Monday, April 30, 2018

Menu Masterlist: Pork

OK, my lovely friends- this week's Masterlist is going to be a quick one for two reasons.  One- we just staged, listed and SOLD our house in one week and I am exhausted.  I mean bone weary tired.  (more on that on Friday!) 

And two- we do not eat a lot of pork here, hence the short Masterlist. 

We even gave up pork for about a year when we were eating mostly organic and following a strict eating plan, but to be honest- our family likes ham and bacon and well, we caved.

That being said, we do eat it on a limited basis so here is my small list. 

I would love for you to share with us your favorite pork dish!  Next week we have our odds and ends list- it is my favorite!!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Menu Masterlist: Soup

Welcome back to our Menu Masterlist Series.  So far we have covered Chicken and Beef, so today let's talk soup!

If you don't already know our family, you need to know you will not find a lot of fancy tastes around here.  Simple is the key!  Because of that, our list is pretty short and sweet,

We often go out to eat with various church friends on Sundays, so recently I have begun just fixing a simple soup for dinner Sunday night.  We are usually not as hungry after just eating a big meal and let's be honest, it is the end of a week and mom is tired.

Any leftovers make for a perfect Monday lunch!

Remember to use these lists to get you thinking about your family's favorite meals.  Make your own list or just modify these and then use them to help you better meal plan.  By planning you will save money and save yourself the stress of last minute prep.

If you need an easy meal planning worksheet you can use mine!  And if you have a great soup recipe, pass it on- we would love to see it!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Trading Snow for Cacti

After 26 years in the Air Force, my hero husband has two weeks left in uniform.


Let's take a moment and let that sink in.  OK, I may need more than a moment!

This crazy military wife life is about all I have ever known.  And for sure all my kids have ever known.  It has been challenging many times, but it is what we have done and for the most part we have loved it.  It holds some beautiful memories and we have made the most amazing friends ever.

But that is for another post in a few weeks!  Probably a few posts.

But today I am writing to tell you BIG changes are in our future.  

I already knew BIG changes were coming, but the location- well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Still could probably.  I am still processing!

Bye snow, hello heat.

Dry heat,

And cacti!

And more heat.

And hopefully a swimming pool!

The Pleasants are moving to ARIZONA.

Let's take another moment to let THAT sink in.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would announce that statement.  Never.

But that is where the new job is and well, here we go!  In June.  Yes, this June.

My amazing husband will be working with helicopters once again and has a perpetual grin on his face these days.  It is so fun to see him excited about this new path and all the possibilities it will bring.

So for the moment I am trying not to think about goodbyes to some of the best people and the best church ever, but instead keeping in mind that God has a great plan.

I am excited to see what it is!


Monday, April 16, 2018

Menu Masterlist: Beef

Welcome back!  I hope by now you have started creating your own masterlists and begun meal planning.  Once you get started, I promise it is really not that hard!  In a few weeks we will talk about some tricks of the trade to make planning easy and pain free.

Last week I shared our family's masterlist for chicken meals, so this week we will move on to beef.

You will notice it is considerably shorter.  We like red meat, but honestly just do not eat as much of it.

Once again, save the list on your computer and print it out as an easy reference  You can add any of your old favorites or simply mark off what you would not eat.

If you need a menu planning sheet you can use the one I posted last week which also includes a column for you to make a grocery list off your menu plan.  Trust me, it will make your life simpler!

Get cooking, friends!


Monday, April 9, 2018

Menu Masterlist: Chicken

OK friends, I have showed you several months of menus from our home and now it is time to fly on your own!  I have created a Masterlist for each type of food we eat to help you with planning, as well as a Planning and Shopping Template to help you along.

Keep in mind, these are the foods my family likes.  If there is something you are not as fond of, cross it out and add your own.  No worries!

The point is to have a quick reference to make your life easier!

Instead of racking your brain on what to eat for the week you just go down each list and see what sounds good.

Yes, I do have cookbooks that I sometimes refer to, but I have found that we tend to revert back to old favorites and at this point in my life adding new, fancy things to our table is not my goal.

As I heard recently, we are eating to live, not living to eat.  I would rather concentrate on the people I eat with rather than the food in front of us.

