Monday Meal Plan #27

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

Weekend Recap

I had a lazy weekend (mostly) at home. On Saturday, my daughter had a two-hour shift of selling Girl Scout cookies at a local Stewart’s shop. Unfortunately, temperatures were in the low thirties, and it alternated between snow and rain. Such dedicated girls! I stayed for a half hour at the beginning of her shift, but left when she informed me that it was time for me to go.

After my husband and I picked her up, we headed to the mechanic to pick up his car, which was in for new brakes, spark plug replacement, snow tire removal, and inspection. (Cha-ching!) On our way home, my daughter and I delivered a few orders of GS cookies to our neighbors.

Yesterday, my daughter had a GS party at our town hall, and she and I delivered the remainder of our cookie orders on the way home from that. I also did some reading, a few chores, and a lot of relaxing.

The Week Ahead

It’s the start of the spring term at the college where I work, so I’m heading back to work this week. Unlike at the college where I worked in NYC, student traffic in our office drops of dramatically this term. As a result, I’m scheduled to work only two days per week through the end of April, and possibly a few weeks into May. Most weeks – including this one – I’ll be working Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

My daughter is starting about a month of Thursday evening swimming lessons this week. Since we’ll be getting home at dinner time, I’ll be planning either slow cooker or leftovers dinners those nights.

And I’m particularly excited about next Saturday, since my no added sugar month will be over! I’m counting down the days to when I can start enjoying eating again…

This Week’s Meal Plan

Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Blue Apron Review

One of my goals for 2017 is to find a way to make meal planning/cooking dinner less distasteful. I view both meal planning and cooking as necessary evils, and I almost always dread doing both of them. With my goal to at least partially overcome this in mind, I decided to give Blue Apron a try.

What is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe delivery service. Users select meals for their weekly delivery, and all necessary ingredients – plus illustrated, step-by-step directions – are shipped to them. (Shipping is free.) Although they still have to cook their meals, users don’t have to search for recipes or shop for the ingredients.

Blue Apron users choose either the 2-Person Plan or the Family Plan. The 2-Person Plan includes three, two-serving recipes per week, at a cost of $9.99 per serving. Family Plan users can choose to receive either two or four, four-serving recipes per week, at a cost of $8.74 per serving.

Even though my daughter rarely eats what my husband and I eat for dinner, I opted for the two-recipe Family Plan. Because I dislike cooking so much, leftovers nights are very important to me. Opting for four-serving recipes seemed like a good way to ensure that we had leftovers of each recipe.

Our Blue Apron Meals

I tried Blue Apron for three weeks, and these are the meals I chose to receive during that time period:

  • Cod and Tomato Stew with Garlic Croutons
  • Sicilian-Style Bucatini With Cesar-Style Salad
  • Shrimp Etouffee with Tomatoes and Arborio Rice (A very close second favorite meal)
  • Creamy Beef Ragu & Elicoidali Pasta (My least favorite meal)
  • Pork Chops & Miso Butter with Bok Choy & Marinated Apples (Both my and my husband’s favorite meal)
  • Salmon Piccata with Orzo & Broccoli (The salmon didn’t happen, but the orzo and broccoli were delicious)

What I Love About Blue Apron

  1. Minimizes my meal planning. Rather than having to rack my brain to come up with our weekly dinners, I simply log into my Blue Apron account, and choose from the recipe options available for each week.
  2. Fancy-ish meals. I like to keep my recipes nice and simple, to minimize the amount of time I have to spend cooking them. The Blue Apron meals are more “restaurant-style” than what I would usually make.
  3. The meals are delicious. I would describe all of the meals I received as good to very good. In fact, there was only one that I probably wouldn’t order or make again.
  4. Grocery shopping is done for me. All of the ingredients needed for each recipe are shipped directly to my doorstep each week.
  5. The recipes cards. The recipe cards are illustrated, and include clearly written, step-by-step instructions. I especially like that the ingredients are bolded within the instructions, making them easy to locate in context.
  6. Clear labeling. The ingredientpackaging is clearly labeled, and I never had to wonder what something was.
  7. Great customer service. I had a problem with the quality of the primary ingredient (salmon) in one of my meals. I sent an email about it to Blue Apron customer service and received a full credit for that meal the following day.

