Thursday, April 28, 2016

{ Phone calls and some homemaking }

April 28, 2016

That's how most of my Wednesday went, well, with some cooking and homeschooling thrown in.

I know it's kinda silly to be posting on Thursday about my Wednesday, but I didn't get a chance yesterday so here I am, sitting in bed, watching General Hospital on the DVR and typing this up.

April 28, 2016

I have this ritual that I follow, every morning, once I'm up and dressed, I saunter on into the kitchen and proceed to empty the dishwasher and reload it.  But there are days where either the washer is full or I have some dishes that I prefer to do by hand.

The thing with dish washing by hand is that I get to just sit, with the window open, look outside, feel the breeze, listen to the birds and get my thoughts figured out.

April 28, 2016

I've been growing herbs, and some I decided to grow in these big mason jars.  I just love the way they look and I can hardly wait for them to be all grown and ready to use.  I think having herbs right there, ready to throw into your food, is something that makes cooking for me even more enjoyable.

April 28, 2016

As I've done a bit of spring cleaning, I've also found myself shifting certain things around.  This window in the green living room is so big, and I never quite know what to put there, for now I've placed two of the extra dining chairs I have and a little table.  It will do, I just want to find some pillows to place on the chairs.

April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016

In between the cleaning and moving things around, I had a bunch of phone calls that I had to make.

April 28, 2016

My girl is now set up to start Behavioral Therapy next week.  I don't quite know how to feel about this, other than relieved that she is going to get the help that she needs but still in a bit of disbelief that we're dealing with this.

I will do a post at a later date about dealing with teenage anxiety and depression.

April 28, 2016

One thing I can tell you for certain, is that the parakeets we got her for her birthday, have helped tremendously with how she's feeling.

I had no idea that they would help her so much, but I'm thrilled that they do.  She's named them Talone and Ezreal, which are names of two characters from a game she plays online.  It's so sweet seeing how much she loves them and how happy they make her.

April 28, 2016

April 28, 2016

But then, animals do have a way of making you feel better when you're not quite yourself.  
April 28, 2016

I grew up with birds in my house, we always had a few.....cockatiels, lovebirds, canaries etc.  I hadn't realized how much I missed having them around until I brought these two home and hear them chirping every day.

Now I have to have one myself, I just do.  They bring so much joy.  :)

Well friends, I am starting to feel super tired.  I think it's because of all the mowing we've been doing.  Remember I said we have 3 acres?  Well last year we bought a riding mower on Craigslist, and it literally worked for us 1 time before giving out.  We don't know what's wrong with it, my husband can't seem to figure it out, so we're kind of stuck using push mowers around.

Between me, my niece and my brother, we've managed to do most of the property, all that is left is right behind the house and it's gotten so tall back there.  That's the thing about living here in Texas, with all the rain we get the grass just grows and grows and grows.

But yeah, been mowing for 3 days, and after today I am so sore not only in my back but my sciatica too.  I'm going to take some Motrin and try to get an early night in.

Hope you're all enjoying your Thursday evening.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{ Rainy Days and Birthdays }

Rainy Day

Good morning everyone, it is quite early here, only 6:45am but since I had some time, I thought I would come in for a little chat.

You know the other day I was looking back through my blog, something I do quite often, and I enjoyed it so much.  All the memories, the stories, the good and the bad times, all of it recorded here on this little blog.  Then I started thinking that as life has changed, as kids have grown, as we've moved around from State to State, I seem to have slowed down tremendously on the updating.

I keep telling myself it's fine, it's normal, it's the crazy busy life I live at the moment, but on the other hand it saddens me because I feel there are so many things happening that I *SHOULD* be recording for later, and I'm not doing it.

It's a daily struggle, really.

Anyway, the past two weeks have been extra busy with school tests and birthdays and family gatherings etc.

Jasmine's birthday

My gorgeous daughter turned 17.  Yep, 17 years old.  I don't even know how that happened, it feels like it was overnight.  Do you remember when she was a little girl starting kindergarten?
I actually want to cry when I look at that picture.  I miss my little girl, I miss her needing me constantly, and I miss being able to just pick her up and cradle her in my lap. 

