5 for Friday

Hi there!  It’s finally here!  Last day of summer vacation!  I truly feel that summer has been satisfying.  Last summer was a lot about work with the moving process, but this summer the theme was FUN!  The Mr. told me the other day that he got zero projects done that he had planned for the house this summer.  I’m pretty sure I was a bad influence in this department.  🙂

We are thrilled to have the Mr. off with us today.  A dentist appointment is on the agenda for H today.  However, I’m sure we’re head on to more exciting things as the day progresses.  Here are five things on my mind this week…

{ONE}

New mattress – We are loving our new mattress!  I was a little concerned that the mattress was too firm, but I think we’ve both adjusted to it.  H loved having the old mattress in the den for about 3 days.  He used it to jump his heart out!

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Have you ever seen anything cuter?!?!?

{TWO}

Multitasking v. Monotasking – We all know about multitasking.  We say things like – Women are good at it.  Men aren’t.  I have to multitask all the time in my professional and personal life.  I’m a master at doing a million things at once.  I escaped to Barnes & Noble for a bit of tabloid magazine reading when H was at his summer camp time.  I did feel slightly bad about reading 3 of these priceless works of fiction, so I grabbed a couple yoga/healthy living magazines as well.  One magazine had lots of interesting articles like the one below…

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The article was basically saying that we are spreading ourselves so thin that we aren’t allowing for awareness of our current spot in life (even if that happens to be washing dishes or driving to work on the route you’ve taken for 25 years).  The article continued by saying that greater awareness can bring greater joy where we might least expect it (again think dirty dishes, boring old road).  I am admittedly a multitasker.  As a mom and teacher, I am probably doing several things at once like driving, talking on the phone and also having a broken conversation with my child.  Perhaps I’m grading a paper, watching the class work, and talking with a student.  It makes me a little dizzy thinking about it.  Since reading the article, I’ve been trying to reduce my level of multitasking.  Case in point:  turning the radio off while driving…just drive-no radio switching, checking phone (only at a light, people), talking on phone…gosh, maybe that phone is the real issue!  I did the dishes the other night like I actually liked doing them…isn’t that a weird concept?  I took my time – no rushing, no hurried hit-or-miss job with the kitchen clean-up.  It was actually kind of nice.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll monotask a little at work too and get really crazy.  Here are 12 myths that Health magazine shared associated with multitasking.  

{THREE}

Calling/Seeing/Generally Stalking the Mr. – I’m bummed to give up my stalker day job for this teaching thing.  H and I really enjoyed all the extra time with the Mr.  We’ve met him for a couple picnic lunches.  He’s come home for lunch a few times.  We’ve visited him randomly.  We call him throughout the day.  Basically, we are groupies.  Yesterday’s Example:  Cooked pancakes so he would be forced to go to work later and have breakfast with us, Met him at the bank for some business matters (and hung out there for 40ish minutes due to bank computer issues), AND Called him to catch up at lunch time.  🙂  Unfortunately, I’m way busy during the school day.  I’ll have to restructure my call time to 3:30 and give up midday meetings until next summer.

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Waiting for Daddy at the fountain…

{FOUR}

Meal Planning – Although I didn’t totally throw in the towel with this, I did take a more relaxed approach this summer.  It’s no big deal if I don’t have things planned out!  I can stop by the store leisurely and pick up milk, fruits/veggies/etc.  I can worry about prep in the afternoon when I’m already at home for H’s rest time.  Well friends, those days have ended.  It’s time to make a more concrete plan about what’s cooking (M-F).  I did a little research about Americans’ eaten habits and was once again saddened.  These two facts were particularly sad to me.

20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.

Americans spend 10% of their disposable income on fast food every year.

Although I don’t think 20% of anyone’s meals should be consumed in a car.  I do really feel for the kids.  How can we expect them to make healthy choices and enjoy eating them if they’re gobbling up fast food on the go?  As with many things with parenting, you have to be the role model, set the example, practice what you preach.  You can read all the frightening facts here.  P.S.  I did check the sources, and they seem to be reputable.

Here’s my first-week-back’s plan:

Monday – Asian Lettuce Cups with sides of rice and steamed carrots

Tuesday – Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing (H will probably skip the greens, but that’s okay! – P.S.  DO NOT put two cloves of garlic in here.  Only a teeny tiny smidge.  MEAT FREE NIGHT!  The Mr. LOVES that.  🙂

Wednesday – Burgers with Grilled Summer Veggies (one ear of corn, zucchini, etc.)

