Sunday, July 23, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for July 24 - July 30)

So our week went a little awry last week because we ended up cancelling our camping trip for the weekend.  We woke up Friday morning to rain in the forecast most of the time we would be at the campground, including some severe lightening.  Obviously that would not be safe for us to be in a tent so we stayed home and made an alternate plan.  We had to figure out dinners for Friday and Saturday, which we ended up grilling out on Friday with some of the meat we had for camping and picking up some frozen appetizers for Saturday because we were out all day and weren't very hungry when we got back home.

Sunday night we were able to get ribs from our favorite place at the Jazz and Ribs Festival that was happening downtown all weekend.  We were a little bummed that we were missing it this year since we'd be out of town and then as soon as we realized we'd be here, we made a plan to pick up ribs from Butch's and have them for dinner.  Since it was the last day of the festival, they thru in coleslaw and beans for free with our rack of ribs.  And we got two bottles of their amazing sauce so we can use it over the next few months.  Yum!!
This week is another fairly easy cooking week for me.  We are leading up to our "staycation" week which we will start on Sunday.  This Saturday we will spend the whole day cleaning and getting the house in order so we don't have to worry about anything during the whole next week while we're out and about exploring our own area.  We are all so excited for this adventure!!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Steaks on the grill & corn on the cob (Adrian got a great deal on this meat and we're excited to grill it!)
Tuesday - Meatball Subs
Wednesday - Chicken Thighs with corn on the cob - we never got to this last week, I'm not really sure why not. 
Thursday - Chili Mac
Friday - Sandwiches at Zoombeezi Bay for movie night
Saturday - Ravioli (Daniel has been asking for this & I wanted something easy since I'll be busy all day)
Sunday - Frozen appetizers after day 1 of our staycation - going to the zoo to ride the rides, feed the giraffes, etc

Water Flavor - Mango - Thank you Aldi for having them for 39 cents last week!

Overnight Oats - I had a bunch of bananas to use up so I set up Banana Chocolate Chip already for the week.  Adrian has been inconsistent about eating them so I'm going to wait and see how much we eat this week before deciding if I need to set up more.  If I do, it will be the Pumpkin Pie flavor because I still have one more serving of pumpkin to use up.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/14 - 7/20)

Friday (7/14)  We got up and headed over to the Y for my Zumba class.  There was still some standing water in places and once again I was very happy for a dry basement.  After class, we came home, had lunch and rested up for a busy night.  We packed up dinner and headed up to Zoombeezi Bay to meet Adrian after work.  We had a blast playing in the water for about 5 hours!  We rode the Sound Surfer slide as a family for the first time, which was awesome!  We spent a bunch of time in the wave pool and lazy river.  And we did all of the slides at Baboon Lagoon multiple times as a family.  Zak is finally tall enough and comfortable enough in the water to do all of these rides and we couldn't be happier!  They had a movie at night but Zak and Daniel were tired and watched to go home so I took them home to relax on the couch.  AJ and Adrian stayed and watched Space Jam in the wave pool.  AJ loved it and wants us all to watch it together soon.  Such a fun family night!!
Saturday (7/15) Adrian and I were the first ones up today, that never happens!  All of the boys slept until almost 9am, I guess Zoombeezi yesterday wore them out.  We got up and started doing a few things around the house then I headed out to teach a Zumba class I was subbing.  When I got home, we had lunch and then got started on our to do lists since today was our work day for the weekend.  We didn't get as much done as I would have liked but we made a good dent in them.  We headed out in the evening to our Township's annual ice cream social.  It was a fun night with free Velvet ice cream, play ground time, geo cacheing and seeing some friends.  The boys also enjoyed some of the "old time" games they had set up especially tug of war, sack races, bean bag toss, stilt walking & checkers.  It was a beautiful night and a very fun time!
Sunday (7/16) started as we start every Sunday, with a family trip to church.  I overslept and missed first service and was volunteering for second service so I didn't actually hear a sermon, but I still got to worship with the kids and share in communion so that's better than nothing.  After church we ran to a birthday party for the boys' friend Daniel.  We had fun eating lunch & cake, having a water fight, playing with their toys & playing in the beautiful back yard that includes a trampoline and a tree house.  We were there most of the afternoon and it was a really fun time for all of us.

