Monday, 6 August 2012

Seeing the light in a busy week

I knew last week was going to be really busy, even before it started. Tim and I both had big working weeks, commitments on different nights that we had to juggle between us and friends that were coming to visit as well.

I don't do chaos well. I would much prefer a week that has some downtime in it and a little time to breath, but every now and then these weeks are thrown our way and we try our very best to take them in our stride and hope we come out on the other side. 

What is important to us is that we use the time we do have wisely and as a family. For us, this means that as soon as Tim and I are both home from work we grab a coffee for ourselves and a milk for Cruz and sit in the lounge for 10 minutes so that we can all chat about our days. Cruz always wins in the 'who has had the most fun and exciting day' competition. In that ten minutes we pretend that we have nothing else to do, no other commitments to see too and do our very best to use that time to have fun and a bit of a laugh together. That ten minutes each day makes such a difference to our busy week.

To plan for the week ahead I made Monday - Wednesday's lunchboxes on Sunday night. Whilst I like to make fresh meals every day, what mattered last week is that we all had lunches ready to go in the morning. If you squint you can see that there are some notes on the lunch bags I did up for Tim and I. These were little reminders of what I had to add to our bags each day - fresh yogurt from the fridge, fruit and a snack, everything else was packed. I chose lunch snacks that would stay fresh and last the 3 days I needed them too. Sandwiches were premade for the week, some frozen others stored in the fridge. Each night I would lift the semi made lunchboxes/bags out of the fridge and add a yogurt, fruit, fresh snack and sandwich into them. Instead of the usual 40 minutes it takes me to prepare lunchboxes each night, it was taking me 10 minutes and saving me the stress of working out what to put into them, or having to run to the shop because I had run out of something.

I also made sure to only meal plan slow cooked meals that I could prepare in the morning when I woke up. Each night as I got home from work there was next to no dinner preparation needed and we could have our dinner as soon as we were all home and ready. Some nights dinner was on the table 10 minutes after I arrived home. 

Our slow cooked meal plan looked like this:

Monday - Slow cooked potatoes (we added sour cream, bacon, cheese and shallots) recipe here
Tuesday - Apricot chicken here

 Wednesday - Chicken Noodle soup here

Thursday - Macaroni Cheese (I won't include the recipe because I wouldn't choose to make the recipe that we used again. If anyone has a nice slow cooked macaroni cheese recipe I'd love for you to share it)

Friday - Our very favourite slow cooked recipe. It is always a winner. Salsa Chicken here

My plan was to take a photo of what each dinner looked like, but the nights got away from me. I managed two. Sorry!

Amidst the chaos that was last week we found a gap in the schedule for an impromptu Olympic date night. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Olympics this year and took the opportunity to grab a bottle of Moscato and try this recipe that I have had my eye on for a while. 
The Sarasota
1 large bottle of Moscato or Riesling Wine
1 can of raspberry lemonade concentrate
A splash of sprite 
Crushed raspberries 

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

You can find the inventor of this super sweet cocktail as well as the recipe over at Antonia Christianson Events here. If you like a sweet drink, think sweeter than Moscato (!!!) - then you will love this drink.

We made it through the week. Hooray! Here's hoping for a quieter week this week around our home and yours x

Does anyone have any favourite slow cooked recipes they would like to share? Or maybe a tip on how you get through those hectic weeks? I'd love some new ideas.


  1. hi leanne,

    its not a slow cooker recipe but is pretty quick to make so thought it was worth mentioning -

    I add a whole tin of evaporated milk and add a grated zucchini and some grated cauliflower to get some veges in...

    its pretty tasty x

  2. Leanne, I am glad you all made it through your crazy busy week. We also chat about each others day when David gets home from work, it is so important! Love your lunches idea, a massive time saver when you are so busy in the mornings. Cassie x

  3. Thanks Leanne I have been looking for new slow cooking recipes. We are going to try the chicken noodle soup recipe. I will let you know how it goes.

  4. Hi Leanne...did you make your own changes to the chicken noodle soup recipe? Yours looks different to the one that the link shows. I want to add it to our meal plan next week. Jade x

  5. Jade - sorry I didn't reply to this! Hope you sorted out the recipe. If not, let me know x

  6. Yep I did and the older boys loved it. It has now been put on our list of dinners that the kids will eat. x

  7. I found it interesting how your notes only focus on website..
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