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  1. Sunday, March 29

    Week 427 Weekly Menu

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    Hello! I have kind of a crazy week coming up. I’m off to LA for a couple days to hang out with Larry King (more on that later!), and then Nate is out of town for work, and then we’re driving 12 hours to visit family. I hope we survive the craziness! As a result my menu is a little strange this week. All the more reason for you guys to post your menus and inspire one another!

    week 427 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    – I’m going to L.A. to hang out with Larry King (more on that later!)
    – Nate and kids are making English Muffin Pizzas

    TUESDAY:
    – Take out night (I’m still out of town)

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Penna in vodka sauce
    – Side veggie or salad with garlic bread

    THURSDAY:
    Island Pork with Sticky Coconut Rice
    – Broccolini

    FRIDAY:
    – Leftovers

    SATURDAY:
    – Driving to Utah to visit family for spring break! Eat on the road

    SUNDAY:
    – Easter Dinner with family!

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    Please share your menus! And if you have your Easter feast planned, share that with us as well!

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  2. Thursday, March 26

    Friday Show and Tell

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    Happy Friday! I have a couple food links to share and a new TV show we’re loving!

    Nate and I started watching Bloodline on Netflix this week and we’re loving it. In fact, last night when we had an episode of The Americans waiting on our DVR, we chose Bloodline instead. That’s saying something! Honestly, I think we gave it a shot because Coach Taylor is in it. Glad we did!

    strawberry mint fizz from @janemaynard

    On Babble this week I created a recipe for Strawberry Mint Fizz, which is super tasty and refreshing. I wasn’t so sure about the strawberry mint combo, but it totally works, especially with a bit of cucumber thrown in. Delicious!

    On Parade’s Community Table I put together a roundup of Carrot Cake Inspired Desserts Perfect For Easter. They all look amazing!

    Show and Tell time! Share your stuff! 

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  3. Wednesday, March 25

    Go-To Dinner Idea: Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad

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    When I linked to Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad recipe on my menu earlier this week, I was surprised to discover that I had never actually written a post about it before. I decided it was about time!

    pat's asian chicken salad - a DELICIOUS and easy go-to dinner! from @janemayanrd

    I love this salad. It is one of my favorite go-to dinners and it’s super tasty. As with many of my great go-to dinner ideas, this one comes from my mother-in-law Pat. I don’t know what I would do with her! So, seriously, this is a great go-to dinner. Just last night I was convinced I didn’t have time to make dinner but was able to pull this together faster than if we’d done take out. And everyone in the family loves it!

    (>> Find out more…)

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  4. Sunday, March 22

    Week 426 Weekly Menu

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    Hello and good morning! (Or afternoon, or night or whatever it is when you read this!) This past week I actually did some cooking. Woohoo! Which means I can’t just steal last week’s menu again. ;) Back to the drawing board…

    week 426 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Pat’s Oriental Chicken Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Fried Rice (the only carry over this week!)
    – Potstickers

    WEDNESDAY:
    Cilantro Sour Cream Enchiladas

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Rachel sandwiches
    – Fresh fruit and chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out / Take Out Night

    SUNDAY:
    Island Pork with Sticky Coconut Rice
    – Broccolini

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    You know the drill. Hop to it! Share your menu for the week! Thanks mucho!

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  5. Thursday, March 19

    Friday Show and Tell + A Tillamookie Giveaway!

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    Happy Friday, everybody! Today I have a few links to share, but first we need to talk Tillamookies. And I need to give away some ice cream.

    tillamookies are my new favorite ice cream sandwich

    When I visited Tillamook last summer, we had the chance to sample a few ice cream products that weren’t yet released to market. I have been waiting for those two products to come out and one of them finally has! I would like to introduce to you the Tillamookie! What’s a Tillamookie? Why it’s an ice cream sandwich made with waffle cone cookies with a dark chocolate coating and Tillamook ice cream or gelato. They come in vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, mint chocolate chip and strawberry flavors and they are SO GOOD. I’m not just saying this because I met the cows where the cream came from. Seriously, best ice cream sandwiches ever.

