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!

Cleaning The Refrigerator to Save Money

Cleaning the refrigerator can save money?  How can something as easy as cleaning the refrigerator save money? Easy.  Cleaning the refrigerator in essence allows you to be less wasteful and more purposeful in your menu planning.

Cleaning the refrigerator

I’ve made no bones about how much we spend on groceries (and I’m pretty unapologetic about it too).  Our weekly budget is $250 for food and household items in an area that is pretty low-cost for food.

Our grocery bill is high and I have no time or patience for a lot of coupon cutting or running to multiple stores so I need to ensure that I’m maximizing what I buy if I want to keep my grocery budget from exploding.

Weekly Menu – Week of 8/7/2016

weekly menu planning

It’s August and I’m sure that those of you with kids are in full-in back to school (or maybe already started school) mode.  One of the weird things about having only college age or older kids is the lack of back to school activities. Belle is going to be a sophomore and goes to a local college so I really don’t have anything to do with back to school.  It’s actually kind of nice 🙂

Last week was pretty eventful around here.  I flew out to LA last Wednesday for BlogHer.  It was AMAZING! I met so many amazing women and made some wonderful friends.  Later this week I’ll share some of the details and pictures because it really was incredible.

Shortly before I left, my mom was admitted re-admitted into the hospital which caused some consternation and stress. Should I stay? What benefit is there for me to stay?  You know, the usual stuff.  The good thing about this visit is we had our very own Dr. House.  Since April no one has been able to figure out what was wrong.  Failure to Thrive is what it was termed as.  Well, “Dr House” (and no – that wasn’t his real name) said that he wasn’t going to release her until he figured out what was wrong.  And he did!  After several days of tests they found out what was wrong.  That’s the YAY part.  Unfortunately, no one in our area has ever had this issue so our next step is to see specialists in Milwaukee to determine what they can do about it.  That’s the bummer part.  However, I’m so grateful that she now has a diagnosis and we can start trying to fix the problem.

5 Things to do When Life is Stressing You Out

 

There are times in our lives where the to-do list is larger than the time we have to do it.  When we are pulled in so many directions we don’t know which way to turn.  Those times when you think you may vomit because you know that everything that needs to get done isn’t going to get done and someone adds something to the list.  You’re letting yourself and everyone around you down.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  That’s how I’m feeling right now.

Nutella Brioche Bread Pudding

Nutella was first introduced to my family a few years ago when we had a German exchange student.  Prior to that, we had NEVER had it in our house.  Crazy, isn’t it?  I’d like to say it was a life changing experience and we eat gobs of it all the time, alas that isn’t that case.  Although Nutella hasn’t been introduced as a permanent fixture in our house, it has been a nice treat addition.

Nutella Brioche Bread Pudding

When I was checking out my Plated.com box a while ago I noticed that they were offering a Nutella Brioche Bread Pudding as a dessert option.  Um, yes please!  Although I’ve never tried my hand at it personally, I absolutely love bread pudding.  Throw a little Nutella in it and I’m in heaven!