Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bon appetit

Do you ever wonder what you are going to cook for dinner some nights?

If you are like me, I used to stand in front of the fridge/freezer and try and work out what was going to be on the menu.
I now have a blackboard that is set up for each day of the week and we can plan ahead,  what we are going to be having for the next week. {Excuse the red walls in the hallway as these are next in line for a new overhaul!} 

Lately we have been trying this and it seems to be working really well.
On Saturday morning, over coffee and armed with a pile of recipe books, we pick out the meals for the week and then when going grocery shopping it makes the job much easier and you just have to buy only  the ingredients and supplies from the list. 
It seems to take the hassle out of planning the evening meal and I find it makes life much easier.

Now that the children are not living at home, it is surprising how long a bag of chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs, or a packet of sweets can last.

Thanks for all the kind notes you left about our water woes, the small shower of rain we had was not nearly enough and we are still longing for a decent rainfall. It is back to hot sunny days, with the cicadas singing loudly! - good if you are a tourist, but not so good for the garden or the water tank.

Have a wonderful weekend


  1. Dear Carolyn,
    I think this is a great idea.. I did the same thing when my children were growing up.. I found it also cut down on the grocery bill because I only bought what was on the list, and I never go shopping when I am hungry.. teee
    I think your red wall is beautiful, and LOVE the chalkboard! I only used paper... This is much better.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. What an awesome idea with the chalkboards!!! Love it! Hope you have a great weekend!!


  3. I adore your blackboard idea!!! I really need one of those...I need to get organized on daily dinners....I am the worse!
    I went to my mailbox today and found a sweet surprise....thank you so much my dear friend...happy are such a blessing to me. Love your handmade friendship valentine card. Love and hugs to you....oh thoughtful one! I have it on my counter so I can think of you! xox

  4. You are so organized!
    Love the chalkboard idea!


  5. Great and plan weekly meals, chili con
    carne i do sometimes to.
    And i hope you get rain soon.
    Happy weekend

  6. Dear Carloyn
    What a wonderful idea with the chalkboards! The picture with the cherries I like very much. Now we have a lot of snow and I miss the sun and the cherries ;o)
    I wish you a great weekend.
    Love and hugs Yvonne

  7. I'm afraid that I don't plan a week's menus and just get something out of the freezer first thing in the morning.
    However, I often make enough tomato sauce for two days so I can use it with different types of pasta.
    Have a good weekend and I hope you get the needed rainfall soon. x

  8. Wonderful idea with the blackboards!Hope the water situation changes soon for you too!

    Been so busy lately - hope you all have a lovely weekend,


    XOXO Lola & Nora:) a

  9. Great idea Carolyn ... I struggle all the time to find meals that will suit everyone:) Have a nice weekend!
    ~Anne xx

  10. Great idea and I adore your blackboards! x

  11. Love you my sweet friend.......Love and hugs and kisses and glorious wishes. Kiss the cook often and season everything with love♥♥

  12. Great idea Carolyn, very French.

    Re the water situation all it has done is rain here so we should send you some over :-)

    That said the sun is out today so we are hoping that it stays a while.

    Bon weekend à vous deux, Leeann x

  13. Carolyn, I have a daughter that does that. On the weekend she gets the 3 children to choose one meal they would like each. Then Hubby has a choice, I think she balances out the rest. Does the shopping list, and every night after work she knows exactly what she is cooking. Far more organised than me.

  14. ciao,
    that's a good idea . I live alone the girls are not living at home ...sometime I have to admit I simply forget to go to the market ... so I'm italian and spaghetti will resolve the problem
    It sound strange to hear that you have water's problem, I'll blow to the clouds to pour some water to New Zeland .

    have a nice weekend


  15. Beautiful Carolyn!

    I used to cook up a storm for us. Since I started to teach (nine years ago!) my fancy, nightly experiments have come to a halt! But we do manage to enjoy healthy and quick meals.....

    I PRAY WE ALL can get the necessary water to keep up our gardens; I saw the result this year of poor irrigation. My favorite fruits this year were more expensive, smaller, lacked taste and generally were unbearable. That is sad.

