Sunday, December 4, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 12/5 - 12/11)

Well last week didn't go anything as planned.  We have had a stomach virus come through the house so a lot of our cooking was pushed back, especially since I was the one sick on Friday and Saturday.  Adrian also worked over 70 hours last week so that meant a lot of extra work for the kids and house on me.  That also pushed back some of the cooking for the week.  Thankfully I was able to freeze my broth and turkey so they are good to go this week.  And everything else was either frozen or non perishable so I have very little shopping to do this week.

The other thing that didn't go as planned was our new appliance delivery.  On Tuesday we were supposed to get our new deep freeze and stove delivered.  They were very late delivering (over an hour after our 4 hour window) and then they only had the stove.  After nearly an hour on the phone with customer service the next day I found out the freezer is on back order and I won't be able to get it until after Christmas.  I was really frustrated, although them giving me a $150 credit made me feel slightly better.  I'm choosing to focus on the good, that I have a new stove with 4 working burners and a convection oven.  We've been experimenting on it this week and are in love!
Our meal plan is pretty easy this week, mostly carry overs from last week.  And then we got a great Cyber Monday deal on a Hello Fresh box for this week.  We have used this service before and love the food, but it is just a little out of our price range.  However with the deal it was perfect and since we have an extra busy week we will use it this week.  I'm not sure how the weekend will play out.  We are hoping to reschedule our family trip to Red Robin that we had to cancel today since AJ is sick.  We are also hoping to get to Wild Lights but that depends on the weather and Adrian's work schedule.  I'm planning on a Hello Fresh meal for one day and leftovers or out for the other.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pesto Shrimp over linguine - with my homemade pesto frozen from this summer
Tuesday - Turkey Soup - to use up all of the rest of the frozen leftover turkey meat and broth
Wednesday - Pork Loin with Saurkraut
Thursday - Hello Fresh meal
Friday - Hello Fresh meal
Saturday - Hello Fresh meal or out
Sunday - Hello Fresh meal or out

Water Flavor - Mango (yay for them being on sale right now!)

Food Prep - I have everything bought for the whole week and most of it is ready to just dump into the pot or the crock pot.  It should be a fairly easy week.  I also have fruit cleaned and cut and ready to eat for snacks, veggies prepped for salads for lunches and hard boiled eggs for snacks or lunches.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/25 - 12/1)

Friday (11/25) we continued our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We did peel ourselves off the couch long enough to decorate our Christmas tree and put up all of the inside decorations.  We started on the outside ones and will finish those up this weekend.  I also did some internet Black Friday shopping for Christmas presents.  Other than that we just hung out together, watching TV, playing games and eating Thanksgiving leftovers.
Saturday (11/26) we continued our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We played video games & board games, watched the OSU/Michigan game (nearly avoiding heart attacks!) and ate more leftovers.  We finished up our day with family video game night and watching Frosty Returns.  This do nothing break has been glorious and I kind of don't want it to end!
Sunday (11/27) was our last day of our lazy Thanksgiving break.  We all got up and got dressed and actually left the house today...we all went to church together.  After church we spent the day doing all the work we should have done all week, but were too busy being lazy.  We finished putting up our outdoor decorations, got ourselves ready for the week and watched some football.  It has been an amazing 5 days of very little work and I couldn't be more content that I am right now.  But all good things must come to an end and it's back to our normal routine tomorrow.  Hoping it's not too painful!
Monday (11/28) we had to get back to our normal routine.  It was really rough to get up in the morning for all of us.  Zak had lots of tears.  Adrian got called into work before 6am.  We barely made it to school on time.  The boys all seemed to enjoy being back to school and our routine.  We were super excited that the cold temps are disappeared again and we got to walk home from school this afternoon.  Zak stopped to play in our leaf pile.
Tuesday (11/29) started early when Daniel woke up at 3am with a fever.  He was so upset that he had to miss school today.  He has been working really hard trying to get perfect attendance this quarter.  And I was supposed to be in both his & AJ's classes today as the guest reader.  Thankfully I rescheduled that for Thursday and by lunch time he seemed better.  He even walked back and forth to pick up AJ since the weather is still gorgeous.  While Daniel was relaxing this morning, he sneezed & lost another tooth!  The tooth fairy sure is busy this week!
Wednesday (11/30) was another rough morning getting out on time.  I really hate that the breaks set us so far off our routine.  And they are just going to keep coming in the next few months between holidays and snow days.  After school Zak and Daniel started their next session of soccer.  This is the first one for Daniel and he loved it!  He did great, scored 2 goals and had a fantastic time.  I'm so excited that all three boys are playing soccer this session.  We had a bit of a rough night after that because Zak got sick on the car ride home.  So there was lots of cleaning and cuddling going on.  Thankfully he seems to be OK but we'll be keeping him home from school tomorrow just in case.

