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  1. Sunday, January 12, 2014

    Week 364 Menu {New Free Printable Menus!}

    Hello everyone! Today I have something new to share with you that I am pretty excited about…here we go!

    Ever since I started the blog I have listed my weekly menu the exact same way every time – simple text in a blog post with a few links here and there. Today the simple text and links will still be there, but I’m adding some weekly menu “bling” that I hope will be helpful for many of you.

    weekly meal plan from @janemaynard + free menu printable and shopping list

    From now on, each weekly meal plan post will be include an image of the menu for quick reference. That image can also be pinned to Pinterest, for those of you who love pinning! In addition to the graphic, I will also include a free printable PDF version of the menu that will include the menu for the week (with hyperlinks to applicable recipes from within the PDF) and a shopping list for the meals for that week. You’ll be able to access the PDF by clicking the menu image and through a link at the the end of the menu. This is what the PDF looks like!

    weekly meal plan from @janemaynard + free printable with menu and shopping list

    Let’s get this party started!

    – Cheese enchiladas with homemade red sauce

    Spaghetti and meatballs
    – Salad and garlic bread

    Santa Fe salad

    – Leftovers

    – Homemade pizza night (crust recipe, no-cook sauce recipe)
    – Flavors: plain cheese, honey goat cheese with caramelized onions

    – Eat out

    Sweet Korean BBQ beef tacos

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

    As usual, I am so grateful to each and every one of you who post your menus each week. Please keep them coming – they are an inspiration for me and everyone else!

    A quick thank you to my dear friend Allison who inspired the new graphics and printable menus/shopping lists. She called me this week with the idea and it was awesome. Thanks for kicking me into gear, missy!

  2. Friday, January 10, 2014

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday! Hope you are all surviving the cold!

    first cosmo post homepage screenshot

    First, I am now a food blogger for Cosmopolitan. As I’ve been gearing up, my friends and I have been coming up with all kinds of fun food article titles {wink, wink}. My first post went up yesterday and was even featured at the top of the Cosmo homepage, right next to the shirtless man. Exciting stuff! I have an awesome editor who is helping me to channel my inner 21-year-old. Wish me luck! 😉

    A few of my Babbles:

    In case you are wondering what the heck the polar vortex is and why it’s happening, this NPR article was short and to the point. I have to say, feeling kind of grateful to be in San Diego right now, but I do miss snow days!

    As always, show and tell is for everyone! Please share whatever you like! (Carolina shared some great tips for baking sweet breads last week that I am totally going to use!)

  3. Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Get Fit Giveaway from Albion {Pin It to Win It!}

    This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

    It’s the new year and I would hazard a guess that some of you have made some health-related resolutions – eat better, exercise more, you know, all that fun stuff! I don’t know about you, but new workout clothes always seem to be a good motivator for me to actually work out. I know, so shallow. But if it works, it works! If you have made some health goals, then today’s giveaway will help get you even more excited about them!

    albion fit giveaway | summit leggings | @janemaynard

    Albion Fit is stepping up again this year to offer a fabulous giveaway. They want to help all of us get in the mood to get fit! Albion is a fabulous activewear company that was started by some really good friends of ours, Liz and Dave (this is them!). Liz and Dave are incredibly talented and have built this business from the ground up. Whenever I go to their website, I am amazed at what they have done. We also had the chance to visit their store this fall and it was equally as beautiful.

    Now, I may love Liz and Dave to pieces, but I can honestly say that I am not biased about their clothes. Not only do they make super cute activewear and swimwear, but the quality is stellar and the fit is always flattering. For example, when I received these Summit leggings in the mail last week, I was certain I would look terrible in them. I mean, they looked like they would be SO TIGHT and I was worried about the waistband. I should have trusted Liz because I put them on and they looked great, even around my mom belly. Yes, they’re tight, but the high quality fabric tightens everything up so you feel “held in,” if you will. When Nate saw the pants he said they even made my legs look a little muscle-y, which, seriously, is a miracle because I haven’t worked out since, well, let’s not talk about it. 😉 If you’re wondering, the swimsuits are amazing, with great cuts and thick fabrics. Oh, and I love the signature hoodie soooo much. Okay, I’m gonna stop gushing now.

    albion fit giveaway | summit leggings | @janemaynard

    Giveaway time! Today we’re going to do a fun “Pin It to Win It” contest! Here’s how it will work. Visit Albion Fit and pick out your most favorite item or outfit and then pin it to Pinterest! Be sure to leave a comment on this post with a link to your pin to complete your entry! Once you’ve pinned your favorite outfit (I don’t know how you’re going to choose!), you can get a bonus entry by following Albion on Instagram. Be sure to leave a second comment for the bonus entry! Entries must be posted in the comments by Midnight PT on Monday, 1/13/14.

