Organizing Ideas for the Rest of Us

Picky Eater Holiday Problems

Do you have picky eater holiday problems?  If you are a picky eater or live with picky eaters, I know you have picky eater holiday problems that arise each year at all the family dinners.  While I consider myself something of a recovering picky eater (I’m a lot better about actually trying new foods now), my husband and boys are still card-carrying members of the picky eater’s club.


Being a picky eater or living with them during the holidays when dinners are not “normal” can create a few headaches and not just for the picky eaters at the table!  Here are my strategies for coping with making sure everyone gets a little something to eat so they don’t act like lunatics and give me headaches.  These tips are mainly geared to helping kids because as adults we can usually tough it out even when we don’t like a single thing on the table although the tips would certainly work for picky adults as well.

  • Feed them a big breakfast and think PROTEIN, PROTEIN, and MORE PROTEIN.  Of course, you should also be prepared for them to be too excited to actually want to eat the protein-piled breakfast.
  • If dinner is at an obscure time, feed them a normal lunch.  We eat lunch between 11 and 12p.m.   I don’t make my kids wait for a 2p.m. dinner that I know they won’t eat much of anyway.  I feed them lunch.  Again, think protein!
  • If you are taking a dish, offer to make something you know your picky family members will eat.
  • Stash snacks in the car for the ride home.  Guaranteed first two words picky eaters will say after a meal they didn’t eat:  I’m hungry.
  • Be prepared to still fix the picky family members dinner or a heartier snack after the event (especially if it was at an obscure time).  Have something easy (and quick!) on hand to fix for them.

Of course, it is also worth noting that the kids and adults can certainly survive one meal where their plates contain a dinner roll, a piece of ham, and 2 pieces of broccoli followed by dessert.  Most the picky eaters on this side seem to have at least one dessert they will eat.

Are you a picky eater or do you have picky kids?  How do you cope with the holidays where the food is seldom a picky eater’s delight?

Thanksgiving Week Menu Plan

While I didn’t follow the menu plan from last week exactly (does anyone ever actually do that?), we did do a lot better around here.  The temptation to just eat out was great with my husband out-of-town hunting from Wednesday until yesterday but I managed to not do that despite being in desperate need of a grocery store trip.    I did cave and order pizza yesterday but overall, I’m really proud that we ate somewhat decent dinners while I worked all week and had a husband out-of-town.  I even came up with a new menu item on Friday night (with J’s help) that I’m calling “Deconstructed Corn Chowder” meaning we had corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and bacon for dinner.

While I was trying to create meals based on what we had here and avoiding the grocery store, I even managed to clear some items from our pantry, fridge, and freezer.  I’m hoping to do a bit more of the same with our Thanksgiving Week Menu Plan.  I’m also going to have to plan lunches for the second half of the week as the boys will be off school and my brother is doing his dinner later in the day.    Our lunches and dinners may switch places depending on the days.


MONDAY:    Chicken Strips (I have some buttermilk in the fridge that will go bad soon), rice, corn on the cob (freezer), and salad

TUESDAY:  Vegetarian Chili with a side of ham steaks for the carnivores (SIGH)

WEDNESDAY:   Chicken Sausage with Apple and Crunchy Coleslaw  (request from husband for me)  LUNCH:  Grilled Cheese

THURSDAY:  Happy Thanksgiving!  We’ll be feasting at my brother’s house and taking a corn dish (any suggestions??), chocolate pie, and apple pie along with us.  LUNCH:  Frozen Pizza (holiday standard)

FRIDAY:  BBQ brisket sandwiches (we have leftover brisket in the freezer) and French Fries or maybe oven-fried potato chips  LUNCH:  pork chops


What is on your menu plan for this week?  As usual, I’m linking this post up over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie and would like to encourage you to go check it out.  There are a variety of menu plans over there if you are in need of new ideas.




What’s Going On Wednesday

What’s Going On Wednesday was an idea that originated with Andrea from The Distracted Housewife (she’s currently not blogging but hopefully we’ll see her back in the blogging world sometime soon) and Shelly from A Mothers Nook.   The idea is to just share a little of what’s going on in our lives behind the blogs.   This is probably going to be a really random post.

  • I’m still trying to get my blogging “mojo” back.  I typed that sentenced simply because I think mojo is a fun word and apparently one not supported by the WordPress spell-check system.

  • I try not to brag about my boys too much on here BUT….G was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society last night AND J’s art teacher chose his artwork as part of a display in a local arts district that supports our school (only 30 pieces out of 360 were selected).  The plan is to go see his artwork sometime this weekend.

    Don't you like the blurred effect?  Works nicely for the blog at least.

    Don’t you like the blurred effect? Works nicely for the blog at least.

  • I’ve also been taking the boys to school.  I took them in my pajamas yesterday despite at some point in my past saying something like:  “I’m never going to leave my house in my pajamas to take my kids to school.”  AHEM.

  • My latest Netflix addiction is a show called Jericho.  It’s really, really good but I’m concerned that it’s labeled as a “cult tv show” on there.  I’m also watching Once Upon A Time, Resurrection, and Gracepoint on regular television.  Oh, and sometimes Masterchef Junior.

