Meal Planning – Week 2

Some Boy reviews from last week – since I’m thinking it might be helpful to have a boy opinion on these things:

“This is the best soup you have ever made” that was the ringing endorsement from the Boy as were enjoying Loaded Potato Soup from last week for the 3rd time.  The Boy does leftovers, but that he’s been willing to do this soup leftover time after time after time = note worthy. So if you haven’t made the Loaded Potato Soup from last week – I highly recommend it.

This week I made the controversial Warm Quinoa Salad from week 1 last Sunday night – it was super yummy and the Boy after his unwillingness to make it started this conversation:
Boy – Oh yeah, this one’s not bad.  I like the corn
Me – I know.  That’s what you said the last time.
Boy – How can you expect me to remember these things
Me – I don’t.  I remember for you.
Boy – Oh. I didn’t believe you.
Me – I know. I told you that too.

Onwards and upwards.

I didn’t actually get to Week 2’s meal list until Tuesday last week, since the leftovers (made and in grocery state) lasted us into the beginning of the week.  Sweet – making those groceries go further is always a good thing. When we ended up eating out Wednesday (date with mom) Thursday (multiple appointments for everyone + puppy school = sushi night) and Friday (date in Alliston with the fam), Saturday the Boy was reunited with friends and hockey and I was left on my own – week 2 quickly turned into week 3. I’m still trying to balance having enough ideas in mind and the fact that we’re on,y 2 people so maybe 6 recipes in mind is too many. Learning.

ANYWAY, Tuesday I made Raw Zucchini Pasta with Thai Peanut Sauce – I was really hesitant of the Boy’s review on this one.  I’ve had something similar so I wasn’t too worried about it and pretty intrigued (obvioulsy that’s why it made it on the list) but telling the Boy to think of raw Zucchini as pasta… I wasn’t sure how that would go.  I pre-made the sauce when I was home at lunch (the perks of working close to home) and after an evening skate we came home to a quick and easy dinner.  I added finely grated carrots and beets to the mix. Yum-o.

Raw Zucchini Pasta with Thai Sauce

I don’t know why the Boy was skeptical – Beets make it Pretty in Pink!

The Boy was as predicted very sketched out by the presentation – but he did admit that it was really tasty, not only that but that we could have it again. I’ll take that as “singing it’s praises”.

This week we had hamburgers, (technically not on the list, but we didn’t have chicken so – it all works out in the end) and the soup from Oh She Glows was a big hit with me, and the ably liked that he could put tortilla chips in it (since he’s not a big fan of beans – this too is practically singing it’s praises). Wednesday I made the Portabello and Red Pepper Mac and cheese but instead of the Yum Universe cheese sauce (which Sista found a bit bland) I turned to Oh She Glows again for her Vegan Alfredo sauce which is super yummy. Last night the sauce from the Raw Zucchini Pasta made another dinner for both of us plus a lunch. Love it when a little goes a long way!

I haven’t made the falafels yet, but given that they’re made with 2 cans of chickpeas – I’m thinking these will go pretty far and we’ll have some quick and dirty freezer falafels going forward. Score.

The Recipes:

Week 2:

Snacks – Morning Glory Muffins – Spilling the Beans.  In an effort to eat less wheat I made these with Gluten Free All Purpose Flour – straight up. They were still good, but they stuck to the paper like crazy and didn’t really rise.

We still had Peanut Butter Bars and Cheesy Hummus in the fridge, so I froze the muffins to make them last longer. Grab one in the morning and you’re good to go by first recess!

Lunches – Quinoa and Lentils Mandarin Salad – Quinoa 365

Big Salad with Falafels – Plant Powered Kitchen
Raw Zucchini Pasta with Thai Peanut Sauce – The Healthy Ginger
Black bean, Red Quinoa and Sweet Potato Soup – Oh She Glows
Portabello and Red Pepper Mac and Cheeze – Yum Universe + Oh She Glows Cheeze Sauce
Whole Chicken, Protein Mashed Potatoes and Veggies

The littlest Gramps

See this little man?

 Image

He just (well not just, like 2 months ago) turned 1.

