When life gives you onions… make French Onion soup!

Hey Everyone! It has been an eventful 24 hours or so. Yesterday, when we sat down for lunch, Si-Guy left the table to put his winter coat and hood on and then came back to eat. Uh-oh. He said he was freezing and his throat hurt. Off to the Urgent Care we go! When we left the house he felt only slightly warm and I didn’t take his temperature. After waiting for 2 hours at the Urgent Care (not complaining about the wait, there are so many sick people now) his temperature was 103! The wait was hard on him and with a temperature that high I can totally see why.

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He is being treated for strep and he is already starting to feel a little better, but it was a brutal night and early morning trying to manage his temperature. This is Si-Guy feeling better and giving me his “Cute” face:

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Don’t worry – I won’t go on and on about illness in our house, but this is just very unusual for us. The kids rarely get sick and now he has been hit twice in 2 weeks. So, as you can imagine, no run for me yesterday or today. I am keeping him home from school tomorrow as well. I suspect he will be feeling like a million bucks by morning, but I don’t want to push him and he is still dealing with a low-grade fever.

The weather is actually supposed to be really warm tomorrow here in NY — 64 degrees?! Random warm front coming in for just a couple of days. If he is feeling well then I will do one of my prison yard work-outs in the driveway while he rests or have him sit outside and soak up some vitamin D! I hope it works out because I could use some sprint work in front of the house and some weight training.

Since I was up early, I decided to make French Onion soup. I needed comfort food and I never got around to making it last week. Life truly gave me onions. I got a free bag as part of a meal deal from my grocery store. I stored them and they were still good. I slightly altered this recipe from Gimme some Oven. I did not have any thyme or wine. I normally use red wine for French onion soup, but I had to skip it and it turned out great.

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I made a smaller batch since the kiddos will never touch French Onion soup. This is how I made it with some minor changes:

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It was tasty and I have plenty left for tomorrow…. or later tonight. I always forget how easy it is to make French Onion soup. The onions take time, but I just cleaned up the kitchen while they cooked and I gave them a stir every few minutes.

Fingers crossed that Si-Guy feels better overnight. Happy Monday!

What is your comfort food?

Anyone else freak out when kids have fevers? I set my alarm to wake up throughout the night and check on them and it has paid off over the years!

 

 

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What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? Week of 2/19/18 AND meal planning tips

It’s dinner time, I’m getting hungry! I have another weekly meal plan to share with you along with some practical tips on basic meal planning. Look, I have 2 kiddos and a husband with a very unusual schedule so I really do have to meal plan or we would never eat! Whether you are single, married or have kids – meal planning is the way to go. You will save yourself so much time by doing the bulk of your grocery shopping in one visit, you will save money by not eating out as much, and you will have a more balanced diet just by taking a few minutes to plan your meals and see what you will be eating for a week. Writing down your menu is the very first and most important step. You have to see what you will be eating, otherwise it’s too easy to have burgers and pizza 4 nights a week and not even realize it. Pinterest and numerous blogs have a ton of free printable weekly meal planners if you like to have everything organized and pretty, but I keep it basic by writing my menu on scrap paper. I save from the thousands of notes that get sent home from school with the kiddos to use for my scrap paper. Most Saturday mornings you will find me on the couch with my iced tea and writing out the menu.

Here are some easy tips that don’t require anything other than a little bit of time to think about balanced and delicious meals for the week.

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5 meals a week is realistic in my opinion. Life happens and that might mean meeting friends out for dinner and drinks, a date night, or working late. If you set yourself up with 5 solid meals, you are winning and you won’t beat yourself up for buying food for 7 meals that you might not have time to make during the week. The tips I provided are all ones I use and adjusted over the years. I like to have one “gourmet” or time-consuming meal planned for the week when I have plenty of time to cook. It gives me a chance to try new recipes or make something I am craving that I would normally order at a restaurant. Also, I believe in making one meal a week that can be doubled and saved in the freezer because it takes up very little time. I know a lot of people take an entire day and stock their freezer with meals for a month. Hold up – I do not have the patience for that, I don’t have the room in my freezer for that, and I don’t want to get crushed by the amount of groceries in my cart from one shopping trip. While that approach works for a lot of people (probably those really organized people), I like to break down my planning into smaller pieces. I can handle one day a week of making a little extra to save time down the road. Over the course of the month, you can have 4 meals cooked and ready to be thawed with very little effort. That I can do!

