Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Menu

OK, I'm truckin' along alright now. I got over my overwhelm-ment. Thanks to my awesome husband for allowing me a productive weekend. I'm still working on my writing assignments today. I went on a massive spending spree on my way home from my workout Saturday morning.  Actually, not really a spree; it was carefully planned and I had my 5 lists. And it wasn't massive, because I don't have that much money. Seriously. I just had a lot of food to buy for the week. No pics because I had to get it put away asap.

I don't have time to read, but I did flip through this book (new! from the library) and got some inspiration for this week's menu.

We have a get-together, a birthday, a holiday, and a family visit this week so.... we might not exactly be on the straight and narrow all week long, but we'll do OK, and I will for sure be staying gluten free.

Here's the plan for the week-

eggs, bacon, kale
banana blueberry egg muffins
coffee, creamer

pizza cups
carrots, berries
salad green w/ tuna, sundried tomatoes, olives, carrots, dressing
weekend days - mini tacos (we love Trader Joe's frozen ones), sausage & sweet potato hash

Monday - grain free pizza, attempting the crust from Primal Cravings (affiliate link)
Tuesday - dinner with bible study
Wednesday - jalfrezi chicken & broccoli
Thursday - steak, salad, broccoli
Friday - dinner with family
Saturday - easy pulled pork w/ BBQ sauce or throw in some KC masterpiece for my dad ;), coleslaw (bag + dressing), sweet potato fries, pickles

I will be making 2 kinds of birthday treats this week - one set for sharing at camp and work, and one set for a family party. In an attempt to keep my sanity, I'll be using a GF cake mix as the base for both. I'll take pictures and share if they turn out well. I'm shooting for some ice cream cupcakes and a rainbow cake. We'll see!

Since we certainly don't need any more "special" food this week, I thought this would be something easy and healthy that would be fun to put together with the kids for the 4th. We could always cover it and stick it in the freezer and eat off of it slowly.

Happy almost-July!
(sharing here)

Friday, June 28, 2013


Well, I just have to say, life has been kicking my butt the past few weeks.  It's not all bad, but it is too much. Not really the summer I had envisioned. A chunk of the stress is coming from the online course I am taking that I don't have time for but gotta get done. I know I'll be glad when it is over.

On the upside, we do have lots of fun scheduled/packed into the next 4 weeks with birthdays and family and such.  So I just gotta accept the insanity and put my head down and keep trucking because I do NOT want to miss out on any of that.  Basically, I'm just gonna try to cram it all in and hopefully get to July 26th without losing my head and with an A in the books.

Meanwhile, I'm dreaming of an ordinary life. At least a week would be nice. Or a month or a year. And then I'd probably get lazy, and that would be no good.

Oh, I joined a gym, if you call it that. It is definitely not ordinary. I love it. And that is good :)

So, like I said, I guess it is not all bad, even if some days feel that way.

2 things to read that I think I agree with. These are old-ish (as in they had been saved in my google reader for awhile) and I came across them again when I was switching stuff over.

Don't Chase Happiness. Recognize It.

9 Lies to Unlearn Before it's Too Late

I'm thankful for the sunshine, both real and this one that was made for me :)

Have a good weekend.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I picked up a few things at Hy-Vee, just because I was there, and then swung by Aldi, too.
Just enough to finish the weekend and start Monday.

Finally, more local grass-fed beef was ready, and I got some from the rancher!  (Trying to keep the rest of the grocery bill on the lower end since I am shelling out for a month's worth beef this week.)

Hy-Vee, $7
Aldi, $25

Trader Joe's $28
Costco, $42

We went to Trader Joe's and Costco for just a couple things.

We will also spend $10 on eggs and probably $10 later in the week to pick up a few more things.

Happy Monday :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekly Menu

sausage & sweet potato hash
eggs, kale, fruit
coffee, creamer

chicken sausages
carrots or veggie chips, guacamole
lemon poppyseed muffins or chocolate-raisin pumpkin cake cookies
berries or peaches

Monday - chocolate chili, guac
Tuesday - chili lime chicken kabobs (new), roasted vegetables
Wednesday - balsamic glazed chicken, coleslaw
Thursday - cookout with friends, taking-??
Friday - shepherd's pie nonrecipe (beef, green beans, sweet potatoes)
Saturday - roasted chicken thighs, vegetables
Sunday - meat sauce over zucchini noodles

I am behind on schoolwork, so I need for this week to be all about buckling down and getting caught up.  Not fun, but necessary.  I have several "fun" library books to read, so they are my motivation... because I can't read those until I am caught up on schoolwork!!  I hope it happens.

What's a good paleo side dish for summertime that nonpaleo people and kids will like?  I am drawing a blank after 1. salad and 2. fruit.  I guess those aren't bad options, but let me know if you've got anything good up your sleeve.

Grocery shopping tomorrow.  That's it for now.  Have a good week!

(sharing here!)
Gluten Free Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Food On My Phone

Not literally, just some food photos from my phone pics, taken in recent weeks.

Baked salmon and kale... I like it.  The kids?  Not huge fans, but they'll eat the salmon if they're hungry enough.

