A Look Into Our Notebooks – Week 40 of 2020

I like to spend Monday mornings looking back on the last week. It’s so fun to document my days, even though they are relatively quiet and simple.

I’m still enjoying the Travelers Notebook weekly insert. Instead of using colored pencils, I ordered another pack of my favorite pastel highlighters – Pilot Highlighter Frixion Light. I love the subtle colors and it’s much faster to swipe the area I want highlighted rather than coloring it in.

Today marks day 183 of journaling and I consistently worked on my blog last week (journaling and writing time is highlighted in green). Those early morning hours are really life-giving for me. We played outside every day this week except for Friday, which was full of rain and a bit too cool to play in it (our high that day was 58). The pink shows my reading time and you can see that I didn’t do any reading the second half of the week! I tend to do most of my reading in the evening while knitting or sewing, but last week was filled with television. I was glued to the news, despite knowing better. But I’ve worked a ton on my hexies quilt (yellow) and can’t wait to share my progress with you on Wednesday.

You might remember that I struggle with meal planning. I’m trying something new with this weekly insert. This picture shows what the monthly spreads look like – they are also vertical! I really like that. I scoured pinterest for freezer meals that can be made ahead and then popped in the oven or crockpot. I put together a giant grocery list and plan to send my husband to the grocery store this morning and and then I’m going to be busy in the kitchen this afternoon. Not everything on this list is something that I can make ahead (or need to make ahead – some things are just dead easy) and some meals require fresh ingredients like cilantro or green onions. Those meals are notated with asterisks and my plan is to try to pay attention and pre-shop for those little things.

You can see lines beside a lot of the meals – I currently have all of the ingredients needed for those meals on the grocery list. Once I prepare that dish and put it in the freezer, then I’ll turn that line into a checkbox. Once we cook and eat the meal, I can check it off. The hope is that this will help me keep track of what’s left at the end of each month and then transfer it over to the next. I don’t have to follow the meal plan rigorously; I can easily skip around to what sounds good that day and just check off meals as I go. I left a few blank days towards the end of the month because I know that we’ll need days to work through the leftovers. That means that we’ll have random days when we’ll have the luxury of not needing to cook!

I hope this works out like I’m anticipating. I resent cooking. I always have to stop something I’m enjoying in order to cook. But it’s sort of my job to plan for meals and make sure my family eats, so here’s to figuring out how to do that!

I invite you to share a link to a recent blog post about your own notebooks in the comments. I always enjoy the inspiration!

22 thoughts on “A Look Into Our Notebooks – Week 40 of 2020

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    1. Thanks, Jordy. I was able to prep a ton of meals and put them in the freezer yesterday. It feels good to know that today’s dinner is ready to go into the oven!

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  1. I have meal-planning envy over here! We generally come up with a (loose) plan as we’re making the grocery shopping list, usually right before my husband goes. We tend to make a lot of the same things, and it’s frustrating for all of us, but no one else seems to want to come up with new ideas and I have a picky eater to deal with. I think I may need to get lost on Pinterest for a while and see if I can come up with something a little more interesting and creative that kiddo may actually eat.

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  2. Oh I love the highlighted parts of the journals where you can see at a glance where you have done things like your hexies. So glad you are soting out the meal planning- so hard I know with three little ones to feed- be warned- teens are always very hungry! Just put up my latest notebook!

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    1. Oh my goodness, we’re going to be in trouble when we have three teenagers. I’m already amazed by how much they eat right now. It’s constant!

      I feel a little nerdy, but I love the highlighted sections, too. “At a glance” is very helpful in my life right now 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your notebook post – I’m off to read it in a few minutes.

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  3. When our girls were young and I worked outside the home, I would do a lot of cook ahead. Not the whole meal but the parts that were more time consuming – cooking the meat and chopping veggies. Then I would divide them into containers that I could pull out and put in the crockpot or on the stove or oven. It took me most of the day but when I was done, I had almost a month of meals almost ready to go. And I agree, cooking dinner always seems to pull me away from something I love.
    I have a question about those highlighters – do they bleed through to the other side?

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    1. It feels so good to know that today’s dinner (and almost the whole month’s) is ready to pop into the oven! Meal planning/prepping is my downfall and I feel like October is already prepped and ready to go! Thank you for all of the encouragement and ideas over the last several months.

      And the highlighters – no! they don’t bleed through the pages of my Traveler’s Notebook insert and they didn’t bleed through in my Hobonichi when I used it a few years ago either. And they’re very pretty!!

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  4. I have some serious Menu Planning Envy here too! I wish this could work in my life. But I live with the pickiest eater ever. Leftovers are almost always a hard no. And everything must have meat, lol.

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    1. Picky eaters are hard!! Matthew used to be the same way – meat in every meal and NO vegetables (other than potatoes) ever. He’s improved a lot in the last couple of decades 😉

      I’ll keep everyone updated on how it works. I hope it can be helpful for you in some way!

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  5. another inspiration, Katie – I need to add the weather snapshot to that top block! I did add the 5 and 6am blocks for this week (sadly VERY crookedly … I need to get a ruler!) The meal planning looks great! I finally started using those vertical trackers this year – I note when I finish books and hand makes. super helpful for my monthly look backs to have it all in one column.

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    1. What a great idea for the vertical trackers! It would be nice to have that info all in one place.

      I’m very thankful that you introduced me to this insert, Mary. I’m enjoying it a lot!!

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