Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving in Austin

We had a great time in Austin for Thanksgiving!

We started our break by Matt coming up to my classroom right after school got out Tuesday to help me get the Christmas decorations done. Then we headed home to finish packing before heading to dinner & to see the new Hunger Games movie. 

Wednesday I got up and enjoyed a quiet morning with pumpkin muffins and coffee in hand while I took down the fall decorations. As much as I love my Chriatmas decor it made me sad to take down the fall things. I love the memories all my decorations hold from shopping with my mom for my "one day grown up house" to the acorns from our yard during our first fall & of course ALL. THE. PUMPKINS. from Canton shopping with Heather. Then I headed to get a quick workout in before leaving for Austin.  

On our way in to town we stopped by Grandma Heidi's house to spend some time with her since she wasn't able to make it down for Thanksgiving. It was nice to spend some time with her watching the dogs play in the backyard, spotting wildlife, and a full dinner out. 

Thanksgiving day began with Matt's mom and I turkey trotting in their neighborhood's race. It was a beauty day and a fun way to start the day! 

While his mom prepared lunch the guys enjoyed playing cards & watching football. 

The rest o the day was filled with eating, football watching, napping, reading & late night card playing. 

Friday Matt and I headed out to join in with a little of the Black Friday fun (but missed all the crazy since we didn't leave until aroun 10:30). Our main motivation were the holiday drinks at Starbucks & seeing what deals we could find. 

Then it was time for brunch & more card playing before we headed to Zilker park for a little family walk. It was another beautiful day! 

Saturday we just hung out watching football & reading before it was time to cheer on our Baylor Bears!! After a close game that caused a little stress we pulled out a win and it was time to hit the road home. It was a great weekend with family, ready to welcome the Christmas season!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

weekend wrap-up {#everyoneinblack & hunger games edition}

Friday - I was able to leave work right after the kids did (yay for a short week coming up and less prep!) and went on a 3 mile run (which was a HUGE milestone for me!). Then it was dinner at home with Matt, catching up on some of our shows, and then me falling asleep early #tiredteacher.

Saturday - It was a rainy day and while staying at home doing nothing sounded so nice we decided to head to Waco for the Baylor game. There may or may not have been motivation of the Harvest Cyclone at Katie's Custard + the fact that we already had tickets ;) 

Our first stop in town was at Vitek's, our traditional game day spot (and plenty others too as it has gotten super popular since we graduated!). Matt's favorite meal of all time may be their famous Gut Pak (bbq, beans, fritos, jalapenos, & cheese). He enjoyed his Gut Pak while I had a sausage sandwich.

Then we headed to get my favorite fall dessert at Katie's Custard. Their Harvest Cyclone is a piece of pumpkin pie mixed with their vanilla custard. Yep, it's as amazing as it sounds ;)

Once our bellies were happy we geared up for the rainy game. We ran into some friends on our way into the stadium & then found our seats which happened to be in the upper section under the awning which was perfect for the rainy game! We were thankful to stay dry the whole time (well, except for the walk back to the car!).

As much as I love the new stadium I get a tad emotional when they play the video showing all the previous stadiums including good ol Floyd Casey. Oh college memories!

It was a good game -- lots of fun touchdowns for us but also some crazy calls that kept the game interesting. And being good Baylor fans we were a wee bit disappointed we didn't win by more but thankful for a win regardless ;) (It is fun to be a fan these days after being loyal fans during the not so good days!)

Sunday - Since we got in really late from Waco we slept in & had coffee at home. It was a nice morning at home before going to get lunch at Chipotle (and sitting outside to enjoy the great weather!) before running to pick up some groceries. Then we came home to watch the first two Hunger Game movies (we are planning on seeing the third movie this week). Dad was driving back from Oklahoma to pick up Elizabeth from the airport so he stopped in to watch part of the movies with us & part of the Cowboys and have dinner before he had to leave. It was a great way to end a fun yet laid back weekend!

Now onto our two day work week before we begin our Thanksgiving break!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Fresh 20

I've mentioned this amazing meal plan before but after using it for a month now I think it deserves it's own post.

First of all The Fresh 20 is a 5 day dinner meal plan that serves four using only 20 ingredients. I mean really, can it get better than that? They offer several different plans to meet all different types of diets (classic, vegetarian, dairy free, etc). The three month subscription is $18. And no, this isn't a sponsored post or anything. Just wanted to share a review of the meal plan and tell y'all more about it because I love it so much!

