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7 Low Key & Low Cost Anniversary Celebrations

7 Low Key & Low Cost Anniversary Celebrations

There’s no way I’d be where I am today if it wasn’t for my loving, supportive husband, Tom. Today is our seventh wedding anniversary. In light of this, I’m sharing 7 low key and low cost ways to celebrate your wedding anniversary. When my husband and I get each other gifts we tend to go big. However, we don’t celebrate all occasions with gifts. Most of our wedding anniversaries have been spent apart due to work so we focus more on acknowledging our anniversary through small things.

Shelby Hancock Mouse house Mom 7 anniversary celebrations

1. Make a Nice Dinner on the Weekend

Weeknights are insane for us. We don’t have time for a weeknight date so plan to prepare a nice dinner on the closest Saturday or Sunday.  Yesterday we enjoyed a nice BBQ’d meal with our daughter.  The dinner was ribs, corn on the cob, asparagus, and french bread.  The meal is far from fancy, but we both love ribs and rarely find the time to make them.

2.  Go for an Evening Stroll

You can do this with your spouse or bring the kids along for a walk in your neighbourhood.  You can get your kids’ scooters, bikes, strollers, and all head out for an evening stroll.

3. Enjoy a Dessert Together

I’m guilty of falling into the sofa with an ice cream bar and watching one of our Netflix shows.  Instead of putting on the television, enjoy your dessert just the two of you.  We have a small front porch and summer evenings are the perfect time for us to sit on it and catch up on each others day. Tonight you’ll find us sitting on the patio indulging in ice cream and sharing a laugh.

4. Swap Household Chores

While this doesn’t scream romance, it does show that you care. My husband always cleans the kitchen while I go and water the plants and run a load of laundry.  Switching up the housework, which needs to get done, anniversary or not, can be a small, subtle act of kindness.

5. Cut Back & Relax

My husband and I are normally busy doing yardwork or more stringent house cleaning while our daughter naps on weekends. Give yourself permission to cut back on the bigger tasks.  Number 4 above reflects on the housework that can’t be skipped, but this is the stuff that is nice to do, but not necessary to be done (e.g., dusting the blinds, scrubbing the shower tiles, weeding the back garden that nobody can see).  On Sunday we napped while the toddler napped and my body is thanking me for that extra bit of sleep.

6. Send a Thoughtful Text

I’m sure you’re texting your spouse throughout the day, but this text should be one that’s more thoughtful.  Think of something small that your spouse did and send them a text thanking them. Or sneak a chocolate bar into their lunch bag and text them to see if they found it yet.

7. Renew Your Vows… while folding socks

I’m not a sappy person so a vow renewal has almost zero chance in my future. That said, I believe in my wedding vows and take care in honouring them.  Reflect on your vows and how you chose a vow and not a promise that can be easily broken. You can do this without putting on your wedding gown and inviting people over to witness it. Tonight we’ll renew our vows as we fold the never ending pile of laundry.

 

Shelby Hancock Low Key Anniversary Celebrations
Marriage is more of a marathon than a track meet, but it’s a cute pic.

 

Weekly Meal Plans for Working Parents

Weekly Meal Plans for Working Parents

I am happiest when I have solved a problem with the use of a spreadsheet. A few years ago, I began using a spreadsheet to make my weekly meal plans. Having weekly meal plans keeps me focused and efficient.  Also, my husband and I both arrive home from work between 5:30 and 6 PM and that doesn’t give us much time to boil water, let alone make an entire meal.

Why I do Weekly Meal Plans:

  • Holds me accountable to eat better.
  • Reduces food waste.
  • Saves money on one-off grocery trips or eating out.
  • Saves time as I can prepare food in advance.
  • Reminds me to use freezer food.
Shelby Hancock weekly meal plans dinner pic
Dinners planned out and enjoyed as a family.

Easing into Meal Planning

If meal planning is going to be a shock to your system, then start out slowly with only planning weeknight dinners and plan to make more than you need so you can eat leftovers during the week. I know leftovers are a polarizing subject, but let it be known I’m #TeamLeftovers.

Below is a sample week for my family:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Dinner Leftovers Veggie Stir-fry with chicken and rice Leftovers Pasta with microwaved meatballs Crock pot Chicken w/root veggies.
Next Day Prep Measure rice.

Take chicken out of freezer.

Boil pasta + assemble.

Take whole chicken out of freezer.

Chop veggies and get crock pot ready.
Evening Activity 8pm Run 8pm Run
Shelby Hancock weekly meal plans dinner pic
One of our weeknight dinners.

The Extra Rows

I find it very useful to add additional rows to my weekly meal plans to include “next day prep” and “evening activity”.  As a result of “next day prep”,  you don’t forget to take food out of the freezer. This allows freezer food time to defrost and you can also plan more evening prep when you anticipate a more hectic next day. The above example shows that I take my chicken out of the freezer and into the fridge on Wednesday night.  Come Friday, I can put the thawed chicken into the crock pot.

Depending on the amount of time you have to prepare your dinner each day, you can adjust the amount of next day prep to do and move some to the day of. For me, it is useful to have my rice and water measured the night before so that it is ready – all I have to do the day of is rinse the rice and turn on my rice cooker and in 15 minutes, I’ll have my carbs!

Adapting for Children’s Eating Habits

I add rows to my weekly meal plans for my daughter (the Munchkin), to indicate who will pick her up from daycare (e.g., my husband or the grandparents) and on what night she needs a bath.  If my husband and I are eating perogies or potatoes then I need to plan a meal for the Munchkin that is different from ours. She’s usually a good eater, but has always refused potatoes.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Pick Ups Dad Grandma Dad Grandpa Dad
Bath Night? Yes Yes

 

You can expand the weekly meal plans to include weekends and all other meals. I’ll be sure to blog about some of my favourite quick and easy week day meals.

 

Mouse House Mom gives an overview on how to start weekly meal planning for working parents.
Mouse House Mom gives an overview on how to start weekly meal planning for working parents.

 

Shelby Hancock weekly meal plans dinner pic
Roasted cauliflower is her signature dish.

Mickey’s Printable Weekly Meal Plans

My family likes that I use the Mickey’s Printable Weekly Menu [pdf] found on the Disney Family site here: https://family.disney.com/activity/mickeys-printable-weekly-menu/

I can quickly write in what our dinner is for each night and post it on the fridge. Alternatively, you can start with this if it is your first foray into meal planning. Posting the printable Mickey menu on the fridge helps us keep Disney alive all year in our home!

 

Related

If you’ve survived a busy week, then treat yourself to my Churro Treats at Home Recipe for a weekend family brunch.