Monday, August 29, 2011

Meal Plan Monday + Review of The Hour That Matters Most

For me, meal planning seems to work best during the school year. This week will be our first full week of school and many extracurricular activities. Admittedly, it gets a bit trickier to eat at home but for a host of reasons, we simply cannot eat out continuously. These may not all be gourmet dinners but they will fill our bellies and keep us around the table together (er, in our case, the countertop!)
Monday: Chicken with Rice (trying chicken helper boxed meal, not a fan of hamburger helper or many prepared dishes in that style but the chicken variety looked more appealing, stand by for a review)
Tuesday: BLT's for the bigs and bacon with buttered toast for the littles
Wednesday: Frozen pizza bread, salad or carrots with dip
Thursday: dinner out
Friday: Grilled burgers and corn on the cob

I was lucky enough to be contacted and asked to review a copy of The Hour That Matters Most. I thoughtfully read it over the course of last week while sitting at dance classes and sports practices, which I am sure is nearly the only free time many of us busy moms have. 

Funny, I was under the impression I would be receiving a cookbook, as the authors are the co-founders of the successful Dream Dinners, storefronts where all the ingredients are available for you to assemble a month full of healthful freezer meals for your family. Granted, there are some recipes in The Hour That Matters Most but more than that, it is about the philosophy of sitting together for meals. The approach and discussion in the book reminded me of the importance of spending this quality time together with my family and also really made me want to commit to being more purposeful with our own meal times.

Here are a few more details from the back cover of the book:

Dinnertime—It’s More Than Just a Meal
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott have discovered the surprising impact that something as simple as sharing a meal together can have on a family. And they aren’t alone. Researchers across the board are finding that an hour around the dinner table can really tether a family together and help you raise up healthier, happier kids.

Featuring the inspiring story of Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, the founders of Dream Dinners, The Hour That Matters Most shows you how to nourish and nurture your family through regular meal times.

An inspiring, practical book packed with everything you need to help you make the most of the dinnertime hour, The Hour That Matters Most includes

  • never-before-published recipes
  • expert cooking tips and ideas
  • color photos of family-favorite meals
  • dozens of conversation starters to get your kids talking around the table

If you’re looking for ways to bring love and laughter to your home, rediscover the remarkable power of the family meal in The Hour That Matters Most.

Over the next few Mondays, I will talk more about the book, share my takeaways and also link to more recipes.

Sharing at: Organizing Junkie. Visit for many links to recipes and meal plans. Pin It

Sunday, August 28, 2011

this weekend i am...

enjoying a cup of coffee
enjoying sifting through my google reader at a leisurely, guilt free pace
enjoying the evolution of a sweet soccer player
enjoying girls {temporarily} playing quietly in the basement this morning
enjoying a visit with cousins who I very rarely see
{photo taken by Shelby on my phone}
enjoying a Sunday that includes my girl cheerleading
enjoying the happiness of an online only friend who welcomes her solider home today Pin It

Monday, August 22, 2011

a blurb from my other blog...

Perhaps this is news to you but I have established a business blog: Simply Social Media to highlight my consulting work in social media for small businesses.  Today I am going to share my blog post from there in it's entirety but in the future, please add Simply Social Media to your blog reader of choice!

Welcome to my newest client: Dare To Dance

Today I can officially announce that Simply Social Media has signed a new client, Dare To Dance.

Dare To Dance is a fabulous dance studio located in Blue Ash. In their own words:

Conveniently located in the heart of Blue Ash, Dare to Dance has one goal in mind: offering the best Cincinnati dance experience possible, at affordable prices. It is a place where everyone can learn to dance, relieve daily stress, and improve their self-confidence in a social and relaxed atmosphere. No matter your level of dance knowledge; from beginner to advanced, Dare To Dance offers something for everyone and for every budget.

I can personally attest to the fact that Marco and Connie are a joy to work with. Look for frequent updates and slight changes on their Facebook page and also the introduction of an email newsletter. Your first class is always free at Dare To Dance so if you have an interest in ballroom, Zumba or learning a new dance for your upcoming wedding day, please visit the Dare To Dance Facebook Page and LIKE them. 