Thursday (12/1) started with AJ waking up and losing a tooth!  This is the third tooth in a week in our house, this Tooth Fairy is tired!  Zak stayed home from school after last night although he seems fine.  Adrian was able to work from home in the morning so I could still go in and volunteer in the other boys' class rooms.  I read to both classes and helped AJ's teacher with a big project she is working on.  I had a great time in the school as I always do.
Then after multiple schedule changes & multiple fits by the little people who live in my house, we headed to family literacy night at AJ and Daniel's school.  It was a Winter Wonderland theme this year and they had lots of snow themed activities throughout the school.  The boys loved showing off their decorated class rooms, visiting the igloo, meeting Santa & winning a new book each.  Plus we got Krispy Kreme donuts and hot chocolate, yay!  For me, it wasn't quite as fun as Pete the Cat night last year, but the boys loved it so that's what's important.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 11/28 - 12/4)

Our Thanksgiving feast was a success!!  And we have eaten leftovers all weekend and still have a bunch.  Everything came out awesome and even the boys "didn't hate" the food.  They all ate turkey, stuffing and bread.  And they of course loved dessert, turkey cookies and Oreo ice cream cake.

Now we have 3 weeks of normal life before we are on Christmas break.  I'm planning to get back to healthy eating as much as possible these 3 weeks.  I made a plan for this week but I'll have to see where we are with leftovers in the next day or two.  I may need to push a meal or two and have leftovers again this week.

I'm hoping I get to cook a little this week though because I'm getting my new stove on Tuesday!  One of our burners have been out for like 4 months and I have been getting by with only 3.  I know the second one is going to go out soon so we bit the bullet and bought a new one.  We also got a new deep freeze, since that's what we actually went out shopping for.  They will both be delivered and set up on Tuesday, I can't wait!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Chicken Nachos - never made this last week
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Sausage & Black Eyed Peas - bumped these from last week too, I just didn't feel like cooking much last week
Thursday - Turkey Soup - to use up all of the rest of the leftover turkey meat
Friday - Pork Loin with Saurkraut and any leftover Thanksgiving sides
Saturday - Pesto Shrimp over linguine - with my homemade pesto frozen from this summer
Sunday - Out to Red Robin as part of our family day

Water Flavor - Orange Mint

Food Prep - I have lots of leftovers in the fridge so that's about all the prep I'm doing this weekend.  That will get us lunches for the week and some of the sides for the week as well.  I have all the ingredients I need for Monday and Tuesday, plus my shopping list and plan for the rest of the week.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/18 - 11/24)

Friday (11/18) I got everyone to school and then ran some errands that I didn't have time to get to during the week.  In the afternoon, I picked AJ up early from school and took him to a Bowel Management Clinic appointment.  He has been doing great in this area and officially graduated out of their program!  He was very excited, especially since he got to pick a toy out of the toy box.

After we fought the rush traffic to get home, Adrian and I got ready for a date night.  Zak had been asking for the babysitters to "come over to play" so we had them come over while we went out.  We planned to go to a movie, but had to do adult things instead.  We need a new deep freeze and oven so we shopped for (and bought) those.  We did enjoy a quick dinner out at Friday's first and then a quick stop to Target to start our Christmas shopping.

