Sunday, January 31, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 2/1 - 2/7)

So after a great week, a not so great week of following my menu plan.  But we didn't eat out at all so that's a win.  We had a few unexpected things happen this week including a stomach bug and a work happy hour for Adrian.  There were nights I just didn't feel like cooking so I was very thankful for leftovers and for a casserole I made over winter break and stuck in our deep freeze.  Hoping to get back on track this week.

This week will be a little different for us.  I joined a group of women who are doing a 5 day clean eating challenge.  They provided the menu plan, recipes and shopping list - yay!  Adrian and I are really excited about the dinners they suggested.  I'll also be trying out some of their snack and lunch ideas.  The breakfasts will be harder since I can not stand oatmeal.  They also gave us a recipe for breakfast burritos so I'll be making those on Tuesday and freezing them for future days.  The other mornings I'll be sticking with my protein bars, these muffins and my daily half of grapefruit.

Here's what we'll be eating this week:
Monday -  Vegetable soup made with broth from the chicken bones from last week & all the leftover veggies in my fridge, plus some beans & chicken.  I'm flying by the seat of my pants on what I put in this!  Food prep done for this - I already made the broth.
Tuesday - Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Wednesday - Lemon Thyme Crockpot Chicken (and more broth - yay!)
Thursday - Honey Dijon Pork Chops and Broccoli Salad
Friday - Wild Berry Crepes - My first time attempting homemade crepes, wish me luck!
Saturday - Asian Crack Slaw with Sausage Egg Rolls in a Bowl - carry over from last week
Sunday - Buffalo Chicken Chili - trying to be somewhat healthy for the Super Bowl

Water Infuser Flavor - Mango - thanks to Giant Eagle for the free one!!

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/25 - 1/31)

Wow, for the first time in a long time I cooked everything that was on my plan last week!  And everything was delicious!  We enjoyed all of our meals this past week, have a bunch of leftovers coming into this week and kept to our healthy eating goals.  I also made these granola bars yesterday that were intended for breakfast but I think will probably be an afternoon snack for me.  I had one last night for "dessert" - so good!

We did a pretty good job of getting back on our normal routine last week even though we had a holiday and a sick day for Daniel.  We also have a slight cold going thru the house.  It started with Zak and now Daniel and I seem to have it.  It's a head cold with lots of coughing and stuffy noses, but not sick enough to keep us down.  I'm on the mend and feel like as long as I get a good night sleep tonight I'll be good to go this week!

I once again didn't meal prep this weekend, but I feel ready for this week.  I have most of the grocery shopping done for the week already thanks to great sales last week.  And I have all of our fruit cut up and ready to snack on.  I have the granola bars and hard boiled eggs also for snacks.  And cucumber water is already infusing.  I'm also thankful the blizzard switched paths and here in OH we didn't even get a dusting!  Sending prayers to all my friends back East!!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Pizza Casserole
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Keilbasa with saurkraut and pierogies
Thursday - Roasted Chicken with roasted veggies & potatoes
Friday - Vegetable soup made with broth from the chicken bones & all the leftover veggies in my fridge, plus some beans & maybe orzo.  I'm flying by the seat of my pants on what I put in this!
Saturday - Asian Crack Slaw with Sausage Egg Rolls in a Bowl
Sunday -  Leftovers or a freezer meal, we have a very busy day!

Water Infuser Flavor - cucumber - thanks to Aldi for having them for a quarter!  I'll be adding spearmint essential oil to this water most days because it's so good!  And maybe some citrus oils at the beginning of the week to help my throat and keep my immunity up against other germs.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/18 - 1/24)

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my goals for this year is to continue planning our dinners each week.  We did OK last week sticking to plan, although we have quite a few carry overs to this week.  Our schedule shuffled a little due to snow days and Adrian getting stuck at work.  The meal I planned to make this weekend for lunches this week got bumped to a dinner last week.  And then we got a surprise date night on Friday so we decided to give ourselves the night off and go out to dinner.  So thankful to have a babysitter our boys love!!