I decided I would knit for all our little people for their birthdays.  This was a decision to try and save my Christmas knitting sanity – why set myself up to frantically knit small people sweaters for Christmas when I can spread the knitting throughout the year?!  It was a brilliant plan especially since I ended up going to the other extreme with Christmas knitting and not knitting a single gift. I know. Shocking.

But I digress, back to this face.

 Image

He turned 1 in November, and his mom may have mentioned something about him needing a new toque.  It seems he had long out grown the infant toque I knit for him and he definitely needed to maintain his status as the coolest baby in daycare.

Hunter Toque  

Of course, I couldn’t just knit him a toque. So I knit a set.  Matching trim to pompom the Gramps sweater and Hunter toque are too cute if I do say so myself.

 Gramps Sweater

The best part? Both are made with Comfort yarn which I love for littles because it’s chunky size knits up super quick and the acrylic blend makes it soft and completely laundry safe. Washing machine and dryer this baby – you will not hurt it.

 Happy Birthday Little Man!

Love the elbow patches and big collar – this little guy is a true sophisticate.

Love the Collar and the elbow patches!

 

Obsessive Knitting

I’ve had a little unscheduled hiatus from knitting. It wasn’t planned, I just found myself exhausted after work and more interested in cuddling a small puppy face who was more interested in eating the eknitting than sitting nicely and letting me multitask (cuddling + knitting = best of two really great worlds).

The puppy is getting bigger and after much success with puppy school I have found myself able to multitask once again with knitting and making her practice “leave it”

And I’ve become obsessed.

I have multiple projects on the go of course, like any sensible knitter, but instead I found myself starting something new. And starting something big.

A sweater.

Not just any sweater. A Tanis sweater. A sweater I’ve been obsessing about since I first saw it online. A sweater I have the pleasure of knitting in Tanis Green Label Aran weight yarn.

And I’ve become obsessed.

Maybe it’s because I’m doing the back, which is largely plain stocking stitch, and is super quick with this chunky yarn. Maybe it’s because I have been obsessing with it for well over a year, should I knit it, shouldn’t I knit it. Maybe it’s because it’s cold outside, and I would like nothing more than to wrap myself up in this lovely warm sweater. Maybe with jeans. Maybe with jeggings (my other new obsession).

Yes, that’s probably it. The gratification of a big project is delayed – big projects take more time of course. But it’s so great when they’re done that they make me obsessively power through.

My prediction, Gordon is going to be very good at “Leave it” by the time I’m wrapped in the warmth and squishyness of Green Label.

Maybe if she’s lucky I’ll have just enough left over for her….. maybe, but not likely.

I Hurt my Everything

I was cleaning up my blog this weekend and came across this fully written but unpublished post from last February.  I’m not really sure why I didn’t publish it.  Or maybe I did – although I couldn’t find it when I searched through my blog.  It’s a little story about starting to do yoga with BFF Kristyn.  I have vague recollections of publishing if not this something very similar.  But alas, earwax. So if I did publish it and you have read it already, maybe you’ll enjoy reading it again.  If I didn’t publish it, well, this a little story about why I stopped going to the gym and started going to yoga.  Of course, now I’m back at the gym and I must say that most of my problems with the gym still exist – but I have a buddy, so I overcome them and I go…. 4 mornings per week – aiming for 5 this week. 

I know.  It’s crazy-pants.

Anyway, I thought I’d share this one despite it’s blast from the past.  Kristyn and I are still going once a week.  She’s back to work now which makes it a bit more challenging but I think we’re back in the swing of it officially.  The Boy says I’m crazy, with my gym-ing and yogi-ing and my working out 6 times a week.  I think he’s jealous.

Enjoy!

_________________________

From February 2012

Let me tell you a little story about me, the gym and motivation.  It’s short and sweet.  I got married.  The pictures are lovely (if I do say so myself) and then I pretty much stopped going.  Sure I check in every once in a while. But basically – no dice.

My problems with the gym include the following

1. I don’t know what to do at the gym
2. At the end of the day I’m sleepy
3. At the beginning of the day, I’m sleeping
4. I hate leaving the house again once I’ve been home – I’ll do it, but only if someone asks me to.
5. The gym does not call me and ask me to leave the house.
6. Most of what I’m doing at the gym I could be doing outside.
7. There are a lot of evenings where I go home and go for a walk with the Boy rather than go to the gym and walk/jog on the treadmill.
8. I don’t like strangers.
9. I don’t like calling 1 hour before to book myself a spot in a yoga class.
10. The level of fitness of the other people at the gym makes me uncomfortable.