    tillamookies are my new favorite ice cream sandwich

    Tillamook kindly mailed some samples to our family (yes, we did eat them right before dinner yesterday…the kids were delighted) and Tillamook is ready to mail Tillamookie samples to one of you lucky people, too! This may not be a high-retail-value giveaway, but it’s one of my all-time favorite giveaways yet! To enter, just do the following!*

    • Leave a comment on this post! That’s it! If you want, tell us which flavor you think will be your favorite – vanilla, chocolate hazelnut, strawberry or mint chocolate chip. (Mine is strawberry!) It’s also our weekly show and tell post, so feel free to share anything you like!
    • Bonus entry: Follow This Week for Dinner on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you follow)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Instagram (leave a separate comment indicating you follow)
    • Bonus entry: Follow me on Pinterest (leave a separate comment indicating you follow)
    • Bonus entry: Follow Tillamook on Facebook (leave a separate comment indicating you follow)

    tillamookies are my new favorite ice cream sandwich

    *Comments must be posted by Thursday, 3/27/15 at Midnight PT. Prize must be shipped to an address in the continental United States. Winner will receive one box of each of the four flavors and will be randomly selected.

    Food link time!

    This week on Babble:

    And this week on Parade’s Community Table:

    Show and Tell time! I know I just turned the comment section into a giveaway entry extravaganza, but feel free to share whatever you want in the comments anyway – it will count as your freebie entry for the giveaway!

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  6. Wednesday, March 18

    In the middle of a story…

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    in the middle of a story by @janemaynardPictured: My husband Nate skating with our 3-year-old son Owen

    One of the most beautiful things I ever read was the eulogy given by Steve Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson at his funeral. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, the text is published on The New York Times and I highly recommend reading it. There was one thing in particular that Mona said that has always stayed with me.

    “We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.”

    In the context of Mona’s eulogy, she was talking about how, even though they knew they would lose Steve to cancer, his death was still unexpected. That is a powerful sentiment and she phrased it perfectly. No matter the age or circumstance, death always comes in the middle of a story, in fact many stories.

    Just one week ago today a 19-year-old young man I knew took his own life here in Carlsbad. I didn’t know him really well, but I knew him well enough to know what a kind, friendly, and great kid he was. He comes from a large family that is now grieving a loss that I cannot begin to comprehend.

    The day after Klay died, a few friends and I delivered a bunch of supplies to the family – drinks, snacks, breakfast and lunch foods, paper plates, etc. We texted beforehand and told them they could just open the garage and pretend we weren’t even there. Of course we did see some of the family members and talked a bit with Klay’s amazing mother. I won’t go into details, but spending those few moments with that family so soon after their loss has changed me. I can’t quite put into words what that change is, but it is real and profound.

    Klay suffered from depression and his depression won the battle. Almost exactly five years ago our dear friends’ nephew Brian also took his own life, also at 19 years old. Brian suffered from severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and lost a similar battle to Klay’s.

    As I sat through Klay’s funeral yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of Brian’s funeral five years ago and the heartbreaking similarities between the two. I couldn’t help but think of loved ones in my life suffering from similar struggles. I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken for these two wonderful young men that have touched my life. And I couldn’t help but feel incredible sadness for their families and loved ones.

    I also walked away from yesterday’s funeral knowing that Klay was loved unconditionally by many, many people, that Klay left behind beautiful memories, from making music to diving to skateboarding to simply being who he was day to day. Klay’s father’s words painted a picture of a life with his son that was familiar to me because it is so similar to the life I see my husband experiencing with my son.

    As happens every time I witness or experience a loss, I thought of Mona’s words. Death always comes in the middle of the story. Sometimes the stories are shorter than we had hoped, but the good, even glorious, news is that there was a story. A beautiful if sometimes painful story. The trick is to appreciate the stories we are given, the stories that we get to be a part of, even when we are aching so desperately for more.