  • I need to get back to reading and doing my book reviews.  The last book I read was The Giver.  I wanted to like it but I didn’t find it as intriguing as the other similar books out there.  My brother-in-law loaned me the first two compilations of  The Walking Dead graphic novels but I’m having trouble getting into them.

  • In case you are wondering, our Siamese cat is still missing.  I’ve been checking Craigslist lost and found daily (I also have my own ad running and reports filed all over the place).  We do still have this little gray thing that keeps us busy with her demands:

    She makes sure we stay busy even at 3a.m.

    She makes sure we stay busy even at 3 a.m.

  • Work is still keeping me very busy (I worked every day last week and am looking at 3 days today included this week) but I still really do love it.

Speaking of work, I need to leave here very soon to get there so this is where I’m stopping today.  What’s going on in your world on this Wednesday?


Menu Plans Must Happen For Me

Menu Plans may not be for everyone.  If you are one of those lucky few who can stop after a full day of activity and throw together a nutritious and balanced meal for your family, you have my respect.  Please share your secret with me!  Menu plans must happen for me.  Otherwise, we our meals look like what happened last week:

Domino’s Pizza on Monday (by the way, I think I ate too much of this in college because I could barely eat my dinner)

Roast (BBQ sandwiches) on Tuesday

Leftover pizza or roast on Wednesday

Chik-Fil-A on Thursday (except for the kid who doesn’t like it and wasn’t hungry until later and ate popcorn for dinner)

I’m not sure anyone ate a proper dinner on Friday (G ate at Sam’s Club with his dad and J and I had Chex Mix)

Pretty sure my menu plan the week of Halloween wasn’t as scary as the non-plan listed.  I know my informal menu plans aren’t always quite that bad but I can feel us slipping and so I need to get back to making proper menu plans.  Of course, this upcoming week is not without a few challenges (I work late on Monday, the boys have school activities on Tuesday, and my husband will be out hunting so not here for dinner several days) but I determined to feed to my family a bit better than last week.   mpm-chalkboard

MONDAY:  Spaghetti

TUESDAY:   Frozen Pizza (lots of school activities)

WEDNESDAY:  Soup with baked potato or grilled cheese


FRIDAY:  Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

The plan this week may not be the healthiest but hopefully it will get us back into a healthier routine and eating out a little less.  Other random items that I plan to fix this week include banana bread and puppy chow (J discovered this on Halloween and I refuse to pay the store price for that stuff so the plan is to make our own).   As usual, I’m linking up over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.  Be sure to go check it out for menu ideas that are a lot better than the one I have listed here!

The Blues

Everyone (it seems…there may be a few exceptions but I do not know them) in this town has the blues.  I suppose if you do not live in the Kansas City area, you may not realize it but the Royals are in the World Series!  The whole town seems to be blue.  Blue bird of happiness blue not exactly the same as having the blues (well, maybe after last night’s game but still it was only the first one of seven and according the Facebook which is of course, doubles as a sports digest, they did lose the first game in 1985 before winning it all).

Perhaps you are thinking that this is the part where I tell you that I’ve been out to “party like it’s 1985″ and that is why I have not been following through on my 31 days of Follow Through Series.  Alas, I wish that were the reason.  Perhaps that could be my excuse for Thursday night and Friday I was busy with family.  However, since then, it’s been a different kind of blues around here.

Friday evening, I opted to go to bed rather than make that second (okay, fourth) attempt to holler for Chase, our Siamese cat, to come inside.  Augflowers14 025 He’s been left out once or twice before and usually turns right up and is ready and willing to go inside after a night out “in the wild.”  Except he did not show up Saturday morning.  Nor did he show up on Sunday.  Or Monday.  Or Tuesday.  And we are still missing him today.  He’s simply gone.  We’ve looked around the neighborhood.  I have ads running on Craigslist and the pet connection place.  I have registered him as missing with the microchip place (I’m so glad I followed through on that one Friday not long ago!).  I have flyers ready to go stick in the doors of all the neighbors in a 2-3 block area and hand out at area vet offices.  


Wondering why I haven’t done some of the above already?  Well, we had family from Oklahoma in town all weekend so we were working around that (life doesn’t stop for cats that have gone exploring…) and then, J woke up with a high fever on Monday.   Then, there was work as well to juggle.  Strange thing to be finding yourself a substitute when you are the substitute but it worked out.  Good thing as a trip to the doctor today confirmed it was Strep throat.  

All my free time has been consumed by searching for a missing cat, dealing with a sick child with a super high fever (I’m good to 103 but 104 is my freak out number), and trying to maintain my work responsibilities. 

I’m going to go ahead and count this as a post in the 31 Days of Follow Through Series because one thing the lost cat did highlight for me is the importance of follow through.  I can’t imagine how much worse I’d feel had I not already updated all the microchip information for him.  I certainly wish I had followed through on getting up that fifth time to see where he was on Friday night. 


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