We came home from the party and got started on the few things that were left on our to do list, including getting ready to go on our camping trip next weekend.  We had a light dinner and then headed to Graeter's to celebrate National Ice Cream Day with reduced price ice cream.  It was pretty busy and not our favorite trip to Graeter's, but their ice cream is so good that I'll forgive them for bad service.  After our ice cream, we gave the boys haircuts and got them to bed.  Adrian was super excited to watch the premiere of Game of Thrones so I headed up to bed early to watch my Housewives while he watched on our big TV downstairs.

Monday (7/17) started later than usual for all of us because we all had a rough night of sleep.  AJ couldn't sleep so he ended up in bed with me, Adrian was on the couch & Zak woke us all up at 5am to start the day.  Yawn.  We lazed around until it was time to head to AJ's med check at the pediatrician.  He gained like 5 pounds in 3 months and grew another 3/4 of an inch.  The doctor once again told me to keep doing what I'm doing.

We had some time to kill between the appointment and swim lessons so we ran to Glow Putt for a quick round of mini golf.  Zak has been asking to go there so I made sure to make some time for that.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that they re-themed the course with dinosaurs.  They also changed to glow in the dark balls that you "charge up" every other hole.  It was fun already and now is even better, we're very happy with the upgrades!  And Daniel and I won free games on our last hole so we'll be back again soon.

After golf, it was a pretty typical Monday for us.  We headed to the Y for AJ and Daniel's swim lessons.  Zak and I swam outside while they had lessons, then we all swam together for a while.  We got changed and they went to childcare while I taught my class.  We came home to a yummy dinner of pasta with vodka sauce, did a few things around the house, then headed to bed early since we were all tired after a fun filled day!

Tuesday (7/18) Thankfully everyone slept better last night!  Unfortunately I woke up to find out that our dryer has completely died.  I knew it was on it's last legs, but we were hoping to get a few more months out of it.  Boo!  At least I can hang clothes out to dry on my racks so we're not as helpless as when our washer broke a few months ago.  After dealing with that we headed out to teach my Silver Sneakers class and then went across the street to get cheap pancakes at IHOP for their anniversary.  Everyone loved the pancakes & we got lunch for less than $5!
After lunch, we headed to a park in Pickerington that Zak wanted to go to.  Unfortunately it was closed, I think because of the flooding we had last week.  So we had to change our plans again.  We drove over to Blacklick Woods and played there for a while which was nice.  We hung out there until AJ split his shorts and needed to leave.  So we changed plans again and decided to just come home for the day.
When Adrian got home I went out and bought a dryer which will be here on Thursday.  I also noticed during the day that one of my van's tires had a leak so I took that in to be looked at.  Unfortunately the tire had 4 holes in it which could not be fixed so in addition to a new dryer, I also got a new tire.  What a crazy day!!  I grabbed BOGO Chipotle for dinner because I did not feel like cooking after all of this craziness.  And I also got to run to Kroger to start my grocery shopping for our camping trip this weekend, yay!  Hoping tomorrow goes smoother!

Wednesday (7/19) I got a horrible night of sleep so I decided to turn off my alarm and sleep in.  The boys let me sleep until almost 9am.  We had a slow morning, did a little grocery shopping and then headed to the Y in the afternoon for swim lessons.  AJ and Daniel did their lessons while Zak and I swam outside.  It was super hot, but the water felt great.  AJ and Daniel joined us after lessons and we moved inside for a while.  We dried off and got ready for me to teach my Zumba class.  After class we came home and Adrian cooked dinner for us.  I ran out to Meijer after dinner to finish up the grocery shopping and also finished up school supplies and camping stuff.  When I got home, I was exhausted so I just rested and went to bed early.