The power hour prep is awesome. Sometimes I don’t even need a full hour. I spend a little time to make some delicious side dishes for lunch or pack extra snacks for the kids. Again, I spend a little extra time to prep for the week, not an entire day! I hope these tips help you! Here is this the meal plan for this week:

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Depending on how much pulled chicken we eat for dinner and lunch the next day, the chicken may be the meal I freeze for next month. If I don’t have enough then I will double up on the marina and meatballs later in the week. See? Flexible and easy!

As for the weekend…. Super D had her horseback riding lesson and she continues to amaze me! She truly is a natural.

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Rooster and Super D practicing the jumping position. She can’t wait to jump! It was pretty cold this morning so she is wearing a ton of layers, plus toe warmers in her boots. She is pretty tough when it comes to riding horses!

Just because I thought this picture was awesome and I am a little horse crazy:

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Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Do you already meal plan? What’s your favorite tip?

Anything awesome happening over the weekend?

Zumba and running just go together!

It’s Friday! What, what?! I’m just excited for the weekend because I think the kiddos need a break from school. They are starting to hit that mid-year slump and it doesn’t help that they can’t burn all of their energy outside yet. Spring is near though!

I had an amazing Zumba class today. I really do think Zumba and running compliment each other so well. I love the low impact work-out I get in Zumba and it helps my hips so much!! The tightness improves when I stick with Zumba once a week. Gold’s Gym in Lagrange has the best Zumba instructor, Traci! She is so fun and silly. You need a little silly when you try some moves that you know make you look so uncoordinated! She is very upbeat with a great energy level. I have had a lot of good Zumba instructors over the years and I have to say she is the best at introducing new moves and breaking down more complicated moves. She doesn’t go too fast and she never misses the beat…. not sure how she does that, but I guess that’s why she is the instructor! She was kind enough to take a picture with me after the class!

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Yep, she looks cute and I am trying to see through the sweat! Thanks, Traci for an awesome class. See you next week!

Even if Zumba is not your thing, I really believe hour-long fitness classes are a great way to cross train. Also, if you are looking to increase your running mileage, an hour long class is a way to help your body get used to being up and moving for longer periods of time. When I used to only run for about 20 minutes and weight train, I found that my feet would be sore when I started working out for longer periods of time. I didn’t have pain and my leg muscles held up, but my feet felt tired. Once I started doing classes, combined with running longer distances, I didn’t get tired feet. Zumba and BodyCombat help me work on my endurance without even thinking about it and my running has benefited a great deal. After today’s class, I was feeling so good that I did a really quick 1 mile speed work out. I was warmed-up and my hips felt great so I hit the treadmill for 1 mile at 7.2 mph and finished up with a 1/4 mile cool down. I don’t normally run after a class, but I was itching to feel a little bit of speed in my running after my last couple of slow runs. 1 mile was perfect!

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“Reflect change”. So simple. I don’t look at this picture and just see my red face and mess of hair. I see someone who just worked really hard to reflect change and accomplish physical goals I never thought were possible at 37 years old.

This on the other hand is still someone who doesn’t know where to look when taking a picture! 🙂

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I knew I was going to be starving and the fridge is a little empty right now so I called in a salad order to a nearby restaurant while I was still in the locker room. My hunger waits for no one!

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That was only half of the salad. I ate the whole thing. Half the salad with Balsamic dressing and the other half with creamy Bleu cheese dressing. I never know what I want so I just don’t choose. I like to simplify my life whenever possible.

