Weekly Meal Plan

Mondays always sneak up on me. Just when I get used to the weekend routine, BAM! it’s over and Monday is back. Since I  don’t have the power to create more weekend, how about we just move on and get to talking about the meals for this week.

I was one of the many people who pre-ordered the new cookbook Skinnytaste Fast and Slow. It is a great book with lots of mouthwatering photos of meals that I think she wrote just for me. In honor of my new favorite cookbook, I planned my week’s meals entirely from this book. If you haven’t already picked it up, I highly recommend it (and no, I was not paid to say this).

Breakfasts: Breakfast Banana Splits. I had my first one this morning and it was delicious! With tons of fruit, yogurt, granola, and a sprinkling of coconut flakes, it was a great way to start my morning.

Lunches: We will be doing two different lunches this week for a chance to try more recipes from the book and to mix things up a bit.

  • Kale Caesar and Grilled Chicken Bowls. You really can’t go wrong with a Caesar salad. I am adding a few croutons to the top of mine since I love a little crunch in my salad.
  • Roasted Brussels Bowls with Spicy Sausage. I am a sucker for anything with a tomato sauce, so this bowl called to me when I found the recipe. Roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms topped with a meaty sauce sounds like the perfect comfort food for later in the week, when it is cold and rainy here in New England.

Dinners: Two more recipes from the new book will be tried out for dinner this week.

  • Slow Cooker Pollo in Potacchio over egg noodles with a hot roll on the side. This is just one more opportunity to indulge in a tomato-based sauce!
  • Pizza-Stuffed Chicken Roll-Ups with a side salad. The first word in this one is pizza, need I say more?

Dessert: I always want dessert, but I don’t always plan ahead to have something to satisfy my sweet tooth. That will not be a problem this week, since Crustless Slow Cooker Apple Pie à la Mode is on the menu. I can just tell that this is going to be amazing. I mean, there is no way that hot apple pie filling topped with ice cream is not absolutely spectacular!

That is my plan for this week. Good luck with yours!

Weekly Meal Plan

Am I the only one losing the Tupperware battle? Every time I go to get a container, all of the containers come tumbling out of the cabinet and all over the floor. And then the one container I do grab is the only one that doesn’t have a lid! Where did the lid go?!?! I am convinced that there is some sort of container gremlin that steals them… In other news, here is my meal plan for your read while I reorganize the cabinet and try to regain my composure.

Breakfasts: Oatmeal is back in style this week. The mornings are cold and there is nothing more body warming than a cup of hearty oatmeal.

Lunches: Fajitas!! Peppers, onions, and black beans seasoned to perfection, topped with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream, and then  wrapped in warm flour tortillas – yum! Served with a small cup of rice we should be filled with plenty of energy to get through the afternoons.

Dinners:

  • Sloppy Joe topped baked potatoes. Sprinkled with some cheddar and broiled until melted and bubbling, this should prove to be delicious!
  • Beef stew with a hot roll to sop up the gravy.
  • Pizza! Topped with sausage, bacon, spinach, and goat cheese. A gourmet take on the typical weeknight pizza.

Good luck with your plan (and your Tupperware)!

Autumn is finally here!

You know autumn has arrived when there is a crispness in the air,  a crock pot on the counter, and baked goods in the oven.

Yesterday, my house was the perfect fall specimen with two crock pots goings, scones and cookies baking, and some minor fall accoutrements finally adorning the front porch.


I love this time of year! Happy Fall!

Weekly Meal Plan

Work and life are always busy this time of year so I am trying to keep my meal plans simple by doing a bunch of weekly prep on Sunday – did I hear someone say crock pot? I will be making two dinners in the crock pot and whipping up some breakfast scones that we can just grab and go with during the week. Here is the full plan.

Breakfast: Homemade chocolate chip scones for Tim and lemon scones for me. Eaten alongside a hot cup of coffee, these should make for a very satisfying breakfast. I will use this recipe as a base, and then add chocolate chips or lemon zest to make my two varieties. I plan to top the lemon ones with a lemon glaze.

