Meal Planning Pt 1 – Lunch Boxes

Another new organizational, Mom thing I’m getting into – meal planning! Instead of just ordering pizza when I get hungry, I’m going to start actually planning out my meals for the month, have the ingredients on hand, etc. The more I research this (Pinterest, A.K.A The SAHM Manual) I realize how involved this can really be. So to start it off, I’m planning Lucas’s lunches for the week.

I prefer to pack his lunch than have him buy. Mostly because it is $10/week for school lunch (although I haven’t done the math to see how much my at home lunches cost, the general idea is that it is usually cheaper to make than to buy – that is for advanced meal planners and I’m a beginner). I also like that I can see what he eats for lunch because I can check the food containers.

I started off pretty much alternating peanut butter sandwiches with spinach salad, but I know that will get old fast. So I spent hours browsing lunch ideas on Pinterest (this one was a big help 40 Weeks of Nut-Free Lunches), made a long ass list of ideas to draw from, and created a .pdf page to laminate for my Home Planner to plan out the week’s meals.

Here is the printable I made. I kept the design simple because once you write in all the food items, you don’t want there to be too much to look at on the page. Lunchbox Planner

And here is my first lunch for Monday morning:

2014-08-18 00.11.07 apple, baby carrots w/ light ranch, rice cakes (not pictured), hard boiled eggs* on fresh baby spinach, string cheese, and a good2grow with Spiderman top.


*the eggs…”how to boil an egg”…yes, I had to Google that tonight, because I didn’t know how to make them. Squeee, I totally got it right. They weren’t neon yellow like they appear in this picture. I also learned how to easily remove the shell with a spoon.




Per Lauren’s request, week 1 of planned lunches:
Mon- see first post
Tues- awesome ham rollups, carrots & ranch (that he didn’t eat the prev day), pineapple, cheese stick, water bottle
Weds- school lunch
Thurs- loaded grilled cheese sandwich (grilled cheese with ham, spinach, and avocado), lima beans- very well cooked 😉 , strawberries and blueberries, water bottle
Fri- fried chicken salad in a pita pocket (fried chicken nuggets leftover from CFA, baby spinach, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, HM dressing), apple, cucumber slices, fruit cup (from CFA), good2grow, school ice cream day


Smiley360 has a new site

Smiley has updated their website to a new dashboard format that I’m really liking. If you are a Smiley user, go check out the new site. If you aren’t, go think about signing up for free stuff.

Oh yeah, and I get 1 point for each person that clicks that link.


1st Day of Kindergarten!


He says it was great!

From my Facebook Sunday night:
At bedtime the night before, Lucas brings up for the first time that he is scared of going to school tomorrow because he is scared that the other kids won’t like him or be his friend.

Now I’m totally stressed and worried about him. Not about his fears because I know those aren’t founded at all, but about him being anxious going to school. I too much know where he is coming from and i just wish he had my perspective to know that that particular worry will never happen for him.

I ended up laying in bed with him for an hour talking about school tomorrow and still didn’t feel the issue was resolved but it was too late to do anything about it.


I drove him to school this morning and walked him to class. I could tell he was nervous because we saw Josh in the hall as we were heading in and Lucas would barely talk to him. But then we got to the classroom and when he walked in his friend Isaac from church said, “hey Lucas!” and Lucas ran right over to his seat and started working on the coloring sheet there.

2014-08-04 07.38.43

He definitely is sensitive to what other kids will think of him. Since the end of last year he worried about if his clothes were cool, because some punk kid in his class I suppose would say stuff. I had to constantly tell him that some 5-year-old kid didn’t know what was and wasn’t cool. Well, today he didn’t want me to take his picture in front of the other kids or give him a hug goodbye. Uggghhh how dare he be too old for hugs.

Arianna had gymnastics in the morning, then we both took a nap, and finally it was time for the school bus to bring Lucas home. I was surprised how anxious I was waiting for him to get off the bus. But there he was and he said his day was great!

2014-08-04 10.29.58

On the way to his gymnastics class I asked him all about his day. He told me more than usual, but I still didn’t get much detail. He said recess was short and so was lunch because there were a lot of kids to all eat at once. He said he was good and lay down on his mat and didn’t get up at rest time, but of course he didn’t sleep (and who knows how much he jabbered). They did circle time and read a book and did a chart about how everyone was feeling about being in Kindergarten– happy, sad, scared, excited. He said he picked happy. They went to another class for “technology” where he said they played Starfall on the computers. Landon is in that class with him (yay) but they were busy and they didn’t get to spend any time together. America, a girl in his preschool class last year, is in his class. She told him she had special powers and he asked me if that was real or if she was lying. I said it depends on what she considers to be her ” special powers” but that she was probably pretending.

