Monday, December 30, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (12/30-1/5)

So I thought I'd start doing this because I really love meal planning.  It sames me time, money & calories every day.  I cook almost exclusively from recipes.  Most of my recipes come from a menu planning site called Relish that I pay for, and think it's worth every penny.  I will link to any other recipes I use from online, or type up ones that aren't online.  If they are from Relish, I will note that, but I don't think I can share their recipes, sorry.

The theme of this week's menu is a weird one.  We've been eating horribly whatever we want unhealthily for the past 2ish weeks & it's starting to take it's toll on our waistlines (and also my moods, energy level, motivation, etc).  The first half of the week is finishing up all the fattening food we have in the house.  The second half of the week is getting back to calorie counting.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Monday - Ham & Cheese Breakfast Quiche (using up the last of the frozen Christmas ham)
Tuesday - frozen appetizers & leftovers (New Year's Eve)
Wednesday - ribs & sauerkraut in the crock pot with pierogies (New Year's Day tradition)
Thursday - Chili Mac (recipe below)
Friday - Easy Cheddar Chicken (Relish)
Saturday lunch - Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa (Relish)
Saturday dinner - BBQ Chicken Hashbrown Casserole
Sunday lunch - Quinoa Salad with Asparagus & Beans (Relish)
Sunday dinner - Salmon on Greens with Ginger Dressing (Relish)

I try to cook a lot over the weekend so we have a lot of food leftover for when  the weekdays get busy.  That way if I don't have time to cook a dinner, we still have a healthy option & don't have to eat out.

Chili Mac
12 oz ground beef (I often use ground turkey or deer)
1 medium onion, chopped (I don't like onion so I sub onion powder)
14.5 oz stewed tomatoes, Mexican style
1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp green chili peppers
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin

1 cup dry elbow macaroni
15 oz kidney beans, drained & rinsed

In large skillet, cook beef & onion until meat is browned, about 10 minutes, then drain fat.  Stir in stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili peppers, chili powder and cumin.  Bring to a boil, then stir in macaroni & beans.  Return to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes.

What are you eating this week?  Any new, interesting recipes I should check out?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Family Week in Review - Christmas Vacation

Since Adrian had a ton of vacation time saved, we decided a while ago that he would take off the Thursday & Friday after Christmas so we could enjoy all the kids' new toys.  Then his office decided to close on Christmas Eve so he took Monday off as well & ended up with a 9 day stay-cation.  We have had a great time the past week with no real schedule (other than me having to teach Zumba).  We've balanced doing fun things with staying home and relaxing.  I think the boys really enjoyed it, I know I sure did!

Some of the highlights included taking advantage of some unseasonably warm weather to walk around downtown to see the lights, going to COSI to see the Curious George exhibit and enjoying a few new movies including Monsters University, Polar Express & Despicable Me.  Adrian was also able to sneak out one night to see the second Hobbit movie with a friend & I got a night out of dinner and shopping with a few of my friends.  We also had a date night to see "Flashdance - The Musical."  While the play wasn't the best, it was nice to get out of the house alone & relax during this busy time.

Christmas was very low key for us, the calmest one since we've had kids.  We went to Carl's house on Christmas Eve and had an amazing meal with them.  Then on Christmas Day we did NOTHING!  We just got up, opened presents, played with our new toys & relaxed.  I didn't even cook for us, we just had leftovers, sandwiches & frozen apps.  It was glorious!

We all got a ton of awesome gifts this Christmas!  AJ & Daniel especially like their new video games, Disney Infinity, Skylanders SwapForce & Lego Marvel Superheroes.  Zachary is enjoying the new play sets, including Mike the Knight, Superman, Spiderman & Skull Island.  I got new shirts, headbands, workout DVDs and jewelry.  Adrian got movies, gift cards, OSU stuff & running gear.  We also got a bunch of board games & movies which are making for tons of family fun nights!

Hope you all enjoyed Christmas week as much as we did!!

Santa came!!
Stockings hung by the chimney with care
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Review & 2014 Preview

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I blogged.  Part of it was that I was busy, Oct-Dec are the busiest months of the year for me every year.  Part of it was I didn't feel like writing the specific posts I was thinking I "should" write.  I didn't have monthly updates for the kids, didn't want to update the goals, etc.  But recently I really wanted to get back to blogging.  I took some time to think about it and I think the way to go is short but often posts.

This post will be kinda long & will be one final update on my goals from 2013.  Then starting this week, I will do 3 posts each week:  Mondays Menu Plan (a plan of what we are eating the next 7 days), Wednesday Work Out Updated (an update on my exercise & weight loss plan) & a Week in the Life post over the weekend (some highlights of our week as a family).  Hopefully this works better for me & is also interesting to those of you who read the blog.  If not, I'll change it up again.

Here is the final update on my goals for 2013.  I'm not doing specific goals like this for 2014.  I still have goals, but they will be more monthly or shorter focused than a full year.

 Exercise Goals
1.  Do 13 races in 2013 - Did it.  It wasn't pretty, and the final few were virtuals & slow, but I did it.  Gonna try 14 in 2014, but most will be free virtuals.  I also have 2 half marathons on my schedule, would like to find a 3rd.
2.  Exercise 5 days/week - Pretty much nailed this one all year.  It helps that I'm teaching 4 Zumba classes per week.  Will continue this in 2014.
3.  Do monthly challenges - Did it, including a plank challenge in Nov that I loved.  Will do this again in 2014 as well, will follow the Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans monthly challenges.

Weight Loss Goals
1.  Stay under my calorie goal for the day for 13 out of 14 days - I was all over this thru the year.  The last 2 months my eating has been horrible.  Giving myself until 1/2/14 then it's on again!
2.  Lose 1-2 lbs/week - I was doing well, then my eating fell off & I was maintaining, then gaining.  I'm up like 10lbs since Halloween.  Yuck!  I will end the year down around 20 lbs so at least that's something.
 3.  Get under 200 lbs by my birthday the 1/4 marathon the end of the year - Didn't do it.  Pissed off.  I will do it in 2014.  That will be the LAST year I will ever weigh in the 200s.

Family/Personal Goals
1.  Declutter this house - I did really well with this the first 1/2 of the year & things were under control.  Then I got involved with a huge project for the PTO at AJ's school & that took over my time.  I'm proud to say that I finished that project in Nov, well ahead of my goal of finishing it in May.  Starting next weekend, Adrian & I are cleaning & purging this house.  It will probably take all year!
2.  Read at least 12 books this year - Done!  I actually finished 14 books & have 20% left in the one I'm currently reading so I'm gonna finish that in the next 4 days!
3.  Take one picture each day - This has been a super fun challenge!  I have taken a picture everyday & will make sure to finish out the next 4 days strong.  Not sure if I'll do this again or not.  Thoughts?
4.  More consistent blogging - See above.  :)

Jones Family - 2013