August Goals

Thursday, August 6, 2015

It is time for Monthly goals, but can I first ask...How the heck is it August already? I can not believe we are in the second half of summer vacation and before I know it, the kids will be back in school.

Before we talk about this months goals, let's see how I did last month! 

Walk 3 times per week - move to next month
Take quiet time each day- move to next month
Spend only when necessaryü
One on one time with both kidsü

Well, I was slightly successful! Three out of five! But of course, exercise and my quiet time didn't make it to the list. And I have only one reason. Sons of Anarchy. I can't stop watching it. Mike and I start watching and just can't stop every night. Every episode ends in a cliff hanger and we both are like...just one more, OK, just one more. We just need to finish so that I can start getting sleep again! We need a babysitter so we can binge watch for an entire day and just finish all the seasons so I can have my life back ;) Anyway.....

August Goals

Walk 3 times per week and Quiet time each day - Let's try this again! 

Change my Blog Name - In the fall I plan to spend more time working on my blog and would love to take it to the next level, AKA make some consistent money from it! Before I do this though, I want to change the name. If you have ideas, I would love to hear them! 

Back to school prep- Check out this idea a friend shared with me on Facebook. Genius! I will be hitting the dollar store to get the supplies needed to put this system in place along with a few other systems to make going back to school a little smoother! 

Complete my resume - Both kiddos will be in school full time in the fall and I am considering getting a part time job. We are going back and forth about the idea so I want to get my resume completed so that when opportunities come up, I am prepared! 

Enjoy my kids - This is it, last month before they both start school. I am going to enjoy these last few weeks with them! 

That's it for August! I am not thinking about too much this month, because Enjoying the kids, doing fun things with them and preparing for school is most important! 

Linking up my goals with My So Called Chaos
Monthly Goals

Happy Thursday, Friends!!

Back to School Traditions

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I love back to school time, not for my kids going to back to school (although, some days I get excited about that, I can't lie!) but for the school shopping. I love, love, love shopping for school clothes and supplies! I have always been a school supply junkie and it makes no difference that they are not for me, I enjoy it just as much with the kids! So when I saw that today's show and tell with Andrea at Momfessionals was, Back to School traditions, I knew I had to join!!

My kiddos don't go back to school for a month, but we have already started our traditions! My babysitter is heading to college so we lose her towards the end of August, so we started early this year!

Every year I take the kids individually for a day of school shopping! I get a sitter for the other child and we spend a day together shopping until we drop!

Friday I went with Olivia and yesterday I went with Owen! I had such a great time both days! It is a day all about them. We go check out stores they want to go to, we go out to lunch wherever they want to go and we do whatever they want to do! This is such a fun tradition!

Friday, Olivia and I headed out to the mall. We did a little shopping, Justice, Sears (Lands End) and JcPenny. We ate in the food court at the mall. We had a little photo booth fun....

then we headed off to a few more stores outside of the mall and ended the day at Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt!

We had such a fun day! I love to shop with Olivia! I love the one on one time and to see her maturity when she talks about her likes and dislikes, and the conversations we have! One thing that made me sad was that this is probably the last year we shop in the kids section of some of the stores and we bought women's shoes...What?? How is this possible?? 

Yesterday, I took Owen. This was our first official time going for a whole day because he is going to Kindergarten this year. It is a big deal! We had a blast! Owen is so sure of himself and wants what he wants! Our first stop, Lands End in Sears, he had to have a tie! I asked him, when will you wear a tie and he preceded to show me all these shirts he would wear a tie with and you know what? I think he will! He is the trendiest Kindergartner around! 

After Lands End, we went to Children's Place and Old Navy. We had lunch at Linda Bean's boat in the mall. Road the escalator, even though when I said we didn't need anything at that store, he quickly corrected me that it was "our" day and we could do whatever we wanted. So up the escalator and down the escalator we went! He road the carousel and then we had some photo booth fun....

We went to 3 different shoe stores to find the exact shoes he wanted. All black shoes that didn't have ties so he could put them on himself. Finally we found some all black converse that you do not have to tie! He was so excited! 

We ended our day with a frozen yogurt treat and headed home! 

I will do some returns and head out for some staples on my own, but I love having that time with both my kiddos before they head off to school! I get to see what they like, we get lots of time to chat and we get to have some one on one fun together and I cherish every minute of it! 

Here is Olivia's haul...

Here is Owen's haul...

