Thursday, May 13, 2010

Creatively Constipated

This is what I look like when I try to make art. I've had this problem for several months now and I can't seem to shake it.  I have a lot of ideas rolling through my head but when I sit down they roll right out.  I can't knit, I can't make stuff, I even struggle doodling. 

Here's the thing, I know I'm no great artist but being creative is a big way that I connect to God, release emotions, and really get to know myself.  So when I'm creatively constipated it's really bad.  I mean really, really bad. 

I did start a project last night and plan on working on it a little today.  I have no end result in mind, I just needed to do something....anything.  I hope to post a completed piece soon, but until that time I would appreciate your prayers, and if you see my muse can you send her home?  Tell her I have chocolate. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

By Popular Demand...This weeks menu!

I've had several people express interest in how I do my meal planning so I thought I would share how our family does it.

This all started because we were spending a ridiculous amount of money eating out.  I'm talking 3-4 times per week! Everything was a rush and we weren't enjoying the food or our time together.  So we decided to eat at home more.  As a busy officer I know that, realistically, I cannot cook meals from scratch seven days a week, so I came up with my master plan; I cook at least 3, sometimes 4, meals from scratch each week.  For the rest of the week we eat leftovers, have FFY night (Fend For Yourself), or Rob will cook.  This has worked extremely well for our family for about 3 years now, but it does take a bit of planning. 

I usually sit down with my planner Sunday evening and see what the week ahead looks like.  Monday's are crazy busy so Rob usually will bring in leftovers to the Corps or he'll make something.  (I really have a great husband!) We usually have dinner guests over a couple of times a week, so I know that I need to plan for a couple of larger meals.  I also usually plan one homemade dessert during the week, usually when we have guests. 

It's really important to know what you have on hand.  I usually keep my pantry pretty well stocked and have recently started putting all of my dry goods in wide-mouth canning jars. I can see what I have and how much and it keeps my cupboards nice and tidy. 

I actually made a reusuable shopping list.  I printed out the different categories that I normally shop for, then I laminated it with thick plastic.  I just use a wet-erase marker to make my list and then when I'm done I just wipe it off.  I'm actually going to revise it soon and also make one for meal planning. 

Since we've really started making an effort toward eating healthy all of this menu planning stuff has made it super easy. 

Here's the Menu for this week:

  • Steaks on the grill
  • Baby Reds with Roasted Garlic (Pioneer Woman Recipe)
  • Brussel Sprout Sesame saute (Clean Food Recipe)
  • Pineapple Upside Down Cake
  • Pasta with Tomato Blue Cheese Sauce (Pioneer Woman Recipe)
  • Garlic Bread
  • Salad with homemade salad dressing (not sure what kind yet)
  • Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies ( I have a LOT of bananas to use up! Heck if you're interested I may even send you some.)
  • Honey Mustard Chicken
  • Garlic Mashed Potaoes
  • Roasted Asparagus
Friday-Sunday, I am at Women's Camp so the boys are on they're own!

Hope someone finds this helpful.