Adventures of a Busy Mom: Meal Planning

Today’s adventure involves Meal Planning.

Something every large family takes very seriously.

When you average $2000 a month on groceries it is a very serious thing.

I like to plan ahead. I don’t mean plan so that we have Chicken on Monday and Pork chops on Thursday and don’t break from the plan damn it or you will screw it all up kind of planning. I like to be a little more fluid in my choice of dinner.

I found this fantastic Pin on Pinterest that (Yeah, I drank the Pinterest Koolaide) has some awesome crock pot meals. I tried a few of them last month and WOW! It was sweet!

ringaroundtherosies.net

Go there. I did the Chicken Teriyaki and the Savory Chicken. They were melt in your mouth!

So back to meal planning…

I write down a list of about 13 or so different meals for the month. I try to make it things that are filling or that have sides that fill the tummies of 6 growing boys and a lumberjack of a husband. Things I can double up on filling out the meals for the entire month. Yeah, there will be repeats but Hey, Budget.

After figuring in leftover nights you should come out even for number of meals vs days in the month (unless it is August or one of those weird 31 days months. Whatevs.)

Now that you have the list of what you want to make, get your list of what you need to make them with.

Ingredients.

Be sure to check your pantry and freezer for anything you had left over from the month before. You might not need to get some items because you already have them on hand. I like to keep certain things stocked regardless so I always have extra. Rice, Pasta, Canned foods (green beans, spam, corn, soups)

If you go the crock pot route like I am thins month you can get everything, including the produce.

I love Costco because I can get bulk everything, including the produce at decent prices.

If you chose NOT to freeze meal plan then try to hold off getting any of your produce until either the day you need or 2 days before. You don’t want your tomatoes or peppers to get squishy before you need them. (HINT: DO NOT put Tomatoes in the fridge! It will cause them to get all mealy and they go bad faster.)

I finally took the time to do a “Meal Prep Day” getting everything put together on one day. One mess.

It was the best thing EVER!

EVER!

Serious ladies and gents, try it once. You may think at the time ‘What the hell, This is a giant pain in the ass!” But Trust me, when you are exhausted from a day of work, be it at home or out at a job, when all you need to do it wipe out the crock pot you will do a dance as you sip your box wine!

My FOOD! Pinterest Board.

Writing and Muses.

20121119-045848.jpg “I got this Mom.” ~ one of my reasons for writing.

Music is a muse for most of the writers I know. They all have a favorite method for choosing what to listen to when working on a novel. Depending on the scene and the atmosphere they want to get through to the reader will determine what music they listen to.

Others go for nature walks, read another book from a favorite author or exercise. I have even heard a few writers talk about coming to a breakthrough while washing the dishes! (Those people are crazy! I hate washing dishes!)

I have taken a page from the awesome Yasmine Galenorn and started putting together playlists that I happen to listen to while I am writing. I plan on adding these music muses to the back of the book. No particular order to listen to but you may figure out what music inspired what scene.

The entire writing process can be a mystery to anyone who does not write. Maybe I can help give a bit of insight into how ideas and images flow through the mind and body then out through the fingers onto the keys of a type writer or computer keyboard. Or maybe I should keep that bit of mystery and magic to it. Believing in a thing helps make it so. If writers were to lose the mystery of what they do then maybe there would no longer be magic in the pages of a good book.

Keep Reading and believing!

More FullMoonStation

Since putting up Full Moon Station on a free promotion, several people have asked for more from the story.  It never seemed to speak to me beyond the first part but the story was so great I wanted to give it more. Here is what I have so far. Maybe after Beast Within is completed and uploaded to Amazon, I will be able to finish Mark and Ted’s story.

 