Jasmine's birthday

She is still sweet, she is still loving, she still hugs me and tells me she loves me, just the other night she actually woke me up around midnight with a text message that simply said "I love you mama".

That's all, just I love you mama and a heart, she wanted to tell me before she fell asleep. 

By the way, she is doing so much better after being to the doctor.  I was reluctant to start her on medication, I wanted to try everything possible before going down that route, but I have to tell you that the change in her is amazing.  She is well rested, she is smiling, she is up early every morning, she is out of her room and interacting with the family.  There is a glow about her that I hadn't seen in a very long time.

Thank you all so very much, for the prayers and words of encouragement, they got me through some of my darkest moments.

So yes, 17 years old, one more year and she is done with school, going to college and moving out on her own.  Oh boy, I am going to struggle through that I'm sure.

Rainy Day

The rain has been coming down lately, and sometimes it feels non stop, which is normal for this time of the year. 

While I love a good thunderstorm, the fact that the storms here are so severe at times, and could produce tornadoes, is enough to keep me on my toes anytime one rolls around.  I guess it's something I will just have to get used to, right?

Rainy Day

As the rain has been pelting down, I'm noticing a lot of mushrooms popping up all over the yard.  I wouldn't dare touch any of them as I don't know what is poisonous or not, but they do make for some pretty pictures.

Rainy Day

The ones above make me think of a forest and I can almost envision some fairies living under them. 

Rainy Day

There's something about rain, about the way the drops hang from the blades of grass, or trickle down a tree branch.  Or the sound it makes on the roof, even the thunder and lightning for me is therapeutic.  Now if I could just have all that without the tornadoes, that would be great  hahah

Alright, I have housework to do and I also want to quickly watch my Portuguese soap, so I better get this post finished off.

Oh and I do plan on getting my food blog up and running again, I'm so sorry that I've slacked on it, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I miss having my recipes right there when I'm making a new menu plan or just looking for a family favorite to make.  I need to remedy that.

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone, leaving you with tons of blessings :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/25/2016

Good Morning everyone :)

I want to start by wishing my beautiful daughter, a very happy 17th birthday. I can NOT for the life of me even wrap my brain around that number, it just can't be possible. Oh boy, I'm getting old lol

We had a birthday party for her on Saturday but I'll share some pics and talk more about it in a separate post, right now let's see what our week is looking like.


The weather outside is::::
Right now 60 degrees, with a high of 90 predicted for later.  We will be getting some strong thunderstorms tomorrow and Friday, but the rest of the week looks pretty clear and warm.

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Coffee for now, but as soon as my girl wakes up, I'll be making her some waffles with Vanilla Custard sauce and I'll have one of those.     

As I look outside my window:::
Beautiful sunrise, birds chirping and trees.  That is literally what I see from where I'm sitting in bed.  it's a gorgeous morning. 

Right now I am::::
Sitting in bed.  It's my morning ritual, I get up with hubby, make us some coffee and chat with him al little then he's off to work and and I sit on my bed with the laptop. 

As I look around the house::::
Needs some major cleaning after the party on Saturday and a barbecue yesterday.  I'll get to it soon as I get up though :) 

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Did 3 loads on Friday night, but have a full basket again.  I don't get it, where does all this come from, if you saw my laundry you would assume that we change outfits 3 times a day.  Anyway, have 2 or 3 loads to do, plus Bella's bedding, plus a comforter and linens. 
Cleaning....In the kitchen, Unload the dishwasher and reload with breakfast dishes, clean the chalkboard wall, water the plants. 
In the living room....Vacuum.  Tidy up the couches, pick up all the Nerf darts and guns.  Open blinds and windows to let in some cool air.
In the bedrooms....change the bed linens, vacuum, dust.  Open blinds and windows. 
In the bathrooms....Toilets, sinks and mirrors.  Sweep and mop. are almost done with school, so we'll be working hard to finish. 
Cooking.....We have a lot of leftover chicken from the barbecue yesterday.  Dinner tonight is Spaghetti Bolognese.