I got both of them thick cozy zip up hooded sweatshirts to use as their fall jackets. Both of my kiddos prefer to throw on a sweatshirt rather than a jacket so these work for them! You can see Olivia's here and Owen's here

After this we relax and enjoy the rest of the summer. We will head out to get supplies once we get the list of needs for each of their classes. Finally our next tradition doesn't happen until the night before school starts, when they get to choose what they want for breakfast and dinner on the first day! This year the kindergartners start a few days after the rest of the school so this will still work, but after this year when they start on the same day, I will have to have one choose dinner the night before and one choose the night of! Gotta make things fair or else I will hear about it! 

Last year's breakfast! 

For lunchboxes this year, I am going to try this idea, click here

And of course, we always have a special treat when they come home on the first day! You can read about last year here

Just for fun, here is the first day of school pictures from last year...

Olivia 3rd Grade

Owen Pre-K

I can't wait to read everyone else's traditions! I love new ideas to make things special for my kiddos! 

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Weigh in Monday...Easy Menu Planning

Monday, August 3, 2015

Well, I slept through my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday. It was another long week and we are all exhausted! I can't say I was sad to have missed the weigh in, not sure how it was going to look, but likely it wouldn't be good.

I am feeling excited for August, because our life finally settles down. Wow, July was busy. Good busy, but still exhausting. Now I am ready to start settling down, get back to a little bit of a routine and get back on track with my Weight Watchers journey!

A friend and I were chatting the other night and she brought up how she firmly believes in the 80/20 rule. If you are on track 80% of the time, you will have success. The problem for me in July was that I was barely following the 50/50 rule. Get. It. Together. Sandy.

Ok, so time to start following my own rules again and today I am going to talk about how I am simplifying meal planning for my family. I have still been meal planning, but very loosely and a lot of nights we would end up doing something else than what I planned. Today I am going to show you how I meal plan when I need it to be easy. This is a meal planning reset for me, but can be used every month of the year!

When I meal plan, you would never know that I have been cooking for almost 20 years. I sit down with my planner and pen and try to come up with 7 meals. You would think after cooking for so long 7 meals would be a piece of cake. Wrong. My mind goes blank! There are also times, I just get in a rut, I don't necessarily want to try new recipes. We are busy, I just want to get dinner on the table. This is when I switch to easy menu planning.

I give each day a meal or a theme and then I plug in meals from there. Right now I am working with the following schedule. 

I make super easy chicken parmesan with breaded cutlets, pasta sauce and mozzarella. Pasta, vegetables or salad on the side. This is the perfect Sunday dinner for us, because it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare everything and everyone loves this meal! 

Monday is going to be a busy day once school starts, so an easy dinner is a must. The sandwich theme gives me the option of BLT's, grilled cheeses or in a pinch Peanut butter and Jelly's! If I want to get creative one week, I can find a recipe for a new fun sandwich, but otherwise, I can keep it simple. Add raw veggies or fruit to the side for a complete meal. 

Taco Tuesday! Family favorite. You can make tacos with ground beef, shredded chicken, shrimp, hard or soft tacos. Lots of variations, but always a taco on Tuesday! 

Mike and I love lots of different sausages, chicken, kielbasa, etc. The kids don't always like them all, so sometimes when we make a spicy chicken sausage, I will throw in hot dogs for them. So Wednesdays, we will make sausage or hot dogs, with beans and raw veggies on the side. 

Thursdays will be a simple chicken or fish on the grill. The meat can be marinated, prepped with a rub or grilled with a sauce added after. Served with rice or potato and grilled veggies on the side. 

Friday is always pizza in our house. Busy Fridays we pick up pizza and other nights we make it. I need to get back into making it every week, because it is just a healthier option and we can all make a pizza that is exactly the way we like it! Pop it in the oven, start a movie and eat while we watch is our Friday tradition! 

Everyone in the house loves cheeseburgers! This doesn't have to be just a beef burger, this could be veggie, turkey, chicken, whatever we feel like that week! Try new toppings each week and have raw veggies or fruit on the side! 

As you can see, even though I am using the same schedule each week, I can vary most of the days so that we can eat something a little different each week, so we don't get bored. This kind of schedule makes it so easy for me to plan and I love it! We will use this plan for a few months and then I will switch up some of the days to fit our needs at the time. For instance, starting in November, we won't use the grill as often and will want some more comfort foods, like soups and chowders. During the school year we will often do a breakfast for dinner night.

I put together a list of as many as I could think of, for you to get started making your simple meal plan! 

I am sure there are lots more, but this is what I came up with to get you started! This works great for my family, I hope you find it helpful for yours! 

Linking up with Mommy Run Fast and I'm an Organizing Junkie, for Meal Planning Monday! 

Happy Monday! 
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