Thursday (7/20) We got up and got moving quickly so I could get to my Silver Sneakers class on time.  Then we headed downtown to meet our friends at the Scioto Mile fountains.  The boys have been asking to go to them for a few weeks and we finally made it today.  We played in the water for a while, ran around down near the river and then walked up to Columbus Commons for some Jeni's ice cream.  Adrian walked over from his office to grab a quick ice cream treat with us.  It was super hot but we had a great time!!
We headed back towards home and made a quick stop at Meijer to exchange some of the clothes I bought yesterday that didn't fit.  Then we rushed home because my new dryer was being delivered!  I was so excited it was earlier than scheduled and I got a jump on our laundry right away.  We spent the rest of the night doing laundry, cleaning up and getting ready to go camping this weekend.  It's supposed to rain on Saturday so we are crossing our fingers the forecast is wrong.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for July 17 - July 23)

I did great last week with my plan last week to use up everything that we had in the house before it goes bad.  I had to throw away a few things, but nothing really big.  We still have a few cobs of corn left and 2 heads of romaine lettuce so we'll be using them up this week.  We changed our plan for Friday night because I noticed we had a lot of lunchmeat still left to use so I made sandwiches for us to eat while at Zoombeezi Bay & left the chicken frozen.  It worked out great & we will probably do it again in two weeks when we go!

The second half of the week is fairly easy because we're heading out of town to go camping with friends for the weekend.  We don't do a lot of cooking when we camp, we make it as easy as possible on our selves so we can just spend time together as a family having fun.  We'll be having donuts, bars & bagels for breakfast; sandwiches for lunch; and pizza or hot dogs and sausage for dinner.  We'll also pack a lot of snacks, drinks and wine so we'll be ready for a fun weekend!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Parmesan Tilapia with broccoli and corn on the cob
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday - Deli Meat Salads - to use up the lettuce & the deli meat we have
Thursday - Chicken Thighs with corn on the cob
Friday - Camping
Saturday - Camping
Sunday - picking something up on our way home from camping

Water flavor - Strawberry/Apple - using up the last of some fruit that won't make it more than a day or two

Overnight Oats - I actually have a bunch of these set up from last week that no one ate.  I made too many last week but Adrian also didn't eat them most mornings.  So we'll eat what we have and then just eat bars or something else for breakfast.

Clean it Out Challenge - I'll be using up the rest of the veggies we have (broccoli, corn on the cob & lettuce) this week.  I'm also making banana chocolate chip bread to use up some bananas.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 7/7 - 7/13)

Friday (7/7) Started with us all sleeping in again, we are going to be hurting in 6 weeks when we have to go back to school!  I had to teach two classes at the Garver Y in the morning so we got up and moving and got ready to leave.  We were still up in the air about our afternoon because we planned to be outside but there was 50% chance of thunderstorms.  After class we came out to some pretty dark clouds so we decided to cancel our plans and head home for the day.  We got hit with a pretty bad storm this afternoon so I'm glad we were home and safe.

I had one more class to teach this afternoon so Adrian got home early so I could get to class on time.  When I finally got home we were all really tired and didn't feel like cooking dinner.  So we heated up some chicken strips and I made some nice big salads for dinner.  It was family movie night for us and it was Zak's pick so we watched "Finding Dory."  It was pretty good, better than I was expecting.  AJ wanted to make his own trail mix to watch during the movie so we did that before we started the movie.  We mixed cheddar goldfish, pretzel goldfish, chocolate chips and popcorn.  Zak and AJ both ate and loved that!  Daniel had just plain popcorn since he's not a fan of pretzels.  Nice relaxing family night at home!
Saturday (7/8) started slow and lazy for all of us.  Then I had to get ready to go out for a day full of Zumba.  I subbed a class in the late morning and then headed across town for another Zumba jam.  It's funny that I haven't been to one in close to a year and now I've gone to two in less than two weeks.  I had a great three hours of dancing, laughing and learning with about 15 other instructors.  Again, I loved all four songs that we learned so I'll be bringing lots of new choreo to my classes over the next few weeks.

