Last week was an incredibly busy week with everything going on, but we made positive progress in the right direction for some of the items on my list. There were a lot of activities and later nights. I am thankful for that the grading part of the school year is done now for all the year end parties, activities, graduations, and other excitement over the next week and half.
I have had a lot of big projects going and have been keeping track of the progress personally, however, I have not been faithful in updating my blog like I used to do. Even though the busy summer days with the kids at home are just around the corner I am going to try and be more consistently with my weekly goals and other postings for you. Here are my goals for this week:
I think it is important to share and encourage each other as we seek to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. I want to live intentionally not just hope all my dreams and goals come true. When I focus on small steps of improvement I am able to see results as I get closer to my goals. Some weeks I get closer to the goals I have in my life and other weeks a take a few steps back (life happens, emergencies occur, people get sick). Once the goals are written down and shared it provides a guideline for what I aim to accomplish this week.
Why Share My Goals?
How did you do this week on your goals? Feel free to share or link to your list of weekly goals.
The picture above is one that I created for my own purposes, however, The “SMART” acronym was originally coined 30 years ago by Peter Drucker in his classic work, Management by Results.
SURPRISE!!! I’M BACK!!! Yes, I am still alive and kicking (in case you were wondering)! 🙂 The past few weeks (umm….months really) it has been a little wild around our house. All good stuff, but a lot of transitions, adjustments, work, school, travel, and everything else. Also, was experiencing some technical difficulties with my blog and my IT person was super busy so I didn’t want to bug the daylights out of him. Now that everything seems to be back up and running smoothly again, it is my desire to get everything back up and moving along for you. A big shout out to those who have commented, emailed, called, texted, and checked in with me to make sure I was still alive during this little blogging siesta. A huge THANK YOU for being patient and hanging in here with me as my family made some adjustments. Will have to share more about what has been going on these past few weeks….lots of good stuff and a very full calendar! It gets easier and quieter as the kids get older, right!?
It is my goal to stay on top of our dinner menu once again. We have found a good rhythm for the most part (now that school is wrapping up for the year, ha). We are finalizing several details regarding our summer schedule, but overall I hope to be available and more up to date in the blogging world.
It is nice to have people who help keep me accountable and organized throughout my week. It is encouraging to know that other Moms have to work through all the balancing fun of family, work, home, and a multitude of other activities that I seem to experience. If you have it all figured out, let me know because I would love to be able to get my ducks in order, have a positively balance life in every area plus a happy family and clean house (at least longer than 5 minutes). If you haven’t reached that level yet, no worries, I am there with you. We can do our best and I am going to give it my best shot to stay on top of everything and organized so here we go!!!! Here is our menu plan for the upcoming week:
Our Weekly Menu Plan
I have a general pattern I try to follow for my weekly Menu Plan (for example Monday we have a beef or pasta entree and so forth). It is my goal, at least in the beginning, to have at least the main dish and one side planned. I will put together the remaining side dishes (veggies / fruits) based on the food items that need to be used up first and compliment the main entree.
Setting a weekly menu plan helps me utilize my time better, thus freeing up extra time to spend with my family. On the days that I am working longer hours I can prep the meal in advance so it will be easier to pull together once I am home. As I go through the menu planning process I will try to share some of our favorite family recipes. If there is a specific recipe you would like please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate (some recipes are a toss together meal and I do not use any set measurements).
As a family of four our life can get busy. What’s for Dinner is our weekly menu planning series and one of the ways to help keep us organized, on schedule, and within budget. Our family typically eats 6 to 7 dinner meals at home a week. We do try to go out to eat at least once a month as a special treat. Breakfasts are eaten at home before work and school, lunches are eaten at work, school, or home, so dinner is our main meal together as a family. Dinner is our time to reconnect, share, and enjoy being together after a busy day. Our weekly menu plan covers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only because the weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) is our time to spend with family and friends. The weekends tend to be more spontaneous and my husband (who is the better cook) likes pitching in therefore we keep the menu open for variety. We use up the leftovers throughout the week for our lunches and on the nights that we are busy or can’t cook.
Photo by Liz
All Brina’s headbands, flowers, decorative hair ornaments organized and in one spot
A few months ago I showed you our Easy DIY Headband Holder. As you can see from the pictures on this post we are still using it. It works very well for our girls. Since they wear more than just headbands I wanted to find a solution that would help organize all the pretty, fluffy, and decorative hair ornaments they have as well.
My qualifications for getting these items organized:
It took me a little longer to find the perfect organizer for these items. Part of the reason it took longer is I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for the decorative hair accessories. I wasn’t in a rush so I just kept an eye out for ideas while in various stores. One day when I was going through CVS the clearance section happened to catch my eye. I paused for a moment and these little blue and black organizers were in the clearance section marked down to $1.* After looking at them and thinking about them I decided to pick them up and see if I could make them work for the kids hair accessories.
