Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Resolution Update and a Give-Away

Edited 7/15/08: Yikes, we've decided to go on a last minute camping trip. The giveaway will close on Sunday, July 20 instead. I'll post the winner on Monday, July 21.

It's been a week since I made my Mid-Year resolutions and I've made some progress so I thought I'd give you a little update. Please forgive all of these pictures; they're all horrible, but that's what I get for taking pictures late at night!Let's start with Resolution #2 (because that's how my pictures came up and I'm too lazy to rearrange them).

Resolution 2: To do more art activities with the kids.

1. Get ideas: I went to the library and checked out a few books. Most of them are by MaryAnn F. Kohl. First Art, The Big Messy Art Book, Scribble Art, Snacktivities, Storybook Art, Preschool Art and Play and Learn by Parents Magazine.

2. Organize an art space: I bought a vinyl table cloth so most work can be done at the kitchen table. My kids love to stand and work though, so I've been using the benches for our table instead and this works great. I've been trying to have them do most of their art outside right now as the weather is nice and clean up is easier.

3. Purchase and organize art supplies: Because our one and only storage closet is filled to the maximum, I bought a $5 vinyl shoe rack at Target to hang over the back of the closet door. This works perfectly; I can see where everything is, it's out of the way yet I can find everything I need in a snap, it has 24 pockets so it holds all of our supplies plus there's room for more, and the kids can see it so they've been asking to do "projects". I had to buy only a few items: paintbrushes, watercolors and some paper.

4. Let the kids be artists: I'm working on it. I still cringe when Sadie wants to put the red paintbrush in the yellow paint, but I'm working hard on just letting the kids experiment.

5. Display art: I'm still working on this too. Right now, work goes on the fridge. (see picture below!)

For one week, I've made some progress, but a lot of work still needs to be done especially as far as me going with the flow when the kids are being "expressive" with their work.

Resolution 1: To make one new recipe per week. This recipe must contain either a whole grain (barley, bulgur, couscous, oats, quinoa, etc) or beans.

1. Find recipes: I checked out a book The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell and have used several recipes. I think I will be continually looking for new recipes depending on what ingredients I have, what's in season and what I'm craving.
2. Make a meal calendar for each week that has a place to write the ingredients I need so I can make sure that I am indeed trying one new recipe per week! Done. I know this picture isn't very clear, but I took a half sheet of paper and added boxes for each day of the week along with a box for a grocery list. I took it to Kinko's and had it made into notepads, put magnets on the back and stuck it on the fridge (it's the blue notepad):

3. Buy ingredients for the particular recipes and keep the pantry stocked with dried beans (ready to be cooked and stuck in the freezer) and a variety of whole grains: Done! And well, not done, I will buy ingredients as needed.

4. Actually cook the meal that I have planned instead of resorting to something like Mac-N-Cheese: Ha, Ha! I can only say that I have made a new recipe for last week (buttermilk wheatgerm pancakes) and this week (zuppa fiorntina--soup with barley and spinach) . I'm hoping I can make whole grains and beans a regular part of our meals without working too hard at it!!

I'll keep you posted. I promise.

And now for the Give-Away. I just happened to make an extra "What's For Dinner?" notepad because I thought that one of my faithful readers might be interested in organizing their family's meals. So, that is what you'll get. One "What's for Dinner?" 50 page notepad (without the magnets) and several hand-written recipes for you and your family to try out. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post by midnight Wednesday, July 16. I will have the Random Number Generator pick a number and I will announce the winner on Thursday, July 17. One vote per person, please. Good luck.

By the way, I'm leaving late tonight on the trip my kids got me for Mother's Day. I will be gone 4 days, just me, myself and I. This will be my first day off since August 17, 2005. I'm so excited, I can hardly wait. You won't hear from me until then. Ciao!


Mom2BeautifulGirl said...

I want one!!!!

Oh yeah, please.

Seriously, you are ingenious and I love this blog.

I'm definitely a faithful reader.

Mountain Mom Alison said...

I guess it's never too late to start making resolutions, and I may just have to create my own long overdue list. I really like your menu notepad. That would be helpful for us since we started shopping only once a week last winter of 06/07. It's nice to know that you have everything in the fridge for a week of meals.

Robert said...
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Artistmama said...

I'm a new reader! Love your blog. I'm also trying to do more arts and crafts with my son. He's 3 and right at the age where he's needing more stimulation throughout the day. I love the plastic over the door storage idea. I will do that one for sure. I would love the notepad! I'm so bad at making new recipes because I just keep buying the same ingredients. Your notepad would definitely help.

Melissa said...

I love giveaways and I would make a definite effort to use this...because I hate cooking but I love planning.

Leah said...

That's a great idea!