While I was out all day, Adrian and the boys hung out together.  They played a few board games, then went out shopping for more board games.  They went to two different stores and bought a new game that we'll be playing this week.  They also stopped at Dunkin Donuts to buy us breakfast for tomorrow.  When they got home, Adrian grilled amazing steak for us for dinner and we had a relaxing night.  I was exhausted and didn't feel like doing much so we played two board games (Sushi Go Party & Splendor), watch a little TV, ate some snacks and headed to bed.

Sunday (7/9) We all got up and moving and to church this morning.  Second sermon from our new head pastor and once again I really enjoyed it.  I'm really looking forward to where our church is heading under this new leadership.  After church we came home and finished up our weekly to do lists.  We didn't have a lot to do since we just got totally caught up last week so that was nice.  Adrian had some time to play games with the boys and I took some time to practice all of my new Zumba choreo.  We had family dinner of meatball subs and discussed what we would like to do this week.  Then we watched a little TV and headed off to bed.  It's nice to feel ready to face the week and have lots of fun things planned to do this week.

Monday (7/10) We woke up to a pretty rainy day so we decided to skip our planned trip to the park and get a late start to the day.  We had a few errands to run so after lunch at home we headed to the post office and the library.  We got some more new books from the library and also picked up our next round of coupons from the summer reading program.  We also got caught it a horrible downpour on our way in so we were a little wet while we were browsing.

After we finished our errands, we headed to the Y for AJ and Daniel's swim lessons.  Zak and I were lucky enough to get some time in the outside pool, it was just us and a few of our friends, the whole pool for the 6 of us!  While they were in their lessons, AJ conquered a huge fear he has had for years - he finally jumped into the deep end unassisted.  We were all really proud of him!!  After they finished their lessons, they joined Zak and I outside for a few minutes and then we heard the first crack of thunder so we moved to the inside pool.  A bad storm blew in and I was very glad we were already at the Y in time to teach my class.  Since they had so many lifeguards they were able to open the slide so AJ and Daniel did that a few times and then we got dressed into our dry clothes so I could teach my Zumba class.

We got a break in the rain right after class so we could run to the car to get home.  We drove home thru rain and traffic but made it safely.  After a quick dinner, we had family game night playing "Fury of Dracula."  It was a pretty involved game, a little too much for some of us.  But it was also a kind of fun game.  We're going to play again this weekend to try to get the rules down a little better.  After that is was time for snack, show and bedtime.  Thankful we made the most out of a rainy day!

Tuesday (7/11) We woke up again to a forecast of storms today and weren't sure if we should continue with our outdoor plans or change our minds.  We headed to my Silver Sneakers class and figured we'd decide after that.  When we came out, the sky was dark and cloudy so we decided not to do our outdoor plan.  We went home and grabbed lunch then headed to Brain Balance for a follow up assessment for AJ.  He is doing well so we'll keep doing what we're doing at home and then we'll go for another one right before school starts.

