Monday, March 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 3/28-4/1

This week we are leaving to go on a trip for spring break with the in-laws, so I'm trying to focus on using up our perishables for the week and not create more leftovers.  It's going to be a busy week getting prepared for the trip and keeping up with all of my classes (I ask myself again, why did I plan quizzes and tests for the day before break?).
Monday: Pork chops (thawed), mashed potatoes, salad, carrots/dip

Tuesday: Spaghetti, fresh fruit/veggies

Wednesday: Quesadillas, apples/peanut butter

Thursday: we're on our way!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Market $.99/lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast!

Just a quick reminder to those of you around a New Market (mainly Indiana people).  Today is the Meat Madness sale and they are running boneless skinless chicken breast for only $0.99/lb!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 3/21-3/27

Ooops!  This is a bit late getting posted.  This week I looked through some of the cookbooks that I had been given and looked online a bit and just felt uninspired.  Everything either required way to many ingredients (which is a problem for those who are making just enough for two) or sounded way too bland. 

I was working on this at the table and complaining  explaining to my husband my difficulty with this when he said he would help me.  He promptly picked up a cookbook flipped through a couple of pages and said, "This looks good.  How about this?"

I looked at the recipe and it was different - stirfry in a taco essentially.  It was something that I would have never tried, but because he chose it I figured we might as well try it, especially since we already had almost all of the ingredients.  I made it up tonight (with some modifications of course- I didn't have plum sauce or teriyaki sauce, so I used some Asian Sesame marinade and soy sauce).  It turned out to be really pretty tasty.  It was soooooo easy.  I thawed out some grilled pork chops, cut them up and "stir fryed" them in a pan with some of the marinade, soy sauce, canola oil, and a bit of sesame oil.  Once the meat was heated I added in the stirfry veggies and kept it on the stove for a few more minutes until the veggies were all cooked.

Finally we put that filling in warmed up taco shells and had a yummy and easy dinner!

Here was the plan for the week:

Monday: eat with family

Tuesday: Stir fry tacos

Wednesday:  Hamburgers on the grill (first time this season!), cut up fresh fruit/veggies

Thursday:  Bean/rice burritos (I've never made them without meat, so we'll see how it goes)

Weekend:  Crockpot Beef Arm Steak/Potatoes/Carrots/Onions

For more menu planning ideas, visit

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gratituesday: Glimmers of Hope

This week I am thankful for a glimmer of hope.  The recession has hit the schools in the form of budget cuts.  Our school has severe cuts to deal with in the next two years.  All first and second year teachers were called in to let us know that we could all be part of the "cut", but that we might not be.  We just had to wait and see.  As a math teacher my job is fairly safe, but not entirely safe. 

I have been very open to the fact that I could get cut.  I have great faith that I will find something somewhere.  However, this morning I got news that leaves me pretty hopeful that I will still have this position next year.  I think I will still be receiving a RIF paper right before spring break, but hopefully come May I will be receiving a letter saying that they are hiring me back for another year.

As open as I am to moving to where ever life takes me, I do like the idea of being able to work with some of my students next year.  Also, my job really helps us make steps forward on our house savings.

So until next week, I am happy with my glimmer of hope.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 3/14-3/20

I have decided that I don't really think that life is ever going to slow down.  Maybe when I'm 70 I guess.  Until then I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to help with my parents' renovation, pi day celebrations, struggling Algebra II and Geometry students, school meetings, buying a truck* (more on that later), and just trying to keep up with laundry and such.  This week I have four possible meals planned based mainly off of stuff that we had on hand.

Monday: Tacos, cut up apples

Tuesday:  Sausage rolls (this is a first time try on this recipe), peas, peaches

Wednesday: Pork Asian Tacos (this is from Fast Fix family food cookbook given to me-also a first try)

Thursday: Crockpot Arm Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions
For more menu ideas visit Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frugal Fitness: Free Pedometer

(picture by Kitchen Table Chat)

I happen to be a huge fan of getting things for free that help me be fit.  It is hard enough for me to get off of the couch some nights, but to have to get off the couch to use something that actually cost me money, now that my friends, would be dreadful.  Freebie Blogger had posted that you can now go here to get a free pedometer and Keep Moving DVD from Tylenol.  I have admit I was a bit skeptical, but then I found Kitchen Table Chat's blog about receiving this same freebie a year ago, so I think it's legit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gratituesday: Glad to be back!

Until yesterday, it had been almost two weeks since I had been able to get on here and write anything other than a quick update.  When life was busy at the beginning of those two weeks, I knew blogging had to go on the back burner compared to my husband and my students and my parents.  However, after that I managed to mess up my computer by trying to install a better version of Windows which created an even longer lull in my writing.

During my time away from blogging I learned a few things about what this blog does to help me.  First, it holds me accountable.  Last week, while I was away from blogging I never got around to exercising even once.  My husband and I are helping my parents do some renovations so we were gone a lot of evenings, and I didn't get home until late due to all of the pressure to successfully complete all of my old students' grades and to begin the new trimester in an amazing way.

Each night I would get home late and was too tired to want to exercise.  I would think to myself, get up off of this couch, go upstairs, exercise and stick to your goals.  Until this blog, I never really paid a lot of attention to my new year's resolutions.  But now I can easily go back and remind myself of where I wanted to be, and so these goals are now so ingrained in me that they "nag" me even when I am away from blogging.

I also did not create a menu plan last week.  I wrote a bit about this experience in my menu plan for this week.  For some reason, adding the chaos of not knowing what was for dinner on top of everything else, just made the evenings much more stressful.  I laugh because just a year or two ago I would have thought that a person who can't handle an evening with an unplanned dinner is weak.  Now I know that it is not being weak, but rather being smart.  When dinner is already planned I can use my "brain power" on so many more interesting things.

In conclusion, this blog helps me in so many ways.  I feel more accountable, organized, and at peace when I am blogging.  I also am encouraged by all of the other bloggers out there.  They lift my spirits and inspire me daily. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: 3/7-3/12

I am so glad to be back after my busy weeks and broken computer kept me away.  Last week we just ate up old leftovers.  It was not a very good meal week.  It was the first week in months that I didn't have a menu plan for, and I never realized how much of an effect it has made on my life. 

Honestly if it was just me, I don't think I would menu plan much.  I'm happy with salads and sandwiches.  However my husband can eat like a horse, so it requires a plan otherwise it just feels chaotic when dinner rolls around.  I can't imagine what it would be like if you didn't have a plan and you had a whole family to feed.  This week though I am ready.  Here it is:

Monday: Spaghetti (using up some sausage given to me), salad, bread

Tuesday: Pork chops (frozen), mashed potatoes, broccoli

Wednesday: Dinner at church

Thursday: BLT's, apples, cut up pineapple

Last thing, the sausage that was given to me was unseasoned.  If anyone has some good ideas for seasoning it so it tastes a bit more like the spicy roll sausage from Aldi it would be greatly appreciated!

For more menu plan ideas, visit Organizing Junkie.

Woo hoo! I'm back!

This weekend my computer I fixed my computer with the help of a bunch of people.  I am sooooooooo glad to be back.  Hopefully I will be able to get caught up on my posting!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Computer on the fritz!

If you've been wondering where I've been, I can tell you that I tried to install a copy of Vista Ultimate on my laptop this weekend and now I don't have internet access on it.  I'm not quite sure what I did wrong, but something is messed up. 

This is also the beginning of the new trimester, which means lots of work to finish up last trimester's grades and get all of my new classes up and started.  I am hoping to get my computer up and working tonight.  Then I'll be back in action! 

Thanks for your patience!


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