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??

Monday Meal Plan #45

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

Weekend Recap

Summer has made a return here, and we had a hot and sunny weekend. Seriously: the first official weekend in fall brought high temps of just under 90 degrees to our area!

My family and I enjoyed a pretty lazy weekend. I started reading a new book – What Happened – which I’m enjoying. On Saturday we went out to lunch at a favorite, local spot, then got some frozen yogurt. Afterwards, we went for as long a walk as we could tolerate in the mid-80’s heat, before heading home.

Sunday, I may have set a new record for laziness. I read for a while, then took my daughter to a playground with friends. I made a quick grocery run in the afternoon, grilled some chicken for dinner, and finally went for a very warm, evening walk.

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a fairly typical week, here. I’ll be working two days – Tuesday and Thursday – at my regular job. (The temporary position I’ll be doing for a few months, starts next month.) My daughter has school all week, and gymnastics on Wednesday evening.  Saturday, we’ll be picking up our pumpkins and gourds, then taking our daughter to a birthday party at a farm that has lots of fall, family activities. (Our daughter has had her birthday party at the same place twice in past years.) On Sunday – our 12th wedding anniversary! – my husband will be heading to western New York in the afternoon. He has to be there for work on Monday morning, and the drive from our house takes about six hours. Rather than leave around 3:00 on Monday morning, he’s going to spend Sunday night out there.

I continue to slog along with what I’m calling, “Weight Watchers Lite”. I’m following it for breakfast, lunch, and snacks, but eating smaller portions of our regular, family dinners. I’ve lost 11 pounds, so it seems to be working out. My goal is to lose a total of 15 pounds, so I have a few more weeks to go…

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

How was your weekend?? What’s for dinner at your house this week??

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Monday Meal Plan #44

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

We traveled to my sister’s house outside Boston this weekend, for my nephew’s birthday party. We left Saturday morning, after dropping our geriatric cat off at the spa vet. Her kidneys are failing, and she needs several daily medications to keep her comfortable. Our time with her is limited, but she’s hanging in there, for now.

We had a relatively uneventful drive  – it takes about 4.5 hours – and got to spend some time with my parents and my sister’s family, before heading to the party.

On Sunday, we headed home late in the morning, and stopped to pick up some mums and apples on the way. At home, I did laundry and some tidying up, while my husband worked on staining the deck.

The Week Ahead

This is my first week back at work, since early May. I’m working Tuesday and Wednesday, because Thursday is a school holiday. My daughter has her first Brownies meeting of the year after school today, and gymnastics class Wednesday evening. As of now, we don’t have any weekend plans, but we may check out the Adirondack Wool and Arts Festival one day.

Things have been going pretty well with Weight Watchers. I’ve lost 8.5 pounds, and would like to lose 5-7 more. It’s going to get a little harder as I return to work, though, since my job is 100% sedentary, and I won’t be able to go for walks on my work days. My hope is that the weather will cooperate, and I’ll be able to go for longer walks on my non-work days – at least until I start working at my second job in about a month.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

  • Monday: Chicken parm dinner from Augie’s To Go with tomato and basil salad
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Tortellini w/ frozen peas
  • Thursday: Grilled fish and veggies
  • Friday: Pork tenderloin w/ cooked apples and onions
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Turkey taco salads

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Monday Meal Plan #43

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

Weekend Recap

I had a very exciting day on Saturday. My husband, daughter, and I took a drive out to Sharon Springs to attend their Harvest Festival and tour the Beekman Farm. (Check out this post for more info on my love for everything Beekman.) The Farm is absolutely gorgeous, and I got my fill of goat love and snuggles. We toured the flower and vegetable gardens, the goat barn, and even the on-site Beekman family crypt! (You can see more photos of our Beekman visit on Facebook and Instagram.)

We also stopped at the Beekman 1802 Mercantile, where I picked up a couple of their cookbooks, and actually got to meet Josh and Brent. (Swoon!!) Despite greeting guests and signing books for hours, they were warm, friendly, and welcoming. My daughter and I had our picture taken with them, and I’ve been beside myself with excitement ever since! We also picked up a few goodies for Christmas gifts while we were there.

The most recent Beekman cookbook

Yesterday my husband headed out to western New York, where he had a work meeting this morning. Since the meeting location is about six hours from our house, he decided to spend part of his Sunday driving out there, rather than getting on the road before 4am this morning! Before he left, he started the process of staining our deck to weather-proof the wood. (We had the deck replaced last year, and after a year of “weathering”, it’s time to protect the wood from the elements.)

