Planning a Trim Healthy Mama cooking day…and a free printable menu planner 


First of all, I am not affiliated with Trim Healthy Mama, or its founders Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison. I am just a loyal follower and a greatful fan. 

Have you heard of make ahead freezer meals? We are on a quest to make meal times easier and more simple at our home. I have always wanted to have a cooking day so I could make some meals ahead of time and freeze them. 

I decided to create a seven day meal planner so I could plan what meals we’d eat each week and then create a shopping list for each week as well. 

I am printing off four of these seven day planners, filling them out, and then buying the ingredients needed to make the meals. Here’s a little snapshot of what I’ve done so far:


I intend to have about a month’s worth of meals in my freezer when I’m finished cooking. The idea is to cook all day and have a whole month of foods to eat. In order to have a successful cooking day, you must plan ahead as much as possible. I want to make sure I have all the ingredients I need before the cooking day begins. 

You can find all the Trim Healthy Mama recipes in their cookbook, but you can also find tons of them on Pinterest or BrianaThomas.com.

You can download this meal planner as well. Just right click on the images below to save them to your device and print them. 


Happy cooking!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Using an agenda as a bullet journal…and being more organized as a result


I used to create and print this eleaborate calendar. It was great, but too big and too bulky, and it wasn’t very durable. It was also time consuming to design and assemble.

Enter this pretty little $14 agenda from Anthropologie.

It has whole month calendar pages

And weekly pages as well.

There are also blank pages in the back, which I’ve used for a number of things. Some of them I have used to paste in my own pages.

And on others, I draw or write in whatever I need it to be.

Now that I’m getting into bullet journaling, I can see how these boring, handwritten lists will be much more eye catching in the future.

I met a girl at a teaching workshop I attended earlier this year who had a gorgeous bullet journal. She graciously allowed me to photograph it.

I am learning to use my agenda to organize the things I am scheduled to do, the things I need to do, and the things I want to do. I am also using it to set some goals and keep track of other things.

Each evening, I look back over my day and I look to tomorrow to get a good idea of what I need to accomplish. I also make sure I’m ready for the next day.

I am encouraging my readers to share their agendas. How do you use your agenda? What does it look like? Do you make your own from scratch or customize a pre-made one like I do? Please comment and show me your agendas.

Have a wonderful Thursday.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate AddictThe Turquoiseaquifer and HomeA Place of My TasteThe Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My PinterventuresThe Lady Prefers to SaveThe Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish CottageBluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential MommyChristine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Recipe: baked ziti with meat sauce

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Now that I’ve gone back to work from maternity leave, I’ve been on the search for quick and easy recipes. My favorite recipes to look for are make ahead and freeze recipes, or slow cooker recipes. I know I’ve posted several slow cooker recipes, but very few make ahead.

Prepare to be introduced to the easiest make ahead meal ever! The hardest part is browning the hamburger meat.

First, boil some ziti noodles on medium heat until they’re soft. Drain the water from the noodles. Next, stir in about a cup of ricotta cheese, until the noodles are coated. I then add a cup and a half of marinara sauce to the meat. I use Classico Cabernet Marinara, but you can use whatever you like.

I then mix the meat and marinara to the pasta. I sprinkle fresh, grated Parmesan and mozzarella over the top. If you’re going to make this later, pop it in the freezer. If not, pop it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

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It’s so easy and cheap to make, and my family loves it!

 

 

 

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Organization: a new command center

The whole purpose of a command center is to help you manage and organize your home.

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When we first made our command center, it did a great job of organizing and managing our home. Over time, though, it was a different story. Oh, it was still nice, attractive, and useful, we just didn’t use it. We talked about it and we realized why we weren’t using it: the command center was located in our office, and we don’t walk by it unless it’s intentional.

We began looking around our home for a more traveled area in which we’ll pass by the command center several times a day. We don’t currently have a mudroom, but it is on our long term list of things to do. We didn’t want to put it in our living room and there isn’t a good place in the kitchen.

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One side of our pantry (the side that isn’t pictured above) doubles as a coat closet. We also park our shoes in here when we come in the door. I also have to go in there in the mornings to collect my purse and the diaper bag. It’s kind of like our “mini-mud room.” Therefore, the pantry seemed like the most logical choice.

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I started by moving the hanging rack down a bit to accommodate the command center. I also removed any unnecessary bags from the hooks- for instance, Emorie’s swim bag was still in here. The child is not currently in swimming, as it is February. Out it went!

I simplified the command center quite a bit, by reducing its size and making it function better for us. I sometimes felt the large command center we had before seemed overwhelming. The cleaning checklist was moved to the laundry room, since that’s where the cleaning supplies are stored. Just made better sense to me.

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Sorry about the boob light reflection in the glass 🙁

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All in all, I really like how this turned out! And it’s getting way more use as well 🙂 Send me pictures of your command centers. I’d love to see them!

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, The Turquoise Home, A Place of My Taste, The Happy Housie, The Blissful Bee, My Pinterventures, The Lady Prefers to Save, The Kolb Corner, Craving Some Creativity,  Let’s Get Crafty, Diane and Dean DIY,  Starfish Cottage, Bluesky Kitchen,  Potentially Chic,  McCall Manor, and Odds and Evans,  The Quintessential Mommy, Christine Everyday,  Little Miss DexterousDécor To AdorePoofing the PillowsAt Home With JemmaWhite Spray Paint,  and French Country Cottage!

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Life on the go: Schlepping your kiddo to three activities a week

Summer is a busy time around here. I know some people will shake their heads at that statement, since I’m a teacher and people think teachers don’t do anything during the summer. I beg to differ- I not only spend time with my family, but I also do a number of things for my job, such as gather lesson ideas, attend professional development training, and organize lesson materials for the coming year.

This summer has been completely and totally different, as I’ve written several lesson plans and gathered lesson materials to prepare for a twelve week maternity leave this fall and winter. I haven’t attended professional development training, as I have spent my spare time prepping our home for the baby. The remainder of my time has been spent with my sweet daughter.

This summer has been her busiest summer to date. She is currently attending Vacation Bible School at our church this week, but has also taken swim lessons and is about to start gymnastics. She is also involved in a summer reading program with our local library. She wants to do ballet as well, but since she is only four, I told her she has to choose between gymnastics and dance. She chose gym.

Our busy schedule involves a lot of planning ahead. On days when we are at gymnastics, meals must be quick and easy. The crock pot is my best friend on these days. We also make sure bags are packed and in the van ahead of time. When I take her clothes out of the bag, I make sure to replace the items immediately so nothing is left out. For example, when I take her swim stuff out of the bag to wash it, I instantly put a new towel and swim suit in the bag.

Here’s a peek at what is in her swim bag:

A swimsuit and towel, sunscreen, hairbrush, detangling spray, flip flops for locker room, wet bag for swimsuit, sunglasses and goggles. Not pictured: cover up dress and extra panties.

Here is a peek at what is in her gym bag: (she is a beginning gymnast, so she currently has no need for grips, rosin, etc.)

T-shirt and shorts, hairbrush, detangling spray, hairties, hair pins (not pictured).

Hope you enjoyed this post on making “living on the go” easier! Check back soon for more posts on living on the go.

Linking to StonegableWorthing CourtCedar Hill FarmhouseConfessions of a Plate Addict, and French Country Cottage!

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