Free Meal Plan Printable

I’ve made a free printable for you! This simple printable can help you arrange your thoughts and meals all in one place!

Click here to print or save now!

Best part is that it’s free! And that’s a great price!

Can be used in a binder or on its own. Here’s what it looks like in use by me- a real person.

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I’ve found that cutting it in half works really well, too. I can just take the list with me to the store and leave the meal plan on the fridge where everyone can see it!

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I love the place on the left where you can jot down lunch ideas or things you need to pick up or really anything! It folds neatly behind the list so you’re not lugging a full sheet to the grocery store.

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I plan on making more free printables, it was super fun to do and I really hope it helps you guys out. The printable has a little color to the middle line of dots, but my printer only does black and white, so it works great either way!

If you have any suggestions for other things I can make, please leave them in the comment section! I love hearing from you guys, so let me know!

I hope you all are having a fantastic day, thanks for reading and downloading my first free printable!

Wren Fledglings and Gratitude.

We’ve got a new family that moved into a flower pot on our front porch. A house wren couple and babies!

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First we noticed the two adults building the nest, and a few days later they had laid at least 8 eggs!

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Two weeks went by and a couple eggs had hatched, and I checked yesterday and it seems that the rest have hatched! Some of the babies are bigger than the others. I’ve never watched birds before this closely, so I’m not sure if that’s normal or not.

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My daughter has really enjoyed watching the babies and is learning a big lesson in self control. We don’t go near the nest when the mommy bird is around because we don’t want to scare her and we definitely haven’t touched the nest. I’ve heard touching the nest causing the mom to abandon the nest is a myth, but I don’t want to interfere in any way.

I’ve seen the dad bird bring the mom food and it’s been incredible to see the miracle of life.

This brings me to a deeper point, and what I feel the universe is telling me through these birds.

I recently went back to work at a salon doing hair after being a stay at home mom for three years and it was a big change for our family. It was only part time, but my work days are my husbands off days, so we haven’t been spending a lot of time together.

It’s unsustainable for me. It’s smothering me. I tried to quit, and my boss told me she would keep me on the books and just call if she needed cover, but that she wouldn’t schedule me anymore. It’s nice to not burn any bridges in that regard, but I wonder what I really was trying to gain by working outside the home.

It was a really spur of the moment decision to even apply for that job, and I definitely am realizing that it may have not been the correct decision.

I’m one of those people who like to make their own mistakes, a “can’t tell me nothin” kind of person. What comes with that, though, is the pain of realizing you made a mistake that negatively impacted not only you, but your family.

That’s not to say that my husbands job is more important than my career (I technically made more than him with less hours) but that I lost my gratitude. I lost the love for caring for my home and family, and I didn’t even realize how important that was to me.

The other side to this situation is that I volunteer for a non-profit kindergarten readiness program for at-risk children, and have for almost two years now. I really click with the director and she recently offered me a position as half volunteer coordinator and half home visit teacher. We have very few English speaking families and I would be the only non-Spanish speaking teacher. I never went to college, but the director seems to think I’m qualified.

So this dilemma of leaving a job making money for a company and fake smiling my way through 30 different haircuts in one day and selling products I don’t believe in, jumping to a position that scares the crap out of me.

Back to the birds, they have really been encouraging me to slow down and focus on what matters. The parent birds are solely focused on providing for their babies, and probably make decisions based solely on the well-being of those fledglings. I am no different.

I believe with all my heart that the most important thing on this entire planet is nourishing our children. Every baby is born with the potential of the entire world inside them, and nurtured in the right ways, has the ability to do anything.

I’m not a Christian, but a phrase I heard once went something along the lines of “You could recognize the mother Mary if you saw her, but would you know the Christ child if you saw him?” Every child has that potential. I believe that with everything in my heart.

Ok, now I’m crying and lost my train of thought, but I just wanted to update the blog with what’s on my mind, and I appreciate you reading what I have to say.

I hope this finds you well. xo

The Battle of the Online Grocery Pick-up

Say what you will about Wal-Mart as a corporate entity, I’ve had my own fair share of gripes with their business practices. If you live in a rural area though, sometimes Wal-Mart is your closest option around to buy just about anything you find yourself in need of.

I almost exclusively by my groceries at Kroger. I love their member card benefits and I used my 3 free trials of their pickup already This last shopping trip, I was pretty much willing to pay the 5$ for my next pickup because I value the convenience, but then I heard Walmart’s pickup was free. ohhhh-kay I’ll download the app and see what’s up.

I found browsing the app (Walmart Grocery not Walmart )  easy to navigate the different departments (not just grocery) really intuitive and the search function brings up related items as well. Kroger does this too, but the department categories aren’t as broad and easy to find.

