When Life Gives You Leftovers...

I remember dreading "leftover night" at our house growing up. The thought of re-heated spaghetti or warmed up salmon patties was about as unappetizing as any thing imaginable.
Fast forward to my own parenthood and facing "leftover night" with my own boys. Every couple of weeks or so I open the fridge to find it stuffed full of leftovers. A half pan of lasagna from Monday night, a bowl of rice from Wednesday. How can we make this a bit more exciting?
Introducing the "Fancy Smith Restaurant". The afternoon of the dreaded leftover night I pull everything out and start making a list. From that list I compile a menu~ thus our Fancy Smith Restaurant Menu. I quickly type out a menu with "fancy" font in a word document using a little creative wording to make things sound more appealing and have it printed out and waiting for the boys at dinner time.
And guess what...it works! Oh how they love leftover night now. They love having a menu to choose from as much as I love using up the leftover food without the moans and groans of the little ones.
So when life gives you leftovers...make a fancy menu.
This undoubtedly can be translated into life in so many other ways. It brings to mind the phrase "when life gives you lemons", right? I am a firm believer in this principle and try hard to raise our boys with the same mindset. I could get on a big soapbox about this topic, and have before (read here), but I'll spare you this time.
Here's to leftover night!


  1. Brilliant. What a great idea!

  2. I agree with JoAnna, brilliant idea my friend. Did I ever tell you I made your meatballs and we loved them.

  3. I love this idea! Now I am wishing I had some leftovers so I could give a try.

  4. Oh my gosh, that is just the best idea! It's only the two of us in my apartment, but maybe this will convince my fiance to eat leftovers. I love it!

  5. great idea! how creative of you! we actually had one of those leftover nights tonight. sometimes we also have 'fend for yourself' nights too. they don't usually like that very much! that means make yourself a peanut butter and jelly or have a bowl of cereal.

  6. i've been following your blog for a couple of months now... a friend of a friend linked it to her facebook wall one day & i was curious, so i checked it out. well, i'm hooked.

    you have so much to offer, mama.
    you bring such beauty & simplicity to everyday life that i long for.
    and the best part of it is, i find i can trust your words, as i've gathered we follow the same King.

    i have a 14 month old & am 7 months pregnant & wonder if i'll ever catch up, if i'll have ever "that much" energy again, if i can bring such life & joy & beauty & organization to my home.

    thanks for inspiring. i hope to begin making an art of homemaking!

    i don't know why this post made me comment, as i've loved so many of your posts! maybe it's because my husband is the dreader of leftovers; haha. and this was such a practical idea for me! :)

    thanks again. i'm sure you make our Father smile & bring such joy to your family.


  7. Kristina~ Thank you so much for that. I am honored that you read the blog and that you found time to leave a comment so encouraging and thoughtful.
    Thank you so much.

  8. What a cute idea to make leftovers a bit more exciting! I adore your blog! I met you this past weekend at Mayfest (I was a vendor as well, That Winsome Girl) and loved your work. I must say, you and your family are an inspiration. It's amazing to see how much talent and drive your son has in the kitchen! I really look forward to reading through all the wonderful things you share on your blog.

    Amy Kelly
    That Winsome Girl

  9. That's brillant - I love that - we have so much trouble with leftovers too!