finalize Halloween costumes for the kids.
  3. Go to church Trunk Or Treat on Tuesday.
  4. Wednesday:  NBA Jazz game (we got free tickets)
  5. Go over final budget numbers for October.



Menu Monday and Weekly Goals 09/22

I’m recovering from a rotten weekend.  And prepping for a crazy week.  Not the best combination…my poor family!


1797621_10203504572549557_9032873318178334408_nWe racked up $825 in unexpected car repair costs this weekend.  And I had a negative reaction to chocolate (it was the food I was allowed to add back in this last week).  And I had to rip out a section of carpet from my room, and cannot afford to replace it.  But then yesterday I woke up to the news that a friend had been in a car accident and her only son, a precious little 1-year old, had not made it.  Her husband passed away later that evening.



I’m heartbroken.  I’m sick to my stomach.  I’m stressed.  I’m mad at myself for even worrying about the smaller stuff, like the car and the chocolate.  But, I still have a family to care for, meals to cook, work to attend, bills to pay.  So, here I am, menu planning with food from our pantry only…because, well, we’re in money-saving mode.



(There is a GoFundMe page set up – since the only pain any of us can help alleviate right now is the financial burden.  You can find it here.)


And since life must go on, as it always does, here is the menu plan for the week:



  • Whole wheat toast
  • Cereal (chex and cheerios)
  • Waffles
  • Fresh fruit

IMG_20140826_192609Lunches (combinations of any of these items):

  • Brown rice with garden salsa and leftover chicken
  • Salad
  • Whole wheat bread
  • String cheese
  • Fresh veggies (carrots, garden tomatoes, garden cucumbers)
  • Fresh fruit (pineapple, apples, oranges)


  • Monday – Steak and Potato Stew
  • Tuesday – Leftover Teriyaki Chicken, brown rice, lettuce salad
  • Wednesday – Baked Potato Bar
  • Thursday – Crockpot Turkey Chili
  • Friday – Leftover Night
  • Saturday – Tacos and Quesadillas
  • Sunday – Dinner at my mom’s


The goals for this week…really, it’s more of a “to-do” list than a goal list:

  1. Wednesday take Buddy Boy to the dentist to get his work done.
  2. Wednesday take Munchkin to her Parent-Teacher conference.
  3. Wednesday take Munchkin to her gymnastics.
  4. Thursday take Buddy Boy to his Parent-Teacher conference.
  5. Thursday go to my doctor appointment.
  6. Saturday Buddy Boy’s baseball game.
  7. Wednesday and Saturday pick the apples from our tree; can and preserve applesauce.



I hope you all have a happy and productive week.  And please, take the time to hug your family a little tighter, and to love them a little better.  Life can change forever in the blink of an eye.


Linked up at OrgJunkie.


Menu Monday and Weekly Goals – Sept 8

mpm-1Another week, another menu.  I’m doing my best to eat out of the pantry this month, as I’m trying to take advantage of the case lot sales and food storage deals available during the month of September.  The menu this week will be based on that.



  • Freezer waffles (I’m SO glad I made a big batch of these!)
  • Cereal
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples
  • Fresh Fruit


Lunches (always served with one or more of the items below):medium

  • Peanut butter and grape jam sandwiches
  • Carrots, Apple slices, Broccoli, Grapes, Apples
  • Pretzels, Granola Bars, or Crackers
  • String Cheese
  • Greens Chews
  • Lettuce Salad with Beans, Fish, or Chicken

fish fingers 2Dinners:

Monday – Tacos night (Turkey taco meat, lettuce, garden salsa, homemade refried beans, etc)

Tuesday – Paleo Fish Fingers, Lettuce Salad

Wednesday – Chicken and Rice Soup

Thursday – Leftover night

Friday – Quinoa and Bell Pepper Salad, Steak

Saturday – Neighborhood Party – we’ll eat whatever is there. :)

Sunday – To be Determined


And now, time to see how I did on my goals for last week:

  • Can and preserve grape juice (we harvested 47 lbs of grapes last night) – DONE!
  • Can and preserve grape jelly – DONE!
  • Can and preserve peaches (my mom harvested and shared 50 lbs of peaches) – DONE!
  • Can and preserve more salsa – DONE!
  • Finish up The Identical Giveaway – DONE!
  • Plan and carry out Activity Days – DONE!

I can’t believe it; I got EVERYTHING on the list done!  My husband also canned and preserved 6 pints of spaghetti sauce.  Makes me feel motivated to try and accomplish some more awesome stuff this week:

  • Can and preserve peach syrup (yep, my mom’s last and final tree’s peaches were given to me over the weekend!)
  • Create a menu plan for the rest of September, based on what we have in the pantry.
  • Take Buddy Boy in for some dental work.
  • Go into work early 4x this week (making up for the time I’ll be gone at the dentist)
  • Declutter and clean out bedroom dressers.

Have a great week!


We’re linked up at OrgJunkie. :)

Menu Monday and Weekly Goals

Hello, hello!


