You Can’t Take Us Anywhere

Waaaaaay back in December, my mom & dad celebrated FIFTY years of marriage.

I’ll pause so you can think things like “DANG! That’s a long time!” or “I hope that’s me and so-and-so in fill in the blank years!”

As a gift, Gary & I bought them a photography session and somehow the whole family got dragged into it. ;-)

We finally got our schedules to all match up, and a few weekends ago got gussied up and proclaimed we were ready for our close up.

The photographer was awesome and got some really good shots. But being the goofballs we are, Gary, my brother & I decided to host our OWN photo shoot once my parents left to talk with the photographer.

These photos are a GREAT reminder as to why you can’t take us anywhere!

The newest sports commentator for Organically Mo-

Setting up for the PERFECT selfie

Almost there

NAILED IT!

On that note I wish you a lovely weekend full of family & shenanigans!

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When Saying No Isn’t Easy

I mentioned in my last post how last week was crazy busy & emotional.

Busy because Prom was this past Saturday and I was helping with the last minute details {welcome to working with teenagers – they procrastinate on EVERYTHING}.

Emotional because I finally said NO.

Besides helping to plan & execute activities on campus and work with the Leadership students {along with boring paperwork duties no one wants to hear about} I try and help out with “extra” stuff as well.  Things that I spend a majority of my personal time doing…nothing that I get paid for or is in my job description, but I signed up for because they help my school & the kids.

With one of these extra positions, I have been very frustrated all year long.  Things are continuously getting changed on me, decisions are getting made behind my back and I am feel like I am more of a worker bee than one of the people who was picked to RUN THINGS.  I had raised my concerns a few times throughout the year, but nothing has changed.

So I made the decision to finish out my duties for the year, but not to return next year.

And it was HARD saying no.

Usually saying no is something I don’t have a problem with, but this time it is eating at me from the inside out.

I’m worried that no one else will step up.  I’m worried that the kids will suffer.

But I have to remind myself that I did the BEST I could and that staying on board would not be good for anyone involved.  I’d be frustrated and that would show in my work and my attitude towards the kids.  Not okay!

I needed this reminder that saying no can be HARD, but sometimes, saying no is the RIGHT thing.

Have you ever had a situation where saying no was hard, but the right thing to do? 
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Grocery Haul & Meal Plan {April 13 – 19}

Before we get to the the groceries & the meal plan, can we all just agree that 2014 is going by way too fast?  How is it the middle of April already?!?!  I feel like I just sat down to type about my meal plan from last week!

I’m not 100% sure how it happened, but I have moved from cooking ALL my meals on Sunday to cooking just a few that day and cooking the remainder on a rest day from working out.  I just aim to eat the more complicated meals {take more cooking time, use more than 2 pots or pans} on Sunday – Tuesday, so I can make them Sunday, freeze and heat up.

I also like to make meals with lots of servings, so I can cook once and eat from it twice a week.

TRADER JOE’S

Another good habit I have picked up is getting a mid-week lunch hour grocery haul done at Trader Joe’s.  It’s never much {because I have limited time & space to store my groceries at work}, but it’s enough to get me through a few more days of eats.

Vegetable broth {x2}, mushrooms {x2}, goat cheese {herb & honey} blueberries, green beans & dark chocolate honey mints {1 each for home & work}. A note on the mints – I have 1-2 a day, usually after lunch & dinner.  The chocolate mint mix totally takes care of any other food craving!

This mid-week trip cost me $29.90

Then Saturday morning, I made a quick trip to Raley’s and our local produce stand.

RALEY’S

Mushroom {x4}, organic eggs, organic half & half, white & brown rice, GF pasta, onions {x3}, & blueberries.

Raley’s total = $40.75

PRODUCE STAND

My local produce stand is open and I am looking forward to cheaper fruit & veggie bills! The half flat of strawberries {bottom left} only cost me $8. This will last Gary, my parents & I for a week. Even though we cook separately from my mom & dad, we will take turns buying household food staples {bananas, strawberries, eggs}.

Produce stand total = $8.00

WEEKLY GROCERY TOTAL = $78.65

Ouch!  For not buying very much {and no meat at all} this was a really expensive week. But I was expecting it.  I had a ridiculously busy and emotional week {more on this Wednesday}, which led to no shopping the ads and no time to shop at my usual variety of stores.  I had time to go to one place on Saturday and Raley’s won.

The good news is that I was still under $100 for the week and I am getting to use some meat we have frozen.

MEAL PLAN

LOTS of green beans {yay Trader Joe’s} and even a night out with friends…it will be a great week! ;-)

Do you like green beans?

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Coconut Mustard Chicken

You want to know what my FAVORITE chicken recipe of all time is?

HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN

It’s like the perfect combination of sweet, savory and freaking finger licking good!

But my body cannot handle that much honey anymore.  So I found a way to make it that might just be BETTER than the original.

