30 Days of Dinner Challenge – Bringing Families Around the Dinner Table #30DaysofDinner

Many thanks to Dream Dinners for partnering with me on this post about bringing families back together around the dinner table.

It’s back to school season and for many families that means that activities like fall sports and other after-school activities are starting up again. Getting back into the routine of things means September can get pretty hectic pretty fast when it feels like each member of the family is going in different directions.

Dream Dinners #30DaysofDinner Challenge - September 2014
That’s why I’m super excited to be partnering with Dream Dinners  for the 30 Days of Dinner Challenge to focus on spending time as a family around the dinner table during this time of year. With a little pre-planning and some freezer meals from Dream Dinners, it’s a bit easier. If you’ve followed my blog for very long, you know it’s not secret that I LOVE Dream Dinners. They have saved us from not only having to spend more money than we’d like by going out to eat (or even fast food) but also provide a healthier meal for our families than take-out. Not to mention how much of a sanity saver having meals in the freezer that are ready to cook and eat can be!
Dream Dinners #30DaysofDinner Challenge - September 2014

Accepting the Challenge

So, during the month of September (from the 1st through the 30th) I’ve made a goal for my family to eat together at least five times a week and have all of those five meals be homemade. We may not be eating at the same time every night, but we generally eat together most nights. I’m accepting this challenge because even though some evenings it may seem impossible to try and get our schedules to align, the payoff for us is huge. Sitting down together, even if it’s just for a half hour of the day, gives us the opportunity to catch up with each other, tell silly stories and just laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Electronics like television or cellphones have never been a part of our evening meals so that gives us even more time to connect on a personal level. So with a little planning and preparation ahead of time, we can help make it happen.

Join the #30DaysofDinner Challenge And Enter To Win A $200 Dream Dinners Gift Card

So that’s why I’m encouraging you to join the challenge by following these steps:
1. Decide on the number of meals you’d like to share with your family each week during September. Whether you plan on pledging to share 30 homemade meals this month or are looking forward to sitting down as a family for three dinners a week, you’ll be reaping the benefits of family meals all month long.
2. Share original photos of your family’s meals on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Meals do not have to be Dream Dinners to enter the contest (although they’d love it if you shared those as well) or even homemade for that matter. A special family dinner at a favorite restaurant or a quick meal at the soccer field all count.
3. Tag Dream Dinners in your photo and use #30DaysofDinner to enter the contest. They’ll be giving away a $200 Dream Dinners gift card each week during September so the more photos you share, the more chances you’ll have of winning! (just think how many homemade meals you can make with $200!)
4. Dream Dinners will be announcing the winners each week on Facebook so make sure to like their page! Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to get meal-planning advice, recipe ideas and more all month long.

Dream Dinners #30DaysofDinner Challenge - September 2014

Since I’m not just issuing the challenge but taking it as well, I’ll be sharing my experience each week through my Weekly Menu Plan posts and on my own social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (click on these links to follow me if you’re not already).

I bet if you give it a try, you’ll quickly begin to see there are more benefits to eating homemade family meals together than you may have ever realized. Won’t you join me?

Disclaimer: I received a gift card as compensation for this partnership in the #30DaysofDinner Challenge. However all opinions are my own.

About Dream Dinners
Founded in 2002, Dream Dinners is the originator and leader of the meal assembly industry. Headquartered in Snohomish, Wash., Dream Dinners locations all over the United States bring families together over home-cooked meals by providing an easy, time-saving solution to the dinnertime dilemma. Guests choose meals from seasonal, changing monthly menus that they prepare in-store without the hassle of planning, shopping and chopping. Dream Dinners lays out the ingredients in an easy-to-follow format so that guests can assemble a month’s worth of meals in about an hour. They then take them home to freeze and cook on busy nights.

Weekly Menu Plan [9/1/14]

Weekly Menu Plan and Preview of What's Coming Up! [2/24/14]

So we’ve officially got our first week of school behind us and that means I need to get myself in gear and start doing some real menu planning again after a pretty serious hiatus this summer (and just winging it for the most part). I’m keeping things sort of simple this week to ease us back in. Here’s what’s on the menu for this week:

Monday: Leftover hamburgers and hot dogs from our cookout this weekend, plus carrot sticks and spinach dip on the side.
Tuesday: Apple Stuff Pork Chops. I’m trying a new recipe–will have to let you all know how it goes! Will add a garden salad and my Simple Garlic Green Beans as a side.
Wednesday: Pub Style Chicken with Mashed Potatoes from Dream Dinners plus roasted carrots (trying that out also after some suggestions from my weekly Try-It Tuesday question on Facebook last week).
Thursday: Pizza Sloppy Joes (this is something I used to make frequently a long time ago and kind of forgot about. I will try to take some pictures and post the recipe here on the blog). Served with sweet potato fries.
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Out to eat or leftovers.
Sunday: St Louis Smokehouse Ribs (from the freezer) plus grilled potatoes and garden salad.

Don’t Miss Out!

Don’t want to miss a new weekly menu plan? Be sure to SIGN UP HERE to receive updates via email or RSS feed (you can choose the reader you prefer!) And don’t forget you can always follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. They all offer a little something different and are a great way to stay in the loop on new menu plans, recipe ideas, giveaways, organizing tips and more!

For more menu planning ideas, visit OrgJunkie.

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gingerbreadcookies for badge-with text large

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El Pollo Loco Opens Restaurants in Houston

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Miniature Apple Tart Tartin #BlogFilmFood

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#PowerYourLunchbox sponsored by Produce For Kids

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#BlogFilmFood - Creating our own little dinner and flick pariring for a fun theme meal! | MealPlanningMagic.com

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Eating A to Z Roundup – Letters I and J #EatAtoZChallenge

Eating A to Z Roundup - Letters I and J #EatAtoZChallenge

It’s the 15th of the month and that means it’s time for another Eating A to Z Healthy Recipe Challenge. This month, I’m bringing you another round up of recipes from bloggers all over the web. The letters I and J are tricky! Lots of recipe including jalapenos but also a few with different ingredients […]

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