Monday, January 19, 2015

On the Menu



It always seems like I have the best intentions with blogging and then my everyday life gets in the way. We've been pretty busy around these parts - going back to work, organizing/getting rid of items around the house, a student teacher on my part, one sick dog last week and a trip to the emergency vet with the other dog this weekend..long story.

But through all the busyness of life, Cody and I have done pretty good with our meal planning and sticking to it (minus a few crappy days at work and a not feeling good day by me). I'm trying my best to stick with healthy, well thought out meals that are quick to put together during the weekdays. Since I'm like 90% of the American population and trying to eat better with the new year upon us, I've been doing my research to find quality, tasty - food I actually want to eat - healthy meals. And I have to say, we did just that last week.

Now, I'm not claiming to be a professional health nut, nor do I pretend to be one on TV or on this blog for that matter. But through my 25 years of life, I've gotten a pretty good grasp on healthy vs. non-healthy. 

Vegetables & fruits = good. 
Candy, carbs & chocolate = bad. (my three favorite C's)

So needless to say, our meals might not be perfect, but they aren't double cheeseburgers from McDonalds. Although, that does sound nice. Anyway. I wanted to share what our dinner menu looked like for us last week because I LOVE seeing what other people plan for dinner during their weeks. It gives me inspiration and I know that they wouldn't be posting it if it was a complete waste of time Pinterest recipe. Plus, some of these are some freakin' awesome recipes that we really liked and will totally make again in our household.
They have been officially approved by us.



Sunday
Crockpot Thai Peanut Chicken from Rachel Schultz

I can only give credit to Christina at Carolina Charm for introducing me to this one and for introducing me to Rachel Schultz, who quickly became my new favorite person to go to for interesting meals that are simple and realistic for the everyday kitchen.
Anything in the Crockpot gets automatic bonus points from me.
We put it over some brown rice for a warm dinner on a chilly night.

Monday
Better-Than-Takeout Chicken Fried Rice from Rachel Schultz

Although I didn't follow the steps exactly - I used a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking my own. Total time saver by the way. It turned out just as promised - better than takeout. And much healthier.

Tuesday
We ate at Outback. Oops.
Ashley and Paul invited us out for dinner, and it was just one of those days at work.
Although we ate out, I tried to stick to a healthy dinner - steak, salad with a vinaigrette dressing, and rice pilaf. Although the pasta sounded much better. Ugh.

Wednesday
Turkey Sausage with Roasted Spiced Carrots from Rachel Schultz

Because eating healthier does cost more at the grocery store, I tried to save a few dollars by buying a cheaper protein that wasn't high in calories. Not the healthiest food in the world, but the Butterball turkey sausage is sooo delicious and full of flavor cut up in rounds and cooked with olive oil. I've been on a brown rice kick (sorry Cody) the last few days, so I added that and the most delicious carrots ever. Honestly, they didn't even taste like carrots. They tasted exactly like sweet potato fries, which was AWESOME. You could totally pair those with a hamburger and not even miss the fries. And coming from the queen of carbs, that means a lot.

Thursday
Oven Roasted Fajitas from Rachel Schultz

Another delicious recipe from Rachel Schultz. Cody, who hates onions, even ate one of these cooked onions. And liked it. Talk about miracle.
Cody stuffed his fajitas in a tortilla, while I piled mine over you guessed it, brown rice.

Friday
Salmon with Asparagus

Cody and I are total salmon lovers.
Which is weird for me, because I don't like fish.
I found this recipe on Pinterest awhile back, we tried it and felt like professional chefs because it came out so perfect. It's a simple recipe with simple cleanup and that's how we like it around here.

Saturday
I had a delicious meal planned from my favorite gal - Rachel Schultz, but I felt terrible all day, plus a trip to the emergency vet led our tired butts to Cracker Barrel. 
We are not ashamed.

Where do y'all find dinner menu inspiration? I'd love to know!
Let me know if you post about your dinner menu for the week so I can check it out! :)

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Monday, January 12, 2015

A Peek Into My Lunchbox


Last week I tried meal prepping for the first time in my entire life.
And I have to say, I am hooked.

I try to bring my lunch to school as much as possible. It saves me money and I know exactly what I'm eating and how much. When things get busy during the weekdays and especially after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do after I cook dinner is pack my lunch for yet another 30 minutes. So many of nights, I'd chose to cuddle with Maci or spend much needed time with my husband instead of putting together a lunch. Which of course resulted in me hitting up the teacher's bar in the cafeteria the next day, eating pizza, burritos or something completely unhealthy for me. But hey, I added a side salad so bonus points for me. Except not really.

