A Meal and A Lofty Craft Ambition

It seems as if my school days are more fast and furious each day!  Although I complain about it sometimes a lot, I do like being busy.  There is a fine line between completely overwhelmed and just putting in good work on a work day.  Teaching English/reading skills all day is good in a way as the skills and lessons can overlap somewhat being I’m working with third and fourth graders now.  It just cracks me up that NO YEAR is remotely the same as the last, and I laugh at the thought of being able to reuse/recycle lesson plans!  So not happening!

Today’s chillier temps and a busy day meant it was a soup and bread kind of dinner for us.  My favorite soup recipe is this…

-1 pkg frozen mixed veggies

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 32 oz. container of chicken broth

-2 cans navy beans, rinsed and drained

-2 tbsp.-ish of olive oil

-salt & pepper

-2 bay leaves

  1. Soften chopped onions in olive oil in large stock pot for approximately ten minutes over medium/high heat.  Be careful not to burn.  I do this often!
  2. Add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil and let boil for about five minutes.
  3. Reduce heat or turn off completely with lid on for about 15-20 minutes or whatever!
  4. Server with warm bread and butter (preferable that you let someone else bake for you!  Thanks Kroger!)

Ta-da!  Everyone LOVED it!  H especially liked dipping his bread in his soup.  I am reminded at every meal how thankful I am that H is a super good eater.  This recipe gave us dinner and three containers of left-overs for lunches.  Enjoy!  🙂

Now, my craft isn’t that easy!  I’ve always admired these peace sign wreaths…especially at Christmas time.  I would love to have one and discovered one to buy.  However, it was sadly more than ten bucks (like 5 times that much!), and I’m cheap.  Here’s the one at CB2!

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Then, there’s this DIY one…

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It doesn’t look super complicated.  I think the most challenging part may be gathering up the twigs!  Fortunately, I’m pretty sure I can wander around my parents house and find some that would work.  Hmmm…DIY is not my thing.  What should I do?  Buy, make or just admire via the internet?  🙂

Speaking of other Pinteresty wants – Look at this neat one!  It’s a fingerprint sweethearts necklace.  I LOVE personalized jewelry that is super meaningful.  What could be more personal than something as unique as a fingerprint of your love?!?

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More cute jewelry!  I love all these cross bracelets!  Unfortunately, the one I like the best {the white one} is sold out right now.

Could this post be anymore random???  Yes, it could.  I know when I’m not feeling my best or when things are challenging at work the people (and doggie) at home get the rest of me, sometimes not the best of me.  I saw this good reminder recently and thought I would share.

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Click here to get the free printable!

It can be hard to remember in the craziness and demands of the day, but I know ultimately that my husband, my child, my family have to be my priority over students, fulfilling roles outside these walls, etc.  Each day is another chance and another challenge.  Hopefully, this list inspires you like it inspires me.

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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

KISS: Keep It Simple Silly

This week (and really about the previous month or so) has been all about simple eats that I can throw together.  With all the housing excitement, I’ve just not been in the mood to plan, shop, or prepare complicated meals.  Speaking of housing, we are 4 days away from our apartment move-in and 1 week away from closing on our home (bye bye first place!).  We are moving into a tiny beautiful 2 bed, 2 bath apartment in the Town Center area of Virginia Beach.  We are so urban.  Not really.  Although this place has nice amenities and little perks like a complimentary coffee bar, I have a feeling that everyone involved (including dog) will be ecstatic to say goodbye to apartment living in favor of a new home.  With all this excitement, I think the need for simple meals will continue.  Here’s a few we have enjoyed recently…

Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Buns

I NEVER buy treats like this typically.  Needless to say, the Mr. was way excited about these on Sunday morning.  They were so easy, and the guys just loved them.  I had peanut butter oats for breakfast but enjoyed one later for a treat.  

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P.S.  Notice our super cool “TRUCK!” disposable plates!

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

I cut these up, drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled fresh herbs before popping in the oven.  These will really satisfy that craving for salty foods without adding in the fried component.  

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Eggplant Pizzas

My sister told me how her mother-in-law to-be cooked up some yummy eggplant pizzas, and I just knew I had to try.  I really liked them!  The Mr. admitted they were “good” but that each bite must have a pepperoni on it.  Top it off…Holden loved them!  Winning!  I just sliced up 1 eggplant, made my pizza sauce using a pizza spice herb mix added to 1 can diced, drained tomatoes, sprinkled on shredded mozzarella, and dealt out some pepperonis!  Into the oven until browned slightly and there you go!  

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Fair Warning:  The texture is not crispy in the least.  A little mushy but I was okay with it.  

Treats in the Mail

My mom sent Holden some sweet spring treats, and I also got a few.  I snacked on this energy bar today as I was driving around.  Sometimes, pre made energy is just necessary!  A sweet co-worker kindly brought me a tea as a pick-me-up after reading about my challenging weekend.  So thankful for people who take the time out of their day to make others feel cared for.  Thanks!  🙂

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Question:  What are your favorite simple meals?  What do you have to have in your meals…a meat…bread?  For me, it’s greens!  I almost always have to have a green vegetable.  I know cauliflower is good, but it just ins’t green!

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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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