Thursday, November 20, 2014

Meal Planning and an Organized Fridge

Hi friends,

I am by no means an expert or the most organized mom out there but I have been doing a few things that have helped me be more prepared for life. It takes a little bit of planning and organization up front but I find that it’s worth it throughout the week.

My husband and kids are messy. Baby Daddy doesn’t really implement my whole “clean as you go” philosophy but he tries. Recently, we started doing a lot of juicing. We were feeling lazy, lethargic and overall crappy so we deceived to so a little system reboot with juices. Off the bat, I refused ownership and laid it on the husband. He is responsible for researching the recipes, shopping and making the juices. It has been great but chaotic.

I still do most of the cooking, which I love, but I like to have a rough meal plan. Dinner is usually veggies or salad and some type of protein. The kids love rice so there is usually a batch in the rice cooker. I also only plan for 4 days. We have Sunday night dinner at my in-laws and my mother-in-law gives us massive doggie bags. We often have leftovers throughout the week too. My son refuses to eat sandwiches or any type of bread. I prefer that he eats something at school so I cook to be able to have something for lunch. I’m fighting the fussy eating but that’s for another post.

Shopping is done on the weekend with the husband. Sad thing is, if we leave the kids with their grandparents, this feels like a date. I like to wash and prep everything as soon as we get home but that doesn’t always happen. In that case, I do it on Monday. Batch cooking is part of the prep. I cook breakfast foods in batches and this makes mornings run a little smoother. Bacon, sausage or hash browns keep well in the fridge and heat up well in the toaster oven. I also portion out meats and label and freeze. I marinade whatever I’m cooking that week. I grew up in Trinidad and “green seasoning” is a must for meats. I don’t really put it on steak or chops though.

Here’s a snapshot of some stuff I cooked on Monday:

  1. 3 portions chicken- 2 for the freezer and one to be cooked later this week. Of course, it has been “seasoned.”
  2. Middle row- pork chops, cauliflower jalapeno “rice” and longanisa (a Filipino sausage which the kids love).
  3. Bottom row- steamed broccoli, hash browns and bacon.
Here’s a shot of my fridge:
  1. Top shelf extra milk bags (yes milk comes in bags in Canada), condiments
  2. Middle shelf- cooked food, juices (Baby Daddy makes them in the mornings for consumption that day), wine and condiments that don’t fit on the top row.
  3. Bottom shelf- all the veggies and herbs that we need for juicing. I prefer to put them in containers to make the best use of space. Spinach/kale/lettuce and herbs last longer if you put a damn paper towel in the container.
  4. Drawers- fruit
  5. There is also a drawer under that that has eggs, cheese etc.
  6. Not pictured- doors. One has other condiments and my green seasoning. The other has milk, yogurt etc. for the kids.
I’m working on organizing the freezer. That’s another project on the list.

Anyway, this is just a little insight on something that helps me out. I’m sure you resourceful folks have lots of ideas of your own.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Remembrance Day Poppy Craft

Hi friends,

I am not especially crafty but I have been trying to get craftier and come up with projects for Noah. I am always looking for ways to entertain him without a screen and also save my sanity. Remembrance Day is here and with the recent events in Canada’s capital we have been talking about appreciating all that our soldiers and war veterans have done for us. Noah is very excited about pinning poppies on his lapels so I decided to come up with an easy craft for Remembrance Day and so the bouquet of poppies idea was born.

Here is what I used:

  1. Red construction paper
  2. Black construction paper
  3. Tape
  4. Glue
  5. Green pipe cleaners
  6. Scissors
  7. Small jar with rice (to hold the bouquet)


How we did it:
  1. I had a poppy on hand that I used as a template and freehand drew some poppies on the red construction paper. I’m not an artist but I figured imperfect poppies were perfect for us.
  2. Cut out the poppies.
  3. Cut out black circles or shapes for the middle of the poppies.
  4. Glue the black pieces to the middle of the red flowers.
  5. Tape pipe cleaners to the back of the poppies.
  6. Display in a baby food jar that was filled with rice.
Noah is not into arts and crafts but he does enjoy cutting paper and using glue. This project did not take long and it held his attention almost to completion. He wanted to move onto to something else but I managed to get him re-engaged with taping the pipe cleaners to the poppies.

Overall, this was a fun project, with minimal frustration. I’m planning to replicate it with other flowers. Christmas poinsettias perhaps?