BoxcarChildren_400x400v2This last week was a good one.  I am officially allowed to workout again, as long as I don’t push too hard!  Yay!  I can feel an improvement and boost in energy, and I can tell my treatment plan is working.  I also had the chance to review a cute kids’ movie and am hosting a giveaway for a copy of the DVD.  Yes, a good week!


Holy cow, it’s the last week of summer break.  Time to get organized for back to school and back to work!  I’m sad for the break to end, but I feel partially content as well, knowing that it’ll be good for the kids, especially Buddy Boy, to be back on a more specific schedule again.  I’m hoping to get a lot done this week, but I also want to have some FUN too!  Hopefully I can find a good balance that’ll keep the kids and me happy.


Here’s the menu plan for the week:


Taco-Bowls__Monday – Baked Potato Bar

Tuesday – Del Taco (we’re running from hair appointments to back to school nights, so we’ll take advantage of Taco Tuesday!)

Wednesday –  Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Thursday – Breakfast (waffles, fruit salad, etc)

Friday – Leftover Night

SaturdayHomemade Taco Bowls

Sunday – Family Dinner at my Mom’s



Goals for the Week:

  • Take car load of stuff to local thrift store.
  • Do a freezer cooking session.
  • Buy stuff for and put together gift baskets for some awesome volunteers at Resolution Horse.
  • Take Munchkin to get her hair done.
  • Take kids to Back to School Night.
  • Back to school shopping trip with Aunt Linda.
  • 2 Horseback riding sessions; 1 gymnastics class.
  • Harvest and juice grapes.


Have a great week!  We’re linked up at OrgJunkie. :)






Back to School on a Budget

Who is ready for back to school?

Ugh.  Not me.  I am sad beyond sad that we only have 5 weeks left of summer break.  We’re more than halfway there!  There is one thing my family loves about going back to school (well, 2 things, actually).  1, it’s fun to see friends again and good for all of us to get back on a schedule.  2, we get to go back-to-school shopping! 

If you’re like me, you’ve got a very specific budget.  We are being extra frugal this year, and a lot of our back-to-school excursions will be to yard sales and thrift stores.  The kids like having new stuff too, though (who doesn’t?) and so I’ve been browsin’ the web, looking for some fun, frugal stuff:

Personal Creations – Personalized Boys Backpack – Back to School Gifts

Personal Creations - Personalized Boys Backpack - Back to School Gifts

I found these personalized backpacks at Personal Creations, and I fell in love!  Isn’t that the cutest idea? At Buddy Boy’s school, we have to write his name on everything anyway – what a great way to do it!  I kinda want to personalize something for ME now.


Personal Creations – Personalized Boys Backpack – Back to School Gifts – $22.49, 7.99 shipping – Available at Personal Creations

The Children’s Place – Boys Sporty Matchables Tee – Blue T-Shirt – The Children’s Place

The Children's Place - Boys Sporty Matchables Tee - Blue T-Shirt - The Children's Place

When I saw this boys T-shirt for only $2.99 ($2.99!!) I was thrilled.  I love the caption on this particular one.  I wonder if Buddy Boy will take it to heart?  One can hope, right? The Children’s Place has a lot of great deals available, so be sure to check them out for your back to school clothing needs!


The Children’s Place – Boys Sporty Matchables Tee – Blue T-Shirt – The Children’s Place – $2.99, 5.00 shipping – Available at Children’s Place

Texas Instruments – TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator (8 Lines – 16 Characters – Battery Powered – Black)

Texas Instruments - TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator (8 Lines - 16 Characters - Battery Powered - Black)

My kids aren’t old enough yet to need one of these fancy schmancy calculators, and I dread the time when they do.  Holy cow, there are so many options out there!  Texas Instruments is a known leader in the calculator biz, and I remember using mine in high school…though I’m definitely happy I’m done with it!  If you’ve gotta buy it, you might as well get a deal, right? 


Texas Instruments – TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator (8 Lines – 16 Characters – Battery Powered – Black) – $112.12, Free shipping – Available at A Matter of Fax

(13 reviews)

Asus – Transformer Book T100 Gray Tablet PC (1.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3740, 2 GB DDR3, 64 GB SSD, Windows 8.1, LED Backlight)

Asus - Transformer Book T100 Gray Tablet PC (1.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3740, 2 GB DDR3, 64 GB SSD, Windows 8.1, LED Backlight)

This tablet PC is perfect – plenty of storage space, small and mobile, making it easy for your teen to do homework.  Man, I wish I’d had one of these when I was in high school.  I didn’t even have a big, bulky computer.  Yes, I’m that old. :)


Asus – Transformer Book T100 Gray Tablet PC (1.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3740, 2 GB DDR3, 64 GB SSD, Windows 8.1, LED Backlight) – $359.99, Free shipping – Available at B&H Photo-Video

Sistema – Sistema 50 oz. Slimline Quaddie Lunchbox 1.5 ltr.Assorted, 9″ X 6-1/2″ X 3-1/2″ H

Sistema - Sistema 50 oz. Slimline Quaddie Lunchbox 1.5 ltr.Assorted, 9

While not the standard lunchbox, I have to say that I think I prefer this style.  See the divided compartments?  What a great way to keep your wet grapes separate from your sandwich, without having to use a plastic baggy that will be thrown away!  Oh my gosh, I’m in love with this product.  Thank you, Container Store!  (One day I’m going to go on a big ole’ shopping spree to this place, I’m telling you.)