What I Don’t Love About Blue Apron

  1. Lack of recycling information in box. Each shipment contains a lot of packaging: every ingredient comes in a plastic bag or container, there are several plastic ice packs, and a foil liner contains everything. There’s no recycling information in the box, but it’s available online – with a little scrolling. Everything is recyclable, but not necessarily accepted by customers’ recycling providers. (For example, mine does not accept plastic bags.) Fortunately, users can request a USPS shipping label from Blue Apron to return all of the packaging to them for recycling.
  2. The fish arrives partially frozen. In all of my shipments, the fish was partially frozen when I removed it from the package. On my work days, I start cooking dinner soon after I get home, and I had to build in some time to thaw the fish before cooking it. Of course, I prefer that the fish arrive partially frozen, than warm.
  3. Cost. Is this the cheapest way to cook dinner? No. Users pay for the convenience of not having to plan and shop for their meals. I’m sure that some of the meals I make myself cost less than $8.74 per serving, but that’s probably not the case when they feature fish and/or better cuts of meat. So while I could make dinner more cheaply, Blue Apron is not particularly expensive.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with Blue Apron. Yes, I would prefer that each box contained a little genie to do the cooking for me, but short of that, it’s a great solution. Want to give it a try? Click below to save $30 on your first offer.

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Monday Meal Plan #26

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

Saturday morning, we all went to my daughter’s gymnastics class at the Y. Immediately after it ended, we got on the road to visit our good friends who live a couple of hours away from us. All four of us were in grad school in NYC at the same time during the late 1990s (gulp), and we’ve been friends ever since then. (Technically, the two husbands have been friends since they met in middle school in the 1980s…) We had lunch and dinner at their house, and spent hours talking about politics, parenting, money, and lots of other light topics, then drove home after dark. (A huge thanks to my husband who stayed awake behind the wheel, while my daughter and I dozed for much of the ride!)

Sunday was a lazy day at home for me. I read the paper, did some random chores and paperwork, played Connect Four with my daughter, and quite possibly set a new personal low for fewest steps ever recorded in a day by my FitBit.

The Week Ahead

It’s spring break week at the college where I work, so I’m off again this week. We don’t have any major commitments this week, other than a swim test for upcoming lessons for my daughter on Thursday evening, and picking my husband up at the mechanic, after he drops his car off for service on Friday evening. It’s a decent drive, so we’ll probably stop for dinner somewhere on the way home. On Saturday, I’ll be accompanying my daughter while she sells Girl Scout cookies at a local Stewart’s shop during the afternoon.

This Week’s Meal Plan

I didn’t like any of the Blue Apron options this week, so I’m on my own for meal planning and grocery shopping. Luckily, I found this cookbook I’d forgotten about, and I’m trying a few recipes.

Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Lasagna with broccoli and three cheeses (from Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done!)
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Quiche (from the freezer) with frozen veggies
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Dinner out on the way home from the mechanic
  • Saturday: Quinoa with mushrooms, kale, and sweet potatoes (from Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done!)
  • Sunday: Salmon with rice and garlic spinach

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Straw Bale Gardening: My Favorite Gardening Method

Despite the fact that we just received over a foot of snow, gardening season really is right around the corner. Catalogs have been arriving in the mail for weeks, and before this most recent snowstorm, we had a warm spell which sent bulbs peeking out from underground. (Big mistake, guys!)

We have perennial beds at the front and side of our house, and in our backyard, I grow cut flowers – mainly different varieties of zinnias, but also cosmos and a handful of other varieties. I love having cut flowers in the house all summer, but what I really love is vegetable gardening. There simply is nothing like the flavor of a freshly picked tomato!

