Whats For Dinner? – Meal Planning – with FREE PRINTABLE

Well we did it!
We have now been meal planning for 1 month!
We have saved money, time, last minute panic trips to the supermarket and even better, gone is the 5pm question 
Whats for dinner?

Here’s what has worked for us

1. 7 Days of Creation.  
For us it is a strictly 7 day plan.  I can’t think that far ahead and grocery shopping with two children in tow means that a weeks worth of groceries already takes us two hours!

2. Don’t just think dinners.  
I try and plan it so that Wednesday’s and Thursday’s dinner meals are left over worthy so that I can take them for lunch the following day.  This has meant we are saving a further $10-15 a week on lunches!

3.  Kids Menu. 
 I try to plan meals that are easy for children to eat or can easily be altered, it saves cooking two different dinners!

4.  Make it Mondays.  
Our grocery store pamphlets arrive Sunday’s.  They are loaded with specials that inspire many ideas and they often have recipes and meal suggestions inside!  Our woolworths has it’s specials starting on a Monday.

5.  Shop around.  
Ok so it is not as convenient BUT…we have Aldi, Woolworths and a Dollar Store at our local shopping centre.  After a month of shopping I know which products are cheaper at each store! I generally start at Aldi, then Woolworths.  I can’t rave about Aldi enough especially after this week they announced they will be removing all products with artificial colours from the shelves!

NOW HERE IS A BIG ONE
We have developed a Monthly Plan for household shopping.  
We had developed a horrible cycle of everything running out at once! 
Toilet paper, cleaning products, toiletries it would be a huge budget blowout, we would stock up again to face a month later that everything had run out at the same time…AGAIN!  so…..
added to our meal plan we have
Weekly Items – 
Milk, Bread, Eggs, Margarine, Juice etc

Monthly Items -
Week 1 – Toiletries – Toilet Paper, Shampoo & Conditioner, Soap, Baby Bath, Tissues etc
Week 2 – Cleaning – Dishwashing liquid and tablets, Spray and Wipe,
Week 3 – Household – Washing powder, batteries, lightbulbs, fly spray, Stationery,
Week 4 – Kitchen – Glad Wrap, Paper Towel, Serviettes, Alfoil, Snap lock bags, Sugar, Flour etc

I can not stress how well this system has worked for us!  We buy fairly large quantities of each (which also saves money) and it lasts a whole month!  

But wait theres more……..
Introducing the
 “My Pigeon Pair” 
What’s for dinner?
Meal Plan

7 Day Meal Plan
Complete with 7 day Meal Plan
Shopping List for each meal, 
Weekly Items List
Monthly Items List and 
To Do List

OR

“My Pigeon Pair “
What’s for dinner?
Meal Plan 
with blank list

7 Day Meal Plan with Blank Lists
7 Day Meal Plan
Shopping List
Blank Weekly Items List
Blank Monthly Items List
Ready for you to add your own lists!

Just click on the purple link underneath each picture, download and print
FOR FREE!

Recipes,
Detailed Monthly Lists
and more to come!

What do you think?
Would you use it?
What’s it missing?

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One Clever Chic – Owly Molly Print

Remember this sweet little birdie?

Owly Molly Print

This was a gorgeous “Owly Molly Print” designed especially for Little Miss A’s 1st Birthday.
It now takes pride of place in her bedroom.
I just love the vintage, shabby chic feel of the design!


Owly Molly Print is the creation of Sydney based graphic designer, Rosalin Kristiani.
Specialising in divine wall art for children, it is so lovely to find items in the home decor market that are unique, stylish and modern with not a Disney character in sight!

With a passion for graphic design and logos, Rosalin opened Owly Molly after finding it difficult to source unique wall art for her children.
“The only things available in the market were the vinyl wall art stickers, wooden names and a small  range of  canvas art. So, I designed a few prints, printed and framed them and Owly Molly was born!” 

