Meal Planning Printables

Today I wanted to share my love for meal planning and some fun free printables that you can use for your own meal planning. I have been meal planning for a while know most of the time. There are times in my life when I really should be meal planning because life gets so busy and because of just that I skip it. I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I have for meal planning and some shelf cooking. This helps me stay on the budget and have least amount of food waste which I hate. And the benefit of all this is that you can eat pretty healthy at home.

Here are some tips and tricks

  • before starting my monthly meal plan I make an inventory of my pantry and all my freezers
  • from that list I make up my first meals. The either come from my favourite meals list or I gather new recipes I want to try. I get most of my new recipes from pinterest
  • My favourite meals list is something that is an ongoing list where I write meals that my whole family enjoys
  • Once I have meals that include my pantry and freezer items figured out I will start adding other meals.
  • You want to add the pantry and freezer meals to the beginning of the month so they get used up

Here is a sample of my monthly meal plan

Once my Monthly meal plan is figured out I move on to my Weekly meal plan. I create my monthly meal plans at the end of previous month of beginning of the month that I am planning for. My Weekly menue I create usually on Wednesdays for the following week since my grocery day is typically Thursday

Tips and Tricks for Weekly Meal Plan

  • do and inventory of your fridge and try to incorporate those items first. Soups are a great way to use up veggies. I usually don’t figure out what type of a soup I will be making until the week I am meal planning for. I like to make one or two soups a week and we enjoy them for lunches
  • I also meal plan my lunches, breakfasts and snacks
  • if you have extra fruit in your fridge plan for smoothies or fruit pancakes or fruit salad for breakfast at the beginning of the week.
  • berries and bananas freeze well and you can use the later for baking or smoothies
  • When it comes to planning my dinners I refer to my monthly plan and pull dinner form there
  • At this time I will also figure out salads, veggies and sides and meal plan those as well.
  • Once all that is figured out I make a list of all the ingredients I need
  • I check my pantry and freezer and check of items I have
  • From that I will create a shopping list

I also made a video of my meal planner flip through and all these tips and maybe couple extra ones if you want to see

For my grocery list, freezer and pantry list you can get the here

For Monthly printable

Weekly Printable

And if you would like to use ones I used in the video here is the link to weekly and monthly ones

Hope you have enjoyed this post and I encourage you to watch the video for some extra tips and tricks

Happy Meal Planning

Sonja

Easy and Simple Halloween Decor

This year I said I wasn’t going to be doing any Halloween decorating. But here I am sharing a post on my Halloween Home decor. Since I no longer have young children at home I wanted to make it spooky but not overboard. I am going to start with my bar cart that was one of my favourite in my Halloween Decor this year. I decorated it for my Book Club since the book was a bit spooky and I though it would be the best fit for that.

I just love how awesome this turned out and mostly on the budget. The Skeleton was my most expensive piece and I got him from Spirit Halloween. He was around $70.00 CND. The rest of the decor is either my DIY or from Dollar Store.

While we are talking about the book club I also did a spooky Charcuterie set up. And not only was it spooky it was also very delicious.

Now moving on to the rest of the decor. I decorated the Rec Room in the basement probably the most since that is where my adult children hang out (age 18 and 19) with their friends.

Now for the rest of the house I kept it simple and I think elegant.

Bar Cart
Home Tour
Rec Room
Charcuterie Board

Hope you have a Happy Halloween

Sonja

MY FALL BOOK READING BUCKET LIST

I Think I love reading Fall books almost as much as I love watching Christmas Movies. I decided to search up all things Fall and come up with a book list that I am planning on reading this Fall and maybe inspire you to read along with me. Here are Four Fall Books that I think will put us in that Fall cozy feeling.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Alaska is an ideal destination for those seeking desolation—and that’s exactly what Vietnam vet Ernt Allbright wants, despite his wife and daughter’s wishes. It’s woman vs. nature in this gripping story of survival against odds and the elements.