    May all go well chez toi. Peace and love to you Anita

  16. What a fabulous idea Carolyn, I'm going to blackboard paint the side of a cupboard and do this ... Half the problem s deciding what to make!

    I too have red walls in my hall ... They're definitely next in line for a makeover!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Love Claire xxx

  17. I like the little chalkboard idea. It is useful AND cute! My mother was so organized, she kept a notebook with all her meals for the week in it. All through my childhood,she had those little menu books.

  18. Those little blackboards are fabulous. I'm not very organized, but I love useful, organizational ideas...kind of crazy, I know!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  19. Dearest Carolyn,
    Love your clever key/menu board! That indeed is helpful. It depends where you can buy the ingredients for the meals. Since we mainly eat healthy we have to go to the big city for most ingredients as they are not available locally. That makes the planning harder. If you buy it, there is no way you can use it all at once... things do perish and not all you can keep frozen. But we all try. Hope you get your rain soon. For the lack of enough rain over the past summers we do not have daffodils bloom. Just the leaves but no buds nor flowers, except for a sporadic one. Sad sight but what can we do? We always look so forward to them and I anticipated to make some lovely photos. Drought does cause lots of damage, it did kill nearly all our roses and even the ones we bought new last year don't look happy.
    Like you say, for a tourist it is fine to be in the sunshine for 3 or 4 weeks but it's different for the permanent residents!
    Hugs to you,

  20. Cherish !!! o no !!! them.....we have snow here today...pleas spring come !!!...lovely

  21. I looked through your dinner plan dear Carolyn, and would love to eat with you that week,. UHHHMMM (so we say here when loving some foood)
    It is a great idea, and making place for those little blackboards to sum up on, looks very sweet- I have to say I love your red wall with the golden french lillies.
    Good apetite ,and a happy sunday.

  22. Hi Carolyn, WOW what a great idea. I loved your menu wall and everything sounds so delicious. I think I would like to try this dinner planning. Sure would make life a bit easier each evening.

    Your red walls are gorgeous by the way.

    Loved the vintage flowers below. Hope you get some rain soon too.
    Thanks for stopping by. Have a great rest of the weekend.
    Big hugs, Celestina Marie

  23. Great idea...!

    re comment .. the bath shot made me smile.


  24. Thank you so much for the sweet note for Bebe Carolyn!

  25. Hello! :) I love your blog, and the photos ! I am following. I hope you can check out my site: and FOLLOW. Also on bloglovin, facebook, instagram, twitter, tumblr and even lookbook if you want :3 <3


  26. I really like your ideas for meal planning! So many times I go to the grocery store, buy a bunch of random items and then I have no idea what to make! I might have to try this chalk board idea : ) Its been so nice finding your sweet blog! I enjoy the personal content and your voice


  27. Dear Carolyn, Your planning board is a neat idea and I think it would help me to plan my menus. I like the red!

    Always fun to stop by your place and see what you are doing. The best to you,

  28. dear caroly,
    this board is a great idea!!!! yeahhhh.
    thank you for the greetings for our dog "emma"
    (she is so lovely)
    many greetings

  29. Dearest Carolyn,
    Wow, what a great idea and sure is time-saving as well as economy friendly(*^_^*) I don't have a space like you have but may be try it by taking notes, my friend.

    Oh, I smiled for one thing. Whenever my husband makes soba, he makes enough Soba for 6 person in 1 setting. So we give half of them to our neighbors or his ex-colleagues each time. And we have lots of sweets in return from them. I almost never buy snacks lately(^^;) They are all really thoughtful♡♡♡
    You know what; we have been gaining weight.... Haha, we should know how much we have.

    Hoping your summer won't be so hard for you and all of your family.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  30. Hi, your blog is a big inspiration. I like your Pics.
    What do you think about, following each other. Let my know.

  31. Hi Carolyn, I like the idea with the chalkboard menu plan. I know only two dishes so far I'd like to cook next week. One is meatballs from veal in a white sauce with capers and the other one is a tuna tart.
    Hopefully you'll get some more rain soon.
    Happy Sunday!

  32. Gracias por tu visita.
    Tus post me gustan mucho!!!

    Un abrazo muy cariñoso.

  33. Bonne idée!!

    Merci de votre doux commentaire chez moi!!!