Would you like help in the areas of Facebook, Twitter or email database management? Contact me for a consultation.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

week in the life-almost complete

Slow and steady wins the race, right?! It's nearly the end of August and I am almost finished with my documentation that began at the end of July.

All the weekdays are done. My next goal is to do a single page for each of us {including the dog} so two of those are done, 3 to go. And then with my remaining, can't stand not to use photos, I am going to do a few collage pages with brief notations.

Excuse the look of this post. While uploading multiple photo using the Picasa/Blogger combo, things went wonky.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

FREE Quickpages from CatScrap

It's a very good time to join in at CatScrap as their 5 year Birthday Celebration winds down. Above are just a handful of the free quickpages available during the blog hop. Sales, contests and challenges are still in progress. I still need to do a few week in the life pages before I call that project done and then I plan to drop a few photos into these templates and get a few more milestones and memories recorded lickety split.

The past four days have been blah for me. Not sure if I am fighting a cold or sinus infection or if I am just being greatly affected by the Midwest humidity and weather flucuations. I do know that the only place I really want to be is inside in the AC. Not an easy task with soccer practices. football scrimmages requring cheerleaders, the school festival this weekend...

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

trying to bring back meal plan monday... made mostly at home that includes a fruit or veggie!

Monday: Grilled chicken (marinated in Italian dressing), Bob Evans potatoes and steamed broccoli
Tuesday: Carry Out from Skyline Chili 
Wednesday: Burgers and/or Beef BBQ
Thursday: Pizza after Soccer practice
Friday: Hot Dogs and Grilled Sausage

I wanted to do better and eat more at home but I have to go with what the schedule dictates. With school starting next week and the sports + activities already underway, it is about to get complicated :) 

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

the posting drought

I am pretty sure 10 days is my longest stretch with out a blog post. The past two weeks have been extremely busy but in such a very good, fun and family way. Last Friday, we left on a week long adventure. Stop 1: High Point to visit Dave's brother, his wife and their sons.
Rise and shine on Saturday morning and we were off to the beach for 3 nights (after a wonderful breakfast courtesy of our hosts).

This was our second visit to Ocean Isle Beach and it was just as great as last year. Olivia wants to make it our "every year vacation place". If the bank account agrees, I am in!

On Tuesday we took off for Columbia, SC. Note to self: do not select the shortest route on the GPS. Three hours into the trip when your husband realizes that and explains to you the difference between shortest and quickest you will be sorry. And you will wish you could get back the hour or so spent needlessly in the car, in the heat, with your two get the picture.

No matter, it was worth it because Wednesday morning led to our reunion with PVT Fischvogt.

The soldiers came out of the woods like this.

And then we got down to the business of hugging and oohing and aahing over our handsome soldier! We spent Wednesday on the base because Tyler was not allowed to leave. Without going into great detail, that was mostly a disorganized mess. But we were with Ty so that was good.
On Thursday, we headed back to Ft. Jackson at O' Dark Thirty for the official graduation. Afterward, Tyler and his friend Garcia were able to spend the rest of the day and night with us. Sort of. They had to be back on base at 4:30am.

I am so proud of Tyler. Attending his graduation and this experience ranks up there with one of the best for me. And I feel like it was a priceless opportunity for my girls.

So that's where I have been for the past 10 or so days :) Pin It

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

week in the life: tues wed + bonus page

One of the products I was most excited to use were these Summer Tallies from CatScrap. In fact, they gave me the idea to record the mileage for the week.

My basic for each day of the week. I am getting quicker at putting these together. My goal is to complete these and then fill in from there. SO happy to have these photos and documentation. Had I been home, I would have filled out the journal pages for each day a lot more fully but using the pictures as prompts, so far I have been able to remember and recapture pretty much. Again, the week in the life project is the brainchild of Ali Edwards. Visit her.
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