My Gardening Challenges

The growing season in our part of upstate New York is pretty short. The average first and last frost dates are October 11 and May 6, giving us about 150 to 160 frost-free days per year. While that sounds like a big chunk of time, many of my favorite summertime veggies, like tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers, won’t grow until temperatures are very warm. This essentially limits their growing season to late June, July, August, and part of September.

In addition to our short growing season, the soil on our property is terrible for gardening. Our house was built in 2004, and the builder clearly used a lot of sandy fill to create our backyard. There are barely any nutrients to fuel plants, so we would need add a tremendous volume of good quality soil and organic matter to make it hospitable. Needless to say, this could be quite costly.

My Solution: Straw Bale Gardening

A couple of years ago, I came across this article in the New York Times about an unusual gardening method. Rather than growing plants in the ground, you grow them in straw bales. I had never seen anything like this before, and I found the straw bales to be kind of ugly. But what really caught my attention and convinced me to give it a try, was the science behind straw bale gardening.

About ten days before you plant your plants in the bales, you begin a process of conditioning them with fertilizer. This gets the inside of the bales to start decomposing, creating a lovely base of compost for the plants you grow in them. And as the bales decompose, they heat up, which lengthens the growing season of the plants you plant in them. It’s genius!!

I immediately purchased what I lovingly call “the straw bale gardening Bible”, Straw Bale Gardens: The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and with No Weeding, by Joel Karsten. It includes very clearly written directions for selecting, placing, and conditioning straw bales, as well as charts outlining how many of various types of plants can be grown in a single bale. (The latter is very helpful when planning the layout of your  straw bale garden.)

I’ve grown veggies in straw bales the last two summers, and the results have been astonishing. My plants absolutely flourished in the bales! However, they were more productive and grew more quickly the first year, when I followed the book’s conditioning steps to the letter. Last year I got a little lazy, and improvised the conditioning process a bit. While my plants eventually took off, they clearly did better the first year.

What I’ve Grown in Straw Bales

According to the book, all kinds of plants can be grown in straw bales, including annual flowers, strawberries, pumpkins, and most veggies. In my straw bales, I’ve successfully grown:

  • Eggplants
  • Tomatoes (many kinds)
  • Romaine and other types of lettuce
  • Basil and parsley
  • Summer squash (zucchini, yellow, and patty pan)
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Butternut squash
A young butternut squash in one of my bales last year.

If you live in an area with a short growing season, or with terrible quality soil, (or even no soil at all!), straw bale gardening is a great, inexpensive way to grow a thriving garden.

Have you tried straw bale gardening?

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Monday Meal Plan #25

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Did you remember to spring forward? It’s the only night of the year that I’m more than happy to sacrifice an hour of sleep.

Weekend Recap

It was a fairly quiet weekend at home for my family. On Saturday, my daughter attended our area’s Girl Scouts Jamboree. Each year has a theme, and this year it was the countries of the world. Each troop had a country, and at their table they had a craft or activity related to their country. My daughter’s troop had Madagascar, and they did face-painting in the style that’s common there, where it serves to protect the skin from the sun and mosquitos. While not painting faces, they visited other troops’ tables. France, where the troop served samples of chocolate mousse, proved to be particularly popular.

I spent the morning with my daughter at the Jamboree, then met my husband for a lunch date at Cantina. Selecting a meal that had no added sugar was surprisingly difficult, since their tortillas were all tainted with it. (Get the scoop on my no added sugar month here.) I ended up settling on the vegetarian burrito, without the tortilla. And I passed on the delicious pre-meal chips and salsa, which was particularly painful for me, since their chips are some of my favorites.

