Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days to a Happier Life - Day 7

This is Day 7 of the 31 Days to a Happier Life Series. If you are new to my little blog, here is a review of what has happened so far:

Day 1 - What is Happiness?

Day 2 - Set Goals.

Day 3 - How to achieve your goals.

Day 4 - Daily Goal/Task Schedule.

Day 5 - Being grateful.

Day 6 - Don't worry. Be happy!

Well, my little bean is still feeling under-the-weather, and home from school today - that makes it the third day off school! This virus was a doozie! Hoping this one extra day of rest gets her all energized and strong for school tomorrow. I do think I will have a struggle on my hands tomorrow morning trying to get her out the door. She is very attached and has no great desire to leave Momma at the house whilst she goes to school. She would much rather stay at home with me. But we are slowly getting better each day.

So I thought today would be the appropriate day to talk about family and friends and how they play an important role in your personal happiness.

I love my little family and try hard to show them I love them and do not take them for granted. But some days, when we are bogged down in worry, and laundry, and time management debacles, we can lose our focus.

One of the best ways we can show our love and appreciation for our family is through food!

We try every night to sit down all together as a family and eat dinner...a home cooked dinner... at the dinner table...with no TV on. We feel that this connection is an important one, and one worth fighting for. Doesn't it seem these days that everyone and everything is trying to pull us away from the family dinner table? Sports games, practice, music lessons, play dates, television, working late, other family commitments all seem happy to disrupt our ideal family-together-time. And for this reason we block out our dinner time as RESERVED and make sure nothing is planned at that time.

Cooking a home-cooked meal everyday night can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning it is not as hard as it sounds. I like to plan out my meals weeks, or months in advance. I print out my meal planner and post it so we can reference it to be able to put out meat to defrost the night before, or for the weekly grocery list, or so the hubby knows what to expect, etc, etc. Here is my meal planner for the next 7 weeks! YES, the next 7 weeks.

Now I only plan for week night meals. Most weekends the hubby cooks (YEAH!) and we eat with my in-laws - usually something grilled on our fabulous outdoor fire-pit grill made by hubby's cousin (it really is awesome!).

I work two days a week, so I'm trying to plan leftovers for the days I work - hey, why not make this as easy as possible, right? Crock-pot recipes are my favorite - stick the ingredients in, close the lid and turn it on. But sometimes I may get more adventurous...and sometimes more mundane...just depends.

The point is, though, that cooking a homemade meal shows your family you care for them because:

1. You have taken the time to actually cook for them.

2. You are cooking a delicious and nutritious meal for them.

3. You are coming together and spend quality time together around a home-staple - the dinner table.

4. The effort put into your family will show in the long run as a better connection and closeness.

I also make a point of assigning tasks - my little bean sets the table, and her big sis clears the table. It shows that it takes a team effort for a family to work, it is not just Mom's job. Big important stuff right there!

So if you can start with one or two nights a week for family dinner, it will be worth the effort.

Tonight I am making Chicken Noodle Soup

Happiness Links

October Meal Planner - Edie's October Meal Planner over at LifeInGrace

ZipList - LOVE this app - use it all the time

Healthy Recipes - Better Homes and Gardens - I signed up for their weekly newsletter and get meal ideas from there all the time.

Recipe Source - any time I'm looking for a recipe I can usually find a good one on

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