The Year of The Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Handmaid’s Tale meets the Salem Witch Trials meets The Village (or any other sort of cult-like puritanical society). A perfectly dark horror fantasy to give atmospheric air to your autumn reads list.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Between the atmospheric isolated island setting and the murder mystery in this one, this book is definitely a fantastic Fall read for 2020 to curl up with. I listened to it on audio (via Libro.FM….my FAVE way to listen to audiobooks) and it was an incredible narration as I tried to figure out who was dead and which of the wedding guests did it in this slow burn murder mystery. (I have actually chose this book for my Book Club read)

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin book cover with waves breaking on a beach with half woman's face

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Rachel Krall, a true crime podcaster, has a reputation for inadvertently solving murders and affecting trial outcomes. Some judges and lawyers despise her.With a successful podcast and die-hard fans, listeners seek out Rachel’s help and coverage with their stories. Rachel heads to small town North Carolina for a sexual assault trial when she learns about an unsolved death that is seemingly not an accident. Caught up in the drama of both cases, Rachel risks her life for her passion and to help the victims.

If you are looking to join me in reading some or all of these books you can find them all here https://www.amazon.ca/ideas/amzn1.account.AFFMYJZXTN5EBLWBQSKZEM7GXFMQ/2VCMXOUYG3OQK?ref=idea_cp_vl_ov_d

Happy Reading

Sonja

Tent Camping Master packing list

Hello friends. I am finally getting around to creating this post. I have had it on paper for a long time and have done many screen shots for friends so they can have it too. I though it would be best if I created a post so I can share it with friends and any one else that might need a list to follow so they don’t forget anything.

We have done Tent Camping for past 16 years. We missed on year due to trip to Europe but other than that we typically do one to two camping trips a year. The list grew each year as i always brought it with me and added thing that I felt I needed and it wasn’t on the list.

I am going to start with cooking bin

COOKING BIN

  • Kettle
  • Oven mitt
  • Grill Tongs, spatula
  • Marshmallow Sticks
  • Grill Scrubber
  • Dish Pans (2)
  • Wash cloth dish tower, sponge and brush
  • Sauce pan
  • sml stock pot
  • Aluminum foil
  • mugs, cups, plates, cutlery
  • soap for dishes
  • paper Towel
  • matches, lighter
  • cutting board
  • kitchen knives
  • Clorox wipes
  • can opener, wine opener
  • Ziploc bags (assorted sizes)
  • food saver clips
  • lrg and medium bowels (for salads and side dishes)
  • plastic cups and wine glasses
  • Stove and BBQ (We always cook on fire but good to have if there is a fire ban)
  • Cast Iron cook wear
  • Table Cloths and clips to keep the table cloth on
  • Cooking oil, vinegar
  • spices
  • Tongs
  • Water Container
  • Strainer (collapsable can be purchased and dollar store)
  • Veg Peeler
  • cheese shredder
  • cucumber cutter
  • whisk
  • wooden spoon
  • Fuel for stove
  • garbage bags
  • Recycle bin (blue like wash bin)
  • Frying pan
  • scissors
  • Scoop
  • Coffee Tea
  • Coffee Press (if using one)

Camp Site Maintenance Bin (Tool Bin)

  • Batteries
  • Citronella Candles
  • Rope
  • Duck Tape
  • Broom / Dust pan
  • Tent / Air Mattress repair kit
  • Wet Wipes
  • Newspaper or fire strarters
  • Collapsable showel
  • Tarps (for rain cover and tent floor)
  • Tent
  • Screen house
  • pegs
  • beach blanket
  • Chairs
  • beach chairs
  • Head Lamps
  • Lanterns, flash light (check batteries)
  • Poles for tarp
  • Extension cords (if you have an electrical site or a inverter)
  • bungie cords
  • camp hammer
  • axe
  • Mat/Rug for camp entrance
  • Whistle
  • Umbrella
  • Pop up Laundry Basket
  • Air Mattresses (check before packing)

