Monday, July 26, 2010


Aren't my blog titles just so creative these days? I just ain't got nothing when it comes to thinking of something witty. I completely blame it on pregnancy brain. I was trying to think of the word "sensitive" in a conversation with Chris today and for the life of me I couldn't recall the stinkin word! I was struggling and Chris kept trying to help me guess it. It was comical...although frustrating at the time!


I have decided, with the inspiration from my friends Kristy and Jolanthe, not to mention a plethora of Internet blogs that have spurred me on, to create a meal planning masterpiece (ahem) to help my family. I have been doing something called EMealz for a few months now, and Chris and I have really enjoyed it.

I was just finding a few months ago that I was falling in to a meal making rut. I felt like I was making the same meals over and over and over again. I was also feeling overwhelmed during a time when the boys were beginning to eat table food, but yet they were young enough where they couldn't eat all of the foods we did, so I was making a separate meal for them too.

Chris had heard about EMealz on The Dave Ramsey Program. We are both HUGE Dave fans after we began following his "Total Money Makeover" a few years ago. With EMealz you are given 26 meal plans to choose from. You select the one that you think will work best for your needs. It then gives you a weekly dinner menu along with the entire grocery shopping list needed for that week. The cost is five dollars per month.

I loved it because it took all the guess work out of meal planning and shopping. I would just print off my list and off to the store I would go! To make it even easier I chose a meal plan that would feed 4-6 people per meal. This would allow Chris and I to eat off the same dinner for 2 to 3 nights before moving on to the next meal. It just felt nice to not have to devote a huge chunk of my day to time in the kitchen when I could spend it with my boys or other projects instead.

However...after a few months I grew weary of it. The reason why is because I truthfully was finding I didn't like a lot of the meals that they planned! This is just my personal opinion, and I know of a few people who have completely fallen in love with EMealz! It is worth looking in to. I'm not a particularly picky person when it comes to food, however I was beginning to substitute so many meals off the menu that it just wasn't working for us anymore!

So....what I'm in the process of now (while I'm stuck in bed anyhow) is creating a 10 week rotating menu plan full of meals that are tried and true with our family. (This idea was completely taken from a dear friend of mine, so I can't take any credit!) I have pulled out my three ring binder that I have kept over the years full of our favorite recipes, and I am also scouring the Internet for other families favorites, to get enough for at least 70 dinner ideas. I am then also going to be planning a grocery shopping list to accompany each week so that all I will have to do is just print out the list for that particular week and I will be ready to go.

A few of the meals I am putting on our menu will make 2 large dishes, so then I will be able to freeze one and have one on hand when company arrives, or when a day comes when I just don't feel like cooking!

I also like how Jolanthe has basically the same breakfast foods served all week long. Cereal one day, eggs and bacon another...that just helps a lot with planning too and takes the guess work out of it for her and for her children!

I'm just finding, and I think it will be even more apparent here in a few weeks, that organization is critical when trying to run a home with young children. There is just no way that I could function if I tried to think of what to make for dinner on a daily basis. I do so much better knowing that my pantry and freezer are stocked, I have a plan, the ingredients are on hand, and we are ready to roll!

I would LOVE to hear some of your favorite family recipes. What is a meal that is always a good one to fall back on in your home? If you wouldn't mind sharing I will gladly add it to my growing list of meal options!

I would also like to give a shout out here about a blog that was recently started by some women I know (and some I don't know yet). It is called The Foodie Spot. It is a place where they share recipes that their families love. I have gotten a lot of great ideas from this blog, for example the manicotti. I had never before attempted to make my own crepes, but they were so easy and so amazingly delicious! I made this for company about a month ago and was delighted when they kept going back for seconds and thirds! This is one that is definitely being added to my menu book.

Seriously. All this talk about food is so not good for a pregnant lady. I am going to get a snack!


  1. Ive been thinking about getting more organized with meal planning too. I think its a great idea! I've found a few websites with some great recipes and tips. This woman makes her own menu weekly and shares the recipes. Since I'm not quite the planner you are (a hem...)I also found a great way to plan meals with magnets you keep on the side of the fridge. The kids can even help that way. Here's the link for that and another one i like.
    Let me know how it goes! :)

  2. Your story about being in the rip tide in CA with your dad made me cringe. That was horrible. Thank God the story ended like it did!!! I love water and fear it, all at the same time.

    Anyway, about food...I have an 8-week rotating menu (which is quickly turning into a 9-week and 10-week one as I add new recipes to it), and I LOVE it. It makes it so nice when we don't even have to think about that aspect of being a homemaker!! :)

    I was going to email you a copy of my menu, and then if you wanted specific recipes, you could ask and I'd send them...but I can't find the file on this computer. Maybe it's on our other one? I'll keep looking...

    Meanwhile, have you tried Jolanthe's Loaded BBQ Potato Casserole (or something like that)? It is SO good, and it's a great one to double up on the recipe and freeze some for later.

    I'm so impressed by how productive you're being, even when you're not able to be up and about like you'd prefer. Good for you for using your time wisely!


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