Then we headed to Costco because I really needed to restock some of our essentials from there.  It was AJ's first time there and he was overwhelmed, but he loved it!  He thought it was great that he could walk around and get "free" food (samples).  I ended up buying more than I normally would but at least it's all stuff we will eat.  We came home, unloaded all of the food and then had some downtime before we had dinner.  It was a laid back night.  Oh and it never did rain so we could have gone to the park and to the Easton Fountains, sigh.
Wednesday (7/12) We got a late start today because everyone slept in pretty late.  We were going to go see "Iron Giant" at the movie theater but the boys decided they didn't want to do that.  So we hung out at home and decided to watch the movie here tomorrow night.  We had lunch at home and then headed to the Y for AJ and Daniel's swim lessons.  Zak was able to swim with his friends while they were in class.  I did not feel like swimming so I sat today out.  When AJ and Daniel finished lessons they came and joined us outside for a bit.  Then all of the boys decided they wanted to play inside so we went in to swim until it was time to get ready for my Zumba class.  I taught my class then we came home and had dinner.  Adrian went to a BBQ with some of his friends from church so we were on our own tonight, so it was an easy dinner night - frozen stuff for the boys and a big salad for me.  We were really worn out from the pool so we watched some TV and called it a day.
Thursday (7/13) We woke up and got ready to go to my Silver Sneakers class.  It was raining and storms were forecasted for the whole day so we decided to plan something indoors for the day.  After class we headed over to Sunbury to play at a new to us place called "Fun in the Jungle."  We unfortunately hit a horrible rain storm and it took us forever to get there.  But we finally got there and the boys spent 3 hours playing on their play structure and in the arcade.  AJ loved the arcade, especially the Marvel game.  Zak loved the play structure, especially the hanging bags.  Daniel didn't love it, but made the best of it.  I think he is at the in between age, too old for the play structure and too young for the arcade.
After three hours of playing, we were ready to head home.  Thankfully the rain had stopped so we drove home without incident.  We did see a lot of flooding on the way home and were very thankful to get home and find a dry street and a dry basement!  We relaxed for a while, had dinner and then had a movie night watching "Iron Giant."  It was a pretty good movie, better than I expected.  AJ and Daniel loved it, Zak got bored and went to play in the play room.  All in all, a nice way to spend a rainy day.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for July 10 - July 16)

So I'm not quite sure what happened last week but I didn't stick to my plan at all.  I didn't feel like cooking most nights.  We ended up eating frozen things, moving meals from one day to another and completely changing what we were eating.  I'm thinking it was a combination of the long weekend for the holiday and the fact that it feels like it's the middle of our summer.  We kind of hit a wall all around and were just really unmotivated to do anything.  It's understandable, we've been busy for the past month and have another busy month on tap.  So I'm just calling this last week a lost week and moving on.

This week the whole week has a theme of "clean it out, use it up."  I'm planning meals around vegetables I bought for last week and we didn't use so now they are must eats.  I'm also not grocery shopping at all this week (unless I can sneak in a trip to Costco, we are low on our necessities from there since I haven't gone since the end of May).  We are going to eat what we have and if we don't have what you want, then you need to find something else to eat.  I'm hoping this will clean out a lot of areas in the house including a few half eaten ice cream cakes, 7 open bags of cookies, a fridge full of fruit and veggies and the top of the same fridge filled with chips and snacks.  We'll see how this goes, I'll be sure to report back next week with our results.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Kale and Potato Soup - I will add sausage to this (I already browned it up) - this will use up kale and potatoes
Tuesday - Chicken & Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls - this will use up some spinach, sweet potatoes & an avocado
Wednesday - Deli Meat Salads - this will use up some lettuce and some deli meat that we opened last weekend for sandwiches
Thursday - Chili Lime Shrimp Fajitas - this will use up peppers that we have
Friday - Shake & Bake Chicken - I bought the chicken but we didn't make this last week.  We're going to Zoombeezi Bay so we'll eat it there.
Saturday - Penne with Vodka Sauce and salads
Sunday - Parmesan Tilapia with whatever veggies we still have leftover (salad, broccoli, potatoes, etc)

I'll be carefully monitoring all of the veggies that I have and if anything looks like it needs to be used up ASAP I will switch the menu around and use it up.  I'll also be using things up for my lunches.  We ended up with a lot of lettuce and spinach so I see a lot of salads in my future!!

Water Flavor - Watermelon - We ended up with 2 huge watermelons, one I bought on sale and one my mother in law gave me.  The one she gave me has seeds so none of the boys will eat it so I'm going to use some of it up in my water this week and eat the rest for snacks.

