Running from the Law: 5 on Friday - Volume 14

Friday, May 1, 2015

5 on Friday - Volume 14

1. I'm so excited about all the awesome stuff we have coming up in the next few weeks.  Mim's baptism is this weekend, followed by Mother's Day (with a special surprise giveaway for those of you that follow me on Instagram), then Mac's 3rd birthday (ahhh!!!) and our annual beach vacation (soooo ready).  May is going to be a really great (and busy) month!  
2. I am really enjoying Wednesdays, now that I have the day off and can spend it with the kids. It's been awesome to have a day in the middle of the week to reconnect with them.  Plus, it makes my work week feel so much shorter.  We've been doing all kinds of stuff these days.  So far, we've been to the Magic House (twice), the Zoo (twice) and the Botanical Gardens.  This week I took Mac to get a haircut, then we hit up the bookstore and out for a lunch date at Chick-Fil-A.  We've got plans to do Grant's Farm and Wild Bird Sanctuary soon.  Every week is a new adventure!  This upcoming Wednesday, I'll be taking over the Savvy Sassy Moms Instagram account and giving you a sneak peek into our day and all the chaos that ensures.  Should be fun! 
3. I absolutely love that Mim is a pacifier baby.  Mac never took a paci and always had a hard time self-soothing, but this girl has loved her paci from day one.  She's so funny now that she can manipulate her own paci - she pulls it out, makes faces, sticks it back in, swaps it for another one.  It's adorable.  We received a package of Nuby Comfort Orthodontic pacifiers* to review and she loves them.  They're specially designed for babies age 6-12 months (did you know that you should only give your child pacifiers specifically made for their age because of choking dangers?).  They're also BPA free, have a handle (for easy attachment to a pacifier clip) and come with a package of pacifier wipes.  We're pro-germ, so we don't use the wipes that often (I say that jokingly, but only kind of), but they're great for easy cleaning when you're out and about and not close to a sink.  They're available at Wal-Mart and Babies R Us.  
4. I just got my second Stitch Fix and it was even better than the first!  I'm kicking myself that it's taken me this long to finally pull the trigger and sign up for this.  I'm pretty happy with the items that my stylist sent and ended up keeping 3 out of the 5 pieces (sorry, I didn't take any pictures).  I kept a long sleeve black and white blouse for work, a black and blue striped shell (also for work) and a casual/comfy grey and white striped long cardigan.  I requested a dress that I could wear for Mim's baptism and they sent me two really cute ones - both wrap dresses with stretchy fabric - but neither of them felt dressy enough for the occasion.  I really liked the style of them and they'd definitely both be something I could wear to work, but they were a bit tight in the midsection and emphasized my non-baby bump way more than I'd like.  Ugh.  It's seriously time to lose the baby weight.  
5. I really need some help and motivation in the meal planning department.  Every now and then I'll get myself organized enough to actually plan out our meals for the week and then shop for them and I am blown away by how much easier that makes my life and eliminates weekday stress.  But I can't seem to find the time to actually commit to doing it every week.  Most nights, dinnertime is a total shit show and we're desperately just trying to throw something together that wouldn't get us thrown in jail for child neglect.  If it was just me, I'd have a can of soup for dinner every night (or just ice cream), but alas...these kids need to eat real food.  I'm always so impressed by other bloggers that share their weekly menus and shopping lists. How do you all do it?  Do you plan one week out?  A month?  How often do you grocery shop?  Do you repeat meals?  Do you pick recipes you've tried and know you like or do you try new recipes?  
Please please please share your meal planning tips/tricks and advice!  
I'd love to hear how you do it!

*We received this product to review as part of the Nuby Parent Blogger Program.  All opinions are 100% my own (and Mim's are her own).  


  1. Love your list! I am the WORST at meal planning, I always have good intentions, but it never seems to work out! Please pass on tips if you find something that works. ;)

    So happy that you guys have Wednesdays now, that sounds like the perfect compromise for a working mom! I know Mac & Mim loving you an extra day! HAPPY BAPTISM to Mim, what a fun weekend!