I asked him if he liked riding the bus home and he said, “no, I loved it!” He said the kids lined up and held hands and walked to all the buses and each kid got on a different bus. None of the kids from his class were on his bus. He said he sat in the front seat. He told me the bus driver asked him which stop was his stop and he told her, “at my house.” When I asked him how he knew when to get off the bus he said he saw his house (the bus stop is in front of our house).


After gymnastics he and I went to Sweet Escapes, the local ice cream shop down the road, and got ice cream for a first day treat. When we got home, Landon and Jillian came over and played in the backyard until dinner time.

Our day was busy and exhausting, but it went well and he now seems to have no qualms about going tomorrow. Yay!

Zombie-Ghosts Problem Solved

So I never liked the idea of cremation. I don’t like the idea of just not existing anywhere anymore. I would have no base for my ghost to haunt. But i hate the idea of my dead body rotting and falling apart. I don’t want to be raised as a zombie to shamble around in rotten bits.

Tonight I learned on Beauty and the Beast that cremation doesn’t immediately burn you to dust. I knew a regular fire cant burn a body…its not hot enough. I just figured cremation had a super-duper heated fire. Buuut turns out cremation uses its super-duper heat “until there are only brittle, calcified bones left, which are then pulverized into “ashes.” ”

My dilemma is solved! I’ll just have them do half the process and bury my bones.

Little Helping Hands

The kitchen wall behind where my kids sit is disgusting. There is splattered food, play-doh, crayon drawings, and who knows what else graffitiing the wall. It is a half-wall topped by a high-top counter (aka misc junk collector) which luckily shadows the mess a bit.

In a rare occurrence of craft project follow through, I’m painting the high-top counter’s wall with chalkboard paint. I got a pint from Lowes and had them color it white. All the colors it comes in were bright or dark and not what I wanted for this project, so they made it bright white and we will see how it works out.

I painted the first coat, set the lid on top of the paint can, and carried the paint brush to the sink for wrapping. My sweet, helpful little girl took the initiative to bring me the paint can as well. *Luckily* it did not spill everywhere despite the lid just balancing on top of the can and not pushed down at all. Unfortunately, the paint around the rim got all over her shirt and it is now ruined. I instantly pulled it off and took it to the sink for washing, but no amount of soap (I also tried vinegar) is getting it all out. Every time they ruin a piece of clothing I immediately think, “Darnit, now I can’t resell this.”


Lucas: Mommy, is anyone coming over today?

Me: No

Lucas: Then why are we cleaning up?


Waiting for the paint to dry, I’m in an accomplished mood. Luckily for Paul, he is gone all day at a Bando seminar. I decided to tackle another project. Our doorbell has been busted for awhile now, and I picked out a lovely pewter colored scrolly looking one to replace the tacky yellowed plastic one the builders used. Having zero electrical experience of even the smallest kind, I decided to replace the doorbell myself. I did manage to get the old one off, but ran into an issue of the new one needing a large hole drilled for it. But that’s okay, I have the interwebs! Oh, I guess it is a good thing I just looked it up instead of just going ahead and doing it, because “Always always, always check for any electricity cables running through the wall before you start drilling. Catching a live cable when drilling is potentially fatal so it’s worth taking the extra time to check.” ….Probably not an issue with the doorbell, but I think I’ll leave this project for Paul to finish and stick to crafts.

BIC Soleil Glow

I’m really lazy, so I use disposable travel razors all the time. A couple of times in the past I have tried having a real razor that you buy replacement blades for, but I never stick with them beyond a single refill. The problem with the refillable razors (pre-Amazon days) was that I had to remember what kind of razor I had when I was at the store. That requires preparation by noting the brand and razor type to put on a list. I know, that sounds really easy, like no big deal. And if they ever lasted into multiple purchases I would probably remember what razor I had and not have to figure it out each time. But I never get that far into owning it because by then I’ve already gone ahead and bought a bag of cheap, disposable razors.

