Back to the daily grind

11 Aug

I’m back from my trip to Michigan, and we all know what that means…

Time for “real life” to start again! Although the Hubby did an amazing job taking care of the puppy, and his mom, and managing the moving of her furniture into a “storage unit” (our garage), the house definitely needed a cleansing touch from me!

I’ve got a neverending long “to-do” list.  And I’m a big list maker! Not only do I have a daily list, I also have a weekly, and monthly one as well! That’s why I’ve been MIA for the past week, besides that I just haven’t been eating anything very interesting, mostly quick meals, as well as my food budget being tight.  I guess nothing can compare to all the FREE food I was fed last week in Michigan.

-We’re also in the process of trying to sell some of his mom’s furniture, I’ve got to get my classroom in order for the school year, get the car washed, oil changed, my eyes examined, AND run a garage sale this weekend!

Needless to say, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed! :-/ Oh, and my camera decided to eat the only posed pictures I took with my little brother this weekend (the one I hadn’t seen for a year!)  >:-(

Oh well, on a more cheerful note, I will be doing a major freezer meal cooking day on Saturday with 3-5 of my good friends from church! This is the 2nd time we’ve tried it, so we’re going to try for 8 meals this time! It’s a great way to save on cooking costs, and have dinner available literally at your fingertips in your freezer.   Very convenient after a long day filled with music classes and private piano lessons!  No fancy meals, just simple, pop-in-the-oven type of food.  We will be making the following:

  • mini turkey meatloaves
  • chicken tortellini cacciatore (made this last time, and it was DELISH!)
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • beef stroganoff
  • fish & shrimp with sugar snap peas in foil packets
  • chicken enchilada casserole

I’ll have to take pictures and let you know how it all turns out.  I’ll be sure to post a recipe or two as well!

That’s it for now, sorry no food info, or pictures today. I feel kinda burnt out so I’m gonna take a power nap- Freezer Dinners coming soon!

QUESTION: Have you ever tried making freezer meals or cooking for weeks at a time?

Shopaholic!

6 Aug

My main activity during this week in Michigan has been shopping!  Can anyone say shop-a-holic?! We’ve grocery shopped, market shopped, thrift store shopped, garage sale shopped, mall shopped, and IKEA shopped!  I bet the hubby is glad he stayed home this time! ;)

Here’s a few photo tidbits of our shopping expeditions!

SALVATION ARMY THRIFT STORE

This place is awesome for finding name brand clothing for garage sale prices! Just be prepared to dig around a little, it’s huge!

My sister and I found some funny t-shirts when we were scavenging for deals.  Here’s a goofy one that I liked (I have a thing for figure skating)

Another shirt we found- I bought it for myself since it was too small for the sis. :) Kinda goofy, but I can work out in it.

We’re going back tomorrow morning before my flight leaves to go back home.  Why, you ask?! Because I didn’t look through their jeans, and its HALF PRICE day tomorrow! As if I’m not cheap enough…

FARMER’S MARKET

We found a bunch of fresh veggies at a great price!  We spent less than $15 on several bags of veggies.  I wish there was a market where I live!

Beautiful flowers, wish I could take some home with me!

Me with a fresh basil bouquet

jalepenos

“ugly” (2nds) tomatoes

fingerling potatoes

“pickle” cucumbers

Me with a giant zucchini and squash, 25 cents each!

MALL

okay, so my contact was bothering my eye the whole time we were at the mall, so I ended up wearing sunglasses inside because my drippy, wet, red and mascara-less eye was too gross to be seen by strangers.  Obviously there were no pics taken of me.  I did get a couple of dress pants, my “teacher-wear” once school starts in two weeks.  My brother scored a bunch of clothes though, which is the reason we went to the mall in the first place.  He bought himself a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses at the mall, so he submitted happily to the torture of three women trying to dress him like a Ken doll. ;)

Three of my favorite people: Bro, Mom and Sis

IKEA

I really like this dining set! And I absolutely LOVE their entertainment sectionals! Will they fit in my suitcase?

Almost time to go back home and my suitcase is popping at the seams! My mom even has a box ready to send back to me with some of the stuff I bought while I was visiting! I’ll miss my family, but I can’t wait to get back to my own little family in Texas; the Hubby and our little pup!

The best grocery shopping day ever!

4 Aug

Hi friends, before you check out today’s post head on over to the following blogs and take a peek!

