Friday, September 16, 2011

Organization and preparation are saving my hide!

I've been trying really hard to stay organized and get things ready BEFORE they're needed.  At night I: set coffee, get my lunch/water ready, set out all of our clothes, get Stella's milk/cocoa cup ready, get dinner for the following day prepped, and get all (4 or 5) of our bags packed.  I don't really like spending my evenings that way, but it makes our mornings go so much more smoothly.

Afternoons have proven to be the most challenging time for us.  Jim usually isn't home when the girls and I get home.  All 3 of us are tired, hungry, and often a bit crabby.  Someday when Lu is a bit bigger I envision us all coming home and curling up on the couch together for a bit to unwind before we do anything. For now, I'm tyring to get Stella a snack and a show, Lula bug out of her carseat, possibly fed, and hold/snuggle her while trying to get bags unpacked and dinner started. Lucy usually goes to be between 6-6:30 so that doesn't give us much quality time with her.  Because of this, I've been trying really hard to be good about meal planning and utilizing freezer meals as well as our crockpot.  The week usually looks a little something like this:  Sunday - cook a "real" dinner, weeknights - 2 crockpot dinners, one freezer, one leftover, and one "quick n easy".  It's actually been working out really well.  We'll see how long it takes for us to get completely sick of crockpot dinners!  I warned Jim and apologized, but right now time with my loves is much more important than food.  (then again, I could easily live on cereal for dinner 5 nights a week!)

I'm in the process of making a new cooking binder to organize the dinners that we have most frequently.  I've made a cover sheet divided into the 4 categories I'm using (crockpot/freezer/quick n easy/"cooking") and the recipes are organized in the binder in sections. In addition to making it easier to find a recipe, I'm hoping that the cover sheet will make it easier for me to come up with menus. I always seem to struggle with figuring out what to have for dinner for a week.

New this week, I planned out our next TWO weeks and I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow morning to do the shopping for the next two weeks.  I'm hoping that it will cut out a trip every other weekend and thus scratch one thing from my "to-do" list and increase family time.

I got this from a blog (I originally saw it on Pinterest).  I tweaked it for our house (the picture shown is the original), changing the font and the title.  I put it in a frame an it sits on the kitchen counter.  I write directly on the glass with a dry erase marker and Jim doesn't have to ask me what's for dinner anymore - brilliant!

Now if I could just figure out a way to cut the house cleaning and laundry from our overloaded weekends that would be fabulous!

Happy Friday, I'm headed home to love up on my girlies for a couple of days!

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