Since I know I need to be back on my healthy kick, I decided to prep my lunches on Sundays for an easy grab and go the next morning, forcing me to eat something healthy and nutritious without emptying my pockets.

Here's what I came up with:


A yummy, delicious salad with tons of nutrients and good fats.
I'm digging it.

Here's what's in it:

romaine lettuce || ok. so I really didn't want romaine lettuce this week, but my grocery store is low on leafy greens. Last week, I had a mixture of spinach, kale, chard and some other plant I've never heard of. It was good, but I think next week I'll be mixing my own leafy bunch using romaine, spinach and kale. Tons of vitamins.

apple || I used Gala apples in my salad. And to be honest, I'm normally not a fan of fruit in salad, but this totally works in this one. I cut up the entire apple into small bite sized chunks the day before only. This is the only ingredient that I don't add to the salad on Sunday when I'm prepping because they'll turn brown. But I'd much rather take three minutes from my evening to cut up an apple, than to throw a whole salad together.

cannellini beans || I actually forgot Chickpeas at the grocery store yesterday, so my back-up is cannellini beans this week. Since I don't have a protein in my salad, this adds a little to help fill me up.

walnuts || I don't add a lot of walnuts to be honest, but enough to get a nice crunch. Walnuts have good fat in them which is perfect.

fat-free bleu cheese crumbles || I wanted a cheese that added a different texture, but not high in fat or calories. I used fat free feta last week, which was yummy. So this week I'm trying the bleu cheese.

thyme, salt, pepper || Just for taste.

fat-free raspberry pecan dressing || The perfect sweet dressing for this yummy salad. It balances the sweetness of the apple with the richness of the cheese and walnuts. It's fat free too which means 0 fat grams of course, but only 50 calories per two tablespoons. And that's really all I use. I found tiny dressing containers at the grocery store, so I fill those up on Sunday to throw into my salad containers for the week.

This salad is yummy y'all!
And it holds up the entire week.
I packed five salads (minus the apples until the day before) on Sunday, and had fresh, put together salads all week. Even on Friday!

After the success of lunch prepping last week, I prepped all our dinners for this week also to see how that goes. I can already tell it's going to be life changing and time saving.
I'll let y'all know how it goes. :)

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

101 in 1001


I've been thinking about putting together a 101 in 1001 list for awhile now and feel like today is the perfect day to start because...

Today is my 25th birthday!
I've knocked out a quarter of my life and to say that, really puts life into perspective.
It gets me to thinking about all the things I've accomplished in my life thus far, but also about all things that I still wish to accomplish. I feel like 25 is a good age with so much to look forward to, but far enough along where you feel like you're life priorities are a little different now. To me it's more about being a loving wife, preparing myself to be a good mother one day, making a house into a home, and finding time to enjoy the little things in life.

I'm hoping by creating a long-term list of 101 goals and wishes, I'll be able to look back in 1,001 days and feel like I didn't let life pass me by, but made great strides with coming into my own. I'm so excited to get this started and hope that more of y'all will think about creating a 101 in 1001 list with me also!


Start: January 7, 2015
End: October 4, 2017
click here to calculate

Blog

1. Have 300 blog followers
2. Try and blog 10 Pinterest recipes
3. Make a blog post book
4. Blog everyday for a month
5. Guest post for a blogger
6. Co-host a link-up with a blogger friend
7. Begin a teaching blog

Marriage

8. Celebrate one year of marriage
9. And two years of marriage!
10. And three years of marriage!
11. Have a one year of marriage photo shoot
12. Create a wedding photo book
13. Plan a date for Cody
14. Visit the spot we got engaged
15. Frame our wedding pictures
16. Create a wedding canvas
17. Cook dinner with my husband
18. Read a nightly devotional with my husband
19. Do something my husband likes to do

Friend

20. Host friends for a dinner party
21. Throw someone a bridal shower
22. Throw someone a baby shower
23. Bring or send someone flowers
24. Bake someone a homemade cake
25. Send Christmas cards to friends and family
26. Have a New Year's Eve party
27. Host a football/tailgate party at our home
28. Participate in a Bible study
29. Make a new friend
30. Bring someone lunch

Home
31. Become homeowners
32. Have a mini photo shoot in our new home
33. Start a collection of holiday decorations
34. Build a farmhouse table
35. Have Nannie paint a picture of our new home
36. Decorate our bedroom
37. Decorate our guest room
38. Decorate our kitchen
39. Decorate our living room
40. Decorate our office
41. Organize my closet
42. Plant and grow a garden
43. Explore our new hometown when we buy our first home
44. Decorate our home for fall

