Monday Meal Plan #39

Happy Monday Tuesday! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Weekend Recap

With the exception of me having a bad migraine on Friday, we enjoyed a great family weekend at home. My husband took Friday off from work, so he could attend our daughter’s camp play performances with me. We went out for a celebratory dinner after the second show, at one of my least favorite places in Saratoga. (It was the actress’s choice.)

On Saturday, we visited a local lake, drove around a new-to-us area, and tried a local (but new-to-us) restaurant for lunch. My daughter and I did a quick Target run after lunch, and after relaxing at home for a couple of hours, my husband took our daughter to see Despicable Me 3.

We made our first trip of the year to the pool on Sunday. I grew up with a pool, and hated all of the worked involved in maintaining it. So when my husband and I were house-shopping, I ruled out any house with a pool. The season is too short here! They’re so much work! They take up too much yard space and are ugly in the winter! While I still believe all of these arguments against pools are true, now that I’m a parent, I wish we had a pool. Go figure.

On the reading front, I finished Saints For All Occassions, which I absolutely loved, and started reading a mystery, Every Last Lie. (You can find a list of all the books I’ve read so far this year here.)

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a relatively quiet week here. My daughter starts a new session of camp, and she has gymnastics on Tuesday evening. She and my husband are joining friends for the Kidzbop concert at SPAC Friday evening. I have a couple of random things scheduled, including a doctor’s appointment and the monthly exterminator visit. I’ve completely fallen off the exercise wagon, so I’ll be attempting to get moving again, too.

On Saturday, our good friends are coming to visit from about two hours southeast of us. We take turns packing up kids and making the trip to visit each other several times a year. It’s been a few months since we’ve seen them, and we’re looking forward to their visit.

This Week’s Meal Plan

Here’s what’s on this week’s dinner meal plan at my house:

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #38

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

We’ve been so lucky with summer weather this year. Although it’s rained a lot, temps have rarely gone above 82, and humidity has been pretty low. With the exception of a quick thunderstorm Saturday morning, this weekend was no exception.

My husband got home from a work trip a little early on Friday, so after we picked up our daughter at camp, we went out for an early dinner at one of our favorite Saratoga restaurants. My daughter and I may or may not have gotten some frozen yogurt after dinner, too…

On Saturday we went to a local carnival/fair. Our daughter rode some rides, we saw some petting zoo animals, and overpaid for lemonade. It was pretty typical. Afterwards, my in-laws arrived from New Jersey. Their grandson is in Cooperstown for a baseball tournament, and they’re going up to watch his team play for a few days. We had a late lunch at home with them, and hung out on deck, enjoying the weather.

I spent much of yesterday home alone, while my husband and daughter went to Cooperstown with my in-laws for the day. I read the paper, went for a walk, did a few chores, and baked some muffins.

The Week Ahead

This should be a pretty low-key week. One highlight is my visit to the spa today. My husband and daughter gave me a massage and facial package for Mother’s Day, and I’m redeeming it this morning. My daughter has gymnastics after camp on Tuesday, and on Friday we’ll be attending her camp play performance. As of now, our weekend is blissfully unscheduled. We’ll probably incorporate a trip to the pool or a playground for our daughter.

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?

Monday Meal Plan #37

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! In case you missed it, on Friday I was interviewed by Jen from Honestly Modern for her “Modern Mom” series. You can read the full interview here.

Weekend Recap

Friday afternoon, we drove to my in-laws’ house in New Jersey, to drop our daughter off for a week of what we’ve been calling, “Grandma Camp”. She’s staying with them for a week, and they have a full itinerary of activities planned. While I had been looking forward to this child-free week since we formulated the plan a couple of months ago, it was harder to leave her than I expected it to be. A week is the longest I’ve gone without seeing my daughter, by far!

My husband and I headed home Saturday morning, his birthday. We spent a couple of hours hanging out at home, then went out for a casual dinner. Yesterday was a somewhat lazy day with some yard work and chores, followed by a nice dinner out. The birthday boy put together his gift, and got right to work enjoying it.

