Weekend Meal Prep

The weekends for me are always a little crazy. From dishes and laundry to meeting up with family, there never seems to be enough time. This is why I like to spend my evenings after work at home relaxing (not getting ready for the next day). So I have established what I believe to be a pretty good system.

Saturday is for any errands and cleaning that don’t include groceries or laundry.

On Sunday, I spend the morning getting all of the laundry done and piled nice and high on the bed (the dog loves to snuggle in it). Then put together a grocery list for 2 weeks and head out to the store. I will share more on our monthly meal planning and grocery list next week!!!

I have 5 containers (I used recycled Prego jars here, but you can use anything).

In each container, I combine the following (based on what I want in each salad every day so that it doesn’t get boring).

Note: Put dry and heavy ingredients on the bottom so they don’t smash the lettuce.

Options:

  • Spinach
  • Crunchy Lettuce
  • Other Greens
  • Broccoli Bits
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Olives
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Nuts (I am allergic so I don’t even go there)
  • Fruit (Apples, Pears, Blueberries, Strawberries)
  • Bean Sprouts

Then I store my chicken, steak, bacon, meat of choice pre-cooked and cut up in a ziplock bag for right before I am going to eat my salad.

We have a big fridge at work so I can take all 5 jars in on Monday, and not have to worry about bringing lunch all week. So easy!

I don’t put on my protein, avocado, dressing or cheese on until I am eating the salad because it gets slimy.

What are your weekend meal prep tips? What other toppings would you add? Let me know!!

Menu Theme Ideas for Your Next Celebration

I love coming up with new ideas for feeding everyone when we have people over. My favorite is when I can serve food buffet style and make it easy for everyone to put toppings on so that picky eaters can enjoy as well.

Here are a few ides for you that I have come up with:

  • January
    • So many Soups!
    • Meal Prep Party
  • February
    • Brunch / Breakfast
  • March
    • Sushi Night
  • April
    • Desserts, Desserts, Desserts
  • May
    • May’d in a Muffin Pan
    • May-ke your own Pizza
  • June
    • Super Salads
  • July
    • Wine Tasting
    • Grill Off
  • August
    • Fair / Festival Food
  • September
    • Cooked on a Campfire
  • October
    • Crock-Off
  • November
    • Holiday Cookie Exchange
  • December
    • Chili Cook Off

What are your favorite items to serve at parties??

Fears and Hopes for my Son

My biggest fear was how do you go about raising a strong, kind man in a world like today. When even our president makes demeaning comments about women?

This isn’t just about equality and sexism. I believe everyone is different and everyone is equal. I want to tell him to be strong and manly and that be okay. BUT… if he likes dolls and dresses – that’s cool too.

I just don’t know how to explain to him in today’s world that it’s okay to be tough and determined regardless of what you are fighting for without sounding sexist.

FEARS…here are just a few more of mine:

  • He won’t want to be my buddy.
  • I don’t know anything about sports.
  • He will be too strong for me.
  • Breastfeeding. Is it weird because he’s male and I’m a female?
  • He’s going to get someone pregnant. I might not like her. I hope he gets married first. What if she’s a bitch?
  • Circumcision seems really cruel (leave that one up to the hubs.)
  • I hate the word Penis. HATE. It just freaks me out.
  • I will never be able to have nice things because they are all going to get broken.
  • I’m not a good cook and boys eat a lot.
  • He’s going to have friends. Gross friends. They are going to do dumb stuff.
  • All my friends and family have girls. Guess play dates are out.
  • My dad is going to like this kid more than me.
  • My mom is going to be sad she isn’t having a granddaughter.
  • Boys are bigger than girls and I have to push that thing out my…
  • If our second is a girl, he won’t have a brother and I will have failed him.

HOPES…what I want to teach my son:

  • Be Kind. To yourself, to women, to other men, to elderly, to those in need. Just be kind.
  • Be Strong and Be Tough. Your determination will help you get through anything.
  • Be Yourself. If you like sports. Great! If you like music, Great! If you like art, Great!
  • Dress Well. It changes how people perceive you. Wear a belt, wear a tie occasionally, and don’t have holes in your pants and food on your shirt. You have a home, please look like it.
  • Shave & cut Your Hair.  There is NOTHING better than a well-groomed man (or human for that matter) .
  • Wear Cologne. You ever want to get married? Smell like it.

Emergency Kit Checklist

I am not crazy prepared for the apocalypse or zombies, I just like to know that if we needed to leave the house quickly for a few days we could.

This also comes in handy when traveling with children (or my husband).

I have a bag for each person in my trunk along with one shared bag. If I use something from the kit, I make sure to re-stock once a week.

For the Outdoors:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray

For Messes:

  • Beach Towels (one per person, these could be used for a variety of things – spills, warmth if the car breaks down – you name it…)
  • Wet Wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Ziplock Bags

For Hygiene:

  • Clothing for 3 days (and a few extra pairs of undies and socks)
  • 2 Days Worth of Beauty Products / Personal Hygiene Items / Diapers & Wipes

For Safety:

  • Flash Light
  • Mini Tool Kit
  • Jumper Cables
  • Bungee Cords
  • Bandaids
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Emergency Family Plan (where should we meet up if we get separated)
  • Blankets
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Matches & Lighter
  • Binder with copies of all important documents
  • Copies of a few family photos (make sure you have a current one for each family member so you can use them for identification purposes if needed)

For Nutrition:

  • Pet Food for 2 days
  • Food/Snacks that Would Last Two Days (think canned food and granola bars)
  • Water Bottles
  • 2 Days Worth of Medicine / Vitamins
  • Hard Candy for Blood Sugar Emergencies (make sure it won’t melt)

 

What do you keep in your emergency kit?

Back to Work After Baby

Going back to work after having a baby has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I thought that I would be fine – I work from home so how bad could it really be – right?

Here is what I learned.

  • It’s not easy.
  • Allow extra time and practice your morning routine a few times before you have to actually go into work. You don’t want to be late the first day back to work.
  • You don’t get a break. Work. Home. Sleep. Repeat.
  • You have to make sure to take time to step away an give your mind and body a chance to relax.
  • The anxiety is REAL. I am only a floor away so I can’t imagine all the mommas that have to leave their kid for the day but I can hear him when he cries and it kills me. I know he is learning new things and I’m not there to see it. I worry about him constantly.
  • Keep a planner handy. There are so many things that go through your mind and you have to stay focused. This has helped me write down all the things I need to do or handle or think about when I’m done focusing on work.
  • Make sure you have someone to talk to about it. Other mommas get it. Don’t try to act tough – you are human and you have feelings.
  • Coffee is your new best friend.
  • You don’t get to devote your whole life to work anymore. I was the type of person who would do anything to get something done – regardless of the personal sacrifice (time, event, etc.) but having a little one that I have to get home to makes it much harder to keep working late into the night. I have to take a break and I have to be okay with that.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if you can’t work all day and all night – if you don’t you will end up missing out.
  • Your priorities will change and every minute will count. I know I used to spend time during the day organizing files and cleaning things up just to make them look nicer but now I have to let some of that go and force myself to focus on what really matters and making sure I’m on top of the important stuff – if I have spare time then I can revisit dressing stuff up later.
  • If you choose to breastfeed you are allowed to pump and you should be able to find a comfortable location in your office to do so. There are laws – learn them.
  • They are only little once. Use ALL your vacation time.

I’m sure I will have a lot more to add to this as times goes on.

I would love to hear from you – what tips and pointers do you have for moms going back to work after baby?