Barely open a year this Facebook business has gone ahead at lightening speed!  Owly Molly not only create personalised wall art but also specialise in logos and have a massive range of individualised gorgeous invitations.  This Mum of 2 (Clarissa,4 and Nathan 2) loves the fact that “Owly Molly” allows her to work from home and be with her kids.

“I spend some of my time in the study, working with my Adobe Illustrator, whilst the kids are busy at their own table and chairs.  But like all Mum’s I also have to find time sto cook, go to the playground, play with the kids and do the housework!”

This successful mummy business has long been a supporter of “My Pigeon Pair” and we can’t wait to continue to watch this clever and cute business bloom.

But wait there’s more…….



We are giving away two divine Owly Molly prizes!

1st Prize
A  personalised series set of  Owly Molly Prints
Thats 3 prints!
Like this little beauty?

Or this one?



2nd Prize
1 Personalised Print
May be a little owl?





Winners choice!


How to enter:
ENTRY #1




1. Like the “My Pigeon Pair” Facebook page.






2. Like the “Owly Molly” Facebook page. (Tell them who sent you!)
3. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you love about “My Pigeon Pair” 
AND which Owly Molly Design you love the best!
Once you have done all that, YOU HAVE ONE ENTRY!!!
OR
Because some people don’t have google,
4. Tag My Pigeon Pair in your Facebook Status Update and then let us know you have done so on the My Pigeon Pair- Facebook Page.
IT IS ONE OR THE OTHER FOR YOUR FIRST ENTRY

BONUS ENTRY 
Sign up as a follower on the “My Pigeon Pair” Blog
- Leave an additional comment on the blog when you have done so!
THIS IS YOUR SECOND ENTRY

BONUS ENTRY # 2
Write on the “My Pigeon Pair” Facebook Wall – Telling us why you love “My Pigeon Pair” and which Owly Molly Design you love the most!
THIS IS YOUR THIRD ENTRY

THAT IS 3 POSSIBLE ENTRIES FOR EVERY ONE IN OUR FLOCK!!!

Conditions
Only open to Australian residents due to postage.
Two Winners will be chosen via Random.org
Competition opens 6am Thursday  28th April.
Competition closes 8pm Wednesday 4th May.

Good Luck!


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Wordless Wednesday – Pride

Pride
~Lest We Forget~
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Linking up with

Stamped With Love – Ettie & Ottie

I am in mourning.  
Our garage resembles a Babies R Us store, 
with highchairs, prams and bouncers piled together, ready for sale.
Our family is complete and its time to make room for our life ahead.
To say it hasn’t been easy, is an understatement.
There have been tears.
I know it is just stuff, but it is more than that.
It means that this chapter of our family life is closing.
No more swollen pregnant belly.
No more hearing and seeing that little heart beating for the first time.
Naturally there are some consolations.
I can now  look forward to a life without morning sickness, and maybe even a little sleep?
Hubby wants to put the money from the “Baby Sale” towards the credit card.
Of course this would be a great idea, but I have other plans….
Perhaps this is a moment to celebrate and not mourn.
To cherish what we have,  two precious miracles.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, and now the sale of our baby items
what better way to mark the occasions with
a piece of Jewellery!

Followers would know by now that this means the research started.
After a long online search and facebook shoutouts
I found it….well them….

and then, in there store, was a stunning piece of jewellery, with my name on it, literally!

Ettie & Ottie, named after owner Charlotte(Ottie) and her sister Georgette (Ettie), is an online store which also sells on etsy and made it.  At first I was attracted to their handstamped jewellery but a sneaky peak into their Facebook albums revealed a treasure trove of delights!

Handbags, purses, hair accessories, earrings and children’s art folios  
(bags kids can take out with them to keep themselves amused with spots for everything,  complete with crayons or texta’s and a drawing pad, there’s even a pocket to store their DS!)

Funnily enough the piece I chose was inspired by Charlotte’s own favourite design!

Simple, classic design with just a hint of elegance with the pearl in the middle.