  2. I love so much about this list! Also, Stitch Fix is the best ever.

    So, on meal planning. It's not perfect, but we've got a pretty good routine at this point. I coordinate my meal plan with my Weight Watchers week, which starts on Saturday. On Friday night (which is our no-cook night), I sit down and make the dinner plan and our grocery list. I inventory what we have in the freezer and pantry that I can use, figure out meals from that, then go from there. We have a lot of staples that I make all the time, but I do occasionally throw in a new recipe from Cooking Light or emeals or something. Since it's really crazy when we get home after dealing with traffic, I need to know exactly what I'm making when I get home. Hope that helps! Let me know if you need meal ideas :)

  3. That sounds like a great schedule with having one day off a week to spend with the kids. I work part-time (30 hours) and do 6 hour days to give me a bit of extra time in the morning and before picking them up. I've thought about doing what you're doing and making it a fun day with the kids. I'm glad it's working out for you. I also feel like the cute wrap dresses emphasize that one little spot. They're so cute though. And I'm no help with the meal planning. I just wing it every night.

  4. Great list! I've never tried out Stitch Fix...but you may have convinced me! Yay for a beach vacation...ours isn't until September...BOO!!!

    And here's how meal planning works around our house. I have a fairly extensive list of staple meals, and I typically sit down on Saturday/Sunday and look at our week to see just how many meals I need to plan for. Inevitably we eat out at least 1-2x (or more) per week. I typically plan for 4 meals (Mon-Thurs) and two lunches (Wed & Thurs when I'm home with the girls). We sometimes eat leftovers for Friday and/or Sunday night, or we go out for both of those nights.

    I typically plan at least one meal where I know leftovers will be available for either a lunch or another dinner meal (taco meat for nachos, pulled pork 2-3x, crockpot chicken, etc.). I shop once a week and I also try to shop from my freezer/refrigerator with those specialty items that I bought for one recipe and need to use before they go bad. I'm certainly no meal planning pro...but it works for us and I typically don't have to make multiple grocery runs each week. I usually go to my list of tried and true recipes, but I've been trying to throw in a new recipe once a week and it's been nice to have some new favorites!

  5. Mim is so so cute!! Meal planning is so not fun, especially when the weather is warm! This week I made a baked ziti that fed us four nights so we could play longer. And we aren't people to mind eating the same thing over and over.

  6. I am LOVING all of the Mim pics in this post!! She is too sweet.

    Lady, take pictures of the Stitch Fix clothes next time!!! I want to seeeee!!

  7. Okay first, those pictures of Mim are adorable. What a sweet girl. Neither of my kids are paci kids. I tried with both and neither would take one. I definitely do meal planning. I usually plan for two weeks. We always end up back at the grocery store every week but that's for veggies, milk, and just the essentials that don't last long. We do a lot of making our favorite meals but I also throw in a few new recipes each month to try and maybe add to our rotation.

  8. I have a bunch of our favorite recipes on a Pinterest board called favorite recipes. Also I have a board called family friendly recipes that have a bunch of good recipes too. :)

  9. Wow, so many exciting things coming up for your family! It sounds like taking one day GD a week has given you the perfect work & home life balance! That's so awesome you took that risk!

  10. I'm not good at much but I can rock the meal-planning. I plan on Saturday morning and grocery shop on the weekend. I started a binder of recipes a couple years ago, and I pull from there and try to make one new thing a week. We have a few staples - grilled fish and veggies for Sunday dinner, pancakes for breakfast and hot dogs for lunch on Saturdays - that make the weekends easier since those are usually the most chaotic for us. Ain't no shame in eating the same thing every Saturday at noon.

    I also grocery shop once mid-week for produce and whatever else comes up. The key for me is to make that mid-week list the same time I menu plan. Saves a ton of duplicate effort. I also plan for an "easy" night or two - waffles PB&J, frozen stir-fry with tofu, pasta and meat sauce, etc. - to give me a break. It's exhausting doing a 4 course meal every night. I make a large portion for dinner, and we eat the leftovers for lunch the following day. It makes the effort a lot more worthwhile when it's two solid meals instead of one.

    I use the crockpot a ton, and I use it overnight regularly too - cook overnight on low and then chill during the day and it's ready for dinner anytime. A game-changer for me was a whole chicken in the crockpot. It's no delicious oven-roasted chicken, but you can plop it in frozen even, fill the pot w/ water, and end up w a chicken to cut up, plus homemade broth. People less cheap than me would just buy a rotisserie chicken, but... I'm cheap. And lazy - saves me a run to the store.