    These experiences always give me perspective, but this week in particular has been especially poignant. And, while I’ve always lived a life that tries to savor each day, I am now really trying to focus on the stories of which I am a part, appreciating my life’s stories even though I know they will not last as long as I want, and loving them even more for that fact.

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  7. Sunday, March 15

    Week 425 Menu

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    Hi everyone! So, this is a “keeping it real” menu post, i.e. my menu is almost identical to my last one. The last week was kind of rough and I didn’t get much cooking done, which I hate, so I’m committing to making this week better! Here’s to actually making dinner! ;)

    week 425 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    MONDAY:
    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    TUESDAY:
    – Chicken Caesar Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Fried Rice (I haven’t quite perfected it so giving it another go!)
    – Potstickers

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
    – Guacamole and chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    Waffles and Home Fries
    – Fresh fruit

    Since I’m not especially original this week, we definitely want to see your menus! Please share your meal plan for the week, no matter how simple or fancy! 

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  8. Thursday, March 12

    Friday Show and Tell: So Much to Show, So Much to Tell!

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    I have THREE things to share today, all of them packed to the gill with great stuff.

    First, ONE just launched their “Poverty is Sexist” campaign and I am so happy to help spread the word! ONE shared a blog post to kick things off and there is also a petition you can sign that calls on world leaders to put girls and women at the heart of the development agenda. They are over halfway to their goal for signatures, let’s help get the 100,000!

    Sign ONE's "Poverty is Sexist" petition to world leaders #povertyissexist

    ONE created a full report for this campaign, with great information and policy recommendations.  Coming out around the same time, the Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released their report on the status of women and girls in the world. Both reports are fascinating, somewhat depressing and simultaneously inspiring. We still have a long way to go, but we’ve come so far there is oodles of hope to tap into.

    Second thing to share today: I got to talk to Tituss Burgess on the phone yesterday! Okay, so it was a conference call and there were other reporters on the call, but I still had the opportunity to gush and profess my love to Tituss, so it’s all good. If you don’t know who Tituss Burgess is, that means you aren’t watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. And, if that is the case, you need to remedy the situation immediately! Nate and I are loving the show and are almost done with the first season. Kimmy is a lot like 30 Rock (similar sense of humor, same quirky music, etc), only the characters are completely lovable, which in my opinion makes this show even better than 30 Rock.

    interview with tituss burgess from unbreakable kimmy schmidt by @janemaynardPhoto credit: Netflix

     Tituss the actor who plays Titus the character was darling on the call and I want to adopt him. He talked about what it’s like being on a show that people can binge watch (i.e. it’s strange working for months and months on something that someone can watch in 1 day), that he loves the social commentary woven into the show and that that is where really great comedy is born, and that he is nothing like Titus the character (Tituss the actor is an introvert who HATES attention). Tituss also said that House of Cards is his obsession and that whenever a new season comes out he just orders take out for a few days to power through the episodes. The only reason Nate and I haven’t gotten to House of Cards ourselves is because we’ve been too busy watching Kimmy!

    The third thing I want to share today is my weekly list of food links! 

    On Babble I did my monthly 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen post. The kids and I made Cranberry-Orange Irish Soda Bread Buns and they were AWESOME. Cate said she wants me to serve them at her next birthday party. Definitely check the recipe out! It was also a great cooking project to do with the kids.

    recipe for cranberry orange irish soda bread buns from @janemaynard

    For Parade’s Community Table I had 2 posts this week!

    That’s it! PHEW! Some weeks I have nothing to share, other weeks I’m bubbling over! As usual, everyone gets a turn at Show and Tell! Share your own blog posts/finds/random-whatevers-you-want-to-share, tell us if you’re loving Kimmy Schmidt as much as I am, or let us know if you signed ONE’s petition to support women and girls!

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  9. Tuesday, March 10

    How To Stop Using Paper Towels in the Kitchen

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    Remember my 2015 New Year’s Resolution to give up paper towels? The process is underway and so far so good! We are down to just 2 more rolls, which I will keep in the garage for “emergencies.” Besides that we are done with paper towels! Today I wanted to share some tips for how to stop using paper towels in the kitchen that have helped to make our family successful at this goal. It was surprisingly simple and easy!(Side note: I will share tips for giving up paper towels in regards to housecleaning in a later post.)

    tips for how to stop using paper towels in the kitchen from @janemaynard

    I’m just going to share what we did with some good old fashioned bullet points. Here we go!

