Weekly Menu

I hate cooking.

No, that’s not actually true.

I really really dislike cooking.

It’s not calming for me, it’s not enjoyable, I just don’t like it.

I don’t like menu planning either.

(I have obviously now entered my Archie Bunker phase of life).

But I do both because it’s hard to be a stay at home mom and not be the one in charge of cooking. I have I tried to lobby to hire a cook, but somehow, my husband sees that as my role.

So seeing as this appears to be my gig for awhile, I decided to make a menu planning board.


I used a frame I already had, printed out a free menu planning printable, and used an old expo marker I had from teaching to write out the meals.

We’ve been using this for a few weeks and somehow it just makes the whole process a little more enjoyable.


And yes, we eat out once a week.

I need to keep moving toward that white light at the end of the week or else I’d completely give up and just serve cereal for every meal.

*In case you are interested I found the meal plan printable here.

*And just for the record, my husband is awesome and always helps me cook.

My Favorite Things – Day 3

Welcome to Day #3 of Big D & Me’s Favorite Things

What’s today’s favorite thing?

Why it’s my favorite sandwich in the whole. wide. world.


It’s actually my  answer to Subway’s delicious flat bread veggie sandwich. If I had not found my own version there’s a good chance I would have eaten our grocery budget for the month in these – I love this sandwich so much!

So here’s how I make my favorite sandwich:

Start with this yummy flatbread – I buy ours at Costco.


Melt your favorite cheese on it – give me a break people, it’s a veggie sandwich, I deserve some cheese.


Chop your favorite toppings: red onions, cucumbers, banana peppers, spinach, & tomato.


Add some spicy mustard


Pile everything on (and yes, that’s another flatbread on top ready to go after I eat this first sandwich)


Roll and devour 🙂


So there you have Day #3 of Big D & Me’s favorite things.

Come back to tomorrow for Day 4!


For the last 2 weeks I have  included a Valentine joke in the lunchboxes.

One day I placed the following joke in my  first grader’s lunchbox:

What did the bat say to his girlfriend?

You’re fun to hang around with!







Or so I thought.

He came home complaining about the  joke in his lunch.

“Gloria and Farrah were making fun of me saying that Lauren and me are boyfriend and girlfriend just like the bats.”

“What did you do?”

“I told them I was going to tell the teacher.”

“And then what happened?”

“Gloria said, “Please please forgive me.”

“And then?”

“I told her I would forgive her but I was still  going to tell the teacher.”


“I told the teacher.”

“”And then what happened?”

“She gave them tally marks when we got back in the classroom.”


“And I feel good about that.”

I decided not to send a Valentine in his lunchbox the next day.

Halloween Party Ideas

Starting to mentally prepare for our Halloween party:

List of food possibilities

Fixing up the patio area

Finish Decorating House

Clean House

Front of House Decorations

And within each of those projects listed are twenty-three million things to do.

But I have taken some time to find some inspiration in blogville and thought I’d share with you some of the wonderful ideas I’ve found.

Harry Potter Free Potion Labels at Over the Big Moon

Halloween Lunchbox Notes from Kiki & Company

Tutorial to make “Eye” Candy Jars from Pink Polka Dot Creations

Black Widow Spider Bites from Mom On Timeout

Silhouette Pumpkins at Uncommon

Halloween Directions Post at Young and Crafty

Candy Corn Cupcakes from Our Best Bite

Mummy Dogs from Our Best Bite


Caramel Apple Bites from Echoes of Laughter

I love all of these ideas and plan on incorporating many of them into our Halloween party.

Hungry and inspired yet?


How long have you stood looking into your pantry trying to decide what to eat?

I think I stood there for 5 minutes today before coming out with a granola bar.

A granola bar, that’s it. Nothing exciting.

You’d think the choice would have been easier since yesterday I went to Costco and spent $170 on groceries.

But alas, it seems I didn’t buy the cheeseburger in a box that would have made me oh so happy.

Damn my store buying will power.

Where to Go? – Restaurant Printable

My husband and I had a date night on Saturday.

Once the babysitters were settled we left.

We then drove around aimlessly for 40 minutes because we couldn’t think of a new restaurant to try.

 It seems like every other time we are in the car, driving from one activity to the next, we see a new place and say, “Next time we should try that place.”

But inevitably, we never remember the restaurant when its time to choose a place to eat.

We even say to ourselves, “We need to write that name down.”

But we never do.

So I decided to make a list.  If you would like a copy of this form, click here.