So…

 How did  “Ettie and Ottie” evolve?
Initially I started fiddling around with beads and ribbons about 4 –5 years ago, then started making so many bracelets and necklaces and earrings that something had to be done with them – there were too many for one person!  I had a couple of ‘jewellery morning teas’ to show my work to the mums from school and I got orders from there and off it went.  It eventually evolved into more hands on ‘hand stamping’ jewellery as I feel like its something that I have created especially for the person.  Its actually a skill I wasn’t sure I was going to get as it was pretty wobbly at the start.  The more I did the better I got.  I also like the fact that the majority of my work is one of a kind – I like to know that I can create an individual piece with someone for them or their gift recipient that will love it. 

What a great baptism, communion, or confirmation present!

How do you “hand stamp” and what products do you use?
Hand stamping is done with individual steel letter stamps that come in a variety of different fonts that are stamped firmly into (in my case) Sterling silver, 14 kt gold fill and copper disks, washers or other shapes.  These are cut with a disk cutter from sheet silver or gold or copper.
The piece is then filed and sanded – then stamped with the names etc , then polished to a high shine.  Additional dangles are sometimes added, whether it be sterling silver or gold filled puffy heart charms, pearl dangles, or birthstones.  Anything really!  I’ve also made bookmarks and keyrings.

next one on the list!

Do you have a favourite product?  Or do you wear a particular piece?
My favourite piece that I wear everyday is the large gold filled washer on the thicker chain, that I wear with a very large pearl pendant that I was given for my 40th birthday, that I put on with it on the night of my birthday and it accidentally ended up hanging in the centre, and it just stayed that way! I just love it!  This is where the inspiration came for the large gold filled washer pendant with the swarovski pearl and the thicker chain.  I also love that people are buying the gold washers and wearing them on really thick belcher chain necklaces that they already own.  They look fantastic on chunky chains.

What does a day in your life look like?
A day in my life?  Busy!  I am the mother of a 7 year old daughter,  Madeleine  so it’s getting her off to school first, and then I begin my “work” day – anyone working for themselves at home would be in the same boat – there is no 9-5.  I tend to work at home during the day with the occasional appointment with customers, then before you know it its time for school pickup, spend a bit of time with Maddie,  then dinner and back into the work again!!!  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it!

What would you like the future to hold for your business?
I would love to continue making beautiful items for people to cherish, to continue to receive such wonderful feedback from my wonderful customers and to continually be able to grow and scratch that creative itch!  

So while I ease my sorrow as this part of our family’s journey closes,
we will celebrate everything we have and
I will treasure my own little piece of “Ettie and Ottie” a symbol of our families circle of life,
a little piece of family, stamped with love, to cherish forever.

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Hippity Hoppity… Easter is here

Wishing you all a very
HAPPY
EASTER!
Some “Easter” inspired creations to fill your day with joy!




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I’m grateful for……Wishes


Two things have happened this week that have made me think about wishes.
On the weekend we went to GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art) as the current exhibition is “21st Century Kids” 
It was amazing!
One of the pieces of interactive modern art was a 
“wish wall”

Many pieces of ribbon, each with a different wish printed on them;
I wish I could fly
I wish I had wings
I wish my drawings came to life
I wish I was a Ballerina travelling the world 
(Miss A chose this one, ok so I chose it for her!)

What did Master O choose?
I wish I had a pet!!!! 
Hint, Hint!

Then on Wednesday, we had Master O’s Prep Interview, 
yes thats right interview for starting school in 2012 in APRIL 2011!!
and the dreaded question was asked by the principal…
What do you wish or want for your child’s education?
so I thought…….
To learn with enthusiasm, use his initiative, follow his passions and 
leap in to life

To stay healthy and active, to exercise his body and mind

To be given the opportunity to explore, imagine and inquire

To develop a sense of awe and wonder 
and to use his senses,
to touch, taste and smell

To communicate confidently and
to speak up for what he believes in, without fear of judgement.

