Weekly Menu & Goals

Who’s ready for another week?  I ended up not posting my weekly menu last week since I was out of town all week.  I did do a bit of cooking for Mike but even he went off the menu and ate out a couple of time.  I of course ate out every night! I was in Vegas for the week on business.  While I’d love to say that I was totally wild and did all sorts of crazy stuff, I’d be lying.  My big excitement for the week was treating myself to a 30 minute massage with the $50 I won playing video poker.  While we didn’t get wild, we did gamble a wee bit (I’m not much of a gambler) and enjoyed some awesome meals. During my down time I tried writing a few posts to update you on the restaurants I ate at but had such terrible internet service I wasn’t able to get anything up.  The lack of internet service was very frustrating while I was trying to get some of my regular work done.  Ugh! When I got back Saturday night I was really looking forward to some home cooked meals.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen until Sunday night.  I was so exhausted I ended up ordering Dominoes for dinner ( I love their artisan pizza and Mike enjoys their chicken bites while Belle is in love with their pasta – a little something for everyone!)  On Sunday Mike wanted to go out for breakfast, since I hadn’t seen him in almost a week I didn’t have the heart to say no.  Finally on Sunday night I got my home-cooked meal, although it was pretty simple.  We invited my parents over for dinner and had brats and hamburgers on the grill.  Probably won’t have to many nights when we’ll be able to do that, at least without freezing to death!

Weekly Menu & Goals

Wow – was the weather beautiful in Wisconsin this weekend!  Mike was off so we spent the whole weekend playing.  Play weekends are productive but I think very important for the well-being of your marriage and your own inner peace.

We started the weekend with a long ride to Kettle Moraine Park on the bike.  The peak colors must have been about a week or so ago but it was still gorgeous.

Motorcycle ride

We stopped to stretch our legs at a beautiful cemetary and got bratburgers at The Hamburger Haus.  Last time we were there I got a hot dog which I didn’t enjoy very much.  This time Mike made me get the bratburger with everything on it – heaven!

Cemetary

Sunday we did do some grocery shopping (reality set in a bit) followed by a trip to the local apple orchard with Belle for a trip through the corn maze, huge caramel apples and an apple pie.  The whole weekend was super relaxing and a lot of fun.

Mike and Belle

Of course, we’re back to real life this week.

My Morning Routine Hack

Dry Shampoo

There never really seems to be enough time the in the morning.  Although my morning are much calmer now than they were when I had to deal with getting kids to school, I still feel like getting myself to work is like sliding into home base after a busy morning of running all the bases.

I’ve shared before that I subscribe to Birchbox, a few months ago there was a sample in the box that has helped me on those mornings when I really don’t have the time that I need to get ready for work.  Dry shampoo.

Yep, in case you didn’t figure out my hack from the picture above it’s dry shampoo.  When I was younger I couldn’t imagine not doing a full hair washing every day.  With the advent of dry shampoo, skipping an occasional hair washing  has become a reality for me.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta

 

Chicken Alfredo Dinner Plate_WWIN

I recently tried a variation on one of Belle’s favorite meals – Chicken Alfredo.  I was perusing the internet and came across a recipe for a Chicken Alfredo Casserole over at Mommy’s Kitchen.  The thought of having a casserole prepped that could go right in the oven versus making the linguini version the night we were planning on eating seemed intriguing.

For my sauce I use a recipe that I found a while ago by Emeril Lagasse.  However, lest you think I totally have my act together, I usually keep a jar of Newman’s Own in my pantry for those days when I don’t feel like making it from scratch (which is sometimes often!)

This was a super easy meal that can be made the night before.  I’m a Overall this wasn’t my favorite meal but that might have been because my sauce to pasta ratio was a little off.  When I make it next time (and I will J) I’ll use less pasta and more of the sauce.  I’m also thinking that some extra cream cheese mixed in would make it a little creamier.

Weekly Menu & Goals

This was the first week that we used our monthly menu planned.  Overall I think it went pretty well although there were a few tiny glitches.  I made a couple of changes based on Mike’s requests.  Last night as I was finishing up our stuffed haddock Belle says to me “just so you know I really don’t like the stuffed haddock so I’ll sit at the table but I’m not going to eat it.”  Whaaat?  I thought both kids liked the stuff haddock!

I thought about forcing her to eat it but since I love it and was looking forward to leftovers all week I decided to let her make some mac and cheese for her dinner.  With the majority of Sunday dinners being me and the kids I like to make sure that whatever I make they’ll both enjoy.  Note to self – Belle doesn’t like haddock!

