A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Works for Me Wednesday

I first heard about eMeals from Amanda. The idea was intriguing, but I held fast to my own meal ideas. In the last year, I’ve been hit or miss on whether I make a weekly menu, or, frankly, even get all the items I need from the store {I tend to forget what I don’t write down}.

Two weeks ago, I waved my menu planning white flag and bought a 3 month subscription to eMeals.

There are tons of great options, ranging from gluten free to vegetarian; portion control to family favorites. They have seven meals planed out {as shown above} and then give you a list of what you need from the store ::

Since joining, we’ve been doing the natural and organic plan. But we just switched over to the clean eating plan. Based on the sample menu, the clean eating plan more closely matched our family’s eating habits {more produce, fresh foods versus pre-package foods, even the organic ones}.

So far I’ve loved the service. We don’t usually make all seven meals, because weekends tend to lend to eating out, with friends, or lighter meals than during the week. But, we consistently have four to five of the preplanned meals a week. Having everything laid out for me has been such a relief. I grab what I need and don’t think about it again until it’s time to make dinner. Love that!

However, there has been some draw backs – some weeks have been meat heavy, which isn’t really budget friendly. Another week relied a lot on prepackaged foods {though “organic”} which I really don’t like {so made things fresh instead}. But, eMeals just introduced their clean eating plan, so I’m hopeful that this will solve any issues I have. We are in the middle of our week, so won’t try out the new plan until next week.

Even with some minor draw backs, I highly recommend eMeals. It’s easy, fast and has given us some yummy meals {hello chicken curry soup!}. I love not putting so much effort into meal planning and not worrying about what’s for dinner each night.

The cost is $17 for a 3-month subscription. Because you can download each week’s menu, I’m saving them on my computer as we go for future reference – in case we cancel in the future.

*UPDATED INFORMATION* 5/17/12

As I mentioned, we were switching to the Cleaning Eating Menu. We are entering our second week of that menu and I LOVE IT! So far, all the meals have proven to abide by the rule of shopping the perimeter of the store, so we are eating a lot of fresh foods {asparagus, corn, broccoli, etc}. If you’re looking for a healthy option, I’d recommend the cleaning eating over the natural and organic!

Have you ever tried eMeals or any other meal planning service?

Visit Kristen at We are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

I love to read. Love, love, love. However, that hasn’t always been the case. I remember pitching a fit in 7th grade when my mom made me read “Little Women”. Clearly, she didn’t realize how long that book was and that it had no pictures and that it was written so, so long ago. Pure torture to my pre-teen self. I begrudgingly began reading.

And I loved it.

From that moment, my life was changed. I read every book I could get my hands on.

When we had Julia, I was convinced that to make a reader, you need to read to your children. So we read. A lot. Know what? That girl wants to read all.the.time. She’ll even chose to read over watch television. Be still my grateful heart.

{photo credit}

About three weeks ago, Julia’s preschool sent home flyers for Scholastic Books. I remember Scholastic from when I was little, but hadn’t looked into it until we got the flyer. I think I circled every item on the flyer. And then I realized I could order from their website. Whoa. My first go ’round, I had over $100 worth of items in my cart. Jonathan had to remind me that we didn’t need all those books right now and would have plenty of chances to buy them in the future. I whittled down my list to under $70 {really, that was getting it to the least amount – books are addicting}.

We got our order this week. While I set aside a majority of the books for Julia’s birthday and the girls’ St. Nicholas gifts, they did each get a book  when the order arrived. They were thrilled. And frankly, so was I. I’m hoping that with the help of Scholastic I can help the girls grow into having a deep love of reading.

Have you ever ordered from Scholastic? How do you encourage reading for your children?

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

We’ve been doing a lot of home projects and rearranging the last couple of weeks. We switched the playroom to another location, so that Jonathan could have an actual office with doors.