The sun reflected off the chrome of the ‘64 mustang, straight into the eyes of Detective Theo Logan as he pulled up to the gas station, It was in a ditch about forty feet away from the pumps. Local police and state patrol hovered at the edges of the vehicle trying to peek inside without actually looking in the window, a couple of the officers glanced his way as he parked next to one of the state patrol SUVs.
Ted was no where to be seen, but then they may have taken him into town to the station or the hospital. Positive thinking was a plus.
The desert heat poured into the car as he opened the door. It smelled like dust and dried weeds. It was only ten in the morning. “Detective Logan?” a younger female officer approached she was almost military in her uniform. Her black hair was pulled tight in a bun. Olive skin and flashing brown eyes took in everything about him and more.
Despite her small frame she seemed to radiate an aura that said “Mess with me, I dare you”. Her name badge read Hernandez. Theo unfolded his tall frame from the rental then leaned back in and grabbed his white stetson hat from the passenger seat popping it onto his head. He held out his hand, nodding his head in reply.
“The sheriff wants to see you before you get started. Could you follow me please?” the only reason Theo caught the accent in her words were from years of having a proud Latino partner.
He followed the young officer into the gas station. The front window had been broken out. Small shards of glass glittered in the sun like a million diamonds scattered across the pavement. There was a dark red patch of blood on the grey pavement just outside the window. He knew the body was already on the way to the local morgue.
He stopped himself before his mind raced around in circles with the thought of his son lying cold on a steel table.

The managers office was little more than a closet at the back of the store. Toilet paper rolls lined a small wire shelf packed in next to a file cabinet and a small desk. There was an ancient computer complete with green screen monitor and a small stack of three and a half inch floppy disks.
The sheriff was a roundish man with thick grey hair and a clean cut goatee. His dark brown sheriff hat sat atop the monitor while the man himself filled the small office chair beside the desk. Theo stood in the open doorway. Hernandez had dropped him off at the door then did a sharp about face and headed back through the store and out the front.

“Sheriff,” Theo said in greeting nodding to the man in the chair.
“Detective,” he replied. “ You wouldn’t happen to be the same Theodor Logan on the registration and insurance from that mustang out front now would you?”
Theo nodded.
The sheriff said. “Well, I spose that means you want in on this deal then?” again Theo nodded. “One thing first Detective Logan…” the sheriff glanced down at his hands then back up at Theo.

He could tell by the look in the sheriffs eye that he knew who was driving Theo’s car last night. “It was your kid wasn’t it.” It is a statement rather than a question.
“Yes, sir. My son borrowed the car so he and a friend could go to the concert out on the coast yesterday.”
The sheriff nodded his expression saying he already knew that as well. “Well, I suppose if you can report to my lead detective, I will let you get involved in the case.”

“That works for me.” Theo said.

 

Published and panicking!

FullMoonStationCoverWell not really Panic.

OK maybe a little. But really it is anxiety over whether or not people are enjoying the story! I have received one tweet from a friend who complimented the work. As grateful as I am, I am paranoid about the other people who have grabbed the book while it is in free promo. No one has posted a review as of writing this. Good or Bad. And I have read some awful degrading reviews for some of my fellow writers!

Full Moon Station is a short story in the Shifters and Sorcery Series that I will be uploading to Amazon on a regular basis. The story is about two college age guys on the road back from a concert who stop by a gas station in the middle of the desert. After Mark heads in to the station to grab cigarettes and coffee, a werewolf begins to tear the place apart. Ted must use the skills taught by his detective father to help his friend and stop the monster.

The next book in the set is called Beast Within. This story comes at werewolves from both sides. Beth is a young high school girl from Minnesota who has recently moved to Tacoma, WA to live with her mom. She starts her first day of school feeling outcast and alone. After the main bully and his girlfriend prey on her in the cafeteria, Beth is befriended by a young witch named Skye who sees great potential in her new friend.

On the flip side of the story is a sociopath werewolf who has gone around the town killing people. He fails to connect his humanity with the people he murders when he is a wolf. The killer has caught scent of Beth and her special abilities and has decided he wants her as his mate.

With the help of The Silver Moon Society, an organization made up of witches and other supernatural beings, and Mark (from the short Story Full Moon Station) Beth must learn who she really is to help stop the werewolf from killing again.

I hope to have Beast Within available for purchase around Halloween.

I hope you all get the chance to grab Full Moon Station while it is still free for another day! Please, if you do, stop and leave a review! If by chance you read this after the promo and still wish to support my efforts, the story will be available for 99 cents until the 90 days is up then I will make it available for free on other media. That should help drop the price to match 😀 Until then, know that I appreciate your love and support!

Thank you all

I hit the “Save and Publish” button.

Today I set out on a new adventure.

I hit the “Save and Publish” button in KDP.

If you have been following me for a while, you will recognize the story.

Full Moon Station. The short story about a couple of guys making an innocent stop at the gas station who end up running into a world of trouble when a werewolf kills everyone in sight.

I wanted to make it available for free because it is such a short piece but that was not an option. It is $0.99 and should be available sometime tomorrow morning.