The Week Ahead

My husband took today and tomorrow off from work. We each have some errands to run, plus I have an overdue visit to the dentist scheduled today. (Please cross your fingers that the spot they’ve had “a watch” on for a year has not progressed to requiring a filing.) We’re going out dinner again tonight, earning me yet another off dinner-duty.

The rest of the week is pretty standard – except for the part about my daughter being away. I have some friends coming over for a small gathering Thursday evening, and a doctor’s appointment on Friday. On Saturday we’ll be heading back to New Jersey to pick up our daughter, who starts camp the following Monday. I’ll be stocking up on camp lunch and snack foods this week, in preparation for the her upcoming five, straight weeks of camp.

This Week’s Meal Plan

As I’ve said in the past, I love grilling. It feels so much more manageable and less time-consuming that “regular” cooking. A recipe isn’t really necessary, and the prep is minimal. Even the clean-up is simpler!

  • Monday: Dinner out!
  • Tuesday: Grilled kabobs and veggies
  • Wednesday: Pasta salad
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Grilled fish w/ salad
  • Saturday: Out of town
  • Sunday: Probably takeout on our way home from NJ #justkeepingitreal

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #36

Happy Monday! I hope you have a fantastic weekend and all the dads out there had a lovely Father’s Day!

Weekend Recap

We had a weekend of fun activities and good weather! On Saturday, I made progress toward one of my goals for 2017, and ran my first 5K in almost a decade. The race was a fundraiser for my daughter’s school, and there were lots of familiar faces running and cheering. I didn’t exactly set any records, but I did run it at a faster pace than I had been running the rest of this spring. My daughter ran both the one-mile race and the 50-yard dash, and now insists she’s ready for a marathon.

Lupine and solar panels at the Wild Center

Yesterday, we went to the Wild Center, my husband’s request for Father’s Day. It’s in Tupper Lake, in the Adirondacks, and the drive was about two hours each way. It was my first time there, and I was very impressed. There are many great exhibits on the natural history of the Adirondacks and local wildlife. The setting is absolutely gorgeous, especially the Wild Walk, which I’d heard a lot about and was excited to see for myself. It did not disappoint.

Caught in the spider’s web on the Wild Walk

The Week Ahead

Wednesday is the last day of school here. Buh-bye, second grade; hello summer! My daughter and I are celebrating the start of summer with hair cuts and pedicures on Thursday. (The pedicure is really a bribe, since she hates getting her hair cut.) Friday evening, we’re heading to my in-laws’ house in New Jersey. My husband and I will spend the night there, and head home on Saturday. Our daughter is spending a week with her grandparents, which I’ve been referring to as “grandma camp”. Saturday is also my husband’s birthday, which we’ll be celebrating with dinner out at a restaurant that doesn’t have chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese on the menu.

This Week’s Meal Plan

  • Monday: Pozole rojo w/ red beans and rice (from 9 Miles East)
  • Tuesday: Pasta w/ Bolognese sauce and frozen peas
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Grilled burgers w/ couscous and raw veggies
  • Friday: Dinner with my in-laws at their house
  • Saturday: Grilled fish and veggies
  • Sunday: Date night out with my husband

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Monday Meal Plan #35

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

Weekend Recap

After a wet and chilly spring, summer arrived here in upstate New York last weekend. Temps were in the upper 70s on Saturday, and hit the low 90s yesterday. What a strange spring we’ve had this year!!

On Saturday, my daughter went to Scout Day at the local Six Flags park, The Great Escape. I’ve been there a couple of times, and I consider it one of the circles of hell. Fortunately, a couple of my friends were going with their daughters, and they offered to take my daughter with them. They were there for about six hours, and I was grateful to them every, single moment of it. My husband and I used the time to run a few errands – farmers market, hardware store, and grocery store – and do some chores at home.

We knew yesterday’s high was going to be in the 90s, so we needed something appropriate to do with our daughter. Since the pools and splash parks in our area aren’t open yet, lakes were our only option. We chose Moreau State Park, which has a lake beach, walking trails, and a shaded playground. It was HOT on the beach, but we hung in there for a couple of hours. When we left around 1:30, the place was becoming a zoo.

