Meal Planning Monday

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but I just didn’t get a chance to do write this up yesterday.  A little background first.  For at least 10 years, I have been planning my weekly dinners.  Why?  I helps me focus the grocery list, and saves time.  I know what’s in the fridge, and there’s never that “um, what should I make for dinner” moment.  Within the past few weeks, I have really been focusing on how I am fueling my body.  While my dinners are mostly “clean”, sometimes lunch and breakfast are not.  Sometimes I open the fridge and wonder what I am going to do about lunch.  So, I am changing that.  I did a 5 day clean eating challenge that made me focus more on my breakfasts and lunches and what I have on hand.  So now, Mondays are the days I plan, prep and shop.  It saves times, it saves money, and I know I am fueling my body the right way and showing my daughter that these Whole Foods are important.  So here’s my meal plan for the week.

Breakfasts: Butternut Squash Breakfast Burrito Bowl.  I made this for my breakfasts last week and am in love.  So filling and the flavors are incredible.  How did I prep for the week: roasted the butternut squash and made the pick de gallo.  That way all I have to do in the morning is top with avacado, and add and egg.  


Lunches: Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomato Salad with Chickpeas.  Prep for this: just made the whole batch and portioned out in Tupperware.  Note: I portioned out in plastic Tupperware because I’ll eat this cold.  If it was going to be microwaves I would have used our glass storage containers (because dumping onto a plate would dirty another dish).  


Dinners:

Monday we do meatless and this Spicy Falafel and Roasted Veggie Naan-which was where it was at last night!  All clean ingredients, and baked instead of the typical fried falafel.  This will be repeated for sure.  

Tuesday: Adam’s favorite chicken–basically just a super simple baked chicken, and we’ll have a salad.

Wednesday: Teriyaki steak (my daughter’s favorite and roasted veggies.

The remainder of the week we will be making our Blue Apron meal order.  The menu looked way too good to pass up.  We haven’t ordered in easily 6 months, but sometimes, you just gotta do it.  

Sunday we always do a family dinner, and it’s my parent’s turn to make dinner.  

Yesterday’s prep was about 2 hours of work.  But here’s what I got accomplished: breakfasts for the week prepped, lunches for the week prepped, dinner all prepped/made (with the exception of the baking of the falafel part), and assembling my snack kits for the week.  I basically put my day’s worth of snacks into one Tupperware container.  That way I can grab out of the fridge throughout the day without thought.  This weeks snacks kit is a hard boiled egg, apples and a small baggie of portioned out nuts (cashews & pistachios).  I also wash all the fruit and produce for the week.  

Any other meal planners and 1 day prep people out there? 

What’s on your menu this week? 

Do you have any clean eating recipes to share? 

Leather Accents

Winter and the holiday season seemed to make things crazy around here.  From November on it seemed like we had visitors every few weeks. Which we love, but also makes for some crazy times.  Add that to the normal hustle andd bustle and it’s hard to get my creative juices going.  But recently, I had the idea to take my crochet business/projects in a different direction.  I thought…why not start incorporating leather.  Leather!  Best idea I’ve had in a long time.  And I’m not stopping at crochet.  Check out the new items.  I will be making more colors and more variations, but it’s a start.  I even think I’ll start selling locally (I get so much interest whenever I’m out wearing and using my pieces).  Best advertising, right?  I got 3 orders just from going to get my hair cut!  Tell me what you think.

Marbled Painting Homework

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Yes, you read that right.  HOMEWORK.  My 3 year old had homework last week.  It was fun preschool homework, but still.  I got an email last week from the teacher saying she was sending home a giant paper feather to be decorated however we want.  So, instead of letting her color away with crayons, markers, and decorate with stickers (read: hot mess), I decided to bust out an art project I’ve been wanting to try for a while.  Shaving cream marbled painting.  I’m sure you’ve seen it on Pinterest.  Looks fun, easy, and messy–just what my little ones likes.  

Step one: cover the table to protect it from toddler mess and gather my materials.  I had everything on hand, with the exception of shaving cream.  Had hubby pick up something cheap at the store.  


Spread out the shaving cream (about 1/2 inch thick) on cookie sheet.  Dot with different color paint and let the little one “scribble” with a straw to swirl the colors.  




Once everything was swirled (with a last pass by mommy to make fun designs), it was time to lay the paper down and press into the paint/shaving cream.  


Lift up the paper carefully, let sit for about 30 seconds before taking a straight edge to scrap away the excess shaving cream.  THe paint stays, the shaving cream doesn’t. We did a couple rounds of color combos.  



And some of the finished pieces, including her homework feather page (which has black smudges on it from the marker outline from the teacher):


Definitely a fun project to do again…especially for play dates and the rain/snow days we have coming up he is season.  And, bonus, Sammie’s teacher loved her feather and wants to try thisi painting method in her classroom.  

Owl Wind Wings

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I feel like we eat, sleep and breathe PJ Masks around here lately.  My daughter is OBSESSED!  She’s got jammies, a few mommy made shirts, action figures, mommy made dress up masks, etc.  She even runs around the house with her “super cat speed” and uses her “super Gecko muscles” ALL. THE. TIME.  So, when I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween this year (the first year that she has definitively wanted to BE something for Halloween, it was no surprise that she chose Owlette!  Like, she didn’t even hesitate to think when I asked her and screamed it out like I was asking the most ridiculous question on the planet.  Gotta love the 3 year old attitude.  