Yesterday, my daughter had a birthday party at a family activity place in our area. It was a bittersweet party, since the birthday girl is a very close friend, and she’s moving to Hawaii at the end of this week. It’s going to be a sad and difficult week for my girl, as she counts down to the final goodbye to her friend. It’s breaking my heart to see her so sad, especially since there’s nothing I can do to make it easier for her…

The Week Ahead

I’m off from work this week and next week, for finals and spring break weeks. (Read more about my work schedule here.) My daughter has a Brownies meeting after school today, and we’re expecting snow on Tuesday, although the anticipated accumulation amount keeps changing. I suspect my daughter will have a snow day, since the last total I saw called for 8-12 inches during the day, and another 1-3 inches overnight. She already has the day off on Friday, for a planned district professional development day. If her troop’s Girl Scout cookies order is not delayed – it’s scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, along with the snow – I told her we’d go to my office and deliver my coworkers’ cookie orders. She’s never been to my office, and has recently expressed a lot of interest in coming to work with me. This seems like a good compromise.

Next weekend, we’re taking a day trip to visit dear friends from our NYC days. They live a couple of hours away from us, and we only get to see them a few times a year. We don’t have any plans for Sunday, yet, but let’s hope the snow has already started to melt by then!

This Week’s Meal Plan

Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Pasta alio e olio (from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking)
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker pot roast (This didn’t happen last week.)
  • Wednesday: Salmon piccata with orzo and broccoli (from Blue Apron)
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Pork chops & miso butter with bok choy and marinated apples (from Blue Apron)
  • Saturday: Dinner at our friends’ house
  • Sunday: Sautéed shrimp and veggies with rice

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #24

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Recap

We had a relatively quiet weekend at home. My in-laws came up from New Jersey for a visit on Saturday. They took us out to lunch at PJs, a yummy local BBQ spot, then we retreated to our house for coffee and time together. When the weather is better, we usually walk around Saratoga with them, but since Saturday’s high was 16 degrees, no one wanted to be outside for a moment more than necessary!

We didn’t have any plans for Sunday, but my husband came up with the idea to take our daughter ice skating at Empire State Plaza in Albany. It was pretty chilly on the Plaza, but my husband and daughter got some good skating in. (Since I clutch the wall for dear life and end up stiff the next day as a result, I opted to be a spectator.) After skating, we went to Druthers for a late lunch/early dinner. I love the food at Druthers, and my burger (without a bun this time for my no added sugar month), did not disappointment.

The Week Ahead

This is week ten of the winter trimester at the college where I work. Week ten is the last week of classes, and the student traffic in the career center has slowed to a near-trickle. (Who’s thinking about their resume when finals are looming??) This is also the last week I work, before having two weeks off – finals week and spring break week. I’m working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

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My No Added Sugar Month

This month, I’m cutting all added-sugar from my diet. I was inspired to do this when I read this New York Times article, which also mentioned the new book, The Case Against Sugar. I recently finished reading the book, and it further strengthened my resolve to try living without added sugars for a month.

Why Would I Do Such a Crazy Thing??

Some people quit sugar to lose weight, or because they think it’ll improve their energy level, or their overall health. These would be nice side benefits for me, but I’m not convinced they’ll happen, nor are they why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to raise my awareness of the prevelance of sugar in my diet, and the amount of it I consume. I’m just a couple of days into this challenge, and I’ve already learned a great deal.

The Ground Rules

Some people have asked if I’m following a specific program or plan, and the answer is no. I’m keeping it simple, and simply doing my best to eliminate all added sugar from my diet. I say, “doing my best,” because I know it’s possible that some things might slip past me, especially when I eat out. Other than that, these are the guidelines I’m following:

  • No added sugars of any kind.
  • Naturally occurring sugars, like those in fruit or dairy are fine.
  • No sugar substitutes, natural (honey, maple syrup, etc.), or otherwise (saccharin, aspartame, etc.).

What I’m Going To Miss Most

I like to think that I don’t usually have a high-sugar diet, but I’m learning that there’s more in it than I realized. My husband and I eat fully, or at least mostly, home-cooked dinners most nights, but our snacks, breakfasts, and lunches consistent of a fair amount of processed foods. (Our picky eater daughter is a different story. She eats far more processed foods than I’d like, but also gets lots of fresh fruits and veggies.) For example, I eat cold breakfast cereal or instant oatmeal about 75% of mornings. I also like to keep my work lunches simple, and bring the same things with me every day, many of which contain some added sugar.