This week will be week two of getting back to our normal routine.  I'm hoping it's a little more routine (read: no snow days!) than last week.  I also hope it goes as smooth as last week did, although there are some extra things on the calendar this week so we will see.

Yesterday I got to use my new favorite cooking utensil, this spatula from my boys for Christmas.  It was for sale in the Secret Santa shop at Daniel's school and I made sure to get it before it sold out (for the second time!)  It was a hot item this year for sure!!

Here's what we're planning on eating this week:
Monday - Beef & Spinach Lo Mein (bumped from today as I just don't feel like cooking it tonight)
Tuesday - Butternut Squash & Sausage Casserole
Wednesday - Thai Chicken Wraps
Thursday - Sausage Kale & Sweet Potato Soup and Salad
Friday - Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Saturday - Broccoli & Cheese Soup and Cheddar Biscuits
Sunday - Waffle Crusted Chicken with Kung Pao Cauliflower

Water Infuser Flavor - Mango

I didn't do much prep this weekend since we all have tomorrow off and I have a very light day on Tuesday.  I think I'll be OK for the week.  I am hoping to make these muffins either tomorrow or next weekend to eat for breakfasts/snacks.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Keeping Up With...Goals 2016 (My Fab 40!)

So in just over 2 months I'll be 40!  While I dreaded my 30th birthday, I am beyond excited for my 40th.  My 30's have been amazing and I finally feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.  So I've decided to spend most of the year celebrating me and my 40 years on this planet.  :) 
In the spirit of resolutions, I decided to come up with a bucket list of 40 things to do this year.  Some of them are fun, some more mundane but need to get done.  Some are going to be easy, others very tough.  Some are already planned and some need some work.  I'll update once a month so I can keep up on my progress.  Hope you enjoy following along on this journey!

40 Things in my 40th Year
1.  Lose 40 pounds - one for each year
2.  Go on a family trip to Dallas
3.  Go on a family trip to NJ
4.  Go on a family trip to Tennessee
5.  Read 12 books - I was so close last year!
6.  Go on 12 dates with Adrian
7.  Go zip lining - probably either in TN or Hocking Hills
8.  Go on a family hike in Hocking Hills
9.  Get rid of 12 bags of stuff - We need to declutter again.  Starting with the play room this month.  This will include both trash and donations.
10.  Get 1 fitness certification
11.  Take 1 picture every day for the year - This will run from Jan 1 - Dec 31
12.  Go to the doctor for routine check up and tests - Boring but necessary!
13.  Go on family camping trip - Probably to the Jelly Stone in Amish Country we were supposed to do last Oct but it was too cold.
14.  Go on 2 special dates with AJ
15.  Go on 2 special dates with Daniel
16.  Go on 2 special dates with Zak
17.  Host an alcohol exchange with my girl friends - like a cookie exchange, but with alcohol and in March not Dec when everyone is busy
18.  Do a 365 day exercise streak - I will be doing a streak of 10 minutes of exercise per day from Jan 11, 2016 - Jan 10, 2017.  I know that I need rest days and some days will only be 10 minutes of walking or yoga.  But I think it's cool when people do run streaks and since I'm not a runner, I can't do that so I'm modifying to this.
19.  Power wash and stain our play set - Again, not glamorous but really needs to be done
20.  Renovate our downstairs bathroom - Probably just a coat of paint and some new towels.  But the whole house needs sprucing up so I'm starting small.
21.  Finish the 30 Day Shred - It won't be 30 consecutive days, but I want to do 30 days of it, 10 days on each of the 3 levels.
22.  Attend one class each week that isn't mine - This will be a stretch
23.  Teach an average of 5 classes each week
24.  Menu plan and prep our dinners each week
25.  Go to church every Sunday
26.  Do one blog post each week
27.  Conquer the Lynd's corn maze in the fall
28.  Tour Dallas Cowboys stadium
29.  Go to Dollywood
30.  Go to Six Flags Great Adventure
31.  Go to Six Flags Over Texas
32.  See 2 movies that aren't animated
33.  Pay off our Best Buy card and not incur any new debt
34.  Renew our Zoombeezi Bay passes and go at least once every other week over the summer
35.  Have a family board game night once per month
36.  Have a family movie night once per month
37.  Have a family video game night once per month
38.  Do something special to celebrate mine & Adrian's 10 year wedding anniversary
39.  Go to 4 Zumba jams this year
40.  Make one homemade breakfast for us each month - I'm great about dinners but breakfast is normally a granola bar or cereal