Thursday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls with salad (MEAT FREE AGAIN!)

Friday – Homemade Chicken Nuggets with baked fries and broccoli

Okay, now I’m hungry!  Check out this delicious dessert I found on my magazine perusal…

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{FIVE}

H’s Teacher/New Preschool – I’m so looking forward to meeting H’s new teacher.  We have her name and his room assignment {Wow!  He has a room number!  So official!}.  Next week, I’m planning to go on the Parent Meet Night (the Mr. will be at home with H – no kiddos allowed).  Then, the Mr. will take H the following day to meet her and see his classroom.  I am confident that it is going to be a great year!  However, you better believe I’ve already started praying for this woman and whoever her assistant is.  It is so important to have great people with your little one each and every day!  No one is like a mommy exactly, but a loving, motivating teacher is a treasure.  That is what I hope for H, and that is what I’ll try to be this school year!  After all, my Spider-Man needs lots of opportunities to grow and learn.  I’m quite sure he’s got big things to tackle in the future.

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Reading away!

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Ready for action!

Any final summer plans that you are looking forward to?

What foods do you start to crave when September gets here?

A bit of grossness and Monday’s meals and movement

Good Morning!  I’m so excited it’s Monday.  Write that statement down quick.  This weekend was a mixed bag, and I can truthfully say “TGIM.”  Yesterday, H and I were at church for the contemporary family service.  As soon as the music started up at nine o’clock on the dot, H said, “My tummy hurts.”  I pick up kid.  He puts his head on my chest.  Then…the vomit begins.  I felt terrible for him, but I also had a nice pity party for myself too {as I carried vomiting child to the closest bathroom…puking all the way, mind you}.  A very nice lady/angel appeared in the bathroom after a few panicky moments when I was thinking “what to do?  what to do?”  She helped us clean up as best we could and prepare to exit the yucky scene.  I’m so thankful for her help!  It was stinky duty too.

We spent the rest of the day at home and canceled our play date.  It seems that Holden is allergic to any socialization.  Recall his canceled birthday party from last weekend????  Holden did NOT get sick any more yesterday which I am very grateful for.  I, however, did feel sick most the morning, but I think this was due to the fact that I was WEARING his Saturday night dinner and Sunday breakfast for about a half hour until I could get home to shower.  The day didn’t improve too too much though.  I tried to be productive and make a batch of key lime bars for the Mr.’s charity bake sale.  They turned out overcooked.  I was turing into an emotional meltdown mess.  The Mr. was out of the loop for all this fun as he was on the Shore.  Good choice for this particular day!

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Yes, I gave up.  The Mr. brought home the sanity saver aka Tollhouse cookies that he baked up for the charity bake sale tomorrow at his work. P.S.  Apparently, we are very polite to one another via text message.  Hmmm…not so sure about in person sometimes, but hey, got to find the positive!

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Baked goods…

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The lovely boxes that I went in a billion stores to find for my bars to fit in that will now carry the cookies.

Anywho….!  On to something less ick!   Here are some things I plan to fix for dinners this week…

Asparagus, Red Beans, and Rice

Salmon, Kale, and Roasted Red Potatoes

Marinated Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, and Sweet Potatoes

English Muffin Mini-Pizzas, Corn, and Salad

Egg Salad Sandwiches, Salad, and Pretzels/Popcorn {P.S. Our newish love is air-popped popcorn!  Minimal salt and no oil is better than you think.  Very satisfying chewy snack!}

I very much want to try a new, healthy dessert recipe this week.  Not sure if that is going to happen as I have a very busy week ahead {meetings upon meetings, reschedule play date, Teacher of the Year reception, library visit with H}.  Plus, a lot of healthy recipes call for UNSWEETENED coconut flakes.  This does not exist at my local grocery stores.  Or else I can’t find it!  I need a Whole Foods trip to pick up a small supply.  Here are two drool worthy recipes from The Fitnessista…

Black Forest Paleo Brownies

Raw Brownie Cheesecake Raspberry Bars

Don’t they sound/look amazing?!?!?

As far as movement is concerned, here is my schedule for the week…

Monday – Beautiful weather is predicted!  Jog to park with H in stroller to play and jog back {2 miles total}. Stretch.