Personal Items

  • Sunscreen, Aloe Vera, Chapsitck
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • toiletreis
  • Soap
  • Camera, chargers
  • deodorant
  • brush
  • Razor
  • Toilet Paper
  • Medication
  • Sunglasses
  • bug spray
  • backpack (for hiking)

First Aid Kit

  • Blister pads
  • gauze
  • elastic bandage
  • tape
  • bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • cotton swabs/pads
  • Polysporin
  • Hydrogen peroxide / rubbing alcohol
  • Sanitizing gel
  • Advil, Tylenol, Midol
  • Tums, Imodium, peptol
  • Benadryl, Areus
  • Tweezers, Scissors, Safety pin, digital thermometer
  • Tee tree oil. calamine lotion
  • zinc, vaseline
  • Anti Monkey Powder

Kids Master List

  • Electronics and charger as well as portable battery charger
  • book
  • stuffed animal (age depending)
  • sunglasses
  • sun hats
  • tooth brush
  • face cloth
  • deodorant (age depending)
  • Chapstick
  • Camera
  • Hair Brush / Comb

Cloths Master List

  • Rain Gear
  • Running shoes
  • Water Shoes
  • flip flops
  • long pants
  • sweat shirt
  • thick seaters
  • lots of socks
  • hats, mittens (sometimes nights get cold)
  • long sleeve shirts
  • other weather appropriate clothing
  • swimsuits
  • hats for sun protection
  • sleepwear
  • long pants

Sleeping Master List

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Mattresses
  • Fitted sheets
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Hats and Mittens

This is my camping list. You can use it as a guide. I would love to know what is one thing you pack that you can not live without and I didn’t include it. I also want to recommend that you make a menue for all your meals so you can pack only what you need. We make block ice at home about a week before so we can save a bit on ice. The blocks keep solid for a while. If you can pack two coolers one for food and one for drinks so you are not opening your food cooler to get drinks all day long.

Happy Camping

Sonja

August Monthly Meal Plan

I am back with a new August Meal Plan. Sorry that I have been a bit MIA but life is a bit different now and I was in no mood to do monthly meal plans or much of anything else to be honest with you guys. But life must go on and one way for me to keep things in order is to have my meals planned out for us. I am still including grill recipes because it is still Summer here even though it doesn’t feel that way when you go to the stores and shelves are filled with Halloween candy and Fall decor. I have also created a new Cooking Channel on Youtube and you can watch a full video on what my thought process is when it comes to my monthly meal planning

My August Meal Plan

The reason why I write it all out in pencil is because in case I want to change things around. I also wanted to share my new menu board that I created on my DIY channel. I love using it every week

Here are some of the new recipes that I will be trying out this month

Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut sauce https://carlsbadcravings.com/thai-chicken-satay-with-peanut-sauce-recipe/

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs (because we were suppose to be in Hawaii ) https://www.cookingclassy.com/hawaiian-chicken-kebabs/

Grilled Shrimp https://valentinascorner.com/grilled-shrimp-recipe/#recipe

Santa Fe Chicken https://www.spendwithpennies.com/santa-fe-chicken-packets/

Bacon Ranch Chicken https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/bacon-ranch-chicken-foil-packets/

Chicken Sandwich (COPYCAT CHICK-FIL-A SANDWICH) https://cincyshopper.com/copycat-chick-fil-a-sandwich/

Chilli Lime Chicken https://rasamalaysia.com/chili-lime-chicken/#mv-creation-50

You can also get all of these recipes on my Summer Dinner Board on Pinterest https://pin.it/1VbmKjo

And if you need more inspirations on meal planning make sure you check out all the rest of the meal planning posts as well as my meal planning video on my Cooking Channel

Happy Reading

Sonja

Gallery Wall

I have been wanting to create a gallery wall in my Living room for several years now and something has always prevented me from doing it. Not this year. It was my NEW YEARS resolution for my home to create this gallery wall. With my 13 year old golden passing in October it gave me even more reasons to do it since I wanted him to be a part of it. I got some gift cards from Michaels for Christmas and decided I was going to put them towards the frames. Wow frames can be expensive. I ended up going with their cheapest ones since they were the look that I was going for.