    One lucky, randomly-selected pinner winner (sorry, couldn’t resist) will receive a $150 gift card to Albion Fit. That dream outfit on your Pinterest board can become reality!

    I’ll kick the pinning off with my current favorite from Albion. I saw this East Coast Hoodie at the store and I really do need to order it pronto. LOVE IT. (Click on the photo to see my pin!)

    albion fit east coast hoodie | @janemaynard

    And if you simply can’t wait to see if you will win the giveaway and want to get shopping now, you can get 15% off any purchase now through 1/14/14 – just use the code twfd15 at checkout!

    Good luck and happy pinning!

    The randomly-selected winner for this giveaway was Dana Squires, who said “I love their swimwear. And living in FL I can never have too many swimsuits. My fav is the gown swimsuit in navy. But the other colors are pretty too.” Congrats, Dana! I have a feeling you’ll get a lot of use out of your gift card!

  4. Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Gram’s Super Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs

    I wish you all could have known Gram Maynard. She was one of those truly good people that you only come across a few times in your life and I am grateful every day that I had the chance to know her. Gram didn’t cook very much, but, despite that fact, some of my favorite recipes and kitchen tips came from her. Today I’m going to share one of those recipes because we had it on New Year’s Eve and, along with inspiring fond memories, it is simple and delicious and needs to be shared!

    gram's super easy sweet & sour meatballs from @janemaynard

    This is one of those recipes that almost isn’t a recipe because it is THAT EASY. These meatballs are perfect for parties and for watching football games. Or, in Gram’s case, Red Sox games!

    gram's super easy sweet & sour meatballs from @janemaynard

    Gram's Super Easy Sweet and Sour Meatballs
    From Barbara “Gram” Maynard
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Beef
    • 1 package frozen cooked meatballs (between 20-30 ounces)
    • 1 12-ounce jar Heinz chili sauce
    • 12 ounces grape jelly (yeah, I know, it maybe sounds weird, but it tastes amazing!)
    • Cayenne pepper (optional)
    1. In a large sauce pan, mix together the chili sauce and grape jelly. Place over medium-high heat and add meatballs. Bring to an almost boil (will be spluttering, so you will need to stir regularly), then reduce heat to a simmer (medium or medium-low) and cook until meatballs are hot.
    2. Gram never did this, but if you’d like a bit more heat to the meatballs, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper in at the end to taste.
    3. See Comment #3 below for crockpot directions!


    gram's super easy sweet & sour meatballs from @janemaynard

  5. Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    New Year’s Resolution #2: A House Cleaning Schedule {Free Printable}

    I know I claim not to be that into new year’s resolutions, but the fact I’m writing a second post about resolutions may indicate otherwise! Kinda funny. Anyway…let’s get down to business! When I wrote about my Use Less Plastic goal last week, I mentioned quickly that I was also planning to make up a cleaning schedule, and several people commented about that. I decided to make the schedule purrrty and share it with all of you, in case anyone would like to use it, too!

    4-week house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard with free printable

    I created a 4-week cleaning schedule that I can print out about once a month. Each weekday has a task associated with it, with a few extra items thrown in here and there that only need to happen on a monthly basis. I am really hoping this helps me to stay on track with cleaning as well as make it all feel a little less overwhelming. Despite all this planning I do publicly on the blog, I am not a super organized person, but having lists to check off is very motivating for me. We’ll see how it goes!

    weekly house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard including free printable with 4-week plan

    4-week house cleaning schedule from @janemaynard with free printable

    Here’s a quick outline of the cleaning plan I created:

    • I decided that dusting, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, and changing the bed sheets and towels needed to happen on a weekly basis, so I assigned each of those items to the same day each week.
    • We have white carpet throughout the house, so I have one day dedicated to vacuuming but also included “maintenance” vacuuming in my daily to-dos at the bottom of the schedule.
    • There are a few monthly items that I spread out through the 4 weeks.

    I created a PDF of the cleaning schedule that you can download and print out for yourself. There are three pages in the PDF – page 1 is my complete plan, page 2 is my plan but generalized, and page 3 is totally blank if you want to change it all up but still want to use the pretty calendar. The grey box at the top is where you write in the month and the grey squares on the calendar are for the dates for that month. You can click the image of the plan above to access the pdf or click any of the links in this paragraph. If I realize I forgot anything and add it in, I will update the PDF file!