Tuesday – Weights & 3 mile treadmill run

Wednesday – OFF/stretch

Thursday  – Elliptical or some other alternate cardio & weights

Friday – 30 min. yoga DVD

Saturday – 5 or 6 mile run and weights {possibly putting those off until Sunday}

I hope your Monday is lovely!  With temps in the 70s here and sunshine, I’m not sure how mine can’t be great!

Natalie

Planning for a Full Week

Tomorrow is a Monday in a big way!  We (H and I) have been on a snow vacation since last Tuesday night when we got the “school’s cancelled” call.  Being home 24/7 for 3 days straight was a little daunting at first with my wonderfully busy 22-month old.  However, we got into an awesome rhythm and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Reality strikes tomorrow, and I felt/feel myself panicking for most of this Sunday.  The day was filled with cleaning, church, groceries, and kitchen duty.  I did go for a run  after whining about it for an embarrassingly long time.  The Mr. finally got me to get a move-on and get it done.  I tried out my new shoes and was slightly bummed that one foot felt great in them.  The other…not so much.  I’m going to try this lacing method out…

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I saw this neat-o picture on New Balance Virginia Beach’s Facebook site this evening.  Click here to check out there page.  Since everything is super soggy here, I ran about 4-ish miles at the VB Oceanfront Boardwalk.  Into the wind for the first two miles and with the wind pushing me along for the end.  

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I am so glad to say that we (and I do mean “we” – – it was very much a team effort today!) are ready for a full work week with lots of after-work plans as well.  This is what’s on the menu for the week…

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Recipes seen below for some of the items…

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The “Serves 6” recipe is an awesome chicken pot pie.  We enjoyed that tonight!  Seriously good.  Also, the venison turned out to be much, much better than I thought.  The Mr. usually handles the gamey meat, but I stepped up to the plate and hit a homer (sport references are appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday, right???).  P.S.  I am not watching.  So there.  Another P.S.  “Broc.” is a certain green veggie that makes FREQUENT appearances at our house thanks to H’s demands.  

Now that food is all taken care of, the ultimate plan is just to take it a day at a time and focus on making it through Monday with a good attitude.  Yikes!  Here’s my fitness plan for the week…

  • Monday – 15 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM), walk the doggie
  • Tuesday – AM run/PM weights at home with Holden spotting (LOL!)
  • Wednesday – 15 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM), Rain likely so we’ll see about the doggie walk
  • Thursday – GYM workout!!!  Cross-train
  • Friday – 30 min. Yoga DVD at home (early AM)

Have a wonderful week!  🙂

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Easy Meal Planning with Your DIY Recipe Binder

We’re back into this weekday business, and I know that I personally find these busy days, Monday through Friday, to be the most challenging of the week by far.  To help ease the dinnertime rush, I always plan out my dinners.  I made a little menu frame which you can see here, and I write out all the entrees and sides with a dry erase marker that wipes right off at the end of the week.  Back before baby, I got the idea to consolidate my recipes collected over time from magazines, websites, and just plain old recipe cards.  I chose the binder method.  I got a nice 2 inch-ish binder that I’m pretty sure I recycled from college that was super durable.  Then, I got protective sheet covers (to go in binder), a three ring hole punch, and plenty of patience aka reality TV on in the background.  I sorted all my recipes into categories and started to assemble.  By the way, I’ve tried nearly every recipe in the binder.  As I try these recipes, I throw out the so-so or not good at all ones.  No sense keeping something that isn’t good.  I confess that I haven’t tried all the dessert recipes, but I have a whole bunch of those.  Besides, I feel sure that any containing chocolate are just fine, thank you very much!  Here’s what my handy dandy binder looks like…

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I definitely need to take some time to add new ones and refile used ones.  This is also handy as you can take it out of the binder when you’re cooking.  When I need to plan up some meals, I do check Pinterest, my favorite magazines, cookbooks I own, AND my recipe binder.  If I’m feeling less than inspired or pushed for time, I go to my binder first and just get it done.  Nothing beats knowing what dinner is at 5 o’clock on a Wednesday night.  Hope this helps any of you who are in need of life preserver when it comes to weeknight meals and meal planning.  Believe me, it’s worth the start up time to have a variety of recipes handy.  Bonus:  Make sure you have healthy meals in there!  Treats are okay, but healthy is best 90% of the time.  Happy eating!

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