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.

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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.)

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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I survived the #SharkNado !!

It was incredible! Sharks flying through the air! People running and screaming, blood flowing through the streets.

Lucky for me there was much advanced warning from folks on twitter such as Wil and Anne Wheaton, Craig Engler from SyFy, @RedCross and well as many others. I don’t know if I would have survived without their brave reporting on the situation.

In the aftermath all we can really do is think about those that were lost and stock up on tornado stopping home made propane bombs!

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Ok, so I don’t live anywhere near SharkNado alley. You have to admit that it was one hell of a ride if you where anywhere near twitter last night. The morning feed is full of exclamations about what happened and how this TV movie became such a hit on the Internet.
I didn’t actually get to watch the silly thing until after the craze had passed. My local cable company was a few hours behind the rest of the world.

I sat and watched the sharks hit the chainsaw at 9pm pacific. I wasn’t disappointed. It was every bit as cheesy and B-movie that I expected.

If you missed the phenomenon, tune in to SyFy again on Thursday July 18 7/6c for another chance.