Meal Plan 5/4/15

Last week was a busy week and this week is shaping up to be even busier! I’m trying to plan simple dinners that will use up what we have.  We’ve been working on teaching Tilly to try new things and branch out a bit more  You can see how that’s going on our facebook page I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have homemade yogurt, cereal, and whole wheat bagels.  We’ve been on a big oatmeal kick lately so I’ll have plenty of that ready to go too. 

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 05/04/15
 
Monday: Macaroni and Cheese with broccoli 
Tuesday:  Tacos and all the fixings
 
Wednesday:  Chicken dumplings with salad 
Thursday: Crock pot Philly cheese steaks
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Baked oatmeal and fruit

Sunday:  Whatever Ian plans (I’m off duty today!)

What are you serving up this week?

Meal Plan 4.27.15

I’m in full on garden starting mode…though I’m probably jumping the gun since it’s supposed to be in the low 50s and rainy all week. I don’t care! I’m getting my garden ready dang it!  You can follow along with all of my garden shenanigans on our facebook page I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have homemade yogurt, cereal, and whole wheat bagels.  We’ve been on a big oatmeal kick lately so I’ll have plenty of that ready to go too. 

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 04/27/15
 
Monday: Cheese tortellini, salad, and garlic bread
Tuesday:  Buffalo chicken wraps and peas
 
Wednesday:  pumpkin waffles, bacon and fruit salad
Thursday: Quinoa and red bean stuffed sweet potatoes
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Cobb salads and whole wheat bread sticks

Sunday:  Turkey burgers and roasted root veggies 

What are you serving up this week?

Simple Gardening for Busy People

On the homestead in my dreams I have a huge garden with tons fruit trees, vegetable beds, herbs and flowers but lets face it…I ain’t got time for that.

busygardening

We work full time (plus a little more) and just don’t have the time to devote to a big garden.  I’ve had to cut corners and figure out how to grow the things we need the easiest way possible.

At first, only grow what you actually need.  Yes flowers are pretty but (mostly) you don’t eat them.  I narrowed down our list to the fruits and vegetables that I knew we would use and use often. I started with tomatoes, peppers, and a few herbs.  Once you’ve gotten the hang of growing those and it becomes easy for you then, go ahead and add to the list.  After 4 years of gardening my list right now looks like this:

Corn, peas, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, pumpkins, plus blackberry bushes and potted herbs.

busygardening3

Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you grow them.  As I said before, I want to grow things in the easiest way possible. We figured out that potatoes can be grown in 5 gallon buckets.  This cuts way down on the amount of time you spend hilling them (just chuck a little extra dirt in the bucket every few days) and it makes harvesting a breeze.  I also grow all my herbs in big flower pots, that way I can move them around and even bring them inside and use them through out the year.

Most of my vegetables are grown in raised beds which are easier to “put to bed” at the end of the season and to get prepped at the beginning.  A simple pile of compost and wood chips (thank you chickens and wood splitter) spread over the top of them gets them ready for winter and then come spring I just use a shovel to mix them up a little bit and I’m ready to go.

busygardening2

The other way we save time is to keep the tools that we use close to the garden.  Valuable time is saved when I don’t have to walk all over the place trying to find a shovel or a watering can.  I keep the shovel and a bucket along side the garden and the watering can right next to the hose.  It may not sound like a big deal but every little thing that can make it easier is worth it to me.

If you want to start gardening but want to take it slow, try a small container garden.  Strawberries, cherry tomatoes and herbs of all kinds grow really well in large pots.  You can keep them right on a balcony or front steps and be able to water them and harvest as you walk in the door at night.

Do you garden? I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions!

Meal Plan 4.13.15

Spring! It’s finally here and I’m so happy about it that I’m currently typing this post from my front steps.  The sun was shining and it was too beautiful to sit inside.  This week I am running a “Mystery Hostess” Diaper Party on our facebook page head on over there for more details and for a chance to win a whole mess of awesome prizes!  I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have homemade yogurt, cereal, and banana zucchini bread.  We’ve been on a big oatmeal kick lately so I’ll have plenty of that ready to go too. 

