Monday, April 29, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Bike to Work Edition

I did it! I biked to work this morning. It helped that we had a fog delay. I have to admit though that when I was getting ready to leave our subdivision I almost turned around. I felt a bit silly in my work clothes on my white/purple bike, yet I pressed on and after I rode a bit the weirdness of the situation slowly wore off.

Some of the best things about it was that my ride has what I would call four parts which makes it interesting. On one part I am on a very busy road and so that is my sprint.  I go as fast as I can (remember I'm on a kid's cruiser, so even at my fastest I'm not going super fast) so that I can get to a side road.  Another part takes me beside a local lake (very pretty!).  The third part takes me through town which is pretty much flat and somewhat interesting.  The last part that is closest to the school has a hill with a really really steep incline.  I have seven speeds and I move it down to 1 and I am pumping it.  It is just the perfect length hill because I feel it in my legs, but I can do it.  Also, I know that at the top of the hill is my school, so I don't have far to go.

I liked how the ride got my blood pumping a bit and kind of woke me up.  On the way home it was a nice way to stretch out my legs after just shuffling around my classroom all day.  I'm not sure how often I will bike to work- I'm no Mr. Money Mustache, but it was fun enough that I will do it again on fair weather days.

Funny update on last week's menu plan.  Last week I listed that I would make Cajun Chicken Pasta.  Well, my husband got home before I did, so I called and asked him to pull out a bag of chicken to defrost.  When I got home I looked at the thawed out bag and laughed.  The meat had a large bone in it.  It was a very very old bag of pork chops that was from before I learned the importance of labeling and dating your meat.

Rather than waiting for the bag of chicken to thaw I just used the pork chops and it wasn't too bad considering it was meant for chicken and the pork was old.  Here's a pic (warning- I'm a terrible food photographer because I just feel weird when I'm doing it- should I tell it to say cheese- oh wait it is cheese:)).

Here's my plan for this week (I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie):

Dinner #1:  Easy Beef Stroganoff (made this yesterday and ate the leftovers tonight with cottage cheese on top- yum!)- modified by using tomato sauce instead of paste and cream of mushroom instead of fresh mushrooms- had noodles cook in the sauce

Dinner #2:  Use up your leftovers Italian Bake:  I have a significant amount of leftover meaty tomato sauce that we froze the last few weeks.  I'm going to thaw that out, halfway cook up some rotini noodles that I have, add some cottage cheese, a tiny bit of water (to finish cooking the noodles),top with a bit of mozzarella and bake it.  If I really go crazy I'll saute up some green peppers (I chopped and froze them and they're not bad sauteed).  Salad.

Dinner #3:  Chicken Thighs (Salt/Pepper) roasted in the oven, mashed potatoes/gravy, peas

Friday, April 26, 2013

Frugally Fit Friday: Map my Ride

Today I want to share with you my latest free fitness find.  This week as I was pondering biking to work (it didn't happen, but I know it will next week), I found this lovely site: Map my Ride.  I used to use Map my Run when I would run when I was in the country.  Now I don't run much because I live near my students and frankly I look like an awkward chicken when I run. Running is something that I only enjoy doing on wide open, semi-private, country roads.  Anyway this website and its app, allow you to log your trip.  It shows the inclines and everything.  For people who are more disciplined than I am you could log each trip and all of your workouts/food intake.  For people like me, it is just mainly interesting because I can map my ride and see how far I went and how many calories I burned.  Try it out!

Friday Favorite Finds: Feeling Nutty!

Well, at the beginning of this week I thought I might ride my bike in to work.  I probably could have on Monday, but that was Monday which is a rough morning anyway.  After that it got really chilly, and I have to say that I am a very fair weather biker.  So, I think next week now will be the week.  The lows next week will be in the 50's and this week they were low 30's, which is just a bit too cold for me.

I am linking up as always with Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Friday Favorite Finds.  Before I indulge you with my picks for the week I dare you to search Pinterest for "yum."  The range of items that comes up is hilarious.  Anyway, back to my picks.  I've been filling a bit crazy(nutty) today because I took a much needed personal day, so my picks this week all involve nuts.

