life this morning, using my kitchen workhorses + menu plans this week

Life is feeling much better after sleeping more this weekend.

I think taking vitamins again is helping me to re-energize too. I am keeping them out on the counter so I will be forced to take them. :)


Power foods like these granola bars {recipe} are helping too. ;) I can't believe we devoured this many of them in less than 12 hours {and that's including sleeping for 8...}:


I think Zane must be going through a little growth spurt- he weighs about 21 lbs. now at 5.5 months. {thus the need for granola bars! :P} We haven't started solid foods yet, but I have a feeling this little man will like them! I'm so thankful he is part of our crazy life. Even after 5 months, I still could just eat him up. I'm not sure a baby has ever had so many kisses. :)

feed me, mama!!
And having this new baby makes even more thankful for how dedicated the kids have been to their school work this year. Noah {green shirt} sets his alarm to get up at 7 a.m. so he can finish school early {which makes me so happy!}. They suddenly seem so small and cute here:


The baby was happy to sit in the high chair a little while this morning, so as the kids were doing their school, I did as much as I could do hands-free, and as fast as I could. :) Luckily, I can have these babies cooking dinner for me in only a few minutes. Veggie chili, basmati rice, and a loaf of bread are going all at the same time. :)


On days like today, my coffee needs to be reheated- and somehow it still gets forgotten in the microwave. :)


And lunch is at the computer so I can blog while the kids take their lunch break outside. :)


I'm still working on finishing all of my goals for last week {our goals and menu plans ended up being way off, and I still have to find a 1/2 bag more of clutter}, but here are our menu "plans" for this week: 


:: dinners ::
:: lunches ::
  • salad + chicken breast + veggies
  • sandwiches + blue corn tortilla chips
  • beef hotdogs {a rare treat! I think I was hungry when I bought them, or something}
  • beans + rice with salsa

:: breakfasts :: 
  • granola bars for Sunday morning rush
  • cereal
  • biscuits
  • frozen fruit + greek yogurt {we have to finish a container}



What's on the menu at your house this week?

Do you have a rice cooker?
I would have never thought it would be something we used so often, but it really does make the perfect rice!

Favorite vitamin brand?
I've been using Special One from Now Foods forever, and I love them.

28 comments

Mary Kate said...

Thank you for posting about the vitamins. I am suffering from a severe energy drainage and have been known to be vitamin deficient. I think I will have to try these. No, I do not have a rice cooker, but love my crockpot and bread maker. It might be time to make that investment.

Jenna said...

Love your menus! We do same thing and try to plan out two weeks worth of meals. This is a new journey for us, but so far a good one. While we haven't invested in a rice cooker, I do have a bread machine in our basement that is just collecting dust but seems to be calling my name. Any tips on using it economically? Any favorite recipes?

Joya Towne said...

I love chili and rice, we've had that this week too. Basmati rice is sooo good! And I love my rice cooker! I use it alot, for rice and for quinoa. That precious baby just gets cuter!!

Sam said...

I used Oligo brand through malaleuca, they are amazing, and very affordable :) I too love those three appliances, my rice cooker also cooks any other grain I'm eating :) and Jenna, everything about a bread maker is economical, my favourite is a multi seed bread that came in the cookbook with the bread maker!

Krista Hoal said...

Great vitamins really make such a huge difference!! We use Shaklee vitamins among other products (I'm a distributor) and the difference is almost night and day! I had to laugh when I saw your comment about the coffee, that's me just about every day! My DH laughs at me because he knows once I start reheating it... it probably won't get drank. Oh well. :D

Soledad Smith said...

I dont know if you have ever heard of doTERRA essential oils but my kids, husband, and I use them religiously! The Lifelong Vitality Vitamins are amazing :) You can check out my website at www.mydoterra.com/soledadsmith
I love your blog and love all of your great ideas!

Nicole Beard said...

Sounds like you've got a higher percentile kiddo too! My 11 month old is 26 pounds, and I tweaked my wrist because of that little stinker. ;) hehe Great meal plans, I really need to work on lunches at our house- usually my least favorite meal!

Veronica Sampson said...

I just got a rice cooker for Christmas and use it pretty much every week, I love it! I wish my husband would eat some vegetarian meals since it would be super healthy and save us a few bucks, but if there is no meat he is not a happy camper. Good thing I can be sneaky in some things (soups, chilis, pasta dishes) and half the meat!