We made homemade ice cream on a whim one night.  1 can coconut milk, I think 1/4 or 1/3 cup each of cocoa and maple syrup, 1 egg and a splash of vanilla. 30 minutes in the ice cream maker = delish.

 Shawarma salad with tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, and dressing.  Maybe "illegal" to make a middle eastern salad with pork, but I don't have a problem with it.

Speaking of dressing, lately I've been using lemon juice instead of vinegar.  Super fresh tasting for summer.  I love this lemon juice from Costco.  Great for homemade lemonade when company comes over!

Whenever I relish an attempt to be lazy a little bit too long on a Saturday, this is what my 3 year old sets out for me before I get to the kitchen... "Make breakfast bread, Mom!" That's a good start, buddy, only missing the nut butter and salt.

I've been documenting my grocery trips this weekend, I will post them once they are complete.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekly Menu

a trip to Aldi, a few weeks back

I am very happy to have found 2 recipes that I can make for fun things for the kids lunches that don't involve nut butter (because it gets pricey), soy, or lots of sugar.  While definitely paleo-tasting (don't expect them to be like conventional), both kids really liked the pumpkin cake cookies and the lemon poppyseed mini muffins, once I got around to actually making them.  On the list for this week: popsicles.  But I need some new BPA free popsicle molds, first.

It's a "no chop" week of dinners! :) Well, after I slice the shawarma onions on Sunday it will be.  Yay!

eggs, avocados
coffee, creamer

adults: grassfed burgers, salads
kids: nitrate free mini hot dogs w/
veggie chips, pickles
apples & sunbutter

Sunday - shawarma salad
Monday - leftovers
Tuesday - dinner with friends (tacos for the kids)
Wednesday - korean beef & stir fry veggies (sub 2T. maple syrup for the brown sugar)
Thursdsay - beefed up grain-free pizza (eating on the run)
Friday - paleo chicken parmesan (I just bake, no browning.), broccoli
Saturday - sweet potato chip nachos

I haven't done all of my shopping yet for this week.  I went to Hy-Vee, but I still need a trip to Aldi and Trader Joe's!

(sharing and finding recipes here!)
Gluten Free Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Musings

Things that made me cry last week.  In a good way :)

This post.  (I think we all struggle with being critical of ourselves and others, even if never voiced.  The last several paragraphs are what I found profound, to actually state "aloud" what we all know.)
This book.  (A surprise to me, the writing and story are an even richer resource than the crafty ideas.)
This movie.  (Although if you've never been in the place of unfulfilled longing to be a parent, it might not get to you. But it is funny, too.)

Moving on!  Gotta plan some paleo food.

Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

30 Things About Me

If you want to know more about me, read on.  If not, come back another day!
I originally posted this on my old blog, but just decided to update and then repost it here.

shameless selfie: happy to make it though my workout today
(1st time w/ my crossfit trainer)!

1. I am married to the man of my dreams and we have 2 beautiful children: a girl and a boy. Thanks be to God. 

2. I struggled with not knowing if I could have a child due to PCOS, so I am thrilled to have the chance. I am humbled and thankful, knowing how undeserving I am to have a dream come true.

3. I like to swim and be outside and don't do either enough. Water and sun are therapy to me.

4. I sweat a lot when I work out.  That is therapy, too.

5. I love to plan things and design things.

6. I also love to read and write.

7. I've always wished I was more flexible (like, to do the splits).

8. I like to take tests. They are fun and satisfying. Weird, I know.

9. Sometimes I wish I would have chosen a harder major in college the first time around.

10. I am somewhat of an idealist. I often do things more based on principle than what is practical.

11. I fear not making a difference in the world. But, I don’t know how exactly I am supposed to make a difference, yet.

12. My husband has the strongest work ethic of anyone I know. He challenges me to be a more effective and efficient person.

13. I taught first grade before I had my daughter. I am very glad I got to teach that grade. I had the best teaching experience for 5 years and couldn’t have asked for a better experience or memories. Right now, I do not miss the stress, though.

14. I was public school educated K-12 and am a supporter of the public schools. This is one of the few areas in which I have strong feelings and opinions.

15. Now I work part-time, managing a very small part of a very large ministry to children.  I enjoy this little corner of the universe.

16. My weekdays are usually pretty full of nonstop activity, but I am very grateful.

17. I’ve noticed that having responsibilities outside the home helps me value my time and organize it better.

18. I think about the future and contemplate what I should do when I go back to a full-time job someday... and am slowly working on classes in that direction.

19. I rarely get dressed up anymore, but I really do enjoy getting all dolled up. I guess that is a little bit that rubbed off on me during my years growing up in the South.

20. Sometimes I don’t care about things when I should - like modesty.

21. I am more comfortable writing than speaking. I say "like" and "anyways" too much.

22. People think I am shy, and I am, but just until I get to know them.

23. I am pretty laid back about most things. But I am very particular about a few things.

24. I usually trust my gut. “Yes” decisions are quick for me. If I have to ponder it, it is a “No”.

25. I am fairly “conservative” in my own life, but am not the kind of person that thinks everyone else has to be “conservative”, too.