Peanut Butter Pancakes (add a bit of protein to your morning)

Almond Cheddar Pinecone Appetizer (ok that is just funny)

Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

Pistachio Cake

Peanut Butter Dessert (for the chocolate fans)


Monday, April 22, 2013

Menu Plan Monday:

I think this is going to be the week.  Today (Sunday) I tried biking to work on a test run and I did it(!) and it wasn't that bad.  This might be the week that I actually bike to work on a work day.  We'll see though.  I kind of want to chicken out because where I live only the drunks who don't have driver's licenses ride their bikes to work, but I think this could be good.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, this week I am again linking up with Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Dinner #1: Cajun Chicken Pasta (I braved Walmart and finally bought some Cajun seasoning, because I'm not always up for making my own mix); Salad; Cut up oranges

Dinner #2: Mini Meat Loaves, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Peas

Dinner #3: Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, Steamed Broccoli, cut up fruit

Happy Menu Planning!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Morning Free Funnies: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me

I am a creature of habit.  We all are.  I just read a book over break about it.  I thought I would share one of my automatic Saturday rituals.  11 am exercise (because I rarely get in my 60 minutes before the weekend) while listening to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me the NPR news quiz show.  If, for some odd reason, I can't be by the radio during that time my day feels incomplete.  They have several comedians, the audience, and normally a super smart person answer questions about the week's news.  It is really funny.  The good news is that you can listen to them online now, so if your NPR station doesn't play it, you can listen online.

The episodes kind of remind me of the Daily Show from what I remember of it.  I'm more of a radio person than a TV person, so I really enjoy laughing along with the weird news.  Since I'm nerdy the quiz aspect is fun as well.  Go to to listen in online or look up past episodes.  Remember, laughing is good for you and free!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Frugally Fit Friday: Tracey Mallet Abs and Flexibility Workout

Last week Youtube suggested this video and it was amazing, so I have to share it, however creepy it is that Youtube knows me that well.

Tracey Mallett: Booty Barre- Abs and Flexibility workout is 13 minutes of exercises that are difficult, but not too difficult and yet they leave you feeling it in a good way the next day.  You can fit it in at any point in time during the day because they are strength moves as opposed to sweaty cardio (which I like, but you have to plan cardio around shower times- at least if you sweat like I do).  Try it out today!

Friday Favorite Finds: April Showers!

This week I'm linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Friday Favorite Finds. This week has definitely brought April showers! Just after I was so excited about my new bike it seemed that there were storms and rain and more storms. Oh well, I'll get a chance to try and ride it to the school soon enough.

This week I had some interesting finds:

Strawberries have been on sale for $0.99 at Aldi, so this recipe looked especially appealing!
Fresh Strawberry Pie from Brown Eyed Baker

Blackened Chicken with Cool Avocado Sauce from Sarcastic Cooking (which is hilarious)

Another Orange Julius Recipe from 2 Sisters 2 Cities

Nutella Kiwi Popsicle from Pinfoody

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie from Texerin

Nutella Microwave Cake from Babble

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: New Bike Edition!

I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday today, but first I have to tell you about what I bought this weekend.  Ok, you guessed it (it's in the title) a new bike!  I've been thinking about this for a while now because our new house is super close to town compared to the place we used to rent.  Where we used to live I would have had to risk my life around some very sharp curves to get to town and would have hoped and prayed that the drivers would see me.  Now, the only "dangerous" part of my trip to town would be 0.1 mile strip on a busy road that has ample shoulders.  The rest of it allows me to take some beautiful side streets.  Needless to say, I am really excited about this summer.

Here is a picture online I found of my beauty.  It is kind of a long story how I ended up with this specific bike, but I am super happy with it.

I still have my old mountain bike from middle school, so when I get a chance I hope to list it on Craigslist to recoup a bit of my new bike cost.  I just hate the idea of it lying around unused, but honestly I never liked mountain bikes.  I hate leaning so far over.  I'm always sure that I am going to fly over the handlebars because I am super clumsy like that.  Furthermore, I have no need for the "mountain bike" features as I never take it off road and it is pretty flat around here for the most part.

