Posts made in January, 2010

Weekly Menus January 31 – Feb 6

Posted in From My Kitchen | 1 comment

For the past two weeks I’ve been posting my family’s menu in an attempt to both hold myself accountable…and stay organized as well as showing you how the principle of using coupons and stockpiling can actually work. 

I’ve been following my menus very well!  I’m rather impressed with myself.  We will be ordering pizza tonight…because I’ve been up with sick kids and am DONE for the day…but once in a while won’t break our budget.  I will carry over tonight’s meal to tomorrow.

I will be attending BlissDom in Nashville, TN this week and will be gone Thurs – Sunday.  I’m taking SuperBaby with me but Eric and the two big kids will be home by themselves.  I’m trying to keep things simple and easy to prepare this week so I’m not spending a lot of time cleaning up when I could be doing other things.  I went a little over budget ($20) last week stocking up on some things (Juice, chicken) so I have a VERY short list this week and plan to do almost no shopping: bananas, Rice Milk, asparagus, french fries, hot dog buns, deli turkey. 

How about you?  Have you planned your family’s menu for the week?  Start by looking through your cupboards and see what you have on hand…then buy the essentials and stock up on what is on sale!  You will feel more relaxed and organized when dinner time rolls around each night!

Sunday: Make ahead Spinach Manacotti

  • I have spinach from our garden in the freezer and I purchased noodles and cheese on sale last week at Hy Vee.  The recipe for this makes a 9×13 which is too much for my family so I will freeze half (without the sauce) for another meal.

Monday: Foil Pack Chicken Marinara

  • I have chicken breasts in the freezer I purchased for $1.68/lb at HyVee, tomatoes I stocked up on when they were $0.38/can and mozzerella cheese that was a MONEY MAKER at HyVee when it was 5/$6 with a $5 ONYO + coupons.  I got this recipe from the Kraft Website and haven’t made it before…we’ll see if its a keeper or not.

Tuesday:  Grilled Cheese Sandwhiches, Tomato Soup and Homemade Applesauce

  • Daddy will be out of town so its a kid-food kind of night!  I almost always have tomato soup on hand…I like to make it up with a little milk (or soy milk) and some basil…yumma!  Made the applesauce last week in my crockpot with the apples on sale at HyVee.

Wednesday: Tilapia in mustard cream sauce, asparagus, Long Grain Wild Rice 

  • Tilapia I have in the freezer I purchased on a monthly trip to Aldi ($3.99/4pieces) and I have the wild rice on hand as well.  I will need to purchase fresh asparagus this week.

Thursday: Chili Dogs, French Fries, carrots and branch (Ranch) 

  • My first night away and Dad and the kids will have some “fun food” .  I have Hormel Chili I got on sale, with a coupon for about $0.30/can a month or so ago and I have veggie dogs and hot dogs in the freezer.  I will need to pick up more french fries unless I can convice Eric that he can make oven fries out of potatoes.  I bought a bag of carrots last week to make chicken soup and we can cut those up.

Friday: Left over Chicken Enchiladas

  • We had these last week and I froze half of the batch so Eric and the kids could have them while I was out of town…they will be eating while I’m listening to Harry Connick, Jr!

Saturday: Shepherd’s Pie  

  •  I use venison from our freezer that my husband provides for us, potatoes I bought on sale at Dillon’s last week and some vegetables and broth I have on hand.  I have one in the freezer for the fam to chow on while I’m living it up in Nashville.
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Why I Can’t Wait to Get to BlissDom

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Blissdom Conference ~ Nashville ~ February 4-6 2010

BlissDom is less than a week away…this time next week I will be living it up at the Opryland Hotel and Resort in Nashville, TN.  I’m terribly excited.  I’ve been trying to narrow it down…to figure out exactly what it is that makes me so excited about this trip….and here is what I’ve come up with:

I Get to See Old Friends:  I’ve met so many people over the internet it is amazing what they have come to mean to me.  This summer when I attended BlogHer in Chicago I had the incredible opportunity to meet so many of them in person and that only strengthened the bond.  This trip to BlissDom I am thrilled in particular to be seeing both Jaycie and Sarah and introducing them to Ryan. Jaycie is packing a big ol’ bag of snacks for the queen of all slumber parties and Sarah is challenging me to a Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking contest to see which one of us takes more steps at that big ol’ resort.  Good thing (see note about Jaycie bag of snacks).