To choose his own path instead of following others

to maintain the balance between
 school and home
friends and family
study and play

To face every obstacle as a challenge armed with the persistence to conquer it

and the resilience to shrug off the setbacks 


To feel the joy and pride of success.

Today I am grateful that all these wishes for my child are beginning to come true
What more could a mother wish for…….

Linking up to
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Colour Me Happy – Making Recycled Crayons

I have been desperately trying to organise the kids playroom over the holidays.
I got some great tips on “de-cluttering” the kids colouring in items from 
“The Organised Housewife”
So whilst I was

I suddenly found I now had these orphans
This poor little collection is the abandoned, no lids, odd assortment, broken crayon collection.
Some were salvagable, but the crayons!
I am sure they have been busy multiplying whilst we have been asleep!
Soooo…. a new holiday activity was born….

COLOUR ME HAPPY
MAKING RECYCLED CRAYONS!

STEP 1
You will need any silicone baking mould..
You can really use any baking moulds but I like silicone as they are easier to pop out the finished product!
This one was way too cute to pass up!  From “House” for $9.99

STEP 2
Ask your apprentice to peel all the paper off the outside of the crayons.
They love doing this!

You can recycle the paper!
You now have a whole variety of paper less crayons.

STEP 2
Break the crayons up into smaller pieces.
Another fun job for your apprentice!
If some thick crayons are hard to snap, Mum can cut them with a knife!

STEP 3
Fill your moulds with the broken crayon pieces!
You can mix colours or sort colours!
A great maths activity (sort and match!)
I am sure he is on to my “Sneaky teaching tips”
as he was adamant that they all had to be “rainbow” crayons!
STEP 4
Now you have something that looks like this!
Preheat your oven to 120 degrees
And “cook” for about 10 minutes or until you see that the crayons are melted.
I find it easier to place the moulds onto a baking tray.
It is much safer and easier to get them in and out of the oven this way!

You can use any shape or size baking tray!
This one is from BIG W $10

STEP 5
Once melted remove from oven to cool

If you are as impatient as me, Master O
you can cool them in the fridge for quicker results!
Once cool and hard, pop them out and….


Ta Da!!!!! New beautiful (and recycled) crayons!

They make great gifts!
I, Master O loved this activity soooo much that
I packaged up some butterfly moulds and crayons with some instructions and sent them as Easter Gifts to Master O’s cousins!

Easter Eggs really don’t travel well and I thought it may give them something to do these school holidays with all that built up “chocolate eating” energy!
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Wordless Wednesday – Thought

“Think left, think right, think low and think high, 
oh the things you can think if only you try!”
Dr Seuss

Linking up to
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Rave and Review – The Karma Soap Company


I have that typical mediteranean oily skin. 
 I tan with the slightest bit of sun, have never had sensitive skin or suffered eczema.  
Before you hate me it also means I am prone to pimples and shiny face syndrome!

My husband is the same and this dark eyed, dark haired couple were expecting Master O our first baby, to be a little “olive” baby.  
And there he was blue eyes, fair skin and a touch of ginger in his golden hair!!!  
Where did he come from!  

His fair skin is prone to eczema and sensitive skin outbreaks when we change washing powder, he swims in too much chlorine, use a new soap, well lots of things!!!  
We recently had an “itchy” bath after Master O was determined to use his Birthday present “Thomas” bubble baths!  

I know I am not alone!  I have numerous friends, with children in the same position and our conversations are often dedicated to whats working for us!
There are so many companies out there now claiming to be “sensitive” on the skin 
(Have you seen the new Dove ad campaign?”) 
but they still come wrapped in a mountain of packaging and artificial ingredients. 
So determined to try something new,
 we have just used “The Karma Soap Company’s” Goat milk soap.
  



WE LOVED….