The Week Ahead

This is my daughter’s final, full week of school before the summer. We don’t have many plans this week, since the end-of-the-year school events and spring extracurricular activities are over. These last couple of weeks, I’ve been picking my daughter up from school on Wednesdays, and taking her into town to visit the library and the farmers market.

Next weekend is my first 5K of the year – GULP – on Saturday. The run is a fundraiser for my daughter’s school, and she’s going to run the kids’ one-mile race. I haven’t been running as much as I should, but I know I’m capable of running the 5K distance, even if it’s at an embarrassing pace.

Next Sunday is Father’s Day, and my husband gets to choose how he wants to spend it. One idea that he’s been considering is visiting the Wild Center. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my list of must-do things for this summer.

This Week’s Meal Plan

As much as I dread meal planning and cooking, both feel much more manageable to me during the warmer months. Grilling is easy, requires little advanced planning, and is very flexible. We finally fired up our grill last weekend, and it was fantastic. Plus, fresh, delicious food is in abundance, and easy to acquire at farm stands and farmers markets.

I decided to cancel my Hello Fresh subscription, because I just didn’t find enough meals that appealed to me. (As someone who dislikes poultry, this is a problem I run into often.) Unfortunately, I missed the cut-off for this week’s delivery, so we’re stuck having three meals that I would never have chosen myself. (I also missed the deadline to change my default meal options.)

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

  • Monday: Blueberry pancakes w/ smoothies – brinner!
  • Tuesday: Grass-fed Vietnamese beef (from Nine Miles East)
  • Wednesday: Zesty crusted catfish w/ cilantro jasmine rice and roasted broccoli (from Hello Fresh)
  • Thursday: Chicken Parm salad w/ baby spinach and creamy lemon dressing (from Hello Fresh)
  • Friday: Herbs de Provence chicken w/ farro Caprese salad (from Hello Fresh)
  • Saturday: Shrimp and veggies on the grill
  • Sunday: Dad’s choice!

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Monday Meal Plan #34

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a fantastic weekend, and all the mothers had a lovely Mother’s Day!

Weekend Recap

Saturday was a cold and rainy day here. I accompanied my daughter to a friend’s roller-skating birthday party, then made a quick Target run later in the day.

Yesterday, my husband picked up breakfast sandwiches for us, and I opened presents over coffee. I got a gift certificate for a massage and a facial at a local spa, plus some cool flower bulbs that I may have mentioned wanting… My husband gave me the same massage/facial package two years ago, and it was absolute bliss. In fact, it was so relaxing that I fell asleep during the facial, and woke myself up with a snort! #mortifying

We also went to the library for a llama program, walked around Saratoga, and – most gloriously – I wasn’t responsible for preparing a single meal all day!

The Week Ahead

My daughter and I have a pretty standard week coming up. Her school’s art show is Tuesday evening, and she has gymnastics class Thursday evening. My poor husband is traveling a good bit for work this week – Monticello, Syracuse, and Fulton are the highlights – so he’ll probably be home late most evenings.

Spring has finally remembered that it started almost two months ago, and we’re expecting lots of sun and highs in the seventies and eighties most of the week. I’m going to take advantage and plan to get outside as much as possible. I have to start conditioning my bales for my straw bale garden, do a little more work in a flower bed, and try to get ahead of the weeds. I’ll also be walking and/or running every day, since last week’s cold and rainy weather kept me inside a lot.

This Week’s Meal Plan

I’ve felt a little lazy for having our meals planned for me by Blue Apron and Hello Fresh – or cooked and delivered for me by 9 Miles East! – these past few weeks, so I decided to kick it old school and plan, shop for, and cook all of our meals this week. 🙂 Here’s what’s for dinner at my house:

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #33

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Recap

It was an unseasonably cold weekend here in upstate New York, and this trend looks like it’s going to continue for the next week or so. I would’ve gladly traded the random seventy-degree days in February, for consistent, seasonable temperatures now!

Despite the chilly temps, I went for my third run slow jog on Friday. While it may not be pretty, I’m confident I’ll be able to survive my first 5K, coming up next month.