    • Buy a WHOLE BUNCH of cloth towels that are good at drying. I like lightweight cloth towels better than terry cloth. Flour sack towels are my favorite to use in the kitchen. In addition to the flour sack towels I already own (you can buy those pretty much anywhere these days, by the way), I also purchased the Tekla and Elly dish towels from Ikea, which were $0.79 – $1.00 per towel. (FYI: I like the fabric used for the Tekla towels a little better, they have a little hook for hanging and they’re cheaper.) I am also planning to buy a few of these Bird-E  Towels on Etsy (thanks to reader Sara B. for that suggestion!).

    tips for how to give up paper towels in the kitchen from @janemaynard

    • Store the towels all together in a VERY accessible spot in your kitchen. I bought a bin to keep all the towels in and we keep the bin in a drawer in the middle of our kitchen, one that all of the kids can easily reach.

    tips for how to give up paper towels in the kitchen from @janemaynard

    • Get a small basket to set in the laundry area for soiled towels and cloth napkins. I bought a cute basket to set on our dryer and that’s where all the dirty (dry) towels and cloth napkins go.

    tips for how to give up paper towels in the kitchen from @janemaynard

    • Hang hooks in the laundry or kitchen area. I found wall hooks that say “LAUNDRY” at World Market, but any hooks will do! After we’ve used one of the towels, if it’s too wet to throw into the laundry basket we hang it on a hook. Luckily for me my laundry area is right next to the kitchen, so the hooks hang above the washing machine. If your laundry room isn’t close to the kitchen, find a good spot in your kitchen to place the hooks. The key is that they need to be accessible!

    tips for how to give up paper towels in the kitchen from @janemaynard

    • While we’re at it, get a basket for cloth napkins is stored in an accessible spot in the kitchen. We’ve had cloth napkins for a long time but we would were terrible and almost always just grabbed a paper towel because it was easier than walking across the room to the linen drawers. I took the cloth napkins OUT of the linen drawer and put them into a basket that hangs on the wall above the kitchen counter . As soon as I made that change we have only been using cloth napkins. It’s awesome! (Note: As you can see in the photo above, I haven’t actually hung the basket on the wall yet, but that’s the plan!)

    The key to successfully getting rid of paper towels and paper napkins is making the cloth versions accessible and easy to grab. It’s so simple but it took me a while to figure it out! Now that we have our system in place, everyone is using cloth with no issues whatsoever. My kids know where everything is and what to do with dirty towels and napkins. Every time I see one of the towels hanging to dry above the washing machine it makes me so happy!

    If you have any addition tips, thoughts or questions, please share! (Also, be sure to check out the comments on my original paper towel post. There are some great tips there, too!)

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  10. Sunday, March 8

    Week 424 Weekly Menu

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    Hello, everyone! Before we get to the menu, just wanted to share some food wisdom from Jack Black. Click here. You’re welcome.

    week 424 weekly menu from @janemaynard including FREE printable meal plan and shopping list!

    I totally followed last week’s menu. I have such mixed feelings about that…I mean, I’m happy I followed the plan and used all the food I bought. BUT…now I have to use my brain to plan a whole new menu. Curses! Good thing I have all of your menus from last week to inspire me!

    MONDAY:
    Chicken Tortilla Soup

    TUESDAY:
    – Meatball Subs
    – Chips and raw veggies

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Fried Rice (I haven’t quite perfected it so giving it another go!)
    – Potstickers

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    Easy Peasy Bean Tacos
    – Guacamole and chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Take out night

    SUNDAY:
    Waffles and Home Fries
    – Fresh fruit

    Click here for the free printable of this week’s menu plus the shopping list!

    PLEASE share your menu for the week! Can’t wait to see what you have planned!

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