Thursday, May 18, 2017

Breakfast Under the Oaks

Wow!  What a beautiful day it is today!  It's supposed to be another hot one and like yesterday, I'm enjoying a bit of fresh air and the shade of the oak trees in our yard.

Between attempting a little bit of gardening (more on this in a future post, along with an explanation of why I use the word attempt), I decided to grab a quick and somewhat healthy breakfast.



I'm really trying to get into the habit of eating breakfast in the morning.  Too often I'm running around in the morning, getting Gracie and I ready for school and work, with just enough time to get us out the door without being late.  Then realizing too late, that I forgot to eat (or didn't allow time for eating).  This then leads to me grabbing something very unhealthy to eat in the car on my way to work.

With my hours dwindling down to just a day or two a week and summer vacation just a couple of weeks away, I hope it will be easier to get into the habit of sitting down to a decent breakfast each morning before running off to have some summer fun!

I think breakfast under the oaks will be a great way to start our summer mornings!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where I am today......Under the Big Oak Tree

It's a hot one today!  We don't have central air and Joe hasn't put the window units in yet since it's been really chilly up until now.



Lucky for me, our back yard is very shady thanks to our oak trees (and maple tree).

I filled the dog's pool so she can wet her feet to cool off and I'm relaxing at the picnic table under the trees.  Perfect way to relax on a hot day!


You can find this post linked to the following blog parties:





Spending Less While Eating Healthy

Eating healthy is a constant struggle for me.  Not because I don't LOVE healthy foods.  As a foodie, I find that I LOVE food - ALL FOOD - too much!

And while I do love to eat big salads and lots of fresh fruit, I find it's so much easier to grab a bag of chips or some cookies rather than chopping up some melon or digging through the fruit drawer in the fridge.  Plus, for the most part, junk food is cheaper and has a longer shelf life.



In an effort to make grabbing a healthy snack easier, I've started keeping a bowl of fruit on the counter or kitchen table.  This also helps me to remember that we have fruit that needs to be eaten.  We have an older fridge with dark drawers, so once we put our produce in there, it's out of sight out of mind!

Also, for me, I like to eat with my eyes.  Meaning appearance is a big deal for me when it comes to food.  I love fancy packaging when shopping for food and plating my food nicely when it's time to sit down to a meal.  So, to make my fruit appealing to me, I pile it up nicely in one of my vintage milk glass bowls or in one of my favorite chippy enamelware bowls.

Where I live, I'm surrounded by little towns that set up farmers' markets during the summer weekends.  Fresh, local fruits and veggies can often be found for a very good deal.  Plus, we have a very large produce store nearby that has very low prices!

This week, I picked up a bag of very cute and equally delicious clementines or maybe they are mandarin oranges (?  the bag wasn't labeled).  They are soooo tiny and very sweet!  Plus, they were very cheap!  I found them on the discounted produce rack at the grocery store for $1.49 for 18 of these sweet, little snacks!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! 2017

In the past, I was never one to really get excited over Valentine's Day.  Mainly because the entire time that Joe and I were dating, I worked at a flower shop. Years of helping others celebrate the holiday was enough for me.

Besides, one year, Joe and I did attempt to celebrate Valentine's Day.  February 14 fell on a weekend (a Friday, I think) and as usual, I worked long shifts leading up to the day.  I also worked the day after, but a shorter day than the rest of the week, so we decided to celebrate a day late.  Joe picked me up from work and we went out for an early dinner.  I'm not sure if the restaurant was short-staffed or not, but it took a really long time for our food to come to the table.  After chatting about our week for a bit, I started to get really tired and by the time our food came out, I was having a tough time staying awake!

We realized then, that celebrating Valentine's Day with a date wasn't really an option for us!  So, in the years to follow, we just had a low-key dinner at home.  Sometimes we ordered take-out, sometimes Joe cooked, sometimes we just had leftovers.  Even after I stopped working at the flower shop, we really didn't make a big deal over the holiday.  Joe shows me every day how much he loves us and is committed to our family, I don't need one specific day to know how he loves us.

When Grace was about a year old, I think is when we started celebrating Valentine's day with her. She doesn't eat chocolate, so Valentine's Day for her meant pink and red cupcakes and a cute stuffed animal, a few decorations around the house and all of her shows having a Valentine theme for the day.

Then school started and we were celebrating Valentine's Day in a bigger way!  Special Valentine t-shirts, dresses with hearts, parties at school and Valentine cards with candy for the class!  How exciting!

For the past couple of years, I wanted to do personalized photo Valentines but never got around to taking a picture in order to create the cards.  So, when I saw that my friend Kristen (who also happens to be a photographer) was offering an amazing deal on a quick Valentine photo session, I knew I wanted to book a session!

Here's the card I designed for Grace's classmates:



Since our family is obsessed with all things Boston Terrier, we were super excited to find this awesome Valentine t-shirt at Walmart!  It was the last one and a size too big, but that's okay!  She'll be able to wear it again next year!


Speaking of being Boston Terrier obsessed, Grace wanted to include our Boston Terrier in the photo session!  Kristen is a great friend.  She adores Grace and also knows how much we love our dog, Remmy!  So she included Remmy in the next shot!


Look at that face!  Isn't it the cutest?!  Oh, yeah!  The kid is cute, too!



Local readers, if you are looking for a professional photographer at an affordable price, check out KDW Photography & Designs.  Here's another photo session of Grace taken by KDW Photography & Designs.



Disclaimer:  I was not compensated in any way for sharing the link above.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 2017 ~ Week of February 13th




Monday


Breakfast for Dinner

Eggs are on sale at Aldi this week, which means I'll be buying a few dozen.
It also means that I'll be eating eggs at least once a day
(most likely for breakfast or lunch) for the next week or two.
I seem to do better on my diet when I eat eggs for a meal or two each day,
so it's a win-win situation.  Budget friendly and calorie friendly!



Tuesday

Valentine's Day 

I wish I could say that we are planning a meal of heart-shaped foods
to impress our cute, 7 year old Valentine, but she's super picky.
While I'm sure she'd get a kick out of seeing a heart-shaped pizza
or red pancakes, I know she won't eat them.
So, at the moment, Valentine's Day dinner is undecided.  


Wednesday


Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon

Wednesdays are hectic in our house,
so it will be great to come home to this soup ready to eat
at the end of our work day.  


Thursday

Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas
Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Click the link to see the picture of these amazing Black Bean Quesadillas!
I really cannot wait to try this recipe! 




Saturday and Sunday

This is a busy weekend for us, 
so dinners haven't been planned out yet.  
Although take-out is usually the direction we go on busy weekends, 
I'd like to try to keep away from the drive-thru.  
Grilled cheese sandwiches or even some eggs 
could make for a quick dinner for these busy days.  





Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration, you can check out my past menu plans.


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