My Meal Planning How To

Meal planning can be daunting and sometimes hard to figure out where to start. Here is my guide on how I plan our meals for the week!

Lets start with where I search for recipes. My go to is

It is like Pintrest, but only for food blogs! I seriously look here for everything from cocktails to desserts. It’s a great way to search, store and find food inspirations. This is also a great place to search for recipies if you are trying to follow a certain kind of diet. We’ve tried paleo, keto, vegan, and the Mediterranean diet. Foodgawker has it all!

Everyone loves home cooked meals, but the idea of cooking 7 nights a week is definitely overwhelming. My secret is that in my house, leftovers are king. Leftovers get a bad rap, but in all honesty as a busy mom leftovers mean a night off! And lets face it, some food actually taste better the next day!

Ok here comes the good stuff, the meal breakdown. For breakfast we kind of fend for ourselves. Kyle usually eats some kind of overnight oats, or eggs, and I am an avocado toast fanatic. Asher eats pancakes, oatmeal, eggs, or the occasional bowl of cereal + a serving of fruit. For lunch I meal prep lunches for Kyle and I for the whole week. This requires a dedicated amount of time up front, but ultimately is worth doing in the long run. Usually it is some kind of quinoa salad. Asher often has a grilled cheese, PB&H or sometimes mac and cheese + a serving of fruit and veggies . Now dinner is where the planning really comes into play, and where we all eat the same thing. I try only to cook 3 times a week. So the rhythm might look like Monday- cook, Tuesday- leftovers, Wednesday-cook, Thursday-leftovers, Friday- cook, Saturday-leftovers, and Sunday-family dinner/take out. This rhythm has really worked for me since becoming a mom, and I hope it might work for you! In the future I will post exactly what the plan was for the week, with pictures, links, and everything you’ll need to know to do it yourself!

My Must Have Activity Supplies

Lets face it, most of the time when we want to do an activity with the kids, it is on the fly. Here are a few of my must have activity supplies that I always have on hand.

  • I always have basic craft supplies like pipe cleaners, various sizes of popsicle sticks, feathers, and lots and lots of pom-poms! They are great for crafts but they come in handy for all kinds of activities. I bought a large craft supply kit that had all of this stuff in it for less that $15. I also recommend getting the jumbo pom-poms that are 2″ in diameter. They are so squishy and fun to hold, and much to big to be swallowed.
  • Painters tape! Useful for so many activities! It holds things down perfectly, and it’s easy to pull off without leaving a sticky mess.
  • Corn starch!!!! This pantry staple has become a necessity in our house. It is useful for messy activities and science experiments. Seriously useful to have on hand.

The other things I recommend are these plastic storage containers. You will see pictures of Asher sitting inside this big one all the time! It is a lifesaver with messy activities. The mess mostly stays inside the container, it’s easy to pickup off the floor when we are done, and easy to wash. It fits perfectly under Asher’s crib for easy out of the way storage.

I also recommend a couple of the smaller containers with lids. It allows me to prepare the activity up on the counter, and easily transport it into the larger bin. Then and when you are done simply pop the lid on and remove from your child’s reach.

Toddler Activities That Take Less Than 5 Minutes to Set Up

As a busy mom I look for activities that are super easy to set up, have zero mess, and will keep my toddler busy. Here are five activities that take less than five minutes to set up! If you enjoy these please play, love and share!

Pom-Pom Push

This activity is so simple, but takes the foresight to hold on the egg carton. Simply poke some holes in the back of the carton and pick out some pom-pom’s that fit through the holes. I have also seen this done with Q-tips. 

Warning: If your toddler puts everything in their mouth like mine does, keep an eye on the pom-poms as they are a choking hazard. 

Toy Rescue

This activity can be done with any small toys (action figures, bath toys, plastic animals animals) . I used cars because Asher is a car lover. I placed them on a fabric cutting mat, but they could easily go onto the floor or table. Simply tape them down and let your child at it! Great for fine motor practice.

Toilet Paper Stack

An activity to use your toilet paper hoard! Asher knew just what to do when I pulled these out. He immediately started stacking and knocking them over. Such fun!

Ball Spider Web

Make a web out of tape, I used painters tape but you could use packing or masking. I put the web between our kitchen island and other countertops, but you could easily do this in a doorway. Stick balls, pom-poms, or whatever else you want to it! I also brought out our laundry basket so Asher could put the balls in after he pulled them down.

Tape Pull

Similar to the toy rescue, I taped down popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners to Asher’s high chair tray. This was the perfect activity to keep him busy while I cooked dinner!