How To Plan Your Weekly Menu

The Dinner Jar

how to plan dinner menu

So, I love the idea of those magnetic weekly menus, where all you do is go through a handful of printed-food-items then clip them by the day you decide to cook it. But, I love my notebook. My dinner jar is like a guessing game.

First, I downloaded a jar-label-print-out. Then I typed up all our favorite dinners on scrapbook paper, then printed them out! I ended up having fifty- or so of ┬áthem…

making a dinner menu

…I just punched them out with a paper punch, some I even cut out with scissors. Then I hot glued a little twine around the jar and declared it my new best friend (when it comes to meal planning).

menu planning made easy

I just shake-shake-shake and pull out meals one by one. If you aren’t jonesing for what you pulled out, leave it out and pull out a different one! Super easy, huh!

Breakfast, Lunch and Dessert jar anyone??

For more info, check out How I Meal Plan

Last Minute Gifts

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So, right now at Starbucks you can buy a reusable cup for only $1! It’s dishwasher & microwave safe, plus every time you use it to buy a drink at Starbucks you get $0.10 off! (Hey, ten drinks saves you a $1)
Starbucks isn’t cheap lol
They aren’t flimsy at all. In fact they look & feel like some plastic cups I already have in my kitchen cabinet. They are great for kids too. My daughter loves hot chocolate and can drink from a sippy cup well enough not to spill much when drinking from these cups. I always order her hot chocolate with the low temp steamer so she can gulp it down the instant she gets it in her hands.
Back to the cups…
A deal this good means stock up. I really did go in and order 20 Starbucks cups. They come with lids too! Plus, I may or may not have asked for stoppers & sleeves. *you’ll never know*
These are great for people who don’t drink coffee. Just fill with herbal teas!
I bought that many to keep a back up stock as gifts to give to people for special occasions such as New Year’s, thank-you’s, friend’s birthdays, or this example – family Christmas light-seeing. Every year on Christmas Eve, my family goes driving around to see the ravenous & outrageous Christmas lights. Some people really go all out. Their electric bill must be through the roof.
This year was really fun. My sister found a map of the best lights in town so we followed it. My daughter had a blast. One of the houses was so decked out they even had the grinch passing out candy canes. Cars were lined up to watch the shows – as most of the houses have a radio station in sync with their lights which creates a fun show.
What better way to start a fun evening than with hot cocoa or some caffeine!
For the gifts, I made biscotti cookies (recipe coming soon) wrapped them up in cellophane and a bow, then stuffed the cups full with some of my families favorite drinks: hot chocolate, teas & coffee. Throw in a Starbucks gift card too!
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My family members are bold coffee drinkers, but I thought the blonde Starbucks instant coffees would be perfect for the evening.
When we were all making our drinks, my husband asked, “Why is everyone making coffee? Don’t they want to sleep tonight?”
I replied, “Honey, in this family, caffeine puts us to sleep.”
My dad jumped in and added, “Ain’t that the truth!”
My husbands hates coffee & tea. He got an all-hot-cocoa cup!

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Coffee Body Scrub

20131226-224551.jpgWinter weather dries my skin out quickly; I hate it.
I have to keep up on my skin care so that I prevent ingrown hairs, acne, eczema, or other irritating rashes and skin issues. One of my favorite skin care products is an all natural body scrub! It smells so good you’ll want to eat it.
As a part of my regular skin are regimen, I use it every other day, all over my body, with the exception of my face. I scrub for about five minutes so I know my exfoliation is deep enough to remove the dead skin cells, but not deep enough for damaging effects.
This scrub is just as addicting as coffee in the drink form. Try not to use it every day because your skin needs time to heal in between exfoliations.
Coffee is packed with caffeine which when comes in contact with the skin, it literally melts cellulite. It doesn’t it away, but it breaks up the fat for “repositioning.” By doing so, surrounding cells are flushed and detoxed while blood circulation is intensified. In return, the bumpy appearance of cellulite disappears. Caffeine also constructs blood vessels, so all those little spider veins or lumpy varicose veins can be treated with this scrub. It will diminish them by acting as a vasoconstrictor when used regularly. Whether you drink the stuff or not, wake up to a scoop of coffee – not from a cup, but from the shower!
When buying your coffees, keep in mind that good coffee is for taste, but cheap coffee is for your skin. Don’t buy instant coffee nor do you want decaffinated for your skin. You need the caffeine for its benefits and the gritty grounds to exfoliate.
So that the caffeine is at its peak, make this scrub while your shower is warming up. Keep a container of coffee, sugar, and bottle of olive oil in your bathroom for convenience.
This also makes the perfect neighbor, home-warming, thank-you, or just-because present.
Label the jar, include a craft stick for scooping, & tie a pretty bow around it. It’s like buying them a cup of coffee without the guilt!

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Coffee Body Scrub
Makes one cup of scrub

What you need:
1/4 cup ground coffee
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
A splash of olive oil (not your expensive evoo)

Blend the coffee and sugar together, add a splash (about a tablespoon) of olive oil to moisten the coffee-sugar. Add more if needed till you achieve your ideal consistency.
In the shower, wet your body, step out of the water or save Mother Earth & turn the water off. Scrub sections of our body for one minute each for 5 minutes. (Legs a minute each, arms a minute each, tummy/chest/back/ a minute.)
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Want a super smooth & long lasting shave? Try this trick:
Lather & shave your legs with you choice of shaving cream or body wash. When done, scrub your legs for a deep exfoliation. Rinse & lather your legs again with shaving cream or body wash. Go over your legs with a second quick shave. Rinse again and pay dry. Apply oils or lotions for moisture and nutrients. Shaving this way adds an extra step, but it’s guaranteed to leave your legs silky smooth for at least 3 days. (Try not to get chill bumps haha)

Septic tank? No problem! The ingredients in the scrub are organic matter so the bacteria in your septic tank will break it down. Even they get a cup of joe, you’re welcome!