Weekly Menu

weekly menu planning

Summer is definitely wrapping up.  Although it’s been a warm September, everything is dying back and you can tell we’re entering the end of warm weather.

Life has been pretty hectic here the last couple of weeks.  My mom took a turn for the worse and things were a little hairy for a while.  Fortunately they seem to have the immediate issues under control and she’s back in the rehab center.  We’re really praying for a few stable weeks so that she can gain some strength and we can all regain some equilibrium.

This weekend we had some family get togethers and did some fall cleaning.  We had hoped to get to the local apple farm but rain prevented it.  To be honest, I wasn’t overly upset.  It was nice to have some down time.  Mike and I took a long nap.

Are you following me on Periscope?  I try to do one scope a week (although last week it just didn’t get done!).  I’ve shared my Bathroom Bucket routine and what a Plated box looks like when it comes.  I’m not sure what I’ll do this week.  I may do an easy recipe, we’ll just have to wait and see.  Tuesday is usually my day to Scope so be sure and check it out.

With my crazy week I never did get around to making all the Plated meals so we made the Chicken Marsala this evening (Sunday).  Given that I have two dinners out planned (one for work and one with friends) it’s going to be tough to get in all of our Plated weeks.  We’ll probably save the sliders for lunch on Saturday.  The baked chicken Mike and Danielle will eat throughout the week.

Weekly Menu

Welcome to another week.  My week has started off a bit shaky but I’m hopeful that it will get better!

Fall is definitely here and I’m not complaining.  I would have to say that early fall is one of my favorite seasons.  My biggest complaint about it is that it is followed so closely by winter.  Ugh!

We’re getting a Plated.com box this week (I have a couple of more free weeks for new customers.  Drop me a note here if you’re interested)

I loved Plated box weeks because it takes so much of the planning off of my shoulders!  It’s small services like this that has helped me find some balance in my life.  Bonus points for the fact that it also helps us eat better as a family.

How A Morning Bathroom Bucket Saved My Sanity

My morning bathroom bucket has made my life so much easier.  I did a scope of this topic, if you want to see me live and in action check it out!

 

morning bathroom bucket

Bathrooms tend to bring out a lot of stress for mothers.  From the time our children are born it seems like we give up all rights to alone time in the bathroom.  Trust me, it doesn’t stop once you have teenagers.  It just changes.

When we first built our house we bought the smallest house in the best neighborhood we could afford.  With the smallest house came one bathroom.  Given that Michael was three and Belle wasn’t born yet the one bathroom really didn’t seem to be an issue.  And then it was.

By the time we decided to finish the basement and add a second bathroom, I had reached my limit.  I was honestly hanging on by a thread.  There were four of us trying to get ready in one small bathroom and unfortunately, more days than not, the morning ended up with me going bat crap crazy.  Really not the way that I wanted my kids (or me) to start the day.

So, the decision was made to add a second bathroom and I must say that it was the.  Best. Decision. Ever.

However, although we now had two bathrooms, there was still the matter of Belle sharing my bathroom as well as we now had to keep two bathrooms to keep clean.  My solution, my morning bathroom bucket.

I’m telling you, the $1 I spent on that bucket totally changed my life. Sounds a little melodramatic, doesn’t it?  I’m telling you the truth!

My method if pretty simple.  Buy a cheap bucket and pile in everything that I need to get ready in the morning.  That simple.  Keep in mind that I’m a pretty low maintenance girl so if your not you may need to get a little bit bigger bucket 🙂

Weekly Menu

weekly menu planning

I’m a little late with my menu planning post this week due to the quick trip out West that Belle and I took this weekend.  It was such an incredible few days and I’m so happy that we went given I was on the fence about going until we pretty much pulled out of the driveway.

Last week was crazy for us (I know – what else is new!)  In addition to my mom being moved to rehab, Mike had a pretty serious accident with the hedge trimmers on Thursday.  Fortunately Belle was home to take him to the hospital to get fixed up.  Although I was thinking about canceling the trip, Mike insisted that we go.  Given that both my mom and my husband (the two people I was concerned about) insisted that we go, we did.

Belle and I had a pretty loose schedule, but we knew we wanted to stop at the Spam Museum, the Corn Palace, Wall Drug, Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands, Devil’s Tower as well as getting to North Dakota and Montana.  That was a lot to take in over the course of a few days – but we did it!

The Yellow Mounds at the Badlands National Park

The Yellow Mounds at the Badlands National Park

Proof that we made it to North Dakota

Proof that we made it to North Dakota

God's Country - also known as Montana

God’s Country – also known as Montana
Belle and the presidents of Mt Rushmore

Belle and the presidents of Mt Rushmore

Early morning at Devil's Tower

Early morning at Devil’s Tower

Mediterranean Chicken with Tzatziki

This Mediterranean Chicken recipe was recently included in one of our Plated.com boxes.  What I really liked about it was that it used a lot of fresh produce.  In fact, if you are looking to stretch this meal a little further you could add another ear or two of corn and another small zucchini to the recipe and you’d be able to serve another person or two.  A further way that this recipe could be modified would be to add whatever other fresh produce you have on hand.

Mediterranean Chicken

In addition to a lot of fresh produce, the recipe is basically a one-skillet recipe.  One-skillet recipes really help make kitchen clean-up after cooking a lot easier!