Lunch: Curried chicken salad (from The Skinnytaste Cookbook) in wheat wraps with a side of chips and orange slices.

Dinner: The crock pot is my savior this week!

  • BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with salad. I am making a big batch of pulled pork in the crock pot for this meal and the next.
  • Roasted sweet potatoes topped with BBQ pulled pork, cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and scallions
  • Hungarian Goulash – my grandfather’s recipe. Served over egg noodles with bread for sopping up the delicious sauce
  • Freezer Find: Crock Pot Bolognese over pasta with garlic bread and salad

Happy eating!

Mini Dining Room Update

Since I updated the dining room a few months back, I have felt that the one wall was missing something. I had hung some large pictures, but the wall felt blah. This weekend, I found the perfect additions to the wall – two teal sconces!

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Adding these to either side of the pictures brought just the right amount of color and detail to the wall making it feel complete. I do love when an impulse buy at Hobby Lobby works out just perfect!

Happy Decorating!

Weekly Meal Plan

I am pretty sure food costs more today than it did just a few months ago. Recently, I have really struggled to keep our grocery bill under budget. In fact, most weeks we are quite a bit over budget. I usually blame the paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, and all that), but I am pretty sure everything has gone up in price. I am trying to use more coupons, but those only go so far. While, I haven’t found a good way to cut costs yet, I am hoping that getting back to the basics of meal planning will help reduce my spending by limiting the impulse buys.

With all that said, here is my meal plan for this week.

Breakfast: Cereal for me and granola bars for Tim. Nothing special this week, just the basics.

Lunches: Roast beef wraps with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and some nose-clearing horseradish sauce. Paired with Pringles® and orange slices, we should have a nice filling lunch.

Dinner: I like to do a mix of quick dinners and slow cooker dinners to give us plenty of weeknight options.

  • Lasagna – the recipe from the back of the noodle box! Paired with Caesar salad and garlic bread for a delicious and comforting meal.
  • Sausage and mushroom ragú over zoodles.
  • Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff. This recipe came with my free download for pre-ordering Skinnytaste Fast and Slow.

 

Let’s Eat – Meal Plan this Week

Hot weather necessitates that the meals this week be as simple and fast as possible.

  • Breakfast
    • Iced Coffee
    • Greek Yogurt (Strawberry or Mixed Berry) with Granola
  • Lunch
    • Kielbasa with peppers, onions, and potatoes (I followed this recipe, but used some cajun seasoning on the potatoes and replaced the sausage with turkey kielbasa)
    • Pretzels
  • Dinner
    • Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas with blue cheese broccoli slaw
    • Ruben Quesadillas
    • Meat lovers pizza topped with arugula salad

That is my plan for the week. Good luck with yours!

Meals this Week

It has been too long since I posted a meal plan. While you might think that this means that I am not making them, I am actually still doing them, I am just failing to write about them… sorry about that.

With that said, here is my plan for this week.

  • Breakfast
    • Iced Coffee – to save money we are buying bottled iced coffee at the grocery store (this one or this one)
    • Whole Wheat English Muffins topped with Peanut Butter and Banana Slices (Yum!)
  • Lunch
    • Spicy Cajun Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Quinoa. I started with this recipe and then added a small scoop of prepared quinoa to make this a filling and complete meal.
    • Sargento String Cheese – these are my favorite afternoon snack
    • Hershey Nugget (Lunch is not complete without a little chocolate dessert!)
  • Dinner Options
  • Dessert Options
    • 100 Calorie Klondike Bars – Vanilla
    • Breyers Vanilla Snack Cups (100 calories)
    • Snack Size Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bars by Weight Watchers (80 calories)

That is my plan for the week. Good luck with yours!

It started with the chairs…

A few months back, a good sale got me the pair of parsons chairs I have been looking for. Once I got the chairs in the house, though, everything changed. The chairs started out in the living room flanking the round game table as I had originally intended in this post.

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After living with this arrangement for a few days, I was not convinced that this was the right look for the room.  It was functional but didn’t feel as well balanced as I would have liked. Here are some daytime shots with a smaller game table…

I called my mom up and asked her opinion about the room; we agreed that the look was just ok. We then set about rearranging to find something better. First we swapped the chairs side for side.