The frames that I got are these https://canada.michaels.com/en/black-styleline-poster-frame-by-studio-decor/M10118042.html?dwvar_M10118042_color=Black&dwvar_M10118042_size=22.375%22%20x%2034%22 When I got them they were 50% off so that was a great deal.

Than it was time to pick out the matting for the frames and these were even more expensive.

The one I got was https://canada.michaels.com/en/double-mat-11in-x-14in–8in-x-10in-opening/10084042.html?productsource=PLPRV. This was not on sale so I only got one and used 40% off coupon.

I than bought Poster board https://canada.michaels.com/en/22×28-white-poster-board-by-creatology-10ct/10176772.html?productsource=PDPRV and cut out my own. The poster board was acid free and leak proof which is good for the pictures. I got my pictures printed at Costco which was very inexpensive. The hardest part was narrowing to six I wanted to put on the wall.

I decided to create a memory wall for a summer cottage that we vacationed for almost ten years at every summer. Not only was it our favourite place to visit and relax as well as enjoy the lake as much as we could, It was my golden’s as well. He spend hours and hours of swimming in the lake. Once I got all my matting cut out and picture frames assembled it was time to put it up on the wall. I used the paper that came inside of the frame to map out my wall and figure out where I wanted to put up the frames.

I attached the paper with a tack and used that hole for screw guide. I also used a level to make sure that all the frames were levels and tacks in the right place. I also used drywall mounts (it think that is what they are call ) to put the screws in and hang up the pictures. One last thing I did is used a measuring tape to make sure everything was evenly spaced out. I could not be happier with the way this gallery wall turned out. Now I have my buddy looking down at me all the time and I get to look at a place that made me happy for so many years.

If you would like to watch this tutorial you can see it here

Happy Reading

Sonja

January Meal Ideas / Meal Plan

I am back with another month of meal plans. This is a first one for 2020 and My goal for 2020 is to provide my family with variety of meals as well as serve up healthy and delicious meals. My family has several dietary needs and I strive to provide clean made from scratch meals as much as possible. Since most of the meals are lower in carbs I do let you know different carb options you can add to your meals since sometimes I do add them for my kids depending how many carbs they had that day. I also like my dinners to have plenty of vegetables and I always serve them with a side salad even if I don’t list the salad in my Monthly Menue.

Here is my meal plan for the Month of January

I will include the list of meals and link a recipe to any that I have. I would also like to invite you to join me on my Youtube Channel where I share many recipes, meal prep, what’s for dinner and other cooking / kitchen related content. You can subscribe here https://youtu.be/75uuF9U6Qy8