I selected my items as per my two-week meal plan and found everything I needed. Except store-brand fritos, because it didn’t occur to me to search for “corn chips” instead of fritos. (Hellooooo frito burritos, anyone??)

I started shopping around 7am (this was the Friday before Easter) and it gave me several time slot options, and seemed to have sooner openings than Kroger usually does on Friday mornings. I ended up choosing a 12pm-1pm spot as I had some chores to catch up on and it asked if I wanted to be notified when my order was available. They had 3 options: email, text and app notification and I ended up choosing all three.

There was a place near the payment options to insert a promo code, and I searched Google for “walmart pickup promo code” and found one for 10$ off your first order. I entered it in and it took my 91$ bill into 81$ Pretty cool!

I was on my way when I got all 3 notifications at 11:56, so 4 minutes before my scheduled time which I was really happy about. When you arrive, you can check in with the app, or call the number on the parking spot marker. It will ask you on the app what space you’re parked in and what color your car is.

There was 10 or so spots, each numbered with a sign. The whole area is an orange color and there are signs pointing your way, but since Wal-Mart parking lots are always a cluster of people who don’t know how to drive, seeing the tiny signs was not super easy. Thankfully, it shows you on the map which side of the store it’s on, so it really wasn’t difficult to find the space.

I sat for about 10 minutes which is a little bit more than I would have liked to, but that’s the price of convenience and was a teachable moment for my daughter about patience. ha!

There seemed to be at least two people working, and there were two other cars besides me, so I understand they need to take their time with other people. No biggie! The man who gave me my order was super nice and gave me a little baggie with treats and wildflower seeds and a pen since it was my first time ordering. Nice touch, I thought.

He told me he was originally an IT guy just helping figure out the new computer system, and was very deliberate in where he put my bags. I asked if he was allowed to accept tips to which he said he wasn’t allowed to. I understand tax reasons blah blah blah but it’s kind of a raw deal for them if you ask me.

He asked if I would complete the survey on the app and when I got home I tried, but I accidentally answered that I did have a family member who worked there and it shut me out of the survey. That was my error as I actually don’t, and I would have honestly given a pretty good review. I’m pretty satisfied with the service.

The quality of the food was as to be expected, I didn’t need any substitutions and everything seemed fresh and in-date. I sometimes have trouble with longevity of onions when I order from Kroger’s pick-up.

I absolutely don’t mind paying more for a service like this, but I’ve concluded that Wal-Mart’s is comparable if not slightly better considering the app navigation. And it’s free, so my hands are kind of tied here!

I struggle with the ethics of the company, and admittedly am not as educated on their current practices as I maybe should be. Being an informed consumer is really important to me, and supporting businesses who have values I agree with is one of the only ways I have control over a world where companies have so much power over the people.

Is my affinity for convenience causing me to overlook things I don’t agree with? What impact do people like me have on their local economies?

Food for thought! Thank you for reading.

Tarot Talk: To Whom It May Concern

This post may not be for everybody, but I’ve been reading tarot cards for a little while now, and I think it’s a really useful tool to get a picture of a situation in a way that your natural thought processes don’t allow you to view it. The cards tell a story not from our own conditioned reactions and responses, but of randomness and archetypes and and and and….

I could go on forever but this post isn’t me professing my love for tarot cards or divination in general, but a post interpreting a small spread of cards that I am drawing specifically to send a message to any who read it.

If you’re reading this now, then something I say here is for you.

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Queen of Swords – The Chariot – 5 of Wands

I believe this represents a situation where you are having to really chug along. The grind, you know? Really setting your mind to something and doing the work to get there. But what you may be encountering is a lack of communication to validate your commitment. Not many pats on the back, lots of criticism, not much meaningful discussion. Maybe feeling as though there is a feminine lack of some kind? I want to draw an oracle card for a little more insight on possible solutions for this, (although one can infer that better communication of your needs to your support system is a good first step, but that comes from me, not from the cards)

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The Sage

Wow ok so don’t have any doubt that your hard work is worth much more than you realize as it is part of a greater understanding. Mistakes are just as valid to your learning process and human development as your accomplishments- and on a grander scale, one is not more valuable than the other.

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That was a heavy message but I hope that those who read this are reading something that resonates in one way or another. I would be happy to hear feedback, I really encourage you to say hi! Thanks!

Where I’ve been, mom guilt and juggling.

As you may have noticed, it’s been a couple months since I last posted a blog entry and I just wanted to say where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to!