Tuesday I went out for dinner to my favorite place – Outback!  As if you didn’t know that :)  I had two drinks, a Bloomin’ Onion and steak for $10!  I had a coupon for the Bloomin’ Onion and they messed up my steak so they gave it to me for free.  I love cheap dinners!

Growth Can be Uncomfortable

Growth

Earlier this year I shared that I took a new position at my current company. After working in the pricing field for the last 17 years (yes – 17 years!), I thought it was time to try something different. I’m fortunate that the company I work for is willing to let people test the water with different career paths, they afforded me the opportunity to work on something totally outside my field of expertise.

After dabbling for a year in new business development while still in my pricing role (we had a small team that was allowed to work on non-core product development on the side) I was included on a team that was formed earlier this year that concentrated on growth full time. I went from being an expert in the pricing field to a newbie in the field of business development.

The change has been a great opportunity and I’m having a lot of fun. I’m learning all kinds of new skills, meeting some great people and am getting to travel a little bit more. All great stuff – right?

My Attempt to Lower My Food Bill

I’ve shared here before how high my grocery bill is.  On top of my crazy high grocery bill, we’ve been eating out an awful lot lately.  While I do make a plan every week, my implementation of said plan is lacking.  Sometimes it’s because I get stuck at work until 6pm and have a 30 – 45 minute drive home.  Who wants to start dinner that late?  It’s easier to go through the drive through. Sometimes Mike is the reason I need to pick up take-out.  Last week I mentioned in my weekly menu how instead of waiting until Wednesday when I was going to be home to make the spaghetti for us he decided to make it for himself while I was out for dinner with customers.  Fortunately for him he waited for me this week!  Sometimes I need to pick up food because I get texts like this….. photo

Weekly Menu & Goals

What another beautiful weekend!  Mike had to work so I used my time to get some stuff done around the house.  While I haven’t been as focused on my writing as I should be I totally kicked butt this weekend!

One of the reasons that I’ve been so focused is I’ve felt great this weekend- don’t ask me why since I’ve backslid a bit on the caffeine and sugar!  I’ve had a lot of energy and was able to stay focused on Saturday which is different from earlier in the week.  I think I’ve been in bed at 8pm almost every night!

The other reason I think I had more energy on Saturday is I have to admit that my trial run of going without my cleaning ladies has come to an end.  I’ll share more later on the motivated factors but not having to deal with house-cleaning has freed up some time for me to focus on other projects.

Whether it’s the changing of seasons or just whatever, this weekend was a fantastic weekend for getting a lot accomplished and I’m feeling really good about it!  It’s been a while since I could say that.

One of the things I spent time doing yesterday was working on a new approach to my menu planning.  I’ve written a post that I’ll be sharing tomorrow titled My Attempt to Lower My Food Bill (the link won’t work until 6am Monday morning) that goes into more detail.  I’m feeling pretty optimistic that this could be a game changer for me.

Weekly Menu & Goals

Fall is officially here!  This season brings a lot of mixed feelings for me.  I love the fall colors, apple picking and Halloween.  The little nip in the air that’s perfect for a light weight jacket.  However, it also signals that summer is over and we have a long, long winter to look forward to.  Not!!

Last Sunday I mentioned that I had a cold brewing, it erupted full force on Monday.  I couldn’t believe how miserable I felt.  Fortunately my dinner plans for Monday were cancelled so I left a couple hours early and spent the rest of the afternoon/evening sleeping.  I really hate being sick!

By Friday I was feeling much better so Mike and I took a vacation day.  We went for a long ride through Kettle Moraine State Park.  The plan was to stop at a nice place for lunch but we couldn’t find anything open!  We did come upon the Hamburger Hut so we grabbed a burger there.  The place was hopping and it was nice to relax in the sunshine.  We had such a fun, relaxing day.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get in a a couple more of those before the weather gets bad.

On the down side, Belle hasn’t been feeling well.  She’s lost some weight, bruising easily and exhausted all the time.  We took her to the doctor Thursday where they ran a bunch of tests.  Fortunately everything came negative with the exception of the mono test.  Her mono is still hanging around after six months!  Not much we can do for her except make sure she doesn’t over do it.  The doctor also told us to have her take a B complex every day to try and get her energy levels up.

Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread - Mom_WWIN

 

Today’s post is from my mom, Gina

As all my family and friends will tell you, I never follow a pattern or recipe exactly as it instructs.  I always have to add a little ‘something-something’ to make it uniquely mine.   Well I found you can do all kinds of things with beer bread, savory or sweet.  This is one of the sweet breakfast breads I like to make.  If I am doing savory I use beer and if I do sweet I use Sprite.