My new bike is a cruiser style and I love it.  I looks a bit more girly than I would prefer, but after a strange series of events I was able to get it brand new for $150, so I couldn't say no!  I was planning on getting it used for that price (new 24" 7 speed cruisers go for over $200 around here and are impossible to find).  I'm looking into eventually getting some fenders so I don't get a skunk stripe and maybe baskets for the back for library trips (my husband said the front would look even more ridiculous).  I am toying with the idea of riding it to work.  The only problem is that there isn't a bike rack and I don't really trust locking it to a tree at a high school all day.

Here's my plan for the week:

Monday: Leftovers from the weekend

Tuesday: Black Bean Quesadillas from The Curvy Carrot with fresh tomatoes, chips and salsa

Wednesday: Taco Time!

Thursday: Spaghetti, Salad, Roasted Asparagus

Friday- Sunday: Dinners with family and friends!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Morning Free Funnies: Sh*t My Kids Have Ruined

I was looking at finally finishing my kitchen chairs project this morning and found out some really good information and found a hilarious website.  First, I have decided that I want to use vinyl fabric for the kitchen chairs because children are in our 5 year plan and I just can't see regular fabric working well with them.  I also am lazy and don't want to put nice fabric on now and then have to change it when they come.  Second, I am not going to buy vinyl fabric (looked online and it was, *gasp* $15/yd or more!).  Instead, I am going to find a cute vinyl tablecloth to use.  I thought this was an original idea, but I guess it isn't because I found a tutorial here that is pretty good.  That blog mentioned a site that I have found to be hilarious- mainly because I used to work at a daycare during the summer, so I know the path of destruction kids can leave behind.

If you or someone you know has kids and a good sense of humor (and doesn't mind a small amount of language in the title), check out Sh*t My Kids Have Ruined.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Favorite Finds:

This week I'm linking up with Friday Favorite Finds at Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  This week has been a different type of week in two ways.  My husband has switched jobs which means a more fluctuating type of work schedule.  Also, coming back from spring break is always a bit challenging.  However, I don't want to complain, since most other people do not have a break.  Finally, the weather has been all over the place- super warm and sunny and cold and rainy.

Here's my picks for the week.

Healthy Orange Julius from Miss Indie

Chicken Gyros from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Roasted Broccoli with Cherry Tomatoes from Jeanette's Healthy Living

Kit Kat Mocha Cupcakes from Kitchen Karate

Frugally Fit Friday: 100 Reasons You Should Workout Today

I find that so many days I am so stoked to exercise after work when I am at work.  However, by the time I've spent the whole day convincing teens that logarithms are something they need to know and then graded their papers and tutored for free after school, made dinner and cleaned it up, I am not always motivated to work out.  I found this giant list of reasons why I should workout.

So far, reading through this list has been motivation enough to help me get motivated to do at least a little bit of exercise.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finance Isn't Just for the Fellas

Photo credit: Epsos

My class has been going over exponential growth and decay recently.  I had them read some Mr. Money Mustache, analyze the real cost of a car with a 60 month loan after researching different local bank rates, depreciation of vehicles, saving early vs. saving late for retirement, mutual funds vs. savings accounts,credit card debt, Check into Cash (there eyeballs fall out of their head when they calculate a 391% APR), etc.  During this unit I have talked with several adults in the building about how excited I am about this unit.  I had several people act surprised that I, a woman, would find any of that guy stuff interesting.  Seriously?!  Is it 1950?  Do I need to have an allowance for shoes?

Needless to say I informed them that I enjoyed working with finance and that it is what I like to spend some of my extra time doing.  I actually enjoy finance stuff more than my husband.  More surprise.

There are many women that work finance and it just saddens me when other people at school act like I am super strange mainly because I would hate to have the young women these people are around think that they don't need to learn finance.  The woman in Proverbs 31 clearly understood some finance as it showed that she had a business.  I guess I just worry about the young girls in my school getting the idea that they are supposed to be the stereotypical spenders that they see in movies/tv and that they don't need to think about money.

Many of those girls faces that I stare at each day will be single moms, on their own, within a decade if they follow current norms.  They won't have a man to be in charge of the family spending.  They are precisely who needs to learn these ideas the most.  I just hope that none of my students come back and say that this (basic finance) is what they should have learned because I am teaching it right now even if it doesn't seem to be sticking.  I am forced to teach conic sections and imaginary numbers, but this unit, exponential growth, is a unit I get to teach.  It is my baby.  Each year I tweak it and add to it and maybe steal a day or two from other units to turn this unit, this unit that I consider to be absolutely crucial, to bloom as nicely as the crocuses are this spring.  I do everything possible to get these young women and men to start thinking of the future, how their habits now will effect it.  They can dream big if they start now.  They don't have to be part of the herd.  Think differently and you might get a different result.