On Saturday, we ran a few errands, including picking up my car from the mechanic. I’m very happy to report that the air-conditioning is finally working. I’m less happy to report how much it cost to get it back in working order…

Saturday night, our daughter had a sleepover at a friend’s house. My husband and I decided to take advantage of the night alone, and went out to dinner. We ate at a fish restaurant, then went for a short walk. Since we had shared the chocolate globe dessert, we needed all the extra steps we could get!

Sunday was particularly chilly, so after picking my daughter up from her sleepover, I spend most of the rest of the day reading the paper and my current book, in sweats.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be another quiet week for my family. My daughter has a Brownies meeting after school today, and gymnastics Thursday evening. She also has a friend’s birthday party on Saturday, for which I have to pick up a gift this week. (Speaking of which, I’ve officially transitioned from buying birthday presents for children, to gift cards. It’s easier than trying to figure out what they (a) want, and (b) don’t already have. Do you do this too, or do you think it’s too impersonal?)

Since I continue to enjoy the meal deliveries from 9 Miles East, I decided to get another one this week. I opt for the Meal Plan Plus, which includes a four-serving entrée, a soup, several salads, and two servings of grilled veggies with quinoa. The food lasts us all week, making it money well-spent in my book! **If you live in the Capital Region or the Boston-area and are interested in trying the 9 Miles East home meal delivery service, contact Adam (Adam@9mileseast.com), let him know that Amy from My Upstate Life sent you, and you’ll save $10 on your first order.**

I’m also trying a different meal kit delivery service this week, Hello Fresh. I’ve had success using Blue Apron in the past, but unfortunately it doesn’t eliminate the need for me to prep the ingredients and cook them. (Yes, I hate cooking that much!) My sister has tried both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, and she found the latter to be simpler and to require less prep. I decided to give it a try using her referral code, which saved my $40 on my first order. As a result, I’m getting three, two-serving dinners for only $19.95. If you’d like to try Hello Fresh for a similar deal, just use this link.

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?

This post contains affiliate links, which helps support this blog. Thank you!!

Monday Meal Plan #32

Happy Monday, and happy May!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Weekend Recap

It’s that time of year again – I’m on summer break from my job. As it does every year at this time, the student traffic in our office has dropped way off, so Thursday was my last day of work until September.

On Friday, I went for my first run slow jog in about three years, since – in keeping with one of my goals for 2017 – I’m running three 5K races this summer and fall. It wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. I also finished reading The Lowland, which I enjoyed a great deal.

Friday night, we attended my daughter’s play at school. It was done with the Missoula Children’s Theater, which sends two directors to the school, along with all of the materials needed for the show – scripts, costume, scenery, and more. The kids rehearse every day after school for a week, then put on two weekend performances of the show. It’s a very impressive undertaking! My inlaws came up from New Jersey for Saturday’s show, and spent the rest of the afternoon with us.

Yesterday was freezing here! My daughter and I joined several other girls from her Brownie troop at a tour of an equine therapy farm in our area. The other moms and I spent three, chilly hours outside, while the girls toured the farm, did crafts and a trust-building exercise, and planted seeds. I also fell in love with this absurd-looking creature:

The Week Ahead

We have a pretty quiet week this week. My daughter starts a new gymnastics class on Thursday evenings. It’s not ideal timing, since the class runs from 7:00 to 8:00, and she usually goes to bed at 8:30 on school nights. She’s very excited about it, though, and since the end of the school year is in sight, I decided to give it a shot.

Because I enjoyed my first meal delivery from 9 Miles East, I decided to get another one this week. I opt for the Meal Plan Plus, which includes a four-serving entrée, a soup, several salads, and two servings of grilled veggies with quinoa. The last time I ordered it, the food lasted us all week, making it money well-spent in my book! If you live in the Capital Region or the Boston-area and are interested in trying the 9 Miles East home meal delivery service, contact Adam (Adam@9mileseast.com), let him know that Amy from My Upstate Life sent you, and you’ll save $10 on your first order.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this blog. Thank you!!