Here are the things (I think) I’m going to miss the most this month:

  • Vanilla Stonyfield yogurt. Most days I eat one at breakfast and another at lunch, and I LOVE them. They’re not particularly sweet, but they do contain sugar.
  • Diet Coke. I usually drink one can a day, often in the evening, and I always really enjoy it.
  • Lean Cuisine meals. I bring one of these for my work lunch every day, and a number of varieties – though not all – contain sugar.
  • Bread. This one is very tough for me. I’m a carb-aholic, and bread is one of my very favorite sources. I’m exploring some options like pita and a locally made sourdough, and my fingers are crossed that they’ll be safe.

UPDATE: You can read how this month went here.

How much sugar is in your diet? Have you ever tried eliminating it? What did you miss most?

Frugal Real Food Meal Plans

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My 2017 Goals: Check-In #2

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.

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 going to use this motivation to help keep me on track with my goals. I’ll be sharing monthly check-ins on my progress to keep me focused, and as a form of accountability.

2017 Check-In #2

(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.

In February, I finished reading The House of The Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars, and read The Case Against Sugar. Neither one of them was exactly a page-turner, so I’m looking forward to reading some fiction in March. This brings my total number of books read in 2017 to four. You can see all of my 2017 reads – current, past, and future – here.

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

In February, I tried something I’ve been really looking forward to trying – and it was a big disappointment. On an unseasonably warm Sunday, I brought dragged my husband and daughter to Spa State Park to try snowshoeing. We rented snowshoes, strapped them on, and returned them ten minutes later. It was almost 60 degrees out, and the snow was more like thick slush. I’m guessing these are not ideal conditions for snowshoeing, and we certainly felt it. I also just didn’t get the point; I didn’t feel like I was doing anything that I couldn’t do in just my snow boots. My husband thinks snowshoeing is better for walking on thick snow, without sinking in. That sounds plausible to me, but I don’t have a burning desire to try again. (Please enlighten me if you’re more of a snowshoeing aficionado than I am.)

Goal #3: Run at least three 5K races.

No progress here.

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

I’m trying something new here this week. I had a $40 credit from Blue Apron, and I decided to give it a shot. I still have to do the cooking, but the this eliminates my search for recipes and some of my grocery shopping. I believe my trial recipes are cod and tomato stew, and some sort of pork chop thing.

How are you doing with your 2017 goals/resolution?

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Monday Meal Plan #23

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

We had a really fun weekend! My daughter and I picked my husband up from work a couple of hours early on Friday, and we got right on the road to Massachusetts. Yesterday was my sweet and adorable nephew’s first birthday, and my sister and brother-in-law had his birthday party on Saturday. My parents had already arrived when we got there, so we got to catch up with everyone over dinner on Friday. My daughter and the birthday boy’s big brother get along amazingly, despite a nearly three-year age difference. Whenever we get together, the two of them immediately disappear and immerse themselves in imaginary play, Legos, and other fun stuff.

The “winter one-derland” birthday party was very cute, and I had a very nice time chatting with some of my sister’s friends. There were a handful of “bigger” kids in attendance, and they seemed to enjoy playing together both inside and out.

Yesterday morning we hung out with my family, before getting on the road home. On the way, I finally finished reading, The Case Against Sugar. It took me a long time to get into this book, but I found the last third very compelling – and frightening!

The Week Ahead

After February break last week, it’s back to work and school today. I’m working four days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This means I won’t be able to get to the grocery store until Friday, so I decided this would be a good idea to use a $40 credit I have, and give Blue Apron a try. Other than that, my in-laws are coming for a visit on Saturday.