Currently reading::::
Still getting through the same book.


On the TV today::::
We love sitting down as a family to watch shows, so we have a few to catch up on tonight.
Ghost Asylum
60 Days In

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Spaghetti Bolognese, Salad
Tuesday - Pork Chops and Roasted Garlic Baby Potatoes
Wednesday - Leek and Potato Soup, Sandwiches made with Homemade Bread
Thursday - Meatball Mozzarella Subs, Fries
Friday - Bangers and Mash, Broccoli
Saturday - Homemade Pizza
Sunday -Pasteis de Massa Tenra (Portuguese Meat Pastries), Rice with peas

What I am creating at the moment::::
A patchwork cover for my daughter's bird cage.


New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Sausage Cheddar Bites for Jasmine's birthday party.  Also made 2 different punches.  I really, really, and I mean REALLY need to get these recipes on the blog.

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/18/2016

Good morning everyone, I hope you've had a great weekend.  Mine was busy and also filled with some emotional moments related to my daughter.  We are having a really hard time with her and I find myself at a loss for words.

There is so much I want to say and do, and yet I find that at times I feel completely overwhelmed and helpless, almost wanting to run away and not have to deal with any of it.  I can say that I never in my life dreamed that things would turn out this way or that we would be having these issues.  She has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and I'm hoping and praying that we get some answers and some help.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
Just a cup of coffee right now, and said coffee is actually cold at the moment.  I don't know if I'll eat anything, I'm not really hungry.

On today's to do list::::
Usual homemaking

Currently reading::::
The Never List by Koethi Zan.

On the TV today::::
 I don't know if I'll have much time to watch anything. To be honest, I don't know if it's even a fact of time, but more that I don't feel like watching anything, my head is too filled with worries to really concentrate on watching anything. 

The weather outside is::::
We've had quite a lot of rain lately and pretty bad weather.  Our highs will be in the 70's this week but we will still be getting some overcast skies and rain here and there.

On the menu this week::::

I only have meals planned until Thursday, I need to work on the new menu and go grocery shopping Thursday or Friday morning.

Monday - White Castle Sliders, Fries, Root Beer floats
Tuesday - Mexican Tortilla Stack, Salad
Wednesday - Chicken Tetrazzini, Garlic Bread
Thursday -
Friday -
Saturday - Jasmine's Birthday Party, I'm doing a buffet style finger food meal.
Deviled Eggs, Pigs in a blanket, Fried Pickles with Ranch, Mini Potatoes wrapped in Bacon, Sausage and Cheddar Bites, Pepperoni Balls, Birthday Cake, Cupcakes, M&M Cookie Bars, Raspberry Sherbet Punch and Lime Sherbet Punch
Sunday -

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
I would love to take a nap, I physically and mentally need it.  Got about 4 hours of sleep between issues with my daughter and Lola's seizures.

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
None this week but I will be making a few things for my daughter's birthday. 

In the garden::::
All my herbs have come in and they're doing so well, I'm very excited with the progress.

Favorite photo from the camera:::: 

April 11, 2016

Praying for::::
~ Still praying for my brother to find a job.
~ My daughter, we really need prayers, things are so difficult at the moment and I find myself questioning everything, what kind of mother I am, where I went wrong, how I failed.  It's exhausting.
~ Myself, I need prayers, lots of them.  I am not dealing with any of this very well, to say I'm struggling would be an understatement.
~ My husband, as we try to get through this we find our marriage strained and we're both at a loss.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Glad to see the week come to an end

There are weeks that go by at a snail's pace, and then there are those that seem to whiz by, surrounding us with so much busyness that we can't help but breathe a sigh of relief when they come to an end.

This was one of those.

Last Sunday was quite an interesting one. It started off with some time outside as a family, everyone was throwing around foam airplanes, laughing, the dogs were running around and we enjoyed the wonderful weather.