I recently started doing hair again. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start that back up again or maybe wait out a position opening at the non-profit organization I volunteer for.  This was a source of great uncertainty for me. I know I’m skilled enough to make it doing hair, I’ve done it before and excelled. The non-profit, though, is a cause that really speaks to my soul, so choosing one or the other really made me look at what I thought about my capabilities and the logistics of each situation. Ultimately I decided to throw myself back into the working world and do some hair, while still volunteering once a week.

I have some guilt about it, if I’m being honest. I lived a certain lifestyle for the past three years (homemaking, momming, etc) that I got very accustomed to. Maybe it was the familiarity and monotony that urged me to look outside the home for stimulation. What would I be missing by being at work? Who am I, really, outside of my child? Both equally scary questions.

I felt as though I had mastered the sahm-thing and that I needed a new challenge to keep my wheels turning. The challenges of working motherhood have been greater than imagined, but that’s the fun of it, right? Not knowing what you’re doing, flying blind, recognizing patterns, and coming to a new understanding of what it means to live, and to love.

I’ve been just chugging along, I have a fairly regular schedule. I’ve been balancing my time away from the home with utilizing my time while I am in the home to keep things going. My husband watches our daughter while I’m at work, and this is a change for him as well. He is really a saint, that man. I really am grateful for how he has stepped up during this shift in division of household duties. I try not to make his honey-do list too long, and he has his own home improvement projects he is enjoying working on.

Our schedules are the same every 2-week period, so I am able to keep a cleaning/grocery schedule. It gets dicey sometimes and we have to make substitutions often, but I think once we get into the swing of things, we can recognize the patterns that will be helpful in deciding how things will get done.

You can’t quantify everything, life happens and schedules get thrown out the window. Flexibility is a must, I’m realizing, for a household to function. Love, really is the most important thing.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions for managing a healthy work-life balance, I would love to hear it or hear any stories you have to tell.

Thanks for reading! x

Bullet Journal Weekly Layout Inspiration

On a different note than my last post, I’m going to share what has helped me get my thoughts together.

I’m a doodler, I like to just scribble and this is part of the reason that bullet journaling really works for me. It’s not just the fact that I have a place to put my thoughts, but also a place to make my doodles work for me.

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It’s not perfect, but nothing ever really is, and I hardly ever expect it to be. Real and functional is much better than instagram-perfect.

The only thing I would do differently if I had to re-do this layout is I would take friday and move it to the right side. Just because that’s more how my weeks work since my husband will be at work friday, saturday and sunday. You can do it however it works for you!

The little icons in the bottom right hand corners are the focus rooms for my chore schedule. In other words, the little potty doodle means that I have to clean the bathroom today. Bed- bedrooms, stove- kitchen, vacuum and duster- living room, you get the picture!

The little snowflake on wednesday means it may snow, and since that’s a day I volunteer, I want to know what the weather will be like. You can make that more complex if you need to, and I may incorporate that more into my layouts in the future.

I thought about adding more to this but it seems to cover all my bases, I have a pretty empty week so it doesn’t need much else.

This is just one of the little ways I keep my brain together and even just this little bit of creativity has really helped me come out of my slump, so I hope it inspires you!

Bye-bye now!

Getting past a setback.

I preach productivity, routines and motivation… but what happens when you feel you’ve fallen short of your own expectations?

I recently discontinued an SSRI medication, and it has had a major impact on my energy levels. I know it wont last forever and I’m working past this, little by little.

Usually we are our own worst critics, especially where our home and children are concerned. I know that personally, I can be very cruel to myself when I don’t feel I am contributing enough.

I wish I had a top ten list of all the trendiest things to do to put yourself back together after a slump, but I don’t. All I have is a little commiseration and an incredibly supportive saint of a husband.

We had a conversation yesterday where I whined about how crummy I felt, and it occurred to me that not only did I not really feel that bad, but what was keeping me feeling bad was the embarrassment of it all. How could I just turn it all around when I had made such a show of feeling terrible? How do you come back from sleeping for 6 hours in the middle of the day and crying for half an hour straight?

My answer: I HAD to stop dwelling on it. I had to stop beating myself up about it. I had to resolve myself to getting better. To being better. To fixing all the things I thought I was lacking in. I made weird screamy-grunting noises and took a lot of deep breaths. I showered in scalding hot water. I held my middle finger up to the sad little ball of tears I had let myself become.

I have to forgive myself.

I’m still working on it, but I just wanted to let everyone know what has been going on with me. I’m secretly hoping that writing this all out will make me feel a little better and maybe someone else who reads it will feel less alone.

This eclipse energy is kicking my butt, but maybe that’s what I need. A good old-fashioned kick in the pants.

I am enough, you are enough, and we’re all on this big blue spinny ball of magic together.

Talk at ya later, bye!