I think we should start a new series entitled "My 1,000th attempt at ___________".
We could call it "Thousandth Attempt Thursday", highlighting all our attempts at making something work. Maybe if we all share our attempts, someone will find something that could work for them.
My husband jokes with me that if it is a "cute" system than I try to make it work. It must be pleasing to the eye for me to even give it a shot. What can I say... I like pretty things.
Well, meal planning is something I have struggled with for the past 13 years (The entire length of our marriage, although we really didn't plan much at the beginning. We ate out ALL the time. Man, was that healthy!)
A few years ago I was really convicted about our poor eating habits. Not that we eat super healthy at all, but we were always eating frozen meals or grabbing food on the go. I really wanted dinner each evening to be a special time around the table for our family. However, having 3 young boys tends to sabotage the idealistic picture in my head no matter what meal I plan, but that's just life.
I have used a few different systems... index cards, a notebook, writing it on a white board. Then I came across a system on pinterest the other day (Yes, I am addicted) that showed a frame with clothespins and all the meal choices were printed up on cards, held in little pockets, that could be pinned to a corresponding day of the week.
I liked the idea, but space is limited in my house when it comes to wall space so a whole separate frame wouldn't work. So, like most busy moms I am multitasking my organizational tools.
Here is what was going on at the beginning of this week...
Nice, but I need that magnetic chalkboard for my kids stuff. The clipboards underneath hold all their important school papers, and the chalkboard is perfect for little reminders and such. (And yes, I know I spelled "teriyaki" wrong)
I decided to give the clothespins a try...
I printed up a bunch of menu options on pretty paper (about 25) and printed up the ingredients for each option on white paper. I included an "eat out" card, a "kids choice" card, and a few blank ones for new meals to try as well.
Then I cut them, and placed the ingredients paper on the back side of the corresponding meal option.
Then, I laminated them. I LOVE laminating and am very thankful for my friend, Shae, who lets me borrow her machine!
I cut out each card.
I decided to keep my meal cards in a cute envelope, so I used a regular envelope as a template and created 2 envelopes from pretty paper...
Sorry, it's not rotated (don't know what is up with that), but you get the idea. I put "what's for dinner" on one envelope and "that was delicious" on the other.
Then I took 7 clothespins, printed up the days of the week, and stuck them to the pins.
My goal is to sit down each Sunday, check my "what's for dinner?" envelope and plan out our meals for the week (super easy since the ingredients are listed on the back of each card). Once a week is over, the finished meal cards go in the "that was delicious" envelope. After we go through our whole rotation, the finished cards will go back in the "what's for dinner?" envelope and we will start over.
The blank cards give us freedom in our choices, which I think my husband will appreciate. (I could actually eat the same thing over and over again if my family would let me.) Because the cards are laminated, I can just use a dry erase marker for any new recipes we want to try.
To set this all up, I just stuck a white ribbon to the side of that magnetic chalkboard frame for the clothespins and hung the envelopes on the fridge right next to it. Super easy!!!
Now my kids frame is back to normal with room #'s, reminders of dentist appointments, teacher info, Bible verse for the month, etc.
Right now the envelopes are hanging on my kids star canisters (they earn stars to redeem for certain privileges). I am looking for magnets with a hook on them for a more permanent solution, but this is what I had on hand for now.
Can you see the ribbon? (The pinterest idea had the clothespins glued to the frame, but that didn't work on my frame, so the ribbon is perfect.)
So fun! And I am pretty sure that my boys are going to love drawing out of the envelope each week.
Do you have a system that works for you?
It takes me a lot of trial and error, but we'll see if this one lasts.
I think it is a keeper!
Happy Thursday everyone!