After we moved the girls’ playroom, we decided to was time to get them their own desks. We’ve been doing school work at the dining room table, but I’ve been really wanting them to have personal desks where they know that they can always go to to do color, “study”, and read. We found some really great side tables at IKEA that are the perfect height for the girls.

{IKEA LACK side table}

Jonathan and I assembled the tables as soon as we got home, because we were so excited for the girls. Not ten minutes later, the entire table was covered in crayon.

Awesome.

I was slightly frustrated, seeing as we had just bought them. But, like Jonathan pointed out, when I told the girls to sit at their tables and color, I didn’t clarify not to color on the table. Sigh. Bad mommy communication.

A quick Google search showed me that I could clean the tables off by making a paste from baking soda and water. I tried it, and sure enough, it worked.

But, the table certainly didn’t look quite as nice as it had before. And it took a lot of work to scrub it clean, so I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of scrubbing it every time a crayon ran off paper. Instead, I instituted a new rule – It’s your desk, color it if you want to. After all, I remember writing on my desk when I was a schoolgirl.

Do you have any furniture cleaning tips? Or are you like me and just let it go?

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

One thing I am most grateful for in my girls is that they are good eaters. For having a 2yo and 3yo, we have very few “food fights”. Sure, the occasional issue arises, but mostly they are willing eaters of any thing I make. While I am far from a short order cook {my policy is, if you don’t like what I made, don’t eat}, I do struggle with lunch.

Right before lunch my girls are clawing my eyes out they are so hungry. But as soon as their plates are on the table, it’s like they’ve become complete monkeys. They pick at their favorite foods. Julia tells me her belly hurts. Hannah is off chasing Jack. Lunch takes an hour. It’s like our own “hour lunch break”. Though it’s not nearly as relaxing as my hour lunch break before I had kids.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try something new. I sectioned off their lunch into a muffin tin. I had read a few years back about how Michelle, at Muffin Tin Mom, put her kids’ food in muffin tins to make it more exciting. Talk about a food revolution. I don’t know what it is about eating out of a muffin tin, but my girls love it. Perhaps it’s all the choices they get {and that they get to decide on their second helping option}. Perhaps they like that it’s unconventional and new. Whatever the case, lunches are going so smoothly {well, to be honest, they aren’t always smooth, but smoother}.

One of the great things about muffin tin meals, is that it makes me focus on giving Julia and Hannah well-rounded meals. Meats, dairy, veggies, fruits and some carbs. Plus, when the pantry gets low right before grocery store days, having a muffin tin really stretches my imagination on the food front.

What ways do you switch up lunch time? Do you have picky eaters or willing eaters?

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

The past weekend, I wanted to make a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies. As I got going, I decided to make a double batch to freeze the other half. I’d always read about making double batches, but for some reason I’ve just never done it. Until now.

I measured out my cookies on my baking sheet and popped them in the freezer:

Once they were frozen {about an hour}, I put them in a big ziploc bag:

Just zip up your bag, and pop them back into the freezer. When you’re ready to bake them, just set them on your baking sheet and bake as usual {though, you may need to allow more time than called for}.

And now, whenever I crave Baby Boy craves cookies, I can just sneak into the freezer and pull them out.

Have you ever frozen ready to make cookies? If so, what did you think of them?

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

Our living room is set up in such a way that there is a great little space between our long sofa and love seat. Many a day, the girls have played back there. Jack, on occasion, has even taken to hiding from the girls resting there. But in the last couple of weeks, it’s seen little use. Which I find a little sad, because if I could comfortable fit, I’d be in that little nook all day.

This weekend I came across a cute {and easy} idea from Pinterest ::

{photo credit}

On Monday, with the girls help, we created our own little reading nook ::

And least you think that the girls are quiet, non-messy readers, this was how their nook looked within the first 2 minutes ::

Have you ever made a reading nook? Or do you/your kids have a reading nook?

