Meal Planning Sundays, March 19th-25th

Meal Planning Sundays

Whew.  Like I said in my last post, this past week has been a whirlwind! So crazy busy!  It was fantastic, but I’m reading for routine again.  I’m pretty worn out!

One part of routine is meal planning!  I have so much food here that meal planning should be a breeze!

Here’s my plan:

Breakfasts

  • Eggs in tortillas with cheese (and Cholula)
  • Green smoothie (I use cashew milk now and collagen for protein to cut down on dairy… I might also use some of my homemade Greek yogurt) and toast
  • English muffin with fried egg and cheese
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Granola and homemade Greek yogurt

Lunches

  • Sandwich (ham and cheese or peanut butter and raw honey), veggies and hummus (or ranch), and Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Cottage cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and hummus, Triscuits or Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Quesadillas with sour cream and salsa
  • Bean and cheese burritos
  • Dining hall
  • Leftovers

Dinners

  • Monday- Homemade meat sauce (though I don’t have squash and zucchini so it will have less veggies), pasta, and steamed broccoli
  • Tuesday- Tacos
  • Wednesday- Burrito bowls (pinto beans, brown rice, cheese, sour cream, guac, hot sauce)
  • Thursday- Dining hall
  • Friday- Pizza (homemade or frozen… not sure yet)
  • Saturday- Dining hall (lunch and dinner unless we decide to take a day trip somewhere)
  • Sunday- Leftovers

Snacks

  • Veggies (carrots, broccoli, and celery) and hummus
  • Fruit (apples, apple sauce, and oranges at the moment)
  • Triscuits and cream cheese
  • Flaxseed and Quinoa chips
  • Tortilla chips
  • Mixed nuts/almonds
  • String cheese
  • Triple Zero yogurt (or Simply Gogurt for the kids)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Goldfish
  • Peanut butter/cheese crackers
  • Pop Tarts (I love them)

As always, there are a mix of “whole foods” and processed foods.  I have learned a great balance with this and feel content with this.

I hope you have a great week ahead!

Meal Plan, Week of February 26-March 4

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Like I said in my post yesterday, I have a lot of food, and I’m trying to find something new to cook!  I also have two instant pots and try to make most things in there.

As usual, my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are in a list to choose from.  My dinners are specific for the day.

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwich 🥪 , veggies 🥕, and crackers
  • Boiled egg 🥚, salami or summer sausage, veggies 🥦 and hummus, and Triscuits
  • Leftovers
  • Soup 🥣
  • Wraps

Dinners

Snacks

  • Triple Zero Greek yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Clif bars
  • Granola bars
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Apples or bananas and peanut butter
  • Pretzels and cookie butter

Next week, most lunches and dinners will be in the dining hall.  Can’t wait!  It saves us so much money and time, and it is a great way to get to know the staff

Prep for meals

  • Veggie tray
  • Move frozen meat to the fridge
  • Make breakfast casserole
  • Thaw steel cut oats
  • Bake bread (only because we love it!)

I buy pre-cut veggies when I can and already boiled/peeled boiled eggs.  I know it costs a little more and it’s worth it at this point.  I may go back to prepping these things eventually.  I’m also probably going to reduce the amount that I make Greek yogurt.  It hasn’t been turning out!!

My Plan for the week

  • Monday- Robert and I will go to town to pick up the love seat and maybe have a lunch date.  We are making dinner for my mentee.
  • Tuesday- I’m reading to Levi’s class, AA, lunch, library time, then a birthday party for a little one here that’s turning one.
  • Wednesday- Bible study at noon (at my house), and I might have a friend over for coffee.
  • Thursday- Day at home, then AA at 7:00pm
  • Friday- Rest day, and I might have a friend over for coffee.
  • Saturday- Family day
  • Sunday- Church, lunch with the pastor, counseling, maybe the park

As you can see, Monday and Tuesday are my only busy days this week!  That’s much different from last week!

Also, daily chores will happen and my schedule chores will happen.

I hope you have a great week!  What are your plans for the week and for meals?

Instant Pot Carnitas

There is some misunderstanding about what carnitas are, so for this purpose, the carnitas I’m talking about are shredded pork tacos.

I honestly don’t ever measure how much seasoning I use so I’m going to do my best to give some measurements, but you can always add more or take away based on your taste.  I know that I rarely follow a recipe as is :-).

