Monday, January 30, 2017

Hello Monday

We didn't have much planned going into this past weekend, but we ended up having a lot of fun.  A friend had tickets to the local Southern Professional Hockey League team, the Thunderbolts game for Saturday night.  Littlecjc was adorable during the first period.  She was all into the game watching the players skate and fall, she thought it was hilarious.

 The second period she was a little less interested, but was still entertained by dipping dots and popcorn.  By the third period, all she wanted to do was dance in the main concourse.

 Needless to say, we didn't actually see the end of the game, but we still had a great time.  On Sunday, after church, Patrick's sister, husband, and their dog came over for a nice visit.

Hello Monday
It's a new week, so that means I've got a new weekly spread.  Here's a peak before the ink.  As you can see, we'll be watching The Aristocats this weekend.

Hello Beta Cycle
The week between Christmas and New Years, I made the decision to start Beachbody's T25 program.  This isn't the first time I've started this program, but it had been a while since I was working out on a regular basis.  So, with the start of this week, I am also starting the beta cycle, or second month of this program and all new workouts.

Hello Menu
So, how did we do last week? Not bad, but also not great.  We ended up being out and about on Monday and Friday so we ended up grabbing quick dinners at Subway and Wendy's.  My new recipe last week was the garlic chicken margherita.

 It was good but nothing amazing, so who knows if we will ever make it again.

Now, here's what's on the menu board this week.
Monday - Leftovers from last night's Disney Dinner (you'll have to check back on Thursday to see what it is)
Tuesday - Squash Lo Mein (this week's new recipe)
Wednesday - Salad with Chicken
Thursday - Chili
Friday - Tomato Basil Chicken

Hello Disney
We've been working on planning our next trip, and here's the real reason this post is late today.  We spent the day doing research and talking ourselves into becoming annual passholders.  I tried to sell Patrick on it last year and he laughed at me.  He's since regretted that decision since as you know, we ended up going 3 times last year and our next trip would have been included as well.  As of now, we only have one trip planned, but we're making the commitment to go again as we decided to take the plunge and become annual passholders!

Hello New Reads
What am I reading this week? Well, I still have about 100 pages left of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, but I hope to finish it tomorrow, and then I might just have to jump right into the second of the series, Dragonfly in Amber.  Don't let the fact that I haven't finished this book yet lead you to believe that I'm not enjoying it.  On the contrary, I am loving this book and I'm so intrigued to see how it ends knowing that there is an entire series ahead.  I did get to start listening to Forever by Maggie Stiefvater last week, but I didn't get far so that's my listening plans again this week.

Hello New Shows
As I finish reading Outlander, I'm hoping to get my hands on season one of the show so I can start watching as well.

Hello Superbowl
This weekend is the superbowl.  Being that we're a big sports family, we always enjoy the entire evening.  I will admit that we are a little bitter this year since we're Cowboys fans, but I'm sure we will still have fun, eat great food, and enjoy the game, halftime, and of course the commercials.

Well, that's it for this Monday.  You'll have to come back next week to see how it all plays out.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

I was so excited about this evening, but it didn't go nearly as I had planned.  This is my mom's favorite Disney classic so we invited my parents over for the movie night.  If it wasn't for this, we probably would have postponed this dinner, because instead of preparing we spent the entire day at a car dealership.  Yay! We got a new van, which is very exciting, but it took way longer than anticipated making for a very chaotic evening.  We were in the driveway emptying out my old car to trade it in after already purchasing our new van when my parents showed up.  Unfortunately, since I felted rushed all evening to get everything going, I didn't get a single picture of my parents.  This is very sad, because my amazing mom actually showed up dressed as Snow White.  Littlecjc seemed a little confused at first, but she loved it.  I'm still mad that I didn't get a picture of the two of them together.  I had originally planned on getting some jewels for the evening and possibly having Littlecjc dig for them in some rice or something, but again, crazy day and I never made it to the store.  Amazing mom for the win again, as she presented Littlecjc with this little heart shaped tin full of jewels.  They had fun playing with these by decorating the tin and matching colors, while I finished getting my car all set to be traded in.

Thankfully, the planned dinner was simple and of course my mom helped me get it all going so we could get it done faster.  We had brratwurst, German fries, and sauerkraut.

For dessert, we had apple dumplings.  When we got to the part in the movie where the dwarfs ask Snow White if she can make apple dumplings everyone looked at me like it was a pure coincidence.  Come, on people, why do you think we had apple dumplings?  I mean, really.

