Meal Plan Monday: Week #16

Just about four months of meal ideas here! What a number! I hope you’ve been enjoying them as much as I have! Let me know what you’ve been loving and what you want to see!

Remember to share your photos by tagging #CookingwithMPM and show us how you’re going Planning!

This week I’m featuring Food Pleasure & Health, The Happy Weaner, Read Eat Repeat, Because Food Is Love, Easy Peasy Foodie, My Fussy Eater, Olive Jude, Kidgredients, and Good Food Week.

Monday: Pretzel Crusted Zucchini Meatballs from Food Pleasure & Health

Pretzel Crusted Zucchini Meatballs; Photo Credit: Food, Pleasure & Health

Tuesday: 5 Minute Egg Fried Rice from The Happy Weaner

5 Minute Egg Fried Rice; Photo Credit: The Happy Weaner

Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore from Read Eat Repeat

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore; Photo Credit: Read, Eat, Repeat

Thursday: Beef Broccoli Stir Fry from Because Food is Love

Beef Broccoli Stir Fry; Photo Credit: Because Food Is Love

Friday: Pork, Parsnip & Apple Traybake from Easy Peasy Foodie

Pork, Parsnip &a Apple Traybake; Photo Credit: Easy Peasy Foodie

Saturday: 30-Minute Lasagna from My Fussy Eater

Lasagna; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan Bake Deconstructed from Olive Jude

Baked a Chicken Parmesan Deconstructed; Photo Credit: Olive Jude


Soup: Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup from Easy Peasy Foodie

Easy Peasy Vegetable Soup; Photo Credit: Easy Peasy Foodie

Salad: Zesty Orange Salad from Kidgredients

Zesty Orange Salad; Photo Credit: Kidgredients

Dessert: Super Light Cheesecake from Good Food Week

Super Light Cheesecake; Photo Credit: Good Food Week

How to Be a Product Tester (In Australia)

Mummy Confession: I love trialing and reviewing products, especially for my baby!

Over the years as a mum, I have found several places which offer product tests for mums and babies, as well as places that just take your information and give it away to spam emails and phone calls. I have listed only the legitimate ones I have used below. I have actually signed up and received products from these companies.

In order to receive these free products, you do need to review these products, whether it’s online, on social media, or privately with the company giving out the products.

For more ways you can save, earn cash back, and a little pocket change, check out my post here.

Social Soup– Social Soup is Australia’s largest influenced community. If picked for a trial, you help to influence the products a company creates and give reviews and feedback both on your social medias and on the social soup website.

Home Tester Club– Home Tester Club lets select people try and review products on the market, as well as provides some friends with products to try as well, giving them the opportunity to review and join in the club.

Mum’s Say by Kidspot– Kidspot Mum’s Say allows members to take part in exclusive product tests and events!

Black Box Australia– Black Box Australia is a sample box which you review over social media as well as on their website. In order to qualify for your next box, you need to complete the reviews of the products once you receive your box.

Various Survey Companies– Many survey companies will email you chances to test out various products depending on your profile with them (and if you get in quickly). With these chances, however, you agree not to talk about the products you have tested. As you are helping to shape the products companies will release later, you may or may not see them in stores. Toluna has a specific place on their website to look out for product tests.

Various Baby Product Companies- Now, I wouldn’t be able to name any or all of them, because I don’t know when different places need product testers. My advice for this is to follow any Brand or Company on social media that you would like to try, and also sign up for email updates. If they need anyone, they will potentially email or post on Facebook or other social media. I have seen a few call outs, so the chances are likely if you follow all of the brands you love that you could see them as well. However, it’s not often and not guaranteed you will be chosen to test their products.

Now, all of these ways I have been able to test products and give my feedback to various brands and companies, so I’m not giving information on places I haven’t tried yet. Have you been a product tester before? How did you come across the opportunity?

Why You Shouldn’t Ask, “Who Had It First?”

Sharing is hard! From the earliest years, my children have struggled with the concept, and lately I’ve learned that I’m asking the wrong questions when I do try to resolve some of the arguments. (Occasionally I try to let them sort it out, but we are still in early years yet).

I’ve learned not to ask, “Now, who had it first?” And give it to the child who claimed this title of “first.” Why? Let me explain.

A single instance that it clicked, I was asking the wrong question. No, I don’t want my children taking toys and not being told it’s wrong. No, I wasn’t going to let them battle it out. I was going to start asking the right questions.

At the table one day, after I had given the kids their snacks, I hear the familiar sound of bickering over a chair. They both want it. (Never mind that there are 7 others exactly like it.) Neither are willing to give it up. The older yells a claim of being there “first” and the second follows it up with “no, you weren’t!”

Now, I would have sided with the first, as she tends to be a bit more truthful, would she have not followed up her claim with, “when I sat down this morning with my breakfast, I was sitting in this chair!”

(And thank goodness she did, because in it came a valuable lesson. For me.)

Wait a minute. Breakfast was hours ago. She is laying claim to the chair she had sat in for a few minutes, from a totally different part of today. Technically she was there, “first” that day, but this was not what I was asking.

Or was I?

I followed up my question, which now seemed to miss a certain perspective, with, “when I gave you your snacks just now, who sat down first? Just now. Not earlier.” The older child admitted that the second was seated first at this instance, but she had sat there for breakfast. And afterwards, “did you take the seat from her just now then?” She nodded.

