Weekend Prep for Monday: Do You Do It?

weekend prep for mondayOne of the things that came up in the comments on our diets for busy women post was the idea of prepping meals and snacks on Sunday for the week ahead — and I’ve read a ton of advice saying that you should steal an hour during the weekend to review the major tasks you need to accomplish in the week ahead. So I thought it might be an interesting open thread today:  Do YOU do weekend prep for Monday or the week ahead? When do you do it, and what do you do?

Pictured: veggie meal prep from @squirrel_kitchen, featured in this DailyBurn article about 21 inspiring instagram accounts for meal prep. 

For my $.02, when I was working in BigLaw I liked resting/playing on Saturday and coming into the office on Sunday for a few hours if I needed to do some work. Because I was well rested and there was no one else in the office (or, at least, vastly fewer people, and everyone was there to work), my focus was so much better — I used to call them “Super Mondays” because I was so productive. These days, I often try to get at least half of the short morning and afternoon posts written for the week on Sunday afternoons, putting in a few hours of work while my youngest son naps. If at all possible I also try to write a to-do list of my tasks for the week ahead, and put papers to review on my desk so I can get some focused work done before turning on the computer — easier said than done when your business is online! This probably isn’t even that noteworthy, but another thing I try to do is look at the NYT and WSJ and other news outlets on Sunday, because I’ve found that I waste far too much time looking at articles on Monday, particularly the longer magazine articles.

So ladies, let’s hear it — what routines and practices have you put in place for your weekends that lay the groundwork for a great week ahead? For those of you who do meal prep or have other healthy habits on the weekend, I’d love to hear what you do!  

Psst: here’s our last discussion on morning routines for successful people.

weekend-prep-for-monday

Comments

  1. Has anyone started an intense workout routine starting from fitness level zero? I am about two months post-partum and really ready to get into my old clothes / feeling like myself again. I haven’t worked out, if I’m being honest, in a solid year. Knowing myself, if I just join a gym to work out on my own, I’ll just half-a** it and not get anywhere. There is a local high intensity interval training workout class that offers a post-baby boot camp special, but I am terrified of not being able to do anything in those classes and just feeling worse about everything. Any suggestions?

    • I’d be surprised if you’re the only one in the class who is out of shape if it’s post-baby body class. If I were you, I’d sign up for it but be prepared to go at my own pace in a “I’m starting here with the goal of getting in shape and not injuring myself” mindset. In other words, go for it, but pay attention to your body and don’t overdo it right away. You gotta start somewhere and post-baby body class sounds like an excellent place.

      • Well – the boot camp is more of a class package, it’s not a specific class. So I’d be in a class with people who presumably have been doing this a while. But you’re right – you gotta start somewhere.

    • Do the boot camp! I felt the same way after my second baby (from a c-section, no less). You won’t be able to do everything. Expect that, but don’t feel bad about it. Second, after the boot camp, find something you love to do. I don’t particularly love running, but I run 3 days a week to stay in shape for things I do love, like climbing and backpacking.

    • I have no suggestions but am an example of why you should not give up.

      I am nearly 14 years post-partum ;) In the past few years, we have lived in a place with no public transit and no possibility of walking or biking. I knew I was getting week and flabby, and gaining weight. I started going to a yoga class, got a little tighter and lighter, then my instructor moved and I “procrastinated” on a new plan for almost a year, then pulled a muscle that I highly doubt would have been at risk if I had been stronger in general and not had the tummy sticking out for the back to support. So I took nearly a month in bed to recover, and it still hurt for another month. I finally got back to working out last week, was literally in tears over how little I can do now.

      Keep at it!

    • SA-litagor :

      Going from zero to intense is a recipe for injury. I’m all for exercising, but be careful, stretch, and don’t do something if you’re in pain (real pain, not I’m working out pain).

      Also, if you’re looking at losing weight, then you should focus on your food intake, not working out. What you eat is 80% of the battle when trying to lose weight. I’d look at Weight Watchers and supplement with exercise as you can. If you exercise alone without getting the food intake under control, you’ll get stronger sure, but see little weight loss results.

      I exercised intensely for 2 years with a personal trainer (3x per week!) and did not lose any weight (I did however, get more energy, got stronger, felt better, etc). I also did Weight Watchers about 7 years ago and lost 30 lbs that I managed to keep off until I had a baby. I’ve been there, and I’m struggling with this myself. Good luck!