A few things that I love about the plan:
  • My meal planning is done for me. In this season of life of wanting to eat healthier, it is nice not having to think about what we should eat. 
  • Grocery shopping is super quick! I can easily get in and out in 20 or 30 minutes since I'm only having to get around 20 things & most of the items are in the produce section. 
  • Our meals are jammed pack with veggies now. 
  • Since there are just two of us there are leftovers for the next day's lunch. Lunch packing made easy. We also typically have enough leftovers to eat during the weekend too for a few meals.
  • The meals are very easy to make, not very time consuming, and are super flavorful. In the month we've used the plan there have only been one or two dinners we didn't care for. 
  • Buying mostly organic we are spending about $60 - $80 on groceries for the week. Which equals about $3.75 - $5 per serving.
  • The meals get quicker to make as the week goes on which makes eating out less tempting. 
  • Cook once, use twice. Several of the veggies or meats will be used in one or more of the meals. This makes the rest of the week's cooking much easier! I love that The Fresh 20 has this planned out for me!
  • They include nutrition info for all of the meals.
This week we only made four of the five dinners. I always look ahead to our schedule and decide if we should make all five or not. With our schedule this week I decided to only make four. We spent $56 on the four meals (which we ate on all week and had lots of leftovers for lunch and the weekend) + about $20 more on apples (snacks), frozen fruit (for spinach smoothies), lettuce, and extra chicken broth for the pantry. Here's what we got:

Sunday I prepped the spaghetti squash (6 minutes before cooking, 1 hr to cook, 6 minutes post cook. Hands on time was 12 minutes) and made the first meal. I typically make the first meal on Sunday since I've found the first meal is more time intensive and so we will have leftovers for Monday's lunch. Hands on time to make the chicken & veggies took about 45 minutes with cooking time of 1 hr. Half of the chicken will be used in a meal later in the week.

Monday we took leftovers from Sunday's dinner. I had dinner with my co-workers & Matt was at a Cowboys game so no Fresh 20 dinner for us tonight!

Tuesday's lunch was leftovers from my dinner (fajita salads from Chuys!). Tuesday night we were back to The Fresh 20 - Stuffed Spaghetti Squash! I prepped the squash on Sunday night so tonight's meal was quick and easy. Hands on cooking time took me 35 minutes, baking time 20 minutes.

Wednesday was of course leftovers from Tuesday's dinner. I love that all of the meals from The Fresh 20 heat up well as leftovers. I got home later than normal today due to a meeting but about 15 minutes later I had dinner cooking (we had a Moroccan Chicken Soup so I just had to chop a few veggies, saute, and then simmer). It was packed with flavor, protein & veggies - a win-win for a 15 minute hands on cooking time meal!

Thursday lunch was leftovers again. And dinner (Eggplant Pasta) was the vegetarian meal for the week (I love that they do this in the classic plan too - nice to have a break from meat once a week. But they always supplement with a different source of protein so it's filling.) Hands on cooking time was 15 minutes with 20 minutes of additional cooking (which meant a clean kitchen by the time dinner was ready!).

Friday was again leftovers for lunch (are you sensing a theme here?!). And since it was Halloween we continued with our tradition of "Boo"ritos at Chipotle! The rest of the leftovers were eaten over the weekend.

Let me know if you try The Fresh 20 and what you think of it!

Friday, October 31, 2014

friday favorites

Happy Friday! Time for another round up of a few favorites! A bit random but here are some things that have become new favorites of mine lately:

Target Makeup Sponge. My sister told me about this and after one use I was sold. I might have even called it life changing. Which might be a wee dramatic but seriously, if you don't have one of these go straight to Target and get yourself one. 

Aroma Rice Cooker. Why I've spent my entire life without one of these is unknown to me. I used to think they were not a necessity but after making too many batches of unsuccessful rice I decided to take the rice cooker plunge. And I'm so glad I did because this thing is amazing! I got the slightly more expensive one ($30 instead of $20) since it had a brown rice cooker option and I was very pleased with how it worked!

Girls Like Us. While this isn't an easy read in the sense of the topic (human trafficking) I am really enjoying learning more about this issue. The author does a great job presenting the human side of human trafficking while giving great facts and stats. She will have you laughing, crying, feeling disgust and feeling hopeful. This book isn't for the faint of heart though because she goes into detail with some of the stories she shares but I think its good to learn what is really going on with this issue. {and there is a bit of language in this book but it is presented in an authentic manner and really captures the life and culture of her story + the girls' stories she is sharing}
Allume Keynotes. Allume is a woman/blogging/story teller conference that a few bloggers I follow were at last weekend. The keynotes are posted online for free. While they are geared towards "bloggers" I think a lot of what was said is applicable to all woman & the relationships in our lives. I liked watching these while cooking dinner & doing chores around the house this week!
This post on Buzzfeed. A little teacher humor for your Friday, all of which is totally spot on!

And a little birthday shout out to my favorite Halloween girl, Valeria! May year 26 be the best yet :)