Thursday, November 25, 2010

My 5: Thanksgiving 2010 Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! We are getting ready to go have dinner with extended family. John and I are on dessert duty today so I made Paula Dean's Pumpkin Pie, and John made his family's 60 Second Chocolate Moose Pie and homemade Baileys. Mmmm I can't wait to get my eat'n on... I worked out not once but twice today in preparation for our desserts! Hahaaa... I worked out 30 minutes before settling down with coffee in front of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and then snuck in 25 more minutes once the pumpkin pie was in the oven.

My 5: Thanksgiving 2010 Edition:
  1. Family - immediate and extended, my fabulous in-laws, and the friends I choose as family :).
  2. Koda Bear of course. She never fails to brighten my day with just a look and her fishy dance.
  3. Living in Colorado. I've had my challenges being unemployed, but really it's OK. Just about every time John and I are in the car together, or hiking, or doing whatever we look at each other and say - "we LIVE here!"
  4. My health. After watching both episodes of Biggest Loser this week (which both made me cry),  I'm so thankful that John and I have our health and are able to do activities we enjoy here in Colorado. The episodes were just a reminder that it's never too late to change your life, to do things you never dreamed possible. The body is an amazing thing!
  5. The internet. I know, weird choice... but I've met really great girl friends through this year. I never would have guessed I'd meet true friends this way, but I'm so thankful I did! For more info, check out my previous post about Meetup here.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Workout Playlist

Holy crow! Where has this month gone? I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I need to post an update... I'll just have to catch up for the whole month :). For now, I'm just curious to know what you listen to while running or working out. I haven't run in a while. My excuses? My ankle. The icy paths. Whatever. I have been putting our Free Motion Elliptical to use though! I thought I'd share my playlist in hope you'd share yours with me. This is my new and improved list. I had to say goodbye (temporarily) to SexyBack, Lose Yourself, Pink, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and my others standbys... I needed to shake things up. So here it is:

I've really liked this list on shuffle even though it still has some of my old playlist songs. Mumford & Sons and Muse are new additions. Every time Uprising comes on it makes me grin and I want to clap-clap with every other beat... What gets you going? I'm still looking for new songs to add.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Meal Planning = Fun?

Looky at what I made today! I happened to stumble upon some meal plan templates during my blog hopping today (I wasn't looking for one), and five minutes later I had my very own.

I love it. I want a little easel to hold this... and maybe a different frame, but hey, this is a frame we had stashed in the basement. Literally, I downloaded the template for free here, printed it, grabbed the frame, and put it together in five minutes or less. I love LOVE that with the template behind the glass I can write my meal plan on it with dry erase markers.

I had to run to the Target anyway so I stopped in the home office section and found these beauties. 

Is it weird that when I saw this package of 8 double sided dry erase markers in 16 colors that I clapped my hands with glee? Yes? Oh.

I'm OK with that.

We were pretty good about eating meals at home for a while, but slowly we've fallen back into old habits of eating out 3-4 meals a week. We realized that we're eating out with friends on Friday and Saturday nights, then usually going out or picking up take out once during the week, and then there is the occasional lunch. It doesn't sound so bad, but we all know eating at home is healthier, saves money, and the food is just better (we know where it comes from). My goal is to have a plan for dinners each night of the week, and fill out my meal plan each Sunday. Doing this should save me a ton of time because I will be more prepared with a solid list to go to the grocery store each week (I heart my Grocery iQ app). Also, it will save me the stress and time spent trying to decide each day what I'm going to cook for dinner with the ingredients we have, or having to run to the store again. Now the challenging part will be keeping it up... but I have high hopes. The best part about meal planning is that it will help me be more creative with meals and trying new recipes. Why haven't I done this before? Well, I have half heartedly... meal planning is not a new concept, I just feel like I finally have my act together!

So now that I'm all set up, here is this week's plan (I've linked recipes if I found them online):

Monday: Fillet Mignon wrapped in bacon with roasted asparagus and couscous (today is a special occasion, we don't have fillets often)
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken with brown Jasmine Rice and salad
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Green Chili Pork Tacos
Thursday: Left over Baked Ravioli (defrosted) with salad
Friday: PIZZA, my go-to wheat pizza dough is here
Saturday: Eat out, or leftover tacos
Sunday: Chili with Pumpkin Cornbread. I'm going to re-attempt this chili...

    I'm pretty excited! I should have plenty of leftovers for lunches and to freeze. I may start blogging my meal plans each week... hmm, we'll see. So, are you a planner? What's on your menu this week? Really, I want to know!

    This post is linked up to these link parties:
    Just a Girl's Show and Share Day

    Sunday, November 07, 2010

    Review: The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

    The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme CourtThe Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    The Nine was my book club's selection for September. To be honest, I'm so glad to have finally finished this book. I feel like I should, but I just don't have much interest in politics. At times this book was torture to make myself read, but I did find some parts interesting. Overall, I'm glad I read (or rather listened) to this book as it gave insight into how the justices are selected, and what goes on behind the law. I do have to say that I did not think that this was written impartially (even if he tried), and Toobin made his agenda clear which put me off about 2/3 through.

    (Posted through

    Revamping Our Dinner Menu

    A couple of weeks ago I felt like boycotting cooking. I was so tired of our regular go-to recipes that I desperately asked for easy recipe suggestions through my facebook status. I only got a couple of suggestions, unfortunately. So I began a search on my favorite cooking (and other life stuff) blog, The Pioneer Woman and her recipe site Tasty Kitchen, and I found some keepers! Here are the ones I've tried so far that I recommend:

    Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
    by wasntmesb. We really liked this dish, the sauce is Yum-O. I served it over brown Jasmine Rice with sweat peas. I'll definitely be making this again.

    Baked Raviolli
    by Amy Lynn

    Slow Cooker Green Chili Pork Tacos by mcmom are next on my list from Tasty Kitchen, I can't wait to try these! I know, not quite a recommendation since I haven't made them yet, but they seem to be a TK user favorite.

    Last week Jessica Seinfeld was on Oprah for the release of her latest cook book and shared some recipes. The one that stood out to me as one I wanted to try was her Crock Pot Lasagna. I had never heard of making lasagna in a crock pot before! I made this last week for guests and it was a hit. I did change up this recipe a bit.. I added beef, used less ricotta, used only 1 heaping Tbsp of oregano (instead of two, since the comments said 2 was too much), halved the salt, and used less red pepper - though I think next time I'd use the full amount. 

    Have you tried a new recipe lately? If you have recommendations please put them in the comments! I'm always looking for good, easy, yummy recipes... and if they are quick AND easy, then that's even better :).