the great 2017 31 day challenge

OK you guys this was a tough one. October 2017 has been coming, for 11 months, and with each passing day I felt more stumped on what I should write about. I came out with some ideas, asked some of you what you thought, put out a poll, even created an image for what I thought I would be writing about. But here’s the truth – with four kids, five and under, I need to do something that I can practically write about each day.  So I’m going to write about something that I’m already doing,  and write about it in real time.

A few affiliate links throughout this post will help you find things and give me a small commission of the normal price when you make a purchase.

That means the more heady, theological, spiritually driven, heavy thinking type of writing is only happening in my head… Not here, at least not right now.  And to be honest that’s not entirely true.  I am doing another kind of writing, some handwriting. Last month I started in a commitment to  writing a scripture every day in my faith planner and that will continue. I’m also committing to filling out the journal prompts in this book. Maybe you want to snag one and write along. I would love to hear about it if you do.

What that means is that for the month of October, here on Inspiration Clothesline, you’re going to be reading about me… feeding my family.  Dinner is definitely my jam. I love cooking and getting my people around the dinner table.  I like to bake, and can do some decent food prep so I find breakfast or a bit easier… than lunch that is.

You see some of you would be appalled at how we eat for lunch. Sometimes if we’re lucky there’s some good leftovers. But that involves making it home for lunch, to warm up said leftovers. Many days we just can’t do that because we are on the go. We live a long ways from where the kids go to school so by the time I get them home Corban, my toddler who still naps, has fallen asleep.  If he does that, there’s no other nap.  That means more chaos, more crabbiness, and less time to get anything done… including dinner. So we are frequently found eating on the go in the car. I often use the act of eating lunch to keep Corban awake on the drive home, or we stop in town at my parents’ house to to grab lunch and then he naps there.

Tough even to admit it… but we often eat fast food for lunch.  Or something that is very processed and quick like macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and honey, or whatever I can get on the table fast and that I know they’ll eat, thus being filled up until late afternoon.

So while this month I’m going to try to intentionally plan and be conscious of our meals while sharing them with you, it also means that I’m going to admit to you when we run through the drive-through. Humbling for me and for some of you maybe relieving for others disappointing. But it’s truth.  And reality.

So stay tuned for what were eating… I’ll be sharing recipes, talking about my favorite tools, tips for eating on the go, and all will be written real time.  It’s the only way I can do it this time around.

So for now here’s a list of some “tools” I’ll be using this month.

I’ll be referencing this post I wrote about “a year-long meal plan.” I did this a few years ago and while it was phenomenal I haven’t been able to stick to it since.  I plan to use the Meal Ingredient List (print one!) and recipes I collected though to fill up our month of dinners.

I will send you to favorite recipes that I’ve already posted here, and hopefully share some new ones as we go.

I’ll be using a notebook by May Designs for taking my meal plan and grocery list on the go, along with a printable one posted at home.

Weekly plan printable
(perfect layout: specific dinners, general ideas for the others)

In terms of kitchen tools you will hear me talk about a lot:

Instant Pot (affiliate link)

Rock Crok by Pampered Chef (This can be used on the stove, in the oven or microwave, on the grill, or sit in a slow cooker base.)

Slow cooker (affilitate link)

Garlic press

Mix and chop

I hope you’ll join me in this 31 day challenge whether that’s just reading along, trying a few of the tricks, or sharing what’s working for you this month with feeding your family. Any favorite recipes you’d like to see me try?   Be sure to send them my way. You can also subscribe to my blog so you can get these posts sent right to your email inbox.

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