My January Dinner Plan

  1. Pork Roast and Chicken Noodle Soup. I like to make soup as part of a meal prep for the week for my lunches as well as for Daycare and kids school lunch. I make it from scratch and freeze the broth for other soups I will be making that month. You can see my soup recipe here https://youtu.be/PG1hnIneby4
  2. Chicken Stirfry
  3. Pork Tenderloin Marsala. I will be serving it over cauliflower mash and a saladhttps://selfproclaimedfoodie.com/tender-pork-marsala/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes&utm_term=788531630_32769762_143004
  4. Baked Chicken Caesar. I will be serving the chicken with a side of roasted vegetables and a salad. For the kids I will make rice to put the chicken and sauce over it. https://www.thecookierookie.com/melt-in-your-mouth-caesar-chicken/
  5. Korean Chicken Thies. I serve this with and Asian Slaw and rice for the kids https://www.theendlessmeal.com/korean-paleo-chicken-thighs/
  6. Meat Loaf with side of roasted cauliflower and mashed potatoes for the kids. As well as a salad
  7. Low Carb Chicken Cordon Blue with pasta and butter sauce for the kids and My husband and I will have zucchini with the same butter sauce (melt butter add garlic, red pepper flakes and parmesan) and a salad https://www.homemadeinterest.com/low-carb-chicken-cordon-bleu-casserole/
  8. Home made pizza and Lentil Soup https://www.cookingclassy.com/italian-vegetable-lentil-soup/
  9. Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken  https://therecipecritic.com/instant-pot-lemon-garlic-chicken/
  10. Chicken Alfredo I serve kids with penne and for us I will some zucchini and salad. The sauce I use is https://therecipecritic.com/the-best-homemade-alfredo-sauce-ever/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tried-and-True-Challenge
  11. Hungarian goulash https://whereismyspoon.co/hungarian-beef-goulash-authentic-hungarian-goulash-recipe/
  12. Fish and Chips with coleslaw. For my husband and I I use turnip fries and the kids get regular potatoes fries.
  13. Butter Chicken I will make rice for kids and cauliflower rice. https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/gordon-ramsay-s-butter-chicken
  14. Chicken cacciatori I make it with pasta for the kids and cut up veggies like peppers and zucchini for us
  15. French Dip. I use buns for the kids and lettuce for us. I will also have a salad. https://spicysouthernkitchen.com/crock-pot-french-dip-sandwich/.
  16. Cream of Cauliflower Soup https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a58008/loaded-cauliflower-soup-recipe/
  17. Thai Lettuce Wraps
  18. Instant Pot Garlic Sesame Chicken with rice for the kids and salad for us https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/instant-pot-garlic-sesame-chicken/
  19. Buffalo Ranch Wraps With salad https://www.thelazydish.com/easy-crockpot-shredded-buffalo-chicken-sandwiches/
  20. Taco Casserole https://thecozycook.com/taco-casserole
  21. Fried chicken with roasted potatoes and turnip fries and salad
  22. Spaghetti over pasta for kids and spaghetti squash for us
  23. Salmon and salad
  24. Chicken Burritos in a wrap for kids and over salad for us with roasted veggies
  25. Schnitzel with home fries for kids and salad for us

Just a side note my kids will eat all the salad and veggies that I serve in case if I didn’t write it in. The only difference is my husband and I eat lower carb most times.

Hope you find these meal ideas helpful and they help you with your meal planning.

Happy Reading.

Winter Home Decor Ideas after Christmas

Hello my friends. I have just finished putting my house back together after I took down Christmas. It took me about two days to get Christmas stuff put away and then I took my time deep cleaning each room and getting some new and old decor out. I like to start with each room with a clean slate so besides furniture there is really nothing else in it. That way its like brand new space every season and I can do whatever I want with it.

This year I went with a little bit less decor than usual. It was just what I was feeling. I am far from minimalistic but I do feel comparing to previous years that my decor was minimal. I wanted my decor to feel wintery and cozy.

I started with my front foyer and living room. I brought in lots of outdoor elements mixed with different textures like wood, fabric, stone and metal. Love how inviting the foyer feels and how cozy living room is.

Once these two rooms were complete I moved on to my Dining Room and Family Room. My Dining Room barely gets used but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look pretty. I pulled all the same elements from the living room and continued them into the dining room

The Family Room opens up to our kitchen and dinette and is also one of the most used room by all of us including my two giant fur babies. I wanted to tie in the whole house in my family room without going over board which is one of the hardest things to do for me.

I probably should have included my front porch right at the beginning but I did spruce up the porch too. Using existing Christmas planters minus the red berries and lots of white and fluffy decor my front porch now is very wintery and inviting.

The last room I decorated for Winter was my Master Bedroom. Although this decor is more all year round I still feel it is very cozy and makes me want to nap all day.

If you would like I also have a video tour and all the decorate with me videos over on my youtube channel

I hope you were able to get some inspirations from this post and I hope you have Happy Winter Decorating.