Sistema – Sistema 50 oz. Slimline Quaddie Lunchbox 1.5 ltr.Assorted, 9″ X 6-1/2″ X 3-1/2″ H – $9.99, 8.95 shipping – Available at The Container Store

Elmers Products – Products, Inc. Glues and Adhesives Elmer’s Glue Sticks, .24 oz., Purple Application

Elmers Products - Products, Inc. Glues and Adhesives Elmer's Glue Sticks, .24 oz., Purple Application

Let’s just face it.  You’re gonna go through glue sticks like crazy, so save yourself the trouble and buy them all NOW.  Or, you know, do what I did last year and buy a few, and then halfway through the year listen to your kids cry because they have a project due TOMORROW that they forgot to tell you about and they need glue sticks and you’re all out.  You know, either way will work. 


Elmers Products – Products, Inc. Glues and Adhesives Elmer’s Glue Sticks, .24 oz., Purple Application – $11.47 (27% off), 5.69 shipping – Available at

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links provided by Postpresso.

Menu Monday and Weekly Goals – 06/23

This last week I tried a new recipe for Kalua Pork, and it was a hit!  I love how simple it was to make, and it’s a recipe we’ll definitely make again in the future.  The leftovers are already completely gone as well. :)  Another success was the Chicken and Dumplings.  I changed the recipe, so I’ll be sure to post my updates to it later this week.


I’m keeping the meal plan simple, as usual.  I am planning to keep track of the exact cost of each meal too, so I can rank my meals by cost and make more meal plans based on that knowledge.  We’ll see if I actually do it!  In the meantime, here’s the plan:


Scrambled eggs with gluten free toast
Oatmeal with apples and brown sugar
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake (with added protein powder)

2014-04-29 08.32.56Lunches:




Monday – Tacos
Tuesday – Ribbon Sandwiches (with gluten free bread), peaches
Wednesday – Chicken Fajitas, rice
Thursday – Sweet and Spicy Salmon, quinoa salad
Friday – Leftover night
Saturday – Grilled chicken, potatoes on the grill, fruit smoothies
Sunday – Dinner at my mom’s

As for goals, I’m happy to report that I was able to get the painting in the bathroom completed.  Who cares if I finished at 10pm the last night of the week?  It got finished, and I’m counting it!  This week I’m hoping to be a little more ambitious, although not by a ton (Still ill and don’t dare push it):

  • Plan and buy stuff for Activity Days.

  • Post Chicken and Dumpling soup recipe.

  • Get trim put up in the bathroom.

  • Continue Summer Challenge.

  • Post book review, and exercise video reviews.

  • Start planning a freezer cooking day.

I hope your week is a good one!

*Linked up at OrgJunkie .  Happy Monday!

Menu Monday and Weekly Goals June 9

FINALLY.  School is out and summer break is here!  We’re gonna be doing our best to live it up, folks, because summer flies by way too fast, and we’ve got to fit in enough fun to last until next year, right?

We started our summer break off by eating frozen yogurt.  Didn’t take me long to justify a sweet treat!  Yesterday we went to Costco to get some food for an upcoming mini-vacation, and I found way too much food.  Costco’s gluten free food selection is great!  Breads, snacks…I even found a premade pizza crust pack.  I told my family we needed to stop right then and there and say a prayer of thanks, but my husband laughed at me.  I guess he just doesn’t get it. :)


Anyway, we’re going for laid back, fast and fun this week on the menu.  Here’s what we’re planning:

Monday – BBQ
Tuesday – Cobb Salad
Wednesday – Out to eat
Thursday – Leftover night
Friday – Homemade pizza
Saturday – Baked potato bar
Sunday – Taco night

Goals…here’s how I did last week:

  • Get blood results back from doctor; make a game plan based on what they say. – Test results back, with no answers…ugh!  They told me I’m anemic – yeah, because I can’t eat anything!

  • Do indexing of at least 25 names. – Oops, completely forgot about that until this minute.

  • Survive.  Seriously.  It’s my last week at work until the fall, and I’ve been so sick.  I’ll be proud of myself for surviving!! – Yes, yes I did! :D


And the goals for this week?  Here they are:

  • Get everything ready for the mini-vacay.

  • Start re-painting the bathroom.

  • Celebrate the hubby’s birthday!

  • Finish the summer schedule.  So far we’ve got Tuesdays = Grandma’s house, Wednesdays = Horseback riding and gymnastics, and Thursdays = “Field Trip Day”.

Everyone have a great week!  If you are in need of more menu ideas, head on over to OrgJunkie, where I’m linked with hundreds of others!