Monday Meal Plan #48

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

Weekend Recap

It was a pretty productive weekend for us, especially my husband. He was on a cleaning and decluttering tear, in advance of our holiday party next weekend. In addition to reorganizing my messy pantry area – what can I say; I can’t resist stocking up when there’s a great deal! – he purchased and set up shoes racks that tripled the amount of shoe storage space in our mudroom, and mounted our new vacuum on the wall. (He’s an avid deal-hunter, and got an amazing  Black Friday deal on it at Target.)

So much more room for shoes and boots!!

My daughter and I braved the crowds on Saturday, and went to the mall and Target. She had a friend over yesterday afternoon, and after she left, it was time to get back into the Sunday night routine…

 

The Week Ahead

It’s going to be a semi-hectic week for me. Monday morning, I have a committee meeting at my daughter’s school, then I have my annual physical, followed by my annual visit to the gynecologist. (I don’t typically schedule both appointments on the same day, but scheduling with my doctors can be tricky, and it just worked out this way this year.) I’m working at Skidmore (my temporary job for this year) on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and on Friday I’ll be running errands and prepping for a holiday party we’re hosting Saturday night. The party prep will continue on Saturday, and on Sunday, we’ll probably be cleaning up and relaxing.

My daughter has a Brownies meeting until 5:00 Monday evening, gymnastics at 6:30 Wednesday night, and a friend’s birthday party on Sunday.

Weekly Meal Plan

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

  • Monday: Stuffed shells from the freezer w/ frozen veggies
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Maryland crab cakes w/ green salad and couscous
  • Thursday: Pasta alio olio (recipe from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking)
  • Friday: Pancakes and sausage – brinner!
  • Saturday: Par-tay!!
  • Sunday: Homemade macaroni and cheese (specific recipe TBD) w/ roasted veggies

What are you having for dinner this week??

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Monday Meal Plan #47

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

It’s been a while since I posted a meal plan here – although I have shared a couple just on Facebook – and it’s been quite apparent. I hate wondering what on earth I’m going to make for dinner at 4pm – even more than I hate meal planning! So here I am, back in the meal-planning saddle.

Weekend Recap

I had a somewhat unexpected day off on Friday – no students to see at my job that day – so I did a little shopping. Actually, I mostly did some returning of things I’d ordered online. I returned to things to the Carter’s outlet, then checked out a couple of other outlets, since the Black Friday sales had already started at most of them. I didn’t see anything good or at a good enough price anywhere, though. I also returned something I had accidentally ordered two of, at the Sephora VIB sale. (I recently learned that there are Sephora inside JC Penny stores; who knew??) I can’t say I left Sephora empty-handed, though…

I found some beautiful prints at the Boden sample sale!

On Saturday, I went to the Boden sample sale in Saratoga. I knew it would be popular, so I got there early and waited in line for 30 minutes. While waiting for the doors to open, I realized I was in front of a local writer I’ve been following on Instagram, and got to chat with her for a while. I picked up some lovely Christmas presents for myself, since the prices were better than anything I’d ever seen online.

My husband and daughter ran some errands, and brought home burgers from Five Guys for lunch. I hadn’t had a burger since before I started my Weight Watchers journey in August, and let me tell you: it was good!

YUM!!

Yesterday, I took my daughter to the Nutcracker Tea for the fourth time. Cookies, hot chocolate, and other sweets are served, and a local ballet school performs an abbreviated version of the ballet. There’s also a selection of local boutiques selling goodies for the holidays. It’s a fun, girly event, and has become a bit of a tradition. I’m sure she’ll tire of it soon, but for now I’m glad that she still looks forward to it.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve recently started doing “Sample Sundays”, where I pull some of the many samples from my stash to use during this week. Here’s what I’m working on this week:

The Week Ahead

I’m working one day this week, and I expect it’ll be pretty quiet. My daughter has school Monday and Tuesday, but my husband is working through Wednesday. He actually has to drive out to Syracuse for work that day, so we’ll wait until Thursday morning to head down to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. We’ll spend Thursday night there, then drive to his parents’ house in New Jersey on Friday. We’ll head home Saturday afternoon, and start decorating our house for Christmas.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Monday: Shrimp stir fry w/ jasmine rice
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker pot roast
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pie, and a side of elastic waistband!
  • Friday: Dinner with my in-laws
  • Saturday: Ravioli w/ frozen peas
  • Sunday: Maryland crab cakes w/ green beans

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!! I hope you have a beautiful holiday!!

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

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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