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I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of my pants” girl when it comes to dinner.  I needed my mind and mouth to speak to me and tell me what we should be having for dinner – usually around 4pm, the start of the witching hour(s) in our house.

Well, that wasn’t always the best approach to dinner (hungry, screaming kids + a mommy who was trying desperately to think of what to make = chaos) and so I’ve tweaked a little.  Over the past couple months I started meal planning and there is such relief on days when I am successful (mind you, I am not completely there yet)!

Yesterday was a fun, busy day.  We loved the sunny warm weather in the afternoon, here in southeastern Pennsylvania, and so we were outside for much of it.  I did complete a meal plan for this week, but I didn’t prep anything for last night’s dinner until we got home from a playdate, which happened to be about 20 minutes before we usually sit down to dinner.  Not good! We all survived, and dinner was delicious, but there were a couple little meltdowns along the way.

As I was reflecting on my day last night, and looking ahead to another busy day, I decided to do some prep work for tonight’s dinner last night before bed.

1.  I read through the recipe (lovely sweet potato and black bean chili from Real Simple).

2.  I took out all the non-perishables and placed them on the cutting board in the kitchen.

3.  I made a mental note of other ingredients needed.

This took all of five minutes! All I kept asking myself is “why don’t you do this every night!?”

This morning, I took another five minutes to chop and plop all the ingredients into my slow cooker and there it sits – working hard for me all day to have dinner waiting as we return from ballet.  The only other thing I will do is make some yummy vegan cornbread to go with it.

That’s one successful food day in my book!