Overnight Oats - I got a jump on these today and already set up our oats for the week.  We have one serving of Apple Cinnamon left from last week and then I set up Banana Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Pie for this week.  This also helped me use up some things that I need to use up - two bananas that were very ripe and some canned pumpkin we opened last week for oats.  We still have more of this so we'll have pumpkin oats again next week for sure.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 6/30 - 7/6 - Part 2)

Monday (7/3) We slept in a little and thankfully Daniel woke up feeling fine.  We did a few things in the morning including finally starting on our basement clean up project (we already got a whole bag of stuff together to get rid of).  We finished up the leftover Jets pizza for lunch then headed out to Westerville Mini Golf for a family round of golf.  We had fun playing, although it was very hot!  When we finished up we headed to the Y for some swimming for the guys and a Zumba class that I was teaching.  Adrian had a great time swimming with the boys, he hasn't seen them in a while and can't believe how much they have improved.
After working up an appetite at the Y, we came home and grilled cheeseburgers, hot dogs and sausages.  They were so good!  Adrian is getting really good and cooking on our grill, I'm so glad he got it working again.  When we finished dinner, we decided to skip fireworks tonight and play some board games as a family.  We played Splendor, Quick Cups, War and Slap Jack.  We watched Red, White and Boom (Columbus' fireworks) from the comfort of our couches and called it an early night.

Tuesday (7/4) Happy Fourth of July!!  We were up early to get ready to go march in the Reynoldsburg parade with AJ and Daniel's Cub Scout pack.  We dropped them off at their float and found out they didn't need any more adult help and that Zak could march with them.  So Adrian and I went and got donuts for breakfast and lined up at the starting line to watch the beginning of the parade and wait for our pack.  The boys had a blast marching in the parade!  We saw them pass at the beginning then moved the car to the end and saw them again.  It was a fun morning!!

After the parade, we all came home to cool off and rehydrate because it was hot out!  After lunch and some time inside, we decided to head back out into the heat to go look for some geo-caches in our neighborhood.  We have three here and found two of them.  We think we found the third one but the log just isn't there anymore.  Either that or it is really hidden well!  It was a fun family activity and we're looking forward to finding more over the upcoming months.

Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for parade number 2!  This time we were only watching, not walking.  The boys were upset they didn't get any candy during the first parade so we went to the Pickerington one since it's in the evening.  It was still very hot and we got a spot towards the end so there was very little candy to be had.  But we still made the best of it and had fun watching the parade.

We ran home and had a quick dinner before heading out to Gahanna for the grand finale of the Fourth of July weekend - fireworks at the Gahanna golf course.  This is the first time we have decided to actually go to the place that the fireworks are being set off and watch from there.  We got to the golf course around 9:00 and sat playing video games, listening to music and people watching until the show started around 10:00.  They were amazing!  We had so much fun watching them, the boys were really excited.  It was very easy to get out even though there were a ton of people there.  We will be back for sure!!

Wednesday (7/5) Whew, I think we were all exhausted after all of the fun we've had the past few days!  Everyone slept in past 9am, that never happens!  We planned to go to a park but no one had any motivation to get ready and get out the door.  So we hung around the house, got a few things done, then ran to Giant Eagle for a few groceries before heading to the Y for my Zumba class.  Then we came home, had pasta for dinner, relaxed some more and had an early bedtime.  We'll be back to fun things tomorrow I'm sure!!

Thursday (7/6) We woke up to a rainy day so we had to change our original outside plans.  We got ready and headed to my Silver Sneakers class in the morning.  While we were on our way there, the boys asked to go to McDonald's for lunch, Minions toys and some time in the play area.  Sounded like a good idea to me!  But first, I had a few errands to run after class.  We went to Half Price Books and turned in our June reading logs for 3 new books and 3 new fidget spinners.  Then we ran to Aldi to finish up our grocery shopping for the week.  We ran home to drop off the food and pick up socks for the boys and finally headed to McDonald's.  The boys had a great time playing for over 2 hours in the play area and I enjoyed some quiet time with the free WiFi.

After we got home, we had a relaxing family night at home.  Adrian got home pretty early so we all had tacos for dinner together.  Then we hung out watched TV, played video games and relaxed.  We're having a hard time getting motivated to do much this week, I think it's because we did so much this past weekend for the holiday, and were up late every night for fireworks.  Hoping for some good sleep this weekend!!