parenting

My Chalkboard Sanity Wall

I finally got my chalkboard wall. Seriously. I started prepping this wall in my kitchen over a year ago.

A YEAR AGO.

When we had just moved into our home back in 2005 and my kiddos were one and three - I was totally overwhelmed with the move and hired a painter. I LOVE to paint. I've never hired a painter, but I realized my limits with two toddlers and a whole house to unpack. Sadly that painter reminded me of WHY I'd never hired a painter (horror stories abound), as he painted over wallpaper in our kitchen that he was supposed to remove first. Almost 2 years ago I got the bug (ummm ok, inspiration?) to paint a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, so I stripped the wall and there it sat. About 90% stripped. The remainder needed a heat gun to remove and well, a ladder, and time - and thus 18 months passed and there sat the ugly wall. Guests came and went - and there sat the ugly wall. Sounds kinda like the life of a busy mom who works, cleans, cooks, and runs the household! 

Enter my amazing client, Erika, who LOVES to paint. She's my soul sister in her belief in the prep work (90% prep, 10% actual painting)! She offered to paint that wall for me and darn if that didn't inspire me to get my heat gun out, ladder, scraper - and finish that remaining 10%. I patched the holes - she primed and painted it over the course of a week while I was at work and here you go, my new sanity saver: 

I've been playing around with it for a few weeks, and at this moment I'm trying out my kids chores on the left. The chores flip weekly so each Sunday we simply switch the initial above the chores they are responsible for.

So there is NO confusion, NO arguing (um, right - like that EVER happens!). 

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On the bottom right I'm trying out a list of my go-to entree inventory. Close up below: 

I plan my dinners out weekly. On an ideal week I set aside a few minutes on Thursday to look at the upcoming week, see what I have on hand that needs to be used, balance my work and kids activities with my availability to cook - and the weekly meals are planned. If all goes as planned I am able to do my shopping Friday or Saturday, batch cook one or two things on Sunday and I've can start the week with a plan. 

In my household my husband is a far more talented cook than I am; he really earns the title of Chef. I'm FAR from that, but that's a whole separate blog post. We divide up the dinner duties so that I am responsible for dinner M-F (when he is commuting 3 hours round trip to work), and he cooks Sat/Sun. He usually tries to make at least one of those dinners big enough to have leftovers for me to plan on for a weekday meal - BONUS. 

You'll notice little notations (the letter U) beside some of the entrees. Those indicate our upstairs freezer, as opposed to our full size basement freezer. This helps me when I need to grab that entree - to know which freezer to look in. I could NEVER survive my cooking at home, and striving to serve my family nutritionally dense food, if I didn't have an extra freezer. It also falls into the category of sanity saver. 

Just in case you're inspired to paint your own chalkboard wall here's a great website to reference. And by the way, guess where I got my chalkboard paint? ALDI! For 3.99 can. LOVE me my random Aldi finds! Now it's something they may never carry again (it was a special buy) so in case you're itching to get started and don't want to hit your local Home Depot, I'll link to some of my favorite tools that can be found on Amazon:

I've been using chalk I ordered on Amazon (simply because I didn't want to spend time running to/from the store - and there's the small issue of going into Target or Staples means I'll come out having found 67 other things I just HAD to have)...

These are seriously my most favorite brushes EVER!