I Always Know What’s For Dinner Now

The first question that pops out of the Mr.’s mouth when he comes home is, “What’s for dinner?” We really try not to eat out more than once or twice a month, and the Mr. doesn’t cook, so it was always on me to figure out what to fix for dinner. So that question used to give me fits of anxiety and despair as I was always running out of ideas of what to fix, and what to have on hand. Grocery shopping was awful as I was trying to come up with meal ideas on the fly as I wandered through the store. This made for lots of extra grocery trips (I would always forget something), and sometimes wasted food. And I was going through this was BEFORE I even had a kid. It got rougher after the baby came.

I needed a concrete answer to that question “What is for dinner?” I needed a meal planning intervention. Meal planning is nothing new. Millions of moms for generations have done it. But I needed an option that didn’t involve much of my time, where I didn’t have to search through recipes and write out the list each week. So I went on the search for different meal planning ideas and meal planning services online to see what could help my dinner dilemma. After looking around at different services for a few days, we settled on a site called Relish!.

I have been using it for a year now, and the more I have used Relish!, the more love it. At first, I really liked the flexibility of being able to choose from several recipes, and the nice interface. Some other services didn’t give you an option to choose recipes, and when you have a picky eater at home (and I’m not talking about my son), it would not be helpful to be stuck with recipes they don’t like. So Relish! gives you a selection of several different recipes each week, ranging from “kid-friendly” to vegetarian, crockpots to quick meals. And I so far the recipes have all been delicious and flavorful. You can also add your own recipes into the system.

Every week you select as many as you need for the week (including freezer options, and breakfast recipes), select for how many you are serving, and then it will spit out a shopping list for everything you will need. You do not know how much this has saved me in my sanity and my bank account. I am no longer wandering aimlessly through the grocery store grabbing what sounds good. And by sticking to my printed shopping list, it helps keep the grocery bill within budget. Relish! states that 5 dinners and sides keeps the grocery bill under $90 per week and I find that really rings true.

Plus, things are not going to waste, and that is HUGE in my house. Our shopping list is scaled down to just who we need to cook for, so I’m not having a problem with leftovers going to waste, or food going bad that I never got to cooking.

The subscription costs around $7 per month, and I find it is worth every penny!  It has saved this busy mom’s sanity, that’s for sure. To find out more about them, visit them on the web at www.RelishRelish.com.

Relish! might not be for everyone as there are dozens of other meal planning sites I ran across that might work better for other families. If you use some type of meal planning, or have meal planning tips and suggestions, I would love for you leave a comment here! I love to hear what other moms suggest.

*Disclaimer: Megan Barber and Mama In The Deep is not an employee, not a representative, or in any way affiliated with Relish! We did not receive any money or compensation for mentioning them in our blog. We just simply are a fan and love the service they provide.
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I’m a Working Mom?

Me, a “working mom”? No way!

That is what I had been telling myself for months since the birth of my son. I would think that I’m simply a stay at home mom who happens to run a business from home too. “Working moms” go to work outside the home and use daycare, nannies, etc, I thought. I’m not a working mom. No, not me!”

(Just to clarify, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with moms who choose work outside the home.)

I was in a bit of denial. Yes, I am at home and I am the primary caretaker of my son and the laundry, and the dishes, etc. But I also own and run a business that has to run pretty much full-time in order to make a good income. I finally came to the realization that I am a working mother, I just do it all under the same roof. Essentially I work 2 full-time jobs; that of mommy/homemaker and that of a small business owner. Neither one is an easy feat by themselves.

Now I am not the traditional working mom that goes outside of the home for her job. I have do not have to answer to any boss but myself (well, my son is the boss some of the time too). I get to make me own schedule and decide where and when I work. I also have the luxury have having no commute.

I do have some childcare needs like most working moms do, especially since my son is so young. I tried to be supermom, but quickly realized I cannot do it all without some help. Working moms can try to do it ALL, but you end up doing none of it successfully. And on the business side, I also have some fabulous help in the way of my VA team members. My team has taken much of the busy work off my plate so I can have more flexibility to be a mom and a business owner at the same time.

It has been a bit of an internal struggle, but now I really don’t mind the term “working mom” as much as I used to, and applying it to myself. It really is what I do and not a bad thing at all. It  doesn’t come without a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but I get to be home with my kid and make some income for my family. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me.

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Stupid Goats Woke Up My Baby

A 2 month old goat kid in a field of capeweed.

Image via Wikipedia

The damn goats next door woke up my napping son today. And it’s not the first time it’s happened either.

This is probably not something you hear every day. But it is the reality of where I am living. You’d think I was living in total bumpkin-ville. There may be a lot of farm land surrounding my town, but really it’s not that bad. I live in a traditional looking house in a traditional looking suburban neighborhood. My property just happens to be bordered on 3 sides by a property owned by “Farmer Bob”, who may possibly be starting a zoo.

I can go on about the weirdo things “Farmer Bob” has been doing of on his property, but will not go there now. Rumor has it that he wants to start a horse farm on his property, and has one sad looking horse I see roaming around behind the chain link fence. He also had chickens with a lovely rooster that crowed all hours of the night. Now, there are goats.

I first noticed about a dozen goats wandering around on his property about a month ago. Didn’t think much of them other than, “Holy cow! That is a lot of goats!” And we would take the little one to the fence and show him the goats and tell him what sound they made. Baaa! So cute, right? Great teaching moment, right?

Well recently, I have noticed how loud these things are when they are hanging out close to the fence line. BAAA! BAAA! I have especially noticed this now that we had the A/C off and the windows open. Bordering on annoying. And has become a nap interrupter.

Now, nap times are very precious to me. They have been since my son was a newborn. As a busy work at home mother, I NEED those nap times to accomplish as much client work, laundry, dishes, etc as I can in that 2 hour time period. And my lovely son takes 2 of these blessed naps a day still. I will weep on the day that he stops this.

My son was sleeping blissfully, and then 45 minutes in, there is some apparent goat fight happening right behind the fence. And apparently, the babe can’t sleep through incessant “BAAAs” going on outside his windows. Crap! And now he is super cranky because he didn’t get enough of a nap. Double crap! My uninterrupted work time is going out the window today.

I am so hate those goats right now.

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On This Day Last Year…

Our lives changed forever…

The Things We Do As Moms

Tic Tac, Sir?
Image by camknows via Flickr

The things we do for our kids just to keep them happy…

I was that mom today that bought her kid a pack of Tic Tacs in the checkout aisle, just to keep him occupied.

Yep, that was me.

Orange Tic Tacs.

It was all I could do to keep him from ripping down everything from of the magazine rack, grabbing every item on the candy rack, or the conveyor belt with my stuff on it. But I put that magic box of Tic Tacs in his hand, and he shook them and waved them around with delight. And, the teether that he is, he put the box in his mouth. I had to pry the precious box out of his hands to give to the guy to pay for it, which was met with the quickest batch of crocodile tears I’ve ever seen. Luckily that was short lived.

I don’t even like orange Tic Tacs.

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