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?

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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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Monday Meal Plan #29

Happy Monday-ish, okay, Tuesday night! I hope you had a fantastic weekend – or at least you did something better than I did…

Weekend Recap

I had my first colonoscopy on Monday. If you’re unfamiliar with the procedure, there’s a lot of “prep” involved. Essentially, you consume only clear liquids the day before, then empty your digestive tract with the help of over-the-counter medications. My procedure was scheduled at 7:30am on Monday, and I had to arrive an hour early. Because you’re sedated (thankfully!) you need someone to drive you home afterwards.

Since my husband was with me at the hospital, my parents came up to stay with our daughter and get her on the school bus Monday morning. They arrived Saturday afternoon, and had lunch with us at our house. We then spent some time walking around at a local park. For my last supper, we ordered take-out from one of my favorite local restaurants, and I got my clear liquids ready to go for Sunday.

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, so we took our daughter to the farmers’ market for an egg hunt, then my husband took her to a playdate at a park. I headed home and went for a walk, then started my prep. The rest of Sunday I was locked in my bedroom by myself, where I caught up on a lot of reading. (I finished this book, which I really enjoyed.)

The Week Ahead

Between getting up at the crack of dawn, my procedure, then waiting for the sedation to wear off, I was pretty out-of-commission on Monday. I work Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and my daughter has a swimming lesson Thursday evening. Her spring break week starts on Friday, and we’re spending the Easter weekend at home. We’ll be going out for Easter brunch on Sunday, at a place we’ve gone several years in the past.

A chilly Easter two years ago

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 #28

Happy Monday! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Weekend Recap

Late last week, my daughter got hit with a stomach bug. Although being sick is never fun, we got off pretty easy this cold-and-sickness season. In past years, she’s had a cold every few weeks, October through March. This year, she had only one or two colds early in the season, and this has been our family’s only stomach bug of the year. I haven’t been sick at all, and my husband had only one, horrendous cold. (I’m knocking furiously on wood as I type this!)

Fortunately our daughter was back to normal on Saturday, and she was able to attend a friend’s birthday party that afternoon. My husband and I took the opportunity to go out for lunch and walk around downtown Saratoga. At lunch, I had a delicious burger, and because my no added sugar month was over, I was able to enjoy it with a bun! (You can read what I learned and experienced during my month without pleasure sugar, here.) While downtown, we spent a little time in Saratoga’s fantastic, independent bookstore, where I picked up the book I’m now reading, The Lowland. That evening, I binge-watched season two of The Fabulous Beekman Boys.

The weather was sunny and warm-ish yesterday, so I went for a walk, and spent some time looking for signs of spring in our yard. While blooms are still a ways away, some bulbs are definitely sprouting! I also had some straw bales delivered for this year’s straw bale garden. I planned to only plant eight bales this year, but the farmer from whom I purchased the bales only sells them in groups of 15. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll plant veggies and herbs in all of them. If not, the extras will be used for mulch and compost.

The Week Ahead

This week, I’m working two days per week at my regular job, and potentially a third day at another job. (I was recently contacted by someone I know in the career center at a different liberal arts college in my area, and asked about filling in for someone who has gone on maternity leave. That position may or may not start this week.)

My daughter has swimming lessons Thursday evening, and my parents are arriving for a visit on Saturday. The purpose of their visit is to get my daughter on the school bus Monday morning, since I have my dreaded colonoscopy early that morning, and my husband will be accompanying me to that torture event. As a result, I’ll be fasting and “prepping” on Sunday. (I think I’d rather give up sugar again, quite frankly.)

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

  • Monday: Turkey meatloaf from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (didn’t happen last week) and stuffing
  • Tuesday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: Pasta with tomatoes, spinach, and cheese
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Curried rice with shrimp from Real Simple Easy Delicious Meals and roasted veggies
  • Saturday: Takeout or dinner out with my parents
  • Sunday: Everyone else is on their own, since I’ll be “prepping”

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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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?

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