Saturday (11/19) was Zak's last day of soccer for the season.  He did really well this season and we made it every week!  I got to come out and play a few games with him and the other kids this morning, then see them get their certificates.  While I was there, Adrian took AJ to Brain Balance for his last appointment for a week.
After we all got home, we had Carl, Sarah, Isabelle and Vincent come over to spend the day with us.  The kids all played while the adults got to catch up, watch football and eat delicious homemade pizza.  We also had cake to celebrate Carl's upcoming birthday.  It was a really fun and relaxing day with family!!
Sunday (11/20) we went to church as a family in the morning and then hung around the house getting stuff done and getting ready for the week.  We watched the Cowboys win again, yay!  The boys cleaned up the huge mess they made with their cousin yesterday and finished everything for Boy Scouts on Tuesday (a day early, woot!)  We also had some fun playing and watching video games and playing with some cars and tracks.
Monday (11/21) was the first day of Zak's Thanksgiving break.  He was so excited to be off from school that he woke us up at 4am.  Yawn!  After he and I dropped the older boys off at school we went to run our errands together.  He was so excited to go to Aldi & Meijer with me.  At Meijer he was able to feed the fish & ride the horse ride twice.  It was a great day to him!  Then he conned me into going to Krispy Kreme to buy a dozen donuts for him and his brothers.  Since he was so well behaved in the grocery stores I said OK so we went.  Fun and productive morning!
Tuesday (11/22) Zak and I decided we wanted to have a stay home day and relax.  We had a fun time of playing board games, video games, watching TV and getting stuff done while AJ and Daniel were at school and Adrian was at work.  This is everyone's last day before Thanksgiving break and we couldn't be more excited!!  AJ and Daniel had a fun day at school, there was no learning just catching up, playing games and doing crafts.  They went to Boy Scouts tonight and donated 20 cans to the can drive this year. 

Wednesday (11/23) was everyone's first day of Thanksgiving break!  The boys had a party in their bedroom when they woke up and stayed in there for over an hour playing nicely together (it's a Thanksgiving miracle!!!)  I still had to teach 2 classes & Adrian worked a few hours from home.  But other that that it was a very relaxing day.  The boys played games, video games and hung out in pajamas all day.  We also put up our Christmas tree and will decorate on Friday.  And we finished the day by making turkey cookies & watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Thursday (11/24) Happy Thanksgiving!!  We were on our own this year for Thanksgiving and enjoyed every minute of our day.  We all slept in and then woke up to eat French toast, donuts & watch the parade.  In between that I was prepping the food for our feast.  We spent most of the day relaxing, playing video games, playing board games, watching the Cowboys and eating.  The boys were adventurous this year and tried something other than turkey & bread - they ate sausage stuffing as well.  While we missed being with family, we were happy to have a day to chill and relax just the five of us.  And we had some excitement over night when Daniel lost a tooth!  He asked if the tooth fairy would come & when I checked my phone to see that it was 5am I told him he had to wait until tomorrow night.  It was cold & the tooth fairy did NOT want to get out of her nice comfy bed!  ;)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 11/9 - 11/22)

I missed a week again so this is a two week recap of my workouts.  Again, I wanted to write last week but it just didn't come to fruition.  I'm hoping this weekend to get caught up on life and stay there.  But December is just around the corner and we all know things go crazy that month.

I am always telling students and friends to do measurements when they are frustrated with their weight not moving.  Yet I have never actually done them myself.  I really wish I had my measurements from when I started, I think it would be startling to see how many inches I have lost over the past 6 years.  But I did take them about a year ago for a challenge I did.  And then I never did them again.  I found those initial measurements the other day and decided it was time to see where I am now.  It was nearly a year so I decided to wait until it was exactly a year.  I did all of my measurements and here is what I found:
Chest - lost 1 1/2 inches
Arms - stayed the same
Waist - lost 1 1/2 inches
Hips - lost 1 inch
Thighs - stayed the same
Neck - stayed the same

I'm not going to lie.  I was pretty pissed to see I've only lost about 4 inches in a year.  I feel like I lost way more than that.  Then I looked at my weight.  And I weigh the exact same as I did this time last year.  So I think that is pretty great now.  I'm thrilled that while I weigh the same, I am "slimmer."  I also don't know exactly "where" I measured last year, it's been a full year, so I could be measuring in different places and throwing off my numbers.  I plan to take measurements every month now and will keep you updated.  I'm hoping to continue to see a downward trend.

Things on the workout front have been pretty typical around here.  I have been feeling really tired and run down recently so I'm taking some time to rest more.  My schedule is lightening up starting this week and I don't plan to add anything to it until Jan.  I will be joining Pure Barre for the month of Dec so I can take as many classes as possible to learn before I start teaching in Jan.  Also, I am continuing my exercise streak, today is day 197.  I plan to hit 200 on Friday, as long as I motivate myself to exercise on Thanksgiving.  My next goal will be 250 to get me through the busy Christmas season.