It was exactly the type of item I was looking for and at a great price! The organizer fit all the current hair accessories items I wanted to put in it plus had room for some extra ones too. When I am on top of things (which doesn’t always happen) I will put the kids seasonal hair accessories in the extra pockets on the organizer too (ie. Christmas, July 4th, Halloween, etc… hair accessories during that specific season).
The organizer hangs on the back of the closet door where the kids can easily reach it. It goes right under the Easy DIY Headband Holder so everything is available in one spot. The items are visible and easy to reach. It meets all my qualifications for getting the kids hair accessories organized. These have worked very well for our family!
*I tried to find these on the CVS website, but either they do not carry them online or they are not available. You can look in your local store or I am sure there are other stores that carry a similar item. This one on Amazon or something similar might work well too if you are looking for one.
Looking down on the Easy DIY Headband Holder and Hair Accessory Organizer as it is hanging on the closet door
Organized and ready to go!
Swimming at the pool
On a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia we stayed at the Homewood Suites. The girls were begging to go swimming so on the first day we were there we wrapped up early and headed back to the hotel so they could swim. It was in the high 70’s that day, however, they had just filled the pool a couple days before we arrived so the water was freezing cold. Both kids got into the pool, but Brina was done after a few minutes. Karlie stayed in a little longer, although it wasn’t much fun swimming by herself. The entire time we were at the hotel we didn’t see one other person in the pool….I wonder why?!
Since we scrapped our pool time activity we decided to look for some other activities that we could do together that night. We headed back to the room to re-group and figure out what we wanted to do that evening. While the girls got dressed Jake and I made dinner in the hotel room. It was nice having one with a fridge, sink, dishwasher, microwave, and oven so we could eat at the hotel!
Jake found a movie theater nearby where you can get movie tickets for $3 each and they were showing some good kids movies so we decided to check it out. It was only a few miles away inside a open shopping mall and market. We chose to watch the movie Paddington with the girls at the Venture Theater.
It was a cute movie. I seriously cannot remember the last time our family went to the movie theater so this was a special treat for the kids. Usually it is so expensive just to go to the movies so we usually wait until it comes out on video. It was a nice activity for the four of us and only cost $12! The kids enjoyed the movie. Jake and I had a couple good laughs too. Thankful for a fun evening with the family. Sometimes even the best of plans don’t go as expected so it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B.
Ready for the movie to start
Karlie is focused
Our kids typically don’t sleep in very late so one morning after breakfast we spent some time playing games until the place we were going to that day opened. During the evenings after dinner if we had time and everyone wasn’t too tired we would play some card games too. It’s always a good idea to bring card games because you never know when you’ll have a few minutes of down time to relax and have fun.
Karlie relaxing on the couch at the hotel.
Brina setting up the game
It didn’t take them long to crash after a fun filled day in Atlanta!
The “Travel and Vacation” series is an insight into our trips together as a family and ways we relax. Life is short and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to build memories with family and explore of of the most amazing places during our time away. Explore with a good attitude, look for fun, and it will be an awesome trip jammed packed with positive memories. It is refreshing having some time away from the regular routine. Make it a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet new people and learn. You just might see or try something new that takes your breath away!
Making Pickled Green Beans
Our family loves green beans. Fresh garden green beans are so tasty too! We always planted a lot of green beans whenever we had a garden. We typically had several varieties of beans from foot long beans to different types of green beans to purple beans and more.
Whenever we had extra green beans we would look for a variety of ways to store, eat, and enjoy them. I recently came across our Pickled Green Bean recipe. Since it is Spring I thought it would be a good time to share it. These pickled green beans are crunchy and tasty!
Pickled Green Beans Recipe:
1. Locate your jars and sterilize them.
2. Trim both ends off the rinsed fresh green beans. Make sure the green beans fit into your jars if not cut them in half.
3. In a large saucepan put the vinegar, water, and salt. Bring the mixture into a rolling boil over high heat.
4. In each jar place 1 garlic clove, 1 sprig of dill, 1/8 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of Mustard Seeds.
5. Pack the green beans into the jars, standing them up vertically.
6. Ladle boiling mixture into the jars until it is 1/4 inch from the top.
7. Put the lids on the jars and allow the jars and contents to cool to room temperature before placing them into the refrigerator. Let the pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating the pickled green beans.
Makes 6 pint sized jars of Pickled Green Beans.
Green Beans being pickled
Everything added now need to put on the lids!
Jars ready to be stored for later treats!