Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weekend Plans

GO BLUE!!!!!
Yup, it's that time of year, already!  Michigan Football season kicks off today.  So, we are having beers and breakfast to tailgate at our house.  I am excited to have some friends over and hopefully see a great game this afternoon.
 Funny back story, my very first game ever and first experience with Michigan football began with the game against Apalacian State in which Michigan lost.  We tailgated and then went to the game.  I was hot and ready to go home from the moment the game started but, like a good fan, I stayed and cheered on our team.  Well, they ended up losing and I kid you not, there were fans in the stands crying and I was like, oh no, I am never coming back.  These people are crazy.  Well after skipping that season, the next year I jumped back in and started to understand the whole Michigan college football culture and have enjoyed every season since.
Let's hope today is a better game then it was a few years ago.
Those are our plans for today.
Tomorrow if the weather looks good, we are thinking about taking the kids to the zoo.  We haven't decided if we will go to Detroit Zoo or Toledo Zoo.
Then on Monday I'd like to spend the day relaxing and catching up on some projects I've started around the house.  I am still painting the dining room and Mike put together the cabinet for it last night.  As soon as it' is done I will post some pictures.  I think it is going to come together exactly as I imagined it.  I am still looking for a rug and maybe curtains.
That's about it for the weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fit Bit Challenge Check In 2

Second week completed of the fit bit challenge.  Original Post HERE
Still need to purchase a FIT BIT?  Check out the link On Amazon

How did everyone do this week?

My personal goal is to make 15,000 steps daily.  I was able to make that goal every day but one despite only getting to the gym twice this week.  Jack is still really struggling in the child care center.  I am also in the middle of re doing the dinning room.  

So, here is the survey.  If you did the challenge please leave a comment.  

What was your daily goal? 15,000

Did you achieve it? all but one day, only 13,000

What was your total steps? 128,103

Average daily steps? 18,300

Best Day? 22,902

Any additional comments?  
I am painting it right now so that has really been my priority when I get free time.  I going to make it more of a priority to get to the gym this week or maybe do some walks after the kids are in bed.  

Check out the health and fitness board I am on to see how others are doing:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

I try to make our meal plan based on what is on sale during the week and what we already have in the pantry.  This week though there isn't a lot on sale that we usually eat so I am going to try to get a little creative.  

On the Menu:

Stuffed Peppers with wild rice and roasted carrots

Grilled Cheese and Soup (probably tomato basil again since we really liked the recipe I came up with last week)

Grilled Chicken, X 2, I am planning to marinade enough for 2 days worth and serve it with salad and roasted sweet potatoes

Breakfast for dinner (a weekly staple in our house), scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekend Plans

This is our last weekend before Evelyn starts Preschool.  I can't believe that time is already here.  So, we are making the most of our last few days.  I know, I know,  she's only going to be gone a few hours a week but, I am really sad about it and being extra sentimental.  

So, yesterday we took the kids to the Toledo Zoo.  They loved it and we all had a great time. On the way home we stopped by and picked up steaks and brussel sprouts to cook for dinner.  We also stopped by Home Depot and bought a new light for the kitchen.  It was way past time to change that ugly light that was there and we finally took care of it.  Mike did an amazing job picking it out and installing it.  And, hey it only took 3 hours with two little kids running around trying to climb the latter and "help" the entire time.  

Today I got up early and went for a run then came home and made an amazing post run quesadila.  Now I am going to pick some weeds outside and prep for our 1st annual Jimmy Buffet "Buffet" party.  We are going to have a buffet of Italian food and then live stream the Jimmy Buffet Concert tonight.  

Tomorrow I am hoping to take Evelyn shopping for a few back to school outfits.  We also have to pick up a few more school supplies.  

Fun, Fun.  What are you plans?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fit Bit Challenge Check In

First week completed of the fit bit challenge.  Original Post HERE
Still need to purchase a FIT BIT?  Check out the link On Amazon

How did everyone do this week?

I made a personal goal of 15,000 steps daily.  I was able to pretty easily accomplish that goal every day accept one.  I made the mistake of having pizza 2 days in a row and I had a terrible stomach ache yesterday so, I ended up taking it easy last night.  

So, here is the survey.  If you did the challenge feel free to comment.  

