Friday, September 28, 2012

Lunch Box Menu Plan

If you are anything like me, I tend to be fairly indecisive when it comes to last minute meals.....I always say to Phil....just tell me what to cook and I will make it.....I just don't know what to cook!!! But I discovered how to counteract my indecisiveness with a bi-weekly meal plan. Problem solved. Then came school lunches. Gulp. Now I have to create a take-away lunch every day, consisting of all 4 food groups (there's 4 right??) but omitting all food items containing nuts (PEANUT BUTTER!!!)? Since we have zero extra time in the morning for me to be doddling around trying to make Kaitlyn's lunch, I decided I needed a plan.....
So, I asked Phil to create a lunch box meal plan template for me to use (I borrowed the idea from a blog that I came across). It shows two weeks at a time, and has spaces to write the day, 2 snacks and the lunch menu for each day. LOVE IT!! .......Oh the perks of being married to a former Graphic Designer.......So, now I sit down once every two weeks, and plan out what I am going to send with Kaitlyn each day, and I can make a grocery list if I need certain lunch items.
So, after the kids are tucked in, dinner is cleaned up and the house has been tidied, I head to the kitchen to put together the lunch that I planned ahead of time, no thinking involved, just that's my  'post-hectic day' kind of lunch making!

ps. Click on the 'lunch box meal plan template' words for a PDF link to print one for yourself!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homemade Fruit Roll-ups

Now that Kaitlyn is in school, I have been researching some healthy snack ideas for Kaitlyn to take with her each day.  There are a large variety of snacks available in the stores......but most are super unhealthy and overpriced, so I thought that I would choose some store bought snacks that appealed to the kids (and us!) and try to find healthier, homemade and cheaper alternatives. If you have any homemade, yummy snack recipes.....please share with me!! :)

Adventures in the Kitchen # 7: Homemade Fruit Roll-ups
From this......

To this.....very simple, easy to follow recipe.

There are a bunch of steps involved with this recipe (don't be's super easy) and pictures will help you understand what to do, so go check out this amazingly easy, healthy and cheap recipe here.

** My Kids gobbled this snack up and wanted more and more! With no preservatives, artificial dyes or colors.....this treat is a perfect choice for a snack on the go. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rush, Rush, Rush.....

I feel like I am moving at a 'fast forward' kind of pace these days....with school starting and french lessons resuming for us (brief hiatus as we switched instructors) is non-stop running around til my head hits the pillow. Yipes. I feel like I am tired all the time.....sleeping at the dinner table is completely possible for know, those kids who fall asleep in their spaghetti? Yup....that could very well be me one of these days.....perhaps I am doing too much? not getting enough sleep? low in iron? I think a combo of all of the above might be the reason for my all-day fatigue.....and NO....and I am not pregnant! :)
Sleeping in is not in my vocabulary anymore.....
So here it is....walk a day in my shoes and see if you feel like going to bed after reading this......although part of me thinks this is just what being a mom is??.....

6:30am - Alarm goes off
6:45am - Roll out of bed (slowly), get dressed etc
7:00am - Kids wake up, get dressed, hair etc
7:15 - Breakfast, lunch prep, backpack prep
7:50 - teeth brushed, kids faces washed, shoes on
8:00 - in the car, tea in hand, reversing out of the driveway
8:25 - Arrive at Kaitlyn's school, take her to her class
8:35 - Drive to Lily's babysitters house
8:45 - Arrive at Lily's babysitters house, drop her off
8:50 - Drive to French class
9:15 - Arrive at french class, water bottle and snacks in hand
11:40 - Leave to pick up Lily
Noon - Pick up Lily and head for home
12:30 - Arrive home, make lunch, perhaps sit down
1:00 - Lily has quiet time, Phil does work/plays with Lily, I grocery shop, quiet time for me, errands, dinner prep, exercise  and do homeschooling with Lily
3:00 - Drive to Kaitlyn's school to pick her up
4:00 - Arrive back home, unpack school lunch, other dinner prep
Between 5:00  and 5:30 - Eat Dinner
5:45 - Clean up dinner, tidy house
6:00 - Shower the kids (3x/week)
6:15 - Games outside (kids love jumping over a flag, relay races, soccer etc)
6:45 - Brush teeth, jammies, read bible story, 2 books, pray, sing, tickle
7:15 - Lights out
7:16 - I sit down and do nothing....finally.
8:00 - Exercise (if I haven't already that day), shower
9:00 - French Homework
9:45 - School Lunch prep
10:00 - Get ready for bed
10:30 - Lights out, hopefully dreaming at this point

I am exhausted just typing this day out.....the days just fly Kaitlyn said today...."Mom, the days are just so short!"......because she is at school all day long, her time here at home playing and interacting with us is so short. Weekends are definitely a time to cherish....what's on the agenda for this "fin de semaine"?.....well.....I think we are going to ride the ferry over to the Island and do some apple picking.....and of course make lots of yummy things with our apples.....I can smell the apple cinnamon smell already.....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Date your Kids

Last thursday, Kaitlyn and I went on a date. I love planning what we are going to do and where we are going to go......these are some of the requirements when I am searching for a potential date:
1. Fun
2. Inexpensive (we splurge occasionally)
3. Lots of opportunity to chat

Busy painting a rainbow heart

The Crackpot Cafe seemed like the perfect choice for our is a cute little cafe and pottery studio where you can select a piece of pottery to paint and spend an hour or so creating your masterpiece, while sipping some hot drinks and munching some sweet snacks. Kaitlyn chose to paint a mug with a spoon and I painted a "special day" plate. I must admit that this was a tad on the expensive side, but pottery is always pricey (unless you make it yourself).....but we had a great time painting, creating, eating and chatting. Kaitlyn painted a pretty rainbow heart on her mug and went to town painting the inside of her mug with various colors.  The cool thing is whenever she uses her mug (no matter what it ends up looking like), she will remember our time together.
Girl time
When we were done, we left our pieces with them to glaze and fire and will return in a week to bring our Masterpieces home. We can't wait! Afterwards we hit up Kaitlyn's first choice of a restaurant (much to my chagrin.....Mcdonalds or "Uncle Donalds" as Lily calls it). We split a happy meal and then headed home to share our day with Phil and Lily.
Looking forward to the next one.....usually once a month for each child with each parent. Lily and Phil went on a date that afternoon as well. The kids look forward to it and so do we. Little things go a long way to let our kids know how much we love to spend time with them and how special they are to us. It's not about buying things, or spending a lot of's about putting your list of "to do's" aside and spending undivided time with your child........doesn't even have to be anything out of the ordinary.....even going to the park but just the two of you, and intentionally pursuing their hearts in conversation.....and calling it a date (because that lets them know it is a special occasion and they get reeeeaaalllyyy excited about that!). Happy Dating!
I'm no artist....but this was fun!