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

For the love of boy, I have been utterly exhausted for the past few days. I declared Monday an official “day off” two days before it even began. Then yesterday I was struck with a horrid migraine that prevented me from being much use to anyone {unless you consider bursting into tears for no apparent reason as useful}. As I waved my white flag last night and climbed into bed, I realized one two things:

 

1. I love my little family to pieces {even though at times I feel like I am a bad mama/wife}

2. I am grateful we have a toy room

 

The first one is a no-brainer. I’m blessed beyond belief with a great husband, two awesomely adorable girls and a to-arrive baby boy {who will hopefully have a first and middle name soon}.

The second one was a revelation yesterday. I’ve always said how much I love having a separate toy room for the girls {not their room}, but as I was completely useless to them for a good two plus hours yesterday afternoon, my love for their toy room grew. First off, there is a spare bed in the room. That just so happens to be facing the couch in our den. Which means – the girls can watch a movie while mama sleeps and mama can still be seen and the girls can still be heard. Awe-some. Secondly, when mama is awake, but still totally not with it, the girls can move into the toy room and play their little hearts out without taking the mess into the rest of the house. Double awe-some.

{note the mess that I don’t even feel compelled to clean, since the room has doors? triple awe-some}

Every house needs a toy room. Of this I am certain.

And on a side note : I should say one thing that I realized {again} and am grateful for {again} is that God’s graces are renewed every morning. That today is a new day, that I didn’t completely mess up my kids {whew} and that His love and mercy knows no bounds.

Oh, and it’s mom’s night out tonight. Rock it.

Visit Kristen at We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

Add me to the ranks of women who don’t like swimsuit shopping. Perhaps second only to jean shopping in the do-I-really-have to category. But, with an expanding belly and a one piece that won’t quite do the trick anymore, I found myself last weekend at Target hunting down a swimsuit.

Truth be known, shopping for a swimsuit while pregnant doesn’t quite help with any self-esteem issues you might have. I just had to remind myself that 1) there’s a reason I need this size 2) the reason will be way cute/worth it come November. I decided to stick with something plain-ish that would grow with me and not fall off when the girls grab on to me. After five tries and a coin toss, this is what I went with:

It’s hard to tell, since I’m sitting down, but the bottoms are plain black. The sides are ruched, making it look cute and fitted now with room to expand by August/September. The back is a racerback, making it feel a lot like a sports bra – which makes it so incredibly comfortable. Overall, it’s a win.

Do you dread swimsuit shopping? Have you ever shopped for a maternity suit?

Visit Kristen at We are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

I am super, super excited to have Katie of Hageration guest posting for me this week. We are both UT Alum, who didn’t meet until we had graduated and were living 2,000 miles away from each other {gotta love the internet!}. I’m looking forward to finally {in real life} meeting her, her husband and her adorable little boy this summer. 

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My obsession with baby wearing began innocently enough when I asked a friend what carrier she preferred.  She responded by digging out all the carriers they had tried.  I left her house with 3 in a bag.  Shortly afterwards I was given a Moby, and bought an Ergo off craigslist and just like that we had 5 baby carrying devices.

To say I love baby wearing is an understatement.  I adore everything about it from convenience to having my sweet baby nearby! Add to this a kid who has not been a great naper but liked being swaddled a LOT and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a lotta baby wearing.

Here is a run down of the soft baby carriers we’ve used plus a few others I’ve come across in the past 9 months:

Moby wrap

What it is: one long piece of fabric that you tie around your body in different formations and put the baby into pockets created by the folding.

Pros:

-One size fits all

-Very washable

-Easy to pack (we’ve taken in on many trips tucked away in a suitcase)

-Can be configured to many different holds (tummy to tummy, hip, front, etc.)

