Organizing Ideas for the Rest of Us

Mild Menu Plan

This week calls for a mild menu plan.  Last week did not go as planned.  I seem to type that sentence a lot around here.   The boys ended up attending a family party on Tuesday while I worked a bit later pushing our menu for that day to Wednesday.  G ended up having a dentist appointment on Thursday in one of those we can get him in tomorrow or 3 months from now scenarios.  I was already scheduled to work so my husband took him and they decided to get Chinese for lunch throwing off that night’s dinner plan.

I’m so grateful that we had frozen pizza instead that night because later I fell victim to a serious stomach bug.  The kind that lasted all night long.  The kind where you wish the 2.5 lb weight loss would last (trust me it doesn’t).  The kind that makes it impossible to look at Pinterest because just looking at the food pictures make you sick.

Saturday was better although I was not ready to cook yet.  Am I the only strange soul that craves McDonald’s chicken nuggets when I’m sick?  It’s weird isn’t it?  I didn’t cook yesterday either and we had Casey’s Pizza for dinner.  I have no plans to carry over our missed meals  to this week.  They don’t belong on this week’s mild menu plan.  Tacos don’t really belong either but I still have to throw something on the plates that they’ll actually eat (and I have Bunco on Tuesday night anyway).     Really my mild menu plan is a mix of mild foods and food that doesn’t require me to do a lot of serious meal preparation.

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MONDAY:  Fish Sticks and Baked Potatoes, Salad

TUESDAY:  Tacos

My family prefers this to homemade (I LIKE my homemade lasagna) so another easy dinner night.

My family prefers this to homemade (I LIKE my homemade lasagna) so another easy dinner night.

WEDNESDAY:  Lasagna, Garlic Bread, and Salad (As much as I want to try one of those skillet lasagna recipes from my Something Different for Dinner board, I’m going easy on myself and buying a box of Stouffer’s frozen lasagna)

THURSDAY:  Rotisserie Chicken Cesar Salad

FRIDAY:  Hamburgers and Hotdogs on the grill

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Clearly, our week is not set up for the healthiest or most inspired of menus around here but I’m pretty sure they’ll survive.  What do you make when you don’t feel like cooking once all the “take-0ut” menu options have been utilized?  For a good variety of healthy and inspiring menu plans, be sure to go check out Menu Plan Monday over at I’m An Organizing Junkie!

 

Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags Left Me A Bit Blue

Since I don’t have a book to review this week (unless the IKEA catalog counts?), I’m going to post a review of the Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags I picked up at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It was right around the time I read Chris Powell’s book and had super stocked the fridge with vegetables.

Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags

Debbie Meyer Green Bags

There are apparently Debbie Meyer Green storage containers in addition to the Debbie Meyer Green Produce bags. The containers are dishwasher safe and I probably would have went with that option had they been available in the store.  On Amazon, they retail for around $20-30 depending on what you would order.  The reviews for the boxes were mixed.  Based on my feelings about the bags, I would probably not order the boxes.  Did the bags work for me?

I think the bags are great in theory but I did not find they worked perfectly and would have rather spent my money elsewhere like on CLEAR Ziploc containers.  In reality, I simply did not like for my fridge to look like this:

What is in all those green bags?

What is in all those green bags?

I know if you are a regular reader, that my fridge looks pretty normal to you.  I just did not like not being able to see what was in the bags.  At least, I can see what I’m wasting with my produce in the regular packaging.

My other issues with the Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags:

  • The produce must be stored dry to get the most benefit.  So you have a choice of washing all your produce and then, DRYING it very well before storing or simply storing the produce the way you brought it home.
  • The bags are washable BUT you are not supposed to use soap.  I found it was simpler to store the produce dry and unwashed but then cleaning the bags presented a problem for me.  Maybe I’m just a Germophobe but if I can’t throw it in the dishwasher or clean it with a little Dawn detergent, it’s not for me.
  • It made our bananas MUSHY and fast.  They did not last longer by sticking them in one of the Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bags.  Quite the opposite although the family did enjoy the banana bread I was forced to bake.
  • My lettuce (salad mix) lasts longer if I put a dry paper towel in the container than it does in a Debbie Meyer Green Produce Bag.
  • It is hard to see what is in the bags (I think they needed to come with some sort of reusable labels) and the bags are in very funky sizes that seemed to range (for me) from too small to much too big.  Goldilocks had a hard time finding bags that were just right for her produce.