Health

45. Run a 5K
46. Workout 3 times a week for a month
47. Go to a workout class
48. Stick to a healthy diet for a month

Family

49. Establish a family tradition
50. Have Nannie write out a recipe to frame for the kitchen
51. Find a home church
52. Meal plan for a month
53. Host a holiday at my house
54. Have a picnic by the Christmas tree
55. Prepare lunches for the week on Sunday
56. Plan a family vacation
57. Create photo books recapping each year of our life

One day Baby C

58. Make a baby!
59. Tell Cody he is going to be a daddy
60. Tell our family and friends we're pregnant
61. Announce pregnancy on social media in a cute way
62. Document weekly pregnancy growth
63. Have a gender reveal party
64. Decorate and reveal Baby C nursery
65. Have maternity pictures taken
66. Meet Baby C!
67. Have newborn pictures taken
68. Start a library for Baby C

Teacher Life


69. Open a Teachers Pay Teachers store
70. Become a teacher in a school I absolutely love
71. Create lesson plans for a month ahead

Life Adventures

 72. Have a picnic 
73. Go on a road trip
74. Go to a drive-in movie
75. Attend three Georgia away games
76. Travel to a state I've never been to
77. Explore a new city
78. Try 5 new restaurants in our favorite city closest to home
79. Stay in a cabin for a mountain getaway weekend
80. Go on a vacation or weekend getaway with friends
81. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame
82. Attend a Halloween costume party
83. Attend an outdoor concert
84. Visit a Christmas tree farm
85. Go to a festival
86. Revisit where I went to college

Just Because

87. Read my camera manual
88. Learn how to operate my camera more efficiently
89. Read 15 new books
90. Keep a prayer journal
91. Buy a meal/drink of a person behind me in line
92. Walk Maci everyday for a week
93. Donate clothes to Goodwill
94. Create a book of Instagram pictures
95. Be social media free for a weekend
96. Complete five DIY projects from Pinterest
97. Learn how to contour my face with makeup
98. Buy a new piece of personalized jewelry from  Etsy
99. Make homemade guacamole
100. Go to a food truck park
101. Learn the basics of sowing

There y'all have it.
My goals, wishes and hopes for the next 1,001 days.
I'll be updating this list as I knock some of these things out and I will be keeping up with it on Instagram too!

If you're starting your own 101 in 1001 list, let me know so I can follow along!

Happy Wednesday & Happy Birthday to me! :)

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January Goals


Well, I kinda just dropped making monthly goals towards the end of 2014. Oops!
The reasons are kinda unknown, but I'm thinking laziness and lack of blogging time may have been part of it. Most likely.

But I really did like having monthly goals last year, so I think I wanna start back up with it now that we have a new year upon on and a fresh start ahead.


I know with wedding plans last year, that I always had a long checklist of things to get done and goals I needed to achieve each month. But I'm thinking that this year, I'm gonna shorten up my goals each month since I don't have as much going on at the moment.

1. Prepare lunches/meals on Sundays.

Holy cow. Boy is this a week changer. 
I did this this past Sunday, and I have saved so much time in the evenings.
I'm hoping to keep it up all month long to see how it goes. If it goes good, then I'd like to make it a permanent thing as best as I can.

2. Knock off three things from my 101 in 1001 list.

I've wanted to create a 101 in 1001 list for awhile now, seeing on several bogs.
It's more of a long term goal plan, but I'm super excited to get started!
Y'all will get to check out my list tomorrow.

3. Eat healthy for the entire month.

I know, I know. How typical. A weight loss plan come New Years.
But like most of us, the holidays really threw healthy eating out the window, so back on track for January. 

4. Work out at least three times a week for the next four weeks.

Hey, if it happens more than three times, go me!
But at least three is a good start for me.

5. Get to work early.

In order for me to have time to focus on healthy living and family time in the evenings, I want to try getting to work early to knock out teacher tasks in the morning. Normally I stay late in the afternoon to complete things, but I want to be gone and out the door come 3:30 to begin my hour trek back home.

Hopefully I can kick butt this month with goals! It's going to be tough getting back into the swing of things after such a long holiday break, but I'm hoping it won't be too bad...I hope. :)

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello, 2015


Happy 2015 y'all!
I'm still in disbelief that 2014 is over and done with.
It was definitely one heck of a year!

Our first newlywed New Years was as pretty low-key as it gets.
Pretty much our whole holiday season was low-key this year, and I was pretty okay with that. We did ring in the New Year though at my mom's house with friends. We enjoyed some small appetizers and drinks before the peach dropped at midnight. I was in my pajamas by 10:30. Cute right?
I really didn't take too many pictures, but here's a few favorites from the evening.

I hope everyone has kicked off the New Year with a bang!




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