  1. That is comes in a limited amount of packaging that is all recycled
  2. It is made form natural products without fragrance. (but still smells lovely)
  3. It feels so luxurious and still foams up beautifully! (unlike some other natural soaps)
  4. No IRRITATIONS!!! NO “itchy” bath!
  5. That we are supporting a Mummy owned, australian business! – THIS IS A BIG ONE FOR ME!
Ok so its not as convenient to order soap separately from the rest of your shopping, but Karma soap is available online through their Facebook page so it is still sooo easy!  Karma soap comes in 17 different kinds and I  (this one was for the kids!) would love to try a few different varieties.  For me I would love a bit of essential oil fragrance (something to mask the smell of baby spew?) for those long luxurious baths (ok so now I am dreaming!)

Here is just a snippet of Felicity’s, Karma Soap Company story…

 As we had started a new tradition in my hubby’s family in 2009 where we buy presents for the kids and make them for the adults and as an avid soap maker i made a variety of fragranced soaps and body scrubs etc. My wonderful in-laws paid my products compliments all day and repeatedly said ‘People would buy these you know, you should do this as a business’. So after a few days of thinking of nothing but just that I decided i would start the business and share my beautifully crafted soaps with everyone, not just my family. The Karma Soap Company was born a couple of days after Christmas 2010. 

Im located in Merrylands in Sydney’s western suburbs, However as i am setting up an online store am accessable to everyone, not just people local to me.

Goats milk soap is a wonderful alternatitve to the store bought soaps with all sorts of nasty chemicals and things i can’t pronounce, let alone know what they are – and thats IF all the ingredients are listed! I add NO alcohol or petroleum based products into my products and am conscious to only have ingredients I myself would use on my guinea pigs, I mean children and family!!  

SPECIAL OFFER for
The “My Pigeon Pair” Flock


Buy 5 bar soaps for $20 
and 
receive a sample size of a different fragranced soap FREE
Just Mention “My Pigeon Pair” when you order!


What products are you raving about this week?

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Guest Poster – Love the Moment

As a “Sunny Mummy” I love to spread the happiness around.
For many months I have been following Kelly Burstows “Be A Fun Mum” blog.
Unlike many blogs where you just view or read I have become “involved” with her blog through the “Love the Moment” challenge.  

Just like the “Happines Project” it is teaching me to slow down and enjoy the happiness in the simplicity of little moments.  As a teacher I am constantly expressing to parents that the best thing they can do for the child is engage with them and give them TIME.  Kelly has captured this notion beautifully in her challenge.  

So today I am handing over to Kelly to be our “My Pigeon Pair” guest poster.  Please visit “Be A Fun Mum” and take the challenge to put aside your worries and cleaning rotuines and start enjoying those precious little moments, that will so quickly pass by.

Love the Moment: A Change of Thinking

Love the Moment. These three simple words have made an impact on my life.  I often get caught up in the busyness of life. Rushing here. Rushing there. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
Life is busy, and there’s no real way of escaping that; however, I’m learning the importance of being conscious of the little things around me.  In a sense, I’ve had a mindset change which has translated into all areas of my life.

The Love the Moment Challenge was born out of this mindset change. In a nutshell, the challenge is about acknowledging the small things that may otherwise go unnoticed.  For example: the roughness of tree bark, the smell of a flower, flying butterflies and the feel of a child’s soft cheek. 
Because little things: they are big things.

Now, I see Love the Moment moments everywhere and take time to enjoy them! I waste time with my young son because it’s not a waste of time. When I see a butterfly I stop, and look, and point.  When there is a cool breeze, I close my eyes and allow myself to experience the wonder. And I love sharing this beauty with my children.

The other aim of this way of thinking is to move away from the tendency to focus on entertainment and materialism. Children find pleasure in the simplest things! I find this so inspiring and aim to foster this attitude of joy and the spirit of creativity in my children. 

The Love the Moment Challenge is designed to be achievable for busy Mums because it’s not about waiting for life to slow down (in my experience it rarely does!).  Instead, it’s about capturing, noticing, celebrating and enjoying moments as they happen.
I’d love for you to join me in loving life, one moment at a time.

Love the Moment Links
If you love Kelly’s blog as much as me please vote for her 

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