      • Why do people insist on making categorical statements about “what works for losing weight? There are tons of studies that show that exercise is necessary. Pairing them with the obvious fact that reducing intake slows your metabolism makes it clear that working out is at least as important, if not more important, than dieting. Some people claim anecdotally that they need to cut back to lose weight–fine, but why do you all insist on making these anti-scientific statements about that being the only way to do it?

        • Because saying that “reducing intake slows your metabolism” is anti-scientific? That makes no sense….reducing intake means that the calories you burn from existing + normal movement + exercise are more likely to be greater than the calories you consume. That’s what works for losing weight.

          If you want a scientific statement on weight loss, refer to Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s tweet about physicists writing a weight loss book: “Consume calories at a lower rate than your body burns them.”

    • Uh, never had any baby monsters but you just spent 9-10 months baking a baby in your oven! Be kind to yourself!

    • Midwest Mama :

      I worked out fairly regularly while pregnant. Then after having my child (who is now almost 5…) I didn’t work out until I was about 6 months PP and then jumped right into doing Insanity. I did 2 rounds and was back into pre-pregnancy shape. I say go for it, but it will be hard so be kind to yourself and make sure you’re eating enough and drinking enough water.

    • A couch to 5k plan is perfect for you. For a fun twist, try Zombies, Run! 5k version. It changed my life. I couldn’t run more than 15 seconds when I started the plan, but luckily, you don’t have to! It’s slow and steady, with exercises and pacing to prevent injury.

  2. 1) We get all the laundry done and put away. We can miss one week, but things get rough toward the end of week two. And if we don’t manage to get it all in the drawers/closet by bedtime Sunday, our bedroom is a disaster the rest of the week.

    2) We use Harris Teeter’s curb-side pick up service for groceries and it’s amazing. On Sunday mornings, I plan out the meals for the week, using what’s on sale in the meat department for guidance. Then I put in an order online and later in the day my husband picks it up and brings it in. I go through the fridge and throw out stuff that’s gone bad and then load the fridge with the new groceries. We have a white board on the side of the fridge where I write out the week’s meals (prioritizing the things that are likely to spoil first). That means when I walk in the door at night I know exactly what I’m cooking. We also have a running grocery list on the same board where anyone can write down things we’re out of or things they want me to buy. With three adults (me, husband, au pair) in the house it makes coordination much easier.

    • Anonymous :

      Second the comment about curb-side pick up! We use Kroger’s ClickList (which I think they introduced after buying Harris Teeter)and it has been life-changing. I plan meals and reserve a pickup time on Thursday or Friday, then pick up the groceries on our way home from whatever we happen to be doing on Saturday or Sunday. Zero frustration, and the kids never have to get out of the car.

  3. Anonymous :

    I’m not a crazy prepper but I generally hate wasting precious after-work hours on errands or chores, so I try to do grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning on weekends. Also, I religiously change my sheets every weekend. Friday nights I take my wallet/keys/etc out of my work bag and switch them to a more fun everyday bag, and Sunday nights I switch everything back. For me, Fridays are for fun/socializing, Saturdays are for rest and Sundays are for chores/seeing my parents.

  4. Sad Monday. In the pile of correspondence from my lawyer about my on-going nasty divorce was notice that my former Mother in Law has been hospitalized. I was very close to her until I filed for divorce and he started to contest it, and she subsequently cut off all contact (I can barely imagine the lies he’s told her…) I sent her a get well card, but its still a sad start to the day knowing that she is unwell)

    • Anonymous :

      Very kind of you to reach out to her. I wish her well.

    • That sucks. I’m divorced too, and luckily still close to his family. I can’t imagine how awful it feels to be cut off when she is ill. I hope it gets better!

      • I think the worst part was I had to hear about this from the lawyer. That not a single person in the family let me know just makes me sad. She was my MIL for 15 years…

  5. Lorelai Gilmore :

    I love doing food prep on the weekends. My ideal Sunday involves roasting sweet potatoes, roasting and prepping a spaghetti squash, browning and seasoning ground beef for tacos or spaghetti, roasting chicken breasts, and maybe a chili or stew on the stove. Once in a while, I also make my own salad dressings and mayonnaise. My whole week is happier when I do these things.