Knowing my membership ends in March has led me to think about what I should do starting then.  I made a list of things I like to do:
1. Walk/maybe I could run outside. (the hecklers when I first tried running outside do scare me but maybe I could do it.)
2. Yoga (specifically of the hot variety)
3. Outdoor activities in the nice weather. (ex. I want the Boy to teach me how to play tennis)

So I emailed BFF Kristyn and proposed a plan.  We meet once a week and go to a yoga class. Once a week. That’s not a big commitment, totally doable and we would work through the buddy system.  I’ll go if I know someone else is waiting for me to show up.  She LOVED the idea, and there is a new Hot Yoga studio that just opened up around the corner from her.  It gives me a buddy to yogi with and her a couple of hours away from her beautiful baby boy and out with other adults, doing a little something that’s just for her.  Win-win-win.

We went last Thursday.

On Friday I hurt.  I hurt all over.  It hurt to laugh, it hurt to go up the stairs, it hurt to go down the stairs, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand.  Saturday if you can believe it – I’m sure you can – worse.

BUT it was worth it. I felt good afterward. I saw my friend. I sweat. I ercised. I didn’t spend the night in front of the TV. Win-Win-Win-Win-Win.

So, despite my muscle’s cries to make it stop.  We’re headed back on Wednesday.  It thought it might kill us, but no pain no gain – Right?!

Well, I hurt again.  BUT I hurt in slightly fewer spots. I was more awake on Thursday. I slept well. I sweat. I didn’t spend the night in front of the TV. I saw my friend.  Win-win-win-win-win-win.

Good-bye gym membership.  Hello something I actually like doing.

Meal Planning -Week 1

True to my word I started meal planning this week.  The Pinterest inspiration that I saw involved colour coded cue cards in 10 different colours for 10 weeks of meal plans.  There was a grocery list attached to the top, so in theory one would just have to grab a stack head out to the grocery store and one would be set for the week.  This would work swimmingly if one was, a. Martha Stewart or b. Crazy OCD like the Boy, or c. actually devoted an weekend to planning 10 weeks of meals, printing them on colour coded cue cards, printed out the corresponding grocery lists and then displayed them beautifully for their esthetic beauty and to be showy about how ridiculously organized one was.
 
I am none of these things.
 
So I thought I’d start small, one week at a time.  I have done this before, but the lovely Pinterest post did highlight one small detail for me – save the lists.  Brilliant.
 
Week One was done on the fly while the Boy was in the shower 10 minutes pre-grocery shopping.
 
I grabbed everything from some of (mostly one of) my favourite veggie blogs – ran through what we had already in the fridge (nothing) and in the pantry (surprisingly a lot) and off we went. The only item we’re short – I didn’t buy enough Basil which will require a grocery stop tonight. No biggie.
 
It’s Friday and so far we have been pretty good. The Boy nixed the warm quinoa salad, claiming not to like it even though he’s had it before and definitely did like it. Instead he made pasta and red sauce, a la Boy. But at least he was funny about it…

The Boy Cooks

For those that may be following along, I give you Week 1.

Week 1:
 
Lunches Soup – Carrot Ginger and Apple – Oh She Glows

Snacks:
Cheesy Hummus – Oh She Glows
5 minute No Bake Peanut Butter Bars – Fannetastic Food  – I make these with Sunflower butter so that the Boy can take them to school – I also added mini chocolate chips so that the Boy will consider them a treat, and not some “crunchy good for you thing I’m trying to pass off as a granola bar”
 
 
Dinner:
Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta – Oh She Glows – yummy, quick and easy.
Warm Quinoa Salad – Oh She Glows
Steak, Sweet Potatoes and Veggies – a la Boy
Loaded Baked Potato Soup – Peas and Thank You –  I made this last night and after taking another look at the ingredients – 1 cup of cheese into the pot, plus more on top? That is loaded. I don’t think so Mama Pea.  I skipped the 1 cup mixin’ and just added someme shredded on top. I’ll be sure to report back.
Lentil Loaf – Oh She Glows –  I make these in mini-loaf pans, then we can have 1 each for dinner and the other 8 go in the freezer for lunches (mostly mine – the Boy generally takes leftovers from dinner the night before) – but since we didn’t make it through all the recipes this week, I’ll probably push them over to next week.

and thrown in at the last minute –
Pasta and Red Sauce with left over steak chunks and veggies – a la Boy

Before and After

The Boy and I just enjoyed a full 2 weeks off of work for the holidays.  It was much needed and completely glorious.  We spent time with family and friends, between Christmas and New Years, but the bulk of our second week was spent turning our house into a beautiful after from a very blank, very white before.

