Sunday, February 26, 2012

Menu-Planning...not much plan but plenty of menu

Okay that's not the most witty title, I know, but lately I've been thinking about the way we menu plan around here.

I have to admit it's one of my least favorite things to do every week. But since Mountain Man has had more free time, since being done with school, he's been helping a bit with it. But unfortunately his choices of lemon-grass coconut soup, and curry chicken, while very culturally diverse, are not very popular with the littles. So there I would be week after week with a husband not really excited about my rotating one of the 20 staples we seem to eat around here, he likes variety and us trying not to eat chicken (even though we try to get it organic whenever we can) more than two nights a week.
Enter pinterest.
The past two weeks I have enlisted the help of this site and have started a board just for the purpose of menu planning. So as I'm on the site every so often/day I will 'pin' a dish that looks tasty or one that I'd like to try. This method has been very helpful as I'm a visual person and like to see the dish before I make it. Also, I'm able to compile my options throughout the course of the week and not have to spend a couple hours sifting through cookbooks and sites on the day I head to the grocery store.

So on Thursday I hopped on pinterest and picked three dishes I posted last week and then I inserted a couple of our weekly staples like pizza and salad night, and voila our weekly menu was planned! Sweet!
Our menu this week looks like this:

Friday- Bacon, Avocado Grilled Cheese with kettle chips- recipe from Pinterest
We used Turkey Bacon and the recipe called for shredded monterey jack cheese (a little messy but easy)

Saturday- Pizza- A weekly staple, however I mixed things up by doing calzones for MM and I using a wrapping technique I'd seen on Pinterest

Sunday- Merlot Chicken over pasta, in the Crockpot no less!!- Pinterest

Monday- Turkey Barley Soup with sourdough bread- Pinterest

Tuesday- Ham Picatta (I think) also with sourdough bread- Ham in a white wine caper sauce over bow tie pasta super yummy and really easy, I'll probably post the recipe for this one at some point. This is a recipe I had at a friends back in the summer and just duplicated from memory...I'm not exactly sure what it's called but it's one of my favorite dishes right now.

Wednesday-Leftovers/Salad

Thursday- Grocery day!/Breakfast for dinner probably

My sister just started using emealz and really likes it. We're considering switching just simply from a budget standpoint (it'll help us stay within the set budget each week) and I like the simplicity of something like emealz...menu plan done, grocery list done, well within the budget (price lists are literally generated for you based on your region and store you shop at) done. Like I said we'll probably switch.

How do you menu plan? Do you have any nuggets/tips you'd like to share?

And yes I know its a record, two whole posts with out one picture! Don't worry I'm getting ready to make up for lost time with a pretty decent sized post of my gorgeous sister's latest website update photo shoot but I'm realizing that in the case of those photos I should probably do a watermark and that would just take more time than I want to give right now and blogging about my fun new way of menu-planning just sounded like more fun!


Til next time, remember to find beauty in your midst!
~me

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Risk Worth Taking

Mountain Man and I don't really make a big deal out of Valentine's Day. We do typically do a little something for each other. And this year it involved an espresso maker for him and a certain movie for me. Also I was home sick this year too and sweet man that he is...he took the day off to stay home with me :).

Last week, I started writing down the way in which my Mountain Man and I met. Like every love story ours is very special. And we have a bunch of intricate details to our story that make it really special to me. So last week I realized that some of those details, after almost 12 total years together, are getting fuzzy and so I began writing. In the process of collecting my thoughts on our story and then in the process of beginning to tell our story in words I realized something, we were REALLY young. When we met I was 17 and he was 20. When we got married I was 20 he was 23. And any more, falling in love and getting married when you are a freshly minted 20 year old just isn't all that common. And what's even more uncommon is going strong darn near 9 years later.

Love happens when it happens. For me, I met and fell in love with my life's partner at 17. I am realizing that it was my being young and his being young that made, and continues to make, what we have so ordained and special. For he and I, our youth played a HUGE part in our story. It doesn't for everyone but for us it does. In most ways we've grown in to the adults that we are, together. Through the process our bond is stronger than it would have been otherwise.

Looking back at how all our intricate details played out I have begun to tell people that they should grasp the gifts of LIFE with white-fisted knuckles when the gifts come. For some things and often times as an adult it's most things; age really is just a number.

I'm on the backside of my 20's now and I will tell you adventuring through the past decade with my Mountain Man has been the greatest joy of my life...and I dare to say...it was BECAUSE I chose to risk my 20's on marriage, that my life has been full, rich, challenging, heart-wrenching, engaging, and overwhelmingly joyful.
For me it was a risk worth taking.


Til next time, remember to find beauty in your midst!
~me

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today

Outside My Window:
Ominous snow clouds are overlapping the mountains, maybe just maybe winter will arrive sometime this season. In the meantime I'm not complaining about the unseasonably warm temperatures.

I am listening to:
H color on the floor, and asking me to help herm "I'm waaaaaiting..." is something I just heard.

I am so grateful for:
Being two steps away from 'done' with taxes. Our goal is the first week of Feb each year, its nice to get'em done.

I am reading:
'Boys Adrift' by Dr. Leonard Sax, its slow going I'm not really in the reading mood. Dang pinterest!

In the garden:
Rumor has it that we should water the yard once a month. So I'm going to try and remember in Feb. Also we're considering a lawn service this year... its a thought... And in miraculous news, I bought a Geranium last summer that I pulled in this past fall and said to myself "Well there's a first time for everything, maybe I can keep this sucker alive through the winter" Well...so far so good. It's sitting on our kitchen table right next to a very bright window. We haven't been given any blooms on it since the summer and I wonder if that has to do with direct sunlight, and maybe heat? Anyone know? I'm just thrilled that its still alive!

What we are learning:
H:Remember how H just started at a new school, well in the course of the month she has almost all her letters down (lower case and capital) by sight. I'm pretty excited for her and she's loving all the new things she's learning!
R:Glory Hallelujah, this child has started to read independently at night! He also has been loving reading aloud to us too which is really nice. I've been able to just lay out his homework and he completes it on his own! What?!?! Where did my frustrated, ornery, complaining first grader go. Far away hopefully...far far away.
Me: Dedication. Still working on the working out thing. I can easily accomplish two workouts a week. Three though is a challenge so this month that's my goal, three workouts a week, no options. I'll let you know.
Mountain Man: He's still taking that nice long deep breath.

One of my favorite things:
The public Library. I have so many friends that haven't darkened the door of their public library since childhood. When I hear this I just simply encourage them with my library joy! We get movies, audio books, books for the kids, books for mom and dad, highly anticipated books, oldie but goodie books. Books I want to 'preview' before I consider buying them. And miraculously I have not spent a fortune on books for my classroom b/c the ole public library has been my source for unit themed books. In my opinion, The Public Library is one of the best ideas anyone ever came up with.

H this week:
As you know she's had glasses for almost 6 months, and we bought the optional ginormous warranty and this week she got crystal clear brand new lenses for free! Her whole world is much clearer. Oh and she can buckle her own seat belt now. Its the little things people.

R this week:

"I love Reading, and I love School!" Proof that prayers of a parent's heart are heard.

From the Kitchen
Nothing crazy, BUT R has started eating EVERYTHING we put in front of him and H has started being picky. Apparently they had a secret meeting and decided it was time to tag team, 'm on to them and their schemes.


Til next time, remember to find beauty in your midst!
~me