Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: organization

Family Togetherness: Sunday Family Counsel

Photo: property of Lily Jane Stationery With the start of school also means the addition of all the extra curricular activities. Household schedules can become pretty hectic. Sunday Family Counsel is a way to meet up with the rest of the family to plan the […]

October Resolution: Face the Lion- Accomplish a Difficult Task

Photo: “Dandelions” by Kitchen Table Medicine, Source: Courtesy Photo Bucket I am a horrible test taker. To this day I get sweaty palms and start to second guess myself. I learned in college that the answers to the tests were not straight out of the […]

July Website Review: Paperback Swap


Paperback Swap has been hanging out in my incredibly long list of websites for a while now  but I had not ventured to try it out until a few months ago. We were going through the piles of books while packing the house to move. I came across several books that were fun to read at the time I read them but I could never see myself reading them again.

To get started, log onto then fill out a short registration page and you are ready to post. The books must be clean. Free of any rips, writing, highlighting or stains. A lightly worn binding or jacket is ok. In order to get a book you must send a book to receive points. One point equals one book. Enter the book’s ISBN number  located on the back of the book, by the bar code. To send a book you will need a scale to calculate the correct weight if you plan on purchasing stamps through Paperback Swap. The benefit of using Paperback Swap is that your points are available right away. Otherwise if you use the post office you will have to wait until the recipient declares they have received the book.You can opt to buy new books and points from the site but what is the fun in that?

There are no hidden fees for using paperback swap to post books. You pay the postage to send a book, someone else pays the postage to send a book to you. Just be sure you ask for “media mail” when sending the package from the post office. Be sure to check out CD and DVD Swap to unload any CD’s and DVD’s that are in good condition. Happy swapping!

A love of the Earth

Photo By: Unknown It was a beautiful clear day in Southern Florida. The date January 28th 1986. I was in fifth grade at the time and a member of the Jr. Science Academy. I joined the club with the promise that one day I would […]

January Website Review: Chica and Jo

Chica and Jo is a website that offers tips for quick, easy and affordable home solutions and fun crafts. I stumbled upon it a few months ago looking for zoo animal ideas for the little preschoolers I teach. Once I started to look around I […]

Menu in the Mix

If you are new to creating a menu, it can seem daunting a first. I use my computer, but a pad of paper or a calendar works fine. Start off simple. You could begin by selecting a theme for each day of the week. Something like: soup or breakfast on Sunday, Try Something New Monday, Taco Tuesday’s, seafood on Wednesday, Mexican Thursday’s, Italian Friday’s, Saturday’s dinner salads, ect. When you are putting together your menu, include a main dish and all sides. Ex: Wednesday Dinner: Poached Salmon, roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus, water and strawberries. With time and some practice it will become easier.

I caved in and started making a menu because I was spending too much time sifting through cookbooks or browsing the internet every night looking for something healthy, yet good. Everyday at 4:00, I would go into a panic over what to cook for dinner. Before I knew it, the clock read 5:25 and my nose was still in a book or I was standing in the kitchen mulling over what I could make from the few things we had in the pantry and refrigerator. Frustrated, I tried to make a menu but nothing changed; it still was taking too long to come up with a recipe to fill in the blank. Then, I decided to assign a category or theme to each day of the week to narrow the search. Now, I had to only come up with one recipe and if I found others that looked interesting, I plugged them in the subsequent week’s spots. Wa-la, a months worth of meals, done!

Not quite. The kids, became pickier and I did not have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen anymore to experiment with new recipes. There was a period after our third baby was born where we had the same dish on the same day each week. Creating a menu is really about what works for your family. My sister-n-law has input from her kids on menu suggestions.

Sometimes things come up. A menu is just a guide. Maybe you do not feel like eating what is on the menu for that night. It is perfectly ok to switch nights around or pull something together from items on hand. However, you decide to do it remember to keep it simple and do not forget to post the menu where you can see it. Otherwise it is easy to forget what is for dinner. My other sister-n-law makes a copy of the recipes she plans on using so she does not have to go hunting for it later.

To save money on groceries think back to college. When I was in college I did not have a lot of money to spend on groceries. I planned meals around each other so nothing went to waste. If you plan on trying a new recipe think of other recipes that use the same ingredients. It may seem boring or monotonous but it saves money. Savy shoppers arrange their menus around what deals they pick up at the grocery store that week. Or they stock up for next months menu.

Finally, create a shopping list based on the ingredients needed for each recipe. Make sure to list the quanties. If a recipe calls for two potatoes and later in the week you plan on having mashed potatoes you’ll need to buy more than two potatoes. Once you have your list, it is time to go shopping. Some people like to shop once a week, while others push for every two weeks. See how long you can go without having to go to the grocery store. You will be surprised at what you can come up with using the items in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. Save the money you would have normally spent and use it to stock up on sale items you use most.

Stay Organized With A To-Go Tote

I found this idea as part of my quest for organizing, posted by Calm & Collected Organizing. “Get things done on the go with a special tote bag dedicated to running errands and staying organized. Attach a hook to the wall near the door that […]

Re-Explore Your Passion to Create

Several months ago, I read an article about Amanda Peat in Cookie Magazine. She made the comment, “When you’re able to identify your passions, then your child will be able to identify hers.” In my head, her comment translated into “when we keep up our […]

Family Chores, Connect and Have Fun

A family that learns to clean together, learns to play together.

My brother-n-law works many long hours during the week. On the weekends, he enjoys staying home with his kids and doing chores together. He says it allows him to reconnect with his children, while at the same time the chores are tackled. He suggests to first choose a room. Then, assign a task to each child to work on. When the room is finished, move on to the next room. Once the chores are complete, have a fun dinner or lunch to celebrate a job well done.

Lunch Packing Station

The first day of school is just around the corner. For those of you who send your kids off with a packed lunch, here are a couple of ideas to get you started without a fight. Take three small baskets and fill one with fresh […]