If you choose to purchase the story, THANK YOU! Any money made from this will go toward helping finish Death’s Hope. I want to professionally edit the novel length story. Making sure you all have the highest quality book available.

I chose to publish Full Moon Station because I wanted to familiarize myself with the way KDP works. I don’t want any surprises popping up when I publish DH!

Again, to all who have chosen to support me, Thank you so much! SHARE the book with a friend.

Full Moon is just the start of another series I have in the works called Shifters and Sorcery. These books are going to be available through KDP as well. Keep an eye out for “Sunrise” (the story of a sorceress named Charlene Talon, the last living descendant of Merlin and prime suspect in several murders of supernatural people) and “Beast Within” (the story of an Alpha Shifter named Elizabeth new to her powers. Her town is being terrorized by a sociopath werewolf who wants Beth for his mate.)

Today on Adventures of a Busy Mom…

 

The youngest came in to the bedroom at around 5 am. Crawled up across the bed, over the top of his older brother who had already snuggled in beside me. Making sure he was between be and the 4 year old, he firmly squeezed himself in making sure there was no more brother anywhere near mom.

I can not get my children to keep cloths on for more than 5 minutes if we are at home. So when he wedged himself into the already crowded bed, his bare back was pressed against me. His skin was hot to the touch.

If you have followed my blog for a while, then you know I am a mom of 7 wonderful boys. This gives me plenty of experience in the ‘fever and sickness’ department.

We got up, heading out to the kitchen and the medicine cabinet to grab the thermometer. After spending a few moments getting him to stick out his tongue (This is the secret to getting an oral temp from a 2 year old) his temp read 101.3.

Fevers in young kids are, for the most part, not something to freak out about. It is the bodies way of killing of something that might otherwise cause them to be extremely ill. If you are a new parent of a toddler, have courage. As long as your little one is still smiling and playing, let them be.

(Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. I am just a Mom with experience. DO NOT take any advice I give as proper medical advice. Always trust your instinct as a parent and speak with your child’s doctor.)

If you are worried about how high their temp is,  give them some Tylenol or ibuprofen to help bring down the fever. Usually there is no need to freak out unless your kiddo seems lethargic and their skin is red from heat. Make sure you have talked with your child’s doctor about when to call him if your munchkin does get a fever, Most of the time you can wait a few days before needing to take them in.

So, now it is 6 am. The teen is awake. He will be getting out the door for school in the next 30 minutes. I have a can of Red Bull at my side. Madagascar 2 is playing with the two youngest children watching.

I have given my friendly Mom advice for the day. I shall see you all in Twitter Land. I am off to work on Crowd Funding Rewards.

Have a great day!

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy

Since the mainstreaming of books like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, people have been looking for other novels that reach that same quality of ‘epic story’.

Tad Williams books in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy reach that level of Epic.

The trilogy starts with The Dragon bone Chair.

We meet young Simon. He works in the castle of the High King. Well, he is SUPPOSE to work there but like most 14 year old boys prefers to dream of adventures and magic. Simon spends more time avoiding work. He become the apprentice of Doctor Morgenes the castle scholar. Simon thinks he will be learning magic only to find his days filled with numbers and writing. The young man is easy to identify with making it easy to follow him on his adventure.

The old king dies and his eldest son, Elias, takes the throne. Things seem to be going well until drought and plague hit the Kingdom of Osten Ard.  The king argues with his brother, Josua about one of the kings advisers. A snake of a man named Pryrates.

The adventure gets underway when Simon discovers Josua in an underground, hidden room being prepared for one of Pryrates evil rituals and Morgenes and Simon help rescue the prince.

Williams does an amazing job of taking races and characters that are familiar and giving them a new look and feel.

I don’t want to go into much more detail. The story is fantastic. It is one where you get so involved, when you come up for air the rest of the world seems surreal.

Tad Williams has a website. Be sure to stop by and check out some of his other works.

http://www.tadwilliams.com/

You can find all the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn books on Amazon.com

Happy Reading!

Writer tips, tricks and fun.

I have come across many tips, tricks and cheats for assisting the would be author on the road to publication.

I have shared a few of these over twitter and thought it would be a great idea to add them here as a blog post.

One I found that was fun is a picture of editing marks. Common and not so common.

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Who can wear the badge of writer without knowing the basic keyboard shortcuts?

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And the most helpful thing I found was this…

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