Monthly Meal Planning


Not quite sure what started my family meal planning other than my family growing and having to be more organized.  I started in 2007, and I’ ve been doing it ever since.  I’ve actually kept all the notebooks of my meal plans, so if I ever get stumped I can go back and look at all the ideas and recipes, including the not so good recipes failures and successes.  If is was a good one, I simply right “GOOD” and if it wasn’t I right “YUCK”.

So it all starts around the 20th of every month.  I sit at my dining room table, typically in the morning, I brew good coffee, get my computer, notebook and recipe books.  The reason I do it on the 20th is because my husband and I work for the school system and we only get paid once a month.  So along with meal planning I, mass grocery shop and do all the bills.


So I sit and look up recipes, things I’ve pinned, view favorite food blogs and create a menu for the month.  Now I do not cook every night, so I only plan between 10-12 meals.  We ❤️ leftovers and I always have emergency meals or go to easy meals.  The meals include a main dish and a side dish.  I spend more time planning and prepping the main meal so side dishes need to be easy, typically steamed vegetable, smashed potatoes or a lettuce salad!  In keeping track of my meal for 8 year I definitely notice a trend in my menus over the seasons.

  • fall= hot dishes, and homemade breads
  • winter= soups or stews,
  • spring= sandwiches and pastas,
  • summer= grilling anything


I also have another notebook for my shopping list.  In this picture the menu/meal planning in on the left and the grocery list is on the right.  This way I have all the needed ingredient written down and ready to head to the grocery store.   

Happy meal planning



Banana Crumb Muffins


Using your over ripped bananas into bread is really genius.  It is taking what is no longer good to eat and using it for something else, waste nothing right?  My husband and I start everyday with a banana, my children typically have a banana as well.  When there are no bananas left in the house, it is time to go to the store.  They are a staple in our fruit basket.    So occasionally they get over ripped, especially during the humid/hot summer months.  I then throw them in the freezer until I make something with them.  Bananas give so much flavor and added moisture to quick breads; I am always on the search for different ways to use up the over ripened bananas in my freezer. 


This recipe definitely turns the bananas into something wonderful.  There really is nothing better than the aroma of homemade bread in the oven.  So with this moist delicate muffin with a sweet crunchy topping, this is one muffin that will surely reel you in.  You will have a hard time making regular banana bread after you have tried this recipe.

Banana Crumb Muffins-recipe

Recipe Adapted from



Marathon Training Week 10

Beautiful weather = Beautiful runs.

This weeks weather in Minnesota has been a roller coaster.  Rainy cold for two days, hot and muggy for a few, but Sunday morning for my long run it was PERFECT.  Cool and breezy, a gorgeous 57 degrees out when I started!


Week 10 Schedule was: Red is what I actually ran.

  • Monday- Rest—-REST
  • Tuesday- 4 miles—4 Miles
  • Wednesday- 8 mile pace- Rest
  • Thursday- 4 mile-4 mile
  • Friday- Rest- 8 mile pace 
  • Saturday- 17- Rest
  • Sunday- Cross- 15 Miles

Week 11 Schedule:

  • Monday- Rest
  • Tuesday- 5 miles
  • Wednesday- 8 mile pace
  • Thursday- 5 mile
  • Friday- Rest
  • Saturday- 18
  • Sunday- Cross

I am now with out my running partner as she starts college tomorrow so I have been reading a lot about long runs.  The long runs are so important in gaining the endurance to sustain the entire 26.2 miles.  During todays run at about mile 8 I had a huge epiphany, kind of like a lightbulb moment but it was more of a feeling.  I just felt CONFIDENT, because I have tackled the last 3 long runs by myself.  No one to push me, no one to talk to, no one to keep my pace.  It has been all me, 14, 13 and 15 miles.  WOW, good job girl!!

Happy running





Week 9 Marathon Training


More to life than running….sometimes.

