Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 11/7 - 11/13

Quick post today because I'm really tired. I spent the better part of the day about an hour away, shopping with my mom & aunt. We had a great time and a yummy lunch at Noodles & Co. It was my first time there and you bet your bottom dollar I'll be going back!
Our meals are pretty plain & simple this week. Tomorrow, I'm starting a 10-day herbal cleanse program. It's not a liquid fast (heaven knows I need to chew), but there are a few dietary restrictions I'll be following to help the process. Honestly, most of the "restrictions" are really common sense things I should be applying to my eating habits on a normal basis so it's not that bad.

Monday: Chili (DH volunteered to cook!)

Tuesday: Turkey Piccata (as seen on Biggest Loser)

Wednesday: Flat Iron Steaks, Baked Potato, Steamed Broccoli

Thursday:  Mexican Black Bean Soup with Sausage (we use turkey kielbasa)

Friday: Super Saver Sloppy Joes for my husband, Grilled Chicken Salad for me

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner: omelettes, hash browns and pancakes for Peanut

I hope everyone's November is off to a great start!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 10/31 - 11/6

Happy Halloween, everyone! Our Trick or Treat was last Thursday. The first year we lived here I bought 5 bags of candy...and had 4 trick or treaters. The sidewalk doesn't extend out to our house and I didn't realize how that would influence the foot traffic. Since then, the tradition has been to go to my sister-in-law's house for the festivities. Peanut is still a little backwards around new people so we decided to help pass out candy there again this year rather than go door-to-door. My husband did take her to 3 of my sister-in-law's neighbors' houses, but they had to bring the candy out to her because she refused to go any further than the sidewalk.

Peanut was Minnie Mouse...minus ears, shoe covers & bow. So basically, she wore a red polka-dot dress (made by my mom), black leggins & a black long-sleeved shirt. Oh well. She was the cutest little earless mouse you've ever seen. :)

I've missed the last few Menu Plan Mondays. Life happened and things just got too hectic for me to be able to sit down and type up a post. I'm excited to be back with this week's plan, though!

Monday: Sausage & Vegetable Calzones

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Wednesday: Flat Iron Steaks, Baked Potato

Thursday: The Most Amazing Pork Chops Ever, brown rice

Friday: Pizza Night!

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: Cookout for sister-in-law's birthday

I hope everyone has a fun (and safe) Halloween. My only remaining festivity is a special Zumba party tonight. It's sure to be frightfully fun!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 10/10 - 10/16

It's another week of just Peanut & I for dinner. I've raided my list of 'want to make, but husband wouldn't like' recipes for our menu this week. I also threw in  Here's what it looks like:

Monday: Linguini with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto (Weight Watchers)

Tuesday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Steamped Broccoli

Wednesday: Chickpeas & Dumplings

Thursday: Sesame Chicken

Friday: Grilled Cheese & Soup

Saturday: Cookout @ Camp - Hamburgers, Brats, Pasta Salad, Baked Beans, Crudites

Sunday: Homemade Pizza

Hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 10/3 - 10/9

Yesterday we celebrated my grandmother's 96th Birthday! She's one of the most inspirational people I know. She still teaches needleart at the local senior center 2 days per week. If you ask her, she "teaches crafts to old people." :) Anyone who has ever asked where I get my spitfire need look no further than my grandma. <3

Next Sunday we're celebrating Peanut's 2nd birthday! I have a LOT to get done this week, but I'm enjoying every second of the planning process. I'll be sure to share pictures of the event.

Monday: Beef & Noodles (w/ leftover roast), Grean Beans

Tuesday: Spicy Beef Noodles, Salad

Wednesday: Parchment Packet Tilapia, Seasoned Rice, Mixed Vegetables

Thursday: Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Flank Steak (Weight Watchers), Brown Rice, Steamed Broccoli

Friday: Peanut's 2nd Birthday! - going out to her favorite restaurant: Chipotle

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Peanut's Birthday Party: Chili bar, Hot Dogs (for the kiddos), Salad, Cupcakes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday 9/28/11

It's the last What I'm Loving Wednesday of September 2011. Hard to believe, isn't it?