Did I like anything about the bags?

Well, they were my favorite color.  The fruit flies had to party elsewhere while I had all our produce shoved in the bags.  Fruit flies or not though, there is just something about a pretty bowl of fruit on the kitchen table.

How do you store your produce?

Back on Track Homemaker Monday

Last week was just one of those weeks.  The kind where a certain song by a rock star who bit the head off bats could have easily been my theme song (Excuse me a minute while I go play some air guitar….Going Off the Rails On A Crazy Train….Ha Ha Ha).  This week it’s time to get back on track although I’ll still probably have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.  I can’t think of a better way to start getting back on track than to link up to Happy Homemaker Monday hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay At Home Mom.

Here’s my weekly plan to get back on track:

Bible Verse of the Week:

Whatever  you do, work at it with all your heart (Colossians 3:23)

Focus of the Week:

Getting back on track with healthy habits.  Time to eat right, keep the house clean (okay, keep it a step above disaster zone), and get us all back to some routines.

Weather:

Normally, this is where I’d whine about not being ready for fall and missing summer.  However, I just read how Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie has already seen snow in September.  Our fall weather doesn’t seem so bad now.  I do think we’re supposed to get a little rain mid-week.

To Do List:

MONDAY:  Make a Menu Plan.  Done!  Go to the Grocery Store.  Go to the Dollar Store (G needs a piece of poster board for a school project).  Catch up on Laundry.  Clean the House.  Pick a Space and spend 15 minutes clearing it out.  Work on my blog.

TUESDAY:  Pick a Space and spend 15 minutes clearing it out.  Go get membership to Community Center.   Spend some time writing and scheduling a few blog posts.  We may have a family event to attend now.

WEDNESDAY:  Pick a Space and spend 15 minutes clearing it out.  Clarify weekend plans with my husband.  He said something about going fishing and I said something about going to see the Monarch Watch Open House.   I also need to make sure to get a friend over here for J at some point this week or weekend.

THURSDAY:  Work all day.

FRIDAY:  Get a Follow Through Friday post published and do the 3 tasks.  Even though I didn’t publish a post last week, I did get some old tasks completed.  I cleaned off this desk, filed way too many papers, and filled up the recycle bin with old and new school papers from the boys.

Currently:

Enjoying the Monday morning silence while thinking about having just one more cup of coffee.

Books and Television:

Sadly, there will not be a what I read last week post because all I managed to find time for was the IKEA catalog.  I do wish I could crawl inside the catalog and live there.   I’m excited to watch TWO episodes of  Master Chef  tonight and a bit embarrassed to admit I watched Utopia last night.  Perhaps the viewers could vote that some of those people not be allowed to return to society.  I will be so glad to return to my regular Sunday night shows of Once Upon A Time and Resurrection next week.

From the Camera:

Remember the sunflower that the beetle attacked?  It did this!

back on track

It ended up with THREE blooms instead!

The sunrise last Wednesday was amazing!

The sunrise last Wednesday was amazing!

I think he learned this look from observing our teenager.

I think he learned this look from observing our teenager.

Happening on the Blog: 

I’m determined to get back on track with my blogging as well!

Accountability Corner: 

I ate horrible things last week.  Delicious sugar filled things but not things that  fit on a Carb Cycle plan where I “choose to lose.”   I actually felt pretty blah this weekend after making such poor choices (and still do today) so I’m determined to get back on track with this area especially.

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What’s happening with your week?

 

Facing the Fall Menu Plan

Even though I’m kicking and screaming that summer is not over yet, our weather is not cooperating and it’s time to make a fall menu plan.  I’m trying to embrace the idea of a fall menu plan by choosing some of our favorite comfort foods.  I may even tackle an apple dessert!  Of course, I’m also trying to clear our freezer of all the odds and ends that are taking up space with their awkward half-packages.  Time to start filling it with new choices more suited to cooler weather.  Would anyone like a freezer pop or two?  A handful of frozen French Fries?  I’ll even cook them for you!

