Weekly Meal Plan: 2/12/18

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

Weekend Recap

We finally got some warm-ish – we’re talking temps in the 30’s here – weather over the weekend, which melted some of the foot of snow we received last week. Let’s hope this trend continues!

On Saturday, we met with our accountant to go over all of our 2017 documentation, and to talk a little bit about planning for 2018. Afterwards, we got breakfast at a nearby restaurant that we hadn’t tried before, then picked up a few cheap reads at a library book sale. (Seven books for $2.50!)

Yesterday I ran some errands, including a stop to our library to pick up a book I requested after hearing the author interviewed on Katie Couric’s podcast, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. I found their discussion about “chronotypes” fascinating, and I’m very excited to read this book. While I ran errands, my husband took our daughter and one of her friends to Skyzone and out for lunch.

The Week Ahead

It’s a full work and school week for my family. I’ll be working five days – two at Skidmore and three at Union. My daughter has gymnastics Wednesday evening, so no romantic Valentine’s Day plans for us! (Although we do typically exchange gifts of candy.) My daughter has an activity with her Brownie troop on Saturday, and on Sunday, my husband’s parents are coming up from New Jersey for a visit. They usually spend the afternoon with us, and take us out for lunch and/or dinner.

Weekly Meal Plan

  • Monday: Tacos/taco salads
  • Tuesday: Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms (from Real Simple Dinner Tonight: Done) w/ pasta
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Spinach pie from Trader Joe’s w/ Israeli cous cous
  • Friday: Pizza w/ frozen veggies
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Dinner w/ my in-laws

What are you having for dinner this week?

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Weekly Meal Plan: 1/29/18

Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Weekend Recap

It was a pretty quiet weekend here. I stayed home from work on Friday, thanks to a very sore throat and a fever. Tylenol helped a lot, and I was able to review a bunch of resumes and cover letters for students from home.

On Saturday, I made my weekly Target run, and picked up a bunch of Valentine’s Day goodies for my daughter and my nephews, as well as some birthday gifts for my nephew, Charlie, who’s turning two next month. I did also some magazine reading and tidying up.

Yesterday morning, I ran a couple of errands with my daughter, including a dreaded Sunday grocery run, then spent the rest of the day puttering around home. (Have you noticed that I do the same thing – not much – most winter weekends??)

The Week Ahead

It’s another five-day work week for me, and it’s going to be a busy one! As I type this on Sunday, all of my student appointment slots on Monday and Tuesday are already full, and Wednesday and Thursday are half-full. It’s amazing how busy college career centers are right after the students come back from spending four to six weeks at home with their parents…

My daughter has gymnastics on Wednesday evening, and on Sunday we’re going to a friends’ birthday/Super Bowl party. We’ll actually leave before the game starts because my husband wants to watch the game without talking to people, and I don’t want to watch the game at all. Thus, we’re both terrible Super Bowl party attendees!

Weekly Meal Plan

Remember when I did a huge stock-up trip at Trader Joe’s a couple of weeks ago?? We’re still enjoying the frozen goodies I picked up there, this week. Also, in keeping with my goals for 2018, I’m trying a new recipe tonight. (Needless to say, my daughter will not be eating it, since two foods from her lengthy, do-not-eat list are key ingredients.)

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

  • Monday: Simple Mushroom Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles
  • Tuesday: Beef tacos/ taco salads
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Ravioli from Trader Joe’s w/ green salads
  • Friday: Mandarin Orange Chicken w/ Trader Joe’s Vegetable Friday Rice
  • Saturday: Beef and bean chili w/ rice and frozen veggies
  • Sunday: “Football food”

What are you having for dinner this week??

Weekly Meal Plan:1/22/18

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

Weekend Recap

We enjoyed some warmer weather over the weekend, which made it much more tolerable to be out-and-about. On Saturday, I made a Target run, as well as a couple of other errands. My daughter headed to a friends’ house for a sleepover late in the afternoon, and my husband and I went out to dinner Saturday night. (Restaurant gift card from friend + sleepover for daughter = free date night!!)