Watched these big buzzards flying right above us.....

April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

And there was even some kite flying.  The weather was perfect for that, quite a bit of wind and everyone had a great time watching this gorgeous kite fluttering about.

April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

But very quickly the weather changed, dark purple clouds took over the sky and next thing we knew the skies lit up with bright lightning.

April 11, 2016

In the picture below you can actually see a lightning bolt on the bottom left. 

April 11, 2016

It didn't stop, the lightning intensified and it was almost like camera flashes continually going.  I've never in my life witnessed anything like that.  Within about an hour we were getting weather alerts and at about 9pm we had an emergency alert about a tornado and advising us to seek shelter.

Thankfully we have a storm shelter underneath the house, the problem is that it is not yet ready, the air is very stagnant and though we were lucky enough not to have endured any tornadoes, my brother and I had a really bad allergy attack.

I don't have asthma and wouldn't even begin to know what it is like, but my throat started closing up, I couldn't breathe, I was coughing constantly and my lungs were making this weird whizzing sound.  I took some allergy meds and was able to feel better, but my word did that scare me.

And so my week began......

Monday started with my boy's birthday.  He turned 13, can you believe that?  Thirteen years old, no longer a little boy, but a teenager.  I'm frankly having a hard time lately, I try not to let it bother me too much but there are moments that the emotions seem to almost choke me and I try everything within my power not to cry.  It's so hard being a mom, so incredibly hard.

April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

It's so hard to see just how big he has grown.  Ugh!!!

Anyway.....aside from his birthday on Monday, we also had end of year testing, driving back and forth for 3 days, kids stressed, parents stressed, spending way too much time in the car and feeling like I got absolutely nothing accomplished on the home front.

I'm a creature of habit, I like being a homemaker and working around the house, making dinner and cleaning and so forth.  When I'm not home for a few days, I feel like everything just gets left behind and I honestly don't feel right.  It's almost like something is missing.

Today was the first day that I had nowhere to go and could get back to my usual routine.

April 11, 2016

My day started with a beautiful sunset, but not before the dense fog made it's way through.  I couldn't believe how foggy it was, but I must admit that I've always loved foggy mornings, there's something almost magical about it.

April 11, 2016

A quick shower and some comfy clothes on, and I got straight to work.  Laundry was caught up, ironing piles were ironed, beds were made, bedrooms cleaned, carpets vacuumed and cleaned and I even got started on some window cleaning.

It felt so incredibly good to be back to my normal routine and to feel like my house was clean and tidy and back on track.

Worked on some homeschooling too, trying to get the kids caught up because with 3 days of testing they end up not having much time for their normal classes. 

Thankfully, school is over May 18th, so a little over 4 weeks, thank the Lord.  Gets to this time of the year and I think we are all just ready for it to be over.

I was doing so well posting daily and then this week just threw a huge wrench in my path, so I'm looking forward to getting back on track.  :)

For now though, I'm going to finish up this post, catch up on some shows and then probably get some sleep.  We went to bed way too late last night and that 5:45am alarm came way too soon.

I hope you've all had a good week and are looking forward to your weekend.  Anyone doing anything fun???

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/11/2016

Good morning everyone, here we are again for another Happy Homemaker Monday.  I must say that I wasn't quite ready for it to be Monday again and I also wasn't quite ready to get up so early.  Goodness I'm tired today.

We had a tornado warning last night, actually had to head to the shelter which was quite scary.  Thankfully we are safe and the storms have moved on.  What a scary thing to go through.

Anyway, it's a new day, and it's actually my son Nicholas' birthday.  I can not believe that he is turning 13 today, it feels like he was just a toddler the other day.  I'm officially out of the little kids stage and I am finding it quite sad and difficult to get through. 

I now have two teenagers.  Oh goodness!!!

Right, well let's get going with our day.......

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
Coffee with Vanilla creamer, and when I get up I will have some yogurt with fruit and granola. 

