Monday Meal Plan #46

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

We spent the weekend at my parents’ house in Orange County – New York, not the other OC. My daughter’s eighth birthday is later this month, and this weekend we celebrated it with family.

My parents’ house is the most centrally located for family gatherings. My extended family members drove up from New York City, my in-laws drove up from New Jersey, and my sister and nephew drove down from their home outside Boston. Because my daughter and nephew absolutely love spending time together, my sister and I met at my parents’ house Friday evening. The kids played together every, single moment! This allowed us to catch up and finalize party details, including hanging some decorations.

On Saturday morning, my husband picked up the food for the party. (We tried a new-to-us restaurant/caterer in my parents’ town.) Guests started arriving just before noon, and it was very nice to see family members. We had lunch, cake and other desserts, and my daughter opened her presents. She received a great mix of lovely, homemade items, toys and other goodies she’s been wanting, and money for her piggy bank, savings account, and 529 account.

Yesterday, we hung around at my parents’ house until the late morning, then got on the road back home. We arrived home around 2:15, unpacked all the birthday loot, and had some party leftovers for lunch. We’re expecting our first frost tonight, so I pulled all of my veggie plants out of the straw bales, and got some spring bulbs into the ground.

The Week Ahead

Yeeks – starting this week, I’ll be working four days per week! (Yes, I can see those of you who work full-time rolling your eyes at me!) I typically work two or three days per week at my primary job, and I’m adding a second, part-time career counseling job at a second college. I’m filling in for a woman who’s going on maternity leave, and I’ll probably be there into March.

I’m very used to spreading my errands and chores out over my non-working days, so this new schedule is going to take a little getting used to. It also means that having a meal plan is going to be especially important.

In addition to me working four days, my daughter has a “half day” today. (They’re only in school for two hours, so “half day” is a little generous.) She also has Friday off, and my husband will be working from home that day to be with her. She also has gymnastics on Wednesday evening, and we’re hosting a sleepover birthday party with a couple of her friends on Saturday.

This Week’s Meal Plan

I’m a sucker for a good deal, and our regular and chest freezers are now completely full. As a result, we’re eating out of them this week. Here’s what’s for dinner at my house:

  • Monday: Pasta w/ meatballs and garlic spinach
  • Tuesday: Leftovers (If there aren’t enough leftover meatballs, I’ll make some meat sauce that’s in the freezer.)
  • Wednesday: Maryland crab cakes w/ Israeli cous cous and frozen peas
  • Thursday: Shrimp and veggie stir fry w/ jasmine rice
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Birthday dinner – pizza and mozzarella sticks w/ veggies and dip (And ice cream cake, of course!)
  • Sunday: Birthday party leftovers

What’s for dinner at your house this week??

My Goals for 2017: Check In #9

Some people are motivated by rewards. Some people are motivated by fear. Others are internally motivated. Me? I’m motivated by public shame. I do not want to be embarrassed, and that’s what typically gives me the push I need complete things. (I’m what the author Gretchen Rubin would call “an obliger”, based on her personality framework.)

It helped keep me focused when I trained for two marathons in my younger years. I joined Team in Training, which, in exchange for participants raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, provides coaching, support, and organized, group training runs. Those group runs were critical for me – in particular the weekly “long runs.” Knowing that I would be running 16 miles with a group on Saturday, helped keep me motivated to train on my own throughout the week. I knew I’d never be the first, but I really did not want to be the last person to finish the long runs.

What does this have to do with my 2017 goals? I’m using this motivation to help keep me on track with my goals. I’m sharing monthly check-ins on my progress to keep me focused, and as a form of accountability.

2017 Goals Check-In #9

(You can read more detailed descriptions of each of my goals here.)

Goal #1: Read at least 24 books that I truly want to read.

As in August, I didn’t make much progress on reading in September. I started reading a book my father recommended – American Pastoral – but just could not get through it. I’ve heard other people rave about this book, too, but the style just didn’t suit me. I need more plot than this has, to hold my attention. I also started reading, What Happened, in September, and I’m about halfway through it. You can see all of my 2017 reads – current, past, and future, plus those that I couldn’t get through – here.

Goal #2: Try at least three new (to me) activities, preferably active ones.

After making good progress on this goal in August, I didn’t try any new activities in September. I did, however, spend the entire month doing Weight Watchers. I started in mid-August, set a goal of losing 15 pounds, and achieved it early this month (October). I did Weight Watchers for the first time about a decade ago, so I can’t claim that it was new to me this year…

A highlight of my September: meeting the Beekman Boys!

Goal #3: Run at least three 5K races. Get 150 minutes of activity every week.

(I changed this goal a couple of months ago, and you can read my explanation for it here.)

Thanks to my FitBit, I’m able to track my minutes of daily activity and exercise. I did extremely well with both metrics in September! It helped that my daughter started school at the beginning of the month, so I was able to walk during the day, on most days.

Goal #4: Find a way to dread meal planning/cooking less.

I’m finding that I don’t dread meal planning as much as I used to. I did a good job of creating meal plans and trying new recipes in September, despite the fact that I was doing Weight Watchers.

How are you doing with your 2017 goals or resolutions?

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