Yesterday, I did some cleaning in the morning, and my husband took down all of our remaining outdoor Christmas decorations. Our daughter had a friend over for an afternoon play date, and my husband watched the football games. I have ZERO interest in football – or sports of any kind, to be honest – so I spent some time reading the paper and watching videos on YouTube.

The Week Ahead

It’s another five-day work-week for me! I’ll be at Skidmore College Monday and Tuesday, and at Union College for the rest of the week. It should be pretty busy at both schools, which makes for hectic, but fast-moving work days. As usual, my daughter has gymnastics on Wednesday evening, and at least as of now, we don’t have any plans for next weekend.

Weekly Meal Plan

I can’t pass up a good sale, so our pantry and freezers are bursting at the seams. As a result, I decided to skip making a grocery run for the week, and have a (mostly) pantry-challenge week. (I was inspired by the month-long pantry challenge Jessica from Good Cheap Eats is currently doing.) The only thing we’re going to run out of this week is fresh produce, but I have lots of frozen veggies to get us through the week.

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

  • Monday: Ravioli w/ green beans
  • Tuesday: Special take-out surprise for my husband (shhhh…)
  • Wednesday: Leftovers
  • Thursday: Risotto  (recipe from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking) w/ frozen peas
  • Friday: Mandarin orange chicken w/ vegetable fried rice (both from Trader Joe’s)
  • Saturday: Leftovers
  • Sunday: Tacos/taco salads

What are you having for dinner this week?

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Weekly Meal Plan: 1/8/18

Happy Monday!! I hope you had a warm and lovely weekend!

Weekend Recap

It’s been absolutely freezing here in upstate New York!! When I got up on Saturday and checked the weather, the temperature was -4, and the wind chill was -22. No thank you, Mother Nature!

We had a pretty typical winter weekend for our family, meaning we were basically in hibernation mode. On Saturday, we picked up my car at the mechanic, where it had been hanging out for a couple of days. I was supposed to take it in for just an oil change on Thursday, but the check engine light came on when I turned the car on that morning. It turned out that mice had gnawed through a wire to one of the sensors, which required a pretty inexpensive fix.

We use a mechanic about a half hour from our house, so having a car serviced is always a bit of an ordeal. It was ready for pick-up on Friday, but we opted to pick it up on Saturday. Since the mechanic is halfway to the only Trader Joe’s in our area, I decided to swing by for a stock-up trip. I went a little nuts, but since I’m going to be working almost full-time this month, I wanted to load up my freezers with some of their semi-prepared foods for easy dinners. Just keeping it real, people.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday entailed some exercising on our new treadmill (per my goals for 2018), some cleaning and tidying, some reading (I’m almost finished with What Happened), and lots of relaxing.

The Week Ahead

I’m back to work this week, and I’ll be working five days a week most of this month. I haven’t work five days a week in, well, a long time, so I’m a little nervous about how this is going to go. I’m very used to having a couple of days off during the week, when I can handle errands and household chores. The thought of cramming all of that into the weekends stresses me out. (Yes, I hear all of you full-time workers laughing at me.)

My daughter has a full week of school – assuming the weather cooperates – along with a Brownies meeting after school today, and gymnastics on Wednesday evening.

This Week’s Meal Plan

As I shared on Facebook a few days ago, I’ve been using my new Carrie Elle meal planner to create my meal plans, and I’m loving it! (Naturally I mean that I love the planner, not the process of meal planning, sigh…)

I love this adorable meal planner!

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

What are you having for dinner this week?

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Weekly Meal Plan: 1/1/18

Happy New Year!! I hope you had a lovely weekend and your 2018 is off to a great start! Did you make any resolutions or goals for the new year? I set twelve goals for myself for 2018, one of which is to continue creating weekly meal plans. Womp, womp…

Weekend Recap

We had an extremely low-key weekend. My parents came up to visit us Thursday through Saturday. Since it’s been too cold to be outside for more than a couple of minutes at a time, on Friday afternoon we went to Albany for lunch at Druthers and to visit the New York State Museum. None of us had ever been there, and we were all pleasantly surprised. They had a fantastic exhibit about the history of the women’s suffrage movement, as well as beautiful exhibit of photographs taken in the Hudson Valley, where my parents live and I grew up. Despite all the cool exhibits and displays, my daughter’s favorite part was definitely riding the carousel.