My month-long, no-added-sugar challenge starts on Wednesday. While I think this will greatly impact what I do and don’t eat in March, it won’t have too much of an impact on our dinners, since they don’t often contain much added sugar. (Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be a whole different story, though…)

This Week’s Meal Plan

Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Quiche w/ frozen veggies
  • Tuesday: Cod and tomato stew w/ garlic toasts & aioli (First Blue Apron meal!)
  • Wednesday: Sicilian-style bucatini w/ Caesar-style salad & oven-toasted croutons (Second Blue Apron meal!)
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Pork tenderloin w/ roasted sweet potatoes
  • Saturday: Vegan black bean fajita veggies w/ rice
  • Sunday: Leftovers

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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What’s Up Wednesday: February 2017

What We’re Eating This Week

I got some inspiration from two of my favorite Food Network cooks this week: Ina Garten and Ree Drummond. Plus, we’ll be out-of-town this weekend, which means fewer nights of cooking for me – woo hoo! You can read this week’s full meal plan here.

What I’m Reminiscing About

I recently went through a bunch of old photos with my husband, and there were a number of ones of my sweet, old kitty, Tony. He died a little over a year ago, and I still miss him. With apologies to his (living) sister, Sophie, Tony was indisputably the best cat ever. I adopted the two of them when they were kittens, and I was only 25, and had just moved to California for work. I don’t miss those lonely days of being across the country from my friends and family, and finding my way in a new place, but those two made my time there more bearable.

What I’m Loving

We’ve been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather lately, and it’s got me believing that spring is almost here. Seriously, highs in the 50s in upstate New York in February?? I love it!

What We’ve Been Up To

It’s school vacation week here, so I’m home with my daughter all week. We had a ladies’ “day of beauty” yesterday, with hair cuts and manicures. (The “day of beauty” concept was my way of bribing her to get a hair cut, which she hates. It took years for her hair to grow long, and now she never wants to lose a centimeter of it.) Today we have a Girls Scouts ice-skating event, then a visit to a friend’s house, and Thursday her Brownie troop is going on a tour of a local grocery store. Friday we’re packing and heading to Massachusetts for my nephew’s first birthday party.

 What I’m Dreading

Next month, I’m going to cut added sugar out of my diet, and, while I’m very excited to try it, I’m definitely concerned about having a more limited diet. For me, one of the most intriguing things about cutting out added sugar is going to be realizing just how ubiquitous it is. I’ve started reading the labels of some of my favorite foods, and have been distressed to find added sugar in many of them.

What I’m Working On

What – me procrastinate?? Yep, I’m still dragging my feet on our taxes. Actually, I have everything we need, with the exception of a letter about a donation. I still need to fill out the questionnaire from our accountant, though, and I haven’t forced myself to sit down and do it, yet.

What I’m Excited About

Even though I’ve embraced winter this year, I’m excited that it seems to be loosening its grip. Spring’s arrival seems almost imminent, and I’m excited to welcome pansies, daffodils, and leaves back to our yard!

What I’m Watching/Reading

I’m watching absolutely nothing these days. Nothing. Seriously, with the exception of watching some news coverage when I make dinner, I’m just not switching on the TV these days.

I’m struggling to get through the book, The Case Against Sugar. It’s not exactly what I expected, and it’s fairly dry. I’m definitely going to need to read some fiction after I finish this one. (You can see all of the books I’m reading, have read, and plan to read in 2017 here.) I’m also always slowly working through my huge pile of magazines – The New Yorker, O, Money, Real Simple, The New York Times Magazine, and Kiplinger Personal Finance.

What I’m Listening To

Podcasts, of course! However, I’m completely caught up on binge-listening to all episodes of my favorites, so I’m in need of some new options. Recommendations??

What I’m Wearing

My school (and work) vacation week uniform consists of yoga pants and a fleece at home, and jeans and sweaters when I leave the house.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

We’re heading to Massachusetts for my nephew’s first birthday party. I don’t see my sister often enough, so it’ll be fun to catch up with her this weekend. My parents will also be there, and my daughter is beyond excited about spending time with my sister’s older son. (Sadly, she’s a lot less interested in her “baby cousin”…)

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Seeing if I feel any differently “off of” sugar, gaining an hour of daylight, and maybe, just maybe, seeing the first signs of spring bulbs.

What’s up with you??

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