-Gives newborn benefits of swaddling

-Soft fabric provides a cozy way to carry your newborn nearby

Cons:

-Takes some practice to tie (I almost gave mine away before I had a friend demonstrate and watched a few videos on youtube)

-The stretchy fabric becomes less supportive when baby gets to be 14-16 lbs.  (or it did for me)

-It is challenging to  put the Moby on in public as the fabric is so long and it drags the ground which might seem fine until your standing outside your car in a dirty parking lot with no way to put it on while your baby screams in his car seat. Or maybe that’s just me

Baby Bjorn

What it is: I’m sure you’ve seen them all over.  The people marketing Bjorn are brilliant.  It’s the carrier you see where the baby dangles on the front of an adults’ body facing out.

Pros:

-Fairly easy to put on and take off.  I’ve heard it’s easy to remove a sleeping baby from the Bjorn and lay them down (unfortunately my baby woke up the minute you stopped moving or unbuckled the straps)

-Due to the above dad’s find them really wearable

-Some babies much prefer front facing position (see photo)

Cons:

-For the price this carrier is very limited as it only holds baby one way (on front of your body)

-I felt it become uncomfortable around 12 lbs. though it is technically able to carry baby up to 20 lbs.

-After trying other carriers I found it to be uncomfortable, period.

Ergo

What it is: Backpack style carrier with padded straps and hip support (waist strap) that can be worn in front back or hip positions. 

Pros:

-Multiple carry positions

-Padded straps

-Pocket built into front of carrier (at first I didn’t pay any attention to this but realized it was super helpful to carry my keys and phone while I took a walk or ran to the store for a quick trip).

Cons:

-I found it tricky to convert and put on in the hip position and never used it that way

-The built in pockets and padded straps make it kind of bulky

-Due to bulkiness the Ergo also made me very warm and I live in a moderate climate

-I found it uncomfortable after wearing for more than an hour

-Can be tricky to snap the buckle across your back (and many friends have said their husbands couldn’t get it snapped)

After flirting with all of the above I have found a new love and am ready to give up everything but the Moby and the…

Catbird Baby Pikkolo carrier!!

Why I love it:

– The fabric is lightweight and slim fitting making it the easiest to pack away while traveling and cool while wearing.

-It has the versatility of other carriers and is very easy to change positions.  I have often started in a front carry and over time changed to side carry while out and about.

-It is by far the most comfortable of all the carriers I’ve tried

-The 3 straps have two-way adjustment allowing you to get it just how you want it.

-It comes in a few pretty patterns

I hope this helps distinguish between a few of the common carriers and gives you something think about if your in the market for a carrier.

Do you babywear? If so, what’s your favorite carrier?

Visit Kristen at We are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.

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Katie is a former special education teacher and current stay at home mom. She loves Jesus, her husband, son, and lazy dog Ellie. She also enjoys adventures, exploring places on foot, coffee, and fancy grocery stores.

Last night I had dinner with some friends, when they asked if I’d ever heard of Angel Food Ministries. I admitted that I had not, and they proceeded to tell me about the coolest food ministry I’ve heard of in a long time.

Angel Food Ministries distributes food boxes filled with frozen meats, fresh or frozen veggies, canned goods, etc., for a discounted price. It was started in 1994, with the desire to help families afford feeding themselves. Their food packages range in price from $16 to $51. Typically speaking, you save about half your money for the goods received {a $30 package is about $60 worth of food}.

The best part is: it’s open to all families. I love that. I love finding easy ways to save money, while at the same time giving to a good cause. Because the more I buy from Angel Food, the more they can continue to help provide for other families.

While you can order as many packages you want, the distribution is only once a month. I’ve missed the deadline for March, but plan to order a box come April. Now I will say this: I’m sure the food isn’t organic, the meat isn’t grass feed and the mixes they provide are modified in some way. But, shockingly, I’m okay with that. You know why? Because I have a peace about feeding my kids non-organic veggies. And while in my ideal world, we would only eat grass fed beef, right now, our budget won’t allow it. So, I figure, even if the package isn’t my “ideal” it is pretty amazing. And feeding my family amazing food works for me.

Have you ever heard of Angel Food Ministries? Would you ever participate in a food ministry like this?

Visit Kristen at We are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday.


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