We make these often when we have people over because it is so easy to make a larger batch.  I have two instant pots: an 8qt and a 6qt.  Typically I make the carnitas in one and beans in another.

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I am lucky in that our store (HEB) has carnitas already cut up and easy to use.  I am able to easily layer this way.  You could use a pork roast just as easily, though, you can’t really layer with that.

These are the seasonings that I use.

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Ingredients:

  • 4lbs of pork roast (or carnita meat)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced (I usually use red, yellow, and/or orange)
  • 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced very fine
  • About 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 orange, cut into fourths
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (we use dark red)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

Basically, I just layer them in the instant pot.  One layer of meat, one layer of seasoning, one layer of veggies, then repeat.  I top it by squeezing the orange over it and leaving the oranges in.

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I then set it on high pressure for 55 minutes.

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I usually let it natural pressure release for 10 minutes or so.

After it is finished, we shred it and eat!

My favorite tortillas are some that I buy from our local store.  They are basically homemade.  I also love the type that are a mixture of corn and flour.

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Robert makes his “famous” guacamole and we also top them with cheese, sour cream, and maybe some more cilantro.

Pursuing What Sets My Soul on Fire (Jesus)

Being in a constant state of worship and adoration, service, gratitude, prayer, and confession are what set my heart on fire. Unfortunately my life has been just one struggle after another and my spirit has gotten lost in all of … Continue reading

Grocery Geek: First Two Weeks of 2018

I won’t be driving to our “big town” (Kerrville) near as much these days (since I will be doing AA in Rocksprings) so we will definitely be shopping for 2 weeks at a time.  I can get some groceries in Rocksprings (where I will be leading AA and the kids go to school), but the selection is very limited and food is much more expensive.  So I don’t want to do big shopping there.

Robert shot an axis deer the other night and he will be processing it tomorrow so we should have a good 30-40 pounds of meat from that!  I’m so thankful because meat is the most expensive part of buying groceries.

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Of course we won’t ONLY want axis meat so I will buy a few different types of meat here and there.

We emptied a lot of our food before we went out of town so we hardly had any meat left.  Some frozen chicken breast, some fish (including some wild caught mahi-mahi that someone caught and gave us, a little salmon, and a white fish of some sort), a pound of ground beef, and a pound of bacon.  It’s actually all frozen except the bacon.

We hardly had any produce.  I think just some apples, potatoes, and onions.  Anything else that we had went bad.

We do have a pantry mostly full (that I plan to reorganize soon!), so we have plenty of canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, rotel, canned beans (black, garbanzo, and pinto), lots of whole wheat flour, dried pinto beans, white and brown rice, oats (rolled, quick, and steel cut), cake mixes, cereal, oatmeal, snacks (we got a ton for our trip and had a lot left over), protein powder, honey, peanut butter, ingredients for homemade granola, oils (coconut, avocado, olive, and canola), mixed nuts, bagels, bread, tortilla chips, and on and on.  We have lots of frozen veggies and fruit.

So most of what I bought yesterday was fresh food.  I also had to buy some household products and we include that in our budget.  Another thing that we had to buy was freezer paper and freezer bags for freezing the deer meat.

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Cold foods:

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 1 bag of boiled and peeled eggs (Levi loves these)
  • 1 carton of egg whites
  • 1 (large) package of drumsticks (these were 99 cents per pound!)
  • 1 tub of Julio’s salsa (our fave)
  • 1 lb of lunch meat
  • 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • 1 package of sliced medium cheddar
  • 2 links of sausage
  • 2 ham steaks
  • 2 lbs of butter
  • 32 oz plain Greek yogurt (for making ranch dip and homemade yogurt)
  • 2 gallons of milk (one for drinking and one for making homemade yogurt)

Pantry Items:

  • 1/2 caff coffee
  • Decaf coffee
  • Nature’s seasons (we use this in everything)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Ranch packets
  • Duke’s mayo (my fave)
  • 4 boxes of whole wheat mac n cheese
  • Frosted Mini Wheats (Karis needs fiber!)
  • Brianna’s Dressing (my fave)
  • Coconut sugar (for making homemade yogurt)
  • 2, 12 packs of caffeine free diet coke (HEB brand)