Every time I teach this unit I normally have a few of my male students stay after class asking more questions and wanting more information about how they can start investing now.  I have yet to have a female student do this.  So I wait..... Someday.  Someday.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

JCPenney Tanking Means Great Deals for Me and You!

I just got a $5 off $5 coupon in my inbox a few weeks ago and was able to get the cutest most comfortable turquoise shirt for free!

I just found out that flip flops are only a buck this Friday!  Seriously, I know they are tanking as a company, but I've never seen better deals.  Enjoy them while you can!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Back to Reality

If you might have noticed last week was a bit spotty.  That is because I was out of the country enjoying some time with my in-laws and some sunshine!  I'm sorry for the lack of posts, but I was trying to be completely "present" with all of them and not in my own little blog world.

Last week they had us stay at the most beautiful all-inclusive resort.  I was able to try so many different foods, which was really fun, because normally I just play it safe and just order something that I know that I will like.  Despite this I will be glad to have "normal" food again this week and some healthier options than what I was eating all last week.  Honestly I feel like I should do one of those smoothie cleanse weeks this week because I ate so much food last week.  It was delicious though!

Here is my plan for this week (most nights we have cut up fruit each night as well):

Dinner #1:  Easy Chicken Fried Rice with Veggies

Dinner #2:  Hamburgers, Baked Fries, Veggies

I had to include this picture that I found as well because it was so funny!

Other random thought- when looking for hamburger recipes I found tons of hamburger looking cupcakes.  I'm sorry, but I think that is just a bit strange, but hey I guess having something sweet look like something salty might do it for some people;).

Dinner #3:  Sticky Orange-Glazed Chicken Thighs, Sauteed Green Beans

Find more amazing menus at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Favorite Finds: Spring Break 2013 Edition!

Spring break is coming to a close, but I have several finds for you!  I'm linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Friday Favorite Finds.  This week I'm focusing on easy meals or things with small amounts of ingredients, because we're on break, which means a cooking break (but not completely).
Sorry if this post has some funky formatting.  Pinterest changed the way you embed their links and I'm still learning how to work with it.

Easy Skinny Mushroom Stroganoff:  What could be better than an easy dinner that is good for you?

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Sweat and Saucy Chicken

3 Ingredient Halloween Apple Bites (okay- so it is nowhere near Halloween, but these looked hilarious and were easy so I had to post them!)

3 Ingredient Raspberry Healthy Icecream

3 Ingredient Tagalongs

Frugally Fit Friday: Pool Exercises

Happy Friday to everyone!  This week has been spring break for many of the schools around here which means that everyone has headed down south to where it is warm and is living by the pool!  If you are one of those people or you have access to a pool this week's feature is for you.

Fitness Magazine has an article describing several different exercises that you can do in a pool that are extremely effective and in general won't make you stick out (no one wants to be that crazy lady doing water aerobics to no music all alone surrounded by kids).  It details the K-tread (treading water), Otter roll (killer on abs- but you need a beach ball or something similar), Ball lever (also needs a ball- good for arms/abs/butt), Pike Scull (similar to doing a pike crunch only with more benefit to your arms as well), and finally the Wave Maker (killer on your legs).  What I like best about this article is that it gives you a nice written description and has a 30 second video available for each move, so that if you don't understand the written description you can visualize the move easily.  Note: As you click through the article it will try and have you sign up for stuff (you don't have to).  Just click continue and it will send you write back to the article.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: Spring Break Tropics Edition

This week I'm linking up with Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday to give you a glimpse at our menu for this week.  It's spring break and many people are in the tropics, so this week I thought I would put up some dinners that they might be having.  Enjoy!

Sunday: Salmon Filets

Monday: Shrimp Puttanesca

Tuesday: Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon

Wednesday: Ratatouille

Thursday: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas

Friday: Mango Shrimp Tostadas

For most of you Hoosier, enjoy your week of Spring Break!


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