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 04/13/15
 
Monday: Cheesy beef burritos and salad
Tuesday:  Baked flounder with mixed veggies and roasted potatoes
 
Wednesday:  Mini bacon, veggies and cheese quiche with fruit salad
Thursday: Pasta with sauce, garlic bread, and salad
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Leftovers or family choice (as in “hey what do you want for dinner?”)

Sunday:  Ham and beans or chili probably over rice 

What are you serving up this week?

I’m throwing a party! – Cloth Diapers and Natural Family Care

mysteryhostess

The week of April 4th, 2015 I’m throwing a big mystery hostess party on Facebook! Hop on over to my facebook page to sign up for all the fun.  Through out the week I’ll be posting games, special sales, and be available to answer questions about cloth diapering, babywearing, or natural family care!  At the end of the week anyone who made a purchase will be entered into a drawing to win all the hostess gifts including a Ju-Ju-Be fuel cell!

hostessperks

Because this is a special event anyone who purchases from me will receive free shipping and a free reusable grocery bag (make sure to join the event to find out how).  You can shop at Squigglybugsllc just make sure that you list Kailyn Shippee as your consultant.

Spread the word! The more people who join and make purchases the more gifts get added to the drawing!

buisness cardupdate

Meal Plan 3.30.15

We survived the grocery challenge! and it wasn’t even that bad.  We just restocked so I’m in full meal plan mode and very happy about that. Don’t forget that I am hosting a “Ditch the Disposables” challenge for the next 3 weeks.  To join the challenge and see how its going follow our facebook page.  I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and banana breakfast bars.  We’ve been on a big oatmeal kick lately so I’ll have plenty of that ready to go too. 

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 03/30/15
 
Monday: Chicken in the crock pot, green beans, and whole wheat rolls
 
Tuesday:  Whole wheat waffles, sausage and grapes
 
Wednesday:  Bean and cheese quesadillas and corn
Thursday: Baked flounder, rice and peas
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Chicken noodle soup, salad, and bread

Sunday:  Easter dinner with family

What are you serving up this week?

Ditch the Disposables – Earth Day Challenge

makeclothmainstream

Some of the awesomest (yes that’s a word) brands in cloth diapers have joined together to host a “Make Cloth Mainstream” challenge for Earth Day.  I’ve jumped on board and even though I don’t have a little one in diapers I’ve challenged myself to look for ways to ditch the other disposable things in our lives (paper towels, plastic bags, etc.)  SO…

FullSizeRender_1

Join us! 

If you have a little diaper wearer consider making a switch to cloth diapers, if you already cloth diaper part time than try and go full time.  I’m here to help answer any questions you might have, point you in the direction of brands / products to try out, and if you live local you can even borrow some of my diapers!  Visit my Diaper Parties page for more detailed information about cloth diapers and why you should give them a try.

a3fc5-img_2820

If you are past the diaper stage consider ditching some other disposables.  Trade out paper towels for cloth, plastic bags for storage containers or reusable grocery bags, you could even ditch the to-go cups for a travel mug! Every little bit makes a positive impact on the environment and on your wallet.

b294c-savinggreen2

Head on over to our facebook page and tell us how you are ditching the disposables! We’ll be sharing information for the next 3 weeks to help and we’d love it if you posted updates and questions for us too.

Let’s ditch the disposables and #MakeClothMainstream !

3 Ways to Save Money With Kids

Everyone always says that kids are expensive, and to some extent they are right.  But, raising children doesn’t have to be quite as expensive as its made out to be.  Here are 3 ways that we save money on all that ‘stuff’ that kids need.

savingmoneywithkids

1. Cloth Diapers

The average family spends $2500 on disposable diapers for one child…That is a lot of money going right into the landfill! Switching to cloth diapers can easily save you $2000 dollars or more! Plus, since they are reusable, you can use them on future children and save even more.  I love being an educator and consultant with Squigglybugs, teaching people how to save money, help the environment, and naturally care for their little ones is a huge passion of mine.  If you want a hand switching to cloth or have any questions please email me at DiaperPartiesbyKailyn@gmail.com or visit our facebook page.

newbusinesscard

2. Consignment Sales

A few moms got together and started a large (twice a year) kids consignment sale that happens locally for us.  These big consignment sales take place all over the country though so go ahead and google “kids consignment sale in _______” and see what you find! I absolutely love these sales and find amazing deals on clothes, gear, toys and everything else you can possibly need for little ones.  I’ve even started consigning Tilly’s old stuff so this past fall I managed to walk away from the sale having broke even…that’s right I got all of Tilly’s fall and winter clothes / gear and a few presents for her birthday and Christmas for FREE! It does take a little work to get items ready to sell but that time was so worth it.  Our big spring sale (Be Green Consignment Sale) is coming up next weekend and I can’t wait!