26. I require a steady 8 hours of sleep. But I don’t always get it.

27. I like to have a clean house, feel organized, and have plans to look forward to.

28. I find it much easier to pray than to read the Bible, though I am always glad when I do, even if I didn’t feel like it.

29. I always thought I would be taller than I am.

30. I am loyal.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekly Menu

(Sharing recent pins that I like.)

The menu-

eggs, turkey sausage, fruit
coffee, creamer

chicken sausage/olive kabobs
sweet potato chips
same as the kids or big-A salads

Monday - chocolate chili, avocados
Tuesday - tropical chicken burgers (def better w/ chicken & grilled than as turkey meatballs), alexia fries
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - sun dried tomato meatballs, broccoli
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - garbage free copycat chik-fil-a chicken nuggets, roasted kale
Sunday - leftovers

I want to create some fun and not sugar-laden "ice cream" pops for the kids. Will share if I am successful. Something similar to these? Oh, Martha, they are so pretty. Rasberry + yogurt. What if some lime juice was added? I love some tartness. Wait, they're not for me...

P.S.  You are going to continue to see phone/instagrammy photos for awhile because my camera is MIA. I don't often lose things, but it is lost. Somewhere.

(sharing my menu here)
Gluten Free Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife

And just in case you need cheering up...

Friday, June 7, 2013


Such a natural position when we are young, right?

eating breakfast and catching bugs
As it should be our whole life.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mid-week Shopping

In case you are curious.

Aside from last weekend, I haven't shared many shopping trips lately, so thought I would... since we are not yet to the blazing-hot-throw-everything-in-the-fridge/freezer-asap heat of summer yet...

I don't usually shop in the middle of the week, but obviously did this week.

Trader Joe's $57

If you must, note the junk food in the upper left. The lemon curd, well I just love lemon and wanted to try it.  I haven't opened it yet, buy may use it for the lemon chicken recipe or save it for birthday treats later this summer - we all have summer b-days. The gluten free cookies are so my kids don't feel left out at camp next week.  And the caramels... I don't really know. I guess they are one candy I like and can have in the house without demolishing. So we'll just hang onto them until I find a use for them.  And the chicken tacos? Those are a convenience item my kids will eat for lunch... not guaranteed gluten free, but made without wheat ingredients.

Aldi $29

I prefer Real Salt and we use it for everything we season by hand with the shaker. But I also buy regular salt and use it, too.  I'm not using the precious stuff on making play dough!

Allright. I have 4 books from the library at once. Why does this always happen to me?  Goodnight.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Groceries + Weekly Menu

blurry quick pic

I went to Aldi this weekend and spent $51. Not the most optimally sourced produce and protein, but at least it's not bagels, right? ;)  Plus we got farm eggs. I have to head to Walmart to get the kiddos some school supplies for camp, so I might pick up a few more small things there that I couldn't get at Aldi: unsweetened applesauce, better price on greek yogurt, a few seasonings, etc.

Next weekend will probably be a big stock up week because we will be plumb out of all our beef, chicken, and seafood by then.  I never made it to Whole Foods this week to get pizza, so perhaps another time. We also never had chili from last week's menu, we had grilled hamburgers and sweet potato fries with friends, instead. A good way to start summer.

Pssst. My favorite waffle recipe is shared at last! Super similar to the one from Eat Like a Dinosaur (affiliate link). We made some this weekend (I used almond flour instead of almond butter because I was out - they turned out softer and crumblier, not as crispy). So there ya go, for anyone who has a waffle iron sitting idle in the cupboard. Make 'em, I bet you'll like 'em. We put frozen wild blueberries from Costco on top of ours.

I may do some experimental paleo baking this week: lemon poppyseed mini muffins and/or pumpkin cake cookies with raisins. I have some events to take food to, and if you know my children, you know that I had better take a paleo dessert for them!

The summer schedule officially starts this week for the kids and I with camp/class/work/etc. I have been in a bit of a daze, forgetting what day it is without our routine lately, so I think this will be good... That also means back to packing lots o'lunches. Wish me luck. Now if it would just warm up enough to get to the swimming pool on our days off!

eggs, kale, avocados
banana blueberry eggs muffins
coffee, paleo coffee creamer

salad greens
grilled chicken or tuna
bell peppers
sundried tomatoes
strawberries or apples
(no salad for the kids - too messy for lunches - so they get to dunk the meat and peppers in homemade sour cream ranch, plus have sweet potato chips and fruit)

Camp snacks:
unsweetened applesauce, greek yogurt parfaits

Monday - lemon garlic shrimp and creamy avocado zucchini "pasta"
Tuesday - slow cooker meatloaf, peas
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - dinner with friends, taking something
Friday - easy lemon chicken (this has some sugar, we'll see how it goes), broccoli
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - baked asian-style salmon, sweet potatoes, salad

Have a good week!

more ideas here...
Gluten Free Recipe Roundup via Musings of a Housewife

And always, thank you so much for reading and linking/sharing/pinning any interesting/helpful posts from my blog (and others!) to spread the paleo word! I appreciate it, as do all the folks I know on the journey with us!