It’s all about perspective.

This goes the same for toys, or anything really. Asking who had it “first” is all a matter of what the child’s reference point is compared to yours. You are asking about one instance in time. They may be thinking about it as “I was first this day to touch this toy” even if they’ve put it down in between. Maybe “this is the toy I was given for a present, so of course I touched it first when I received it.” It’s all in the perspective.

Now, what questions would be better to ask, to gauge whether one child is right (assuming the children are telling the truth). I’ve figured that, “Did you take it from…?” Is probably a wiser question. (Or being more specific and referring to the instance in question.) And a follow up of asking the other child if the same question, because of course, they could have snatched it before, and then there is a whole new lesson in how we treat others.

Of course, this is simplified a lot, and assuming that the truth is being told by all parties involved. You do need to use discernment in these situations, but I’ve definitely learned that my perspective is possibly completely different to my children when I ask about who was “first.”

What have you found you need to explain more when you’re asking your children questions?

Meal Plan Monday: Week # 15

This week I have some great recipes in store. I don’t know if you can tell, but I love pasta and anything with cheese! Some tasty ideas for your week ahead!

Rememeber, if you do wind up using something from a meal plan, let me know! Feel free to tag #CookingwithMPM if you take photos of your creations! I would love to see someone finding inspiration here!

Featuring Delicious Everyday, Read Eat Repeat, Olive Jude, The Messy Mommy, Food Pleasure and Health, My Gluten Free Miami, The Starving Chef, and My Frosted Life


Monday: Tortellini in Sundried Tomato Sauce from Delicious Everyday

Tortellini in Sundried Tomato Sauce; Photo Credit: Delicious Everyday

Tuesday: Kung  Pow Quesadillas from The Starving  Chef

Kung Pow Quesadillas; Photo Credit: The Starving Chef

Wednesday: Red Thai Curry from Food Pleasure and Health

Red Thai Curry; Photo Credit: Food Pleasure and Health

Thursday: Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini from Read Eat Repeat

Crockpot Chicken Tetrazzini; Photo Credit: Read Eat Repeat

Friday: Crispy Salmon over Roasted Leeks and Fennel from Olive Jude

Crispy Salmon over Roasted Leeks and Fennel; Photo Credit: Olive Jude

Saturday:  Messy Mommy Pizza from The Messy Mommy

The Messy Mommy Pizza; Photo Credit: The Messy Mommy

Sunday: Chicken Parmesan Sliders from Read Eat Repeat

Chicken Parmesan Sliders; Photo Credit: Read Eat Repeat


Soup, Salad, and Dessert of the Week!

Soup: Gluten Free Turkey Soup from My Gluten Free Miami

Gluten Free Turkey Soup; Photo Credit: My Gluten Free Miami

Salad: Frisée Salad with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Oil from Olive Jude

Frisée Salad with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Oil; Photo Credit: Olive Jude

Dessert: S’mores Brownies from My Frosted Life

S’mores Brownies; Photo Credit: My Frosted Life

Meal Plan Monday: Week # 14

Welcome to another week of meal plans! As I’ve said before, these are meant to inspire your week, or throw a little different taste into your already loved recipes! I hope you find something (or everything) delicious to cook for your family!

This week I’m featuring meals from Easy Peasy Foodie, My Fussy Eater, Eats Amazing, The Starving Chef, and Miss Food Fairy. Soup, salad and desert recipes brought to you by My Gluten Free Miami, Good Food Week and My Frosted Life.

If you’ve missed some of the Meal Plan posts, Check them out here!!

Feel free to use the tag #CookingwithMPM if you do wind up using a recipe from here, even if it’s not this week! Let me know what you love and what you want to see more! Enjoy your week!

Monday: Chicken Chorizo Paella from Easy Peasy Foodie

Chicken Choriso Paella; Photo Credit: Easy Peasy Foodie

Tuesday: Chilli and Green Olive Taco Bowls from My Fussy Eater

Chilli and Green Olive Taco Bowls; Photo Credit: My Fussy Eater

Wednesday: Aubergine, Tomato & Parmesan Oaty Bake from Eats Amazing

Aubergine, Tomato & Parmesan Oaty Bake; Photo Credit: Eats Amazing

Thursday: Mini Beef Pot Pies from The Starving Chef

Mini Beef Pot Pies; Photo Credit: The Starving Chef

Friday: Greek Style Lamb Kebabs from Easy Peasy Foodie

Greek Style Lamb Kebabs; Photo Credit: Easy Peasy Foodie

Saturday:  Chinese Fried Rice from Miss Food Fairy

Chinese Fried Rice; Photo Credit: Miss Food Fairy

Sunday: Sous Vide Apple Pork Chops from The Starving Chef

Sous Vide Apple Pork Chops; Photo Credit: The Starving Chef

Soup, Salad & Dessert of the Week

Soup: Aguadito de Pavo Peruvian Turkey Soup from My Gluten Free Miami

Aguadito de Pavo Peruvian Turkey and Veggie Soup; Photo Credit: My Gluten Free Miami

Salad: Warm Asparagus Salad from Good Food Week

Warm Asparagus Salad; Photo Credit: Good Food Week

Dessert: Cheesecake Stuffed Banana Bread from My Frosted Life

Cheesecake Stuffed Banana Bread; Photo Credit: My Frosted Life

Real mum. Real life. Real confessions.