My parents left around noon on Saturday, and my husband, daughter, and I did very little for the rest of the day. My husband started dismantling the Christmas decorations, while I did some laundry and cleaning. My daughter and I played a few exciting games of Monopoly Junior, and I used our new treadmill for the first time.

New Years Eve was basically more of the same: cleaning, laundry, and generally recovering from Christmas. Early in the evening, we went to a party at one of my husband’s coworkers’ house for a couple of hours. We got home and immediately put on our pajamas – which should tell you whether or not we made it until the ball dropped.

The Week Ahead

This will be my last week off before going back to work for the winter term/semester. (One of the colleges I’m working at is on the trimester schedule, and the other is on the more standard, semester schedule.) Winter is a busy time in college career centers – likely because students get an earful from their parents while they’re home for winter break – so I’m anticipating a busy couple of months at work.

Since I’ll be working five-day weeks in January, I need to do as many errands and chores as possible this week. I plan to drop items off at the consignment store, make some grocery stock-up trips, get an oil change in my car, have my blood drawn for my annual blood work, and do whatever else I can do in advance.

My daughter returns to school on Tuesday, but it should be a pretty quiet first week back, without any extracurricular activities.

Thursday is my birthday, so naturally I’m looking forward to a night off from worrying about dinner. 🙂

This Week’s Meal Plan

Welcome to my first meal plan of 2018!! Here’s what we’re having for dinner this week:

What are you having for dinner this week??

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Monday Meal Plan #49

Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

Weekend Recap

Our weekend was a nice mix of down time and activity. Thursday was my last day working at Skidmore until January 8, so Friday I got some present shopping done. Then that night was my husband’s work party in Troy. I hadn’t been there in about eight years, and I was impressed by how cute the area we went to was. I definitely want to go back and walk around – although I think we’ll wait for the spring.

I typically find my husband’s work parties pretty excruciating, but this year’s wasn’t so bad. I’m a pretty introverted person, so hours-long social events tend to exhaust me. Plus, it’s even harder when (1) most attendees are somewhere between tipsy and drunk, (2) I don’t know the people very well – and some not at all, and (3) a lot of the discussion is about work people and/or things that happened at work. My husband and I sat with a very nice couple for the dinner portion this year, and that helped a lot.

On Saturday, my husband took our daughter to one of her favorite places: the arcade. Saratoga doesn’t have a standalone arcade, but there’s one in the bowling alley. As usual, she came home with several junky, plastic toys, and a couple of disgusting candies. I decided to brave the crowds, and hit the local Target and Bath and Body Works in the mall that afternoon. I waited until 4:00 to leave, but things didn’t start to empty out until about 5:00. There are somethings I absolutely adore about the holiday season, and some – like traffic and crowds at stores – which can’t end soon enough!

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to the house of a friend, who was hosting a gingerbread house making event for a group of kids. My husband decided to take advantage of a few hours of alone time, and went to see the new Star Wars movie. Sunday afternoon and evening entailed a good bit of lounging and prepping for the week, plus several games of Monopoly Junior with my daughter. I lost all but one of them.

The Week Ahead

I’m off from both of my part-time jobs until January 8, so the focus of this week is last-minute shopping, wrapping, baking, and miscellaneous Christmas prep. My boss at Skidmore is hosting a holiday lunch for staff at her house this afternoon. We’re each supposed to bring a dessert, and a $15 gift for the Yankee swap. The only other scheduled activity for the week is my daughter’s holiday party at school. It’s for an hour on Thursday morning.

And looking ahead to the Christmas holiday, we’ll spend Christmas Eve at home, then head to my husband’s parents’ house in New Jersey on Christmas day. My parents will come to our house for a few days between Christmas and New Years, for our Christmas celebration with them.

This Week’s Meal Plan

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

What are you having for dinner this week? Are you traveling for the holidays?

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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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