So there it is, 40 things to do this year.  I'm already started on some of it and am so excited for this year!! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Keeping Up With...Goals for 2015 (A Recap)

So around this same time last year I sat down and came up with 15 goals for 2015.  I said I would update every month about how they were going.  And then I never looked at them again until today.  Oops.  2015 wasn't really a "bad" year for me or my family, it was just very busy and we had a lot of changes.

I wanted to just ignore these goals and move on to 2016.  But then I decided I should look, maybe it wasn't as bad as I though.  Here's how my year stacked up.  The blue is my end of the year update on each one.

Fitness Goals:
1. Continue teaching at least 6 Zumba classes each week.  I have 7 on my schedule right now and I'm super excited about it.  I know things will change as the year goes on so I'm targeting 6 per week.  That still gives me time to sub and time to take some other classes.  While I didn't track this exactly, I feel pretty confident that other than a few vacation weeks I nailed this one.  I think most weeks I was closer to 8 classes.  YAY!
2.  Finally get under 200 lbs.  I don't know where I'm at right now, but I'm assuming it's around 220.  I've had this as a goal for over a year now.  It's happening this year even if I have to cut off a limb.  My BFHG (big fat hairy goal) is to lose 52 lbs this year, one pound per week.  It's a stretch but I think I can do it.  Didn't happen.  Not even close.  I actually gained weight last year and am starting higher than I've been since having Zak almost 4 years ago.  Sigh.
3.  Get at least 2 new certifications and start teaching new classes.  I'm signing up for Zumba toning in March and I'm so excited for it!  I'm also doing a bunch of training at the YMCA and would like to get either spinning or step class certified.  I'm also interested in Zumba Step, Gold & Aqua so we'll see which one works out best.  Done!  I got Zumba toning as well as the Y Group Fit certification and their strength and muscle conditioning certification.  I am teaching 2-3 toning classes each week and I love it.  I haven't got a muscle conditioning class together yet but it's on the agenda for this year.
4.  Attend at least 4 Zumba jams this year.  That's one per quarter, I think that's doable.  They are such a great experience.  A fun way to learn new choreography, meet other instructors & burn over 2,000 calories.  Done!  I feel like I did 5, but can't remember for sure.  I know I did 4 (Lynn, Lisa Marie, Jason & Kearsha). 
5.  Attend at least 2 classes other than mine each week.  This will be a stretch goal, but one I really need.  I need some variety in my workouts to help lose the weight, tone things up and help me become a better instructor.  Big fail.  I barely went to any other classes other than teaching this entire year. 
6.  Do at least 10 minutes of strength training at home 5 days each week.  I'm going to start doing the 10 min kickboxing DVD I got last year for Christmas and then branch out from there.  I know there are a ton of workouts online and other 10 minute DVDs so we'll see what I'll do when I get bored with kick boxing.  Another fail, didn't even make it out of Jan with this goal
7.  Do at least 60 minutes of yoga or pilates each week.  This will go hand in hand with goals 5 & 6.  I will try to take at least one yoga class each week and if I don't make it, then I'll do it at home.  Another miss.  I did take a few yoga classes last year and enjoyed them, hoping to do some again in 2016.
8.  Continue doing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans monthly calendar.  This is a habit for me now.  I finished all 12 months last year & I saw the difference.  I've already started January's squat & push up challenge.  Fail.  I finished Jan & maybe Feb then I stopped.  I got stressed out whenever I fell behind and so I just stopped doing them.