This week we will start with Chicken Dishes, as I know that is pretty staple in most diets.  I do have some chicken dishes that go into the crockpot, but we will post those meals on a separate Masterlist for you in the weeks to come.

If you want to use this list for reference, I would recommend saving the graphic on your computer and then print it off.  If you slip it into a page protector, you can check meals off as you go to ensure you do not get into a rut of cooking the same thing all of the time.  It happens to the best of us!

And to make it all official (so when your small child asks you for the hundredth time in the morning what is for dinner) (just saying!) you can send them to the chart. Here is a menu planning sheet for you.  Write your menu on the left and then any ingredients you will need for that particular meal.  I then fold the sheet in half long ways and head off to the grocery store to shop.  Just make sure said sheet makes it back home or you will be lost as to what you planned on making with all those beautiful ingredients.  (Again, just saying!)

There ya go, friends!  Get Planning and I will see you back next week for our next Menu Masterlist!


Monday, April 2, 2018

April 34 Weeks Of Clean Assignments

There is just something about spring that screams CLEAN!  You know, that whole Spring Cleaning thing.  The good news is that if you have been following 34 Weeks of Clean since we started you are already well on your way.  Yay you!!

The bad news is that if you have been with us from the beginning you may also feel like slowing down.   We start off strong and then start to fizzle.  It happens.

Can I encourage you to keep pushing forward?  You are doing great, and even if you have slacked off there is no time like the present to get back on the bandwagon.

You CAN do this!

One week at a time.

Can I also remind you of a few things?

  • Your space did not get dirty in a day, it will not be clean in a day.  It's ok.
  • The more stuff you own, the more stuff you have to clean and organize.  Choose your battles!
  • Our things do not define us!
  • Surround yourself with only the things that are useful and that you love.
So here we go- your month's schedule, including a week off!  Gasp, I know, can you believe it?  You are almost half way there.
Week 18- Half-Time

I am cheering you on!

What's On My Nightstand in April

Welcome to April!  Where has the time gone?

The three books a month thing is working pretty well for me, so for now I am going to stick to that plan.  Before I show you the three new books I have to read in April, let me make a few comments about the ones I chose for last month.

Rain Reign by Ann Miller- This is a good middle school book, but let me warn you ahead of time it is pretty sad in places.  As a matter of fact, it just really hurt my feelings in more than several places.  The main character is greatly misunderstood because of her high functioning autism, and is eventually deserted by her dad.  I do want Colby to read this one, but pretty sure emotionally he is not ready to handle it yet.

Taming the Lecture Bug by Joey and Carla Link-  Another great book by the Links!  It made me think a lot about some ways I handle parenting with our youngest and how to make a few changes we needed to make.  I recommend this one for sure!

Minimalism for Families by Zoe Kim-  I know you probably think I am crazy with the minimalism thing, but I am here to tell you that once you have walked through 34 Weeks of Clean a few times, you look at your stuff differently!  In a good way!  And while I have not gone crazy and thrown everything away, (which is NOT what minimalism is about) I have started to look at my possessions with a much more discerning eye.  Let's just say we have taken a few more trips to the Good Will and a few consignment shops in the past few weeks.

So this month?  Here you go-

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate-  Continuing on with my middle school reads I found this book while ordering Rain Reign.  If it is another one that makes me cry, I am taking a break from middle school books!  Actually, Riley has a long list of books she wants me to read so I will brave that next month.

The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flag- See?  I can read adult fiction as well!  I read Fried Green Tomatoes YEARS ago and remember liking it, so when I saw this at the grocery store (I know, I know, pitiful place to find a book!) I grabbed it.  I am looking forward to some light hearted material that hopefully does NOT make me cry.

And lastly, because I am gluten for punishment, I am reading another parenting book- Why Can't I Get My Kids to Behave by Joey and Carla Link.   I really enjoyed the last book I read by the Links so I am actually looking forward to this one.  It is no secret that we are raising a strong willed child after three laid back, easy children, so I am always up to learning a few new tricks.

So here we go- let's get reading, friends!  I would love to hear what you are currently reading.