Here's what I've done the past 2 weeks:
Wednesday (11/9) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class
Thursday (11/10) - Taught two 1 hour Zumba classes and walked back and forth from school for pick up
Friday (11/11) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class
Saturday (11/12) - Unplanned rest day - No one showed up for my class so I practiced my new Zumba song for about 10 minutes
Sunday (11/13) - Rest Day - Practiced Zumba for about 10 minutes and did some light walking as well
Monday (11/14) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Gold class, taught a 1 hour Zumba class and took a 1 hour Barre class
Tuesday (11/15) - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, taught a 1 hour Zumba class and walked back and forth from school for pick up
Wednesday (11/16) - Taught two 1 hour Zumba classes and walked back and forth from school for pick up
Thursday (11/17) - Taught a 45 minute Silver Sneakers class, taught two 1 hour Zumba classes and walked back and forth from school for pick up
Friday (11/18) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class and did a lot of walking at NCH for AJ's GI appointment
Saturday (11/19) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class, did a 15 minute core workout and played soccer with Zak for his hour long class
Sunday (11/20) - Rest Day - Walked around the kitchen/living room for about 10 minutes to keep the streak going.  Plus I did 5 loads of laundry, that should count for something!
Monday (11/21) - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Gold class and taught a 1 hour Zumba class
Tuesday (11/22) - Rest Day - Played some XBox Kinect Party with Zak and practiced my Christmas arm song for Zumba

I did weigh in last week and I lost 2 pounds!!  I was very surprised because my eating has not been great, but I was thrilled.  Looking back, there was a lot of exercise that week so I'm sure that's why I had a nice loss.  I weighed in again this morning and I gained those 2 pounds back, LOL!  I'm not surprised as I have been eating a lot.  I am in my "maintain" phase of the year so I know where I'm at now and I'm hoping to stay here until the New Year.  I actually don't have a lot on my calendar so I may be OK to get thru the holidays, if I stay out of my own way.

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 11/21 - 11/27)

I can't believe I'm already planning another Thanksgiving dinner.  It seems like I just did this.  But this year is a little different since I am only cooking for the 5 of us.  The extended family all has other plans so we are on our own this year.  It's weird not to be planning for a house full of people.  On the other hand, I'm excited to have a day to just chill out.  I plan to spend the day in my pajamas, watching football, hanging with my guys, cooking & eating.  Plus maybe starting some Christmas shopping.

We thought we'd do a smaller meal since it's just us, but that idea has gone out the window because we want all of the traditional dishes.  So I'll cook a big meal on Thursday and then I don't plan to cook again for the rest of the weekend.  I finished up my shopping today and got some frozen appetizers as well so we can mix those in with the Thanksgiving leftovers.

Last week didn't go according to plan.  I wasn't feeling well towards the end of the week.  Not sure what was going on but I'm feeling better now.  I didn't cook on Thursday night (leftovers) or Friday night (we went out since we had a sitter) or Sunday night (leftovers again).  So a lot of our meals are carryovers from last week.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Chicken & Bean Bake with Roasted Squash
Tuesday - Sausage & Black Eyed Peas with Kale Chips
Wednesday - Chicken Nachos with Salad
Thursday - Thanksgiving Menu (see below)
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Leftovers

Thanksgiving Menu:
French Toast for Breakfast
Gravy (from a jar, I'm lazy)
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Green Beans
Homemade Applesauce
Sausage Stuffing
Spicy Zucchini Boats
Butternut Squash Quinoa Bake
Ice Cream Cake
Turkey Cookies

Water Flavor - Lemon Mint - I figure this will be good for "cleaning out" the bad stuff as I eat it

Food Prep - I have the beans soaked & ready to go for dinner tonight.  All of the shopping was finished this morning.  The turkey is thawing in the fridge.  The boys will help me make the cookies tomorrow.  I think I'm good to go, especially since this week isn't very busy.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  Please feel free to share any of your favorite recipes for the big day, I may add them to my menu for next year.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 11/11 - 11/17)

Friday (11/11) was Veteran's Day so Adrian was off from work.  AJ was still not feeling well so even though he really wanted to go, he missed school.  They had Veteran's Day assemblies at school and both AJ and Daniel were singing in them.  Daniel and his class did a great job, I'm so thankful his teacher takes videos & shares them with the parents!  AJ was bummed to miss his performance but it was for the best.  Daniel also had a popcorn party at school sponsored by the PTO.  He had a very "Fun Friday" this week!

