Rambling On About Life, Health, and Change

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It's been a bit over a month since I hopped on here to share what's been going on.  The truth is, life has been kinda hard lately.  It's been tough processing all the disasters and loss that have taken place all over the world, in this country, and my hometown.  Having family, friends, and clients in the Houston area, plus a lot of my family in Puerto Rico dealing with such a catastrophic loss, it just felt silly to blog about dieting and running.  Then when the tragic event that happened here in Vegas recently, life felt like it was in slow motion and surreal. And now with the fires in Sonoma and Napa, where we'd just been this summer...It's enough for a girl to never leave her house! 

I cannot begin to imagine how all those affected are feeling and coping.  I consider myself lucky to not have been directly affected by any of these tragedies and natural disasters, but just watching from afar and doing what little we can to help.  I hear stories of the survivors and those dealing with so much loss and how they're staying strong, their grateful to be alive, and doing all they can to help others too.  It's inspiring.  

I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say.  I just know that I'm starting to feel a bit better recently. I'm learning not to take any day, no matter how mundane, for granted.  I am hugging my kiddos a little tighter and a little longer.  Every day is precious and I'm trying to find the joy in the little things.  I'm working hard to keep my family healthy and strong.  I'm working hard to keep myself healthy and strong, and sometimes that's really hard to do.  But, day by day, I know that I am a better person when I take care of myself.  My physical and emotional health has to come first if I'm going to help my kiddos or anyone else find happiness.  I am choosing to live a life with purpose and helping my family do the same. 

This blog, is a place I like to come to and share the good times and the messy times too. So, I'll be back to blogging regularly.  But, my purpose won't be just to share what I've been up to but to get back to the purpose of this blog, which was to help motivate others too! Not only do I want to use this blog to motivate others to a healthier lifestyle for themselves but also for their family and I'm not just talking about physical health, but our emotional health.  I'm wanting to share ideas and tips on getting out there and exploring, whether it be in your own backyard or an epic adventure!  It's a place to give ideas, plans, and hopefully inspire others to do the same.  To live with purpose. I want this blog to be a place to get ideas and plans to use in your own messy life! So, be on the lookout for some new content and a new format! How does that sound? I hope you'll stick around for the ride! XO 

Meal Planning for Success

If your home life is anything like our family's it is busy! Weekdays are jam-packed with homework, after school activities, projects, gymnastics practice, and on and on, right?  Add to that: work, doctor appointments, laundry, workouts, shopping, running errands, and the last thing you want to think about is what to make for dinner tonight.  

I find that if I plan out our dinner menu I am more likely to actually get food on the table and not resort to take-out meals or breakfast for dinner on most days!  I mean, come on, I'm no dinner-making machine and some days mommy just needs a break!  Although I try to make dinner most days, it doesn't always happen even when I have a meal plan.  Just imagine if I didn't have a plan! Oh wait, I don't have to imagine, because it totally does happen.  Without a weekly meal plan, it's a lot more take-out than I care to admit.  Not only is this not healthy, it's not good for the budget either.  If you're like and want to work on this too, here are few tips that have helped me get (mostly) better with meal planning.


Meal Planning Sheets: 

I use these handy meal planning sheets I found on jennycollier.com under the freebies tab. I print out a bunch at a time and put them in a binder I keep in the kitchen.  I've been using these for over a year, so not sure if they are still on her blog, but you can check it out.  I'll warn you, she has a ton of content, so you just may end up finding all kinds of other fun stuff!  I've been super happy with the one I have because it also has spaces for my breakfast, lunch, and snack. So although I use it for my own weekly meal prep, I use the dinner space to write down our family dinners together.  

However, if you only need/want to get started on dinner meal planning,  I really like this menu planner pdf I found from design finch which includes the shopping list right beside it.  Talk about super helpful, huh! You can also just google 'free printable menu templates' and a ton of options show up.  

Be flexible: 

I look over the coming week's activities to see how busy weeknights will be.  On super busy days, I will most definitely pull out the crock pot.  If I know we'll be out around dinner time, usually on Saturdays, I don't stress it.  That just becomes our eating out night.  We really do enjoy eating out and so it's definitely something we look forward to.  Being flexible about meal planning is super important to keeping my sanity and not being overly rigid.  Life happens and we gotta roll with it.  

The Recipes:

I like to see what I already I have on hand first, then take it from there.  I'll stick to our tried and true recipes, but I also like to look at a few of my favorite food bloggers, and Pinterest boards for new ideas.  I may even ask the kiddos or the hubs for some suggestions too if I'm feeling especially nice that morning ;) 

Shopping:

After I have all my meals planned, it's time to get the shopping list started!  Fun times for sure! (just so you're certain, that was sarcasm)  We prefer to buy our meats and as much as we can in bulk. Although we still go grocery shopping on a weekly basis, buying in bulk lessens the load. Every other week is a "big" shopping week, I truly mean this in both financially and amount of stuff we get! The other 2 weeks are "small" and just require us to grab items that run out quickly, foods for a specific recipe, and so forth.  I especially like these lighter grocery shopping weeks.  


I really hope these small tips were helpful to getting you and your family on the meal planning bandwagon!  Like I said early, being flexible is super important but I can guarantee that if you plan out your weeknight meals, you'll stick to it more often than not.  Try it out and let me know how it goes!