Monday Meal Plan #31

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

Weekend Recap

We had a pretty low-key weekend at home, with mostly nice weather. On Saturday, my husband spent a lot of time working outside on projects – re-seeding the back grass and building a fire pit were his big ones for this weekend. I spent a little time working on my own gardening projects, did a few indoor chores, and ran a couple of quick errands.

The fire pit my husband built

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent some time at a playground with friends. The weather was beautiful, and she and I both had a great time catching up with good friends.

The Week Ahead

This week, it’s back to school for my daughter, and back to work – Tuesday and Thursday – for me. It’s going to be a long week for my daughter, because she’s participating in her school’s Missoula Children’s Theater production. Essentially, this traveling theater company spends a week at the school, and the kids who participate practice the show after school every day, then put on performances on Friday evening and Saturday. My in-laws are coming up for the day on Saturday, to attend the play.

My other commitments this week include: having our septic tank pumped, getting my hair cut, grocery shopping, dropping outgrown clothes off at the children’s consignment store, and a visit from the exterminator to check the status of our mouse bait stations. A week full of non-stop excitement, huh?

In keeping with one of my goals for 2017 – find a way to hate meal planning and cooking less – I’m trying a local meals to-go place. A couple of days a week, they offer specials on family dinners. This week we’re trying the ziti with meatballs and sausage, plus salad and bread.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

  • Monday: Shrimp stir fry w/ peanut sauce and jasmine rice
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: “Mama’s Ziti To Go” from Augie’s To Go
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Picking up pizza before my daughter’s play
  • Saturday: Post-play dinner out with my in-laws
  • Sunday: Risotto (from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking) w/ peas and asparagus

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

This post contains affiliate links, which help support this blog. Thank you!!

Monday Meal Plan #30

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend, and a lovely Easter, if you celebrate.

The Weekend Recap

Our family’s weekend basically started on Friday, since my daughter was off from school, and my husband’s office closed early. My daughter took a spring cupcake decorating class that afternoon, then we met my husband at the mechanic to drop off my car for some work (oil change, replace snow tires with all-seasons, inspection, and check why the A/C isn’t blowing cold air). We picked up Indian food for dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant, on the way home.

On Saturday, my daughter had gymnastics in the morning, followed by an egg hunt, and then a cookie decorating class (at the same place as the cupcake class). Afterwards, we returned to the mechanic to pick up my car. The good news: it passed inspection,the oil change was completed, and they think they know what’s wrong with the A/C. The bad news: the edges of the all-season tires were so worn they wouldn’t pass inspection, and the A/C fix can’t be completed for a least a week. The new summer tires will go on then, too.

We went out to brunch on Sunday, checked out some Easter festivities, then chilled out at home. I went for a nice, long walk, while my husband did some yard work. Rain (briefly) moved in late in the afternoon, so we watched the movie Sing, which the Easter Bunny brought our daughter.

The weather was great all weekend, and it was so wonderful to be outside again – walking, relaxing, and gardening. I LOVE this time of year!!

The Week Ahead

It’s school spring break week here, so my daughter and I are both home all week. We have a few things planned, including a playdate, pedicures, a program at the library, a cooking class with her Brownie troop, and an afternoon at the office with my husband (for her). I’ll add a playground trip or two, when we have some extra time to fill.

In keeping with one of my goals for 2017 – find a way to hate meal planning and cooking less – I’m trying a local meal delivery service** this week. We’ll be getting an entrée that should be enough for two dinners for my husband and me, plus a couple of salads and a soup. I’m very excited about this!!

This Week’s Meal Plan

  • Monday: “Chicken” tagine, (I requested the vegetarian version, since I strongly dislike poultry), and kale Cesar salad from Nine Miles East**
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Spicy peanut noodles from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures (This didn’t happen last week.)
  • Thursday (evening swim lesson): Leftovers
  • Friday: Sheet pan steak and veggies
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Grilled fish with roasted asparagus (Pending the grill getting cleaned in time…)

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

**The lovely people at Nine Miles East meal delivery service are offering My Upstate Life readers $10 off their first delivery (new customers in the Albany and metro Boston areas, only)! Just contact Adam (Adam@9mileseast.com), and tell him Amy from My Upstate Life sent you!**

Frugal Real Food Meal Plans

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