I was able to spend most of the day on my own, which was much needed after the week.  I taught my morning Zumba class then went out to lunch with one of my students.  She treated me to an awesome lunch as an early Christmas present.  It was so sweet and so much appreciated!  Then I went and did some grocery shopping since I was barely able to leave the house on Weds or Thurs.  I finally checked out the new store Fresh Thyme in Gahanna and I loved it!  I will be going there often.  I ran a few other errands then picked up BOGO free Starbucks peppermint mochas for me and Adrian and came home to enjoy some Pizza Hut pizza from my SIL.  She treated us to dinner, pizza, bread sticks, wings and a brownie.

Finally the night ended with Adrian, AJ and Daniel going to the Boy Scout flag retirement ceremony.  AJ was feeling well enough to go to this.  They listened to a brief presentation about the flag and what it means and what to do with it when it needs to be retired.  Then they were able to burn a few flags.  They all said it was a great experience!  They were supposed to camp overnight but since AJ was sick we opted out of that.  Zak and I stayed home and played some video games together.  We didn't think he was mature enough to handle such a reverent ceremony.
 Saturday (11/12) we were up bright and early to compete in the annual Boy Scout Rain Gutter Regatta.  AJ and Daniel worked very hard on their boats this year and have been practicing their "blowing" to make them move.  Daniel had a rough first race and just lost to one of his buddies in his den.  He tried to make some adjustments but they didn't work out so he also lost his second race and was eliminated.  AJ also lost his first race, but then he came back to win three in a row and take 3rd place in his den.  He was very excited!  It was a fun morning for all of us!


After that we came home and started getting some work around the house done.  As you have been reading, we've been very busy and have been having a lot of fun.  But the house has really taken a back seat.  We are hoping to get everything caught up over the next two to three weeks.  The boys helped us a little, played video games and worked on some homework they had to get done this weekend.

Sunday (11/13) was the day of changing plans for us.  We were supposed to go to church as a family then come home and have dinner with my in-laws for my mother in-law's birthday.  But instead Adrian overslept, again, so he and Daniel didn't make church.  I took AJ and Zak to second service where I was volunteering in childcare.  Adrian took Daniel to a Boy Scout event where they learned about the woods, animals who live there, how to tie knots & how to put out a fire.  Plus they played on the play ground for a little bonding time.

And then my in-laws had to cancel because my father in-law wasn't feeling well.  AJ is also still recovering so we do not need to share any germs.  So we watched some football, got some stuff around the house done and got ready for another busy week. 

Monday (11/14) was back to business as usual around here.  AJ was finally back to school after being out sick for most of last week.  We had a bit of a rough start to our day, we seemed very out of practice on what we need to do each morning.  But they pulled it together in the afternoon and evening.  AJ and Adrian also had chiropractor appointments this afternoon, he said AJ was really tight, probably from laying around while sick.  I need to remember that next time he is sick so I can get him in earlier for an adjustment.  Finally, Zak was my little helper in the kitchen today.  We made scrambled eggs for lunch and Tex-Mex Turkey Soup for dinner.  He was very cute and very helpful!
Tuesday (11/15) was a normal day for us, school, work, Zumba and then Brain Balance for AJ.  We also had his third progress conference.  He is still improving in most areas although we have seen some of them level off.  We will keep watching those to see if they improve again and if not we will be tweaking the program to see if that can help make some changes.  Daniel also brought home one of his favorite school projects so far, his drawing of Frankenstein.
Wednesday (11/16) was another normal day.  I love normal days!  We were even early getting everyone to school.  It was very nice not to have to rush.  We were also very excited that we got to walk to school for pick up this afternoon.  The nice weather is holding on and we are enjoying every minute we can get outside!

Thursday (11/17) was another normal day for us, although we were not early getting to school.  We were very close to being late but we made it.  We again enjoyed the beautiful weather and walked home from school today.  AJ had Brain Balance in the evening and he leveled up on one of his exercises while Daniel and Zak enjoyed playing with the sticky blocks in the waiting room.