    • I love your username so much – just made me laugh seeing the the Lorelei Gilmore handle on a post about actual cooking!

  6. (1) We do all the laundry, including changing our bedding and the baby’s bedding, and usually do some cleaning (level of cleaning depends on what we have going on).

    (2) On Sunday afternoons/evenings I pull out my planner and put all of the appointments and events on a white board on our fridge, along with dinner for each night.

    (3) I don’t usually work on evenings or weekends, but if I have a chance I remote in to check my work email (this makes Monday morning so much more productive).

    (4) We do all the grocery shopping for the week and I make breakfast burritos for breakfasts throughout the week.

  7. If doing the laundry and changing bedsheets counts, then yes, I prep for the week ahead. If prepping means actually using the jars that I bought to fill with salads or homemade soup every week, then……no.

  8. I definitely spend time on the weekend prepping for the coming week – I try to take care of food when I get back from the grocery store (usually on Saturday morning). That saves time in the long run when it comes to portioning for lunches and that sort of thing.

    I try to get the house clean and laundry done on Saturdays if it’s at all possible, so our Sundays can be more leisurely (that’s just my personal preference.) Sunday evening I do the regular routine – put together lunches, thaw out anything that might be needed for the next night’s dinner, and make sure we have clothes laid out and ready to go.

    (I do teach a class on Sunday mornings, and that is part of why I try to free the day up, so we can feel like we’re relaxing a bit before the week starts.)

  9. This is great timing, just yesterday during our Sunday meal prep session my husband asked if we were “normal” for doing it. Once we started exercising regularly and counting calories, we realized we needed to pack our lunches and plan ahead if we wanted to eat healthy. On Sundays we typically prep our lunches for the upcoming week. We make 10 salads (1 for each of us for all 5 days), and one casserole-type dish that we can get a few lunch entrees out of. I love baking, so once we started a family we designated Sunday as Fancy Dessert Day, and yesterday I was working on a hummingbird cake. We also chopped some vegetables and caramelized some onions for dinners this week.

  10. purplesneakers :

    Prepping on Sundays saved my sanity back in grad school.

    Because it’s just me, I would cook for the week (three dishes, four servings each) and chuck the lot in the fridge. I’m trying to get back to this now I’m no longer in grad school, it was so nice not to have to worry about what was for dinner/lunch.

    I’d also take an hour to sit with my planner and figure out all of my commitments for the next week. This made sure I hadn’t forgotten to do any homework, and it gave me a chance to double check I had everything under control.

  11. One of my girlfriends and I get together every Sunday to prep breakfasts/lunches for the week, and sometimes an extra snack or dinner. She’s not in the law, so having her over to chat about life/movies/etc. is incredibly relaxing for me, and we can get everything done in an hour or two so it’s super efficient. If we have time, we also try to fit in a walk or some sort of workout. It’s my weekly sanity check and I think it makes the whole week go more smoothly.

  12. stephanie :

    We usually just grill extra chicken (or buy rotisserie chicken and shred it), then make extras of a big salad of some type that I use for lunches Mon, Tues, and possibly Wednesday. This week was Mediterranean Farro Salad from the Gimme Some Oven blog, which turned out really good– subbed fresh bell pepper and tomato. I put that over some spinach in a tupperware with some leftover grilled chicken on top, and that’s lunch. Another salad that lasts is massaged kale– even with dressing it’s good for a couple days. The rest of the chicken will be used for dinner tonight (burrito bowls– rice, canned black beans, toppings), and my husband’s wrap sandwiches he brings. We do all the shopping Sunday and plan meals though, and some weeks I do the mason jar salad thing.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup, I’ve started living by the kale salad! I used to bring leftovers for lunch every day, but now I’ve started making a kale salad on Sundays that we don’t eat as a dinner; I make it just to bring for lunch. So both of us start the week with kale salads on Monday and Tuesday, and we both love it!

      The one I had today was from Bon Appetit and had dates, parmesan, and toasted almonds. I added garbanzo beans for some substance. It was yummy!!!

    • This Farro salad looks amazing — thanks for sharing!

  13. Definitely not prepping on weekends. Why make myself miserable all day Sunday re dinner for the entire week? When I get home on weeknights, something will get slapped together.

    • +1000!

      My idea of prepping for the week on Sunday is getting in enough sleep and fun time with DH before the craziness of the work week begins.