My new Bzz campaign is for the BIC Soleil Glow razors. These seem to me to be a crossover, hybrid type razor. (You can seem my razor expertise coming out here, because I doubt this is a new product…but I’ve never paid any attention to razors before). They are disposable razors, but not the cheapy, harsh kind. They have a curved, easy to hold handle. I think the handle shape makes me less likely to just bash at my leg with the razor like I do with the straight handled razors. I don’t know if it’s ergonomics or perception. They have a rounded outer edge (COMFORT SHIELD head) around the blade that makes it feel softer against the skin. And they come in pretty, girly colors. It has three blades, a protector strip, and a swivel head. My old razor had two blades and a strip.

I don’t know the price value of the razors since I got mine for free through BzzAgent. According to the Target website, the 3 pack goes for $7 ($2.33/razor). More than I paid per razor for the cheapo ones I had before this, but still not expensive so totally something I would buy.


Private Selection Mason Jar Desserts from Kroger

Today’s campaign is about Kroger’s store brand, Private Selection. Specifically their desserts in a jar and their burgers.

The desserts in a jar are these small (single serving) mason jars of different fancy desserts that Kroger is selling in their bakery or prepared foods sections.

No they aren’t healthy, but they taste good and I like that I don’t pig out on a dessert because it is just enough for one.

They come in a bunch of choices. I’ve tried several and liked all the ones I tried. The chocolate types have been my favorite.

The only thing I don’t like about them is the packaging. The glass jars are nice, but I don’t like the tops at all. For one thing, they are not sealed in any way. There is no “tamper proof” packaging. Also, they don’t have a real lid so their reusability is limited. The lid consists of a paper label under a thin piece of clear plastic that sits inside the metal ring. Obviously this little piece of plastic isn’t really reusable and all you have to do to open it is unscrew the metal ring.



We used to get the prepackaged Bubba Burgers. This was our first time trying the Private Selection brand instead. They seemed to have some kind of extra spice to them that made them taste better. Unfortunately they seem to have more crud in them. I sometimes have to pick out tiny pieces of bone or inedible meat bits. They’re also a bit cheaper than the Bubba Burger boxes.


Boring Book Blather

Really I need to join a 12 step program.

My latest neurosis – organising my books. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you give a mouse a cookie…

So I discovered where you can ditch your old books and get something else instead. Ya know…a used bookstore online. Sure you can get $4 used books from Amazon which is great for buying, but not for trying to get rid of your personal library. And does anyone really use ebay anymore since the mass-resellers and bot buyers took over?

Now while I might not be the ideal customer since I reread most my books and like to hold onto them (as I do everything else), I did find about 60 to get rid of. I just signed up a couple of days ago and have already sent out 12.

This exciting development came two months after a complete reorganization of my bookshelves literally and virtually. That was when I discovered i owned 62 books that I’ve never read (not including book sets). It doesn’t seem like 62 when I look at the actual books, but I keep rechecking the Goodreads list and yup, I have bought 62 books that I’ve never even read. I set a goal to drop that number to 40 before I was allowed to purchase any books (excluding new releases of series I’m already vested in). I did decently well getting them down to 50 by either reading them or moving them to the “never gonna read” pile. But now I have 12 book credits for free books on the bookswap…so you guessed it…I’m back to 62 unread books.

In addition to the time I’ve spent calculating and comparing book costs (which involves researching and tracking data in spreadsheets – remember how I said I’m neurotic?), I also started making my own Kindle book files. See, a lot of authors of series write little short extras that they post on their blogs. So they are all floating around in cyberspace. One particularly annoying author posted her short story in separate paragraphs on **12** fan blogs. So yes to read that story you have to follow 12 different links for one short story. Obnoxious. So I taught myself last night how to make ebooks and started gathering up all these loose stories and converting and transferring them to my Kindle. Nice and neat all in one place.



I have some kind of Goodreads addiction. It makes it too easy to pick out new books. I just add and add and add to my growing pile of books to read. Seriously, 153 on my To-Read list, 47 of them I already own and haven’t read! I’m pretty sure heaven is endless, uninterrupted book reading time.

to read pile

not enough time

Dreams Wasted

I fell asleep dreaming about writing a story about a princess. I then dreamed that I was a princess writing a story. She (I) wrote pages of notes…in my dream. Woke up and realized all that writing was wasted. I hate when that happens. (I once wrote a whole page essay in high school to wake up and find the essay gone).

I actually bought a voice-to-text program for these exact situations….when I’ve had a dream I want to remember and have lots of thoughts I’m trying to hold in my head before the details and then the dream itself slip away from my being awake. Ironically, I’ve had such congestion from allergies that my throat is raw and I can barely speak today.