Sonja

FREE GINGERBREAD RECIPE PRINTABLE

Thank you so much for stopping by and watching my video. As a Thank You here is my free Printable. Also if you enjoy free Printable make sure you follow my blog for those as well as tons more stuff.

Free Printable

If you haven’t seen this video and how I use this printable you can watch it here

Thanks for following along

Sonja

Fall Home Decorating Ideas for 2021

Hello my friends. I am finally done decorating most of my home for FALL and I absolutely love the cozy feeling that my decor is giving me this year. As usual if you have seen my previous years decor I stick mostly to the traditional Fall Colors. I love old vintage look as well and have been slowly adding these decor piece into my decor.

We are going to start with my Front porch. I think Mums are definintely a great and inexpensive way you add decor especially if you don’t want pumpkins. I have added pumpkins into mine because after all I am a pumpkin lady.

Once we cam inside we were in my front foyer and from there you could also see my living room. One of my favourite pieces to decorate with seasonally has been my galvanized truck that sits on my living room coffee table. I add different seasonal items in it and love the way it looks.

I also love creating Fall Coffee bar station and that one is located in my formal dining room

And if you would like to see my Full home tour with rooms I haven’t shared here check it out here
Hope this post has given you tons of decorating inspirations for your Fall home decor this year. Happy Decorating

Sonja

Fall Free Printable

Hi guys. Here is a Fall Free Printable for you. This is great to use with Hiipoo Waterslide decals. You can get 30% off on this by going to https://www.amazon.com/Hiipoo-Waterslide-Transfer-Transparent-Waterproof/dp/B092V22XWZ and using these codes

Heat transfer paper: MVVXPHKY

Waterslide decal paper: O8LQDZBB

Here is the free printable

Happy Crafting

Sonja

My Must Watch Fall Movies List

As I was making a list of all the Fall Cozy Feely movies I wanted to watch I though why not share the list with you. I am not going for scary movies that will be in October but maybe more of romantic, comedy and feel good movies. That is not all I am including but most. Here is what I am planning on watching this Fall. Let me know if you are going to be watching some. Would love to know

You’ve Got Mail

When Harry Met Sally

Mona Lisa Smile

Love Story

Sweet November

Good Will Hunting

School Ties

Little Women

Legends of the Fall

Coco

Princess Bride

Remember the Titans

Happy Fall Movie Watching. Don’t forget to check out my Fall Book List as well MY FALL BOOK READING BUCKET LIST

Sonja

2021 National Latinx Heritage Month Collection from Erin Condren

The New National Latinx Heritage Month Collection from Erin Condren includes colorful, inspirational planners, notebooks, desk decor and so much more. In honor of National Latinx Heritage Month, they introduced the latest collection in their Heritage and Awareness Moths series. This collection supports the talented artists behind the designs and gives back 35% of the net proceeds through October 15the, 2921 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. You can shop the whole collection here https://shrsl.com/3535h

Here are the featured artists

Dreams in Bloom by Ana Isabel a proud Latina artist form Guatemala whose design reminds us that everything blooms in time and anything can grow to be beautiful. You can shop this collection here

https://shrsl.com/35g9b

Tigers and Flowers by Nicole Medina a Latina Illustrator whose colorful dream like art focuses on biculturalism, inclusivity and representation. You can shop this collection here

https://shrsl.com/35g9n

Butterfly Gardens by Aby Cortes who is one of talented Art Directors at EC. With a passion for floral designs, her art inspires us to find beauty in every day. Shop the collection here

https://shrsl.com/35g9s

Bougainvillea by Ximena Outon who is the Sr. Creative Manager of Email at EC. Her design is inspired by her love of abstract art and bougainvilleas, considered the traditional flower of Mexico. Find the collection here

https://shrsl.com/35ga2

There is so much to choose from for your planning and journaling and don’f forget the desk decor. I am loving the collection and enjoying it all.

For more information about any of the products, visit the Erin Condren Website

Happy Planning

Sonja

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