      Meals get made most weeknights in 30-40 minutes. If I can’t do that, that’s why we have delivery apps. I suppose the one “prep” thing I do on weekends is go to the farmer’s market on Saturday to buy most of our produce for the week, at least in peak harvest season.

      • Minnie Beebe :

        Same here. I spend some time cleaning bathrooms and changing sheets, and we do the grocery shopping on the weekend. But otherwise, no meal prep. I consider myself expert at putting together dinner in less than 30 min, and just do that while my son is watching a show. I get creeped out by prepared food left in the fridge for too long, and can’t imagine a situation where I’d be happy eating something that’s been sitting in the fridge for more than a day or two, max. I fully acknowledge that this is highly irrational on my part, but it’s how I’m wired.

    • Shopaholic :

      +1 – I would love to but I find I’m so drained during the weekend that I can’t bring myself to prep on the weekends. It’s terrible because I end up ordering so much takeout…

    • Agreed! We meal plan Friday night and shop 8am Saturday to get it done and out the way, and all chores are done on Friday also.

  14. On Sundays I steam some veggies, cook a large batch of a protein dish or two (slow cooker chicken, turkey meatloaf, etc.), and hard boil some eggs. I may have to replenish some things halfway though the week, but better than cooking every single night.

    I also put outfits together and hang them in my dressing area. I can still change my mind the night before if I want to wear something different, but at least I’m prepared if the evening is too crazy. Deciding in the morning is not going to get me out of the house on time.

  15. Disorganized :

    All this talk about planners has me curious about whether a paper planner would work for me. I use my phone currently but it’s not great, and I really need to be more organized. I did try using a Mead planner but it never worked out because there was no space for all the other information I wanted to have with me (reading lists, goals etc). Can anyone who does use paper planners tell me how they use them?

    • I work best with a week + notes layout like the Moleskine Weekly Notebook – and use the Google Keep app on my phone for long term miscellaneous notes like reading lists

    • I use a pocket sized notebook that I use as a bullet journal. There are very complicated systems out there but for me, the essentials include a monthly high level task list, weekly task lists, running notes (packing lists, errands, things for the Amazon order), and any other notes that come up. I also do regular brain dumps where I write all those jiggly to dos down. I’ve never successfully used a traditional planner for more than a few months but I’ve been using this since February (on the third notebook). For me, I think the difference is that it is entirely flexible and customisable, it fits in my purse so I always have it with me, and it helps clear out my brain.

      • long time lurker :

        This is what I do. I usually do my lists on my train commute. While I generally do work lists at work, my pocket notebook is mostly for personal things – people to call, things to buy, errands to run although if inspired I will do work related lists as well (and then I tear out that page and keep it at my desk at work). I scratch things off the lists each morning as I get them done. I also have a longer running lists of big projects (i.e. get apartment painted) in the back of the notebook. Otherwise, I use outlook calendar for all appointments including work and personal and access it on my phone.

  16. I do my cooking on the weekends so I have something to take to lunch during the week. Supper is usually something very simple – my husband, who is not working right now, might grill something, but the most I do is cut tomatoes and basil for a caprese salad.

    My husband does all the laundry and housework (part of the not working deal, although I would be happy to pick up some of the housework in exchange for more household income :) ), so I have the rest of the weekend to relax.

    During the week, I put everything together for the next day the night before: I pack my lunch, I choose my clothes and hang them in the bathroom, and I pack my briefcase with my gym clothes and anything else I need to take care of at work. I am not a morning person and am not capable of making those decisions at 6 a.m.

  17. Meal Planning :

    This post is timely – I was just talking to my husband about wanting to select recipes and meal plan on the weekends. I know there was a subscription service that some people liked for meal planning – anyone remember the name of it? I’m easily overwhelmed by the options on pinterest, etc. and I’m willing to throw some money at it if it’ll help us be consistent!