My daughter and I met some friends at a playground yesterday afternoon, then enjoyed a girls’ night at home.

The Week Ahead

This is my last full week off from work for several months. I return to my primary job two days per week on September 19, and I’ll also be doing a temporary, part-time job at another college starting in October. I plan to catch up on some household chores – massive pile of ironing, I’m looking at you! – this week. I’m also meeting a friend for coffee, dropping off outgrown clothing at the children’s consignment store, and running my usual errands. Fall gymnastics starts for my daughter Wednesday evening, and Thursday evening is back-to-school night at her school. On Saturday, we’ll be heading to the Boston-area for my nephew’s birthday party. We’ll spend a night there, then drive home on Sunday.

I continue to slog along with Weight Watchers. After doing it pretty intensely for the first few weeks, I’m taking a more relaxed approach lately. (For the Weight Watchers knowlegeable, I hadn’t been using my weekly or activity points, just my daily points.) My rate of progress may slow a little, but I’m halfway to my goal, and tired of being starving.

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??

Beekman 1802

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Monday Meal Plan #42

Happy Labor Day Monday! I hope you’re enjoying a lovely, holiday weekend!

Weekend Recap

Summer seems to have abruptly ended in these parts. We didn’t have very many standard hot and humid summer days this year, but it was generally pretty warm. However, once the last few days of August rolled around, Mother Nature threw in the towel and started the clock on fall. I like fall, I really do, but it would’ve been nice to have temps in the 70’s and 80’s for a couple more weeks… As proof that fall got an early start, I wore a fleece jacket and SmartWool socks all weekend, and we even switched on the heat yesterday morning!

My father-in-law came up from New Jersey on Saturday. He and my husband had tickets for the Zac Brown Band concert in SPAC that night. My daughter and I went to see the movie, Leap, and hung out at home for the rest of the evening. She says it’s her new favorite movie.

Yesterday’s weather was cold – it never got out of the mid-50’s – with rain all day. After my father-in-law left, we took a family trip to one of my least favorite stores, Home Depot. We had our deck replaced last year, and now it’s time to weatherproof it. We chose a basically clear stain, plus deck cleaner, rollers, and a tray. Good times. We spent the rest of the day at home, in our pajamas.

After dinner, my husband and daughter watched a Star Wars movie, and I put together my work schedule for most of the upcoming academic year. This will be my seventh year at my current job, and I’m also going to be working part-time at another college for a few months. It took me a good hour to coordinate my work days at the two colleges, with my daughter’s school calendar. Why must there be so many half days and random days off in the fall??

Because things will be more hectic than usual for a couple of months, I’m going to focus on making some freezer meals over the next few weeks. I’ll probably just make double batches of some dinners, and freeze the second batches for the future.

The Week Ahead

School starts on Wednesday this week, and my daughter will be a third-grader (sniff, sniff)! On Saturday, we’re going to Sharon Springs for their Harvest Festival, and to tour the Beekman Farm. (You can read about my love for all things Beekman here.) And on Sunday, my daughter and I will be doing a shift at her Brownie troop’s table at the town garage sale. Other than that, it should be a quiet week.

This Week’s Meal Plan

I’m still slogging ahead with Weight Watchers. I’m more than a third of the way toward my goal, and I can’t wait to eat normal food again! Here’s what’s for dinner at my house this week:

  • Monday: Grilled fish and veggies from the garden
  • Tuesday: Turkey and spinach veggie lasagna w/ green salad (I’ll make two trays of the lasagna and freeze one.)
  • Wednesday: Taco salads (beef for them, black beans for me)
  • Thursday: Roasted pork tenderloin w/ frozen peas
  • Friday: Leftover buffet!
  • Saturday: We’ll probably grab something on our way home from Sharon Springs
  • Sunday: Quinoa stuffed bell peppers

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #41

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

Weekend Update

I mentioned in last week’s meal plan post that my husband didn’t want the summer to end before he got in a little beach time. Since we had already taken a longer summer vacation, he researched the closest beaches to us, and landed upon Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, as our best option. Neither of us had been there, nor even heard much about it.