What was your daily goal? 15,000

Did you achieve it? all but one day, only 13,000

What was your total steps? 131,147

Average daily steps? 18,735

Best Day? 24,823

Any additional comments? Doing this challenge has made me see how much I am moving/not moving. I am excited to do it for another week. 

For more results from other people doing the challenge, check out the link below.  

Read more:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Favorite Snacks and Meal Planning Monday

This week is the first week that we start school activities.  I am feeling sad and excited.  I know Evelyn is going to love it and even though it is only 6 hours a week, I am really going to miss her.  The time with Jack will be great but, it will be so odd to not have her home every day.  
So, we are fitting in a lot of fun actives.  All of her favorites like the zoo, splash pad, playground and pool.  Hopefully the rain holds out and we get to play outside.  

Since school is starting and I am going to be packing her snacks each day I thought I would make a short list of our current pre packaged favorites.  

Kind Bars

NuGo Bars, Vanilla Yogurt

NuGo Bars, Peanut Butter

Pirates Booty

Fruit snacks

This week since we have 2 nights that we will be at the school, I am going to prepare dinners during the day and reheat when we are ready to eat.  

BLT Chicken sandwiches.  I will make a double batch of this so we hopefully have left overs to serve one day on sandwiches and another day over lettuce.  Fruit and roasted sweet potatoes for a side  

Breakfast, I am making the Margarita Frittata with sides of fruit and sausage, scrambled eggs for the kids

Pizza with caesar salad

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Margarita Frittata recipe

A few days ago, we spent the morning at the zoo.  It was a long day because both of the kids were really having off days.  We usually stay at the zoo for 4 or more hours when we go.  It is their favorite place to go but, we only made it 2 hours and I had just had it.  I knew naps and a good dinner were needed so we packed up early and headed home.  

On the way home in the quiet car I decided to make breakfast for dinner.  It is one meal that both kids and Mike enjoy eating.  And how much easier does eggs and bacon get.  
I was wanting something a little bit more than just scrambled eggs so, I came up with this frittata for Mike and I to eat.  The kids had scrambled eggs and were really happy with that.  

This Margarita Frittata turned out great.  Easy, really inexpensive and full of flavor.  Mike and I both loved it. I will be adding this to the make again list for sure.  

Margarita Frittata

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Use a oven safe, no stick skillet (I used a 10 inch size)

1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 Cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
6 thin slices of Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Tablespoon of Oil
8 Eggs
Splash of Milk
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste

First start by sautéing the garlic in a little bit of oil.  Make sure it doesn't get brown or it will taste bitter.  Then, turn off the heat and layer in the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
Whisk together eggs, splash of milk and Parmesan.  Add salt and pepper.
Pour eggs on top of layers.
Turn heat back on to Medium high and let eggs cook to set a bit.  Then put the entire skillet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Check with a toothpick by poking it into the middle and taking it out, it should be clean and that means it is done.
Let cook for 5 minutes.  I flipped it out of the pan to cut it and serve it but, you could leave it right in the pan.  This can be served warm, or at room temperature.

Cheers :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lentil Soup Recipe

Finally I had a chance to make this lentil soup that I have had on our weekly menu for 2 weeks.  It is simple to make but for some reason things kept coming up and our menu kept changing.
Yesterday during Jack's nap I cooked it and then re heated it for dinner.
It was pretty good.  Next time I think I will up the seasoning just to give it even more flavor.
Mike is not a big bean eater but, he actually ate it and said it wasn't bad.  I really liked it and Jack loved it.  Evelyn wouldn't even try it but, I didn't think she would.

The original recipe is from dinner was delicious

I followed it exactly except I used Chicken broth instead of Vegetable broth because it is what I had in the pantry.

Lentil Soup
4 cloves Garlic
1 Yellow Onion
4 Carrots
4 stalks Celery
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cups Lentils
1 tbsp Cumin
2 qt Vegetable Broth
1 Bay Leaf
2 whole sprigs Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start with a dry dutch oven or big stock pot on medium heat.  Drop in the garlic cloves with their peels still on and let them roast a few minutes on each side until the skins are browned, then take out and set aside.  
While that is going on, rough chop the onion, carrots and celery.  After you take out the garlic from the pot add in olive oil and the vegetables.  Cook the vegetables until they are a bit tender.  
Peel and smash the garlic and add it back to the pot and then add in the lentils and cumin.  Stir it all together to cover the lentils with the oil.  Then add in the broth, bay leaf and whole sprigs of thyme.  Simmer all together until the lentils are tender.  This took about 35 minutes.  
Right before serving take out the bay leaf and thyme.  
I served this soup with garlic bread.  You could also add a few croutons on top to give it some crunch.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Run mama run and a fit bit challenge