We started eating without Patrick as he drove my car back to the dealership and brought home our new van.  So, by time we finished eating, he was back and we all went outside to check out the new van.  When we came back in, we all sat down to watch the movie.  I couldn't believe it when my dad said that he had never seen it before!  I mean I guess I'm not entirely surprised, but like I said it's my mom's favorite, so I know we watched it a lot when we were kids.  Since this whole evening started later than we intended, Littlecjc fell asleep during the movie, but before she gave in she was glued to it, especially every time the dwarfs made an appearance.

Overall, it was a great day, even if it wasn't how I planned it all to go.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show and Tell: Steal & Splurge

Today I decided to join up with Andrea from Momfessionals for show and tell Tuesday, where I was prompted to share how my family saves and what we feel is worth the splurge.  This prompt was interesting to look at, because I feel like our family has been in a bit of a transition with especially the splurge aspect.  We used to splurge on electronics and in particular movies.  There for a while, I felt like I might as well move in at Best Buy.  But honestly, we rarely go there and buy movies anymore.  We also used to splurge on ball games, since my husband is a huge sports fan.  Again, though, we haven't really gone to that many games lately.  I think it's so fun how your lifestyle changes once little ones come into the picture.  Where we splurge now is easy, so I'll start with where we save.

Clothing.  We're not big shoppers to begin with, at least not normally.  But I feel that I really save on clothing in particular for Littlecjc.  There are two different organizations in our city that each host these very large consignment sales twice a year.  Almost all of Littlecjc's clothes come from these sales.  I usually volunteer to work them so that I am among the first to shop and it has worked out well for me in the past.  I usually even find some very nice boutique outfits among the needed basics.  I've found everything from Mud Pie, Peaches 'n Cream to Giggle Moon, Matilda Jane and Persnickety.  I know this is a huge save for us and I always get compliments on Littlecjc's clothes, so win, win.

Also a save, groceries.  I try to do almost all my shopping at Aldi's.  I noticed a huge price difference when I made the switch.  Within that time, I've also noticed a big difference in the products at Aldi's in the positive way.  They have made the switch to more and more organic and the quality of their fruit and produce has vastly improved.  It's only on the rare occasion now that I have to make an additional stop at another store.  My husband has always done his own spreadsheets on where we're spending our money, but this month I decided that I would track how much I spent on groceries.  So far this month, I've spent $246.35 which breaks down to $82/week for our family of 3.  This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Since this is the first time I've specifically tracked groceries only, I don't really have a comparison, but I think this is a good amount and I look forward to watching the trend as more time passes and I get more data.  So again, win, win.

Hair.  We spend little money when it comes to hair.  For at least the last two years, I've been cutting Patrick's hair myself.  I was terrified the first time he suggested it, but we bought the clippers kit that was the same price as one haircut figuring we weren't really out anything if it didn't turn out so well.  It's a little annoying on my end, but in comparison, it's worth it and really not that big of an inconvenience.  On my end, I'm one of those bad people and don't really cut my hair as often as I probably should.  I have long, extremely straight hair that I trim up maybe twice a year.  Honestly, I'm not really sure how often I cut it, that's how infrequently it happens.  Every once in a while I get the urge to chop it shorter and then the growing out process starts again.  Otherwise, it's just a trim whenever I feel that it's starting to get straggly.  I've never colored it, and the only highlights I've put in have come from an over the counter box, maybe three times before.

Now, on to the fun, the splurge.  If you've looked at my blog at all, it should come as no surprise that we completely splurge on all things Disney.  We go to the theaters and buy almost all Disney movies that come out.  My splurge meal each week is my Disney dinner.  All our gifts lately seem to be from the Disney Store.  And of course, we love going to Disney World.  Last year, we actually went to Disney on three different trips.  Now, keep in mind, we always drive, we almost always stay in a value hotel, and we never buy the meal plan.  We always take advantage of sales and almost never pay full price for anything.  We also have friends that live in the area, who graciously invited us to stay at their house during one of our trips last year, and got us into the park a total of three days in 2016.  We love these trips and we feel that it is totally worth the money to experience that magic with Littlecjc.

There are literally thousands of pictures that I could have chosen from, but come on, how are these moments not priceless?

If you feel like reflecting on where you save and splurge, jump in and join the fun.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hello Monday

I'm so excited to be back and my plan is to make this a weekly post of everything going on.  A little recap of last weekend and what's on the plans for this week.