On today's to do list::::
Clean and tidy the house
Bake my son's cake and decorate it.  I'm making him a cake from one of his favorite games, Team Fortress. 
Also need to make some Rissois, which he requested for his birthday.

Currently reading::::
My sister in law actually let me borrow her book, it's called The Never List by Koethi Zan.  It's an author we had never heard of, but she says it's quite good.

On the TV today::::
Not really sure, probably some vlogs. 

The weather outside is::::
61 degrees and cloudy with some possible thunderstorms later in the day. 

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Nick's birthday, he has requested Four Cheese Pasta and Rissois
Tuesday - School testing (Slow Cooker Chili, Rice)
Wednesday - School testing (Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Potato Salad)
Thursday -Out to dinner with family
Friday -White Castle Sliders, Fries, Root Beer Floats
Saturday -BBQ Chicken Pizza
Sunday - Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad, Garlic Bacon Bread

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Doubt I'll have any extra time today with the preparation for Nick's Birthday

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
The newest recipe I tried, was actually for Pickled Fish.  If you've never tried it you have got to give it a go, it is SO good.  I didn't get pictures though, so I'm going to make it again soon and snap some pics so I can share the recipe with you all. 

In the garden::::
My herbs are doing great, I might have to move them soon because they're already outgrowing the little pots I planted them in. 

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Our Bella, she is getting so old. 

Homemaking Tip::::
Likewise with my menu book, I also have one for monthly bills.  Each month is on a new page and I write in there what we got paid, what day and from where.  I also write down each bill that I pay and the amounts.  It really does help keeping track of our money.

Praying for::::
My brother went to 3 interviews last week, and I'm really hoping that one of them comes through.  He is quite stressed about his situation and looking forward to getting back to work. 
My kids as they prepare for testing this week, they always get so nervous.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::
10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

{ A mowing we will go.... }

April 6, 2016

As a military wife, I learned to do a lot of things on my own.  I had to, I was left with two young children while my husband deployed or went away for training, and I really didn't like to have to ask anyone for anything so I quickly became independent, doing it all, holding down the fort etc.

One of the things I always had to do while he was away, was mow the yards.  It's just one of the hundreds of things that I'm ever so grateful for learning in our many years as an active duty family.

April 6, 2016

Living in Texas now, as most of you know, we have a country house with 3 acres, which means lots of mowing come spring and summer time.  It wouldn't be a problem if our riding mower worked, unfortunately it doesn't.  Guess it's one of the issues when buying anything from Craigslist right?

So that leaves a huge yard to mow and a push mower to push around.

April 6, 2016

It takes us a few days to get it all done, and so what I usually do is get started early morning when the sun is not yet scorching hot, and there is a cool breeze blowing through.

It gets me outside in the fresh air, it gives me some exercise and hey, I can even work on my tan.

April 6, 2016

Yesterday was mowing day.  I wish I could describe or even begin to explain here on the blog, just how much I enjoy being out there.  Everything looks magical, and there are certain corners of the yard that make me feel like I could easily step through a doorway into the Secret Garden.

April 6, 2016

It looks magical, it feels magical.  When I first took this picture above, it almost felt like I could be a tiny little fairy, weeding my way through the tall grass.  Can almost picture a beautiful little house in between those.

April 6, 2016

I think it's part of the Spring magic, it makes everything soft and pretty, I'm pretty sure it is meant to bring insane amounts of joy into a person's life.  Or maybe it just does that for me, who knows.

I mowed for an hour, got the whole right side of the house done and smiled through it.  Is it hard work?  Of course, a riding mower would have been a lot easier and faster, but the birds were chirping around me, the sun was shining down, the breeze was blowing through my hair and there was no busyness around me, no cars, no people back and forth, no sounds other than nature.

Pretty blissful to be honest.

Curt mowed most of the back of the house when he got home from work, and this morning I do need to get started on the front left side.  My lower back is hurting though and I'm waiting a little in hopes that the pain subsides and doesn't interfere with what I need done.  Not that it matters, if I can't do it today, I'll get on with it tomorrow.