  18. We started planning out meals for the next week Thursday night, shopping for groceries Saturday, and cooking something for Sunday and Monday on Sunday. Sunday is also the day we make hard boiled eggs, yogurt (we just add fruit to Fage), smoothies, and snack bags of carrots and things to use as sides with our sandwiches during the week.
    We’ve also gone from washing towels and changing sheets on Saturdays to washing towels Thursday and doing sheets Friday. We also try to spend at least an hour Sunday (which often grows into something longer) organizing/decluttering an area of our condo. (Yesterday was an hour on our buffet, which had become a clutter center and is now completely cleared off. We were procrastinating starting on our storage unit, so instead we also spent an hour on our hall closet and pantry.) We have seriously not spent much time on decluttering or organizing in the last 10 years so when we adopted this plan we were in pretty horrible shape. We now have Saturdays and Sundays more free and start the week feeling like our home is becoming a much nicer place. We are doing this with a goal of hosting our family for Thanksgiving without chaos or having to just shove everything in already bursting closets, but it is also making us both much happier too.

  19. Anonymous :

    Sunday is a prep day for me. I do laundry, including cleaning the sheets, as well as a few hours of food prep. If I’m able to get to the grocery store on Saturday, that gives me some down time Sunday evening. If not, I run to the store Sunday morning and spend the afternoon working toward making my evenings less stressful for the week. I typically work ten hour days, and then spend 45 minutes to an hour at the gym, so I need dinners that can be completed quickly.

    Some ideas:
    (1) Grill, or use a pressure cooker, to cook several chicken breasts. You can use the cooked chicken in salads, sandwiches, or cut up a pepper and onion for super fast fajitas for dinner.
    (2) Definitely meal plan. I know what I’m going to make and what night. I usually work from home Thursdays, so I have more time to dedicate to a nicer dinner (i.e. stuffed chicken breasts, creamy potatoes with mushrooms, and asparagus is happening for dinner this week). Even so, I still pre-cut the mushrooms and have everything ready to go.
    (3) Hard boiled eggs are a healthy and filling snack. I make a few in my electric pressure cooker (perfect eggs every time) for an afternoon snack before heading to the gym after work.
    (4) If salads are going to be on the menu for lunch, I pre-cut my romaine lettuce, wash it, and store it in a Salad Sac. It keeps it fresh for the entire week. I also chop my red onion, get grape tomatoes, sliced carrots, and other veggies, so all I have to do is throw everything together in less than a minute. I’ll also pre-portion out the salad dressing in small containers, so they are grab and go.
    (5) Frozen, steamer bag veggies, are an absolute must go-to healthy side dish for meat you pre-cook on Sunday (i.e. roast). They now have more substantial ones with pasta and/or potatoes, for heartier meals.
    (6) I think one of the best tips is to use the freezer. You can make lots of meals in a slow cooker, such as chili, pot roast, lasagna, etc., and have it for dinner Sunday night, and portion out lunch or dinner sized leftovers and freeze for when you want to eat that meal again.

  20. I try to do some prep on Sunday, mostly getting laundry put away, tidying up, packing lunch or baking bread, and getting bags packed. I’d like to meal prep more and have a plan to research it while I’m travelling and implement when this travel period ends.

  21. anon a mouse :

    There is very little free time in the evenings for meal planning, so it always happens one day on the weekend. I was joking yesterday that it looked like a bomb had gone off in the kitchen — the trade-off is that we’ll hardly have to do any cooking during the week. For example, this weekend we:
    – baked a batch of bacon for use in salads and BLTs
    – made a crockpot meal for Sunday dinner that will be eaten as leftovers one night
    – washed all the greens for salads
    – hardboiled a half-dozen eggs
    – marinated and grilled meats
    – baked a quiche to have for breakfast throughout the week
    – made cookies (because, why not?)

    The biggest challenge I have with meal planning is making sure that I’m actually planning for 7-8 days and not just for the work week. The last few weeks we’ve gotten to Sunday with almost no food in the house and no one is happy about that.

  22. My husband works Saturdays so Sundays are family day for us. We always have a big Sunday lunch with my parents and siblings.

    So on Saturdays, me and the kids clean the house and get all the laundry washed, folded, and put away. I reward (or maybe its a bribe?) them with a fun outing after all this is done. In the summer it is usually swimming. In the winter it is something like skating, trampoline park, etc.

    We do our grocery shopping on Friday nights. I make a list on Thursdays and plan out our meals. I try to plan to re-use leftover ingredients. (So leftover rice one day will be planned to use in fried rice the next, stuff like that.) I also always make lunches and set out breakfast stuff the night before. Kids clothes get picked out and arranged WITH shoes the night before too. (I hate running around trying to find shoes in the morning, haha!)

  23. Diana Barry :

    We often go to Costco or similar on Sundays, although every time I curse myself for forgetting how crowded it is! I don’t really meal plan though.

