Tuesday, April 10, 2012

March Recap

"The habit of judging ourselves severely disguises itself as an attempt to help us to live better lives and to be better people, but in actuality the habit of judging winds up functioning as an irrational tyrant that can never be satisfied."
The Mindful Way through Depression
Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal & Jon Kabat-Zinn

March was not the best month, and I've been reflecting on the quote above quite often. We began the month with a 5-day visit from the Noro virus. I knew it was coming (we had friends who had it days after we were with them), and my stomach was not right for weeks after we had recovered. The sickness destroyed my exercise streak, which in turn destroyed my positive mental state. There were far too many days without a workout, meditation or fruits and veggies. I've been quite critical of myself in every way possible, and the criticism is not helping me in any way. I've attempted to find some positive aspects of this ordeal. I did lose a few pounds thanks to the Noro and just how much my mood is linked to exercise was also strongly reinforced.

There were a few fun things that took place in March. I was able to pull off a surprise diaper party disguised as a play date for a girlfriend who is due any day now. (And not a single picture was taken!) We had a great family cookout during a week of amazingly warm weather, and a wonderful lunch was enjoyed at Pickity Place in celebration of my birthday and my college roommate's birthday (the day before mine) as we enter the last year of our 20s (not such a positive event!).

We're only a few days in, but April has been shaping up to be a bit better than March. We had a great Easter dinner with family last weekend, and we have a date (love gift certificates) and a family outing planned for this coming weekend. The exercise is back on track, and the boys have been sleeping really well and really late. Chris and I were up before them both on Saturday morning (never happens), and they both slept until 8am on Monday! Woohoo! I so hope I didn't just jinx myself by mentioning this!

I finished four books in March which puts my total at 16 for the year.

Tana French - Faithful Place
Jennifer Haigh - Faith
Joanne Harris - Five Quarters of the Orange (Library Bookclub pick) - LOVED it
Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls

Monday, April 9, 2012

What We're Eating 4/9/12-4/15/12

Last week's meals were pretty tasty! We love the coconut crusted chicken strips - I need to make some ahead of time to put in the freezer. The boys both enjoy them, and it'd be nice to have some homemade nuggets on hand when we need a quick option for lunch or dinner.

Meal planning has been going so well this year, but I need to start planning something different for the weekends. By the time Friday rolls around, I have little interest in cooking. Maybe I need to start planning crockpot meals that I can start early Friday morning? Any ideas for easy meals? This Friday, we ended up at Friendly's for dinner, and on Saturday night, we cooked up some ravioli with red sauce as an easy option.

Our contributions to Easter dinner were Paula Deen's Pineapple Casserole (sounds so weird, but tastes so good), Coconut Cream Cupcakes and Lemon Cookies with White Chocolate.

Tonight, Master Charles ate a few bites of stuffed peppers. I prepped him ahead of time, telling him that it was a new meal, and he only had to eat a few bites. Same rule as always: if he didn't like it, he could have something else (aka a bowl of cereal). I put four small bites on his plate, and he ate the first one pretty quickly. He hardly tasted it before he told us he didn't like it, but we've learned to read him and could tell he liked it (and he hadn't had enough time to taste it to decide he didn't like it). He ended up finishing the four bites, and we let him move on to a bowl of cereal when he didn't want to try any more. We are so happy that we continue to make progress with this. I'm also quite amused that several of the meals he's liked have been atypical meals.

L: English Muffin Pizzas
D: Peppers Stuffed with Cranberry Bulgur

L: Leftover Peppers, PB&J, Melon
D: Cranberry Stuffed Pork Chops, Leftover Pineapple Casserole, Broccoli

L: Grilled Cheese, Apple Slices
D: Asian Beef with Noodles

L: Leftover Asian Beef with Noodles
D: Split Pea Soup with Ham (so, so, so excited!!!!)

L: Leftover Soup
D: Ham & Swiss Egg Sandwiches, Fruit Salad

L: Leftovers
D: Date Night at Mile Away

L: Lunch at the Made in NH Expo
D: Spaghetti with Meatballs, French Twists

For more menu planning inspiration, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What We're Eating 4/2/12-4/8/12

I have sad news. We didn't like the Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna Rolls from Jamie Cooks it Up. I've tried several recipes from this site and have loved them all, but this one just didn't do it for us. It wasn't awful, but it's not a meal we'd make again. The recipe didn't specify fresh or frozen spinach, but I had frozen on hand so that's what I used. We like spinach, but that's all we could taste! I like the lasagna rolls idea, but I would use a different filling recipe if I were to make them again.

The rest of the meals from last week were hits. (Although we subbed hot dogs on the grill with a side of frozen French fries for the Asian Chicken with Gingered Veggies Thursday night - I didn't feel like cooking.) We were pleasantly surprised to watch the boys gobble up pork chops and hot dogs (2 for Isaac!). Isaac normally won't touch pork chops, and neither of them would touch hot dogs until a few weeks ago. We're making progress!

In my hurried post last week, I forgot to mention that I will never again buy beets. We used them in the Baked Veggie Chips recipe a few weeks ago and were not fans. Chris said they tasted the way corn husks smell, and I kept taking bites to see if the taste might improve. Sadly, it did not, and the beets tainted the taste of the sweet potatoes and regular potatoes also used in the recipe. I've been told we might like them cooked another way, but after this experience, I'm not sure I'm willing to try. Blech!

L: Leftover Lasagna
D: Coconut Crusted Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes, Snow Peas

L: Leftover Chili
D: Bacon, Cheese & Potato Chowder, Ciabatta Bread

L: Leftover Chowder
D: Apple-Glazed Pork Chops, Brown Rice, Carrots

L: PB&J, Apple Slices
D: Easy Beef Stroganoff

L: Leftover Stroganoff
D: Lemon-Pepper Tilapia, Lemon-Dill Potatoes, Lemon Green Beans

L: Leftovers
D: Saucy Parmesan Chicken, Egg Noodles, Peas


For more menu planning inspiration, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie. After reading Laura's menu plan for this week, I'm going to have to plan to make Shepherd's Pie soon! One of my favorites!