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

  34. Hi, Carolyn!Thank you for your kind words on my blog!I like your idea a lot.I like the red walls.You're a good friend.Hugs!

  35. Hi Carolyn! What a nice idea, you seem very well organized, plus you havent anymore the trouble of "what to cook"! Im still a daughter so I still cant get well but also here when im not in my place, choco, sweets and other treats last more:) Kisses and happy Sunday! xo

  36. Dear Carolyn
    Your idea is very goog .I tryed do it some years ago when my children were smaller but now it´s more dificult as they are comming in and going out all the time.I never know how many persons are comming to eat!

  37. Hello Carolyn,
    writing down the menu of the week is a great idea! Love the wall!
    Wish you a great week!
    MaryFashionLove on Facebook

  38. Well Carolyn, consider me impressed! That is organization. I'm lucky if I can plan two days ahead!
    BTW: I LOVE your red wall and wallpaper below.
    Happy Sunday!

  39. that's a good idea for menu planning! I'm not quite that organised but i do plan ahead and you're right it really helps with the grocery shopping!

  40. I like the red walls. And the little chalkboards are a great idea. I tend to keep all the essentials I need for my go to meals that way I can always find something to make for lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, my kids don't always think my healthy foods are that great. And they get sick of soups. Oh well! Too bad for them. :) Best wishes to you for a wonderful week. Tammy

  41. º° ✿彡
    Olá, amiga!
    Ótima sugestão.
    Bom domingo! Boa semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil
    ✿ °•.¸

  42. Unfortunately I am a very bad cook!

  43. Hi Carolyn!
    Loooove cherries! Want eat them me too!!!^^
    And these chalkboards are genial and very very pretty!
    I'm so bad at cooking,I'm a bit jelous of your skills! ;)

  44. That's such a great idea!!!
    I do a basics 'Pak & Save" shop about once a month.
    Then fill up on Nosh/Countdown/Markets in between!

    I seriously need a plan like yours - I'll let you know once I'm organised and maybe do a similar post!

    ORGANISATION - I needed this post so badly!!

    Shane ♥

  45. Hi Carolyn,

    What a good idea about the blackboard!

    Wishing you a happy new week,

    Madelief x

  46. Im always struggling to come up with ideas for what to cook, which then leads to a run to the supermarket 5 min before closing when I finally realize what I am craving :)

  47. Dear Carolyn,
    what a great idea with this bord!
    I know this problem ;O)
    Thanks for sharin!
    Love and hugs and a beautiful new week, my dear friend,

  48. Hello, Carolyn! What a great idea your blackboard is. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment as well :0) So I found your lovely stuff! Thanks again :0)
    Have a lovely week
    lot of love from Russia

  49. Dearest Carolyn,
    I love your blackboard-idea! First: It really looks good! Second: it's a great help to make a menu plan!
    What a pitty that you are still waiting for rain! Wheater seems never to do what we want - here in Lower Austria we got snow again yesterday (and they said some new snow will come till Thursday...) Well, it's still winter, but on Saturday it was like spring and I took some photos of first blooms in our garden - and now it's winter again...
    I cross my fingers that you will get enough rain soon!
    Warm hugs, Traude

  50. Dear Caolyne, this is such a great idea! I might copy it from you - thinking about the weeks menu when you actually have time and organize the shopping better. While everybody already knows, what there will be for dinner! have a lovely monday and thanks for sharing!

  51. Carolyn,
    What a great idea this is. I've never seen a board like this before. I usually just plan what I want to eat for the week in my head and get the groceries accordingly, but this seems like an easier way to go because you won't forget any ingredients. Have a wonderful week and Valentine's Day! Oh, I like your red walls - it gives it a splash of color.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  52. I love your chalkboard menu planner! How fun!
    I use to plan things out like that too. I need to get back at it. Sure did save lots on food bills.

  53. WAGI! (What A Great Idea) Why didn't I think of that? I find myself, fairly often, wondering what to make for dinner. This is definitely something that would make life a bit easier :-) Hope you get some rain soon. Wishing you a wonderful new week my friend.



Thank you so much for visiting Draffin Bears.
It always makes me happy to read your comments
and I look forward to visiting you.

Carolyn xx