A Beginner’s Week of Meal Planning

meal planning | foodloveswriting.com

Last Saturday night, at a time when most people our age were out with friends or stretched out on sofas, unwinding in front of TV screens, Tim and I sat across from each other at our dining room table, a laptop and a weekly planner before us, and discussed our menu for the next six days. I’d read Natalie’s blog post on meal planning the day before and, inspired, had told Tim maybe meal planning was something we ought to try. My husband, who, to his credit, is always much quicker to jump on board with my random ideas than I am with his, said okay. We would try meal planning, this concept people say simplifies your work weeks and lowers your family food budget. And while the idea of scheduling a week’s worth of meals is nothing new or revolutionary, and while there’s certainly nothing I write here that you wouldn’t find in a simple Google search, I’m chronicling our first week’s efforts here in this post anyway for two reasons:

1) Whatever the future holds for us, at least in terms of planning meals, I want to remember what the beginning felt like, much the way married people want to remember the newlywed years or moms, their babies’ first steps, and also,

2) While of course, when you begin anything new—whether it’s a job or a treatment or a hobby—it’s nice to hear from the experts, sometimes the ones you most want to hear from are the ones who were also new like you, not so long ago. So for any of you out there who have likewise not known about or personally tried meal planning, I hope this is of some interest to you.

(Plus, bonus reason, 3) Who doesn’t like to peek in someone else’s shopping cart? Here’s a figurative look at ours, last week, as well as some meals and methods we used.)

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FLW Newsletter #1: The Kind of Art We Make

Turns out, for us, today is more than the first day of February. Today is the first day of our email newsletter, something we’ve hardly hinted at here on the blog before but that’s been in the works since the end of last year. A few of you noticed that we’ve had a signup button on the blog since December, and you’ve already subscribed. Hooray! The rest of you may or may not have any idea what I’m talking about. For that reason, we thought we’d launch the first issue not only by sending it to our charter subscribers’ inboxes, but also by posting the bulk of its content here. Going forward, this content will be strictly via email—there’s a signup button in the sidebar. If you like what you see, we hope you’ll subscribe.

And let us know if you have questions! Happy Friday! Happy February! Happy newsletter!

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Good Writes and Reads 2012

fav writes reads 2012

I’m not going to say this year flew by quickly. That’s what everyone says at the end of December. But I will say, looking back at the last 12 months, that I’m overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of life a person lives in one year. The trips, the work, the conversations, the movies, the driving, the meals: time keeps coming, and we keep spending it, until, one day, it doesn’t. Just like that. Years flash through our fingers like sand, pouring quickly, quickly, and we never know when it will stop, so instead we live like it won’t, and yet there’s this reality, ever present, that there’s nothing any of us can do to slow things down. Another year is gone, and here we are, standing face to face with the next one, considering, the way we do at the close of December, even if only for a moment, what we will do with it.

So in the spirit of looking back—for a better way of looking forward—and inspired by a post I wrote at the end of 2009, I’m bringing you a roundup of articles from the past year—12 posts I wrote and 12 posts I read in 2012 that stuck with me. Enjoy! And here’s to 2013 (!). May we choose to be wholly present and intentional in it.

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Merry Christmas! (+ A Blogger Recipe Roundup!)

Merry Christmas
christmas

Christmas is always the time of year when our cup feels especially full, what with the visits to family and gifts being exchanged, but, in fact, it’s our entire month that’s been filled with good gifts. Around here, December has meant cloudy Sunday afternoons walking around downtown Franklin, cozy nights doodling and watching Christmas movies, trimming a tree and, now this week, trips to Ohio and Chicago. What’s more, as 2012 comes to a close, we’re looking back at a long list of good meals, many of which were inspired by friends in the blogging world.

So as we wish the happiest of Christmases to each of you, we’re also including a roundup of recipes we’ve tried this year and loved—scroll to the bottom of the post for links!

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Favorite [Packaged] Snacks

favorite packaged snacks | foodloveswriting.com

It’s almost Christmas! While we’re hitting the road for Ohio, we thought we might share a roundup of some of our favorite packaged snack-type products (proof that we don’t make everything we eat). When we’re road-tripping like we are this weekend, when we’re out for the night and want a snack, when we’re stuffing stockings, when we’re looking for a special treat that we don’t want to spend an hour making, it’s usually one of these products we reach for, and, while none of these companies has sent us their products free, paid us to promote them or in any other way requested that we mention them here, we’re sharing them because we think they’re just that good*. All made of whole foods, with short ingredients lists you can pronounce and easily recognize, they’re also the kind of snack foods you don’t have to feel any guilt about choosing.

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