I'm loving my crock pot. Maybe it's a silly thing to love, but I find myself using it more and more as the weather cools off.

I'm loving this pumpkin dress from Gymboree. I'm really considering getting it for Peanut.

I'm loving this coat from Anthropologie.

I'm loving the CrossFit games on ESPN. I saw them for the first time last week and was instantly hooked. I've DVR'd every showing since then. I can't decide if these people are insane or totally awesome. Or both.

I'm loving this Grinch-inspired subway art. How early is too early to put out Christmas decor?

Okay. Back to fall. I'm loving these placemats from Crate & Barrel.

I'm loving the new show Pan Am. The 1960s fashion makes me swoon, the acting is great and the plot is much deeper than I'd expected. My husband loved it too so definitely not just a chick flick.

Again I'm (current) pictureless, but I'm loving my husband and our little Peanut more than words can begin to express.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 9/26 - 10/2

Hard to believe it's the last week of September, isn't it? We have a less-busy-than-usual week because this is the off week for the church small groups we host. With the extra time, I'm hoping to get caught up on a few crafts and organizing projects.

Here's the meal plan for this week:

Monday: Tuna Salad Wraps, Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday: Chicken Primavera with Pasta

Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Thursday: Slow Cooker Pot Roast (adding potatoes and carrots)

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Subway (on the way home from a birthday party)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chicken Meatballs

This has been a favorite dish in our house since we were newlyweds. Now, even Peanut likes them! They're quick, easy, healthy and full of flavor. The leftovers reheat very well so sometimes I'll make a double batch. They're also great for the freezer.

Chicken meatballs are on regular rotation in our household so we switch up the way they're served to keep from getting bored. Put them on sub rolls with pizza or BBQ sauce. Toss them into your favorite spaghetti sauce (I usually make the meatballs smaller or cut them into fourths for this.) and serve over pasta.  Put them atop a salad. They're even great as an appetizer for parties. Football, anyone? :)


3/4 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
1 pound lean ground chicken
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I use reduced fat.)
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a medium baking sheet with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Let stand until the milk softens the crumbs, 2 to 3 minutes. With your hands, mix well.

3. Split the mixture into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
4. Place the meatballs at least 1/4 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake until no longer pink inside, about 12 to 15 minutes.

I'm linking this post up at the following parties:

Join us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up party!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday 9/21/11

I'm loving that I get to go to my very first Zumba small group at church tomorrow! Yep. You heard me right. One hour of Zumba and one hour of Bible study. I've been a lover of both for a really long time so throwing them together can only be awesome!

I'm loving fall. Everything about it: cooler temps, crisp air, football, changing colors. Here's a pic a took on my run today:

I'm loving the Levi 512 Secretly Slimming jeans I bought last week. They help suck you in (without making you feel like you can't breathe) and allow for a cleaner silhoutte. Bonus: They come in short sizes!

I'm loving that HGTV is publishing a magazine starting Fall 2011!

I'm loving this olive/purple color combo for fall:

I'm loving these Garnet Hill riding boots. I'm loving all the equestrian-inspirted boots for fall. They take me back to my days of showing horses.

I'm loving all 4 of the brand new headband designs from Gussy Sews. She's hosting agiveaway for not one. Not two. Not three, but ALL FOUR headbands over on her blog. Hurry to enter, though! It's ending soon.

