In the evening or weekend
hours, when your job is done, your brain opens up to other
possibilities. I’m calling this section “after hours” and not
“hobbies” on purpose. Hobby makes it sound fun but insignificant.
In that time after your regular schedule you should be squeezing
things worth pursuing. Whether it’s learning how to bake so you can
start selling cookies on the side, reading to explore your horizons
or figuring out how to grow tomatoes on your roof top, these are the
things that fill you with passion and give you energy to face another
This project is becoming my
“after hours” and I’m very excited about that right now. I am
making (not finding) time for it in addition to all the other things
that are important in my life.
I found quite a few blogs that
have absolutely amazing tips for meal planning. I’m not going to
pretend I’m good at it, because I’m not. I’m going to share
with you resources with good ideas.
In my personal journey with
meal planning I went so overboard that my family will not eat beef
meatloaf or chicken enchiladas for years to come. It’s been 3 years
since they told me never to make it again and clearly they’re still
not ready to try these dishes again. I read few blogs about meal
planning. I made monthly calendars, weekly calendars and weekly
grocery shopping lists. I over engineered the experience so much that
those two dishes are on the “never again” list. 🙂
I hear over and over again
that we are so busy most of us don’t know what’s for dinner that
day at … 4 pm same day. Scary but real. This is the reason why so
many parents go to the drive through or if their budget and zip code
can handle it are getting Postmates or Grubhub delivered to their
Just like planning your
budget, any planning you can do towards what you’re going to feed
your family so you’re eating healthy, will get you far. Nothing
worse than hungry bunch and all you have is a jar of peanut butter
and some apples (if you’re lucky!) in the house.
I don’t try to plan monthly,
it just doesn’t fit our family right now. I start the week with
simple plans like Taco Tuesday and Meatless Monday and go from there.
In winter months I make chilli or soups that can feed us for two days
at a time. If I’m completely stressed out I try to at least make
time during lunch break at work on Monday to write down enough for
couple days and get the ingredients for those meals. I’ve also
gotten a lot better at keeping few staples in the pantry, freezer and
fridge for simple healthy meals I can make from scratch in very
One of my favorite blogs and
great moms who now also published couple cookbooks are Sweet Potato
Let’s start with the fact
that I love the name and sweet potatoes, but I can’t make my family
eat them. I have to hide sweet potatoes or squash in chicken chili
and hope they don’t notice. 🙂
Have you noticed the new-ish trend… it’s not enough to have goals, plans and vision for the new year. Now we are focusing on one single word to describe our future year and help us focus on achieving our goals. I heard about it couple years ago on a podcast and frankly spent the last two years pondering what my word of the year would be. Silly. Apparently it took me this long. 2020 was starting and I came back to the idea, seeing a flurry of posts from other bloggers about their words. It’s not enough to have a word, you can get a custom notebook, bracelet, etc made with it to really help you focus.
It took me a long time but inspired by couple recent discoveries I found my word. I recently listened to audiobook “The Year of Less”, which I highly recommend. It is not an easy read as it highlights deep problems and struggles with addiction. There were moments it was hard to get to the next chapter. The narrative though of one person’s journey realizing the excess of alcohol and things in her life and building slowly a new life with fewer things is very inspiring. I don’t think I can go as drastic as not to buy anything for a year or live with only one sweatshirt but I can understand how in order to fight excess one must sometimes swing the pendulum to the complete opposite.
fascinating how many common threads are there in these journeys but
yet each one is completely unique and opens our eyes to questioning
our own lives.
women inspired me to finally get my act together and choose a word to
focus on in 2020: “LESS”. Simple word, which my girls put into a
beautiful handmade bracelet. I have to add that my 6 year old said –
if you focus on less than isn’t getting yet another bracelet the
complete opposite? Smart girl.
family, work, career and life is no easy task. After our family move
to new state, new jobs for both of us, new schools and remodeling a
house… all I need is “LESS”. Less stress, less clutter, less /
fewer commitments. I really need to focus on eliminating all the
noise and the distractions and focus on listening to my heart, to
better understand what I need and how my balance can help my family
as well. It felt a bit embarrassing to choose such a simple word. As
you’ll see from other blogs, some women choose very inspirational
words, very focused on growth. Maybe that will be me next year, for
now I need to keep things simple.
I was stuck at O’Hare
waiting on a delayed flight. Early winter in Midwest often means
delays so I wasn’t too surprised. Normally I spend that time
reading a book or catching up on work emails. In my carry on I had a
beautiful colorful notebook just purchased, that was asking to be
filled with ideas not boring to do lists for the upcoming weekend. I
was thinking about my life. My constant balancing act between
pursuing my career and trying to be the best wife and mother I can
be. Finding the work- life balance or what some days I call work-work
balance, is not an easy task. Us working parents don’t have it
easy. If you’re a stay at home parent you also have to realize it.
Our lives are full of juggling, no matter how we pay our bills and
who’s waiting for us at home (even if its a succulent in a pot that
needs watering). I realized that I need to do a better job finding
things that are worth pursuing both in work life and real life.
There’s so much to learn, so many things to explore. While I’m
not an expert in many things I do have a knack for connecting people
and finding answers to all sorts of questions.
This blog came out of the
desire to create a space where we can all find something to fill our
lives with a little more. Whether you’re trying to excel in your
career or manage meal planning, I hope to show you resources to get