Caitlyn’s Operation Beautiful book just came out, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  Check out Mamma Pea’s blog to win a copy of Caitlyn’s book. Both these lovely ladies set a great example to women and girls everywhere with their promotion of healthy body image.  I strongly encourage you to check out their blogs and share in spreading inner beauty.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog, ;)

I got to visit THREE of the best grocery stores ever yesterday! I told my mom that we HAD to plan a visit to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods while I was visiting them.  Not only did we go to the two aforementioned groceries, but we also went to a new place called Plum Market (which is apparently only in select cities in Michigan) as well!  I’ve got to go back to try the fro-yo place nearby after hearing so much about foodie addictions to the icy, creamy goodness!

It was so much fun, and I got to try so many samples that I was stuffed!  I guess I’m glad that all these stores are hours, or states, away from me because I would probably spend way too much money on gourmet groceries!

The trip would have been worth it just from this purchase alone…

( Found at Whole Foods, 2 jars for $8.00!! Unfortunately the only kind my local store carries is White Chocolate Wonderful) Oh, and does anyone know whether pb is considered a “liquid/gel” for airline carry-on baggage requirements?  I definitely don’t want it confiscated on my way back home!

And check out this aisle of nut butters at Plum Market!

(Known to be loved by many food bloggers like Diana, Brandi, Julie, as well as Sheila, Katie, and Heather.)

But I was super excited to eat these,

(as seen on Mamma Pea’s Blog)

this,

(can’t remember whose blog inspired me to buy Trader Joe’s muffins)

this,

and these as well!

I’ve been enjoying all of these goodies- can you tell I have a sweet tooth?

So for breakfast today I had a yogurt mess, although it was too pretty to be called a “mess!”

It contained half a TJ’s Carrot & Ginger muffin, some vanilla yogurt, and sliced strawberries! Yum! It tasted like a healthy strawberry shortcake!

Lunch was this creation, from more items bought on the shopping spree! Mozzarella balls with spinach and roasted red pepper and goat cheese salsa on wheat toast. nom nom! Open so you can see the yumminess, and with a bite missing, cause I couldn’t wait!

For dinner, which I made, we had boiled green beans, and spaghetti with meat & veggie marinara. I basically just add a bunch of chopped up sauteed veggies (tonight was yellow bell pepper, garlic, and tomatoes) and spinach, as well as ground beef to a jar of spaghetti sauce.  I piled it all up on top of each other, yum!

So, What is your favorite thing to buy from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods?

Have you ever tried any of the products I bought, and if so, what was your opinion?

Fine Art Show Artist Preview Party

1 Aug

As soon as I arrived in Michigan we were off to my sister’s fine art show for the artist preview party.  Since she gave us VIP passes, we didn’t have to pay the $25 fee that was being charged! Whoohoo!  I was so happy to find that they had PLENTY of free food!  I was quick to grab some grub as I was starving from my flight and missing my snacks that I’ve become so accustomed to.

The first thing I saw was a giant tents with 3, yes THREE, chocolate fountains! But I needed some real food first so I hit up the vegan food table to find some healthy food.  I tried out some hummus, several cold salads:lentil, black bean, garbanzo and vegetable medleys.  I also added some penne pasta with cheese and marinara to my plate.

Don’t worry, I went back later for dessert after finding my sister amid the 250+ vendors at the show.  I grabbed her and we headed off to get some dessert. I got a bunch of fruit and tried a little of all of the three chocolates, yummy!  I also tried a tiny sample of a wine slush which tasted a lot like a frozen margarita, but with merlot! I really enjoyed that.

Oh and I didn’t eat the bbq sandwich, I gave it to my sis.

So as you may have noticed from my Chic-fil-A post, I <3 freebies! I scored a bunch of free Burt’s Bees pomegranate scrub and all natural toothpaste at the art show.  I also grabbed a handful of the Starbucks Via instant coffee from a Costco booth.  My sis doesn’t drink coffee so she grabbed me a handful too! I’m looking forward to trying it in a frappe like cold coffee dessert drink!

I may just have to do a mini sample giveaway with some of the freebies I’ve gotten this weekend :)

Anyways, I HAVE to share some photos of the main reason I came to this Art Show, free food my sister and her jewelry booth! My sister is an amazing artist, and although I consider myself pretty crafty, she definitely got the better art genes.  She can do everything from oil painting, metalworking, beading, crocheting, and on on!  She was featuring her more upscale and artisan jewelry at this show which she had to jury into.  Here is a sampling of what she presented!

She makes such unique, colorful and one extremely artistic creations! I am so proud of my little sis and all her hard work and dedication to her craft and workmanship!  She has part of her line of jewelry for sale on Etsy, in her shops: “Bling is My Thing” & “The Orange Poppy”Let me know what you think of her jewelry so that I can give her some more encouragement to continue in her endeavors!