    I started by planning just 3 or 4 nights a week. (And sometimes the plan would be, "go out for Bread Co.") Then got the hang of that and added on as my mental capacity allowed.

    <3 you guys!!!

  11. Woah - your May sounds awesome. Can't beat the beach! And 3rd BIRTHDAY?! Make the time stop.
    Mim and the headband - I'm dying from the cute.
    Meal planning. Biggest pain the in the ass, ever. But, each Sunday night I try to sit down and plan a menu out for the week. Monday I hit up the grocery store and buy all the food needed for said meals. Then, each night I make the meals planned (usually - unless I can convince Scott that we NEED to go out for Mexican). While I don't prep the meals, having a menu in place takes away from the worlds most annoying text/question: What are we having for dinner. The menu is on the fridge, there are no surprises and a lot less stress.

  12. Meal planning is so much easier when you do it. Every Sunday morning I go to the store and I get what sounds good for the week. I then bring it all home and build out a meal plan and put it on our chalkboard in our mud room. That keeps all of us accountable for dinner plans. Sometimes we shift from it, or we just don't feel like what's on the list and that's okay, but it helps when I'm tired and would rather pop a freezer pizza in the oven. Once you get into the swing, it's pretty easy!

  13. Our May calendar is already packed and it's only the 1st! When did life get so crazy! As for meal planning, I would say we have about two weeks worth of meals that we just cycle through. I usually look at our week on Saturday or Sunday and then plan a simple meal for each night (sometimes it's saying we will have leftovers or take out). Then we usually grocery shop on Sunday and I grab anything that needs to be super fresh for meals later in the week on a random trip during the week. I usually have to go for more produce anyway. Those 14 meals start to get boring so every once in a while I will find a new recipe to try. Often it's a one time thing but sometimes they get added to the rotation. If we have afternoon plans I purposefully plan things that are super fast. And if Chris thinks he will be busy at work and home late, I often don't make anything complicated cause I could care less what I eat ;).

  14. Ahh Mim is just the SWEETEST! These photos are adorable :) Sounds like you guys have a busy month coming up... I'm kind of envious, we have absolutely nothing going on except a lot of working for me! I take all of my vacation in July/August to visit home and the beach!
    I wish I had some advice in the meal planning department. I suck at it, big time.

  15. Mim is so adorable! What a perfect treat to have Wednesdays off and to have a day during the week to enjoy your sweet kids! Xo, Stephanie

  16. You have so many fun things planned! I'm so glad you are having fun Wednesdays with Mac!! Maybe we can meet up at the zoo or somewhere this summer! And I am totally there with the not emphasizing the non-baby bump. He's a year old, it's time I get my shit together. And we are AWFUL at meal planning. Which I realize if I meal planned I would probably be eating healther and then feel/look better. But seriously, who has time for that? Time to make it a priority I guess! Happy weekend!

  17. YAY for Wednesdays! I would love to be able to have a day off with Mason a week. I love that you guys plan something fun to do and you get to explore something new every week. That sounds so fun!
    Mim in these pictures... ADORABLE! I swear she gets cuter by the day.
    As for meal planning, I try try try my hardest to meal plan on Sunday for the week. It's usually just dinners Monday-Thursday at least unless I know we will be home on Friday and/or the weekend. Usually dinners turn into lunches the next day too so I rarely, if ever, plan lunches and feel like a salad or sandwich is a fail safe on lunch if dinner didn't make leftovers. As for dinners, I try to stick to something easy. We were doing the whole 30 so I really stuck to a plan. Now we kind of choose whatever. I try for tacos one night, maybe spaghetti or a frozen pizza another (depends on if Seth has softball - since he cooks and I know nothing, I usually opt for pizza when he has softball and I'm in charge of dinner), then maybe a stir fry one night, burgers, etc. Usually super easy and quick things as Seth gets home at 6 and I'm usually starving and like to eat before 7. Hope that helps at least a little! I do find that meal planning is helpful though because last week we didn't since we got home from vacation on Sunday and it was a shit show the whole week.

  18. My husband and I always do our grocery shopping on Sundays. And only Sundays! We discuss what dinners and snacks/lunches/breakfasts we want for the week ahead and make a list. We don't schedule what day we will have what to leave a little bit of room for spontaneity. This works really well for us and is super easy to stick to.

  19. Mim looks so adorable in those photos! Seriously darling! Can't wait to hear about Mac's bday!!