It’s the First day of Winter Break! WOO! We’re making cookies and relaxing, but this week will be packed with adventures, including play dates and zoo trips!
I did some cooking (and cleaning) yesterday. I’ve got some tasty treats coming up this week, including Christmas Eve Pizza!
We’ve been trying a lot of new foods lately, thanks to the really great freebies from Social Nature lately too. It’s fun to try new foods.
For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.
I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I have made my own and you can find them for sale here on my Etsy Store.
I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.
Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids. They are also into fruit and bagels for breakfast. The Ancient Grain bagels from Einstein Bros. are the current family favorite. I pick them up on Mondays when a dozen is only $7. I slice them and freeze them to keep them from going bad too quickly.
Lunch: I have a plastic tote in the cupboard full of self-serve snacks. I buy treats and snacks in bulk and fill up snack-sized zip-top bags. I’m back to packing lunches again. However, school lunches are free this year- Little Bit has been buying her lunch and expanding her palate.
Dinner: I’ve got some tasty (and quick) meals planned for this week!
- Monday: Nuggets, fresh fruit, noodles, or cheese toast
- Tuesday: Chicken enchilada casserole
- Wednesday: Roasted Veggie Soup, popovers with butter
- Thursday: breakfast burritos, hashbrowns, fruit salad
- Friday: Christmas Eve Pizza!
- Saturday: Early dinner with my mom (dad is still in the hospital, prayers are welcome)
- Sunday: Leftover Fiesta
Please stay safe you guys!
Starting fresh means different things to different friends. For some, it’s New Years Resolutions to Eat Better, Lose Weight, Get Organized, Spend more time on Self-Care. Whatever Starting Fresh means to you, I’m here to help.
For me, Starting Fresh means grabbing new calendars for the kitchen, kid’s rooms, and my room (I have a bulletin board next to my vanity with a wall calendar so I can review each day while I brush my teeth in the morning). I update the calendars each month with appointments, days off school, birthdays, etc. I usually get free calendars in the mail towards the end of the year and use those. For the kitchen, I get a Holiday a Day calendar and use that- It’s a great way to include silly “national” days into the meal plan or weekend plans. Like National Pizza Day (it’s in February) or National Bake Cookies Day (that was yesterday- we’re celebrating today).
Other Ways I Start Fresh Each Year (and keep it going through the year):
- Inventory my Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry (and donate/share any unwanted still-in-date food). You can buy my inventory sheets here on Etsy.
- Deep Clean/ Organize one area of the house each week. Start small. I start with the front coat closet.
- Clean my car out. If you are a parent, you know. I take a laundry basket and a trash bag down to the car, and once the trash is out, and the stuff that needs to go into the house is in the basket (and back upstairs), I take my car to the carwash and pay $20 to have someone else wash and vacuum the car (and clean the windows inside and out).
- Get rid of stuff that no longer serves you. I like to start in my closet. It’s a great chance to weed out clothes that no longer fit or serve me, and I can donate or share them. I tend to do one area a month. I work on it for 10-20 minutes a few times a week, so it is not a mental burden.
- In the same vein, do a toiletry/beauty/makeup purge. Travel-sized/sample-sized toiletries can be donated to homeless or domestic abuse shelters or local rehab/inpatient centers. Makeup and personal care items do expire (check out this article from Insider for more deets). If it smells weird or has a strange texture- toss it!
- Space out Appointments or other “Adulting” tasks. As someone who had two mental/behavioral health appointments, an IEP Meeting, and a doctor’s appointment last week, I can assure you I was mentally and physically exhausted. As it was the end of the year, provider time was limited, so I didn’t have much of a choice, but going forward, I’m limiting myself to 1-2 “Adulting”/appointments per week. Otherwise, it is overwhelming and everything else, like tasks of daily living, gets pushed aside (shower, what’s that?).
- Spend time Doing Stuff I Like. Yeah, seems weird? Spend a little time doing something that makes you happy. Play a game on your phone for 10 minutes, read, do a craft, work on a project, play Legos with your kids, go for a walk.
A content creator I really like, Rayna Cohen put it simply, ” Allow yourself to enjoy the new energy of the new year.”
My kid’s school sent out a Kindness Calendar for January. I plan on incorporating some of these RAOK throughout January and beyond.
Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you are Starting Fresh for 2022!