I've been going back to the gym and trying to get into a more consistent running groove. The problem isn't really getting the motivation to go because I really enjoy the gym.  It's me time where I can crank up the music in my head phones and just concentrate on running.
The problem right now is that Jack is struggling in the child care area. And when I say struggling that is a mild description. He clings onto me and screams when I open the door to go in. He reaches for me and cries when I try to leave. It's pretty pitiful. I don't usually make it through a whole workout before I get paged to pick him up.
Yesterday was the worst though.  He was screaming when I left but I thought he would settle down and start playing.  Well after 20 minutes they paged me so I went to get him.  I walked in and the teacher said he had been screaming for 15 minutes and they didn't want him to go any longer.  He wouldn't let anyone hold him so they put him down.  He crawled into the corner and curled up laying down and was sucking his thumb crying.  I went to pick him up and he was almost asleep from being so exhausted from crying so hard.
I felt so bad.  He was fine as soon as I picked him up.  As I was leaving one of the teachers said," I know you don't want to but, you have to keep bringing him back, it will get better."
So, I packed up everyone this morning and we tried again.  Thankfully today was better.  I only ran for a half an hour and he did good.
I need to make it more of a priority.  I guess somedays will be easy and some days will be a little harder but, I am sure he will get used to it.

I also started wearing my fit bit again.  I like the idea of having a goal each day of getting in steps.  It keeps me active and I find ways to walk more.  Even if it's taking more trips up the stairs than usual.
So, I am doing a fit bit challenge with a fitness board that I read.  We are all going to try to fit in 15,000 steps.  I have been wearing it for almost a week and I have hit that goal every day but, I have had to make it a point to walk walk walk and I feel better getting in the exercise.
Anyone in for a challenge?  If you are we can link up though our fit bit accounts.  Or we can report back on Tuesdays to see how the week went.  I will be making Tuesday a check in day on the blog so please feel free to comment with your results.

If you don't have a fit bit but are interested in purchasing one.  Here is a link to one on Amazon:

Fit Bit

I really think it has made a big difference in keeping an active lifestyle.  Every step counts.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Cleaning out the pantry this week.  I have so many staple items that I need to rotate and use up so we are going to design this weeks meals around what we already have.  So when I grocery shop I am just going to be picking up fresh fruit and veggies.

Mike is going to be late at least one night for dinner so we will enjoy some mac n cheese and frozen peas.

Pizza Chicken with roasted zucchini and cous cous
Breakfast- Eggs, sausage and pancakes
Chicken fajitas with rice, cheese quesadillas for the kids
Pasta with turkey meatballs, salad and cheesy bread

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

3 Ingredient Pancakes

This is a super simple and super yummy quick breakfast that I really enjoy making.  I always have the ingredients on hand because, well there are only 3 of them.
Both kids eat them up too.
I found it on the site, she has lots of healthy recipes so if you get a chance check it out.

Ok here goes,

3 Ingredient Pancakes

1 ripe mashed banana
1 egg
a handful of blueberries

All you do is add the egg to the mashed up banana and combine them really well.  Then you add the batter to a griddle that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray.  Add a few blueberries on top and let cook both sides.  You do have to be careful when flipping them because there isn't the flour to hold them together as much.
I usually get about 5 small pancakes with this recipe.
Sometimes I add a spoonful of peanut butter to the batter or a scoop of protein powder.  Pretty simple and a great way to cut carbs but still have pancakes for breakfast.