Olivia Jones said...

What kind of Homeschool curriculum does your family use? My son is just two now, but we are feeling like that is the route we want to go. Any advice? Also, Love the tie onesie! It's so cute on him! And I cannot wait to try the granola bars. We are snowed in and that seems like something I am going to want to munch on tonight!

Angela Sankey said...

Mandy do you eat the same menu as your family (e.g. for dinner) or do you eat a variation on it?

Angela ~ Call Her Blessed said...

We did leftovers last nt & tonight {finished a pot of Paleo pork chili -- had it as chili, then used it on nachos & soft tacos}. I think I'll make swiss steak one nt & philly chicken hot sub sandwiches one nt. That's as far as I've gotten. And today while schooling with my last boy {twin sons graduated in '12}, I realized that I am drinking cold coffee more & more often. I just get busy & forget about it.

Kristin said...

I've started making our own yogurt and I love it!! It's perfectly tart, but I'm mostly happy that I can add my own sugar or sweetener and it's still FAR less sugary than store-bought yogurt. Even my pickiest kid loves it. It makes a lot, too, so we've been enjoying it with our lunch. I love mine with homemade granola!

Mandy said...

I usually eat a variation :) I prefer to eat more original state foods. :)

Mandy said...

I'd love to hear how they all work for you!! :D

Mandy said...

oh, I've never thought to use it for quinoa. We love that stuff too! :D

Mandy said...

this one is very good! :D http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-bread-machine-bread/

Mandy said...

was it lifting the car seat? Our carseat is sooo heavy with him in it! :P

Mandy said...

We use BJU Distance Education and really love it so far this year. :D I hope you enjoy your snow break!

Mandy said...

I tried to make that one time and mine was very runny for some reason! How do you thicken it up? Or do you? :)

Mandy said...

mmm- your meals sound fantastic!! Was it ground pork or pulled style?

TMichelle said...

Juice Plus is my favorite "vitamin" but it is actually a supplement. With an adult order you can also get a kid's order for free.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm quite new to your site, but so far, I love it! I really like the tie-shirt Zane's wearing. we have a Boy about a month older than Zane, and well, he loves to eat what we eat (in moderation, of course), like lasagna, leek craem soup with ground beef (sounds weird, tastes great)... I just finished cooking ahead for Saturday (chicken fricassée), I'm sure he'll like that, too :.)
As for vitamins, I prefer fresh fruit, but I've had good experiences with Aloe Vera Juice (LR) when I couldn't shake off my cold last year. Right now I take the cheap no Name brand Mama A-Z vitamins (I'm sure they have something similar in the U.S.).
I hope you have a great day! Greetings from Germany, Daniela

Christa @ BrownSugarToast said...

You can thicken it up by draining some of the whey out {and I've used the whey in place of water when baking bread!}. You can put cheesecloth in a strainer and dump the yogurt on top until it gets to the consistency you want - or else you can line coffee filters in a strainer {for people who don't want to buy cheesecloth - ummmmm...me!} and drain off some of the whey. I usually let mine strain out for several hours and it produces SUPER thick, greek-style yogurt. Delish!!!

Amy Jo said...

Your baby is darling! I love all of your plans...I need to do the same.

Blessings,
Amy Jo

Anna said...

I had chili going in the crockpot yesterday, too. I don't use a rice cooker, but love certain appliances- crockpot and rotisserie are my 2 favorite. I do my bread by hand, just out of habit. My family eats so much bread, there's no point in having one loaf. :) It's gone in the blink of an eye. I've stopped my vitamins. I need to get back in that habit! Thanks for the reminder.

Southern Belle said...

Thanks Mandy! Your post inspired me to break out my bread machine last night and after a little googling I actually used this exact recipe. It turned out wonderful. Thanks for being such an inspiration, in both big and small ways to so many women. God is certainly using you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Mandy, I have the same rice cooker except maybe a larger size and it has a "steam/cook" button. We eat lots of rice but I've also started using it to make a batch of oatmeal in the morning - it just needs to be "steam/cooked" for 12 minutes and stirred once or twice.

MrsMoneill said...

Does the granola recipe have less sugar then the ones I buy in the store? Because I made them and loved them so much but I wondered about the sugar. Thanks.