    • Yeah, as much as I dislike doing stuff after work, it’s so much less crowded on a random Tuesday at 7 p.m.

  24. I’ve tried doing chores throughout the week, but I’ve found I prefer doing them all on Sunday and starting fresh Monday. I’ll do laundry, clean the (studio) apartment, get the car washed & gassed, bathe the dog, sit down for an hour with my planner, order groceries to be delivered, and do minimal food prep – cooking some carb, preparing some protein, and washing & slicing some veggies. I also check in with my budget and take care of or schedule time to take care of any “to-do’s”.

  25. Sunday meal prep is a religion in my house. Ever since I lost 80 pounds a few years ago (the old school way – better diet and more exercise), I have been really dedicated. If I’m out of town, I’ll shift it to Monday night when possible, otherwise my whole week is thrown off.

    Here’s an example re: what I did this weekend (taking off on vaca Friday so did a little less than usual):
    -Made four “snack packs” with chopped cucumber, bell pepper and cherry tomatoes
    -Roasted four small sweet potatoes and two golden beets to have as snacks
    -Made eight lunches: four each for me and the BF with slow cooked rosemary garlic chicken, sauteed cabbage, roasted cauli + broc and quinoa
    -Made 8 squash worth of zoodles, they’re in a “zoodle pack” (aka, gallon sized ziploc) ready to be dumped in the pan for a night when I’ll be home later in the evening and my BF is prepping
    -Chopped veggies for four dinners worth of salads

    I have a really busy schedule with work and triathlon training, so this way all I have to do in the evenings is prep protein & toss things together. This is the only way I could eat homemade, healthy food most nights without going crazy.

  26. I meal plan on Sundays and do my grocery shopping really early Monday morning (right when the store opens). I don’t do any weekend meal prepping. If we are short on time during the week, I generally have 3-5 “quick meals” in the freezer to choose from. This stash comes from me making double batches of dinners that freeze well, such as chicken tacos, chili, meatballs/pasta sauce, soup, curries, etc.

    If I really don’t want to cook, we have breakfast for dinner. Eggs, turkey bacon, yogurt, fruit, toast. Done in <10 minutes.

    • Breakfast for quick dinner is a staple for us, too. As are grilled cheese & ham sandwiches with trader joe’s tomato & roasted red pepper soup and a quick side salad.

  27. Any one have any food blog recs?

    I am a fan of Smitten Kitchen and Minimalist Baker lately. I do eat meat but try to limit it, and prefer to read blogs that have lots of veggie-friendly options.

    What are y’all’s favorites?

    • Anonymous :

      I follow a few on Pinterest – Pinch of Yum and Cookie and Kate are both veggie-friendly. The Kitchn is another favorite that includes other cooking-related posts.

    • nylon girl :

      love annies-eats.com and yourhomebasedmom.com and melskitchencafe.com

    • Very late to this thread, but I thought I’d add my favorite blog anyhow. I love BudgetBytes, not for the economical choices but because she puts together really tasty dishes that are fast and easy. Love it! She’s at budgetbytes dot com

  28. New Tampanian :

    I do my “prep” all weekend in spurts. If I’m laying low, binge watching something, I’ll make sure to do laundry and put away. It’s just me so I can get away with two meals that can be broken out into leftovers. I try to cook one on Sunday and another morning (Monday or Tuesday) throw another in the crock pot.

    Errands get done whenever I’m out and about. I can run minor errands during the week but grocery shopping is definitely a weekend thing.

    I make sure my apt is clean: floors, bedding changed, quick wipe down of bathroom and kitchen, and cat litter changed out, and makeup brushes washed.

    In addition, I try to “reset” that evening. Make myself head to bed on the early side and read.

  29. Dinner Failure :

    I feel bad about myself after reading these comments. I cook pretty much nothing. I’ve given up. DH plus 2 kids and each one of them is picky in some weird way. I don’t even know where to start. Any suggestions for getting started on meal prep/making meals with 3 picky eaters?

    I feel like the kids’ sitter just makes the same kid-approved meals over and over (e.g. kids will eat spaghetti with pomodoro sauce but not meat sauce; Korean bbq; breaded chicken cutlets but not grilled or roasted chicken). Some nights (ok, more nights than should be), I just have wine/cocktail and ice cream for dinner.

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