Weekly Menu – Week of 8/21/2016

weekly menu planning

Not that I want to wish summer away but I’m kind of glad this past week is over.  Last week Monday started off with a 911 call for my mom with a transfer down to Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee mid-week.  I did A LOT of driving this week!  The good news is we have a plan for my mom (she’s being released to a rehab center to regain her strength) and I’m hopeful that we should finally start seeing results in the right direction.

As you can imagine, last week’s menu plan was a #menuplanfail.  After charring the chicken on Sunday, we had zero chicken in the house for salads.  I ended up picking take-out Mon – Thursday as I just did NOT have it in me to cook.  This past week has been pretty emotional for me and one thing I’ve learned about my Wonder Woman Complex is that I shouldn’t even bother trying to do it all.  It isn’t healthy and I’m not doing anyone, least of all me any favors.  The house was a mess until Mike and I had time to clean and my family was eating take-out every night but we survived.  I count that as a win 🙂

This Thursday Belle and I are leaving for a road trip to Mt. Rushmore.  I was playing it by ear based on how my mom was doing but since she will be in a skilled nursing facility with other family available to visit I felt that it would be OK to go, plus when my mom found out I was planning on cancelling the trip she wasn’t very happy!  If you’d like to follow along on the trip, follow me on Instagram or Twitter where I’ll be posting about our journey.

Remaining Positive in the Face of Hopelessness

 

Growth quote

There are times in life when the events surrounding us feel hopeless.  Serious problems with finances, health, relationships or whatever they may be, at times, may leave us feeling like the issues will never go away.  That we are destined to live in the chaos that is surrounding us with no end in sight.

It is during the times when we believe that no good exists in our world that we need to focus on the positive around us.  Although our problems may seem significant and overwhelming (and they may be) there is always something positive to focus on.  Remaining positive in the face of adversity can help keep things in perspective and provide hope.

I’ve shared a bit here as to some of the issues my family is facing with my mom’s health.  Even though my family tends to be a positive bunch and we do believe that long term she’ll be fine, I’d be lying if I wouldn’t admit there are definitely moments when the situation feels hopeless.  That I have moments of doubt that she will survive this issue let alone ever be 100% again.

Weekly Menu – Week of August 14th

weekly menu planning

The summer continues to fly by!  We’ve been doing a pretty good job of making the most of it but it just never fails to amaze me when it’s over.  Yesterday I was at the store buying some stuff for my mom and I got behind a bunch of “back to school” moms.  Every lane had them.  If I was buying stuff for myself I’d have put it down and walked out, but alas I needed to stand in that line.

Ugh!  I’m so glad those days are over for me.  I think my blood pressure raised with each item they put on the belt.  Not that I was frustrated they had so much (although that was a tiny bit stressful), it was the remembering the outlay of money for school supplies, classroom fees, yearbooks, clothes.  And the list goes on….

I ended up eating out a few more times than I planned last week.  A couple of friends I haven’t seen in a while (one of them was over 2 years) reached out to me.  Both nights were amazing, I couldn’t believe what a good time I had.  Definitely worth going off the menu.

Yesterday, at Mike’s request,  I went to make our weekly chicken on the grill instead of baking it.  When I grill it I usually go inside since it takes almost as long as baking it does.  As I was putzing in the kitchen, I start smelling this horrible smell.  Figuring something was going on in the grill I went out to check the meat only to be met with flames coming out of the grill.  The whole thing, including my chicken was on fire!  I’m not a novice griller and had the chicken on indirect heat so I’m going to chalk this one up to the grill is definitely on it’s last legs.

So much for $10 worth of chicken and my prep for the week.  Needless to say, last night was a fend for yourself night.  I guess even the best cooks have an off night 🙂

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My Very First BlogHer Conference

You guys, I had the best week last week and I’m still unable to process it!  Every year I sit down and I make a list of goals, things I want to accomplish every year.  Some years my roadmap works well and some years the trip is fraught with roadwork, detours and traffic jams.

BlogHer

One of my goals this year was to get serious about Wonder Woman I’m Not.  To either really make a go of it and my writing or to quit altogether and focus on something else.  After a lot of soul searching I decided to keep working at it.

I haven’t made huge strides yet but I’ve been working to write more consistently and share quality content with you.  Posts that will help you improve your life.

One of the things things that I identified that I didn’t do well is to network.  I’ve been acting like a mushroom with my writing.  Very few people in my “real” life know that I write.  Even fewer know the name of my blog.  Sharing this part of my life has been difficult for me and WWIN has suffered because of it.

Networking, being more open about my writing and putting myself out there is something that I’ve needed to do if I’m going to be successful.  I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a BlogHer conference.

This year’s conference was held in L.A. and as soon as I saw that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mayim Bialik were both keynote speakers I KNEW that I was suppose to attend.

Wow!  Am I glad I did!  I have to admit that it’s a little walking into a conference of almost three thousand women without knowing anyone.  Not one single person.  But it was such a fabulous experience I’m so, so very glad I did it.  I had so much fun, I met so many amazing women, got hugged by Freddie Prinze Jr (oh yeah!) and learned a lot.  It’s been difficult to process this week.

I’ve been meaning to sit down long before today and share what I did as well as reach out to some of these women but the week has been unexpectedly busy.  However, I’m doing it now!