Forever 21 clearance haul

Forever 21 just finished up their 50% off clearance event.  I usually order some things whenever they do those sales.  It is always final sale with no returns so sometimes I strike out and order things that don't work but, this time every thing I ordered fit like a glove.  I was really excited when I tried it all on.  Sometimes it is worth the risk when I am saving so much.  
Below are some pictures but I will give you a run down of what I purchased.  If you would like the links just let me know.  I can still find them through my cart.  
I bought 2 ruffled tops, in 2 different colors.  These fit really nice and are thin but, not thin enough where I have to wear something under them.  
I also bought a retro flower dress.  I love love this.  The fit is so cute.  It is fitted up top but, then has this nice flow to the bottom half.  The length is great too which isn't always the case with Forever 21 dresses.  The next picture is of a tribal print romper.  You guys, can you believe this is my first romper! It is really cute, although I am not really sure how to wear it and to what.  I have read that it can be dressed up with heals, which isn't really my style or I can wear it with flats and make it more casual.  I am going to try it with sandals and maybe earrings.  
I bought a few accessories too which are a favorite of mine from F21.  A few head wraps and not pictured are a cosmetic bag that says Wild Child on it that I am going to use as a mini first aid case in the diaper bag and a pair of sunglasses.  
The last picture is of a couple bathing suits.  I really love the coral top and plan on wearing that with black bottoms.  I really like the print of the pink leopard one but, the bottoms are odd fitting.  I don't usually like string bikini's but, this one is just odd.  It says it is a cheeky fit and it is a really cheeky fit.  It has very little material in the front too so it doesn't give much coverage and goes up really high.  The print is cute though so maybe it is a just a laying out suit.  
All in all it was a great order.  Now are you ready to hear the savings part? 
If I would have bought everything at full price it would have been around $151.  I ended up paying $54.  Really it was a great deal.  Sometimes it pays to gamble on final sale internet shopping.  I do buy a lot from F21 though so I pretty much know my sizes which helps.  
I just signed up for this cool site called Keaton Row too.  I am being matched with a stylist to help me shop so I will keep you updated as to how that is going. 
Again let me know if you want any of the links for the items listed and I can post them.  

Ruffled Gauze Top, Size Small (Navy and Blush color)


Retro Floral Dress, Size Small                                    Tribal Print Romper, Size Small
Head Wraps
Coral Bandau top and pink leopard suit all size Medium although I probably should have bought a small in the bottom.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meal Planning Monday

The weather looks like it is going to be rainy for the first half of the week so I am going to cook some comfort food.  Soup is really a favorite in our house so I am going to try a few new recipes.

Stuffed Pepper soup with garlic bread and salad
I am going to try this recipe but, I think I am going to make a few adjustments so I will let you know how it goes.

Turkey Taco's with some vegetable side, maybe roasted brussel sprouts

Lentil Soup with bread and fruit
This has been on the menu for 2 weeks so I am finally going to make the time to cook it.  I am hoping it tastes as good as the pictures look.

Spicy Bean Burrito's with a vegetable side, maybe corn
I am trying to fit in a couple non meat meals each week and this one looks like it could be a winner.

BLT's or a left over day.  We have a really busy Thursday so I might just make grilled cheese or something that day and hopefully we have some left overs to eat.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekend Plans

A little behind on weekend plans since today is Sunday but we still have lots to do.
Yesterday I finally went in for a much needed hair cut and color.  I decided to get more blonde highlights and to get a shorter cut.  I always keep my hair medium to long length but, I was ready for a change.  I had 4 inches cut off so now it is right below my shoulders.  I also had it really thinned out.  I have extremely thick hair and since I wear it in up most days I get headaches.  It already feels so much lighter so I really like it.  The shorter length will get some getting used to but, ah, it's just hair, it will grow back.
After my hair cut I came right home so Mike could get to his golf outing.  He was playing in a charity outing for a co-workers brother who has down syndrome.  They had a lot of fun.  It was a really big tournament and his team ended up winning and getting a cash prize. They decided to donate back the money they won.  I was very proud of him and his generosity.
During the day I took the kids to run a few errands.  We went to Baby's R Us to pick up a birthday gift for a party we have today.  I bought a few things for the kids too.  I bought Evelyn a light up lady bug for her room to help her sleep.  It projects starts onto the ceiling and changes color.  I also picked up a few shirts for Jack and a dress for Evelyn.
We stopped by Trader Joe's after that.  I love that store but, don't shop there as often as I would like.  It is hard to get to and is usually so busy that taking the kids there can get difficult.  I picked up a few things that I really like but, that our normal grocery store doesn't have.
There is a Costco right next door.  I am really considering a membership but, not sure if I would really find a savings.  If you have any favorites that you buy there let me know.  I would be really interested in hearing some reviews.
So after all that we came home, had dinner and then played until bedtime.
Today we have 1st birthday party to go to.  I love birthday parties.  The kids have so much fun and it is great seeing our friends.
That about wraps up our weekend.  It should be a nice and sunny day.