Meal Planning Tuesday

Can I just say that George Foreman is a life saver? 

He truly is. Clean up has been easy. Cooking has been fast. And to top it off dinner has been healthy because that's the easiest way to cook. 

So here's another week of "Things Emily Can Cook Fast." 


Monday - Nothing. We picked around. With MLK we were both off work so we took advantage of it, dropped Harry off at the sitter, had ourselves our roughly 3 times a year date... we ate all day long!

Tuesday - Sausage, Peppers & Onions, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese all sauteed together (the sausage is a pear and Gorgonzola from Sam's. Basically the cheaper version of Aidell's)

Wednesday - grilled chicken with a chopped salad

Thursday - Chuck Roast, Green Beans, Rice (never made this last week)

Friday - leftovers

Saturday - Pepperoni Chicken, Pasta, Broccoli

Sunday - Chicken, Birdseye Steamable Veggie Pasta, Brussel Sprouts

Breakfast - My favorite smoothie. 

Lunch - Whole30 BBQ Bowl (grilled chicken, roasted sweet potato and brussel sprouts, Against All Grain BBQ Sauce)

Snacks - Nuts & Cheese/Avocado Pudding/or Banana Smoothie (depends on my macros for the day)

How to Not KonMari

By nature I'm a planned out individual who can't stand clutter.

If everything doesn't have a specific space I feel chaotic and gross. And you'll also find me cleaning.

In that though, I don't thank my clothing, or fold it funny. It doesn't take me long to purge and I keep a constant stream of things leaving the house... at least things that come in that aren't needed.

So with that, here are a few of my "how to be a purger" tips that I live by... new and improved with our 1/2 the square feet we are typically use to living situation.



The Anti-KonMari Method


1. To start the clothing purge remove everything from your closet or drawers and toss what you know you A) haven't worn in a long time B) is out of style or C) doesn't fit. Next place everything on their hangers and back into the closet with the hangers all facing the same way. As you wear an item place it on the hanger in the opposite direction. At the end of the year anything that wasn't regularly worn needs to be donated unless it's a special occasion item. I give those about 2-3 years. I go through my dresser drawer about once a year and reorganize the shirts and undies, toss what needs to go and move on. No special folding.

2. Keeps shoes to a minimum. I keep one tennis shoe (workout type), a flat, a sneaker or slip on like Converse, a brown bootie and boot, a black bootie and boot, a duck boot, a rain boot, a nice leather sandal, and a water proof flip flop. I also have a pair of heels in black and nude. I don't have a lot of variety but it saves on space.

3. For towels I keep 3 per person. We reuse our towel all week and I wash a load every other Saturday. The 3 allows for guests and when something happens and you need to replace it.

4. Keep bedding and blankets to a minimum. You really don't need more than 2 sets of sheets. For years I kept only one. When blankets start being tucked into every nook you have it's time for them to go. If they don't match your decor or serve some amazing purpose it's off to the donate pile.

5. I keep kid clothing organized by size and in tubs. As soon as we know we are done then whatever size everyone has grown out of will be donated. This is really the only area I have stuff I wouldn't normally hold onto. But I don't want to toss something only to immediately purchase it again.

6. Gadgets and Kid Gear - With the addition of Elliot I got rid of many a baby item. We currently have our Ikea high chair with the insert (it allows them to sit up much sooner and I can keep him at the dinner table), a swing, playmat, Rock N Play, and a bassinet. Honestly at this point I don't see the need for the bassinet and might not hold onto it for another baby. As far as gadgets go for the adults in the house we don't keep anything that isn't regularly used. If it doesn't serve a purpose and you haven't touched it in 6 months it needs to be donated.

7. Kid toys are my struggle. I want to toss more than I should and really take more time here to process what will go. At the moment my hard and fast rule is if it doesn't fit in the 3 drawer tub I have or in the living room basket it doesn't live here. The rule is currently being broken for a few baby toys I have hidden behind the chair in the nursery. Whatever it is, it just can't be piled up and living here for the sake of someone spent money on it.