We had some help, my mom’s interior designer came over and helped us pick colours.  Some people might love working from a completely blank slate, but I found it really overwhelming and was very grateful for the help – and the ability to choose from bigger swatches than just the 2×2 inches you get at the paint store.

When we bought our house, all the walls were builders white. Personally, I don’t know how the people we bought from lived with builders white for a 5 years.  It was driving me crazy! It might be because it was the crappiest paint job I have ever seen. I might have been able to live with a decent looking builders white for a while, but really – for me the starting point is paint on the walls.  I’ve lived with white walls before, many of my apartments were white walls, but for some reason, likely because it’s our house (and did I mention the crappy quality and dinginess?), I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel like we should bother hanging many pictures or find a rug, or even organize our small book shelf before we put a some colour on the walls.

Before CollageSo over the last week we did just that.

Day 1 – ceilings.

Day 2 – living room – October Mist

Day 3 – kitchen – Windham Cream; small bathroom – Wheat Penny

Day 4 – entrance and up the stairs – Raintree Green; upstairs ceiling.

Day 5 – trim

Day 6 – new IKEA wall unit –  installation and filling/decorating

Day 7 – just as God did when creating the world – we rested.

In between we had a small break for New Years Eve and we (and by we I obviously mean the Boy – I showed up for unpacking) moved the Brother.

My God, we are tired.

In Progress CollageBut it was totally worth it.

Now we’re decorating, choosing a rug, looking for pictures and it generally just feels so much warmer and more homey.

Seriously love it.

A sneak peek at the after - some better ones to come.

A sneak peek at the after – some better ones to come.

What was your first project in your house?

Happy Anniversary

Just taking a small break from our painting marathon to officially wish the Boy a happy anniversary. Nope, it’s not our wedding, or the day we met, our first kiss, or engagement.

The Boy has been clean and sober of McDonalds for 13 months today. That means the Boy didn’t eat that nasty stuff once in 2012, and in my books that means he’s officially kicked the habit – which deserves both mention and celebration.

We are officially a McD’s free household. AWESOME.

Congratulations buddy!

Next up – Taco Bell?!

Do you have any bad food habits that you’ve kicked? The Boy went cold turkey – does that work for you?

Happy New Year

It’s that time of year again – new year, new resolve. I’ve been thinking about the start of 2013 for a while now, what habits I’d like to bring back in my life or do without. And while generally I don’t think New Year’s resolutions are terribly successful, I think the change in the calendar does give us a fresh start to try again. So what if I only make it to February or March – that’s better than nothing right?

One way to make resolutions stick a bit better is to make them: 1. things you really want to do, 2. not too complicated, and 3. manageable. Of course there’s that whole SMART thing, but that goes against my own rule #2 – lets keep it simple.

So for 2013, I’ve got 2 simple goals.

1. Meal plan. “What do you want for dinner is an all too common question in our house. I’m thinking if I can get back to having a list of meals for the week, the part I don’t like about making dinner will be limited to once per week. Pinterest is helping me on this one, with some great organizational tips, some simple enough they just might work.

2. Back to Blogging. I really miss my blog, and according to lots of the people I saw over the holidays, I’m not alone on that one. So, back to blogging it is. I’m not really sure why I stopped, I guess I just needed a break. But now, I’m settled in my job, the puppy is less demanding, we’re homeowners and we’re busy little bees making our house a home, and I’m determined to knit more and watch less tv. To me, all of these together equal a good recipe for getting back to a little hobby I really do enjoy.

So that’s it. No health goals – I’m healthy, and I’m still gymming it up. Blog, and food. Hopefully one can help add fodder for the other!

Any other resolutions out there? How long do you expect you’ll make it?