That’s where the dilemma came for me.  Do I buy a costume, which she will grow out of in no time (she went from 4T in Spring and Summer to 5T/little girls 4/5 in the very beginning of FALL), or do I try to DIY the crap out of one.  Guess what I decided.  That’s right…DIY.  Or, as I like to think, cost effective.  I bought her some red pants which she will wear all Fall and Winter, a $3 red t-shirt from Hobby Lobby and a $7 iron on patch from Etsy.  She already has a mask that we made months and months ago.  But what to do about the wings?  So, off to Pinterest and Etsy I went for inspiration.  There were some elaborate ones, and some not so elaborate.  I just needed to decide how serious I was about this project.  Hint:  not that serious.  My kiddo is not the dress up type.  Yes, she loves them, but she wears the play masks for like 5 minutes, and then puts them aaway.  So, I was looking for something easy and cute.  Something that I wouldn’t care if they got messed up.  Here’s what I came up with.

Materials: felt by the yard in red and pink, pink ribbon (I already had this) and red elastic.  This cost less than $10 thanks to some coupons.  

Process: I measured my little one from the nape of her neck to about her bottom area.  I knew that she would wear these to school so I didn’t want them too long that she sits on them.  Then I free hand drew the shape and cut them out.  No need to sew the edges to prevent fraying, since it’s felt.  


Next I made paper templates of the “feathers” and placed them on to see spacing, sizing, etc.  Again, just by freehand drawing.  Once I had the idea, I cut these shapes out in pink and pinned them in place for sewing.  


Once they were sewn on, I added ribbon to the neck line so she could wear it like a cape, and wrist loops to put on like bracelets so her wings opened. when she lifted her arms.  


All in all it took me about an hour to make this.  And we had one happy Owlette for Halloween! “Owl Wind Wings!”

Dinosaurs Roar

My daughter LOVES dinosaurs.  She always has.  We have dinosaur toys, dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur t-shirts (do you know how hard it is to find a dinosaur t-shirt for little girls?), and have even done dinosaur egg hunts in our back yard.  We always check out one of the “How Do Dinosaur…” books at the library, and when I make shape pancakes, dinosaurs are always requested.  And since it’s been way too long since I picked up my hooks and made something new, when I saw this new pattern from one of my favorite crochet designers come up, I knew I had to make it right away!  

Isn’t it the cutest?!  

Shown here in colors to match my daughter’s bedroom, it’s another cozy cocoon type blanket.  This is sure to pop up on my Etsy shop soon!

Oodles of Zoodles

Have you jumped on the zoodles bandwagon yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  We’re all looking for healthier choices when we eat/meal plan, etc.  For years, I have been doing the zucchini noodle thing, or ‘zoodles’ if you want to be trendy and fancy.  I started off simple.  Just replacing my noodles with zucchini ribbons for pasta (basic spaghetti & meatballs, lasagna, healthier Greek yogurt based Alfredo, etc.).  Then I got fancy and did Kung paso zoodles (from Skinnytaste).  If it can be served with noodles, I will most likely replace that with zoodles.  I even mix zoodles (without the green peel) in my daughter spaghetti and she has no idea).   I don’t have a fancy spiralizer, but rather a $10 hand held one from Amazon.  You know, similar to the “As Seen on TV” one you can get at Target.  All of my zoodle substitutions have always been cooked zoodles.  But summer time means fresh and easy meals.  So I’ve been experimenting with raw zoodle salads and they have been just as easy an delicious.

The first was a recreation that my mom made for one of our Sunday dinners because she knows we like to have veggies with our meals, and that I LOVE zucchini.  It was like a zucchini caprese salad with fresh mozarella, tomatoes, basil and a great balsamic vinaigrette.  It was delicious.  I had 3 helpings.  Even my hubby went back for seconds.  It inspired me to experiment some more.  So tonight I created this beautiful salad: 


Greek Zoodle Salad!  Man, was it delicious!  To go with it, I made a super simple Greek Garlic and Herb seasoned pan seared chicken thighs.  Here’s what I did with the salad (everything is organic, if possible):

2 large zucchini’s (spiralizer into 3-4 inch lengths)

1/3 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup Greek olives, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mozarella quarter

1/4-1/3 cup crumbled feta

Dressing:

Juice of 1 small lemon

About 2 tbsp lemon olive oil

Splash of red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning

I just put all the ingredients together in a bowl and tossed it all together.  Easy Peasy and delicious.  

The chicken: season the thighs with Greek seasoning. I did a pan sear in lemon olive oil and 1 tbsp of garlic and herb butter that I had made and had left over from another recipe a few weeks ago.  

Do you zoodle?  What are you favorite ways to use them?  Have you spiralizer any other vegetable?  

Doll Carrier

It’s been a while since I got my DIY on, so I thought I’d whip this up one afternoon.  My daughter, at the moment, is really in to playing with dollhouses, and baby dolls.  Especially baby dolls (which she calls her babies).  I think she’s trying to hint for a little brother or sister, but whatever.  We never go anywhere without one.  She has even started bringing them on our errands with us…in the baby doll stroller she has.  You can imagine how quick an errand is with a 3 year old, and it’s even “quicker” when there is a doll stroller involved…or not at all.  So, I thought maybe she could carry her.  I had bought an Ergobaby carrier for dolls a few years ago for a friend, and when I went to trusty Amazon, it said they were discontinued.  So, I looked on Pinterest right quick and saw THIS ONE.  Easy Peasy…and cheap!

She loves it, can take it off by herself and uses it to carry her baby dolls, baby Shrek doll, and even her Spider-Man.  SUCCESS.


Oh, and apparently, my Amazon search wasn’t thorough enough.  They still have Ergobaby doll carriers.  Womp Womp.