8. For the kitchen keep only what you absolutely use. Do you need 3 round cake pans? Or can you get by on 2? I presently have a large skillet, small skillet, two large pots that you could boil pasta in, a small and medium sauce pan, 3 baking trays, a cooling rack, a few cutting boards, a knife block, a 13x9 and an 8x8 glass baking dish as well as a 13x9 metal roasting pan, a muffin pan, and a bread pan. As far as kitchen gadgets go I have a George Foreman (since we don't have a grill), blender, toaster oven, bread machine, food processor, and Yonana maker. I also have a few cake pans, ice cream maker, juicer, and server ware but they are all in storage because of the space issue and frequency they are used. I can put those away for a year but I'm not willing to toss them because they are items I use.

9. My Tupperware rule is "if it doesn't have lid or is warped it goes in the trash." I check these items about once a year and toss as I notice things need replacing.

10. I don't save papers. Like at all. Starting in Pre-K I will save 3-4 items that are special or special occasion and keep them in a binder. Until them most things have been trashed. A friend recently had a great idea though if you are someone who likes to keep drawings, she had the kids draw a photo of her and framed them.

So those are my main rules for how I keep things to a minimum. I even recently replaced our worn out Keurig with a small electric kettle and french press just to save on space. And honestly, I think it makes better coffee.

If anyone is interested I can write a post with photos on how I organize our super small space.

Nervous About Your Big Day? Tips to Help You Cope


Today's guest post is all about coping with your big day, but these tips are helpful leading up to any big event! 

Life in general can be very stressful, however, when there’s an important day looming on the horizon stress levels can go through the roof. For most couples, their wedding day is one of the most significant days in their lives. This means they’re stressing about all the little details, and possibly even getting anxious about whether it’s the right thing to do. If you’ve got such a life-changing day coming up in the near future, here are some tips to help you cope.


Stop and Take a Deep Breath

If you feel yourself getting anxious, stop and take time out. There are many things that can make you worried and it’s no surprise that for you it’s your impending wedding day. You can regain control by sitting down and taking a few deep breaths. This simple action restores your personal balance and brings you back down to earth. Take it one step further if you’ve got the time with breathing exercises and mantra.

Work Out What’s Making You Anxious

You may think it’s your wedding day, in general, that’s making you nervous but break it down into smaller portions and it might be something, in particular, that’s making you stressed. If your anxious thoughts are keeping you awake at night, write down what you’re thinking, and you might be able to pinpoint the problem.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help you deal with stress and anxiety better. That means you need to limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as both of these can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks. You might not like the sound of replacing these with a glass of water, but you’ll be surprised how much it can help.
Eat well-balanced meals, don’t skip mealtimes, and keep a store of healthy, energy-boosting snacks close at hand. There are also certain foods that can ease anxiety.
Getting enough sleep is important if you want to remain calm. When you’re stressed, your body needs more of it than ever. Aim to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night,
Exercising regularly is another great stress buster. You might not feel like taking a run but make the effort, and your body and mind will thank you.

Natural Remedies

A natural remedy that’s becoming increasingly popular is CBD oil. CBD oil is a type of cannabinoid, a chemical found naturally in marijuana and hemp plants. It is thought to help people suffering from anxiety by working with a brain receptor called CB1 and altering serotonin signals. Serotonin plays an important role in your mental health and not having enough can cause anxiety in some people. There are several online sites where you’ll find CBD isolate for sale.   

 

Talk to Someone

Many people find that simply talking to someone about their problems can help with anxiety. Reach out to friends and family and explain how you’re feeling overwhelmed. How can they help if you don’t let them know? If you don’t have anyone close you can talk to, then seek professional help from a physician or therapist.

You really don’t need to be stressed and worried about your wedding day. Conquer your fears, enjoy the day and your new life together to the full. 

Meal Planning Monday

Week 2 of being back at work and sadly one of these days has been my most dreaded. Jeremy has an out of town meeting and I am in charge of taking the kids to the sitter. Womp! Whomp! He is typically in charge of such outings because his office is by our sitter (we use to live in the same neighborhood that she does). My job is well on the opposite side of America so now I'v got to figure out how to get to the sitter on time and work on time, feed the baby or pump, and not to be a broken record but NOT BE LATE. 