Enjoy the weekend. I think we will be a little busy, but I will be working on the upcoming meal plan and sharing that over the weekend.

Does anyone else use more than one dressing on a salad? No? Yeah, it’s probably just me.

 

 

Running feels so good….pull-ups do not!

 

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day! The four of us had a fun day. The kiddos had so much fun at their class parties and came home with a ton of treats! We are still dealing with Christmas candy and it just keeps adding up. I was happy to have my favorite dinner …. crab legs! They can be hard to find sometimes and I ended up paying a lot per pound, but it was so worth it for my favorite meal! The kiddos had tacos. They have no idea what they are missing. Super D loves to crack the claws, but she has no interest in eating crab. More for us! 🙂

Dan got all fancy this year and gave me these beautiful earrings!

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They even have cute peek-a -boo rubies on the inside edge. My birthstone!

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I don’t wear earrings a lot, but I love these! So pretty and unlike anything else I have.

It’s February – don’t lose your motivation and tell the naysayers to, “mind ya business”

 

Hey everyone! It’s so hard to believe that it is mid-February already. I spent the last week while I was sick thinking a lot about motivation and personal goals. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I know a lot of people do and they try their best to stick with them. One of the things that I think sucks for people who make a sincere effort to make changes in their lives at the start of a new year is that there are so many naysayers! Here’s what I have to say to them:

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Oh my goodness, I loved this episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air! WORD.  Some people get the advice, “just learn to say no”. My advice is learn to say, “mind ya business”!

For many people, their New Year’s resolution is fitness related and maybe you joined a gym or started going back to the gym after months away and you always hear those comments about how “crowded” the gym is in January or “you won’t see those people back in February“. Mind ya business! Don’t let those negative comments keep you from trying your best. Maybe you have a lost a little momentum, but it isn’t gone for good. You can get back on your track.

Here are a few practical pointers that work for me from past experience:

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Once you replace the counter productive behavior, like looking at old photos and longing for those days or obsessing over what you didn’t do, you have a lot more room in your mind to make a plan and the small steps are a lot easier.

Down with the sickness!

 

That’s right, I have been down with sickness for the past 5 days which is why I haven’t posted anything. Also, I do love the band, Disturbed and the song, “Down with the sickness”. The opening lyrics just about sums up how I felt at the onset of my sickness:

“Do you feel that”? 

“Oh Sh!t.”

That is one of the best speed work songs ever. I am into metal, but not super hard core. I also listen to Broadway show tunes so my taste in music is a little confusing.

I got the flu. It sucks, don’t get it. I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid, but this has been the worst. On top of the flu,  both Si-Guy and Super D got a terrible stomach virus a few days a part from each other. It has been so much fun at our house!! Poor kiddos were so sick. I’m just thankful they had a stomach virus instead of the flu because it is fast and furious and they were on the mend much sooner than I expected.

So pitiful.

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On the first day of being sick, Dan was home and the kiddos were fine so I stayed in bed all day and my faithful companion never left the room:

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What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? Week of 2/5/18

The meal plan is late this week. Better late than never! I had a busy weekend and planned on posting it first thing this morning, but I woke up feeling so sick. I wasn’t feeling great last night, but I woke up in the middle of the night with body aches and spent most of the day in bed…. coughing, snoozing, and overall being pitiful. I am very thankful Dan had today off and took care of the kiddos! I’m still feeling pretty terrible, but better than earlier. Life doesn’t stop for anyone. So, here is this week’s meal plan.

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The meal plan got some adjustments because I wasn’t feeling well. Tonight, we ended up pulling out some amazing marinara sauce with Italian sausage that I froze from a couple of weeks ago. It always helps to have something in the freezer to cook up when you are crunched for time or life plans change. This is another reason I typically meal plan for 5 solid dinners. I allow for the unexpected and I am prepared for it by having a freezer meal, left overs, or simple sandwich and soup night. I will just shift the 5 meals I planned and shopped for over the weekend and nothing will go to waste or go bad before it can be used.