This was a little better, so we turned our sights to the fireplace and made some adjustments to get the right color balance.

We settled on the last option, option 4. I lived with this layout for a few days. After those days, however, I was still not impressed with the room. It was still just “ok” and not “wow” or “amazing”.

Back to the drawing board. This time we did something bold and moved the big arm chair beside the fireplace and flanked the window seat with the parsons chairs.

This was an interesting look, but needed more weight by the window seat to make this look more like the “sofa” in the room. Enter makeshift coffee table…IMG_0024

I created the coffee table by putting my two filing cabinet side tables back to back. It was the perfect height for the window seat.

Some additional finessing of pillow, blankets, and the fireplace decor gave me this design:

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The rug is a bit small and a little boring, but overall I was pretty pleased with the room… at least for now.

And few days later there was this great deal on a teal and white zig zag rug from Target, and I thought it would be perfect to jazz up the room. And this is where things got really out of hand!

A week went by and the rug arrived.

I liked the idea of the rug, but the color was not as bright as the other teal in the room and seemed to muddy the bright tones. It just didn’t work, sigh.

At this point, many people would simply return the rug, but I had other ideas – could the rug go in the dining room??? With nothing but my own brute strength, I set to figuring that out…

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And the answer is yes! So I moved the teal rug to the dining room and the white rug that was in the dining room to the living room. Balance was restored to both rooms.

Things stayed like this for about a week and then it was time to remove the orange from the dining room and add a different color… like yellow! I found this great fabric online that had all the colors I had been thinking about.

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I ordered one yard to see if it worked in the room. Upon arrival, I was not disappointed.

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The colors in the fabric went great with the rug and brought out the yellow and teal in my dishes. Overall, a big win that sparked some rearranging in the room to allow the fabric to take center stage.

First, I turned the table 90º to go the across the room rather than lengthwise down the middle. This meant I also needed to move the buffet table to the window side of the room to allow adequate walk space around the table.

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The topiaries were not feeling right at the end of the room, so I swapped those for the new chairs.

Much better! The chairs really anchored the room and brought a nice balance to the window. Of course by moving the chairs in here, I upset the living room layout. More on that in a minute. Let’s focus on the dining room first. Since the buffet table was moved, I was left with a big empty wall to fill and I needed something to balance the weight of the built-in hutch. After some wandering around the house looking for something to steal, I remembered picking up two huge framed pictures at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

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These pictures filled the wall beautifully! Maybe I will add some decorative plates to the wall too, but for now, this works quite well. And as you can see, the new fabric also looks awesome as a table runner! Check out this shot looking in from the living room. Notice how nice the pop of yellow looks on the chair.

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Since that little yellow pillow was actually stolen from my guest room, I went online to hunt down some yellow fabric to use for pillows and also for the inside of the hutch. Here is what I decided on:

Now that all of the fabric choices were made, I ordered the fabric and patiently waited. Ok, so I wasn’t that patient, but I did have to wait.

While I waited, I set about trying to sort out the mess in the living room. Not sure where to start, I called up my mom and asked for some help. Her first suggestion was to try the new fabric in the living room. Her thought was that it might add a nice “spring time” update to the colors in the room.

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I also stole a pillow from the porch to add some green to the mix. And surprise, surprise, mom was right and the colors look awesome in the living room. It gave the space a fresh and happy vibe. Using this as my jumping off point, I went through my house stealing other green and yellow accents.

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The first green I found was an accent chair. This chair was living comfortably in my office prior to my rearranging. Once I had the chair in the room, I set about adding some side tables and balancing out the room.

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I have been on the hunt for a place in the house to put this teal bench since it was moved out of my den last year. I am so glad it has a place again. I also love that I have a foot rest from all of the seats in the room now!

The final touch to the living room was the addition of the bar cart. This cart was in the dining room but with all the changes, it was in need of a new home. I hope it will be happy in the living room – I know I am happy to have it there!

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So after weeks of rearranging, more rearranging, and then a little more rearranging, and then a little sewing, I am finally happy with my rooms.