Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Menu Plan Update

Remember my super amazing menu board that's going to revolutionize Husband's and my eating habits? Yeah, that was a big fat fail. Not the finished product, but the actual usage.  Whoever first invented these clearly cook no more than ten specific meals, nor did he or she ever try anything new. Once I went through my recipe binder and created strips for each meal, I easily had 200ish strips of paper. Which had to be sorted through each and every time the board changed. Plus, sometimes we just like to call an audible and eat out or eat something planned for a different day. So I retooled the board a bit.

I recycled all of the paper strips and junk and just hot glued a push pin to a paper pad I had.  The board is really a moot now, but it's so pretty! I left the clothes pins up as well, just in case specific things need to get clipped, like a paper recipe.

On the pad, I just write the various meals Husband and I decide to have when making the grocery list. I put about three meals worth of meat in the fridge and freeze the rest. As we actually cook, I cross the meal off the list and pull something out of the freezer. This has cut down on the amount of meat that spoils.

The pad below the "menu board" lists the staples we're running low on. Then I just add it to the shopping list.

What actually has revolutionized our meal planning/shopping/eating is the greatest website ever: Pepperplate. It's FREE and has an app for iPhone and iPad (we don't do Android, so I can't vouch for that).

It lists all of my recipes...

and you can import recipes--a handful of websites are supported for direct imports...

or you can manually import (i.e. copy and paste from a blog). Let's just say I don't repin recipes from Pinterest anymore. I just upload them to Pepperplate.

You can save the original website source (yay for legal!) in case you need to refer to it and upload pictures. There's even space for notes, so when Husband suggests a variation, I make a note. If a recipe needed a little something, I make a note. 

You can also create menus. We're hosting Christmas this year, so I'm already working on some recipes I may need.

It also has a menu planner, but as I've already mentioned, that style doesn't work for us.

What's truly awesome is you can select the recipes you're cooking and it will generate a shopping list. You can manually add in items (like those staples we're low on) and it's customizable so the categories can be switched up to match your usual grocery store. Because I'm always forgetting SOMETHING that's in one of the first aisles I hit. And it all syncs between devices, so the recipes I import on my laptop are available on my iPad when I cook and the shopping list is always on my phone.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Pepperplate. They have never heard of me and I was in no way compensated for singing their praises. I just think it's awesome, yo.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


I logged on and fully expected that I hadn't posted here in at least a year. Nope. 7 months. #winning.

Several projects I wanted to update my sister on (Since she asked. Hi Mel!), so for now, I'll just do the biggest one. The longest one. The one I'm not convinced is actually done yet. The entryway.




That stupid bench has become a thorn in my side. I'm letting it be for now, but I built it and the legs bowed when sat on. Which is kind of the point of a bench. I tried adding a support in the middle and that was a massive fail. So I disassembled it and it sat in the garage all summer long. I've finally gotten into a routine with my work schedule, so I worked on it the past couple of weeks and abandoned the idea of the original turned legs for simple straight ones and also mitered a frame for it. I still think it wobbles, so we will see. But I do really like how it looks. I have buttons I plan to sew on the pillows. Just got too excited to get the bench in. That also explains the pictures. I keep forgetting to take pictures during the day, so excuse the lighting. And generally terrible pictures in general. They don't at all show what I did.

Since the table had to go for the bench, Mister's walk supplies needed a spot. I used this idea from Pinterest. He has a hook for treats, which need to start being taken on our walks for when the neighborhood kids want to pet him. There's also a hook for his coat, his dry off towel (which was the real need in the entry. We previously just left the towel in a heap on the floor), flashlight, and leash/collar/harness. Who knew such a little dog needed so much stuff!