High Rotation Monday #4 – the plotting, planning and dreaming edition

I skipped a week – last week would have been “the tired edition”… this week not so much. Energy is back and plots and plans are creeping in again. I’m a dreamer, like that little kid in my photo up there.

1. Menu planning: I have been feeling culinarily uninspired for various reasons; picky eaters, lack of time, high expectations to eat healthier all contribute.  When adding all that to the fact that our grocery bills seems out of control at the moment, I have decided to get back to weekly menu planning. This kind of organisation really runs counter to my basic personality so it requires concerted effort. Thankfully there are delicious food blogs to pore over. Last night I discovered the blog Meal Planning 101. It looks great – and while it’s heavily skewed to a meat-eating diet – there are tonnes of recipes, tips, plans and shopping lists. The above image (1) is Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala from the site. I am going to finish this post and then sit down and map out a week of good eats.

2. Business Planning: I am in the early stages of a new plan… and it’s all going swimmingly. I think November and December always bring new plans in mind for me, ready for the new year that’s coming. Helping me figure things out a little are The Boss of You by Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon, Craft Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco (2) and The Artist’s Way at Work by Julia Cameron et al. Also — The Top 50 Etsy Parents for ideas, and the wonderful Etsy Seller Handbook blog.

3. Advent Planning: Every year we count down the days in December until Christmas with an advent calendar. Since Amelia was very small our advent has been full of simple activities rather than small gifts. We have had a flat couple of years when it comes to Advent – it has been hard matching the expectation and excitement of years past with the reality of the simple surprises as the girls get a little older (and more cynical). Regardless, it’s about hanging out together, laughing, silliness, special treats and crafting. That never gets old. Despite their great age (10 and 6!)  and the raised eyebrows and the occasional grumpy “whatever”, any time there is mention of advent activities both girls always say “make sure we get sock puppets telling us bedtime stories one night!” – it’s possible we’ll still be doing some version of that for years to come. And I am sure there will be the ever-popular “crazy hair at dinner time”. The image above (3) is from our first year of advent madness when Amelia was just a wee thing.
Here are my pinterest boards which will be helping with my advent planning: Kids, Crafty and Holidays.

4. Planning Parties? No thanks…but I like imagining the perfect one: and I would quite possibly use the tips in this 1960s copy of the Esquire Party Book (4) (thanks Skott!) and I would also take notes from Kate’s 10 Ingredients for a top party.

5. Emergency planning: I need to get onto this as storm season sets in. Last night we lost power for 4 hours and I was left scrambling through drawers in the dark looking for the last of the tealight candles. Power is back on today, so I can enjoy some music until the winds pick up again:

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5 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    Regarding menu planning, I’ve got some good tips from the Planning with Kids blog, see: http://planningwithkids.com/2010/04/08/getting-organised-at-home/I also recently discovered the A Fresh Legacy blog, good (not too meat heavy) recipes on the blog and her recent ebook: http://afreshlegacy.net/family-food-dinner

  2. What a beautiful young lady pictured at number 3! As for meal planning, I must get back into it too. I hate doing it, but when I’m in the swing of it I actually love it. For me what works is planning a theme for each day, eg, Monday pasta, Tuesday rice, Wednesday pastry, Thursday roast, Friday soup and salad and bread, anyway you get the idea. We are almost off meat and I’m sure the mister doesn’t even realise how little of it he’s eating now! xxx.c

  3. Kim Thompson says:

    Oh my word that photo of Amelia is adorable! I may have to steal* some of your activity ideas to spice up our advent calendar this year. Some of our favourites are spa night, candle night, and camping out in the living room… simple but effective.cheers!k*by ‘steal’ of course I mean ‘do homage to’

  4. Saskia says:

    My eyes lurched from the Tikka Masala photo (yum) to the Esquire Party book (fantastic). I love the Esquire series – we have two others, including the 50s wine one which has gorgeous illos.Meal planning? We live on creative re-purposing of leftovers, especially at this crazy time of year! We also do the Advent sock puppet reading thing I’m sure I got that idea from your blog many years ago.

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