Hello New Car
We had a very busy weekend.  Last weekend, we put down a new floor in our kitchen area and this weekend we finished by painting the baseboards and getting our kitchen cleaned back up.  I feel like it's a whole new kitchen even though we still have the counters to redo.  Here's a little look for you.

These are all our Disney photos from our trips with Littlecjc

We also finally hung our painting that we made on our last date night at Painting with a Twist.

In case you're wondering, here's what our kitchen looked like before.

If you're wondering about the hole in the previous floor, the counter originally stuck out farther over some shelves.

I also said goodbye to my car this weekend, when we traded it in and got our very own swagger wagon.  We now have this beautiful Town and Country van.

Hello Bullet Journal
I learned about bullet journals the first week of this year, and jumped on the idea.  I quickly went out and bought a nice notebook so I could start setting everything up.  You can look forward to a more elaborate post on this later, but for now, here is what my week looks like.  I've decided to make every weekly spread based on the Disney movie of that week.

Hello Aladdin
As you can see, our Disney Dinner this week is Aladdin.  I'll be attempting an all new menu, so let's hope it all goes well.

Hello Menu
I've been trying to cook more often and healthier options in this new year.  Here are my plans for the week, now we'll have to see I stick to these meals.
Monday - Tilapia, broccoli, carrots
Tuesday - Southwestern 2 bean soup
Wednesday - Carmel apple pork chops, green beans
Thursday - Garlic Margherita Chicken with zucchini and rice
Friday - Kabossa, onion potatoes and peas

Hello Reading List
As with the last two years, I'm attempting to read a 52 book challenge, where each book is selected to fit a different challenge requirement.  This week, I'm reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon to fulfill the challenge requirement of a book I was suppose to read in 2016. I have learned that I don't get much actual reading time with a physical book these days, so I always try to listen to a book as well.  Therefore, I'm currently listening to Linger by Maggie Stiefvater which fills the challenge of a book with an animal on the cover or in the title.  I'm almost finished with this though, and when I do, I will continue the series with Forever, which will complete the continuation of a book already read challenge category.

That's it.  Not a lot planned at this time, but we'll have to see how it all plays out!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Peter Pan and Big Hero 6

I'm back!  With the start of the new year, there are so many fresh starts taking place in my life.  Two of these are to bring back my Disney Dinners and to start blogging again.  Hopefully, if I stick with these two, you will learn about the others along the way.  Being as it is already January 20, it seems like I'm off to a bad start.  Well, it was after the new year that I decided to make some of these changes, including getting back to blogging, but I have been having  Disney Dinners.  I know we've had a lot going on lately, but my family hasn't been as excited to sit down and watch the movies as I've been.  Regardless, I've decided I'm still cooking a meal inspired from a different movie each week, whether we do any other activities or even watch the movie at that time.  So, it's time to get you caught up.

We started the year off with Peter Pan!

Littlecjc was asleep after a busy day, but I was determined I was bringing back these meals so I decided to start cooking my pirate ship pizzas.  She of course decided to wake up just as they were finishing, so she was not interested yet in participating in making her own sail.  I also was going for fruit swords, but she was really confused and all upset until I pulled the stick out of her food.

For us adults, we added some seaweed for a side salad.

This was the perfect dinner to get me back into these evenings.  It was fast, easy and tasty.  We may just have to repeat this meal even on a normal night.  For dessert I made these simple crocodile cookies. 

I don't remember what we watched this evening that was so much better than Peter Pan for my family, but Littlecjc and I did end up watching the movie the next morning.

The next week, I planned for a relaxed theme with Big Hero 6.

Patrick's birthday was this weekend, so I planned for this movie thinking he may want to go out for his birthday.  We did end up going out, but not to either of the restaurants I had in mind. This still worked out, as I just fixed some chicken wings for an easy dinner.  This still fit the theme as it was a "special night" and we needed to "celebrate with wings."  

I had also planned on making some dessert sushi from rice krispie treats topped with Sweedish Fish wrapped up with a Fruit Roll-up, but I didn't end up making these after my mother showed up with these awesome looking cupcakes for Patrick's birthday. 

 No one needs that much dessert.  Again, we were busy this weekend as we decided to finally lay our new floor down in our kitchen.  So instead of taking the time to watch the movie, Littlecjc and I watched the movie a few mornings later.  So, for our breakfast that morning, I did make a dessert sushi roll by topping a banana with some nutella and sprinkles but I forgot to get a picture of that, so you'll have to use your imagination.

This week, we're taking on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so be sure to come back to see what we do.  My new plan is to post these Disney Dinners on Thursdays, so wish me luck on sticking to it!