3. Library Trips

We love our local library! We usually try and plan a trip every two weeks so that we can return books and pick out new ones.  The kids room in our library has a ton of great books as well as puzzles, blocks, felt toys and perfect little kid sized furniture.  Tilly loves going and I love that it’s a free way to spend an afternoon, especially this winter when the weather was often bad.  We always bring home a few books that we keep upstairs in Tilly’s room for bedtime, it keeps our bedtime routine fresh and gives her something to look forward to, which has helped to make bedtime quite a bit smoother.

How do you save money? I’d love it if you shared your ideas in the comments below

*This post contains an affiliate link for Diaper Parties by Squigglybugs, if you choose to place an order I’d appreciate it if you listed Kailyn Shippee as your consultant as it helps fund our homesteading adventure. Thank you! 

Grocery Challenge and Meal Plan

I had been writing a list and cutting coupons for our every few months trip to the wholesale club, and then Ian came in and posed a challenge.  Instead of going this week to the wholesale club, can we use up what we have left and wait two more weeks?  The ground rules are that I can pick up a few things (milk, salad fixings, other fresh fruit or veggies) at the local grocery store but that’s it.  Needless to say these next couple meal plans are going to be rather interesting (can you say eggs in every way possible?)  You can also visit the facebook page to see how its going and leave me some words of encouragement please!  I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and whole wheat toast.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 03/16/15
 
Monday: Chicken parmesan pasta 
 
Tuesday:  Pizza joes (think sloppy joes but more pizza like) and salad
 
Wednesday:  Pancakes, sausage, and fruit salad
Thursday: Bean and cheese quesadillas, corn, and salad
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: Leftovers in whatever combination we feel like

Sunday:  Ham and veggie quiche 

What are you serving up this week?

3.09.15 Meal Plan

Another week another step closer to spring…right? Well things are starting to melt out there and I couldn’t be happier about it.  You know what else makes me happy? Sales! Diaper Parties has some amazing sales running right now so go check out the awesome natural baby and family care items we carry.  You can also visit the facebook page to learn more about the brands on sale. If you decide to purchase anything please choose Kailyn Shippee as your consultant.   I’ll try and link up recipes when I have them and you can check out my Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration.
Breakfasts: We have a variety of breakfast items kicking around the house and pick and choose as we go.  This week we have yogurt, cereal, and leftover quiche.

Lunches: I typically pack our lunches the night before.  Most of the time it is leftovers from dinners but some of our other favorites include, english muffin pizzas, quesadillas, crackers and hummus, and sandwiches. For toddler lunch ideas, check this out.

Dinners: I plan these out one for each night.  Typically we’ll have a “breakfast for dinner” night once a week and at least one “meatless meal”.  I try to stick to traditional real food (no food dyes, artificial coloring, flavoring, or sweeteners)  I also try to make as much from scratch as possible, it is cheaper that way and I can control the type and source of my ingredients.

Note: Tilly eats the same things we do because 1. I don’t want to make extra work for myself and 2. I want her to be exposed to lots of different flavors and textures.  I just make sure things are cut into pieces she can handle.
 
Week of 03/09/15
 
Monday: One Pot pork lo mein 
 
Tuesday:  Waffles with sausage and grapes
 
Wednesday: Buffalo chicken salad wraps with corn and home canned pickles
Thursday:   Salmon patties with salad and whole wheat dinner rolls
 
Friday: Puppy party with friends! *we’ll grab sandwiches and picnic it while the dogs play

Saturday: We’re off to a wedding and Tilly is off to Grammy and Grandpa’s house

Sunday:  Crock Pot tomato soup and grilled cheese (never got to this last week)

What are you serving up this week?