Right now my tummy is rumbling, so I am heading into the kitchen for another cup of coffee and breakfast of some kind. 

You have yourselves a wonderful Thursday :)

April 6, 2016

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

{ Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook }

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

On my Happy Homemaker Monday tip, I mentioned my notebook.  Actually I have 2 or 3 designated for meal planning and grocery lists.

I think I may have mentioned them in the past, along with my monthly bills notebook too.

A couple of you showed interest and I received some messages asking me if I could share a little more about the notebook and how I use it.  I may in the future do a post on my budget and bills notebook as well, but for today I thought I would come in and show you and talk a little more about my menu planning book.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

There is nothing super fantastic about it, it's not a book that you buy at the store specifically designed for this purpose.  It's a simple notebook that I turned into my meal planning and grocery book, a place I could keep it all together and actually take with me to the grocery store.

I've been meal planning for 20 or so years, you all know that, I've talked about it at length here on my blog.  I went many many years with just jotting down the menu on a piece of paper, a grocery list on a separate piece and then chucking them both out when I was done with them.

I'm not saying that it didn't work for me, it did, but it kind of had it's drawbacks and I wanted something a little more concrete to work with.

Ok, maybe you're a little confused by what I mean.  It all boils down to what works for some doesn't work for others.  For me, I wanted to have a way of looking back on menus from the past, see what we were eating, what my grocery list was like, about how much I spent and so forth.  I also wanted to be able to have the menu with me at the grocery store because, and I don't know if this happens with any of you, but I sometimes want to see what I'm buying a certain ingredient for,  as by the time I am at the store I've forgotten.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

So how did I start mine, and how can you start one for yourself?  What do you put in there, how does it work?

I have all those answers for you, and I do hope that it helps you as it's helped me.  To be honest, when I mentioned it here on the blog I had no idea anyone would say anything and even less, want to know how to start their own.  You ladies are always surprising me, or maybe it's that I do things without even thinking that there's anything special about it, but I've been told by so many family and friends that I inspire them in homemaking and maybe this is my path in this life.  I don't know if it is, I just do what I do for myself and if anyone takes the idea and runs with it, that's a good thing :)

Right, now back to the notebook.

Like I said above I have a about 2 or 3.  I just picked out notebooks that I liked.  


I have a pink spiral one too.

The one I'm currently using is the green one as you can see on the very first photo on the post.

So what I do when I'm ready to plan the next two weeks meals, is to pull out my cookbooks or look online for inspiration.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

On one page I write out my menu.  I usually just jot down dinners which is the biggest meal and the one I really need to pay attention to.  Breakfast and lunches are easy peasy and I always have things on hand for those.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

Not to say that I don't sometimes write down breakfast and lunch too, but I mainly do it only if I'm having extra guests, or it's holidays or something along those lines.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

As I write down the meal for that day, I immediately take note of any ingredients that I have to buy, on the opposite page.  It just makes it easier for me as I go along to do it this way, instead of waiting until the end and writing the grocery list.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

One thing I also do is write down the cookbook page beside the meal.  Whichever books I'm using for that menu plan, I keep aside so that I don't forget which one I used.  All others I didn't need, go back to the shelf.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

When I go to the grocery store, I take the book with me, so when you start your own, make sure it's small enough to take with you, you certainly don't need a big chunky book to haul around.

Mine fits perfectly in my bag.

Menu Plan and Grocery Notebook

There are so many times that I need inspiration, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy flipping back through the pages and looking at previous menus.  There is always a recipe or two that jump out at me, something we really enjoyed, something I had totally forgotten about, a simple cheap meal etc.

Meal Planning and Grocery Notebook

One thing I also do, is to jot down how much the grocery bill was.  It definitely helps when keeping track for budget reasons, I can see when I spent more, what we were eating, when I spent less and so on.

So yeah, that is basically what my notebook is and how I use it.  I hope it gives you all an idea on how to start your own, I also hope that you're able to make it work for you.  Do let me know if you already do something similar and if you start using one I would love to hear back from you as to how it's working and if it's helping etc.