Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the makings of a menu

For those of you who were not around last year when I first launched this Winter Activity Menu Challenge, let me give you a few more details on what it's all about (since some of you have been asking).

You know how some people make a meal menu for the week...a list of meals they are planning to make throughout the coming week. It makes it easier for grocery shopping, preparing, and just having a plan ahead of time. You're not left wondering at 4:30 what in the world you are going to make for dinner.

You also don't need to stick to the menu completely, but rather just use it as a guide. Let's say you have a beef stew planned for one night, but you are missing one ingredient to make the biscuits to go along with make the decision to switch the meal to a beef stir fry with rice.

The Winter Activity Menu Challenge is the same sort of thing. Rather than wondering all winter long how you are going to occupy yourself and your family -- make a weekly menu. Again, you don't have to stick to it like glue...but it gives you motivation and a head start.

For example, your menu for the first week of the challenge could look something like this:

Monday: Craft Night
Tuesday: Baking Night
Wednesday: Company Night
Thursday: Play in the Snow Night
Friday: Go on an indoor outing (swimming, museum, etc)

Now you have your set plan for the week and on Monday afternoon you can start looking on the internet for a fun craft idea to do with the hubby & kids after dinner. Tuesday you can make sure your cupboards are stocked with the right ingredients to make your baking (that you can eat yourself, bring to a neighbour, or store in the freezer for future company) and so on.

And make sure you allow yourself flexibility to make changes. If it is a frigidly freezing week, scrap the play in the snow night and make it a "Build a fort in the basement" night, or have a dance party night. And if it is an abnormally mild week -- take advantage of that and have 2 evenings where you're playing outside instead of just the one that was originally planned.

You can also plan other activities to do on your own time -- during the day when the kids are in school, or late evening when they're in bed. These things can include getting caught up on scrapbooking, finishing a needlepoint project, organizing a room or drawer in your house...anything.

Does this make sense? Are there still questions? If so -- please don't hesitate to ask me. You can leave me a comment, or email me at

My plan is to start this challenge within the next few weeks, so that by the time November 1st rolls around, we are all set to go. Based on the results of my survey questions (thanks for voting on those polls, by the way), we will meet back every second Friday to update how we did, and to re-post our new menu, if there are any changes you are making from one 2-week period to the next.

The reason I want you to post your upcoming ideas is to inspire other people. Some people might get stuck on the same 3 or 4 things and will be looking for variety. Also -- posting something on-line might give you more motivation to stick to it (I know it will help me, that's for sure).

So starting on Friday, October 31st (after all of your trick-or-treating escapades are completed), stop by to leave a link to your post which states your menu plan for the first two weeks of the challenge. Then live out your challenge to the best of your ability and come back 2 weeks later to post how you did and re-post your updated challenge for the following 2 weeks. And so on. This will likely run till the end of March.


andrea said...

sounds great! i never seem to finish anything I start. I love to make plans like hosting a friends get together, birthday parties, Sadie Hawkins(us, girls planning dates for our guys all November) or that type of plan. I would love to hear what others do though...I do feel limited with a hubby not home often(I know you can relate) and a lil one that goes to bed at 7pm.

Jenn said...

I will have to start thinking about this. It's such a great idea!

Sheila said...

Oh this sounds like a blast! I know I HAVE to do something this year to keep Cohen busy!
So where do we post our weekly plan? On our own blog, or somewhere else?

Pam said...

I hope I can be more creative than I was last year- but I know it helped me get around to baking with Ashlyn a bunch- and she loves that (my waist line doesn't need it- but she loves it!) Plus, it forces me to let her paint or do playdough instead of always thinking I will let her the next day (and that next day never comes). Thanks for hosting this again! I'm already starting to feel that winter blahs and hope this will keep me moving and motivated and lookig forward to Spring instead of dwelling in the winter blahs!

melanie said...

Sounds great! I'm looking forward to it. And I really need it this year. I'm already starting to feel down and it's not even winter yet.