Monday - Beef Stir-fry (just a frozen bag of stir-fry veggie, ground beef, and seasoned with every Asian item I own)

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (bag salad for the win)

Wednesday - Chuck Roast, Green Beans, Rice

Thursday - leftovers

Friday - Chicken, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and a Birds Eye Frozen Lentil Pasta

Saturday - Breakfast for dinner!

Sunday - Peppers and Onions, Sausage, Potatoes, and Zucchini

Breakfast - My favorite smoothie. 

Lunch - Grilled Chicken, Rice, Avocado, Peach Pineapple Salsa, and Sugar Snap Pea Bowl

Snacks - Pear or Protein Bar

Recently.

I've essentially become the queen of being behind. 

Blog behind. 

To-do list behind. 

Grocery behind. 

So forgive me when I'm posting about what we've been up to, or Elliot's 2 month photos, when he's about 15. It'll get there one day. 


At the end of Christmas break we took family photos... or attempted to. Harrison has no chill. 


It's become apparent that this child doesn't want to be held. He got irritated in church because he was awake and in the carrier. Plopped him on the floor and he smiled. Took his chunky self back into church and left him on the floor for the rest of service. It was basically a "you do you butterball" moment. 


In other news. If you haven't gotten a LaVie and you pump you need to locate one asap. I have consistently been two days ahead of what I needed for the week in bottles. 

With Harrison I was pumping 3 times to get 2 bottles and had zero extra. 


The barely documented butterball himself. In the only place I get 1) get consistent light no matter what time of day and 2) have the time to take his picture. In the past two weeks he's gained about 4 chins and a few more rolls. We've hit the "be sure to clean between the jelly rolls" stage of bathing.


Now that I'm looking back on this photo I'm noticing two things.

1. Harrison is really sweet with Elliot. I was shock, but not shocked. He's a naturally kind child, but he constantly pets and kisses his brother.

2. Potty training is for the birds. We were making leeway during the break and now that we are back at it he's regressed. He has to be naked or in underwear, and still has accidents in them, to use the potty. Having to send him out and about in a Pull Up has really slowed the process down. And with his stubborn attitude he isn't going to just sit, if it isn't his idea he is having a cow about it.

Hopefully this weekend I can get this poor second child's Christmas ornament made and his 2 month photos done... otherwise I should just cap it and start planning to get his graduation photos so those are done in time.

Meal Planning Monday

I'm super simplifying meal planning for the unforeseen future. After my first week back at work and trying to cook but being glued to the kitchen between bottles, prepping for the next day, and dinner my butt wasn't seeing a seat until I laid down to sleep. 

So to make life easier I'm doing a few things:
1) I ordered a George Foreman that has removable plates that are dishwasher safe. 
2) Simple meals of Protein, Veggie, Carb
3) Using frozen and prechopped veggies when possible. 

If it can't go on a sheet pan, steamed, in an Instant Pot, or on the George Foreman then I'm kissing it good bye until we are on vacation from work. 


Monday - Asian Beef and Snow Peas (just beef, steam pack snow peas, seasoned in an Asian way)

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken with Bacon Lima Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Wednesday - Trader Joe's Pot-stickers and Frozen Stir-fry Veggies (something easy peasy since I am working late and Jeremy has the kids alone. Double the Asian... but whatever)

Thursday - Ranch Roasted Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts & Grilled Chicken

Friday - Grilled Chicken with Birdseye Steamable Cheddar Lentil Pasta and Roasted Broccoli (pre chopped)

Saturday - Pioneer Woman's Pepperoni Chicken

Sunday - Potatoes O'brien, Sausage Gravy, Eggs, Biscuits - leftover Pepperoni Chicken for dinner

Breakfast - My favorite smoothie. 

Lunch - Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs, Walmart Organic Garlic Pasta Sauce, Wild Rice with Kerry Gold Butter, and Roasted Green Beans

Snacks - Quest Protein Bar - Apple with PB and mini chocolate chips