If you download the form, please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me.

My husband and I eventually settled for a steak place and had a great meal though next time I hope we don’t waste forty precious child free minutes deciding on the restaurant.

Tuesday To Do Party Todays Creative Blog

Undercover Veggie

Shhhh….my kids ate zucchini today but they have no idea.

Somewhere I failed as a parent in regards to my kids’ eating.

We are not one of those families where the kids eat everything on their plate.

“Oh, Johnny just loves his salmon with asparagus and sushi.”

No, it’s more, “Oh, Alex loves his hamburgers and grilled cheese,” over here.

But to be honest, I’m not really worried.

At one point my youngest sister ate only white food.

For years.

Mashed potatoes, pasta, mashed potatoes, pasta?

Seriously, I don’t know what she ate but she seems to be fine now.

Plus, her food groups have expanded to include green and red foods so there’s hope for my kids.

I have begun “sneaking in” veggies as a little backup for my confidence that all will be fine.

Caroline likes orange juice. In fact, she eats and drinks just about every fruit.

But not one vegetable. I’m sorry I misspoke, she is a corn on the cob connoisseur but that’s it.

So now she drinks her 3/4 orange juice and 1/4 carrot juice combo in the morning. She’s happy and I feel like I can color in one minor section of the food pyramid.

The boys are not much better since they do not stray far from salad and carrots.

I came across a banana chocolate chip zucchini bread recipe in blog world. What? One of these things is not like the other. Zucchini? There have been several gagging incidents at our dining room table over cooked zucchini. Amazingly, we’ve never had any gagging incidents from banana bread or chocolate chips.

Soooooo…I immediately printed out the recipe, gathered the ingredients, and made the bread this morning (naturally doubling the chocolate chips suggested).

I admit the smell was pretty enticing. When I announced the chocolate chip banana bread was ready there were whoops and hollers.

Well folks. Good news. Caroline ate her piece while Andrew had seconds and Alex had thirds. I am pretty sure they consumed exactly 0.05% of the daily serving suggestion for vegetables but it’s more than before.

Hmmm…anyone for turnip tiramisu?


Apparently the one sitting where they consumed a large portion of the brad was a fluke. Alex & Andrew are now refusing to eat the the very same bread they fought over exactly one day ago. Excuse me while I go bash my head on a tree.

Weight a Minute…that Can’t be Right

I like…chicken flautas, chips and queso, chocolate, ice cream, cake, pizza, … and sadly that’s what I’ve been eating for the last 10 weeks. I got extremely lackadaisical when it came to my eating. If I thought about it, I ate it. What, no veggie today? Who cares! Pizza for dinner! That’s got green peppers and onions, right? Bound to be the 6 daily servings I need.

Sadly, my carelessness and poor eating choices have gotten me into trouble. I weighed myself a few days ago at the gym and was so very disappointed to find out I weighed 12 lbs more than when I got pregnant. Two more lbs than 8 weeks ago. The initial deal I made with myself was to eat whatever for 2 weeks and give into the grief – eat, eat ,and eat. Well, 2 weeks turned into 3 weeks which turned into 4 weeks. Now that I’m on week 10 I’m ready to tackle this issue.

I have always been a physically fit person so this is not where I want to be right now. I have a few motivating factors although the biggest one is not fitting into my clothes.

So I’ve taken steps. For the past week I’ve altered my eating to be much more aware and conscious of it. Here are my rules: 1. drink more water,     2. eat bread (tortillas, sandwich bread, buns, biscuits, pretzels) only once a day,  3. exercise when I can (three times this week),     & 4. nothing to eat after dinner.

I wanted to give myself some leeway since going cold turkey on most foods would lead straight to cheating. For example, for Mother’s Day we ate at a Mexican restaurant where I ate chips and enchiladas (my only bread for the day).  The following day I ate ice cream when Andrew’s team celebrated a baseball win (I did not have dessert for 5 days leading up to this).

I’m posting this after one week and here’s my progress….

I have lost 1.9 pounds so far. While I would have liked to see a 12 pound loss (um, probably not) I’m happy with the progress.

Since I initially weighed in with my shoes on, I thought about giving myself a boost of confidence for the weigh in by only wearing my bra and underwear.  I finally nixed that idea since the scale is located in the middle of the weight room. Could be just a tad awkward for the other gym members.

Perhaps my tennis shoes really weigh 8 lbs & I haven’t dug myself quite as big of a hole as I think:)

Do you have any goals you’re working on?