My blog details all the fantastic "pins" I've actually made! Enjoy!

August Date – Shopping, Six Flags, Dinner August 26, 2012

I put together one year’s worth of dates (one date per month) for my husband as a Valentine’s Day present.  Our August date was “great”.  We had free tickets to Six Flags Great America that we intended to use with the kids.  I realized; however, that JR and I had never rode a roller coaster together and that it would be much more fun to leave the kids behind.  The weather was HOT, so we didn’t last the entire day.  We intended to go to the water park (attached to Six Flags) for half the day, but it was closed!  Boo!  It was fun to walk around Great America.  It really brought back memories.  I hadn’t been there in probably 15 years!  Although there was lots of new rides, we opted to ride the roller coasters that we remembered as kids (Batman, American Eagle, and Demon).


The date card read “We have free Six Flags tickets, so let’s be childish and have some fun!  We can enjoy the water park and roller coasters.  We can shop at Gurnee Mills, too.  Love, Lisa.”  In the August envelope, I included the date card and our Six Flags tickets.



We spent part of our day shopping at the outlet mall across the street from Six Flags.  We both purchased a few items.


We stopped at Lake Zurich since it was on our way home.  JR grew up in Lake Zurich and we both lived there for a few years after we got married.  We sat on the beach and relaxed for a bit before heading to dinner at Lucky Monk!  We got home just in time to tuck in the kids.  We had a really great day!


Until next month…

Check out our previous dates…

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

February 2012


April Date April 18, 2012

I put together one year’s worth of dates (one date per month) for my husband as a Valentine’s Day present.  Our April date was a blast!


The date card read …  “I’m very excited for this date.  It’s Spring and we need some new clothes!  We’re going on a shopping spree.  We each have an envelope filled with cash to spend.  We must be ready for our vacation in May.  We will shop at Oakbrook, spend the night at the Embassy Suites, and go out to dinner, etc.  Love, Lisa.”


I included the date card, two envelopes of cash, and some wardrobe inventory worksheets.  I cashed in credit card points to get a Lettuce Entertain You gift card for our dinner at Wildfire!



Before our date, we cleaned out both our closets!  I really wanted to clear out my husbands closet.  I knew it was loaded with clothes he hasn’t worn in over 5 years+.  We filled up 5 garbage bags of clothes to send to goodwill.


After we cleared out our old clothes, we made lists of items we needed to purchase.  We are going to Riviera Maya in May, so we included items we’d need on vacation.


My mom babysit the girls for us so we could enjoy a day of shopping, eating, sleeping in, and just being together alone!!!


We had lunch at Moe’s, spent 6-7 hours shopping, checked into our hotel, freshened up, ate dinner at Wildfire (I LOVE their chopped salad), had a drink at the bar, back to the hotel and crashed! The next morning, we headed to a few more stores before returning home!


We both got loads of new clothes!  This is something we have never done before.  Maybe we can do it again in the fall!  Also, we both fell in love with Nordstrom Rack.  Why haven’t I shopped there before!?!


Here are some pictures of our loot!




2 Week Meal Plans March 26, 2012

I find meal planning and grocery shopping overwhelming and very time consuming.  In my effort to get organized, I’ve figured out a way to reduce the stress of getting hot meals on the table.  My new system should help keep grocery bills under control (less trips to the store, less $ spent) and reduce eating out!  I decided that I would plan two weeks of meals at a time.  I will only do major grocery shopping every two weeks.  I know there are those of you out there that can shop once per month, but I’m just not there yet!


I have created a “Meal Planner” worksheet to help plan and organize the meals I will prepare.  This worksheet lists days, dates, and activities.  Then, it has a spot for me to write-in my plans for lunch, dinner, and sides.  Although there is a column for lunches, I have not started planning lunches yet.  At the bottom of the worksheet, I have two extra spaces.  The first is to list any ideas I have for the next two week cycle and the second is to jot down any lunch ideas.


Here are the steps I follow to plan my 2 weeks of meals …

1.)  I prep my “Meal Planner” worksheet for the next 2 week cycle.  I update my dates and type in any notes or activities we have going on.  Then, I print it.

2.)  I review my freezer / fridge inventory (see a previous post) to see if there are ingredients I need to use up.  Also, by reviewing this list, I will see if I have any meals frozen that I can eat in the next 2 weeks.

3. ) I pull out my cookbooks, printed Pinterest recipes, magazine recipes, etc.  I also have my laptop nearby, so I can look up recipes (usually on allrecipes.com).

4.)  I flip through all my recipes and pull out the meals that Iwant to eat, keeping in mind any ingredients I already have.  If I don’t find a recipe to use up my ingredients, I search for recipes online.

5.)  I determine how many meals each recipe will make.  Many of my recipes make way too much food for my family, so I can freeze a second meal for the future!  Or, I can eat the same meal twice.

6.)  I jot down the meals I have chosen on my “Meal Planner” worksheet.

7.)  Then, I prepare my grocery list.  I WILL BE POSTING “GROCERY SHOPPING MADE EASY” very soon.  Stay tunned!. 


Every other week I follow this schedule

Tuesday = take inventory of fridge and freezer (and pantry)

Wednesday = Prepare 2 week meal plan and write grocery list

Thursday & Friday = grocery shop (you will notice that my 2 week meal rotation begins on a Saturday, so if I grocery shop on Thursday and Friday, I’ll have all the ingredients I need by Saturday).


That’s it!  Now I have all my meals planned for the next two weeks!  I have done this once so far, and it worked out so great for me!


Click here to see the printable I found on Pinterest that inspired my “Meal Planner” worksheet.


Recipes and Meal Planner Worksheet

Meal Planner Worksheet