Making New Friends: Jaycie has introduced me via email to a great group of bloggers,  Keri Lyn, Alli and Christy … women I have been emailing with and can’t wait to meet in person!

Meeting Bloggers who Impress Me:  Not to say that my friends and email buddies don’t impress me…because they DO…but there are some folks that I can’t wait to meet in person.  Crystal is an amazing blogger and an amazing woman…she and her husband saved enough money to buy themselves a house… with cash!!  Another Crystal… whose thrifty site I visit several times a week will also be there….the list could go on forever!

Spending time with Ryan:  That’s right.  I’m packing up SuperBaby and taking him along for the ride!  I’m looking forward to this because as the third baby… he and I don’t get a lot of one on one time that isn’t in the wee hours of the morning.  I am going to have four blissful days of wearing my baby…snuggling him and playing with him… with undivided maternal attention.  I’m very grateful for this.  I’m not the only one bringing along my babe-o … Check out the Blissdom Babies!! 

Spending time Alone: Obviously not completely alone… but alone in my responsibilities.  I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s schedule but my own.  When the day is over and I close my hotel room door…it will be just me and Ryan… and that is the epitome of Blissful.

Inspiration:  With the addition of Baby #3 my life has been thrown for yet another loop…and I find myself with very little time for “me things” like blogging, knitting, reading… and I find that frustrating.  I need to work something out to accomodate all (or at least those) aspects of me.  I’m excited to talk blogs, writing and PR for four days… to reinvigorate my determination.  I can’t wait to learn and dream.

Harry Conick, Jr:  That’s right.  A true highlight of the event.  He was originally scheduled to perform on Saturday night…but when he was asked to perform at the Super Bowl… he kept his obligation to the Women of Bliss and simply rescheduled for Friday night.  What a dream!!

Good friends, lots of fun, inspiration and learning…and hopefully a little rejuvenation of the soul… that is what I’m hoping to get out of the weekend.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on one weekend…but I’m pretty sure Blissdom will live up to every minute of it!

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National Thyroid Awareness Month and $25 For You!

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January is National Thyroid Awareness Month

Fitness is not just about exercise.  Its about your over all health…ALL aspects of it.  When I got an email from Amy at Global Influence offering me the opportunity to participate in this campaign I had to jump at the chance IMMEDIATELY.  This is an issue that is close to my heart because this summer my Aunt Tina was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.  Tina is a very important person to me and I’m happy to say that she is doing very well…but I had no idea that you could have thyroid cancer in the first place!! 

The thyroid is a small gland located in the middle of the lower neck, which produces hormones that regulate many functions including temperature, weight gain, and weight loss. Many Americans experience various problems with the functioning of their thyroid. Some red flags to watch for are:
      * sudden weight gain or increase in body fat
       *inability to lose weight despite proper diet and exercise
       *fatigue, insomnia or restless sleep, anxiety or panic attacks
       *gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
       *chronic sinusitis or lingering infections

It is important that people experiencing these warning signs see their physician to learn more.

There are also many online resources for those seeking more information and support. One online resource is the Fibro 360 Community – Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center. This online community not only offers a network of support, but also resources to those seeking more information about fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and related disorders including those concerning the thyroid.

If you’d like to learn more or would like to join the Fibro 360 Community, please visit Fibro 360 on Facebook. You can also follow Fibro 360 on Twitter .

Could you use a little pampering? One of my readers will win a $25 gift card to to be used on whatever you need! Let me treat you!

To enter, please visit the Fibro 360 Community on Facebook and become a fan, then let me know in the comments. Would you like a bonus entry? Let me know in an additional comment that you follow @Fibro360 on Twitter!

Contest ends January 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST.

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Weekly Menus: January 24 – 30

Posted in From My Kitchen | 0 comments

Last week I committed myself to posting weekly menus on Sunday…to inspire others and to hold myself accountable!  We followed our menu last week with the exception of having more leftovers than we had planned and a family birthday party that I forgot to plan in…so I have two of my meals carry over to this week!