By using coconut oil in place of the honey. Shut the front door!

Coconut Mustard Chicken {serves 4}

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil {not solid, but not too liquidy}
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Coconut aminos

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place your chicken thighs in a baking dish and season both sides with salt, pepper and paprika
  • In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, mustard, and a few splashes of coconut aminos
  • Spread mustard/coconut oil mixture over chicken thighs
  • Add a few more splashes of coconut aminos
  • Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook for 45-55 minutes, making sure chicken is cooked through before serving.
  • Serve with side dishes of your choice & enjoy!

Coconut Mustard Chicken is a staple in my house.  I usually serve it with green beans and half a sweet potato.

Recently I switched the sweet potato for brown rice pasta, cut up the cooked chicken and green beans and served myself a one bowl meal.

No matter how you serve this chicken, you’ll love it!

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Grocery Haul & Meal Plan {April 6 – 12}

A new week means a grocery haul & a new meal plan.

This weeks grocery haul was pretty big compared to the last few weeks, so my wallet cried just a bit.  But I think that the week after next, I’ll start doing a freezer & pantry clean-out to use up lots of food we already have.

This week we did the majority of food shopping at Sprouts & Trader Joe’s.

Like always, I’ll go through what we bought, give you the total of what was spent and share our meal plan for the week.

 

…because we didn’t buy it if there’s no photo of the grocery cart. ;-)

MEAT/FISH

Mahi Mahi – On sale at Sprouts for $3.50 each package.  A bit of a splurge, but I’m cutting down my personal meat consumption a ton, so money-wise it will even out.

DAIRY

Ghee and half & half – staples for me.

GRAINS/STARCHES

GF Pasta – Trying different brands to see if we have a taste preference.

Lentils – of all sorts!  I’ve never had lentils before, but saw this recipe from Brittany and knew I needed them in my life…especially with trying to cut down on meat.  I don’t have any meals planned with them yet, but I want to experiment when I have time.

Black Beans – my FAVORITE kind of bean. <— #thingsyoushouldknowaboutme

VEGGIES

Frozen Green Beans {x2 bought} – If Trader Joe’s ever stopped selling these, I would honestly be lost.  We eat green beans every week, sometimes a few nights a week.

Frozen Artichoke Hearts – Artichokes always seem like a special treat to me, but they’re pretty affordable at TJ’s, so I figured I could throw these in a few quick meals.

ONIONS – I haven’t had an onion in months because of my IBS.  I’m slowly adding them back in and my gut is feeling pretty good.

Broccoli – Another veggie I haven’t seen in my meals for awhile.  Hoping I’ll be fine with it because I’m making stir-fry twice this week!

Bok Choy – If you haven’t tried bok choy, add it to a stir fry and you’ll be hooked.  It just adds so much ummph to a meal without breaking the bank.

Kale – I plan on sauteing these babies with some other veggies this week for dinner.

Baby Spinach – Eggs, smoothies….what doesn’t baby spinach work with??

Carrots & Frozen Peas – Stir-fry goodness!

SNACKS/EXTRAS

Goat Cheese {various} – I’m REALLY trying hard to stay away from cow’s milk {besides half & half obviously}, and I have found that just a touch of goat cheese adds a nice creaminess to dishes.

Dill – Trying to broaden my horizons with spices.

Dried Pineapple – MINE MINE MINE

PB Cups & Chips {x2} – Gary. Although it’s hard not to sneak a PB cup. Chips will last 2 weeks.

Blueberries & Strawberries – to eat with breakfast, smoothies and afternoon snack.

Dried Cherries – I’m imaging how good these would taste in quinoa with some of that herbed goat cheese I bought!

LAUNDRY

Dryer sheets & fabric softener – I LOVE Ecover laundry products.  Also thought I’d try these lavender dryer sheets.

TOTAL DAMAGE

Sprouts = 92.32 {I somehow missed taking pics of 5 avocados and a pack of Zevia}

TJ’s = $40.58

Total = $132.90  I’m not thrilled with how high this bill was, but a lot of the beans & snacks will last almost 2 weeks.  Like I said above in a few weeks I will do a week of meals consisting mostly of what’s already on hand.  AND the produce stand down the street just reopened for the season, so that should drop our grocery bill quite a bit.  They sell most of their veggies for $1 a bag.  CRAZINESS! :)

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

I mentioned this above, but it’s even more apparent after seeing our meal plan for the week that I am personally trying to cut out meat as much as possible. This doesn’t mean Gary has to suffer {for the most part}. If it makes sense & it’s not too much more work, I will make some sort of meat for Gary.

I have always said I am not a short order cook…I will not cook different meals for different people.  BUT Gary is also very supportive of my goals, so throwing a chicken breast in a pan to cook or heating up a sausage while the rest of the meal is cooking does not seem too far fetched.  Also, I’m working hard for “Wife of the Year.” ;-)

Let’s Chat

What did you eat for dinner last night?

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