Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Books! Books! Books!

My GOODNESS, y'all came through with amazing book recommendations on my recent book request post! I literally requested EVERY single one of them from the library and am anywhere between #6 and #191 on the wait list line for ALL of them! However, since I'm impatient, I primed a handful of the books with the longest wait list. Also, I decided to compile and share the list of books that were recommended because they are ALL in the thriller/suspense/can't-turn-the-page-fast-enough category and those of you who left suggestions would probably like the others too!
BOOKS!
My Husbands Wife

*recommended more than once

The books en route to me are The Woman in Cabin 10, The Kind Worth Killing, Luckiest Girl Alive, The Husbands Secret, My Husaband's Wife, The Good Daughter, The Chemist and The Couple Next Door. I purchased all of them used on Amazon anywhere between .93 - $6 for hardbacks in excellent condition! I can't wait to report back with a review!

Happy reading, friends! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Florida!

First Florida trip of the year in the books! We took advantage of the long MLK weekend and flew home for a few days. It was a quicker trip than normal but still SO great. Dad is feeling (and obviously looking fantastic) which is just such a blessing. In fact, Hospice is re-evaluating him to see if he's still a fit for their program. It's pretty unusual to get kicked out of Hospice but you know those insane stories of patients given up to 3 months to live...and living years? I'm hoping that's us. I am so thankful for every extra day we have!

Now for a few of my favorite pictures from the weekend (all from the same day -- church & lunch).
 
Before my Grandpa (one of my favorite people of all time) passed away, he would eat lunch every single day at his favorite restaurant, Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar in Cocoa Beach. I can't tell you how many times we've eaten there. In fact, we surprised him on his 80th birthday when he walked in for his usual lunch and we were all there screaming SURPRISE! The waitresses knew him SO well and loved him fiercely. So you can imagine how special it was for us when Grills opened an Orlando location!!! It opened earlier this week so after church on Sunday we went for lunch and the mahi mahi is just as amazing as I always remembered it to be. 
Cheers to a great weekend!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Meal Plan Monday: Whole30

We just completed week 2 of Whole30 and have never felt better.

Also, I cannot thank you all enough for the insane amount of emails I received with amazing recipes and tips. If you haven't already, I highly suggest peeking at my Whole30 pin board as I've tried to collect all of the recipes that have been shared with me there.

Before I dive in to our week 3 meal plan I wanted to answer the number one question I received last week from many of you...

How do you have time to plan, shop and prep for such a complicated diet as a full time working mama?

Meal Planning: Planning our meals out usually takes me somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour depending on how focused I am on the task (ahem, Netflix binge). I typically meal plan during the kids' naps on the weekends or in bed at night. My first step in the planning process is reviewing the weekly Harris Teeter grocery ad to see which meats, veggies, fruits, etc. are on sale. Once I know what type of meats I'm working with I'll turn to my pin board to select my meals and start a grocery list. I always purchase enough of each meat to make one recipe last for at least two meals (dinner + leftovers for lunch).

Grocery Shopping: Since I don't have time during the work week to grocery shop, we are limited to the weekends to tackle it -- usually on Saturday mornings. Before Whole30 we could knock everything out at Harris Teeter and visit Trader Joes every few weekends. However, we must shop at both stores to get everything we need at the prices I'm willing to pay (sorry Harris Teeter, I can't pay $19 for Almond flour or $3 per Larabar). This usually takes us about 2 hours as a family to tackle.

Meal Prepping: This definitely takes the longest time but is totally worth it. Let me explain. I usually use nap time on Sundays to prep everything. I make a breakfast casserole for the entire week of breakfasts, I boil tons of eggs, bake tons of bacon, prep all the snacks, prepare a few lunches and chop up as many ingredients as possible for the week. This takes me 3 hours. It's a LOT of time. But you know what? It's really not. On a normal night it takes me somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour to get dinner on the table. But with all the prep done, it takes me somewhere between 5 minutes and 20 minutes. I also try to ensure at least 1-2 meals are done in the crock pot. So meal prep is actually totally worth it to me.

What About the Kids? The kids are eating what we're eating and are happy about it for the most part. Some recipes I have to hand pick every damn tomato out of for Caroline or every carrot out of for Thomas so they'll eat it. But overall, they have really appreciated the break from frozen chicken nuggets and lunchables.

Biggest Challenge: This week presented challenges with planning meals around my several days of work travel as well as our trip home for the long weekend. Thankfully my mom was suuuuuper supportive and cooked compliant meals for us. As for travel, I ate a lot of RX bars and salads with balsamic vinegar.

On to the meal plans! Sorry for the redundancy but I think it's helpful to see all the previous meals in one place so I'm including week 1 and week 2 meals...

WEEK 1
MONDAY
TUESDAY:
B: Scrambled eggs over roasted sweet potatoes
D: Baked Pesto Salmon with Kale Chips
 
WEDNESDAY:
B: Scrambled eggs over roasted sweet potatoes
THURSDAY:
B: Scrambled eggs over roasted sweet potatoes
L: Leftover Avocado Chicken Salad
FRIDAY: 
B: Scrambled eggs over roasted sweet potatoes
SATURDAY: 
L: Salad
D: Oven Baked Ribs w/ Roasted Green Beans
SNACKS: celery or apples with almond butter, plantain chips and hard boiled eggs

WEEK 2

SUNDAY
B: Banana Pancakes
L: Eggroll in a Bowl (this wasn't our favorite, but the kids ate it) 
D: Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
MONDAY

TUESDAY
D: Leftover Paleo Carnitas

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY
L: Salad
D: Roasted chicken with green beans

SATURDAY
B: Scrambled eggs, bacon & fruit
L: Salad
D: Steak, sweet potato & salad

 **Favorite recipe of the week: Breakfast Casserole!!!! Oh my goodness, it is SO good. Runner up was Paleo Carnitas
WEEK 3

MONDAY

TUESDAY
D: Rotisserie Chicken

WEDNESDAY
L: Salad with leftover rotisserie chicken

THURSDAY

FRIDAY
D: Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

SATURDAY/SUNDAY: Vacation. Off diet, for sure.
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