Sunday - Sticky Chicken, Salad, mashed potatoes, rolls

  • I will use a whole chicken from my freezer stash… I bought them for roughly $2.50 ea this summer at Target.  The chickens were $4.50 and I was able to stack a $1/1 man. printable coupon with a $1/1 Target coupon.  I bought a LOT of them and stocked my freezer.  I have salad left from my purchase last week… it will need to be used today.  I will need to buy some potatoes at the store.  I’m also experimenting with some homemade rolls … hopefully I can share how those go next week.

Monday – Salmon, Lemony Rice Pilaf, asparagus

  • I purchased a 4pk of frozen Wild Caught Salmon at Aldi’s last week for $3.99.  The lemony rice recipe is a new one I’m going to try this week.  I have jasmine rice on hand and will need to purchase a lemon and some parsley to round out the dish.  I will also purchase fresh asparagus this week.

Tuesday - French Dip Sandwiches, French Fries, Corn on the Cob

  • We will use venison from the freezer and the leftover homemade rolls from Monday.  I have an immensely large bag of frozen french fries I got on super sale at Dillon’s a couple of months ago…and I will get corn on the cob at HyVee where it is on sale this week 4/$1.

Wednesday – Chicken Soup

  • This week chicken breasts and thighs are on sale at HyVee for $0.99/lb.  I was originally going to make this soup with one of my whole chickens…but I decided to use breasts and thighs…skinless these will make less fat in the soup and boneless they will make it just a little easier.  I will buy some barely to use in the soup in lieu of noodles…I’m giving this a try as a whole grain option.

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday – Make Ahead Spinach Manacotti , green beans

  • I have spaghetti sauce on hand that I bought on sale at Dillon’s and spinach in my freezer from our garden this summer.  I will need to buy manacotti shells and ricotta cheese.

Saturday -Chicken Enchiladas, broccoli, spanish rice

  • Leftover chicken from Sunday’s Sticky Chicken makes great filling for these enchiladas.  Tortillas can be purchased w a coupon at Dillon’s this week.  I have tomatoes and sauce for the homemade enchilada sauce…I bought them last week on sale at HyVee…$0.38/can.  I have frozen broccolli in the freezer and Old El Paso spanish rice that I purchased on sale ($1.25/bag) with a coupon ($0.50/1) that doubled…so final price was $0.25.

There you have it.  A little diversity…. what does your week look like?  Are you utilizing the groceries and supplies you have on hand? 

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

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Fitness Friday: Wii Eat Healthy Dinner

Posted in From My Kitchen | 4 comments

We can exercise to our hearts content…but being healthy…being fit… takes a complete package.  You need sleep, you need to eat right, and you need to destress!  Today’s Wii Eat Healthy is Dinner…an easy, quick recipe that you can make any night of the week…you can even toss it in the freezer to have on hand when there isn’t any time to cook!

Greek Lemon Chicken and Potatoes

Photo Courtesy of Weight Watchers

1/2c.  fresh lemon juice

1/2c. fat-free chicken broth

2 Tbsp. olive oil

4 medium garlic cloves; minced

1 1/2 lb.  boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Cooking Spray

1 lb. uncooked new potatoes, cut in half (about 10 potatoes)

Place lemon juice, broth, olive oil, garlic and oregano in a large resealable bag or medium glass bowl.  Add chicken, seal bag or cover bowl and marinate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 11″ pan with cooking spray.

Place chicken and marinade in pan, add potatoes  Bake 45 min (breasts) or 60 min (thighs) or longer for softer potatoes.  Yield is 1 breast or 2 thighs and appx 5 potato halves per serving.

This is  8 Weight Watchers Points Per Serving.  Pair it with some fresh, steamed green beans to round out your meal…be full, be healthy with very little mess to clean up when you are finished!


*To make ahead and freeze: After you have added the chicken to the marinade, seal bag with as little air in the bag as possible.  Set in the freezer on a flat surface (cookie sheet or shelf) to freeze.   The night before you plan to serve, take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge.  Marinate all day the next day before baking.

* The longer you let this marinate, the better the flavor will be when you prepare it.

* This would be a great freezer meal to make for a friend with a new baby or who has been in the hospital.

Want to hear what other people have to say about their fitness journies?  Want to share your own story or get encouragement from others who are fighting the good fight?  Visit Wii Mommies and join the community!

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