New year. New plan. Bam!
So in addition to menus, my New Year ambitions are as follows:
- Energize and invigorate my weekly menu planning by including a Life Plan. What the heck is a Life Plan, you ask? It’s a work in progress, as everything around here is, but for now it incorporates activities with the kiddos, house projects, and my good old meal planning. Now if I could just figure out a way to include my nerd-like marketing/tech obsessions I’d be set!
- Bake two pies a month. Because good crust doesn’t happen without practice. Said pies can be sweet, savory, or some crazy combination of both. So far I’m half way to my January goal after baking a beautiful apple pie this weekend. One day my cell phone photo skills will improve, but today is not that day.
Bear with me as I figure out how the heck to format this thing. So far: Images 1280 x 720, thanks to this handy article. My official “floofy italics” font is Monotype Corsiva, 72 pt. in the above described image size. Secondary font….. maybe Cambria Math, 28 pt? I don’t know. I’m a fan of typography, and really need to put more time into it.
Ok! Here we go!
- So obviously my Life Plan is going to have bullets. I mean, I couldn’t possibly organize my thoughts without them. Mondays we have my step son, Kimathi over for the evening. I pick both boys up from ARTS Us, which is their after school program that I quite literally cannot say enough good things about. I want to re-do their website, newsletter, and basically draft a comprehensive communications plan. AND THEY MIGHT EVEN LET ME.
- Menu: Today is an extra special Monday, because the boy’s Dad is picking them up. Not me. This adds about 35 minutes of extra time to my evening! Wooooooooo! I’m taking advantage by plopping that time into my cooking/prep.
- In addition to our (now usual) Monday night stir fry, I’m making veggie sushi as an appetizer. Yay for veggie sushi! Yay for extra time! Read all about it -with pics- and the amazing Masaharu Morimoto.
- What kind of stir fry you ask? Probably chicken, cabbage, carrots, celery, and pea pods tossed with rice noodles.
- Home: I am finally starting to recover from the death-sickness-I-have-had-since-Christmas, which means of course that my kitchen is a disaster zone. before my head hits the pillow tonight my dishes *will* all be done. Or my head won’t hit the pillow.
- Life: As a mom, I’m increasingly aware of the little “traditions” our boys appreciate/gravitate towards. A big part of this is our conversations around the dinner table. Prepare for more bullets.
- 5 year old Darian LOVES the game “would you rather”, but 9 year old Kimathi is so, so, so over it. We’ve started a new thing they both seem to like- open ended questions. Examples: If you could be any real or imaginary animal, what would you be? What super powers would have helped you with your day today, and why?
- “Finish the story” is one we play *only after* everyone is done eating. Because it is way to exciting. I’m being serious. Person one: One day, after a perfectly normal dinner, something extraordinary happened. Person two: It was that I got a new goldfish, but it was no ordinary goldfish. Person three: It was a dragon not a goldfish and I had to battle it! [Person three in this case is Darian. He ends up battling everything in our stories.]
- I’d love to hear your starters for “table talk”. Most of us aren’t big on small talk, so it helps get us going to have a theme 🙂
- Menu: Keeping it super simple to maximize our play time, and minimize the amount of dishes we create. We’ll have frozen (baked) Fish ‘n Chips with apple slices on the side. Pretty classy, right?
- Life: Darian’s big sis is winding down her visit, so they’re having a Father Daughter date. It’s probably the cutest thing they do. Dinner and a movie for them. I’ll be home with Darian, being super sentimental & trying my best to cherish his “little kid-ness” before it disappears. So far the plan is to build “Lego guys” with his Lego Hero Factory before dinner, then start a new chapter book for bed time.
- Menu: Because my boys are over at their other mom’s house and their weird about saucy stuff, I’m making Enchiladas. Plus cilantro-lime rice, beans, and a chopped salad with this dressing but zero jicama and green onions instead of red onions. I’m so excited. And I just can’t hide it.
- Life: On nights where I’m “without kids”, I’m not really all that “without” them. Yes, they are fed elsewhere, but I pick up Darian at 7:30 to get him home for bedtime. Most weeks, I just end up staying late at the office or going grocery shopping. This week, I’m going to challenge myself to make this meaningful “me time” as a mid-week break. What can I do with 2 hours that is soul nourishing? Well, this week I hope to find out.
- Menu: I already gave it away. We’re having leftovers! I made lasagna this past weekend, and if there’s any left (and there probably will be) then we’re eating it. Plus spinach. Bam! Done! I feel like I’m saying “bam” a lot in this post, but it must be because I’m so excited. Because I am. Bam!
- Life: Every winter, starting in January, my usual Friday family time is taken over by snowboarding/ski club. I *technically* know it’s a good thing, and Kimathi loves it, but in reality I kind of resent it taking my usual kid time away from me. Darian and I make ourselves busy while I try to distract him from the fact that he’s not included yet because he’s too young for their club. This week should be pretty easy because we’re going to a game night/appetizer night at a friend’s house. So! The moral of this (very long) story is that I’ll be prepping some kind of appetizer for our Friday night plans. And I’m going to be mindfully making Fridays a special day for Darian and I to make up for brother time lost. For both of us.
So. That’s it for my Life Plan this week. Bam! Saturday is the first day both boys have their basketball games, one at 10 and one at 11, so I’ve started making my peace with the fact that Saturdays will be busy for the foreseeable future. At some point this weekend I’ll be making a pot roast, because it’s on sale this week and provides excellent leftovers. Sunday I’m leaving as open as possible, because I will likely be completely burnt out by all the Saturday things. I think it will involve soup. And reading. But that’s about it.
Happy 2015 everyone!