We did a decent job of following the menu plan last week although my husband did change things up a bit by making tacos instead of hamburgers.   The nice thing about hamburgers is that they usually fit just as nicely on a fall menu plan as they would on a spring or summer menu plan.  We may end up having those today (Sunday) though so I’m not going to carry them over to this week’s Fall Menu Plan.

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MONDAY:  Individual Ham Steaks, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad.  My mom’s apple cake for dessert if I stay motivated.

TUESDAY:  (There is a neighborhood meeting I’d like to attend but it’s not a “have-to” kind of thing) Roast in the Crock Pot with potatoes and carrots

WEDNESDAY:  Chicken Strips, French Fries from the one-half dozen quarter and half-full bags of frozen fries in the freezer!

THURSDAY (I’m working):  Egg Rolls and Noodles that I’ll stop by and pick up from the grocery store on the way home from work

FRIDAY:  Chili (The kids will probably have hot dogs but you never know maybe they’ll decide they like chili this time)

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I started this menu yesterday and we did indeed end up having those hamburgers for dinner last night along with some onion rings.   I even managed to make a special heart-shaped onion ring which sort of made up for the Vidalia onions no longer being available in the grocery store.  Apparently, some fruits and vegetables still do have a season.

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I *heart* Onion Rings!

As usual, I’m linking up to Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.  If you need some menu planning ideas or inspiration, go check it out!

Why I Bought White Towels: What I Read Last Week

I went to Target today and bought white towels.  I bought two white bath towels, two hand towels, and a pretty package of white wash cloths that didn’t match exactly.  Um, I am not paying almost $3 for ONE wash cloth.  Who does that?  Do you do that?  I bought a pack of 6 for $4 instead.  However, I digress.  This post is actually about the e-book I read.  Can you believe I managed to keep my hands on my tablet long enough?

I read 31 Days to a Staged Home:  A Step by Step Staging Guide for Preparing your Home to Wow the Market by Leslie Hoyt.   We aren’t selling our house any time soon but I thought it would be fun to read and see if we could stage our home just for the fun of it.

If we were selling our home, I think this book would be an amazing resource.  She gives step by step directions on what to do and how to do it.  I really liked the idea she presented of using a digital camera to take photos of the front of the house to see it from a buyer’s perspective.  As a bit of a visual person, I definitely loved all the before and after photos provided along with the text although sometimes they did present a bit funky in my e-book.  I think that may have had something to do with my device though.  The book definitely left me inspired to remove the clutter from our home (Anyone have a shovel or two I can borrow?) and bring back some finishing touches to our living spaces.

I was still inspired by the book as I helped a friend pack up her kitchen and toured her new beautiful home yesterday which meant I simply had to take some action today!  Since I had a rare free day, I went to Target to casually shop the clearance racks.  I, of course, wanted to tackle the entire house.  However, common sense prevailed and I decided to focus on one room at a time.  The logical choice was our main bathroom since we’d just replaced the shower curtain a few weeks ago.   One of Hoyt’s suggestions for staging a bathroom is to get white towels.  I’m not sure I’d have chosen white under normal circumstances but thanks to my husband there is a white rug in the bathroom now so I knew the white towels would work with the decor.

New White Towels in the Bathroom

New White Towels in the Bathroom

The rug is not visible in the photo because it is in the washing machine.  It was dirty!  Oh my, we have 2 boys and I bought white towels to go with our white rug.   It does make me happy to look in there and see the white towels though.  The room is a work in progress but a step closer to being more of a home than a jumbled mess of wet towels and clothing thanks to the inspiration from the e-book.

By the way, I discovered the author also has a beautiful blog, Goodbye House! Hello Home, filled with great ideas and before and after photos.  I’ll definitely be checking it out for ideas as I try to take our house back from our kids and turn it into a home again.

 

 

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