I'm loving that The Biggest Loser is back on TV! I know people typically have a strong opinion one way or the other about this one. Before my weight loss I HATED it. I thought they were making fun of overweight people and that it was degrading. Looking back, I think I was just too embarassed to face the reality of myself and just how badly I'd let myself go. Now I'm a huge fan of the show and find it incredibly inspiring. There are two new trainers this year. I've always liked Anna Kournikova and now I'm really liking Dolvett. He's an awesome trainer and (close your ears, husband) supah hot! :)

I'm loving Tervis Tumblers! These work for both hot or cold beverages. There are a ton of sizes and designs to choose from. You can even buy accessories such as lids (travel, straw, sippy, etc.) and handles as add-ons. Here are my two favorites:

Speaking of drinks, I'm loving Sam Adams Octoberfest beer. I'm not a big beer drinker. There are a few I like and this one tops the list.

More than anything, I'm loving being a wife and mommy to my wonderful husband and daughter. I don't have any pics to share from this week so let this be sufficient: <3

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 9/19 - 9/25

Welcome back for another episdoe of Menu Plan Monday!

With the cooler weather, we've taken a turn toward more comfort foods. Most of the time comfort foods = lots of carbs & butter. While I do enjoy both of these things, we try to keep our comfort foods on the healthy side. Whole grains, lean proteins, reduction in use of butter or unhealthy oils and bulking up our meals with veggies definitely helps. My husband is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and he actually prefers my lightened-up versions of most recipes.

Monday: Chicken Meatball Subs, Salad (rollover from last week)

Tuesday: Crockpot Cube Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn

Wednesday: Chicken Baseballs, Green Beans

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Panko-Crusted Pork Chops with Creamy Herb Dressing, Brown Rice, Broccoli

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Mother-in-Law's Birthday Celebration - Marinated Chicken Breasts, 7-Layer Salad, Baked Potatoes, Angel Food Cake, Strawberries

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 9/12 - 9/18

It's going to be a busy week! My husband and I are each leading a small group at church and they begin this week. They're always fun, but in the beginning it takes some time to settle into the routine of things. We're both excited to have been asked to serve for this semester of life groups and really hope we can share in fun and fellowship with the members of our groups.

My birthday is on Thursday. I've never been a huge "WOOHOO it's my birthday!" kind of person. I do like to use the day to reflect and give myself a little pat on the back for what I've done so far and smile about all that's in store for the future. I am looking forward to a fun date day with my husband on Saturday to celebrate!

Monday: Smothered Buttermilk Chicken, Biscuits, Sweet Corn

Tuesday: Flat-Iron Steaks, Onion Soup Roasted Potatoes, Salad

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Chicken Sausage, Green Beans

Thursday: leftovers (and make football snacks for DH's small group)

Friday: Cheeseburgers, Tater Tots, Salad

Saturday: Cincinnati Reds game! (late lunch at Montgomery Inn, stadium snacks for dinner)

Sunday: Homemade Pizza

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I missed you all last week for What I'm Loving Wednesday! It was a crazy day and I just didn't get my post ready in time. Aren't you glad I'm back? ;)

I'm loving the crisp weather! It's a definite sign that fall is in the air. Hoodies & jeans? Yes please!

I'm loving the Mad Men Collection at Banana Republic. There are so many great pieces. This animal print cardigan is one of my favorites.

I'm loving these sneaks I saw on Project Runway last week. They're Heidi Klum for New Balance, sold on Amazon.

I'm loving this Everything Fits Gym Bag from Gaiam.

I'm loving Pumpkin Spice Muffin Lip Shine from Philosophy. It's one of my all-time favorites.

I'm loving parchment paper. Yes. It's a random thing to love, but I've been using it a ton in the kitchen lately to line baking sheets and to make perfect fish in parchment packets.

I'm loving these SO ankle boots from Kohls.

I'm loving Burberry London perfume. It's definitely not a summery fragrance so I'm glad to be pulling it back out to wear during the more cozy months.

I'm loving camp shirts. I want them for fall. All of them. Here are some of my favorites:

J.Crew Factory ($44.50)

White House Black Market ($98.00)

Old Navy ($19.00)

Maurice's ($26.00)

L.L. Bean ($39.50)

Finally, I'm loving that this lady (Rachel Zoe, in case you didn't know) is back for another season:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 9/5 - 9/11

Just hopping on here for a quick menu post. We hauled the camper home early this afternoon and spent the rest of the day recovering from our weekend camping outing. It was a blast, but we're all exhausted.

