Monday, January 27, 2014

This week's menu... 1/27/14-2/2/14...

Thanks to living in an arctic tundra (otherwise known as the Chicagoland area in the winter of 2014), the kids' schools were closed today...  and will be again tomorrow.  Thus preventing my usual early week grocery shopping trip, since I can't take the little ones out in these frigid temperatures.  Hence, the first couple of meals on our menu this week...

...this week's menu...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Don't forget to breathe...

I've been doing yoga fairly often for about a year now...  When I do it regularly, not only does my body feel better (stronger and less tense), but I feel more focused and driven in life in general.

The problem that I've run into is that occasional "bad day."  We all have those days.  The days where there's just too much to do, or I'm not feeling well or I just don't feel like doing anything.  "Rest days" get me, too.  I have a bad habit of letting myself take one day off from focusing on how my body is feeling and it turns into days, weeks or even months without giving myself time for my physical and mental well-being.

Now, since the beginning of the year, I've been doing better at holding myself accountable for focusing on my health and have been doing yoga most days.  However I'm still missing days at a time and that's not what I want.  As a mother of three human being, I need to take time for myself.

I need to make a point of giving myself time to breathe.

image from

Herein lies the challenge:  100 days of yoga!

I'm taking inspiration from my mom and a woman who made a video that has inspired her to work out everyday for 100 days (yesterday was day 15!  Go Mom!!!).

I think it's a good time to commit myself to a goal...  'cause why not today?  It doesn't have to be anything big, or crazy intense (although it should be some days!), just a way to get moving and motivate myself to build a habit.

So.  The question is, are you willing to do the same for yourself?  To allow yourself to breathe and give your body the attention it deserves?

If you want to join me, check out this group on Facebook and share what you did today!

What have you done for yourself today?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Resolutions and whatnot...

So, I figure that if I'm going to do a post about life changes and resolutions, I should probably do it before January comes to a close...

Last year, my resolution was simply to "be a better version of me."  Overall I would say that I did a pretty good job.  I lost 25 lbs (though I gained 7.5 back thanks to holiday bingeing and a new found addiction to pistachios)...  I've integrated yoga into my life...  I've done well with menu planning (and mostly sticking to it)...  I even yell at my kids [a little] less.

...but isn't that what life is about?  Being the best that you can be, doing the best that you can and trying to make changes when you realize that you were in the wrong or that thing aren't going as planned...

That's what I want my life to be, anyway.

So, I think that this year's "resolution" (if that's what you want to call it) is the same thing as last year.

I'm hoping to continue sharing what works for me -and what doesn't work- and maybe some of you will be able to learn from my accomplishments and mistakes.  A few areas that I'm hoping to continue improving upon include (but are most definitely not limited to):
  • being more HEALTH conscious (it's not all about weight loss, it's about eating right and moving more as well!  Also being aware of my mental well-being! )
  • being more environmentally aware (reduce, reuse, recycle more!!!)
  • loving on my kids more (not reacting so much and hugging and saying, "I love you" more!)
  • ORGANIZING and being honest about what should be purged!   (a constant battle in our home, myself included)
  • daily journaling (even if it's just a little note on gratitude in my to-do book)
I'm sure I could keep listing off things that I would like to change/areas to grow in, but part of all of this is not overwhelming myself and just doing the best that I, as an individual/mother/human, can do.

thoughts from tinsnips & scissors

Did you make a resolution this year?
Are there specific areas in your life (that you have control over) that you'd like to change?

Monday, January 20, 2014

This week's menu... 1/20/14-1/26/14...

...this week's menu...

Monday:  leftovers

Tuesday:  lemon chicken thighs and potage parmentier (never got around to it last week, what with a sick husband, then getting sick myself...  don't worry, a post will still be coming up on Create! Don't Consume! sometime this month)

Wednesday:  campanelle with Nikki's and my homemade marinara

Thursday:  pizza night

Friday:  BBQ sliders on pretzel rolls (the ones from Costco, YUM!) with peas (a "use what's in the freezer" meal)

Saturday:  beef and broccoli stir fry (another "use what's in the freezer" meal)

Sunday:  brats with homemade buns and corn

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

This week's menu... 1/13/14-1/19/14...

Menu planning went incredibly smoothly this week.  Country ribs were on sale last week, so I picked some up for this week...  Nikki and I did our planning for Create! Don't Consume! and I decided to try out potage parmentier (I've been reading Julie and Julia and am feeling inspired to try some classic recipes)...  and tonight we found a family pack of steak on sale.  It just all fell into place.

...this week's menu...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roasted Duck with Baby Carrots and Baby Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Duck with Carrots and Potatoes

duck (about 7-9 lbs)
2-3 lbs baby fingerling potatoes
about 4 cups baby carrots

The following ingredients are all to taste:
dried marjoram
dried summer savory

Preheat oven to 425°.  Prep duck by removing anything inside it, rinsing and drying thoroughly and tying the legs together.  Salt generously, then using a metal skewer (or another long, skinny metal object), poke lots of holes through the duck (yes, through the entire bird)...  this will allow a lot of the fat to drain from the meat.  Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast at 425° for 20 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and poke at the duck with the skewer again (keep doing this every so often to ensure that the fat continues to drain through the roasting).  Reduce the heat to 350° and continue roasting for another 3 hours.

When there's about half an hour of roasting time left, it's time to start your veggies.  Rinse them well and boil them in lightly salted water over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.  Set aside until the duck is finished roasting.

When the duck is done, remove it from the pan to a serving plate to rest.  Add veggies to the roasting pan and toss in the fat and cooking juices that the duck left behind.  Season to taste.  Roast in the 350° oven for  10-15 minutes, or until they're done to your liking.  Transfer veggies to the serving plate with the duck using a slotted spoon (so you don't bring all of the fat with it).

Serve while hot and ENJOY!

This week's menu... 1/6/14-1/12/14...

Apparently I'm in the mood for Italian food this week...

...this week's menu...