My husband got out of work early on Friday, and we headed out late that afternoon. We arrived at our hotel in Exeter after dark that night, and woke up early to maximize our day at the beach. While the beach itself is quite nice, the town of Hampton Beach is like a divey Jersey Shore town. We spent most of our time on the beach, though, so it didn’t matter much. We had decent, but overpriced lunch at Bernie’s Beach Bar, and at the end of the day, a delicious, casual dinner at Las Olas Taqueria. (I mentioned last week that I’m currently on Weight Watchers. Needless to say, I suspended my participation during our time away.)

Strange Interesting side note: Saturday happened to be Go Topless Day at Hampton Beach. It was pretty surprising the first couple of times we noticed participants, but thankfully they were pretty small in number.

We considered stopping back at the beach yesterday morning, but after spending seven hours there on Saturday, we had had our fill. Instead we stopped for lunch in Woodstock, VT, which is essentially the polar opposite of Hampton Beach, with its beautiful, historic buildings, and lovely covered bridges.

The Week Ahead

It’s my daughter’s final, full week of summer break! We have several things planned for the week: her Brownie troop’s visit to the county jail and 911 center; a few hours at work with my husband, while I have my annual mammogram; and a trip to the Great Escape, the local Six Flags venue. I may also bring her to my office, so she can see where I work. The students won’t be on campus yet, so it’ll still be relatively quiet in my office. (I return to work on September 19.)

My father-in-law is coming for a quick, overnight visit Saturday, as he and my husband have tickets for the Zac Brown Band concert at SPAC that evening.

And I’ll be getting back on-track with Weight Watchers today. This is my third week on it, minus the time I skipped last weekend.

This Week’s Meal Plan

A friend loaned me her Weight Watchers cookbooks, so in addition to grilling several nights, I’ll be trying some recipes from those books.

  • Monday: Grilled hot dogs and garden veggies (a WW meal for me)
  • Tuesday: Middle Eastern Beef Kababs (from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook)
  • Wednesday: Grilled chicken and garden zucchini
  • Thursday: Pork with Ginger and Soy (from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook) and rice
  • Friday:  Pasta with Broccoli and Goat Cheese (from – you guessed it! – Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook)
  • Saturday: My husband and father-in-law will grab something before the concert, so it’ll be a low-key dinner for my daughter and me.
  • Sunday: Grilled fish and garden tomato salad

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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Monday Meal Plan #40

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a wonderful, late-summer weekend! It’s been a while since I posted a meal plan, and it’s good to be back at it.

Weekend Recap

My daughter and I spent a few days with my sister and her family in Massachusetts last week, and our drive home on Friday took five and a half hours – more than an hour longer than it usually takes us. With that as a start to the weekend, I was glad we had no plans and were able to lay low as a family.

The weekend weather was lovely – sunny and warm, with minimal humidity. On Saturday, my husband took our daughter to Victoria Pool in Saratoga Spa State Park, then out for lunch and ice cream. I caught up on laundry, cleaning, and reading at home.

Lucky girl!

We experienced a minor trauma when my daughter was stung by a bee for the first time Saturday afternoon, but some toasted marshmallows at the fire pit stopped the tears. (She gets her toughness from me.)

Sunday brought a sense of deja vu, as we all went to Victoria Pool in the morning, and hung out at home in the afternoon. We even had another fire in the fire pit, but thankfully there was no repeat of the bee sting.

The Week Ahead

This will be my second week on Weight Watchers. During the first week, I mainly just adjusted to the point system and figured out some basic, point-efficient foods. I didn’t cook anything for myself besides scrambled egg whites and veggies, but this week I’d like to cook some real meals that I can eat with the rest of the family.

One challenge will be the fact that we’re taking a quick beach trip to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire this weekend. My husband really didn’t want to miss out completely on the beach this summer, so he found a close(ish) beach for us to visit. (You can read about our non-beach, summer vacation here.) I’ll pack some Weight Watchers-friendly options, but I’ll probably indulge a little. I’ll be sure to save all of my weekly points for some fried clams!

The rest of the week looks pretty uneventful. I’ll plan some activities for my daughter and some of her friends, including a solar eclipse viewing.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

  • Monday: Grilled fish with green salad
  • Tuesday: Roasted pork tenderloin with frozen peas and carrots
  • Wednesday: Grilled burgers (extra-lean and bun-less for me!) with grilled zucchini from my garden
  • Thursday: Caprese pasta salad (Basil and tomatoes from my garden!)
  • Friday: Leftovers
  • Saturday: Probably some fried seafood at the beach
  • Sunday: We’ll pick something up on the way home, and I’ll probably have a Weight Watchers frozen dinner

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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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?

7280 x 90

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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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