My husband is back to being home for dinner! Most of the time he doesn't have much of an opinion when it comes to menu planning, but this week he had a few requests. Of all things, he said he's been craving Hamburger Helper. This isn't one of our usual (or ever, really) meals, but I'm happy to oblige since I'm so glad to finally have him back at the dinner table.

Monday: BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza (with leftover smoked pork from camp)

Tuesday: Hamburger Helper, corn or green beans

Wednesday: Tilapia Fish Tacos, leftover Baked Black Beans with Chorizo

Thursday: Chicken Meatball Subs, salad

Friday: potluck birthday party

Saturday: Cheeseburgers, steak fries, veggies & dip

Sunday: local Italian place with friends after church

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 8/29 - 9/4

Can you smell it? Can you feel it? FALL IS COMING!!! Saturday evening we built a fire in the outdoor fire pit and guess what I was wearing? Jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. It was wonderful. Summer is alright, but fall is definitely my favorite time of year.

Three days of my menu this week (Fri-Sun) have been planned for our camping trip. I'm excited for the little get-away and the long weekend means an extra day we get to spend with DH.

Monday: Bangin' Good Shrimp, whole wheat couscous, lima beans
NOTE: I know I'm *supposed* to be doing meatless Monday, but I'm swapping it for Tuesday this week. :)
Tuesday: Chipotle (Vegetarian Bowl)

Wednesday: Turkey Burgers, Baked Potato

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: (at camp) Foil Dinners

Saturday: (at camp) Smoked Pork & Turkey, Cole Slaw, Baked Black Beans, Pasta Salad, Veggie Tray and whatever other sides people bring

Sunday: wedding reception BBQ

In addition to our meals for the week, I'm also going to be making a freezer meal for our new pastor and his family. They're moving in this week and we want to make sure they have at least one week of heat & eat meals. I'm still not 100% sure what to make since I've never met them and don't really know their tastes. So far I know others are doing baked ziti and ingredients for tacos.

Any ideas for other freezer meals that would be a hit with any crowd?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Whew! I'm managing to squeeze in a late post this evening. It's another edition of (drumroll please)...

I'm loving The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium. Peanut and I went there yesterday and had an amazing time! I'm so glad we bought a season pass. It expires at the end of this month, but we're definitely renewing. The zoo is so well-maintained, the staff is knowledgable and friendly and the amount of things to see and do are astounding. Thank you, Jack Hanna!

And I'm loving my little safari buddy. She is just the sweetest thing ever and we had such a fun day together. This is her with the statue of the baby elephant, Beco.

I'm loving the 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub from Bath & Body Works. I received it as a Christmas gift, but hadn't used it yet. My friend Kim told me about it's amazing powers so I dug it out of my medicine cabinet and gave it a whirl. It's heavenly.

I'm loving The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I finished it on Monday. It's one of the most well-written books I've read for a long time. I didn't like the ending, but the rest of the book was absolutely amazing. No, I won't be seeing the movie in the theater because I hate going there. I'll wait for it to come out on DVD, but I don't have high expectations of it living up to the book. Have you read it? What did you think?

I'm loving Orly Bonder. It's a rubberized basecoat and it makes my DIY manicures last much longer.

I'm loving this Women's Boyfriend Cardigan from American Eagle. The website doesn't show this color anymore. Maybe I'd settle for it in navy?

I'm loving this cameo from Etsy Shop Love Spell Jewels. There's something vintage, yet modern about it.

Last but not least, I'm loving the reality TV shows that inspire me to be creative in my wardrobe, my home and my kitchen.

Project Runway
HGTV Design Star

Food Truck Race

Top Chef: Just Desserts

I can't wait to see what you're all loving this week! I get so much inspiration from all of you.