*Another Question: What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you see displayed either here or on her website?(www.blingismything.etsy.com) Let me know so that I can pass on the message.


Burritos, the French Woman and DFW

1 Aug

So I almost missed lunch today.

Not on purpose, of course, but I almost ran out of time!  I had over an hour and a half before my connecting flight to Detroit when I arrived at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, which seemed like plenty of time to find some lunch.  First I had to ride the skyline all the way from the C gates to the D gates.  It would seem like they would be adjacent to each other- you know, common sense alphabetical order? Somehow I still had to take the skyline and it went from C to E and THEN to the D gates!  When I finally found my gate I quickly scanned the area for a healthy food choice.  I decided to try 360 degree Gourmet Burritos.  It looked promising, they even had a veggie burrito with a whole wheat wrap!  It turned out to be a BAD choice.  It took FOREVER. There was only one girl working both the register AND making the burritos.  By the time I figured out that it would be a while before I got my order it was too late to find another place to eat.

I did get to listen in on an interesting conversation between a German woman from France, who lives in Dallas and a girl who was going on a trip to a foreign country talk about their travels, problems with people mispronouncing their names (both very unique names) and where they were traveling to. Before they left with their burritos the girl asked the German/French woman if she could be her friend on fb!! LOL  At least I was entertained while waiting!

A year later eventually I got my burrito and ran off to the gate as I knew they would already be boarding.  Luckily I got there with plenty of time.  By this time I was very hungry and was so impatient to eat my burrito that I started digging into it before we even took off.  It was pretty good with black beans, rice, and steamed? zucchini, squash, eggplant.  Of course I then somehow dripped salsa all over my shirt! And of course, I forgot to take a picture for the blog…

Sometimes you just can’t win. ;)

A trip up north and pickle pops

30 Jul

“I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it!” I will be taking a trip to visit my parents in Michigan tomorrow! I’m so happy to finally be getting a real vacation from my  summer “vacation!”  It’ll be the first time this summer that I’ve traveled, which is sad since this is the only time of year I have the time to go places. I’ll be sure to be taking LOTS of photos of my trip so expect a picture-heavy post when I get back.

My sister, Katie, will be having her big art show this weekend, so that should be fun, and exciting for her as she had to apply and be selected to participate.  Check out a little of her creative spark here!  She is so artistic and makes jewelry out of just about anything you can think of: bottle caps, metal cookie tins, leather scraps, beads, vintage buttons, you name it, she uses it!  I hope the show goes well for her, the economy is tough on artsy-fartsy people like her!

How random is it that Anne is also traveling to Michigan, from Texas tomorrow?!  I wonder if we’ll have a blogger meet up on board one on our flights!

Here’s my random bit of the day! I saw this at my local grocery store and HAD to take a picture! Would you try these?!?!

Mmm, pickle pops! Ick! Really what is up with this? Who would pay money for pickle juice?

Random

25 Jul

Totally random, but want to laugh? I came upon this blog post, and this slightly creepy, completely corny broccoli made me lol!

Click here to get your laugh on! For those of you brave enough to click on the link, let me know what you think!

I decided to get out of the house “early” for a Zumba class. Early being an 8:30am class! Ever since it seems like I’ve had a very productive day and a lot of energy!  I really enjoy working out in the morning.  When I came home it was a quick shower and off to a puppy play date!

I took Deco over to visit his buddy pug friend, “Luna” this morning.  Our friends live just four blocks away so we’ve been arranging all kinds of fun get-togethers. Its really neat to be able to walk to your friends’ house.  The last time I could do that I was probably ten years old!  Anyways, the doggies had so much fun.  They both LOVE to be in each other faces, giving kisses, instead of butt-sniffing like most dogs do!  It will be interesting to see they new dynamic of their doggy friendship as our puppy grows to be much larger than Luna.  Right now they are about the same height and weight.

Here are a few pics from their first meeting about a week and a half ago.

Playing Peek-aboo!

Playing around!

My fave! Puppy kisses!!

Happy and tuckered out from playing so hard!

Here is a recap of some of this week’s eats that weren’t posted!

Jessica’s Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins:

Wheaties “Fuel” Cereal with Almond milk, bloobs and pear

Wow, so delicious!! The almond milk and pear complement each other well, and I LOVE Wheatie’s Fuel cereal.

A green CHOCOLATE monster! I just added a lil’ cocoa powder and dark chocolate syrup.

A hummus-spinach-cheddar wrap with a spinach tortilla- really filling and yummy!

Eaten on my way to jury duty on Monday. Luckily I was dismissed!

What was the best thing you ate this week?

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