    As always, this blog is what is because of YOUR input and comments! Please share your own house cleaning and organization tips that you may have or ways you successfully conquer the task. I’m sure we can all benefit from the ideas!

  6. Sunday, January 5, 2014

    Week 363 Menu

    Six months later and our kitchen wall is finally all one color. Woohoo! I also hope to never paint anything again in my life. The kitchen wasn’t too complicated, but the living room about did me in. I’ll share some photos with you when I have it all cleaned up – it’s pretty darn cute!

    painted wall web

    You would think with the new year I’d be all fired up for planning menus, but I’m stumped. I am having a hard timing coming up with this week’s plan. I guess I liked vacation mode! Thank goodness you all post every week – I got all of this week’s ideas from your menus from last week. So, thank you!

    weekly meal plan from @janemaynard - includes free printable with menu and shopping list

    Chili with corn cake toppers

    – Enchiladas (don’t know what kind yet, but I do know it will be enchiladas!)

    – Taco night

    – Leftovers

    Sausage, pepper and onion subs

    – Eat out

    Chicken and dumplings

    Click here for a free printable PDF of the menu along with an ingredients list for the recipes.

    If you haven’t made a new year’s resolution yet, I’m going to put in my yearly plug for meal planning! 😉

    Please share your menus! Looking forward to seeing what you have planned for the week! 

  7. Friday, January 3, 2014

    2014 New Year’s Resolution: Use Less Plastic (Again!)

    Happy New Year, everyone! I hope the start of your year has been a good one! We kicked off 2014 with a visit to Pasadena, where he had amazing grandstand seats for the Tournament of Roses Parade (big thanks to our friend Sherri!) and attended a far-too-stressful football game at the Rose Bowl (go Stanford no matter the result!).

    Now that we’re a few days into the new year, I thought we could chat quickly about resolutions. I’m not a huge new year’s resolution person, but I must admit that since I started creating resolutions that link food to the environment, I actually really like setting a goal each year. It has helped a lot! It’s time to set my goal for 2014 and it’s the going to be the same one I’ve had for the last two years: Use Less Plastic.

    2014 new years resolution: use less plastic from @janemaynard

    The first year I made this goal it was very general and I didn’t make much progress. Last year I decided to get more specific and to also revisit the goal throughout the year. That definitely helped and we had a few successes. We’ve started making our own yogurt, eliminating all those little yogurt cups, and I make all of our granola bars, reducing all that one-time packaging trash we were producing every day. I stopped using plastic baggies completely in the kids’ lunches and we only use cloth napkins at home now. (Quick tip: Cocktail-sized cloth napkins are PERFECT for everyday use! I got mine at the Crate & Barrel outlet and love them.)

    2014 new years resolution: use less plastic from @janemaynard

    Since using less plastic is really important but also incredibly challenging, I’m sticking with the goal for another year. Step 1 for 2014 is to finally use the reusable grocery bags I have stuffed in a closet. It is ridiculous that I don’t bring my bags with me when I go shopping! Once I have that tackled, I’ll get another goal going and will keep you posted on my progress!

    Just a few quick thoughts on plastic. First, this infographic is great food for thought in regards to plastic and the ocean, which is just one part of the plastic story. Second, if you haven’t watched the documentary Bag It yet, please do. It’s GREAT and you can now stream it on both Amazon and iTunes.

    the plastics breakdownSource: One World, One Ocean

    On a completely unrelated note, I am also making a resolution to get more organized with my housekeeping, you know, now that I have a house to actually keep! I think I’ll just make a monthly schedule and try to stick to that. I’ll keep you posted and share the schedule when it’s all put together, in case anyone else wants to join in on the “fun.”

    What are your new year’s resolutions for 2014? Would love to hear them! Also, did you join in on the “Use Less Plastic” fun in 2013 or are you planning to for 2014? Please share your tips and tricks for reducing waste, especially plastic! 

  8. Friday Show and Tell

    Today’s Show and Tell is short and sweet because I haven’t been on my computer much at all the last two weeks. It’s been glorious!

    @janemaynard childhood photo

    Last week on Babble I put together a post of favorite holiday memory foods from a lovely group of food bloggers. It’s a really cute post and you might even have some of the same holiday food memories!

    And, yes, that’s me on the right with the little blonde bowl cut. Think I should go back to that do?