This week it took a back seat to the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Just like my bad run a couple of weeks ago, I no longer get as uptight if I can not get a run in as scheduled.  The experience of seeing professional golfers such as Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllroy, Phil Michelson, Bubba Watson sure beats training for the marathon.  Plus the venue was incredible.  Talk about a gorgeous golf course on the cliffs overlooking a stunning Lake Michigan.  I saw many runners, walkers and bikers and I thought many times how awesome of a run this would be but I didn’t stress over it.  I just enjoyed the view and my time away.


I was still able to get all my runs in, just not a cross training day.  My sunday run was EXCELLENT, I was indoors running the halls of the highschool I work at because of a thunderstorm.  But my time was great, I used the NIKE+ Running app on my phone to track my miles and distance.  This was my first time using it and I really liked it.  Simple to use–set up a NIKE+ account, download the app, press BEGIN RUN.  The auto voice was neat, on every mile it shared my time, distance and pace.  When I first hear the auto voice I almost turned it off, thinking this would annoy me but it actually helped me not be so concerned with my pace and just run.  Here it the link to more information about NIKE+ Running.


So here was my week 9 running schedule:

  • Monday- 4 miles
  • Tuesday- traveling and PGA
  • Wednesday- PGA
  • Thursday- PGA
  • Friday- 4 miles
  • Saturday- 7 miles
  • Sunday- 13 miles

Week 10 Schedule:

  • Monday- Rest
  • Tuesday- 4 miles
  • Wednesday- 8 mile pace
  • Thursday- 4 mile
  • Friday- Rest
  • Saturday- 17
  • Sunday- Cross


Happy training!




Easy Cupcake Party


My dear daughter’s birthday is at the beginning of winter, December 9th.  Thats right in between Thanksgiving and Christmas also in the middle of hockey and basketball season.  Although this was a great time for maternity leave it doesn’t leave a lot of room to celebrate.  We typically have her family celebration on a Saturday before her older brothers hockey game.  Starting at her sixth birthday we began a new tradition with her and celebrating a half birthday during the summer months with her friends.
So this years theme was cupcakes.  Her invitations were homemade and we had a  blast making them.   The cupcake is from this template.

We glued scrapbook paper for the cake, pink felt for the frosting and red felt for the cherry on top.  The inside is simply a series of different cupcakes I cut out of a party bag from a dollar store because I couldn’t find any cupcake stickers in my small town.   The result is a super cute fun birthday party invitation.

The party was at our local pool so during break time the girls decorated their cupcake to-go boxes.


Then on to the cupcakes…….


The girls decorated cupcakes with sprinkles, frosting and more sprinkles.   It was a lot of fun…. giggly fun.  The end result was colorful sugared out cupcakes!  Each girl was able to frost and decorate three cupcakes, one to eat at the party and two to take home in their beautiful decorated pastry boxes.  Result= Super Cute!




Cinnamon Rolls


I have tough critics in my house to creating/finding the right cinnamon roll recipie.  My family is very gracious when I make anything, so maybe I am my own tough critic.  Because in our house we do cinnamon rolls any time, this is how we roll.  We all love the sweet taste of these fluffy rolls with lots of cinnamon and sugar rolled in between and topped with a lip smacking good cream cheese frosting.   I have tried many good cinnamon roll recipes, until this one.  It definitly topps them all and is now my, I mean our number one favorite.


Many cinnamon roll are made in a 8 x 8 pan or a round cake pan, but honey those just not do for our family.  Since eveyone loves them we need a 9 x 13 pan which will make 12 large rolls. Give yourself plenty of time to make these because they have to rise twice, one in a large bowl and once in the pan.


A sure way to get even cut rolls and to not flatten the just risen dough is to use fishing wire to cut them.   After you have rolled your dough into the 18 inch log, cafefully measure out each roll with an indent on the dough.  Then just shimmy the fishing wire underneath the dough and and criss-cross the wires to cut out the roll.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squizie.