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More Pantry Items (and some household items):

  • Whole wheat English muffins
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Tortillas (half corn/half wheat)
  • Plastic forks and spoons
  • Paper plates
  • Generic disinfectant wipes

Household items:

  • Dishwasher tabs
  • Melatonin
  • Quart size freezer bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Freezer paper

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Produce:

  • Bag of spinach
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Celery
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Avocados
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet tomatoes
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli florets
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Baby carrots
  • Rainbow baby carrots
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe

I spent $178!  Which I think is pretty amazing for 2 weeks’ worth. I might have to spend another $25 or so for little things here and there but that’s about it.  I really love HEB.

We also got the kids new tennis shoes and socks yesterday, Karis got some long sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans, and they spent some of their Christmas money (the boys got BB guns and Karis bought a pair of boots).

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I had grand plans to get a lot done in the house today and it hasn’t happened.  But I’m okay with just taking it easy after a long day yesterday.  Tonight we are spending time with our neighbors playing games and eating soup!  I’m looking forward to it.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

Mom’s Master Binder + Happy Planner

My household notebook has been kind of disorganized since I started homeschooling again and since I’ve been using my Happy Planner.  I have decided to make both of them work well for me.

I found a free “Mom’s Master Binder” pack and used it to make my household notebook work for homeschooling as well as just regular household stuff that I created.  I also bought a cheap grade book pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I use a google doc table that I made for lesson plans.  I don’t keep them in my binder.  I print one off for Karis to use, and I share the document with her so she can click on links (mostly for Khan Academy lessons).

I didn’t make this and I can’t find a link.  I have it saved and I just print as needed.  I’m sure it would be really easy to make on your own.

Weekly Routine

Master Grocery List

This is just the print out of my Google Calendar.

Homeschool Grade Book

This is the program that I’m doing with my dietitian.

These folders have various things in them from coupons to letters to counseling things.

I use my Happy Planner for “to-dos,” self care, and meals for the day. I’ll also use it to plan meals for the week.

Let me know if you want any of this!  I have some templates that I made as well as the ones I found online.  I would be glad to share!

My Happy Planner

I have heard of these for a long time, but it wasn’t until I saw a picture from a friend on Instagram that I decided to bite the bullet and buy one.  I also bought a home planner insert to go with it!  This is pretty much replacing my household notebook.  That has turned into a personal notebook (AA stuff, medical paperwork, etc) plus homeschooling (lesson plans and Teacher Edition pages).

The monthly calendar contains appointments, events, and meals for the month.

I’m going to have to adjust how I’ve been doing this since I received the home planner.  I will probably make this all about self care!

This planner covers everything that I need for being organized.

Weekend Prep AND Self-care Sunday

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  • Cut veggies for lunches and dinners (celery, broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, mushrooms… russet potatoes can’t be cut early)
  • Boiled eggs
  • Thawed meat
  • Pan-seared and sliced chicken breast for salads this week
  • Made high protein steel cut oats (Steel cut oats, water, raw sugar, and egg whites)
  • Prepped lunches (cottage cheese in containers, bagged up veggies, bagged up Triscuits, bagged up deli meat and cheese, bagged up chicken slices)
  • I will make homemade Greek yogurt tomorrow-Tuesday

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The kids cleaned up the living room, made their beds, cleaned up their rooms, cleaned the bathrooms, and cleaned the floors.  Ethan washed and dried laundry, and they each folded and put away their own.

Here is before:

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Here is after:

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This week I will spend some time organizing the pantry/fridges/freezers.  I have an abundance of food.  We won’t need to buy much for the next month or more!  Just dairy and produce!  No spend month post coming up!

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You wouldn’t think that prep and self care would go together, but I have found that self-care for me sometimes means a clean house and everything prepped for the week.  Also, lately I haven’t been eating much at all because I didn’t have food prepped.  So I will eat this week because I have it prepped.

These are ways I took care of myself:

  • Slept till I woke up naturally (still kind of early… 7:15)
  • Had coffee and just relaxed for a long time (didn’t start prepping and cleaning till near lunch time)
  • Lit candles to smell while I prepped 🙂
  • Listened to old music (some of it reminded me of Joey)

What are you doing to prep and/or take care of yourself today?