Food Goals:
1.  Continue to menu plan every week & cook what I plan (or at least use up what I buy).  This saves time and money and is also less calories than going out.  I did pretty good with planning and cooking most weeks.  There was more eating out than I would have liked, but not a lot of food went to waste so I'm thankful for that.
2.  Use my new water infusing pitcher and try a different flavor each week.  I currently have lime and grapefruit water.  Next week I'm trying cucumber mint.  Yum!  Done!  I have loved using my infuser and plan to keep using it.  Two of my favorite flavors - mango & pear.
3.  Stay under my calorie goal 27 out of 30 (or 31) days each month.  This gives me 3 days to "cheat" if I feel the need to.  I will continue to use My Fitness Pal to track my calories and keep it set to lose 2 lbs/week.  Not even close.

Family/Life Goals:
1.  Take at least one picture each day for the whole year.  I have done this the past 2 years and I love it.  It's a great way to look for the good in each day.  Did it!  Year 3 complete and year 4 is already started.
2.  Continue to learn more about essential oils and possibly start selling them.  I love how much they have already helped all of us!  Did it!  I continue to learn more about them and am also actively selling them.  Love my oils!!
3.  Read 12 books.  My reading has fallen off recently but I have a ton of ideas and 2 book clubs so I have a lot of material to pick from.  I didn't quite make this one but I read 10.5 books last year and am thrilled with that.  I'm sure that's way more than 2014.  I'm going for 12 again & have already finished one (the other 1/2 of the one from last year)
4.  Significantly declutter this house!  I had this under control and now it seems out of control again.  My main areas of focus will be the loft, basement and our closets.  But there's clutter everywhere!  Did it!  We made a real good dent in the loft, basement and closets.  Unfortunately now there is more clutter.  It never stops!!

Well that's not as bad as I thought.  I accomplished 8 of the 15 so that's more than half.  And really the one downfall was my eating, I ate pretty horrible last year, but boy was it all delicious!!  No now I'm doing what everyone else is and setting goals & making resolutions for next year.  Since I wasn't very successful with 15 I figured I'd up the number to 40 this year.  Yes I'm serious.  But this will be more like a bucket list with a few goals thrown in.  More on that soon!!
Happy New Year!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 1/11 - 1/17)

I'm back again.  Before I share my meal plan for the week, I wanted to explain what's been going on the past 2 weeks.  I popped in to catch you up on what's been going on & promised more blogs and updates, then disappeared for almost two weeks.  I was actually in the middle of a review of my 2015 goals (still coming this week) and our internet went out...for 3 days!!  It was crazy how lost I felt without it.  And then during those days, my grandmother passed away so I headed to NJ for most of last week.  Needless to say my year has not started great, but I'm taking a redo on New Year's Day & starting 2016 tomorrow.  :)

So one of my goals for this year (also still coming this week) is to get back to healthy eating and lose some weight.  I know the number on the scale doesn't define me, but the number has gotten big and it's starting to affect me negatively.  So I'm back to focusing on counting calories, varying exercises and eating healthy filling foods.

Here's what I'm planning on cooking this week:
Monday - Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo with a salad
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday (the boys have been asking for almost a month!)
Wednesday - Greek Chicken Salads (need something easy)
Thursday - Thai Chicken Wraps
Friday - Butternut Squash & Sausage Casserole
Saturday - Saucy Asian Meatballs over fried "rice"
Sunday - Beef & Spinach Lo Mein

I also plan to make these bars for our breakfasts some time this week (another goal for the year - more homemade breakfasts) and this quinoa bake for lunch/leftovers.  Another change I have made this year is to try to meal prep over the weekends so that the busy weeks are easier.  That didn't happen this weekend since I was playing catch up all weekend (Oh My Word, the laundry will never end!) but it will starting next week.

I  am still using my water infuser, it's been just over a year and the only week I didn't have infused water was last week when I was gone.  I've already set up this week's water, orange & strawberry, yum.  I'm excited pears are on sale this week, I plan to buy some of those to snack on and also use to infuse.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!